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Beyond the Waves

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Atlantis Aquatic Resort and Research Center  home to the longest going Merpeople research program. There wasn’t  a better facility for the merpeople and their newest additions, two young mermen. Well, that is what their spokesperson told the tabloids anyways, but had anyone bothered to ask the merpeople if they were cool with being trapped in a tank, no matter how big? A tank that had a glass bottom so that they could constantly be reminded of the home they had been taken from? Nope, no one asked them, typical. But they weren’t brooding about it all the time, life went on and you tried to make the most out of it, even if it was a truly sucky situation. Some of them technically could leave if they wanted to, but the mer were a people of unity if one stayed, they all did.

The humans still had much to learn about merpeople and their ways, they were just learning that they could communicate amongst each other, and they didn’t even understand that, so of course they had no idea how their hierarchy system worked, because only humans had those, right?

The tanks we oddly cut and sealed, placing the merpeople at a disadvantage when it came to communication, but from the day they arrived everyone knew exactly who the new main attractions were. Triton and Perseus, or as they are known in their homes, the Princes of the Merpeople.

Although normal tradition couldn’t be practiced, they were both shown the highest possible respect in what little ways that were possible for them. The two brother were on display for two months now, but their official ceremony as the new resident mermen wasn’t until May, when business really picked up.

“Why are they being so loud? It’s too late in the evening,” Triton groaned as he shoved his face back in his arms, wrapping himself back up in his two tails as he groaned at the sudden eruption of screams and clapping.

Percy was still very much awake, so he swam up to the top where he could see the closest merperson to him, “Hey, Will!”

The golden tailed merman swam as close to the other tank as possible, they actually could climb in and out of each other’s tanks, but that took a lot of energy and the chance of getting cut, by the “decorative coral,” that lined their tanks.

“Good morning, Percy.”

“What’s going on?”

“Oh, the humans? Nothing, this is just how they welcome you to the aquarium, put on a big show and make up some story of how improved our lives are here, oh and then they do these things called fireworks, and I can’t lie I do actually like them...they look nice.”

“Do they always welcome people with so much noise?”

“I believe noise makes humans happy….or that’s what I have guessed anyways.”

“Got it.”

“Mommy, mommy! Look they’re so pretty!”

“I see sweetie, I know,” a mother and daughter had climbed their way to the upper layer where they could get a better view of the two mermen.

Percy groaned, “I am a prince, the last thing I need is a little girl pointing and calling me pretty.”

“You get used to it,” Will explained with a sigh.

“Are they talking with each other?” A little boy had also ran up followed by a bunch of people, many with cameras pushing as close as the bars would allow.

“I think so, well, not talking but like communicating some way.”

“I never understood that logic, if we open our mouths and sounds come out, why don’t they understand we’re speaking as they do?” Will asked puzzled.

“They have a hard time grasping the concept of anything other than humans being able to talk.”

“Piper! You’re actually awake this late?”

“Who can sleep with so many people tapping and banging on the glass?”

“True.”

A moment or so passed of flashing lights and the human’s loud chatter which must have woken up Triton since he rose up from bottom of their tank, leaping in the air before coming down with a splash that resulted in quite a few drenched humans.

It did not annoy them, they just cheered louder.

“I don’t understand them.”

“Does anyone?”

“Probably not, but at least they try….I mean, they do a terrible job, but they don’t know that.”

Percy laughed as Triton came up beside him, “if one more child points and says ‘I want one’ as if I am some plaything or pet I am drowning them. All of them.”

“Prince Triton, that would be a difficult feat, even for you.”

The merman swished his tails back and forth before sighing.

“Ladies and gentlemen!”

The people, both human and mer alike, looked up.

“I want to thank you for being with us tonight!”

“Not much choice,” Will mumbled.

“Tonight we don’t just introduce you to our two new beautiful additions, but to a new era here at Atlantis Aquatic Resort and Research Center, we will have a whole new show here, one that is far beyond anything you have ever seen before because I assure you, no one has what we will show you in the upcoming months...that’s right the very first display of merpeople training, shows all day long all year round beginning at the end of July. I know, so exciting, but if you want to be here you’d better book your stay and tickets soon, they will be flying! But for now enjoy the beauty of the merpeople and this spectacular firework show!”

There was a boom and then suddenly colors lit up the sky. Percy knew they had to be the fireworks Will had spoken of, the other merpeople had swam deeper into their tanks to avoid the loud noise, but Percy sat himself on one of the land areas they had made for them to see the pretty lights.

“Look mama that one stayed!”

“Yes, he must not be scared of the fireworks.”

“He looks so pretty, how come he doesn’t have two tails like the other one, mama?”

“I don’t know, I think they are still trying to learn about them, maybe they’ll know when we come back in July.”

“Okay!”

Percy shook his head, if only they knew he could understand every word they were saying, he dove off of his rocks and smirked at the sounds of aw’s and oh no come back, and because Percy was a softie when it came to human kids, no matter how annoying, he swam back out of the water and did a flip, at the same exact time a blue firework, the color of his tail burst in the sky.

The crowd cheered and then practically raced each other to see the merman at the bottom of his tank, but too bad for them, both he and Triton were hidden away in a mound of rocks they had made to keep the light and humans away from them when they weren’t in the mood.

The next day, Percy assumed would be like the others, at six a small vat would open and they would be given thawed fish, just barely unfrozen, but it didn’t happen. Their stomachs had gotten use to this schedule, and so it forced them all above the surface to see what was going on.

“Amazing, so they must have a concept of time if they swam up here to see where their normal meal was,” a female said coming up on their platform, a place just off their rocks and the human employees passed through to clean daily, today unusual people were coming out of it.

They each had a bucket.

“They have our food,” Triton said eying the pails.

“Why didn’t they just give it to us like normal?” Will asked with his head rocked to the side.

“I don’t care as long as I eat,” Percy admitted.

He swam up as close as his rocks allowed and looked at them with his hand out, waiting for food to be placed in it.

“Hey, he’s the one that did the flip yesterday, aw Jason you got the easy one, this isn’t fair,” one of the boys humans complained.

“He did one flip that doesn’t mean anything, he might have done it to try and splash people for all you know,” the man had blonde hair and blue eyes, he came a bit closer to Percy, but slowly and hesitantly.

Triton didn’t trust people, so he had dived a bit lower, but was also right there.

Percy flexed his hand, as if reminding him it was there.

“You better feed him, he knows you have his food now,” one of them laughed.

“Don’t you have merpeople to feed too?”

“True,” they each went to a different tank, except for two of them.

“You don’t think his brother would take it from him if we fed them at different times do you?”

“They have never shown hostility before with each other, besides, he’s not even up here, maybe he’s not hungry.

“If you say so,” the blonde took a fish out of the pail placed it in Percy’s hand.

Percy ate it slowly, and then dipped down to where Triton was, “not hungry?”

“Is it frozen like usual?”

“Well, not as frozen, it tastes a little bit warmer.”

Triton sighed, but nodded and came up to the surface.

“There he is,” the other human tossed/handed Triton a fish.

Triton stared at the pail.

“What?” the human asked amused, “you want all of them at once?”

Triton put out his hand as a way of yes, something the humans hadn’t gotten as understanding.

Nonetheless he shrugged and dumped it into the water for him and Triton dove down with it. Percy was about to follow him, but the one who had given him the one fish called a quick, “wait!”

“I didn’t think that was going to work, I have all of your food here,” Percy stared at him for a moment and then sat on the rocks in front of him.

“Aw look Jason, he likes you already,” his friend remarked, or Percy assumed that was his friend anyway.

“Shut up, Heracles,” the one named Jason said as he handed Percy another fish, “he likes fish not me.”

Percy so badly wanted to say he didn’t really like the fish either, but Will had caught on and laughed, flipping his tail and getting his dark haired feeder wet.

“Aw Nico, he got you good!”

“Shut it!”

Percy laughed to himself before making a splash and getting the one named Jason wet.

“Hey! I thought we were getting along.”

Percy laughed himself back into the water, but quickly came back up, for the rest of his breakfast.

The feeders left after about an hour, and the merpeople had expected that to be the last of the humans odd ideas.

“That was kind of fun,” Percy admitted, “if I can splash the one that fed me, I could see myself having a new activity.”

Will laughed, “Piper’s kept going on about how alert and smart she seemed.”

“Aw you got one of the wise ones,” Percy laughed.

“If you were closer to my tank you would get face full of fin for that.”

“Lighten up and what the heck are they wearing?”

‘Wha..” Will stifled his laughter, falling back into his tank and lying on its floor.

Percy was about to go get Triton but he was already there shaking his head.

The humans had on all black skin tight clothing with a pair of what Percy was guessing were flippers for humans.

“They’ll look like giant clumsy fish,” Percy laughed as he did a quick roll.

“If I didn’t know any better, I would say they’re laughing at us,” Jason said taking his place near Percy again.

“We are,” Percy said despite Jason not being able to understand that.

Jason stared in Percy’s sea green eyes and then turned up his mouth, “are you laughing at me?”

“The doors should be open now,” a voice said from Jason’s pocket.

Percy rocked his head to the side at it, but heard something from his tank, a small door had opened, it looked like regular rock, but Percy was curious and went through it.

When he passed through the door shut and Percy was by himself in an all white tank. He looked around, “Triton! Will! Piper!”

The tank wasn’t even one fourth the size of his regular one. He saw the man, Jason walk down a ladder.

“Hey there,” he said smiling at Percy.

Percy was still looking around for others and didn’t even noticed Jason sitting on the very edge of the tank, “you’re okay, the others are in similar areas...didn’t mean to scare you.”

Percy calmed down after hearing that and gave a short unoticable nod before slowly swimming up to the blonde and looking around, maybe he had more fish somewhere.

“What are you...oh, hold on,” he got up and grabbed a pail of fish on ice and sat back down, he gave Percy one, they were smaller so Percy ate it quickly.

“You have to earn the rest,” Jason said standing up.

Percy rocked his head to the side in confusion. Earn food? What did this guy think he was getting at?

“Can you do that flip again?” Jason asked bending backwards a bit, as if he were doing a partial demonstration.

Percy wanted to laugh at how odd he looked, but did the flip anyways.

“There ya go!” He threw the fish and this time Percy caught it with his teeth.

“Wow, those things are sharp.”

Percy grinned at him as a response.

“Okay, uh next thing, can you roll over?” Jason’s demonstration including him rolling over on the floor.

Percy imitated him.

“That’s great, you uh...you’re doing good, but we have got to give you a name, they wanted to call you Flipper-”

Percy made a clear face of dislike.

“I know,” Jason laughed, “how about...hm...Sebastian?”

Percy just shuffled around the water.

“Triton?”

Percy huffed.

“What about Poseidon?”

His dad’s name was cool, but Percy only wanted to be called Percy.

“It’s like you get the names I’m throwing at you, “hm...well, how about we keep it Greek? Ares? No? Yeah, you’re not much of an Ares, how about Perseus, oh no that’s huh? You like that one?”

Percy did roll and a flip.

“Yes! I told them I was going to be an awesome trainer.”

Percy stopped at the word trainer, he was not some sealion you trained as a pet.

“Huh? Hey, what’s wrong? Oh, want a fish?”

Jason tossed it to him and Percy caught it out of habit but didn’t eat it this time.

“I wonder if everyone else is having this easy of a time,” Jason sat by the water, “think your brother will do a flip?”

Percy blinked at him.

“Yeah, he doesn’t seem like the type to do stuff like this, but you’re having fun, right?”

This would be more fun in the sea, where Percy had the option to do “tricks.”

“I think me and you are going to get along pretty well,” Jason smiled and then stood up as the door opened.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

Percy looked over his shoulder before swimming back into his much larger tank.

“AND THEN he had the AUDACITY to think a FISH would get me to do a flip! I will do a flip when and if I want to!”

Triton was still ranting about his time with the man named Heracles.

Percy was half listening as he traced patterns on his rock and then looked up at the sound of someone tapping on the glass. He swam up to it and saw Jason, he had a bag over his shoulder and was smiling.

“Good job today.”

“Jason, they understand each other not us.”

“I think they get some stuff.”

“Yeah, right.”

“I’ll prove it.”

“And you plan to do that how? He’ll know a bunch of tricks before the opening show, and will know his name.”

Percy wanted to roll his eyes so hard, he knew his own name. He could even say it English if he wanted to, and he could write it. Sure, he was more familiar with Greek because of where he lived, but still.

“Isn’t that right Percy?”

Percy didn’t say anything, instead he just did a roll, that would make the blonde happy.

Jason grinned, “see, he remembers what we did today.”

“You’re lucky, the one with the golden tail kept splashing me and swimming around.”

“Well, maybe if you weren’t so gloomy, Nico.”

“I keep telling you to stop calling me gloomy,” they were walking away now, and Percy couldn’t help but to laugh to himself. Maybe he could humor, these “tricks and training.”

“You never stopped splashing yours?” Percy asked Will who was playing in his hair.

“He looked so sad, I thought it’d make him laugh after the fourth or fifth time, but when it didn’t I just kept doing it to make myself laugh honestly.”

“Of course you did, how about you Piper?”

“She gave me a fish for matching colors, it was fun and easy.”

“I guess this isn’t so bad, but I do miss home, and my dad.”

“I’m surprised he doesn’t have the royal guards storming this place right now.”

“I wouldn’t want him to, last thing we need is for humans to think we’re going to war with them.”

“Yeah,” Will agreed.

Percy yawned and then slowly lowered himself back into the water going to the very bottom, staring out at the sea and the fish in it, many of them stopped to stare at the trapped prince before moving on. It didn’t take long for Percy to fall asleep there.

The next morning Percy immediately swam up to the surface, Jason and the one apparently called Nico were the first ones there today.

Percy climbed on top of his rock and waited.

“Good morning Percy,” Jason smiled as he handed him a fish.

“You named him already?”

“Yeah, let me guess, you didn’t think of a name yet, did you?”

“I was too annoyed to think of one yesterday, all I was thinking about was if he splashes me in the winter we’re fighting in that tank of his,” Nico said handing Will a fish. Will, was probably the most playful of all of them and stuck his tongue out before swimming in a circular rotation.

“He looks like a wheel,” Nico said absently, “Wheeler would be an okay name...or Will, like William, but Will.”

Will sprung up and did a flip to express his glee for the correct name.

“They aren’t as stupid as I thought they were,” Will laughed.

“We just know more about them than they do us is all,” Percy laughed.

“Heracles keeps calling the other one cretin even with the list of names I gave him, the two of them just don’t seem to want to get along, but it’s only been one day.”

“They’ll warm up to each other.”

“Percy, can you do your flip?”

It was too early for all of that so Percy pretended not to understand and just looked at Will instead.

“Let me guess, you actually did the flip when he asked yesterday?”

“I think I may have started a bad habit.”

“Think? Soon, he’s going to want you to jump through hoops.”

“Eh...I can do that, just after I have officially woken up.”

“I’m surprised you’re going along with this,” Will admitted, ‘I mean, I don’t mind that much since it’s just humoring them and we don’t have much else to do.”

“Just making the best out of things,” Percy agreed.

“Has the other one come with my food?”

Just as Triton asked, Heracles came through the door.

“Alright, flipper here ya go!”

“Did he just call me-”

“Triton there are worse names!”

“I am a prince and I demand-”

“It isn’t even noon yet and he looks done with you Heracles,” Jason laughed.

“I don’t care,” Heracles said tossing a fish, “if we could swim with them now, he’d be doing flips.”

“You can’t wrestle them into doing stuff,” Nico said shaking his head.

“Let him try,” Triton challenged, “I want him to come in this tank!”

Percy covered his face and sunk to the bottom of the tank laughing, before coming right back up.

“Did you pick a name for him at least?”

“From your list I liked Triton and Hurricane, but I may just go with nuisance.”

“Heracles,” Jason said shaking his head.

“Okay, fine,” the man bent down, “your name is now Triton, would you like your fish Triton?”

Triton rose up and glared at him until the pail was emptied, without breaking eye contact until Triton dipped down for his food.

Later when the door opened, Percy went in with no problem, but it took a bit coaxing to get Triton through, like appearance of Heracles in the water, and there was no way Trition was missing the chance to get him back.

“I think your brother is going to drown my brother,” Jason laughed as he sat by the water.

Percy nodded in agreement and then stared at Jason, had he said brother? So, Heracles was his brother then, Percy didn’t see the resemblance.

“Come on, are you ready now?”

Percy did a small flip in the water.

“Okay, let’s see....let’s work on you learning your name, yeah?”

Percy figured he would just humor him and pretend not to know it at first.

“When I say Percy, I want you to swim to me, okay?”

“Percy.”

Percy played with his tail, smiling to himself.

“Percy.”

This time Percy went away.

“Percy.”

And this time Percy went under the water and came back up in front of Jason.

“Alright! Okay, good job Percy.”

“Can you spin for me?” Jason said twirling around.

Percy was confused, and his attempt at the motion showed it.

Jason laughed, “here,” he did an example again, much slower.”

Percy understood this time and nodded before copying and doing it.

“That’s it, you did it!”

There was a voice from Jason’s pocket again.

“I got to go a little early, okay? I’ll be here tomorrow,” Jason said standing up. Percy’s door opened but Percy didn’t go in. He let out one of the sounds humans at one point had grown to believe was the language of merpeople, a high pitch whine that sounded more like a dolphin.

“Hey, it’s alright, go on back to your big tank, your brother will be back soon, and so will your friend Wheeler- I mean Will.”

Percy floated for  a moment before swimming back in and crossing his arms in disappointment, he was interested in doing more of that twirling thing with Jason, that was one odd motion he hadn’t normally done.

Percy went up to the surface, no one was back yet, so he just sunk to one of the ledges where people could see him. His black hair was sprawled out around him and his hand hung by his face.

“Look! Look! Not a moment of quiet, of course, “papa! He looks sleepy.”

The little boy pushed his face up to the glass and Percy just stared at him.

“He don’t look tired to me, I’d say he’s bored in there all by himself.

Being the only merperson out drew a lot of people over and away from whatever else they had been doing.

A few people in the suits like Jason even came over, one Percy realized to be Jason himself. Percy sat up and swam right over to the glass, but all it did was cause the crowd to get all excited.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have Percy, one of our two newest additions here, and although they’ve only been together for two days, I think it’s obvious he and his trainer-”

There was that word again.

“Have formed a positive bond so far, or at least to a point that Percy recognizes Jason in a crowd of people, a great showing of his observational skills.” A woman had one of the cone like thing that made her voice louder, Percy wanted one as a toy, but he never got close enough to take one before.

Jason walked over to the glass, people let him through seeing as he was the one making Percy to react.

“I’m sure Jason can take some questions about Percy, remember they are still getting to know each other so Jason doesn’t know all that much about Percy himself yet.”

“Is Percy nice?” One kid asked.

“Is he nice? I would say so, yeah, he sometimes splashes, but not too much.”

“Is his favorite color blue?”

“I don’t know.”

“Does he sing? I heard all mermaids sing.”

“Well, Merpeople are known to sing, in their own way, “Percy has never been heard or recorded in his months here though.”

Some of the kids were laughing, but looking past him and at Percy, so Jason slowly turned and sure enough Percy was mimicking his hand motions.

“Haha very nice Percy, so clever.”

Percy grinned in response.

“How long can a Merman be out of water?” A shy child’s parent asked for them.

“No one knows, so far none of them have been left out long enough to dry to that point.”

“Where is his brother?”

“He should be here any mom- there he is!”

The doubled finned merman swam right up to the glass.

“Is his brother nice?”

“Uh...his brother likes to mess with his trainer.”

“Why are you entertaining this?” Triton asked gesturing to the crowd of people.

“Come on Tri...it’s kind of funny.”

“It’s demeaning.”

“If you look at it from their perspective, but think of it from ours, we know way more than them and they think they’re really training us to do stuff.”

“I don’t like it.”

“How’d your session go?”

“He gave me oysters instead of fish, so I did the flip for him...then threw the shell at him.”

“Triton!”

“He wasn’t hurt...it was humorous, I will admit that.”

“Of course you think it is.”

The two looked back out at the crowd of smiling parents, kids, and teachers.

“Do Triton and Percy have a mommy and daddy?”

“We don’t know everything about merpeople, but we would think Percy and Triton have a mommy and daddy.”

Will swam next to their glass and tapped on it and then pointed up.

Percy nodded and then swam to the top of the tank.

“Yeah?”

“Did you have fun today? Because I did. Nico gave me seaweed, do you know how much I have missed that stuff?”

“That’s what you called me up here for?”

“I had to tell someone.”

Percy just shook his head and then looked down at all the people below them, they were pointing up at them now.

Percy nodded and waved back at some of them, causing squeals and screams of excitement.

“Maybe, we can get used to this for a little while, not forever, just a little while, because if I stay in an oversized vase for too long, I will die.”

Maybe it wasn’t as bad, still bad, but not that bad.

Chapter Text

A month went by of the same schedule, the merpeople had gotten more used to their assigned person and were actually working together quite nicely. Triton and Heracles still “argued,” but they actually kind of listened to each other. Triton would give him a hard time and then finally do it after a lot of Heracles talking and Triton acting as if he didn’t hear him.

Piper and Annabeth had made a lot of progress, so much so that Annabeth realized, not only could the merpeople understand them (she thought it was just repeated words, but it’s better than them thinking they don’t understand anything,) and that they were in fact, in Annabeth’s words, “as intelligent, if not more so, as dolphins.” Improvement, yay!

Will and Nico were working great together now, but they still had, “arguments.” Those consisted of Will splashing Nico and Nico threatening to jump in, which none of them had actually done before, so they just kept going back and forth like that.

Percy and Jason were good, but a bit of competition had broken out between them, like Jason would try and race Percy beside his tank, the merman won each time of course. Percy looked forward to his time with Jason, and still got a bit annoyed if Jason would leave early to apparently go help out with the dolphin shows. Dolphins, although they could understand merpeople, were often around more for transportation and occasional companionship, so Percy was a bit put out about Jason leaving him for them.

Percy figured today was just like all of the other days, breakfast, time to himself, and then time with Jason.

“Percy! Aren’t you going to come through the door?”

Percy hadn’t seen Jason in the room at first, but hearing his voice was enough to get him to swim in, the door shut but he still didn’t see Jason. He then heard the human make a noise and spun around, Jason was in the water.

Percy stared at him in a ‘what are you doing here? You aren’t usually in here,” kind of way.

“Trying something new today, you’re okay with me being in your tank aren’t you?”

Percy swam closer to him, although Percy had never thought much of it before, Jason was taller than him. The dark haired mer looked at the boy in the wetsuit before tugging at it a bit.

“You see me wear this all the time, why are you pulling on it?”

Percy let go and looked at Jason, why was he in the tank?

“Come on, you can do your flip, right?”

Percy swam back and did a quick flip before coming back over.

Percy never really looked at him this close up, he was actually not bad looking, if he had a tail instead of feet he might have been interested. That very thought was immediately shaken out of his head as Percy labeled as ridiculous.

“You’re okay, look, we can swim together.”

Jason’s “swimming” was nowhere near as graceful as Percy’s but he let it go since swimming with Jason was actually a lot of fun.

When Jason came above water the voice he usually kept in his pocket started speaking on the ledge. Jason went to go grab it, but Percy blocked him. If Jason listened to the voice he’d leave.

“Hey, I know you don’t like the walkie talkie, I have to use it, come on Percy.”

Percy didn’t move.

“Percy, come on, you know better than this, don’t let me being in the water go to your head, I may not even have to leave.”

Percy moved over and Jason listened to the voice.

Percy studied his face and saw fear, sadness, and worry pass over it within seconds, that was never a good thing.

“I have to go Percy, but I promise I will try to be back later today.”

Percy rolled over, not in playfulness, but in annoyance.

“I know little guy, I know.”

