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Uncomfortable Truths

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"Well, that sucked," Jason says, rolling his shoulder and grimacing, his hair and clothes plastered to his body.

Understatement of the century I think to myself, but I don't say anything. I climb to my feet, the rocky sand crunching beneath my shoes. I'm not wet despite being caught up in a typhoon along with Jason, and thrown several miles from where we started. My half-sister, Kymopoleia was not kidding when she said being feared by demigods was more important to her than being represented in action figure form. She kept the action figure, though. I have a feeling she's sweeter on Jason than she lets on, and I'm thankful for it. Seriously, she could have killed us, but settled for scaring us shitless.

I give Jason a hand and he pulls himself upright. He's shaking from the cold and seems to have trouble regaining his balance.

"Come on, bro," I tell him, offering my arm. "I got you. We gotta find somewhere to lie low for the night."

He drapes his arm over my shoulder, leaning on me as I lead us up the rocky beach to a row of dingy-looking hotels.

"Thanks, man," he says, teeth chattering. "I owe you one."

"Dude, you owe me like ten."

"Shut up, Jackson. Just get us somewhere warm."

I chuckle and half-carry Jason's heavy ass to the nearest hotel with a vacancy sign.


I get us a room and Jason takes his key, suddenly perfectly able to carry his own weight.

"I'm gonna take a hot shower. Get us some food?"

He takes off before I have a chance to answer. I roll my eyes and turn back to the guy at the counter. "Any place nearby sell food?"

He points to a mini-mart across the highway.

I sigh, and head back out into the night. Grace really does owe me big time.

I'm lying to myself. It's so good to be back in the thick of adventure again. Finishing high school was a total bust. I know Annabeth is disappointed, but after working with half a dozen school counselors, it's pretty clear my way forward is gonna be a GED. I'm alright with that. The University in New Rome said they'd accept it without a problem. It was a fluke running into Jason when I'd gone to check it out, but when he mentioned visiting Kymopoleia to settle our score, there was no way I wasn't coming along.


I have to jiggle the key in the lock, but finally get it to work and push open the hotel room door. Jason strolls into the room along with a billow of steam, a towel wrapped around his waist.

"Dude, yeah. You're the best," he says as I push the grocery bag into his arms and make for the bathroom. I have to piss like nothing else.

"Don't forget it," I call over my shoulder. "And leave me something to eat!" I slam the bathroom door behind me, so happy to see a toilet I could cry.

There's a rumbling sound coming from the cabinet beside the sink. I finish pissing, then take a look. I open the bathroom door a crack. "Is this a washing machine?"

"Yeah! Isn't it awesome?" Jason calls back. "My stuff should be done in about twenty minutes. It's gotta hang to dry, but you can use it next. Better than what we're used to."

"Right on." I close the door and strip myself. The idea of a hot shower and clean clothes is pretty close to Elysium after the typhoon. I'm not going to complain.


I toss my clothes in the small washing machine and hang Jason's up on the shower curtain rod, then wrap a towel around my waist and return to the hotel room. Jason's stretched out on the bed and tosses the remote on the nightstand. It's the first time I've had a chance to look at our digs for the night.

"What the hell? There's only one bed?"

Jason sits up, holding his towel in place and dusting sandwich crumbs off his bare chest. "Yeah, and there's nothing good on TV either.” I flop on the bed next to him and hold out my hand for the remote. He shrugs and hands it to me and I flick through the channels. There's only six of them and most are news. I drop the remote and grab the grocery bag.

At least he left me a sandwich, an apple, and a bag of chips.

Jason snorts as I take a bite and I raise my eyebrows.

"Unless you wanna check out what's in the DVD player. Seems whoever had the room before us left a disc."

I don't trust the smirk playing on his lips, but there's also a challenge hanging in the air between us.

I reach for the remote, watching his eyes light up in anticipation, then aim it at the television set and hit the DVD button. "Seriously?" I say, but it comes out a lot more like smmerschleee with my mouth full of sandwich. I finish chewing and swallow while Jason laughs his ass off. "Seriously, dude. Gay porn?"

Two can play at whatever game Jason thinks he's winning. I shrug and settle back against my pillow, munching my sandwich and settling in as if I'm actually fine with watching it.

After about a minute Jason clears his throat. "Umm, you're not really going to watch this are you?"

I finish my sandwich and take out my apple. "Nothing else on," and then the camera moves to a close up and my stomach turns. I hit the off button on the remote, my face scrunched up.

Jason starts laughing again. "Knew it!" He takes the remote from me and puts it back on the nightstand.

"Don't even start. They were licking each others’ assholes. That's just not right."

It takes Jason a while to catch his breath. "I … I'm not sure that people really do that in real life. It's fake, right? Like for shock value?"

