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Off-Road Advantage

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"Jeez McLean, language," Percy tutted, looking just as smug as Wario on the screen, celebrating Luigi hitting his banana. He looked less smug when, in the next moment, Piper sent a well-aimed green shell speeding towards his kart.

"Oh shit," he muttered, swerving to avoid it and subsequently falling off the track. 

"You're such a hypocrite!" Piper cried, nearly sending Luigi off the edge as she jumped in indignation. 

"Just ignore him, he gets weird about Mario Kart," Annabeth said. She was, predictably, winning; sitting on the floor directly in front of the sensor. "It's an only child thing."

"Okay, first of all I am not an only child. Tyson is my brother and technically so is every horse," Percy said, Wario safely back on the track and making up time surprisingly quickly.

"Horses can't play Mario Kart," Jason said. His eyes scrunched up in concentration, despite having been bullied into wearing his glasses by Piper 20 minutes earlier. 

Right after making this astute point to Percy, Princess Peach sailed off the edge of the course. Jason sighed. He was, unfortunately, very terrible at Mario Kart. Camp Half-Blood had the privilege of owning a very abused Wii system, but Camp Jupiter had had no such luxury. As such, Jason had very little practice, and did not quite have the finesse required of a decade old Wii remote to make sharp turns.

"Whatever," Percy said, "The point is, I'm not an only child, and I don't get weird about Mario Kart."

"You absolutely get weird about Mario Kart," Annabeth said. 

"Only because it's the only thing I can actually beat you at," Percy said, abandoning all pretense about having a normal attitude towards Mario Kart. Annabeth laughed.

"You can't beat me at Mario Kart," Annabeth said. 

As if to prove her point, Yoshi sailed across the finish line, holding a solid ten second lead. 

"Why the hell do you play with Yoshi, anyways," Piper asked, only a little bit bitter as Luigi rolling over the line in a respectable second place. Waluigi made third, half a second behind Piper. Princess Peach was in 12th, a half-lap behind the nearest computer. 

"It's the most efficient," Percy said, nudging the back of Annabeth's head with his knee. She elbowed him in the leg in response.

"Look, the kart has a high drift, the speed is decent and Yoshi has off-roading advantage–" 

"You only need off-roading advantage if you can't steer," Percy said. Jason promptly sent Peach flying into a patch of dirt. 

"I can steer just fine, it's about not losing acceleration. It's simple math."

"You did math to pick your player and I'm the one who's weird about Mario Kart?"

"You guys are both weird," Piper said, patting Jason's arm sympathetically as the last NPC crossed the finish line, denying Peach a chance to complete her race for the third time in a row.

"You know what, just for that we're doing Rainbow Road," Annabeth said, wielding her player 1 remote like a knife. Piper and Percy groaned. 

"What's Rainbow Road?" Jason asked nervously. 

"I'm sorry babe," Piper said. 

"Yeah Jason, I'm sorry my girlfriend is a sadist," Percy said. Annabeth elbowed at him again, but Percy was expecting it this time and managed to dodge.

The screen surveyed the Rainbow Road course, in all it's twisty, no-railing, rainbow glory.

"Oh no," Jason said sadly.

"Think of who you're hurting with this, Annabeth," Percy said, "Jason doesn't deserve this."

"Jason is necessary collateral damage. Sorry, Jason." 

"It's alright. I lose every course anyways," Jason said, sounding very resigned to an unenjoyable four minutes. 

"Your biggest issue is that you turn too hard, you only need to go 45 degrees for a light curve, not a full 180," Annabeth said. The course counted down to one, and Yoshi shot forward ahead of everyone, already pulling a lead. 

"Don't keep bringing math into this," Piper groaned, tossing a green shell in Annabeth's general direction. It sailed harmlessly off the side of the course. 

"It's the easiest way to explain it!" Annabeth protested. 

Jason experimentally turned the remote a fraction of his usual degree. Peach skirted along the edge of the track, but mercifully did not fall.

"See, it worked," Annabeth said, biting her lip as Yoshi made a tight turn. 

Another kart bumped into Jason's, and Peach rocketed off the side of the track.

"Kind of worked," Annabeth amended, "That wasn't about the steering." 

"I think Jason is just cursed," Percy said. Wario was pulling a solid 5th place, having been hit by several shells right out of the gate. He was gaining speed though, and coming up on some item boxes. 

