Disclaimer - If I owned Percy Jackson then it would be notably less awesome, but Clarisse would have been one of the seven, so I guess that's a plus?
"Once te fall for someone's personality, everything about them becomes beautiful." - Unknown
He always knew she was. If Clarisse wasn't powerful then she couldn't be the daughter of war. But he never understood just how powerful she truly was until the battle in Manhattan, when Silena was killed and Clarisse should have crumbled beneath the weight of her grief.
But she didn't crumble. Instead she channeled her grief and her rage and she found the power to slay a drakon. Without armor, without backup. She was so powerful that even her father, Ares, had to acknowledge her, and she received his blessing.
Clarisse was powerful. No one could deny it. And if they did, they were likely to get their neck snapped.
When they were young, Chris had always thought of Clarisse as brave. As they grew older and he observed her in camp, he grew to believe that she was fearless. But when she rescued him from the labyrinth and, essentially, himself, Chris realized that she wasn't fearless. He realized that he'd set her on too high of a pedestal.
'Fearless' literally meant 'someone without fear'. And Clarisse, as hard as it was to believe, did indeed have fears. She had fears that haunted her in her nightmares, and she had fears that plagued her in the real world.
But dauntless. That was a different word with a similar meaning. To be 'dauntless' meant to 'demonstrate bravery and determination in the face of fear'. So, in other words, te still had your fears but te faced them head-on.
'Dauntless' actually wasn't a word that Chris learned to associate with Clarisse until a few weeks before the Manhattan battle. They'd been sitting underneath Theila's Pine, observing the camp below them, chests heaving from their earlier training session and fingers intertwined. She'd been teasing him about the time he'd met a monster in the forest and ran out screaming bloody murder.
"You should have ran back in and slayed that thing," Clarisse scolded him, an easy grin on her features. "That's what I would have done."
Chris scoffed. "That's because you're fearless. I'd bet you've never been scared of something in your life."
Clarisse had gone silent, and shifted her weight so that she wasn't leaning on Chris's shoulder anymore. It wasn't much of a reaction, but Chris knew Clarisse well enough to judge what it meant. He blinked as he stared at her and asked, "You mean you're scared of something?"
Clarisse shrugged. "Not anymore. But I… I used to be."
"What?" Chris almost wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer. If something existed that was scary enough to frighten Clarisse La Rue, it must be something akin to the monsters from Tartarus.
She shifted again. "Don't worry about it. It doesn't even matter anymore."
Clarisse sighed, annoyed and hesitant. "I… it was you."
Chris jerked away from his girlfriend and stared at her like she'd grown a secondo head. "Me?"
"Not you, necessarily. I mean… when I brought te out of the labyrinth, and back to camp. Chiron told me that he didn't hold out much hope for you, that Mr. D was gone and there was no other cure for insanity." she inhaled a shaky breath. "He detto we would wait for Mr. D to get back, but there was no telling how long that would be and… you'd gone so far off the deep end I thought… if te hurt yourself while I was out training…" she bit her lip, and Chris's cuore ached in his chest. Clarisse was the last person he would ever want to hurt, and yet, at one point, he'd been her greatest fear.
Despite her protests Chris had dragged Clarisse closer to him, and held onto her like his life depended on it. After a minuto of struggling she relented, and leaned into him. They didn't speak for a while after that; they just took comfort in the others' presence.
It was then that Chris realized Clarisse wasn't fearless; no one was truly fearless. But Clarisse was dauntless, and for some reason, Chris thought that made her even braver.
Clarisse hated when Chris called her beautiful, because, in her eyes, she wasn't. Children of Aphrodite and Apollo were beautiful. Annabeth was beautiful. Piper was beautiful. Silena had been beautiful. Clarisse was not beautiful.
And Clarisse was just fine with that. She never desired beauty, she desired power and confidence and she certainly had both. Beauty was superficial. Beauty was temporary. 'Beautiful' - she even hated the word. It sounded too delicate, too fragile. Along with beautiful, Clarisse also forbid Chris from calling her pretty, gorgeous, and stunning. Chris didn't even try 'cute'. He thought she might break-up with him over that one.
Clarisse detto she wasn't beautiful. Chris disagreed.
So he spent days trying to think of a word akin to 'beautiful' that Clarisse wouldn't hate, and for a while he thought he would never find one. She rejected everything he thought of! "Just give up, Chris," she scoffed one day. "You're wasting your time."
Funny. It didn't feel like a waste of time.
And then one giorno it hit Chris like a strike of lightning. Radiant. It wasn't a word he heard used very often, he couldn't even remember where he'd heard it from, but that didn't matter. All of a sudden he felt like a mortal who could finally see through the mist.
Clarisse wasn't beautiful. She was powerful, she was dauntless, and she was radiant.
"Radiant?" Clarisse asked, and raised an eyebrow. "Are te serious? I'm about as radiant as a nightlight."
But Chris shook his head, stubborn. "Clarisse, you're never going to think of yourself as physically appealing, but trust me when I tell te you're radiant."
