Fandom: Heroes Of Olympus
Characters and Pairing: adult!Leo/adult!Piper, young!Leo, young!Piper, Coach Hedge, Dylan.
Summary: “Coach, please listen to us. We’re Piper and Leo—yes, them. We’re from the future. A different future to be exact. We know what’s going to happen. Well…we know what we think is going to happen. It’s a long story, Gleeson, but we’ll explain later. Right now, tell everyone to get inside, now!"
Others: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | PDF Download
A chill ran down to her spine, and she could smell the familiar scent of desert sand. She was sure there were some in her hair, nose, and face, since she was lying flat on the ground. It took her a while to open her eyes, and blink away the colorful spots around her vision. She could see her companion besides her, standing up, brushing off sand, coughing, grumbling, and looking around his surroundings. Strapped on his back was the staff, its diamonds dangling and gleaming through the sunlight.
There was a loud ringing in her ears. She slowly stood up, puzzled, until he shouted, "Move, Piper!"
A loud vehicle honked, and Piper was shoved to the side before she could register her surroundings. She tumbled down, still dazed. When her vision cleared, she looked back to her original place before she was shoved. It took her a moment to realize that they were standing on the middle of the road a few seconds ago, almost squashed by a large vehicle which had just passed.
"We landed in a slightly wrong place," Leo groaned, rubbing the sands from his eyes, "on a slightly wrong time."
"But," Piper said, "We're here." She looked at the vehicle at the distance. It was a bus moving towards a red stucco complex in a middle of nowhere.
"Yeah," he stood up and squinted. The bus stopped, and then a little while later came out a line of teenagers climbing down the steps, with a short man with a baseball bat and a megaphone leading them. They couldn't hear what he was saying, but Piper was sure she heard a moo when he brought up his megaphone to speak.
Leo and Piper stood at the roadside for a moment, watching the children gather around and enter the building. This was a different time, so they didn't feel like going back to relive memories. And they were not here to watch. They had something to do.
Another chill ran down to Piper's spine when two people came down the bust last. They looked around, and then spoke to each other.
"Well, would you look at that," Leo said, chuckling. It didn't sound humored, though. "It's us."
Yeah, Piper thought. But something felt…missing.
A boy in some ridiculous cowboy costume came to the younger versions of themselves, shoved the teenage Leo away, and linked arms with Piper. If Piper could recall, the boy was Dylan, a storm spirit. Even though it felt like a long time ago, she still couldn't believe that a monster was hitting on her.
Dylan led the young Piper away, leaving Leo alone. The boy stood up, brushed off, stared at them before sighing and taking out scraps from his army jacket.
"Well, it looks like nothing much changed," the older Leo said. "But the storm will come in a little while. I guess we'll have to watch ourselves and see how stuff is done here."
He removed the locket around his neck and tossed it to Piper. "Hold it, don't lose it, and don't wear it just yet. We're going in."
They snuck into the museum, but it was no easy job. There was clearly one entrance, and they both have weapons. Piper's dagger and Leo's lighter they could easily sneak in with, but the staff, on the other hand, was a different story. Piper had to use charmspeak to the security guards and insisted that it was an artifact they brought for the museum, and that they were scientists. After a few more words, the guards bought the story, and let them in. But it wouldn't be long until the charm wore out.
There were only a few people inside the museum other than the Wilderness School kids, but it was hard to keep a low profile, with Leo's staff out in the open. Apparently, the staff didn't have a form that would look like an everyday disposable item that they could keep in their pockets, so they got a few puzzled stares from children to tourists, and to security guards who weren't charmspoken.
They moved in the museum, taking some brochures and using it to hide their faces while keeping a distance from the children, watching them tour the exhibits.
The Leo and Piper of this time seemed to be friends, which was a good thing, Piper guessed. The adult demigods peered above their museum brochures when they heard a girl shouted, "Hey, Piper, does your tribe run this place? Do you get in free if you do a rain dance?"
