Dathne had been sitting at the porch for a few minutes when she figured it was pointless waiting. She'd just have to see them at dinner, which was perfectly fine enough.
Standing up though, she encountered one of the inhabitants of her cabin.
"Dathne! Did you pick up that book I asked?"
A blonde little boy, no older than 14 came jogging to a halt by the porch railing.
"I'm sorry, I forgot it again. I was heading out of the library so quickly, and besides the new recruits will be arriving shortly, maybe there is someone new to our cabin!"
The news brought the boy's saddened little face to a bit more joyful grin as he want for the handle.
"Okay. But promise me you will at least take me with you next time you go to the library, okay?"
Dathne smiled and nodded before stepping off the porch.
It didn't take too long for her to reach the woods. It was right next to the cabins, just past the fields and she would usually walk past there every day to ravel in the delicious fragrance of strawberries and fresh air and green grass. It was such a reminder of her small town in California.
Finally reaching the tree-lines she took one of the paths that lead straight to the heart of the woods. There was a small pond there and a wooden guitar sitting against one of the trees, along with a bench where she would sometimes sit and read if the weather was nice, which it had been for the past for days,- except she just couldn't find time for the little things anymore. There was always something that had to be done, meetings to attend and cabin requests to be met.
She had grown accustomed to helping out around the camp and especially within her own cabin; leaving scarce time for her to dawdle in the woods.
But she cherished the moments when she could.
Sitting down at the bench with the guitar in her lap, she closed her eyes and started playing her very own song. Something she had been working on since Christmas and finally managed to complete.
Brandon watched as the active newbies immediately went for Jess and Ea, leaving him with the two straglers. Got dang it, fucking little new kids, think they know better than me already, huh? Show those little buggers, break out old Louie for them. See if that makes them a little more receptive.
He put his iPhone away and turned to the two he had been left with. A mute and a foreign kid. Awesome.
"When shall we depart for the homes?"
"Ah we can hit them up first if ya'll want. Start from there, drop off your gear 'n just work around. All right then, c'mon. I'll start showin' ya." He started to walk off towards the cabins, expecting the other two to follow behind.
As Hunter shook Ea's hand and felt her easily over power his own grip never having had a lot of hand strength. Hunter just kind of stood there as he saw a disappointing look because of his weak handshake while Ea conversed with Jessica over what routes they were going to take for the tours.
Hunter followed behind Ea and Anny on the tour. Ea tried to come off nice but Hunter didn't trust anyone on initial introductions and wouldn't even consider trusting them until he knew who they were for sure. Hunter didn't care for the warning about the camp being large and confusing and didn't plan on relying on the senior members because he planned on staying away from everyone in general.
Hunter started looking at Anny who opted to go with Ea as well. Strange looking girl. She definitely makes Ea look like a giant and probably makes myself look taller as well. Doesn't seem to be paying attention either. She doesn't even seen concerned about this place in the slightest. What a foolish girl. The group stopped walking upon arrival at an archery range. Hunter couldn't care less about this place as he wasn't an archery type of person.
"Yea it's better thank you Gary." Mitsuko said putting a hand on his chest softly, her other sitting in her lap. She was happy to be this close to him and that he cared this much for her, or so it seemed. He felt warm to her and she couldn't help but look up at him and smiled. It was nice smelling her cherry blossom perfume mix with his scent as the smell of the summer drifted past her noise.
She rested her head on his shoulder again sighing contently. She cuddled to him some giving him a soft flirty look, a soft smile creeping from the corner of her mouth. She decided to let him go further if he wanted to.
"Well other than the architecture this seems relatively normal." Alexandros said, not exactly excited at the prospect of flag football but not adverse to the idea either.
Jacob stared at the cowboy evenly. He didn't trust things that were taller than he was. They had a tendency to be giant monsters. He moved his grip onto Ifrit's handle, just in case. "Very well. Let us now go there." He picked up his things and approached Brandon, keeping a fair distance. It was enough distance for him to use Ifrit, incise anything happened.
Kat looked around at the relatively nice scenery around the camp as Jessica lead her and Alexandros to the Mess Hall. Looking in the doorway behind Jessica, she saw that other than the impressive Greek architecture, it was functionally similar to any other cafeteria. The Greek feel was a nice touch, however. Makes sense, after all, she told herself. Curious as to where they were going next, Kat wished that she had a map or something similar. "Where are we going next?" she asked Jessica.
"All right, well let's get on it then," Brandon said, leading the two newbies towards the center of the compound where the cabins were. It was a weird little set up. All the sports camps that Brandon had been to had the cabins all off to one side, with all the facilities across the camp. Oh well, whatever works.
