Actions

Work Header

The Rumor of Us

Chapter Text

 PIPER

Piper McLean’s first choice for college was her soccer mom minivan, a big ass paycheck, and a name change. What she got was this lame-ass state school where the only pass she got was that no one here seemed to be even halfway into pop culture enough to connect her name with her dad’s. He was lucky – he had the ability to walk through the crowd as if he wasn’t Native American, like the whole thing didn’t matter to him. People didn’t call him out of it, and, if he didn’t mention it, people just overlooked Tristan McLean for anything but his face and acting chops. Piper, on the other hand, was lucky enough to be both Native American and a woman, so essentially everyone thought she was an alcoholic who belonged in the kitchen.

            To which she always responded, “I can hold my liquor for longer than you could hold down a girlfriend, and the next time I walk into the kitchen is when I’m shoving your ugly ass into a boiling pot of water.” That’s usually the last time she ever hears from whoever it was.

            Why she’s sitting in a dorm room in the middle of god-knows-where, New York, she can only explain by her father. “You better be a decent student at least,” Tristan McLean demanded the day before, when she set off for school. The day she got kicked out of the Wilderness School for pretending to push a girl into the Grand Canyon was the exact day she could pinpoint going from being a troubled-but-loved daughter to a troubled-and-rejected daughter.

            Coincidentally, that was the same year that she got her first tattoo with her friend Leo and shaved off half of her hair for the first time.  “If you make any more of these mistakes,” Tristan continued, “I can’t bail you out anymore. No more money following you around, no more rich dad fixing your mistakes. I’m done treating you like a kid, Piper. You’re on your own now.”

            She’d moved into her dorm room on her own, finagling a random dude who owned an off-campus lot to give her a parking pass even though she’s a freshman (she has a way with words – and with her boobs. She’s done great things with a low cut top and an innocent glance.) She’d put together her dorm room on her own, and she’d met some of her floormates in her bathroom during an awkward not-locking bathroom stall moment.

            And when her roommate moves in? That’s when things change.

            She’s blonde with curly hair and a really shy smile, and Piper would totally put her on the would-bang list if she wasn’t living with her for a long time.

            And if she spoke. At all.

            “Hey,” says Piper, rolling off of her bed and putting down her book. “I’m Piper McLean. I’m going to be your roommate this year.”

            The girl smiles and looks like she’s about to respond, but somebody bursts into the dorm room behind her and the smile drops from her face.

            “Jesus, could you move?” asks a younger boy, ramming into Annabeth with a serious lack of balance. “We’re trying to help you here.”
            Piper’s not one to be belligerent toward middle schoolers – she’s lying, she totally is – but this one seems like he needs a nice slap across the face.

            “Sorry, Bobby,” the girl says quietly, sidestepping. Piper takes the box out of her hands. The young boy drops the box into the girl’s arms, and she puts it down on the bed. “I have a couple more –”

            “Yeah, yeah, mom and dad are getting them. I’m gonna go to the car.”
            She goes to say something, but apparently the boy ignores her on a daily basis, because he turns and leaves immediately.

            “He’s a gem,” says Piper with a single eyebrow going up.

            The girl shrugs. “They’re not too fond of me,” she says quietly, and she’s pretty much silent as a man Piper could identify as her father and the woman Piper could identify as her brother’s mom drop a few suitcases down on the floor.

            “Come with us, Annabeth, we have a few more things to drop off here and then we need to head home. The boys have a soccer game to get to.”
            Annabeth, Piper notes. The girl’s name is Annabeth.

            She smiles back at Piper as she makes the trip down the two flights of stairs.

            “Well punch me with a tree trunk and call me Shirley Temple,” Piper mumbles as she watches the unhappy family walk down the stairs. “Looks like I’ve found somebody with shittier parents than mine.” Piper moves a few things of hers out of the way so that Annabeth has more space to put her stuff, and just as she busts open a box of clothing to put away, the family returns, with two boys instead of one.

            “You’ve got a roommate?” says another one of Annabeth’s brothers. “Ew, that sucks.”

            Piper refrains from her usual response of “actually, I blow” and just waves at him from the corner of the room. The surprise on his face makes it clear he hadn’t realized she had been in the room when he said it.

            “Oh,” he says quietly, “um, I’m going to go wait in the car. Bobby, put down the box in your hands and we can go play DS. Bye, Annabeth, see you, like, for Thanksgiving.”
            They dart out the door and don’t even give their older sister a second glance, and Annabeth’s still barely in the room by the time they’re out of it.

            “They’ll miss you,” says the boy’s mother, not too convincingly, “they’re just distracted.”

            Annabeth just shrugs in response and puts various items down on the bed, making enough room for the parents to come in and stare at her awkwardly while she works on unpacking.

            “Well,” says Annabeth’s father, “I will see you – sometime.”

            “Thanksgiving,” says the other woman, “we’ll see you then.”
            “Right, of course,” says Annabeth’s father, absentmindedly staring out the window. “Well, we hope you have a great first semester!”

            “Bye dad, bye Christine,” says Annabeth with a smile, but the only one who hugs her is her father. It’s an awkward dance as “Christine” puts her hand out for a shake and Annabeth moves for a hug and then changes her direction at the last moment.

            “Be good!” is the last thing Piper hears from her roommate’s parents. Then the door closes and the girl called Annabeth visibly loses half the tension in her shoulders.

            “Well then,” says Piper, “that was pretty interesting. Let’s try that without the meddling kids. Hi, I’m Piper.”

            “I’m Annabeth,” says Annabeth quietly, sticking her hand out for a shake. Piper does so and grins at her.

            “You need to actually smile more,” Piper comments. “You’re not stuck with your family anymore, and, from my experience, that’s a good thing for everybody.”

            Annabeth, thank god, laughs, and Piper grins broadly. “So,” says Piper, “tell me a bit about you. I’m assuming you’re my roommate.”

            Annabeth nods. “Yep. You’re a freshman too, right?”
            Piper nods. “Fresh meat and all that. So. Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?”

            Annabeth gives her a weird look, and it’s almost like she’s curling up into herself as Piper gets more and more friendly. Piper, in all her experience, has never made somebody do that.

            Annabeth and Piper talk mindlessly for a little while as the afternoon passes, about high schools – Annabeth hated hers and Piper’s three different places were three different levels of hell, so there wasn’t much easy chatter to be had about them.

            After a long period of silence during which Annabeth doesn’t even complain when Piper starts blaring Sky Ferreira as they put away clothing, Piper gets exasperated.

            “Alright,” she says firmly, “we’re going to go to a party tonight.”

            “But we have the floor meeting,” says Annabeth, confused.

            “At six,” says Piper, “we’ll get lunch and then finish some of this unpacking, hit the bookstore, and go to the stupid meeting to get our RA off our backs. Then we’ll get dolled up and try to find some parties in this podunk town. There’s got to be something going on tonight, right?”
            Annabeth shoots her a look. “Do I look like the person who could give you the answer to that question?”

            “You have a good point,” says Piper. “I’ll take care of all the logistics – you just unpack and look pretty.”

            For a split second, Piper thinks she went too far with the comment and that Annabeth’s going to yell at her for being stupid (she can dream, right?) but instead Annabeth does that quiet little laugh again and nods. “Change of pace for me, sitting back,” she replies, “but I think this is probably more your area of expertise than mine.”

            Piper nods. “And you have GOT to let me do something awesome with your hair.”
            “My hair?” Annabeth asks, running her fingers with it. “What’s wrong with my hair?”
            “Literally nothing,” says Piper, “other than the fact that you’ve probably never done much with it other than a braid or a ponytail.”

            The look on Annabeth’s face tells her she’s hit the nail on the head. “Oh, don’t worry,” says Piper, turning back to her closet. “Living with me, I’m sure you’ll get better at this kind of stuff.”

~~~~~~~

            Annabeth, Piper discovers, only gets more uptight when she gets around a big group of people she doesn’t know.

            “Piper, I’m not sure I want to be here,” she says, squirming. She begins pulling on the intricate braid in her hair that Piper had insisted she put in, and Piper, rather belligerently, slaps her hand away.

            “I don’t care if you want to leave, I want your hair to look badass. So stop fiddling with your goddamn braid before I hit you in the neck.”
            Though it has only been a few hours of knowing each other, Piper thinks that Annabeth’s really getting used to her. Or maybe she’s just so scared she’s not doing anything.

            Piper will have to look into that.

            “So,” says Piper, trying to speak loudly enough to be heard above the throbbing sound of – was that a remix of Call Me Maybe? What was it, 2012 again? – to Annabeth, “see anyone you like?”

            Annabeth shrugs, and Piper’s going to actually hit her in the throat if she keeps doing that weird “I’m too shy to talk” thing. Sure, she’s too shy to talk to people, but it’s a freaking party. There’s literally no one here who looks better than they do or is more in control of themselves than they are. Well, that’s mainly because Piper’s not going to get wasted on the first night of the semester and Annabeth’s too nervous to drink around people she doesn’t know.

            But that doesn’t change the fact that they’re far from sloppy.

            Piper scans the room, and a guy with dark hair and light blue eyes catches her gaze. “That guy’s hot,” she says, nudging Annabeth with her elbow. Annabeth smirks.

            “I’m not into blue eyes,” she says, and something in Annabeth’s tone makes Piper think there’s something else going on behind the words, but Piper’s not going to say anything until Annabeth brings it up. “But,” Annabeth continues, “that guy’s staring at you like he’s ready to bang you into next Thursday.”
            Piper’s eyebrows shoot up. “Did you just say that?” she asks, startled. “Or were you, like, temporarily overtaken by some sex demon?”

            “Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I know nothing about sex.” It’s meant as an offhanded comment, but Piper’s dangerously good at reading people. And something about that sentence throws her off, just like the comment about the eyes, and Piper realizes in that very moment that there’s a lot more to Annabeth than the bookish silent stereotype.

            “I’m gonna believe that,” says Piper. She runs her hand through her dark hair and flips it over to reveal the undercut and the dark blue streak underneath the back. She looks for the guy that Annabeth was talking about, and the second she makes eye contact with him, she groans.

            “Well fuck me with a chainsaw and call me Joan Rivers,” she grumbles. “Annabeth, say something interesting.”
            “Um, marine snails all start off male and then one of them becomes female on a whim when they decide to mate.”

            Piper stares at her. “Dude, I meant, like, make it look like we’re in deep conversation, not tell me something about fucking snails –”

            “Hey,” interrupts the guy who was staring at her, “I’m Dylan.”

            “I’m not interested,” replies Piper.

            Dylan leans against the wall, his arm knocking into Annabeth as if she were invisible, and tries to cage Piper. “Come on, beautiful eyes, don’t you want to dance?”

            “Yeah,” says Piper, “with the hottie who just walked in.”

            “What?” says Dylan, and when he turns around to look, Piper nails him with a shove to the gut to get him out of the way. “Ow, what the fuck?”

            “Do you need us to translate douchebag into English for you? I’m not interested means no,” says Annabeth, her grey eyes glittering with anger.

            What the fuck is WITH this girl, Piper thinks.

            Dylan slouches off into the shadows from whence he came (Piper can only assume, really, maybe he’d been in a well lit kitchen) and Piper turns to Annabeth.

            “Tomorrow morning,” Piper says firmly, “we’re having one of those weird girly talks and you’re going to explain to me who the hell you are, because right now you’re acting like a freaking character in a spy novel. Or some misandrist feminist man-killer.”
            Piper would have asked her why she started humming “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” but she’s suddenly sees, from across the room, something she couldn’t resist.

            Dark hair, dark eyes, and a fuck-it-all expression (though the context Piper wasn’t sure of,) Piper’s favorite combination, walks into the door. And in that moment, for Piper, the party’s over.

            It’s all about that girl.

            “Annabeth,” she says lightly, “I might be home late tonight.”

            Annabeth’s eyes are distractedly flitting around the room, like she’s too worried about catching someone’s eye to focus. “What do you mean?” she asks.

            “Well, if I’m going to bang that girl over there, it’ll be in her dorm, not ours. I actually like you. I’m not going to screw a chick with you in the bed next to me.” The comment is a gamble – she has no idea how Annabeth’s going to take the whole thing, but, surprisingly, Annabeth gets pissed about something else.

            Annabeth turns to her. “Are you kidding me?” Annabeth squeaks. “You’re going to leave me here alone?”

            “No,” says Piper, “I’m going to put my cell number in your phone and we’re a five minute walk away from our building and it’s,” she looks down at her cell phone screen, “nine-thirty. People are still moving into their apartments and it’s basically still light out.”
            Annabeth sends her a look. “You’re insane.”

            “You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Piper replies.

            Annabeth shakes her head, looking at Piper in a way that’s half reverent and half disturbed. “I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing yet,” she says quietly. “I’ll text you when I get to the apartment. If I don’t text you in twenty minutes can you –”

            “I’ll call you obnoxiously,” says Piper, her attention still on the girl who walked into the room, “and tomorrow I’ll get you booze or something.”

            It looks like Annabeth’s going to try one more protest, but instead she sighs and turns back into the girl that Piper had first met earlier that day, quiet, withdrawn and hiding.

            “Smile,” says Piper as Annabeth leaves, “it makes them wonder what you’re up to.”
            She thinks she can see Annabeth’s shoulders relax as she walks out the door, but there are other things on her mind.

            Most importantly, what that dark haired girl would look like with her hair out of that braid.

 

REYNA

            This is the night it’s going to happen. Reyna Avila Ramirez Arellano is going to get this v-card gone so that she can check it off of her list, so help her god.

            She scans the room for acceptable guys, and one with dark hair and blue eyes meets her gaze. Looking him up and down, she shrugs. He’ll do, she supposes.

            That’s when she’s intercepted.

            “Hi,” says a girl, her hair styled in an oops-rolled-out-of-bed style and makeup that accents her multicolored eyes. “I’m Piper.”

            “I’m busy,” replies Reyna, “preferably with that guy over there.”

            The girl glances over her shoulder and scoffs. “Please. He’d be a two pump chump. Why don’t you go for somebody’s who’s got a little more skill in that area?”

            Reyna’s not sure what the hell she did to piss off this girl, but apparently that guy’s an ex-boyfriend or something. No one would be such a dick about a stranger.

            “Meaning you?” Reyna asks incredulously.

            The girl, Piper, Reyna supposes, leans against a wall, some of her dark hair falling into her eyes, and Reyna finds herself inextricably drawn to her. As if sensing Reyna’s reaction, Piper reaches her arms above her head and the trail tattoos that starts at her hip and disappears into the waistband of her leather pants reveals itself easily.

            “Staring, really?” Piper laughs. “Well, then, that’s good to know.”

            “I’m not staring,” says Reyna firmly, “I’m just…I…I like tattoos.”

            “Bet you’re wondering where they lead.”

            Reyna folds her arms across her chest. “Pretty sure I know.”

            “Pretty sure you WANT to know.”

            Reyna moves to disagree, but someone knocks into her and she stumbles against the wall next to Piper. They’re close enough that, if Piper lowered her arm, she’d be able to wrap it around Reyna’s shoulders and drag her in for a kiss.

            It’s both too close and not close enough, and this sudden revelation sends Reyna reeling. She’s not gay. She’s not into girls. Or, at least, she hadn’t been back the last time she had a boyfriend, which was when she was fourteen. There’s something sparking in the back of her mind, something that maybe wouldn’t have been there had Reyna been drinking, even though it’s only been one, telling her that, nope, this girl is a whole new category. Anything Reyna had been into before this night is now irrelevant.

            So she takes the chance as says fuck it to her parents and her sister and everyone else that ever dubbed her the goody two shoes girl next door.

            “Maybe I do,” says Reyna, and she shifts just close enough to make the move that invites Piper to make The Move, and Piper makes it. Their lips meet and it’s like lightning striking through Reyna as Piper grips at her hips through Reyna’s thin, flowy shirt. She dressed to get laid tonight and she’ll be damned if it doesn’t work.

            It looks like it might. Though, of course, it’s in a situation Reyna never could have planned if her life depended on it.

            “Come on,” says Piper as she breaks away from Reyna’s lips, “there’s some dude staring at us and I really don’t want to have to kick anyone in the nads tonight.”

            She lets this girl with the crazy hair and the fuck-it-all attitude drag her somewhere in the frat house. She would bet Piper has no idea where anything is this place, either.

            They knock on a door, and what they hear in response is a high pitched girl’s voice gasping and panting, “In a-a minute,” followed by a pleased scream of some guy’s name.

            “Sounds like Devon’s doing a good job,” comments Piper, and Reyna chuckles.

            They finally find an empty room – it’s a bathroom, but beggars can’t be choosers – and Piper pushes Reyna up against the door. Desire floods through Reyna as her heart pounds, and she’s waiting – just waiting painfully – for Piper to do something.

            “Staring, really?” Reyna asks, flashing back to earlier than night.

            Piper smirks and looks Reyna up and down, lingering at where her shirt catches at her breasts and falls gently. “Why the hell wouldn’t I?”

            That’s when Reyna surges forward and kisses Piper hard.

            There’s something slightly gnawing at the back of Reyna’s mind while Piper’s hands move all over her, one in her hair and one gripping at her waist, her hips, her ass, her back, telling her that, hello, Reyna, you like dudes, what are you doing.

            The rest of her mind is going, if a girl can do this to you, you fucking let her do it as long as she goddamned well pleases.

            Reyna is fully aware that that part of her mind is the part that’s going to win.

            Piper pulls away from Reyna’s lips for a moment, and then Reyna realizes it’s because someone’s been knocking on the bathroom door for the past few seconds.

            “I really need to go,” says a girl’s voice, “like, really bad, are you almost done?”

            “Are we almost done?” asks Piper.

            “No fucking way,” says a voice that totally wasn’t Reyna’s but, yep, was Reyna’s.

            “Good.”

            Piper grabs Reyna’s hand and physically drags her out into the hallway, bypassing the stunned-looking girl who was just looking to pee and barreling through the dance floor to make it to the door. Some guy yells, “fuck yes, lesbians!” at the two of them, but before Reyna can shout something back at him, Piper’s kicked him in the nads and called him a “misogynist fuckless toolbucket” and Reyna’s not sure she can top that, so she stays silent.

            “Do you have a single?” Piper asks.

            “Am I single?” Reyna replies, and she’s beginning to wonder, really, what was going on with her and this girl. Is she looking to date or something?

            “No, you idiot, where do you live. Do you live in a single?”

            “Oh,” Reyna replies, “no, but my roommate literally told me last night she planned on living with her boyfriend this semester so my room’s all –”

            Her words are cut off as Piper crushes her lips to Reyna’s again and Reyna finds her fingers threading through Piper’s hair. Reyna swallows the gasp Piper lets out and pulls away from her lips.

            “Hey,” says Piper with a glare. “I was in the middle of something.”
            “Are we going back to my room or what?” Reyna asks. “Because I don’t want to get cited for public nudity during my first semester.”

            “You a freshman too?”

            Reyna shrugs. “That matter?”

            “Only if you live all the way in Harbucket.”

            Reyna shakes her head. “No, I live in Hale – the athletic dorms.”
            Something flashes in Piper’s eyes. “Athletic dorms?”

            Reyna rolls her eyes and kisses her again to shut her up, and then starts walking toward her dorm without a second word. “Are you coming or not?”
            Piper smirks. “I think we’ll both be in a few.”

            Some sort of chill runs up Reyna’s spine as she realizes, yep, this girl is definitely the right choice.

 

Chapter Text

PIPER

The phrase “athletic dorms” is still ringing in Piper’s head as she flashes her ID at the desk attendant and walks up the three flights of stairs to get to Reyna’s dorm room, but the meaning of it doesn’t exactly hit her until she sees the trophies and the purple and yellow jersey thrown across the bed.

“Oh, fuck, you’re a field hockey player,” Piper groans. “Ugh, like you couldn’t be worse.”
Reyna turns to her, her braid hitting pretty hard against her back. “Do you have a problem with sports?”

“Only the goddamned stupid ones where you wear skirts.”

One of Reyna’s eyebrows raises and she folds her arms across her chest, to which Piper’s response definitely isn’t staring at her. “So you’re against lacrosse too?” Reyna asks carefully.

Piper takes a step toward her. “Is it really practical to wear a freaking skirt while playing a sport?”

Reyna walks toward her and pins her against the door with her eyes and a hand planted on either side of Piper’s head. “The kilt,” Reyna corrects, “usually has shorts underneath it and it’s traditional, you imbecile.”

“Ooh, big words,” says Piper with an eye roll. “What are you going to do next, recite the periodic table while writing out pi? What a turn on.” Piper decides right there and then that that will never be a turn on no matter how much it might, actually, seem a little hot.

“Coming from a chick who can’t say a single sentence without swearing, I can’t say I’m taking much offense from that.”

“God, would you just shut your self-righteous mouth?” groans Piper. “Jesus, you were so much hotter when you weren’t talking.”

“So were you,” replies Reyna with a harsh laugh.

Their eyes lock and for a split second, Piper’s considering hitting Reyna, but then somebody moved and somebody grabbed the other and somebody moved them on top of the bed, where Piper slams her shin into an unpacked suitcase but couldn’t care less about it.

For a few seconds the two of them silently fight for who ends up on top, but when Piper gets her hips straddling Reyna’s they both know the fight’s over.

“See?” says Piper, grinding her hips onto Reyna’s. “If neither of us talk, then isn’t everything better?”

“Then why did you start talking again?” If Piper had to quantify it, that sounded almost like a growl, and it made heat pool between her legs like never before. Piper pressed her hands to either side of Reyna’s head and kisses her, slow and deep, until Reyna’s nails are scrabbling against Piper’s back and she’s basically whining against Piper’s lips.

“Because when I talk,” Piper mutters against the skin of Reyna’s neck, “I don’t piss anyone off,” she lightly nips at Reyna’s earlobe, “like somebody else.”

Reyna can only gasp in response, and Piper grins as she feels Reyna writhe against her, her body begging for the friction.

Piper’s hands go for Reyna’s jeans, and then, suddenly, Reyna freezes up.

Piper moves off of her immediately, putting her hands up like she’s under arrest (what the fuck was she DOING?) “Are you okay?” she asks. “Is – did I –”

Reyna sits up and Piper takes her in briefly, her hair flying out of the braid, eyes dark, shirt halfway up her chest (did Piper do that? She didn’t remember doing it. Damn, did REYNA do that?)

“No, it’s fine, get back here, I just haven’t done this before.” Had it been any other answer, Piper would have dived back onto the person.

But she’s never been on this end of the deal before.

“Really?” Piper asks. “Really?”

“Yes. Yes,” replies Reyna, rolling her eyes dramatically. “Can you just get naked so I don’t have to think about you talking again?”

Piper still feels half hesitant, but Reyna’s frustrated groan as she pulls off her shirt and unhooks her own bra and flings it away blurs out any logic in Piper’s mind and all she can think is, “holy shit her tits are PERFECT.”

Piper pulls off her leather jacket and the black bustier underneath it, throwing it somewhere she’ll find later, and, before she can get to it, Reyna’s reached around her to her back and is pulling her bra down her shoulders. She tosses it to the side, and the bra disappears into the darkness. Another thing Piper will have to look for in the morning.

“You have too many tattoos,” Reyna comments as she lets Piper kiss along her collarbone. “I mean, seriously, what are you going to cover next, your forehead?”

“Yeah,” says Piper, muffled, “I’m going to tattoo, ‘Reyna’s a priss,’ up there.”
“Again, so much cuter when you shut up.”

Piper moves to glare at Reyna. “You asked.”

“You stopped.”

Piper gives her a look. “Well hit me with a hammer and call me Spiderman, how did I miss that giant piece of something that I did? Let’s go to Captain Obvious for further news!”

Reyna groans and tips her head back, giving Piper a distractingly good look at the expanse of her soft skin. Piper’s got a thing for collarbones, and Reyna’s is deliciously tempting.

“Is the snark part of the foreplay or are you just incapable of acting like a human being for more than thirty seconds?” Reyna asks. “Because I’d really like to get this done. I have a bunch of classes to prepare for.”

“You’re such a nerd,” Piper groans as she kisses Reyna firmly again, and this time she wills herself not to comment on the fact that Reyna’s commenting on god-knows-what. Words are useless when Piper gets to this point. All she wants now is to get naked and laid, and talking is not going to make that happen any time soon.

It takes a few fumbly seconds to get Reyna out of her jeans, and Piper feels more than hears her take a deep breath (Piper barely remembers her first time – she was sixteen and it was with some guy who wasn’t Leo at the Wilderness School, that’s about all she remembers) and then guide Piper’s hand lower.

“Whoa,” says Piper, unable to keep to her own promise, “don’t you worry about this, Reyna, I’ve got you.” You don’t need to teach me anything, she thinks to herself, and she smirks as Reyna’s eyes flutter closed as Piper dances her fingers across Reyna’s bright pink.

Yeah. Piper’s good at this.

“Just sit back and relax,” she says with a grin, and Reyna falls back against the bed, finally letting Piper take charge. Piper pulls Reyna’s legs so they hang over the end of the bed – oral is the only thing college dorm beds are good for, really – and starts at Reyna’s collarbone, kissing against the soft skin. She makes her way down to her chest, hands gently brushing over Reyna’s breasts. She gasps, and Piper grins. If that little gesture gets a gasp out of her, wait until Piper really gets to the good part.

Piper pats Reyna’s hips gently, and the other girl lifts her hips to allow Piper to pull her boyshorts down. Piper chucks them somewhere in the room – a bit of  payback for whatever the hell Reyna did to her tank top and bra.

“You ready?” Piper asks. “Because I’ll make sure you won’t be able to answer in a few seconds.”

“Just get on with it already,” mutters Reyna, her voice surprisingly high and breathy. Piper decides she likes the sound of desperate abandon on Reyna, and makes her wait, just a little bit longer, just long enough to see if Reyna will start begging.

She nips gently at Reyna’s inner thighs, and giggles into her skin as Reyna jumps a little bit, not quite used to the feeling.

“Tell me what you like,” Piper breathes, “tell me what you do to yourself.”

“You’re the expert here,” whines Reyna, “just do it already,” and, as if the next word is drawn painfully out of her, she moans, “please.”

That’s enough for Piper.

She begins with a firm stroke up Reyna’s folds and the other girl nearly flies off of the bed. Piper looks up to see Reyna pressing a pillow over her face.

“Scream all you want,” says Piper, “I want to hear you say my name.” Piper grins at Reyna’s reactions – she’s going into this with less reservations than, Piper assumes, everything else. And it would be funny if it wasn’t so hot.

Piper continues moving her lips, then her tongue, against Reyna, and her name falling from Reyna’s desperate lips is just better encouragement to move different ways, try different things. She’s never heard her name sound so good before – it’s intoxicating really, and Piper’s so distracted as she gets Reyna more and more worked up that she barely hears it when Reyna says, “I’m – I’m –”

The rest of her sentence is drowned out in half a deep exhale and half a moan, and Piper works at her gently through her orgasm. Piper hears her name muttered once or twice as Reyna regains her breathing, like Reyna’s trying to talk to her, but she can’t get the words out.

She sits up and grins down at Reyna, whose eyes still aren’t completely open yet.

“How was your first time?” Piper asks, fighting back a laugh as Reyna’s trying to bring her gaze into focus.

Reyna responds with a mindless, babbling string of nonsense.

“I’ll take that as a good thing.”

Piper’s not a jerk, per se, but she’s completely wound up after hearing Reyna moan her name, and she’s going to have to get this going her damned self if something doesn’t happen sometime soon.

“What about you?” says Reyna. “You did me, and now…Oh, screw it.”    

And then, for the first time ever, Piper’s pinned down without expecting it. She struggles a little bit, just to test Reyna’s resolve on the subject, against Reyna’s grip against her wrists, and she can’t move her arms.

Something floods through her, something fantastic, and she grins up at Reyna. “You up for the challenge, newbie?” she asks with a grin.

“Up for anything,” says Reyna.

Reyna takes a leaf – no, a goddamned chapter or even an act – out of Piper’s book, trying to same moves on her that worked on Reyna, but when it comes to her skill in getting her off, Piper can’t complain. It’s a little sloppier than what’s usually considered effective, and Reyna’s clearly trying to do what she’s heard other people do, but it works. Piper’s yelling nonsense out at the walls (predominantly swears – she hopes nobody on duty is monitoring this hallway, because she knows she gets pretty loud) and at the ceiling, writhing around to the point where Reyna, without a single word, presses a strong arm down across Piper’s hips, and Piper can’t move anymore.

Piper half hates the fact that someone else is pinning her down, and half is overly turned on and yelling even louder because of it. At one point, Reyna, to Piper’s disbelief and discouragement, stops to yell at her about it.

“Would you,” Reyna says, looking pissed off from between Piper’s legs, “shut the hell up before somebody swings by here and we get written up the first night everyone’s here for disturbing the peace?”

“It’s your fault,” remarks Piper, “and if you’d get back to business we could – mother FUCKER!” Piper arches off the bed as she feels Reyna run her tongue firmly against her. She will never admit it, but she’s seeing stars and it’s kind of fantastic, especially since Reyna’s apparently never done this before.

It takes longer than usual but, somehow, it’s better than usual when the wave crashes and her hips arch off the bed and she knocks over whatever the fuck was on Reyna’s bedside table.

She’s got one hand flung across her forehead and the other draped mostly off the bed when Reyna sits up and sits next to her on the bed, looking a combination of smug and uncomfortable, which is the most bizarre thing Piper’s ever seen. She’s also got sex hair like Piper’s never seen, but she doesn’t mention it, mainly because she’s too worn out to come up with a decent comment and partly because Reyna’s such a newbie she doesn’t want to say something to embarrass her.

Instead, she says, “I’d give it a B. Took you a while to earn it, but once you got the idea you were good.”

Reyna laughs. “Self assessment would give me an A with the way you were yelling.”

Piper snickers. “Don’t flatter yourself, newbie,” she laughs. “I yell with everyone.”

“Bet this is the first time you’ve ever yelled the name ‘Reyna.’”

Piper shrugs. “You’ve got that one right.”

Reyna gets out of bed, leaving Piper still sprawled out on the bed with her hands all over the place and her legs sprawled everywhere. “Where the hell are you going?”

“I’m putting on pajamas, you weirdo, so I’m going to my suitcase.”

“How have you not put any of that away yet?”

Reyna turns to her, her face still flushed and pink. “I was reading. You want to make fun of me for that or are you all done with the mocking once you I had you on your back and yelling?”

Piper’s silent as she tries to come up with a comeback, and, after a bunch of yelling about reading and how polka dot pajamas are for eight year olds, Reyna tells her that, “I’m going to sleep, so make a decision of what you want to do.” So Piper, as a joke, rolls over and pretends to have fallen asleep, just to annoy Reyna.

But then something happens that really, really shouldn’t have. Piper must have been exhausted from the day, from the move, from Annabeth, from the party, from Reyna.

She falls asleep.

REYNA

Piper sneaks out that evening around 2. Reyna can tell, because Piper had been looped around her all night, making her way too freaking warm, and then suddenly the feeling of being spooned by a space heater disappeared.

Reyna stays entirely still as she hears Piper stumble gracelessly around Reyna’s apartment. She hears Piper utter a, “oh, fuck!” as she crashes into what Reyna assumes is Gwen’s sports bag (she can’t say she feels too bad about that) and a “where the fuck did that tank top go?” until she grumbles one more time and leaves the room.

She feels weird. Not bad, and not good either. Something’s unexpected about what happened tonight, and it might be that Reyna feels a lot more than she meant to.

She rolls over, slightly pleased at the fact that she gets the bed to herself, and dreams about a princess in shining armor she saves from an evil king.

 

ANNABETH

For being alone most of her first night at school, Annabeth thinks it’s working pretty well.

She’s made a bunch of progress on her reading and managed to finish Frankenstein for the third time, which is nice, but somewhere in the back of her mind she’s kind of disappointed her new roommate didn’t come back. She always forgets about time – staying up until 3am reading a book isn’t something foreign to Annabeth Chase – but today she’s been looking at the clock constantly. It’s not that she’s worried about Piper, really – she’s pretty sure Piper could handle herself for years in the desert with nothing but a spoon and a toucan – it’s that she’s confused as to why her new roommate wouldn’t respond to a text she sent. All she said was, “Got home – hope you have a good night!”

Maybe it was too creepy. Annabeth’s good at being accidentally creepy – she doesn’t do it on purpose, of course, but she has a tendency to make really weird comments without meaning to. With Luke and Thalia, her friends before she went to the other school, weird and inappropriate comments were pretty much commonplace. She always forgets that it’s not okay to make sex jokes around normal people. She also forgets that it’s not normal to talk about the mating habits of snails in front of normal people. She puts down the book for a moment and stares at the wall – oh, god, is that why Piper won’t text her back?

She has a horrible moment of “well I fucked up,” then curls up into reading Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women for her Philosophy of Gender class. It might have been a month and a half before the reading was due, but the topic interested her and she had nothing better to do.

Plus, she already tried to sleep for about two hours and it didn’t work.

For some reason, she’s too worried about her new roommate.

The words begin to blur about 30 pages in and Annabeth feels her eyes starting to close. She’s a little frustrated about being directly in front of the door, but she wasn’t going to let that bother her. Besides, Piper seems cool and she has her phone number. The likelihood of her bringing anyone creepy in here is low.

Annabeth also may have programmed the campus safety number into her phone.   

Near two in the morning, she decides to get ready for bed. She’s still in a bad routine from being at home and sleeping through all of the bullshit during the day. With a big yawn, she stands and changes into her pajamas, bringing her ready-for-bed materials into the bathroom. She hates admitting it, but she’s still convinced she’s going to get lost in this place at some point and, for the love of god, do all of the hallways have to look the same?

She makes it into the bathroom and gets lost in thought as she brushes her teeth, and when she gets back to the apartment, someone’s sitting on Piper’s bed.

She halfway nails her leg into the desk which the door clears by maybe four inches and swears a bit.

“Piper, you scared me,” she says quietly. “What are you doing here?”

“I said that you shouldn’t wait up for me,” says Piper, and when she shifts position, Annabeth notices she’s not wearing a shirt under her jacket.

“Lose your shirt?” she asks.

Piper, to Annabeth’s relief, laughs. “Yeah, actually. You know that girl I was talking to earlier?”

Annabeth’s eyebrows rise. “So I’m taking it that you had a pretty good night.”
Piper laughs and buries her face into her pillow and Annabeth thinks it might end up being more than one good night. Usually she doesn’t think of one night stands making people that happy – or maybe she’s just read too much. “Yeah,” Piper replies, and Annabeth can hear the smile in her voice, “yeah, it was pretty awesome.”

“Well, you know that Carie’s going to be knocking on our doors at the crack of dawn to make us do whatever the hell she decides we need to do in the morning to bond with everyone on our floor or something,” says Annabeth, cuddling into bed with a kitten plushie she would never admit to anyone she had, “so we should probably get to be soon.”
Piper groans and hits herself with her pillow a couple of times. “I know the other roommate would have to be the logical one,” she grumbles, “but I hoped you would at least go to bed early enough that it would guilt me into sleeping.”

Not sure how to respond, Annabeth simply shrugs. “Guess I’m a disappointment,” she says quietly. She doesn’t expect Piper to hear, but she does.

“Disappointment?” asks Piper. “Are you kidding me? Dude, you’re awesome – at first I thought you were some silent nun thing, but at the party you started pulling out some really hilarious shit and from then on I was fucking sold.”

Annabeth turns to Piper and grins. “Glad my inappropriate sex humor entertains you.”
“Believe me,” says Piper, “you’re a better roommate than anything I could have come up with. I just need to figure out a way to compare.”

“You made me stop being stupid and shy by being ingratiatingly belligerent about me talking,” says Annabeth, quietly enough that Piper could decide not to hear her if that’s what she wanted, “that’s more than enough.”

Piper sends her a grin as she stands up and changes into a pair of boxers and a tank top, not caring a second that she’s mid conversation with her roommate. “You know, I think this is the beginning of something great,” Piper says with a grin as she throws herself into bed. “But I do have a fairly important question to ask you.”

Annabeth can’t decide whether or not she should feel nervous. “Alright,” she says, “shoot.”

“Which is better, Backstreet Boys or *NSync?”

Annabeth thinks about it for a few seconds. “I liked both of them pretty much equally,” she says in response, “but if I had to pick someone, I’d say Backstreet Boys because Justin Timberlake was way too much of a frontman for a band that wasn’t supposed to have one.”

Piper nods. “That is a very good answer,” she responds as she throws off the light. “I think we can be friends.”

Chapter Text

PIPER
She knew that her first day of class was going to be eighteen different levels of stupid, but she didn’t expect to see the girl from the other night sitting at the front of her American History Post-1877 classroom.
“Well fuck me with a chainsaw and call me Mother Theresa,” says Piper, allowing herself to be jostled by the myriad of students pushing into the classroom. “I have to say this is the last thing I expected.”
“Could you move?” asks a girl with brown hair and eyes, and an attitude that could peel the ego off of a weaker person than Piper. “Some of us are trying to get into this class.”
“In that case, go for it,” says Piper, her eyes locked on Reyna and that dark hair back in an elaborate braid. “Anyone who’s interested in this class can take my freaking place.”
The girl rolls her eyes and shoves past Piper, making her way into the classroom as Piper tries to force herself to sit down. She finally makes it to a lefty desk that allows her a good view of Reyna and pulls out the first notebook that’s she can find. It’s dark blue and has the name of the college embossed across the front of it. Piper distractedly runs her fingertips across it. “I was so not supposed to end up liking this place,” she mutters.
The professor suddenly and jarringly starts the lesson by slamming down the course’s textbook down on the desk she has in the front of the class and grinning so broadly it’s like the freaking sun is reflected off of her teeth. Piper can see Reyna basically snap backwards with surprise.
“Good morning, class, and if you’re still tired at ten in the morning then you’re doing college right!” she exclaims. “But the first person who falls asleep in my class is kicked out and failed out of the course, no matter where we are in the semester. You got it?”
The class is filled with muttered agreement until the professor claps her hands – Piper is surprised hands can make that loud of a sound – and says, “Well then! As long as we’re all on the same page then I think it’s about time we all get started, all right?”
Thus begins the most sexually frustrating class on American History Piper has experienced in her life.
Reyna does a weird thing when she’s studying, and that weird thing involves twisting her braid along her shoulders, dragging it against her skin. She’s wearing a tank top that’s really open in the back, and she can see some tan lines that she had mapped out with her fingertips a few nights before easily in front of her. Reyna also flexes her shoulders whenever she goes to write, and it distracts Piper to the point where her elbow slides off of the desk and she finds herself grinning like an absolute idiot whenever she thinks back to the other night.
This is the first time in ages that she’s gotten distracted by another person. It’s horrible.
The professor continues on and Piper sits there, her mind flashing back constantly to the other night. Eventually her eyes flutter shut for a few seconds, but she makes sure she can keep herself awake. Over and over again the memories of that first night flit across her mind and she suddenly realizes that this isn’t going to handle itself.
Her eyes snap open and she’s, of course, got her eyes locked on the back of Reyna’s head. And, oh, god, she’s wearing a skirt, and she keeps crossing her legs. Her skirt hikes up a little bit each time it happens, and Piper swears it will kill her.
The minutes drag and drag, and Piper can literally feel herself losing control over her sanity. There was just something about that Reyna girl – something she couldn’t control. Something, maybe, she didn’t want to control.
By the time the professor tells them they can leave, Reyna’s up and about to walk out the door. Piper nearly kills herself tripping over the desk as she goes to catch her. Her legs have a mind of their own, and she’s got no idea what their goal is in this. “Reyna!” she calls. “Hey, Reyna!”
The dark braid whips along the other girl’s back as she turns to Piper. On recognition her eyes light up. “Hi, Piper,” she says, and Piper could swear there’s a hit of a blush there. Piper lets out a smirk. Of course there is. The other night was intense.
“You showing off all that leg to get me distracted or do you always dress like this?” Piper asks. She finds herself clearing her throat – she had to admit, she was distracted. A lot.
Reyna scoffs. “Yeah, because looking good or other people is why I dress this way. I don’t care who stares – I look good because I want to.”
Decent answer, Piper thinks. “You’re not wrong.”
“Any reason you caught me here?” Reyna asks. “Because I have lunch to get to after this, and then another class.”
“I’ll walk with you,” says Piper, and she makes her way down the hallway, Reyna following in her footsteps. “So, you’re smart, right?”
“Some have said so,” Reyna replies. “Why, you looking for someone to copy off of?”
“I’m looking for someone to study with,” says Piper, surprising herself with how stupid that lie sounds. Study buddies are for twelve year olds, not college students. “You know, so I don’t fail out of my freshman year of college.”
“And you want your one night stand to do that for you?” Reyna laughs. “Sure, because you’re not looking for something else.”
“Please,” says Piper, “if anyone wanted to redo the other night, it would be you. I rocked your world.”
Reyna sends her a smirk. “I have nothing to compare it to,” says Reyna lightly, “for all I know, you could have sucked.”
Piper steps in front of her in the hallway causing Reyna to stop short. Staring her dead in the eyes, she says, “You know I was good.” She watches Reyna swallow hard, her eyes darting to Piper’s lips and then back up. Piper hadn’t noticed how much taller Reyna is than she – Piper must have been thrown off by the heels she had been wearing Friday night. It’s a few seconds before Piper starts to feel herself getting annoyed about how much shorter she is, and goes back to Reyna’s eyes when she starts speaking again.
“Lucky chance,” Reyna mutters with an eye roll, and, fuck, it’s like she’s trying to get Piper to fuck her in a broom closet.
“Look, I’m asking you if you’ll study with me so I don’t get kicked out,” Piper says, a little too quickly. “I don’t want my dad killing me for being a slacker again, and if someone’s holding me accountable for my work I might actually do it.”
“I could hold you accountable for doing a lot of things,” says Reyna, and that’s the moment Piper realizes she needs to sleep with this girl again or her entire life would be consumed by a whole lot of sexual frustration she couldn’t control.
“Fine then,” says Piper, too breathless for her own liking, “just make studying one of them and we’ve got a deal.”
“Do I get to see you naked again?” Reyna asks, and she’s grinning in a way that confuses Piper. She doesn’t like to be confused. Piper McLean is the one who’s supposed to do the confusing. “Hell, if you get me an A in this class you can do whatever you want to me.”
Reyna’s eyebrows shoot up. “Well then. Meet you Wednesday afternoon outside my dorm building around 4, if you don’t have class.”
“I don’t,” says Piper, “and make sure your roommate’s not home. I don’t want her interrupting our…study session.”
“Right,” says Reyna. “See you Wednesday, Piper.” She saunters away without another word, and Piper’s feeling like her entire world is spinning.
She can’t make it back to her apartment fast enough. The conversation with Reyna did nothing but make those memories even more vivid, more overwhelming.
All she can hope is that Annabeth’s not in the room by the time she gets back. The fifteen minute walk from her class to her apartment is horribly long and exasperating, and every step she takes feels like another hour.
Her card won’t open the door and she can’t get into the building until someone opens the door as they leave. Piper is almost one hundred percent sure the universe is trying to kill her.
She darts in and waves her card at the desk attendant, who, of course, is the one who needs to actually hold the stupid thing in her hand to let the person pass, and Piper feels like she’s going to explode out of her body.
Finally, FINALLY, she makes it into her room, fumbling like an idiot with her keys, and throws the door open.
The room is empty.
“Oh, fucking finally something goes right!” she exclaims, and she throws off her backpack and falls into her bed. Kicking off her boots, she lets her eyes drift closed as she lets the memories of her and Reyna wash over her. She rips off her tank top, because she’s too hot and it’s too much against her skin, and gives up on anything but shoving her shorts and panties down her legs. She’s been waiting too long for this – it’s time to stop fucking around.
She lets her hand drift down and slide inside of herself, letting out a deep sigh as finally, finally she’s getting some of the relief. The look, the feel of Reyna as the two of them moved together that Friday night is making this way more intense than usual, startling Piper through the haze, and Piper’s added a second finger in no time, whimpering a little as she imagines it’s Reyna there, Reyna’s finger moving against her, Reyna’s heat curling against her.
Piper’s a gasping, moaning, breathy mess, and works at herself even more fervently, and the moment she imagines Reyna’s face after Piper kissed her for the first time, she comes hard and fast and groans Reyna’s name despite herself. It takes longer to come down from it than usual, and her legs and arms are shaking a bit as the aftermath wears off. It’s almost annoying to have to pull her clothes back on, but she knows that, if she doesn’t, Annabeth will walk in, and she’s pretty sure that wouldn’t fly with her. Once she’s dressed again, she lets herself flop back on the bed while her breathing steadies.
That Reyna girl would be the death of her, and she knew it far too well.
She couldn’t tell you how much time passes between when it’s all over and when Annabeth’s fumbling with the keys outside of their door, but it’s not quite long enough for Piper to have recovered and, at the same time, it might never be long enough for Piper to recover.
“Hi, Piper,” says Annabeth brightly as she walks in. “Just got back from lunch with the Honors group I was placed in. Did you know that they have a sort of dance club on campus on the weekends? I mean, it’s not like the kind of club with Molly and stuff, but it seems kind of fun, and it’s free.”
Piper moves her arm from her face to peer up at Annabeth. “I never thought I would hear you reference Molly as anything but a name,” she says, a little thrown off. “You surprise me every day, Chase.”
Annabeth shrugs. “Good to know. But can I get a reason as to why you’re laying on your bed with your shirt on backwards?”
Piper inwardly curses herself for being such an idiot and fixes her shirt. “Apparently I’ve been walking around like an idiot all day,” she lies, “thanks for letting me know.”
Annabeth gives her a look, one that worries Piper a little bit mainly because it looks like Annabeth’s got a little better of an idea than maybe she should, and Piper really doesn’t want to explain anything that just happened.
“So,” says Annabeth airily, “how was your first class?”
“Two first classes,” says Piper, “I had a 10-10:50 and an 11-11:50. And something terrible may have happened in the second one.”
“Smelly professor?” Annabeth asks.
“No,” says Piper, “even worse.”
Annabeth stares at her. “Did someone ask to borrow your pencil and not give it back?”
Now Piper’s staring at Annabeth. “Dude,” she says, “you need to get your priorities in check, Hermione. Besides, I’m usually the one stealing the pencils.”
“Steal my pencils and I’ll kick your ass,” says Annabeth, and it’s strangely menacing for a girl who seems so innocent.
“Noted,” says Piper, sitting up and trying not to make it obvious that she never actually got a chance to button her shorts. She awkwardly folds her arms across her lap. “But, yeah. One more guess.”
“I don’t have any more guesses,” Annabeth says.
“Well make one up.”
“Did you run into that girl you slept with?” she asks. “Because that’s the only –”
“I didn’t mean guess correctly!” Piper exclaims. “God, you suck the fun out of everything.”
“You told me to guess!” says Annabeth, and she’s laughing. “God, you are weird.”
Piper rolls onto her stomach and groans loudly. “But yes, I ran into her. She’s in my class, Annabeth. What are the odds of that?”
“It sounds like fate to me,” says Annabeth, singsonging her tone. “Perhaps the two of you are meant to be together.”
Piper sits up. “We so don’t know each other well enough for you to be teasing me this much.”
“You told me about your one night stand the night it happened,” says Annabeth. “I figured we were on that level.”
Piper moves to disagree, but then realizes that Annabeth has a point. “But why did I come up with this bullshitting stupid idea of the study group?” Piper asks, rolling so far off of the bed than she falls on the floor. She just keeps lying there, one leg still up on the bed. “I need to cancel. This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever had. I’ll sleep with her again and then I’m never going to see her again.”
“Except for the fact that you’ll see her every Monday and Wednesday in class,” Annabeth mentions.
Piper simply flips her off.
“Hey, don’t kill the messenger,” Annabeth says. “I’m just saying, maybe it’ll be nice for you to have someone you know in one of your classes. That way you’ll be able to show your dad you’ve been actually trying so he’ll get off your back.”
Piper lifts her head. “You know, you do have a point.”
“Of course I do,” says Annabeth, who is now sitting at her desk with her laptop open, “I’m generally kind of intelligent. That’s how I’m here on a full scholarship, after all.”
“You’re here on full scholarship?” Piper asks. “Fuck, you are smart.”
Annabeth shrugs. “That and other things.”
“What other things?”
Annabeth turns to her, and, for a split second, Piper thinks she’s about to say something she’ll regret. But she exhales. “Let’s just say I had a really kickass application essay and some awesome recommendations.”
Piper grumbles something she doesn’t want Annabeth to hear about having a rich dad (her roommate hasn’t brought up yet and fuck if she’s doing it first) and pulls a book from her French class off of the drawers she has that doubles as a bedside table. “Well it looks like I need to keep up with my stupidly smart roommate.”
“Oxymoron,” Annabeth chuckles, and Piper’s about to throw her book at Annabeth’s head just for the hell of it.
“You just laugh away,” says Piper, opening the book to the conjugations of avoir that she learned when she was in tenth grade and her father was filming in Quebec.

REYNA
Her second day of classes sped by, even though the three she has on Tuesdays and Thursdays seem to be tough. The material is interesting and the freshmen political science classes don’t seem to be as awful as she had expected.
But there’s one problem, and that problem was named Piper. Reyna hates to admit it, but she’s looking for Piper when she walks into her history class on Wednesday. It’s like something was drawing the two of them together, and Reyna’s not sure how much she likes it. But Piper’s not there yet, so Reyna glances around and sits next to a lefty desk that she spots at the corner of the room. Piper had been fiddling with a pencil in her left hand when she had come to talk to her earlier the day before, and had a feeling that wasn’t just a random coincidence.
Reyna’s leg is bouncing and she keeps having to shove down her skirt while she’s in class. It’s flowy and flowered and high waisted, so it looks shorter than it is when she’s sitting, and she’s convinced someone is going to accidentally see up her skirt. So, trying to look a little bit less like she’s looking for Piper and a little bit more like she’s just distractedly looking around the room for nothing in particular.
When Piper walks in, Reyna feels the other girl’s eyes on her back before she sees her. Reyna has dropped her pencil somewhere on the gross floor of the lecture hall, so she’s looking around for it when Piper plops down in the seat.
“You noticed I’m a lefty?” Piper asks. “Also, thanks for the view, I’m liking the butt in the air thing you’ve got going on.”
“Shut up, asshole,” Reyna snaps. “Fuck, I can’t find my pen.”
“Drop it?” Piper asks. “Whatever, you can just borrow one of mine.”
“No,” says Reyna, “this is one of my pens.” Reyna, from the silence, call tell that Piper’s giving her the most incredulously annoyed of glares. Bracing herself for whatever random yelling comes out of Piper’s mouth, she sits up. “You want to make fun of me for my pens?”
“No,” says Piper, “I was actually just going to say that I would help you look for your pen, but if you’re into being mocked I can keep up.”
Reyna has to actually force herself not to laugh. “Fine,” she says, not able to keep a smile from escaping, “it’s one of those four-colors in one things. I got it for my five classes.”
“Four colors for five classes?” Piper asks, on her hands and knees. Her black jeans – which must have been boiling her half to death – fall a little bit down, giving Reyna an impromptu view of a neon teal thong poking out.
“Dealing crack over there?” she mutters, but, unfortunately, Piper hears her.
“Yeah,” she replies, and Reyna’s so not looking forward to whatever stupid comeback she has lined up, “you ready to buy?”
“Shut up and find my pen,” Reyna says.
After a few embarrassing moments as other students file in and stare at them, the two of them finally find Reyna’s pen wedged between the two seats.
“But seriously,” says Piper, holding Reyna’s pen hostage. “I need to know why there are four for five classes. This is stupid.”
Reyna sighs. “Because I’m taking Honors English and Honors Forum concurrently, so there’s no reason to have two pen colors for two classes that are basically the same.”
Piper responds by saying, “Oh,” and going right to her books, like what Reyna said made perfect sense to her and any conversation between the two of them that didn’t involve pens was jibberish, and Reyna finds herself dumbstruck, staring at Piper as she pulls her work out of her bag, until Dr. Grey drops her textbook on the desk.
By the end of the class, she feels like she’s dying. It’s not really that it’s that horrible of a subject, but instead just that they professor never stops talking about her political views and she gets enough of the Tea Party thing from her father when he calls to complain about Obama for the eightieth time. She turns to Piper, who’s doodling something that looks strangely like a police car with a face. “I think I’m dying,” Reyna mumbles, “I literally think I’m about to die from boredom. How are you holding up?”
“Oh, I’m not,” says Piper, “I’ve spent the past forty minutes designing a cartoon of police cars having personalities and fucking with the cops’ actual goals and missions and shit. This one’s named Marvito and he enjoys hula dancing on the weekends.”
“The car?” Reyna asks.
Piper shrugs. “I’m creative.”
Reyna laughs. “It’s almost over,” she says, glancing at her watch, “and hopefully we’ll have enough time to get lunch before my next class.”
“Oh, really?” Piper says with a grin. “We’re getting lunch?”
Reyna turns to her and gives her a look that she knows stills Piper’s next ridiculous comment. “I figured you wouldn’t have anything better to do,” says Reyna with a shrug. “But if you’d rather not join me I’m sure I can make another arrangement.”
“No need to beg or pretend you don’t want me,” says Piper, waving Reyna’s comments off, “I’ll come with you. And then at four we’re doing a study session, right?”
Reyna nods, and once class is done they head over to the nearest dining commons, where Reyna sits down across from Piper. She frowns.
“What?” asks Reyna. “Did you expect me to sit next to you? Do you want me to hold your hand and get you flowers too?”
“No,” says Piper, and it’s too casual for Reyna’s comfort, “I’m just disappointed I don’t get to see you flashing all that leg again.”
“Not my fault you can’t keep your eyes to yourself,” says Reyna with a shrug. Piper was obviously not expecting this kind of response, and she leans back.
“Someone hiked up their sassy thong a little too high this morning,” she says with an eye roll. “I’m getting lunch before the jocks get in here and eat up all the good food.”
“I am a jock,” says Reyna, glaring at her.
Piper scoffs. “Oh, right,” she says with a laugh, “I forgot I’ve got LeBron sitting at my table.”
“I play lacrosse, you ignorant buffoon,” says Reyna. She picks up a bowl of soup and whatever roll they seemed to have paired with it. “Not basketball.”
“Do you think that I have any knowledge whatsoever about either sport?” Piper asks. “I mean, look at me. I’m like the poster child for so not into that shit.”
Reyna rolls her eyes. “Look, Piper, if you don’t want to get lunch with me, no one’s making you.”
“Nah,” says Piper, leaning over to pile her plate with what appears to be pasta primavera, “I just like messing with you.”
Reyna goes back to their table, Piper veering off to get something to drink, and sits down right on top of her backpack. “Oh, for heaven’s sake,” she complains, moving the backpack over.
“Your ass is showing,” says Piper casually as Reyna sits down. Reyna hates it, but she immediately blushes and goes to smooth down her skirt.
“Did anyone see?” Reyna asks.
Piper laughs. “Of course not. Well, I did, but nothing I haven’t seen already, right?”
Reyna breaks off a piece of her roll and nonchalantly throws it at Piper with a full body eye roll.

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

Annabeth is sitting on her bed, having just returned from her 5 o’clock Philosophy and Gender class, when Piper comes in, looking annoyed and half frozen.

“Freaking idiot,” she mutters as she adjusts the strap of her camisole before throwing her backpack on the ground and throwing herself on the bed.

“Where’s your shirt?” is all Annabeth can come up with to say.

“Reyna,” is how Piper responds, and Annabeth’s not sure what to make of it.

“She took your shirt?” Annabeth asks. Then it dawns on her. “Oh, god, you two did the high school romance novel of studying, didn’t you?”

“If you mean we brought out our books, got bored with the reading five minutes in, and then fucked with the lights on, then, yes, that’s what happened.”

Annabeth chuckles and goes back to her Spanish work. “Good to know,” she says. “Next time try to pick up your shirt, okay?”

“Fuck you and the horse you rode in on,” grumbles Piper. “Also, can you throw me my backpack?”

Annabeth leans over in her bed, refusing to touch the ground because, yeah, too much effort, and manages to fling the backpack at Piper.

“You couldn’t have just handed it to me?” Piper asks, giving her a look of disbelief.

“You couldn’t have just gotten it yourself?” Annabeth replies, and Piper rolls her eyes and pulls out her work.

“You’re annoying sometimes, you know that…” But Annabeth’s got a feeling that maybe, just maybe, Piper doesn’t believe it, because of the smile on her face.

The days continue as the week fades into the weekend, Piper deciding to go out that Friday night (“Are you going to invite Reyna?” “Fuck, no, I’m finding someone else to sleep with!” “Don’t bring them back here unless you text me first! I’m skyping my friend Clarisse tonight.” “We’ll go back to their place, don’t you worry.”) on her own, promising to text Annabeth when she’s heading home.

The next morning, Annabeth wakes up at nine to see Piper conked out in her bed in a pair of dark grey jeans, a shirt she hadn’t been wearing the night before, and her leather vest. She laughs as she makes her way into the bathroom, filling a cup of water for Piper after she finishes up her shower.

When she hears muttered complaining a little while later and, out of the corner of her eye, sees one of Piper’s black sneakers go flying across the room, she looks up from her copy of Gilgamesh. “Having trouble?” she asks.

“Sneakers,” Piper says into her pillow, her comments muffled. “Won’t come off.”

Annabeth just laughs again, going back to her book. After the second shoe goes careening off of their mini fridge, Piper falls asleep again and stays asleep until eleven.

Annabeth goes to lunch on her own when she realizes she forgot to eat breakfast other than a couple of crackers, getting a table near a window so she can people watch out the window, and slowly eating a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. And then, ringing loudly through the mostly-empty dining area at 11 in the morning on a Saturday, her text tone goes off. She pulls out her phone, and it’s Piper, asking Annabeth to pick up “some sort of carbohydrate” for her. Annabeth replies to tell her she’ll try and smuggle something substantial out in a napkin, and manages to slip out past the card swiper with a wave and a complex maneuver of moving the sandwich from hand to hand.

She gets into her dorm to see Piper face down in her bed still. On first glance, she assumes Piper fell back to sleep, but when Piper’s hand limply sticks out from the comforter and she mumbles, “Food?” kind of pathetically, Annabeth laughs and hands it to her.

“Party a little too hard last night, Piper?” Annabeth asks. “Oh, and I got both of us those M&M bars you like.”

“You are an angel,” Piper mumbles. When she sits up, Annabeth has to hold back a horrified giggle of surprise. Piper’s hair is pulled all the way over to one side, the dark blue poking out of one part, but the undercut not doing what it was supposed to. Dark black mascara was smudged with bright blue eye shadow to make her look like she’d been hit, and whatever she’d been wearing the night before was replaced with a shirt that said, “Coronade Family Reunion 2009.” Piper looks up at her, studying Annabeth’s expression. “What?”

“I’m about eighty percent sure you got in a fight with a family reunion in 2009 last night,” Annabeth says delicately. “Just go look in the mirror.”

“Why?”

“Just do it. I don’t want to be responsible for your reactions.”

Piper, surprisingly, just laughs at herself when she looks in the mirror. “Oh, Annabeth,” she says, waving a hand. “This is absolutely nothing. Now where’s that M&M bar?”

Annabeth stares at her. “What did you do last night?”

“Made out with three different guys,” Piper begins, “drank a bottle of red wine that some very charming young lady offered me – turns out the girl who’s in my non-honors cool kid English class is 21 and extremely willing to break the law when I smile at her – and then gave up on the guys and made out with her until I got bored and came home.”

Annabeth nods. “And the messed up hair and different shirt?” she asks, looking down at Piper’s bizarre outfit.

“Okay, so guy number two and I might have gotten a little further than making out,” Piper says, shrugging. “He started feeling me up and I told him he had to trade shirts with me if he wanted anything. And he did, but then I just got to point out the jackass in the blue sparkly tank top to everyone, so, really, I won.”

Annabeth will never understand this girl. “So you never went home with anyone?”

Piper shakes her head. “Nah. I was home around one thirty. The party was winding down around one, so I browsed the town for a little while to see what was going on in the place, but it’s the middle of nowhere, so…Nope.”

Annabeth laughs. “And you’re not hung over or anything?”

Piper goes to the mini fridge and pulls out a water bottle, and shrugs as she chugs it. “I mean, I’ve felt better,” she says, “and red wine does weird shit to your hydration, but it’s not too bad. I take it you don’t drink much.”

Annabeth shakes her head. “Didn’t really have much time in high school,” she says with a shrug. “And I lived in a boarding situation for the second half of high school so it’s not like we were too good at smuggling things.”

To Annabeth’s surprise, Piper snorts. “Oh, baby,” she says with a smile, “oh, little angel. You obviously were one of the good kids in high school. I’ve been to a lot of boarding schools and, believe me, they tend to be some of the best with alcohol smuggling skills.”

There was little Annabeth could say in response to that – when she was at Vanden, she was a goody-goody. It was before then that she was a bad kid. Annabeth simply shrugs in response and goes back to her bed, sitting down gently and picking up her book.

“You know what we should do tonight?” says Piper, mouth full of grilled cheese. “We should get drunk and watch movies and have the stupid girl talk that I was talking about the other day. Do you want to?”

Annabeth shrugs. “I mean, I would kind of feel bad drinking all your alcohol. I don’t want to cramp your style.”

Piper waves her hand away. “Style, schmyle. Don’t worry about that – or the alcohol. Believe me, it’s no problem.”

“Are you sure?”

Piper sighs. “Look, have you taken a look at my last name?” Annabeth nods. “Well, you’ll recognize that it’s very much like a certain Tristan McLean. Money’s no problem, Annabeth, because his assistant funnels some money into my account to make sure I don’t starve or run out of clothes, but it’s always got at least fifty dollars in there unless I get stupid with it.”

The realization hits Annabeth as she looks over at the pictures posted on Piper’s bulletin board. There weren’t many of him, but there were enough to make an impact, and suddenly Annabeth gets it. “You’re his kid?” Annabeth asks.

Piper nods. “The only spawn of an actor who managed to make it big even with a two year old throwing temper tantrums on set constantly. I got a reputation for being a horror show on sets because I was, you know, two and no one was paying attention to me. So I just sort of stopped associating with him.”

“You stopped associating with your dad?” Annabeth asks. “How does that even work?”

“I mean, we’re still family,” says Piper with a shrug, “but he says I look more like my mom, which I will never know about because she disappeared after I was born, so I can pass for not being his kid. Plus,” she says, gesturing to herself, “he looks, like, whiter than I am. People don’t think he looks Native American enough to be my dad.”

“But he is your dad,” says Annabeth. “People don’t believe you?”

Piper grabs the M&M bar off of the mini fridge. “Sometimes they don’t. Usually what they don’t believe is that he’s not European..”

“What, like he just tans easily?” Annabeth says. “Wow, some people are idiots.”

“You’re telling me,” laughs Piper. “Anyway, he doesn’t know much about my mom, but what I figure is that she had to be Native American too.”

Annabeth nods, not particularly equipped to deal with the conversation, as she was a blonde white chick. “That sounds like it sucks,” she says. And just like that, Piper turns off the conversation and there’s nothing more to be said about it.

“Yeah, whatever. I’ll call Catrina to pick me up something for us tonight. Do you have any preferences?”

“Um,” Annabeth begins. “I mean, I don’t like grape flavored things. Or banana.”

“Good to know,” says Piper, and she pulls out her phone, says some stuff to that Catrina girl that Annabeth hardly recognizes, and then hangs up with a “later, babe.”

“How do you do that?” Annabeth can’t help but ask Piper as she chucks herself onto her bed and picks up her laptop.

“Do what?”

“Talk to people like that,” says Annabeth. “I mean, I can barely talk to people in class. Or people at drive thrus.”

Piper shrugs. “Guess I must have kissed the metaphorical Blarney stone as a kid.”

There’s a bit of silence as Piper appears to putter around on some social media site and Annabeth begins to doze off while reading an explanation of how to write in APA format for her Honors English class, until Piper closes her laptop closed with a loud clack and stands up. “Well, I’m going to go shower,” she announces, and puts her laptop on the bed. “You don’t have too much fun, Annabeth, while I’m gone.”

As Piper saunters out of the room, doubles back for her towel and shower caddy, and saunters out of the room again, Annabeth begins to wonder just which idiot power decided on pairing them together and if, maybe, Piper McLean was the best thing to happen to her since Mr. Brunner, her guidance counselor at Vanden.

PIPER

Annabeth Chase was a giggly, cuddly drunk, it turns out.

She and Piper had attempted to do the girl talk thing, but, as luck would have it, neither of them were particularly good at it, nor were they interested. So, instead, the conversation shifted to a rousing game of “never have I ever.”

Annabeth laughs into her screwdriver. “Never have I ever slept with more than one person,” she chokes out between giggles.

“Oh, fuck you, Annabeth,” Piper replies. “Fine. Never have I ever not had sex with a girl.”

Annabeth stares at her, her expression a little unfocused through the haze of vodka. “God, you with your double negatives, Piper, control yourself!”

“You control yourself and answer the question,” Piper replies.

“I have not,” says Annabeth, “I drink, right?”

Piper nods. “And now you ask me something again.”

“I think I have that part down,” says Annabeth, the sarcasm make Piper laugh so hard she snorts. “Never have I ever had sex with someone I just met!”

“Oh, come on,” Piper says, taking a sip. “That’s not fair. You’re targeting me!”

“You’re targeting me!”

“That’s because there’s only the two of us in this room.”

For some reason, that’s the funniest thing Annabeth’s ever heard, and she giggles for a few minutes. “How much vodka is in here?” she asks.

Piper shrugs her shoulders. “I think it’s mostly vodka with a little orange juice. I don’t know. I promise I’ll hold your hair back if you puke.”

“I haven’t puked since ninth grade,” says Annabeth, quite solemnly. “I refuse to puke.” She sets her drink down on her table and pulls two waters out of the fridge, and with the coordination of a much more sober girl, tosses one with perfect aim over to Piper. “Catch, roomie!” she says.

Piper, rarely able to catch a beach ball with a thirty second notice, gets pegged in the forehead with a bottle of Aquafina and keels over to the side, falling on top of her pillow. She giggles for a few seconds into the pillow, her drink still firmly in her hand. “Ouch,” she chuckles. “That better not bruise or I’ll have to tell the RA that you are abusing me.”

“Oh, please,” says Annabeth. “You’ll be fine.”

Then there’s a knock on the door.

“Well speak of the devil,” Annabeth says. “Which one of us drank less?”

“Doesn’t matter,” says Piper quietly. “Just don’t talk so they don’t know we’re in here.”

“I’m going to answer the door,” says Annabeth primly, and Piper’s going to kill her. “It’s only polite.”

With an eye roll, Piper pushes the handle of Smirnoff under her bed and hides it with her pillow.

Annabeth smoothes her hair and opens the door to an RA who’s about to knock again and hits her square in the nose.

“Ow,” says Annabeth. “Hi, what’s up.”

“I was walking along this floor,” says the RA, a guy in his early twenties with a goatee and an expression like he’d rather be anywhere else, “and I heard a lot of noise from this room. I want to inform you that you need to keep it down, ladies.”

“Alright,” says Annabeth. “If that’s all –”

He peers around her into the room, getting a good look at Piper. “She alright?” he asks, nodding to where Piper looks like she fell asleep. Piper stays still, and, through a tiny slit in her vision, she can see Annabeth turn to her.

“Oh,” says Annabeth, and Piper’s praying she won’t screw it up, “we were watching a movie and she, um, fell asleep. She’s fine.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m sure!”

The guy nods to her and walks away without another word. Piper sits up as Annabeth closes the door and shoots her a glare. “You really don’t know how to deal with people, do you?” Piper asks. “You don’t open the door for the RA, you idiot. You pretend you didn’t hear them, and then if they keep knocking you make it look like you were asleep so they leave you alone and they don’t bother you anymore.”

“But that’s rude!”

Piper does a full body involved eye roll and drops herself back onto her pillow. “God, you’re even more of a goody-goody when you’re drunk. You’re like the opposite of normal people.”

“I’m usually the opposite of most things,” is what she thinks makes sense to reply, and she gets a stack of movies from her closet and drops it in front of Piper. “All that talk about movies made me wanna watch a movie. Let’s watch a movie.”

“I don’t want to watch a movie.”

Annabeth turns to her and gives her such a petulant pout that Piper has to hold back a laugh. “Then you can sit there like a pathetic lump on a log and not have any fun while you suck the fun out of everything, you fun sucker.” She then puts on a movie, throws herself into her bed with her cup in her hands, and dozes off before Hercules can even get to Philoctetes.

“Weirdo,” Piper grumbles. The movie’s caught her eye, though, so she pulls out her phone and toys with the idea of texting Reyna. Her curiosity about what the other girl was doing on a Saturday night is too much to avoid, so she types out whatever message comes to mind first and hits send. There’s no response for a while, until Piper gets a “Just got in from a party with the lacrosse girls. What’s up?” Piper hates how she uses perfect grammar and punctuation. Even in texts. Like, who does Reyna think she is? Piper nods at her skills at flirting as she types back “nuthin just watchin a movie” because of course Reyna wouldn’t text with bad spelling. Unfortunately, Reyna just replies with, “I’m heading to bed. See you Monday in class!” effectively nipping Piper’s goal of bothering Reyna all night.

Piper grumbles a little bit about hating school, and, after the movie ends and she still can’t sleep, she gets up, turns on a desk lamp, and gets to work on the homework she’s been neglecting all weekend. Annabeth’s out like a light, so the likelihood that Piper will wake her is slim to none. Piper glances over at her roommate and can’t help but laugh a little at the fact that, for once, she didn’t wait until the light was off and Piper couldn’t see to pull out her little stuffed animal before she went to bed. Not that Piper cared – she still kept the pillow made out of her baby blanket – but it was strange how much Annabeth seemed to try and hide it.

She seems to hide a lot.

Piper shakes off the odd feeling and gets to her French homework. She’d ask about it the next morning.

 

Chapter Text

REYNA

By the time Monday morning rolls around and she’s still recovering from one hell of a crazy party with her future lacrosse teammates, Reyna realizes a few things

1)      Reyna Arellano made a horrible mistake in agreeing to these study sessions.

2)      Reyna Arellano needs to never drink Schnapps again

3)      Having class with Piper McLean right after her Intro to Political Science class was quite possibly the worst way for her to begin her week.

Piper spent all of their history class ignoring her, other than running a fingertip up and down Reyna’s leg every once in a while out of nowhere, causing Reyna to jump halfway out of her shirt dress. At one point, she slams her foot into the chair of the kid in front of her, and the glare he gives her is nothing compared to the one she returns.

“You need to stop,” she says, “seriously, this is getting distracting.”

“Okay,” says Piper, and her response is to not even look at Reyna until they’re in the library on the fourth floor later on for their study session, having met her on the first floor and walking with her upstairs.

Piper McLean, it turns out, is a drama queen.

Her tattoos are so much more obvious today. It’s hot out and she’s wearing a dark blue halter top and a pair of shorts that, honestly, probably weren’t anywhere near legal and looked really, really good.

So much for the one night stand.

Piper’s grinning at her from across the table in the library. “You’ve been staring at me for, like, eight minutes,” she says with a laugh. “Mostly at my legs. You want to talk about it or are you just going to keep looking me up and down.”

Reyna tears her eyes away and feels herself blushing furiously. “Shut up.”

Something strange happens to Piper’s expression and Reyna is suddenly very worried. Her eyes start to do this sparkly thing as she stares at Reyna, and they start to change color almost, like she’s controlling what color they are. She stretches and Reyna’s eyes shoot straight to her chest. Piper and her stupid, perfect, awesome boobs. She hates her. Mostly her boobs, though. They’re the first ones that have ever caught Piper’s eye and that, essentially, makes them the worst in the world.

“You realize I can see you when you stare like that,” says Piper, “and that I’m not wearing a bra on purpose so I can see you stare like that.”

Reyna feels a shiver volt down her spine as she gets vividly taken back to the last time they were together, the last time she could see beneath the shirt, and it’s startling.

“And there’s that expression of complete disbelief,” says Piper.

Reyna makes a noise that’s much more like a whimper than she would generally admit. Piper now leans over the counter, and it becomes very obvious how braless Piper went when her shirt nearly reveals her entire chest.

“Oh come on,” grumbles Reyna. “That’s not even freaking fair.”

“But you like it,” says Piper. At this point she shoves her arms together.

“Now that just looks ridiculous.” Reyna rolls her eyes and goes back to her work. That was one thing she was beginning to notice about Piper – if she found something funny once, it was funny eight three more times and at an exponentially higher degree.

It started getting awkward when she leaned even further forward on the table.

“Piper, now your nipples are going to literally fall out of your shirt.”

“Why do you think I put this thing on?”

Reyna snorts. “God, you are shameless, aren’t you?”

Piper shrugs and grins. “Only mostly. Plus, it’s fun to rile you up.”

“You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you…”

Piper grins even more broadly. “Did you ever stop to wonder why I wore this kind of outfit when I never wear shorts even on really hot days?”
Reyna glares at her. “Are you trying to seduce me during our study group? Dude, we’re in a library.”

“Doesn’t that turn you on?” Piper asks, her tone going from goofy to serious. “Just at least a little bit?”
Reyna tries to stare her down, but unfortunately she can tell it’s written all over her face that she is that girl who may have had dreams before about making out in a library.

“It does,” Piper says, grinning. “It so does. Oh, man, I knew it was a good idea to go up to the fourth floor.” Before Reyna can say anything, Piper’s standing up and walking over to Reyna.

“What are you - ?” Reyna’s question is cut off as Piper straddles her and grinds her hips into Reyna’s. Reyna gasps into Piper’s mouth as she feels Piper’s fingertips massage against her scalp. Piper’s lips work magic on Reyna, and in seconds her head is spinning and she feels like the entire world has disappeared from beneath her. When it feels like her mind is about to dissolve into the moment, Piper breaks away and begins kissing along Reyna’s jaw. Reyna inhales like she’s never tasted air before, and the ragged gasp surprises Piper as much as it surprises Reyna.

“Wow,” murmurs Piper against Reyna’s pulse point, “seems like someone’s a little worked up.”

“Your fault,” grumbles Reyna, but it’s hard to keep pretending to be upset when Piper’s fingertips are dancing along the bottom hem of her shirt, her hands slowly tracing along Reyna’s abs. Reyna fights back a reaction. “Besides,” says Reyna, trying to keep her cool as Piper kisses along the shell of her ear, “we’re supposed to be working on the outline for the first in class essay.”

“Screw the test,” whispers Piper into Reyna’s ear, and a sharp shiver races down Reyna’s spine. She feels her hands involuntarily reach up to grip at the tiny bit of fabric covering Piper’s back, and she feels her nails press against Piper’s spine. Piper’s hips grind down again, twisting against her, and Reyna dances a few fingertips down Piper’s spine.

Reyna giggles as she feels Piper’s head drop to her shoulder.

“Hmm,” says Reyna, “seems like someone’s a little worked up.”

“I fucking hate you,” Piper grumbles into Reyna’s shoulder.

“I think you like me,” says Reyna. She moves her hand to cup Piper through the think material of her shirt, and Piper whines – she WHINES – at the touch.

Reyna laughs. “Wow, who’s the desperate whiner now, Piper?”

“Shut up and don’t stop,” Piper breaths, and Reyna leans up to catch her lips, pulling Piper flush against her.

Piper’s fingers are threading through Reyna’s braid, pulling out the hair tie at the end, and Reyna’s got her shirt – if you can call that thin piece of fabric a shirt – bunched up around her collarbone.

Of course that’s when the elevator dings.

They break apart rapidly and in less than a second they both process how much trouble they’ll be in if someone catches them all over each other. Piper moves to yank down her halter top, but it gets stuck, so Reyna pulls out the cardigan she’d been wearing for the cooler morning weather and crams it around Piper’s shoulders, rather indelicately. The second Piper’s arms are in the sleeves, Reyna shoves her off of her lap and Piper darts over to sit back in her chair.

An older gentleman accompanied by a woman who had to be his wife walks in, and they stare at Piper and Reyna for a few seconds too long to be normal, and then Reyna suddenly realizes that she never made sure that her hair looked acceptable.

Piper’s staring at her too.

“You totally have sex hair,” Piper says, clearly forcing back a laugh, “oh, my god, you just disturbed a little old married couple. You probably gave them soup at, like, senior centers when you volunteered in high school and then I come in and fuck you up and you corrupt their old minds.”

Reyna rolls her eyes. “Are we going to go back to my place and screw or are you just going to keep making fun of me for the hair that you messed up?” She’s usually not this bold, and the risk pays off when Piper just stares at her like a deer in the headlights.

“Okay,” she says, strangely easy going, “yeah, o-okay, if you want to.”

Reyna resists the urge to whack Piper on the top of the head with their text book, and instead settles for rolling her eyes and throwing all her stuff into her bag as quickly as she can. So much for doing early essay prep.

