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Before the seasons came about and the winters fell hard and dark, there was a Wanderer.

She’d a coat of night- stars and nebula's blooming and booming in the fabric of creation tucked around her chin. Her hair dark, her eyes cold. There was not once inch of colour upon the Wanderer, for there was not one inch of life within her.

The dear Wanderer was not ever without a name for she had many, too many. Hades, the Greeks called her, Valkyries, the Vikings. Even those without Gods had a name for her, and that name was Death. Where ever she went, a trail of despair followed. Families split, farmers destitute- for death did not mean the death of mere mortals, but the end of all things living. Yet, on she wandered.

She’d seen just about all there was of the mortal realm, every inch of land, every litre of water. She’d watched empires rise and she’d been the one who bought them down.

And, of course, she had loved. Not even just once, to the surprise of many (The Lady of Love was the most surprised. Even she had not seen it coming). But, as all things do, her loves died and withered in her arms. Never had she felt more remorse and guilt than cradling their souls back to her home.

As such, it was reasonable- normal, even- to assume her lonely.

But she had wandered the Earth now for millennia, and she’d yet to find someone to warm her bed, let alone her heart. So, you see, it wasn’t that she had given up on the idea of love, but rather, she had forgotten it.

Forgotten the feeling of being so breathless you want to scream to nothingness. Forgotten what it was like to hold another against you and sway ever gently to music shared in two imaginations.

She had forgotten.

But, it appeared she was soon set to remember.

Chapter Text

Gardens.

Gardens and sun and Life.

He had known the warmth of the sun and the beauty of beginning since his first words were spoke.

He'd a soul of pure gold, So pure and bright it burned through his chest and punctured the sky, his mother would say. Every inch of the boy was golden and bright, for his soul was golden and bright too.

A crown of flowers was placed upon his head since infancy. However he grew, his crown grew too, into a wild, blooming creation of life atop his hair. It was truly his markings, however, that held his place as the Prince of The Gods. The son of the dear Demeter could afford no less than spring to be printed on his skin.

And so it was.

Glowing traces of flowers covered his golden flesh, almost every inch. His favourite was the poppy, as she rested against his forearm softly. Or perhaps the Snapdragon upon his thigh.

He knew all their names, he knew all the mortal’s meanings behind them. Of course, he didn’t know any mortals other than his mother- Arthur could never allow such a fate to befall his prince as it did himself- but he knew all they spoke, all they prayed and all they knew.

And all knew of The Garden.

The garden was a precious piece of land, a lush, sprawling field of flowers and animals, old Ash trees and the soul of the earth. It was Guarded by both Gods and Mortals alike, all of it belonging solely to Tedros.

It was said, in hushed whispers, that a part of his own heart took residence in the garden- it was believed that that was what made it prosper and grow despite any climate. As he had grown, so had the garden.

Here he was his own God. Here, he could escape the frivolity of Olympias and the triviality of the Gods.

Here was gentle, here was calm.

Here he laid to rest each night and awoke again by the morn sun’s pale glow.

Here he was the sole inhabiter amongst the flowers and rabbits and birds.

But maybe, hopefully, he wouldn’t always be a sole inhabiter. Maybe one day there would be another. Sometimes even he prayed for just as much.

 

Chapter Text

Wandering was a full-time occupation when you harboured souls in your hands.

She had long come to the realisation that, to be exempt from the pain of death, you had to surround yourself in it.

Wandering allowed her to do that.

No matter what path you came upon, there was always a soul in need of taking, always a life in need of ending. It was sad, and it was harsh, but it was true.

Those that saw her coat knew her immediately, felt her lack of blood and her coldness. Some scrambled away from her, some embraced her, and of course, there was always those few that begged her to wait a moment or two.

She wasn’t always a wanderer, of course.

She was once the princess of the Gods, the youngest and most unloved of her two siblings, Sophie- the dearly beloved Goddess of Love, and Beatrix- Queen of the Gods.

With the two of them Golden and Shiny, how could anyone love dear little Agatha, sour and bug-eyed?

Agatha had never been much concerned for her own looks however, and had oft taken a keen interest instead in the lives of mortals.

