Leo slept soundly curled up beside Festus. The heating features were definitely a plus, so it really did help when the island got colder at night.
Leo woke up to the sound of yelling beside his right ear, jolting him awake as his head briefly crashed into Festus's leg, causing him to let out a yelp of agony.
"Whoa, it actually is Leo!" Leo recognized the familiar feminine voice as Hazel's; her golden brown curls bounced about on her head and shoulders as she looked at him in shock, her golden eyes as.. well, golden as they ever were.
He saw Piper give her an incredulous look, "Did you think I was going crazy?"
"Well, you were up at 2 AM, so.." Hazel told her sheepishly.
Piper let our a laugh as she turned to glare at Leo, "You stupid idiot! We've been worried sick about you! We thought you were dead, even after what Nico and Hazel told us..." Piper's voice cracked at the last word, and Leo was surprised that his friends really did care that much about him.
"Well, Ms. Beauty Queen, you know now," Leo said to her with a cheeky grin. "Where's Blonde Superman?"
"He's calling Frank and Reyna before they leave for New Rome," Hazel answered him swiftly. "I'm leaving with them later today, you know, Sa- Leo." She still occasionally had trouble remembering that Leo wasn't his abuelo.
"New Rome? Why would you be going back there?" Leo asked, confused by the sudden upbringing.
Hazel cocked an eyebrow at him as she answered, "We're going home, Leo."
The answer clicked something in his brain, the short circuited area putting the pieces back together again. "The war's over..." Leo said in a hollow voice. "We won, didn't we? We finally beat Gaea."
His friends smiled at him, confirming what he'd just announced for himself. "You didn't die for nothing, did you?" Piper said to him at last. Leo grinned at her sheepishly in response.
Annabeth and her blonde curls came into view, her hand clasped in Percy's as they walked over towards the rainbow, both her eyebrows cocked at him above her stormy gray eyes as she said, "Well, if it isn't our favorite Mexican Vulcan." Percy grinned from ear to ear and gave her a peck on the cheek.
"How're you doing, man?" Percy asked as he briskly wrapped his arm around Annabeth. Leo's heart clenched and his chest tightened at the sight; he missed Calypso so much, it hurt to see his friends so happy. He promised himself that as soon as he was done Iris messaging them, he'd clean himself up and find her.
Leo brushed off his slightly jealous feeling as he replied, "I'm doing great, Aquaman. I stink and smell like smoke, but I'm good." He could've sworn he saw one of Percy's sea green eyes twitch when he said Aquaman; he knew how much Percy hated being called that.
"Where are you, anyways?" Piper asked Leo, turning his attention towards her.
"I'm.. Umm." Leo seemed hesitant to answer because he knew the response he was going to get for leaving his friends to assume that he'd died. "I'm on Ogygia."
Leo visibly recoiled to keep himself from going deaf as his friends screamed together in unison, "WHAT!?"
Percy was in shock, so he asked the logical question since he was the only one out of the seven, aside from Leo, to have gone to Ogygia and returned to the real world, "Holy Poseidon- Valdez, how're you even Iris messaging us!? Doesn't Ogygia's magic block all present and possible future contact with the outside world?"
Leo pondered this for a second; how was he able to contact his friends? "I remember Calypso told me when I was here before that the magic here on Ogygia had become unstable; maybe that's why?
"Makes sense," Percy answered nodding his head. "Speaking of; have you seen her yet?" Percy asked him abruptly.
Leo licked his chapped lips before replying, "No, actually. Weirdly enough, she didn't seem to hear me crash land into the sand like I did when I first got here.
Percy cocked an eyebrow at Leo as he answered, "Weird. You'd hear just about anything on an island as quiet as Ogygia-" Percy was cut off when he was jumped by Jason, panting as Frank popped by to join them.
"Morning, Commander Tool Belt," Jason said to Leo with a broad smile on his face. Wrapping an arm around Piper's shoulders, he continued, "So; what'd I miss?"
