AN: While this isn't as graphic as I might make it sound, there is still a trigger warning for suicide. If you're not comfortable with the subject, then please either skip to the end of the chapter or don't read it.

And if you decide you're okay with it and read anyways, be prepared for unapologetic fluff between Simon and Persephone. X3 Special thanks to AquaTurquoise for always encouraging me to write, you're the best girl!

More special thanks to Nersina Tree for leaving wonderful reviews for not only this story, but also The Pheonix Trail. Thank you so much! I appreciate it!

Merry Christmas to all of you and have a wonderful new year!

Simon couldn't get the images out of his head. His parents' horror-stricken faces. Their blood was on his hands. His grandfather smiled at him in approval.

He was a monster.

When Simon had spoken the spell, he immediately found himself reliving his childhood. It started out nice, with him and Wesley playing, as his cousin had recounted. He remembered the other kids they met. Most didn't like him because of his looks, they referred to him as the "Living Vampire." It hurt and left Simon running away to cry. That was always when Wesley would show up. He knew Simon's hiding spots and always gave him a cookie to help him feel better. Simon wasn't a big sweets person, but he appreciated the sentiment. Wesley loved cookies and didn't share with anyone but Simon.

Besides the bullies, he loved life. He was a happy boy. Then one day, while playing hide and seek in the woods with Wesley, Simon fell and scraped his knee. He cried as scarlet blood dripped out of his wound. That was when Sylvester appeared. He stepped out from behind a tree and approached him with faux concern.

"Oh my. Are you alright?"

He reached for Simon and helped him to his feet, before waving his hand over Simon's knee. Simon gasped as heat washed over his wound before it faded away, leaving behind nothing but clean skin. "How did you do that?"

"I'll be sure to teach you that, little one." Sylvester smirked, "But first, I need to pay my respects to your parents this evening. It'll be a nice surprise, so don't tell them about me, okay?"

"Are you Daddy's friend?"

"No, I'm related to your mother. I'm sure she'll be so surprised, she might lose her mind."

Simon smiled, "Thank you for fixing my leg. I'm playing hide and seek. I'm the one seeking. Do you want to play?"

Sylvester's lip twitched, his red eyes bearing down at Simon.

"Simon!" Wesley's voice echoed from the forest behind him. Simon slows for a second, before picking up speed, racing to the cliff's edge. He remembered being warned of this as a child. And standing at the edge, peering down at the jagged rocks below, along with the tiny stream that slid through, he could see why it was so dangerous.

His heart was pounding in his chest, threatening to break out. Hot tears streamed down his face as he trembled, bracing himself. Before he could move an inch, a heavyweight tackles him to the ground, pinning him.

"Get off me!" Simon yells, pushing at Wesley with all his might. A stray teardrop on his cheek during the struggle, making Simon freeze. It wasn't his own. Looking up, he sees Wesley is crying as well, "Wesley..."

"Don't you dare!" Wesely screamed, punching the ground next to his face. More of Wesley's tears sprinkle onto Simon, "What are you doing, Simon!"

Simon shakes his head, "Let me go. Please, Wesley, you don't understand."

"Then tell me!" Wesley demands, only to be shoved off by a hard blast of magic. Simon scrambles to his feet, staggering, "I have to do this in order to protect my family!"

"By killing yourself!" Wesley shouts, "Why Simon?"

"Because I'm a danger to them! I am the one who murdered my parents. I'm the one who set the house on fire. It was me, Wesley!" By now Simon was shaking, staring down at his hands, he could still envision their blood staining his skin. It made him want to burn his hands in boiling lava.

Wesley gasped and shook his head in denial, "That's not true. You would never..."

"But I did." Simon choked, edging closer to the cliff, taking slow steps. His teary eyes met Wesley's. "I killed them, Wesley. Do you remember the day they died? Do you remember that on that day, just hours before the fire, you and I were playing hide and seek? While I was seeking you and the others out, I met Sylvester. He did something to me, he used a spell the control me. When I returned home everything was normal, until he activated that spell. I grabbed a knife and killed them, Wesley." Simon crumbled a little, his knees started to bend under the weight of his own misery. The redhead sobbed, clutching his hair to the point of ripping it from its roots. "After they were killed, we set the house on fire. Both of us, and not one person realized what had happened until it was too late."

Wesley trembled, his lower lip shook, "No, Simon. That wasn't you, that was Sylvester. He used a spell on you, you didn't do anything wrong!"

Simon let out a bitter laugh. If only Wesley knew... "Even after he died, I was still under his control. Just a few years later, when I stayed in Enchancia, terrible things started to happen. Things started breaking, people were in danger. Sylvester placed a dark mark on my, Wesley. he tried to take control again. He almost won too. Who's to say that it won't happen again. Who's to say that he won't do something like this again, and this time I would turn against my own family.

