The bright light disappeared from around the nine heroes and the satyr. As Jason looked around he saw Juno - no, Hera - had just sat down at her giant throne, the smile gone and her icy composure back. It dawned on Jason that they were in the middle of the gods' council. The sun god rushed forward when he saw Leo's state. While Jason held the vulnerable, hispanic elf up and Apollo healed the burns (from Greek fire), bruises, and possible broken bones.
"I won't be able to fully heal his bones - some are shattered. I've fixed them to be broken instead, and he will have pains here and there, but he should be fine. As soon as he's at camp, take him to see my son, and make sure he gets a lot of bed rest," Apollo told him.
"Thank you," Jason replied.
Zeus addressed the group. "Perseus Jackson," Jason couldn't help but feel jealous and hurt that his own father hadn't even looked at him, but spoke to the greek. "I have come to think that you crave our presence you're in this room so much."
The hero looked as if he wanted to smile, but couldn't. Nobody could. Especially with what had just happened. Jason couldn't help but look down at the unconscious boy in his arms.
Why did you do that?
"Firstly, I think you all deserve a congratulations. You have just won one of the worst battles in our history." All the gods bowed their heads in thank. "We have come to agree you all deserve some sort of award."
Jason looked down at Leo when he heard a groan. He had begun to stir. Immediately everyone crowded around him, kneeling on the floor. When the Latino opened his eyes, he caught Jason's blue ones straight away. Then Piper's.
"Where am I now?" he said while trying to sit up, but cried out in pain while doing so. When he saw the god of the forges peek over the demigods, he claimed, jokingly, "Okay, this time, it wasn't me. I did nothing wrong. I'm blaming it all on Superman here." Jason couldn't help but grin at the clown of the group. And it seemed Hephaestus couldn't either. He even let out a small chuckle. Leo was back.
"Son," Hephaestus said. "Why'd you do that? I nearly lost you."
Leo looked sheepish and wouldn't meet anyone's eyes. "Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea - I mean, only one hero having to sacrifice himself instead of two being captured and killed to raise the evil sister of Snow White? I see that as better - it's also to do with the fact that I couldn't live with myself that they would die, and I had done nothing about it. They're my family." Piper was close to tears as she took his hand. She bent down and kissed him on the cheek. "Jeez, Piper, I didn't know you felt that way about me." He grinned. Jason rolled his eyes and smiled at him and Piper.
"Yeah, well you're not getting anything else," Piper told him. The boy pouted and whimpered like a puppy, but soon started laughing. It was short lived though, as he hissed with pain while clutching his ribs. Jason started to look through his pockets when I piece of ambrosia was held in front of him. He took it and thanked the blonde girl stood behind him. As he looked up, he saw that Annabeth was looked down on Leo like he was a monument that had been built before the Greeks and was still standing today. She held awe in her eyes. But so did everyone else. Jason broke a corner off the square and held it to Leo. The Latino took it ad slowly ate it, moaning at the taste.
"What does it taste like?" Jason asked.
"Marshmallows with a melted chocolate middle and cream on top..." He looked like he was in Elysium - pure bliss spread across his face. They all chuckled.
"Leo," Hephaestus called. "They aren't the only reasons why, aren't they?"
His eyes held pain all of a sudden, sadness and regret. "I thought that maybe -just maybe - they wouldn't notice, if they did that they would be happy, that I was finally gone and out of their way."
Piper's tears finally began to stream down her face - splitting into rivulets. She pounced on the boy and hugged him as her body racked with sobs. Jason let his own tears escape, but only for a while, but everyone else followed. It soon ended up with Leo being at the bottom of a pile of demigods.
When they all let the Latino elf breath, Piper tried to tell him sternly (emphasis on tried), "Don't you ever say that again. Ever. Of course we care about you, Repair Boy." A new tear ran down her face, but she wiped it away quickly. Leo wiped his tears away as he whispered: "I'm sorry" over and over again.
Somebody cleared their throat behind them. As they turned around, Zeus was looking down on them, his face like a statue: emotionless.
Jason and Piper helped Leo up, and Apollo gave him a pair of crutches that seemed to appear from thin air. Leo's forehead had beads of sweat appearing, his face contorted with pain but also determination. He muttered a thanks before trying to hold himself up. Jason kept a hand behind his friend's back just incase.
