Percy’s mind was whirling with the implications of what Tempest had just said. His cock throbbed between his legs, almost painfully. Sugardaddy. He would never have thought just how great of an impact a single word could have on him, but ‘sugardaddy’ definitely took the cake.
Percy gingerly lowered himself into the wheelchair that Tempest had so helpfully provided. Thankfully, Will was there to help him, and the doctor’s firm but gentle grasp on his arm helped ease the pain that throbbed when he moved. It took a few moments for Percy to settle into the chair, but the moment he did, he leaned back and sank into the soft backrest of the chair.
Groaning softly from the ache in his arm, and naked as the day he was born, Percy couldn’t help but feel a little bit self-conscious when Will approached him with a sling for his arm. The next few minutes started out promising, but devolved into Percy squirming where he sat. Will’s fingers were masterful, it seemed, in both the art of healing and relentless teasing.
Every time that Will’s fingers, with their near-unnatural warmth hovered too close to his straining erection, Percy had to bite back a moan. He wanted his manhood to go soft, but it simply wouldn’t cooperate. The image of Jason fucking him had been burned into his mind by that comment that probably hadn’t even meant much to the ship.
By the time that the fitting ordeal was over and done with, Will draped a heavy sheet around Percy’s shoulders. It had turned out that Tempest had no hospital gowns aboard, though Percy got the feeling that Will wasn’t about to complain about getting to eat up the sight of his lithe form. Percy wasn’t about to admit to it, but he did fancy the thought that he was an attractive young man.
“Are you ready to meet Admiral Ramirez?” said Will, his hands finding the handles on the wheelchair. There was a knowing smile plastered across Will’s face, one that Percy didn’t quite know what to make of. Even so, while Percy had heard of Admiral Ramirez’ stern reputation, it wasn’t her that he feared seeing.
Percy was quite afraid of seeing Jason in his current state—naked and injured. He was afraid of seeing Jason and having to face stirrings in the pit of his stomach that he had long forgotten could even happen. When Will pushed him out of the med bay and into one of Tempest’s few corridors, a realization hit and sank a cold knot into his gut. Whatever Jason’s reasons were, the news couldn’t be good if they had docked with Scipio.
“It’s not her I’m worried about,” said Percy. He looked up over his shoulder at Will, the man that had made Nico happy in the way that he had never been able to. He decided it was a bad idea the moment he saw the glitter of mischief in Will’s blue eyes. They were much too similar to Jason’s—though not as tempered with age. “I’m worried about why we’re on Scipio. I take it Nico’s here, too?”
There was a brief thoughtful look on Will’s face. It passed very quickly. “He is,” said Will. Percy had known it to be true, but the confirmation was more troubling than not. If Nico, Will, Jason, and Admiral Ramirez were all on the same ship together, Percy was sure that the news wasn’t good.
Percy briefly thought over all the possibilities, but really, there was only one. “What did Zeus do?” he said, as they turned a corner.
“So perceptive,” Will chimed. Percy frowned over his shoulder, but there was a twinkle in the doctor’s eye that automatically disarmed him.
“Well,” Percy admitted, “not really.” Despite himself, his cheeks flushed pink. “It’s just… Well. TITAN can be a nuisance every now and again, but despite all of their attacks on Nova Olympia, all they’ve done is deface government property.” Will stopped their journey for a second, and when Percy looked over his shoulder, he was sure it was surprise he saw on Will’s face. “And,” Percy continued, as he shifted his weight from one sore asscheek to the other, “They seem genuine in the principles that they say they stand for.”
“But,” said Percy, unable to stop the fingers of his one good hand from tapping on the armrest of the wheelchair, “Zeus is the biggest threat to the stability of this planet and its government. One man shouldn’t have that much power, especially someone as crazy as Zeus.”
Percy’s thoughts wandered to the computer at the Hangar calling Jason ‘son of Zeus.’ He had to wonder why Jason let it happen, and whether it was just a one-off thing for dramatic effect in front of Percy. He was pretty sure that he would find any way to distance himself from his father if it had turned out to be Zeus. He had already done well enough in that with regard to Poseidon.
