Okay, this is something I'm not entirely happy with, but I thought, why not?
Basically, it's the same dream sequences I've been following thus far, but now Piper gets her change to meet out illustrious leader.
Piper may not be entirely likeable in this fic, but that's genuinely because I believe this is what she'd be thinking. A boy she loves might have a girlfriend he can't remember? That would weigh on my mind a fair bit too I suspect. You'll either love her or hate her, but I for one can appreciate a main female character that actively tries to defy the norm.
This exchange is not everything I wanted it to be but I had a good try I think.
Disclaimer: I dream sweet dreams of ownership, but alas, it's not to be.
I hope you enjoy it and I'd really appreciate feedback for this one; it's baffled me so.
Also; THANK YOU! I've received so many favourites and alert notifications since I started these stories that it's staggering! I am truly, truly humbled and very grateful. I'm so happy that people have found enjoyment in the products of my little day dreams.
What Piper Deduced
When Piper woke up on a beach in the middle of a miserable storm admittedly, she was confused. Actually, she thought frowning heavily, she was beyond confused. But then ever since that fateful trip to the Grand Canyon, her life felt like one big, utterly unbelievable and fantastically confusing and seriously-was-this-happening story. She felt like she was a character in a story, that was it. A puppet in a play with the God's taking turns making her do stuff.
So sure, when she looked to the crashing waves to see a dark haired guy in a purple shirt pacing furiously in the surf, shouting at the thrashing ocean, she decided to just go with it.
Taking a deep breath, Piper tried to think logically. Okay, so she'd just gone to bed, that much she remembered, and honestly, getting freaky 'the-gods-think-this-is-relevant' dreams were kind of unavoidable for demi-gods, so this whole beach thing wasn't too shocking. Piper knew she'd just spent a day with Annabeth, meticulously checking and re-checking their supplies for the journey to the Roman Camp, because the Argo II was almost well and truly finished (with Leo preening over the vessel like a proud parent). The whole camp was in high spirits, raring to do something, to be of some use.
All in all, after so many months of waiting and preparing, everyone felt ready. Jason was almost officially excepted as the leader of camp, alongside Annabeth of course, and Piper knew that he felt more content than ever in the role he was to play. He had lived with and gotten to know his 'enemy' and he had become their friend and leader.
Piper, sat in cold, soggy sand, raised a brow as the teen spastically waving his arms in furious motions to the sea. Having a feeling as to who that teen was and remembering Leo's accounts of his dreams, she decided she seriously needed to have talk with the Godly entity pulling her imaginary strings.
Sighing, she stood, brushing soggy sand off her jeans with a grimace. The air felt cold and damp and the sky was thundering ominously – the camp was dark behind her and the guy in the purple shirt, seemingly breathless now, had stopped waving his arms. She decided that now might be a good time to interject. Cupping a hand around her mouth, she called out over the thunder and crashing waves.
"Um, hello there!"
The teen stilled and turned to face her; he looked as annoyed as he had sounded. Piper had expected shock or confusion, but upon walking closer the boy gestured to the waves with frustration.
"Can you believe them?"
Piper looked out to where he was pointing and saw nothing, she sent him a funny look.
He raked a hand through his messy dark locks and upon closer inspection, she could tell he had a face that didn't often sport a look this angry.
"I mean, not only do they go round earth being all 'Ooooh lookit me, I'm a God and I'm gonna sire like a billion kids because I can' but then when you are born they're all 'oh by the way, even though it wasn't up to you that you were born, you're basically now my slave and you have to do freaking everything for me!'"
A particularly loud and angry waved crashed at their feet as a horrendous boom rent through the skies. Piper would have been startled maybe, but this was just a little too ridiculous. The dark haired teen next to her breathed heavily, glaring at the ocean like he was personally offended by it's existence. She waited for a beat to see if he'd continue and when silence reined once more, she tentatively spoke.
"So... Percy Jackson right?"
Still huffing, he sent her a weary frown, like he had only just noticed her presence, that made him look so pitiful she couldn't help the sympathetic smile that spread across her face. Rolling his eyes, he huffed out a strained chuckle.
"Not at my best, but pretty much."
