Organic, After All

A/N: At last, the last! It's over, oh my. Please do review. Is this the fastest I ever finished a fanfic? Is this how it feels to FINISH a fanfic? HA!

Organic, After All

And even though it's moving forward

There's just the right amount of awkward

And today you accidentally

called me baby

Head Injury

It was Frank Zhang, of all people, who said it and, Leo thought, if you need a clumsy son of a sanguinary war god to tell you where your love life is going, then you probably also need to work on some issues.

There were so many things that fascinated him, he was constantly overwhelmed by it all. The length of her lashes, her collar bones, the pale neck that her side braid would let exposed whenever she turned her back on him, the funny shape of her full lips, the fact that her cheeks were often sun burnt for no apparent reason and, his favorite of all; the bra strap that would appear whenever she couldn't tie her toga properly. He spent so much of his day focusing on these details, he liked to believe he was putting his ADD to good use.

She'd notice, every once in a while, his eyes boring in her direction. She'd feel uncomfortable, roll her eyes, ask him to get back to work. He didn't act coy though, he just laughed and cut her protests with some comment that was probably meant to be funny. She'd roll her eyes again. It was a pattern of theirs.

There was something to be said about this new situation they found themselves in. Leo would sometimes tiptoe around her, not sure how to proceed. All he could remember was a blur – he'd been so high on adrenaline that day, his memory failed him. He remembered kissing her, being awfully clear in a way he was definitely not used to and, for some reason, dancing for her. He just didn't remember the exact order of things and what part exactly of all that had made her, you know, want to kiss him back.

And that was the most marvelous part, he considered. Not exactly that she kissed him back – though that was glorious - but because that meant he was allowed to kiss her.

He had said that time "we should do it more often" but he soon realized Reyna just wasn't exactly affectionate; at first, he kicked himself in regret, coming to senses as he remembered who he was and how out of his league the praetor was. But then, it changed.

They were just leaving the engine room, one day after the embarrassing kissing and dancing and he was just starting to doubt the old radio was a sign from his mother. He dared to glance in her direction and, to his surprise,met her gaze. Even though she didn't show any emotions, she said:

"We should go get some hot chocolate." She didn't ask. Reyna wasn't one to ask for things.

"Uh-" And, as he was still elaborating an answer, she reached out her hand and took his.

"Watch out." She said, raising their fists so he could see his smoking hand. Leo retreated and flushed.

"I'm sorry." He said, flustered.

Reyna did that thing she always did where she doesn't smile but still looks like as if she does. And she didn't say anything; she just took his hand again. It was then that he understood that it couldn't always be like this: Reyna was making an effort to make him feel safe and he knew she already had too many people to look after.

He pressed his fingers tightly around her hand and didn't let go even after they reached the coffee shop.

Most things were off limits in public, he knew that without her ever having to say it. He could hold her hand and they could talk and sit together in cafes and in city benches as he played with her hair and it was ok to play fetch with the dogs but she was still a praetor everywhere they went, so there were lines he couldn't cross.

Everything else, he found out eventually, was his to take as long as they were on their own. The sense of permission, he realized, was exactly what left his heart so jumpy all the time in those first weeks.

They had been on her apartment drinking some awfully sweet coffee because he was still not intimate enough to offer her to brew some himself, when she stood up and started doing the dishes. His brain was working on a billion different things when he noticed a lipstick on the kitchen counter.

"I didn't take you as the "chili red" type of girl." He commented reading the color name on the label. "You're always so discreet about everything."

"Oh, that." He didn't even notice the water stop running, let alone her approaching him from behind. Sometimes she moved so lightly, it was like walking with a ghost. "I found it today on a drawer." She shrugged. "I think it survived my quest to find Camp Jupiter."

She took the lipstick from Leo's hands and studied it in silence for a while before scowling:

"Lost most of my old clothes, all the money I carried and, by the end of it, I only had a plain pocket knife as a weapon but, somehow, the silly lipstick made it."

