Leo was a guy.
He was into guy things like, say building, inventing, fixing, making flying warships, and sweet talking girls that could probably kill him in about twenty different ways with a spoon. Guys didn't really do pretty. Videogames, check. Practical jokes, big check. But flowers and clothes and stuff like that, those were what girls did. (And the guys in Cabin Ten.)
Of course, guys noticed when something was attractive (e.g. Drew in a skirt, Annabeth with her hair down, Katie when she was angry, even Clarisse when she had the decency to smile.) What? They were guys give them a break.
But, to be completely honest, despite Leo—clearly being a dude—his version of pretty just really didn't match up to all the other guys' tastes. Yeah, obviously he knew a good-looking girl when he saw one (Khione, Thalia, Hazel, especially Reyna—what.), but there were other things too than just great hair and big eyes. There was the taste of coffee ice cream, the way the bronze paneling of the Argo glistened in the sun just after sailing, when gears would fit together seamlessly, how fire danced on his fingertips, the scent of smoke and sawdust.
Beauty had a wide range, and Leo had recently learned that Percy belonged in a category made specially for him.
Okay, Leo could tell that the son of Poseidon was handsome, he'd hung out with Piper, and therefore her siblings, to gather that much. Not to mention that the dude had been stuck in, not a love triangle, not even a square—a love pentagon along with Luke Castellan, Annabeth Chase, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, and the Calypso. And just for the record, Annabeth was the only one even remotely attracted to Luke in that mini soap opera.
But Leo never really bothered dwelling on that fact just because one, Percy cheated, he was a son of Poseidon and in the myths, that god seemed to be able to charm everyone. Two Percy was a guy. Enough said. Three, like he said before, Leo's eye for beauty was different from everyone else's. And not to sound shallow or stuck up but sea green eyes and black hair sounded…not unattractive, per se. Just…not as spectacular as everyone made it out to be.
Leo never saw what made Percy so appealing until they defeated Gaea and climbed aboard the Argo. They were all exhausted and dirty but fell into a dogpile anyways because their rooms were just way too far away for their shaky legs to manage it, and they just saved the world together. Who cared about personal space at this point?
After a long silence of just reacquainting themselves on how to breath and staring up at the stars and just holy-Hera-we-didn't-die, Frank so eloquently summarized all of their thoughts and emotions into one word. "Wow," he breathed, excited and stunned and nearly crying out of pure relief.
Piper made a sound of agreement, somewhere between a groan and beached whale, and if Leo wasn't so tired he'd tease her about it, but for now, he settled with pretty much sprawling across someone's lap and leaning against someone else's shoulder (by now, it seriously didn't matter if it was Nico, so long as Leo was comfy).
"I can't believe we really won."
"Tell me about it."
"You're sitting on my foot."
"Shut up, Seaweed Brain, you're ruining the moment."
Hazel snorted, then quickly covered up her mouth with her hands, but it didn't do anything to stifle her giggles. They bubbled out of her mouth and warmed each of them from the inside out, and Frank was never one to be able to resist his girlfriend's smiles. So pretty soon they had two demigods flopping on deck laughter mixing together, and it was all so contagious.
Jason cracked up, looking, for once, like an actual teenager. Piper was doing that thing where she was laughing so hard she wasn't making any noise. And Annabeth's back shook from laughter as she buried her face into her boyfriend's shoulder and—oh gods, they were at that point of exhaustion where just anything seemed funny. Especially laughing at Percy's expense.
Leo glanced up at the son of Poseidon, beaming from ear to ear. Percy's face was split into a grin, and a little trickled of blood ran down the side of his face, but his mirth-filled eyes danced anyways. And that was when Leo finally saw what everyone else did.
Here he was, completely drained and ready to pass out any second now, wounded and still trying to get over Tartarus. He'd been dragged through countless, life-threatening situations and faced impossible choices, seen horrors that Leo couldn't even begin to imagine, but even through it all, Percy Jackson still knew how to smile.
And yeah, in a completely unobsessive and bromance sort of way, Percy Jackson was actually kind of beautiful.
The first time Hazel ever saw him, she thought he was a god. With the way he just strode through the fog, eyes piercing and face grim, carrying a small, helpless old woman, it was an honest mistake.
Still, she wasn't too far off, considering how powerful he really was and how much the Greeks looked up to him—not to mention, he was actually offered immortality. But that's a different story, the point is, Hazel thought that Percy Jackson was handsome.
