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Running

Chapter Text

Main Pairing(s): Frazaleo

Side Pairing(s): Percabeth, Solangelo, Jasper


Leo Valdez was packing as much as he could into his backpack being as quiet as possible. He pushed a few changes of clothes, a canteen of nectar, squares of ambrosia in a Ziploc baggie, a sleeping bag, mortal money, golden drachmas, ect. into his backpack and threw it onto his back. Leo wrapped his magic tool belt around his west and glanced around at his sleeping siblings with a look of sadness. He quietly left his cabin and looked around at the other cabins. Jason was alone in the Zeus cabin, Percy and Tyson in the Poseidon cabin with Ella asleep on the seastone roof, Frank was bunking with Clarisse and his other Greek siblings in Ares cabin while Reyna was in Athena's cabin with Annabeth, Will Solace was asleep in Apollo cabin probably dreaming about his boyfriend Nico, Thalia and the Hunters were in the Artemis cabin, Beauty Queen was asleep in Aphrodite cabin like her siblings, the mischievous Stoll brothers who always flirted with him were in Hermes, and Hazel and Nico were asleep in Hades cabin. He was going to miss them all. Leo started the trek up the hill and when he was at the top he looked back at Camp Half Blood, his eyes locking on the Hades then the Ares cabins.

"I'm sorry" was all Leo said before he disappeared into the night and out of their lives for the next two years.

Break

It has been precisely two years since the 16 year old fire user disappeared from camp and there lives. His clothes and a few valuables were gone from his bunk and bunker 9 so they automatically thought he ran. Again. It broke all their hearts when they found out. Especially Hazel and Frank's. They loved the Latino elf and him running killed him. They didn't even get to tell him bye, or how they felt. But ever since that fateful morning they all had been searching high and low for the missing elf. Nico and Hazel even went to the underworld on numerous occasions to make sure he wasn't dead. Everyone was losing it.

Why had he left?

Why had he run?

Why did he leave them alone?

Each day that went by was a shrouded in an impenetrable gloom. No one smiled, no one laughed, everyone was just depressed and miserable. Even Mr.D seemed more angrier and grouchier than usual. Leo had run from the first place that could be considered a home to him since his mother's death. He had run from the people who cared and loved him. He had run from his family and it shattered everyone. Leo was the fire that burnt in the mess hall hearths, he was the one who could make you laugh after your heart's been shattered to bits, he was the one who would help everyone that needed his help to the point where he would simply collapse of sheer exhaustion, he would crack jokes in the face of death, he would risk his life if it meant his friends would be OKAY, and most importantly Leo was the glue who held everyone together. Even if Leo was feeling lower than dirt he would plaster on the biggest smile he could and start making jokes with the Stoll brothers.

But the fact in knowing that Leo had left them all, that he had run from them as if they were another foster home was slowly killing them all.

"It's his fatal flaw..." A quiet voice spoke up from the silent circle of people that were sitting on the floor of Bunker 9. It was the only place that was truly Leo's where they could quietly mourn or come up with new searching strategies to find their missing elf. Every head slowly looked towards the blonde haired girl with princess curls and gray eyes full of intelligence. Annabeth looked around at the group of sad faces that stared back at her. Next to Annabeth sat her long-time boyfriend Percy, then Grover and his girlfriend Juniper, Jason sat with Piper curled against his side with his sister, Thalia, on the other side, then there was Gleeson Hedge with his wife and 2 and a half year old son who was silently snoozing, not even aware of the mood of the others around him. Frank sat with Hazel in his lap, her face buried in his broad chest as he patted her back comfortingly, Nico and his boyfriend Will sat next to Annabeth's other side with Rachel, then Connor and Travis Stoll, for once being dead serious, were seated next to her and Clarisse sat between them and Frank. They waited for the wisdom child to speak.

