Author's Note: Just some banter from my favorite forbidden couple, concerning Rachel's addiction to Harlequin novels. It's really hard to go wrong with that. No romance, really. Rachel&Nico, one-shot.

Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians.


"So, you want to sell them, or just give them away?"

"Give them away." Rachel said, with a sort of finality that made Nico feel slow for having to ask. "I don't need any more money, di Angelo."

"And you want me to go through them with you?"

"Is that a question?" Rachel said, hand on her hip. "I called you up from the Underworld to help me with this."

"Yeah…" Nico said, turning one of the books over in his hand, raising his eyebrows as he read the summary. "Why couldn't you have gotten Annabeth to do this with you?"

"Because I would never hear the end of it with her!" Rachel exclaimed. "Annabeth Chase is not a fan of Harlequin novels or the people who buy them."

"That's because Annabeth Chase has standards," Nico said, glancing at the title of another one of the Harlequins: Daughter of a King, Mistress to a King. He gagged. "And a profound sense of dignity," he added.

Rachel was blushing slightly now, but keeping it together fairly well. Nico liked Rachel like this: when she wasn't yelling at him, and he actually had the upper hand in their conversation.

"Look, I just want to sort them into the boxes and get rid of them, OK? I need manpower." She cringed at her word choice. She had decided that he was the only viable choice for this job; he'd found her Harlequin collection years earlier, and had made fun of her for it every waking moment since. She couldn't really go any lower in his eyes now.

"Why, are you relinquishing them completely?" Nico said, holding up another book. "No more Strange Bedperson's for the Oracle?"

Rachel frowned- that had been one of her favorites. "No," she said, snatching the book away from him, holding her head as high as a person in this situation possibly could. "It's just- I'm kind of running out of room…"

"Oh, my gods," Nico said, stopping his skimming of another one of the books. "You're running out of room? Rachel, your apartment is the size of the Underworld! How could you possibly be running out of room? You own that many?"

"Look, Dead Boy, at least I wasn't the one talking to the ghost of a chambermaid this morning-"

"Rach, I never thought I'd say this to someone else, but that is just sad. I think you may have a problem."

"Nico, my guilty pleasures should be of no concern to you," Rachel said.

"I don't know," Nico said. "I mean, I know my company may be questionable, but I'm not sure I want to associate with anyone who reads novels where the words 'lady folds' are used."

"Nico-"

"Repeatedly, might I add,"

"No, you may not add," Rachel said indignantly. "You can look through them all you like, though, as long as you sort them into the boxes as you go." She headed for the door.

"Where are you going?" Nico asked. "Off to buy more Harlequins?"

"Maybe," Rachel said.

"Hey, what's The Jester's Virgin Mistress about?" Nico called after her. "A jester's mistress, who is a virgin? Can I borrow it?"


I don't care that this isn't even 600 words. I loved writing it. Review!