"I'm better!"

"No, I'm better!"

"Oh, you think so, eh? Then I challenge you to a duel! Nico can be our referee."

Nico facepalmed his head and groaned, "Again, really? Do you two have to keep doing this?"

"Well, it's the only way to see if I'm better than Pete."

"And it's the only way to see if I'm better than Jack," grinned Peter.

Nico sighed, "What is it this time?"

"Pete and I want to figure out who the fastest flyer is."


"Yes, what, do you have something better to do?"

"I wish I did," grumbled Nico.

Jack grinned, "Well then, how about we get started? We could start here, fly to North's workshop, and head straight back here for the finish."

"Sounds fine to me," grinned the summer spirit.

"Oh fine, but no dilly-dallying, talking to stars or the moon, or chasing birds. You fly straight to North's and straight back, understand?"

"Right," chorused the two spirits.

"Oh, and whoever touches me first, wins. Now, on your mark, get set, go!" Blue and green shot off, whooping and hollering on their way up north. Nico sighed, knowing them, this could take a while. He began fine-tuning his shadow powers while he waited, then an idea hit. He grinned, it was his turn to play a trick on those two. He glanced around, his eyes finally resting upon a lovely little shadow snuggled where a branch met its trunk. he played some more with the shadows, keeping an eye on the little shadow thirty feet above, ready to jump at a moment's notice. Then, surprisingly, he heard his cue a little earlier than he had anticipated, He quickly shadow-traveled to the branch, but in his rush, he took a wrong step and began plummeting to the ground. He frantically reached out for a hold, grabbing nothing but air. He gasped, then yelled as the ground came rushing up to meet him. He closed his eyes to the impact, landing in freshly-fallen snow and two pairs of arms. Nico's eyes popped open, Peter and Jack were looking at him worriedly.

"Dude, what were you doing? What were you thinking? You could have died if we didn't get here fast enough!"

Nico merely grinned, "But you're both the fastest flyers …"

"That doesn't matter, Nic, there were no shadows."

"Well, I guess we'll never know."

"Know what, Pete?"

"Who's the fastest flyer, cause it certainly isn't Jason Grace, that's for sure." Peter grinned and winked, lightening the mood quite a bit by getting Nico and Jack to laugh.

"That's true, but he doesn't know that."

"Oh really? Think we should prove it to him by racing him?"

Nico groaned, "Please, not another race."

"Sure, why not, it will be fun to get to boast about being faster than the son of Jupiter," replied Jack, his eyes twinkling with mischief. Peter and Jack glanced at Nico, a grin tugging at his face.

"That actually sounds rather nice."

"You'll referee?"

"Fine, I will, and this time we'l make an audience out of the other demigods." The spirits grinned.

"Now that sounds more like it!"

"And then we can get on to the next challenge."

"What's that?"

"Who's the best swordsman," winked Peter. Nico groaned as he immediately shadow-traveled to camp, but on the inside he was smiling, being with those two could be the end of him one day, but for now, he was going to relish knowing he could count on the few friends he did have.