~~~~

Weeks pass quickly, at the start of freshman year. Reyna begins to get more and more nervous about her workload, and, when Piper finally introduces her to Annabeth, they shake hands and ignore the fact that Piper’s oblivious to the fact that they already know each other.

Piper’s getting down to business and working harder now, too – Reyna’s beginning to wonder if she just pretended to have trouble to bother her dad in high school.

They’re coming up to the first exam of their history class, and Piper spent their last study session actually working. Then Reyna finds herself here.

The last Wednesday of September is unseasonably cold, and Piper, sitting in a pair of shorts in the middle of the lecture hall, is shivering in a thin flashdance-like sweater that reads “NYC.”

Reyna resists the urge to hit her with her backpack. “You must be freezing,” Reyna says, “why the hell are you wearing shorts?”

“I have great legs and I wanted to look hot,” Piper replies, “and it turns you on when I wear shorts. Why are you wearing leggings and a skirt when you know I like your legs?”

Reyna actually does hit Piper with her backpack this time. “Because it’s fifty degrees outside, and normal people know that that means shorts are a terrible idea.” She tacks on a “you idiot” for good measure as she sits down. She glances over at Piper’s – admittedly great – legs, tanned and long and crossed,  and even shorter than the pair she had been wearing the time they got caught in the library. “Do you have a tattoo on your leg?” Reyna asks, and, as if in a trance, she brushes her fingertips over the blue and green braided circle that looks like it wraps all the way around Piper’s thigh.

Piper jumps a little bit at the touch. “Fuck all, your hands are cold,” Piper complains. “And, no, I just doodled on my leg last night after my shower. Of course it’s a tattoo.”

“What’s it mean?” Reyna asks.

“It’s a –”

That’s when Dr. Grey claps her inordinately loud hands and, as always, drops her book on the table. Piper and Reyna jump half a foot as they turn to the front of the room, but Reyna leaves her fingertips to dance along the tattoo.

“Move your hand,” Piper whines about halfway through the class, “or I’m going to jump you in front of all these people, you asshat.”

Reyna shrugs. “Okay.” Her fingertips slide just under Piper’s shorts, and she hears an odd squeaking noise. “Oh, was that not what you meant?” Reyna asks quietly.

“Fuck you,” Piper moans – she fucking moans, they’re in class, and Reyna just made her moan – and now Reyna’s the one squirming in her seat.

She crosses her legs to try and quell some of the heat pooling there, and her skirt hikes up a bit. Usually, this would be a technique to screw with Piper, but, for once, that’s not the goal.

“Why isn’t this class over yet,” Piper grumbles. “Also, how the fuck are you still taking notes when you’re feeling me up?”

“I’m talented at multitasking,” Reyna replies. “Also, the PowerPoint is online. If I miss anything, I can just check it out on there.”

“God you’re such a fucking nerd,” Piper asks, but whatever she was going to say after that is cut off as Reyna’s fingers drift a little higher. She squeaks again.

“That’s what I thought,” says Reyna, pulling her hand away and going back to her notes. She can feel Piper’s eyes boring into her, but she refuses to look over at her. For the rest of the class, Reyna takes notes and doesn’t allow Piper one glance, but it’s mostly for her, not Piper. Maybe Piper thought she’d jump Reyna, but Reyna’s just as likely to jump Piper.

And this class is really, really boring.

Finally Dr. Grey claps her hands and allows the class to head out. Piper and Reyna jump up faster than they ever have, collect their books, and book it out of there.

“Whose dorm is closer?” Piper asks. “Because a, I’m cold and b, you need to get naked, like now. Before I explode.”

Reyna would laugh, but she feels the exact same way and can’t talk because all of her energy is being put into not combusting. She simply takes Piper’s hand and darts across campus until they manage to vault their way into her dorm, flashing IDs at the desk attendant who, oh, god, is the same one who was on desk duty their first night together.

“Did you see who that was?”

“Stop talking,” Piper replies, “keep walking.”

“Fine by me,” says Reyna.

They throw the door open and collide, lips on lips, on skin, on hands, on each other. As they collapse to the bed, Reyna pulls Piper’s sweatshirt off. And then, she realizes, Piper’s tattoos are much more interesting, and Reyna knows that paying attention to Piper’s tattoos instead of other things will frustrate Piper more than anything else.

So Reyna leans down to press a kiss against the dark blue star inked just below Piper’s right ear, a deep shade that matched the color of Piper’s dark blue streak the first night Reyna had met her. “Tell me about this star,” Reyna murmurs into Piper’s ear.

“Fuck me first,” says Piper, “then maybe I’ll tell you about it.”

In response Reyna coils her fingers around Piper’s wrists and gently pins them to the bed. There’s an odd moment as Piper glares up at her with not a single hint of arousal, and instead just annoyance, until Reyna moves one hand to press against the front of Piper’s shorts. Piper gasps and her back arches off the bed.

“What was that?” Reyna asks.

“Oh, fucking fine,” Piper grumbles. “The star’s a thing I got in memory of my mom. My dad never told me much about her – just that she was a star in his life of darkness before he got famous and all that shit. Once she had me, the hospital said she just ran away. I’ve never met her. So, I guess, the assumption is that she died. The star’s in memory of her.”

“Okay,” says Reyna, “that’s actually really heartbreaking.” She looks at Piper, who is now avoiding her gaze.

“Ask about the one on my chest,” Piper says, still avoiding her gaze, “that one has a less depressing, funny story.”

“Okay,” says Reyna, “tell me about these weird little wing thingies.”

“Got them while drunk off of my ass,” she says with a grin. “Leo and I were wasted and talking about how we’ve always wanted to be able to fly and shit, all this weird crap about how we wanted to have wings. You know, drunk talk.”

Reyna nods as she presses her lips to one edge of a wing, which followed perfectly the curve of Piper’s breasts, almost framing her. “Yeah,” says Reyna, “go on.”

“You’re not going to get this over with any time soon, are you?” grumbles Piper.

“Nope.”

“Fine. The two of us decided to get wings – mine, obviously, are there, and Leo’s are on his back. Of course, mine are littler and more like butterfly wings, and his look more like eagle wings, but the sentiment is still there. We wanted to fly the fuck out of there, and we did.”

“When did you get it?” Reyna asks, mouthing along the little wings.

“A few days before graduation,” Piper replies, “kind of a get the hell out of Dodge thing. And they looked great with the dress I had on.”

“You had a dress where you could see these?” Reyna asks, the mental image halfway killing her. “How was that allowed?”

Piper grins at her. “It wasn’t,” she replies, “But I had already graduated. Not like they could say anything.” Reyna dips between her breasts and kisses down to the tattoo right above her bellybutton.

“And this one?” she asks against Piper’s skin.

“That was an early tenth grade retaliation for being told I wasn’t allowed to get a bellybutton ring,” she chuckles. “If you look closely at it, it looks like a little gem or whatever. My dad nearly killed me – that’s when I got sent off to the Wilderness School, right before I headed off to the place I met Leo.”

Reyna nips at it gently, feeling Piper jump a little, and continues her way down Piper’s body.

“And this one?” asks Reyna as she gently runs her fingers down the trail of stars, hearts and swirls that fades into the waistband of her shorts. “Tell me about this one.”
She looks up at Piper’s face and her eyes are shut, but Reyna can’t tell if it’s because she’s too involved or if it’s because she’s fighting back a glare toward Reyna. It’s amusing how impatient Piper gets. “It’s not really for anything,” Piper murmurs, “I just liked it and – it’s pretty.”

“It’s pretty?” Reyna asks, moving up Piper’s body to kiss her lips. “You decided on a tattoo just because it was pretty?”

Piper nods and threads her fingertips through Reyna’s hair. “I decided to sleep with you that first night because you were pretty,” she mutters against Reyna’s lips.

“It’s good to know you chose me singularly for my appearance,” says Reyna as she kisses down to Piper’s chest. Gently, she brushes a fingertip against Piper’s cheek, and panics slightly as she worries it might be too intimate. Piper, however, leans into it, moving to nip at Reyna’s fingertips.

“You were wearing a top that showed off your boobs and jeans that were like, painted on. What in hell’s name did you expect me to do?”
“I don’t know,” Reyna says, kissing down the center of Piper’s chest, along the wings. “Maybe find yourself immeasurably attracted to my aura of intellect?”

“Shut up with your big damned words,” Piper grumbles, and taps Reyna on the top of her head lightly.

“What the hell was that?” Reyna asks, looking up at her.

“I don’t know, my brain’s foggy because I’ve been almost-having-sex for the past half hour and you are killing me.”

Reyna rolls her eyes. “Good god, you’re impatient. Fine, fine, I’ll get onto it.”

Reyna slowly presses her lips down the line of helter-skelter tattoos, starting with the biggest heart, making her way all the way down to the tiny heart. She kisses against the smooth skin, against Piper’s inner thigh. She hears Piper sigh loudly.

“Someone’s quieter than usual today,” says Reyna, slowly moving her mouth down Piper’s inner thigh, “it’s kind of disappointing.”
“Well you’re being disappointing,” Piper says, but when Reyna nips lightly at Piper’s skin and she gasps, Reyna knows she’s lying.

“We both know I haven’t been disappointing since that first night,” Reyna breathes against Piper’s skin, “and even that wasn’t too shabby.”

“Shut up,” moans Piper, “just eat me out and let me come already.”

“Oh,” laughs Reyna, “totally wrong thing to say.” She slides herself up to line her body up with Piper’s and kisses Piper lightly, backing away as Piper tries to deepen the kiss.

“What are you doing?” Piper whines. “Just – okay? Please?”

Reyna laughs. “Okay, fine.” She dips back to the end of the bed and presses her tongue to Piper, and Piper, just like always, lets out a long, throaty moan.

“There you go,” says Reyna against Piper, “it’s always better when you make noise.”

Reyna goes back to Piper, and can hardly contain her giggles as Piper starts yelling out random expletives in sentences she can’t even finish. She makes a note to mention this to Piper to make fun of her someday soon.

Reyna brushes her fingertips across the blue and green twisting Celtic band across Piper’s leg and the trail of shapes that runs down Piper’s hip as she licks against her, and every time she touches at a piece of her artwork, Piper moves or shouts something that breaks the simple cadence. Reyna keeps that in her back pocket for future adventures.

“Stop thinking about whatever you’re thinking about,” Piper yells, “I can tell you’re thinking. So stop.”

Reyna rolls her eyes and fights back the urge to say something about class and how she doesn’t mind thinking then, just to annoy Piper, but Piper’s started to do the stupid yelling-incoherently-about-nothing thing, and Reyna is really just not in the mood to deal with it.

She slides a finger inside of Piper and moves to sweep short, sucking kisses up Piper’s body until she reaches Piper’s gasping lips.

“I’m still thinking,” says Reyna as Piper pulls her lips away from Reyna’s, her eyes shut tight. “As I do this,” she leans down to wrap her lips around Piper’s nipple, “and this,” she twists her thumb against Piper’s clit gently. Reyna’s thinking, at this point, that she is extremely pleased with how much Piper’s yelling incoherently now. Because this time she’s not being petulant – she’s just out of control.

It’s only a few more seconds before Piper’s arms start flailing all over the place, so Reyna moves out of the line of fire and lets Piper lose it. Sure enough, within a few seconds, off flies one of the books that’s sitting on her bedside table.

Reyna laughs. “Well then,” she says with a grin, “looks like someone appreciates my thinking.”

 

Chapter Text

PIPER

Piper’s still coming down from what she’ll never admit was one of the best orgasms she’s had in years, and, if she had to explain why it was, she probably couldn’t. “I appreciate your ability to get me off,” says Piper. “That’s it.”

“Sure,” says Reyna, and Piper’s really not okay with how hard she’s laughing at her.

“Shut up, Arellano.”

This just makes Reyna laugh harder. “Ooh, look at the badass using last names because she doesn’t want to admit I’m good in bed.”

“Shut up!” Piper says, but she can tell that Reyna won’t stop laughing until she is forced to. Which Piper is more than willing to take the bullet for.

Without a word she crawls over to where Reyna’s laughing against the wall and straddles her, catching Reyna’s face in her hands and pulling her in for a deep kiss. A spark floods through her as she tastes herself on Reyna’s tongue, and she pushes the two of them tighter against the wall. She feels Reyna’s hands scratching against her back, and another spark hits as she thinks about how, yep, that’s going to leave a mark. Reyna’s gasping against her now and it’s slowly turning into a moan.

“Apparently that’s all I have to do to shut you up,” says Piper, locking eyes with Reyna. “A couple kisses and you’re down for the count.”

Reyna rolls her eyes. “This coming from the girl who jumps and knocks stuff off of bedside tables? Come on, Piper, all I had to do is touch your tattoos and you lost it.”

“That’s because my tattoos remind me of how awesome I am,” Piper says, and Reyna turns them both so Reyna’s lying down. “It wasn’t you that was making me do it – I was getting off on how hot I am.”

Reyna starts laughing again, and Piper’s only reasonable solution is to lean down and kiss the laughter away until it’s replaced by ragged breathing. Piper fumbles with Reyna’s underwear, then gives up when she realizes it’s trapped between them. Instead, she pushes the fabric aside and brushes her fingertips against Reyna, who lets out a high-pitched whine.

It’s Piper’s turn to laugh now. “Okay, then,” she says, “someone’s a bit worked up.” Teasingly, she keeps brushing against Reyna, not giving her any of the relief she wants, but just making it worse and worse.

“Just do it already,” Reyna moans, “please.”

“I love it when you beg,” Piper says, and obliges, slipping a finger inside of Reyna and watching Reyna’s head fall back onto her pillow. She’s still locking eyes with Piper, not letting her gaze fall in the slightest. It seems like a competition is beginning to brew, and Piper loves it. So she turns up the pace.

“Since we were talking about ink earlier,” Piper twists a finger inside of Reyna, who looks like she’s fighting the urge to arch against the mattress, “You’d look hot with a tattoo,” says Piper, her eyes locked on Reyna’s as she slides a second finger inside of her. She can tell that Reyna’s fighting to keep her eyes open and keep her composure, but Piper, after whatever the hell Reyna tried earlier, is determined to get Reyna off her guard and off her typical stance of being such a priss. “I think you should get one right here,” she says quietly, and runs her fingertips across the ribs right under Reyna’s right breast, and Piper’s sure Reyna’s forcing back a shiver. “I mean,” Piper continues, “you look hot anyway – I probably wouldn’t have noticed you if you hadn’t been wearing that damned near see through shirt that had your boobs on full display, thank you for that – but seriously, something right along here.” As she spoke, she ran her fingertips again along that spot and twisted her fingers inside of Reyna in a slightly different way. This time Reyna can’t hold herself back. Her eyes fly closed as she arches off of the mattress, and Piper leans forward to catch her lips.

“See?” says Piper. “It’s better when you just let yourself – go.” With the last word she presses her thumb against Reyna’s clit and moves it as she moves her fingers inside of Reyna, causing Reyna to let out a high pitched whine and a gasp that sounds like she’ll never be able to breathe the right way again.

A few more movements and Reyna’s yelling, “oh, fuck,” louder than she usually does, and Piper’s kissing against her neck as Reyna comes down from her orgasm.

“You’re really annoying,” Reyna says, and Piper smirks a little bit as she realizes that Reyna’s voice is still a little breathless. “Like, next time just shut up and get me off, okay?”

Piper laughs. “Coming from Miss ‘What’s this tattoo?!’ for half a freaking hour, that’s pretty rich.” She holds her hand up to her ear in a makeshift phone. “Oh, sorry. I need to make this call. Hello, Pot? This is Kettle. I just wanted to inform you that you are, in fact, black.”

Reyna rolls her eyes and pulls her pillow out from under her head and nails Piper in the arm with it. Piper, however, is not expecting this, and finds herself tumbling off of the bed and landing awkwardly on her arm.

It hurts. A lot.

“Oh, I think you just killed me,” Piper whines, holding her arm to her chest. “Fucking hell, Reyna, if anyone could make pillows a violent and even lethal weapon, it would totally be you. Watch where you’re killing people next time.”

Reyna rolls her eyes and leans over the side of the bed. “Wiggle your fingers.”

Piper pouts at her. “No,” she says, “it hurts. I don’t want to.”

“Just wiggle your fingers,” Reyna says, and she sounds exasperated enough that Piper does what she says. It hurts a little, but her fingers move and it feels different than it would if something was seriously wrong.

“Nothing’s broken or paralyzed if you can move your fingers,” says Reyna. “Plus, with the way you yell on a regular basis, I had a feeling there was no way it was a serious injury. You were too quiet.”

Piper glares at her as she cradles her hurt arm. “It could still be sprained!” she complains. “Or maybe I split a tendon.”

“Split a tendon?” Reyna says. “I don’t even think that’s a thing that can happen.”

“It could,” says Piper, her glare turning to a pout.

Reyna sighs. “You are such a little drama queen,” she says, but there’s an odd, unexpected level of affection that throws Piper off. “Come up here, you idiot, and get out your textbook. We have time to study before I have to head to my next class, and your arm will be alright once you stop complaining.”

“Huh?”

Reyna smirks. “It’s been scientifically proven that pain increases with the amount you complain like a little bitch.”

Piper takes her good hand and whips the pillow at Reyna’s shoulder. “Then you should probably shut your face because it’s hurting me.”

Reyna just stares at her and Piper wishes she could take back that horrible excuse for an insult. She ignores Reyna as she grabs her textbook.

“Oh, dear,” says Reyna, “you tried so hard to be mean right there and it just so didn’t work. Does wittle Piper have a boo boo and need to take a nap?” Reyna reaches out and pulls Piper to bed by the waist. Piper would fight her, maybe whack her a couple of times in the stomach until she let go, but with her good arm pinned and the other one held delicately and impotently against her, there’s not much she can do.

“You are spooning me against my will,” grumbles Piper, “I do this under extreme protest.”

“Shut up and cuddle me, you moron,” grumbles Reyna, and Piper feels her bury her face in Piper’s hair. Piper relents and snuggles back into Reyna, but makes sure she’s still actively frowning as she lets her eyes drift closed.

“You forgot to turn off the light,” Reyna mutters into Piper’s ear when she’s just about to drift off to sleep. “If we were going to actually nap, you should have turned the light off.

“Go fuck yourself,” Piper replies.

~~~~~x

The two of them doze on and off for about an hour before Piper drops her textbook on the floor, waking both of them up in time for Reyna to head to her 4pm class and Piper to completely ignore all requests of Reyna to leave.

“I think I’ll study in here until you get back,” says Piper, nose in the textbook.

Reyna rolls her eyes and stops arguing once Piper makes herself comfortable with her legs up on Reyna’s desk.

By the time Reyna gets back, it’s time for dinner, then studying, and before they know it Piper’s face down in Reyna’s bed half asleep again. As Reyna tosses herself in next to her, Piper makes the effort to wake up and make some snarky comment, but all she does is fall asleep. Again.

~~~~~x

Piper wakes up with a start somewhere in the middle of the night, but it’s dark enough out in the hallway and out Reyna’s window that she knows she didn’t accidentally stay the entire night. She gingerly tests her arm – all better, apparently Reyna was right, damn it – and steps out of bed. Immediately she trips over something. “Oh, good,” she says, “my shorts.” For a few minutes she makes an effort to get into them while hopping around in the dark, but she quickly realizes that attempt is entirely futile. With a little more effort than should be necessary, she makes her way over to Reyna’s desk and sits down, pulling on her shorts in the dark. She’s not sure who turned the light off – maybe Gwen? She hopes Gwen didn’t see her cuddling. That would kill her street cred – but the light is, indeed, off, and she doesn’t want to wake Reyna up.

“Where the hell’s my bra?” grumbles Piper in the dark, trying not to kill herself on all of these baskets of clothing. (Seriously, who the fuck takes this goddamned long to put away their freaking laundry?)

“What are you doing, Piper?” Reyna asks, voice thick with sleep. “Don’t try to steal any of Gwen’s Adderall – she needs it every day and she’ll kill you if she’s missing one.”

“I don’t steal Adderall!” replies Piper in a harsh whisper. “Mostly! Okay, it was one time and it wasn’t for me!” Clearly too much information. “What makes you think I’d steal Adderall? It’d more likely be you, Miss Perfect Grades.”

Reyna sits up in bed, and Piper feels an odd sense of pride fill her as she sees the hickey she left on Reyna’s collarbone has built into a clear, light bruise. “My grades are all natural. No performance enhancing drugs needed for this perfection.”

Piper, taking the opportunity, laughs a little bit to herself. “You’ve got that right,” she mutters to herself, but she makes sure her back is turned to Reyna and that Reyna can’t hear OR see her as it happens. She wouldn’t want Reyna getting a big head.

“Why are you awake right now?” Reyna asks. “It’s – three thirty, just stay here.” Reyna turns her alarm clock to face Piper, and it illuminate’s Reyna’s dark eyes. “Go the fuck to sleep.”

Piper laughs – that draws out a swear? “I am going to sleep,” says Piper, feeling around under a chair, “in my own dorm.”

“It’s the middle of the night, you moron.” Reyna sits up. “Seriously, this is a big campus. I don’t want you to get hurt or something.”

“I’ll be fine,” says Piper, “I carry a sharp blade.”

Reyna, by the light of even just the alarm clock, looks startled. “You do?” she asks. “Since when?”

“My cutting wit,” replies Piper. “Seriously, Reyna, calm your tits. It’s going to be fine. People don’t fuck with girls wearing combat boots and an undercut.”

“That’s what everyone thinks,” says Reyna, “and then something bad happens and then we all tell you we wanted to keep you from getting hurt and you get upset because you don’t want to hear ‘I told you so’ and then there’s some weird soundtrack to the movie and then we all talk about our favorite teachers at the end of them movie and then yeah.”

Piper just stares at her. “That was the most rambling rant I’ve heard in my life. Are you sure you’re awake?”

“No,” says Reyna, and it’s true, there’s an odd little glaze over her eyes that makes Piper strangely aware of how sleep deprivation makes this generally very smart girl kind of stupid, “but I’m pretty sure you should go to sleep nowish.”

“I’m fine,” Piper groans. “God, what the fuck are you, my mother?”

Reyna shakes her head. “No, you fuckwad, but I don’t want you getting hurt.”

Piper laughs. “You swear a lot more when you’re tired.”

“I make no sense when I’m tired,” Reyna corrects.

Piper gets a hold of everything she needs. “I’m leaving now.”

“Come on, just stay here,” says Reyna, even going so far as to move over in bed to make room for Reyna. Piper can’t do anything but stare at her as she realizes Reyna’s serious and that she’s not just fucking with her.

She’s never slept in somebody else’s bed the whole night before. At least, no one whose bed she just banged them into. “I can’t,” she says, shaking her head. “I’ve got to go to bed. In my own dorm. It’s – Annabeth’s going to be worried if I don’t make it home tonight. I already texted her that I would be back soon, okay?”

Reyna sighs deeply and sets down the alarm clock, and Piper can no longer see her expression. Whatever she can imagine the expression is, she’s pretty sure she doesn’t want to see it. “Okay,” Reyna sighs. “I mean, it’s not like I can make you stay.” She turns over in bed, her back to Piper. “Night, Piper. Text me when you get home – I want to know that you get home safely, okay?”

Piper shrugs on her hoodie and makes her way out of the apartment. “Goodnight, Reyna,” she says quietly.

She saunters out of the apartment without a second glance behind her, but every part of her body is telling her she needs to head back. But she doesn’t. And she doesn’t actually want to.

She makes it all the way back to her apartment – safely, thanks, Reyna – and calls her by accident instead of texting her.

“Lell?” says Reyna. Piper can’t keep herself from laughing.

“What does ‘lell’ mean?” Piper says through giggles.

“Said hello,” grumbles Reyna. “I was asleep, you idiot. I said text me. Not call me.”

“I did the wrong thing,” Piper said, “I meant to call you and by accident I texted you.”

Reyna laughs. “I think you mean the other way around, you weirdo. Now go to sleep. I’ve got class in the morning.”

“So do I!”

“Oh, shush, eleven is not the morning. Eight is in the morning.”“You should skip class,” says Piper. “Just skip it. Learning is dumb. Come over here.”

“I’m going back to sleep, Piper,” says Reyna, and she hangs up the phone without another word.

Piper all of a sudden feels a bit odd until she realizes she’s sad that Reyna didn’t tell her goodnight.

Then she just gets mad at herself for feeling sad, and passes out in a huff, still wearing the outfit from the other day and hoping she didn’t wake Annabeth up.

 

ANNABETH

She knew she should probably tell Piper to stop coming in without notice in the middle of the night, because it’s starting to scare the hell out of her, but she’s not exactly sure how to tell her “people opening doors in the middle of the night is a big trigger for me and I get scared when you come into the dorm in the middle of the night and being scared does not do good things for me.”

But she’s still not ready to explain any of this to anyone. Unfortunately, she hasn’t heard from Thalia in long enough that the words are still bubbling up inside her.

She’s up until 4:30, after Piper’s come and gone, and then come back after a shower, thinking about Luke and Thalia and back when she was the idiot and not the pragmatic one, and she wonders if she’ll ever be over what happened back then.

She cuddles up with the stuffed animals she keeps in bed with her and closes her eyes. She’s not getting panic attacks as much anymore – her last one was a month before she moved in – so it’s not like what Piper’s doing is as big of a deal as it could be, but it’s still startling.

She’ll never stop hating the feeling of having your back to the door and not knowing who’s standing in the door frame.

She sleeps and she dreams of a time when Luke, Thalia and she were their little idiot band of thieves, before Luke made the mistake that would steal Thalia away from Annabeth and would steal Annabeth’s sanity away from her. It was a long time ago – about four years now – but it still feels new every once in a while.

She’s better. A lot better – Vanden and Grover and everyone she met there helped her get through it all and process everything that happened, but she still sometimes, sometimes, gets these dreams and wakes up feeling like she’s fourteen again. Like Luke’s going to come into her room at night again and tell her about what he had done, and she’ll never, ever be the same again.

She wakes up around eight in the morning crying, and jumps when she sees that Piper’s sitting next to her bed on the floor.

“Annabeth,” she says, and her tone makes it seem like she’s been calling her name for a few minutes. “Hey, I woke up and I heard you crying – what’s going on?”

“Ba-bad dream,” Annabeth says with a pathetic hiccup attached. She begins trying to use some of the skills she was taught at Vanden, grabbing onto the comforter to ground herself, but it’s not working. She moves to grab a tissue, but Piper holds the box up to her.

“I, um, saw you were crying and figured you might need one of these.” Piper sends her a smile and Annabeth suddenly realizes that, probably, despite all the tattoos and the fuck-you attitude, Piper’s one of those really unexpectedly nice people who’s even nice to the weird kids that everyone else hates. She shakily reaches to grab a tissue and watches Piper’s eyes lock on Annabeth’s near inability to grab the tissue. Instead of commenting or saying anything, Piper pulls out the tissue and presses it into Annabeth’s hand. Annabeth smiles at her gratefully, and dabs at her eyes. Annabeth’s sick of being a weird kid, but it doesn’t seem so bad when she’s got a friend like Piper.

“Do you wanna talk about it?” Piper asks. “Or do you want to be left alone?”

Annabeth shifts so she’s sitting up in bed and pats the foot of her bed. “If – if it’s okay with you, I think I want to talk about it.”

Piper tosses herself onto Annabeth’s bed and smiles at her. “Lay it on me, roomie,” she says, “what’s cooking in that brain of yours?”

So Annabeth takes a deep breath and goes to tell her the story, makes like she’s about to explain why she’s so weird and such a quiet person half the time, but it all gets stuck in her throat. Instead, what comes out is, “One time a guy I was sleeping with killed the family of a politician because he got stuck in a weird anarchist anti-government cult and then he tried to make me and my best friend run off with him and then tried to kill us when we told him no so I told him I wanted him to die and he killed himself.”

And in that very moment she is sure Piper’s going to kick her out of the room and report her to the dean of students and Annabeth will literally never graduate from college or become anything but a lazy bum sleeping on her father’s couch and, oh, god, this is the worst thing she could possibly have done and she’s sure her life is over.

So when Piper just leans forward and hugs Annabeth, saying “People suck so bad,” Annabeth’s so startled she just sits there. Piper realizes that Annabeth’s reacting a little differently than most people when hugged, and moves away from her.

“Are you – do you not hug?” Piper asks. “Like, do you not want – should I..?”

“No, no, that’s okay,” Annabeth says. “I just – I meant to say that in a much better way than I did. And then I said it really wrong and…” She sighs and looks down at her hands. “I expected you to think I was a lunatic or something.”

“We’re all lunatics,” Piper says, brushing it off. “And it sounds to me like you didn’t actually do anything. I mean, you couldn’t have been more than eighteen. You were a kid.”

“I was fourteen when it all went down, actually,” says Annabeth, and she winces a little bit at how far Piper’s jaw drops.

“Holy shit,” says Piper. “That’s – oh, god, you were just a baby.” Then the next, inevitable question comes out. “Fuck, what were your parents doing, letting you go around with some loony like that?”

Annabeth shrugs. “My mom’s never been really…There. She was a PhD candidate when she got pregnant with me and realized she didn’t want kids. She and my dad were never together, you know? So she kind of told my dad ‘take the kid, I don’t want her’ and only contacts me when she knows there’ll be something on the news about her so she gets to tell me first.”

“And your dad?” asks Piper. “I mean, I knew he was an absolute bag of dicks – pardon the French – when I met him, but I didn’t expect this kind of thing.”

“He and my step mom were too busy with the boys,” she says simply. “They’re twins, so they were kind of sick when they were born when I was five, so from about then on I guess I just was…an afterthought. My dad didn’t realize what was going on with me until I ran away with – with Luke and Thalia.”

Piper’s looking at her, not in pity, but in understanding, and she’s beginning to wonder if they have more in common than Annabeth ever wanted to admit.

“Do you want to explain it more?” Piper asks. “Or are you – is it…”

Annabeth shrugs. “I mean, he got wrapped up in this whole anarchist cult thing – lead by a guy who called himself Kronos, how stupid is that? – and was told he had to kill someone in high power to get show allegiance. Prove he was in it for the long haul, you know? So he went for it. And came to me, like, proud of it all.” Annabeth closes her eyes, trying to keep any flashbacks from hitting. “To me and my friend Thalia, in the shelter we were staying at. Told us we needed to come with him, that he had a safer place for us.” The familiar chill she feels whenever she remembers that night ravages her spine and she, horribly, like always, starts to shake.

“He – I – he took us to th-their headquarters.” Annabeth closes her eyes and breathes deeply. She doesn’t need another panic attack. She doesn’t want to lose the progress. She doesn’t want to screw up her record.

But, like always, it’s going to happen. It’s happening out of her control. The world starts spinning and her breathing is ragged and there’s some block in her brain that’s preventing the message of “hold your breath” and “grip the table” from reaching her body, and it all feels like a nightmare.

But then, suddenly, unexpectedly, someone’s holding her hands and calling her name. “Whoa, Annabeth, open your eyes, look at me, okay?” says the voice, and she’s dragged back to reality, she’s here, at school, on her bed in her dorm. Her eyes fly open and she meets Piper’s.

“Hey, are you with me?” Piper asks. “Do you have a worry stone or a grounding mechanism you use? Look at me, okay? I’m right here. You can squeeze my hands as hard as you need to. Just – let me know what you need.”

Annabeth nods and holds her breath, counting to ten, then lets it out.

She does it again.

And again.

And each time she opens her eyes, Piper’s still smiling at her, she’s still right there, still holding her hands, even though Annabeth’s squeezing them so hard they’ve turned white.

Then, as suddenly as it hit, it’s over, and Annabeth’s just gasping as the last few panicked tears fall down her cheeks.

“Panic attack?” Piper asks.

Annabeth nods. “How did you know what to do? You didn’t even freak out for a second there.”

Piper shrugs. “My best friend, Leo – the one with the stupid hair in that picture over there – he was in the house when a fire killed his mom when he was eight. He also had a bunch of bad foster home situations, and he got panic attacks a lot, too. I mean, it’s different.” Piper shrugs. “He’s a guy and you’re not, and he’s a little bit more of an idiot than you are, because he usually tries to fight the panic attacks and goes and gets drunk or something, which only makes it worse, but, yeah.” Piper gives her a smile. “I’ve got you.”

Before Annabeth knows what she’s doing, she throws her arms around Piper. “Thank you so much,” she says. “God, how did they manage to match us up?”

“Lunatics tend to magnet together,” says Piper, and Annabeth takes a few deep breaths before pulling away. “Are you feeling better?”

Annabeth nods. “A lot, actually. Are your hands okay?”

Piper flexes them a couple of times, and Annabeth notices her wincing a little.

“Nah, not because of you. Reyna and I got a –”

Annabeth just starts laughing, because of course that’s Piper’s excuse. “You guys seem to be having a lot of fun,” Annabeth says, winking. “Are you guys making it official any time soon?”

Piper nearly falls off of the bed. “Oh, god, no!” she exclaims. “Ew, no, relationships are gross. Fuck bitches get the hell away from romance and all that.”

“That is definitely not the phrase,” Annabeth says. “But why not? I mean, you guys seem to like each other. A lot.”

“So?” Piper replies, but Annabeth notices she won’t meet her eyes. “I like pancakes. Doesn’t mean I want to roll them up and put a ring on it.”

“You also don’t fuck them into oblivion and then flirt with them twenty four seven,” Annabeth mentions. “Your analogy fails miserably.”

Piper stares at her. “Hey,” she says, “I just helped you through a panic attack and now you’re making fun of me. I thought we were friends!” For a split second Annabeth thinks she’s screwed up, but Piper’s grinning so broadly she knows she couldn’t have. “I’m kidding. Except for the pancake thing. I love pancakes. Do you want to go to the dining commons and get pancakes for breakfast? I’m totally prepared to wait in line.”

Annabeth looks down at her pajamas – covered in owls with a pink background – and over at Piper, who’s wearing a ragged hoodie that looks about 4 sizes too big for her and a pair of too-short shorts underneath it. “We’re not even dressed,” Annabeth counters.

“Come on, that doesn’t matter,” says Piper, grabbing her hand. “We’re in college! Nobody actually gets dressed. Just put your hair into a ponytail and we’re good to go.”

“In a ponytail?” Annabeth asks, touching at her hair. “What’s wrong with it?”

“You look like Cindy Lou Who getting stuck in a light socket,” Piper says nonchalantly, and with a glance in the mirror, Annabeth realizes, whoops, Piper is very right.

“I’ll – oh, gosh.”

Piper laughs. “There you go. Now. Let’s get our pancake on.”

 

 

Chapter Text

PIPER

She had to admit, Annabeth’s story was a surprise. Piper usually considers herself to be the most fucked up person in the room, but the more she gets to know other people, the more she realizes she’s kind of wrong and that everyone’s kind of fucked up.     

Their plates are piled high with pancakes – Annabeth actually says the phrase, “fuck looking good, I want to gorge myself on fake syrup” – and they’re sitting at the table, staring at their overfull plates, when someone walks over.

“Reyna?” Annabeth asks. “Hi, what are you doing here?”

“Just got out of my eight o’ clock class,” she says, and it’s obvious she’s trying not to laugh. “Walk of shame end well, Piper?” She looks her up and down. “Looks like someone never got out of yesterday’s clothes.”

“Fuck off, princess,” Piper says, not aggressively. “Grab a pile of pancakes and dig in. And how the fuck do you not look like death? You got up at, like seven thirty at the latest!”

Reyna shrugged. “Perhaps I’m just inherently better looking than you are.”

Piper is about to yell something she’s sure would be a great comeback, but she nearly falls off of her teeth when Reyna shoves her over on the bench, grabs her fork, and takes a bite of her pancakes.

“I meant get your own pancakes, you thief,” Piper grumbles, glaring at Reyna.

“But yours are just so delicious,” Reyna says, and she grins in a way that makes Piper realize –

“Can you guys not do this right now?” Annabeth says, her hand over her eyes and laughing, “I’m at the table.”

Reyna shrugs. “Sorry, Annabeth. Hey, did you get that paper in for Honors English last night?”

Annabeth nods. “I’m still pissed he made it due on a day we didn’t have class. And at midnight, nonetheless.”

Piper holds up a hand. “Hold up, you two,” she says, “are you telling me you have a class together and conveniently forgot to tell me?”

“It wasn’t convenient,” says Reyna, “we just spaced.”

“Actually,” says Annabeth, “I didn’t tell her on purpose. I wanted to see if she’d figure out how I recognized you on my own.”

Piper’s jaw dropped. “You never saw Reyna’s face that first night we were here?”

Annabeth shakes her head. “You realize that she was facing the opposite direction when you halfway pointed her out to me, right?”

“Well, I do have a particularly memorable ass,” says Reyna, still eating Piper’s pancakes. Piper whacks her gently on the hand and grabs her fork back.

“Stop eating my food and get your own, jerk,” Piper says, and Reyna rolls her eyes as she gets up to find her breakfast. When she leaves, Piper turns to Annabeth. “When the fuck were you going to tell me that you knew each other, asshole?!”

Annabeth chuckles. “I wasn’t,” she replies with a strange smile, “I was waiting for you to figure it out on your own. Plus, it’s only the end of September. It’s not like we’ve been in school a whole month and you’ve been living with me for four weeks and banging Reyna for ages and never stopped to think about how we know each other so well.”

“I hate you when you’re sarcastic,” Piper says with a glare. “Almost as much as I hate Reyna on a general basis.”

“Whoa,” says Annabeth, “don’t put me in that category. I don’t want you to anything me as much as you hate Reyna.” She leans forward and gives Piper that stupid wink again. “Or love Reyna.”

“Shut the fuck up.” Annabeth doesn’t – she keeps right on giggling up until Reyna makes it back to their table after piling her plate with –

“Oh, are you fucking me, you got fruit and oatmeal?” Piper groans.

“A) Yes, I am, thanks for forgetting last night,” says Reyna airily, “and b) I like oatmeal.”

“Are you, like,” Piper leans toward her, and says in a stage whisper, “a vegan?”

“You’re asking someone who got meat lover’s pizza with you on our study break two weeks ago,” Reyna replies, “plus, do you not see the sausage?”

