In short, Thalia didn't like Percy.
By all means, she should've loved him. After all, he was the only one who didn't stand there gawking like an idiot when she came back to life. Chiron thought that her animosity toward Percy "stemmed from the eon old Zeus-Poseidon rivalry." Thalia gagged at that. Percy could go ahead and be like his old man as much as he wanted, but Thalia was not her father.
Then Annabeth, in all her daughter of Athena glory, deduced that the two children of the Big Three didn't get along because they were toomuch alike. Thalia had waited patiently for her friend to take it back, but when she didn't, the daughter of Zeus had the sudden urge to zap the girl with lightning. Being told she was like the Seaweed Brain, as Annabeth so accurately put it, was in even bigger wound on her ego than being told she was like her dad.
Percy just wasn't…bright? Powerful? A hero? Whatever he was, Thalia wasn't impressed. Maybe it was the headache talking, but she just didn't see what was so great about Percy.
He was unpredictable. He was so stubborn that even she gave into him sometimes. Thalia always came so, so close to making him lose his temper and then he'd just suddenly calmed in a blink. Everyone followed Percy as often as her, sometimes more. But worst of all, Annabeth relied more Percy than she did on anyone else. Annabeth Chase, the little girl who ran away, who wouldn't let anyone other than Luke and Thalia in, trusted Percy with more than just her life.
When they played Capture the Flag last Friday, it was like a slap in the face when her best friend asked Percy to cover her back instead of Thalia. Gods, she was a daughter of Athena and he was a son of Poseidon, they weren't even supposed to like each other, let alone make goo-goo eyes at each other's backs.
Nausea overcame Thalia, and she leaned over her bed just in time. She groaned and closed her eyes, resting her forehead on a shaky, sweaty arm. Will Solace told her that the headaches were a side effect of either being poisoned or being transformed. Whichever one it was, nectar and ambrosia didn't help any. Ha, and Percy was the one who thought it would.
So yes, frankly, Thalia did not like Percy, and everyone knew it. So what in Hades was he doing in her cabin, holding her hair back as she emptied her guts? Again.
Thalia sloppily wiped her mouth with her wrist and glared at him. She knew she probably looked like a slob and as intimating as a satyr, but seriously, what was he doing in Cabin 1? According to most campers, he had knack for doing the most impulsive and stupid things, but Thalia didn't know he had a death wish.
…Actually, that was okay with her.
"What are you doing in my cabin," she asked, trying to sound aggravated but the way her words slurred together ruined it. Gods, she sounded like Mr. D.
Percy shrugged. "Smelled like something died in here."
"Har har," Thalia snapped. She would've made a comment on how amazed she was that he could smell anything passed his own stench, but another wave of dizziness hit her. This time Thalia didn't even make it over the edge of her bed.
Percy's nose crinkled and he looked like he was trying not to vomit himself. Typical. He had one of those stomachs. "Ew," he put so eloquently.
"Shut u-u-up," Thalia groaned miserably. Puke stained her shirt, and okay, yeah, she smelled really bad. She wished she could just go die in a hole right about now. And where in Tartarus was Annabeth?! She'd chop off her foot to be with her best friend rather than Percy.
The son of Poseidon's hand left her unbearably hot forehead, and she almost whimpered at the loss of the cool sensation. Almost, thank gods she didn't. Now that would've been just as embarrassing as puking on herself in front of him. Percy mumbled a quick "be right back" and jogged out the door.
Thalia moaned and flopped over onto her stomach without thinking, and she screamed in frustration when she realized her mistake. Her originally white sheets were now stained green and orange and looked like someone tried to do barf art on it. Attractive. Gods, what did she eat?
The daughter of Zeus closed her eyes. I hate my life, Thalia thought, not for the first time, unsurprisingly. She'd die alone, covered in her own vomit, smelling like death, and bathing in her own sweat. Somehow that sounded less heroic than sacrificing herself for Annabeth and Luke. Luke…
Thalia scowled and tugged at her soggy shirt miserably. Thinking about Luke just gave her even more of a headache. One minute she was dying for a boy she trusted more than herself, who she ran around the country with, who she thought of as…well, more than just a friend. The next, Thalia was told that Luke had become an insane, conniving minion of Kronos. A traitor. Hal was right.