"Right, this up here is the mess hall, were you get all your food and stuff like that. You get hungry, you come up there. Basic stuff. We'll come back here when I end the tour." He took the two past the mess hall towards where the cabins were situated. "'N this here's the cabins. I dunno who your special momma or daddy is, so your going to have to figure out where your going from the symbols on top. They're pretty obvious, so you'd have to pretty dum to mess this up."
"Next is the fields where we grow produce," Jessica answered, spotting a couple of people she recognised, among them Javier Delgado. She gave him a brief wave - hopefully he picked up on it while getting himself something to eat - and turned back to Alexandros and Katarina to lead them away from the mess hall. Turning east, she led them along a path towards the strawberry fields and grapevines. Already she could smell the familiar scents.
"We usually produce a pretty large quantity of fruit from our fields, most of which is sold to companies across New York. It pays the camp's expenses, and we always end up with leftovers for ourselves," she explained when the trio arrived. "Go ahead, pick a couple. No-one'll notice." Jess giggled at her comment; she herself had occasionally taken one or two berries when she passed by.
While Gary liked the fact that Mitsuko was cuddled up against him, he blinked a couple of times at her next move, alarmed. She seemed to be making advances on him, a little more than he would like. "Whoa, Mitsuko, what're you doing?" he asked, giving her a concerned look. Carefully taking her hand by the wrist with his free hand, he lowered it down to her lap where it met the other hand.
It had felt strange, her hand on his chest - not in a bad way, but not in a good way either. Then it hit him; he finally caught on to what Mitsuko was doing. "Um... is this how you... normally flirt with guys?" Gary asked, confused. Evidently she felt some form of romantic interest; maybe it was a crush or something. He hadn't known anything about this. A twinge of worry immediately settling in, he briefly wondered when she had first felt attracted to him.
The practice fight among Gary's half-siblings continued relatively unnoticed; their supervisor was clearly preoccupied.
"Hmm, wonder if now would be a good time." Alexandros somewhat said to himself before reaching down to the plants and having a vine almost unnoticeably coil around one arm while a small grape branch coiled around the other. He tried to grow a decently large strawberry but was only able to manage a barely ripe and pitifully small one. It wasn't bad for a first try he guessed but he would need much practice before he could get anything even relatively decent. The second he remembered what his mother had told him he shot back up and his already naturally flushed face turned even more red.
"I guess that kind of outs who my parent is doesn't it?"
Mitsuko looked at Gary horrified realizing she went to far. "Oh god I'm sorry Gary. I don't know what came over me. Ummmm I... maybe I should go back to my cabin?" Mitsuko said getting up.
She blushed deeply and looked back at him ashamed of what she had done. "Ummm no this isn't how I normally flirt with guys.. just ummmm." she started but couldn't bring her self to finish what she was going to say. She didn't have her normal happy expression, she was regretful.
After finishing the song, Dathne just sat there quietly for a while. Seeping in the energy from the forest like it was life's essence itself.
"I should be heading back. I have an archery lesson in a few hours and I haven't prepared"
Trailing out of the woods, Dathne followed the same path she had used to enter. It was made from coarse stone slabs,- nothing quite fancy but very elegant when it came to primordial pathways.
The crunching sound of gravel followed her footsteps as she stepped between few of the stones on her way out.
Passing out of the tree-line she was about to head for the Director's Office when she noticed Jessica walking toward her with two of the newcomers.
"Oh, Jess! I'm so glad I found you I've been dying to meet those new recruits!"
With a smile on her face and a new wind under her step, Dathne walked briskly toward the group of three to make her formal introductory.
"I guess that kind of outs who my parent is doesn't it?"
Kat decided not to chime in when Alexandros mentioned his divine parent. Even though she wasn't too sure what god gave his (or her?) children with the ability to grow strawberries, she didn't press any further; Alexandros's blush explained it all. Kat also elected to not reveal the identity of her own divine parent, at least not right now. She did, however, decide to pick a berry from one bushes. Popping the small fruit in her mouth, she nodded approvingly. "Damn good berries. How do you guys grow them so well?" she asked Jessica.
"Oh, hey, Dathne," Jess answered with a returning smile, giving the slightly younger girl a brief hug in greeting. "This is Katarina and Alexandros - Wait a minute..." She cut herself off at the sight of the latter and the vines encircling his arms. That, combined with his blushing and comment, left Jessica in little doubt as to his lineage.
"You're a child of Demeter, goddess of plants," she said, wondering if Alexandros would cause the vines to explode into vibrant plant life.