Piper can’t help herself from laughing. Annabeth and Reyna just stare at her.

“You guys didn’t – it wasn’t –” Her laughter dies out. “Oh, come on, it was funny!”

“That was kind of a stretch,” says Annabeth, but she’s grinning, so Piper has a feeling she at least thought about (what she thought was) an obvious innuendo.

Reyna shrugged. “I’ve made better innuendoes on purpose. That one was an accident – does not deserve to be laughed at.” She returns to her cantaloupe. “Anyway, Annabeth, how hard was the paper for you? I hate writing about books in relation to myself. It’s stupid.”

“You’re lucky you didn’t get assigned Catcher in the Rye,” Annabeth says with an eye roll. “Comparing myself to Holden Caulfield was like comparing a hedgehog to a lima bean.”

“Hey!” Piper exclaims through a mouthful of pancake. “I like Holden Caulfield.”

Simultaneously, Reyna and Annabeth say, “of course you do.”

This newfound friendship was beginning to disturb Piper.

“Are you ready for the exam on Monday?” Reyna asks. “I can’t believe she just gave us the study guide the other day. Like, do you want us all to die?”

Piper shrugs. “Haven’t even looked at it yet. I always just sort of cram the night before”

“Oh, that’s cute,” says Reyna with a grin. “I know our study sessions have been less studying and more, well,” she looks over at Annabeth, “er, not studying. But just wait until you get near me when it’s exam time. I’m going to drill you so hard you won’t be able to think about anything else.”
Piper and Annabeth both stare at Reyna.

“Was that meant to turn me on and sound like a sex reference?” asks Piper. “Because that’s what it sounded like and that’s what happened.”

“Oh, god, why in hell’s name am I still sitting here?” Annabeth whines.

Reyna shakes her head. “That’s not exactly what I mean, but I’m not opposed to it.”

Piper stares at her, dead in the eye, for a couple seconds too long, then stands up. Staring at Reyna for this long was going to kill her, and, on a completely unrelated note, she really wanted an M&M bar. “Well,” says Piper carefully. “I am going to go get dessert. Would anyone like anything?”

“I’ll take a brownie,” says Reyna.

“Get me an apple,” Annabeth calls.

“Ugh, you guys are so freaking healthy. It’s disgusting.”

REYNA

“So,” Reyna says to Annabeth as Piper leaves in search of snacks, “how pissed is Piper that we didn’t tell her we knew each other?”

Annabeth shrugs. “I mean, I thought she was going to kill me, but I’m not dead yet, so less pissed than we expected.”

Reyna feels her shoulders relax. “Good thing, too,” she says, “because we have a test a week from yesterday and I really can’t afford to fail it due to being dead.”

Annabeth laughs. “Seriously, though, am I the only one freaking out about midterms? I mean, my first one is October 16th. That’s only fifteen days away!”

Reyna shrugs. “I mean, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about my tests. But something tells me that I’ll do pretty well on this History exam.”

Annabeth laughs. “That’s just because you think you can study by yelling the information at Piper.”

“Is that wrong?”

The two of them begin to laugh, but are abruptly cut off by someone throwing themselves down on the seat next to Reyna.

“I am appalled at this institution’s baked goods selection!” Piper exclaims.

“Oh, no, not again,” mutters Annabeth. Reyna’s about to ask what was going on, but then Piper answers it for her.

“The only good food in this whole place is those stupid m&m bars!” Piper exclaims. “I am horrified at how shitty this food gets and they take away the only thing that’s decent?”

“Piper, I’m sure they’re just out for now – ”

Piper continues as if she hasn’t heard Annabeth. “I cannot believe I have to deal with this. Why the fuck do I even eat at this place?”

“Well, for one thing, we have to if we’re freshmen –”

“Even the pizza tastes like cardboard!” Piper continues, but she doesn’t notice what Reyna notices: Annabeth is determinedly and calmly pulling napkins out of the dispenser, in a way that suggests she’s done it many times before. “Or plastic! It’s disgusting how much they expect us to tolerate and stomach! Are we supposed to put this in our mouths?!” Her voices is getting louder and Reyna makes the decision to refrain from mentioning where Piper’s mouth has been recently. “This place is an absolute at –” That’s when Annabeth shoves the napkins into Piper’s mouth. As if she hasn’t quite noticed what has happened, Piper looks like she’s trying – and failing – to speak through the paper. After a few seconds, she seems to admit defeat and looks down to glare at Annabeth, who is simply looking up at her with a half-interested expression on her face.

It’s in that moment Reyna realizes Annabeth Chase is a force to be reckoned with.

Piper glares at Annabeth and sits down in her chair, looking like she might just burn Annabeth up with her stare. It takes her a few minutes, long enough for Reyna and Annabeth to start half-laughing, to get all the paper out of her mouth, but the glare doesn’t break.

“How’s that paper taste?” Annabeth asks innocently, and that’s when Reyna loses it.

“Piper, you should see your face,” she cackles, “you look like you’re ready to murder us both.”

“I hate you,” grumbles Piper. “I hate both of you so much.”

Annabeth shrugs and returns her attention to her pancakes, but Reyna leans in to whisper in Piper’s ear, “I’ll make it up to you in fifteen minutes when we get back to my rom.”

She leans back and grins as Piper’s eyes widen and she shifts in her seat.

“Annabeth, I will not be back at the dorm for approximately two hours. Or more than that. I have to go study things. I will call you – eventually.”

Annabeth locks eyes with Reyna who shrugs her shoulders. Annabeth sighs and points toward the door. “Get out of here before Piper gets naked. I’ve got to talk to my friend in my Philosophy and Gender class today, and I plan to be showered and presentable at that point so I was going to have to leave out soon anyway.”

“Take our plates for us, peasant!” calls Piper as she bolts out of the room. “I mean roommate.”

Reyna yanks her out the door with a fairly sizable eye roll. This was going to be an interesting afternoon.

“So can we have sex first and then study?” Piper asks. “Because I’m not sure I can study after just eating so many pancakes.”

“Shouldn’t that be the opposite?” Reyna asks.

Piper shrugs. “Probably. But I don’t plan on swimming.”

Reyna turns to her. “What the hell goes on in that head of yours?”

Piper shrugs again. “A lot, usually. But I’m really distracted right now, so I can’t be held accountable. Or something.”

They finally make it to the Hale dorms and saunter in as they flash their ID’s to the desk attendant.

Reyna sits down at her desk, and fairly unkindly positions her legs so there’s no way Piper can sit on her lap. “Not this time, you weirdo,” says Reyna. “We need to get going on the studying part of the day. I want to ace this thing and start my college career with a 4.0 if I can.”
“Ew,” says Piper, nonchalantly pulling off her shirt and throwing it somewhere in the room. She’s wearing the exact same bra she had been wearing the night before, so it doesn’t even distract Reyna enough to get her to stop digging through her books. “First of all, you lured me here under false pretenses. You said you were going to make things up to me within fifteen minutes. Second, I can’t believe I’m sleeping with such an absolute geek. I thought I got over that phase when I was in high school.”

“You love it,” says Reyna, picking up the textbook and the primary source her teacher had assigned them to use for the first essay. “Which of these do you want to start with?”

“I want to start with naked,” says Piper, and the way she says it is enough for Reyna to look up. Piper, the idiot, is stark naked except for a pair of socks, lying on her stomach on top of Piper’s comforter.

Reyna ignores this and walks over to her bed, holding up the two books. “Seriously, Piper?” she says. “You’re not even going to try to focus?”

“Why focus on the exam when we can focus on this?” She gestures to herself and Reyna grabs the extra blanket from the foot of her bed and throws it on top of Piper.

“How about this,” says Reyna, leafing through The Plunkitt at Tamanny Hall, “for every hour you study, I’ll give you an orgasm.”

“That’s not fair,” says Piper, “you’ll just make it really fast so I have to work for longer than I’m getting off.”

“I’ll make it worth it,” says Reyna, and that’s when she pulls the book from Piper’s hands and throws the one she’s holding into the corner of the room, catching Piper’s face in her hands and kissing her until the two of them fall back into the pillows. Slowly, languidly, almost lazily, Reyna runs her tongue along Piper’s lips, swallowing Piper’s sigh against her as Piper hooks a naked leg around Reyna’s waist. Reyna’s fingertips lazily drift down between them, and in seconds Piper’s turned her head, gasping.

It’s eight minutes later before Piper comes back to steady breathing and looks up at Reyna again.

“Okay,” Piper says, her eyes looking a little hazy, “hit me with knowledge, genius, I want to know things now. You have awakened a new kind of academic curiosity in me.”

“You sound like Annabeth,” Reyna says, wrinkling her nose. “Oh, god, you’re going to end up as this weird, quiet, academic after this semester, aren’t you?”

“Hey,” says Piper, “no insulting my roommate. And, no. I couldn’t be a quiet academic if my life depended. If anything I’m going to grow up to be one of those people who screams about their profession or something.”

With a shrug, Reyna pulls out her notes from the past few classes along with Piper’s editing printouts of the PowerPoints and looks at them. “Well, we should probably get started with prepping our essays. I mean, obviously we can’t use the same points, but we can compile them and just pick the points we feel most comfortable with.”

Piper falls back onto Reyna’s pillow. “Can I at least stay naked?” Piper asks. “And can you get naked? Because that will seriously improve the situation.”

Reyna rolls her eyes. “Whatever. Let’s just get to work.”

~~

By the time Reyna really needs to get ready for her three o’ clock class, they’ve outlined both exams for each of them and, between the two of them, defined every single one of the short answer questions that they’ll need to know for the exam.

On another note, there have been nine orgasms between the two of them, and Piper’s stopped complaining that Reyna got an extra (finally.)

“Oh, fuck, maybe you should just screw the information into me for every exam,” gasps Piper. “I think I could recite the entirety of my paper on the validity of the American Dream right now. Fuck.” Reyna laughs and kisses slowly up to Piper’s chest.

“Good to know that sex benefits your academics,” she says, kissing gently against Piper’s neck, “I’d hate to know I was distracting you from your studies.”

Piper reaches down and pulls her closer to kiss her. “We need to take more classes together so you can help me ace college,” Piper mutters against Reyna’s lips. “And because orgasms. Lots of em.”

“You know, you could probably get the same results out of a vibrator and a computer program,” says Reyna.

“Yeah, right,” Piper replies, “computer programs reward me with dings. You reward me with feeling me up.”

“You make yourself sound like a dog,” Reyna laughs.

“Whatever, man, if I get an A, I’ll fetch a bone or whatever.” Reyna raises her eyebrows at Piper. “Oh, fuck it, you know what I mean.”

Reyna rolls off of Piper and reaches for their notebook. “We’re going to go over the short answers again as I get ready for class, okay?”

Piper groans and throws her arm over her eyes, but Reyna can tell from the hint of a smile on her face that she’s not going to fight it. “Do I get to shower with you?” she asks. “I promise I’ll be good and use the time to study. Mostly.”

Reyna sighs like it’s a difficult thing to agree too and nods. “Fine. You can use the extra towel I have. Because it’s not like I need one.”

“Great!” Piper responds, and without a second thought grabs the towel out of Reyna’s hands and marches toward what she thinks is the bathroom, but is actually a janitor’s closet. A few confused moments entertain Reyna as Piper fights to open the door, until Reyna decides to be kind and say, “Look for the one with the toilets.”

“Fuck you,” says Piper offhandedly. “This one?”

Reyna nods as Piper pushes in the door, and grabs her shower caddy and towel.

Their method of sex and study works for the next few days whenever they’re not in class and Reyna’s not at her off-season practices. The system generally goes like this: one of them calls to complain about absolutely nothing, they meet up at a dorm to study for the exam, someone gets off, they do homework for other classes, the other gets off, and they repeat it until somebody falls asleep or gets hungry. Reyna hates to admit it, but she’s never slept so well or felt so prepared for an exam in her life.

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

October comes in on the tail end of Reyna’s and Piper’s first exam (which both of them managed to ace “It’s because you banged the information into me, I swear it” “I’m not going to disagree,”) and Annabeth’s first in-class presentation in Spanish, which scared the hell out of her. They’re all exhausted and half dead, and Piper keeps making suggestions to teachers of where they should shove their midterms when they keep bringing it up. Piper’s math class – Annabeth’s shocked when she finds out Piper just decided to take Calculus on a whim for her math credit, even though she’s a humanities major – is kicking her ass to the point where she cried into her pillow the night before when Reyna had come over to hang out, just because she forgot to carry the one in a problem that took her three pages.

So, Annabeth thinks, they’re well overdue for a stupid, careless girls’ night.

It’s middle a quiet Saturday morning, when Piper’s curled up in her bed with a textbook for one of her classes half open on her stomach as she tries, for once, to actually read her homework. Annabeth’s trying to bang out her first college essay, due that Friday.

“Maybe I should just hit myself with this book until I absorb the information,” grumbles Piper. “Or just set myself on fire and call it a day.”

Completely ignoring another one of Piper’s dramatic tirades, Annabeth interrupts. “We should do something tonight,” Annabeth says. “I mean, we’ve been working –”

“Fucking finally,” Piper moans, dropping the book on her face and grunting as it hits her chin. Annabeth hides her chuckle. “Jesus, I’ve never been so bored reading about American History before. When the hell do we get to the interesting stuff like Nixon and Watergate?”

“In the 1970’s,” Annabeth comments, “but let’s get back to the thing about us going out and getting drunk and getting laid.”

That gets Piper’s attention better than anything else had. “Is Annabeth getting into the game?” Piper asks. She sits up, and Annabeth decides not to comment on the dent in her forehead left by the book. She rolls off of the bed and over to Annabeth’s, perching her chin on the side of Annabeth’s desk. Annabeth was about a thousand percent sure she would never get used to these weird as hell things Piper did when she decided that life wasn’t interesting enough to keep her attention.

“I said ‘us’ didn’t I?” Annabeth hits save on the document she’s been working on and shuts her laptop.

Piper throws herself on the floor and starts clapping and kicking her legs to the point where Annabeth is half sure she’s going to end up knocking something valuable on the floor. The day before she had been rolling around so quickly that her shoe flew off and shut their door on its own.

“Could you stop doing that?” Annabeth complains. “Sheesh, it’s like I just told you that Reyna wants to marry you or something.”

Instantly, the motion stops, and Annabeth forces back a grin. Piper was so predictable. “Don’t say that ever again,” says Piper, looking adorably menacing. Annabeth probably was scared of her (only a little bit) when they first met, but after this much time with her, there’s basically nothing Annabeth can’t figure out about Piper.

“Why not?” asks Annabeth. “The One Night Stand thing rarely turns into anything but the dramatic will they, won’t they. And it nearly always turns into some ridiculous teenage romance novel. Especially when you end up in class together and, you know, keep sleeping together. And are study buddies.”

“Who told you that,” Piper grumbles, “Nora Roberts?”

“Nah,” Annabeth replies, “I can just tell that you and Reyna are in love.”

Piper stands and throws herself on her bed face down. “We are not in love, for the fortieth time! And stop saying that!”

“Piper and Reyna, sitting in a tree, f u c –” Annabeth hums quietly to herself. She is stopped abruptly when a pillow that Piper throws nails her directly in the face. “Was that entirely necessary?” Annabeth asks as she sets the pillow next to her.

“Yes,” Piper replies, “now pick out the outfit that’s going to get you laid and I’m forcing you to wear one of my Come-Fuck-Me bras, because the next time I see you in that Hello Kitty atrocity I’m burning it alongside your cookie monster underpants.”

“What’s wrong with those?” Annabeth asks. “And you wear that Hello Kitty shirt all the time. How come my Hello Kitty’s not okay?”

Piper’s digging through her underwear drawer and pulling out random bras and lace things that can’t possible count as underwear when she replies with, “because I wear it ironically and you wear it all serious.”

“Okay, so on top of being Ebony Dementia Dark’Ness Way, you’re also a hipster?” Annabeth asks.

Piper stands up and points at Annabeth with a dark blue and purple lace thing with an underwire in her hands. “You quit that right now or I’ll kick your Hello Kitty.”

Annabeth snorts and stares at what’s dangling from Piper’s fingertips. “Wait, you want me to wear WHAT?”

Piper rolls her eyes and nods. “Look, your boobs might be a little smaller than mine, but this bra’s almost too small for me. Just put it on and model it for me.”

“Model it for you?!”

“What, we’re not at that point in our friendship yet? Okay, I’ll stick my head in the closet.”

Annabeth had no idea what the hell she was living with, but she figured it was better than most people’s experiences. “Okay then,” she says, standing with her back to Piper and putting on the bra, throwing on the dark, almost burgundy pink, lace-backed shirt on top of it. “I’m decent,” she says, turning around. Piper’s head is still, literally, shoved into her closet.

“What?” Piper calls out, her voice muffled.

Annabeth rolls her eyes and grabs Piper’s shoulder, grinning as Piper blinks to adjust to the light. “Well stick me on a mountainside and call me a goat!” says Piper.

“What the hell does that mean?” Annabeth replies.

Piper sighs. “Really, Annabeth, you should be able to translate Piper speak by now. It means  good shirt choice, I was hoping you’d pick that.”

“It’s not tacky to have your bra showing through the lace in the back?” Annabeth asks, peering around her shoulder to look at the shirt in the mirror. “I mean, my stepmother always said that –”

“Your stepmother is an old hag who knows as much about fashion as Carmen Carrera knows about being ugly,” Piper quips, and Annabeth feels like she should be offended on her stepmother’s behalf, but she really, really isn’t.

“So it’s fine?” she asks. “And what should I wear for –”Piper thrusts a pair of dark washed skinny jeans at Annabeth “Oh, I never wear those,” says Annabeth, shaking her head. “They’re too tight.”

“Around where?”

“Around my butt.”

Piper laughs. “Oh, then, honey, these are exactly what you want to wear. Just sort of jiggle yourself into them until they slip over your ass. It might be uncomfortable, but you’ll look good.”

“Then what do I do when they get all restricting?”

Piper claps Annabeth on the shoulder. “That’s when you allow the hot dude across the room to take them off of you, but I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, don’t you?”

Annabeth laughs. “Fine.”

“And don’t wear those grey things you have on right now,” says Piper, “wear the glow-in-the-dark stars and planets underpants.”

“Seriously?” Annabeth asks. “Those are a joke. My friend Thalia got them for me last Christmas.”

“They’re also more low cut and inappropriate than anything else you have. And closest to a thong, which you somehow do not own. Plus, it’s glow in the dark solar system underpants. Could they get more Annabeth?”

“Only if they had books on them,” Annabeth adds, and she didn’t mean to make Piper laugh with that comment, but she did.

“Get that sexy ass dressed,” says Piper, “we’re going man hunting.”

PIPER

They looked GOOD. Like, way better than that first night they had gone out together, and way better than the disaster the weekend before. Piper shudders as she remembers how uncomfortable it was to walk back in from her shower and see a drunken Reyna passed out on her bed and a startled Annabeth staring at her from her desk. Piper stared at the two women in the mirror who were about to take over campus, and she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t checking both of them out.

Their pre-gaming adventure went a little differently than normal people – most pre-party routines didn’t involve ABBA and dancing with Annabeth’s giant teddy bears while taking shots, but since when have they ever been normal – but it did its magic.

“Annabeth,” she says, grinning at her reflection, “we look fantastic.”

Annabeth keeps turning around and staring at her ass in the jeans, though she was definitely trying to make it seem like she was checking out the back of her shirt.

“Yes, your ass looks marvelous,” says Piper, almost sick of how many times they’ve had that particular conversation. “Now do I have to force you out this door or will you go on your own? Because, I promise, you will be tapping some high quality ass tonight.”

“I don’t think that phrase has ever been used in the English language,” Annabeth comments as she swipes her wallet, phone, and ID from her desk.

“You’re right. It’s more of a French sentiment,” Piper says with a glare that just screams are-you-serious, and follows Annabeth out the door.

It takes them a while to find a decent party, but Piper’s already feeling good because she’d had a blast with those shots back at their dorm and black cherry fire was flooding through her veins now.

“Are you okay?” Annabeth asks. Piper blinks and realizes she’s been staring at her phone and singing for the past few minutes. “You’ve been singing Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys intermittently for the past few minutes.”

Piper stops walking and takes a moment to collect herself. Yep, she is definitely drunk, but she usually doesn’t get like this. Something’s different.

“I should call Reyna,” she states. “Wait, no, that’s the opposite of what I want.”

“I think that’s exactly what you want,” Annabeth mutters beside her.

“Shut up, you’re drunk!” Piper exclaims.

The look on Annabeth’s face makes Piper consider the fact that, nope, it was Piper who is drunk.

“Did you take extra shots when I wasn’t looking?”

Piper shook her head. “No. I – oh, crap.”

“What?”

“I forgot to eat dinner.”

Annabeth slaps her palm against her forehead. “Again? That’s like the third time this week.” Then, the thing that Piper was hoping Annabeth would not realize hits her. “Oh, my god, you were too busy with Reyna to get dinner, weren’t you?!”

“Shut up! I should call her.” It’s a good idea, Piper considers, because it’s not like Reyna’s going to be doing anything fun anyway. Piper’s the fun thing that Reyna does. And Piper’s still confused as to how she managed to forget dinner again. Dinner’s awesome. Dinner is food.

Annabeth shrugs. “I agree. Dinner is food, and it is awesome.”

“I didn’t realize I said that out loud,” mumbles Piper. “Should I call Reyna?” she asks.

Annabeth smiles. “I think you should. But you probably think it’s a bad idea because you don’t want to admit that you luuuuurve her.”

“Shut up,” says Piper, pulling out her phone and dialing Reyna’s number which, at this point, is far too familiar to her. “Hi, Reyna!”

“Piper?” Reyna asks. “Wow, are you actually calling me?”

“Yeah. You should come out with us.”

“Are you drunk?”

“Only mostly.”

Piper hears Reyna sigh, and can’t keep herself from smiling “Hand the phone to Annabeth,” says Reyna with a laugh.

Piper does as she’s told, only a little confused as to why, exactly, she is doing what she’s told, and then starts humming “Wannabe.”

“Hello? Oh, hi, Reyna. No, she’s fine. Yeah, the dinner thing. No, you don’t have to. Yeah, I guess you’re right. I will.” Annabeth taps Piper on the shoulder again and Piper turns around grinning, taking the phone back.

“Hi, Reyna!” she exclaims.

“Hi, Piper. You and Annabeth are going to meet me at the Student Center and we’re getting a snack.”

“Awesome,” says Piper, “I’m hungry. Let’s get pizza. I love food.”

Piper should feel something like embarrassment, but she doesn’t. “You read my mind, honey. Now let Annabeth bring you to the Student Center.”

“Why are you two talking to me like I’m an infant, by the way?” Piper asks, looking pointedly at Annabeth as she says this. “I’m drunk, not a moron. I’ve talked to the press and to police officers and gotten out of all charges with three times the alcohol in my system. I could do the alphabet backwards.” To prove it, Piper does. Flawlessly. Annabeth’s impressed face breaks into a smile, and she can hear Reyna laughing into her ear.

“I believe you,” says Reyna. “Now meet me there in fifteen minutes. I have to get dressed and ready and I’ll be there quick as a bunny.”

“Are you naked?” Piper asks. “Because the bunny reference makes me think that and you know that thing they say about bunnies –”

“See you soon, Piper.” Reyna hangs up.

ANNABETH

When Reyna gets there, she’s decked out in a green and blue striped tank top with a denim vest over it and a pair of dark grey jeans. “Hey,” she says with a grin, “looks like somebody’s already gotten their snack.”

Piper glares up at her. “Don’t make fun of me,” she says as she goes back to her pizza. Annabeth’s impressed at the way Piper maintains her glare through her snacking.

Reyna raises her hands in front of her as she fights back a grin and sits next to Piper. “Hey, I’m just asking. No fun making here.”

“Good,” says Piper, and she leans over to rest her head on Reyna’s shoulder.

Reyna looks up, startled, and meets Annabeth’s eyes. Annabeth’s fighting to hold back laughter as she looks at the absolutely stupid grin on her roommate’s face.

“Piper, are you tired?” she asks. “Maybe you need to go to –”

“No!” exclaims Piper, standing up. It’s loud enough that the twenty or so other people in the student center look over to them. “No way! I am getting you laid tonight, young lady!”

“Can you shut her up?” Annabeth asks, mortified. “Because, just, please?”

Reyna nods and takes Piper’s hand, who reacts as if Reyna just burned her hand with hydrochloric acid.

“Oh, don’t be such a baby,” says Reyna. “Let’s get to a party.”

“Only if there’s dancing,” says Piper, very seriously. “Annabeth needs to get her hips to not lie or something.”

“What is wrong with you?” Reyna asks. “You’re weirder than usual.”

“Black cherry vodka is explanation number one,” Annabeth explains, “and ‘she’s just Piper’ is the second.”

“And why aren’t you as drunk as she is?” Reyna asks.

Annabeth giggles, and she feels a heated blush across her cheeks. Her own telltale sign. “I’m actually feeling it, don’t you worry. I just don’t get loopy unless Piper gets nailed in the head with a water bottle or Piper makes me a screwdriver that’s 90% screw and 10% orange juice.”

Reyna looks between the two of them, and Annabeth shrugs, not sure what to say in response. Finally, Reyna taps Piper on the shoulder. “Finish up that pizza, Princess,” she says. “Let’s go find a party.”

Piper takes Annabeth’s hand and grins. “See, Reyna?” she says, “I can hold hands with anyone I want and it doesn’t mean anything.”

“I’m so hurt,” says Annabeth deadpan, “and so convinced.”

They exit the Student Center and, after a few more minutes of walking, they make it off campus to what looks like a Frat house.

“Do we risk it?” asks Piper. “I do hear music.”

“Why not?” says Reyna. “This is one of the less-shitty frats at this school, why not?”

“And we all definitely look hot enough to get in,” says Piper, “I mean, even Reyna turned it up tonight. Did you put on makeup?”

“Only eye liner and mascara.”

“Oh,” says Piper, and suddenly she’s staring into Reyna’s eyes in a way that’s a little too intimate for public. Annabeth looks between the two of them, but neither Reyna nor Piper is paying any attention. Piper continues. “Well they look really nice. Your eyes, I mean. Though your boobs –”

Annabeth clears her throat and the two of them break eye contact, and Piper grips Reyna’s hand. “Let’s go dance,” says Annabeth, and in the back of her mind, the only thing she’s thinking is that she needs to get some guy tonight, if only to get some of her frustration with Tweedles Not-In-Love out.

The door swings open easily for them, and it’s a guy with dark hair and a broody attitude who ushers them into the building with a grin and a, “Welcome, ladies.”

Annabeth smiles at him, but it doesn’t feel like he’s looking to go home with any girls tonight. She walks into the room and is immediately hit with thumping bass and something shrieky and loud.

“Are they playing Miley Cyrus?” asks Reyna incredulously. “Oh, god, they CAN stop anytime now.”

“Dance floor!” exclaims Annabeth, not sure she wants to be on the end of that tirade. “Let’s go!” she grabs Piper’s other hand and the three of them make it into the dance floor. In seconds Reyna’s standing there with a sullen frown on her face, complaining about the music, but soon it changes to something poppy and bright and Reyna’s took concentrated on Piper to focus on anything else.

“Note to self,” says Annabeth as she starts dancing alone, “never come to a party with a couple.”

“We are not a couple!” exclaim Reyna and Piper at the same time.

Annabeth starts looking around at the other people on the dance floor, searching for familiar faces from classes or debate team meetings, when the last thing she expects pops up in a corner by the refrigerator.

“Oh, my god,” she mutters, “guys, I’ll be right back.”

“Did you see a dude you like?!” Piper exclaims.

Annabeth chuckles. “Not quite.”

Annabeth pushes through the crowd until she runs into an old friend: Grover Underwood, a boy who graduated with her in high school and one of her good friends since the year she transferred to Vanden Academy. “Grover!” she yells, waving her hands. “Grover, over here!”

He looks up from the cup he’s holding and his eyes light up in recognition. “Annabeth Chase!” he exclaims. “Hey, I knew you went here but I never thought I’d see you at a frat party! What’s up?” He starts to make his way over, balancing the cup and his crutches simultaneously, but Annabeth’s next to him before he can move. “It’s great to see you!”

“It’s great to see you too,” Annabeth replies. “What are you doing here?”

He shrugs. “One of my buddies from elementary school goes here. I’m at school over at RIT, so I figured I could come by and hang out some weekends.”

“And he left you on your own?” Annabeth asks. “Wow, that’s a bad friend.”

Grover snorts. “No, he didn’t. He got pulled away – he’s a reluctant initiate into the frat, so every once in a while they yank him off to do god knows what.”

Annabeth raises her eyebrows. “A college boy who doesn’t want to be part of a frat?”

Grover shrugs his shoulders.. “He’s a legacy or something – his dad went here when he was in college, was one of the guys who made the frat big. So he feels like he’s obligated to go here or something.”

Annabeth nods like she gets it, not particularly good with understanding familial politics. “Of course.”

There’s a brief lull where Grover takes a sip of his drink, then looks down. “Do you want a sip?” he asks with an apologetic grin.

Annabeth laughs. “Sorry, it’s been hammered into my head way too much to –’

“Oh, come on, I’ve been drinking from it!”

“-  drink cheap, crappy beer at a party,” Annabeth finishes. “What, did you think I expected you to drug yourself to drug me?”

Grover shrugs. “You can never be too careful, I guess. Especially when you’re, you know,” he looks at Annabeth and coughs.

“When you’re what?” she asks. She’s got no clue where he’s going with this.

“You got hot,” he says, shrugging. “I don’t know, I feel like hot girls like you always get hit on by douche bags with bad intentions in places like this.”

Annabeth shrugs. “Hasn’t happened to me yet. And if it does, they’re not going to like what they get.”

“And the Annabeth I know comes back into the forefront.” Grover goes to say something else, but his eyes light up as he sees someone behind them. “Hey, man, you survive whatever they made you do?”

Annabeth turns around to see a tall guy with dark hair and the brightest, most sea-green eyes she’s seen in her life walk up to them. He’s wiping his mouth, but he’s drooling a little bit.

“They made us do shots of 99 Apples without a chaser,” says the boy, looking half horrified and half heartbroken.

“I think your mouth is leaking,” Annabeth says, fighting back a laugh, because it’s not cool to laugh at a guy whose face looks like it’s made to be a smile.

He wipes at his mouth again. “Sorry!” he exclaims. “Oh, god, this is the worst. Grover, next time you’re talking to a girl, let me know so I can, you know, not drool on them.”

Annabeth’s eyes widen at the same time Grover’s do. “Oh, hell no, man, this is Annabeth. I’ve known her since high school. She’s a friend. Do you remember her? The one I talked about?”

The guy stares at Annabeth for a few seconds. “You’re the one who kicked ass on the debate team?” he asks, looking impressed.

Annabeth shrugs. “I was pretty decent, I’d say. I’ve got a talent for argument.” She grins easily, and suddenly feels much more comfortable in this crowded room with a bunch of strangers. She sticks out her hand. “Again, I’m Annabeth.”

Percy, generously, holds out the hand he hasn’t been wiping his mouth with. “Percy Jackson,” he says with a smile, “and I usually don’t drool like a dog.”

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

Annabeth laughs again, and she looks over at Grover, who’s nodding and looking over at Percy in a way that’s almost too obvious. “I’ve got to go,” Grover says, “um, talk to that girl over there.” He heads in some inexplicable direction, and Percy and Annabeth hardly have the time to figure out which girl he was even talking about.

“Do you want to go somewhere to talk?” Percy asks. “I mean, Grover’s told me a bunch of stories from your high school about him and about a bunch of girls – I need to know if they’re true or if he’s just messing with me.” He grins at her, and it’s so easy and innocent it almost makes Annabeth’s heart burst. For a night of trying to just find a guy to bang and then leave, he might be the wrong decision, but there’s no telling what could happen.

Annabeth nods, but first says, “Let me just go let my friends know where I’m going.”

“I’ll wait right here. Hopefully you don’t get eaten by all the dancing.”

Annabeth, for a brief second, gets startled by whatever the hell Percy just said, but shakes it off and makes her way into the throng of people to find Piper and Reyna. To her absolute horror, it looks like Reyna’s trying to keep Piper from going out into the center of the dance floor, and Piper’s response is to bury her head in Reyna’s chest. She catches Reyna’s eye and tries to wink to signal what’s going on, but when Reyna just stares at her like she kicked a puppy, she points to the ceiling and realization dawns. Reyna grins at her and tries to keep Piper from getting down with her bad self, and Annabeth walks back to where Percy was.

Sure enough, he’s standing right where he said he would be, and waves at her, like she can’t see him. As she pushes past people, she realizes how little he seems to care about what other people see about him. He really shouldn’t be in a frat, when Annabeth thinks about it.

There’s a bit of the liquid courage still flooding through her veins, but it’s wearing off enough for her to be sure she’s not comfortable on the dance floor but she’s comfortable with this half stranger she just met. He looks at her before he starts walking and then, as if an afterthought, takes her hand as he begins to walk. She tries to fight back the overwhelming smile as she follows him, and takes note of the hallways in this house, just in case she feels like leaving.

“I think this is a porch,” Percy says, his eyebrows furrowing. “It’ll be cold, though.”

Annabeth shrugs. “I should be fine. I don’t freeze easily.”

He smiles back at her. “Porch it is. And I’m always warm, though, so if you get cold you can borrow my sweatshirt.”

Annabeth’s almost stunned by his easy offer, and when she turns to him, he smiles. “I mean, you are only wearing half a shirt.”

Annabeth looks down. Her shirt’s covering her entire front, and looks back up.

“I mean, like, the back’s open and lacy and stuff,” he says, wincing. “I sound like a complete idiot, don’t I? God, it’s a good thing I didn’t have anything before that disgusting shot…” He drops his face into a hand and grins sheepishly up at her through his fingers where he’s leaning on the porch railing.

“Not an idiot,” says Annabeth, leaning over the railing in the same way he is so she can get a good look at his face, “you just strike me as kind of an oddball.”

“That’s a new one,” says Percy. “But I can go with oddball. I’d rather that than you thinking I’m a complete ass.”

“Well,” says Annabeth, feeling more and more comfortable with the situation as the time passes, “not a complete ass.” She bumps his hip with hers and he takes her hand again. Their eyes lock, and for a brief second, Annabeth thinks he’s going to kiss her, and she feels a kind of excitement that hasn’t been in her heart since she was nearly fifteen.

That’s when three drunken idiots barrel out of the door and aim themselves toward the balcony. Percy pulls Annabeth out of the way and she narrowly avoids being hurled all over by the biggest and, clearly, drunkest of the three.

“Well that’s a 21st century take on knight in shining armor,” Annabeth says, raising a single eyebrow. “Do I now give you a condom as a token of my gratitude or something?”

To her surprise, Percy blushes bright red and laughs. “Let’s just get away from Tweedle Drunk and Tweedle Vomit.”

The two guys who are with the guy turn to Percy and the glare is startling.

“You wanna fuck with us?” one of them with a baseball cap says.

“Yeah, you wanna fuck with us?” says the one with nothing particularly attractive about his half-mullet hair.

“Are you guys stuck in the eighties?” Annabeth asks as she pokes at Percy to make him walk into the sliding door to get out of the situation. He saved her from hurl – she could save him from getting the shit kicked out of him. “Because damn, boys, commit to a party or to business.”

“You telling us we’re partying too hard?” asks the one with the mullet.

“I’m saying you’re hair’s an embarrassment,” Annabeth replies with a smirk, and when one of the guys goes to make another comment, she sidesteps into the house again and, spinning a little, closes the door and locks it. She waves at them, pleased at her ability to outmaneuver drunken morons despite how easy it is, and turns to see Percy with his hand raised.

“Thank god you called Carl out on that stupid as hell hair cut,” he says, and Annabeth raises her hand to high five him. “He’s apparently going to be one of my brothers,” and Percy says the word like he’s about to vomit himself.

“Well, I am glad to see that there is absolutely no familial resemblance.” Annabeth holds back a smile as she sees Percy look shocked.

“That’s good to hear,” he says, and maybe it’s the fact that she’s finally getting back out there after so many years of running from guys, but Annabeth takes a crazy chance and steps toward him. He’s taller than she is, but not too much taller, so when she stands on her tiptoes and puts a hand on the back of Percy’s neck to drag his lips down to hers, he doesn’t have to bend too much.

She feels one hand gently rest on her hips and another thread itself through the half braided ponytail that Piper had orchestrated. She feels like there’s sparks behind her eyes as they kiss. She’s surprised – his lips are gentle on hers, and he’s not moving them. So she slowly opens her mouth and gently lets her tongue press against his lips, not wanting to make him feel rushed or uncomfortable. But his hand grips her tighter and they simultaneously step together more closely as their tongues meet and the sparks are back behind Annabeth’s eyelids. It feels stupid, like she’s done this before with him, like it’s happened before. But she knows it’s just going to be a one night thing – the chemistry’s there, and she doesn’t want to go into this making something more out of it than it is. She’s not going to force it.

Someone shouts “get a room” at them, so the two of them break apart, and the little blush on Percy’s cheeks makes Annabeth smile.

“Oops,” Percy says, but it’s kind of hard to hear him. Someone’s put on a loud, blasting song that’s throwing off Annabeth’s ability to focus.

“We should get out of here,” Annabeth says, risking the comment. But at the look on Percy’s face, she has a feeling that it was a little too quiet for him to hear.

“What?” he asks, and it’s almost a shout. “It’s too loud here,” says Percy, looking around the room. “I – I want to be able to hear you when you talk.”

Annabeth chuckles. “Great minds think alike,” she says. “But don’t you live here? I mean, you’re a part of the frat, right?”

Percy laughs lightly, and runs the pad of his thumb across the back of Annabeth’s hand, sending something like lightning running up Annabeth’s spine at his touch. “Not right now,” he says, almost yells, “I mean, hopefully never, but not yet if I am going to be in it in the future.”

“So you don’t live in this disaster?” Annabeth asks, and she’d feel bad for feeling so excited about it, but she really doesn’t.

“Nope,” he says, “not even close. I’m in the freshmen dorms.”

“Which one?” she asks.

“Carver Hall,” he replies nonchalantly. “And you?”

“I’m at Carver too,” she says, trying to hold back a grin.

“Does this mean I can walk you home?” he asks, and it’s hesitant, like he’s taking a big risk by asking her this and doesn’t want to mess it up. The uncertainty and the nerves around his voice make Annabeth feel special or actually wanted, and it’s a new, really great feeling. Briefly a vision flashes before her eye, the moment when Luke decided – he decided, not her – that the two of them would be a thing. She can’t find a single similarity.

Annabeth nods, and then she goes for it. “As long as you stay a while.”

Now there’s something else in Percy’s eyes. Something lights up, something dark and exciting and just what Annabeth had been hoping for.

“Whatever you want,” he says, and it’s a low, deeper tone of voice than she’d heard before.

“Well then,” she says, keeping her hand in his. “What are we waiting for?”

Percy grins and kisses her again, and Annabeth feels something deep and delicious flood into her heart. It’s a great kiss, he’s good at it, and he’s probably the best kisser she’s ever encountered. That isn’t saying much, since the only thing she can compare it to is Luke, but even so. Annabeth’s so glad the alcohol’s worn off by now so that she can feel this all the way.

Percy breaks from her lips and rests his forehead against hers. Somehow Annabeth has a feeling that random party hookups aren’t usually like this, but her frame of reference is movies, books, and whatever in hell’s name Reyna and Piper are dong. She’s fully prepared to consider the fact that she’s ignorant of the general proceedings of relationships.

Percy takes her by the hand and helps her out of that labyrinth of a house and they make it to the kitchen finally, where Annabeth sees –

“Whoa, who’s the chick doing the – is she trying to breakdance?” asks the same guy who let Annabeth and her friends into the house.

“Those are my friends,” says Annabeth, her face dropping into her free hand. “I mean I wish they weren’t, but they are.” For a few more seconds, like a car crash, she can’t look away. “Oh, my god, this is – oh my god.”

“The one with the leather pants is hot,” comments Grover, who randomly appears next to them. “She single?”

“If you ask her, yes. If you ask literally anyone else, she’s basically married to the girl in the denim vest.”

Everyone’s eyes turn to Reyna, who’s staring at Piper like somebody just hung the moon.

“I see that,” says Grover. “Good for them. Takes a lot of people a lot longer to find somebody they match with.”

It’s got to be in her head, like the music and the darkness is muddling her mind and perception, but she could swear to anyone that Percy gives her hand a little squeeze the second after Grover makes that comment.

“Let’s get out of here,” Annabeth mutters into Percy’s ear, and those green eyes of his darken again as he nods and calls a quiet, “see you later, boys,” to his friends as they leave.

She taps Reyna on the shoulder and grins to her. Reyna nods and sends her a thumbs up, and Annabeth heads out, sure that Piper will text her in the morning or when she realizes how much she totally can’t dance and needs Annabeth to tell her never do it again.

“I’m so glad it’s not a really long walk,” says Percy, and that’s when he starts talking like he literally can’t stop. “I mean, it’s long, don’t get me wrong, but we can get back to my – your Carver – sooner. And I don’t mind Carver. It’s not bad. It’s just full of freshmen.” He stares at her and then looks away. “I mean, not that freshmen are bad…”

Annabeth stops dead in her tracks and Percy sort of stumbles as he stops alongside her.

“Oh, god, I can’t stop rambling. You’re totally going to hate me now, aren’t you?” he asks. He looks embarrassed, and Annabeth finds herself smiling. “I always ramble – I’m not good with talking at all.”

Annabeth stops him by kissing him lightly. “I’m kind of bad with words too,” says Annabeth, “it’s the ADHD in me, though. Can’t shut up.”

Annabeth is nearly knocked over by his next comment. “You too?” Percy asks.

This is going to be a much different night than she expected.

Annabeth grins. “Power to the special ed kids, right?”

That’s when Percy laughs, a fantastic, ringing, tone that fills Annabeth with a smile and they start walking back toward their dorm rapidly, and when they run into the desk attendant, she gives them a weird little smile as they bolt up the stairs.

They’re not even out of the stairway before Percy’s arms wrap around Annabeth’s waist and she throws her arms around his shoulders, pulling him flush against her. He kisses her, short and sweet. “We might want to wait until we get to your room,” he says, “you know, not very comfortable on the stairs. I’m assuming.”

Annabeth says nothing and walks over to room 308, punching in the code quickly and shoving the door open, thankful that the room is empty and that she’s got the whole place to herself. “So this is my – ”

Percy pulls her back into his arms and his lips seal against hers. He grips around her thighs and she jumps up, locking her legs around his waist. She kicks the door shut as they make it into the room, and she fights back a moan as he presses her up against the door. She loses the fight quickly, and moans softly as she feels him, hard against her. Words failing her, she threads her fingers through his soft, wavy hair in encouragement, fingers brushing against his scalp.

This time it’s his turn to moan, open and wanton and it turns Annabeth on even more.

“Let’s take this to the bed,” she says, and he walks them over to the mattress. She falls against her pillows, bouncing a little bit on the shoddily made college dorm room mattress, and giggles as he lands on her and immediately goes for the hemline of her shirt. “Wait a second,” says Annabeth. Percy stares at her like something’s wrong. “No, calm down, you goon, I was just going to ask who decided you got to be on top.”

Percy swallows visibly and then rolls Annabeth over on top of him, and Annabeth grins. “Good choice,” she says, and he sits up so she’s straddling his lap. “Now. Get naked.”

His shirt’s gone in seconds and they get tangled in Annabeth’s for way longer than she’d ever admit (the shirt was confusing, stupid lace) but the second she unhooks her bra, Percy just stares at her.

“Never seen boobs before?” she laughs, but immediately feels bad when she realizes, nope, maybe he hasn’t and she’s officially the biggest dick to walk the sidewalks of this college.

He tears his eyes away to meet hers, and is about to speak. However, to avoid further awkward conversation made awful by her, Annabeth kisses him and presses him against the mattress, and they, at the same time, go for the buttons on each other jeans, fingers tangling. Annabeth relents and runs her hands across impressively washboard abs. Slowly, she kisses down his chest and brushes her fingertips across his waist, then kisses against his neck as he pushes her jeans down and cups her ass, squeezing lightly.

“Oh, come on, is that all you’ve got?” she laughs against his skin, and he grips her harder. Her eyes flutter closed, and she sighs as he runs his fingertips up her back until reaching the back of her neck.

She moves back up to kiss him firmly on the lips, her hands on either side of his head, and he pulls her flush against him. The heat as their skin meets is almost intolerable, and she knows that, right then, she needs to get those last layers of clothing off, needs to feel him, all of him. It’s in that moment that she realizes how long she’s waited for this.

He threads his finger through her hair slowly, and the feel of his fingertips against her neck, against her scalp, is blinding. It only gets more intense as he sits up to kiss down her neck, working and sucking hard at a spot near her pulse point, some spot that has her gasping in seconds. She tilts her head away to give him better access, and the feeling of her hair brushing against her back just adds to the sensations. She doesn’t remember him pulling out her braid – she doesn’t care when it happened. She’s just glad it did.

“That’s gonna leave a mark,” she sighs as Percy pulls away briefly to lick across the spot. Her eyes flutter shut as Percy’s other hand reaches between them to brush his fingertips over her breasts gently.

“That’s the point,” Percy mutters against her skin.

He works at her a little longer, earning a low, long moan from Annabeth, and then moves back up to her mouth. Annabeth’s done with waiting though, and she lowers them both down so they’re level with the mattress.

“Are we going to finish getting naked now or what?” she asks. Annabeth Chase is nothing if not blunt and to the point.

Percy laughs. “Sounds good to me.”

Annabeth pushes her jeans and underwear (they’re glowing, oh fucking great) down her legs, and she sees Percy open his eyes.

“Excuse me?” he says, sounding confused. “Um, Annabeth, are your underpants supposed to be glowing like that?”

She sighs. “Yes, they are. Are you really going to focus on my glow-in-the-dark panties while I’m naked and on top of you?”

He thinks about it, it seems, for a second – he fucking thinks about it, is this kid serious? – and then clearly chooses the right answer as he lifts his hips and shoves his jeans and blue boxers down. Annabeth moves so he can chuck them away from the two of them, and then they’re both naked and Annabeth can hardly breathe for excitement and Percy looks a little bit like his entire world is spinning around him.

“Do you have a condom?” Annabeth asks.

“Huh?” Percy asks, still looking rather brain dead.

“A condom,” she asks. “Do you have one or should I grab one?”

“Y-you should grab one,” he says, and his voice sounds shaky, uncertain.

As Annabeth reaches under her bed for her container of rainbow unicorn bandaids that actually holds a myriad of style condoms – today’s choice is “ribbed, for her pleasure!” – she asks him, “Are you okay right now?”

“What?”

She gives him a look, trying to keep herself from being completely on top of him. She doesn’t want to freak him out. “You seem stressed out. I just want to make sure you’re okay.

“I’m so okay,” he says, “I’m really, really okay. I can’t breathe, because you’re still naked and you’re up there and not really as much on top of me now. But I’m okay. I’m better than okay.”

Annabeth laughs a little bit and then gives him the condom. He rolls it on, only fumbling with his shaky hands once or twice, and then they’re kissing again. A thrill rushes through Annabeth’s entire body, top of the head to the toes, as she feels him against her. She can’t wait any longer. “You ready?” she asks, trailing her fingertips down his abs and resting just before the base of his dick, not wanting to make a move he’s not okay with.

He nods frantically, swallows, and then say, “yes, god, yes. Just – let’s…Now?”

Annabeth laughs and guides him inside of her with her hand, and his eyes flutter shut. He moans in a way Annabeth’s never heard from anyone before and she can’t help but giggle. She’s been waiting since she was fifteen to do this again – it’s nice to get that kind of reaction out of someone for once.

“Holy shit,” Percy moans. If Annabeth were being fair, she’d call it more of a whine, but this is his first time with her and she doesn’t want to fault him for being this distracted. Annabeth starts moving along him, her eyes fluttering shut a few times as she makes sure that he hits a spot inside her that makes her see stars.

“Is this – are you – I …” Percy can’t get out a full sentence, and Annabeth leans down to kiss him gently, letting him know it’s okay for him not to talk, letting him know he doesn’t have to make sense right now.

For a little longer they move together, Percy starting to make a rhythm and then, before Annabeth notices it, Percy’s saying, “I’m, oh, fuck, I’m –” He exhales roughly, and grips her hips even more tightly and mutters something entirely incoherent.

And then it’s over.

She’s not disappointed – it was a good experience, especially for what she’s heard about first times with people (her first time all around is something she doesn’t want to think about) – but it’s not entirely satisfying for her. If she’d known it would be this short, she probably would have considered getting herself there too…

“Fuck,” says Percy as she lets him slip out. “Fuck, wait, don’t go anywhere.”

“What?” Annabeth asks. “Pretty sure this is my room.”

His eyes drift closed as his breathing’s still unsteady. “Not what I meant,” he says. “I mean don’t get out of bed. I’m not done with you yet.”

From what she’s seen of Percy, he probably didn’t mean to make it sound like it did, but, hell, it sounds good and she stays where she is, sitting to his side as he looks half dead. He takes a few more deep breathes and sits up.

“Sit at the side of your bed,” he says.

“What?”

“I said, sit at the side of your bed.”

“My legs’ll hang off.”

He laughs. “That’s kind of the point.”

Ah. That’s what he’s planning.

She does ask he asks and then he hooks her legs over his shoulders. She feels weirdly out of control, but he lightly brushes his fingertips against her inner thighs, and just that takes away any nervousness she had been feeling. Without any hesitation, he licks against her, and in a second her head falls against the mattress and she whimpers unexpectedly.

Annabeth’s not particularly loud in sex – mostly soft sighs and a few giggles when something tickles or somebody makes a weird sound – but this guy’s first move has her gasping out of nowhere. She wasn’t expecting much from his oral game, maybe a five out of ten, from what she felt from before, but this? This was totally out of left field.

Something tells her he’s done this before, and that whatever practice he’s had has been damned useful.

He trails his fingertips up and down her thighs, making sure he draws out every single possible sound from Annabeth as his tongue and lips work their magic on her, and suddenly but not suddenly, waves of pleasure, causing her to scream his name into a pillow, crash over her and she’s staunchly aware of how this is the best orgasm she’s ever had in her life. Nothing she’d gotten before, from someone else (she doesn’t think his name) or from herself, has ever come anywhere near what just hit her, and she feels her legs shaking as she comes down from it. Percy gently moves his lips against her until she can tap at his shoulder with her foot.

“I’m – you can – I’m good,” she gasps, voice frailer and more delicate than usual. She can feel that her entire body is reeling from what just happened. Her brain is fuzzier than she’s expecting, so it’s no surprise when the sigh she’s about to let out is instead something that sounds a little more like an exhaled moan. “How the fuck are you so good at that?” she asks. It’s probably a rude question, she knows it is, but she can’t help but ask. That’s the kind of thing you can’t keep from asking.

He shrugs. “A combination of natural talent and an ex girlfriend who was only cool with third base but not running all the way home, if you know what I mean.”

Okay, so maybe Annabeth was wrong about her boobs being the first he’d ever seen. There has to be a first time for everything.

“Good to know,” says Annabeth.

He climbs back into her bed and sits next to her.

“You okay?” he asks, grinning a little bit.

“I’m fine, thanks,” she laughs. “Better than fine.”

He’s leaning down like he’s about to kiss her.

That’s when Fall Out Boy’s “Sending Postcards from a Plane Crash” starts blaring through Annabeth’s dorm room.

“Oh, fuck,” says Percy as he rolls out of bed and basically knocks into everything he possibly could have as he tries to find his jeans. “Shit, fuck, shit!” he exclaims.

Annabeth turns on her computer and directs the light toward Percy to help him find his pants without a word, and finally he gets to his phone.

“Hello?” he says, breathlessly. “Yeah. Oh, fuck not AGAIN?! With somebody else or the same guy? Of course he did. Okay, I’ll be over in a second. Of course you are but that doesn’t mean – no, I’m not mad. Yes, shut up. Okay, if you keep talking I’ll come over there just to kick your skinny ass. Yeah. See you soon.” The look on Percy’s face isn’t great as he hangs up the phone and looks over at Annabeth.

“One of my brothers, a kid I’ve known since we were, like, eight, did something stupid. I probably shouldn’t explain further for legal reasons –” Annabeth’s glad it’s dark so Percy can’t see the horrified and stunned expression she knows is on her face “ – but I promise I wouldn’t be leaving right now if it wasn’t totally urgent.”

“Okay,” Annabeth says with a shrug.

“Put your number in my phone,” he says, and the eager hope he has on his face is intoxicating. “Okay? Just really quick, while I get dressed. I swear I’ll text you. Or call you. Whatever seems right at the time.”

There’s something weird about a guy who determines whether or not to call or text depending on what seems right, but Annabeth programs the number into his phone and hands it to him as he bolts out the door. “See you later, Annabeth!” he exclaims as he bolts out the door, running a hand through his sex-mussed hair.

She laughs a little as she watches the door close and drops back onto her bed, letting her mind replay and replay the events and, oh god, the orgasm over and over again. She’s half asleep before she realizes she might want to be clothed before Piper comes in again, and throws on whatever shirt and pair of underpants are on the top of her drawers before she falls into bed again. Her comforter got pushed off of the bed sometime during the night and her sheets definitely aren’t the cleanest they’ve ever been, but she decides she’ll take care them in the morning. Right now, all she wants to do is sleep, dream to remember. Her eyes drift shut and she’s taken back to Percy, and how, even though it shouldn’t have been, tonight has been one of the greatest she can remember.

 

Chapter Text

PIPER

Something’s happening to her as she gets down on that dance floor, and it only gets better when Reyna joins her and they’re dancing and it’s like a freaking movie.

And then she feels someone gently tap her on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I don’t know you, but perhaps you should reconsider what you’re doing right now.”

That’s when the whole dancing thing stops being a good idea. Piper stands up, waves to the people who had, apparently, been watching, and makes her way over to where Reyna’s dragging her, an empty space up against the wall.

“Have fun?” Reyna asks. “You danced through three whole songs.”

Piper tosses her ponytail over her shoulder. “That’s because I’m good at it,” she says simply. “Dancing’s my thing.”

“I’m not sure it should be your thing,” Reyna laughs. “Maybe next time you should try painting or talking to people or, like, anything but dancing.”

“Oh, come on, I wasn’t that bad.”

Reyna raises a single eyebrow and, suddenly, the whole thing hits Piper like a brick. Dancing is not her forte.

“Yeah, once I jumped in and started dancing with you it only got worse. We went from break dancing to slow dancing that wasn’t exactly dancing in front of everyone.”

“Who stopped us?”

Reyna shrugs. “I actually have no idea. I think it was the same guy who let us into the party. I got a drink from one of the guys who ran the party – don’t worry, I watched him open it and pour it and everything – and then everything got a little bit fuzzy in a good drunk way and that’s when I started dancing with you. I’d probably still be out there if someone hadn’t called us out.”

“We were called out?!” Piper asks. “Oh, ew, that’s not cool.”

Reyna shrugs. “We were kind of all over each other out there.”

Piper takes the opportunity to look at Reyna a slow smile spreading across her face, reaching up to her eyes. “We’re always all over each other, aren’t we?”

Reyna shrugs. “Probably.”

“Can we go back to your dorm and have sex now? Because I’m really kind of sick of waiting and it’s getting dangerously close to sober time and I don’t want to be in this hell hole when that hits.”

Reyna nods and takes Piper’s hand as she offers it. “Definitely,” she says, “let’s get out of here.”

REYNA

It’s different when Piper seems to actually want to be with her. Half the time Reyna isn’t sure if Piper merely tolerates her for the sex or if Piper really wants her around. The fact that Piper is actually holding Reyna’s hand is blowing her mind a little bit, and she’s finding herself a little worried for the disappointment she would feel when the reality of the situation hit Piper and she pulls her hand away.

“So,” says Reyna, “your place or mine?”

“Pretty sure we already agreed on mine, Reyna,” laughs Piper, and, oh my god, is she SKIPPING?! Reyna’s pretty sure that that’s the moment she realizes she will never understand fully the elusive Piper McLean.

“Slow down!” exclaims Reyna, laughing. “I don’t think I can keep up!” She’s a little tipsy and a little giggly and she forgot about how nice it felt to just let it all go. For once in her life she doesn’t have a practice on a Saturday morning (the coach has a meeting to go to and decided that they weren’t going to have one of their weekend conditioning sessions, hallelujah) and she gets to take a beautiful girl home and maybe that beautiful girl will stay the night for once. That’s what’s been getting to her about Piper. She never stays.

“Reyna,” whines Piper, “you need to open the door. My ID won’t unlock it.”

Reyna’s been lost in thought for so long that she didn’t even realize they made it all the way to her hall. She swipes her card and walks in, showing her card to the desk attendant as she walks in and, hand in hand, walks with Piper up the stairs.

The second she unlocks her room, Piper attacks her lips, and it’s so startling that Reyna falls against the door.

“What in the –”

“Not right now?” Piper asks. “Oops. Sorry.”

Reyna blinks through the confusion briefly. “No, I mean. Not bad. Yes now.” She blinks. “Sorry, I –”

“I think you’re drunker than either of us realized,” Piper says, grinning. “Do you want to lie down for a few minutes?”

“No,” says Reyna, “I think I just need a little water. There’s a case under my bed. Could you get it?”

Piper drops to her knees and looks under the bed, rolling unnecessarily to get the water and hands it dramatically to Reyna. “For you, dehydrated boogie fever dancing lady.”

