The calm wind did little to relax the pair of praetors on this warm, summer, California day. The pair was currently staring at a massive airborne ship, though they were much more worried about the people who were inside.
"Here we go", Percy whispered quietly so that only his fellow Praetor, Reyna, could hear him, before taking an extremely deep breathe. Not trusting her voice, she simply nodded. The nervousness from waiting for her reunion as well as the stress from the last eight months seemed to have reached its peak. The Greeks and Jason were slowly climbing down a ladder attached to the flying ship known as the Argo.
First a skinny Latino boy with an elfish face climbed down. After him was a beautiful tan girl with blonde curls that looked like they belonged on a princess. Reyna immediately recognized her as Annebeth; Percy had done a great job describing her as she looked exactly how Reyna had visualized her. She was all Percy had been talking about since he got his memory back. Deep down, Reyna hoped Jason cared for her like Percy did for Annabeth. Percy visually tense up at the sight of his girlfriend.
Reyna put a comforting hand on his shoulder, ignoring the quizzical stares of the Romans behind them, and watched as he relaxed slightly. She and Percy had been supporting each other for the last two weeks as they eagerly waited for their loved ones return. While not liking to admit it, Reyna had developed a small crush on Percy. Nothing like her love for Jason, but it was there, making Reyna feel slightly guilty. Percy had one thing that Jason lacked, and that was humor. Jason was the type of guy to lightly laugh while everyone else was on the floor laughing. Percy, however, would make a witty pun, the almost always follow it up by 'you SEA what I did there.' His humor made her separation from Jason bearable.
Of course, half of the legion believed they were dating secretly or maybe even married. Rumors tend to fly her and there, some believed that Reyna pregnant with his child. Even so, Reyna didn't mind it as much as she should. If not for Jason, the thought of dating him would probably look appealing.
Reyna tore herself out of her own doldrums as she saw Jason began to climb down. Upon seeing Jason, Reyna's breath hitched. Percy placed a hand on the praetors back in a similar way that she had done for him just a few moments ago. She relaxed slightly as she saw a beautiful girl with choppy hair follow behind Jason.
After getting passed the initial shock of seeing him, Reyna's heart rate rapidly increased, as her happiness began overflowing at the sight of Jason. Her heart took a complete 180 as the girl with choppy hair made one small gesture. She grabbed Jason's hand. The same hand with the ring on it. The same ring Reyna was wearing now.
Flash back 8 months ago
Tears of happiness were hidden behind the emotionless mask of the roman, her calm façade being betrayed by the emotions swelling in her dark piercing eyes. The war was over, victory in their favor because of one man. That man stole her heart the moment she'd met him. Together they'd been on countless quests. Together they'd overcome physical and emotional struggles. And now, together they'd be praetors of Rome.
"Jason grace", Octavian bellowed, a slight hint of anger that no one seemed to notice laced in his voice.
"My auguries have pronounced good fortune. Therefore you shall, if both you and the current praetor accept, become the new praetor of Roma!" He snuck a few glances at Reyna as he said this, a look of hopefulness in his eyes, likely wishing for her to deny Jason's potential preatorship. Jason didn't notice as he was deep in thought.
Becoming praetor gave him two big responsibilities. One being the great honor of leading the Romans; a job bound to cause him a lot of stress and pain. However the second responsibility scared him consubstantially more. It was roman tradition to have a male and female praetor, and said praetors were supposed to wed. Of course he really liked Reyna; he actually loved her, a lot, but admitting his feeling for her scared him more than facing Krios again.
What if she said no, or worse, says yes as a reward for beating Krios, not because she loved him. Seeing Jason hesitate made Octavian perked up a bit, hoping Jason's courage would falter. Jason slowly glanced at Reyna and saw the passion in her eyes, the never ending pit of longing etched ever so slightly on her facial features. Steeling himself, Jason proudly stated:
"If Praetor Reyna accepts I will gladly take the post of Praetor."
"Of course I accept!" Reyna stated without a moments presentation, a small voice in her head yelling at her for not keeping her bearing better.
Jason's shoulders dropped in a very un-roman like style, the feeling of relief spread across his face and body. Realizing where he was, he quickly straightened up before smiling slightly at the angry face of Octavian who seemed to be struggling to keep his bearing as well. Octavian handed Jason a purple cape, the sign of a Praetor before announcing:
"Behold Rome, your new Praetor! Ave Jason Grace". Octavian sounded half-hearted, but the rest of the legion didn't seem to notice.