She sighed a little and stared up at the ceiling. That was what the Camp thought, not her. They didn't know the whole story; they didn't know Luke. They didn't know what he had to deal with when he was just a little kid, what his father made him deal with. If the Camp did, they wouldn't blame Luke for a second.
But, she thought in the back of her mind, five years is a long time. Enough time to change. Thalia bit her lip. She knew Luke had daddy issues, practically every demigod had at least one problem with their godly parent, but would he take his personal problems so far as to betray everyone? Betray Annabeth and her? Really?
Maybe the stress of reality was finally getting to her or maybe it was the fact that she felt like road kill, but Thalia Grace, for the first time in a very long while, started to cry. Tears trickled down her pale face and sobs, hiccups, and coughs racked her body. If Luke were there he'd rub her back and whisper soothing, comforting words that'd make her feel warm and tingly on the inside, but he. Left. Her.
Thalia lunged out of her bed to rip a picture off of its tack. It was taken in an abandoned, pest-infested warehouse that smelled like seafood, but it was one of her favorites. Annabeth had already joined their little group when it was taken, but only Luke was in it.
He had been exhausted, taking every watch and protecting his surrogate family tended to do that to someone. Luke's temper had come close to reaching its boiling point on multiple occasions and he had been getting short with both her and Annabeth. Not to mention he was getting so sloppy he almost let a monster get the jump on him. Needless to say, Thalia and he had a fight while Annabeth watched sadly from a corner. One look into her teary, big grey eyes and Luke gave into his girls which resulted in him finally getting a good night's rest.
He had looked so peaceful at the time. His worry lines were absent and his face and posture weren't so tense, and Luke actually looked like a fourteen year-old. So yeah, Thalia snapped a picture on a stolen disposable camera (what? They needed some good memories in her life) and kept it ever since. She even went so far as to print it out and pin it up near her bed.
Thalia grit her teeth and her black nails ripped little holes into the photo. With an angry, bloodthirsty scream the daughter of Zeus ripped it to shreds, tears running down her face and mixing with her bile. When her work was finished and there was absolutely no way the stupid picture could ever be repaired, Thalia stumbled to her father's statue and bared her teeth at it. "You," she seethed. "This is your fault. You've done this to me."
Everything was gone. Luke was a traitor, Jason was dead, and Annabeth was all grown up and obviously didn't want anything to do with her in favor of a stupid, stupid boy.
The daughter of Zeus clawed at the statue's feet and stared up into its solid gold eyes. "I wish you'd just let me die," Thalia hissed. She beat the ground and roared terrifyingly enough to make the Minotaur proud. Only problem was that Percy already killed it. Of course. Percy Jackson, the leader of Camp Half-Blood, the infamous hero, Mr. Save-the-World, the freaking replacement of Luke Castellan. And the worst part? He was better than Luke and better than her, and everyone knew it.
Thalia punched the statue and she heard tiny cracks before pain erupted in her fingers. She growled and moved to punch her father's golden shin again but this time hands grabbed her shoulders. "Thalia!" Speak of the devil.
The girl tried to shake him off, but Percy wouldn't let go. "I hate you," she said miserably, falling back into the son of Poseidon's arms. Thalia wasn't completely sure if she was referring to Zeus or Percy, but it didn't completely matter to her. She hated both of them right now.
She could feel him swallow a little. "Yeah," he said uncertainly. "Noted."
Thalia struggled against him and tried to kick his soft spot but Percy just held on tighter. "Hey, it's okay," he soothed, like he was talking to a horse, something which Thalia found extremely offensive. "Come on, let me see your hand."
The daughter of Zeus miserably let the boy half-drag, half-carry her to a different bed with new, fresh sheets. At least he wasn't too much of a Kelp Head to think of that. Haha, Kelp Head. Percy carefully lowered (dropped) Thalia onto the bed, and she frowned at the ice cream. Neapolitan. She took it back, the boy was an idiot.
Percy folded the damp cloth and pressed it to Thalia's head before handing her a spoon. She raised an eyebrow at it. "Ice cream?" she deadpanned.
Percy shrugged and yanked the ice cream bucket open, wincing when it cracked. Oh, what a smart one. "It's ice cream," he stressed. "I think even you could keep it down."
Thalia scowled. "How'd you even get it?"
The son of Poseidon grinned mischievously, and he set the tub down next to her before taking her damaged fist. "I know a couple of guys."