“Me?” asks Reyna. “I wasn’t the one tearing up the dance floor like you were. You should take a water, too.”

“I don’t want to steal your water.”

“Take a water, Piper.”

Looking a little cowed, Piper gets another bottle of water from underneath Reyna’s bed and opens it, sipping it lightly until Reyna says, “If you don’t finish that bottle I’m going to kick you in the teeth.”

Piper tilts her head back and starts chugging the water like she’s in a competition, and for a brief second Reyna gets nervous that she’s going to choke. Then she realizes that Piper’s an adult and doesn’t need to be monitored while she drinks freaking water.

Reyna got weirdly maternal when drunk.

After both of them finish up their waters and they play a game of “whose high school had stupider teachers,” Reyna’s mind clears fully and she reaches under the bed for a second bottle of water.

Piper, on the other hand, curls up on Reyna’s bed.

“What are you doing?” Reyna asks, holding back a laugh.

“Lying on your bed,” Piper replies, “what, is this not enough of a hint?”

Reyna sighs dramatically, leaning back in her chair. “Well, I was seriously considering working on some homework –”

The horrified look on Piper’s face was good enough to be worth the stupid joke. “I’m kidding!” Reyna laughs. “Holy crap, did you think I was serious? Of course I’m, not going to be doing homework! It’s the middle of the night!”

“Oh, and the fact that a beautiful, half naked woman is stretched out on your bed isn’t reason enough to forsake the homework?”

Reyna, pretty sure she must be missing something, looks back at Piper and, yep, she’s still fully clothed.

“Piper, you’re still wearing everything you had on when we got here.”

“Not for long!” In a strangely graceful motion, Piper rips off her coat, leather pants and tee shirt in a few practiced moves. “Alright. Now I’m mostly naked and lying on your bed. What are you going to do about it now?”

There’s not much Reyna can say in response. She makes her way over to the bed and, fully clothed, leans over Piper. “What do you think I’m going to do?” she asks quietly, and she sees Piper’s eyes go dark with lust. She likes that look. It makes Piper look even better than usual.

“Whatever you want to do,” Piper says quietly, and Reyna realizes that Piper’s letting her take the lead for once. And Reyna loves it.

She slowly kisses Piper, a soft, shallow, almost chaste kiss, and she pulls away when Piper starts to deepen it. “Uh-uh,” Reyna admonishes, “did I say you could take control? Because you asked me what I was going to do, and now I’m going to do it.” Reyna’s not exactly sure where this all is coming from, but it felt kind of right and kind of fun, and she liked how Piper looked beneath her.

“Okay,” says Piper, eyes locked on Reyna’s

Reyna smiles and kisses her again, drawing a stripe across the seam of Piper’s lips, prompting her to open them and Reyna slides her tongue into Piper’s mouth, feeling instead of hearing Piper’s moan. Reyna lets her hands drift down to Piper’s chest. She takes Piper’s breasts in her hands and massages them lightly enough that Piper’s pushing her chest into her hands, wordlessly begging for more. Reyna doesn’t give it to her.

“Oh, come on,” says Reyna, “you’re not allowed to try and make me do stuff when I’m supposed to be in control. Aren’t there rules about this kind of stuff?”

Piper makes some sort of muffled, silly noise that otherwise Reyna would ignore, but she breaks away from Piper’s lips and stares at her. “What is up with you?”

“Why aren’t we fucking yet?” whines Piper. “Are you trying to kill me? Come on, let’s get it going, you jerk.”

“You are ridiculously impatient, babe,” says Reyna with an eye roll, and she realizes this is the first time either of them has ever used a nickname. With a single glance from Piper she realizes it’s something that can be completely overlooked as long as both of them continue what they are doing without a missed beat.

Reyna lowers her lips back onto Piper’s and kisses her slowly, even though she knows that Piper would probably be more interested in having this over and done with quickly. Reyna wants to make Piper yell and moan and thrash again, and the only way she can make her do that the right way is by making her want it.

And making Piper beg is something that she’d like to do.

Reyna breaks her lips from Piper’s and moves down Piper’s neck, kissing gently and lightly until she grazes her teeth down to the spot where her shoulder meets her neck. Reyna feels Piper shiver against her.

“See?” says Reyna. “You’ve taught me well. I can figure this out all on my own, just you wait and see.”

Piper’s only response is a long, drawn out moan without words.

Reyna will never get enough of drawing that moan out of Piper, but there’s no way in hell she’s settling for just that tonight. Tonight, she wants begging, pleading.

She slides her hands down to Piper’s thighs and brushes her fingers against them.

“Stop teasing me,” murmurs Piper, and her eyes are shut firmly, like she’s trying to focus on nothing but what’s happening.

“Or what?” Reyna asks quietly, trailing her fingers closer and closer to Piper’s center, but never coming anywhere near where Piper wants it. Piper’s hips keep shifting and moving, trying to force Reyna’s hands to get where she wants them, but Reyna’s not having any of it. “Come on, Piper,” she encourages, hands sliding back up to brush at Piper’s nipples. Piper whines lightly, “tell me what you want.”

“I want – want you t-to stop…” Her sentence trails off.

“Okay,” says Reyna, moving her hands. “If that’s what you want.”

“You suck,” moans Piper, “that’s not what I meant.”

“Then tell me.”

“Stop making me talk.”

“Well you’re not explaining anything to me. How am I supposed to know what you want if you don’t tell me?” Reyna laughs a little bit, running her lips along the shell of Piper’s ear, “I already know what you want,” she whispers, feeling a shudder run up and down Piper’s body, “I just want to hear you say it.”

“Fuck me,” moans Piper, “for the fucking love of god, just fuck me.”

“All you had to do,” Reyna says, moving her hands down Piper’s body and sliding a finger inside her, “was ask.”

Piper’s back arches with Reyna’s first movement of her finger in and out, and a string of nonsense (though she thinks she catches the phrase “holy banana hammock” for whatever inexplicable reason) runs rapidly from Piper’s lips. Reyna would never admit it, but seeing Piper like this, seeing her roll and writhe because of what Reyna’s doing to her, seeing her moan and gasp and curse from Reyna’s actions, it turns Reyna on more than anything else ever has.

Piper’s muttering and moaning again and Reyna can tell she’s almost there, almost done, but the fact that it’s no longer words, it’s just quiet sounds and flailing arms.

So Reyna stops moving.

“Are you fucking KIDDING me?!” Piper yells at the top of her lungs. Piper sits up and glares at Reyna from where she’s kneeling at the foot of her bed. “What are you doing?”

“Messing with you.”

Piper groans, annoyed this time instead of aroused, and her head slams back on Reyna’s pillow. “I fucking hate you.”

“You do not.”

“I definitely do.”

“You do not,” says Reyna, trailing her fingers up Piper’s calves.

“I actually do and I’m never speaking to you again.”

Reyna laughs. “You’re in my bed.”

“And I’m not leaving until you get me off, you useless excuse for a one night stand.”

Reyna’s laugh turns into an uproarious holler and she leans forward to kiss Piper. She ducks out of the way.

“Nope,” says Piper. “No kisses, stupid.”

Reyna rolls her eyes. “You’re no fun.”

“I’m very fun,” says Piper, “you’re the one who sucks.”

“Are we doing this again?” Reyna sighs.

“Until I get my orgasm, I’m going to be as annoying as you are.”

With an intentionally Piper-esque dramatic groan, Reyna grabs Piper’s legs and half drags her closer to the edge of the bed.

“What are you –”

“Shut up and let me get you off so you can stop complaining,” says Reyna. She kneels at the side of the bed, pulling Piper close enough to her so that she can drag her tongue from Piper’s thigh into her hot center. Piper sighs, a new sound straight from the back of her throat. Reyna continues moving firmly against Piper, and she loves the way her name sounds when Piper’s gasping it over and over again. It’s never sounded better, it’s never sounded more beautiful, and it’s so much better than when she hears her teammates call her last name on the lacrosse field. There’s something about what Piper sounds like when she’s like this that takes her the absolute hell down, and when Piper’s heels press against Reyna’s shoulders as she comes, Reyna feels like she’s finally doing something she considers worthwhile.

Piper probably wouldn’t enjoy being called something Reyna does that’s worthwhile, but hell, it’s true.

Reyna exhales and sits on the bed again. “How was that?” Reyna asks. She giggles as Piper fights to speak and stares at her blankly for a little while.

“Jesus,” says Piper. Reyna, frankly, is surprised she’s able to speak after all the noise she had been making. “Get a little alcohol in you and you become a freaking dominatrix.”

Reyna giggles from where she lay and looks over at Piper. There’s something about how Piper’s hair is making a halo around her head on top of Reyna’s pillow, the way her usually startling eyes are shut, lashes fanning across Piper’s cheekbones, that makes Reyna wonder why she called her “babe” earlier that night and makes her want to call her babe every night from here on out.

“What are we doing?” Reyna asks.

“Hmm?”asks Piper, her drowsy eyes slowly opening. “Sorry, I didn’t hear you, I was too busy reliving the past couple of hours. Say it again?”

Reyna shakes her head, half glad that she can pretend the question never came out of her mouth and half disappointed that her opportunity and moment of bravery was rendered null and void. “Nothing,” she says, “something just stupid.”

“You know what’s stupid?” says Piper, the blinding stupor finally fading from her eyes. “It’s stupid that you haven’t gotten off yet.”

“Oh, you don’t have to –”

“But I want to,” says Piper. “And you need it. I know how much it sucks when one person blows their load and yours isn’t even taken care of yet.”

Reyna raises an eyebrow. “Been on that end a lot?”

“Shut up and let me get you off.”

Piper’s quick and efficient and her fingers have Reyna moaning a little too loudly into a pillow only a couple of minutes after she starts. Normally that wouldn’t be enough for Reyna, but she’s been so worked up as she’d been working on Piper that she comes easily and quickly.

She finds herself falling slowly to sleep as Piper’s yawning next to her, and before she knows it, Piper’s cuddling up behind her.     

“Goodnight,” she says to Piper, but she’s already sound asleep.

Reyna can’t keep herself from smiling a little when she realizes just how quickly Piper fell asleep against her. She has a feeling there’s going to be some sort of repercussion about how much has happened tonight, something about how Piper totally never wanted to sleep in Reyna’s bed for too long or how Piper is usually so much more hardcore and fuck everything than the girl who spoons with cuddling, but she doesn’t want to think about it tonight.

Tonight, she just wants to relive calling Piper pet names and that moment she realizes that she’s halfway in love with this bonehead.

PIPER

She’s sitting on a movie set with her dad and a llama eating soup. The llama is lecturing her about not doing her musical entropy essay on time, and Piper’s trying to explain to the llama that she wasn’t assigned to do that paper and instead was supposed to do a thesis on the connection between turkey hands in kindergarten and future monopoly addiction.

Reyna pops up beside her dressed in a unicorn outfit and smiles at her. Piper pulls Reyna into her lap.

“See, Dr. Llama?” she says. “This is my proof about the turkey hands. She’s positively addicted to monopoly.”

“I’m not addicted to monopoly,” Reyna disagrees, and Piper glares at her. Piper knows she’s not addicted to monopoly – neither is Piper – but for everything to go the way that will prove Piper’s thesis, they both have to be addicted to monopoly.

“I’m not buying it,” says Tristan McLean. “The Monopoly game – I won’t buy it until they replace the railroads with airports. It’s just not logical anymore.”

“Don’t say that to Annabeth,” says Piper, “she’ll be very upset about railroad rights if you tell her that what used to be important isn’t important anymore.”

Piper suddenly realizes she’s dreaming and tries to kick herself awake. For some reason, knowing that Annabeth hates trains is the only reason she can realize it’s a dream.

The moment she wakes up, she keeps her eyes shut. She feels around blindly for a second, gripping the pillow to her, and then she remembers.

This isn’t her bed.

Piper rolls over and blinks herself awake, throwing her arm around –

Nothing.

She sits up and gazes around, and realizes that, for the first time, she slept all night in Reyna’s bed. Oh, my god, she’s sleeping in Reyna’s bed. In daylight. There’s morning light outside and she’s sleeping. Oh no.

“Good morning, Sir Sleeps-a-Lot,” calls Reyna from her desk. “Never thought you were going to wake up. I figured my extraordinary skills knocked you out for a full eight hours. You don’t have Friday classes, do you?”

Piper shakes her head, still a little foggy on everything that was happening. “No, I don’t. What time is it?”

“Ten-thirty.”

Piper stares at Reyna for a few seconds, convinced that Reyna fully dressed and recently showered, by the look of it has to be kidding. “Ten thirty?” Piper exclaims. “It’s only ten thirty?” She drops back onto Reyna’s pillow. “Fuck this, I’m going back to sleep.”

“In my bed?” Reyna asks, and Piper can tell she’s trying to hide a smile.

“Oh, shut up, it’s just because it’s convenient.” Piper goes to shut her eyes, but then she spots something on Gwen’s desk. “Oh my god, did you already do laundry?!”

Reyna shrugs. “I was up at eight – I’m used to it for practices, and I wake up early even on the off season.”

Piper stares at the pile. “Jesus, you’re like the most productive person I’ve ever met. What – wait a second.” Piper leans out of Reyna’s bed to get a better look. “Oh, my god, is that my Spiderman tank top from a few weeks ago?”

Reyna looks over and shrugs. “Looks like it.”

“Why the fuck did you clean it?”

“Because it was in my room and I wanted to clean this place up,” she says nonchalantly. Piper’s halfway exploding – how is she so casual about this? Laundry’s something you do with, like the person you’re marrying, not the person you’re study-break banging. “I was planning on getting it back to you soon just…Last night took a detour.”

Piper’s sitting up, not even caring that, at some point during the night, she’d thrown on one of Reyna’s oversized lacrosse themed tee shirts (it was getting cold at the start of October – that’s all) “What the fuck?!”

“Why do you even care?”

“Because my clothing does not belong in your laundry!” Piper exclaims. “That’s – it probably smells like you now.”

“Oh, and that’s a bad thing?” Reyna asks.

“No!” replies Piper. “Yes! I don’t know.”

“It was ugly and annoying me and I wanted it out of my bed!” Reyna says, an angry, frustrated flush painting itself across her cheeks, but she still wasn’t looking at Piper.

“Why was it in your bed?!” Piper exclaims.

“Why are YOU in my bed?!” Reyna exclaims right back, and she finally, finally, slams that book down on her desk.

“Because I was sleeping until you decided to…”

“Decided to what? You woke up on your own, you idiot!”

Piper flops face first down into Reyna’s bed.

“You are not allowed to drama queen in my bed!” Reyna exclaims. “That is not okay! Do that on the floor, you lunatic.”

Piper muffles something about how much she hates people and then rolls right out of bed onto Reyna’s purple peace sign carpet. “You suck,” Piper grumbles. “And your carpet smells like feet.”

“Gee, I wonder why,” says Reyna.

“I hate you so much,” says Piper. She sits up and gets back into Reyna’s bed. “I’m going back to bed.”

“Again,” says Reyna, turning back to her work, “that’s my bed.”

“Well you’re not in it, so right now it’s my bed.”

Reyna stares at her for a second, debating whether this was a good idea, and then puts down her homework and gets into bed next to Piper. “There,” she says, “problem solved.”

“You’re sitting on my hand.”

“Your problem.”

Piper rolls her eyes and Reyna fights back a smile. “You totally did all of that to get me to come into bed, didn’t you.”

“Did not.”

“Did too.”

“Did – mmph.” Reyna interrupts Piper with a well placed, well timed kiss, and moves so that Piper can get her arm back. As if on instinct, Piper reaches up to pull Reyna closer.

“Maybe it was on purpose,” says Piper, “I’ll never tell you whether or not it was.” She pulls Reyna back down on top of her. Piper’s hands slide up the back of Reyna’s shirt and -

That’s when the door opens.

 

 

Chapter Text

REYNA

“Reyna! I’m – oh my god!”

Reyna flails a little too much and flies off the bed, landing on the floor with her head dangerously close to the corner of the fridge. She makes a mental, slightly inappropriate for the time, note to pad that area before anything like that happens again.

“Gwen!” she says. “Hi this is, um, Piper, this is Gwen.”

Piper sits up, her eyes looking a little glassy and fogged with lust. “Hey,” she says with a wave. “You’re Reyna’s roommate.”

“Yeah, and I’ve never met you,” says Gwen carefully. “Dude, Reyna, what the…?”

“We can head out,” says Reyna, burying her face in her hands. “Oh, god, Gwen, this is really awkward.”

Gwen, to Reyna’s relief, just laughs and shakes her head. “Hey, don’t worry about it. I just have to ask you something: is this who you were with last weekend when you walked in on me and Dakota?”

“No. Yes,” replies Reyna with a grin.

Gwen puts on an expression of mock surprise. “Well I couldn’t have guessed that if I had to,” she says, grinning. “Look, I only need to grab a couple of books – you guys can stay here, okay? You, uh,” she winks at Reyna garishly as she picks up a pile of books, “you two look like you were pretty busy.”

Reyna waves to Gwen as she leaves and looks up at Piper.  

“That was more embarrassing than all the dancing we did last night,” Reyna laughs. “Oh, god, we’ve had a weird twelve hours.”

Piper stares at her blankly for a few seconds and then suddenly her jaw drops. “And suddenly all of the dancing comes back to me,” she says, and Reyna’s suddenly aware of the fact that Piper is about to monologue.

“Piper, we should –”

“Well call me Flashdance and dump a bucket of water on me! Why didn’t anyone stop us? Oh, god, we must have looked like such idiots! We will never be taken seriously on this campus again. And you!” she turns to Reyna accusatory finger pointed toward her. Reyna is incapable of taking her seriously, and finds herself laughing. “You joined and didn’t save me from myself! You are the worst – the worst…” For once in her life, it looked like Piper was entirely out of words. “You suck,” is what she comes up with, and she folds her arms across her chest and glares at a spot above Reyna’s head.

“Are you done being a temperamental toddler and ready to go shower with me?” Reyna asks. “Because I so don’t want to deal with you throwing a fit. I get that enough with Hylla’s kid.”

“We’re showering together now?” Piper asks. “Are we really there?”

“Either that or you can walk back to your dorm in my lacrosse tee shirt that you still haven’t taken off.”

Piper looks down at the shirt in disgust. “Oh, god, I’M STILL IN YOUR SHIRT!” she tears it off and throws it across the room. Reyna can’t help but laugh, because Piper is mostly naked and sitting on her bed, and somehow Piper thinks the shirt’s the biggest offense in suggesting that he two of them are more than just a string of one night stands.

“Now you’re sitting on my bed naked,” says Reyna. “Really, Piper, I’m not sure how you’re trying to play this, but I’m going to go get into the shower. Meet me there if you feel like it.” She turns on her heel and grabs her shower caddy, towels, and shower shoes, and literally counts to ten once she gets into the bathroom before Piper comes padding in.

“I knew you’d come in here,” she laughs. “Now come on and wash my hair.”

“You wash my hair first,” says Piper belligerently, but she steps into the little shower stall next to Reyna and pulls off the shirt she had been wearing earlier. That, apparently, was the only thing she had deigned to put on before coming into the bathroom. Reyna can’t resist looking her up and down as she stands there, stark naked.

“Jeez, you with the staring, get in the shower before I push you in there.”

Reyna rolls her eyes but does as Piper says, shedding her pajamas and stepping into the shower. It’s a tiny stall and when they try to fool around Piper slips and slams her elbow into the soap dish, so they quickly realize that this “sex in the shower” thing is entirely impossible when you’re in college. Reyna finds herself wondering if in the future they’ll have the opportunity to do this right.

Piper kisses her on the neck as she massages Reyna’s scalp, and Reyna hums appreciatively. There’s something about this, someone else washing your hair, Reyna thinks, and her eyes drift closed.

“Hey, no getting all mushy on me, weirdo,” demands Piper, “or I’ll stop.”

“I’m not getting mushy,” says Reyna, “it’s just – it feels really nice to have my scalp massaged, that’s all.”

There’s a silence in response to what Reyna said that’s getting her a little unnerved, because when Piper’s not talking, she’s scheming, and a scheming Piper is a Piper one generally wants to avoid.

Suddenly, Reyna feels Piper pull on her hair, gently so that it doesn’t hurt, but firm enough that her head tilts back involuntarily. She finds herself gasping a little bit, and she can hear the smile in Piper’s voice as she says, “I thought so.”

“Do that again,” Reyna finds herself muttering, and Piper does, adding a sucking kiss to Reyna’s neck, and this time Reyna full out moans.

“Don’t do that,” says Piper, wrapping her free hand around Reyna’s waist, “you cannot do that right now – I’ll end up getting so turned on I’ll be forced to eat you out and then we’ll both get ourselves knocked out on the floor or something and that’ll be really hard to explain to your RA.”

Reyna whimpers as Piper pulls her hand out of her hair and trails her fingers down Reyna’s damp shoulder.

“Stop that,” says Reyna, “if I can’t moan, you can’t do that finger thingy.”

“Which finger thingy?” Piper asks. “This one?” She brushes her fingertips down Reyna’s side. “Or this one?” Reyna’s head drops against the wall of the shower as Piper’s fingertips wrap around her body and strokes her lightly.

“I’m going to pass out and it’s going to be all your fault, idiot,” Reyna grumbles. Hating herself for having to do it, she smacks Piper’s hands out of the way and stands up straight, trying to avoid her face showing how turned on she is. “If we’re gonna do this, it’ll be in my dorm room.”

Piper, drenched hair half in her eyes and the blue streak almost black when wet, sighs. “Well, if you insist.” She pushes aside the shower curtain and winks to Reyna. “You meet me when your hair isn’t all soapy. I’ll leave your door open.” Without another word, she pulls on Reyna’s shirt, sticking damp all over her and forming fitting across her chest.

Reyna’s pretty sure there’s still soap in her hair but she’ll be damned if she takes any longer to wash it out.

PIPER

Reyna, Piper knows, is a slow showerer, so she gets a started on her own to take some of the edge off. Hoping somewhere in the back of her mind that Gwen was serious about going to the library for the rest of the day, she lets her fingers slowly dance down her body until she’s brushing her fingertips against herself, letting out a little soft sigh of relief. She moves her fingers in slow, languid circles as she lets her eyes flutter closed, and she finds her mind going back to the night before. Reyna, with dark eyes and strong arms on top of her, fingers inside of her, mouth on her…

Piper’s fingers start moving a little faster, sliding easily as she let’s Reyna’s face fill her mind – not because she likes her, because she’s great in bed and it’s the first time Piper’s ever liked it when someone topped instead of her.

Then, suddenly, there’s a second pair of hands moving down her body, and Piper opens her eyes to see Reyna’s grin.

“Jeez, good to see you’re not impatient or anything,” says Reyna, “let me take over. I’m surprised you didn’t even notice when I got in the room.”

Reyna brushes Piper’s hand out of the way and replaces Piper’s hand with her own, and Piper’s back arches off of the bed as Reyna’s fingers pump in and out of her and her thumb gently strokes Piper’s clit.

“Fucking fuck,” Piper moans, “oh, fucking – fuck, fuck –”

“So verbose,” Reyna says with snark, and Piper isn’t even in a place to snark back because her entire brain is exploding. It’s probably the fastest someone else has ever made her come, and she’s still babbling god knows what stupid comment when she comes down from it

“Are you sure I’m your first experience with a girl?” Piper says. “You’re stupidly good at that. Like, not fair levels of good at that.”

Reyna shrugs as she leans down to kiss Piper. “I think you’re forgetting that I’m a girl too. I know what I like, and you’re an easy study,” Reyna mumbles against Piper’s lips.

Piper laughs as Reyna kisses down her throat, and rolls the two of them over so she’s on top. She undoes the skillful twist holding Reyna’s towel together. “Much better,” Piper says, “also, what time is it?”

Reyna holds her arm up to look at her watch, “It’s twelve o’ –” Piper chuckles as Reyna’s sentence cuts off with an abrupt gasp. Piper’s a fan of surprising Reyna, and it doesn’t happen often enough. When an opportunity like this presents itself she can’t resist.

“Well then,” says Piper, “I should really get home to start on my homework, so this probably needs to be quick.”

“What?”

Piper just chuckles in response as she repeats the movement, earning a sigh from Reyna.

“Do that again,” Reyna murmurs.

“What?” Piper asks, knowing exactly what. “This?” She strokes inside of Reyna, and Reyna’s fingertips grip into the sheets on her bed so tightly that Piper wouldn’t be surprised if she ripped it in some places. Reyna keeps gripping, harder and harder, as Piper keeps stroking until she moves just right against Reyna’s clit. That’s when it’s all over. A shudder goes down Piper’s spine as she can feel – literally feel Reyna’s orgasm clench around her and she chuckles a little bit as a string of expletives falls from Reyna’s lips that she would never say in other situation.

“Welp,” says Piper, kissing Reyna, “I’ve got to go get some homework done. Text me later, hot stuff.”

Reyna sits up and it looks like she’s about to say something, but instead she just smiles. “See you later, you weirdo. Oh, and you might want to consider putting your clothes back on.”

Piper looks down and realizes she’s still in Reyna’s shirt. “Oh, crap.”

As she gets dressed and Reyna’s silently laughing at her, she thinks about how, next time, she was going to get the last word.

“Ignoring that and striking it from the record,” Piper says as she buttons her pants, “I am going to head out now and, again, text me later.”

“Again, see you later, weirdo.”

“You’re the weirdo, weirdo.”

Reyna scoffs. “Yeah,” she says, “right.”

Piper finds herself half in a daydream when she walks back to her dorm room and across campus, and she keeps trying to tell herself it’s just because she’s gotten laid two times in less than twelve hours and she’s brain dead because of it. She completely ignores the part of her brain saying it has something directly to do with the fact that it was Reyna, not just the sex.

“Shut up, brain,” she says firmly to herself, and she only realizes she said it out loud when a very distraught couple who look like they were fighting look over at her in shock. Piper realizes, right then, how bizarre she must look. Last night clothes and hair that’s still wet from the shower.

“This is a Walk of Game, my friends,” she announces to the horrified couple, turning to watch their expressions as she walks away from them. “Try to keep up.”

The look of confusion and secondhand embarrassment on their faces is funny enough to sustain Piper’s laughter for the rest of the walk home, and she adjusts her collar a couple times with an extra hop in her step as she walks into her building.

There’s no desk attendant since it’s the afternoon, so she saunters upstairs.

When she walks back into her dorm room, she’s not expecting to see Annabeth curled up on her bed, quizzing herself with flashcards.

“Oh, honey,” she says sadly. “Did last night not go well?”

Annabeth lifts her head up, her blonde curls damp from a recent shower. “What?”

“I mean last night. Did you –” Piper trips over something. On the floor is a pair of blue boxers, and they were not the brand Piper liked to wear to bed. She lights up and stares at Annabeth.

“You – oh my god, you DID get laid!” Piper exclaims, clapping frenetically. “Holy shit, this is awesome! Was he good? What was it like? How many times did you do it? Was it better than the other times?”

Annabeth turns around, still holding onto her flashcards, and buries her face into a pillow. Piper can tell she’s smiling like an idiot into it. “He was really sweet, Piper, crazy gentle even though I told him he didn’t need to be so careful, and he held my hand as we walked back here and…” Annabeth lifts her head up and, oh, wow, that’s a smile that Piper’s never seen on her roommate before. In a moment Piper realizes she’s never actually see Annabeth this kind of happy before. It would hurt if she wasn’t seeing the smile right now. “Piper, he’s great.”

“Don’t date your one night stand!” exclaims Piper, dropping to her knees on the floor beside Annabeth’s bed. “Don’t do it! Because – because –”

“Because then you’ll feel like it’s okay to date Reyna?”

“No!” exclaims Piper. “Yes! No! Shut up!”

Annabeth laughs as Piper flails and throws herself onto the floor. “Can you move so I can get a ginger ale?” Annabeth asks.

“No!” exclaims Piper. “Dude, I need the dirty details!”

“Why?”

Piper drapes a hand over her face dramatically. “Because you’re my friend and you’re supposed to tell me all of the dirty, nasty things you do with guys on the weekends.” She moves her hand to reveal one eye, looking at Annabeth. “It’s what normal girls do, I’m sure of it.”

“On what planet are we normal girls?”

Piper groans. “That’s the point, brain girl, we’re not. Normal is a social construct. Or something. So tell me about it anyway.”

Annabeth doesn’t go into extreme detail, but she definitely mentions how he inexplicably – was really good at oral and the part about knocking over the lamp that she had only noticed this morning when she woke up and saw it on the floor.

“So, basically, what you’re saying is he’s built like a Greek God, has awesome stare-into-my-soul eyes, and is good in bed.”

Annabeth shrugs. “He has skills, what can I say. Very impressive skills.”

“Damn, girl!” Piper exclaims. “You got a freak in the sheets!”

Annabeth considers this for a second, realizing that the only time the lamp could have fallen was when Percy had her flat on her back. “I think I was the one who actually knocked over the lamp.”

Piper’s eyebrows rise. “Are YOU the freak in the sheets?” she asks very seriously.

Annabeth shrugs. “Perhaps I am.”

Piper grins. “Well hit me with a tissue box and call me a bride on her wedding day. Looks like my little baby is all grown up and banging boys ferociously.”

“I wouldn’t say ferociously,” Annabeth mentions.

Piper scoffs. “You broke a lamp,” she says, “I WOULD say ferociously.”

Annabeth giggles and blushes. “Well, he left right after. He said he’d text me, but I’m not sure. It’s supposed to be a one night thing, right?”

“How can you be so sure?” Piper asks. “You’d be okay with him being like ‘screw connections, I just want to bangity bang’ and then never calling you again?”

Annabeth shrugs. “I guess I would be. It’s not really a big deal. I’d think about this night as a ‘yay, I had sex that was awesome.’ Then I never see him again other than awkward encounters on campus and perhaps by accident in the dining commons.”

Piper stares her down, convinced that Annabeth’s lying, but there’s no tension or doubt in Annabeth’s face. “You’d seriously be okay with that?” Piper asks.

“If that’s how it works, that’s how it’s going to work. Can’t control everything, can you?”

“But you’re obsessed with controlling everything!” exclaims Piper. “You even made me shift one of my posters because it wasn’t completely straight on the wall.”

“Well that was just because you were sloppy, Piper, come on.”

“But you are hyper controlling.” Piper can’t ignore the fact that she’s dodging the question.

“Do you really want the answer?” Annabeth asks. “Seriously?”

“Yes!”

Annabeth sighs and for a brief second Piper thinks, nope, maybe she doesn’t want to know. “I control enough in the bedroom, thanks very much, so I don’t really need to worry about what happens in real life. If he feels like revisiting what we did last night, he’ll be back. If he’s not into it, he won’t be. Whatever happens will happen.”

Piper stares at her for a moment. “I learn something new about you every day, dear roommate. Teach me your ways of detachment.” Piper drops her chin into her hands and gazes at Annabeth so ridiculously she knows that Annabeth just has to laugh.

“Why do you need skills in not being attached?” Annabeth asks. “Aren’t you not into Reyna at all past being in bed and being study buddies?”

Piper defensively says, “Of course – she’s just smart enough to keep me from failing out of school,” but in the back of her mind something is nagging and she can’t shut it up. Most annoyingly it sounds like Reyna’s voice. Something telling her to be “true to her heart” or whatever. She knew falling asleep to Mulan a few nights before was a mistake.

“Alright,” says Annabeth, “but I think you might consider –”

And then there’s a knock on the door.

“I’ll get it,” says Piper, “it’s probably Reyna being annoying again.”

She pads over to their door in her Hello Kitty shirt she had been wearing the night before and a pair of sleep shorts she had thrown on in place of the tight pants she had been wearing the night before, and throws the door open.

“Whoa,” says Piper, “Hey, Annabeth, unless I’m mistaken it looks like your Greek god is here for you.”

Piper turns to look at her roommate, who’s sitting on her bed with a fairly confused expression on her face.

“He – oh, that’s -” A pink blush spreads across Annabeth’s cheeks.

“I suddenly have a lot of homework to do,” says Piper. She turns around and grabs a random pile of books off her desk – along with what she thinks is a pack of jellybeans, but she can’t be sure – and dumps them unceremoniously into her backpack. “I’ll be at the library – call me if you need anything.” She can’t resist giving Percy, cute but so entirely not her type, a once over before leaving. “Later, Annabeth!”

She busts out the door with a grin on her face. Looks like her little prodigy was going to end up getting a happy ending after all.

ANNABETH

Annabeth stands and walks to the door. Percy looks like he’s half nervous and half excited for wherever the conversation is headed, and his zeal is almost overwhelming.

“Hi, Annabeth,” he says. “This isn’t a text or a phone call, but I –”

“If you’re here to flirt, I’m not sure I can…” Annabeth’s not sure why she said that.

“Can we go out sometime?” Annabeth is even more unsure of why he would said that. Except, she realizes, he might have meant it.

Annabeth falls back a little bit on her heels as she processes what he said.

Somehow, the logical response in Annabeth’s head is to ask, “Wasn’t that supposed to be a one night type thing?”

“Supposed to be and what it is are two very different things,” says Percy with a shrug. Annabeth realizes how nervous he looks and smiles at him.

“You know, if I didn’t know what you were saying, I’m pretty sure that sentence wouldn’t have made any sense.”

Percy turns a little pink and smiles at her. “Sorry,” he says, “I’m not very good with words.”

“You said that last night,” Annabeth say with a little laugh.

“I did,” says Percy. His smile gets brighter, and it warms Annabeth’s heart somehow, that she can make him smile like that. “But, um, yeah, about that going out maybe thing?”

Annabeth tilts her head to the side, and she can feel her hair slip over her shoulder and down her back. Percy’s eyes lock on something, and Annabeth is pleasantly thrown back to the night before and Percy’s lips all over her neck. She hasn’t checked in the mirror yet, but she’d guess there was probably a hickey there by now.

“What are you looking at?” she asks quietly, but the smile she’s been trying to hold back comes out.

Percy just smiles back at her, his eyes glancing from where she’s sure she has quite the bruise, up to her lips, and then to her eyes. “So how about the date?” he asks. “I’m thinking something too fancy for words. Like the dining hall.”

“I don’t even know what your last name is,” Annabeth says through a laugh. “Is that really the background we want of how you asked me out?”

“You didn’t care what my name was last night when you were on top of me,” Percy says, and the frankness of his sentence sends a whirling heat down into Annabeth’s belly. She takes a deep breath to steady herself, to avoid getting caught up in a really great memory.

“Things change,” she says casually, but even she can hear an unusual shakiness in her voice. “So what is your last name, Percy?”

He sticks out his left hand, looks at it, and then exchanges it with his right hand. “Percy Alexander Jackson. Pleased to meet you.”

“I think we got past the meeting part last night,” Annabeth says as a reply, “not sure we could get more intimate than that.”

“I think we could,” says Percy, and the way his eyes lock on hers she can tell he means something that isn’t sex, that’s more than that.

It’s not something she would have expected from a guy who looks and acts like him. And then, hitting her like a train, she realizes something: he’d said the night before a lot of things about his experience, but it seemed vague enough…Well, if she had to guess, Annabeth would say she’s the first girl he’s ever slept with, but not the first girl he’s been involved it..

Interesting.

“Alright then,” says Annabeth quietly, opening the door enough to let him in. “Come inside.” She rolls her eyes at his smirk. “Oh, quit it with the innuendo.”

Percy steps into her room and looks around like he’s never been there before.

“Nice Transformers poster,” he says, nodding to the giant poster of Megan Fox and robots hanging on Piper’s side of the room.

Annabeth chuckles. “Yeah, that’s my roommate’s. She hung it up for Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, not the giant robots.”

Percy exhales, looking visibly relieved. “Oh, that is a good thing,” he laughs. “Because those movies are disasters. They’re awesome for fighting robot movies, but they are terrible movies in general.”

“I wouldn’t disagree with that,” says Annabeth. She taps her fingers on the side of her desk and suddenly wonders what the hell she does with her hands when she’s not thinking about it. For a while she keeps tapping, but the distance from the table to her fingertips is too far. Then she shifts to leaning against the frame of her bed.

“So,” says Percy, rocking on his heels. “You haven’t told me your full name yet. Do I get to know the identity of the elusive beauty who swept me off my feet and away from morons last night?”

“Elusive beauty?” she chuckles. “That’s either too honest or too smooth, Percy Alexander Jackson.” He shrugs and grins

“So how about that name?”

“Annabeth Eliza Chase,” she says, mocking his tone and handshake, “pleased to meet you.”

“Oh, come on,” Percy says, not letting go of her hand and lowering his so she can be pulled forward. “Now you’re just making fun of me.”

“Trust me,” says Annabeth, “I’m always going to make fun of you. It’s kind of a thing with me.”

“Do I get to kiss you?” Percy asks.

“Only if you tell me why you had to book it last night.”

Percy groans and drops his head back. “This kid I’ve been friends with for ages, Nico, has a tendency to get into political arguments with the kids at the frat. It’s pretty much on purpose, we’ve figured out – he does all he can to try to get himself kicked out.”

“I don’t get it!” Annabeth exclaims. “Why are you even part of this frat if you and your friends hate it so much?”

Percy sighs. “Nico’s and my dads, along with our friend Jason’s dad, were all the, like, leaders of this place. The Founding Brothers or something. They even call each other the Big Three, like they have some sort of freaking throne. Not only were the three of us forced to go to this school because of legacy scholarships and pressure, but forced to go into the frat, too.” He runs his finger through his dark hair and offers a half smile. “It’s worse for Nico, too, since he’s a year younger and skipped a grade. He just got shoved through life a little too quickly by his dad. So he mouths off to other people. And he is smarter than most people, I’ll give him that. But every once in a while he goes at someone bigger than him and, despite the fact that he’s fast and has a glare to kill a monster, he still gets hurt.”

Annabeth just blinks. “That is an entirely valid reason for booking it last night, I can tell you that.” Acting on impulse, she reaches out and takes his hand. “If it comes to it, we should figure out some sort of devious plan to break you guys out of that frat.”

“Devious plan?” he says. “I like it. Can I kiss you now?”

Annabeth nods. “I suppose we can arrange it.”

“Then you can make fun of me all you want.” He leans in and presses his lips to hers, raising a hand to brush over the mark he had kissed into her skin the night before, and Annabeth gets wrapped up in him again.

Chapter Text

REYNA

“You’re in a pair of shorts and a tee shirt.”
This is not what Reyna expected when Piper had called her and asked her to come meet up at the library.

“You didn’t even change shirts,” Reyna says, looking around the library. “Good god, you idiot, here, take my sweatshirt. Your legs are going to freaking freeze right off.”

“For my legs?”

“Whatever!” exclaims Reyna. “Put it over your lap or you’re going to freeze.” Reluctantly, Piper takes the lavender sweatshirt and lays it over her thighs.

“There,” she says, sticking her tongue out at Reyna, and Reyna’s only response is to glare at her. “You’re just trying to make my life more difficult, aren’t you,” Reyna grumbles.

Piper shrugs. “You’re the one who gave me a sweater blanket, so maybe you’re trying to ruin my life.”
“How is that ruining your life?”
Piper looks like she’s about to respond, but a student librarian, at that very moment, walks over to the two of them.

“Could you two try to be a bit quieter?” he asks politely. “I know that midterms are stressful, but I don’t want to have to ask either of you to leave.” He’s giving them both a don’t mess with me kind of  smile, so neither of them fight it.

They both nod and mutter apologies, but the second he leaves, Reyna turns to Piper.

