Series: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories(-ish)
Word Count: 1797
Summary: “Lost in Hell—Persephone, / Take her head upon your knee; / Say to her, 'My dear, my dear, / it is not so dreadful here.'” - Prayer to Persephone, Edna St. Vincent Millay
Warnings: angst, adult content, Marluxia being Marluxia, Greek Mythology.
Notes: I don't even know anymore, guys. Seriously. >.>
He tells her the story of Hades and Persephone one quiet afternoon, and her crayon stills on the paper like her breath stills in her throat when he walks his fingers along her scapulae. She listens in spite of herself, just like she shivers in spite of herself, and she both hates and loves the way he chuckles in response (or maybe she would if she were capable of either of these emotions... but he takes great pleasure in reminding her that she isn't).
The sun is filtering in through the curtains and it is warm and welcoming as always, but never enough to disperse the darkness that looms when he visits her (as always).
“Do you see yourself as Persephone?” he asks her after he has spun his little tale, and she feels brave enough to meet his eyes.
“Do you see yourself as Hades?” she fires right back, not bothering to answer his question.
He chuckles again, the sound making something low in her belly clench (and she would be ashamed if she were capable of it) and he brushes his gloved fingers against her cheek. “Of course not. There is no comparison.”
(Of course not, because Marluxia is a thousand times more cruel.)
He brings her pomegranates, and the irony is not lost on her. She knows that he knows it wouldn't be. He breaks one open but does not let her take the seeds for herself—instead, he feeds them to her one by one. They are sweet and tangy at the same time, and it's kind of funny, but she didn't realize she was hungry until now.
One, two, three, four, five, six.
“You know that I am already bound to this place,” she tells him. “I do not get six months of freedom, unlike Persephone. So what is the point?”
He presses a seventh seed to her lips and she takes it and bites it, savoring the sweetness on her tongue and yet, strangely feeling the urge to spit it out (because each one of these seeds is a small dagger to the stomach, a reminder of something that she cannot have as long as she is under his control).
“I just thought you would be hungry,” he purrs. The eighth seed does not go to her lips but to his own—because he wants her to come and get it. And she does, because what other choice does she have?
(the strings are pulled tight and they're choking her, but it's not like she knows anything any different.)
Her eyes sting a little. She doesn't care to try to analyze the 'why'.
She feeds Sora falsified memories and he gobbles them up in the same manner that she imagines Persephone devoured the pomegranate seeds—eagerly and with gusto, like a truly famished soul. He accepts what is offered just like Persephone, because he does not know that he is being tricked. He does not know that with each lie that he blindly accepts, his freedom is being stripped away, bit by bit.
She doesn't like it—she does not enjoy being Marluxia's puppet and tying Sora to this place with her vile strings.
(sometimes she thinks she is just the bait... the poor soul sent to fool Persephone with a feigned peace offering.)
“Is he your new Persephone?” she asks Marluxia one day. The question comes tumbling from her lips before she can think to stop it.
“Oh, but I thought he was yours,” Marluxia answers with a smile that is somehow dangerous and inviting at once. “A little Persephone-esque individual for my Persephone. Do you like that idea?”
“I'm not as awful as--” she starts to say you, but instead finishes with “--all that.”
I'm not as awful as you, she says to herself, repeats it until she starts to believe it is maybe a little bit true.
“Aren't you?” he asks, and maybe it's an accusation, or maybe it's a simple observation, or maybe it's just something else to burrow under her skin and make her colder and emptier than she should be. Maybe it is all of these things; maybe it is none of these things.
His shadow looms over her and she closes her eyes as his fingers (bare now) skim down the front of her dress. She dislikes the sensations that course through her body when he touches her like this—icy heat and something that she can't identify, or maybe doesn't want to, but he makes her feel something which she knows is akin to desire all the same. It should disgust her. It should.
But she does not pull away from him. She lets him hike her dress up. She lets him slip his hand between her thighs and she gasps when he touches her there. She lets him lead her to the bed, his fingers on her wrist slick with her arousal (and it shouldn't be there, it shouldn't... she shouldn't react like she does but that knowledge doesn't stop her or him).
