AN: GAh, I've started another...it's like a sickness, really. Anyway, it's kinda silly but a blast to write. Please note: I'm mixing greek/roman names and characteristics and am NOT using the Marvel mythology for Asgard. Enjoy!
Leonard McCoy held his breath when he realized that he was no longer alone in his locked room. He was sitting at the empty kitchen table, in the dark, with his head in his hands after another long day at Starfleet Medical. Fourteen days and twelve hours of watching his best friend become stronger and stronger in body, but not wake up. This was the first break he'd allowed himself in over three days; he'd been forced out of the room.
So he came back to his private rooms to sit alone in the dark and silence and agonize over whether Jim Kirk would actually survive. But he was no longer alone. He delayed raising his head; he had an idea of who could sneak up on him like that, but he truly didn't think he could face her.
"Hello Darling, it's been too long." She scowled at the voice, hating that he'd been right. She moved closer, he could smell the flowery scent that followed her around.
"Mother, I thought we agreed that you would announce yourself before you just showed up." He sensed her moving again, coming up in front of his chair so they could talk face-to-face.
Against his will, just as always when he was in his mother's Divine Presence, he felt his physical appearance changing, reverting back to his true, ageless form. His hair lightened until it was blonde, all of his lines and wrinkles fading off his face, his skin tanning itself until he fairly glowed bronze and then the wings. His wings sprung from his back; as though they'd been eager to show themselves after all the time he'd kept them hidden. He felt a smile cross his face as he stretched them.
"I did announce myself; you were just too wrapped up in yourself to notice. Now come here and hug your mother, my beautiful Cupid-boy."
Scowling again, he slowly got up from his chair and approached his mother. They hugged awkwardly and she reached up to pat his head.
"Couldn't you get yourself some normal clothing mom?" He waved a hand at her pale pink ensemble, the very same skimpy clothes she'd been wearing for millennia. She smiled brightly and gestured back at him.
"I could ask you the same thing…Doctor." He looked pointedly at his medical scrubs and white lab coat. He sighed, frustrated that he couldn't make her take the bait and argue with him. That was really more his father's deal anyway.
"Sorry mom, to what do I owe the pleasure of your oh-so-busy company?" He waved a hand for her to take the seat next to him at the table and she did. Then he waited not so patiently for her to explain herself; Aphrodite, once she got talking, took an eon to get to the point.
"I've been watching you a lot lately. Checking up on you, I suppose. So has your father." She began, and he crossed his arms, frowning again when he realized that his scrubs were gone and he was bare chested with leather straps criss-crossing under his pecs to hold his bow and quiver on his back. He'd foolishly hoped that he'd get to keep a little of his dignity intact this time. No such luck.
"Yeah, Kahn kinda had "ARES" written all over him. Though he'd never admit to a higher power that wasn't himself." He paused, his mind racing back to Jim in the bio-bed at 'Fleet Medical. Jim with Kahn's blood healing his body and doing God's only knew what to his mind. His mother took his pause to read his mind.
"You were so smart to think of that….Kahn's blood, I mean. Yours would have worked too, but…been there, done that I suppose." Both of their beautiful faces soured at the memory of Psyche. She was certainly best left forgotten, he thought rudely.
"Any way Cupid-baby, I've been sent to tell you something about your beloved Jim." His mother's face twisted in displeasure and he barked out a laugh at seeing it.
"Sent? Mom you are Aphrodite, the Goddess of love. Who has the power to send you to do anything that you don't want to do?" She turned and flashed her most radiant, glowing smile on her beautiful child and, despite himself, his breath caught in his throat and his thoughts grew muddled.
"Oh darling Cupie, you think I don't know? I am the Goddess of Love, don't you try to hide from me. I know all about darling Jim and your feelings for him. I was sent by Odin…rather his wife Frigga. I owe her a favor for a…thing she did. Anyway, I accepted the summons so that I could come see your Jim in person." He felt his face flush deeply; he really hadn't given enough higher-brain thought to his feelings for Jim, or the fact that his mother would certainly know about them. The last time he thought he'd fallen in love…well, once again, Psyche is best left forgotten.
"Wait; did you say Odin and Frigga? Since when do you spend time with the young Norse Gods? Haven't I heard you call them barbarians on more than one occasion?" She smiled and reached across the table to ruffle his hair again.