Where other Gods found themselves interested in meddling with the mortals and tricking them onto fools’ errands and quests for glory, Agatha found herself interested in their most natural states- birth and death. It had fascinated her, truly, when she first gained the ability to see mortal’s souls. Each one was coloured differently, every person unique and new.

Some glowed bright amongst her coat of night, others dulled into nothingness the moment she set her hands about them. In them you could see each soft memory mortals held, each moment they held dear. Souls, upon death, revealed the deepest part of a person, regardless of whether or not the people ever bared this part of them to another. They were all open and revealed to Agatha.

This ability was what drew her to her first love.

Dot, her name was.

Her soul was made of solid gold, and it shone as brightly as the burning nebulas in her coat. All Agatha had to do was follow the glow from atop her home, Mount Olympias.

She had sat upon a rock weaving when Agatha first approached. When she could see more than the glow of her soul, Agatha sat beside her.

Dot’s skin was sun-kissed and caramel, and it was soft and smooth beneath Agatha’s peasant hands. Her hair was rarely tied back and fell to her shoulders in length. Agatha could spend thousands of lifetimes with her hands intertwined in that hair and not feel a moment wasted.

Agatha didn’t return home until she carried Dot’s soul home with her.

It hadn’t been long enough.

She’d not had time enough to bask properly in the Golden light that spilled from within Dot before she withered away in Agatha’s arms. Not had time enough to feel that soft skin beneath her hands, to hear her whisper prayers in the night to Gods Agatha knew weren’t listening.

You see, to Gods, mortal years were merely days, and months mere seconds.

As Dot withered and declined, Agatha stayed young and ageless. It’s a different kind of pain to watch a loved one die and know you can’t die with them.

From then, Agatha wandered, unable to stay long in one place for fear of growing attached or falling in love once more. And most of all, for fear of her own sorrow taking hold of her.

That was until one day, one unassuming, insignificant day, she found a Garden.

Chapter Text

Tedros was sheltered.

He knew that. He’s been sheltered his whole life from everything- Gods, mortals and monsters alike. He’d never had friends because he’d never left this fucking Garden and he’d never, under any circumstances, had visitors.

Until the Garden had woken him one gentle morning with a new feeling in the air.

Someone had entered his garden.

He could feel them in it, for the garden was his own self, his own body and his own soul. He felt how gingerly, how delicately they stepped onto the grass and the flowers, as if worried their very presence would offend or harm them.

Carefully, he moved to behind a tree, hoping to see who it was. Maybe his mother had finally been allowed entry- or, or maybe his father had decided to talk to him for once. Or maybe, he thought dreadfully, it’s my dear fiancée come to pay me a visit before we’re forced into matrimony with one another.

But it was none of these.

It was a girl. Cloaked in the night sky, with skin as pale as the gentle lilies that rested in his pond.

His breath stopped in his lungs. His eyes grew wide and blurry. It was like he was seeing the sky for the first time in his life. She was… She was…

He didn’t know what she was.

A giggle escaped him, and she looked up sharply. He ducked back behind his tree. Breathing hard, he waited for her to leave. She didn’t.

She made no sound as she move towards him. No shifting of fabric, no crinkling of grass. Not even a gentle sound of breath escaped her as she approached.

He jumped at the dark eyes that peered at him from behind the tree. “I- you… You’re not to be in here. ‘Tis… forbidden.”

“Forbidden?” she asked. Tedros breathed in at the first sound of her voice. Soft, it sent shivers down his spine.

“Y-yes.” His voice broke. He coughed to cover it.

“Why would somewhere as beautiful as this be forbidden?”

“B-Because it belongs to me.” He managed to stutter.

“To you?” he nodded. “And who said you could take it?” He paused.

“My mother. It was- it was her garden. She gave it to me when she was banished.”

“Why was she banished?”

“Why do you ask so many questions?” He demanded. The Girl merely shrugged.

“Am curious is all, sir. I’ve not been in a Garden so beautiful before.”

He huffed and moved away from the tree to look at her properly. “Who are you, then?” She tilted her head and stared into his soul. He frowned and rubbed a hand over his chest.

