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Do you need help for the french class?

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Piper

 

“Pip’s, can you please answer my question?”

For the 100th time, Piper wished she could just dig a hole in the ground, burry herself in and never talk to anyone again. Because the person talking was her French teacher, and because the French teacher was her mother, Aphrodite. And, well, Aphrodite, being the loving mother she was, never understood why Piper wanted to be called ‘miss McLean’, or ‘miss’, or even ‘hey, you’… anything BUT ‘Pip’s’, ‘honey’, ‘sweety’ and any other name she nevertheless used every time she talked to her daughter in class.

Since the ground didn’t seem like it would swallow her down, she raised her head and locked her gaze to the colorful fireworks that were Aphrodite’s eyes. She didn’t want to meet the other’s gazes.

Anyway, it wasn’t necessary: if she had looked over the classroom, she would have seen that almost all eyes were on her mother. Obviously, like always, the major part of the boys was drooling, mentally if not physically, over her mom. Because, yes, you could easily believe Aphrodite was just Piper’s older sister – a thousandth time prettier, this is. With her long hair… and… well, you couldn’t really describe her, because it seemed like no one could agree on her face features (and not only her face, for Piper’s great annoyance). Her little French accent made her even more popular, and the French class was never empty.

A lot of girls were admiring Aphrodite, too (Piper, I don’t understand how your mother can have such pretty hair! Oh, Piper, can your mother teach me how she’s doing her makeup, it’s so perfect! Piper, were did your mom bought this amazing coat? Blah blah blah). Leo, her older friend here, couldn’t help but getting lost in contemplation occasionally, and even Frank – Frank! – would get red and stutter when she would talk to him, which made her mother think he was kind but a bit simple-minded.

But Jason was just taking notes. Of course he would take notes… being the perfect man he was. He let his blond hair grow a bit longer this autumn, and gods if Piper agreed with that. He was writing fast, sometimes looking at the slides on the board and looking back to his paper; and he only looked at his mother when she was speaking. He was three seats further from her (she as much as possible tried to be at the bottom of the class for French) so she couldn’t see the little scar on his lower lip, but she could imagine it.

She always had a crush on him. Not only was he kind, a good friend, a talented athlete and a good student, but he also was incredibly gorgeous. He has those sky-blue eyes, this low sexy voice, and a body… Given that the weather was still sunny and hot, he was wearing a simple t-shirt with rolled up sleeves, and Piper could swear she could see his abs through the fabric – obviously she could see his pecs, but she could even see them during winter. In short, Jason Grace was the sexiest man she has ever seen.

And last year he had confessed he liked her, too, and it had been the better day of her life… but they had tried to date and it hadn’t worked. They had remained good friends, but Piper could tell she wasn’t totally ok with that.

“Sweety?”

Fuck! ‘Pip’s’ was the nickname she hated the less to hear on class, but 'sweety'… she needed to stop day-dreaming about a certain boy.

“Sorry miss, I wasn’t listening.”

It was true, but her voice wasn’t ashamed; it was bored with a bit of defiance in it. Dam it, she was bilingual! She didn’t need to be in this stupid French class!

“I was saying, what’s the name of the French time used for the first of two actions set in the future?”

“It’s the futur antérieur”, she mumbled.

“Right! Now let’s see how the futur antérieur is used in adjunction with the futur simple. For that, look at the…”

But Piper wasn’t listening anymore. She was always bored in her mother’s class, and Aphrodite knew it – that was the only reason she was questioning her. To keep her awake.

Well, thought Piper, let’s take another nap. But the class wasn’t over yet.

Five minutes before the end, the principal, Chiron, entered, followed by a student Piper never saw, for what she reminded. She knew almost everyone, which was an exploit seeing the number of students. Because of her position at the bottom of the class she couldn’t see him clearly, but she could see messy black hair, a smile, jeans and a brown leather strap at his right wrist.

“Excuse me for interrupting your class, miss McLean, but here’s the new student I talked you about”, Chiron said with his kind voice.

A new student? How interesting. Piper bent over her desk, trying to observe him. Unlike other new students, he didn’t seem to be stressed; he just seemed like he knew all of them for a long time. And, strangely, he was not staring at her mother.

You may think Piper was paranoid with the guys and her mother, but she wasn’t. She reeeeeeally wasn’t. She had heard discussions in the hallways about her mother, and she had wanted to laugh or to vomit at what was suggested.

“Okay, class? We will continue next week. For now, let me introduce your new class partner, Percy Jackson. He’s coming from New York, from Manhattan – I’m good?”

Percy, for it seemed to be his name, answered with a short ‘yup.’ Yeah, he really didn’t seem stressed at all.

“So, ladies and gentlemen, you know what to do! Be kind, make him visit, love him, invite him to prom, etcetera etcetera.”

Despite her being annoying in class, Piper loved her mother. She had that talent to make people comfortable, to let them relax, and even to make them work! Strangely, if another teacher said those precise words it would probably just have been weird, but in her mother’s mouth it was the funniest thing of the day.

“Piper? Can you come please?” said Aphrodite with her sunny smile.

Phew, no ‘sweety’ this time. She knew why she called her. Getting up, she gathered her stuff and displayed a smile on her face, this smile that made people willing to do whatever she wanted. Guess it comes from Mom.

“Percy, Piper knows this place like no one else. She will be your tutor for your first steps with us. Aaaaand we’re done with the awkward presentation part, so see you next week class!”

“Pleased to meet”, Piper said in a loud voice, trying to get over the noises of other students gathering their stuff, scrapping their chairs on the ground and chatting.

“Pleasure”, he said back in a similar voice with a smile.

She finally had the opportunity to really look at him and, well… she only wanted to look closer. She usually preferred blond guys – there was a particular name in top of the list – but this man was perfect. And most of all, he had eyes… she thought she would never find eyes more beautiful than Jason’s, but the sea-green, lightly blue eyes in front of her were astonishing. And yeah, Jason’ smile was cute and sexy, but this guy’ smile was so hot… there was no other word to describe it. She saw Annabeth leaving the class and stumbling on a chair, her eyes on the new guy with obvious interest. Now that's interesting… Annabeth was not at all into romance, sex or anything related to – too time consuming. Well, until there.

But she knew how to compose herself.

“Okay, so I suggest we make the boring historical tour now, so we can go to the funnier part sooner. Deal?”

“Deal”, Percy said back with this incredible smile of his.

They were about to leave when Piper noticed something, or someone, wrong. Jason was still on his chair, his eyes wide open on Percy. He was silently articulating something that was clearly ‘No no no no no no'.

“Jason? Everything’s fine?”

He looked at her then quickly back at Percy, and Piper did too. The dark-haired student had his fists and jaw clenched and his gaze fixed on Jason.

“Well, that’s a surprise”, Percy said with a slow voice that made Piper shiver with no reason. “I wasn't expecting a chance to see you again, Grace.”

Chapter Text

Jason

 

He really was trying to focus on his notes. He wasn’t good at French, with the gendered nouns, with all those conjugations and grammar rules… He had to get better. But the more he tried, the more it seemed French didn’t like him.

That’s why during the summer break he had decided to really work his French; but still, the class was really hard. Despite her kindness and her radiation of joy, Aphrodite was really demanding: for her it was like a game, so if it was too easy there would be no fun. Most of the people in the class had worst grades than his, but still, his weren’t good. Well, the fact that half of the students were staring at the teacher and not listening to her surely didn’t help.

So when Chiron entered, he didn’t lift his head at first. He wanted to finish the exercise they were working at.

“Okay class,” Aphrodite said, “we will continue next week. For now, let me introduce your new class partner, Percy Jackson.”

Jason raised his head up like a lightning. Please tell me this is a joke! But there could be no doubt – it had been two years, but Percy was the kind of guy you can’t forget, even if you want to. He was just taller; his hair were a bit shorter – but still longer than Jason’s – and his muscles had almost doubled in volume. But his eyes hadn’t changed, and he had this very same expression than three years ago, this kind of… naughty expression that made the teachers cautious.

Percy and him were in the same high school for their freshmen and sophomore years in New York, then Jason’s Father had decided it was time to move out. He had been highly relieved, because it meant he was never going to see Percy Jackson again.

He remembered his two first year of high school, having Percy Jackson in front of him… he was the popular guy, the one that didn’t care about rules, the football player everyone wanted to be friend with. Jason played football too and that’s where it all started.

First mistake: Jason had fallen for the man.

Because, yes, Jason was gay. He tried to convince himself he was bisexual, but he knew, deep down, that he was one-hundred percent gay (or maybe ninety five percent, but whatever). No one knew, not even his closest friends, except his sister Thalia. It had been good, having someone to talk to about it, but just before the Percy thing Thalia had enlisted in the army, and so once again he was alone with what he saw as his shameful secret.

Second mistake: he had tried to get closer to him.

But Percy, obviously, didn’t wanted to be his friend. The mockery had just been occasional at first, but then it had been constant. And from crush, Percy had become his nightmare.

 

Then after the astonishment came the anger. A deep real anger.

Why?! Why does he have to come back?!

He took his paper and his pen and tossed them in his bag. Getting up quickly he threw it on his shoulder and left the room rapidly without paying attention to Piper or her mother, deliberately jostling the fucking man.

Fuck, why does he have to come back!

He walked angrily for a few minutes, not really aware of where he was going; but slowly his anger cooled down and he eventually stopped in the parking of the school. After a few minutes staying still, he sat down under a tree, replaying the scene of the French class in his head. Percy had looked so self-confident, so… himself… and worst of all, he was even more attractive than two years ago.

Jason still had this silly crush on the asshole.

Why does he have to come back…

Then after the anger came the despair.

Not again.

Chapter Text

Piper

 

After Jason slammed the door, there was a few seconds of complete silence. The first to talk was Aphrodite.

“What… what just happened?”

Piper looked at her and raised her arms, palms up, and made a face. I’ve absolutely no idea! She had never seen Jason act like that. He was so thoughtful and composed!

“Well,” intervened the new one, “we were in the same school two years ago, and… seems like he doesn’t have good memories of the good ol’ time”, he said with a shrug.

Piper nodded and tried to hang her smile up. She indicated the door to Percy and followed him out of the class, where she began with the history of the high school.

But her brain was only half-present. She was wondering what could had happened to make Jason react like that. Bullying? A teen’s competition for masculinity?

Jealousy?

But she couldn’t believe Jason would be jealous, for it absolutely not stuck to his personality (and because she thought he had nothing to be jealous of, but this wasn’t objective).

She knew teens could be particularly cruel, so it maybe was something like bullying.

Whoa, calm down! she said to herself. There could basically be a hundred other reasons for such a hatred…

But still, bullying was credible. She hadn’t known Jason at this time; maybe he was a nerd, a reader, a musician… any of these poor people who were too often ridiculed by the popular guys. It was hard to believe Jason could’ve been unpopular any day, though…

And a second point came to weaken her theory: Percy was one of the most sympathetic guys she had ever talked to. After Jason’s reaction she kind of expected a ruthless dumbass, but Percy was the very opposite. He happened to be a really pleasant man, a sharp-minded, relaxed joker who made her laugh easily.

 

After half an hour touring the school, they finally came back to their starting point, and Piper felt more comfortable with Percy than with a lot of other students she knew for a year. She felt totally comfortable, in fact.

“Ok, we’re finally over! It’s lunch break, so I’m gonna eat. Wanna go with us?”

“Yeah, sure.”

They headed towards the cafeteria, and it’s only at midway that Piper realized Jason would surely be with her other friends. Was it a good idea, seeing how the two boys reacted earlier? She doubted that… but how could she say it to Percy? ‘Hey, the guy who hates you is actually one of my best friends – and my ex and my crush together – so do you wanna eat with us for your first day? It’ll be cool!’ Bad idea. She decided to try another approach.

“So, hum… you know Jason.”

It was an ascertainment more than a real question, but she was curious.

“Yeah”, he said after a few seconds of silence. “We happened to be in the same school for two years… freshman and sophomore years, actually. And as I said we didn’t get along very well.”

“Okay.” Piper nodded.

Nevertheless, his answer didn’t satisfy her. She knew Jason, and he wasn’t the kind of people who freeze then jostle a guy just because ‘we didn’t get along very well’.

But it was pretty obvious that Percy didn’t want to talk of it anymore, so she started a more neutral subject.

 

When they arrived, her friends were here, around their usual table. Wait… where’s Calypso? Shit, where’s Jason?

“Hey guys!” she said as they approached. She avoided, thanks to her experience, a bread ball Leo threw to her.

“Leo, for the thousandth time!” exclaimed Annabeth, “don’t play with food!” As always she was half-pissed off, half-amused.

“Sorry mom!” he answered.

“Guys, here’s Percy, which most of you saw this morning. Percy, here’s the Argo!”

“The what?”

“It’s a stupid joke from last year”, Piper explained, “we had this work to do, Frank, Leo and I, about mythology, and the name stayed!”

Percy nodded, looking at the ‘crew’ with his hot smile (hey, it’s objective, he has a hot smile).

“Okay, let’s begin the list!” Piper said with the voice of a presenter. “Always in trouble, always talking, always making rubbish jokes, let me introduce you Leeeeeo Valdez!”

“’Sup man?” Leo said with his trouble-maker smile, shaking Percy’s hand exuberantly.

“The youngest and the kindest, the most pondered and upstanding: let me introduce you our little sister, Haaaaazel Levesque!”

“Nice to meet you, Percy”, Hazel said with her sweet voice.

“The greatest and the strongest, but also the most adorable and shy, let me introduce you Fraaaaaaank Zhang!”

“How are you?” Frank said, getting up and shaking Percy’s hand ceremoniously.

“You’re such a moron, McLean”, Annabeth said, crossing her arms with a grin.

“Aaaaaaand finally the most clever, sportive, insupportable, boring and annoying girl of the world: let me introduce you Aaaaaaaanabeth Chase!”

Annabeth finally laughed.

“Sorry about her, Percy, she’s a bit limited but she’s kind”, she said, shaking his hand.

“And it seems you’re the brain of the group, I get it?” he replied.

Oh my gods, is Annabeth blushing?!

Annabeth never blushed. When she wanted to do something, she set her plan and accomplished it. No blush.

Annabeth has a crush! Piper warbled in her head. Speaking of crushes…

“Leo, where’s Calypso?”

“She’s on this trip with her art class, remember? I talked you ‘bout it last week”, replied the puckish boy.

“Oh yes, I totally forgot. Calypso is Leo’s girlfriend”, she explained to Percy.

“No way. You have a girlfriend?” Percy ribbed Leo.

“Yeah man! The most beautiful, talented, smartest girl.”

“I thought the smartest was Annabeth.”

“Well, I can’t say the opposite because I care for my life, but Calypso is very clever. But don’t worry, I can teach you how to do with girls!”

“No thanks!”

While Percy and Leo began a typically masculine verbal fight, Piper got closer to Annabeth.

“He’s cool”, she said to her friend.

“Yeah, I think too. It seems like he’s getting along well with everybody!”

Erh… not reeeealy. Piper didn’t want to screw the good vibes, but she wanted to hear Annabeth’ point of view.

“Well, not exactly”, she said in a low voice.

“What do you mean?”

“Where’s Jason?”

“I don’t know. He was supposed to eat with us like usually, but he’s a free man. Why?”

And Piper told her what happened this morning.

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Ok, so… what could that mean?”

“I was hopping you’d have a genius idea?”

“A simply teenage rivalry maybe?”

“You know Jason. It seems a bit light for his reaction, don’t you think?”

“Yes… we don’t know Percy. He could have heavy secrets… and Jason too, in fact.”

“Yeah, Mr Hottie is so dark and mysterious.”

Piper couldn’t resist. And anyway it was obvious they didn’t know enough of the story between Jason and Percy to talk about it, so…

“Hey no, I didn’t say that!”

“No but you surely as hell thought it!”

Annabeth smiled, and blushed a little. Piper poked her with her elbow.

“What, it’s just a simple observation! He’s mysterious, because we only know him for a few hours! Everybody’s mysterious like this.”

“Hmmm”, said Annabeth, looking at Leo and Percy.

“Oh-oh, there’s a girl who’s falling!”

Annabeth held back a laugh burst, making an everything but sexy noise, and before Piper could react she had stolen two fries from her box. Piper made an outraged face, then grabbed Annabeth’s burger and took the biggest bite she could.

 

The lunch happened to be a very good moment. Percy integrated almost immediately the group and it was obvious everyone liked him; but even if Piper laughed, giggled, shouted, sang loudly and, in brief, had one of the best lunches of the year, she was worried about Jason. Was she wrong when she had invited Percy for lunch? Where was Jason?

What could Percy had done to him?

Chapter Text

Percy

 

Percy felt good within this group. These people were funny, pleasant, with different tempers but in a good atmosphere. He liked it, more than the bunch of dumbasses he hung out with in his ancient school. Hell, I was such a dumbass myself… But this moving was an occasion to make a new start. He wanted to be a better person, and obviously the ‘Argo’ included only valuable peoples. How can I say that after so little time? Well, I didn’t hear any mean jock on someone else, any ‘manly’ gross comment about a girl nor any of these snaky hypocrites compliment some girls are specialist of. It’s a pretty good indicator. The tour with Piper, despite it’s boredom potential, had been a nice moment, and he already felt the seeds of a good friendship here; but the lunch had been even better.

He knew that Jason Grace was part of their group, but luckily he wasn’t there. Honestly, Percy wasn’t really craving for their next encounter… he was a bit shameful about his commentary of this morning and was totally feeling guilty for what he did two years ago. Of course he was not the only one to blame, and certainly not the worse of his ‘friends’, but he was the one who initiated the thing. And seeing Jason this morning, with this anger and this fear in the gaze… he reacted like he would have two years ago.

He had made a decision. He wanted to be someone good. And he didn’t even begin the class that he fucked up with Jason! He had to rectify that.

 

After the lunch they headed to their different classes. Percy had biology, which was his favorite. He was pretty good at it although, and he had chosen to have the advanced class; so he wasn’t going to be with the others.

“Sorry guys, but… can someone help me? I can’t even read this dam thing” he said, giving up understanding his timetable and his plan.

“Whoa, we have a genius here!” chuckled Leo. “Biology, huh?”

“Yeah, I like it. Physics also, but there’s… too many numbers.”

“I totally agree”, said Piper. “I’m sorry, I know I was supposed to be your guide, but it’s later than I realized, our class is at the other side of the school, and Mrs Damet is a real demon when you’re late…”

“Woah, woah!” exclaimed Annabeth. “Ok Piper, calm down, I’ll help him! Mrs Damet likes me, she’ll not mind if I’m a bit late.”

Piper looked at Annabeth for a second, then a smile crossed her face.

“Ok, good. Thanks Annie, I’ll pay you back! See you Percy, have fun!”

She was already running towards the door.

“Thank you, Annabeth. I, uh, I easily get lost in big buildings I don’t know.”

“You're welcome”, she said with a smile.

Getting her bag she headed to the doors, waving at Percy to follow her.

They walked silently for a moment, Percy being busy texting to his mother. She wanted to know how his first day was and if he had met good people.

“Sorry, it’s my mom”, he explained to the blonde girl. “She’s the best, but she tends to worry a bit too much about me.”

“Yes, no problem.”

“Done!” Percy finally said.

“So I’m curious, why would you leave New York? For me it was the best town of the world.”

“I can only agree with that. But you see, my mom remarried, and Paul – it’s the name of the lucky man – worked in a school at the periphery of NY, so they thought it would be a nice change to move here. We’re only one hour away from Manhattan here, after all.”

“I see. And don’t you miss the town a bit?”

“Honestly? I miss it downright”, he laughed. “The klaxons, the shouts, the fast-foods at every street corner… Well, it sounded better in my head.”

“No, I totally get it, I’m from NY too. You see, my mother works in New York for Washington – for the department of defense, actually – and…”

“Wow, now that’s awesome. Sorry.”

“Anyway, this school was the only one to offer an initiation to the architecture class and that’s my big dream. So here I am! I go back to my parent’s every week-end, so I don’t miss the town too much… and it was ok for me because I had a good friend here, Piper.”

“Yeah, she seems to be someone of… unique.”

“They all are”, she said with something like a mother’s fondness. “And here we are! Your class is the one at the bottom of the corridor, here”, she said, showing the door.

“Thanks”, he said, heading toward his class, when he suddenly thought about something. “Annabeth, can I ask you just one question?”

She stopped and faced him.

“Yeah, just hurry up. I’m going to be late.”

“Do you know Jason Grace?”

“Uh, yes. He usually eats with us, but I supposed he had other things to do today… You know him?”

“Well, we were in the same school two years ago, and… there’s some things I’d like to talk about with him.”

“Ok. You’ll see each other a lot, I suppose, we have a lot of class in common. Is it a problem?”

“I guess Piper told you about this morning.”

“… Yes.”

“Ok”, he said, sighing. “He hates me, and he has good reasons. I… I was a jerk at the time, but… I try not to be one anymore. I want to tell him how I’m sorry, how I want to be better, and… I don’t know. I need to talk to him, but obviously he absolutely doesn’t want to…”

“You’ll have the occasion”, she replied with a smile. “Jason’s a good man. It would be a shame that you two don’t be the best friends.” She began to walk back to her class, then stopped and turned again. “I don’t know how you were two years ago, but for me you’re a good man too. Jason will see that also, just… give him time.” Then with that she smiled and began to run.

 

The biology was hard because he had missed a month of class in this school, but happily the teacher was understanding.

For as long as he remembered, Percy had always been very bad at school. At elementary school first he had problems of attention and concentration, and even if those got better after, he remained persuaded that he was incapable of having good results. He knew Gabe was the one to blame for that, for telling him he wasn’t good at anything… But luckily he finally discovered, in middle school, that he was in fact capable of having good results when he bothered and worked enough.

 

His third class of the day was history, which he… didn’t appreciate as much as biology. But just before he entered the class he received two messages on his phone.

'Jason’s here, looks like there’s a storm cloud above his head. Just to warn you'

'And btw it’s Annabeth'

He let out a little laugh. He wasn’t surprised at all to see that Annabeth texted with a good spelling. He quickly saved her in his contacts, took a deep breath then opened the door.

Time to have history!

Chapter Text

 

Jason

 

Breath.

It’s gonna be ok.

Breath.

He had to repeat the words to himself at least a dozen times before it actually works. He surely didn’t want to have a panic attack, and most of all not here, in the school’s parking. Not after all this time…

Because he had had panic attacks at the end of his freshman year. He only had three, but it was three moments he would remember for all his life.

 

One: last month of the year. He has just arrived at school. He’s waiting, in front of the building. He has to enter. He doesn’t want though.

Percy, Octavian, Bryce, Dylan, laughing and jostling, enter the school. Percy turns his head, sees him. Winks.

First panic attack.

 

Second: he’s on the parking, waiting for his stepmother.

Hey blondie! Wanna come home with me? Have fun?’ Bryce’s here with Percy, smiling, his car’s door opened. ‘I need some company I think.’ They laugh. He sees his stepmother’s car coming. ‘Or maybe I should ask her if I may come with you’, says Percy. ‘Don’t ya think Jay?

Second panic attack.

 

Three: school’s over. They have won the football match, though it wasn’t thanks to Jason. He gets changed in the lockers room. Percy arrives, alone this time. ‘Hey Jay, uh… can we talk?

Go fuck yourself, Percy!

I just wanna talk.

Leave me alone, shitass.

Percy gets angry. ‘You really wanna play like that? See who’ll win? Ok. You’ll regret it, Grace. You thought your life was hell? Wait to see what’s coming next. Enjoy summer.’ He hits Jason’s locker with his fist. ‘See you next year.’ He leaves.

Third panic attack.

 

It was this day, although, when his father asked him what was wrong with him during the match, that he finally cracked. He explained everything to his father, cried, and as expected Zeus ordered him to stop crying and Jason felt even more alone… but the next day Zeus announced they were moving.

It has been one of the rare moments where Jason was happy to know that Zeus Grace was his father. Because he usually wished he had other parents than his father, who never said he loved him, or his stepmother Hera, who was… kind in her way, but who didn’t forgive him for not being her son. Even if she liked him much more than Thalia… He knew it was one of the reasons for which Thalia enlisted in the army. To piss of Zeus and to get away from Hera.

 

Thinking about Thalia was what helped him to recompose himself. He could almost see her, furious and concerned at the same time, and hear her.

Get the fuck up, Jason! I forbid you to let him have such a power over you!

He clenched his fists, breathed slowly then got up. Putting his bag on, he headed towards the cafeteria.

It’ll be alright. I have friends, he hasn’t any. Roles are reversed.

That’s why when he saw Percy laughing with Leo and the others through the window, he felt like he was in a nightmare. Like if last year was only a dream, where he took Percy’s place, and now he was finally waking up. He once again felt fear and despair boiling inside, like it had boiled so much two years ago, but this time he was not going to give up that easily. He slowly had rebuilt himself during those two years, and now he was stronger and Percy had no more power over him.

They don’t know him. He will soon see that they’re not like his previous friends, and he’ll reveal who he really is.

He knew his friends would never be like Percy, and he knew that they would never let him down. He just had to talk to them, to make them understand…

But for now he was not ready to endure a lunch with Percy fucking Jackson, so he just went to the football field and ate his sandwiches in the bleachers.

It was delicious, like always… of course, when your sandwiches are made by a chef, they can only be delicious. But he surely would rather have liked a shitty sandwich prepared by his mother… or Hera, since his mother has died when his was four. Even by Zeus. Shit, his family was so rickety he had more hopes about his stepmother than about his own father…

When he had finished to eat he switched his phone on and texted the recent events to Thalia. He didn’t expect her to answer, since she hadn’t so much time where she could, but the answer came quickly.

‘WTF WHATS HE DOIN HERE?? THIS FCKING ASSHOLE!!!’

‘Ok. Im calm’

‘Ive got ur back Jazz, u know that’

‘I trust u’

‘But dn’t do anythg stpd ok?’

