Cutting the Line
The dead are fucking horrible dates.
Nico first got the idea of dating the dead - Dating the Dead, new reality show on Hephaestus TV now - in Asphodel. He was wandering around, thinking about how glad he was that he had never been to Kansas, when it hit him: the Underworld was full of people who wanted a different afterlife. He was bored and lonely and had the power to upgrade their deal. Might as well abuse his power like a true demigod.
So he sidled up to a guy in his late teens, waiting in EZ Death with his hands on his pockets and a queer pride patch on the back of his jeans.
"Are you gay?" he had asked, tapping the guy on the shoulder.
"Am I really dead?"
"Yep. Are you gay?"
Nico hadn't done anything with him. He had asked about everything he hadn't understood as a child - what the initials LGBT meant, what being gay, well, was. He had talked to Jake (Illinois, car accident) for maybe two hours, then given him a signed note for Elysium. Then came Paolo, a drag queen from Brazil (cocaine overdose), who talked him through the, ah, technicalities of it all. Nico had spoken to the judges afterward and personally ensured that Paolo's soul would reach the Isles of the Blessed in his next death. Bianca had taught him a lot, you know, about that stuff, but they were from the 1940s, for crying out loud. His mother took her hat off indoors, like, once.
After a while he decided it was time to learn practically, and got a lot more picky about who he plucked out of line. There was Tom whose black hair and green eyes were so accurate that Nico almost enjoyed explaining that it was company policy for the best kissers to go straight to the Fields of Elysium, and Chekov, whose easy smile and loose limbs made it way too easy to sneak off to a back alley without the Furies noticing. They had returned a while later with their shirts inside out and grit in their hair. Nico had escorted Damien to Elysium personally.
But they were shit company when he remembered they didn't have heartbeats.
"God," Christopher said when their limbs were back in the correct clothing and they were both - sort of - breathing hard. "I wouldn't have minded leukaemia so much if I'd known I get to date hot Goth dudes in the afterlife. I used to take my boyfriend to the cinema all the time. Is there a cinema in Elysium?" Yes, there was. No, he hadn't been to it.
Nico had never actually been to a cinema.
It was time to go back upstairs.
Wrote this real quick yesterday; kind of wish you could just corner someone older and wiser than you and say "Right! Explain x" and emerge enlightened. Not sure when this is set either - sometime 'in the future' I think since Nico is, how do you say, different. Older.
Also I'm not sure if this should go up a rating from T? FF won't let me view the graphic explaining the ratings, so if anyone could let me know what they are, and where this should be, it'd be great! (So would a review, hint hint.)