"Leo's fatal flaw, I've only now realized it..." Annabeth's lower lip trembled as she spoke and Percy reached to squeeze her hand. "Inferiority, he must have thought he was unwanted and not trusted, that we didn't want him around..." Realization dawned on everyone. The day's before Leo's disappearance, everyone was too busy and irritated to even talk to him, and when they did they snapped at him and yelled at him. Oh gods. Thalia made a swallowing sound and pulled a map of North America from her bag, unrolling it so it laid flat in the circle's middle.

"Wh..where..."Thalia took a deep breathe. "Haven't we looked in the United States...?"

"Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tex..." Grover wasn't able to finish his sentence as, just when he started saying Texas, Rachel's head shut up and her eyes glowed green as her mouth opened and green mist pored out and surround the occupants of Bunker 9. Everyone tensed and Mellie tried to calm baby Chuck as he started to fuss in his sleep like all babies and toddlers do.

The one you yearn to find
Has run to hide
A home that no longer is a home
Is where he now resides
Forever torn
Between death and war
The child of the flame
Is now his own bane

The green mist vanished and Rachel groaned as she rubbed her head, already feeling a headache arriving to torment her for about an hour or so. Everyone stared at Rachel before exchanging glances with each other.

"That had to be about Leo!" The small group jumped at Hazel's sudden announcement. "The one we yearn to find is Leo!"

"She's right," Annabeth had a look of deep concentration across her face. "This wasn't really a prophecy though, it told us something that has already happened."

Rachel suddenly had a look of amazement. "The fates must have decided to help us!"

If the Fates were helping them find their lost comrade then that means Leo truly can get anyone to love him.

"But it said: A home that no longer is a home is now where he resides," Piper bit her lip and looked up at Jason. "It said he was torn between death and war, which are virtually the same thing. There's no war without death." Everyone else had a thoughtful look.

"Perhaps the Oracle meant love and war?" Juniper supplied helpfully only for Rachel to shake her head.

"No the Oracle meant death."

A gruff voice suddenly spoke up, reminding Jason and Piper of the gym orders that had been growled at them when Hedge was disguised as their coach.

"The child of the flame is obviously Leo, but it says he is now his own band. What the hell does that mean?" Hedge ignored the glare his wife sent him for swearing around their toddler.

"I think we'll find out when we find Leo," Nico gave a bitter laugh.

Frank had been awfully quiet while everyone tried to decipher the non prophecy. He was the thinking about the non-prophecy that could help them find their Leo and bring him home safely. Frank and Hazel had spent more time trying to find Leo over the past two years than at either of the camps. Reyna was currently at Camp Jupiter where she had a squad of soldiers looking all over California for the Latino elf. Frank and Hazel both missed Leo to the point where they would hold each other and cry themselves to sleep each and every night since Leo left camp. Since he left them.

"Texas," Frank spoke quietly and every single mouth shut simultaneously and look at the child of Mars. His girlfriend looked up at him with her red-rimmed but still warm chocolate eyes.

"Wh...what..?" Her voice sounded so broken and Frank despised it.

"Texas," Frank spoke louder. "A home that is no longer a home...Isn't Leo from Houston, Texas?"

"Yeah," Piper frowned. "But he hasn't been there in ye..." Her eyes suddenly lit up and slowly everyone understood.

Without saying a word, they all dispersed and went to pack for their trip to Houston, Texas.

They are going to bring their fire elf home.

Chapter Text

2 years.

It had been 2 long years since he had run away from the only place that felt like a home to him since his mother's death. Since he had left his closest friends. No. Since he had left his family and he missed them everyday. But he just couldn't stay. He couldn't. Leo was having so many mixed feelings at the time of his departure and he still does. He couldn't be around camp or Hazel and Frank anymore, it was slowly killing him the way they loved and cherished each other openly. Leo wanted that. To be loved and cherished by someone who actually cares about him. But that would never happen. They would never love him like they love each other, nor would anyone else.

"Leona! Get back to taking orders!" Leo sighed as his boss yelled at him from the other side of the small cafe. Leo gave a sigh and tugged his short flared black skirt down as he went to a table full of rowdy teenage boys about Leo's age. He took out a notepad and pen from his apron's pocket and looked down.

