Towards the very end of Rick Riordan’s wonderful THE BLOOD OF OLYMPIANS (book 5 in his consistently wonderful The HEROES OF OLYMPUS series), Nico di Angelo (son of Hades/Pluto) finally reveals his secret in a nicely anti-climactic way to Percy (son of Poseidon/Neptune), after the 7 demi-gods have saved the world. Nico has grown into a solid, affirmative character by now, so that I can actually emphathize with him. He has grown out of the limitations of being a child of a very repressive era, the 1940’s (long story). Now he is a very close second to Leo in the ‘who is my favorite demi-god hero’ contest (Jason Grace coming in third). Percy’s reaction is pure Percy Jackson, which Percy Jackson-ness Riordan limns with his usual wit, humor and heart:
Nico studied his face — his sea green eyes, his grin, his ruffled black hair. Somehow Percy Jackson seemed like a regular guy now, not a mythical figure. Not someone to idolize or crush on.
“So,” Nico said, “since we’re going to be spending at least a year seeing each other at camp, I think I should clear the air.”
Percy’s smile wavered. “What do you mean?”
“For a long time,” Nico said, “I had a crush on you. I just wanted you to know.”
Percy looked at Nico. Than at Annabeth [Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena/Minerva. She and Percy Jackson, whom she calls ‘Seaweed Brain”, are an item.], as if to check that he’d heard correctly. Then back at Nico. “You –“
“Yeah,” Nico said. “You’re a great person. But I’m over that. I’m happy for you guys.”
“You … so you mean — “
Annabeth’s gray eyes started to sparkle. She gave Nico a sideways smile.
“Wait,” Percy said. “So you mean — “
“Right,” Nico said again. But it’s cool. We’re cool. I mean, I see now … you’re cute, but you’re not my type.”
“I’m not your type. . . Wait. So — “
“See you around, Percy,” Nico said. “Annabeth.”
She raised her hand for a high five.
Nico obliged. Then he walked back across the green, where Will Solace [who, as son of Apollo, the god of medicine and healing, serves as the camp’s medic. Riordan strongly hints that he is gay and that he and Nico are becoming an item] was waiting.