The three brothers stood together in the shadows of a clump of trees, unnoticed by the three children in the clearing before them. The two boys, both with pitch black hair watched with amused green and black eyes as the girl, also with black hair but bright electric blue eyes stood above them, hands on hips and a scowl on her face, unknowing or uncaring of the large gash on her cheek.
The two boys lay sprawled on the grass, their heads tilted in an almost identical way and smiles twitched at the corners of their mouths as the girl frowned at them. The eldest boy had a grey streak in his black hair and his ocean eyes, while sparkling with amusement, held dark shadows lurking in those green depths. He had a long cut running the length of one tanned arm, his t-shirt was torn, his leg bloody and his entire body covered in a yellowy dust.
The boy beside him glanced sideways with his dark eyes, his pale features seeming to speak of an almost Italian background, despite his fair skin. He too, was covered in that strange dust and had his fair share of injuries. His face had a long cut running the length of his cheek and he had a jagged gash running into his hairline.
The girl frowned down at them with her piercing eyes, absently blowing strands of her long black hair out of her face taking with it a puff of dust. She had a deep scratch on her arm but other than the cut on her face she was unharmed.
At their feet lay two swords, a handful of daggers, a bow, a quiver of arrows, a spear, three very different shields and three orange backpacks. The girl stomped her foot almost childishly and the boys sniggered. "Don't laugh." She hissed menacingly and they boys struggled to get their faces under control. "That was my monster!" she cried indignantly. "I had it under control!"
The eldest boy sniggered slightly. "Well actually, you didn't have it under control and besides it was our monster." He said, indicating the boy beside him.
Said boy shrunk slightly from the eerily similar challenging glares which were shifter to him. "Well…" he said slowly, obviously choosing his words carefully, "Thalia got to it first." he paused and the girl cried out triumphantly, a smug smile on her face. "But then again," The smile fell to be replaced by a threatening frown. "You probably wouldn't have killed it without us and as we were following it that would make it our monster."
The elder boy now had the smug grin and he watched on in amusement as the girl gave a shriek of fury and tackled the dark eyed boy. She froze as the boy gave a small cry of pain. Both she and the elder boy sat up and eyed the smaller boy in concern. "You ok Nico?" The elder boy asked worriedly.
Thalia scrambled off Nico and scooped up the three backpacks, dumping them beside the two boys who were pulling up their shirts or rolling up their jeans to properly examine their injuries. Thalia dug through all three backpacks and produced three orange canteens and zip lock bags of small peach coloured squares. She dropped down onto the grass beside the two boys and handed the elder a canteen. "Here you go Percy."
Percy took the canteen and took a small careful sip. He smiled at his cousin in thanks before pouring a small amount of the golden liquid into his various injuries. Thalia handed another canteen to Nico who followed Percy's example and Thalia took the remaining canteen, following suit.
Percy, who had finished with his own wounds, turned to Thalia and gently tilted her head back and to one side so he could properly look at the cut on her face. He took up the canteen and poured a small amount on her face, not letting go until the cut had healed. She slapped his hand away with a playful scowl before turning him around so she and Nico could attend to the long gashes, previously unnoticed, on his back.
"You've really done a number on yourself this time Perce." Nico murmured as he gently pealed the t-shirt away from the bloody wounds.
Percy tried to protest but Thalia shoved him down so he was lying on his stomach and his cousin's had better access to heal his wounds. "Don't even try Perseus Jackson." she snarled. Percy stopped struggling.
Once all of the trio's wounds were healed they stood and retrieved their weapons and their backpacks, stuffing the nectar and ambrosia into them. They stood awkwardly until Thalia snarled and brought her cousins into a strong hug. She pulled back slightly and glared at them. "Thank you for helping me from the monster." she whispered, pulling them back into the hug to hide her blushing cheeks. Her cousins wrapped their arms around her and smirked at each other behind her back.
"That's what family is for." They replied in a cheeky unison unknowing of the guilty jolt which ran through the bodies of their fathers, hiding in the shadows.
The trio pulled apart and with final goodbyes they parted ways. The two boys in one direction and their cousin in the opposite direction. Once the three children had gone, the three brothers entered the clearing where their children had healed each other after fighting together like a perfectly oiled machine, unknowing of the gazes of their fathers.
"It seems to me, brothers, as if our children are more like the siblings than we." Poseidon murmured, his ocean eyes gazing intently at the spot where his son had been shoved to the ground while his cousins healed him.
Hades snorted. "They do not have siblings who abandon each other." he stated calmly while his younger brother shifted guiltily. "They did not desert Nico when they discovered his parentage, no they continued to protect each other. It is strange."
Poseidon shook his head, granting his elder brother with a small sad smile. "No it is not so strange, I believe. The way our children interact is how we ourselves should. They do not hold grudges against each other and they watch out for the other. This is how siblings should act, they as cousins do. We as brothers do not."
Zeus spoke up for the first time that afternoon, preparing to swallow his pride. "Maybe it is time for us to call a truce." he proposed softly.
Poseidon shook his head. "Not a truce." he murmured. "It is high time for the Big Three to set aside their differences and act like proper brothers." he repeated the words spoken by his son and nephew. "That's what family is for."
His brothers nodded slowly and as one they shook hands, their pride shattered. Without looking each other in the eye, they all vanished from that fateful clearing to a future that may possibly be better for the Olympian family.
All thanks to three illegal children who had survived against the odds and formed a close bond of family.