AN: So, I promised my darling Taffeh A. Llama that I'd write her a Jasercy fic, and here it is. The finished product.
This is dedicated to Taffeh, obviously. It's ten times more fluffy than what I usually write-which isn't to say that's it's proper fluff, but it's a start.
Warnings: Um, none? Haha, slash and slight language, but that's it.
Disclaimer: Ever, unfortunately, not mine. But since I couldn't write PJO better than Uncle Rick himself, you guys should be thrilled about that!
It's halfway through June, and Jason is at a party in San Francisco with a group of people he's probably supposed to know, but whose names have all blurred together by now.
Jason's feet sink into the wet sand as the waves are pulled back out to sea, and he swigs his Coke. The moon is high in the sky behind him, even though the sun is still burning low on the horizon. All around him, the party is in full throttle—bodies grinding on the sandy, makeshift dance floor; music blaring from speakers drug out from one of the condos farther up the beach; shrieks of drunken laughter just loud enough to be heard.
Jason tips his head back, closing his eyes as the waning sunlight caresses his cheeks. The rest of the party has forgotten about him by now. He can breathe easy again.
"It's a nice night, huh?"
The voice startles Jason out of his daze, and he twists to take in the boy he hadn't heard approaching. He looks like he's sixteen or seventeen, and he's tall and skinny, with perfectly messy black hair, lightly tanned skin, and an athletic, muscular build. Jason tries not to notice how low the boy's swimming trunks are slung on his hips, revealing the deep V of his hipbones.
"Yeah," Jason replies, and hopes he's not blushing. He forces his eyes away from the boy, looking back out at the ocean. The boy moves to stand beside him.
"Are the parties always like this?" he asks, glancing over his shoulder at the throng of gyrating bodies. Jason follows the boy's gaze, furrowing his brow.
"I think so," he answers. "I've only been to a few, but they're always going at it." Jason grimaces, but the boy beside him laughs.
"I'm Percy Jackson," he says, holding his hand out to Jason. Jason's mouth quirks into a smile, and he shakes Percy's hand.
"Jason Grace," Jason says, and Percy grins.
"Well, Jason, what do you think about getting out of here and doing something interesting?"
"You mean, leaving the party?" Jason asks, furrowing his brow.
Percy wrinkles his nose cutely. "That's usually implied when someone says 'getting out of here.' "
Jason puts an indignant hand on his hip. "Smartass," he retorts, but his voice is teasing and mildly flirtatious.
Percy smiles. "You want to go or not?"
Jason doesn't even think about saying no.
Percy drives a rusty, beat up, old Chevy truck. Jason and Percy had both changed out of their swimming trunks and into jeans and lightweight hoodies, and Jason slides into the passenger seat of Percy's truck as Percy shuffles through a milk crate full of assorted CDs.
"I give up," Percy announces, not even half a second later. He hoists the box out of the back seat and hands it to Jason. "You pick the music."
As Percy drives out of the beach condo's parking lot, Jason sifts through the box of CDs. He pauses on one in particular.
"Mixed CD?" he asks, looking up at Percy and noting the way the brunette's eyelashes fan over his cheeks when he blinks. "What's on it?"
Percy shrugs. "Who knows? My friends, Annabeth and Rachel put it together for me. They mentioned something about it being a playlist for summer flings. They're kind of hoping I 'fall in love' this summer."
Jason inspects the cheap, clear case that holds the CD. Scrawled in messy, nearly illegible handwriting are the words "Holy Ground—Summer Fling Playlist."
"Whenever my sister makes me mixed tapes, they're just an assortment of various Green Day songs," he mutters. "I don't even like Green Day."
Percy snorts. "Really?"
Jason clicks open the case and takes the CD out, sliding it into the CD player that obviously wasn't in the original model of the car. Percy turns the volume up, and static crackles out of the speakers for a second before the music starts playing, the twang of a guitar filling the car.
Jason almost chokes on his own laughter when the musician begins singing.
"Is…is that Taylor Swift?"
Percy's cheeks flush red. "Two girls put the list of songs together," he complains, but doesn't move to change the song. "Besides, you recognized her by her voice!"