"Oh, that's not important. Frigga helped me out with a thing and Odin called in her favor. That isn't what matters here. I need you to pass along some info to your Jim; he's gonna need a lot of help sweetie." He was confused; at the best of times it was difficult to follow his mother's rambling and this was hardly the best of times.
"He's always got my help mother. What are you talking about?" She smiled sweetly, further muddling his thoughts. Demi-Gods shouldn't be affected by the presence of Gods this much; especially if it's their own parents, he thought.
"Well…Cupie, my beautiful boy, you're not the only Demi-God on your silly starship anymore. Khan's blood and your brilliant mind aren't the only things that saved Darling Jim. He's got some pretty serous ancestors in his family tree." She paused and cocked her head to the side, her eyes going distant as she thought for a moment. "Well…serious enough. Young too but, hey, most beings are younger than us."
His mind was completely blank. Jim Kirk was a Demi-God? Like him? He blinked and shook his head, trying to make his mother's words make sense, but no matter how he rearranged them, they stayed stubbornly nonsensical.
His mother got up from the table, her silky robe flowing around her as her golden ringlets bounced on her shoulders and the room filled with the scent of roses. Dazedly, he followed her into the living room and thumped down onto the couch in shock.
"I can keep Ares distracted for a little while, but your Jim is gonna need help adjusting to his new life. Dying and coming back to life, added to the super blood you pumped into him woke up his latent God-genes. Eventually, I'm sure he'll get some family visits, but you're gonna be the front line for him. Show him your true self and tell him your story; it'll help him cope. Ares will be back though, you know your father. Anyway, Cupie, this should help you with his Godly-info till someone from his side visits. Call me if you need me!"
She flung a book into his hands and fluttered over to kiss his forehead before vanishing in a cloud of rose-petals. He looked down at the book in his hands, blinking several times to make his eyes focus.
The Norse Myths (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
He cursed his mother soundly for a moment, both for dropping this on him right now then leaving and for leaving this book. Printed by mortals. About Myths. She should absolutely know better that mortals never got it right. Think of all the lies printed by mortals about her. Sometimes, in a very small, private place in his brain, he agreed with his father that his mother was just a dumb blonde bimbo. He shook his head and cracked open the ridiculous book, so that he could at least get some idea of what he was dealing with.
Two hours later found Cupid dressed once again as Leonard McCoy, chewing on his lip as he closed the book in his lap. There was a lot of information in there, though he could not know how much was factual without actually speaking with one of the Gods in question. He sat for a moment, pondering whether he should call out to one of them (he knew he couldn't get to Asgard without an invitation, just like they couldn't wander onto Mount Olympus without one) or whether he should go check on Jim.
He stood up and shook his body vigorously, dispelling the remnants of Cupid that were still lingering on his body. Back were his wrinkles and age lines; the brown hair; gone were the wings and his accent morphed back to the Georgia one he'd adopted for Leonard McCoy, MD.
When he arrives at Jim's room, he sees instantly that nothing has changed. Jim's vitals are textbook perfection, but he's still sleeping. Leo can't bring himself to say comatose; not even in the relative privacy of his own mind. He runs his hand-held Tricorder over Jim's body, unable and unwilling to switch off the doctor part of him even after all he's learned.
He pulls a chair up close to Jim's bed and sits, tentatively reaching up and grabbing the non-responsive hand laying on the bed. He flounders for a way to start; how to tell Jim all of the things that Jim needs to hear. He settles back into his chair and starts telling Jim a story.
It begins with Yggdrasil, the tree of the cosmos. He talks about one-eyed Odin and his wife Frigga; their children and a few of their adventures. By the time he's done talking about Thor, the thunder God, his throat is sore and his eyes are dropping in exhaustion. He closes his eyes and rests his head on their joined hands, closing his eyes for just a minute. Sleep takes him before he can stop it.
Two female figures appear at the end of the bed, gazing down at the Starship Captain and His Chief Medical Officer.
"Didn't I tell you they were too cute together? Cupid though…he's been hurt by mortals before. My poor boy will take a lot of convincing." The blonde Goddess speaks to the Red-head, who nods sagely. Though the blonde is much older in years, the other looks older and more mature; the product of being a Mother Goddess instead of a Love Goddess.
"Jim is no longer mortal and because of that I'm not sure how long I can keep his father away from him. His leaving of this plane was so difficult and he's always been so fond of mortals. He had to watch his child grow up far away from him and Thor is a sensitive soul. When he realizes that Jim's immortality is assured he will be overjoyed. I must agree, though, that this match is perfection. It is blessed and we must protect it."
