Hello everyone! I'm just your average besotted Percy Jackson fan, and upon reading the Heroes of Olympus (which, Rick, I love you for) I think Leo and Percy would get on pretty damn well.
This has been floating around my head like a little brain child for months, and it's set after the events of HoO and before the ones of the Son of Neptune. It has no serious implications to the plot, just how I think a chat between Leo and Percy would pan out. I hope I captured the characterisations decently and any feedback you're willing to give, would be greatly appreciated.
Disclaimer – I own nothing, much to my despair.
So please, read and enjoy.
What Leo Found Out...
The work room was empty, save for him. Leo sighed, stilling his screwdriver to look around. It was way past curfew, but nothing was more important than getting this ship finished so the other campers had taken to watching his back when it came to the harpies prowling camp after curfew. He hadn't seen them yet, but he didn't fancy his chances with them.
Leo looked back at what would be the helm, getting sick of the sight of it by now. He just couldn't figure out what was bugging him about this ship. Yeah, it rocked (and it totally did) but something about it just didn't feel... right. He was probably just being superstitious but man, it felt like a bad omen to go out sailing without the son of the Sea God. Leo couldn't help but feel like they were jinxing the whole thing by sailing off without this Percy dude. And that was seriously ridiculous because Leo didn't even know the guy!
He had asked his fellow campers about Percy Jackson and they told him all these wicked cool things that the guy had done, but that just made Leo feel a little intimidated. How could one guy do all that? Sure, it had been heavily alluded that Jason was awesome and did crazy things before his memory got swiped, but even the Son of Zeus looked a little awed at some of the stories. He killed the Minotaur and Medusa with his bare hands when he was eleven... seriously?
To hear some of the campers talk Percy was like the coolest, most good looking, most ridiculously talented and badass-y guy around. But it had been a badass looking girl called Clarisse that had said 'Yeah, they say that after he defeated the Titan Lord, but he was a total loser before that.' He remembered asking Annabeth, who had looked at him earnestly and simply said 'He's got seaweed for brains and he cares too much.'
All in all, the whole thing just left Leo feeling like he knew less about Percy Jackson than he did before.
He looked back to the ship, all going well he'd get to meet Percy Jackson himself soon. And honestly, he didn't know how he felt about that. After all, Jason was like their defacto leader now in his place – he had never known anyone but Jason leading the camp, surely it felt weird for the other campers right? To like reinstate a new leader? But then Leo considered something Annabeth had mentioned; that Percy never looked to be a leader, he was too modest in his own abilities for that, it was his humility, bravery and kindness that made people want to follow him. In that respect, he sounded a lot like Jason. Maybe Camp Half-Blood didn't see that many differences between the two.
Leo hoped this was the case in the other camp too; from the way Jason spoke, Percy was going to face issues and problems a lot worse than Jason's in terms of 'fitting in'.
Well, he sighed, whoever Percy Jackson was, Leo sure didn't feel all that comfortable sailing this bad boy without him. He guessed that Annabeth felt the same, having heard her confide in Jason that the whole camp felt like sailing out a boat for one of the biggest prophesies to date without the Sea God's son was almost like spitting in the face of destiny. Her words, not his.
Leo sat heavily on the deck, leaning back against the base of the helm to rub at his tired eyes. It was pretty damn late, even for him. Jason had been in a few hours ago to try and convince him to go to bed, Piper had even tried to charmspeak him. He grinned a little at that; it would appear that his bull headed determination was the only thing that could beat her powers. He could feel his eyes drooping and he seriously deserved a power nap.
Only ten minutes then his mind would be clearer and he could finish this stupid... annoying...
When his eyes shot open he almost totally freaked because he was pretty sure he wasn't on his boat anymore. In fact, he was pretty sure he wasn't in camp anymore. He looked behind himself wildly, spying the tops of some of the cabins, and the edge of the training grounds. Looking down, Leo could see the sand he was sat on and looking out in front, Leo could see the ocean. He was pretty sure the beach was nowhere near his workshop however.
