"So what do you think?" Hades asks as soon as his office door is closed and both of them are sitting.

Nico thinks back to the full pink lips, soft looking raven hair, the lean swimmers body, and most importantly the beautiful green eyes. "He's not what I was expecting." Nico replies simply, trying not to show how much the teen had affected him.

"He seems competent enough." Nico doesn't know if that was a lie or not. As beautiful as the prince had been he didn't look to be the sharpest tool in the shed, then again that could be exactly what Perseus wanted to look like; you never know what some will do to get ahead in the political game.

"I want you to try and appease him." Hades commands after a moment. "Though he has as much of a choice in this as you do, the people of Atlantis tend to be a lot more sensitive than those of Elysium. This will all be much simpler if you two are at least casual acquaintances."

"I do not plant to be anything other than polite with him." Nico replies, letting a small frown show through. "Even if he doesn't do the same."

Hades nods his head, showing his approval. "Good you are dismissed then."

Nico stands and bows slightly before exiting the room. He looks in the direction he knew Perseus' room to be and then turns the other way to head to his own room. He knew that his stepmother had specifically placed the water prince opposite of Nico's just in case they didn't hit it off.

He walks down the hall at a casual pace before stopping in front of one of the large windows that were placed sporadically down this hall. Its view was of Persephone's large beautiful garden which she took great pride in.

"I didn't love your father when we were wed." A voice startles Nico out of his thoughts and he turns to see his stepmother. "You were still a bit too young to fully understand it but the reason I became his bride in the first place was because King Zeus had given me, his bastard daughter, to Hades as a sort of peace offering since Hades was threatening war."

"How did you feel towards him then?" Nico asks with a raised eyebrow.

Persephone sighs with a wistful smile, "At first I was livid. It seemed preposterous that a man that had never been in my life before that day could just pull the daughter card and send me off like a bag of spices. Of course when I came here and saw Hades was not going to mistreat me it turned into a cold indifference. Over a couple of months, though, I realized that he wasn't the enemy and we became fast friends which grew into a deep love."

"Why are you telling me this?" Nico asks, confused at the sudden story time.

"I know that even though you try to be strong for your father, this is hard for you and I just wanted you to know it gets better." She gave him a small smile before adding, "Try to be his friend and love will eventually come, whether it be romantic or platonic." And with those words she glided off, leaving him to contemplate her words.

He sat there for a while, leaning against the window sill and thinking. He knew he was at the perfect age to be wed but he had always assumed he would be able to stay single until the day he actually took the throne, even then Nico knew he would try to avoid being tied down in suck a permanent way. By nature he was an introverted person so it was easier for him to try to avoid people in general.

With a sigh Nico resigned that he couldn't do anything now and continued down the hall. Looking at the sky, there was still a few hours till dinner so Nico decided to find his sisters to entertain him. He headed down to one of the drawing rooms his sisters liked to frequent when Bianca visited. Nearing it he heard laughing and knew he had assumed correct.

He walked through the doorway to see Bianca and her wife, Thalia heir of Olympus, curled up together on a couch under one of the large windows looking out over the side of the castle, Thalia lying down and Bianca leaning back against her. In front of the unlit fireplace was Hazel cuddling with her two lovers, Leo a blacksmith from a small town to the north and Frank the son of the captain of Zeus's personal guards. They had all met when the Di Angelo had traveled to Olympus for Thalia and Bianca to get married. Leo was using Hazel as a pillow and his feet were propped up in Frank's lap.

"So he finally comes out of hiding." Thalia snarks as he enters the room. "Get tired of brooding?"

"Har har Miss Grace I never get tired of your wonderful humor." Was Nico's sarcastic reply as he sank down into an empty arm chair.

"Weren't you actually brooding though?" Hazel asks, mirth clear in her voice.

"I wasn't brooding," He argued. "I was thinking, there's a difference."

"Were you thinking about Percy?" Leo asks him before Hazel and Thalia could continue their teasing.

"Percy?" Nico raises an eyebrow, confusion flitting across his face.

"It's what prince Perseus insists on being called." Bianca explains for him.

Nico thinks about it for a moment before deciding it fits the prince much better than the long formal name. "Did you talk with him a lot when you showed him his room?" Nico tries for casual after a moment of silence.

"If you're asking if we found out any incriminating information on him as we directed him to his room our answer is not." Bianca smiles at him, seeing right through his faux casualness.

"Yah he seems sweet, quite intimidated but sweet." Hazel adds, her hands running through Leo's curly hair as she talks.

"He doesn't seem like the type to be a brat just to spite you." Bianca agrees.

"I hope not." Nico grumbles, lifting a hand up to rub his chin.

"Are you still mad about this whole thing?" Thalia inquires, looking unimpressed.

"I'm not mad per say, just annoyed." Nico replies with a frown.

"Well I'm sure it will end up fine so you shouldn't worry." Leo tries to comfort him and Hazel continues her petting as a sort of reward.

"At least he's pretty?" Hazel tries when she sees no waver in his grumpy expression.

"Why don't we do something to distract you?" Frank suggests tentatively, still nervous of Hazel's scary older brother.

"Ooh like what?" Thalia leans forward, intrigued.

"There's always horseback riding?" Hazel suggests, looking happy at the idea. "I haven't been able to spend quality time with Arion lately."

Nico thinks about it before nodding and standing up. "It could be a good distraction."

"Yes!" Hazel exclaims as she jumps up and races out of the room.

"Thal and I want some time to ourselves but you four have fun!" Bianca explains and Nico nods before following his sister out, her lovers right behind him.

Half an hour later and they are out on the trails racing and having a good time. Nico is able to forget his engagement dilemma and even beat his sister and her impossibly fast horse in a short distance race. Not before long they hear the dinner bell and all three angle their horses to the house.

"Guess there is nothing else we can do." Nico grumbles as they make their way back at a casual pace.

"Besides being happy?" Hazel suggests and at the look her brother gives her she amends. "Well pretending to be happy."

Nico's frown deepens as they reach the stables, "Yah I guess so."

Disclaimer: Don't own a thing

Yah so my muse decided to pack up and take an extended trip to Africa for a while before randomly returning in the middle of my math class.

I'll try to be better about updating but I make no promises since I am horrible at it.