“The names Agatha, sir. Might I ask yours?”

“Don’t call me Sir. I’m naught older than you, if so by less than a year,” She raised an eyebrow. He huffed. “I’m Tedros. Son of Arthur.”

“Arthur? God of spring, Arthur? The one the mortals call Demeter?”

“Yes, that Arthur. Is that enough answers for you?”

“Yes.” They looked at one another for a long moment.

Tedros looked her up and down. She raised an eyebrow. “How did you get in?” he asked.

“I walked.”

“nnngh,” He groaned and rolled his eyes. “Yes, but hoooooow? My father made it near impossible for anyone to find me.”

“What are you, some type of Prince?”

“Well-”

“I mean, No one is truly impossible to find - least of all to me. It’s the souls, you know?” There was a pause.

“The what?” he asked, incredulous.

“Oh dear.” The two of them looked at one another and then towards the grass at their feet, well, tedros’ feet.

Wait.

“Why is there no live grass beneath you?” He asked. Agatha looked at him, eyes wide. His heart thrummed in his chest whilst his breath sped.

“I… I’m not alive.” She whispered.

“How can you not be alive?” he said, wandering closer to her, eyes locked in the wide expanse of hers.

“How can you be so alive?” She replied. Their hands brushed and they jumped apart.

Tedros looked away, heart hammering faster than a hummingbird’s wings. He stared at his hands, at the gold that made up his veins, the colour trying to escape his fingertips and touch Agatha’s own. He frowned as his chest contracted, hands began to shake. Tedros felt chills run up his spine, a never-before-felt sensation.

Agatha’s skin lit up, humming with electricity. She felt her neck turn red, her breathing speed up. She saw the shadows that made her blood, her flesh, grasp towards the boy, twist as he turned away from her. She felt her long-silenced heart being to murmur, begin to whisper to her once again. Her stomach whirled and she felt sick. “I need to go.” She said.

And with that, she fled the garden.

Chapter Text

The garden was in her mind, Buzzing and tingling in her hands. Whatever she did, she still felt his skin against hers, his goldenness overtaking her wretchedness. It was amusing and worrying. Amusing, for she had never seen another react such a way to her presence, but worrying, for she had never reacted such a way to another’s presence.

She had wandered too far this time. Rather than lose herself in the vast world of humans, she had lost herself in the small world of the Gods- in the small garden that housed a God.

She thought of him more and more- how golden his skin was, how soft his eyes were.

She took a shaking breath in and sat against the dead tree on the path. She’d have to move off soon, too many souls were calling to her already for her delay. But she wanted to feel this. To understand what this was, why it made her feel.

She’d been millennium without feeling anything like that- without feeling anything, come to think of it. Little Aggie, always alone and always searching.

And in all those years of searching she’d finally found something, someone.

Maybe Sophie had finally wormed her way into Agatha’s life, finally tracked her down and plotted and planned, created the perfect enigma for Agatha to get wrapped up into.

Maybe the Fates had finally added her red stitch into the Tapestry of time, linked her to another soul, though she had none of her own. Maybe that’s why she could feel a tug from her centre, her core, when she thought of that garden.

See, Agatha was a God- a powerful one at that- but even she herself was not exempt from the meddling of the Fates and their thread, nor that of Sophie and her ways with love.

Yet something in her told her that neither of these things had effect on whatever this was. That this was raw and pure in the way nothing else could be. She stood from her spot against the tree, picked up her staff, and dragged herself back down the blessed path to the Garden, awaiting answers.

 


 

She was everywhere Tedros looked. Everywhere and yet nowhere.

The trees whispered her name back to him, Agatha, Agatha, Agatha.

Her trail of death led him to the same spot each time, circles and circles in his quiet garden. His golden wisps still searched for the shadows that spilled out of her, the darkness imbedded in her veins.

This was strange.

Tedros had never… well, he’d never actually met another person, but he didn’t think his skin was supposed to buzz like this after it. He didn’t think his heart was meant to stutter as it did when he thought of her in the garden.

What was this? He’d met her once, how could he feel like this?

