PJatO || Nicercy || PJatO || Nicercy || Broken Memories || Nicercy || PJatO || Nicercy || PJatO
Title: Broken Memories – All That's Left Are Feelings
Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians / Heroes of Olympus; AU version of 'Son of Neptune'
Disclaimer: All rights reserved to Rick Riordan for he created the awesomeness that is Nico di Angelo. And everything else related to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, likewise the Heroes of Olympus. Aside from the Gods, of course. They are all copyright by the old Greeks. The story in itself though is entirely mine. No money is made with this, though reviews are more than welcomed.
Warnings: shounen-ai, hetero, dark, h/c, child abuse (past)
Main Pairing: Nico/Percy - And I DO mean Nico/Percy, NOT Percy/Nico!
Side Pairings: Grover/Juniper, Paul/Sally, Lou/Miranda, Luke/Percy (past), Percy/Annabeth (briefly), Jason/Annabeth, Leo/Piper, Hades/Persephone, Charles/Silena, Percy/Calypso (mentioned), Percy/Rachel (mentioned)
Percy Jackson Characters: Perseus Jackson, Nico di Angelo, Tyson, Grover Underwood, Thalia Grace, Phoebe, Sally Blofis, Paul Blofis, Lou Ellen, Miranda Gardner, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Clarisse la Rue, Annabeth Chase, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Jason Grace, Chiron, Hades, Persephone, Bianca di Angelo, Charles Beckendorf, Silena Beauregard, Luke Castellan
Summary: Nico, Tyson, Grover and Thalia are on their search for Percy while Lost Hero takes place. This fic shows their search with a Nicercy-twist and how they got back to camp. And before you bother, as always I take some liberties with Nico. Because him bleaching out in the underworld is the most stupid thing Rick Riordan ever did. That's not the way things work. Would Hazel have bleached out, too if she would have stayed down there? Is that what had happend to Michael Jackson all those years ago? Really now. This was written before the Son of Neptune was published, thus I took some liberties with the whole "Percy at the Roman camp"-stuff and the whole "lost his memories"-thing, too. Oh, and it has a little surprise-ending. *grin*
All That's Left Are Feelings
The sun shone bright above their heads, the north star seemed to twinkle at them in anticipation. The young girl with raven-black hair, spiked with some sapphire-blue strands, sighed and turned around to get back inside their suit. Standing there and waiting didn't do her any good.
"Thalia! Grover ate all our tin cans again!", complained the moping cyclops, who sat on the couch.
She shook her head with a smile on her lips. At first she had been biased about him, because of what he was, but the longer they traveled together, the fonder she grew of the big, naive softy.
"Ty, it's better that way. If you would drink another coke now, you wouldn't be able to sleep at all", interjected a dark-haired boy from across the room.
He entered their living room, just finished with showering, still rubbing his curly hair dry with a towel. Thalia snorted amused and hid the last can of coke from both Tyson and Grover. Some of the other huntresses grunted annoyed, not wanting the half-naked boy near them.
"How is camp?", asked the daughter of Zeus curiously.
"Good. Chiron said they're having some problems with your brother and his lost memories. But he got his friends so they're going to be fine", shrugged Nico and sat down next to her.
"The Aphrodite girl and that Hephaestus kid, right?"
"Yeah. They're trying to figure out what's going on to begin with", snorted the son of Hades.
"Mh...", murmured the black-blue-haired girl and closed her eyes briefly.
They had been traveling through the whole US these past months. They stayed everywhere only for a few days, going on and searching aimlessly for their lost friend. To no avail.
"Do you... think we'll find him?", voiced Thalia slowly.
"We have to. There ain't no other option", answered Nico with an edge to his voice.
Her blue eyes softened significantly. "You really love him, don't you?"
The son of Hades froze, his eyes dialed and he gaped at his cousin. Shifting uncomfortably, he coughed awkwardly and nodded slowly, eying the other huntresses, who left to give them some privacy. It was time to sleep anyway.
"I... yeah, I guess I do...", confessed the olive-skinned boy. "That... a problem?"
"Naw, not at all", chuckled the punk and twirled a blue streak of her hair between her fingers.
Dark brown eyes shifted over to their two companions, who were sound asleep on the other couch by now. The half-Italian laughed softly as he saw Grover and Tyson curled together.
"We should probably head to bed, too... Tonight is going to be long..."
"Contrary to all those nice nights we spend sleeping peacefully? And the relaxing days we picnic at a river and braid flowers into each other's hair?", laughed Thalia sarcastically.
Rolling her eyes with a half smirk, the head huntress stood up to get into her bed. Shortly before she opened the door she beckoned the last few huntresses, who were scattered around the living room, over to follow her into the bedroom of the suit. She send a last glance at Nico, who looked like he had something else on his mind, something he didn't know how to voice. Her eyes bore into his and assured him that it would be alright, that she would have open ears for whatever it may be.
"You think they're right? I mean, that's like the thousandths time a naiad, dryad, oreade, hesperide, haliade, limade or whatever kind of nymphs else exist, thinks they saw him. It's even worse than with the yeti or nessie", grunted Nico questioningly.
"Don't know", shrugged Thalia. "But Grover looked determined. Maybe. All we can do, is going to sleep and look at it later on. Good night, cuz."
"Night, Thals", nodded the boy as she closed the door behind her.
Instead of going to sleep, though, he went outside on the balcony and stared at the greenery.
They had been in Sacramento when the news from the nymphs had reached them. Some dryads in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco claimed to have seen a black-haired, male demi-god with hand-me-down clothes, dirty and worn out, who had camped at their park for a few nights now and was obviously busy trying to destroy a statue with a cursed blade. Because such little pieces of gossip were the only clues they had at all, they packed up and left for the city of hills. But when they reached the park, all they found was a partly broken, very ugly statue and dryads who told them that the half-blood in question always disappeared during the day-time. So the foursome returned to their hotel and decided to sleep for a few hours until Apollo went home for the night. Sleep seemed out of question for Nico, though. Every time they had a clue, he grew antsy and hope rose inside his chest once more. And this time, this time was different. Something in Grover's eyes had gleamed in relief and recognition once they had reached that strange statue.
The hours took too long to pass by and once the sun had set, the curly-haired demi-god went back inside to wake the other two boys up. The satyr and the cyclops were still cozily snuggled together on the small couch and the son of Hades smirked.
"What would Juniper say to that?", mused Nico loudly.
In an instant Grover sat up and stared wide-eyed at him. Mentioning the beautiful nymph always got the satyr's undivided attention. The son of Hades felt a bit bad for tricking his friend like that, since he knew how much Grover missed his girlfriend.
"Nico! You don't look like you slept at all", commented the brunette with a raised eyebrow.
The son of the Death God only shrugged it off like he did so often these days. Tyson too woke up slowly. Seeing as the stars shone bright, he jumped up happily.
"Thalia! Thalia, time to wake up!", announced the cyclops giddily.
Thalia, followed by Phoebe, left the bedroom. The brunette huntress shushed him, motioning for him to be silent because the other huntresses were still asleep.
"So, how's the plan?", asked Nico, folding his hands in his lap.
"We four will go, just like this afternoon. Phoebe and the others will collect more clues and think about the next stop on our journey, if this turns out to be another failure", explained Thalia.
"It won't", announced Grover with a hint of unusual determination.
The others eyed him suspiciously, wondering where this certainty rooted. Still, they nodded in acknowledgment and stood. Phoebe waved them good-bye as they headed to the park on the other side of the street to their hotel. The half-Italian played nervously with his ring, staring into the dark woods absentmindedly. He didn't even notice the looks his cousin send him.
"Stop fidgeting, Nico", grunted the daughter of Zeus annoyed.
"Am not", protested the son of Hades irritated.
"Are too", interrupted the satyr. "You always play with your father's ring when we have a clue."
"I think we spend too much time if you know me so well", murmured Nico.
The cyclops only laughed cheerfully. He enjoyed the time together with them, they were nice and he liked them and they were close to his brother. Together they would find him, Tyson was sure.
The sound of metal hitting stone silenced them as they neared the statue. Thalia pressed a finger against her lips, indicating her companions to not make a sound. The nearer they came, the more they were able to make a figure out in the shadows. A boy with long, black hair and pale skin that seemed to glow in the darkness, his clothes were torn at many places and he looked skinny. In his hands he held a cursed blade they all easily recognized. Riptide.
"Brother!", exclaimed Tyson loudly, making a motion to run up to him.
All three of his friends tried to hold him back as the demi-god whirled around, his blade held up high to attack possible enemies. Tyson wailed at that, he wanted to get to his brother.
"Ty, calm down. He doesn't remember you", explained his curly-haired cousin slowly.
"Who are you?", growled the long-haired boy warily.
"We're friends. We know you, Percy. We have been searching for you", said Thalia.
She laid her bow down on the grass and raised her hands in surrender. It didn't take long for the olive-skinned half-blood to do the same with his Stygian iron sword. His dark eyes locked with the bright sea-green eyes of the lost son of Poseidon, who still looked at them confused and wary.
"Right. If I would be given a dollar every time someone told me that and turned out to be a creepy monster with two tails or snake-hair or something like that. Tell me, why should I believe you?"
The two other children of the Big Three exchanged desperate glances. They never got to the point where they would have to convince their cousin to trust them. To their surprise, Grover stepped in.
"Do you know why you're destroying the statue?", voiced the satyr.
Percy, still pointing the tip of his sword at them, turned his head to the broken statue behind him, the ugly head laying on the grass next to the young hero. His guarded eyes shone with irritation and hurt and he looked intensely at the be-horned boy.
"Tell me, satyr", demanded the green-eyed demi-god.
Grover took some steps towards the son of Poseidon, his hands too raised to show he meant no harm. When the others wanted to come nearer too, the long-haired half-blood seemed to grow nervous again. Sighing sadly, Nico held both his other cousins back. It wouldn't be of any use to chase his beloved Sea Prince off now that they had finally found him.
"He's your stepfather. Gabriel Ugliano."
"Smelly Gabe...", whispered Percy wide-eyed, his sword scattering down onto the floor.
Groaning in pain, he clutched his head and sank down next to his weapon. In a rush, the curly-haired demi-god ran up to him and hugged the boy close, rubbing his back soothingly.
"Perce? What's wrong? Grover, what's happening to him?", asked the son of Hades worried.
"I think... he starts to remember...", whispered the satyr remorsefully.
The shivering stopped abruptly and Nico looked down at the Sea Prince, noticing that he had obviously lost his consciousness. Sighing in anticipation the olive-skinned boy shoved one hand under Percy's knees and laid the other around his shoulders to lift the older demi-god bridal style up, pressing him close to his chest, not intending on ever letting go of his precious charge. The daughter of Zeus picked up their weapons from the ground and followed them closely.
"So... Grover... Pray tell me who that Gabriel guy is that he evokes such strong emotions within Percy, emotions not even the faces of some of his closest friends could wake?", asked Thalia.
At first the Lord of the Wild shrugged awkwardly, but he soon wavered under the intense stares of the huntress and the Ghost Prince. "Percy's first step-father. An alcoholic and a gambler. His disgusting smell covered Percy's half-blood smell, that was the reason Sally had married him. To keep Percy safe..."
"There's more to this story", commented the son of Hades sceptically.
"Something he never told anyone... I don't think he wants me to tell you..."
"Right. He's not in the position to protest right now", grunted the punk girl irritated.
"His stepfather used to beat him up when Sally was at work", murmured Grover with a shrug. "He never told her, because he felt guilty. Once he discovered his origins, they got rid of Gabe. With the head of Medusa. Sally sold the statue to some wealthy art freak. And it obviously ended up here in the park. He never told her, she still doesn't know, because Percy doesn't want anyone to know."
Nico stared down at Percy with loving eyes, his grip tightening. He hadn't known. Well, not that the two of them had ever sat down together to trade stories. The green-eyed boy knew everything about his past and the son of Hades never pressed on what had been the life of the son of Poseidon before they had met. But he swore to himself upon the River Styx that he would gain more knowledge about his Sea Prince's past, if only to help the boy remembering it.
It didn't take too long for them to reach their hotel. The hunters gathered around them curiously and tried to fish for some kind of information. That annoyed the son of Hades enormously. Percy was still unconscious and the curly-haired demi-god hoped the beauty in his arms could rest some more, since he had noticed that the savior of Olympus had gone through some drastic changes in the time they had been apart. He was thin, the olive-skinned boy could easily feel each and every rib. The fair skin of his favorite hero was pale, Nico guessed that that was because the son of Poseidon had mostly traveled at night in the past months and tried to use the shadows and the darkness to hide from monsters. And the black silken hair was much longer than he remembered, reaching the boy's shoulder-blades easily. Being without memories, money and a place to stay obviously also excluded visiting a hairdresser. Not that the son of the Death God was complaining about anything; the long hair looked good on his Sea Prince, it made him look somewhat softer. Not to mention that the boy hadn't grown anymore, while Nico had hit a growth-spurt about half a year ago and was now, if he measured correctly by what he had seen from the Sea Prince, one head taller than Percy.
