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Carter and the son of Poseidon

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Carter knows he is being ridiculous and unreasonable, but he needs his space to mull things over. He should have known that things wouldn't work out with Zia as perfectly as he had wanted them to be. It turned out they were very different at the end of the day, and the life they have to lead as Egyptian magician teenagers, and their frustrations, often caused them to leash out on each other without really meaning to. So they decided they needed time to figure things out and maybe pick things up again if they felt up to it, or just stay good friends. Sadie was surprisingly not as smug as Carter would have imagined her to be, she was relatively understanding and gave him the space he needed, keeping her relationship with Anubis/Walt (It's very confusing) out of his hair so he doesn't feel as bitter about their break-up. Of course it still hurts, but he doesn't really know what to do about it, so he decides to distract himself with studying. Because that's healthy isn't it? He knows feelings are important and he could trust Sadie with his feelings, but he is way too stubborn for that. Besides. Education is important too. He wants to get into the best university and become as good as an archeologist as his father was.

So, he is in the process of switching schools. He is stubborn, yes, but he couldn't bear seeing his sister and boyfriend being lovesick while he and Zia were not a couple anymore, his students giving him pitiful looks whenever he crosses the school halls. He needs to find the leader in himself that everybody sees. He knows there isn't that much sense in his decision, but he has already made up his mind. There aren't many schools that would take in a student in the middle of the school year, especially one that has a very small amount of experience in public school due to homeschooling. But, he had a telephone call with a man named Paul Blofis, who had ensured him that Goode High School would take him in despite the short notice. Carter was relieved to hear that.
On his first day of school, he wakes early and makes himself look as presentable as he can muster. He is a bit nervous about the whole new school thing, especially how people would react to him. He knows he is very awkward socially, outside the real world, where there are no magicians and gods and monsters and whatnot. Where all he is is a teenage boy one year from graduation. He packs a backpack with a pencilcase, a bottle of water, his wallet and his phone, and a few notebooks he knows he will fill in no time. He concentrates and puts it into the Duat, in no mood to carry it over his back. There's a knock on his door that makes him whip his head around.

"This is stupid, you know." Sadie's standing by his door, arm crossed in front of her. Carter sighs and grabs his coat, throwing it over his back and shrugging his arms into it.

"You think everything I do is stupid."

"Not everything. I would follow you everywhere, you know that, but now you are just being childish."

"Childish?" Carter laughs bitterly "Leave me alone. Spare me your wisdom."

"Fine. Be like that." Sadie says hotly with a frown, marging off.

Carter sighs, knowing well he is too harsh on her these days. He can't help but snap at everyone he cares about, save for his students during training. That seems to be the only time he can focus his mind on something other than his miserable non existent love life. Khufu strotts in front of him and barks something disapprovingly.

"I know, buddy. I'll make it up to her" that seems to satisfy the baboon. He climbs the stairs to the top of Brooklyn House, Freak already waiting for him there in all his glory. Carter smooths his hands down his head and scratches his feathery neck affectionately.

"Hey boy. Thanks for doing this for me. You are about the only one who doesn't question my motives" he murmurs quietly, which earns him some chirps he doesn't understand, but he figures Freak says something like "Whatever. Let's just get this over with" if he knows him right, which he does. He hops in the boat tied the griffin's back, Freak spreading his long wings and fluttering them as he jogs over to the edge of the building, leaping into the sky with grace mortals will never be able to see. Carter grins with glee as the wind whips his face, his hair, his clothes, speaking the language of shouting winds no man understands. Freak flies fast like a bolt of lightning and takes him over the river in matter of minutes, all the way to Manhattan where his new school is supposed to be awaiting for him. Carter decided to go in an hour earlier than anyone, hoping to see the school for himself before the start of his lessons, and maybe to muster all his courage for a whole different school experience. Freak lands in front of the school building, mortals not even giving Carter and him a glance as he folds his wings back and Carter jumps out of the boat, sending him off with a fond pat on the head and a piece of frozen turkey as treat. Carter holds out his hand and summons his backpack from the Duat, shouldering it with a heavy sigh. He climbs the stairs to the main entrance, pushing it open, the halls empty and soundless, yet to be filled with loud teenagers. Carter stares, still not used to the rows of lockers, the thought of classrooms, the gym, the swimming pool without a scrocodile swimming in it. Seems way too mundane for him, something he never thought he would find boring, but he guesses that fighting gods give you that way of thinking. He sighs, finding his way to the headmaster's office, filing the usual paperwork and getting his timetable, his locker number and combination, smirking to himself knowing that he already has a locker with a combination that noone can access besides him, deep in the Duat. Nevertheless, he thanks the headmaster, who gives him the warmest of his welcomes, sending him off to explore before the start of his lessons. Carter explores the canteen, the gym, the football fields, the classrooms, the science lab, the art room, the music room, and of course he gets lost 20 minutes from the start of his first class. He wanders around the long and confusing halls, entering the swimming pool area for the fifth time like some force was not letting him go anywhere else. He groans frustrated, pacing in front of the water, glaring up at the big clock ticking away on the wall.

When he is almost ready to scream in frustration, there is a sudden burst of water from the pool next to him, getting him soaked in a matter of seconds. He splutters, stepping back in mild surprise and almost slipping until a pair of hands catch him.

"Woah woah steady." Carter looks up hearing that familiar voice, staring into the seagreen eyes of one Perseus Jackson.

"You--" he points at Percy, hands still on his arms keeping him in one place.

"Carter! What are you doing here, man?" Percy grins at him, eyes sparkling. A slight blush creeps to Carter's face, realising how close they are, and noticing Percy's state of clothing for the first time. Percy is barefoot, only in swimming shorts, water dripping from every part of him, leaving almost nothing to the imagination. Carter can't help but trace his toned chest and abdomen, his strong arms that have some kind of weird tattoo he hadn't noticed before. He shivers suddenly, the cold water reaching his skin from his soaked clothes.

"I'm so sorry about that. I didn't see you there." Percy's eyes soften in concern, brows drawn together, rubbing Carter's arms having no better idea to help him warm up. Percy knows he is more resistant to high and low temperatures due to his relation with Poseidon, but he can't dry things on the ground, something he finds himself a pity at the moment.

"I-It's fine." Carter mutters, the way Percy's muscles are flexing when he moves his arms not helping one bit to calm his nerves. Percy steps back still concerned but realises his touch is not welcomed, with just a bit of hurt. Carter mutters a spell under his breath and dries himself completely in one second, feeling much better.

"Wicked!" Percy smiles "I will never get used to anyone doing that."

"Yeah...I know it's weird." Carter says awkwardly, still finding it hard to keep his eyes from the demigod's body. Percy had easily outran him when they were chasing the crocodile in the swamp, but he never thought he was that well built. He certainly didn't think he would ever admire something like that on another guy. But he does, the small scars and healed cuts are quite visible on Percy's tanned skin, which is still way more lighter than his own dark brown skin.

"Not weird. Just different. Hecate kids can do magic, sort of, but nothing like that." Percy says kindly, to which Carter nods dumbly. He should remind himself later to read up more on Greek deities. "Anyway. What are you doing here?" he grabs a towel from the nearest bench and starts drying himself.

"I'm enrolling here."

"What? Really? No way!" Percy grins, rubbing his messy black hair with the towel.

"Yes. I...uh...start today. I just got lost."

"Lost?" Percy furrows his brows.

"Yeah. Every time I crossed one hall I ended up here." Carter explains, remembering his earlier frustrations.

"That's weird." Percy hums "But, that means I will see you around then." he beams, and Carter can't help but think of an excited puppy. Percy is unfairly attractive, Carter thinks, something that can't be said about him. Percy puts on a blue shirt, much to Carter's disappointment.

"I guess so."

"You don't know anyone here, right?" Carter shakes his head in answer.

"No matter, we can hang out. Good to see a familiar face here."

"Thanks." Carter smiles, something that surprises even himself.

"Don't thank me. You are cool." he pats Carter on the shoulder and pulls him close, throwing the damp towel back on the bench as they step out into the halls. "How are you? How are your magician things going?" he asks as he leads Carter through the school.

"Fine. I guess." Carter mumbles halfheartedly.

"Is something wrong? You sound...beaten." Percy squeezes his shoulder in what hopes is a comforting way. He briefly wonders why he feels the need to touch the magician so much.

"I...I don't want to bore you with my problems." Carter says defensively.

"You are not boring me. I asked because I care." Percy turns to smile at him, which causes Carter to turn red again. His eyes are way too kind and his smile is way too soft to be directed at him. He chides himself mentally for acting all hot and bothered like a schoolgirl, but what can he say? Percy is the most attractive and caring guy he had ever met, despite their rocky start in the swamp.

"Well, me and my girlfriend, are taking some time apart...broken up." he says stiffly.

"Aw, that sucks man. I'm sorry to hear that." the sincerity of the statement makes Carter's heart beat a little faster.

Carter coughs awkwardly "It's fine. What about you? How is your girlfriend, Annabeth?"

Percy cracks up at that, throwing his head back to laugh good naturedly, giving Carter a perfect chance to admire the angle of his neck "Annabeth? She's not my girlfriend. We are best friends, that's all." he keeps chuckling like it's the best joke of the year.

"Oh...sorry. I assumed..." Carter trails off, not sure what he wanted to say.

"Don't apologise." Percy chuckles "She's going to love this when she hears it. So, what's going to be your first lesson?"

"Oh. Right." he pulls the time table from his backpack "It's...uh...Math with Mr. Frightman." he looks up at Percy, who's leaning much closer than he did moments before, eyeing the piece of paper in Carter's hand, making him snap his attention back on his schedule.

"That's down this hall." he points out the direction for him "Then P.E. I guess you know where the gym is." he humms thoughtfully "For the rest, I can draw you a map. It is quite a big place, especially because it's a one story building. No wonder you got confused."

"That would be nice. Thank you." Carter smiles again, which he finds himself doing almost as easily as breathing around Percy, for some reason.

"Don't even mention it. If Paul hadn't given me one on my first day, I would have been lost in a matter of seconds." Percy chuckles, leaning away from Carter's personal space.

"Paul?"

"My stepfather. He is a teacher here." Percy smiles.

"Paul Blofis? He made sure I would get accepted here." Carter muses out loud.

"Huh. Well, he is a nice guy. He knows about my Greek stuff and helped me stay here, even after I almost blew my chance."

"He sounded nice on the phone." Carter shrugs, not much else to add to the topic.

"Well, I gotta go and get changed before classes." he looks down on himself.

"What were you doing there, by the way?" Carter tilts his head curiously.

"In the water? It helps me think. Plus, I'm in the swimming team." Percy grins "Find me at lunch. I sit with the swimming team, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind one more person." Carter doesn't even have the oppurtunity to ask how can someone think better under water in his surprise.

"I-I'm not sure that's--"

"No objections. I insist. Look for me, okay?" Percy leans in closer than comfortable, emphasizing his request with his hands on Carter's arms, rendering him to a blushing mess that can only nod in answer.

"Awesome! See ya!" and with that, the son of Poseidon is gone and Carter is left there stunned speechless until the bell rings, making him jump in surprise and scramble to get to his classroom. He wonders what had he done to the gods to punish him like that.

Chapter Text

Carter finds himself enjoying math after his awkward introduction to the class. He is seated to a quiet boy called James, who barely speaks to him except a curt introduction. The kids in his class look strangely at him whever he raises his hand to answer the teacher's questions, like he is some kind of alien. It doesn't stop him from enjoying himself though. Math has always been one of his favourite subjects besides history. Math is something that never changes, the laws of it remain untouched and it is always the same. Carter prefers things that don't change ever since his life became so hectic. Mr Frightman seems to be pleased with him, despite his classmates' disapproving looks.

P.E proves to be a pain in the neck though. The coach is rather rude to the kids, Carter observes, and makes them run until they feel like fainting, making them play violent games such as dodge ball. During the game Carter doesn't get smacked in the face with balls flying in high speed, but just because of his advanced warrior reflexes. Others on his team are not so lucky. The game proves to be almost as brutal as his fights with magicians, only without magic and less penguins from his team. Carter watches one boy get taken to the nurse with sympathy, clutching his bleeding nose. The coach doesn't seem to be bothered by that, something Carter finds disturbing and makes him wonder how can such a non caring person become a teacher.

Percy waits for him outside the gym after class and hands him a map with scribbled and messy words on it. Carter thanks him with a smile, again, surprised by the ease of it. History class is a real treat for him, hanging on every word of the teacher, writing down everything in his notebook for further research later in the library. Most of his classmates find the class boring, some of them even sleeping behind their propped books, but Carter pays them no mind.

Literature turns out to be quite interesting in his opinion. He enjoys the teacher's poetry reading and the simple peace of it, the silence in the room, be it because of the teacher's stern looks or because the kids sleep through it without much interest.

By the time lunch comes around, Carter finds that it isn't as bad as he would have thought. He finds the cafeteria with ease, thanks to the map, and summons his packed lunch from the Duat. His heart is hammering, eyes searching for the black haired demigod. Said demigod is hard to miss, standing at the far end of the canteen, waving and smiling like an idiot.

"Carter! Here!" Percy shouts loudly, making several heads turn to him. Carter ducks his head embarrassed, clutching his lunch to his chest as he makes his way to Percy.

"Would you stop that already? You are embarrassing him." Carter sees a girl yank Percy back in his seat.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to." Percy says sheepishly as Carter stands by the empty seat in front of him. Percy gestures for him to sit, the others around the table nod as he looks around, so he sits and sets his food on the table.

"So, team, this is Carter Kane, a friend of mine." he gestures at him. "Carter, this is my swimming team; Kayla, Will, Brandon, Sam, Travis and Neil." Each member has almost the same build as Percy, except Kayla of course, all attractive in their own ways. Carter assumes they can't be bad people if Percy's friends with them.

"Nice to meet you." they all say in unison.

"N-Nice to meet you too."

"Aww look at him. He is so timid it's cute." the brunette girl next to Percy, Kayla, coos with a smirk.

"You are frightening him." Brandon, the boy sitting next to Carter says frowning "Don't listen to her. She is just teasing you."

"I've never seen you around. Are you new here?" she rolls her eyes and asks instead.

"Yeah...I switched here today for...personal reasons." Kayla shares a look with the others, wondering what his relations with Percy are exactly if he only transfered today.

"How is your day going so far?" Percy opts to change the subject, which Carter is unspokenly grateful for.

"It was...quite nice, actually. Well, maybe except P.E." Carter says quietly.

"I heard a kid had to go to the nurse's office. I hear he broke his nose." Will says next to Kayla, Carter wincing at the memory of the sound the guy's nose made when the ball came in contact with his face.

"Did you find your classes easily?" Percy asks as he is in the process of inhaling a slice of pizza, making everybody wrinkle their noses in disgust.

"Ugh. One of these days you will choke on food." Kayla says with a frown, to which Percy only shrugs and keeps on chewing.

