Summary: "piper and jason as best childhood friends, he tells her he likes her, or the other way around idc" - anon
Disclaimer: I don't own the Heroes of Olympus series or the characters I borrowed. Also this was written in like 5 minutes so don't judge me xoxo
It's only after he's flopping down on her bed that he decides it's a bad idea.
Piper's already digging through her closet for something—probably the sweater he'd left the last time he was over—and Jason has to physically press his own hips down onto her bed to keep himself from bolting. He's probably a few steps away from a coronary. Or a panic attack. Or both.
"I know it's in here somewhere," Piper mutters, tossing things over her shoulder. "I'll probably have to wash it, though, I wore it to 'family dinner' the other night."
And, okay. That's okay. She can wear his clothes whenever she wants, but Jason almost wants to stab himself in his own stomach, if only to set the restless butterflies—who have lived there for, oh, the past ten years—free. He turns over onto his stomach and shoves his face into her pillow, blushing even more when he recognizes her scent—cinnamon, with a hint of some flower Jason wishes he knew the name of.
Something hits his back a few seconds later. "Found it?" he asks.
"No," Piper answers, "but that's something I bought you the other day."
Jason pushes himself upwards and rests against her headboard, his expression brightening. "A present? For what?"
Piper shrugs, crawling up to sit by him, and promptly tosses her legs over his lap. "I don't know. For being my best friend. For you."
He clears his throat and nods, but he knows the heat on his face isn't going away. "Thanks."
Piper laughs effortlessly, and it hurts—it hurts because she's always been that. Piper has always been effortless, since day one; makes life her bitch so that the world would stop and stare if Piper told it to. (She never does, though, because that's not her. She never wants the attention, and yet, she has all of Jason's, all the time.)
He laughs when he picks up the dark green sweater that has an apple stitched onto it. It's hideous—quite possibly the worst sweater he's ever seen—but he can't stop the way his eyes sting a little. "Apples," he says dumbly, pulling the fabric closer to him.
"Apples," Piper agrees, smiling softly. "Remember when we—?"
"Yeah," Jason breathes, knowing what she was going to ask. "I remember."
She was going to ask him if he remembered when they met—and how could he, honestly? Meeting the person you want to spend forever with tends to stick with you. He remembers the way their teacher had offered apples to all of her students for a job well done. He remembered the way a voice had rang out in time with his as he complained "Apples are gross!"
That voice, coincidentally, had been Piper's. Also coincidentally, she had been wearing a Power Rangers shirt, just like him, and Red was her favorite.
The rest is history, and also full of coincidences that have Jason convinced that it could only be Piper. It's been Piper for ten years, and it'll be Piper for a hundred more, if he has anything to do with it.
"Hey—I just. I love you, you know that, right?" The words hit Jason's ears, stuttering and stupid, flawed and wrong. He wishes he could take it back and get a second go, but Piper's reaching out for his hand.
"Of course," she tells him, holding his palm against hers. "Never thought you didn't."
And this is it, Jason thinks, your big moment. He could tell her right now, really, get down on one knee and ask her to be with him forever, give a speech about how much he adores her and can't live without her—he could do every grand gesture in the book. Instead, because of course, Jason can't do anything the way it looks in his head, he mumbles, "Remember summer camp?"
Piper's eyes light up in recognition, and Jason presses his knuckles into his stomach in a vain attempt to quell the twisting and turning. He thinks he's getting heartburn. That can't be good. "Yeah. What about it?"
"Remember… the night? Where we. The night." For someone who's last name is Grace, Jason sure lacks it.
"When we kissed?" Piper waggles her eyebrows and smiles suggestively, and Jason laughs. He laughs because he's crazy for her, and really just insane in general, but mostly for Piper.
"Yeah. That's what I meant."
"I remember. You really put the moves on, Grace."
"I tripped. My mouth practically fell on yours. It was hardly proper," he tells her, and he knows he's blushing, but she's laughing, so it's alright.
"Why are you bringing this up, you clumsy idiot, you?" Piper teases, pulling his class ring off of his finger to examine the light blue stone.
"Right. I mean. It wasn't. Proper, or whatever, which isn't really fair, I'd think. I mean what's fair about your first kiss not being a proper one? Not to say that it's not a good memory—it is! I promise. I just. It wasn't proper."
"Are you suggesting that you were supposed to wine and dine me at the age of ten?" Piper questions, raising an amused eyebrow. "You're something, Jason Grace."
"You're pretty," Jason returns, his voice suggesting it's an insult, but it's not—it never is. He would never.
Piper casts her eyes downward and focuses on putting the ring back on Jason's finger. It's oddly backwards, considering. "Thank you."
"What were you going to say?" they ask in unison. Jason breaks out into a slow smile, mirroring Piper's expression. "You first," she tells him, nodding.
"I think we should. Proper. Kiss. That."
Piper freezes, and Jason lets an endless parade of expletives shoot through his mind. "I'm so sorry—"
"What?" Jason's voice probably reaches a new octave. He has a mild flashback to puberty.
"Okay. Sure, why not?" And he really does hate her sometimes, because it's just that easy. It doesn't have to be any grand gestures with Piper. There doesn't have to be long, formally delivered speeches about the love they share. There doesn't have to be smiles through tears and and an orchestra playing in the background.
Surprisingly, when Piper leans over, Jason feels himself relax. It's Piper, it's always been Piper, he thinks to himself. So he leans in, too, lets his hand slide up the curve of her shoulder to rest on her neck, and he presses his forehead against hers. "Is this okay?" he asks.
He can almost hear Piper's eye roll when she closes the distance between them and makes him feel like he's burning. It's short—probably no longer than the kiss when they were ten—but Jason feels like he ran a marathon. "I—Piper. Piper, Piper, please don't tell me to—"
She kisses him again, and Jason's heart aches a little because she's still effortless. She pulls back, yanks the sweater out of his hands and tosses it aside, pulling his palm up to rest in her hair. Jason's eyes are flitting in every direction until they finally meet hers. "Kiss me," she tells him.
"I—" He swallows down the lump in his throat. "I love you."
Piper laughs slightly, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, me too."
"Oh. Oh, I—"
"Jason," Piper says lightly, but her eyes look mildly irritated. "I swear to God. I've been waiting for you to kiss me again for ten years, and if you don't I'll—"
So he does.