The day was warm and sunny.
He hated it.
He pulled at his dark cloak, settling further into the shadows of the trees. He was not a creature of light. Rather, he was the lord of darkness and shadows.
And it seemed that fate enjoyed mocking him.
For it had happened that he, Hades, Lord of the Underworld, had fallen in love with the goddess of springtime and light, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, Persephone.
He ran a hand through his coal black hair, sighing wearily. He shifted again and then stood still. The young goddess had arrived in the meadow. Her golden curls hung down her back, almost reaching her waist. Her green eyes shone happily, her creamy peach skin seemingly glowing.
He couldn't tear his eyes away from her. She was unlike anything he'd ever seen, so pure and light, so different from himself. The heart that he hadn't known he had gave a painful thump.
He wished that he could just go up to her and perhaps start a conversation. But he was sure that Demeter would sooner have him struck down by one of Zeus' lighting bolts than allow him to even say hello to her daughter.
He had been on Mount Olympus that day, attempting to get it through Ares' thick skull that if the temperamental god wanted to keep his reproductive system, the war god would stop causing so many wars. He was having to work overtime, while the other gods frolicked around and it was exhausting.
That day, he had caught a glimpse of her. Demeter had been beside the young goddess, guiding her along and glaring at any of the male gods that looked their way. She had even glared at him, before she realized who she was glaring at and quickly turned her face away. He watched as various male gods presented gifts to Demeter in exchange for the beautiful girl but all of their offers were refused.
To tell the truth, he had found her quite beautiful himself. But being the only responsible god besides Athena, he pushed the girl from his mind and once again tried dealing with the stubborn war-god before him.
And then Eros had to nose around in his business.
Hades swore that if the love god ever dared to approach him again, he would find himself in the belly of Cerberus.
As if sensing the vengeful aura emanating from him, the goddess turned, looking into the dark forest. He shrank farther back into the shadows, not wanting to be discovered. He was sure she would be afraid of him. Everyone always was. He had absolutely no chance of wooing her. He closed his eyes and ran a hand over his pale face.
It was hopeless. He knew it.
Then why did he find himself coming to the above world every day to watch her?
He really was going to murder that toga-wearing, arrow-shooting, perverted love god and his shallow mother and give them a piece of his mind. Perhaps a few days in the furies presence would teach the two love gods to NEVER mess with him again.
"What is it, Persephone?"
He brought his attention back to the goddess and her group of nymphs to hear her answer.
"I thought I saw something move in the forest," her sweet voice rang out in the silence, making him shiver, "A person."
The nymphs were instantly on alert, looking into the woods closely. One ran off into the small house nearby.
Soon, Demeter had come out, a worried look on her motherly face. Persephone rolled her eyes and sighed, but still kept her attention on the woods.
Hades shifted, not liking where this was going at all. He cursed as he realized he should have left sooner. Demeter would be sure to recognize his presence. His mind worked quickly to formulate a plan, and then remembered that he had been meaning to speak with Demeter anyway. It would just be a little sooner than he had planned.
"Persephone, are you all right?"
"Yes, mother, I'm fine. You needn't worry," the girl sounded exasperated, as if she'd had this conversation many times before.
"All right, show yourself! I know you're there!"
Hades sighed before pulling his black cloak tighter around him and stepping from the shadows, toward the two goddesses. It didn't take him long before he stood towering over them. He noticed that Persephone barely came up to his chest.
As expected, Demeter paled and began trembling. What surprised him was that Persephone did no such thing. She looked up at his tall form, her green eyes curious.
"Good morning, Demeter, Persephone" he bowed his head, making sure that none of his emotions would show on his face. He noticed Persephone shiver and cursed himself. He hadn't meant to frighten her. Unlike, Zeus' warm, booming voice, his own was soft and silky, usually devoid of any warmth whatsoever. He never had to raise his voice to make his subjects tremble.
"H-Hades, what are you doing here?"
He sighed again. This was one of the things he hated. Everyone was always afraid of him. Even the gods. He was a loner. Always had been and always would be.
"I've come to ask for a favor," he fidgeted with the clasp of his cloak, not feeling comfortable in the bright sunlight. The nymphs behind the two goddesses were whispering and giggling and he could feel a headache coming on. He narrowed his eyes, giving them a full glare. They froze and squeaked, shaking in fright. Nymphs always annoyed him.
"Well, what is it?"
He pushed a strand of coal black hair out of his eyes before speaking, "Some of the humans in the lower region of the planet are starving…I know that they insulted you but they apologized, didn't they?"
Demeter grumbled but nodded, "I'm still not appeased though."
He frowned, "They've been offering you fruits once again…All of their food is going to you. That's why they're starving…"
"Still, Brother, you've never been one to care for humanity," Demeter said in a petulant voice.
He pinched the bridge of his nose, willing his growing headache to go away, "Do you have any idea how many dead I've had to judge this week alone? With that war-crazed idiot of a brother causing the humans to start a war, I've been working nonstop…add to the casualties of war, the starved victims of your famine, you get a tumult of dead people all clamoring that they were good in their lives. And I cannot be a fair judge if I have a killer headache and am utterly exhausted, now can I?"
His voice had turned chillingly cold, his eyes sparking with weariness and fury. Was he the only responsible god? He honestly couldn't believe how childish his siblings could be.
"Mother, can you please consider it? The people seem truly repentant! And it would help Lord Hades…"
Hades was surprised by Persephone's intervention, as was Demeter. He blinked a few times, looking at her. She shyly met his gaze before blushing and looking away. It thoroughly perplexed him.
"Well, I guess I can lift the famine…"
He gave a sigh of relief, "Thank you, Demeter."
He allowed himself to offer them a small, genuine smile, feeling a weight lift off of him. For one, he wasn't murdered by Demeter for watching her daughter. Two, his workload had decreased greatly. And three, he had gotten to talk to Persephone, though indirectly, and found that she didn't seem afraid of him. Though she still seemed nervous in his presence. That was understandable though.
Both Demeter and her daughter's cheeks turned a light pink. Demeter coughed into her hand, trying to hide her pink cheeks, while Persephone looked down at the ground. Hades cocked his head to the side, now thoroughly confused. He was sure he'd never understand females. His action only served to make the two females cheeks redden further.
"I…ah, I will take my leave. I am not as comfortable in the sun as both of you seem to be. Demeter, Persephone. Good day to you both," he brushed a soft kiss over both their hands before turning around and melting into the shadows.
He failed to notice the dreamy sigh that escaped Persephone's mouth as he vanished into the dark forest.