"Do you know what you would like to order today gentlemen?" Leo's voice had a slightly higher pitched thanks to his amazing impressions, so it could pass well for a girls voice.

"Yeah, you in my bed." One of the rowdier boys answered.

Leo's face turned red but he kept his voice steady. "I need an actual order sir." The group of boys gave him their orders and then proceeded to make many lewd and sexual comments ad gestures towards Leo. Leo hurriedly left the table to give the cook the orders, his face a darker red adorning his Latino skin.

After Leo had run away from the camp, he had returned to the town of his birth, Houston, where he swore to himself he would leave and never return. Well, he returned.

Leo had slept in alleyways and on benches like a bum for the first few months and stole what he needed with skills he picked up from the Hermes Cabin, especially from the Stolls, while he desperately searched for a job. He got lucky when he saw the cafe was hiring. Sadly, they were only accepting women. So in Leo's messed up head, he devised and idea: he would steal female clothes and accessories then apply for the job. And he did. Surprisingly Leo passed for a woman with ease with his curly brown hair that had grown longer since he left camp, his feminine hourglass-like figure, and his naturally hairless body. He used to hate how he looked more feminine than masculine but now he loved it. He was hired by the manager who thought he was a woman named Leona soon after.

Leo is snapped out of his thoughts as the cook shoves a tray full of different orders into his hands. He gives a huff of indigence and carried the tray to the designated table. Leo carefully set the plates in front of each person, tucked the tray under his arm and turned to leave the table.

Whack!

Leo jumped, dropping the empty tray and whirling around to stare at the smirking boy and his laughing buddies. His face was red, not in embarrassment, but in anger. He felt fire flickering on his finger tips so he took a deep breathe to try and calm down as he bent over to pick up the tray and retreat to the kitchen. There wasn't a single sound in the cafe except for the raucous laughter of those perverse boys.

How dare they slap his ass?!

Leo just ignored the staring of the patrons and waitresses as he went out back to take his break. It was sunny today, at least. He sat down and leaned against the wall, letting the window blow his hair around. Leo pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. A few silent tears ran down his face as he stared at the ground. They dribbled down his cheeks and dripped off his chin and down onto his knees. Gods, he absolutely HATED his life now. He missed the camp, he missed the forges and his cabin with his comfy bunk, he missed Bunker 9 where Festus was almost completely rapaired and waiting for him to finish the job, he missed his friends, he missed his family. But it was too late. He could never and would never return to Camp Half-Blood or even Camp Jupiter. Besides, how awkward would it be if he showed up in his Cafe uniform looking like a girl after 2 years of being gone?

Leo was truly alone in the world now.

ENough with these painful thoughts. Leo stood up, brushed dirt off and straightened his skirt before returning inside to continue working.

"Leona," his co-worker, Susie, approached him. "You have a group of new teens in your section." Leo gave a barely audible sigh and approached a large group of teens that had to resort to pushing two tables together for themselves. But as soon as Leo took a look at the teens himself, his blood ran cold. No, no, no, no, no. Oh Gods please no.

It was them!

What were they doing here?! Were they looking for him? Or were they on some quest for the camps? Most likely the latter. They wouldn't be looking for him. Leo took a deep breathe. Maybe they won't recognize him. Hopefully. Leo approached the table and kept his head down.

"Hello, may I take your orders?"

-Break-

After walking around Houston for six hours straight looking for their fire starter, the large group of demigods and two incognito satyrs was starting to get tired and hungry.

"I'm tired," whined Connor.

"I'm hungry," groaned Travis.

Annabeth gave a sigh and glared at the twin-like brothers. "There is a cafe up ahead. If we stop to eat and rest will you two shut up?"

"Yes Ma'am," they chorused together to which Annabeth rolled her eyes at. The cafe they stopped at was a cute little place with a few other occupants. The first thing the noticed upon entering was the table of rowdy teenage boys. Thalia shook her head in disgust as they all pushed two tables together so they can all sit together.

