Here it is!
Dedicated to WillowDream M, who is amazing. Check out her (? did I get that right?) stories!
This can be read individually or as a sequel to my other fic "Tensions". There are a few mentions of that fic, but you don't need to read it to be able to understand this one. (I encourage you to do so, though...)
I don't know how many chapters this will be, but probably around the same as Tensions. There will be chapters in all of the Seven's POVs. I will tell you guys when I'll update the next chapter at the bottom A/N.
Piper was seriously beginning to regret her decision to sleep in. She sat up in her bed, yawning drowsily. All was well until she couldn't find her favorite jacket—a new one Jason had bought for her from New Rome. She was pretty sure that it was in her closet, but… well, it was Aphrodite's cabin. Of course they had to have magical closets. Regular closets were probably too dull or boring. Piper couldn't really complain, though; it sure saved a lot of time and effort on buying clothes, which Piper did not have the required patience for. (It had still taken some time to teach the closet that no, she didn't want to wear a ball gown to train or climb the lava wall—or any time, really.) Anyway, knowing Aphrodite, the jacket had probably been taken out so that it could be dry-cleaned or something. Piper had even told her cabin mates to go to breakfast and training without her, so now she was stuck.
First-world problems, she thought ruefully. Or rather, first-world demigod problems. Piper smiled wryly. Luckily, Jason was at Camp Jupiter, finalizing plans for a minor god's shrine, so he wouldn't see her problem. She missed him, but he would be coming back the next day anyway. And it would be kind of embarrassing to admit that she couldn't work her closet. But Leo was still at camp. Piper was pretty sure that the closet had some sort of mechanical aspect to it, so she could just ask Leo to help her. She refused to ask any of her half-siblings for help; doing that would just give Drew more ammunition against her. Not that anyone actually paid attention to Drew anymore, but still.
Piper pulled on something else—her old snowboarding jacket—and headed out of her cabin, humming a tune contently. It was nice to not be fighting for her life, on a quest, or being kidnapped by a psychopath goddess. Or course, thinking that probably jinxed her.
"Hey, Annabeth, Percy," she greeted the couple cheerfully as they passed her on the way to the Hephaestus cabin. Percy nodded at her, and Annabeth smiled in greeting. They both slept in the Poseidon cabin now, since dreams (well, more like nightmares) of Tartarus plagued them nearly every night. They also spent a lot of time fighting straw dummies in the arena now… apparently, that helped. Piper wasn't sure how that worked, but whatever. If it helped, it helped; she wasn't going to complain.
As Piper approached the Hephaestus cabin, she spotted a familiar head of black hair—Percy. That's weird; I just saw him passing the other way! She called out a greeting, but he didn't seem to hear her, so Piper shrugged. Maybe he forgot something. As she looked on, Percy disappeared behind another cabin.
The funny thing was, he seemed… taller, and was even wearing different clothes than a few moments before. He'd been wearing a plain, sea-green T-shirt and jeans. But now, he was in a Camp Half-Blood shirt and athletic shorts. How did Percy change so quickly? Piper wondered, but she dismissed it. There was a new demigod in camp that kind of looked like Percy. That must be it.
When Piper reached Cabin Nine and knocked on the gleaming bronze door of the Hephaestus Cabin, it immediately swung open on well-oiled hinges, revealing a fully-dressed Harley, Leo's youngest half-sibling. He looked like he was getting ready to head out to the forges. He looked up at her, and she couldn't help but note his clothing—(Thanks, Mom, that'll totally save my life in battle some day!) Harley had on an oversized military jacket draped around his shoulders, utility pants, combat boots, and a (normal) tool belt. Piper couldn't help it: internally, she squealed as she recognized Leo's old military jacket. That really is cute.
"Hi, Harley!" she smiled. "Is Leo here?"
Harley nodded seriously. "He gave me his jacket to hold all my stuff before he went to the forge, but Chris said he saw Leo here. He must've come back. But my tool belt isn't big enough," he grumbled and crossed his arms. "I wish I had a magic tool belt."
Piper bit her lip to keep from laughing, and she ruffled his hair fondly. "Where is he?"
"In his private room, below his bunk," Piper widened her eyes in surprise. They have underground, private rooms?! Harley must have been used to this reaction, because he said in a bored monotone,
"Yeah, we have underground, private rooms. I'll show you," he led Piper into the middle of the cabin, and to, presumably, Leo's bunk. Piper didn't see how Leo could even sleep on his bed (maybe he didn't)—it was completely covered by bits of scrap metal, screwdrivers, a broken sword, and other half-finished projects. A foldable wall/divider was half-torn off of its hinges in what was probably a fit of frustration. Piper glanced around curiously, and to her surprise, most of the other bunks looked like Leo's although they had more personal touches than the fire-user's.
Harley pressed something on the wall, and suddenly, Piper was shooting downwards at breakneck pace. The block of floor she stood on was moving down—then sideways—until finally, Piper was deposited in a whole other room. But that didn't surprise Piper as much as the room's sole occupant.
He was Leo… but he wasn't Leo. Well, he looked like Leo, but he couldn't be Leo. He—I'm confusing myself, but this is really confusing…
The demigod was tinkering with some tools, sitting against a wall, but had dropped them in surprise when Piper came in. He made no move to pick them up, instead, he pulled out other tools. Leo. He had Leo's curly hair and elfish ears, and most of his facial features. Leo. But he was at least a couple of inches shorter than Leo, who was already pretty short. Not Leo. He also had a sort of… depressed aura around him, unlike Leo, who was usually cheerful. Even if Leo wasn't feeling particularly well, he would still put on a smile, or joke around. This "Leo" wasn't doing either. Not Leo.