“You are making my Sunday all weird,” she says as quietly as possible, “and I’m terrified to see what you’re going to do tomorrow in class.”
Piper grins at her and twirls her neon green pen in her hand. “Oh, just you wait,” she says, her grin seductive and scheming at the same time. “I’ll come up with something.”

~~~~                                                     

Piper is licking the filling out of an Oreo.

Piper is licking the filling out of an Oreo, in front of Reyna, in public.

Piper is so doing this on purpose.

Reyna’s eyes are locked on the way Piper’s tongue is moving against the cream, and she can’t exactly focus on anything else.

“Miss Arellano,” calls Professor Grey, “I asked you a question.”
This has never happened to Reyna in her entire life. Goddamned Piper McLean.

“I’m sorry, can you repeat the question, Dr. Grey?” Reyna asks, trying to smile apologetically.

“I asked you if you thought that the US handled foreign relations pre-World War I effectively enough.”

Reyna’s nearly positive this has nothing to do with what they’re talking about, but Professor Grey is definitely trying to challenge her and she’s not going to go down without a fight. But she’s also learned more than once that bullshitting an answer to try and look like you were listening does nothing but make people hate you. She briefly flashes back to an unfortunate time when she mixed Da Vinci’s name with DiCaprio in eighth grade and the entire class called her Kate Winslet for a year. “Well,” Reyna begins carefully, “I don’t think I have enough experience in the matter to make an informed decision about the topic. I haven’t done much research into US foreign relations policies.”

The whole class turns to her in that moment, which is really quite awkward because even the people in the first few rows turn around. She braces herself for the most humiliating calling out in the history forever. She feels her face turn beet red, and she’s about to clench her hand in a fist when Piper wordlessly puts a hand over her thigh and pats it comfortingly. She thinks it’ll make the embarrassing humiliation easier to bear.

But it doesn’t come.

“I appreciate your honesty, Miss Arellano,” says Professor Grey. “In fact, we were discussing the railroads, if everyone would like to find that page in your textbooks, I have a quote to work with, which may or may not be of assistance on your next essay exam.” And the entire matter is over, the class moving into a steadier, easy pattern without any more mention of what had happened.

Except on Reyna’s end.

As she and Piper lean down to get out their books, Reyna turns to Piper. “Don’t fucking do that to me,” she whines. She hates how it’s a whine. For once she would like to talk to Piper in a civilized fashion where she doesn’t sound like some pathetic lovesick puppy dog or they’re not swearing at each other like middle school boys. “At least not in class. I know it was on purpose.”
To Reyna’s absolute disbelief, Piper just sits back up and stares at her, plain confusion on her face. “Do what?” Piper asks. “The thigh thingy? I thought the little pat would help. I’m sorry.” And Piper looks so sad and genuine and puppy-like that Reyna has to believe she’s telling the truth.

“Not the thigh patting,” Reyna says, “no, that did help. I mean the Oreo thing you were doing.”

“What Oreo thing?” asks Piper, that same uncharacteristic puppy expression honestly painted across her face

“The licking thing,” says Reyna mindlessly, “I mean, you were licking an Oreo rather…sexy-like and it was incredibly distracting.”
In a way that was more in Annabeth’s style than Piper’s, Piper looks down at her Oreo as if she’s examining it’s strange impact on Reyna, like the Oreo was to blame for what had happened instead of Piper. “The Oreo?” Piper asks.

“No, you idiot, the way you were licking it.” Reyna shifts in her seat, suddenly too hot and a little uncomfortable. “It was – you were…” She looks around briefly, making sure no one is listening to their conversation, “you were being seductive and licky.”

“You got turned on by me eating a snack?” asks Piper. “Jeez, I should never dirty talk you. You’ll probably just blow your load when I say the word ‘boobs.’”

“Not just eating a snack, you moron,” grumbles Reyna, “you were licking it in a distinctly sexual manner.”

“Not sexual,” says Piper, sitting back up to signal that the conversation is over. “I was eating a freaking Oreo.”

Reyna groans and turns back to the lecture, where the discussion has turned to monopolies and powerful white dudes that Reyna couldn’t care less about right now. Her mind’s full of the other things Piper can do with her tongue, and then her mind shifts to what Piper does with her fingers, with her lips, and, oh god, she just wants to bail on this class and fuck Piper up against some wall somewhere.

The next forty minutes last absolute ages, and it’s even worse when Piper, knowing exactly what she had been doing, starts on another Oreo and starts licking it in a way that can’t be even remotely be considered for the purpose of eating the Oreo, and instead is for the purpose of ruining Reyna’s life.

Sometimes she hates Piper, in a very distinctly not hateful way.

“Stop that,” Reyna almost whimpers, and she can’t help it now that she’s positive Piper’s doing it to mess with her. Piper grins at her and her eyes look absolutely sinful as she licks a stripe up the center of the Oreo, eyes locked on Reyna, and Reyna resolves to kill her good and dead before the day is over. It’s not fair that she’s doing this, at least not in class.

Professor Grey looks at the clock a few seconds before class is supposed to end, and says, “Well, I suppose now I should start explaining to you your next essay,” and through the entire discussion, Piper’s drawing little nameless designs on Reyna’s leg. Every touch is like a fire through Reyna’s body, and every time she slaps Piper’s hand away it finds its way back.

Piper is going to literally kill Reyna.

Finally, after an agonizing five minute explanation, Professor Grey stops rambling and Reyna’s got her stuff packed up and she’s standing up in her seat before most people have even put their pencils down. Piper is staring up at her.

“What’s the rush?” Piper asks, leisurely placing her pencil and binder into her backpack.

“You know what,” Reyna snaps, and she’d feel bad about being so cranky if Piper didn’t just grin at her horribly. She knew exactly what she was doing.

Reyna grabs her hand as she stands and looks around, trying to find a place to get this over with before she literally just explodes in front of the entire classroom.

“That’ll do,” says Reyna, yanking Piper into a slightly open janitor’s closet. She feels around for a light, turns it on, and then shoves Piper up against the door.

“What the –”

Reyna shuts Piper up with a searing kiss and wraps her hands around Piper’s thighs, lifting her up to lock her legs around Reyna’s waist. Reyna’s in control now, not Piper, and she grins against Piper’s lips as Piper’s gasping against her as she realizes that Piper’s lips taste like the Oreo cream filling. It’s an odd experience, but it reminds Reyna exactly how much torture Piper put her through for all of their American history class.

That’s when Reyna pulls away. She sees Piper’s lips follow her, but she doesn’t let her find Reyna’s lips again.

“Nope,” says Reyna, “you teased me for an entire class period. It’s my turn now.”

“No fair,” says Piper, frowning, “it was by accident!”

“At first, maybe,” says Reyna, “but after a few minutes and after Professor Grey called me out you totally knew what was going on.”

Piper shrugs. “Well, I got you to make out with me in a closet on campus, so am I really in the losing position here?”

Piper has a point.

Reyna lets go of Piper’s legs, and she looks startled as she slides down the wall. “Hey!” she exclaims. “Now you’re just hurting yourself.”

“Not true,” says Reyna. “You’re getting frustrated now too.”

“Am not.”

“Are too.”

Reyna raises an eyebrow. “Are you sure about that?” Slowly, Reyna reaches behind her head and pulls the pins out of the braided bun hovering at the nape of her neck, and shakes her head lightly, feeling the long locks shift against her back. “Because I can change that in a few seconds, can’t I.”

Piper’s staring at Reyna now like she wants to rip her clothes off, which meant, of course, that Reyna’s plan was working perfectly. Piper walks toward her, but Reyna holds out a hand and sends Piper a smirk. “Nope. You can look, but not touch. Not right now.”

PIPER

Piper swallows and tries to subtly rub her thighs together to get a little of the friction she needed. At least, she thought it would be subtle. Reyna looks at her and smirks again and Piper knows that, yep, she saw and, yep, not so subtle after all.

At first, she thought Reyna was kidding with the Oreo thing, but now she realizes that it got Reyna worked up in a way that kind of made Piper happier than she could have been had she done it on purpose.

Happy and really, really, frustrated. She hates to admit it, and never in a thousand years would admit it to Reyna, but the other night when Reyna pinned her down was one of the best night’s she’s ever had. It’s been throwing Piper off a little bit, but as Reyna pulls out her hair pins, all other thoughts leave Piper’s mind.

Piper watches Reyna’s dark hair fall across her shoulders and winces. It’s way too much and nowhere near enough all at the same time.

Piper goes to speak, to say something, but all that comes out is a pathetic little squeak she’ll be kicking herself for for the next eight thousand years.

“That’s what I thought,” says Reyna, and that’s when she does it. Reyna’s pulling off her shirt, slowly, agonizingly slowly, and Piper’s jealous of the silk fabric that gets to brush against the smooth skin of Reyna’s stomach, of the buttons that stretch across Reyna’s chest, of the collar that’s gotten to touch Reyna’s neck and collarbones all morning.

This is so much worse and so much meaner than what Piper did with the Oreos and she can tell Reyna knows it. Taking a risk, Piper move forward, and Reyna just shakes her head, paralyzing Piper where she stands.

“Look,” says Reyna, “don’t touch.”

Piper lets her head clonk against the door as her eyes drift shut in frustration. Maybe if she can’t see it, it won’t kill her like this.

Reyna, apparently, has been expecting this. She starts moaning and sighing, and it’s like Piper’s eyes are forced open and forced to Reyna. Reyna is standing still, doing absolutely nothing but making the noises.

“Oh, come on!” Piper exclaims. “You’re not even doing anything interesting!”

Reyna laughs. “Made you look,” she singsongs, and Piper just glares at her even harder and begins to seriously consider opening the door and getting herself off in her own bedroom that doesn’t smell like bleach and Pine Sol.

“So what?” whines Piper. “You got turned on by an Oreo.”

“I got turned on by you eating an Oreo.”

“Can we just fuck now to get all of this over with?”

Reyna sighs deeply, like it’s a difficult decision for her to make. Difficult decision her ass, Piper thinks, she’s been wanting this for way longer than Piper has.

Then Reyna raises her dark eyes up to Piper’s and holds them for a few agonizing moments, not letting her gaze drop. And Piper feels herself losing the staring match, her eyes drawn down to Reyna’s lips.

Reyna surges toward Piper and catches her lips in hers, and Piper, finally, FINALLY, is able to open her lips and taste Reyna and get over all this stupid sexual frustration that was one hundred percent, totally Reyna’s fault.

It’s moments like these that she really hates Reyna.

And then, it’s moments like the next one when she really likes Reyna and she wishes she didn’t, because it makes her think weird things like taking her to dinner and calling her before she falls asleep and introducing her to her father. Then Piper punches out whatever voice in her head came up with that bullshit and pulls herself back into reality.

 Reyna kisses gently at Piper’s neck and laces her fingers with Piper’s as she presses them against the door, smiling against Piper’s lips.

“Stop kissing me,” says Piper, involuntarily, “stop kissing more other stuff.”

“That’s eloquent.”

“You know what I mean.”

Reyna rolls her eyes and drops to her knees, pulling down Piper’s tights and underwear and hiking up Piper’s skirt.

“Lean more against the wall,” says Reyna, “you’re up too high.”

At this point, Piper would have killed a puppy, whatever Reyna told her to do to get this going. She slides a bit down the wall, giving Reyna better access, and somewhere in the back of her mind a voice pops up and says, “do you really think you’re going to be able to think, let alone stand once this is all over?” But she ignores that voice, just like that voice that mentioned Reyna would love the Thai place down the road from Piper’s house in California, and lets out a deep moan as Reyna begins, her arms wrapped firmly around Piper’s thighs.

For as much as Piper mocked Reyna for being worked up, she’s just as bad. It all started back when she saw Reyna walk into the classroom and her hair was up in this prissy little bun for once and all Piper wanted to do was pull it out of that stupid bun in bed. And that stupid silky shirt moved against her chest and clung to it like the shirt she wore that first night.

Piper just decides it’s been a rough day for both of them, and let’s herself feel it all, a hand dropping down to tangle in Reyna’s long hair.

The mood changes when she hears keys jingling outside the door and someone press against the door to open it. She freezes, unsure of what to do. As much as she talks, she has never actually been caught in the act before.

“Fuck,” says Reyna, standing up. “Piper, fix your fucking skirt.”

“Goddamned door,” they hear from a gruff voice outside the closet. Piper, stunned into silence, just stares at Reyna, who rolls her eyes and yanks her into a corner behind the door. Piper shimmies her skirt back to where it’s supposed to be. Awkwardly, Reyna pulls her closer and presses her up against the wall, and Piper’s regretting the fact that she wore a neon green sweater today.

It all happens in a matter of seconds, but they both breathe a sigh of relief when the janitor walks halfway in the room, finds whatever cleaning implement he had been searching for with a “Ah! There you are!” and closes the door, shutting off the light.

Piper tries not to think about how close Reyna is to her, but in the dark all she can do is feel, feel, feel. Reyna’s lips mouth against her ear, and her fingers find the front of her skirt. Piper silently whispers something that might have been “yes” or “please” or another random string of sounds, but Reyna understands in seconds.

She drops her head back on Reyna’s shoulder and bites her lip, fighting to keep silent as Reyna slowly moves circles against Piper’s clit and bites a hickey into Piper’s neck. It’s too much in the dark, all she can do is feel and breathe, and gasp as Reyna’s fingers move.

Reyna’s murmuring things Piper’s sure are dirty and sexy, but she can’t focus on anything right now other than staying standing and not falling all over the surely disgusting ground.

It hits her hard and fast like a train and Reyna presses her hand over Piper’s mouth right before Piper’s long, drawn out, screaming moan comes out. Piper would have glared at Reyna, but it’s dark and is it really worth it right now? She comes down from it against Reyna’s shoulder, her eyes shut despite the dark room.

“You like to get caught, don’t you, Piper McLean,” Reyna growls into Piper ear, and goddamn if that didn’t turn Piper on all over again.

Piper’s only reaction is to whimper pathetically and turn her head to catch Reyna’s lips in a kiss. She can feel Reyna smile against her, but there’s nothing left in her that can come up with something snarky to say in response.

She feels Reyna rather than hears her laugh against her, then Reyna gently pushes her hair over her shoulder. “Come on,” Reyna says, pressing her lips to Piper’s neck, her tone bright and airy as usual again. “We should head out before anyone finds us here or the janitor comes back.” She goes to walk away, but Piper limply just falls against her. Reyna laughs. “Damn,” she chuckles, “If I’d know that’s what getting caught does to you I would have just left the door unlocked every once in a while.”

Piper’s ever so eloquent response is to laugh like an idiot and get her feet moving again, staring at Reyna as she buttons her shirt back up.

Piper’s tempted to ask her to leave it off, but Piper’s already planning on crossing campus with her tights in her backpack, and doesn’t push it. She follows where Reyna pulls her until they get to Reyna’s dorm.

Piper’s back to normal by the time she gets into Reyna’s room, and by back to normal, that means she’s fisting her hands in the front of Reyna’s shirt and locking a leg around Reyna’s hips, forcing them to fall into bed. It’s an awkward moment when they have to shrug off backpacks and kick off shoes, but neither cares and neither even wants to care. Reyna lands on top of Piper with a graceless, “mmph,” and immediately gets the message, letting Piper unbutton her shirt and shrugging it off as Piper pulls off her own top, hands always moving, hands against each other. It’s rough and it’s fast as the two of them pull of their clothes, and Piper rolls Reyna onto her back as she feels Reyna grab her ass, not very gently.

“Hey,” says Piper with a laugh, her lips pressed against Reyna’s collarbone, “go easy on me, will you?”

“Not likely,” says Reyna, her voice half of a gasp as Piper gets her jeans down below her knees and presses the heel of her palm against Reyna’s lime green panties. “Oh, fuck,” Reyna moans, her eyes shut firmly.

Piper grins at how Reyna’s hips writhe with the motion of Piper’s palm, and just as a full rhythm is made, she stops, pushing a thigh between Reyna’s legs and feeling Reyna set a pace for herself. Piper presses her lips down against Reyna’s and kisses her deeply and firmly, feeling Reyna pull away every once in a while as the sensations get too intense, too much.

“Fuck,” Reyna whines again, and Piper gets this weird, powerful thrill whenever she gets Reyna to swear for her. Hearing this generally well put together, classy lacrosse player say fuck only when Piper’s pressing against her sets Piper off in a way she never thought possible, and it makes Piper press her lips to Reyna’s collarbone again and lick down to where Reyna’s breasts are just barely peeking out of her lacy bra.

“This is kind of sexy for having not expected anything today,” Piper says, brushing her fingertips over the lace of the bra. She feels Reyna grind against her thigh with every movement Piper makes against Reyna’s bra, and she grins. “Well, apparently someone was expecting a little something. Come on, moan for me. Make me want to take it off.”

“Fuck you,” Reyna moans. “Just get it over with.”

“Over with?” Piper says softly, lowering her mouth to the lace. She licks against the lace until the flimsy fabric is damp and she can feel Reyna’s nipple harden beneath the fabric. Reyna’s voice gets more and more desperate as Piper’s tongue laps at her skin beneath the lace. Reyna’s nails grab at Piper’s shoulders, and with a thrill Piper realizes that the hickey from the janitor’s closet won’t be the only mark Piper finds in the shower the next morning.

“Come on,” Reyna whines, “come on, just fuck me already.”

“I am,” says Piper, and she can feel Reyna’s body react as Piper’s hot breath ghosts over the damp fabric of Reyna’s bra. There’s a quiet whine from the back of Reyna’s throat as Piper rubs her thigh against her, and finally, finally, Piper gives her what she wants, moving her mouth down Reyna’s body until it reaches Reyna’s heat, and it doesn’t take too long before Reyna’s calling out Piper’s name and gasping for air.

After a few silent moments where Reyna’s getting her breath back and Piper’s trying to keep herself from getting herself off just to make her life easier, Reyna’s eyes open again and meet Piper’s. “I think I like getting caught too,” she replies, and halfway tackles Piper with a kiss.

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

Annabeth’s been having an interesting October.

It turns out that she’s pretty good at Spanish – taking three years of French in high school helped out more than she expected – and her presentation came back with an A. She’s acing papers and kicking ass on tests, and it’s like she’s gliding through life for the first time. And, somehow, having Percy around makes it easier instead of harder. He comes over when she asks and she goes over when he asks, and they’re not together all the time but they’re together enough.

They’ve been dating for a while and it’s nice – really nice – but every time she’s with him, Annabeth feels like there needs to be more. And she doesn’t know how to ask about it.

“Just tell him you’re his girlfriend and he’s your boyfriend,” Piper says with a well placed glare one day toward the end of October. The two of them had been discussing the pros and cons of the Harry Potter movie adaptations until Annabeth got a text from Percy and Piper started making fun of Annabeth. But playfully. “Jesus, it’s like the two of you are emotionally incapable of commitment.”

“You have got to be kidding me,” says Annabeth. “Seriously. You have to be kidding right now or you’re the dumbest person ever.”

“I’m not kidding,” says Piper, now tossing her textbook in the air. “You guys need to just make it official.”

Annabeth starts laughing and, even when Piper asks her “what the fuck’s so funny, blondie?!” she doesn’t respond. After nearly two months of this run around, Reyna and Piper are still playing the “we’re just fuck buddies” bullshit and Annabeth is getting tired of it. In class, she would hear an undertone of “but I want more” from every single thing Reyna said about Piper, and from Piper she heard just the endless whining.

“Why are you laughing?!” Piper exclaims for the third time. “Ugh. You’re dumb. Go boil your head or something, weirdo.”

Annabeth waves her hand in front of her face, trying to calm herself down from the laughter. “I’m sorry,” she gasps, “but seriously, how can you be telling me to commit?”

“Because Reyna and I are not in the running for a romantic relationship.”

“You just keep telling yourself that, slugger,” says Annabeth. “Besides, Percy and I have some…some stuff to work through before we get to the relationship stage.”

The anger fades from Piper’s face as she studies Annabeth’s. “You don’t have to tell him about what happened with Luke,” she says to Annabeth. “I mean, you can just tell him you had a shitty first relationship.”

Annabeth shakes her head. “No, that’s not it. I need to be able to be upfront with anyone I’m this close to. I mean, you and Reyna are the only two who know about what happened when I was younger. I feel like if I’m dating anyone, they need to know. And if I’m actually planning on taking this to a more serious level, I definitely want him to know.”

“Why though?” Piper asks, and the moment of innocence that flashes over her eyes lets Annabeth know that maybe, maybe, Piper’s hardest moment has been with dealing with her father, and that she’s never hated herself fundamentally like Annabeth has. Within October Piper’s opened up a bit about her dad, how he wasn’t present for a lot of her life, how she was in the care of assistants for much of her life. She didn’t experience much of the love of a parent, which was something Annabeth could relate to, and the absent mom thing is pretty much identical. Annabeth recalls one particular conversation in which Piper yelled for about twenty minutes about how her father gets to avoid some of the stupid racism she gets, just because he’s famous.

However, Piper doesn’t read the tabloids that appear in Annabeth’s house. She doesn’t just pick up the magazines that Annabeth’s step mom Christine picks up. Tristan McLean is pretty frequent in the viewer comments, and some of them are pretty horrible.

Bringing herself back to reality, Annabeth’s eyes drift closed and, as she’s been allowing herself lately, she lets herself see the past as it flits across her eyelids. Her eyes still shut, she answers Piper. “What happened with Luke and Thalia is – it’s a big part of me,” she answers, “and I can’t make it go away. Nothing will ever make me be the same as who I was before I met them, before he – he killed those people, and, I don’t know,” she shrugs, letting her sentence pause for a moment and go where it will. “I feel like I need to tell the people in my world to let them know what they’re getting into. To let them know that I’m not an easy person to get along with.”

She opens her eyes and looks at Piper, who is giving her the most intense “are you fucking shitting me” look Annabeth Chase has ever seen in her life.

“Fuck no,” says Piper. “Okay, look, so you’re fucked up. Somebody was a douche to you and manipulated you and hurt you in the past and then turned into fucking Jafar out of nowhere. That’s not your fault, and you don’t need to take responsibility for that shitbag, okay? It’s not that you’re not easy to get along with. It’s that someone fucked with your fucking ability to trust people because that someone needed to be punched in the nads daily.”

Annabeth just stares at her.

“Do you understand?” Piper exclaims.

Annabeth’s only response in to squeak like a terrified mouse and nod.

“The only reason you should tell him is because, if he’s not prepared to deal with you needing help and shit, he needs to go fuck himself with a rake.”

“You’re getting weirdly scary about all of this,” Annabeth says, and she feels that horrible, weird, annoying desire to laugh again that always pops up in the most unfortunate of situations.

“I don’t want anyone being a douche to my roommate,” says Piper, and she’s suddenly calm again, going back to whatever she was reading or working on before the Harry Potter conversation, and Annabeth, still isn’t sure what happened.

Until she finds herself in Percy’s dorm room, with his roommate out and she’s underneath him, feeling ever line against him, one of his thighs between her legs and she’s nearly blinded from every sensation, she begins to get a little bit why Piper doesn’t want anything real with Reyna. She doesn’t want anyone to bail on her like her dad did.

Because it’s weird to think about your roommate when you’re about to get your swerve on with your whatever-they-are, Annabeth shifts her attention to her and Percy. If they’re going to have any sort of real relationship, they’re going to need to talk things through, and it’s going to be scary.

Annabeth hates scary. Annabeth doesn’t do scary, mostly because the few things that scare here – because she does not scare easily – knock her off her ass and into terror.

So as she and Percy grab onto each other, as she pulls up his shirt to kiss against his strong stomach and down against the hem of his jeans, as he whines and gasps as she licks down his hard length, as he pulls her up to kiss her firmly, as he makes sure he doesn’t come before she does, Annabeth thinks, in the back of her mind, that she knows she will have to have the conversation eventually. Even if it might be the hard thing to do, she’s not letting him go easily. But this day she misses the opportunity as he kisses at her shoulder afterward and quizzes her with her flashcards in bed as he kisses along hr shoulders. It’s a perfect afternoon – Annabeth’s still too scared to bring it up.

So a few days pass, and the situation is familiar again. Telling Percy’s on her mind again, and she’s about to say something when he holds out something stupid and adorable and tells her, “look what I grabbed for you!”

He smuggled a piece of rosemary shortbread out of the dining hall for her. And he’s smiling and perfect and god, this conversation would be hard.

The only time she’s not thinking about this is as Percy’s got her flat on her back on his bed, the sheets smelling faintly of the ocean spray, boyish body wash that smells and feels like Percy, as he licks against her hot flesh like he’s born for it, as he makes sure she knows that she is the only thing that is on his mind. Percy’s good at it, and he knows it, but he never lets himself get sloppy and never gives it half assed effort. It’s fantastic. He moves and he licks and he brushes fingertips and light skin against her inner thighs until Annabeth’s head is full of sensation to blindness.

She cries out his name, constantly, like it’s a prayer she needs to repeat like a fucking hail Mary to get to where she’s going, and when she comes, it’s always better than the time before. She lies there, a serene smile on her face as Percy kisses her eyelids, her cheeks, her ears, her neck, until she’s breathing steadily enough for him to kiss her on the mouth and not have her pass out.

“Are you okay?” he asks, and she can hear the slight laughter in his voice. “You were kind of, um…You were louder than usual today.”

“You were better than usual today,” says Annabeth against his lips, and she reaches between them to stroke up his dick. “Not that that means you aren’t phenomenal on an average day, it’s just that you were particularly impressive tonight.”

Percy shudders slightly at her touch and his head drops to her shoulder. “Well, you’re not so bad yourself,” he says, but his voice is strained. Annabeth can’t help her grin as she strokes him again, and the low, heavy, moan that Percy exhales is more than she can handle.

“Fuck this,” she says, “no more talky,” and she flips him over, fiddles for a condom in his desk, and rolls it on with her mouth. He rambles some incoherent, mindless words that flood through Annabeth like desire and she smiles up at his as she moves. “Ready?” she asks quietly.

He nods emphatically. “You really don’t need to ask that,” says Percy, but whatever he can say next is drowned out but Annabeth settling against him and beginning to move. There’s something about the way he throws his head back, eyes closed, yet can still find the most sensitive spots at Annabeth’s hips and stroke at them slowly enough to cause stars to form in the corners of Annabeth’s vision. As she continues to move, she leans forward and kissing Percy. He moves one hand to thread his fingers through her hair, his second hand moving between them to find the sensitive bundle of nerves on Annabeth. He got the idea after the first few times, especially when Annabeth grabbed his hand the last time and pulled it between them the second time they had sex. He got the message quick, and makes his efforts today with a tentative stroke. Annabeth breaks away from his lips and gasps.

“Fuck,” she says against his throat. “Oh, fuck, do that again.”

Percy’s fingers move as the rest of him does, and Annabeth’s brain is overwhelmed as his hand and body work against her. Gently, Percy flips the two of them over, making eye contact with Annabeth to make sure it’s okay, and, Annabeth nods. “Yes, yes, you can be on top, just get me off again,” she moans, fingers digging into Percy’s back as she throws her head back and moans. Percy’s fingers work against her gently but just enough to keep her at the right pace. As she feels the wave about to crash over her, she gasps and it hits.

Percy thrusts into her through her orgasm and it’s blindingly good and she can’t feel her fingertips and oh, fuck, is this what it’s supposed to feel like every single time? It’s right every time and it stuns her every time that it feels right. Sometimes she decides to think of it as just being an adult, growing up, but most of the time she thinks it’s more. That it’s Percy and not Luke, that is fun and light and happy instead of darkly passionate and aggressive. It’s better when there’s an aspect of fun to it. And she finds herself smiling as the stars fly across her vision.

A few seconds later, Percy’s thrusts get erratic and off tempo, and she can feel him come as he presses his lips to hers like she is the only air he can ask for. When the waves are over for both of them, he drops to his forearms, still hovering above her. Strangely, Annabeth feels the desire to press a kiss to the tip of his nose, and he giggles breathlessly.

“You are perfect,” he says sincerely.

Her response is to giggle back at him. He kisses her again then rolls to the side, pulling her toward him. “Seriously, though,” he says, pressing kisses against her neck and then at her checks. “You’re…Wow.”

“You make me feel wow,” she says, and for a brief second she thinks it’s the single stupidest thing anyone has ever said in the history in the world. She looks at him and realizes he’s smiling brightly, like he’s always wanted to hear it from her.

“Ditto,” he says with a laugh.

There’s a moment that passes between them, a look in his eye, and she knows immediately that they need to talk things out. Now. Before either of them gets the other in the middle of a situation they know they can’t handle.

Annabeth’s heart is half pounding out of her chest when the words rush out of her. “I think we need to talk to each other.”

Percy gives her a look – god, she’s an idiot sometimes. “Okay,” he says. “Do you have an idea of what about? Or should we just go for it and see where it goes?”

Annabeth, for a split second, debates telling him she was kidding. But then it’s not enough. She’s got to do this now. They’re in too deep for any other option. “I mean, before this goes any further. We should just – we should play a game called random questions.”

Percy falls next to Annabeth on the mattress, gently brushing a bit of hair out of her eyes. “Okay. What’s your favorite color?”

“Green,” she says instantly, but it’s strange, because usually she says blue. Only sometimes is it green, but apparently today is one of them. “What’s your favorite memory from childhood?”

“My mom and me on Montauk,” he says, his grin contagious. “We’d go every other year or so, and usually I was too young to remember, but it was great. Really great.”

She’s smiling through his next question. “Annabeth, what’s your deepest, darkest secret?”

This happened far quicker than she expected. “If you get to ask me, I get to ask you,” she says, her heart pounding so hard she can hear it. “Is that okay?”

He nods. “You go first,” he says, and his grin is eager and so sweet that it sends a razorblade through Annabeth’s heart. She knows he’s going to give up on her, is going to run out of here afraid, when she tells him. Before, she was convinced she was strong enough to get past it. Now she isn’t so sure. It’s such a big thing, such a scary thing. She’s a scary thing. Annabeth doesn’t want to say a damned word.

 But she does it anyway. Because he has to know what he’ll say. “Remember that, um, boyfriend I told you I had? Back when I was younger?”

Percy nods. “The one who wasn’t too cool?”

“Yes, him,” she says, and her eyes drop as she stares into her hands where they play with strands of her hair. She can’t be looking into those green eyes when she says this. “He was – three years older than me, and I was only fourteen and that’s…It was old enough for him to be able to manipulate me, you know? And he went crazy, kind of. Do you know the Senator Carlisle murder?” She looks up, and Percy nods as he looks at her intently.

“Yes, I remember,” he says quietly. He takes her hand, pulling it from where it’s tugging at the sheets. “If you don’t want to keep going, you don’t have to.”

“No, I think I have to. It was – L-Luke did it, actually. He k-killed them. Got involved with that weird anarchist cult, you know?” Of course he doesn’t know. Why does she keep ending every sentence like that? Even talking is hard, just figuring out the words. Annabeth tears her eyes away and looks back at the floor. “And he wanted me and my friend Thalia to join them, to be part of it. We said no, ran away, but he kept following us. Kept finding us.” She takes a deep breath and lets it hurt, expects the panic attack, but she just holds onto Percy’s hand and feels his rough, calloused fingertips brush against her skin and the panic’s not coming. It’s not there. She looks up at him, and he’s looking at her intently. “And then finally, when I went back to a place Thalia thought we would be safe, he broke in one night. Just staring at us. I told him I hated him, that we weren’t family anymore. That I wanted him to die. And then the next morning…” She trails off. “There he was. Outside of our safe place. Dead.” She sniffles. “He – he did it himself, they said. The police, I mean.” Annabeth looks down at her hands again.

There’s a quiet pause when Percy says, “it wasn’t your fault,” quietly. “I mean it. And I know I don’t know anything about it or about him but I know it has nothing to do with you. He’s not your fault.”

Annabeth can’t figure out what to do but shrug in silence for a few moments, silently trying to figure out what’s going on in her head.

Percy’s still looking at her when she looks up at him. “I’m so sorry that happened to you,” he says simply, “is there anything you need? I mean, right now. But if I had a time machine I’d hug you then too.”

Annabeth shakes her head, as if trying to clear it. “I mean, I need him to not be in my head anymore,” she says, shrugging. “But I think I’m doing okay.”

“Can I hug you?” he asks with that silly grin of his. Annabeth finds herself laughing.

“Yes,” she says, and he pulls her into his arms, the angle kind of awkward but even so Annabeth’s never felt better with another person around her. “I think you can always hug me.”

Percy presses his forehead to Annabeth’s and kisses it gently. She can’t help but smile.

“My secret was that my real name is Perseus,” he says quietly, “but that one’s not real. And I think we’re doing real here tonight.”

Annabeth frowns. “If you don’t want to get real, you don’t have to. You can do unreal. Or something. You don’t –”

“I want to,” he says quietly. “I want to tell you. I mean, I’ve never told anyone else, I don’t think. But – I think you need to know.”

Annabeth nearly whispers, “okay.”

“I went to a boarding school for a few years, different ones,” says Percy, “I wasn’t – I didn’t do too great in school. I had a rough time and didn’t do well on my own. My mom was married to this guy – named Gabe – and I hated him, but thought there was a reason he stayed around, you know? A reason he was always hanging around our apartment like he owned it.” His eyes drift shut. “He did own it. The apartment, I mean. That’s how we got it. It was in his name – my mom wanted me to have a safe place to come home to so badly that she lived with this creep when I was away. She married him, too.”

“Percy, that’s awful,” Annabeth says after a pause, “that’s – that’s really, really terrible. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that.”

“He hit her, too,” he says quietly, “that’s the part I never told anyone about. The part I feel the worst about. Eventually I got old enough to get a real job, help out my mom, and we kicked him out. No idea where he went. I don’t care at all. I just care that my mom was hurt for so long and I couldn’t help her.”

Annabeth, never having been in that situation, is completely speechless and staring at him. Normally her first response when she can’t think of a response is to kiss Percy, but it’s so many levels of not the right time. “It wasn’t your fault,” she blurts out. “That he was so awful. It’s not your fault. I know you think it is, probably, but it’s not your fault he hit your mom or was a horrible person. It’s his fault. That Gabe guy’s the evil one. You were just a kid.”

Percy looks at her, searching her eyes for a few moments, and then, to Annabeth’s surprise, his eyes start welling with tears.

“Oh, crap,” he laughs, “I think I’m crying. I don’t want to cry.”

“I’m not going to judge you if you’re crying,” she says, “it’s okay to cry, you know. Even when you’re, you know, crying over something like deep emotional trauma.”

He laughs again – it’s a different one than she usually hears – and kisses her. “And, you know, for the record,” he says quietly, “you’re not the bad one either. It’s Luke.”

“I’m beginning to realize that,” says Annabeth quietly, and the two of them cuddle in silence for a while, the words still hanging in the air.

 

Chapter Text

PIPER

“Annabeth!” Piper yodels as she slams the door open. “Guess who got extra credit w- oops!”

Annabeth and Percy break apart from where they were cuddling on Annabeth’s bed.

“You two look pretty wrapped up in each other,” she says with a wink. “Somebody finally do the commitment thing? You two girlfriend and boyfriend?”

She knows she has made the biggest of the fuck ups when Annabeth sends her the harshest glare of all time. Piper didn’t even know Annabeth was capable of giving the evil eye.

“I’m going to go put myself in a bunker somewhere and never come back,” she says, making her way out of the room, but Percy shakes his head. To her relief, it looks like he missed whatever exchange had just happened.

“No, this is your room, Piper, I have to head out.” As he speaks, Annabeth continues to send Piper a truly terrifying deal glare.

“It’s okay, I can – ”

He waves her off, and presses a kiss to Annabeth’s forehead. “I have to get a bunch of stuff done tonight,” he mutters. “But can I come back tomorrow morning?”

Annabeth nods and he pulls her in for one more hug. “Of course,” she says quietly. “But did I suck up an entire day you needed for studying?”

“Nah,” he says, standing and pulling all his things together. “I’ll get it done. Eventually.”

He darts out of the room, gently pulling the door closed, and that’s when a pillow comes flying at Piper’s head.

“You idiot!” Annabeth yells. “We were just post-having a big talk thing and cuddling and then you barge in and say words!”

“What else would I say, shoe horns?” Piper asks. “Look, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to screw shit up. You know that.”

Annabeth drops her head in her hands, curling up into herself. “No, I’m sorry,” she says with an exhale, “Jesus, I’m just – I shouldn’t take this out on you.”

“Take what out on me?” Piper asks gently.

Annabeth’s head rises and she looks over at Piper. “I told Percy about the Luke stuff,” she says quietly, “and, I mean, he’s dealt with things too, but I don’t know if he could handle me being crazy. And my crazy is a lot of crazy.”

“Did he freak out at a panic attack?” Piper asks. She tries to make her tone gentle, but inside she’s fuming. They looked cute and cuddly when she walked in, but maybe what she saw wasn’t the whole picture.

Annabeth, to Piper’s surprise, just smiles. “Actually,” she says, “I talked about it. And I didn’t have one.”

“Didn’t have what?”

“A panic attack.”

Piper just stares at her. From what she gathered, and usually she catches things like this pretty quickly, Annabeth’s difficulties surrounding the events that transpired with Luke and Thalia were, well, phenomenally damaging. She had expected Annabeth to take ages to be able to talk about it with Percy, let alone talk without a panic attack. “And how?” is all Piper can manage to say. She’s just killing it with the best friend job today…

Annabeth shrugs but, to Piper’s surprise, is still smiling. “I think…I think talking to you and Reyna about it has made it easier. And better. I’ve never had friends like the two of you before.” She looks up at Piper, and for the smallest of seconds Piper thinks that, yeah, this girl is totally going to cry, but she doesn’t. Annabeth just sighs. “You guys are the best.”

Then Piper wrecks the moment by crying herself. “Shut up!” she yells. “Stop being all cute and adorable and happy. You’re making me cry.”

“You’re going to make me cry,” says Annabeth, a smile breaking through the silly little fake frown. “Because you are a really good roommate.”

“You’re the good roommate, you jerk!” Piper exclaims, and she tackles Annabeth where she sits, not caring when she knocks her head on the wall and sees stars for a few minutes. She’s serious when she says she’s never been close to a girl like this before. Sure, she’s had Leo for years, but Leo’s very much not the same as Annabeth. Leo is boisterous and goofy and gets her into trouble and makes mistakes Piper steps in. Annabeth cleans up Piper’s mistakes and throws marshmallows at her head when she’s bored and makes Piper study.

And Annabeth’s much more fun to dress up with than Leo is.

“I’m all for the lovey ness,” says Annabeth, “but I think my windpipe is being crushed by a textbook.”

Piper jumps up. “Do you wanna get ice cream?” she asks suddenly. “I think we should get ice cream. You know, because cream. And ice.”

“Good explanation, genius,” chuckles Annabeth. “I’ll invite Reyna.”

“Good! That way I can steal some of her rocky road.”

Within ten minutes the three of them have met up in the Student Center and are devouring ice creams and chatting. Piper chose a bizarre pistachio and butter pecan combination that she’s still not sold on, Reyna (of course) got her rocky road staple, and Annabeth’s eating a strawberry sundae.

“I have to say,” Reyna says after the three are far enough into their treats that their tongues are getting cold and numb from the treat and speech isn’t as easy as usual, “this place does have the best ice cream in the world.”

Piper shakes her head emphatically. “Untrue. Italy wins.”

“But that’s gelato,” Annabeth adds, “gelato and ice cream are different.”

“And we haven’t been to Italy,” says Reyna, “unlike Miss International here.”

Piper balls up a napkin and throws it at Reyna. “Can it, fudgehead.”

REYNA

“Careful, Reyna,” says Annabeth, “she broke out fudgehead. She’s mad.”

Reyna rolls her eyes and, before Piper can say anything else, shoves a spoonful of ice cream into Piper’s mouth. Piper squeaks in surprise. “Hey!” she says. “That was rude.”

“Was not,” says Reyna shrugging, “you were all talking about fudge, I figured you wanted something chocolatey.”

The eye roll she gets from Piper is about twelve times the roll that Reyna could ever muster, and Reyna has to keep herself from cracking up as Piper drops her head on the table.

“Why did I ever get myself stuck with you two?” Piper grumbles. “It’s a Friday afternoon and, instead of getting ready to go party, I’m eating ice cream with dumb people.”

“Dumb people!” exclaims Annabeth. “I’m pretty sure we’re awesome people.”

“Very awesome people,” Reyna adds, and Piper simply throws her hands in the air and books it out of there, heading straight for the bathroom.

“Quite the drama queen, that one,” Annabeth says, and it strikes Reyna as strange that neither of them blink an eye anymore whenever Piper goes on one of her ridiculous tirades. It’s almost as if they’re both used to her going from zero to weirdo with the snap of her fingers. It’s borderline concerning.

“Drama queen is right,” says Reyna, and before she can catch herself, she adds, “you should hear how needy she is in bed.”

When she realizes what she said, she looks up at Annabeth who, to her surprise, doesn’t look startled or horrified, but instead is just chuckling. “Of course she is,” says Annabeth. “I’ve had to deal with her banging on the shower stall wall because I was going too slowly for her liking and the other stalls were taken. I do not want to know what happens when orgasms are involved.”

“No, you don’t,” grumbles Reyna. “She gets simultaneously stupid and whiny, which is incredibly annoying when you’re not expecting it. But, at this point, I should probably constantly expect it.”

“She gets that way all the time. The amount of times I’ve had to hit her with a pillow to shut her up is ridiculous.”

“Who’s ridiculous?” asks Piper, sliding back into her spot next to Reyna. “I was going to leave, but then I realized I left my ice cream, and figured eh, worth it.”

“You’re the ridiculous one,” says Annabeth. “According to Reyna, even in bed.”

Reyna forced back a chuckle when Piper turns to her, horrified. “You divulged bed secrets to the Pretty Pretty Princess?” she asks, mockingly horrified. “Did she explode with the dirty details of it all?”

“There were no dirty details,” says Reyna. “But Annabeth did tell me about how you’re annoying and pushy for the showers in the morning.”

“At night,” Piper corrects, and Annabeth and Reyna just laugh at her when she gets indignant and frowns. “Oh, shut up, you two,” she grumbles, “I never should have let you two idiots become friends.”

“Ah, yes,” says Annabeth, “but do you think you could have ever prevented it?”

“It would have been impossible,” adds Reyna.

PIPER

When Reyna left to go get ready for a lacrosse meeting and Annabeth convinced Piper to go home and get started on the weekend’s homework early, Piper went along with it easily.

It wasn’t until twenty minutes into actually preparing questions to ask the teacher in her Calculus class on Tuesday that Piper realizes what she’s doing.

“Oh, my god!” she exclaims. “I’m doing homework. On a FRIDAY. In my dorm room. Come quick, Annabeth, take my temperature”

Annabeth, now perpetually wary of Piper’s shenanigans, stands up slowly. “Let me guess. You have a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell,” says Annabeth deadpan, but Piper refuses to let her roommate ruin her hilarious comment.

“No! The only prescription is more party! Let’s dance!”

“That’s the dumbest thing a human being has ever said,” says Annabeth. “I’m too tired. I don’t want to party. There is no party in these pants of mine, before you say it,” Annabeth adds before Piper can interrupt, “don’t even say it.”

“But don’t you want there to be a party in your pants?” Piper asks her, making sure to pout a little bit to make it just the slightest bit more entertaining.

“I don’t want any party, neither in my pants nor outside of my pants,” says Annabeth. “I need to study.”

“Can I teach you how to do makeup?” Piper asks with a grin. “I can teach you how to do that. You can study how to makeup your face. Or something.”

Annabeth looks up from the book she’s reading, and Piper’s eager face is basically impossible to refuse.

“Fine,” she sighs. “Teach me how to do makeup.”

That’s how, within twenty minutes, Piper’s made Annabeth look like a deranged woodland fairy and herself look like a princess of the ice land.

“I thought you knew how to do this!” exclaims Annabeth, staring at herself horrified in the mirror. “Dude, I thought you were good at this!”

“I am!” exclaims Piper. “I rarely get a chance to try out my costume makeup, though, and I figured, hell, get an unsuspecting Annabeth to do my evil bidding!”

“I hate you,” grumbles Annabeth. “I look like a swamp just hurled all over my face.”

“That’s the spirit!” exclaims Piper. “Get into character!”

It looks like Annabeth seriously considers throwing a pillow right at Piper’s face, but the likelihood the imprint of an Ice Fairy would be permanently adhered to her pillowcase appears to deter her. Piper grins. “I knew you wouldn’t throw it,” she singsongs, “you don’t want to ruin your – OW!”

Apparently, Annabeth was just waiting for the right angle and opportunity.

“You have started a war between the earth beings and the water beings,” announces Piper.

By the time the war is over, Annabeth’s drenched in water, Piper’s got hair spray all over the side of her neck, and there’s lipstick running from Piper’s jaw to collarbone.

“I yield!” Piper exclaims. Annabeth sighs and rolls off of where she had pinned Piper to their carpet.

“This is going to take years to clean up,” says Annabeth. “If only the water beings had yielded before the lip weapon was drawn.”

“It was my lipstick, too,” Piper grumbles.

ANNABETH

It takes them forty-five minutes and a twenty minute shower a piece to get the room and themselves cleaned up, and by then it’s too late to even consider going out.

“I’m exhausted,” says Piper, her face distorted by a yawn. “You ready for bed?”

“Am I ever,” Annabeth replies. “And you’re washing my pillow tomorrow, right?”

“Right.”

~~~~~~~

When Annabeth wakes up the next morning, Piper’s gone and there’s a text on her phone saying she went to study with Reyna.

“Study my ass,” she laughs.

She dresses and gets together her study materials for today, when suddenly there’s a knock on her door. Only half hesitant, she opens it.

“Annabeth, will you be my girlfriend?”

It’s Percy, and he’s holding a bouquet of flowers in his hand, thrusting them toward her, and he’s wearing the biggest smile Annabeth’s ever seen on anybody before. He also, she notes, looks really sleepy. Her mind flashes back to the day before, when he told her he’d come back that morning. She hadn’t realized he was serious.

“You want me to be your girlfriend?!” Annabeth asks, looking at Percy and his bouquet of flowers like he just told her he wanted to turn into a moose and roam the tranquil forests of northern New Hampshire.

Percy nods. “I mean, if you’re up for it.”

“Seriously?” she asks. “Me? You realize my me is very different than normal people. I’m me. Problem. Me.” Annabeth has never sounded like more of a dimwit.

He nods. “Of course you. Unless you’re Annabeth’s evil twin.”

He says things like that sometimes. Annabeth’s not sure if that’s just him trying to be funny or if that’s legitimately how his weirdo brain works.

“I can promise there is no evil twin,” she says, fighting back a sad smile. If anything, she is the evil twin. “It’s just me.”

“There’s nothing just about you,” says Percy, sticking the flowers out again. “Do you want these or are they too much? They’re probably too much.”

“They’re beautiful,” says Annabeth, smiling down at them. “I like them a lot.”

He sighs and grins. “I’m glad. They’re not, like, expensive or anything. I can’t really afford expensive. I mean, I…” His sentence trails off as Annabeth takes the flowers from him and steps close to them.

“They’re great,” she says quietly as she kisses him lightly. “Really, really great.”

“So you’ll be my girlfriend?”

Annabeth hesitates. There’s a lot nobody on this campus knows about her, a lot they don’t know about her and Luke and what happened back when she was still only a freshman in college. And she’s scared the second she tries to explain it to anyone, the second she brings it up, every single person she has made any sort of connection with is going to head for the hills. But Percy didn’t. Percy only left when Piper barged in like a jerkface and came back in the morning.   

She’s known since she was fourteen that she had a lot going on upstairs that was very different from everyone else. But maybe, just maybe, what was going on today was exactly what should have been going on. Maybe telling Piper a few weeks before and telling Percy the night before was right where she was supposed to be doing. Maybe, for once, her marbles are all back in place.

“Yes,” Annabeth says quietly. “Of course I will.”

“Good, because I was going to ask you if we could get lunch again today. Well, later on.”

“Later on?” Annabeth asks. “It’s almost eleven.”

“Yeah, but I’m –” As if the adrenaline of making it official dissolved out of him the second she said yes, Percy yawns wider than she’s seen in her entire life.

“Tired?” she offers with a grin. “If you want to, you can take a nap here.”

“I live just down-downst…” He loses his sentence again because he yawns so wide it’s like she can see down his windpipe – not a pretty look on anyone, she can say – and sways a little where he stands.

“What’s up with you?” she asks, fighting back what she’s sure would be a fairly rude laugh.

“I was up really late doing a paper when I went home after talking to you. And then I had t- to…” He yawns again. Instead of saying anything further, Annabeth takes his hand and walks him into her bedroom.

“You need to stop thinking for a while. You can explain all of this when you wake up. Right now I think you just need to take a little nap.

Percy begins muttering whatever the hell about sleep and how much of it he’d gotten in the past few days and why he had been awake for so long, then curls up at the foot of Annabeth’s bed. He’s out in mere seconds.

Annabeth, whose mental image of him taking a nap was him lying next to her instead of him conking out like a cat, suddenly finds herself without an idea of what to do in the situation.

With a deep sigh that’s more of a Piper than an Annabeth thing to do, she grabs some homework and sits down against the wall, and finds herself, as she flips through her flashcards about ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, gently combing her fingers through his thick, dark hair. For the first time, she had a boyfriend. An actual boyfriend named Perseus Alexander Jackson (is that a mouthful or what?) who was possibly the dumbest kid she’s met on the planet on the surface, but so much more after a few more conversations.

More importantly, a boyfriend who is her age and a weirdly snarky goofball when he wants to be who brings her flowers and a smile for no reason. To her surprise, he snuggles up against her as she brushes her fingers through his hair, and when he turns to press a kiss to her fingertips, a flood of warmth and happiness takes her over enough that she giggles or no reason.

“You are quite the man, Percy Jackson,” she says quietly.

PIPER

The first thing she sees when she gets home is the bouquet of flowers – obviously store-bought and silly, but cute all the same – on Annabeth’s desk, and she knows Percy took her advice to do something just silly and cheesy enough to be cute.

“He got you flowers?” she says. “Oh, god, that’s so lame. I love it. Did you say yes?”

Annabeth’s head snaps up from whatever book she’s reading, and that’s when Piper realizes that Percy’s still there, curled up like a cat at the foot of Annabeth’s bed.

“Is he asleep?” Piper mouths.

Annabeth smiles and nods. “He was up until five this morning finishing up a paper, got two hours of sleep, got the flowers, passed in the paper, went to class, came here, and then, apparently, passed out.”

“He just threw you a bouquet of flowers and then fell asleep on your bed?”

“No, of course not,” Annabeth replies. “We talked about whether or not we wanted to be in a relationship officially first.”

Piper raises an eyebrow. “And are you? Official, I mean?”

Annabeth nods. “You think he would have been comfortable enough to pass out on my bed if we weren’t?”

“Well, yeah,” says Piper, “from what I’ve seen of him, he’d be comfortable passing out in the apartment of an old dude who said a polite hello to him on a bus.”

“Fair enough.”

Piper studies Annabeth’s face as she looks down at Percy. “Damn, girl,” she says, “you’ve got it bad.”

“You’re one to talk,” says Annabeth, not taking her eyes off of Percy. “Are you going to ask Reyna to make it official yet?”

Piper’s so startled she crashes into her bed. “Of course not!” she exclaims indignantly. “I will do no such thing! I don’t want no such thing! I don’t making sense am!”

“I’m hoping that last sentence mix up was on purpose,” Annabeth laughs, and with the slight movement, Percy shifts in her lap.

“’susup?” he asks, lifting his head bleary-eyed up to look at Piper. “I do somethin’?”

“Go back to bed, Wee Willy Winky,” says Piper. “Go find that dreamland or whatever.”

“Got Annabeth,” he mumbles, and Piper’s got no clue if he’s actually awake or not, “dreamy enough.”

Annabeth’s expression is startled and confused and, from Piper’s perspective, hilarious.

“Did he just say I was dreamy?” she asks, sound as dumbfounded as she looks.

“Yeah, he did,” Piper chuckles, “what is this, the 50’s?”

Annabeth just slowly shakes her head in disbelief. “I have no idea what goes on in that head of his,” she says quietly, “but I think I like it.”

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

After Percy asked Annabeth to be his girlfriend, school and life became complicated. Her father came to visit out of nowhere to let her know he had changed jobs, which meant he would not be home for most of Thanksgiving break. Professors who had seemed to give easy tests warned her that the midterms were going to be endless hell.

So, when a weekend finally rolls around, a Friday afternoon after everyone’s midterms are over and the last few weeks of the semester seem close and scary at the same time, Percy had called to tell her to be ready for 6:30 and prepare for a, in his words, “super freaking awesome date.”

Piper smirks at her. “Girl, you are so getting laid tonight.”

“Not for the first time,” says Annabeth, carefully folding up the blankets on her bed, but she can feel a red blush spread across her cheeks. “Just – for the first time in, you know, a couple of days.” She starts to smile and she can’t stop, and it’s one of the nicest feelings she’s had in a long time. Luke never gave her that feeling – the mindless giddiness that infected even her most stressful moments, the flashing back to wonderful moments together – and with Percy it’s a new experience every time. There’s something about his general assumption that everyone has at least a little good in them that makes Annabeth sort of hope for the human race again.

There’s a knock on the door and Piper jumps. “Is he supposed to be here now?” she asks, looking startled. “Oh, crap, I’m not out of my towel. I’m not even dressed!”

Annabeth takes a look at her watch. “He’s not supposed to be here until 6:30,” she says with a frown. “I’ll get it though. Let him know he’s early.” She checks her watch again. 3:30. “Really stupidly early. What kind of crack is that boy on?”

“Something good, apparently, if he’s that off on the timing,” Piper says.

Annabeth is fully prepared to tease Percy about being eager when she pulls the door open to see a boy with dark hair curling against his ears, bright eyes with the same kind of mischief behind them that she sees in Piper’s, and a giant grin.

“Piper didn’t tell me she had a princess for a roommate,” says the guy with a wink. “I’m Leo Valdez, nice to meet you.” Annabeth shakes the hand he sticks out, and turns to Piper with an expression like, “did you know this kid was coming?”

Piper’s jaw drops, and she sprints over to the door. “Fuckin’ a, Leo!” she exclaims and, to Annabeth’s surprise, knocks her out of the way to tackle the Latino boy halfway to the ground. He just barely steadies himself before catching her. “You didn’t tell me you were coming this weekend!”

He laughs into her hair as he picks her up into a hug. “Thought I’d surprise you for Halloween,” he says. “Plus, I knew you’d be busy and shit and tell me you couldn’t hang out. So I came up anyway.” Piper pulls away for a second to stare at Leo incredulously, and Annabeth honestly can’t tell if they used to date or are just really good friends. It’s answered when Piper hauls off and slugs him in the arm.

“You fucking idiot,” she says, “now I either have to kick you out or make my roommate uncomfortable!”

“It’s no big deal,” Annabeth says, and she feels herself grinning. “Actually, this gives me a reason to sleep over Percy’s tonight.”

Leo’s eyes light up, and Annabeth realizes he looks a lot younger than he probably is. “See, Piper? Your roommate’s cool with it. So can I stay?”

“Let me think,” she says, considering it slowly. “Course you can, moron. Besides, who else can I Halloween with, right? Gotta have my Jimmy Olsen.”

“You don’t get to be Superman ever again,” says Leo, and he turns to Annabeth, stage whispering, “she abused the power.”

“I would expect nothing less of her,” says Annabeth. “Leo, you can come in if you want.” As she moves to let them in, her eyes catch a bulletin outside their room.

“Hey, Piper,” she says, letting the door shut behind her. “There’s apparently a party in the Student Center tomorrow night. Some sort of Halloween thing. Do we want to go?”

Piper turns to Leo, and there seems to be some sort of silent exchange there. Annabeth watches in fascination as they communication with a couple of shrugs and eyebrow movements.

“Sure,” says Piper. “We’ll show Leo watch the school sanctioned fun is. And then we will go off to one of the frat parties and introduce him to what it’s really like at a school like this.”

Over the next couple hours, Annabeth and Piper give Leo a tour of campus. Annabeth learns that Leo’s got skills with his hands, and went from apprentice to partner of his mother’s mechanic shop by the time he was eighteen. She also learns that his father backs him when times are tough, but is unable to be there for him most of the time. Piper tells a bunch of stories about how she and Leo caused trouble, anything from teaching the eighth graders the trick of moving desks up to mess with teachers to setting a bonfire behind one of Piper’s father’s houses and throwing the biggest party of the year without planning it. Annabeth also learns that Leo is strangely obsessed with fire.

“It’s just a thing,” he says with a shrug, “I’m good at getting it to do what I want.”

Annabeth still, at dinner, is a bit unsure what to make of this rambunctious fire starter who would be sleeping in her dorm room that evening.

“So, girls,” Leo asks, “got any clue what you’re going to be for Halloween?”

Annabeth shrugs. “Well, I was thinking I might do sludge princess, since Piper’s got that makeup down.”

“Hey!” Piper exclaims. “That was a fantastically done sludge princess and you know it.”

Leo chuckles. “You still working on that stage makeup, Pipes?”

Piper folds her arms across her chest and frowns. “Shut up,” she grumbles. “Just because the makeup isn’t pretty doesn’t mean it isn’t good.”

“I’m not going as a sludge princess,” says Leo. “No matter how pretty I’d look. We should go as Charlie’s Angels.”

Piper snorts. “You’d make a terrible Bosley, Leo.”

“I was thinking more Charlie.”

“You never see Charlie,” Annabeth laughs.

“You make a good point,” he says. “But we’ll come up with outfits. They’re going to be awesome. Just prepare for it.”

PIPER

“These are literally the worst possible Halloween costumes you could have come up with, Leo,” says Piper. “Literally the worst.”

“I have a date in an hour!” Annabeth exclaims. “Oh, god, how the hell am I expected to get all of this hairspray out?!”

Leo shrugs and touches delicately as his slicked back hair. “Look, Rizzo,” he says to Piper, whose hair has been curled just enough to cover the undercut and look a little bit like the character she’s imitating, “is your friend going to calm down or what?”

“She has a date in an hour, Leo!” Piper exclaims.

“Neither of you looked at the clock!” Leo responds. “And from now on I respond to nothing but Kenickie.”

“I still have no idea why you didn’t choose to be Danny,” says Annabeth, touching her helmet head in the mirror. Piper has to admit, that pair of leather pants do look fairly good on Annabeth. Her butt looks magnificent. But the leather vest over a neon green tank top (thanks, for that idea, Leo) isn’t Sandy as much as Piper. It’ll have to do, especially since Piper’s shoved herself into one of Annabeth’s old pink cardigans. Duct tape lettering spells “Pink Ladies” across the back. It looks hilarious, she’ll admit it, but Piper keeps pulling at her hair, which is strategically pulled back to make sure the curls look short enough.

“Quit that!” Annabeth exclaims. “You’ll ruin it!”

“Kind of the point,” grumbles Piper. “Jesus, it’s like somebody stuck pin cushions in my brain. How do you go through life with this many bobby pins in your skull? Self hatred?”

“I never used bobby pins until I met you, numbskull,” Annabeth replies.

Leo looks over at her, his slicked back hair glinting in the poor fluorescent dorm room lighting. “You know, before I liked you. Now that you insulted Piper with numbskull, I might like you more than I like her.”

Annabeth does a victory dance while Piper just glares at Leo.

“This is so not fair,” says Piper with a frown. “You’re not supposed to team up against me. That’s not how it works!”

“Disagree,” says Annabeth with a bright smile. “You gave me Sandy hair. Now help me tame this mess into something tolerable – I don’t have time to brush this out, shower, dress, put on makeup, and clean up this horror show.”

“Just go like that,” says Leo. “I’m pretty sure the 50’s look works on anyone.”

“The fifties look works on old white men, you donk,” says Piper with an eye roll. “But yeah, nice try.”

It takes then twenty of Annabeth’s remaining sixty before all three of them realize that a giant halo of shame is all they’re going to get form Annabeth’s hair when it’s dry. The hairspray is causing the curls to unfurl just enough to cause frizz and the hairbrush increases the static tenfold.

“You look like you just stuck your foot in an electrical socket,” laughs Piper.

“No one’s fault but yours, you ass,” grumbles Annabeth. “Jesus, Percy’s going to walk in and totally reconsider the whole girlfriend thing. And it’s going to be all your fault. I’m going to retaliate by telling Reyna you were looking at engagement rings online.”

Piper responds by pulling at the brush in Annabeth’s hair a little too tightly, and Annabeth responds to that with a high pitched shriek.

 Eventually, Piper shoves her in the shower (“I’M STILL IN MY JEANS!” “They’ll dry, just rinse out your hair.” “I’m going to kill you in your sleep!” “Sure, give it a try.) and doesn’t let her out until her hair is soaked to her back and more malleable.

“See?” Piper says, ignoring the fact that the hair brush is literally stuck in Annabeth’s hair. “No problem. Getting your hair wet didn’t do anything to hurt it.”

“Didn’t do anything to help, either,” comments Leo, who is flipping through Annabeth’s copy of Frankenstein.

“Shut up, fudgehead,” grumbles Piper.

Percy’s knocking on the door by the time Piper manages to get Annabeth’s hair all brushed out. Well, mostly. They brush keeps getting stuck. Annabeth’s sitting in her desk chair in one of Piper’s too-small robes, sweat pants, and her Sassy Cheeseburger shirt.

“Am I early?” Percy asks, looking befuddled as Piper pulls the door open, despite Annabeth’s protests. He looks at his watch. “I did tell you six thirty, right?”

Annabeth nods, and Piper catches her short-but-sweet glare. “You told me right,” Annabeth grumbles, “but a certain Piper McShittyPlanning decided to do ridiculous things with my hair and we just got it to make sense now.”

Percy pouts and Piper resists the urge to laugh at him.

“I’m really sorry, Percy,” Annabeth says, hitting Piper in the arm. “Did you make reservations for seven? I should be ready before then.”

He shakes his head. “I totally should have made reservations, though,” he says with a frown. “That was shitting planning on my part too.” Then, it’s like he blinks and realizes Leo’s sitting on Piper’s bed. “Can I ask who the dude is?”

“That’s Leo,” Piper says. “Nerd. Loser. Picked him up from the side of the street.”

“I’ve known Piper since high school,” Leo tries to put in.

“He’s an assassin,” says Annabeth.

“He kisses cats and eats hedgehogs.”

“He once ate a jellyfish, stole it right from a baby.”

Piper and Percy stare at Annabeth. She blinks. “Oh, crap. I meant to say jellybean.”

“I don’t know,” says Leo. “I think maybe my street cred would go up if I ate a jellyfish.”

“Except you stole it from a baby,” says Percy. “I mean, wouldn’t that make the baby even more badass than you would be?”

The guys stare at each other for a moment, and Piper observes them. She gets along with Percy great, but Leo can be abrasive and a downright douchebag. Unlike Piper, he doesn’t know when to tone it down.

Leo turns to Annabeth. “Your boy’s got a good grasp on the tactics of jellyfish,” is apparently what he thinks is a good comment. Annabeth just nods.

“Did I get myself into an insane asylum and just collect you people as I walked down the halls or something?” Annabeth asks.

“Yes, we are Pokemon,” says Piper with an eye roll. Then, in a strange turn of events, she and Percy both say, “Gotta catch ‘em all.”

“Dude!” exclaims Piper, and high fives Percy.

“I am surrounded by idiots,” says Annabeth. “Just help my hair go back to normal, okay, Piper?”

Piper sighs. “Alright,” she grumbles. “Let Grandma and Grandpa go on their date so the cool kids can go out and shake their booties.”

“Never,” says Annabeth, “call me Grandma again, hooligan teenager.”

ANNABETH

She has to admit, Piper’s got some skill. After her hair was twisted and braided and finally tamed from the disaster it was, Annabeth was dressed and made up before fifteen minutes were up.

“You ready to go?” Percy asks. “Because, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t eaten since noon.”

“You are an idiot,” Annabeth says, but she can feel herself smile. “Let’s go.”

With a wave to Piper and Leo and a skillful closing of the door in Piper’s face to prevent her from being able to make any more horrible comments (the week before Piper had replaced all of Annabeth’s cards and money with condoms) or doing anything awful.

Percy gallantly extends an arm and Annabeth laughs as she takes it. “Wow,” she says with a smile, “a real gentleman.”

Percy smiles and shrugs. “I try.” They walk in silence for a little while until they reach a little restaurant, one Annabeth’s been dying to try but hasn’t had the time to visit. It’s called Cucina Italiano and Annabeth’s about to die. It smells like bread and tomato sauce and Italian food and, wow, she wasn’t this hungry eight seconds ago.

“You’ve mentioned it a few times,” says Percy. Annabeth can’t do much but smile even wider.

They walk in, and suddenly Annabeth is very happy she dressed up for the occasion. It’s a small place, almost a hole in the wall, and everyone is dressed up. She pulls a little on her dress – it feels too short, too young for this kind of place, oh, god, should she even be here? – until Percy realizes what she’s doing and wordlessly takes her hand.

“This place is fancier than I expected,” says Percy. “Are you…?”

“I think so,” says Annabeth, not quite realizing she hasn’t said anything specific yet. She does that sometimes – gets overwhelmed and confused to the point of only saying half of what she means. Somehow, Percy’s gotten good at translating it.

“Want to hit the pizza place down the road?”

Annabeth nods. “Oh, hell yes.”

Percy and Annabeth turn on their heels and book it to the pizza place that everyone from their school goes. It’s noisy but not so loud they can’t hear each other, and when Annabeth takes off her formal coat and cardigan, the dress she’s wearing goes from too fancy to fine. She has to help Percy with his tie though – his best friend apparently tied it in a way that got a little too complicated.

“Thanks,” Percy says, massaging his throat. “God, ties are like torture. I thought I was going to get strangled with that thing. I don’t care how stylish it is, ties are evil.”

“Fashion can be painful,” says Annabeth, and she finds her hand rising up to pat her hair.

“I got that impression when I saw Piper get her hairbrush stuck in your hair,” says Percy.

“It got stuck?!” Annabeth exclaims. “God, I knew I should never have let her get a hold on me. That one’s going to kill me someday.”

“You look good, though!” says Percy. “Really good. Really pretty. Your hair doesn’t look like a frizzball anymore.” He pauses. “That came out wrong.”

“Thanks,” says Annabeth. “Now that you’re not being strangled, you look pretty nice too.”

“Well, the strangulation added a bit of color to my skin,” says Percy with an eye roll. “I’m never letting Jason dress me again.”

“How come I haven’t met any of your friends yet?” Annabeth says, and in a split second she realizes it may have been a good idea to come at that a little bit more gently. “I mean, I…” Yep, no way she could soften it now.

To her surprise, Percy frowns. “You have met my friends,” he says. “Jason and Nico were at that party we met at. Did they not introduce themselves? They said they talked to you.”

“I didn’t realize they were your friends,” Annabeth replies. “And, yeah, no names or introductions.”

Percy rolls his eyes. “Well, they’re idiots,” he grumbles. “I’ve known Jason since he was born. He greeted me when he was nine months old and I was around a year old with a bite on my cheek. I think he thought it was a kiss.” Annabeth feels bad that she’s laughing too hard to let Percy continue, but she’s even happier she’s in this pizza place instead of the Italian restaurant, because she’s started snorting.

“Bit you in the cheek?” she manages to laugh. “Like, actually bit you?”

Percy nods. “Right here,” he says, and sure enough, there’s a faint white scar against his darker skin, bright in the fluorescent lighting.

“It looks like you got bitten by a vampire,” Annabeth laughs.

Percy furrows his brow and stares at Annabeth like he’s concentrating, “You can’t be with me, Annabeth. I’m a vegetarian vampire and all I want to do is drink your blood and kill you. Dead. Very dead.” He squints his eyes even harder. “I sparkle in the sun.”

Annabeth laughs more. “But Percy,” she says, entirely deadpan, “I am a void character. I have no development or structure through the series, yet your character is obsessed with me.”

Percy’s not laughing. “That was disturbingly accurate,” he says. “Don’t do that again. Please?”

Annabeth nods. “No more being Bella for me, then. But your Edward was magnificent. I am quite impressed. I’m surprised you’re not a drama major.”

Percy chokes on his soda. “Oh, god,” he says, snorting up water. Annabeth quickly hands him a napkin before he gets Pepsi all over his shirt. “No way. Not in – no way. I’m actually undeclared right now. I’ve gone back and forth between engineering because there are always jobs and physics because I want to design skate parks and stuff.”

“Well I could help with that,” says Annabeth, confused about how they’ve never talked about their majors yet. “I’m doing architecture. I mean, not really yet. I’m in an introduction to the history of architecture right now, but when I get further into it I can help with the designs.”

“It’s a deal,” says Percy, eyes bright.

The rest of the dinner is noise and laughter and smiles and too much pizza for the average person. Annabeth can’t remember the last time she’s laughed this hard without Piper giving her a screwdriver or Piper being an idiot, and they close the restaurant down along with some drunken fools. The two walk arm in arm back to their dorm.

“Hold on,” says Annabeth, digging in her pocket for keys. “I need to go upstairs and grab a change of clothes.”

Percy nuzzles her neck, and Annabeth tilts her head to the side without realizing she’s doing it. “Wait, not yet,” she giggles. “Give me a few seconds.”

“Okay,” he says, kissing behind her ear once. “Your hair still smells like hairspray.”

“Shut up, fuzzhead,” she laughs.

She walks up the stairs and fusses for a few minutes with the key and opens the door.

Only to find Reyna and Piper making out on Piper’s bed.

“For fuck’s sake, Piper!” Annabeth exclaims. “Did you lose Leo?!”

Chapter Text

PIPER

“We’re going to hit a party,” says Piper once Annabeth heads out. She hadn’t had much planned for the night, but now that Leo was there, obviously something exciting would have to happen. “Come on, it’s going to be great.”

“Great?” Leo says. “Or another one of your convoluted schemes to get me drunk and make me dance?

“You dance on your own,” says Piper with an eye roll. “I don’t scheme to get you to dance – I scheme to get you to stop. We either get drunk in my dorm room and I make you cuddle with me until I pick a romcom to watch and then you start to cry or we go find something exciting to do on or off campus.”

“Wow,” Leo responds, “we seriously need to get lives.”

“We do,” says Piper, “but damn, does it feel better sometimes to just watch a movie.”

“But not today?”

“Oh, hell no,” says Piper, “I’m going to call my – thing, my friend, my, Reyna and tell her to meet us at the party.”

“At what party?”

“Leo,” says Piper, folding her arms across her chest, “come on. There is always a party at this school.”

They dress and get ready and Reyna agrees to meet them in the Student Center at 10.

“Are we going to romcom until then?” asks Leo with a broad grin. “Because I’m going to need a bunch of rum for that.”

“I have Coke under my bed,” says Piper. “But your toll is to get the booze.”

Leo leans over and pulls out a bottle from the backpack he had been wearing when he walked in. “Bacardi, baby.”

“How did you get that?”

Leo shrugs. “I’ve got a bunch of friends at the shop. They don’t really mind picking me up some stuff when I ask for it.”

“As long as it stays at the booze,” says Piper, shaking her finger at Leo like a teacher, “No getting crazy with that molly, you hear!”

“Oh, shut up,” says Leo, pushing at Piper’s face. She loses balance and nearly falls off of the bed before Leo catches her arm.

Leo and Piper kill their bottle of rum by 9:45 and watch the entirety of 27 Dresses. Leo cries when James Marsden gives Katherine Heigl her book back.

“I’m not crying!” Leo exclaims. “I’m just – leaking rum.”

“You are doing no such thing,” Piper replies. “You are crying, Leo. Just admit it.” Then, for reasons she can’t explain, Piper starts giggling.

“Ooh!” she says, “Reyna texted me! I think it’s time to meet her up.”

She replies with “yha letd gotothe party now” which is totally misspelled but she doesn’t care, and manages to get herself and Leo lost before five minutes of walking pass. Which, coincidentally, is the exact amount of time it should have taken them to get to the Student Center.

“Are you seriously this drunk?” is what Reyna says as she picks up the phone. “Good god, you two, it’s like you need a babysitter.”

“I do not need a babysitting!” exclaims Leo indignantly.

“Carefully,” says Reyna over the phone, “carefully think of what you just said and reevaluate your statement.”

“He doesn’t need a babysitter,” says Piper. “We’re outside the Math Lab building. Come find us.”

“I am, apparently, your babysitters,” grumbles Reyna, but Piper knows she’s going to come get them. It’s just how Reyna is. While they wait, Piper tells Leo all about Reyna and her face and her hair and her smile. She can tell, sort of, in the back of her mind that she’s kind of rambling, but she doesn’t really care. This stuff is important.

“She’s really crazy smart,” says Piper, “like, really smart. I’ve never been smart and she made me smart this semester. Like really smart.”

“You’ve always been smart, idiot,” says Leo. “Just she made you want to be smart.”

“A little,” says Piper. “But mostly it’s her.”

Leo, then, out of nowhere, darts off to talk to someone.

“Hey,” he says, walking up to the girl. “You’re pretty hot right now. I mean, you’re usually probably hot, but right now you’re, like, really hot?”

“Do I know you?” the girl replies, and Piper suddenly realizes it’s Reyna. Instead of doing the logical thing and introducing them, Piper slides a little more into the shadows and waits to see what happens.

“Not yet,” says Leo. “But I think I want to. Know you, I mean. Sorry, I am really dumb right now.” He sticks out his hand for her to shake it. “Hi. I’m Leo.”

“I’m not shaking that.”

“Why not?” asks Leo. “Is it because I’m a boy?”

“Little bit, yeah,” she replies. “Have you seen two people, a guy and a gir – wait, what was your name again?”

“Leo,” he says with a smirk. Piper holds back a laugh. “Leo Valdez, beautiful.”

“Goddamn it, Leo, I’m Reyna. Where’s Piper?”

“You’re Reyna?” he asks, looking shocked. “You’re Piper’s!” he turns around. “Piper, I didn’t mean to hit on your Reyna!”

“Her Reyna? I’m her Reyna?” Reyna chuckles. “What else did she say about me in her drunken stupor?”

Piper, despite the haze, realizes that this may not be the conversation she wants Leo and Reyna to have the first time they meet each other.

“Okay!” she exclaims. “Prank is over. I am here. Let’s go to a party.”

“Where were you?” asks Reyna. “Were you hiding? God, you are so weird.”

“I’m weird?!” Piper asks. “Leo, you were hitting on my – the – you were hitting on Reyna!”

“According to Leo you called me your Reyna,” says Reyna with a grin. “Want to explain that one?”

“No!” exclaims Piper. “I want to get my dance on!”

Reyna rolls her eyes – it’s really dramatic and super annoying, in Piper’s opinion, and kind of attractive – and grabs Piper’s hand. “Alright,” Reyna says with a sigh. “We’ll go get our dance on.” She looks up at Leo and Piper follows her gaze. “You coming, player?”