I take a bite of my apple and chew it. It doesn't taste right. I put it back in the bag and pull out the chips instead. "I dunno. Do you think …" I stop talking before I say something I'll regret and shove a handful of Lays into my mouth.

"Do I think what?"

Damn it, Grace. Can't you ever let a subject drop?

Apparently not. He's waiting for me to swallow my mouthful. I reach for the bottle of water on the nightstand and open it. Waste of an extra three dollars, but even the chips don't taste right at moment. I need to wash my mouth out and refuel.

After downing half the bottle, I put the cap back on. "You don't think, like, Nico and Will … nah. They wouldn't be into that, would they?"

"Nah," Jason says, and takes my water away and finishes it.

"Hey, you're gonna get my cooties."

Jason shrugs. "Figure I've already got them. I dunno. I've never really thought about Nico …" he gestures vaguely "… and sex. But I'd kill anybody who gave him a hard time about licking Will's ass if that's what he wants to do!"

I hold out my fist and Jason bumps it. "Damn straight."

Jason grins. It's his rile-me-up grin.


"You know that's why you're not his type, right?"

I roll my eyes and then punch Jason in the arm. "That was a year ago. Drop it already."

Jason just keeps grinning. "Okay, fine. What do you want to do while we wait for our clothes?"

The atmosphere seems to have changed. I'm not sure I like it. It's more charged, like Jason's itching for some sort of challenge. I have to admit, it's been great seeing him again. I don't have the same sort of playful relationship with any of my other guy friends, and the last several months in the mortal world was bringing my mood way down.

It has to be the relief of just being around someone who gets me, I dunno, but I just want to mess with Grace's head. "Well, we could forward past the ass licking and make fun of the corny plotline in that porno."

Jason raises his eyebrows, his mouth twitching at the corner. He grabs the remote. "You really think there's a plot at all?"

I shrug as Jason hits the forward button on the remote and a new scene starts.


I don't even know how we made it through the end of that thing. Most of the time was spent cracking jokes and laughing our asses off, but a lot of times I'd make a joke to cover up the fact I was starting to get hard.

Jason turns off the TV and puts the remote back on the nightstand. "You wanna get your clothes out of the washer? We should get some shut eye."

I climb off the bed, adjusting my towel so it stays in place and take care of the laundry. It's not weird, is it, I wonder to myself, that two guy friends are hanging out in only towels, making fun of gay porn before turning in for the night, sleeping in the same bed?

I tell myself it's not weird. Demigods live different lives than mortals, and being comfortable around the people you'd die for and who would die for you isn't a big deal.

When I return to the bed, Jason's turned off the lights and I have to feel my way under the blankets. My foot bumps his and he pulls it away.

"Dude, your feet are cold."

I lie on my side, facing him, though he's facing away and deliberately put both feet on the backs of his calves.

"That's it, Jackson," he says and I prepare myself for battle.

But I don't see what's coming. He traps my legs with his, and flips himself over until he's pinned me to the bed, an arm pressing down on my chest until my lungs feel like they'll burst and the other across my throat.

I smack the arm at my throat with my only free hand. He lets up enough to let me breathe. "I surrender," I gasp.

He releases me and flops back down on the bed. "Don't forget it. If you steal the blankets, I won't be so nice."

The threat might have been scarier if he wasn't trying not to laugh while saying it.

He pats the bed, searching for something. I grab the towel he lost lying on top of me and hand it over, and we settle down side by side on our backs.

"I'm not sleepy," I complain.

He grunts, and I'm quiet for a while. I stare up at the ceiling, not really able to focus on much of anything.

"Can I ask you a personal question?" he asks after a few minutes of silence.

"Go for it," I say. I'm really not tired. I'm not sure what I am, but if we weren't sharing a bed, and a room, I'd probably be jerking off to get my brain in a sleepy mood.

"I uh … I was just wondering. It's on my mind because of that video, probably. Just … Have you, you know … gone all the way with Annabeth yet?"

My cheeks burn in the dark. We don't usually talk about our girlfriends when we hang out. I wonder if that's not normal. "What do you think, Grace?" I say, trying to sound as if I'm not fazed by the question. "We're 18 years old, going to the same school, seeing each other on all our days off …"

"So you have?" Jason asks. He's clearly looking for a straight answer.

I'm not sure why it's so hard to say it. But I finally do. "Yeah, only once, though."

"Is that why you left? Did it go badly?"

My defenses are up; I can't help it. "No," I say, trying not to grit my teeth. "Not really. It was my grades mostly. I don't really want to talk about it." That is the honest to gods truth. It makes me feel like a total loser, talking about why I dropped out of high school. Perfect Jason wouldn't be able to understand why school is so hard for me. He was raised in New Rome, where they actually get that kids with learning differences aren't morons, they just learn differently. It's a sore point between me and Annabeth. She insists that struggling through the education grind is worth it; I disagree.

