HERE IT IS GUYS! THE EPILOGUE!
I had a great time writing this story. I know there were many long gaps between chapters, and I apologize, but I am glad with how it turned out (and I hope you guys liked it too). I'm not sure if I will write another PJO story before BOO comes out. Unless I get inspiration or someone has fic recs, I'll be focusing on other books and/or tv shows. Gosh, I'll miss you guys and this story. Keep checking my page, I'll be writing a lot soon. Hope to see you guys soon!
Right, so notes. The song Nico is listening to at the beginning is by the Rolling Stones and I thought it was ironic because... well, Nico's a son of Hades... Sympathy for the Devil... I really don't know, but I thought it was funny. :P Excuse my lame humor.
Also, I discuss Nico's sexuality and other's reactions quite a bit in this chapter... I don't know if people feel uncomfortable with that, I just don't want to offend anyone. So, I guess if you are in denial that Nico's gay or something, get over it and read this chapter, or just don't read it. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Other than that, everything else is self-explanatory. Happy Reading!
Reviews (for the last time, sniff):
teamleo4: Good. I was hoping to get their badassery across. :P
Rosemary1234: Lol. I imagine Octavian's expression matched that of a gaping fish. :P
Lupita M: YASSS! Nico has successfully grown up, my baby. :) Telling people to shut up and stuff, I've written him well.
deminoucrackers: Merci! Je suis heureux que tu aimes mon histoire. :) Je vais essayer d'en ecrire un autre sur PJO, j'espere que je vais vous faire une idee assez tot. Encore une fois, desole si mon francais est mauvais.
The headphones plugged into his ears blasted "Sympathy for the Devil", causing Nico to jerk out of his slumber at the sudden sound, and fall face first off of the sofa onto the hard wooden floor. Groaning at the pain, he ripped the ear buds out and tossed his iPod to the side while stumbling into the kitchen.
His apartment in the heart of New York City was rather small and the furniture was a mismatch of old and new. The older stuff was Hazel and Frank's hand-me-downs. When they had moved into a neatly trimmed house, painted yellow with a rose garden, next to all the other neatly trimmed, yellow houses with rose gardens in New Rome, Hazel had asked her brother if he needed some new (meaning ancient and ratty) furniture. As Nico didn't have the heart to say no, he accepted the furniture and bought himself a cozy apartment with a wonderful view of another apartment building. After inviting Reyna over for the first time, she was utterly appalled at his lack of taste- Seriously Nico, what kind of gay guy would live in a pigsty like this? What color is that couch supposed to be? Green? Brown? Nico knew, of course, that Reyna had said it in jest, but had proceeded, nonetheless, to reprimand her on stereotyping the gay community, mainly because he liked to annoy her.
Reyna had encouraged him to "tell everyone! Show off your gay pride and don't give a damn", but Nico had decided to tell only those closest to him. Hazel was uncomfortable at first, having grown up in the 1950's, but quickly adjusted her view after Nico sat down and explained everything to her. She had, after that, become a pillar of support. Hedge (although Nico suspected his wife, Mellie was in her secretarial mode at the time) had sent him a gift basket congratulating him on the "discovery and acceptance of his homosexuality", to which Nico and Reyna had spent hours on the floor laughing their terribly frightening guffaws. When Nico had told his father, Hades had replied with, "I'm a God, I knew that. Expect a call from Jötunn soon". Later, when he received no such call, Nico let out a shallow sigh of relief—apparently his father had attempted a joke.
Not everyone, however, had taken his sexuality in stride. While Nico had only told a precious few, he stopped hiding the fact, and soon word spread through both camps. It was a topic of gossip, and there were always the few demigods who had grown up in uptight households and made snide comments. The majority of campers were okay with it, seeing as almost all of their godly parents had had a homosexual relationship at some point.
After saving the world, Nico and Reyna had had a weekend full of ice cream and romcoms. On the Monday afternoon that followed, when they had fully recovered from their sugar-induced high, Reyna and Nico had proclaimed themselves "over Percy and Jason" and moved on with their lives. Nico, after much urging, had spoken to Percy about everything. Everything. Needless to say Percy was a bit awkward, but more than anything, extremely guilty. Even after Nico assured him, several times, that he had moved on and was happy for him and Annabeth, Percy tried to do everything in his power to get back into Nico's good graces.
