He’s having a nice dream. It’s a beautiful, late summer day, with the cool breeze coming off of the Long Island Sound. Percy’s down at the stables, eating blue cookies, (“Thanks, mom! ” How she makes the chocolate blue too he’ll never understand,) and chatting with Blackjack.
“Nice weather we’re having, right?”
Blackjack whinnies. Yeah, boss. But it’ll be nicer once all these brats leave for the summer.
That earns him a flick. “Be nice, or I’m going to stop giving you food!”
Percy kept on feeding him more anyways.
It went on like that for a little while. Percy asking questions to pass the time, Blackjack being the absolute sassiest Pegasus that Percy knew of. After running out of food, Blackjack tells Percy to get a move on.
Snacks made this conversation bearable, boss. Now shoo, it’s time for my post-snack nap.
Percy bids goodbye to Blackjack and just meanders through the camp. He is in the middle of walking through the strawberry fields when his stomach protests. Me hungry, it says. Percy always imagined his stomach sounded like those funny cavemen voices. Me hungry. Me stomach. Growl. He snorts. I’m so damn funny, he thinks. I should have my own reality TV show or something. I’m like so much cooler than those Kardashians or whatever. I should go pitch this to Hephaestus TV! I see it now… “Son of Poseidon”… Wait, no, there’s lots of Sons of Poseidon out there, Triton’d be so pissed… hmmm… maybe “Son of Sally”? Aha, yes, that’s it…
Just as he is finalizing his future pitch to Hephaestus ---“Hey, I’ve saved the world like at least twice, so I should totally get my own TV show,”--- Percy is awoken by a loud voice. It’s Jason, of course, standing next to his bed, shaking his arm, going, “Yo, bro, wake up! Perseus Jackson get your ass out of bed!”
Percy just groans, flips Jason the bird, and pulls his blankets up around his head. This does not deter Jason, who, Percy thinks, probably already had three cups of coffee and has likely been up since the crack of dawn. He just gets louder. Percy covers his ears.
“Why the hell are you here so damn early?” The blanket muffles his voice.
“No, man, it’s already like, eleven.” He checks his watch. “It’s quarter after eleven now, get your sorry butt up!” He pulls the blanket off of Percy’s bed.
“Cold cold cold cold cold cold.” Percy grabs for the blanket. “Give it!”
Jason just pulls it even further out of Percy’s reach. “Nice Ariel pajama pants,” Jason snickers.
Percy narrows his eyes. Pulling his knees up to his chest, he whines “Go away.”
Jason ignores him. Like Percy expected anything else. Sometimes he wondered why they were even friends. Bros didn’t wake up other bros! Percy could’ve sworn that that was like the number one rule of the Bro Code. Bros especially did not mock other bros’ pajama choices!
“Bro, have you ever watched Shark Tank?”
“Shark Tank. Have you watched it?”
“I’ve been to an aquarium and watched the tanks there…”
“It’s a TV show, dude,” Jason pokes him in the arm. “So that’s a no?” He gets a nod in response. “Great then, man! They’re showing it in the Big House but nobody wants to watch it with me!”
By this time, Percy is already standing. He snatches the blanket out of Jason’s hands, wrapping it around himself. Jason shoves some clothes into his hands and pushes him into the bathroom.
“Wash up and get dressed! It’s time to bingewatch!”
Percy sighs, but does it anyways. Jason is standing outside of the door, counting out One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, so on and so forth. Every so often he goes “Hurry up, Jackson!” and it just makes Percy take his time even more.
Right before Jason is at three hundred Mississippis, Percy gets out of the bathroom.
Jason has a smart-alecky response waiting for him, as per usual.
“I can’t believe you’re out! I thought you might’ve drowned in there!”
“Just go, Grace.”
“Thought you’d never ask! Lead the way, acksonjay!”
Percy’s first stop was food . His stomach had been grumbling ever since he woke up, especially since he dreamt of his mom’s blue chocolate chip cookies. He would pay so much for some of them right now. Those blue blueberry chocolate muffins he made the other day would have to tide him over for now, he guessed.
When Jason realized that they were stopping in the kitchen, he protested.
“But, man, we’re missing Shark Tank time!”
“Shut up, Grace.” Muffins in hand, Percy looked through the cupboards for some more snacks. Popcorn? Popcorn would be good if we’re watching TV. His stomach agreed with a growl.
