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  “Jason, it’s midnight , come to bed already” Piper groaned.

 

  “But I have to finish this for tomorrow” Jason retorted, hoping she would reason

  “Jason. Sleep. Important. Now” His hopes were dashed.

 

  “But-” He attempted to argue once more, but Piper cut him off, saying,

 

  “ NO BUTS”

 

  And effectively ending the argument in her favor. Preferring to go to sleep without a major limb missing, Jason complied and after saving and shutting down his computer, climbed into bed.

 

  Upon Jason’s arrival to the mattress, Piper immediately pulled him into a hug.

 

  “Stop overworking, m’kay, it’s not good for your health” She mumbled.

 

  “I try, it’s just that the number of deadlines at the local firm has been stacking up,” He said, returning the embrace.

 

  Piper considered this and agreed he did have a point, especially from what she’d heard. 

 

  Jason was part of a maintenance team that was part of the company that operated the local power plant. Lately, they had been getting several issues with the system as well as a possible rebuild of the entire plant that he had to Analyse, suffice to say he was quite busy.

 

  Nonetheless, she would hold her defense.

 

  “That won’t be enough to bargain with, especially with me” Piper countered.

 

  “Heh, you make a good point…” He said, playing with a couple of strands of her hair.

 

  “And I always have” She declared.

 

  “True, true... although what about that one time you decided on blind shopping and ended up with so many things that we had to pull a little sale?” He asked, a sly smile on his lips.

 

  Even from what moonlight came in through the windows, he could make out the surprised expression of Piper turn into a glare after he readjusted himself.

 

  “Maybe it was a bad idea to have you here” Piper grumbled, silently huffing.

 

  “Does that mean I get to go back to what I was doing?” Jason playfully countered.

 

  “NO, OF COURSE NOT!” She exclaimed, lightly slapping him on the chest for his idea.

 

  “Fine, fine…I would like to say though that, I really like it when you get bossy” He mused, kissing her forehead.

 

  This seemed to have been enough to Piper’s mood around, not like she was actually mad, to begin with, and she amusedly smirked at what Jason had said.

 

  “This is new, what promoted this?” She asked.

 

  “Oh nothing really, I’ve just been recently digging whenever you do that” Was his response. 

 

  “Dork” She snarkily added.

 

  “And yet here we are” He countered, earning a moment of silence.

 

  “...G’night mister Grace, you clearly have too much going on in your head,” Piper said, rolling around facing away from him.

 

  “Good Night to you to Pipes,” Jason said, retaining the embrace nonetheless.

 

——————————

 

   The Next Morning,

 

  “So Annabeth’s finally gotten herself a proper boyfriend” Piper mused as she scrolled through her phone.

 

  It was Friday morning and thus, Jason didn’t have to leave that early compared to other weekdays.

 

  So, the pair were currently in the dining room, enjoying their coffee as they waited for some of the left-overs from dinner to finish pre-heating.

 

  “Oh, did she give a name?” Jason asked, trying to peer over from his position from the table.

 

  “According to her, Percy, Percy Jackson” Piper read aloud, earning a thoughtful look on Jason’s face.

 

  “I think I do know someone by that name” He reminisced, going through his former memories.

 

  “Really?” She asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

  “Yeah, I’m pretty sure we were Roommates in college, though, she could be talking about someone else,” Jason said, concluding his thought process with a shrug.

 

  “Huh...by the way, I have made sure that we are the first to get a double date with the two, whenever we're free,” Piper said with ill-concealed excitement.

 

  “That shall be interesting, getting to meet them and all” He mused, taking a sip of his coffee.

 

  For the record, Jason had actually only properly talked to Annabeth about, three times...although, each time had resulted in a lengthy conversation, mostly topics of History, Piper, and “ If you don’t treat her well, I will utterly murder you ” among others.

 

  “Yep, that ought to be an interesting experience, and hey, we can determine if we need to, Ahem... intervene

 

  “You do you Pipes,” Jason said, nonchalantly.

 

  “Hey now! You’re supposed to be assisting me” She chided.

 

  “Fine, we can set it at maybe” Was his response.

 

  Piper just pouted and let out at an annoyed huff.

 

  “Now, before I get ostensibly pissed, don’t you have to bathe before you get to work”  She annoyedly said.

 

  “Hmm, good point,” He said.

 

  Getting up, he made his toward the bathroom, but not before dropping a quick kiss on Piper’s cheek.

 

  “Romantic” She mumbled as a smile grew on her lips.

 

  After a couple of minutes, Jason came back out in his standard work outfit.

 

  “I’ll be going now, bye dear”

 

  “See you later- wait, dear ?!” She asked, but before Piper could inquire about Jason’s wording, he was out the door already, she had also missed the amused smirk that adorned his face.

 

  She contemplated running him down but reasoned that’d be stupid, so instead, did the reasonable thing and actually prepared herself for the afternoon shift.

 

  —————

 

   Later in the Afternoon,

 

   For a Friday afternoon, the Gem of Aphrodite was having a relatively slow day.

 

  As Piper tapped her fingers on the hardwood surface of the bar. The current people count was something that could be counted in fingers.

 

  In her boredom, she didn’t even hear the bell chime, signaling that there was another customer.

 

  “What’s with the long face McLean?” Annabeth joked, taking a seat.

 

  “I-uh...Annabeth??” Piper stuttered, utterly confused.

 

  “Afternoon to you too,” The Blonde said, chuckling.

 

  “Um, you're usual I guess?” Piper asked after getting her senses back online.

 

  “Yes please,” Annabeth said, handing the payment. Pretending like she didn’t see that, Piper continued what she was doing.