"Why?" I ask him. I figure if he's going to ask me painful questions, he should be expecting some in return. "Did you and Piper have sex and have it go badly?"

It comes out sounding a lot worse than it had in my head. But, amazingly, Jason doesn't seem offended.

"Yeah, you could say that." His voice is quiet in the dark. I'm so far out of my league here, but the guy sounds like he needs to talk about this with somebody. I'm kind of honored he chose me.

"Well, tell me about it," I say. I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to say. "I've got your back. I won't tell anybody."

"We've tried a few times," Jason says, then spills his guts. "It's just, I like what we do, but … she's kind of afraid of my dick."

My eyes boggle. I'm not sure my ears are working right.

"She likes it when I go down on her, and I get her to come without any problems, but when it comes to, you know, penetration, she just can't do it. We tried once, and it was bad, so I backed off. I really am okay with just doing oral, but she has trouble with doing it back, too. I dunno. I feel like an awful boyfriend for even wanting her to do more than she can."

"Um, is there something wrong with your dick?" I ask. My mind is turning in circles. Piper is the daughter of Aphrodite, for Poseidon's sake. I'd think she'd be made for all the sexy times.

"It's big," Jason says, and leaves it at that.

"Big?" I ask. "The problem or your dick?"

I can practically hear him roll his eyes at me. But, really. What does he expect after dropping a bomb like that. I've seen him in jeans. I think back. Have I seen him in his underwear before? I'm not sure, but I've never seen anything that would lead me to believe he has such a massive dick that it scares his girlfriend.

"Both," Jason says. "Look, I guess it was kinda stupid to bring up. Can we forget …"

"Are you shitting me?" I say. "You can't just tell your bro you have a big D and not prove it. Come on. Show me how big you're talking."

"Percy," he says, his tone of voice reminiscent of the way my mom or my teachers say my name when they think I'm being annoying. I don't even care.

"What's the matter, Grace? You scared? Afraid I'll scream and run away from your big bad johnson?"

"Dude," Jason whispers. "I'd have to get hard to show you and in case you haven't noticed, we're two straight guys with girlfriends. We don't get each other hard and look at each others' dicks."

I'm not sure why I don't drop it. It's probably because it's been so long since I've been riled up about anything. High school life is a real snore, especially when the monsters have mostly stopped cropping up. I never thought I'd miss that.

"We're bros, Jason. I don't see why it's such a big deal. It's not like we don't know we each have a dick and like to jerk off. It's not like we're cheating on our girlfriends if we just compare sizes or something."

"So you'd do it too?" Jason asks. I'm winning, he sounds likes he's coming around. I want to pump my fist in triumph, but that would probably look really weird and more than a little bit gay, even if it totally isn't. I hold my victory dance inside.

"Sure. I'm not all that small myself, you know."

I grab my cock and start stroking, and gods, it feels good to just do it. I don't even know why I was pretending I'd be able to fall asleep without jerking off. With things going like they have been, I've become a jerk off champion. It's hard to let memories of Tartarus creep in at night if I fall asleep after an awesome fantasy and a killer orgasm.

I'm really getting into it when I remember Jason is in bed too, doing the same thing, and I start slowing down.

The sounds Jason makes send my heart racing, and not in a bad way. I strain my ears, trying to hear more, but it seems like he's well trained in doing it as quietly as possible.

"You ready to show me?" I ask, and my face grows hot all over again because that just came out sounding a lot like a pick up line, and that's totally not how I meant it.

He chuckles under his breath, and throws the blanket down to our feet. It's dark in the room, but my eyes have mostly adjusted and I look down to see what kind of big Jason is talking about. My breath catches in my throat at the sight. He wasn't lying.

I swallow hard and scoot closer beside him. "Whoa. How big would you say that is? Like in inches?"

"Uh, I've measured it before. It's almost eleven."

My mouth fills with saliva; I have no idea why, and I sit up, taking a closer look. "How big around?" He strokes it with his left hand, but seems to be supporting the base with his right. I'm not sure if his fingers even meet around the girth.

"Not sure," he grunts, then moves his hands away, letting the magnificent beast slap against his abs. "But I'd better stop doing that or I'll have a mess to clean up."

I sit on my knees, trying to figure out how big my dick is in comparison. He's got me beat by a long shot, I'm certain of that, but by how much? I need an answer. "Dude, can you really just work yourself up and then not come? Why the self-punishment?"

"We're just comparing, right? You wanted to see how big it is, so there's your answer. I didn't think coming was on the table."

I raise my eyebrow. "You saying you don't want to come?"