"I did find them easily. Thank you." Percy smiles and nods. Carter can't help but blush every time the older boy smiles at him so kindly. He curses himself for not being able to control himself around the demigod. He feels guilty too, not even a month after his break up he is already blushing from someone else merely smiling in his direction. He decides he better occupy himself with his lunch before he could embarrass himself any further.

"And the teachers?" Kayla asks him as he unwraps his ham sandwitch.

"They are nice. I think. The maths and history teacher seemed to like me. The students, not so much." he frowns slightly.

"Don't worry about that. If the teachers like you that's already a win for you." Percy says between bites.

"Easy enough for you to say. Every teacher hates you." Brandon states blankly.

"Not my fault! I just can't concentrate long enough to convince them I haven't slept through the class." Percy frowns.

"You do sleep during some of them." Will points out helpfully.

"That's because I stay up all night to catch up on my other classes!" Percy throws his hands in the air.

"And how is that working for you?" Will laughs.

"Er...honestly, not the best. Annabeth can help me with the most, but history still skips my mind for the most part. She is really trying to help me, but those boring facts she gives me don't stick with me at all. I..have a lot on my mind nowadays. I don't know. Maybe I should get a tutor or something." Percy sighs wearily. This sudden seriousness makes his teammates worry about the usually careless and cheerful guy.

"I can try to help you. If you want, that is." Carter surprises even himself with the offer.

"Are you serious?" Percy asks with raised eyebrows.

"W-Well sure. People call me a history nerd anyway." Carter rubs the back of his neck self consciously. He didn't mean to offer to help, but Percy seemed so sad he didn't think twice about it. Can't say he regrets it that much, seeing the demigod's face light up.

"That would be great! My place tomorrow. What do you say? I can give you a ride and we can order pizza." Carter can't help but turn red under Percy's expectant gaze and small sincere smile.

"Okay. Tomorrow should be fine." Carter nods shyly. Percy beams and goes back to inhaling more food. His friends watch the scene unfold curiously, smirking to themselves at Carter's reactions and Percy's obliviousness. They finish their lunch and Carter says his goodbyes to them before he continues his day with his afternoon classes. Freak comes to pick him up at the end of school and flies him back to Brooklyn House.

Sadie and the rest of the trainees who go to school are already home as well, so Carter gets ready for his lesson with the students. As usual, he lets the trainees exterminate the shabiti warriors as they can with their abilities and they do pretty good in his opinion. He feels proud how much they had improved since they first arrived at the Twenty-First Nome. By the time he stumbles back to his room, he feels quite exhausted, but he is yet to finish his homework. He takes a quick shower and gets down to finish his math and history homework as fast as possible to have some time to look up Greek mythology as well. Halfway through his algebra homework there's a knock from the door leading to Sadie's room.

"Come in." Carter sighs, leaning back in his chair.

"Heeey...How is it going, brother dear?" Sadie flops down on his bed playfully. There's an awakward silence, something Carter is way too used to, but somehow it bothers him now. Maybe it's because it's Sadie. He thought they were getting along pretty well since they moved in Brooklyn House.

"Look, I'm sorry I snapped at you this morning. I guess I'm more repulsive these days, and you are pretty good at annoying me without trying much. But mostly it was my fault." Sadie raises an eyebrow, crossing her arms.

"Mostly?"

"Fine! Entirely." Carter huffs.

"That sounds more like it." Sadie's mouth curls into a small smile "Now tell me about your day. I want to hear it in great detail!" she exclaims smirking. Carter smiles back, relieved that the tension is gone, and tells her everything that happened to him today, except the parts where he was ogling over Percy.

"Ooh that's brilliant! Percy seemed like a nice guy when we met him and his girlfriend." Sadie smiles fondly at the memory of their teamwork to stop Setne from becoming a god, combining Greek and Egyptian forces. It was cool, if she says so herself.

"She is actually not his girlfriend. They are best friends, as he had told me." Carter corrects her, fiddling with his hands awkwardly. Sadie's eyebrows rise in surprise, then her mouth curls into a sly smile, one that Carter deems a bad omen whenever it's directed at him.

"Don't tell me you have already set your eyes on him!" she exclaims with false surprise, covering her mouth with her hand "My, Carter! He is kind of hot, and I know he is Greek and a demigod and stuff, but I never thought you would jump him the first chance you get!"

"I'm not! J-Just shut up!" Sadie laughs as Carter flushes lobster red and halfheartedly shoves her.

"So there's nothing to read into the little date you two arranged for tomorrow?" Sadie smirks.

"It's not a date! I'm just helping him with history." Carter says hotly and way too defensively.

"Mmhm. Totally believing you. Though, if that's something you still worry about, Zia wouldn't mind you dating other people." Sadie says as she stands from his bed and makes her way to their shared door.

"Who said anything about dating other people?"

"Just sayin." Sadie shrugs "Have fun with--" she gestures at his desk stacked with books and notebooks "with whatever this is. Good night!" she calls over her shoulder.

"Uh. Thanks. Good night" Carter mumbles. He sometimes wonders why Sadie gets such a kick out of teasing him. He decides it's better not to dwell on that too much and gets back to algebra. He finishes what he had started and gets his history homework done faster than he had expected, so he has some extra time on his hands. He asks a shabiti in the library to fetch some books for him on Greek mythology and he settles down with them on his bed with some snacks from his kitchen.

He finds that Greek mythology is a very fascinating read indeed, and even crazier to think that most of it is actually true. He knows not all resources are completely reliable when it comes to accuracy, but it is certainly better than no information at all. Even so, Greek gods and godesses sound to be rather arrogant, horrible at parenting and treating their relatives the way a family should, which might be rich coming from him, but Greek deity relations are way much more confusing than Egyptian ones. As far as he is concerned, he finds himself considerably lucky that he isn't a demigod. He has to remind himself at one point during the night that he has school the next day, and despite the urge to read and know more, he gets ready to sleep and tucks himself under his covers and falls into a dreamless sleep.

The next day he finds himself freaking out, regretting the way he had jumped instantly into offering his help to the way too handsome and easy going demigod he is definitely attracted to, no matter his embarrassment about it. He also doesn't know what to go through with Percy specifically, but he guesses they can always look it up and put himself up to speed. It's not that big of a deal anyway. History is his thing, and he likes explaining things he is passionate about when people are willing to listen to him and not call him a nerd, or anything rude.

He told himself that, but when the schoolbell rings at the end of his last class, he is freaking out again. He feels giddy as he crosses the halls to the main entrance and steps out of the school, waiting for Percy at the stairs like they had agreed at lunch. Percy turns up soon after in his blue Toyota, a truly dashing sight in his black jacket and navy blue shirt. Carter's heart actually stops for a second, causing his brain to malfunction and not even greet him.

"Hey Carter! Hop in."

"H-Hi. Yeah. Sure." Carter puts his backpack back into his locker in the Duat and climbs in next to Percy, fixing the strap of his seatbelt nervously.

"Ready?" Percy smiles. Carter only nods, not trusting his voice. Percy switches on the radio as they leave the school area, but he turns down the volume so it's just background noise, tapping his hands on the wheel to the beat of some ridiculous pop song.

"I'm guessing you have questions. Because I definitely have a lot of them to you." Percy says, almost like he could read Carter's mind.

"Well, I've looked up some stuff last night, but mythology isn't really accurate for the most part." Carter says.

"That is true sadly. But we don't have to talk about that stuff right now if you don't want to." Percy turns his attention from the road to him momentarily to smile at him.

Carter appreciates his kindness, but as Percy assumed, he is curious, so they talk about demigod and magician stuff on the way to Percy's apartment, getting to know each other a bit more in the process. They get into a notorious New York traffic jam because of an accident, but that just gives them more time to talk. Percy tells him the basics about his life from before he got to know about his true heritage, about Camp Half-Blood and his demigod friends, and answers Carter's questions. Percy tells him that true to his suspicion, Greek gods and godesses are very careless when it comes to their demigod children, save for a very few exceptions. He tells Carter that he can't really be any more specific because it would get him into trouble. Carter finds himself liking Percy more and more, and he finds it easier than he thought he would to tell him about the death of his, and Sadie's mother, about his ancestors, his father, about Brooklyn House and his trainees, about Freak, about Khufu and the disappointment he causes with his lack of basketball skills, Philip of Macedonia, even his relationship with Zia and the rather confusing nature of it and why they broke it off.

"Hold on. So she was a clay figure the whole time and neither did she or you know about it?"

"Yeah. It's very confusing, I know." Percy whistles and shakes his head in disbelief.

"But you didn't give up on her nevertheless. That's admirable."

"I guess...But it didn't matter, did it? We just didn't work after all we had been trough." Carter frowns.

"I know. That's though. I'm sorry it didn't work out the way you wanted in the end. But I understand she needs space too, and you shouldn't beat up yourself about it. You should cut yourself some slack" Percy grips his shoulder with one hand off the wheel and gives it a small squeeze. Carter ducks his head blushing, Percy's warm and strong hand definitely a welcomed sensation.

For the rest of the ride they keep things more light, trading funny stories and just enjoying each other's company. Carter forgets about his usual uneasyness with people he hadn't spent enough time with, Percy making him feel somewhat normal despite the kind of life they are both leading. By the time they are turning up in front of Percy's apartment, Carter can't even remember why he was freaking out in the first place. Percy unlocks the front door and they climb the stairs to the fifth floor where he unlocks the door of the apartment, but stops momentarily before opening it.

"My parents know about the whole Greek stuff, but not the Egyptian gods' existence and magicians. Could we not tell them for now? They are very open minded, but mum is pregnant and I don't want to stress her with anything right now."

Carter's eyebrows shoot up in surprise at the news "Of course. My lips are sealed, and I will keep my magic to myself." Percy smiles gratefully and they step in the apartment. Percy's mother is a stunning woman, her pregnancy making her glow with happiness, her eyes seemingly changing colour in the light.

"Mum, this is my friend, Carter Kane." Percy pats his shoulder.

"Nice to meet you sweetie. Call me Sally." she smiles kindly, drying her hands on a piece of clothing. "Is he...?"

"No, but I'm familiar with everything." Carter smiles politely.

"Carter is here to help me with history, actually." Percy beams at his mother.

"Really? That's very kind of you dear. Percy needs all the help he can get."

"Mum!--"

"I'm sorry Percy, but you do tend to get off track with your studies. It will be nice to have someone to help you when Annabeth can't come over." she chuckles smoothly. Carter smiles and nods, Percy's behaviour in his mother's presence quite amusing in his opinion.

"Anyway. No time to waste." Percy rolls his eyes and grabs Carter's hand, tugging him along into his room and closing the door behind himself. Percy's hand is slightly bigger than his and more calloused, small pink cuts covering his skin. He has to chide himself again for getting distracted, and snaps his attention away. The room isn't really big, most of it is occupied by Percy's bed, desk and wardrobe. The wall behind the desk is decorated with pictures of children in orange and purple T-shirts, Carter guesses they are from the camps Percy told him about, and the walls are covered in various posters.

"I tried to clean up, but it really isn't much." Percy scratches the back of his neck nervously. Why he feels nervous, he can't really tell himself, but he can't help but feel like he needs to satisfy Carter.

"It's fine. I like it." Carter smiles, sitting on Percy's bed. The room isn't as big as Carter's, and there is no high tech computer or balcony, but it's cozy and definitely Percy's. "So, what do you struggle with the most?" he asks patiently as Percy sits next to him.

"I have the basics all the way to Greek and Roman history, for obvious reasons, but after that...It gets...way too untouchable. Harder to grasp. I don't know man." Percy shrugs sadly, eyes seemingly changing to a duller shade of green.

"Hmm. Antique history is one of my favourite subjects too, besides Egyptian history. We can figure something out for the rest, I'm sure."

"You think so?" Percy asks hopefully. "I don't want to waste your time either. I know you are busy when you are not in school."

"It's okay. My job is to teach people, magician or not. I want to help you." Carter blinks in surprise when Percy takes his hand and squeezes it with the brightest smile he had ever seen.

"Thank you so much Carter! I owe you big time. I promise I will work hard to be a good student." Percy beams, practically glowing.

"N-No problem, really. It's my pleasure." he can feel his cheeks heat up. He should really stop blushing so much before Percy realises and things get awkward.

They spend the rest of the afternoon going through Percy's notes and the subjects Annabeth tried to explain to him, which in the end conclude starting the whole thing from scratch, from the top. Percy is quite frustrated about that, but Carter assures him that they can figure something out that works for him. They take a break and order pizza, eating in comfortable silence until they are both satisfied and put the leftover away in the kitchen.

"I'm afraid I have to go. I pushed my training session a few hours back with my trainees and I don't want to be late." Carter says apologetically as he checks the time on his watch.

"Sure, of course. Thanks for today. I liked hanging out with you, and thank you for your help. I really do appreciate it." Percy puts his hands on Carter's arms like the previous day, smiling kindly down at the shorter boy.

"Y-Yeah. I had a good time as well. But not many people actually enjoy my company." He admits with a nervous laugh, overwhelmed by the demigod's proximity and heavy gaze.

"I find that hard to believe. You are a nice person, Carter." Percy shakes his head. "Do you want me to give you a ride though?"

"N-No, it's fine. Freak will pick me up." Carter stammers, feeling way too good about Percy complimenting him. Percy nods and steps back. Cater feels both relieved and disappointed, which confuses him even further. Percy's friendly touches and kind smiles confuse him more than anything in the world, which scares him too, considering what kind of life he is leading as a magician. He pushes the thought to the back of his mind and says his goodbye to Sally before leaving, Percy insisting to at least see him out and make sure he leaves safely. Percy whistles under his breath as Freak leaps down with the boat attached behind him, folding his wings back. Carter meets him with a fond smile, giving him a few pieces of frozen turkey.

"Very cool friend you got there." Percy smiles.

"Yeah." Carter laughs when Freak screeches approvingly. "So...see you tomorrow?"

"See you tomorrow." Percy nods. "I'm looking forward to our next studying session." he says with a playful smirk that makes Carter's cheeks heat up again, so he jumps in the boat and waves nervously as Freak flaps his wings and leaps into the sky. He sees briefly Percy waving back, but soon he is too small to see with human eyes, so he turns his attention to the scenery in front of him instead. The sun have disappeared almost entirely behind the city and it has turned into a lightshow with the colorful neon signs and lamps illuminating the streets, the city wrapped in thick fog, the cool air making Carter shiver in his lighter clothes. Freak takes him home fast as always, but Carter has no time to spare before he hurries to start his training class. Dealing with his trainees help him not think about Percy, his warm hands, his sprakling seagreen eyes he could get lost in, the way he makes Carter feel at ease with him instantly. When he finally has the time to realise these things, he knows he is doomed. He devenloped a crush on Perseus Jackson, a stupid crush that will never be requited. He buries his head in his pillow and groans into it, pouring all his frustrations in the fabric.

