A.N: I did a lot of guesswork here. Set during the Son of Neptune, but at the camp half-blood side, before they departed for Camp Jupiter. Don't own Percy Jackson!
It was a wonderful day.
The nymphs seemed to be singing. The sun shone impeccably on the camp, a light that crept even in the corners of darkness.
Almost – almost concealing the impending doom Camp Half-Blood was about to face. Piper would have revelled in the light, but a horrible emptiness gnawed in her chest.
She walked to the clearing near the statue Zeus' fist. She'd been to the cabins and the Armoury but Jason wasn't there. An unreasonable panic drummed in her heart. She let out a loud sigh, clutching her chest when she saw him leaning against the rocks.
Jason's eyes opened slowly, shifting lazily to Piper. The light shone on Jason's hair, it looked almost white – transparent even. Strands of hair dangled messily in front of his eyes. Piper couldn't help but admire the scene, her heart wrenching as she grew closer to him.
She sat beside him but left a deliberate inch of space between them.
"You're not training," she said, but didn't look at him.
"I didn't feel like it today."
She would've asked why but she was afraid of being shunned, so she merely nodded, and felt at a loss for words.
"Have you packed yet?" Jason asked, his gaze on Piper.
"Mmhm, have you?"
Piper bit her lip. This wasn't why she was here, to discuss mundane topics with Jason. She had so many questions, her thoughts were racing but she was dreadfully nervous. Her palms started prickling with sweat. She would never have this opportunity again, to be alone with him.
"Jason," she managed.
He was still watching her when she called him, "Hm?"
His brows knitted, alarmed with the urgency of Piper's tone.
She couldn't do it. Her mouth opened slowly, her insides squirming, but all she said was, "I hope we arrive on time."
One eyebrow raised, his gaze hardened on Piper.
She finally looked at him and smiled. But it was a sad smile. She had failed herself but it was probably better that way. Another time, she told herself.
Jason's expression softened and shifted his gaze absent-mindedly on the woods, "Me too."
"Leo's been amazing. I've never seen him work so hard," gushed Piper, still looking at Jason.
Jason nodded, still looking far off, "Wish I could've helped him..."
Piper cursed herself. Wrong subject, she thought. Jason has been feeling horribly helpless the last few days. He did try to go to the bunker and help but Leo told him off when he was screwing a bolt in the wrong way and managed to unbolt a canon. After that, Jason trained relentlessly and Piper could only watch him in the sidelines, admiring him so but feeling awfully sorry for him.
He added, "It's just so frustrating. Doing nothing and.. And know that... my camp is in danger."
"I know how you feel," she said, remembering her dad's situation before. "We'll manage to help though. Leo says we'll make it in time for the Feast, right?"
Jason simply nodded again, looking unconvinced. Piper knew why, the travel time cut too close to the Feast, one wrong move.. or one setback they might not make it in time, and then there would be no camp to save.
She wanted to touch him, offer him a hug, caress his face or kiss him and touch that adorable scar near his lips. But she knew better than to. Instead, she tried to say words of comfort,
"Percy will be there,"
Jason showed no expression of relief or anguish. He probably heard this already, but she continued anyway,
"Rachel said he'd have to save your camp, Jason. Just as you saved Camp Half-Blood."
Her gaze was fixed steadily on Jason's eyes, although he did not look at her, but she willed him to,
"Annabeth—she said that, Percy is undoubtedly strong and—" her hand took hold of his. She couldn't bear to refrain from touching him anymore. She breathed, "And that, he'd risk the world for his friends."
He met her gaze at last. He fixed his hand so that his and Piper's fingers were intertwined. His lips curved into a small, sad smile, forming his scar into a crescent. His expression, Piper read, seemed to say, I hope so.
Leo walked briskly. Why was he the messenger boy? He was doing last minute touches to his baby. He looked at the cabins, at the armoury... where was Jason at!
He stopped in his tracks then rolled his eyes at what he saw. Making as much noise possible, he stepped out onto the clearing. Jason and Piper looked at him, both blushing slightly.
His eyes drifted to where Jason and Piper's hands were locked together, "Jason, Annabeth is looking for you. She's at the Big House."
Their hands slowly let go of each other. Piper nodded to Jason. He stood up and thanked Leo.
"See you later," and walked away.
Piper stood up too. Leo thought she looked awfully somber for someone who just finished canoodling with her almost boyfriend.
She said, "Want to eat?"
He looked at her, studying her carefully... Completely ignoring her question he said, "I thought you two were fighting."
Piper looked confused, "What?"
"You and Jason," He shrugged, "Guess I was wrong."
Wearing a mystified look, she said, "What made you think that?"
