Letting go of the dagger, Barry watched closely as it flew through the air, hitting the target in front of him with a thud. Grinning when he saw it hit the center, Barry stood up happily before looking back at Chiron, who was watching him. Chiron had a proud look on his face, despite him not liking Barry's interest in knife throwing.
After getting his knife, Barry raced to the dining hall where people were starting to group. Barry was the first in centuries to get the gift of superspeed from his father, Hermes. He hadn't been at Camp Half-Blood for long, maybe a few months, but he already had quite a few friends. There was Iris from the Aphrodite cabin, Caitlin from Apollo, and Cisco from Hephaestus. They weren't ever allowed to sit at the same table as one another, but they each had enough siblings to never be bored.
After dinner, Iris approached Barry and pulled him to the side. "Are you excited or nervous for all the summer campers to come next week?" she asked. Her dark brown hair was pulled up into a messy bun, leaving her face open. Iris never wore make-up, but she was always naturally beautiful. "I'm a mixture of both because, hello, new siblings. But it also means a more cramped cabin and table. I can't even begin to picture how you or Caitlin are going to deal with that. Hermes and Apollo sleep around so often-"
"Iris, relax," Barry said with a laugh. He grabbed Iris' hands and pressed a kiss to the tips of them. "I'm pretty excited. I kind of want to meet those demigods that everybody here talks about during the time Gaea tried waking last year."
"I know, me too! Especially my sister. I have so many questions to ask her." She leaned forward, and added quietly. "And between you and me, I think we have the same power. I've never had the chance to ever ask anybody, and she's the only sibling of mine who can charmspeak."
"You think you have it bad?" Barry joked. "I'm the first demigod since ancient times that can run at the speed of sound."
"This isn't a competition," Iris said, laughing as she bumped shoulders with Barry. They started walking towards the beach. "Did you hear about the new Apollo twins coming next week? Apparently they're from some big family, and only people who are aware that demigods exist know they're not the dad's kids."
"Who are they?"
"Oliver and Thea Queen! Can you believe it?" Iris gushed with a wide grin. "The Queen twins are demigods!"
"And Apollo's kids," Barry added, earning a look from Iris. "What? You know I'm not into all that gossip like you are."
"Barry," Iris said seriously, stopping and turning to look at him. "You can't completely cut off the outside world just because you live here at camp now. You and I have two more years until we can go to college in New Rome, but that doesn't mean we can't have interests outside of camp life. That's not healthy."
"That's not even what I was talking about." Barry laughed. "I do leave camp borders, Iris. I was just saying I don't care about gossiping."
"Oh, well." Iris herself laughed. "Sorry, then."
The following week passed without Barry really realising. He had spent his time either training, cleaning, or hanging out with his friends. One afternoon, there was suddenly a bunch of kids arriving. And according to Chiron, it was only a small percentage.
"Barry!" a loud familiar voice yelled out across the volleyball fields.
Barry turned to look for the sound, falling onto his bum when the volleyball had smacked right into his face. Huffing, Barry rubbed the part of his face that got hit before standing up and walking towards where a guilty Iris was standing with a few other people. "You couldn't have waited until the round was over?" he complained.
"Sorry. Anyway, I wanted to introduce you to my sister." Iris was grinning, almost buzzing in place. "This is Piper McLean, my sister, and her boyfriend Jason Grace, and their friend Leo Valdez."
"Hey, I'm Barry Allen," Barry said, shaking their hands. He then pointed at Jason. "You're the one that flies, right?"
"Yeah," Jason answered with a laugh. "You're the one that runs, right?"
"I figured that would somehow get out." Barry laughed.
"That's what happens when you get a demigod who can run fast," Iris teased, poking Barry's side.
"I wanna see you run!" Leo said with a wide grin. "Man, when we heard about you, I just had to come and see it for myself."
"Uh, alright then. I can take a lap around the lake?" Barry suggested. When Leo nodded quickly, Barry just laughed before turning and running towards the lake. He did a quick lap around before stopping in front of the group.
"Damn," Jason breathed out, laughing. "That's got to be handy."
"You have no idea."