Jim is awake. Leo knows it and tried to stay calm; telling himself over and over not to cry in front of the Vulcan. But Jim is awake and he feels like he could do anything once those blue eyes focus on him for the first time in weeks. He blathers on, making light while on the inside he is screaming for joy.
Jim gives all the credit to Spock and Leo can't be bothered to care; much. It hurts a bit. He forces himself into Doctor McCoy mode, physically and mentally. There will be time for the rest of it when Spock leaves. Except Spock isn't leaving, he's pulling the chair closer to the bed and getting comfortable and Jim is gazing at him adoringly and Leo has to leave the room before he gets sick. He excuses himself shortly and goes into the hallway to breathe. He didn't expect another Godly visit, but he's not all that surprised either.
"Cool it bro. There's no desire in that room; trust me, I'd know." Himeros stood, one shoulder and hip braced against the opposite wall, as Leo surveyed him. It was still, even after all these years, uncanny how much looking at his twin's face was like looking into a mirror. Less so at that very moment because Leo still had his Doctor façade on. He frowned at being caught by even more of his family.
"I didn't ask for your opinion Hime. I know what I see and 'feel' in there." He slumped down, curling in on himself when he realized that he was being stupid. He hated feeling stupid. Leo finally admitted to himself that there was nothing but familial love in that cold, sterile room. Apollo and Asclepius would be appalled if they saw what mortals were doing in healing rooms these days.
"Word around the mountain is that Cupid's fallen in love again. That so, Bro? Heh, that rhymed." Leo rolled his eyes and straightened his posture to glare at his twin; not that it would do anything other than frustrate him further.
"Maybe, you infant, what's it to you?" Himeros smiled and gestured Leo to lean in close.
"Betting pool." Leo jerked back as though he'd been burned, and he had. There was a betting pool about him and Jim? Great, just fucking great. He stared at his brother who merely smiled, wiggled his fingers in that infuriating way that their mother had, and vanished before his eyes. Sometimes, he hated his damn family.
Fortified by a few minutes of deep breathing, he headed back into the room only to physically bump into Spock, who was trying to exit.
"Doctor McCoy, Leonard, he is asking for you and it is past time that I should leave and inform Nyota of his awakening. Thank you." Spock raised his hand in the traditional Vulcan sign of respect and Leo responds in kind, really meaning it. He is further gratified by the widening of Spock's eyes, in what he's privately started referring to as the Vulcan version of a smile. Leo feels the corner of his mouth turn up in a smile as he slips past the started Vulcan back into Jim's room and shuts the door firmly behind him. It can't and won't keep out any divine visitors, but it would at least provide some privacy from the mortal visitors.
"Jim, please be honest with me; how are you feeling?" He asks wearily as the settles into the chair next to Jim's bed, moving it closer to his head so he doesn't have to strain to talk. Jim's smile is weary but radiant, and Leo's breath catches in his throat to see it directed at him.
"I feel weird Bones. I feel really good, like my body feels better than perfect but there's something...I feel kinda more than that? I dunno, I know I'm not making any sense. Bones, I gotta tell you...I heard your voice, while I was sleeping. It made me...it made me want to wake up. You saved my life and you made me want to wake up. Made me want to come back from wherever I was." Leo swallowed harshly against the lump of emotion in his throat and held his tongue against the automatic sarcastic remark that sprang into his head. Instead, he reached over and took Jim's hand in his.
"You're... welcome? Dammit Jim, you make me crazy. Did you...did you understand anything I was saying?" Confusion passed across Jim's handsome face at the abrupt change of subject. Leo held his breath as Jim's eyes narrowed and clouded as he tried to remember. He blinked, focusing on Leo again and a tiny, humoring smile flitted across his lips.
"Something about old-Terran mythology? I remember Odin, Frigga, Thor and something about a tree...What the hell was that Bones?" Leo sighed and turned his eyes towards the ceiling, searching for the right words. But the words wouldn't come because it wasn't the right time. He turned back to Jim and made another joke.
"Well, kid, you act like such an infant sometimes, I thought you might like a bedtime story. I was hoping that you'd wake up and ask me questions. Besides...after two weeks it was... Well, I had to try something different." He hated himself a little for the evasion, and Jim knew that he wasn't getting the whole truth, but the time wasn't right and they both let the subject drop. Time enough to talk when they were in their quarters and away from this hated hospital room.
