If there's [something] that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. - Toni Morrison

Gambit's Refrain began as a one-shot, short and sweet. A story where the ship worked while respecting canon, without bad breakups and guardians and godhood. Without the wish fulfillment of sweeping the virgin off her feet and disrespecting asexuality or maidenhood.

Lunacy, really.

There will be some final touchups. The old version, companion, and sequel will be moved to Gray Dreams. But with three iterations and as many years, this is the last of it.

Acknowledgments / Special Thanks:

Critique: RAfan2421, Republic, Nemrut

Faithful Readers: Dogbiscuit1967, Miss Kick, te amour, Ginocide02, Lula23, ChampionOfTheHearth

Inspirations / References:

Chasing Thunderstorms by Foxy'sGirl

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Blood on the River: Jamestown, 1607 by Elisa Carbone

Katarina du Couteau, Riot Games

Death Parade by Yuzuru Tachikawa (Madhouse)

Aron, Arthur, et al. "The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 23, no. 4, 1997, pp. 363–377., doi:10.1177/0146167297234003.

Save Martha, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Naruto Genkyouien by Daneel Rush

When I Fall in Love by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, arr. Gordon Goodwin

Love's Labour's Lost/Won by William Shakespeare (Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson)

Liebesleid by Kreisler/Rachmaninoff (Shigatsu was Kimi no Uso by Naoshi Arakawa)

1984 by George Orwell

John 11:35

Cadmus and Harmonia, Greek Mythology

Devil's Kettle Falls, Judge C.R. Magney State Park

Thor's Well, Yachats, Oregon

Cloud's Rest, Yosemite National Park

Paper Towns by John Green

Fly Me to the Moon by Bart Howard, performance Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, arr. Quincy Jones

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Percy Jackson and the Olympians & The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The following morning was just as cold, though the cafe and street looked like a new world under the sun.

Percy had barely managed an hour of sleep, between taking care of Daphne, the still lingering effects of the coffee, and the endless stream of thoughts about the day to come. He'd thought his sleep schedule could recover a bit during vacation, after grinding for finals and the end of semester party.

But here he was, shortly after dawn, waiting for Artemis to show up. He had no idea when she would show up—they'd never agreed on when in their uncertain goodbye—so he was as alone as he could be with his thoughts and a waking NYC.

Mostly Percy wondered about the future. After all, she 'freed' him from fate's clutches, and the prospect of deciding his own destiny was exciting. The sea did not like to be restrained, and now he was free to act upon its whims.

Life wasn't any easier for it. Losing his childhood love. Looking after his newborn half-sister. Moving across the country. Going to college. Everything with Artemis took the cake, though.

Gods, how was he going to explain this to his friends? To Mom, to Father?

But Artemis already took the leap of faith, and there was no way he would let her go by herself. Her pull on him was simply too strong.

"You look happy." Her quiet amused voice cut through his reverie, and he turned to find her beside him, silver moons entranced on his face. "You also look tired," she continued, reaching up to smooth over the bags underneath his eyes with her thumb. Her smile was small and smug. "Lose sleep over me?"

"Yep," he replied immediately, to be rewarded with her blush. Still unrepentant, she rose to the balls of her feet and stole a kiss.

The gentle brush of their lips evaporated away the tension of the early morning. As they parted, her hands settled at his chest and pulled him down with her. His skin swelled beneath her soft touch.

"I was thinking of going ice skating," Artemis said, still holding him close. She stood relaxed, showing no indication she wanted to move from where she was before him.

"I don't know how," Percy admitted. He flexed his cold stiffened fingers before taking her waist.

"First time for everything," she dismissed. "Rockefeller opens in half an hour."

"We said we would talk." He wrinkled his nose. "How about breakfast first?"

"Please?" Her pout on its own was almost enough to convince him. Almost.

"I'm not saying no. It's only a few blocks away, we can still be one of the first in," Percy assured. He tugged her toward the cafe. "But c'mon. I'm hungry and there's things I need to know."

"Only if you kiss me again," Artemis demanded.

So he smirked and kissed her forehead, then pulled away to open the door. "If you would, my lady."

Her face twisted as she shivered. "You sound ridiculous." As she passed him by, Artemis seized his wrist and dragged him in with her. "What do you want to discuss?"

"Where you'll be. What you want to do. How you plan to do to all that." They ended up at the same table as before, and soon pancakes and fruit and yogurt were on their way.

"Same as before," Artemis stated. "Go hunting. But also try some new things."

"Point is I'll be going back to New Rome soon," Percy said. "What will you do?"

"Go with you." Artemis shrugged. "Maybe take some classes."

Percy smiled and took her hands.

Artemis smiled back.

The myth is not believed by many. The tale is too amazing yet too understated—for such a momentous event to have happened surely required circumstances far grander than what is said to have transpired. But the simple version is the only one ever told nonetheless. The simplicity is what makes the myth special.

It is the story of how a goddess achieved mortality.