Hi! This is Innoverse with yet another one-shot. This is a Lazel story... so, it's a little fluffy. But also a bit sad, too. I know, I know, I was supposed to be doing Leo as a kid... but I got sidetracked, okay? Am I the only one who doesn't see Leo with Reyna or Piper? By the way... we're not thinking about Frank in this fic. Frank is irrelevant, even if I like him and Hazel, too. Gosh, I love both couples so much... :( Why, Rick, why!
P.S. Leo might be a little OOC. He'd pretty sad in this fic, instead of the joking mood like usual.
P.P.S. If you actually read my ramblings, then put 'Hades Underwear' somewhere in your review. Haha!
Disclaimer: I don't own HoO. Or Leo.
- Hazy: Leo's POV -
Leo sat on the railing of the Argo II as they sailed over the Atlantic ocean, his feet dangling over the water. He was wiping desperately at his face, trying to stop the steady flow of tears that was leaking out of his eyes before somebody noticed he wasn't in his sleeping bag and came to see what was wrong.
Ah, who was he kidding? Like anybody cared.
He stopped wiping and just gripped the railing, letting the tears flow freely down his face. He tried to push the dream out of his head, and get a grip on his feelings, but it was a loosing battle. He'd had another dream about his mother—courtesy of Gaea, he was sure—and like it always did, it played with his emotions. His mother seemed like the only subject that could break him down like that.
He'd come up onto the deck in the middle of the night when he'd woken up, partly so he wouldn't disturb anyone with his sobbing and discomfort, and partly because he'd needed the fresh, salty air. Just breathing for a while was the only way he could calm himself down enough to not be a complete wreck in the morning. He didn't think anyone ever really noticed, anyways.
But it wasn't working this time. The particular memory Gaea had shown Leo was always the worst for him—but it wasn't the machine shop. It was that last day his mother had taken off of work, the time she'd had time to do anything with him. Every time he remembered how happy he'd been, it tore him to pieces and he couldn't seem to fit them back together again.
He felt ridiculous for letting an image of his mom reduce him to tears, but it still hurt all the same.
Leo jumped when he heard the door to the deck slam open and shut angrily, like someone was trying to throw it off it's hinges. He wiped at his face quickly in a desperate attempt to look fine as steps echoed across the deck, since he figured it was Piper, who would start talking to Jason if she found out Leo wasn't perfectly happy. And... Leo didn't want to deal with all that.
So, imagine his surprise when Hazel came up next to him and swung herself up onto the railing to sit. She was still in pajamas like Leo, and her curly hair was a bit more puffed up then usual. Tears were sliding down her face. She looked miserable—almost an exact copy of how Leo felt himself.
She looked up him, since he was staring at her little bit, mostly with concern, a little bit with amazement. Even in a rumpled tank top and pajama pants with her hair sticking up at odd angles and tears running down her face, Leo had to admit to himself that she looked pretty darn beautiful.
"You... you don't mind if I sit, do you?" she asked quietly.
Leo shook his head. "Not at all."
They sat in silence for a little while, and—somehow—it didn't feel awkward. True, Leo hadn't talked to Hazel an abundance of times, but still, he didn't feel strange around her, like he did whenever he was alone with Piper or Annabeth. He didn't understand why, but somehow, he felt attracted to Hazel. She wasn't his usual type, which confused him more. Maybe he'd gotten pushed away too many times. That felt like the story of his life.
Hazel pressed her hands to face, counted to to ten under her breath, and finally stopped crying. She still had the puffy eyes when she looked up at Leo. She smiled shyly.
"Um... sorry," she said quietly. "I just... dreams."
Leo smiled back. "Gaea hates you too, huh?"
Hazel smiled wider. "She has good reason. Not that I justify it."
"Yeah," Leo sighed. He rubbed his eyes. "You okay, though? I mean... you look pretty whipped."
"So do you," she said, her eyes scanning over his face. Her eyes were kind of pretty, the back of Leo's brain noted.
"Let's just say dreams aren't doing me justice either," he said quietly. She nodded, and they resolved back to silence. As Leo pretended to study the ocean, he couldn't help but notice that Hazel was studying him out of the corner of his eye. He looked over at her, and was surprised—pleasantly so—when she didn't look away.
"You have an interesting bed-head," she murmured. "Looks almost like we've both stuck our fingers in an electrical socket." She idly reached out and plucked one of Leo's unruly, oil black curls.
"You still look pretty," he murmured back, and they both blushed when he'd realized what he said. "You know, as a friend," he added dumbly. Hazel smiled a little.
"And you still look kind of adorable," she said, and then playfully added, "You know, as a friend."
Leo's thoughts got a little fuzzy. Whoa. A girl was... flirting with him? Not pushing him away, and looking at him like he'd crawled out of a dumpster? Did she just call him adorable? Was she still smiling at him? Gods, her smile was pretty...
He realized he'd been kind of staring at her, and blushed, swinging his gaze back out to the ocean. He muttered something stupid like, "Uh... duh..."
There was a beat of silence before Hazel asked, "Gaea has a past to torture you about, too, huh?"
Leo nodded. "Yeah. My mom... um, died when I was eight. Gaea's fault. Something about breaking my spirit..."
"I died in 1942," she said casually, like it was no big deal. Leo choked a little.