"I think I just suck," Jason said, as the cloud fairy dropped him back on the track in his usual 12th place. 

"You just need practice," Piper said, rather generously. Luigi was in second place, not too far behind Yoshi, but far enough that she would need an item or a major fuck-up on Annabeth's part to make first. 

"You need a Bullet Bill," Percy said, crashing into an item box.

"What's that?" Jason asked, but Percy was too busy laughing to answer. His item had settled on a blue shell.

"Percy, if you send that at me I swear I will break up with you," Annabeth said, sounding deadly serious as Yoshi passed into his second lap.

"No you won't," Percy said cheerfully, clicking the appropriate button. The shell whizzed away, and Annabeth sighed deeply.

"I hate you." 

"No you don't." 

"In this moment? Yes I do."

The blue shell circled around Yoshi once, then slammed down into his kart. Piper was close enough to get caught in the blast, and she groaned loudly.

"Fuck you Percy," She said, shaking her controller, trying to revive Luigi quicker. It was no use; Wario sped past the two lopsided karts, Percy laughing all the while.

"Your days are numbered, Jackson," Annabeth said dryly. 

"Ooh, we're doing last names now Chase?" Percy taunted, unaffected by her tone. He seemed to be thoroughly enjoying Wario's lead, making him do a rather excessive flip off one of the ramps.

Meanwhile, Jason had managed to snag a Bullet Bill in an item box, but when it dropped him off at the end of his run, Princess Peach was still in last place.

"Aw man," Jason sighed, dejected. 

"Dude, I'm about to lap you," Percy said, frowning at Jason's quarter of the screen.

"I keep falling off," Jason said. 

"Try slowing down," Annabeth suggested.

"That sounds counter-productive."

"You're only falling because you can't control the kart at the velocity you're hitting," Annabeth said, knowledgably, "If you slow down a bit it'll be easier to steer." 

"Are you sure you aren't using the remote Leo junked out?" Piper asked, risking a glance at Jason's remote. It was grungy and beat up, but didn't look any different than the other equally grungy and beat up remotes.

"I think I'm just not built for this." 

"Jason Grace. Son of Jupiter, Praetor of Rome, Titan Slayer. Bested by Mario Kart Wii," Percy said, as he lapped Jason's kart. 

"It's hard!"

"Don't worry babe, I'll get him back," Piper said, also passing Jason, only she had a red shell in store. She shot it at Percy and it hit it's target easily. She slammed into Percy's kart for good measure, and Wario ricocheted off the course.

"I probably deserved that," Percy said glumly. 

"You definitely deserved that." Annabeth said.

"Can we do a course with walls next?" Jason asked, driving Peach at a snail's pace, making every turn but not gaining any ground.

"Yeah, we wouldn't want Annabeth's off-road advantage to go to waste," Percy said.

"Excuse me, I haven't fallen off this course once," Annabeth said primly, getting a mushroom and using it to overtake Piper seconds before they both crossed the finish line.

"How the hell do you come in first every single time!" Piper exclaimed, throwing her remote down on the couch cushion in frustration. 

"Math," Annabeth said, stretching triumphantly as Yoshi took a victory lap. 

"It's literally just dumb luck," Percy said, rolling over the finish line in 5th place, "I think Connor Stoll rigged player one to always win." 

"I can beat any of you with any remote," Annabeth said, waving her hand dismissively.

"Well, we all can beat Jason," Percy said.

Peach was once again cemented into 12th place as the last computer-controlled kart crossed the finish line.

"I could beat you in a real fight," Jason said, but it came out particularly half-hearted, what with Peach crying into her hands on the screen.

"Nah, you couldn't," Percy said cheerfully, "Though, if we wanted to test that–"

"No," Piper and Annabeth said, simultaneously.

"Relax! I was going to say we should play Smash, I know it's around here somewhere–"

"Oh, you are so on." Piper said, picking up her controller again.

"What's smash?" Jason asked, apprehensive. 

"It's easier," Piper promised.

"Can I fall off things?"

"Mm, only about half of the time. You can choose someone who flies, though."

Jason's eyes brightened.

"I like flying." 

"Just think of it like this," Percy said, clapping Jason on the shoulder, "You can't be worse at this than you are at Mario Kart."

"That's good enough for me."