"I still don't see how this is a good idea," Viridi sighed as they walked.

"It's not about understanding," Palutena said lightly, but also deliberately.

Pit itched the back of his neck as they walked through the halls of the temple. "I-I don't know, Lady Palutena. I think I actually agree with Viridi on this. I-I don't see how—"

"Pit," Palutena said gently, stopping and turning to him. "You've always trusted me before. Why should you stop now?"

He couldn't find an answer. "I-I..."

"It's just gonna be more work!" Viridi pouted impudently, stomping her foot.

"That's kinda what I was gonna say," Pit sheepishly admitted.

"And so what if it is?" Palutena asked. "We've proven to be able to 'work' at least twice now. What difference will a third make? Or even more than that?"

"How about more death and destruction," Dark Pit spoke up.

All three whirled to look at the dark angel. He was walking out from a connecting hallway, arms crossed as the doorway to the outside plaza illuminated him. "Do you care about this world or not? I thought a goddess of light would put more care into her plans."

"Yeah!" Viridi jeered. "What he said! Nature's strong, but it can only take so much! I'm still tied up with rebuilding as-is!"

"Medusa only lashed out so much because she was being controlled by Hades!" Palutena blurted back. Pit startled. She never raised her voice like that.

"Really?" Viridi pried, growing snooty, snootier than usual. "Even the first time she overthrew you?"

Palutena gripped her staff, lip firm and brow creased.

"If this does backfire," Pit said decidedly, getting Viridi's attention, "if we do have to fight her again, I know I can beat her this time. I have the experience. Third time's the charm after all!" He chuckled nervously.

Viridi and Dark Pit both groaned.

"How about a little bet," Palutena said, stepping closer. "If I'm wrong about this, I'll have to prepare you some of my delectable vegetable soup!"

Viridi blinked in surprise. "Your going to bet a murderous deity's plans for revenge on soup?"

"All the soup you can eat," Palutena promised.

"It's really good soup!" Pit joined in.

Viridi looked down in thought. She finally sighed. "I'm betting the sanctity of nature over some soup... Eh," she said with a shrug. "Alright. When Medusa does lash out again, it'll be worth it seeing Pit try to flutter around like the dumb-dumb he is."

"Wow," Pit said. "I know I'm a little naive, but I'm not double stupid!"

"Double stupid, double stupid!" Viridi mocked.

"He's hardly stupid," Dark Pit interjected, stepping to the side to let Palutena through. He smirked. "After all, how could I be as good a fighter as I am if he were?"

"Thanks, Dark Me!" Pit said as he jogged after his goddess.

Dark Pit and Viridi rolled their eyes together.

"Alright then," Palutena said, passing her staff to Pit. "Let's begin."

"Yeah, yeah," Viridi dismissed, waving her hand as she followed after her. "Whatever. Let's get this over with."

The two of them walked a little ways into the plaza, and they both held a hand out. Light began to glow from their palms, soon enveloping them. Viridi actually started straining a bit, holding her arm as she focused. Even Palutena seemed to grimace too.

"What if this doesn't work?" Pit asked his dark self.

"I guess Viridi won't get that soup."

"I mean, what if Viridi's right?"

"Then we'll all have more important things on our minds than soup."

The ritual didn't take long. Soon, the swirling light around the two goddesses gave way to a third. She came into being just as she had been destroyed, her figure almost disintegrating in reverse. The light slowly faded, eventually vanishing, finally letting Palutena and Viridi relax from the intense magic.

Alive again, Medusa collapsed to the ground with a grunt, barely holding herself up with shaking arms.

Viridi stood still, but Palutena immediately stooped down to help the dark goddess, touching her shoulder.

"Get away from me!" Medusa snarled, throwing her arm to the side and scuffling back. She tried to stand, but her legs gave out again. She panted on her hands and knees, eventually looking up at the two who had just revived her.

"...What did you do?" she could only ask.

"We pooled our powers together to revive you," Palutena answered.

