Rating: R (Language, Some Sexual Content)
Word Count: 7,072
Summary: Bones said his wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. That turns out to mean a whole lot more than Jim Kirk ever expected.
Disclaimer: I know this may come as a shock, but I am not, amazing as it may seem, Gene Roddenberry, J.J. Abrams, Paramount or Bad Robot. This iteration of Greek mythology inspired by Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess by Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, Reniassance Pictures, et al. Just so you know.
A/N: Thanks to suddenlyswept for the title. This is for the awesome gadgetorious because she’s awesome. :D
Jim is in a gray place and he’s uncertain how he got there. He wishes this is something new and different for him, but no such luck. He walks around experimentally, but everything seems to be that same uniform gray—the lighting is dim but comes from no discernible source.
“Shit!” The word is said emphatically. And not by Jim.
A tall blond man dressed in black armor and a red cloak is standing nearby, lips tightly pressed into a thin line in dismay. “You’re not supposed to be here,” he says.
They are abruptly elsewhere.
“—here?” Jim finishes lamely.
They are in a house. Sunlight streams through nearby windows, and they are standing in a spacious living room. It’s furnished with a large, comfortable looking couch, a thick plush rug, and a large aquarium with a multitude of brightly-colored, exotic-looking fish.
“Who’s this, honey?” A young woman comes out of another room. She is smiling pleasantly and wearing a long purple dress with her long dark hair flowing freely down her back. She goes up to the blond man, taking his arm and looking up at him affectionately. They are in incongruous pair: she all gentle curves, him with his armor which, Jim can tell now, has intricate patterns of skulls and bones all over it.
The woman smiles at Jim. “Welcome! Hades and I seldom get visitors here. How do you do?”
“I’m fine,” Jim says politely. Hades? “But I’m not sure how I got here—“
“He’s Cupid’s—companion,” the blond man—Hades?—says, speaking as if he were correcting himself at the last minute.
Once Shot, Twice Shy
Cupid wasn’t sure what the final straw was—the thing that pushed Psyche over the edge.
In fairness, his lack of a clue was probably part of the problem. Didn’t make not knowing any easier, though.
She took the planet in the divorce.
That was something he hadn’t expected.
“And where exactly am I gonna go then, huh?” he had demanded.
“I don’t know and I don’t care,” Psyche said with false sweetness. “You love your mortals so much, you can stay with them. Just not here.”
They were both silent as the cry of Zeus, King of the Gods, echoed around Mount Olympus.
“The two of you have violated the peace of our home. Cupid,” the God said, “we are all aware of your—predilections for interfering with mortals.”
Cupid had become increasingly fascinated with humans over the past millenia, it was true. He supposed it was the influence of Uncle Herc, who had never left them—unlike all the rest of the Olympians. In the past few centuries he’d also taken to spending more time with Aesclepius, who was intrigued with the mortals’ growing technology of healing.
He found that he much preferred the work of medicine to that of love.The matter of physical, beating hearts was eminently cleaner than that of metaphysical hearts.
“What of it?” he asked.
“Stay with them,” Zeus said. “You may remain on Earth, if you will, but don’t return to Olympus without good reason. And you.” He turned on Psyche then. She quailed under his His fearful gaze. “You are vain and foolish. You took a God’s love, took immortality, and repaid it with anger and spite.”
“What are you going to do to me?” she asked, trembling.
“You will keep your immortality,” Zeus said, “and your Godhood. But you must stay on Mt. Olympus. If you leave, you will become mortal again, and perish.”
Psyche hung her head. “As you will,” she said.
“Go in peace, children,” Zeus said, more gently, before disappearing in a crack of lightening and a rumble of thunder.
Cupid frowned. It killed him to be nice to his ex, but… “Don’t worry, Psyche,” he told the Goddess he had once loved so much. “I’ll leave. You won’t see me again.”
While the prospect of leaving the Earth behind was painful, the prospect of watching Psyche unable to move on was much, much worse.
That was how he’d found himself on a shuttle to Starfleet Academy.
That was how he’d met James T. Kirk.
Cupid liked mortals. He did. Truly. But he liked them more at a distance.
Jim Kirk didn’t do distances. He had no sense of boundaries. He thought rules were made to be broken.
He was always talking, always moving, always—just always. Everything.
He didn’t let Cupid alone.
“Come on, Bones,” he would say, having christened Cupid with this new, ridiculous nickname. It was annoying as hell.
More than once he had been tempted to snap his fingers and make the odd man-boy go away, or forget him, or just disappear. Something. Anything. And each time he was on the verge of doing so, he—didn’t. To his own surprise, this human…moved him.
To his horror, Cupid had fallen in love with a mortal.
They’ve been at the Academy for a year when they run into Uncle Herc. It’s pure happenstance—he’s known for wandering around the Earth, so it’s no stranger seeing him in San Francisco than it is in Athens or in Baghdad.
