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Spring Meets its Death

Chapter Text

He was looked upon with fear everywhere he went,whether the skies or the lands. The whispered rumors about his cruelty, his selfishness and his lack of mercy, made them cower in fear.

Death. No one ever built shrines in his name or fell to his feet with offerings and prayer. The actions would be only futile, they knew. After all... the God of death was always unforgiving and heedless to any prayers.

It had never mattered to him before. Taeyong was content in his realm, ruling the world of dead leaving his brothers and sisters with the affairs of the world above.

In the years after having brought down their father, his brothers have engaged in numerous nefarious and promiscuous activities with deities and mortal alike, secretly and not so secretly. But not him. Despite the multiple provacations and attempts by his siblings to help, Taeyong had been content to remain in his realm untangled in matters of lust and love.

Till he met a pair of eyes that were as luminous as the night sky and a smile that made flowers bloom even in the most barren lands. A voice sweeter than the nectar of the Gods and a laugh, like the rumbling of a river... Soft and melodic, enough to make a heart he never knew existed to beat wild.  

 

Taeyong first came upon him accidently, on the way to a visit to the Olympus. He had been forced to dwell outside of the underworld upon the insistence of Jungwoo- the God of God's might be his younger brother, but he certainly knew how to weild his position to his favor when he wanted, in this case demanding that Taeyong visit.

He had intended to make the visit short, and return as soon as possible... Never really comfortable among the open skies or the lands. But coming upon seeing him...a little fairy dancing amidst the flowers...the God of Death had strangely felt prompted to halt his chariot and watch in mesmerised wonder.

Was he a nymph? He had to be because why else would he be so hypnotized by this beautiful creature? Or was he a woodland fairy? Certainly, he was no mere mortal...that much Taeyong was certain.

The boy was unaware of the eyes watching him with fascination...his eyes unfocused and lost in music, flowers blooming where his feet touched... A wide smile gracing his lips as he moved gracefully, small birds perched on his shoulder, chirping a music for his feet to follow.

Ten. Later Taeyong had learnt that his little woodland fairy was in fact a godling. But right then all he had wanted was to steal the boy away and watch him smile for all eternity.

Yes, Taeyong was selfish like that. Having grown up in a household such as his own, with siblings such as his own...it shouldn't be a surprise. He had always been taught to take what he wanted, hell with the consequences. And seeing his little fairy in the fields, the Lord of Hell was  met with the same temptation...to take the boy away, far and deep into his own world, away from the eyes of anyone else who might have been vying for him.

Taeyong had almost done exactly that, getting down from his chariot and moving silently towards where the boy remained dancing, unaware of any dangers that might befall a beautiful creature like him, dancing alone in an open field.

Only too late did Ten notice a change in his surroundings, his movements halting in surprise as the music stopped, the birds flying off in fear once Death drew close. Taeyong expected the little fairy's eyes to widen in fear as they took in his figure. But instead, the boy just cocked his head to the side and looked upon him with mild interest.

"You scared my friends away," he said after realizing that the stranger before him wasn't going to initiate any conversation. His voice held a certain sweetness to it and the deity wondered what his own name would sound coming from those sweet lips.

"I apologize," Taeyong finally found himself replying, once he realized that the boy was waiting for an answer.

"It doesn't matter. They will come back once they realise you mean no harm," said Ten, smiling to show that he was not offended.

What did this fairy think he was? Didn't he realise who he is? That his arrival always meant harm! 

"Don't you know who I am?" Taeyong asked.

"Should I?" was the boy's reply. His eyes still held the mysterious sparkle that had first made the deity almost stumble. How could one be so beautiful? Certainly, he was a nymph...was this a trap made by his siblings to make him break his own vows of celibacy? Even if they were, Taeyong did not think he could be angry...he would thank them for the gift in that case. He was surprised at how much he wanted this nymph for himself. Wanted to take him and make him only his own.

"I-"

"Whomever you may be, now you are visiting my fields and therefore you are my guest," announced the nymph.

"Yours?" Taeyong asked in surprise.

"Yes, mine. My mother is the goddess of fertility, and I, her son... Is the God of spring. These are my fields," said Ten twirling to indicate the lush green meadow.

"It looks beautiful," whispered Taeyong, "just like you."

The little God laughed at that and motioned Taeyong to come closer, "I have many names, but those who know me well call me Ten."

"I have many names as well. But I would like it if you call me Taeyong," replied the deity, for some unknown reason yearning to hear the words escape for lips of the beautiful creature before him.

"Tae-Yong," the spring god did not disappoint, letting the words slip softly from his mouth, tasting the way they felt rolling out of his tongue.

"And what are you Tae-yong?" Ten asked moving to sit under a tree and bekonig the other to do the same.

"I rule over the underworld," Taeyong replied, watching the boy's face to see if it would finally cloud with fear.

But instead what he received wwre eyes that widened in excitement, "I have never visited the realms below."

