The blonde son of Jupiter stared down his companion praetor. She returned the stare, watching his every move closely, almost not believing that he was back.
He was back, back to her, back to camp, back to his friends, and back to his family. They were going to be together again, Reyna and Jason, the indestructible and amazing pair (or, as some of the Venus cabin who weren't afraid to act a little girly, said, Jeyna).
But, when a girl comes up to him and clutches his hand while he's watching her, her heart breaks. In two. He found himself a new girlfriend- which wouldn't be hard for the handsome and brave man- at the Greek camp.
The dagger is when he says, "Who are you?"
Looking at those deep blue eyes saves her no pain. She holds back a sob, staying composed. But she can barely even do that; the girl is staring at her smugly, as if knowing and enjoying her pain.
She replies this calmly and with a steel edge, but a tiny drop of hope is inside her when his eyebrows scrunch together like they always did when he used to tease her.
He shrugs, squeezing the other girl's hand and tracing circles on the back of it. She stares at this gesture, making note of how he used to do that to her.
"Well, I know you were a friend to me, but. . . what exactly are you?" he asks, as the other girl gives her a death glare. The hope is gone.
"A friend," she replies simply. It hurts to lie like that, but she has to.
The other girl seems to study her answer, and shakes her head as if she knew she was lying. And she knew it was an obvious lie to daughters of Venus, or otherwise known as Aphrodite. They could tell if someone was lying about love.
In the background, she can hear the new praetor and his girlfriend reuniting happily. She wants to curl up in a ball and cry and hope that somehow they can start over and have that type of reunion and he will love her and she will love him back and they will live happily ever after.
But, she knows that reunion will never happen.
She's jealous of the couples.
Him and the daughter of Venus, the daughter of Pluto and son of Mars, the son of Neptune and daughter of Minerva. It's not fair.
She gets to be alone and in the background while the romances (one of which she would have been in, if not for the Venus girl) heat up. She's alone, sad, depressed, and a shell of her former self.
He's gone, and she can't win him over. He's not getting his memories back (Juno confirmed that in a dream, saying she 'doesn't want him to remember the mistakes she made raising him') at all, and she's sure that daughter of Venus isn't going to stop fighting for him.
It's not fair.
She breaks up with him.
She's jumping up and down in joy; she's getting her chance to have him again. She's getting the chance to have him love her and have their happily ever after that they dreamed before he lost his memories.
She sees him around camp, and he's sullen and depressed. He's so sad she immediately feels bad for being happy at the break-up.
So she mutters meaningless greetings to him as she passes him every day, hoping someway she'll be able to convey her love for him. The love she's had to hide since he lost his memories, since Romans don't like to show emotions.
She might seem impassive, but, in truth, she's angry that the girl who stole him from her dumped him like trash. She's sad that he's sad. She's happy that he's slowly getting through it.
But the meaningless greetings still mean nothing, and anything she does or says toward him is small and cautious, careful not to show him she's lowered her defenses down to him before. She wants to show him that she still loves him now.
But how can she show that she loves him if he doesn't even know or remember her?
Juno visits her one day.
She's apologizing for never returning his memories, for never realizing that she loved him so much. So she says its fine, but it's not.
She was deprived for two years of him, and now Juno is deciding to give him back all the memories of her.
At least he's getting back all the good times they spent together.
When he comes by to see her one day, he apologizes for not seeing what was in front of him all this time. She says that it's okay, but he crosses the line when he leans in for a kiss.
She's wanted that kiss for so long. But all she can think about is how he kissed that Venus girl with those lips many more times than she's kissed them before he lost his memory.
She slams the door in his face, feeling sorry for the CRUNCH sound his nose makes after the door closes.
Their relationship is rocky at first- especially with his broken nose- and smooth's out as it goes on.
He actually has a reminder of the kiss he tried on her; a purple blotch permanently placed upon the bridge of his nose. She always tenderly touches it and apologizes when they're kissing and he starts to wince.
But he shrugs it off and they always continue to kiss, with her feeling better after yet another apology.
Their second anniversary- as a couple, not a married couple- was the time he forgot about it
She yells at him for forgetting, while he stays silent. She's dressed up to go out while he's in sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
He continues to stay silent throughout the whole thing, which makes her uneasy. She's unsure if she crossed the line by yelling at him for a straight ten minutes, and she's confused when he kisses her.