"Are you okay?" Carter doesn't bother to lift his head from the pillow when he hears Sadie ask him.

"No." he says shortly, voice muffled by the pillow. He feels the mattress dip next to him, a smaller hand coming to rest on his shoulder.

"Carter? Talk to me."

"No. You'll laugh at me." Carter shakes his head.

"I won't." Sadie rolls her eyes.

"Promise?" Carter lifts his head to look at her.

"I promise." she pats his shoulder.

"Alright..." Carter sits up, fingers twitching and fidgeting in his lap. "I...might, or might not have devenloped a crush on someone..." he bits his lower lip.

Sadie lifts her eyebrows, searching his face "That's all?" Carter nods timidly. "That's not bad. I thought somebody hurt you or something." she pulls her knees in front of her, hugging her legs to her chest.

"It IS bad, Sadie. I don't want these feelings. I only got out of a relationship." Carter frowns sourly.

"You don't? So you want them to go away?" she smiles knowingly.

"No...Yes...Maybe? I don't know!" he rubs his palms over his face.

"Why wouldn't you want them?"

"Because they won't be returned, obviously. I don't need this right now." he rolls his eyes, frustration rising in him again.

"How can you be so sure? Have you asked?"

"I've only realised it myself. And I'm pretty sure the guy's straight." he huffs.

"Is this about Percy?" she tilts her head. She is pretty sure it is, but you never know.

"Yeah..." Carter sighs defeatedly.

"Why don't you invite him over next time you help him?" she asks with surprising amount of kindness.

"How would that help?" he frowns in confusion.

"I wanna see how he acts around you. Plus, I haven't seen him since we defeated that crazy Setne bloke." she shrugs.

"Okay..." Carter eyes her suspiciously.

"What? I'm not going to do anything." she laughs, but that doesn't convince Carter one bit, but, what could go wrong, right?

Chapter Text

When Carter thinks about it more, he figures a lot of things could go wrong actually. But, he wanted to show Brooklyn House to Percy anyway, as he saw how curious he got when he told Percy about it during the car ride. So during their next studying session, Carter brings up the subject.

"It would be cool, if it's not a problem that you let an outsider see your home." Percy says, eyes trailing on the notes they had written down on cards to make it easier to study.

"You are not an outsider. You are a friend. Friends and family are always welcome there. I asked you if you wanted to come, didn't I? I wouldn't have if it wasn't possible." Carter says matter of factly.

"Alright then. I would love to see it." Percy smiles.

"We can go there for the next lesson. It will be better to use our library anyway. I find it easier to have a book in my hand and read from there than the Internet."

"If Mr Kane says it's better, then it probably is." Percy smirks playfully. Carter flushes red and smacks him lightly on the arm with a notebook, which only makes Percy laugh.

"Stop fooling around. This is serious." Carter huffs.

"Alright alright. I'm sorry." Carter can tell he isn't sorry, whatsoever, but he doesn't mind that much anyway.

"If you have time to joke around, then you probably have memorised all that." he snatches the cards from in front of Percy, settling down with them smugly.

"Don't be so mean! You know there is no way I could have memorised all that." Percy tries to pout, but Carter refuses to acknowledge his cuteness.

"What do I get if I get the answer right?" Percy crosses his arms, and Carter definitely doesn't stare at the muscles flexing under his shirt. Nope. Not at all.

"A sense of victory and accomplishment."

"That's not very motivating." Percy chuckles.

"What could I possibly give you?" Carter rolls his eyes.

"What about a kiss?" Percy offers, lower lip caught between his teeth.

"A kiss?" Carter blinks confused, waiting for the punchline of a joke, but it just doesn't come, moments going by in silence.

"Yeah. Don't tell me you haven't thought about it. I saw you staring at me. I didn't know how to bring it up until now." Percy says finally, but his tone isn't angry and he doesn't sound disgusted, and that just confuses Carter. And he wants to say something in return. He really does. Like deny it, or play it off as a joke, but all words die in his mouth, and he finds himself unable to say anything at all. All he can do is look down on his lap and feel embarrassed. Of course Percy found out. How couldn't he? Carter wasn't subtle about it afterall. He must be tomato red, but he doesn't care about that either. He just wants to disappear from the surface of Earth.

"I'm not mad at you Carter." Percy says smoothly.

"You are not?" Carter thinks he heard him wrong, so he lifts his head to look at him.

"I'm not. In fact, I...have been staring too..." Percy admits nervously.

"Staring?"

"At you." Percy nods.

"At me." Carter sets his lips in a thin line, because there is nothing about him that's worth staring at, he is pretty sure about that.

"Yeah...Ever since I met you in that swamp, and we dealt with that monster together, I have been thinking about you a lot. And then we fought off that Setne guy together, and I saw you get hurt, it triggered something in me and I...I don't know. I was disappointed that we had to part ways right after and I didn't get a chance to get to know you better. I know it was for the best, but I couldn't get you out of my thoughts either. And then you showed up at my school." Percy sighs and looks Carter in the eye. "And there you were. No monsters, no gods or wannabe gods, no weirdness, just you, Carter Kane." Percy smirks like he suddenly remembers a good joke, but it makes Carter feel hot all the same. "You are really cute, you know." Percy muses.

"I'm not cute." Carter denies by reflex.

"You are, though. Really awkward and out of place for the most part, but adorable, and a total nerd. When we were out there fighting, you had that aura of authority and confidence around you that you don't show at school. And I kind of get that. It's crazy and ridiculous what kinds of stuff becomes regular in our lives, and sometimes feel even more real than our regular lives. But I would love to see that side of you again." Carter blinks again in surprise, becasue Percy had scooted closer to him on the bed as he spoke, without him realizing, legs almost touching now.

"I-I'm not--" he can't seem to finish the sentence, because frankly he has no idea how to respond to all of that. It's all true, what he said about him, but for the life of him, he can't change that. He could never.

"There's nothing wrong with that though. I think it's endearing." Percy's hand finds his own on the mattress, easily covering it. Carter looks at their joined hands, and then up at Percy, who is smiling at him way too fondly.

"That's not fair." Carter groans. "You can't just say all that to me."

"I already did." Percy shrugs, smile only widening. "I just wanted to tell you. I saw you staring, and then I didn't feel that bad about staring at you in return."

"I thought you were straight." Carter blurts out before he could stop himself.

"And what made you think that?" Percy raises one eyebrow.

"I don't know...? Mostly that I thought Annabeth was your girlfriend. And when you told me she wasn't...I guess I just assumed."

"Well, I'm not straight. I'm bisexual. And I like you. That's partly why I was so happy when you offered to help me. I was hoping to spend more time with you, alone." Percy squeezes his hand, and it feels good. Good to feel the weight of his hand, the comforting warmth. Still, he is hesistant.

"I'm not sure what I want. I mean...I like you. Obviously. But I just broke up with Zia."

"How about we go slow about it? What do you say to a date with me? See how we work together?"

Even though Carter doesn't understand how could a guy like Percy find him worthy of such kindness and patience, it actually makes him happy. So he smiles and nods "I would like that a lot. Yeah."

"It's settled then." Percy grins, glad that Carter agreed to give him a chance.

"What did you have in mind for the date?" Carter feels weird saying it out loud, thinking that they are really going on a date together.

"There's this Aquarium me and my mum used to go to when I was little. I haven't been there in years, and I was thinking if maybe you would like to visit it with me this weekend?" Carter is taken aback, because he didn't think Percy would invite him to a place like that for a first date. He was thinking about seeing a movie or something, but he finds the idea refreshing, definitely more interesting, especially considering that he had never been to an aquarium before.

"Sounds great. I'm looking forward to it." Carter smiles.

So they agree on that, and keep the study session going casually, Carter stealing glances at him from time to time and smiling to himself. Sadie squeals when Carter gets to this part of his explanation, startling him.

"Who are you and what have you done to my sister?" Carter says in mock horror.

"Shut up. This is just so sweet of him. But let me guess, you barely said anything in return." Carter looks away, and that's all the answer she needs. "Gods. You are so miserable." Sadie shakes her head, but she is smiling too."You are like that cliché good schoolgirl who wears sweaters with puppies on them."

"I don't wear sweaters with dogs." Carter wrinkles his nose.

"You wear button up shirts and dress shoes." Sadie retorts.

"I don't see the problem with that. Dad always told me to dress like a gentleman."

"Dad's like hundreds of years old." Sadie rolls her eyes. "You need different clothes for the date. Show him you care."

"I do care..."

"Brilliant! I'm going to help you choose your outfit."

Carter has no energy, or a death wish for that matter, to deny her offer, so he just sighs and goes along with it. The next day in school Percy acts casually around him, though he smiles more, directly at him, and touches him more when there is an oppurtunity, his teammates knowing well by now that there is definitely something between the two. For their next private lesson Carter offers to fly Percy to Brooklyn House, as it would take way too long to drive there, even though it's Friday and they don't have to hurry that much. Freak doesn't mind the extra passenger, in fact, he quite likes Percy as far as Carter can tell, which he can. In the boat Percy sits close to him, knees touching, black messy hair dancing in the howling wind, smile gentle and peaceful, breathtaking without a doubt. Percy jumps off the boat first when they land, offering his hand for Carter to take and help him down like the true gentleman he is. Carter thinks it's cheesy and ridiculous, but he also thinks it's sweet and funny so he takes it with a roll of his eyes and a small amused smile.

"So, welcome to Brooklyn House. This is where Freak sleeps, and where we open portals."

"Awesome. Thanks for the ride buddy." Percy pats Freak's head.

"Here. Give him these. He loves turkey meat." Carter hands Percy small chunks of frozen turkey, smiling as Freak consumes them happily.

"I'll give you a small tour and then we can start with today's history." Carter shows Percy to the stairs leading down from the roof, starting the tour from the first floor. He shows Percy the Great Room and the pool outside with Philip, something Percy doesn't find as bizarre as one would think. Carter shows him their library, the training room and explains how they use it during his lessons and to play basketball. Carter introduces Percy to some of the trainees they come across, who are happy to meet him and curious why he is there, and to Khufu, who barks at him in a way that is hard to tell even for Carter if he is approving or not, but eventually he marches off.

"So he eats everything ending with 'O'?" Percy asks with raised eyebrows.

"Yeah. Mostly flamingos, Doritos, Cheerios, and more recently Jell-O." Carter shrugs.

"What about Oreo?"

"Actually, I don't think he has ever eaten Oreos." Carter blinks baffled, because it's weird that he had never thought about that.

"Next time, I'll bring him some as peace offering." Percy smirks playfully.

"I'm sure he is going to love that." Carter smiles back, leading Percy to the third floor where the guest rooms are, surprised that they haven't encountered Sadie yet.

"This is where our trainees are living, and where I'm living with my sister." Carter shows Percy to his room, who whistles as he sees Carter's tech, going out to the balcony and leaning against the rails. The sun has already began setting slowly, painting the sky a light shade of orange, purple and red.

"Your home is incredible." Percy says as Carter joins him on the balcony.

"It is. A nice change after traveling all my life. I finally feel like I have a home." Carter smiles fondly.

"So...tomorrow is the day...are you nervous?" Percy turns to look at him.

"A little bit. I've been to very few dates. Most of them with Zia. One time it was a school dance with a girl named Lacy. That one didn't end well. You know. Magician stuff happened." Percy nods in understanding, taking his hand gently.

"I hope our date will be different." Percy smiles and rubs circles with his thumb on Carter's hand. Carter almost jumps over the railing when somebody clears their throat behind them.

"Did I interrupt you, lovebirds?" Sadie asks with a smirk that tells Carter no good news, leaning against his doorframe.

"N-No. We were just talking." Carter mumbles.

"Hi Percy. Nice to see you again."

"Nice to see you too Sadie." Percy smiles back good naturedly.

"You are being a gentleman with my brother, aren't you? I'm counting on that when you are alone with him." Sadie's smiling, but there's an edge to her voice and a hidden message behind the statement.

"I'm right here you know." Carter frowns.

"I would never hurt your brother. I can promise you that." Percy simply says. Sadie nods, eyeing the two, satisfied with what she sees.

"Good. Well, have fun you two." Sadie is gone as fast as she appeared, leaving Carter confused. Sadie wanted him to invite Percy over in the first place, so why would she disappear after a few seconds?

"Sorry about that. Sadie is just...Sadie." Carter says as he crosess the room and closes his door securely so that nobody interrupts their studying.

"It's okay. I get that she is trying to look out for you. But I meant it. I would never hurt you. And I will never do anything you don't want me to." Carter nods, feeling something flutter in his stomach at the affectionate statement.

"Anyway." Carter clears his throat "Back to history, shall we?" So they settle down on his bed, wandering down to the library for books from time to time, taking small breaks to eat snacks. Percy tells him that thanks to their studying sessions he does better in school and the teacher doesn't give him as many dirty looks.

"That's great. I'm proud of your progress." Carter smiles. While Percy needs more time to study and focus, he is definitely more intelligent than he gives himself credit for.

"Only because you help me. Without you, I would be lost. Annabeth somehow can't make me understand these things. You have a really good way of teaching." Carter ducks his head blushing, Percy's compliments always making him feel way too warm and fuzzy.

"You know, you are adorable when you blush like that." Percy says quietly, reaching out to cardle his face in his hand gently, brushing a thumb over his cheek. Carter thinks his heart might actually stop beating, Percy's light touches leaving warmth and fire on his skin.

"I should get going. Mum will be worried if I'm late for dinner." he sighs and smiles apologetically, hand leaving Carter's face and turning to pack his things in his bag. Carter feels disappointed that he has to leave, and that the hand's not there anymore, but he nods and helps him collect everything. He takes Percy to the roof and asks Freak's help one more time.

"Thanks for showing me your home. It's really awesome. Someday maybe I could show you Camp Half-Blood? If you want." Percy scratches the back of his neck nervously.

"I would like that. I've been curious to see it ever since we met." Carter smiles, patting Freak's head.

"Cool. I will pick you up tomorrow at 9 am in front of the warehouse." Carter nods and steps away from Freak, coming to stand in front of the demigod.

"Alright. I can't wait." Carter smiles up shyly, and Percy beams, leaning down to press a chaste kiss on his forehead. Once again, Carter is left speechless as Percy gets in the boat and he disappears into the night with Freak. He feels the skin where Percy's lips touched him tingle even hours later, making him flush red to the tip of his ears every time he thinks about it, smiling in spite of himself.

Chapter Text

Carter is freaking out again. And that's an understatement. When he retreated to bed the previous night, he felt fine, maybe even ready for today, but now he is just a mess.

"Carter, you need to calm down." Sadie speaks slowly, like she's trying to talk to a toddler, which only frustrates Carter further.

"Calm down? Calm down?! How am I supposed to do that?! Oh gods I shouldn't have agreed to this. I'm so not ready." he gushes on.

"Don't be so dense. Of course you are ready. Get yourself together. It's just a date. If you don't have fun and don't feel like doing it again, you don't have to." Sadie grips his shoulders and gives them a squeeze.