‘Thats my specialty not urs’

‘Anway hru?’

He laughed. Thalia had always known how to cheer him up and it was just what he needed.

‘I’m fine. I’ll not let him screw it all up. And dont call me Jazz’, he answered.

‘Here its my baby brther’

‘Ill think bout it Jazz'

‘I s hldnt have ansrd u, bt I saw his fcking name and cldnt resist’

‘But Ive to stop now’

‘Ill call u tnight’

‘I rly have to stp’

He chuckled, imagining she had been reprimanded a few times. It explained the over-abbreviation.

He waited for his next class reading his French notes, texting to his friends about trifles or playing on his phone, and he finally gathered his stuff and headed towards the biology room, breathing slowly.

It’s gonna be fine. Percy will not dare to bother me. And fuck if he dares I’ll ruin his pretty face!

Even if he thought Percy was sexy, he still hated him. Hell, he hated him even more for being so dam sexy and still being such a shitass! From a bit afraid and apprehensive he became angry and ready to fight. If Percy had shown up in this moment Jason would have punched him in the face right away; it’s why it surely was a good thing that Percy wasn’t here when he entered, and none of his friends neither.

He sat at the bottom of the class. Ordinarily he tried not to sit too far from the teacher, because he would not listen to anything, but this time he knew he was not going to listen anyway, so at least he would have a bit more of privacy. What was he going to say to Percy? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. But what if he sat with them? What was he gonna do? Well I’ll see. Everything will be ok.

His phone vibrated and he saw Piper’s name.

‘Sorry Jase, we’re just leavn the cafeteria. Didnt lookd at the clock’

He smiled. The Argo had been late many times… When they had good times they just forgot the time; one hour ran like ten minutes.

Piper finally opened the door, a bit out of breath, and headed towards him, a big smile on her face. Obviously they had an excellent moment… and Percy was with them and not you, said a nasty voice in his head. He didn’t paid attention to it though; he had never let dark thought led him. Or almost.

But a good surprise was waiting for him: after Piper came Leo then Frank, but no asshole. Hazel was one year younger than them, so no Hazel. And… why no Annabeth?

“Jase! I wondered if I’d ever have the pleasure to see you again!” Piper exclaimed as she sat. “We missed you at lunch…”

“Yeah, I know. Sorry, I was just… talking with my sister.” It was true.

“Oh, I see. It’s absolutely not because Percy was with us then.”

Of course… Piper had seen his reaction this morning.

“You know what? It absolutely was because I saw this shithead” he said, anger coming back. “Why is he not here anyway?”

“He’s in the advanced class.”

“Oh.” Honestly he didn’t expected that. Percy in an advanced class? That same Percy who skipped class two years ago just because he was bored?

“Ok, will you tell me what happened? He was quite… evasive.”

“Of course he was”, Jason said with a sneer. “He probably tried to seduce you and knew that talking about a man he despised and wanted dead was not the best way.”

Piper looked at him in a strange way; maybe she was surprised by his sarcastic and harsh voice.

“Who was Percy, Jason? What did he do to you?”

He looked at her strange multicolored eyes and fell into them. One part of him wanted to tell her everything, and the other one wanted to keep silent until death. But he knew which one was going to win: when Piper used the power of her concerned voice and her kaleidoscopic gaze she always had her answers. Besides he knew he had to talk to someone, and to someone who was really here.

“He…”

“Open the windows, it stinks!” shouted a voice he knew too well. Mrs Damet was the caricature of the embittered teacher: small, always dressed with an old green skirt and an old green jacket, with hanging jowls, a piercing haze and a hissing breath. She allowed herself to be late but not the students, but happily for Annabeth she arrived just then.

“Sorry for being late, Mrs Damet”, she said with her best I-am-a-good-student-and-I-feel-bad-for-being-late voice. The old lady grunted but just went to her desk, and Annabeth came to sit next to Piper. Any other student would have received a sermon (or for Leo an immediate expulsion of the class), but there wasn’t any teacher in the school who didn’t appreciate Annabeth at least a little.

“This is so unfair” said Piper, crossing her arms and turning her head away from the blonde.

“McLean, you didn’t even got your things out.”

“Point taken.”

“Why are you late, Annabeth?”

“Uh, I was… I’ll explain you later. Seems like the old crow’s already upset.”

“She escorted her new boyfriend”, said Leo with a huge smile, turning on his seat in a swift.

“VALDEZ! I hear you! First and last warning!”

With a spectacular eyes roll Leo turned back.

“Who, Percy??” Jason whispered to Piper, frowning.

“He was lost. I promise we’ll tell you everything you want to know later – and you will tell us everything we want to know – but Annabeth is right, she’s particularly nervy toady.”

“Ok. You just need to understand, Piper, that this man is nothing but a complete fucking asshole.”

She looked at him, an indecipherable expression on her face, then nodded and looked at Mrs Damet.

 

Jason liked biology, usually, but the teacher hated everyone, so everyone hated her and her lessons. Today Mrs Damet was obviously pissed off and so was he, so the biology lesson was even worse than usually.

“Errh, finally!” he exclaimed when the bell rang. “Ok guys, are we ‘later’?” he said to the girls while they were taking their stuff.

“I suppose we are”, said Piper cautiously. “Look, I’m his guide for the week so I’ll have to… well, to guide him; and Annabeth was just helping me helping him.”

“I know, I know”, he said as they were going out the class. “Listen, I don’t want you to just… drop him. I’m warning you, that’s all.” He looked at the wall before adding, as for himself: “Even if he would deserve that.”

There was a moment of silence before Annabeth talked.

“Come on, Jason. What’s the story? He said to me he was feeling guilty for…”

“Oh yeah, he told you that? Did he tell you how much he enjoyed making my life a continuous hell? Did he tell you how he used to break my things, to laugh at me or to push me anywhere? Did he tell you how he smiled when the teachers didn’t react because he said it was just some ‘buddy’s teasing’?”

“Oh my gods Jason, I… I…”

“Yeah, your friend has a lot to be worry for. But maybe his pretty face convinced you he was an angel?”

“Jason, calm down! I’m sorry for all that, I really am, but don’t you dare to suggest something like this!” Annabeth shouted, getting angry herself.

“Ok, ok, guys!” exclaimed Piper, separating the two. “Let’s not forget we’re all friends!”

“Yeah”, sighed Jason, “I’m sorry, Anna. I’m just… seeing him back in school just brings a lot of things back to the surface.”

“I know; I didn’t realize how much he hurt you. But, Jason… don’t you think he could redeem himself?”

“Honestly, Annabeth, I… I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. But what I know is that I’ll not be able to do like if nothing had happened between us.”

“And we’ll never ask you to do that” said Piper, laying her hand on his arm. “But just… prove him you’re a better person than he was. Prove him he didn’t break you. Give him a chance to change.”

“I’m not going to kill him, if that’s what you want to know. I’m not gonna shout or laugh at him, punch him or say some bullshit about him; I’m not gonna do all these things he did to me. And I’m not going to do more.”

“That’s a lot already. Thank you. And you know we’ll always be by your side, right?”

“Yeah man, always!” said Leo, whom Jason totally forgot.

“Yeah, I know. Thank you, guys. Now can you please stop circling me as if I am a bomb about to explode?” he said with a smile, trying to lighten the conversation.

It worked: Leo, overflowing of energy as always, punched him in the back then ran to their next class; Frank had a little smile; Annabeth laughed and Piper stopped in the middle of the way, waiting to be at at least nine feet from him before walking again.

Chapter Text

Annabeth

 

When they sat in history class, Annabeth was brainstorming. She really had liked the moment she and Percy had together, even if it was only for a few minutes; and it wasn’t because of his pretty face and his hot smile (well, at last not entirely). Percy was funny and it was nice discussing with him; she really felt a spark between them before biology – a spark of friendship, for now.

But if Jason was true, he had also done terrible things. I mean, of course he’s true, but is he really objective? She immediately felt guilty for blaming the victim instead of the culprit, but she also knew that she needed to listen every point of view before judging anything. And she also was convinced that Percy’s remorse and desire of changing was sincere. But would it be enough?

She decided one thing: she was going to help Percy. Of course she barely knew him, but she had this gift to read what people had in their hearts and so had Piper; and they both thought Percy deserved a chance to prove he had changed. Her second decision was that she wouldn’t let Jason fear and hate him again. She wanted to bring the two guys closer.

If that’s not a challenge…

But she liked challenges. She always had. She sent a quick text to Piper asking her opinion then another one to Percy, to warn him. Jason was smiling and chatting with Leo, but she could easily see his tensed shoulders and the way he quickly looked at every student who walked in. Then his smile suddenly fell and came back right away as Percy entered. He looked at them, analyzing how they was placed. Annabeth, Jason, Piper then Frank were at the second line and Leo was right behind Piper. The seat next to Annabeth was empty and he looked at it, clearly hesitating, before he walked… and sat three chairs further.

She knew it was a wise decision. They had to begin slowly. She cautiously took her phone again, careful not to be seen either by the teacher or Jason; a difficult goal, but she managed.

Not too alone?’ The answer came only twenty seconds later.

I wouldnt thought u’d be the textin-in-class type Chase’, then ‘no Im good. Dont wanna rush him

I think you’re right

Did u talkd to him?

Yes… he’s very angry. He needs time.

She waited two minutes before the answer finally came.

I know, I dont wanna interfere in ur friendship. U want me to leave all of u alone? I could totlly understand

And this what the last proof Annabeth needed. She was going to show this man to Jason. He deserved a friend like the new Percy, not a nightmare like the ancient one.

Don’t be stupid. He’ll like you… one day.

I hope

She turned her head to look at him. He smiled but his eyes were full of worry. She smiled at him then turned back.

 

Before, Annabeth thought that no one could stay on alert during one hour of history class, but Jason didn’t relax even one second. He didn’t write much and he was staring at the teacher as if he had insulted his mother. Piper used all her skills to make him laugh or just smile, and he would, but neither his arm nor his forehead would relax.

Every time Annabeth glanced at Percy he was writing or listening to the teacher, and he on the other hand seemed totally relaxed, his legs crossed under his desk, his face enlightened by a grin that seemed to be permanent (and god if it was hot). But one time she noticed a quick glimpse towards her – or nearby. Anyway, it was a strange hour: she could feel the tension in the air, like static electricity waving between the two men, and she began to feel on edge. When the bell rang she almost jumped of her chair, quickly taking her notebook. This Percy-Jason thing was fascinating but so far it was also very bad for her attention in class.

She was waiting for her friends when Percy walked straight towards Jason.

“Hi, Jason”, he said.

The blond man looked back and his expression instantly hardened.

“Percy.”

“Hum… can you… can I please talk to Jason? Privately?”

Annabeth looked at Piper, who looked back at her then at Jason with anxiety. I suppose I have the same look. What the fuck is he doing?? I said he needed time!

Jason closed his eyes, breathed heavily then opened them. He crossed his arms and his face lost any expression.

“It’s okay guys, go. I suppose we have to talk indeed.”

Chapter Text

Percy

 

Percy was feeling more than uncomfortable in front of those electric blue eyes. During the last ten minutes he had elaborated his plan, composing a speech in his head for Jason; but now the whole thing didn’t seem a good idea anymore. Some nice words would never erase what he did: Annabeth was right, he had to show Jason how much he had changed, he had to let the time do its job.

“I thought you wanted to talk to me?” said the blonde man. His tone was neutral but his whole body was hostile.

“Yeah. I, uh, I…” Percy cleared his throat, trying to gather his thoughts and to relax – it was strangely hard for him to keep his eyes locked on Jason’s. He’s a bit taller than me, noticed the part of his brain that was always fluttering. Will you shut the fuck up? thought the rest. “I’m sorry” he said, throwing his beautiful speech through the window. “I know what I did… back there… it was horrible. Ugly. I know”, his voice began to speed up, “that I hurt you, that I hurt you a lot, and I understand, totally, why you wouldn’t forgive me; and I just wanted – and needed! – to say you that I’m sorry, even if it’s not enough, of course. But I was in a hard pass myself, and I had some really bad friends who were pressuring me; and I know! I know”, he pursued, seeing that Jason was frowning, “that it’s not an excuse, and it’s absolutely not what I’m saying, but I just, I needed to tell you. And now that I had told you everything and I’m feeling stupid, I’m not gonna bother you anymore, I’ll let you be.”

Jason’s expression didn’t change, but his body relaxed and he uncrossed his arms, putting his hands in his pockets. Percy felt a positive change in the other man’s posture, something almost imperceptible, but still something.

“I don’t think you really get how you made my life a hell”, he said in a low voice. “And you’re right, nothing can excuse what you did. But”, he continued with a sigh, “I guess everyone deserves a chance to change. I can give you that. But don’t expect me to act like nothing happened because I can’t.”

Percy looked at him straight in the eyes. It was easier, now that they were not full of anger anymore, but this time it was Jason who looked away first. Percy wished he could know why.

“I didn’t think you’d be so generous. I know I don’t deserve it… ‘cause I wasn’t so, two years ago. Thanks.”

Jason nodded silently, still looking at the wall. Percy didn’t try his luck further – he already had a lot – and headed towards the door.

“Thank you, Percy”, reluctantly said a voice behind him. Percy turned and was met by blue eyes. “For the apologizes. I appreciate, I really do. And I really hope you have changed.”

As he heard that Percy felt some kind of strange shiver, a warm chill inside of him, growing from nothing. He smiled and Jason quickly looked elsewhere, passed ahead and hastily walked away.

Ok, it’s not given, he thought, but this first step is surprisingly successful. I can do it.

At first, when he saw Jason Grace in the school, he had wanted to erase the past and to obtain – to earn – Jason’s pardon. But now he wanted more than that… He wanted to have what had Piper, Annabeth and the others. He wanted to have Jason’s friendship.

 

History was their last class of the day, so he went down to the parking, getting his motorcycle keys, his helmet and his leather jacket in his locker, putting it on. Blackjack was his eighteenth birthday’s advanced present from his parents – his birthday was only in one month. A very expensive present. Ordinarily you don’t know and you don’t ask the price of a present, but it wasn’t exactly an ordinary present. Percy has participated, and he had chosen the bike with Paul.

When he headed towards the black engine he noticed a few students staring at it, with lust and/or surprise.

“Nice beast”, said a kid all dressed in black with a very pale skin. Percy smiled to him and rode the said beast, kicking the starter; the motor started purring, hasty to rush on the road. He was going to put his helmet on when he noticed a group of students a bit further. He easily recognized Piper, Jason, Frank and Hazel, who were all staring at him; he could see Piper’s smile even at the distance. He waved at them and smiled back, then put his helmet on before he released Blackjack on the road. Passing next to them he could distinguish Jason’s expression. He was impressed, obviously.

 

When he arrived home he was feeling good. Simply, delightfully good. This day had gone very well… more than what he expected, to be honest. After he parked his moto in the garage he entered the living room and headed to the kitchen, where he could hear his mother humming. This place was so much better than the little flat they had with Gabe… It only was one of all the good changes Paul had bring, the first being his mother’s happiness. She was stirring a pan that exhaled a divine smell, and he tried to sneak in silently to surprise her but of course he failed.

“I heard Blackjack”, said his mother with a smile in her voice, not even turning to him. “And this leather jacket creaks when you walk”.

“You’re not fun!” He said in a childish tone.

His mother switched off the cooktop then finally looked at him with a fond expression.

“I’m the funniest of all mothers, you know that.” She dusted some imaginary dirt off his sleeve. “You’re very handsome with this jacket. I bet you made a great impression for your first day!”

“You say that just because you’re my mother. And yes, to answer the real question you’re asking, everything went very well! I met some guys with whom I got along well and for now I’m not too lost in class.”

“Oh sweety, I’m so glad!” she said, hugging him.

“And you, you had a nice day?”

“Yes, I unpacked a bit more boxes and arranged some stuff. There’s still some work to do, but we’re almost at the end! And it let me some time to continue my book. I’m at about two thirds now!”

“That’s great”, he said with a smile. “I’m sure it’ll be amazing. All the publishers will fight for it.”

“Of course” she said with an ironic grin.

With a laugh he turned back, hooked his jacket and his helmet on the coat hook of the hall and went upstairs, heading to his room. He had planned to do the single one exercise he had as homework, but when he took his phone to turn it off he saw two texts. The first one was from Luke.

Hey man how’s the new school? Hope you’re okay. Id like to talk can u please call me?

It’s been a year since he had cut ties with his former ‘friends’ and it was one of the best decisions of his life. Luke was the only one who was still trying to contact him. He had a joyless laugh: he knew what Luke really wanted. He didn’t answer and read the second message, from Annabeth.

Hey Percy, me again. I don’t know how it’s even possible but Jason doesn’t look like he’s gonna kill you, so I hope your conversation went well?

Yeah I dont even know myslf’, he answered. ‘I thnk it went as well as it could hve’.

And it obviously had. He kept replaying the scene in his head, not even knowing why, and he was convinced that Jason was ready to forgive him. Why did it matter so much for him, Percy didn’t know, but he knew it does. He wanted to be Jason’s friend.

Chapter Text

Jason

 

“Oh my gods”, exclaimed Piper, “look at this bike! And this jacket he’s wearing!”

“Careful Piper”, laughed Hazel, “you begin to sound like a flighty girl again.” She used those outdated words sometimes; it was her brand, in a way.

“But Hazel, he’s riding a black bike and wears a biker’s jacket! I’m totally a ‘flighty’ girl right now! I have to send a photo to Annabeth.”

Jason didn’t like the heat in his friend’s voice. The worst of it was that he totally agreed with Piper: Percy was even sexier now. And it made him angry. Fuck, Percy was not sexy! He was just… someone bad!

But even of that he wasn’t so sure. The conversation they had a few minutes ago had really shaken his convictions: Percy seemed so… sincere, so remorseful. And fuck, Jason had believed him, despite all the things Percy had done! But how could he be angry when he had this handsome man with his incredible green eyes imploring his pardon? Well, that was the problem: Jason was unable to ignore his stupid hormones, as he was unable to take his eyes off the black bike when Percy passed next to them.

“Nico is here”, said Hazel. “I love you Frank.”

She kissed her boyfriend, waved at Piper and Jason then headed for her brother.

“Ok, I’ll go”, said Frank. “See you tomorrow.” He shook their hands then headed to the bus stop.

The two were together for almost a year now, and they still were in love like the first day.

“They’re so cute”, said Piper with a nostalgic smile, meeting his own thoughts. “They have found real love.”

Piper was waiting her mother, who always had some teacher’s stuff to arrange, and Jason was waiting with her.

“How are you so sure of it? You’re a clairvoyant?” he laughed.

“I know those things. Mum’s legacy”, she answered with a smile. “Like when we tried to date. I felt something was… offbeat, like a dissonant note in a melody.”

Jason shifted his weight, uncomfortable. Piper looked at him then opened her eyes widely.

“Oh no, sorry, I didn’t want to make you feel bad! I meant, I just meant that I’m ok, we were not… meant to be a couple.”

Jason knew that. When he finally decided to answer Piper’s feelings, he knew, deep down, that it wouldn’t work. It was a desperate action, the last chance he had given to his… straightness. Because if dating a girl like Piper wasn’t enough, then it would never be for any girl. He was the only reason that made their couple sunk; he was the dissonant note. Piper was beautiful, of course, he knew that, but he wasn’t excited by her. He should have explained, he should have said her that he was gay; she would stop wondering what she did bad. But he couldn’t, and she still wondered.

“You have no reason to be sorry”, he said, squeezing her arm. “And what do you ‘feel’ for Leo and Calypso?” he pursued, trying to escape the quicksand.

“It’s a bit new to say”, she said, accepting the change, “but I feel something strong. It could be life-long.”

“You’re a real seer, huh?” he said with a laugh. “What about… Reyna and Nico?”

“That’s frailer. They love each other, but I’m afraid it’ll not be enough… wait and see, as they say.”

“That’s easy,” he laughed, “you don’t say anything risky. I could do it.”

“Hey, no! Look, I’ll try something riskier. Mmmh… here. Rachel and… fuck, I can’t remember his name, but anyway. Imminent breakup. This guy – Malcolm I think – with this bitch of Drew, kissing in front of the gate. She already cheated on him.”

“Another one!” exclaimed Jason like a child.

“Ok, let’s see… even if my mother’s a bit flighty, as Hazel would have said, I know she really loves my father, and he loves her more than his own life. Will’s in love with someone who’s already in a relationship. Mellie, the school’s secretary, secretly loves the coach. And I’m afraid Annabeth’s little interest isn’t mutual.”

“Wait, what?” said Jason, freezing. “Annabeth’s little interest, you mean Percy? Why?”

“I can be wrong, but he doesn’t make all the usual signs. The little looks, smiles and laughs… When you know what you’re searching it’s pretty obvious.”

“If you say so. It’s a good thing for her, though.”

Piper nodded, wisely choosing not to say anything. They sat on the parking’s wall, Piper crossing her legs, and after a few minutes of awkward silence Jason finally spat out what he had on his mind.

“Piper, a few moments ago you all seemed so… friendly with him… I mean, do you really think he could have sincerely changed? I can’t believe that. He was so… detestable. He was evil.”

So why can’t you remain angry? he asked himself.

“Jason, can I talk to you plainly?” she answered moments later.

“I’m not going to like what you’ll say, am I?” he grumbled. “Come on, feel free to talk.”

“Ok. After your reaction of this morning, I expected Percy to be a complete shithead. But honestly, I had a very good time with him, and we all had during the lunch. He’s… he’s really funny, for sure. He’s friendly, energetic and clever – more than I thought at first – in addition to being handsome and sexy, but that’s for me. And Annabeth. But seriously, yes, I suppose he has changed. The man I met today was someone you’d really appreciate, I think.”

“Ok” he just said. What was he supposed to say anyway?

“My mum’s coming. But just… think about it, ok? The only thing I want is your happiness, you know that. So you better follow my instructions.”

“Yes ma’am” he said with an ironic military salute. “See you tomorrow. Thanks for… being you.”

“You’re welcome! I do my best” she answered with a warm smile, kissing him on the cheek then following her mother. Aphrodite was staring at Jason, which made him feel uncomfortable, but she didn’t seem angry. She was… surprised? Who knows why.

 

When he started his car, Jason was still thinking of Piper, Annabeth, Percy and all this mess. He had absolutely no idea of where they were all heading, but he knew that what happened two years ago would not happen again: he was stronger and he had true friends that would never let him down. So he had no more reasons to fear Percy Jackson. On the other hand he obviously still had reasons to hate, or at least to dislike him. But did he have reasons to like him?

The scary answer was yes. He had a preview, this afternoon, of the man his friends saw in Percy, the exact opposite of the one he thought he knew. A question popped up in his head and whirled within. Has he really changed?

He arrived home. Zeus wouldn’t be there before 7 p.m., so he was surprised to see several unknown cars parked in their alley.

Has he really changed?

He parked his car a bit further. Opening the door he was met by jabbers and laughs and saw a few groups of people chatting with glasses in their hand. Oh. Hera had set up one of her little at-home… He knew why she did. His stepmother was entirely faithful and devoted to her husband, and it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t mutual. Inviting friends without asking, friends that Zeus didn’t like for most of them, was the only little spark of revolt Hera allowed herself. This was the reason why Jason couldn’t blame her for being distant: she suffered at least as much as him of Zeus’ behavior.

Has he really changed?

He tried to go to his room without being noticed, but of course he failed.

“Jason, my dear! Here you are! Come on, I’d like to introduce you.” He forced himself to put on a great smile then walked to his stepmother. “You know Hestia, of course. Do you know Athena? She's Annabeth’s mother.”

He was glad to see Hestia. She was his aunt – Hera's sister – and a nice and warm person; but then Hera began to introduce him to every single one of her friends, some he knew, some he didn’t. He had to smile, to shake hands and to laugh like a perfect boy. She was showing him, in a desperate attempt to prove that her family wasn’t a complete wreck. With an unfaithful and absent husband and a rebel daughter, Jason was her last hope.

And fuck how he hated that! Being highlighted as the perfect son, who always succeeded in everything – and he had no choice but being perfect. He was working with Hera in a desperate attempt to compose a perfect family, but how can you build something when you lack half of it? And what would Hera say if she knew her life buoy was gay?

The evening seemed to last ten hours. Hera regularly introduced him to someone knew, and he was taken into uninteresting and boring conversations. His father eventually came back home and had no choice but to play along Hera’s comedy. At 8 p.m. Jason was finally able to pretext the hour and his missing homework to go up to his room, where he called Annabeth. The conversation progressively cheered him up, and after about 50 minutes of discussing everything and nothing he finally felt better. He quickly expedited his homework, showered and went to bed; and as he fell asleep, one single thing kept looping in his head.

Has he really changed?

Chapter Text

Piper

 

Piper was exhausted. In not even a day, Jason’s life had been turned upside down, Percy took a fundamental decision and Annabeth had for the first time shown some interest towards a guy, interest that was doomed to fail. Piper had said it to Jason like a joke, but she was certain that Percy wasn’t interested in Annabeth. And she knew it wouldn’t have been a good idea to tell him, but it was the same thing she felt between the two of them a few months ago, even if it was stronger for them: on the one hand – herself – something really strong that was ready to transform into love, and on the other hand – Jason – a real affection, but with nothing more than friendship, not the slightest sexual or even physical interest. Jason was a good actor, but she finally understood what she had denied: the two of them together was a dream that wasn’t meant to become true.

Then she began to wonder: what was the problem? Why did Jason wasn’t attracted, even a bit, to her? She wasn’t vain but she wasn’t blind either: maybe her body wasn’t perfect, but she thought it would be attractive enough for any man. Her unshakable self-confidence gradually fissured until a crazy theory sprouted in her head – that was a few days ago, and she still hadn’t confirmed nor invalidated it.