"Silence now!", interrupted the head huntress annoyed. "Go, leave us alone."
Fascinating how he had tuned the chattering out just by thinking about the sea-green-eyed half-blood. The huntresses nodded at the command of their lieutenant and fled the suit, leaving only Tyson, Grover, Nico, Thalia and Percy inside. The olive-skinned demi-god sat down on the couch and cradled his precious charge in his lap.
"What are we going to do now?", asked Tyson curiously.
"First we're going to wait until your brother wakes up and then we'll go from there", suggested the daughter of Zeus with knitted eyebrows.
"I'd like to take Percy with me into the underworld", whispered Nico.
"And give him a pomegranate?", grinned Thalia suggestively.
"No. To regain his memories", grunted the Ghost Prince with an eye-roll and a faint blush.
"Mh... We should probably split up", nodded Grover. "Thalia, you take your huntresses to inform Chiron and camp that we found him. Tyson, you go back home and tell your father. And I will stop by the Blofisses and tell Sally and Paul. But first we wait until Percy regains consciousness."
"Agreed", nodded the children of the Big Three.
"Agreed on what?", murmured a sleepy voice.
Percy blinked a few times, snuggling deeper into the warmth of the embrace. Once he was fully awake, he sat up abruptly and stared into the dark eyes of the boy holding him. A vibrant blush, much more prominent due to his pale skin, covered his cheeks instantly. Still, he couldn't find the strength to stand up, for he found himself lost in those brown orbs. So deep and dark, more so than Tartarus itself, filled with joy and sadness, age-wise but still so young and shining with... love? He knew those eyes, they had looked at him before. Pale fingers traced cheekbones, nose and yaw-line, down the neck, along the collar bone, the strong chest, over the pecks and dibs of hard abs beneath the black shirt, until a strong hand grabbed his wrist and stopped him. He blinked confused and looked up, meeting the brown eyes again and noticing the slight blush covering dark skin.
"If you two are finished groping each other, how about a nice little conversation?", interrupted the punk girl next to them.
Turning to her with a glare, Percy gripped the biceps of his rather comfortable seat tightly. He turned in all directions, taking in his surroundings. This was, obviously, a hotel suit, because it looked very impersonal. And expensive, too. Aside from him and the olive-skinned boy, there were three others in the living room. A giddy looking cyclops with hazelnut brown hair, the black-blue-haired punk girl and a dark brown haired satyr with a goaty. The same four that had confronted him in the park. What a strange constellation.
"What do you want?", asked the long-haired teen sharply and tried to back off.
The grip on his wrist tightened and he felt another hand on his back, keeping him in place. He turned an irritated look at the boy beneath him.
"Let go of me", growled the son of Neptune dangerously.
"No can do", denied the curly-haired male. "Wouldn't want to risk you running off again."
"I don't even know you!", spat Percy and pulled his knee up, hitting the other's stomach.
Once he was released again, he tried to get some distance between himself and the strangers that claimed to be his friends. He reached for his pen that laid on the table.
"We are your friends, Percy", sighed the girl with a head-shake.
"I'm your brother! We have been searching for you for forever!"
A cyclops? His brother? Percy frowned at that.
"Why should I trust you?", hissed the long-haired demi-god, trying to cover his nervousness and fear with anger and aggression.
A hand cupped his face and redirected his attention towards the fascinating dark-eyed boy again.
"Because you're important to us. Just... try to look into your heart... You recognized your stepfather and knew he meant nothing good. Try recognizing us. Do you fear me?"
Cutting the connection, the green-eyed half-blood closed his eyes and breathed deeply. When he opened them again, they were caught by a sparkling on the other's hand. He took the darker hand into his own and stared at the silver ring. A skull with two ruby eyes.
"Where did you get that ring?", asked Percy in confusion.
"It's the symbol of my father, Hades. He made it especially for me", answered the son of Hades.
"But... then why do I have the same...?", murmured the son of Neptune even more confused.
He fished for his necklace; one with four beads and additional one silver ring. Those were the only possessions, aside from his cursed pen-sword, which he had.
"It's a present. I gave it to you for your sixteenth birthday. It works as a whistle for your pet hell-hound, Mrs. O'Leary. You have to wear it on your right ring-finger and turn it around one time; it will emit a low sound only heard by hell-hounds. It's just like my ring, only with this little addition", explained the curly-haired boy.
"I have my own hell-hound?", blinked Percy surprised.
"Yeah. She belonged to Daedalus, but when he passed away, you promised to take care of her. Since hell-hounds are kind of big and need much room, it wasn't possible for you to take her with you to New York, so you left her in my care, in Hades' palace."
"Right... And you are...?", asked the long-haired teen slowly, looking from one face to the other.
"I'm your best friend Grover, this is your younger brother Tyson and those are Thalia, daughter of Zeus and head of the hunters of Artemis, and Nico, son of Hades."
"Oh, so you're my cousins, then?", asked Percy and looked at Thalia and Nico.
"Uh... Yeah", grunted the Ghost Prince displeased at the choice of relationship.
"Okay... And you have been searching for me... Then, can you tell me what happened? One day, I just woke up, in nowhere, with no memories and was accompanied to a camp full of strangers."
"We would love to explain that, but we're not so sure ourselves. There was a half-blood from this camp you were in that was suddenly at our camp while you were missing. So we started searching for you and you won't believe how relieved we are that we have finally found you."
Yeah, the girl looked genuinely relieved. But still, he couldn't remember them.
"What's the next step?", wondered the son of Neptune aloud.
"I would like to take you down to the underworld to regain your memories."
"And we would tell everybody that we got you back", grinned Thalia.
"Hold on a moment there", interrupted Percy irritated. "If you have a method to regain lost memories, then why didn't you do that with this other guy?"
Nico sighed and pulled his Sea Prince down onto the couch with him.
"I'm a child of Hades; the only one to be more exact. Your memories had been wiped out with the help of the River Lethe and I want to try to get them back with my powers. Something like that had never been tried before so we don't know if it will work, but if so, it'll probably exhaust me extremely. I won't do that for just anybody – yeah, Thals, even if he is your brother – but you're important to me. And like I said, it's never been tested. In the end, it's your decision if you want to try it, or return to camp without your memories and just wait until they return on their own."
The green-eyed teen looked down insecurely. This boy, he didn't even know him, but he would still do something dangerous, just to help him. And Percy was sure that exhausting was an understatement, it was probably life-threatening. He chewed his lips in nervousness, until a rouge finger traced his lips and released them from the harsh grip he had on them with his teeth. Blinking confused he looked up, locking eyes with dark brown orbs.
"Don't do that", murmured the son of Hades and shook his head.
Out of habit he stuck his tongue out to lick his lips, but the finger was still on them and the son of Neptune blushed furiously once he noticed that he had licked the other boy's finger. There was something strange in the brown eyes and he wondered briefly if he had offended Nico with the subconscious gesture.
"So, what do you think?", interrupted the satyr, coughing awkwardly.
"I want to go home", whispered Percy determined.
"Back to camp it is then", nodded the punk girl.
"No", interrupted the long-haired teen harshly. "I've had enough of camps full of half-bloods for now. I want to meet my... mother..."
The four others exchanged some glances and nodded in the end.
"Okay, change of the plan. I'll fetch my hunters and leave for mount Olympus to inform the gods. I'll leave the rest to you and we'll meet at camp once we're ready", nodded the daughter of Zeus.
She bid her good-byes and left the loft. The three boys started packing some stuff into their bags. Percy felt a bit useless, just standing there, watching them roaming around.
"Uhm, do you think I can... take a shower or something?", asked the green-eyed demi-god.
"Of course, Percy! The door to your right", nodded the satyr.
Sighing in relief, he opened the door and closed it firmly behind himself. It felt good to be alone again, he had gotten so used to being alone since he had left the Roman camp. And the feelings this curly-haired half-blood had evoked in him were very confusing, too. Stripping down and dumping the muddy, ripped clothes into the nearest bin, he stepped into the spacious shower and enjoyed the feeling of boiling hot water on his skin. The last time he had taken a hot shower was back in camp, ever since then he had washed in the rivers and lakes and lived on the streets, searching for a way to gain his memories back. He hadn't felt safe since he came to that strange camp, but knowing this brown-eyed boy was near gave him a feeling of safety that was to equal parts new and well-known. Instincts told him that he knew the other teen. Reluctantly, he turned the water off again and exited the shower, looking around the bathroom curiously. On a shelf were still the clothes of the boys laying, so he took the liberty to dress in some of those. A knocking on the door startled him and caused him to turn around.
"Percy? Can I come in? We need to pack our clothes, too... Can I get them?"
"Yeah, you can come in. I'm finished anyway", grunted the long-haired half-blood and got out of the bathroom, passing the satyr hastily.
The brown-haired male blinked at him, before getting inside and snatching the clothes from the shelf. The other two were finished with packing, the cyclops hopped around antsy.
"Brother! Nico's clothes are way too big for you", giggled the cyclops.
"Ah... Eh... I'm sorry I took your clothes without asking", apologized Percy with a blush, tugging at the shirt that kept sliding off of his shoulder.
"No need to apologize, Perce. Your clothes were ruined anyway. And you look good in black."
The son of Hades looked him up and down, appreciating the sight. The pale skin contrasted beautifully with the black clothes, the too big shirt kept slipping and baring the shoulder in a tempting manner and even without looking too closely, Nico could see that Percy had tightened the jeans' belt about two holes. His Sea Prince was way too thin.
"It really doesn't bother you?", mumbled the green-eyed boy, flushing a deep red.
"Perce, I've been searching for you for months now. How could it bother me that you're wearing my clothes? I'm just glad to have you back", murmured the son of the Death God, pushing one black strand out of the other half-blood's face, his fingers lingering a bit longer than necessary.
"Well, we're finished, Nico. See you guys at camp", nodded Grover and left the apartment.
"Bye, Nico, bye, brother!", smiled Tyson, hugging both of them before following the satyr.
Percy and Nico stood kind of awkwardly in the living room, staring at each other.
"So... How do we get to... Where do we have to go?"
"Manhattan. New York", answered the Ghost Prince.
"New York is not really the neighboring city of San Francisco", pointed the long-haired demi-god out. "You got a car or anything? And where did the others go? Why did they leave?"
"Thalia has her hunters, that would be a bit too much for your parents' house, so she left to inform the gods that we found you. Grover will fly to camp with your pegasus Blackjack. And Tyson will travel with Mrs. O'Leary, your hell-hound, to shadow-travel to your father's palace."
"Oh, okay... And how do we get there?", blinked the son of Neptune.
The olive-skinned boy smirked cheekily and shouldered his back-pack. He came to a halt right in front of the other teen. Percy stiffened as two strong arms were slung around his waist, the fingers intervened right above his lower back and he was pressed into a firm chest. Red spread over his cheeks and he thanked the gods that the taller half-blood couldn't see it, because Percy's face was burried into the other one's collar bone. He stemmed his hands against the chest, feeling the hard muscles underneath the shirt, his blush deepened as he realized that he liked the feeling of those strong arms around him and the tight muscles underneath his fingertips.
"I—What are you doing?", whispered the green-eyed half-blood.
"We're going to shadow-travel. That's something only creatures of Hades, his children included, are capable of doing. Walking through the shadows. I'll take you with me and since I don't want to loose you in between I need to keep you close and you need to hold onto me."
"Okay...", mumbled the smaller demi-god and laid his arms around the broad neck, clawing his fingers into the soft curls of black hair at the base of the other male's head.
Warm breath tickled his ear and Percy looked up, craning his neck to be able to look into those dark orbs. A calming grin was aimed his way, before he was overcome by a breathtaking sensation, a moan he couldn't hold back escaped his rosy lips. The taller teen raised an eyebrow in wonder.
"There something you want to tell me?", asked the son of Hades curiously.
"It's—It's just that spot", mumbled the long-haired boy embarrassed.
"Which spot?", asked the olive-skinned demi-god, skipping with his fingers over Percy's back, until he came to the other's lower back and caused him to mewl delicately.
"Th—That spot! I don't know why, but it's the most sensitive spot on my body", confessed the long-haired half-blood with crimson cheeks.
"Mh... We should watch that, then", murmured Nico deep in thoughts.
"Huh?", blinked the older teen in confusion.
