Quick A/N here: This is somewhat based on the movie Wrath of the Titans, but I didn't like how it ended so in this story, the gods are all good, everyone's still alive, no one died. The gods worked with Perseus to take down Cronus. Also, Melinoe is NOT an OC! In mythology she was the daughter of Hades and Persephone (Though some myths say Zeus is her dad, but I'll let that go), and she and her dad didn't exactly get along. In this her story's a little altered (Since Persephone wasn't in Clash or Wrath, grrr!) so sorry to those who know her story, but I had to alter it. Anyway, hope you like, my rants done. Read and Review please.
Shadows and Ghosts
He felt her. He always felt her. But that was to be expected, as she was, quite literally, a part of him. But whenever he felt her strongest, her presence would slip away, as if she knew he was near. Hm…that didn't surprise. She'd only been avoiding him for thousands of years. It was only natural she'd be in expert in avoiding him.
You can't keep avoiding me, Melinoe. I will catch up with you eventually; confrontation will come, no matter how much you try to avoid it. Meet me somewhere, anywhere of your choosing. Wait for me and I will find you. Then we can talk.
No response, not that he expected one. It only made him wonder this time. Would she meet him? And if she did, would she hear him? The two had been on terrible, horrible terms for years. After his reconciliation with Zeus, he was encouraged to make things right with his only child.
Why were they on bad terms? Well, he had to admit it now, it was mostly his fault. His thirst for vengeance had gotten in the way, making him blind to the emotional needs of his daughter. Hades had failed as a father; he didn't need anyone to tell him that now. He'd created Melinoe as an ideal companion, creating her first in his mind, but bringing her to life with half of his heart. Through that connection, they could sense each other's presence and feelings. Hades kept her hidden from Olympus for a time, but knew he couldn't keep her that way forever. Eventually he brought her to his brother's realm so she could meet the rest of her family.
It wasn't a bad idea it seemed. Everyone took a liking to her, enjoying her amount of intellect despite her relatively young age. For a time, Hades was proud. He couldn't have been prouder when Hades declared Melinoe as the goddess of ghosts and spirits. But it was after that everything became rotten. Melinoe constantly wanted to go to Olympus to spend time with her other family. It was almost as if…as if she didn't want him anymore. Like he wasn't enough now. It depressed him, but that depression soon turn to anger and he directed that anger both at Zeus and Melinoe, though with Melinoe it was a little more subtle as she was still young. But when she was in her adolescent years, anger turned into neglect, as he'd grown tired of the world he was forced to live in. He saw his daughter only as a hindrance in his revenge and eventually cast her out of the Underworld. He hadn't seen her since…
Melinoe stared out at the sea from her cliff thoughtfully. It was dark out, the moon full, just as she liked. She didn't like what the night did to her, but she loved the beauty of the time. Maybe that was just the Hades part of her thinking…ugh…she would've removed that part long ago if given the chance, but it would've destroyed her. And as miserable as her life was, she had no desire to die now.
She looked more corpse-like at night, with dark, withering skin and her chocolate brown hair turning to a strange mix of black, white, and gray. She looked old and felt it, though she was probably the youngest of the gods. To be honest, Melinoe looked no older than nineteen years during the day. She was beautiful then or at least that's what her cousins and other family told her. Melinoe never saw herself as beautiful, well, not recently at least. Not for the last thousands of years anyway. Not since Hades cast her out. Now he was requesting to speak to her. Well he helped to save the world, so she figured he had a right to say what he wanted to her, so long as it wasn't offensive.
After he threw her out, Melinoe went to Olympus to claim asylum from her uncle Zeus, who, no surprise, welcomed her with open arms. He took care of her for a couple thousand years, but in all honesty, she knew she didn't fit in there. So after a time, Melinoe went travelling on her own. When she felt the walls of Tartarus falling, she knew all that she held dear were in danger. She felt a great fear, fear beyond anything she ever felt before, but it wasn't from her, as Melinoe feared nearly nothing.