From their beds, the flowers laughed at his ridiculousness, giggled at his hopelessness. He glared at them. They looked away.

The grand oak raised its branches as he wandered beneath the bough and sat against the trunk. He sighed.
“I’m not sure what to think,” He said to the great tree. “I… I’ve never felt that. I don’t think I’ve ever really felt anything, to be honest, But this… This was strange.” He sighed again. “I’m being an idiot about this, aren’t I?”

 The trees branches shook, Yes.

He rolled away from the trunk and stood again.

“Shut up.” He mumbled.

The Garden stirred.

She’s back’ The old oak shook. Tedros’ head snapped up to the entrance. Sure enough, there, surrounded by his precious Asters and Lilacs, stood Agatha.

His mouth went dry.

Frantic, he looked around for guidance from the garden, but all his flowers had to offer up was themselves.

He felt her moving closer, walking towards him with a pace of curiosity and wonder. Quickly, he snatched up the Daisies from their beds, and thrust them out towards her, eyes scrunched shut.

Agatha stopped before them, staring.

He opened his eyes.

She looked at him. He looked back.

“Uh… for… Uh, these are for you.” He said, thrusting them towards her once again. She frowned and moved backwards.

He swallowed.

“Please take them. They’re- They’re for you, not me.”

“I… I can’t” Agatha said.

Tedros stepped backwards. “W-what? Why not?”

Agatha swallowed. “They’ll die if I take them.”

“But… but I got them for you.” He said, confused.

“I’m sorry”

“No that’s… That’s okay, uh. Yeah okay. Um I’ll just…” He places the flowers on the ground next to him. They snickered at him.

Agatha smiled slightly. Tedros blushed.

“So-” They began together. Agatha grinned. Tedros looked at the floor.

“You’re… uhm, you’re back then, I see.” He said, eloquently.

“Yes, It does appear that way.” She responded.

Tedros nodded, his heart racing. “W-uh… If I may ask, why are you back? I mean, it’s, y’know, it’s not because I don’t want you back, quite the opposite actually, if I’m being honest… Uh no, just, uh was wondering I suppose- You’re… You’re always welcome here I-”

“Tedros.”

He looked up. “Yeah?”

“Calm down.”

“Oh… Sorry.”

She smiled politely. “I’m back because something called to me.”

“Some- Something called you? From my Garden?”

“Yes. Usually I’m only called if there’s a- uh… someone in urgent need, but… well, you seem to be fine.”

“I am, thank you.”

“Good,” They both exhaled. “I suppose I must be heading on my way then, I have… people to meet,” She turned to leave.

Tedros nodded and looked back down at the discarded Daisies.

“Wait!” he called. Agatha turned around. “Your flowers, you forgot them.”

“Sir, I… I cannot take them.”

He ran over to her, flowers in hand.

“Please.”

She sighed and took the flowers in her hands. She cradled them in her arms as if a babe, gentle and loving. Tedros thought she may have never held flowers before. The thought made him sad.

She gave him a smile and placed the flowers in her bag, then turned and left the garden.

Tedros stood for a long time, thinking and overthinking.

Chapter Text

Ah. There it was again.

That pulling at her centre, that… calling in her bones.

He has to stop doing this, she thought. she has other people to see, other souls to touch and cradle.

Of course, she much prefers to be around his, to bathe in all that golden light, but the point still stood.

At least, that’s what she had promised herself as she made the journey back to that sacred garden.

 


 

“Agatha?” Tedros’ soft voice greeted her against the rustling of trees and flowers. She was slowly getting to know the calls of the garden and the voices of the plants. They were each different, yet wholly the same. And all of them were curious and nosey.

‘Well, You’re back then. Welcome, I suppose.’ One of the Anemones whispered, with a petal raised in curious greeting. Agatha smiled at her.

‘I am,’ she replied, speaking in the tongues of creatures she did not know. ‘Are you happy of that fact, wise Anemone?’

The Anemone tilted her head at Agatha’s braveness, intrigued by her sudden comfort within the garden. ‘My, my, someone’s grown confident in their talk. Are you finding the garden more comfortable for you now, dear Agatha, as you have spent such time in it?’

