A/N: I do not own PJO.
All was quiet on the western front. A slight whistle came from the east, just across the border.
The border patrol had left a gaping hole, and the boy inside of camp was about to take advantage of it. He hid in the bushes until the two patrolers had passed each other, and were facing opposite directions.
He silently crept out of the bushes and glanced in either direction. He attempted to stick his tongue out at the guards for spite, but it ran into the thick black bandana he had tied around his lower face.
He rushed to the other side of the border and stood perched at the top of the hill. Standing triumphantly, he scanned the area below him. A tiny town was glowing in the dark a few miles away, and beyond that, a seemingly endless field of wheat.
Startled, he tumbled head-first down the hill, and ran straight into another boy.
Cursing, he stood and shoved his brother down. "What the Hades was that, Connor?" he whispered harshly.
Connor hid his laughter behind a series of fake coughs. "You weren't moving," he finally managed.
Travis wacked the back of Connor's head and Connor tackled him. They wrestled for a few minutes until Travis finally pushed Connor off of him.
"We're on a mission, remember?" Travis said, straightening his bandana.
Connor had already pulled his off and stuffed it in his pocket. "Take that off, you look like an idiot," Connor whispered, making a grab for his brother's face.
Travis swatted the hand away and pulled the bandana off. After shoving it in his pocket, he set off for the road.
Connor was at his heels. "Earlier today while I was supposed to be cleaning the stables, I took a pegasus down to the field and left the stuff." He paused and stared at Travis. "Do you really think this is gonna work?" he asked skeptically.
Travis shrugged. "If it doesn't, we can always go back to putting Katie's clothes on the statues. Besides, if it does, it will be so worth it. The mortals will freak," he said and finally stepped onto the dirt road.
The two brothers looked in both directions and Connor gulped. "Which way was the town again?" he asked and rubbed his head.
Travis groaned. "You'd think we'd know. Dad? Any help?" he said hopefully, but nothing happened.
Connor set out towards the east, and Travis followed at his heels. "Are you sure this is the right way?" he asked.
Connor nodded confidently. "Absolutely positive."
"I hate you!" Travis screamed to Connor, dodging one hissing head, only to be knocked over by another one. Connor held a sword and a tiny cigarette lighter. He searched frantically for a piece of wood big enough to burn.
Travis rolled over just as the hydra planted a huge foot down where he had been. His breath was coming in huffs, and his sword lay at the bottom of the ditch next to the road. Connor threw his sword blindly to Travis, and his brother barely caught it just as a blast of poison melted a hole in the tree he was hiding behind.
"Connor! Light it now!" Travis screamed, hacking at the body of the hydra.
Connor finally got a dead branch to light and he yelled, "Start cutting!"
Travis didn't waste any time. He sliced one head off and backed up, going on the defensive so that Connor could burn the writhing stub.
Travis made a jab for the other heads, cutting off as many as he could, as quickly as he could. Connor had to relight the branch at least five times, and his fingers were blackened.
When the hydra finally lay dead, Travis threw Connor's sword in the dirt and slid down into the ditch to retreave his. When he got back up to the road, he looked up at the hill to their left.
"No wonder a hydra was out here," he said. "Look." Travis pointed up to the top of the hill.
A tall pine stood on top, and a sleeping dragon lay curled around its base. Connor cursed. "We went the wrong way," he said.
Travis rolled his eyes and turned around, facing west. "You still up for it?" he asked his brother.
Connor was at his side in a flash. "Of course."
It took another hour of walking to reach the town. They crept through the streets silently, peeking into shop windows occasionally.
"Look at this bike!" Connor exclaimed, pointing to a dirt bike that sat prestinely in the window of a shop.
Travis wasn't paying attention and kept up his sneaking. Connor quickly followed him and together they reached the wheat field with little difficulty.
Connor ran ahead and located their supplies. When he whistled for Travis, his brother sprinted across the field to begin their mischief.
Getting back into the camp proved to be less difficult than getting out. Still, they had to be careful in sneaking passed the border patrol.
Just as they were walking back into Cabin Eleven, Travis paused. "Connor," he whispered. "I have something I wanna do."
