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As Long as You Want

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"What would you say if l offered you a position as my personal assistant?" 

Persephone stared at Hades, her face scrunched in confusion before she began to giggle. Then her giggles grew into full on laughter. "You- your joking, right? I mean... you can't really be serious?" she choked out.

"Well, no... I was being quite serious..." He mumbled, twisting his napkin between his fingers. 

Her impetuous laughter slowly died away as the reality of his words settled over her. "Wait... really?"

He nodded.

"Why?!... I mean can barely type! I'm not even that good with a computer! I wouldn't even know-"

"It would only be temporary," he placatingly interjected, trying to soothe her frantic outburst, "at least until..." Hades stopped and straightened his posture when he heard Hektor arrive with their food.

The orange daimon announced his entry, having heard some of their exchange, and quickly arranged their sushi on the table, pointing out what was what before asking if anything else was needed. Hades politely thanked and dismissed him.

"...Can I think about it?" Persephone asked, unsure, as soon as they were alone.

"O-of course..." he watched as she began poking at the sushi in front of her with chopsticks. He tried to contain the adoring grin that started to spread across his face. "Ha!" He barked inadvertently when she tried to stab a piece with the sticks. "Would you like a lesson on how to use those?" he offered with a smile in his eyes and laughter in his voice.

"Ugh, yes!" she growled. "How does anyone eat with these things?!" She gripped the sticks in her fist like a knife.

"Here," Hades scooted his way around the table on his rear, grateful no one else could see his undignified maneuver.

First, he tried showing her how he held his own. She fumbled and wrinkled her nose in frustration at the fallen sticks.

"Close," he encouraged. "Try this instead..." he said taking her hand in his. He gently posed her fingers and placed the sticks, one at a time, in her grasp.

Persephone felt a thrill shoot through her arm and down her spine when his fingers caressed hers. All she could do was stare at him while he tried to explain how to make the chopsticks move. 

Hades looked up when she didn't respond and blushed. When had their faces gotten so close? He cleared his throat weakly. "Y-y-you should try it," he whispered hoarsely, still holding her hand in his.

"Try what...," she breathed as she inched closer, her eyelids drifting low. She could feel the heat of his nearness dancing on her skin, his breath ghosting over her lips, so close she could almost taste him on her tongue.

CRASH!! The cacophonous sound of smashed dishes and shouting ripped them from their daze. Hades jerked his head up to stare at the ceiling, feeling as though his heart were about to burst through his ribs. Persephone kept her gaze down as she tried to collect herself, her eyes flitting from her lap to the sushi to her now much longer hair that tumbled from her updo. What just happened?!

 


 

"Thank you for dinner! Too bad I couldn't get the hang of chopsticks though. Maybe next time!" Persephone skipped out of the restaurant, clinging to Hades' arm.

He laughed, "Next time? So I take it you enjoyed the sushi?"

"Most of it... please don't tell anyone I ate fish," she whispered secretively as she swung herself in front of him.

"You have my word," he chuckled.

"I really liked that blanket thing, what do you call it again?" She asked, reassuming her position beside him.

"Kotatsu."

"Yes, that! Maybe I should save up for one since it looks like I'll be staying in the Underworld for a while!" she chimed enthusiastically.

"That reminds me..." Hades stated as they reached his car, "I have one other thing I would like to discuss with you before we head home." 

"Oh yeah?" Persephone turned toward him curiously as he opened the door for her.

 


 

"Here we are," Hades declared as he threw open the door to the empty apartment. "Huh... Well, it used to be fully furnished, buuut I guess Minthe decided to take what she wanted," he said surveying the barron room. "It doesnt really matter. I doubt any of it would've been to your liking," he ushered Persephone inside before following and shutting the door behind them. 

She looked around the hollow space, feeling a bit uncomfortable. "So.... why did you bring me here?"

"Oh! Well, I wanted to offer it to you," he explained, walking past her to the large picture window. "It was brought to my attention that you might prefer having your own space for once and it would probably go over a little easier with your mother... I will continue the monthly payments, of course, and, obviously, supply more furniture-"

"Are you.... I mean, do you want me to leave?" Persephone asked, stepping slowly towards him. "I-I know I kind of just dumped myself into your lap - I never meant to be such a burden! I just didn't know-"

Hades was shocked. "No, Kore, you misunderstand," he laid his hands on her shoulders, "I'm not asking you to leave. I just- I thought maybe you would be happier..."

Persephone placed her own hands over his wrists, holding him there, and rested her cheek against his knuckles, "I... I don't want to be alone... I want to stay with you... if that's okay?" Her large, soulful eyes pleading with him. 

"Of course you can stay. As long as you want, remember? I just thought you might like a little more freedom... not that I'm keeping you hostage or anything," he attempted to lighten the mood as he brushed the pad of his thumb over the apple of her cheek.

She huffed out a pitiful laugh and stepped into his warmth. "I like being with you," she blushed, touching her forehead to his chest. "You don't treat me like a child or some dumb village girl... You let me be me, just the way I am."

"We-well... I li-like you.... ju-just the way you are," he smiled dopily, a heated blush dusting his cheeks and the tips of his ears.

"I like you too," Persephone smiled, wiping a tear from the corner of her eye.

Outside, raindrops began to fall as a lone, dark figure watched their embrace from the street below.