Percy moaned as his eyes fluttered open. Despite being shot once—almost twice—he had had rather pleasant dreams while he had been out. The words he heard when he woke up were quite nice, too, the voice that spoke them almost musical. “Does that mean you want to go camping, Percy, or are you just happy to see me?”
Percy slowly shook his head from side to side. It was much too bright. He tried to raise his arm to shield his eye, only remembering that he had been shot in his arm when pain flared.
Percy felt as though he had been through a barfight. His shoulder throbbed with pain, but the rest of his body felt sore. His skin felt raw and exposed. Silently, he noted to himself that getting shot was not the best idea, even if it was to save his boss.
Although, Percy had to admit, if there was any chance of Jason getting cloned he would be the first to purchase a set of two. His rather lurid, anaesthetic-induced dream had involved being fucked in both ends by the somewhat-greying CEO. He shivered at the thought, his hard cock throbbing underneath the sheet that covered him.
Percy wondered if the idle fantasies of his tranquilized mind had been true. His entire body felt heavy, although, there was no trace of the twine that the dream-Jasons had used to tie his hands behind his back.
Percy blinked, as his eyes adjusted to the light. He looked, uncomprehending, at the rejuve ring that was hovering around his bed. He couldn’t quite tell what it was, though his thoughts were still sluggish from being knocked out. He looked elsewhere and saw a mop of blond hair that, for a brief moment, made his heart flip.
“Morning, Percy,” said the blond, turning to present Percy with a much younger face than Jason’s. “I was wondering when you would come to.” Dressed in the snowy-white jumpsuit of a medic, with a red cross printed on the chest, was Will Solace.
It took a moment for Percy to register that not only was Will there, but that he was also naked under the sheets and that said sheets were tented around his groin area. In his haste to cover up he entirely forgot about the rejuve ring that was hovering around his bed, and immediately regretted his decision.
There was a resounding smack as Percy’s forehead met the side of the lightweight alloy exterior of the rejuve ring. “Ow! Fuck!” he yelled, falling back on the pillow that he hadn’t even noticed had been under his head until then. “The fuck is this?”
“Anyway,” said Will. The doctor walked over to Percy’s side and gently tapped the underside of his arm. Percy gingerly raised it, wincing in pain. “Hm,” said Will, a pensive look on his face. “That’s not good. Might have to put you in a sling for a while.”
“Well, regardless,” Will noted something down on the digital clipboard he was carrying. Percy didn’t think it was very practical to be using a clipboard when Will clearly had a neural link.
“Considering how you seem to have the hots for your boss, I have taken the liberty to prescribe a regiment that should help you cope in the event that you ever have to deal with severe sexual frustration when it comes to him,” said Will. The grin on the doctor’s face was so wide that Percy was convinced he would get along just fine with his ex-boyfriend’s new boyfriend.
“What do you mean by that?” said Percy, gingerly rubbing the lump forming on his forehead with his good arm. Will snorted and pressed a hand to the side of the rejuve ring, passing the entire structure over Percy and off the far end of the bed. Percy watched as the ring hovered over to one side of the room, a safe distance away from any more Percy foreheads that could slam into it.
“Haven’t you heard the stories?” said Will, still grinning rather cheekily. There was a brief lull in the conversation, as though Will was getting somewhat distracted. There was a pink hue to his cheeks when he started chuckling. “Nico says that he has never encountered a more frigid stuck-up bitch than Jason.”
Percy thought back to the way that the CEO of Pantheon Industries had practically accosted him in the break-room and briefly wondered if he and Nico were thinking of the same Jason.
The Jason that Percy had come to know, however briefly had seemed more like the guy that the tabloids painted him to be than what Nico was saying. “Interesting,” said Percy, eyes flickering to the blue light intermittently flashing from Will’s left temple.
Percy raised his voice, just in case Nico was listening in to their conversation. He wanted Nico to hear this bit. “That’s a very interesting observation coming from your boyfriend, Will,” he said. Will raised an eyebrow at him, but he only winked in response. “Takes one to know one, I guess.”