"I never forgot; I just had a surprise," he murmurs against her lips.
He pulls a velvet box from his pocket, and pulls away from the kiss. He kneels, and says the four words she's been waiting to hear since the important three words.
"Will you marry me?" he asks, touching the bruise on his nose like he does whenever he's nervous.
She pauses, scaring him to wit's end. After a grueling pause, she whispers her answer.
He's standing at the altar, and she's in the beautiful white dress and smiling like an idiot. Chiron (who she'd grown close to, surprisingly) leads her down the aisle, toward the love of her life. He's grinning like an idiot, and straightens his tie nervously, before placing a finger on the bruise.
She no longer apologizes about it, but she still does feel a bit guilty. She arrives at the altar and reaches over to rub the bruise. He winces at first, before relaxing at her touch.
The priest says, "Speak now or forever hold your peace," and that Venus girl pops up and objects to the marriage.
No one in the audience blinks an eye when her to-be husband tells the priest to continue the ceremony.
She pushes and pushes and pushes, until the baby is finally out. She stops cursing her husband to high heaven, and instead resorts to slapping him once for good measure after she's born.
She lays in bed as her husband holds the baby gingerly, cooing and playing with the baby. She holds out her arms and pulls the baby away from her husband, cradling her. She has dark eyes, like her mother, and blonde hair like her father.
When the doctors take her baby away to the nursery, she almost protests until her husband strokes her hair and tells her to fall asleep.
So she does.
He comes home late, and she knows something's up.
She asks him about it, and he denies everything, but his words are slurred. She knows he's been drinking, and she's shocked.
She ends up yelling at him as much as she did on their second anniversary, waking the baby up. She throws a pillow and blanket at him and tells him to sleep on the couch.
He obeys without a fight.
He continues to come home drunk and late. She finally hires a private investigator, and she finds out he's been cheating on her with the Venus girl that broke up with him so many years ago.
She tells him to get out once he's sober, and he protests and denies that he was ever drunk. But when she brings up him cheating and the daughter of Venus, he goes silent.
He packs his things and leaves, no doubt to the Venus girl.
After months of marriage counseling and compromises, he promises to never see the Venus girl again, and he's back. He's even requested a restraining order against the girl after she tries to get him back from his wife.
He's no longer a drunk, and they sleep in the same bed again. Still, she keeps the private investigator hired with her own money for two years, until she's sure he'll never do it again.
She just hopes their four year old never remembers the time that her father didn't live with her.
At their daughter's graduation, she cries. It's the first time she's ever cried in public before, and at first he can't believe it. But she's so sad that their 'little girl' is leaving them, he doesn't bring it up.
The goodbye when their daughter goes to college is worse. She gives a speech about how independent she's becoming and how she'll no longer need her parents until she breaks down again, sobbing uncontrollably.
If you ever told him five years ago that his wife wouldn't be able to keep all the tears in when their daughter left, he would've laughed. Now he was seeing it, and he could see why she was.
As a demigod, their daughter wouldn't be able to lead a normal life. Many demigods died in college because they were out of practice, and his wife was afraid that was what was going to happen.
Plus, partying plus demigod plus drinks plus independence equals mega trouble.
At her husband's funeral, she's crying in her black dress. She can't bring herself to view his so-very peaceful face in the coffin, and she refuses to believe he's dead. She thinks it's wrong for him to die so early- sixty-nine- but the cancer had another idea.
She decides to try to stop the coffin from being buried, but she's held back by her daughter's fiancée. She claws and swipes and bites at him before collapsing on the ground, her breathing irregular and sobs racking her body.
And that's when she has her first heart attack.
The doctors tell her that she'll be fine but each time she has another heart attack.
Her last heart attack was her fifth. She was mowing the yard, waiting for the grandchildren to come, when she collapsed. She was found on the ground by her daughter.
By the time she arrived at the hospital, she was already dead.
But she strolls through Elysium calmly and carefully, searching for her love, her husband. She finds him, and she believes that her happily ever after actually happened in the afterlife, when they're both forever a young adult.
After all, she's his Reyna, and he's her Jason.