"You certainly already noticed that you can't get hurt, right?"
"Uh, yeah... I guess otherwise I would have died a few dozen times already", answered Percy.
"That's because you took a dip in the river Styx, you bear the curse of Achilles. This spot is most likely your mortal spot, the only place on your body where you can get hurt. The one weakness your body has. The point where you can be killed. Because it binds you to the mortal world, it's the most sensitive part of your body", explained the son of Hades. "You shouldn't tell anyone."
"Sounds that way", agreed the green-eyed teen with a nod.
"You don't seem very worried that I know", noted the taller boy.
"Mh... I don't know why, but I feel like I can trust you", confessed Percy with a deep blush.
"That's good. Because you can trust me", answered the brown-eyed half-blood. "We should get going. Your mom is overly worried anyway, she has been waiting for you."
The long-haired teen nodded without a word and pressed himself a bit more against the hard chest, closing his eyes and enjoying the safe feeling the other one was giving him.
"Don't close your eyes, Perce", whispered the son of Hades before stepping into the shadows.
A tingling sensation erupted all around him, filling him with passion and want and need. His breath was ragged while he stared reluctantly around himself. Everything was dark, pure darkness. Not the lack of light, but more like a bath in ink. Single figures parted from the mass, like people, no, more like their shadows. Black mist waved all around them.
"Wow...", breathed Percy, trying to hide some more into the embrace as one shadow reached out for him to touch his hair.
Though the proximity between the two half-bloods caused him to blush brightly. Something hard brushed his tights, but Percy was not in the position to complain or tease, because he could feel his own arousal rising the longer they stayed in the dark shadows. Though the black figures tried to reach for him again, causing him to shrink some more.
"Get off him", growled the taller half-blood dangerously.
The shadows whimpered and backed off. The slender teen stared wide-eyed up at Nico, who in return smirked broadly and shrugged leisurely.
"How did you do that...?"
"I'm the son of Hades, heir of the Lord of Darkness. I control the earth, the dead and the shadows."
"That's... quite powerful", gulped the green-eyed demi-god in awe.
"Right. Because you're so weak", laughed Nico sarcastically.
"Uh... Well... I know that I'm a child of Neptune, but... I don't know what that means...", confessed the long-haired boy with a shrug.
"But how did you cope in the past months?", blinked the son of Hades confused.
"I don't know... But like I said, without that curse, how you called it, I would have died a few dozen times already... I managed, somehow, with that pen-sword-thingy..."
"That pen-sword-thingy?", laughed Nico. "That's Riptide, your well-trusted cursed blade."
"Riptide", tried Percy. "That sounds... familiar..."
"Well, that's good to hear", nodded the curly-haired teen. "And about your powers as a child of Poseidon – you belong to the Greek camp, not the Roman – we'll see about that later, okay?"
The paler half-blood nodded slowly into the broad chest, trying to hide once more. Not only for the safety, more so for the body contact and the heat radiating from the strong male in front of him. Any longer and he would rip the clothes off of the brown-eyed teen and go down on him, because that hardness rubbing against him was impressive and his hormonal-inducted dizziness send tons of images to his brain, pictures of all the ways he could put that hardness to good use and, irritatingly enough, most of those images involved himself with spread legs, or bend over, begging for the thickness to fill him. A shudder ragged his body.
"We should leave, before I do something you won't like", purred Nico into his ear.
The green-eyed teen could have sworn that something wet licked over his ear-shell, but the feeling left too fast to be sure. Before Percy could voice the question on his tongue, he felt the pull in the pit of his stomach, the darkness made way for bright, white light. Another moan escaped his lips as his feet touched the ground again. He had never – at least not that he remembered – felt something like this. Flushed deeply he tried to hide his growing erection. This shadow-traveling was... very intense. It made him ache for more. Especially for more of this amazing son of Hades.
"No need to feel embarrassed. It's a rather normal reaction to shadow-traveling", assured Nico.
Noises came from the next room and voices were raised. The son of Poseidon was busy thinking of everything that could turn him off, because facing his parents with a hard-on was so not on his to-do-list, especially not as long as he was in the arms of another boy.
"Nico-dear? Is that you? Are you alright? Did something went wrong?", asked a female voice.
Percy blinked and took a look around, taking the living room in. It looked cozy and warm and there were pictures on the walls, photos and drawings done by a child. Everything was also very blue. His observations were interrupted by two adults entering the room. The woman was beautiful, with long brown curls and deep, motherly eyes, full of worry. Next to her stood a man with salt-and-pepper hair and a frown on his face. Both their eyes widened as they noticed them.
"I... Nico, tell me that I'm not dreaming, please", begged the woman, taking some slow, unsteady steps up to them and touching Percy's cheek softly.
"You're not, Sally. We finally found him", answered Nico and released Percy from his hold.
As soon as the strong arms left his hips, he was pulled into the next hug by the couple.
"Percy, oh I've missed you so much... I'm so glad to have you back! Nico, I can't tell you how grateful I am to you, my boy!", sobbed the brunette.
"I... I...", stuttered the long-haired teen, desperately locking eyes with the son of Hades.
The dark brown orbs saddened and he nodded slowly, laying one hand on Sally's arm.
"Sally... There is something you need to know. Do you remember how we told you about Thalia's brother and how he was found?", interrupted the curly-haired demi-god.
"I, yes... But...", the woman blinked at them in confusion.
"I'm sorry, Sally. But... he doesn't remember a thing", said Nico, shaking his head.
"But he can remember", assured the sat-and-pepper-haired man her. "Like Thalia's brother did."
"Paul is right, it may take it's time but Percy will remember", nodded the son of Hades.
"I'm sorry I can't remember you", whispered Percy, his eyes fixated on the floor.
"Oh, Percy, that's hardly your fault", mumbled Sally and shook her head. "I'm just glad they finally found you and that you're alright. I'm sure you will remember."
Her smile was so soft and confident that it nearly broke the teen's heart. This woman – his mother, he reminded himself – believed in him. And he couldn't even remember her...
"Sh, Perce, it's not your fault", whispered the taller demi-god and hugged him reassuringly.
The green-eyed boy blinked confused as a finger stroke his cheeks. Wetness? He hadn't noticed that he was crying. This whole situation was driving him insane...
"How about I go and make us breakfast? Are you hungry, boys?", interrupted Sally.
"Food is a very good idea", nodded Nico, tracing the prominent ribs of the smaller teen.
Paul noticed the movement and raised an eyebrow at that. "Yeah, Percy is quite thin. Come to the kitchen, I would love to hear your story."
Nodding slowly, he grabbed the olive-skinned hand on his torso and followed the adults into the blue kitchen. Percy blinked a bit at all the blue in the house. It felt familiar and made him happy, somehow. The woman motioned for them to sit down and started roaming around the kitchen.
"So, Nico-dear, how did you find our Percy?", asked Sally with a smile.
"That I'd like to know, too", muttered the long-haired half-blood.
Sally and Paul were busy making pancakes and eggs and bacon, while the curly-haired teen smiled at them fondly. He loved visiting the Blofis-family, they were so warm and full of love.
"We've been in Sacramento when we heard from the dryads about a half-blood in San Francisco. It wasn't the first time we heard some sort of news from the natural spirits, most were like seeings of the yeti or the monster of Loch Ness. But we still followed the call. When we arrived at the Golden Gate Park, the spirits told us to come back at night. And for once the gossip turned out to be true."
"But what were you doing in San Francisco, Percy? Where have you been all these months?", wanted the salt-and-pepper-haired man to know.
"Uh... Well...", the green-eyed teen shifted uncomfortable under the intense stare, until Nico moved his chair over to him and laid an arm around his waist. "I don't know how much time had passed exactly, but it must be some months now... I woke up in a summer camp, without my memories. It was hard, most of those other half-bloods treated me like a stranger, what I definitely was. So I wanted to leave, as soon as possible. They send two half-bloods, Frank and Hazel, with me until we reached the ocean. I told them they could leave, because we attracted too many monsters. They were reluctant until Hazel got hurt. Frank brought her back to camp, because we were out of nectar and ambrosia. They took our last money to get back. I sneaked on board of a ship to New York. I worked there to earn my trip. I got attacked, a lot, and lost everything on the way. The only things left, in the end, were the pen, the ring and the clothes on my body. I lived on the streets... worked as a waiter, or... stole if I couldn't gain money otherwise. I tried to fight and... just to stay alive. Something called me there, but it wasn't enough. As I found no connection to my past, I moved on. In the end, I returned to California. I came to San Francisco, because something called me to that place. A name... A memory... Annabeth..."
Dark brown eyes widened in shock. Why? Why did he remember Annabeth, of all people? Not his parents, or brother, or... him. Why her? Nico loved him so much more than the blonde would ever be able to! It just wasn't fair! He had hoped, all those months, that they would find him and he would remember the son of Hades and fall for him, finally fall for him. But life was a bitch. Of course he couldn't get the boy, it would be too good to be true. The girl always gets the hero, never the sidekick. Even though he wanted the green-eyed beauty so much...
"Say, where is Annabeth? Is she not home?", asked Percy curiously, looking around frantically.
"Why would she be here, Percy? Why do you think she would be at our house?", questioned his mother confused, blinking at her son.
"I...", the long-haired teen looked so confused that Nico felt downright bad for him and wondered what was going through that memory-less head of his. "Isn't she my sister?"
"But Percy, what makes you think Annabeth is your sister?", blinked Paul in astonishment.
"Well, I don't remember her face or anything, only the feelings I have for her... It's a mix of fondness and love, but also annoyance and irritation, so I figured she must be my sister... Is she not? Who... Who is Annabeth?"
"She's your girlfriend, dear", answered Sally honestly.
Percy knitted his eyebrows and stared at a point on the wall. That didn't feel right. Something was off with this statement. Did he lie to everyone? Back then? About his feelings? Was he afraid of something and pretended to be something he hadn't been? Because he knew, deep in his heart, that he must have had feelings for the curly-haired boy. Why should he date a girl if he was in love with a boy? And the feelings he held for this Annabeth...
"I need to meet her", announced the long-haired teen determined.
A plate shattered on the floor and Percy jumped up, staring around wide-eyed until he noticed that his mother had a look of horror and hurt om her face.
"You... you plan on leaving so soon...?", whispered the woman broken.
"I... I, uh...", muttered the son of Poseidon nervously. "I don't remember you. I don't remember anything, just... this name. And maybe she can help me to remember. I need to know..."
Sally looked as if at the verge of tears, Paul laid an arm soothingly around her shoulder. The curly-haired demi-god next to them coughed to gain their attention.
"Look, Sally, he needs to regain his memory first before he can get back to his everyday life. You understand that, right? And it's not like he will disappear again. I promise I'll keep him safe."
Her bright brown eyes softened and the woman nodded reluctantly.
"But first: Breakfast", declared Sally with a bright smile.
Returning the smile, Percy nodded slowly. He felt the warmth spread through his being and the love for this woman, even though he couldn't remember her, he still knew that he trusted her.
"Can I have blueberry pancakes?", asked the long-haired teen in a small voice.
"Of course, Percy", smiled his mother.
The four of them ate together, like a regular family and for the first time since Percy had woken up, something felt natural and normal and just good. Even though he knew it would be so much better if he could remember all the other family-breakfasts and moments of his past. After they had finished eating, the son of Poseidon was shifting in his seat. Until Nico smiled at him knowingly.
"How about we go to the living room?", suggested the son of Hades.
The long-haired teen nodded and stood, following the taller boy out of the kitchen. Percy yawned and stretched lazily, looking around in amazement.
"Do you want to leave?", asked the curly-haired demi-god tentatively.
"I... I don't know. Maybe I should leave, but... it's not that urgent... We could stay here a bit longer, can't we? I mean... she looked so sad and I don't want her sad... She's my mom. Maybe we should stay here for a little longer... I would appreciate the rest, too..."
Percy sighed and let himself fall onto the couch, closing his eyes firmly.
"Boys...", voiced Sally slowly.
They could hear the rest of the sentence, the unasked question if they would stay or leave.
"How about we watch a movie? I haven't watched a movie since... I can't remember if I ever had watched a movie, to be honest", smiled the green-eyed boy softly.
"Well then, look in the DVD-shelf if anything interests you", nodded Paul relieved.
The couch was formed like an L and the couple sat down on the length opposite of the television, while Nico took the place in the edge, leaning his head against the backrest by the wall, his legs stretched on the length of the couch, his eyes trailing after Percy. The long-haired half-blood looked at each and every row of DVDs with intense eyes, as if calculating the potential of a monster, until pale fingers caught a single box and pulled it out.
"This one", declared Percy with a grin, presenting his decision to the others.
"Why that one?", asked his stepfather confused.
