"Alright so I don't know why we're all sitting here like the Battle with Gaea isn't tomorrow," Leo walked into the dining room if the Argo II flipping his screwdriver in his left hand, an impossibly cheery smile plastered to his elfish face. It was noticeably out of place, compared to the long faces of his traveling companions.
"It is tomorrow," Percy mumbled sounding pretty miserable, putting his face into his hands.
"We already got the declaration of official war," Jason added from his place on the floor, leaning dejectedly against the side wall.
Piper unfurled the Official Declaration of War parchment Gaea had delivered to them by using some possessed tree spirits (who also tried to kill them but that's a different story) and sighed. "She even signed it."
Leo didn't have to move forward to look, he'd seen the inscription. Your Worst Nightmare was inscribed on the bottom. Actually it just said Mother of the Earth: Gaea but that was the same thing right? Leo had an absurd thought of some sort of dirt hand shooting out of the floor of a classroom and Gaea's voice whispering: "Hey can I borrow that pen? I just need to sign my name on this document so I can give it to some demigods that I need to kill. It'll only take a second."
Annabeth looked up at the noise then when she realized it was only Leo she put her head back down on the round dining table. Everyone was pretty sure she was thinking of battle plans but when they heard her snoring they weren't quite sure. No one wanted to annoy the daughter of Athena though, these days she'd been quiet and brooding, even before they knew death was inevitable. Bad enough to have the earth against you, adding Annabeth to the mix was just asking for eternal torture.
"We can't win Leo." Nico spoke from a corner of darkness, standing still and quiet. "We all know that. The gods won't help. They're too busy with their conflicting sides. They're fools! Zeus, if your listening your an idiot!" Nico spat out the words in contempt, then after he'd sucked in a breath he sat down in a chair at the table. "Why are you so happy, anyway? We're all going to die." His voice was a rasp since no one had talked in hours.
Hazel took her brothers arm sadly, she didn't say anything either just nodded slowly. She'd been absently staring off into space too, maybe trying to think up ways to sneak out and feed Arion some gold, or perhaps some different ways to do fancy tricks with the Mist. Either way, she looked pretty zoned out when Leo entered the room.
"Frank and I have been talking," Leo cleared his throat at the six other demigods, all in zombie-like states. "We think it's stupid to spend our last moments in self pity. It's lame. It's not that heroic. Did I mention that its lame?" The son of Hephaestus wagged his eyebrows at his friends, grinning. "Gods this should be the best- GREATEST night of our lives!" Everybody looked at Leo this time, meeting his eyes. His positivity was hard to deny.
"So, who's with me?" Leo roared, pumping his fist into the air.
Percy's usual grin started to appear back on his face. His hand started to slowly inch toward the sky.
"Before we get slaughtered tomorrow, you mean." Nico muttered, always the ray of sunshine. He tapped his chair eight times, a grim look on his face. Repeatedly. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Pause. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Pause. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Pause. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
"Why are you moving your fingers like that?" Annabeth questioned, being the only one to notice.
Nico stopped, looked down at his hand in confusion. "I...I hadn't meant to. Eight though. For the number of deaths. Eight deaths in the first day of the battle."
Percy's face fell and Jason slumped back again. Eight? Did he mean them? Leo was seriously trying hard to keep his own hand from slapping Nico. Destroying their happiness just because he was a son of Hades and knew about death. The last thing they needed was to keep thinking about what may or could happen.
"No way man! We don't think about that- I mean who knows what's going to happen except the Fates? Alright?" He spread his arms, at his friends then continued, slightly forcing a more dramatic smile. "So on that note, let's leave the voodoo magicy fortune telling to the old sacks of bones and do something fun!" Leo kept at it, pulling a hammer from his toolbelt and using it for emphasis tapping against his hand.
"NACHO NIGHT!" Franks voice could be heard from the hall as he burst in the room with a golden platter piled high with golden steaming delicious smelling NACHOS. Jason was up in a flash, Percy right on his heels as they tumbled toward Frank.
