A/N: Final chapter of the night, folks. I'll try to update as soon as I can, and seeing as school is almost over (I am so close to surviving my freshman year of high school), I should be hopefully pumping out more chapters than my wonderful beta, TheNineMuses, can handle. Another quick question: Who is your favorite character in this and how do you think I am portraying them? Well that was two questions, but you get my point. Anyway, goodnight guys, and talk to you soon.

Disclaimer: PJO is not my property…damn…

Family Bonding

Chapter 26


The heaviness that filled my chest was receding and being replaced by mirth I had not known for some time. I glanced over at Poseidon and saw his cheeks flushed with blitheness as he was hunched over trying to contain the laughter I knew he wished to release.

With a breathy chuckle, I leaned forward, placing my elbows on my knees and let my hands dangle between them. My eyes searched briskly around until they came to an abrupt stop at the boys. They were sitting adjacent to each other although Percy was at a slight angle giving me a view of his profile. Nico was directly facing me. Behind his mess of hair, I could see his eyes glancing in our general direction and I let out a sigh. He had his mother's coffee brown eyes, but the light in them was most definitely mine. I tore my eyes away and turned my attention back to my brother as a rather interesting thought came to rest in a nook in my brain.

"Brother," I called softly.

"Yes?" He turned to me with the corners of his lips upturned in that foolish grin.

"A…thought has just occurred to me."

"And what might that be?"

"Well…since this is a…'family' bonding trip"—I made air quotes around family—"…I suppose this includes…us with our nephews…and niece."

His expression became perplexed. "Mhmm?"


He stayed in a bewildered state for a moment longer before fully comprehending my words. "You wish to know my opinion on the children?"

I nodded sheepishly. "You tell me yours, I'll tell you mine."

He let out a long breath as he leaned back and crossed his arms. "Well… They…they're a lot like us. For example, Nico, like you, is sarcastic, moody, blunt, stubborn—"

"Are you done?" I grumbled.

"I'm just getting started." He turned to me with a larkish smirk. "And like you, he is just, sharp-witted, and good-natured."

I couldn't help but straighten as my chest inflated with pride. "And what of Thalia?"

He exhaled sharply through his teeth. "Thalia is…confident, proud, sure of herself…all of which Zeus is. But unlike him, she is a lot smarter for sure."

A loud laugh belted out of my throat so suddenly I had to cover my mouth in order for it to be subdued. "I agree wholly. She is also much more understanding and not as uptight… Perhaps she has been spending too much time around the boy."

He shrugged. "Perhaps… And what of Percy?"

I cocked my head slightly as I thought and clicked my tongue a few times. "He is…rather obtuse, if you ask me, oblivious at times as well as obstinate, impetuous, occasionally impertinent—"

"I get it."

"Oh, but I'm not done. He…is also loyal beyond belief, he leads well, and…he is a…fine…young man…" My voice faltered until I noted his boastful expression. "To which you should thank his mother."

His face fell and he sent a halfhearted glare. "You are right though. His mother did a wonderful job raising him… And I am not obtuse or oblivious."

I couldn't help but smile. "There are many who would say otherwise."

His glare became more solid and I held up my hands in surrender. "I only jest, brother."

"You seem to be doing that a lot lately…" he muttered thoughtfully. "Does this mean I get my brother back?"

"We'll see." A flitter of hope filled my ribcage as the words left my lips.

A moment of awkward silence came between us until Poseidon cleared his throat and asked, "And what will you do now?"

I glanced at him wearily before realizing the intentions of his words. "I'm too tired to deal with Zeus, at least for today. We can save that most pleasurable conversation for a day when I'm not drained."

He nodded his head in understanding. "That seems reasonable."

My gazed drifted to the clear, blue sky. "Did you… Did you leave those two alone…?"

"Thalia wished to speak with Zeus," he informed me.

"But…the sky is blue…"

"I'm just as surprised as you."

A loud puff of air left my lips. "At least we don't have to go through that ordeal all over again."

"At least for today… Because I am pretty sure Zeus will say something to anger her again."

"I have no doubt." As the words left my lips, I stood and stretched. "Speaking of those two, I believe we have left them alone long enough."

He stood slowly and called the boys over. Nico looked between us uneasily for a moment until I noticed his shoulder relax and a small smile grace his lips. Percy wouldn't even look me in the eye.

"Percy," I said suddenly, shocking the boy enough to turn towards me flustered, "I…um…am s…s—sorry for…my behavior…earlier…and I…forgive you."

I myself almost couldn't understand my words as I said them through clenched teeth, but he got the general message. His mouth fell agape ever so slightly, leading me to roll my eyes.

"Um…it's…okay…?" He seemed truly perplexed.

I leaned next to Poseidon and whispered in his ear, "He really is your son."

I received a rather harsh elbow to the ribs in response. What allowed me take it as well as I did was the warm smile spreading across Nico's face.