I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed (ocean?) - nlpiersee, paymenonevermind - Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2024)

Chapter 1: THEY'RE FIGURINES! Or, they will be.

Chapter Text

“I think,” Jason said, looking nervous if Frank was any judge, “I think I’m going to go with you. When you go to share your memories.”

“Really?” Hazel asked excitedly. “What made you change your mind?”

“Believe it or not, talking with Percy and Tyson last night.” Jason chuckled. “Since I’m nearly done with my temple project, Tyson offered to help with the last few steps. Making the figurines for them. I’d rather go over it with him in person, though. Instead of just through IM.”

“Well, we’d love to have you come. From the looks of it, Percy is gonna need all the support he can get. I’m worried about the toll it’s all going to have on him. We’re, essentially, viewing the last five years of his life in like a few short weeks. I’d say he looks like he’s handling it well, but you can never tell with him.” Frank sighed.

“I’m finding it hard to believe that they never noticed how much he was struggling.” Reyna admitted. “They all spent years with him, but never really noticed how little he talked about himself. He’s scarily perceptive, a quick thinker on the battlefield, and an incredible swordsman. It almost seems as though that was all they saw.”

“I’m curious to see what Leo and Piper thought of him the first time they saw him.” Frank said thoughtfully. “I mean, I knew he was something unexpected, but I was thinking he was along the lines of a minor god when he showed up. His aura was insanely strong.”

“I thought so too.” Hazel agreed. “I’m a little shocked he didn’t have more monsters after him.”

“Guys, I don’t know if you can tell me, but I was wondering …” Jason cleared his throat and appeared to be steeling himself for the answer, “how long was he here? In New Rome? I was in Camp Half-Blood, the location of home hidden from me, until it was closer to June when we were meant to take off. So I was there for half a year.”

“Not nearly that long.” Reyna said, frowning. “A week.”

“What?” Jason whispered, his eyes going wide.

“He was only with us a week.” Frank agreed, also frowning. “Considering who he brought with him into camp, I’d say there was godly interference in him arriving. He talked about being on the run for a few months, but-”

“He remembers waking up around April.” Reyna said for him, seeing him struggle. “Which means he had that time with Lupa before being sent to us.”

“He was made Praetor after a week?” Jason asked, uncertainly.

“More like he was made Praetor after killing a Giant with a broken statue’s face.” Hazel corrected. “We had a quest, he came with us, and we made it back just in time for the battle. You’ll get to see it, but he didn’t have long here. Maybe a few days, really.”

“We thought he was here the whole time.” Jason groaned. “We thought, when we all talked at the councils, that he must have been here, training with everyone and working to be accepted here like I was there.”

“I don’t think we could have handled having Percy Jackson here for the amount of time you were there.” Reyna said, making a horrified expression, that made them all laugh.

“Probably not.” Frank nodded. “Should make it interesting when he comes out here for college.”

“Gods, don’t remind me.” Reyna groaned, shoving her plate away.

“He wasn’t trying to take your place or anything.” Frank added, trying not to laugh at Reyna anymore. “He also hated being compared to you and I’m pretty sure if he’d been here that long, he’d have murdered Octavian.

“Eh,” Hazel shrugged, “no real loss there.”

“Who was all here? When he got here, I mean.” Jason asked, pushing his own plate away.

“Honestly? Nico showing up the day he got here was pretty chaotic.” Hazel said, blowing a raspberry. “I could tell that he knew him, but since Percy didn’t have his memories, he couldn’t place him. Pretty sure he was planning to kick his ass for not saying anything.”

“And yet he was determined to save him when we found out he was missing.” Jason pursed his lips. “Nico’s gonna be pissed at me for that, isn’t he?”

“Nah, he knows it’s in the past. He knew, since he knew about both camps, that it would eventually catch up to him. Not his fault, since dad made him swear oaths to keep it secret.” Hazel replied, giving him a soft smile.

“Wait until you see the War Games.” Frank laughed, making Hazel laugh and Reyna snort and roll her eyes. “It was epic, and so much fun. The first time the three of us teamed up together and we totally owned the field.”

“Well, I’m totally down for this whole protecting Percy thing.” Jason sighed. “Dude really needs someone looking out for him since he doesn’t seem to do it for himself.”

“He’s so bad at it!” Frank agreed. “Like, I get he’s a little older than all of us, and that he’s used to keeping things to himself, but still. Everyone over there seemed to treat him like a leader or a disease. There is no in between.”

“That’s not entirely true.” Hazel argued. “Those Aphrodite girls and that one guy, Beckendorf, they treated him like their little brother.”

“And then he goes and practically adopts Nico, Bianca, Thalia, and us.” Frank chuckles. “It’s like he’s collecting his own demigod family.”

“You and your sister look nothing alike, by the way.” Reyna said, holding her glass as she drank.

“Can’t really explain that one.” Jason shrugged. “Pretty sure I must look like mom, because Thalia looks a lot more like dad. It’s weird to think about. Percy looks like his dad, like a nearly perfect replica, Thalia looks like dad, and Nico looks like his dad. Almost like they’re all replicas poised to replace them if they don’t get their sh*t together.”

“I’d rather not think about Percy Jackson as an actual god yet, thank you very much.” Reyna stated, wrinkling her nose.

“He’d be so chaotic.” Frank nodded, grinning at the idea. “What do you think he wished for? After he turned 16, I mean. Everyone keeps mentioning a wish, and an oath, but what do you think it was?”

“To claim their kids, maybe?” Hazel said uncertainly. “They said something about claiming them by the time they were 13, which apparently wasn’t a thing before.”

“The extra cabins were part of it, too.” Jason stated. “But no one really talked about it. Not to me, anyway. So claiming their kids by 13, cabins for all the gods, not just the Olympians, what else? Because I don’t see him stopping at just those two things.”

“Probably something ridiculous.” Reyna muttered. “Like not being threatened with death every year.”

“Yeah, I don’t get that.” Frank said, frowning again. “How the heck did they expect their kids to want to fight for them when they have been threatening the person they look up to the most in camp? I mean, from what it looks like, all it would take is one word from Percy and they’d turn on the gods altogether.”

“It does seem that way.” Hazel sighed. “I kinda wish we could be there for the part they’re doing now, but I get why it’s not as important yet. So. What is our plan to get there when this part is over? Because it’s a long trip, and I don’t know that we could fly if time is more or less frozen outside of our camps right now.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Fates just collected us and dropped us off.” Reyna said with another heavy sigh. “Seems like something they would do, since they want to protect Percy. I am honestly getting more curious about these other pantheons he keeps mentioning. How does one child of the sea find himself in so many situations that cross godly boundaries?”

“Right?” Frank asked, glad that someone else was curious as well. “I mean, Roman, he was sort of dropped into, but Egyptian? Norse? I really want to know, but also, kind of don’t.”

“And that’s not even considering his unknown heritage.” Hazel added. “No one seems to know where he’s descended from. How many of his powers are from those other pantheons or were common in Poseidon’s other children? I never knew that one demigod could do all that he does.”

“His healing with water is very cool, and I imagine, super helpful. And not needing anything to direct ships? Gods that would have been good to know more about when we were traveling. I wish we’d have known more about it so we could have had more faith in him doing it. We were all kind of sh*tty to him about wanting to be in the air.” Jason sighed.

“We really were.” Hazel agreed.

“Considering how little everyone seemed to know about him,” Frank said hesitantly, “it makes me wonder how much anyone actually talked about him around even Piper and Leo before coming here.”

“On that note,” Reyna said standing up, “we should be getting back. We won’t get our answers gossiping about it. Let’s go and continue watching Percy Jackson being … well … Percy Jackson.”

“Causing issues and fixing them as he goes.” Frank hummed, smiling when Hazel linked their fingers as they headed back.

Chapter 2: Finders Keepers, Grover.


Nico isn't really ready for everyone to see his younger self, let alone his sister that was gone.

No one is really ready to hear how Percy felt about any of what happened.


For those of you new to the series, welcome! We have the entirety of PJO already written, along with the short stories. We've decided on posting a chapter pretty much every day and taking a few days off once we reach the end. Once HoO is all done, we'll post it as well, but don't be surprised if there's a bigger gap between The Last Olympian and the The Lost Hero.

Chapter Text

“Before we start again,” Thalia said, standing in the middle of the amphitheater once everyone was back from lunch, “I’ve already apologized for being a dick to Percy during this whole thing. After camp let out, I sort of … only heard bad things about him and decided he was the problem. That camp would have been fine if he hadn’t been around. I was presented with few facts, and a sh*t-ton of opinions. I blamed him for things that weren’t his fault, but he’s managed to forgive me.”

“Because-” Percy started, but yelped when Thalia shocked him.

“No ‘because’. None. You forgave me, I accepted, we’re good now. But I’m making the announcement so I don’t get included in your f*cking prank war for hurting your feelings.” She said firmly.

“I will not be accepting or acknowledging any comments about my younger self, either.” Nico said, standing up beside Thalia, who was trying not to smirk at him. “I was 10, I was in a new place, and found out, essentially, that my favorite game was real. I’m not that kid anymore, and you’ll probably know why by the end of it.”

“I will also not be answering any questions.” Artemis said, standing up by the Hunters. “I did what had to be done. I trust Perseus.”

Percy gave her a small grateful smile which she nodded at. Once everyone was sitting down again, Percy dug his mostly salvaged bag of cookies out of his hoodie pocket and handed one to Thalia and Nico since they were sitting together for what was about to happen. It involved the three of them, after all.

Percy grumbled under his breath about all the baby stories his mom had told, but Thalia just ruffled his hair and snickered at him. Everyone was chuckling and giggling at how young Percy was embarrassed about his mom fussing over him when she dropped them off. Will laughed when he thought about burying himself in the snow if she told another baby story.

“That’s completely fair.” He said, once he’d calmed down a little more.

“I stand by that.” Thalia said, agreeing with herself about how cool Percy’s mom is.

Percy mimicked Thalia’s retort back to her, but she only rolled her eyes, shoving a cookie in his mouth, making him laugh around it. Thalia and Percy both stiffened a bit when they were inside the hall.

“I didn’t feel anything.” Annabeth said, frowning at them.

“I don’t know how you couldn’t.” Nico said, shivering a little. “It was hella strong.”

“Wonderful.” Travis grumbled, now wearing a sort of gladiator skirt with his bedazzled shirt and colored hair that Tyson had rigged up for the whole cabin. “If those three are feeling it, then it’s something old, and definitely not good.”

“Look at you being clever.” Katie teased, leaning over to him and making him blush.

“I can be clever.” He argued, shoving Connor when he started snickering and making kissy faces at him.

When Thorn appeared, Percy, Thalia, and Nico all growled, causing anyone sitting near them to back up a little. They didn’t really care. None of them liked Thorn; he’d caused each of them pain in one way or another. Thalia looked over at Percy in annoyance for his younger self noticing the Mist hadn’t worked on the monster. He shrugged unconcernedly.

“Magic works weird around me, you already know this.” He stated.

“And it doesn’t work on monsters, especially not ones used to fighting against or with it.” Hazel added from the Roman side.

“Also that.” Percy said, snapping his fingers, making Thalia roll her eyes at him.

“I’m kind of disappointed you didn’t ask about that out loud.” Grover chuckled as young Percy thought about his shirt saying ‘GRUNT’.

“Just didn’t want to draw more attention to myself from this weirdo.” Percy said, pointing his thumb at Thalia who huffed at him.

“Wait a second,” Lou Ellen said, sitting up when Nico and Bianca were pointed out in the memory, “Grover found all of the kids of the Big Three?”

“He sure did.” Percy said proudly.

“It’s not a big deal.” Grover said half-heartedly, but his face was bright red.

“It’s a huge deal.” Thalia argued. “Makes you the best satyr ever.”

“And a good friend.” Nico agreed, bumping fists with Percy and Thalia.

“I hate you three.” He bleated.

“You love us.” Percy argued, grinning at him crookedly.

“Imagine how boring your life would have been without us.” Thalia agreed.

“Besides, you can’t take it back. Finders keepers.” Nico added, grinning at him. Grover rolled his eyes but he was smiling about it. Percy could tell how pleased he was by their comments, deep down.

“Um,” Piper said, raising a hesitant hand, “did we all know that Nico had a full blooded sister already?”

“What exactly were you told when you got here?” Percy asked incredulously, holding onto Nico.

“You were missing, Olympus was closed, Giants were rising, here’s your quest?” Leo answered, but it was more of a question than anything.

“Right, I get that.” Percy said, trying not to grit his teeth, “but you were here for like six months before you came to get me, Frank, and Hazel. Even with construction, there were still campers here who would tell the stories. You still would have had to learn our history, how Camp became what it is, right?” Percy looked around at the older campers. “Right?” He demanded.

“There weren’t a lot of kids here.” Clarisse said, eyes fixed on Annabeth. “There usually aren’t during the school year. Anyone available was working on the ship with Leo. If they weren’t, they were planning new defenses against potential attacks. Annabeth oriented Piper, Chiron took Jason, and Will had Leo at first, but his cabin was supposed to fill him in. They might have, they might not have. He didn’t really surface when he was binge-building.”

“What-” Percy started, but Nico put a hand on his arm.

“Let it go. It’s not worth it. None of them know who she was, and now they can find out. It’s better this way.” He said gently.

“I’m glad I’m finally getting to see who my sister was.” Hazel agreed, looking like she very much wanted to hug Nico so she just hugged Jason when he wrapped an arm over her shoulders.

“Fine. I’ll let it go.” Percy said reluctantly. “For now.” Nico sighed but nodded his acceptance.

A few campers snickered at young Percy trying to make small talk with young Annabeth, which was pretty amusing, looking back. He had no idea how to talk to girls, let alone Annabeth, back then. Percy sighed heavily as he felt all that he felt back then. How left out and ignored and forgotten. Thalia and Nico leaned against him in support, knowing he wasn’t choosing to feel that way currently. Hades only managed to roll his eyes at young Percy’s thoughts regarding Annabeth’s tone about San Francisco.

