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in persephone's wake

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Katsuki stomps away from his mother, already ignoring her raised voice behind him, and lets his very being melt into the air until his form reappears in a distant meadow. He surveys the flowers before him, bright, soft, delicate- Katsuki curses something ugly, expletives that bite the air like brimstone- and feels their vulnerable petals shudder in the face of his anger. He melts away into the earth. This time, the godling reforms on a cliff-side, miles and miles from the meadow, and digs his toes through compact dirt until he feels the hard slate beneath. Katsuki takes a deep breath, letting sea-spray into his lungs and relishing the salt he tastes on his tongue. He spends a few moments here, soaking in the overcast sky and bare earth under his feet, then closes his eyes to the cold wind. 

 

The blonde deity blinks in the harsh light of the volcano boiling fiercely a mere stride away from where he stands. Heat pricks at his arms, climbs the length of exposed legs, and settles into something solid in his stomach. Were he human, he’d have died by now, scorched by the sparks that bubble and burst, spitting from the wide caldera. Instead, he chills his feet- flesh pink but otherwise unharmed despite standing on the edge of the open fissure- and wraps the scalding temperature into a ball inside him. The god of blooming earth and fertile fields burns that which is his nature and Katsuki feels his mother’s presence at the back of his mind, reproaching his selfishness and surely attempting to undo her son’s work. Elsewhere the mortals cower at the sudden change in the wind, hot breezes biting soft flesh and the dirt beneath them now too hot to stand on. He feels her soothe the irritation, righting the wind, and cooling the earth and in his mind he turns away from her. Katsuki closes their bond, threatening to burn her with the heat around him he’s weaponized, and takes sick pleasure in the way she recoils- cursing all the while but nevertheless retreating from him. 

 

Alone in his mind at last, Katsuki is silent. He wants to be relieved, to release a sigh and believe the discussion ended, but his brief reprieve is just that- brief. He’s managed to shut down her insistence for now but the time in which she lets the topic rest grows shorter and shorter with each turn of the millennium. His mother wants help with her work. Wants him to seed the earth and encourage growth as she does. Wants him to indulge in the twittering birds and softly flowing streams and in the golden wheat fields. His mother wants him to coddle the mortals alongside her, helping them to grow fat and compliant. Wants him to deliver their prayers to her altar. Katsuki doesn’t give a flying fuck about the mortals, obedient and complaisant to the whims of higher powers. He’d lifted a horn of ambrosia the day Prometheus labored to give them the tools necessary for survival, feasted in his corner of the sky at the idea of the apes getting closer to self-fulfillment. If not simply for the fact that it was well and past due for them to learn, then because Katsuki was not so pleased as the others to raise them anymore than they already had. The children had grown ages ago and yet they still insisted on clutching Katsuki’s pinky finger like a newborn babe. His mother, ego as large as it was, indulges them to this day but he’d long grown tired of softening his edges to cater to them. The earth longed to roil and rage and rot , to bring death and decay and renewal, and the old hag wasn’t doing anyone any favors by forcing him to keep it back. Nature would not be denied much longer and Katsuki knows it, feels it, in the shining ichor of his blood. An eternal itch he hasn’t scratched since he came into being, a blinking light that first began from stardust and pure will and grew into a force as powerful as the slow but steady grind of time. 

 

There’s something there on the tip of his tongue, something just out of reach of his fingertips, but something he knows the earth needs- they need. The golden, sunlit days of his mother had carried long past their proper date and it was right there, something that was Katsuki's, something that was his to bring into being, but he can’t. Fucking. Reach

He’s young, yes, but he’s always been there just like the rest of them and it’s endlessly frustrating for his mother to be so content to keep him in his infanthood. He has so much potential damn it! He needs her to sit the fuck down and stay quiet so he can realize it, cast it from the shroud of pre-creation and rip, tear, rend it into existence. 

 

But more importantly, he can’t find it here. Can’t find it anywhere he looks and he doesn’t even know what it is but he knows what it isn't

And it isn’t the blooming flowers of the meadow, or the quiet little rivers, or the creeping vines of the forest, or the goddamn birdsong. So Katsuki growls into the scorching air, plants his ass on the absolute edge of the boiling caldera, and sits. Just sits. He stares into the thick lava, watches it gurgle and turn as magma rises from inside the earth- blazing reds and bright oranges and angry as all hell. There’s probably a fire gollum somewhere down there, literally stirring the pot as it swims in the molten rock, and Katsuki entertains the thought of joining it in the scalding bath- if not to distract himself with the heat, then to gather it up and burn his mother’s hard work in the plentiful fields and terrify her mortal pets.

