A.N.: Errrrrrr. Angsty chap.
Piper ate her lunch quietly. She did not retort, or even acknowledge the constant insults Drew threw on the table,
"Honestly, I think Rachel has it all wrong... Letting things become too personal... Just because she's friends with a certain someone doesn't mean she's the one indicated in the prophecy,"
Some nodded absent-mindedly, either taken by her charm speak or to avoid offending her... The others looked at Piper expecting a response of some sort but she just idly played with her peas, her head resting on her propped up hand.
Her mind replayed the conversation she had with Annabeth a few minutes ago. One look at Piper and she knew she was still mulling over Reyna,
"Piper, you met Jason for a reason. I really believe that. I don't think you should ignore your feelings, or try to restrain it," she shook her head, "Love, as you should know, it doesn't work that way."
When Piper didn't say anything, she continued,
"I should know... I mean," she stopped and looked wistful, "I, Percy... I took such a long time telling him how I really felt. It was more of a struggle in being honest with my feelings... Now, that he's not here, and I miss him so much, it makes me... Makes me regret not telling him sooner..."
Alarmed at Annabeth's tearful state, Piper prepared herself to spew words of comfort when Annabeth smiled, sensing her worry, "You guys just remind me of us a bit. Sorry if I got emotional," she let out a shaky laugh, "And here I was trying to cheer you up..."
Piper smiled too, "This quest has got us all in such a nervous, emotional state."
Annabeth nodded, "We should eat..."
She almost jumped out of her chair, "What?"
Mitchell was glaring at the other side of the table, "Please make her shut up."
Drew was still droning on insults about her.
Piper waved her fork in the air, "Whatever, let her be. She's just jealous."
Mitchell shot Piper a curious look, "Really, and what's up with you? You've been miserable for a few days now."
"I have not," said Piper defensively.
He rolled his eyes, "Another fight with Jason? Be careful, Drew might suddenly snatch him from under your nose while you're wallowing in self-pity."
Drew was the last of her worries. If anyone would snatch him under her nose it would be...
She sighed, exhausted of having to think about her again. She guessed that Leo might've been lying about knowing Reyna's one-sided love. What was she thinking approaching him... Though Mitchell was right, she really ought to stop pitying herself...
"I was just kidding, Jason obviously doesn't like her," Mitchell said, seeing as Piper visibly looked wearier after what he said.
"How do you know that?" Piper asked, honestly curious about how a boy's mind works.
Mitchell, however, thought he was being attacked, "Nobody in her right mind would like Drew... I mean she's pretty and all but you're prettier and nicer..."
Piper interrupted, "No, no, I mean, really, how do you find out if a guy likes a girl?"
He looked confused, "Uhm, er... Well, guys sort of try to get close to the girl he likes I guess..."
At this, Piper's heart sank, she didn't think Jason did anything to get to know her more...
"And then I guess guys sort of give stuff ..."
Piper felt even worse.
Lacy, who was quietly listening to their conversation, noticed the look of horror in Piper's face and butted in,
"But guys have different ways of showing they like a girl, right?"
Mitchell shrugged, "I guess..."
Lacy smiled at Piper, trying to reassure her. Too late for that though, she barely heard the rest of the conversation, aghast at how she has apparently misinterpreted all of Jason's actions.
She stood up immediately, her food almost untouched.
Jason did not go to the Mess Hall. He was not hungry. He had finished packing. On occasions like this, he'd usually see what was Leo up to, but that was not an option for today. Instead, he trained. Like a man possessed, he tore everything with his new weapon, Juno's Gladius.
After Rachel stormed off, Jason calmed down and realized he might've jumped to conclusions in thinking that Leo was in love with Piper with his one retort. After all, he just might've been looking out for a friend. Yes, that was it...
He heard a gasp. He turned immediately to the noise and caught the sight of chocolate brown hair disappearing into the trees. He dropped his weapon,
He rushed and clasped her wrist. She did not turn to her. It was unnaturally silent. Quiet sobs echoed in the woods.
"Why are you mad?"
"I am not mad."
His eyes bore onto the back of her head, she still did not face him.
He was hurt. A week of resentment escaped him,
"Not mad? You've been avoiding me for so many days now, Piper. It's not like I haven't noticed. I thought.. since we'd busy after sailing we'd spend more time together but..."
He blushed. His whole face seemed hot, he was never comfortable displaying his emotions... or desires. But he wanted her. So much.
Piper turned, and Jason's heart leapt. Apparently, the vulnerability made her look more beautiful. She avoided his gaze. Her eyes were a bit bloodshot, and tears fell silently as she stammered,
"I thought... I thought you didn't—"
Jason resisted comforting her with a kiss. Instead he lifted her chin, willing her to look at him.
Their eyes met and they seemed to be in a world of their own...
Lost in her gaze, Jason who now cupped her face with his hand, unknowingly so, taunted by the look of her eyes, inched closer. His thumb wiped the tears off her face gently. Their faces barely inches apart moved closer...
But Piper shifted her head and looked away,
"I can't," she sobbed.
Words escaped her hiccupping, "Not while," hic "someone else..."
A horrible black hole seemed to erupt in Jason's chest. Someone else? He could not speak. He wanted to calm down, but he seemed to think Piper could only mean one person, Leo. He felt an immeasurable amount of regret and sadness, of having lost a love while it hadn't even started- of having lost... a most great love...
When his voice finally began to return to him, a rustling in the trees interrupted.
Chiron appeared, in full centaur form. His brows furrowed at the sight of them, "I am sorry to have disturbed you, but we are to inform the rest of the camp our itinerary for tomorrow..."
He cast Piper a worried look, "Will you be up to it, Piper?"
She nodded, stifling sobs as she did.
"We'll talk about this later," he said, as he turned to the Mess Hall, his tail swishing about.
Jason hoped later would never come.