“Why didn’t you just say you didn’t know what I was talking about?” Annabeth asked in confusion and frustration.

“Why should I?” Percy defended. “The times I tried talking to you for the MONTHS you lived in the same city as me, you ignored me. At camp you were always giving me tiny clues about various things because you knew them from being at camp, year round, for five years. This sh*t isn’t covered, or wasn’t, when I was actually around during the summers. I mean, I only went on this mission because Chiron had a bad feeling about it and I could sense how anxious and nervous Grover was. Plus, I was the only one with the means to get us there. Neither of you were old enough to drive, so you couldn’t use Mr. D’s SUV. I wasn’t there because you all wanted me there. I was a means to an end.”

“What? No you weren’t.” Grover argued, but Percy sighed heavily.

“I really was.” Percy said, leaning forward. “No one here told me sh*t, even when I figured it out on my own, until after the Battle of Manhattan. And even that was only because everyone figured we were all probably going to die anyway. I’ve learned, probably 70 to 80 percent of the sh*t I learned, on the move. Probably more. I learned by surviving, not because anyone felt the need to help me. Thalia came back and was suddenly the focus again. She was the older kid of the Big Three at the time, so the prophecy was obviously about her, not me.

“It was like, ‘who cares what happens to Percy Jackson, now’? It’s not like I made myself a target for Kronos already by this point. Something several of you have pointed out to me on multiple occasions. Before you all dropped me. You want to argue, say that you didn’t drop me, didn’t more or less abandon me? Fine. Say whatever you need to say to feel better about how sh*t went down. If I hadn’t brushed off how much any of you doing that hurt, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I don’t like being angry and I don’t like holding onto things that make me feel like crap; especially when I didn’t do anything wrong. So, no, Annabeth, I wasn’t going to ask what you were talking about. I didn’t need another person in my life treating me like the second choice I’ve always been, let alone like an idiot.”

The amphitheater was silent for a little while, and Percy cleared his throat, subtly wiping his face. It really had hurt being abandoned like he had been. And after talking with Will he was completely done letting anyone guilt him into apologizing for how they had hurt him. None of it was his fault. It never was. He kept his face turned down when the memories resumed. He didn’t really care how anyone else was reacting to his tirade.

“Oh look,” Nico said sarcastically, breaking the tension, “you finally remembered why you were actually there.”

“Little sh*t.” Thalia grumbled, giving him a light shove.

“I gotta say this real quick,” Percy jumped in, smirking at Nico as he interrupted, “you all have to be quiet when Nico shows up, because I want this memory to last forever.”

“Asshole.” Nico complained, slapping Percy’s head, but he was fighting a smile.

Percy snorted at his internal thought of them being dragged away like kittens. Nico frowned at him, but it didn’t change his mind; they totally looked like that. Even Reyna was grinning.

“You were pretty determined to protect them rather quickly.” Triton commented.

“And that was before he actually met us.” Nico agreed, still frowning, only he looked more thoughtful now.

“I just …” Percy pursed his lips to the side, trying to find the right words, “I felt like I needed to protect them. Like … like they were my responsibility. I don’t know how Thalia might have felt, but it was something I just knew I had to do.”

“I felt it too.” Thalia agreed slowly. “Felt it more around you, though, which is probably why I was so angry around you.”

“Weird.” Percy hummed.

Percy grunted at the force that had been behind the spike that slammed him backwards, his shoulder glowing brightly. Will rushed over and shoved his shirt over his head to get a better look. It had scarred pretty badly compared to some of his others, but was probably one of the less painful injuries. When the monster called him by his full name, several people groaned and ended up tossing coins to Clarisse again. She didn’t comment, just collected and shoved them in her pocket. He could barely see her with his shirt in his face, though.

“Huh.” Nico said thoughtfully. “That’s what you were doing.”

“Yup.” Percy agreed, swatting Will away from him and pulling his shirt back down. “Knew if I could reach Grover we’d probably be alright.”

“I caught some of that, but not much.” Grover said, blushing. “The girls in the gym had caught up to us and were attempting to put ribbons in Thalia’s hair. I thought she was going to murder them.”

“It was kinda funny.” Annabeth agreed with a shaky smile.

Young Nico and Bianca were both standing at young Percy’s back. When the monster called him the Son of Poseidon, both of the di Angelo’s eyes widened and there was a sort of light that flickered over them. Percy touched his ear gently, having forgotten that a spike nicked him there.

“I forgot he said that.” Nico said with wide eyes. “That he had plans for you.”

“Most monsters do.” Percy hummed unconcernedly, frowning when Thalia zapped him. “Ow. What?”

“You didn’t tell us this part.” She accused.

“Well, no.” Percy agreed. “You’ll recall sh*t’s about to go down, so it slipped my mind.”

Percy started snickering when little 10 year old Nico stepped out from behind him a little and threatened to shove the army somewhere. He wrapped an arm around Nico’s shoulders proudly as he blushed furiously. As Thorn continued explaining, the gods started looking at Percy in confusion again. He rolled his eyes. Nico snorted when his sister called both young Percy and Thorn, nuts.

“She wasn’t wrong.” He said with a fond smile.

As the fight started, Percy buried his face in Nico’s shoulder, trying to hide his laughter. Nico shoved at him, but Percy only held onto him more firmly. Even Thalia was laughing as this little kid rattled off Mythomagic statistics. When the helicopter with mortals showed up, Lester sat up a bit more and paid attention. He scribbled some notes down, as if it had something to do with his quest. When he saw Percy watching him curiously, he huffed and rolled his eyes before ignoring him again.

The Hunters cheered when they heard the horn in the memory. Several of the girls looked at Percy in astonishment, making his face feel warm.

“Very perceptive.” Artemis said proudly, grinning at him.

Will and Kayla grumbled about his comparison that they couldn’t shoot that accurately. They didn’t say anything out loud, though, either not wanting to start a fight, or knowing it was true. Thalia and Percy leaned together when Zoe showed up. Even Artemis had a hard time not letting out a small wounded noise.

“They wouldn’t have cared if you got hurt.” Annabeth said softly as she jumped out to stop young Percy and young Thalia from getting attacked. “I’d only just gotten Thalia back, and I wasn’t going to lose her again.”

“We know, Annie.” Thalia told her reassuringly.

Percy was taking deep breaths to try and steady his emotions at having thought he lost Annabeth. He tugged on his hair anxiously, remembering how upset he had been. He felt a little better when the images kept going and young Nico was bouncing around and asking ridiculous questions. Nico pulled his hood up, hiding his face, and leaned against Percy, flipping him off when he snickered at him.

Nico didn’t look up as Zoe offered his sister a different option to camp. Percy soon found himself squished between his cousins as Thalia put her head on his other shoulder, not wanting to watch how mean she had been to him. Young Percy carefully picked up the cap and dusted it off as he looked out over the cliff. Thalia let out a moan of annoyance when young Percy blamed himself for what had happened.

Will huffed when the younger version of his boyfriend commented on how young Percy’s wound was turning green.

“It doesn’t.” Percy chuckled, his face heating up again. “Run out of ink, that is. Never tried it before this summer, though.”

“Good to know.” Nico mumbled, still pressed against his shoulder.

Most of the campers were laughing pretty loudly at young Nico’s incessant questions. Young Percy didn’t even look angry, just fondly annoyed. It was the same as when Tyson had got to camp and asked a million questions, and Percy had done pretty well with them. When Zoe collected young Percy and took him into Artemis’ tent, the amphitheater was dead silent. Artemis had her head held high and was ignoring everyone looking her way. Hermes actually fell over. Percy kind of wanted to ask, but also didn’t really care. He figured it was another one of those weird things that never happened.

When young Percy repeated the ‘I hate middle school dances’ line, Thalia and Nico were shaking against his shoulders as they laughed silently. Percy huffed in annoyance that Zoe knew where to start to begin with and he hadn’t picked it up. When Artemis mentioned needing to alert the Council of the Gods, several of them glowered at Zeus. He had known what was happening and chose to ignore it. He had chosen not to confide in them, as he was meant to.

Artemis still smiled when young Percy asked about goddesses being able to pray, and a few of the other gods grinned as well. It was a nice moment before the conversation turned to Bianca’s choice. Nico just pressed closer to him, taking slow steady breaths. Percy didn’t say anything when he felt his shoulder get a little damp at Bianca sounding wistful at being free of responsibilities. Percy pulled him closer against his side as he felt his own failure about it all crashing in on him. Thalia stretched her arms and hugged both of them.

When the chariot Apollo drove showed up, Lester was blushing bright red. Percy didn’t understand why, but didn’t really care. He was feeling strung out about being a failure already and didn’t have the capacity to figure anything extra out. The gods chuckled a little at the usual argument between Apollo and Artemis and who was older; apparently they had it a lot. Everyone looked at Lester when Apollo was looking at young Percy weirdly.

“I can’t answer anything you might ask about it.” Lester stated in annoyance. “I don’t have the capacity in this mortal form to tell you what I was or wasn’t thinking.”

“I hated when we actually played your team when we got to state.” Connor grumbled at young Percy’s mention of basketball teams.

“Not my fault we were better.” Percy teased.

“Yeah, it was!” Connor argued. “Seriously, it’s like you couldn’t miss! No matter who we had guarding you, you always found a way to Troy Bolten your way out.”

“Sounds like a ‘you’ problem.” Percy chuckled, ducking when a can of soda was thrown at his head. Thalia caught it, though, before it could hit anything and explode.

Once she handed him the soda, she reburied her face in his shoulder knowing what was coming. Percy pursed his lips so he wouldn’t laugh, because he knew why it had been so awful for her, but it was still kinda funny. Looking back at it, anyway. Percy groaned as his stomach swooped along with the crazy driving. He wasn’t alone, though. Tyson and Leo seemed to be having just as hard of a time as he was and they hadn’t even experienced it first hand.

When young Percy mentioned the Oracle, after they successfully landed in the lake, several people looked at him with wide eyes, Chiron and Mr. D included.

“What?” He asked, finally able to speak around his dry mouth.

“There weren’t any lights up there.” They said hoarsely.

“What? Yeah there were. Look.” Percy waved his hand at the images and there was clearly a light where the Oracle was.

“Then she was trying to make sure she had your attention.” Rachel said thoughtfully. “Something. She must have wanted to reassure you in her own odd way.”

“Let’s not think about it like that.” Percy said hesitantly, making a face. The idea of the Oracle wanting to seek him out was not something he wanted to focus on.

Percy felt his anger starting to rise again and clenched his fists. The ground shook a little as he tried taking a few deep breaths. When his younger self walked away from Mr. D, the campers sat up excitedly. Apparently they liked watching him tell off gods.

Travis and Connor cackled gleefully, nearly falling over after young Percy shouted at their director. Nearly everyone was snickering or outright laughing, which was better than what had probably been about to happen. The Sea family breathed a sigh of relief when young Nico broke into the middle of the fight, effectively preventing Dionysus from retaliating against Percy.

A few people were still laughing as young Nico kept rambling to Mr. D about all his statistics in Mythomagic, but some were watching Percy anxiously. He’d eventually gotten the ground to stop shaking, but it had taken a few minutes. When Thalia started opening up to young Percy a little bit, even Annabeth gave her a surprised look. Thalia just huffed.

“We already talked about his creepy superpower thing.” She stated, facing everyone. “A few people end up confessing things to him on this trip, me included. And he also discovers things about us that we wish stayed undiscovered.”

“It’s just so bizarre.” Grover agreed. “Pretty sure he somehow gets Thalia, Zoe, and even Bianca.”

“What usually happened during the games against the Hunters?” Harley asked from the Hephaestus kids who were building something a bit big, from what Percy saw.

“We might have,” Phoebe started a little cautiously, before clearing her throat, “we had a tendency to play by our own rules, not the camp rules. We did not often play well with others, until Thalia became our lieutenant. Most of us had bad experiences with male heroes. Zoe, especially. And we took advantage of the fact that Chiron could not do anything against us without risking offending our Lady.”

“What usually happened,” Travis said, looking annoyed, “is that there were real injuries from swords and staffs as well as arrows. Usually several broken bones, and at least one concussion.”

“Not including when cabins were burned down.” Connor agreed.

“All of which has been apologized for and corrected.” Thalia stated, raising an eyebrow at the Hermes boys. “I don’t play dirty. If we’re going to win, in a game of Hunters versus Campers, we’re going to win fairly. Meaning penalties for injuries.”

“We’re still on for the first game of the summer, right?” Percy asked.

“Obviously.” Thalia scoffed. “Gotta get a game in before you’re living on the west coast.”

“Sweet.” Percy nodded, fist bumping her.

Tyson cheered when the memory continued on, and young Percy decided to call him first. Annabeth smiled fondly at him when he said to tell her hello. Neither young Percy, nor Thalia were eating much, both zoning out frequently throughout the dinner meal.

“Percy,” Thalia said slowly, watching the memory before looking at him somewhat seriously, “what were you thinking about here? Like, really thinking about?”

“It’s probably gonna sound stupid.” Percy sighed, looking down at his hands.

“Humor me.” Thalia encouraged, nudging him with her shoulder.

“Why are there Hunters of Artemis?” He asked, rubbing his hands together. “I mean, it’s a group specially designated for maidens who have often lived hard lives; been abused, abandoned, et cetera. They’re offered this chance to travel and be with other people who experienced similar things, they get to heal together. But, well, you heard what Zoe said earlier; the best boys can do is camp. A f*cking camp.” He exhaled shakily. “A place where we can opt to stay year round if it’s too dangerous or we have nowhere else to go. When my first quest was over, if Medusa’s head hadn’t been sent to me, I can almost guarantee that Mom would have gone to jail for murder, or she would have had to run from Gabe, hiding where she went, leaving me behind or at camp full time.

