A/N: Hey! This is my first… Happy oneshot, I think you could say. It started much differently than what I had originally planned. The (hopefully) funny ending was added just now, and I'm not sure it's good. But it makes me smile, so I left it. This is a Thalia and Percy cousin bonding moment, with a special Nico cameo! I love those three acting as siblings, and there really aren't enough of these fics around here. Get inspired people! Do them! (Hopefully better than me). Anyways… Percabeth mentioned, because I'm a sucker for those two. That's it. Hope you enjoy it, and forgive the possible OOCness.
Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Thankfully. Rick Riordan does. And he does a much better job than I would do.
Note: English is not my first language, so if I mess up the writing format, or anything in grammar or spelling, really, PM me, or leave a review, I will fix it, I hate reading bad spelling/grammar, and I would hate it if I messed up in that.
"Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related, for better or worse … and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum."
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riodan
Her question took him by surprise.
"Do you ever regret it?"
Percy looked at Thalia, a bit shocked that she would ask something like that, especially because the hesitant tone of her voice made it clear that had the question been directed towards her, the answer could end up being positive.
His cousin could be very annoying, and most of the times they were together, he wasn't quite sure whether it was more joy or pain. He only really remembered she was his friend, and that he actually liked her after she was at least twenty miles away. But even if she made fun of him to the point of insanity and even if one of her favorite hobbies was turning him into a punching bag, he had always respected her sense of independency and her strength of character. Envied it even. She was a really strong person, and he admired her for that. She was that someone who, to him, knew everything she needed (or cared) to know, the person he could call for backup whenever things got too screwed up, and as much as it pained him to admit it, she was family. And not just his too. More than once he had messed things up with Annabeth, and she had been the one to stop by and help him put things back on track. She would always say that it wasn't for him. She was doing it for Annabeth.
But even as she said so, she would turn her head the other way, and he could swear she was blushing. He was starting to believe that there was a small possibility that maybe, she considered him an annoying little brother, as much as he considered her an infuriating older sister.
So, if he was to be really honest with himself, he would admit it that her question caught him completely off guard. He had never expected it, much less from her. It was quite shocking to him, once he looked at her and realized that in that moment, she was every bit the fifteen years old she would forever look like. It was quite disconcerting. Kind of like waking up Easter eve and finding your parents splattering talc all over the floor in bunny-like footprints.
He looked over at the view in front of him. They were sitting in a wharf by the river, watching the beautiful sunset in one of their rare quiet moments. They hadn't planned to go there, really. They had been waiting for Nico, who had managed to get into an argument with the counselor of the Demeter cabin for 'stealing his shadow space' by pruning one of the trees that covered his cabin during daytime. He couldn't help but grin at the hilarious mental picture of his emo cousin being chased around by rose-branches and all kinds of flowery deadly stuff.
He was brought back to reality by Thalia mumbling in a small voice.
"You don't have to answer. Not really."
Percy turned his gaze back to her, and felt a sudden wave of sympathy rush through him. He knew what she was feeling right now. She, just like him, had to make tough choices in her life at a really young age. Hard, important decisions, that changed completely the course of their lives. And sometimes... Well, it was impossible to resist looking back on them and asking yourself if you did the right thing.
He wasn't quite sure what made him speak in the end. Whether it was the confusion he could feel radiating from her under that quiet demeanor, or the startling realization that he had never actually talked to anyone about this, and it was starting to form a ball on his throat, or even the fact that he was near water, and that always put him at ease. Whatever the reason, he ended up confessing.
"Sometimes." he admitted, finally. Her head snapped back in his direction, with a clearly surprised look, either for his answer, or the fact that he had answered at all.
"Sometimes?" she urged. He nodded quietly, staring at the horizon ahead.
"Sometimes." he repeated, and then added in a confidential tone "After a particularly bad fight. I ask myself how could I have been so stupid."
He could feel rather than see her stunned face. It was actually a bit funny. She had been expecting him to lie!
He shook his head, amusedly, and then let himself fall back, lying on the old wooden wharf, relishing in the warm glow of the setting sun. The whole atmosphere was calm, and it was quite soothing. It matched his mood. Right now, he was pretty much in peace with himself.
