I just finished reading Musafreen's Guide to Writing PJO Fanfiction, and suddenly got the urge to write a Truth or Dare fic because she bashed it. Sort of. Bashed it, that is. Plus, I've headdesked way too many times after bulldozing my way through one of these. So this is my attempt at a Truth or Dare. Not a parody, but something that might actually have some kind of logic to it. Unbeta-d and more or less unedited, so excuse the occasional grammar mistake, if you would.
"Hey, Rachel, what do normal people do?"
Rachel's pencil, which was sharpened enough to make any demigod's weapon jealous, paused in its doodling on her sketchbook. The redhead looked up, one eyebrow cocked at her friend, who had had her nose buried in blueprints up until a few moments ago. "I don't know," Rachel said at last, grinning. "I'm not normal. I spout prophecies every two weeks or so. Oracle of Delphi?"
"Yeah, but before that," Annabeth pressed, leaning over to look at said Oracle of Delphi's doodles. "You must've had some mortal friends you hung out with before we Greek freaks invaded your life. Those eyes are scarily big." She tapped a bobblehead version of Apollo with her pencil eraser.
Rachel frowned. "I'll add sunglasses. Gods know he needs them." She sketched a pair of dark glasses with the Gucci logo on the corner.
"Nice touch. How about bellbottom pants?" Annabeth settled back into her chair and promptly burst into laughter a minute later as Rachel held up her sketchbook for her to see. "Erase them, erase them. It's horrifying!"
"I'll say," Rachel snorted between giggles, furiously rubbing the end of her pencil across the lines. She blew eraser shavings off the paper, earning a shake of the head from Annabeth as they went flying onto her sketch of Olympus's salad bar.
"So what do normal people do?" Annabeth asked, eyebrows raised innocently as she shifted her gaze back to her blueprints.
"Eat. Sleep. Breathe," Rachel replied vaguely. In truth, she'd always buried herself in her art, helping in fundraisers, entering the talent show in an attempt to distance herself from being the Dare heiress. She'd never really bothered with poking her nose into the business of other teenagers, because she figured their life couldn't be any more interesting than hers.
"Yeah, but abnormal people," Annabeth waved a hand between them to indicate her point, "do those things too. I'm talking about anything besides homework, chores, monster fighting, and art."
"That leaves eat, sleep, and breathe," Rachel repeated, grinning as Annabeth accidentally tossed her pencil away by throwing her hands up in frustration. "I don't know, hang out downtown? Be all lovey-dovey with their dates? Watch TV?"
"Doesn't anyone play sports anymore?" Annabeth's voice was muffled from bending over to look for her pencil under the table.
"That's my shoe."
"Sorry, Rach. Hey, I see it over there. Mind getting it for me?"
"Here," Rachel said, dropping the pencil on the table. Annabeth came back up, blowing blonde curls out of her face.
"Thanks. So, sports?"
"Between a steady diet of chips and soda and a race to see who can be the biggest couch potato, sports have become urban legend." Rachel nodded solemnly. "You know, I have heard of party games. Never actually played any, though. Twister, Spin the Bottle, Truth or Dare, junk like that."
Annabeth tapped her pencil against her bottom lip in thought. "I'm suddenly glad I'm a demigod."
"I dunno about that." Rachel turned back to her sketch, brushing a red curl out of her face. "Hey, do you think his head matches his ego yet?" she asked, holding up her pad again. Bobblehead Apollo grinned on the paper, blissfully unaware of his outfit.
Annabeth contemplated the drawing. "Nah," she decided. "Scale it up by another inch."
"I don't even know why I'm here," Rachel complained. "It's not like I have to hide from – OW! What the – Nico? What are you doing?"
The son of Hades slid off his painful position on her lap and down the side of Zeus's Fist with groan. The grass around him turned brown and started smoking. His eyes were tightly closed, and his breathing was shallow for a couple of moments until he pulled himself up with a shake of his head.
"Why are you guys all up there?" he asked blearily, looking up at the group of demigods gathered on the pile of boulders. "Man, I haven't shadow travelled that much since I ran into the Great Wall . . . That hurt . . ."
"Which part?" Percy asked in concern, looking down from his perch a little below Rachel. "The shadow travelling you just did, or running into the Great Wall?"