“Meaning I would no longer have a home. And Camp wasn’t protected when the tree was poisoned. I’d have been in as much danger here as anywhere. There are no other safe options for boys. Regardless of the forswearing romantic relationships. I don’t know, this probably isn’t making any sense.” Percy shook his head. “I had the sh*t beat out of me from three to 12, every time I was home. By a mortal. There was no escape for me if I wanted to protect my mom, though. Why? Why isn’t there something like that for boys? I mean, it’s not the fifth century anymore where girls are sold off as a means to further family legacies.

“Boys are in just as much danger as girls. But no one really cares. The Hunters I met, back then, they accepted Bianca, easy as breathing. A girl who, essentially, had no past. But because I was the wrong gender, I was the enemy? We were all just a bunch of kids, for crying out loud. Why the f*ck should I have been so worried about offending yet another person who would happily pick up where my first step-father left off? I have never,” Percy cleared his throat, taking a deep breath, “I’ve never been accepted like that. Anywhere. I have always had to defend my right to be in the same vicinity as anyone. To be at camp, to be going on quests, to be allowed to f*cking live, even. Anyway. I’ve just always wondered what it was like to be accepted like that. Because I’ve never experienced it. And it looks … nice. Is all.”

Percy picked at his fingers as he looked wistfully back at Bianca being accepted by the Hunters. When he looked around at everyone, several people were crying and hugging each other, while others were frowning at the ground. Even some of the gods were looking thoughtful. Thalia wiped her face and leaned on his shoulder, sighing heavily.

“You’re a really good guy, Percy Jackson.” She said in a raspy voice.

“About time you noticed.” He grunted, grinning when she snickered at him.

“We … we never thought of it that way.” Phoebe said quietly, stroking a hand through Cheyenne’s hair as she cried on her shoulder.

“You were defending other maidens.” Percy replied, still picking at his fingers until Nico and Thalia each stopped him before they could bleed. “Your whole thing is about defending maidens and protecting them. Most of you were escaping males, when you joined. But no one ever really thinks about those of us who aren’t female and still need a chance or a safe place. If Artemis defends young maidens, who defends us? Boys are always taught to rely on themselves, that they need to be tough and roll with the punches. But all it ends up doing is making it so that’s what we expect from life. That that is how we see care and affection.

“Maybe we didn’t get ‘I love you’, maybe we got a broken finger or arm. Maybe we didn’t get an allowance and instead we were expected to pay to even have a blanket to sleep under. Maybe we didn’t see affection between our parents beyond taking a hit when dinner doesn’t turn out right. We should just keep going, though. I’ve got at least a decade of examples of things that I saw in a relationship, that I still have trouble realizing they shouldn’t be accepted. I have about three years of what love between two people looks like in real life, and not on tv. If I’d had the opportunity, at 12 or 13 to join some group that took boys away from bad environments, where we were safe, like the Hunters, I’d have probably done it. Just so I could have what Bianca had, even for five minutes.”

“Gods, this is awful.” Drew sniffed, covering her face before Percy just opened his arms for her and she ran to him and hugged him, her shoulders shaking slightly.

“Sorry, DT.” He whispered, stroking her hair lightly.

“No you’re not.” She sniffled. “You deserve so much better, PJ. I’ve still got most of a year to make up in spoiling you, so just you wait.”

“Whatever you say.” He chuckled, giving her a tight hug before she backed away, wiping her face and sitting back down with the Aphrodite cabin, who all hugged her.

“What was that?” Piper asked curiously, looking between Drew and Percy.

“DT started hanging out with me more, after the labyrinth, whenever she was in the city.” Percy shrugged. “We’d get coffee and she’d scare anyone who tried to hit on her brother while we were trying to have lunch or coffee. Silena came a few times, too. She told me she was kinda harsh to you when you got here, but, well, not really my story to tell. She’ll let you in eventually. Just give her time.”

“He was just gone.” Drew sniffled. “He was meant to meet us at camp, and he never showed up. Then Annabeth lost her whole damn mind looking for him, and I just couldn’t handle it. I’d already lost Silena, then PJ. I thought if I was mean enough, if I hurt enough people, that I’d be sent away. Then I wouldn’t have to have all these reminders that they were gone. I am sorry for how I acted when you got here. But I can’t change it. PJ’s back, though. So I’m good now.”

“I really hate you sometimes.” Nico sighed, leaning against him again.

“I know you do.” Percy agreed, leaning his head on his cousin’s.

“Just so long as we all understand each other.” Thalia added, leaning against them again as well.

Annabeth yelped when young Percy dreamed of her. Artemis looked at him oddly, but otherwise didn’t comment.

“You’re …” Tyson said with a wide eye, “you’re holding the sky.”

“I didn’t know he’d seen that.” Annabeth admitted, tugging on the strand of hair that had gone gray. “It wasn’t long, though. Maybe five minutes. Even though it doesn’t show my replacement yet.”

“Next night.” Percy sighed quietly.

Young Percy stayed awake the rest of the night, unable to get back to sleep. He was looking out of the window at the water when the sun came up, dark circles under his eyes. A few people chuckled when young Percy called Grover a ‘stalker with hooves’, but Juniper was glowering at her boyfriend. Soon enough, Percy was being glared at by Hades, Persephone, and Demeter for his comment, but Artemis was fighting a smile. Which he took as a win. He still wasn’t entirely happy with Demeter or Persephone. He was good with Hades, by now, but it really depended on the day how good that was.

He raised an eyebrow at his Uncle who pursed his lips so he wouldn’t smile. He understood where Percy’s indifference came from and didn’t really care one way or another. Persephone let out an annoyed sigh and looked back at the memories. Apparently she didn’t want to test him, either. Which earned him confused looks from his dad and older brother. Hearing Annabeth had been considering joining the Hunters was a shock to a lot of people. They all looked at her with wide eyes before she glared at them until they turned away.

Percy pursed his lips as he tried not to look at Chiron’s disappointed expression that he was sure his mentor was wearing. When hooves stepped into his line of sight, though, he slowly looked up.

“I am sorry you were not confident about coming to me with a problem. I am sorry that I made you feel like you could not bring your issues or concerns to me. It seems I keep making mistakes with you, Perseus. I am sorry for what happened back then. I will do everything I can to ensure you know you can come to me for anything.” Chiron said, kneeling down in front of him.

“Ok.” Percy choked out, nodding a little.

“I showed you that you could not confide in me. Now I must fix that.” Chiron nodded, putting a hand gently on Percy’s head before he went back to his place.

Rachel coughed as young Percy addressed the Oracle, her eyes shimmering green briefly, causing several people to lean away from her. Percy shivered as he felt the same presence of the coiled snake. Rachel shivered at the same time, as if they were both feeling it. Lester leapt to his feet, looking between them with wide eyes. Percy must have zoned out for a minute or two, because when he blinked his eyes again, Rachel was standing in front of him.

“Uh, sorry.” He cleared his throat. “Not really sure what happened.”

“She wanted to talk to you, but it wasn’t your quest.” Rachel said softly.

“I figured that much out for myself, funnily enough.” Percy croaked, quoting the ‘Harry Potter’ movie because it was the first thing that came to his mind. He wasn’t sure why she was looking at him so curiously. She blinked a few times and stepped back when Leo laughed, as if he’d broken her from a trance.

“I’ll, um, just sit back down.” Rachel said uncertainly, Lester helping her.

“Why did you keep the scarf?” Will asked curiously, looking at Annabeth. Percy tried shaking his head, still feeling out of it, like the snake he’d felt was still wrapped around him, waiting for something.

“I don’t really know.” Annabeth shrugged. “When we got back, I found it in my pocket and Chiron just gave me a tag and said to store it in the attic.”

“Most campers return with a souvenir of some sort.” Chiron stated, drawing attention away from Percy and Rachel who still looked and felt a little out of it, and Annabeth who was fighting not to blush more than she already was. “Sometimes it’s something small, other times it’s something larger, such as the car part that a son of Hermes brought back. The scarf was from Percy and Annabeth’s first quest, the fleece was from Clarisse’s, and it was being used for its purpose, meaning it had no place in the attic. From this quest, Thalia gave me something, as it affected her the most, I believe.”

“Cool, so that stuff is still up there?” Freddy asked, sitting up excitedly.

“It is, yes. Perhaps we can begin telling the stories of the artifacts we hold at camp fires instead of ghost stories?” Chiron asked, the campers all cheering, startling Percy as he was still feeling weird.

“What the f*ck is going on?” He asked, holding his head.

“The Oracle of Delphi has chosen to champion Perseus Jackson along with us, it seems.” The Fates answered, sounding amused.

“I … don’t understand that.” Percy groaned, closing his eyes. “Can you make it stop?”

“It will fade, Perseus.” They said gently, and he felt a caress against his face and melted in relief as the tension and pressure he’d been feeling lessened. As he sagged, Thalia and Nico caught him to keep him from face planting. Again. He was getting a little annoyed at how often it was happening.

“Thank you.” He whispered, letting out a breath of relief, that was echoed by Lester and Rachel who let her head drop in her hands.

“You are welcome, child.” They said affectionately.

“Oof.” Percy blew out, smacking his lips a little, “that felt weird.”

“Your whole life is weird, Perce.” Nico teased, his worried eyes the only thing that betrayed him.

“Fair.” Percy snorted, reaching up and tugging the hoodie strings around his face.

Drew cheered weakly for Silena promising to pulverize the Hunters. Piper reached over and gave her hand a small squeeze and a small smile. Nico and Thalia both groaned when they were brought to attention, burying their faces in Percy’s shoulders, while still holding him upright. Thalia grumbled apologetically against him, and Percy rolled his eyes even if she couldn’t see him. Some of the others winced sympathetically at his younger self’s reminiscence of how badly him being on defense had gone before.

Nico snorted at young Percy’s thoughts that he sounded like his mother, but otherwise didn’t look up or react. The Hunters at least didn’t look very proud of their actions against the campers, but everyone was cheering young Percy on as he got the flag, snickering when he apologized to Bianca, and groaning when he tripped. He’d managed to slash a few of the arrows down before they could hit him, getting very near the creek and looking close to winning. Percy grunted as he remembered the force with which Zoe had run into him. His chest glowed slightly, showing a few cracked ribs. He glared at Will, daring him to check on him, which he reluctantly chose to leave alone.

Percy grunted again as Thalia had shocked him, knocking him back in his seat a bit, jostling all three of them. Percy frowned, looking down. He hadn’t felt the pain, at least, but he was confused as to why he felt some of the force behind the hit. He gripped Thalia and Nico’s hands tightly as he remembered how angry he’d felt about being used as a punching bag, essentially. They held his back just as firmly, helping dissipate some of his emotions so he didn’t blow up the bathrooms again or something. The little kids shrieked with joy when Thalia was doused in the memory, but the three cousins were focusing on their hold on each other instead. It was weird. It was like they were able to lessen their more intense emotions associated with the memories.

“We’re fine.” Percy whispered.

“We’re fine.” Thalia agreed, equally quietly.

As soon as the Oracle appeared in the memory, they slumped against each other, breathing heavily. Someone moved them down to the ground, where they rested back against their former seats, still catching their breath, accepting the small pieces of ambrosia that were given to them.

Chapter 3: Final Girl! Thy name is ... Percy Jackson!


Percy, Thalia, and Nico accidentally make an obelisk, but their father's are actually rather impressed.

Jason gets upset about what Dionysus tells young Percy in the memory when he sneaks away to join the quest. Percy is Percy about it and makes everyone laugh.

Chapter Text

“I’ve never seen anything like that.” Someone said quietly, and Percy blinked his eyes a few times to see that the whole camp was watching them curiously.

“So-” Percy started to say, but was stopped by a hand clamped over his mouth a little roughly.

“Don’t say it.” Thalia groaned.

“That was f*cking weird.” Nico groaned.

“Agreed.” Thalia commented, taking her hand back.

“I always wondered what might happen if we worked together.” Poseidon said curiously, drawing Percy’s attention to a strange looking sight not far from them. There was a sort of sculpture, like an obelisk, standing near the entrance to the amphitheater, now. It had swirls of green and blue, like the brightest colors of the oceans, with lightning racing through it and shadows curling up the sides; the top had the eerie green flames of the Underworld on it.

“I think it’s quite beautiful.” Hades said, walking around it.

“At least we didn’t destroy part of the camp again.” Percy hummed, grinning when Thalia snickered at him.

“I didn’t know we could do that.” Nico yawned, jumping when Percy pinched him.

“No time for naps.” Percy said sternly, chuckling when Nico rolled his eyes at him.

“Fine. I’ll nap at dinner.” Nico grumbled, pulling Percy’s arm back over his shoulder and practically using him as a human pillow.

“After you eat.” Will said sternly, and Nico huffed in annoyance.

“Percy,” Annabeth called hesitantly, forcing him to look at her; he’d never heard her sound so uncertain, or at least, not in recent years, “do you not like it when I call you Seaweed Brain?”

“I mean …” Percy frowned, “you heard what Gabe called me. When you started calling me that, it just reminded me a lot of that. Like you were calling me stupid, only with different words. I’ve gotten used to it, though. And you don’t say it in a mean way. Not like he did. You don’t mean it in a mean way, right?”

“No, no I don’t. I might have the first time, but after that … after the waterpark, it just felt like a nickname. Like what friends call each other. An endearment. But if you don’t like it, I won’t call you that anymore. It’ll just take some time to fix it.”

“‘S fine, Beth.” Percy said, yawning and jumping when Nico pinched him. “Brat.” He directed at his younger cousin who was trying not to laugh. “Let’s keep going or we’ll never get through this, though.”

“Can we talk about that fight, though?” Freddy asked excitedly. “It was soo cool! She totally zapped you, like Thor, and you just stood up like it was nothing, even though your shirt was on FIRE, and then you just picked UP THE ENTIRE CREEK!”

