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We Wear the Mask

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Mal watched from her window as the wind tugged the sad remains of yesterday’s party for the little princess. She smiles at the memory of her mother proudly decreeing that the prissy princess and her evil queen mother were banished. Served them right.

She was about to turn her back on the sorry sight below, but a flash of blue draws her attention to the road leading to the bargain castle. Her eyes narrow at the sight of Hades walking boldly over the upturned tables and paper streamers with his daughter, Hyades, held in his arms. Her school mate was the flash of blue that had caught her attention; she was on fire.

Not that Hyades being on fire was unusual. What was weird was the fact they looked like they were on their way here. Hades and her mother had a, difficult working relationship. Mistress of Evil and God of the Underworld; both evil in their own rights, but clearly on different levels. She huffs as she watches the god wield his daughter like a weapon, her flames sending people scrambling away lest they catch on fire, Hades clearly holding back from actually injuring her mothers’ minions.

“Mother!” Mal calls out as she turns away from the window before she runs out her room. She skids to a halt as her mother ducks out of her room.

“What! What Mal?! What could you possibly want?” Maleficent demands as she rubs her hand over her horn.

Mal pulls herself up to stand taller. “Mother, Hades is on his way here. And he has his daughter with him.” She reports, doing her best to keep her features smooth the way her mother insisted she should. Never let them know what you’re thinking, that’s how you stay one step ahead.

Maleficent turns to her daughter lazily. “What’s that idiot want?” She rolls her eyes. “Best invite them in, before his hell spawn ruins the drapes.” She snaps in Mal’s direction.

“Yes mother.” Mal nods before she rushes down the stairs ahead of her mother to open the large door. She keeps her face blank as she watches Hades approach. Now that they were closer she could hear Hyades crying. Her face pulls in disgust before she can stop herself. Crying. Ugh...

Hades waltzes through the open door, staying nothing as he heads towards Maleficent's throne room. He steps in with a smile as he drops his sobbing daughter to his feet. “Maleficent, babe, mistress of evil, it’s been too long.”

Maleficent rolls her eye. “Get on with it Hades. Why are you bothering me? And why is your spawn squalling and setting fires?”

“Right.” Hades nods. “Well the thing is, we have a deal. I stay out of your territory squabbles, as long as nothing you do affects my life. You win, nastiest, cruelest, coldest of them and all that. This however.” He nudges Hyades with his foot. “This is interrupting my life.”

“And?” Maleficent waves her hand, clearly bored with this unexpected visitor. “That seems like a you problem Hades, God of the… Oh, sorry, that’s not your title anymore is it?”

Mal shakes her head from the shadows as she watches the exchange. She loved the way her mother squashed those that dared to interrupt her day.

Hades lifts his brow. “Do you really wanna go down that path with me babe?” He crosses his arms unimpressed. “Shackled to this shit hole or not, I’m still a god. When we blow this popsicle stand do you really want that shredded and gnarled string cut so soon?” He adds as he makes scissors with his finger and makes them ‘snip’ together.

Maleficent runs her tongue over her teeth. “Oh learn to take a joke.” She snaps after a moment. “But I still don’t see what your crying spawn has to do with our deal. You’re her father, make her behave.”

Mal rolls her eyes. Hyades behaving. Yeah right. She was another dumb princess, just like Evie. Those two brates had everyone wrapped around their fingers. One tear and everyone bent over backwards trying to cheer them up. Though, in Hyades case it might be more about the destruction she caused when upset.

Hades cracks his knuckles loudly. “Haha, funny. I’m so amused. No really, amused.” He rolls his eyes. “But her crying is completely your fault, Maleficent, and if you don’t fix it, I’m afraid you’ll be in breach of our contract.” He shrugs as he crosses his arms over his chest. “I’d hate to have to enter into the territory wars, it really is so beneath me to schwalbe with lesser beings, but hey, a father has to do what a father has to do.” He grins.

“And what could I have possibly done to it to make it cry?” Maleficent demands haughty, “And why can’t you make it stop?”

“The blue princess. Me forbid I just go over there and undermine you, I’d never hear the end of it. However, if you would just switch over to cold and calculating rather than vain and petty, both look ravishing on you by the way. I’d really you appreciate you seeing this as a mutually beneficial venture. Confine the queen for being the dumb bitch she is, for not inviting your spawn, or whatever you have to do. And this one will owe you” He holds up three fingers. “Not one, not two, but three favors for this little ball of burning rage to be put to your evil little desires. It’s a win-win. I mean unless you want to rule over ashe?”

Maleficent laughs. “Really? You want me to unbanish Evil Queen and her daughter.”

“I don’t give a shit about the dumb bitch who spited you. Starve her for all I care. Just let it’s spawn out.”

Mal’s jaw drops. She knew that look on her mother’s face. She was considering. Her eyes narrow. Her mother was actually considering this. She’d banished the pretty princess for not inviting her to her big birthday party, and now she was about to take it all back. All because little miss fire was upset. What goblin shit was that?

Maleficent stands from her dilapidated throne, drawing herself up to her full height. “Take your fire spawn and go before she ruins my carpet. I’ll have a goblin deliver the news that the little princess is no longer banished.”

