The wind roared as a large dragon flew across the sky with three passengers on its back. They've been travelling almost non-stop for a whole day and their flight neared its end.
"How far are we, Leo?" Calypso asked.
"Not far, according to Festus." Leo answered. "We should be able to make it before we run out fuel."
Let it be known that things never turn out as hopeful as one desires because at that moment a piercing screech sounded in the distance.
"You had to say something didn't you, boy?" Selene said angrily as she turned on her spot towards the swarm catching up on them.
"What is it this time?" Calypso asked.
Selene pulled back an arrow, aiming at the center of the swarm. She let the arrow fly, as soon as it reached the swarm, it exploded with silver fire.
"Stymphallian birds," Selene said. "Plus wild harpies," she narrowed her eyes at the oncoming swarm. "And even more gryphons; the panthers and hyenas kind, those are the wildest ones."
"Where the Hades do all these monsters come from?!" Calypso shouted. "More importantly why are they coming after us?"
Selene didn't answer, she just kept firing arrows.
There's no way all these encounters are random. Selene thought as she continued her attempts at thinning the swarm. Could it be that - She yelped when Festus suddenly jerked upward. Thankfully, she was secure in place, so she didn't fall off.
"Watch it, boy!" Selene shouted. "I have no interest in going to Hades any time soon!" Especially since I got out of there last year, she added internally.
"Selene, look." Calypso said, pointing down.
Selene did, and she didn't like what she saw. Another flock of flying monster was headed their way from below.
"I've never seen those things before," Leo said as he steered Festus. "What are they?"
The killer birds resembled cranes; they were five feet tall with metallic bodies, a grayish-blue tail, neck and feet. Their sharp beak and talons would rip them to shreds if they caught up.
What the Hades are those things doing here? Selene mentally screamed as she redirected her aim at the new targets.
"Just get us out of here Valdez!" She shot an arrow the metal birds. The explosion consumed ten out of the probable forty. Unfortunately, the remaining thirty spread out, making it difficult to kill them at once.
Leo pulled on Fetus' reins, the dragon reared, it flapped its wings and blasted a column of fire in a full circle. When the fire died, the flock had been greatly reduced.
Selene took stock of the remaining monsters. Zero stymphalian birds, three harpies and ten gryphons. Selene counted. Good, but sadly not good enough.
Ten of the metallic birds survive the inferno. They were spread out among the remaining flyers. These birds could only be killed by extreme heat and Festus had used its last flames, and her exploding arrows could easily backfire at their current distance from the circling birds.
"Any ideas?" Leo asked. He kept looking for a way out, preferably without too many injuries. Their only escape at the moment would be to dive.
A light bulb went off in his head.
"Hey Ninja Queen," he called out.
"What?" Selene shouted. What does he want now?
"Is it possible to supercharge those arrows of yours?"
"Because I'm about to put these bird brains in a funnel when we dive."
Selene caught on. Her arrow glowed slightly.
"The shockwave will knock us clear out of the sky," she warned.
Calypso realized the plan. "I have an incantation that'll deflect the brunt of the impact, but it'll probably still leave us weak and unconscious for a few hours."
"As long as it kills these guys," Leo said. "I'm willing to risk it. Get ready!"
He pulled on the reins, Festus got into diving position, Calypso began her chant and Selene notched her charged arrow, which seemed formed out of moonlight.
"Now!" Leo shouted.
Festus dived, the gust of wind vacuumed the monsters into the empty space. Selene let loose her arrow into the heart of the funnel. Calypso finished the spell and a soft white glow enveloped the trio.
Above them, the arrow exploded and the sky was filled with fire and light.
Percy floated on the lake water. The lake was located in a special clearing some nymphs made for him so that he could relax or vent or basically wanted privacy.
The son of Poseidon felt uncomfortable with the gift at first, but eventually love it; especially when the nymphs promised to tone down their flirting and fangirlism. Last thing he needed was to try and stop Annabeth from attacking the nymphs with her drakon bone sword.
The blissful silence was interrupted by a resounding BOOM.
"What the Hades?!" Percy cursed.
He looked at the sky and saw a large cloud of smoke above the camp. He rushed out of the water, intent on finding out what happened, when he noticed an object heading his way.
"Oh Styx!" He cursed again when he realized it was actually a person heading straight for the lake.