He straightened up, closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He seemed to physically change before her eyes; his posture and the lines of his face shifted until he released his heavy breath. He looked at her again, taller and holding out a hand to her with an easy-going grace. He sent her a sheepish smile and Piper was struck at how much the sky and sea seemed to calm in response to that smile.
She sent him a forgiving grin and shook his hand, which felt as cool an ocean breeze. Catching his eyes, Piper felt suddenly a little overwhelmed; though she had seen many pictures of this boy since her arrival at camp, she was caught short by those eyes. Startlingly green, they were flecked with shades of blue and turquoise that seemed to move within the green like waves upon the shore. Oddly enough, they made her think of Jason's eyes, which looked vast and majestic and so very blue. Her belief that she and Annabeth had a few things in common was once again not unfounded; they were probably both slaves to the depth and beauty of sky-blue eyes and ocean-green eyes. In the back of her mind, she secretly blames this weakness on her mother's soppy lovey-dovey genes.
"Yeah, I'm Percy Jackson, the idiot screaming at the sea. And you are?"
Releasing his hand, she awkwardly tucked her hands into her pockets,
"Piper McLean –"
"Wait, lemme guess – ummm, Aphrodite right?"
She rolled her eyes and nodded, having gradually come to terms with looking like a walking-stereotype (despite struggling against it so fiercely, she'd almost tried to make her hair like a troll dolls). Percy just laughed at her reaction,
"Aw come on, one of best campers I ever knew was an Aphrodite child."
Piper had a feeling she knew who he was talking about, but the sudden look of shock and then sadness in his eyes made her think that maybe he hadn't quite remembered that himself until now. He swallowed heavily and plopped himself down onto the sand, looking tired and worried. She frowned and moved to sit next to him; looking at Percy closer, she noticed that the purple shirt he wore was torn in places and that she could make out bruises and small cuts on his arms. His eyes looked shadowed and tired. She thought back to her first day at camp, when she had spotted the infamous picture of Annabeth holding a handsome, dark haired teen, whose eyes had been joyful and dancing.
"Do you... do you remember yet?"
Because Jason sort of did – not that he was telling her too much. He seemed to remember enough to miss the home and friends he had been taken from, but she could tell there was still that missing memory, the one that lingered in the air between them like an unspoken taboo. She would see him look at her sometimes, staring at her intently and thinking 'have I left someone like you behind?'. Percy was staring intently into the ocean, his brows furrowed.
"Not everything. Not yet. But then,"
He cast her a knowingly sympathetic look,
"I don't think Jason has either, has he."
It wasn't said as a question and Piper sat back, shocked.
"How do you know that?"
Percy shifted uncomfortably and shrugged.
"Just a feeling."
Piper didn't buy that for a second, but decided not to press the dark haired boy, especially when he looked so tired. Worried, she felt compelled to speak,
"Are you okay? Is everything okay there? At the camp?"
Percy swallowed heavily and suddenly looked so world-weary that Piper thought back to that joyful picture. She thought of Annabeth, toiling through their preparations after sleepless nights to find the boy who had taken hold of her heart, she thought of how unfair it was that she was here and Annabeth wasn't. The smile he sent her was apologetic.
"It's not too bad, despite what I look like," He chuckled, looked back to the horizon, "we're making progress, which is something."
Piper recalled what Leo had told her about his meetings with Percy Jackson, recalling how he had said that knowing too much, would make them want to change too much. For some reason, she thought it best that she didn't know too much about the Roman camp's affairs, especially when they knew nothing of the Greek camps. She sighed, it was all too complicated.
"Don't worry Piper, I think everything will... well, maybe it'll be okay?" He sent her a lopsided grin that looked sheepish and she smiled in return.
"Annabeth misses you, you know."
Something flickered in his eyes, something she couldn't place, but a mock smug grin lit up his handsome face before she could define it.
"Yep, I bet she does. I'm pretty amazing you know?"
Rolling her eyes with a laugh, Piper gave his should a quick, gentle shove.
"So I've heard. You've turned into like a Greek legend at camp."
His eyes widened comically and he scooted round to face her, looking enchanted.
"Really? I'd have put my money on Annabeth stopping that from happening."