"Mitsuko, wait. You don't have to go," Gary quickly answered, getting up to stop her. "There's no need to avoid the subject, we can talk about... about how you feel, if you want. We just need to find somewhere to sit down and discuss it. Um... Oh, gods, this is awkward." He paused there, trying to think of what to say. It was difficult, considering that Mitsuko had just started it without any warning.
"Um... How's this for an idea? We'll both go back to your cabin, or maybe the woods, where we can get a bit of privacy, and then we can just talk about this. Does that work for you?" Gary blushed faintly when he thought of finding a bit of privacy with Mitsuko.
"Umm the woods sound nice really." Mitsuko smiled softly seeing Gary blush. "I honestly enjoy talking to you alone." she added walking to the woods with Gary. Her mind was racing with questions and things she wanted to say and ask him. She was nervous but knew it was better to just talk to him about this before things got out of hand.
"Umm, no. Not Demeter, I'm actually a child of Dionysis. A good guess though considering all you saw." Alexandros replied, laughing a bit at the close but off guess.
"My power is actually assuming the form and mannerisms of others on top of the whole growing strawberries and grapes thing."
"Alright, one moment and I'll be right with you," Gary quickly said, turning back to the arena and teleporting down to his siblings to stop the fight. "Guys, guys! Hold up!"
The three of them reluctantly lowered their swords and turned to look at Gary, who added, "I think that'll do for the day. All of you go get yourselves cleaned up, grab something to eat and... I guess Abbi will have something prepared for you to do this afternoon. See you around." With that he teleported back to Mitsuko's side and resumed walking with her. The two of them passed Ea on their way to the forests; she was accompanied by two others he hadn't seen before.
"Who d'you reckon they are? Some of the new recruits Chiron mentioned last night?" he asked to try and make conversation. The centaur had indeed made a small announcement that a new group of demigods would be brought in.
At Alexandros' response, Jessica quickly remembered that Dionysus had a thing for vine-based plants. That was one of the reasons why they grew the grapevines. "Interesting... there's only one other Dionysus kid here. You've got an older half-sister, Lily Anderson. I'll show you the cabin you'll be sharing with her when we get there."
She turned to Katerina and asked, "Um... I assume you know about the gods and suchlike? At the very least, Chiron would have told you on the way here."
Mitsuko looked over at Gary and shrugged. "Maybe but can't be sure. They're not mortal though I know that." she said looking in his eyes.
Mitsuko looked at Ea. She had always felt something odd about her, something alluring about her. She couldn't put her finger on it but it was there. It had been there since she meet Ea. She almost ran into Gary deep in her thoughts. Before she knew it she fell over on her ass when she bumped into him. "Oh gods I'm sorry." she said.
"No need to be, you were distracted," Gary quickly answered, helping Mitsuko back to her feet with an offered hand. She looked kinda cute when she was embarrassed; at least, she looked embarrassed to him as a result of falling over. Gary quickly stopped himself from thinking more along those lines; he didn't want to cloud his mind by thinking about Mitsuko the way she seemed to think about him.
"Anyways, where were we?" he asked jovially, putting the brief incident behind him as they resumed walking for the second time.
"Oh, it's so nice to meet you both!"
Dathne started as she shook both of their hands lightly with a joyful smile on her face.
"I will talk to both of you over dinner, okay? And if you need anything... anything at all, don't hesitate to ask! Please, continue with your tour,-" Dathne looked over at the cabin area. "I need to head down to the archery range. I'm running late for my preparations"
Then, leaving them as quickly as she had arrived, Dathne started briskly walking down the gravel path leading toward the cabins, then down to the archery range.
Mat couldn't help laughing as Javier casually matched his speed for a while before blurring towards the Mess Hall.
Slowing slightly, Mat lost sight of the blur until it stopped just short of the door and Javier appeared, waved and entered.
...Cheeky... Chuckling to himself, Mat slowed to a jog and entered the Mess Hall. He'd always liked the inside of the Mess Hall; despite most of the camp using Greek architecture, the Mess Hall had always been Mat's favourite place to come and just inspect the great carvings and pillars. It probably had something to do with the brilliant smells drifting from the kitchens. Mat's mouth began to water as a combination of waffles, eggs, bacon and pancakes hit his nostrils. whew, hungrier than I thought...
With his strict training, Mat always had an immense appetite and could eat more than two or three people and still want more. No amount of dieting was needed for Mat though, as his training kept it all in check, and that pleased him greatly. Food was something that he dearly enjoyed.
As he latched onto the end of the queue a few places behind Javier, Mat reached round and poked the race-winner lightly in the ribs.