It hurts a little every time, because Marluxia does not know how to show anyone an ounce of kindness without also delivering a ton of cruelty. She sees him as a very selfish individual—he takes and he takes from her, fitting his hips between hers and all he gives... all he gives are bruises in the shape of his fingers and teeth; he gives her a lingering soreness and feigned tenderness that truly means absolutely nothing.
She tries to give what she gets, too—in the form of raking her nails down his back, drawing blood; she gives him bruises too, with her teeth and her heels and her knees. Sometimes he calls her his little rose, tells her she has thorns. He always seems quite pleased, and that's probably because he knows that she cannot actually hurt him.
And she always accepts him; she never tries to push him away. This time is no different from any other.
(She tells herself it's because she has no choice because she doesn't, but that's not the half of it, is it?)
Later, he brushes a few strands of sweaty hair away from her face and tells her, “You know he's not going to be your prince in shining armor, right? He's not going to save you from this place.”
“I know,” she answers, having to force the words past the sudden lump in her throat.
He trails a finger along the column of her throat. “You know this, and yet you continue to lie to him and you continue to help me hold him prisoner here.”
She stiffens, and then hisses, “What other choice do I have? You give me none. If I did not have to do as you tell me, Sora would be free. I would not keep him in this horrid place.”
“Wouldn't you?” he asks, his voice cold and mocking.
“I'm not like you,” she insists. (Persephone would never resort to Hades' cruel methods.)
In truth, she doesn't know who she is trying to convince: Marluxia or herself.
She doesn't think it's fair, really. But what is fairness to those without hearts? Does she even know what 'fair' is?
She would be jealous, she thinks, if she were capable of it. She would hate this place—this room, this castle... this thing that should not exist in the first place (but neither should she, really, so this reality is just a double-edged sword, isn't it?)
Persephone was granted freedom from the Underworld for a time. When she was free, she was able to experience Spring and Summer. Naminé is not granted the same kindness. She comes to realize that no matter how many flowers Marluxia brings to her room (roses, orchids, chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies, sakura—all signs of Spring), Winter is the only season she will be able to experience here.
(So... see, she is not Persephone, not really. Even Persephone was alloted some measure of freedom.)
Today, he brings her begonias. He sets them on her drawing table and he combs gloved fingers through her hair—his gentleness is unsettling, as always.
“Do you remember the story of Persephone?” he murmurs against her ear, and she barely supresses a shiver.
“Of course I do,” she replies. “It isn't as if you would let me forget, right?”
She feels his lips curve upwards in a small smile. “Do you know what Persephone was? What Hades made her become?”
“A captive,” she replies curtly, and she feels his hands on her shoulders, feels his fingers squeeze—not hard enough to bruise, but hard enough to let her know of his obvious displeasure.
“A wife,” he corrects her, and she feels that her heart, if she had one, would be iced over right now. “A queen.”
She swallows hard and releases a breath. “But still a captive, right?”
Marluxia chuckles, sliding his hands down the length of her arms. “Perhaps, but she was a captive who was well-provided for. A captive who was protected and given a position of power. A captive who was probably even loved.”
She thinks he will never stop torturing her with things that they both know she cannot have. It is her normal. Their normal. She knows better than to expect anything any different. Marluxia does enjoy his mind games, after all.
“But you are incapable of love,” she says, the words coming out through gritted teeth.
“As are you,” Marluxia responds without pause. “So I don't see the problem.”
He does though—he always sees everything; he just doesn't care.
(Which means that she
His hands are on her waist now, lightly petting. “My dear, my dear, it is not so dreadful here.”
She remembers these words. Remembers that he said them to her the first day he brought her here. He had lured her into a false sense of security.
(She imagines Hades probably did the same, and then resorted to trickery to keep her with him.)
It is not so dreadful here.
She believed him them.
She doesn't believe him now.
She should have known better... but at that time, she did not know to look behind her. She did not know to look out for the glint of silver aimed at her back.
Now she does. Too bad it doesn't do her any good.
She is not a wife. She is not a queen. She is not a lover. She is not Persephone, though her own story does bear some twisted resemblance to that of Hades' queen.
She is a prisoner. A puppet. A means to an end. A mockery of Persephone.
And she knows that Marluxia will make sure that that is all she will ever be.
Decent? Horrible? Should I abandon writing again? What do you all think?