yes. i know. many many other stories that i should update. but i love tadashi. and reyna needs so much more love.
(like basically every other BH6 crossover i've done so far...written for fun. yeah. so it's automatically on my delete-without-warning list. yup.)
okay hope you enjoy!
San Fransokyo is nothing like New Rome.
And Reyna loves it.
There's no sense of order here – the city is a mess of dark streets and bright lights and buildings toppling over each other, pavements full of cracks and roads that seemed to criss-cross their way around each other. There is none of the order, none of the discipline and the rigid form that she is used to.
She thinks she may be in love with this city.
Of course, she knows that there are many cities just like this. She knows that there are plenty of cities in a mess, falling over, bright and gleaming and somehow still dilapidated.
She doesn't really care. Right now, San Fransokyo is hers.
It's been a few years since the war against Gaia. It's been a busy few years, working with Camp Half-Blood, taking care of Camp Jupiter, dealing with everything that's come their way. She's grateful that Frank's been there every step of the way, stepping into Jason's shoes (she doesn't really consider Percy praetor, since he never actually did anything in his role), giving his own and often-workable ideas that she'd never considered before.
And now – now it's all behind her. She's retired from the Twelfth Legion. She's no longer praetor.
Of course, Reyna knows she owes Camp Jupiter and New Rome everything. She's lived there ever since she and Hylla got away from the pirates all those years ago. It's her home, it's been her home, for years. She's put her heart and soul into it, she's fought for it, she's sacrificed so much for it. It's all she's ever known.
But now she's finally left it behind her.
She remembers when she first brought up this idea to Frank – leaving New Rome, leaving Camp Jupiter, after she officially resigned. She remembers him dropping his stack of papers in shock, staring at her, speechless.
"But – but aren't you going to attend college in New Rome?" he'd asked her, looking bewildered.
She supposes that everyone had been expecting that. To go to college and settle down in New Rome.
It's not what she wants.
She told him how she'd been thinking of this for weeks. She doesn't want to live her whole life here, she told him. Yes, it's her home. It'll always be her home. But she wants to be free, for once. She doesn't want responsibilities.
She wants to live.
And Frank Zhang respected that.
"Where will you go?" he'd asked.
"I don't know," she had admitted.
So he'd found Piper and Jason and Annabeth and Percy and Hazel and Rachel, and he'd even found Chiron and Nico di Angelo and the son of Hades' boyfriend Will Solace. Reyna had frozen in the doorway when she'd found them all in the office, discussing, of all things, her.
"We were thinking," Annabeth had said, her clear grey eyes looking into Reyna's, "San Fransokyo."
Rachel, it seemed, had family friends there – some ultra-rich family called the Lees. She told Reyna that San Fransokyo was perfect, because it wasn't that far away from New Rome if she ever wanted to drop by again, and it was also far away enough that she could do whatever she wanted.
After looking at the map, Reyna'd realised she was right.
So Rachel had done some calling up, and Reyna had packed up her stuff, and after a day or so Rachel had bounced back into Camp Jupiter saying that her friend Fred had said that his parents were on one of their many family vacations and that he wouldn't mind a friend of Rachel's staying in the manor with him and Heathcliff, the butler.
Reyna had been wary, at first, of going to live with a complete stranger.
But Rachel told her that Fred was actually pretty lonely since his parents were always away, and he'd always been a good friend to her even though he was a few years older, and that besides, Reyna didn't have to stay with him.
So Reyna had agreed.
Fred hadn't been so bad. She'd gone to meet him with Rachel, who had taken her to San Fransokyo in the family chopper (sometimes Reyna forgot just how rich the Oracle of Delphi was), and even though he'd just grinned lazily at her with his messy hair and baggy clothes and had Heathcliff help her with her stuff up to her rooms ("Hey, no worries. I'm totally putting you in a room not in the same corridor as mine, you know, in case you feel uncomfortable living in the same house as someone you don't know, so, yeah, space"), Reyna liked him.
Yes, she thinks now, as she trudges through the streets of San Fransokyo, Fred's not bad at all.
For years, Reyna has surrounded herself with demigods, with people who know that one mistake and they can be dead. Even Dakota, with his easygoing, laidback nature, knows this. He knows how to fight for his life, even if he's drunk on Kool-Aid while he does it.
He doesn't make her spend time with him, even though it's clear he considers her lack of comic-book knowledge a clear disaster ("Have you been living under a rock your entire life?"), but some days they end up on the sofa watching movies, and he even teaches her how to play video games, and it's not long before he regrets it because she is successfully kicking his ass at every game they play together.