"Ave!" the Romans roared.
The cheering steadily stopped as the Romans watched Reyna slowly advance towards the new praetor, who wore a face of pure nervousness. Reyna stopped inches in front of him, feeling his uneasy cool breaths on her face giving her slight relief from the piercing summer heat. Their heads slowly inched towards each other until their lips met. A spark of pure energy and warmth spread through the two as they passionately kissed, ignoring the wolf whistles, the jealous sighs, and loud cheers of their fellow Romans.
After what felt like forever they broke apart breathing heavily.
"Reyna, w-will you marry me…" Jason whispered, stuttering slightly.
While the question wasn't needed as she had already accepted, Reyna appreciated the proposal none the less. She met his lips with her own once again to answer his question.
That next day they met with Blake, a son of Vulcan, who helped the two craft two rings. Both had a beautiful shade of Roman silver with a small gold insignia that looked like a crossing of a lightning bolt and a spear.
Over the next few months life had been perfect between the two. Rome had never been happier; their love for each other never seemed to waver. Reyna was laying down contemplating how to tell Jason. She was now a month pregnant and the bump was starting to show (I know nothing of pregnancy so if it's wrong…go with it). She finally opted not to sugar-coat it and tell him the full truth in the morning. That was the morning when he left her and the rest of camp. He was nowhere to be found.
Reyna kept a calm façade around the legion to prevent panic. She however, was completely broken. That was until Percy Jackson came. She was given a new hope that the gods were involved, and that her Jason would be returned to her. Percy had been extremely kind to her taking care of Scipio for her as Reyna cared for a newborn baby girl, who she waited to name as she wanted Jason to help her decide.
After Percy returned from his quest with the news that Jason was returning Reyna had been counting the seconds, waiting for his return.
Reyna watched in horror as Jason didn't back away from the girl's hand, her horror turned into terror as he interlaced his fingers with hers and gave her hand a small kiss as they walked to the paralyzed Reyna. She felt my knees going weak as my heart got the feeling of being stabbed repeatedly. As if sensing this, Percy made her face him looking at him directly in the eye. That's all that had to be done; a silent message was transferred between the two.
I know it hurts but keep you cool; we need this in order to save the world, Reyna heard in her head even though Percy had no telepathic or morphogenetic relationship with her. She saw a look of intense rage in Percy's eyes and she knew he was having a bit of trouble keeping his emotion in check as well. Steeling her nerves she greeted the Greeks who had stopped about ten steps in front of the praetors.
Reyna knew she shouldn't but couldn't help but blurt out, "Why are you holding that girls hand". Her voice trembled slightly but still sounded icy. Reyna she pointed to said girl accusingly. The Romans seemed to finally notice this and each began to glare at the former praetor. Jason cleared his throat before talking which was more than enough for Reyna to hear. He only cleared his throat when he had bad news. Regardless she numbly listened to what Jason said.
"Well, until recently I had no memory of us. While I had no memory Piper", he gestured towards the girl, "sort of became my girlfriend. When I got my memory I had to decide between you two."
He gulped nervously which was something he'd never done before. "And I chose Piper", he whispered slightly.
In those few words Reyna's world turned upside down and her breathing stopped. She fell but luckily Percy caught her. "C'mon Reyna breath" Reyna heard Percy plead. After a few seconds she calmed herself down enough to breathe again. She tried to find her voice but couldn't. In Percy's arms, the daughter of Bellona shed her first tears that were streaming down her face as she began to hiccup. She then heard Octavian who sounded angry but she heard the hint of happiness in his voice.
"Romans the Greeks have violated a sacred Roman tradition. In my eyes, they're two ways to fix this, one being if Jason were to leave Piper and have Reyna return as his rightful wife. The other way is death of all of you and the burning of your precious Greek camp." He finished haughtily as if already knowing the answer.
Reyna wanted to say something but even if she could what could be said? She knew he wanted Jason back to cause division between Jason and her and ultimately cause both of them fall. He would then make himself a Praetor. Reyna was thinking of a way to fight this when she heard Jason answer.
"Guess you're going to have to fight us, Leo emergency teleport plan NOW!" Jason screamed. Before anyone could react there was a bright light and the four demigods were no longer there. Octavian turned around with an evil grin, obviously another sinister plan is formulating in his head. "Foolish Greeks, always trying to fight war for love. Romans prepare! Tomorrow we head east".