Long Way Home.
I wrote this Jasico one-shot based on a prompt by mab-speaks. Rated T.
Later some years, they talk about the Cupid thing, and Jason confesses it had brought about a realization of his own.
That’s how long he hadn’t seen any of the other demigods. He’d stayed at camp for a few years after the second war, but eventually all his friends had left to go off to college and pursue their own dreams, and he had nothing left to stay for.
While those last few years after the war with Gaea had been nothing short of wonderful, he’d closed the book on that chapter in his life. At first everyone had kept in touch, mostly via Iris-Message, but over the years they had drifted apart and all contact had stopped. This held true for everyone, not just for him. He found some comfort in that knowledge, knowing that it was time and distance that had eroded the friendships that they’d formed, instead of a general dislike for who he was.
At twenty-eight years old, he was an adult now, and he was no longer the gloomy kid he used to be. The years after the war had helped him see that he was worth something; that he was worthy of having friendships, a home, and love.
Two months ago, he’d gotten a letter in the mail. He didn’t quite know how anyone knew his address, but he suspected that someone had bribed Hermes into delivering it.
It was an invitation. An invitation to a reunion of demigods who had been campers during the two wars, both Roman and Greek.
While his younger self would have crumpled up the invitation without a second thought, he was actually excited at the prospect of seeing everyone again, catching up with everyone who’d been so important to him in his youth.
So here he was, in the middle of the greens at Camp Half-Blood. Nostalgia washed over him as he looked upon the Hades cabin; the place he’d eventually come to know as home.
He could hear music in the distance, see the light of the campfire reflecting in the trees, and smell the ever-present scent of fresh strawberries that clung to camp like a warm blanket.
When he got to the campfire, he had to stop and marvel for a moment. Even after all these years, it was still a sight to behold.
It wasn’t long until he was noticed. Over the years, he’d had quite the growth spurt, and it wasn’t as easy to stay hidden in the shadows as it once had been.
He had a few drinks here and there, getting roped into conversation after conversation, learning where each of his old friends had ended up, where they lived, what they did, and how many kids they had.
It was getting a bit overwhelming, hearing about everyone’s perfect life, and how they settled down all over the world and had lots of adorable little kids.
He needed a break, and he found himself wandering towards Fireworks Beach. He needed some fresh air, and a chance to clear his head.
As the sound of waves lapping at the shore got louder, he could see a figure standing tall with their feet in the surf.
He debated going back to the party, or maybe someplace else when the figure turned around and raised a hand in greeting.
There was only one person whose hair would appear to glow under the moonlight, and when he stepped closer and saw the glasses framing the person’s eyes he was sure of himself.
“Jason,” he called out, with a smile on his face.
Out of all the friendships that had faded, losing touch with Jason had hurt the most. Jason had been his best friend for all those years, but after his travels had taken him all over the world in search of minor Gods, all he’d wanted to do was settle down. And so he had moved back to New Rome, to start a new life with Piper.
They’d tried to stay in contact, they really did, but over the years their friendship had become background noise in the hustle and bustle of daily life, until it had faded altogether. Eventually, so many months passed in between hearing from each other that the messages and visits had just stopped.
The last thing Nico had heard was that he was still together with Piper, and he was mentally bracing himself to hear all the stories about the tiny Grace-kids.
“Nico!” Jason exclaimed with a huge smile on his face. He opened his arms and waited patiently for Nico to step close to him, so he could pull Nico into one of those trademarked hugs that made Nico’s bones crunch.
Nico stepped back, looking his old friend up and down. He hadn’t changed all that much, even now, while Jason was in his early thirties, he still looked every bit the handsome man that Nico remembered. Sure, some lines had appeared on his face, and his smile made his eyes crinkle even more now, but that only added to his charm. His hair had grown out, and there was a slight scruff on his cheeks and chin, making him look a bit younger than he actually was. “Gods, you haven’t changed a bit, look at you!”
Jason’s eyebrows shot up. “Me? Look at you! Never thought I’d see the day that Nico di Angelo looked so… well, handsome!”
He would have considered it an insult coming from anyone else, but not from Jason. He knew that the other meant well, so he took it as the compliment he knew it to be.
“Shut up, Grace.”