“Honey, have you talked with Percy?” said her mother, pulling her out of her thoughts. She was driving a bit above the speed limits and didn’t really paid attention to the road signs – as usual. She drove like she did everything – like it was a game.

“Yes, mum, I made him all the tour. I don’t speak sign language yet. But maybe you want to know why Jason acted so weirdly when they saw each other?” she answered with a grin.

“And do you know why?” asked her mother, entering the game.

“Ok, ok. They had been in the same high school in ninth grade, and it turns out that Percy was some kind of bad boy. I mean, not the sexy, dark and attractive kind of bad boy, but the shitty kind.”

“Language Pip’s. Swearwords are ugly.”

“Sorry, but I don’t think there’s any other way to describe this. I mean, he, with other of his ‘friends’” – she made the brackets with her fingers – “really made Jason’s life a hell.”

“How strange. Percy seemed really nice… with just a bit of the bad boy within. The non-shitty kind”, she added with a wink. “Mon Dieu 1, he’s also really handsome.”

“Mum! That’s weird, he’s my age!”

“And what? It’s a simple statement. As much as when I say that, let’s see… you’re really beautiful.”

“Yeah, but you’re my mother! Doesn’t count.”

“Annabeth then. She’s beautiful too.”

“She’s a girl, it’s not the same.”

“Anyway”, Aphrodite waved, “was I wrong?”

“No, you were right”, Piper said, thinking ‘Why can’t you be wrong just once?!’ “He has changed, or at least he says so – he says he wants to change. And, well, we had a very good time at lunch with him. For me he’s really someone good. Let’s see if he’ll remain that way…”

Aphrodite nodded, a little satisfied smile on her face. She drove silently for a few minutes and although they were almost home she spoke again, not looking at her daughter (yes, she’s driving, but that’s not a reason for her).

“Is Jason good with all that?”

Aphrodite rarely talked about Jason since their breakup. Piper knew she was afraid to sadden her.

“Not really, but, you know. It’s Jason. He’ll manage.”

“I hope. He’s such a nice boy! And really hot too.”

“Mum, don’t… erh, never mind. Me and Jason, it’s in the past.”

“Yes, it looks like.”

Aphrodite said that like she was talking to the window. Piper looked widely at her mother, taken aback. Where did that came from? Ordinarily it was always some ‘peut-être pas 2’, ‘wait and see’, ‘time makes miracles’…

“What do you mean?” She finally succeeded to say as Aphrodite parked the car.

“Home sweet home! Viens, ma chérie 3.”

If her mother didn’t answer now, Piper knew she would never. And it was really frustrating, but insisting was useless. She followed her mother grumbling.

 

When she arrived the next day, early as usual because of her mother’s schedule, Percy was already there, parking his bike.

“Oh, here’s the sexy kind of bad boy” laughed her mother.

Piper didn’t even answer and, taking her bag, she walked to the dark-haired man.

“Hey Percy! You fell out of your bed?”

“I’d rather have liked, I could have gone back to sleep. No, I’d like to enter the football team so I have to do the boring administrative part, and of course they set the appointment the earlier they could.”

“Oh, that’s cool! May I go with you? I’m bored every morning.”

“Yeah, sure” he said with a smile. They stopped at Percy’s locker, in which he put his jacket and helmet.

“So, you played football in your former school?”

“Yup, for my three years back there. I think I’m pretty good, I must say… but what I prefer is swimming.”

“Then why don’t you swim instead?”

“I prefer to play football for the scholarship, you know, and to swim only when and as I’d like to.”

“I can get that.”

They entered the school and walked a bit in silence, then Percy stopped in front of the sports association’s office and turned to her, frowning, as he suddenly thought about something.

“Does Jason play football?”

“Yes. But…” she wanted to say ‘that’s not a problem’, but how could it not be? “Yes.”

“Ok.” Percy stayed still for a moment then looked at her. “Ok”, he said again before they entered the office. “Hello”, he said to the lady sitting behind her desk, “I moved here just two days ago, so I’d like to register for a sport.”

“Very well,” she said, “which one?”

“Swimming.”

Piper looked at him.

“You said you wanted to play football!” she whispered as the lady rummaged in a pile of papers.

“I said that?” he said with a smile. “Well, I’ve changed my mind. I’m a better swimmer anyway, and it’s what I prefer.”

“You’re doing it because of Jason.”

“Here it is, please fill this document.”

Percy bent on the desk to fill the papers.

“Maybe.” He finally gave back the papers to the secretary. “I don’t want to make it harder for him, you see? Giving him space is the less I can do.”

“You’ll receive an e-mail with all the information you need” said the secretary with a sigh, obviously annoyed by their student’s stories.

“You don’t have to give up anything for him, you know?” Piper told him once they had left the office and its grumpy lady.

“Really?” he said, raising an eyebrow. “I think I do. I have things to fix, things that I did, and choosing one of two sports I really like is not a big sacrifice.”

“As you wish. Anyway, that’s something he’ll appreciate, I think!”

“I’d like him not to know, please. He’ll think I try to look sympathetic.”

“But you are sympathetic!”

“Please”, he said, looking at her with puppy eyes. How was she supposed to say no?

“Fine. I’ll not tell him.” But I can say to Annabeth.

It maybe was a bit dishonest, but she knew Jason would appreciate the gesture, even if he would not say so. Fuck the male pride.

 

They had about 20 minutes to kill before the beginning of their first class (they all had the same, except Leo), so they sat on the ground and chatted. Piper talked about her family, her… eventful childhood, her future plans and her dreams; Percy answered on the same subjects. It brought out that they had one great similarity: their obstinacy – some would have said stubbornness.

Piper really, really hoped that Jason would get along with Percy, because she felt particularly comfortable with him.

 

Annabeth arrived a bit later, sneaking in the conversation. As things progressed, as Percy smiled and laugh, Piper could almost see Annabeth’s attachment grow, but now it wasn’t making her happy. She was certain that it wasn’t destined to a good end, but how could she do anything while she had no proof?

Jason finally arrived, and Percy slightly shifted, moving out of the circle they made, but Jason sighed.

“Come on.”

Piper could say he wasn’t happy to see the three of them in such a friendly mood, but of course he hid it the best he could – and he could do much, but she was even more perceptive.

Percy smiled and came a bit closer but didn’t talk. It could easily have become awkward, but thankfully Annabeth immediately asked Jason how yesterday’s evening was, her mother being gone to Hera’s little feast.

“It was horrible”, he said with a faked wince. Annabeth chuckled and they all relaxed, talking about their parent’s worst parties until the lesson begun.

 

After all their lessons of the morning they all headed to the cafeteria. Percy, who had kept his distances for the four hours, was with them, though he didn’t talk much, so Piper asked him if he would eat with them but he answered he had something planned for today. She doubted that… but she didn’t comment. Percy’s decision, at the office, had proved that she had under-estimated his will of getting… redemption, friendship or whatever he was seeking. Not that she was going to protest! She remembered the text Annabeth had sent her during history class yesterday.

Piper, I solemnly propose we shall not have rest until Jason and Percy are the best friends of all times.

Annabeth knew her friend couldn’t resist such a challenge, and even less such an apparently impossible one.

Mrs Chase’, she had answered, ‘I solemnly swear it.

Well, apparently Percy had sworn it too.

 

 

1 My God

2 maybe not

3 Come, sweetheart

Chapter Text

Hazel

 

It happened on the next Tuesday. They were all eating at their table, all the Argo (excepted Calypso, who would come back the next Thursday). Percy wasn’t there, as usual (they never saw him during lunch break); they were laughing at Leo’s dumb imitation of Mrs Dodds, their math teacher, when Hazel, who was looking by the window, suddenly froze. She wasn’t really looking at anything at first, her thoughts wandering around her mother, when she finally noticed something. Percy was at the school’s gate, talking with someone; and judging by the posture of the two men it wasn’t a friendly conversation.

“Hey,” she said, interrupting Leo, “I think Percy might be in trouble.”

They all ran at the window like children. For her the man was too far to be recognizable, but she noticed Jason’s face turned pale. Without talking he opened the door and hastily walked towards the two guys.

“Jason! What are you doing?” shouted Piper, running after him, followed by the others.

“One was already a lot. I can’t endure a second ghost” he answered, half for her, half for himself. “Fuck, what have I done for this?!”

He was walking determinately when the man grasped Percy’s arm with obvious aggressivity and Percy pushed him back violently with his two hands. Despite the distance they all heard Percy.

“Fuck, Luke, what’s your problem?! I told you I didn’t want to see you ever again! I don’t care about your fucking reasons!”

The blond man – Luke – didn’t answer. He looked at Percy then at Jason who finally arrived, and his eyes opened widely.

“You’re… Jason Grace?”

Jason didn’t answer, he just looked at the man with hostility. Recovering her breath, Hazel studied the man closely.

Luke was handsome, for sure. He was maybe three or four years older than her; he had blond hair, a bit darker and shorter than Jason’s, a muscular body and dark, almost black, blue eyes. But Hazel was disturbed. This man had something… something that wasn’t good. It wasn’t because of the big scar stretching along his face, even if that was disturbing, but because of a glow of anger inside his gaze.

“Leave him the fuck alone” Percy said with an increased anger.

Jason looked at Percy with surprise. Hazel understood why: she had tried not to get too much involved in these two guys’ problems, but she knew what kind of relationship they had. Not really a nice one.

“Get out of this town. Get the fuck out of my life!”

Luke looked at Percy with a cold expression, an expression that made Hazel shiver; then he looked at Jason. And without a word he silently walked away.

“What

The

Fuck

Just

Happened??” Piper said behind him. Hazel wouldn’t have said it like that, but she was curious too.

“I’m sorry.” Percy looked at them as they walked back to the school. “Luke was at the same school that Jason and me, and, uh… we…”

“They were two assholes” Jason said, but he didn’t look angry. He seemed… lost in his thoughts.

“Exactly. I used to hang out with him and Octavian, and it was, well, it was a time I’m not proud of. And I don’t regret at all.”

“But what was that argument?” asked Annabeth.

Percy sighed.

“He wanted us to be together again.”

Jason froze. Literally. He suddenly stopped right in the alley.

“What do you mean?” he said in a shocked voice. They all stopped, the Argo looking at the two boys with surprise – except one of them… Annabeth was looking at the ground.

“Luke and me were dating last year”, Percy said casually.

The reaction of the crew could have been funny in any other situation. Piper immediately looked at Annabeth, who looked at Hazel, who looked at Percy, who looked at Jason – who looked like he was dead inside.

“Wh-what?” the young man finally said. Percy seemed surprised as he looked at all of them.

“You didn’t know? I thought you do. I’m gay.”

Chapter Text

Jason

 

He’s here. Don’t pay attention. He’s not an enemy anymore.

He had repeated this in his head each time he had seen Percy. It had been almost two weeks since the guy had tumble back in Jason’s life, and it had been two weird weeks, for sure, and stressful ones. Percy had quickly integrated their crew, and all the ‘argonauts’ seemed quite glad about it; but for Jason it was still hard like this first day, in French class. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad; but he still tensed when Percy walked in, he still felt fear growing up in his guts when he heard his laugh, he still had this flight instinct when he heard his voice coming closer.

He was getting better, though. It was hard, it was demanding for him: he had to enhance his self-control and repress a lot of emotions. In a way it was rewarding, but it was also exhausting.

 

But this day, when he saw Luke, the fear showed back its hideous head.

What the fuck is he doing here? And why is he talking to Percy?

An awful feeling ran through his spine as he walked to the two guys.

Luke was at least as sexy as the last time, but Jason had never liked him. It wasn’t the scar, even if it had disturbed him at first; no, it was the anger, the cruelty that his eyes – and his acts – were showing. Even if Percy wasn’t better, or not much, he never had this disturbing glare.

But the situation had turned quite… unexpected. When Percy shouted at Luke to leave Jason ‘the fuck alone’, Jason forgot the blond man.

He knew Percy wanted to change, he knew he wanted to be his friend, but such a… strong defense was surprising.

And strangely heartwarming.

“I’m sorry. Luke was at the same school that Jason and me, and, uh… we…”

He looked at Percy. Why would he take his defense like that? The question came back. Has he really changed?

“They were two assholes.” This was the true, for sure, but Jason realized he wasn’t fearful like he was before: Percy wasn’t an enemy anymore, and his body finally accepted that. He still had anger, though, but it was in standby for now.

“He wanted us to be together again.”

Jason’s brain short-circuited. All his thoughts about anger, fear, memories and friendship vanished.

“What do you mean?” His voice was maybe a bit too rough but he didn’t care. He didn’t even realize.

“Luke and me were dating last year.”

No. No way. It’s impossible.

Jason refused to believe what his ears were listening at. Because if he listened, it would mean that his 9th grade crush wasn’t doomed to fail. And knowing that, what happened between Percy and himself would be even worse.

“Wh-what?” he finally succeeded to say.

“You didn’t know? I thought you do. I’m gay.”

 

Universe has a shitty sense of humor.

This was the first coherent thing he achieved to think. After Percy’s declaration his body had, hopefully, decided to work by its own, and they all had walked back in silence.

Shit, he must have thought we’re all homophobic.

The silence wasn’t due to that, of course; Piper was sad for Annabeth, who was disappointed; Hazel was lost in her thoughts; Frank was too shy to say anything and Jason himself was totally wrecked inside. Leo was the only one cheerful, talking with Percy, but the atmosphere was heavy. They all sighed in relief when the bell rang.

As they moved from the cafeteria, Jason saw Annabeth walking alone with an unexpressive face, and he remembered the discussion he and Piper had last week. He had laugh of Piper, but she was right. Did she know or was it pure luck?

Anyway. He remembered he wasn’t the only one affected by Percy’s news and with that his brain started to focus again.

“You’re okay?” he asked the blond girl, getting closer.

“Yeah of course, why?” she asked, smiling. Ok, maybe he had overestimated her sentiments.

“I just… thought you might be a bit sad. Regarding Percy’s revelation.”

She growled.

“It’s that obvious?”

“Well, Piper told me. If it makes you feel better, I had no idea.”

“Of course she would have tell you” she laughed, looking at Piper who was walking with Percy. They heard some snatches of conversations: Piper was babbling about how happy she was to finally have a gay friend, and mostly a handsome one.

“Diplomat as always” he laughed. In any situation Piper was always trying to make everyone feel better; with her humor she tried to make up their previous silence.

“Yep”, Annabeth said with a smile. “Heck, I totally forgot! Speaking of Piper-the-diplomat, she told me something interesting last week. She thought, and I think too, it’ll interest you.”

“So why didn’t she tell me?”

“I’ll explain after. When Percy and you were in your previous school, you both were playing football, right?”

“Yes.”

He pushed back the flashes of the locker room – and they vanished with surprising ease.

“So imagine that last week Percy went with Piper to the sports office to integrate the team.”

Fuck. Jason was maybe on the good road to recover from the ghosts of his past, but this couldn’t be a good thing.

“Wait,” Annabeth said, spotting his expression, “you didn’t hear the end! Just before he walked in the office, he asked Piper if you were in the team. She answered yes, and so he changed for swimming!”

“You mean… just because I was in the team?”

“Exactly! And before you ask, it wasn’t for him. When Piper insisted he admitted it was to let you breath.”

“Oh.”

That was really unexpected. Like his reaction towards Luke.

“Then she said you would appreciate that, but he asked her not to tell you. So she told me.”

“You both have a twisted mind”, he said with a smile.

“And it’s a good thing. You boys are so limited sometimes!” She laughed and punched him in the arm. “See you tomorrow”, she finally added, kissing him on the cheek. Their only class of the afternoon was English lit, and Annabeth wasn’t with them. But maybe she also wanted to be alone…

 

During the whole next hour Jason got lost in his thoughts. He had a lot of things to process, for sure…

1°: Percy was gay. Percy Jackson was gay. And Jason had to fight back all the fantasies his imagination showed him. He had flashes of Percy doing things to him, flashes of Percy sucking him… or fucking him…

What the fuck is wrong with me?! he internally shouted. He knew these fantasies. He had had them in 9th grade, but they had quickly disappeared. And here they came back… He had to think of something else.

2°: it meant his two years ago crush wasn’t impossible. He couldn’t help but think about it. If things had been a bit different, would he have had his chance?

3°: Luke was also gay, and he and Percy dated. That also was unexpected. Luke was the guy who always winked to girls, who talked to them in a seductive manner.

4°: he finally had the answer to his twirling question: Percy had changed. It wasn’t the first thing he thought about, but it was the most important. The way he had pushed Luke back, the way he had taken defense of Jason, how he had changed his sports projects just to let him be… all that led to his fifth thing to process.

5°: his stupid teenage crush was coming back, and it was tearing him apart, because he still had his memories of what happened the last time he had fell for Percy Jackson.

I’m so fucked up.

He wanted to send Percy back to a shadowy memory, to kick him out of his life; but it wasn’t possible. So what were his options? It obviously would be hard to ignore him. Acting like he didn’t exist was possible, but with his friends acting like he was already part of the crew… could he befriend Percy? Was he even capable of ignoring their common story? Then a thought hit him: maybe a friendship with Percy would be the best way to fight his fears.

Yeah… easier to say than do.

The students next to him suddenly got up, and he realized he hadn’t listened a single word of the lesson.

He had to do something. To try his limits. He watched Percy as he walked to the door, his mind unsettled; then he suddenly grabbed his bag and got up.

“Percy!” he shouted. “Wait!”

He stopped and waited for him, looking a bit taken aback.

“I wanted to tell you…” Shit. What did he wanted to tell? “Uh, you being gay isn’t a problem. At all.”

Percy smiled, and a strange thing happened. Jason’s mind split: at first, the smile reminded him Percy’s past actions. This smile was always here in every dark memory of Jason’s worst year; it was a signal of fear and pain. But then he noticed a slight difference: the smile wasn’t exactly the same. It was warmer, friendlier, and it was more honest, like Percy’s face had finally found the smile that fit best. And Jason totally agreed.

“I mean,” he continued, “you probably don’t care what I think, but, you know, when you told me back there I know I had been a bit… harsh, and it absolutely wasn’t because of it but because…” because I’m totally gay myself. “because of Luke. Seeing him brought bad memories back up.”

He always tried not to lie, and this was true, even if it wasn’t all the truth.

“I’m sorry,” Percy replied, “I swear I didn’t know he was coming. I told him not to.”

“That’s not your fault. And, uh… I wanted to thank you, for taking my defense. Even if I’m a big boy, you know”, he added with a smile.

“Of course I know,” he replied with his smile back, “but he was my ex, so I had to shut him up.”

Yeah, because Luke Castellan is Percy Jackson’s ex. That wasn’t entirely processed yet. He suddenly wondered if they had sex. And who bottomed.

“So, see you tomorrow?” he asked, trying to get his naughty thoughts shut.

“Yep”, he answered. “And Jason,” he added as they were separating, “I do care about what you think.”

Chapter Text

Percy

 

It had been strange to see Luke again. At first Percy feared it would remind Jason how much he hated him, but strangely it had the opposite effect. Maybe he should thank Luke for that… At first, the heavy silence that fell when he finally said he was gay had been discouraging. But then Piper assured him none of them had any problem with that, and observing Annabeth he began to understand what the silence was about.

He felt so dumb! He never really thought about the girls his homosexuality could disappoint. He should have been more careful. But for his defense, Annabeth wasn’t an obvious person at all.

 

When they all met up the next day there was some awkwardness in the air, but what Percy noticed first was that Jason still avoided his look. He had hoped, after last day’s conversation…

Idiot. One good conversation, and ‘oh, Percy, I want to be your friend!’ No, you’ll have to do better, dumbass. And to wait more.

The strange thing was, he didn’t want to wait. He wanted to talk to him, to ask him what he had to do to grow up in his esteem... But that clearly was a bad idea.

 

When the weekend finally arrived Percy felt like he was in this school for a year. He had met nice people; not only the argonauts but also some guys and girls he met in class or outside. He still missed New York, but it was sentimental: objectively, he was ways better here. And his mother too: she was so happy, with her only son and beloved husband.

So, yes, Percy began to wonder if he wasn’t dreaming. If he wouldn’t suddenly wake up, hearing Gabe beating his mother.

Well, if it’s a dream, he thought, better enjoy it!

And he did just that. He enjoyed the new Percy, the new Sally Jackson, the new school, the new friends… the new life.

 

When he got home on Friday after school, he was surprised to see his parents in the living room, both sat on a chair, listening to someone with a smile and a glass at their hand. Kitty was laying on the ground near his mother’s feet, listening with what seemed like great interest, her tail slapping the carpet with light thuds. There was a tray on the table with three bottles (Paul’s whisky, orange juice and water). Two persons were sat on the couch, facing them, so Percy could just see the top of their head; but he recognized the voice of the woman talking – who stopped when she heard his steps.

“Percy, you’re here!” said his mother. “This is my son Percy – but I think you already know him!” she said, looking at the woman. Her voice was warm, but she sounded also a little stressed. He could understand why.

When Aphrodite got up, she did like a dancer. Her blue dress was following her moves like swirling waters and her brown – no, blond? – hair wrapped up her pale neck in a hypnotic motion. Fuck, I’m lucky to be gay – otherwise I would be totally numb.

Aphrodite smiled (it could be a toothpaste publicity) and delicately shook his hand.

“Yes, I know him, of course. But do you know my husband?”

The man next to her got up, smiling as well.

Ok, I have to ask Piper which demon her parents summoned to be how they are. And what they had to sacrifice.

This man was maybe not as perfect as his wife, but he was close. He really looked like Piper – no, Piper really looks like him – with a particular masculine beauty and… wait. I know him. Percy knew he had seen him before… but where? Well, maybe it was just the resemblance with Piper.

“Nice to meet you sir” he said, shaking his hand.

“Piper talked us a lot about you”, the man said with a surprisingly soft voice. “Do you enjoy your new life?”

“Yes, I think I do. More than I ever thought I would be.”

“Mr and Mrs McLean came to welcome us”, his mother explained.

“A bit late, I’m afraid! But Tristan was in Los Angeles for two weeks.”

As the evening went by, Percy wondered if those two really were humans. They seemed too… perfect. And he didn’t really know if that was a good thing for Piper… it was obvious, when they talked about her, that they loved her. But he began to understand why Piper barely talked about them: being like them seemed impossible.

 

When he woke up this Saturday a ray of sun was lazing across his room. After half an hour spent growling, turning around and burying himself in the sheets, he finally got up. When he opened his window he shivered: the weather was clear but a bit cold. It was earlier than he thought – the sun was just above the ground – so he took his time eating, brushing his teeth and shaving. His mother had asked him to go for the groceries so he took her car and did so.

When they were in NY he worked during the weekends, but for now he hadn’t found a new job yet, so he had two days free. As he drove back home he began to think about which job he could apply for and which he really wanted to.

“Mom, I’m here! I got almost everything you needed but they had no more…”

The words died in his throat when he saw Jason Grace sitting in their kitchen and his mother bent on his hand.

“Thanks sweety, can you please put these here?” she said, waving at the corner of the room.

Jason looked at Percy, clearly uncomfortable. His eyes were really fascinating, blue like the sky, and so… magnetic…

He looked at his mother before it got awkward – or more than it already was, and Jason looked away too.

“Erh, hi”, Percy said.

How eloquent.

“Hi”, Jason replied, not looking at him. Percy didn’t understand why he was here – of all the houses, Percy Jackson’s would be the last he would come in!

“What happened?”

“It’s my fault, I’m so negligent!” said his mother with a voice full of guilt. “I was in the garden, trying to plant these flowers Paul bought me, and I stupidly let the dibbler on the ground, and then Kitty ran to me with a stick, so I threw it without looking, and of course it landed on the sidewalk where… Jason was running so she tripped him, and when he tried to catch up his hand fell on the dibbler…”

Speaking a lot when you feel guilty is a family thing.

“It’s no big deal, Mrs Jackson” Jason said with a smile. Percy looked back at him. He was wearing sports clothes: some white sport shoes with black shorts – that were really short… Percy’s gaze lingered on the strong thighs, almost entirely revealed. His eyes ascended the muscled arm and shoulder – he was wearing a grey sleeveless sweater, which Percy thought was ways too sexy.

Woah, calm down!

He shouldn’t even think of him that way. He made him suffer well enough (and he surely wasn’t gay). But the fact was, Jason was really sexy. More than two years ago, where he was a bit too lean for a football player. He was looking at his mother, and Percy couldn’t help but look a bit more. He knew he shouldn’t. He did it though.

His well round-shaped shoulder was a bit wet, of sweat surely, and he was still breathing a bit faster than normally. He wasn’t surprised at all to know that Jason ran; it matched his aura of perfect man. His earphones were hanging out of his sweater, and Percy wondered what kind of music he was listening. Classical? He internally laughed at himself. This was a bit too stereotype.

“Percy,” his mother said with a strangely weak voice, cutting him in his contemplation, “can you help me please? I… my hands are…”

He instantly understood what was the problem, and he resents himself for not thinking of it earlier. Since a particularly… unpleasant episode with Gabe, two years ago, she couldn’t endure the sight of blood anymore.

“Of course Mom.”

He took her shaking hands in his, taking the cotton pad she was holding, and she hastily climbed the stairs. Probably to vomit in the bathroom.

Percy realized he was holding Jason’s right hand in his left and the blond man was looking at the walls. With their past history he was probably thinking he was in some kind of nightmare… So Percy tried to be as effective as he could. The wound on Jason’s palm was serious enough to bleed quite a lot and for his mother to fail, but it wasn’t deep. A bandage would be enough. He tried to ignore how beautiful Jason’s hand were – I mean, I don’t really look at other guys’ hands usually, but those… – and how warm, strong and more calloused than he would have thought they were, and he began his work. His mother had already begun to clean his hand, so he wiped the last drops of blood, disinfected the wound and applied a bandage. He kept his eyes locked on his work, not saying anything, and Jason didn’t move nor talk neither, even when he disinfected his hand.