"You been trainin' hard, eh?" He said conspiratorially, "I'll get ya one day, huh?" Chuckling at the absurdity of his statement, Mat's features faltered as he looked out a window towards a group of the new recruits being accompanied by Jessica.
"New kids in today, eh? Hope they settle in OK..."
Javier smiled and waved back to Jessica when she opened the door of the mess hall. There were some unfamiliar young people with her. But before Javier could get a good look at them the door was closed. Javier frowned, then shrugged. 'Maybe I'll see them later.' he thought. He moved up in line a step.
Someone poked Javier's side and he turned sharply. When Javier recognized Mat he grinned. To avoid seeming too rude he leaned to one side to answer the older boy. "When you want a rematch let me know." he said. Javier's accent added a slight emphasis to the 'r' in his statement. While still facing Mat he shuffled backwards to fill a sudden gap in the line. 'So close.' he thought. He stole a quick glance over his shoulder. One more person and then Javier would be able to reach the stack of plates and silverware. He silently urged them on. Further up in line a rather small camp member was giving themselves a generous portion of bacon. But no eggs. 'Odd.'
Javier looked 'forward' again when Mat mentioned new recruits. He nodded toward the far door of the Mess Hall. "Jessica stopped by for a second with two of them. They must be taking the tour." he said. Then it was Javier's turn at the buffet table. He took a plate from the stack and grabbed a fork and knife with his left hand. The first section of the buffet was bread items. Balancing his dish Javier lightly jabbed a still-steaming waffle and set it on his plate.
"The possible new recruits I believe." Mitsuko said brushing her self off she they walked into the forest together. "I;m sure Jess will have yet another sibling to deal with." she laughed softly.
As soon as they set foot in the forest Mitsuko felt more at home. She enjoyed the dark and felt more at home there. She danced around in the dark for a bit stealthing behind a tree so Gary couldn't see her.
Ea passed Gary and Mitsuko with a friendly smile, though Mitsukos look was a little disconcerting.
Regardless , she couldn't exactly stop in the middle of the tour, so she went on to the archery range.
"Odds are that if you're not using a bow or a gun, you won't be using this place all that much." she said.
"But if you do, keep in mind: never go out on the range untill you get the all-clear. If you don't, you're liable to lose an eyebal."
Anny was politely paying attention, but she knew she wasn't going to come here any more than she had to.
Ea realized this, and it wasn't hard to miss the fact that Hunter was even less interested than Anny.
As such, they swiftly moved on to their next stop: the combat arena.
Sadly, there were no fights in progress when they stepped onto the sand of the pit, but the slightly imposing effect of the arena, surrounded on all sides by a three levels of spectator seats, was not lost on the newcomers, or at least not to Anny.
Now, Anny was not all that big on fighting, but there was just something about being dead-smack in the middle of an actual combat arena that got her mind itching. The sand was a distorted mess, with the very occasional dark spot (which Anny could only assume was dried blood), there were a few cracks and holes in the walls surrounding the pit, and the whole place just gave off the air of glory from years gone by.
Again, Anny was not a fighter in any sense of the word, but she did love history, and this came pretty close to genuine archaeology.
Dathne made her way past the cabin area and walked past the combat area.
Noticing movement in the pit, she stopped by for a bit and saw that Ea was there with two of the new recruits.
She said as she came jogging down into the sandy arena.
Smiling, she shook both of their hands and looked at Ea.
"Nice to meet both of you. I'm Dathne. If there is anything you might need, you can find me in Apollo's cabin"
Stepping aside, she brushed her pants and adjusted her shirt. She wasn't wearing her coat now because the heat was so overwhelming.
"But, I need to get to the archery range. I'll see all of you at dinner and we'll talk, okay?"
She left the question hanging in the air as she turned around gracefully and started heading down to the archery range.
"Good to know I'm not the only child. When will I get to meet them?" Alexandros said with a smile before attempting to grow a bunch of grapes and only getting a very small single grape.
"Well at least I know what to work on." He muttered to himself.
"Um... I assume you know about the gods and suchlike? At the very least, Chiron would have told you on the way here".
Kat berated herself momentarily for missing such an obvious answer. A hidden magical camp full of half-gods with amazing powers. At least a few of them would have divine gardening skills. "Uh...yeah, I was given the run-down by Chiron," she responded. "I'm sure there's a bit more to everything than what he told us in the limo". Kat dared a quick glance at Alexandros, the apparent son of Dionysus. She still didn't quite understand how having a father who liked vine-grown fruit translated into being able to make plants grow, but she didn't give it any further thought. "So...is plant-growing the only ability you have, or what?" she asked Alexandros, her tone unintentionally abrasive.
