A PJO oneshot
Note: The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus characters belong to Rick Riordan, not to me. Oh, and this pairing was discovered by my bestie, BlueMango, so it'd be nice to give her a little mention if you write them! Thanks! Read, review, and enjoy!
He really hated Percy Jackson.
"Why are we letting them enter New Rome?" Octavian hissed as the gathered crowd settled down for a meal to—ugh—welcome the Greeks.
"Because," Reyna said, "it is an exercise in diplomacy. And what are Romans but diplomats?" The praetor shot him a warning look. "And if you don't like that answer, Octavian, then have another: Because I said so."
He gaped at her, but not for long. Octavian stayed close to the group of newcomers. No way was he convinced that New Rome and Camp Jupiter would be safe with these Greeks around. It was bad enough that Jackson had been made praetor—now Jason was back, alive and well and still praetor. Now there were three praetors! The chaos made Octavian's head hurt. All of his troubles could be traced back to Percy Jackson's arrival.
…well, maybe not all of his troubles, Octavian noted as he stared at those across from him.
There was Jackson, getting snuggly with his troublesome Greek girlfriend. To one side of the couple sat those two insufferable members of the Fifth Cohort and Jackson's Camp Jupiter bosom buddies, Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang. On the other side of Jackson and his girl were two more unfamiliar, alien faces—Leo Valdez and Piper McLean—and…one achingly familiar face:
As if Octavian had called his name, Jason looked up at him, and the augur quickly averted his gaze. The Aphrodite girl looked at him as well, and Octavian seethed as he stared at his plate. If only that girl would disappear!
Funny, he thought to himself. Didn't you have the same thought about Reyna?
Yes, his conscience replied, but you could stand to back down for Reyna because at least she's Roman.
Thinking of his leader, he glanced at Reyna. His heart went out to her. Octavian could see how she gritted her teeth and narrowed her eyes every time McLean ended up with the ongoing conversation's attention.
Octavian also noted how differently Jason treated him. Sitting here, forced to dine with all of them, Octavian caught Jackson's girl remarking on the "budding bromance" between the son of Neptune (Poseidon, whatever) and the son of Jupiter. And Jackson and Jason were indeed getting along, if retorting in response to nearly everything Octavian said, especially about the praetorship, counted. Octavian had had to butt heads with Jackson long enough already—wasn't that bad enough? Now Jason was treating him the exact same way?
It was enough to make Octavian lose his appetite and to make his mouth go dry.
For the augur, this Jason that was readily willing to cede leadership to another was new. This Jason that got along so easily with so many others at once and could speak so easily amongst so many others was new. Octavian recalled a different son of Jupiter, a very different Jason Grace. Octavian remembered the witty banter with Jason when few had been around. Sometimes, even, without anyone around, the banter had turned into flirting. Other times, with no one around and the chance for…"other things," Octavian could recall being able to resist temptation in order to savor the taste of the companionable silence which he'd only ever enjoyed with Jason. That said something, didn't it? That Octavian, who normally went mental thanks to how the others treated him, could relax and be a decent guy with Jason around? That Jason, someone who'd always borne the brunt of camp responsibility, could rest and smile genuinely with the easygoing side of Octavian around? Jason wasn't just the only person who could stand Octavian; he'd been the only person who'd cared about Octavian.
The conversation snapped Octavian out of his reveries as the topic changed to the prophecy and the reason as to why the others had arrived in their trireme. Good gods, Jackson's girlfriend was so rude. Not only to interrupt Octavian's recitation of the prophecy, but to insist that they—Jackson, her, Levesque, Zhang, Valdez, McLean, and Jason—were the seven chosen demigods!
Then the Cyclops and—was that a harpy?—hellhound arrived, and some other prophecy didn't go unnoticed by the augur. But Jackson's girlfriend tried to gloss over it…liar.
How could Jason trust these people? Octavian got it; with his mind wiped and with new influences, Jason would never see Octavian as an equal ever again. Octavian knew that and could grin and bear it. But the least Jason could do was put some faith and trust in Reyna, a person to whom scores of Roman demigods looked up. Yet without a clear memory of her either, Jason was going to do as he pleased.
In all honesty, this was Juno's fault.
Octavian's mouth grew impossibly drier as he personally condemned the goddess while following Valdez to check out the Greek ship. If the goddess was listening in, then she was probably waiting to hear all that Octavian had to think before smiting him (after all, oracles were replaceable). But if Romans were being forced to work with Greeks, then maybe dying now would be a better choice than to have to someday be forced to fight Jason, because there was no way in the Underworld that the two camps could work together peacefully, and it was becoming awfully clear which side Jason would take if they came to blows.
Do you hear me, Juno? Octavian taunted. This is all your fault. Making Romans and Greeks team up is your solution to defeating Gaea? Nice one. Bringing us together by taking the person most important to me—to us, he quickly corrected. That was cruel, and counterproductive. The augur paused in his line of thought and decided, what the hey, might as well be honest with a deity who sometimes respected honesty. You want the truth? I'll tell you the truth. We were all happier before we knew about the Greeks. I was happier when you weren't Jason's patron. I was happier before you took Jason away from me. He narrowed his eyes at the sky, almost expecting to be blasted right then and there. When nothing happened, he snorted, but he was feeling more sad than sarcastic. Either Juno hadn't liked hearing the embarrassing truth, or Octavian wasn't worth the energy it would take to kill him.
And then, like a whisper in the wind: I know, child. And I'm sorry for all that and more.
Octavian halted right after climbing aboard the Argo II. Had he heard that right? Was his mind playing tricks on him? But he somehow knew that Juno had spoken to him, and she had apologized. Fearsome, almighty Juno had brought herself down to human level and apologized for all that she'd thrown Octavian's way.
Hey, I'm not that apologetic.
He suppressed the nervous laugh that bubbled up in the back of his throat. If Juno was apologizing, then that meant that things wouldn't stay as they currently were, right? Jason might one day revert to his old self, right? Octavian's heart lightened. All right! If Jason would be himself once more, then Octavian could cooperate long enough to defeat Gaea. All of it was fine if he'd get even a scrap of the old Jason (his Jason) back.
But a tingle went up his spine. What Juno had said… "I'm sorry for all that and more…" What did it mean? "All that and more"—it bounced around in his head, like a taunt. All that and more, all that and more, all that and more—the "and more" part definitely was not good.
And Octavian realized how not good it was when the Valdez kid pushed some buttons and opened fire on all of New Rome.
If "and more" meant this…
…then Octavian knew it was going to be a long while before he might see any of the old Jason again.
I wasn't expecting to like them so much, but I DO! X3 Sorry, Jasper shippers—while I kinda like Jasper, I feel that both Jason and Piper need to be properly fleshed out…and yet Octavian/Jason was begging to be written. I've plenty more Octason ideas, and I hope to have more fun writing Octie (he's not that bad after all!) and fleshing out Jason, whom I'm only now beginning to like. -w- I also liked the idea of blaming Juno, and fitting this in where I did… Maybe Juno wouldn't apologize, but I think Octavian's too proud a character to say that he earned a goddess' pity anyway. :O
Thanks for reading, though, and please review!