"Nope, there are days when she kind of encourages it."
He raised his brows in surprise and then narrowed his eyes.
"Don't let it fool you. As soon as I'm back she'll be frantic to stomp it out before it 'goes to my head'."
Piper laughed, beginning to understand why everyone at camp (bar a few (Ares) exceptions) was so quick to follow this teen. Having spoken to just about anyone willing to talk about Percy, she had deduced pretty early on that he wasn't the sturdy, disciplined pre-planning leaders that Jason or Annabeth was, so she had been curious as to why he was deemed their 'leader'. The campers had made it clear to her, Leo and Jason however, that Percy may be unpredictable and a little wild and defiant, but he was a good man in a storm. From the strength in his shoulders to the untameable green of his eyes, Piper knew that this was a boy who inspired people.
"What can I say, she's like my nagging wife." His eyes grew slightly sad and a little whimsical as he cast them in the direction of camp. "But I miss her. Like, a lot."
"She missed you too you know. She's desperate to find you."
For a moment, there was such a look of profound longing and sadness on his face, that Piper almost felt compelled to pat him on the back or something, but the look was gone before she could do anything. It was almost as if he had tucked it away somewhere deep inside himself. He sent her a wry look,
"She says that now, but you wait until we're on opposite teams in capture the flag." He shuddered slightly, "Man, my girlfriend can be scary."
Though he was clearly trying not to let on how much he actually missed her, she also sensed the truth behind his words. Call it Aphrodite's intuition, but Piper knew these two were a good match. A great match really, full of love and longing as well as bickering and competitiveness in equal measure. She wasn't very girly, but Piper knew even she would let out a little 'awww' when she saw the two together (in her mind, she secretly grimaced and cursed her mother's influence).
She froze, thinking back to that look Jason would send her. The look that made it so obvious that he was trying to dig through his memories; to find a face that maybe made him feel the same things he felt when he looked at her. She looked at Percy with wide eyes and he blinked back at her, looking confused.
Acting on impulse, she surged forward a little, grasping his wrist in both hands.
"Is there someone in the Roman camp? Is there someone for Jason?"
Uncomfortable didn't seem strong enough a word to describe the emotions that flickered over Percy's face. In the back of her mind, Piper considered that 'love lives' were probably out of Percy's league. The only relationship he felt only slightly comfortable talking about was probably his own. He rubbed the back of his neck, avoiding her eyes.
"Well... if by someone you mean someone, then there's possibly someone?"
Piper glared, unforgiving, and didn't look away from Percy's face. He swallowed and nodded.
"There's more or less a someone."
She narrowed her eyes,
"More or less?"
"Er, well, it's like this... you see, by someone –"
"Stop saying someone!"
He jumped a little and, considering he'd pretty much defeated Kronos, she deduced that she must have looked pretty intimidating. Grimacing, he gently pried her fingers from around his arm.
"Piper, I'll level with you, there is a person waiting for Jason, but a lot has changed between then and now. I just... I don't want you to be discouraged. Like, who knows how Jason will feel because of all this, how he'll feel after it's all over. I mean, who's even to say what Reyna –"
He stopped short and muttered what sounded like a curse in Greek. Running a hand through his dark hair, Piper didn't think she'd ever seen anyone look so uncomfortable. Despite herself, she couldn't help but be reminded of Leo, in an odd way – rolling her eyes slightly, she'd put her money on Leo and Percy getting along famously when they actually met in person.
"Look, Piper, this isn't something you need to worry about yet. There's nothing you can do about it now and to be honest, who even knows how everyone feels now, I mean –"
"You seem pretty certain about how you and Annabeth feel."
Percy blinked at her with wide eyes,
"Well... that's me and Annabeth. I spent like, four years coming to terms with how I feel."
Piper pursed her lips and looked to her knees, feeling both disheartened and a little awkward. Of course, she and Jason hadn't even known each other for a year. There were often times when she had wondered whether her affections were genuine or just a lingering after effect of the Mist's powers... but the way she had called into the depths of the Underworld to pull Jason's soul back to them... she just knew that wouldn't have worked if she'd done it to anyone else. Percy looked sympathetic,
"Don't worry Piper, you've got time."