Jim and Cupid are in a coffeeshop studying. Well, Cupid is studying—Jim is methodically rapping his stylus on the edge of the table while drinking a concoction of what seems to be largely whipped cream and caramel.
Cupid looks up, and there’s Uncle Herc, dressed in a casual button-down shirt and jeans. His hair is long again, slightly out of fashion with the current times, but he blends in well for someone some several thousand years old.
Better than Cupid’s Mom ever did anyway. She still wears those damn outfits that leave nothing to the imagination.
Herc sees him at the same time, head cocked to the side in silent question. Cupid nods back, and Herc gives him a wide grin as he walks over.
“Nephew!” he greets. “I haven’t seen you in—centuries.” He’s careful with the word, makes it sound like an exaggeration rather than truth.
“Uncle,” Cupid says back. They greet each other in the old way, clasping one another’s forearms tightly. If Jim wonders at this, he says nothing, just looks at them with curiosity.
“You got family out here, Bones?” Jim asks with interest—and something like hurt, like Cupid hadn’t told him on purpose. “You never told me that.”
“I’m just passin’ through,” Uncle Herc says. “I’m Kevin. His mother is my half-sister.” He looks back and forth between Jim and Cupid curiously. “Bones?”
“It’s a nickname,” Cupid says. “It’s stupid.”
“Yeah, well, Leonard just doesn’t suit my friend here,” Jim says. “I much prefer Bones.”
“I see,” Herc says with a careful nod. “You’re very lucky, Jim. Leonard doesn’t usually let people call him things like that.” He raises his eyebrows meaningfully.
“Yeah, well, I’m special,” Jim says smugly. “Well-known fact.”
“You’re an infant is what you are,” Cupid says gruffly.
“Whatever.” Jim rises and stretches. “I need a refill. Can I get you guys anything while I’m up?”
“I’m good,” says Herc. “Thanks, though.”
Jim nods. “Bones?”
“Just black coffee,” Cupid answers automatically.
“Bor-ing.” Jim grins at his look of irritation. “Coming up, Bones,” he says more genially, and then he’s going back to the counter to order.
“Coffee?” Herc looks amused. “You’ve really gotten accustomed to mortal life, haven’t you?”
Cupid shrugs. “I’m a full-time student who also works at the Medical Center twenty hours a week,” he says. “If I didn’t have an addiction to some sort of caffeine there’d be questions.”
“Hmm.” Herc makes a thoughtful noise. “So. Jim, huh?”
“What about him?” That comes out rougher than he meant it to. He hopes his Uncle doesn’t notice.
“A mortal, Cupid? Really? Again?”
No such luck.
“It’s nothing, Uncle,” Cupid says. “He’s just a friend.”
“Yeah,” Herc says, drawing the word out dubiously. “Does he know that?”
“It’s nothing, believe me.” Cupid stares down at his PADD. “I’m done with love.”
“Don’t say that, nephew,” Herc says gently. Cupid looks up at him curiously. “Trust me,” he says, turning around to eye Jim, who has returned with a pair of cups, plus a small plate. With a cheeky grin, he pushes it in front of Cupid.
It’s a cookie shaped like a heart, with a little arrow drawn on it in frosting.
“Almost forgot, Bones,” Jim says with a grin. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Cupid stares at the pastry, horrified, as Uncle Herc begins to laugh.
“What?” Jim asks, looking between them in confusion.
Cupid is mad as hell for about a week, but then he gets over it. It’s not like Jim really knew how much he loathed that particular piece of iconography after all.
“Sorry, Bones,” the kid apologizes later. “I thought—I don’t know what I thought,” he admits. “I should’ve known you wouldn’t like it. But I saw it and—“ He breaks off, shrugging.
“I’m sorry I overreacted,” Cupid says. “I just get touchy about crap like that.”
“Why?” Jim’s blue eyes are wide with curiosity and concern.
“I just do.” Cupid shrugs. He doesn’t want to go into it. Can’t go into it.
“Your ex?” Jim guesses.
“Something like that,” he admits. “Yeah.”
“Sorry, man.” Jim looks like he genuinely means it.
Everything is back to normal, and then more family shows up.
He sees Hedone when he gets out of class one bright Friday afternoon in spring. Of course, like everyone else she uses a modern name these days.
“Jo!” he says eagerly, hugging his daughter close to him.
“Hey, pops!” she says with a grin. “Herc told me you were hanging out here.” She looks around curiously, oblivious to the astonished looks other cadets are shooting them. They do make an odd pair, he supposes, him in his cadets reds while Joanna (or Hedone, or Bliss as she is also known) is wearing a short plaid skirt and a clinging white top. She’s the Goddess of Sensuality, and she looks it.
Cupid beams at his baby girl. “Yeah!” he says. “I’ve been here a while now.”
“Do anyone nice?” she asks idly, following a beautiful cadet named Gaila with her eyes. The green-skinned girl turns at Jo’s regard, then smiles back with interest, slowing down to walk backwards. “I’ll see you later,” Jo promises.
