Hello, everybody! The one, the only, the LAST CHAPTER! Squee! It's been fantastic; you've all been really great. I had another quirky story idea, I just need to iron out the kinks – keep an eye out for it!
TrueDemigodishness – Supanova, my padawan, is an event we have in Australia – once or twice a year at the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide. It's Australia's biggest pop culture expo, with shops, games, panels and celebrity guests (last year, I got to meet Tom Felton XD). You stand out in the crowd if you're NOT dressed up, and you can do cool stuff like take a stage fighting class or playing Quidditch. Lots of fun.
DISCLAIMER: After much deep thought and reflection, I have come to the conclusion that maybe – just maybe – I don't own Percy Jackson. Damn.
Leo raised his hand in front of his face and concentrated.
Leo's frowned deepened as he tried to conjure flames. The other questers and Coach Hedge stared and prayed. They'd all but lost hope until, a full ten seconds later, a tiny flame sparked and danced across his fingers. They all exhaled as it went out.
"Sorry," he said. "A little tired." Then he promptly passed out.
When Leo woke up, he was lying on a soft bed in the sick bay, which he found a little concerning. His head felt like the inside of a drum that had a troop of Irish dancers jigging on it – that is to say hollow, throbbing and painful.
What was even more alarming was that, according to the wall calendar, the last thing he remembered had happened days ago. Everything else was a big blank.
He burned with guilt as he remembered the fight, particularly the punch to the face. At the time, it'd seemed so important that he protect his secret. He'd been so angry, he'd felt no regret hitting Jason.
But all that seemed stupid and childish now. He felt guilty and sad and just generally like an idiot. The hit was uncalled for, and he shouldn't have gotten so worked up.
"Hey." Leo turned his head to see Jason sitting at his bed side.
"Hey." They sat in awkward silence. Leo could tell Jason was thinking about the fight too. Desperate to break the silence, Leo cleared his throat.
"How's the eye?" he asked. As soon as the words left his mouth, he regretted them. He didn't want to seem mocking – he was genuinely concerned.
"Fine, fine. All better." Jason responded nonchalantly, faking a smile. Now they were definitely thinking about the fight. Way to make this more awkward, Valdez.
The silence grew so heavy that Leo realised he'd been counting the seconds. Thirty. Forty-five. One minute. Exactly one minute and eight seconds later, they both started talking at the same time.
"I was so stupi-"
"Your mum, I-"
As suddenly as they'd started they stopped and laughed awkwardly. Jason regarded him seriously.
"Look, man. I'm so sorry. And I know that sounds fake, but I hated myself as soon as said…that. It was stupid and, well, let's face it, I kind of deserved the punch." he said, grimacing as he mentioned what he said.
Leo grimaced too, remembering the fight.
"WHAT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU CAN'T EVEN TELL ME?" Jason yelled.
"For the last time, Superman, mind your own business!" Leo didn't yell as loudly, but with more venom and mockery in his tone. Jason grabbed him by the arms.
"You listen here, Vald-" he broke off in a yelp. Leo hadn't meant to, but his emotions got the better of him. His arms caught fire. Jason pulled back to avoid getting burnt.
"Dammit, Leo!" Jason cursed, waving one of his hands. "Can't you get that stupid fire under control? Haven't you hurt enough people with it?"
As soon as the words left his mouth, both boys stopped. Leo was stunned, Jason was horrified. Had he really just went there? Jason stopped waving his hand and tried to apologise, to undo it.
And now Jason was apologising. Leo looked at his hand, remembering his own rash actions. Jason was being the bigger person. Now it was his turn.
"It's fine. I shouldn't have hit you, even if you did deserve it – just a little," he teased, before turning serious again. "Seriously though, I'm sorry too. We were both kind of stupid."
They sat awkwardly, before hugging – you know, a very manly hug. More of a chest bump crossed with a gentle tackle. Very manly.
"So, what the Hades happened?"
In the end, Leo never found out what really happened of those three days. At best, he would be embarrassed by the truth. At best. So, according to the others, as he was storming away, he'd whacked his head – ran right into the door as Coach opened it. He'd been out cold for three days.
Jason leaned on the railing next to Percy. A lot of conversations seemed to happen on the railing these days.
"I don't get it. Who knew Coach could be so deep?" Percy was saying. Jason smiled.
When he heard about the threats, Jason had dragged the satyr into the next room yelling, "That's it! We need to talk!"
As soon as they were away, Jason dropped the angry act and started talking quickly.
"Right, Coach, listen. Everyone except you has taken an oath on the Styx not to unite them. Meaning you have to. Now, I've noticed the odd thing or two. Here's what you have to say…"
He had been scared about that. It technically was a loophole, since he didn't convince them. He convinced Coach to convince them. Very different. Sort of. But he hadn't been cursed or struck down yet, so he was feeling optimistic they'd accepted it. Hazel was fine too. Jason had thought her pushing Fire would be bad, but she was right as rain – if a little seasick. He clapped Percy in the shoulder.
"I don't know man. I simply do not know." And he walked away.
Over the following week or so, Leo's headache faded and he went back to work. He stopped brooding and started smiling again. The fragile, awkward apology between him and Jason quickly grew into their old friendship. The ship got fixed, and they were back on course. Everything was back to normal.
They stopped annoying Creativity while he worked – unless it was important.
Jason and Piper made less time for each other and more for Sadness, because even Leo got lonely.
Annabeth secretly researched Calypso, determined to reunite her with Romance.
Frank praised Leo's inventions, to show Inferiority how worthy he was.
Hazel convinced Leo to take some down time now and then, because no-one worked harder than Drive.
Percy smiled more, grateful for Comedy, who was obviously very important.
And they trusted Leo – no-one was better at keeping Fire in check.
What could they say? They knew Leo better now.
The end. Hoped you like it! You guys have been great. Poll results below.
By the way – My entire class has a 'united' opinion about maths (it sucks) and I'm getting 'better' at it. XD
INFERIORITY'S THE WINNER! Confetti cannons! Wait, we don't have confetti cannons? Aww…
Till next time! (well, this is the last chapter so…till I see you again, maybe?)