‘I believe I am, Anemone. I hope to become more confident yet.’

“There you are!” Tedros said from beside Agatha. “You didn’t reply when I asked if it was you. I had begun to worry for my own sanity.”

Agatha laughed softly. Tedros grinned.

“You are only beginning to doubt this now? It’s as if you’ve never even met yourself, Tedros.”

He huffed and laughed all at once. Agatha loved it. They stood still for some time, regarding one another with soft eyes and soft hearts, before Tedros blinked.

“OH! I- uh… I got these for you! Uhm…” he held up a small bouquet of Celosia and Astilbe, who preened gently beneath Agatha’s surprised eyes.

“Oh Tedros…”

“I know, I know… You- you don’t like flowers, but I just thought-”

“No!” she blurted. “No, no I… I love your flowers. I just… I can’t take them but, thank you. Truly”

“Oh.” Came the response. “I don’t… I don’t mean to be rude but… Why not?”

Agatha looked down. “I’m not sure that I can answer that, but I’m sure you already know.”

Tedros looked at the flowers in his hand, and the dead grass beneath Agatha’s feet. They locked eyes. The pin dropped in Tedros’ mind.

“You- you’re-” he stuttered. “You’re a… a-”

“I’m a reaper, Tedros. I… I take souls.”

His eyes never left hers, though they widened considerably, and his heart stuttered. In the next few seconds, Tedros became acutely aware of many things, least of all being; His erratic breathing and her lack of, the death that followed her like a shadow, and finally, her eyes and their withdrawal from his own. Or… Was he the one withdrawing here?

You see, In this time, in this story and in this life, Reapers are not well-respected people. Their art is mocked, hated and blamed for any inconvenience it may cause the living. Agatha’s profession was known to be a vicious and heartless one, despite the love that Agatha herself held and distributed. And as such, Agatha had already known the Prince of The Gods could never be with her, or even near her, without the Gods detesting. But she praised the time she had already been blessed to spend with him, and rued the time she could no longer spend with him.

Suddenly, there was a gap between them, a stretch of space and nothingness, filled only with the hurt hearts of old lovers and believers. Ginnungagap sprawled to where it never was, and Tedros’ body ached at the sudden disappearance of presence. It was as if her soul had dropped from his, like a bridge he once thought sturdy had collapsed suddenly.

“Agatha?” He whispered, as she began to turn away from him, back toward the garden gate. She glanced back once, shoulders heavy and face full of shame.

 

“I’m so very sorry.”

Chapter Text

Agatha didn’t want to be here. She never wanted to be here, but she especially didn’t want to be here after the week she’d had.

She watched them all, as they laughed and drank and pitied the silly mortals below.

“What’s wrong, dear Aggie?” her shining sister said, pearlescent voice cutting through Agatha’s cloud of solitude. The dreaded nickname flared something dark in her chest and she rolled her eyes at Beatrix.

“Bea, You know I hate these things. Why am I here? To be mocked and ridiculed again? I left for a reason, you know.”

Her sister sighed.

“Aggie, come now! don’t be so dramatic!  it’s not a pretty look on you-” She warned. Agatha scoffed. “-Besides, we’re all here for our dear sister, to celebrate her engagement! Isn’t that precious, Aggie? I do doubt your precious mortals have such sweetness in their bones!”

Before Agatha could snap out a reply, her sister was gone, wading through the vast sea of rich fabrics and glowing golden skin. Once, Agatha had dreamed of being amongst them, of being just as pure and golden. Of being draped in fabrics of blues and purples, of rich golds and blond hairs.

Once, she had loved every person in this room. Once, she had cared for their frivolities and caprice.

But that was long before she had seen mortals- long before she had felt, and found, love. Long before souls began to call her.

Now, the Gods made her sick. The very sight of them like this, with one of their weekly extravagant parties, whilst the mortals struggled and died below their towering mountain.

“Aggggieeeeee!” the shrill voice called. Agatha balked at the sudden noise.

“Sophie.” She acknowledged. It was quite possibly the last word she would speak until the conversation was entirely over.