 

He huffs out an amused chuckle at the thought, plopping back against the hard slopes of the active volcano and staring at the sky above him. If he focuses, he can probably call Denki down here to join him- he doubts the electric blonde was particularly busy going by the lack of a concerning storm anywhere within Katsuki’s territory(which, if you haven’t figured out by now, is everywhere on the mortal plane)- but decides against the thought. He wants to be distracted, taken away from this place physically and mentally, not talked to near god-death by Denki and his latest attempts to seduce Jirou’s muses. But the problem with wanting to be taken away is that nowhere Katsuki goes will be far enough. Earth is as much his mother’s favorite haunt as it is his and no way is he going to Olympus where Yagi is. He’d had enough of her accusations of hiding behind the older god when he was trying to ignore her and Yagi didn’t deserve her rambling anymore than he did. He can always try the sea again, he considers. Ah, wait, actually no. The last time he'd visited Camie out down there, he’d stayed so long the salt had bled into the earth and Mitsuki forced him to tend to the soil till it was fertile enough for her again. That had been a tedious undertaking and more than a few ecosystems were severely damaged as a result of his negligence. Say what you will about Katsuki but he felt that shit when he’d emerged from the tide and he’d known then and there to never again overstay his visit under the waves. There’s a difference between a few burning crops and soil so salt-rich that nothing wanted to grow there for three decades. 

 

Burned crops he could heal but damaged earth was a stubborn mistress and refused to budge unless Katsuki rolled up his sleeves and properly got to work. He loves his nature, don’t get him wrong, the work was laborious but satisfying and he doesn’t mind the growing- really he doesn’t- even if the growing involves delicate flowers and testy ivy. It’s his mother’s preening that rubs him wrong. He isn’t a slave to her boot and neither is the earth. Maybe she’d forgotten that a long time ago and maybe that’s why she turned her nose up at Pan’s work but the earth is just as much wilderness as it was farmland or meadowland. Mitsuki’s iron grip on weather conditions, soil fertility, and crop rotations are a mold that nature will not follow. But Katsuki still doesn’t know- can’t find, can’t reach so how else is he supposed to defy her? Burning crops and salted earth were different things. One hurt him more than the other, one angered his mother and another made her crack her whip on her child’s back. 

 

But Katsuki can deal, Katsuki is fine. It doesn’t hurt anyway. It’s an inconvenience, sure, but he could forget temporary irritations. It’s the itch that gets him. Again, what does it matter when he can’t reach.

 

So he knows he wants to escape, knows he wants to go away, but the place is the problem. Earth isn’t an option(as much as it calls to him, always, always calls), Olympus is a no-go, and the ocean isn’t a realm so easily escaped. What has he left?

 

Katsuki rises to his feet, grumbling, and turns away from the volcano. He finds the edges of his corporeal form and pulls at them, pulls until he’s passed corporeal and entered ethereal, and then he lets himself melt away. Katsuki follows the roots and travels through the underbelly of the earth until he feels himself drawn to a forest. Far and away from where he knows his mother currently dwells, Katsuki familiarizes himself with this part of his domain. A place where the trees tower over his head, lush and green but also dry and seemingly decrepit with something that cannot be age. He knows what old trees look like, what they feel like, and what they sound like. Katsuki knows how they speak- in aged whispers, welcoming his presence warmly but never quite so eagerly as the younger sprouts- and these giants feel far from his reach. There but not there at all, present and absent in the same breath. He draws himself near to one, rests smooth hands against a rough trunk, and calls. 

 

A presence spikes beneath his fingers, a faraway voice becoming louder as it feels his attentions and Katsuki mutters a soft ‘hello’ into the vastness of this tree’s consciousness.

 

“Hello, Godling. He Who Is Born Of The Stars But Graced By Earth And The Growing, Loved By Creature And Godkin. This One Welcomes You.”



“The welcome is well-met and well-returned but, tell me, why do you speak as if separated by some great distance?” Katsuki thinks back in reply, tone kept mindfully respectful as he converses with the towering poplar. 

 

“This Is A Forest Of Much Peculiarity, Dearest One, For I Stand Here With You As Much As My Roots Are Tied Elsewhere. We Are Trees Of Here And Not Here.”

 

Katsuki’s brows draw together in confusion.

 

“You perplex me, Great Giant.”