When Percy finally finished, he kept Jason’s hand in his, his thoughts wandering two years ago. When they were playing football he remembered some times where he would tackle Jason harder than needed, just to let off steam. To get rid of his anger, imagining he was tackling Gabe instead of Jason.

He completely knew it was unfair. Jason wasn’t responsible at all for all this mess – he even had tried to understand what happened to him… but this was what had frightened Percy, because no one could know. So the only one who really had try to help him became his target. And it worked of course, Jason never tried to understand him again…

Fuck, I was really cracked.

“Excuse me, you finished?”

He abruptly returned to present. He was still holding Jason’s hand, his eyes fixed on the oven.

And +1 awkwardness for Mr. Jackson!

“Yes, sorry, I was just… lost in my thoughts.”

“Thanks.”

Jason got up, stayed still for a minute with his hands in his pockets, then looked at the stairs.

“Your mother’s all right?” His voice was worried.

“Yes, don’t worry. It’s just that seeing blood brings her back some awful memories of… someone.”

“Oh… I’m sorry.”

Percy chuckled joylessly.

“How could it be your fault?”

Jason didn’t answer, and Percy understood that he wasn’t feeling guilty; he was sorry for his mother. The more he got to know Jason, the more he felt guilty for his past behavior, because the man was someone deeply good.

“Do you want to drink something before you go?”

“No, thank you.”

Jason was probably impatient to get out of here, and Percy didn’t want to bother him anymore.

“Ok, so see you Monday?”

“Yeah”, Jason answered, his voice oddly hesitant. But he didn’t move. “Your mother looks cool” he added.

“She is”, Percy said with a smile. “She’s the best.”

“Percy, can I ask you something a bit personal?” Jason suddenly spat out like he was thinking about it for a long time, raising his head up and looking at him in the eyes.

“Uh, yeah, go ahead”, he answered, a bit surprised.

“How is it to… how are you…” He got silent again. He obviously had something in his mind, something important. Surely related to their past… He looked around him, probably gathering his thoughts. “Your mother remarried.”

That was absolutely not what he expected, but it maybe was for best.

“Yeah. Twice.”

“And the first one was a real nightmare. I’m right?”

Percy didn’t answer at first. How could Jason know? And why would he want to know anyway? He put his hands in his pocket, looking at his feet.

“Yeah. A freaking asshole. Why, I mean, how do you know?”

“I’m sorry, I know it’s none of my business! But when we were back there, I was noticing you had bruises and contusions. You said you were too reckless for your own health, but I wasn’t really convinced. And then… well, I stopped wondering, because… you know.”

Yes, I know. The guilt was boiling in his guts again.

“Anyway, then after this history class two weeks ago, when you talked to me, you said you were in a hard pass at the time. And finally you said your mother had awful memories of someone, so I just… did the addition.”

“That’s… clever. And you’re right.” Percy was baffled. He was impressed by Jason’s memory, he wondered why would he talk about that, and he was scared. He didn’t want anyone to know… it was his shameful secret. “But Paul, my new stepfather, is wonderful! He’s a decent man.” He didn’t want to talk about Gabe.

“That’s good for you.”

Once again they just stayed awkwardly face to face, until they both suddenly move. Jason took his phone out of his pocket and Percy clapped his hands, trying to sound casual.

“Okay, so… see you?”

“Yeah, sure! Uh, you’ll thank your mother for me?” Jason said as he opened the door.

“Of course.”

Jason rapidly went down the few steps to the garden and put his earphones back, and Percy noticed the incredible golden gleam the sun was lightning up in his hair. Jason looked like an angel. And not the chubby kind, more like an overpowered being. Jason looked back at him, then quicly looked at the road again.

The angel began to run, and Percy’s eyes followed him as he got away, enjoying the view of Jason’s back.

And of what was lower.

Chapter Text

Jason

 

For all the way back home Jason was lost in his thoughts. He had been absentminded when he had ran past the Jackson’ house, listening the new album he had begun the day before; that’s why he hadn't seen the big black dog running straight to him until he brutally had met the ground and felt a sharp pain shooting through his hand.

Mrs Jackson had immediately panicked, repeating feverishly she was so sorry. He had accepted her invitation to help not so much for him but mostly to allow her to calm down. She barely had started her work when he heard the voice he had feared to hear as soon as he crossed the threshold. Then it had been a really weird time, for sure… seeing Percy had bring back a bunch of emotions. Anger, fear, shame… curiosity…

Desire.

And with this one more anger, against himself this time. And more fear and shame.

But soon the situation had become even weirder. With Sally gone, he had been alone with Percy. Alone in Percy’s kitchen, in Percy’s house, holding Percy’s hand – this same hand which had pushed him so many times – and so fear had outmatched all his others emotions. He had looked at the wall, fighting his urge to run away, fighting the panic growing in his throat, when Percy had started his work. And looking the black hair leaned on his wound, feeling the heat radiating from the strong hand, hearing the silent competency with which Percy worked, he slowly had calmed down.

He was surprised he had calmed down, besides. He would have thought that with a wound and the presence of Percy combined, the panic would have been inevitable. But feeling the other guy’s hands roaming over his had strangely made him relax, and, gradually, he even had started to feel good, to look at Percy, who was concentrated on his work. He could barely see anything but his head, so that was exactly what he had done. He had thoughtfully stared at Percy’s head. The way his strands were waving one above the other, like a dark but smooth sea; the way his eyes were fixed on his task, still but alert; the way his mouth was sealed, for once not sporting his permanent grin – not in a stern way, but more in a focused one. He also had smelt a strange – but pleasant – scent, a scent of salt and sea, with a slight touch of a commoner – but pleasant – deodorant.

Damn, and his hand feel so good, he had thought. He barely had noticed the disinfectant; he barely had noticed Percy had finished but had still his hands in his – and he liked the feeling of Percy’s hands.

But then he brutally had realized something. A precise zone of his body had been coming to life. No. No way. No no no, shit.

Panic had violently tumbled again, but not for the same reasons.

What do I do? What can I do?!

He had forced himself to stay coolheaded, wishing something else would cool down.

Happily Percy seemed lost in his thoughts, his eyes wandering elsewhere. So he just had to act casually… First, to stop this, he had to get his hand back.

“Excuse me, you finished?” He had said, trying not to sound too hasty. Living with Zeus and Hera for so long had been quite a good training. When Percy had finally let him go, looking a bit sheepish, the first thing he had done was putting his hands in his pocket, hiding his half-erection. The second had been trying to soften. He had tried to think about ugly things (he even had tried to imagine his father and Hera having sex, but that was ways too gross). He then had wondered why Percy looked sheepish, and why had he held his hand so long; then he had remembered Percy was gay, and he had wondered what kind of guys Percy was attracted to. He knew he wasn't ugly, but he also knew that everyone wasn't attracted the same way, by the same things.

What kind of guys is Percy attracted to? Blond, muscular, blue-eyed kind, with a scar on the face? Like Luke? And like…

Why would I care? He then had thought, angry against his thoughts. But the thought wouldn’t leave his head.

That’s when he had realized his underwear had finally returned to their usual size.

He had been curious, though. Obviously Percy had come out… how was it every day? How had it been for his parents?

As he was chatting his brain had got lost in thoughts on homosexuality and on his behavior towards Percy. He was scared, obviously; scared of his attraction towards the guy, scared of the said guy’s homosexuality, scared of his guilty hopes. Scared he wouldn’t have forgave Percy if he had been ugly.

“Percy, can I ask you something a bit personal?” he suddenly had asked. He had wanted to know how it was for him, every day, to be gay. To be out.

“Uh, yeah, go ahead.”

“How is it to… how are you…”

It had been much harder than he had thought. How is it to be openly gay? He had wanted to ask. But he then had realized he wouldn’t be able to ask, because it would have implied he was gay too - and he surely wasn’t ready to come out. He had wanted to, for years now, but it seemed as impossible to him as flying by himself. So when his eyes had come across a photo of Percy and his mother, the twirl had been easy to find.

“Your mother remarried”, he had said.

The conversation hadn’t been the one he had planed at first, but it was still interesting. Remembering what he had noticed two years ago and what Percy had told him on that day, the assumption had been pretty easy.

As they were talking about Percy’s first stepfather, Jason had thought he was actually lucky to have Hera: she surely wasn’t the best, like Paul, yet she was much better than… the other one. He also had understood why Percy had tried to find some kind of power at school – because he hadn’t any at home although he needed it. It made sense…

Even if it doesn’t excuse his acts, he had to remember.

So, yes, Jason had a lot to think about.

 

When he finally got home he was welcomed by shouts and tears. Unfortunately, that wasn’t exceptional… Hera had probably finally gathered her courage and had asked her husband about his… conquests, and Zeus surely had answered with his usual delicacy.

With a sigh Jason went to his room, trying to ignore Hera’s sobbing, and without even showering he flopped on his bed, increasing the volume of his earphones to cover the shouts.

He was still lost in a storm of conflicting emotions. Sometimes he would think of Percy’s desire of redemption, he would think about the last two weeks; and sometimes he would remember the year where he was evil.

But one thing was sure, however; when he was with Percy he felt both uncomfortable and… intrigued. Fascinated? He felt something, anyway.

And as he was replaying the scene at Percy’s in his head, he couldn’t help but think about how sexy he was. He felt again anger and shame building up, but for once he put them aside. For once he wanted to appreciate the situation without any guilty thoughts, without his self-anger.

Yes, Percy was sexy. Fuck, he was the sexiest man Jason knew! He visualized his muscular body, barely hidden by his t-shirt; he remembered the obsidian-like hair and the fiercely beautiful green eyes, and he remembered the smile. The hottest smile of the entire world. He relieved his spirit, offering it images of desires he had repressed until now.

For the second time his excitement manifested and he abruptly realized he was having the second hard-on of the day for a guy who had bullied him for almost a year.

What’s wrong with me? He thought. Once again he wondered. How was it he had forgiven Percy so easily? And why was he craving for his friendship? It couldn't be just arousal, no; he was stronger than this.

I'm stronger than this...

Well, am I?

 

He finally showered, trying to get Percy out of his mind and not really succeeding. When he got out, shirtless with just pajama bottoms as usual, the silence had came back in the house. He was about to close his door when he heard a sob downstairs, in the dark, and he felt uneasy. It wasn’t the first time Hera sat alone in the dark, overwhelmed by her sadness and her sorrow, but now was different: he had remembered what Percy had told him about his previous stepfather and it had made him think about his parents. He had realized that a lot of things he had blamed Hera for were in fact due to Zeus and his behavior – it was easier to blame the woman his father had remarried to than the man who had gave him life…

 

It began like any other dream. He’s in his room, working on some boring lesson, when he hears a noise. Turning around he sees Percy shirtless, sexy as hell, his skin slightly wet, his face sporting his infamous grin. He’s up, his hands roaming over Percy’s perfectly chiseled pecs, and they kiss. Jason hears the roaring of the see in the background as his world explodes, as Percy’s tongue fights against his, as his hands explore Jason’s back. Then the hands go lower and lower, shifting over Jason’s hips and slowly massaging his abs; and Percy, grinning through their blazing kiss, slowly undoes his fly and…

A door slammed in the house and Jason awoke in a startle. Probably Hera going to bed at… Wow, three a.m.? Later than usual. It’s getting worse.

He just stayed there, lying down in his bed, slowly realizing what had just happened. He had a fucking sex dream with Percy Jackson. He was hot, and even if the dream had stopped before anything... embarrassing could have happened, his pajamas were wet. He finally got up, went to his window and opened it, breathing deeply as he enjoyed the breath of cold air hitting his burning chest.

He was feeling bad. Had he so little self-control? He felt unfair to himself: he should be upset, he shouldn’t have such dreams. But apparently his body was the one taking decisions when it came to Percy…

With a frustrated sigh he changed his clothes, quickly rinsed his face and arms with cold water then went to bed again.

 

For all his Sunday he just kept thinking about it. About Percy’s new behavior, about him being annoyingly hot, about the effect he had on Jason and about what he was going to do - what he had to do! - about it all. But he couldn’t take a decision for this last one. Like the day before he was sometimes thinking he was stupid to forget so easily what had happened two years ago, and sometimes he wished he could just be Percy’s friend.

 

When Monday finally came he was feeling mostly nervous. He arrived a bit early, and when he had parked his car he stayed here, wondering how he was going to act.

Percy arrived soon after and parked his bike, and Jason couldn’t help but wonder if his imagination had accurately recreated his body. He looked at him as he headed towards the school, still unsure about what to do.

For his first class of the day he only was with Annabeth and Calypso, who just had come back from her trip. They asked her about it and she answered with joy and wonder, repeating how incredible it was.

They had no class for the next hour, so they went down to the school’s library, chatting and laughing, but as they were about to enter Jason noticed, by the window, someone sat in a bench in the school’s little park, and he immediately recognized the black hair. He stayed there, his mind swinging between two options.

“Jase? You’re ok?” Annabeth asked him.

“Yeah, sorry,” he said, shaking himself mentally. Then he took a decision. “Uh, girls, I have something to do. I’ll see you at lunch, ok?”

“Sure”, Calypso answered.

As the girls entered the library he took the outside door. He was feeling stupid. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? he kept wondering. And as he got closer he remembered something.

There wasn’t any park in their former high school, but it was the same kind of place where he and Octavian had, one time, violently fought. His first and only school fight. He perfectly remembered Percy and Luke looking at them like it was a game and not two guys hating each other and just trying to hurt the other one.

His heart began to speed up at the memory, but then he clenched his fists and jaw, and he headed towards Percy. He wanted to get rid of this fear and this anger; he wanted to prove himself he was stronger now.

He approached silently, forcing himself to breath slowly, and Percy didn’t notice him. He was focused on his book, one leg on the other to form a kind of desk, and Jason read a few words upside down before he understood what it was about. And he asked before he had the time to think about it,

“Do you need help for the French class?”

Chapter Text

Calypso

 

“Cal, do you see them?!” Annabeth whispered, searching for something at the window.

“Do I see who?” she answered.

“Jason and Percy!”

“Percy? Percy who?”

“Dam, it’s true, you don’t know!” Annabeth exclaimed, finally turning to her friend. “Ok, so when you left…”

 

“I see them!” Calypso quietly exclaimed. “On this bench, right there.” They tiptoed to the two boys, hiding behind a tree. They were like children playing spies, because it was so not in line with both their temper, but they both had decided to be childish for once. They were close enough to hear Jason’s voice.

“… best for this, but I’m pretty sure your sentence should more look like…” he wrote something on a paper “that.”

Percy read then took the pen.

“What’s this shit?” he said, tapping on the paper.

“It means ‘to wish’.”

“Ok. And… why did you add this one?” Percy said, pointing another word.

Calypso looked back at Annabeth, raising an eyebrow. For worst enemies, they seemed rather cordial… not friendly – Jason was sat far enough of Percy not to accidentally touch him and he was talking professionally, but his voice wasn’t bitter or cold. They were acting like two random students.

“But I don’t understand why you wrote this one here. I’d rather have put it here, don't you think?” Percy pointed out.

“No, because, uh… because… shit, you’re right”, Jason said, sounding incredulous.

“Yeah, it happens.”

Percy laughed, and Jason took his book and browsed it. He was frowning, but probably because of his mistake – not because of Percy.

“He’s sexy when he laughs”, Calypso whispered to her friend.

“I told you he’s gay, right?” she answered in the same way.

“Still, he’s sexy. Why, because gay men are ugly?”

“Shut up. I understand why you’re dating Leo, you’re both idiots.”

“Hey, I’m not!”

“Which means he is? I’ll tell him.”

“I already tell him frequently, don’t worry.”

“I don’t understand how you can even tolerate each other!”

“Annabeth? Calypso?” Jason intervened. Calypso realized they had been talking louder and louder: their two targets had turned to the two girls and were staring at them.

So much for the spies.

“Jason, there you are!” Annabeth exclaimed. “We were talking about Calypso’s insupportableness.”

She always had been good for acting casually.

“This word exists?” Percy asked.

“Of course it exists. Percy, do you know Calypso?”

“I heard a lot about you”, he said with his grin, shaking her hand.

“Only good stuff I hope!” she replied with a smile.

“Yeah, don’t worry. Jason was the only one to say you’re a Greek maleficent witch.”

“What – I never said that!”

“Jason, how dared you!” Calypso wailed, a hand on her heart, lips trembling.

“Ha, ha, ha”, he said, finally getting that everyone was teasing him. “Hazel, Frank! Finally some sane persons.”

Piper, Leo, Frank, Hazel and Nico were coming to them.

“Everyone’s here, perfect!” Piper said, looking even more excited than usually.

“Ok, I suppose I’ll have to work later”, Percy said, trying ot sound upset as he was closing his books.

“Absolutely!” Piper replied with a wide smile. “See, everyone!” she exclaimed, “this weekend it’s party time at Piper’s! Farewell party for her beloved pool, which is gonna close for half a year for renovations – last chance to enjoy its companionship! Music, drinks, dining scheduled!”

They all whooped enthusiastically: Piper’s parties were outstanding. They then headed towards the cafeteria, and as they were sitting to their table, Calypso noticed Piper nodding discreetly to Leo, who immediately snapped up Percy, talked enthusiastically about something then led him to the cafeteria’s counter, probably to convince him to buy some junk food. Piper immediately gestured to all the others to get closer.

“Ok guys,” she said quickly and quietly, “the real reason for this party is that next week it’s Percy’s eighteenth birthday, and I thought it would be the opportunity not only to celebrate this, but also to properly welcome him!”

“That’s a great idea!” Hazel exclaimed, smiling.

“For once”, Annabeth added. But Piper didn’t react: she was looking at Jason, who was looking at his plate and playing with his fork. He didn’t raise his eyes.

“Jase, if you don’t want to, it’s not a problem. I’ll cancel it.”

He looked at her, undecided. Then he sighed.

“No, of course not. It’s a good idea.” He finally looked at her and smiled, even if it was a bit forced. “I’ll miss your pool.”

“You have one, hypocrite!” Piper said, punching him in the arm. Jason chuckled. “One last thing, I need your advice”, she said in a low voice again, “how much people do I invite? Just the Argo, or half the school?”

They thought about it for a few seconds. Leo was keeping Percy busy – an easy task for him.

“For a birthday we maybe should only invite those who know him”, Frank proposed.

“But inviting more people will allow him to make more friends. It’s easy for him”, Calypso pointed.

“Yes, exactly, so it will be easier for him to make friends whenever. I think he’ll prefer a little party" Jason intervened. They all looked at him. He had talked to his plate, but he raised his head and looked at Percy, who was trying to understand whatever Leo was telling him. “Something more friendly than social.”

Piper smiled then clapped her hands.

“I think you’re right. So the Argo?”

“Yes, and he got along with others”, Jason continued. Piper exchanged a quick look with Annabeth then nodded and took her phone.

“I’ll list everyone. So me, you, Annabeth… Leo… Cal… Frank… Hazel… Nico… Reyna…”

“I’m sorry, but Reyna and I will not be there this weekend”, Nico said.

“Add Rachel, I think they already knew each other, and he likes her”, Annabeth said.

“Ok, so not Nico and Reyna… Rachel…”

“Malcolm?” Hazel proposed.

“Oh no, Annabeth and him will argue for all the evening on boring subjects!” Piper objected. “And I don’t think he really knows Percy.”

“Drew and Clarisse”, Annabeth sneered.

“Blah blah blah, you’re really funny. Anyone has a constructive thing to say?”

 

After lunch, as they were heading for their next class, Piper took Hazel, Annabeth and Calypso aside.

“We’re getting closer to our goal, and faster than I thought! So this party must be a success.”

“Our goal, which is?” Calypso asked.

“Getting Jason and Percy to be friends!” she answered with a grin. “All shots are allowed. Choose your weapons, girls.”

Chapter Text

Percy

 

He had to remember how he had got in this situation. He had wanted to ask Jason something… something about Piper’s upcoming party.  He had wanted to know… what was it? He had wanted to know if they could… carpool. Yes, that was it! They were living close, after all. So he had headed to the locker room, where Jason was dressing after his football training, and had entered a room full of more or less clothed men. He himself had played football for a while and he wasn’t anymore the young teen who couldn’t get his eyes off of the other’s body.

He finally had spotted Jason – the golden hair were still wet – and headed towards him. But as he was walking, Jason had raised his head up and seen him, and his face had instantly frozen.

And there he was, feeling like an idiot. He tended to forget that Jason still saw him like the enemy, and he just thought the locker room with his presence might resurface bad memories. Like this time… the only time where he finally had gathered enough courage to assume his acts. He had entered the locker room, which of course looked a lot like this one, and had tried to apologize for his acts. But when Jason had pushed him back, he had rather fallen back in his bad habits, instead of keeping going.

And moreover there was something else which distracted him. Jason was shirtless with just his jeans and he was waaaaaaaays too hot. Yes, Percy wasn’t watching anymore the other guys in the locker room, but come on, Jason’s not the other guys. He couldn’t help but let his gaze set out from the broad shoulders, run down his toned, muscular chest – which, surprisingly (but that’s good!), was totally hairless – to finally stop to the hard abs that formed an incredibly suggestive v-line.

He wondered how it would be to kiss these abs. To lick them. If Jason would moan… would he moan if Percy tackled him to the lockers? If Percy undid his belt, spread his cheeks and fingered him, right here, in front of all his teammates? If Percy fucked his surely tight hole, making him yell?

Shut the fuck up! he thought. This would never happen, and he better calm his thoughts. But hey, Jason’s body was not far from perfection…

What’s sexier than a handsome blond man, only wearing jeans, with a hot body… a smooth body…

“You have no chest hairs yet. Unless you shave?” he said before thinking. He hadn’t even stopped talking that he wished he could slap himself in the face. Violently. Once again he hadn’t think before talking, and if he had he would surely had remembered that this was the kind of thing he should absolutely avoid. Because even if it only was curiosity, it could be understood as mockery – and making fun of Jason was the last thing that could improve their relationship.

“And how does that concern you?” the blond man said, obviously pissed off.

And I did it again.

“Sorry, that’s not what I… I just wanted to suggest something.”

“Which is?” he said, still frowning. Percy looked at him silently, then looked down, scratching his neck.

“Nothing, just… a stupid idea, drop it. I’ll leave you alone. See ya this weekend.”

And with that he just turned to the door.

 

 

Jason

 

As soon as the door closed, Jason felt guilty. He knew Percy wasn’t mocking him, he was just surprised… and he had spoken so. He also knew Percy said what he thought. It surely was the main reason for which he was out and Jason wasn’t…

But the question he had asked was a touchy subject. Jason didn’t like hairs and since a few months now he had decided to shave; but he had felt bad about it for a long time, thinking things like ‘it obviously is something only a gay man would do, it’s only vanity, the other players will make fun of me’ etc, but quickly he had realized that other men – straight men – were shaving too and that not a single football player of the team had even noticed it.

So yes, he had felt better about it; but however it still was a subject he was a bit… cautious about.

He decided to apologize for his reaction. There was no need to make a big deal of it, but he just wanted to apologize, like a civilized person, and ask Percy what his idea was. Yeah, easy as pie.

 

But the week slowly but surely passed, and Jason still hadn’t talked about it. It was like the last days had vanished and they had fell back to Percy’s arrival, with the anger and the fear.

Friday arrived and Jason still hadn’t talked. He began to get angry against himself: this was his fault if they’d got stuck in this situation, and now that he just had to speak to Percy he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

I have to. It’s his birthday soon, come on, Jason! You don’t want to screw Piper’s party up!

That’s why he was heading to the swimming pool. If he didn’t talked to Percy now he wouldn’t have the opportunity before the party, and he didn’t want to deal with discomfort then. When their last class had ended Percy had told the others he was going to the pool, and Jason understood it was his last chance.

When he entered he was enveloped in a tepid dampness smelling like… well, like a pool. He didn’t like swimming, it was something he had always feared; he felt uncomfortable in water, like he wasn’t meant to be in – which was stupid, but the thing was, he didn’t like water.

Percy, obviously, didn’t have this problem: he was swimming surprisingly fast, regularly interchanging his swimming. Jason just stayed there and looked at him. It was strangely fascinating, the way his hands were splitting the water, the way it flowed by his sides and the regularity of his moves. It was obvious he was a pro, much more than Jason was at football.

He didn’t know how much time he just stood there, looking at the incredible swimmer, but eventually Percy noticed his presence. He went to the pool’s ladder, panting, got out then headed to him, slowly, like he was gauging Jason’s mood – wait, he probably is. As he got closer, Jason couldn’t help but notice something. Percy’s chest – Percy’s incredibly muscled, chiseled chest whence water droplets fell – and belly – with these hard abs that stood out in a stunning relief only swimmers could have – were totally smooth. Was it why he had asked? Then Jason remembered Percy was gay. And who knows why – well, Jason perfectly knew why, but he wasn’t ready to admit it – it made him feel strange.

“Hey” he said, trying to focus on Percy’s eyes and not on his body. That wasn’t really hard, though; his eyes were still as breathtaking. It wasn’t just the color, even if it was unusual; it also was the strange patterns that loomed on his iris like waves and swirls…

Focus.

“Hey” Percy replied.

Jason gathered his thoughts.

“I’m sorry, for last day. You know, when you… came in the locker room. We had a bad game so I really was in a bad mood. It wasn’t because it was you.” That was the perfect excuse he had thought of afterwards, and once again it was the truth, even if it wasn't the major part of it.

“Maybe a little” Percy said – but he smiled, and Jason smiled too. He didn’t even have to force himself: Percy’s smile was so contagious! “Thanks, for explaining to me. I really thought it precisely was because it was me.”

“I think… I’m over it now.”

Percy looked at him with surprise, then smiled again.

“I’m glad to hear it. Really, I am. Because you totally have the right to be pissed at me.”