“Better,” says the Orion with a pleased, sultry look.
“Know her?” Cupid asks curiously.
“Never seen her before in my life,” Jo answers. “She’s gorgeous though.” She giggles. “She’ll be fun, I can tell.”
Cupid smiles at her. “I missed you, sweetie.” He kisses her forehead as he hugs her close again.
“I’ve missed you too, Daddy,” Jo says. “You need to visit Olympus more.”
Cupid grimaces. “You know the situation with your mother—“
“Yo, Bones!” A familiar cry across the quad. Jim Kirk jogs up to them, grinning. “Yo, man, I—whoa!” He pauses, staring at Jo.
Jo stares back at him. “Hello,” she says, her voice a near-purr. “How are you?”
“Fine, thanks.” Jim shakes himself slightly, as if in a daze. He turns to Cupid. “Who’s your friend, Bones?”
“Jim Kirk,” Cupid says proudly, “this is my daughter. Joanna.”
Jim stares back and forth between them comically. “No. Way.” Stares some more. “No! No?” he repeats. They both nod at him. “Yeah?” They nod again. “Seriously?” Again.
Cupid swears Jim is retarded sometimes.
“Huh,” Jim says. He shakes himself again. “Cool. Hey, I’ve gotta hit my next class. See you after, Bones?”
“Yeah, sure,” Cupid agrees.
“Awesome!” He beams at him, then nods at Jo. “Nice to meet you,” he says, and then he’s off.
Jo stares after him in confusion, then looks up at him. “Dad,” she says with a mixture of amusement and disgust, “he was more into you than me!” Then she grins in delight. “Ohhhhh! Oh my Gods, finally! Does Mom know?”
Cupid kisses her hair. “It’s not like that,” he says. “Not exactly.”
Jo is still watching Jim as he recedes into the distance. “If you say so.” She still looks slightly regretful. Then she perks up, lips curving in a familiar smile. “At least there’s the Orion.”
“Soooo,” Jim says later. They are on their way back to Cupid’s apartment before heading out to one of the bars north of campus—their very own Friday night tradition. “You never told me you had a kid.” He stares at Cupid. “You do not look that old, man.”
“Good genes,” Cupid says breezily.
“I guess.” Jim looks thoughtful. “I mean, I knew you were older but—you’re like the older man now.”
Cupid frowns at him, wondering what Jim means by that. He doesn’t get a chance to reply, though, because when he opens the door they are treated to the sight of Joanna and Gaila splayed out on his couch, naked as can be, eagerly eating each other out.
“Whoa!” Jim says, jaw hanging open.
Joanna pauses in her activity, looking up at them with her face wet. “Hi, Daddy!” she says cheerfully.
“Hi, guys,” Gaila says. She’s sweaty with her exertions, glowing with joy. “Want to go next?”
“Nah, you two have fun, I just need to get my wallet.” Cupid retrieves the item from the other room, then comes back to the main area. Jim is still staring, but the girls have gone back to their endeavors with enthusiasm—possibly even showing off for his benefit. Cupid shakes his head. “Bye, kids. Don’t do anyone I wouldn’t do.” He grabs Jim by the arm and pulls him outside. “Pick your jaw up.”
“You’re not—not mad at her or anything?” Jim asks when he can talk again—half way to the bar.
“No.” Cupid stares at him. “Why would I be?”
“Dude, she’s your daughter.” Jim says this pointedly.
“Yeah?” Cupid still doesn’t follow.
Jim just shakes his head. “Georgia must be one hell of a place,” he says, almost dreamily. Cupid is confused until he remembers that’s where he’s supposed to be from, in this life. “We should totally go visit.”
“Yeah, or not,” Cupid says quickly. They are at the bar now, anyway, thank the gods. “Bourbon, straight up,” he orders.
“Make that four. What?” Jim asks at Cupid’s look, “I gotta calm down somehow after that scene!”
“Infant,” Cupid mutters, unimpressed.
Somehow, he isn’t surprised when Dad shows up after the destruction of Vulcan. Cupid’s had his hands busy as the acting CMO, and that damn hobgoblin jettisoned Jim off the ship in an escape pod an hour ago, and a fucking family reunion is the last thing he needs right now.
“Can’t you see I’m busy?” Cupid asks the God of War, who is positively glowing with pleasure at the havoc that Nero has wrought.
“I’m just checking up on you,” Ares says. “Aren’t you happy to see me?”
“Not really, no.” Cupid is short. He glares at the God. “Look, in case you haven’t noticed, your little Romulan pet has made one hell of a mess that some of us are trying to clean up.”
Ares frowns. “You’re starting to sound like Hercules,” he says in distaste. “When your mother told me you’d joined Starfleet, I thought maybe you were finally trying to follow in your old man’s footsteps.” He looks around Sickbay in disapproval. “I guess it was too much to hope for.”