Strong features, dark hair, vibrant eyes, and a lopsided grin that could make any girl melt—it wasn't too hard to see why. And if it weren't for the small fact that Annabeth was his girlfriend, girls would probably be swooning all over him and making themselves look like complete idiots just to get some kind of recognition from him. But, rock-hard abs or not, Hazel couldn't help but feel like something was missing.
She couldn't quite put her finger on it, maybe it was just her imagination or she was reading too far into it, but it almost felt like he was...sad. But that was ridiculous. Percy Jackson had power, popularity, a good heart, and even though people would probably laugh in her face for saying it, wisdom. And whether he knew it or not, he held a pretty big influence over the camps and Olympus.
The guy had it all. Or at least, it seemed that way.
Hazel didn't understand what Percy was missing until three mortals, a man with salt and pepper hair and a brunette with bright blue eyes, baby on her hip, sprinted up Camp Half-Blood, Percy barreling down to greet them.
Percy met them halfway and wrapped his arms around all of them, and Hazel swore she saw a few tears roll down his face. She couldn't hear what the woman said to him, but a second later, she was handing the baby over to Percy, who took the pink bundle with a ridiculous grin on his face and yelled to no one in particular, "I have a baby sister!"
His sea green eyes were filling with mirth in a way no one other than Annabeth was capable of doing. And that was when Hazel could say that, without a doubt, Percy had it all.
If someone told Frank that Percy was actually a god, he would've believed them in less than a heartbeat.
He completed four super dangerous quests and fought Ares when he was only twelve and four Titans? Seriously, the son of Poseidon had to be one of the most powerful demigods out there. After seeing the way he controlled the Little Tiber, and how he fought off legions of dead Romans without getting little more than a cut, Frank would go so far as to bet that, if he had a good enough reason to, he could defeat even Zeus himself.
Blowing up Mount St. Helens, swimming in the River Styx, holding up the sky—the more Frank learned about Percy, the more amazing he was. It seemed like he could literally do anything, move mountains, walk straight through hell, stare into the face of Medusa without being turned to stone, with Percy, anything seemed possible.
But as cool as it all was, it kind of scared Frank. Percy set this ultimate goal for demigods that probably no one could reach. He was untouchable, even invincible, perfect.
So why in Pluto's name was he panicking? Percy kept fiddling with his tie, readjusting his tux, and his sea green eyes darted around the garden nervously glancing over his guests and back over to where Jason stood in a similar attire.
Frank nudged his shoulder, and Percy jumped like he'd been tasered. "Hey," Frank said, frowning, "is…something wrong?"
Percy ran his hand through his hair and forced a laugh that didn't sound quite right. "Nah, just, you know, nerves."
Frank furrowed his brow. "…Nerves?" he sounded out.
Percy bobbed his head. "Like what if Annabeth changes her mind last second, or I forget my vows, or, I don't know, a hellhound pops out of nowhere, or the ground opens up, or Annabeth changes her mind, or I trip, or Annabeth changes—"
Frank felt completely numb. "Percy," he started quietly. "You're…you're scared?"
The groom gave him look like, Duh.
Frank blinked and struggled for words. "But I thought…" He sucked in a breath. "You mean, after leading all those quests and wars and prophecies…you're scared of tying the knot with Annabeth? That's what you're worried about?"
Percy wrinkled his brows and frowned in apprehension. "You sound like fear is a completely new term, Frank."
"Well, for you." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I mean, you retrieved the master bolt, the helm, the Fleece, saved the world more times than you can remember—you've done even more than Hercules. I just…I thought you weren't scared of anything."
He told off practically every single god there was for Pluto's sake!
Percy hesitated, like Frank had told him something he'd never heard before. "That's true," he started, "but I was never alone. Annabeth, Grover, Thalia, you guys, I always had you to back me up. It wasn't all me." He shrugged. "I wish I could say I was, but I'm not perfect, Frank. Never had been, never will be."
It was a hard pill to swallow, to hear your hero openly admit that he wasn't perfect. It was a mix of devastation and disappointment because after all this time of believing in someone as much as Frank did with Percy, and just now being told otherwise… Man, it sucked. Even worse than when Firefly got canceled.
