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Cupid's Chokehold

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Cupid’s job was seriously a million times easier when he got to use his arrows. But once they hit the 20th century there was all sorts of shit about ethics and the moral ramifications of shooting people to make them fall in love and blah, blah, blah, now his job sucks. He’s become a glorified fucking matchmaker. He works in an office. He has to wear actual clothes which are fucking itchy and constricting and just sucks, seriously. Everything sucks. He can still fly and hide himself from humans but what the fuck ever, that doesn’t help much with anything except saving himself from getting his ass kicked when things go wrong. The Big Man doesn’t like him doing it, either, because there’s no better way to tip a human off to the fact that supernatural powers are interfering with their lives than to fucking disappear like, poof, gone.

“Yeah, that does suck” Aphrodite says, cradling a viciously pink drink in one hand, the sort of girly cocktail that comes with fruit in it (Cupid totally wants to eat the cherry but whatever). She has her legs crossed all primly but her neckline comes down to her fucking stomach. Slut, Cupid thinks, and then is immediately glad Aphrodite can’t read minds. No one needs a repeat of the Fresno disaster. “Although I still don’t think your jobs all that bad.”

Cupid stares at her blearily. “Last week I almost got my ass kicked by some jackass self-loathing homophobe,” he says. “He was a fucking soldier. He was gonna break me in half.”

“But he didn’t!” Aphrodite says. “See, that could have gone worse.”

“Fuck,” Cupid says, because, fuck. He stares down at his seriously shitty beer, contemplating the sheer bullshit that is his life now. “This beer is terrible.”

“That’s because you ordered tap,” Aphrodite says. “Everything on tap is shitty here. Plus you ordered Natty Bo. That’s shitty everywhere.”

“Ugh,” Cupid says. “How is this my life.”

Aphrodite reaches out and pats the back of his hand. The fact that Cupid totally appreciates that probably means he should stop drinking. He’s not going to because his life is a sham, and he hates his job. But he probably should.

“This too shall pass,” she says and then, “Oh shit jello shots!” waving over a girl with a tray full of delicious alcoholic beverages. Cupid’s pretty sure she’d been a swan earlier. The girl. Zeus is a fucking weirdo.

Aphrodite buys a shot for Cupid which makes her his new favorite person ever.

“You are so awesome,” Cupid says, as she hands it over to him. “Seriously, you are the best.”

“Shit, remind me to buy you alcohol more often,” Aphrodite says. “You’re way more complimentary.”

“I… am 100% in favor of that.” Cupid says, because all alcohol he doesn’t have to pay for is good alcohol. Fuck, his job is making him an alcoholic, one day Aphrodite is going to hold an intervention for him. Shit, his mom will be there, too. At least watching his mom criticize Aphrodite’s terrible love goddess-ing like she always does will make it more bearable.

Maybe he’ll get to be on TV. Like, Intervention: Greek and Roman Pantheons. Like fucking Survivor except he’ll be drunk. Although he’d probably have to be drunk to put up with Survivor, too. He just isn’t going to try.

Something is beeping, something is - fuck, that’s his phone. Cupid sets his beer down to work it out of his pocket - stupid fucking hipster jeans, ugh, girly uniforms could suck it - and flips it open.

To: Cupid
From: Big Man

New assignment, details attached. :)

“He should stop using smiley faces,” Cupid says. “He’s really fucking uncheerful. That’s misrepresentation.”

“Big words for someone who can’t walk straight.” Aphrodite says. “So who’s the new victim?”

“Fuck you, victim,” Cupid says, without much real heat. Then he opens the attachment. “Oh, shit. One of them’s a fucking ex-soldier.” He stares down at his phone mournfully. “I’m gonna get my ass kicked.”

“Well, with that attitude, you will,” Aphrodite says, like being cheerful will stop someone from being a jackass.

“This is going to be a disaster,” Cupid says.

“Probably,” Aphrodite says. “But that’s just you.”

#

Cupid meets his mark - okay, one of his marks, the probably-gonna-kill-him ex-soldier - for the first time outside of a flower shop. Which seems like an awesome idea because flower shops are the fucking building block of romance, but Cupid didn’t count on this guy being a totally dumb ass. He’s a doctor. Doctor’s are supposed to be smart. Cupid should have figured he’d have, like, no interpersonal skills.