“Oh, I’m so glad you were able to make it, Aggie! I wasn’t sure if you’d be too preoccupied with… well… them.” Agatha stared at the ground and willed her tongue to stay put. “It has been more than millennia since we’ve coerced you up to this mountain, and I’m so glad it was my event you decided to come to! Oh, Aggie, I’m so happy- I don’t think any mortal has ever felt this much happiness and love and I do doubt they ever will!! Ah, to be a God in love! There is truly no better feeling.”

Just as Agatha began to believe Sophie done talking, she began her tirade again.

“Oh, but I’m so sad that you have no one in your life! Yes, yes, I know you’ve had your little… skirmishes, but, Aggie. Oh, Aggie. If only you could be so happy as I! If only, Aggie! Oh, I shall find you a husband yet, I do promise you! Oh, and how handsome he will be! And how kind and- Oh Aggie look!! Look!! Here he comes! My fiancé!”

Agatha looked to the gates opening heavenly at the end of the hall. An ethereal, pinkish light flooded from beyond them, and Agatha was sorely reminded of the Garden she had fled from days prior.

“I can’t see anything.” She said.

“Oh, I must go! I have to meet him there as he comes through! Everyone will be too excited and end up blocking my path if we wait much longer, Quick! Quick! Come along now, Aggie!!”

Agatha felt herself being pulled along behind Sophie at a startling speed. They tore past Beatrix, in her gown of gold, pushed past Hester, the goddess of the hunt. Agatha swore she saw more of the gods on this quick trip than she had all night.

The pinkish glow increased and brightened as they got closer and closer to the gates. A figure began to be seen through the glow.

“Oh Aggie look!! Here he comes! Oh I bet he’s beautiful! There’ll be a reason why he’s always been locked up his life, I’m sure of it!”

“Wait-” Agatha turned to look at Sophie in shock, “You’re marrying a man you’ve never met?”

“Oh I cannot wait! My heart is racing, Aggie, Do you feel it?” She grabbed Agatha’s hand and placed it on her chest. Agatha whipped it away, still reeling from the confession.

“Sophie. You’re marrying a man you’ve never met?!

“Aggie, come now, its not that big of a deal! Many people do it!”

Sophie! You- You can’t! what- what if he’s terrible? What if he’s ugly and old and bitter? I can’t believe you agreed to a marriage with someone you’ve never even met! This is beyond-”

Her words died on her tongue as the figure was revealed from the glow.

“Tedros?” 

Chapter Text

Uh oh.

Uhohuhohuhoh

Tedros’ brain had short-circuited.

Agatha was here. Agatha. His Agatha- the Agatha that only existed in his garden, as precious and untouchable as an ambrosia flower.

She stared at him. He stared back.

Gods, she was gorgeous.

The dark, dead flowers in her hair made her more beautiful to him than any amount of afternoon sun shining on the garden ever could. His heart fluttered as she stood before him, dress made of stars, cape made of night and her eyes- by the gods, her eyes. He could let himself fall straight into them, dark and gentle.

But, well, they weren’t so gentle right now.

She stared him down, like a deer whose instinct was to fight rather than flee the headlights that spotted it. He swallowed as her eyes narrowed.

“What-”

“Oh, It’s so wonderful to meet you, Tedros! I’m Sophie, your fianceé, I knew there was a reason you were kept locked away for so long- You’re absolutely stunning! Isn’t he gorgeous, Aggie?” She turned to Agatha briefly before taking Tedros by the arm and leading him through the crowd, talking all the while. Tedros could barely meet Agatha’s eyes.


Hester looked on the other Gods with disinterest. If she was honest, she only ever came to these events for the sole reason of seeing her long-time girlfriend, Anadil, all dressed up. Oh, and to see Agatha, she supposed.

Hers and Agatha’s history was long and convoluted.

A long time ago, she had given her heart to Agatha in an ill-attempt to have both of them wed and saved from the ridicule of being single and young on Mount Olympias.

Well, that’s what she called it now.

Back then, she had called it love.

But back then, Agatha wasn’t anywhere near the woman she is today. Back then, Agatha had never experienced love, never met the small mortal who would change her world, never experienced Mortality.

