Chapter 1: I Faint from Chores

I invited Nico in for some cake, which was an awkward moment for me because I was just sitting there, twiddling my thumbs while he was munching away at the blue cake. After he was done, I motioned for him to move into the corner. I was sure to be extra careful that we were out of my mom and Paul's view before I let him start talking.

I lowered my voice to barely a whisper,

"Hey Nico, how've you been?"

"Just fine. Like I said, I've been gathering information, and I've found out a way we may be able to defeat Luke," Nico declared proudly. He yawned.

"That's great," I said, checking on my mom. When I turned around, he had already fallen asleep.

I sighed. He must have been worn out from climbing the fire escape. My muscles were aching just thinking about it. I laid him down on the floor and went out of my room to find my mom.

"Thanks for coming out to Percy's birthday party, Paul," she said.

"Yeah, thanks Mr. Blofis."

Paul smiled. "No, thank you, Percy." He winked and reached for the apartment door. Seconds later, I was alone with my mom in the room.

"Mom, I have something to tell you."

"Let me guess, one of your friends dropped in and is staying for the night," my mom replied promptly.

I stammered, "How...how did you know?"

My mom winked at me. I laughed. I took my mom to my room.

Nico woke up all of a sudden. "What's going on?" he murmured in a trance-like state.

"Oh sorry Nico." I gave myself the pleasure of introducing them. "Mom, this is Nico. He's a son of Hades. Nico, this is my mom."

"Hello Nico. You look quite worn out. Why don't you stary with Percy for the night, and I'll take you both to Camp Half-Blood in the morning," said my mom.

Nico replied, "Thanks, Mrs. Jackson," and he dozed off again.

My mom and I left the room and closed the door behind us.

"Percy, help with the dishes?" my mom asked.

"Sure."

My mom opened the tap and I bent all the water onto the plates. My mom started scrubbing each one of them. When we were done, I felt so drained, mostly because I hadn't tried my powers in the few days of rest I had.

"Percy, Percy!" my mom called. "What's wrong?"

My vision blurred and I collapsed and fell asleep. Joy.