Iris suddenly quickly slapped Barry's arm, causing him to frown and turn towards her. "Barry, that's Oliver and Thea Queen," she said, smiling wide. "Oh gods, they're both more attractive in person. Look at his arms! You think that's from all the archery he does?"
"Oh, I know who they are. I've seen them at my dad's parties all the time," Piper spoke up. "They're both insanely nice people."
"Caitlin's siblings with them, we could have her spy on them for us," Iris suggested, wiggling her eyebrows.
"Iris, I'm not asking one of my best friends to spy on her siblings just because I find them nice to look at," Barry stated flatly, giving her a look.
Iris just pouted. "You're no fun," she muttered. "Anyway! I have to be at the climbing wall in twenty minutes, so I best be off. I'll see you all later."
"Bye, Iris." Barry chuckled softly. He gave the trio still standing there a small smile before heading back to the volleyball court.
Walking along the edge of the archery range, Barry stopped and hid behind a tree. Peeking out, Barry watched as both Oliver and Thea warmed up to shoot some targets. It was free time for them, and Barry probably should've been doing something productive, but he couldn't help it as he slipped away.
For awhile, Barry stood there, hiding and watching. Whenever Oliver smiled or cracked a joke with his sister, Barry felt his heart thud in his chest at the sight. He wasn't sure how or why it started, but ever since he laid eyes on the man, Barry couldn't help but feel the pull as he looked at the older male. The twins had recently turned eighteen, which mean they didn't necessarily need to be there, but they wanted to spend a summer away with other demigods before heading to college.
"What are you doing?" a male voice asked from behind Barry.
Gasping, Barry spun around, seeing a boy around his age standing behind him in all black. "Who are you? And where did you come from?"
"I'm Nico. I'm a son of Hades," he said, pushing his hands into his pockets. "And you didn't answer my question."
"I'm...just observing their archery techniques. I'm shit at it, so I wanted to see how other people did it," Barry babbled, face growing red from being caught.
Nico quirked an eyebrow. "And you're doing that from behind a tree?"
Barry looked away, his eyes going straight to Oliver. The twins were packing up to leave, as it was getting close to dinnertime. Biting his bottom lip, Barry watched for a bit before sighing and turning back to Nico. "Please don't tell anyone."
"You're watching him, weren't you?" Nico guessed, stepping closer.
"Please don't tell anyone," Barry repeated, his voice softer. "I'm not exactly out to anyone. I haven't really been subtle either, I guess, but I've never, you know, told anybody that I'm...gay."
"I'm gay, too," Nico said. "Demigods don't really care about any of that, you know. The gods themselves are open about theirs. Not like it's a taboo topic here at camp."
"I know that. It's just...it's hard to do when you've spent most of your life not here at camp. I only found out I was a demigod in November." Barry huffed softly. "I'm making no sense."
"No, I get it." Nico gave him a small smile. "I was the same exact way, before I was out. Unlike you, I didn't get the choice in telling people. A god made me tell Jason, and then it went easier from there."
Barry tucked a piece of hair behind his ear, watching as Oliver and Thea left the archery range. "I could tell my friends. I know they wouldn't mind."
"They sound like good friends, then. But you can do this at your own pace, Barry, you don't have to rush anything."
"I know that- wait. How did you know my name?" Barry furrowed his eyebrows.
"Please. A demigod having superspeed? You're the new topic of gossip between the gods. My dad complains about it a lot," Nico explained.
"Yay," Barry stated without any humor. "Thank you, by the way."
"Of course." Nico turned and disappeared back into the shadows.
Barry blinked in amazement before smiling to himself and turning to head back to the dining hall for dinner.
Later on, Barry's mind in a tangle of thoughts as he paced along the shore of the beach. People were heading towards the bonfire pit for the night, but Barry couldn't really find it in himself to join them. Ever since his conversation with Nico earlier, he wasn't able to focus on anything. Even throughout dinner, his siblings were giving him concerned looks. It wasn't like Barry to be quiet, or even pick at his food. It was more likely to see Barry inhaling everything set in front of him than not. Still, Barry couldn't help the growing knot in his stomach as he tried to overcome the nerves that were slowly growing in him.
