This story can only be read after The Myth of Despair.
“So, why are you in my Hell?”
Hades leaned back on his chair, a drop of excitement saturating his attention.
The man kneeling by his feet shriveled. Hades could easily read the sins that he committed, but he found his job a bit more entertaining when the sinners explained themselves.
“I– I stole a lot of money from the poor. Please, sir, have mercy!” the old man implored.
“Theft? That’s it?”
The god of death grunted disappointedly. In all of his years of life, he had seen every crime out there. It was rare to run into a sinner that surprised him.
“Please... please...” the latest addition to his kingdom cried.
Hades stood up and walked away, feeling as bored as ever. One of his death reapers stopped him along the way.
“What is it?” he grumbled.
The death reaper was visibly distraught as he answered, “there is a conflict with the death schedule. A human that is not supposed to die for another fifty years is suicidal. He will kill himself in ten Earth days. I don’t know what to do.”
Hades sighed. This was another story he had heard a thousand times before. “Go,” he waved. “I’ll take care of it.”
He teleported to Heaven and immediately cringed. It was always too cold and bright up there.
He looked for Aphrodite, knowing that only she could cure suicidality. Spotting her by the fountain of life, he made his way over. “Aphrodite, I need you to assign a soulmate to a human... are you listening to me?”
He peered into the fountain and immediately recognized his brother. Blaze was sucking the life out of a human, kissing her in a way that made Hades crook his head.
“Cosmos!” Aphrodite hissed when she finally noticed the brooding God. “What are you doing here?”
He didn’t look away from the fountain. “There is a conflict in my schedule. I...” he stopped, too distracted by the sight of his brother consuming the mortal as if she was fire.
“Interesting...” he observed.
“Hades,” Aphrodite repeated.
“There,” he pointed to the fountain. “Why is Blaze so obsessed with that woman? What does she have to offer?”
Aphrodite rubbed her forehead, already feeling a headache forming. Explaining love to Hades would be like teaching a rock how to float.
“Nevermind that. Just tell me what you need.”
“No,” he ground out. “Blaze’s infatuation is intriguing. Tell me what is happening.”
“He is fond of the mortal,” she finally caved in.
“Because...” she stopped, struggling to explain her element to the god whose element only destroyed.
Hades stared at the fountain. “Aphrodite, would you mind if I laid a hand on you?”
“No. Are you taking me to Hell? What is it that you needed?”
With her permission, Hades grabbed her shoulders. He glanced at the fountain one final time before leaning in and mimicking what his brother was doing.
The lips of the gods met, and the action confused his body. He had never kissed anyone before, but he immediately decided that he wanted to do it again. He enjoyed the confusion, the disorganization, the strangeness. It was different; exciting.
Pulling away from a baffled Aphrodite, he stared at her lips as he muttered, “very interesting.”
The sound of skin clapping skin ricocheted across both the heavens and the eight hells that Hades ruled.
He stared at the goddess of love blankly, having no idea how to process the disrespect she had just dished to his face. In all of his years of existence, no one other than Blaze had struck him.
“What in the Cosmos,” Aphrodite heaved as she struggled to free herself from of his hold. “Do you think you are doing?”
Hades dropped his hands, letting them hang by his grey robe.
“Why did you strike me?” he asked genuinely. “I have done no offense worthy of–”
“You kissed me!” Aphrodite yelled so loudly that he almost confused the sound with being thunder.
His eyebrows reached for each other. “Yes, but you gave me permission to touch you. I was only trying to see what is so special about the exchange.”
“Kissing is... oh my Cosmos,” she grumbled with a stressful touch to her forehead. “You cannot kiss me. I do not want a soulmate.”
A mate? Hades nearly laughed.
“Me either,” he shrugged. “I kissed you because I was trying to see what is so interesting about swapping spit. I must admit that it is not as disgusting as it looks.”
Aphrodite shook her head. Blaze had always been the most normal god of death, leaving Hades with the titles of eccentric and awkward.
With a sigh, she gave up on him.
She turned to the fountain and erased the image of Blaze and Hope. She was glad that things worked out between the two mates. Love and sexual frustration made a great team. She had seen them braid into one and bring couples together thousands of times, but never tired of the cycle.
Hades watched Aphrodite as if she was his next test subject. She wore a thick white robe while her hair flowed around her shoulders. He had worked closely with her for ages but had never assessed her... scientifically.
He found the angle to be intriguing. Aphrodite’s breasts and waist were swollen with femininity. Her plumpness was nothing like the flatness of his own body, certifying their flesh to be as polar as their elements.
“Aphrodite,” he called out.
“Yes? Are you finally ready to tell me what you needed?”
“I need you to assign a mate to a suicidal human.”
“Alright. Anything else?” she asked while swiping a hand through the fountain.
He stared at the back of her head, remembering how the kiss they shared had not been disturbing at all. Would other bodily touches be pleasing too?
He had to find out.
“While it’s not traditional, I would like to have sexual intercourse with you,” he told her earnestly. “The idea of mixing my flesh with yours sounds rather lowly, but I would like to try regardlessly.”
“Ugh!” Aphrodite recoiled. “You have been spending too much time smelling the fumes of Hell, Hades! No!”
She disappeared before he could say another of the matter, leaving him floored. He didn’t understand why she hated the idea of him touching her so much. It was true that mixing flesh was unorthodox for Gods, but he was willing to try. If mortals liked to fuck so much, then there must be something interesting about it.
He glanced down at his body. It wasn’t that he lacked physically. He was a handsome male. Was it his personality, then?
“Ah,” he clicked his tongue when he figured out the issue.
Aphrodite was the Goddess of Love, and she was often binding mortals together. Hades figured that she wanted him to approach her the same way the mortals she bonded approached themselves. He had to be romantic.
As far as he knew, romance involved gifts like flowers and foods. The task sounded simple enough.
With a nod, he teleported to Earth.