"Gods," Piper grumbled, looking back at her brochure. "Five years and I still want to slap her so bad." Then she proceeded to mutter strings of unpleasant names, most likely directed to the girl.
Leo stared at her, bewildered. "Is that what you were thinking? Damn, you could've slapped her. Why didn't you? I'd pay to see that."
"Thanks, but no, I didn't. Jason was watching me."
"Well, he's not here right now, so why not do it?"
She tilted her head to the younger Piper, who was arguing to the girl, Isabel. "Tell that to her."
"Ahem," someone said behind them. The adults turned to see a man behind them, around his forties, wearing a rather formal suit for someone residing in a desert.
He smiled a dry smile at Piper and eyed Leo and his staff. "My, good afternoon, ma'am and sir, lovely day. I am the curator of this museum, and I am quite happy that you are interested in looking at our collection." He still stared at the staff suspiciously. "I hope it won't be a fussy question, but may I ask, ma'am, where did you find this very interesting artifact?"
"Oh. It's, umm, we dug it recently from Greece," Piper said, nodding. "We're actually archeologists digging for Africa and Europe."
What are you doing? Leo thought, staring urgently at Piper. You might make this worse!
"Interesting," the curator tapped his chin. "But may I also ask why you would expose the artifact to the public, err, and much less bring it here? You are attracting quite a few people with that delicate relic."
"Umm, well, this is actually a just a replica for a convention me and my partner—" she gestured to Leo, "—are planning to go later after we take a look at the artifacts here," she continued, glancing at Leo as if to say, A little help please? This guy is pretty persistent.
He gave her a look. Nuh-uh. You started this.
She turned away from Leo and continued to speak to the curator."Certainly we couldn't let such a historical item be taken much everywhere. And if it's the real thing, then it wouldn't look so polished and new."
"You're right," the curator raised his eyebrow. Leo couldn't believe that he actually bought the story. "Eh, but do you mind if you would come with me, and maybe we could discuss about this convention? I am quite interested in involving my museum's collections."
"Ummm, sure," Piper said, looking uneasy. She looked behind her, to the children following coach Hedge, and then nodded. The curator noticed her looking back, and asked, "Is something wrong? Do you know someone there? You have been keeping an eye on the children for a quite a while now, I noticed."
"Ah, my son is there." Leo suddenly blurted out. For some reason, he just wanted to join the conversation and hated it if he felt like he was left out. A bad move in his part.
Piper and the curator turned to him, their face in disbelief. The latter stretched his neck to search the sea of teenagers, looking for someone who looked identical to Leo. Piper looked frantic and suddenly pushed the curator away from him. "Let's just go and settle our talk, mister curator," Piper said, glaring at Leo. "Stay here and wait."
Leo stationed himself behind a large wooden statue, doing nothing other than wait for his friend to come back. The staff still stood out from the crowd, and some of the Wilderness School kids started looking and pointing at him, including his younger self. Look away, look away, he thought to himself, moving to the next wooden carved statue. Don't look suspicious. But that was a hard thing for Leo to do. A twenty-one-year-old man hiding behind a statue while holding up a brochure to his face, eyes on the children, a really cool magical staff behind him? Yep, he looked normal.
Piper came back a little moment later, relieved. "Guh, he was too hard to shake off. Had to use charmspeak to really leave me alone."
They went back to their usual business of watching the children. Piper felt a little bit uneasy doing this. It felt like stalking. Probably it was.
Piper tapped her companion's shoulder. "Hey, look at that." She nodded to the Wilderness bunch.
Leo could still see teenage Piper feuding with the other girls. "Yeah, what about it? There's nothing much there."
"Well, look at you," she tilted her head to the teenage Leo at the back of group. "You look sour."
Piper was right. He did look sour and upset for some reason. The young boy fiddled with the scraps on his hands as usual, but he kept a hard eye on Piper and the girls, like he had the sudden urge to punch one of them.
"That's…not right, right?" Piper said, widening her eyes in astonishment.
Leo gulped and shuddered. "I…I don't know," he said, holding his head. He suddenly looked pained. "T-though, I know the one who's upset for you was Jason—" Suddenly, he held his head with his left hand and gritted his teeth, his eyes shut tight.
