The Nature Of Problem Children


"Pregnancy sucks," Strife declared.

Cupid snorted. "You'll get no argument from me, love."

The pregnant – heavily pregnant at almost eight months – God of Mischief glared at his lover. "What do ya have ta complain about? Yer only catchin' da fallout from what Ah'm goin' through."

"And the fallout rivals what Zeus got from Grandma when she first found out about Hercules," Cupid quipped.

Strife grumbled, but after a moment of reflection, he conceded, "Ya may have a point dere."

"At least you can take comfort in the fact that no matter how much trouble he or she is causing now, once it's born, at least our kid won't cause as many problems as Uncle Herc did," Cupid said with satisfaction.

A snort was his response. "Yer kiddin', right, Cupe? Dis kid's da offspring of Love and Mischief – dere's no tellin' how much trouble he or she is gonna cause."

Cupid's face fell. "Oh," he said disconsolately.

"But I know whatcha meant," Strife continued. "Dere's just not gonna be much of an uproar about da fact dat it's bein' born at all, is all."

"All things considered…that's definitely a good thing," Cupid said, heartening slightly. "I wonder what his or her godhood will be?" he mused. "Maybe Lust; he or she could work with both of us. Lust is part of love, but it can also cause a lot of mischief…"

Strife snorted again. "No kid of ours is gonna have anythin' so cut and dried, Cupe, I can pretty much guarantee it. We wouldn't get off dat easy."

Cupid frowned. "You're probably right," he admitted.

"It'll probably be somthin' more like Marital Mischief," Strife continue. "That covers a whole lotta territory, and like with Lust, dey could work with both 'a us. Dey could handle divorces and affairs. Hera should love da kid…" He cackled evilly, stroking his stomach meaningfully.

Cupid turned positively green. They already had enough problems with the Queen of the Gods, what with his divorcing Psyche several years back. Never mind that it had been a perfectly amicable break-up; Hera was the Goddess of Marriage, and the dissolution of such unions really got on her nerves. Though Strife's pregnancy did appeal to her job as the Goddess of Childbirth, but… "Oh, joy…"

"No, that's Bliss," Strife quipped. "Little flutter-budget is da God of Joy and Happiness, remember?"

Smiling sourly, Cupid said sarcastically, "I should. He is my son."

"Mm-hm. And he makes those who love him very happy – just like his dad," Strife pronounced, planting a big wet one on his husband's lips.

"Ditto with you, babe," Cupid agreed in husky tones. He smiled softly as Strife snuggled up to him – his husband had been doing that a lot more lately, as his back started protesting the unnatural (even for a God) strain it was under.

Just when Cupid thought Strife had dozed off – which he'd also been doing more lately; his back wasn't the only thing that was being strained by his pregnancy – he piped up with, "Hey, maybe the little rugrat Ah'm havin'll be da God of Sadness ta balance Bliss out, huh?"

Cupid practically recoiled. He stared down at the deity lounging in his lap, wondering if Strife's pregnancy had made him delirious. He didn't recall Psyche having any such problems identifying with reality during her pregnancy – she'd been extremely moody in her last trimester, but that could be blamed on the hormones – then again, she was female, and designed to carry children. Strife, for all that he was a God, was still a male God. He wasn't exactly built to be a baby maker. "Zeus, I hope not!"

Strife's brow furrowed in a frown. "Why not?"

"Raising Bliss was a breeze; he was en extremely happy baby, almost never cried. A veritable ray of sunshine." Cupid shuddered theatrically. "Can you imagine trying to take care of a baby who's always upset? Once who almost never stops crying, and is like the thundercloud to Bliss' silver lining?"

Strife blinked. He turned slightly green and winced. "Ooohhh… Dat's too much mischief even fah me."

"Not even mischief; more like stark-raving terror," Cupid agreed. He reached down, rubbing soothing circles across his husband's upset stomach and the baby underneath.

Strife purred at the relaxing sensation Cupid's motions spread through his limbs, sending languid warmth to unknot tense muscles. He chuckled at Cupid's comment, leaning into the soft caresses. "Yeah, guess that's da reason people call kids 'little terrors,' huh, Cupe?" Strife mused absentmindedly.

"Mm-hm."

Long moments later, Strife was a puddle of – for the moment – non-mischievous goo. His thought processes were working slower, but he had finally come up with something to say to continue his and Cupid's conversation – and wrap it up. "Why don't we wait for the kid to be born before we try and figure out what godhood he or she is going to end up with? It should be easier to discern then," he pointed out.

"Yeah," Strife agreed. "We wait. And in da meantime…" He trailed off meaningfully, one hand coming up to stroke Cupid's mostly bare – save for his harness – chest provocatively.

"In the meantime?" Cupid prompted.

"Ya can help meh work off all da hormones dat're makin' me hornier dan da entire congregation at a Bacchanalia." Strife smirked.

"Speaking of a little – or not-so-little – terror," Cupid joked, stroking Strife's burgeoning erection through his pants.

Strife moaned and leaned into the evocative touch. "Cupe, quit playin' with meh," he begged.

"Can Mischief come out to play?" Cupid teased.

"Yes!" Strife shouted.

Cupid snorted a laugh. "Mischief in pursuit of sex – talk about troublesome!"

"Ah've never known ya ta complain before." And before Cupid could reply to that oh-so-true statement, Strife had practically swallowed his lover's tongue. The hormones kicked in less and less often the closer he got to his due date, but when they did, it was fierce.

And he wasn't about to argue with Mother Nature. Gaia always won.


THE END