Thalia held back a wince when he prodded her hand lightly, but Percy caught and said, "I'll get Will, he'll know how to fix it." His green eyes bore into hers and he paused. "Did you" – he nodded toward the statue – "did you really mean what you said?"
Thalia pressed her lips into a thin line and dug her spoon into the vanilla section. "That doesn't concern you," she said coldly.
"Right," Percy mumbled as he gestured for her to lean forward so he could adjusted her pillows. If she didn't feel so emotionally and physically exhausted, she'd make some snide comment on how he probably wished she was Annabeth, but she didn't. And if Thalia was being honest with herself, it was because she felt just a teeny-tiny bit grateful to him. And a little ashamed of herself.
She swallowed her ice cream and watched Percy use his freaky Aquaman powers to clean up her vomit. "Why do you do that?" she demanded.
Not even Luke would be patient enough to deal with her when she was sick. It was a rare occasion for Thalia to not feel well, but whenever she didn't, the son of Hermes would steer clear of her and leave her to her own devices. According to him, Thalia would get a whole lot crankier and needy and just in general a really irritating person to deal with.
Percy frowned a little and furrowed his brows. "Do what?"
Thalia was itching to roll her eyes again, but she refrained. What did everyone see in this guy? "Help people who've got you on their kill list," she stated exasperatedly. "Like, oh, I don't know, say me."
The son of Poseidon searched for words while he fixed her blankets. "I don't know. I just…well, you have been through a lot. I mean, being a tree can't be too great, neither can dying and waking up five years later." Yeah, no really, Sherlock? "And, and Luke," he paused and Thalia coiled like a spring, "I know it doesn't change a thing, but I am sorry for..."
Thalia sunk down into her bed and pressed down on the towel. "Yeah," she said, her voice hard. "Me too."
Percy glanced at her before continuing. "And Annabeth thinks that we could be best friends."
Her eyebrows shot up to her hairline. "You're kidding."
Percy smiled a little. "Or enemies," he added.
Thalia sighed in relief. "That's more like it." She studied the boy beside her. "You really think highly of her if you think we could be BFFs."
He sat beside her on the bed and started digging into the ice cream with his own spoon. "She is a daughter of Athena, you know."
Thalia snorted and catapulted a glop of strawberry onto his shirt. "So that means you do everything she says and stare at her when she's not looking?" Well, Annabeth looked at him a lot too, but there was no need to boost his ego. That was what Chiron was for.
Percy's face became an impressive shade of red and he struggled to clean the pink off of his clothes. "I don't do that," he muttered.
Now she really did roll her eyes. Oh, boy, Thalia thought, I pity you both; what horrors does Aphrodite have in store for you? "Sure," she agreed, "just like how you calling her 'Wise Girl' isn't flirting."
Now his face matched Drew's lipstick perfectly. "It's just a nickname," Percy defended.
Thalia smirked. "Uh-huh."
Percy threw his hands up in the air. "I'm leaving. You're impossible." He hopped off her bed and was half-way to the door when he turned to look at Zeus' statue. "You know he really does love you, right?"
Thalia stared straight ahead at the wall. She didn't know how to answer that.
"He preserved your soul," he insisted. "He didn't want to lose you. Maybe it wasn't the brightest idea—" Thunder boomed in the distance and Percy huffed, annoyed. "But the fact is, you're here now. You're alive and that means he really does care about you." Percy smiled faintly and rubbed the back of head. "Trust me, gods just have funny ways of showing it."
Thalia vaguely recalled a story that Poseidon had sent Percy a cyclops for a brother in order to keep him safe. At the time it sounded weird and lazy, like Oh, sorry, son. I'm too busy to help you personally, but here, have a half-brother. But now, it didn't sound so bad.
"Everything's a little crazy right now," Percy said, and Thalia got the impression that it was partially because of her. Yay. "But it'll get better, trust me." Percy grinned at her, and her worries faded a little. And with the right lighting and angle, Thalia could almost see why Annabeth was attracted to him. Sort of.
Needing to maintain her rep, she gave Percy a bored and uninterested look that said I have no idea what you're talking about. Then she grabbed her pillow and chucked it at him, doing a fist pump when it made contact with his annoying pretty boy face. "You're still in my cabin," Thalia pointed out.
Percy scowled a little and tossed the pillow to the side. "You know a simple 'Thank you' would work too," he said, shaking his head as he walked away.
Thalia softened a little and let a small, appreciative smile grace her features. "Hey, Percy?" she called quietly.