Percy’s eyes widened, did he call him little? What, he finds out he’s a little taller than Percy and all of a sudden Percy is a little guy? Percy swam back in his big tank and was surprised to see Triton also coming out of his door.

“Why are you back so early?”

“I have no idea, I even behaved today...for the most part.”

Splashing on Percy’s left told him Will was also back.

“Will! Do you know what’s going on?”

“Nico didn’t say, but I know someone who may know.”

Percy raised an eyebrow.

Will went to the bottom of his tank and grabbed a pebble before coming back up and launching it somewhere.

There were sounds of indignation, but Will got what he was looking for, a Seagull came flying over.

“What’s going on? Where’d all the humans go?”

The seagull perched itself on one of Will’s rocks, “they added a new orca to the tank, the current residents...well you know how they can be there was an issue, a violent issue.”

Percy gasped, “is the orca okay?”

“I’d be shocked, the entire tank was….was red.”

There were so many missing humans that the sea animals had all begun to speak amongst themselves, if he listened close enough, Percy could hear even the penguins getting information.

“Go find out more and come back,” Triton told the bird.

“Yes, your highness.”

“It’s strange,” Piper remarked from her tank.

“What?”

“I mean...I know none of us live like this normally, but what would be the sense in killing a new addition, I thought they were social.”

“With their own kind,” Triton answered as if it were obvious, “they aren’t like us, Orcas take value in where they are each from.”

The seagull returned and shook its head, “the orca is no longer living.”

“Where are all of the humans? It’s like they all just vanished…”

“They were having all of the visitors leave, guess when something like this happens it’s not exactly a good time to have families walking around. But they were doing that thing they do when they’re hurt or sad..uh….uh…”

“Crying?” Triton asked.

“Yeah, that.”

“That is to be expected.”

“Well, as sad as this all is, there’s a lot of food to be snatched, so…” The bird flew off in the direction of one of the eating areas.

They all spent some time looking up before diving back down to the very bottom of their tanks.

“Think our humans will be okay?”

“Are we claiming them as ours now?”

Percy blushed, “I mean….”

“Humans are like us in the way they mourn, they are saddened by death of those they know, even if the being is not the same as them.”

Percy nodded before he slowly drifted off to sleep, but woke soon after to the sound of thunder. He looked up, Triton was already up, staring at the stirring storm.

“It’s not that far away.”

Percy heard the sound of both of their doors opening, they both floated in front of the openings for a moment.

“Triton come on, before you get hit by lightning or something.”

“Percy, it’s alright, come on in again.”

The brothers looked at each other and nodded before going into their own doors.

Percy looked up at Jason who had his wet suit still on, Percy looked into his face could tell his eyes were red, a sign of crying. Jason sat on the edge of the tank and reached his hand out, slowly running a hand through his black hair, “there, see, I told you I would come back.”

Percy let out a low sound of pleasure, something similar to a pur.

“That’s a new sound for you.”

Percy looked at him for a while before moving to sit next to him.

Jason stared at the merman for a moment before laughing, “I’m sorry, it’s just so odd seeing you sit up here like this, like a per- like a human, I’m so used to seeing you in the water or on your rocks.

Percy was about to climb down, but Jason stopped him, “no stay, Percy, you can stay here.”

He rubbed his head again, “I know everyone tells you guys you’re pretty all day long, but it’s true, you all really are beautiful.”

Percy stared at him a very low tone of blush spreading across his face.

“I wish you understood me, like everything I was saying, but then again, considering all of the embarrassing stuff I’ve told you, nevermind.”

Percy could still hear the thunder which didn’t scare him when he was home in the sea, but here it was so strange, almost foreign.

“Well, ain’t that a sight!”

Percy recognized that voice it was the voice of the woman that always announced things and helped Jason answer people’s questions about Percy.

Percy was still taken by surprise and dived back into the water.

“Aw, didn’t mean to scare him…” the woman had brown hair tied up in a bun and stood above Jason, “you okay?”

“Yeah, shocked, but I mean, I’m alright,” Jason looking at her.

Percy came back closer.

“No one could have expected that to happen, it was a one in a million fluke.”

“Yeah, I know, it was just intense, seeing what some of them can do.”

“Yes, well, you know the park will of course be closed tomorrow, investigators, press, and whatnot, so if you want the day off-”

“I’ll still be here,” he gestured towards Percy, “gets upset if I so much as look at my walkie talkie, if I missed a day he’d be cranky for hours.”

Maybe an hour or two, but not but so long Percy thought to himself.

“Think he’ll be ready for the shows next month?”

“I know he will, he’s great, he already puts on a little show when other people are around, you’ve seen him.”

“He’s quickly becoming a favorite at the gift shop, t-shirts, mugs, fake tails, anything with his name or face on it sells quicker than anyone else’s ever has, the other ones have been doing good as well, Will, the gold one, has so many fans they call him the sunshine merman.”

It took everything in Percy not to burst out laughing at that, he wanted to but couldn't because then they’d know he knew what they said.

“His brother is liked because of that attitude of his and the female, Piper, I believe? All the little girls love her, we’ve even got princess dresses for them that are the color of her tail.”

“Well, I mean...that’s great for profit...I guess.”

Percy frowned he was more than something for them to make money off, but then again this could easily become much more of a competition. Ideas started forming in his mind and he just knew it’d be fun, Triton couldn’t resist a competition.

The sound of thunder rolled over them, breaking Percy out of his thought as he jumped, his tail causing a small splash that wet Jason, but missed the lady.

“I’m making my rounds to the others now.”

“Oh okay.”

“So, Percy, what do you want to do?”

Percy blinked at him, if he thinks he can’t talk to him then what was the point in the question?

“I wonder if movies interest merpeople, wanna watch The Little Mermaid?”

Percy rocked his head to the side.

One hour and thirty two minutes later.

“Percy! Percy! Come on now you’re not Ariel and this isn’t a wave pool, come down from the- Percy!”

Percy had loved the movie, the minute he got back home he was going to tell his father why they desperately needed to begin to make movies like the one about the redheaded mermaid.

Percy was doing flips and moves he had seen in the movie, he’d be singing the songs if it weren’t for the whole, “humans can’t know we can speak.”

“We won’t watch anymore movies if you act like this after each one, and I mean it, come over here, there’s a sequel.”

Percy stopped at that and came right over, Jason even let him hold his thing that played the movie, aka smart phone.

Jason laughed as the merman swam around afterwards, “note to self, merpeople do like movies, you know Percy, it’s almost like you could understand the movie, or maybe you just like pictures?”

Percy just looked up at him again, if you think someone can’t talk back, then why bother asking them questions? Percy just didn’t get it.

“I think the storm stopped, ready to go back?”

Percy went over to his door and Jason hit the button to open it, Percy waited a moment, half hoping Jason would come in, but he didn’t.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Percy went through the door and looked up to see Triton was already up on the surface.

“Hey, what are you up here fo….oh,” Percy looked on as they took what appeared to be the orca’s body away.

“Where do they take him from here?”

Triton shrugged.

They weren’t quite at their tank yet, they were actually pretty far away, but Percy and Triton had insanely good vision from having lived so far away from the surface.

Percy went down below the water and to the glass barrier of his tank, he always waited for Jason to pass by on his way to leave, so did Will and Triton, but it was always to pretend he didn’t see Heracles by tuning his back.

They waited longer than usual, but eventually the humans walked over talking in hushed voices.

“I’m telling you he liked it,” Jason walked over to the tank, “you liked The Little Mermaid, didn’t you, Percy?”

Jason put a picture from the movie up to the glass and Percy put his hand up to it.

“What is that?” Triton asked eying the picture.

“Jason showed me this thing called a movie, I liked it a lot, it was about this mermaid, she fell in love with a human prince, she was a princess by the way, and anyways, a bunch of stuff happens, and she becomes human to live with the prince.”

Triton made a face of disgust, “That’s stupid, why doesn’t she just come on land, once she dries she’ll be able to walk around on land if she is of age.”

“Tri,” Percy crossed his arms, “do humans know that?”

“Still ridiculous, who leaves their entire family and kingdom behind like that?”

“Well, if you were in love with a human what would you do?”

“I would ne-”

“I said if.”

“I suppose I would just go between the land and sea, but not become a human...how miserable.”

“Yeah, but that isn’t an option, you have to pick one or the other.”

“As the oldest son of Poseidon it would be my duty to put the kingdom before my romantic endeavors.”

Percy just shook his head, “then why are you still in here?”

“Because dad would murder me if I left you and considering you can’t use land legs until you turn seventeen and I would have to figure out how to free everyone else.”

“So, staying here is part of your princely duty?”

“Exactly.”

Percy shook his head again and then noticed the stares he was getting from Jason and the others, he quickly realized he and Triton must have appeared to be having a very human like conversation, hand motions and all.

“You two aren’t arguing are you?” Jason laughed and shook his head.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Triton doesn’t like Percy’s reenactment of that stupid movie.”

Triton looked at Percy and smirked, “see? Heracles agrees with me.”

Percy glared at him.

They all fell silent as the vehicle carrying the orca passed by them. Percy and Triton stared at it, watching until the body was out of their sight.

“Do you think they understand?” Annabeth asked as she walked by each tank, stopping at Piper’s.

“Yeah, I think they do.”

“Come on, we better get out of here now.”

“Yeah, see you tomorrow Percy.”

“See you Triton.”

“Bye bye Will.”

“Have a nice night Piper.”

That night the merpeople did something they usually never did in captivity, they sung a sorrowful lullaby, there were no words to it, just “oooh” and “ahhh” like sounds synchronized to a point of profound beauty. Songs like those are the ones that bring sailors to their watery demise.

 

The park, as said yesterday, was closed, and for once all of the merpeople were above their tanks, including some of the other animals, many even took the chance of  diving in each other’s tanks before the humans that would be there came. Percy was no exception, at around four in the morning Will and Piper jumped over to the brothers’ tank.

They laughed and played, Will even got one of the birds to give them one of those balls they had at the gift shop. A beach ball, if Percy remembered correctly. It took forever to blow it up, but Piper got it eventually.

They did get a bit carried away though, because when six o’clock rolled around they hadn’t even noticed.

“It feels great to actually swim with people again, Nico is great and all, but it isn’t exactly the same.”

“Annabeth tries, she would look nice with a tail,” Piper laughed.

“Heracles just splashes me when he gets in the water, naturally I must retaliate,” Triton was sitting on one of his favorite underwater rocks, lounging as the younger ones played around.

“The real mystery is who splashes who first,” Percy whispered.

“What was that? You little brat-”

“Percy!”

“Oh no.”

“We’re going to get caught,” Will laughed.

“Sh...maybe Nico and Annabeth are running late.”

“Wil? Where are you?”

“Nevermind.”

Percy was the first to emerge from the water, with a sheepish look he greeted Jason.

Then slowly, Will broke surface.

“Will how did you- what are you even- what?”

Will swam around a bit before diving back into his own tank.

He did a few of the tricks he and Nico went over, but Nico didn’t appear impressed.

“You know better.”

Percy sat up on his rock and smiled at Jason who just  shook his head, “You both know better an- is that a beach ball? What do you do when we aren’t here? Throw a luau or something?”

Percy reached his hand out, an attempt to convey some form of an apology.

Piper took the opportunity to go back to her tank.

“What did the entire park come visit you guys last night?”

Percy swam over and picked up his beach ball, throwing it to Jason.

Jason looked at him for a while, “I still want to know how you got this….but I can’t be mad at you so…” Jason tossed the ball back and picked up the pail of fish and began to give Percy his breakfast. A few minutes later Heracles and Annabeth came, Jason and Nico told them about the merpeople’s meeting of course.

Once breakfast was done Percy was surprised to hear his door open, he, with his beach ball, went through.

“You like that ball, huh?”

Percy only held it closer.

“If I knew you guys would have liked toys, I’d have got you some, how about Saturday, I’ll bring you some stuff, how does that sound?”

Percy swam up to Jason and picked up the ball and made a throwing motion.

“You want to play?”

Jason put his hands out and he and Percy went back and forth with it, eventually getting more and more competitive.

They kept going until Jason reached too far in for the ball and fell in the tank. Percy dived down, just to make sure he was okay and then laughed when Jason appeared to be pouting over losing.

The blonde stood up in the tank and after a moment placed his hand on Percy’s head, “I have the best job in the world.”

If Percy could speak to Jason, he would have said, “I am not a job.”

Percy placed his head on Jason’s chest.

“I wish we knew more about you guys, I mean what you like to eat, what you like to do, how do you socialize...why does Triton have two tails, but you and the others have one?”

Percy just stared at him.

“Hey, wanna watch another movie?”

Percy swam around looked for Jason’s phone.

“Hey, you’re learning fast, come on,” Jason sat on the edge of the tank and played a movie called the Thirteenth Year.

It was...well...it was interesting, not as good as the Little Mermaid, but interesting.

Percy tried point for another movie, but Jason didn’t let him.

“We have routines to work on, mister.”

Percy sighed and fell back into the water, he wanted to watch another movie he had seen the picture of, it had an orange and white fish and a black and blue one. Percy recognized one word from it, Finding.

“Hey, we won’t watch movies if you’re going to get lazy.”

Percy floated around the tank for a minute before he quit sulking and waited for Jason’s requested tricks. He did them all and came back for the hopes of a movie but-

“Percy, no more movies today,” Jason moving the phone back.

Percy made a sound of clear agitation before diving back into the water.

“Hey get back up here.”

Percy sat at the bottom of the water with his arms crossed, he wanted to see the movie about finding.

Up above Jason sighed, and then got an idea, he turned on his phone’s speakers and put the Little Mermaid soundtrack on.

“Is that a good enough compromise for you?”

Percy came back up when he heard the music and did more tricks for Jason. They did eventually watch the movie about Finding and Percy liked it, but it made him miss the ocean, more than he ever had during his time at the aquarium.

He looked around, sure he could see the sea, but that was nothing compared to being in it.

“Hey, you okay?” Jason nudged Percy’s shoulder and the dark haired mer just settled himself in the water.

“It’s a shame you can’t go to the movies, the sequel to this movie is coming out.”

Percy looked up at Jason and just put his head on his knee.

After some time Percy dozed off on Jason, he was comfortable but a thin line pulled him back to his home.


 

Chapter Text

The next day there were more cameras than ever at the resort, but thankfully the attention was placed on the orcas, there were also people Percy could hear screaming outside the gates. He wasn’t sure, but he swore he heard, “free them,” or “freedom.”

Breakfast was the same as it always was, but Jason and the others came almost an hour late to get them for practice time.

“Percy!” Percy looked over and went right through to the other side.

Jason looked tired but he jumped in the tank next to the merman with a few things in his hand.

“I got you something,” Jason lifted a bunch of colorful things like another ball, a toy boat, and a plastic fish that swam in the water on its own.

“See, I know I said Saturday, but this stuff was on sale in the gift shop, do you like it?”

Percy lifted up the toy boat, playing with it and then the ball.

“Okay, good, I have something for you to learn,” Jason stood up and went to a corner, he picked up a hoop.

He took the ball from Percy and threw it in the hoop, “can you do that?” Jason did it a  few more times before giving the ball back for Percy to try. Percy failed the first few times, but got it down.

“Can you do it with your tail now?”

Jason showed Percy by motioning for his tail to come up. Percy did it, and he failed terribly at that for a while, even hitting Jason in the face with the ball before finally getting it right.

“Alright! Yeah! You did it!”

Percy accidentally went to high for a flip and ended up doing three flips.

“Now that, was awesome.”

But dangerous, Percy thought to himself, in the sea sure, it’s practically bottomless, but in a tank, no.

“Hey, so I found out that they might do movie night here,” Jason said sitting on the edge of the tank.

“They’re going to screen Finding Dory.”

Percy looked up.

“Yeah, you remember Dory, the blue fish, so you’ll get to see it after all. I better get going now though, I’ll see you tomorrow, well...while I am on my way out too, but you know.”

Percy went up to his door and waited, the door opened, and he went through.

Everything was alright.

The park was overcrowded the next day which resulted in Jason being on dolphin duty again after breakfast. This put Percy out, but one day without Jason wouldn't be an absolute nightmare? Wrong.

Without Jason no one was there to tell the kids to quit banging on the glass and throwing things in the tank. Percy tolerated it and was thankful Triton wasn't there because he might have attempted to really pull someone in the tank. Percy, although tempted, refrained. Around lunch things got worse, maybe it was the annoyance or maybe it was Percy's willingness please, or a desire to make Jason happy, Percy decided he would have some fun and put on his own show, hoping that would calm things down a bit on the human end of things.

Percy began with a few flips then he began the twirl, starting from the bottom of his tank to the top. He did the roll and played with the ball with his tail even though he didn't have a hoop. The people ate it up. So many people pushed against the rails to get a closer look. Percy sat up upon a rock and waved to everyone, but a little boy got too close to the bars and fell, thankfully Percy moved so fast that the boy didn't even touch the water. Percy held up the tiny child and stared at the toddler before handing him back to his mother.

“He caught that baby!”

“Did you see that?”

“Wow!”

The child reached his hand out and laced it into Percy’s hair, giggling, “mermaid!”

Percy sighed. Merman. Percy is a merman.

The mother smiled, “thank you. Thank you so much.” She slowly pulled him away, but didn’t move letting the child still view him.

“Look over here!”

Percy looked up to see a man with a phone, like the one Jason had, but it had no casing over it, which according to Jason, meant the phone would break.

“Hey, over here!” Percy looked over to see someone holding something out to him, it looked like food. Percy went over, it was pink.

“Can they eat that? I don’t think you should give him that.”

“They look like us! He can eat it, can’t you Percy?” Percy looked at it and slowly put his hand out.

“Look, you lick it,” The guy said pushing it forward.

Percy slowly stuck his tongue out and tasted it, it was good so Percy began to smile.

“He likes it! See that? Here you can have it.”

Percy took the food and began to quickly eat it, including the odd, but tasty container it came in.

Percy was always told to be polite, so he went down into his tank and grabbed a seashell and came up to give it the man who gave him the tasty treat.

“Aw hey, he’s trying to give you something back.”

“Ain’t that something.”

“I never….”

“I don’t wanna take your shell.”

Percy insisted by pressing the shell into his palm.

“That’s so sweet.”

Percy backed up and did another flip and went and brought up his beach ball. Jason wasn’t here to play with him, so maybe they would. Percy threw the ball into the crowd and waited a moment before it came back.

He threw it to another cluster of people and they too threw it back.

Percy was so into the game he hadn’t noticed-

“What are you doing?”

“Ah- Oh, Triton, I’m playing, want to-”

Triton was already heading for the bottom of the tank.

“Can I play?” Percy expected Will to be on his other side, but instead, Jason was sitting on the edge of his tank.

The ball had come back by then, so Percy threw it to him who threw it back into the crowd.

Jason laughed before jumping into the water, “the dolphin show ended early, you took everyone’s attention away from them, you’re trending on Twitter.”

Percy rocked his head to the side.

“Nevermind.”

When Will came out the three of them ended up playing, Nico was there, but just watched instead.

They didn’t stop for a while, not until Jason called it off, since he figured Percy would need a break and encouraged people to visit the newest Dolphin baby that had been born a week ago. Many people did, but a few lingered.

“So, how was your day?”

Percy didn’t know how to explain his day, he had that snack which was apparently called ice cream and he caught a baby.

“Well, according to Twitter, you did a lot today, but I didn’t get to look at it yet, so why don’t we go over it together?”

Percy sat on a rock next to Jason and looked at the phone screen. He pointed when he saw himself, it was a picture of one of his flips.

“Yeah, that’s you Percy, that’s you.”

Jason scrolled down to another picture, it was of Percy handing the mother her son back.

“A kid fell in your tank and no one got me? Or anyone?’

Percy tried to gesture what had happened with the baby not actually falling in the water, but Jason didn’t seem to get it.

“Okay, saving babies, what else did you- someone gave you strawberry ice cream?”

Percy rubbed his stomach, as in, it was good.

“Geez, Percy, you shouldn’t be taking food from strangers.”

‘Are you going to get me an ice cream?’ Percy thought to himself

“What’s that look for?”

Percy just crossed his arms and looked away.

“Oh, what? You like taking food from random people?”

Percy pointed to his mouth.

“You’re going to get sick.”

Percy shook his head.

“Yes, you are, don’t shake your head at me.”

Percy stuck his tongue out and jumped into the water.

“Stop acting like that, come back here.”

Percy shook his head.

“Oh, if that’s how it is maybe I’ll take a vacation day tomorr-”

Percy grabbed Jason’s ankle before he could finish and shook his head.

“Percy, keep this up, and I’m going to have to assume you know exactly what I’m saying.”

Percy wanted so badly to say, “I do.”

Triton came up a moment later, just as Heracles came through the door.

“So, let me tell you, how,” Heracles pointed at Triton, “this one, poured fish on me.”

“Triton!”

“He was asking for it.”

“How?”

“He called me a baby!”

“What did you do?”

“Nothing!” Triton crossed his arms, “I just didn’t feel like going back in the water, but he pulled me back in.”

“Why didn’t you want to go back in the water? If you dry out they’ll see-”

“It wasn’t going to be that long, I just wanted to lied down out of the water for a while.”

“I swear they talk about the same things we do,” Heracles said looking at the two mermen.

“They probably do,” Jason shrugged, “to be completely honest, I think they’re pulling our legs, they know perfectly well what we’re saying, don’t you guys?”

Percy looked at Triton, “please. Please. We wouldn’t be talking, just letting them know we know what they’re saying. Please. Triton. Please.”

Triton swam around for a moment and looked at Percy’s pleading sea green eyes.

The older prince sighed before nodding, “fine, but do not think I will bend to speaking with them.”

Percy grinned, he’d work on that later, one step at a time to get Triton to agree to things.

“You understand, don’t you Percy?”

Percy grinned as he nodded his head.

Heracles’ jaw dropped, “I didn’t think he was going to actually-”

“Neither did I...so you do know? I can ask you questions….well, yes or no questions...hm….Oh this is going to be amazing.”

The door opened again and Annabeth and Nico came back out. Nico had left for a break not too long ago after they stopped playing.

“You guys aren’t going to believe this,” Jason promised, “okay, look, Percy, you can understand me?”

Percy nodded.

“Can Triton understand us?”

Another nod.

“Can WIll understand us?”

Nod.

“Can Piper?”

Final nod.

“He could just be nodding to nod,” Annabeth said, not wanting to raise her hopes for that kind of discovery.

“You ask him a question then.”

“Are you a human, Percy?”

Percy shook his head. No.

“Are you a mermaid?”

He shook his head, he was not a mermaid.

“Are you a dolphin?”

No.

“Are you a merman?”

He nods, yes.

“See?”

“Wait-” Nico put his hand up and went over to Will, “so, you know when I’m telling you stop splashing me and do it anyway?”

Will nodded happily before realizing what he had just admitted to and then moved back.

“Oh, really?” Nico slipped his flippers on and jumped into the tank. Will swam away, oh the trouble he had just gotten himself into.

“That’s right! All those times you acted like you didn’t know what I’d said, you were ignoring me!” Heracles pointed at Triton who just smirked before heading for the bottom of the tank.

“Be grateful I can’t follow you down there, but tomorrow, oh there is going to be hell to pay tomorrow.”

Annabeth was already in Piper’s tank having a yes or no based conversation.

“All this time?”

Percy shrugged and pointed down.

“What? Triton?”

He nodded.

“Triton what? Wouldn’t let you tell us?”

Percy nodded.

“So, Triton makes the rules?”

Another nod.

“So, like is...Triton alpha?”

Percy shook his head, Triton was an had a heat not a rut….or maybe it was the opposite? Percy was relatively sure he was right, but Triton didn't like talking about mating with his younger brother, so Percy could be mistaken.

“But you guys do have some kind of order with who’s in charge?”

Percy nodded again.

“So, who’s second in charge?”

Percy pointed to himself.