Suddenly, she felt it. Melinoe gripped her chest in pain, he was close, too close for her comfort. But she was bent on staying. She'd fight if need be, as she felt her twin blades in each of her boots. Melinoe stood, and turned to face her maker, the one she once called father.
The father and daughter stared at one another, each blocking the other from their minds, though that was incredibly hard to do seeing as how they thought with the same mind. It was energy draining, all kinds of irritating. The pain in Melinoe's chest increased, but she didn't dare speak a word of it. But she wondered if he felt the pain in his half too. At last he spoke.
"Melinoe…" her name came out with a small sigh as he tried to find a way to make eye contact with her, but that was proving difficult, as she was avoiding his eyes.
As tempting as it was, the young goddess didn't dare look at him straight. With the pain she was in, she couldn't. Instead she looked slightly down, away from him, trying to make herself seem as invisible as she felt all these years.
"A little birdie told me you wanted to speak…so speak" she said, her voice dry, a little raspy and whispery.
"What's happened to you?" he asked.
"What's happened to me? You're asking me what's happened to me? Allow me to show you!" she finally looked right at her maker. She didn't dare think of him as her father now.
In his eyes she looked like hell. Her skin dark and withered, her strange hair in disarray. Her colorless, soulless eyes were full of tears. Guilt stabbed him like a knife in his side of the heart they shared. Melinoe didn't dare hide the pain anymore. In fact she wanted him to feel it. She let down the blocks in her mind and he felt it, like a thousand knives, but he took it better than she did. He handled it better, with more control and, dare she admit it, poise. Anger flashed in her eyes.
"How dare you ask what's happened to me? This is what you've done to me! How could you create something like me? How…how could you?"
"Melinoe…I am so sorry…"
"It's a bit late for that don't you think?"
"Better late than never, don't you think?"
His calm demeanor and tone only fueled her anger. Melinoe pulled the two blades out of her boots, wanting to end this once and for all. She rushed at Hades only to find that she couldn't strike, like he'd frozen her somehow when she got close enough. He tore the blades out of her hands and threw them aside.
"Enough, Melinoe! I'm trying to reason with you and you're just flat out being difficult! Now, I'm going to let you move in a few seconds and you have two options. One we will continue this stupid argument or you're going to listen to what I have to say" Hades released Melinoe from the hold he had on her, "The choice is yours".
Released from his hold, Melinoe looked up at him begrudgingly. She scowled and was at first skeptical. But Hades was already here, and besides she'd already agreed to hear him out. Melinoe sighed and took a small step back.
"Let me start off by saying that the rumors are true, your uncle and I are reconciled".
"Wow…Tartarus must've frozen over at last".
"No, it won't freeze over…at least not until you and I are…at least on the same page. Well, that's what the others say".
"Oh we're on the same page, Hades. We hate each other. How's that not on the same page?"
"See that's where you're wrong, Melinoe. I love you. I haven't stopped loving you".
Melinoe couldn't hold back a laugh. This god, her maker, who had abandoned her, cast her out of her own home and left her to be the scourge of mankind dared had the audacity to say he loved her! Cruelest joke she'd heard in her life.
"How dare you say that to me? How dare you after all you've done to me".
"It's the truth, Melinoe. I haven't stopped. I never will. No matter what happens, you're my only daughter, my only child. And" he stepped closer to her, "We are a part of one another, quite literally".
"If I could I'd tear the damn thing out".
"Nothing stops you".
"I just don't know if it'll really kill me or it'll just leave a mess to clean up. Either way, I don't want to put up with it".
"Of course not…"
"What would it matter to you? Hm? What difference would it make to you if I lived or died? You haven't cared at all these past few centuries. All you cared about was getting back at Zeus for taking your rightful place in Olympus".
"That was important but now it means nothing Melinoe. All I want now is to make things right with you".
"You can't make things right with me. In order to do that you'd have to turn back time and stop yourself from making me…rather be dead than facing this".
Melinoe looked out to the dark horizon, the moon shining on the sea. Her colorless eyes widened just a little and Hades felt a prick of curiosity from her. But he wasn't going to provoke that. If she wanted to speak she would. He'd take his time; there was no need to rush this. While he wanted this over quickly, he knew the damage he'd done to her emotionally would be remarkably hard to undo. He wanted her to take over the conversation, to trust him just like she had before. Hades waited.
