A/N: It's about time I posted something that wasn't as angst-cetric as I ususally write. Anyway, all reviews are appreciated, so thanks and Merry Christmas. Unless, of course, you don't celebrate Christmas.
Disclaimer: I don't own Romeo and Juliet or Percy Jackson and the Olympians; they belong to William Shakespeare and Rick Riordan. Respectively.
Juliet: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.
Romeo: Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
[Kisses her.] Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged.
Juliet: Then have my lips the sin that they took.
Romeo: Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again.
They kiss again.
Rachel tosses Romeo and Juliet away sourly. It did nothing but remind her of her lack of anything relatively romantic.
Well, at least it ends tragically, she thinks.
"Not regretting anything, I hope?" A figure suddenly materializes in front of her. Sandy hair, blinding smile. Rachel sighs, glancing automatically down the empty hallway. She's sitting (her teachers would have no doubt reprimanded her that it was definitely "unladylike") on the window seat of the hallway, back pressed against the frosty window.
"What are you doing here, Apollo?"
It's snowing lightly, a rare occurrence this late in December. Outside, cars honk their horns loudly as last-minute Christmas shoppers hurry home. The sweet, chiming laughter and muffled conversation drifts down the hall from her father's party.
"Aren't I allowed to check up on my favorite Oracle?" He tosses her a dazzlingly bright smile, and she scowls, unamused.
"I'm your only Oracle."
He leans against the opposite wall, still grinning. "Touché."
Rachel sighs again, picking up Romeo and Juliet off the shiny hardwood floor. "Don't you have somewhere to be tonight? A few hundred mortals to seduce? It is Christmas Eve."
"Nope," he says, in a way that she knows he's lying. "I'm all yours, Rach." She flinches away from the suggestive tone of his words automatically, but he pretends not to notice. "So...how's school?"
Rachel gives a noncommittal shrug of her shoulders, eyes scanning the page of the book without actually reading.
"Meet any cute boys?"
She doesn't even look up from Friar Lawrence and Romeo avidly discussing marriage plans. "You're not my father, Lord Apollo." She pronounces his title with all the overdramatic derision she can muster. "And, by the way, it's Clarion Ladies Academy."
He's silent for a moment. Then, "So, meet any cute girls?"
Rachel rolls her eyes and doesn't answer. But inwardly she half-smiles.
Juliet's being forced to marry Paris. How tragic. She kind of wishes she would be forced to marry someone. Apart from being awfully old for Juliet, Paris doesn't seem too bad.
"Rachel?" comes her father's voice from the end of the hallway. "Come and join the party, dear. Now. There really are some lovely people you have to meet..." She looks at Apollo, willing him to disappear. He doesn't, of course. Rachel groans inwardly and closes her book, starting off down the hall.
Shakespeare was giving her a headache, anyway. But there was someone who was a close second.
She knew he'd follow her.
His idiotically cocky smile never falters. "Want to dance? If only it were a masquerade..."
He surveys the mass of dancers, towering Christmas tree, and festive decorations cheerfully.
She ignores the Romeo and Juliet allusion and self-consciously brushes her red curls back with the other hand.
"I like your dress," he says suddenly. "Suits you."
She glances down, and immediately knows what he means. It's green, brighter than olive but darker than emerald. Almost exactly the color of her eyes when she's in the middle of one of her Oracle trances.
And she never would have worn it if her dad hadn't insisted. She can feel her cheeks warm unexpectedly. "Um…thanks?"
He's far from Romeo, she's far from Juliet, and she sure as heck wouldn't kill herself if it was possible for gods to die, but he links an arm through hers and she finds she doesn't mind this quite as much as she should. Being the Oracle and all.
He smiles (less idiotically, now), almost as if he senses this.
"Still not want to dance, Rachel?" Her name sounds kind of strange on his tongue, as it's not like he uses it often.
"Of course not," she answers, rolling her eyes. "Why don't you try hooking up with some other poor, defenseless virgin?"
It's familiar and she likes it that way. Most of the time.
His eyes glitter with amusement. "Maybe later. Are you sure you don't want to? 'It is the east, and Rachel is the sun.'" He says the personalized quotation with deliberate, overdramatic delivery.
"I'd let Dionysus keep being the god of theater, if I were you," she laughs. He looks mildly insulted, so she relents. "Fine, fine. Dancing. Whatever. As long as you promise to not recite any romantic haikus."
"Great idea, actually."
Just because it's Christmas, she tells herself. She's not under any ridiculous delusions that she's the only girl he's meeting tonight under the mistletoe.
And she hopes, as she sips a glass of sparkling cider and glances slyly—and a bit shyly—in Apollo's direction, that this won't end too tragically.