“Of course I am,” says Leo. “What do you take me for, a fool”

“Probably,” says Reyna. “But I haven’t quite made the decision yet.

~~~~~~~

“Did we lose Leo?” Piper asks, her head in Reyna’s lap.

Reyna looks down at her and runs her fingers through Piper’s hair. “I don’t know,” she replies, “pretty sure he was your responsibility.”

Piper doesn’t quite hear her as clearly as she normally would – the rum and cokes she’d made for herself was a little more rum than Coke and Reyna’s fingertips through her hair is magical – and just snuggles into Reyna’s hand. “He’s a big boy,” Piper replies,” he’s probably in the bathroom of one of these parties getting laid.”

“Piper,” Reyna says slowly, “we’re not at a party anymore. We spent about twenty minutes at the party before you told me you didn’t feel great, and you said Leo would be fine on his own. So we went back to my dorm about forty minutes ago and you’ve been talking to me about what love means and if the media has been brainwashing us to believe in love when it may not exist for the past thirty. And then you called me ‘my Reyna’ about eight times.”

“I have?” Piper asks. She sits up and looks around. “Did I black out?”

“That’s the third time you’ve asked that,” Reyna says, “so I’m guessing yes.”

Piper frowns. “I’ve never blacked out before! At least, not like this. We didn’t even do anything exciting!”

“Except we lost Leo.”

“I was blackout drunk!” Piper exclaims. “At least I think I was. Probably. I mean, Leo’s a big boy, he can handle himself –”

“Yes, you mentioned that.”

“ – but I still feel bad ditching him.”

“Give him a call,” Reyna suggests. “I doubt he’s in too much trouble. Call him up and I’m sure it’ll all be okay.”

Piper sighs. “All right,” she says, “as long as you don’t tell anyone that I blacked out. Or that I called you my Reyna. Even though you are my Reyna. I don’t want anyone to know.”

For a brief second, Reyna stares down at Piper like she’s about to say something, but then exhales deeply. “I agree to your terms, you strange little Piper of mine,” Reyna says, pressing a kiss to Piper’s forehead. “But you have to drink a glass of water after this phone call, okay?”

Piper nods and pulls out her phone. “Anything you want, princess.”

ANNABETH

“Would you two quit doing that while I’m in the room!” Annabeth exclaims. “Seriously, guys, we have talked about this before and  – you’re not Piper.”

The girl with the dark hair Annabeth had assumed was Piper sits up and gives Annabeth a look. It’s definitely not Piper. “Is she your girlfriend?” she asks. She glares at Annabeth. “Are you his girlfriend?”

Annabeth, despite her best intentions, snorts. “Actually, no,” she replies. “My boyfriend is outside, thanks very much. But this is my room.”

“This isn’t your room?” the girl asks Leo. “God, how many times do you lie a night?”

“I told you I was a guest!” Leo says incredulously. “I even made sure to tell you that I couldn’t get into the dorms because I wasn’t a student here!”

She frowns and Annabeth turns on the light, wanting to see the girl’s face. Sure enough, Annabeth does not even in the slightest recognize her.

“You don’t have a girlfriend?” says Leo’s gal pal.

“No,” says Leo. “We cleared this up about an hour ago. But now that I’m thinking of it you might want to go back to your room. I – I’m not sure you’re, er, awake enough.”

“I am a little tired,” she says. “Can I have your number?”

“Gave it to you an hour ago.”

“Right.” She stands up and Annabeth hands her the bright pink sparkly jacket she knows couldn’t belong to any of the residents of that particular room. “See you later, cutie!”

Annabeth hears Percy say, “what in the…?” as she leaves, but that’s the extent to which Annabeth can care about this girl.

“LEO!” Annabeth shrieks at her roommate’s best friend. “For the love of god and all that is holy, what on earth were you thinking!”

He sits up and stares at her, looking shocked. “What did I do? What did I do?!”

“Well,” says Annabeth, picking up a pillow from her bed and throwing it at him. “You seem to have lost Piper! Which is a totally unacceptable thing to –”

She’s interrupted by a phone call. “Mulatto Butts” starts blaring from Leo’s phone.

“Dude!” exclaims Percy. “You watch Archer too?!”

“Yeah!” says Leo. “Best show ever, right?”

“CAN YOU ANSWER YOUR PHONE?!” Annabeth shrieks, and Leo’s so startled that he picks up the phone.

“Hello? Oh, hey, Piper? Yeah, no, I’m not lost. I’m in your room. Yes, Annabeth’s here.” He holds the phone away, and Annabeth can hear Piper screaming at him through it. “Okay, first off, ow. Second, no, I was not ‘getting freaky’ when she was in the room, you moron. Yes, I understand. No, I didn’t soil your bed, what are you, fifty? FINE. I WILL TELL HER.” Leo rests his phone against his chest. “Annabeth, Piper says that if you want you can punch me.”

“Noted,” says Annabeth. “Can I see the phone?” Leo wordlessly hands it to Annabeth.

“Hey, Piper,” says Annabeth. “There is no reason for me to punch Leo.”

“Why not?” Piper exclaims. “He had the thing with the girl with the you in the room!”

“Okay, first off, that was not English. Second, no he did not. I just got back from my date with Percy.”

“Then why aren’t you two getting naked and freaky?”

Annabeth closes her eyes and sighs deeply. “Please, Piper,” she begins, “never, ever say that phrase. Ever again.”

“If you insist,” says Piper. “But you’re still allowed to punch Leo if you need to.”

“Fine,” says Annabeth. “Let Reyna put you to bed, okay?”

“I think she knows I like her,” says Piper. “Like, feelings wise.”

Annabeth feels her eyebrows shoot up into her hairline. “Say that again?” she asks.

Piper lowers her voice to a fairly poor stage whisper. “I kind of feel things for Reyna. But don’t tell anyone. Especially not Reyna. No one can know.”

“Okay,” says Annabeth carefully. “I won’t tell anyone. I promise.”

“Good,” says Piper, “because no one else knows.”

Then she hangs up on Annabeth and Annabeth hands the phone back to Leo. “She’s fine,” says Annabeth. “She’s got Reyna watching over her – we have nothing to worry about. Now,” Annabeth turns to Percy. “You are going to fuck me into the mattress until I can’t think about any of this bizarro past few minutes, okay?”

There’s a brief moment of silence as Percy stares at Annabeth for a few seconds. Every once in a while she figures it’s a good idea to drop one of these bombs on him to keep things interesting.

“That’s pretty intense,” says Leo, breaking the silence.

“Can it, Leo.” Then Annabeth grabs Percy by the front of his shirt and closes the door behind her.

They walk down the stairs, Annabeth keeping Percy by the shirt, until they get to Percy’s dorm room. “You understand your job?”

“Can this be a thing?” Percy asks. “Like – always? Because this is like…Really hot.”

“Get out those keys and make me too busy to remember any of the ridiculous crap that’s been going on.”

Percy opens the door and Annabeth pushes him in. Her hands push against his coat, shoving it off of his shoulders. Percy chuckles, a deep shake in his shoulders that sends a shiver down Annabeth’s spine.

“I think your zipper’s stuck,” says Percy against Annabeth’s lips. “I can’t get your jacket off.”

“Hold on.” Annabeth pulls the jacket and her dress off over her head. “There. Much easier.”

“How – you’re. I don’t even…Fuck it.” Percy pulls off his shirt and pulls Annabeth back to him, and Annabeth’s head falls back as he brushes his lips against her neck, her jaw, her collarbone.

But this isn’t going nearly as quickly as she was hoping.

“I’m all for foreplay,” Annabeth says, eyes fluttering closed, “but remember that fucking into the mattress thing?”

“Got it,” says Percy, and he picks her up and throws her down onto the mattress, immediately going for the hook behind her back.

“Unclasps in the front,” Annabeth singsongs.

“God damn you’re perfect,” says Percy, and her bra is off in literal seconds. Then off come his pants and then it’s a full thirty minutes of Percy taking “fuck me into the mattress” almost literally.

It’s a damned good night.

REYNA

She wakes up with Piper curled around her, her head on Reyna’s chest, an arm thrown across Reyna’s waist, and a leg thrown across Reyna’s legs.

After everything drunk Piper had said the night before, it’s almost enough to make Reyna think Piper might have meant it all. But as much as people believe that drunk words are sober thoughts, Reyna’s pretty sure Piper’s going to have forgotten everything.

Piper mumbles a little bit, her fingers curling into Reyna’s shirt, and something twists around Reyna’s heart. “Reyna,” Piper mumbles in her sleep, and Reyna holds perfectly still. She’s got no idea if Piper’s awake or not, and isn’t sure if waking her up would be the best move.

“Reyna?”

Apparently Piper the answer awake. “Yeah?”

“I think I’m hungover.”

“Really?”

Piper nods against Reyna’s chest. “My head hurts.”

“That may also be because you started drinking around 7 and went until around 10 and haven’t had any water in about three million years. Also it’s only eight in the morning.”

“That too,” mumbles Piper. Reyna leans over and grabs a bottle of water from under the bed and hands it to Piper, who guzzles it down quickly.

“That feels better,” says Piper, her eyes fluttering shut again. She readjusts herself, resting her head on Reyna’s chest. “I just wanna sleep until the world ends. Can I do that?”

Reyna can’t help but smile. “You can stay here as long as you like.”

~~~~~~~

She does. Piper stays in Reyna’s room until twelve, asleep and curled around Reyna even as Reyna writes papers and studies and neurotically checks her school account for a grade in her science class.

Eventually, there’s a grade next to her most recent test, one she studied for for a stupid amount of time.

And for the first time in her life, Reyna has failed an exam. She knows there should be some heartwrenching feeling of failure knocking her off of her bed and forcing tears from her eyes. She is fully aware that she should probably be emailing the teacher right now, begging to retake it, for extra credit, for something.

But it’s kind of okay. In fact, Reyna’s completely okay. The exam was hard – really hard, actually – and she knows she studied her butt off. She calmly sorts through the syllabus the teacher had thrown at them the first day and discovers that, yes, he does scale exams if the majority of the class gets below a C.

So she really is okay with it, especially if the entire class struggled. There wouldn’t be any severe repercussions. Which is good, because the lacrosse team was planning on dragging all the freshmen to some party that night and pretty much told to prepare for endless booze and dancing. Luckily the initiation process of the school’s lacrosse team was alcohol, fun, and friends. It’s not particularly difficult to want to be part of the time that way.

But Reyna can’t help but sigh a little bit.

“You okay?” Piper asks.

Reyna jumps half a foot. “I didn’t realize you were awake!”

“You kind of dropped your computer on my head at one point,” says Piper. “I figured you would expect me to wake up.”

“You thought I’d wake you up by dropping a computer on your head?”

“You’ve done stranger things.”

Reyna consider this for a moment. “Duly noted. But how’s that hangover feel?”

“The sleep helped,” Piper replies. “And so did the water.” Piper smiles up at Reyna, that twist in her heart getting worse with those eyes staring up at her. “When did I fall asleep for good last night?”

“Probably after the fourth or fifth time you told me never to tell anyone that I was, and I quote, ‘my Reyna.’”

It’s the wrong thing to say. Piper sits up straight. “I said what?”

“Never mind,” says Reyna, shaking her head. “I probably heard you wrong.”

“I blacked out,” says Piper, “I totally don’t remember any of last night. When did I fall asleep? Time wise. I, um, won’t know anything about what happened. Like things that were said. Pretend I never said any of it.”

Reyna fights the desire to ask “all of it?” and instead says, “you were out before midnight. Which means you got about twelve hours of sleep.”

“Well then,” says Piper, crawling out of bed. “Wait, did you dress me in your pajamas?”

Reyna shrugs. “You were very adamant that you couldn’t sleep in the skirt you were wearing. And then you ranted about how uncomfortable bras were and chucked it across the room.”
“Sounds like me,” says Piper with a shrug. She changes out of Reyna’s pajama pants and, strangely, keeps on Reyna’s sweater.

“You going to take off that sweat shirt?” Reyna asks, fighting back a smile. Piper looks down and shrugs.

“Nah.”

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

“Good morning,” she hears, through her sleepy brain, some quietly pleasant voice say.

“Still sleeping,” she responds. “Not waking up.

The pleasant voice gets less pleasant when it says, “Annabeth, my arm has gone numb.”

She slowly blinks awake and turns over to look at Percy, who is lying at an awkward angle, his arm pinned under Annabeth’s head.

“Oh!” she says, moving immediately. “Sorry!”

He pulls his arm back and makes a strange face as he shakes it out. “Pins and needles,” he mutters, “pins and – Christ, this hurts.”

Annabeth can’t help but giggle. “Sorry again. Whiner.”

“I’m not whining!” Percy exclaims. “It just – ow.”

Annabeth grabs Percy’s arm and looks at the time. “It’s past noon,” she says, jaw dropping. “How did we sleep that late?!”

“Because we woke each other up twice in the middle of the night with the intention of bathroom or more blankets or some other excuse and then each time it ended up with us banging.”

“Good point,” says Annabeth. “Very good point.”

“Very good night.” Percy pulls her close. “So does that mean we’re doing that again or…?

Annabeth snorts and slams him in the face with a pillow. “I’ve got to shower, so unless you have superpowers that can keep us both upright in the shower I – what are you thinking, Percy?”

She finds out ten minutes later when Percy’s on his knees in front of her, and she’s too busy holding back a moan to even mention to him how gross the floors are as he works his mouth against her.

“You can be loud,” he murmurs, “no one’s gonna hear you.”

“Pretty sure you’re – oh! – pretty sure you’re wrong,” she gasps. “These walls are thin, and it’s not exactly – oh! – a private bathroom.”

“Well then,” he says, “I just might have to work a little harder.”

“Goddamn it, Percy, I –” Percy makes good on his promise and Annabeth finally can’t hold in a long, drawn out moan as waves of pleasure crash over her, causing her knees to give out. Percy catches her, and they giggle until they hear someone very pointedly clearing their throat.

Annabeth’s eyes widen as she turns to Percy. “I told you!” she hisses. “I told you there were other people in here!”

“You didn’t seem to mind a minute ago,” and he kisses her deeply, pressing her up against him.

“Oh, shut up and get clean before I get cited for being in the men’s bathroom.”

“You sure?” Percy asks. “Because I can make the guy leave and then we can –”

“Hold your horses, you overzealous goon, let’s just get out before someone actually catches us.”

“That’s kind of a turn on.”

“PERCY!”

“Sorry.”

So they do finish showering, and practically undo the entire point of showering when they get back to Percy’s room and Annabeth pins him down on the bed and gives him a blow job that he claims, “Busted a few blood vessels and may just have killed me,” and they fool around for another twenty minutes until they’re too tuckered out to do much of anything else.

“I should probably go back to my dorm room before you can get it up again and I jump you for the fifth time in twenty-four hours.”

“I really wouldn’t mind that,” says Percy, rolling over to her, but she stops him with a hand to his chest.

“I should probably check on Piper, too,” says Annabeth. “She was a little…”

“Yeah,” says Percy. “She’s with Reyna, so she was fine, right?”

Annabeth nods. “Her physical safety was at one hundred percent, I can give you that, but her head’s probably a bit fucked up.”

“Because she called Reyna ‘my Reyna’ about eight thousand times?”

Annabeth nods. “Miss Anti-Commitment apparently thinks differently when uninhibited.”

She presses one more long, lingering kiss that she has to basically tear herself away from to Percy’s lips, and dresses.

“Oh,” she says, right before she’s about to leave, “We’re being Danny and Sandy for Halloween and Leo’s Kenickie and Piper’s Rizzo.”

“I got that from Leo’s outfit last – wait, I’m DANNY?!”

Annabeth shrugs. “It was not my idea,” she defends. “You have a better plan?”

Percy furrows his eyebrows for a moment, then sighs in defeat. “Nothing. I’ll figure out the outfit soon. Are we still going to the school thing tonight?”

“If you want to.”

Percy nods. “Sure. Can I use you wanting to go to that as a reason we’re going to be late for the frat’s party?”

Annabeth deflates a little. “Do we have to go?”

“You don’t. I do.”

Annabeth sighs. “I will be your doting Sandy and will hop on down to the soda pop shop with you. Or whatever. To the frat party, which will be less soda and more drunken shenanigans.”

“Accurate statement,” Percy replies. “And you’re the best.”

Annabeth shrugs and pulls her hair back into a ponytail. “I know.” She blows Percy a kiss as she leaves, hopping the few flights of stairs to her room, and opens the door to see Piper curled up on her bed, frowning at nothing in particular as she stares at the wall.

“Did my Florence and the Machine poster insult you?” Annabeth says with a smile. “You’re giving it a death glare.”

“What?” says Piper, and she jolts up, looking at Annabeth. “Wow, sorry, I didn’t hear the door open.”

Annabeth thinks for a moment, trying to decide whether asking what was going on with Piper was worth it or if she could wait. “So, what’s going on?” Annabeth asks cautiously. She’ll let Piper choose whether or not she wants to talk.

“Nada,” Piper replies, and Annabeth questions why she ever assumed Piper would respond with anything other than that.

“Well, if you’re still up for it, Percy and I are both in for the Student Center Halloween party, and then going to Percy’s frat to back him up for the party he has to go to. What do you think?”

“Do we have to go?” Piper asks Annabeth, who walked over to Piper’s side of the room and is now sitting at the foot of her bed. “I mean, I need to study tonight.”

“You do not,” Annabeth replies, waving her hand. “Besides, you can invite Reyna! We can all dress up!”

Piper frowns and begins to shake her head so quickly and so violently that Annabeth’s pretty sure she must have said the wrong thing, or that Piper is having a seizure.

Annabeth puts her hand on her phone, just in case something is medically wrong. “Why not?” Annabeth asks. “Did something happen?”

“No!” Piper replies. “I just – I don’t need her around all the time, okay? I can be okay on my own and stuff. I want to go out without her tonight.” At least it’s not a seizure.

Annabeth shrugs. “If you say so, Piper. Now where’s Leo?”

“Bathroom,” Piper replies. “Probably. I only just got back twenty minutes ago.

“Not in that giant pile of blankets on the floor?” Annabeth asks, and she gently pokes at the pile with her toe.

“I’m up!” the pile shouts, and Leo’s mussed head pops up. “I’m up!”

“You slept on the floor even though Piper was gone?” Annabeth asks. “Damn, you’re a good friend.”

“Not really,” says Leo, “I got to second base in her bed last night. I figured I wouldn’t sleep in it, too.”

“You WHAT?!” exclaims Piper, and she leaps out of her bed. “Why didn’t I hear about this?!”

“We told you that over the phone,” says Annabeth.

“You screamed at me so loudly over the phone that it actually hurt,” adds Leo.

Piper frowns, and the realization dawns on her. “Oh my fucking god,” she says.

“Yeah,” says Leo with an eye roll, “for the love of god, next time don’t scream your lungs out at me. It hurts.”

“No, no, no,” says Piper, beginning to pace. “Oh, fuck me with a chainsaw and call me Jigsaw. Oh, fucker McFuckerstine.”

“Wanna explain why you’re losing your shit right now?” Leo asks. He turns to Annabeth. “Have you seen this before without an explanation?”

“Only when the dining hall doesn’t have m&m bars,” Annabeth says. “Piper, what’s going on?”

“I really did call her ‘my Reyna’ all last night,” she mutters, and Annabeth fights back what she knows would be a slightly mean laugh for the situation as Piper falls on her bed, looking like someone just died. “Fuck, why didn’t you guys stop me?!”

“You weren’t exactly doing anything wrong,” says Leo. “It’s not like you were demanding that Reyna murder you in your sleep or anything.”

Piper continues like she hasn’t heard Leo, “and I drooled on her pillow and – oh, fuck, she’s going to think we’re dating.”

“I doubt it,” says Annabeth. “You’ve been adamantly against dating from the start. I doubt she thinks anything of what you said when you were mind blowingly drunk.”

“You’re right!” says Piper. “And I did tell her I blacked out last night –”

“Which you did.”

“Shut up, Leo. But I told her I did so she thinks I don’t remember it, so if she thinks that I don’t remember it, I didn’t remember it!”

“That makes no sense, Piper,” says Annabeth.

“It does to me!” Piper yells, and it’s almost a shriek.

“Yelling again,” mumbles Leo, but he shuts up and ducks when Piper absentmindedly swings at him, missing by a mile.

“It never happened,” says Piper firmly, looking from Leo to Annabeth. “None of it. Not a single moment. I never said ‘my Reyna’ or any of that, because that’ll give Reyna the wrong idea and make her think I like her.”

“You do like her, though,” says Annabeth with an eye roll, “or you would have just been like ‘Hah, that’s funny, what’s for lunch’ instead of flipping out for a good,” she checks her watch, “fifteen minutes.”

“I freak out about everything!” Piper exclaims.

“She has a point on that one,” says Leo. “But not like this.”

Piper throws herself face down on her bed. “Shut up, you two. Go get me a sandwich.”

“Is that insinuating that I’m your 50’s housewife?” Annabeth asks.

“No,” says Piper, “it’s insinuating that Leo is my 50’s housewife. Now go get me food while I sleep off this angst.”

Annabeth turns to Leo and shrugs. “I have about twelve guest meals left over. Want to get lunch?”

Leo nods.

“See you later, Whining Beauty,” calls Annabeth, and she offers her arm to Leo. “Shall we?”

PIPER

She’s the biggest idiot in the world for agreeing to go to this party. But she isn’t texting Reyna, and she refuses to talk to her. Ever again. Probably. She isn’t going to talk to Annabeth or Leo ever again, which left her talking to Percy and her friends from her Calc class for the rest of her life.

“I hope those Calc kids are fun,” says Leo, taking a sip from his Mountain Dew, “because they’re going to have to keep up with a lot.”

“How did you hear that?” Piper asks.

“Because you were speaking out loud again,” says Annabeth. “Seriously, you ate, like, half a loaf of bread and half a package of cheese worth of grilled cheeses tonight. Are you really this drunk?”

Piper considers it for a second. It’s either drunk or annoyed at the world and unfocused, and since the two situations go hand in hand, she assumes the answer is, “Both.”

“Both what?” Percy asks.

“I thought I said that out loud!” Piper says, exasperated.

“No, you did,” says Annabeth. “It’s just really loud in here.”

“We should go for a walk or something. Out of the…” Wordlessly, Piper gestures all around them. Drunk students, from freshman to seniors, dance around room, and you can tell the people who haven’t had anything and assumed it was going to be a casual, school-sanctioned, booze free extravaganza. Two of whom, of course, are Annabeth and Percy, who, despite Leo’s Cuervo, still chose not to drink.

Boring, they are. And responsible adults. “You guys are too responsible for college students,” Piper says.

“We know,” says Annabeth. “But in these heels I’m not risking any alcohol. Ever.”

Leo grabs Piper’s hand. “You have a good head on those shoulders,” says Piper. “A walk might be a good idea. Especially since I think the people behind you have just started blazing up and I don’t want to be here when they get slammed for it.”

“And out we go!” exclaims Percy. The group of four take to the streets of the college campus, and it’s a few seconds before Annabeth asks, “Exactly where are we going?”

“I figured we could go to the frat party,” says Percy. “Just to show up for a few moments. To make an appearance, you know?”

Piper shrugs. “Works for me. Let’s get our dance on away from chaperones and idiots.”

“I’m not sure we could avoid the idiots anywhere on this planet,” chuckles Percy. “Especially not in that frat house.”

“You have a point.”

They make it to the frat house, and the door is opened for Percy by the same boy with the long, dark hair that opened the door for the three girls on the night Annabeth met Percy.

“Nico!” exclaims Percy as he pulls the other guy in a bear hug. “I thought you went home for the weekend!”

Nico frowns and shakes his head. “Unfortunately, Dad told me I had to be here, just in case I could get any points with the frat during this party. He’s pissed that I messed up the 99 Apples part of the deal a few weeks ago.”

“Sorry, man,” says Percy with a frown. “That shit was vile.”

“I like 99,” says Piper, but just quietly.

“What happened to Jason?” Percy asks. “Did he get another ride home?”

Nico nods. “His dad came and picked him up. He was nearly asleep after one of his all nighter cram sessions, so the older brothers told him to go home.”

“Lucky him,” grumbles Percy. “Maybe I should fake the flu next time.”

Piper sees Annabeth roll her eyes and push past Percy. “Hello, Nico!” Annabeth says. “I’m Annabeth, and Percy is missing some manners.”

“Wow!” says Percy. “I’m being rude. Piper, Annabeth, Leo, this is my buddy Nico. Our dads are both leaders or founders or something of this frat. We’ve known each other all my life.”

“Technically, all my life,” says Nico. When he notices all the confused faces, he amends, “I’m a year younger than Percy is.”

“He’s super smart,” adds Percy. “Skipped a grade.”

Nico rolls his eyes. “I skipped first grade – not that big of an accomplishment when your dad drilled Spanish Muzzy and Henry and Mudge books into your brain from the age of four.”

“I have a question,” says Piper. Everyone turns to look at her. “Why is it so quiet in here?” Everyone looks around and notices what Piper has – that the house has only about a third of the people they had seen the first night they had visited, and it’s concerningly quiet.

Nico simply shrugs. “I think it’s still early. And this party is the least Halloween-themed Halloween party I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“Yeah,” says Percy, “I’m Danny from Grease and you’re…What, a shadow?”

“I’m a teenage witch,” Nico deadpans, and he pulls a witch hat from behind him. “Call me Sabrina.”

The group and Nico’s hat make their way into the kitchen, which is a dance floor with only about thirty people awkwardly dancing, and Piper takes it on herself to start blasting her favorite track from the new Sky Ferreira album.

“Dance, you jerks, so I don’t have to do this alone,” says Piper, grabbing Annabeth and Leo by their sleeves. “This is a good one. When the chorus comes on we can start headbanging and get all angsty.”

“Not sure you have to reach too far to be angsty, Pipes,” says Leo, but Piper is pleased to see he’s dancing along with her.

When Piper hits the line of, “And now it hurts that I want you to stay/I don’t understand why I feel this way,” knowing she’s singing it a little too loudly but not caring, she looks up.

Reyna’s standing in front of her with a half smile on her face.

“Oh dear.”

REYNA

“Really?” Reyna asks, walking down the road. “This one? This frat? Really?”

“Yeah, come on, frosh,” says one of the captains, senior named Clarisse who is tall and strong and incredibly, surprisingly agile on the field (and on the dance floor.) “All new teammates have a goal: find the hottest person at this party and get their phone number. Everyone has to pick different people. Are you ready?”

“No,” mumbles Gwen. “I’ve already got a boyfriend.”

“Nobody asked you, Princess,” snaps Clarisse. “Reyna, you take lead.”

Reyna pushes open the door and is immediately hit in the face with a perky, peppy song that sounds like it would belong best in the 80’s opening for Blondie.

“It’s not very loud in here,” says Gwen.

“Or busy,” adds another freshman, Lacy. “There’s like, fifty people here. Max.”

“Then your job is tougher,” says Clarisse. “Now get out there and get your flirt on, girls!”

Clarisse shoves Reyna by the shoulder and she stumbles into the few people lingering outside the dance floor until she looks up, seeing some very familiar faces on the dance floor.

Piper screams a song lyric that sounds vaguely meaningful (but Reyna’s not reading into anything with her ever again) and they lock eyes. Piper, ever the best in awkward situations, just says, “Oh dear.”

“Hi to you too,” says Reyna. “What are you guys up to?”

“Dancing at the most pathetic party in history,” says Annabeth. She turns to Percy and Nico. “Sorry, guys.”

“None taken,” says Nico. “This party is more boring than the time my dad took me to a four hour mass and wouldn’t let me get up to stretch my legs.”

“Stretch your legs?”

“I was nine,” says Nico, “I was a fidgety kid,” and Reyna winces.

“His dad’s crazy religious,” says Percy. “Sometimes it feels like this kid was brought up in the forties, am I right?”

Everyone laughs, but Nico just rolls his eyes.

“You think it’s a joke,” he says, “you think so, but you’re wrong.”

“Can we dance?” Piper blurts out, and Reyna can’t help but notice that Piper’s gaze never left Reyna’s eyes. “I mean,” she says, “I really like this song.”

“This is Lil’ Wayne,” says Annabeth. “You hate –”

“Everything but this song,” says Piper, and, again, Reyna notices the blatant glare. “Now shut up and come dance with me, Reyna.”

She’s expecting at least some sort of discussion before Piper’s hands are on her ass, but Piper’s got her bedroom eyes going and one hand’s already moved up to pull out Reyna’s braid and, fuck, Reyna’s gone.

“You know,” says Reyna as the two of them begin to sway, a little offbeat but she can’t be fucked to care, “we’re going to have to talk about things one of these days, Miss Drunk Talk.”

“Shut up and grab my ass or something,” grumbles Piper, “before I change my mind and go make out with that kid over there.”

“He’s about to start hitting on Lacy in a few seconds,” says Reyna, “I wouldn’t risk it.”

“Then I’ll go make out with Lacy,” says Piper with an eye roll. “Whatever. Are you going to kiss me now or what?”

Reyna fights back the desire to bash her head into a wall and pulls Piper closer, kissing her slowly and deeply until she feels Piper smile against her.

“There,” says Reyna, “better?”

“More kissing, less talking,” says Piper and, really, in a situation like this when Reyna’s been drinking tequila and Piper smells like cinnamon and vanilla and her hands are dancing against Reyna’s lower back, words might not be the best choice.

“Fine,” says Reyna, “as long as you keep up that end of the bargain when we go back to your room later tonight.”

“Not my room,” says Piper, “Leo’s there. Your room again.”

“Only if you’re okay with sharing a pillow,” says Reyna, “your drool is all over the other one.”

“Oh, shut up,” says Piper, but an hour and a half later, when they’re both naked and gasping and spent on Reyna’s bed, and Piper sleepily curls up against Reyna, she’s pretty sure they’re both in too deep to get out.

Chapter Text

PIPER

When she wakes up that morning, she feels weird.

She feels like leaving, but that might be difficult, as Reyna’s kind of wrapped around her like snake and it’s too comfortable to move in Reyna’s bed.

So she tries to fall back asleep. And tries. And tries. And tries.

She’s been up for three hours and it’s nine in the morning before Reyna stirs.

“Good morning,” Reyna mumbles, “I seem to have caged you with my legs.”

“Not the first time,” Piper snickers. “But yes. For three hours now, at least.”

“You’ve been up since six and you just sat there?” asks Reyna. “You always have to pee, like, the second you get up.”

Piper starts for a split second as she realizes that she’d never even noticed that about herself. “I…I guess you’re right,” says Piper.

Reyna snuggles into her again. “So,” she says, “last night was a little weird.”

“Weird is right,” says Reyna, “we went out separately and then ended up in bed together anyway. A little like fate, right?”

“Do you think I should get my undercut redone or completely cut my hair to match the short bits?” Piper blurts out. She’s fully aware that she’s changing the topic, but she’s not really sure how to control it. “Because it’s grown out way too long and I’ve been really busy and haven’t been able to maintain it and –” She loses the rest of her sentence as Reyna starts running her fingers through Piper’s hair. Piper’s eyes flutter shut.

“I like it long with the undercut,” Reyna mutters, “it’s what you looked like the first time we met.”

Piper knows she shouldn’t feel like getting the undercut back just because it reminds her, too, of the first time she met Reyna. She shouldn’t want to keep the length, too, because Reyna likes it and because she loves the way it feels when Reyna’s fingers run through it. She should probably cut her hair super short again, because that’s what she always does.

When she gets back to her room, Leo tells her to go short all over again, Annabeth doesn’t care, and Percy point blank asks her why the hell she’d take his opinion in the first place.

When Leo leaves, he kisses her on the cheek and says, “Piper, hold onto her. Don’t be stupid.”

“I’m not being stupid.”

Then he just laughs and says, “Keep that up.”

Within the next two days she gets the undercut back. On November 8th, she, Reyna and Annabeth go to Target, get hair dye, and dye different pieces of their hair different colors. They’ve all got matching purple streaks, but only Piper and Reyna put the teal in their hair, the streak of hair right under their ears.

Piper is determined never to think too far into it.

ANNABETH

Annabeth’s completely lost track of the days, except for the fact that the Thanksgiving break and her one month anniversary with Percy are fast approaching.

So when she wakes up at 5 in the morning in Percy’s bed one Wednesday with Philosophy on her mind, she only jostles Percy slightly as she digs out her study materials and reads, until Percy starts mumbling so much she’s thinks he’s awake.

Percy decides they’re going bowling, apparently, at eight in the morning, and Annabeth can’t tell for the life of her if he means it seriously.

“You said you wanted to go bowling today,” Annabeth repeats. “You were very adamant about it.”

“I was asleep.”

“Yes, but you put the idea in my head, and I want something to look forward to this weekend.”

Percy groans and rolls over. “It’s eight in the morning. Why do you trust anything I say at eight in the morning?”

“Because bowling’s a good idea, and normal people actually get up for their nine o’clock class an hour in advance.”

“I don’t.”

“You should.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.”

“You liked me telling you what to do last night,” says Annabeth casually.

Percy blushes and smiles. “Damn right I did. But not right now. Right now I want to sleep.”

“Really?” Annabeth asks. “Because while we’re up, I mean, we could always –”

Percy interrupts her by pressing his lips to hers and rolling her on top of him.

“Yes, good, this is exactly what I was thinking.”

They have to make it quick, as the two of them need to shower and get ready for class before eight forty-five, but neither of them are all that against doing it quick and dirty. Annabeth and Percy have practiced this just about enough to get it own as fast or as slow as they want, and within ten minutes they’re both panting and on the edge.

“I bet you can’t hold on any longer,” says Annabeth, breathing into Percy’s ear, tapping her fingertips down his spine, “I bet you’re going to come and you’re not going to be able to control it.”

“For fuck’s sake, Annabeth, of course not,” whines Percy, “not when you’re talking like that. I thought this was supposed to be a quickie.”

“I felt like throwing in a little dirty talk to throw you off,” she says, smirking, “I don’t have class until ten, so I have all,” she rolls her hips slowly and he makes a strange squeaking sound, “the time,” she rolls back up again, “in the world.

Percy just lies there, dropping his head back on the pillow. “Fuck,” he says, gripping Annabeth’s hips. “Fuck you, fuck this, fuck.”

“I mean, we can stop, if you want,” Annabeth offers slowly sliding herself up his length, “if you want to get to class.”

Percy’s next words rush out of him. “No don’t you dare stop you suck, you so suck.”

So Annabeth doesn’t stop, and with a few more choice words, Percy’s gone and Annabeth’s not too far behind.

In a flash Percy rolls them over and kisses down Annabeth’s body, working at her with his tongue until her back arches off the bed and she screams his name.

“That’s a much more fun idea than studying for my exam.”

“Your WHAT?!” Annabeth exclaims, falling out of his bed. “You have an exam in,” she checks her watch, “forty minutes?!”      

“No,” Percy replies, looking down at her. “It’s for my noon class.”

Annabeth rolls her eyes so dramatically she’s surprised she can’t see the inside of her skull. “Percy, you are an idiot.”

“Idiot?” he asks. “Or a visionary who just had the best wakeup sex ever?”

“Mostly idiot,” Annabeth replies, reaching around for her clothes, “but part of that last bit.”

“So about that bowling thing. I’ll call Nico and Jason about it, and you ask Piper and Reyna?” Percy asks. “Because I want Reyna and Jason to meet – I think they’ll click really well.”

“Oh, and he won’t click with Piper?” Annabeth laughs, clasping her bra and pulling it on.

Percy laughs. “They’re weirdly similar and I have a feeling Piper’s going to hit on him a little bit, just to prove she doesn’t have feelings for Reyna.”

Annabeth rolls her eyes as she pulls on her dress. “Piper hits on everyone,” Annabeth says. “Remember that time she had me kiss her to judge which one of you was a better kisser?”

“Thank you for not lying,” Percy says sarcastically.

“She’s got a weird, really good and impressive skill, okay! You’re better at everything else, I’m sure.”

“Please tell me you’re not planning on testing everything else out, too.” Percy pouts in a way that makes Annabeth fight back a laugh.

“No, you idiot. Of course not.”

Annabeth finally finishes dressing and kisses him lightly before she leaves. “Go ace that test, you loser,” she says with a smile. “I believe in you!”

“Yeah,” he says, “or else I don’t get to go bowling.”

Annabeth blinks. “Alright,” she replies, “if that’s how you want to roll.”

“How I want to bowl,” he says, making a finger gun.

“You are an idiot.”

REYNA

“We’re going bowling?” Piper asks. “This morning?” She frowns.

Reyna frowns too. She remembers Annabeth saying something to her and Piper about it two days before, but they’d been reading for their history class and entirely missed the processing part of the deal. “Like today?”

“Yes,” says Annabeth, “but Percy and I are…Well, we shall meet in thirty minutes, we’ll say. Meet at the statue of the grizzly?”

“Which one?” asks Reyna. “By the Student Center?”

“In the front of the Student Center by the bus, yes.”

Reyna looks over at Piper. “We doing this?”

Piper shrugs. “Apparently we are forsaking preliminary finals studying and going bowling. Who knew the brainy one would suggest it.”

“Actually,” Annabeth says from the other end of the phone line, “it was half asleep Percy’s idea on Wednesday, but close enough.”

Reyna laughs. “Works for me.”

Piper hangs up the phone. “So,” she says, “if they get thirty minutes to bang, do we get thirty minutes to bang?”

“Who said they were banging?”

Piper pouts and it’s all Reyna can do not to burst into laughter. “Is it so bad that I want to get in a quicky before bowling?”

“We still need time to shower. And don’t give me that smile, Piper McLean, you know what happened the last time we had shower sex.”

Piper doesn’t stop giving Reyna that smile.

“Ugh, fine, let’s go bang in the shower.”

Reyna’s barely got the time to grab her shower caddy and a couple of towels before Piper’s dragging her into the shower and pulling off her pajamas.

“Jesus, Pipes, you are going to shred my – you just shredded my Aladdin shirt.”

“Quit whining, Jasmine’s better anyway. Now get naked.”

So they do. In seconds Reyna has Piper pressed against the wall, a hand pressed against the tile on either side of Piper’s head. She presses her lips to Piper’s, but it’s slow.

“Oh, come on,” Piper mumbles against Reyna’s lips, “we only have, like, fifteen minutes for this. At the most. Why can’t we – oh SHIT.”

Reyna, consistently sick of Piper’s whining and far more interested in the way Piper moans Reyna’s name, has dropped to her knees and didn’t warn Piper when her lips and tongue press against Piper’s heat. There’s a low clunk as Piper’s head hits the tile, but Reyna keeps working her lips, quickly and efficiently, against Piper. Piper’s fingertips twist gently in Reyna’s hair, and pull as Piper whines, high pitched, as she arches off the wall.

“Oh, fuck, Reyna, this – you’re –fuck.”

Reyna makes the executive decision not to speak, and, despite the sudden and unexpected cramping in her jaw (this is new) she keeps going until a thread of curses falls from Piper’s lips and she falls against the wall.

“Fuck!” Piper exclaims. “Holy – I’ve never – so fast – fuck!”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” says Reyna, helping Piper to her feet. “Stop falling over and quit your jelloid legs, McLean. We’ve only got a few minutes left.”

“Then get against the wall and I’ll do to you what you did to me.”

Reyna grins at Piper, catches her first in a kiss, and then braces herself against the wall as Piper licks against her. It’s pretty much seconds, or hours, or years (Reyna’s not sure) before it’s her turn to swear and arch off the wall.

“I get why the whole shower sex thing is generally a problem for other people,” gasps Reyna as Piper slowly kisses her way up Reyna’s body, “but damn, we fucking work it.”

“That merits swearing?”

“I just came in what felt like thirty seconds,” says Reyna. “So yeah, it does.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

When the shower is done, Piper and Reyna dart back into Reyna’s room to get dressed – Piper decides she’s going to go for a “roller derby look” (Reyna’s got no idea what she means by that) and flips up the newly-cut undercut and neon teal nails - and Reyna pulls on a shirt Piper throws at her on top of the jeans she was already wearing, and they walk outside.

“Are you wearing one of my sweatshirts?” Reyna asks, floored.

“No.”

“That’s my purple – LOOK! My initials are on the arm.”

Piper looks down. “Oh. So they are.” She looks up at Reyna, frowning a little. “Are you going to make me give it back?”

Something in Piper’s eyes makes Reyna’s heart flutter. “No,” Reyna sighs, pretending it’s a difficult decision. “You can keep it.”

“Good,” says Piper. “Because it’s comfortable.”

They continue walking and wait by Grizonkers, the Grizzly Bear mascot for their school (she kind of wants to hit the person who named it in the face) for the rest of their group to meet them. They play the “what’s that person’s deal?” game, where they invent complex and ridiculous backstories for people as they walk by while they wait.

“Oh! There they are!” says Piper. “I can’t wait for you to meet Nico, he’s a blast. He’s not really a blast. But he’s funny when he feels like it.”

Reyna’s too busy studying a short girl with dark purple hair and a tutu on to look.

“Holy shit!” says Piper. “Holy shit, I know him! That’s Jason!”

Now that strikes Reyna as strange, because Jason’s the name of the guy she dated in middle school and …

“Oh, FUCK,” says Reyna, stopping dead in her tracks.

She can tell Piper’s turned to stare at her. Reyna rarely swears, she knows this is a very particular trait about her, and yet she can’t keep it in. Not right now. “Yeah, I know, he’s hot. But he’s gay,” Piper offers, because she doesn’t know, she can’t know, she –

“Wait, what did you just say?”

Piper gives her a look, that really annoying one when she’s trying to figure a person out. “The two of us hung out in high school, slept together, he realized he was gay, like eight seconds afterward. Awkward, right? We lost touch after I swapped schools, but he’s a good guy. I had no idea he went here.”

“Oh my god,” says Reyna quietly. “I cannot go to this – I need to…Oh my god.” And she flops down on a bench behind her and drops her head in her hands. The world is spinning around her and she’s pretty sure she’s either going to throw up or die in the next thirty seconds if she doesn’t wake up and find out this is a dream. It’s been years and seeing this guy has got her out of her freaking mind still.

God, did she have issues.

“What in hell’s name is wrong with you, Reyna?” asks Piper. “Are you having some sort of gay crisis or something? Kind of a weird set off for it, but I get it. I’ve been there and, dude, labels suck. Just because he has a label and a title doesn’t mean you have to.”

“Not that,” whimpers Reyna, her head in her hands. She realizes suddenly that she started lying down on the bench. She hadn’t noticed that. She sits up and the world slows its spinning for a moment. “Not that at all. But thanks for bringing that up, really, that was something I needed to think about right now. I’m not freaking out or anything.”

Piper’s offering a small, apologetic smile, but it’s not enough right now, it’s so not enough and… Shit.

She shouldn’t have looked up.

Jason Grace is walking over to the two of them, and Piper’s walking over to him, and she’s probably going to ask him what’s going on.

Instead, Reyna grabs Piper by the arm and drags her away with a brisk, impolite “we need to go.”

“What the hell’s wrong with you, Reyna?” Piper hisses. “God, it’s like you killed his dad in some blood war.”

“Worse than that,” Reyna mutters. “Look, I dated him for two years in middle school.”

“You d- oh, fuck, we banged the same guy?!” Piper looks horrified, so horrified, in fact, that it’s enough to make Reyna laugh a little. “That shouldn’t be weird, but it’s so weird.”

“I said middle school, you moron, we didn’t bang,” interrupts Reyna. “But – he had to move, stepmother’s job uprooted his family and they went somewhere else for high school.”

Piper gives her a look. “He went to my high school, too.”

Reyna’s jaw drops. “Did you – were you at –”

“Well, for the first couple of years, I was all over the place but, yeah, I ended up at Great Brook High from sophomore year on.”

Reyna’s head is still spinning from all the new information, but it’s spinning less than before and it’s more hitting her heart. Jason Grace, the reason she went “fuck it” to relationships and made the decision to avoid dating altogether in high school. Jason Grace, her first “love” and her first “heartbreak” and the first time another person tore her down, instead of just her overachiever perfectionist status making her ruin her own life. And he had been with Piper.

This was terribly, miserably awkward.

“Well, he’s friends with the guy that Annabeth’s dating, so we can just tell them we can’t go or that you’re sick or something –”

“I actually don’t think we can,” says Reyna, “because Jason will totally know I’m freaking the fuck out because I saw him here.”

“Two swears in five minutes without being naked,” Piper comments, “this has got to be bad. He dump you over text or something equally stupid?”

Reyna shakes her head. “It was all dramatic – it even started raining as he was explaining it. Like the entire universe wanted me to associate that day with being horrible.”

“Are you sure you don’t live in an HBO drama?” Piper asks, and Reyna can’t exactly figure out if she’s being serious or if she’s making fun of her.

“I have to talk to him, don’t I?” asks Reyna.

“He probably won’t be upset or anything. I never heard him mention you.”

Reyna winces, and then Piper does too when she realizes what she said. “That sounded… dickish. Sorry.”

 “Don’t worry about it,” says Reyna. Mumbles it, really. “Well. I’m going to go be a big girl and say hi to my ex from when I had no boobs and acne and zero percent social skills.”

“Two out of three of those have changed drastically,” Piper says with a grin, looking blatantly at Reyna’s chest.

This gets another laugh out of Reyna, and she stands and walks over to Jason. “Hey,” she says quietly behind him.

Then the unexpected happens. He turns and gives her the biggest hug she’s ever received.

“I thought you hated me!” are the first words she hears from him since she was a kid, and she finds herself hugging back.

“Nah, I don’t hate you,” she laughs, and she realizes quickly it’s true. Something, some sort of wall, broke away from her as she hugs him. A laugh is easy and the smile is easy, and she feels so much better in a few seconds. “I just had a weird ‘oh look it’s the only ex I’ve ever had’ moment, you know?” She giggles awkwardly and immediately feels like the biggest idiot there. Piper pats her on the shoulder, and Reyna’s positive she’s trying not to laugh at her.

Jason gives her an odd look. “Sure,” he says carefully. “So, I hear you’re sleeping with my sloppy seconds.” He adds an absolutely hysterical, exaggerated wink to the end of his sentence, and it makes Piper double over laughing.

“Jesus, Jase, don’t ever do that in front of anyone you’re trying to sleep with. And sloppy seconds my ass – this is all still fresh,” says Piper, gesturing to herself.

Reyna gives her one of the near-patented “I think you’re insane” looks. “Pardon her,” says Reyna, “she’s too busy being an idiot to focus on reality.”

This time, Piper gasps. “You know you’re insulting yourself a little bit when you say that, right?”

“It’s worth it.”

Piper gently swats her on the arm, and gets a look at her watch. “Shouldn’t we head out now?” she asks. “I mean, we’ve got reservations at the roller rink or something?” Annabeth, Percy, and Nico make their ways over to them, looking concerned (on Percy and Annabeth’s parts) and curious (for Nico.)

“We do,” says Annabeth, her hand in Percy’s. “What…Just…What just happened here?”

“Jason and Reyna dated in middle school, Jason and I did the thing and broke up, Reyna nearly died seeing him, then she laughed hysterically for a few seconds.” Piper shrugs. “The standard day in our neighborhood.”

Annabeth and Percy exchange a look. “This human being is not my fault,” says Percy to Nico, “blame Annabeth.”

“Blame Reyna,” says Annabeth. “For no reason other than I said so.”

“Hey!”

“You people are like a dysfunctional family,” chuckles Nico. “I love it.”

“Well,” says Reyna, trying to get the focus off of her own dysfunctionality, “we should probably get this show on the road, right?”

“I’ll sit with Reyna on the bus,” Jason offers and, just like it’s no big deal, loops his arm through Reyna’s. “That okay with you?”

Reyna catches Piper staring at her, but she realizes that, if they’re not in a relationship, what’s the problem. “Sure,” says Reyna, “we’ve got a lot to catch up on, right?”

“And Piper can sit with me,” says Annabeth, “sorry, Nico, you’re stuck with Percy.”

“Yeah, Nico, you’re – wait, hey, why stuck with me?!”

Piper and Annabeth link arms just like Jason and Reyna are. Nico turns to Percy, whose arm is offered out along with a big grin, and Nico just says, “Not on your life, dude.”

Chapter Text

PIPER

She wants to know what they’re talking about

Annabeth’s explaining to her the intricacies of something she calls, “media dialogue,” but, since Piper’s never heard about half the shows Annabeth’s talking about and the only one she’s watched more than five times other than Teen Wolf (she’d kill you if she knew you knew) is the one her dad guest starred on for five episodes, and she hates it more than most things. She’s not exactly paying any attention to Annabeth, though maybe, for her own safety, she should, but too much is happening to focus.

“Are you even listening?” Annabeth asks. “Because I just went on for about two minutes about how fantastic Reyna’s butt is and you didn’t even react.”

“Yeah, always,” says Piper, trying to listen in to Reyna’s conversation with Jason. Annabeth hits her on the arm. She can’t hear a damned word, but that doesn’t stop her attempt. “Ow!” Piper exclaims. “Dude, we’ve talked about this, this hitting thing? That’s not okay.”

“You ignoring me when I talk is equally not okay,” says Annabeth shrugging her shoulders. “Besides, there’s no way you’ll actually be able to hear what Reyna’s saying. They probably aren’t even talking about you.”

“They totally are,” says Piper, crossing her arms. “They’re probably saying horrible things about how I am in bed or something.”

“Are you bad in bed?” asks Annabeth, and Piper’s going to kill her. She’s totally fighting back laughter.

“I’m fantastic in bed!” yells Piper, and Annabeth stares at her for a few seconds. It dawns on Piper that she said that really, REALLY loudly. Half the bus has turned around to stare at her, including Reyna and Jason. However, neither of them look anywhere near as embarrassed as Annabeth does.

Reyna, actually, looks like she’s about to start crying, she’s laughing so hard.

“I’m honest,” Piper says back to them, “so sue me.”

Eyes stay on her for a little bit longer than she’s comfortable with, but after another twenty or so seconds, conversation goes back to normal and all eyes are back facing forward.

Except, of course, for Reyna and Jason.

“You want to go yell at them don’t you,” sighs Annabeth. “Go. Mock. Yell.”

Piper loves this girl more every day.

So Piper stands up, with the full intention of marching right toward the front of the bus and bothering two of the only people she’s slept with and then talked to afterward by her own choice.

And then she gets fully thrown back into the seat next to Annabeth.

“That was fast,” says Annabeth.

Piper rolls her eyes. “I fell over.”

“I know,” Annabeth replies, “the whole bus saw it. Including two certain people who are now laughing a bit hysterically toward the front of the bus. Again.”

Piper changes her mind. She hates this girl a little more every day.

“I just want to know what they’re saying,” she says, and it’s more of a whine than anything else. “I know they’re talking about me. They have to be talking about me.”

“Or they could be catching up and rekindling their feelings for each other,” says Annabeth, and the smug grin on her face is enough to make Piper want to hit her in her shiny white teeth.

“Oh, please,” says Piper, “the day Jason realizes he isn’t gay is the day I realize I want to be a pretty princess who dresses solely in pink and forsakes all idea of red lipstick.”

“That’s oddly specific.”

“That’s because I will never forsake any idea of red lipstick,” replies Piper. She turns back to two people who are far more connected than she’s particularly comfortable with. “I really do wonder, though.”

“You worried they’re talking bad about you?”

Piper frowns. “I’m worried Jason’s trying to talk Reyna out of it.”

“Out of what?” asks Annabeth. “I thought there wasn’t anything real there. Or were you talking about bowling? Because there’s no way anyone could be talked out of going bowling.”

Piper just shoots her a look. “You know what I mean.”

“But do I?”

REYNA

It’s the strangest feeling of being thrown into a TARDIS, onto a Delorean, and into one of the black holes from the new Star Trek movie Hylla and her boyfriend dragged her to back in high school. Jason practically throws her down into a seat toward the front of the bus, and Piper, at the back of the bus with Nico, Percy, and Annabeth, gives her a look like, “What, are you actually ditching me?”

Reyna can only think to shrug and mouth “Sorry!” at her as she flops down, gracelessly, into the window seat.

Jason falls in next to her. “So, fill me in,” says Jason. “You still the greatest lacrosse player this side of New York? Did you pass eighth grade without killing Trinity Balkweather?”

Reyna frowns. “Never was, and just barely. Did you know she told me that I looked like a lima bean on eighth grade graduation day because my dress was green? Like, come on, I didn’t choose the school colors.”

Jason chuckles. “That girl was always hell and a half. What’s she doing now?”

Careful to add the air quotes, she replies with, “Modeling,” and an eye roll. “Which basically means she’s getting Mom and Dad to pay for her to get pictures taken, and then she goes on and on about how much better she is that Lucy – you remember her, right? They were best friends, for like, years – all because Lucy had a kid right after we graduated and has been working at Michael’s since then.”

“And Trinity Balkwhiner strikes again,” says Jason. “Though I am surprised that Lucy Renner had a kid already. Wasn’t she planning on being a graphic designer?”

“As far as I know, she’s still doing that,” Reyna replies, “in the very, very small amount of spare time she has left.”

Conversation continues easily and movies quickly. She and Jason flow strangely well, like they’ve been doing this for years, like there haven’t been a handful of years between the two of them.

The conversation turns to romantic interests quickly.

“So,” says Jason, but before he can go any further, Reyna interrupts him.

“Oh no. No way. You go first. Any lucky lad in your life?”

Jason gives her a look. “Ignoring the inexplicable alliteration,” he begins, “not really, but sort of.  A little.”

Reyna’s eyes light up. “Really?” she says. “I was just deflecting. I wasn’t expecting there to be an actual answer.”

Jason frowns. “I should have known you were going to do that.”

“I haven’t changed much,” says Reyna, “you really should have.”

Jason raises an eyebrow.

“What?” Reyna asks. “What’s with the eyebrow thing?”

“Haven’t changed much?” Jason replies, and it’s clear he’s trying desperately not to laugh. “Want to explain the fact that, for a long damned time, you thought that bisexual girls were just doing it for attention because of that time with Stacy and Jen?”

Reyna feels her face go bright red and can’t help but look around to make sure no one else heard Jason. “I was fourteen, Jason,” she replies, and she can’t help but feel a weight of guilt settle in her chest, “fourteen. I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.” She still doesn’t, if she’s honest with herself, but the practical experience she’s gained with the whole sexuality is fluid thing gives her a bit more sense in the matter.

“I’m not mad about it, you goofball,” says Jason. “And it was a joke. I didn’t mean to – I didn’t. Yeah.” Now Jason’s looking guilty and Reyna went from being really happy about how well it was all going to really upset about how it wasn’t going.

“Breathe, Reyna,” says Jason. “The fact that you were fourteen was the point. And plus, aren’t your parents a little…uh…”

“That’s pretty much the nice way of saying ‘weird about anyone who isn’t a normal nuclear family’ and is totally accurate,” Reyna replies. “The whole growing up thing changed it all.”

“And,” adds Jason, and there’s that familiar gleam in his eyes, “I’m pretty sure Piper changed a good deal of it too.”

“Shut up,” Reyna says, but she can’t help a completely different kind of blush from creeping up her cheeks, “you’re making fun of me.”

“Not making fun,” says Jason, “just making a comment about how your new girlfriend broadening your horizons and all that jazz.”

“She’s not my girlfriend,” Reyna clarifies, and it’s a little more stern than she wanted it to be. She guesses she’s still kind of on the defensive about the whole thing.

Jason sighs. “She’s still not out of the violently aggressive toward relationships thing? Because, like, she’s dated before. So I know she’s emotionally capable of it.”

“She just doesn’t anymore,” says Reyna, and she’s feeling a weird prickle behind her eyes that’s a little too much for her personal liking, until she hears Piper yell, “I’m fantastic in bed!” and the whole bus goes silent. Reyna can’t help but turn around, and the strange prickle behind her eyes combines with the absolute hilarity of the situation, and she can play off the prickle behind her eyes as tears of laughter. Then, for some reason, Piper gets up and looks like she’s about to come yell and Reyna and Jason (who’s chortling like a seal), except there’s a sudden acceleration, and she tips over.

Reyna laughs even harder.

“You know who hasn’t changed?” Jason chokes out, “That girl. That girl right there.”

“I’m pretty sure she never will,” Reyna laughs, and she wipes her eyes with the sleeve of her Briar Lake Elementary School sweatshirt her mom gave her as a jokey graduation gift. “Whew. Enough about Piper ‘McLean and then Fall’ over there. Tell me about this boy that you have a crush on.”

“I was hoping you were going to forget about that.”

Reyna sighs. “Jason, I don’t forget things. I am very, very bad at forgetting things. So tell me more, tell me more, like does he have a car?”

“No.”

“Really?” Reyna asks. “That’s all you’re going to give me?”

“Yes.”

“At least tell me the guy’s name,” says Reyna with a deep sigh. “Please?” She adds a pout to the end of the sentence, just to make it a little more fun.

“One hint,” says Jason, “one tiny, miniature hint. Something so teeny that you’ll never be able to figure it out.”

Jason’s silent for about thirty seconds. “Giving me a hint requires you to speak, Jason,” Reyna says. “Just a hint.”

“I have to come up with a vague hint first,” grumbles Jason. “Give me a minute.”

A minute or so passes, Jason face screwed up into the look of someone who is taking an excessively long time to process very detailed information. Reyna’s half ready to give up on asking any questions if it’s going to take this long.

“He’s cute and he likes trains,” says Jason, “and he hates flying on airplanes.”

“Ooh,” says Reyna, “three whole clues that are incredibly vague!”

“That’s kind of the point,” says Jason. “Vague is how I roll.”

“How you roll is a bowling ball,” Reyna replies, “also are we nearly there?”

“Don’t know,” says Reyna, “I haven’t actually been here before.”

The drive continues for another two or three minutes until the bus rolls into a parking lot of some half-run down little strip mall.

From behind them, Piper bops Jason flat on the top of the head.

“Butts out of the seat, nerds. It’s time to throw some balls!”

“There’s a poor attempt at an innuendo for you,” mutters Nico, and Reyna chuckles a little bit when Piper shoots him a fairly disappointed glare.