“You are?” Jason smiled at him, “I could talk to you all day, but it’s getting late so we all better head down to change and leave.”

Percy sighed and then nodded. Jason and the others slowly began to leave, Nico was the last having been mid rant with Will.

“See? Was that so bad?” Percy asked Triton as they swam to the bottom of their tank to wait and say goodbye.

“Yes, because now they know we just don’t feel like doing what they say, but do understand them.”

“Aw...you can still ignore Heracles, he’ll just know you’re ignoring him is all.”

“He is going to give me more of a headache than usual.”

“You know Tri, as much as you complain about Heracles, I’m starting to think-”

Triton put his hand up, “I think I know where you’re going with this and I want you to know you need to stop right there.”

“Well, maybe…”

“Perseus.”

“Just maybe you like him more than you’d like to admit to,” Percy said with a shrug, “I mean Jason and me are kind of sort of friends I guess.”

“I can’t believe you would think I like him!”

“I just said maybe you like him more than you say you do, nothing wrong with admitting you like being friends with him.”

“He is not my friend.”

“Okay,” Percy crossed his arms, “if that’s what you’re sticking to.”

Jason and the others came walking by, grabbing Percy’s attention.

“See you tomorrow, Percy,” Jason said smiling at him.

Percy waved goodbye.

“It’s gonna be my and you tomorrow Triton, hear me? Me and you in that tank.”

Triton waved him off, making Heracles march right up to the tank, “that attitude of yours is going to sleep with the fishes.”

Triton jerked his head away in offense before flipping Heracles off, something he had learned from teenagers that came to the resort.

“Did he just-”

“Heracles…”

“I’m putting back on my wetsuit and going in there!”

“No, you’re not, you’re coming with us to Red Lobster and you’re going to leave poor Triton alone.”

“Poor Triton? He flipped me off!”

“Yes, we all saw, now come on before it gets too crowded.”

“I’m going to remember this tomorrow.”

Percy laughed, “what does that gesture mean.”

“I don’t know...I know it is considered offensive.”

“So, you just do it? Even without knowing what it means?”

“If it messes with Heracles, it’s good enough for me.”

Percy shook his head before swimming up to Will, “hey, sunshi-”

“Do not,” Will interrupted, “it’s bad enough coming from kids, not you too.”

“Aww, it’s kind of cute.”

“It’s annoying.”

“Are you happy you can kind of sort of communicate with Nico now?”

“Well,” Will reclined in the water, “yes and no, yes, because I do enjoy his company and spending time with him, but no because now he knows how much I have ignored him in the past.”

Percy laughed, “I just wish Triton would lighten up a bit, how would talking to them hurt any? We could tell them to keep it to themselves…I don’t think they’d tell anyone…”

“I don’t know Percy, your brother seems to think it’s dangerous.”

“He thinks everything is dangerous, remember that sunken ship when we were little?”

“Oh, yeah! And the great white shark chased us until he recognized who you were,” Will laughed, “that was too good to be true! But I was still scared out of my head that time.”

“I’ll give Tri until July.”

“What?”

“If July comes and he still won’t let us talk to them, I’ll just tell Jason to keep it between he and I,” Percy said and then looked around, Triton was either asleep or not paying attention, “I...I want to talk to him.”

“Triton is going to kick your tail….but I really want to talk to Nico, so it’ll be both of us getting in trouble with the big bad prince.”

“Yes!”

Percy and Will locked hands in agreement.

 

The next day was interesting since it was a slow day and yet, there was never a small amount of humans at their tanks.

Percy and Triton hadn’t even bothered to hide and were lounging on some rock mounds inside of their tanks, right in front of the glass for visitors to see them.

“How are they still not used to us?” Percy wondered aloud before pointing, “the little girl right there comes every other day with her parents.”

“I’d be lying if I told you I had noticed her before,” Triton admitted, “they thought we were fictional characters no longer than what a year or two ago? We’re still new to them.”

Percy shrugged his shoulders, “it’s still odd to me...do you miss singing?”

“I d...no.”

“Aw come on Tri,” Percy said sitting up.

“No, you know what happens to humans when we sing and they’re near by, do you want all of them in our tank? All of those artificial smells they put on.”

“I suppose not.”

“I didn’t think so.”

“Triton?”

“I swear you didn’t talk this much at home.”

“We had the whole sea to avoid each other in.”

“True.”

“So, anyway, how come you give Heracles a hard time?”

“I don’t,” Triton said turning on his side, “he gives me a hard time.”

“You give each other a hard time then, why?”

“Because I can.”

“Do you…” Percy decided not to push his luck with this conversation and went above to see if anyone was around, sadly for him Will must have been taking nap or something because he was nowhere to be seen.

“Hey there, Percy.”

The man who gave him ice cream before was there again, this time with a new treat. It was something brown, but like the pink one.

“Want it?”

Percy swam down to his tank and picked up a shell to trade off.

“Luke, are you sure he can eat ice cream?”

“Come on Thalia, of course he can, why wouldn’t he be able to?”

“There is no ice cream in the sea.”

Percy licked the even more delicious cold treat and looked up. Jason may not appreciate him for taking the ice cream, but Percy was certainly proud of himself. He sat on his rock while eating it so it didn’t get too wet.

Luke and the girl who questioned his choice in giving Percy ice cream left not too long after, but in that same time Jason and the others came out for “social time,” which in the past was just to, “fully express the link between mer and trainer.”

“Percy! Are you eating ice cream again? What did we talk about yesterday?”

Percy blinked at the blonde haired boy before slowly licking the ice cream again.

“Percy, hand it here.”

Percy just shook his head, and then shoveled the remaining ice cream into his mouth and giving Jason the cone, as an expression of “I kind of listened to you.”

Percy smiled until he felt a striking pain in his head as the cold fully engulfed him.

“Brainfreeze, that’s exactly what you get,” Jason sat on the edge of his tank.

Percy just held his head while glaring at Jason. How could he say such a thing, this was terrible, maybe ice cream wasn’t so great after all.

“Come here,” Jason said gesturing for Percy to come forward.

Percy dove forward and laid his head on Jason’s lap as the human stroked his slowly recovering head. This was worse than the time he tried to bite a fish but bit into loose snow under the ice instead.

“It’s okay Percy, you’re alright, lesson learned?”

“What’s wrong with him?” Nico asked as he slipped his flipper on.

“He didn’t want to give up his ice cream so he ate it all.”

“And everyone says he’s the smart one.”

“In what universe?” Triton asked as came above to the surface, “why would you eat something cold like that?”

“Jason wanted me to give it up, I wanted to eat it, I thought it would be worth it.”

“You have seaweed for brains to do something like that,” Piper laughed from her tank.

“I’ve learned my lesson.”

Percy wondered if the one named Luke had other treats for him, something a bit less cold would be preferable though.

“We need something to do,’ Jason thought for a moment, “Nico, feel like doing a q and a with Will?”

“I was going to just do nap time, so sure.”

Jason paused, “nap ti...shut up,” the two went over to the crowd, not bothering to ask Annabeth who was doing a tutorial to a small crowd on Mermaid anatomy and Heracles who taken Triton into his smaller tank for “quiet time” which was code for neither of them wanted to do anything.

“Are Percy and Will friends?” Was one of the first questions to be thrown out there.

“Percy and Will get along very well, so we would consider them to be very good friends.”

“Why does Percy’s big brother have two tails, but Percy has one?”

“We’re still trying to figure that out.”

“Does Will like being called the Sunshine mermaid?”

“He loves-”

Splash

“It’s not his favorite nickname in the world,” Nico admitted.

“What about Goldfish? Does he like being called Goldfish?”

“I’m going to have to go with a no.’

“Does Percy have a nickname?”

“No...not really.”

“Can we give him one?”

“Please no,” Percy complained to Will.

“Ha! You laughed at me when they called me Sunshine and Sunny, now watch a bunch of little kids give you countless annoying nicknames.”

“How about cutiepie? Because he’s so cute!”

“No! No, what about Blueberry?”

“I like sweetie!”

“Can we call him peepee?”

“Eww.”

“That’d be gross.”

Percy folded himself backwards, why was Jason allowing this to go on?

“I think the most likely of those Percy would go along with are Sweetie or Cutiepie.”

SPLASH

“Percy!”

The Sea Prince just crossed his arms and looked away.

Jason laughed, but to help a bit Nico made a face of shock and then pointed, “did the baby dolphin do a flip?”

The crowd took off.

“Now, you know,” Jason began.

“If it ends that q and a, it was worth the grief the dolphin trainers will have.”

“Now, sweetie, why would you splash me and all those peop-”

Splash.

-le,” Jason laughed as they went back to their normal places by the tank. Percy may not warm up to being called sweetie, but there were other things he could warm up to.


 

Chapter Text

The following day was way more busy at the resort, but thankfully all of the attention was going to a new walrus baby. What was with all of these newborn babies? Percy thought it was odd, until Triton hit him with reality and explained how mating works in captivity. Percy was...disturbed to say the least.

Breakfast had just ended and Percy decided to lie down on one of his rocks. The sun beamed down on him and it felt wonderful.

“Look it's Cutiepie!”

Percy blinked.

“No, his name is Sweetie!”

Jason was so dead w hen he came and got him.

“Come here Sweetie, Sweetie!”

Percy looked out of the sea and thought to himself, please, will someone come get me, anyone.

“Hey Cutiepie,” a familiar voice laughed.

Percy turned around and looked at Luke before crossing his arms, “I'm kidding Percy, got something for you.”

Percy looked up, it was circular treat, three of them to be exact.

“Don't get the cookies wet, they get all mushy.”

Percy nodded before beginning to eat them, they were good.

“Those are called chocolate chip cookies,” he explained.

Percy nodded again as he ate them. He looked up at Luke, hoping he had more.

“Sorry, Percy, I don't have anymore.”

Percy crossed his arms and sighed before going down to get a seashell as a thank you.

“I'll bring more tomorrow, okay?”

Percy placed his hand up to Luke's, the blonde began to smile at him.

“That’s right, alright, I’m going to head out of here now, okay?”

Percy nodded and watched as he turned away.

Jason must have been running late today, and by running late, Percy was counting hours. It wasn’t until Percy was playing with seashells with a bunch of kids calling him his “adorable” nicknames that he heard...

“Percy!”

Jason, finally.

Percy swam over to him and the children became louder.

“Can you bring sweetie pie, I mean cutiepie back over here?”
“You’ve got fans,” Jason laughed at Percy’s obvious dislike for the nicknames that Jason had allowed to take hold the previous day.

“What?”

Percy looked away.

“I know you’re not blaming me,” Jason waited but Percy did nothing to show an answer, “you are, aren’t you? It’s not my fault everyone thinks you’re so cute, now come on, we are actually doing something today.”

Percy looked up.

“A press conference, come on, you and Triton are doing it together, once security gets everyone away from the tanks and Heracles finished getting ready.”

Percy nodded before climbing up on one of his rocks and placing his head on Jason’s knee as he waited.

It didn’t take long for Triton to breach the surface, all it took was the opening of the door and Heracles taking one step outside.

“Not putting up a fight today I see.”

Triton frowned, “I try to be nice and this is what he responds with?”

Percy batted his eyes, “what?”

“Nevermind, oh look, people are actually leaving early for once.”

“Jason said they’re doing some press thingy here, so the crowds are all leaving.”

Shortly after the visitors left their tanks, heading to other parts of the park, Will and Piper were called into their indoor tanks.

“And here we finally are, the mermen.”

It was the woman from before, but Percy still didn’t know her name.

The people had far more cameras than Percy had seen before, there were a lot of them, but none of them wore white jackets or swimsuits, they all had on nice clothing.

“Please stands as far from the tank as possible, these two are known for splashing and we aren’t responsible for damaged equipment.

“I know a few of you are doing live reports, so you will have some time for that before and after the conference.”

A few of the people began setting up their cameras, fluffing their hair, and making sure it didn’t come off. Percy thought it’d be funny to imitate them.

“Triton, look, I’m the one on the right,” Percy laughed as he raked his hand through his hair and pretended to push his fin up.

“You’ve got that one, he looks ridiculous.”

“Are you two making fun of people again?”

Percy looked up at Jason and smiled.

“Yeah, you are, what have we talked about? That’s rude when the person is right there and can see you,” Jason, much to Percy’s displeasure, ruffled his hair.

“Doesn’t make it any less funny,” Triton snickered.

The people began their odd thing, saying very similar words to the camera.

“I’m Tony Kar reporting from…”

“I’m Vanessa Dale reporting for…”

Percy was soon bored, the children and their insistent nicknames were better than this, all they were doing was talking about him and Triton.

“I know, it’ll all be over soon.”

“Little guy looks bored,’ One of the reporter woman said coming over to Jason and Percy.

“Yeah, he prefers to be moving around or playing with the kids," Jason explained, “cameras aren’t really his thing.”

“Oh okay,” she smiled at Percy, “everyone loves them so much, they make ratings sky rocket."

“Yeah, they’re popular.”

“Well, it’s time for me to get back with the others, I hope Percy’s alright sitting through so many questions.”

“For the sake of everyone’s equipment...I’d hope so.”

Jason shifted over so he was facing the reporters, which irritated Percy since that meant he had to move his head off of the blonde’s knee. As a consolation prize he placed his head near Jason’s shoulder.

The woman who led them in picked who asked questions, while Jason and Heracles answered them.

“Is it known whether or not Percy and Triton are fully mature?”

Heracles laughed, “if you mean by personality, Triton could not be further from the word mature, but physically it is believed Triton is mature and Percy is still developing.”

Triton crossed his arms and glared at Heracles who flashed him a cheeky grin.

“Do we know when Percy would be considered fully mature?’

“We do not know at the moment.”

‘“Many of our viewers are curious, with the mer people having obviously human features, how similar to us are they exactly? How self aware are they? Some may argue if they are very similar to us, then is captivity not unethical?”

“Well, that’s a lot of questions, but we don’t know how similar they are to us, as for self awareness...very I would say,” Jason answered, ignoring the part about captivity.

“We will now take a question from Health Report.”

“Yes, what would you say to those that find the merpeople attractive in a more aesthetically pleasing way? Is it sickness? What would you call it?”

“Um...well…Heracles, I’m sure you’d love to take this one.”

“I would? I mean, sure.”

Percy and Triton crossed their arms and waited.

“This is going to be funny," Triton laughed, "humans never do know what to say when it involved other species."

Percy looked puzzled, “you said humans fell in love with mer people all the time when they used to believe in us long ago.”

"It doesn't make it anymore rational to them, it's hard for humans to explain attraction to something nonhuman, just like you wouldn't go home to father and say you found a human attractivex they wouldn't either."

Percy considered arguing that Jason might have been an exception, but wasn't sure how to word that without it sounding like he meant something that he would like to believe he didn't.

“Um...it is in human nature to uh...we like odd things-”

“Did Heracles call us odd?” Triton demanded. 

“We like to be adventurous and of course for years it has been romanticized, so uh….as I’m not saying jump in the ocean and bang a-”

“Heracles!” Jason chided, “these are family news stations!”

“They asked! As I was saying, don’t jump into the ocean and expect to get laid or have your own Little Mermaid going on because this is reality where, yes they look like us from the waist up, but below that is what counts and what is below that is fish.”

Jason stared open mouthed at Heracles’ blunt statement, resisting the urge to just connect his face to his hand.

Triton on other hand, was somehow offended, and to show his offense, naturally he splashed Heracles.

“What? You are a fish from the waist down!”

“Can you two help yourselves for one day?”

“He-!”

“Our next question,” the woman in charge interrupted, “will come from Entertainment Weekly.”

“Can you give a bit of description of the two brothers’ personalities?”

“Percy...well, Percy’s great, he’s good with the kids that come, not a single sad face, until they have to leave that is. He’s super energetic and loves to try new stuff, that sadly includes food, like ice cream, he’ll take it and eat it whole to avoid giving it up, I love working with him and he really makes my day.”

Percy looked up and couldn’t help the smile that plastered itself onto his face, as he swam over to him and pulled at the blonde’s arm before resting his head by his shoulder.

“He is also very affectionate,” Jason added, the cameras going off to capture what would soon be a trending image.

“And Triton?’ The reporter asked Heracles.

“He’s uh...well, he’s frustration, got a thick head, stubborn as a mule, and I-” Heracles leaned over and placed his hands over Triton’s ear, whether he knew it or not, it was a pointless act, Triton could still easily hear him, “but I wouldn’t trade him for anything. I like arguing with him and just going back and forth, because even though he can’t speak to me, we still understand each other in a way, even if we don’t want to listen,” he lifted his hands off Triton who pretended not to have heard all of that.

“Didn’t know he could be half as deep as he just was, Jason laughed.

There were a few more questions and then it ended. Thank goodness.

“Percy, ready for some fun?”

Percy looked up as Jason saw the people out and came back slipping his flippers on. The dark haired boy moved back and waited, “he’s going to get in!”

“I’m taking a nap-”

“Triton.”

“He wouldn’t…”

SPLASH

The two human brothers leaped into the tank and then came up beside the merpeople, bobbing up and down beside them.

“Don’t act like you’re not happy to see us.”

“They just aren’t meant to be in the water are they? That was so sloppy and unorganized,” Triton complained.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Percy laughed, “I mean how do you look up on two feet?”

“Good actually, it takes me only a moment or so to get my bearings.”

“Riiight, I’m sure it does Triton, only a moment or so...please.”

“Wanna play with your ball, Percy?”

“Huh?”

Percy looked up and Jason was holding his blue and white beach ball in his hands. Percy smiled and put his hands up to catch it. The game of catch began while Triton and Heracles leaned on rocks near the edge of the tank.

Triton hadn’t gotten much sleep that night, so his eyelids felt heavy, he tried to keep himself leaned away from Heracles, but of course, his head somehow ended up on his shoulder. When Heracles didn’t move and Triton lacked the strength to reposition himself he dozed off on human.

This, naturally caught the attention of Jason and Percy.

“Don’t they look adorable?”

Percy just nodded.

“We should leave soon, but I’d hate to disturb your brother.”

Percy’s eyes lit up as he moved around, going back underwater to gather more of his toys to play with. He didn’t care if they were apparently meant for little kids, he liked his toy sword, shark, and boat.

Jason’s shoulders shook with laughter, “you like these things, huh?”

Percy nodded and then picked up the tiny shark, opening his arms to hopefully get his point across.

“What? You want an actual shark in your tank?”

Percy shook his head.

“Then what- ohhh you want a big toy shark, like a blow up one.”

Percy smirked and then nodded, pointing his finger at Jason in a “you got it” kind of way.

“Um...I don’t…”

Percy looked up in extreme disappointment, those would be great to lounge on.

Jason sighed, “alright...tomorrow, tomorrow after breakfast you can have your shark.”

Percy hugged him as a thank you before swimming over to the edge of his tank, the once facing the beach. Jason followed and floated next to him.

“You miss the ocean, don’t you?”

A slow nod was the answer, and a whisper that Jason wouldn’t understand, “I’d miss you too.”

“Wish I could understand you, aside from you know, hand movements and you nodding or shaking your head. I’d go for sign language...but I barely know the alphabet when it comes to that.”

Percy patted his shoulder in understanding.

“Hey!” Jason laughed, this is kind of like the Little Mermaid...but I’m not a prince who fell in love with your singing, but I mean Ariel couldn’t talk just like you can’t talk to me.”

Percy thought for a minute, Jason was...kind of on to something.

“Okay, now I really should go, the sun’s almost down.”

Percy looked down and nodded.

“Don’t look so down, I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Percy nodded again and swam back to the edge of the tank with Jason as he and Heracles got out. Triton was groggy and was obviously concerned with where the warm cushion that had been Heracles went.

“Night Percy.”

Percy waved.

He swam to the visitor’s glass to wait for the two brothers to pass, but after a few minutes he had fallen asleep.

 

About thirty minutes before their usual breakfast time Percy and Triton woke up to the sounds of whispers above their tank.

They shared a look with each other before going up to the surface, their eyes scanning the area. They found about four teenage boys climbing over to the ledge where visitors were barred from going.

“It’s too early for human stupidity,” Triton groaned.

 

“Listen, all you have to do is jump into the tank, then you’re in our club.”

“But what if the merpeople are awake, what if-”

Percy and Trtion listened to them going back and forth for about twenty minutes.

“Look, do you want to hang with us or are we wasting our time because they open in like ten minutes and I ain’t going to jail for oversized fish.”

“I do...I-” slip.

The boy had probably gone to hold tighter to the railing, but instead the wet metal made him fall, hitting his head on rocks on the way down. The people he had come with saw the blood begin to darken the water under the light and all but did flips to get away. Percy and Triton knew they had to act fast and swam down, Percy grabbed the boy and effortlessly carried him to the surface, laying him out on the platform. The incident must have been caught on cameras because not a moment later Jason and the other trainers with a bunch of other people had come rushing out. Percy moved back and as they brought some type of bed (stretcher) over to lift the boy and bring him inside. He hadn’t taken in a lot of water and the fall wasn’t that bad, so chances were he would be fine.

“There’s blood in their tank, call them inside until it can be drained and cleaned.”

“Come on Percy, we’re going in for a little while,” Jason said before going down into the indoor tank and opening Percy’s door for him to go in.

Percy looked at Jason and waited for him to say something, but he got in the tank first and smiled.

“You saved that guy's life, you know,” Jason grinned at him, “you and Triton are going to be called heroes.”

Percy nodded and smiled proudly.

“I was so scared when I saw him fall in, I didn't know if you'd know what to do, get scared, or think he was playing around or something.”

Percy frowned, blood is usually a telltale that someone isn't playing.

“Then when he hit his head so hard, I was scared he might have- that he wouldn't wake up.”

Death. It was like Jason was scared to “introduce” the word death to him. Percy already knew it, but maybe Jason was trying to preserve what innocence he believed Percy to have, something that irritated Percy, but also made him blush at Jason going out of his way to make sure Percy stayed innocent, even if he wasn’t.

“They’re going to clean your tanks out, is there anything you want as a treat? I got your dolphin, I already blew it up, but left it in the break room when I saw what happened.”

Percy nodded and then attempted to make a round shape with his arms, a pool. He wanted an inflatable pool to lie in the sun with. Rocks were good to clean yourself and relax on for a little while, but pools seemed to be better since they were smooth.

“Percy, I don’t understand, I’m sorry.”

Percy pouted and then gestured to Jason.

“Me?”

Percy nodded and then did the awkward swimming motion Jason usually did.

“Swim?”

Percy nodded again and then did the circle.

“Swim in a circle? No, oh! Pool?”

Percy nodded.

“Percy, you have giant tank and you want a pool?”

Percy nodded.

“Like a kiddie pool, right?”

Percy nodded.

“Um...sure, okay, what color?”

Percy pointed to his tail.

“Right, blue is your favorite color, isn’t it?”

Percy nodded and then went over to Jason and pointed at his eyes in amusement, as if Jason needed reminding his eyes were blue. In reality, this was Percy’s best way to say he liked Jason’s eyes.

“My eyes are blue, yeah, you like them?”

Percy smiled.

“I like your eyes too,” Jason placed his fingertips on the side of Percy’s head, “they’re like a sea green, but like a storm on the sea.”

Percy put his forehead on Jason’s chest, something he had found relaxing and did quite often. Jason usually just let him while he floated or sat awkwardly, but this time he placed his hand in the dark haired boy’s hair.

Percy looked up and gave a small smile before backing away and grabbing one of his toys that he had left a while ago. It was a Little Mermaid plastic cell phone, Percy sometimes used it for key phrases to make people smile, things like hello, goodbye, great job, and numbers.

“You wanna play with your phone?” Jason laughed as his sat on the edge of the tank with Percy.

Percy hit random buttons on it, he didn’t have anything he wanted to particularly say, so he just played with it.

Eventually Percy realized he hadn’t been given breakfast yet, so he tugged Jason’s wetsuit.

