Leo Valdez sat with his half brothers and sisters, picking at his food. He looked around the mess hall, and he saw all of his friends doing the exact opposite. Annabeth was chatting contently with her brother Malcolm and Jason looked like he was in an intense but funny talk with his sister Thalia, who was getting some glares from the Hunters, and Piper was smiling at her sisters where they sat at the Aphrodite table.
Now, don't get Leo wrong, usually he and his siblings would be joking and talked about metal and crap like that at the Hephaestus table, but there was a different topic today instead of forging.
It was Percy Jackson.
Percy Jackson had been missing. Leo had only been there for so long, but the only thing he knew was that this kid was some sorting of god; like, godlier than any other half-blood.
He heard stories around the camp whenever he asked. He heard some about his first year he cut of Medusa's head with Annabeth and satyr and later they saved Zeus' lightning bolt.
Annabeth was good when she was twelve, Leo guessed, but this kid seemed better.
"Who is Percy Jackson?" He asked the Stoll Brothers, children of Hermes' when lunch was dismissed.
"Go ask Annabeth," They shared a little smile.
"STOLLS!" Leo heard a camper, one from Ares' cabin, shout so loudly that the windows on the big house rattled and the campers turned to look.
"See ya later Leo!" Travis (or was it Connor?) said nervously before dashing off, laughing hysterically.
Leo found himself alone.
He was walking, kicking a stone absently when Annabeth appeared. She smiled at Leo, who returned it.
"Annabeth?" He spoke after a little period of silence.
"Um, I was wondering who Percy Jackson wa- is," He corrected finally.
Annabeth smiled a sad smiled before looking at the lake where they had stopped.
"I mean, all the campers just suggested I should ask you- but you don't have to tell m-" Leo was cut off.
"Meet me here after curfew."
And with that, Annabeth has gone.
Leo spent his time, not asking about Percy, but wondering what was so important that Annabeth had to tell him after curfew. Leo only knew Annabeth for a little while, but he knew that she does not like to break the rules. For her to break them, this must be something important.
After Leo was sure his siblings were all snoring or breathing heavily with fatigue, he let the door shut lightly.
With every graceful, careful move to the lake, his heart just kept on beating faster. What if another half-blood, satyr or Chiron would see him? What is Mr. D. were to see him? That would be the worst. Leo could imagine it now. 'What do we have here?' He would say. 'Larry, is it? The new kid of the Hephaestus cabin? Tsk, tsk.'
When he realized Annabeth was yet to arrive, he sat down on the wharf, letting his flipflops sink into the water.
"Hi," Someone breathed lightly beside him. When Annabeth sat down, Leo realized her eyes were red and puffy, like she had been crying.
"Hi," Leo said.
"So you wanted to know who Percy is, right?" She spoke a little louder, breaking the ice.
"Yeah, but um- will the Harpies eat us?" Leo spoke a little uneasily.
"Oh, don't worry about them. Nothing a few Drachmas couldn't fix," Annabeth laughed airily.
"Right, so Percy …"
"Oh, right. Everyone has been telling you to come ask me?" She said, looking at him. He was a little cute, Annabeth thought. Short, muscly, chocolate brown eyes and hair that was always messy- just like Percy's. Annabeth thought to herself how every time she looked at a guy, he would have a painful resemblance to Percy. She always found herself missing him more with every step she took.
"Yeah, some campers like to tease," She sighed looking out into the water. "This may take a little while. I am going to tell you the story of us."
"I was twelve when he first came to camp with Grover the satyr. From the moment Chiron told me that there was a new camper, my heart soared. I thought maybe a new friend; maybe a new quest or fighting partner. But, when he told me that my 'new friend' was a guy, my heart faltered a little, but I knew that this was something special, because of what Chiron told me next.
"He told me that he got a vibe from this camper. He was powerful, that was how Chiron explained it. I wasn't going to fear him because Chiron received a 'vibe' from him. Actually, it made me want to see him more. What did this 'powerful' kid look like? Yes, I kind of mocked the words of Chiron, because he can be a bit upbeat, which makes him turn things into something better than they really are." Annabeth paused for a minute to look at Leo. His eyes were closed and he looked like he was in deep thought, like he was trying to turn Annabeth and Percy's soap opera into a movie.