"Are you sure?" Carter looks at her timidly.

"I am. And I am always right." Carter gives her a blank look, to which she rolls her eyes.

"Fine. Most of time, I am right."
Carter snorts and shakes his head

"Whatever you say sis."

"Don't play with my patience. Now, here's the stuff I picked out for you. Shower, wash your hair, and put these on." she trusts the clothes into Carter's hands and nudges him into his bathroom.

Carter knows better than to argue with her, so he does just that, the warm water helping him calm his nerves somewhat. He only takes a closer look at the clothes when he has dried himself off and ready to put them on. Sadie picked a very light, almost white, creamy coloured button up shirt, and a black pair of skinny jeans. The fabric feels nice on his skin, and the jeans aren't as tight as he would have thought, though they are clinging to his legs, he can move in them very well, maybe he could even fight in them. He blows a strand of curly brown hair from his eyes and exists his bathroom, Sadie sitting on his bed with an expectant look.

"Finally! I thought you would be in there forever. But, I must say, I am a genious if I say so myself." she says smirking, going around him to have a better look at him. She fiddles with his hair a little bit, and folds up the sleeves of the shirt to make it look more casual. She steps back and nods in satisfaction. "Now it's perfect." she pauses "Also, here." she trusts a box in his hands. "I got these polished for you." Carter opens the box, revealing a shiny pair of black dressing shoes.

"I...Thank you Sadie. I don't know what to say." Carter smiles gratefully.

"Don't thank me," she waves it off "happy to help. Hop into your shoes and go get your jacket. You have fifteen minutes until Percy arrives."

"Yes ma'am!" Carter grins and pulls on the shoes, then gets his jacket from the hook next to his door. He wraps Sadie in a quick hug and promises to call her when he is ready to come home, before he hurries down the stairs to the entrance, waiting in front of the warehouse. Most people would think he looks out of place in front of an old warehouse, all dressed up, but he isn't concerned about the weird looks the few people give him who happen to wander around the place in these early hours.
Percy turns up just in time, practically jumping out of his blue Toyota, coming to a halt in front of Carter, eyes scanning the magician.

"Hey. Y-You look great." Percy says with cheeks tinted a light shade of red. Maybe he stares a bit more than it would be appropriate, but he can't help it. The fabric of Carter's jeans hug his slender legs just the right way, and the creamy colour of the shirt looks really good with his dark skin. His hair looks soft and fluffy too, and he has to resist the urge to touch it and see how soft it actually feels. In his opinion, Carter looks like a present wrapped beautifully with a bow on top.

"You thinks so? I wasn't so sure."

"Trust me. You look gorgeous." Carter didn't expect to be complimented like that, especially because people saw him as average looking and rather nerdy in general. It's foreign and weird, but it makes his cheeks flush all the same.

"Y-You look good too." Though his compliment was poorly communicated, he sincerely meant it. Percy looks handsome as ever, this time wearing dark blue jeans and a light blue shirt. The shirt clings to his arms and torso, complimenting his more slender, but muscular build. He is probably staring way too much, but he doesn't care too much about that.

"Thanks Carter. Shall we?" Percy offers his arm playfully, which Carter takes with a shy smile. Percy finds his awkward shyness and red cheeks way too enderading, his clumsy compliment way too satisfying and warming, even so with the way he was obviously staring. This strokes Percy's ego and confidence just right. Percy politely opens the car door for him, and closes it once Carter is settled comfortably in his seat, only then he walks around the car and takes his seat behind the wheel. The ride to the Aquarium is filled with mostly comfortable silence, some good natured small talk and laughter. It isn't too long before they reach the parking lot of the Aquarium and Percy buys both of them a ticket, free to roam the whole building and join the upcoming shows scheduled for the day if they wanted.

Carter stares in awe, never seen anything like the various animals on display. Some tubs are twice as tall and wide as him, filled with bright colored mediterran fish swimming around in circles. Some exhibits are rather small, but contain tiny fluorescent fish that glow in the darkness, some fish looking more like small monsters than anything, octopuses squeezed into the smallest places imaginable. They walk through a wide tunnel that's only made of thick glass, life blooming and stirring all around them, sharks and skate fish swimming over their heads, schools of fish manouvering between bigger or smaller fish behind the glass. Small kids are pressed to the glass, like they would see more like that than they already can, couples holding to one another and just silently admiring the beauty of submarine life presented to them. Percy grabs a hold of Carter's hand too, watching the animals swim by, some stopping in front of him abruptly and seemingly consider him with curious looks. It confuses Carter a bit, even more when Percy smiles at them and they swim off.

"I've been to a place similar to this not that long ago. A cruel man owned it, only caring about collecting living creatures, a nasty place for sure. This, however, seems to be much, much better. These animals are happy and healthy, cared for, the visitors seem to respect them too." Percy muses, and Carter listens to him, squeezing his hand in what he hopes is a comforting way.

"How do you know they are happy?" Carter asks curiously.

"I haven't told you?" Percy blinks confused "I guess I forgot to mention. I can talk to marine animals and horses." he explains.

Carter nods in understanding, the animals' looks towards Percy making much more sense now. They wander to where the most famous attraction of the Aquarium is held, a dolphin named Snowflake, famous for his show the facility puts on for visitors. He is currently swimming around his pool, occasionally jumping out of the water and doing a flip, making the small kids 'ooh' and 'aah' in amazement, the parents watching him fondly.

"What do you say to a prank?" Percy asks Carter with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"A prank? On whom?"

"Snowflake has a show in thirty minutes. I could ask him to help us prank his caretaker. Have a bit of fun, make some kids laugh." Carter doesn't think it's a good idea, but he can't bring himself to turn Percy down, take that spark from his eyes.

"It's harmless, isn't it?"

"No harm at all. Just some fun."

"Fine. But don't be reckless." Carter warns. Percy beams and squeezes his hand once before disappearing in the crowd of people around Snowflake's exhibit. He returns a few minutes later, lips set in a small smug smile.

"So? What did you tell him?" Carter nudges him.

"It's a surprise. You'll see." Percy grins and grabs his hand again, pulling him along to the room where the show will be held, some people already sitting there with their kids or loved ones. They don't have to wait long before the show begins, the seats around the pool filling up to the brim with people, some left standing without a seat. Carter casts Percy a sideglance, their fingers still intertwined. He wonders if Percy doesn't care whether people give them weird looks, but holding his hand feels way too good and comforting, so he doesn't question it out loud.

"Welcome, ladies and getlemen, kids and adults! Are you ready for the show?" the young man in a black swimming bodysuit asks the audience with the spread of his arms, the kids shouting loudly and clapping, their parents joining them. Carter untangles their hands and claps along with the kids, not giving it much thought. When the applause dies down, Percy intertwines their fingers again. Carter's heart does a flip in his chest and he smiles to himself as the man on the stage tells them that his name is Chris, Snowflake's caretaker and trainer, and explains more about Snowflake, getting the kids pumped up and ready for the show.
"Please, welcome my dear friend, Snowflake the dolphin with applause!" he gestures at the pool behind him, and a second round of applause explodes in the audience, but nothing seems to happen. Chris frowns, leaning over the water. Carter looks at Percy, who smiles and shrugs innocently. The trainer blows the whistle tied around his neck, but that doesn't change anything. He staggers back and almost falls over when Snowflake finally leaps out of the water playfully, splashing him with water. The kids laugh and clap loudly, Carter chuckling quietly.

"That was quite the scare buddy." the young man chuckles. "Now. Are you ready to show them what you can do?" Snowflake seem to nod along, chirping happily. His caretaker throws him a fish from the bucket at his feet and turns back to the audience. He talks about Snowflake' eating habits, while the dolphin jumps and turns in the water behind him, the kids paying him more attention that the man's speech.

"Snowflake can do pretty cool tricks too. Would you like to see them?" The audience answers with loud clapping, which seems to satisfy Chris. He chuckles and puts his whistle to his mouth, blowing it a few times to get Snowflake's attention. He pulls a colorful hula hoop ring from somewhere behind him and he lifts it over the pool. Snowflake gets the hint and disappears under the water.

"Snowflake can be a little shy. He might need a bit of encouragement." Carter and Percy claps along with the audience, the kids shouting their own encouragement. Chris blows the whistle, looking at the surface of the water expectantly. For long seconds there is only silence, but when Snowflake finally jumps out of the water, he jumps well over the ringhole. The kids and adults both laugh and clap, his caretaker frowns, finding the usually cooperative animal's behaviour strange, but he praises him nevertheless and awards him with another fish.

"How about we give it another try, eh?" he raises the hoop again, but this time Snowflake snatches it from him, swimming in circles proudly, while the man runs around at the edge of the pool, trying to ask for it back as nicely as he can muster. Carter snorts half in amusement, half in sympathy as the man slips on the wet surface and falls into the pool. Snowflake swims up to him and offers him the hula hoop, rubbing his head against the man's torso apologetically. Chris doesn't seem to be mad at him, laughing with the audience and patting the dolphin's head gently.

"It's okay bud. Having a bit of fun from time to time is okay." he says as he climbs out of the water. Percy's satisfied with his plan, especially seeing how much Carter and the kids enjoyed it. The rest of the show goes smoothly, Snowflake going through their usual tricks and games accordingly. The audience applauds them standing as they finish their last bit and the caretaker says his goodbyes, saying he hopes they will visit the Aquarium and Snowflake again. Carter and Percy wander through the Aquarium for a while, Carter taking some pictures of the exhibits for Sadie to show later.

"That was fun." Carter says with a small relaxed smile as they leave the building.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it." Percy smiles back, hands still holding the other's. Carter suddenly shudders, the air having cooled down during the day, and he forgot to bring his jacket with him from Percy's car. Percy shrugs out of his own jacket and puts it on Carter's shoulders, rubbing his arms gently.

"T-Thank you." Carter flushes red despite the cold air, the warmth of the slightly too big jacket wrapping itself around him comfortably. There are not many people in the parking lot, being close to the end of the visiting hours in the Aquarium, the sun barely high enough to shine over the skyscrapers surrounding the area.

"Aren't you cold though?" Carter asks, brows drawn together in concern.

"Nah. I'm fine. I tolerate cold more than regular people. A son of Poseidon thing." Percy reassures him, smiling gently.

"I really enjoyed being with you today. Thank you, Percy." Carter says shyly, wrapping Percy's jacket more securely around himself, looking up at the demigod from under thick eyelashes. Percy sucks in a breath, looking back down at Carter, wrapped comfortably in his jacket, staring at him with those big brown unbearably pretty eyes. He wants to kiss Carter so bad, had been wanting to for long, but he doesn't want to ruin the moment.


"Don't thank me. It was my pleasure. I hope we can go out again?" he asks instead.


"I would be happy to." Carter smiles and takes a step a forward, startling the taller boy when he reaches out and cardles his face in hand one hand, pulling him gently down to touch their lips together in a chaste kiss. Carter is surprised he didn't mess it up and actually had the courage to kiss Percy, but he is happy he did. Even though the kiss is just a touch of lips, it instantly lights his skin on fire, his lips tingling even after pulling away. He doesn't pull away completely, hot breath mingling with Percy's as they smile at each other. Percy brings his hands up and puts them on the magician's hips, stepping closer until they are chest to chest, Carter having to balance himself with his hands on Percy's shoulders.


"You read my mind. I wanted to do that." Percy says into the small space between their faces, thumbs smoothing circles into his skin.

"Looks like I beat you to it." Carter smiles, rubbing their noses together.

"You did." Percy smiles back, heart fluttering "Come on. Let me take you home." he steps back and takes Carter by the hand. Carter feels a bit of disappointment at the loss of closeness, but he knows Percy is right. He has to get back in time for his class with the trainees. On the ride back to the Tewnty-First Nome Carter calls Sadie to let her know he is on his way home, but other than that they travel in comfortable silence, Percy occasionally humming along to the radio quietly under his breath. Carter finds it rather soothing to listen to, and smiles to himself every time he thinks about their kiss. He doesn't know where the sudden burst of bravery came from, but he is glad it did. When they reach the warehouse, Percy walks him to the entrance. Carter only then realises he still has Percy's jacket.

"Keep it on. I don't want you to get cold." Percy smiles warmly at him, taking his hand and giving it a light squeeze.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure." Percy steps closer, leaning down to press their lips together once again. Carter sighs into the kiss when Percy angles his head to the side, their mouths fitting together perfectly. They break apart feeling more warm than ever, Percy still feeling his heart beat faster, the softness of Carter lingering on his lips as he is driving home, just a little bit in love already.

Chapter Text

"You are not paying attention again." Carter frowns as Percy finally focuses his seagreen eyes on his brown ones. Carter is in the middle of his explanation, sitting on his bed with Percy, books and notebooks spread all over the sheets. Ever since their first date, they have been spending a lot of time together, occasionally going out on dates and trading chaste kisses, holding hands and smiling a lot in general, just being happy together. Sadie keeps saying that it's sickeningly sweet, and every times she sees them together she frowns and acts like she is puking, but she says she is happy for Carter anyway, so Carter isn't any more mad at her than at her usual teasing. Percy's been making a great progress in his studies too, even though he gets easily distracted during their study sessions for some time now. Why he gets distracted, Carter can't tell for sure, but it concerns him.

"Oh. Shoot! I'm so sorry Carter! Please, go on." Percy looks down with a guilty expression. Carter's frown deepens and he pushes away some books to scoot closer to Percy.

"What's wrong? You seem so out of it sometimes. Is something bothering you? You know you can talk to me, don't you? Is this about Camp? You got a message or something?" Carter grabs his hand and tries to search his face, but Percy won't meet his eyes for some reason, worrying his lower lip between his teeth.

"It's not that. It's...It's kind of...embarrassing." Percy says quietly, his unoccupied hand stroking the back of his neck, still not meeting his eyes.

"What is? I won't make fun of you. You know that." Carter squeezes his hand gently.

"I know. But I feel guilty..." Percy whispers.

"About what?" Carter presses on.

"You are distracting me." Percy looks up at him.

"Me?" Carter points at himself and blinks confused.

"Yes, you! Everything is so distracting about you! Your soft hair, your pretty eyes, your full lips, your body, the way you teach and speak so smartly, everything! You've even worn glasses once!" Percy groans desperately, palms rubbing his face in frustration.

"You mean these things?" Carter reaches over to his bedside table and puts the pair of fake glasses Sadie had given him. He lost a bet once, so he had to wear them for a whole day as punishment, Sadie saying it would make him look more like a nerd. He can't see what's the big deal with them.

"Yeah! Gods. Just look at you!" Percy removes his hands from his face and stares him down hungrily, making Carter feel hot in the face all of a sudden. Carter adjusts the glasses nervously, palms sweating in Percy's hand, letting out a startled yelp when Percy pulls him into his lap, knees pressing against his strong thighs.

