I can't believe I actually finished this. ANYWAY. As promised, here's a Nico/Rachel Valentine fic.

Disclaimer: No, I don't own Percy Jackson. No, I can't accept that fact. No, I can't do anything about it.

Foreign Language
Boys speak in rhythm, and girls in code.
(But the Greeks speak in Italian)

February 14, 2011; Monday
5:48 P.M.
Rachel Dare's Apartment; Upper East Side, New York

"I still don't get it." Rachel told Percy and Annabeth exasperatedly.

"Don't get what? Why your initials spell a color? I don't get that either, Red." Nico quipped as he arrived, emerging from the shadows of the far corner of the living room. The Oracle glared.

"Nice to see you, too, di Angelo." Rachel said, her acid green gaze still narrowed at him. Nico rolled his eyes.

"Hey, you were the one who told me to 'get my sorry ass down here this instant'." The seventeen-year-old son of Hades countered as he plopped down on the empty sofa. "So, what's so important that I had to shadow travel here right away?"

Percy spoke up from his spot on the armchair. "Rachel got flowers from a secret admirer for Valentines Day." The younger boy stared blankly before turning to face Annabeth on the other couch.

"Seriously though. What's the problem?"

"It's just as Seaweed Brain said." The blond girl replied, her lips quirking up. "Our Oracle here recieved a bouquet of flowers right before she left campus." Nico blinked, and his gaze shifted slowly from her to the redhead beside her.

"You mean to tell me that you called me over – right after I spent the whole day catering to Persephone's every whim, let me add – just to make conspiracy theories about your secret admirer?" She nodded. "That's it, I'm leaving."

"Oh no you aren't!" Before he could so much as get up, Rachel had him pinned down to the cushions. Normally, the son of Hades could easily lift the twenty-one-year old redhead. But when the Oracle was in one of her fits, it was best to just let her have her way. That is, if you valued your life and dignity.

"Alright, alright! Gods, Rach, get off!" Rachel stood up, looking triumphantly at his pointed glare. Nico ruffled his dark hair before he slumped down the couch, muttering something along the lines of: "Damn crazy Oracle." Looking around, the son of Hades spotted something that wasn't there when he came over the day before: a bouquet of red roses in a vase by the far shelf.

"Are those it?" He asked, nodding towards the crystal vase.


He snorted. "Well, congratulations." Percy chuckled.

"There's one thing I don't get, though: why only eleven roses?" Annabeth pondered aloud. Her eyebrows furrowed together as she stared at the bouquet like it was an interesting puzzle.

"Maybe he's trying to be cryptic." The son of Poseidon suggested. "You know, like he's trying to say: 'You're the last rose of my bouquet' or something. Or maybe he knows she's the Oracle and he's trying to match her mystery with his own. Or, or maybe–"

"Seaweed Brain?"

"Yes, Annabeth?"

"Shut up." Nico snickered.

"Hate to break it to you, Perce, but the idiot probably just forgot to add the last one." He stated flatly, earning him a whack on the head courtesy of the Oracle. He scowled at her. "I don't get what the big deal is, anyway. So what if someone gave you a couple of roses?"

"The big deal is: Why would someone go through the trouble of sending me flowers?" Rachel huffed. He shrugged, slouching back against the sofa and staring at the ceiling, bored.

"Why not? I mean, you're pretty enough. Guys probably get crushes on you all the time." His comment was nonchalant enough, but the other three didn't seem to think so. When he noticed how everyone was silent, he looked down, only to find all three of them gaping at him. "...What?"

"Dude, did you just compliment Rachel?" Percy asked. The son of Hades raised an eyebrow.

"Your point?"

"Holy Zeus. The world is ending." Rachel stated somewhat dazedly.

Nico scowled again. "That's it. I'm never complimenting you ever again." He then pulled out a black box from his leather jacket and began tossing it in the air while the other three continued their conversation.

"So, who do you think sent them?" Percy asked. Rachel slumped back on her seat with a huff.

"If I knew, Kelp Head, we wouldn't be here discussing this."

Toss. Catch.

"Was there anyone in your block that seemed interested in any way?" Annabeth inquired further, her eyes distractedly following the black box Nico kept throwing.

Toss. Catch.