“Ok, so… what had you tried to tell me back then?” Jason asked, because if Percy continued to be so damn charming and kind he would just tell everything to him and that was a bad idea. Everything, like him being gay, or him having a guilty crush on Percy. He barely had thought about it that he wondered if that would be a bad thing… and the idea anchored in his mind. He almost didn’t hear Percy’s answer.

“I just thought I could pick you up for Piper’s party, you know, because you don’t live far from me and she’s at the other side of town.”

“Oh… It would’ve been with pleasure, but I promised to be there earlier, to help her set everything up.” Once again it only was a partial truth, but this time he had absolutely no afterthoughts – it was for Percy’s birthday after all. Or just one, which he was surprised to have: he wished he could have said yes.

“Ok. Another time then” Percy said, looking a bit disappointed – or was it only because Jason wanted him to be? Because he wanted Percy to like him?

He suddenly realized what he was thinking and got scared of his own feelings, whom he couldn’t even apprehend nor understand. Did he like Percy? Did he hate him? Was he afraid of him?

For these two lasts the answer almost certainly was ‘no’, and for the first the answer almost certainly was ‘yes’. But how much of his memories had he overcome? How much did he like Percy? That was totally obscure, and he needed to enlighten it.

“Percy, I’m curious about something.”

“Come on.”

“How have you known Luke was gay?” he said before he changed his mind.

Percy looked at him, his expression totally undecipherable.

“Luke’s not gay, he’s bi. But whatever. I didn’t even wonder. For a while we just were friends who played football; we came to each other’s houses, we played, and slowly I began to feel some kind of… violent heat building up. Then one day, at his mother’s, we began to fight on his bed, like a game, and I tackled him and saw he was rock hard. That was a pretty good indicator.”

Yes, it was. Like Jason’s growing erection was. But fortunately Percy’s eyes were locked on his.

“May I ask why you asked?” Percy continued, and Jason felt panic rise; and he answered before he had time to think about it.

“Because I was curious, and because, because… becaimgayswell.”

“Sorry, what?”

What the fuck am I doing??? He tried to find something to say, something to catch himself up, but then, looking at the interrogative dark green eyes he suddenly felt the urge to tell the truth.

“Because I’m gay as well.”

For once Percy had nothing to say. He just stayed there, looking at him with a strange expression, and Jason just realized what he had said.

“Ok, so I, uh, I’ll go, I have, erh, plenty of things to do. See you at Piper’s.”

He then quickly walked to the door then to his car, half running. He felt like his brain was devasted by a storm of thoughts and feelings, whereas he didn’t even know what he was thinking or feeling.

 

When the storm finally began to calm down he was lying in his bed, staring at the ceiling – fortunately there hadn’t been many people on the road or he would have hit a pedestrian or a car. He put his earphones on and pushed the volume up, trying to stifle his messy mind. It worked, allowing him to slowly calm down and think of what had happened.

He just had come out. On a whim. To Percy Jackson.

Well, he hadn’t really come out, he just had told one person – but fuck, not just anyone… But his secret was safe. Percy wouldn’t tell anyone.

Well, would he? Jason never said he didn’t want to… but it was obvious, wasn’t it?

He forced himself to stop this before he turned crazy and he tried to empty his head. And doing so his mind diverted to what Percy had told him about Luke. “Luke’s not gay, he’s bi.” That wasn’t surprising: Luke probably was the kind of guy who would fuck everyone, whether male or female. Who would fuck or get fucked (Jason still wondered). And this violent heat Percy had spoken about, Jason knew it too well – he felt it every time he thought about, saw or touched a handsome man. Like Percy.

And like it had happened last Saturday he felt his jeans tightening, but this time he didn’t stop his thoughts. He took off his sweater and his shirt, threw them on the floor, put his earphones back and began to massage his hardening dick through the fabric, letting Percy Jackson put aside his worried thoughts.

Chapter Text

Piper

 

“I trust you sweety. No alcohol for the minors, no drugs, and don’t forget to protect yourself!”

“Yes mom, I know” Piper sighed. “You can go, don’t worry.”

“And have you thought about…”

“Come on, Dina, we’re going to be late” her father interrupted her. Piper never understood why he called her Dina, because it wasn’t like ‘Aphrodite’ at all, but it always had been like that. “Good night, Pip’s. Have fun.”

“Thanks dad,” she said, smiling. “Have fun too.”

Her parents smiled then headed to their car. Aphrodite was breathtaking, even more than usual, in her long red halter dress, her pale skin enhanced by a sumptuous necklace and her slender arms hidden by a thin bolero, perfect for the season. Her husband was wearing a dark blue tailored suit with a white shirt highlighting his muscled torso, and they were just perfect – and as usual Piper’s heart flinched. How was she even supposed to be like them one day?

You have work to do, she reprimanded herself. “Free at last!” she shouted to Annabeth, who came one hour earlier to help her for the preparations. They began to arrange their stuff, getting glasses, setting the oven on, choosing a playlist for background music – Piper even vacuumed the living room and the kitchen. When they finally had finished, they sat on the couch, nibbling some biscuits and talking about this and that, and the conversation progressively strayed on Percy.

“I’m not really disappointed”, Annabeth said about a question Piper had asked her. “I mean, I wasn’t in love or anything, but he was really nice, and smarter than I thought…

“… and sexy as hell.”

“Yeah,” she chuckled, “that’s true. But I didn’t really know him, so it’s not a heartbreak, you see. Just… blues for a few days.”

“I see.”

Piper stayed silent for a few seconds, thinking about the next question she had. She usually wasn’t afraid to ask some… embarrassing questions, but for this one she wasn’t sure at all. It just was an intuition, without real proof.

“Annabeth?”

“Yes?”

“I wondered… you think Jason might be gay?”

“Jason?! What, why do you ask?”

“Uh, I don’t know. He… doesn’t seem interested in girls.”

“I remember something you told me, where Jason obviously liked girls!”

“I don’t know if it’s really that simple. I mean, he didn’t look like he enjoyed it as much as I did.”

“That doesn’t mean he’s gay, he happens to hide his feelings a lot. I don’t know, I didn’t even think about it before… I can’t tell, honestly.” She stayed silent, obviously thinking about it, then she suddenly turned to Piper again, a grin spreading across her face. “Do you ask because you’re fantasizing about Percy and Jason?”

“I don’t, I absolutely don’t! Well, I mean…” she stopped and tried to imagine a kiss. “In fact, I’d never really thought about it.” She pushed her imagination a bit further. “Ok, maybe I think it’s hot.” They didn’t talk, each one being lost in her imagination; so when someone knocked at the door it made them jump. They looked at each other and laughed, then Piper got up to open.

 

It began perfectly. They all came by half an hour before the official hour: Hazel (who had took her cello) and Frank were the first to arrive, quickly followed by Jason, who was nervous and tried to hide it without real success; Will, Leo and Calypso arrived perfectly on time and Rachel a bit late, alone, and when Piper asked what happened she just said ‘I got rid of a parasite’ with a shrug, looking absolutely relaxed. This was all Rachel-like.

They had decided not to invite more people: it wouldn’t be a crazy party like the ones Piper used to organize, but more a friendly one, with only the students with whom Percy really sympathized. Although, it was surprising to see the number they were, considering Percy had arrived just a few weeks ago.

They uncovered the pool, which was effectively going to be renovated – but that of course only was a pretext for the birthday party. They hung the big ‘Happy Birthday Percy!’ banner in the hall – Leo’s suggestion – and began to cook some pizzas, to fill the glasses, to raise the volume up of Piper’s parent’s speakers and to pick up some game they could play.

Fifteen minutes before the official start of the party they charged Hazel to keep watch at the window. Some little groups started to form: Calypso, Annabeth and Rachel (Piper thought she heard ‘Percy’ as she was walking near them), Will and Leo were talking – and laughing a lot – and Frank was cuddling Hazel without a word, not wanting to distract her. Looking at them, Piper felt as usual both happy (for them) and melancholy (for her).

But then she noticed Jason, who was sitting apart. He was holding a glass of beer in his hand but he didn’t drink: he was just staring at the ground, and something sounded the alarm in Piper’s head. He seemed… not really sad, but ruminating. Downcast? Anyway, something was wrong.

“Hey”, she gently said, sitting on the armrest of the chair he was sitting on.

“Hey” he said back, tearing his gaze away from the wall and smiling.

“You’re ok?” she asked, looking in his blue eyes.

“I… yes, I am, I guess.”

“Ok, so you’re clearly not. What’s happening?”

He looked at the three girls and remained quiet. She punched him in the shoulder – not too strong.

“Come on, Cap, spit it out” she said with a smile. She called him Cap since they had watched Avengers 3, because she thought Jason looked a bit like Chris Evans. He let out a little laugh, then looked at her, as if he was searching something on her face. Whatever it was it seemed like he found it, because he finally spoke.

“Something happened with Percy.”

Shit, that’s not good for my plans.

“You want… to talk about it?” she asked, slowly rubbing his back.

“It’s not that bad! I mean, you know we have a… a common past, but that’s not something like that. It’s not his fault at all… in fact, it’s more mine.”

Phew.

“So, what happened?”

“I, uh, I came to see him. I wanted to talk, to apologize, because I’d been a little hard on him. You see, I still remember how he used to act, and sometimes it’s hard to forget… everything that happened. Sometimes I still react a bit… aggressively, when I’m surprised or in some particular situations.”

She nodded, letting him talk.

“So I told him, and it was like… like we were friends I guess?”

Yesssssss she thought. But why does he look like it’s a bad thing?

“That’s good! What’s the problem then?”

“He… I told…”

He looked at the wall once again, whereas Piper’s curious mind was about to explode. But she just stayed still, knowing it was best to let him speak at his own pace.

“I told him something. I told him…”

“He’s here!” Hazel suddenly shouted.

Fuck it, not now! Piper thought. But it obviously was too late.

“Everyone hides, quickly!” she quietly shouted. She quickly turned the speaker and the lights off then jumped behind the couch where Jason was squatted. She looked at him and was surprised to see in the dim light his leg wiggling, like he was extremely nervous.

After a few seconds of silence they heard the door open.

“Piper?”

That was Percy’s voice.

“Happy birthday!” they all shouted, getting out of their hiding places as Hazel was turning the lights on.

They were met by a widely smiling Percy, who didn’t seem surprised at all.

“That’s so nice” he said in a warm voice; but his eyes were looking for something – or someone. When he finally spotted Jason he stared at him with a strange expression, then looked back to Leo who was talking to him.

What the hell happened between those two?!

Piper felt she could die with curiosity, but she had a party to supervise.

 

Let’s be honest. Piper wasn’t presumptuous – but honestly? Her parties were always fucking great, and this one was no exception. Percy said he wasn’t surprised at all, because he had asked three persons to pick them, and they all had said they were coming earlier to help. Knowing that his birthday was the next week, he didn’t need to be a genius to understand what this party was about; but nevertheless he seemed very grateful.

For about one hour they talked, drank and ate; they had a ping-pong match, where Percy happened to be quite good – even if Will was overpowering them all.

Piper had bought some beer packs; she had warned them, when she had taken them out of the fridge, that it only was for adults – wink – and that of course no minors were allowed to take any – wink. About half of them were minors, but Hazel probably was the only one who didn’t drink alcohol – Jason was almost the first who picked up a bottle, which surprised Piper. He already had drunk – Piper knew it well! – but he wasn’t really into it, even more when there wasn’t ‘real adults’. But he just drank slowly, regularly, and it wasn’t with one bottle for the party that he would get drunk. Maybe a bit happier than usual, that’s all.

The only discordant thing was the way Percy and Jason behaved towards each other. They didn’t seem angry, scared or pissed off; no, it was weirder than that. Percy regularly looked at Jason, who carefully avoided his gaze; when they had played ping-pong against each other he hadn’t even looked at him (and therefore had lost 0-5). But despite this Percy looked like he was having an excellent time, and Jason laughed and chatted like usually – when it wasn’t to Percy. She was sure of one thing, however: it wasn’t for the same reason as before. Jason wasn’t angry, he was just trying to avoid him.

 

She just had wondered ‘What could he have said to Percy?’ for the 100th time when Leo, making a megaphone with his hands, asked for silence.

“I just had an idea!” he exclaimed, looking even more excited than usual – Piper didn’t think it even was possible. Well, she knew he was quickly affected by alcohol, so maybe it had something to do with the half empty bottle lying next to him.

“No way” Percy said.

“I won’t do anything because it’s your birthday, but next time watch out!”

Percy just smiled and sunk in the sofa. These two had quickly developed a special friendship.

“So as I said, before I got roughly interrupted, I’ve an idea. Let’s play truth or dare!”

“Seriously, Leo? Again? You didn’t get disgusted last time?” asked Annabeth – Leo had drunk too much last time, and he’d got in an embarrassing situation. But of course that hadn’t traumatized him…

“Come on, it’ll be fun! We’ll play it soft this time. Deal?”

“Yes, but really. Soft.” Hazel’s voice was peaceful, but firm.

“Swear.”

 

Surprisingly, it turned out to be a good idea. They got in circle in the living room and began with innocent truths and gentle dares, and they soon were giggling like idiots at the slightest word. The game then slowly began to move to more intimate topics, even if it remained gentle. But when Leo asked Percy how many people he had sex with, Hazel glared at him – not for the question itself, which could have been worse, but because of the direction the game was taking.

“That was funny, but I see you can’t resist…” she said with a smile.

“No, wait, just let him answer, I’m curious” Piper said with a grin. Maybe that last beer wasn’t a good idea, but anyway. She needed to quell her curiosity. “And then we’re done, I promise!”

Hazel rolled her eyes but made no objection.

“Ok, so Percy?” Leo said.

“Five” he answered with a grin. “Luke was the first one; we dated for about a month, then I broke up and found comfort in other guys, before I decided to stop acting like a shithead. And you, Leo? Tell me everything.”

“One, man. One and only one!”

Calypso smiled, without this little mocking expression she had sometime. Piper wondered what was her number… she was just one year older than them, but she had a very… hectic life. It’s actually the good time to ask…

“And you, Calypso?”

“There was Ulysses… and Francis. And Leo, of course. Jason?” she said, turning to him. Piper noticed he quickly glanced at Percy before he looked at her, a silent question on his face. She smiled as an answer.

“Only Piper.” Percy looked at her with a strange expression, for a reason she couldn’t understand. Jason looked at him, then at Annabeth. What happeeeeeeeeeeeened???? She was about to ask when Jason spoke again. “Annabeth?”

“None” she said with a proud smile.

“No way. Someone like you?” Percy said, looking really surprised.

“It doesn’t interest me.” Not anymore, at last, Piper thought. “Rachel?”

“Honestly? I have no idea. Six? Seven? Eight?”

“Wow, we have a winner here!” Leo exclaimed. “Boys or girls? You dated all of them?”

“Hell no! I dated two… no, three of them. Boys and girls, I love both. Hazel?”

“Not any” she answered with a smile – and maybe a slight blush?

“Like me”, Frank said, with an obvious blush.

“Will?” Hazel asked. She seemed curious – maybe she finally thought it was funny.

“Uh… two… and a half.”

“A half?”

“Well, we didn’t go… to the end. And so we just have Piper left!”

They looked at her, as if she was about to say she slept with the entire high school. Seriously guys!? You’re going to be disappointed.

“Only one!”

“One?” Leo asked.

“One.” Then she laughed hard – ok, maybe the last beer was too much.

“And we’re done, as promised!” Leo said.

 

They kept chatting and playing for a few minutes, then Piper discreetly headed to the kitchen. When she got out with a hideous cake (I’m not really a good cook, ok?) they all sang, and Percy, who was sit on the couch, looked really happy. But the best of it was when Jason went to his coat, took something in it and went back to Percy, handing him something packed.

“Happy birthday, Percy.”

With that he finally looked at him in the eyes – and Piper looked at the other girls, with a victorious grin.

“Jason, I…” Percy seemed speechless as he looked at the gift then at the blond man.

“I’m gonna have cramps if you don’t take it” Jason said with a smile.

Percy finally took the gift but didn’t open it. He smiled then looked back at Jason, who was sitting next to him.

“I should be the one offering you something, not you” he said.

Jason looked at him then shrugged.

“It’s past.”

“A hug!” Piper suddenly shouted, and quickly they were all warbling “A hug! A hug!” around the two boys. Percy looked at Jason, who sighed then hugged Percy, making everyone burst in loud applause and cheers. When they finally parted, Percy had a huge smile – and wasn’t Jason blushing??

“Come on, open it”, he said before he cleared his throat. “It’s nothing big” he added while Percy was tearing up the paper.

“Wow, Jason, it’s…” Piper leaned over the coffee table to look at what Percy was holding: it was a braided leather bracelet with a silvery trident on it. Not really Jason’s genre, but totally Percy’s. “It’s perfect, I love it.” He put it on right away – and it was perfect indeed. “Thank you, Jay.”

Jason looked away with a little smile.

“Hey!” Annabeth exclaimed, like she suddenly had an idea. “Jase, Cal, Hazel, why wouldn’t you play us something?”

“Excellent idea!” Piper added. “Pleeeease, Jason” she said as he was grumbling.

“Fine, but just a bit.”

“Yes!”

“They play?” Percy asked her as Jason was heading towards the piano and Hazel took her cello.

“Yeah, Jason knows a bit of piano, Hazel’s quite good with her cello, and Calypso is a hell of a singer! They had worked a few songs together.”

Hazel sat with her cello next to the piano and Calypso turned to them.

“Which one do you want?”

“Bring him home!” Piper nearly shouted.

“Again?” Hazel said with a smile.

“It’s so amazing.”

“Ok.” (1)

When Jason and Hazel began to play, they all listened and stared in silence, and when Calypso’s voice began a shiver ran up Piper’s spine. She loved that song, she loved it so much! When they were dating Jason used to play it and she would sing (she had a pretty good voice, even if she was far from Calypso’s talent), and it was so magical! Just the two of them and the music… But hey, that’s past, as Jason said.

When they had finished all the others applauded. They played ‘City of stars’ from La La Land, where Hazel added a cello part she had composed herself, and where Jason sang with Calypso – Piper loved his voice. It was wonderful, even if Jason played some wrong notes twice – as he used to say every time he played this one, it was hard to play and sing at the same time.

After that they talked a lot about music, and Piper noticed that Percy was talking a lot with Jason, who looked rather flattered. She herself was talking to Calypso and Hazel, and their conversation was fascinating; that’s why she was surprised when she saw Will, Leo, Frank and Rachel heading to the door.

“Hey hey hey, you’re not leaving! It’s only… shit, it’s already one a.m.?!”

“Don’t worry, we’re not leaving yet” Rachel reassured her.

“We were just taking our towels; we want to taste the pool!” Will explained. “It was the official reason for all this, after all.”

“You’re dam right” Piper said before she turned to the others. “Who’s in for a midnight bath?”

 

 

(1) If you’d like to have an overview of what they play, go here: https://vocaroo.com/92KfCB6z0sA . There are more instruments, but that's the idea ;) .

Chapter Text

Percy

 

“You’re really talented, dude” Percy said to Jason when they had finished to play.

“Thanks” he said with a smile, getting up. “It’s nothing really complicated, you know.”

“But still. You had lessons?”

“Yeah, when I was a kid. My stepmother said we need someone who could play an instrument, and my sister Thalia categorically refused. I had lessons for two years, and after that I continued on my own.”

“Well, that’s a side of you I didn’t know” Percy said with a smile. Jason seemed happy, but he still was avoiding his gaze. Percy wasn’t dumb and he knew exactly why Jason had been avoiding him since yesterday; the thing he didn’t understand was why Jason had bought him the bracelet. He looked at it and the blond followed his gaze.

“I don’t know how you knew I like tridents, but it’s really perfect.”

“I called your mother this morning”, he answered, “and when I saw the trident in the shop I knew it was what I was looking for.”

Percy smiled, but hearing that made him feel… weird? Yes, in a positive way. Jason knew him enough to give him a gift he truly appreciated.

When he had handed him the thing, Percy had finally got to cross his gaze, and the twirling storm he had seen inside had made him shiver.

When Jason had come out to him, Percy had been totally stunned. He was miles away from thinking Jason, among all people, was gay! Then the blond guy had flown away, leaving Percy with his thoughts – and hell he had a lot! He did had fantasize a bit about the man, but he never even imagined it would be possible… Even if, he had to remember, him being gay doesn’t mean he’s interested in me. Especially considering what happened between us!

But hope never killed anyone…

“Jason, why did you tell me that yesterday?” he asked. He was very curious, and besides he wanted to know him more. It was something he wasn’t familiar of, even when he had been with Luke… but he was curious about Jason, about his feelings, about their relationship.

For this question, however, it seemed getting answers was going to be hard: Jason’s face immediately hardened as he frantically looked around them, making sure no one had heard. When he saw all the others were focused on their discussions he relaxed a bit, but when he turned back to Percy he looked slightly nervous.

“Can we please just… don’t talk about it?” he said in a low voice, obviously not wanting to be heard.

“Wait, they don’t know??” Percy exclaimed, trying to keep his voice low and not really succeeding.

“No, they don’t. No one does, except my sister, and I don’t want it to be otherwise!” he replied, getting angry and crossing his arms as questions exploded in Percy’s head.

“But why? I mean”, he said as he saw Jason frown, “I understand you would like to keep it a secret, but they love you and I’m sure they wouldn’t care, they wouldn’t judge you or reject you. They’re true friends.” And why did you tell me? He wanted to add, but one thing at a time.

“I know that, and I don’t doubt it. But I’m… I’m afraid of my parent’s reaction, and if I tell the Argo, one day or another they will hear it. Not everyone can have Sally Jackson as parent.”

“I suppose, yeah”, he said. He knew how lucky he was to have his mother, and Paul. Even if when he finally had told his mother and introduced her Luke, it had taken her a little time to adapt – but mostly because she wasn’t expecting it at all.

“Jason… can I ask you one last thing? And we’re done.”

“Yeah, go ahead”, he sighed.

“Why did you tell me then?”

Jason, who was looking at his chin until then, finally raised his eyes to his and Percy felt a strange thing vibrating in the air between them; this thing that had been anger and fear few weeks ago was now totally different. The blond man didn’t talk for a moment, like he was trying to dive his gaze in his very soul.

“Because you’re gay too, I think”, he finally said, in a voice that sounded strangely weak. “Because you’re the only one who could understand what I live.” He breathed deeply and finally broke eye contact, as if it was too hard for him to keep it. “And because… I wanted you to know”, he finally added, scratching his neck.

“Why?” Percy asked again, quietly, his heart beating weirdly fast. Jason looked back at him.

“I don’t know, Perce.”

The nickname was surprisingly pleasant to hear in Jason’s mouth. Like when he had called Jason Jay, without thinking: he had been afraid to bring bad memories back, because it was how he used to call Jason when he… when he was behaving like a dick; but Jason had just smiled.

Maybe because he liked it too?

Percy opened his mouth, a crucial question in mind.

“Who’s in for a midnight bath?” Piper suddenly shouted.

Jason turned to her, then turned to Percy, like he wanted to have his opinion. The last five minutes had been weird but also had allowed them to get closer. Knowing he was the only one to know Jason’s secret, except his sister, made him feel like a confident friend; and knowing Percy knew was probably making Jason feel both uncomfortable and alleviated.

“Yeah, why not”, he answered to both Piper and to Jason’s silent question – their special moment was gone anyway.

Piper guided those who hadn’t put their trunks on, including Percy, to different rooms to get dressed, while the others, including Jason, headed to the pool.

Percy was the first to go downstairs, wearing his dark blue swim shorts; he could hear laughs and splashes outside. He headed towards the direction of the sounds and, getting outside, he finally saw Piper’s pool, a big blue pool with lights on its walls, where Jason, Annabeth, Calypso, Rachel, Piper and Frank were swimming and having fun. He smiled as he was putting his towel on a deck chair before he took his shirt off – and when he could see the pool again he caught two pairs of eyes glued to his torso. Annabeth quickly looked away but Jason seemed to forget all the people surrounding them, and it’s only when he finally looked up to Percy’s face that he could see his mocking grin. He blushed and dove to the bottom of the pool.

Well, I obviously affect him. That’s good.

Good for what? He then asked himself; but he didn’t have the answer. Whatever. He didn’t want to go crazy with all that; he was just going to follow his instinct. At first he hadn't wanted to, and it had ended bad (like when his instinct had told him to let Jason help him and he had done the exact opposite), and when he finally had followed it things had been better. Most of the time.

So don’t think, do.

He waited as Jason was swimming underwater to Annabeth and Calypso, and when he finally got his head out of the water and heavily breathed in, Percy jumped, curled up in the air and hit the water next to his three friends, dousing them. When he got his head out, he burst out laughing at their faces: Jason was looking at him with a surprised expression, running his hand over his face – and Percy tried not to look at the perfect body which was below this face – and Annabeth was looking at him with daggers in the eyes and a smile – which Percy didn’t think was possible. But his laughter was mainly due to Calypso. She had been careful not to put her head underwater and had made a bun to avoid getting her hair wet. And now they were half-dry half-wet and were sadly dangling down her face; she had lifted her arms above the water and her mouth was forming a perfect ‘o’; it seemed like she was going to cry. But Percy knew Calypso enough to know she surely wasn’t going to, but would more likely try to drown him – and so she did, with a spectacular roaring.

But all was in the ‘try’, because Percy easily outran her as Annabeth was supporting her and Jason was laughing. This laugh… Percy got distracted in a vital moment and felt, too late, two arms grasping his shoulders and trying to force him underwater. But he resisted easily, even if Calypso had more strength than what he thought, and just laughed even more. Calypso was laughing too; her hair was now totally wet, but she didn’t seem to care.

“Keep going, Calypso!” he finally said in a mocking tone, “one day maybe you’ll get to it!”

“You bastard”, she said, still laughing. “Help, my friends!” she then shouted dramatically, turning to the others. “Help me! Avenge me!”

That’s when Percy realized they all were surrounding them, including those who were getting dressed. And in a try they all were splashing him with their hands and their feet, and quickly he yelled, raising his palms up in defeat, “I surrender!”