Cupid narrowly refrains from throwing a tricorder at the God’s head. “I’m not like you,” he growls. “When will you get that?”
His dad is nonplussed by this remark. “That friend of yours, though—Jim Kirk? Shows promise,” he says instead.
That comment makes Cupid even angrier. “You stay the hell away from him,” he growls. He strides up to Ares and grabs the other God by his archaic leather vest. “You got me?”
If Ares is surprised at his son’s unusual protectiveness towards a mortal, he doesn’t say anything. Instead he just smiles. “Got it, Junior. Be good.” And then he’s gone.
Somehow, Cupid hadn’t worried about Jim until Dad showed up. He just—hadn’t. At some point, he had stopped thinking of Jim as being a mortal, despite how often he came into Medical with this or that mark from a fight, or an accident, or what have you. Maybe even because of how easy it was to patch Jim up, he thought of the human as being as invulnerable as himself.
Afterwards—not so much.
When Jim strides onto the bridge as they begin their mission, slapping him on the back and saying “Buckle up, Bones!” with that damn infuriating grin, Cupid has to fight to keep himself calm.
Leaving Earth behind, for five years, is finally getting him away from Psyche—but it’s putting Jim in danger, too.
He’s ruminating about this one evening after yet another shift of patching Jim up. There’s a simple solution, but he’s always been hesitant to talk to his Uncle…
Cupid knows it’s not fair. It’s not the God’s fault that he was assigned that domain. They all respect him for it—even Dad. They’re all also leery of going there for visits.
Still. Cupid has always been one to do things a little differently. And if it saves Jim one day when he can’t, it would be worth it.
He takes a deep breath, and unfurls his wings out for the first time in ages, before disappearing to where few tread on purpose…
They’ve been in space for a year and are having their first shore leave. The Enterprise stops at Risa for a solid week, the entire crew taking three day rotating shifts to go dirtside. The pleasure planet has everything: good booze, beautiful people, sunshine.
“We should go check out this one club I heard about, Bones,” Jim says. They’re sitting on the patio of the hotel they’re staying at, sharing breakfast like they usually do.
“No,” Cupid says automatically.
“Oh, c’mon, man!” Jim shakes his head. “It’s shore leave. The point is to go out.”
Cupid says nothing, just rolls his eyes expressively at the open-air environment, the large, gorgeous plants and tourists around them.
“You know what I mean,” Jim says in irritation.
“You go without me. I’ll be fine on my own.” Cupid stretches out. He’s wearing an open shirt, and the sunlight on his exposed chest feels amazingly warm and relaxing. “Just fine,” he drawls lazily.
A bosomy waitress wanders over. “Can I get you anything?” she asks hopefully, clearly admiring the flesh he has on display.
Jim frowns. “No thanks, we’re good,” he says shortly.
“A Cardassian Sunrise, maybe?” she continues to Cupid.
“I’m fine, thanks,” he says with a smile. She leaves reluctantly. “Go to your club, Jim.”
“Fine!” Jim sounds disappointed, even angry, and leaves.
Cupid sighs, closing his eyes and rubbing his forehead. Crap. It’s better this way, he tells himself firmly. You don’t need to look at him that way. It’ll only get you in trouble.
“Oh, honey,” says a familiar voice behind him. “What the F?”
“Hi, Mom.” He doesn’t bother opening his eyes. He can feel a headache starting already. “What are you doing here?”
A giggle, and the scraping of a chair as a body sits across from him. “I’ve been worried about you.” He opens his eyes reluctantly. Mom looks the same as ever, though at least on Risa her scanty wisps of clothing occasion no comment. “Seriously, sweetie,” Aphrodite continues, “what is up with you and these mortals?”
“You remember my divorce right?” He tries to keep the sarcasm to the minimum and fails. “Psyche got Olympus. And believe me, I’d rather be here with them instead of there with her.”
“I know, baby,” she says. “But still. We’re your family. You should visit us once in a while, y’know?”
“I’ve got my own life to lead,” Cupid says stubbornly. “Maybe you should, y’know, let me live it.”
“Uh huh.” Aphrodite looks unimpressed with this. “We had this conversation before, Cupid, remember?”
“Which time?” he growls. “Because we’ve had it more than once. Like, I don’t know, a million times by now?”
“The time before you got married,” the Goddess replies. Aphrodite’s expression is unusually serious for her. “I don’t want you to get hurt again, baby.”
“No chance of that happening.” Not if I can help it.
“Cupid.” Mom’s voice is stern. “Everyone on Olympus is talking about you and your—your pet mortal. Dim Jerk or whatever.”
“Jim Kirk,” Cupid corrects, refraining from sighing. “Geez, at least get his name right if you care so much!”
“Sorry!” Aphrodite does look apologetic. “I just worry about you is all! I’m your mother, it’s what I do!”