Connor shrugged and followed Travis into Katie Gardner's cabin.
Morning brought chaos.
Travis shot out of bed, jumped through the window, and sprinted into the commons area.
Katie Gardner was soaking wet, her matress floating in the fountain. Surrounding her were the statues of the gods, all dressed in her clothes.
When she spotted the offending boy, her face was livid. "What were you thinking!" she screamed. She climbed out of the fountain and swung her arms at Travis, but he blocked them and began backing up.
"Katie, it was just a harmless prank," he said. His back hit Cabin Eleven's rough wood; there was no where left for him to run.
Katie's hair was soaked, and her eyes were bright with fury. "This is the last prank you play on me, Stoll. Or I will murder you. And it won't be pretty. Got it?" she shouted, leaning close to make her point.
Travis nodded vigorously and put his hands up to protect his face. Katie groaned and wacked his head. She turned around in a huff and Travis relaxed. He regained his cocky smile.
"Artemis has your underwear," he shouted.
Katie stomped her foot and let out a scream of rage. She turned around and was about to rip Travis's throat out when Connor sprinted up.
"Travis! You can see the field from the hill!" he said breathlessly.
"What field?" Katie asked carefully.
But it was too late. Anyone within earshot raced to Half-Blood Hill to see the latest prank. Katie and Travis were the last people to reach the hill. They pushed through the crowd and Katie gasped at the view. Slowly she turned to Travis and her mouth remained open in a perfect O. Travis smiled at his handiwork.
The crop circle was huge. The mortals were shuffling through the field, and a crop duster circled overhead. The pattern was simple and awkward, obviously done without much skill.
Sighing with exasperation, Katie turned towards the brothers and pursed her lips. "Why?" she asked carefully.
Connor shrugged. "Because we―"
Travis cut him off smoothly. "Because I thought it would make for a great way to remind the mortals that there are scary things out there." He paused and let that sink in. "And to remind all of you that Travis Stoll is the greatest prankster at camp!"
Cheers rang out among the campers, except for Katie, who was staring intently at Travis, plotting something.
Two weeks later, the incident had been almost entirely forgotten.
The day came and went as usual, except that by nightfall, Travis hadn't seen Katie for hours, but he brushed the thought away.
Late that night, he was shaken awake by a violent hand. He attempted to move, but something was holding him back. His face was the only thing not tied down by vines.
"Have fun," someone whispered, and walked away.
As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, Travis slowly realized where he was. He struggled to break free of the vines, but they only got tighter. He gave up on squirming and concentrated on what he was going to say in the morning.
The night passed agonizingly slow. Travis finally fell asleep, just as the first beams of the morning sun shone over the horizon.
Soon after, as people began filing out of their cabins towards the pavilion, he woke up to laughter.
Travis Stoll had be tied to the big table with vines, and covered completely in drips of what he hoped was paint, but then again, it had begun to sting when the sun hit his skin.
Katie Gardner pushed her way to the front of the gathering crowd. She smirked at him and his eyes widened. "Why?" he asked, but his voice was several octaves higher than usual.
A burst of laughter prevented Katie from answering immediately, but when the noise died down, she turned and faced the crowd. "To remind all of you that Travis Stoll is not the greatest prankster at camp!" she said triumphantly.
Travis groaned at the irony of it all; he really should have seen it coming. But for a reason that baffled Katie, he was smirking.
"Silly Katie," he said sweetly. "But you should have thought about the fact that my brother is also quite the protégé."
Katie had only seconds to realize what this meant before the explosion rocked the camp.
Travis smiled as Connor emerged from the woods, holding a lighter and an empty bottle. "You're right Katie," Travis said smugly. "I'm not the greatest prankster at camp. The Stolls are the greatest pranksters on earth!"
Katie let out a frustrated scream before sprinting away to search for the damage. Travis smiled and pushed against his bindings, but they only grew tighter. Connor pulled out a knife and cut his brother free.
He was glad that Katie fought back; it only made outsmarting her that much more fun.
A/N: Actually, in the middle of writing this, I got a massive idea. It might not stay a one-shot for very long...
Review guys, I need some critique. Thanks!