A/N: ...I really can't help it, guys. I love this pairing like I love sunshine. C:
"You're such an idiot."
"You're welcome, man," he gritted out, clutching his arm to his chest. He'd remember this reaction next time he pushed his friend out of harm's way. Jason gave him a withering glance, and stalked off- presumably to get Leo something for the unbelieveable pain in his shoulder, but possibly also just to get away from him. He had that affect on people.
Piper gazed after Jason with a disappointed expression on her face. "He didn't mean that, Leo," she told him, kneeling next to him and patting his knee. "I think you just scared him. You scared me."
It's bad enough that he said it, he didn't have to mean it, Leo thought but didn't say, instead opting to return her smile with one that might have looked like a deranged grimace. It got the message across at least, and after reaching out to brush some hair out of his face, Piper rose quickly to follow Jason. At least now Leo didn't have to worry about not getting medicine because of a vengeful Roman.
He almost curled in on himself in agony as soon as she was gone, focusing all his energy into keeping his breathing steady. Detachedly, he was thankful he'd gotten hurt in the middle of lunch so he wasn't offering anyone a show.
And then, you know, so much for that.
"Are you alright?"
His head snapped up at the sound of that voice and his heart started beating really loud, probably just to be embarassing because he was pretty sure the whole camp could hear it.
"Percy...hi." Leo stared, almost in awe, as the son of Poseidon came over- rushed over, he tried not to think- and dropped to his knees (a lot less gracefully than Piper had but still awesome) staring at him in growing alarm. "Er- no, I'm okay! I'm fine, it's just my arm. Freak mace attack, came out of nowhere, but it's all good, nothing broken, no blood no foul- "
Percy interrupted him with a kind of helpless chuckle that shut him up so completely his teeth clicked together. "At least your mouth's not broken," the green-eyed camper said teasingly. "What would we do without the Valdez humor?"
And he almost didn't catch the playful jibe because holy shit he said my name.
"Uhh. Live less awesome lives I guess."
Percy laughed under his breath and carefully removed Leo's hand from his bad arm- maybe holding it for longer than strictly necessary, maybe. Leo felt his face heat up and sent a personal prayer to his father not to spontaneously combust in the next few minutes, because that would just suck. Then Percy smiled and all Leo's thought processes ceased completely.
"I can fix this," the green-eyed boy said. "Do you have a water bottle in that belt of yours?"
"Uhh...yeah, actually, hold on." He had to pull away slightly- dammit- and it hurt a little (a lot) but he finally got the thing unzipped and rooted through it until he found the canteen. "Good thing I always keep it on me," he joked, handing it over a little uncertainly. "Why do you need a water bottle?"
But Percy just smiled again, maybe a little mischieviously this time, and twisted the cap off. "It's not as easy with drinking water," he confessed, and Leo watched the water stretch out in ribbon-like tendrils snaking toward his shoulder, "but it should work just fine."
A blanket of coolness settled over his shoulder, sliding down and stopping near his elbow, wrapping up his arm. More importantly, Percy's hand was on his, probably so whatever he was doing worked right, but still. And maybe Leo was stupid for paying attention to that instead of the incredible water magic, but all too soon Percy was pulling away and Leo's arm felt as good as fixed.
He had to find his voice. "Dude, awesome. Thank you."
Percy laughed. "You're welcome." He sat back on his heels, tilting his head a little to get his eyes out of the sun and for a world-stopping moment he looked remarkable; Leo wanted to sigh in frustration at how unfair it was that he was going all stupid for someone like him when Percy surprised him with a question. "So how did it happen? Your arm I mean. You said something about a mace."
"Oh." Some of the irritation from earlier rose from wherever he'd banished it to, crackling at the bottom of his consciousness like fire. "Jason and I were playing with those weird bungee-cord things in the trees over there," he gestured, "and a mace literally came hurtling at us from...that way? Things come flying from over there a lot. This was a first time it was something with the potential to kill anybody, I mean, but there must be some faulty equipment, or... " Percy was watching him patiently and he blushed. "An-anyway, he was right in the way, so I pushed him- "
"And it hit you instead." Leo couldn't determine Percy's tone, but it was definitely not a happy one. He rushed on.
"Well, I kind of went Human Torch without thinking and deflected it, so it only cut me a little. But I burnt through the bungee thing too and fell." He laughed a little, rubbing the back of his neck. "I guess I'm bad at this hero stuff."
Percy stood and offered him a hand; Leo took it and was hauled to his feet. Percy let go a little too quickly this time and Leo had to make an effort not to look sad. "You don't know the mace wouldn't have killed him. You did what you thought you had to do to keep him safe, even though it put you in danger. That's really cool, Leo." He didn't have time to bask in the warm glow of that praise before Percy continued, "So...where's Jason?"
"I think he went to get me medicine." No bitterness in the voice now, Leo, Percy doesn't deserve to hear it. He failed miserably at sounding indifferent as he continued, "So he'll probably be back in a few minutes."
The older demigod looked thoughtful, fingering a cool-looking sand dollar that hung from his camp necklace. Then he met Leo's eyes and grinned. "Let's ditch him."
"Wh... Seriously?" Leo felt like his face might split from the force of his smile. It was probably the best thing he'd heard all day. "Dude, let's."
They ended up at the lake, near Percy's cabin- and maybe Leo was a dork but he had a blast, making steam-powered hot air balloons out of shells and sticks and watching Percy's eyes light up when the two of them got them flying out over the water; it was cool to be cool for once. Hanging out with Jason, it was something he'd never gotten a taste of before.
Percy's hair was wet and all over the place- Leo would have to ask about the gray streak in it someday- and his face was a little pink from all the laughing and splashing around, but as the last of the sunlight hit the water and Percy sent a wave crashing down on Leo without any warning at all, sending him up onto shore - he looked amazing.
And the really cool thing, Leo thought as Percy joined him in the sand, green eyes shining in the dying light, is that he looks at me like I'm amazing, too.