This story is now COMPLETE! However, I will be updating some earlier chapters with better writing, especially the first three or four. But no plot changes will be made. This chapter is fully updated.
This story is 21 chapters long, and each of the Seven, plus Nico, will get at least two chapters in their POV. Constructive reviews are appreciated. On with the story!
Defeat Dirt Face? Check.
Come back to life after dying? Check.
Make an awesome entrance onto Ogygia? Check.
Rescue an un-rescuable immortal goddess? Check.
Travel around most of the world with that same goddess? Check.
Get annoyed by someone equally annoying as him? Check.
(That last one was nearly impossible. Leo prided himself on his annoying-ness.) Leo's bucket list (minus the dying bit) was now complete.
He was beaming widely. Nothing could go wrong. But, of course, Leo was a demigod son of Hephaestus— everything could go wrong. But for now, the sky was a beautiful shade of blue, the sun was shining brightly, and even the birds were chirping, even though there was a giant bronze, flame-snorting dragon with two soot-stained passengers onboard invading the birds' territory. It can't get more cliche than this! Leo had to admit that New England's scenery was beautiful, though he wasn't usually one for scenery. But it wasn't as beautiful as Calypso. Nothing was. Calypso was amazing. Leo still couldn't believe that she'd actually agreed to leave her pristine island for him. Leo Valdez. Leo smiled widely as he imagined what Calypso would say if she ever heard him say that out loud. Maybe Took you long enough to realize how lucky you are, boy! That, or she would swat him.
Struck by that thought, Leo smiled mischievously and yelled out suddenly.
"Calypso! Festus is failing! We're gonna crash! And die!"
Any sane person would have screamed. Leo would have screamed. But then again, Calypso wasn't exactly sane. After all, she could've had her pick of any buff, tall, and handsome heroes. And instead, she'd chosen Leo. Awesome. Someone equally as insane as me! Instead of screaming, Calypso punched him in the side lightly. It hurt. It was only a slight consolation to him that Calypso tightened her grip on Leo's waist slightly.
"I do know some things about mechanics, Valdez! And I know enough to say that no, we are not going to 'crash and die'!" Whoops. Meh. Oh well. It was worth a shot...
Leo shrugged, and knew even without turning around that Calypso was rolling her eyes. Like Piper. And Hazel. And Annabeth. And... Leo was starting to detect an unpleasant pattern here... What is it with females and rolling their eyes?! But anyway, there were some things that you just learned about other people when you traveled the world with them for weeks. Among them: Calypso like to roll her eyes. Calypso enjoyed making Leo squirm. Calypso enjoyed bad-mouthing him in front of random McDonald's waitresses. Calypso... There's another pattern here...
Suddenly, acres of strawberry fields and dozens of cabins spread out in an omega shape came into distant view. Tiny figures darted back and forth, and Leo could swear that he heard swords clashing in the training arena even from a mile up. Leo couldn't resist.
"The Super-Sized Mc-Shizzle is baaaack!" he yelled, screaming his throat hoarse. Calypso laughed and gasped, releasing her grip on Leo to point at the demigod camp.
"Leo—is that your camp?!" Leo could only guess at what the camp—an oasis tucked between several highways—looked like to Calypso, who'd been stuck on an island for centuries… While in China, she'd gasped in awe at the skyscrapers, and while in France, she'd started muttering some stuff in rapid-fire Greek that Leo couldn't keep up with when she saw an elevator. In Australia, when they'd visited a zoo, she had immediately started dragging Leo everywhere in her haste to see everything. And in New Jersey, USA... Leo shuddered to even think of it. Leo had had to forcefully yank Calypso away from a dirty beach before she started beheading the lifeguards for polluting the ocean or something.
He did not want a repeat of that incident.
"Yep, Sunshine!" Leo answered her question belatedly. "Now, Festus..." he tapped out a set of instructions in Morse code. The now permanently activated bronze dragon responded with creak 'n Squeak. Yes, okay, fine... Alright... okay... Are you sure setting the Ares cabin on fire is a good idea?