"Why did you make me?" she asked at last.
"I made you because I didn't want to be alone down there in that world. While yes, I was hesitant to bring something else to life in that world, if I hadn't done it I don't know what would've happened. And that's when you came in my mind. The thought of you almost manifested itself in my mind and you were very real to me. But I knew my head wasn't where you wanted to be. I knew I didn't want you just there. So I made a body, breathed your essence into it and then-"
"And then you took your heart out, split it in two…gave me one half, and so Melinoe was born" she ended it and Hades nodded.
Melinoe looked back at her maker. He looked better, much better than the last time she'd seen him. He'd looked weak, his skin pale as could be, his voice as terrible and hoarse as hers was now, hunched over, almost like he was cowering. But he wasn't that now. He stood tall, carrying himself proudly like the god he was. Now if only she were like that…
"And it's through the heart we share everything. I've felt the pain I've caused you Melinoe and allow me to admit that I am so sorry for it. To hurt you was never my intention".
"Then what was your intention. Pray tell, Hades, what was it? What was the point in your so called love for me? Show me how it all makes sense…show me something, anything that shows that you truly loved me. Because I sure don't see it".
"I could, if that's what you wish. I can show you many examples my dear. I have loved you since the first day. But it was the first night of your creation that really…touched me I guess. You were so little I doubt you remember".
"I don't recall".
"Well that's to be expected. If you'd like, I could show you".
"All you have to do is come to me and just put your hand right here" Hades put a hand on his chest, over his heart, and it was like Melinoe could feel it as well, "And you'll see everything…literally".
Melinoe hesitated. "Why should I? Just so I can see all your lies?"
"You'll discover soon enough, Melinoe. Just trust me. Just like you used to".
"Put the barriers in your mind down then, that way I know".
"Do as I asked and I will".
Slowly, Melinoe stepped toward him, never taking her eyes off of him. Good, he needed this. They both did. But in order for it to work, Melinoe needed to trust him. She looked tense, as if ready to sprint if he moved.
"She's preparing for an attack. Clever girl, able to think on her feet" Hades thought, but didn't dare move. Any movement would've sent her bolting, possibly off the cliff.
Melinoe's steps were slow, cautious, but unhurried. She wasn't in a rush. But why she didn't know. She had places to go, people to haunt. But one thing she didn't truly understand was her fear. Why was she afraid of him? Why was she afraid of this? He obviously meant her no harm, but yet…she was scared. Her fear grew as she only got closer. Hades sensed it.
"Don't be afraid Melinoe. Nothing will hurt you, not while I'm here".
Those words were so familiar, in that soft tone she knew she loved once, a long time ago. Looking in his eyes she saw they were softened as she approached him. Shivering from her fear, she finally gave into him and her fear. When Melinoe was at last close enough, Hades put his arms around her, soft and gentle, like he used to when he embraced his daughter. It all felt so familiar to Melinoe, but she needed to be reminded. Her memory was getting fuzzy. Finally, she touched his heart and the two halves seemed to intertwine and she saw things, memories, though his eyes…
He woke to the sound of crying. It wasn't one of the souls tortured in Tartarus, but the little cries of the one he'd formed and brought to life. She was still so small; she could almost fit into the palm of his hand.
"Melinoe" he said her name with a hint of fear, fear that maybe something had gone wrong and she was in pain. His steps to her small bedroom were slightly hurried.
She was letting out little cries, not being able to physically talk yet. But already she was a master of putting her thoughts into his head. Thought speech. Only a few hours old and she mastered it. Safe to say he was impressed. He picked her up from her tiny bed and held her close, trying to silence her cries.
"Is this…the night I was made?" Melinoe asked.
"Yes it is".
"God I was even ugly as a baby"
"No…not to me. You were beautiful then…just as you are now".
"Oh Melinoe…it's alright. What's the matter, little one?"