"I can't do that to them, Wesley! I can't live with the knowledge that I'm a danger to my wife and children! I can't, Wesley! I can't let him win!"

"Simon, don't you dare!" Wesley yells, his voice raw and begging, "Please. You can't do this to them. They're expecting you home!"

Simon shakes as he looks down the cliff once more. Images of his family, Persephone, the kids, and the Protectors all flashed across his mind. He wants so badly to return to them. Yet, he knows that he could hurt them, or worse. He didn't want to be the cause of their deaths. He couldn't live knowing he was a danger to them.

"I'm sorry."

"Simon, no!"

Simon jumps.

This is for the best, he thinks. He was a danger to them.


His eyes snap open, "Wesley!"

The blond seizes him by his shirt and punches his face, "You think that after all this time I spent looking for you, I'm going to lay back and let you do this? You're an idiot! An absolute jerk! I traveled all over the world looking for you, my only kin! And you go and do this! You might think there's blood on your hands, but there isn't! It's all Sylvester! He used mind control on you! He used you and forced you to do these things! You had no control over them, it isn't your fault! And no matter what you think-" He glares into Simon's eyes, "You're still my brother and I love you!" With that, Wesley pulled Simon into a tight hug, "I'm not losing you again!"

Simon choked, wrapping his own arms around Wesley, hugging his cousin, his brother back, their clothes fluttering violently in the wind as they descended fast. He summons his magic, "Volare." They stop falling and instead rise high in the air. This was the spell he planned to use to fly with his family when it was time for Chise to renew herself, just like Persephone did.

By Merlin what was he thinking!

When they landed on solid ground, unharmed, Simon crumbled to the dirt, a sobbing mess, "I'm a failure as a father and a man..." He choked, shaking his head. How could he face his family again after this?

"Simon, no you're not a failure of any kind," Wesley gripped his shoulder, kneeling down next to his cousin, "You haven't failed anyone. You have a beautiful wife and two wonderful kids who all love you, and want to see you home safely."

Simon sniffed, "I know, but what if he takes over again. I can't let his ghost consume, Wesley. I can't kill my family again."

"That won't happen. Ever. If it does, then I know you'll be able to fight it. Throughout all this, the only thing that motivated you was cutting the ties between you and Sylvester. Not just because you hate him, but because you know he's a threat to your family. You are strong, Simon. Anyone with eyes can see how devoted you are to protecting your family. No matter the future, no one, not Sylvester or anyone else will ever be allowed to harm your family. You have Persephone, you have yourself, and you have me, Cuz."

Wesley helps Simon to his feet, "You can't give up, Simon. Who's going to walk Chise down the aisle on her wedding day? Me? I'm not fit for that, and I'm sure she'll want you there. And who's going to teach Ari how to be a good man? Or Persephone, who will be there for her? They need you, Simon. We all do. It's not your fault that his happened. And I have faith that your parents, in spirit still love you no matter what."

"How do you know?"

Wesley smiled, "The golden apple. Your mother made it. You guys couldn't have kids, but thanks to it, you have two adorable little munchkins. That golden apple isn't common, it's very rare to find. Heck, it's never been grown in the wild. Yet, you guys managed to find one. That tells me that your mother is still with you and she still loves you."

"I don't know if I believe that..." Simon pauses when he hears a familiar shriek in the air. He and Wesley both look up and see a large phoenix flying over their heads, "Persephone..." Simon gasps.

The phoenix lands, its flames dissipating to reveal Persephone holding their children in each arm. She set them down and the kids break into a sprint towards Simon.


Simon sobs, immediately scooping them up in his arms and kissing their heads, "I missed you so much!"

Wesley smiled at the scene and wiped his face with his large sleeve. He turned to Persephone who smiled at the kids and Simon lovingly. "How did you know we would be here?" Wesley asked.

Persephone chirped at him and presented his compass, its arrow pointing stubbornly at Simon. Wesley gasped, "My magic compass. Of course! I honestly forgot I left it with you. The thing works like a charm!" He boasts before opening his arms to the kids, "Hey don't forget your favorite uncle!" The children tore themselves from Simon to tackle Wesley to the ground.

Simon stood up and approached his wife, his face feeling unbearably hot, while his chest felt too tight for him to breathe. He couldn't bear to meet Persephone's eyes.

Persephone coos in worry before her eyes glow, peering into his memories.

Wesley laughed, ruffling Ari's hair, "You little squirts, it's so good to see you!"

"We missed you, "Chise said.


They gasp and look to find Simon's face turned away with a burning handprint on one cheek. He looks back at Persephone, his eyes flickering with tears. While Persephone herself was struggling to hold herself together, hot tears streamed down her face.

Realizing what was going on, Wesley immediately ushered the confused children away, "No worries kids, your parents just need to have a special adult talk. And remember hitting is never good."

Neither Simon nor Persephone noticed both focused on the elephant in the room. Simon bowed his head, his shoulders shaking, "I'm so sorry, my love."