“Yes?”

He placed his hand on his stomach.

“Hungry? Hold on I’ll go get you breakfast.”

Percy grabbed his hand before he could leave and made a motion, cookies, he wanted cookies.

“You aren’t supposed to eat cookies at all, let alone for breakfast.”

Percy hit the number three, as in just let me have three.

“No.”

He then hit two.

“I said no.”

He then hit the number one and folded his hands to plead.

“Fish and one, one cookie.”

Percy shook his head at the fish, he was in a pizza mood, something a little kid had dropped in the tank once, and Percy found it to be heaven on earth.

“What else could you want other than fish?”

Triton said no singing or speaking. He said nothing about manipulating water to look like something, but Percy played it subtle and went underwater to make a jet of bubbles and then form them into a pizza.

“Okay, one, I don’t know how you did that, two, when did you even eat pizza? And three, I will bend to a mix oysters, clams, and fish and maybe throw three pizza bites in the microwave.

Percy sighed but nodded his head reluctantly.

“Wait here for me come back and behave.”

Percy put his hands on his hips, just where did Jason think he intended to go?

Chapter Text

“I’m not saying you have to let him do whatever he wants, I’m saying you should compromise with him more,” Jason said as he and Heracles entered their apartment after one day at the resort.

“Well, Jason, Triton’s only compromise is getting his way, and since I can’t allow that to happen I think I shall continue with as we have been.”

Jason put his keys on the coffee table in the small living area of their two bedroom apartment just ten minutes away from the resort, he crossed his arms over his purple, ‘employee” shirt, “you both act like little kids. Splashing each other, he comes out of the water while you’re in and you drag him back in, you sit on the edge of the tank and he pulls you in.”

“And?” Heracles sat down in the cream colored armchair while Jason went to the combined dining room and kitchen  to heat up his own leftovers for dinner, “pass me a beer while you’re in there.”

“Sure, and that’s what fifth graders do,” Jason paused, “when they don’t know how to express another emotion.”

Heracles gave a dry laugh as Jason passed him his requested drink and sat down on the couch, “well, I’m a human and he’s a merman, bit different.”

Jason shrugged, “I’m just saying, have you ever tried just being nice.”

“No,” Heracles smiled to himself, “he likes giving me a hard time, so I return the favor.”

Jason shook his head, “whatever you say.”

Heracles put his feet up on the table, “yeah? Well, what about you and Percy, all he ever wants to do is cuddle. You don't think he should learn personal space?"

Jason choked on his noodles, “it’s just his way of showing appreciation, he doesn’t really know it’s cuddling in the sense you're making it out to be.”

“Sure, he doesn’t you’re the one that said they understand more than we think,” Heracles smirked.

“It’s just...comforting to him, he just liked to rest his head on me is all.”

“Uh huh,” Heracles laughed, “it just crossed my mind, can they get aroused?”

“You want me to choke and die, why would that even be on your mind?”

“I mean, we have yet to see any of their sex organs, what if their tails turn color? What if Percy’s blue tail is really blue balls-”

Jason threw one of the pillows at Heracles’ head, but his older brother just caught it, “Percy’s tail is blue because it is blue, now get your head out of the gutter when thinking about my merman.”

“Your merman?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Whatever, but seriously, what if they don’t have penises?”

“Heracles they gotta reproduce somehow, can you leave these things to professionals?”

“Jason?”

“What?”

“We’re their trainers. We are the professionals.”

“We are...aren’t we?”

Heracles rolled his eyes, “Does Percy ever try to make you let him lie outside of his tank?”

“No,” Jason thought for a moment, “he’ll sit with me for a while, but the tip of his tail never leaves the water.”

“Well,” Heracles put his beer down, “tell me why Triton completely took himself out of the water today, tail and all, so I say, you know what, sure, I don’t feel like arguing with him anyways, I let him lay like that for half an hour while I clean up a bit, I come back, try to get him back in the water. He turns back over and acts like I’m pulling him out of bed or something.”

“That’s strange,” Jason nodded, “I can’t imagine why he’d do that.”

“I won’t lie, it scared me for a moment, what if he called himself beaching himself?”

“Well, I mean Heracles, we don’t even know what happens when they’re out of the water, for all we know they’re just fine.”

“I don’t wanna find out one way or the other using Triton.”

“Oh, yeah, definitely not, but...if anyone would know, Triton would.”

A moment of silence passed over them before Jason spoke again, “ever wish they could come home with us?”

“Do I wish what?”

“Like, they could come home with us, it’d be cool, Triton could lie in the bath tub and Percy could fit into a really large cooler.”

“You like work too much, it’s frying your brain, or should I say making it get soggy and useless.”

“Come on, you don’t like seeing them everyday? Tell the truth? Even if you and Triton always go back and forth what if they switched you over to another station, you would just see it as work, you wouldn’t miss Triton?”

“Course I would,” Heracles thought for a second, “but only because I know how he is, it takes a special kind of person to take care of Triton, not just anyone would be good with him, so it’s best just I do it.”

Jason laughed, “technically they do have night trainers, you know?”

“They only make sure they get dinner, they don’t even feed them by hand, they just put it through a shoot.”

Jason laughed, “see, you care about Triton, you two could be friends if you stopped arguing for one day.”

“I never said that. I just said I’m the best person to care for him, not that I care about him.”

“Riight, Heracles, sure thing.”

“It’s true!”

“Okay, whatever you say, Heracles, really, you don’t care about Triton.”

“I don’t! That overgrown fish flipped me off before! Or have we all forgotten?”

“You don’t even know if he knows what that means and we all remember because it was hilarious.”

“I’m gonna teach Percy to flip you off.”

“Percy wouldn’t flip me off.”

“Wanna bet?”

“Sure.”

“On what?”

“If you win I won’t bring up you and Triton acting childishly anymore at home.”

“Fine, and if you win?”

“If I win….you have to spend the weekend, Friday to Sunday, with Triton.”

“Fine, you’re on.”

The two brothers shook on it.

Chapter Text

The days following the incident with the teenager falling in Percy and Triton’s tank rivaled the annoyance they felt when people were first granted access to even see them. There were more flashing lights despite the signs that clearly read, “no flash photography.” The trainers were doing there best with the influx of visitors, but it was difficult for them. If it wasn’t one thing it was another. Somehow Percy’s love of people food must have gotten out because a lot of people tried to feed him constantly. It was a hassle for poor Jason who found himself worried about Percy eating something that made him sick or someone not having the kindest intent with the food.

Percy enjoyed the snacks, but he hated seeing Jason worry so much. Luke hadn’t been by for a few days now, it started to worry Percy at first until he saw Thalia, Luke’s friend, come over one day just to tell him Luke had more work than usual. Percy appreciated her telling him and gave her a seashell as a thank you.

If there was one really good thing however, it was Jason making sure Percy got his pool, sadly for Percy, Triton very rarely left it and they both couldn’t be in it at once, nor did they want a second one because it’d block their view to the surface from the bottom of the tank.

 

“The days just feel like they get longer and longer, or is it me being dramatic?” Will asked one night after closing time.

“Definitely not you,” Piper agreed as she took a leap over her tank and into Will’s.

“I’m so bored now, I mean, I’ve been bored, but this is just suffocating,” Will sighed, “I miss the sea.”

“We all do,” Piper said placing her hand on his shoulder.

“We can leave at the end of the summer,” Triton said as he came to the surface and sat on the platform, his tails up as well away from the water.

“What are you doing?” Percy asked, he could Triton was up to something.

“Going out,” Triton answered as he grabbed one of the towels from the basket Heracles had accidentally left out.

“What?! You can’t ju-”

“Can I come?”

“Me too!”

“Aw come on guys! You wouldn’t leave me here all by myself would you?”

Will blushed, “we’ll bring you something back,” he promised as he raced to dry himself off.

Piper was drying off too already, their scales slowly disappearing and fading to the skin tones of their upper bodies.

Percy crossed his arms, “some friends and an older brother you three are. How are you even going to go anywhere? There are cameras and humans wear these things called clothes, remember?”

“The trainers have changing clothes we can put on.”

Percy frowned and jerked his head back as Triton rose up, on his human legs, he was wobbly at best.

“I can’t believe you’re leaving me here on my own.”

“Sorry little brother, even two hours of freedom is in fact freedom,” Triton got the skill of walking down after completely steadying himself. He put on Heracles’ clothes, but they were entirely too large. Piper and Annabeth wore about the same size apparently, and Will looked uncomfortable in Nico’s clothing.

“He needs to ease off the black, where’s the light blues, the yellows?”’

“Alright, Percy, we’ll back in two to three hours.”

“Ughh fine….bring me food and toys back...I’d really appreciate more seashells too, I keep giving them away as thank you’s an-”

“Yeah, yeah, food and seashells,” Triton waved him off, “I’ll pick you up a bunch of random human junk.”

“Be careful and try not to get caught,” Percy called after them as they climbed over the rails.

Percy sighed and then crossed his arms over his chest, it felt colder at night when he was on his own in the water.

Percy climbed into his pool and tried to get to sleep, but he couldn’t. He looked over at where the people usually stood and thought about them. They weren’t all that bad, he could still hear them. Down by the beach, out on a thing called a boardwalk, chatting on their hotel balconies. It was something to really marvel at, the sheer spectrum he saw everyday, a spectrum that was beginning to be as endless as the stars. That’s what Percy began to do after a while of waiting, count the stars, eventually he drifted off. It wasn’t until the next morning that he woke up and was face to face with a very….annoyed, yeah, let’s go with annoyed, Jason.

“Percy, did you want a pool just to hide snacks in it?”

Percy sat up on his fin and looked around, Triton was back in the tank and already eating his breakfast while seeming to be just finished annoying Heracles for the morning despite how tired he looked. Percy looked around himself and saw a mound of bagged chocolate chip cookies and small cakes. Percy looked up and blushed.

“Where did you even get those?”

Percy looked down.

“Hey, I know you heard me.”

Downside number one of having them know merpeople completely understood them, they could tell when they were being ignored.

Percy shrugged as he held out a bag to Jason. He wanted to watch and see if Jason opened it so he could see how instead of just biting into it.

“Where’d you get a brush, Will?” Nico asked as he held up a gold handled brush.

“Sometimes I really wonder if the night shift actually watches you three or just lets you do and get whatever you want.”

“See,” Heracles tapped Jason, “what’d I say before at the house, no one else can watch them.”

Percy rocked his head to the side, was someone else going to be watching them? He only wanted Jason to watch him...well be his um...trainer that is.

Percy reached out for Jason, dipping out of his pool ever so carefully to not get too much water in and make his cookies all mushy like Luke had said.

“What?”

Percy held Jason’s wrist and nuzzled it, trying to convey a, “don’t leave.”

“Percy,” Jason sat down on the edge of the tank, “what’s the matter? Hey….”

Of course Percy didn’t say anything, but Jason caught on thankfully, “Heracles, you have him thinking we’re leaving!”

Percy looked up, so, he wasn’t going anywhere then?

“I’m not letting anyone take my spot watching you Percy, you don’t have to worry.”

Percy nodded and smiled.

He went over to his pool and opened one of the packs of cookies and bit into the bag, opening it and offering Jason one. Jason initially sighed, but did end up sharing.

“So, how was going out last night?” Percy asked Triton once the trainers had left.

Triton shrugged, “it was...alright, humans find amusement in things I simply can’t see the point of so, I won’t make the trips a habit, only for when we need something and no seashells do not count as a need, I lugged back fifty pounds of those things and Will had forty, Piper took the same as him, so if you run out of them anytime soon, it’s on you.”

Percy looked up at the promise of so many shells and sure enough there were one hundred thirty pounds worth of seashells in a broad array of both shape and color.

Percy zipped back up to the surface and hugged Triton, “thanks, Tri!”

“Alright! You’ve got the humans making the annoying aw sound again.

“Percy.”

Percy looked up and grinned, it was Luke.

“I got off of work early, so I figured I’d stop by.”

Percy raised his hand and wrapped it around the bars to pull himself up to Luke.

“Missed me?”

Percy nodded.

“I got something for you today, it’s called a doughnut, want it?”

Percy slowly took the treat and began eating it.

“It’s gonna make you sleepy, okay?”

Percy looked up, but by the time he could really process what Luke was saying he had finished the doughnut.

“I just need to know how much of it you can take, it’s alright, you’ll just sleep for a little while.”

Percy didn’t understand, had Luke worked at the aquarium all along? They were the only ones who were supposed to do stuff like that with the Merpeople.

Percy looked at Luke with strained eyes that were struggling to stay open.

Luke waved, “I’ll see you later, Percy.”

Percy felt his grip loosen on the bars that he used to pull himself up to Luke, soon he had let go, sending himself falling back into his tank. To the humans it seemed like a trick, Luke stood in a place not many would see, if anyone at all, so chances were the entire interaction had been missed. Triton was able tell the difference from an intentional flop and a fall though, so he raced to grab his younger brother, but what happened after that would be unknown to Percy until he woke up.

 

Triton held on to Percy as he went limp in his arms, he knew no good could come from the boy who was binging Percy treats nearly everyday. Triton didn’t want the humans causing a scene, if they did, it wouldn’t go well. He got the attention of Will who was about to meet Nico for one on one time.

“Will, something happened to Percy, get Nico’s attention, but not the human visitors.”

Will opened his mouth, “what hap- I’m on it,” he just did as Triton said as opposed to asking questions. Triton didn’t know what Will had did, but it definitely got the point across. Percy’s usual door opened.

“Triton, bring him in here,” it was Heracles, but Triton could see both of them in the water.

Triton, effortlessly, lifted Percy and brought him to the two brothers who appeared to be waiting on something.

“Triton, do you understand time, like how we count time?”

Triton glared at Heracles, feeling his intelligence insulted quite a bit, but he nodded to save time, for Percy’s sake. Although, Triton was almost sure the effects were temporary, the humans would know better than he did when it came to their own potions, poisons, and other concoctions.

“How long has Percy been out of it for?”

Triton thought for a moment, no longer than five minutes, he held up five fingers.

“Did he hit his head?”

Triton shook his head and pointed to his own mouth.

“He ate something? Didn’t he?”

Triton nodded.

“Triton, I need you to be as specific as possible,” Jason said slowly.

Triton waited.

“How long do we have if we move him from the water to put him a medical observation tank?”

Triton looked at them, he knew this was completely going against what he told Percy to do, but...desperate times.

He lifted a palm of water up and it slowly began to freeze in his hand, forming into the English number twelve, and the two English letters h and r.

“Did you just freeze-”

“Ques- questions later Heracles, twelve hours is way more than we need,  go get the transport.”

Heracles got up and went but was still pointing at the frozen figures, “But he can...he…”

Triton looked at Jason and put a finger to his lips.

Jason understood clearly, “your abilities will remain a secret.”

Triton nodded.

The tarp stretcher came in led by Heracles who was accompanied by a lot of marine biologists and even a human doctor, Triton allowed Jason to carry the unconscious Percy and take him away. Heracles remained.

“You can control ice.”

Triton dropped the ice numbers and letters, only to pick up a small handful of water, ‘yes.’

“You know, I get more and more suspicious about the secrets you’re hiding.”

Triton melted the ice figure and placed his hand right above the water, it began to steam, and bubble.

“Oh, no way!” Heracles reached his hand in an jerked it back, “sh...it’s really hot!”

Triton wanted to point out boiling water tended to do that, but oh well.

Triton realized he hadn’t told Heracles not to say anything, he did the same finger to mouth motion.

“I’m not telling anyone, can you imagine how crowded the park would be, we’d never have peace!”

Triton smiled before shaking his head, splashing Heracles with the now cool water, he looked past him to where they had taken Percy, frowning at the inability to hear them anymore.

“Your brother is going to be fine, it’s probably just some type of sedative, might even just be from something the food is cooked with,” Heracles put a hand on Triton’s shoulder.

Triton nodded before reaching his hand around to grab Triton’s phone, he liked looking at pictures of home from it.

“Hey! We talked about you taking my phone, no,” Heracles took it back, much to Triton’s displeasure. He put his hand out, demanding it to be returned.

“No.”

Triton furrowed his brow before reaching up and going back and forth, pulling at the small device, one of them had to give, and funnily enough, it was both of them. Heracles fell into the water, but took Triton below the water with him, the phone landing, shockingly undamaged outside of the tank.

When they both came up they were glaring at each other.

Heracles pushed his hair back, “overgrown fish.”

Triton flipped him off, as usual.

“Alright, I’m done being insulted, there’s a crowd of people out there that would love to see you, so I’ll just open the door and you can go see the-”

Triton grabbed Heracles as he was turning to get out of the tank.

He didn’t want to be in his tank alone, then all he’d do is worry about Percy, thank goodness he doesn’t talk to Heracles, because if he had to admit to not wanting to be alone, Heracles would be the last person he’d want admit it to.

“Are we done flipping me off?”

Triton lowered a harsh glare at the human nodded regardless.

“Good, then we can go to your actual tank and hide from the nuisances outside.”

Heracles considered getting up, but he changed his mind and ended up taking in a deep breath before diving in, swimming to a rock near Triton’s normal door and closing Percy’s and opening Triton’s.

Once the were both inside he lifted his head up and breathed, “took...longer than I thought.”

Triton pretended not to hear his hard time and swam in, sitting on the edge of his tank.

“Hey, can I drown you?”

Triton bared his teeth and glared at him, what kind of question was that?

“Calm down, I’m not going to drown you, just curious of if it’s possible.”

Triton sized him up for a moment before shaking his head, he couldn’t be drowned, choked on land or sea, yes, but not drowned.

Heracles grinned, “good.”

Heracles tackled him back under the water. It took Triton a moment, wrestling underwater? How foolish could Heracles be, Triton obviously had a natural advantage. Heracles put up a good fight, but he couldn’t possibly beat Triton in the water, but he did better than some merpeople ever had when it came to going against the oldest prince.

When they came out of the water Heracles lied down on the edge of the tank and grinned to himself as he reclaimed his breath, “you...won that one, but won’t be so lucky next time.”

Triton rolled his eyes, he always wins, and he would continue to always win.

Chapter Text

Jason couldn’t even try to hide his worry. If he had told Percy once, he had told him a million times, don’t take food from people. Did he listen? Of course not.

Jason paced back and forth, the lack of knowledge on mer anatomy was evident here, they didn’t know what to do with him except for putting him in an isolated tank.

After an hour or two, the only good thing that came from the passing time, was knowing Percy was completely stable and it most definitely was an anesthetic that must have been put in something Percy had eaten. Hopefully Percy would wake any minute now.

Another half an hour passed by and the dark haired merman stirred in the tank. He rubbed his eyes tiredly as he tried to distinguish his surroundings.

Jason watched carefully as Percy looked around, not registering his presence at first, and then watching as Percy’s tail began to whip around, his heart monitor showing an increase, a sign of stress.

“Percy!” Jason went over to the tank, “hey, look it’s me, calm down, it’s alright I’m here.”

Percy stilled at the sight of Jason and then pressed his hand to the glass.

“Yeah, see? It’s okay, you ate something it made you go to sleep. Gave us all a scare.”

Percy nodded and Jason smiled with relief of his understanding.

“You scared me, Percy,” Jason told him in a near reprimand like tone, “I told you stop eating food from people, no more, nothing else okay?”

Percy looked to the side and then back at him before slowly nodding his head.

“Good.”

Percy made a hand motion, as if trying to get Jason to come into the tank.

“Sorry Percy, I can’t go into that tank with you,” Jason said smiling sadly, ‘you’ll be out of here by the morning at the latest, maybe even sooner.”

Percy nodded again before moving towards the edge and taking Jason’s hand, playing with his fingers.

“It isn’t like you don’t have fingers...but it’s odd, why don’t you have webbing, I’d think that would make it easier for you,” Jason wondered allowed. To Jason’s surprise Percy gestured to his tail, the tip specifically.

“Does that help you more?”

Percy nodded again to him.

Jason nodded, “okay, I should look at your tail one day...I mean for observation more so than just looking at it of course.”

Percy flicked his tail and smiled.

“Yeah, yeah, I know you have a nice tail.”

Percy grinned at him and did roll over.

Jason gave him a small smile, “I wish you could talk...like in the movie I showed you.”

Jason quickly turned back at the sound of a door opening and saw Nico step through.

“Will was worried about Percy, so I figured I’d come in and check in and check on him.”

Jason smiled, “Will was worried?”

Nico shrugged, “yeah.”

Jason watched Percy put a hand out from his tank making Nico laughed before giving him a light high five.

“Nice to see you're okay Percy, I better go back to Will now, he's gonna start getting lonely all by himself since Piper and Triton are inside still.”

“Okay,” Jason nodded, “How long are you staying tonight?”

Nico paused as he headed for the door, “I'm staying late tonight, you?”

“I'm staying until Percy is back in his usual tank.”

“Okay,” Nico said before exiting.

Jason turned back to Percy, “looks like Will misses you.”

The mer nodded and turned to the blue eyed boy and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Yeah?” Jason smiled, but when Percy didn’t do anything he raised his eyebrow, “something wrong?”

Jason let Percy tug him in a little closer as the dark haired mer placed his head on his chest.

‘It’s okay, Percy, I know you want to go back to your own tank soon.”

Percy made a soft sound that Jason had never heard before, it sounded very close to a hum, but Jason couldn’t be positive. Jason ran his fingers through Percy’s soft black hair, smiling as he did so, “I heard a lot of people are wondering where you are, I bet Heracles has your brother in his indoor tank, they’re just as antisocial as they could be,” he told the merman, “people adore you two so much, and they haven’t even known of your existence for that long.”

Percy blinked up at him.

“I wish they could all see you, I mean how smart you are and- and powerful! Can you do what your brother did with elements?”

Percy frowned and then it must have clicked in his head. He cupped his hands and brought some water up before slowly moving his hand to form a small cloud, and not just any cloud, a small raincloud.

“That’s- you’re amazing, Percy, wow!”

A small blush spread on Percy’s cheeks that didn’t go unnoticed by Jason at all.

“It’s like magic,” Jason added, but Percy looked confused.

“What? You don’t know what magic is?”

Percy made no move to see if he did.

“Magic is...well, it can be a lot of things, it’s really cool things unexplainable by nature, like your ability to make a cloud, and small tricks that people do, like pulling a coin from a person’s ear. Some people call other stuff magic, like blooming flowers and kissing and stuff,” Jason felt a slight warmth go to his cheeks, “those things...I don’t know if they’re magic, but yeah, that is basically what magic is.”

Percy seemed to nod in understanding causing Jason to sigh with relief.

“I’m glad, I thought I confused you or gave you the wrong idea of magic.”

Percy only shook his head.

“Shake your head at me,” Jason laughed, “we are good, right? You’re not going to take anymore food from people are you?”

Percy nodded and then shook his head.

“Percy,” Jason warned.

The dark haired mer shook his head in certainty.

“Good.”

After an hour and a bunch of tests that seemed to annoy Percy, the mer was placed back in his tank where Jason finally jumped in with him. As soon as Jason entered the water Percy swam to his side, meanwhile Triton pretended not to see them since he and Heracles had to come out due to the great numbers wishing to see the two tailed merman and not feeling like it wouldn’t have been a reasonable answer to their boss.

“Can I hug, Percy?”

A little boy, a more regular visitor asked as he leaned through the bars of the rail.

Jason was going to say no for safety reasons, but the boy’s mom, in the nicest way possible was beginning to explain.

“You’ll get all wet if you hug, him sweetie, besides I don’t think that’s allow- oh!”

Percy had went below the water only to reemerge by the rails and hug the little boy.

There were streams of flashes and “Aww’s” from all around.

“He’s so sweet!”

“I wanna hug!”

“Me too”

Jason blinked as he watched child after child hugged Percy. It was like a never ending dog pile. Jason only shook his head while sitting on the edge closer to them in case anyone fell in or jumped in.