But from her thoughts, he already knew she was afraid. She didn't like being alone…much like him. Hades cuddled her only closer, trying to comfort her as best as he could.
"It's alright little one. I'm here, nothing's going to hurt you, not while I'm here".
That was why! He'd tell her that all the time when she was…small. Melinoe looked disheartened a little. They looked so wonderful like that. Her that tiny and him holding her protectively, as if he'd take on the world to keep her safe. And back then, he would've. Hades noticed her look.
"I love you, Melinoe. I always have".
She shook her head. "Back then you did".
"Then I guess I need to show you more. Remember this?"
The memory changed to a much brighter one…
It was her, only fifty years old, though she appeared only five. She was playing in the Islands of the Blessed, pulling up violets and putting them in her chocolate colored hair. She tumbled into a field, laughing and blissfully carefree. Hecate, her appointed guardian and teacher, looked on, smiling. The princess would be a good queen someday. Everyday her beauty grew. Perhaps she'd been wrong about being against Hades' choice.
Speaking of which, the underworld ruler appeared next to her and watched his daughter as she merged the stems of the flowers together. She was making something.
"Melinoe!" Hecate called and the princess turned and saw her father.
Grinning, Melinoe ran up to her father, her little black gown flowing gracefully behind her. As she approached, Hades held his arms out and caught her in his arms.
"Hello little one, did you miss me?" Hades asked, kissing her cheek affectionately.
"Yes papa. Very much" she answered, snuggling in her father's hold, "I made you something"
"Why this?" Melinoe snapped at Hades suddenly, but didn't move her hand away.
"Because though simple, it's one of my most treasured memories".
Melinoe looked on.
"This papa" it was a little bracelet made of a few violets.
"This is absolutely lovely. Thank you, Melinoe".
"Keep it papa. Promise to keep it".
"I promise little one. I'll treasure it always".
"And I kept true to that promise, Melinoe. I still have it".
"Good…good for you" she looked out at the memory and her eyes burned with tears.
She missed this. Melinoe wanted to be that close again. She missed being that small. She tried to keep calm, but this was hard. Hades sensed the change in her and tried to work with that. He felt her sadness, her longing.
"Melinoe…Melinoe, talk to me. What's wrong?"
"What isn't?" she looked down and literally walked out of Hades' hold, "What isn't wrong Hades? All these years I've spent all on my own…I blamed myself for everything. I've been so hurt by all that's happened. Everything hurts. Everything…"
"I know Melinoe, and that's why I've come. I want to ease that pain, to make things right again. But I can't do that if you don't let me back in. Melinoe, please…let me back in your life and I swear I will do everything I can to fix things".
"I know but of what? Of me?"
"No…not exactly. I fear what…well I mean…I fear the past will repeat itself. That you'll turn around and push me away again and you'll make it seem like I mean nothing to you".
"I made that mistake once and it has to be the worst mistake I've ever made. I won't do that to you, Melinoe. I love you".
There was one last thing she had to know. Melinoe turned away from her father and looked up at the clear starry sky.
"When you first brought me to life, you had to tear your heart in two to give me a half…you brought me to life that way. Did it hurt?"
"It was the worst physical pain I've ever felt, Melinoe".
She looked back at him. "Was it worth it?"
"My dearest little one" Hades stepped toward her and put a hand on her cheek gently, catching a stray tear, "It was worth every single painful second. The pain was great, but it didn't even come close to the happiness and love I felt when I first saw your beautiful eyes open. You were everything to me then and you're everything to me now, Melinoe".
She couldn't hold it back anymore. Her will to stay angry weakened, and she couldn't anymore. The underworld princess finally let the tears out and she sobbed, wanting nothing more than to be home and safe with her father. Hades wrapped his arms around her and held her close, just as he did when she was small.
"I'm so sorry Melinoe for causing all this pain. Let me back in your life and I promise I'll do all that I can to make it better for you. I love you, Melinoe and I want nothing more than for you to be happy".
"I…" Melinoe sniffed, "I wanna go home papa".
"Then home is where we shall go…and hopefully where we shall stay".