Percy smirked as Will bit his lower lip. It was abundantly clear that the doctor was fighting back laughter, judging from the short breaths and the tears gathering at the corners of Will’s eyes. There were a quite a few inhuman snorting noises coming from that side of the room, and Percy was satisfied in the knowledge that Nico was probably mentally cursing him out in Italian.
Percy took the brief lull in conversation as a chance to examine his strange surroundings. He looked to be in a fully-operational med bay, though he couldn’t quite tell where. He supposed he was on Tempest, though again, he couldn’t be sure. He could just as well be on Will’s Caduceus. “Where am I?” he said, when Will finally regained some semblance of composure.
Will pointed at the decal on one of the walls of the medbay, an eagle that Percy knew should be gold, but painted red to match the theme of the rest of the facility. “You are aboard the NRSS Tempest. Might want to give the ship a break. He’s had to deal with Jason ever since you saved Jason’s life from that attempt on it.”
Will patted Percy’s shoulder, but when Percy tried to get up, that same hand kept him in place. “Where’s Jason?” said Percy, looking about the room. He had only just recalled why exactly it was that he had been shot. There had been an assassin. One that Jason seemed to have recognized. “Is he alright?”
“It will take more than an assassin with a gun to take out our beloved leader,” said Will, with a smirk. Percy got the sense that it was a platitude that was bandied about more than it should be. He didn’t find it particularly clever or funny. “Don’t worry,” said Will. “He’ll be fine.”
“You, however,” said Will, taking a seat on the bed beside Percy. “You are another matter entirely. The bullet that you got shot with? It was covered in nanopellets of stabilized unbiunium that was destabilized by your body heat. You are currently a walking radiation hazard.”
Percy felt the blood leave his face. Whatever flush he’d had to him from his earlier dream about the multiple Jasons immediately disappeared. Will’s other hand, surprisingly gentle and warm settled on Percy’s arm. His voice was soothing, too. Like the sound of water in a tank rippling when no one else was around. “The rejuve ring was so that I could try to get the worst of it out of you. Good news is that I managed to. You’re not going to die in the next few days.”
Percy breathed a sigh of relief, but it was a guarded one. From the way that Will had said the words, he suspected there was a big ‘but’ involved. “But,” said Will, as though reading Percy’s thoughts, “The problem is that a lot of the unbiunium is still in you. As more and more of it decays… well, let’s just say it won’t be pretty.”
“Tempest isn’t the smartest when it comes to biology,” said Will. There was a scoff from the speakers in the med bay, but nothing more. “It’s not his fault. He’s a scout/transport frigate. Anyway, Tempest ran a couple of rudimentary simulations and as far as we know, until Caduceus gets back to me, the longer the unbiunium is in you, the higher your core temperature is going to get.”
“And I will literally die from being cooked inside out,” said Percy. He averted his gaze from Will’s. The blue of Will’s eyes had been comforting to look at for a while, but now they were ever so slightly distracting.
“Well, you could,” said Will as he squeezed Percy’s arm. “Or, you could do as I recommend and undergo a proper rejuve treatment. What I did for you was pretty much a band-aid since Jason refused to move you to the Scipio’s much more capable facilities—and Caduceus is unfortunately on the other side of the planet right now.”
Percy turned to face Will. “Jason didn’t want to move me to Scipio?” he said. Will smiled at him, this one actually tender and affectionate. “Why would he do that?”
“No offense to anyone involved,” said a voice that drifted from the speakers in the med bay, “but Sir Grace has not had a very good track record of sanity today.”
“Ignore him,” said Will, patting Percy’s arm. “Tempest’s sarcastic manner of speaking was programmed into him by Jason.” Percy felt a twitch on the corners of his lips. He would never have pegged Jason for the type to program A.I., much less snarky ones.
“Jason said that you were his personal responsibility,” said Will. “And between you and me,” the doctor continued, “I think that he feels like he owes you something for saving his life.”