He didn't turn around. "Yeah?"
"Thanks," Thalia said. And then he stopped to grin at her, eyes twinkling and obnoxiously white teeth shining, but before Percy could respond and say something disgustingly meaningful, she added, "You're still a Kelp Head, cuz."
Percy's grin didn't even falter, and he walked out of Cabin 1 like he had just been told that all the gods didn't hate him anymore. Thalia smirked to herself and shoved a spoonful of chocolate into her mouth. Percy Jackson could be irritating beyond all belief, incredibly stupid, and a bit girly with the pep talks, but maybe, just maybe, he wasn't as bad as she originally thought.
He should by no means be looking into becoming a motivational speaker professionally and the idea of him running some huge company was insane. But if he could comfort Thalia of all people and lead a camp with a bunch of monster-killing, dyslexic, ADHD kids, then Percy couldn't be too bad. Besides if Annabeth Chase trusted him and almost threw away that "Become a Hunter" bulletin for him, then he couldn't be completely worthless.
Thalia pursed her lips. This didn't make a huge difference. Luke was still a traitor, Jason was still dead, and Annabeth still didn't really need her butting in between Percy and hanging around them like a chaperone. But where was the harm in trying to be friends with the son of Poseidon? A lot actually, it would probably cause more chaos than a relationship between him and a certain daughter of Athena would but being enemies wasn't a better solution.
Her mind wandered back to Percy's words, what he said about her father. She bit her lips before closing her eyes. doing something she hadn't done in a long, long time. She prayed to her father, Thank you. They were just two simple words, but the thunder in the distance assured her that they were enough. Wow, Kelp Head was right. So Thalia – grudgingly – deep, deep down, started to, just a little, admire Percy.
The daughter of Zeus leaned back and then scowled at the unnatural angle. "Percy!" she called. "Can you give me my pillow back? This isn't comfy anymore!"
The words "Oh. My. Gods!" could be heard across Camp.
Nico wasn't really surprised by this outcome.
He saw it coming from a mile away; the only thing that got him was that there were only four angry demigods who wanted to stuff him into a bag and toss him to the earthborn. He sort of figured that there'd be some mutual animosity towards him because of how he snuck behind each of the Camps' backs and pretty much let Hera/Juno have her way.
At first, Nico had a small flicker of hope that maybe the fact that they won and were still alive would be enough for the other demigods to turn a blind eye to what he had done, but being pinned against the climbing wall by a son of Ares kind of killed it.
He was pretty sure the guy's name was Mark and his friends backing him up were his half-brother Sherman, Hayden, son of Hecate, and of course, Drew Tanaka. The little she-devil didn't look like much, just a pretty face, but Nico knew how much power her voice held, and he was actually a teensy bit wary of her. He'd seen what Piper could do, and from what he'd heard, Drew used her charmspeaking very flippantly.
Technically, he could just summon some skeleton warriors – only a few was all he really needed, or he could just rip open a crater in the ground. But despite popular belief and stereotype, Nico didn't kill demigods so summoning was out of the question. And opening up the earth seemed like pouring salt on an open wound. Both camps had lost too many people to Gaea's attacks, and it was just too soon to be demonstrating his terrestrial powers.
Not to mention he did feel pretty guilty.
Yeah, everything worked out in the end but lying to Percy's face and keeping his cousin in the dark about his own identity seemed harsh. Even for him. Like always, they'd gotten over any hard feelings. After all, their relationship was always rocky at best, but Nico couldn't help but feel like it was always his fault things were so messed up between them.
Hades, Thalia was on better terms with the son of Poseidon, and they turned little spats into full out wars that would make their dads tear up with pride. That was pretty sad. Almost as sad as needing to be lifted off the ground about two feet just so Mark could look him in the eye without bending over. So much for growth spurt.
"You're a little traitor," Mark grit out, gripping Nico's shirt so tight his knuckles were turning white. "Sneaking out behind our backs, buddying up with the Romans, telling them all about our weaknesses." Nico swore he just heard a tooth crack. "You're a little rat, you know that? Nothing but a corpse-breath worm."
Nico shrugged as much as he could, bleak face set perfectly in place. "So I've heard," he said flatly.
Mark's eyes flashed, and Nico fought back a wince when the rough, stone wall dug painfully into his skin. "What did you tell them?"
The son of Hades clenched his fists. "Nothing."