"W...Why?"

Palutena shrugged. "Well...humans worship us, but why should they worship us if there's nothing we protect them from?"

Medusa frowned. "That...doesn't make sense." She glanced at the other three, then back at Palutena, trying to make sense of this. "This is foolish, even for you."

"Maybe," Palutena said. "But that's not what concerns me right now."

"Yeah!" Pit said. "I mean, Pittoo's supposed to be my bad half, but he didn't turn out that mean at all!"

"Rrrrgh."

"I mean Dark Pit! Dark Pit!"

Medusa chuckled at their squabble.

"See?!" Viridi exclaimed with a point. "Look at her! She's still evil! Pure evil!"

"Says the brat," Medusa said as she finally found the strength to stand, "who would destroy half of nature just for kicks."

"I-It...!" Viridi found herself fumbling. "The Reset Bomb was for humanity! It's a cycle! You...!"

She found herself hesitating, now looking up at the Goddess of Darkness standing over her—not threatening, just smiling in satisfaction.

"Sp-speaking of cycles, Medusa!" Pit squeaked, trying to separate them. "Um...how do you feel about being alive again?"

Medusa slowly looked over at the angel. Pit couldn't place it, but she seemed to have...something in her eye. As soon she started speaking, he knew he shouldn't have made the joke he did.

"It's exhausting, knowing I have no life of my own yet will keep living one." She looked down, eyes moving over the ground and her fist clenching. "I'm tired of being revived. I'm tired of being used!"

"We're not going to use you," Palutena promised.

Medusa's head snapped to her, squinting. She walked right on over to the goddess of light, right up to her, staring her in the eye, neither saying a word for a long moment.

"...What do you want from me?"

"Nothing, honest."

"Don't lie, goddess."

"I can never lie."

"There's something I have or can do that you need. What."

"For you to be happy," Palutena finally admitted.

Medusa blinked in surprise, stepping back. The other three were surprised as well. "What?"

Palutena was looking down, rubbing her hand guiltily. "I've...been thinking about a lot of things lately, and you're one of them, in a way. I said humanity worships me, needs good and evils to fight for or against, but...sometimes the thing we save them from...can use some saving itself."

Medusa couldn't piece this together. Everyone could see the confusion on her face. That was confusion on her face, right?

Palutena held her hands close to her chest now. "I don't think I can ever let you rule Skyworld with me again, but...that doesn't mean you need to keep being pushed around for it. From now on...consider yourself free. The only thing Viridi and I did was revive your soul. We didn't do anything else. You belong to you now."

Medusa's eyes shifted from Palutena to the ground, back and forth, over and over for a long moment. Her voice was quiet and distant. "Hades is dead, right?"

"You helped ensure his demise, yes."

Medusa nodded slowly. "...I'm going back to Underworld."

"We won't stop you. But, we'll also be here."

Pit could've sworn Medusa's jaw trembled for a moment. The Goddess of Darkness walked away from them into the plaza and knelt down. With a swing of her arm, she vanished into a plume of purplish smoke. No traces.

Pit looked over at Viridi. "Did that seem so evil to you?" he asked honestly.

Viridi had a slightly worried expression, holding her chin. "Well, I wouldn't say 'evil,' but she did seem mega grumpy..."

"Dark Me?"

Dark Pit looked at where Medusa had vanished, eyes narrowing and his mouth in a slight frown. "What Viridi said. I still think she might want to strike back."

"Really?"

"Might. Maybe in a few weeks, maybe in an hour. Who knows? Maybe she just went down there to sulk." He uncrossed his arms and turned to walk away with a flap of his wings.

Viridi still kept rubbing her chin, but her worriedness began giving way to a frown. "Alright, Palutena, you can't slip that one past me. You said you two used to rule Skyworld together?"

Dark Pit stopped in place. He looked over his shoulder.

Palutena didn't speak for a moment, still sad and quiet. She finally admitted, "We did. We were even...quite close. But when she betrayed me..." She couldn't continue.