 

“Deeper Still, Godling. Wander Deeper Into This Forgotten Wood and There Will You Come Upon Understanding. A Great Chasm In the Earth That Deeper Still Must You Delve To Find. And Deeper Still Will It Guide You.”

 

Katsuki exhales, exasperated but with no manner of real ill will against his temporary companion. A great many trees, of all species, tended towards speaking in riddles- whether they knew it or not. He supposes it’s an endearing quality when he isn’t constantly accosted by it but it’s also why Katsuki prefers against lengthy conversations with treekind. 

 

“I thank you for your words and your time and will travel as you advise.”

 

“May You Find What You Seek At The End Of The Path.”

 

He lifts his hands away, taking a step back from the trunk, and inclining his head minutely at the tall poplar. Katsuki turns outward, strolling through the forest fanning out in front of him and taking care to notice the other odd occurrences beneath the canopy. He notes the absence of birdsong immediately and comes across little else in terms of wildlife. The one animal he sees along his trek, he actually stops to stare at. The groundhog, unbothered by his presence, nibbles at something near the entrance of one of its tunnels and Katsuki narrows his eyes at the fat, golden nugget it holds between its front two appendages. An idea tugs at the back of his mind but he ignores it. Surely not. He continues on. 

 

He examines the earth while he goes about his way, spreading his consciousness to feel its composition, but doesn’t find anything strange. Suffering from a little malnutrition, maybe, but nothing to be concerned about. Eventually, he sees enough of the same thing to take the faster route- melting into the ground until he finds a place where the earth isn’t. 

 

Just isn’t. 

 

Huh?

 

Alright, that’s odd. Even if there’s a river or a lake- or hell, a sudden drop into the sea- maybe another volcano, or perhaps a cave, Katsuki would still feel something. The water above the ground or the magma beneath, or stalactites and stalagmites inside. Caves feel like crevices, hollow spaces in his earth. Instead, there’s just a hole- gaping and allconsuming. He materializes, willing himself into tangibility around the area of the void.  

The idea he’d immediately thrown out as soon as he'd conceived it, comes slamming forth to the center of his mind and Katsuki blinks at the depression before him. Dark and foreboding, a chasm akin to a large claw mark in the earthdorm, spreads out into the ground five feet away. It spans the width of two adult bodies laid head-to-heel against each other, ragged and sharp at the edges.

 

An entrance to the Underworld. 

 

Katsuki has never experienced what nothingness feels like(why would he, the very concept of feeling that which is the opposite of existence confounds him) but, looking down into that never-ending void, he thinks:

 

There’s a first time for everything.

 

Curious, he stalks closer, up to the very border where familiar earth gives way to emptiness, and Katsuki stares. 

 

He stares. 

 

And stares. 

 

And stares. 

 

And finally, Katsuki contemplates. 

 

He probably won’t die if he tries it. It takes a lot to kill a god, after all, and Katsuki especially, given how intrinsically his existence is tied to the earth. It might hurt. Could hurt. But if there’s a fall, he’d survive. If it was a fall into fire or sharp spikes or whatever else the rumors said about the Underworld, he’d probably survive that too. It’s common knowledge that no one just enters Hades' domain but, following that same thought, Katsuki doubts Hades would ever have anything that could kill a god just out and about at a back entrance. In the first place, killing a fellow god is treason- a crime at the highest level- so he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t dare

 

Worst comes to worst, Hades might drag him kicking and screaming back to the old hag to face punishment for what? Wandering in? Claiming he was breaking and entering wouldn’t hold up in front of Yagi, not when Katsuki knows the god has a soft spot for him and, also, has no mean bone in his body. Besides, he’s technically not breaking and entering. It’s a goddamn door and it’s fucking wide open. How is that breaking and entering?

 

Katsuki contemplates some more. 

 

If it’s a fall, he can always go incorporeal until he finds the ground. Is ground even the right term? The floor, then? Did the underworld have floors? Okay, he can always go incorporeal until he finds the bottom. Going by the rumours, it’d be littered by bones anyway, he’s not exactly going to miss it. If it’s too dark and he can’t see the pile of skeletons then he could keep going until there was nothing more to go through. Something more to go through? How does it feel in a void exactly? Anyway, that’s assuming there’s a fall. Maybe the chasm lead immediately to the River Styx, in which case, he’d be fine. He’d heard Iida mention once that the waters of the Underworld don’t affect gods the same way they do mortals and Hermes is the only god who frequented the place because of his job, as far as Katsuki’s aware. And Iida doesn’t lie. Katsuki’s pretty sure he’s physically incapable of it(which is really fucking odd now that he thinks about it because the mortals keep saying Hermes is a trickster when, really, it’s their own fault for not believing a god can be forthright). 

