This was supposed to be a Christmas oneshot for the lovely, dazzlingly brilliantbeyond-insanitastic(or, on FFN,cuteypuffgirl), but then shit happened and I had to rewrite the whole stupid thing, and now it's a New Year kind of thingy, and it's not very good but I hope it's all right anyway. To you, S – I love you and you are truly beyond insanitastic to me :)
"Have you set the table yet, Leo?"
"I'm trying to get the pota-No, you won't!"
He miraculously managed to keep the tray from falling as he stumbled, quickly putting it down on the already full table.
"Leo!" The flap of feet was heard, and Hazel came rushing in to the kitchen, looking bewildered. She still hadn't changed clothes; she was wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt of his that was way too big for her, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows and several buttons undone, and slightly faded jeans. With her hair half brushed and half crazily frizzy, she looked quite comical.
It was December 31st, around half past six PM. Somehow – Leo would never quite understand how they all ended up in this horribly stressful situation – all their closest friends had been invited to their New Year's party, which they hadn't known they were having until the day before. After having shopped, cooked, cleaned the house and argued about clothes, they were now running around yelling, tripping over random things on the floor and bumping in to each other in confusion. Leo, who had wished for a New Year's Eve as calm as their Christmas (which they had spent only he and his family, because their friends were celebrating with relatives or each other), had constantly been told two different things: to get in to the kitchen and help his fiancée, and to go in to his office and stay out of the way.
"What happened?! Did you drop anything?!" Her eyes roamed over the kitchen floor, flickered to the table and then back to him. Leo almost retreated a few steps at her intense glare.
"No, everything's fine."
"The food is fine?" She asked suspiciously. "Why did you scream?"
Leo brushed some dust off his pants.
"That wasn't me. A monster came and the potatoes yelled in agony at seeing me being attacked." He joked casually, but Hazel hurried over to see the tray.
"Are they okay, then?" She stressed.
He stared at her.
"Yes, but I was killed and am now a ghost stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead. The father of your daughter is a dead man, Levesque."
"Yeah, yeah." Hazel said distractedly. Leo got the impression that she wasn't listening at all, as she bent over the table, examining the potatoes.
"Okay, I have to go get dressed." She told him, after she had decided the food, in fact, was fine. "Will you set the table, please?"
"Of course." Leo answered airily. As she turned around to leave, he quickly moved forward and grabbed her arm lightly, causing her to turn around.
"What?" She asked in confusion, furrowing her eyebrows.
"I just forgot something, hold on a sec-" He leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers softly in a quick, chaste kiss. When he pulled away with a goofy grin, Hazel flashed a delighted smile before stepping out of the kitchen.
Feeling immensely pleased, he turned back to the table, counting the chairs to see how many plates he would need. Just as he opened the cabinets, he heard someone come in to the kitchen again. He looked down in time to see his daughter stumbling inside, tripping over her feet in her slippery socks. Leo stooped just in time to catch her, hands under her arms and her feet dragging across the floor.
"Are you all right?" He asked quickly, helping her up to her feet again. Fortunately, she didn't seem hurt; her big eyes sparkled in excitement as she looked up at him.
Samantha – or, as they used to call her, Sam – was five years old, with her mother's golden eyes and her father's curly, dark hair. Her skin was slightly darker than his, leaning against Hazel's. Her lips could curve in to both Leo's mischievous grin and her mother's soft smile. She was simply the most adorable kid Leo had ever seen, and he didn't give a damn if she was getting spoiled, because loving your child couldn't be a crime, right? He loved how she could get cocky and fight bravely against her parents, even if it was annoying when she didn't listen to them. He loved how she could be so gentle and nice to people – if someone ever looked sad, she would squeeze their hands quietly. He loved how she could eat five plates of food and compete against him in how many ice creams they could consume under a deadline. He loved how she, after taking a bath, was so cutely drowsy and would cuddle in front of the TV until she fell asleep. He loved how, if there was a monster in their backyard, she wouldn't freak out and just quickly call for her parents and listen to them when they told her to stay inside. He loved everything about her as dearly as he loved inventing stuff.
Her chubby hands grasped the fabric of his shirt, tugging slightly.
"Daddy, when will they come?!" She said with wide eyes. "Isn't it seven o'clock yet, daddy?"