"So partying is supposed to help draw a plan?" Piper asked dryly, taking a bagel from the Horn of Plenty. Nachos were not winning her over.
"You sound like Annabeth," Percy said through a mouth full of nachos. Crunch. Smack
"I'll take you for a walk later," Jason offered, trying to be the romantic one. "We can have some alone time."
Leo sat down in a chair next to Nico, supressed a shiver, and grabbed a handful of nachos. "He means take you for a walk to his bed."
Jason shot his best friend a look that was worth 10 bolts of lightning, but didn' reply. Out of anger, maybe.
Annabeth rolled her eyes but leaned across the table to get her own cheesy goodness. She didn't comment, didn't look all that cheered up but it was better than being a lifeless demigod sitting at the table doing nothing but waiting for your ultimate demise. "Frank? Will you...could we...go for a walk too?" Hazel asked in a small timid voice, going toward him on soft feet.
Frank looked at her then shoved the platter right into Jason's face (it hit him on the head) and stumbled toward his girlfriend. "let's go!" He staggered toward the door, grabbing his coat. Hazel beamed and followed. Percy, Jason and Leo quickly gathered up the chips that had fallen to the ground and blew the cooties and germs off them.
"Nico? Care to join me on a romantic walk?" Leo grinned and held out his hand to the son of Hades once he stood up again from bending down to get the fallen food.
Nico looked at him, aparentally unamused. "I do want to talk to you about how you can get Calypso off that island. So yeah I'll walk with you," His voice dropped an octave and became a whisper as he brushed past Leo. "It'll be anything but romantic." Leo tripped over himself hearing her name.
Jason and Piper had somehow gotten to the point where they were throwing nachos into eachothers mouths, trying to catch them from the air. "Wanna go for our walk now? Top deck Beauty Queen?" Jason asked as Piper crunched down on food. "Race ya!" Piper laughed and they were gone.
Annabeth watched Percy whoop and devour the last bits of chip, munching away. It was three more minutes of crunching until she spoke. "Seaweed Brain, were you going to ask if we could go on a last walk or...?" The Daughter of Athena sounded impatient. Percy looked up in confusion. "Huh? Why?" Annabeth sighed, then just burst out laughing. "You're such a seaweed brain! Your just so clueless aren't you? Gods, if I didn't love you so much I would slap you." Percy rose from his seat quickly, not really wanting to be slapped. "Well I was going to ask something better." He shrugged. Annabeth raised an eyebrow, trying to stop laughing and maintain a serious face. "And what's that?"
"Just follow me." Percy winked (quite awkwardly I must add).
And so she did, grabbing his hand and they walked to the top deck. Nico was sitting on the side talking intensely with Leo who was shouting for joy. Hazel and Frank had gone down to the stables (they could hear their voices through the wood). Percy pulled Annabeth to the side of the ship then said: "Jump."
Annabeth looked over the edge, miffed. It was just ocean. "You want me to drown?" She turned and looked at her boyfriend. He just have her a non-expressionless look then shoved her over the side of the boat. Percy watched her fall, turned and gave an open mouthed Nico and Leo a thumbs up before jumping down himself letting out a happy shout. Annabeth screamed as she hit the icy water, cursing Percy. Gods he was a son of Poseidon- not her! And then he was there, wrapping his arms around her waist and she felt instantly warm. He pulled her underwater gently, a bubble of air forming around them.
"Seaweed Brain," Annabeth whispered giddily, eyes still in wonder from the different world underwater.
"I love you too," Percy grinned then pulled her in for a kiss.
Overhead in the night sky, a shooting star went by. Piper and Jason, who flew up ahead both wished the same thing, holding each other in their arms.
Hazel and Frank sang a song to the horses, their voices drifting through the night. And it was the happiest greatest night for the Prophecy of Seven.