Paul knew which movies his stepson preferred and this one was by no means one of them. But the green-eyed teen only shrugged casually and moved to insert the disc.
"Since Nico doesn't like watching television I thought we should at least watch one he likes..."
The three others stared at his back with wide, perplex eyes.
"To set this straight; you don't remember if you've ever watched a movie, but you remember which movie Nico likes best?", chuckled the salt-and-pepper-haired man.
Frozen in his movement, the long-haired demi-god stared wide-eyed at the box. Shaking his head, he laid it on the table and turned around to his family.
"I don't know... I mean, I... I just know", sighed Percy and grabbed his head.
"Don't worry, Perce, that's good. You remember something. Anything is good, regardless of how small and unimportant it may be", assured Nico, patting the spot on the couch between his legs, indicating for the smaller boy to sit there. "Say, do you also remember your own favorite movie?"
The long-haired boy turned a bit around, scanning the shelf again. "Finding Nemo, of course!"
"That's good!", exclaimed Sally, obviously glad. "And now sit down, before the film starts."
Percy nodded with a small smile and sat down at the outer edge of the couch. A blush crept onto his cheeks when strong, olive-skinned arms wrapped themselves around his waist and pulled him against the same firm chest he had felt so safe on before. Uncertain, sea-green eyes swept over to his parents, who were focused on the screen like it was no big deal that the brown-eyed boy was cuddling their son. What kind of relationship did they have, really? Once again a question pondered in his mind: Why did he have a girlfriend when he obviously harbored deep running feelings for this clearly male half-blood?
"That's nice", murmured Nico against his ear, his grip tightening. "I haven't sat down to relax in months. I missed our little family-afternoons... Well, it's only four in the morning, but still..."
"We did that often?", asked the son of Poseidon curiously and a bit surprised.
"Once a week, every Sunday normally", smiled the curly-haired demi-god.
"Silence, the movie starts", hushed Paul with a small, fond smile.
A giggle escaped Percy's lips and he relaxed some more into the embrace. It felt safe and good to lay together with the taller boy, the heartbeat against his ear had a calming effect on him. The movie itself – Nightmare Before Christmas – was nothing but a white noise with some rather colorless pictures. The musky, earthy, slightly sweaty scent of Nico lulled him into a state of half-sleep he hadn't been in for some time now. Even though the touch felt unusual cold for a living being, it still felt familiar to Percy. The minutes tracked by without him noticing and the next time he looked up, the end-credits were running.
"Oh, Paul, we should get going!", remarked Sally with a glance at the watch.
The adults stood and moved around, getting dressed into their jackets and shoes to leave for work. Before heading out, however, they stuck their heads into the living room again, eying the teenagers questioningly. Half-lid sea-green eyes stared at them.
"How about you fetch us some pizza on your way home? I haven't eaten something warm since forever", murmured their son in a sleepy voice.
"Will do. Have fun, boys", smiled his mother with a nod.
"But not too much fun!", joked Paul with a wink.
The moment the door closed behind the couple, Percy turned a bit and faced Nico curiously. "So... What are we doing now? And when are they going to be back, anyway?"
"Five-ish", was the vague answer.
Silence fell between them and for the first time since meeting the curly-haired teenager, the smaller half-blood felt a bit uneasy and awkward around him. Something was obviously on Nico's mind, but the long-haired demi-god wasn't certain if he was allowed to ask, or if it was too personal. The decision was taken from him as the son of Hades shifted a bit and tightened his grip some more.
"Don't do that again", ordered the olive-skinned boy darkly.
"Don't do... what exactly again?", asked Percy confused.
"Don't lie to me", clarified the taller teen. "When I asked you, if you remember your own favorite movie, I only asked you because I hoped you did. But it's alright if you don't. I don't expect your memories to return all at once. I only want to help you and I can't help you if you lie to me. So don't... Don't ever lie to me again, please."
The pale demi-god averted his eyes and stared at his skull-ring, which hung from his neck on it's necklace and laid on the other's chest.
"I just... I don't know... I felt like I would let you guys down if I didn't know the answer...", the son of Poseidon paused and knitted his eyebrows. "How do you know I lied? My parents seemed pleased with the answer I gave..."
A chuckle rumbled in the chest of the half-Italian and the vibration felt unusual good underneath Percy's fingertips. He raised an eyebrow in wonder and stared at Nico.
"You just looked for a movie that would suit a son of Poseidon. And Finding Nemo is, in general, the movie you tell everyone if asked, but in reality it's only your second favorite."
"Why would I lie about my favorite movie?", asked the long-haired boy dumbfounded.
"Because you're a bit embarrassed about it", smirked the son of Hades.
"What in the world is my favorite movie?", wanted the hero of Olympus to know.
"The Little Mermaid", answered the taller teen.
He had to stiffen a laugh at the incredulous look on Percy's face.
"But that totally looks like a girl's movie! And it certainly is! Why should that be my fave?"
"See, that's the reason you never tell anyone", teased Nico.
His Sea Prince pushed himself up and sat in front of the curly-haired boy, his arms crossed over his chest and a scowl adoring his features. With a soft laugh sat the son of the Death God up, too.
"What? You don't believe me? Well, if you're so sure that that's a girl's movie, then we can watch it and see if you don't like it."
"Are you challenging me, di Angelo?", asked Percy in a warning voice and leaned into him a bit, one finger poking the other's chest.
Nico swallowed the surprise that hit him at being called by his last name. They had, after all, only introduced themselves with their first names when they had collected the lost hero. But he didn't want to ruin the moment or put more pressure onto his secret crush.
"What if I am, Jackson?", retorted the son of Hades with a cheeky grin.
"Well, then I have to say that you're on. And that you'll loose", declared Percy and jumped off the couch to change the disc.
An unsound laugh was released from Nico's lips while he watched his long-time love putting the 'girl's movie' into the DVD-player. His dark eyes lingered on the perfect shape of his Sea Prince's ass, a sight he hadn't been able to appreciate for such a long time now. A pink tongue darted out of his mouth and he licked his lips subconsciously. The plans he had with this ass... All the time he had had to form those plans. There was no way he would let the green-eyed beauty slip away again. Especially not after their shadow-traveling together. The noises his Sea Prince had been making were enough to arouse him, this delicate mewl and the wantonly whimper, only thinking of those sounds made him shift uncomfortable. What kind of noises would the pretty hero make when being bend over fucked hard? The son of Hades shook his head to will the rising arousal away.
"Let's see how true you are, Ghost Prince", grinned the son of Poseidon self-consciously.
Nico stopped in his movement once again and stared at the older demi-god. This was the nickname given to him by Percy years ago and he was quite certain that the others hadn't used it in front of the son of the Sea God ever since they had found him in the park. Was his memory really returning?
His musings were interrupted the moment the green-eyed beauty sat down between his legs again and snuggled into his chest. A small smile spread over Nico's lips and he wrapped his arms around the slender waist again.
Eighty minutes later had the son of Poseidon jumping giddily onto the couch, heaving a dreamy sigh, his arms spread wide and his eyes shining in anticipation.
"That was the most amazing thing I've ever seen!", declared Percy loudly.
Nico tried to hide a smirk, his arms crossed over his chest and his eyes fixed on the happy boy in front of him, who was wildly gesturing to show just how most amazing it had been.
"I mean, she was like totally not happy, because no one understood her and then she fell in love with Eric and her father was all like Romeo and Juliet and even though Sebastian was totally working for her dad, he was like the nice uncle who tried everything to help her! And Flounder was so awesome, because he was like her only friend and he really, really loved her! And even though Ariel was totally and madly in love with Eric she couldn't show him and he was so dumb, he even fell for this whole Vanessa-coy! That dumbass, just because he only remembered her voice, he should have totally recognized Ariel! And then this wicked witch even hexed him! Poor Eric... and poor Ariel! And the end! I mean, her father and how he gave his favorite daughter up so she could be happy with the one she loved, even though he didn't appreciate her choice in men. And don't get me started on the fact that they could talk to fish!"
A sincere smile graced Nico's lips. He had missed the unique enthusiasm the son of Poseidon could muster for those things he really liked. The way those sea-green eyes shone brighter than anything, it was the light to his own darkness. Just seeing Percy like this made him fall in love over again.
"So, Sea Prince, how was that? A girl's movie? Should I call you Sea Princess then?", teased the son of the Death God.
"Why? You want to take me out for a boat-trip with the fishes and frogs singing for us, my Prince?", purred the green-eyed teen with a wink.
"The funny thing is that your father would probably throw a worse fit than Triton did when Ariel brought Eric home", mused the son of Hades with a tint of sadness.
"Naw, I mean, I dated a daughter of Athena and he didn't throw a—Annabeth is a daughter of Athena...", Percy stopped and blinked confused.
"See, your memory is returning. It may take it's time, but it'll all come back", smiled Nico.
"How about we go to my room? I mean, I must have a room here, right? There must be other stuff that reminds me of something", suggested the long-haired teen.
"That's a surprisingly good idea", teased the son of the Death God.
"Oi, don't get cheeky on me!", scolded Percy and grabbed Nico's hand. "Lead the way, my Prince!"
"As you wish, Little Mermaid", grinned the curly-haired half-blood and climbed up the stairs.
They entered the completely blue bedroom of the hero of Olympus and it's owner walked up to his bed slowly. It was soft and felt somehow familiar to sit on, a flower pot on the window-sink right next to it. His fingers graced the silver petals of the beautiful flower.
"I remember that a girl gave it to me... She was... pretty and lonely and sad...", whispered Percy.
"Calypso", clarified the brown-eyed demi-god.
"Calypso", tried the son of Poseidon.
The name tasted familiar on his tongue as if he'd said it before. His eyes swept over to his nightstand. Three framed photos stood there. One of himself with Sally and Paul, obviously at their wedding, his mother dressed in a beautiful white dress and himself and his stepfather in white tuxedos. The next one was of him with the cyclops and an elderly looking man, the picture being taken under water in a palace not unlike the one Ariel had lived in.
"That's your father Poseidon and your brother Tyson", explained Nico.
"And this one?", asked Percy and grabbed the biggest frame.
The son of Hades smiled softly and sat down next to the green-eyed beauty and, grabbing the photo too, moved to sit as near as possible to the pretty boy.
"Suppose you recognize yourself and me", stated Nico, pointing at themselves who stood in the middle of the picture. "The blonde in your arms is Annabeth, the redhead on your other side is Rachel Elizabeth Dare, she's a very close friend of yours, a mortal, but after the war she became the Oracle." He pointed at Rachel who had her arms wrapped around both Percy and Annabeth, just like Nico did from the other side. Next to Rachel stood Grover and Tyson, while on Nico's side of the picture Thalia and Clarisse leaned in and reached out to tease Percy and Annabeth. "The brunette girl beside Thalia is Clarisse. Your relationship to her is a bit complicated. Even though you two always fight, you still depend on each other and are rather close friends."
"We all look a bit... ruffled?", asked the green-eyed demi-god.
"Chiron – the trainer at camp – took the picture right after we defeated the titans and were back at camp", explained the curly-haired half-blood.
"I've heard about the war... Hazel and Frank told me about it", muttered the son of Poseidon. "Tell me more about Thalia."
"Huh?", blinked Nico surprised.
"She got this gang, what are they?", asked the long-haired half-blood.
"The Hunters of Artemis. They're like immortal virgins, who compensate their hatred for men by hunting monsters 24/7."
"I highly doubt that that's the official wording", giggled the son of Poseidon.
"Well, they had been rather annoying the last few months", shrugged the curly-haired demi-god.
"And Thalia is our cousin, right? If she's immortal, does that mean she's older than us?"
"Kind of... See, it's a bit complicated...", answered the brown-eyed boy vaguely.
"What's that supposed to mean? I mean, I don't know how old I am, but you should know how old you are, don't you? And her?"
Heaving a sigh, the taller teen leaned back against the window and tried to find the right words. "Technically speaking, I'm the oldest, my birthday is January the 28th 1924, followed by Thalia, who's been born in 1986. Your birthday is August the 18th 1993."
"Uh... You look good for eighty-seven...?", stammered the son of the Sea God stunned.
"See, I said it's complicated", chuckled the curly-haired half-blood. "You see, Thalia had nearly died when she was fifteen, but her father Zeus had turned her into a pine-tree to safe her life. Then you came along and managed to get her back five years later with the help of the Golden Fleece. The following year, shortly before she turned sixteen, she joined the hunters to stop aging, because she didn't want to become the child of the Prophecy."
"I've heard about the prophecy", nodded Percy with knitted eyebrows. "And what about you?"