But…in a strange, completely unexpected way, it was sort of…nice, comforting. In a sense, even better than believing that Percy was just so effortlessly flawless. It showed that he even though it was hard, he managed to push beyond his limits. That was when Frank realized that Percy Jackson, was human.
Strangely, he didn't think it was a bad thing.
"You're so lucky, Piper," Lacy told her one day, clasping her hands beneath her chin. "Gods, that boy…" She tilted her head to the side. "You know, Jason might almost be as handsome as Percy."
When Piper first met Percy, he didn't match up to the picture in her head.
Whether she liked it or not, whether she wanted to admit it or not, Piper had a very keen eye for beauty. It could be small, like the delicate way a lock of hair curled around someone's ear or how a collarbone could look like the most gorgeous necklace a girl ever could have. It could be painstakingly obvious too, like Lacy's vintage shoes, Drew's pink eyeliner (though she would never ever admit it), or Jason's…no, that was it. Just Jason in general.
Strong, blond hair, blue eyes, her boyfriend wasn't lacking whatsoever in the looks department. Jason looked like a blond superman in jeans and a god in a praetor's cape, Percy on the other hand… It wasn't that he was ugly, of course. Windswept hair, tan skin, bright eyes, Percy Jackson wasn't unattractive in any way shape or form, it was just he didn't really strike her as a hero.
He tripped over his praetor's cape a little, his two front teeth weren't perfectly align, his smile spread a little more to the left than the right, and while his shoulders were as broad as Jason's he was an inch shorter.
Obviously he'd done amazing things—fighting Titans and Giants, saving the world each year since he was twelve, but that was just the problem. Percy Jackson was a hero, but standing next to Jason, he looked like one of those skater boys. Cute but ordinary, not really someone you'd commit to memory. She never said anything out loud of course, talking down to Percy was like flat out telling Zeus he was a bad king. Big no-no.
…Although there were rumors that Percy actually did that.
Piper sighed irritably and leaned back to scowl at the waves as if they were the sole reason for her problem. Ugh, gods, it wasn't even hers or a problem, it was her stupid, child of Aphrodite side of her rearing it's pretty but empty head.
"Couldn't sleep either?"
Piper started, almost falling over the edge of the Argo. Percy—no idea how he got there—was leaning against the railing shirtless, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She blushed a little. "Not really," she stammered. "I…I had a lot on my mind." Superficial stuff, but still…
Percy nodded mutely and rubbed his ribs, and with his hair sticking up everywhere it would've looked almost comical if it weren't for the red-stained bandages covering up most of his chest.
Piper narrowed her eyes at the actions. "Shouldn't you be asleep?"
Percy gave her a lopsided grin. "It's been awhile since I actually saw the sun rise, wasn't going to miss it."
More like wasn't going to miss it because he didn't think he'd ever see it again. Piper bit her lip and glanced down. Gods, if she just told Jason to bring up Annabeth instead… "Oh," she said, but it felt like she speaking around a boulder, "if-if that's what you want."
Apparently she didn't pull off the nonchalant voice as well as she thought. Sea green eyes watched her intently but still friendly enough. "I'm not going to suddenly have a panic attack, Piper," he said casually, like he was talking about the weather. "You don't have to treat me and Annabeth like a couple of nutcases."
Piper's face felt warm. "I never said you guys were."
"No," Percy agreed. "But you act like it. You all do. Believe me when I say we're fine."
She narrowed her eyes at him in confusion and blurted, "How can you do that? Write off something like Tartarus like it's no big deal?" As soon as the words were out, she mentally slapped herself. Great job, she thought sardonically, why don't you just tell him to think about it?
Instead of freaking out like Piper expected him to, Percy just shrugged. "We've just been through so much. Going into the Underworld, sailing the Sea of Monsters, holding the sky, the labyrinth, the war, we got through all of it, and, somehow, come out even better and stronger than before." He squinted down at his scarred and calloused hands. "To be honest, I think this is the worst I've ever felt both mentally and physically, but I know we'll pull through."
"How can you be so sure?"
Percy gave her a lopsided grin. "We're demigods," he stated. "It's a way of life. Plus," he added, and something about the light in his eyes shifted, "people count on me; they need me to keep it together. I could never let them down like that."
Perhaps it was the way the sunrise highlighted his face on just the right points, or maybe it was the steady, calm way he looked off into the horizon, but that was when Piper finally saw a hero.