“I wanna take you home,” one kid said as she curled herself around one of Percy’s arms.

Speaking of going home, Jason smiled with relief when the final call for all visitors to leave blasted over the park speakers.

“Do a flip to say bye,” Jason whispered to the merman as the children hung their heads low to leave. Once Percy performed the action cheers of glee could be heard echoed all the way from the exit.

“Took them long enough,” Heracles grumbled.

“Aw come Heracles...it’s only just beginning, aren’t you excited for that camp coming next week?”

Jason laughed his brother let out a groan, “Kids are bad enough with their parents, but without those things are little monsters.”

“Calling children things?”

Heracles only raised an eyebrow as he climbed out of the water, closely watched by Triton.

“What are you staring at?”

Percy made a light sound, but whatever he said must have been liked by Triton since the other mer hit him in the back of the head.

“Can you two play nice?”

Percy pointed at Triton in blame.

Jason laughed, “and you’re just a little angel, right Percy?”

Percy smiled proudly and then nodded.

“It’s earlier than I realized,” Jason admitted to Heracles, “thought I’d be here half the night.”

“Yeah, well now that they’re all gone and these guys are in their actual tanks, we can go home.”

“I was going to stay a little late tonight.”

“For what? You know we have the up all night in a few days, but if you hate yourself and sleep that much-”

“Point taken,” Jason laughed as we waved, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Percy, alright?”

The merman looked down and then back up, before waving goodbye.

Chapter Text

“So, Percy is alright, just like I told you before I left,” Nico said stepping back into Will’s training area.

“I can’t help worrying, Percy and I are good friends,” Will responded with a grin.

“Thought you said you two barely interacted until you got here?” Nico asked as he slipped into the water.

“Yes, but now we are really good friends, and besides, we both used to talk when we were in the sea, but now it’s a bit more confined.”

“Right, I still can’t believe you can talk and didn’t say anything for so long, have I told you that lately?”

“You remind me everyday.”

“Oh, do I?” Nico said sarcastically, the dark haired boy shivered a moment before adjusting to the water temperature, "What's with you guys and the cold water?"

"It's getting hot outside," said Will, "can't help it that you humans like to fry in the sun."

"Oh, shut up."

"So, mean, so what was wrong with Percy exactly?"

Nico shrugged, "human food was drugged, nothing too dangerous apparently. I know Jason was freaking out though."

Will looked down for a moment, "if that happened to me, you wouldn't worry?"

Nico, not catching on said, "no. Well, yeah, but once I knew you were alright, I'd kick your tail for eating food from strangers and all the times you splashed me after I told you not to."

Will pouted for a moment before moving forward to wrap himself around Nico’s arm, “you got to let it go, NIco. I said I was sorry, for all the times I splashed you and knew you were saying no instead of more.”

“Just because you say you’re sorry doesn’t mean you are Will,” the dark haired man pointed out.

“I really am though, so anyways, I was reading this flyer,” Will picked up a paper that was hardly legible after being in the water for however long he had kept it there, “what is this up all night, it speaks of.”

“Okay, so kids are going to come and essentially camp out with you guys in here.”

“Do you humans normally let creatures you know next to nothing about around your young? In the sea we call that being reckless.”

Nico was about to answer and then put his finger up, “I know you didn’t just call humans reckless. Didn’t you only get captured and brought here because you thought sunbathing was a good idea?”

“It was an accident!” Will complained, “I didn’t think humans lived on that island…”

“It was off the coast of Greece it’s full of humans!”

“Well I know that now, don’t, I Nico?”

Nico let out a slow sigh and then shook his head, “how about we call it a tie and we can agree humanoids tend to be reckless. In general?”

“I can hop on that idea.”

Nico glanced at Will’s tail and began to laugh at the idea of him attempting to hop. The laughter was of course odd to Will.

“Hey, what’s so funny?”

Nico laughed harder.

“Nico…” Will complained shaking him a bit, “aw come on, I wanna laugh too.”

“Don’t worry about it Will.”

“Well, now that you have said that I’ll do nothing but worry.”

The two boys shared a look with each other before smiling. Will looked down a moment before pressing a kiss to Nico’s exposed cheek.

“Will-”

“I know.”

“We’ve talked about that-”

“I know.”

There was a momentary pause.

“But I don't see what the problem i-”

"What did I tell you about humans and relationships with nonhumans?"

"That they were really hot and resulted in epic stories?"

“Will!”

“Aw alright, calm down Nico, it’s not like the cameras in here are working.”

“I knew you did that on purpose!”

“Did you really think I accidentally flipped a basketball at a camera?”

Nico pulled away to look at Will with crossed arms.

“Aw come on, it isn’t like it did any harm, all of the cameras are broken...now whether you’re all aware of that…”

“WHAT?”

Will began to laugh, falling back with a great splash, to Nico’s added dismay, “yeah, Triton said he didn’t want too many risks so he had us all break our cameras.”

“You guys are unbelievable.”

“You still like me though.”

With a near reluctant smile, Nico nodded, “I’d like you even more if you behave.”

“I think you’d like me even more if I misbehaved.”

“You...you can’t help yourself, can you? Like at all?”

“No more than you can help wearing black all the time.”

Nico nodded with pursed lips, “I’ll accept that.”

Will did a flip in amusement.

“Hey, do you mind?”

“What? I couldn’t hear you, you’re going to have to come closer if you want me to hear!”

Nico was receiving wave after wave of water as the blonde continuously did all that was in his physical power to wet the dark haired Italian.

“Alright, that’s it!”

Nico dove below the water and came back up, wrapping his legs around Will’s tail  his arms around his torso, “now please, stop splashing.”

“Well if you’re asking like that, how could I say no?”

“Can you also stop being a mess?”

“That I can’t promise.”

Nico shook his head and then slowly let go, peeling himself off of the merman, “why does the wetsuit stick on your tail like that?”

“Honestly? I have grippers in my tail, because of my gender category.”

“So, all males have them?”

“No...gender category, not gender.”

“What is the difference?”

Will’s mouth popped open, “you really have no clue?”

“What? Will, don’t make it seem like I’m some merman expert, I only know what gets researched and you tell me.”

“This is one thing where you’re going to have to trust me with an, “it’ll explain itself.”

Nico wasn’t pleased with that answer, but shrugged and nodded anyway. It was getting a bit late and he was tired, “I’m about to g-”

“No,” Will complained, “you always leave so early.”

“Will, it’s past closing time,” Nico said with a small eye roll, “you’re going to be asleep in like twenty minutes and then complain about being left in here, so you’re going to go back to your nice big tank, okay?

Will pouted at him and then made a sound Nico didn’t recognize.

“Okay,” Nico said shaking his head, “if you’re going to be that way you can go back in now, I was going to wait another hour an-”

“No! Stay, I’m sorry, don’t go yet.”

Nico’s head fell back, “I’m going to be so tired in the morning now.”

“You could spend the night here.”

“Yeah, I could sleep in the lounge I guess.”

Will crossed his arms again.

“What?”

“I didn’t mean the lounge.”

“What? Will, where else would I slee...oh, oh no, not happening.”

A mischievous smirk was on Will’s face, “I didn’t say anything.”

“Mhm, Will…”

“Yeah, you know-”

“Aw calm down Nico, I’m just messing with you, I know.”

“But-”

Splash.

“You’re dead.”

“You can’t catch me in the water, even if you tried your hardest.”

“Oh? Did I say anything about doing it while in your tank? Maybe I’ll pull you out on land so you can’t go anywhere.”

“That would be a bad choice for many reasons,” Will said plainly.

“And why is that?”

Will shrugged, “just because…”

Nico hated when he did that, he’d raise his broad shoulders up and it’d mess with Nico’s mind, the dark haired boy knew better though, Will was a merman, anything he did or said that was flirty was probably just teasing. No, not probably definitely was.

They had been like this for a while now, the first time Will had ever talked to him, it was just to say…

*Flashback*

“Good morning, Nico.”

“Good morning Wi- ah! I must be exhausted, I thought you said good morning, geez, you’re smart but-”

“Hey, watch what you say, I am so that smart.”

“Did...if you can talk, then...you...you are such a brat!”

“What? That was not the response I had expected!”

“You know when I’m calling you and telling you to stop doing something! You just want to do whatever you want!”

Will was wide eyed, of all the things, his past defiances were bothering Nico, not the fact that he was talking to him. He slowly began to let out a low laugh, “you’re a very silly human.”

“And you are evidently an annoying merman.”

Will made mock gasp while putting his hand on his chest, ‘I never!”

“How do you even know that reference?”

“Tourists, they come and go, me and Percy used to watch them...that sounded creepy, but what I meant was-”

“It’s fine, I get it, it’s less creepy than what we do to you guys, putting you in tanks and then watching you every second of your life.”

Will raised a finger, “so, then you are aware just how creepy that is? Because I had thought maybe social standards were different, but no? You guys just don’t care?”

Nico raised his shoulders, “well, when you put it like that….”

*End of flashback*

Nico smiled at the memory, it had been odd finding out Will could speak, but still pretty cool at the same time.

“I’ll see you tomorrow Will.”

“See you tomorrow, Nico, make sure you walk by my tank before you go?”

Nico seemed to think for a moment and then nodded, “yeah, I’ll take that way.”

Chapter Text

Once Percy could return to his tank he noticed there was now a big sign near the glass that read, “please do not feed them.” Humans were humans so they still snuck food to Percy, and Percy, due to a questionable lack of self control ate them still. However, it wasn’t nearly as many in the past and he was getting new toys almost everyday now, which was a bonus to him.

Triton didn’t like it and called it clutter, so during the night he’d take some of the toys, especially the more noisy ones and throw them out of the tank to where Percy couldn’t get them. This all took place over the course of a few days.

It was now the day of the sleep over, or up all night, depending on which trainer you asked and the mermaids and mermen were being fussed over more than ever before. That, of course, meant the press just had to be there.

“Are they really safe? How do we know we can trust them so close to the children?”

“None of them, especially the ones the kids will be with, have ever showed hostility to us or anyone else, we’re still learning about the different signs they give to indicate certain moods, but we’re all usually on the same page,” Jason was sitting on the edge of Percy’s tank as he took questions. Percy sat on a rock with his head in Jason’s lap, his hair sprawled out as the gentle movement of the water pulled and pushed back towards him.

“Will any of the children be allowed in the tanks?”

“No.”

“How many mermaids will be in the tank?”

“It will consist of Percy, Will, and Piper, so two mermen and a mermaid.”

“Is there any particular reason for Triton, Percy’s brother, not being there?”

“Triton may make an appearance, that’s really up to his trainer.”

Percy looked up at Jason for a moment as the interview continued. He was kind of tired from staying up with Will to listen to music from an iPod he had found by his tank.

It was odd to Percy that Jason seemed to bring him a degree of comfort that he usually didn’t expect from a human, it was strange, and truly uncommon in recent times.

Percy felt his eyelids getting heavier and he was faced with a decision, get off of Jason and find a nice dark place to nap., or just put up with it. Percy found a happy medium in turning over and using Jason’s wetsuit to shield out the light from the cameras and sun.

“Aww.”

“That’s so precious.”

Percy felt Jason place his hand on his back, the warm touch soothing to Percy’s cool skin.

“Did you stay up late last night?”

Percy was already falling asleep by the time he’d heard the question, and was far too tired to even respond at that point. When Percy woke back up he was just above the surface of the water, floating on his back as he slowly began rubbing his eyes.

“The sleeping prince awakens!” Will laughed in unusual closeness.

“Shut up, Will.”

“The kids will be here soon.”

“How long did I sleep?!” Percy asked shooting up in the water, “when did you get in my tank?”

“The humans were taking forever to take care of some,” Piper paused a moment to put air quotations around her words, “technical difficulties.”

“So, we decided to just come over and be a step ahead of them,” Will finished with a nod.

“They should figure it out in about three, two…”

“Piper!”

“Will!”

The merpeople waved at them as they came storming out Percy’s door.

“How did you….” Nico sighed, “you could have been gotten hurt jumping from tank to tank.”

“Please, if they moved all that crappy in the way it'd be fine,” Will laughed, “they all worry too much.”

“They don't know any better than to worry about us,” Piper laughed as she swam over to Annabeth who was already waving her over.

“You know the kids love him!”

“But he doesn’t love the kids!”

“Heracles.”

“Jason.”

Percy looked up to see the arguing brothers also coming forward.

“What do you think they’re talking about?” He asked Triton was sitting on top of a rock at the other end of their tank.

“They think all of us should be with the children for their ridiculous sleepover, but I don’t want any part given the fact that I don’t like children,” Triton said crossing his arms.

“The kids love you though! Both the human and mer children, they can never get enough of you.”

“That’s the problem, they can never get enough.”
Percy rolled his eyes before diving down to grab plastic box he had hidden in a small rock formation. He brought it up to Jason who smiled at him and laced his fingers in his hair.

“What’s this? Did someone give it to you?”

Percy nodded as he opened the box of candies, there were about five missing already.

Jason sighed, “these are saltwater taffies....they should be okay, just in small portions, so no more than the five you’ve already eaten today, okay?”

Percy looked down and then nodded before pushing the box into Jason.

“I’m not going to take your candy.”

Percy’s shoulders dropped, that wasn’t what he wanted, he really just wanted Jason to have one or two.”

“I think he’s trying to share,” Annabeth laughed as she walked over to them, “isn’t that right, Percy?”

Percy nodded happily, exactly.

“Um… Percy, I don- okay, I’ll have one.”

Percy grinned as Jason took a piece of candy out and ate it.

“It tastes homemade, pretty good actually,” Jason said with a nod.

“Can I have one?” Will asked as he took a handful of candies.

“You defeated the purpose of asking,” Percy complained.

“Huh? They are good.”

“Of course they are! I wouldn’t give Jason bad candy.”

 


Really? I’d like to get some pretty awful candy to mess with Nico, of course then back it up with amazingly good candy.”

“You torture that poor human…”

“It’s how I show my love- I mean…”

Percy sent Will an odd look as Will placed a hand on his head with a sheepish look on his face. There was buzz and Jason’s walkie talkie came sounded off that the children were done with the tour and ready to go in with the mers.

“We’ll go open the doors and let them all in, be nice you guys, and no splashing them, they gotta be able to sleep.”

Will splashed Nico as he turned his back to leave and then pointed at Percy in a, “he did it” way.

Percy narrowed his eyes at him, “don’t think I forgot what you said. I know you meant it.”

Will’s eyes softened, “we can talk about it later, can’t we?”

Percy nodded, “not like they’d hear us, but alright.”

“It’s a mermaid!”

“They so pretty!”

“I want one!”

“Oh, here we go,” Will laughed with a sigh, “let’s give them a couple flips, yeah? Piper, you in?”

“Yeah, they love those.”

“Sure.”

The three mers did two simple backflips, but somehow that must have been the most beautiful thing the human children had ever seen. Triton finishing it off with a dive in front of them only increased their loud cheers.

“I love them so much!”

“Alright, everyone can sit by the tank, but please don’t put your feet in the water, if the mers approach you don’t pull or hit them,” Annabeth went on with a few more rules and then the kids excited knelt down as close as they could to the tanks. Their parents were also there, but taking pictures from where tourists usually were.

Percy went up to a girl that had to be no more than seven years old, but had found a fascination with one of Percy’s balls, so Percy naturally handed it to her. She smiled and took it while patting him on the head, “Per-she,” she said softly.

Percy’s eyes shut as she played in his hair, somehow something was off though, very off, and Percy just didn’t know why that was. Percy put it off, it must have been in his head.

“Can we swim with them?” A little boy in a neon jumper asked as he pulled at Jason’s wetsuit.

“No, you can’t swim with them, the tank is very deep and has a lot of rocks.”

“Oh…” The boy went back over leaned over to Will who had two other children playing with his hands. The little boy smiled before wrapping his arms around his neck. Jason looked like he might say something in regards to safety, but Percy put a hand on his leg.

“What? He could fall in.”

Percy rocked his head to the side.

“Oh, fine.”

A few more kids came, all of them just as happy to see them as the others. Triton must have somehow gotten over his, “I don’t like children,” thing because he was sitting on a rock with one holding on to his arms and looked completely unbothered by it.

“Alright everyone, we’re going to go in for a little bit to get some dinner and then you can see the mer people in their nice indoor tank.”

“Aww, I wanna stay!”

“They can’t come eat dinner with us?”

“Uh...no.”

“Come on, Per-she it time to eat.” the girl said pulling his arm.

Percy smiled sadly at the girl as he nudged her away. Jason took her hand and led her away from the tank and down to what was apparently the activity room.

The trainers came back alone after about ten minutes.

“You were good with them, ten more hours left.”

Percy tugged at Jason’s wetsuit, there was something more that he hadn’t told him about these children and Percy wanted to know what it was.

“What’s up, Percy?”

Percy stared up at him expectantly.

Jason sighed and nodded, “alright, I’ll tell you about it, later though, okay?”

Percy nodded and then grabbed  me of his ropes to play tug of war with Jason. It usually ended with Jason in the tank, but Percy didn't mind that at all.

“Okay, one round, and then I gotta go, sound good?”

They went back and forth with the rope for a brief period of time, but Jason used a last minute fake out to pull it free of Percy’s grasp. Percy frowned at losing, but shook it off before moving to sit on the edge of the tank, nuzzling his head into Jason’s neck until the blonde haired human wrapped his arms around him in a hug. Percy let out a low purr sound that resonated with pleasure.

“Perseus,” Triton was right below them in the water and his tone of voice told Percy his older brother didn’t like what he was saying.

“Hm?” Percy answered innocently.

“Don’t you think you’re a bit close? I don't find the sound you're making appropriate for a prince either.”

“I’m just hugging him.” and as though to irritate Triton even more, Percy turned into Jason completely, who appeared oblivious to the brother’s discussion.

“If you weren’t so wrapped around him, I’d drag you back into this tank.”

Before Percy could respond, Heracles came over to them, “When you two are done cuddling, we could use some help setting up the tents.”

Jason sighed before squeezing Percy once more and then unwrapping his arms from around him, “okay.”

“We’ll call you guys in, in like twenty minute, Jason said as he got up to leave with Heracles.

Percy watched them for a moment before Triton grabbed his wrist, dragging him towards the bottom of their tank.

“Have you no self control?’

“I can't help it- it just feels nice when he touches me…”

“He’s a human!”

“He’s also my friend!”

“Perseus, I am your older brother, and I know you, I am telling you this with the best intent in mind, there can be no relationship beyond friendship between the two of you.”

Percy narrowed his eyes, “I told you that’s all it is,” as if he were disgusted by the very insinuation, Percy scoffed, “what would I find interesting in him aside from that?”
“Percy, you don’t fool me, I see how you look at him, and it is not a look of friendship. However, more importantly, he might be your friend, but he will never see you as his, you are his job, a pet he gets paid to care for.”

Percy hated when Triton felt the need to play the role of their father, “sh- shut up! Jason is my friend and I am more than a job to him.”
“If that is what you believe then I must prove it to you.”

“How? Who are you to be talking anyways, you went from,” Percy paused to pitch his voice deeper like Triton's, “humans can’t know anything, to letting Heracles know about our abilities-!”

“That was to save your life!”

“You knew I’d be fine out of the water!”

“Perseus, this conversation is over, do as I say!”

“You’re not our father!”

“I don’t have to be to know what’s best for you!”

“Is Heracles your friend then?”

“What? Don’t be ridiculous, you just want to turn this around on someone, but you won’t turn it on me, Perseus, I am your older brother and I love you, please don’t make me do something to make you hate me.”

“I don’t even know why you started this, I hug him all of the time.”

“Not how you just did, it was different, very different.”

“You’re seeing things,” Percy looked down and then back up, “Forget it, you don’t understand anything.”

“Then enlighten me, what do I not understand.

“That Jason is my friend, and he cares about me-”

“He cares about you the same way you care for your pets.”

“It's not the same! He and I are more similar. We-”

“Perseus are you telling me you see yourself as being able to be with-”

“No! I didn’t say that! All I’m saying is, Jason is my friend, and I am his, it’s not like you think it is.”

“Percy, you are wrong, it is you who does not understand. I will prove that to you, but not this night, I wish to see those children have peace.”

Percy crossed his arms and them shot up to the surface, sitting on one of his rocks and looking out at the sea. He heard a splash and was prepared to hear something along the lines of, “don't storm away from me.”

But instead he got, “are you okay?” 

Percy looked back to see the sad smile on Will's face as he silently answered the unasked question, that he had heard the argument. Percy nodded and then went on to ask, “Do you think I'm just a job to Jason?”

“What? No way, he doesn't see you as a job, he likes hanging out with you," Will responded confidently.

“Triton says he sees me as a pet.”

“That's because he doesn't know how well you understand him, he just wants to be on the same level as much as you do, so he downplays stuff to make it as understandable as possible.”

Percy nodded, “I think you're right,” and Percy knew just how to get on Jason’s level.

Chapter Text

 

There was an obvious tension between the two sea princes when they went into the much smaller, and more confined indoor tank. Piper and Will were uneasy to say the least, the two brothers had clashed in the past, but there was a vast ocean to drag to give them space if it came down to an absolute need of separation. This place was basically a fishbowl and any blowout fights could end with it all coming down if the princes really lost it on each other, which was a very unpleasant thing to even think about.

The small girl from before came right over to Percy, now she was wearing pajamas, but they were more like sweat pants, she came over to her, “Per-she,” and Percy went right on up to the edge so he could make sure she didn't fall in.

She played in his hair and smiled at him, Percy still thought there was something off about her and it made him sad. He couldn't exactly say why though.

“Triton, come here,” Percy looked over as Heracles gestured for the merman to come over at the end of the tank. Naturally, Heracles didn't realize, there wasn't a thing in the room that would go unnoticed by the mers.

“Are you and Triton, okay?” Percy had been trying to listen in, but Jason interrupted him.

Percy looked up at the blonde with wide eyes.

“You two don't seem like yourselves, you don't usually get so tense around him, are you okay?”

Percy looked down and then back up at Jason, the child was cradling his arm so Percy gently situated her far enough from the edge that she wouldn't slip in before pushing himself up to sit on the edge of the tank. Percy pushed their heads together, trying to search inside those blue orbs for an answer they did not hold.

“Are we friends?” The question was on the tip of his lips, but would not come out. If Percy spoke now, Triton would surely lash out. Jason laced his hand into his hair and smiled, “It will be okay.”

“Per-she,” the little girl had gotten up, wobbling over to the merman and also working her hand into his hair.

Percy’s eyes shut as she played in his hair and he let out a low hum.

“You know kids really love you,” Jason smiled, “it’s really nice.”

Percy gave him a small smile as Jason sat on the edge, placing his covered feet in the water. “Percy,” Percy turned around to see Will coming up next to him, a flock of children following him, “help there’s too many of them,” he laughed as more children grabbed at him.

“Well, you are their sunshine merma-”

“Shut up.”

“I wish I knew what you two were saying, it always seems to be funny,”
Jason chuckled as Nico came over and grabbed a boy with light brown hair who was hanging over the edge of the tank and put him closer to Percy who was being subscribed to hair braiding in two different styles from two different children.

“I think they talk smack about us,” Nico smirked, “they laugh like that because they know we don’t know what they’re saying.”

Will struggled to stifle his laugh, and a near human laugh slipped out.

“Now, that,” Jason pointed, “is a new sound.”

Will blushed and looked away.

“Triton is going to kill you,” Percy mumbled as he watched his brother’s eyes trace the sound back to the two of them.

“Think he’s still too mad at you to be bothered by me,” Will shrugged, “for all they know I was mocking them.”

Percy crossed his arms, “yeah, sure, keep telling yourself that.”

Will pursed his lips, “I will.”

“So, if his laugh is actually that, does that mean we were paranoid when we thought they were laughing at us before?” Jason wondered as he looked over the pair.