His mind took him back to the dreams he'd had on the quest, where his father had specifically hijacked his dreams to talk to him. However, he couldn't imagine Hephaestus's top ten places to chat to his son included a beach at sun set. Nope, much more Aphrodite's style. He leaned back a little on the sand; maybe this was just a standard, normal dream, no Godly parents or wacked monsters or evil earth mothers who were trying to destroy everything on the planet. Yeah, he could deal with that.
Moments went by and Leo, in his logical, if slightly scatterbrained mind, had come to the conclusion that this wasn't a regular dream like he had hoped. It was much too clear, everything felt much too real, leaving him with the feeling that someone had simply picked up his body and plopped it onto the beach for some reason. Well, if someone wanted him here, then he wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of getting up and hunting them down. God or not, if they wanted him, then they'd have to come to him for once.
Leo made himself comfy on the sand and, noticing the sunglasses perched on his nose, stretched his legs out as if to sunbathe. The sun was setting, but whatever, he'd take what he could get. He was relaxed, if slightly bored, until a shadow fell across him. Sensing another presence he sat up and raised his sunglasses as a figure walked towards him from the shore. The sun setting behind the figure didn't let Leo see details, but he could tell the person was tall and male, with broad shoulders and carrying a... a surf board?
Coming to a stop in front of him, the figure, still shadowed, looked down.
"Hey dude, mind if I join you?"
A New Yorker huh? Leo couldn't imagine which God would have a New York accent; Ares maybe?
"Um, yeah, sure, no problem..."
The guy let his board fall down next to him as he sat beside Leo, ruffling his dark hair (though Leo thought this strangers hair was similar to his own, always messy) and resting his forearms on his bended knees. Leo took the time to study the guy beside him – he looked like he was about sixteen or seventeen, wearing board shorts and a leather beaded necklace. His skin was tanned and his hands looked weathered. His eyes were covered with a pair of sweet looking Ray Ban sunglasses.
Leo waited for him to speak; it was different with his father, but another god? Should he not speak unless spoken to or something? Okay Leo, he thought, be logical about this. Possibly a God beside him, they were on a beach and said God was wearing board shorts and carrying a surf board.
"Er, not to be rude, but are you Poseidon, um, sir?"
The boy beside him looked at him now and grinned lopsidedly, both easy going and amused.
"Why? Is this what you think he'd look like?"
"So you're not Poseidon?"
The teen laughed and Leo felt both slightly foolish and almost... calmed? He'd been laughed at and tormented by his fair share of bullies, but this was the laugh of someone who sounded like they had never laughed at anyone else's expense. The guy smiled and pulled off his sunglasses, tucking a dark lock of hair behind an ear as he did.
Leo was met with sharp green eyes; both calm and turbulent. He could see the oceans in those eyes (and man, did that sound girly), calm tides and horrendous typhoons. His eyes crinkled slightly at the corners; this was a guy who smiled a lot. Leo could appreciate that.
Something in his mind clicked, memories of a photo pinned up on Chiron's wall; a dark haired, green eyed teen with his arms wrapped around a grinning Annabeth.
"No dude, I'm not Poseidon. You're pretty close though."
"Percy Jackson. You're Percy Jackson."
Percy raised a brow and grinned.
"I am. Sorry though, I've got no idea who you are."
"Wait, but aren't you like Jason? In the middle of this huge identity crisis?"
Percy frowned at this and his eyes grew troubled. Leo had a feeling that this dream was a rare reprieve from the confusion brought on from Hera's deeds. The dark haired teen rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly,
"Yeah, when I'm awake I am. My dreams are pretty repetitive though – on this beach. Every night, knowing exactly what's going on and then I forget when I wake up. Lame."
"Wow, that sucks dude."
Percy rolled his eyes and leaned back on his hands, sparing Leo a friendly, if weary smile.
"Yep. Still, you're the first actual person I've seen, so that's an improvement. I mean, I keep waiting for ..."
He trailed off sadly, looking back at the camp wistfully before turning back to the sea.
"You're waiting for Annabeth."
