lovers and haters and sibling matchmakers

A PJO oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus characters belong to Rick Riordan, not to me. Oh, and this pairing was discovered by my pal, BlueMango, so it'd be nice to give her a little mention if you write them! Thanks! Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

"She's a gorgeous girl," you say to your brother.

Pollux glances over your shoulder. "Who, Miranda? You've never said anything about her before."

You shrug as your twin eyes you with curiosity. "Well, I'm saying something now, aren't I?"

"Yeah, but…"

"And we're almost adults. Shouldn't we be thinking like this?"

Pollux stares at you warily. Maybe he's a little weird-ed out because it's always been the two of you and only ever has been the two of you. To add someone else to the mix just seems strange. Maybe puberty is the one thing you two won't share—it'll happen to you first and him second, and your paces won't match any longer for the rest of your long lives.

"I was just joking," you say to him when the violet eyes that mirror yours continue to stare at you as if you're an interesting specimen. You shake him off and decide to concentrate on the fields, because it's time for the camp to sell more fruit and make more money.

- ^-^3

"Hey, Cas, she's looking your way."

At first you think it's a tease and you regret telling Pollux anything about Miranda. But then you look up and realize that Miranda Gardiner is indeed looking your way. You give her your most charming smile, and she blushes as red as the strawberries the camp sold last week.

Pollux snickers at you. "Ah, brother, you've got it bad—and perhaps she does, too." He waggles his eyebrows at you, and you swat him on the arm. Pollux doesn't understand because he's never thought this way about someone before, but you don't hold it against him. You're the older twin by less than half a minute, so you figure maybe as the time passes that you will have to play your big-brother role more often.

"Who knows?" you say nonchalantly, trying to pretend that you're not excited about catching her eye. "Miranda's here all the time, Katie's not. Maybe I finally noticed her because Katie isn't around."

Your twin surprises you and frowns. "That's not nice. Katie's our friend, Cas. She's the only one who comes out and helps us in the fields from time to time, even though she's not a year-rounder."

"Maybe she's got a crush on you, then," you say with a little more annoyance than you meant.

Pollux's frown deepens. "Maybe she's got a crush on you," he mumbles offhandedly, and then the subject is dropped as you two leave your cabin for Capture the Flag.

- ^-^3

You're lame, you think, as you've done the childish thing. You used your magic to weave her a crown of grape leaves and she wears it, even though she, Katie, or your brother could've done the same thing. Heck, any child of Dionysus or of Demeter could've done such a simple thing.

Still, she appears to think it's charming, you spoiling her with your magic and gifts. A crown of leaves one day, a soft blanket of ivy the next—anything's worth getting chided for if it makes Miranda smile.

Then again, Chiron doesn't find it funny when you "absentmindedly" grow a vine which trips up your brother, who isn't paying attention during the chariot races. You feel shame for hurting your brother; hurting him is as bad as hurting you, for you two are two halves of a whole.

Then again, you don't know why your powers seemed to act up on their own. But a small part of you is enjoying seeing the differences between you two, seeing that you've got more power, that you're more focused, that you're stronger, that you're more entertaining than he is—

Who's lame now?

- ^-^3

He's lame. He just comes out and says it, and it ruins everything.

"I told Miranda you like her," Pollux tells you when the two of you get up early one morning to do your chores.

Your eyes widen. "You what?"

He shrugs. "I told her. She says she respects your feelings…"

Your heart sinks. He's ruined everything.

"…and…"

He's ruined everything. You might as well go join Clarisse's secret mission to gods-know-where.

"…she says she'd like to see you tomorrow, after dinner." He raises his eyebrows. "I think you've got some luck, Castor."

Maybe Pollux has ruined nothing at all.

- ^-^3

"You're very sweet to me, but…"

You don't even know why she doesn't say yes. She has no reason to. Haven't the two of you been getting along greatly?

But maybe you like Miranda partially because she's one of the most honest people you know. "I like someone else," she finishes.

You can respect that. She respects your feelings, so you can respect hers. But you don't have to like it.

- ^-^3

"Pollux told me about…you know."

"Gods! He's become such a blabbermouth," you hiss, deflated, as you carry the empty cartons for Katie. You volunteered to start picking the strawberries ahead of everyone else, and Katie thought to join you. Pollux is right. She's a good friend.

She gives you a sympathetic smile. "No, he just cares for you," she says. "I don't blame him. I'd do the same thing for Miranda, I think, if I were in his shoes."

"What? You like the same guy as her?" For all that Katie's a girl, she's never been very girly in the way she talks about herself. To find her confiding in you is surprising.

Katie shakes her head. "It's not that… But I might have hinted to the guy she likes." She winks, but you muse that she doesn't seem as energetic either.

You sigh. "Oh, Katie… What are we going to do with ourselves?"

"What, indeed." She smiles, and things feel just a little better.

- ^-^3

Things don't feel any better.

You spend more and more time moaning and groaning to Katie, and you're sure she doesn't want to hear it. But you're too focused not to stop.

And you can't stop. Because, because…because Pollux has somehow found happiness with Miranda. And it's strange and sudden and surprising.

And, above all, it hurts.

So, no, things don't feel any better, and they hurt even more when you think a sliver of a thought: If only Pollux weren't around

- ^-^3

"She's happy."

"I know."

"He's happy, too."

"I know."

"Why don't you try to put them out of your mind?"

"Because I can't, Katie," you snarl. Your anger diminishes when her face crumples. You didn't mean to snap, but she just doesn't get how much all of this with their siblings has affected you, not to mention that she told you herself that she gave Pollux the hint about Miranda.

Oh.

So maybe this is what it means to be an adult, loving and losing and never winning anything.

- ^-^3

A day later, Katie actually hangs out with Travis and Connor Stoll, despite their well-known rivalry.

Pollux is only ever with Miranda these days.

And you, you are all alone.

- ^-^3

There is panic and fear and adrenaline pumping, and you all know that this could be the end of Camp Half-Blood. The Titan army is here, and suddenly teenage and adult life blurs into only life and living.

Some will go missing. Others will die. But if you manage to save your home, then it will all be worth it.

It seems ridiculous now, you think as you wonder about recent events. Hating your brother, wanting Miranda, wishing Katie would leave you alone and having your wish granted—you haven't grown at all, Castor, you haven't.

Girls and friends aren't worth it if you lose your home and your brother.

You keep this in mind as you fight.

But the final thought on your mind is that you've wronged Pollux in so many ways… Wishing he'd disappear… You would never truly want that to happen, no, never…

And now you've gone and done it to him.

It's always been the two of you and only ever has been the two of you. To add someone else to the mix just seems strange.

But Death just can't resist taking his place in your life.

- ^-^3

;_; Sorry… This turned very angsty on me all of a sudden… *sigh* I guess that happens when I write twins—Castor and Pollux here, and Fred and George and Lorcan and Lysander and Freddie and Roxanne from Harry Potter… Sorry, guys! Btw, this was inspired by BlueMango's stories for Pollux/Miranda ("Ping-Pong and Promises") and Katie/Castor ("One day, the heart I love will be still"), and those and this are all her pairings, so do give her some credit if you write them, thanks. Her fics are amazing! :O

Thanks so much for reading, and please do review!

-mew-tsubaki :']