"When I was ten, Zeus discovered that Hades broke the oath and tried to roast us. My mother died and my father brought us to the Lotus Hotel, a place where you don't age because time never passes. It was in the year 2006 that my father got us out of there. Only weeks later, you, Annabeth and Thalia came to collect us for camp."
The contemplation on the long-haired boy's face deepened some more. It was obvious that there was something the other boy wasn't telling, but it was just as obvious that Nico didn't want to talk about it, so the son of Poseidon didn't press the matter.
Percy stifled a yawn and leaned against the Ghost Prince, blinking a few times. A strong arm was laid around his waist and he rubbed his eyes, snuggling closer against the taller demi-god.
"After dinner, can we... go to this camp? I want to meet Annabeth...?", mumbled the long-haired teen tiredly before drifting off into sleep.
"Boys, hey, wake up, pizza is served."
The melodic, soft voice brought him out of his sleepy haze. Green eyes opened slowly, he burried his nose into the firm chest he used as a pillow.
"Two more minutes, mom", mumbled Percy.
"Paul and I will wait downstairs", smiled Sally and left.
The son of Poseidon hummed, turning around a bit so he was laying on his back. A foreign hand sneaked underneath his shirt and started to tickle his stomach. The son of Poseidon swatted at the offending fingers and groaned in annoyance.
"You heard your mom, Perce, food's ready", was breathed against his ear.
"I'm still tired... Just a bit longer?", murmured Percy, turning big, pleading eyes on Nico.
"But I'm hungry and you need to gain some weight, so get up!"
The son of Hades stood up in one swift motion and turned around, facing the green-eyed beauty who tried to hide under his pillow.
"Seriously, get your lazy ass out of bed, or I'll eat the whole pizza all alone!"
"Not fair!", protested the long-haired teen and threw his pillow at the other half-blood.
"Never claimed otherwise", shrugged Nico off and turned to leave, just to run straight into a wave.
The son of the Death God blinked confused and looked around. On the table stood a now empty can, probably used to water the flowers. He turned a scowl at the smaller teen, who looked at him with a sheepish-innocent look.
"Don't know how that had happened!", declared the hero of Olympus honestly.
"You could at least dry-will me", grunted Nico annoyed, shacking some water out of his hair.
"Dry-what?", asked Percy confused and stood up.
"You're a child of the Sea God. Water is your element – aside from storms and earthquakes, that is... You can not only control water, like you just did to prank me, you can also create water. And make it disappear. You call it dry-willing. And I would appreciate it, because these are my last clean clothes and you got me soaked to the boxer-shorts."
With an uncertain expression attached to his face, the Sea Prince came to a halt in front of the half-Italian. He didn't know how he had willed the water out of the can, or had made it bend into a wall. So how was he supposed to... will the son of Hades dry? Closing his eyes, he grabbed Nico's upper arms and concentrated on it. Make the water go away.
"There you go. You just need to be reminded of it. It's still there", smiled the Ghost Prince.
"Tell me more!", demanded Percy, green eyes gleaming with curiosity and eagerness.
"About your powers?" A nod was the answer. "Well, let's see... Like I said, you bend the water to your will and also create it. The dry-wiling-thing. Storms, and I don't mean a little rain, I mean serious hurricane and tornado storms. Your father is the earthshaker, so you can also create earthquakes. And tsunamis. That's the reason your dad should stay off of Japan for some time... He didn't take the news of your disappearance all that well... You draw power from water. If you're close to it, you're stronger, faster, sharper, all in all more powerful. And it heals you. Or, it used to heal you, until you did the whole curse of Achilles thing." The two arrived at the kitchen and sat down at the table. "Then there is the freaky fish-talk. You do that like all the time. Seriously, we went to the lake together and you spend your time talking to fish!"
"Fish?", blinked the son of Poseidon stunned. "Seriously? I mean... Those voices in my head weren't... I've not gone crazy on that ship after all?"
"What? No. You're the son of the King of the Sea. You have power over all his creatures, all creatures that are water-bound, not only fish. Oh, and horses, too."
"Jeez, I'm a Disney princess, I talk to animals", grunted Percy with one raised eyebrow.
Paul laughed softly at that and shook his head. "You used to hit me for that comment."
"You got perfect navigation. As soon as you're on a boat – Clarisse told me so from your trip to the Sea of Monsters – wherever you are in the ocean, you know the exact coordinates and what to do to get to the place you want to and you even know how, even though you've never been on board of a ship before. Doesn't matter what kind of ship even."
"That would explain some things from my trip", nodded the son of Poseidon.
"Oh, and you can breath underwater... That... Yeah, that's it", concluded the son of Hades.
"Wickedly awesome", grinned the green-eyed teen.
"See? I told you your powers are great", chuckled Nico and shook his head.
"And what are your powers? I mean, we're both children of the Big Three, so you should be rather powerful, too, right?", asked Percy and took a bite of his pizza.
"I've tried to get that out of him, too, after the first few times he just... appeared in our living room, but I guess he's not one to boast", chuckled Sally.
"But it's not boasting! It's... helping your amnesic friend!", grinned the son of Poseidon.
"You're not getting out of this one, Nico", commented the salt-and-pepper-haired man and leaned back in his chair, staring expectantly at their house-guest.
"Okay, okay, okay! I surrender!", sighed the curly-haired demi-god. "So, shadow-traveling, obviously. And shadow-bending. I can control the shadows, talk to them, use them as weapons, throw someone into the shadows and never let them out again. And earth, too, because it's my father's realm. Like you I can create earthquakes, shake the continent, though also a bit more. Theoretically speaking I could literally move a mountain, though I've never tried it before. That would be kind of attention-drawing and we don't really want this... Then there is this black metal, the one my sword is made of, it's called Stygian iron, which only descendants of Hades can touch, because it would reap the soul of every living being. Speaking of souls, I can summon, see and communicate with ghosts. Well, I can control the dead in general. Yes, in the freakish zombie-kind-of-ways. Corpses, bones, ghosts, everything dead can be controlled by me. Like you have powers over the creatures of your father's realm, so do I over the creatures of my father's realm. Harpies, hell-hounds, Cerberus and everything else that lives down there. I can also control the fires of Hades. And, since my father is not only the God of Death, but also the God of Wealth – because he is the god of everything beneath the earth, including gold, silver, diamonds and whatnot – I am kind of richer than the Queen, Bill Gates and J.K.R. put together."
"That explains why a bunch of teens were sleeping in such a noble suit, even though you didn't plan on staying there for a luxury vacation", nodded Percy in understanding.
"Yeah. I sometimes thought that that was the only reason why Thalia even allowed me to tag along", joked the Ghost Prince.
"That is indeed an awful lot", commented Sally, her mouth hanging agape, before she coughed to regain her composure. "So, what were you boys up to while we were away?"
"Sleeping, mostly", replied her son, rubbing his eyes still a bit tiredly.
"Did you sleep the whole time we were at work?", asked Paul curiously.
"Mostly", nodded the son of Hades, ruffling his beloved one's hair. "But we also talked a bit about the past. His memories are returning, at least slowly."
"That's good, very good!", smiled the brunette woman broadly.
"It is, but they seem to mostly resolve around me and Annabeth, so maybe meeting her will help him regaining the rest of his memories. That's the reason we wanted to head back to camp after eating, if that's alright with you?"
"Of course. Everything for Percy to finally remember again. And it's not like he will disappear again, as long as you're with him. You're going to keep my baby-boy safe, Nico, I know."
"Mom! I'm not a baby!", complained the Sea Prince flustered. "And I don't need anyone keeping me safe! I managed staying alive quite well!"
"But you'll always be my baby!", smiled Sally and kissed his head.
"And you did manage for yourself to get kidnapped by Lady Hera, after all", grunted Paul.
"You have to live with the fact that, at least for the next time, no one will turn their back on you without having someone else watching you, because you pulled the whole disappearing-into-thin-air-stunt once before and it took us months to find you."
"That could have happened to you, too", mumbled Percy and crossed his arms.
"But it didn't", huffed the son of Hades and rolled his eyes.
The four of them sat together, eating pizza, the conversation and atmosphere coming natural to them like all those months and the lost memories never had happened.
The parting was hard, but Sally did her best not to cry, because she didn't want to make Percy feel guilty. He wrapped his arms around the taller boy's neck and pressed his body flush against Nico's.
"Bye, mom, Paul! I promise I'll come back as soon as I remember!", called the son of the Sea God over his shoulder the moment they stepped through the shadows.
Inside the black darkness, a needy moan escaped Percy's lips at the feeling of another hardness pressing into his tights again, his grip on the other boy tightened and he buried his nose into the crook of the olive-skinned neck. His tongue darted out to wet his lips, but instead it tasted the salty skin. Nico hissed as the sleek appendage licked over his shoulder, his hand went down some more to caress the hero's lower back. A wanton whimper was the answer he received, the smaller teen bucking his hips against him. Brown eyes closed firmly and the son of Hades tried to breath deep to calm himself. Taking advantage of his beautiful Sea Prince was not an option; he couldn't use the helpless and most importantly shadow-traveling-hormonal-disarray state the green-eyed demi-god was in, that would only destroy their relationship completely. He took one step and left the shadows again, both of them falling down. The long-haired half-blood gasped in panic at the free fall. All air got knocked out of Nico as he collided with his bed, the other boy landing on top of him.
"Give a guy a warning before you decide to fall down the ceiling, will you?", gasped Percy and sat up, straddling the half-Italian's hips.
A blush spread over olive-colored skin at the picture the green-eyed beauty on top of him painted. The way his Sea Prince was straddling him, his fingers clawed into Nico's shirt.
"I think I heard a sound, 'Randa! Maybe Nico came back!", called a voice from outside.
The door opened, revealing two girls. One with long, dark brown hair, flowers braided into it, the other a punk girl with violet dyed hair, both had their eyes opened wide.
"Why, I think our Ghost Prince found what he was looking for!", grinned the punk girl.
"Maybe we should leave them alone for some time?", suggested the brunette with a blush.
"Yes, I did, Lou. Percy, that's my best friend Lou Ellen and her girlfriend Miranda Gardner. And there is no need to leave us alone, Miranda, get your mind out of the gutter."
"Ah... It's nice meeting you, even though we probably already have met", smiled the son of Poseidon and stood hastily.
"It's good to have you back, hero", grinned Lou and patted his back.
"There are many campers who can't wait to see you!", announced Miranda with a broad smile.
"Yeah, come on! You're like the most wanted camper right now", urged the daughter of Hecate.
"Eh... Okay... Nico?", asked the long-haired boy uncertain.
"Coming", grinned the son of Hades, grabbing the green-eyed teen's hand.
The four emerged from cabin thirteen and went to the fireplace, where everyone was gathered for the bonfire. Scanning the area, Nico saw that Grover had obviously not returned yet. That meant the others didn't know yet. Why was Blackjack so slow? The first to spot them was a redhead. Her bright, green eyes widened and she jumped, ran up to them and threw herself at Percy. The wind got knocked out of him at the impact of the girl.
"Percy! You're back! Nico, you found him!", screeched the ginger happily.
"Eh, you're kind of suffocating me", grunted the son of Poseidon.
The girl let go of him and blushed furiously, mumbling some kind of apology.
"Ah, the fish boy is back. Just when I got used to the nice calmness at camp."
Percy turned around at the teasing voice and faced a brunette, bulky girl. He recognized both her and the red-head from the photograph in his room. Rachel and Clarisse. But he didn't recognize them, not in the way he had hoped he would. Pictures or flashes from his past, but nothing at all.
"Say... Where can I find... Annabeth?", asked the green-eyed demi-god slowly.
"She's at the lake. Just... walk straight through the woods here and you'll get there", instructed the brunette with one raised eyebrow.
"Thanks. See you later, gotta go!"
"So, di Angelo", drawled the daughter of Ares and draped one arm around his shoulder, looking down at him with a wicked smirk. "What's going on, exactly?"
"Yeah, tell us!", grinned Rachel, grabbing his arm and looking worriedly up at him.
"First of all; What are you doing here, Dare? Aren't you supposed to suffer in an all-female boarding-school?", asked the son of Hades with one raised eyebrow.
"It's holidays, di Angelo! I mean, sure, you never went to school since the twenties, but some of us do. And there's this funny, little time called holidays where you can go to, let's say a summer camp, because your best friend got kidnapped by a mad goddess!", replied the ginger with an eye-roll.
Percy walked up to the couple that sat at the shore of the lake. A pretty blonde girl and a handsome blonde boy, leaning against each other dreamily.
"Annabeth", exclaimed the son of Poseidon.
The girl stiffened and turned around slowly. Her beautiful gray eyes were wide in surprise and also in guilt. She stood and walked up to him, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Percy...", breathed the daughter of Athena shakily, wrapping her arms around his neck.