 

  “So, slow day huh?” Annabeth continued,

 

  “You bet, you're the most recent customer in the last hour” Piper affirmed as she handed her drink. Eyeing the money and the fact it that Annabeth had yet to take it back was enough to convince them to take it...well half of it.

 

  “Ooo, ouch,” Annabeth said, taking the drink and the other half of the cash Piper refused to claim.

 

  “Eh, I’ll just have to hope that more people come later,” Piper said, shrugging.

 

  “Fair...where’s Leo by the way?” Annabeth then asked, changing the subject as she drank her Negroni.

 

  “I let him off, for now, he’s probably on the phone with Cal” Piper mused as she polished one of the glasses.

 

  “Oh? How can you tell” She mused, taking another sip.

 

  “Sporadic laughter, shouts every now and then, only Calypso can do that to him” Piper responded,

 

  And as if summoned, another of Leo’s did ring out from the break room. 

 

  “Sounds like Leo alright, could I get a refill?” 

 

  Annabeth handed her glass back to Piper, along with the amount they charged per refill.

 

  “C’mon Pipes, take the money, just this once”

 

  “‘Beth, we’ve long since agreed that for so long you’re paying me, I receive when I want to” Piper chided back, handing back Annabeth’s beverage.

 

  “Tch, I know that…” She grumbled, but Piper saw in her eyes, a flash, which Piper had learned to associate with the gears of Annabeth’s brain kicking into full.

 

  “So, I presume you got something else to tell me?” Piper asked.

 

  “Oh right, are you free on Sunday?” Annabeth questioned, and Piper’s eyes lit up.

 

  “Wait you mean…?” She asked for confirmation.

 

  “Yep” 

 

  That was all Annabeth had to say before eliciting an excited “YES!” from her mouth, several patrons turning their heads.

 

  “...uh, anyways, what time and where?” Piper questioned after people had gone back to their drinks and conversations.

 

  “Well, preferably for Lunch at that new Vietnamese place,” Annabeth said as she continued drinking.

 

  “Ooh, I’ve been wanting to go there for some time,” Piper said as the reference clicked in her mind.

 

  “Perfect, so I guess it’s set then?” Annabeth asked.

 

  “Yeah, yeah...another refill?” Piper confirmed, proceeding to offer more Negroni

 

  “Another refill” She agreed, and Piper filled her glass once more.

 

  The two then lapsed into the banter that they often frequented, not giving much care to how quickly time was passing.

  

  “Thanks for this afternoon Pipes” Annabeth said as she got up to leave.

 

  “No problem! See you this weekend I guess” Piper said, as she pulled Annabeth into a hug across the bar.

 

  After that, Annabeth left, but not before dropping by the break room, to which Piper had her suspicions.

 

  Following that, the evening did eventually settle in and with it, more patrons actually.

 

  Leo did come out of his den to assist and the pair skillfully worked the counter as the evening progressed.

 

  By the time the late evening rolled around, Silena and Will came in to take over, although Leo insisted to stay a bit longer.

 

  With her shift finished for the week, Piper walked back home, considering the bar was only two blocks away.

 

  She'd expected to shower, cook up some dinner, with Jason coming home in the middle of her preparations as usual.

 

  She did not expect to smell Salmon cooking.

 

  “Jason?” Piper asked after she’d entered their apartment.

 

  “Hey Pipes, dinner will be out in several minutes,” He said.

 

  Taking a seat, Piper considered asking what had spurred this, but decided on holding that back for later.

 

  Eventually, he did come out from the kitchen, each hand holding a platter, one with the aforementioned Salmon and the other with rice beside the side dish of assorted Vegetables.

 

  “Okay so, I just pulled the recipes for this on the internet, so criticism would be appreciated,” He said as set down the food.

 

  “...wow…” Was all Piper managed, surprised would be an understatement. She then filled her plate and started her test.

 

  The Salmon was quite good, especially for a first attempt, the rice wasn’t too mushy and it wasn’t too hard, the vegetables could have used a bit more work though.

 

  “You should have spent some time on the veg, aside from that, it’s fucking amazing,” Piper said.

 

  “Heh, thanks...by the way, are you free this Sunday?” Jason asked, as he had his share of dinner.

 

  Raising an eyebrow, Piper countered with, “What for?”

 

  “Well, the boss decided on having a get-together...I assume you also had plans?” He asked.

 

  “Yeah...Annabeth and Percy are free for lunch on Sunday as well…” Piper stated and a lapse of silence passed over the two as Jason’s eyes widened in surprise, clearly not expecting that.

 

  “So...what should I wear?”

 

  “Huh, explain,” Piper asked, now confused.

 

  “Well, considering that’ll be the first time that we see Annabeth with Percy, do we have to wear something formal?”

 

  “...Jason, what” 

 

  “Why? I thought we were going to meet them?” Jason said.

 

  “But, your meetup” Piper countered.

 

  “Well, sure a few people would be annoyed, possibly be pissed, but admittedly, that’s bound to be more fun” Jason stated.

 

  “Thank you...you didn’t have to” Piper murmured, tears stinging her eyes.

 

  “I think we should establish that you come before me,” Jason said, which was enough for the aforementioned tears to roll down her cheeks.

 

  “Cheesy Romantic Dork” Piper grumbled now.

 

  “It can be said, yes,” He said, smirking slightly.

 

  After that exchange, Jason got up and positioned himself where he could gently rub her back, aware of the fact their food was getting cold, he’d address that later.

 

  As he rubbed Piper’s back and listened to the occasional berating, he reasoned that, for as long as they were alive, her needs would always be before his...and he hoped that’d she would come around to that.