"Damn it," he muttered. "Why now…"
"Oh no, Leo." Here it was again. Piper tried placing a hand to his shoulder, but Leo swatted it away, glared, and moved away.
Piper was used to these unusual manners of his, but every time he would turn down her offer of help, she would feel sad and, at times, intimidated. There was something wrong, she could tell, but Leo wouldn't tell her what it was. She bit her lip. Lately, he wasn't acting like himself. Hazel pointed out that he was still sick. But Leo was hiding something from her that caused this behavior. If only he could tell her.
After a few minutes, Leo came back to her said, pale and shivering. "S-sorry," he said. "It's the headaches, again."
"I know. It's okay." She gave him a gentle pat in the back. Leo didn't recoil this time.
There were a few minutes of silence, not speaking to each other, just watching the kids. It was then the silence was broken when Leo tensed and shook Piper's shoulder. He kept his eye on the younger Piper a couple of yards away, who was staring at them. Then slowly, she started to move to them.
"You're looking at our direction!" Leo exclaimed in a whisper.
They brought up their brochures to conceal their faces, but it only made the teenager more confused.
"I think it's the staff," Piper whispered urgently, looking away from her younger self.
"Oh, no, I think it's your brochure!" Leo answered back. "It's upside down!"
"Oops." She turned it casually, smiling sheepishly.
Leo brought his hand to his face. "You know what, let's leave the kids and move out to the skywalk."
"Good idea," the female nodded.
They abandoned their post, made their way through the exhibits and to the end of the hall, where two glass doors stood, and beyond it a large terrace. Contrasting the bright and rather cheerful insides of the museum, the outside was gray and menacing.
Thunder rumbled overhead when they took a step out to the skywalk. The hairs on Piper's neck stood, and Leo shivered and rubbed his arms. "There's the storm." Leo said, looking up to the dark clouds. "Any minute now."
They moved up to the edge and glanced around. No sign of monsters yet, except for Dylan, who was still inside the building.
"You think we should try and distance Dylan from me? I mean…the teenager one," Piper said. "I remember sitting besides him." She shivered at the thought.
"Worth to try," Leo said. "But that isn't going to change anything, since we're just going to bring Jason back to the timeline. This whole past," he motioned to his surroundings, "won't exist anymore. It'll probably just be a broken alternate universe or something. I don't know."
"But you said that there are no alternate universes."
"That's what the goddess said anyway."
Leo looked down and started tapping his foot on the ground. "Wow this whole skywalk is amazing. Well-built and the structure is…wow."
"You sound like Annabeth," Piper laughed.
Leo snorted. "Funny how the first time I came here, I wasn't much interested with the terrace."
"It's probably gone now in our time," Piper said, looking down at the railing, trying to see the canyon floor a hundred feet below her. This was where she fell years ago. But Jason saved her. She wondered if she was going to fall later (well, the other Piper anyway). It was a really scary experience.
If there was no Jason to save her right now, who would?
She remembered that he was too busy getting his butt saved by Coach Hedge, almost snagged by Dylan, and then saved by the goat again.
She wouldn't even think about it. Chances were zero point one percent. And goats can't fly.
They can climb, though.
She was completely hopeless in that situation. It was a scary experience, and it still made her shudder when she thought about the sensation falling down the canyon. It made her sick.
She noticed that Leo was watching the teenagers, who were finally out of the building, still separated from each other, doing their worksheets, with teenage Piper trying to repel Dylan, who was hitting on her. Leo's younger self, on the other hand, was busy building a helicopter out of pipe cleaners.
"Hey, listen," Leo whispered. "We have to keep an eye out for them. Even though we're going to bring back the original timeline—you know, Jason—we, I mean, this is the real past we experienced…or experiencing. Err…"
"Yeah," Piper said. "I'm confused, too."
"But what I'm saying is that, even though this isn't our past, if one of them dies, then…"
"We'll die, too."