Closing his eyes in relieve, he hugged her close and breathed her scent, listening to her sobs. Her hands stemmed against his chest and she looked up at him.
"Do you... know who I am?", her voice sounded half-afraid.
"My mother said you're my girlfriend", answered Percy.
"So you don't have your memory back yet", muttered Annabeth.
"No. But I remember you." There was this guilt again and the green-eyed half-blood briefly wondered what it meant. "I know you. Can we talk?"
She knitted her eyebrows and nodded nonetheless. The two of them walked into the woods, until they were out of earshot of both the lake and the bonfire.
"So... What do you want to talk about?", asked Annabeth anxiously.
"About us. My mother said we're a couple...", started Percy awkwardly.
How to go from there? He just met her and wanted to break up with her. That didn't sound fair.
"We came together after the war and we... We were together for some months when you vanished... I've tried anything to find you..."
"Is that all...? I mean... Are we just a couple?", asked the black-haired half-blood.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
He averted his eyes and coughed slightly. "Look, this is... I'm very, very sorry for what I'm about to say, but this doesn't feel right. When I was looking for you, I thought you are my sister. I may not remember how I know everyone, but I remember the feelings. I know that I love you, very much. But not the way I should if we're a couple. I... I know it's a jackass-move to break up with you after you've searched for me for such a long time, but... I think I got together with you to hide my true feelings and maybe I would lead you on once I regain my memories. I don't know my motives, I don't know why or how we got together, but I know that I tried to cover something with our relationship. And I know that you don't deserve this."
The reaction he received wasn't the one he had feared. The blonde broke down, laughing like she just heard the most hilarious joke ever. Percy blinked confused and looked down at her.
"I'm sorry", pressed Annabeth out between laughter. "It's just... I may have been looking for you, but for some weeks now, I've also always tried to find a way to tell you... I got together with Jason. The son of Zeus, who came here shortly after you vanished. I... We fell in love." She breathed deeply, the guilt finally leaving her misty gray eyes. "You see, you're right. We weren't in love. It was more like it was expected from us to get together after everything that had happened, because you're the hero and Grover is the sidekick and I'm the girl and the hero always gets the girl."
"But... Why did we get together, then?", wondered the son of Poseidon and stared at the girl.
"First of all, because you have this really big need to please everyone. And since everyone expected us to get together, we did so. Then there was this... Well, other issue..."
"I'm gay", helped the black-haired boy out.
"So you remember that much", chuckled the daughter of Athena.
She crossed her arms behind her back and grinned at him, the two walking through the little forest, passing trees and their shadows. Percy shook his head.
"I don't remember being gay, I just know that... Well...", he blushed brightly.
"That you really like spending time with Nico?", smiled Annabeth teasingly.
"I... told you that?"
"You're my best friend, Percy. I agreed to date you for a reason." They sat down on a fallen tree, Percy staring down at his hands and the daughter of Athena staring at him. "You didn't have a gay-freakout, if that's what you're worried about. You had a boyfriend before, but it ended... bad. " She stopped and looked around awkwardly. "Look, this is nothing I want to tell you, you have to remember that part yourself, but it scared you. That and the fact that you were like a star in camp, you were totally idolized by the others and you were afraid of their judgment."
"But... That's stupid", blinked the sea-green-eyed teen irritated.
"That's what I told you, too. But... you have your issues...", again this strange silence.
"So... This means no hard feelings, right?"
"No, no hard feelings. We'll always be friends, seaweed brain", reassured the blonde.
She playfully boxed him and he laughed at her, before standing up. A bit confused, she followed him back to where they came from. He looked relieved and like he knew something.
"What's on your mind, seaweed brain?", asked Annabeth sceptically.
"Being here won't help me any", replied Percy. "I mean... Thalia, Tyson and Grover were there when they found me, I've visited my parents and now I ran into Clarisse, Rachel and you. But none of you triggered any kind of flashbacks. Only Nico did. Spending just small amounts of time with him made me remember little things."
"Okay. So what do you plan on doing?"
"Annabeth!", interrupted a native-American girl, waving wildly at them.
"Piper!", grinned the blonde, waving back at her.
She was holding hands with a Latino boy, who looked like everything inside his head was mischief.
"Where's Jason? And who's that?", wanted the Latino to know.
"Jason is still at the beach. And that is Percy Jackson. Percy, those are Jason's friends, Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, and Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus", introduced Annabeth.
"Ah, nice meeting you! We've heard so many storied about you", smiled Piper.
"You guys coming with us to the beach?", asked the son of Poseidon.
"Sure!", agreed Leo.
The foursome headed over to the lake, where the blonde boy was still faithfully waiting. The couple and the blonde went on, while the son of the Sea God stayed behind. Annabeth turned to him and raised one eyebrow in question. A sincere, determined smile was his answer. She broke into a sprint and crashed right into him, hugging him as hard and close as possible.
"Promise me you'll come back, promise me you won't disappear again, promise me to... take care of yourself, please, seaweed brain!"
"I promise, as soon as I remember again...", smiled Percy.
Leo and Piper were at the shore, kicking water at each other and out of the corner of his eyes, the son of Poseidon could see the blonde boy heading to them. He came stopped in front of them.
"Annabeth... You think you could give us a second?"
"Eh... Okay? I'll be with Piper and Leo", nodded the daughter of Athena confused.
"I'll walk with you", said the blonde boy to Percy.
"You're Jason? Her new boyfriend, right?"
The son of Zeus nodded, staring stoically ahead of them.
"I suppose I don't have to mention it, but I'll still do: I'll hurt you if you hurt her."
"Good. Now that that's settled. What do you want?", asked the son of Poseidon.
A sly smirk tucked at Jason's lips and he studied Percy's profile before laying one arm around the other hero's shoulders. The son of the Sea God knitted his eyebrows and stared at the other child of the Big Three, noticing the same, bright blue eyes Thalia possessed.
"I just... I've been there", said the son of Zeus in a way of explanation.
"There. Where you are right now. Standing in the middle of people, who all expect you to remember something you can't even grasp. I just... wanted to tell you that it'll come back. Annie helped me a lot, being with her set me at ease and the past came easier to me when I was calm and relaxed. Try it. If you want to remember, you should try it somewhere where you can be at peace."
Green eyes blinked astonished, though before he could reply anything, he was pulled away from the blonde demi-god and hit a solid surface clad in clothes. A chest.
"Stay away from him, Grace", growled the olive-skinned teen angrily.
"Okay...", drawled the son of Zeus with a slow nod. "Well then... Annie is waiting for me anyway. I'll leave you two alone. If you have trouble, just call me, PJ!"
"Will do! And keep an eye on Annabeth!", called Percy after him.
He then managed to push the son of Hades away, causing the other boy to gasp in surprise at the strength of the smaller half-blood.
"What was that supposed to be, di Angelo?", hissed the son of Poseidon, glaring at him.
"I don't trust him", stated the half-Italian. "Because that had happened before."
"That? What? Pretty blondes trying to snatch me away from you?", grunted Percy unimpressed.
"That, too", muttered Nico irritated. "No. I meant the fact that the son of Zeus is being all buddy-buddy with the son of Poseidon."
"What do you mean?", asked the smaller teen a bit calmer.
"It's always been like that. The children of Poseidon and Zeus uniting against the children of Hades. That's the way it always had been... I just..."
"Now you're just being paranoid", huffed the green-eyed half-blood. "I mean, we are friends, you and me. Have been for... well, I don't remember how long, but it feels like a while. And I just met Jason. There's nothing wrong with making new friends. And you haven't been paranoid about me being friends with Thalia, right?"
"Because you had been friends with Thals before we met. And because I like her, too", mumbled the curly-haired demi-god.
"You are being jealous. And unnecessarily so", grunted Percy and rolled his eyes.
"Excuse me for being a bit paranoid, but it's a not at all an unnecessary worry. I think I deserve a good amount of paranoia, with Adolf Hitler being my half-brother and all. When I said it's always been like that, I meant it. The children of Poseidon and Zeus against the children of Hades, that already brought us two world wars and not that few half-bloods speculate on us causing the third."
"Really?", asked the Sea Prince stunned.
Brown eyes grew distant and the son of Hades stared into nothingness, shrugging casually. He lead the way through camp, Percy following him without even intending to.
"There is this big prophecy, the next big prophecy. 'To fire or storm the world will fall.'. Since Grace and his two friends arrived at camp, some think this Hephaestus boy and Grace are meant. But before them, after the prophecy was received, most grew fearful that you, as the child of the stormbringer, and me, as the bender of the fires of Hades, were meant. That this war would escalate to another world war. Many campers are still worried about that. It's the reason why I stay away from camp most of the time. I can't stand those calculating gazes."
There were questions inside the long-haired boy's head that wanted to get out, but Percy didn't feel them appropriate. Something told him that there was more to Nico's worries than just the pressure put on them by others. Whatever it was, it had to do with their past. And the son of Poseidon didn't want to press the matter as long as he couldn't remember it himself.
"Where are we going, anyway?"
"To Chiron. He'll be interested in your return", replied the son of Hades.
"The trainer, right? And then?", asked the green-eyed demi-god.
"You got Annabeth now to help you. And the other campers. I guess, I'll leave to get back home. Dad and 'Phone are probably curious, too. Like I said, I don't feel at home here. I never stay too long, that's yours, the camp-thing."
"No!", objected the Sea Prince loudly.
"Excuse me?", blinked the curly-haired teen perplex.
"I... Well, I can hardly force you to do anything, but I had hoped that it would be a bit different."
"I thought you said you wanted to meet Annabeth...?"
"And I did. We talked, we cleared some issues and I had not a single moment of enlightenment. And here are really, really many people, who expect me to remember. Not only them, but so much more. I don't like the idea of staying here, put under their pressure. See, from all the people I've met since last night, you are the only one that triggered any kind of memories to return, so I had hoped... I could stay with you a little longer."
"If you really want, of course!", answered the son of Hades with a nod.
Relieve washed over them both.
Nico had hoped he could spend some more time with his Sea Prince, but around so many people who wanted something from him, it would have been hard to do so and he wanted to give the son of Poseidon the freedom to converse with the other campers, too. His plan had been to take Percy down to the underworld from scratch one, so the Fates must have been playing on his team for once. Or maybe his dad had bribed them.
"So you two will leave us already again?", interrupted a voice them.
"A centaur!", exclaimed the long-haired teen wide-eyed.
"Chiron", corrected Nico with a smirk. "Yes, we do. We had hoped Percy could regain his memories here, but since it didn't work the way we had in mind, we're trying it my way now."
"But you know that your way is dangerous", warned the centaur.
"I do", nodded the son of Hades with a dark look on his face.
"Well, then we won't do it your way!", announced the paler half-blood with a broad grin. "We'll do it my way and my way is safe. It was a pleasure meeting you and it would have been way better if I could remember you, but we have many things to do, many things to remember, so we're off!"
The son of Poseidon pulled the taller demi-god along into the darkness of the forest. Nico smirked and slung his arms around Percy's waist, walking right through the shadows of the trees.
"We really... need to stop traveling that way... it makes me feel very... strange", whispered the green-eyed teen, rubbing himself subconsciously against the olive-skinned half-blood.
"You're probably right", groaned the half-Italian.
One hand sneaked under the other's shirt, skimming over the smaller boy's lower back, making the son of Poseidon mewl in this deliciously wanton way. His other hand slid down over the pale half-blood's behind. Again the long-haired teen moaned and bucked his hips. A sly grin tugged on his lips and Nico grabbed the butt harder, causing his Sea Prince to moan deeply. His hand still clawed into the firm ass-cheek, the son of Hades took a step back.
"We should leave, because otherwise I am going to do things to you you'll probably be very mad at me for once your hormone-level is back to normal and I don't want you mad at me", muttered the brown-eyed demi-god and stepped out of the shadows.
They fell again and landed, for the second time of the day, on a soft surface.
"We really need to stop traveling like that, because getting the air knocked out of me isn't that much fun at all", groaned Nico, not noticing that his hand was still grabbing Percy's ass.
He waited for his Sea Prince to stand up once his hormones went down again. But the son of Poseidon didn't move an inch. Instead his fingers caressed the taller boy's chest.
"What kind of things?", murmured the long-haired teen curiously.
"Huh?", blinked the brown-eyed half-blood confused.
"What kind of things do you want to do to me?", asked Percy, lifting his head.
Their eyes locked and Nico saw how clear those sea-green pools were. A certain calmness radiated from the son of the Sea God and the curly-haired demi-god tilted his head.
"What do you want me to say, Perce?"
"I don't know... Tell me why you're still groping my behind, for a start."