He tossed a few bags of popcorn to Jason. “Yo, go throw these in the microwave, I’m going to go find us some bowls.”
Percy manages to find two, and is in the middle of pouring them some water when the microwave beeps and he nearly makes the sink explode. He would never hear the end of that, would he? New York City teen dead, after scare from microwave beep.
Jason comes walking towards him and puts the newly popped popcorn in bowls. Percy stuffs part of his muffin into his mouth and mumbles “Let’s go, dude,” walking out of the kitchen to the Rec Room.
On their way to the TV, Jason could not stop fretting.
“Did I record it? Did I remember to set the DVR? Is there even enough space on the DVR since Piper feels the need to record every single episode of Property Brothers? Do we have to record Keeping up with the Kardashians for Frank? He doesn’t even live here!”
“Chill, bro, everything’s fine, I’m sure!”
The Rec Room is nearly totally empty, except for Clarisse and, surprisingly enough, Drew, who are quietly(ish) playing ping pong.
They sit down on the couch, and Jason snatches the TV remote from the coffee table in front of them. He turns the power on, and, flips over to the DVR, choosing one of the episodes. As it is loading, Percy realizes that he has no idea what the hell Shark Tank is even about.
“Is this show even about sharks? Is it a show version of Shark Week?” He asks Jason. “Because if it’s not, then why did you have to make me watch it?”
Jason wouldn’t meet his eyes. So, it wasn’t about sharks. Damn.
“I’ve already forced like basically the whole entire camp to watch it with me already,” Jason mumbled.
“Jeez, dude. You’re a handful!”
“We’re still BFFs, though.”
A“Shut up!” was accompanied with an eye roll. The “Son of Sally” thinks that he hears Clarisse hold back a snicker across the room.
Percy was expecting for Jason to say something superbly snarky after that remark, but he was silent. Huh? What’s with that? Oh, wait, the show’s on.
Jason’s eyes looked as if they were about to be permanently glued on to the TV screen. This must actually be Jason’s favorite show, Percy realizes. Does that mean that if I don’t like this show we can’t be best friends anymore? Gods, I hope not!
Percy then decides that it’s probably time for him to actually pay attention to the show, not time for him to worry if he doesn’t like it or not.
“…first into the Tank…”
Percy pokes Jason’s arm to get his attention. “‘Into the Tank?’ Why is there a tank if there aren’t any sharks?” He asks. “This doesn’t look like an aquarium!”
Now it dawns upon Jason that he never actually told Percy what this show was about.
It also dawns upon him that Percy probably was not paying attention to the show a mere five seconds ago when they explained it.
“So, uh, there’s these really rich people, they’re called the Sharks, who are basically the judges of the show, and the contestants are regular-ish people who try and pitch their product or company or whatever to the Sharks, right?” Percy nods. “What the people want is for the Sharks to invest in their product so they can become rich, and the Sharks want to invest in a good product so they can become even richer. Now be quiet, I wanna watch the show.”
After watching one episode, Percy can understand why Jason loves this show. It’s funny, a new format, and the Sharks are pretty cool.
Even if they aren’t real sharks. Percy thinks he can forgive them for that trickery.
And he loves that the show has blessed him with a wonderful punny joke to share with the rest of the camp.
“Dude, did you realize something about Mr. Wonderful?” Percy asks Jason.
“Nah, I don’t think so, bro, what is it?”
“His name is Kevin. O’Leary.” The sentences were punctuated with popcorn being thrown in Jason’s face.
“So?” Percy was obviously trying to get to a point that Jason was not figuring out.
“Grace, he’s Mr. O’Leary.”
“I’m not making the connection.”
“This is your favorite show and you haven’t realized yet? About our wonderful Mrs. O’Leary? My superbly affectionate hellhound? The one that I am now going to rename Mrs. Wonderful?”
Jason stared at Percy, flabbergasted. “Wow, I’m a nincompoop.”
“Oh, really, now? Like you weren’t before.”
“Shut up, bro. Let me put on the next episode.”
Once Jason watched all the episodes on the DVR that he hadn’t seen before, it was time for dinner.
“Yo, we were in there like all day. Just how many shows did we see?”
“Like basically none in the big scheme of things,” Jason said. “There’s a bunch more! Are you interested in watching more of them?” His eyes were shining. Jason was excited to share his obsession with another.
“Maybe, bro. Let’s talk again after dinner? After I can talk the Hephaestus Cabin in to making me a shark-themed collar for Mrs. O’Leary.”