“I was funny, and you know it,” she says. “Now get off the bus before somebody yells at us.”

“If no one yelled at you for screaming about your sexual prowess,” says Annabeth, stepping off the bus, “I’m pretty sure we’re not going to get yelled at for anything.”

Piper hops off the bus. “Good point,” she says, and, out of nowhere, she grabs Reyna’s hand. Reyna looks right over at Jason, and she’s sure the look of shock and astonishment on Jason’s face is mirrored by the one on hers.

Piper, of course, misses it entirely and drags her toward a building. “Anybody know which one of these places is the bowling alley?” she asks.

Annabeth, from a few yards behind them, replies, “Probably me or Percy, since we’re the only ones who have been here before. You nerd.”

Annabeth takes the lead and pulls open the door of what looks like a crack house, in Reyna’s opinion, but the second they stepped in and took a look around the place, Reyna realizes that, shockingly, it is actually a bowling alley.

“You sure this isn’t a drug den?” Jason asks.

“My thoughts were similar,” Reyna laughs.

“Oh, shut up,” says Annabeth, “are we going to bowl or not?”


 

It turns out Piper is terrible at bowling. Her excuse is that her dad was always too busy to take her and, thus, she can’t be expected to be decent, but the fact that she got her fingers stuck once and only avoided ripping her arm out of the socket by going so slowly it just made her sink to the ground, Reyna didn’t believe her.

It turns into a (nearly) bloody battle between Reyna and Nico, the unexpected victors of the game.

“I don’t suck!” exclaims Piper after her third gutter ball in a row.

“You have bumpers,” says Annabeth carefully, “yet you just got three balls straight in the gutter.”

“And what’s wrong with that?” Piper asks indignantly.

“Bumpers are there to prevent you from being capable of getting it in the gutter,” says Nico with an eye roll and a little half-grin. “See how I don’t have bumpers?”

“Quit being a snarky ass, Nico,” says Jason, and suddenly the puzzle pieces link together when Reyna catches him staring a tiny bit too long at Nico’s butt.

Reyna takes the time to observe his butt – it seems necessary because, of course, if Jason’s checking him out, Reyna should too – but it’s really a bit small for Reyna’s tastes.

That is when Reyna’s lovely butt of choice pops in front of her and sits right down in Reyna’s lap.

“Hi, bowling badass,” says Piper, “are you ready to beat Nico? Because I have a way that we’re totally going to beat Nico.”

“We’re?” Reyna asks. “I think you mean ‘I’m’ going to beat him.”

“Whatever. Technicalities,” says Piper. “Watch this.”

As Nico winds up, going to get himself a spare (the jerk,) Piper yells, “NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!”

Nico stumbles and his bowling ball goes straight in the gutter.

“What the fuck, Piper?” Nico hisses.

“Nothing,” Piper replies, looking like the absolute picture of innocence as she sits there with a smile on her face. “Just thought you could use some encouragement.”

Nico gives her a half glare. “Okay,” he says, and he looks incredibly uncomfortable. But he thinks he’s okay, clearly, because he picks up the bowling ball and goes to throw again.

That’s when Piper hollers, “Levin Rambin!”

Nico actually stumbles at this point, falling down onto his knee awkwardly.

“Ow,” he says carefully, “and this is the point where I’m going to kill you.”

“Don’t kill her,” says Annabeth, “she’s good for entertainment value.”

“Nothing funnier than watching someone suck at bowling, huh?” asks Piper, looking grumpy. She folds her arms over her chest, frowning. Reyna resists the urge to kiss her on her stupid nose.

“No,” says Percy, “you’re funny when you make inappropriate comments when other people are bowling.”

“You’re on her side?!” Nico exclaims, sitting down in a chair across from Percy. “Damn, dude, that’s just cold.”

“It is funny,” says Jason with a shrug.

“Oh, shut up, all of you.” And now, Reyna notices, both Piper and Nico have nearly identical pouts on their faces.

And, again, the look on Jason’s face as he looks at Nico probably resembles the look Reyna’s giving Piper.

Christ, she’s becoming gross and feelings-y.

The bowling match goes on and none of them are doing particularly well at this point, and it’s gotten to the point where Piper’s bowling backwards or between her legs from now on. Annabeth’s trying to get the technique down – and it’s not working too well, especially with Percy giving her “expert advice” that is exactly the opposite of what Reyna’s ever found to be effective.

Percy keeps trying to do what he claims is the “professional” way to bowl, and Jason’s fooling around entirely.

Reyna is now very sure that Piper and Jason would have worked out well if it weren’t for the whole Jason-is-gay bit. She’s kind of happy for that bit.

By the time Annabeth’s turn comes again, there’s a bit of a glare in her eyes and Reyna’s just waiting for her reaction to Percy’s next comment.

“Annabeth, you should probably try – ”

“You should probably try shutting up,” snaps Annabeth, and, somehow, this is the point at which she bowls a perfect strike. She turns around, and the grin on her face is priceless. “See? Look how well that went when you weren’t convinced you knew better than I did.”

Percy looks a combination of cowed and upset, and it’s like looking at a puppy whose toe you just stepped on. Annabeth’s resolve against Percy’s kicked puppy face, however, is apparently a little bit stronger than Reyna’s with Piper’s kicked puppy face.

And then comes Reyna’s last turn – the last turn of the game, actually.

“You’re not going to win,” singsongs Nico with a smile. “You’d have to get a perfect strike.”

“I will,” says Reyna, “I know I will.”

When Nico yells out, “NAKED PIPER!” it’s just after Reyna bowls, and nothing gets thrown off. Well, until she loses her balance and falls on her ass.

But the gloating of winning the match with her strike is so much more powerful than her embarrassment over falling.

 “Oh yeah,” Reyna says, letting Piper pull her face down for a kiss, “I’m good.”

“What was that last bit?” Jason asks. “I couldn’t hear it through you and Piper sucking face.” Reyna responds by flipping him off with one hand and grabbing Piper’s ass with the other.

“It’s my victory smooch,” she says, coming up for air. “I figured I deserved it, after the mental image Nico put into my mind.”

Nico sighs. “Okay. So that was totally my fault, I guess.”

“Yeah, it was,” says Piper. “Thank you!”

They go up to pay for bowling, and Jason knocks everyone out of the way and slams his card down. “I’m paying for everyone,” he says to the clerk. Jason shoots a smile. “Sorry, guys, gotta be faster next time.”

The other five of them glare at him for a few seconds, until the necessity to seem unhappy about someone paying for you wears off.

Reyna makes her way outside. “I’m going to go play in the half inch of snow. Meet me out there!”

But Piper, apparently, is extremely against Reyna getting out of there before her.

“YOU WILL WAIT FOR ME, ASSHOLE!” yells Piper, but Reyna just rolls her eyes and keeps walking. “Catch up when you quit being whiny, short stuff!”

She makes it out the door and closes it behind her.

Which is why, of course, Reyna’s entirely thrown off when, suddenly, there’s a person-sized, person-weight thing knocking her to the ground.

“Um,” says Reyna, “can I get an ow?”

“No,” says Piper, “Because I’m getting the ow because I slammed my knee into the pavement.”

“Yeah, and that’s my fault?”

“You didn’t wait for me!” Piper replies, and, to Reyna’s relief, she feels Piper roll off of her. “Asshole,” Piper adds.

“Oh, sure, I’m the asshole,” says Reyna, brushing some gravel off of her coat, “I’m the one who just knocked someone over in a freaking creeper parking lot.”

“It’s not that creepy!” yells Annabeth.

Piper and Percy simultaneously pat her on the arm.

“It’s a little creepy, honey,” says Percy.

“Yeah, babe,” Piper adds, “it’s creep city.”

“I hate all of you,” is Annabeth’s only response.

 

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

They get home from bowling that night a little later than intended, and none of them are up for doing anything other than collapsing.

Well, except for Reyna that is.

“Come on,” she whines, pouting at the foot of Piper’s bed. “I’m on a victory high. Aren’t I supposed to get senselessly banged by my doting – by someone?” Reyna asks, and the pout on her face is enough to make Annabeth cringe.

“Guys,” Annabeth says quietly, “I’m in the room…”

“Go hang out with Percy.”

“He’s probably busy,” she says, shrugging, “I – I don’t want to bother him..”

“Take a nap?” suggests Piper from where she’s half falling off of the bed.

“Oh, sure,” says Annabeth, “because you two aren’t loud enough to wake up the entire building.”

“We can stop,” says Reyna, “I mean –”

“Oh, sure,” grumbles Piper. “End it before the fun part.”

“Is that necessary?” Annabeth knows it’s snapping. She knows it’s a little too much. But she’s sick of that, sick of something. She forces her eyes shut. There’s something wrong and she’s mad about it.

“Is everything okay, Annabeth?” Piper asks her, and it’s so abrupt it startles Annabeth.

She starts curling in on herself despite the fact that she’s trying not to do so. She shrugs, and tries not to react. “I’m fine,” she says.

“No, you’re not,” says Reyna, and Annabeth can’t look away before Reyna’s caught her eyes and starts studying her face. “You were really…On edge earlier today. During bowling. Did you, like, not want to go?”

Annabeth shrugs. “Just – I’m tired, okay?”

Reyna and Piper exchange a look that Annabeth’s pretty sure they didn’t plan for her to see.

“If you say so,” says Piper. “Do you want to –”

“I think I’m going to go talk to Percy,” Annabeth interrupts. “Wake him up, if I need to.”

“You can talk to –”

“No,” says Annabeth, “you – you guys are busy. I’ll go.” Annabeth scrambles on the table for her ID, her phone, and her copy of The Silver Chair she’s been re-reading and tries not to feel like she’s running out of her own home.

Her head’s spinning – she can’t figure out why, she doesn’t know why, and she doesn’t really want to know why. There’s a knot in her chest and she can’t breathe right.

Her eyes blur out a little bit and then she realizes that time’s passed. She’s not sure how much, but she’s somewhere in the middle of campus and she’s not sure where.

She looks into her hands – ID, phone, and book are still there – but there’s something else there too.

“Percy?” she says, and she looks up from the hand she’s holding into Percy’s eyes. “How did I – how did we…?”

Percy studies her face. “You were sitting on a bench in the middle of the dorm, right outside the first floor. When I stepped out to go to the bathroom I noticed you sitting there. And all you said was ‘I’m not okay,’ and we went for a walk.”

Annabeth stops short and closes her eyes, and slowly, very slowly, it’s coming back to her. “I was – something was wrong in my head or something. Like, I think I was – my head was…I started off all fuzzy brain and then I came to your door, and we walked all over campus. And now it’s – how late is it?”

Percy’s eyes still haven’t left her face, but he tears them away to check the time on his phone. “It’s three thirty.”

“We’ve been out here for an hour?!” Annabeth exclaims.

“Well, sort of,” says Percy. “We’ve been wandering for a while. At one point we ended up halfway into the Math building before you did a u-turn and headed back onto the quad.”

Annabeth drops her head into her hand and feels embarrassment well like bile up into her chest. “God, you must think I’m a freaking lunatic.”

“I don’t,” he says. “I just think you’re…Going through some stuff. And that’s okay, because with what you’ve been through, I’d get it if you were always going through some stuff.”

She moves her hand slowly and looks back up at him. “Well that’s better than I was expecting.”

“Typically not what I hear from people,” says Percy with a smirk. “Except for you, of course.”

“Oh, shut up,” Annabeth replies, but she finds herself smiling a little bit and finding herself getting back into her right mind.

Percy holds his hand out again. “Do you need ice cream or a book or something? That’s what usually helped my mom when things were rough with Gabe. She’d spend hours in a library or something, just hanging out. You know. Getting away from it all.”

Annabeth doesn’t respond, but she just takes Percy’s hand and squeezes. “Thanks,” she says. “That hasn’t happened…Well, I haven’t done that in a long time. Just – zoned out like that.”

“It’s called dissociation, sometimes,” he mutters, and it’s so quiet she barely hears him.

“What?” Annabeth asks.

“Dissociation,” he repeats. “I – I mean, it used to happen to me when I was really little. When Gabe – my step father, he…I’d just go into a different place in my head.”

Annabeth nods. She doesn’t want to press for more, but she wants to know. Hell, it’s like she needs to know.

“When he’d hit me,” says Percy, “I’d kind of just…Fade out. Think about…” Percy chuckles and his head drops a little to his chest. When it rises again, he shakes a little hair out of his eyes and there’s a little smile on his lips. “I’d pretend my father was some powerful god. Someone who could swoop out from nowhere and save me and my mom. Some sort of superhero. When I was eight I pretended to be Robin. I wanted Batman to come and save me and my mom or something.”

Somehow, the only think Annabeth can think to say is, “Robin wasn’t Batman’s biological son, though.”

“He seemed like a dad enough to me,” Percy says with a shrug. “Superhero rich badass who took care of people? That was anything an eight year old poor kid from New York could want, right?”

Annabeth searches his face for an idea of what to do, and settles for wrapping her arms around his shoulders. “How did I find you?” she murmurs into his shoulder.

“Grover,” Percy says into her hair. “Blame him.”

Annabeth laughs. “Guess I have to.”

REYNA

Annabeth comes back with a smile and looks better than she has in a while. Reyna and Piper don’t ask what happened – it’s not important.

But the rest of the weekend flies by, followed by an uncharacteristically mellow weel, and by the time it’s Thursday, she’s ready for a break.

She plans on going home for the weekend. She’s not particularly fond of going home, but she feels like it might be time to get there. Though it can be stressful – her mom had told her she had planned a grad school interview at her law firm, despite Reyna’s response that she’s not really into being a lawyer. Her mom still micromanages when Reyna’s eighteen.

But she wants to see Hylla’s kids, and Hylla’s boyfriend.

And, yeah, maybe her mom and dad too.

But it’ll be weird to be away from Piper. Really weird. And knowing it’s weird makes it feel even weirder.

Reyna left for the weekend at the very end of September – a quick visit, since she’s only an hour and a half away – but she hasn’t missed them as much as she expected. It’s hard for them to drive down and visit, and it’s even harder for her to find transportation up there. It’s a miserable drive, too. It’s long and it’s boring and grey, and the lack of trees is startlingly…brown.

“You’re going home tomorrow night?” squeaks Piper. “Oh, crap.”

“What’s wrong?” Reyna asks. “I’ve been here for all this time and now you’re finally thinking you’ll miss me?” She turns and presses a kiss to Piper’s nose. “Aw, how cute.”

Piper, however, smacks Reyna in the face. “I won’t miss you,” she grumbles, “I just don’t have backup when my dad comes to visit. Annabeth said she’d come if I needed her, but I’m not sure it’ll work with how she deals with strangers.

“You’re dad’s visiting?” Reyna asks. “What time?”

“Tomorrow for dinner,” Piper replies, looking a little bit like she’d rather be talking about anything else.

“I’m here for dinner,” says Reyna. “I mean, I can be. My mom’s not getting here until seven because she’s got work until 5:30, but I can come to dinner.”

“You want to meet my dad?!” Piper exclaims. “Are you high?”

“No,” says Reyna, feeling a little awkward, “I’m just – what, do you not want me to meet him?”

“No!” Piper frowns. “Wait, yes. Oh, hell, I don’t know. We’re just going to the dining hall before he has to go back to the airport.”

“Airport?”

Piper rolls her eyes and flops onto the pillow, her head bouncing a little bit. Reyna finds herself inexorably brought back to the night before when Piper was moving similarly on the bed due to Reyna’s delightfully sinful actions. “He’s got a twelve hour layover in whatever airport is nearest. I didn’t care to ask. He called to ask if he could come up for visit before he heads off to Dubai or Kiev or wherever he’s going to for his next movie set.”

“Kiev and Dubai aren’t even on the same continent,” Reyna replies. She gets an eye roll in response.

“Whatever,” says Piper. “Just – dinner. Tomorrow night. 5:00 is when we’re planning it, if you don’t have class.”

Reyna shakes her head. “Nah, I don’t have class,” she says. “My last class ends around 11.”

“I already knew that,” Piper replies, and it’s so automatic it startles the two of them.

There’s an awkward pause.

Piper’s the one to break it. “Why are you going home now when break is in two weeks?”

“Because my parents are going on a five day vacation for that week,” she grumbles. “Thanksgiving on the Sea or whatever the hell they called it. I’m staying with Hylla and her husband for those days, babysitting the tiny lightning bolts of evil that are their children.”

“I thought you liked them,” Piper says with a frown.

“Oh, I do,” says Reyna, “but they don’t acknowledge my authority when my sister leaves. I become a jungle gym.”

“I thought I was the only one who gets to climb all over you,” says Piper, and the look in her eye tells Reyna that something’s about to happen.

“Oh, come on,” says Reyna, “we’re not segueing like that, are we?”

“Shh,” says Piper, “just come over here.”

Reyna’s still laughing as Piper draws her closer for a kiss, deep and slow and lazy, and so much like Piper that Reyna just melts into it. It’s a boring Thursday night – too cold for browsing outside for a party and they’re too young to go to a bar – so they take their time with each other, dragging out every touch and drag and whine to its deepest.

Piper’s got Reyna’s wrists pinned to the bed, pink lips kissing down her body so slowly that each touch leaves a line of fire against her skin.

Fingertips brush everywhere all over each other and then nails dig in when Piper’s lips drag over Reyna’s center. It feels like the night could last forever, and endless crescendo for both of them.

Of course, that’s when Annabeth walks into the door and chucks her backpack in the chair, chattering from the second she gets into the room.

“I am halfway to punching that desk attendant in the face the next time he’s – whoa you guys are naked.” In the split second between when she verbalizes it and she processes it, her face goes from annoyed to horrified and she tears her eyes away. “Oh, shit, I’ll – BYE.” She bolts out of the room without anything but the clothes on her back.

“That was awkward,” Reyna comments.

“Shut up and let me finish with you,” says Piper, “we’ll talk about it later.

They don’t actually talk about it later, because Annabeth comes back and says, very pointedly, “Hello, friends who I have seen for the first time today and not earlier around six.”

Reyna is willing to let it go and avoid all consequences.

Piper, on the other hand, makes kissy faces at Reyna until Annabeth chucks a pillow at the two of them, so poorly aimed that it nails Reyna in the shoulder.

“I hate both of you,” says Annabeth, echoing the day they went bowling, but there’s less tension there than before and it’s nice to see her relaxed again

A little less than twenty-four hours later, relaxed is the last thing Reyna’s feeling, let alone thinking about.

She realizes: she doesn’t know who Tristan McLean thinks Reyna is. Is she the girlfriend? Is she the friend? Is she the roommate? But then who would Annabeth be? And where the hell is Annabeth? Wasn’t she supposed to be here? Or did she cancel and Piper just forgot to tell her? Or was Piper’s comment the day before just a joke? What’s going on?

Reyna’s freaking out.

“Are you losing your shit?” Piper asks. “Dude, you’ve got that look on your face. What’s wrong? He’s not your dad.”

“Yeah,” says Reyna. “But he’s your dad. And that’s worse than him being my dad.”

“Huh?”

“My dad spends his life nodding politely and gets paid for it,” Reyna replies. “Your dad’s a movie star who is coming here freaking incognito in a freaking disguise and I’m meeting him.”

“Ugh,” says Piper with an eye roll, “are you starstruck or something? I should have known.”

“It’s not that!” Reyna exclaims. “It’s – ” But she’s totally not going into that conversation. She’s not asking Piper if they’re dating today of all days. No way in hell.

“He’s here,” says Piper, and there’s not much emotion behind it other than nerves, but it’s very different from Reyna’s.

“Piper!” exclaims Tristan McLean. “It’s wonderful to see you.” He wraps her into a tight hug, and in that moment Reyna realizes just how tiny Piper is. She’s halfway swallowed by Tristan’s big arms.

“Hi, Pops,” Piper replies, patting her pinned arms on his side. “How’ve you been?”

“Wonderful, wonderful,” he replies. He takes her shoulders and studies her. “You look good,” he says analytically. “Have you started working out?”

Reyna can’t help but snort, and, unfortunately, that gets his attention. He looks at Reyna and then smiles. “You must be Reyna,” he says, and it’s clear his voice would be thunderous if he didn’t need to be incognito. “Piper’s told me so much about you.”

As he wraps her in the most unexpected hug in history, Reyna raises an eyebrow at Piper over Tristan’s shoulder. Piper looks a little embarrassed. It makes Reyna kind of happy, in a stupid sort of way.

“H-hi, Mr. McLean.”

“Call me Tristan, Reyna.”

Reyna blinks in confusion before she realizes what’s happening. “Hi, Tristan.”

“It’s wonderful to finally meet you,” says Tristan. Reyna notes that he says wonderful too much, and seriously considers banishing it from her vocabulary so it can be his word. She doesn’t really want to use it anymore, kind of because it sounds a little too sugary for her taste now. “Shall we eat?”

“We can try,” says Piper, “but it’s not the greatest food.”

“Oh, come on,” says Tristan, “can’t be worse than when I was at the Academy.”

“You were in the military?” Reyna asks.

Tristan waves his hand. “Military school, and then a short time deployed. Parents got sick of me whining around the house about wanting to be an actor so they threw me into a school where they would work it out of me. Or something. I’m still not sure on what that meant, as it obviously didn’t happen. But I was deployed for six months and then I came back.” His eyes flick over to Piper. “And met Pipes’ mom.”

“Can we not talk about her?” says Piper. “It always makes shit depressing.”

“You make shit depressing,” laughs Reyna.

“Do not!” Piper counters. “I’m a goddamned ray of sunshine.”

“Sure you are,” say Reyna and Tristan at the same time. Piper looks between the two of them in horror.

“Oh, no,” she says. “Oh, no. You’re becoming friends! This isn’t fair!”

It continues to be not fair through all of dinner, until it’s 6:30 and Reyna has to go before dinner. It was a surprisingly fun time – Tristan kept pretending to steal cookies and candy from the dessert bar despite the thirty or so time Piper said, “It’s not that funny, Dad, the place is an all you can eat!” But she says it with a smile and there’s an ease with Piper and her father that Reyna wasn’t expecting, from everything Piper had said.

So when Reyna says goodbye for the third time as Tristan crams cookies into her arms to “steal,” it’s a little hurting in her heart to say goodbye.

PIPER

Piper is exasperated.

Reyna’s been gone since Friday night, and she’s made it all the way to Saturday morning before getting exhausted. She’s just horny, that’s all. She hasn’t gotten laid in too long, and it’s too close to finals for her to go an entire weekend without a good twenty minutes screaming in bed.

She doesn’t miss Reyna. She misses sex.

Percy and Annabeth, however, don’t agree. Percy offered to come over and quiz them on their exams, since all of his exams are multiple choice and therefore he’s decided to study at the last minute (Annabeth keeps forcing him to at least look at his flashcards every half hour.)

After the third time Piper grumbles about how much she hates everything with one leg up on her bed and the other one twisted underneath her in a way that probably should hurt but really doesn’t, Annabeth chucks a pillow at her.

“Hey!” Piper exclaims from underneath her pillow. She picks it up and chucks it back at Annabeth. Percy snags it out of the air and snuggles up with it out of nowhere. Piper probably will never get used to how weird he is. “Stop throwing things at me. That’s not nice.”

“Stop whining because you miss your honey bear shnookums,” replies Annabeth, her face buried in notecards. “It’s not fun.”

Piper sits up, her leg still propped up on her bed. “Excuse me,” says Reyna. “I’m cranky because I haven’t gotten laid in a million years.”

“Oh, shut up and just admit that you’re majorly, totally, butt-crazy in love with Reyna!” exclaims Percy from the foot of Annabeth’s bed, where he’s reading through a history book now. It’s not even from his class – it’s Annabeth’s.

“Did you just quote Clueless?!” exclaims Piper. “Dude, you totally just won some more points on the awesome meter.” Piper leans over to give him a high five, but he stays right where he is.

“Oh no you don’t,” says Percy. “Annabeth, did you see her dodge the question?”

“I heard her dodge the question,” Annabeth replies. “Piper, I think you dodged the question. Do you think you dodged the question?”

“Dodge doesn’t sound like a word anymore,” grumbles Piper.

“Still dodging,” Annabeth sing-songs.

“You two are so not allowed to talk,” Piper growls. “You guys are all stupid and coupley and happy. You’re all blinded but love and crap. It’s not okay.”

“Well why don’t you just let yourself get all love blinded and everything?” Percy asks. “It’s easier than just being all sullen and growly all of the time. Well, I’m assuming. I’ve never been particularly growly or sullen.”

Piper chucks herself back into her bed that she clonks her head back onto the back wall. “Oh, fuck, that hurt,” she whines. “Why does everything suck today?!”

“You’re just whiny because Reyna went home for the weekend. Don’t be so dramatic,” says Annabeth. “Ooh, I found a source that will work for that dumb paper!”

“She left for the weekend too close to finals,” says Piper, throwing herself onto her bed. “I have studying to do and I don’t want to do it, and I need stress release and I’m so not getting it.”

“I totally feel you there,” says Percy as Annabeth says, “Too much information.”

Annabeth turns to Percy. “Excuse me,” she begins, “I’m pretty sure I allowed you a good two hours of stress release last night.”

“Allowed me my ass,” Percy replies, sliding a highlighter across the page, “that was your favorite thing and you know it.”

“Never said I didn’t,” Annabeth says under her breath, but the way she slides closer to Percy and he, as if unconsciously, drapes his arm across her shoulders gives Piper something strange in her stomach.

Piper doesn’t want to think about what it means.

“You guy are gross,” Piper says, “what, do you want me to call Reyna over here the second she gets on campus and start smooching with her in front of you?”

Annabeth shrugs. “If it makes the two of you confront what’s going on in your little sordid romance of yours, then sure. Just get it done.”

“Get what done?”

“Confront your feelings,” says Percy, flourishing his hands in the air, “discuss the truth of your emotions, make things all lovey dovey and then get naked. So I can win the –”

Annabeth elbows him in the stomach, but Piper can’t avoid the action.

“Can win the what?” she asks, curious at first. But curiosity fades into annoyance as Annabeth and Percy avoid her eyes. “Can win the what?!” she snaps.

“There might be a bet.”

“Percy!” snarls Annabeth. “Shut it!”

“A bet?” Piper asks. “Between who?”

“Me, Percy, Leo, Nico and Jason.”

“Technically those last three jumped in late,” says Annabeth. “It started as a joke between me and Percy.

“What’s the bet?”

Annabeth throws her head back and laughs. “Look, Pipes,” she says, “if I win, I’ll tell you what the bet was about, okay?”

Piper frowns as hard as she can. “I feel like that statement should worry me or something.”

“It should,” says Percy. “It really, should. You should probably go to Reyna for a comforting smooch.”

Percy, instead, gets a less comforting pillow to the head.

 

Chapter Text

REYNA

When she gets back on campus after her weekend break, she runs her fingertips along the screen of her cell phone. She’s tempted to text, tempted to ask, but she convinces herself: Piper will be the first to respond this time.

The resolve lasts the amount of time it takes for her to hug her mother goodbye and step into her dorm room, where Gwen is leaving as Reyna is walking in.

So she’s the first to text Piper. It’s only natural, right? Because she’s the one who had been gone, and so it only made sense to text her first, really. It’s the right thing to do.

And, in the long run, both of them benefit from Reyna’s general weakness when Piper’s involved when the two of them are naked and sated and smiling on Reyna’s bed.

“Think Gwen’s going to walk in this time?” Piper asks, her legs tangled with Reyna’s, and Reyna’s eyes go right to Piper’s bare chest.

“Hope not,” replies Reyna, “she was leaving when I got here. Besides, she’d probably get me kicked out for indecent exposure or something.”

“I don’t know,” says Piper, looking down, “I’d say they’re pretty decent.”

Reyna can’t help but chuckle and roll over, throwing an arm around Piper’s waist and nuzzling her nose into Reyna’s neck. Piper tenses slightly then wraps an arm hesitantly around her, patting her on the arm.

“Welp,” says Piper, “I’ve got to go. I’ve got stuff to do. Things.”

“Okay, Rick Grimes,” says Reyna, and the sting of it is just harsh enough for it to stick. “What’s the hurry?”

“Got to…” she trails off, looking around for something or other. “Got to find my…I have homework to do.”

Piper gets dressed faster than Reyna’s ever seen (and she was on a lacrosse team in a small-town homophobic high school) and books it out of there.

Reyna hasn’t even been back on campus for an hour and she’s already seen Piper, gotten laid, and gotten ditched.

“Well this is a big old bag of suck,” Reyna grumbles to herself, she curls over, suddenly cold, and pulls her blanket over her shoulders. For a few minutes she lets her mind go blank, just empties it and does the yoga breathing they taught her in tenth grade to do before games. Maybe this is for the best. Maybe this – maybe she and Piper will end, just in time for lacrosse to start. Maybe she’ll –

She’s thinking again. She can’t think about that. She doesn’t want to think about that.

She won’t.

Before fifteen minutes have passed, Reyna’s thrown her long hair back in a braid and a bun and has gotten down to the gym, throwing herself into sprint routines as hard as she can. Her rationale is to block it all out, to get back in shape and completely conditioned before the season even starts. Then nothing’s going to get in her way.

Besides. She and Piper don’t owe each other anything, anyway.

She sees less of Piper in the next couple weeks. Really, except for classes and a horrible moment the Monday afternoon before Thanksgiving break, when Piper screams at her for mislabeling something in the Jim Crow laws flow chart they’ve been working on for their second essays, and then blinks and says, “Sorry,” they don’t see each other. Reyna feels itchy and uncomfortable for these days, wrong and in somebody else’s skin.

She’s thinking Piper probably just needs a break, that something happened when Reyna was gone and Piper needs some time to work it out in her own head before she deals with somebody else.

She just hopes she gets it fixed before the semester ends. But at that moment, Reyna was just ready to go home and be done with November.

“And you’re staying with Hylla, right?” Reyna’s mother asks her as Reyna finishes packing up her things.

Reyna just nods, her hair falling into her face.

“Alright,” her mother replies. “You’ve started wearing your hair down.”

Reyna looks up from her bag to meet her mother’s inquisitive, calm gaze. “Is that…bad?” Reyna asks quietly.

“Not at all,” says her mother with a smile. “It’s a wonderful change, darling. Now let’s get you home to see your sister, shall we?”

ANNABETH

Thanksgiving Break would have been miserable had it not been for the fact that her mom, useful for once in her life, swept into Annabeth’s hometown on Thursday night and brought her into New York City, where Athena Metis teaches at Columbia for a series of philosophy conferences. “It’s a surprise,” Annabeth’s mother says, “a present for Annabeth, since her birthday passed while I was investigating in Bahrain.”

So Annabeth spends a small part of her weekend in New York City, sending pictures to Percy of herself close to the Empire State Building on Thursday night, and feeling, for once, like it’s home. She feels a strange sort of hopeful glee when Percy texts back a picture of himself in pajama pants at his apartment with his Mom with a frown saying, “You’re in my city and you didn’t tell me until now? Text me where to meet up for breakfast!”

And that’s how Percy Jackson meets Annabeth’s mom.

“It’s good to meet you, Percy,” Athena says sharply, shaking his hand firmly enough for him to lose his balance a little. Annabeth forces back a chuckle. “But I must say, we can only have a quick breakfast and then we simply must head out around 10. Doors open for the conference at 10:30 and it begins at 11. I don’t know who decided to do this conference on Black Friday, but there you have academics: always thinking about the abstract, never the tangible.”

Percy sends Annabeth a look of, “Is she always like this?” Annabeth just nods back.

It goes bizarrely well, this first meeting, Percy being accidentally charming when he gets extra fruit for the table and says, “This hotel has all-you-can-eat fruit! It’s like a buffet my mom would approve of!” which makes up for when he spills a little orange juice down the front of his shirt.

The conference goes well (even though Athena spends the twenty minute subway ride berating Annabeth on how “tongue kissing is not appropriate public behavior, Annabeth!”) It’s fascinating and not half as focused on Kant as Annabeth was worried it would be, and she gets back to the hotel to find a message on her phone.

“It’s Percy,” she says. “That’s weird.”

“Not weird,” says Athena, “but it is clingy. I don’t want to have to split you two up, you know.”

Annabeth tries her best not to roll her eyes and instead says, “I’m going to go for a walk down the hall. Call me if you need anything, okay mom?”

“How can I call you if you’re clearly going to have a chat with that boy?”

Annabeth really hates how her mom generally knows everything.

“I get it, Mom.”

“Be back early,” says Athena, “we’re leaving here at 8 sharp, and I don’t want you up so late you can’t wake up to make the bus.”

She dials the phone and immediately is astonished by Percy’s lack of response. He always picks up the phone when it’s her calling, and now she’s concerned there was a problem, and she missed it because she left her stupid phone in the hotel room.

She falls asleep, and there’s a nagging feeling in the back of her mind that she’s forgetting something. It’s important enough that it gnaws at her mind, but apparently not nagging enough to keep her awake.

~~~~~~~~~~~

She wakes up and knows what that strange feeling is: she’s been officially dating Percy for exactly a month.

And she doesn’t actually have any sort of present.

Luckily, she’s in New York City the day after Black Friday, and everything’s still kind of on sale. She convinces her mom to spend just a tiny bit more time in the city, and carefully doesn’t mention who she’s shopping for. She picks up Percy a picture frame – cheesy as hell, with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty as the sides of the frames – and plans to put a photo of the two of them in it.

On the train ride home, which she spends alone, she decides she’ll use the photo of the two of them lying upside down and halfway off their bed. They took it while a little drunk and a lot cuddly, Piper threatening to film them making out if they didn’t get off of each other. They ended up falling off of the bed, and trying to arm wrestle as they were upside down.

It was an awesome day, and it seems like the right gift for their first month together.

She hopes.

She must have dozed off at some point, as she’s jolted awake by Neon Trees screaming at her. She moves to turn off her iPod, until she realizes it’s her ringtone and she scrambles to answer it.

She notices the caller ID and grins. Looks like Percy remembered the anniversary after all. She picks up the phone with a grin. “Hello?”

“I’m going to need your help the night after everyone gets back from Thanksgiving break and I need you to bring Reyna and Piper,” is the first thing Percy Jackson says on his one month anniversary with Annabeth.

“You WHAT?!” she squeaks. It’s not what she expected, and she’s half ready to sock him in the teeth, right through the phone.

He sighs. “Right, and I got you something silly since it’s our one month.” She tries to stay annoyed – she swears, she really, really, tries – but there’s something in his tone and in the way he’s holding something back in his voice that makes it impossible for her to avoid that contagious grin that she knows he’s wearing from moving to her own lips.

“I didn’t get you anything,” she says, trying to keep the smile a little as possible.

“That’s okay,” Percy replies, “I mean, all I got you was a silly card and a candy bar. And it doesn’t really count because I technically forgot – ”

“You FORGOT?!” she shrieks.

“ – but Jason reminded me last night after that stupid frat phone call, and I remembered and I’m an idiot.”

“You are an idiot,” says Annabeth, “but this is forgivable. I suppose. Sort of. What kind of candy bar?”

“It’s a Milky Way.”

“It’s forgiven.” She smiles as Percy laughs, but pauses suddenly. “Frat phone call?”

Percy groans, and she can picture him throwing himself dramatically on his bed. “That’s why I didn’t call you back until this morning,” he grumbles. “I got about three hours of sleep because they made me come up with the entirety of a party plan at, like, two am.”

“And that’s why we need to destroy the party?”

“Yes,” says Percy. “And that’s why I need you to enlist your friends to help wreck it.”

“My friends?”

“Come on,” chuckles Percy. “Bring in Piper and Reyna, and you could annihilate an atom bomb with the amount of dysfunction.”

“You’ve got a point there,” says Annabeth. “Alright then. I’m in.”

REYNA

Thanksgiving break is slow and boring, and Reyna constantly keeps reaching for her phone to text Piper about something stupid her boss says about her “personality change” since she’s been at school. Her mom’s actually told her that she seems more distracted than usual, that she’s changed (“But in a good way! There’s a new addition to you!”) but Reyna’s not going to tell her why. She’s not telling anyone at home until Piper admits it to herself.

Piper calls her twice – once because she was drunk at a Tristan McLean party and wanted Reyna to dirty talk her (she fell asleep halfway through) and once because she was bored and actually wanted to study for the History final but couldn’t figure out how to do it without Reyna there – and Reyna doesn’t call her at all. It’s up to Piper now, especially after that awkward moment after Reyna came home. It’s been awkward for a little longer than Reyna had wanted, and she’s scared something has broken between then.

That is, until, she gets a text from Piper saying, “Look out your window.” Reyna does, and who should she see but Piper, waving from the front of Reyna’s building.

Reyna darts down and opens the door, leading Piper upstairs.

“So,” Reyna begins, “what are you up to?”

Piper shrugs. “I got back early so I came over your place.”

Reyna forces back a smile. “Your first thought once you got back to school was to come visit me?”

“Shut up,” says Piper. “You’re hot and I haven’t seen you in about a week.”

“So you want to have sex?” Reyna asks, but it almost hurts to have to say it out loud.

Piper shakes her head. “I mean, technically, yes, usually, but right now I was think you could tell me how your break was.”

Reyna takes the risk. “I missed you,” she says quietly.

Piper smiles. “Of course you did,” she says with a bright smile, “everybody misses me when I’m not around. I’m a right bubbling ray of fucking sunshine and I’m easy on the eyes.”

Reyna resists saying, “not what I meant” and leans against the wall. “So you, what, just want to talk?” She tries not to laugh as she sees Piper grow uncomfortable.

“Well, I figured we could do something else first.”

“Like what?” Reyna asks, and there’s something in Piper’s expression that’s got her more curious than usual to find out what the hell Piper is planning.

Piper takes her around the waist and pushes her down on the bed, straddling her. “Something a little like this.”

Something in Reyna is telling her to stop it and talk first, that a moment of clarity is needed before anything else, but her hands thread through Piper’s hair and she’s kissing Piper and, nope, no way. There’s no stopping this now, not when Piper’s hands are dancing along her stomach, up her ribcage, glancing over her breasts in such a teasing way that Reyna can’t help but whimper a bit.

“Sounds like somebody missed me,” laughs Piper, and it’s barely a second that passes before Reyna’s got her shirt off and the two of them are scrabbling at each other with a few weeks’ anxiety and exhaustion fueling their every move.

Every touch, every moment sends fire through Reyna’s bones, but when all that’s left is the last few charred, smoking, embers of their orgasms, Piper’s already fidgeting.

“Need to leave again?” asks Reyna, and she can hear an unintentional bite in her voice.

Piper bites her lip and shakes her head. “I – no, no I don’t,” she replies. “I think, for now, I can stay right here.”

Reyna wraps her arms around Piper. “Alright.”

Unfortunately, the moment of comfort halts in its tracks when her phone rings.

“Go ahead,” says Piper. “Answer it. It’s probably your parents.”

Strangely enough, it’s Annabeth.

“I have to what?” squeaks Reyna.

“Meet me at Percy’s frat house,” says Annabeth. She’d called absolutely out of nowhere, for no reason Reyna can understand, and this is the kind of thing? “Tonight. Apparently there’s something going on, some kind of frat party-off, even though it’s like, the last week of classes”

“Which is exactly why I really shouldn’t go,” Reyna replies. “I need to be on my game and drinking doesn’t exactly do good things for needing to wake up early to work out.”

“Well,” says Annabeth, “That’s kind of the point. If it goes well, we shouldn’t be there long at all.”

“What, like we make an appearance?” Reyna asks. “Is that it?”

“Sort of. We have to go, and be idiots. And we have to completely screw it up.”

“Why?” Reyna asks. “I mean, why does it need to be screwed up?”

“Because Percy, Nico and Jason have been instructed to design some kind of epic party, since they’re the legacy kids or something, to prove that they belong in the frat, and they want us to fuck it up so they don’t have to stay in there. This party battle between the Greek organization is one of the biggest events of the year. They figure if they ruin it, they’ll get kicked out for good.”

“Why can’t they just,” Reyna frowns, “I don’t know, leave?”

Reyna hears Annabeth laugh. “Because frat boys are idiots and apparently lock you in until your life ends. You have literally no opportunity to leave unless they let you leave.”

“So this one’s a cult?”

“Basically.”

Reyna grumbles a little bit, but she knows she’s going to be there for Annabeth. It’s not like she’s going to bail on her.

“So we’re fucking up a frat party?” Piper asks.

“Seems like it,” says Reyna. “Ready to do this?”

Piper grins. “Making a mess of things?” she asks. “Every goddamned day.”

PIPER

“What are you wearing tonight?” Annabeth asks. “Because I’m pretty sure I have to look like an everloving prostitute or else it’s not going to fly.”

“Oh, come on,” says Piper, “like you making out with Percy isn’t obscene enough to stop a train in its tracks.”

“Can it, McLean, or I’ll call you out on your clear love for and obsession with a certain lacrosse player.”

“I’m thinking of wearing her jersey,” says Piper, “you know, to incite illicit actions or whatever. Is that a good idea?”

“It’s a good idea if you can get a hold of her jersey,” says Annabeth. “Do you have one?”

“Yeah,” says Piper. She scrambles in her drawer and pulls out something gold and purple. “It says Arellano on the back. It’s from high school, I think.”

“Obviously,” says Annabeth with a laugh, “our colors are orange and blue.”

“Like I care about the sports part of it,” replies Piper. “But I figured it’ll work, right? With my neon pink bra underneath?”

“That’ll work if we get a black light involved.” For some reason, Annabeth frowns after she says this.

“What’s with the face?”

“Well,” says Annabeth. “Wouldn’t a black light make it a good party? We shouldn’t have black light then.”

Piper rolls her eyes so hard she’s pretty convinced they’ll fall back into her head. “You literally overthink everything.”

“That I do,” sighs Annabeth. “Now dress me in slut clothes and give me alcohol so I feel comfortable walking past the desk attendant in half of the clothing I usually wear.”

Piper grins. “Gladly.”

It’s less than fifteen minutes before Annabeth’s hair is tamed and curly, and Piper’s wrestled her into a black lace sheer top and a bright blue bustier bra underneath.

“You sure this works with these jeans?”

“Annabeth,” says Piper, “your ass is slaying right now in those skinnys and I’ve never seen your boobs look so amazing. Stop getting worried and start getting intoxicated.”

“Just tell Percy, when I get there, that I currently expect him to feel me up in exchange for wearing this shirt. In public.”

Piper’s eyebrows shoot up, and she can tell by the look on Annabeth’s face that Annabeth had not intended to say that out loud. “Well someone’s got a kink,” she chuckles. She shuts up when Annabeth turns red and shoves a shot in her hand to make the awkwardness go away.

After they’ve finishing chasing their Smirnoff Raspberry with Sobe (they don’t talk about how much like the lamest college freshmen they feel doing this) Annabeth psyches herself up by listening to Britney Spears and Piper, for once, decides to join her.

“Are you ready now?” asks Piper, after the second time Annabeth’s repeated Do Something.

“Yep,” says Annabeth. “Very much ready. Let’s go get our inappropriate smooch on.”

“God, you’re even more adorable when drunk,” says Piper with an eye roll. “It’s offensive, almost.”

“And you’re even more Piper when drunk,” says Annabeth in response. “And you’d know if I were drunk. I’d be trying to do pirouettes. And if I’m really drunk I decide to try and do death drops, and then I come dangerously close to popping my ACL.”

“Yeah,” says Piper. “I’m well aware. Never do that again.”

“Agreed.”

~~~~~~~

They meet Reyna outside of the frat house, and her jaw drops.

“That’s where my pinny went!” Reyna exclaims. “Where did you get that?”

“You left in my bed two weeks ago.”

Annabeth covers her ears. “I don’t wanna know,” she says, “I do not want to know any of this. None of it at all.”

“We banged on my desk,” says Piper with a grin, just loud enough that the guys on the frat house’s porch look over and their eyes shoot up.

“Didn’t need to hear it, but now you gave me good reason to walk in here and make Percy erase my memory entirely.”

“Good luck with that,” laughs Reyna. She pulls Piper flush against her.

“Yeah, roomie,” says Piper, “forget this.”

Annabeth runs up the house’s front steps as Piper and Reyna start sucking face.

“She gone yet?” Reyna asks Piper against Piper’s lips.

“Yep.”

“Good,” says Reyna, “because that dude’s staring at us and I’m totally not down with it.”

The kissing stops, which Piper is slightly disappointed with, and they walk into the party.

And Piper is immediately horrified.

“These outfits are worse than some of the dresses at my cousin’s quinceañera,” mutters Reyna, “and that side of the family gets a little bit insane.”

Piper looks around the party and, yup, there are some crazy outfits, not just dresses. It looks like the girls at their college are a little more apt to wearing genuine party dresses than jeans and a jersey like Piper (so she wanted to frustrate Reyna, so what?) but she’s not going to say anything against it. Especially since butts generally look really nice in those pencil skirts and bandage dresses. Really, really nice.

“You’re staring, McLean,” says Reyna. Piper looks over at her, and notices she’s not quite smiling.

“Let’s go get a drink, shall we?” says Piper. There’s a moment of hesitation, but then Piper grabs Reyna’s hand and pulls her close, and drags her down to kiss her firmly. “Come on, Reyna,” Piper murmurs, “let’s take this party down.”

Chapter Text

ANNABETH

She’s only about ninety nine percent done with Reyna and Piper making out in public and then whining about it back at the apartment or in class. From Reyna it’s “I might have real feelings about it” and from Piper it’s “I don’t actually like her, but I, like, miss her. Sort of.”

It’s exasperating.

So the whole getting entirely drunk and dancing to Britney is Annabeth’s personal way of completely ignoring the two of them until they work things out themselves.

Because Annabeth is sick and tired of dealing with their shenanigans and whining.

Unfortunately, the whole going to a party deal makes things a little more difficult to work through. Annabeth’s trying to find Percy, but she’s realized that there are a lot more people here than the last time the frat had a party (that’s what happens, it seems, when you come at eleven instead of at ten thirty) and guys keep coming up to her.

Her response to the kid with frosted tips who asks her to come back to his dorm is, “Not on your life.” Her response to the guy with blonde dreads and a shirt that reads Yale is for Harvard Rejects is who tells her that her shirt is cute, but would look better on his floor is, “And you’d look better if you never spoke.” Her response to the guy who claimed they were in Econ together when Annabeth has never taken an Econ class in her life is, “Do I know you?”

It takes a little while before she runs into Percy and he trips over his own feet when he sees her.

“That’s approximately the reaction I was looking for,” says Annabeth. “Slightly, almost. A little. Do you need help up?”

“Will it make you lean over?”

Annabeth blinks. “Um, I guess?”

“Then hell yeah,” says Percy. Cautiously, Annabeth leans over and pulls Percy up to standing. “Why did you ask about me bending over?”

“Because that shirt, while see through, is also low cut.”

“So boobs.”

“So boobs.”

Annabeth can’t keep help but laugh, and kisses him. “Happy one month anniversary, you weirdo.”

“Happy anniversary to you,” says Percy, taking her hand. “Are you ready to absolutely fuck shit up?”

“Yes,” says Annabeth. “Piper and Reyna are totally in on it too. Like we’d ever have to ask them to dry hump in inappropriate places. So that’s their goal? They’re just supposed to make out inappropriately and name drop you if they’re asked about it?”

“Yep,” says Percy. “And they can say something inappropriate about the frat as much as possible.”

“Can I say inappropriate things?” Annabeth says.

“You can say or do anything inappropriate you want,” says Percy, kissing her neck. “But just do it in front of the idiot frat leaders, okay?”

Annabeth decides the responding in the manner of grabbing his ass would be the best way to execute this goal.

“And there it is,” says Percy.

“There what is?”

“Weird Annabeth,” he chuckles. “Weird in a good way, but – wait a second. What’s that thing…Britney!”

Annabeth frowns. “My name is Annabeth, numbskull.”

He rolls his eyes. “No, I meant Britney Spears. That’s what you listened to the last time you got so drunk you tried to death drop and luckily tripped over the rug.” He raises an eyebrow. “Were you listening to Britney Spears earlier?”

Annabeth avoids eye contact. “Maybe a little.”

Percy just laughs.

 

REYNA

They’ve been at the party for maybe twenty minutes, but already Reyna’s inappropriately run her fingertips up and down Piper’s spine as they danced and shoved her right up against a wall. Or, at least they thought it had been a wall. After a couple unfortunate minutes, they realize it’s the door to some kind of bedroom and two guys and a girl have to bang on the door to get the two of them to move.

Reyna presses Piper against the wall (this time they checked – it is a wall, and they’re lucky Piper’s short and not slamming her head into the decorative shelf) and thanks her lucky stars for the fact that she’s actually been encouraged to feel this girl up in public. That girl in her lacrosse pinny (Reyna could tell Piper had never been part of organized sports, as she called it Reyna’s jersey. How adorable) caused ninety percent of thoughts to leave her head.

Piper whines against her mouth and Reyna gives up on being anything but stupid as she picks Piper up by her thighs and lets the other girl wrap her legs around Reyna’s waist. Piper makes a funny squeaking sound as Reyna shoves her against the wall more firmly, their lips colliding again. Piper’s hands thread through her hair and roughly pull out her hair tie with no second thought about it looking good. Reyna’s lips make their way along Piper’s throat, and Piper sighs and moans concurrently, her head thudding hard against the wall as Reyna chuckles against Piper’s skin.

Reyna knows someone is probably listening, knows people are definitely watching, but the feel of Piper’s fingers pulling at her hair and her heels digging into her back is something she wouldn’t give up for anything.

“Fuck,” Piper whines, legs drawing Reyna even closer, “Reyna, come on, I just want to go do this in your room.”

“I get it,” Reyna grumbles against the skin of Piper’s neck, “but we’ve got to stay here until we’ve gotten everybody annoyed enough.”

“And exactly how long is that going to take?” Piper asks.

“I don’t know,” says Reyna, “are you seriously going to complain right now?”

“Yes,” Piper replies, “because I know that you can do other, more interesting, things with that tongue and I want to experience it. Now.”

“Christ you’re impatient,” mumbles Reyna, her lips working against Piper’s more fervently, he movements more determined. “Shut up and just wait for someone to catch us.”

Something changes in Piper as Reyna speaks, just like Reyna expects, and she crushes Reyna’s lips to her own. Reyna can’t help her hands from flying to Piper’s ass and grabbing until one hand finds its way up the back of Reyna’s shirt.

“Oh, come on,” whines Piper, “my back? Why can’t you get even more handsy?”

“Because you’re the handsy one,” Reyna laughs.

Piper groans and grabs Reyna’s hand, sliding it up the front of her shirt where Reyna grabs bare, braless skin.

This time it’s Reyna who whines.

“You’re not wearing a real bra?”

“Just one of those neon half-cami things,” Piper chuckles. “But a real one? Not even slightly.”

“Are you trying to kill me?”

“Only a little bit.”

Reyna rubs her thumb over Piper’s nipple, and the gasp Piper lets out is loud enough to make a few people around them look horribly uncomfortable.

“Do you two mind?” asks some guy from beside them. “Some of us are trying to party.”

“What the fuck do you think we’re doing?” asks Piper, and Reyna can tell she’s trying to remain snarky through what Reyna’s fingers were doing. “Baking a soufflé?”

“You look like the two of you are baked in a different way,” says the guy.

“Not baked,” says Reyna, “we’re just having a better time than you idiots.”

The guy looks outraged. “How the fuck did you even get into this party?” he shouts. “Who invited you here?”

“Jason Grace,” says Piper as Reyna replies with, “Nico di Angelo.”

His eyes narrow. “Those queers?” he asks, looking furious. “Christ, nobody even wants them in this place, for fuck’s sake.”

And then, suddenly, something drastic changes in Piper’s eyes and Reyna realizes she needs to back away immediately and seek shelter. A bomb is definitely about to drop.

PIPER

There was a little something that bothered her, and that little something is people being all around jackholes about people they don’t even know.

“What did you just say?” she asks, and she can tell Reyna’s stepped a few feet away. “Repeat it. Now.”

“I called the queer a queer,” he says. “What are you gonna do with it? Make out with your lesbo girlfriend?”

For a few seconds, Piper stares him down. She feels a strange, backward sort of pleasure as his expression drops from being haughty to being nervous. She grabs the front of his shirt in her fist, turns him, and throws him into the wall with, frankly, more power than she had realized she was capable of. “I think you should be a little more careful with the words you use, kid,” she snarls. “And I think you should be a lot more careful who you say these words around. See, I have many friends who like the word queer and use it to define themselves. And when giant fuckwads like you turn it back into an insult, make it sound like a bad thing, that’s when I get mad.”

She leans closer to him, and he’s still paralyzed, still startled, which gives her the chance to say the next part quietly, right in his ear. “How,” she says firmly, “is a guy being into guys worse than smelling like an Axe-soaked butcher’s bathroom floor and drunkenly parading around a party alone?”

She lets him go and, for good measure and because she’s still mad, shoves him back into the wall before he has a chance to get himself back together.

“Come on, Reyna,” says Piper. She takes Reyna’s hand (she looks almost as shocked as the jackhole) and walks her into another room. Piper worries for a few minutes that she might have terrified Reyna a little beyond necessity.

The first thing Reyna says is, “Holy hell.”

“Holy hell what?”

“You’re badass!” Reyna exclaims. “Dude, you just read that guy the riot act. That was brilliant!”

Piper shrugs and pretends to brush dirt off her shoulder. “Can’t apologize for being better than homophobic jerks.” Despite her actions, her voice betrays a strange confusion that she just can’t shake. “Though I’m not really sure how I got away with that. I mean, I’m tiny. He could have pushed me off at any time.” She blinks. “God, he could have killed me if he really felt like it.”

“I may have been standing behind you staring at him threateningly. I mean, not close,” Reyna says with a shrug. “But if something had happened, I could have stepped in. It was mostly you, Piper. He looked half convinced that you were going to kill him with your fists and sheer force of will.”

Involuntarily, Piper feels her eyebrows shoot up. “I really did that?” she asks.

Reyna nods and laughs a little. “It was all you, vigilante.” Piper brightens for a minute and feels herself smile like a goon.

“I’m a badass sometimes,” she says. “I mean, I’m always a badass, but sometimes I’m productively badass. Sometimes I use my power for good.”

“Rarely,” laughs Reyna. “You rarely use your power for good.”

“Oh, come on,” and Piper makes sure her voice is barely more than a purr, “you like it when I use my powers for evil.”

Piper fights back a laugh at the way Reyna’s jaw drops.      

ANNABETH

“Can we get it on in the kitchen or something,” Annabeth asks Percy, nipping at his ear. She can feel him shudder against her. “Come on, Percy, let’s get people really riled up when they can’t get at their cheap beer in the fridge.”

Percy literally whines as Annabeth trails her fingertips up Percy’s abs and across his chest. “Annabeth,” he grumbles, “come on, we need to at least pay at least a little attention to what’s going on.”

“But you’re hot and I’m bored,” she says with a pout, and he sighs, pulling her flush against him. She can feel him smile underneath her lips.

“Jesus, you’re annoyingly sexy when you’re whiny,” he mutters against her mouth.

“Hmm,” Annabeth replies, “I’d rather just that sexy part, but I can roll with annoying. Works for me.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“I’m a funny idiot.”

His response is to kiss her harder. Annabeth melts into him, and feels almost giddy as she kisses him. This task to make out inappropriately all over the party is the best thing Annabeth’s ever been assigned to do, and the amount of horrified looks she’s gotten from some of the girls who had given her, Piper, and Reyna snotty eye rolls as they walked in won’t stop amusing her. As Percy tilts his head to kiss at her neck, one of them makes eye contact with her and mouths, “dumb slut.”

Annabeth grins at her, lets her face fall into something she’s hoping is a good imitation of a porn star expression, and flips her off as Percy slides his hand partway up her shirt.

“That’s what I thought,” mutters Annabeth.

Percy backs away. “What?” he asks.

Annabeth stares at him. “I may have been flipping off a rude girl while you were making out with me.”

“That’s not a joke, is it.”

“Not it is not,” Annabeth replies. “She was being rude and I was required to mess with her. It was my civic duty as a human being.”

Percy gives her one of his looks, this one suggesting that she is absolutely bizarre if she had to guess, and sighs deeply. “I got myself into a seriously great mess with you, didn’t I.”

“Little bit, yeah,” Annabeth replies, letting him pull her arms around his shoulders and pull her close. “I might be a complete weirdo.”

“And I love you for it,” he says quietly.

She can tell he didn’t exactly mean to say it by the way his eyes widen about a second and a half after he says it, though she can assume her expression is similar. “You love me?” she asks, halfway dumbfounded.

“Maybe?” he responds, his voice a bit squeaky. “Is that o…kay?”

Annabeth nods, then shrugs, then throws up her hands. Words won’t seem to come.         

Percy grins in a confused kind of way. “I guess I do. Uh. I’m not sure I meant to say it,” he says, frowning a bit. “I mean, not right now. All of a sudden. In a frat house we’re trying to escape.” He frowns. “I did not do this right.”

“Not at all,” says Annabeth. “And damn, this is early.”

“Shut up,” he whines, “I can’t believe I just Moseby’d.”

Annabeth chuckles as she flashes back to when Percy, a few days before Thanksgiving break, had introduced her to the show How I Met Your Mother’s first season. “You totally Moseby’d,” Annabeth replies. “If this was How I Met Your Mother, your show would make it eight episodes and then would get cancelled because you are a complete weirdo.”

“You’re the weirdo.”

Annabeth raises one eyebrow.

“Okay,” says Percy. “Maybe I am the weirdo.”