Fuck, he just used interpersonal in a sentence, he has to stop hanging out with Hermes.

He’s wearing his fucking girly hipster jeans and a fucking girly hipster scarf because that’s Cupid’s life now: he has to make assholes fall in love while looking like a douche bag. He hovers around the flower shop door with the bouquet he bought - red roses because, seriously, the building blocks of romance - getting weird looks from the shop owner - which is fair because he looks like a total creeper - and waiting for John Watson to make his appearance.

Cupid almost misses him walking by. He’s fucking unassuming, is what he is; he blends really well with a crowd when he wants to. Which is why Cupid kind of panics when he sees him at the last minute and opens the door into his face.

“Oh, shit,” Cupid says and shuts the door behind himself, quickly, kneeling down to check that he hasn’t fucking concussed his mark. “Shit, man, I’m sorry. I, uh, I didn’t see you there.”

“Apparently,” John Watson says, then looks up at Cupid. “Ah, in a bit of a hurry to romance someone?”

“Nnn - Yes,” Cupid says, remembering what he was doing before he fucking assaulted his mark with a door, shit.

“Not sure?” John says, quirking an eyebrow.

“It’s, uh. It’s complicated,” and fuck now he’s talking in Facebook statuses, what is wrong with him. “There’s this guy, he’s really smart but kind of social-stupid. Like, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t considered that we could be dating. He’s pretty obsessed with his job,” and, okay, that’s laying it on kind of thick, but fuck subtlety, that’s for pussies. “But, you know. Roses. Red roses. You can’t really misinterpret red roses, right?”

“I know someone who probably could,” John says, mildly, then he looks into the flower shop. “Although,” he says, and then goes quiet a moment, before smiling, “Excuse me,” he opens the flower shop door, but turns back to Cupid to say, “Good luck with your friend.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Cupid says, and then does a victory fist pump when John disappears inside the shop. “I fucking rock,” he says and believes it for about three hours, until he sees what John does with the roses.”

#

“So let me get this straight,” Aphrodite says, cradling another viciously pink drink in her hand. Cupid should stop meeting her in bars, they’re both drinking too much, forget Aphrodite holding an intervention for him, they’re going to have a joint intervention. “He bought the flowers. Good job with that by the way, well played. He took them home. And then he gave them to his girlfriend.”

“Yes,” Cupid says, staring down into his beer, morosely.

“He has a girlfriend,” Aphrodite says.

Yes,” Cupid says. He stares into his glass some more, then tips it up and knocks back the rest of his seriously shitty beer. When it’s gone, he groans, “Fuck my life, seriously.”

“Yeah, that’s going to make things complicated,” Aphrodite says. “So how are we going to break them up? I’m thinking seduction.”

“What do you mean we?” Cupid says. “And I’m not making a mortal fall in love with me again. It’s fucking awkward.”

“Don’t even act like you don’t need my help,” Aphrodite says. “And I wasn’t talking about you. I am a world-class seductress. Seriously, you’ve read the epics.”

“Yeah, but last time you started a war,” Cupid says. “I’m not trying to start a fucking war. I just want this guy to dump his girlfriend and bone his roommate.”

“Classy,” Aphrodite says. “No wonder you’re doing so well.”

“Fuck you,” Cupid says, without much real heat. “I’m awesome at my job.”

“Uh huh,” Aphrodite says, “Which is why you always come crying to me for help.”

“I don’t cry,” Cupid says.

“I would like to note you didn’t deny coming to me for help,” Aphrodite says.

“Fuck,” Cupid says, “Fine. You can try to seduce her. But it’s not going to work. She has a boyfriend. That doesn’t exactly say, ‘I want to bone a chick.’”

“You need to work on your presentation,” Aphrodite says. “You sound like a jackass when you say that.”

“Fine, whatever,” Cupid says, “It doesn’t say ‘I want to be wrapped in the loving arms of another woman.’ Better?”

“Actually, you still kind of sound like a douche,” Aphrodite says. “Maybe you just shouldn’t talk.”

“Fuck off,” Cupid says. “And go seduce his girlfriend.”