“AND IT WAS ICE!” Dora shrieked, as the little kids jumped around in front of the three laying down.

“Thought he was gonna drop it on me, not gonna lie.” Thalia chuckled. “Did you see him? He didn’t even have to try! I had to concentrate pretty hard to get a direct hit on purpose.”

“We know!” The kids screamed, making Thalia laugh. Chiron eventually had to try and calm them down so they would sit down again, but Poseidon and Hades were looking at the obelisk fondly. Even Zeus was at least looking at it from his seat curiously.

“We make a pretty good team.” Nico hummed, his eyes drooping. Thalia reached over and shocked him awake. He flipped her off when he opened his eyes again. “I’m glad you don’t hit me like you hit him.” he grumbled. “I don’t think I’d be able to take it.”

“He’s made lightning before.” Grover said, grinning at Percy.

“Which will come up later.” Percy argued. “Come on, guys, let’s chill out and keep going. I want to at least reach the train, if we can, before dinner. I’d even take it before bed, at this rate.”

“Stop doing insane sh*t, then, jackass.” Clarisse stated, tossing a couple of bags of skittles on his stomach.

“Nice, tropical flavors.” Percy cheered in a sing-song voice, keeping that pack for himself and handing the other two bags to his cousins. Nico still preferred the original pack, and Thalia liked the sour ones, the weirdos.

Zeus actually stood up when the memory played, showing Artemis struggling under the sky, wrapped in chains. At a stern look from her, he slowly sat back down, not looking particularly pleased. Hades sat down abruptly as the prophecy was spoken. The amphitheater was deadly silent after the Oracle sat down on a rock.

“But,” Holly, one of the Nike twins, said hesitantly, “but whose parent would want to kill them?”

Percy, Thalia, and Nico met each other’s eyes briefly, but the campers all looked at them in shock.

“No.” Jason said firmly, standing up. “No, he wouldn’t do that. None of them would.”

“You already saw that they’ve threatened to kill Percy twice, Jay.” Thalia said carefully. “We don’t believe it now, but it was something we had to consider. We just also didn’t consider that anyone else on the quest might have an immortal parent that wanted them dead.”

“I know this is gonna sound dumb, but what is this ‘Titan’s curse’?” Leo asked, raising a small hammer that he had been playing with.

“Atlas’ burden.” Percy replied quietly.

“Oh.” Leo said, still looking unsure. “But, um, does Annabeth doing that not fit the quest, then?”

“No, it does not.” Artemis interrupted. “She was used to lure me. To trap me. She held it before the quest was issued, so it could not mean her. One of the questers would have to do it. We cannot say more without it being a spoiler.”

“Thanks, Lady Artemis.” Leo said, looking a little afraid of addressing her.

Percy and Grover both frowned at the reminder they’d had to put the mummy back, but didn’t otherwise comment on it. They both snorted at being caught out about what they were thinking about; Grover about Pan, and Percy about Annabeth. Percy recited Thalia’s comment about a council of cabin leaders as annoyingly as he could, making her punch him in the arm in retaliation. When the diet co*ke appeared, they had to pause as all of the seven burst into laughter, aside from Percy, who felt his face heat up. He jumped to his feet, deciding to play along, ignoring Nico’s indignant yelp as he fell sideways into his empty place.

“Tremble before the power of … Diet co*ke!” He shouted, holding out a can, causing Hazel to fall on the Senate floor, while Frank and Jason struggled not to follow after; Piper and Leo were leaning so heavily on each other, they fell over squishing Lacey and Mitchell into Drew, and Annabeth nearly fell on the ground until Malcolm caught her.

“I feel like we missed something.” Will said, causing them to laugh harder, Frank barely managing to stay in his seat as Jason fell to the ground with Hazel finally.

“You had to be there.” Percy shrugged, shooting finger guns at Dionysus, who ducked his pleased smile below his magazine.

“I can’t wait to find out what the f*ck you did that involved diet co*ke of all things,” Clarisse chuckled, “but it better be as good as they make it seem.”

“It was pretty epic, if I say so myself.” Percy sighed, retaking his spot on the ground as Nico’s pillow. “Fought another one of my brothers on that one. Won by using my wit and amazing sense of humor. No one died, either.”

“You’ll love it.” Annabeth finally said, gasping and wiping her face off. “Probably one of the best plans I’ve ever seen him come up with. No casualties, and he honored one of his least favorite gods.”

“How am I not his least favorite?” Dionysus asked, sounding offended at the idea.

“Really?” Percy asked dryly, looking at Hera, then Ares, then Zeus, then back to him. “You’re top five, if it makes you feel better about it. Were top three, until this past year.”

“I’ll have to work on that.” Dionysus huffed, going back to his magazine.

“Please don’t.” Percy groaned, looking at the sky, ignoring the snickering around him.

The Romans still looked amazed at their informal meetings around a ping pong table. Artemis pursed her lips, but she was fighting not to laugh at Thalia and Zoe sniping at each other. Just like everyone in the memory had turned to stare at him, everyone watching had turned to look at him when he made his suggestion. His face burned, but he motioned for them to keep watching. When his younger self explained, everyone looked back at him again, nodding approvingly.

“Well said, Perseus.” Triton commended, making his face feel like it was going to combust.

Several people leaned forward curious about the monster they were discussing and Percy made such a disgusted face about Typhon and Keto being mentioned, that Frank started laughing again and they had to pause.

“Hate both of them. Eugh.” Percy said, wiggling his shoulders a little.

“When did you meet Keto?” Triton asked, sounding exasperated. “Wait, let me guess, you can’t tell me?”

“Nah. Frank can’t either.” Percy agreed, winking at Frank who had turned red, though he was still laughing a little.

“You’re welcome.” Connor said, acknowledging how his younger self had said they were the ones in trouble, not him. “Besides, we weren’t any better off than the Ares kids after that game. Needed time to heal.”

Phoebe only rolled her eyes as the young Stolls said they had something for her. She accepted she deserved a prank. Percy ignored all the looks he was getting about being left out, how Zoe had vehemently disagreed with him coming simply because he was a boy. He’d already said what he needed to say about it and wasn’t going to defend himself again. When his younger self said he felt like he needed to go, Rachel nodded along in her creepy Oracle-agreement-way she did.

As Grover and Chiron ambushed young Percy in his cabin about the quest, Percy just folded up his empty candy wrapper and put it in his pocket. He really didn’t like feeling what he’d felt back then. He felt awful. He felt like a failure, even though he hadn’t actually done anything but sort out the people going.

When Paul made his appearance as young Percy called his mother, several people cheered. Percy just smiled fondly at the memory. Paul hadn’t known it, but it was the first time he’d seen his mom practically on a date and having a good time, let alone the first time he’d more or less met the man. When she told her son he should do what he thought was right, Chiron grumbled a little in annoyance. He had been counting on her to talk him into just going home.

Annabeth’s siblings leaned against her more when young Percy dreamed what was happening in the cave. When she was saved from the burden, they breathed a sigh of relief, but the Hunters became anxious, now that Artemis was under it. When Luke argued against killing young Annabeth who was still not moving on the ground, there were some more sighs of relief. Percy watched the images curiously, though. Luke had gotten up and walked off once he was freed. Percy had had to do the same thing.

“How-” Percy started, but his voice was cut off, like he was going to be speaking a spoiler. “Never mind, I guess.” He cleared his throat.

When the dream was over, and everyone got to hear Blackjack, they started chuckling about his word choice. Triton pursed his lips; hearing Blackjack call him boss, again, was apparently amusing. When he thought he wouldn’t be coming back to the cabin very soon, he got a few side-eye looks. A few people gasped when he took a dive off the back of the pegasus and into the water. Even Triton let out an exclamation of annoyance as he sensed various heat signatures around him.

“You shouldn’t be able to see all that.” Amphitrite said, her head tilted curiously.

“I feel like you are going to be saying that a lot.” Percy retorted, holding up a finger. “Probably best to just make a list like a lot of other people are doing about all the weird sh*t I end up doing or seeing.” She nodded and summoned something that her and Triton began scribbling on.

Triton snickered at the hippocampi dragging young Percy over and more or less begging him to free the strange creature. When they called him ‘lord’, Percy blushed and ducked down into his hoodie. Triton laughed at him again, so Percy made a small gesture with his head, dousing his brother in ice cold sea water.

“Oh really?” Triton asked, looking at Percy challengingly. Percy grinned and whistled a low tune as the water wove around him and froze. He’d really wanted to try doing something like Yondu in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but he did not want to test it with an actual arrow. Making one out of water and manipulating it, though? Totally on.

“Quit telling them to call me that.” Percy said, still grinning when Triton frowned down at the ice.

“That’s new.” Nico hummed.

“Alright, Katara, we see you.” Leo chuckled, holding his flaming palm up and nodding at him appreciatively.

“Yeah, I really probably shouldn’t watch so many Marvel movies, or cartoons, not gonna lie.” Percy admitted, whistling again as he made an arrow out of water and floating around the amphitheater so the kids could see it more closely. He froze it and dropped it in Freddy’s hands, since he was in the middle of the younger kids. “Played around a bit with boiling and freezing since I can’t tell the difference in surface temperatures of water by touch very well, unless it’s extreme, anyway. Was pretty easy, honestly. Mom kinda loves not having to wait for water to boil when she’s cooking, but she also gets annoyed if I get distracted while helping and it goes cold again or boils over.”

“That’s fair.” Thalia snorted.

“Oh man,” Grover said excitedly, laughing as he looked at Percy like he’d given him a present, so Percy sat up, “you should have seen-”

“Nothing!” Percy growled, throwing the soda can at his friend, who barely caught it because he was laughing too hard. “Nothing, you didn’t see sh*t, either, best friend.”

“Fine, fine.” Grover sighed, taking a bite out of the empty can.

“Now we really wanna know.” Travis said, crossing his arms.

“Too bad.” Percy shrugged. “Best friend privileges. He happened to come by when I thought I was gonna be home alone, and saw me playing around with water in the house. That’s all you need to know.”

“You’ll tell us, though, right?” Dora pleaded, looking at him with wide innocent eyes. He tried to look away, but he only caught sight of the other kids looking at him hopefully too, as they played with the frozen arrow. He bit his lip as he felt his resolve crumbling.

“It was something fun, wasn’t it?” Tyson asked, adding his own hopeful eye to the group, and Percy knew resistance was futile.

“It was something fun.” He sighed. “Fine, I’ll show you later some time, ok?”

“Ok!” They all cheered happily. Triton slipped Tyson a candy bar, a proud smile on his face. Tyson didn’t seem to understand, but he looked pretty happy about it.

“Dam kids.” Thalia said quietly, making him snort.

“With their dam eyes.” Percy agreed, while Thalia snickered.

“You’re just a dam sucker.” Grover added, all three of them chuckling as everyone else stared at them in confusion.

“It’ll come up.” Thalia said once she calmed down. “Which blows, but, whatever.”

When a ‘moo’ sounded underwater in the memory, it caught a lot of people off guard. As Bessie made his appearance, there were a lot of muttered comments and questions. Which stopped and devolved into giggle fits when young Percy said he only spoke horse. Bessie fought pretty hard when young Percy pulled his sword out, which he quickly put away so as not to scare him any further. Percy’s hands glowed brightly as he spent a long while untangling the net by hand until Bessie was free. Once he was safe, the kids cheered as he flipped around before coming back and nuzzling up against young Percy gratefully.

When he got to the surface again, and practically jumped onto Blackjack, he got a lot of incredulous stares, aside from the Stolls, who held up small boards with number scores on them. He rolled his eyes as several other kids got some, too, apparently planning to score his stunts from then on. Nico grumbled and leaned back, closing his eyes as young Percy spotted him spying on his sister. Nico snorted and giggled when young Percy thought he was ‘pulling a Grover’. His best friend, however, was less amused.

“You jackass!” Grover shouted, throwing an apple at him, then a pear, then a bunch of strawberries, which he caught and collected in his pocket.

“Don’t get mad, you know it’s true.” Percy chuckled. “He was totally pulling a Grover, which only became a thing after I saw how you were around the Hunters initially. So really, it’s your own fault.”

The Stolls frowned at the mention of their prank, trying not to glare at Aphrodite, but several people caught it.

“Don’t ask.” Percy stated, preventing the question. “It’ll come up, I promise.”

Percy pursed his lips as Zoe said she had a feeling they shouldn’t pick someone else. Nico punched him in the arm as he scared his younger self by just appearing out of thin air. Percy sighed heavily as young Nico said he could follow them instead. Nico smirked proudly as young Percy admitted he couldn’t lie to him. When young Nico told young Percy he had to promise, Thalia looked at them in surprise. They didn’t say anything, though. Even Will sat up, looking at Nico and Percy in shock when young Percy finally promised to do his best.

Nobody interrupted, though. They just kept going until Blackjack appeared and he and young Percy took off. There was some snickering at their conversations about donuts, but mostly everyone was just watching. Dionysus ducked down in his seat as he showed up. Instead of arguing, young Percy went straight for a legitimate question, making the other campers look at each other and then the god in question curiously. As he told his story, Poseidon and Triton were both glowering at the god of wine angrily. Even the kids were looking at him in annoyance. As he started listing off all the things he knew heroes to be, several kids even growled. Jason might have electrocuted someone slightly, if the yelp on the Roman side was anything to go by.

“No wonder he felt he wouldn’t be missed if he’d died all these years.” Jason growled, standing up and glaring at Dionysus. “Since he’s met you, you’ve only seen him as Theseus. You’ve added to the mental and emotional abuse he was trying to recover from, not to mention the physical abuse. You were a demigod once. You know how hard our lives can be. You have no right to place your anger or disappointment on Percy, or any of us. And if I ever hear you, or any of the gods, say that you hope he dies … you better figure out who it is you’re meant to pray to for mercy.”

“What he said.” Thalia agreed, lighting tracing up her arms until it somehow encircled her, Nico, and Percy. Nico’s fire joined it as well.