"This is hopeless," Piper spoke quietly. "We''ll never find Leo at this rate. It's already been 2 years."

"We'll find him," Jason assured his sad girlfriend though his voice didn't hold much hope. 'We have to find him.' Suddenly a quiet voice spoke up.

"Hello, may I take your orders?" They all looked towards the waitress that had approached their table and every single one of their jaws had dropped. There was no doubt in their minds that this was their Leo. Except he looked exactly like a girl. He wore a white button down blouse, a light orange miniskirt, an apron, and a pair of black 3 inch heels. His dark, curly hair had grown longer and he wore it in pigtails held in place by pink ribbons. He had makeup lightly painted across his face. But his eyes are what definitely told them it was Leo. The crazy took-too-much-caffeine look was still there even though it was dulled considerably.

"L-Leo...?" Hazel spoke brokenly. Leo had his eyes downcast and seemed nervous.

"I'm sorry miss, but I think your mistaken." Leo said in a robotic voice. "My name isn't Leo." His voice shaking was all the confirmation they needed. Piper and Jason jumped up from the table and wrapped Leo in a crushing hug that knocked the breathe from his lungs. Leo immediately started to struggle desperately. No, no, no, no, no! They held on tighter as everyone else stood. In a desperate attempt to escape, Leo swung his leg and it collided solidly with Jason's thin making him curse and drop Leo to hold his hurt shin. Leo was then able to escape Piper's arm, who stared at him with wide eyes. He backed away slowly, taking note that the whole cafe stared at them.

"Leo," Frank and Hazel spoke and approached Leo as if he were a skittish animal. But thats all it took. Leo turned tail and ran out of the cafe, cursing as he heard the thumping of running footsteps behind him. They were calling his name, begging him to stop, begging him to come home. But Leo couldn't, he wouldn't. He ran as hard as he could, his crummy apartment building coming into view. With a final burst of energy he ran inside, up the stairs and was digging in his apron's pocket for his keys as he run. They were still close behind him, running up the stairs after Leo. He finally found his keys as he got to his door. Leo jammed them into the lock and and quickly entered his apartment, immediately slamming and locking the door behind him. Leo heard them on the other side of the door begging him as he caught his breathe.

Leo ignored them as he walked into his bedroom to change out of his clothes.

-Break-

They group of friends was letting out curse after curse after Leo locked the door, only for the smirking Hermes boys to come forward.

"Allow."

"Us."

Chapter Text

Leo ignored all the yelling and begging of his fellow demigods and walked away from the door to go to his small bedroom where he laid down, still in his cafe uniform, and curled up. Fuck, his boss was going to kill him for running out like that. Fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK! Why did the have to show up? Why did they have to look for him. Leo obviously didn't want them to find him. He was a burden, worthless, an outcast even among outcasts. Just like THEY said. His Aunt Rosa, his old Foster mother Teresa, Nemesis. Even his so-called friends agree. The only difference is that they didn't say it. But they sure as hell thought it. And that hurt worse. Was he so worthless that they didn't even feel the need to tell him to his face? Typical.

Leo curled up into a tighter ball as silent sobs shook his lithe frame. It was habit, crying silently. He remembered how he would lay in his bunk in the Hephaestus Cabin and silently sob as not to wake his siblings with his unimportant problems. His body was shaking violently as he soaked his pillow with his salty tears. Why...why did they have to come here? Why couldn't they just move on and live their lives? Why can't they leave him in his misery of abandonment and heartbreak? Why can't they let him suffer in silence...?

Leo didn't know.

He just wanted to be left alone.

<-Break->

Both Travis and Connor were knelt in front of Leo's apartment door, currently picking the lock with silent nimble hands. Sure one of the others could have easily knocked the door down but that would terrify Leo even more. They just couldn't understand though. Why had he run from them? Why didn't he stay? Did he hate them? Did he feel alone with them?

