A/N: I apologize for the delay, but I honest to God thought I’d posted it. Sorry! Anyway, enjoy!
“Because I’m trying to figure out if you’re hard or not!”
Hades stared at her, and Persephone could feel the seconds ticking away. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
“What?” he finally whispered, and Persephone cringed. It seemed like she was about to have the most awkward conversation of a lifetime.
“I meant… I was just…. I’d heard,” she stammered, looking anywhere but in his eyes.
“You had heard what?”
“That you’re dead. In the from-the-waist-down kind of way.” Never before had Persephone been so fascinated by the ground between her feet.
“And you wanted to… check?”
Persephone merely nodded, too embarrassed to speak.
She wasn’t sure if it was comforting or not that he seemed just as uncomfortable as she.
“Why?” he asked, and her surprise made Persephone look up once again.
“Why would you want to know? Would you be relieved to know that I would not be able to function in that regard?”
“What? No. I wouldn’t.”
“No?” His eyes seemed suspiciously bright and Persephone wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad. Perhaps just being honest would be the best choice.
“I found myself rather… disappointed by the thought,” she admitted.
“I just… I just wanted to know if… if you wanted me like I wanted you,” she whispered, glancing up at him from beneath her lashes.
“You… you want me?” Hades asked her, and Persephone finally looked directly at him.
“Your voice is all hoarse,” she said, worried. “Are you ill?” Except gods didn’t get ill. Which made it even more worrying.
Hades laughed and there was something almost fragile in his laughter. A word she’d never thought she’d associate with the feared Lord of the Underworld.
“No,” he said, staring at her like it was the first time he saw her. “I am… happy. And I do want you. Very much so.”
“But you never try to… to… well, you know.”
Hades grinned at her, looking far happier than she’d ever seen him. It was a good look on him.
“I have never tried to trick you into my bed?” he guessed, and Persephone nodded, relieved that she wouldn’t have to put her thoughts into words.
Hades reached out and grasped her hand in his. His hand was cold to the touch, and Persephone instinctively closed hers around it to warm it up.
“I suppose I could have tried,” Hades told her softly. “Except I did not want you for a single night. I wanted you for every night and every day, and tricking you would not give me that. Not to mention that you are an intelligent girl. I am not sure I would have been able to trick you had I tried.”
Persephone thought of the way it had felt when he’d kissed her and blushed. “You might have succeeded,” she admitted, before sighing.
“It’s funny,” she said, almost sadly. “I used to desperately hope that the effect of the arrow would wear off and you would tire of me. I don’t hope that anymore.”
Hades seemed to hesitate. Then he leant forward and kissed her. It was a far softer kiss than their previous ones and Persephone found that she liked it very much. It was like that one time where a tip of a butterfly’s wing had brushed against her skin as it flew off.
“I won’t tire of you,” he told her softly. “I love you.”
“I know that. You were hit with the arrow of love. You can’t help it.”
“I would have gotten there eventually even without the arrow. I already admired you greatly.”
Persephone looked up at him, curious. “Why?”
Hades shrugged. “Does it really matter? Because you reminded me of life I suppose. Sunshine and growth trapped in a young girl. Because you were all the best in people, and very little of the worst. Genuinely good and with a deep thirst for adventure. Anyone would be able to see that if only they bothered to look. I just bothered.”
“I don’t… I don’t love you,” Persephone said, feeling like his speech deserved some sort of answer.
Hades’ face closed off. “I know,” he said. “Though I had begun to hope otherwise.” He took a step back, and Persephone grasped for him, suddenly terrified that he might leave.
“I don’t love you,” she repeated. “But I have grown fond of you. You are my friend, and I enjoy it when you touch me. I enjoy seeing you smile. Maybe I will come to love you one day even if that day is not today.”
There was a bitter-sweet tinge in Hades’ smile. “I assure you that that is a hope that I will be able to live on for millennia.”
Persephone rolled her eyes at him. “That’s a bit over-dramatic,” she said, used to her mothers antics. “I hardly think it will take me millennia. It only took a couple of months to forgive you.”
Hades frowned. “It took you close to a year,” he corrected her, and Persephone rolled her eyes again.
“I meant since I came up here. Since I didn’t have to worry about how awful my mother had to be feeling.”
“I am quite certain that your mother is still feeling awful,” Hades noted.
“Yeah, but now it’s less reasonable and easier to ignore.” Persephone hesitated. “Is that awful of me to say?”
“Not at all. Your mother is a very manipulative woman. You will never be happy if you care too much for how she feels.”
Persephone frowned, feeling like she should defend her mother, but ultimately knowing that Hades was correct, if a bit insensitive about it.
“She’s never had anyone but me,” she said. “I’m not sure if she knows how to live her life without me in it.”
“Then she should learn.”
“And if you were told the same? To learn to simply live without me?”
Hades stilled. “I suppose that you do make an excellent point. Maybe I should have married someone of a lesser intellect.”
Persephone stared at him. Then she saw the glint in his eyes. “You made a joke,” she said, baffled. “But you never joke.”
Hades grimaced. “Well, it is certainly clear that my wife does not find me funny. I suppose that I will have to work on that.”
Persephone smiled at him. “I like you the way you are,” she told him, secretly pleased by the delighted look in his eyes.
“And I you,” he said softly, brushing a lock of hair away from her face. “Do you currently have other plans?”
“Do you have plans before our dinner tonight? Besides checking if I can… how was it that you put it? Get hard.”
Persephone blushed. “You’re never going to let me live that one down, are you? But no, I was with Hermes, but I doubt he’s expecting me back anytime soon. Actually I think he will be exceedingly disappointed if I do come back this early.”
“Then perhaps you would be open to spending the time with me?”
Persephone smiled at him, wondering how she could have been so blind in the beginning of their marriage to not be able to see how much her favour meant to him. “I’d love to,” she assured him. “What did you have in mind?”
“I was admittedly planning to ask you the very same.”
Persephone blushed, steadfastly avoiding his eyes. “Well, I thought perhaps, if you were open for it… we could check if that being-dead-rumour was true? Hermes did say all I needed to do was kiss you and I find that I enjoy that immensely much.”
She got her answer as Hades’ lips were suddenly on hers, and letting her eyes fall shut she gave into the kiss with a sigh of pleasure.
Perhaps they should be checking if the rumour was true a bit more often than they’d done so far. Checking it about daily or so sounded ideal.