"I'm having trouble believing that."
Nico glared at him. Idiot. "The Romans aren't our enemies," he started. "They helped us win this war."
Drew barked out a laugh. "Us?" she asked mockingly, a small, coy smile playing at her lips. "You're dad's not even an Olympian. He's an outcast." Drew tilted her head a little as if she was inspecting Nico's haircut. "Like you."
The son of Hades's hands started trembling. Maybe just a small, weak skeleton warrior…
Drew's warm, brown eyes softened with sympathy. "Hon, you don't belong with the Romans," she continued, shaking her head emphatically. "But you definitely don't belong at Camp Half-Blood. Never have, never will."
Nico's breath hitched.
Hayden nodded in agreement. "Why do you think Cabin 13 didn't even exist until a couple years ago?"
Nico's eyes darkened dangerously, and he furiously swallowed down the lump in his throat. "Look who's talking," he snapped. "At least Hades didn't turn his back on family when it mattered."
As soon as the words left his big mouth, he inwardly winced. Vlacas. That was such stupid, stupid move. He could expect that much from Percy, maybe, but at least the son of Poseidon usually had, like, Annabeth or someone to save his butt. He, on the other hand, was on his own.
Hayden's smirk faltered before morphing into a glare. His unnaturally green eyes gleamed with malice, and he stalked toward Nico. Hayden's fingers hummed with energy, and the son of Hades thought his long, girly fingers were glowing green.
Hayden glowered up at Nico. "This isn't the first time you've let someone down."
Nico tensed slightly and dug his nails into his palms. Like he didn't know.
Nico's stomach felt like lead and every gut instinct was screaming at him to just take his cousin to the River Styx to get his stupid curse and hightail it out of there. It was the right thing to do, the smart thing. Not to mention it was what he promised. But he couldn't. He needed to know more about his mom. His past.
Nico sucked a shallow breath and did his best to steel his nerves. He set his shoulders and stared up at Alecto. "I've done what my father asked. Take us to the palace."
Next to him, Percy tensed and his hand tightened around Riptide. "Wait a second, Nico. What do you—"
Nico bit his lip but looked at the older boy through steely eyes. "I'm afraid this is my new lead, Percy. My father promised me information about my family, but he wants to see you before we try the river." His stance faltered. "I'm sorry."
Percy's eyes narrowed, and Nico remembered just why everyone was so afraid of him. "You tricked me?" he hissed through his teeth.
In a fit of rage, Percy lunged for him, baring his sword, but the Furies were quick. In a blink, Alecto and Tisiphone had Percy dangling sixty feet in the air, unarmed; the worst possible scenario for a son of Poseidon.
"Oh, don't struggle, honey," Alecto chided, cackling and looking very much like an old witch. Not that he'd tell her that, child of Hades or not, she'd still rake open his face. "I'd hate to drop you."
Mrs. O'Leary barked angrily and jumped, trying to help her owner, but Percy was much too high, which was a good thing. If she got in the way, the Furies wouldn't hesitate to get rid of her.
Megaera hovered him closer to the son of Poseidon. "Tell Mrs. O'Leary to behave."
Percy glared at him, and Nico's heart dropped to his stomach. The older boy's gaze was angrier than he'd ever seen and the sharp sting of betrayal lurked underneath it all. This wasn't like the past times they'd been at odds. This time the tables were switched and Percy was the one that wanted to kill him. It felt like crap.
"I don't want her to get hurt, Percy," he forced out. Nico glanced at Hades's palace. "My father is waiting. He just wants to talk."
A swirl of emotions crossed Percy's face, and Nico could tell that he was just itching to sick Mrs. O'Leary on him. But he knew better than anyone just what the Furies could do.
Percy grit his teeth. "Mrs. O'Leary, down!" he ordered. "It's okay, girl!"
The hellhound whimpered and turned in circles with her tail and ears sagged.
The son of Poseidon looked back up to Nico, a perfect death glare in place. "All right, traitor," he growled bitterly. "You've got your prize. Take me to the stupid palace."
Nico flinched at his spiteful tone, but it was the T-word that really got him. Corpse-breath, ghost king, zombie boy, etc. those were all normal but traitor…
Nico's vision got blurry, and he felt like Megaera had dropped him.