"You mean... you're like, a zombie?" She stared at him a little, and he realized he'd probably insulted her. He mentally cursed. "I... I didn't mean it like that."
She snorted. "In a sense, I guess. More like 'escapee.' When the Doors of Death opened... I kind of got a ride out, you know. Seventy years in field gets pretty boring after a while."
"How'd you... you know, die?" She bit her lip. "Unless it, like, makes you uncomfortable..."
"No," she said. "I just don't want you to think I'm, uh... evil, I guess."
Leo scrunched his eyebrows. "Evil? I won't judge. Trust me... I've done some less then satisfactory things in my lifetime. How 'bout a little exchange? Your terrible past for my terrible past."
She chuckled. "Deal."
Leo grinned a little. "Explain away, Hazy." She smiled at the nickname, and Leo made a mental note to call her that again sometime.
"Well... my mother, Marie Levesque or Queen Marie, was a fortune teller. Basically a stage performer putting on a show for clients. But one day she tried the whole 'summoning spirits' crap on a god, and she actually summoned Pluto. When I was born, Pluto said he'd grant any wish my mother asked for. She'd always been poor, so she wished for all the precious things under the Earth. Pluto warned her that the greediest wishes brought the most sorrow, but she didn't care. So, I was born with a curse."
"Your mom gave you a curse?" Leo asked. "That... sucks. What's the curse?"
"I can find precious metals, and they kind of... come to me," Hazel said. "But they are all cursed to bring only sorrow. My mother didn't know at first—the curse doesn't affect either of us—so she sold them. Then, people started getting hurt, dying, and my mother turned bitter towards Pluto and I since everyone thought she was a witch. Gaea started talking to her, and convinced her to go to Alaska where she was beyond Pluto's protection."
"Never trust dirt woman..." Leo muttered.
"Yeah, really," she said. "When we got there, Gaea possessed my mother at night, and forced me to use the curse to raise one of the giants, Aclyoneus. When he was about to rise, I sacrificed myself and my mother to destroy him so he wouldn't rise as quickly. So, now Gaea hates me, and plagues me with nightmares about that."
"Wow," Leo muttered. "You gave up your life for that?"
"Yeah," she said a little uncomfortably.
"That's amazing, Hazel. You're a lot more heroic then me," Leo said.
She blushed. "Thanks, Leo." They looked at each awkwardly for a moment, before she finally said, "What's your story?"
"I was the son of an engineer named Esperanza Valdez," he said, even her name hurting a little. "She worked in a machine shop her entire life because nobody took her college degree seriously. Even though we were always kinda poor and she had a crap job, she was always happy. She always said... that... that if she had me, she'd be happy."
His voice choked a little. "And here's the strange part. When I was little, I had a babysitter named Tia Callida. She put me to sleep in active fireplaces, let me play with knives, and tried to make me poke rattlesnakes with sticks. Ironically, Tia Callida turns out to be the crazy goddess known as Hera."
Hazel snorted. "Go figure. How did you survive... a fireplace?"
"You're not the only one with a curse," he said. "Just, uh... promise not to scream, okay?"
She nodded, and Leo held out his palm. He let a tiny flame wink into existence in his palm. Hazel gasped, but she didn't look afraid. She looked... interested.
"Pyrokinesis," Leo said, crushing the flame in his palm. "So, anyways, Hera was my evil, insane babysitter. One day she prompted me to use my pyrokinesis, and I ended up burning my hand prints in a picnic table. So, a seer in the Underworld named Medea—you know, the crazy chick from Jason and the Argonauts—tipped off dirt lady that I was going on this quest someday. So, when I was eight, she decided to pay me a little visit. She said... she said that the Fates didn't allowed her to do anything to me, but she was going to break my spirit by hurting my mother. So... I tried to protect her with my pyrokinesis, but she didn't live anyways. I got put into the foster care system because my only relative—my Aunt Rosa—thought I was the devil and wanted nothing to do with me. I ran away six times, and then finally got carted off to a boarding school in Nevada where I met Piper, and eventually Jason and all this jazz started."
There was silence for a little while. Hazel leaned over and put her head on Leo's shoulder without warning. Hey, not that he was complaining.
"Dirt Lady better watch out," he said. "She's got a bunch of angry demigods with sharp knives and grudges coming after her."
Hazel laughed, and there was a couple beats of silence. "Thanks, Leo."
"For what?" he asked, looking down at her.
"For making this night not seem so bad," she said. "And... you know, listening."
"Thanks for laughing at my terrible jokes," Leo said, smiling.
Hazel snorted. "I've heard worse."
"I don't know if I should take that as a compliment, or an insult," he said.
She nudged his shoulder. "It's a compliment."
"If you say so, Hazy."
She smiled, and then did something that almost made Leo topple over the railing. She kissed him on the cheek. "Goodnight, Repair Boy."
"Uh... um..." he said, kind of staring at her as she slipped off the railing and went back below deck. Leo sat there, staring at the ocean, wearing a big, goofy grin.
Suddenly, he pumped his fist into the air. "The Leo-man strikes again!"
Thank you, too, Hazel. I needed that.
Yay, Lazel! I think they'd make an adorable couple... but so would Hazel and Frank. Gah! Poor Hazel. Too many great guys to choose from...
But anyways, tell me how I did! Constructive criticism is appreciated, but I'm not Leo, therefor I do not appreciate flames. :)