"They'll be here soon." He promised comfortingly, and then suggested: "Why don't you go change?"
That cheered her up.
"Mommy helped me pick out a dress yesterday." Sam told him proudly.
Leo grinned, patting her back.
"That's great. Maybe she can help you get dressed."
Nodding, she ran out of the kitchen, curls bouncing happily on her back, stumbling slightly as her feet slid across the floor.
"And take off those socks!" He called after her, slightly anxious.
Barely a minute later, Hazel came in to the room, this time fully changed. Her hair was put in a loose bun at the top of her head, a few strands of curly hair hanging down and framing her face. She was wearing a black, turtle-necked shirt and a shimmering, golden, simple skirt. Leo grinned widely.
"You look great." He complimented her.
She smiled as he slid his arms around her waist and softly kissed her. When they pulled away, Hazel eyed him up and down.
"You don't, though." She noted. "Go change; they'll be here any minute."
"For your information, I'm always hot. Also, it's twenty minutes left." He said, eyes flickering to the clock to check if he was right.
Hazel shot him an urgent look, and he sighed deeply, letting go of her and leaving the kitchen slowly.
"Help Sam to get dressed, by the way – last time she did it herself, she left the house only wearing socks, a hat and her nightdress." He called after himself.
"Oh, I remember. It resulted in a three week-long flu, just because someonewas in charge of helping her and accidentally forgot." Her voice came fleeting mockingly, but there was a slightly steely tone in her voice that made him suspect she would never be entirely over it. Well, after all, Samdid make her sick too.
He hurried away with a guilty grin on his face, deciding to listen to her anyway. He carefully entered his office (it was a new habit since the time when one of his more uncontrollable inventions attacked him when he slammed the door open too harshly), finding the clothes he (a.k.a. Hazel) had picked out earlier flung over a chair (a dark-green button-down shirt, a golden tie and black, tight pants). He quickly tugged the shirt he was wearing over his head and pulled on the green one, eyeing the room.
By the window, there was a big desk, with various things messily thrown all over it. The carpeted floor was filled with tiny nuts and bolts, which made Leo very careful to tiptoe when he was in there. There was a big drawer in the corner, filled with tools and other mechanic stuff. His dear tool-belt was neatly tucked away in it when he wasn't using it. The Archimedes orbs from their quest were lined up on shelves above the door, the only difference being the invisible upgrades he had made since then.
When he had gotten dressed, making sure that the buttons were all good, he closed the door behind him quickly and hurried back to the kitchen. He found Hazel re-setting the table, and Samantha standing one on of the chairs and flailing her arms, gesturing wildly as she spoke.
"…And then Pooh actually ate it, mommy! He ate something else than honey!"
"Wow, that's amazing, sweetheart." Hazel chuckled.
Leo watched them amusedly, leaning his shoulder against the doorframe, crossing his arms. It took a while before Samantha suddenly noticed him, eyes widening.
"Daddy, when are they coming? Isn't it time yet?" She hopped off the chair, causing Leo to stop breathing for a moment, but got down all right and ran forward to him. She was wearing a glittering, red, short-sleeved dress with a ribbon around the waist, her hair neatly pinned but curls flowing down her back to her elbows. Her golden eyes sparkled impatiently.
"Soon, Sam, soon." He said soothingly, bending down and picking her up and kissing her cheek. Then, he added brightly: "Looks like there are two hot girls in this house."
He grinned at Hazel, who rolled her eyes fondly.
Suddenly, the sound of the doorbell ringing pierced through the air, and Sam let out a loud shriek and rushed to the door in excitement as he let her down. Hazel glanced at the clock.
"They're early." She stated disapprovingly, eyeing the table in worry. "I'm not done yet!"
"You can finish while they're here, I'll take care of them." Leo told her calmingly, hurrying to the door, where Sam was stomping her foot impatiently.
He pulled down the handle, swinging the door open to reveal a slightly comical sight.
Four heavily dressed people were standing outside, faces covered with hats and coat-collars so that only their eyes were visible. Snow was lying on their shoulders and heads, and the two smaller people of the company seemed to have rolled around on the ground, judging by their frosty clothes.
"Happy New Year!" Came four, muffled voices from inside the layers.
"Look, Sam, it's the Bigfoot family!" Leo said delightedly, but quickly urged them all inside. They brushed off the snow on each other's shoulders quickly, seeming grateful to step in to the warm house.