So maybe Percy Jackson might not live up to the image in her head (although seeing him shirtless she was starting to have second thoughts), but he definitely exceeded everything else. Piper smiled, telling Zeus he was a bad king? Oh, she could definitely see him doing that.
In Roman terms, Jason was pretty secure guy.
He was the son of the king of gods, he was a leader, a fighter, all in all, the epitome of what a perfect half-blood was. Jason was the most powerful demigod there was, and he was widely respected for that. Jason was pretty proud of his accomplishments. There wasn't any reason to be insecure or jealous.
People loved and respected him and his judgment, they willingly followed him into battle and named him as their praetor, but after Camp Half-Blood, he just wasn't so sure. Yeah, the campers were all nice to him and fairly accepting, but then, when they thought he wasn't looking, they would give him these stares that made Jason feel…unwanted. And the way everyone worked day and night without question to finish the Argo II as soon as possible, made Jason feel like they were almost desperate to get rid of him. To get their rightful leader back.
But while it was completely understandable, although a big blow to his ego, Jason couldn't help but think, Why? What exactly did Percy Jackson have that he didn't? Maybe more power, more skill with a sword? What made Percy Jackson so special to them?
Jason quickly found that asking that question was fairly useless. People would give him vague answers like, "He's Percy Jackson," or "As much as I hate the punk, he's kind of necessary if we want to win this war," and get right back to work with the Argo. Jason pondered the answers over and over again in his head and always came up blank.
Percy was becoming an anomaly to Jason, a mystery, an enigma, and puzzle all wrapped in one, and he felt like screaming at the sky, "Who is Percy Jackson?!" But frankly, the Greeks already thought he was a little strange with all his Roman traits, and he didn't want to give them a bad impression of Camp Jupiter.
It'd take a while, even after he stood face to face with the Percy Jackson, Jason would still be asking himself the same question again and again, thinking he'd finally gotten the answer each time until he saw Percy standing in the Hall of the Gods, practically scolding the Olympians.
Percy Jackson was an idiot. He was impulsive, short-tempered, and untamable, but at the same time, he was loyal, intelligent, kind, and made the right choices. In some aspects, he was still a mystery to Jason, but one thing was sure, Percy Jackson was more powerful than he had ever imagined and one hell of a swordsman.
That was when Jason realized that he would follow Percy to the ends of earth and, if it ever came down to it, build him a giant warship to pluck him out of uncharted territory.
The first time Annabeth Chase ever looked at Percy Jackson, she wasn't exactly falling for him at first sight. Even if you took away the fact that she was tall for her age, Percy would've still been a shrimp. Really he was, like, 5'2." Tiny.At the time, Percy wasn't especially strong or good looking or even smart, and in a nutshell, Annabeth really wasn't feeling the attraction.
When he got claimed, it was a little less like friendship and more like tolerance. Gods, he was such a Seaweed Brain. Honestly, walking right into Medusa's lair, jumping off the Arc, blowing up a bus, activating a trap and not necessarily in that order but in the span of a couple days…as Clarisse so eloquently put it, the guy was a newbie, this was his first quest, and yet, he managed to anger two of the most powerful gods of all. He'd be lucky to even last the year.
But then Percy showed a side of him that she'd never seen before. Maybe no one had. In that smelly, dark, bumpy truck to Las Vegas, Percy somehow got Annabeth to open up to him and tell him about her backstory, how she got to where she was, whyshe was who he was. She even told him about her dad, something not even Luke or Thalia ever knew much about.
His advice wasn't exceedingly clever or philosophical, but, oddly enough, it wasn't actually bad. Annabeth stopped nibbling on her Oreo long enough to study the other demigod. Maybe it was the exhaustion finally getting to her or the way he leaned his head back against the wall, but instead of seeing Percy, the annoying, scrawny guy who needed saving every other five minutes, Annabeth saw Percy.
He wasn't super smart or super strong or super anything so far (although that stunt with the waterpark was fairly impressive, come to think of it), but he had something. Annabeth couldn't quite guess what it was, and though she didn't know it, it would nag at her for the next few years until it full on hit her smack in the face, but that's for a different story.
Now, sitting a dirty, little truck next to a lion cage and looking into Percy's eyes, was when Annabeth realized, You know, I might actually like you a little.
Sorry, not my best and they got shorter and shorter, but like it? Hate it? Feel free to follow me and check out my other stories.