Her and Hester had grown apart, in perhaps the messiest and most obvious way possible. First, there was the rejection of Hester’s proposal, then, slowly and surely, Agatha had begun to distain from the rampant Parties and extravagance of the Gods. She began dressing in plain black fabrics, no more expensive jewels or golds adorning her, no more flowers and art on her body.

Hester had looked on as Agatha shut the Gods out, closed her Palace doors and turned her back to them, opening her heart to the mortals below.

And now she was back. She was back and she was wearing flowers again, though they were dead now. She looked more alive than Hester had ever seen in years, more lovely, more… More Agatha.

And it was all because of those mortals.

She supposed she had to thank them, at least a little bit, for bringing Agatha back to them alive. She supposed she had to thank Agatha herself, for leaving and hurting Hester and allowing her to meet Anadil- shining, lovely Anadil, who held Hester’s hand when no-one else would, who supported her simple life where others would laugh.

And so, she held Anadil’s hand and made their way through the crowd to Agatha.

“Agatha,” She breathed, finally allowing herself to bask in the life in Agatha’s eyes. “How-How are you?”

Agatha blinked, as if stirring herself from a deep, tranquil sleep. She frowned a little bit before asking softly,

“Hester?”

Hester smiled softly. “Yes, Agatha. It’s good to see you.”

A wonderous smile burst from Agatha, bathing Hester and Anadil in a cold, loving light. She moved forward and quickly embraced them both, laughing softly as she did.

“Yes, yes it is most certainly good to see you- to see you both!” Agatha exclaimed, looking happily between Hester and Anadil.

“Agatha, I want to introduce you to my girlfriend, Anadil, Goddess of Victory.”

“It’s wonderful to meet you, Anadil- Anyone who can make my sour-faced friend carefree and happy is most worthy of my own affection.”

Anadil gave Agatha a soft, private smile.

“I am glad, Hester has frowned for much too long and her smile is much too beautiful to stay hidden.”

Hester blushed and Agatha laughed.

“Most certainly, dear Anadil, most certainly.” She looked up at her name being echoed through the room, sighing at her loud sister. “I’m so sorry, but I have to excuse myself to play Chaperone to my sister and her new fiancée.”

Hester frowned. There was something strangely bitter in Agatha’s voice at the idea of her sister’s engagement that she hadn’t heard before.

“Wait! We’ll- We’ll come along. Always good to catch up with the famous sisters every now and then.” Hester interjected. Agatha looked back at them and nodded.

They weaved their way through the crowd, dodging wandering hands and fussy sidepieces as they went, following Agatha.

When they finally stopped their hazardous ducking and spinning through the crowd, they found themselves at the feet of two ever-glowing stars, one draped in rich purple, and the other in soft pastels.

“Oh! H-hello,” said a deep voice, surprised at the sudden appearance of the trio. “We were only expecting Agatha, I’m sorry.”

Hester watched Agatha shiver at the mention of her name and looked up.

Uh oh.

The face of the voice was beyond beautiful. It was made of pure gold, hair woven from the fabric of the sun itself. Hester felt herself warmed in his very presence, as if his skin was borne of fire and ember.

“I’m Anadil, A pleasure to meet you. This is my dear Hester,” her elbow hit Hester’s ribs and she snapped from her trance instantly, face morphing into something akin to disgust. Tedros frowned at her. “We are so sorry for the intrusion, we were talking with our old friend Agatha when you called for her and we felt it rude to simply abandon a conversation that’s been five years in the ready.”

Hester looked at her girlfriend, eyes shining. Gods, she was so smart. She wrapped her arm around Anadil’s waist and leaned into her.

Agatha! Must you really interact with these… rabble? Let alone bring them here! I-”

“It is no inconvenience at all, Anadil,” Tedros interrupted. “Any friend of Agatha’s is dear to me also.”

Hester studied him; eyes narrow.

“Why should your Fiancée’s-sister’s-friends be dear to you? You have no interactions with them outside of such a venue.” Hester said, gesturing to the party surrounding them.