When they had spun out of their scarfs, tugged off their hats and pulled away all the outdoor clothing from their bodies, and their faces were finally visible, Hazel came inside.
"Hi!" Annabeth said with a big smile, hugging her tightly. Percy, who was helping their daughter Charlie (Charlotte) out of her shoes, just flashed a bright smile until he was done and could say hello properly.
"What's up, Luke?" Leo asked their ten-year old son with a grin. He liked Leo quite much; they got along pretty well. Hazel said that it was because he was as much of a child as Luke was.
"Nothing special." He said, curiously looking around. Percy came forward and ruffled his dark hair, grinning.
"'Nothing special'? Aren't you gonna tell Uncle Leo about the new skateboard you got for Christmas?"
"A skateboard, huh?" He said, impressed. Luke nodded, looking happy. "What about you go look under the tree we still haven't taken down and study the gift we should have given you a long while ago?"
Leo winked, and despite his mutters about not being as excited as his little sister because only babies get that worked up about Christmas gifts, Luke hurried away after the two other children.
Percy turned to Leo with a huge grin, and they exchanged a brief, tight hug.
"How are you doing, man? Haven't seen you since last month." Percy said.
"Whoa, has it been that long?" Leo asked, genuinely surprised.
"Afraid so." Annabeth suddenly kicked in, apparently done fawning over what they had done with the house with Hazel. She smiled greatly and pulled him in to an embrace.
"You look great." He said sincerely. And she did; her hair was cascading down her back in blonde curls, and she was wearing a nice green dress. Her gray eyes sparkled. Leo found something slightly off – she seemed to be glowing, radiating an especially pleasant feeling.
"You do too, actually. Nice tie. Great job, Hazel." She added teasingly, shooting Hazel a look.
"Hey!" Leo exclaimed, but Annabeth just nudged him and laughed.
They didn't have any more time to talk before the doorbell rang for the second time. Charlie and Sam came running inside again, bouncing up and down in excitement. Luke trudged after them, hands in his pockets.
"Fifty bucks it's…" Percy mused for a moment, "…Nico."
"Di Angelo? Nah. I don't even think he's coming." The son of Hephaestus said.
"He is." Hazel told him disapprovingly, reaching for the door.
"Really? You convinced him? You're good." He said slowly, causing her to roll her eyes, before turning back to Percy. "It's Frank."
"He's still on vacation, guys." Annabeth inflicted.
They had no more time to speculate, as the daughter of Pluto opened the door to reveal three people in the same heavy clothing as Percy and Annabeth's family had worn.
"Pipes!" Leo exclaimed happily as Percy pulled Jason inside and embraced him brotherly.
"Hi, Repair Boy." Piper said fondly, hugging him very tightly. It was very warm in her arms, due to her fluffy coat. "It's been way too long."
Leo nodded in agreement, clutching the back of her clothes. They hadn't met for over six months; she had, funnily enough, followed her dad's footsteps and became an actress. Amazingly, she was very famous, and quite international (Leo joked about it being because of her charm-speaking people on the screen, to which she kicked him harshly and stubbornly said she never had and never would), which was why they hadn't met for a really long time; she had been away, making a new movie version of the Trojan War, where she played Helene.
"You look great." She told him as they pulled away, eyes sparkling brightly.
"I would say the same, but you're covered in snow." Leo joked, and she hurried to pull off the coat.
He hugged Jason next (which wasn't such a big deal since they had met the week before), and then greeted their daughter Lucy. She was a year younger than Luke, and even though they were slightly awkward around each other, they did get along quite well. Their families used to joke about them getting married when they were older, which made them so terribly embarrassed and irritated that Leo almost felt sorry for them.
The dinner wasn't completely done until half an hour later, and Nico arrived only five minutes after that, wearing a messily buttoned, simple, black shirt and looking tired but not unhappy. Hazel was pleased to see him at least trying to dress up nicely.
They seated themselves, chatting loudly and repeatedly telling the hosts that the food looked delicious. Leo politely pulled out a chair for Hazel, earning a bright smile that made him feel warm inside.
Halfway through dinner, Jason got up, tapping his fork to his glass pompously.
"I just wanted to thank Hazel and Leo for letting us come." He started, grinning toward the hosts.
"Well, you kinda' pressured us too." Leo muttered, receiving a hard nudge from Hazel.