"Gods seldom do," Taeyong replied. He tried to imagine the sweet boy before him against the dark and gloomy backdrops of his household. Would he still smile so bright?

"I have heard stories about it," said Ten.

"I would assume you have. Stories that tell you how ghastly and gloomy it is, I suppose. How you hear cries of agony from their suffering souls and how we have rivers of molten lava and mountains as cold as the glaciers," said Taeyong.

"Some of them are rather gruesome I admit. But yet you live there. There must be a reason you have chosen it as your place of dwelling, it is probably not as bad a picture as the bards paint," said Ten.

"It was a duty entrusted to me," Taeyong replied, "but I suppose I like it well enough. And I enjoy the solitude." Taeyong felt the need to elaborate. 

"Doesn't it get lonely after a while?" Ten asked.

"Not really, I prefer the quiet. It's not all that bad. We have our own forms of entertainment. And there are my hounds, they are good company," said Taeyong.

"It sounds very different from here," Ten said humming in interest after Taeyong found himself explaining in detail about the creatures of hell.

"Would you like to visit," Taeyong found himself asking. Maybehe wouldn't have to steal this boy away. Maybe he would come away willingly?

"The underworld?" Ten asked in surprise, "I wouldn't mind. But my mother, the goddess would not allow it. I am bound to this world, like you are to yours."

Taeyong had been expecting the answer but he couldn't help the slight tinge of disappointment. It seemed like he will have to stick to his original course of action after all, "can I visit you here again then?" he asked.

"You would come back to see me?" Ten asked with a smile.

"I will try to," said Taeyong. As if I can stay away. As if I would let you be away. 

When Taeyong left that day, he already knew he was coming back to the green fields. He was death and Ten was spring...and when death came to the lands it only brought forth ruin for all. If he knew anything at all, he should  be staying away. That sweet creature did not deserve to be soiled by the darkness in him, and yet Taeyong knew fighting himself to not return would be a lost cause.

Chapter Text

It wasn't a dream. Taeyong realised as he watched the pretty spring God from afar. As the days had passed since their first meeting, he had begun to think that maybe he had been hallucinating. That perhaps, Ten wasn't real. 

But he was. And he was even more painstakingly beautiful than he remembered. He felt that somehow even his flawless memory had undermined how gorgeous this creature was. 

It had only been a week since their first meeting but it had felt like decade to him. The godling had occupied every second of his thoughts in that period and the only reason he hadn't visited even earlier was the pressing affairs in his realm that kept him busy. 

But enough was enough. He was going to return with Ten this time. 

With that intent, Death walked ahead from his hiding place, moving to where Ten was petting the flowers in the meadow he called his own. 

The sound of the footfalls alerted the spring God who's look of surprise turned into a wide smile upon recognizing the intruder in his garden. 

"You really came back!" he said, eyes sparkling in delight and the blinding smile sending an arrow right into Taeyong's chest. Was cupid playing games with him? Was that why be couldn't stay away from this godling? How was he expected to not be selfish and steal this creature for himself when a single smile from him made his heart beat like wild drums that played at the Olympus during festivals? 

"Did you think I wouldn't keep my word?"  Taeyong asked instead. 

"You are the Lord of hell! I assumed you would be too busy," replied Ten. 

"I never break my word," replied Taeyong, "I wanted to visit much earlier, but I had a few pressing affairs to handle in my realm."

"I am glad you returned," Ten replied, "I never got to show you around last time."

"Show me what?"

"My gardens of course! You are my guest here and you said you haven't spent much time on Earth. So shouldn't I take the time to show you these beautiful lands!"

Taeyong couldn't help but nod seeing the excitement on his spring fairy's face. Earth held no interest to him, apart from the fact that his love chose to dwell in it. But he could definitely humor Ten...anything for the spring God to keep smiling at him the way he was now. 

 

 

His brothers would be shocked if they caught sight of him at the moment, Taeyong thought as he let the spring God guide him through what he called his pretty meadow. He had no complaints though.. Ten's hand was linked to his, sending a spark of warmth that had settled in his chest. A flower crown was nestled on his head, a gift from the spring fairy that he couldn't refuse. 

How could he when Ten had made it with his own sweet fingers? He probably looked ridiculous but he couldn't bring himself to care when Ten had stood on his toes and placed the crown on his head.

Soon, I will give you a crown too. A crown made of the most precious jewels for his precious gem. You would rule my realm with me. 

As he watched Ten happily move about talking about the beauty of his meadow, Taeyong tried to envision the pretty creature in his realm. Would he be happy? 

Hell had no meadows. Neither did it have pretty flowers for him to make crowns out of. Nor did it have birds who would sing melodies for him to dance along to. 

The nature seemed to be his life source. What would Ten be if he, Death took that away from him? 