Days and days, one running into the other. The monotony of the days before Jim had woken up changed into days of endless testing. Jim gets every physical, mental and stress test that Leo and the other doctors can come up with and some ones they'd invented just for him besides. Finally, Starfleet is forced to accept the fact that Jim is mentally and physically the same as he's ever been, and in some few instances even better. They release him into Leo's personal care.
Though Jim has been proven to be physically sound, Leo can't help but be extra handsy while he gathers them up to head back to their apartment. Leo should be ashamed, but he really likes the feeling of Jim in his arms, so he's not. Jim is uncharacteristically quiet and malleable for the entire trip, looking at the world passing them by with wide, child-like eyes. He looks bright and focused, and Leo holds his breath waiting for the questions to begin. He hopes that, once they are in their shared apartment and surrounded by 'home' Jim will feel confident enough to talk about it.
Leo manhandles Jim into his bedroom, helping him sit on the bed before dropping the bags that accompanied them home from the hospital. Jim watches him closely and silently as he sets out the framed holos, vases of flowers and other gifts from well-wishers.
"Bones, why does everything look clearer? And kinda..." He scrunches up his face and waves his hand vaguely in the air, searching for the correct word. The doctor part of Leo is wondering why none of this came out in the batter of tests that Jim had gone through. The god part of Leo knows better.
"Bluey? Not blue really but there's like an inner blue glow..." Jim trails off and sneers at his own choice of words as he waves a hand back and forth in front of his face. His eyes refocus on Leo and widen in alarm or surprise, Leo isn't sure which.
"Well, everything 'cept you Bones. You look...gold with a little pink." Leo feels his face flush under the scrutiny and accuracy of Jim's words. He ducks his head and rubs the back of his neck bashfully, praising the gods when the door chime sounds and he is saved from having to reply.
He practically runs out of the room to get the door and it swishes open to reveal his savior. Nyota is smiling at him and his blush, which had been fading, renews itself as he returns her smile.
"Darlin, it is so good to see you, to what do we owe the pleasure?" Leo gestures her into the apartment and closes the door behind her. She spins lightly on her toes, nearly striking him in the face with her long ponytail.
"I heard that the Captain was released from the hospital today and I wanted to come check on him and you; wanted to see for myself that he's okay."
"He's right behind you, so feel free to check me out for yourself. And you were totally welcome at the hospital, you know. Wasn't she Bones?"
Leo jumped at the sound of Jim's voice, still unused to hearing it after two weeks of silence. Nyota flashed him a knowing smile as the blush on his cheeks renewed itself yet again. Leo knew why she'd not visited him at the hospital, but she would need to tell Jim herself. Nyota flung herself into Jim's embrace and Leo smiled at the picture they made before silently making his way into the kitchen to put together a tea-tray. Jim hated tea, but it was good for him and, after spending so much time with Spock, it was the only thing that Nyota drank anymore.
Wen he took the finished tray into the living room he found them curled on the couch like a pair of lovers and couldn't stop the irrational flash of jealousy that popped up. He took a deep breath before reminding himself that Jim was NOT Psyche and that he was just projecting her onto him. Jim could never be anything like that selfish harpy. She had suitors and lovers galore but said that she wanted him only for the immortality it would bring her. He closed his eyes and forced all thoughts about the ex-that-shall-not-be-named out of his head before joining them, setting the tray on the low coffee table and seating himself in the chair across from them.
They turned as one to regard him in silence, Nyota's head on Jim's shoulder and his arm wrapped low around her back. He tried to smile reassuringly, but judging from the confused look on Jim's face and the smug smile on Nyota's, he fell short of the mark.
"Am I not wanted here? I can leave and give y'all some privacy..." He trailed off, feeling absurdly unsure of himself. Jim blushed and averted his eyes as though looking at him hurt in some way.
"Don't be ridiculous Len; we were just having some girl time." Nyota sassed at him and he instantly felt so much more at ease. Nyota and Jim would always have a complicated relationship, but she truly only thought of him as a friend. A friend who sacrificed himself to save her; dying for her just as he did for Spock, Scotty, Leonard and the rest of his crew. A stray thought floated though Leo's head that Jim wouldn't have to worry about that anymore.