"I can't focus properly when you look like that." Percy murmurs, wetting his lips, hands coming to rest on Carter's hips.

"I-I'm not doing anything." Carter says nervously, Percy's intense gaze making it hard for him to form coherent sentences.

"You may think that, but you are driving me crazy here." Percy leans down to press their lips together, Carter angling his head by instict to deepen the kiss. He sighs, body humming as Percy rubs circles with his thumb on his hips softly. He makes a startled sound in the back of his throat when he feels a tongue tracing his lips, asking for silent permission to enter. Carter lets Percy's tongue explore his mouth, uncertainly meeting it with his own in a slow dance. It's weird, but it feels good. He feels warm all over, dizzy with heat and excitement, arms hugging Percy's neck tightly, not caring that the glasses press into his face uncomfortably. They break apart panting softly, cheeks flushed.

"You will be the death of me, you know that?" Percy stares at the beautiful boy in his lap, the built up desire for him buzzing in his veins like hundreds of bees. He wishes Carter could see how beautiful he is, how precious he is, but it's not the time for confessions like that. He leans down to nuzzle into his neck, breathing in the fruity scent of his soap, leaving small loving kisses from his jaw to his neck. Carter smiles and sighs contently, caressing the hair in the nape of Percy's neck, gasping when Percy kisses his pulse more forcefully, licking over the spot, leaving fire on his skin until he reaches his collarbone, where he bites down, making the magician squirm and let out a quiet moan.

"P-Percy I've never--" Carter says breathlessly and gulps. He has close to no experience in this kind of stuff, and they haven't really done anything besides kissing and holding hands. He feels too much at once, like somebody poured hot burning gasoline into his stomach.

Percy pulls back and kisses his cheek tenderly. "It's okay. We can go slow about this. We agreed. Remember?" he says gently, caressing his face. "If you want to, that is." he adds, not wanting to pressure him to do anything at all. He is too dear to him.

"Y-Yeah. I want to." Carter nods, biting his lower lip. He would be lying if he said he didn't like it when Percy touched him and kissed him. Percy smiles and leans back down to kiss him again, hands squeezing Carter's hips more as the kiss becomes intense again. Carter feels like he is drowning and never wants to breath again if it means he can kiss Percy longer. He adjusts his position in Percy's lap, and feels something hard pressing against his butt, a low groan escaping Percy's mouth when he wriggles experimently, trying to get comfortable.

"S-Sorry." Carter breathes when they break apart, concerned that he hurt him when Percy doesn't respond, face pressed in the crook of his neck, shivering as Percy breathes hotly against his skin.

"Don't be sorry. I just have to control myself. Though, it will be hard if you keep rubbing against me like that." Percy says with a smirk.

"O-Oh. I had no idea." Carter's eyes widen in realisation and he flushes even redder if it's possible. He felt some arousal from their making out of course, but clearly not as much as the older demigod.

"It's okay. Really. We are not moving too fast though, are we?" Percy can't help but feel concerned. Carter looks so innocent and pure, so much like a doe, with his red face and big brown eyes, even more behind the glasses. He is afraid to hurt him. At the same time, there's some kind of satisfaction and excitement knowing that noone has ever seen him like this, seen his reactions and heard the sounds he makes.

"No." Carter shakes his head "I'm fine." he smiles encouragingly, arms tightening around the demigod's neck.

"Alright." Percy moves his hands lower from Carter's hips, barely touching his butt "Is this okay?" Carter nods. Percy squeezes down, Carter jumping slightly in surprise.

"Still okay?" he murmurs as he feels the muscle flex under his fingers, and feels Carter press down more against his crotch, the friction ripping another groan from him. Carter surges forward instead of answering and seals their lips together again, letting out a breathless moan that's muffled by the demigod's lips as Percy grounds up into him, thighs trembling at his sides. The pleasant tingles make him want to go on, even though his legs don't agree with him.

"Percy." he whines, his thighs shaking more in the effort of keeping himself upright. Percy lifts him with his hands easily and lays him back on the bed against the pillows, gently nudging his legs apart to fit between them. He takes Carter's fake glasses gently with a playful peck on the nose and puts them back on the bedside table.

"Would you let me see you?" Percy smooths his hands over his thighs, eyes still gentle and concerned. It makes Carter's heart flutter with affection, and he nods, helping him unbotton the shirt he is wearing and pull off the undershirt, despite his insecurity about his body. As soon as the undershirt's off, he can hear Percy say something under his breath he can't quite make out, but it doesn't sound like English at all.

"Gods. You are so gorgeous." Percy wets his lips, eyes taking in every detail of the magician hungrily. He knew Carter had muscle hidden under his layers of clothes, but actually seeing it is completely different. He is not bulky, but lean, his flat abdomen having faint traces of abs, no unnecessary amount of fat, just beautifully spaced out muscle. Carter sucks in a breath when Percy smoothes a hand from his chest to his belly, muscles curling under his calloused hand in anticipation. Percy wastes no time to get rid of his own T-shirt and leans down to kiss Carter again, moaning as he feels the magician's hands tug at his hair. He leaves kisses and small bites along Carter's neck, savouring every little breathless sound he makes. He briefly wonders if he is just dreaming, if the warmth and desire has created the perfect dream of Carter for him, but then he is pulled back up by elegantly long fingers for another drunkening kiss and he loses that train of thought. They cling together, arching into the other's body eagerly, trying to get as much friction and as close as possible. Percy doesn't even get time to get confused when Carter suddenly flips them, straddling him panting. "You have no idea for how long I've wanted to touch you..." Carter says in awe, fingers tracing Percy's muscles and scars gently on his hips and abdomen. He feels Percy's jeans tighten under his weight, and he lifts an amused eyebrow.

"I can't help it! You are unfair!" Percy gasps and curses under his breath and grips Cater's thighs as the magician drags his butt over his crotch in a slow, painfully blissful motion, tilting his head curiously at the reaction he gets. There's something incredibly attractive about the way Carter flipped them so easily, making Percy wonder how strong Carter is, whether he could hold Percy down with the same ease. He shudders a bit at the thought, putting it in the back of his mind for another time.

"Maybe...I should reward you for your hard work. I'm your teacher afterall." Carter says slowly, eyes tracing Percy's face. He has no idea what he's doing, nor what he's saying, but he guesses he must have said something right, if we go by the look Percy gives him. Carter wets his lips and decides to experiment a little and see where things go. He hooks his finger in the waistband of Percy's jeans and leans closer until their lips are almost touching. "Are you a good student, Percy?" he gets eager nods in return. "Are you a good boy? I want to hear it." Percy shifts under him and licks his lips.

"I am. I am a good boy" Percy says impatiently "Please, please, Carter. Stop teasing me." he groans into the space between their lips. The way Carter speaks, so different from his usual modest politeness makes him more aroused, he feels bound not to move under his weight, like he uses charmspeak or something. It's sweet torture to keep still.

Carter leans back, satisfied with the response, fascinated how eager Percy was and how instantly he felt obligated to play along. He realises it's not that much different from commanding his trainees, and feels a boost of self confidence. People keep telling him he has a natural sense of authority, now it's time to put it to a test. Carter also sees how sexually frustrated the older demigod must feel, so he tries his best to swallow his nervousness and unbuttons Percy's jeans, then pulls the zipper down slowly, eyes not leaving the demigod's flushed and eager face. He can hear his heart drum in his ear and feel his face burn, but he gathers the courage to pull Percy's jeans off far enough to reveal his red briefs. There is an obvious buldge in them, a wet patch darkening the thin fabric that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. Percy's breath hitches when Carter lays a light hand over the buldge, the demigod's hips stuttering upward eagerly, but held back by the magician's weight. Carter palms his erection through the fabric experimently, the only sound in the room being Percy's quickening breathing and small groans and moans. Carter's fascinated by these things. Of course he had masturbated before. He is a teenage boy. But there's something utterly interesting in Percy's reactions he can't really explain. He wraps his fingers around him and tugs, still not bothering to pull his underwear down, this time earning a louder moan. He brings his attention back up to Percy's face, one hand brought up to cover his face while the other's clinging to Carter's hip. Carter frowns, disappointed that he can't see his expression well.

"Percy. I want to see your face." Carter says softly, squeezing him through his briefs. Percy removes his hand with a ragged moan, looking up at him with heavily lidded and dark stormy eyes.

"I-I'm gonna finish in my pants if you keep t-this up." he says with a shaky laugh and swallows hard, twitching in Carter's hand, a bit frustrated that there is still a layer of fabric between them, his boxers getting uncomfortable and sticky against his sensitive skin. He didn't think it would be Carter getting him off, but he can't say he minds, quite the opposite actually. It's been months since somebody touched him like that, and his body seems to react to the magician's touches more than anything he had experienced before. He wonders if it's because of Carter's magic, or it if has to do with Greek and Egyptian forces mingling, but his mind is way too clouded for that. Carter takes in Percy's position under him, his flushed skin and messy hair, his heavy gaze, foggy eyes focusing in and out, the way his red tinted chest heaves. He decides Percy more than earned his relief, so he sits up and nudges Percy to lift his hips from the matress, pulling his jeans further down to his ankles, then moving to pull his briefs down as well, holding his breath as he watches the fabric peel off of his thighs and his erection spring free. It's easily the most obscene thing he has ever seen. It's about as long as his, Carter observes, but thicker, the tip an agry red and swollen, already leaking precum. He feels his mouth fill with salvia, a sudden urge to take it in his mouth sending shudders down his back, though this can wait. Percy draws a shaky breath when Carter wraps his fingers around the shaft, smearing the precum with his thumb as lubricant and twists his hand down slowly, carefully. Percy moans and curses under his breath, hands gripping the sheets instead of Carter's hips. Carter puts on more pressure and fastens the movement of his hand, and watches Percy's face twist in pleasure, his moans becoming more frequent and louder, his hips trying to match Carter's hand but still held back by his weight. He looks wrecked, and absolutely beautiful.

"C-Carter...I c-can't...I'm gonna come." he moans, eyes screwed shut and brows furrowed. He doesn't care that Carter barely touched him. He feels so close already, too aroused to care. Carter nods, more to himself than Percy, and leans down to capture his lips, swallowing the moans and groans, his hand picking up speed as Percy moans more and more desperately. Percy spills semen all over Carter's hand and his abdomen seconds later with a choked moan, muffled by Carter's lips, and a wild stutter of hips. Carter jerks him through his orgasm and only lets go of his softened cock when Percy whines low in his throat. He rubs Percy's thigh gently with his clean hand as he catches his breath.

Percy pants, cursing under his breath "That...was the best orgasm I've ever had." he sighs with a smile, the pleasant tingles still lingering in his body as Carter sits back to look at the mess they have made. Most of it got caught on his hand, white and sticky substance, just like his, though he wonders what it tastes like. He thinks it may be gross, but his curiousity gets the better of him, so he lifts his hand over his mouth and gives it a tentative lick. Percy's eyes widen seeing that, his penis giving a twitch in interest. It's definitely a picture worth saving for another time in his book. It's a bit salty, and a bit sweet at the same time on his tongue, Carter notes, but definitely more salty than sweet. He shrugs internally and wipes his hand with a tissue from his nightstand. He notices Percy watching him intensely, and he becomes very much aware of the position he is in, and how painfully hard he is, still trapped in his trousers and underwear. Percy seems to notice too, the hungry look back on his face once again.

"If you let me, I would like to be a good student and return the favor, Mr Kane." Percy sits up and licks a stripe from Carter's collerbone to one of his nipples, pulling a mewl from him as he licks and nips at the numb, grazing his teeth against the sensitive skin. "Hmm? What do you say?" he asks huskily. He likes the student-teacher roleplay more and more, something he never thought he would. But, what can he say? Carter's the sexiest teacher he's ever come across.
Carter gulps and looks into Percy's eyes, the desire in them making him shiver with excitement. He decides to keep the play going, his face taking up the same stern look he uses during his classes and grabs Percy by his hair, pulling him close enough to be speaking against his lips. "Then stop talking and don't disappoint me, Jackson." he growls in a deeper voice that goes straight to Percy's already half hard cock. Their lips collide and their tongues battle for dominance, Percy's breath completely stolen from him as Carter takes charge in the kiss, easily dominating him. That makes his arousal spike up even more and his blood boil. He fumbles with Carter's trousers and underwear, helping him struggle out of them, which proves to be quite difficult with their mouths sealed together, and gets rid of his own jeans and briefs. Finally Carter's erection is freed from his briefs, groaning into Percy's mouth as it rubs against the demigod's abs. He knows he won't last long, he feels way too overwhelmed already by all the sensations.

Percy wraps a hand around both his and Carter's cock and rubs them together, the wetness of Carter's precum creating a delicious friction between them, the other hand finding its way to one of Carter's bare buttocks. He squeezes and pulls, appreciating the firm muscle and soft skin, resisting the urge to turn him around and sink his teeth in it. They are both moaning breathlessly, their hips in perfect synch with Percy's moving hand. Carter tugs at Percy's hair, leaving bites on his collarbone and shoulder as they both chase their reliefs. Percy's the first to come undone with a groan into Carter's shoulder, the magician close behind him, arms wrapped around Percy's neck tightly, clutching desperately. They just lean against each other for a while, just breathing and enjoying the aftermath of their orgasms.

"Damn." Percy chuckles breathlessly and wipes his hand clean.

"Language." Carter smiles softly in the crook of Percy's neck, kissing the skin gently. They trade lazy kisses, not bothering to untangle themselves from the other. When they break apart they are both smiling fondly. Percy looks down at himself and shakes his head in disbelief.

"You got me off twice in a row. I didn't know I had it in me." Carter shrugs innocently in answer, not sure where the whole teacher roleplay and the confidence came from. He stares at the marks he left on Percy and tarces them with his finger.

"Sorry about that." he mumbles quietly. He knows Percy has to walk around shirtless when he is at the swimming team's practice. He feels bad for not being able to control himself previously, but the thought that people will see the marks and will know that Percy's his and nobody else's is a bit comforting and pleasing thought afterall. He wonders when had he become so posessive of Percy and shakes the thought away.

"No need to be sorry. I will wear them proudly." Percy says grinning, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. They both crack up, shaking with laughter until Percy lays back and pulls Carter with him, his legs numb from keeping it one position and having Carter sit on them for so long. He tugs Carter safely to his side, treading his fingers in his hair with a content sigh. Carter smiles and snuggles up to him comfortably, enjoying the warmth and the hand petting his hair. They are both sweaty and sticky, gross for sure, and in need of a shower, but for now they don't mind any of that.

"You are the best boyfriend a guy could ask for." Percy sighs and smiles.

"Boyfriend?" Carter furrows his brows. They haven't really established anything like that as far as he can remember. "You have never really asked me to be your boyfriend." he tilts his head up to look at Percy. The demigod's hand stop in his hair and he looks down at Carter wide eyed.

"I haven't asked you to be my boyfriend?" Carter shakes his head, slightly amused at the look Percy gives him.