 

 

 

For the second time, the Lord of Death returned back to the underworld alone. But this time, had his spring fairy looked a bit sad when the time for parting had come? Or had he imagined it? Taeyong sighed remembering how they had to free their linked fingers...and how Ten had pressed a soft kiss to his cheek before inviting him to visit again. 

Taeyong smiled. The next time...He will definitely return with the little nymph by his side. By the next time, he would make sure his home held all that would make Ten smile. A meadow, pretty flowers, birds and any animal that his spring God might fancy. 

Chapter Text

 "These are mekons," Ten said pointing to the blood red flowers, "they are very beloved for my mother."

 

"And for you? What flowers do you love?" Taeyong asked, listening keenly, trying to create an inventory of what flowers his garden in hell must hold. The construction of a grove for his beloved was already underway but the Lord of Death had ran into quite a few unprecedented problems.

Hell was no home for delicate plants and his men have been unsuccessful in making a single flower bloom in vast lands that Taeyong had chosen. If his abode couldn't house even a flower, how can it be home to his flower prince? How will Ten survive in such a place? 

 Taeyong knew his little love would hate the abode in its current state. It was dark and eerily quiet with only shadows for company....there certainly were no meadows, nor animals that Ten calls his friends and certainly no flowers.

 

Finally he had been forced to confide in Seul-gi, who had come upon him just as he was about to unleash his fury on the men who had failed to create the garden he had envisioned. She had been performing her regular duties of guiding the dead and was not amused when his tantrum had scared the poor souls. 

But after listening to his woes, Seul-gi had finally agreed to help him. As the goddess of witchcraft, if anyone could assist him, it probably would be her. But even for Seul-gi, it was no easy task to raise a meadow of live flowers among the world of dead. So while he awaited the goddess to come up with a way to achieve the impossible, Taeyong had become impatient. 

He couldn't stay away from Ten. While he once hated the outer world, now...it felt like a magnet was pulling him back up there, every bit of his being restless to catch a glimpse of his love again. 

And so he visited. Again. And again. The wide smile that welcomed him everytime he made his way through the meadows, that alone was enough of a reason for him run back as soon as he could. 

Before he knew it, a routine had been established. Taeyong would visit the fields at least once a week. The time apart was almost miniscule in God years... But even then, the every second away felt too long. 

"I love all the flowers in my garden Taeyong. You can't expect me to choose! They are all my children!" Ten replied then, pulling him away from his thoughts. 

"All?"

"Of course yes, all of them," Ten replied immediately. Taeyong sighed. Back home Seul-gi was struggling to raise just one flower...he could imagine her face when she realises that he wants a replica of Ten's bountiful field.

"What about you?" Ten asked. 

"Me?"

"Which flower does Yong consider his favorite?" Ten asked curiosity glinting in his eyes. 

Yong. Taeyong lowered his face to hide the smile that he couldn't keep out of his face. 

"I am not very familiar with flowers," he replied finally, wishing he had spent more time learning about his love's creations. 

"It's alright. Just pick any you like now," Ten said turning to indicate the fields. 

"Any of them?" Taeyong asked. 

"Yes, pick any...I will make you a garland with them. And it will be known that this is the flower most precious to the God of Underworld," Ten said dramatically. 

With a smile, Taeyong looked around the meadow...for something that might catch his eye. They were all beautiful...but his eyes only latched on one. The prettiest of them all. 

"Wha-" Ten shouted as he found himself suddenly lifted off the floor.

"You asked me to pick the one most precious to me," Taeyong replied with an amused smirk.

"Put me down," Ten protested, though he stopped fighting the arms around him.

Taeyong shook his head playfully, "You are precious to God of Death. So shouldn't I be taking you to my world and keeping you close?"

"Oh really?" the spring God asked with a skeptical look, wounding his arms around Taeyong's neck.

"Do you doubt it? I could do it now," said Taeyong. 

"You wouldn't-," Ten began, a bit of worry creeping into his voice, "put me down Yong."

Taeyong could feel  Ten's body stiffenng in his arms and his voice chang, so he hurried to lower the the godling to the ground. Once he was sure that Ten was steady on his feet, he took a step away to give him space. 

He had overstepped. And now it was all ruined. And now Ten was probably scared of him. 

He took another step back but before Taeyong could move further away Ten wound his hand around the God's wrist and pulled him close. 

"It is not that I do not want to visit your realm," he said, "my mother wouldn't allow it. She believes I am yet too young for the world. If she found out about our meetings...I would be forbidden from seeing you as well."

"Are you saying that I shouldn't visit again?" Taeyong asked, worry creeping in his chest.

"Should I stop?" he continued, despite the unfamiliar ache in that erupted in his chest. 

"No,no-" Ten said hurriedly, "please don't stop."

"But why? Why would your risk your mother's wrath?" the Lord of Death asked in surprise. 

"Be-" Ten paused and Taeyong noticed that the spring God's cheeks were slowly becoming red. 

