( ten. )
❝ IF FLOWERS CAN BE BEAUTIFUL SIMPLY BY EXISTING, THEN SO CAN I. ❞
GEORGIA, LEO, and Piper had managed to drag Jason onto the bronze dragon with only a few Greek curses thrown into the mix. Leo had proceeded to help Georgia on, who actually gave him a smile.
Now they were flying to Chicago, hopefully. Georgia was sure there would be a few more obstacles in their path, but she wasn't sure she had the brain capacity to stress about one more thing.
Jason shot up. "Cyclops!"
"Whoa, sleepyhead." Piper sat behind him on the bronze dragon, holding his waist to keep him balanced. Leo sat in front, driving. Georgia was behind Leo. They flew peacefully through the winter sky as if nothing had happened.
"D-Detroit," Jason stammered. "Didn't we crash-land? I thought—"
"It's okay," Leo said. "We got away, but you got a nasty concussion. How you feeling?"
"He looks like he just got whacked in the head by a brick." Georgia snickered.
Jason's color had mostly returned, and the welt on his forehead had shrunk to the size of a boil.
"How did you—the Cyclops—"
"Leo ripped them apart," Piper said. "He was amazing. He can summon fire—"
"It was nothing," Leo said quickly.
Piper laughed. "Shut up, Valdez. I'm going to tell him. Get over it."
And she did—how Leo single-handedly defeated the Cyclopes family; how he freed Jason, then noticed the Cyclopes starting to re-form; how Leo had replaced the dragon's wiring and gotten them back in the air just as they'd started to hear the Cyclopes roaring for vengeance inside the factory.
Georgia turned to watch Jason's expression as he listened to her speak. Jason seemed impressed. Even she was impressed at Leo's skills. Taking out three Cyclopes with nothing but a tool kit? Not bad. But she also knew he felt bad for leaving them to fend for themselves against three Cyclopes. Georgia wanted to comfort him, tell him it was okay, but she was never very good at that type of thing, so she kept quiet.
When Piper told him about the other kid the Cyclopes claimed to have eaten, the one in the purple shirt who spoke Latin, Jason looked like someone had placed the world on his shoulders. Georgia frowned, because she knew what that felt like. "I'm not alone, then," he said. "There are others like me."
"Jason," Piper said, "you were never alone. You've got us."
Georgia nodded and tried to give him a smile. "Even me," she said softly.