 

So Katsuki ponders his odds. 

 

They’re very good ones. And the old hag would never think to look for him in the underworld. 

No one ventured into the Underworld of their own free will(again except for fleet feet). It just isn’t done. Eijirou probably wouldn’t think of it either but he could always send him a message before he goes, reassure the idiot in case he gets any funny ideas about descending from the stars and raging around on earth as he did before Katsuki met him. He’d take care of telling the Mina, Seri, and Denki without letting others in on it. Yagi knows Katsuki is a free spirit and wouldn’t be brought down by anyone if he could help it, not without making one hell of a bang, so he probably wouldn’t be too worried and Aizawa only woke up to bring sleep to the human realm so he’s not exactly a concern either. 

 

Katsuki wants to go away, disappear for a while, figure himself out so he can figure what the earth needs out. And he can’t do that in the mortal realm or in Olympus or in the sea. He’s been given a chance here and he’s not about to pass up a golden opportunity. He turns around, gazes at the forest around him, and feels the earth in his bones one last time. Katsuki pulls a singular leaf off a nearby tree, gilds it in starlight, whispers reassurances, and sends it up to the sky- in the direction of a dear friend. He faces the gaping chasm once more and steps into the dark. 








 

 

 

 

 

His feet land on something solid and Katsuki takes a minute to survey his surroundings. For some reason, he thought it’d be cold. It’s not, it’s practically the same temperature as outside and, were it not for the fact that the opening to the entrance seemed suddenly several meters above him, Katsuki might think he’s just walked into a hole and not into the Underworld. But he’s definitely not on the mortal plane anymore, not with the way he can’t feel the earth here, not with the way he feels pulled only towards himself instead of outward(into the trees, the grass, the dirt, the flowers or the ivy). Not to mention it’s dark, the only light coming from the entrance and even then it does nothing to illuminate what’s around him. He stretches his arms out towards the side, feeling nothing. Okay, so no sides to this tunnel then. 

 

Katsuki furrows his eyebrows at the consuming darkness and takes another, cautious step down. He meets something solid again and keeps going two more steps. 

 

Stairs. 

 

Of-fucking-course the entrance to the Underworld involved stairs. Might as well make any intruders work to get there, right? Hades already seems like an annoying prick. 

 

Still, he supposes it’s better than a straight fall. 

 

He spares another look at the glowing entrance before turning his sight forwards. Katsuki can’t make out anything in the blackness but slowly, testing, he stretches his consciousness. He feels the staircase and recognizes that the long way down is shorter than he thought. He doesn’t want to chance going incorporeal- can’t feel much beyond the stairs to feel safe doing that- so Katsuki makes peace with trudging his way to the world below. 

 

It takes him a good thirty minutes(or at least what he thinks feels like thirty minutes, time flows strangely here) but he makes out the rest of the staircase the further he goes and it’s another five minutes until he reaches the bottom. 

 

No skeletons, oddly enough, just hard ground beneath his toes. It doesn’t feel like earth, or not any earth he’s familiar with, which must be saying something because Katsuki is the earth in a sense. He shouldn’t be surprised, this isn’t the mortal realm anymore, he reminds himself. Katsuki has never felt so anchored to his own form as he does in this place. It’s as grounding as it is discombobulating. He looks up to a few more meters of solid ground and then a river. Wide and calm, translucent gray waters run smoothly and deeply to god only knows where because Katsuki certainly can’t see the end of it. 

 

This must be Styx then. 

 

Odd, he’d half expected to see the garish forms of despairing souls in the waters that stare back at him.

 

Instead, Styx is silent.

 

He didn’t have a need for it before but Katsuki summons up thin sandals for his feet, more comfortable now that there’s a barrier between him and the earth he doesn’t know and is, admittedly, unsettled by. Katsuki walks forward, stopping at the bank of the expansive river, and waits. 

 

Don’t the mortals always say Charon is supposed to appear to ferry them across? Katsuki knows he doesn’t have any drachma on him(why would he, mortal currency has never interested him) and debates on turning intangible to cross. He doesn’t have time to consider it because the next thing he knows, he’s looking back at the bank he was just standing on- rocking slightly to-and-fro with the boat beneath him. Charon, cloaked in black robes and looking eerily mortal except for the hollows of his eyes, lifts up sutured lips to smile. The thread is apparently loose enough to allow him speech going by the way he’s opening his mouth as Katsuki stares.

