A/N: Got stuck on Illogical and Stupid. Been reading far too many Rachel/Nico fics, which has become my new favorite ship after Percabeth.

Thus, Loser of the Rings is born.

If you like this pairing check out Musafreen and Kioko, who have AWESOME stories about the two of them. Their stories kick the butt of this hastily written little thing.

I have no idea if this is in character or out of character, or if it's good or not. I just wrote this story at 1:45am last night and I was kind of delirious.

This is a oneshot, but a companion to another story that I will be working on soon (ooh! Sneak peek of what is to come :P ).

Read, review, enjoy!

"You lost the freaking rings?"

"I'm sorry, Rachel, I forgot that everyone else on the planet was supposed to be perfect and angelic like the glorious Oracle."

"Yeah, sarcasm? It looks bad on you."

"Yeah, and single looks bad on you."

Rachel glared at Nico, "Lonely bastard looks worse on you."

"You're a frigid bitch."

"I have to be!" said Rachel, glaring at Nico, "It's my job, you idiot, it's not like I couldn't get a guy if I tried. And believe me, I could. Easily. I'm just not allowed to."

"You just keep on telling yourself that when you get to be an old and lonely spinster."

Rachel scoffed. "I don't even know why I bother talking to you. You're a twenty year old with the mindset of a whiny fourth grader. Probably because you WERE a whiny fourth grader for round about seventy years, I forgot!" Nico and Rachel were essentially incapable of getting through a single conversation without wanting to rip the other's head off. The past eight years had consisted of the two of them yelling at each other, with only a few instances of Rachel screaming then uttering a prophecy and passing out only to open her eyes to see Nico slapping her awake.

Needless to say, the two of them were not good at having civilized conversations. The four year age gap did not constitute an insult gap – Nico knew exactly what to say to get Rachel shrieking and slapping at him, and Rachel knew exactly what to say to piss Nico off to the point where he would swear, punch whatever was nearest him that wasn't a person, and storm off.

"You need a life, Dare."

"You need to learn some responsibility."

Nico threw his hands in the air, and Rachel put all her effort into not glancing at his biceps, "Oh, so now I'm irresponsible."

"Kid, you lost your best friend's rings for his wedding to Annabeth. ANNABETH. Do you have any idea how violently she's going to kill you for this?"

Nico ran his hand through his dark hair and he leaned his forehead against the wall in frustration, "I screwed up, I get it, can you just leave me alone so I can try and remember where I put them?"

Rachel leaned against the wall next to Nico, "Are they, I don't know, in your apartment?"

Nico moved away from the wall so quickly that Rachel nearly missed the movement. "What's wrong, Lassie?" Rachel asked, clapping her hands and smiling derisively, "Timmy fall down a well?"

"Shut up and come with me," said Nico, grabbing Rachel's arm, "We're going to find those stupid rings."

Nico, Rachel thought, had an annoyingly tight grip.

Suddenly, the whooshing darkness that had blinded her the second Nico had grabbed her arm dissipated and she was in a small studio apartment that was a complete mess.

"Where the hell am I?" Rachel asked, shoving Nico's hand off of her arm, "And don't touch me without asking again."

"Gladly," said Nico, rolling his eyes, "And we're in my apartment. You're going to help me find the rings."

"How the hell did we get here?"

Nico started digging through various piles and scanning the room, "Shadow travel. It's a cool little trick I get being the son of Hades and all."

"You're lucky it's just the rehearsal dinner," said Rachel a few moments later, pushing her hair behind her ear, "Because if you had screwed up this bad the day of the wedding, Annabeth would have sliced your limbs off one by one. She's gone through so much to get to this point – this would just be the freaking cherry on top of all the other hell."

Nico pulled off his jacket and dug through his pockets.

"Where are they?" he muttered. Rachel did not like that he had taken off the jacket one bit, because it just reminded her of how annoyingly muscular he had gotten over the years, and how annoyingly annoying Nico was.

He continued plowing through all the junk in his apartment. Rachel, on the other hand, began to look around the room without touching anything – she did not know what would be hiding in the mess of a twenty year old bachelor, and she had no immediate desire to find out.

"So," said Rachel, hesitantly pushing some papers aside, "Where was the last place you saw it?"

"I don't know!" exclaimed Nico, pushing some dirty clothes off his bed, "I thought I had them when I left – I could have sworn I had them when I left. Maybe when I was changing…?"

