Percy is the lead singer of the rock band Heroes of Olympus, and their first big gig is opening for superstar Annabeth Chase's world tour.
I love this. I love it. I want to write this whole series.
This isn’t Percy’s first show. He’s been on plenty of stages, knows how to work a crowd, manages to sing and pluck at his guitar and make faces at his bandmates all at the same time, but God only knows how he managed to score such a perfect gig. Really, sharing a stage with his best friends, playing the kind of music they could only dream of while practicing in shitty garages in high school? Travelling the world? Opening for Annabeth Chase?
“You’re going to do great out there.”
Percy nearly jumps out of his skin. He turns, and there she is, standing just behind him side stage next to a small table with bottles and bottles of water. She’s just as tall as he is with those boots on, and her hair shines gold and orange and purple in the flashing stage lights. They’ve been through meetings and press and rehearsals together for the past few months and still, his tongue feels swollen in his mouth just looking at her.
“Uh, hi. Hey,” he says, almost yelling over the booming intro music. “Yeah, thanks–you too?”
She grins. It’s a sharp, toothy thing. The announcer, a crazy guy called Coach, hypes the crowd up for the Heroes of Olympus, and from the other side of the stage, his friends walk out to applause.
Annabeth reaches for his arm before he can join them. “Don’t be nervous. You’ve got this.”
“Cool, thanks, I wasn’t until just now?”
“Sure you weren’t,” she says. After a beat, she tugs on his wrist and pulls him into a hug–the full-body kind, arms around his shoulders, chest against his, hips and thighs and knees knocking together–and Percy hugs her back because he just–really needed a hug, actually. He tucks his face into the curly mass of her hair and feels her heart pulse fast and even against his. Ba-bum. Ba-bum.
“Knock ‘em out,” she says, squeezing one last time before pulling away. “And watch that high C in ‘Elysium,’ huh?”
Percy laughs as he steps back, walking backwards so that he can toss a messy, stupid salute her way. He knows the moment he steps onto center stage. The volume of everything shifts–the crowd, and the intro music, and his own breathing loud in his ears–and when he turns to wave hello to everyone, he–trips. On his own feet. In front of, like, thousands of people, and their cameras, and by extension probably the world?
Piper’s eyes go wide behind her drums. He can’t look at her. When he reaches his mic stand, he knows his whole face is aflame.
“Sorry,” he says, reaching for his guitar. He nods his head back toward side stage. “Annabeth Chase just gave me a hug.”
The crowd goes wild. Percy feels the roar booming in his chest and knows exactly how they feel.