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Kiss of Death

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“...Thought you could get away from me, did you?” 


Words spoken so softly they almost fell upon deaf ears, but the chill of his voice crept up on the back of your neck as if he’d touched you, his fingertips cold as death’s embrace itself. Plumes of black smoke gathered around Thanatos’ ankles as he appeared, his eyes void of mercy while his scythe gleamed in the light of Elysium’s false sky. It could just as well have been night when his presence was so near.


A thousand answers rose in your throat and died on your lips, and you felt the heaviness of the exalted souls’ emotions around you--you felt the urge to drop to your knees and plead for your life, just as so many had done and would continue to do after you. However, your misfortune knew no bounds, and you had no need to pray to the gods to know that he would never accept your pleas for mercy. 


Answer me.


With speed contesting even Hermes, he swung the scythe downwards and slashed through the air, as if he meant to cut the string of your life himself and send you hurtling back into the river Styx a thousand levels below. He had once threatened to drown you in it during an especially miserable argument--and though such a fate was horrific to imagine, your grip tightened on your stolen spear when you reminded yourself that giving up now would be so much worse. 


“...So, what now? You’re going to kill me with that, are you?” 


He didn’t even bother to gesture to your trembling hands clamped around the hilt, your body nowhere near meant for the warrior’s path you’d taken, even in death. Zagreus had carved his way through a thousand souls and clawed his way out of the Underworld to reach the glory of Olympus, and though you'd gotten a head start yourself, you were nowhere near capable of the same prowess and skill that had allowed him to escape his fate. But you'd be damned if you didn't at least try , even when it meant that Thanatos would sniff you out and hunt you down like a bloodhound once he returned and noticed your absence. 


Though he exuded raw fury and ominous strength, his eyes had become empty and lifeless. Soft, fluttery sounds of lilting voices and a breeze blowing gently through trees that only appeared to be alive cut through the silence, the peace of Elysium doing little to ease your terror at having been caught by your gravekeeper. Thanatos stepped forward silently, the grass of the courtyard where he'd stopped you withering and dying around his feet...and with as careful a touch as ever, he laid his fingertip against your blade and slowly trailed it downwards, leaving a clean streak through the viscera that bloodied your weapon. 


“...Give it a try, little bird. The lesson will sink in better when you struggle to put down what cannot be killed.” 


As the words dripped off his lips like the venom of a spider's jaws, the pressure of his finger on the hilt of your sword suddenly grew stronger. The force was so much, in fact, that it took barely a moment for the imbalance to break your grip and your weapon to clatter to the ground, and skitter out of your reach with a firm tap of his heel. Thanatos caught your chin with the palm of his hand, your face tilted up to look at him while he undoubtedly pondered what lengths he could go to make you suffer for your betrayal. 


He had once told you that it was a great personal sacrifice to let you reside in Elysium while he travelled between the surface and Tartarus, but he had done so to preserve the freedom and happiness you so craved as a mortal that had once lived and breathed. He did so for you, because he loved you, he said. Your gaze was caught in those steely eyes, your hands trembling around his wrist that flexed as he held you.


"I've loved you since your last breath, the moment that I first held you in my arms."


Strands of pearlescent hair fell into his face as he searched your expression for answers, for remorse, for anything to direct his resolution towards. The only way forwards, he decided, was in moving in so close that your noses brushed aside one another, and your resolve crumbled entirely once his lips met yours and his breath chilled you from the inside out. 


Within seconds you felt the weakness overcome you, and it only grew stronger the longer Thanatos went without breaking the suffocating kiss. Your nails scrabbled for purchase on his cloak while he gripped you so roughly by the back and your exposed thigh, and the deeper he pushed his affection the more you struggled against the feeling of faint, much less try to keep your breathing steady. Your eyelids fluttered closed at long last, the end of your suffering near as your limbs slowly went limp...and you hung like a doll in his arms, completely incapacitated before your journey back to the mortal world could even truly begin. 


It made little difference to Thanatos, however, as he collected your body and carried you like a corpse's bride down the path he knew so well towards the House. By the time he arrived, you would have pulled yourself from the pool of Styx and would start having your meltdown at realizing you were on Hades' doorstep, the comforting tranquility of Elysium far from your mind as you begged in such a pitiful way to be let go. 

For such a lovely soul, you really could be such a miserable wretch when you were pushing away his love. What compelled him to make you his, he might never know...but surely it would be much easier to have you clinging to his arm this time, when you were weeping and wailing at his return and begging him to bring you back to where you "belonged" .