Eurydice called for him as her lungs filled with fluid. She sang and she screamed as she drowned, the poison replacing all she was and all she would ever be with skulls and crossbones. She called for him from river's edge as Hades, masked, allowed her precious time to accept the inherentness of her final breath.

And Orpheus heard her screams as a saintly melody, a lyric caught between worlds and echoing in his own songs, so much a part of him as to pull him down to the underworld with her. He fought for her as he had once fought with her, through canyons and plains, her voice tethered to his spine and applying a very steady pressure.

He came to her, and he sang. He sang of his journey and of his love, overwhelmed even the dark lord with uninterruptable breath. And when he stopped on his own, exhausted but fulfilled, Hades granted him his love back; she was his providing he could prove to be the ultimate gentleman. She was his if he could forgo her, ignoring her pleading voice until they broke the surface, gasping for air as the grain rippled around them like the outgoing waters.

Had Orpheus truly been a gentleman and kept his wants to himself, kept his eyes down and his feet shuffling; had he counted his steps until the light of summer warmed them both again; had he managed to forget all he had fought for and imagined nights of laughter under weighted arbors, he would have been left mute and desolate. It would be a different kind of satisfaction.

She would never love him the same way for being so cruel as to withhold his touch for so long, and he would never tell another story. They would grow old together, stay old together and return to Hades together, never again to feel the love they had when they couldn't stay apart.

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