Jason shakes his head, his laugh mellowing out into a grin. "My friend Leo listens to her all the time. He says it helps him 'get in touch' with his feminine side."
Percy laughs-one of those childish, throw-your-head-back, belly laughs. Jason grins at him, and for the first time in a long time, he feels comfortable.
Percy's a stranger—new, fresh, and exciting. Jason feels like he could spend the rest of his life in this seat as long as this boy is in the seat next to his.
"Truth or dare?"
Percy's lips wrap obscenely around the straw in his milkshake as he considers Jason's question. They've been sitting in the diner for almost two hours, trading witty comments and childish banter, drinking milkshakes (Percy) and black coffee (Jason), and sharing a blueberry pie (Percy's choice). The pie tastes like shit, but Jason is comfortable around Percy, so he doesn't mind.
"Truth," Percy decides. Fifteen minutes ago, Percy came up with the idea that they should play Truth or Dare. So even though it's very pre-teen girl, Jason agreed.
"Hmm." Jason taps his fingers against his mug, looking around the diner. It's ten at night, so there aren't many others in the diner. In the big corner booth, there's a large group of stoned teenagers, and in another booth, a couple in their twenties sit across from each other, talking in low, serious voices. Behind the counter, the chef is leaning down to whisper in the ear of a blushing waitress—the same waitress who swings by every now and then to refill Jason's coffee and get Percy another milkshake. Otherwise, the diner is empty.
Jason's eyes linger over the retro tabletop in front of him—which smells faintly of lemon-scented cleaning supplies—as he notes the salt and pepper shakers pressed up against the wall beneath the window, a sticky menu advertising the special of the day, Jason's coffee, Percy's milkshake, and that god awful blueberry pie.
Jason looks up at Percy. "Why did you choose blueberry, instead of something normal, like apple or pumpkin or, hell, even pecan?"
Percy laughs. "It's this thing I do with my mom," he explains, a soft smile stretching over his mouth. "When I was a kid, she was married to this douche bag. He swore blue food didn't exist, so my mom bought and made blue food whenever she could. They're not together anymore, but eating blue food reminds me that my mom is rebellious in her own right."
"That's simultaneously ridiculous and kind of brilliant."
"What about you?" Percy asks, leaning forward on his elbows, poking his tongue out to catch the milkshake's straw and draw it into his mouth. He misses several times before he gives up and lifts the milkshake to his mouth, and Jason pretends not to notice. "What are your parents like?"
Jason smirks at Percy. "I'm pretty sure you're supposed to ask me if I want to tell the truth or take a dare first."
Percy snorts. "Sorry," he quips sarcastically, batting his eyelashes at Jason. "Truth or dare?"
Jason rolls his eyes and tries not to laugh. "Truth," he says, putting on his best indignant tone of voice (which, given that his sister is kind of a mess, is really good).
"What are your parents like?" Percy asks theatrically, waving his milkshake around in the air for emphasis. Jason chuckles.
"I don't know. Honestly, it's just been me and my older sister, Thalia, for a long time. My dad is busy a lot, with work and his wife, so I don't see him very often. And my mom died when I was a little kid; I don't remember her very well."
Percy sobers immediately. "Oh," he says, blinking. "Shit, Jason, I didn't—"
Jason cuts him off with a shake of his head. "It's fine. You didn't know." He twists his mouth into a sardonic smile. "That's kind of the point of Truth or Dare."
An awkward silence stretches between them, and Jason clears his throat uncomfortably.
"Truth or dare?" he mutters, swigging his coffee. Percy blinks.
"Truth," he says without any hint of hesitation, and Jason knows Percy only chose this for his benefit. An eye for an eye, Jason thinks. Percy got something personal out of Jason, and now he's giving Jason the chance to ask him a personal question in return.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" Jason asks, instead. He chooses this question because it's relatively impersonal, and he doesn't want to know the intimate details of Percy's life just because Percy feels bad about stumbling across the information that Jason's mom died fourteen years ago. But also, Jason chooses this question because he's been dying to know its answer since he first laid eyes on the boy sitting in the booth across from him.
