Dedicated to all the singles this Valentine’s day. :-) Love doesn’t have to be romantic to be celebrated. Love yourself and others, today, guys!
The Aphrodite Cabin counted down to the end of the week like it was going to be the start of a new year–
Pink and red post-its charmed with single-digit days littered the whole Camp Half-Blood, needlessly reminding the campers that the National Aphrodite Holiday was fast approaching. NAH, the campers called it. Single Awareness Day, the lone ones called it. But for the rest of the world, it was most commonly known as Valentine’s Day.
There was to be a festival.
Single campers simply groaned at the thought of having to celebrate something they didn’t have. The heart shaped streamers that hung on the cabin roofs and pine trees were bitter reminders of their relationship status—they were brittle pieces of trash that were found everywhere.
The cabin took camp by surprise. By the thirteenth of February, the whole place turned into a gigantic love shack, with flowers and fairy lights enchanting the very crevices of the clearing. When the campers—especially the single ones—walked out of their cabins, grimaces lined their mouths. “We don’t have anyone,” they recite in varying tones and choruses.
Piper McLean walks to the set stage in the middle of the mess hall with a grin on her face. “Valentine’s Day isn’t all about romantic love, silly,” she says with charm. “It’s about love in all its forms—usual and unusual.“
i. To Oneself
Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano sat by the edge of—Was this Mercury? He looked years younger–Hermes’ statue and began munching on the churros that appeared on her golden plate, shaking cinnamon sugar off the doughy sticks. She took a sip of hot chocolate from an enchanted goblet and smiled softly at the accuracy of the magic… It tasted just like Hylla’s. The praetor continued her stroll after a couple of bites, eyes suddenly widening at the massive lava wall and exercise contraption that was nestled against a cliffside. Although the lava was dyed pink for the festival, it still looked dangerous enough to spike her adrenaline.
Churros and chocolate were pushed aside, and Reyna walked briskly to the area while tightening the bronze belt around her waist. This was good. This was Reyna treating herself to comforts she so rarely allowed herself to experience—churros gave her sugar highs that ended with migraines, hot chocolate caused her lactose intolerant stomach to grumble, and lava walls were not the best way to keep a very important praetor alive.
“Treat yourself,” Reyna shrugged, charging at the lava wall with a ferocious grin. And she definitely did. Reyna didn’t need boys to remind her of her self worth and/or spoil her to bits. She did that by herself just fine, thank you very much.
People shouldn’t solely depend on other people for their happiness—in fact, it should come from yourself.
ii. To Family
“Gotcha a ‘lil something,” Percy grinned. He hadn’t been in Atlantis for quite some time, but the walk from Camp to the glistening underwater castle was still an easy breeze. Besides—underwater, he wouldn’t see the twinkling red lights Piper installed in his cabin.
Percy handed Tyson a crudely wrapped box. As the Cyclops’ smile widened and his one eye blinked furiously to hold back tears, he opened the present to find three magical photo frames. They were made of glass, flickering like Iris messages from one photo to another. As pictures of Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Tyson passed, one after the other, Tyson’s breath hitched.
“Waterproof and battery-free,” Percy smiled, clasping Tyson’s shoulder. “I know all the pictures you have end up getting soggy and—”
Tyson embraced Percy with all his might, lifting the smaller boy off the underwater sand. The cyclops hiccuped in happiness. “Happy Valentine’s Day, brother.“
iii. To Rivals
Drew Tanaka smacked her lips enthusiastically as she faced the cabin’s magic mirror, plump red mouth striking against her angular features. The magic mirror zoned in on a section of her eyebrow where the shading was smudged, and she hurried to fix it with a brush of concealer. As she finished, she saw Piper in her peripheral, struggling to zip up her dress as the others exited the room in excitement.
Drew rolled her eyes, tucked away her brushes and walked over to Piper. Nimbly, she took the zipper from Piper’s fumbling fingers and zipped it up without complain.
“Uh… Thanks?” Piper told Drew, hesitant. Drew rolled her eyes once more and flipped her dark hair over a shoulder as Piper turned to face her.
“I don’t bite, McLean,” Drew guffawed. She eyed a smudge of unkept lipstick near the side of Piper’s mouth and a misplaced braid atop her hair. As Drew’s hand fixed the small messes, Piper froze under her expert touch. “There, now you’re perfect.”
Piper blushed in reply. “Thanks, Drew.“
Feeling just a tiny bit proud of herself as Piper looked at her with admiration, she settled for kissing her brown, flushed cheek. “Even if you’re mom’s favourite, doesn’t mean I can’t love you. You’re still my sister.”
They were daughters of Aphrodite, after all.
iv. To Pets
“Mrs. O’Leary, this is Will,” Nico grinned softly. “Will, this is Mrs. O’Leary.“
Gently, Nico beckoned the large hellhound to nuzzle Will’s shaking, outstretched arm. But before Will could touch the large muzzle, the dog tackled Will to the floor of the clearing, licking wildly at the blonde’s freckled face.
Nico joined in the fun, laughing softly as he jumped and tried to wrestle the hellhound off of his boyfriend.
“I think he likes you!” Nico said breathlessly. Mrs. O’Leary got off of Will after a few moments and resigned to mouthing the heart-shaped chew toy Nico offered him. With his pale hand in Will’s warm, tan one, he looked at his two puppies.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, girl.”
v. To Them
Thalia stood with Annabeth near a pine tree, dangerously close to the Half Blood hill where she spent years as a tree herself. She ceremoniously blew at the dangling silver moon from her headdress, looking up at the stars as she did so.
“Aren’t you spending the night with Jackson?” Thalia asked Annabeth, hands in her pockets.
“In a while,” Annabeth answered. “This is important.”
Thalia watched as she got down on her knees and dug into the soil with her dagger, blonde hair glistening under the night sky . There, she planted seeds that immediately blossomed with the light of the moon. The buds resembled hearts, gliding slowly from green tendrils sprouting from a base. Lamprocapnos, the Demeter cabin told her.
She closed her grey eyes and held Thalia’s hand.
“For them,” Annabeth muttered, wiping at her eyes. “Piper said to give love to those who had given us love.”
Thalia bowed her head in agreement, staring at the stars.
“For them,” she breathed, blue eyes sparkling. “For Luke. For Zoe. For Bianca. Naomi. Phoebe.” Thalia choked.
“For Bob and Damasen,” Annabeth whispered to the sky. “Lee. Ethan. Michael. Charles… Silena.”
The “Oh my God I’m so sorry my dog usually doesn't jump up on people like this” Percabeth AU
Perfect romances only happened in fairy tales. Maybe not the Grimm fairy tales, but fiction nonetheless. To Annabeth, romance was few and far between. No one had ever told her that after college would be one of the most lonely times in life. All of her friends had gone their separate ways - moved to different states, found regular jobs, got married, had babies - and no one had time for anyone else anymore. Piper was the exception but even then it was hard. She was busy with her wedding plans and figuring out where to seat people at the reception dinner and Annabeth had… nothing.
Well, she didn’t have nothing nothing but she didn’t have a fiancé or a house or even a cat. All she had were her books.
It wasn’t what she pictured her life to be at twenty-three working in an office in Manhattan for a tyrannical architecture firm in a cubicle where the only source of natural light came from the “sunroof” overhead. And by “sunroof” it was more like a porthole that was mostly in shadow from the other high rises downtown. Honestly, the architect who designed the building for architects should be ashamed. She kept telling herself that one day she was going to be able to start her own company and make someone else endlessly paint model trees for weeks on end, but it was getting harder and harder each day to convince herself it would ever happen.