Title: Death and the Spring
Summary: Another simple retelling of the Myth addressing Hades and Persephone's romance.
Olympus was in an uproar today. The smooth, gleaming marble floors were shadowed with the pattering sound of harried footsteps, the faint rustling of silken garments bellowing behind its owner, her tussled hair reigning like frayed, wild straw around her delicate face.
Demeter's eyes were filled with untamed tears, stains of her sorrow already tainting her fair skin. The silhouette of her nurturing side had already been overshadowed by rage, grief and intense worry, her sobs as she half ran half stumbled before Zeus's presence a severe indication of the state of her deliriousness.
"How could he!" she breathlessly demanded as she weakly collapsed before her brother's throne. "How dare he steal her away from me? How? How? How!" She had by now buried her face deep into the palms of her hands having finally given in to the final stages of her decent into madness.
The other Gods and Goddesses rose in alarm from their positions beside Zeus, their astonishment at seeing the Goddess of the Harvest in such a state of lethal frenzy wounding their hearts in pity. A burst of voices both angry and confused erupted from the pantheon of Gods and Zeus finally standing to his feet raised his hand in a gesture for silence.
The assembled Olympians heeded his call.
"Who or what, may I ask, has rendered you in such… distress Demeter?" he calmly asked as his powerful voice echoed within the sturdy hallway.
The room settled from its disarray, breaths held as they waited for the Goddess to proclaim the instigator of her severe displeasure.
She feebly raised her face then, her moisture laden eyes appealing to her brother and once former lover. With trembling digits she gripped her garments and tightened her hold as she barely managed to whisper, "Hades, my dear brother…Hades has kidnapped our daughter… Hades has kidnapped Persephone…"
And the room erupted into confusion again.
He watched her as she sat, her legs folded beneath her, her head bowed almost as though in prayer, her solitude and despondence dressing her completely. If she had not been the goddess of spring and if she were not destined to be the queen of the underworld then her melancholy would not have suited her so well. But even in sorrow Hades saw beauty…an elegant and graceful beauty that was still breathtaking… still enthralling… still sensuous… Even the tears that glistened on her cheeks breathed grace… breathed magnificence.
He watched the silken ripple of her autumn coloured hair as it draped her frame in delicate waves, the pale complexion of her soft skin as it glowed in the stygian darkness that was the underworld. He watched with baited breath as she silently watched her hands, her unheard tears dressing her skin like shimmering pearls.
Hades allowed a single breath to escape his lips, a breath filled with desire… with longing.
He moved then, unable to merely gaze alone.
Alas, his form that had been whole finally dispersed into black mist and smoke, the wispy tendrils spreading out from his centre, fanning in sweeping waves as he travelled in a cloud of haze towards her lowered form. And as he surrounded her in his state of frigid mist and smoke, he addressed her, his face no longer visible, his form no more than the air that filled the underworld itself…
"Why doth the lady weep…?"He quietly whispered into the darkness, his voice as husky and thick as the tendrils of smoke he used to disguise his true form.
Her head slowly rose in uncertainty as she scanned her periphery for the disembodied voice for she could see nothing… perceive nothing.
"I…I have been taken from my abode…. I see strange things and feel indescribable emotions… I am unsure…."
Hades narrowed his brows.
"You weep then because you fear the unknown?"
She nervously looked around again and wiping her face clean of its melancholic evidence slowly murmured. "Perhaps… I have never witnessed such solitude as this…such mourning…."
Hades was intrigued by her answer and moving closer he whispered into her ear, "You sense it then, the death, the happiness, the confusion…"
She wordlessly nodded before tentatively stretching out her hand to feel the mist. Hades could easily discern the slight tremble that caressed her limbs, the faint tremor that shook her lips. She was afraid but yet she spoke with an air of faint confidence. This drew him in even more.
"I cry, forgive me, not solely for my plight but for the plights of those whom I sense deep within the recesses of this place. I told you that I could feel strange things… and it is death I think that I feel and alas, it is in my nature, I suppose, to feel sorrow for those that once thrived in full spring…"
"Indeed…" Hades mused allowed, "Indeed you are your mother's daughter."
"My mother…" Persephone glanced down again. "You know of her?"
"I would be an ignorant fool to have no knowledge of Demeter; to not know of her insecurities."
"Then why have you taken me away from her?"
"Because you intrigue me…."
Persephone blinked, her eyes still intently focused downwards. "You kidnap for mere intrigue… that is-"
"It is…?" Hades prompted.
"Not entirely. If my intrigue belies a pleasant intention then it cannot be so cruel. You have captivated me Persephone. A God that thrives alone has been mesmerised by your beauty… your innocence. Even I detest myself for whisking away something so pure."