"Gods I'm such an idiot!" Percy frowns "In that case, Carter Kane, will you honour me with becoming my boyfriend?" he smiles kindly.

Carter humms and pretends to think about it, a small grin tugging at his mouth when Percy seems to think he will actually refuse him.

"I'd be more than happy to be your boyfriend." Percy's eyes sparkle upon hearing this, beaming happily and leaning down to kiss his now official boyfriend. They kiss slow, tongues sliding together, letting out small breathless moans. Percy feels Carter getting hard against his hip, so he reaches out to wrap his hand around his length, smirking into the kiss when Carter gasps and arches into his touch. He pulls back to look into the magician's glossy eyes, pupils blown in arousal, breath quickening with every stroke.

"I want to taste you, Carter. Would that be alright?" a buck of hips tells him that Carter finds the idea appealing, very much, so Percy pushes himself up and climbs over the younger boy hungrily. He kisses Carter passionately, leaving a trail of kisses on his body, sparing some time to nip at his nipples, tracing his soft muscles with his tongue as he licks lower and lower, until he comes in eye level with the beutiful cock he can't wait to taste. But, he doesn't take it into his mouth right away. He knows Carter's watching him, so he sucks a few marks into his soft trembling thighs first, drinking in the sounds Carter makes, the barely audible gasps and whines that escape his mouth as Percy licks around his sex, but avoids it, like the tease he is.

"P-Percy...ah...please...I n-need...ah--" Carter chokes on a moan, actual tears filling his eyes as Percy sucks a hickey on his left thigh, licking over the skin tenderly. It feels so good, almost too good, yet somehow not enough. He wants to feel more, but wants it to end at the same time. It's too much.

"What do you want, Carter?" Percy asks, looking up at the wrecked boy with hooded eyes.

"I need y-your m-m-mouth please..." he manages with great difficulty, letting out a quiet sob. Percy reaches up to wipe away the tears with his thumbs, kissing his leg gently, sliding his hands down Carter's sides and resting them on his hips, stroking the soft skin.

"Shhhh it's okay." Percy says kindly, kissing his thigh again "I'm gonna make it good for you." he smiles before giving the shaft a tentative lick, chuckling as it gives a little jump, and hears Carter's breath hitch. He licks a stripe from the base to the tip, swirling his tongue around it, then hollowing his cheeks and taking as much as he can in one go. Carter whines and moans, hips bucking, but held down firmly but not too forcefully by Percy's calloused hands. He is sure he would have thrust into Percy's mouth if not for the hands holding him down, and he is pretty damn amazed that he hasn't come yet. The sight of Percy wrapped around him, seagreen eyes locked on his, would have sent him over the edge already if he wasn't trying so hard to last longer. With nothing else left to do, he tangles his hand in Percy's messy hair, pulling and tugging as Percy continues to suck and bob his head slowly, occasionally humming low in his throat. Carter throws his head back and bites on his other hand, trying to muffle his moans as much as he can. His room is not soundproof by any means, and he would prefer not to be walked in on or be heard. He wants to watch Percy, but he can't keep himself upright, barely able to control his already bubbling climax. He arches his back and whines, the sparks of pleasure down his spine making his toes curl. He knows he can't take it much longer. The pleasure is too much, Percy's mouth is too warm and feels too wet, too good.

"P-P-Percy I'm g-gonna cum." he pants urgently, trying to pull Percy's mouth off of him, but Percy fixes him with a stare, sucking harder and faster, making Carter squirm and moan more, holding back not an option anymore. His orgasm rips over him with a flash of white light, making him feel dizzy with pleasure, and spills cum down Percy's throat, who swallows it all eagerly. Percy pulls off of him breathing hard and kisses the insides of Carter's legs before climbing back up to him and pressing a gentle kiss to his sweaty forehead.

"Are you alright?" Percy asks quietly, stroking his waist.

"Y-Yeah. Just. Wow." Carter laughs shakily "That was really intense, and really good." he smiles as Percy kisses his cheek.

"Well, you taste delicious," Percy purrs, making Carter blush. He pulls Percy down for another kiss, moaning at the thought of tasting himself on Percy's tongue.

"I love you, Carter." Percy says breathlessly as they break apart, gently pushing a strand of hair out of Carter's face. The magician's eyes widen in surprise, heart doing a backflip in his ribcage. He didn't think Percy would be the first one to say that, and finds himself smiling, because he hadn't thought about Zia miserably at all ever since he and Percy started going out on dates. Zia had never told him she loved him either, and he doesn't think she would have anytime soon even if they stayed together.

"I love you too." he laughs happily and hugs Percy close. They stay like that for a while, just wrapped around one another, until there is a loud series of knocks from the door.

"Carter! I hope you haven't forgot about your training lesson. Thirty minutes!" Sadie says, then the sound of her fading steps seem to echo in the hall outside.

"I guess we should clean up. We are both gross." Carter frowns as he untangles himself and sits up.

"Yeah. What do you say to a shower?" Percy takes his hand with a smile.

"Together?"

"Why not? Saves time." Percy pulls him up from the bed, against his body. Carter barely noticed that they are both still naked, so he flushes red again. He still can't get over how perfect Percy's body looks. Like a Greek statue carved out of marble. He snaps his attention back to the expectant face of his boyfriend, one eyebrow raised.

"W-Well alright. I'll get us both towels." he opens his closet and pulls out two fluffy towels, then follows an amused Percy into his bathroom, carefully shutting the door behind them. They wash each other up, but they end up kissing and touching more anyway, unable to get enough of the other. Percy shuts the water off eventually and wraps a towel around his waist, then takes the other and wraps it around Carter securely with a peck on the lips. They collect their discarded clothes and get dressed, except for their underwear.

"I could lend you a pair of mine. Though, they might be too tight." Carter offers guiltily as he pulls on a pair of fresh ones.

"Nah. I'll be fine until I get home." Percy shrugs it off.

They dress quickly and collect the books and notebooks scattered around the room and the bed, then carry the books back to the library for the shabiti to put them in their places.

"So, see you tomorrow? Same time?" Percy grins once they are up on the roof, shouldering his backpack.

"Yeah. I'll be at your place same time." Carter smiles back. He pulls Percy down for a brief kiss, pulling away chuckling when Freak screetches impatiently, fluttering his wings.

"I love you." Percy smiles adoringly and steps into the boat.

"I love you too." Carter's heart whoops with joy finally being able to say that to someone and really mean it. He waves happily as Freak leaps down from the roof with Percy on board. He never thought things would turn out like that for him when he switched schools, but he couldn't be happier that they did.

Chapter Text

Carter squirms and moans, tugging at Percy's slightly damp and very messy hair, his tongue meeting the demigod's eager one equally as enthusiastically. They ended up kissing again, this time in the school's lockers at the back of the swimming pools. Carter stayed to watch Percy on his swimming team practice, enjoying the sight of his boyfriend diving in the water like he was more born to be there than walking on the ground, giving orders and advice to his fellow teammates. Carter wondered at first whether it was cheating that Percy could breathe under water, but Percry doesn't show any sign about his abilities during practice, which he appreciates in him a lot. He is the best of all the swimmers in the team, probably in the whole world, but he is still as playful and caring of others as ever, not a trace of arrogance in his actions. Carter finds himself smiling a lot just watching him, butterflies flapping around in his stomach. Now though, he feels his body get hot for a completely different reason. Percy sneaks a hand under his shirt and undershirt, stroking his waist gently as they press against each other. Percy is still dripping of water, but Carter hardly cares, lost in the feeling of Percy completely covering him, his mouth on his, his tongue sliding against his, his hands on his body, and a very obvious erection poking him. He flips them and presses Percy aganist the row of lockers, hands roaming from Percy's hair to other places that make the demigod moan. Carter sneaks his hand between their bodies to palm Percy through his swimming shorts, smirking into the kiss when Percy hisses out.

"We should be on the way home." Percy pants as they breake apart, Carter bringing his hand up to the waistband of his shorts and slipping it inside, now wrapping his fingers around Percy's throbbing erection.

"Should we?" Carter smiles, twisting his hand cruelly, watching as Percy's head hits the locker door behind him with a loud thud that fills the empty room. Carter finds himself to be more confident whenever they do something like that, taking charge more easily. They haven't done a lot of things, mostly getting each other off with their hands and mouths, but they still can't seem to get enough of the other. Carter feels wetness from the tip of Percy's erection and uses it to make his hand slide more easily. Carter continues with his ministrations, leaning over to leave kisses on Percy's exposed neck, the moans and grunts rumbling in the demigod's throat.

"I want to taste you, Percy." Carter murmurs into Percy's skin, using the same words once Percy used, the afternoon they officially became a couple. He feels Percy twitch in his hand and hears the moan that comes with it, already knowing the answer.

"Y-Yeah. Please. I'm really close already." Percy says breathlessly between moans, Carter's working hand not making it any easier for him to think through what he wants to say. Carter tugs his shorts all the way down, kissing his skin from his neck to his abdomen, licking over the narrow V of his hips to the happy trail that leads to a proudly standing erection. Percy tilts his head forward, watching Carter lick a stripe frim his balls to the tip of his swollen cock with hooded eyes, a groan slipping from his mouth. Carter keeps his big doe eyes focused on his face, even as he gets the tip in his mouth, swallowing it halfway then swirling his tongue around with hollow cheeks. Percy gritts his teeth and grabs a fistful of Carter's hair not too harshly, swearing under his breath in ancient Greek as the magician starts to move up and down on his length, sometimes getting as far as the base of his cock. He moans desperately, not caring at all how needy he might sound, because damn him if Carter isn't the most beautiful thing he has ever seen and the best feeling he has ever felt as he sucked and licked him like a cherry lollipop. He feels himself close to cumming, and by the look Carter gives him, he knows too, sucking him more enthusiastically. Percy still can't get over how good Carter is at this. He remembers the first time Carter tried to give him a blowjob, because he actually bit him accidently, but now he was crazing him with his teeth consciously, driving him more insane. He has to muster all his self-control to keep himself from bucking into the hot wetness of his boyfriend's mouth, but its all the more sweet. He cums with a deep groan after what feels like hours of pure bliss, watching darkly Carter swallow it all, tugging the magician up for a smearing kiss.

"Damn. You have no idea how gorgeous you look like that. I love you so much." Percy says with labored breathing as Carter wipes the small drop of cum from the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand, licking it off with a pointed look at Percy.

"Glad you liked it. I love you too." Carter smirks with a peck on the cheek, pulling Percy's shorts back up in their previous place. Percy showers quickly and dresses even quicker, not caring much about his wet hair as he leaves the school with Carter hand-in-hand. He opens the door of his car for his boyfriend like a true gentleman, earning a chuckle and takes his seat behind the wheels. They are studying at his place today, even though some of their sessions turn halfway through into kissing and touching, which Carter always points out, but doesn't actually have the intention to change that. Still, Percy thinks he has improved a lot thanks to their private lessons too, and he is pretty sure he can graduate without a problem and apply to a university matching his future plans. He is grateful for having met a person like Carter, someone who encourages him even when he feels like a helpless case. Percy takes one hand off the wheel to squeeze Carter's hand at a red lamp stop, pouring all his affection into a smile. Carter flushes red but smiles back just as lovesick, squeezing Percy's hand until the lamp turns green and it has to return to the wheel.

"Can I ask you something?" Carter says suddenly.

"You just did." Percy smirks, earning a punch to the shoulder. He pouts as Carter glares at him, both cracking up. "Sure. Go ahead." Percy smiles once the laughter dies down.

"What do you want to do after you finish school?" Carter asks as the car moves along the darkening streets of Manhattan.
Percy humms thoughtfully, not having expected a question like that out of the blue.

"I guess I would like to be a gym teacher. I like working with kids, and they seem to like me too. That's something I realised when I was training campers." Percy says after a bit of silence. Carter smiles, having no problem imagining Percy as a teacher. He is kind and understanding, very cheerful, unlike his current gym teacher at school, and he also has this aura that makes him hard not to like. He remembers how Percy ordered the kids to safety when had they met for the first time. He looked perfectly natural in charge, and the kids obviously felt that too.

"I think that would suit you." Carter says honestly with a small smile.

"What about you?" Percy spares him a curious sideglance.

"I want to be an archeologist. Like my father. I wouldn't mind teaching at a university either." Carter answers without much thinking. He had always looked up to his father, and by the time they started travelling around more, he was sure he wanted a path like his father's. He loved history, and he's come to love teaching since Sadie and him accepted trainees at the Twent-First Nome.

"I'm sure you would be the best archeologist on Earth." Percy grins as he parks the car in front of the building and they both get out of the vehicle."Why the sudden interest though?"

"Well, I was just thinking...you know...where our paths will lead us and how it will affect our relationship." Carter says nervously, fiddling with his hands, only to be stopped by Percy's bigger ones.

"You worry too much Carter. Live for today. I think that's the most important thing for people like us. You never know." Percy says smiling sadly, suddenly sounding more sober than Carter has ever heard him speak.

"Oh Percy..." Carter wraps his arms around the demigod, pressing his face against his torso. Percy hugs him back tightly, burying his nose in Carter's soft curls, breathing in his scent.

"I just want to be with you Percy. As long as you'll have me." Carter whispers into his shirt.

Percy snorts "I should be the one kissing your feet for putting up with me." he grins playfully. Carter smiles back, glad that he is not gloomy anymore.

"Don't be silly. There is nothing wrong with you. I love you." Carter can't say that he loves Percy enough. The feeling of affection and adoration just seems to grow inside his heart with every passing day and he just can't stop saying it.

"I love you too sweetness." Percy rubs their noses together. Carter's way too cute for his own good, he thinks to himself. "Come on. Mum said she wanted to make dinner for us." Percy says, dragging Carter with him into the building.

"I feel bad for making her do all that in her condition." Carter mumbles guiltily "When is the baby due again?"

"Not until next year. And stop guilting yourself. She loves cooking for people she cares about. Me and Paul help her when she tries to do too much on her own anyway."

"Still..."

"Do you wanna stay over?" Percy says over his shoulder as he unlocks the front door. They have been sleeping over at each other for a while now, mostly on weekends, but sometimes a schoolday slips in as well. Carter has an overnight bag packed in the Duat all the time just in case he sleeps at Percy's, and Percy has one in his car whenever he needs it.

"I guess...my trainees wouldn't mind a day off." Carter shrugs "I mean, If it isn't too much trouble." he adds hastily.

"You are just too adorable." Percy smirks, his boyfriend's overly politeness still amusing him. He still blushes a lot, even though they have been going out for weeks now. Percy doesn't mind that much, as he knows it's not because he makes Carter uncomfortable, and red tinted cheeks really suit the magician.

"I'm not adorable." Carter pouts, climbing the stairs behind Percy to the fifth floor.
"To be honest, If you are not the cutest thing alive, then I don't know what is." Percy hugs Carter close to his body by his waist in front of his apartment door, kissing him deeply until the magician can't argue with him.