“Yeah, well, don’t,” Cupid says. He tries to look reassuring. “I promise you, Jim Kirk doesn’t mean anything more to me than any other mortal.”
“Honestly, babe?” She reaches out to run her fingers through his hair affectionately. He bats her hand away and she frowns at him. “Your hair was so much cuter when it was blond.”
“Honestly!” He glares at her. “Now leave my hair alone! Gods, Mom!”
She laughs at that. “Just be careful, sweets. That’s all I ask.”
Cupid grunts. “How’s Step-Dad?” he asks instead.
Mom glows a little at the mention of her husband. “Heph is awesome as always,” she says. “How do you feel about an eighth sibling?” She looks hopeful.
Cupid prefers not to think about that. “Tell ‘im I said hi,” he says instead.
“I will, sweet-cheeks.” She disappears in a fall of gold dust that wafts away in the breeze.
Cupid is restless after that. Sighing to himself, he goes to find Jim.
Jim Kirk is standing on top of a wall overlooking the city. He has his arms spread for balance, and to anyone who didn’t know him, it would easily look like he’s about to jump.
Cupid’s heart stops when he sees him.
It’s over a three hundred foot fall down to the next level.
“Jim!” he cries in panic, running to his friend. Jim turns around, looking at him curiously: taking in his pale face, his horrified expression.
‘Smatter, Bones?” Jim asks, looking at him like he’s nuts. “I was just checking out the view.”
“Checking out the view? Checking out the view? Jesus fucking Christ on toast, Jim!” Jim flinches at that, but Cupid is nearly volcanic in his anger. He grabs the man, shaking him hard. “You could have slipped and fallen! Died! For a view?” he repeats, in case Jim might have missed his point.
Jim at least has the grace to look chastened. “Sorry, man,” he says. “I just—wasn’t thinking. I guess.”
“Tell me somethin’ I don’t know.” Cupid gives him another shake before letting him go. “Of all the stupid, idiotic, thoughtless stunts!”
“Look, nothing happened, okay?” Jim yells. He’s angry now too. “Besides, what’s it matter to you?”
“It matters!” Cupid yells back. His ferocity actually makes Jim shut up. “It matters to me, okay? Idiot.”
They’re both silent for a moment.
Cupid sighs. “So what about that club you wanted to go to?”
“What about it?”
Cupid snorts. “I clearly can’t leave you on your own for a second. Where is it? Let’s go.”
Jim frowns. “Why do you care?”
Cupid pauses before giving up and finally saying the words out loud. “I just want you to be happy. I love you, you damn fool.” That last part comes out rougher than he had intended, but dammit, Jim had scared him there.
He watches as the words sink in, watches Jim’s face transform as he understands what Cupid is saying: he looks hesitant, unbelieving, and then hopeful. Then he grins impishly, and pulls the God to him tightly. “I know,” he says with all the cocky attitude he can muster, and kisses him hard.
Cupid hates to admit it, being the God of Erotic Love and all, but this is probably one of the most melting kisses he’s ever experienced: Jim’s mouth is hot and hungry on his, clever tongue darting out to lick his bottom lip. He feels an upsurge of intense affection, as well as intense lust, and grips the mortal hard. Jim moans pleasantly.
They never do make it to that club.
“Dammit, Jim! What have I told you about pulling those stunts of yours?” Cupid demands. They are in Sickbay, and it’s another damn day on the Enterprise: saving the universe and patching up Jim Kirk.
“You’ve always said, ‘God, you’re valiant, Captain! You are truly an inspiration among men, and you have the hottest a—Oww!” Jim breaks off from reciting his nonsense as Cupid gives him a hypo.
“Infant,” Cupid grumbles. “Can’t you keep your thrilling heroics to a minimum? At least so I can sleep in peace once in a while?”
“I love you, too, Bones,” Jim says with a grin.
Cupid shakes his head. “I love you too, kid. Now shut up, and let me finish this.”
“I want you to marry me, Bones.”
Cupid stares at the man. They’ve been sleeping together for two years, quartered together for one. Still, he hadn’t expected this.
Jim is impatient. “Say something, Bones. Please.”
Cupid coughs slightly. “No,” he says at last. Regretfully. It’s time to end this. You know it. It’ll only get more complicated.
Jim’s face pales. “Why….why not?” he asks. “Dammit, Bones, why?”
“It’s not a good idea, Jim,” Cupid answers. “Trust me.”
Jim shakes his head, letting out a long, shaky breath. “Promise me you’ll think about it at least?”
“It can’t work, Jim. It just—it can’t.” Cupid gets up, doesn’t dare to look at the other man, not now.
“Why not, Bones?” Jim is angry now. “Dammit, I love you!”
“I love you too, Jim.” Cupid does look at him then. “That’s why I’m saying no. I’m saving you a lot of heartache. Trust me.”
It doesn’t end there, though Cupid knows it should. Knows it. Instead, Jim begrudgingly accepts that they won’t get married, and they continue as they have been—arguing, making love, arguing more, saving the universe.
