summary + part of the end (6 pages long) since I’m still struggling with ethics, but all the juicy bits are there. More under the cut.
big thanks to moriar-tea and suchirolle for helping me out figuring some of the dialogues.
Anonymous said: Hey Jane! Hope you're well. I was wondering if you could write a little story about the PJO guys finding helium filled balloons, bonus points if one of the guys gets Nico to do it too or at least make him giggle.
“Hold on, hold on - let me try.”
Piper pinched the neck of the balloon in between her fingers and brought the mouth of it to her lips. She inhaled, straightening her back as she did so, then held her breath. The others waited, childish snorts already escaping them. The anticipation enough was amusing.
Piper’s eyes crinkled before she began singing - more like screaming: “NAAAAAANTS INGONYAMA BAGITHI BABA!”
The six others burst into a fit of laughter. Jason had to hold himself on the back of the chair to keep from falling over. Percy had already claimed a spot on the floor, choking on breath he couldn’t catch.
Annabeth waved Piper over and took the next hit. These were children - inhaling helium like it was oxygen - and enjoying what little innocence they had left. Leo was busy blowing up some more balloons at the tank in the corner of the room, the high pitched peep of the nozzle barely louder than the kids who were shrieking with unhindered joy.
When Annabeth tried to say something, she laughed instead, which was funny alone. Frank was slumped over the table, pillowing his face in his arms as his shoulders shook with hard, silent guffaws. Hazel’s giggles were high already - her laugh on helium might only be heard by Frank in dog-form. Her legs flailed as she kicked them in the air, clutching her belly.
I may be a little obsessed with this new prompt…
There are challenges, and then there are braids.
Percy held Hannah’s locks in his fingers, bewildered and lost, as he tried to figure out how in the world a braid even worked. To him, it was magic. For all he knew, a girl rolled out of bed with braids during the night. It all started because Annabeth had showed up in the kitchen one morning - post-workout - sweaty, pink-cheeked and thirsty. As she drank a glass of water, Hannah stared at Annabeth’s braid, wide-eyed, and dropped her spoon into her bowl of cereal.
“Pretty…” she cooed.
Annabeth grew redder but smiled. She kissed Percy on the cheek and left to take a shower, leaving Hannah with no one else to ask but Percy.
“Please, please, please, can you do my hair like Annie?!”
He could have easily said: I have no idea what I’m doing, because - well, that was the truth. But whenever his little sister looked at him like that, he wanted nothing more than to give her every dollar in his pocket for an endless supply of milkshakes if she wanted it. How could he say no? It would seem that both siblings shared the perfected puppy-dogged look like it was paying the rent.
He plopped her down on a kitchen stool and got to work but failed to know how to even begin. Annabeth’s hair was curly and thick, and Hannah’s was fine and straight. Percy ended up folding some pieces of hair over each other, like a napkin, and ended them with a scrunchy.
“Thank you!” the little girl squealed as she hopped from the stool and raced into the living room, the locks already falling from the “braid” so they looked like legs of a spider.