His mind wandered back to that mass of blonde hair and snappy behavior he fondly called his girlfriend. She was probably in her cabin sketching furiously more and more blueprints for Olympus, or kicking some ass in the arena. And he felt quite the stupid lovesick fool, when that usual warm fuzzy feeling filled his chest at the thought of her. It was with one of the silliest smiles he had ever managed to produce, that he voiced what had been in the back of his mind for ages now.
"But then... She shows up." he said, with such adoration in his tone that it startled his cousin. "And I know, it was the best thing I've done in my life."
He hadn't been expecting any reply, but that didn't stop him from getting one anyway.
"You love her."
He looked up at Thalia, only to see her grinning at him with what looked like a mixture between amusement and... Pride? He could only shrug and smile sheepishly at her, he couldn't really argue with that. He sent her a look that said "What do you think?"
It was as if she was a dying tree again, and they had just dumped the golden fleece on her branches. She sat upright, and straightened her shoulders, that grin turning into her usual cocky smirk. Her silvery glow looked brighter than before. In a second she had grown back into her usual glory, and he wasn't sure if he was more relieved or terrified.
"Well, now that we are finished with this awkward gushy talk that you will never mention to anyone since you surely wouldn't like to have you kidneys ripped out of your body... How about I challenge you to a fight on the arena?"
"How come you change moods so quickly?" he yelled, frustrated with the return of her annoying personality.
"It's called versatility, cousin darling." she snapped her fingers.
"It's called bipolar disorder." he mumbled back, crossing his arms. She wasn't supposed to hear it, but she did anyway.
"D'you wanna take this to the arena, Jackson?" she shouted, her nostrils flaring, and her eyes with a murderous look, though, he could tell, held some kind of humor behind them.
"Bring it on, Pine Cone Face!"
They jumped up, and pulled their swords, ready to start fighting, but they never had the chance to.
Right at that instant, their younger cousin burst through the trees that blocked the path to the wharf, running in their direction with a very scared expression, only to stop behind them, seemingly hiding. He started panting from the jogging, speaking in a terrified/incredulous voice.
"Those hippie flower people are crazy! Absolutely nuts! Can you believe that they stuck plants at me? I was being chased by every single green living thing at the courtyard! They're freaking insane, I'm telling you! No wonder Persephone is crazy, it's a family thing!"
Thunder rumbled in the distance.
"Shut up!" he yelled back at the sky. More rumbling. "Oh, alright, I'm sorry! Whatever." He took one last deep breath, and then he straightened up, putting his hands on his shoulders and saying casually and jokingly: "So, what's up? Had any heart-to-hearts while I was away?"
They looked at each other at the same time, with the same question in their faces.
'Should we tell him?'
They sat back in the wharf, just the three of them, enjoying what little left of the sun, and just appreciating this cousin bonding moment. It was an actually touching moment, really.
So, naturally, one of them had to break it.
"You didn't miss much, just Percy confessing his undying love for Annabeth."
That freaking little witch...
"Oooh! Did he use corny words?"
His left eye twitched.
"Lots and lots!"
He rubbed his temples, counting to ten.
"Awww, isn't that cute, Thals?"
It wasn't really working.
"Our little man is growing up!"
Now he was getting quite pissed off.
"Percy and Annie sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a golden carriage!"
A marriage- what?
"ALRIGHT, THAT'S IT! YOU TWO START RUNNING RIGHT NOW!"
"Rea- Uuuh, Thalia, that wave IS kind of scary."
"Uuuh, so, yeah, I think I heard Chiron calling me."
"YOU'RE SO GONNA PAY FOR THAT!"
"RUN, NICO, RUN!"
As he was running after them dragging half an ocean along with him, he couldn't help but remember Hermes' words, so many years ago.
"Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related, for better or worse … And try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum."
Well, he wouldn't maim, really.
A/N: I hope you guys liked that. And just in case it got you confused, Thalia was asking Percy about him declining the offer to immortality. And hers would have been accepting being a hunter. Okay? That clarified, I think I'm quite done.
Really sorry if that sucked, it was a good idea. I'm just not sure I pulled it off. Oh, well, tell me what you think, help me get better! Flame me if you must, just please be gentle.
That said, I'm off!