Percy frowned at him, not unkindly, as his brows drew together.
"Is she okay?"
Leo shifted awkwardly, all too aware that if Percy was having these dreams, waiting for his girlfriend... was Jason too? Was he just forgetting when he woke up too?
"She's okay – she misses you and she's worried. I think it helps that we have a plan now, that she knows where to start looking."
The Sea God's son grinned then and Leo was slightly startled at the way a smile lit up the teens previously troubled features – changing as quickly as the tides.
"Yeah, Wise Girl gets totally frazzled if she doesn't have a plan. She's a Daughter of Athena, being plan-less drives her crazy."
Leo grinned back. Annabeth, to Piper, Jason, himself, hell pretty much the whole camp, was this total unflappable leader, wise and stoic and strong. Hearing Percy poke fun at her like that was kind of refreshing. Not that he doubted that Annabeth was anything but what he'd thought, but he could totally imagine her getting frustrated at her happy-go-lucky boyfriend. In this moment he knew that Percy Jackson was the reason Annabeth smiled.
It kind of made her seem more approachable, heck, it made the totally awe inspiring figure of Percy Jackson seem more real too.
"So, dude, still don't know your name? Who's your parent?"
Snapped out of his thoughts, Leo offered out a cheery hand.
"Leo Valdez, Son of Hephaestus. Nice to meet you."
Percy shook his hand warmly with an easy grin and Leo noticed something,
"You aren't wet?"
The dark haired teen blinked as their hands separated,
"You just walked out of the sea and you aren't wet."
"One of the pros of being the son of the Sea God. I don't wanna be wet, I won't get wet."
Leo grinned excitedly,
"Dude that's awesome!"
Percy laughed freely and Leo knew this was someone who wasn't afraid to give out smiles.
"Aw come on Leo, you're Hephaestus' kid, Beckendorf's brother. That's cool."
Leo froze slightly at this and Percy's face dropped slightly. Wow, this was Percy Jackson... he was having a casual conversation with the guy who was like a legend in Camp Half-Blood. The guy they were turning over the earth to find. The teen who had been with the famous Beckendorf (the most skilled Hephaestus child in centuries) when he'd died. He sat back, slightly awed and slightly deflated.
"You've heard of him right?"
Percy's voice was calm and sombre beside him. Leo looked out into the sea, confused as to how he could mourn someone he had never met.
"Yeah. The other Hephaestus kids say he was awesome, that he rebuilt Festus and – "
Leo looked back to the Sea God's son and grinned slightly, always proud to talk about Festus.
"Yeah, the bronze dragon that used to protect the camp? He went bust a while back, but I fixed him up and took him on a quest. He's like our lucky mascot this time; his head is at the front of the ship –"
"Wait. A quest? And a boat? You called him Happy the dragon?"
Leo swallowed, wow, he really needed to keep his mouth shut.
"Um, can I just say I never said any of that?"
Percy frowned slightly disapprovingly and Leo felt the urge to shrink into the sand – wow, did his eyes just totally darken? But he was spared the hard look as Percy sighed in resignation and leaned back into the sand.
"Yeah, no worries Leo. I won't remember any of this anyway. Just one thing."
The older teen looked at him straight and grinned widely,
"Beckendorf would have liked the name."
Leo felt his heart soar slightly, man, he wish he could've met this guy.
Leo studied Percy's face, which seemed to have grown slightly sad and yet happy at the same time.
"Yeah Leo, he would've. I've got a feeling you and him would have gotten along great."
To say he didn't choke up a little would be to tell a lie. Leo didn't really feel all that much of a connection with his new siblings, not for lack of trying, but hearing stories about how awesome Beckendorf was kind of made him feel like he had something to live up to. Much like the inadequacies he felt around Jason, Beckendorf was this invisible, unreachable goal he had to strive to be like. Hearing Percy talk about his passed half-brother like he was... he was a person who maybe could have been proud of Leo was just... it was just totally cool.
Leo coughed away the lump in his throat. Right. Time to lighten the mood.
"So... did you really kill Medusa when you were eleven?"