"Yeah, so…since there's no Jason at the moment, I guess we'll have to fend for ourselves. We're gonna stay here and fight Dylan ourselves."
"Will do." She nodded. "But…if we're going to do that, can we just move Dylan away from me? So I won't be harmed, or anything?"
Leo grumbled. "Good point. But we can't just come in front of them and pull the dude away from you. We're them."
Coach Hedge was eyeing them suspiciously in a distance, and started trotting his way to the adults. It was only then they were aware of his presence when he cleared his throat and his mouth was twitched in a way he was about to say cupcake.
"Excuse me, sir," his gruff voice said, squinting, staring at Leo.
"Eh, me?" Leo said, pointing to himself.
The coach started sniffing the air, looking at Leo and Piper up and down.
"Strange, though. You look similar to one of my students," the coach mused. "And so is your friend here…"
Piper gulped. The satyr may be weird and all, approaching random strangers at, well, random, but he wasn't stupid, even at his old age. She couldn't bring herself to speak. Unlike mortals, the satyrs could tell if there was any incoming danger, or if there was any half-blood at the area. There wasn't a way out of this. They were discovered.
"And you two," the coach continued. "You two smell like —"
"Half-bloods," Piper finished. No point hiding it. "We smell like half-bloods."
The coach was clearly taken aback. He suddenly brought up his baseball bat and sneered. "How do you know? Who are you?"
"Coach Hedge, listen to us." But it only made the satyr recoil and swing his back to them at random. Unfortunately, Leo got hit on the head.
"Damn it, coach, don't add to my headache, please," he groaned, holding his head again. "I think I'm getting a concussion."
"Coach, please listen to us," Piper said, her voice urgent. There's no stopping now. "We're Piper and Leo—yes, them. We're from the future. A different future to be exact. We know what's going to happen. Well…we know what we think is going to happen. Do you see the clouds? Something's going to happen in any moment, you know that. So please, tell everyone to get out of the skywalk right now."
"I don't understand," the coach muttered, his eyes widening. "From the future?"
"It's a long story, Gleeson, but we'll explain later. Right now, tell everyone to get inside, now!"
Leo wondered if she was using charmspeak of she was really speaking in a strong, honest voice. Maybe they were one thing.
The coach continued to stare at her, but he fiddled with his megaphone and bellowed, "Everyone inside! The cow says moo! Off the skywalk!"
"Oww! Not to my ear, Gleeson!" Leo yelled back, covering his ears, groaning.
The students who heard the coach looked at his direction, puzzled and bewildered.
"What are you waiting for? Go!"
They jumped at the coach's booming voice, got up and walked back to the glass doors, looking at each other, shrugging, minding the sky.
Hurry, Leo thought, eyeing the children going back to the building. Come on…
The sky rumbled, lighting cackled, and then the cold wind blew to their direction. The ground began to shudder. The children started to panic, and then ran to the doors. Leo and Piper held on to the railings, holding Hedge by the shirt, who was shouting through the megaphone, "Go, go, go, oink!"
The other Leo and Piper were slowly making their way to the glass doors, going against the wind, the tipping skywalk, slipping on the floor, but getting back up quickly. They were the only ones left, and the other kids were shouting for them, holding the doors open. It seemed like the winds didn't want them to go inside.
Almost there, Piper thought, biting her lips. Just a bit more…
They were about to grab hold of the doors when suddenly, out of thin air, Dylan appeared in front of them. The glass doors suddenly bolted shut, a click echoed. The children inside were pushed back, away from the entrance.
Dylan wagged his finger at the stunned half-bloods, and then flicked his wrist. Leo and Piper flew backwards, back to the skywalk, landed on their backs, and slid across the floor.
"No!" the adults shouted, and then they charged forward. They stood in front of the teenagers, their backs to them, with Piper taking her dagger, and Hedge swinging his newly transformed tree club. Dylan glanced at the coach and sneered in disgust, but he flashed that brilliant psycho smile at Leo. "Well, well, well, isn't it Leo and Piper from the future! We have been expecting you."