"Alright...You win..." Carter looks down at his feet with dark red cheeks. Percy grins triumpthly and opens the door for them.

"Mum, we're here!"

"Come on in the kitchen! Dinner's ready!" Sally calls back from the kitchen. They have a pleasant dinner, having small talk about school and Sally's most recent writings. The dinner is delicious as always, the dessert being blue cupcakes with blue ice-cream and chocolate syrup.

"I'm so full." Percy yawns once they are in his room "I don' wanna study." he whines, falling face first on his bed, groaning into the sheets.

"Percy, come on." Carter chuckles, shaking Percy gently, who starts snoring loudly, pretending to be asleep. Carter sits back sighing, given up on trying to shake Percy back to reality.

"Fine. No kisses for you for a week." Carter frowns, crossing his arms in front of himself.

"What?! No way!" Percy instantly shots up, brows furrowed in panic. "No kisses from you for a week is like...it's like death." he says in a voice that's an octave higher than his usual voice.

"Alright alright. I was just joking Percy." Carter rolls his eyes amused as Percy lets out a relieved breath. He had no idea Percy loved kissing him so much.

"I still don't want to study though." Percy mumbles as Carter pulls his backpack from the Duat and takes out their notes. Carter humms, thinking of a way to compromise on that.

"Tell you what. We go through one topic, and then we are done for the night. What do you say?" Carter smiles.

"I'd be down with that." Percy smirks back, scooting closer to Carter. They go through a topic Percy had a harder time memorising, but they end up going through it again for practice's sake. By the end of it Percy has a hard time focusing on history, much more enjoying the sight of his boyfriend. He stares at his lips as he speaks, the way he bites them when he concentrates on something, the way he furrows his brows, the way his brown locks sometimes get in his face and he has to smooth them back. Carter catches him staring at one point, looking at him unimpressed.

"You weren't listening, were you?" he sighs when Percy shakes his head guiltily. He checks his watch and whistles "I guess we spent more time with this than I had predicted. It's half past nine already." he says apologetically "I think we are okay for today." he closes the notebook in his hand and dismisses it into the Duat carelessly, flipping down next to Percy, who wraps his arms around him and pulls him against his body. Carter sighs contently, the warmth of the demigod making him relaxed and sleepy.

"I wanna sleep." Percy murmurs into the back of Carter's neck.

"Mmmm...I second that." he struggles out of Percy's arms and pulls him with himself to the bathroom to get ready for bed. They wash their teeth and Carter changes into his sleeping clothes while Percy puts on only a pair of sweatpants. Carter summons his pillow from the Duat to prevent his ba form leaving his body during the night and places it at the head of the bed. They climb back to bed together, this time under the covers, and Percy resumes his position behind Carter, covering him easily.

"Good night love." Percy says in a voice thick with sleep, kissing the skin on Carter's neck tenderly.

"Good night." Carter says before he falls asleep, feeling content and safe in the warmth of his boyfriend.

Chapter Text

"Is that a bitemark?" Annabeth narrows her stormy gray eyes as Percy crunches over his Maths notebook, hastily sitting back up to pull the collar of his shirt further up to cover his neck, but the damage is already done.

"Uh...no?" she narrows her eyes even further "Okay" Percy sighs "It is."

"Now that I think about it, you have been neglecting me in the past few weeks." Annabeth smirks, nodding to herself.

"That's not true!" Percy exclaims brows furrowed.

"Right." Annabeth crosses her arms "Who is it, Seaweed Brain? Spill."

"Uh...You have already met him. It's Carter." Percy bites his lower lip as Annabeth's eyebrows creep higher.

"Carter Kane? The magician?" Percy nods "Huh. How did that happen?" she tilts her head curiously.

"Well, he goes to the same high school as me. He switched schools recently. And then we met on his first day and I invited him to our table with the swimming team at lunch. He was so cute and awkward." Percy sighs dreamily, clearing his throat when Annabeth raises an amused eyebrow. "Anyway. He offered to help me with history. He is a real history nerd, I'm telling you. And, no offense, but he helps me understand it more than you could." he rubs the back of his neck sheepishly.

"You were helpless when I tried to tutor you." Annabeth nods helpfully.

"Thanks, Wise Girl, love you too." he rolls his eyes with no real heat behind his words "I caught him staring at me several times. At first I wasn't so sure, but I had a feeling that he liked me, so I was a bit more touchy than I am in general to see his reaction. Gods. You should see him blush." he smiles softly

"So. I asked him on a date during one of our study sessions and he said yes! I was so happy I could hardly keep myself contained until our date in the Aquarium, the place I told you about." Annabeth nods smiling "We had so much fun! And then at the end HE kissed ME." Percy gushes "It was like he could read my mind. I was just thinking how pretty he looked, how much I wanted to kiss him, he even had my jacket around him, and then he just kissed me!" Annabeth laughs how lovesick her best friends sounds, but can't help feeling amused and happy for him.

"So he gave you that bitemark? He sure doesn't look like it. He looks like the oblivious, puppies on a sweater kind of guy." she muses. A slight blush creeps to Percy's cheeks, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.

"Y-Yeah. I was surprised too, not unpleasantly, mind you. I mean, he is awesome. Smart, gorgeous, a bit shy and socially awkward but really adorable and nerdy. Though, when it's just the two of us, he is definitely more confident. I like that." he says still smiling. "He is a really good teacher and leader too. He has magician trainees at his home, and he teaches history to me."

"If you are happy with him, I'm happy too. He seemed like a nice guy last time we met." Annabeth smiles, clasping Percy's shoulder in a friendly gesture.

"Yeah." Percy sighs again, resting his head on his arms propped up on his desk.

"Does anyone else know about you two?"

"Hmmm...well, his sister and her boyfriend, you know Sadie, his trainees, my swimming team, they looked really smug when we broke the news to them, Paul and Mum...I think that's it. Well, you too now, of course."

"You are not coming back to Camp to visit during the Holidays, then?" she tilts her head.

"I'm not sure about that...I want to spend time with Carter more, but I also want him to see Camp. I think he would like it. It would be nice to introduce him to Chiron and our friends too." he says, worrying his lower lip with his teeth.

"You wouldn't have to stay more than one or two days. We plan a small Christmas party before the actual Christmas Eve. Some people from Camp Jupiter will be joining too, and I heard that maybe even Thalia will turn up. I think Carter would be more than welcome. He could even bring guests if he wanted to. The more the merrier." she shrugs.

"That sounds great, actually. I'll ask him first thing tomorrow!" Percy beams happily

"Thanks Annabeth!" he wraps her into a clumsy hug. Annabeth laughs, patting Percy's back amused, surprised how much his mood has changed, he seemed more cheerful.

"Though, back to algebra..." Annabeths smirks smugly as Percy groans loudly and releases her, banging his head on the desk.


~~***~~


"What do you think? I think it's an awesome idea!" Percy just finished telling Carter about the Christmas get-together while the magician read a parchment filled with hieroglypsh.

"It sounds lovely. I think Sadie would like that a lot too. Some of our trainees leave for the Holidays to be with their family and we didn't have much planned either in terms of celebration. Are you sure it wouldn't be too much trouble though?" Carter asks with uncertainity.

"Not at all. Annabeth said; 'the more the merrier'. There aren't as many campers during winter so it would be nice to have some more friendly faces with us too. There is even enough space to host people for days if you like." Percy smiles "So? What do you say?"

"I would love to go with you. I will ask Sadie and Walt (or Anubis, whichever), plus the remaining trainees what they think." Carter's heart warms at the idea of a holiday with Percy. He is quite curious about Camp Half-Blood too, but just spending time with Percy during school break sounds like the best idea in the world.

"It's settled then. As soon as you spoke to Sadie and the others, let me know what they said and I'll give an IM call to Annabeth and tell her how many of us will be going." Percy beams, bouncing next to Carter on the mattress. Carter chuhckles softly, setting his scroll aside to pull the demigod down for a kiss. They kiss long and deep, pulling back with big smiles.

"You know...I feel really happy right now. I feel like, for the first time in years, I can be truly happy with someone without any doubt about where we stand." Carter confesses shyly, fingers stroking Percy's face gently.

"I feel the same. My life's been crazy every since I learned that I'm a demigod. After everything, I just feel like it's finally over and I can breathe. I love you, Carter. You make me feel complete, like I'm capable of anything." Percy emphasizes this with a much more tender kiss.

"I love you too Percy." Carter wraps his arms around the taller teen, hugging him close. Carter never thought that he would find someone so fitting with him like Percy, feeling so right to hold. He thought being a magician meant constant danger and leading a semi-normal life was impossible. Even now, sometimes it feels like a really good dream he never wants to wake up from. But when he has doubts, Percy smiles at him, or holds his hand, hugs him or kisses him, encourages him and tells him he loves him, and the affection for the demigod just makes all the doubts disappear and replace it with nothing but love. Carter knows that he is way too young and has a way too unstable lifestyle to plan too much ahead, but when he thinks about his relationship with Percy, he can't see it end anytime soon. Percy feels the same, but he is too scared to say it out loud, not yet, anyway. He has the experience that some things are better left unspoken, especially when Carter looks at him the way he does now, with his dark intelligent eyes; like he is everything in the world, something precious, and it makes his heart swell.

Chapter Text

Sadie, of course, was overjoyed by the idea, so it wasn't hard to convince Anubis/Walt to come either. The trainees who decided to stay for the Holidays were excited about meeting other misfit teenagers like them, so naturally they said yes rightaway. Carter told Percy the good news the next day at school, on the last week before the winter break.

So they are due to be at Half-Blood Hill on the 21st of December and supposed to stay there for one night, then have the Christmas party the following evening, and go home on the 23rd. Sally agreed to these terms as long as Percy came home for the actual Christmas Eve, and brought Carter with him with possibly Sadie and whoever else wanted to join them.
Carter smiled happily when Percy told him about it, grateful for knowing people like Sally Jackson, people who care about others and see the best in them even when they think they don't deserve it.

He has his overnight bag packed now to last two nights, with a small wrapped box that contains his present for Percy. He told Carter he doesn't have to give him anything, but he kind of looked forward to giving a gift to his boyfriend, so he made a small thing himself and wrapped it carefully. He is slightly anxious about it, since he and his Dad never really exchanged gifts and Sadie wasn't the type to do things like that either.

He puts his bag into the Duat, then on a second thought he puts his khopesh and a wand in his locker too, just to be safe, because you never know. He leaves his room to meet everyone on the first floor, meeting Sadie and Walt on his way. Most trainees has left Brooklyn House, but still there is a few of them ready for the journey. Felix, Jaz, Julian, Alyssa and Cleo are all there with their own bags, their jackets on and ready to go. Felix bounces happily up and down, holding a penguin in his arms with the brightest smile. Carter ruffles his blonde hair playfully as he takes his bag and puts it into his locker in the Duat, doing the same to everyone's. He checks his watch, deciding it's better to leave as soon as possible. They have to pick up Percy and Annabeth on the way as well, so they hurry up the stairs to the roof, Freak already waiting for them. He screetches in greeting and flaps his wings impatiently, urging them to get on with it. Carter chuckles amused, giving him a few pieces of frozen turkey and pets his feathery head. Khufu has been trotting after them, slightly offended that he was to stay, but Carter bribes him with some Oreos Percy had sent him, to stay and watch over Brooklyn House and alert them if anything happens. Khufu doesn't seem less offended, but accepts the Oreos begrudgingly.

They pile in the boat tied to Freak and leap down the side of the building in the direction of Manhattan, where Percy and Annabeth are waiting for them at Percy's. When they land on the street in front of the demigods, Carter takes their backpacks and puts them next to his and his trainees' luggage. Percy pecks his cheek, making Carter blush slightly as his pupils stare at him, especially Felix, who always stares whenever he sees Percy show affection to him, the concept of two of the same gender in a relationship still a wonder for him.

Carter clears his throat, and turns to adress everyone "So, you already know Percy," Percy smiles "But you haven't met Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, one of Percy's best friends."

"Nice to meet you." Annabeth smiles at the trainees, who stare at her in amazement. "Nice to see you again Sadie." she adds.

"You too." Sadie grins "This is my boyfriend, Walt." she gestures at the teen sitting next to him.

"Walt. Nice to meet you." Annabeth shakes his hand before turning back to Carter.

"These are Felix," the little boy waves with the arm of the penguin in his hands happily. "Right, and this is Jaz, Julian, Alyssa and Cleo."

"Nice to meet you." they echo to Annabeth, who nods smiling.

"Let's get this party rolling, shall we?" Carter smiles satisfied and tells Freak that they are ready to go. They soar into the misty morning New York sky, Felix bellowing 'Ho Ho Ho!' as they go, probably confusing a lot of mortals below. Everybody laughs at his antics, their laughs echoing in the sky as they near Long Island, the cool air wipping at their faces and hair. Percy takes Carter's hand and squeezes it, completely covering it and filling it with warmth as Carter snuggles up to him. The passengers of the boat all smile at their clear show of love, but don't stare at them for long. When the green forest of Long Island comes in wiew Percy directs Freak to the clearing between the strawberry fields and the woods, the air turning warm and more heavy as Freak dives. The misty ground and sky clears, and the smell of fresh strawberries is very pleasant after the generally murky New York air. They discard their jackets and sweaters in the sudden hotness, Carter taking it from them and putting them away in the Duat safely with the rest of their stuff. They can see a group of people standing on the clearing, bright orange and purple against the green grass. Freak lands gracefully, folding his wings with suspicious glances at the crowd.

Percy gets off first, helping Carter down just for the sake of doing it, and next Annabeth, Sadie and Walt, then the trainees. Carter pats Freak's head affectionately and sends him off back to Brooklyn House. The crowd has moved closer, a man sitting in a wheelchair at the front.

"Welcome to Camp Half-Blood!" the man smiles in the wheelchair "My name is Chrion, I'm the camp activities director." Carter approaches him and shakes his hand politely.

"My name is Carter Kane. I'm grateful for the warm welcome, and for letting us in your camp. It is truly beautiful." And it is, green fields dotted with strawberries and woods surrounding the area, from where elvish looking girls peek out curiously, but not coming out to meet them.

"My pleasure to have you. As you can see, our campers have thinned due to the Christmas season, so having you with us just makes the celebration better." Chiron smiles kindly. Carter doesn't know how many people in general occupied Camp Half-Blood, but he can see about 50 people standing behind Chiron, whispering to each other and looking curiously at the magicians. "Now, I'll leave you to speak with each other and get comfortable here. I'm providing you two bedrooms for boys and girls in the Big House. Feel free to join the camp activities as the day progresses. Percy, Annabeth, good to see you back, my children. Campers, get back to your activities. You'll have plenty of time to make friends later. I'll see you all again at dinner." his wheelchair suddenly turns into the body of a tempest, towering over the campers behind him, who doesn't seem fazed at all, groaning at having to leave so soon. Carter jumps back a little as the centaur trotts away in the direction of the wooden house in the distance. Now that Chiron and most of the campers gradually leave, Carter is left standing right in front of 7 campers in mixed orange, purple and black T-shirts, who stare at him with expectant faces.