A lopsided grin was spread over the smaller teen's lips. Nico pulled his hand away and the Sea Prince scowled at him.
"I didn't say it bothered me."
The Ghost Prince pushed the hero off and stood, glaring down at the paler half-blood.
"Doesn't matter what doesn't bother you now, because one day you'll remember everything that had happened between us and then you won't talk with me ever. I'm glad we're friends, let's leave it that way", declared the son of Hades. "I... I'll go tell my parents that I'm back."
Percy stared after him in surprise. What was the curly-haired half-blood talking about? What could have happened between them that made the Ghost Prince so sure Percy would never forgive him?
"Hades! Stop teasing!", giggled the goddess of spring.
Nico scrunched his eyebrows and coughed awkwardly, knocking at the door.
"Please tell me you're decent", grunted the Ghost Prince.
"Nico? You're back! Come in!", called his stepmother.
He still waited for some more moments before he entered their bedroom. The Spring Goddess was sprawled on the double-king-sized bed, a broad smile on her lips, her black hair covering the whole bed, some smaller braids decorated with colorful flowers. Her husband stood next to the bed, tugging on his shirt and staring at his son.
"Are you here for a visit between searching for your little play-thing?", wanted Hades to know.
"Dad! How often do I have to tell you? He's not my little play-thing!", growled Nico annoyed.
"Ah, young love", sighed Persephone dreamily.
"Oh please", grunted the Death God and rolled his eyes. "I agreed to stop trying to kill him. You can't possibly expect me to stop teasing you about your bad taste, son."
"Darling, didn't we talk about the whole bad-taste-issue?", asked his wife with a smirk before turning to her stepson. "You see, while you were away, I had a very blossoming talk with your father regarding your precious prince."
"Why... am I having a bad feeling about this?", mumbled the Ghost Prince sceptically.
Still there was a grateful smile tugging on his lips. The whole dandelion-incident laid way behind them, the beautiful goddess had learned to live with her stepson. She even started liking him, beginning to see him as the son she never had.
"Well, I explained to your father that this could mean an alliance with Poseidon. That way, for the first time in history, the sea and the underworld would unite, instead of the sea and the sky. The prospect of one of his brothers siding with him for a change helped him a great deal to accept your interesting choice", explained Persephone with a wink.
"Poseidon on my side, instead of Zeus', would be very nice", agreed the king of the underworld.
"So, Nico, what are you doing here?", asked the Spring Goddess curiously.
"I found him", answered her stepson.
"That's good. And I'm certain that it'll impress your future father-in-law a great deal", mused Persephone. "Say, why don't you stay at camp with him, then? You spend a long time searching for him, after all, so I figured you'd spend some time with him."
"I plan on doing so", nodded the teenager.
"Then you're going to leave again?", wanted his father to know.
"No, I actually came to tell you that we're having a house-guest for an... uncertain amount of time."
"Like father, like son, you little Casanova!", giggled the queen of the underworld.
"If I may give you a fatherly advice, son. Try a pomegranate, it worked very well with your stepmother after all", smirked the Death God.
"Times had changed, love. You don't kidnap your spouse anymore, you ask them out on a date", commented Persephone with a grin.
"All this modern humbug", snorted Hades and rolled his eyes.
"Anyway, I just came here to inform you that you'll have to tell the skeleton servants to set the table for two more people. I'll leave you to your making-out session."
"You're just leaving for your own make-out session!", called the Spring Goddess after him.
Rolling his eyes irritated, the Ghost Prince left the godly bed-chamber again, heading back down the hall to his own room. Percy's earlier behavior had caught him off-guard, he didn't know why the son of Poseidon had reacted the way he did, but Nico was sure that his Sea Prince would be beyond angry at him for taking advantage of Percy's memory gap once he remembered again.
A melodic laugh coming from within his chambers made him stop dead in his tracks. He opened the door slowly and without a sound, poking his head inside his room. Dark brown eyes widened in surprise, focusing on the two teens laying on his bed.
"Bianca? What are you doing here?"
"Nico! You're back", smiled the son of Poseidon, before frowning slightly. "Wait, you two know each other? How come?"
"Eh, I—Bianca is my sister. Why do you ask? I don't have ghosts swirling around my room normally, only ghosts I know, even though I'm the Ghost Prince", clarified Nico.
"Bianca, does that mean we two knew each other before you died, too?", asked Percy.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you, Percy", whispered the ghost girl.
"And... What is the meaning of this...?", wanted the curly-haired boy to know.
"Bianca had been helping me", explained the son of the Sea God. "You see, I didn't wake up in Camp Jupiter, I woke up in... I really don't know where. She guided me safely to camp. And she helped me even after that, especially when the situation was dire."
"Does that mean that you knew where he was, the whole freaking time?", screamed the heir of Hades enraged.
"Calm down, brother. I knew, but I wasn't allowed to tell you. After you told me that Percy disappeared, I listened around some. I found out that it was Lady Hera's doing and I asked her where he was. She made me promise upon the River Styx that I won't tell a soul. And I promised, in exchange she told me where to find Percy and allowed me to interfere if the situation called for it."
Nico didn't look very convinced, but he nodded nonetheless. His sister had saved Percy, that was all that mattered and he had found his Sea Prince, so it didn't matter anymore. The green-eyed teen sat up on the bed and stared at him in determination.
"Bianca had an interesting idea and I was wondering if you'd allow me to go?"
"Why would you need my allowance?", grunted the son of Hades irritated.
"Because a living being can't go there without the company of a creature of Hades."
"Bianca, you already had better ideas", hissed the brown-eyed boy.
"But she said it could help. And it's not dangerous, right?", questioned the son of Poseidon.
"Well, I guess it can't hurt", grunted the curly-haired half-blood and waved him over.
"I'll meet you there, boys!", were Bianca's last words before she disappeared.
"Then lead the way, Ghost Prince", smiled Percy and made a move to take Nico's hand.
The brown-eyed demi-god pulled his hand away and did his best to not look at the paler teenager. Worry shone in the green eyes and he was more determined than ever to know about his past.
The landscape was the most creepy thing the son of Poseidon could imagine, ghosts and ghouls and skeletons patrolling through the torturous fields of Asphodel. Darkness and the feeling of hopelessness tried to grasp his heart, so he tried seeking the taller boy's proximity.
"No need to worry, Perce. As long as you're with me, you're safe. They wouldn't dare to try going against their Lord", muttered the son of Hades.
"Nico...", voices the green-eyed teen slowly, receiving a nod as answer. "If I get my memories back... Would you, I don't know, go on a date with me?"
"You wouldn't want to go on a date with me once you remember what had happened. And once you remember that you're very much in love with Annabeth", objected Nico stoically.
"Look, I may not know who I am, but I know that I am not in love with Annabeth. Besides, she's in love with someone else anyway", disagreed Percy irritated.
That was new. The son of the Death God hadn't known about Annabeth's change in relationship status. Before he could contemplate the idea, they reached their destination.
"Percy. There are people who can't wait to see you", announced Bianca, appearing in front of them.
"I'll wait for you at Persephone's garden. Can you bring him there when you're finished here?"
"Of course, Nico", nodded the ghost girl, waving her brother off.
"Say, Bianca... What's his problem? He's been all... weird ever since I tried to hit on him. I mean, I totally had the feeling that there... was something between us, but he's pushing me away..."
He followed the girl through a gate and gaped at the beauty behind it. A suburbia with pretty, white houses and gardens, teenagers and older children playing on the street, adults talking over white-colored fences. Percy blinked perplex, searching for Bianca's eyes.
"What is this place?", asked the living demi-god.
"Too many questions at once", chuckled Bianca. "This is Elysium, the place where heroes go after their death. Come with me, there is one couple in particular who wants to see you. And about your other questions... I'm sorry, but I can't answer them. You have to find that out on your own."
The daughter of Hades stopped in front of one house, indicating for the green-eyed boy to knock. The moment he did so, the girl beside him vanished. Fear spread through him, not knowing how he should ever get back without her, or what was awaiting him on the other side of the door.
"Oh dear Hades, please tell me you're not dead, Percy!", gasped the dark-skinned boy, who opened the door for him.
"No... Without memories and majorly confused by the children of Hades, but not dead."
"Ah, thank the gods", sighed the ghost. "Get inside, Silena can't wait to see you!"
"Silena?", repeated the son of Poseidon.
Silena. That sounded oddly familiar, it left a bitter taste of regret and guilt on his tongue. A flash of golden blonde hair, fair skin and bright blue eyes passed his mind, followed by blood. So much blood. A strangled cry, an angered girl with long brown hairs – Clarisse, his brain supplied – rage and fighting. Guilt. Pain. Silena had died for them, died to safe them all.
"Percy!", chimed her soft voice as the blonde girl entered the living room.
"Silena...", whispered the Sea Prince.
The ghost boy walked up to her and wrapped one arm around her waist. He loved her. He had loved her for years. Percy remembered lights, bright, colorful lights in the sky... Fireworks. A dragon, made of metal, gone wild, laughter and joy. A kiss between two people, who loved each other. The pleasant picture was ripped away from him, replaced by one of fire and screams. Darkness. Coldness. The familiar coldness of the sea. A feeling of helplessness, the pain in his throat from screaming too much. Watching the ship bursting into flames and going down. Going down with the dark-skinned boy still on it.
"Charles...", muttered Percy.
Charles had died and saved his life, but he hadn't been able to do anything to help the son of Hephaestus. Guilt. Again this bad taste of guilt, because he couldn't safe someone dear to him.
The son of Poseidon fisted his hair and fell onto his knees. His head hurt, all those pictures swirling around, all those feelings. Guilt. All this guilt.
"I'm sorry, Percy. I'm very, very sorry", whispered Bianca beside him.
She had materialized and was watching him with sad eyes. Beside her stood another ghost. It hurt to lift his head, but the living demi-god needed to know who it was. Green eyes locked with dark blue, a scar under one of those blue orbs, blond hair falling into them.
"Why... Why are you doing this to me...?", sobbed the son of Poseidon.
"Love didn't make you remember, but pain did. I thought... pain would do it again", answered Bianca truthfully, hiding her eyes behind her black bangs.
The blonde boy knelt down beside Percy and stared at him, not daring to speak a word. There was regret and guilt shining in those blue eyes, again with the guilt. But all he could feel was emptiness and pain, the feeling of being betrayed and left alone. The feeling... of getting his heart ripped out and stomped on.
"I owe you", whispered the ghost with the scar. "You bribed your Ghost Prince friend into helping me getting here. Even though I still feel like I don't deserve this. Elysium. Not after what I did. Especially not after what I did to you."
Green eyes widened as more and more images passed through his mind.
Happiness and love. Safety and protection. Joy. The feeling of belonging, strong arms holding him, soft lips kissing him, blonde hair tickling his nose as he cuddled deeper into an embrace.
Pain and anger and betrayal. An offer made to him by the one he thought he could trust completely, even with his own heart. The offer to join him, or to die. More pain, the certainty of death.
Fighting and crying, begging and pleading, hoping and longing.
And finally the guilt again. The guilt of failing the one he loved, the one he had hoped with all his heart to save, the one who had backstabbed him – figuratively and literally. He remembered holding the blonde close to his heart, praying to the gods, the fates, to everyone who would listen, that they would spare his life. Not now, not when he had turned into a hero again.
"You died a hero's death, Luke. You belong here like everyone else", whispered Percy.
Luke stepped back and made room for Silena. The girl looked down at him with a soft smile.
"My mother loved to mess with your head, you know. Luke, Annabeth, Rachel, Calypso, Nico. But you deserve happiness, you really do, especially after everything that had happened. You need to remember, Percy. You need to remember him. Look at Bianca and remember", instructed the daughter of Aphrodite.
The green-eyed half-blood knitted his eyebrows and tried to dry his tears, though it seemed futile as he looked at the ghost that had accompanied him for the past months. She had always been more of a blurry shape and he just now realized that maybe she had appeared as that to fool him into not recognizing her. But now she was there, fully. Olive-colored skin, long, curly black hair, bottomless black eyes and a white dress like Thalia and her hunters had been wearing.
No, his mind objected. A worn-out winter-jacket. A twelve-years old girl with fear written all over her face, her fingers linked with a boy, two years younger than his sister, staring at him in awe and admiration. This younger Nico was clingy and rambling and happy. There were the girls in white, a pretty black-haired one with a tiara, who talked to Bianca. Then there was discord. Screaming and accusations and a plea, followed by a promise.
The promise to keep her safe, the promise to protect the only family the little boy had.
A flash of gold and an assuring smile aimed his way, himself trying to stop her, but without any time to do so. Failure. Despair. Guilt. Exhaustion from the hours spend searching for a body that shall never be retrieved. Pain from the clawing at sharp metal and stones and glass. Hopelessness at the realization that his search was futile.
