"Earthly Woes

Disclaimer: I take credit for nothing but this story, so there.

"There he is!"

"Oh no.." wiping his mouth off with the back of one hand, he slowly stood up from the river bank, and turned around even slower, "What do you want Dite?"

"Want? Well can't a gal just drop in and say a hello, how are you, to her favorite, and best, big brother in the whole wide cosmos?"

Her sheer clothing shimmered in the light while the goddess' full physical form came into sight.

"While you may be my favorite, and only baby, sister Aphrodite, you only come looking for me when you're wanting something, so spare me the kiss up routine and just tell me why you're here."

Aphrodite rolled her eyes, "Always so impatient, well fine-I'll cut to the chase. It's about Cupid."

"He's your kid, sis, and therefore not my problem," Hercules didn't intend to stick around to hear anymore and he walked right on by her.

"He is also your nephew, who like so adores you by the way, and-there have been some..developments."

Hercules couldn't ignore his curiosity building from both his sister's words and how she said them, "What kind of developments?"

Aphrodite's bosom heaved with a big sigh, "Cupie pie sorta-kind of made his grandfather angry."

"Zeus? He spoils that kid even worse than you do; what could he have done to set him off?"

"It might have something to do with what he did to one of Daddy's temples."

Aphrodite played with one of the fuzzy tassels on her lace bodice, avoiding any and all eye contact with the large man looking more and more dubious all the time.

"Dite..what did he do?"

"He turned all the temple keepers into-goats."

Hercules blinked, "Goats..?"

"It was only a silly little game he was playing with a few friends, and he totally intended to turn them back but Zeus found out first before he could."

"So-then what happened?"

She glanced up at her big brother, "Daddy decided to teach him a lesson about misusing his godly powers."

Suddenly Aphrodite's face screwed up into a scowl and she looked as if she was about to cry, "Hercules..he turned my baby into a-a human! An actual, simple, pathetic little human!"

Before Hercules could react to the very unexpected news, Aphrodite waved her left hand and her son was transported to stand between them in the middle of the sparse wood.

His wings and bow both gone now, the sulking blond wore a fierce pout and folded his arms.

"I mean-just look at him now! It's disgraceful, and there's no way I can keep him with me on Olympus anymore. Humans aren't allowed to live there, and Daddy knew that, so of course it's up to me to figure out where he can stay until I can convince the old frat to change him back."

"I-you want me to take care of him?"

"Well you're the only family I have here on Earth who actually cares enough to; besides he wouldn't survive two hours all on his own."

"That's true," Hercules readily agreed.

"Hey!" Cupid glared at his mother and uncle, "I am human now, not deaf!"

"And whose fault is that, huh?"

Aphrodite cuffed the back of her son's head with her right hand.

"Oww! Mommm!"

Cupid reached up in a hurry to rub, a wounded expression on his face.

"You always get yourself into these messes and just expect me to get you out of them! Now listen, you are going to stay here with your Uncle Hercules and do everything, and anything, he tells you to, alright? You're lucky he's agreed to keep you!"

"Uh Dite-I haven't actually.."

Hercules watched his little sister pop up at his right side and she went up on tiptoe to kiss his cheek, "You are the best Herc. I'm the luckiest sister ever."

She flashed him one of her special grins and waved, "Call me if you need me!"

"I-wait-" Hercules watched helplessly as his sister shimmered out of sight.

"You will let me stay with you..won't you Uncle Herc?"

Cupid's soft question got Hercules' attention and he glanced down at his nephew and had to smile, "Yeah..come on. The village isn't too far away from here."

"But-you mean-we're walking there!"

"It's the human way," Hercules told him.

"This sucks," Cupid muttered, kicking at the forest floor.

"Well you could always just stand around here and wait for the wild beasts to catch your scent."

The man smiled to himself when he heard the soft squeaking of the young man panicking and before he knew it Cupid was hanging onto one arm.

"But you-you won't let them get me, right Uncle Herc?"

"No. But I'm also not carrying you, so pick up those feet. You'll get used to walking soon enough."

Cupid did not look all that convinced, but he also realized that he was at a great disadvantage now and his uncle was his only hope of survival.

For his part, Hercules had always gotten along great with kids, but he'd never been responsible for or kept one longer than a few hours at a time. He wasn't exactly sure how he and Cupid would get along long term, if they could at all, and that concerned the half god some, but he'd give it his all, as usual.