Jason wasn't happy with Hazel's plan. Splitting up was a bad idea. And that also meant being separated from Piper. But he pushed down his doubts and watched the sides of the boat.
"Hey." Said a voice. Jason turned and saw Piper.
"Hey." He walked over to her. "Don't let Coach catch you out here." Piper laughed softly. Jason loved her laugh. It was gentle, and reminded him of bells. Focus Jason.
"That won't be a problem. He's glued to the TV watching a wrestling match." He smiled, and together they walked to the ship rails and looked at the constellations in the sky.
"Jason… what are you thinking?"
"I… I don't think it's a good idea for us to split up. It's dangerous. And who knows, maybe Asteria won't like you and try to kill you."
Piper pressed against him. He instinctively took her in his arms, breathing in her scent. He really liked her, and during the time they've dated, he had really fallen for her.
"Is Superman scared?"
Piper twisted around so their noses were pressed together. She reached up and played with his hair, which had grown unruly. "I am. I'm scared for Annabeth, and Percy. I'm scared for all the demigods. I'm scared for Camp Half-Blood. I'm scared we will fail, and Gaea will win, we'll lose, and the world will end." She rested her head between his head and shoulder. Jason stroked her back, trying to comfort her.
"I'm a little scared. But it would be stupid if we weren't. We have to be strong."
Piper gazed up at him. "I promise I'll stay alive. I really do."
Jason smiled. "You know, if it weren't for Gaea, we would have never met. I guess we should be thanking her."
Piper laughed. "I'll thank her when Coach becomes a pacifist." Jason joined in.
Jason smiled, and twirled her braids in his fingers.
Once morning had come, Jason pulled Piper away and kissed her. "Stay safe, Beauty Queen."
Piper smiled. "You too, Sparky."
She walked off the ramp and joined Hazel and Coach Hedge. She looked back with regretful eyes, and waved goodbye as Argo II flew off. The last Jason saw of her was a dark spot in the flat green landscape. Blowing out a puff of air, he joined Leo at the wheel.
"Missing her already?" He flashed an impish grin.
"Yeah." said Jason.
Leo nodded understandingly. "You know, if I had a girl, I'd be in your position."
Frank, who had been sitting on the deck pouting, muttered "No surprise you don't."
Nico stifled a laugh at that. Jason directed his attention at the son of Hades. He wasn't what he expected. His black mop hung over his face, so he looked depressed. His dark brown eyes seemed to stare into your soul, where they saw everything. He was very pale, and Jason was surprised he wasn't sunburned already in the hot sun. He was wearing an aviator's jacket, and some dark clothes. It was a surprise that he hadn't passed out of heat exhaustion. Overall, the boy didn't look like a very sunny person.
"Nico, where exactly is the House of Hades?"
"I don't know the exact location, but I know it's on the Acheron River, starting near Ammoudia. We'll sail up it, and most likely come up on it."
Jason nodded for Leo to direct them south, along the coastline. They were on their way.