They exchange a look and chuckled.

"Well, I think the color would look dashing on you." He smirked and pulled a pocket mirror from his tool belt. She raised an eyebrow but took the lipstick lid off anyway and applied the deep shade of red on her lips.

They stood there in silence for a while and, again, he could feel himself getting distracted by the details. However, instead of rolling her eyes at him, she leaned forward and held his head with both her hands, kissing him, red lips and everything.

He put his hands on her waist and was suddenly very aware of the fact that she wasn't wearing her armor that day. He felt the cotton of her purple hoodie as he pulled her closer. It was different from other times, it didn't feel awkward at all and, for the first time, it felt like it'd never end, in opposite to the quick, harsh kisses they had exchanged before.

Everything else was very quiet, as in slow motion. It wasn't something he understood – ADD and everything - but, for once, his brain didn't seem to be in a hurry. The kiss tasted way too sweet, like the coffee.

They parted and everything remained still, his arms still around her, her hands still on his face. The first thing he noticed was the smudged red lipstick on the corner of her mouth. He chuckled, she smiled.

"You are very warm." She said matter-of-factly. Leo laughed and pulled her even closer.

"Yes, that might be an issue." He said, taking in the jasmine scent from her hair. She tittered and he could feel her whole body tremble, her heat beat against his.

He was taken over by many things then; the fact that he could just kiss her, embrace her and be with her and that it'd be ok because she wanted him to – that was very, very overwhelming and, honestly, took most of his mind at that time. But there was something else too. An idea that had just started shaping inside his head and that, suddenly, hit him in the face.

Reyna was human. Made of flesh and bones and something that smelled really, really nice. She was soft and small – well, not small for him, but small nevertheless. He paid attention to her heart for a while more.

And then he kissed her again.

It was Frank Zhang, of all people, who said it and, Leo thought, if you need a clumsy son of a sanguinary war god to tell you where your love life is going, then you probably also need to work on some issues.

He had been sitting on a bench, reading a book half- heartedly as he watched Leo play catch with Aurum and Argentum. They were engaging into light banter when Leo threw a little too strongly.

Reyna, who was just approaching them – unnoticeable as usual – hardly missed the ball. The three of them stood quiet, eyes wide open, feeling the weight of the accident they had just avoided for a second 'till Frank, too shocked to think, blurted out:

"Dude, you've gotta pay attention! You almost hit your girlfriend!"

They fell quiet again. That was one accident they didn't manage to avoid.

Frank was slowly turning purple. Never in a billion years would he have said that, but he wasn't thinking. It wasn't like nobody had ever seen the two of them around town, but it was still a touchy subject for everyone. No one had ever brought it up in conversations, that's for sure. And using the "g" word was way too much even for Piper or Jason, let alone for poor Frank. Leo could tell by his face that he was considering turning into a bug and running away.

He turned to Reyna who was staring at him, wide eyed and speechless. He didn't blame her though, he was pretty sure his expression wasn't much different.

The dogs danced around her legs, making a lot of noise. She sighed, her thoughts finally getting back to earth:

"No need to worry, Frank Zhang." She picked the ball from the ground and threw it in a perfect curve to Leo. Aurum and Argentum barked and ran towards him.

"My boyfriend missed." She said with a smile full of white teeth.

Leo didn't dodge the ball at all.

A/N: Ok, it's over. I think we've come full circle, haven't we? I think the stories connected ok. I added some touches like changing the last one-shot quote before the chapter and I think it ended ok. Even though I'm not sure I'm satisfied. Well, now that I have proven that I can actually finish a fic, we can all celebrate. Anyway, don't forget to review or pm or anything. Writing this has been a please and you all left the coolest, nicest reviews! I love them all even if I don't always reply! Anyway, which one were your favorites? How did you like this one? Tell me everything! I'm so excited it's finished!