"Nah," Percy answers. "I, uh. I don't swing that way." His cheeks turn red, and he rubs the back of his neck like he's embarrassed. It's a good look on him, surprisingly.
"Yeah?" Jason says. "Me, neither."
Percy looks up at him. "Really?" he asks.
Jason smiles. "Well, I'm bisexual, actually. So it just depends on what—who—catches my interest."
Percy studies him for a moment, then smirks. "So," he says, looking directly into Jason's eyes, "did I catch your interest?"
Jason's grin stretches the scar above his mouth.
"Come on," he says, slapping a twenty dollar bill on the table, climbing out of the booth, and trekking towards the door. "Let's go somewhere else."
"Jason!" Percy calls after him, but Jason just laughs and keeps jogging. He makes it all the way to Percy's truck before Percy catches up with him.
Percy's hands find their way onto Jason's waist, catching him in his tracks and stopping him short, twisting him around and pressing him against the passenger door of his truck. Jason laughs, eyes sparkling as he looks up at Percy.
"You going to kiss me now, Jackson?" Jason teases, a little bit breathless from the intoxicatingly close proximity. He can feel the muscles in Percy's chest, swears he can feel Percy's heart beating just as fast as his own.
"No." Percy grins, leaning down to whisper in Jason's ear. "I think you'd like that too much."
Percy pulls away and winks at Jason, walking around to the other side of the truck and climbing in, starting the car. Jason drops his head back against the window.
"Bastard," Jason sighs, but he's smiling, and he turns and pulls open the truck door and climbs in beside Percy.
They get cigarettes from a cheap, shady gas station that doesn't ask for ID (thank god, because at sixteen and seventeen, neither Jason nor Percy can legally purchase cigarettes).
"Jase," Percy says, and Jason turns away from the knock off Twinkies to look at the other boy, who's holding up an empty Icee cup. "You want one?"
Jason cocks his head to the side. "How much sugar are you going to consume tonight?"
"As much as humanly possible," is Percy's retort, and he shakes the cup at Jason. "You want one or not?"
"I'll just share yours," Jason says, shaking his head and trying not to smile. Percy chuckles.
"I'm getting a blue one," he warns, and Jason rolls his eyes.
"The flavor is called Blue Coconut Raspberry."
Percy makes a face at him and grabs the biggest cup, filling it to the brim. The two boys purchase their cigarettes and Icee, and then they go.
Jason sips at Percy's Icee as Percy cruises through town. It's already midnight, somehow—they've spent the whole night wasting time. They've changed CDs several times, but they're back to the mixed tape they never finished.
The beginning of a new song starts, and Jason jolts in his seat, jerking forward to turn up the volume of the song.
"The Mowgli's are on here?" he exclaims.
Percy shakes his head at the song, smiling. "Annabeth and Rachel knew I was coming to San Francisco to spend the week with my dad. I guess they figured this song was perfect for a summer fling."
"I love this song," Jason says, settling back into his seat. Percy glances over at him, then turns the song up a little louder. A moment later, Percy's voice, purposefully off-key and out of sync, begins singing along with The Mowgli's.
"Well, I've been in love with love and the idea of—"
"Shut up!" Jason laughs, gently shoving Percy's shoulder. "You're completely butchering it."
"Oh, I suppose you think you can do better?" Percy mock-challenges.
Jason smirks and rolls his eyes. "I don't sing."
Percy sings along with the lyrics even louder, and Jason groans. But he's too stubborn to give in and sing, so he just skips the song and drowns out Percy's indignant complaints by pitching the volume louder and louder.
"Walk the Moon?" Jason asks. It's one of his favorites, too. "Your friends—Annabeth and Rachel. They're not complete hipsters, are they?"
Percy only laughs, and he sings along with this song, too, but softer, in tune, and in line with the lyrics. Jason rests his head against the back of the chair and sighs contentedly as he listens to Percy's voice, which is surprisingly good now that he's not purposefully making it sound awful.
"I lose the feeling in my fingertips," Percy sings, his voice gravelly, and Jason thinks he could get lost in the sound of that voice. "When you are close to me, I shiver."