Frank and Hazel didn't know how to feel. They were desperate to find Leo over the 2 years. But now that they saw him in the flesh, dressed as a woman and attempting to pretend he doesn't know them then running from them made Frank and Hazel hurt. Was it there fault?

Of course it was all their faults. They all never appreciated Leo like they should have. Hell, Leo had refused to eat and sleep while building the Argo 2 causing him to just about kill himself in the process. Just to find Percy. Someone he didn't even know. He had risked his life to save them. He had died and come back to end the Giant War. But did any of them say thank you? No, they didn't. They had never appreciated the things Leo had done. Even the small things. Gods, they made him feel alone. They made him hurt. What have they done?

The group of friends crowded in the apartment building hallway were broken out of their individual thoughts by the Stoll brothers giving quiet cheers of success. Connor and Travis stood up and opened the door to Leo's apartment slowly as not to alert the Fire User. The quietly entered the tiny apartment together and Clarisse closed the door behind them all. The apartment was roughly 4 rooms by the looks of it. They were currently in the living room that was filled with slightly souped up furniture, they could see the kitchen through an open doorway and there was two doors to their left. Hazel guessed one was the bedroom and the other was Leo's bedroom.

"No sign of Leo," Percy just had to state the obvious. Annabeth took a good look around the tiny apartment with a look of disgust across her face. How could Leo live here? It was horrible.

Rachel opened one of the doors and peeked inside. "Just the bathroom." The others gave curt nods and quietly walked towards the other door. Jason reached for the doorknob to the most likely a bedroom and gave it a slow turn.

Chapter Text

Leo's eyes snap open as he hears people crowding into his small apartment through his apartment's thin walls. FUCK! Leo jumped from his worn mattress and grabs a ratty backpack from his closet. It was his go bag for a just-in-case scenario. Leo was just about to grab his magical tool belt from where it was laid out on his old desk when he heard someone turn his bedroom's doorknob. The fire user spoke a quiet curse in Spanish as he left his tool belt and jumped out his window and onto the fire escape, running down it and disappearing out of sight just as Jason Grace opened him bedroom door. Leo ran down the street, his go-bag slung over his shoulder. He ran and ran, taking sharp turns here and there. Eventually he had to stop and catch his breathe.

So there he stood: dressed as a woman with a ratty backpack on his shoulder, hands on his knees and heaving and choking for air. Gods, it hurt to breathe right now. By the look and sounds of it they weren't anywhere near him. Fuck, where the hell was he going to go? Leo was broken out of his thoughts as a car pulled up right next to him. Leo glanced at the tinted window, watching it roll down with tired eyes.

His blood ran cold.

It was that terrible perverted boy from the diner that had had the audacity to slap his ass. All in all, Leo had to admit the boy was quite attractive.

"Names Zander, need a lift sweet cheeks?" Leo's eyes narrowed at the boy- Zander -and he was just about to tell him off when footsteps were heard stomping towards their direction. And, sure enough, when Leo looked he saw it was none other than his supposed friends running towards him. In a split second decision Leo ran around the car and jumped in the passengers seat, telling Zander to drive. Said boy wasted no time hitting the gas and burning rubber just as the group reached where they were a second ago. Leo exhaled a breathe he didn't no he was holding and relaxed against the leather seat.

"So~," Zander drawled in a cocky and arrogant voice. "Wanna come back to my place? I don't think those people will know where you are then." Leo knew it was a bad idea and he shouldn't of said yes, but he did. He gave a quick, curt nod and Zander revved the engine as he turned a sharp corner. Neither of them said a word.

-Break-

Jason turned the door knob and opened the door slowly to see...an empty bedroom, without a single soul in it. Piper ran to the window and swore intensely.

"He ran down the fire escape, damnit!"

Chapter Text

The drive was silent between Leo and Zander, neither willing to break the comfortable quiet. The sun was starting to set and Leo's eyes were drooping closed as he leaned his head against the car window. Zander gave a small smirk as he continued driving on.

