A/N: After accidentally stumbling on a Hades and Persephone story on here and falling in love with them, I decided to write my own. I wanted to do something a little different with Demeter, but most of the action focuses on H&P. Please forgive any artistic license I've taken with the mythology. The first few chapters are already written, and they are fairly short. Once we get into the meat of the story, I expect chapters to be about 3-5k words. Reviews are lovely.
Chapter 1: Tryst with Zeus
Demeter's tryst with Zeus, though not exactly unpleasant, wasn't memorable to either of them. Zeus was in a hurry so that Hera wouldn't catch him at it with another woman, again. Demeter knew better than to expect a declaration of undying devotion, but she expected something better than, "Thanks for the ride. Now shove off, sister." He disappeared in a clap of thunder and the smell of ozone.
Her heart broke. She cried and raged against Zeus and men in general. Even worse, when she was this upset her powers didn't work right, so she was effectively trapped in Zeus' sky palace in Mount Olympus. Hera was due home at any time, and she was known for her murderous rages toward her husband's lovers.
Demeter didn't exactly fear for her life—she was a goddess after all—but being immortal meant she could experience a lot more pain for a long, long time before her body gave out. She was working herself into a fine state of hysteria when she felt a touch on her shoulder. Thinking it was Zeus come back to have his way with her again, she whirled around with a snarl. But it wasn't her youngest brother.
It was her eldest.
She recoiled instinctively from Hades, and then immediately regretted it. While in their father's stomach and during the war with the Titans, he'd had a terrible temper, worse than any of the others. He was able to put even Hera to shame. He had learned control since becoming the King of the Underworld, but memories of his past deeds haunted Demeter. Anything used to set him off, and he still carried that dark aura around him. She froze like a rabbit before a wolf, praying he would not strike.
His appearance did nothing to quell her nerves. He wore stark, unrelieved black from head to toe. His clothes were stiff and uncomfortable, more like armor than the comforting robes the rest of them wore. His hair was black—of course. It was curly and disheveled. On anyone else she would have tried to straighten his hair, but on his it looked as though he'd just climbed out of a grave. His eyes were grey, the flat, dull grey of a death-shroud. His skin, though not as bronzed as the rest of them, still had a golden tone, surprising in one who lived underground.
Her eyes were drawn to the edge of a scar, grey against his gold skin, that began at the edge of his jaw and trailed down his neck, disappearing under his clothes. She couldn't remember if it came from Kronos' teeth, or from the weapons of the Titans. It didn't matter. She had been hurt herself during the war, and it never left a mark on her. How badly had he been hurt that it left scars on the oldest and strongest of them? Nor was that his only scar, though the others were not visible.
His shadow pooled around him, too black and solid for the light in this room. Her shadow was hazy and indistinct. Hades' seemed almost to crouch at his feet. It followed his movements very closely, but not perfectly. On occasion she'd seen it reach out and touch others, without Hades moving a muscle. Even holding still, it did not look right to her.
His face was impassive, his dark aura tightly controlled. Even someone who knew him well could barely tell what he was thinking. Most gods who barely knew him suspected he had no emotions at all. Only his eyes gave a hint of emotion, but looking into his eyes was a dangerous feat of its own. If you gazed too long into those death-shroud eyes, you would see the manner of your own death. Demeter realized she was staring at him, and looked away quickly, swallowing hard.
The room she was in was sparsely furnished, but it was obvious what happened here. The scent of it choked the air, as if the discard clothes and rumpled sheets didn't shout it out. She was suddenly embarrassed to be bare before her eldest brother. As a rule none of the gods were body shy, but, well, Hades was different from the rest. He was never unclothed before the others, and lived an asexual life. He never had mistresses or flings like the rest of them. She supposed not too many people wanted to sleep with death. She pulled the golden sheets around her, hiding her nakedness. Hades didn't seem to notice one way or the other.
"I know I should know better," she said bitterly, "You never get into these kinds of predicaments."
Hades said nothing. He was a man of few words. She remembered his voice. During the war he'd had a fearsome war-shout that struck terror into the hearts of the Titans, but since becoming the god of the Underworld, his voice turned as soft as the grave. He never raised it anymore, and that was more terrifying than Zeus' shouts. Lately he hardly spoke at all.
She dared a brief glance into his death-shroud eyes. There was a hint of something—pity? That made her feel worse. She was ashamed of her actions.
He offered his hand to her, at the same time angling his body toward the door. His invitation was clear. He would get her out of here. Tears sprang to her eyes at his silent kindness. She feared the god of the Underworld and death. He was an unnatural, inhuman, ungodly thing… but he was also her brother.
She started to gather her clothes, but paused. Instead, she drew the expensive cloth-of-gold sheets around her, and left her clothes to be discovered. Let Zeus try to explain his way out of that. She risked another glance at Hades' eyes. It was hard to be sure, but she thought she had a glint of amusement there. He left the room, and she followed with her head held high. She was a goddess, not some common strumpet.
Hades had his black—of course—chariot, drawn by four black—what else?—horses. But these were no ordinary mounts; they were Nightmares, carnivorous, flying horses, with red eyes, snorting fire, and dripping blood from their manes and tails. She hesitated at the sight of them. They eyed her plump flesh with hungry fascination. Hades, already standing in the chariot, sighed. Without a single word he issued the warning: If you don't get on now, I'm leaving without you.
She jumped onto the chariot, and the Nightmares charged off before she was settled. She held on with all her strength, the wind threatening to tear the sheets from her body. What a sight they must have made, flying down from the sky palace, a vision of black and red with a gold tick clinging desperately to the back. The ride was mercifully short at the speed they were going. The Nightmares protested having to stop, rearing up, screaming, and tearing at each other. She tumbled off the back of the chariot quickly, before they could drag her down to the Underworld.
The chariot lunged forward once more, almost running her over. She jumped back barely in time, her heart pounding wildly. Soft, evil laughter met her ears. That creepy bastard liked keeping her on her toes! She watched him go with conflicted feelings. She was glad to see the back of him, but at the same time grateful for his assistance. This would be the last time she'd see him for many years.