Honestly, that dragon thought he was Leo's chaperone or something. YES! I came up with it, so of course it's good! While you're at it, put a ring of fire around the Hermes cabin. I still haven't gotten Connor and Travis back for that last prank a couple months ago...
If machines could roll their eyes, Festus would have. Wait. He could roll his eyes. Dang...
Leo watched in delight while Calypso repeatedly smacked him as the bronze dragon set a ring of grass aflame, so that the Hermes cabin was trapped (Travis screamed like Octavian). The next target? The Ares cabin. Flying overhead in "stealth mode", something Leo had invented while he was bored in France while Calypso explored the wonderful (read: horrible) world of malls, Leo cackled as several grenades were set off by a single flame. Honestly, they should really be more careful with explosives...
Sparks flew up into the air, and Leo instructed Festus to fly them down closer, ignoring Calypso's shouts of WHAT THE HADES ARE YOU DOING?! When he got close enough to the exploding, multicolored sparks that shot up to a hundred feet in the air, he concentrated on manipulating the sparks. After all, they were fire. Sort of. It took a lot of effort, but after a moment, Leo was able to do what he wanted.
Land us just outside the dining pavilion when I say so! He ordered Festus, who creaked agreement. Then they waited for the explosives to do what Leo wanted them to do.
Sure enough, a minute later, a loud popping sound brought all the campers (minus the Hermes cabin) rushing towards the Ares cabin, close to the dining pavilion. They watched in awe, suspicion, and excitement as the grenades shot into the air, sending off fireworks as bright as Apollo himself. Bright. Not hot. Bright as Apollo.
The fireworks arranged themselves in a single sentence:
COMMANDER TOOL BELT IS BAAACK!
And at the same time as the campers read the phrase with varying degrees of difficulty, Leo removed stealth mode from Festus, and they landed softly on the ground with a thump.
Curious campers crowded around them instantly. And then the shouting began.
"OH. MY. GODS. LEO!" A girl with a shocked expression pushed past the mob and wrapped Leo in a bone-crushing hug. "We thought you were dead! You were dead! How in Aphrodite did you— "
"Ah, well, I'm not dead. Well, I mean, I was dead. But Festus gave me the cures… so now I'm not dead!" Leo interrupted her, smiled, and awkwardly patted Piper on the back. Suddenly Piper slapped him across the face. Hard. "OW! What was that for?!"
"We were worried sick! You have been missing! For! Nearly! Two! Months! And! Now! You! Expect! That! With! A! Few! Fireworks! That! Everything! Will! Be! Fi—"
"Yeah, thanks for your concern, Beauty Queen," Leo grinned cheekily, interrupting her (again). "But did you have to slap quite so hard?" he whined. But really, he was glad Piper had showed such concern for him. Especially since on the Argo II, the others had kinda… well, paired off. Without him. Leo shook the thought away.
"You did deserve it, Leo!" Jason raced up, and tackled Leo into another hug. Thankfully, he didn't slap Leo, although he looked like he wanted to. "Commander Tool Belt?!" he whispered into Leo's ear. Leo laughed, and looked up to see the rest of the Seven stepping up to him as well—Percy, holding hands with Annabeth, Hazel, wide-eyed, and Frank, looking awkward as usual. "Care to introduce your friend, though?" Jason nodded at Calypso, who had been watching the events unfold bemusedly. Now, though, she spoke.
"I'm Calypso…" Leo frowned as he heard Calypso trail off. He followed her gaze and saw Percy. Oh. Almost unconsciously, his fists clenched, crushing the pipe cleaner helicopter he had unconsciously been creating. Leo glanced around quickly. Nobody seemed to have noticed, so he hurriedly unclenched his hands. Leo rapidly plastered a smile on and tried to diffuse the tension building between Calypso and Percy, not noticing that smoke was coming out of his nose. But before he could do so, Percy cleared his throat.
"Um, Calypso? I'm really sorry I didn't free you..."