Pouring himself some Lucky Charms (just the marshmallows, he had picked all the other stuff out at the beginning of the week), Nico checked his calendar and noted that the date was circled in bright red marker. Today was the day; grinning softly to himself he poured some chocolate milk into the bowl.
After draining its contents, Nico rushed into his pathetic excuse for a room and began to pack his bags.
Hedge and Mellie had bought a cozy house in the suburbs of New York State, where they lived with their son Clover (his name is a tribute to Clarisse and Oliver). Clarisse, of course, had been named Clover's godmother, and he had grown up with many of her stubborn and violent attributes. The only people who could tame him were Reyna and Nico, as they babysat him much too many times for their liking. Although, to be honest, all they had to do was give him empty aluminum cans to munch on, and the young satyr was satisfied.
Ringing the doorbell, Nico waited patiently until Mellie opened the door, her face full of glee.
"Nico! Come in! Come in!" She gave him a hug and ushered him inside, locking the door behind him. "How's life treating you? Met your father lately?"
He and Mellie fell into a comfortable conversation as they slowly wandered deeper into the house. As they reached the living room, Nico asked, "And you? Is the baby giving you any trouble?"
"Well…" Mellie said with a sheepish grin, rubbing her bulging stomach, "It turns out that—"
"NICO!" Reyna called from the living room. It was draped with "Happy Fourth Birthday" banners and colorful balloons. It was a jungle-themed party (which didn't surprise Nico in the slightest), so the cake had a tiger on it. Clover was sitting on Hedge's lap wearing a monkey mask, giggling uncontrollably as the older satyr tickled him senseless. Despite his earlier thoughts, Nico found that Coach was actually a very good father.
He could hear the faint sound of children running and playing in the backyard, and after detaching himself from his father's unrelenting fingers; Clover giggled and ran out the backdoor.
Clarisse and Chris were sitting on opposite ends of the coffee table, their arms locked together, muscles straining. Reyna was sprawled across a loveseat and when Nico walked into the room she flopped her head back onto a frilly pillow. "Thank the Gods, if I make any more bets with Hedge on who will win the arm-wrestling match, I'll be Clover's babysitter for about three years. My social life will be ruined!" She said dramatically before sitting up, tucking her knees to her chest and patting the space beside her.
Nico rolled his eyes as he sat next to her, "Reyna, between babysitting and being Praetor, I think everyone here knows that you don't have a social life."
"At least mine is better than yours." She retorted quickly.
"I'll have you know that I have friends!"
"Your goldfish doesn't count."
"I don't have a goldfish."
"See! Even a fish won't be friends with you!"
"I don't have a goldfish, and even if I did—"
"Would you two shut up?" Clarisse said roughly, "You two are honestly worse than me and Oliver."
"Oliver and I." Nico corrected and stuck his tongue at Reyna, a silent promise to finish the argument later.
"Shut up." Clarisse groaned. "This is going to be like Thanksgiving all over again."
"At least it was entertaining." Chris offered, smiling at the not-to-be-mentioned-memory.
"Definitely not! You broke my dining table!" Mellie scolded, sitting down next to her husband on the couch.
"I never liked that dining table." Hedge piped, hoping to end the conversation. "Plus, we are here for something much more important than remembering that day."
"Right, Clover's birthday." Nico said.
"And the anniversary of the day the peace treaty between the Romans and Greeks was signed." Reyna added.
"And the day I proposed to Clarisse."
"And the day I punched Chris in the face."
"None of the above." Hedge cut in before anyone could say anything else. "Well, I guess it is kind of important that its Clover's birthday, but we actually called you because we have important news!"
The four demigods leaned forward in anticipation.
"So you know that we're pregnant again…" Mellie said, taking Hedge's hand, "well, it turns out that—"
"WE'RE HAVING TWINS!" Hedge cried out, happy but obviously stressed at the entire ordeal.
"Oh my Gods!" Reyna was the first to react, "I'm so happy for you both! That's great!"
"Of course, we'd like you and Nico to be the godparents for each one."
"What?" Nico said, but his surprise was drowned out by Clarisse and Chris offering hearty congratulations to Mellie and Hedge.
"You'd be a terrible godparent." Reyna said, nudging Nico with her elbow.
