Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Hereos of Olympus, or Pocahontas.
Author's Note: Lyrics from Listen With Your Heart (I).
Ay ay ay ya
Ay ay ya
Que que na-to-ra
You will understand
Listen with your heart
You will understand
Piper paddled up Zephyrus Creek from the ocean, her canoe going steadily along. Campers would be around soon, setting up for the special capture the flag game that was scheduled for tonight in honor of the heroes. Right now though, it was peaceful – quiet - the only place in camp that would be like that. Birds chirped, bees buzzed, nymphs hummed – just natural sounds that didn't annoy her.
She got to the point where she was using her ore like a cane to move along the creek, and then to where the canoes underside skidded against the rocky creek floor. She stepped out of the canoe and pulled it off to the side, she set the ore down. She guessed that she was about a third of the way inland. She needed to go south, for her friend lived near Zeus' fist.
Piper only entered the forest for three reasons: for capture the flag, to visit Leo in Bunker Nine, or Juniper in her tree. For capture the flag, she never had anything to do but guard the far border, and that same far border could easily take her to the bunker. To get to Juniper's tree she just followed the creek and turned south until she hit a big old rock. Needless to say, that last one usually got her lost, which was really quite annoying.
But now, it would only be grateful – a blessing – for her to be lost in the woods and to never be found – for a while, or forever.
Tyche never liked her though; despite always getting lost, Piper managed to find the fist of rocks at a rather decent pace.
She walked around the pile of earth; it did look like a fist. It reminded her of Drew, with its cruel metaphor and the fact that everything at the moment reminded her of Drew.
If only the Labyrinth hadn't been destroyed, then she could have just escaped and gone anywhere she wanted – or rather anywhere it decided to dump her.
"Juniper…" Piper whispered; she wanted to alert her friend, but waking up a whole bunch of angry nymphs was not in her plan. "Juniper…"
To her, all the trees looked the same. She still had trouble finding Juniper, and often woke up the wrong tree.
"Juniper…" Piper whispered again, she knew her friend was to the south of Zeus' Fist, "Juniper…"
Piper wondered if her friend was even in her tree; Percy and Leo and the others had just gotten back, she was probably celebrating with them… Or just making out with Grover somewhere.
Piper sighed, and leaned against one of the trees. She could at least enjoy the solitude of the forest.
"AH!" Piper screamed and jumped forward when she heard the voice and felt something push her back. She fell to the ground, face first into a pile of leaves. Piper scrambled to get up, but her ankle was caught in a vine. She turned herself over, prepared to fight whoever scared her, she reached towards –
"Woah, easy Piper!" said the voice.
She recognized that voice.
Piper squinted, facing up at the sun through the trees, she adjusted to the change in lighting.
"Juniper!" Piper said, both gladly and angrily, "You scared me to death!"
"No, you would be dead if I scared you to death," Juniper joked, "So what's up?"
She extended her arm down and Piper thankfully took it. The nymph pulled the demigod up and released her ankle from the tangle of the vine.
Piper dusted herself off and Juniper looked around anxiously, "Maybe we should go somewhere else."
Piper looked around; angry nymphs began to ease of out their trees, sticks in hand.
"Yeah…" Piper agreed, looking anxiously at an Oak tree.
"So, what's up?" Juniper asked.
They sat on the ground with crossed legs; Juniper on a patch of flowers and Piper leaning against the rocky fist.
Piper gave a small groan and looped her finger through her tainted necklace and pulled it forward so her friend could see.
Juniper's chlorophyll filled eyes widened, "Who?" was all she could say.
Piper promised herself she wouldn't break down, but she could feel a tear coming on.
No; she wasn't going to breakdown – but she still couldn't say it.
"It's Drew," Piper choked out, "Who do you think she picked?"
Juniper tilted her head to the side, "Nico?"
If only. Piper's hands clenched into fists, she didn't want to say his name; she hadn't said his name since Drew gave her the ungodly task. Piper shook her head no, but Juniper wasn't going to guess again. Gods, she didn't want to say his name. It was like saying his name would seal the deal, make her accept that. That there was no way out. That she had a job to do.