Before Piper could take in any more details, she had the Not-Leo pinned against the wall, with her knife barely an inch away from his heart. "Who—are—you?" she growled. "And where's Leo?!" Her voice trembled. If he had done anything to Leo…
The Not-Leo furrowed his eyebrows. "I am Leo!" he protested, and Piper froze. He had an accent—a faint accent, but still an accent. It was slightly southern, and partially Spanish. That's what Leo sounded like at the start of the Wilderness School! Piper rolled her eyes, trying to disguise her shock and sudden fear.
"Prove it!" she demanded, not really expecting him to do anything. But to her utter amazement, the Not-Leo-But-Leo held out a hand and, as she watched, a flame danced on his fingertips before he blew it out, leaving him completely unhurt by the fire.
Piper dropped her weapon and stepped back. She looked at him more closely. He was definitely shorter than Leo, and the accent was different. He had on a military-style jacket—Hey, isn't Harley wearing that?—along with dirty jeans that had a hole in the right knee. He wore brown suspenders and a coffee-stained white shirt. Leo hated coffee. And his shoes—Piper had never seen Leo wearing those, besides at the Wilderness School. They were scuffed work boots that looked too big for the Not-Leo. "But—you're shorter. Wh—"
Before either demigod could say anything else, a blond blur burst in from the entrance chute, dragging—Is that two Percy's?—two people behind her. It was Annabeth. And… two Percy's…
"What in Hades is going on?" she panted, releasing the two almost-identical dark-haired boys from her tight grip as Piper looked on in shock. "Percy and I were in the arena, and then another Percy just popped up out of nowhere!" Like the Not-Leo, one of the Percy's was shorter than the other. However, it seemed like the shorter one was the real Percy. The Not-Percy was at least three inches taller, had broader shoulders, and had a confident air around him. His expression was determined (for what, Piper had no idea) and he had his jaw set forward. His sea-green eyes were somehow more piercing than the real Percy's. Suddenly, it struck Piper—this is the Percy I saw on the way here! Sure enough, he was wearing a Camp Half-Blood shirt and gray gym shorts, along with a pair of hiking boots. Piper could almost imagine a cape fluttering behind him.
On the other hand, the real Percy was wearing an expression of complete bewilderment, and kept pinching himself in the arm and rubbing his eyes. He wore a green shirt that matched his eye color perfectly and a pair of jeans. Instead of hiking boots, Percy wore black combat boots that were caked with dry mud and pieces of straw—probably from the arena. Annabeth also had on combat boots (but hers were brown) and jeans, but she had on a Boston T-shirt that she'd recently gotten from a trip to visit her cousin.
Piper glanced from the Not-Leo to Annabeth to Not-Percy to Percy. "Uh…" she started, then stopped. What is someone supposed to say in this situation? "Let's get out of here and talk to Chiron… or Mr. D…" she managed to say before pinching herself. Hard. If they were all somehow having a mass hallucination, Dionysus would be able to help.
The other demigods nodded, seeming equally stunned, although Annabeth kept glancing back and forth between Not-Percy and Percy and muttering something that sounded a lot like "There's got to be a logical explanation… there must be…"
The first thing Piper saw when she and the others emerged into the sunlight of the camp was herself. Except, like the Not-Leo and Not-Percy, different. This Piper—gods, that sounded weird—was the same height as Piper, but had hunched shoulders and a tense demeanor. She also kept glancing around warily and suspiciously (although there was no one around; everyone was most likely already training), and Piper noticed that she had heavy bags under her eyes. (Piper touched her own face in surprise.) The Not-Piper also had changing eye colors, like Piper, but they changed very rapidly—in just a moment, Piper saw dark blue, hazel, light brown, purple (what?), light green, and dark grey eyes, flickering quickly. I hope my eyes don't look like that… She also wore heavy combat armor.
"We really should go to the Big House now…" Percy trailed off as another demigod appeared in front of them.
It was Leo—thankfully, the real Leo. He looked panicked, and kept blinking and shaking his head. Gods, thank the gods! He's his normal height again! Piper quickly took in his appearance: he was his normal height, had disheveled hair, grease stains all over, and was wearing a faded Camp T-shirt, red suspenders, cargo pants, and dirty sneakers (along with his tool belt), unlike the Not-Leo.
"What the hell is going on?! I saw two Piper's! And two Percy's! And two Annabeth's! And another me was in my cabin! I get that I'm awesome, but this is just too much—AH! There he—I mean, I—I mean—never mind! The kind-of clone of me is right there!" he jumped back, eyes widening comically. Piper would have laughed, had it been in any other situation.
"You saw another Annabeth?! Where?" Annabeth exclaimed. Leo mutely pointed at a familiar, yet not-so-familiar figure striding towards the group. The Not-Annabeth had her hair pulled in a high, tight bun with no escaping strands, and worse a purposeful expression. She walked like she owned the world, and the first word that came to Piper's mind was haughty. Her clothing—a brand-new Camp shirt, designer-looking jeans, a light grey jacket, and lace-up boots—was practical and left no room for error. She was an inch taller than the actual Annabeth as well. Her chin was set, and she strode proudly.
There were now two Leo's, two Percy's, two Annabeth's, and two Piper's. (Piper was glad no one else was around; they would make a weird sight to behold.) The two Leo's eyed each other, the Percy's were both glancing around, the Annabeth's glared at each other with matching stormy grey eyes, and Piper watched the Not-Piper, who was fidgeting uncomfortably. Finally, Percy broke the silence. "What is going on?!"
Next chapter will be updated on Monday or Tuesday, and will be in Percy's POV.