Annabeth kisses him on the cheek. “I’ll let you stop floundering around. I’m going to go talk to Nico,” says Annabeth, “also, I’m going to give you more time to come up with a better comeback than weirdo. Okay?”

“You’re the best!” calls Percy sarcastically.

“I know I am,” she replies, and walks up next to Nico. She had spotted him in her peripheral as she and Percy had been talking, and his dour expression worried her.

“Oh,” says Nico. “I thought you’d find me eventually.”

“That’s a kind response,” she says. “Let’s start over. Hi, Nico, my buddy. How’s it hanging?”

“Don’t call me buddy,” he replies darkly. “Our plan isn’t working. At all. I’m going to be stuck in this douchebag frat with me and Jason being shat on every three seconds.”

“Oh, come on,” Annabeth says. “Look over there. Your alleged lover and Jason’s date are getting all up on each other.” She gestures over to where Reyna and Piper are now, at this point, grabbing each others’ butts.

Nico’s eyes linger for a little longer than they probably should, and Annabeth smacks him in the shoulder. “Quit it, dude,” she laughs. “I said look, not gawk. I mean, yes, objectively, they are hot, but they’re only making out for the task at hand.” Annabeth frowns. “Well, probably not. They do this all the time.”

“You’re right about hot,” Nico laughs. “But I have my eye on someone else right now.”

Annabeth can feel herself light up. “Someone else?!” she exclaims. “Ooh, tell me! Is it that hot girl with the cargo pants and the pink hair?”

“No.”

“The guy with the purple tank top?”

“No.”

“Are you going to tell me who you’re into?”

“No.”

“Well that’s all just because you suck,” says Annabeth, folding her arms.

“I do,” says Nico, with a smarmy grin, “but that’s kind of beside the point. I’m not telling you.”

“Do you want to go bangity bang with Percy?” Annabeth asks. “Because I know you used to want to, and I totally don’t blame you.”

“I’m going to kick you and, no.”

“Is it one of your brothers?”

“Not really,” says Nico, and Annabeth has him caught. She watches his face fall as he realizes she’s figured him out. “Oh, no. Oh no, no, no. You are so not able to figure it out by –”

“I know who it is!” she exclaims. “Come with me, young grasshopper, and we shall discuss your affections.”

“Who TALKS like that?!” Nico says, but he’s dragged away and into another, quieter part of the frat house before he can say anything else. “God, you’re weird.”

“It’s Jason,” Annabeth blurts out, but she’s quiet and made sure they were alone before running in here. “You’re into Jason.”

Nico drops his head against the wall. “Do I have to admit it?”

“Yes,” says Annabeth. “Because only then you can confront your feelings and do something about it.”

Nico stares at her. “Seriously, who ARE you?”

“Annabeth Chase,” she says back. “How is this relevant? You’re not changing the subject. How long have you liked Jason?”

Nico frowns. “Do I have to answer?”

Annabeth replies with a curt not.

Nico groans. “You are uncontrollable. Well, it only just happened this semester. I don’t know, dude, just something changed. He got hot. Like, really hot. Out of nowhere. And went from five foot eight to like six three over about six months…” His sentence trails off. Annabeth takes the chance to prompt him.

“…And?”

“ And it’s killing me!”

Annabeth grins. “You’re not dead yet. I think you should go for it,” she says sincerely. “Really. I think something exciting could happen.”

“Don’t say that,” Nico groans. “Seriously, don’t say that. Because if I let myself want this and nothing good comes out of it, it’s going to kill me.”

“It won’t kill you,” says Annabeth. “It’ll suck for a while, but it won’t kill you.”

He looks at Annabeth. “You say that,” he says quietly, “but I don’t know how you can know that.”

“Because I’ve loved somebody who turned out to be literally evil and I’m here today.” She says it easily, with a shrug and a side smile, because it’s true and she’s a bit drunk, and Nico’s kind and harmless and, frankly, looks like he needs a friend. She made it. Why can’t he? “Do I seem dead to you?”

“But what if he doesn’t like me back?” Nico asks, and, for once, he actually looks like the nervous seventeen year old he is.

“What if who doesn’t like you back?” asks a voice, and Annabeth looks up to see –

“Jason?!” asks Nico. “Jesus, how long have you been standing there?”

“Only a couple of seconds?” Jason says. “I was patrolling the party. I managed to knock over three trash cans and a couple making out against a door.” He looks between Annabeth and Nico, and senses the atmosphere between them quickly. “What’s going on?”

“N-nothing,” says Nico. “Nothing at all.” He pushes his way past Jason, but Annabeth goes with Jason to follow Nico, lagging just far enough behind that she can interfere if there’s a problem, but she’s forgettable enough if it goes well.

“Come on!” Jason exclaims, catching Nico’s hand as he tries to dart off. “Wait, talk to me. You’ve always talked to me about this stuff. What’s going on with you this semester?”

“Jason, I think you might want to wait to do this,” says Annabeth, eyes darting from Nico to Jason in a manner that she’s sure is blatant, but she can’t quite help it. “At least until you’re not in the middle of a frat party.”

“No,” says Jason, shaking his head. “No, he’s going to like you back, Nico. Any guy, any girl who doesn’t like you back is stupid.”

“Really?” Nico asks, his trademark smirk starting to falter. “Anyone?”

Jason’s fair skin blushes pink. He scratches at the hair at the back of his neck, avoiding eye contact. “I mean, of course they would.” Jason looks up and meets Nico’s eyes, and Annabeth can tell what he’s about to say, somehow, but the way he takes a deep breath. “I do.”

Their eyes search each other for a moment, and then, like it was planned ages before, like it had been written in the stars, the two of them surge together, and Annabeth almost can’t keep herself from punching the air and yelling like her football team just won the championship. She fades into the background, and makes it so she’s as out of the way as possible.

Jason’s strong hands clutch Nico’s face in his hands almost delicately, like he doesn’t want to break him, whereas Nico’s hands scrabble against Jason’s back, trying to hold onto him, trying to prove that it’s real. Annabeth turns to her left and locks eyes with Percy, who, to her surprise is grinning broadly and seems to be doing a strange little happy dance.

Silently, her eyes still mostly on her friends, she moves over to him.

“When did you get here?” she mutters. “I left you over by the pong table.”

“Popped over when I heard Jason yelling,” Percy replies. “The man is loud when he’s trying to get somebody’s attention.” Percy scoffs. “It took them long enough, though, right?”

“You totally knew they were into each other,” says Annabeth. “And you didn’t say anything?”

“Wasn’t my place,” he replies, a small, funny little grin. “But yeah, I knew. I’ve known on Jason’s part for a long time. But he wasn’t ready to say anything, and Nico wasn’t quite there yet.”

“You continue to surprise me,” Annabeth says quietly, but just as she’s about to throw her arms around him and kiss him for all he’s worth, she hears someone with a deep, older voice speak.

“Well now. That’s unexpected.”

Percy, hopefully acting in a manner out of his control, flings Annabeth’s arms away from him and moves to hide her behind him. At first, Annabeth’s startled. What, does he think some frat dude is going to jump him in the middle of the party? Really?

That’s when she turns around. “Percy, what are you doing?”

“That,” he says in a very small voice, “is my father.”

“Your father?!”

“And Jason’s,” he says, his voice even tinier, “and Nico’s.”

Annabeth looks over to where Jason and Nico, still wrapped up in each other, are seconds away from turning their heads and seeing their fathers’ dumbstruck faces.

“Well then,” says Annabeth. “This should be quite the interesting –”

“What in the goddamned hell is going on here?!” shouts a blonde man with a beard.

“ – night.”

Chapter Text

PIPER

Someone’s turned off the music and immediately Piper’s attention is where there’s a crowd growing.

“What’s going on?” Reyna asks. She puts her hand against Piper’s back, and Piper can’t keep herself from leaning back into it. “Is everything okay?”

“Jason’s wrapped around Nico,” says Piper, “so I’m guessing they’ve finally gotten all up on that. Them. Each other. Whatever.”

“Yes, but there’s three dudes staring at them like someone shot them in the face. Adult dudes.” Reyna pauses. “You know, I feel like dudes is exactly the wrong word for them. I’m going to call them men.”

Piper’s about to ask who they are, but it’s answered for her when the man with the big ass beard shouts, “Well it’s about fucking time!”

“You expected this?” replies another man, whose hair is longer and blonde, a little like Jason’s.

“Well yeah!” says the man with the beard again. “God knows we were all into each other at some point in our college days.”

“Oh, my god, Dad!” shouts Percy.

“Ah,” says Reyna from behind Piper, “that explains the eyes.”

“You’re right, Pete,” says the quietest man with the darkest hair, “And you, Zeke, you nailed half the college regardless of gender. Do you remember Gary?”

“We don’t talk about Gary!” thunders the blonde man, but there’s unmistakable pain in his voice and in his eyes.

“This can’t be happening,” says Percy. He sidles up next to Piper. “Can you punch me in the face so that I forget this? I’d ask Reyna but she probably hits so hard I’d forget my first name.”

“Damn straight,” says Reyna, her eyes still on the scene and her hands now securely around Piper’s waist. Piper is doing her best to ignore the fact that Reyna’s fingertips have slipped below the pinny and have begun to absent mindedly stroke Piper’s skin.

“But seriously though,” says Percy. “Kill me? I’ve heard about Uncle Zeke’s relationship with Gary one too many times to tolerate.”

“Uncle Zeke?” Annabeth asks. “Are you and Jason -?”

“Again, no,” says Percy, “I just call them Uncle Zeke and Uncle Harry so things are easier.”

They all turn back to the scene in front of them, where Zeke and Pete are arguing while Harry rolls his eyes in the background.

Appearing as if from the shadows, Nico and Jason come up from behind their little group. “Think this counts as screwing up the party?” asks Nico, and Piper is pleased to see that he and Jason are holding hands. “This frat’s super homophobic. Maybe that’ll be enough to get us out of it.”

“Pretty sure Piper wouldn’t mind if you two made out a little more,” says Reyna, and Piper can just hear that stupid little smirk in her voice.

“Don’t feel bad, Piper,” says Annabeth, “Nico was totally checking you and Reyna out earlier when you were against the wall, so it’s all even.”

Nico turns to the side, but even Piper can tell he’s blushing bright red. “This is probably the most embarrassing day of my life,” he mutters.

“Shut up and come make out with me on the porch,” says Jason, “I’m still not convinced we’re out of this frat yet and I think a lot more of your tongue in my mouth is in order.”

“WHAT IS WITH YOU SEX FIENDS?!” yells Percy, and, of course, that gains them just a little more attention.

“He’s got a point,” chuckles Annabeth, “but he’d have a bigger point if he wasn’t the one last night –”

“And that’s where this conversation ends,” says Percy. “Leaving? I’m leaving.”

Annabeth rolls her eyes. “I better go make sure he doesn’t get lost. And then make sure I get laid before I get to sleep. Have a good night, guys.” They’re out the door before anyone can say anything else.

“So,” says Piper, turning to press herself up against Reyna, “looks like it’s just us.”

“Just us and a billion other drunk college students.”

“I’m not drunk anymore,” says Piper. “But I can get there in about thirty seconds if you want me to be.”

“Please,” chuckles Reyna, “Your drunk persona is your sober persona, just a little more likely to grab my ass in public.”

“I’m always willing to grab your ass in public.”

Reyna shrugs. “That’s a point.”

As they speak, Reyna’s slowly tiptoeing her fingertips up and down Piper’s spine, sending shockwaves down to her toes at each press.

They stand there, entirely still, entirely quiet, for a little bit too long. There’s noise and people around them, and it’s loud enough that it should be distracting, but it isn’t.

Piper just stares into Reyna’s eyes for a little bit, and something rises in her chest, in her lungs, and it’s just unfamiliar enough to scare her.

Reyna’s words interrupt her fear just in time.           

REYNA

“So, I’ve got a question,” says Reyna.

“Shoot,” says Piper, and Reyna doesn’t miss how her eyes are fully locked on how a handful of people keep glancing at where Reyna’s got her hand wrapped around Piper’s waist. Reyna kind of likes that – they know she’s with Piper.

“Are we going back to my room after this? Because if we are I’m kind of totally going to fuck you into the mattress.”

Piper’s eyes light up, and it erases something that was behind them. There’s a smirk on her lips now, too, and, god damn it all, it’s that expression that wrecks Reyna for anyone else on this planet. “That’s the kind of thing I love to hear.”

“So are we?”

Piper nods. “Eventually. But first we’ve got to fuck up this party a little bit more.”

Reyna’s laugh confuses Piper only a little bit. “Pipes, I think this party’s going to make itself last as long as possible. The dance floor’s still going hard. I think we should dance to fuck things up. Or something. Let’s just dance.”

“That’s boring, I have a much better idea,” says Piper, bright eyes and a broad smile, “let’s go make out in the living room.”

Reyna pouts. “But I want to dance!”

Piper sighs and pouts, which makes Reyna immediately stop her own pouting when she realizes how ridiculous it looks. “Pretty please? Just a little smooching? For a long time?” Piper pauses. “Is it obvious that Jason and I took vodka shots earlier?”

“Yes,” Reyna replies with a chuckle. “That’s why I definitely didn’t believe you for a second when you tried to convince me you weren’t drunk. Also, why does that mean we can’t dance?”

“You can go dance if you want,” says Piper, pouting, “but I’ll be over on the couch listening to that dude in the fedora playing Wonderwall. Maybe I’ll go home with him.”

“You’d rather kick him than listen to him play that guitar,” laughs Reyna, “but if you insist.”

She leaves Piper pouting, and swings out to the dance floor which, in actuality, is just the kitchen, but it counts today because someone’s knocked out all of the lights since Percy, Nico, and Jason’s dads took their discussion outside, and there’s black light and silly string everywhere. She starts dancing on her own, until someone’s hands come up behind her and a voice whispers in her ear, “Booty like that, I’m surprised you’re not shaking it more.”

She jolts, because hearing something so Piper-like that comes from a male voice. She manages to squeak, “What the fuck?!” and the hands immediately disappear from her waist.

“I’m sorry, was that a bad line? I’m sorry.”

Reyna turns around to see a nice looking boy with dark hair and olive skin behind her, blushing bright red. “No, it’s okay, I figured it might be your first attempt at a line, but we can keep dancing.”

“I didn’t freak you out?”

Reyna snorts. “Not much freaks me out. I’d just try being your actual personality instead of using those lines.”

The guy frowns. “My idiot friend, Olly, told me to use it. I knew it was bad. I should have –”

“Hey,” says Reyna, resting her hands on his shoulders, “look, let’s just dance, okay? Doesn’t need to be all complicated or anything.”

He looks visibly relieved. “Thank god. I’m Dakota, by the way,” he holds out his hand, like he expects her to shake it, “Nice to meet you.”

“Quit it with the names, first rule for dancing,” says Reyna, “second rule, for the love of god, there are much better things to do with your hands than shake them. Come on, do I need to teach you how to dance?”

“Um.”

“Oh, for the love – put your fucking hands on my waist and just, like, swivel your hips. This is way more work than casual ass shaking should be, Christ Jesus.”

She puts his hands where she wants them, and finally, for god’s sake, they start dancing she can stop teaching people how to do what they’re in a freaking party to do.

It lasts about eight seconds before someone else is grabbing the hand that’s in her hair and dragging her outside.

“What the fuck…?”

“Come with me and I’ll let you live.”

“Not funny, Piper,” says Reyna, recognizing her pinny. “Where are we going?”

“Back to your place, so I can fuck you into the mattress.”

“I thought that was my job tonight.”

Piper turns to her, and there’s a strange sort of fire in her eyes that both turns Reyna on and scares her a little. It’s a feeling Reyna really, REALLY likes.

They get into the building, and the second Reyna opens her door, Piper’s got her shoved up against it and her hands are basically everywhere.

“Fuck, if you were this horny, why didn’t you just say something?”

“I did, you idiot,” growls Piper against Reyna’s lips, “you just chose to dance with some dong instead.”

Reyna laughs at the word dong. Maybe she’s a little less sober than she thought. Whatever, her head’s clear enough to do whatever Piper wants and she’s not worried at all about it. She pulls Piper closer, into a rough kiss that’s a lot of bit and not a whole lot of kiss.

A roll of toilet paper suddenly falls out of Piper’s shirt as Reyna’s hands push up under it, and she freezes.

“Where the fuck did THAT come from?!”

“Idea I had,” says Piper, pulling Reyna’s shirt up and over her head, “I conceal things well in my boobs. Now get more naked, I want to get you screaming before it’s sunrise.”

“But why did you have toilet paper in your bra?”

Piper rolls her eyes as she pins Reyna’s arms to the sides of the door. “Because it’s fun to steal toilet paper from shitty house parties, okay? Are you really going to focus on that when I’m planning on making you come at least three times in the next hour?”

Reyna makes some sort of noise that she’s never heard before and all that happens next is that she feels Piper’s lips and fingers everywhere and she’s entirely forgotten how to breathe.

Piper growls, low and deep, and Reyna’s got no idea what’s gotten into this girl, but she really, really likes it.

“Get on the bed,” says Piper.

“Okay,” replies Reyna. And she does. “Are you still drunk?”

Piper rolls her eyes. “I sobered up the moment I realized how much I hated seeing you dance with that guy.”

“Does that explain all of this?”

In an instant, Piper’s on top of her, legs on either side of her thighs and one hand bracketing Reyna’s wrists.

“Are you pinning me to the – oh, fuck me.”

“That’s what I’m doing,” says Piper, as she rubs roughly at the material of Reyna’s underwear. Reyna’s got sparks – she’s literally seeing sparks, are those her synapses firing? – in front of her vision, and other than that all she can see is Piper’s face above her.

“You going to keep teasing or give me the real stuff?” Reyna asks, and she’s pretty sure challenging Piper will only make this so much better, and she’s so right.

“Patience, you,” says Piper, and immediately the touch gets gentle, soft, and Reyna’d be stupid if she thought it was anything but Piper’s idea of torture.

“I’m going to pay for that comment, aren’t I?”

Piper looks up at Reyna through her eyelashes. “Always knew you were a smart one,” she murmurs. “And yeah. Yeah, you are.”

Quick as a flash, Piper’s shirt is off and wrapped around Reyna’s wrists and the bed frame. Reyna knows she could get out if she wanted to, but she really doesn’t. Want to, that is.

That’s when it gets agonizing. Piper takes what feel like years to pull Reyna’s panties down past her knees, careful to brush her fingertips against the top of Reyna’s thighs as she does so.

Reyna simply whimpers, unable to form words that Piper wouldn’t make fun of her for later.

“Thought so,” laughs Piper. “But let me know if there’s anything not right, okay? You say stop and I stop.”

“I’m not going to tell you to stop, so shut up and get going,” Reyna says in one extremely fast breath.

“Good,” says Piper, “because I’m going to drag this out until all you can do is say my name.”

“Oh, goddamn,” whines Reyna.

“Not quite.”

Piper drags her lips up Reyna’s inner thigh until she reaches Reyna’s clit, tongue moving in the way only Piper can figure out, and Reyna’s making whiny, high pitched noises until Piper’s fingertips dance up and down Reyna’s thighs, just enough to let Reyna know she’ll be pinned down a little harder if she even tries to move.

“Oh, fuck,”

“Not quite my name,” says Piper, and the words against Reyna sent her moaning from somewhere deep inside her.

“Please,” Reyna says, “oh, fuck, Piper, please.”

Piper laughs against her and Reyna just makes the most pathetic, embarrassing whimper.

“Almost,” says Piper, “but not quite.”

Piper replaces her mouth with her fingers, sliding up Reyna’s body slowly enough that Reyna can feel the drag of Piper’s lacy bralette-thing against her skin. As Piper’s lips met Reyna’s, Reyna manages only to whimper Piper’s name, until Piper’s fingers work their magic and Reyna’s gasping Piper’s name into the dark.

“That’s what I wanted to hear,” laughs Piper. “You still alive?”

Reyna can’t do much but sigh.

Piper grins. “That’s what I thought.

~~~~~~~

Reyna wakes the next morning to an empty bed, which she discovers by throwing her hand over what should have been Piper and instead was a wall.

“Pipes?” she mumbles. “You there?”

“I’m here,” says Piper. She’s curled in on her knees, eyes staring straight ahead, on Gwen’s bed. She looks really wrong, so far away from Reyna in the morning light. There’s only a few more of these mornings left where she can sleep in, since tomorrow is the start of lacrosse conditioning. Their first scrimmage is tomorrow- an easy, joke of a game with the club team, but it still marks the end of the sporadic practices and the beginning of busy mornings and jam packed weekends.

There’s something in Piper’s eyes that concerns her. Reyna searches the night before for an explanation as to what happened the night before, but nothing really makes sense to validate the amount of vacant annoyance on Piper’s face.

“Did I do something?” says Reyna. “Oh, god, sorry, I totally fell asleep last night. That was rude.”

“Not rude,” says Piper. Something’s wrong with her voice. She sounds detached. It’s not Piper – it’s a shade of her.

“What’s wrong, Piper?” Reyna asks.

Piper sighs. “Nothing. I’m fine.”

“You sure?” Reyna searches her face, trying to find an explanation, but nothing’s there but that blank, annoyed, almost angry stare.

Piper shrugs. “Yeah, I’m good. Wanna get breakfast?”

Reyna stands, the comforter wrapped around her, and promptly falls on her back. “I’m stuck in the blanket,” she says matter of factly.

Piper rolls her eyes. “So get up.”

“Okay,” says Reyna, ungracefully untangling herself from the bed sheets. “What did I do? Just tell me?”

Piper turns to her. “You actually don’t get it, do you?”

“No, actually,” says Reyna, making her way over to her dresser to throw on some underwear, jeans, and a hoodie. “I actually have exactly zero idea what you’re talking about. Want to explain?”

“Not really.”

Reyna groans and throws herself face down on the bed. “Did I fuck up? Can you tell me if I fucked up so I know how to fix it?”

There’s an incredibly long silence, long enough that Reyna realizes Piper’s eyes must be on her. It feels like a laser. Reyna sits up, and Piper’s staring her down.

“Okay, fine. I fucked up, somehow. Tell me how I fucked up so I can unfuck it.”

“You really don’t know?” Piper says, and it’s a biting tone, challenge and fight in every word.

“Got no idea.” Reyna stands and leans against the wall, folding her arms in front of her. “So hit me. Explain to me how you could fuck me senseless last night and then glare at me this morning.”

“Well,” says Piper, sitting down on Reyna’s bed, looking unexpectedly even more pissed off. “Last night. At the party? That dude was kind of all over you. Wasn’t that a little much?”

Reyna shrugs from where she’s leaning against the wall. “I don’t know. It was just dancing – not like he asked me to marry him or anything. Besides, you said you didn’t mind if I danced.”

Reyna chances a glance over at Piper, but the other girl is deliberately avoiding her eyes. “I don’t,” says Piper. “I mean, it’s not like we’re dating.” But it doesn’t sound like she’s telling the truth. There’s something in Piper’s voice that sets Reyna on edge.

“I know we’re not,” says Reyna. “And – I…” She can’t make herself say it. She wants to ask Piper why they aren’t dating, why they can’t label it as something on every stupid social media site for no reason other than to show each other off to the rest of the world. Reyna Avila Ramirez Arellano is damned good at getting what she wants, except if this stupid girl was involved. And it’s killing her. She feels like she’s being dragged around on a line, like Piper’s refusing to commit just to bother Reyna. It’s been months of this – ages, it feels like. Shouldn’t it have gone somewhere by now? “Whatever.”

“Do you want to be dating that guy?” Piper asks aggressively, and it’s so out of nowhere that Reyna feels like she just got kicked upside the head.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Reyna asks. “No, of course not. He smelled like an outrageous amount of AXE and he couldn’t dance for fuck-all.”

“Oh, so he’s just not your type of guy then,” says Piper, and suddenly Reyna’s got an idea of what this is about.

“Piper, I’m not sure where you’re getting this idea –”

“Because – you’re…” Piper sits down on the bed and stews silently, and Reyna’s suddenly very, very scared that something’s happening right now that she’s wanted to avoid for a long time.

“I’m what, Piper?” Reyna asks. “What are you trying to tell me?”

“I’m – you’re – you weren’t even into girls until you met me!” Piper exclaims, turning to glare at Piper.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Reyna asks, a bit floored. “Piper, I wasn’t really into people before you. I hadn’t dated since I was fourteen.”

“Oh, sure,” says Piper, but some sort of fear in her voice blots out all the usual bite that would be in those words.

“Say what you’re thinking, Piper,” says Reyna quietly. “I’m sick of trying to read your mind. What are you asking me?”

“Am I, like a phase for you?” Piper asks, and Reyna’s startled to see that it looks like she might be crying. Piper doesn’t cry. That’s, like, watching a fish fly. It’s just off. “B-because that’s really, really not cool.”

Reyna stares at her. “Are you fucking kidding me right now?” Reyna says. “Piper, I haven’t liked anyone – ANYONE – since I was fourteen years old. Fourteen. You’re the first person – the first – god, Piper, are you that dense?”

Piper just stares at her. And that blankness, that inability to process the truth, sets Reyna off. Maybe Reyna had been spending the past few months ignoring herself, but she can’t do that anymore. She’s been hiding behind this fling as much as Piper.

The only difference is that she’s done pretending. She slams her head against the wall and lets it all out. “I’m fucking in love with your stupid ass goddamned idiotic face and your ridiculous tattoos and your dumb comments and, Jesus, Piper, are you that blind?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Piper says, but there’s something shaky in her voice that Reyna’s never heard before. “I – I’m not...”

“You just accused me of thinking that you’re a phase,” Reyna says, staring Piper down, “and yet you’re not even noticing what you’ve been doing with me this whole time? For fuck’s sake, Piper, you’re using me if anything.”

“What?” Piper says, and Reyna’s never seen her look so young. For once she looks like she’s just as confused as everyone else, just as goofy, and that, despite the tattoos, she is as vulnerable as Reyna is, despite the fact that she’s been militantly anti-feelings for ages.

“You’ve been rejecting anything that even resembled a relationship,” Reyna replies. “And I don’t know why. Unless it’s me. Unless you don’t love me.”

“I don’t do relationships,” Piper says, but it’s mechanical, it’s a response that’s practiced and careful and one Reyna’s heard one too many times.

And it hits her: this can’t happen anymore. Reyna can’t handle it for one more day – it’s going to kill her if she doesn’t kill it first. She can feel her eyes welling up with tears, and she knows this is the end unless it’s the beginning of something else. “Piper I – I can’t do this anymore,” she says, finally. “This isn’t what I want. Not anymore.”

Piper reels back as if Reyna hit her. “You don’t want…me?” she asks quietly.

Reyna laughs. Piper’s comment is ridiculous. Piper’s the only thing she’s wanted since that hot August night ages ago. “Of course I want you,” she says, a little too loudly. “Don’t act like you don’t get what I’m saying. You’re not stupid. You’re the one who doesn’t want anything to do with me other than just sex and tutoring. And now that we’re nearly all freaking done with that history class, you’re in the clear. So I guess it’s all over now, right? My efficiency rate has dropped fifty percent – looks like I better head out the door now.” She leans against the wall and looks to the ceiling, hoping gravity will help her hold back her tears.

“Reyna, I – I don’t want to use you.”

“If you don’t want to,” Reyna says, meeting her eyes, “then don’t.”

There’s a horrible, charged silence that’s scaring Reyna half to death as Piper stares at her like a deer in the headlights.

“I…” It’s like, for once, that spark in Piper’s eyes goes out as she can’t figure out how to make this right. “I don’t…” Her sentence is lost and Reyna just stares at her, feeling like something’s being ripped out of her chest. It feels worse than the time that she fell off her bike and got road rash all up her leg. It’s worse than the day Jason Grace told her he was moving and that there was nothing he could do about it. It’s worse than the day her mother told her she was the smart one and Hylla was the pretty one, and that there would be nothing wrong with her never getting married. It’s worth than the day she met Piper.

It’s worse than anything.

“Goodbye, Piper,” she chokes out, and she turns to leave the dorm room. She never plans to return.

 

Chapter Text

PIPER

She is paralyzed.

Her feet are glued to the floor. Her jaw is locked open. Her arms are frozen at her sides.

Someone turned off gravity and took the air out of the room.         

When she finally finds herself able to speak, all she can say is, “Reyna, no,” and then, for the first time in ages, she feels real tears prick at the sides of her eyes, tears that aren’t in frustration or a joke, but real heartbroken tracks threatening to stain her cheeks.

“No,” she gasps, looking around the room. She finds that stupid, dumb sweatshirt that smells like Reyna and feels like Reyna and pulls it on over her head, and it’s almost like Reyna’s holding her but it’s not and she’s not. And she never will again. It hits Piper like a train and she feels her knees go out beneath her.

Then she’s curled up on the floor, chin on her knees, silent tears pouring down her cheeks, as she realizes what this means. She’s never seeing Reyna again. She messed up, she always messes up, it’s her fault no one stays with her. She’s messed up so bad this time that Reyna left her own room to be away from Piper.

Piper’s wrong again, so wrong, and she pushed away one of the only people who’s ever really cared about her. There was a chance. She’d had a chance.

And she messed it all up.

Piper grabs the few things she has in Reyna’s room and bolts out of there, running blindly until she reaches her dorm and bolts in. She barely hears the desk attendant ask her what’s wrong. She doesn’t want to talk right now. She wants to be alone.

When she falls into her room, she stumbles until she half rolls into the middle of the room, and the energy it takes to pull herself into a sitting position is almost too much. Reyna’s gone. Reyna’s not coming back.

Reyna’s not hers, was never hers, and will never be hers.

Piper ruined everything.

She’s still sitting there twenty minutes later when Annabeth walks in, pressing random buttons on her iPod to turn it off.

“Hey, welcome back, you will not believe the night I – why are you on the floor and curled into a ball?” Annabeth asks. When Piper doesn’t respond, Annabeth drops everything and rushes toward her, pulling Piper into her arms. Piper still can’t move.

“I made a mistake,” says Piper, “I – I did it wrong. I…” Again, again, her words are failing her, she can’t talk, she can’t move.

Piper just feels broken. She can’t even cry. Everything just feels weirdly gone.

“She’s not here anymore,” Piper gasps, and it’s the first time she’s really said it and it hurts like a dagger in her stomach. It’s like hearing it is worse than feeling it.

Piper can feel Annabeth staring at her, but she shoves her head into the too-big sweatshirt like a turtle and really doesn’t want to do anything but never leave her turtle-y place of ignoring everything ever again.

Inside Reyna’s big sweatshirt, Piper can pretend everything’s okay.

Then, suddenly, she feels something whack her flat in the shoulder and she jolts. “What?” she sniffles, feeling more pathetic than she ever has before. “Why are you trying to make me more miserable than I already am?”

“Because you need to stop complaining before you make me hit you harder,” says Annabeth firmly. “Look, I haven’t dealt with the bitching from both of you all semester for it to end like this. The two of you are getting together if my life ends because of it, do you understand, you absolute idiot?”

Piper just stares at her. “Huh?” she asks.

“Leave the thinking to me,” says Annabeth. “You just sit there and try not to start crying again unless you’re prepared to talk it out while crying.”

“I don’t want to cry,” says Piper, “I want to throw myself into a vat of soup and boil to death.”

“There, you’re being dramatic again,” says Annabeth. “You’re already getting back to being Piper. Now come on. I have an idea.”

ANNABETH

Annabeth Chase is not a girl who appreciates it when things do not go her way. She’s extremely good at what she does, and what she does, often, is be right. Being right is her birthright. It’s what she does.

So when she walks into her dorm room to find Piper on the floor, barely able to tell her that Reyna’s left, she knows this isn’t how it’s supposed to end, and she also knows that it’s her job to turn this shit around. In a flash, she’s got Reyna on the phone.

“Don’t ask me, Annabeth,” she says flatly as she answers. “I’m not doing this again.”

“Not why I’m calling,” says Annabeth, “I’m trying to keep you two from dying, getting back together is you guys. I’m asking what happened.”

“I danced with a guy, she got jealous and accused me of using her, I got fed up, I left. That enough for you?”

Annabeth sighs. “Christ, she’s an idiot sometimes.”

“I can’t do this anymore, Annabeth,” Reyna says sadly. “It’s all or nothing, unfortunately. So I guess I get nothing.”

Annabeth hangs up with a, “We’ll see about that,” and knocks on the shower curtain behind which she knows Piper is. “You alive in there, Piper?”

“Yeah,” Piper replies. “I still don’t know what you’re doing right now.”

“I’m making you be a human because I’m not entirely convinced you’re capable of doing that yourself right now,” Annabeth responds. “You scared the crap out of me, sitting on that floor, Piper. You were curled up, in the dark, in Reyna’s purple hoodie, just staring at your phone.”

“And?”

Annabeth punches blindly into the shower curtain, smiling when Piper squeaks. “And that’s extremely scary behavior. Look, today we’re going to just breathe, okay? We’re going to get you showered and then get lunch –”

“Lunch?”

“Yeah,” Annabeth replies. “It’s one thirty. I got breakfast with Percy around nine, but even I’m hungry now. Are you telling me you forgot to eat, too?”

“I guess.”

Annabeth sighs and drops her head to the tile of the bathroom wall. She’s done this before, herself, to a more severe extent. The forgetting to eat, the inability to judge time. The inhuman zombie status.

So she’s that much more convinced she won’t let Piper do the same.

Eventually Piper comes out of the shower in a towel and Annabeth French braids her hair and throws an outfit at her – something comfy – and Piper skips all her classes that day. There was no fucking way Annabeth would ever have her go to their history class. Besides, Reyna will share the notes once this gets unfucked. Even if it doesn’t get unfucked, Annabeth will steal Reyna’s notes in honors class and photocopy them for Piper, because that’s the kind of friend she is.

Annabeth had left Piper with a movie and some popcorn before leaving for her math class, and picks up the phone. “Hey, Percy,” she says. “You won’t believe the day I’m having.”

“Does it have anything to do with the fact that Reyna ran away from me about forty seconds ago after I tried to say hi?” he asks. “Because that just happened.”

Annabeth sighs and lays out as much of the situation as she can figure out. It’s not much that she knows, but it’s enough that Percy gets it.

“I was worried this would happen,” says Percy. “Piper’s been telling me lately how much she’s convinced she was a phase for Reyna and –”

“Hold up,” says Annabeth. “Wait. Piper told you – how did I miss this?!”

“Piper and I hang out without you and Reyna sometimes,” he says, chuckling a little bit. “I mean, what else can we do when you guys are at your big fancy honors class? Homework?”

“You stun me every time, Percy,” she sighs. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

She can almost see Percy shrug during his sigh. “Piper asked me not to say anything. I wasn’t going to if she didn’t want me to.”

“That was very loyal of you,” says Annabeth. “Piper probably really appreciates it. Speaking of Piper, I am right outside our door and am now required to have a very unpleasant conversation with her. Talk to you later?”

“Course. See you later, alligator.”

“In a while, crocodile.”

Annabeth hangs up the phone and opens the door.

“You’re crying AGAIN?!” she exclaims. “It’s Cars! How are you crying about Cars?!”

“They – she has a tattoo and he left and…” Piper dissolves again into tears, and Annabeth is seriously considering calling a professional. Nothing about cars is either emotionally stimulating or that sad, in her opinion, except for that scene with James Taylor in the background.

“I’m going to turn this off and put on Magic School Bus on Netflix,” says Annabeth carefully, “and then we’re going to have a talk and you’re going to make puns like Carlos, okay?”

“Okay.”

Magic School Bus never actually makes it on.

 

PIPER

“And I feel like, maybe, I don’t know. I think I ruined it a long time ago by not telling her how messed up I am.”

“Why do you think you’re messed up, though?” Annabeth asks her. She’s studying Piper’s face in the way she studies math problems, and it’d be more annoying if Piper didn’t know Annabeth was trying to help.

“Because I was with the greatest girl and I fucked it all up.”

“That is a vague answer and you know it.”

Piper sighs and closes her eyes, trying to figure out how to articulate her feelings. “I didn’t want to make it real because I didn’t want her to tell me it wasn’t,” she says finally. She opens her eyes to see Annabeth nodding carefully at her.

“I know you get scared of people being assholes,” says Annabeth carefully, “but sometimes people really do care.”

Piper shrugs. “I know,” she replies, just as carefully, “I just…This hasn’t happened before, okay? I didn’t know I could feel…Stuff for people. I’ve never had feelings and stuff before. It’s always been dine and dash, hit it and quit it, all those other horrible things I say –”

“Now you sound like you.”

“ – but now, with her, I…I want her around. I’ve woken up in her bed so much. Hell, you like her! I didn’t want to tell her I felt something and have it be…A lie.”

She and Annabeth talk through the night, taking a break for dinner and another for a brief study session so neither of them accidentally end up failing a class, but Piper begins to realize how freaking stupid she’s been and how much she’s ready to do something significantly more stupid but also more awesome.

“Do you have an idea of the stupid slash awesome thing you plan to do?” Annabeth asks. “Because I don’t care what you say, I’m not dressing in drag and doing the luau. That suggestion was just ridiculous even after we’d watched The Lion King.”

Piper frowns. “At first I thought hey, telephone. But I can’t call her,” says Piper. “I can’t. She’d kick me. Through the phone. I need to – I need to do something stupidly drastic. Something that’ll make her be like, ‘oh, she cares’ instead of, ‘oh, she’s faking it again.’”

“Piper,” says Annabeth, “she’s never thought you faked anything. She’s always thought you were scared of confronting things, but not faking it.”

Piper smirks. “I’d make a horrible joke about never having to fake it with her, but it feels like the wrong time.”

“You? Wrong time for an orgasm joke?” gasps Annabeth, hand over her heart in mock surprise. “Are you sure you’re feeling better?”

Piper nods and steels herself. “She’s got a lacrosse scrimmage tomorrow. I don’t think she knows that I know. What if I wake up at, like, six, to meet her at the game? What if I did that?”

“That would be just dumb enough to both work and show you’re in this.”

Piper nods. “And she knows how much I like my sleep.” She smiles, and it feels real this time. She’s going to fix this, or at least do her best to try. “I have an idea.”

REYNA

She chooses not to talk to anyone much in the morning as she eats breakfast with the team, or during warm up, or during most of the game. She hears cheers and follows plays and does what she’s supposed to, but she’s not really into it. She’s just mad and sad, which translates horribly to her game play.

Then, near the end of the game, she realizes something odd. Someone’s cheering for her in the stands. That’s not particularly unusual, the cheering part, but this time it’s someone who’s calling her name – her first name, not her last name – and yelling stupid things like “Get it in!” and “do the thing!” instead of helpful plays.

She forces back the hope bubbling in her chest. Piper’s not here. First off, it’s not even ten in the morning, and second, Piper’s done with her. Never even asked Reyna to stay – it’s clear there’s nothing left between the two of them. Reyna squeezes her eyes shut and gets back into the game, ignoring the voice in the stands.

But then it sounds closer, sounds louder, and she can’t help herself. Reyna’s always been an idiot, but not knowing has to be worse than knowing it’s not her, so she takes the leap and glances up at the stands.

And there she is.

Piper’s in the stands, in the indoor arena she swore she would never set foot in, next to Annabeth, and she’s cheering for her with a sign that says something that nearly kills Reyna where she stands. Before she can react, before she can double check, do the double take to ensure that, yes, those words are in front of her, she gets hit the sound of a whistle and she’s back in the game.

Coach is running her hard and not letting her slow down for more than a few seconds – he keeps yelling at her to get on her mark between whistles, like any mark of hers could really get away, come on now – so rest of the game goes by before she gets a chance to look up at the sign again. She’s just scored the final goal, and her teammates are on top of her, and she is again blocked. She can’t see the sign.

Reyna tries to cheer and be excited for the fact that a freshman like her could do so well in the first scrimmage of the season, but the blood roaring in her ears and the sheer terror that maybe that wasn’t what was on the sign is distracting her.

Gwen, bless her roommate’s heart, realizes what’s going on.

“Come on, girls, let’s go talk to coach about our game planning for when the season really starts,” says Gwen, and Reyna comes along, glancing up again into the stands. The sign’s not there anymore, and neither is the girl who stole her heart with a single glance. God, this is pathetic.

Her heart plummets to the ground. Reyna should have known – it was just another attempt to get her back the way Piper wanted. She’s fighting back tears – twice within two days, who is she, this is horrifying – and congratulates the other team for a good game, and trudges back to her bags.

And there she is.

And there’s the sign that reads, “My girlfriend’s #25 and she’ll kick all your butts!”

It’s not the kindest sign, or the most sportmanlike, or even very neat, but it’s just like Piper and it’s perfect. It’s the best thing Reyna’s ever read.

Piper chucks the sign behind her when they make eye contact (it smacks Annabeth in the stomach) and sprints toward Reyna. It looks like Piper’s expecting Reyna to catch her, but instead she barrels into Reyna, knocking the two of the over into the damp grass.

“You were supposed to catch me,” says Piper breathlessly, her lips a breath away from Reyna’s. “You didn’t do this right.”

“Are you really going to come at me for doing what’s right?” Reyna asks. She searches Piper face for hesitation, for a change in her mind, but she doesn’t get it.

“I was scared and stupid,” Piper begins, brushing hair from Reyna’s face. “I am scared and stupid. I should change my name to Scared Stupid McLean, because that’s what I am. But I’m willing to be scared and stupid.” She rests her forehead against Reyna’s, and she closes those stunning eyes. “I want to be scared. You scare the absolutely fucking hell out of me and I’ve never wanted to be anything more than…more than a part of you.”

Reyna rolls her eyes and pulls Piper down to her, kissing her firmly. “You write that speech or did Annabeth help?” she murmurs against the lips she never thought she’d see again.

“Hey!” says Piper. “That was all me. Those were all my thinky thoughts. Don’t tell me I’m doing it wrong!”

“Neither of us are very good at doing what we’re supposed to,” says Reyna. “But no, you didn’t do it wrong. That…” She sighs, trying to memorize Piper’s face. “That was very nice to hear.”

“Damn straight,” says Piper, and they’re kissing again.

“Wait,” says Reyna, “why are we making out on the field?”

Piper sits up a little more and shrugs. “I don’t know. You were here and I was here and we were lying down so I just went eh, fuck it.”

Reyna rolls her eyes. “So does this whole thing mean we’re dating now?”

“One step further,” says Piper, rolling off of Reyna and offering a hand to help her stand up. “You’re my girlfriend, asshole. You ready to keep up with this?”

Reyna laughs. “I’m pretty sure you’re the one who has to keep up with me.”

“You wish, nerd.”

“Watch it, Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Ray.”

Piper’s jaw drops. “Annabeth totally made you call me that.”

Reyna shrugs. “You’re my girlfriend now,” she says with a grin, “I’m allowed to make fun of you using pet names.”

“That doesn’t count as a pet name!”

Reyna decides she doesn’t need to say anything and pulls Piper close again, kissing her full on the mouth. “I’m glad you came back, Piper,” she says. Piper, for once, doesn’t seem to be guarded.

“I’m not the one who ran from her own bedroom,” says Piper, and there’s a little bit of residual challenge in the words. “Oh, my god, what’s wrong with me, I –”

“That’s a fair point,” says Reyna. “I’m glad I came back and I’m glad you came back.”

“I’m glad we came back too.” Piper kisses her again, and as Reyna tries to grab Piper’s hands, she realizes they’re lost somewhere underneath the sleeves of whatever sweater Piper decided to throw on under her jersey.

Then she looks down and realizes the purple monstrosity is a little too big for Piper and it looks strangely familiar. “Are you wearing my sweatshirt under that hideous excuse for a homemade jersey?” Reyna asks.

Piper refuses to meet Reyna’s eyes. “Maybe.”

“Have you been wearing that since yesterday?”

Piper, still, refuses to meet Reyna’s eyes. “Maybe.”

“You’re such a weirdo,” says Reyna.

“It smells like you,” Piper says with a shrug and an uncharacteristically shy smile, and suddenly Reyna realizes she might start seeing a brand new side of Piper from here on out. And it’s exciting.

She leans down and tests out a kiss to Piper’s forehead. For one of the first times ever, Piper leans into her and lets her wrap her arms around Reyna, and doesn’t pull away. It’s a little stiff and a bit awkward, but that’s how relationships start, right?

“I think I could get used to this hugging thing,” Piper says, “but it’ll be better when you don’t smell like a lacrosse player. You need a shower, stinky.”

“You like the smell of my sweater, you idiot,” says Reyna. “And by the way, am I ever getting that sweater back, you little clothing thief?”

Piper looks up at her and kisses her, still wrapped up in each other.

“I’m taking it that’s a ‘no, never, why the hell would you ask me that question?’ kind of answer, huh.”

Piper nods. “Oh, Reyna,” she says with a smile, “you know your girlfriend so well.”

As something warm and thick like honey floods through Reyna’s heart. “You just called yourself my girlfriend,” says Reyna, and she knows that the smile she has on her face has to be ten different levels of stupid.

“It appears I did,” Piper replies. “Now stop being stupid and sweaty and go take a shower so we can have sex as girlfriends for the first time.”

Reyna laughs harder than she has in a long time. She’s not exactly sure what in hell’s name she’s gotten herself into, but if Piper McLean is in her life, she knows she’s in for one hell of a ride.

~The End~

Chapter Text

The car ride is hell. Reyna’s antsy and uncomfortable and overly excited just thinking seeing Piper again for the first time since the semester ended.

Piper invited her over for a week since her Dad was gone (“I just don’t want to be alone in his giant house, okay?” “We’re dating now, you idiot, you’re allowed to miss me.” “Oh. Right.”) and Reyna was pretty sure they weren’t going to be leaving the house for the five days Reyna was there.

She parks her dad’s sedan in the driveway of a pseudo-mansion (Piper had to literally buzz her in – what the hell is she dating, anyway?) and takes a deep breath as she gets up and grabs her bag to walk into Piper’s house.

“Hello, stud,” says a very familiar voice from behind the door. It swings open on its own, revealing Piper in a very interesting little elf outfit that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.

“Holy sweet god,” says Reyna, and she finds herself forcing her eyes away from Piper’s chest, only slightly covered by this bright red and green lace bra. It’s basically see through.

Also, it’s basically awesome.

Piper grins at Reyna. “Merry Christmas. You order a –” All of a sudden, she yawns so wide she almost loses her balance. “ – an elf o gram?”

Reyna can’t help but laugh, leaning in to kiss Piper lightly. It’s weird how she can call Piper her girlfriend now. A few months before, she always was thinking she’d call somebody boyfriend in the future.

Just goes to show how much things can change when you meet an idiot like Piper McLean. Fucks with your whole sense of self in the best way imaginable.

Piper makes a small sound of contentment as she kisses back. Reyna can feel her smile against her lips.

“I missed you,” says Piper. “A lot.”

Reyna’s eyebrows go up without intent. “Really?”

Piper nods. “Gimme a break,” she says, rubbing her hand against her neck, “this is my first time having real feelings, okay?”

Reyna drops her bags to the ground and wraps her arm around Piper, hugging her close. “I missed you too,” but she can’t keep herself from adding, “asshole.”

Piper whacks her on the back. “No fair!” she exclaims. “You don’t get to call me asshole.”

“Of course I can,” says Reyna, waving it off, “I’m your girlfriend now. But I also get to do this, which I think you’ll appreciate more.”

Piper frowns at her. “Huh?”

Reyna grabs Piper’s thighs and hoists her up, and Piper’s legs automatically wrap around Reyna’s waist. “See?”

Piper stares at her. “I’m half convinced you just came here to get laid, Reyna.”

“You opened the door in Christmas themed lingerie,” says Reyna as she kicks the door closed, “I think you had this planned from the start.” She walks up to the door, pressing Piper up against it so she can reach her hand up and unhook Piper’s bra.

“I mean, maybe,” says Piper, tilting her head back to let Reyna’s lips reach her neck, “but, like, you didn’t say no or anything, so –”

Reyna interrupts her by pulling off her bra and throwing it to the ground and wrapping her lips around Piper’s nipple.

She laughs against Piper’s skin as she hears her gasp, and following that hears the thunk of Piper’s head against the door.

“Okay,” says Piper, “I totally planned this.”

Then she yawns again, and Reyna feels like it’s her duty to move up and figure out what she’s doing wrong.

“What is up with you?” chuckles Reyna. “That’s the second time you’ve yawned and I’ve been here for, like, five minutes.”

“Nothing,” says Piper, but even as she speaks, her eyelids flutter shut. She snaps them back open. “I’m fine.”

Reyna steps back, holding Piper gently until she lands on the floor.

Piper’s so much tinier than Reyna, and it’s only in moments like these that she realizes it.

“I’m fine,” says Piper, and she drops her head against Reyna’s chest. “Totally,” she yawns again, “awake and stuff.” She wraps her arms around Reyna’s waist lazily.

“Piper,” Reyna says slowly, “did you sleep last night?”

“Sure,” says Piper, “go back to kissing me.”

“Your head is squashed in my boobs,” Reyna replies, “your lips are kind of nowhere accessible.”

“That’s my plan,” mumbles Piper, “face in your boobs and all that.”

Reyna laughs. “Come on, Pipes, talk to me,” she murmurs, pressing her lips to the top of Piper’s head.

Piper sighs. “Canzleep.”

“Excuse me?”

Piper groans like Reyna’s the incoherent one, and looks up at Reyna. “I can’t sleep without you.”

Reyna frowns. “Huh?”

“At school, we always sleep next to each other,” says Piper, “almost always, at least since that first time in October. And that’s when I can sleep.” She drops her head back to Reyna’s chest, wrapping her arms a little more tightly. “I like it when you’re there.”

Reyna does her best not to react, but she drops her lips to Piper’s head again, pulling Piper closer. “I’m here now,” she says quietly.

Piper yawns so loudly Reyna can feel it against her jacket.

“We’re going to take a nap,” announces Reyna. “Or just go to sleep. It’s six at night, I’ve been driving for three hours.” She lets go of Piper and backs away. “We are sleeping.”

Piper shakes her head. “No!” she exclaims. “I put on a freaking elf costume! I got into the holiday spirit!” Her voice goes dangerously quiet. “I do not do holiday spirit for just anyone.”

“You’ll fall asleep before I even get my coat off.”

“That would be your fault for having such a difficult coat,” and the way Piper says it is so matter of fact, so ridiculous, that the only thing Reyna can think of to do is to kiss her firmly and then swing her up into her arms.

“We’re going to sleep.”

“I’m not sleeping!”

“We’re sleeping.”

Piper just pouts. “Fine,” she says, “but I’m putting on pajamas or something. I don’t think I can sleep in these stupid fucking elf shorts.”

Reyna snorts. “Yeah, they look a little uncomfortable.”

Reyna goes to take Piper up to her room, and then suddenly realizes just how big the house is.

“Holy crap,” she says, looking around. “This place is huge.”

“Uh, duh,” says Piper, rolling her eyes, “dad’s a movie star. They like to compensate for their emotional distance by buying expensive things. When I was ten I got a custom made Rainbow Brite comforter set because my dad forgot my birthday.”

“Aren’t we a little young for Rainbow Brite?”

Piper shrugs. “I hung out with my nanny’s kids. They were, like, twelve years older.”

Reyna just stares at her. “You have a lot of issues.”

Piper nods. “I’m a wreck. I once stole a car by asking nicely just to get my dad to talk to me for five minutes. And even that didn’t work.” Piper seems to register the confused expression on Reyna’s face. “I am also babbling, and apparently I am much more tired than I realized.”

“You do have a tendency to go on when you’re drowsy.”

Piper halfheartedly hits Reyna in the shoulder. “Now carry me to my room, you heathen. Or probably put me down, because I’m on the second floor and the stairs are really long.”

Reyna sets her down and kicks off her boots, grabbing her two bags. “Come on,” she says, “let’s go.”

“Nope,” says Piper. “We take off our coats and put them in the coat closet.” She scoffs. “Ugh. Peasants.”

Reyna stares at her. “Who are you?”

Piper laughs. “I’m sorry!” she chokes out. “I just had to see your face. Nah, throw it anywhere. I don’t care.”

Reyna takes off the coat and steps to the stairs to drape of over the handrail, and they make their way up to Piper’s room.

“I’m going to get lost at least twice,” says Reyna, trying to take in her surroundings. She’s answered by a yawn as Piper collapses through a door and throws herself into her bed.

The room is covered in photographs. Reyna couldn’t even guess the wall color if her life depended on it. She sees her own face, covering a place on a wall across from Piper’s bed.

It makes her heart do a bit of a backflip.

She sees Annabeth’s face, a moment Reyna’s never seen, with her hair all over the place and a pair of green glasses on her face and her tongue sticking out. A photo of Percy, his hands half tugging at his hair as he studies a book in front of him. Jason and Nico, their fingertips slightly entwined, and their expressions so subtly for each other that Reyna feels like she’s there.

And again, there she is, half asleep but smiling up at Piper from the bed, with an expression on her face that she feels herself making at that same moment. She doesn’t remember the photo being taken, but it’s a feeling she’s familiar with.

“Oh, yeah,” says Piper, waving it off, “I take pictures with my phone enough that I can use them for wallpaper.”

“They’re awesome,” says Reyna, stepping closer to them. “Any reason they’re all in black and white?”

Piper shrugs, stretching her arms above her head, and Reyna is made acutely aware of the face that she’s wearing lingerie on the bottom and nothing on top. Piper catches her eye and smirks. “I was going to say because I like how it looks,” she says, “but I think you understand liking how something looks.”

“That didn’t even make sense,” says Reyna with an eye roll, “go to sleep.”

“Not unless you’re here.” Piper pats the bed next to her.

Reyna makes a big show of rolling her eyes, but pulls off her jeans, damp from the snow she’d walked through, and crawls into bed next to Piper. She considers pulling the big, chunky sweater off, but Piper doesn’t have a particularly thick and she’s already not wearing pants. She keeps it on.

Reyna reaches out to hold Piper. Immediately, Piper rolls over out of her reach.

“Hey!”

“Oh, calm yourself, I’m getting a shirt,” Piper says. She pulls something out of the drawer.

“Jerk,” says Reyna. “That’s mine.”

Piper flashes her a brilliant, sleepy smile. “Yeah,” she says, looking at it, “only thing that makes it so I can get a few hours of sleep.”

“Sappy, sappy, sappy,” says Reyna, pulling the covers up over her.

Piper throws the shirt over her bed and pulls the frilly lingerie off. “Shut up and cuddle me, jackass.”

“And there’s my Piper,” Reyna murmurs.

Piper cuddles up with her head on Reyna’s chest, with her arm thrown across Reyna’s waist. “Yeah,” Piper murmurs, her voice muffled by sleep, “yours.”

Reyna falls asleep with Piper in her arms again for the first time in ages. It’s the best sleep she’s had in weeks.

~

She’s dreaming of Piper’s lips against her neck, her cheek, her lips. She kisses back in the dream, reaches up to hold Piper’s face, and –

“Ow! Hair, hair, Reyna, ow, that’s my hair!”

Reyna’s eyes snap open to see Piper’s eyes half an inch away. She’s wincing.

“Oh,” Reyna says, a little disconcerted. “That wasn’t a dream.”

“Nope,” says Piper, rolling over. She props herself up on her elbow, grinning at Reyna. “That was my real, actual hair you yanked.”

“In my defense,” Reyna says, brushing some hair out of Piper’s eyes, “I was going to kiss you in my dream.”

“Well why don’t you kiss me now?”

So Reyna does. There’s something about Piper in Reyna’s shirt, big and baggy on her and still so much hotter than Reyna could have ever imagined, that gets her rolling on top of Piper and sliding her hand under that shirt without even a second’s preamble.

“Well somebody’s got morning wood,” Piper says, her voice breaking a little as Reyna taps her fingertips along the insides of Piper’s thighs.

“That,” says Reyna, pressing her lips to Piper’s neck, working in a bruise, “would make sense, if I were a guy.”

Piper starts to say something, but she chokes herself off with a gasp as Reyna’s fingers brush over her clit.

“Hah,” laughs Reyna against Piper’s skin, “let’s see those witty comebacks now.”

“Shut up,” whines Piper as Reyna slowly moves her fingers, “Oh, shut up, please, please.”

Reyna drags her lips from Piper’s neck to her collarbone, shifting to get a better angle. Piper begs beautifully as Reyna works her fingers.

“Oh, god, Reyna,” Piper cries out, and Reyna feels her clench around her fingers. Piper’s back arches off of the bed, and then she collapses back onto the sheets. “Holy fuck.”

“Was that your first time or something?” Reyna says with a smirk, and Piper smacks her shoulder, the drags her down to kiss her firmly.

“Shut up,” she mumbles against Reyna’s lips. “I told you. I missed you.”

“How much?” Reyna asks, and Piper kisses her again, hard and rolls them over so Piper’s straddling Reyna’s hips. Piper moves to pull the shirt off, but Reyna catches her wrist before Piper can move it.

“No,” says Reyna, “you should leave it on.”

The look Piper gives her makes Reyna pretty much sure that Piper’s going to drag this out for as long as possible. “Oh really now?” Piper says. “You like me in your clothes?”

Reyna rolls her eyes. “Of course I do,” she says, “you know that.”

“Well then merry Christmas to you,” says Piper, “because I’ve stolen a lot of interesting things from you.”

“I know you took my purple underpants.”

Piper pouts. “Aw,” she says. “You ruin all the fun.”

“Not really,” says Reyna, gently running her fingers up Piper’s thighs, “I think I’m a lot of fun.”

Piper tilts her head back and laughs. “God, I’ve missed you.”

“Missed you too.” And Reyna pulls Piper down to kiss her.