He eventually came to a stop in front of a decent looking apartment building and carried a now sleeping Leo upstairs and inside, unlocking his door with one arm. He gently placed Leo on the couch and made himself a cup of coffee, staring at the sleeping boy as he slept soundlessly on the comfy couch. Zander smirked and sipped his coffee before going to bed himself in his room. Oh he had plans for the lovely waitress but it would have to wait until she woke in the morning.

-Break-

Leo woke as the delicious smell of bacon and eggs invaded his nose. He groggily sat up and rubbed his eyes, his hair sticking up every which way.

"Mornin' sleeping beauty," a silky smooth voice asked from the doorway to the kitchen. Leo looked over and gave a small smile as Zander approached him with a plate full of eggs, bacon, toast, and fried potatoes along with a glass of cool orange juice. "You didn't seem like a coffee type of girl." He set the plate and cup in front of Leo on the coffee table. "Eat up darling."Leo gave a quiet thank you and slowly began eating, his eyes trained on the floor as he did so.

When he was finished eating the amazing food and just about chugged the orange juice, he looked at Zander hesitantly. "Thanks...you know...for the help and food..." Zander gave Leo a smile that made the latter feel uneasy.

"No problem darling."

-Break-

The group of half-bloods had split up to search the city for the unknown car that their friend had jumped into. But it was like finding a needle in a haystack. No one got a good look at the license plate and the city was just too damn big. They eventually had to retire to an old motel for the night and continue their search in the morning.

They were completely screwed and they knew it.

-Break-

The hours ticked by at a leisurely pace and Leo kept drifting in and out of consciousness the whole day, much to Zander's amusement. Every time he found himself drifting off, he would jerk awake and apologize profusely to Zander. The latter found it hilarious.

Soon, night began to fall and a monster worse than any Greek myth was going to come out to play.

Chapter Text

Leo groaned quietly and shifted in his sleep. Something felt off, but not enough to rouse him from his slumber. He was too deep in his wonderful dream to care for much else other than what he was experiencing.

It was nice. He was living a happy, normal life in a nice, normal home cooking up his delicious chicken fajitas that his mamá used to make for him as a child. He even found himself singing the same tune his mother would always sung to him while she cooked, worked, and put him to sleep.

"Duérmete mi niño, duérmete mi amor," Leo heard the front door open, but thought nothing of it as he continued cooking and singing softly, "duérmete pedazo de mi corazón." Two steps of footsteps approached the kitchen, heavier steps almost blocking out the lighter ones, but Leo could tell.

"Leo?" Such a familiar and delicate voice called out. "We're home."

"Este niño mío que nació de noche, quiere que lo lleve a pasear en coche." The Latino reached up on tip toes to try and grab a couple plates, his apron that he just noticed he was wearing caught on a drawer and pulled him back down. Stronger, more muscled arms reached around and above him to grab three plates from the cabinet for him.

A deeper voice than the previous spoke up. "Keep singing while you finish up." Leo, still not looking at the familiar, yet oh so far away couple, continued with his lullaby.

"Este niño mío que nació de día, quiere que lo lleve a la dulcería. Duérmete mi niño, duérmete mi amor," he began plating their food, already knowing exactly how much to put on the two mystery people's plates. "Duérmete pedazo de mi corazón." He ended the song and turned to finally see who he was so feeding.

Only...no one was there. The kitchen was empty of all except him and Leo felt involuntary tears begin trailing down his cheeks. There was only one plate in his hands, instead of him balancing three and the pretty and spacious kitchen was gone, replaced by a cramped, filthy one while his food was gone and just a few burnt pieces of toast remained on his cracked plate.

What was going on?

His dream was shifting, spiraling out and tormenting him. He was alone, just like he always had been.

The plate slipped from Leo's hands in slow motion and shattered on the ground around his feet. The fire stepped back, stumbling and falling back against the counter. The darkness was encroaching upon him, dark tendrils wrapping around his wrists and ankles. Leo screamed and jerked away, but they held fast and continued entwining him in their dark coils.