“Pleasure doin’ business with ya sweetcheeks. I owe you one.” Hades winks as he ruffles his daughter's hair, causing wisps of flame to curl around his fingers. “See. I fixed it. Stop.”

Hyades looks up at her father with big blue watery eyes. “Really? Evie’s not in trouble?”

“Kid, didn’t dear old dad tell you it was gonna be taken care of. Now get up. This beautiful dragon has tolerated us in her home long enough.”

Hyades nods as she wipes her eyes with her fingers before she stands, using Hades’ robes to pull herself up. The blue flames dancing around her slowly dim before dying. “Thank you daddy.” She whispers as she slips her small hand into his.

Mal’s eyes narrow on the white skinned princess as something in her chest tightens. She was so not jealous of that stupid baby!

“Out. I think I’m going to be sick.” Maleficent snarls as she stomps her foot in disgust. “What are you raising her into?”

“Sweetheart, my little fireball, why don’t you run on ahead and give me a moment to speak with this dragon, hmmm?” Hades pats his daughter on her head before he gently nudges her back.

Hyades looks uncertain shifting for a moment, before slowly nodding. “Okay daddy.” She ends up beaming before she literally skips out of door.

Skipped! As if she hadn’t just scorched half the fucking island in a fiery tantrum. Mal couldn’t believe this. Her mother bowed to no one. She was the mistress of evil, and pain, and suffering. And she absolutely admired her for it. For the power. The glory, but most importantly, though she’d never admit it to anyone, the recognition. She shook her head. So why was she revoking her punishment? Who the hell did Hades think he was?

 

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As soon as Hyades disappears from the room Hades turns around and walks closer to Maleficent. “What am I raising? What am I raising Maleficent?” He shakes his head. “Why, I’m raising my ticket out of here.”

Maleficent scoffs. “How is that destructive pasty urchin going to help you get out of here?”

Hades chuckles. “See, that’s your problem sweetcheeks. You’re still trying to look for an easy escape. Ha!” He shakes his head. “No, my brother, as well as every other magic wielder in Auradon helped construct this prison. There aren’t any small plan escapes to be had. But little Hyades… Now that girl will one day come into her powers as a demigod, and when she does she’ll be looking out for dear old papa.”

“Magic doesn’t work under the barrier you idiot.”

“It’s not magic, babe. It’s will. A gods will, we manifest shit. We blow shit up. Boom. Or did you not notice the scorch marks on the carpet.” He gestures to the carpets. “Think bigger baby, a longer game.”

Maleficent’s eyes narrow. “You plan to have her free you from the cuffs, restore your power.”

“Bingo babe! When ya got it, you got it.” Hades grins. “And then I’m leaving. I could take the barrier out with me… Or I could leave it intact. Really it would be up to my whim that day.” He winks at her.

“Other than fire that little pest doesn’t have powers, you could be wasting years being nice for nothing.” Maleficent points out.

“Yee of little faith. No, she’ll grow with time, you just need patience. And she just needs to be pushed in the right direction.” Hades smiles deviously, “And a daddy to cry to when things get too hard. And believe me, ol’ dad has lots of push in the bag to get her god powers where I need them to be, capisce.”

Maleficent smiles. “Oh, I think I understand.” She chuckles.

Hades nods his head. “Evil dreams, sweetcheeks.” He winks at her before turning away, hands in his tunic before he saunters away.

“Evil dreams.” Maleficent calls out before Hades disappears from the room.

Mal walks out from the shadows, still unable to believe that her mother had backed down. “What was that?” She asks with her hands on her hips.

Maleficent lifts her brow. “We need to start thinking long term Mal.” She grins. “And that sparky little brat might be our ticket out too.” She studies her daughter for a moment, a sadistic smile pulling at her lips at her daughters obvious state of distress. “Mal!” She snaps her finger and points to the space next to her.

Mal jumps but rushes to her mother’s side.

“It seems that Hades is raising a little softy in hopes that one day she’ll want to save him. But that kind of attitude leaves vulnerabilities. Ones that we can take advantage of too.” Maleficent steeples her fingers together in front of her for a moment. “You’re going to be nice to that girl.”

Mal can’t help her look of disbelief. “What? Why? Without barfing?”

“Yes, my dear, simple little girl.” Maleficent snarls. “And I expect you to not disappoint me.”

Mal opens her mouth to continue arguing, but quickly snaps it shut. Even at the age of six Mal had already learned that there was no point in arguing with her mother; the mistress of evil. And no point in asking questions either. She was going to have to figure this one out on her own. “Yes mother.”

Maleficent gives her daughter a regal nod, dismissing her; but as Mal makes it to the door, she calls out. “And Mal, that better be the last time you take that tone with me.”

Mal sighs before she closes the door behind her. A few hours ago she’d been happy. She’d gotten revenge for not being invited to a party. And then, just like that, it was all gone. All because of a deal her mother had with another villain; and because of a flaming, crying princess that she now had to be nice to. All because she might have powers that weren’t magic. Life was so unfair. She huffs as she face plants into her bed.