AN: Thanks for reading as always and please check out my other Solangelo story and one-shots (I wrote a bunch of them!). This is still my favorite story, but I do rather like the one-shots I've written. I think you guys will love them too. Anyway, enjoy! P.s. the quote at the end is from the Blood of Olympus. Love, bluelove22~
The Past, Present, and Future
Nico smiled as Will failed at making a flower crown, not bothering to comment on how the Ghost King wearing a flower crown would look to his father. It's not like it mattered how Nico looked anyway. Over the centuries a couple of ghosts had tried to battle him for the title of Ghost King and none of them had even come close to defeating him. He was just too strong.
On the other side of the clearing, the son of Hades watched Percy and Annabeth doze off with their arms wrapped loosely around each other. On the swing set nearby Frank was pushing Hazel while Calypso pushed a laughing Leo. Jason and Piper were a few feet away watching, large smiles on their faces.
Somewhere near the lake Nico could sense many other familiar souls. Silena and Charles were two of them, another pair being Luke and Ethan. From time to time Nico saw Clarisse and Chris around, sometimes Thalia and Zoë, but they didn't appear to be nearby today.
Bringing his attention back to his husband, the dark-haired demigod tilted his head.
"I love you."
"Sei il grande amore della mia vita."
Will rolled his eyes. "You're the love of my life as well. Many lifetimes, to be accurate."
Nico leaned forward and kissed him on the lips, eyes shining with affection. "True."
It had taken Will five more lifetimes after his first to gain access to the Isles of the Blest. While leading good and wholesome lives as mortals, sometimes it was hard to do something worth being called a hero. Sure Will was a doctor in most of those lives, but unless he saved someone important (like the one time he gave a future president the heart surgery that saved his life) the judges in the Underworld thought he should be reborn and try again (because his one vote as the Ghost King wasn't enough).
As for Nico, he got lucky. Despite being reborn he kept his powers from his first life because of his title. In one of his lives he ended up being reborn as a child of Athena, but at camp Chiron what his true heritage was. Either way it wasn't difficult for Nico to gain access to the Isles of the Blest. After he did though he ended up living a few more lifetimes to spend time with Will as he did his best to gain the judges' favor. It didn't matter that they had multiple lives, because they were some of the lucky souls that remembered who they were in the past.
Take Percy for example. He learned later in life that he had actually already been reborn. Before he was a son of Poseidon he had selflessly saved many lives in World War I as a mortal. He gained access to Isles of the Blest before anyone else in their group of friends; however, he ended up being reborn once more so he could find Annabeth again and was called a hero a fourth time. He was always an over achiever after all.
Anyway, centuries later the whole gang (minus Grover and Juniper, who were reincarnated as trees at this point in time) was finally together. They made a point to stick to the names they were most used to even though their names through the times were more or less the same. Will had been William and Wallace during some lives while Nico had been Nicolas and Nick. Sometimes Leo answered to Leon, but besides that sticking to one name made things easier.
"I hope Reyna gets back soon," Nico found himself saying.
Will ran a hand through his husband's hair reassuringly. "Tucker has one more life as a hero to go and he'll be here with us. Reyna will come back as soon as he's here too, you know that."
"I knew that albino was just a silly mortal. He's been through seven lives already."
"Hey, it took me six total. Don't be so crabby before work," he added as an afterthought. "Your dad might fry you."
Nico shook his head. "You know he wouldn't do that. He relies on me too much, even if he doesn't admit it out loud. That being said I need to go now. Hades warned me there was important business I had to deal with today."
"Okay, marito." Will said while placing the crown of bright yellow carnations on his head with a pleased nod. "See you soon."
After another quick kiss, Nico dissolved into the shadows.
Her hair more brown than it was red this time around, the former oracle for all of her lifetimes met Nico's gaze with worried eyes. In front of her was his father, seemingly bored, and in between them stood a boy that reminded Nico of someone he hadn't seen in a long, long time.
"Is that Octavian? I thought he was in the Fields of Asphodel. What's going on?"
The lord of the Underworld gestured to the mortal boy before them. The mortal in question glanced between Nico and Hades before looking at Rachel pleadingly.
"Nico, your father won't believe despite three times at attaining hero status that Tavi," she stressed, "is worthy to live in the Isles of the Blest. He keeps saying that his life as Octavian ruined his chances, but he's changed. He isn't that person anymore after the madness left him. Please, Nico, help me out."