 

“Well this is a surprise. All the mortals agree Kore is a beautiful maiden, clothed in robes sewn from flower petals, and that she never wanders far from her mother.” The wraith croaks out, voice raspy with disuse.

 

“Mortals say many things, a good portion of them unfounded and untrue. The fuck does that even mean ‘robes sewn from flower petals’, as if that shit could stand a passing breeze without breaking apart.” Katsuki bites out, taking a seat.

 

The laugh that Charon lets out surprises him.

 

“Ah yes, they also say Kore is virtuous and upright.  A clear falsehood. You’ve got quite the mouth on you, don’t you?”

 

Katsuki grimaces. “What’s the point in using words if you’re not going to be a little colorful with them. All mortals do is tell lies and pray for wealth and a good harvest, they’re good for little else- least of all credible information.”

 

Charon hums in agreement, cloaked arms pushing on the long stick held tight between skeletal fingers as it urges them along the Styx. 

 

“Though, I must say, their stories aren’t all false, it seems.”

 

Katsuki raises a fair brow, daring the other being to prove him wrong.

 

Charon speaks his next words simply, eyes trained on the horizon. “You are quite beautiful.”

 

He’s proud of himself for not choking on his spit, an ungainly thing, but clenches his fist nonetheless. 

 

“Focus on the damn boat, stupid Wraith.”

 

Charon doesn’t laugh again but it’s a near thing and Katsuki chooses to ignore his existence before he does something that might really get him into trouble with the god of this realm. 








 

 

 

 

 

Eventually their boat comes to a stop, reaching a small wooden port that gives way to crowded banks. The souls of dead mortals in all shapes and sizes follow one after the other past a gargantuan gate, some groaning from phantom pains while others are hysterical and unbelieving. Katsuki turns back towards a patiently waiting Charon. 

 

“Why don’t any of them try to escape? It’s not as if you’ve got them on chains.” He gestures at the crowd. “They’re just.. walking right in, even though some of them look like it’s the farthest thing from what they want to do.”

 

“When the lord Hermes delivers them upon the banks of the Styx for me to bring here, their souls are already bound for those gates. They may grunt and groan but they are drawn here all the same. I ferry them across because otherwise their souls would try to swim.”

 

“And why not just let them?”

 

Charon smiles at him then, a small and sad thing.

 

“Because ghouls may not pass through water, Godling, it would bear them hence but, in doing so, would diminish them. I am here because my lord Hades had a purpose and that purpose was to make certain their souls, as they are in death, make it to Judgement.”

Katsuki frowns, processing the information and tucking it away for further contemplation at a later date. He peers at Charon as empty eye sockets stare back at him.

 

“I have no currency with which to pay you. Yet I do not wish to leave without giving you due compensation.”

 

This time, Charon’s smile is gentle and allowing.

 

“I have but one desire from the one they call Kore, if he would but grant it to me.”

 

“If it is within reason, and within my power, I shall.”

 

“A flower, any flower of your choosing. For I have grown long accustomed to the Underworld’s sights and have forgotten what the bloom of life looks like.”

 

Katsuki blinks at the specter's request.

 

“You stand before Kore, blessed by the Earth and all its wonders, and ask of me naught but a single flower?”

 

“I do.” Charon agrees matter-of-factly.

 

He takes a long moment to look at the being in front of him, assessing, and Charon waits, silent but still smiling. Weighing his options, Katsuki summons into being a solitary stalk of sweet pea, blooming in soft lilac shades at the center of his palm. Lifting it by the stem, he presents it into the waiting skeletal fingers of the spirit opposite him. 

 

“Done.”

 

Charon holds object of his request, delicately, seemingly afraid to grasp it too tightly lest it crumble away.

 

“You don’t need to do that.” Katsuki states, brows furrowing even as he lifts himself from the boat and onto port. “It’s a flower I made specially. It won’t bruise, snap, lose it’s petals, or decay. Just- don’t drop it into the Styx and it’ll remain as it is in perpetuity.”

 

The wraith on the boat stares up at him quietly, gathering his thoughts, and Katsuki tries not to shift his weight, unsure. 

 

“My utmost thanks to you, Godling.”

 

Katsuki waves him off.

 

“It’s just a flower, no need to lose your shit.”