"Barry? Are you alright?" Caitlin asked as her, Iris, and Cisco made their way over to where Barry was standing. Barry already felt guilty because he knew how much Cisco adored the camp s'mores, and they were missing the bonfire, but Barry needed to get this off his chest.
"I, um. I have something to tell you," Barry started. He ran a hand through his hair, mouth going dry. The other three stayed silent as he collected his thoughts. "I, um. Well...I'm...I'm gay."
"Barry," Iris said softly before pulling him into a hug. "Did you really think we'd reject you?"
"Yeah, man, we love you too much for that to happen," Cisco spoke up.
Barry gave them all a small smile before hugging the other two. "I know, I know. I was just...really nervous to admit it out loud? Admitting it in my head is completely different from saying it aloud." He let out a shaky breath. "I'm happy you guys are my friends, though. I couldn't ask for better best friends."
"Of course, Barry," Caitlin said, kissing his cheek after.
"Does that mean we can talk about boys together?" Iris asked, wiggling her eyebrows playfully.
Barry just laughed. "Yeah, I guess that would mean we can." His face then turned an ugly shade of red. "Um, actually I may have a bit of a crush on someone right now."
"Oliver," Barry admitted, looking down at his feet. "I, um. He's just so fit? And nice to look at. I was watching him as he was practicing his archery earlier, and, holy fuck. That was so hot. If Thea wasn't there, I don't know if I'd be able to stop myself from jumping him."
His trio of friends laughed. "Barry, you're adorable," Caitlin commented. "I must say, he is rather cute. It's too bad he's my half-brother."
"Speaking of half-brothers, I may have overheard Ronnie talking about asking you to the Fourth of July fireworks this year," Cisco said, grinning as Caitlin suddenly blushed hotly.
"I was actually thinking of asking someone out, too," Iris admitted, blushing herself.
"Who?" Barry asked, quirking an eyebrow.
"Um, well. Felicity Smoak," Iris answered quietly.
"From the Athena cabin?" Cisco asked. "She's hot."
"Cisco," Caitlin scolded before smiling at Iris. "I've met her, she's very lovely."
Barry wrapped an arm around Iris' shoulder. "Look at us. Crushing after people the same gender as us. We're amazing."
Iris laughed. "It's beautiful."
When it came time for the Fourth of July fireworks, Barry hadn't gained much courage to ask Oliver to go with him to see them. Iris had with Felicity, and they were curled together on a blanket a few feet away from him. Barry was sat by himself on his own blanket, a bag of chips and a jug of juice sat in front of him. He brought them for himself, but he felt too lonely to do anything with them.
"Is this spot taken?"
Barry looked up, seeing Oliver standing on the edge of the blanket. Blushing lightly, Barry shook his head. "Uh, no. You can sit here," he responded, scooting over a little bit to give Oliver room to sit down. Barry pulled his knees up to his chest, looking out at the water as everybody waited for the Hephaestus cabin to start the firework show. "Not to sound rude, but why are you sitting with me?"
Barry could feel eyes on him, but stubbornly didn't look in Oliver's direction. "Because I like you, Barry," he answered. Barry turned his head to meet Oliver's bright blue eyes. "Thea scolded me for not asking you to watch these with me, but then we saw you sitting alone and I was pushed in this direction."
Blush deepening, Barry smiled at Oliver. "I like you, too," he said softly. "I'm just...way too shy to ever think about approaching you. Plus, I didn't really someone like you would ever want to date someone like me."
"You should give yourself more credit, Barry," Oliver said, gently cupping Barry's face. "You're the most beautiful person I've ever laid eyes on."
Sure his face was a gods awful shade of red, Barry looked away, but leaned into Oliver's touch anyway. Distantly, he could hear the fireworks show start, but all he could focus on was the feeling of Oliver's hand on his face. Finally, Barry closed his eyes after he saw Oliver slowly lean closer. When their lips pressed against each other, Barry found himself melting into the feeling.
Kissing for a little bit longer as the fireworks went off above them, making Barry's heart race. Eventually, he pulled away with a large smile on his face. After putting their foreheads together and sharing a few more quick kisses, Barry pulled away fully.
"I could get used to this," Barry said softly, laying his head on Oliver's shoulder.
Oliver wrapped an arm around Barry's waist, holding him close. "Me too."