He ran on top of the liquid surface, stopping at the center. If the person landed in the lake at their current speed, the results would be unpleasant. But if Percy could intercept, there was a better chance of survival.
Percy concentrated on the water. He felt the tug on his stomach. Similar to his arrival at the Pit, the water under him exploded, shooting him up in the air. The two missiles collided and fell into the lake.
The impact knocked the air out of his lungs but the water helped him recover. He broke the surface with the person in his arms.
"You okay?" He asked, forming a platform under his feet.
The girl in his arms was breathing lightly. She seemed unconscious, but uninjured.
He pushed her wet hair out of her face. "Hey, are you..." He trailed off when he recognized her. "Calypso?"
The girl's eyes slowly opened. They were clouded with confusion until they landed on him. "Brave one?"
A soft smile appeared on his face at the sound of Calypso's name for him.
"The sleeper wakes," he said.
Calypso smiled lightly. That was the first thing she said to Percy when he gained consciousness.
"Where-" she started.
"You're safe," Percy interrupted. "Hold on Calypso, I'm going to take-"
"No." It was Calypso's turn to interrupt.
"Excuse me?" Percy was confused. Why doesn't she want me to take her to the infirmary? He thought.
"Movement, bad," Calypso gasped. "Make, body, worse."
Oh. Percy thought. That's a pretty good reason for not moving. Still... He frowned at the fact he couldn't get her help. Unless... I wonder...
Gently, he held Calypso closer to him.
"Brave one?" Calypso asked in confusion.
Although she hated to admit it, especially considering everything that's happened, she still felt a slight attraction to the son of Poseidon; one that she should be getting over but was not working due to her current position.
"Just relax," Percy said. "I'm just repaying a favor." He closed his eyes in concentration. A soft green glow covered them as Calypso felt her body get better.
She realized Percy was somehow using the water to heal her, the same way it heals him.
The glow was new though.
Calypso couldn't help but stared at Percy in amazement. She feared a reunion with him due to her lingering attraction, which shouldn't be there since she's with an extremely annoying, caring, promise keeping son of Hephaestus; but in honesty, she feared that Percy would resent her for cursing Annabeth. The girl that, in Calypso's heartbroken and despaired mind back then, had stolen her brave one from her.
And yet, here he was, healing her as if it were no problem at all.
"I'm sorry, Percy," Calypso said softly, not wanting to break his focus.
Percy smiled and pulled her even closer.
"It's okay," he replied. "I'm sorry too. I hope... I would like us to be friends."
Calypso's eyes grew heavy. The tension in her body slipped away as she settled in Percy's arms.
"I'd like that too," she murmured. "Care too much, to lose you."
And with that, she fell asleep.
Percy sighed heavily. "I care about you too. I just wish I'd done a better job of showing it."
Silence enveloped the clearing as the most infamous What if couple of their generation rebuilt their bond.
Leo woke up surrounded by white.
For a second, Leo thought he really had died, then he saw Will Solace.
"Oh good," Will said. "You're awake."
"Of course he's awake," Nico said as he entered the room. "The whole point of me being here is to let doctors know if a patient's dying or not."
Nico looked different from the last time Leo saw the son of Hades. His pale skin looked healthy now, like it actually knew what the Sun was. He didn't looked like a skeleton anymore either. He was still thin, but he looked lean and dangerous, like a panther.
Leo was brought out of his musing by Will.
"That's why you're here?" Will said to Nico, looking hurt. "And here I thought you liked spending time with the camp's number one doctor."
Nico fidgeted a bit before huffing at Will's teasing smile.
"That's it," Nico declared. "I'm out of here."
"Wait!" Leo shouted.
Nico and Will gave him their attention.
"What happened?" Leo asked. "How did I get here? Was anyone hurt?"
Will and Nico shared a look. Leo suspected the silent conversation went something like this:
Nico: You're the doctor. What are you waiting for?
Will: You do it. You need to practice your pep talk.
Nico: I'm a son of Hades. I don't do pep.
Will sighed, looking at Leo, he said, "There was an explosion above camp. When we investigated, we found a crater near Zeus' fist. Your dragon crashed. You were found nearby with minor injuries. Apparently, the dragon took the brunt of the impact."
Leo's eyes were misty at the news about Festus. He hoped there were enough important material to allow reconstruction.
"What else?" Leo prompted. He wondered why there was no mention of the girls.