"Now, as I was about to say, the council think that you all deserve an award. So we'e decided a wish each. But one within reason."
This was hard for everyone, but Jason had a million ideas floating around in his head; it was like a bee held a different wish, and his head was the hive, but they were lost.
"Percy, what is your wish?" Poseidon asked the hero.
"I would like to ask that you all swear upon the Styx that the other's get their wish. They have worked long and hard, and I think they deserve to have whatever wish they want."
Jason was surprised. That was his wish? That we'd get our wishes? The son of Jupiter could only dream of being that generous.
Zeus' looked slightly angry and surprised. "You ask of us to swear an oath again?"
"Yes," replied Percy. "With all do respect, but I believe that you all didn't keep your last one. Piper and Leo were claimed when they were fifteen, not thirteen."
"Brother, he is right," Poseidon admitted. "There are still some demigods at camp or with their other parent, who have still yet to be claimed. It is only for their safety, and what he asks is within reason."
Zeus grumbled. "Okay. You shall have your wish. Do you not have a different wish?"
"I already have what I need to live my life." Percy squeezed Annabeth's hand and smiled down at her. Jason couldn't help but admit that they were the greatest couple he has ever seen. Cheesy, but powerful. They'd be famous and known in the future by all heroes. The couple that survived Tartarus.
"He sounds just like you did when you met his mother," Zeus commented top Poseidon.
"That's what love does to you, brother."
"I, Zeus, king of the gods, swear upon the River Styx that all the wishes of the other heroes will come true, whatever it is." Thunder boomed. The oath was sealed.
"Annabeth Chase, please step forward" Zeus boomed. When she did so, he asked the same question Percy was asked.
"I would like to make a Greek version of New Rome at Camp Half Blood. I believe it will be a safe place for all demigods, where they could live peacefully and safely."
Zeus nodded his head. "Very well, you are officially architect of New Athens for Camp Half Blood - whatever you want built there, it will happen." Annabeth grinned like the Cheshire Cat. "Jason Grace, your turn."
"I wish to bring the two camps together as a whole camp."
"The two camps will unite as a whole. I think that the Roman's I thought you would have maybe asked for something more Roman, power maybe."
"I just want the camps to unite."
"Are you sure? Think about this, son."
"Yes, I don't want the two camps to be so separated. We proved today that we can work together as one."
His father nodded. "If you're sure."
"Piper," Aphrodite softly called. "Please step forward, daughter."
As soon as Piper stood up from her bow, she started, "I would like nothing else but to relieve my cabin of the stereotypes. They're all soldiers on the inside, but because of who our mother is, we get put down for it. I want my cabin to be able to participate in anything without the eye-rolls, and whispering and talking about us like we don't have a brain."
Aphrodite smiled from where she sat. "This is why you're my favourite daughter. Thank you. You have done what I have wanted to do ever since my first child." Her eyes watered slightly and she laughed a little.
"Hazel Levesque, please step forwards and tell us your wish," Zeus said.
"Lord Jupiter- I mean Zeus - I just wish that my curse is lifted. Or if you can't do that, at least have the jewels a precious item. Not a burden on people. I can control this curse now, but it reminds me so much of my mother."
"Child, I cannot lift the curse, but I will make your curse a positive thing in your life. The jewels will be worth something to people. Instead of bad luck, there will be good," Zeus told the golden haired girl, as the small smile widened into a grin the Cheshire Cat would be jealous of.
"Thank you, Lord. Thank you so much!"
"Frank. Come forwards, my boy," the war god said. As the Chinese-Canadian stepped forwards, Ares asked him what his wish was.
"I don't have a wish, but thank you," was all that Frank said as he stepped back to take Hazel's hand. Jason raised his eyebrows. Was he allowed to do that? Apparently so.
"Reyna Ramírez-Arellano," Zeus tried to say while Hermes and Apollo snickered at him. "Please tell me your wish is to change your name to something easier to say."
She smiled lightly. "Sorry, Lord, but it is not. I want to suggest something for the Greeks and Romans: a place at the camps for the Amazons to stay. I think they should stay close to us. They're our family."
Zeus raised an eyebrow at the praetor. "I am sure that can be arranged, however, couldn't that just have been done without the gods?"
"Yes, but I want it to be permanent, and to be done quickly, if not straight away. Maybe part of New Rome? They could have a shop of some sort - maybe do trade with the mortal world?"