Cupid gets used to this life. So much so, that he forgets, again, what could happen to Jim out there.
The peacekeeping mission with the Klingons was going badly.
Really, really badly.
Jim ended up saving the day, of course—and got a bat’leth blade in the chest for the trouble.
Spock shoots the attacker, a Klingon renegade, and he falls aside with a hoarse grunt.
“Fuck, Jim!” Cupid cries in horror.
Jim coughs, blood bubbling at his mouth. “It’s—okay—Bones,” he mutters weakly. “You’re—here—now.”
“Fuck!” Cupid repeats. He flips open his communicator. “Emergency transport to Sickbay! Now!”
They rematerialize aboardship. Cupid works feverishly, pulling every trick he knows—but mortal bodies are so fragile--
“We have to call it, Leonard,” Geoff says. The other doctor stands back, surgical smock stained bright red. “There’s nothing else we can do.” He pauses, adds more quietly. “I’m sorry. He’s gone.”
Cupid glares at the man. “No, he’s not!” he growls angrily, and for the first time in millenia, he teleports to Olympus.
He’s lucky because, for once, most of his family is actually home.
He hates doing this, but:
“Mom, Dad—I need your help.”
His parents don’t look happy, but Aphrodite takes a deep breath and attempts to smile. “Tell us what you need, sweetie.”
“It’s Jim,” he says. “I—I want to make him immortal. Like us.”
“You realize that Psyche is now the keeper of ambrosia?” Ares asks. “This’ll be fun to watch.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Cupid growls at the same time Mom says, “Shut it, Ares.”
Dad shrugs. “Just sayin’,” he says. He smiles then, almost pleasantly. “Let’s go.”
Ambrosia flowed from a fountain in the center of the palace of the Gods. Psyche sat at the edge of it, stroking one of the doves who lingered there. She looks up when they enter.
“Cupid?” She looks astonished. “What are you doing here?”
“Psyche.” He doesn’t know how to say this, but it’s important that he get this right. “Look, I’m so sorry for everything that happened. I wish I could have been a better man, a better husband. But—I’ve fallen in love with someone, and if I don’t get him ambrosia, he’ll die. And—I can’t bear that. So, please, Psyche. Help me.”
Aphrodite and Ares both are silent behind him. He turns to them. “C’mon, help a guy out here,” he hisses.
“You’re doing good on your own, babycakes,” Mom says with a smile.
“And this isn’t really my thing, anyway,” Dad says. “If you need death and destruction, I can help out, but couples’ therapy, not so much.”
“Fat lot of good you two are,” Cupid mutters, before turning back to his ex-wife. “Psyche,” he says softly. ”Please.”
Psyche looks at him steadily for so long that he’s honestly not sure what will happen. Finally she gives him a small smile, and a silver goblet appears. She dips it in the fountain, and hands it to him.
“Good luck,” she says.
“I don’t understand,” Jim says to Hades. The—God and his wife look quite serious as they sit in their living room.
“It’s very simple,” Hades says. “You’re dead.”
“Mostly dead,” Persephone corrects him. “Your physical body on the mortal plane has ceased to function, but your soul is in between—neither here nor there. See, look.” She points to a large mirror nearby. Reflected in it are three women, all dressed in white: one spinning thread, one measuring it, one cutting it. The last woman is frowning at a piece of gold-colored string. “They are the Moirae, the Fates. That bit of string there is you, your life. When it’s cut, you die, and your soul passes to Tartarus or the Elysian Fields. But she can’t cut your string.”
“Why not?” Jim is confused—and more than a little bit freaked out that his life is dependent on a piece of string.
Hades looks awkward. “I might have allowed Cupid to ask me for a favor,” he says.
“You keep talking about Cupid!” Jim says in frustration. “I don’t get it! What does he have to do with me?”
Persephone looks astonished. “He didn’t tell you?” She turns to Hades, her head cocked to the side. “He didn’t tell him?”
“Tell who what?” Jim demands.
“I’m not getting in the middle of this,” Hades says quickly. He stands up, turning the mirror to Jim. The image it holds changes, and Jim gasps. “Would you like to see them?” he asks.
Jim is sitting in the kitchen of the old farmhouse in Iowa, watching his parents cook.
George Kirk was twenty-seven when he died—two years younger than Jim is now. He’s grinning as he cracks eggs into a frying pan, adding cheese as they scramble. “I’ve always wanted to do this!” he says eagerly.
“Fry eggs? You’re so weird!” George grins at Winona and kisses her warmly. Jim thinks he should probably find this gross, but they’re so cute and so happy together.
“I’m weird? You’re the one who’s weird!” Mom looks younger here than she did when he last saw her—around her husband’s age. She died four months before Jim left to go to the Academy.
Being here with them is—beyond surreal. He just sits and watches them, until George serves out three plates of food and puts one in front of Jim.