"Better than you." He quickly retorted.
"Since we're giving out good news, Chris and I have something to say."
"Getting married yet?" Hedge asked, receiving a murderous glare from Clarisse in return.
"The both of us joined the army—"
"—and we're leaving in two weeks." Clarisse finished with a grin.
"Two weeks?" Hedge sputtered.
"It's been a bit boring at Camp, and I can't imagine myself teaching two-year-olds how to use swords for the rest of my life." Chris slung an arm around Clarisse and nodded.
Again, Reyna was the first to speak, "I'm proud of you two, really. It's good that you're trying to make a difference."
"But—but—" Hedge continued, unable to form a sentence.
"And you two are good fighters, it's the natural thing to do." Mellie added.
"Wait a second—" Nico started with a frown.
"Gleeson, don't get emotional on me now." Clarisse started, "I want to." She got up and sat next to the satyr.
"Just… be careful, okay?" The uncharacteristically quiet satyr said. Clarisse smiled and squeezed him into a hug.
"Am I ever not careful?"
"Dining room table?" Chris responded with a snort.
"That has nothing to do with this." Clarisse exclaimed, "And really, that incident was not my fault."
"We could argue that." Reyna said with a grin, watching as Clarisse's blood pressure climbed higher.
"It. Was. Not."
"Who was the one with a bludgeon?" Hedge added.
"It wasn't my fault!" Clarisse shouted.
"Hey, I've got a question—" Nico started, his eyebrows knit together.
"You!" Clarisse spun and pointed at Nico, "The dining room table incident was your fault."
"Hades." Nico cursed before jumping up and running, Clarisse hot on his trail. He heard Chris and Hedge laughing as he managed to avoid furniture. Mellie was probably already planning to go shopping for new vases at this point.
"Come back here you son of a—" Nico swerved suddenly ducking into dining room before coming right back out and heading toward the kitchen.
"Nico, quick!" He heard Reyna's hushed whisper—gods he had never felt so relieved. He saw her open the door that led to the basement. As he slipped in, she closed it after them and locked it from the inside. Slumping on the steps, Nico caught his breath.
"You'd think she knows plan by now." Reyna grinned.
"Yeah," Nico gasped, "Now we just have to wait out her fury."
"It won't be long." Reyna reassured him. "Jellybeans?"
"Yup." Nico said, popping the "p", standing up to follow her down the stairs.
Once Reyna found the stash of Jellybeans that she had hid down there on their last visit, they sat across from each other and began separating them. Nico liked the pink and orange ones which Reyna liked the dark purple and red ones, the rest were divided equally between the two. After eating in compatible silence for about two minutes, Reyna sighed, "Are you going to tell me what you are thinking about or what?"
"Clarisse and Chris are going to be overseas for a while." Nico started, munching on a yellow one.
"Yes…" Reyna said, waiting for an explanation.
"And Hedge and Mellie are having twins."
"I got that."
"And Mellie is a very overprotective mother."
"Don't you see what that means?" Nico said exasperatedly.
"You and I are going to be the default babysitters for the rest of our lives! Three of them! Three small Hedges running around and the two of us, every Saturday and Wednesday night for the rest of our lives."
"Oh no…" Horror crept over Reyna's face.
"What's the plan then?"
"Relieve Frank of his Praetor duties and have him babysit."
"I wouldn't subject my sister through that. Annabeth—"
"Would handcuff them."
"Would turn them into mindless zombies."
"You're kidding right?"
The two sat in silence until Nico spoke up, "If you manage to blackmail Jason for Wednesdays, I could guilt-trip Percy for Saturdays."
"Now we're talking." Reyna nodded. "I'll find that video of Jason tonight and call him tomorrow morning."
"I'll call Jason and complain that I don't have a boyfriend because I'm always busy babysitting and drop hints that it's completely Percy's fault. Jason will hunt him down and do the work for me." Nico said with a smirk, carefully sifting through the jellybeans that remained.
Reyna eyed him appreciatively before saying, "You, good sir, are diabolical. Sometimes I wonder why I doubt that you are a son of Pluto."
Nico, who clearly wasn't paying attention anymore, broke into a wide smile and shoved a distorted jellybean out so Reyna could see, "Look, this jellybean is three different colors!"