"...You put the curse her," Viridi filled in the blanks.

Palutena could only nod wordlessly.

"Whoa," Dark Pit said with wide eyes.

Viridi was shocked as well. She looked over at Pit, her voice squeaky with disbelief. "Is that TRUE?!"

The young angel nodded as he still held his goddess' staff, not sure what he himself was feeling in that moment. "Y-Yeah." He looked at Palutena. "L-Lady Palutena-?"

"I'm alright, Pit," she said with arms folded around herself, still not looking at any of the others. "I'm fine. I just...need some time."

Pit nodded again. He sighed heavily, both in relief and in thought.

"Forget the soup," Viridi said plainly, looking up at Palutena. "Knowing you've got a dark side is tastier than anything I could ever eat."

#

Curse it. Curse it all.

Medusa strode through the smoky depths of the Underworld. Monsters roamed around her as they wished, all while she did nothing but look to the ground and smolder.

Why? Why this? Why so easily and openly and honestly? There had to have been some sort of caveat or hook to this, but...Palutena just let her go. Freely. Into the Underworld without any warning or tricks.

She walked up a small stone hill, finally coming to sit at the top of it, chin in hand. Darkness swarmed just like the thoughts in her mind.

Hatred of humanity, betrayal between both goddesses, the conflict with Pit, then defeat. Twenty-five years of waiting, surprise resurrection, then defeat. Breaking her way out of Hades, finally striking back with Pit, then defeat. Being resurrected by the people that'd beat her the first time, and then just...being let go like nothing.

Curses, why couldn't she accept this?

Maybe it was because she once thought Palutena so kind, only for her to give way to rage. Maybe to think her a hypocrite for so long, and then be given seemingly-full forgiveness. A hypocritical hypocrite? Didn't seem like such thing could even exist.

Maybe I just don't know her as well as I thought I did...again...

Or maybe it was Pit. Bumbling, childish Pit. Medusa couldn't form much anger against him anymore. Sure he did defeat her, but only mostly on Palutena's beck and call. There were few like him, his naivety helpful in a roundabout way—if not to keep him out of trouble, then at least to persevere through it and rub off on others. Maybe that's where Palutena's recent change of heart came from. Then again, twenty-five years was an awfully long time.

Medusa pursed her lip. So maybe Palutena had truly changed. Maybe Pit was to thank. Maybe she should be feeling a little grateful. Well, she was, but...

But there was still just one question, one incredibly simple question she felt she should be able to answer, but just quite couldn't for some reason: who did she hate more? Them, or Hades?

Medusa thought for a long, long while, not leaving that stone hill. Time passed and didn't matter. Whenever she finally made her choice, Medusa looked up slowly, and found herself smiling.

Who was she kidding? It was Hades.


NOTES: Um is this a surprising choice of fic for me lol? It's gonna sound really bad when I say I haven't played Kid Icarus myself, I just recently binge-watched all the Uprising cutscenes I could find and I kinda fell in love with Medusa for some reason? I mean Cree Summers is fantastic, and the way they made this reboot technically a sequel was really cool and fun, and like, they didn't exactly frame Medusa's backstory like a tragedy but it kinda is/could be? And the way she helped fight back for a sec at the end was like "GASP" but then as soon as only Pit mourned her loss I was like "ah dangit I'm gonna have to write a fic on this or something aren't I" lol. So here we are. I'm decently disappointed that she's not an Echo Fighter of Palutena in Smash Bros Ultimate, but I think I'm over it. Also, Dark Pit's actually far cooler in Uprising than Smash Bros makes him out to be lol.

Since I didn't play Uprising myself, I was worried about my characterization and lore and stuff in this fic. Writing something I don't know much about is kinda daunting, but I THINK I did decently overall. Waiting on a irl project currently, so I have time to post some other fic stuff as well. Got some Overwatch chapters and a GOTG sequel I've been dying to get out coming.

Hope you enjoyed :)