"Go on," He spoke, not opening his eyes. Annabeth smiled a bit.
"When I saw him, I almost felt like laughing. Chiron made me think that this is what some sort of amazing half-blood that will be the next god of Olympus type thing. But, what I saw before me was a skinny twelve year old with messy hair and dirty sneakers, like he had just jumped into a mud puddle. Beside him, though, was a horn. I knew from my studies, and the fact that I am the child of Athena-" Leo smirked a bit- "That this was not any horn, but a Minotaur horn."
"You're lying," Leo accused, opening his eyes.
"Nope, I'm not. So we met and when I was walking with him, after he woke up, giving his a tour of the camp, Clarisse from Ares' cabin tried to shove his head in a toilet, but before he could react, the water in the toilets spurted up, hitting Clarisse in the face and flooding the bathroom. It was quite the show." Annabeth smiled a bit, recalling the memory.
"He flooded the bathroom?" Leo inquired.
"Yes, and he did one heck of a job of it. Anyways, I thought he was annoying, but he might be able to get me a quest, and especially after the Clarisse incident, I tried to stay on his good side.
"After capture the flag, when he was claimed by Poseidon, the god of the seas, we were both granted a quest together to find Zeus' lightning bolt and return it by the summer solstice. It seemed a little impossible in my eyes, but I wasn't going to give up a chance to get in the outside world."
"You would risk your life when you were twelve for the experience?" Leo asked, wide eyed.
"For the honor of aiding the Gods? You would too, Leo, I'm sure of it. So, we went on the quest with Grover, the Satyr, and we got the lightning bolt back to Zeus, after one heck of a journey. It was an emotional journey, but it was ok in the end, because we were able to get Percy's mother home safely, who was kidnapped by Hades, but we were also betrayed by a friend."
"Yeah," Annabeth said quietly. Leo noticed how this was a touchy subject, so they didn't speak any more of it.
"So what happened next year? When you were thirteen?" Leo asked. Annabeth smiled a bit.
"Percy got a brother, Tyson. You've seen him around? I'll be honest, you can't miss him. He's humongous and has one eye," Annabeth laughed a little airily, so Leo chuckled along, something he was very good at.
"I'll start from the beginning, though. So, when Percy, Tyson and I got to camp, it was under attack by Hephaestus' mechanic bulls, which should've never gotten in the camp barriers. Then, we realized that Thalia's tree had been poisoned." Leo knew the story of Thalia's tree and didn't bother to say anything. "There was a chariot race, afterwards, and Percy and I were going to team up, but we got in a fight. So, Clarisse ended up winning the race." Annabeth sighed. "Chiron was also gone, and that was hard for me. Some freak birds actually attacked the race, and Tantalus, Chiron's replacement, decided that it was mine, Percy and Tyson's fault, so we got kitchen duty.
"Later, Tantalus announces that he needs the Golden Fleece to save the camp. I was so eager to go, but Clarisse was chosen. But Percy was having dreams about Grover, so we sneaked out to save him. But Tyson tagged along. Honestly, I didn't want him there. It's hard being sneaky when you've got a six foot four Cyclops on your hands. I'm talking way to much about this quest." Annabeth laughed. "Anyways, I'll tell you one part though, we were washed upon this island and Percy was turned into a guinea pig," Annabeth laughed really for the first time in a while. Leo chuckled along.
"The next year, I was kidnapped, and we held up the sky together when he came to save me," Annabeth smiled at the memory. "The nest year, I was granted my own quest. It was absolutely impossible and very hard to explain. At one point, it was just Percy and I and he wanted to split up, being the idiot he is. But after four years of being his best friend, I couldn't help but think that this may be it, he really might die this time. So I kissed him."
"Awe," Leo cooed. "That's so sweet."
"Yep, so all went well and he came back. Next year we defeated Kronos and we kissed, finally. Bu the campers through us into the canoe lake," Annabeth laughed half hardheartedly. "But Leo," She turned to face him.
"I didn't ask you to come here just so you could listen. I came to ask for another thing."
"Will you help be find him?"