It is cold here, far colder than I am used to even after being here for so long. Time means nothing to we gods, we immortals; a year is much the same as ten. Yet somehow even six months seems far too long to be in this place, too long to go without running through the forests and the meadows, letting the nymphs help me weave wildflowers through my hair. Too long since I've lain in the grass and let the sun warm my skin. Trivial things, perhaps, but they are what I miss most while I am trapped here underground, surrounded by the cold stone, surrounded by death, surrounded – nay, smothered – by him.
I remember, vaguely, thinking him strangely beautiful that first time he saw me in the meadow. Oh, of course I knew – he was Hades, god of death, Lord of the Underworld. Death wasn't beautiful. Yet as he stared at me, eyes filled with lust, a part of me saw beauty in him. A terrifying, dark beauty, but beauty all the same.
I miss the sun. I miss my mother, my father, and the rest of my family as well. I miss everyone and everything on Mount Olympus – even Aphrodite, with her constant human consorts to satisfy her lust, Dionysus and his drunken antics, all of their little quirks, really. Everything. I miss it all so much that I would do anything to be able to return permanently.
I think I miss mother more most of all, for she always knew what to do when I despaired. But mother isn't here, and though he says I will see her again in six turns of the moon, my hope of that still wavers. It's only him now, he and I, and I feel so alone.
He frightens me so.
Though he has never done me harm, I always fear he will. It may be an irrational fear, for his pact with my mother demands that he does not hurt me, but I think it is natural to fear a god of death… though I do not fear him for that reason only.
He comes to me nearly every night now, sits by me on my bed. Sometimes he comes merely to talk, sometimes to make love – that is what he calls it, but does lovemaking not require love in the first place, from both parties involved? And surely I cannot love him. Sometimes he is angry, and comes to take his frustrations out on me with rough, passionate kisses, or he might simply pace around the room, muttering to himself. Sometimes he is happy, which is almost more dreadful than his anger. His moods are strange, and I do not understand them, nor do I wish to!
But he frightens me the most – and oh, I cannot bear him on nights like these – when he simply sits by me and stares, holding my hands tightly in his and watching me like I am some amazingly precious thing, and for a little while I can forget everything – my beloved world above, my family… I can forget who he is, what he is, forget everything I've ever known. And sometimes he might kiss me, very, very softly, and once he even whispered in my ear that he loves me dearly. After he left that night I cried for hours before I could sleep – for the worst part was that I almost wished it were so.
Too long, too long. For a brief moment, I almost thought of this place as home.
It is not my home. I belong in the sun, I belong to the earth. Not here, not amongst the dead.
This will be a gentle night, I know as soon as he enters my chambers. There is a look in his eyes, a sad sort of tenderness that one such as he should not have. I wish he would be angry with me; it would be easier than this.
He does not sit down and hold my hand this time. He watches me from the doorway, standing there in all his dark glory. "Persephone." He murmurs my name, and I hate the sound of it rolling so naturally off of his tongue. I do not reply, and he continues. "You are cold," he says simply. "I will have a servant bring you warmer garments, if you wish it."
"There is no need." I shiver even as I speak the words, clearly giving away my lie, and turn away from him, but to no avail. He is by my side in an instant.
"What saddens you, my love?" He asks, placing his hand on my shoulder. His icy skin sends shivers down my spine.
"Nothing that should concern you." I whisper.
"Your well-being is always a concern."
He is good to me, this I must admit. He is kind, and my wishes are his desires. He comforts me when I wake in the night crying from a nightmare. He loves me. And oh, how I hate it.
I wonder if he was as lonely before I came here as I am now.
Again I do not reply, keeping my face turned away. He cups my jaw in his pale hand, forcing me to look at him.
"I do wish you would talk to me."
I wonder if he knows that sometimes, when I am at my loneliest, I wish I could as well. And that is when I know that I am beginning to fall undone.
And perhaps it wouldn't be terrible if I let myself talk to him, confide in him, maybe if I opened up the loneliness would be almost bearable. For there is no one, no one else in this Underworld to whom I can speak, and it hurts. A part of me needs him now, more than anything – not more than home, but I cannot go home - and perhaps that part even wishes that, somehow, I could love him back.
He draws me close then, and the cold is swallowing me, drowning me. And again I wish that I were home.
His lips touch mine, so lightly, and stay there, asking for a kiss rather than forcing one upon me. And for the very first time I allow myself to kiss him back.
He pulls away after a moment, brushes his thumb against my cheek, and I feel wetness there – tears. I hadn't realized that I was crying. He pulls me close again, holding me in a tight embrace. It's so cold in his arms, but it isn't as cold as the loneliness, and I know now that I need him. I lay my head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat, and surrender myself to the darkness, to the ice, to Hades, lord of death.
Mother will be angry with me when I see her, I'm sure, but I'm so tired of fighting this.
My time in the world above has ended once again.
It was beautiful there, as always. The earth sang at my return, and mother was there to greet me, her happiness causing flowers to sprout and grow right before my eyes. I ran through the meadows and the forests and played in the streams. Flowers grew right before my eyes. I will never grow tired of summer and spring, of light and warmth. For the first time in so long I felt free.
But now winter has come. I can already feel my mother's sorrow and the earth beginning to fall asleep. And though I hate it, I know that the world needs rest. And I will return, we know this now. It no longer cries at my departure – just a lingering sadness.
And there he stands, ready to bring me home.
My heart lurches slightly at that thought, for I cannot remember when I started to think of the Underworld as another home. I belong in the sun, I belong to the earth. Not there, not amongst the dead. But somehow, I do belong there. A child of both worlds.
There he stands in all his dark glory, staring at me intently, eyes filled with love – and lust, as well – and that same lingering sadness. He needs me, too.
He has something in his hand, and he holds it out to me. A pomegranate. I almost want to laugh.
"Come home." He says softly.
I step forward and take his hand, and close my eyes as he embraces me, and we descend.
A/N: So this turned out nothing like I expected it to XD It was supposed to be all angst-ridden and depressing, and it wasn't supposed to have a happy ending. But I've always loved Persephone (not as much as Hades, though... heh heh), and the thought of her being unhappy down there forever made me very sad. So. Ta-da!
I might do one from Hades' point of view later on if I'm so inspired.
If I got any major facts wrong, lemme know - I'm pretty new to Greek Mythology, but I really love it, and I want to get this all right. Any books you can recommend?
Review, it makes me happy.