"Why?" Taeyong asked again, determined to get an answer, "why do you want to see me again?"

"I-I don't know," Ten said quietly, "I just like it. You are my friend. I guess?"

"Friend?" Taeyong repeated agastly. Ten called every animal, bird and flower his friend. Was that what he was?  Was that all that he was? 

"We-"

"I don't want to be your friend," Taeyong blurted out loudly, regretting it the moment he saw the look of shock followed by sadness on Ten's face. 

"I mean..You call everyone your friend. I don't want that," Taeyong hurried to explain, trying to make his voice more mellow and apologetic. 

"Then what do you want to be called?" Ten asked, still looking upset. 

"I-" Taeyong paused. Exactly. What did he want to be? Husband? That would shock his flower prince too much. 

Ten was finally looking up, his eyes inquisitive, awaiting his reply. His lower lip wes slightly jutted out and it were the most beautiful hue of pink that Taeyong had ever seen. He wondered what they would feel like against his own...how would it feel to just nibble on them, how would it look, bruised and red after he had been thoroughly kissed.  

How he wanted it. To just lurch forward and take his love into his arms. To lock their lips and suck on those luscious lips. To get a taste...just one taste of that beautiful mouth. 

Taeyong didn't even realize that he had moved forward. They were so close and Ten was still looking up at him with a question in his eyes. The Spring God's face was just inches away from his own and he looked so devastatingly beautiful...truly the prettiest flower.  

The Lord of Death had always prided himself for being a rational man. Unlike his brothers...he never lost his head. He was always level headed, grounded and sensible. His actions were always calculated. But when it came to Ten, all that was thrown out of the window. Always.

In that moment, Taeyong could sense all reason and sanity take leave of his body. All that mattered was this insane need that was burning inside him. 

The soft gasp that left Ten's mouth at the first touch of their lips...it just felt like pure music to his ears. Taeyong was like a thirsty man, parched for life source....Ten. His lips were softer than Taeyong had ever imagined... and oh so so sweet...Notaste would never be enough. 

He wanted to reign himself in, a small part of him worried that he was crossing a line... But that was quickly silenced once Taeyong pulled a beat away and caught a glimpse of Ten's face.

The Spring God's cheeks were tinted a deep red by now and his tongue slowly peeked out, tracing his lips that Taeyong had just kissed. The God of Death couldn't help anymore and he moved forward to connect their lips again...

This time, Ten was more prepared, kissing him back just a bit and making Taeyong grow bolder. He slowly wound his arms around the boy's waist, pulling him impossibly closer, making it easier to continue their kiss. 

Soon enough, even that wasn't enough...the hunger in him had only grown. Ten gasped as Taeyong's tongue sought entry into his mouth. He rubbed Ten's back soothingly, trying to reassure, slowly slipping his tongue into his parted lips. 

Ten's fingers had found purchase in his robes as Taeyong began to explore the pretty mouth. Taeyong's head felt foggy. He could barely think with the way Ten was clouding his senses. His taste was more addictive than any drug that was brewed in Olympus by the Gods, the Death God thought as he couldn't help the moan that left his lips. 

It wasn't enough. As their lips finally parted all Taeyong could think of was wanting more. More kisses. More everything. How could he return now? How will he leave Ten now that he had a taste of this nectar. He was selfish and he wanted more. No. He wanted it all. 

He wanted to wreck havoc at the thought of anyone else even getting to touch what now he considered as his. Ten wasn't safe here... Any god, demon or human could come upon him and decide to steal him away for themselves. He will be safe in hell. He would be by his side. 

Ten was so pliant in his arms. It would be just so easy to take him and run. Hide him away in his world where Ten would only belong to him. But before Taeyong could entertain and persue that thought...he was distracted by fingers which began to caress his cheek. Taeyong pressed a kiss to the fingertips as they accidentally graced his mouth. 

Ten took a deep breath, a look of determination on his face. And before Taeyong could wonder, he saw Ten's lips inch closer. Taeyong stood absolutely still as Ten pressed their lips together experimentally. Even when his tongue peeked out and sought entrance, Taeyong barely moved, just parting his lips to let the boy explore. 

Ten's mouth was clearly inexperienced, his movements slow and unsure...but Taeyong was not complaining. Ten lips on his were the best feeling that he had ever experienced. He remained patient, letting the Flower God explore till he began to be more confident. Ten was clearly a quick learner and soon enough Taeyong could no longer control himself as the pretty mouth kissed and explored him more eagerly.

If it was not before, the Spring God's future was sealed now. There was no way that Taeyong would be able to exist without this boy. His beloved flower.

 

 

 

"Lover," Taeyong had whispered to Ten much later as they laid side by side in the meadow. Their fingers were linked and lips bruised. Night was falling, Donghyuck the Sun God almost invisible as he finished up his job for the day. 

At Ten's confused expression, Taeyong elaborated, "you asked me earlier what I wish to be called. I wish to be called your lover."