Okay, so Nico was confused. He'd seen Rachel plenty of times during his lives and he knew from her word that she always ended up at Camp Half-blood being the oracle at one point or another. The oracle wasn't supposed to form a relationship with anyone, yet the way she talked about "Tavi"…
"Dad," Nico said after a moment, "can I talk to Rachel and Tavi alone? Please?"
He nodded, eyes curious. "Very well, son. I expect to hear a concrete case when I return. Also, that is a very poorly made flower crown. Remind me to ask Persephone about showing you how it is done properly."
The Ghost King groaned. "Dad, Will made this. Not me."
"Persephone can give you both lessons," he answered simply. With that he disappeared in a cloud of darkness, leaving the three young adults alone.
Nico shook his head before turning to Rachel. "Explain."
"Of course," she said. "He showed up at camp one day, sometime near the end of our first lives, and I suspected it was Octavian reborn but I wasn't sure. After living his life as a son of Hermes and gaining hero status once he was reborn again as a son of Ares. That was when we became friends and I learned about his past lives. I know he was a huge jerk in his first life but he barely even remembers that one. He just remembers the war and exploding in a ball of fire."
Next to her, Tavi nodded. "I had nightmares about that incident a lot during my second and third lives, but not so much recently."
"The point is that he's not who you think he was. After centuries of being the oracle, living and dying with him during that time, I have grown tired. Finally someone was able to contain the spirit of Delphi and replace me so I could finally live my life peacefully in the Isles of the Blest. I have waited hundreds of years for the day I could be free, and while I waited it was with Tavi by my side. You need to convince your father to allow him into the Isles of the Blest, or I will just end up being reborn again and again so I can stay with him."
It wasn't hard to hear how confident she was about her claim. Rachel obviously cared for Tavi, and if he had truly changed then they both deserved happiness.
"Alright." Nico replied after a long moment. "I will petition my father to allow him entrance into the Isles of the Blest."
Ten minutes after Hades returned, Rachel and Tavi were shadow traveled by Nico to their new home. He stayed silent as he showed them to their ideal house only a couple minutes' walk from the rest of the gang. It was only after he turned around to see them kissing passionately in the living room, which was covered with artwork from Rachel's past lives and various stuffed animals littering the couches, that he shadow traveled back to Will.
On the Isles of the Blest, the artificially conjured sun had set. In the sky the moon shone brightly as it cast a calming sensation similar to the Athena Parthenos over those inhabiting the islands.
Beside Nico the blond shifted in bed. Slowly he lifted his head and looked down at Nico, whose own head was resting on Will's tan shoulder since he had drifted off during the movie.
"Yes, Death Boy?"
"I love you too."
Will wrapped his arms around Nico once more, pulling him against him. Nico sighed in content. As he quickly fell asleep warm thoughts came to mind and only made the soft smile on his face grow a little bit more.
His first home was forgotten, erased with his memories by the Lethe when he was only ten years old (the first time). Next it had been the Underworld, Camp-Half-blood and Camp Jupiter following years after. New Rome and finally New Greece took their place later in life, and throughout Nico's other lifetimes he moved around even more than he had in that life. Looking back on it, he realized quickly that none of the places he lived had truly been his home. Even now in his house on the Isles of the Blest he was only truly home for one reason and one reason only. It was for the same reason that no matter what his lives had been like he found his home every single time.
Will, the already lightly snoring shaggy-haired man beside him, was Nico's home of the past, present, and the future.
"Getting a second life is one thing." Nico recalled saying a long time ago to his sister Hazel. "Making it a better life, that's the trick."
It seemed he'd taken his advice to heart more than he knew.
AN: I finally got a tumblr and have no idea what I'm doing but I will post my stories on there (I think I can?) and random ideas/mini writings I have. Also it's a good way to follow other writers and artists of the fandoms I love. For those interested in following, asking me questions, giving me advice because I'm new to it, requesting things, or anything else I am therealbluelove22 because bluelove22 was taken.
therealbluelove22 . tumblr . com (but take out the spaces)
Also The Hidden Oracle comes out in less than a month (May 3rd) and Barnes and Noble's version will come with an attached letter from Apollo to Zeus just so you know.