Only six thoughts had been on his mind lately. Bianca, Thanatos, Hazel, the Doors of Death, Jason, and Percy. That was it, and Nico had no freaking idea what to do about any of them. Seriously, no matter what he did, he either wound up angering Zeus or Hera/Juno or playing right into Gaea's hands or opening up a bottle of girly emotions that he'd rather keep under wraps.
Frankly, Nico was kind of stuck, and it was getting exhausting. Not to mention the little fact that he'd been sneaking behind everyone's backs and constantly digging a deeper, bigger grave for himself. Gods, he was a little rat.
"Nico," Bia—Hazel called, snapping him out of his thoughts. "I've brought a friend."
Nico turned around and froze like a deer in the headlights. Standing beside his new half-sister was none other than Percy Jackson. Nico's feet started like he was about to make a run for it, and panic rose up in his throat. What in Hades was he supposed to do?
"This is Percy," Hazel introduced, and Nico couldn't help but think, Oh, trust me, I know exactly who he is.
"He's a good guy."
"Percy, this is my brother, the son of Pluto."
Nico hurriedly composed himself. There were so many things he wanted to say. Tell Percy about who he was. Tell him he didn't belong in Camp Jupiter, that Camp Half-Blood was looking everywhere for him and they missed him. Warn him that he was about to enter yet another Great Prophecy.
Instead, Nico extended a hand. "Pleased to meet you," he said uncertainly. "I'm Nico di Angelo."
That felt a million times worse than lying to the camps.
Hayden smiled bitterly, raising his hand to Nico's temple. "You're—"
"There a problem here?"
The sons of Ares muttered colorful words under breath in sync. Hayden instantly put his hand down like he was caught stealing, and Drew's nose flared a little before she smiled.
The daughter of Aphrodite turned around, and Nico caught the scent of flowers and cotton candy. Not something he'd usually be into but on her it smelled amazing. Drew smiled at Percy and said, "Oh, this? We were just—"
Percy ignored her. "Mark, put him down."
The son of Ares finally set Nico on his feet and smoothed down the younger boy's shirt awkwardly.
After giving the idiot a sharp glare, Nico studied his cousin. For the most part, Percy's posture was fairly relaxed, but his set jaw and stormy green eyes told a different story. Percy's gaze settled on him.
"Mind telling me what this is about?"
Nico scowled at the ground. "Nothing." He met the four's eyes evenly. "I was having a little flashback of Tartarus. Hayden fixed it for me." He nodded at them. "I'm good now…. Thanks," he said, not even the slightest bit of sarcasm lacing his words.
The four took their cue and walked off toward the campfire. But Nico could still hear Hayden mumble, "My point exactly."
Percy's lips pressed into a thin line, and Nico knew he didn't buy his act for a second. In the back of his mind, Nico wondered if it was because he'd already told so many lies that distinguishing between truth and deceit was as easy as breathing. Still, Percy let the four scamper passed him before frowning a little at Nico.
"…Was that about the Romans?"
Crap. Nico's irritably twisted his ring. For all Percy's nicknames about his intelligence or lack of it, he was actually smarter than people gave him credit for. Who would've thought?
"Because you know they're wrong," he continued. "You're not a traitor. You did what you had to do, and if you hadn't. Well" – he glanced at the campfire – "none of us would be here." Percy cocked his head. "I think, in that way, you're more of a hero here than anyone else."
An uncomfortable lump settled in his throat, but the son of Hades managed to keep his face perfectly clear. "I am not having a chick-flick moment with you, Percy," Nico deadpanned.
Percy gave him a sour look. "You didn't let me finish. It was all necessary, but Nico di Angelo, I swear if you ever do that again, I will stuff you into a sack and throw you to Mrs. O'Leary as a chew toy."
Nico stared him, jaw a little slack, and heart plummeting to his feet. He knew Percy tended to be a little unpredictable and selectively short-tempered, but to actually hear him say it out loud…ouch.
But then Percy slung his arm over Nico's shoulders and ruffled his shaggy hair. "But this time…" He grinned down at the younger boy. "…thank you."
Percy's sea green eyes shown with gratitude, and Nico's chest swelled a little. He'd never had an older brother to look up to, to want to impress more than anyone else in the world. But Nico thought that if he did have one, it'd be Percy all the way.
Mentally scarred from life in general and labeled as a traitor to pretty much everyone, well, Nico didn't mind too much. At least this time he had Percy on his side and that was better than anything a son of Hecate could throw at him.
Please give me some feedback! Next up is Reyna and Leo.