"Mine. All mine. You're never leaving my pretty birdy."

Leo screamed just as the darkness swarmed into his mouth, choking him and sucking their air from his lungs.

-Break-

Leo woke up with a scream dying on his lips and scratching at his skin, his nails leaving angry, red welts in their wake. It was still pitch black out from what Leo could tell as he peered through the windows. He was alone, too, it seemed like as Zander was no where to be seen. Shaking and still reeling from his dream, Leo stood and began his exploration of his so-called savior's home.

He still couldn't find Zander though and Leo felt uneasy as he walked through the dark hall.

Shivers ran up and down Leo's spine as he reached to open a door, thinking it was the bathroom.

Oh, Leo was beyond mistaken.

Chapter Text

It was a bedroom. A nearly empty bedroom with just the barest essentials. A bed, a dresser and a closet. That was it. Nothing else it seemed. Or so Leo thought.

The Latino took one hesitant step after another into the room. Bad idea on his part, but Leo was always a curious person. He completely crossed the doorway's threshold and passed the open door….only for it to slam closed behind him.

Panic struck the demigod and he rushed to the door, trying to wrench it open and flee the obvious bedroom. "H-Hey! Zander? Zander! I need some help?! Please! The door's locked tight!"

"It won't open."

The fire user spun around and flattened himself against the door. Zander was right there behind him and Leo had been sure the room was empty. "Z-Zander? How did you get in here? Why won't the door open?"

"Mm, call it magic."

"Magic….are you…." His sentence trailed off and words died in his throat. No wonder...Everything made sense now. Why monsters never attacked him….Why he had been feeling this presence around him...It all made so much sense.

"What are you? You're no mortal, are you?"

"Not in the least bit mortal." Zander stepped closer and with each step his features changed. He grew taller, his dark hair into a lighter, almost pink-hued, color. His nose sharpened and his cheeks sunk in slightly. His eyes turned into a magenta color. "I am Pothos, one of the Erotes. The god of sexual longing, yearning, and desire."

"Pothos….You're Zephyrus and Iris's son? Right? Or were you the son of Eros….I can't remember." Leo gave a nervous chuckle and tried the doorknob again, to no avail.

"Mm, the myths change countless times. I am, in fact, the son of Zephyrus and Iris. As well as a member of Lady Aphrodite's retinue."

"What...what are you doing here...Why's the door locked?"

"For the simple reason that I've been yearning for you. My dear Leonidas."

"You know my…."

Of course I know your full name. You're almost as bad as Poseidon's brat." Pothos was in front of him know, cornering Leo against the wood of the door. "I pay attention to thinks I want and I want you. I know you're no woman under that guise. Your feminine beauty does shine through and I see you've taken great advantage of it, even unknowingly." He reached up to gently brush a stray strand of Leo's hair back. The dark-haired boy flinched back and bit his lip.

"Let me leave. I want to leave."

"No, no I don't think I will. I like having you here."

"You can't do this!"

"I'm a god and you're a puny demigod. Of course I can do what I want." Pothos suddenly reached up, snatching Leo up by the throat and tossing him across the room. The little elf collided with the bed's headboard and collapsed onto the bed, a whimper dying in his throat.

"S-Stay back!" Leo's eyes glowed and flames licked across his knuckles as he raised them.

"Ooh, gonna give me a challenge? I love a challenge~"

And he pounced at his prey.

 

Chapter Text

Pothos wasted little time in straddling the lithe male beneath him and pinning his arms to the headboard. He honestly thought the boy would be stronger than this. Oh well~

Flames shot up from the pinned hands, barely missing the god’s face by mere centimeters. That only added to Pothos’ yearning and fueled his rage. “How dare you? I am a god and you are no more than a puny mortal! If I so chose to, I could have you wiped from existence you insolent brat!”

