So far the only people who knew about this quest were Nico, Percy, and I. But lets face it if Percy knew, there was no way Annabeth didn't know. I was going crazy keeping secrets from Piper. Percy and Annabeth were supposed to be getting back from their trip any minute now, and from there we are leaving for the underworld. I was waiting until the last minute to tell Piper, if I told her too early there was a chance she would find a way to not let me go. I hated leavening her, but I also hated leaving my sister. One of the only reasons I'm even going on this suicide mission is because Nico said it would help her. She didn't look so good these days. It didn't matter how much nectar, or how much ambrosia they gave her, she just keeps getting worse. She's awake more lately, but it didn't mean she was necessarily all there. Sometimes she would speak gibberish, other times she would be throwing up. But the days when she not only remembered who we were but could hold a conversation with us, those were the best days.
Then there was the fact that Nico might be able to bring Leo back. Leo my best bud, the one I was to slow to save. I had been feeling real shitty lately. I felt like I had been letting him slip from my memories. I used to visit his statue every day, now I only go once a week, if that. I could feel my bound with Percy begging to slowly fill the void that Leo had left behind. In many ways they were alike. Sarcastic, bold, and at time clueless. But when it came down to it they both were the bravest, most intuitive people I had ever met.
I found myself staring at the front gate, waiting for the Jackson family to cross the threshold. I was at a crossroads. I wanted them to get here as soon as possible, so we can leave and find a way to help Thalia. But on the other hand, I wanted them to take their time, so I could put off having to be separated from Piper. Speaking of Piper, I could feel her hands wrap around my waist. I told her to meet me here so I could say goodbye, the only problem was she didn't know i was saying goodbye. I put my hands on top of hers and sighed, this was it I had to do it. I turned around, pulling her arms up to lock behind my neck. I pressed my forehead to hers, "Hey Pipes, theres something we need to talk about."
She giggled as she kissed my nose, "Oh come on, don't act so serious. Theres no one else around, you can shake off a little bit of that rust." I could feel my chest tighten, she was so blissfully unaware of what I was about to say. I brushed a lock of her hair behind her ear, "What I'm about to say might sound crazy, but believe me its for the best." Her eyes grew worried and she slowly nodded her head. I cleared my throat, "As soon as Percy gets back, Nico, him, and I are leaving to go on a quest." I waited to see how she was going to react before continuing. She cocked her head to the side, "And how dangerous is this quest supposed to be?" I put my hand on her cheek, "We're going to the underworld..." She backed away, letting my hand drop back to my side.
"You're what?" I ran my hand through my hair, "We're going to the underworld. Theres some supernatural balance thing that Nico needs to learn to control. I wish I could tell you more, but I can't. You just need to trust me. Trust that I'm doing this for the right reasons. Trust that I'm not going to let myself get hurt. Trust that I'll make you proud. Trust... that I'll come back to you when it's all over."
Her eyes were glassy with the hint of tears. I wiped my thumb over her cheek as one escaped. She just shook her head, "Jason, I don't... I don't know what I'm supposed to say. If I say go, I'm letting you go on quest you may never come back. If I say stay, I'm the selfish girlfriend who puts her own needs before others." She pinched the bridge of her nose, as more tears threatened to spill out. Then without warning she threw herself against me. Like a wave hitting the shore. Her lips pressed to mine with rushed passion. She pulled away before we could make a scene, "I'm going to hold you to that promise." I laughed, "Which one?" She put her head on my chest, "All of them..."
We stood like that, in each others arms. Until the Jackson's finally came home. Percy made his rounds, kissing the kids, and then Annabeth. I could tell they had been arguing about it, because Annabeth's voice seemed to crack when she said her goodbye. Percy stood there watching as his family walked back to their home without him. He ran his hand across the back of his neck, "This sucks. She's been mad at me before, but this is worse. She isn't thrilled with the idea of me going below ground again."
Nico popped up out of no where, him and that stupid shadow travel. "With good reason. But for now she's just going to have to get over it. Lets go guys, the sooner we leave the sooner we get this over with." We were just steps away from the gate when a voice trailed through the air towards us. "Nicky wait!" Nico's eyes bulged. I looked at Percy, "Who the Hades is Nicky?" He shrugged, "Think maybe it's nick from cabin four?" I shook my head, "No he's at some academy in Chicago. What about Nicole from cabin six?" Percy thought about it before shaking his head, "No she hates being called anything but Nicole."
Glen was running towards us, arms flailing, "Nicky wait! I need to talk to you! NICKY!" Thats when I put two and two together, Percy and I made eye contact as we both figured it out at the same time. Oh gosh Glen must be Nico's what? Boyfriend? No one knew about his gender preference but me. Percy had no idea, this could be very bad. Glen caught up with us, "Nico did you not hear me calling you? You forgot the map we worked on last night. I also packed you guys some food." He handed Nico a bag, kissed him on the cheek and sighed. "I'm going to miss you, please be safe." He backed away slowly before making a one eighty and walking back to the cabins.
Nico just looked from me to Percy. Percy shrugged, "So you got a boyfriend. I have a wife and kids at nineteen. Those both aren't what mortal society deems normal. But we live in a different world, and in our world, those don't sound so uncommon. Hell I'm sure my own dads had a bit of fun in his day with some dudes. Life goes on for everyone, so stop worrying... Nicky." My jaw dropped as did Nico's. Percy had only walked a few feet before Nico threw a cookie at the back of his head, "Call me Nicky again and I'll make sure you fall in a hole." Percy laughed Annabeth calls be seaweed brain sometimes. You all know that, but sometimes she calls me sea biscuit. There now we both know an embarrassing nick names now can we please go?" Nico nodded satisfied with Percy's reaction before turning to me, "What about you, Piper give you any pet names?" I blushed, "Um... yeah. She uh... she calls me baby thunder." I saw Percy's back freeze, before he busted out laughing.