Hate. Directed at him. Screams, curses, anger. And then it went silent. Agonizingly silent. The other boy had disappeared, just like that – shadow-traveled, he reminded himself.
Months spending searching everywhere, months spend in guilt and what-ifs.
Pictures, send to him via rainbow – send by Bianca, how he later had learned. Pictures of a boy that was so unlike the Nico he had first met. Not happy, only sad and empty, lonely and so full of anger. Of anger and the urge to avenge his sister's death. A plan. A plan to kill Percy and exchange the soul for his sister. And why didn't he feel offended at that, or angered himself? Why was there this calm, shallow acceptance, like this was the punishment he knew he should get?
And still he couldn't stop. Couldn't stop looking for the other boy, couldn't stop trying to make it good, to explain himself, to express how sorry he was. But even rescuing the kid hadn't helped any, the hatred in those dark brown eyes didn't lessen even a bit.
There was the glowing form of a ghost, the ghost of Bianca, explaining to her brother how it was her own fault that she was dead, that she had died a hero's death to save the others. That there wasn't a single thing Percy could have done different to prevent her death, except for dying himself. Her advice to never hold a grudge, because it was their weakness – the fatal flaw of a child of Hades.
Walls and tunnels and halls, doors that won't open or would disappear, darkness and uncertainty. Grover and Tyson and Annabeth and Rachel. Hope and confusion. And Luke, bringing this pain of getting his heart ripped out again, trying to kill him again and failing again. An elderly man – Deadalus, the architect of the labyrinth, Quintus, the helpful camp trainer. A big, barking dog – Mrs. O'Leary, trying to defend her master. And big, brown eyes, full of relieve. Relieve at seeing him. He had come, run into the trap, just to save Percy. Nico had come for Percy. Even after everything that had happened. Relieve. Weightlessness. Flying.
Friendship. Belonging. Laughing. Sharing blue cake and planning how to defeat the titans, only the two of them, not daring to involve anybody else. Sitting on Percy's bed, eating his birthday cake.
A plan taking shape, two plans. One forged between himself and Nico, the other agreed on by the council of campers. A mission failing, a hero dying. Charles dying. The moment where everything went wrong again. Silena crying in his arms at the news. His father's powers slowly fading.
The painful feeling of crashed hope. More betrayal. It's always betrayal. His heart couldn't stand it any longer. It thought he could trust the boy. They had fought together, saved each other's lives, escaped the labyrinth. A cruel laugh and a manic Death God, locking him up to die in the dungeons alone. Alone. Pain and regret. How could he have been so stupid to trust a son of Hades? He got sold out, had been betrayed once again. And it hurt even more, because he had been so sure this time, sure he could trust this boy. Blind rage, a knife pressed against olive-skin, himself being ready to kill before he got killed.
More guilt. But not his own. Guilt directed at him, glowing behind dark, brown eyes. Regret, worry, tears. Apologies, spoken as if they could mend a broken heart.
Distrust. Not again. He couldn't just forgive Nico. Not after he had betrayed him. He couldn't keep doing this, his heart couldn't stand it any longer.
He was the hero. The one, sole hero. He left. Alone. He fought. Alone. Trying to keep his distance to the others, because now he was invincible. Maybe, if he fought the enemy alone, no one else would have to die. And then it happened. He had been reckless, his opponent nearly hitting his mortal spot. Blonde hair. Gray eyes widening in pain before closing. Not she. Don't take her away. He couldn't loose her. He had lost Luke to something so much crueler than death. So many had died. Nico had betrayed him. He couldn't loose her too. Not her. The fates couldn't take her away from him. Who should he quarrel with? Who would make stupid jokes about Grover with him? Who would be... her? And just this once, only this one time, the Fates were on his side. But he didn't know it and he became harsh and annoyed. He made a mistake.
A blonde girl dying. Not Annabeth. Silena.
Doubts. How was he supposed to win? They were so few and they lost so many. They were only children, most didn't even know what they were doing at all. Just trying to stay alive.
Help. Reinforcements. Hope. Not trust, but the shimmering feeling of hope rising in his chest when he saw Nico and his army of skeleton soldiers. And Hades. And Persephone. And even Demeter. A new found strength, another try. More help. More hope.
The big show-down. Only them. Just the two of them Him and Luke – no, Kronos. No, Luke. Kronos trying to keep his hold over the blonde, but maybe... there was still enough love inside the son of Hermes to fight back. Enough to end the war. Dying a hero's death. Committing suicide to prevent the titan lord from using his body any longer. Dying in his former lover's arms. Whispering with his last breath the three words Percy had doubted to be real. But they were, he could see it in the dark blue eyes just before their light faded forever.
The end. They had won the war. At the highest prize. The lives of friends and family. The lives of loved ones. A clarity Percy had never felt before washed over him when he met with Nico again on the party. The celebration of their victory. Though it felt more like a funeral. A little box with a little silver-ring in it was given to him. Instead of speaking apologies, the son of Hades gave him this birthday present. Percy had forgotten that it was his birthday. The ring was a symbol of Hades. But was it enough? Yes. Forgiveness. Dread. He felt dreadful, because he forgave. He forgave betrayal again. He forgave an attempt to kill him again. Why was it so easy to forgive this boy? More dread. The same feeling of dull acceptance he had when he first realized Nico wanted to kill him. The exact same feeling Luke's betrayal had turned into.
Was this Aphrodite's plan with him? Making beautiful girls fall in love with him – lonely, sad Calypso, cheerful, cheeky Rachel, wonderful, clever Annabeth. And in return, making him fall in love with boys who would let him down and try to kill him?
Fear. Fear and a plea, a plea for Annabeth to help him, because he couldn't live with that. Not again. He couldn't give himself to someone who would eventually turn on him. Again.
"Percy, listen to me, Percy! Percy, you need to snap out of it! Listen to me! Don't go there, don't go into the darkness. You need to see the light. Your life is not made up on guilt. Not a single one of us blames you for their death. You need to remember this. Remember happiness."
The fireworks again. Charles and Silena, holding hands, blushing furiously whenever their eyes met. Himself and Annabeth, having the time of their lives teasing them.
Chaste kisses between him and Luke, murmured nonsense that didn't even matter. Declarations of deep feelings, not yet daring to call them by their names, though.
Blue birthday cake and stupid, girly giggles because Paul wouldn't believe that Nico had sneaked in through the fire escape. The childish, innocent joy of being together and safe and happy.
Happiness. Friendship. Family. Love.
Bianca. Charles. Silena. Luke. All the others, who had lost their lives in this war. They hadn't died because he had failed. They had died so he could succeed.
So they all could succeed. Together. All of them.
He remembered it now. All of it. Every aspect of his life. How cruel his first stepfather had been and how Grover was his first friend, the confusion of discovering what he was and what was expected of him. Meeting all the demi-gods and making friends, belonging somewhere for the first time of his life. The joy when his mother had found true love. All the little details that weighted so much against the darkness of his life. All those friendships, all those lights they provided.
It was so strong. How could he be such a coward and try to hide from it? If he would have tried to run from everything that could cause pain, he would have missed so much out of his life. So much goodness, even if those wonderful, pure moments of perfection had turned into hurt, they still remained in his heart as what they were. Parts of him that made him who he was.
"I need to get to Nico. Can you bring me to him, Bianca?", asked the son of Poseidon and stood.
His legs were shaking, his head was still spinning from all the impressions put into it. Determination was what won, though. He needed to talk to Nico, because he couldn't let this slip away from him. The daughter of Hades smiled at him in understanding and nodded. A last, uncertain glance was thrown at the other three ghosts.
"Don't look at us like that, Percy", grunted Charles. "You're not even supposed to be here."
"He's right. Get going, you have a prince's heart to conquer", urged Silena.
"We're dead. You're alive. Go and live, Percy. We'll meet again and I expect it to take you many, many years, you understand me?", grinned Luke.
Unshed tears shone in his sea-green eyes when they parted. His ghostly guide led him away from Elysium and back to the palace again. Though not back inside. She brought him to a stunningly beautiful place, shining and sparkling in all colors imaginable. Trees built of silver and gold and every other metal in existence, their leaves made of jade and emeralds, their blossoms considering of sapphires an rubies and jewels he couldn't even name. Flowers, recognizable as roses and lilies and daisies and sunflowers, all made out of gems and metal.
"What is this place?", whispered the son of Poseidon in awe.
"It's my stepmother's garden", answered a voice to his left.
Percy whirled around, noticing in the corner of his eyes that Bianca vanished again. He found himself face to face with the probably gloomiest son of Hades he had ever seen.
"Since living things don't grow down here very well, my father made this for her."
"That's... very romantic", smiled the long-haired half-blood.
"Maybe", shrugged the Ghost Prince.
Silence fell between them and the green-eyed demi-god noticed how Nico did his very best to look everywhere but at him. It was rather obvious that the curly-haired teen expected him to throw a fit, maybe to scream how in the world Nico could even think about a relationship between them.
It took some moments before the words registered in the half-Italian's mind.
"Two more what?", repeated the taller half-blood confused.
"My last boyfriend had tried to kill me four times before I broke up with him. Well... He died, but in the end it's kind of the same, right? So you have two more goes before I give up hope, I think that's only fair, wouldn't you agree?"
Brown eyes stared at him like he had lost his mind. Which he most likely had.
"Look, a half-blood's life is messy and wrong decisions are kind of common. Dying is kind of common. What we could have would be special and awesome and many other adjectives, too. I don't want to miss this. I've lost my memories, everything. And I won't loose something dear to me again, not if I can prevent it. We've both made mistakes. I broke a promise, you tried to kill me. You trusted the wrong one and nearly got me killed again. I've been there, too. I'm pretty used to nearly getting killed by now. But you didn't do it on purpose. I know that. Because I know you. I... I love you, Nico. And if you're willing to give this a try, so am I."
The son of Hades stared at him for the longest of time, Percy started fidgeting, chewing his lips and questioning if this had been, after all, a stupid idea.
"No", muttered the curly-haired teen. "No more goes. I will never ever harm you again, not trying to kill you or hurt you or betray you. I love you, Perce. And I swear on the River Styx I'll do anything in my might to never let you get hurt again."
A small smile lit his sea-green eyes up as he slung his arms around the taller boy's neck, pulling him down into a passionate kiss, expressing all their long-time built-up sexual tension and desire. Nico wrapped his arms around Percy's waist and pulled him close.
"How about you shadow-travel us to your room and we talk about those things?"
"Which things?", asked the brown-eyed teen mischievously.
"Oh? If you can't remember them, I guess I have to find someone else to do them with", shrugged the son of Poseidon with a mocking grin. "But I'm sure I'll find someone who would appreciate my ass. Maybe I should go talk to Jason-"
"Don't you dare going near that Zeus brat", growled Nico, his eyes darkened in lust and jealousy.
Both his hands wandered down and grabbed the round butt hard, drawing a surprised moan from those pink, puffed lips, lifting the smaller teen into the air, until the long legs were wrapped around his hips and his Sea Prince was holding onto him completely.
"What are you doing, Ghost Prince?", murmured the green-eyed demi-god curiously.
"I'm going to show you just how much I appreciate that ass of yours", grinned Nico wickedly.
The son of the Sea God laughed at that, the last sound to be heard before the couple stepped through the shadows of the palace.
A shimmering form materialized next to the spot where the two had been just a few seconds ago, soon approached by a beautiful dark haired woman.
"What are you planing on doing now, stepmother?", asked the ghost.
"I don't know what you mean", declined the Spring Goddess.
"You told me that Lady Hera was at fault, because you've been eavesdropping on her and the other gods to get some kind of information about Percy's whereabouts. You blackmailed Lady Hera into allowing me to keep an eye on Percy. You bought that ugly statue and got it into that park, right before you tricked the plants all around Percy into leading him there. You bribed the dryads into gossiping about it."
"I still don't know what you mean."
"Don't you think they deserve to know?", wondered Bianca.
"I think it's better if they thought it was destiny", smirked the queen of the underworld. "Besides, I owed Nico for turning him into a dandelion. And this was also rather selfish, after all I'm now the winner of the god's betting pool on Percy's love-life. Aphrodite will throw a fit. And your father will be very pleased by this union with Poseidon. Aside from that, I can't wait to see uncle Poseidon's and dad's faces when they realize that the hero of Olympus is dating a child of Hades. This is going to turn the world upside down, I just know it."
"If you say so", chuckled the girl.
"I should go and inform your father that he and I are going to eat alone tonight", smirked the goddess. "This is going to be fun."
"I'll leave you to it, then", nodded Bianca and vanished again.
~*~ The End ~*~