They played for another couple of hours, it was full of constant play, hair pulling, and flips, but soon it was over and the children were put to sleep in a room beside the tanks despite the pleas to stay with the “mermaids” for a little while longer. The trainer took each of the merpeople to their own indoor tanks, with the exception of Percy since he was already in his. They would all stay the night with each other, even with the option of the staff lounge.

 

With Will and Nico

“What was up with Percy and Triton?” Nico asked as he slid into the water next to the merman. The water pushed and pulled against him as he floated towards the door to the larger tank.

“They got into it earlier over Percy cuddling with Jason...I think Triton is just pissed because he has a thing for Heracles, and can't get what he wants for the first time, but hey...that could just be me,” Will said swimming next to Nico.

“What was the issue exactly?”

“Percy likes Jason, like the way I like you, and it's becoming more obvious, Triton still sees Percy as his kid brother, so that's about it.”

“Like the way you like me?” Nico floated upright and looked at him, “you always say things like that.”

“What? The truth?” Will gave a small smile, “I try to make a habit of it.”

They were facing each other now, Will looked down on the human. They were closer than what would be considered reasonable or necessary considering how big the tank was.

“Will…”

“Nico…”

The dark haired boy found himself diving under into the water, only to be met, of course, by the blonde merman.

“I can stay under forever, you on the other hand…”

Nico rolled his eyes before heading for one of the few air pockets in the tank. It was close to the edge, but not actually on it and at the very bottom.

‘Will-”

“Are we doing this again, because Nico-”

“Shut up! I like you, okay? I like you. I do, and yes the same way you mean when you say it to me. I like you more than I should considering you're not human and I am and I'm supposed to see you like everything else in this aquarium, but I don't and I can’t.”

These words caught Will’s attention and he waited for the human man to continue.

“You're different, you aren't like a dolphin or penguin, you talk to me, you understand, and not in a smarter than your average fish way either.”

Will coughed, “I'm a mammal.”

“What?”

“I'm not a fi-”

Nico laughed, “it was a figure of speech, I know you're not a...wait you're really a mammal? Because I was assuming you were, but then, we were kind of thrown off, you guys don't seem to need to come up to the surface for air at all, but-”

“Science later, talk now, what was this about you liking me?”

Nico blushed, “just that...I felt like you should know, it has no meaning to it other than it is what it is. Will, we can't be together,you know that, don't you?”

Will had never known what it meant to drown until Nico uttered those words. It was like his heart had sunk to the bottom of the sea.

And yet somehow someway, he knew he could make them sail again, maybe not how or when, but this would not be the end. It hadn't even begun yet.

 

With Piper and Annabeth

“Well, that was interesting,” Annabeth said as she walked along the edge of the tank, “I would love to study the behavior or Percy or Triton more, but...who am I kidding, I wouldn't miss a night with you. Besides, I've got work to get done, I've got an awesome idea for the new area we're adding to the park in the next two years.”

Piper rocked her head to the side. Did that mean Annabeth was going away? Was she going to embark on some new job to pursue who her interests in architecture? Piper certainly hoped she wouldn't go without her. Maybe the next addition would be for Merpeople and they could stay together. Piper didn't want to be holding anyone back from their dreams, but she didn't want to miss someone that was becoming close to her either.

“We're leaving once Percy comes of age.”

That was right. Triton’s words rang in her ear. She knew they'd have to leave at some point. This was no life for them. Inside tanks watching humans behind glass and be treated like objects to loved and fanned over. She would be leaving Annabeth before she left her in two years. Percy came of age at the end of the summer and that was the worse thing for Piper to think of.

“Penny for your thoughts? Well, without the penny and verbal speech since, you know,” Annabeth laughed, tucking a few stray strands of blonde hair behind her ear.

Piper handed her a few of the toys and a care bear she'd been given that day, just to seem productive.

“Aw this is kind of cute, think a waterproof one would be better for you though.”

Piper nodded and smiled.

She could nod and smile and Annabeth would never know that one day they might never see each other again. That alone was a difficult thought to manage since the two had been around each other for so long now. The months seemed to pass by like streaks of lightning.

 

With Triton and Heracles

 

“I don't know what's up with you and your brother, but I hope you two work it out soon,”Heracles said as he rested his head on the edge of the tank. Triton was lying on his back and listening, water rushed past his ears and the sound of Heracles’ voice was soothing.

“I still wanna know why you have two tails...are their others with two tails?”

Triton looked over and nodded before shifting over lie next to Heracles.

“Hm…” Heracles hummed, “what? Like your dad?”

Triton shook his head.

“Mother?”

Triton shook his head again.

Heracles glared at him, “what just random others have it?”

Triton nodded.

Heracles frowned, “Guess I gotta go to the ocean for more answers.”

Triton went over and hovered above him with a curious look on his face. Would Heracles actually go that far to learn about tails?

“What? You're not exactly giving me any answers on the topic are you?”

Triton frowned and then climbed out of the tank to lie next to Heracles.

“Here we go again, what is it with you and getting out of this tank?”

Triton glared at him for a moment and then rested his eyes and settled for bringing a finger to his lip, calling for quiet.

“Is that your way of telling me to be quiet? You have lost your mind-”

A moment later Heracles and Triton were tussling around on the floor.

“Now who has the advantage, huh?” Heracles said pinning Triton down beneath him. The merman stirred and tried use his tails to maneuver but they weren't good for much outside of the water.

“Not so high and mighty now are you?” Heracles grinned as he kept Triton pinned by his wrists.

Triton bared his own teeth at him and Heracles gave him a cuckle.

“If you ever bite me, I'm throwing you like boomerang, understand?”

Triton stared at him for a moment  before nipping Heracles’ ear, the human jerked back and Triton slid back into the water. Triton rose up, this was his comfort zone, and he gestured for the human to come forward and follow through with what he said he'd do.

Heracles stood up and dove right.

Chapter Text

Percy watched Jason intently as he dragged a sleeping bag over to his tank. Jason watched Percy closely, as if trying to judge his mood, he raised an eyebrow in question, but decided to just do the more convenient thing and ask what he had on his mind.

“You won’t let this get wet? Humans kind of like sleeping on dry surfaces,” he asked kneeling next to Percy. He was wearing a dry wetsuit which was annoying because if he had no intentions of getting wet he might as well put on normal clothing.

Percy crossed his arms and shook his head, no, not intentionally anyways.

“So, wanna tell me about what's going on with you and Triton?” Jason asked as he leaned over to slowly take out the braids that had been put into his hair.

No, before Percy even began to try and get through to Jason about his fight with his brother, he wanted to know something.

He pointed towards where the children had went and Jason sighed before nodding, getting the idea right away.

“Alright, you do deserve to know and I did tell you that I'd tell you. So, you see, normally most places would never allow kids to get so close to anything….considered to be wild, granted it's up for debate if merpeople should even be considered wild, but that's not the point. A special marine life program was started a few years ago for children who are sick, terminally, that is…” Jason paused, “do you understand that? It means their illnesses could eventually kill them, and in a lot of cases, they sadly do. These kids, well, they just really wanted to meet you guys, and play with the pretty merpeople.”

Jason offered Percy a sad smile as he combed his hand through his hair, some of the braids were still in, but Percy was still processing what he was saying.

“The little girl you were playing with, she has been sick for a very long time, she has been fighting it, but...well, there's not much more that doctors think can be done at this point... I...Percy? Do you understand all of this?”

Jason turned Percy’s head to face him, the emotion of sadness was evident.

Percy clasped his hand in Jason's as he stared up at him. Those children were dying? No, that couldn't be. Percy wouldn't hear of it, all that ails can be cured, if not by human science, then perhaps by magic. However, to do something like that wouldn't just be disobeying Triton, it'd mean disobeying his father’s law as well.

“I...should I have told you before? I'm sorry, I just didn't want to bring you down, it's never easy doing stuff like this, especially when it's kids.”

Percy nodded. Here he was worrying about something that now seemed so stupid whether Jason was his friend or not, but all the while these children are fighting for their lives. Did his father’s law include something so harsh as to let children die if it can be helped?

“Heal all, but take not away from death what is his, if a man's last breath is upon his lips do not breathe life into him, for he is gone.” That was the law.

But these were kids.

There had to be an exception.

“Sometimes,” Jason began, “miracles happen, and they pull through...that is what I hope for. For all of them.”

Percy nodded and stroked Jason’s face he then pulled away to freeze the water around him, engraving the English alphabet and then moving them up to form a sentence, it read, “are you okay?”

Jason looked taken back, “wow, you can, you just-” he breathed and then nodded, “yeah, I’m okay, how are you?”

Percy rocked his head to the side and then shook it before moving the letters around again, “been better.”

“Right, of course, so you and Triton…”

Percy slowly moved the cold letters, “mad at me.”

“Why?”

Percy had to think about how to word this, so he mixed up the letters a few times, but eventually got it together, “I said we are friends.”

“What? You and I? He’s mad because you said we’re friends?”

Percy nodded and despite his uncertainty of asking, he had to know, “are we friends?”

“Well,” Jason pushed his legs out and put a hand to his chin in thought, “I would say, yes, but you know what Percy?”

Percy looked up.

“Friends tell each other stuff,” Jason said looking him in the eyes, “I think there’s something you have kept from me...now, don’t get me wrong, you turning water to ice is awesome, talking to someone who just lets you talk is also pretty nice, but can I tell you something, Percy?”

Percy looked away as the ice around him melted away.

Jason went on anyways, “I would love to hear your voice.”

Percy turned a look of shock at Jason, meanwhile Jason had the same smile on his face.

“If you’re wondering how I found out, I overheard Nico talking to Will once when I needed to get something from Nico, Percy, you can….you can talk to me.”

Percy stared at him for a moment before licking his mouth and then opening it for words that felt unsure, but also had been impatiently waiting for this moment, “I wanted to...tell you.”

Jason grinned before sliding right into the tank and pulling Percy into his arms, “your voice sounds even better than what I imagined.

Percy turned red for a moment before a smile slowly began to tug on his lips, pretty soon he was openly laughing in joy.

“I have wanted to talk to you for so long,” the merman said moving a few strands of hair from out of his face.

“Well, now you can.”

“Yeah, oh hey! Now I can tell you-”

“Huh?”

“Frozen or near frozen fish is disgusting, I like regular fish, thank you very much, and how come I can’t have cookies anymore? I like cookies, oh and cake, and ice cream, can I have those for my meals?”

“You can’t be ser-”

“Pizza! Pizza is a true human treasure, oh! Fish on pizza would be amazing, and can I get a travel tank?”

“W- what? You have to slow down.”

“Which part of this are you confused about?”

“Okay, one, no, you’re not eating sweets for your meals, no pizza either, and why do you need a portable tank?”

“I’d like to visit people- well, the other residents here that is, I heard there are seals here, is there anyway you could maybe, possibly…”

Jason gave Percy a concerning look and the merman quickly deflated, “no of course not.”

“Don’t tell me you eat seals?”

“Well, I mean...not all the time...they’re like a treat, a very delicious treat.”

Jason frowned, “Okay, note to self, keep merpeople exhibits away from seals.”

Percy pouted, “You’re….no fair.”

“I could say it’s no fair that you weren’t talking to me before, but…”

“Hey, not my fault, Triton would raise the sea if he knew I was talking to you, oh my gosh, he’d freaking kill me.”

“Is...is he that bad?”

Percy looked down, “well, I mean, he’s my brother, he’s just...he annoys me, we fight….alot, but he means well...usually.”

Jason smiled, “sounds like Heracles.”

“Those two are both ridiculous to each other,” Percy snorted, “Triton is always complaining about him, but a lot of the times I think he just doesn’t want to admit he likes spending time with Heracles.”

Jason pointed, “That’s what I have been saying to Heracles! I swear those two are like puzzle pieces.”

“Puzzle pieces determined on facing the wrong direction.”

Jason began to laugh, “so, now i have another question, what are you and Will always laughing at us about.”

Percy pressed his lips together, “don’t get mad, okay?”

“I’d find it extremely difficult to get mad at you.”

“You look kind of stupid in those, what are they? Flippers? Wetsuits?”

Jason jerked his head back, “We can’t all float about in the nude, Percy.”

You could-” Percy’s eyes widened, “I mean, you technically could, like if you wanted to, not like you especially could, or should, I mean since you’re human and all, oh,but wait what I mean is-”

“Percy, it’s alright, it’s okay.”

Percy huffed, “okay, now can we negotiate about the food?”

“Fresh fish-”

“Live.”

“What? No-” Jason sighed, “I’ll see what I can do.”

“Pizza on Fridays?”

“No.”

“Pizza on Fridays and a movie, with a cookie.”

“If I said no to the first thing, then why-”

“Please?”

Jason rolled his eyes, “what is it with you and the junk food? And what is this Friday date night or something, you want a special dinner and a movie every Friday?”

“Yes, exactly- I mean yes to the food and stuff, not that it’s a date night or anything…”

“Mhm...you know what? Fine, you got it, you get sick once though and it’s over.”

“I promise not to get sick!”

“You better not, hey?”

“Yeah?”

“Is your favorite color blue?”

Percy laughed, “yeah, yeah I guess so, but not because that’s the color of my tail, I just like it.”

“Oh, okay,” Jason looked down and back at Percy.

“What?”

“Just uh...Triton’s tails.”

Percy sighed and rolled his eyes, they were making this much more of a deal than it really was, “Triton’s the first born son and heir, so he has a double tail.”

“Heir to what?”

“Oh, yeah...me and Triton are kind of the sons of the King of the sea.”

Jason’s eyes went wide.

“The sea has a king?”

“Yeah…”

“You know what Percy?”

“Hm?”

“You’re really something else.”

“In what way?”

“A good way, a very good way.”

Percy looked smiled to himself, forgetting whatever Triton said to him before. Jason was his friend, this conversation proved that more than enough for him.

Chapter Text

When morning came Percy was prepared to clash with Triton on the issue of healing of the children, but instead he got…

 

“And I know what you'll say, but if I can do anything to help those children, I'll do it and Triton-”

 

“Percy, calm dow-”

“No, I can do this and I will-”

“Percy, no-”

“How can you sit by and watch these children die an-”

“Percy!” Triton scolded as he called for quiet from his brother as they floated in the big tank to say goodbye to the children after they ate breakfast, “ you can't do it because you suck at healing magic unless it's something really simple….tell Will to do it.”

Percy was shocked.

Triton shook his head at the younger boy’s expression, “don't get caught.” He said swimming down below the tank.

“Will! Will! Are you up!?”

“Percy, it's early, the moon is barely gone, what's up?”

“The kids, you know they're sick right?”

“Yes…”

“I asked Triton-”

Will was waking up now, “yes?”

“He said I can't heal them because I sort of suck, but you can! Will you can-”

“I can? I can! I'll do it, when will they be here-”

Will was mid-sentence when he heard a familiar giggle.

“Sunshine!”

“Persheeee!”

The mermen were bombarded by children calling them over to the edge of the tank.

The mermen came over to them and entertained their desire to play with their hair and hold and caress them.

After a while the trainers, who were probably watching from behind the scenes came out and let the children feed them. Percy made a face at Jason.

“I can't let kids feed you live fish.”

Percy rolled his eyes but nodded in understanding.

“Percy,” Will whispered and pulled him under the water.

“Yeah?”

“Can you make a big enough splash to get the whole floor wet? I can heal them through the water, but if I raise the water, well, when it turns gold I'm sure they'll notice.”

“Yeah, Triton said not to get caught, but if it's just Jason and the others, it's not that bad.”

“Right, okay, let’s do this.”

“You won't make a big enough splash.”

Triton rose up behind them causing them to both flinch at his sudden presence.

“Excuse me?”

“You would need more power than what you have to wet them from so far away, I'll do it, besides the last thing I need is you hitting your head on a rock, it's hard, but not rock solid.”

Percy frowned at the insult, but didn't want to ruin the moment of peace between he and Triton so he simply agreed, “alright.”

Triton swam to the very bottom of the tank as the other two propelled up in an effort to appear to be showing off. This pleased the children, and even the trainers who cheered them on. Triton came up and did his flip. His two wide tails slammed down onto the water and created a wave that came to the smallest child’s waist. Will began to heal the familiar song hidden in the sounds of glee from the children. However, there was visual evidence for what had happened. The water began to shimmer into a gold like color, not in an off yellow way that would make anyone turn in disgust, but an honest pure gold that wrapped itself around the kids, healing them all in the course of seconds, but its effects were not immediately evident, but some thing for sure. Their heartbeats began to thump rhythmically and not off or slower than average.

The trainers didn't know what they had done, they thought they were just doing something cool.

“You never stop amazing me,” Jason grinned as he rested his hand on the back of Percy’s neck.

Percy only smiled since at such close distance Triton would most definitely hear him.

The kids were happy and perhaps couldn't put it into words, but they felt better.

They had done something good. Something incorruptible.

Well actually…

 

The Times

Are merpeople magical? How these children were all suddenly healed after a night at Atlantis Resort! See page 3

 

“Percy!”

“Sir, yes sir!” Percy responded with a mock salute as Jason held the newspaper which he could not read at his side.

“By chance, do you have the ability to heal people?”

“Well,” Percy wasn't even thinking of the children, “I can heal cuts and bruises, but more serious stuff, Will tends to deal with it better.”

“So, those kids-”

“Ohhh...oh.”

“Percy this is serious!”

“Why? What happened? Are they okay?”

“The children are fine,” Jason assured him, “it's you I'm worried about. There are people calling you guys magical, which granted you might be, but people think they can use you guys to like heal...heal everything! They want to dissect-”

“How about you...calm down, this will die down, can't you make something up?”

“Percy, what do you think I could possibly make up in reference to this?”

“Um...I don't know….you said miracles happen sometimes, right? Call it a miracle!”

“Percy, they aren't exactly that likely, and not everyone believes in them.”

Percy sighed, “this is all going too fast and oh- oh no.”

“What?”

“Triton said not to get caught, oh he's going to be mad, please tell me no one told him? If he finds out-”

There was roar of thunder that cracked in their ears. It was almost unnatural how it appeared in such a sudden time.

“Heracles told him, didn't he?”

“I would say so, yeah.”

Percy looked up at his door, this was going to take some time to smooth over and fix. He looked at Jason, time, they had that, didn't they?

Chapter Text

“Triton, look, calm down-”

“Percy, I do not want to hear another word from you about calming down, this is serious.”

The two sea princes moved about at the bottom of their tanks as they discussed the trouble they were facing. There were so many reporters there it was unreal, more than when the orca had died, and more than when they were first introduced. Now, even more people called for their release from the aquarium, protesters lined the beach all the way to the entrance and all the way to the exit, a solution was needed, and fast.

“I...I really didn’t think it would be this bad…” Percy admitted, shifting his head to look at the light at the top of the tank where Jason was trying to calm a crowd that demanded their presence.

“Of course not,” Triton shook his head, “you’re young, you don’t remember, but long ago humans would hunt us down and trap us, for amusement and pleasure far too obscene to mention in front of you-”

“I’m not a child Triton, I know what sex is,” Percy said rolling his eyes.

“Never,” the eldest sea Prince began to warn, “never say that again,” Triton frowned and then shook his head at the idea of Percy getting older, he would forever be his younger brother if he had a say in it, which he would like to believe he had. He continued with his story, “Father made more laws and then we slowly faded into myth and legend for them, there was once a time when I might have even entertained you longing to be with Jason on the grounds of curiosity and youth, but now, I am afraid I know better.”

“Is that why you are so cold to Heracles?” Percy had truly asked that to be smart, if Triton was bringing up Jason, it was only fair.

Triton narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to respond but was cut off by the sound of a loud “boom” it almost sounded like a canon.

The two princes swam up to be met with a scene of chaos, people were running, they could hear the common word, “gun,” being screamed throughout the crowd. It took the brothers a moment to comprehend that they were being called into their indoor tanks, in fact both Jason and Heracles had to come all the way into the big tank just to get their attention.

Percy naturally went with Jason and Triton with Heracles.

 

With Heracles and Triton

 

“Never thought working with aquatic life would be this...eventful,” Heracles admitted as he sat on the edge of the tank, calmer than usual.

Triton crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow, awaiting an explanation for the noise.

“What? Never heard a gun before?”

Ah...that noisy weapon humans had created, Triton had never been a fan of it and had hoped that the craze would have been gone by now, but evidently not.

Heracles awkwardly coughed, which was odd, he never grew awkward around Triton, annoyed? Yes, but not awkward. He finally began to speak again.

“They're talking about taking you guys away, sending you to some reserve off the coast of Delaware,” Heracles frowned deeply, “temporarily, until this all….blows over.”

Triton stared at Heracles, was this his...goodbye? No, that could not be.

“They offered to let me come with you,” he coughed, “I gotta decide by the end of the day.”

Triton shook his head in upset, why was this a question? Of course he is to come with him! Who will wrestle with him? Who will he nonchalantly flip off and throw a fit about?

Who will be there to make his day a little better after dealing with Percy’s ridiculousness? Who else will he stare off at and think about...wait what? No, Triton shook his head, those last two things were random thoughts.

Heracles gave him a breathy laugh, “Alright, I’m going to get a little deep with this, you better not ever throw this back in my face, or I will find a way to drown you,” the human paused before continuing, “I know all we do is argue and fight, I always try to tell myself I'm the best person for you, anyone else would get frustrated, call you unruly and untamable, but I think I get it. You're your own...person, you, you can't be tamed because you shouldn't be tamed. I keep telling myself I'm the only one who can take care of you, but when they said they were taking you away, I wanted to say, good riddance-”

Triton grimaced, that stung a little.

“But instead I started to worry about you, then I got annoyed because I was worried about you, but then it made me wonder, am I the best for you? I mean, come on...I probably stress you out on top of the stress you already probably have from just being here, we don't usually talk like this, so I swear on my life, if you so much as look like you'll laugh I'm getting up and signing you away to be put in a shark reserve.”

Triton pushed his forehead against Heracles’ and in a moment of weakness, in a moment of desperation to convey what he felt, he placed a kiss on Heracles’ cheek and whispered, “stay with me.”

For a moment it seemed like the world held its breath, Heracles was processing...everything. A voice he had never heard, an action he did not expect, and an emotion that was not as unfamiliar as he would wish.

However, any comical or mock angry response was cut off by a loud shatter of glass that came from behind the door.

It had to be from the big tank, they both knew that was the only way and the only option for a sound like that to have been made.

“I'll be back, you stay here,” Heracles ordered as he ran to the other side. Each step he took with care not to slide, but by the time he had gotten there it was too late.

Jason lied by the side of Percy’s tank, a nasty head wound tainting the water with blood, and Percy was not there.

Jason froze for a moment, but then slid to his brother, propping the blonde’s head up, “Jason, start talking.”

It took a moment, but his brother came to and formed an incoherent sentence, but Heracles worked it out, “who took Percy? Who did this?”

“Titan, one of their weirdo scientists, Heracles, stop them.”

“We'll get Percy back,” because he knew that was all Jason wanted to hear, but Jason could barely keep his eyes open so with not much effort on his part he lifted his younger brother up, taking him halfway to the awaiting med staff who were already on their way.

“What's going on?” Nico jogged next to Heracles who was rushing around, but why? Oh, that's right because Heracles didn't want to be in a confined space when explaining to Triton what happened and this was buying him more time.

“Percy was kidnapped? Stolen? Kidnapped? What do you call it when- know what? Not important, Percy was taken and Jason got knocked out, he said something about Titan so heaven knows that scumbag Luke Castellan is involved.”

“I swore I saw him here a few months ago, but now I know it was him, he has been trying to get to Percy for a while now.”

“Wait, what?”

“The security footage, when Percy was drugged,” Annabeth held her usual waterproof clipboard as she seemed to be moving her fingers at a million miles a second, she went on to explain, “Nico and I tried to determine a primary suspect for it by checking security footage, but with no concrete evidence and all the other people feeding him, not to mention the quality of the video nothing we presented would hold up, we thought we saw Luke on that video, but couldn't say for sure, but now-”

“Now we know it was more than likely him,” Nico concluded.