Leo shot another flame up from his fingertips, off by a good foot from its intended target. He was writhing, struggling like his life depended on it and it might as well have. Pothos wasn’t giving in though and he reared back his free hand, bringing it down hard across the the fire user’s face, leaving a stinging red mark on his right cheek.

The god began to use said hand to rip Leo’s top, exposing part of his chest. “So beautiful, so untainted. I love it.”

“Stop this! Let me go!” His pleas fell on deaf ears as his neck was suddenly assaulted by his captor. “N-Ngh!” Leo tried to jerk away and push the god off of him, but nothing worked. Pothos was really working over his neck, though, leaving searing kisses and tiny bite marks all over the Latino flesh. This just sent Leo into a further frenzy of trying to free himself.

He started swinging his legs and bucking his hips, to no avail. Tears of frustration and fear began to slide down his red face and a choked sob slipped out of a dry throat and past chapped lips. Pothos finally pulled back after leaving a reasonably sized hickey on the juncture between Leo’s neck and shoulder.

“You aren’t going to escape from me, you know that? I am in control and, for once, I am going to take what my heart’s been yearning for, Leonidas, and no one is going to stop-URK!” Golden ichor splattered across Leo’s face and chest, the result of a sudden wound in his abdomen. Pothos’s sudden injury had him losing his grip on the son of Hephaestus and falling off the bed to the ground.

Leo jerked up and covered his exposed chest with a nearby blanket. When his eyes looked down at the bleeding good cursing on the floor, he noticed the very familiar spatha sticking out from his lower back.

“Leo-”

Leo’s eyes drifted towards the end of the bed and he caught sight of Hazel Levesque all by her lonesome. Her eyes were not filled with disgust or hate, but gentle concern.

“H-Hazel? What...How-Why are you here?”

“I’ll explain that after we meet up with the others and get you home.” She held out the magical tool belt he had left behind in his haste. “If you’ll come home that is….” Leo swallowed the lump in his throat and hesitantly took his tool belt from her hands.

“Hey!” Pothos suddenly surged to his feet and ripped the spatha from his body, tossing it aside. “You!” He pointed at Hazel. “Will pay!” They both knew what was coming and hurriedly looked away as the god vanished from the room. When it was safe to look again, Leo stood and pulled a change of clothes from his tool belt: a hoodie and a pair of loose fitting jeans.

“I’m gonna change, can you….” He didn’t need to finish asking, Hazel was already turning around and facing the opposite direction while the other demigod changed from his torn waitress uniform. “Thanks, you can look now Haze….”

Hazel turned to face her friend. “Does this mean you’ll come home?"

“Yeah, I think it does.”

Chapter Text

No one said anything to him, not a word about anything when they finally met up. They just smiled and hugged him, a few (Piper and Jason mainly) with teary eyes. Leo just nodded and accepted the attention he had craved for the length of his absence from them. It hurt realizing how he hurt them and wishing for everything to go back to the way it was before he had left camp. But it would never go back to that.

And maybe that was for the better.

They took various trains on their trek back to the state of New York, and, as uncomfortable as it was, Leo couldn't have been more relaxed. He hadn't felt so calm and at peace since ...well...you know.

The fire user reclined in his seat between both Hazel and Frank, the former having fallen asleep with her head on Leo's shoulder. The Latino gave the son of Mars and nervous look and only received a mischievous grin and a nod in return. No anger, no resentment. Just acceptance and ...dare he even say love?

Leo's head was beginning to hurt.

The made it to the northern states finally and still no one had said anything about him leaving and everything that had happened thereafter.

The son of Hephaestus was more than glad.

When Hazel yawned and woke once more, she gave Leo such a sincere and emotion-filled smiled that it had his eyes stinging. They were the only ones of their group in this area of the train, the others having all wandered off to stretch their legs.

When she saw his teary eyes, Hazel leaned up and kissed away the tears as Frank reached over to wrap his large arms around him.

"We love you too, Leo. Now and forever. You're ours. Always."