A Memory of Strawberries
Teen, because Luke is kind of a Pedo. XD
Right. So I haven't written an actual fanfic in AGES now. It feels good to be back behind the keyboard, I'll say that. Much thanks to my roommate and Best Friend Robin for inspiring me to write this fic. Enjoy it!
A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen. -Edward de Bono
The August heat hummed in the air. It was one of those perfect, hot, humid summer days when time swam slowly through the strawberry fields. One could doze in the shade of a maple tree, surrounded by the fragrance of ripening fruit and the laughter of the dryads for hours and be at peace with the world. It was the kind of peace that Luke never took for granted. It was these moments, these perfect, mellifluous moments, that Luke clung to for his sanity. It helped him keep his resolution, reason with himself, keep out any impure thoughts or desires. It was almost like a meditation. The quiet, the calm, lapping upon him like the waves on the beach soothed him, placated him. If it weren't for these uninterrupted moments of-
"Hey Luke, I found you!" Luke slowly opened an eye. Percy Jackson smiled down at him. The son of the Sea God was panting slightly, sweat seeping through his camp shirt, his hair fluttering around his face in the warm breeze.
"Yes, Percy, you found me." He said and sat up slowly. "Though to be fair," Luke forced a grin. "I wasn't REALLY hiding. Did you need something?"
Percy shrugged and sat down next to him in the shade. So much for solitude. "I was wondering if you would teach me some more sword moves later." He said innocently.
"Yeah, sure." Luke ran his hand through his hair and across his face, trying to wake up a little more. The smell of strawberries hung thick in the air, clouding his thoughts.
He looked back at Percy. The boy was staring awkwardly at his feet, fidgeting slightly. It wasn't uncommon to see Demigods fidget. ADHD made it hard for any of them to sit still for long, but there was something...off about Percy right now.
"Is there something else Percy?" Luke asked.
Percy crinkled his nose, considering something. Luke felt a pang in his chest. It was...well...it was really cute. It reminded Luke of just how young, how innocent Percy was.
"Come on kid, you can ask me."
Percy fidgeted more. "Well it's...kind of about a Myth. I was just...wondering about...see I know we read something about it in school but I dont really remember...Luke, what was the story about Ganymede?"
Luke looked back over the strawberry fields. Ganymede. Well great. Just great. Of course Luke knew about Ganymede. How many times had he gone and looked up that story, reading it to himself, telling himself that this was the proof that he wasn't a freak, at least not any more of a freak than being a demigod made him. But why was Percy asking about Ganymede? Could it be...
"Why do you ask Percy?"
"No reason. Sorry I asked." Percy muttered. Luke looked to the side. The kid was blushing. Fantastic.
Thoughts began stirring in Luke's head. Percy was only 12 but he seemed...older, more mature than most 12 year olds. Being a Demigod does that to a person. The color of his eyes, the curve of his face, the blush on his cheeks, the way his shirt hung on his shoulders. Luke's gut tugged at him, warning him, it was time to stop those thoughts. Time to stop. Stop now.
Percy stood up quickly, pulling Luke out of his thoughts. "Well...I...uh...I'll see you." Percy looked confused, almost hurt. Luke knew that feeling. Feeling so unsure of yourself. You started to second guess your own identity. Maybe your thoughts were toying with you, or you were broken, or sick . Because maybe...maybe just because Zeus had fallen in love with Ganymede it was still wrong for you to love, to want another guy as well. Maybe Gods lived by different rules.
"Percy wait." Luke grabbed Percy's arm, pulling him down. Percy spun down, rather clumsily, landing on his knees in front of Luke. "Sorry." Luke smiled, almost laughing. "I'm sorry. Don't go."
Percy stared back at him, a look of uncertainty in his eyes that unsettled Luke. Too young, too young. His brain repeated to him. Too young. Only 12. But, Luke's brain argued back, by the time he was 12 he had kissed Jason from the Apollo cabin, hadn't he? There was nothing wrong with kissing. But kissing Percy? Son of Poseidon? He was the kid of the prophecy, child of the Big 3, just little 12 year old Percy. How could he even be thinking of kissing Percy?
Finally Luke's brain paused. He was still holding Percy's arm. How long had he been staring at him? Percy's face was flushed an even deeper red now.
He cleared his throat. "R-right. What were you saying Percy?"
Percy reached out with his free hand and traced his fingers down the scar on Luke's cheek. It was a soft, intimate gesture. Luke could feel his brain go fuzzy. "I...uh...forgot." Percy said. "What I was...saying."
Silence hung in the air between them. Dryads sung softly in the wind, watching over the hot strawberry fields. Dappled sunlight danced across Percy's face. There was no fighting this.
Luke pulled him closer and lightly, very, very lightly kissed Percy. Their lips barely touched, just a soft ghost of a kiss. Luke could feel a shudder run through Percy's body. Slowly the kiss became deeper, Percy pushing himself closer to Luke. Luke's arms slowly wrapped around the younger boys waist as Percy's hands found their way around his neck.
It was the simplest, sweetest kiss Luke had ever had, and it would haunt him for ever.
Later, when he had been revealed as the traitor he was, he looked back on that afternoon. How, after they had kissed for what felt like hours, he had stammered some kind of excuse to bolt, afraid of how far things could go if he stayed. He tried to forget the look in Percy's eyes, a mix of surprise and disappointment and...love.
A 'what if' hung in the air. He didn't have to choose this. He could have backed out, could have stayed at Camp, waited until Percy had grown older, could have...could have so many things.
But he didn't. It was too late for regrets and second guessing.
All he had now was a memory, blessing or curse, Luke didn't know.