"Very well. If you wish," Zeus waved his hand to show that she could step back into the group of demigods.
"Son," Hades said, almost gloomily. "Please step forwards."
As soon as Nico had stepped into the centre of the god's council, he said, "My wish is that all demigods are accepted into the camp and have a place to stay."
Jason saw Hades' eyes soften at what the Ghost King said. Hestia looked like she wanted to reach out and hug the boy, picking him up like a stray puppy.
"Of course," the god of the sky replied.
"Grazie," Nico whispered while bowing his head. Hades' eyes softened a fraction more. Jason knew that Nico's mother was Italian, but he didn't know that Maria di Angelo had this much of an impact on the god of death.
"Gleeson Hedge, we have made a wish for you. You are being awarded as becoming a member of the Council of Cloven Elders, and your baby has been blessed a happy, healthy life and whatever else comes with it," Dionysus told the miniature Coach. The hoofed man grinned widely and looked like he was ready to try some of his new karate (or whatever it was that the satyr got up to these days) on somebody as celebration, but soon changed his mind and simply thanked the gods. As soon as he returned to the group he grinned - showing all of his not so pearly whites. Jason couldn't help but smile back. It was a good day.
"Leo Valdez," Zeus' voice boomed like thunder (huh, maybe that came with the role as being god of the sky? Jason thought to himself).
Jason helped Leo up from where he was sort of sat, but kind of leaning, against a pillar. As Leo used his crutches, Jason kept near the elf just incase he fell. Leo limped his way across the hall with a grimace on his face. It was clear that doing this much walking was using all the energy he had left, so Jason pulled some winds together and lifted Leo up with them, so that he glided rather than walked. The Hispanic yelped at first from hovering above the ground, before shyly smiling at Jason in thanks. He looked embarrassed, like he didn't want people to see how weak he was. Jason didn't like it.
"For your bravery, slight stupidity, and what some might call intelligence throughout this journey," Zeus started. "You have a different reward, that the council agreed you should have. Instead of just one wish, you may have two." Leo's eyes widened at this, as did Jason's. But a smile took over, and he patted his friend's shoulder. Leo looked over at him. His deep brown eyes held possibility, hope, and most importantly, cheekiness.
Turning back to Zeus, Leo said, "I know my first wish. I would like Calypso to be freed from her island." Cue Aphrodite squealing with excitement at the hint of a new couple on their way. "While I was with her on Ogygia, I promised her that I would be back for her. I will keep my promise."
"But she betrayed-"
"She didn't. She did what she thought was right. She sided with her family - because family is always the most important thing in life. Which brings me to my second wish." Leo turned to Hades. "Lord Hades, I was wondering if I could see my mother one last time. Please."
Hades seemed to ponder it, until Hephaestus grunted at him, and glared. "Okay, fine. After this meeting you can see her. And brother, what of his first wish?" Hades addressed Zeus.
"The boy is right. Family is important," Poseidon reminded Zeus.
Zeus gave up. "Fine! She can be freed," he snapped his fingers. "There. Done. She's at camp now with Chiron."
Leo smiled. "Thank you so much," he said gleefully. Hades rose from his chair and walked out of the room with Leo following behind. Jason let Leo have some privacy with his mother, however, they all heard a cry of 'Mama!'. Everybody smiled, and some even chuckled.
"Heroes, you now all may leave and return to camp," Zeus boomed (seriously, what was up with his dad booming everything?!). And then, pop. They were on the porch of the big house.
Hooves were heard on the wooden floor. As they turned around, all of them saw Chiron in his centaur form. His white coat had dirt on it, and he had his bow and arrows over his shoulders.
"Heroes, you're back," Chiron said, clearly shocked. Annabeth and Percy threw themselves at him and hugged him with so much force, that the centaur had to step backwards to regain his balance, while watching out for their toes. Percy had tears in his eyes and Annabeth let out a shaky laugh when they let him go.
"Percy! Annabeth!" a girl yelled from the distance. Rachel was running towards them, her red hair flying everywhere. Her shorts were covered in even more drawings and paint marks. Just as she came to hug them, she stopped and blinked. Her eyes turned green, and the green mist that flowed out of her mouth dropped to the floor. This would always creep Jason out. As Rachel started to speak, all Jason could think was:
Not again. Why can't demigods get a break every once in a while?!