"OH CHRISTMAS TREEEEEEEE, OH CHRISTMAS TREEEEEEEE, HOW LOVELY ARE YOUR BRANCHES!"

With an exasperated sigh, Annabeth put down her pencil and let her head fall back against the couch behind her. "Damn, I told you inviting Leo was going to be a bad idea."

"And I, being the Seaweed Brain that I am, didn't listen to you," replied Percy from the kitchen.

As it was Christmas—the first one after the war—Percy had invited his friends to stay at his apartment while his mom and Paul went to visit Paul's parents upstate. Annabeth had arrived early, claimed the spot on the floor in front of the couch, and set to work on yet another blueprint for Olympus. (The rebuilding work had fallen way behind schedule when Zeus cut off the gods' access to their children.)

Someone wearing blue plaid pajama pants stepped in front of her. She had to look up to see Percy, an amused look on his face as he grinned back down at her.

"Cookie?" he asked, producing a blue chocolate chip one from behind his back. "Merry Christmas, you."

"Merry Christmas, yourself," she replied as he sat down next to her. The cookie was delicious as always, and Annabeth found herself savoring every bite—how does Sally do this? she wondered, not for the first time.

"You have chocolate on your face," Percy laughed, reaching over and wiping it off with his thumb.

Annabeth was about to lean in and kiss him because damn it all to Hades if he's not the best-looking guy I've ever seen when Leo—Percy's only other guest at the moment—decided to ruin it by shrieking, "SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!" from the direction of the bathroom.

"He came straight from training at camp," Percy said by way of explanation when Annabeth fixed him with an exasperated, accusatory glare. "Said he needed to clean up. Honestly, I don't blame him."

"You don't blame him for needing to shower, or you don't blame him for singing like a coked-up gremlin loud enough to wake the dead? Because if it's the second one, so help me gods, I will cut you." She tapped her knife threateningly with one finger.

"Annabeth, you're not from the ghetto, nor should you act like you are."

After that, Leo was momentarily forgotten as people started to arrive: Piper, Jason, Frank, Hazel, Nico, Reyna, and most of the head counselors. Thalia barged in by herself a few minutes late and promptly gave Percy a flying tackle-hug, which made everyone crack up.

They had all settled themselves around the living room and were ready for one Hades of an interesting conversation when the singing started back up again.

"SIIIIIIIILENT NIIIIIIIIGHT, HOOOOOOOOOOLY NIIIIIIIIIGHT—"

Clarisse almost spit out the bite of cookie she'd just taken. "Gods damn it, Percy. You just had to invite Leo, didn't you?"

"Do I want to know why he's in the shower?" asked Rachel.

"Not really."

"ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME..."

"A really well-deserved beating," mumbled Reyna under her breath.

"Kissy kissy, someone's in looove!" Connor said teasingly, though he shut up when Reyna fixed him with the Death Glare to End All Death Glares.

This was when Leo dropped the pretense of singing regular Christmas songs and moved on to parodies:

"WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT AAAARE, TRIED TO SMOKE A RUBBER CIGAAAAR! IIIT WAS LOOOOADED, IT EXPLOOOODED—"

"THAT'S IT!" Clarisse shouted, wriggling free of Chris' grip and stomping off to the bathroom.

Travis, meanwhile, pulled out a sheet of paper and slapped it onto the table. "Everyone memorize as much of this as you can, quickly!"

Loud banging and crashing sounds were now coming from the bathroom, and all Annabeth could think was that Percy's neighbors were not going to like this at all.

Connor stood up, waved his hands like a conductor, and led the room in singing:

"DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW, GET OUT OF CLARISSE'S WAY! OVER STRAWBERRY FIELDS WE GO, LAUGHING ALL THE WAY! BELLS THE APOLLOS RING, MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT, WHAT FUN IT IS TO LAUGH AND SING AT THE CAMPFIRE TONIGHT!"

Leo sprinted around the corner wearing nothing but a hastily wrapped towel and joined in on the chorus: "OH, JINGLE BELLS, NICO SMELLS, THALIA LAID AN EGG! THE ARES CHARIOT LOST A WHEEL AND THE STOLL BROTHERS GOT AWAY, HEY!"

They all got so carried away with the song that they didn't notice Leo had stood up on the table for a while. When they finally did, though, Annabeth shushed everybody and asked, "What is it, Leo?"

"I have a special Christmas song I'd like to sing for you guys," Leo said, then cleared his throat dramatically and began to sing what was decidedly NOT a Christmas song.

"WE'RE NO STRANGERS TO LOOOOOVE! YOU KNOW THE RULES AND SO DO IIIIII! A FULL COMMITMENT'S WHAT I'M THINKING OOOOOF, YOU WOULDN'T GET THIS FROM ANY OTHER GUYYYY—IIIII JUST WANNA TELL YOU HOW I'M FEELING, WANNA MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND—I'M NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP, NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN, NEVER GONNA RUN AROOOUND AND DESERT YOU! I'M NEVER GONNA MAKE YOU CRY, NEVER GONNA SAY GOODBYE! I'M NEVER GONNA TELL A LIIE AND HURT YOOOU!"

Thalia rolled her eyes when Leo had finished and most everyone else was on the floor from laughing so hard. "Leo, nineteen eighty-six called. It wants its punchline back."

A/N: Yes, Leo just Rickrolled you.

You're welcome.

EPC