Percy wondered if that were truly the case. “But the way that he turned around and shot that guy in two seconds…” Percy shivered, the memories returning as the spell of the anaesthetic loosed its hold on him. “That was scary,” he said, “I’m not sure I needed to be there, at all.”
Percy shook his head. “Whatever,” he said. “I… I haven’t ever done rejuve before. I’m actually 19. Half of all the people I’ve talked to that look my age are apparently some couple of decades older than me.”
Will snorted. “I’m actually in my late twenties, too. Nico’s an old man, though.” Percy allowed himself a chuckle. He’d used that joke enough times before. And judging from the pink that crept into Will’s cheeks, Nico responded to Will in the exact same way that he used to with Percy. “But you don’t have to be afraid of doing rejuve. It’s a mostly painless procedure.”
“But I don’t understand what makes the rejuve with that ring thing different from what you say is proper rejuve,” said Percy. He’d seen Bessie undergo rejuvenation treatment, but he had always thought that animal rejuvenation was vastly different to human rejuvenation.
“Well, the ring can only do so much,” said Will. “Proper rejuve involves the nutrient tank and having your body flooded with nanobots. That’s why it’s the only treatment that’s going to work with your current predicament. I can instruct the nanobots to piece by piece remove and dispose of the unbiunium in your body.”
Nutrient tanks and nanobot swarms. Percy was not particularly happy to be privy to the knowledge that animal rejuvenation was practically the same as human rejuvenation. “But wouldn’t that mean I would have to be in the tank for a long time?” he said. He wasn’t sure how to feel about that.
“For the better part of two weeks at least,” said Will, “That is, if you were undergoing full-time rejuve.” Will shook his head and chuckled. “I offered to do it for Jason, but he said that he wouldn’t agree to putting you in a tank for maybe a month and that he thinks you wouldn’t particularly like it, either.”
Will shrugged. “I don’t see the difference, personally, since you’re knocked out the whole time, anyway.” Will patted Percy, again. “But the other choice is that you get to sleep in a rejuve tank. Eight hours a day, every day, for the next probably five or six months.”
Percy’s thoughts wandered back to Jason, and he felt an ache in his chest. What if there really was something between him and his boss? He felt it was wrong to be fantasizing like this, especially for someone that he had only just met, but the way that Jason had manhandled him in the break room had left quite the impression.
Truth be told, there was a part of Percy that was beginning to plot how to get in the CEO’s bed, but he was well aware that such a thing would be nigh-impossible if he was to sleep in a rejuve tank for the next five or six months.
Percy was brought back to the present by a quick, playful grope at his crotch. “Boy,” said Will, with a smirk, “Do I wish you had a neural interface broadcasting all those thoughts about Jason.”
Percy’s face flushed red. He stammered for a few moments, trying to find the right words. When he failed, miserably, he just took his free hand and slid it over his groin to hide his growing erection. “Mind your own business, Solace,” he growled—much less threateningly than he would have wanted.
“I don’t have a choice,” Percy murmured. “I’ll take the full-time treatment,” he said. “I don’t care if Jason doesn’t want me to do it. I don’t need his money.” That last comment made Percy bite his lip. He did actually need the money, but he supposed there was no better way to spend it than in saving his own life.
“Oh, darling,” said Will, with a chuckle, “You don’t have to pay for anything. Jason just gave his grudging consent, too.” Will patted his arm and murmured, just softly enough that Percy wasn’t sure if he was meant to hear it, “Oooh. Daddy’s going to be happy tonight.”
“Speaking of Daddy,” Tempest chimed from the speakers, “Mister Jackson’s hopeful sugardaddy-to-be wants him at Scipio’s bridge ASAP.” A wheelchair rolled into the med bay, seemingly of its own volition, but Percy didn’t really notice it. His vision had contracted to the one visible speaker on the opposite side of the med bay.
Will was chortling out loud, snorting every now and again at the implication. Percy’s mind had practically shut down at the word “sugardaddy,” though it was more so because he had never once considered what Jason’s motives for taking him in could be. He wasn’t about to complain, but frankly, he just found the thought too arousing to process.