"Then-then I am not mistaken when I assume that I am in the realm of the underworld…." she softly whispered.
Hades laughed; a low, soft laugh of delight.
"You are a perceptive creature."
"This darkness, this mournfulness, as you rightly say, I sense it…I feel it in my bones."
"And you are right to sense it, it is a sullen thing. But do you not feel the mild happiness that lingers in its midst."
"What happiness can there be in such despondence?"
"That from those who dwell in the Elysian fields."
"It is faint…"
"Then this place cannot be so terrible if some find happiness, can it…?"
The young goddess paused at his lowly spoken observation, reflecting, contemplating. Finally she spoke again.
"Who is it that addresses me?"
"Who do you wish it to be?"
She absently attempted to touch the straying mist that lingered at her feet and jumped in surprise when the soft sound of a pleasured sigh surrounded her.
"I-I.…the one who has brought me here. The one who has stolen me from the arms of my mother- the protection of the nymphs."
"Then it is so."
"Sh-show yourself…" she weakly commanded.
"You are prepared to see the God who has taken you for his own, who wants you for his Queen…for his wife…?"
She trembled at those words but bravely raised her head in certainty. "It is only fair that I see the one who claims to want me for his own; it is only fair that I see you… Lord Hades."
Persephone gasped in wonder at the rush of wind that flew past her, the swirl of power and mist and blackened smoke that circled and fell into place in a swirling tornado of death. It roared like a raging storm, its shadows falling in line, giving birth to a soon still, solid cloaked form that gracefully emerged from the haze of mist.
If a broken thing could look beautiful then surely this was it, incarnate. Persephone had heard stories of the blackened God of the underworld, the eldest of the Titan's son, the master of all that entered the afterlife. She had heard stories of his firm, ruling hand, stories of his decisions as a just and wise king but whether they were indeed veracious or whether they were lies were something she could not yet decipher.
She watched in bated breath then as he slowly approached her, his steps graceful for such a willowy God, his movements… almost as if he were gliding. She watched in anticipation as he raised his long digits to remove the cloak that concealed his face, the cloak that masked his features in darkness. She had only ever heard rumours of the God, she had never actually seen him in person.
And as she watched, the image practically burned a vivid memory for future reference into her head.
His pallid complexion was… sickly almost, his lack of contact with sun an ever enduring testament. His lengthy black hair cascaded in elegant waves of deepest ebony behind his back, some ripples dressing his shoulders and chest as he carefully moved towards her. His face was handsome, despite being almost cadaverous, his graceful stature towering above her miniature, fragile frame.
She had never witnessed such a strange twist of beauty before, something that strangely pulled her, something that indescribably toyed with her reasoning…
She trembled when he stopped before her huddled frame, for there was a wild look in his eyes.
She closed her eyes in fear then expecting some kind of punishment as he began to extend his arm towards her. Alas, she felt no pain and apprehensively opened her eyes to see what had been its delay. The god of the underworld had merely reached out to her and unsure of why she was accepting she too slowly reached out and rested her hand into his own. She had expected to feel a chill from his skin but there was nothing save a pulsing heat that ran through him as he firmly gripped her fingers and gently drew her up against him.
"Do you still fear…?" he softly asked as he lightly began to run his index down the length of her cheek. Her breath hitched as he touched her skin, her heart suddenly pounding in her chest.
"I-I… don't know…" she faintly whispered.
"Do you still fear me then…Persephone?"
This time his thumb was delicately tracing the outline of her quivering lips as he held her chin in place.
She closed her eyes from the surprisingly heated sensation of his touch, the guilty pleasure coursing through her veins wholly frightening. She was certain she was not supposed to feel pleasure at all from his caress.
"Answer me." he quietly commanded when she remained speechless.
Even she was surprised by her answer.
Hades' lips parted into a small smile and leaning forward he gently cupped her jaw.
"There is no reason for fear," he thickly whispered as he held her closer. "There never was. Man is merely afraid of his own destiny. He is afraid of his judgement, afraid to see what he truly is. That is the only fear they all truly harbour."
"Lord Hades…"she unconsciously whispered, her hands climbing to rest against his chest in unspoken submission. "I-"
He stilled her lips with a soft, unexpected kiss then and raggedly drew breath when he found she did not deny him.
"My Persephone…" he breathlessly murmured and embraced her fragile softness in his arms.
She could not stop him and didn't really want to in any case so she allowed him to drink deeper from the nectar she willingly offered.
AN: Forgive me for any errors grammatical and otherwise.