Jason shot him a pointed look, but then smiled as the son of Hephaestus just shrugged.
"Anyway, cheers for a happy New Year, guys." He finished, raising his glass in synchronization with the rest of the table. The kids sucked on the straws to their sodas, while the adults sipped on their drinks.
"I hope it'll be monster-less." Jason added with a grin before sitting down.
"Oh, I heard a Hydra crashed your roof last week." Percy said, leaning forward and patting the son of Jupiter's arm. "Sorry, man."
The blond man waved his hand dismissively.
"It was nothing. Luce was great, tho – found my old spear and threw it at the monster, momentarily distracting the monster so that I could finish it off." He grinned toward his daughter, who smiled shyly.
Leo, who had been deep in conversation with Annabeth about her latest design (of course, she was an architect now – a pretty successful one, too; she was currently making a building in Paris), suddenly felt someone tugging at his sleeve. He looked down to see Sam, and smiled.
"What's up?" He asked.
"Can I and Charlie go and watch TV?" She asked carefully.
The son of Hephaestus hesitated.
"I say yes, but ask mom just to be sure. She's sitting over there by Uncle Nico now."
Samantha looked mystified.
"But you said yes." She reasoned.
Leo chuckled, told her she was allowed to leave and then watched her curls bounce as she rushed to tell her friend the good news.
Around ten o'clock, they were all sitting in the living room, watching television. It really proved how casual they were now; seven demigods, plus their children, being in the same room while using a big electronic device, and no one was the slightest worried about monsters dropping by. They weren't stupid, only experienced; it wasn't a big deal anymore. Monsters would always be there, so why spend time worrying? They had practiced fighting them since they were kids themselves.
Charlotte's eyes were fluttering close; she was sitting in Percy's lap and seemingly fighting a hard battle to be awake (and losing). Sam's eyelids were heavy, too; Leo was fairly convinced she was asleep. Her head was resting on Nico's shoulder. The son of Hades looked very startled, but his hand was stroking her hair repeatedly, and he seemed to relax more and more for each minute. Leo saw Hazel's gaze flickering to her brother repeatedly, a small smile constantly tugging at her lips. Lucy and Luke were sitting silently on the floor, sleepy but trying not to show it.
The television was showing some British comedy, actors flickering in and out of sight, speaking with those accents Leo always had found oddly funny. No one seemed to be watching, really; Annabeth and Jason were conversing quietly, Piper and Nico were catching up, Percy were stuffing chocolate in to his mouth while trying to argue about something with Hazel. It was very cozy, actually – Leo had missed just hanging out with them all, without any action and fighting.
As the clock ticked closer to midnight, the oldest children nodded off. Leo handed a smirking Percy five bucks (on a totally different bet, they assured Hazel quickly). Every time someone fired a firework with a pang, Jason muttered something about people being stupid for not realizing it wasn't twelve o'clock yet and eyed the children carefully, afraid that the noise would wake them up. Piper rolled her eyes fondly and Annabeth smiled at his constant, anxious frown.
Ten minutes to twelve, the fireworks were becoming a real problem. They all decided to carry the children to Leo and Hazel's bedroom, where it was at least a little quieter, tucking them all in the big bed ("Aw, Charlie's dress will get all wrinkled! We spent a freaking fortune on that stupi-very nice piece of clothing which was totallyworth all the money because my lovely wife picked it out." Percy finished quickly as Annabeth glared at him pointedly with her hands on her hips). They darkened the room as much as possible and hoped that none of the kids would fall down to the floor or kick each other in their sleep.
One minute to midnight, the adults were sitting in the living room with Sam, who had woken up by the noise and asked for Nico again (Leo saw him hide a big, surprised smile as Hazel came in with Sam and she, bleary-eyed, mumbled "Uncle Nico?" – she fell asleep once she was in his arms again, but they decided to let her be), watching the countdown on television. Pretty sparks in all kind of colors were decorating the dark sky outside the window. Jason checked on the kids so many times that Percy at last actually sat downon him to prevent him from leaving the room again.
And that was how they dove in to the New Year: Percy sitting on Jason, ignoring his spluttering attempts to get up while laughing uncontrollably; Nico dropping a kiss to Samantha's hairline and smiling softly; Piper and Annabeth laughing and rolling their eyes over their husbands; Leo pressing a kiss to Hazel's cheek and realizing delightedly that they were the only ones behaving like normal, sane people.