“Eat up, kiddo,” he says, “and then we can go play baseball!” He looks hesitant then. “Er, do you like baseball? If you don’t we could do something else—“
“No, no, baseball’s fine. I like baseball,” Jim says. He hasn’t played it since he was like fourteen or whatever, but he’s not going to say that. Can’t.
Winona frowns at him when she sees that he’s not eating. “Something wrong, honey?” she asks in a gentler voice than Jim thinks she ever used in real life. “You haven’t touched your food.”
“No, no, I’m fine,” Jim says hurriedly. Persephone had told him to be very careful about this. “I’m just not hungry. I, uh, ate a big lunch before I came.”
George frowns, as if remembering something. “He can’t,” he says after a moment. He eyes Jim for confirmation, and Jim hesitantly shakes his head. “It’s because we’re dead and he’s not. I forgot. Sorry, kiddo.”
“It’s cool. No sweat.” Jim smiles at his father reassuringly.
“Oh, good.” George lets out a loose breath. “You still up for baseball, though?”
Jim grins. “Yeah. I’d love it.”
They play outside in the sunshine that isn’t sunshine—the air is bright and filled with warm light, but there’s no sky exactly, no sun. George pitches, Jim bats, Winona acts as a catcher. His parents are like a perfect team, sending each other all kinds of signals for what balls to throw, so that the game is an actual challenge.
It’s like the perfect summer day, seemingly stretching out forever.
“So tell us about this Bones,” Winona says when they take a break.
Jim looks up in startlement. “How do you know about him?”
“The dead can hear your thoughts, son,” George explains.
Jim pales at that. “Oh my God—“ He breaks off when they start laughing.
“We don’t hear everything,” Winona says. “Just when you think about us in particular.”
“We’ve noticed that you think about us when you think about Bones, too,” George says. “To be a couple in Starfleet—it only makes sense that you’d wonder about the things you do.”
“Sorry, anyway,” Jim says. “I—“
“No, kiddo. Don’t even.” George cuts him off. “I’m sorry I had to leave the way I did, but it was necessary. And your Mom always tried to do right by you.”
“Even if I didn’t succeed,” Winona says with a twist to her mouth. “Mistakes are all part of being human. We all do what we can with the time that we have. That’s sort of the point of everything.”
“Anyway,” George says, “we want to hear more about this guy. It’s parental prerogative.”
Jim shakes his head at that and grins. “Bones is—probably the most amazing person I’ve ever met,” he says honestly. “He’s brilliant, and caring, and brave. Stubborn as hell.” He looks down. “I don’t know what I’d do without him.”
Winona smiles at him. “That’s exactly what we need to hear, baby boy,” she says, pulling him close in a hug.
“Mom!” Jim feels himself flush at the old endearment, but enjoys the affection anyway.
That’s when Hades abruptly appears.
“James Kirk!” Hades says.
“Jim!” Bones is holding onto a large silver goblet. He approaches him quickly. “Jim, we have to talk—“
“Yeah, no kidding!” Jim grins. “Bones, I want you to meet my Mom and Dad—“
Bones looks shocked, and actually looks a little pale at that. “Oh,” he says. “Um—“
“Mom, Dad, this is Bones—“ Jim starts to introduce them, but breaks off as Hades speaks again.
“I’ve done as you asked, Cupid,” the God says to Bones. “While this is all very touching, I have to get back to work.” He nods his head to Jim. “It was nice meeting you. I hope you will visit us again—Persephone does like company.” And then he’s gone.
Jim frowns, confused but starting to put some things together. He stares at Bones—the man he thought he knew better than anyone else in the world. “Cupid? You’re Cupid?”
Bones nods, looking apologetic. “Yeah, Jim,” he says. “I am.” When Jim doesn’t say anything, he continues. “Look, I didn’t mean to lie to you, I just—didn’t know how to tell you.”
“So what does that even mean?” Jim is vaguely aware of George and Winona standing to the side, watching uncertainly. “Tell me what?”
Bones, or Cupid, or whatever his name is looks upwards, like the not-sky will give him some sort of clue as to what to say. Shaking his head, he looks at Jim directly, his hazel eyes as intense as Jim has ever seen them. “Jim,” he says seriously, “I’m an immortal, and I love you. When you asked me to marry you, I said no, because the last time I fell in love with a mortal, I married her, and it ended badly, and I didn’t want to go through that again.”
“I don’t know what to say, Bones—Cupid—“ Jim exhales heavily. “I don’t even know what to call you—“
“Call me Bones,” Bones, or Cupid, says immediately. “And drink this,” he adds as he hands the goblet to Jim.
“What is it?” It’s heavy, filled with a thick golden liquid that smells like honey and flowers.
“Ambrosia.” Bones pauses. “Jim, you’re dead. If you drink this, you’ll become immortal. Like me.” He takes a deep breath. “But to drink it, you have to agree to marry me.”