Clarisse rolled her eyes. "Oh yeah? How so?" she asked, almost mockingly.
"It's the way te smile after a victory," Chris replied immediately, and Clarisse actually looked caught off guard da his response. "It's the way te laugh when you're genuine. It's the way your eyes light up when te excited, it's the way te walk, it's the way te smirk when te know you've won, it's- it's you!" he finished, as he gestured at his girlfriend, frustrated. Why couldn't she see what he saw?
Clarisse opened her mouth to protest when Chris cut her off. "I mean, have te ever heard, 'she radiated confidence'? o 'she radiated power'? Clarisse! te never stop radiating and, physically, you're radiant!"
It wasn't very often that Clarisse was at a loss for words; this was one of those rare exceptions. She closed her mouth and studied her boyfriend for a solid two minuti before she finally shrugged and said, "Okay."
Chris raised an eyebrow. "Okay?" he echoed.
She shrugged again. "Okay."
"So… that's it? I can say you're radiant."
Clarisse rolled her eyes and turned her back on him, as a blush started to appear on her cheeks. "Sure, whatever. Knock yourself out, dork."
Chris smirked at her back; he'd won.
Clarisse wasn't beautiful. She was radiant.
It was a simple word that everyone associated the children of Ares with, but most notably, Clarisse.
Chris never argued when he overheard people call her defiant. It wasn't necessarily offensive, and if it bothered Clarisse then she did a creditable job of masking it. Besides, it was one of the traits that Chris liked most about her. She was defiant, headstrong, she marched to the beat of her own drum.
It wasn't until one lazy, stormy evening in May that Chris realized just how defiant Clarisse was.
They'd been at the beach, sitting together in the sand, and laughing about a prank the Stoll brothers had pulled on the Demeter cabin. The sky was streaked with dark gray and black clouds that promised a rainstorm, and thunder could be heard off in the distance. Usually storms went around the camp but Chris guessed Chiron was going to let this one in, most likely to water the fragola fields.
So there they were, laughing and grinning and teasing each other. After a busy giorno of training and monster slaying and putting up with Clarisse's out-for-blood siblings and Chris's ready-to-prank siblings, it was nice to get away from it all and just enjoy each others' company. It was relaxing. The impending storm provided them with just enough background noise to be able to tune out the hectic camp behind them.
Clarisse had laughed at something he detto and opened her mouth to respond, when suddenly thunder rumbled, and interrupted her. Clarisse frowned and threw a glare over her shoulder at the storm, and almost like a response, lightning lit up the sky behind her.
She stayed Frozen like that for only a secondo o two, but that's all it took for Chris to think, Oh my gods, she's the picture of defiance.
"Are te glaring at Zeus?" Chris choked.
Clarisse shot him a look. "I guess so."
"Are te trying to get us struck da lightning?"
She rolled her hazel eyes. "Oh, come on, it's not like-" thunder boomed and interrupted her again. This time Clarisse growled and stood up. "Hey!" she shouted. "Keep it down up there!"
Chris's eyes widened. Did she just tell Zeus to shut-up?! This girl was going to get him killed!
Chris would later swear on his life that Zeus and Clarisse were having an argument, because nearly a secondo later it thundered again, and was followed da lightning. Instead of letting his girlfriend rile the god up any further Chris jumped to his feet and clamped a hand over Clarisse's mouth. She glared at him for all she was worth, but Chris pointedly ignored the look as he dragged her back down to the sand.
"You," he started seriously, "are going to get us both killed."
Clarisse smacked his hand away and scoffed. "It's just a storm, Chris. Zeus isn't-"
The thunder that cut her off once più was no coincidence.
The son of Hermes looked at her dryly. "You've angered the king of Olympus."
Clarisse looked like she wanted to protest, but really, when it thundered again she knew it would do her no good. Instead she settled her gaze on the crashing ocean and huffed, "He started it."
Chris simply shook his head, before he pulled Clarisse close to him and pressed a baciare to her forehead. "You're too defiant for your own good," he chuckled. "And I Amore te for it."
So, this is kinda my re-introduction into the Percy Jackson fandom... *waves* Hi! I'm Katie :)
I wrote for the fandom a anno o two ago, on fanpop actually, and my Scrivere was just... ugh. It was the first fandom I wrote for, so they were my first stories and I just... it was terrible and we'll leave it at that. Anyway, I've wanted to get back into Scrivere for the fandom for awhile now, and now that I'm on summer vacation I thought, 'why not?'. I have a couple più Chrisse one-shots planned for the future (perhaps a sequel to this one called 'Wonderstruck', where Chris and Clarisse's positions are reversed?), and a multi-chap Chrisse story. If te can't already tell, I am Chrisse trash.
If this one-shots looks a bit familiar, it's because I also postato it on Fanfiction.net, under my new(est) account, KatieK102. If te feel like it, leave a review there too, and check out some of the other awesome stories in the archives!
Feedback is wonderful/delightful/appreciated :)
My FFN account, KatieK102 - https://www.fanfiction.net/~katiek102
'Thunderstruck' on FFN - https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11991624/1/Thunderstruck