It was a bold statement. But Ten had asked...and it was time he made his intentions clear. Taeyong waited with baited breath to see if his fairy would disaprove. But Ten's cheeks were beginnjng to turn red again...Taeyong let out a sigh of relief when the boy brought up their linked fingers to press a kiss to them with a shy little smile. 

"Lover," Ten finally replied, cheeks now crimson red, but eyes filled with mirth. 

 

This time when Taeyong returned back to hell it was with a garland of narcissus flowers in hand. Ten had chosen the purple flower saying that it suited the Death God. They were both sad to part ways but it had to be done as Ten's mother would have begun to look for him.

But the garland had made him smile. Taeyong had hurried to meet Seul-gi the moment he reached back the underworld. Narcissus. Those will be the first flowers they raise in the lands.  A token of remembrance for the day they kissed, and became lovers. 

Parting from the Spring God was even more difficult now. All he wanted had been to keep kissing the beautiful boy. Soon...the God of Hell consoled himself. Come what may, he will build a garden in hell. And then take his flower prince home. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

"You are late!" the complaint followed by a fierce hug was what welcomed Taeyong the moment he arrived in their usual meeting spot. 

"I am sorry. Seul-Gi had something important to show me," Taeyong said wrapping his hands around Ten's waist and pressing a kiss against his hair. 

"Who is Seul-Gi?" Ten asked pulling away a bit and looking at the Death God closely. 

"She is a close friend. But you might know her as the Goddess of witchcraft. She is also in charge of guiding the souls who arrive in hell," said Taeyong. 

"So she spends a lot of time in your world?" Ten asked, a curious expression on his face. The Death God couldn't understand the look. 

"Yes, she is one of the rare few who prefers the underworld to the world's above," he continued.

"Oh," Ten replied seeming lost in thought. 

"You are not smiling," Taeyong said noticing how the spring god's face was suddenly clouded. 

"I-I thought you weren't coming...," Ten said after a second, "maybe that you forgot me."

"Forget?" Taeyong was appalled. Ten occupied his every single thought at this point. And then the flowers god thought that he had been forgotten? 

"I can never forget you. I haven't been able to stop thinking of you since the moment I set my eyes on you," Taeyong said taking Ten's hands in his own. How would he convince this little God that he had become the centre of his whole universe? 

Ten blushed. And finally a smile. Taeyong sighed in relief. When his love wasn't smiling the whole world seemed to lose its brightness. When those eyes lost sparkle, the sky turned overcast, the nature falling into the gloom right along with him.

"I haven't been able to stop thinking about you either," Ten said, not meeting the death God's eyes, his face now scarlet. 

Taeyong did not even pretend that the words didn't make his heart sing. He had been convinced that Ten was never going to feel the way he felt. After all why would someone love the God of death? He had been prepared to abduct, to be selfish...but how could he now? How, when the smile on those lips mattered more to him than the realm he ruled.How can he hurt his love?

But his heart still kept running wild frrom the boy's words. Ten cared for him. Ten missed him. Ten thought of him. 

"Don't lie. Why would you miss me?" Taeyong still asked wondering if the spring god was merely joking. 

Ten looked up at the Death God in confusion, "why?" he frowned, "Am I not allowed to just miss you? You said you are my lover...aren't lovers meant to be together? I barely see you and when you aren't here everything reminds me of you. I see a narcissus and then I of course think of you...or I braid a flower crown and then end up wondering how pretty it would look against your hair. Or I remember a story and want to share it... But you aren't here. I always miss you. Or I-"

"Or you?" Taeyong prodded. 

"Nothing," Ten replied. 

"Tell me! What else do you miss," he asked. 

Ten was quiet for a moment, his face still red but before Taeyong could prod more, the flower god leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss on his lips, making Taeyong freeze. 

"This too," Ten whispered, " sometimes I just remember the way your lips feel against my own...And then I miss you so much."

Taeyong exhaled softly before pulling Ten into his arms and connecting their lips properly. He would have laughed at how eager the spring god was, if not for just how desperate he was feeling himself. 

Ten's lips were addictive, and he was always going to be starved. The most potent drug ever created. And Taeyong always wanted to drown in the hazy pleasure, never coming back up to the reality. 

 

 

"I never want the sun to set," Ten whispered a while later. They were lying on the soft grass by the stream, not necessarily having a conversation but just enjoying the other's presence. Taeyong always enjoyed how neither of them needed to fill every silence with words. Loved how Ten, despite his bright and animated personality enjoyed silence as much as him. 

"I will order Donghyuck to halt his chariot," said Taeyong. 

Ten smiled, "you would do that for me?"

"I would do much more for you," said Taeyong, "you are so beloved for me."

"You are very beloved for me as well," Ten replied, "I love you very much."

