~~Jamie and Nico were walking out of school, Jamie laughing because Nico looked disoriented in the face of snow.
"I don't see snow very often. Plus snow does not hold very good memories for me," he said darkly.
Jamie was tempted to push him into a snow drift to make him stop looking so broody.
She smiled and was about to do just that, when Nico stopped dead. Jamie walked forward a few steps before she realized that Nico wasn't walking next to her. She turned and frowned. Nico was staring at something.
"Nico, are you ok?" Jamie asked, slightly worried by the intensity of his gaze. She turned to see what he was looking at, and frowned some more.
He seemed to be staring at a man who everyone else walking around on the sidewalk, like he had some sort of space bubble around him. He was tall, and looked very imposing, with snow swirling around him. He was wearing an open collar shirt, but despite that he didn't look cold. His paleness was offset by the grey sky behind him, and his dark eyes were cast over the heads of the people around him, as if looking for something.
"Excuse me." Nico murmured softly.
"Wait. What?" Jamie stopped staring (oops, she hadn't meant to) and turned to see Nico picking his through the crowd towards the (potentially dangerous) strange man. "Nico!"
He ignored her of course.
The man looked down when Nico tapped his arm. The man smiled slightly and turned towards Nico, listening to whatever he was saying. As the two talked, Jamie chewed nervously on her thumb, praying that the man wasn't a drug dealer, or a serial killer, or whatever. She knew that Nico could defend himself (she had seen evidence of that), but he still seemed like a scrawny little emo kid.
The Nico gestured vaguely behind him, and the strange man looked up. His eyes found her, and he looked at her with his dark eyes, and Jamie felt a shiver run down her spine, like someone had stpped on her grave. The way he looked at her made her feel like a bug under a microscope, as if he were one of the gods that Nico had talked about. He even seemed to have fire in his eyes. The man narrowed his fiery eyes, then looked back down at Nico.
Jamie shivered, and it had nothing to do with the cold. She did not like whoever Nico was talking to, and she wanted nothing more than to drag him away from the man. He had looked at the other people like they were disdainful, and made her feel like she was something shameful, and he had only looked at her. She couldn't imagine what it must be like talking to him.
She resisted the urge, because despite the aura of unease he radiated, and the otherworldly stare, Nico seemed rather content to speak with him, even though the man seemed creepy to Jamie. As they were talking, the strange man lifted a hand and put it on Nico's head, smiling gently. Nico ducked his head, and the man's smile widened. Then he put his hand down, and Jamie was getting a little worried. That was a seriously creepy thing to do to someone that you weren't related to.
The man said something to Nico, and turned away, but Nico grabbed his arm, and said something, gesturing over his shoulder. The man rolled his eyes, but it seemed fond, and he was smiling a little. He nodded and stood straight, crossing his arms, head tilting up. His posture was very arrogant, and slightly disdainful, and this time, she could see Nico roll his eyes as he turned towards Jamie.
Nico wove back through the crowd toward her. As he arrived, Jamie crossed her arms, raising an eyebrow.
"And who exactly was that, my godly friend? He looks a bit like a serial killer." Nico snorted at her words. "Plus his eyes are kind of creepy."
"That is Hades." Nico said quietly, and Jamie's eyes widened.
"Really? As in your father Hades? God of the Dead? You're serious?" Jamie sputtered.
Nico smiled slightly. "Yes, that Hades. He came to bring me back to camp. He isn't able to see me or Hazel often, and he wanted to check on me, especially since I am in a mortal school."
Jamie grinned. "It is so weird hearing you call us mortals. Your dad is still creepy."
Nico laughed. "I know he is. He is my dad after all. Anyway, I know what he looks like, so I wanted to let you know that I'm not being abducted or anything. I'll see you tomorrow." With a little wave, Nico picked up his bag and walked towards Hades.
"Bye, Nico." Jamie said softly.
When he walked up to Hades, Nico's father put his arm around Nico, hesitantly, as if unsure as to what Nico's reaction would be. Jamie was familiar with the feeling, considering Nico's dislike of touching. Despite Hades concerns Nico leaned into the touch.
Jamie actually thought it would go off without a hitch when Judy walked up. Jamie smothered a laugh and wandered closer. This was gonna be awesome. Judy was going to go up against a God. It was a bad idea, especially since the incident with Will.
She stood slightly in the crowd, just close enough to hear Judy's first words
"And who are you, a drug dealer? I didn't peg Nico as one to resort to drugs, despite looking.... a little colorless. He seemed too smart to take drugs." Judy's words were sneered, as if looking at something distasteful.
Hades looked down at Nico. "Has this.... girl," his tone left no doubt that that was more flattering than what he wanted to say, "been bothering you Nico?"
Nico looked down, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. "Um, yeah?"
Hades looked Judy up and down. "What is your name, child?"
Judy lifted her chin stubbornly. "Judy Jones," she said. Jamie almost facepalmed. You are not supposed to give your name to strangers, regardless of who they're with.
Hades nodded, then pulled a pure black iPad out of his inner suit pocket, and wrote something down. Then he nodded. "Thank you, Miss Jones. Nico and I will be leaving now."
Then, despite Judy's protestations, Hades walked away with his arm over Nico's shoulder.
Jamie lasted about ten seconds before bursting into laughter.