“For the record,” Percy chimed in, “I wasn’t even supposed to be at camp, since it was winter. Two, I was leaving that morning anyway, so you were also pulling a Grover and stalking me; and C, how hot was Jason just now, threatening the gods?”

“f*ck you, Jackson.” Jason snorted, trying not to laugh, blushing all the way to his hair.

“What? You were. Standing up for me AND threatening a god? Someone hold me!” Percy said dramatically, falling across Thalia and Nico who had lost any composure they had, laughing at him. “Gave me tingles all over.” He added, shivering exaggeratedly.

“It was pretty hot, superman.” Leo said, barely able to get the words out as he laughed.

“Praetor Jackson,” Reyna said, with a heavy sigh, looking at Percy, “please do not corrupt my people into acting as you do with the gods.”

“It’s their fault, not Percy’s.” Jason argued, sitting down and frowning at Hazel who was laughing at him.

“It’s true,” she agreed, grinning widely, “there is just something about being around Percy that sort of brings it out.”

“Makes you understand why he says and does what he says and does.” Frank agreed, smiling fondly at Hazel, before looking at Percy. “They’ve treated him like crap and all he does is defend himself. It’s not his fault he has no filter or tolerance for any of it.”

“Ok, ok.” Percy said, feeling his face heat up. “We get it. I make you all feel overconfident and protective. Let’s move on.”

“Why? Don’t want us to talk about the ways we’d wrap you up and hide you away from the world to protect you like you would us?” Hazel replied, raising an eyebrow. Percy’s face was definitely on fire now.

“I don’t know if we have room for a ‘PJ Protection Club’ meeting on the schedule tonight,” Malcolm said, biting his lip to keep from laughing or smiling, “but we could pencil it in for Saturday, after dinner, if that works?”

“Please tell me you don’t actually do that?” Percy whined, covering his face and leaving his fingers apart enough he could look at everyone.

“Maybe, maybe not.” Annabeth shrugged, scribbling another note. “Can’t tell you. Because the first rule of the club would be that Percy Jackson does not know about it.”

“Sorry, Kelp-head.” Thalia chuckled, ruffling his hair. “We can move on, though. Thanks, Jay. If you hadn’t said that, I probably would have, and it wouldn’t have been as put together.”

“Anytime.” Jason chuckled, smiling a little, clearly pleased with himself and his sister’s approval.

Young Percy promised to buy the pegasus donuts a little later once Dionysus had left them alone. When he talked about getting some hot chocolate, Percy’s stomach rumbled, making him blush and Thalia and Nico snickered at him. Hestia passed around some hot chocolate though, smiling softly at him as she handed him, Thalia, and Nico theirs personally. Even Percy had to laugh a little at his thoughts on how old cars were.

When Blackjack dropped young Percy off, Amphitrite sent Percy a candy cane for his hot chocolate, and Triton added some chocolate and peppermint shavings on top of a new dollop of whipped cream. Percy blushed but gave them each a grateful smile. He wouldn’t risk Blackjack like that if he could help it. The Hunters, Thalia, and Grover all sat up eagerly when young Percy followed whoever had been following their quest group instead of them. When they turned and went to another door, the air in the amphitheater grew tense. Even though young Percy thought it said ‘pirate’ event at first. Nico commented on it under his breath, but otherwise no one else said anything.

Percy finished off his drink, and was enjoying the candy cane when he realized everyone was staring at him again.

“Um.” He said, looking to see what exactly he missed. “Yes?”

“This is how you knew what a Spartoi was?” Frank asked, clearing his throat.

“Oh, yeah. These were much creepier than Gray was. Hundred percent.” Percy agreed.

“This whole thing is creepy.” Annabeth muttered, rubbing her arms. “I don’t know how you stayed quiet so long.”

“Honestly, there was too much going on to really stay focused on one single thing. I didn’t have the capacity to think about making noise.” Percy shrugged. “It felt a lot like watching a horror movie come to life. And I’m totally final girl material.”

“Oh my gods.” Nico groaned, covering his face with his hands.

“He has a point.” Jason said, with a crooked grin.

“Hell yeah I do.” Percy agreed, pumping a fist up in the air.

“Hear, hear!” The campers all cheered, making him smile a little.

“Dare I ask what a ‘final girl’ is?” Aphrodite asked curiously.

“Oh-” Percy started, but Thalia slapped a hand over his mouth again.

“A final girl is the hot one who survives the horror movie. Like Jamie Lee Curtis did in the ‘Halloween’ movies, or Neve Cambell in ‘Scream’, or well, any hot girl who makes it through to the end of the movie in one piece.” Thalia replied, finally moving her hand.

“Fitting.” Aphrodite giggled.

When the kittens popped up, Annabeth and Percy both bit their lips, not wanting to remember Small Bob, but it wasn’t easy.

“Sybaris.” Lester mumbled, furrowing his brow as the General said the name. “I know that name.”

“Rumored to be the monster attacking livestock and people around Delphi,” Percy said absently, chewing that last bit of his candy cane, “they were told by Apollo, since they’d prayed to the Oracle, that in order for it to stop, a young man needed to be sacrificed. But his boyfriend stopped that from happening and killed it, saving him and the people of the area, by throwing the monster off the mountain, where a freshwater spring was created. No one could really identify whether it was a type of dragon or what, since it is also called a ‘Lamia’ in some of the myths.”

The amphitheater was pretty much silent as they all stared at Percy with wide eyes, but he was too busy resituating Nico so he wouldn’t go to sleep on him. Honestly, any time he used his powers anymore, he needed a good like half a day to recover. When Nico was sitting up more against his side instead of practically asleep, Percy looked up and saw everyone staring.


“How the f*ck do you know that?” Connor exclaimed.

“Oh, the story?” Percy frowned. “I … don’t know. Huh. Must have been one of those documentaries mom or Annabeth had on while I was baking and it just sort of stuck. Or a podcast, I guess. I’m better at remembering things I’ve heard than read, so it’s probably one of those. Either way, not really relevant.”

“It’s a connection to the Oracle.” Lester said, looking confused and pained as he tried to remember. “I just wish I knew what it meant.”

“Can’t help you, man.” Percy shrugged. “Not all the sh*t I remember is actually useful in the situation I remember it in.”

They all stayed quiet as the memory continued, the spartoi finally breaking out of the ground and standing up. They looked just as creepy as Percy remembered. When young Percy scattered the warriors, and Luke announced it was him, Percy rolled his eyes.

“Of course it’s Prissy,” Clarisse scoffed, “no one f*cks up enemy plans quite like he does.”

“You’re welcome.” Percy nodded, grinning when a few people chuckled. Once the warriors had his torn piece of shirt, Percy stood up. “We’re breaking for dinner, because I am starving. Plus, Nico needs to eat. Lady Hecate, if you wouldn’t mind pausing for an hour?”

“No problem, Perseus,” She said, giving him a small smile, “have fun at dinner, children.”

Percy picked Nico up over his shoulder and carried him all the way to the dining pavilion, dropping him on a bench at the Poseidon table.

Chapter 4: Freeze dried space food isn't animal friendly


Percy shares his fun thing with the kids so they can see what Grover and him were talking about.

The questors encounter the Nemian Lion and get through Cloudcroft before stopping for the night.

Chapter Text

“Can you show us now?” Freddy asked, bouncing on his feet as he stood beside the Poseidon table where Nico was barely propped up by his hand on his chin.

“Whoever taught you those innocent eyes,” Percy said in annoyance, “I seriously wanna fight ‘em. Fine. Let’s head down by the creek, because it’ll be easier nearer the water.”

The kids all bounced along behind him, Grover glaring at any of the older kids who tried to follow, and Tyson blocking their way. Honestly, at this point, he didn’t really care if they saw. It was something that he was working on to play with his new sister, so if they all saw, they all saw. Whatever. He wiggled his fingers a bit at the creek, urging a few tendrils of the water up, drawing the attention of some of the Naiads.

“I did both parts when I was messing around with this, but I’m gonna have someone else do those parts this time.” The Naiads looked up excitedly, pushing each other over to get to help out. He cleared his throat, but stopped and rolled his eyes when Grover got his reed pipes out and started playing along. “I admit that in the past I’ve been a nasty.” Percy sang, honing his best Ursula, making Flotsom and Jetsom out of water to float around him.

He’d managed to whip up some wind around them that was tropical storm level, not hurricane, just to add some dramatic flare. Between the wind, the steam, and the water floating around the kids were screaming and cheering for him when he finished. Grover cheered and whistled for him, too.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re welcome.” Percy chuckled. “Now let’s get back before anyone comes looking for all of us.”

“That was amazing!” The little kids screamed running back to the amphitheater. Percy jumped on Grover’s back, grinning when he rolled his eyes at him. When they got to their seats, Grover straight up dropped him on the ground, flipping him off, before going to his own seat.

“Must you have chosen that particular song?” Triton asked in faux annoyance.

“Oh, yeah. Absolutely.” Percy nodded seriously. “I’m not a bad guy, but everyone thinks I am, so why not let loose a little? Besides, when my sister is here, she’s gonna do the Ariel part. We’re gonna kill the songs together.”

That’s what that was?” Austin asked incredulously. “You’re telling me the creepy good song we heard was you being Ursula?”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Percy shrugged. “Let’s get this going again, though. I want to be to our train ride, at least, before bed. That way we’re on track to be done tomorrow. Probably. Depending if we need to take a longer break after certain … moments.”

“I’ll need a longer break.” Nico stated, raising a hand up.

“I will as well.” Hades nodded, clearing his throat as everyone caught on to what that would mean.

“Oh gods.” Piper muttered quietly, a hand over her mouth.

“Yeah.” Percy sighed. “I’ll probably need longer too, since I’m feeling everything the same as I did then.” He blew out a long breath and leaned back against Nico’s legs, since his cousin was sitting behind him. “Lady Hecate, if you would start us off again, please?”

“Certainly, Perseus.” She nodded, waving her hand to restart the memories.

Young Percy ran through the museum, searching for any sign of the questors before he ran straight into Thalia, knocking her into an exhibit. When the Hunters insisted on arguing with young Percy, keeping their bows pointed at him, several of the campers started shifting in their seats, getting anxious. As young Percy said ‘illusions don’t crack marble floors’, the amphitheater was filled with nervous chuckles. As the monster appeared, a few people gasped, but a few more were scribbling notes down as young Percy reminisced about seeing it, even briefly, on another quest.

Percy growled with his younger self when he saw how much trouble his friends were in. His arm glowed slightly as if the monster’s claws had actually gotten him and he just hadn’t noticed it. Which was entirely possible. Everyone remained quiet while his younger self jumped from exhibit to exhibit toward the ground floor, coming up with a plan. He shouted out directions to the Hunters and Grover, and they all followed what he said, not questioning him as he kept moving, kept running. The kids were barely containing their excitement as they caught on to what young Percy was doing, while everyone else looked at him in stunned confusion.

Young Percy pitched the freeze-dried space food packets into the Lion’s open maw perfectly, it earned him cheers and scores from the Hermes and Ares cabins ranging from six and a half out of ten to perfect ten’s. When the Lion was gone, and the questors safe, the amphitheater erupted in cheers. Percy blushed and hid half of his face in his hoodie.

“That was insane!’ Several kids cheered.

“I don’t think anyone else could have thought of something so chaotic.” Frank agreed, trying not to laugh too hard.

“You managed to get rid of a historic monster, get the Hunters on your side, and save all the people in the museum, while being the disaster you are.” Nico chuckled, tugging on his hair lightly.

“It worked.” Percy argued, but it only made people laugh more. When he tried giving the spoil of war to Zoe, the Hunters cheered him on while Artemis gave him a proud smile, making him feel like his face was on fire.

Grover whistled as young Percy put on the long brown coat grudgingly.

“Ok, Doctor.” Leo chuckled, winking at him.

“Doctor who?” Annabeth asked in confusion, but frowned when half of the kids watching fell over laughing. Even Percy couldn’t help chuckling.

“Exactly.” Percy agreed finally, grinning proudly.

“Put a suit on underneath and you have the perfect Halloween costume for Ten.” Leo nodded approvingly, sending off sparks from a small firework he’d made.

“Yeah, no, I’ll pass on the suit. Thanks though.” Percy chuckled. “On that note, Allons-y!” Leo cracked up, setting off an audience sound effect of clapping and the Tardis noise.

“It’s a tv reference.” Malcolm said, leaning over to Annabeth, who was looking more and more irritated. “BBC’s Doctor Who. He doesn’t have a name, just goes by ‘The Doctor’. It’s good, if weird.”

“I’ll take your word for it, I guess.” She reluctantly admitted, not looking happy at not understanding the reference.

When Zoe insisted that young Percy was their fifth quest member, the campers cheered for him. Percy hummed his agreement at Zoe’s statement that sometimes mortals could be more similar to monsters than not. Nico leaned forward, resting his chin on Percy’s head as his sister guided them through the subway and out of danger. When Bianca started to recall what she knew about the subway, even Hades was frowning.

“She shouldn’t have remembered that.” He said thoughtfully, before looking at Nico who was apparently staring at Percy’s hair.

“It gets explained.” Percy said quietly. “Eventually, anyway.”

The group changed trains each time young Percy suggested it, trusting his judgment. At the appearance of a random homeless person who pointed out a ride for them, several campers looked rather confused, while Artemis rolled her eyes, barely keeping from looking at Lester. Zeus muttered something about godly interference, but Percy didn’t care. They ran into a lot of interference on this quest, and the one the following summer.

When young Percy and Thalia chatted, everyone kept looking at the two of them warily. As if they were expecting another fight, or something. Percy yelped as Thalia shot an arrow at his shoe again.

“Dude!” Percy groaned, pulling it out and inspecting the hole she’d made bigger.

“Your prophetic tendencies are creepy, Percy.” She grumbled, sitting back down with the Hunters who were looking at him curiously.

