A/N: Another PerLeo drabblefic. Because it's my OTP. C: Written as a sort-of request on DevArt.
Okay, so, he had a crush on the son of Poseidon. So what? It's not like he was ever going to act on it. Seriously, someone like that would be much better off with someone like- well, someone better than Leo. That's just how it was.
He couldn't help the way he acted around him sometimes- the way Percy ran an appraising hand over one of Leo's inventions, murmuring in delight when it came to life under his fingers, green eyes bright and focused entirely for just a few minutes on Leo-
It's not Leo's fault he'd usually start steaming. And Percy would pause, his lips quirked up into a crooked smile, and he'd ask with a hint of amusement, "Hot in here?"
And Leo would run. And hate himself for running as he ducked around the corner and sped towards the safety of Bunker Nine.
But hey- it was his failsafe.
So he would burst into the bunker and collapse breathlessly against one of the worktables; and his brothers would laugh and reach over to ruffle his hair, and Nyssa would lean on an elbow and raise an eyebrow at him.
"Another close encounter?"
He'd bury his face in his arms and mumble something incoherent and love them so much for making sympathetic noises and tossing out ideas without looking down on him for having a crush on another boy.
And the next time he saw Percy, he'd skirt around him awkwardly and twist his hands and mutter some lame excuse that Percy would see through but let him have anyway, returning Leo's weak smile with one of his own.
That's how it went every time. Except for the one time it...went a little differently.
"That's amazing Leo!" Percy exclaimed, rushing to the table with bright eyes. It was the model of a plane Leo's fingers itched to start building, and it was pretty good- or it would be, when it was finished. Leo had it sitting on his table at lunch, a bunch of blueprints spread out under it and a pen in his mouth as he unfurled a new one. He hadn't even seen Percy approach, and when the latter spoke up so suddenly, Leo dropped the paper and watched it roll up and bounce-roll its way under the table.
"U-uh. Thanks, Perce." He glanced over quickly at his nearest brother for help; Christopher, as if feeling his eyes, glanced up, assessed the situation, grinned, and made a show of going back to his food. If Leo had a fork he'd have thrown it, but as he didn't- skipping lunch again cause seriously, he wanted to get these sketches done- he settled for sliding off the bench to retrieve the missing blueprint.
"There's so much detail to it. Is this the prototype?" Percy was leaning on the table and examining the little plane closely, chin resting on his arms so he and the model were eye to eye. The attention he was giving it was adorable, and Leo felt his heart swell the way it always did when Percy talked about his creations.
His heart swelled and his ears burned. He squeaked- no he didn't- and clapped his hands to his face, dropping the paper again. Yup, definitely steaming.
Percy glanced down at him, and immediately that crooked not-smile was back on his face. He seemed to wrestle it back as he crouched down on the other side of the bench and said very gravely, "Do you need some help?"
He reached past Leo to pick up the paper for him- reached past him, around him, leaning forward and his face was right there, Leo was close enough to kiss it.
The steam rolled thicker when Percy seemed to have trouble getting ahold of the blueprint; and when he climbed a bit farther over the bench, resting a hand on Leo's thigh for support, Leo was seriously afraid he was about to combust.
He lurched away, tripping over the bench spectacularly, and scrambled upright again. But he couldn't get two steps before a hand encircled his wrist and drew him back.
"Don't leave without your plane," Percy told him softly, lifting it up for him to see. "It'd get lonely."
He was still steaming, but he was also surprised; he'd never heard someone outside the Hephaestus cabin talk about machines like they were alive. So he stared at Percy as the older camper turned his hand palm-up and pressed the plane there, curling Leo's bandaged fingers around it. The care he was giving the task made Leo glance down, and the moment he did Percy leaned forward and kissed his forehead.
"Leo," he heard Percy call from the door of the bunker. "Come on- dinnertime. Nyssa said to make sure you came or I'd regret it."
Nyssa's smart, Leo mused as he slid out from under his skeletal plane and stood up with a stretch. Threatening my boyfriend instead of me. He still got a thrill at the word, and smiled when he saw Percy wander inside, looking in awe at all Leo's siblings' creations.
But somehow Percy always knew which ones were Leo's without even asking; and it was those he would stop and admire, running gossamer fingers over their surfaces, smiling and not speaking and Leo would feel his hair lift in a light steam.
Percy glanced up at him as he neared, and grinned. "Hot in here?"
Leo grinned back and ran the last few steps, all but slamming into him. He leaned in to kiss him and muttered, "Nope. Just you."
Percy laughed and kissed him back and Leo thanked God for failsafes.