"Not that I can think of."

"You think he'll give you a twelfth rose?"


Toss. Catch.

Toss. Catch.

Toss. Catch.

"Argh! That's it!" The blond exclaimed in frustration. She quickly got up and swiped the annoying box in midair. The son of Hades shot up as she returned to her seat.

"Hey! Give it back!"

"Come on, Nico. It's just a box. It's not like it's... Ohmygods." Her eyes widened upon seeing the cover. Popping the lid open, her expression turned even more flabbergasted. "Holy shit, Nico."

Nico narrowed his eyes and stretched out his palm. "Give it."

She just closed the lid and looked at him, then looked back at the box and then at him, and then- well, you get the idea. When her wicked grin appeared, he immediately knew he was in for it.

"Nico? Would you care to tell me what this is?"

"It's none of your damn business!" He lunged, but she saw it coming and dodged, moving to stand behind the armchair Percy was sitting on. Her boyfriend looked up at her questioningly.

"Annabeth? What's up?"

"Not now, Percy." She said patronizingly, patting him on the head. She then turned to the frantic child of Hades, smirking. "Explain. Now." He growled.

"I don't have to explain myself to you!"

"Oh yes you do. You're not getting this back until then." He lunged again, but like a while ago, Annabeth just dodged and moved away.

"Dammit Annabeth! Percy! Your girlfriend is being annoying!" Percy held his hands up in surrender. The past decade had taught him not to get in the way of his girlfriend when she wanted something.

"Sorry, bud. You're on your own here." Nico gave him the stink eye.

"I hate you." He said, which only garnered a shrug from his older cousin, as if saying: 'Better you than Annabeth.".

Annabeth tossed the box up and down – like Nico had done a few moments ago – and addressed the son of Hades again. "Tell me and you can have it back."

"Not with those two in the room!" He protested. By now, the daughter of Athena looked like she wanted to strangle the younger boy and get it over with. She took a deep breath to calm herself. When she finally spoke again, Percy, Nico, and Rachel all looked at her like she grew a second head.

Well, in her defense, she wasn't exactly speaking in English, so... yeah.

They continued to stare at her for a few seconds, while she kept her gaze leveled at the youngest person in the room. And then, ever so reluctantly, Nico replied in the same language. Rachel only understood one word in what he said.


Oh. They were speaking in Italian. Makes sense... sorta. Nico was Italian, after all.

The two demigods continued exchanging words, while Percy and Rachel looked back and forth between them, as if watching a tennis match.

A few moments later, Nico suddenly grew silent, and the Oracle thought they'd finally finished. Then Annabeth talked again, making Rachel groan. Nope, they weren't done yet, and it looked like they planned on having the entire conversation in a different language, too.

"Well, this is great. Any idea what they're talking about?" Rachel asked Percy, who was currently staring distractedly at his girlfriend.

"You know, Annabeth's pretty hot when she's speaking in a different language." He pondered out loud. The red-headed aritst picked up a crayon from the coffee table and forcefully threw it at him. "Ow!"

"Focus! What in Apollo's haikus are they saying?"

"Does it look like I know? Sorry Rach, but my Italian is limited to words like 'spaghetti' and 'pizza'." He said, hands up in surrender. She huffed.

"I swear, Jackson, sometimes you're so useless without Annabeth."

"Hey! That was a low blow, Dare."

"Well, it seems like it-"

"Nico di Angelo!" Annabeth exclaimed, causing the other three to jump. Nico screamed back, and the argument started all over again. Rachel stared exasperatedly.

And then, the strangest thing happened. Nico's voice suddenly grew soft, and – call her crazy – Rachel could've sworn that his olive cheeks were tinted pink for a moment. Whatever it was that he said made Annabeth smirk.

"Satisfied?" The son of Hades asked in English, glowering at the triumphant-looking blonde.

"Very much so." Annabeth said smugly before tossing the cube back to the younger boy who deftly caught it.

"Well, Percy and I have to go. Sally wants us over for dinner. Come on, Seaweed Brain."

Without a word, Percy stood up and followed Annabeth to the door, holding it out for blond as she turned around to face the other girl in the room.

