Hi guys! One tip for this story: the Cupid scene DID NOT happen. That's just how this story is written, ok? Hope you like my story! Tell me what you think!

Nico POV

Camp had gotten on my nerves once again. With everyone seeming to mock me with their happiness, I just couldn't take it anymore. I decided to try going somewhere new. After hearing so much of it from Leo, I shadow-travelled to Texas.

Immediately I felt the searing heat envelop me. What a time to be wearing nothing but black and an aviator jacket. The nearest store was a dark looking bookstore called Hidden Mysteries. (Made up) I quickly walked in. Sitting at the counter reading a book was a girl about my age dressed all in blue and black. Her black hair was cropped short, with a bang flopping over her right eye. Her visible eye was a dark blue. Her pale skin contrasted greatly with her blue tank top and black cargo shorts. She looked up when she heard him come in.

"Come in to beat the heat, am I right?" She had a slightly airy voice, as if her mind wasn't really in this world, but it still carried her southern accent.

"Yeah." I replied.

"Not very talkative, are ya? Y'know, you look a lot like one of my favorite book characters. " She looked at me more closely. "Almost exactly like him, actually."

Why was she still talking? Oh well.


"Nico di Angelo from the Percy Jackson series. Best books ever. Ok, I'm thoroughly curious. You have the entire getup, yet you don't know Nico? Dang." She remarked, studying me carefully. I stared at her. "Oh, forget it." I noticed that she was constantly moving, shifting her feet or cracking her knuckles.

"Do you have ADHD or dyslexia?" I blurted. Why would I ask that? Oh well. The girl looked confused at the change of conversation, but nodded.

"ADHD and mild dyslexia…" She trailed off. Ok, so most likely she was a demigod. One last test. I twisted my skull ring. "Hey, what are you- whoa. " She cut off as she saw my sword. "If this is a trick, I swear to all my books I will kill you." I shook my head.

"It's not a trick." Her face was a mixture of delight and suspicion.

"So you're saying you're really Nico?" I nodded. "Then prove it. Bend a shadow or something." Wow this girl was stubborn. I quickly demonstrated my shadow powers.

"I believe you. I stinking believe you." She laughed semi-hysterically, and then looked deep in thought. "Since you are Nico- which I still think is too good to be true by the way…" The girl trailed off, then suddenly got out of her chair and walked toward me. She stared at me for a moment before throwing her arms around my shoulders and burying her face in my jacket. "I can't imagine what it must have been for you. You are a hero, not only for fighting the war, but dealing with people not understanding or being afraid. " I stood as still as a board. How is it, that this stranger had taken it upon herself to show support to me, when she should have been terrified? "If any of that had happened to me, I would have gone insane- and not figuratively. You're not only a hero, you are one of the best." She pulled away.

"I'm sorry, it's just I wanted to do that ever since I read about you. To me it sounded like you needed someone to support you, even if no one else did." She shrugged uncomfortably. "My name is Stella by the way. I'm not normally this calm, but I'm so shell-shocked right now it seems I am incapable of feeling much. " Stella laughed. I just sat there blinking like an idiot. What in my father just happened?

"Why did you do that?" I asked curiously. Sure she had read about my world, but it must have been like a superhero, where their invincible… right? She blushed slightly.

"I told you, I thought you needed to be shown appreciation. You aren't superheroes. Some die. Sometimes you fail. But you are all supposed to be normal kids. You should be playing video games, going to school, doing normal kid stuff. But you, no. You have to go and fight for not only your lives, but for the entire world. That could make anyone go weak in the brain. You hold on. You fight the baddies. You defeat evil. And the best part? You don't have to. You choose to fight, and that's why I wanted to show you that sometimes even a stranger can understand." Stella smiled sadly. "And now, it looks like I get to be a part of that. I get to stare death in the face everyday. I'm honored to be a part of this. Now I get to do something with my life. I can make a difference to someone."