Heracles made a noise of disgust, “is Percy’s tracker still online? I want to have some kind of, evidence to back myself up when I try and tell Triton it's going to be okay.”

Annabeth nodded, “on it now, we've got eyes on them, but the aquarium’s police force is waiting for them to become stationary to get them.”

“Not good enough, if they get a private plane they could disappear.”

“We'll get him back, tell Triton that,” Nico encouraged, “he'll want to hear it from you before anyone else.”

 

“I am afraid it's a little late for that.”

They took a sharp intake of breath and saw...

Chapter Text

If you found out unicorns existed and could speak, you'd probably be pretty shocked right? Well, that was only half the level of shock settled upon the trainers as they faced three familiar, but unfamiliar figures. See, from the waist up, they were all perfectly acquaintanced with each other, from the waist down however... that was a different story.
"What the fu-"

"Where is my brother?"

"Where are your fins? I mean what the actual-"
"Did Triton just talk?" Annabeth asked with wide eyes.

"We can all talk, Annabeth," Piper answered quickly.

"I asked you a question," Triton reminded the four humans as they tried not to be floored by the scene in front of them.

"Look, Triton, Percy is-"

"I want a location, Percy is going to be fine is a fact that will come true the faster I have that information."

"They're traveling down the shoreline, but- hey!"

Nico watched as the merpeople turned to walk away- towards the exit.

"We're faster than you."

"Well....well, let us follow you in a boat, alright? Just wait for us by the docks near the entrance, okay?"

Triton looked like he was going to say no, but had a change of heart and nodded.

"Alright, fine, don't take long."

"We won't, and- it just occured to me, put my wetsuit back where you found it."

"Would you have preferred I came out here naked, Heracles?"

The human frowned, "shut up and jump back in the water...you overgrown fish."

"Your disrespectful-"

"Let's go!" Nico called as he climbed the steps to the surface.

"Right."

The humans half expected the merpeople not to be there, it was possible, they could do that. Find Percy, and be gone with the waves just as fast, that was a fear within them still. When they did get Percy, what would be there to stop them from leaving? Nothing.

~Speaking of Percy~ 

"You are a damn weirdo, who the heck gives someone food that they know is gonna screw with their bodies? Do you know how much food I don't get to eat anymore because of you and your stupid, 'experiment?' I get that stupid salt water taffy, and no disrespect to the taffy, but cookies and pizza are a million times better."

"Do you...ever shut up?"

"Wow," Percy stared at Luke in mock astonishment, "so, you take me from the resort and complain about me talking?"

"Percy-"

"Luke. Yeah, that's right, two can play this game."

"What is wrong with you-"

"Me? What is wrong with you? Jason and I were having a nice day, but then you go and ruin it, you should definitely be checking yourself right, now."

"I don't have to take this from you."

"If you open the door, I'll fling myself into the ocean and you won't have to."
Luke grunted, "not what the boss wants."

"Rude. You take orders from some weirdo who didn't even help kidnap me? Talk about Pinky and the Brain-"

"How do you even know what that is?"

"I got this kid to let me use their iPad to watch cartoons."

"Of course you did."

"And another thing-"

~Back to the Merpeople and trainers~

"So, that thing back there, with the whole you guys walking?" Heracles questioned.

"What about it?" Triton asked as he swam next to the motor boat.

"I mean, I don't know, might have been nice to you know, have kNOWN ABOUT IT."

"Why are you yelling?"

"Why are you talking? That's another thing, now I know you known damn well when I am telling you not to do something and to do something, you're just hard headed-"

"What are you going to do about it?"

"I told you Percy said they were always like this," Will laughed as he and Piper watched the argument unfold.

"I swore it wasn't going to be that bad."

"They can't help themselves."

"Look!" Nico said suddenly as he pointed up, "the black van is the one with Percy in it. We should be careful to- holy crap!"
Before Nico said anything else there were frozen tridents, yes tridents, sending the truck skidding over a lane, swerving around the now icy road. The sea prince rose up on the water on a wave as he aimed each one methodically freezing the road ahead to give the van an even harder time.

It slowed it down considerably already, enough for Jason to scurry up the side and begin sliding towards it, quickly breaking into a sprint as Triton sent a larger trident to the front wheels, flipping the veichle onto its hood. Jason wasted no time in grabbing a chunk of sharp ice as he began banging it against the lock sealing the van.

He knew he had limited time if he was going to somehow explain away the ridiculous amount of ice on the streets without saying Triton, or any of the merpeople had done it.
When the lock finally broke off he easily pulled the doors open with the help of a force pushing against them.
He looked at the younger merman and grinned with relief.

"Percy."

"Jason!"

Jason slowly guided Percy out of the van, pulling him close to himself as his tail is basically of no use to him on the ground outside sitting up.

"Are you okay? Are you hurt?"

"I may have a headache from the car turning over, but other than that I'm fine," Percy said rubbing his forehead. There was no swelling or redness, so for the moment Jason figured he was fine.

"Okay, let's get you back into the ocean, alright?"

"Sounds like a plan," Percy wrapped his arm around Jason's neck so he could be lifted up and carefully (if possible) tossed into the ocean.

"You know, if I were a damsel in distress, you handled that completely wrong," Percy pointed out as Triton began to heat the ice up until it began to run off and then slowly evaporate.

"What? Damsel in- have you been watching Hercules?"

"Excu-"

"I said Hercules, not Heracles."

"Helicopter!" Annabeth pointed as the propellers began to reveal themselves from the horizon.

"We should get on the land, if you guys need to leave it'll be easier that way," Nico said climbing out of their boat and up to the road.

"What-"

The mers were confused, exactly where did the humans think they were going?
Once the helicopter was over them blaring sirens and flashing lights soon followed.
The woman from the resort, the one who the trainers called their boss hopped out of one of the first vans.

"Are they okay?"

"Yes, they are fine, but-"

"Look, this is more than enough to get the public way too excited, more so than we need, they're being shipped out east now, if you're going you have an hour to grab what you need and meet us back at the private landing in the aquarium."

"What about them? How will you transport them?" Nico asked as looked over at the still mers.

"That's already covered," she snapped her fingers and before any id the trainers could vocalize a warning to the merpeople four darts, tranquilizer no doubt, flew into them.

The effects were almost instant. Being the smallest, Piper was the first one to go out, then Will, followed by Percy and a resisting Triton who didn't calm down until Heracles went over and said something to him to get him to relax.

The humans waited until the mermen and mermaid were safely secured in tanks, built specifically foe travelling before taking the offered rides back to their own apartments.

~With Jason and Heracles~

"What's the weather like in Delaware? Should I bring a bunch of clothes, or...?"

"We don't know how long we'll be there, pack essentials," Heracles said as he stuffed whatever he found of his into a duffle bag, "can't believe this."

"What?"

"How the hell did we go from working with freaking dolphins and penguins to this?"

"I mean...working with merpeople got us a crazy raise...and I got to meet Percy...the others are great too," Jason coughed.

"So, how long had you and Percy been talking?"

"What-"

"Don't play stupid."

"...Like a while now I guess...he...I overheard Will talking with Nico, I couldn't...wanted to talk to him."

Heracles moved to grab stuff out of their shared bathroom, "yeah? Didn't ever worry about getting caught by Triton."

"I figured you and him were secretly talking- or arguing, whichever one, too."

"Well, no, he actually followed his own rules."

"Until today," Jason laughed.

Heracles threw the Percy plush Jason had at the blonde’s face.

"What are you? A four year old fan?"

"No! I can explain," Jason said packing the soft replica, "they weren't going on sale until Labor Day, I just wanted to surprise Percy with one is all, he loves the Percy toy collection!"

"You're both weirdos, no wonder you get along."

"Hey!"

"Are you done packing yet? We've only got like twenty minutes before we gotta get out of here."

"Almost," Jason said running around his room to see what he did and didn't need,

"Heracles?"

"What?"
"What'd you say to Triton? When he was freaking out about the tranquilizer."

"I...I told him not to be a big baby," Heracles lied.