The windows are unrolled so that Jason and Percy can hear the music playing in the car from their perches on the swing set. They're not actually swinging back and forth—more like idling in one place as they smoke their cigarettes and try (and fail) to blow smoke rings.
"Shit!" Percy cries. "I was so close just then!"
Jason laughs. "You weren't!" he protests. "That was even worse than the last time!"
Percy laughs, kicking his legs back and forth lazily. "I'll get there eventually," he swears. Jason smirks, but doesn't say anything. He looks up at the sky and takes in the moon and the stars, and wonders what it'd be like to be a star, shining so intently above all the meaningless problems on earth.
"You think," he begins, surprising himself, since he hadn't meant to speak aloud. "If I was a star, do you think anyone would make wishes on me?"
Percy is quiet for a moment, and Jason tears his gaze away from the sky to look at him. Percy's eyes are fixed on the stars, his dilated pupils reflecting their light.
"Yeah," Percy says eventually, and Jason watches him. "I think a few people would." He drops his gaze, meeting Jason's eye. "I think a lot of people would overlook you, though. They'd take you for granted; they'd think your shine wasn't as bright as the other stars'."
Jason frowns, looking away from Percy, back up at the sky. Percy's voice is soft as he continues.
"But the few people who did wish on you… I bet they'd be the lucky ones. I bet they'd be the ones whose wishes actually came true. They'd spend the rest of their lives glad that they wished on you."
Blood rushes to Jason's cheeks, and he looks back at Percy. "How are you so articulate?" he complains.
Percy only laughs in response, blowing out a puff of smoke as he stands and rubs his arms through the sleeves of his hoodie.
"It's a little chilly," he says. "Let's get blankets from the truck."
What they end up doing is sprawling in the truck bed on top of the blankets, lying with their sides pressed together to exchange enough body heat to keep warm in the slightly chilly air, but neither boy complains.
"You did, you know," Jason says after the last track on the mixed tape—a folk tune by last year's American Idol winner, whose name neither boy can remember—begins.
"Did what?" Percy asks.
It's late now—they've spent at least four hours in the park. Jason's dad is going to kill him when he gets home, but he can't bring himself to care. All that matters is being here, with Percy.
"You know." Jason's cheeks flush slightly. "You caught my interest."
Percy's hand moves down Jason's arm to his hand, and he knots their fingers together.
"Yeah," Percy breathes, "I know."
They lie quietly next to each other, bodies pressed against each other, fingers twined together. After a moment, Percy rolls onto his side, leaning over Jason.
"I think I'd like it, too," Percy whispers. Jason raises a brow.
"You'd like what?"
Percy smiles. "Kissing you."
And Percy leans down and captures Jason's lips, kissing him thoroughly, deeply. His tongue prods into Jason's mouth, and n that moment, Jason doesn't mind at all that he might end up being nothing more than the summer fling Percy's friends hoped Percy would have.
The mixed tape crackles to an end, pauses, and then starts over. The chords for the first song begin again, and as Jason moans into Percy's mouth, he lets the lyrics wash over him.
And right there, where we stood, was holy ground.
I've listed the tracks on the mixed tape here, in case anyone wants to know all of the songs the boys were jamming to (:
Holy Ground Playlist:
Holy Ground—Taylor Swift
What If—Colbie Caillat
Old White Lincoln—Gaslight Anthem
The Rock Show—Blink 182
Sugar, We're Goin' Down—Fall Out Boy
My Songs Know What you Did In The Dark—Fall Out Boy
The City—Ed Sheeran
Come On Get Higher—Matt Nathanson
Everything Has Changed—Taylor Swift
I'm Coming After you—AtomicTom
Kiss Me—Ed Sheeran
Long Live—Taylor Swift
State of Grace [Acoustic Version]—Taylor Swift
Out of Summertime—Scotty McCreery
Wake Me Up—Ed Sheeran
Your Body is a Wonderland—John Mayer
You and Me—Lifehouse
You're Beautiful—James Blunt
San Francisco—The Mowgli's
Shiver—Walk The Moon
Anywhere But Here—Mayday Parade
So Easy—Phillip Phillips