“We ran here as fast as we could,” Jason panted, heaving as his palms laid against his knees. Percy, Nico and Frank had come running in as well, breathing as heavily as Jason. The five were sparring and swordfighting in a “Boys Afternoon Out” session, and all of them had come running to the Aphrodite cabin from the docks the moment a water nymph had told them Reyna was in trouble. “Is–Is Reyna okay? What’s happened to her–”
Jason lifted his head and froze.
“Poseidon’s underpants,” Percy bleaked beside him. Slowly, he wiped the sweat off his brow and made sure not to engage in any sudden movements. “Bro…” he whispered to Jason.
“Hazel?” Frank called out from behind his friends. The boys were enraptured by such a sight–Reyna was on the top bunk of one of the double-decker beds with Annabeth, Piper and Hazel surrounding her.
Behind them, in clumps, were hoards of Aphrodite fangirls and fanboys.
The energy was like those few seconds before a bomb exploded–you felt the tension, you could cut through every inch of the needy fans’ thirsty eyes… Some were holding autograph books while others were holding cameras and pictures and… Was that an action figure?
Although life in Camp Half-Blood had resumed to normalcy the past couple of years, life for the Argo II crew had not completely flattened out. They had become celebrities of some sort. After all, saving the world and being chosen by the gods to stop Mother Earth? That was no simple feat. And in all honesty, the boys had grown even more handsome–it was inevitable.
“Hey Seaweed Brain,” Annabeth called out cheerfully, waving from the top bunk.
“Annabeth,” he said in a hoarse whisper. “Are you doing this to me and Jase again? There are fans behind you?!”
Jason and Frank paled beside him.
“Nah, don’t worry,” Piper mused, rebraiding Reyna’s hair. “We just wanted to see if you’d come running here when you realized Reyna was in danger.”
“Of course,” Nico piped up, still breathing heavily. “We came as fast as we could.”
A hoarde of girls and boys sighed dreamily as they heard his voice, and Nico could feel their stares shooting cupid’s arrows at his face. He couldn’t shake it off.
Hazel jumped from the top deck and landed gracefully on her feet. She turned around to face the fans and smiled charmingly. As Hazel held Frank’s hand, some girls feigned passing out and fanning their faces.
“So you see,” Hazel began saying. “Reyna is already loved without needing you to ask her so meanly and you had no right to be so rude–”
“Hazel, there is no need to protect me–” Reyna spoke up for the first time that night. It was only then that Jason realized her dark eyes were red-rimmed.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Jason cut her off. He was walking towards his best friend and girlfriend on the bunkbed, but stepped back instantly when some of the fans squealed and began shaking. “What’s this about being mean to Reyna?”
“What did you guys do to her?” Nico mumbled, eyes furrowing in anger.
“Did they say anything mean, Reyns?” Percy called out, hesistantly stepping forward.
The room was then filled with hushed whispers.
“W-Well, uh, hi Frank, Nico, Jason and Percy,” a small, mousy but very pretty girl cried out. Her hands were shaking–but Jason knew it wasn’t from guilt. It was from anticipation. “We weren’t trying to be mean–we just uhm, we just wanted to know why she didn’t make a pass for uhm, all your hotnesses, uhm, yeah. Like, if I were always in your vicinity, I’d totally–”
A boy spoke up from behind her. “I mean, she isn’t bad looking–”
“She’s beautiful!“ Annabeth, Piper and Hazel growled at the same time, and prep boy jumped back.
"What we were trying to say is that… We’re children of love, and, well, she must be pretty lonely now that her pegasus Scipio is gone—“
With that, Reyna’s eyes squeezed shut and she buried her face into Annabeth’s neck. Grey eyes evaluated all the boys and shot daggers into their souls, and they all knew that was a signal for "DO SOMETHING.”
“Why would Reyna make a pass at us?” Frank asked.
"We have girlfriends!” Jason said exasperatedly.
“And boyfriends.” Nico grumbled.
“And she isn’t lonely at all, she has us.”
Percy, huffing out his chest, walked over brazenly to Annabeth, Piper and Reyna to hoist them down one by one by the waists. He desperately tried to ignore the shaking fans glaring at the girls with jealousy. As soon as all of them were down, Percy gave Reyna gentle kiss on the cheek.
Cue the high-pitched squealing.
"See? Not lonely at all,” Percy grinned, and Reyna smiled under her sniffles. He knew she was extremely strong–but when it came to her animals, she was as vulnerable as a baby.
Jason followed Percy’s lead, purposely avoiding the squealing people on the other side of the room. “You see this girl?" He kissed Reyna’s forehead and gave her a hug. "She’s amazing–and she’s my best friend. Why would she be lonely?”
Nico was next, walking slowly and holding her hand. “She doesn’t need a boyfriend. Don’t be so stupid.”
Frank was last, giving her a hug from behind. “And besides, she’s already the best girl ever–I don’t think we’re worth her, to be honest.” That earned Frank a kiss from Hazel.
The seven dmeigods stared down all the green-tinged visions of the mean people and they walked out, sashaying as all their glory left everyone in awe. No one in their crew was lonely–and no one will ever be. They stuck together, and when anyone hurts any one of them, they stood together as a team. Arm in arm, they left as a crew.
As soon as the boys were out of their sight, however, they came running down the hill as fast as their feet could take them.