"Never mind," Leo wanted to drop the issue. Relationships were never really his forte. He had, on more than one occasion though, observed that Piper left some sort of distance between her and Jason. She left the Mess Hall whenever Jason appeared and the armoury and the bunker.. well... everywhere actually. Not to mention, Leo saw her watching him whilst he practiced in an expression of utmost longing and agony. He'd rather not have seen any of it. No drama for him, thank you. But he couldn't keep his mouth shut this time...
"No, not never mind," her tone demanding, "What made you say that? Did Jason say something?"
Leo's eyebrow rose the highest it could, "No, what makes you think that?" he scoffed.
Piper didn't say anything, but her mouth mimicked a fish's as she tried to blurt something out but eventually shut it. She looked even more miserable.
Determined to stop any sort of crying, (and he thought he had avoided the drama), he said, "I'm going back to the bunker. Last minute check ups," he smiled, trying to lift the mood, "want to come?"
Piper nodded and they both walked to the bunker. Leo produced a mighty flame that opened the entrance and he heard Piper stifle a gasp.
He beamed, "Amazing right! I have to be really amazing right!"
But Piper didn't give any affirmation; her eyes scaled Argo II, her hands covering her gaping mouth as she did.
"I'll give you a tour!" he said, feeling elated at Piper's wonder.
After giving Piper the tour, he spread out the blueprint on his table, which had a great sign above saying, "Hot Captain Leo's table." His half-brothers and half-sisters set his table on fire one time, while jeering "A hot table for the hot captain!"
She asked Leo how exactly was it the boat was going to fly and he was more than happy to show her his brilliance of making it so, "You see Piper," and he glanced at her.
He then became very nervous.
She was biting back her lip, close to tears, staring hard onto the blueprint. Leo looked at Piper's eyes and then back to the blueprint to see what set her off, but nothing could've made her upset with how Festus head was shaped or maybe girls were just really weird that way...
"U-uhmm... I can make it a girl dragon if you want," he said, shrugging.
Piper shook her head wildly, parts of her hair whipping Leo in the face.
Losing patience, he said, "Oww... why are you crying then?"
Piper looked indignant, "I wasn't—I'm not crying!"
"I just.. I, I don't want us to go," she whispered. "But I see what you've made, and then Jason—he, he really wants to... and I feel so bad about not wanting to go..."
Leo was bewildered. Why on earth, was she crying to him? He sucked at this stuff.
"Err uhm, actually I'm hungry, let's go and eat," he said foolishly.
Piper shook her head, Leo unconsciously eased back to avoid any wild hair whippings.
"I don't wanna go there. Jason's there."
Realizing he had to deal with this, he said, "I thought you two were getting along fine?"
"We are. That's the problem. I'm getting too attached."
"What's wrong with that?"
"He," her voice was quivering, "he has someone else."
Leo didn't say anything.
Piper continued, her hands fidgeting, "he muttered Reyna in his sleep one time."
Leo's eyebrow raised, "she could be his sister, Pipes."
She shook her head once more, "I've heard Annabeth ask Jason if he remembers anything. He dropped her name, said that there was something about her he couldn't really remember, but it was important. Annabeth already asked if she was her sister, then Jason said he didn't think so."
Leo scratched his head, at a loss at what Piper wanted him to do. Honestly, he didn't think it was really nice of Jason to sort of two-time, but then again, the guy lost his memory. As his bro, he should know what his side of the story was first. Yep, yep, that was the right thing to do. He felt proud of his maturity.
But he was still stuck with a close to tears Piper.
And his maturity couldn't deal with that just yet.
Desperate to cheer her up, he said, "Err uhm, Jason actually told me something about her."
Piper's eyes widened.
He continued, "He uhm, said that Reyna's just some girl at camp who,"
Who what, Valdez? His thoughts raced, who served dinner...what? No. Who he had fling with? Right, that'll stop her from crying.
Seeing as Piper became increasingly sceptical, he hastily said, "likes him."
And then added, "But it's all one-sided."
Piper blinked, "He told you that? He's remembered as much as that?"
Leo nodded and gulped. Buy it... buy it..
Suddenly, a bang echoed in the bunker. Both of them looked at the entrance.
Thank God , thought Leo. Or maybe Thank father.
Nyssa appeared at the entrance, carrying a torch. Her eyes darted from Piper to Leo, eyeing them suspiciously.
"It's time for lunch. Chiron says you should eat Leo, since Argo II's done."
Leo hastily folded the blueprint, "Great timing, I'm starving!"
Piper looked annoyed, traces of her breakdown vanished, "I asked you to eat with me a while ago and you said—"
She stopped, remembering exactly what Leo said after she offered him lunch.
Leo smirked but then darted off to the entrance, avoiding another drama bomb.
Muttering to himself, Man, are girls weird!