"Both. Came from Italy just now. What are you guys doing up there anyway?" Nico repeated, picking his sword off the ground and sheathing it. He started walking a circle around Zeus's Fist, pointing at each demigod in turn and muttering. "Percy, hey Rachel, you two," he nodded at the Stolls, "Piper, you I don't remember, Katie, Annabeth, Leo, you're in my spot," he finished, stopping next to a small but sheer rock face with an accusing glare.
Leo grinned. "Sorry, bro. You can have this spot." He patted a space next to him that amounted to three square inches of flat rock. Nico stuck out his tongue childishly, but pulled himself onto the tiny space with ease.
"Well," Rachel began, snapping her fingers for Nico's attention. "These guys are hiding from the Ares cabin because the Stoll doofuses did something to them worse than their norm for the Demeter cabin, from what I hear." Katie Gardner gave her an approving nod. "I'm just here for kicks."
Nico held up a finger. "Wait a sec. This isn't exactly off-limits to the Ares cabin, so it's not like they can't come charging in to beat your butts." Rachel liked how he said 'your' rather than 'our'.
"Last time the Hunters were here," Annabeth interjected, "Thalia officially declared this whole clearing 'her territory'," she explained with air quotes. "She's pretty much only given permission to Percy and I to come and go as we want –"
"Let me guess," Nico interrupted with a smirk. "As long as there's no 'gross stuff'?" He mimicked her earlier air quotes.
Annabeth rolled her eyes. "That's a mild way to put it. You should've seen her list her rules – it took her a whole ten minutes to go over every single detail about what –"
"Thanks," Nico said with a pained look on his face. "Anybody else care to explain?" Annabeth huffed and crossed her arms, leaning down to murmur something in Percy's ear.
Leo picked up. "So when Clarisse hunted down the Stolls, they pointed the finger at me, if you can believe it," he shook his head solemnly.
"He came crying to me," Piper continued, nudging Leo with the tip of her shoe. "Asked me to use special pleading on the Ares cabin. Which is ridiculous, because I can't persuade a whole cabin of bloodthirsty war god duplicates to drop their weapons like that." She snapped her fingers for emphasis.
"You didn't even try!" Leo complained.
"It wasn't possible in the first place," Piper retorted. "So, since nobody wants a bunch of Ares kids out for their guts, Annabeth was kind enough to help me with her amazing braniac skills. Poor Katie here got dragged into the mess by Travis, and we have no idea why you're here," she informed him.
Nico shrugged. "Like I said, I was in Italy. Gods, their pizza is amazing." There was a collective groan from the group, and an "I'm famished!" from Connor, followed by a slap upside the head from Katie. "Then a hydra had to show up and ruin my fun. So I made my totally awesome and amazing escape, and walked in on this." He waved a hand vaguely.
"More like fell into my lap in on this," Rachel scoffed, rubbing her knee. "You have bony elbows."
"Don't blame me. Blame Sally for refusing to let me eat her cookies." Nico stuck out his bottom lip.
"She only did that because the plate disappeared in two seconds while she went to water the plants," Percy shot back, looking at his stomach resentfully. "I didn't even get five."
"You get cookies on a three day basis. I get cookies on a three month basis. It's not like I can actually enjoy the food at my family dinners." Leo patted Nico's shoulder in sympathy.
"So how long are we camping out here anyway?" Rachel asked, looking at Annabeth. Her friend was sitting cross-legged at the crest of the boulders, leaning back on her hands. She checked her way-too-expensive watch; it was already four in the afternoon. "'Cause if I'd known, I would've brought my sketchbook just so I can amuse myself with Bobblehead Apollo."
"Best case scenario, a couple hours." Annabeth blew a stray curl out of her face. "Worst case scenario, the Ares cabin finds us, surrounds us, and demand that we sacrifice Leo, Travis, and Connor, which might take a couple days."
"Because you'd miss my awesomeness," Leo boasted, pressing his hand to his chest with an overly smug smile.
Piper gave him a kick. "Shut it, hotshot."
"Gee, that's nice to know after you told me I have to stay," Rachel commented. "Do you think hoping for the best case scenario is going to jinx it?"
"I wouldn't be surprised if it did," Percy muttered.
She rolled her eyes. "Thanks so much for the vote of confidence."
This was followed by an awkward pause, during which the demigods and Rachel looked around at the others with identical glum faces.
Katie cleared her throat. "Well then. What now?" Travis settled his head in her lap, stretching out his legs and kicking more than a few people in the process.
"Sleep," Nico mumbled, slipping off his ledge and collapsing on the grass, fast asleep.