“I didn’t do anything.” Percy whined, taking his shoe off and sticking his finger through the hole before throwing his shoe at her. “Jackass. I don’t have any other shoes.”

“I left an extra pair in my cabin.” Jason pitched in and Percy raised an eyebrow at him, glancing briefly at Zeus.

“Yeah, I’m not going in there man.” Percy stated, seeing how much Zeus was clenching his jaw.

“I’ll get them for you later.” Thalia said absently, tossing his shoe into the brazier, snorting at his frown.

Young Percy made the connection about Thalia’s previous offer to join the hunt, before she started arguing with him and kicked him out. Thunder rumbled when Zeus apparently realized that Apollo was the one helping them get to Artemis.

“Do not even think of saying anything, father.” Artemis said tersely. “We are twins. We will always look out for each other as long as we are able. You refused to discuss any of this without definitive proof from a god. Deciding on your own that proof from the demigods was not enough for you to take any action. I should be so lucky that he aided them in time to get me back for the Solstice.”

“There’s other godly interference on this quest.” Grover added, raising a hand. “Just wait. This isn’t the last time we encounter a god.”

“Wonderful.” Poseidon groaned, rubbing a hand over his face.

The Romans groaned when Nereus was mentioned, but Frank and Hazel seemed to have a sort of silent conversation before looking at him and grinning. Apparently they remembered him. Percy closed his eyes and leaned further back into Nico who seemed to be nearly asleep on his head as well, letting out a deep breath as he fell asleep in the memory. He remembered feeling crazy strong, but it didn’t really feel that different to how he felt now. Maybe 17-year-old Percy was closer in strength to Hercules than he thought.

He jolted up, swinging his sword out and meeting a shield, wondering how long he’d been out of it. Thalia was looking at him curiously, but also a little sadly.

“You dreamed of Zoe and Hercules?” She asked, stepping back and letting him relax.

“Yeah.” Percy nodded, yawning before sitting back down once Nico had gotten up from the ground where he’d fallen. “Didn’t know who it was, though. Not at first. Took a while before I figured it out.”

“Considering you couldn’t actually see who you were, I suppose that makes sense.” Thalia hummed, sitting beside him and leaning against his shoulder once he and Nico had gotten resituated.

Young Percy was startled awake and quickly made the connection that Zoe had been the one to give the blade away. The town they were in was pretty, but Percy couldn’t help the small shiver that went through him as he remembered how cold he had been. Thalia crowded closer to him, offering what little warmth she could, since he wasn’t actually cold, he just thought he was. A few people laughed as young Percy bought a rubber rat out of pity.

Percy bit back a whimper when his younger self imagined Bianca living for hundreds of years. When she admitted the reason she’d felt good with her decision was because he would be there to look after Nico, the younger boy sniffled in his hair, hiding his face. Percy reached back blindly and took Nico’s hand in his, giving it a squeeze. Young Percy kept talking with Bianca, and she kept telling him her and Nico’s story, even though she was confused about it all. Percy shivered as he felt the effects from the wave of wild magic that had overcome them while they drank coffee and had their meager breakfast. Grover was looking at him, his mouth hanging open when Percy glanced at him.

“You heard him too?” He whispered.

“Sort of.” Percy said, frowning. “Like, I could hear something, but I couldn’t make it out.”

“Who was it?” Several people asked, but Grover just shook his head, unable to answer.

The questors gathered around the collapsed satyr and pulled him up, hurrying to get out of town, but they were cornered by the skeletons. Percy felt the same anger and determination well up inside of him as his younger self charged the Spartoi, ignoring the gasps he heard from everyone. As he managed to deflect the bullets, reaching the first skeleton and knocking its arms off, there were more gasps. Percy could almost see the currents in the air like he had back then.

“There was a lot of moisture in the air.” He murmured softly, drawing some water up and mimicking what he’d seen and felt.

When he was shot in the back, Nico and Thalia grabbed him tighter. When the boar appeared, Percy held his hands over his ears, remembering how loud it had been. Young Grover called it a blessing, but when young Percy replied that he felt blessed, the campers lost it and started laughing again. Thalia groaned and put her head down on Percy’s shoulder as his younger self pulled her toward the tracks and the inevitable reveal of her fear. As the young pair flew down the side of the mountain on her shield, Hazel and Frank both laughed delightedly and cheered for him. Percy had small cuts and gashes lighting up over his body as his younger self turned to Thalia and stated her fear.

No one said anything about it, though. Which was good. She probably would have shocked them, even accidentally. As they all climbed aboard the boar, Zoe looked at young Percy with pity and longing as she told him whose presence they had felt. Hermes whimpered at the name of his lost son, but didn’t otherwise say anything. Even Dionysus looked mournful.

“I think,” Percy said slowly, looking around at everyone, “I think we should stop here for tonight.”

“What?” Several people exclaimed. “Why?”

“Because what comes next will be extremely emotional for several of us, and I don’t want to go to bed with those feelings. I’d rather we start again in the morning, and take a long break for lunch so that we might finish it tomorrow night.” He admitted.

“So soon?” Hades asked, his voice raspy.

“It’s not as soon as we lose the boar, but it’s not long after. The day after this, really.” Thalia admitted, looking at the frozen images of them all on the back of the boar. “I agree with Percy. It’s best to end here for the night.”

“Very well.” Hecate said, pausing the images more permanently, so the demigods could go to bed.

“We’ll resume after breakfast tomorrow.” Chiron intoned, giving the children who had groaned in disappointment a stern look.

Eventually they all trudged off to bed, their head counselors talking excitedly with them about everything that was happening.

“You can stay with me again tonight. If you want.” Percy offered, shaking his shoulders a little to make sure Nico was paying attention.

“Ok.” He agreed, with a croaky voice.

Will pulled Nico up and onto his shoulders this time, letting Percy hobble back with just his one shoe as Thalia and the Hunters all went to their cabin. He pushed a few of the bunks together so that both Will and Percy could be close to Nico. After everyone had showered, they lay down, Nico burying himself under blankets while Will looked at Percy expectantly.

“Do we have to?” Percy whined, laying his face in his pillow.

“Yes. Yes, we do.” Will nodded, reaching across Nico and kicking him lightly.

Percy groaned and rolled over on his back, slinging a leg over his cousin who was grumbling under his blankets.

“You have a really good voice, you know.” Will started, raising an eyebrow at him.

“I sort of figured out how to match pitches and stuff pretty well at school this year. One of my classmates told me I needed to be in choir so they had enough male voices they could actually have a choir. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and dragged me into the room and played some notes to get me to see if I could match ‘em or not.” Percy shrugged. “Never thought about singing before, though, not really. Always figured mom was just bein’ nice when we sang in the kitchen.”

“You never tried singing before?” Will pressed.

“Not really. Wasn’t really something that would necessarily get me anywhere, just never thought about it or thought about pursuing. Did grade school choir, but not seriously. You can ask this weirdo, I told him I couldn’t sing.”

“Which was a lie.” Nico muttered from the blankets.

“It wasn’t at the time.” Percy said quietly. “Could never sing before, when I was younger. It … it was too much noise. Noise drew attention. Attention only led to people asking questions about us that … that Gabe never wanted to answer. Like, why we seemed happy while he wasn’t home?”

“How bad was it?” Nico asked, peeking his head out of the blankets.

“Had to go to the ER for a few broken ribs. Broken wrist, because I put my hand up to block the … the bottle.” Percy pulled the edge of his sleeve up over his arm to show a long jagged scar. “It broke the bottle, too. They asked a lot of questions, but believed him when he said I had a skateboard accident. I think … I think I was eight? Mom never knew. I left back for school the next day.”

“And that’s why you never sang.” Will sighed, rolling over and throwing an arm over Nico who blushed and reburied his face.

“Yeah. Always liked music, though. Made me feel … hmm. I guess it made me feel better. Made me feel. Like …” Percy frowned as he tried to put it into words, but couldn’t.

“Like it was part of you?” Will asked, sitting up.

“Kind of, yeah.” Percy shrugged. “Can’t really explain it.”

“I think … Percy, I think you might have been descended from a child of Apollo somewhere along the line.” Will said cautiously. “It would explain how you’re more prophetic than anyone else, too. Won’t explain how you suck so bad at archery, though.”

“Pretty sure that’s because of dad.” Percy sighed. “A curse from Artemis or Apollo for all his children because of something one asshole did.”

“Makes sense.” Will hummed, leaning his chin on Nico’s shoulder.

“The question would be if it was Roman or Greek Apollo, though.” Nico’s muffled voice sounded.

“Would be as interesting a theory as any.” Percy yawned. “Hopefully you guys don’t get pranked tonight.” Percy yawned again, unable to keep his eyes open. “Also sorry if my nightmares wake you up. See you in the morning.”

“Night, Percy.” Will and Nico said quietly, as Percy fell asleep.

Chapter 5: First quest death = super sad times


Percy has a nightmare that leads him to accidentally finding the Grove of Dodona; the first Oracle Lester was able to fix.

As if that wasn't emotional enough, everyone finally sees what happened to Bianca.

Chapter Text

Weirdly enough, he dreamed of an underground cavern, with voices he didn’t recognize talking about tricks and traps. One of them was ancient and rustling. Almost like hissing. He froze as he realized it was a giant snake that he was standing near. He backed up against the wall, as the snake was mere feet in front of him.

“What have we here?” The snake hissed, turning its burning eyes to him.

“What? What are you talking about?” The other voice demanded.

“A demigod.” The snake replied, flicking its tongue out near Percy’s face, making a noise that could have been a laugh. “A powerful one. Perhaps not much of a demigod anymore, though. It is always hard to tell with children of the sea. Run along, little ocean. You have no part in our plans.” The snake lunged at him, snapping its jaws as it approached.

“No!” Percy screamed, falling out of bed, struggling as he felt like he was wrapped up. It felt like the snake had caught him and was coiled around him. “No! Let me go!” Percy got free and ran, not really seeing where he was or where he was going. He ran through the woods, further and further in until he crashed into an unfamiliar grove of trees and fell to the ground. He backed up until his back was against a tree, holding his sword out in front of him, waiting for the giant creature to appear.

His chest was tight, from running so fast to get away. He gripped his sword harder as he heard whispering from the trees behind him. He realized he shouldn’t be there. He tried to push himself up, but a few branches had grown around him, holding him in place gently. They didn’t scratch him, but it was a weird feeling; as if the tree were trying to comfort him. He leaned back into the tree, and could swear he heard a sigh of relief as he lowered his sword. He didn’t know how long he sat there, just letting the whispering surround him, staring unseeing to the front.

“Percy? Percy, can you hear me?” Rachel asked, kneeling in front of him, looking anxious.

“Red?” Percy croaked, frowning when her entire body seemed to sag in relief as he finally focused on her.

“Thank the gods.” She whispered, before looking back up at him and cupping his face gently. “You’ve been pretty out of it for a little bit. Why don’t you come back to camp with me and we can get you some food? Maybe a shower?”

“I …” Percy frowned as he looked down and realized there weren’t any branches holding him in place anymore and the whispering had stopped. “Um. Ok.”

Rachel helped him to his feet and kept her hands on him as she led him back through the woods toward the cabins. He was farther away than he thought. There were a lot of people in the center of camp who came rushing toward them when they stepped out of the trees. Rachel must have glared at them pretty hard, because they stopped and seemed to be waiting for her to send Percy inside his cabin.

“Take a shower and get dressed. I’ll see you at or after breakfast, ok?” She said gently. He nodded numbly and shut the door, heading for the shower. He let the warm water wash over him and wash away the dirt and grime from his mad dash through the woods. He came out in a towel, still dazed, as he pulled on jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt. He grabbed the boots that Thalia must have brought him and put them on as he headed for the dining pavilion. He didn’t really notice anyone at breakfast, or hear their muttering as he sat down in the amphitheater.

“Are you alright?” Nico asked concernedly, sitting beside him.

“I don’t know.” Percy admitted, looking over at Lester. “I don’t think this is going to end well, though.”

“What do you mean?” Lester asked, gripping his hands together as he stiffened.

“He’s waiting for you.” Percy replied, watching as the former god’s face paled dramatically. “He-”

“No.” Lester interrupted. “No, you can’t tell me.”

“You don’t understand!” Percy practically shouted, getting to his feet and feeling his heart pick up. “He’s waiting for you! He’s going to-”

“No!” Lester shouted back, making him pause. “No. You can’t tell me, Perseus. It won’t affect my quests. I can’t know how it will turn out. I’m sorry if you’re seeing it, seeing what will happen or what they are planning for me. But you cannot get involved. I won’t let you.”


“Lester.” He corrected bitterly. “I’m not Apollo anymore. I hope to be, again, when this is over. But I cannot know what you see. You see too much. And I cannot get through this if I dwell on what you see. I’m sorry. I am. But you can’t tell me.”

“Come, Perseus.” Artemis said gently, touching his arm, drawing his eyes to her. “You cannot complete his tasks for him, nor are you meant to be part of them. They are for him and Meg to complete. I know you want to help, you have such a big heart, child. But you cannot interfere.”

“He’ll-” Percy choked, unable to finish his sentence as he felt his throat tighten.

“It is alright.” Artemis said softly. “It is not your responsibility. I am sorry that you are seeing so much. But you cannot help in this, I’m afraid. Sit. We must see what happens to your cousin. A sister you barely had time with. That I barely had time with. Your family will need you as you need them.”

Percy nodded mutely and sat down, Thalia and Nico watching him worriedly. Artemis summoned a blanket and wrapped it around the three of them. Before she left them, she leaned forward and kissed Percy’s hair. It didn’t make him feel any better, though. When he felt his inhaler in his hand, he took it and put it to his mouth, feeling the tightness in his chest loosen up a bit.


“Don’t you f*cking say it, Percy Jackson.” Thalia growled, pulling his head to her shoulder and kissing his head as her lady had done.