Percy's sad/happy grin widened until he just plain looked amused and... knowing?
"Come on Leo, I'm sure you've heard that story at camp, why are you asking me? Isn't there something else you want to know?"
Leo was brought up short by that. Was there something else? He didn't doubt any of the stories he had been told because seriously, who would make up something so unbelievable?
"Um, how about, where are you? Make out lives easier?"
Percy looked amused and sympathetic.
"You know if I could tell you, I already would have."
"Yeah, knew that was too good to be true."
"So go on, try again."
He frowned and looked to Poseidon's son, knowing exactly what he wanted to ask, the question that had been nagging him for weeks.
"Who's right? The camp or Annabeth?"
Percy raised a brow quizzically,
"I have no idea what you're on about, but Annabeth's right."
"If you don't know what I'm on about, then how do you know she's right?"
Percy stretched his arms high up in the air then and stood, picking up his board, he looked down at Leo and replaced his sunglasses.
"If I've learned anything Leo, it's this; she's always right."
Percy turned and headed back to the shore, calling over his shoulder,
"Oh and Leo, tell Jason that I get on best with people who don't take themselves too seriously!"
Leo stood frantically and called to the son of the Sea God's back –
And as sun finally flashed once more as it sank beneath the waves, Percy Jackson disappeared from sight and Leo felt like he had been hit with a cold, wet wave.
He blinked his eyes open and found himself lying on the deck, clutching a screwdriver to his chest. He looked up to meet freaked out grey eyes and Jason's sharp blue ones. Jason frowned down at him,
"Leo, are you okay?"
Leo frowned and sat up, hand cradling his throbbing head.
"Yeah dude, why?"
Annabeth knelt next to him, worry written over her features.
"You were calling out in your sleep, you were..."
She swallowed heavily, and the strong and stoic facade she had forced slipped away a little.
"You were saying 'Wait, Percy, wait'... Is there something you want to tell me?"
Leo shifted awkwardly and explained the dream to her, what he and Percy had talked about and how he had said he wouldn't remember his dreams. Annabeth's face remained impassive as he spoke, but he noticed Jason's growing more and more concerned. He was probably thinking what Leo had; was he having these dreams too? When he concluded, explaining his question to Percy and his answer, a small smile lit up her face.
"What did you mean Leo, was I right about what?"
"I meant about all the things everyone has been saying about who Percy is; everyone's made him out to be this super awesome hero but you. I wanted to see who was right."
Annabeth's grin widened slightly. Leo could tell she was relieved by the way her shoulders seemed to straighten, as if the world had been lifted off them. She smiled at him and stood.
"Right, well, I'm going to let Chiron know about this. It's just, it's something from him."
She blushed slightly and made her way off the boat, grinning all the way.
Jason shook his head with a smile and moved to help Leo up.
"So, what is he like then?"
Leo knew Jason had been asking the same kinds of questions as he had, but for different reasons. Jason was worried that this was going to be a guy he couldn't get on with. And even just that could spell the outcome of the entire relationship between the two camps and eventually a whole war. Leo shrugged.
"He's just a regular guy who's done some amazing things. Not unlike yourself. He did say one thing about you though."
Jason tried to look indifferent, but Leo could tell that whilst he felt inferior in comparison to Jason, Jason felt inferior to the stories he had heard about Percy Jackson.
"He told me to tell you that he gets along best with people who don't take themselves too seriously."
Leo noticed the small slump of relief in Jason's shoulders as the Sky God's son recognised the implications of that. Jason was more than willing to extend the hand of friendship to Poseidon's son and now he knew that Percy Jackson was willing to extend that hand back to him. Jason smiled, both relieved and amused.
"So he's got a good sense of humour then?"
"Yes he does, oh Lord of the Sky, and I just find it hilarious."
Jason blinked in puzzlement,
Leo grinned and picked up his screwdriver, looking back towards the helm, the sense of foreboding and superstition gone.
"That everyone having a sense of humour about the whole thing," he winked at Jason, "might just be the thing that brings us all together."