Nico is sitting on the porch of the big house with Thalatta trying to stay cool in the afternoon heat. Thalatta is wearing a flowered sundress that Annabeth let her borrow. The colors accentuate both her bronze skin tone and her violet hair. Nico can't take his eyes off of her. He on the other hand, has on basically the same thing he's worn every day since he arrived. The only thing not black is his orange camp shirt.
"You look hot," Thalatta says taking him by surprise when she speaks.
"I'll be OK," he tells here.
"Why don't you go put some shorts on, you would be much cooler, or maybe something to swim in," she says.
"I don't wear shorts or swim," he says then looks out over the lawn to avoid having to look into her eyes.
"Oh, I was thinking that going for a dip would make me feel better, but if you…"
"If you want me to take you to the beach I would be happy to. I just can't get in with you," he explains.
"Can't or won't?" she asks.
"I'm the son of Hades. I don't really do water very well," he explains.
"You were in the water yesterday, when you saved me, nothing happened then," she points out.
"Uncle Poseidon must have been cutting me a break," Nico says with a grin.
"Has he ever actually done or threatened to do anything to you if you get in the water?" she asks.
"No," he admits.
"Please, would you try for me," she asks softly, "We don't have to go deep. We can stay in the shallow water."
Nico is scared to death to get in the water, but he desperately does not want to disappoint Thalatta. Especially since she seems kind of interested, or at least isn't terrified of him.
Nico finally breaks down and agrees to take her for a swim. He takes her to the Poseidon cabin first since Annabeth told Thalatta that she could borrow anything she needed to wear since they are about the same size, and he figures his cousin will lend him some swim trunks. Thalatta is in changing in Percy and Annabeth's bedroom when Nico comes from the bathroom. He stands looking at his extremely white legs, when she come out in a little number that Nico can't imagine Annabeth wearing but looks incredible on his girl. Wait did I just call Thalatta my girl, he thinks to himself.
"We'll be there in just a couple of minutes," Percy tells them when he hands his cousin a couple of beach towels.
"What if I drown before you get there?" Nico asks with a chuckle.
"Tyson is down there. He'll give you mouth to mouth," Percy laughs.
"Don't make fun of your brother, sweetheart," Annabeth says to her husband.
"He is very sweet," Thalatta agrees.
"Everybody is hot for Tyson this summer," Percy says shaking his head then goes into their bedroom.
When Nico and Thalatta get to the beach, Tyson and Shelly are there playing in the waves just off shore. Nico puts the towels down, but Thalatta grabs his hand before he can sit down on one of them. She drags him toward the water.
"Don't I get a chance to work up to it?" he asks with a smile.
"Hey di Angelo, put those legs away. You want to blind somebody," Leo yells from the peer.
"Let's go," Nico says taking Thalatta's hand and leading her to the water figuring that nobody will see his legs, if they are underwater.
"Oh my gods," Thalatta says when they get about waist deep.
"What, what is it?" he asks.
"Nothing happened to you," she says with a chuckle. Nico smiles then actually takes them under. When they come back up for air a couple of seconds later, he puts his arms around her waist. He really wants to kiss her, but he doesn't want to push his luck. Of course when she kisses him, he goes right along with it.
"You are very beautiful," he says after the kiss.
"I think you are very cute as well," she tells him with a smile.
"I thought you said I looked like death," he says smiling back.
"You do, but it's a cute death," she says then kisses him again.
"Look at that," Percy says, as he spreads out a blanket for Annabeth and himself.
"They look good together," she says of Nico and Thalatta kissing and splashing around in the water.
"I might actually secede in that favor Uncle Hades asked me for," Percy says with a laugh.
"What was that?" she asks since he never told her.
"Never mind, you might tell Thalatta then it won't happen," he says then sweeps his wife up in his arms and runs into the water with her.
Many of the campers are in the water or somewhere close, when Rainbow comes in with a young boy on his back. Tyson is the first to spot them, one because he is so much taller than everyone else and two because he has a special connection with Rainbow and knows when he is around. Thalatta is the next to see the boy and starts to wade out to him.
"Is everyone going to start arriving on hippocampi now," Percy says standing to see what happens.
"Father," Thalatta says which stuns everyone. She has to be at least twice the boy's age, but then again he is a god.
Palaemon swims toward her now and takes her in his arms. "I was so worried," he says caressing her face.
"I'm sorry father, but I am fine now," she says, "Nico, Percy, everyone here saved me. And you," she says looking at Rainbow, "You are the one they call Rainbow. I owe you my life."
"You are welcome," Rainbow says with a bow of his head.
"Are you ready to come home?" her father now asks.
"I…" she says thinking how can I tell him that I am not.
"Brother, is that you?" Dionysus now calls from the shore.
"Dionysus," Palaemon says with a huge smile, "It has been far too long brother." Palaemon then heads onto shore leaving his daughter in the water with the other campers.
Dionysus and Palaemon give each other a warm embrace. Which looks a little funny since Dionysus looks like a 50 year-old with a beer belly and Palaemon an 8 year-old boy.
"Come brother," Dionysus says, as he puts his arm around the boy's shoulder, "We have a lot of catching up to do."
"Thalatta, you'll be along shortly?" her father calls back to her.
"She'll be fine," Dionysus says then leads his brother toward the big house.
Thalatta leaves the water and takes a seat on a towel instead of returning to Nico. He can tell something is bothering her, so he goes to her.
"What's wrong?" he asks when he takes a seat next to her.
"My father expects me to return with him," she says softly, as she looks into Nico's eyes, "But I do not want to leave here, you, yet."
"I'm sure he'll let you stay if you explain to him," he says.
"My father may not like that you and I…" she says not finishing.
"Because I am the son of Hades," he asks thinking here we go again.
"No," she says then caresses his face, "Because you are a boy."