Taeyong turned towards the Spring God in shock wondering if he had misheard the words. Even while he had proclaimed himself as Ten's lover... He had held himself back from uttering those words in fear of rejection. But now, Ten was saying them to him. 

Ten's eyes were honest like always and if they weren't already lying down, Taeyog was sure that his knees would have buckled from the way the spring god looked...so open and vulnerable, and yet gorgeous, his eyes conveying that he really did mean the words he spoke. 

"I love you very much as well," he finally replied, speaking through the rock which seemed to be lodged in his throat. 

"Good," Ten replied, burying his head against Taeyong's chest in relief, "tell that to Seul-Gi. Next time she delays you from seeing me... Tell her that you are coming to see your love."

"Are you jealous?" Taeyong asked in surprise, "of Seul-Gi?"

Ten looked up defiantly, "I am not jealous. I just think it was very rude of her to have eaten up on the little time I have with you. She made you late....and I wouldn't get you as long as I usually do."

"I am only yours," Taeyong said with a smile. He shouldn't find this hilarious but the way Ten's face was scrunched up in petty anger was just too adorable. Ten was jealous. Of Seul-Gii.  

"Yes. Only mine. I don't like to share," said Ten still looking petulant. This was a new side of the usually smiling spring god. Taeyong couldn't say that he didn't enjoy Ten being possessive about him though. 

"Don't be angry at Seul-Gi. She was just helping me with some work. I will stay longer today to make up for being late," said Taeyong.

"I can't though!" Ten whined, "my mother will arrive the moment Donghyuck's chariot finishes the journey and if I am late she will create a storm in worry. As if I am a child," he grumbled. 

Taeyong sighed, Ten's mother was quickly becoming the bane of his whole existence. He already knew how Joo-Hyun would react to the idea of Taeyong and Ten. He knew a storm was coming when the goddess discovered exactly what he had been doing with her son whom she still very much considered too young. 

Taeyong was half glad about her overprotectiveness where Ten is concerned, as it had ensured that he was safely kept away from the eyes of anyone and everyone. Everyone including himself.

The Death God remembered the long years that he spent alone without knowing Ten was walking this world. They were immortals and they had infinity stretched before them but yet Taeyong couldn't help but mourn the years that he had spent unaware of the existence of the spring God. 

"We will just have to make most of the time we have then," Taeyong said finally moving to pull Ten close for another kiss.

"No, I want more," the spring God replied, making Taeyong stop in shock, "I don't like this. Always waiting for you, never knowing when you would visit." Taeyong frowned in surprise. Had he really made the flower god that angry with his tardiness? 

"What else can we do? What would you suggest?" Taeyong asked, a bit worried and even hurt. Did Ten think he wasn't trying enough? 

He was doing his best...the affairs of his realm had already taken a second place...he was already spending more time than he had in the world above...What more could he do? Other than just taking Ten and running back to the underworld of course...Or was that what he wanted? Was he asking Taeyong to take him along to the underworld? Taeyong would follow that order in a heartbeat. 

But the garden wasn't even ready yet! Seul-Gi had finally  made a single flower bloom, which was what she had wanted to show him before he left. But he couldn't reveal that to Ten... Not yet. That was meant to be a homecoming surprise. 

"I want to see you whenever I miss you," Ten was saying, "you come and go as you please now. And I never know when I can see you next."

"I would never go if I could help it though," Taeyong replied. Does he think that Taeyong ever left because he wanted to? If he could he would pause time and just stay in the meadows with Ten forever. 

"I know. You rule the underworld...you have a lot of duties, you are busy...I get all that. But I just miss you too much sometimes. And...and what if I really need to see you. What if I really really need you?" Ten asked. 

Taeyong sighed. His love did have a point. What if Ten was in danger and needed some help? How will he know? 

"I will visit more frequently," said Taeyong knowing that it still wasn't an answer to the problem. Maybe he could assign someone to watch over Ten? 

"Still doesn't mean I will get to see you when I want," said Ten.

"Do you have a better solution?" Taeyong asked, slowly running a hand through Ten's soft hair. He could only think of one better way.  Let me take you away. Say that you want to come with me. Say that you never want to stay apart. 

Ten was silent, seeming deep in thought for a while and Taeyong took the time to just play with his hair.

"Maybe I do!" he finally replied and indicated to the narcissus he had pinned to his robes. 

"Wha-"

"I have declared this as yours. The flower you favor," said Ten.

"And?"

"If I pluck a narcissus, you will know that I am calling for you. And you can come fast to me," said Ten. 

"Always?" Taeyong asked. He liked the idea.

"Always...I promise I won't do it recklessly and disturb you a lot. Just maybe when I really miss you. Or when I need to see you," said Ten. 

Taeyong smiled, "and I promise I will always come running."

"Good. Or I would be very upset," warned Ten, "and my wrath is not pretty."

Taeyong laughed and pulled Ten close for another kiss. Somehow he had a feeling that even in wrath, his Spring God would still be the most beautiful creature in the universe. 