 

Percy didn’t remember the last time he had such a good party – he wasn’t even sure he ever had any better one. They stayed in the pool for almost one hour, sometimes talking and lazily swimming, sometimes racing or playing – Percy tried to let the others win some races, but it wasn’t easy. Sometimes one of them went out and sat on a deck chair, and eventually he would come back in. Piper’s parents eventually came back from their restaurant dinner, said hello and went straight to their room, leaving them be.

At a time they did pool-joust, two people on the shoulders of two others trying to bring the other down, and Percy paired up with Jason (mostly because Piper insisted for it). Jason was wearing swim shorts like him, colored in a gradient from sky-blue to white, and Percy loved the way he looked in them. When he felt Jason’s strong thighs against his shoulders he felt this shiver running through his spine, this shiver he felt when he was touching Jason, but he tried to concentrate on the game. He tried to ignore the footballer’s calves against his pecs, he tried to ignore that Jason’s crotch was at barely one inch from his head. Thanks to the water nothing embarrassing happened, and when they began to play he finally forgot it all. They won each round and made it to the final one, against Annabeth and Will; and when Will fell in the water Percy raised his fist in victory, and Jason bumped it. Then Percy dropped in the water, making Jason fell; and when he got back up Jason was coughing and his magnificent hair, which had almost dried, were totally soaked again.

“You’re so dead, Jackson!” he shouted, laughing.

And with that he jumped like the thunder on Percy, and before he could react Jason was toeing his leg and he fell underwater, a strong arm pushing on his head. He didn’t maintain his head, though, and Percy got his head out of the water, spitting and coughing. Jason was laughing, and Percy gave up his revenge. Gods if he liked this sound.

 

It was two a.m. when Hazel and Frank finally announced they were leaving, so Percy and Jason, who were the last ones in the pool, got out and put on their t-shirts.

Leo and Calypso left shortly after them, driving Will home. Annabeth and Jason had asked Piper if they could sleep here, Annabeth because she wanted to have a girly night (or a Piper-Annabeth night, which wasn’t exactly a ‘girly night’) and Jason because it was an occasion to avoid his parent’s permanents disputes.

Percy, Jason, Annabeth and Rachel continued the party for a bit longer with a video game tournament – Percy and Rachel’s team won the game – while Piper was just watching. After that Rachel announced she had to leave, and Piper and Annabeth got up and said good night before they climbed the stairs.

The two boys were sitting on the couch. Percy looked at Jason, who was already looking at him and turned his head to the side with a blush. Percy smiled.

“Jason, may I ask something annoyingly serious?”

Jason looked back at him, raising an eyebrow.

“Go ahead.”

“A few hours ago you said that all the things I did to you two years ago were past for you. I need to know, does this meant I’m forgiven?”

“Maybe”, Jason answered with a smile. “The thing is, Percy”, he added with a more serious voice, “that I don’t want to fear you, I don’t want to be mad at you. I just had to… convince my mind and my body, but I think it’s done now.”

Percy looked at him, his heart seeming strangely light. It was perfect… Jason had forgiven him. They were friends, as Percy had wanted to.

As I’ve wanted to...

No. He finally understood that this wasn’t what he had wanted from Jason.

“Do you sleep here? Because if you want to, I know Piper’s house, and there’s a lot of rooms here for y…”

He was interrupted as Percy, suddenly sitting up on the couch, grabbed him by the back of his head and captured his lips in a kiss, an aroused, a hot kiss, a kiss where Percy poured out his care, his guilt, his arousal… everything he felt about Jason. Who didn’t even move, probably totally taken aback, and just stayed there as Percy was kissing him, until Percy realized what he was doing and brutally broke contact.

“I’m sorry, Jason, I didn’t mean to…”

He was cut by aggressive lips and a hand fisting in his hair as Jason was almost tackling him back into the kiss. Percy wasn’t that surprised – he knew, or he was almost certain, that Jason founded him attractive – but he wouldn’t have expected such a fierce, such a heated kiss.

“Of course you did”, Jason said when they parted, in a breathless, aroused voice that made Percy grin.

“Obviously.”

And with that he attacked Jason back, kissing him, feeling his strong chest through his t-shirt, then kissing his cheek, his jaw, his neck… Jason was moaning, trying not to be too loud, and his hands were roaming over Percy’s chest and back, as if he was trying to touch all of him. Percy slightly pushed forward and Jason followed, slacking in the couch; Percy immediately got back to kissing him as his hands were roaming over his perfect pecs and over his abs, sneaking under his shirt, slowly stroking his lower abs and tracing his v-line, making Jason moan and shiver. He finally put his hands on Jason’s shorts but then stopped, parted from the blond and looked at him, a silent question on his face. Jason looked at the living room’s door, slightly ajar, and Percy chuckled.

“You’re afraid your ex would come in and see you in such a needy way?” he said in a low voice – lower than how he thought it would sound.

“No, dickhead, I’m afraid her parents would come in and see us”, Jason replied with a smile, still breathless, still stroking Percy’s back.

“Oh. Maybe I should stop then.”

Jason sighed and leaned in to kiss him.

“Shut the fuck up.” Then he looked at Percy. “What the hell are you waiting for??”

Percy smiled and pulled the swim shorts down.

“Woah, man, that’s a nice dick.”

Percy took his time to look at the eight-inch-long dick, perfectly straight, already wet.

Jason just had a little smile – which immediately disappeared, replaced by a face of pure pleasure, as Percy was taking him in his mouth.

“Fuuuck Perce!” was all he succeeded to say as Percy was slowly going down, his lips taking his head in, then making their way down and down until he felt the tip hit the back of his throat. He began to make an up-and-down motion, slowly at first, then faster and faster; and eventually Jason began to lift his hips up. Percy immediately pinned him down with his two hands and his mouth was replaced by his hands, while he raised his head and admired Jason.

He was looking at him with dark pupils, breathing like he just had a football game, his spiky blond hair enlightening his face.

“You’re fucking sexy, Jay.”

 

 

Jason

 

At the compliment, Jason managed to smile through the storm. It was strange to hear this nickname, because it always had been associated to Percy – and so to fear for a long, long time. He always had stopped anyone who would use it, not wanting to remember Percy; but now it was different. Percy was the only one, the only thing he could think about right now; Percy Jackson, the sexiest man of this fucking planet. And the most talented one, he just had the time to think before Percy took him in his mouth – all of him – in one motion. Fuck, how’s he that good?! He had more experience, of course, but the way he was making Jason feel right now couldn’t just be due to his experience. He remembered how Piper had sucked him off, this one time, and it had absolutely nothing comparable. He lifted his hips up once again, without even deciding to, and like the first time Percy pinned him on the couch and stopped sucking him.

“Eager, aren’t we?” he said with this fucking hot smile as he was lazily stroking him.

“Sorry”, Jason said, his head a little fuzzy, “I’m, I didn’t do it on purpose…”

“You talk too much.”

And with that Percy kissed his dick and Jason shivered. But there was something he wanted to do.

“Maybe I need to occupy my mouth then”, he said quietly, not even believing he actually had said it. Percy looked at him, surprised, then grinned.

“Your demand is my order.”

Jason leaned in and kissed him, not bothering at all at where this mouth just had been, as Percy was pulling Jason's shorts back up. They slowly turned until Jason was on his knees and Percy was sitting on the couch, and Jason stroked him through the fabric for a moment, a bit apprehensive. Fuck, it was Percy Jackson… and what if it only was another trick, just crueler and more elaborate than the others?

“You don’t have to do that, you know”, Percy said, and his voice was surprisingly soft, without this raunchiness it had a few seconds ago. Looking up at him Jason was met with a both concerned and excited face. Percy wanted it, but he most wanted Jason to feel free, and that’s what decided him.

“I know. But I want to.”

That was true. He really wanted to feel what it was like, to taste Percy’s cock – which looked incredibly thick through the fabric. He pulled the shorts down, only to be met by Percy’s dick, and he felt a wave of desire and nervousness again, because this thing was a bit longer than his, and definitively thicker. He stroked it a bit, deciding to follow his instincts, and he finally followed it entirely, throwing his rational mind to the wind. He began to place some kisses all over Percy’s incredible dick, then licked the head before he finally took it in his mouth.

Percy breathed in sharply, and Jason could tell he was using all his willpower not to thrust in his mouth – he had been in the exact same situation. His instincts were telling him how to act, what to do, and even if they couldn’t replace Percy’s experience, they apparently were enough, considering Percy’s shivers and hitched breath. At one point he put his hands in his hair, but he wasn’t pushing Jason on his dick; he just was gently guiding him. Jason finally tried to deepthroat him, like Percy had done to him, but his gag reflex immediately made him pull out – his instincts couldn’t help him on that – so he just sucked half of it.

Then eventually Percy took his chin, raised his head up and kissed him. Percy was a hell of a kisser. Jason loved Percy’s lips, he loved how he had kissed him, how he had sucked him; but he wanted more. He wanted everything.

“I know a room upstairs. A bit apart. You’re in?” he said in quick breaths. He felt Percy smile against his lips.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

Jason smiled too and took his hand.

They had trouble making their way to the room, as they were constantly kissing and stroking each other’s back, face, arm and chest, but they finally achieved to open the door, to sneak in and to slam it with Jason’s back. Their shirts flew through the room and Jason sighed with pleasure as he finally felt Percy’s chest against his. The sensation was overwhelming, and he felt his mind go numb… until Percy’s hand, which had been stroking his back, made their way down to his ass.

“Wait, Jackson, that’s not how it’s gonna happen”, he said, trying to sound firm – and not totally desperate for sex, which he was. But he wasn’t going to be the bottom. I mean, I’m a football player, and I fuuuuuuuuuuuck!!

His thoughts were shortcut and he let out a loud moan as Percy was pressing his hips against his.

“Oh, really?” Percy answered mockingly. His right hand slipped in Jason’s shorts and he felt a finger squeezing his hole, and he couldn’t take back another moan. “I think it’s totally how it’s gonna happen.”

Fuck it, Jason thought. He already had tried to finger himself, and he had liked the feeling, even if it had been a bit painful and definitely weird at first. He wanted Percy, and being the top or the bottom wasn’t that much important after all – he just wanted Percy. And honestly he was fed up playing the perfect boy, who controlled everything and always had to rule everything. This was is father, not him. He wanted Percy to finally give him what he always had missed – someone who would take him to the unknown. But the nervousness came back, even more intense. Percy’s dick was so thick…

“Unless you don’t want to”, Percy suddenly said, withdrawing his hand with that same concerned expression. It was highly reassuring to know that Percy wasn’t going to do anything Jason wouldn’t want to.

“I do, Perce. I totally want it. Just”, he added as Percy’s grin was back, “please be… gentle. Don’t go too fast.”

“We’re going at your rhythm, Jay”, Percy answered, and once again Jason felt a chill run through his spine. He leaned and kissed the boy, in a softer, more intimate way. He put his hands on Percy’s face and closed his eyes, getting lost in the sensations he was feeling, getting lost in Percy. Giving up everything – giving up control. And he immediately felt a weight lift his shoulders as Percy was slowly guiding them to the bed, still kissing, eyes still closed. Jason finally felt his legs touch the end of the bed and he fell on it, finally opening his eyes, taking in the sight of Percy bending over him, a half-smile on the mouth, his mouth-watering torso getting closer and his strong arms resting on each side of Jason’s head. Their mouth reunited as his left hand found Jason’s nipples and began to play with them as his right hand was stroking his sides, and Jason’s heart, which was beating like a drum, calmed down a bit. Percy slowly removed his shorts then took a step back to admire Jason’s body, and he had to force him not to cover himself.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything hotter” Percy said in a low voice, and Jason’s dick twitched.

“I think I do” he replied as Percy was taking his own shorts off.

Percy smiled at him, looking a bit surprised by the compliment.

“Get on your stomach”, he said.

Jason obeyed, nervous, but Percy gently stroked his back.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you.”

And with that Percy’s hands, these hands which had beaten him two years ago, but also these hands which had so effectively healed his when he had fell; his hands spread his cheeks and Jason felt his tongue lick his hole. He couldn’t take back a moan at the feeling.

“Tastes like chlorine”, Percy said, his grin clearly audible in his voice. Jason chuckled.

“No way!?” he said ironically. “Wasn’t it you who was saying I talked too much?”

“Yup. Sorry.”

But he was grateful for the dumb comment, because it had helped him relax a bit – it probably was Percy’s goal, although. Percy’s tongue entered him slightly and his rational thoughts shortcut; his arms failed and he buried his head in the sheets. Percy’s tongue felt incredible, circling his rim, licking his ass, opening him gently, and soon Jason was moaning and pushing back. That’s when he felt a finger slowly prodding in his hole, and he loved the sensation.

“You can add a second one”, he said. He was waiting for a smartass comment, but Percy just added a second one. Two fingers weren’t a big deal; a dick would be more difficult.

But Percy knew what he was doing. His fingers were stretching him; he eventually added a third one, and he was twisting inside Jason, who was sighing and moaning.

“Come on, Percy, enough teasing. Just fuck me”, he finally said, two aroused to care about the way he sounded.

“Yeah”, Percy just said. “Get on your back, I’d like to see you.”

Jason did so, loving the sight of Percy Jackson, totally naked, standing in front of him. He was painfully hard, and so was Percy; he wanted this dick so bad.

So why did Percy wasn’t already balls deep in him?

“Uh, you’ve got a condom?” he said.

That was why. Jason was so aroused he hadn’t even thought of it.

“No… do you?”

“No.”

Percy stared at him for a second before he talked.

“I had a test. I’m clean, and I had no sex since.”

“Ok. Piper was my only one and I’m hers, so I’d prefer you not to use one.”

“You’re sure?”

“Hell yeah. Now will you keep chatting or will you fuck my ass?”

Percy laughed and without a word slowly pushed his dick in his friend, leaning in to kiss him. Jason breathed heavily through the kiss, trying to relax; the intrusion wasn’t painful, but it was borderline. Happily Percy had had the patience to open him up properly. His friend’s dick was getting deeper and deeper, and Jason felt so full – it wasn’t like fingers, not at all. It was so more intense… Percy finally stopped moving, his hips pressing against Jason’s ass, his dick totally buried in him. He shivered and Jason could tell he wanted to fuck him hard and fast, but he was grateful he didn’t move. He needed time to relax.

He breathed slowly, kissed Percy then whispered

“Move.”

And Percy did so, slowly going back and forth, and Jason moaned. That was incredible. The feeling was almost too much, almost shortcutting his brain; he was sighing, moaning, shivering, as Percy gradually increased his speed.

“Fuuuck Jay you’re so good”, he said through his breath.

“Go faster, Percy”, Jason moaned, and with a grunt Percy complied. His hips were slapping against Jason’s, his dick was almost getting out then diving deep in him as Percy was jerking him, and the feeling was just incredible. He was now thrusting hard into Jason, who was an absolute mess, and they both were totally lost in each other.

“I’m close”, Jason eventually panted, feeling his orgasm building up.

“Yeah” was all Percy managed to answer as his thrust were becoming erratic, and Jason came, harder than he had ever come, splattering his own stomach with drops and drops of cum, like it would never stop. His hole tightened around Percy’s dick, and with a final thrust and a loud ‘fuck!’ Percy came too, balls deep in him, filling him. He then slowly took his dick out and fell over Jason, kissing him softly, gently. They were covered in sweat and cum, and Jason felt Percy’s cum slowly leaking out of his hole, but he was feeling so good that he didn’t want to move. Percy’s strong arms were hugging him, his head resting on Jason’s chest, and he wanted to stay like this forever…

He tried to shake the torpor away; he tried to get up but failed, and Percy raised his head.

“You wanna take a shower?”

“If I have the strength to make it to the bathroom, yes.”

“I thought about taking one, but right now I just want to sleep. But I suppose you need it more than me.”

“Yeah, I’m all sticky.”

He forced himself to get up, but as he was heading to the bathroom a hand grabbed his waist. Turning back he was met by Percy’s lips and he totally melted in the kiss.

“You were incredible”, Percy whispered against his lips. Jason smiled and gave him a quick peck before turning back.

“You too”, he said as he was opening a window – the room's temperature had quite increased – before he headed to the bathroom on his shaky legs. He showered as quickly as he could, sleeping awake, and when he got back in the room Percy was already asleep. He considered for a minute going in another room, but then he headed to the bed and slid in, next to the gorgeous man asleep, and closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

Percy

 

When he woke up, Percy felt good. Simply, entirely good. In his head, that was, because his body was exhausted and he needed a shower, but he was feeling good despite that. Turning his head on the side his eyes met the reason of this good mood: Jason was still asleep, his face turned to him, his golden hair tousled in the cutest way, breathing slowly. He was on his belly, his arms under his pillow, and Percy could see the top of his muscular back. He just stayed there, contemplating the boy in the dim light.

Last night had been incredible. Percy wasn’t a virgin, not at all; when he was with Luke they used to fuck a lot, but honestly? He never had such a good night. The sight of Jason totally wrecked under him as he was getting fucked had been mind-blowing, as much as his hole’s tightness. Percy smiled as he was remembering their night, and he felt his dick hardening.

Without thinking he slowly put his hand out and gently placed it on Jason’s cheek. He didn’t know why, but he wanted to feel the skin of the other teen.

Jason opened his eyes and looked at him, then he smiled.

“Hi.”

“Hi”, Percy answered. “I wasn’t sure you still would be here.”

When Jason had got out of the bathroom a few hours ago he had pretended to be asleep, because he wanted to know what his one-night stand would do. He had been surprised to hear Jason quietly slipping in the bed: their night had only been lust and hormones, so Percy was convinced Jason wouldn’t want to sleep with him.

“Honestly I hesitated”, Jason answered, his voice still a bit asleep. “But I finally realized there was no reason not to sleep with you. And besides”, he added, blushing a bit, “I wanted to.”

Percy smiled.

“Ok, uh, I’m gonna brush my teeth”, Jason said, looking away. Percy nodded. Jason sounded a bit uncomfortable, but that wasn’t surprising… Percy got up, got his clothes; but when he turned back to the bathroom he caught Jason staring.

“Like what you see?” he said with a smirk.

“I think you had your answer yesterday”, Jason mumbled.

“Yep.” Percy headed to the bathroom, but then stopped. “Do you want me to go in another bathroom to take a shower?”

Jason looked at him then got up, exposing his amazing body.

“I think we’re over that.”

“Yeah”, Percy said with a smirk. He tore his gaze from him and walked to the shower. Jason came in after him and started brushing his teeth; when he was done he got dressed then looked at Percy while he rinsed off.

“Percy, I have a question.”

As he was getting out of the shower and tying a towel around his waist, Percy noticed it was ‘Percy’ again, not ‘Perce’, but he didn’t say it out loud. He nodded.

“You know, last night, when we… entered the room, you made it pretty obvious you didn’t want to be the bottom. Is it just because you don’t like it, or is there any other reason?”

Dam shrewd guy. Percy’s mood weighed down a bit.

“I’m sorry, I hope you hadn’t felt obligated!”

“Not at all”, Jason said, looking away. “I wanted it. Badly”, he muttered. “But you didn’t answer my question.”

“You’re not going to give up, huh?” Percy said, going in the room, sitting on the bed and looking in Jason’s electric eyes, who was just looking at him, arms crossed, and Percy understood Jason had noticed how much he wanted to be in control. How much he needed it. The bastard’s observant even when we fuck. Well, might as well get rid of it. Jason had put all his trust in him last night, when he had no reason to; it was the least Percy could do. Tell the truth. He sighed.

“You’re right”, he said, looking at the wall. "I don’t like to… let anyone take control over me. I start to panic when they try.”

Jason sat on the bed, next to him, their arm nearly touching.

“It’s because of your stepfather”, he said. He wasn’t asking, he only was remarking.

“Yeah. Gabe.”

A shiver ran through his whole body at the name. He hadn’t told any of his friends about the fucking man, apart from Luke – and only half the truth, because his boyfriend had noticed the bruises. He didn’t want to seem weak – and he had forbidden Luke to ever talk about Gabe. But the name had escaped his lips, and before he could help it he was opening up to Jason.

“My mother married him because she had no other choice. He wasn’t that bad at first – otherwise she never would have married him, even if her life was at stake; but then he began to behave like a dick. He lost his job and didn’t even tried to get another one; he was using my mother’s money. Then he…” he clenched his fists. Then he felt a hand slowly squeezing his back, and he continued. “He beat her. I tried to stop him, and he would beat me instead; but I continued, because it meant he wasn’t beating my mom. That’s why… that’s why I was acting like this with you. To gain some control back…” His throat felt strangely tight. “And that’s why I can’t let anyone take control in my life, even in bed.”

He finally looked at Jason. Would he try to change this, like Luke did? Would he try to fix him? But he knew he wouldn’t.

“I’m sorry, Perce.”

And with that Jason hugged him, and Percy hugged back, his feelings about to overwhelm him. But he didn’t regret having said it, though.

And Jason just called me Perce again.

“So”, Jason said as they were parting, “you never… you know. Bottomed?”

“One time, and we quickly stopped. The thing is, I didn’t even dislike the feeling, I mean physically, but I was feeling bad. Really bad. And so I told him to stop.”

“So Luke was the bottom.”

“Yep. Why?” he added with smirk.

“I was curious”, Jason said, blushing.

“Oh, for him it was obvious he would be the top. I tackled him, as I said yesterday, then when I realized he was hard I mocked him. He kissed me – he wanted to make me submit – but I just pinned him and turned him on his belly. I said something like, ‘I don’t bottom, dumbass’, then I licked his hole, and I fucked him. Hard.”

Jason’s eyes were widely open and his jeans were clearly bulging.

“I th-thought you were at his mother’s”, he said quietly.

“Yeah, but we didn’t care. He was swearing as I was drilling him, and when I came I screamed so loud the neighbors surely heard it. Then the next days we fucked like, all the time. And I found out he liked it rough.” He looked at Jason’s crotch. “Getting naughty, are we?”

“You’re evil”, Jason said, before he grabbed Percy by his head and kissed him fiercely. Percy tried not to smile too wide as he was kissing back, his dick pulling at the towel.

But suddenly someone knocked at the door.

“Jase? You’re here?”

It was Piper’s voice.

Fuck!” Jason whispered. Percy dove under the bed as Jason got up quickly, gathering Percy’s clothes and tossing them under the bed. “Yeah, one minute!” he exclaimed.

Percy heard him quietly rummaging over the bed and in the bathroom.

“Ok, come in!”

The door opened, and Percy could see bare feet with varnished nails stepping in the room.

“It’s cold here! Did you keep the window open all night?”

“Yeah, I was hot.”

Thanks Jason for opening the window that night! Cold air was much better than sex scent.

“Ok. I just wanted to say, if you want to come downstairs Anna and I made breakfast.”

“Oh, sure. I have Thalia on the phone, I finish my discussion and I’m coming.”

Under the bed, Percy smiled. Jason was smart. That was the perfect excuse for staying a bit in the room, and if Piper had heard a conversation before she knocked, she would assume it was Jason talking on his phone.

“Sure, sorry for interrupting” Piper said before closing the door.

Percy waited a few seconds then got out.

“That was close”, he said, sitting on the bed again.

“Yeah.”

They looked at each other, not saying a word for a few seconds, before Jason broke contact.

“So, Percy… what now?”

So, that was the talk. Percy would have liked to have it later. Or never.

“We don’t have to change anything. We can still be friends.”

“You believe it?” Jason said in a skeptic voice.

“Not really, no”, Percy admitted, sighing. “Ok, someone has to start, so I’ll start. I fucking loved last night, and I like you. I would love to do it again. But on the other hand, I know I made you suffer a lot two years ago, and I know you hadn’t come out yet, so I’m not going to force you into anything. If you want to stop this now, I’m ok; if you want us to stay friend, I’m ok; if you’d like us to do this again, I’m ok.” And what if he wants more? He suddenly wondered. It will not happen, he upbraided himself. And he strangely felt disappointed.

Jason looked at the window, wiggling his leg – Percy had noticed he was doing that when he was nervous. He didn’t talk for what seemed to be years to him, but he just waited.

“I don’t know”, he finally said. “I like you. Really. And to be honest I always had a crush on you. And I loved last night too. A lot.” Percy smiled. “But…” Of course, there’s a ‘but’. “As you said there’s more to consider. It’s complicated… I think I just need some time. I need to understand what I want.”

“Yeah, of course”, Percy nodded. That was better than a ‘no’, for sure. “I’ll wait”, he simply said. Jason blushed and got up.

“Ok, I’ll go downstairs before the girls come to kidnap me.”

Percy got dressed up, then they carefully went out on the landing, checking there was no one.

“Ok, it’s clear”, Jason whispered. “Take the stairs and go to the room on the left, there’s a door to the garden.”

“Ok.”

Percy wanted to kiss him, but he knew how to control himself. He was about to go when Jason stopped him, grabbing his arm.

“Wait.”

And keeping his eyes locked with Percy’s, he slowly leaned down and kissed him, cupping his cheeks. It wasn’t rough and hot, like a few minutes ago, but it was intimate, and maybe even more intense. Percy kissed back, wrapping his arms around his waist, and they lost track of time as they both were melting in the kiss. But then a laugh from the kitchen brought them back to reality.

“I have to go.”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, and, Jay…” Percy said, turning back to the man with a smile. “You’re a fucking good kisser.”

Jason smiled widely.

“I know. Now get out of here before it gets more awkward!”

 

For all the way back home, Percy was smiling like an idiot, replaying the night and the morning with Jason in his head. It finally happened… After the fantasies he finally had sex with Jason Grace. And it had been even better than what he had imagined…

When he entered the house no one was there. His mother probably was walking Kitty, so he just headed to his room.

He wanted to send a message to Jason, but he had promised he would wait.

