PJatO || Nicabeth || PJatO || Nicabeth || Second Best || Nicabeth || PJatO || Nicabeth || PJatO

Title: Second Best – Is Sometimes Better Than First

Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians / Heroes of Olympus; set in a fictional Mark of Athena

PJatO 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 / Heroes of Olympus. Aside from the Gods, of course. They are all copyright by the old Greeks. This fanfiction on the other hand is entirely mine. No money is made with this, though reviews are more than welcomed.

Warnings: hetero, fluff, hurt/comfort, shounen-ai, threesome, shoujo-ai

Main Pairing: Nico/Annabeth

Side Pairings: Piper/Reyna, Jason/Leo/Percy (mentioned), Frank/Hazel (mentioned), Percy/Annabeth (past)

Percy Jackson Characters: Nico di Angelo, Annabeth Chase, Piper McLean, Reyna Anderson

Summary: Since love-lives seem to have turned all upside-down, Nico and Annabeth finally get to see each other in a whole, new light.

Since this is my first Nicabeth story, I thought I'd try something new with the side-pairings, because this defeats two of my most favorite pairings (Nicercy and Pipabeth).

Second Best

Is Sometimes Better Than First

They had just managed to rescue the son of Hades and Annabeth couldn't be more relieved. Seeing Nico unharmed was what made her breath free for the first time in months. First it had always been 'go and rescue and find Percy' and then they had found Percy. Just so he could give them news of the Ghost Prince's abduction. There was barely a moment to catch a breath for the daughter of Athena. And what was the son of Poseidon doing? He went and fell for the newest couple of Camp Half-Blood. Jason and Leo. The flaming son of Hephaestus and the level-headed son of Jupiter had been dating for a few months now and both had been head over heels right after they first laid eyes on the Sea Prince. Something more to add to the pressure on Annabeth's shoulders, because the three had barely left their cabin on the whole journey, too busy enjoying each other.

But now everything may finally have time to calm down a bit.

She sighed deeply and leaned against the rail, enjoying the mild breeze of the sea and the white noise of the other members of the crew. That was all she needed for now. Just a moment to herself.

"How are you feeling, Annabeth?", asked the dark voice of the freshly-rescued son of Hades.

"Tired. Dead on my feet. Hurt. Relieved", summed the blonde up.

"Your boyfriend broke up with you to get shagged by two guys. I guess that would hurt everyone", chuckled Nico with a dark expression on his face.

A lopsided grin spread over the girl's lips. She knew Percy had been his first crush. Maybe more hero-worshiping than anything, but she still knew he meant much to the Ghost Prince.

"He's good at breaking hearts without meaning to", muttered Annabeth and shrugged. "But I'm glad he's happy. Because it's pretty obvious that he's happy, if his earpiercing, pleasurable screams at night are any indication for that."

"I guess you're right", nodded Nico and looked at her.

She shivered slightly. If it was the fresh breeze, or the intense stare of Death's son, she didn't know. The Ghost Prince however shed his Aviator jacket and laid it around her shoulders.

"The least we need is our best strategist getting sick", grinned the son of Hades.

"Thanks", smiled the blonde.

"Hey you two, what are you up to?", came a voice from behind them.

As they turned around, they found themselves face to face with Reyna and Piper.

"Not much", shrugged the Ghost Prince. "Since my sister is busy sucking faces with Zhang and Percy is busy getting screwed by Valdez and Grace..."

The daughter of Aphrodite nodded in understanding and bit her lip before linking hands with the Roman half-blood. "We actually wanted to ask you if you could keep a bit watch for us."

"Why?", asked Annabeth curiously. "Are you already tired?"

"No... We just thought we'd follow the example of the others", declined Reyna.

"Eh?", was all the son of Hades could get out, his face rather blank.

"Sometimes", smiled Piper cryptically. "You have to settle for the second best. And since Jason ditched both of us, we thought we could as well just... have some fun with each other."

The daughter of Bellona had a razor-sharp grin on her lips as she tugged on the native-American's hand and slowly retreated below deck, Piper leaning in and both of them giggling.

"That is... hot", muttered Nico dumbfounded.

"Excuse me?", grunted the blonde a bit annoyed and crossed her arms over her chest.

"What? Two pretty girls making out... That is hot", shrugged the Ghost Prince. "I'm only a guy."

Annabeth shook her head at that and muttered something about boys beneath her breath, pulling the jacket closer around herself. She looked over at the half-Italian next to her and bit her lips.

"What they're saying isn't all that wrong, you know?", whispered the blonde.

"What?", asked Nico curiously, his dark eyes boring into her very soul.

"About settling for the second best if the one you have been pining after ignores you..."

"That must be the worst pick-up line I've ever heard. And the Stolls told me all those lame things that are so in during this time-period", snorted the Ghost Prince and turned to her. "So you're calling me the second best thing, then?"

"I'm also calling me the second best thing", shrugged the daughter of Athena. "We're teenagers, this is the second war we're facing, chances of dying are... high, to say the least. So why not... trying something new? Who knows, perhaps it'll work."

"I always had a thing for you, Annie."

"Mh?", blinked the female demi-god surprised.

"Since the labyrinth. I always had a thing for you", shrugged Nico. "The question however is... Do you have a thing for me too?"

"You're pretty awesome, Nico. And you're always there. While Percy had been missing, you've always been there for me. And during the last war, you always proved to help when you were needed. And that's something I value very much", smiled Annabeth softly.

"So...", drawled the Ghost Prince, before grinning lightly. "Fancy some making out?"

The blonde laughed softly and shook her head. As dark and solemn as the son of Hades could be, he was sometimes to loose and... just Nico. She wrapped her arms around his neck and smiled softly.

"Mister di Angelo, you just managed to escape nearly certain death at the hands of mother earth herself. What are your plans for the near future?"

"Being a hero", smirked the son of Hades and leaned down some, until only a breath parted them. "And getting the girl."

~*~ The End ~*~