 

 

Taeyong almost begged Donghyuck to prolong his journey across the sky that day just to get a few more hours with Ten. And even after he left, he had ran back within seconds to a Ten who held a freshly plucked narcissus in his hand. 

"Where you testing if I would really come?" Taeyong asked.

"Maybe. Or maybe I just wanted another kiss," Ten said, walking into Taeyong's arms and pulling his face down. The Death God had no complaints either way. He counted every second more with Ten a new blessing. 

 

This time, on his return to his realm Taeyong directly went to the gardens... or what he soon hoped would be a garden. He wanted another look at the flower that bloomed in hell. 

"You are still here?" he asked seeing Seul-Gi still seated where he had left her in the morning. 

"Just admiring my creation," she replied.

"Have you thought of ways to replicate it?" asked Taeyong. 

"No magic comes close to the one of nature. And I tried to recreate nature here," Seul-Gi said showing the fields that remained barren and dead. " I even created light and water sources for the saplings."

"What are you saying?" asked Taeyong.

"That it would take time. I cannot just 'replicate', I raised this flower naturally," said Seul-Gi, "The plants do not bloom in a day. The seeds have been scattered. They need time to grow before having children!"

"Can't you magically make them grow fast?" Taeyong asked, impatience in his voice.

"We are mimicking nature here. Which in itself is wrong to do. At least respect the nature's ways now.  To intervene into nature's ways would be just counter productive," said Seul-Gi, "but again you already created disruption anyway in the nature above."

"I did not intervene-"

"You did though. The spring is part of nature too. And here you are planning to steal it away," said Seul-Gi with a smile. 

"I am not stealing him. He will come here on his own will," said Taeyong.  Till he had spoken the words out loud, he hadn't realised that his plan had changed. But now suddenly... He knew. He wanted Ten to come to his world on his own will. 

"Hope he comes soon then. He might motivate the plants to grow faster. His arrival would probably make this process easier," said Seul-Gi. 

"Really?" Taeyong asked. 

"He is the spring God. If anyone can raise a whole garden in hell, it would be him," said Seul-Gi laughed.

"But I want the garden to be filled with his favorite flowers when he arrives. This was meant as a gift for him," said Taeyong. 

The goddess sighed, "Couldn't you have thought of a simpler gift? You have rubies and diamonds and a million other valuable things to gift... And yet you choose flowers! " she complained.

"I wanted to gift him what's most precious to him," said Taeyong.

"Fine... at least get me more seeds from his fields," Seul-Gi grumbled. 

Taeyong nodded earnestly. If they had to do this the nature's way...He will do that too. He had never backed down before. And he wasn't about to now either. Ten would have his garden in hell. No matter what. 

Chapter Text

"Tell me more," Ten whispered as he laid against Taeyong's chest, tracing lines on his stomach, fingers lingering further and further down each time. 

"What more do you want to know?" Taeyong asked, trying his best to remain composed despite the Spring God's hands which were quite distracting. 

"Your world is so fascinating, I w-want to know everything," Ten said even as he was aware of the coil of lust building within himself, as Taeyong started to reciprocate his touches and started to leave burning kisses down his neck. 

It had become a sort of game of theirs...to see who could make the other more desperate and breathless. Initially, the God of Death had tried to keep their encounters chaste, knowing Ten to be inexperienced but quickly the flower god had grown impatient, demanding deeper and longer kisses, and then slowly even more. 

The first time Taeyong had taken him to throes of pleasure he never before knew existed, Ten had felt that he had perhaps died a bit. But ironically, the God of death had pieced him back together to life with the sweetest words and kisses.

Taeyong had been quite surprised by Ten as well. He hadn't expected his little God to be very much interested in the matters of lust. In fact he had been fully prepared to suppress his nefarious thoughts and just be content with the sweet kisses and lingering touches. He had always been proud of his iron control anyway,  but with Ten...he found that it all melted away in seconds...like wax in front of open flame. 

Especially when the Flower God was so eager to learn and to explore. It seemed that Ten had just been waiting...all he had needed was for someone to tap into that inborn sensuality that had suppressed due to his mother's protectiveness. Once it had been unleashed, there was no stopping him....Ten had turned out to be anything more that the Death God could have expected...demanding, feisty and so so delightful to please. Taeyong hadn't thought he could fall more in love but he was wrong. Every second with the Spring God found him falling deeper and deeper. 

Taeyong was just so eager to please and desperate to see the way Ten lost himself in pleasure. Pleasure that he brought upon. And it was the same even now, Taeyong losing terribly in their game, his need to see Ten's eyes glassy with pleasure taking precedence over the need to win. 

It was hours before they were sated, Ten cocooned in the Death God's arms,  still shivering and lost to the world in pleasure as Taeyong showered him with tender words and kisses. 

"How I adore you," Taeyong said, petting the soft hair of the flower god before bending down to steal another kiss. 