 

He tried not to think about Jason for the rest of the day, and he didn’t really succeed. He eventually forced himself to do his homework, but when he realized he just was writing nonsense he gave up and called Rachel. He needed an advice, and Annabeth or Piper were too close to Jason – he didn’t name him, nor the night they met, but Rachel didn’t ask. It was one of the reasons Percy liked her: she wasn’t intrusive.

As they were talking, Percy wondered something. Why was he so obsessed with the man? Yes, their night had been fucking good, but it only had been that: a one-night thing.

But he knew he was lying to himself. He knew he liked Jason, and he knew he would like to be closer to him.

Well, that escalated quickly…

Ok, Percy, stop. I don’t understand. You keep telling me you don’t really know him, then you say you know him for years! You say he just was a passing fancy, then you say you want to see him again. I’m lost.

“Yeah, but you see, I’m lost too.”

Hmmm’ was the only answer. He waited one, two, three, four seconds before she finally spoke again. ‘I think you have a crush on him, then.

“What – that’s not fun!”

Come on, Percy! I don’t really understand everything, ok; but it’s evident, seeing the way you always think of him – and the way you talk about him! – that he’s anchored in your head. I’m formal, Mr. Jackson.

Percy tried to deny it for a few more minutes, but Rachel kept thumping him with relentless demonstrations, and he finally gave up.

When she finally quitted the call, he just lay on his bed, thinking. What was he gonna do? He didn’t want a boyfriend. His only experience of it had been bad, and letting someone be this close to him… wouldn't it mean losing a bit the control over his own life? But on the other hand Jason was the perfect man to fall for. He wouldn’t try to rule his life. So, Percy had no reason not to try to get closer to him…

Yeah. No reason. Except that Jason wasn’t out, and that they had a heavy past. Except that Percy had no idea if his crush was reciprocal. Well – that wasn’t entirely true: Jason had himself said that he liked Percy, and that he had a crush on him for years. But would it be enough? He also had said he needed time…

 

For all his Sunday he tried to unravel his thoughts and brilliantly failed.

What was he gonna do?

 

When he arrived on Monday he still had absolutely no idea. He was slowly walking towards the school, lost in his thoughts; that’s why he was totally surprised when a red-haired storm attacked him.

“It’s Jason, right??” Rachel exclaimed, in a low and overexcited voice.

“Wha – hello to you, too!”

“Hello. It’s Jason, I’m sure!”

“Not so loud!”

“Answer me!” she said with a wide grin.

“Why would it be Jason?”

“So it’s him.”

Percy sighed.

“Yes.”

“Woooow, that’s awesome!” she almost laughed. “Jason’s gay. I knew it!”

“Please, Rachel, don’t tell anyone. He’s not ready to come out, and I don’t want to embarrass him.”

“My lips are sealed”, she said, still smiling like a fool.

“How do you know anyway?”

“You talked about an encounter, and you didn’t specify the date; but it had to be during Piper’s party; otherwise you wouldn’t have wait this long to call. And Jason was the only single man back there. How’s his dick?”

“Damn, Rachel!” he said, half-exasperated, half-amused. “You said your lips were sealed.”

“Yeah, for everyone, except you. Is he good in bed?”

Percy fought back his desire to laugh.

“Not now, Rachel. After school.”

“You’d better”, she said, suddenly deadly serious. Then her smile went back in a blink. “See you later!” And she ran away.

Percy smiled then walked in the building, but as he was going to cross the door he froze. Jason was just a few steps from him, talking with Annabeth, and when he saw his smile Percy remembered their night together. And without thinking he turned around and took the other door.

He felt like a coward, but he was afraid. Afraid of what he was feeling, afraid of Jason’s reaction.

What if he wanted everything to stop?

And what if he wanted the opposite?

Chapter Text

Jason

 

“I made waffles. Do you want some?” Piper said in a tired voice.

Jason had managed to stay at Piper’s for the weekend, arguing with Hera for about twenty minutes before she finally gave up. He felt a bit guilty, knowing he was somewhat abandoning her, but he also knew he had to live his own life. Hera was an adult; she could handle herself.

“Yes, thanks”, he said with a smile, ignoring the smoke rising from the plate.

“It’s cancer concentrate, that thing”, Annabeth said, waving at the burned waffles.

“You’re so fuu-u-u-uny”, Piper yawned.

While Annabeth and Jason were in great shape and already dressed, Piper was still half-asleep in her pajamas, her hair a tangled mess.

“You’re two smartasses. I hate you both.”

“Indeed. Why wouldn’t you go take a shower while we’re washing the dishes?” Annabeth said.

“Great idee-e-ea…” she answered, yawning again, before she headed to her room.

Jason and Annabeth talked about this and that, and when Piper came back, finally looking awake, they went to school. They all got in Jason’s car, as Piper’s mother had left earlier.

“So, Jason, will you finally tell us what you told to Percy Friday?” Piper said before he even started the car.

Jason instantly tensed. When Piper and Annabeth had asked him what had happened after the party, he just had said he had talked a little with Percy before he was gone. But he had thought Piper had forgot about Friday…

“Nothing important. We just talked about what happened two years ago. That’s it.”

He didn’t look at them, but he could feel them exchange a glance. He knew they weren’t convinced, but there was no way he would ever tell what happened Saturday’s night. Not that he didn’t like it – he fucking loved it, but… 1– it was sex. 2 – it was gay sex. 3 – he did it with Percy Jackson. 4 – it was at Piper’s. Four good reasons for never, ever, talking of it to anyone. He really, really wished Piper’s insightful mind wouldn’t be powerful enough to find it out. Apparently, he had managed to convince them that nothing had happened on Saturday night, but they weren’t convinced for Friday. Too bad for them.

But happily, the girls dropped it. They talked about the upcoming elections (Piper didn’t really have an opinion, but Jason and Annabeth talked about it all the way to school).

Jason had tried not to think about… about what happened. He had harassed his friends for all the weekend, trying to keep them busy and to avoid him to think. But what now? He felt his heart beating harder and harder as he was looking for Percy in the crowd, looking for messy black hair, looking for leather, looking for bright green eyes, looking for a shiny grin. But Percy was nowhere to be seen… he probably would arrive later.

So, what was he feeling? He was relieved, but also disappointed. He didn’t know how he wanted to behave towards Percy, and he neither had any idea of what he was feeling about the man. Anyway, he was relieved the confrontation was postponed.


He didn’t meet Percy before their first lesson. His eyes were locked to his locker, but his one-night stand never showed up.

It can’t be because of me, right?

But when he entered the classroom, Percy was here, texting on his phone, looking relaxed like usual. Annabeth and Piper sat next to him and he greeted them warmly; then he did so with Jason, but he was obviously tensed. Jason wished the girls hadn’t noticed it, but he knew they had.

 

At first, Jason was fine with Percy’s behavior: they were avoiding contact, whether physical or verbal; when they were with the argo they were laughing, talking and having fun, but they would not cross each other’s gaze.

But at the end of the week, he began to feel frustration grow. Was Percy really going to pretend nothing happened? Was he going to act like this forever? Then he realized something. Was this his answer? That he didn’t want them to… meet again, to have any connection? At the thought, he felt strangely sad. And he felt guilty feeling sad. Why was he sad? Was it only because this night with Percy had been so good? Or… was there something else?

And besides, it was strange for Percy to behave like that – he wasn’t the kind of man who avoid confrontations.

But Friday passed, and they still hadn’t talk. When he finally arrived home, he sprawled on his bed, and the only thing he could think about was Percy, their night together and their weird relationship. He finally realized three things:

    - What had happened between him and Percy two years ago was totally forgotten, so…

    - He liked Percy. Even before they had sex, he had an amazing time with him at Piper’s.

    - He wanted to have another night with him. Fuck, it had been so incredible! He finally had had what he had dreamt of for three years, and with the sexiest man he knew. Just thinking back of it was making him hard…

Someone knocked at the door.

He hastily jumped off his bed, rearranged his pants to hide his half erection and said,

“Come in!”

Hera walked in, looking ill-at-ease. It was rare for her to enter his room; ordinarily, if she wanted to talk to him, she would do so in the living room.

“Hi, Jason. You had a good day at school?” she asked, and it obviously was an introduction to something else – something important. And Jason immediately panicked, thinking ‘she knows’. But he was careful to remain impassive.

They talked awkwardly about their respective day for a short time, still at his door, before Hera took a deep breath. Here we are.

“Jason, can… can you seat on the bed, please? I have something to ask you.”

He did so, trying to ignore where the conversation was going. Hera sat down next to him, more closely than usual. She was looking… frail. Not weak, not sad, not angry. Frail. And Jason felt something he had never felt for his stepmother: compassion, and the need to help her.

“I need your advice,” she finally said, “because you’re a smart person and I value your point of view a lot.”

She stopped, trying to find her words. Jason was surprised: he wasn’t used to compliments from her mouth. Maybe she doesn’t know, actually.

“Well, that’s harder than I thought!” she said with a weak laugh. She then cleared her throat. “Jason, Hestia just offered me an opportunity to work with her.”

There was a minute of silence before Jason finally talked.

“Wow, that’s…” totally not what I thought! “… good news! But, hum, why do you need my advice?”

“Honestly, Jason, I always had wanted to have a real job. To work, to be someone… useful! But for my father, then for my husband, my place was obvious. Here, at home, with the children, taking care of the house. And I was fine with it, I loved it! But now you’re a man, and I’d like my life to change.”

Jason nodded. He was totally taken aback by this declaration, because he thought Hera would never ever want to change her life. Which goes to show you never really know people…

“The problem is, Jason,” she continued with a bitter voice, “that your father will not like it. You know him, he’s… he likes to be in control over his world.”

Jason nodded again as his brain was trying to order everything he just heard. There was silence for a few minutes before he finally talked.

“I think you shouldn’t let dad, or what he might think, stop you. If you want to live by yourself, then go ahead.”

“He’ll not like it, you know that.”

“So what? Maybe he’ll finally understand he’s not the king of universe.”

Hera got lost in her thoughts for a few seconds, then she suddenly smiled. A shy little smile, but a hopeful one.

“I’ll do it. I’ll call Hestia and accept her offer.”

“That’s good!” he said. He was a bit tensed, but he really was happy for her. He never really realized how much Hera was saddened – and even scared! – by her husband. “Others can’t decide for you. Neither your father nor dad. Enjoy your life!”

She got up, her smile getting more and more confident; she looked at Jason, then awkwardly hugged him. He was totally surprised by it, but he hugged her back – what else could he do?

“I’m sorry, Jason, for being so cold all these years. I wanted to be the perfect wife for your dad, and I forgot to be a good mother… but now I realized he doesn’t want a perfect wife. Things will change.”

And with that she smiled to him then got out of the room.

Well then! He already had a lot to think about before Hera’s intervention, but now?

Things will change. What did that mean? What was Hestia’s offer? How Zeus was going to react? And why had Hera sought his advice?

Others can’t decide for you. Neither your father nor dad. Enjoy your life!

When he had said that, it was for her, but also for himself. Enjoy your life…

He suddenly got to the door and opened it. He heard Hera speaking, probably to Hestia; he closed his door with a smile. In a few days, his relation with his stepmother had spectacularly changed; but now he was happy for her. They both had finally understood who Zeus Grace was.

Now that Hera was going to enjoy her life, it was his turn.

Beware, Percy Jackson. Monday, things will change.

Chapter Text

Percy

 

“Rachel, do you understand what I’m talking about? Because seems like you don’t give a fuck.”

“Sooorry, Percy, but I’m just trying to imagine Jason Grace bottoming to you. That must have been something!!”

Percy sighed and turned on his seat, looking at the red-haired woman sprawled on her back on his bed, her eyes locked to the ceiling.

“You’re obsessed.”

“Am not.”

“Yeah, you so are!”

“Ok, I totally am”, she cackled. “But come on, wouldn’t you’d be curious too?”

“Probably, yeah. But right now I’m opening to you, and you’re not even listening!”

“Sorry”, she said, turning on the bed and putting her head on her hands with her best puppy eyes.

“I hate you” he grunted.

“So. What’re you gonna do?” she said like he hadn’t said anything.

“Dunno. I can’t get him out of my mind. I tried to take distance, to go back to where we were… before all this, but it just doesn’t seem to work. I can’t forget him, I can’t just… What?”

“What, what?

“You’re smiling. Like a dork.”

“Am I?”

Percy raised an eyebrow and she let out a little laugh.

“Awww, come on, Percy, I can’t help it, you’re so cute! You totally fell for him, it’s absolutely obvious, but you still don’t believe me!”

“Rachel, I’m not in love with him. Final point.”

“Yes, of course” she said, making a fake serious face.

“Not helping!”

“You want to know my advice? My serious advice.”

“You know this word?” he sneered.

“I think you should accept that you’re, if not in love, then at least interested in him, and that it will not be that easy to push him away. And it could bring back to his memory what happened two years ago. So,” she sighed, “the obvious solution is to ask him for a date.”

“You’re not serious.”

“I said I would be, and I’ve been.”

“Rachel, come on, it’s… no! Impossible. No way.”

“Percy, don’t be a jerk! You want it, he probably wants it, so go on!”

“That’s not that simple.”

“Sorry, you said something? Because I wasn’t listening.”

“You’re so insupportable!”

“You’ll thank me. One day.” She smiled at him. “Well, I hope.”

 

When Percy arrived this Monday morning, he was feeling a bit apprehensive. He still had no idea of what he was going to do, because he still didn’t know what Jason was to him. Or, he wasn’t ready to wonder what Jason was to him. But the one thing he knew was that he wanted to talk to him again, to see his beautiful smile, to hear his laugh, to dive in his icy blue eyes… He wanted to run his hand through his golden hair, to touch his warm skin, to feel his strong muscles under his fingers…

That’s getting worse, he thought. Yes, they had to talk. But what was he gonna say? That’s not the point, coward. You hid enough.

He headed to his locker, searching a glow of golden light in the crowd and not seeing it anywhere. Well, it would have to wait until their next class.

But as he was putting his jacket and his helmet in his locker he saw two feet stop next to him, and he knew who the sneakers belonged to even before he raised his head. And when he finally looked at the breathtaking blue eyes, he was surprised – and almost shocked – by his sudden desire to kiss Jason. They hadn’t been that close since the night, and Percy could just have stayed there and stare if Jason hadn’t talked.

“Hey, Percy.” The blonde man seemed a bit uncomfortable and was avoiding meeting his gaze.

“Hey man. What’s up?”

“Well, uh. I thought a lot this weekend. Tried to unravel my thoughts, to figure some things out, all that. And, uh… figured we have to talk.”

Percy stared at him, feeling something weird in his guts as Jason finally looked at him. Fuck. He’s so gorgeous.

“That’s kind of… I’ll not say funny, because it’s not. But that’s precisely what I spent most of my week-end to do too, and I had the same conclusion.”

“Oh, really? Because to me, it looked like talking was the last thing you wanted last week” he said with something like doubt in his voice.

“I know. Sorry. But it’s… kinda complicated.”

“I’m all ears.”

“I forgot you were so obstinate”, Percy said with a smile, making Jason smile too. “You think right now’s the good time for the talk? With a capital T?”

Jason looked at the crowd, then at the clock. They had class in barely ten minutes.

“Yeah, no. So when?”

“I have two hours for lunch. You don’t have any option, or anything?”

“No, two hours too.”

“Good. We’ll talk later then.”

“You better”, he answered, raising an eyebrow.

“Well well well, Jay,” Percy said with a grin, finally getting over his semi-hypnotic state, “you already can’t do without me?”

“You wish”, he said, smiling. “Oh, and Percy?”

“Yeah?”

“I’d really like if you’d join us before we talk. You know, for the lunch.”

“Sure”, he answered with a grin.

 

He had been so stupid to stop talking to him! All his preoccupations, his philosophical questions had vanished when he had crossed his gaze. He was just so… comfortable with him.

His morning wobbled between apprehension for the talk and daydreaming about him. Him… like he was the only man on the Earth. It was a bit weird, no? Percy decided that he didn’t care, and thought of Jason.

Was Rachel right? Had he a crush on Jason? Well… he knew he had. He was so turned on by him that he couldn’t deny it anymore. And knowing that, what was he gonna do?

I’ll try to have whatever I can have as long as he wants it too, he finally decided. It was vague, but it was enough for him. Enough to wait for the lunch, that is.

“Mr. Grace, can you please give us the answer?” the teacher said, taking his attention back.

“Uh, sorry, mister Lance. I didn’t hear the question”, Jason answered rapidly, as if he had been pulled out of his thoughts.

“I saw that. I won’t say anything for this time, but please pay more attention.”

“Yes sir.”

Mr Lance went back to the board, tracing formulas Percy’s brain wouldn’t have been able to understand even if he hadn’t been obsessed by the angel sat two seats from him – which apparently wasn’t really paying attention too. So when he saw Frank bend over his desk to whisper to Jason he listened carefully.

“What’s happening, Jason? You seemed absent-minded since the start of the day.”

“I know. I was just thinking of something.”

And at this moment their eyes crossed, and Percy knew what Jason was thinking about. Or rather, who. And with a wide smile he turned to the teacher, not listening anything he was saying.

 

Their first lesson went surprisingly fast, and so did the second one, leading them to lunch. When Percy came in and Jason said he had invited him, the whole Argo seemed happy. Percy enjoyed the meal, like every time he had eaten with them, and cursed himself for not enjoying their company for a week.

But as lunch was progressing his apprehension grew, and judging by the way Jason was moving his legs and nibbling his lips, he wasn't the only one.

“Phew, I needed it”, Leo said as he finished the last bites of his food. “I’m going in the stable, who’s in?”

The stable, as Percy had quickly learned it, was a room adjoining the cafeteria where the school had installed a table football, a ping-pong table and some seats, and where the adults almost never went. It was the room where everyone went to chill out.

“Uh, actually, I have work to do”, Percy said. “French homework.”

“You need any help?” Jason offered, sounding perfectly spontaneous.

“I could use some, yeah. Thanks.”

“Another time, Leo”, Jason said as Leo was frowning at him. “For your thousandth revenge”, he added with a mocking smirk.

“Ha, ha, ha. Go eat your French books, maybe you’ll finally be good at it!”

You’re talking to me about school grades?” Jason said, smiling ironically.

“… No.”

“That’s what I thought”, he said as they where heading to the library.

They walked for about a minute, going past the library, before Jason finally spoke.

“So. Percy.”

“So. Jason”, he said, trying not to smile at how formal it sounded.

“Ok, why is it complicated?”

His smile was suddenly ways easier to hide.

“You had to go back to that, huh.”

“I’m not gonna drop it. Why did you avoid me last week? If you wanted everything to stop, you could at least have told me.”

He was trying to sound casual, but Percy could tell he was tensed. There was only a few persons in the halls as they were walking, not heading anywhere in particular.

“You don’t get it. I don’t want everything to stop. But…”

“But what? Come on, Percy!” Jason was still talking quietly, but his impatience was showing up.

“I was… afraid.”

There was silence for a few seconds before Jason finally talked.

“Either you’ve gone totally nuts, or there’s something I don’t get.”

“You know I dated Luke, right?”

“Yeah, that sounds vaguely familiar.”

“Yes, well, it wasn’t really a perfect relationship. Not even a good one, in fact.”

“Really?” Jason sounded really surprised. “You seem to appreciate your memories of it, though.”

“I don’t. I’m just… good for playing, and I wanted you to think my life wasn’t a complete failure.”

“I never ever thought that, Perce. I didn’t two years ago, and I surely don’t now.”

“Thanks. However, my experience of a relationship hadn’t been a good one, so…”

Jason stopped in the middle of the hall, making Percy stop and look at him, surprised.

“Wait. You’re trying to say that… you’re afraid you could like me?”

“Well, that’s a way to say it… I just…” Jason began to smile at him. “What?”

“You’re such an idiot.”

“No! I’m just someone who had make mistakes and who’s trying not to do them again!”

“Ok, ok, got it”, he said, raising his palms up to calm him down. “Sorry.”

They stayed silent for a moment, walking again.

“And… you’re still afraid?” Jason finally said.

“Yes. But…”

It was Percy’s turn to stop and to face Jason.

“I think I need to get over my bad experience.”

Percy realized Jason’s breath was shortening, and it gave him the courage he needed. Jason was waiting for him to do the first step.

“So, uh.” He cleared his throat. “I had planned to hike to the Rivulet Path this Saturday. Everyone told me it’s a wonderful place. Wanna come with me?”

“Are you asking me for a date, Percy?” Jason almost whispered.

“… Yes. I am.”

Jason shivered then smiled.

“I’d fucking love to.”

“Phew, he said yes!” Percy said, dramatically joining his hands and looking at God. He was feeling strangely light and felt stupide for all the stress he had felt.

Jason had said yes.

“Seriously”, the said Jason laughed, “you prayed for a date?”

“All day long”, Percy answered. It was like last week had never existed. “I so much liked our night, how could I not want to have it again?”

Something in Jason’s expression changed. He still was smiling, but the smile looked more… anticipative.

“I totally agree with that.”

“You wanted it too, so?”

“Of course, Percy. You know I loved it.”

“Yeah?” whispered, getting closer. “You loved it, when I was kissing you? You loved it, when I took your amazing cock in my mouth? You loved it, when you pleasured me like I thought I was gonna explode? And you loved it, when my dick was filling you and making you moan?”

Jason shivered and looked around them, but there was only one student in the hall, far away from them. Percy expected something like you’re evil or it’s not the place, but Jason just whispered back,

“I was feeling like I never felt in my entire life. And I would love to feel all this again.”

Percy smiled, getting closer again. He could see the slightest details of Jason’s skin. The perfect boy seems to have a kink for dangerous situations… That’s interesting.

“How bad do you want all this, Jay?”

Jason looked at him for two seconds, blushing, then suddenly turned to the wall. Percy thought he was gonna run away, but he just headed to the door of the nearest classroom, opened it with haste and grabbed Percy in. Then he closed the door, not really quietly, and kissed him fiercely. Percy answered with equal heat, and as their hands were roaming over the other’s body he once again thought of how stupid he had been for depriving himself of that.

“That bad, huh”, he whispered in a husky voice at Jason’s ear.

“You have now idea” he answered in the same way.

“Actually I do.”

They were hugging almost violently, trying to have the more contact they could, kissing like they were going to die tomorrow. Percy pushed Jason against a desk and they laid down on it. Jason put his hands on Percy’s cheeks, caressing his face, as Percy was tangling his fingers in the golden locks; but when they both felt something hard against their legs they stopped.

“Maybe we shouldn’t go any further”, Jason said. “Even if I really, really want to.”

“Me too. But we don’t want one of our teachers to walk in on me fucking your ass to oblivion, do we?”

“You’re really evil.”

“Already heard that somewhere, yeah”, he said with a smug grin as they were heading to the door.

“By the way, Percy?” Jason said, his hand on the door knob.

“Yes?”

“If we’re in a relationship, there’s no way I’m the only one who gets my ass fucked to oblivion.”

And with that he just smiled, opened the door and walked away.

Chapter Text

Jason

 

Honestly, Jason began to wonder if Percy wasn’t a bit bipolar. The last week we were behaving like strangers, and now we’re flirting and acting like we just left Piper’s house! Well… he just realized he used ‘we’ in his sentence and not ‘he’. Yes, Percy hadn’t come to him, but Jason hadn't done anything either. The wrongs were shared.

When the bell rang at the end of the last class of the day, Percy came to him with a smile and began to chat like they were best friends – not that Jason complained. It could have been a bit awkward, and he certainly would think it had been, later; but now it just felt good. Because Percy was so easy to talk to! As they were heading to their lockers he made Jason laugh at a point his abs were aching, then when they headed to the parking they had a heated debate on which film was the best one, and when they arrived to Percy’s bike they just talked about this and that. Percy was smiling at him when Jason was talking, and Jason was feeling warmth inside each time Percy was talking. In short, they had a very good time with each other, and when they finally thought it was time to go they realized there hardly was anyone left. Jason spotted Piper, seated under one of the school’s park’s trees, looking at them with a smile, and strangely it made him feel uncomfortable – probably because he was afraid she understood what they really were doing.

Flirting.

Realizing that, some of his old feelings came back. He didn’t want Piper to know, he didn’t want to come out, and he was afraid at how far he and Percy had gone.

Maybe he was the bipolar one, after all…

“I’ll have to go, Percy. Thanks for… everything.”

Everything being the way he was making Jason feel good – and the passionate moment they had shared in the empty classroom.

“Thanks to you, dude.”

Percy came closer, and Jason thought he was going to kiss him, right there, in front of Piper and the few other students remaining. He immediately went on red alert, but Percy just held his hand out, and Jason shook it, enjoying the touch of Percy’s hand. His smile just made Jason want to touch him more.

“Yeah, I know”, Percy said softly. “Me too. Can’t wait till Saturday.”

They smiled to each other, then Percy turned to his bike and climbed it. He put his helmet on, kicked it then rushed on the road in a roar.

“Showoff”, Jason said to himself, still smiling, before he got in his car.

 

Tuesday went as well as Monday. They were discreetly smiling to the other, they were chatting a lot, laughing, saying nonsense; they ate with the argo, and the day was perfect. Jason was tempted to drag him in an empty room again and to make out until they couldn’t breathe, but he knew that if they did that again he would find himself bent over a desk with Percy’s dick in his ass. Admittedly, the mere idea of it was making his jeans tighten, and it definitely was something he was craving for, but it would have been needlessly reckless. And what he had said the day before was true – even if he loved it, he didn’t want to always bottom. But it could wait – he knew why Percy didn’t want to, and he didn’t want to rush him. Or, not too much.

At the end of the day, as he was about to get in his car, a hand grabbed him by the arm and led him towards the grove next to the school – a small little place of green where a dozen trees were piled up.

“Percy! The heck you’re doing?”

He didn’t answer, but when they finally were in the middle of the trees he turned to him, a big smile on the face.

“You seriously have no idea?” he said.

And Jason smiled as Percy was leaning in to kiss him.