Leo smirked at him briefly as he said, "I'm going to get cleaned up. I smell like smoke, plus I wanna make a good impression on Calypso when she sees me-"
Leo was cut off by a wave of "Aww's" from his friends, lead by Piper. "I'll be darned if Calypso doesn't miss you, Chef Leo," Piper said to him with a suggestive wink.
"Team Leo for the win!" Hazel shouted out with a proud fist pump in the air. Jason joined in on the fun and high-fived Hazel with such enthusiasm, you'd think that Jason had a little too much nectar and ambrosia.
Leo narrowed his eyes at Jason and said, "Who are you and what've you done to Jason Grace?"
"This is the new me, Mr. Spock."
Meanwhile, as Frank stared at everyone blankly, completely bewildered by everyone's behavior, Percy and Annabeth laughed together at how ridiculous their friends were being.
"You'd better go quick before these idiots start fangirling again, Valdez." Annabeth told him, still laughing at the state her friends were in.
Leo smiled to himself as he bid his friends farewell for a little while. Leo scanned himself briefly and scrunched his nose; he'd ruined his clothes so quickly, he wondered what Calypso would say about it. His hair was singed at the ends because of the explosion, so he decided that a mega-cleanup on his part would do the trick.
Stripping himself of his no longer pristine white shirt and army jacket, he walked towards the shore and crouched down, leveling himself with the water to wash his clothes as best he could. His scrawny frame was coated with leftover soot, so he made sure that he would immediately clean himself up after washing his clothes.
Leo took out a tube of travel detergent from his magic tool belt, something he didn't think would ever find its way inside, and used it to clean his clothes.
Festus remained where he was on the beach's shoreline, occasionally creaking in greeting at Leo.
Leo would've dried the clothes himself if he didn't need to clean himself up too, so he dried them off on Festus. "Sorry, big guy. It'll only be for a few minutes, I promise."
After ridding himself of the soot and grime he was coated in, Leo dried himself off with the flames he was so commonly known for.
After putting his clothes back on, he reached into his tool belt for the gel he'd used a few months back, slicking his hair back as he grinned into Festus's bronze plating.
"Let's go see what Sunshine's up to, eh, Festus?"
Leo's walk up the familiar rocky path brought back memories as they came flooding back to him all at once, how he'd followed Calypso as she'd trudged along it grudgingly, swearing like a sailor in Ancient Greek. Her golden brown hair flowed down her back over her Grecian dress, her milky pale skin as fair as he could remember.
He could almost smell her scent; cinnamon and woodsmoke. A tender smile played on his lips as he thought of her more and more, the feelings he'd bottled up for weeks engulfing him; he badly wanted to see her-
No, he needed to see her.
"Sunshine! Guess who's back!" Leo called out as he finally reached her garden, passing by the grove of trees near the garden's entrance.
Nothing, but silence.
His walk turned into a jog, and that jog spurned into a sprint. His heart pumped faster, both anxious and worried about Calypso. The smell of the peach trees on his left put a pang in his already heavy heart. "Sunshine?" Leo called out once more.
Again, an eerie silence.
Passing the bed of vegetables, Leo made his way into Calypso's cavern, holding his breath as he entered. Everything was the same as when he'd first left and arrived. The harp untouched, the bowls of fruit as well. Weirdly enough, the beef stew that Calypso was known for wasn't present, surprising Leo more than he already was. The invisible servants that usually tended to the dishes and stew were missing, leaving Leo in chills.
"Did I clean up for nothing?" Leo said to himself in confusion as he ran a hand through his gelled hair. Frustrated with himself, he shouted out, "Calypso!"
He swallowed hard and exited the cavern, his lips trembling
as he looked at his feet. He shut his eyes tight to prevent the tears that
threatened to spill over, his knees buckled beneath him as he landed on his
butt. He hugged his knees to his chest and trembled "Calypso.." Leo
finally choked out pathetically as he covered his face with his calloused
hands. As he continued to proceed with his meltdown, he let out a low whisper,
"Where are you?"
He laid on his back, staring up at the orange sky. How many hours he'd remained that way, he wasn't sure, but he was certain that he finally cracked.
Leo kept his right forearm over his forehead to try to keep himself sane, "Gods of Olympus, Calypso.. Where are you?"