“What?” Jim stares at him. “But you said you didn’t want to get married again, remember?”
“Dammit, Jim, that was before you died, okay?” Bones says the words with difficulty. “I can’t—I can’t deal with that. Without you. Okay? I need you. Please say you’ll marry me, that you’ll drink it.” He casts a quick glance at Winona and George, who are looking on with slight smiles. “Please don’t leave me.”
Jim hesitates for a moment. “If you’re Cupid, where are your wings?” he asks.
Cupid frowns, makes a brief nod, and stands back. There’s a shimmer to the air, and in Bones’s place is someone who looks a lot like him—but who had blonde hair, dark bronze skin (And a tattoo, Jim notes with interest in some part of his mind), and great white wings rising from his shoulderblades. His clothes have changed, as well: no shirt, and a dark leather kilt and leggings.
“This is me, Jim,” Cupid says. “This is who I—I really look like. But you already know who I am.”
Jim doesn’t say anything then, not for a long moment. Cupid is terrified like he’s never been—he’d thought watching Jim bleeding out on the biobed was the worst thing he could ever imagine, but in a strange way this terrible silence is almost worse.
So it’s as much with shock as relief that he finally hears Jim speak. “Yeah,” the mortal man says, lips curved in a smile, “yeah, I do.” And he drinks from the goblet.
A glow suffuses Jim for a moment, as the nectar of the Gods translates mortal blood and bone into the flesh and ichor of an immortal. “Whoa,” he says afterwards. “I feel weird.” He pauses. “And strangely…” He trails off, and the two share a significant look. Cupid knows from his experience with Psyche the euphoria that accompanies new Godhood—and the immediate effect it is having on Jim.
Specifically, his libido.
Cupid grins at the Kirks. “We’ll be back to visit,” he promises, “but, uh, we should go now.”
“Yeah,” Jim agrees, blue eyes unbelievably bright. “Going. Us. Now. I’ll see you soon, okay?”
“We can’t wait, son,” George says.
“Don’t be a stranger,” Winona agrees.
They’re back in their quarters on the Enterprise. They’re kissing as soon as they’re there, hot mouths meeting, hands searching everywhere. Cupid tugs Jim’s tunic away, and he’s reaching for him again when Jim stops him, grinning.
“Wait, wait, wait,” he says.
“What?” Cupid growls in frustration.
“If I’m a God now,” Jim asks with a smirk, “what am I the God of?”
Cupid rolls his eyes. “You’re the God of Horny Idiots,” he replies, and kisses him again.
Jim’s body against his is hot, body temperature running well above what would be normal for humans as the new ichor circulates through his veins. His cock is hard already, pressing insistently against Cupid’s thigh.
“Hey, Bones.” Jim pulls back again, grinning thoughtfully. “Will you at least keep the skirt on the first time? It’s kinda hot.”
“Fool boy,” Cupid growls, and pulls his mouth back to his. He doesn’t let go until he’s assured that Jim is incapable of coherent speech. Of course, by that point, he is as well.
The first time they make love as immortals, it is brief. Cupid would be embarrassed except for how enthusiastic Jim is, how hard he comes across his chest.
The second time is more leisurely. Jim’s skin is radiant with his new immortality, flushed with desire and lust, and though Cupid has memorized his body for several years now, there’s a newness to it that draws him in, makes him want to touch and taste each glorious inch of it.
“Could I be the God of Multiple Orgasms?” Jim suggests afterwards.
“Hush, you.” Cupid stops his mouth with a kiss
After they’ve made love several more times, they lay side by side in bed, satisfied. Jim is even more smug than usual. “Sure I’m not the God of Awesome?” he asks. “Because I’m pretty sure I should be.”
“Infant,” Cupid replies automatically.
Jim chuckles at that. “Hey, question,” he says.
“Answer,” Cupid grunts.
“So Jo is--?”
“My daughter. The Goddess of Sensuality,” Cupid says. “She used to go by Hedone. But she really likes Jo. I think she’s going through a butch period or something.”
“Huh,” Jim says thoughtfully. “And that guy I met a few years ago, your Uncle?”
“Uncle Herc. Hercules,” he clarifies when Jim looks puzzled.
“Wait.” Jim stares at him. “That guy was fucking Hercules?!”
“No, he is Hercules. Duh,” he adds for good measure.
“Whoa.” Jim is quiet again for a moment. “So what’s next? I mean,” he explains when Cupid looks at him curiously, “can I still be a Starship Captain if I’m a God?”
“Don’t see why not,” Cupid answers. “It’s easy enough to alter our appearances to blend in. We can change people’s memories, so they’ll never know you died for few hours. And we’ll keep going as we have been.”
“Forever,” Jim says in satisfaction. He strokes the side of Cupid’s face, then kisses him gently.
“Yeah,” Cupid agrees when they come up for air. “You and me, kid. Forever.”
*No Starfleet Captains were harmed during the writing of this fic.*