She's never felt so carefree.
On most days, though, he's off at the college where, he tells her, he's the school mascot, even though he's not a student there.
He shows her his sign-spinning skills, once, and Reyna has to admit that she is slightly impressed.
She spends her days exploring the manor, and the grounds, and the streets of San Fransokyo. Fred's offered to take her around, but she's refused; she wants to get lost. She wants to discover this maze of messy dark streets and bright city lights in this wonderfully, horribly disorganised place.
And she supposes she likes the thrill of it. The thrill that there is someone out there who might hurt her, lurking in the shadows – and all she has to care about is she and herself and she's not held down by her responsibilities to Camp Jupiter, or to a quest.
Fred tells her it's dangerous. She tells him she knows how to take care of herself. She's not planning to let herself get killed any time soon.
Some days, of course, she still has to fight off the occasional Cyclops or ogre that comes barrelling into the dimly-lit streets she wanders around. Stupid, really. They're usually alone, and she's always got an Imperial Gold dagger with her, at the very least. But mostly, they leave her alone; even if they're hungry for demigods, most monsters know who she is, and who her sister is; almost everyone has heard of her making her way across the Mediterranean and slashing down every monster that came into her path, and it's gotten her a reputation.
Still, there are the random attacks every now and then.
It's one dark night when she's making her way through the streets in a seedy area of San Fransokyo that four dark figures loom above her, tattooed and pierced and in ragged clothing, eyes glinting in the dim light.
"What's a pretty girl like you doing out in these parts so late?" one of them asks, voice raspy, as Reyna observes quickly, quietly.
Four mortals. Half-drunk. Not very fast. Very violent.
"Walking," she says.
"Pretty girl like you shouldn't be out alone," another one of the figures says.
"Thank you for your concern," she says. (She thinks Nico's rubbing off on her, what with the way she speaks now – gods, she misses that kid.) "I'll be on my way now."
She's about to sweep her way through them, when one of them lunges for her.
Reyna doesn't think. She strikes out.
Five seconds later, the guy has fallen on his back, shrieking, and the remaining figures stop to stare for one disbelieving moment before turning hard, angry eyes on her.
Reyna almost smiles. This should be fun.
(When has she gotten so reckless?)
It's then that there's the roar of an engine – at least, a sound that's considered a roar in the quiet street – and a moped skids into view, lights shining yellow, a well-built guy with a baseball cap and jacket driving it.
"Hop on," he says, to Reyna, as the remaining three figures stagger backwards from the light.
For a moment, Reyna is annoyed. She knows how to take care of herself. She can deal with this situation. What in Hades' name is this guy doing?
Trying to save her.
She decides to jump on.
"Hang on," he says to her, and Reyna just has time to wrap her arms around him before he's off, flying down the street, skidding through the roads and going around corner after corner. For a moment she feels ridiculous – her, Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano, holding on for dear life to a boy she doesn't even know.
He doesn't stop, not until they're in one of the more brightly-lit areas of San Fransokyo, and he finally comes to a halt outside some kind of diner.
"Are you okay?" he asks her, as she slides off the bike.
Reyna blinks at him. He looks worried, genuinely worried and concerned.
"I'm fine," she says; and then, almost reluctantly, she says, "Thanks."
(He didn't have to rush in and try and help her; but he did.)
He beams at her, then, and it's like his whole face has lit up from inside. "No worries," he says. "Is there anywhere I can take you? Drop you off?"
"Quite the Wonder Boy, aren't you?" Reyna asks.
He just grins again, flushes. "Hey, you're alone on the streets of San Fransokyo at eleven thirty at night," he points out. "I can't exactly let you walk home alone. There could be more sketchy characters out there."
For a moment, Reyna wants to roll her eyes and tell him she can take care of herself. After all, she's looked after herself for years; she's spent years fighting for her Cohort, and her Legion, and her Camp, and for her life. Reyna can take care of herself, thank you very much.
But he's looking at her, looking at her with a sort of half-smile that makes something in Reyna's stomach flip over.
"I don't even know your name," she says.
"Fair enough," he says, cheerfully. "I'll tell you my name, if you tell me yours."
For another moment, Reyna wants to blink in disbelief. Nobody's ever talked like this to her before; no one, not really, except for maybe Nico, and occasionally Jason or Frank or Annabeth.
But before, she was Reyna, praetor of the Twelfth Legion. Sister of the Queen of the Amazons. Cold, harsh, unrelenting, merciless.
Now she's just Reyna.
"Reyna," she says, finally.
The smile spreads across his face. "I'm Tadashi."
sooo...any comments? haha