"Guys! Long time no see!" Percy breaks the silence, approaching Carter and the campers grinning, with Annabeth at his side. They echoe back greetings, the seven of them walking up to meet Percy and Annabeth halfway, trading hugs and handshakes.

"Guys, this is my boyfriend, Carter," Percy pulls the magician to his side, who yelps in surprise, staring at the mostly taller demigods now much more closely, each of them very different in appearance. "Carter, these are the friends I've told you about. This is Grover Underwood, one of my best friends," he gestures at the ginger haired boy with the goatee and horns, who also seem to have hooves. Carter nods shyly while Grover smiles "and this is Jason Grace, son of Jupiter, he is also kinda like Superman," Percy grins and Jason snorts, offering his big hand for Carter to shake.

"I'm not like Superman, for the record." he says amused as they shake hands.

"Well, you kinda are." says the short latino boy standing next to Jason, his face and clothes covered in dirt, and from what Carter can tell, some kind of gasoline. "Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus, the best looking and funniest guy, at your service." he grins, folding his hands behind his head.

"Nice to meet you." Carter smiles back, the others rolling their eyes at the introduction.

"And this is Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite. You don't want to cross her." Percy whispers the last part and grins playfully.

"That's true" Piper smiles, stepping to Carter and wrapping him in a hug, much to his surprise "But I don't bite, don't worry." she smiles kindly as she releases him, her sparkling eyes changing colour so much that Carter can't tell what colour they are exactly.

"This is Hazel Levesque, daughter of Pluto, and her half brother, Nico di Angelo, son of Hades." Carter's eyebrows rise as he takes in the two completely different looking kids, Hazel's dark skin and warm eyes, Nico's pale skin and dark hair and eyes. He smiles, thinking how much of those differences almost match him and Sadie. Hazel smiles brightly, while Nico does his best to look polite and not uninterested. Carter nods and turns to the last person in the line, a very tall and bulky asian boy, who looks rather harmless with his kind smile, despite his physique.

"And last but not least, Frank Zhang, son of Mars, a very distant relative of mine." Percy clasps the boy's shoulder proudly.

"Nice to meet you." Frank says kindly, reminding Carter of a big panda bear.

"Nice to meet you all." Carter smiles and turns to look at Sadie and his trainees, motioning for them to come closer.

"As you may already know, I'm a magician. These are my trainees from the Twent-First Nome, and my sister, Sadie Kane." Sadie comes up to stand next to him. Percy's friends look surprised at first at how different their appearances are, but it hardly matters to them. They have seen too much to be bothered by that.

"Hullo." Sadie grins.

"So you two are siblings?" Hazel looks between them "That's so great!" she beams. Sadie and Carter smiles, more used to people looking weirdly at them than the smiles they get from the demigods.

"And these are our trainees; Walt (Carter decides not to mention Anubis for now), Felix," Felix beams up at them, his penguin wawing its arms impatiently. They decide not to ask about the penguin, knowing by experience that it's better not to. "Okay, Felix, could you put the penguin down? Thanks." Carter sighs "Back on topic, this is Jaz, our healer," Jaz smiles good naturedly and wawes "this is Julian, Cleo and Alyssa." they nod curtly, more interested in watching the demigods, especially Cleo, her gaze shifting to Annabeth more frequently than to the others.

"Let's not stand around. How about a tour?" Grover offers.

"Sounds good to me." Percy says "What do you think?" he turns to ask Carter, still holding him next to himself.

"Yeah. Guys?" Carter asks Sadie and the trainees. Sadie shrugs, the others agree. "Is it possible for us to take our luggage to our rooms first though?" he asks on a second thought.

"Sure. We'll start from the Big House then." Grover says. Carter nods, standing back to retrieve their bags from the Duat. He takes each bag from thin air, Percy's friends gasping and gaping at him as he hands out the bags to their owner, taking out his own one last.

Leo whistles, stuffing his hands in his scruffy jeans. "We heard you could do magic, but we thought it was something like Hazel's magic." he stares at Carter's hands, as if looking for explanation there.

"This is nothing. Combat magic is cooler." Sadie says as they start walking in the direction of the Big House.

"Sadie. It's never cool when we have to fight." Carter frowns deeply.

"Yeah yeah I get it. End of the world and all that jazz." Sadie waves her free hand impatiently "But you gotta admit that it's cool."

"End of the world?" Jason's eyebrows shot up in alarm.

"Obviously, the world hasn't ended, thanks to us." Sadie motions at herself and her fellow magicians.

"Yeah!" Felix jumps in his steps excitedly "We stopped the big snake with my ice magic!" he lifts his penguin above his head and makes ice cover the ground in front of him, sliding a few feet on his sneakers. Carter facepalms as the others laugh, a constant reminder of his failure to make the bubbly kid understand that there is no Egyptian ice or snow deity.

"What giant snake is he talking about?" Jason asks as they resume walking, his fellow demigods taking interest in the question, even Nico seems curious.

"That would be Apophis. He tried to devour our world, but we kicked his arse." Sadie says proudly, linking hands with Walt, who smiles in return. She tells the basics about the whole ordeal with Apophis and how they fought him a few months back.

"Wow." Leo breathes "That sounds creepy. Even compared to Gaia."

"Who?" Felix looks up at Leo curiously.

"She is the godess of earth in Greek mythology, also known as Gaea in Roman mythology." Cleo says helpfully.

"Ah...I still don't get it." Felix says blankly.

"Well, in short, as you please, she conspired with her son, Kronos, to overthrow her husband when her children got banished and had to go into a deep slumber when Kronos started ruling. Her children, the titans, were vicious but powerful creatures, each born to defeat one specific Olympian god or godess, but of course in the big war the deities were triumpth. Unfortunately, there is a lot of blurs and blanks in any culture's mythology so nobody knows a lot more than that." Cleo explains as best as she can, but Felix doesn't seem to pick up much about anything she has just told him.

"You are very well informed." Annabeth says with respect, making Cleo flush pink.

"Yes, well, I've chosen the path of Toth, so that much is expected of me. But thank you." she says more awkwardly than Carter has ever heard her speak. Annabeth smiles amused but doesn't say anything else. Though, Carter sees Cleo steal glances at her from time to time as they get closer to the Big House.

"In short, Gaia is a nasty lady who wanted to kill us, but she is taken care of." Leo says importantly with satisfaction.

"Oooh. I get it now!" Felix turns to pout at Cleo "Why didn't you just say that?"

Cleo huffs offended "That is way too simple to be considered a helpful explanation in any way." she says.

"Hey! It was plenty informative, thank you very much." Leo protests.

"Guys. Calm down. We are here, by the way." Percy laughs. They take their luggage to the rooms Chiron had set up for them and meet the demigods back in front of the Big House.

"Seriously though. You gotta show us some magic later!" Leo says excitedly.

"I guess it would be nice." Jason says. Hazel and Frank agrees enthusiastically, while Nico and Piper looks mildly curious. Sadie nudges Carter, who sighs and agrees that it couldn't hurt to display some of their abilities later. Percy pecks his cheek, which makes him feel less annoyed with Sadie and feel more warm, a smile stretching on his face. Percy smiles at how easy they all get along, all his friends and the magicians, even though they weren't even known to exist until only very recently.

They cover the grounds of Camp Half-Blood in a day, joining in on some of the activities as they proceed. At the arena both demigods and magicians show a display of powers, which go less disastorous than Carter would have imagined. He and Julian summon their war avatars and khopeshes, impressing the Ares kids who are training there at the time, Sadie sets up some shabiti warriors to destroy with the help of Alyssa, who shows some of her earth magic, and Sadie shows the audience some impressive combat magic with her staff. Felix summons ice and snow, with penguins of course, and creates some snowmen too, much to Carter's bemusement. Walt, Jaz and Cleo stay out of the display, saying that they have no interest in it and Jaz explaining that she has more talent in healing than in combat magic. Percy has shown his water skills at the canoe lake before, so it leaves Jason to do a bit of a display of his flying ability and summons some lightning and wind, Leo shows them his fire skills and even shows them how he can completely light up himself, which results in a bit of a fire disaster and him losing his clothes except his underwear and belt. Hazel shows them some of her own magic, though it's not very affecttive against magicians, for they can see through the illusions naturally, but are impressed by her ability to summon rocks and crystals. Frank is a bit hesitant about showing off his shapeshifting skills, but becomes less uneasy when Carter and Sadie tells him how they can both turn into birds. Nico shows them a bit of shadow traveling and decides against summoning dead people, much to everyone's relief. Piper makes Leo slap himself with her charmspeak, Leo making a show of looking offended until Piper kisses his cheek and apologises to him sweetly. Leo begrudgingly accepts the apology, hiding his flushed cheeks from his entertained friends. Annabeth snorts in amusement when Percy lists all kinds of 'awesome things' about her and her intelligence, wittiness and tactical planning abilities. Cleo seems most interested in that, obviously respecting the prospect of wisdom being a major Greek godly power, finding it in good sarcastic humour that all children of Athena are blonde, poking fun at the 'dumb blonde' stereotype. She keeps most of that to herself of course, but she still compliments Annabeth, who smiles at her in return. Percy finds that bit of a developing crush enderading, and later teases Annabeth about already having a fan.

They visit the archery practice, the climbing wall, where they take turns in climbing and race each other to the top some, then visit the stables, the magicians get a tour of the different cabins, the amphiteathre, the crafting and dining pavilion, the volleyball court and end up at the Big House. It's pretty late by the time they finish the grand tour, dinner already close. Carter and his companions are all tired and somewhat dirty from the camp activities, especially the climbing wall with the flowing lava, so they hit the showers and change into clean clothes before they join everyone in the dining pavilion for dinner. Chrion decides there is no point in deviding such small amount of campers into groups at the tables, so they sit around one big table made by pushing smaller ones together. The atmosphere is lighthearted and warm, the magicians all chatting with different campers who had taken interest in them during the day and found that they liked each other a lot. Carter smiles seeing his trainees and Sadie enjoy themselves so much, Cleo listening intensely to Annabeth as she explains how she got to structure a city on Olympus and the new cabins after the big war against Kronos, and actually shows her the laptop she got from Daedalus, which makes Percy think that she might be more fond of the magician than she lets on, as she has never shown it to others as far as he knows. The campfire after dinner is as much fun as always, singing ridiculous songs and just laughing a lot in general, enjoying each other's company and the new friendships that formed during the day. All in all, the trip to Camp Half-Blood is a great success, and Carter couldn't be more happy with the results.

"So, what do you think?" Percy whispers as they sit around the fire huddled together, hands intertwined.

"This place is more incredible than you described it. I love it." Carter smiles, squeezing Percy's hand. Percy beams and presses a chaste kiss on his cheek, making his face heat up with so many people around.

"You are so cute, have I told you that?" Percy smirks playfully as he watches the red splotches on his boyfriend's cheeks, illuminated by the fire.

"You have, and I've told you I'm not." Carter huffs halfheartedly. Percy humms, looking swiflty around the singing and laughing campers and magicians before he pulls Carter with him from the campfire, sneaking away in the darkness until they reach the canoe lake, the cheerful voices barely audible in the distance.

"Percy? What are we doing?" Carter asks confused, the surface of the lake riddled with stars, illuminated by the moon.

"I wanted to give you your present without everybody watching." Percy admits sheepishly, pulling a small, palm sized package, wrapped in christmas styled paper from the back pocket of his jeans and holds it out in his hand shyly. Carter feels himself get red in the face again, looking at Percy's nervous and fidgety expression to the small neatly wrapped package. He takes it uncertainly, not having expected Percy to give him anything. He feels a wawe of excitement and warmth fill his chest as he unwraps the small gift, revealing a seashell pendant tied on a leather necklace.

"I know it's not much, but I wanted you to have something to remember me when we are not together. I always think about you, and I always miss you like crazy even though we spend a lot of time together. I've been wanting to give you this since we started dating for real, but I thought it would have been too cheesy so I thought it would be best to wait--" Percy rambles nervously and Carter listens to him and watches him fidget with his hands with a small amused smile, eyes watering slightly. He interrupts Percy's rambling by grabbing his face in his hands and pulls him down to kiss him, silencing him effectively. Once they are both pleasantly out of breath, he pulls back and rests his forehead against the taller teen's.

"It's beautiful and very considerate of you. It's perfect." Carter smiles wetly.

"I'm glad." Percy says breathlessly between the space of their faces, unable to hold back the dreamy smile as he watches the stars twinkle in Carter's big eyes. It almost feels like they are standing in the set of a romantic movie or something.

"Will you help me put it on?" Carter holds up the necklace smiling.

"Of course!" Percy beams and takes the necklace from Carter, stepping around him to tie it around his neck. Once it's tied securely, Carter turns to face Percy.

"How does it look?" Carter ask shyly.

"You look absolutely beautiful." Percy says with so much honesty that it makes Carter's insides warm and tingly, his heart swelling with happiness as Percy wraps his strong arms around him. He sighs, snuggling up to the warmth of his boyfriend, who chuckles fondly and treads one hand in Carter's locks, petting his hair gently. After a few moments of silence Carter snaps his eyes open, only remembering now that he brought a gift for Percy as well, tucked away in the Duat. He untangles himself from the demigod and summons the small wrapped box from his locker.

"I...uh...I wanted to give you something too." Carter explains to the confused looking teen and holds out the small box. Percy's eyes go wide in surprise, taking the tiny box from Carter and unwraps it carefully. He opens the box and lifts out a bracelet with a small eye of Horus symbol on it.

"I had a similar pendant my whole life, a protection necklace I got from my parents, but I don't wear that one anymore because it has some godly power left in it. This one though is harmless, and I charmed it to have some protection too. I know it's silly, and I know you can look out for yourself like you always have, but I can't help feeling concerned when we are not together...so...yeah." Carter shifts awkwardly as Percy stares at the bracelet, the darkness making it hard to read his face. He yelps in surprise when suddenly Percy wraps him in a tight hug, pressing his face into the crook of Carter's neck.

"I had no idea you worried so much." Percy whispers soflty against Carter's skin, making it tingle slightly.

"I can't help it. We both have weird lives and way too many enemies for such young age." Carter whispers, hugging the demigod back. When Percy steps back he is smiling, but his eyes are wet.

"It's a wonderful gift. I'll never take it off." Percy says as he straps it on his left wrist. He reaches out to cardle Carter's face gently in his hand, thumb stroking his cheek fondly. "I love you so much. You have no idea." he says, voice thick with emotion.

"I love you too." Carter leans into the light touch, heart pounding with joy. They spend a few moments just standing in the moonlight, but eventually leave in the direction of the Big House. Percy wraps Carter in one last hug and kisses him sweetly one last time before they turn in for the night, both happy and content.