"Happy New Year, Hazel." Leo whispered softly in her ear as the people on the TV screen cheered. Hazel slid an arm around his waist, brushing their noses together affectionately.
"Happy New Year, Leo." She murmured happily, and then rested her head on his shoulder. He followed her gaze to find it fixed on Nico, who was pacing around slowly with his arms around their sleeping daughter.
Then, suddenly, there were loud bumping noises and huffs from the bedroom, and Jason tried to tackle Percy so he could get up, and they fell to the floor groaning unhappily just as Annabeth tried to rush to the bedroom, and so she tripped over the two men. Piper and Leo both moved forward and grabbed her to prevent her from falling, which really just made it worse because then they were pulled down too. Hazel ignored them and hurried out of the room to the children, and Nico was still holding Sam and couldn't do anything but stare.
"Stop falling down on the pregnant lady!" Percy's muffled voice came from the tangled bodies. Leo, whose arm and head were hurting tremendously, stopped moaning abruptly.
"What?" Piper asked, bracing her hands on either side of Jason's arms and pulling her upper body up to look at Annabeth (who was lying somewhere next to Leo, because he could see a blonde, curly blur somewhere next to him in the corner of his eye).
"Who's pregnant?" Jason asked, surprised.
"You're pregnant?" Nico's voice came disbelievingly from somewhere far above them all.
"Who?" Hazel came rushing in, Charlie, Lucy and Luke following her while rubbing their eyes and flinching at the noise of the fireworks, still piercing through the air.
"You?" Piper asked, her eyes fixed on the son of Hephaestus for some reason.
"I'm a guy!" Leo protested in open disbelief.
"Oh my gods, really?!"
"This can't be good for the baby."
"Guys, please get up."
"Um, Haz, Sam is awake."
"That's fine, Nico, put her do-"
"Whose leg is that?"
It took several long moments, filled with groans and confused word-exchanges, before they had untangled themselves and were standing up. The children were staring at them wildly, wide-eyed. Leo rubbed his aching arm.
"You're actually pregnant?" He asked Annabeth.
She glowed, smiling brightly and nodding, her hands placed on her not-yet-visible belly. There was a moment of absolute silence in shock.
"Oh my gods, congratulations!" Piper exclaimed suddenly, hugging her tightly.
"Three kids? Man, you'll die." Jason told Percy severely before pulling him in to an embrace, both laughing.
Annabeth grabbed Nico, who was standing outside the blur of happy people awkwardly, and put her arms around him. Leo hugged Percy, congratulating him heartily. Hazel fanned herself with a huge smile.
"Oh, I wish Frank was here." Annabeth said, her cheeks flushed with happiness.
"You have to IM him and tell him! Or let it be a surprise!" The daughter of Aphrodite suggested, bouncing on her heels.
Lucy and Luke, who were actually understanding what was happening, started talking about if it was going to be a boy or girl (Luke, who of course had known about the baby before, said he had felt that it was a boy since he first got to know, and Lucy protested and said that that was ridiculous), and Charlie told Jason proudly that there was a baby in her mother's stomach that would be her little sibling. Leo grabbed Sam and hoisted her up, kissing her cheek and bouncing her slightly on his hip.
Later that night, when everybody had left and the house was quiet besides from some occasional pangs from single fireworks, and Leo was lying in bed waiting for Hazel to change to pajamas and join him, his fiancée said:
"Aw, it's so nice that Percy and Annabeth are getting a third child. They're fit for a big family."
Leo made an agreeing sound, but then narrowed his eyes and watched as Hazel let out her hair.
"You don't want us to get another, right? Because just Sam is hard enough right now."
She shot him a pointed look and then crept up on the bed silently. Leo spread his arms exasperatedly.
"I just want to be sure. I'm not ready for another kid."
Hazel scooted closer, tugging the sheet over them and placing her head next to his.
"All right. I don't think it's time, either." She said softly, closing her eyes and settling more comfortably.
He smiled, kissing her head and then turned off the lamp on their nightstand.
I'm sorry, it's not as good as your FitzSimmons fic and there are probably millions of errors in it, but my eyes are closing and my mom is yelling at me to get off the computer and be social and ugh.
Happy New Year!