"Well," Nico took over. "After we confirmed you were alive, you were brought here, then your siblings went back to try and salvage the dragon. Also, Jason and Piper spent the whole day here at your side. I finally convinced them to go eat dinner."
Leo smiled at the concern his best friends had for him, though it wavered with his next question. "That's it?" You didn't find anyone else? Like two teen girls for instance?"
He got strange looks for that.
"I don't think so," Will said. "At least, I haven't heard anything."
"Why?" Nico inquired. "Who are they?"
"Calypso and Selene." Leo answered.
"The ghost island chick and the moon goddess?" Will scratched his head in confusion.
Suddenly the door burst opened. The trio caught their breath.
A beautiful teen girl with fair skin, caramel hair stood at the door. She wore an oversized orange shirt and jeans. She looked at the three of them then focused on Leo.
She rushed forward, engulfing him in a hug and a kiss.
Will seemed amused while Nico looked uncomfortable.
Reluctantly, Leo pulled away.
"Glad you're safe, Calypso," Leo said breathlessly.
Calypso let out a laugh. "Me?" She smiled. "I'm not the one who's always blowing up."
He comment was teasing, but Nico couldn't help flinch.
"So," Will said, seeing Nico flinch. "Who's your friend?"
"Guys," Leo said, gesturing at all of Calypso. "This is Calypso, my girlfriend."
"Calypso," Leo said, "this is Will and that's Nico." He pointed out who was who.
"A pleasure to meet you both," Calypso said. "Thank you for taking care of Leo."
Will smiled. "Nice to meet you too, and no problem, it's kind of my job as the camp's number one doctor."
"He only gets that title because no one corrects him," Nico said playfully.
Will put his arm around Nico's shoulder and led him out of the room. "Well, we got to go finish our rounds, make sure we have enough bandages and stuff."
They closed the door behind them. Calypso immediately kissed Leo.
Her lips were soft, salty and sweet at the same time.
The son of Hephaestus felt like he was on fire.
He really hoped he wasn't; that would be embarrassing.
The lack of oxygen made them separate. They pressed their foreheads together, gazing into each other's eyes.
"I really am glad you're safe," Calypso said.
"What happened to you?" Leo wondered. "Apparently they didn't find anyone else."
"Oh not much," Calypso dismissed with a strained smile. "I fell in a lake and a nearby camper pulled me out; then he healed me with the help of some nearby nymphs."
Calypso shut him up with a kiss.
"No more talk," she said. "It's just you and me now."
The couple lied down on the bed, lost in each other's embrace.
A lone figure laid on the forest ground, the light of the moon shined on the figure like a caress.
"Wake up child," a female voice said. "It's time we met."
Selene slowly stirred, her muscles stiff and sore from her near death experience. Her hood fell down when she sat up, revealing copper skin and black hair braided down her left side. She took in her surroundings with a mournful expression.
"Am I dead? Again?"
"Far from it my dear."
Selene jumped, turning into a fighting stance. She took a pause at the person in front of her.
Artemis, goddess of the Hunt stood in front of her with a smile. She looked eighteen, the same as Selene.
"You look well," Artemis said. "Resurrective rebirth suits you."
Selene's cheeks reddened. "You are aware of the truth then, milady?"
The goddess closed the distance and pulled the demigod into a bear hug. The surprise lasted a moment before Selene hugged just as tight.
"I never thought it possible," the goddess confessed. "But yes, I know who and what you are. More importantly, who you used to be."
Artemis pulled away first. She cupped her hand on Selene's face, as if studying it, then removed her glasses.
Artemis saw silver eyes mirroring her own.
"What do we do now milady?" Selene asked.
"We introduce you to the world of course," Artemis said like it was perfectly obvious. "To your new family, and your old friends."
"Won't there be consequences?" Selene didn't want her goddess getting in trouble because of her.
"Probably," the oldest of the duo admitted. "Even though there shouldn't be any in the first place. No one fights when Athena does it. Why should it matter that there was a way for me to follow in her footsteps? I'm going to do it, regardless of the consequences."
Selene smiled at her words. "Whatever happens, know that I have no regrets in regards to you, milady."
Artemis hugged her again, tears spilling.
"Nothing and no one will take you away from me, Selene," the goddess promised. "I already lost you as my best friend. I won't lose you as my daughter as well."