Persephone whimpers, "Simon... " She trembles too, shaking her head at the thought of losing her mate. The man to who she gave her heart. "Don't die, please."

"My love," He immediately enveloped her in a hug, shushing Persephone as she cries on his shoulder. "My love, I won't. I'm so sorry to put you through that. I'll never do it again, I promise." His chest constricts. He hurt her. She gave him her heart and he tore it to pieces. "I'm a fool. Please forgive me, Seph. I promise I'll never leave you again."

"Forgive you," she whispers into his shoulder, "I forgive you, my mate. But please seek help. Not good to hold on to pain. Not good to hold on to this trauma."

He nods, anything to appease her. "I will." He will for them, for the kids, for Wesley. His family. He knows Persephone will be there every step of the way.

It was no secret that Phoenix Shifters were selfish and selfless lovers. They cherished their mates, worshiped them, but also demanded their constant presence as well. It was why they performed the ritual to share a life together.

Simon reluctantly pulls away, wiping Persephone's tears with the pad of his thumb, "My love, I'm so sorry for this. I promise I'm going to get help, and as a sign of my devotion, I want us to perform the ritual."

His wife gasps, "Simon...Are you...?"

He smiled and nodded, "More than anything, my sweet. I can't imagine my life without you or the kids, and I refuse to leave you behind. I almost did it and I regret even thinking the idea. I was just scared that I would be a danger to you and our children."

"Never," Persephone said, "We love you; trust you." Her hand goes to cup his cheek, "You won't hurt us, Simon."

He cradles her hand against his face, "I know now, but I refused to leave this world behind without you laying by my side to enter the new life with me. I want us to be together, always, Persephone. I need you more than I can describe. You're my rock, the very air that I breathe. I hate that I hurt you and I will spend the rest of our lives together making up for it."

Persephone smiled and kissed him, "I cherish you."

"You as well," He whispered against her lips.

A few hours passed before everyone arrived home, with Simon carrying Wesley in the form of a plant. Persephone held the kids in each arm as she glided along with them in her phoenix form.

The Mystic Isles was a welcoming sight for Simon and his cousin. Both were physically and emotionally exhausted from their travels. The family, with Wesley now as it's the newest member ate dinner. After finishing, the kids immediately started to play with the plant-talking sorcerer who was eager to spend more time with his niece and nephew, entertaining the kids with magic tricks and funny stories from his and Simon's youth. Eventually, Chise and Ari fell asleep with Wesley, both kids were snuggled on an arm as they laid out on the living room floor. Toys littered the ground, making it difficult to step around without causing the noise.

Persephone threw a blanket over the three as Simon watched from the hallway. The redhead smiled and wrapped his arms around Persephone when she returned, both return their gaze to the kids and Wesley.

"They sure do adore him," Simon chuckled, "I never thought I would have this and yet here we are."

Persephone nodded in agreement.

"My love?"

She looks up at her husband. Simon purses his lips together, "I want to apologize again for what I've done today. I can't express how ashamed I am. I do plan on receiving counseling to better cope with this, but... I want to know if there is any way I can make it up to you."

Persephone smiled lovingly, reaching up to caress his face, and gestures to the little ones snuggled close to their new uncle, "We have two beautiful children, but one more would be perfect."

Simon chuckled, his face turning a little pink, "Is that all, my sweet?"

She nods, "I want a little girl named 'Sari'."

Her husband takes her hand and kisses her knuckles, "As you wish. But must we name her 'Sari'?"

"'Sari' means princess in Hebrew," Persephone explained, playfully tapping the tip of his nose with her finger, "And I think she'll be perfect, just like her older sister and brother."

Simon kisses her deeply before leading them to their bedroom. He lays Persephone down, already working to undo the buttons on his shirt. Upon looking at his wife, laid out before him like a portrait, he kisses his way down her neck, whispering against her warm skin, "You're so beautiful. How can I be so lucky?"

"Make love to me, Simon," His wife whispers, just like she did on their wedding night.

"I plan to," he pulls back earning a tiny whine of disapproval from his beloved. Simon's eyes soften at her, "But first, I plan to worship every inch of you, my goddess."

A week later, Simon and Persephone stand facing each other out in a field. Around them, their friends, Sofia, Cedric, and the Protectors, along with all their kids stand back and watch in awe as the two take each other's hands and shoot off to the skies so the heavens themselves may see the bonding ritual, an ancient aerial dance, as two souls become one. Bound forever. Happily ever after.

AN: And if you're wondering if Simon and Persephone use Persephone's feathers to contact Luther the Legendary and Simone the Sophisticated. Not yet. I don't think Simon is ready to speak to them after learning all that he's done. He will eventually and when he does, they'll offer nothing but forgiveness and love to him and his family. They know that Simon was under a spell by Sylvester, so they're not angry with Simon in the least and they're very proud of the man he turned out to be.