“K.” He mumbled, feeling a little better when Nico took his hand.

“We couldn’t find you.” Nico whispered. “You woke up screaming and just took off, but we couldn’t even follow you, you moved too fast.”

“You’re going to make me apologize.” Percy whined.

“We don’t accept it. So shut up and let us fuss over you until we feel better.” Thalia said, sniffling slightly.

“We aren’t going to prank you if you’re going to be in this bad of shape, Perce.” Connor said carefully.

“You have to.” Percy argued, looking over at them. “I need the distraction, so you have to. We’ve already got you guys, so we’re in the lead. Don’t let my sh*tty life keep you from treating me like you always have. Please.”

“Ok, Percy.” Travis said, putting a hand on his brother’s arm to stop him from arguing further. “If you’re sure, we’ll keep our plans.”

“Good.” He nodded, grateful that Thalia and Nico were practically smothering him with their warmth and overprotectiveness.

“Are you ready to continue, Perseus?” Hecate asked hesitantly.

“Yeah, yeah I’m ready.” Percy nodded.

He didn’t notice the Romans, not really. He could tell some of them were watching him with interest after what Artemis had done, but he didn’t have the energy for a reaction. Once the questors were off the boar and it had left them on a desert highway, the amphitheater seemed to hold its breath. Leo’s hair caught fire when he saw the junkyard they were near. Percy, Thalia, and Grover all shuddered, looking away briefly. Nico gripped his hand tighter, knowing it was coming soon. Grover gave him a nod of thanks as he had kept his thoughts about coffee having anything to do with the presence of Pan to himself.

As the conversation turned to how Bianca had destroyed the skeleton, everyone leaned forward in anticipation; aside from Nico, Thalia, Percy, Hades, and Persephone. They already knew how she had been able to do it. When Bianca shouted no to going through Vegas, several campers jumped at her adamant and panicked tone. As young Percy explained about the hotel, people’s eyes widened in understanding. He heard several of them muttering about how long Nico and Bianca might have been there if there was no subway in DC when Bianca was a child. Finding out it had been close to 70 years was enough to silence them again.

When the car showed up, Percy and Thalia both grumbled in annoyance, glaring at Ares and Aphrodite, even if they weren’t sitting together. Percy’s neck, right under his chin, glowed slightly. As if the sword had pressed just hard enough to leave a small scratch. Percy frowned and touched the tiny scar he had there. He’d honestly forgotten he had that. When Ares commented that young Percy wasn’t so fast, Clarisse actually laughed. She covered her mouth, but it didn’t help as the rest of her cabin struggled not to laugh too.

“Congratulations, dad.” She said, finally calming down. “You managed to sneak up on a sleep deprived, starving, 14 year old demigod. Bravo.”

“For real!” Greg agreed. “He’s had, like, a single muffin in two days! And only slept when Apollo knocked him out, forcing him to dream. Pretty sure Percy could still kick his ass, even in the shape he’s in.”

“Agreed.” Most of the campers and some Senators said, ignoring Ares’ grumbling.

Aphrodite didn’t show any sign of remorse or anything as people started making the connection about who Ares was saying wanted to talk to young Percy. As he started describing her, though, Aphrodite paused in filing her nails, looking at him with her head tilted in curiosity.

“That’s … very perceptive of you, Perseus.” She said slowly.

“Well, you are the goddess of love.” Percy shrugged, feeling his ears heat up. “Everyone sees love differently, so they would see different things, different attributes, depending what they were attracted to. Kind of like the Siren’s show what a person desires in general, you show what they desire in a partner.”

“Unless she is in her Roman aspect, appearing as Venus.” Reyna countered.

“Never met her as Venus, so I’ll have to take your word for it.” Percy hummed.

Everyone was able to see what she looked like to young Percy. Annabeth, and oddly enough, Jason, both blushed furiously.

“Weird.” Thalia muttered, her eyes a little wide. “She kinda looked like mom for a minute.”

“I guess Percy’s type is blonde with light colored eyes, then.” Grover snickered, looking between Annabeth and Jason who were both still blushing. Hazel’s shoulders were shaking as she leaned her head on Jason’s shoulder.

“Sounds right.” Percy shrugged unconcernedly. He didn’t really think he had a type, but whatever.

Aphrodite and Artemis purposefully did not look at each other during the conversation the memory played. As she admitted her part in the t-shirt prank, the Hunters growled at her, even the Hermes cabin was glowering at her angrily.

“If you want to enact a prank on demigods or guests within the camp,” Chiron said carefully, “I’ll thank you not to use other demigods to do so.”

“He needed to be on this quest.” Aphrodite argued, frowning.

“Then he would have been, without godly interference.” Lester said, his eyes downcast. “If he was part of the prophecy, he would have been involved. It is not for the gods to interpret the Oracles. They are for the mortals. Just … for future reference.”

When the memory continued, and she called the Hunters Percy’s enemies, they all stood up and sat down with him and his cousins. The more Aphrodite talked in the memory, the more the campers looked at her angrily. Calling young Percy’s love life ‘tragic’, was apparently not what any of them wanted to hear. Even the Sea family was scowling at her.

As young Percy commented about the Trojan war, a few people snorted and the tension mostly broke. When she mentioned she might cry, Nico chuckled against him at young Percy’s quick disagreement. At the mention of breaking Percy’s heart, people were glaring at her again. Even she was frowning this time, though. Percy could feel Annabeth looking at him with wide eyes, but Percy just kept his eyes on the memory.

At the reminder of Ares’ curse, several people actually growled. Which was a fair reaction. A few people groaned as the memory spun, much like Percy’s head had, before stopping in the midst of the junkyard. Hephaestus actually dropped one of his tools and his beard caught fire.

“Wait, so everyone got to eat except Percy?” Malcolm interrupted.

“Yup.” Percy said, popping his ‘p’. “I’ve been hungry before, so it wasn’t really a big deal.”

“You weren’t on a f*cking quest to save a goddess before!” Will said angrily, glaring at Ares, the air around him shimmering as his body grew hot. “None of you were doing sh*t to actually prevent anything or help! Gods, Percy, how could you help them after all of this?”

“Easy.” Percy replied, shrugging one shoulder. “I didn’t do it for them.” Percy met Will’s eyes, ensuring he saw how serious he was. “You already know why I did it.”

“They don’t deserve you, Perce.” Will said softly, wiping a hand over his face as he cooled back down.

“Maybe.” Percy conceded, grinning when Will snorted.

“How soon?” Nico croaked, looking at the questors in the memory.

“Very.” Percy and Thalia said quietly, pulling Nico more firmly against them. Will pressed against Nico’s other side, wrapping an arm around his waist.

The atmosphere grew tense again as the group walked further into the junkyard, talking about not taking things. Nico whimpered. When young Percy picked up a guitar and strummed out part of a rock song before tossing it back, several people looked his way curiously. He blushed and ignored them. Percy, Thalia, and Grover all tensed as the statue came into view. When they made it to the highway, the sound of crushing metal startled a few yelps and screams out of some of the campers.

No one made fun of Percy for being scared enough to stutter when Talos was standing. Zoe was the first to start asking who had taken something, looking at young Percy accusingly first. Percy gripped Nico’s hand tightly as his younger self asked Bianca what she took. They stuck together as they ran through the junkyard, Talos turning his focus to them. When Bianca held the figurine and admitted she took it for her brother, Nico couldn’t stop the broken sob that came out as he buried his face against Percy’s shoulder. Jason was holding Hazel similarly.

Percy didn’t bother to hide his own tears as his younger self pointed out his plan to Bianca. She put the figurine she’d taken in young Percy’s hand and told him to give it to Nico if anything happened to her, which only made Nico shake more. Percy’s body glowed in several places as his younger self was flung across the junkyard and into a very solid, very large, refrigerator. Young Percy cheered for Bianca as the monster started attacking itself. The amphitheater was filled with the sound of sniffling and muffled cries as the questors searched the junkyard until the sun came up. Young Percy was determined to keep looking, even though he looked completely dead on his feet, bruises crawling up his left side from where he’d impacted the refrigerator.

As Grover pointed out the prophecy, how it had come true, Hades stood up and walked away. Nico clung to Percy and Will as he cried, pulling them into the shadows with him until they were laying on their bunks in the Poseidon cabin where they couldn’t be seen. Percy wrapped his arms around his cousin and buried his face in the top of his head, letting himself cry for the sister he never really got to know. Thalia eventually joined them, sitting beside Percy and reaching a hand out to pat Nico’s arm. Nico eventually passed out for a little while, exhausted from having to see what actually happened to his sister.

Chapter 6: If people can be bad, Monsters can be good. Like Bessie. And Tyson.


I'm really sorry for posting this a bit later than I normally do, got caught up re-watching Criminal Minds and looking at my various Harry Potter WIPs and playing around with them.

Chapter Text

“I always wondered why he left.” Will sniffled.

“Because I broke my promise.” Percy replied in a scratchy voice.

“No, you didn’t.” Thalia said certainly. “You promised to do your best to protect her. And you did. But she was just as strong willed and stubborn as all kids of the Big Three tend to be.”

“She really was.” Percy chuckled wetly.

“Even with everything she was doing, joining the Hunters, she never abandoned him.” Will said softly.

“No, she didn’t.” Nico mumbled, waking up. “I was just too hurt to see it. ‘S why I left.”

“Do you need some more time?” Percy asked carefully. “We can take however long you need, but I know you aren’t going to want to dwell on it. Even if it adds to your angry kitten-ness.”

“Bastard.” Nico grumbled, poking him in the ribs.

“Yeah but you love me anyway.” Percy sighed dramatically, grinning when Nico snorted.

“I think I’m good. Sorry for dragging you all back with me. Didn’t have a lot of control over it.” Nico apologized, yelping when Thalia shocked him. “Never mind.”

“That’s right.” She agreed. “A lot of other kids needed a break, too. They’ve never been involved with a quest where anyone died. Annabeth was even at a loss and had to take a walk. Seeing how everything happened, I think she finally understands why Percy was so upset about it all.”

“It’s because he takes everything as his fault.” Nico sighed, extracting himself from between Will and Percy by shoving Percy off the bed once Thalia stood up.

“Asshole.” Percy complained, getting up and stretching as if he’d taken a nap too. He was still pretty tired, but knew it couldn’t be helped. Thalia threw him over her shoulder and Will did the same to Nico, carrying them back to the amphitheater and dropping them in their seats. Once they were back, no one really acknowledged them aside from Hecate. At Percy’s nod, she resumed the memories. They’d only taken an hour and a half, so it wasn’t a crazy long break. They could watch a bit more, probably most of it, really, before lunch.

Young Percy, Grover, and Zoe all were really out of it still, but Thalia was able to get them into the truck and down the road. Nico sucked in a harsh breath as young Percy said it should have been him as he gripped the figurine in the back of the truck. Grover whimpered a little as young Percy pushed aside his own hurt to comfort him. He pushed aside his own grief to make sure his best friend didn’t stay upset. Thalia huffed at him as his younger self argued to walk instead of taking the goat path so she wasn’t afraid.

“I didn’t know you did that.” Thalia chuckled as young Percy left a few drachma for the canoes. Percy blushed.

“He doesn’t like stealing.” Grover said with a shaky smile. “Not a rule breaker, our Percy.”

“No I suppose he isn’t.” She agreed.

“I already told you guys,” Percy whined, “I don’t like stealing. I get all sweaty and nervous about it.”

“We know.” Grover said, chuckling. “It’s fine, dude.”

Thankfully, they dropped it. When Thalia suggested that young Percy ride with Zoe, a few people snorted. Percy and Thalia both snickered at Grover falling over and at Zoe wanting to shoot the Naiads who were helping them. Surprisingly, Zoe started opening up right away. They talked until the dam came into view, which had Percy, Thalia, and Grover snickering again.

As each of them rattled off facts about Hoover Dam, Annabeth pouted at them. When they all said they wished she was there, she smiled at them gratefully. As young Percy compared the drop of the dam to a skate park, there was a lot of laughter that they had to pause for. Percy ducked his head in embarrassment.

“He was a skater boy!” Travis cheered, the rest of the Hermes kids picking up the song before Grover stopped them.

“Understatement.” Grover bleated in fond annoyance.

Percy winked at his friend when his younger self asked about the monsters he’d smelled. When Zoe said they needed to find the ‘dam snackbar’, the three of them burst into uncontrolled giggles. Percy and Thalia were holding onto each other. The more they talked, the more they laughed, until all three of them fell on the ground laughing and holding their stomachs. It was stupid, and not nearly as funny as it should have been, but they were highly entertained.

As the moo sounded in the memory, they all sighed as they got themselves back under control. Sure enough, Bessie had followed young Percy and was splashing in the water below them.

“Well.” Triton said with a heavy sigh, blowing a raspberry, which had Percy snickering at him. “Seems he chose you as his protector right off the bat.”

“He did.” Grover grumbled. “Met Percy all of once and decided he was his person.”

“Were you jealous?” Percy asked incredulously.

“No.” Grover denied, but his cheeks were pink.

“Liar.” Thalia coughed, snickering when Grover flipped her off.

“At least now we have answers for blue food AND the dam joke.” Frank said, grinning at them.

“You’re welcome.” Percy nodded magnanimously, making him snort a laugh.

“For not understanding him,” Triton said, smirking at him, “you seem to understand him just fine.”

“I could just tell he was anxious.” Percy shrugged. “Wanted to protect me, I guess, like I did him.”

“Holy Hephaestus!” Leo shouted, drawing their attention back to the memory as the skeletons appeared and one of them was pushing tourists aside. There, in the memory, was a younger, more terrified looking Leo. “I knew I wasn’t seeing things! I told my foster family there were f*cking skeletons there and they just called me loco and they didn’t want me around the other kids anymore!”

“Noted.” Rachel said, holding up a pen as she scribbled in her book.

