The post-war council

Piper was settling into camp life again, spending more time with her siblings now that Reyna and the rest of the Romans had gone back to California (she still had fun imagining the chaos in the vans…). She still had fun with Jason, Annabeth, and Percy, but it just wasn't the same without Leo. Every night, the same thoughts ran through her head. I was right there. I should have done more. I had the power to convince him not to do it. I was right there. Everywhere she went, she saw reminders of his absence. In the woods, she was reminded of running away from maenads. By the campfire, she remembered the epic marshmallow battle he had started. She was jerked out of her grief today though, because she saw this note on her pillow:

Piper McLean,

You are hereby invited to the council of the gods today at noon. Please don't forget, as Zeus is even crankier than usual these days. Don't be worried, it's just the usual post-war thanking of the heroes. Also invited are Jason (of course!), Percy, Annabeth, Frank, and Hazel. The last two's transportation is being taken care of, but the Greeks have to come to the Empire State. Sorry this didn't happen sooner, but even gods have limits (shh, you didn't hear that from me!)

Your mother,

Aphrodite

After a half hour and several Tylenol to help with the massive headache created by the loops and swirls of the handwriting, Piper managed to decode the invitation. A council meeting, at noon today. WHY must her mother write in fancy script? It was hard enough reading regular writing!

By that time, it was almost 10:30. She quickly ran to the Athena cabin, a couple away from hers. Luckily, Annabeth happened to be in there. She understood the gist of Piper's hurried explanation.

"Do you know how to drive?" Annabeth asked "Because I haven't had the time to learn yet".

Piper nodded. "You're talking to a former car thief here. Of course!"

Annabeth smiled. "Good. Go grab the keys to one of the vans and hop in the car. I'll grab the boys."

That's what Piper loved about Annabeth. Council meeting in an hour and a half, risk of disintegration if they were tardy? No problem. Annabeth had steps 1, 2, and 3 ready. Piper jogged to the Big House. She remembered Chiron usually kept all the keys with him. After another rushed explanation, he gladly let her use a set.

She had just climbed into the van and adjusted the seat when the others rushed around the corner and piled in. Checking her watch, she relaxed. They still had more than an hour to reach the Empire State Building. They would be fine.

Piper had laughed about the idea of a Roman road trip across the country, but she was starting to suspect that was the less painful option. By the time they had traveled within sight of the Empire State, Piper had listened to 15 "are we there yet"s, a 5 minute "why can't I drive, I actually have my license" from Percy, several extremely annoying "99 bottles of coke on the wall" verses, and a couple "can everyone just please stop talking for once." Speeches. Not to mention a minor monster attack- Jason had dealt with it so everyone else could keep going. Piper felt like she was back in the Roman mob after Leo had been possessed and fired on Rome- her charmspeak did absolutely no good. Thankfully, traffic wasn't too bad, so the group was able to get inside the lobby before anyone strangled anyone else.

"Could we please go to the 600th floor?" she asked the doorman. Finally, she was good for something- he handed over the key without asking questions. That was good, because they had 10 minutes- no pressure.

I really hope you like it- it will be a two-shot most likely. Plan for part two after New Year's.