 

“And yet.” Charon states simply, tucking the stalk of sweet-peas into the fold of his cloak above his breast. 

 

“One thing before you depart, am I to enter by the same gate the mortals pass through? Would your god seek punishment if I ventured before the rest of them?”

 

Charon tilts his head at him, expression curious.

 

“No, I think he shan’t and the souls would certainly not stop you.”

 

“Good, and am I to follow the path before arriving at Hades’ palace?”

 

“Stop by the gate and wait for Cerberus, he will guide you.”

 

Katsuki nods once and turns away, feeling like he can’t escape the wraith fast enough. Dimly, he registers the sounds of Charon pushing away from the port but he doesn’t look back- eyes already trained towards the line of souls blocking his path. A few of them turn to observe their new arrival and, upon recognizing a god among them, quickly stop their noise to ogle. One of them tries to start a conversation with him and Katsuki swiftly evades the unwelcome solicitation by walking around the gathered group. It takes him several long and hurried strides but he passes through the gates in the same step as a haggard, elderly woman. He stops just past lofty iron bars and digs his nails into his hands waiting for the beast in all the stories. The mortals have gotten a good look at him now, the glow of divinity seems especially obvious down here, and Katsuki feels his irritation rise as they clamor over each other to see him. 

 

“My lord, my lord! Which god are you?”

 

“Are you Hades, my lord?”

 

“He doesn’t look like Hades.”

 

“Dionysus perhaps?”

 

He turns around to make a scathing retort about his obvious sobriety and bumps head first into soft fur. The soft fur of a very large, very canine chest. Katsuki steps back and looks up, making eye contact with what must be Cerberus’s middle head. So the story about Hades' guard dog having three of them was true after all. If he was human, he might be afraid. He has good reason to be, what with the beast’s hulking mass, sharp incisors, dripping maw and long, long claws. But Katsuki is a god and also Katsuki so instead he stares into burning red eyes and wills the battle-poised creature into submission. Cerberus falls back on his hind legs and wags his lone tail, pink tongue lolling in the air as he waits for Katsuki’s next move. Nothing divine about it, Katsuki knows an excitable puppy when he sees one. He doesn't need godly powers to tame this pup. Katsuki brings a hand to rub under one of Cerberus’ chins, easily accommodating when the other two push for his attention.

 

“Such a good boy, look at you. What nice teeth you have, Puppy, do you sharpen them daily?”

 

He feels the mortals around them cower and cackles internally. Even in death they were such fearful creatures. Cerberus nods all his heads, grinning widely at his compliments. 

 

“My how intelligent you are.”

 

Cerberus' heads bark loudly and in sync, lifting their hulking body up and bounding around Katsuki happily. 

 

“Why don’t you lead me to your owner and I can tell him what a good welcoming party you are.”

 

Katsuki watches the overgrown puppy nod excitedly, rushing forwards before stopping to wait for him. He hears the gates of the Underworld groan in protest as they close shut and Katsuki glances at the line of mortal souls who don’t budge an inch despite the clear desire to do so on their faces. 

 

Hm, interesting.

 

And convenient. He feels better knowing his sudden arrival and Cerberus’ consequent need to guide him wouldn’t result in any escaped souls while they went on their way. 

 

Katsuki strolls over to the waiting Cerberus, pleasantly surprised to see him laying down fully, baring his back to the blonde god as if inviting him to climb onto it. Oh, now this was just too good. Katsuki’s going to enter Hades’ palace on the back of his fearsome beast of punishment and fuck if the idea of that wasn’t a beautiful thing. He’s still a little wary of the god he’s only heard of in fearful whispers but if Cerberus turned out to be such an adoring puppy then who’s to say Hades himself would be as menacing as the mortals say? Katsuki himself had just told Charon that mortals couldn’t be relied upon as keepers of credible information.

 

Still, something makes him hesitate. 

 

Katsuki is young, he knows that, young and as far away from his element as he could be. He’s not afraid, far too stubborn and equipped with too strong a will to fall victim to such an emotion, but he’s cautious. It’s only wise to be, exposed as he is in this entirely new environment. And he’d prefer for his stay in the Underworld to be an amusing one, the break he sorely needs. He doesn’t know Hades yet, hasn’t met him, hasn’t assessed him. He doesn’t know where they stand with each other and, loathe as he is to refuse, Katsuki pats Cerberus’ side to tell him no thanks.

 

No risks, not just yet. 

 

Advancing down the winding road to Hades’ Palace, Katsuki wonders for his future.