 

For all the way back home Jason was feeling happy. Simply, unconditionally, happy. The kiss hadn’t been as heated as the last one, but not gentle either; it had been perfectly in between. When he opened the gate to his house he was humming, a smile hooked to his face – but the day wasn’t over yet.

When he entered the house he was met by a febrile Hera – and ‘febrile’ ordinarily wasn’t a word that described Hera Grace well. He couldn’t tell if she was happy, apprehensive, worried or just undecided. Maybe all this together.

“You are here, at last!”

“What’s happening?” he asked, even if he had his idea.

“Hestia called me back this afternoon, and everything is in order. I will work with her!”

Jason couldn’t help but smile. She was a bit behaving like a child who finally had something she deeply wanted, but feared her parents’ reaction. Speaking of parents…

“That’s wonderful! So… everything’s okay, then?”

He knew it probably wasn’t, and he knew why. Last Saturday, when Hera had gathered her courage and talked to Zeus about her plans, he hadn’t really been delighted. It had took hours, where he had tried his best to discourage her. After all, he had more than enough money with his work, and Hera had never worked until then, and Jason needed someone home (when he had heard that, Jason, who was listening from upstairs, had been about to go downstairs to point out to his father that he wasn’t a little child, that he wasn’t home for most of the day and that he could perfectly handle himself, but Hera had pointed all this out herself). Jason had been a bit afraid that she would give up and comply, but she hadn’t, and Zeus finally had accepted defeat and had gone to the room he was calling his office, slamming the door. But it was obvious he had hoped Hestia wouldn’t call back, or that she would have changed her mind – or that Hera would – but it now was official.

“Everything, I’m not sure”, she said. “Your father… doesn’t took the news well.”

Something in her voice alerted Jason, who hurried to the living room, where he found his father sat on a chair, looking by the window, a glass at hand. Not anything to worry about, apparently… then he noticed the level of the whisky bottle.

“Dad?”

“And there he is!” Zeus exclaimed, looking up at Jason. “Hera’s counselor. How was your day, son?”

Jason answered calmly, like usually, but he was on the lookout. Zeus didn’t seem angry, just a bit in a bad mood, but he knew it could change fast. His father was like a summer sky, playful at a moment, then suddenly dark and menacing.

And of course, after five minutes…

“Hera told you about her little victory, I guess.”

“Yes, she did”, he answered cautiously.

“And?”

“And what?”

“Don’t play with me, I’m not in the mood”, he said with a voice that begun to sound bitter. “What do you think of it?”

There was a glint in his eyes, something that was making Jason uneasy.

“I… think it seems to make her happy. It looks like she had wanted it for a long time, and she finally…”

“Yeah, yeah, I heard it already”, Zeus said, scowling. “You trained him well, I see”, he added, turning to his wife.

“He’s on my side, he agrees with me!” Hera exclaimed, and Jason turned to her, in shock. Where was that coming from?! It sure wasn’t going to help him! He understood what she wanted, yes, and he thought it was a good thing; but the last thing he wanted was her to turn his father against him for her little crusade!

“Wait, that’s not exactly…”

“Oh, really? And I suppose you told him your own truth?”

“She…”

“I told him everything! Like you wanting to rule ALL MY LIFE!”

“I…”

“I’m NOT ruling your life, Hera!” Zeus exploded. “I just know what’s best for you! I did what I had to do to keep you safe!”

“That’s…”

“You LIAR! I never had any liberty to do anything I wanted! Never!!"

At this point Jason gave up being heard. He left his parents standing face to face, anger-red, and went out, deafened by the screams, all his previous happiness having vanished. He didn’t even consider taking his car and just wandered along the streets, hands in the pockets, brooding over his parents.

He walked like this for about ten, twenty minutes, or more, before his anger finally decreased. He hadn’t realized it was so late: the sun was about to set, and as the shadows were stretching over the road the temperature slowly was lowering. He shivered, his t-shirt being a bit light for the season, and stopped, looking around him for the first time; his resentment being gone, he was feeling a bit uneasy.

He knew the street he was in – now was the time to come back home. But the thing was… he didn’t want to. Not now, not to be met by Zeus and Hera shouting, not for just being a bullet they would shoot at each other… So what was the solution? He sat on a public bench, his elbows on his knees, his head in his hands, and tried to remain positive. But what could he think of that was positive?

The answer was obvious.

Percy.

Before he even noticed it his phone was in his hand.

That’s not a good idea… I’ll bother him, he thought. He totally could call Piper, or Leo – who was living closer by – and sleep at theirs. He knew those two wouldn’t mind. So, yeah, he could. Or he could call Percy…

Undecided, he unlocked his phone. He was half-hoping a text or a missing call from home, but there wasn’t anything – and he felt even worse. Maybe they didn’t notice I’m gone yet because they’re still arguing… Yeah. Yippee. What a comforting idea.

Feeling his thoughts becoming darker and darker, he pushed away his uncertainty and pressed on the phone icon. He then brought it to his ear and noted his leg was twitching, as he did when he was nervous. Percy had pointed it to him.

Jason?

“Hey, Percy.”

Everything’s okay?

Jason breathed in deeply, and another shiver ran through his body.

“Not really, no. My parents…” Sadness threatened to overwhelm him again, and he gave in and just asked what he deep down wanted. “Please, can you pick me up? I don’t want to go back there.”

Yeah, sure”, Percy answered after a second of silence. “Where are you?

“I’m in front of the hardware store, in the Roosevelt street… not far from Leo’s.”

I don’t know the streets, but I see the store. Hold on, I’ll be there in a moment.

“Thank you, Perce”, Jason said in a low voice, shivering again. The weather was really getting cool.

Anytime.

When Percy hung up Jason just stayed there, looking at the evening star that was lightning up in the dark sky. What had he just done? Why had he done it? Two kisses in two days, and that was it! Percy was the savior of every situation?

But he didn’t even consider calling him back and going back on what he said. He needed him too much – he wasn’t sure of when and how he became that dependent on him, but right now he didn’t care. He just wanted to see him.

He waited for about seven or eight minutes before a car finally stopped at his level, and Percy got out, a worried expression on the face. He’s cute when he’s worried, Jason thought, realizing how bad he must have seemed on the phone.

“Jay, what’s happening?” Percy asked, coming to him hastily. Jason didn’t answer and just hugged him tightly, his feelings suddenly about to overwhelm him. Percy hugged back and they just stayed there, Jason trying to pull himself together. A tear rolled over his cheek, but he tried to focus on Percy rather than what happened, and it worked. His nose buried in Percy’s hoodie, he could smell this fascinating scent, a mix of marine salt and deodorant; he could feel the heat radiating from the other man, slowly warming him up.

“Thanks for coming”, Jason eventually said, tightly hugging him one last time before letting him go, sniffing and wiping his tear away swiftly.

“You got me worried, you know?” Percy said with an amused voice – even if he still was gauging him with worry, his eyes lingering on his cheek where the tear had rolled.

“I know. I’m sorry. But I couldn’t stay –” he shivered “– I couldn’t stay anymore.”

“Shit, you’re freezing!” Percy unhesitatingly took his hoodie off and handled it to him. “There.”

“Thanks”, Jason replied before putting it on. He immediately felt better, and the fact that the clothing was smelling like Percy surely did help.

“Come sit down.”

They both sat on the bench Jason was on a few minutes ago and looked at each other; then they both talked at the same time.

“What happened?”

“Whose car is it?”

Percy smiled and raised his hands.

“Ok, we’ll take that in order. The car is my mom’s; I took it because I thought it wasn’t the best moment for giving you a ride on Blackjack.” Jason nodded, wondering what Percy told his mother. “Now it’s your turn.”

Jason looked at the shop at the other side of the street without really seeing it, remembering his father’s face as he was shouting at his wife. He didn’t want to talk about it right now; but Percy deserved an answer.

“My father and my stepmother had… an argument.” Percy didn’t say anything. No “that’s awful!”, no “poor you…”, no “I really feel sorry for you”… Just an attentive silence. So Jason opened up to him and explained everything that happened. Not only the recent argument, but also who were Zeus and Hera, how had been his life with them, the whole Hestia’s offer thing…

Percy knew how to listen. He didn’t seem to be bothered. He wasn’t saying anything, but he obviously was perfectly following what Jason was telling him… and slowly, Jason began to feel a bit more light-hearted. At a moment, Percy put his hand on his shoulder, a hand that didn’t seem affected by the temperature, and it helped him continue.

“I don’t know how long they will hold out”, he said as a conclusion. “It’s getting worse each day, and I think soon they’ll not even be able to stand each other’s presence.”

“I’m sorry, Jay”, Percy finally said.

“Why? That’s not your fault”, he softly retorted, before realizing it was the same thing Percy had said him days ago, when he had said he was sorry for his mother. “Anyway, thanks for listening. I needed it. And… sorry for taking your evening.”

“It’s always a pleasure to help you, Jay.”

Jason looked at him and was met by a soft smile, and he couldn’t help but smile himself. Yes, he was feeling ways better now.

“And it’s always a pleasure to look at you, too”, Percy added, his smile turning into a grin.

Jason chuckled and looked at the road again.

“What do you want to do now?” Percy asked, his voice a bit uncertain.

“I don’t know, Perce. I… I don’t want to go back home. Or not right away.”

“Do you…” Jason looked at Percy, who looked like he was trying to anticipate his reaction. “Do you want to come and sleep at my place? My mom won’t mind at all.”

“Percy, that’s… thank you. But I can’t… I already bothered you enough.”

“Like I said, you’re not bothering me, not the slightest.”

“You’re sure?”

Percy rolled his eyes then nodded.

“Yes, dumbass.”

“Ok then. Thank you.”

“No problem.”

They got in the car and began to run. Percy asked him questions about his family; it didn’t sound like inappropriate curiosity, though, but more like he really was curious about him. Jason began to ask back, and when they finally arrived at the Jackson’s he wished the drive had been longer.

“Mom, I’m back”, Percy said as he was opening the door. “Jason’s with me.”

Jason looked at him then at Mrs Jackson with surprise: he had said that like he was an old friend, well known of the family.

“Jason, nice to meet you again!” She said, looking happy but not surprised at all.

“Jason’s parents are busy, so I proposed him to sleep here.”

Sally Jackson looked at Jason. She clearly wasn’t convinced by the ‘busy’ excuse, but she didn’t point it out; and Jason suddenly remembered he was wearing Percy’s hoodie and went as red as a beet.

“Of course. Make yourself at home”, she added with a smile, before she turned back and climbed the stairs.

Jason smiled and looked a bit around him. The house wasn’t as big or impressive than his, but he was feeling much more in a family home here. He could see photos, beautiful pictures in plain frames, and just enough things lying around to make this house a lively one… not like the mausoleum he was living in.

 

And the family which lived in was as warm as the house. Paul went down a few minutes after he had arrived, and he immediately made Jason feel at ease. When they began to set the table he immediately proposed to help, and Percy just indicated him where the cutleries were stored. Maybe he had felt Jason needed to be active and not to let his thoughts unleash.

The dinner went really well and cheered him up: Sally and Paul really were curious about him, and they seemed fascinated by every little anecdote he would tell them. At least, they weren’t ‘fascinated’; they just were taking interest in their guest, more than Hera and Zeus used to. At a moment Jason even began to envy Percy for his parents; then he remembered it hadn’t always been like that.

After the meal they cleared the table, then they gathered around a board game. Jason wouldn’t have thought Percy and his family where the board-games-genre, but he wasn’t going to complain. The game they played wasn’t one he knew, and he lost pitifully against Sally, who, if Paul was to be believed, was unbeatable at this game anyway. Percy tried to prove him wrong, but, admittedly by very little, he lost his last piece to his mother with a disappointment grunt.

“Well, looks like I won again!” Sally exclaimed, patting her son’s shoulder, who muttered something like ‘nyaalookslikeIwonagainblahblahblah’, and then she smiled to Jason.

“I made you a bed in Percy’s bedroom. You don’t mind share a room?”

“Not at all. Thank you very much, ma’am.”

“You’re welcome. And please, just call me Sally!”

Jason nodded with a smile, then he turned to Percy.

“I think I’ll not last long. I’m feeling really tired, suddenly.”

“Ok, I’ll show you my room.”

Jason whished Percy’s parents goodnight, then followed him up the stairs.

“Your life is perfect, Percy, I hope you know that”, he said with a smile as they were walking in a corridor.

“It’s not like this every day, dude, believe me! And besides, you’re the perfect man here.”

Jason chuckled at the excessive compliment. Percy led him to the door at the end of the hall and opened it.

“As my mother said, make yourself at home.”

 

They talked about a lot of things again, about their dreams, about their musical tastes (Percy raised his fist up in victory when Jason said he occasionally listened classical music, like he had bet something with himself), about their friends and their teachers, about which time they would have liked to live at and about which one they surely wouldn’t et cætera.

“Ok, I really need to sleep now”, Jason finally said when he looked at Percy’s clock. He really enjoyed talking to him, but they wasn’t even at the middle of the week, and he really was feeling tired.

“Yeah, of course. I totally lost track of time, sorry!”

“Don’t be, I love when we talk like that.”

Percy smiled. He then headed towards the door but stopped, looked awkwardly at Jason and opened the mouth.

“Can you stay with me? Please”, Jason asked before he could have said anything. He still was feeling melancholy, and he didn’t want to be alone.

“Of course. Take my bed.”

Jason considered arguing, but he gave up, took off Percy’s hoodie and his pants then slipped under the covers, feeling the softness of it against his skin. He then looked at Percy, who was looking at him with a questioning glance.

“Would… would you mind sleeping with me?” Jason said. He knew he sounded a bit like a willful child, but he wasn’t totally over his anger and his melancholy – but Percy just smiled.

“I just was hoping you would say that.” He then took off his clothes excepting his underwear, and he slipped in the bed next to Jason. They just stayed there, looking in each other’s eyes until Jason felt everything turning into a distant fuzziness. The last thing he felt were soft lips on his forehead and a sweet ‘good night, Jay’.

Chapter Text

 

Jason

 

This time, he was the first one to wake up. He was feeling well-rested, as often, but he just stayed there, because he liked the feeling of the hot arm resting on his hip and of the calm breath against his neck. The sun was slowly peeking through the shutters, in a low golden light which showed it still was rather early.

After a while Jason finally turned over and looked at the man sleeping with him. Percy was perfect. His muscular body, lying on his side, was totally relaxed, and as Jason had turned Percy had put his arm under his head.

He thought back of the evening. He thought of how Percy had invited and welcomed him in his house, how nice his parents had been… Thinking of it he wanted to… to do something. To thank him properly.

He could have looked at him forever, but Percy woke up a little later, rolling over and over in bed, sighing and stretching, and finally ending up in the same position as before he woke up.

“Hey, you”, he said with a little smile and a low voice.

“Hey”, Jason replied. And with that he simply put his hand on Percy’s cheek and kissed him.

 

 

Percy

 

He wasn’t expecting that, but he replied willingly.

“What was that for?” he finally asked as they parted, without being able to hold back his smile.

“A little thank you for everything you did for me.”

“I did a lot”, he said in a falsely whiny voice. “Can you thank me a little more, please?”

“Well, thank you, Percy.”

And as they were kissing again, Jason’s hand little by little moved from his cheek to his hair, where it began to play with the dark strands, and Percy placed his left hand on Jason’s side, where he gently stroked his muscles through the fabric. But he wanted to better feel them, so he slipped his hand under the t-shirt. At the same time Jason began to pull at his hair, and progressively something that had begun gently and softly warmed up to a more heated kiss. He loved how Jason’s lips were almost merging with his, how the little scar on his lower lip was adding to the sensations…

Their movements were now firmer as their hands were exploring each other’s body, and Jason’s t-shirt quickly ended up on the floor. Percy felt his dick getting harder and harder as they were pressing their body one against the other, and judging by the hardness he was feeling against his thigh so was his friend’s.

Friend? Really? Ah, fuck it, there’s more important right now.

He began to stroke Jason through the fabric, and the little moans escaping his lips through their kiss totally were worth it. Jason’s dick was really nice, he thought again, feeling the shape of it under his fingers. And suddenly he thought back to what he had told him two days ago – ‘there’s no way I’m the only one who gets my ass fucked’. Yeah, that was fair, but Percy wasn’t ready for that. Or… well, Jason was fucking sexy, and kind, and his dick really was mouth-watering…

You think too much. Now’s not the time.

And with that he freed Jason’s dick and began to properly stroke it.

Jason interrupted their kiss, breathing faster, and he shut his eyes. Percy placed kisses all along his jaw, his neck and over his broad shoulders and his amazing chest.

“Ffffuck”, Jason hissed, his hand fisting in Percy’s hair – who didn’t mind this time – as he was licking his nipples.

“Percy, Jason, are you awake?” his mother suddenly asked from behind the door. “It’s a quarter past seven already.”

Jason’s eyes suddenly opened as he was quickly sitting up, but Percy didn’t stop and replied in a calm voice:

“Yeah, we’re coming down in a minute.” He then raised his eyes to Jason, who was doing his best for not letting any noise out, and a mischievous grin spread along his face. “There’s something I need to finish first.”

“Ok, well, don’t be too long.”

“Hmm, it’s already really long”, Percy said, looking at Jason’s dick – and Jason looked at him like he was crazy. “I mean”, he continued, now looking at his face, “I think it won’t be long.”

“Good.”

“Fuck, Percy you’re really nuts” Jason said after a few seconds.

“Maybe. But looks like you like what I’m doing, anyway.”

Jason opened his mouth to reply, but when Percy turned over and kissed the tip of his cock his riposte died.

As they were in a hurry, Percy didn’t lose his time teasing him and directly deepthroated him. He set up a relentless rhythm, sucking hard, stroking, deepthroating, and soon Jason only was a shivering and moaning mess.

“Perce…” he finally said, trying to warn him, but Percy only sucked him harder – and Jason came, hard, spitting all his cum in Percy’s mouth. It’s only when he finally got down from his cloud that he noticed Percy had swallowed it all.

“Wow. That was… something. Why did you swallow?”

“Dunno. I wanted to.”

Percy got up, stretched again then took his clothes and took off his underwear. Jason, who hadn’t moved, looked at his half-hard cock and sat on the bed.

“And you?”

“What, me?”

“The point of all this was to thank you, not me.”

Percy smiled as he was putting on a new underwear.

“I’d love to… receive your thanks, but don’t worry for me. And besides we don’t want our perfect golden boy to be late, don’t we?”

“Dumbass. Come here.”

Percy laughed and came closer. Jason got on his knees and, as he had done to him, he did his best to get him to heaven quickly; Percy’s laugh quickly stopped, replaced by quiet moans and a hitched breath. At some point he put his hand in Jason’s hair, pushing him on his cock, without really meaning to – but as he was about to stop Jason hummed in appreciation. So he liked to be a bit forced… really interesting.

But soon his naughty thoughts were shut down as he felt his orgasm building up.

“Jay, I’m gonna come…”

But Jason just kept sucking, and Percy tried to hold back.

“Come on, don’t force yourself to swallow just because I…” but at this point Jason inserted a finger in his ass, and surprise, combined with a weird pleasure, made him flinch, and he came in Jason’s mouth, swearing through his clenched teeth, forcing his dick deeply in by grabbing Jason’s hair.

Percy was still breathless when he let Jason go, who was wearing a smug smile as he was getting up.

“There’s some cum dripping from your mouth”, Percy finally said when he had recovered his breath. Jason’s smile vanished and he quickly wiped the cum with his finger before licking it.

Fuck if that wasn’t hot. Even if he just had come. He wanted to kiss Jason, just to taste this tongue with its new flavor, but of course the fucking man had noticed something.

“Looks like my finger had an effect.”

Percy punched him in the shoulder – maybe just a bit harder than it should have been for fun.

“You just got me surprised, idiot, that’s all.”

“Yeah, right.”

Percy was about to laugh, getting around the whole there’s-no-way-I’m-the-only-one-who-gets-my-ass-fucked thing, but he knew that if Jason talked that much about it, it was for a precise reason.

“Do you want that much to fuck me?” he said, still smiling, but with a slight apprehension behind. Jason didn’t reply straightaway, like he was looking for words.

“I don’t… want to just be a way for you to let off steam. I don’t want you to see me like someone you could fuck whenever you want to and nothing else.”

When Percy finally understood what Jason was afraid off, he almost was pissed off. Was that really what Jason was thinking of him? That he was some kind of… beast, who just wanted to fuck him? Then he realized how Jason could have thought such an absurdity. After all, they just had fuck without any feelings involved – apparently at least – or any kind of date, and Jason probably was thinking that being the bottom had made him Percy’s… property? And that him refusing to let Jason be the top meant he didn’t want them to be on an equal footing.

“Jay, you’re stupid.”

“Ok, where does that come from?” Jason said, crossing his arms.

“You really think I don’t want to bottom because… I don’t know, because I want to keep you inferior?”

“And so?” he simply answered, raising an eyebrow.

“Of course not! I respect you, because you’re a human, and because I like you a lot. You know that, right?”

Jason looked at him for a few seconds, then sighed and unfolded his arms.

“Yeah. I know.”

“And you also know why I don’t want to bottom. It’s not because I’m afraid not to like it, but because… well, you know.”

“I know, yes. Sorry for blowing up at you.”

“You’re definitely not a way for me to let off steam, and you never have been.”

“Good to hear”, Jason said, finally smiling.

“However, I maybe see you like someone I could fuck”, he said in a light tone, to relieve the heavy ambiance, “but surely not whenever I want to, and that’s definitely not the only thing I think when I see you.”

“I’m okay with that”, Jason chuckled. “And don’t think I don’t like it, when I bottom. I’d just like to change sometimes.”

 “I know”, Percy said. Then he added, “Just… give me some time.” Jason just nodded, and Percy wondered if he would ever be able to let Jason take control. Maybe… if they had time…

“When you said, that’s not the only thing I think when I see you, what did you mean?” Jason asked, interrupting his guesswork. Someone’s curious today… but Percy wanted to tell the truth. Hoping it wouldn’t make Jason run away, he opened his mouth.

“Percy, Jason, you’re gonna be late!” his mother suddenly said through the door. “If you don’t come down now, you’ll not have the time to eat anything!”

“Your mother has a talent for coming at the best moment!” Jason whispered as they heard her steps going downstairs. “You were gonna say something…”

“Yeah, well”, Percy said as he was coming closer to him, then kissing him softly. “You’ll have to wait ‘till Saturday to find out, I’m afraid.” Because I need to find it out myself first, rather than throwing big words without thinking, he thought.

“That’s not fair!” Jason protested.

“My home, my rules”, Percy said with a smile, before kissing him swiftly then turning to his clothes. “Even if I’d love to kiss you until tonight, I don’t want my mother to knock the door down with a battering ram.”

 

 

Jason

 

They dressed up quickly, and Jason put his clothes of the day before on again. Percy proposed to give him some of his own clothes, but Jason declined – he didn’t want to explain to the Argo why he was wearing Percy’s clothes. Even without the sexual details, he wasn’t ready to talk about the little incident with his parents.

They just had time to eat a little pancake – when he saw they were blue Jason wanted to ask why, but Percy explained without being asked.

When he looked at his phone, there were three missing calls from Hera, two from his dad and two from the home phone. Hera had sent him a shy text, where she was apologizing and asking where he was, saying she was worried. Zeus had sent more or less the same texts, without the apologies. Jason sent to both of them ‘I’m good’ then put his phone away in his pocket. He didn’t want to talk to them, but he knew he couldn’t avoid the inevitable confrontation forever. Percy, even if he had seen the names on his phone, said nothing.

“Ok, you’re taking me on your bike now?” Jason asked, as much to change the subject than because it was something he wanted to try.

“My mom already gave me her keys”, Percy answered. “She’s afraid I’d try to impress you and kill us both.”

“Oh.”

“One day, I promise”, he said, spotting Jason’s disappointed expression.

 

They arrived just at time for their first lesson. They spent the day more or less together, talking about this and that, about the school, about Jason’s friends, about their teachers; and at the end of the school day, Jason realized his world had, slowly but surely, decentered, and was now turning around Percy. He wasn’t sure of how he was feeling about this, but what he knew, however, was that he was having a good time every time he was with Percy. And, after all, that was the most important.

At the end of their last class, as they were heading towards Sally’s car, Jason saw Piper looking at them from her favorite wall, and suddenly he felt the urge to go to her and explain Percy was just helping him, that his car was broken down, or whatever; but he knew that going back to assure her it wasn’t was she was thinking was probably the worst thing to do – and besides, he didn’t know what she was thinking. He would explain her tomorrow – and only if she asked. He needed to stop worrying too much about his closer friends’ reaction – they would never do anything that would hurt him.

“Percy”, he asked as he was starting the car, “was it hard to come out?”

Percy looked at him, not answering, then looked at the road as they were passing the school’s parking’s gate.

“A bit, yeah”, he finally answered. “To my schoolmates mostly. My mother, well, you know her. As long as I was happy, she was ok with anything. But when you’re in a football team – and even more at that age – being openly gay can be… dangerous.”

“I guess so.”

They stayed silent before Percy finally spoke, his voice a bit hesitant.

“Do you… consider coming out?”

Jason wriggled on his seat, ill at ease.

“I’m not sure. But when I look at you… it seems so easy.”

“Believe me”, Percy chuckled, “it’s not that easy. At first, you’re ashamed, you’re afraid of the other’s reaction; then you finally realize most of people don’t care. So, now, yeah, it’s easy. Most of the time”, he added.

Jason nodded, but remained silent.

“But if you asked my opinion, even if you didn’t, I’d suggest you to go for it.”

“You think?”

“Yeah. Your friends wouldn’t love you less, your team is nearly adorating you, I don’t think it could change, so… the only problem is your parents. I’m right?”

“Yeah”, Jason sighed, leaning his head against the window. “Fucking right.”

And this time Percy didn’t say anything.