The pavilion was silent. Even the onlookers (why did they look like they wanted to slap Leo too?!) didn't make any sound. Surprisingly, even the Ares kids weren't angrily demanding Leo to repay them with new grenades. "The gods promised and all, but that's not an excuse. I should've checked up on you, or made them swear on the River Styx, or something. So… yeah. I'm sorry. I'm glad the curse is broken now, though." Percy's sea-green eyes started straight into Calypso's unflinchingly.
Calypso looked stunned, but said stiffly, "I accept your apology. But next time you break a promise…"
Percy interrupted, his gaze hardening. "I'm not forgetting that you cursed Annabeth!" Leo had no idea what he was talking about. But by the way the blood drained out of Calypso's face, she definitely knew.
"So, where were you guys for these couple of weeks? Leo? Calypso?" Hazel interrupted, successfully bringing the attention back to Leo, who smiled gratefully at her (the smoke stopped coming from out of his nose). As Leo began recounting their adventures with a herd of angry chicken monsters in France while they toured Europe, Calypso began to relax. Leo noticed this, and he gave her a dazzling grin. Calypso's mood improved even more when the others introduced themselves cheerfully to her. When Calypso informed them that she was a Titaness, Frank accidently turned into an iguana from fright, though Calypso laughed it off. Soon, Piper's daughter-of-the-love-goddess look came onto her face as she thought of an adequate ship name for Leo and Calypso.
"Caleo, my new OTP!" she smirked triumphantly. Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Leo, and Nico, who had just joined the group, laughed at this. Well, Percy, Annabeth, Jason, and Leo laughed. Nico just did a half smirk/smile thing that was utterly creepy on the son of Hades. Leo wondered how Nico even knew what shipping/OTPs were, seeing as he was from the 1940s and all. He must have had a questioning look on his face, because Nico rolled his eyes.
"Will Solace told me all about shipping and all that stuff." Then, realizing what he'd said, he turned bright red, though he tried to put his stoic demeanor back on.
"Solangelo! I ship it!" Piper practically screamed. Meanwhile, the demigods (and goddess) who had no idea what was going on—Hazel, Frank, and Calypso—were all looking extremely confused. Leo howled with laughter when Frank realized that he had the same level of modern knowledge as an immortal goddess who had been trapped on an island for hundreds of years, and Hazel, a child of the past.
Jason and Piper tried to explain the concept of "shipping" to them (Hazel was fanning her face at this point, while Frank, puzzled, asked "What's an ohteepee?"), and the rest were just catching up with each other to the background noise of the Hermes cabin screaming. Apparently, no one had thought to extinguish the flames, and Leo sure as heck wasn't gonna, at least until the Stoll brothers admitted he was the best pranker.
Well, actually, they weren't exactly "catching up" with each other. More like Chiron had just announced that it was Beat-Up-Leo Day. Even Clarisse and her siblings were running after him and threatening to beat him to a pulp, while Calypso watched, amused. And an angry, brick-wielding satyr chomping on soda cans was nothing to laugh about. Everything seemed back to normal, but then a strong wind suddenly flared up.
"Jason?" asked Annabeth quizzically. Jason shook his head.
"Definitely not me." Jason's eyebrows were knit together. Leo recognized that look. He'd only seen it twice before on Jason: when Jason woke up on the Wilderness School bus with no memory, and when Jason realized that one of the Seven would die on the quest to defeat Gaea. Leo's shoulders stiffened.
And just then, Leo had the vague sensation of being whisked away with the brisk wind, out of Camp Half-Blood (to the chorus of cries from campers as they watched their eight heroes be flown away and Calypso's screams of "Leo!"), and into some sort of warship… the Argo II! But it couldn't be. The Argo was destroyed weeks ago! Months, even! Yet Leo would know his creation anywhere. He'd spent half a year building it! The screams of campers became softer and softer as Leo fell into a deep, though definitely not dreamless, sleep.
Find out what happens next in the next chapter, in two days or so!