At the edge of the woods, Gary paused for a moment before following Mitsuko, to collect his thoughts and try to come up with a way to talk about how she evidently felt about him. She had mentioned that the way she had made a move on him wasn't the way she normally flirted with guys... perhaps she had had feelings for him for much longer than he had guessed.
Looking back at the forests, Gary took a deep breath and made his way into the trees, not wanting to go too far in lest they encountered something they didn't want to meet. Mitsuko had vanished; that probably wasn't a good sign. "Ah, Mitsuko? Where'd you go?" he called out, looking around but finding no sign of her.
"Oh, you'll meet Lily soon enough, once we finish the tour," Jessica answered Alexandros before turning to Katarina to hear the answer to her question. The younger girl didn't seem to be sure on her answer; perhaps there was more to it, though Jess didn't press the issue as Katarina had already moved on, speaking to Alexandros.
Mitsuko laughed some and jumped on his back reappearing. "I'm right here." Mitsuko said wrapping her arms around him giving him a tight hug. She giggled kissing his cheek like she always did after playing a trick on him. "You forget what I can do." she said.
"Not exactly, it would probably be better if I showed you since explaining would take some time." Alexandros said with a smile before thinking for a brief moment about Jessica, before turning into an exact copy of her down to the smallest of details.
"Short answer is I can copy anybody I can see perfectly." Alexandros said in an exact match of Jessica's voice before turning back into himself.
"Sorry about that, but I must say there are far worse people I could have turned into." He said, obviously flirting.
Kat raised her eyebrow at Alexandros's display of his shapeshifting powers. They were impressive, to say the least. The idea that he could transform into...anyone was a bit unnerving however. "Nice," she replied simply. Kat was a bit relieved that she wasn't asked about her own divine parent or powers; it was still a subject she was a bit reluctant to talk about.
Gary blushed again when Mitsuko kissed his cheek, but quickly returned to normal. Now was not the time to be thinking that way. "Anyways..." he said, gently freeing himself from the hug and turning to face her as he spoke. "We should talk about... well, what happened back at the arena. We've known each other for at least two and a half years, and we've been good friends; you could say we're close-ish. So, um... what was that all about back there, with the flirting and the hand and suchlike?"
Gary's tone was careful: gentle but serious. He wanted Mitsuko to be open with him about her feelings, but didn't want to make her tell him.
Jessica was impressed by Alexandros' shapeshifting ability, but raised her eyebrows at the follow-up comment. "Interesting... And yes, there probably are, but I get what you did just then. I may be a daughter of Aphrodite, goddess of love, but you're not my type. Sorry."
After standing there for a few seconds, feeling the situation was a little awkward, Jessica added, "Let's move on. Got a lot to see," and led the two new demigods away from the fields, eventually coming to a small gap between the camp's lake and the forest edge.
"Simple enough; our freshwater lake and the woods. We won't actually go into the forest; I don't have my knives on me and it's best if you carry a weapon when venturing deeper than the edges. We'll visit the armoury later to find you two some blades of your own."
At that point a woman's head broke the surface of the lake, closely followed by her chest and shoulders. She flipped her blonde hair out of her eyes, adjusted the green robe she wore, and gave Alexandros a wink before she ducked back beneath the surface. Jessica recognised the woman as Marina, the local naiad.
Mitsuko sighed some and looked in Gary's eyes. "I was well flirting with you Gary. I don't know what came over me." she said biting her lip. She wanted to tell him how she felt but wanted to know how he felt first.
"I'm sorry if I messed up Gary." she said looking down at her feet thinking for sure he didn't have feelings for her like she did for him.
"Well my father is an uninhibited god, and it's something I got from him. Never hurts to try." Alexandros said with a shrug and a laugh before following.
"Who knows? Maybe one day I'll find someone willing to take me up on my advances, until then I'll keep trying."
"It's okay, you didn't mess up," Gary answered, gently placing a hand on Mitsuko's shoulder. She didn't react in any way, so he carefully put one hand on her cheek, not wanting to scare her, and tilted her head up to look at him. "Mitsuko, if you... if you have feelings for me..." He stopped there, thinking over his next words. He figured that she liked him, in a way that clearly meant 'more than friends', and he had been looking for a relationship since a few weeks ago.
But Gary had never considered Mitsuko as a potential girlfriend. He had stopped himself every time, believing they were too close as friends and thinking he didn't want to ruin it. But now... now he was thinking differently.
"Um... if you do have feelings for me, and you want to get into a relationship with me, I won't say no. You're a good friend, Mitsuko, and I... I guess I think of you as something more than that."