"L-Leo." Piper choked out, and the dam in her eyes broke. Tears budded in the ducts and slowly began inching their decent down her copper cheeks. She forcefully brushed the tears away and sniffed back the mucus in her nose.
"Oh no…" Juniper managed, putting one of her hands on her chest, "She can't- She can't do that!"
Piper was anxious now, "Do you have any idea on how to get me out of this?" Piper asked, sitting forward, "I can't – won't hurt him!"
Juniper was thoughtful for a moment, then let out a wispy sigh, her breath smelling like grass, "Leo's head over heels for you – yes he is-"
"Drew already gave me the rundown," Piper cut in, "According to her, no matter what I'll do, she'd win."
Juniper was thoughtful again, "Piper," she finally said softly, "I'm sorry, but you're the only one that can solve this – and you can solve it."
Piper rubbed at her eye, even though the tears had finally ceased.
Juniper twiddled her thumbs, "Is there ah… anything else you would like to talk about?"
No; all she wanted to do was talk about Leo and Drew and her godsdamn right of passage. There wasn't anything else that mat-
"Lately, I've been having this dream," Piper blurted out before she realized what she was doing, "I know that demigods get weird dreams but this is too weird."
Juniper raised an eyebrow, but didn't speak.
"I'm lost out here, like I normally get," Piper said, "Then I feel the need to run, so I run. Then I stop; I'm nowhere special, just trees, but I know I'm in this forest." Piper took a deep breath, "There is this coin, and it's falling from high in the sky and as it's falling it's spinning. Now as it gets close to the ground, it slows but is still turning. When it hits the ground, it lands on its side and begins to roll in a circle – like when you spin it on a table and it begins to slow down. But, when it finally stops, it's still standing up straight on its side."
Juniper breathed out through her nose and tucked one of her stray auburn hairs behind her ear, "Can you describe the coin?"
Piper was taken a back for a second, "Gold, small – but definitely not a drachma."
Juniper scratched her chin pensively, "Well, flipping a coin is used to make a decision between two things."
Piper sat up straight, "Like between Drew and Leo?"
Juniper looked back at her friend skeptically, "Maybe, but I think is could be something much more."
Piper sighed, "Dreams like to mess you with."
Piper stood up, and Juniper followed, "Well," Piper said sadly, "I should-"
Juniper grabbed Piper's arm, "I can feel something."
"Me too, it's your hand squeezing the life out of my-"
"Climb up there," Juniper cut in, pointing up at Zeus' fist.
Piper raised an eyebrow, "Seriously?"
Piper shrugged out of the nymph's grip. It was the least she could do – not to mention it kept her from going back just yet.
Climbing the fist was like climbing the Lava Wall. Hard, hot – though not as nearly – and not good for your skin, but still fun. Maybe she would climb out here more often.
She got to the top and stuck her fingers in the hole that the pole of the flag for capture the flag usually went in and pulled herself up, sliding as she went. Piper pulled herself off and dusted the dirt off her pants.
"Do you see anything?" Juniper called up, her hands cupped around the sides of her mouth.
Piper looked around; Zeus' fist was so big she could see just over the treetops in the forest. It was so beautiful, she marveled as she turned, looking slowly for anything. She turned to the west, past the camp's land borders; Piper's eyes widened.
"Metal," Piper called back down, there was something weaving through the land just beyond the borders billowing white smoke, "Lots and lots of metal."
I need to reread the Son of Neptune, because three days isn't enough to fully appreciate the book.
Also, I am putting the rest of my focus into this and two other stories: Vendetta (Young Justice) and Up, Up and Away (That Was Then, This is Now). Up, Up and Away will be completed between Christmas and New Years, and Vendetta and this will have the rest of the year for my attention. This more because it's eaiser to write. :)
The next chapter is Roman! Yay!
Reviews = ROMANS! And stuff...
~ Sincerely MNM