Will chuckled. “I don’t care if Zeus is Jason’s father and Jason still has his delusions about helping that guy, but I think that Zeus is probably certifiably insane,” he said. “Not that I would want to be the poor schmuck that diagnoses him.” Percy rolled his eyes, but the sentiment was understandable. He didn’t want to be put in that unfortunate position, either.
A whirr and a click was all the warning that Percy got before a hovering drone made its presence known to the two of them. A holographic screen appeared, bearing the likeness of Tempest. The A.I. did what seemed to be a double-take, and started earnestly looking at Percy with knotted eyebrows.
Percy did not like being examined so closely by Tempest, as life-like as the A.I. might have seemed. “Oh gods,” said Tempest, sending a cold shard of momentary terror into Percy’s chest. “You look similar to me.” Percy’s rising panic immediately evaporated. Tempest leaned over the side of the screen and started heaving. “Oh gods. Does that mean I’m sir Grace’s type, too?”
Percy started choking on his spit, but thankfully, Will was there to pick up his slack. “You’re so full of yourself, Tempest,” said Will, with a smirk. The doctor shook his head. “To what do we owe the pleasure of this seeing off?”
Tempest gestured behind him to his airlock. “You require Scipio’s authorization code, Master Solace,” said Tempest. The neural link on Will’s right temple blinked yellow and purple. “The old codger isn’t letting anyone move freely inside of him unless necessary because of all the high-profile visitors at the moment.”
Tempest paused and turned his eyes to Percy, who had mostly recovered from the choking incident. “Includes you, mister Jackson,” said the A.I. “It’s simply the most logical and most secure course of action. Of course, Scipio refuses to acknowledge that he made the executive decision because I suggested it.”
“Whatever spat you two are getting involved in,” said Percy, “I don’t think I want to know. I don’t think I want to be a part of it, either.” Tempest looked at him and smiled. “I’m in enough shit as it is,” he said, gesturing at his shoulder.
“Wise choice, mister Jackson,” said Tempest. “But if you notice the lights flickering aboard Scipio, do not be afraid. I will simply be exacting my vengeance on that old git.”
“You do realize that Scipio is only a few cycles older than you, right, Tempest?” said Will. “And, if I remember correctly, Tempest the A.I. is technically older than Scipio the A.I. since Jason programmed you first.”
Tempest turned his attention to Will and bared his teeth. “It is impolite to point out to a lady that she is older than she thinks,” said Tempest. “Do watch yourself on your way out, Master Solace. We would not want you to get crushed in the airlock doors.”
With that, the drone whirred and clicked once more before attaching itself to the wall. Percy looked over his shoulder at Will. He was somewhat surprised that the doctor looked unimpressed by Tempest’s threat, since getting squeezed into pulp by airlock doors was quite a bad way to go.
“Oh don’t worry,” said Will. He patted Percy’s shoulder as they went through the first of the airlock’s doors. “There are hardwired safety mechanisms in the ship. Besides, it would go against Tempest’s directive to not harm any humans that are not direct threats. Jason was kind and let him make empty threats, though.”
“It certainly helps that Tempest has impeccable comedic timing,” said Will. “Reyna told me about that one time that Jason and Luke were fooling around by the airlock and were about to actually fuck when Tempest appeared and threatened to jettison them both out into space.”
“Luke?” said Percy. He had been preparing to drone off, expecting incessant smalltalk from Will, but apparently the doctor had less of a brain-mouth filter than he had thought. “I’ve never heard about a Luke.”
Silence descended upon the two young men as Will wheeled Percy out of Tempest and into Scipio’s main hangar. “Ah, shit,” said Will, after a while. “I knew I shouldn’t have opened my big mouth.” Percy looked over his shoulder and saw that Will was tapping nervously on one of the handles of the wheelchair. “And I thought Nico was bad at keeping secrets while talking to Hazel.”