"It felt so wonderful," Ten said, his eyes still wet and voice a bit breathy. Taeyong took a moment to memorise the way the spring god looked in that second. Tousled hair, glassy eyes, cherry red lips...all he adorned on his beautiful skin were his love marks. His flower crown still remained on his head, a bit crushed and askew but somehow adding to the beauty of the wonderful wreck that he had made of his lover.  

"You look so devastatingly beautiful," Taeyong said running his finger across the Ten's lips that were swollen from their kisses.

"So do you," whispered Ten, placing his hand on Taeyong's cheek. The God of Death leaned into the touch, kissing on his open palm with love before attempting to move up. 

"No...stay with me," Ten demanded, his grip on Taeyong tight.

"I would love to, but night is falling," Taeyong whispered.

"We have time. Just a few minutes Yong. Just hold me for a little while longer," Ten said his voice more needy than demanding and his eyes already falling closed. 

Taeyong looked at the sky and then back at the boy in his arms. They could afford a few more minutes...as if he would be able to pull away from Ten at the moment, when the Spring God held so tight onto him, as if worried Taeyong might disappear. 

 

 

 

"You are much later than usual," Seul-Gi commented as Taeyong finally reached back to Hell. 

"We forgot the time," Taeyong admitted looking around. The fields were no longer barren, there were sprouts of green here and there...but nothing like the garden that Ten adored so much. Not yet. But soon. 

"You are really playing with fire," commented Seul-Gi, "when Joo-Hyun discovers about what you have done to her son whom she so painstakingly hid away-"

"Ten is not a child anymore, he can make decisions for himself," said Taeyong. 

"Doesn't mean Joo-Hyun would let him anyway. While on Earth, he will always be under her thumb," said Seul-Gi. 

"He won't be on Earth for much longer," said Taeyong. 

"You really believe he would leave his mother and his fields behind to join you here? Willingly?" Seul-Gi asked. 

Taeyong remembered his farewell from the Flower God just a few hours before, where Ten had looked devastated as he prepared to leave. He was confident. He trusted Ten's love for him.

"Well I hope your faith in him is not proven wrong," said Seul-Gi when Taeyong said the same. 

"He loves me," maintained Taeyong. 

"Of course he does," Seul-Gi said with a laugh.

"What-"

"You are all he knows Taeyong. Of course he would love you," said Seul-Gi. 

"He doesn't -"

"Joo-Hyun had ensured that he is never in the sight of any god, human or demon. You are all he had ever seen, apart from his mother. And of course he would love you now...unlike his mother, you treat him like an equal and not as a child," said Seul-Gi. 

"What are you implying?" Taeyong asked, anger coiling in the pit of his stomach.What did Seul-Gi know? She knew nothing of Ten. She knew nothing about their love. How dare she judge Ten's love for him? 

"How dare you-"

"Do not lose your temper on me now. I am saying this so that you would proceed with care," said Seul-Gi.

"Why are you acting in this manner now? Why would you help me with the garden if you did not think it's possible for Ten to love me?" asked Taeyong. 

"Your plan was to abduct him. I presumed he was a toy whom you would lose interest in a few months. Your brothers are known for similar antics after all. But then I realized that he was changing you... Now you wax poetry about love and make grand plans of how Ten would rule this realm with you," said Seul-Gi. 

"What is so wrong about that?" Taeyong asked. 

"Because you have forgotten who you are. You are Death," said Seul-Gi, "you are the ruler of the land that is feared. The one nobody would set foot on by their own will. No matter how many gardens I create, hell will remain hell. And you believe that a God from the lands above would want to rule it by your side?" asked Seul-Gi. 

Taeyong could feel himself grow colder with each of Seul-Gi's words. The warmth of the wonderful day spent in his lover's arms were long lost. He felt cold, colder than the coldest mountains of his realm. 

"Would he still love you when he sees you in your true home? Think about it. Men fear to even utter your name. Would he love you knowing what you do to those souls here? Would he understand your way of justice or would he be scared and riveted? This garden won't mask the truth of this realm Taeyong. It is easy for Ten to love you on Earth, but would he still love you here. In hell?" asked Seul-Gi. 

"You know nothing about me and Ten," he said finally. 

"I admit I do not. But I know you very well. Which was why I was ready to assist you with the garden. Your stubbornness knows no bounds after all. But now that you are weaving foolish hopes of love, I feel that I must warn you-" said Seul-Gi.

"Thank you for your concerns but I do not need them. Neither would I need anymore of your help with the garden," said Taeyong.

"But-"

"You can leave now. There are souls awaiting you near Styx," said Taeyong stonily. After a minute of tense silence where Taeyong refused to back down,Seul-Gi sighed and finally began to walk away 

"One more thing," Taeyong said making her pause in her tracks, "you are no longer welcome to these fields," he said, walking away without bothering to listen to Seul-Gi's reply.