Tedros looked at her and found himself lost for words, lost for excuses. He looked at Agatha, but she avoided his gaze.

“I… Well… I mean, she- she will be my sister soon, and-” Agatha scoffed, hurt and angry beside Hester. Tedros continued his stuttered attempt at an excuse. “And, thus, technically… uh… Her friends are… my friends?”

Hester raised an eyebrow and subconsciously stepped closer to Agatha.

“Oh Teddy!! That’s so adorably kind of you! Isn’t he just the sweetest, Aggie? I can’t believe Arthur- of all the gods- offered us to one another! Are we not just so perfectly suited?!”

Agatha gave a grim, bitter smile.

“Definitely. There is no one else I could think to complement either of you so nicely, then the other.”

Tedros looked at her properly for the first time that night. His eyes, so pure and blue, swam slightly with heartache. Agatha let them.

Hester coughed slightly and pushed herself further between the two, sensing the lingering tension. Tedros looked up at them all.

“Well. It was definitely… Something, meeting you all. You’ll have to excuse me though; I need some air.”

And then Tedros was gone, lost to Olympias’ noise and cluster.

Chapter Text

There was a sudden lack of space and air around him, as if a void had decided to make its home around him and inside him. He gasped and sputtered outside of Olympias’ gates.

‘There is no one else I could think to complement either of you so nicely’

The words echo at him, they yell, and they bully and they tease him.

How long did you know? They ask. How long did you know you were engaged? How long did you know you were leading her along? How long did you intend to do so? How long, how long, how long-

“Did you know?” Came the voice that echoed in his mind, the voice he craved to hear again, longed to hear laughing and see holding his flowers. Did you know? She asked. Did he?

Agatha-”

“Did you?”

“…I-”

“Did you know, or not, Tedros? It’s one question. It’s all I want to know.”

Tedros closed his eyes and remained quiet. Agatha tilted her head and nodded.

“Thank you.” Came her whisper as she turned to leave.

Agatha- wait! I- I knew, I did. But, But I didn’t know the whole time. It wasn’t until our last meeting- with, with the Ambrosia? That’s when I realised who it was. I couldn’t pull out by then.” He walked towards her, grabbed her arm.

“Tedros, Don’t. I- I can’t do this. And please, don’t follow me.”

“Agatha no-!” He called to the empty night.

You see, creatures made of stars and solitude had a funny way of returning to them whenever they pleased. And Agatha had done just that.

Tedros huffed out a breath on the empty balcony, more helpless than he’d ever been- even more than in their garden.


Agatha was called the Wanderer. She was called a great number of names, actually, but she had never felt as at peace with any of them as that of ‘Wanderer’. She supposed was more of a ‘Runner’, than an Wanderer now, though.

In her heartache, she had fled.

It was a nasty habit she was yet to kick.

She had fled and she had run, feet aching, over dark land. She ran beyond Dot’s old home, beyond the serene garden. Agatha ran further than she had ever believed the mortal word to extend to.

Then she stopped.

And she paced.

She paced, in her small corner of the world, thinking of all the mistakes humans had made over time- of all the longing hearts and souls she’d picked up along her way. She thought of all her own mistakes and wondered if her work was ever really needed. If it was ever really kind and peaceful, as she had believed.

Perhaps she really had been the stealer of souls, the ender of long lives. Perhaps she had robbed those of their loves and taken children, bubbling and bright, from the life they deserved.

Maybe she was just a reaper- a thief of night.

All this, she thought. And all this, the earth felt.

All this the earth collected, and all this the earth stored.

Stored and held until it sunk, into the earth and through it.

And down

And down

And down.

And down.

And down.

Six feet under the earth, Agatha stopped thinking.

This.’ She thought, ‘This will be my new home. My own kingdom of solitude. Here, none shall hurt me again.’

And so, Agatha set to work in the dim night. She built her throne- built of dirt and blood and the bones of mortals. She built her kingdom, her haven. Her hands were dark and covered in dead souls, dirt and the remains of what love she once held.

Agatha would, from that moment on, remain.

The King of the Underworld- The Journey’s end for all that once lived.