"And Rach, don't worry about the roses too much. It's probably just someone in your art class who admired you for your work. By the end of the night, I'm sure you'll have something better to think about. Talk to you later, Oracle Girl." She then grinned wickedly at the son of Hades. "And bye, Nico."

Nico rolled his eyes. When the couple left, he sighed and stood up as well.

"Sorry to bail on you, Red, but I gotta go too. Evil Step-Mom– I mean, Persephone," He amended when the ground beneath their feet suddenly started to shake (which was weird, considering that they were on the eighth floor.) "Anyway, she wants me up and early at her place before I go to school. Another morning spent weeding her garden in the Underworld, I guess."

Truthfully, Rachel didn't want him to leave, because he totally owed her an explanation for the whole incident that just happened minutes before. But hell, Nico looked so tired that she was worried he'd suddenly drop dead. She'd always had a soft spot for the kid (he was her best friend, after all. No matter how weird of a friendship it was), so she let it pass. "Alright. But you owe me an explanation."

"Eh, you'll find out soon enough."

"If you say so. 'Night, Nico."

He smiled crookedly at her. "Buonanotte, Rachel."

For the life of her, she couldn't explain why shivers ran up her spine as he said that. (Percy and his 'speaking-in-a-different-language-was-hot' statement was so not getting to her. Just because Nico spoke in Italian directly at her didn't mean her heart was suddenly free to do flip-flops-–)

Rachel felt the air shift, and just like that, she was alone in her apartment, even more confused than when this whole fiasco started.

Tiredly, her eyes drifted to the coffee table, and she spotted the box Nico was throwing a while ago. He must've left it there by accident. It was because of that box that this whole thing started. Wondering what had gotten Nico so frantic and Annabeth so prodding, the Oracle picked it up.

The black box wasn't that large; it fit perfectly in her palm, actually. Printed on the cover, in an elegant gold script, were the words: 'Persephone's Garden'. The 'n' of 'Garden' extended into a gold stem, with a small gold rose printed on the other end. A brief thought flashed in her mind upon seeing the rose.

'Number twelve? No way... Nico?"

Curious, she opened the lid and – much like Annabeth's reaction minutes before – gasped. Nestled inside, amongst the black velvet, was a silver necklace with a oval amber pendant. Perfectly preserved inside the amber was a small iris, her favorite flower. It was simple, elegant, and so beautiful. It was a piece of jewelry Rachel wouldn't mind owning (and believe her, she was picky when it came to stuff like this). When she opened the box further, something at the back of the lid caught her eye. There was something printed in the same golden script as the cover.

Property of R.E.D.

Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. This was hers? Nico couldn't seriously be giving it to her, could he? Her thoughts drifted back to Annabeth and Nico's conversation. Was this what they had been talking about? For sure, Annabeth had to have seen this. Rachel looked up, staring at the shadowy corner Nico disappeared in only a few minutes ago.

Idly, she wondered if it was too late into the term to switch her foreign language class from Spanish into Italian.

"Are you gonna tell me or what?"

"...I didn't know you could speak Italian."

"I'm a daughter of Athena, Nico. It shouldn't be surprising. So, spill. Tell me everything."

"No way."

"And why not?"

"Those two are still in the room!"

"Percy and Rachel can't speak a lick of Italian."


"This is number twelve, isn't it?"

"Pfft. Of course not! Please, Annabeth, I would've picked something less generic than red roses to give to Rachel Dare."

"Ah, but that there is the question. Do you like Rachel?"

"...I'm not obliged to answer that question."

"Oblige yourself before I shove my knife down your throat."

"That isn't exactly encouraging, you know."

"Nico di Angelo!"


"Answer the damn question!"

"Alright, alright! ...I like her, okay?"

"I thought as much."

Just a little FYI, Rachel never did find out who the roses were from, nor did she get a twelfth one. Until now, she thinks it was Nico xDDD

AAAAND, that's all I can wring out of my brain for now. But if I suddenly have the motivation, I might make a late Percy/Annabeth Valentines fic. The prompt's gonna be the title of Yellowcard's new album: "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes." SO MANY IDEAS POPPING UP FOR THIS ONE.

R&R, please. It makes my day.

And Happy Valentines/Single Awareness Day! (Whichever one you celebrate : D)