Nico pulled out a shirt and a pair of sweatpants from the pile and rummaged through the pockets, then threw them down in frustrating. "Damn it!"

"You know, you could clean those," said Rachel, rolling her eyes at the giant pile of clothes on the bed, and the even larger pile on the floor, "There are these things called washing machines, really a great invention, and then the dryers, whoa now, just too much to handle."

"Would you shut up?" Nico asked, whirling around from the bed, a panicked look in his eyes.


The two of them searched in silence, until Rachel said, "You know I'm probably going to be the one finding the rings. You're too busy being brooding and angsty to focus. It's so fitting for a son of Hades."

"I knew there was a reason I hated you," said Nico, pausing his search and glaring at Rachel.

"Aw," said Rachel with a smile, stepping closer to him and patting him on the cheek, "Little Nico's so cute when he's feeling angry."

"Would you stop doing that?" Nico exclaimed.

"Doing what?" asked Rachel. She was genuinely curious as to what Nico was talking about – sarcasm was just her native tongue, especially around Nico. She used him to try out her more scathing lines, and she'd thought he'd gotten used to it by now.

"Patronizing me!" he said, taking a threatening step towards her, "Treating me like a kid!"

"You're four years younger than me."

"Not really!"

"Oh, technicalities. Blah, blah, a million years in a casino, blah, blah, missing years, blah. Would you quit bringing that up?"

"It's a major part of my life! I lost more than sixty years!"

"Yeah, and spent them all as a prepubescent kid…Fun."
"Can you for once treat me like an adult?"

Rachel, hands on her hips, laughed, "Yeah, you're an adult. Prove it."

A frustrated groan, and suddenly Nico's hands were on Rachel, one at the small of her back, and one cupping her face. His lips met hers, and immediately she melted against his body.

Her first kiss since she was fifteen – and it was with Nico.

Her body was acting independently of her brain – her left hand moved around his neck, her lips moved against his with a fervor she never knew existed before this. Her right hand reached behind to grab his – oh dear.

Rachel grudgingly broke away from the heated kiss and pulled, from Nico's back pocket, two small boxes. "You're such a freaking idiot."

"Because I kissed you?" Nico asked, breathless and flushed. "Because, I swear, I don't know where that came from, and –"

"No," said Rachel, trying to find her bearings after that moment of lost control. She blinked for a moment, trying to remember how to think, and said, "No, the rings were in your back pocket the whole time."

Nico snatched the boxes out of Rachel's hand, and stared at them like they were a grenade set to blow in three seconds. "I'm such a freaking idiot."

"Yes, I know, I just said that."

Uncharacteristically, Nico ignored her comment. He took her arm again, more gently this time, and the two ended up back in the corridor where this whole mess had started.

"What the hell?"

Rachel's mouth dropped open. Annabeth was standing there, looking shocked and startled.

"I – I don't even know what to say to this," said Annabeth, "I…Were you two just…Where did you just come from? Oh dear gods."

"Uh," said Nico, running his hand through his hair again, "Listen, Annabeth, I, um –"

"No," said Annabeth, turning away and blocking her vision with her hands, "No, I am not currently looking at Rachel with crazy messed up hair and Nico – no. I'm leaving. This never happened. I cannot deal with this right now. I'm leaving, and in five minutes you two better march your stupid little butts into the room so we can have SOMETHING go right in this stupid wedding, even if it's just the rehearsal."

It took a few moments for Nico and Rachel to recover from the awkward encounter, and a few more for Rachel to be able to look Nico in the eye.

"So…" said Rachel, "About that whole asking permission before you touch me thing…"

"Yeah?" said Nico, a playful gleam in his eye. He leaned against the wall again, and Rachel noticed for the first time that the twist in her stomach when she saw him wasn't hate – it was something far more dangerous, far more illicit, far more likely to get the both of them destroyed. And far more fun.

She stepped up closer to him, and whispered, "Consider that cancelled."

Nico bent down, and when their lips were a breath away, said, "Gladly."

They were probably going to be late getting to the rehearsal, and Rachel didn't need the Oracle to predict that Annabeth was planning on killing them for it.

But she knew it was worth it.

Suddenly, another thought popped in her mind, "Oh, and by the way," she said, breaking away from the kiss, "I was right."

"What do you mean?"

"I was the one who found the rings."

Nico rolled his eyes in exasperation, "I think I like you better when you don't talk."