“Do you mean Mrs. Wonderful?”
“That is exactly who I mean.”
They bantered on their way to the Mess Hall.
“Did you see that pitch?”
“Can you believe the money they wanted for such little equity?”
“Right? They just didn’t value the Shark’s time enough, it’s no wonder they didn’t get an offer!”
The two demigods were in the middle of talking about the products they would use the most when the floor of the Mess Hall appeared beneath their feet.
“Oh, I’m going to go, okay, bro?” Jason nods a yeah, and heads to the Cabin One table. Percy veers to the right, walking straight to where the Hephaestus kids were sitting.
“Hey, Jake, Nyssa, the Crew! What’s up?” As he waves, a table of eyes turned to look at him.
“Nothing much,” Nyssa was eyeing him warily. “Is there something you want?”
“Yeah!” He nods. “I know that in the past, uh, your cabin was able to make Mrs. O’Leary a collar, right?”
Percy now realized that maybe this wasn’t the most proper thing to do. He remembers that it was not the whole cabin but one member in particular, Beckendorf, who made it. Oh, crap. This was insensitive- really insensitive- to bring up memories of a former head counselor who was gone while damn Leo was still missing.
“Wait, never mind, ignore what I just—.” His words come out as a jumbled mess- he’s tripping over syllables just trying to get a sentence out.
“No, it’s fine,” Jake says, quietly, eyes wide, forgiving. Percy sighs with relief. “Why were you wondering?”
“Jason showed me Shark Tank,” this elicits both groans (“jeez, Jason, not again,”) and yays (“I love that show!”), “and I realized that I have a great opportunity on my hands.”
Percy pauses for dramatic effect. Some of the campers lean in, interested in what he’s saying.
“Guys, I have four words for you: Mrs. O’Leary. Mrs. Wonderful.”
Jake doesn’t seem to get what he’s saying, until a young camper realizes it.
“Jake, one of the Sharks on the show is called Mr. O’Leary, and they call him Mr. Wonderful!”
“That’s clever,” Nyssa tells Percy. “But what do you want us to do about it?”
“I would like, if you guys were up for it, if I could maybe get a new collar for Mrs. O’Leary? With sharks on it? Maybe? Please?”
“Wow,” Nyssa comments, drily. “The Percy Jackson, asking us please.”
“Is that a yes?”
It’s Jake that answers him. “Sure. But only if you’ll be on our team for capture the flag next. Deal?”
Percy extends his hand to Jake. “Deal.”
It takes the Hephaestus Cabin only three days to make Mrs. O’Leary’s collar. They give it to Percy around the campfire one night, and he almost squeals with excitement. It’s even better than he could’ve imagined. There are little sharks all across the band, intertwined with dollar signs, which makes Percy laugh. And to top it off, in the center are two dog tags, both shark-shaped. One reads “Mrs. O’Leary” and the other, of course, says “Mrs. Wonderful.”
“Jason! I have the collar! Jasoooon!”
He looks around the campfire after getting no reply, only to realize Jason ditched dinner early.
“Yo, bro,” Jason had said. “I gotta dash, man. There’s a new Shark Tank on tonight, and ever since Chiron’s started to watch Castle, there has been absolutely no room on the DVR. It’s, like, basically a crime.” Percy had bid him goodbye, with the advice to maybe figure out what shows they actually needed to record.
Ah, whatever. This is Jason’s loss.
So instead, he calls for Mrs. O’Leary. She, unlike Jason, responds, showing up moments after Percy called her name.
“How’re you doing, Mrs. Wonderful?”
His reply is a lick that drowns him in hellhound slobber.
“I got something for you!”
She sits down, and thumps her tail. Mrs. O’Leary looks at him, waiting.
“I’ve got you a new collar! I’m just going to take off your old one, okay, girl?”
Another drenching in slobber.
Percy unhooks her collar, scuffing up the fur that had been flattened by the weight of the collar.
He slips the new shark-adorned collar over the hellhound’s neck. Percy steps back, admiring the magnificence of his idea.
“Ooh, they did such a great job, didn’t they, girl? Didn’t they? Uh-huh?” She wags her tail. “That’s a yes, isn’t it, isn’t it?”
He gives her a hug, and heads back over to the campfire, where the Apollo Cabin is in the middle of a rendition of some Top 40 song off the radio.
“I cannot wait until I can show everyone this walking joke! I am so funny!”