“Whatever,” said Will. “You didn’t hear it from me, but Jason was engaged once. This all happened long before New Rome was the powerhouse it is today, and Zeus did not want the tabloids finding out his only surviving son was gay. That’s the only reason few people on this damned planet still know about Luke.”
Percy’s thoughts wandered back to the scene he’d watched unfold after he had been shot. He had seen the hesitation, the reluctance, the pain, in Jason’s eyes before Jason fired the gun. He also remembered a name being said. “Castellan,” Percy whispered, heart sinking in his chest.
“Yeah,” said Will, absentmindedly, as they entered the main body of Scipio. “Luke Castellan.” The wheelchair came to a screeching stop. Percy pitched forward and nearly fell out of it. “Wait,” said Will. “How did you know that name?”
“Jason said he wanted to talk to Castellan after he had been put in custody.” Percy looked at Will and watched as Will’s face slowly became bereft of colour. “After I had been shot, and, well, after Jason shot the guy.”
The door to Scipio’s bridge slid open with a hiss. Percy got a brief look at the sparkling and regal purple-and-gold avatar of the ship’s A.I. before he was wrapped up in a tight embrace, one with a warmth that was all too familiar. “I’m glad you’re okay, Perce,” said the only man he had ever been in a serious relationship with, “You’re such an idiot.”
After a brief moment of shocked silence from everyone—understandable since Nico di Angelo wasn’t the most outwardly-affectionate person on the planet—Nico pulled away and said, with a grin, “You should have just let Jason get shot. He can handle it.”
“Are you trying to say that I can’t handle a bullet or two, di Angelo?” said Percy, the grin plastered across his face mirroring the one on Nico’s. “I’m glad to see you.” It was true. Percy and Nico had parted on well enough terms that they had remained friends afterwards, though they had never again met in person until today.
With a considerable amount of effort, Percy balled his one good hand into a fist and punched Nico in the shoulder affectionately. Nico shook his head and pressed a kiss to Percy’s forehead. “Bello, you’re too noble, sometimes,” he said.
If Percy hadn’t met Will beforehand, he would have been uncomfortable with the term of endearment, but after he had experienced what Will Solace was willing to do to him—the hungry looks that the doctor had observed him with—he was sure that there would be no jealousy with what was going on. If anything, Percy was convinced that it would all just lead to perverted fantasies. Frankly, if he was invited to a threesome with the two handsome men, he wasn’t about to object—especially if they were open to expanding it into a foursome with Jason.
“Hey,” said Will, leaning forward across the back of the wheelchair. He pecked Nico on the cheek, but lingered. “Don’t I get a kiss on the forehead, too?” Nico gently tapped Will on the cheek and chuckled.
“You lost a bet, amore,” said Nico. “You’ll get exactly how many you want tonight—and a lot more.”
A twinge of pink crept into Percy’s cheeks. The playfully threatening tone of Nico’s voice had sent a shiver down his spine. He couldn’t help but imagine Jason saying the same thing to him, with a lopsided smirk. Gods knew he would have fallen on his knees then and there. Since when had he turned into such a lovestruck teenager? Gods knew.
“We didn’t have to hear that, Nico,” said a voice that made Percy’s heart ache. Nico rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Now, if you don’t mind, let’s get Percy into the bridge before anyone else has a chance to see that we have a special guest on the comms.”
Nico turned around and made faces at Jason, much to Percy’s delight, both because of the utterly baffled look on Jason’s face, and the fact that the Nico he had known those few short years ago, would never have done such a thing. He looked over his shoulder at Will, again, glad that this man had come along to be there while Nico put the pieces of his life together.
Percy hadn’t been able to provide the support that Nico needed in that dark time, and inevitably, it had damaged their relationship. Nevertheless, he was glad that Nico was happy, now. The son of Hades stepped aside and let Will push Percy into the bridge proper. The door hissed shut behind them.