Jason knew he was lying, but didn't push it, reaching for the last few things he would need before doing a once over of their apartment and then deeming himself ready to go. Delaware was a long ways away, but he was sure the adventure would be worth it.
~~~~~~~~~~

“What did they do!?”

“Shut it or they'll hear you talking!”

“Heracles!”

“I'm going to stay with you, just calm down, I'll be with you, I'll stay, got it? Just relax, alright?”

Triton glared, but slowly relaxed and allowed sleep to overtake him as he floated unconscious in the ocean water. He had been so close to home, but was still so far away.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure this is an ocean?”

 

“Okay, look, I get it’s not the Mediteranean paradise you are used to, but that doesn’t mean you get to drag it through the mud,” Nico said as Will sat on a rock, still refusing to get back in the water upon seeing it.

 

“No, Nico, is this safe? Like, I can’t see through to the bottom it’s-’

 

“Completely and one hundred percent fine, don’t be a big baby,” Nico assured him, “Delaware has some of the nicest beaches, they just get ignored because of the other tourist traps, look,” to show his confidence in the water’s safety Nico sunk the rest of his body into the water and shook a bit, “maybe it’s a bit cooler than Florida, but…”

 

Will playfully slanted his eyes at him, but slid off of the rock into the water anyways, “okay, it’s not bad, it feels weird, but not bad.”

 

“Just takes some getting used to,” Nico gave him a small smile before taking his hand and pulling him into where it was deeper.

 

“There’s a really high wall a few miles away, it’s where the reserve ends,” Nico explained, “all of the area from here to there is yours, there’s a few other sea creatures you gotta share it with too of course, but other than that it’s all good.”

 

“Where are you staying? I mean, you're from a whole other area,” Will pointed out.

 

“See the blue house over there, the one right by the dock?”

 

Will looked back at the beach and took note of the house, “right, got it, that’s where I go to raid the kitchen.”

 

“Alright, how about you don’t do that,” Nico said rolling his eyes and then paused, “so, I have a question.”

 

“I probably have an answer.”

 

“Okay, actually, I have two, did you put my wetsuit back?”

 

“Yes, I put it where I found it.”

 

“Okay, so I did pack them all, and two, when were you planning to mention you could walk on two legs?”

 

“I figured that would have been really pushing the envelope with Triton around, you’ve never seen him angry, it isn’t pretty,” Will testified.

 

“When he froze the-”

 

“Oh,” Will let out a loud laugh, “you thought that was anger?” The merman wiped a tear from his eye, “that was annoyed and inconvenienced Triton, come on, all that power and you think that’s how he, or any of us act when angry?”

 

“But then Percy, wait, if you guys have all that power how did Luke take Percy?”

 

“Percy is good with combat, but he hates actually hurting people, like he could have drowned Luke, easy enough, but that’s not Percy,” Will sighed, “he’d much rather wait for an alternative solution, except for well…”

 

“Well?”

 

“Well, unless it involves someone he cares about, he’s loyal to fault, and he’ll do anything to protect the ones he cares for if he even thinks for one second they’re in real danger.”

 

“Glad I’m not on his shit list then,” Nico laughed.

 

“Well, you’re with me, so you’re immediately added to a list of people he’d protect, um just as long as he doesn’t have to choose between you and Jason, because I’m pretty sure Jason trumps all of us now,” Will laughed.

 

“I’m with you?” Nico questioned with a laugh.

 

“Mhm, thought that was established?”

 

“Could have sworn something else was established,” Nico mumbled as a shiver went through his body and he was suddenly reminded of the cool ocean water and the sway of the tide.

Will rocked his head to the side before leveling with Nico by curling his tail, resting the palm of his hand on the human’s cheek.

 

They were getting closer to each other, invitingly close.

 

“Refresh my memory on what was established?” Will said quirking his head to the side.

 

“I can’t say that I remember the specifics.”

 

Will breathed out soundless laugh, pushing their foreheads together, “Nico,” the name was said like it was how he breathed, fluidly, with a warmth radiation that touched whoever was lucky enough to hear it.

 

“Will…”

 

“Is this okay?”

 

Nico raises his arms out of the water, lacing his fingers through Will’s hair before slowly beginning to nod, “yeah.”

 

Without a moment more wasted Will’s lips were on his and he felt like he was practically falling into Will’s sun like warmth. He feels one of Will’s arms wrap around his waist and the other keeping his head in place. Nico doesn’t think he has ever experienced something so pleasantly intense. Everything about it is perfect. The way Will holds him steady in the water, the water itself surrounding them, and Will’s lips on his. He momentarily wonders why he ever tried to stop this.

 

When they finally pull away it isn’t out of faltering desire, but the need to breathe that cannot be ignored any longer.

 

“About what we established before-” Will begins.

 

“Forget about that and kiss me again,” Nico demands.

 

Will does exactly what he requests.


Annabeth was the type of person that when presented with a great deal of information can get carried away with the fine details, and completely forget about the major plot points. Piper watched her do this periodically, especially in the current moment as she tried to understand the structural development of the wall at the border of the  reserve.

 

Annabeth was sitting on a manmade perch where the water just barely remained below the line at high tide as she took measurements with some special camera she had gotten a few months ago. She was apparently beyond fascinated.

 

Piper was perfectly fine with watching her go on and on, she had her favorite underwater carebear, and was sitting with her tail in the water, but after a while listening to how concrete used to be made in the ancient times could get old so, naturally, she said something to get Annabeth’s attention.

 

“We use sea crystals, the ones found deeper in the ocean floor than humans travel, for most of the structures where we’re from, the towers would make this wall seem like a mere cornerstone- if that,” she raises an eyebrow and sure enough the attention is back on her.

 

“What? What is this sea crystal? Do you know its consistency? How much of it is there? Is-”

 

“It’s sea crystal, it’s like kind of like the blue things humans call sea crystals but instead think iridescent, I have no clue what it is made of, a ridiculous amount, and no I can’t get you any from here, sorry.”

 

“Oh, oh, those were my questions, you know me so well,” Annabeth laughed, “so when you get legs, right?”

 

Piper raised an eyebrow, “yes?”

 

“Does it like...are the legs like...does it…I don’t know how to ask about them,” she admitted.

 

“You’re trying to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense,” Piper told her, “it doesn’t hurt, actually it’s probably like unwrapping a cast that has been on for so long that you can’t walk, but not with the loss of muscle mass, just the unfamiliarity.

 

“Oh okay,” Annabeth nodded, “I think I understand, kind of, I’d still like to better understand the biological aspect, but-”

 

“Maybe stick with architech stuff,” Piper laughed, “don’t worry, I’m sure there’s a scroll somewhere on it.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah, merpeople are notorious for leaving stuff in the human world and having humans find it decades, even centuries later, you know?”

 

“Like what?” Annabeth asked sitting next to her and allowing her feet to dangle in the water.

 

“Um...apparently there’s like this big thing with the humans, the uh… rosetta stone?”

 

“No way! It was made by merpeople.”

 

Piper laughed, “what? No! But we most certainly had something similar to it, we called the the Book of Words, the Egyptians found it and then made their own version of it, ours was magical and therefore had every language that was and ever will be spoken by man, pretty neat, huh?”

 

Annabeth looked like she was about to faint, “by chance do you have like some copy or replica of the library of Alexandria?” she laughed, of course they didn't, right?”

 

“Better yet, we’ve got original copies,” Piper grinned, “when the library was being burned down some merpeople took pity and saved some of the stuff before it could be lost forever.”

 

Annabeth stared, “Merpeople are amazing! You are intelligent, adapt to your aquatic or land based environment, and preserve knowledge of entirely different beings and culture.”

 

“Well, I would hate to brag,” Piper laughed.

 

Annabeth’s gray eyes sparkled as she listened to Piper talk about stuff in the mer world, what games they played, things they did, jobs, things on a more social level.

 



“You are being ridiculous, the water is clean!”

 

“You humans have destroyed my father's domain!”

 

“You know what? If you want to act like some over pampered, spoiled, palace brat, be my guest, dry out on the shore, I can go inside and do something worth my time!”

 

“You are insolent! How dare you-”

 

“How dare me? How dare YOU! You know what? I liked you better when you didn't speak.”

 

Heracles and Triton were right back at it, because as the eldest members of their group it was naturally their job to argue like children. The merman sat on the sand refusing to move toward the ocean. He glared at Heracles who was already knee deep in the water and insisting he get in the water.

 

“Go jump into a shark tank,” the prince snapped back.

 

“I'd rather do that than work with you!”

 

Triton folded his arms, “fine go back to the resort then, see if I care.”

 

“Oh? You won't care? That's not what you said before? What did you say?”

 

“Shut up.”

 

“No, I...I can't remember what-”

 

“You can really stop speaking.”

 

Stay with me ? Isn't that what you said?’

 

Triton felt himself turn red with pure embarrassment as he grumbled to himself.

Heracles shook his head, “alright, that's enough, I am not doing this.”

He walked out of the water and grabbed the merman’s tail, dragging him towards the ocean.

 

“Stop…” Triton complained as he rolled in the sand to get Heracles to let go. With all of his thrashing he ended pulling Hercules down on top of him, the human's hand landing just above his tail. Triton let out a strangled moan that relayed surprise and... pleasure?

 

“Did I hurt you?” Heracles sounded genuinely worried for a moment as he lifted up a bit, but his hand not moving. “That wouldn't have happened if you had just gotten up.”

 

Triton glared at him as he tried to shift Heracles’ hands away from the sensitive area. His teeth clenched as let out a soft whimper as Heracles’ hand accidentally swept across him.

 

“What's wrong with you? Oh. Oh!” The human quickly moved his hand and then stared with amusement in his eyes.

 

Triton exhaled, “don't.”

 

“So, that's like, your go go spot? You get touched there and it makes moan and-”

 

“Please stop,” Triton said as he slowly slid himself closer to the ocean.

 

Heracles gasped, “did you say please?”

 

“I'm going into the ocean,” Triton said before propping himself up to rise and then take a dive into the water.

 

Heracles grinned, “That whole situation was avoidable if you just listened the first time.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

“I mean, I don't know, you sure? Your face just now-”

 

Triton sent relatively harsher wave at the human, getting salt water on him from head to toe.

 

“Alright, look here you overgrown flounder-”

 

Chapter Text

“So, this place is Delaware?” Percy asked happily licking an ice cream cone provided by Jason as the two waded in the water.

 

“Yes, according to Heracles, who was acting odd yesterday, your brother doesn’t like it,” Jason laughed at the memory from the previous evening. Jason was relieved to see Percy seemed less concerned about being fishnapped than Jason who didn’t know what he would have done if something had happened to him.

Actually, Percy was already joking about it, complaining about things like how Luke wouldn’t stop at any of fast food stops so he could try them. Much to Jason’s dismay, Percy was now asking to be allowed to have some of that food, but Jason was conflicted. First, what does one even get a merperson at a fast food restaurant. Could he eat french fries? He eats pizza, so probably, but Jason wasn’t sure exactly how bad pizza was for merpeople as Percy was probably the only merperson to have ever eaten pizza even though he seemed fine so far. McDonald's probably wouldn’t kill him.

 

“So, Jason,” Percy said as he finished the rest of his ice cream cone.

 

“So, Percy," Jason responded with a laugh, “what's up?”

 

“I was thinking, you know how we spend most of our time together, right?”

 

“Um… right.”

 

“But we don't know much about each other,” Percy went on, “so, let's get to know each other.”

 

Percy momentarily thought of his conversation with Triton from the night before.


 

“I'm sorry, what happened?”  The youngest sea prince tried to stifle a laugh.

 

“He touched me!”

 

“You sound like a kid,” Percy laughed, and then mocked his brother, “he touched me’ don't you two wrestle? Of course you touch.”

 

“You're a child you do not understand,” Triton said with what he would later deny, a pout.

 

“Oh, come on,” Percy narrowed his eyes in an attempt to make them look less amused, “it isn't like he touched your omrix.”

 

“That,” Triton pointed at his brother, “is exactly what he did!”

 

Percy tried.

He truly tried not to laugh, but instead of just saying, “I'm sure it was an accident,” any words he might have gotten out were covered in laughter.

 

“He thought it was funny!”

 

“So do I,” Percy grinned, “come on Triton, I don't get it, if you like him then-”

 

“No.”

 

“Be sensible, you could-”

 

“Who got you to use that word?”

 

“My vocabulary is-” Percy paused upon seeing his brothers obvious skepticism, “you know Annabeth? I mean you should, anyways, we get along really well, and I heard her say it before.”

 

Triton only rolled his eyes, “of course.”

 

“Yeah,” Percy looked up and shook his head, “stop trying to distract me from the point. Look Triton, if you like Heracles you should-”

 

“No.”

 

“But Triton-”

 

“Percy, there are certain things- responsibilities,” his brother turned away from him, a princely aura practically glowed around him, “that can not be sat at the side for indulgences.”

 

Percy gritted his teeth, “are you admitting it then? You like him.”

 

Triton’s hair lifted with the current, “I suppose I am… it's funny, I hardly even know him.”

 

Percy didn't call him out on it, but for a moment he thought he saw a solo silver tear trail down his brother’s face.

 


 

Jason laughed, “alright, sure, what do you want to start with?”

 

What's your favorite food?”

 

Jason thought for a moment, “brownies, there's this place that makes them and they're out of this world.”

 

Percy looked at him with big sea green eyes.

 

“It was near the resort, sorry dude.”

 

Percy sighed and nodded, “fine, fine, okay, why did you start working at the resort?”

 

Jason shrugged his shoulders, “I was done with flight school-”

 

“You can-”

 

“Fly a plane,” Jason said and watched as Percy’s face slowly fell, the poor merman must have thought Jason could literally fly.

 

“Oh, you can continue.”

 

“Sorry, I don't have any cool powers like you,” Jason smirked, “anyways, I had finished flight school and had no money, Heracles was in the same situation, he had quit his job and moved in with me after a rough break up with his ex boyfriend, the resort was hiring with no experience or qualifications needed, so…. we took it.’

 

“Did… do you get paid for still staying here,” the question had burned its way to the front of Percy’s mind, and he wasn't too sure if he wanted the answer.

 

Jason looked uneasy, “yeah, we all still get paid, actually we got raises for relocating. That's not why I'm here though.”

 

“Then why-”

 

“You're more than enough of a reason,” Jason gave him a small, warm smile, and Percy slowly sunk into Jason’s side

 

“Thanks, Jason.”

 

“What are you thanking me for?”

 

“You left a place you called home for years to come to a whole other place with me, so thanks.’

 

Jason laughed, “you know what, Percy?”

 

“What?”

 

“I've got a question for you, Mr. Prince of the seas,” he paused for a moment, “what's it like being the prince of the sea?”

 

“Um… it isn't all that different, I mean my dad is a bit strict because I'm the youngest, but it isn't all that people think it is.”

 

“Are you kidding? All that sunken pirate treasure is practically yours and-”

 

“We don't really take things from sunken ships, it's considered bad luck to take from the dead or unfortunate,” Percy explained, “and ghosts give me the creeps, so I don't even go near those old boats.”

 

Jason raised an eyebrow, “no? Okay, well I've got another question.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Is the Loch Ness Monster real?”

 

“The- the what?”

 

Jason went into details about the legend and imagery behind the Nessie and realisation dawned on Percy.

 

“That's not his name.”

 

“His name?” Jason stared in disbelief.

 

“His name is Bessie and he's my pet he… gets away from me sometimes though with the entire seven seas to hide in and all that.”

 

“Are- are you serious?”

 

“Yeah, so serious, you can meet him one day, I want you to meet him, and my other pets too, I have giant seahorse named Blackjack too and hippocampus named Rainbow.”

 

“Percy, that sounds great and all but only if your promise not to judge if I pass out after seeing them, you know on land we tend to stick to dogs, cats, reptiles for the more adventurous pet lover,” Jason looked out at the ocean and wondered just how much more life there was that he'd never  see or even know about.

 

“I won't judge on one condition.”

 

“And that is?”

 

“in exchange for something.”

 

“And that would be?” Jason pressed, already assuming it was food related.

 

This assumption made him even more surprised when the prince looked up at him, still nestled into his side and said-

 

“Kiss me.”

 

“What?”

 

“Your lips on my li-”

 

Before Percy could continue Jason’s lips were on of his and and Percy only pushed back to turn into the human’s arms, letting Jason’s arms wrap around his torso, as he raised his arms to cling to his back.

 

When Jason pulled away he smiled, “you didn't have to make a deal to get me to kiss you.”

 

“You should have said something sooner,” Percy laughed before bringing their lips back together.

 

“You're one to talk,” Jason groaned as he held Percy tighter, their bodies leaving no space between them as Percy’s tail wrapped around his legs.

 

They hadn't talked much, but Percy felt like he knew Jason a lot better from his kiss.

Chapter Text

Nico had never been one for sunbathing, but with Will, it had become a tolerable activity. The merman would lie on the sand, just where the sea and land met, sometimes they would talk, other times they'd just nap, or hold each other.

 

On this particular day Will was asleep and Nico was awake. He looked down at the sleeping merman and traced shapes with his finger onto his tail. Nico smiled to himself as he watched Will’s blonde hair move in the sand as the wind moved against him. There was a storm coming in from sea, so the water was a bit rougher than normal, in fact Nico and the others were thinking about letting the merpeople come in when the storm got closer.

 

Nico hummed momentarily as he watched Will shift closer to him. He let out a soft yawn and watched as the merman's eyes, almost instantly fluttered open, “someone's sleepy.”

 

“No, I'm not,” Nico denied quickly.

 

“You could have slept while I did,” Will said sitting up, dragging Nico with him.

 

Nico shook his head, “nah, I wanted to make sure the storm didn’t come too soon, last thing we need is all of you getting injured or something.”

 

“You do realize I live in the sea, right?” Will laughed, “a little storm never hurt me.”

 

“This storm is supposed to be pretty big though,” Nico countered, “what do you guys do when there’s like hurricanes and stuff?”

 

“It depends, I like to take naps during the ones that make it impossible to get near a nice rock to relax on, Percy tends to do whatever storms don’t bother him, me and Piper do stuff sometimes, but she’s pretty indifferent most of the time as long as it doesn’t get too chaotic, Triton...actually, no clue what he does.”

 

“So, storms aren’t that big of a deal for you guys then?”

 

“Not really, no, what it does to you guys is more of a problem than the storm itself, sunken ships or other stuff tends to find itself in the sea,” Will said with a shrug.

 

“Oh, so then you can stay out here during the storm, we don’t need to bring you in?”

 

“What? We get to go inside? Why didn’t you say something-” Will paused and then immediately began to become extremely dramatic, “storms are awful how on earth could you expect me to survive all on my own an-”

 

“If you wanted to come inside, just say that, don’t get all over dramatic and ridiculous,” Nico said shaking his head.

 

Will sent him an amused smirk, “just making sure I get my point across. Oh, look here comes Percy and Jason.”

 

Indeed, the two were coming in from further out in the sea, they both had big goofy grins on their faces as they laughed about some joke that Nico and Will had obviously missed.

 

“What’s funny guys?” Will asked as they got closer.

 

Percy grinned before answering, “we pranked Heracles and Triton, well sort of.”

 

“No way!” Will said in disbelief.

 

“What did you do to them?” Nico asked curiously.

 

“We told them we found an abandoned ship- which we did,” Percy was already laughing again, so Jason finished the story for him.

 

“It’s on the edge of western part of the reserve, it’s supposed to be getting moved, but it’s been there for decades now, Heracles and Triton wanted to see it, so we showed it to them, Triton wanted to look at it more, probably because it was an old luxury ship, so, he and Heracles were exploring it and then Percy told them he saw a giant squid and, they both went into the room and we locked them inside of it,” he finally finished.

 

“So, essentially you both went to your brothers and told them you both had death wishes?” Will laughed at the mental image of the Prince of the Sea and Heracles stuck in a room together.

 

“No, I mean- they could use some time alone, don’t you think?” Percy said as he tried to project confidence, but slowly he realized locking Triton inside of some old ship, probably wasn’t his best idea ever.

 

“Oh, everyone can see that, but if all they do is argue, it’s going to be pretty counterproductive,” Will frowned.

 

“Well, it’ll be as productive as they want it to be, if Triton really wanted to leave the ship, then they’d be back by now, don’t you think?”

 

“He has a point, that ship probably couldn’t hold either of them if they were determined enough to get out,” Nico said with a nod, “wow Percy, you really thought that out.”

 

“Oh,” Percy moved his hand over his neck, “um, no actually, I just thought it’d be funny to lock them in a room, I didn’t really think of all this until you guys said something.”

 

Nico looked to the other end of the beach and sighed, “at least you’re honest… I guess.”

 

“One of my specialties,” Percy laughed.

 

“Ugh it’s going to start raining soon,” Jason said looking up as the sun began to be blocked out by gray storm clouds.

 

Will turned his hopeful blue eyes onto Nico, “so, about this whole inside thing?”

 

Nico looked as if he was considering retracting the offer, but ultimately nodded, “start drying out, I’ll get you some clothes.”

 

“I don’t really need clothes, but okay.”

 

“You need clothes, believe me, you really do,” Nico said standing up and heading towards the house to find something for the merman.

 

“I will never understand you humans and the clothes thing,” Will sighed as he pulled himself ashore, hoping the rain would hold off until he could get his legs and move inside.

 

“You’re going inside?” Percy asked as Jason went to help put away some of the trainer’s equipment that could easily get damaged during the storm, Annabeth was also helping him. Heracles and Triton were still missing, or simply not ready to come back yet.

 

“Hopefully,” Will grinned, “I- crap, you’ll be out here by yourself, I can tell Nico nevermind.”

 

Percy could tell Will didn’t really want to give up the offer, he was just trying to be a good friend, “Will, it’s fine,” he said smiling, “I’m not a little kid I don’t have to be kept company during a storm.”

“You sure? I don’t want you to feel like I am ditching you.”

 

“I’m sure, have fun with Nico.”

 

“That is the plan,” Will laughed and then winked

 

“Wait- no wait, oh, OH!” Percy stared at him, “that’s what you two do when you’re alone.”

 

Will sighed, “I’ve been trying to, so far, I… just…”

 

“You just?”

 

“It’s like one us will get nervous and back off and…”

 

“Come on man, I’m your friend, how bad could it be? What is it?”

 

“I don’t know like….how do humans, like I know how in a basic form, but…”

 

‘Oh,” Percy put his hand to his cheek in thought, “um...like, I think they like kissing a lot-”

 

“I know that,” Will rolled his eyes, “but you know their um… sex organ is on the outside, so are they still as sensitive as us there, or…?”

 

The sea rolled forward as they both tried to figure out exactly how sex works with humans. Could they ask? Probably, but how embarrassing would that be? If Percy hadn’t been spending most of his private time with Jason kissing him, he’d had asked and tried to play up the innocent curiosity card, but he could not do that now. Or could he, suddenly he was struck by what he believed to be genius.

 

“Annabeth!”

 

The gray eyed human came over to them with a cool look on her face, “what is it guys?”

 

“Um…” Percy tucked his hands behind his tail and sighed, “how do um…. How do two human males have sex?”

 

She stared at them rather curiously, but not seeming very surprised by the question, she furrowed her eyebrows for a second before finally responding, “um…. There is a hole that-”

 

“No, no,” Will waved his hands, “not that, but like how does the pleasure part work?”

 

“Oh...oh,” for once she seemed like she didn’t have an answer at the ready, but eventually one came, “Well, it depends on the individual, I mean, you know what-” she took out her phone which was covered in its usual owl shaped waterproof case. She tapped at the screen and left Percy and Will with a ten minute video called, “A Day in the Office.”

 

“I need to help Nico put up the umbrellas, I’ll be right back in ten minutes,” she said before leaving them both on sand to head up to a struggling Nico who was balancing a sweat suit and about four umbrellas in either hand.

 

The video Annabeth was letting them watch was odd and offered no verbal instructions, it was nothing like the Disney movies Percy had watched with Jason. However, he did recognize the actions the males were carrying out as intercourse.

After Annabeth helped put away the umbrellas she came back over to them, “does that answer your questions?”

 

“Yes,” the two mermen answered in sync.

 

“Good now, I have a question.”

 

“Sure,” Will said, “you helped us, so we’ll answer whatever.”

 

“How do mermen have sex?”

 

Percy sighed, “this isn’t fair we don’t have a video of two mermen having sex to explain it to you.”

 

Annabeth laughed, “it can’t be that different can it?

 

“Well, you see out dobopper-”

 

Will immediately stopped him before he could go on, “Percy, she asked for an explanation on our kind having sex, you can’t use nicknames for the bodyparts.”

 

Percy made a face of distaste for using the anatomically correct names, “you explain it to her then.”

 

Will sighed and then explained, “merpeople have our sexual organs folded into our tails, when aroused a small slit forms and allows us to engage in sexual activity. We have, what you humans refer to as a g spot, just above our waists, it’s called an omrix, it’s highly sensitive and the easiest way to tell if someone has a heat or rut.”

 

“Wait, so you guys have mating seasons then?”

 

“It’s more or less individual cycles of being highly fertile, but some pairs’ heats and ruts sync up and that makes it easier to conceive.”

 

“But wouldn’t being a female or male mer determine that? The heat and rut, I mean.”

 

“Um… no, for us it’s,” Will paused as he tried to find a way to explain, “it’s just something that comes when we finally mature, mers with heats can get pregnant, mers with ruts, can get others pregnant.”

 

Annabeth nodded as she tried to work through the newly learned information, “okay, but that’s only with each other, right? Humans and mers can’t reproduce, right?”

 

“On the contrary, they can,” Will then went into further details, “our organs respond differently when we’re engaged in sexual activities with a non-mer being, it takes longer for a human to get impregnated by a mer, and it’s rare when it even happens, but as I understand it, the DNA of a mer being repeatedly released within the human can alter their bodily functions to create a temporary environment to incubate an egg and carry it to full term, which for mers is fifteen months, but sometimes the human side wins out, and full development comes at nine to ten months. Now, generally it is much easier and there’s a lot more documentation on humans getting mers pregnant which has no extra attachments.”

 

Annabeth looked dumbfounded for a moment, “hmm… interesting,” somehow she posed another question to them, “and will the offspring be human or…”

 

“In most cases they just have the ability switch from mer to human form at a much younger age than regular mers, but there are some cases when they’re almost completely mer or human,” Will answered and then looked down, “it’s kind of sad when they’re mostly mer for the human parent because it can be years, if ever that they see their child.”

 

“That is sad-” Annabeth was cut off by the sound of Jason and Will making their approach.

 

“Percy, what are you going to do during the storm?” Jason asked him as Nico tried to help Will begin to put clothes he had brought out for him on. His tail was losing its vibrant gold color which was a sign he’d have his legs at any moment.

 

“Um… the cavern I claimed has my room not too long ago, it’s pretty sheltered, so I’ll probably stay in there, why?” Percy was hopeful Jason would come with him, but he didn’t want the blonde getting hurt or sick during the storm, so he didn’t push the idea out.

 

“I’ll come with you then, the one with the shelf, right?”

 

“Jason, are you sure that’s safe?” Annabeth asked with concern.

 

Percy frowned, “I don’t want you to get hurt, Jason.”

 

“It’ll be fine,” Jason reassured them, “I’ll grab a water resistant blanket and some food and head over, now okay?”

 

Percy smiled at him, “okay, then.”

 

Will had finally managed to tug the sweatpants all the way up, but complained as he attempted to stand up, “why is everything so soft.”

 

“That’s sand for you,” Nico said helping him hobble towards the house.

 

“I’m going to go to my cavern now,” Percy announced before taking off into the water, quietly satisfied to be spending the night with Jason with hopefully minimal distractions.

Chapter Text

The ship Percy and Jason had ‘ locked’ their brothers in was enormous. It was obviously made in the twentieth century, but due to some poor tragedy it ended up here in what is now the reserve’s waters. Triton and Heracles were sure that Percy and Jason thought they were just two geniuses for putting them inside the room, but little did they know the locks were heavily and damaged, they couldn’t lock and the doors were nearly off the hinges anyway.

 

“Why are younger brothers such pests?” Triton wondered allowed before sitting up on the slightly submerged bed. He opened one of the nightstand drawers,and saw it was empty before sliding it shut.

 

“It’s what they’re born to do,” Heracles responds before climbing out of the waist deep water and sitting next to Triton on the bed, “we should get going soon, there’s supposed to be a pretty bad storm today.”

 

Triton pursed his lips, “more of a reason to stay in here then,” he decided before leaning back, “Heracles, humor me?”

 

The human raised an eyebrow, “I’m no court jest.”

 

“Not like that,” Triton rolled his eyes, “I have a question,” he clarified.

 

“Alright, fine.”

 

“Would have stayed in Florida? If I had not asked you to come with me, would you have left me?”

 

Heracles took in a shaky breath, as if merely being reminded of the decision he had to make was like reliving it all over again, “I wanted to come with you, but if you had wanted me not to, then I’d have respected that.”

 

“Heracles?”

 

“What? I answered your question,

 

“What did you want to do?”

 

This time the human lied down and turned to face the two tailed merman, “I wanted to stay with you.”

 

“Stay with me,” Triton whispered.

 

The first sounds of the storm rolled overhead, thunder boomed in their ears, but they paid it no mind.

“Now it’s your turn,” Heracles began, “humor me.”

 

Triton chuckled, “so be it, ask.”

 

“Why did you want me to stay?”

 

Triton closed his eyes for a moment before opening them again, “no one else would put up with me.”

 

“Thought this was time for honesty,” Heracles teased him, “come on, why, oh mighty sea prince.”

 

Triton gave him an actual honest laugh, “you amuse me human.”

 

“I’d say calling each other by our species is backpedaling, merman.”

 

“Is it my turn to ask a question again?”

 

“Sure, why not,” Heracles gave a small shrug.

 

“What would you have done if I had gotten Percy and left,” Triton looked at him expectantly.

 

“I don’t know,” Heracles admitted, “I can’t imagine my life without you anymore, moving forward that is, you kind of derailed what used to a relatively normal life.”

 

“My life in the palace was also disrupted by human antics.”

 

Heracles laughed, “sorry your royal highness, looks like you’re without your golden throne room at the moment.”

 

“Heracles-”

 

“Triton-”

 

They both awkwardly laughed, before Triton said, “it’s your turn isn’t it, go on.”

 

“If you could be anywhere right now, which you could be, why are you here?”

 

Triton took in a breath, why was he still here? He didn’t have to be. He could easily tell the others it was time to go and be done with the human world, “I don’t know,  I mean… you are right, I could be anywhere I pleased, and yet…”

 

“And yet you stay.”

 

“And yet I stay,” the merman confirmed.

 

“With no particular reason why?”

 

“I suppose not.”

 

“Can I give you a reason?”

 

Triton hardly moved, he just gave a quick, “yes,” and that was enough.

 

Heracles began slow, he closed the distance between them and stayed like that for a while.

 

“Heracles, don’t get my hopes for something and not follow through,” Triton lightly teased.

 

“You really are an overgrown flounder with a bad attitude.”

 

Triton didn’t have time to respond as Heracles moved his lips onto the prince’s. It wasn’t soft, it wasn’t surprising, or shy. It was what they both had wanted and were waiting for for a very long time. This was something they had been ignoring for a long time, an elephant in the room, really. All of their frustration, the anger, the lust, it came out in pure waves of passion.

Heracles cupped the back of Triton’s head with one hand and left the other to curl around the merman’s waist.

Triton’s hands were both on Heracles’ back, clinging to him as he tried to eliminate an space between them. Heracles eventually pulled back to breathed, but that didn’t stop them but so much as the human began to kiss the merman’s neck. Triton’s breath hitched as he involuntarily jerked up towards him.

The rain was coming down in buckets, but that was of no concern to either of them at this point. Their every thought, each movement, every touch was coated in a layer of lust.

 

Triton squirmed beneath the ghosted caresses just above his abdomen, his now free head pushing back into the bed below them.

 

“Heracles,” he whispered his name softly as he pulled him in for a much closer kiss on the lips.

 

There was nothing but them in that moment and it felt so wonderful. Triton tried to submerge any thoughts of how wrong he felt this was. He was a sea prince, he shouldn’t be making out with some human, he had responsibilities, but this was too nice to give up. Heracles did something few hopeful suitors in his home ever did, he excited him, and not just in the arousal sense of the word. He argued with him, he wasn’t afraid to dish back what Triton was handing out. It was refreshing, Triton was usually in control, he answered to no one but his father, but now, now he had someone else who didn’t see him as their mighty prince. He just saw Triton as simply as Triton saw most other people.

This… what did he call this? Triton did not know, but he most certainly did not want it to end, but he knew it had to, lest he get carried away and make a regrettable decision.

 

“Heracles…” he let out a soft whimper like moan, “please, can’t- not-”

 

Somehow, Heracles understood what he was saying and lifted up his head, turning them over to an earlier position, but this time he left very little space between them.

 

Heracles took in a single breath, “does that count as a reason?”

 

“More than enough of one for me to stay.”

 

“Good,” he waited for a moment, “you’re still an overgrown flounder.”

 

Triton didn’t feel like speaking anymore, so he simply lifted one finger to Heracles.

 

“Thought you wanted to stop before we got to that point.”

 

Triton didn’t have it in him to blush at that moment, so instead he simply put his head on Heracles’ chest, the rolling thunder almost matched the beat of his heart. Almost.

Chapter Text

The storm rolled upon the shore of Delaware fiercely, almost as though it had a vendetta against the very smallest grain of sand. It made the trees bend to its mighty waves and brought in a cold current. The waves were rough and slammed into the rocks and anything else lingering in the sea, causing some to shift and fall.

 

Percy and Jason stayed in the small cavern despite Percy trying to talk Jason into going back inside. Jason insisted he’d be fine and really wanted to spend the night with him, so Percy gave up on trying to convince him to do otherwise. The younger sea prince sat on the stone shelf, off handedly keeping the water mostly still to prevent Jason from getting soaked from the rough sea. Jason was lying as comfortably as possible on the stone and drumming his fingers along to the sound of the thunder.

The storm had carried on and they had been relatively quiet, but Percy felt perfectly comfortable breaking the quiet.

 

“Hey Jason,” the merman moved down a bit so he could rest his head on Jason’s arm, “I wish you could breathe underwater.”

 

“Percy, if I had any of your abilities, I’d be totally content,” Jason laughed, “know what I wish?”

 

“What?”

 

“I wish I could see your home.”

 

“I can show you if you want, it won’t be like if you were there, more like a snow globe, but still…”

 

‘I’d love to see it.”

 

Percy flicked his tail, gathering enough water to make a large orb. It formed the castle as he remembered, wide corridors, tall towers reaching into the sea, and the beautiful stone and shell work engraved into its very foundation. It was intricate and beautiful, but not exactly right. Percy didn’t always pay attention to the smallest of details, so he had to fill some stuff in with what probably wasn’t really there to keep the image from looking fragmented.

 

Jason was in awe at the sight of it regardless of whatever details had been omitted or changed  and turned to reach his hand out run it through the image.Percy smiled at Jason’s enjoyment of it as he slowly let it back down with a small splash.

 

“Jason?”

 

“Yeah, Percy?”

 

“I don’t think we’re going back to the resort,” Percy stated softly, “not into the tanks anyways.”

 

“You’re going to leave?”

 

“We all are, but you know… home for me is the ocean.”

 

“Percy?” Jason was trying to process what he was saying, but all he could think was how much he didn’t want to lose Percy.

 

“Home for me is the ocean, and if this is asking way too much just tell me, I don’t know how relocating works for humans, but…” Percy paused for a moment before going on, “if you worked near the shore, but like a less busy one, I- we could still be together. If you want to that is, I guess being with a merperson isn’t exactly ideal considering-”

 

Jason ended Percy’s rushed speech with a short kiss on the lips.

 

“Percy, the only places I would be unwilling to go are places I literally can’t reach, and even then, I think I’d still give it a go. Yes, I want to be with you.”

 

“Oh, well, in that case, I would like to be together too, so…”

 

Jason laughed, ‘I sort of got that from your little speech.”

 

“Oh…” Percy smiled to himself before admitting, “I don’t know what else to say.”

 

“How about we do something then?’ Jason suggested.

 

“Like?”

 

“This.”

 

Jason pulled Percy closer and began a slow kiss. He wrapped his hand around the base of Percy’s tail, gently gripping his waist. The human left his other hand in the merman’s dark hair.

 

Percy moved his hands to Jason’s chest, wishing the wetsuit was thinner or not there at all. He took in a heavier breath as Jason moved his lips from his mouth and onto his neck. They were entangled with each other, struggling to get as much skin to skin contact as possible, but it felt so difficult to do, as if there was never enough.

 

Percy whimpered as he tried to pull at Jason’s wetsuit. The blonde unzipped the suit and with almost desperate speed and force they slammed their lips back together again. Percy gripped Jason’s chest with his hand as best as he could letting out a soft moan.

It felt so good, he lost his focus and the moment he completely let go the ocean came pushing in. It moved against the stone and they both got wet, but it didn’t bother them. They were too concerned with each other to mind the rising water.

If this is what he could have been doing before he wished had talked to Jason months ago.

 

The pleasure made him vibrate with satisfaction, his body arching into every touch. Each movement was a quiet demand. More. He didn’t want to ever stop and so desperately wanted more. More of Jason, more of this pleasure, it was like an unquenchable thirst, almost like a heat, but not with the same intensity.

 

It was passion.


 

With Nico and Will

 

Will quickly discovered he loved how quaint the cabin was. He leaped onto Nico’s bed with as much speed as he could and smiled with satisfaction, “now, this is so much more like it. You should have been invited me in,” he smirked.

 

Nico rolled his eyes as he entered the room, shutting the door behind himself, “if you start to annoy me, I’m kicking you out, just so we are clear.”

 

Will pretended to be hurt by his words, ‘me? Annoy you? Never! I couldn’t possibly.”

 

Nico chuckled to himself before joining him on the bed. He nestled into him and took in a breath, “you smell like ocean water.”

 

“I sort of live in the ocean, part of the package with me, really a bonus.”

 

‘“Bonus?” Nico questioned with an arched eyebrow.

 

“Ever hear of aromatherapy?” Will joked before twisting to pull Nico on top of himself so he could lie on his back, “this is much better.”

 

“You’re warm,” was all Nico mumbled in response.

 

“Nico,” the merman whispered excitedly.”

 

‘Huh?’

 

“Can I spend the night?”

 

“No, I was going to toss you out the second the sun went down,” Nico sighed tiredly.

 

“The sarcasm isn’t appreciated you know,” Will said nuzzling his nose against Nico’s head, “you smell like a rainy day-”

 

“You can leave-”

 

“Bur in a nice way,” Will went on, “like in a sit on the rocks and just think, or maybe read some scrolls, that kind of rainy day, not like a storm. Just quiet and nice rainy day.”

 

Nico wrinkled his nose, “that has a scent.”

 

“Sure,” Will answered, “smells like you.”

 

Nico laughed, “go to sleep sunshine, you’re tired.”

 

“Alright…. Death the Kid.”

 

“No more anime.’

 

“So disrespectful, hey Nico?”

 

Nico let out a sigh, he’d never get to sleep at this point, “yes?”

 

“I’d love to spend all of my rainy days with you, sleep well.”

 

“That was so cheesy, but… I’d spend my sunny days with you… I guess,” he paused for a moment as he dragged the covers towards them, “good night, Will.”

 

There was a tender night upon them.