Not quite sure what he meant, she sent him a confused look which was met with a look of sympathetic knowing and a firmness that suggested he wasn't going to add anymore. Piper huffed and took a deep breath, pushing the depressingly lingering thoughts of her and Jason back into that place she didn't like to acknowledge.
"Right, of course, I'll get right on it... in between the quests, monsters fights and almost constant interruptions of violence and possibilities of death galore."
Percy smiled wryly back at the ocean,
"No one said a demi-god's life was glamorous I guess... or you know, safe."
She sighed and gestured to the incoming waves,
"Speaking of Gods, what was with the shouting before?"
Piper was slightly fascinated by the way Percy's face darkened like a thundercloud – she felt a chill run up her spine at the look of utter fury flashing in those eyes. But as quickly as it had come, the fury seemed to dwindle away like an extinguished ember, leaving an annoyed and tired look in it's wake.
"I just... I think sometimes heroes just reach that point, y'know?"
He sent her an open and beseeching look,
"Like, they ask and ask and ask and then at the end of it all, nothings been accomplished except the demi-god's time, effort and general well-being being wasted."
Percy's eyes softened as he looked at the sea foam brushing his sneakers.
"Sometimes it's hard to believe that the things they ask us to do are worth anything. Sometimes it just feels like the tasks they ask us to risk our lives for are pointless. I guess I just reached a point where I thought, why am I doing this? Because I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing it for me."
Though she didn't know what he'd been asked (or told) to do, she felt understanding stir within her. Certainly knowing she'd felt the same; who was her mother to ask her for favours? After having broken her dad's heart and ignored her since birth? But she knew there was something unexplainable in her, in every hero probably, that told her that her mother did care, that she did genuinely need her. Piper knew that for most heroes, performing tasks and quests were the only way to gain a parent's approval or acknowledgement. She knew that was weak, but it was all they had.
Percy seemed to understand the look on her face because he sighed and tentatively reached forward to brush his fingertips in the very edges of the incoming wave. Piper was fascinated by the way the whole ocean seemed to calm like a soothed child. She imagined Poseidon, sat in his palace and hearing every heated word shouted into his domain. She imagined his pained face and the sad relief as he felt his son's gentle fingers sooth the waves of his kingdom in understanding.
A calmness settled over Percy's face and she studied his profile, gently lit aglow by the slowly rising sun. There was a calm strength in Percy's face; maybe the result of months and months of soul search, maybe a strength that had always been within him. It made her feel like she was intruding upon something. Upon Percy's moment with the sea, with his father, with what was as much a part of him as his heart beat. It felt like she was seeing a look meant for no one's eyes... except maybe Annabeth's – she desperately wished her friend had the chance to be here instead of her.
But looking upon that calm, strong face, despite her worries and her fears, she knew that the way in which he had silently reached out to and forgiven his father bode well for all of them in the long run. She knew, having only spent moments with this teen, that Leo had been right all along. Their worries regarding Jason's eventual co-leadership with this boy were unfounded. Though both had attributes that would benefit the other's weaknesses, it was clear both leaders possessed kind hearts and strong minds.
And even though Piper felt as if she had been worrying and worrying constantly, she felt a certainty and a security in the knowledge that Jason Grace and Percy Jackson would be able to bring enemies together once more.
Percy smiled at her, calm and tired.
"It's probably time for you to go."
He raised a brow, amused,
"Back to camp maybe? You can go wherever you want. I suppose I should go though."
"Where are you going?"
He sighed in an exaggerated manner and stood up. The sun was peeking over the calm horizon.
"To receive a wakeup call I really don't want." He mumbled.
For a moment, he looked so comically self pitying that Piper opened her mouth to console him. But before she could speak a word, the sun rose to such an angle that she was momentarily blinded, raising her arm to shield her eyes. When she opened them again, she was alone on a calm, sunny beach, knowing that she would have to recount this entire experience to Annabeth when she woke.
Piper leaned back on her elbows and felt a smile tug at her lips, deciding with firm belief that she felt all the better about this whole prophesy and quest having met the infamous and infallible Percy Jackson. She only prayed that the Roman Camp were wise enough to feel the same...