The walls of cold stone surrounded the large room like cave that absorbed any vibrant sounds of life and laughter. It had been quiet for centuries now, with only the muttering of a deep voice, chatter of creatures and footsteps pacing the bare ground. In the center of the room was an asymmetrical pairing: a throne of sorts, made of the same material of the ground that looked to grow out of it and an occupied bed. The frame of the bed, like its chair counter part, grew from underneath while the sheets themselves were a collection of bright colors and spattered petals. The still body lay atop the covers while the petals were obviously laid upon her from above. The years of motionless sleep had caused deep grooves in the sheets, as if she were slowly sinking over time, deeper and deeper into the bed until it would swallow her whole. Only half of her face was exposed but was still covered by long, wavy brown hair that looked carefully positioned over her shoulder, back and cheek.
The man who tended her unasked needs took both pride and pain in moving her hair every so often, trying to create an illusion of life. In this particular moment, he sat in the chair starting at her for longer than normal. The creatures and soft voices came and went, never rising above a certain volume for although he would take great pleasure to see her awake, he would not let them stir her with their presence. It left both his servants and himself in a state of abstract stress. Nine months passed.
Sighing, he placed his hands on the ends of the armrests and pushed himself into standing. He was a tall figure and would be of handsome look if he hadn't let her state affect him so. His eyes seemed darker, duller and hopeless - none of which he had ever been used to feeling. The lower half of his face was completely hidden behind unkempt hair that fell to his knees, though still of a robust brown like his curly hair atop his head. Scratching at his left cheek, he paced his way to the bed and brushed a clump of hair off her shoulder. The petals were dried and shriveled which only added to her saddening state. His eyes flashed a rare glimpse of familiar rage and his hand jerked into the air as the petals vanished. As if the departure of the pathetic petals had somehow harmed her, the woman's shoulder shifted and a quiet, painful groan rumbled in her chest. The man's eyes widened as he immediately dove to her side, placing one of his large hands on her bare skin and a smile erupted from his face; her skin was warm.
"Persephone?" his voice burst out loudly, or at least more than the room had been used to in thousands of years. His voice echoed against the walls and brought an ironic sense of life to the Underworld. His fingers gently squeezed her arm, hoping any sort of touch would hasten her pace. Again, her lips tried to part but the groan was caught in her chest and her eyebrows flickered. Eyes from all over the throne room seemed to appear and glow at the centered couple. Chatter begin to revive, beginning in a quiet tone as usual and increasing as the numbers did. Their Queen was alive.
"She's waking!" Hades boomed in excitement, his eyebrows lifting high on his forehead and his lips curling into a forgotten smile. His voice carried through the halls and though the cheers of the populace drowned it out quickly, the message had still spread quickly. Persephone herself flinched at the loudness of his voice and barely being able to lift her hand, she attempted to tell him to quiet down. He, in not understanding, took her hand, pressed it between both of his and lifted to kiss her fingertips. The corner of her mouth seemed to smile though it was unclear if due to the kiss or the misunderstanding, but the matter was of little importance. Her eyelids began to flutter, trying to open; what little light was in the throne room bothered her after her prolonged time in dreams. Her husband affectionately rubbed her hand to encourage her, impatient to have her as she once was so long ago. When her eyes finally broke through the lids and adjusted enough to the lighting, she was able to flash him the smallest of smiles.
"You look horrid," she quietly croaked, her dry throat giving her voice no justice. Simply the sound of her voice seemed to melt years off the man's face; his smile widened and his eyes closed, leaning his head forward to rest on her arm as if suddenly heavier. She squeezed his hand as best she could, which wasn't saying much and took in a slow, deep breath. "What happened?"