“Now the only one missing is Jay.” Thalia stated, pulling Percy so his head was in her lap while they leaned back against their former seats.

“And Frank. But he keeps ending up in California,” Jason said thoughtfully, “so I’m sure we’ll probably pop in at some point.”

As young Percy fled, leaving a disgruntled security guard in his wake, people were cheering him on. When he was inside the elevator, Percy tried not to look at Athena, but he glanced at her quickly. She had an impressively impassive expression. When the guide called after him once he was out of the elevator, lowering her glasses, several people gasped and looked at her in confusion. Thunder rumbled.

“He was going to save my daughter.” She said in a calm yet stern tone. “As well as my sister. He is a smart boy, but he does need help occasionally.”

“I didn’t know you’d done that.” Annabeth said quietly, looking at her mother curiously.

“That makes sense.” Thalia said with a nod. “Now I understand why you said that.”

“To recap,” Reyna said, holding up her hand, “Apollo has interfered to help him; Ares and Aphrodite showed up to remind him of a curse and to more or less tell him to focus on Annabeth, not helping anyone; and now Athena has stepped in. Exactly how many more gods are involved in your quest, Praetor Jackson?”

“Just two more, I think.” Percy said, tilting his head as he thought. “One helps, the other is the one we set out to rescue.”

“We meet all of them by the end, though.” Thalia interjected. “They were having the council at the Winter Solstice, after all.”

“Hmm.” Reyna pursed her lips and nodded to continue, leaning over to Frank to whisper something.

Young Percy ran off, further into the Dam toward the turbines. When he prayed his friends were ok, Thalia ruffled his hair. Percy sighed heavily, groaning and burying his face in his hands as he knew what was coming. Everyone looked at him in confusion, but started laughing and cheering when Rachel made her unexpected appearance. She stood up and bowed before sitting back down. When young Percy compared their eyes, suddenly everyone was looking between them in curiosity.

“I … never thought about that.” Rachel said, looking stunned.

“It was just a weird thing I noticed.” Percy sighed. “Part of my ADHD, pointing strange things out, ya know? Doesn’t mean anything.”

“Not for you.” Lester said, frowning as he scribbled some notes down. “I never noticed it before, but I think … I think most of my Oracles have all had similar colors of eyes.” He looked up and into Percy’s eyes. Percy saw a weird shimmer over them, similar to what he had seen the first time they’d met.

“Perhaps,” Rachel said, drawing Lester out of his trance, “perhaps he’s related to an Oracle in some way? Like an Aunt or Cousin or something was one of your Oracles in the past?”

“I’m not prophetic.” Percy argued, but his face flushed when everyone looked at him disbelievingly. “Whatever, let’s just keep going.”

Young Rachel started asking questions as quickly as young Nico had, making them both blush in embarrassment. Young Percy rushed into the bathroom as Young Rachel urged him to do. Everyone was snickering when young Percy ran off from a very confused young Rachel. A few kids muttered about young Percy finally being able to eat, but they groaned in annoyance when the skeletons showed up again.

“That,” Leo said in his laughter, “was hella fun. Not gonna lie.” He pointed to himself in a corner of the room, having rigged up a catapult that was slinging burritos and guacamole and salsa at everyone, not just the skeletons. The kids around him were covered in cheese and other exploded burrito parts.

“Why did you hit the other kids you were with?” Piper asked, laughing at him.

“They were being dicks about me telling them about skeletons. You know how it goes. Talk sh*t, get hit.” Leo shrugged unconcernedly.

“For sure.” Percy agreed, chuckling as the memory showed young Leo nailing one of the skeletons with nacho cheese and a ton of chips.

“And Percy still hasn’t eaten.” Will grumbled, dragging a hand through his hair.

“I eat.” Percy shrugged. “Eventually.”

“He does.” Thalia agreed, looking over at Annabeth.

Young Percy’s eyes flitted around between the skeletons, the statues with the shiny toes, and Thalia quickly as he thought before telling her to pray to her dad. When the statues stepped forward and protected them, the campers all cheered. Thalia buried her pale face in Percy’s shoulder as the statues picked them up and took off.

Thalia zapped him when his memory self said they weren’t very high. But all he could do was give her a sheepish smile. The Hermes kids started rating Zoe’s shots at the Target signs. Percy blushed as he made the connection that his mom could see through the Mist. It wasn’t his fault he never really thought about it. There was just always a lot going on. As his younger self compared San Francisco to Manhattan, there were some cheers and boos. Everyone cracked up when his internal monologue scattered into a greeting card.

“We really should have something like that.” Travis said, still chuckling.

“We could put up a wall of ‘Postcards from PJ’.” Drew agreed, giggling about it.

“They would be equally hilarious and frightening.” Clarisse added.

“They wouldn’t be bad.” Percy argued, pouting at them when they laughed again.

“Technically the monster did find you.” Thalia stated, grinning at him.

“Well, yeah, but I didn’t consider him a monster.” Percy grumbled. “He was just another sea creature, not a monster.”

“Not all monsters are monstrous.” Annabeth said quietly, and Percy felt his good mood evaporate and his head felt dizzy.

He stared at her in shock for a full minute before he realized that a slight drizzle had started. He got up, not saying anything to anyone, and just walked away. He heard people calling after him, but he just took off and ran. He ran to the beach and into the water, heading straight down to the ocean floor. She still saw him as a monster, even after everything. He didn’t stop the tears that had welled up in his eyes, didn’t fight the hippocampi that tried to comfort him, nor the other fish or sharks.

“Perseus?” Triton called carefully, but Percy didn’t look up at him.

“I just need a minute.” Percy replied quietly, wiping his face on his shirt.

“Ok. We’ll just sit with you, then.” Triton agreed, sitting on one side of him, Tyson sitting on the other.

“Is that all I am?” Percy asked in a croaky voice after a few minutes. “A good monster?”

“Would that be so bad?” Tyson asked gently.

“You’re not a monster, Ty.” Percy replied automatically.

“Then neither are you.” Triton said certainly.

“You don’t know what I did.” Percy argued.

“The fact that you reacted as you did, tells me it does not matter.” Triton shrugged, petting one of the little sharks that was still swimming around them. “You went through hell, Perseus. The worst part. I would be more worried if you had come out the same as you went in. It would mean you are just as comfortable there as you are here. It would mean that you were more monster than anything. But you aren’t. You are damaged from your time there. Still trying to heal. You’re a good person, Perseus. Whether others see it that way or not, it does not matter. What matters is how you see yourself.”

“You’re a good brother.” Tyson agreed. “You care about everyone, always making them feel welcome and comfortable. If I can be a good monster, you can too. Not all of daddy’s other kids are like us. They are mean and hateful because they want to be. But we are not. We are good monsters. Like Bessie.”

“Like Bessie.” Percy repeated, somehow feeling better. “I think I like that.”

“Do you think you’re ready to go back? We can stay here for a little longer, if you want. Chiron sent everyone to an early lunch, so we can take a little longer. But you should eat something or that Apollo child will follow you around and start shoving food at you.” Triton said, grinning when Percy snorted.


“We can have a picnic down here!” Tyson said excitedly, looking at Triton with a pleading eye.

“Oh. Um. Sure. We can do that. What, um, what would you like to eat?” Triton asked, looking confused why he was agreeing.

“Peanut butter sandwiches!” Tyson cheered, and Percy couldn’t help chuckling.

“That’s fine.” Percy agreed.

They sat on the ocean floor, in a bubble, as Triton summoned them sandwiches and sodas to drink. It was actually a lot of fun, just hanging out with his brothers. They only had a small food fight, because when they missed, the creatures around them greedily ate up what came their way. When they got back to shore, Poseidon and Amphitrite were sitting together, just looking out at the water with serene looks on their faces. Nico, Thalia, the Hunters, Malcolm, and a few others were waiting nearby anxiously. Percy gave them a small smile as he and his brothers headed for the amphitheater.

“We can continue.” Percy said, settling down in his seat, surrounded by everyone who had been waiting for him, as well as the younger kids. Annabeth was looking at him, looking as if she were about to try talking to him, so he stopped her. “No. You said what you said. Let’s move on.” She frowned at him, but didn’t push.

The memories resumed, with Zoe showing the way toward Nereus. Percy rolled his eyes as the others had a little too much fun dressing him up in old clothes to look homeless.

“Thanks for letting us do that.” Thalia said, smirking at him. “It was a nice stress reliever after everything.”

“You’re welcome.” Percy grumbled, ignoring the others snickering at him.

Percy mimicked Thalia’s comment, making her laugh at him. He must have made an interesting face as he described Nereus’ smell, because everyone was laughing at him again. When he tricked Nereus into the water, Poseidon laughed loudest of everyone, clapping in delight. Amphitrite was even laughing pretty happily. When they collapsed on the dock, the campers cheered and gave him scores for his performance. Mostly nines and tens. A few people glared at Annabeth as young Percy thought of her.

Grover snickered at him finding out that Bessie was a ‘he’. So Percy flipped him off. The campers all leaned forward as Zoe told the story of the Ophiotaurus.

“Oh, f*ck me.” Rachel whispered, her face drastically paler than before, her freckles standing out starkly.

“What?” Percy asked in confusion.

“Power in killing innocence.” She repeated, looking at him with wide eyes. “You were innocent, all those years ago, when they first tried killing you. As was Nico, and Thalia. If there is power in killing an innocent creature, can you imagine how much power there would be in killing an innocent demigod? Sacrificing one? For the gods, I mean? Like, if they had succeeded in killing you, before you had taken any lives, before the wars where you became the hero you are, what would that have done for them?”

“I don’t think it works that way.” Percy said in confusion. “If that were the case, wouldn’t they have done that to other demigods throughout history? I mean, wouldn’t their names be more known?”

“Not necessarily.” Thalia said, apparently following Rachel’s train of thought. “Percy, you’re the most powerful demigod to exist in a really long time. Me and Nico are good, don’t get me wrong, but we don’t have half the abilities you do. I think … I think she’s onto something. But we should keep going so we can get this done today.”

“Alright.” Percy agreed, frowning at them. Apparently a lot of others were following the same train of thought, as whispered arguments and conversations broke out around him.

“Oh goodie.” Nico muttered, as Thorn reappeared. “He’s back.” Percy snickered at him.

Everyone sat on the edge of their seats as Thorn explained his plan while young Percy tried to think of a plan of action. As they ducked into a kiosk and he made a rainbow, snapping Thalia out of her weird trance, Mr. D. appeared. Percy clenched his jaw as he remembered his internal fight about asking for help from the god he had liked least of all at the time. Thalia looked at him with wide eyes as his younger self thought about her previous sacrifice before pleading with their camp director.

“Oh f*ck.” Percy mumbled, swaying in his seat, nearly falling forward, before Thalia and Nico caught him, holding him in place. As the memory described what young Percy felt, and what was happening, several of the campers looked at Mr. D. warily. Dionysus blushed at being called out for saying Percy’s name correctly. When the memory continued, Percy’s head finally didn’t feel so odd. “Forgot how f*cking weird that was.”

“You managed to explain it rather well.” Dionysus conceded.

“Had to focus on something.” Percy shrugged.

“Thank you.” Thalia said quietly, taking his hand and squeezing it. “You saved me. Again. I … well. Thank you.”

“Of course.” Percy replied, giving her a smile and squeezing her hand back.

When young Percy took off his coat to offer as a sacrifice, a few people smiled at him, Artemis included, but a few others were looking at him incredulously, nodding along to young Grover’s comments. The Hunters all cheered for him, making him blush, when he said he wasn’t Hercules. When his younger self thought about stealing, he shifted uncomfortably in his seat, making his cousins snicker at him. He stuck his tongue out at them.

“Dad.” Annabeth sighed in fond exasperation, as the questors showed up at her parent’s house. When young Percy thought of him as handsome, he chuckled when a few people whistled. It was just Connor and Travis really, but Malcolm was also failing to hide his amusem*nt at the comment. When Annabeth’s step mom said she’d heard a lot about Percy, Annabeth blushed, ignoring the renewed whistles from the Hermes and Aphrodite kids.

Young Percy and Dr. Chase nearly devolved into excited talk about the planes, but Thalia interrupted them before they could get carried away. When Annabeth’s step-mom came in with plates of sandwiches and cookies, there were several sighs of relief about the amount of food that young Percy inhaled. No one commented on how Thalia and Zoe had each started sliding sandwiches in front of him when they realized one was gone, before handing him cookies, each only taking a few, but giving a majority of them to him. Zoe grabbed the last sandwich, and shoved it in young Percy’s hands as they headed for the door.

“They liked you rather quickly.” Triton snickered.

“They’re pretty cool for parents.” Percy shrugged, feeling his face heat up a little.

“They adore Percy.” Annabeth nodded. “Dad is always asking when he’s coming over, and Matt and Bobby started in as well. My step-mom, well, she usually asks more so that they can make sure they have enough food on hand.”

“Sounds right.” Thalia chuckled.

“I was hungry.” Percy pouted. “I hadn’t eaten more than a muffin in like three days at this point.”

“We know.” Thalia said, rolling her eyes. “But you’ve always had a big appetite.”

“Unless you were anxious. Or nervous. Or angry.” Grover said, listing times he’d not really eaten.

“Yes, yes,” Percy said, feeling embarrassed, “moving on.”

As young Percy pointed out the cruise ship, a few people sat up straighter, looking at them with wide eyes. Percy had a few small scrapes that lit up as their car exploded from a lightning strike. Percy held up a hand to stop anyone from starting a fight, telling them to wait with his expression alone. As young Percy explained the lightning bolt, a few people relaxed, but not everyone. They were entering a garden guarded by a dragon to get to the Titan Atlas who had imprisoned the goddess Artemis, after all. When the Hesperides appeared, scrutinizing young Percy, there were nervous chuckles before outright laughter as they said they didn’t see how he was a threat.

“You’re welcome.” Percy chirped, grinning when his friends laughed harder.

Thalia hummed in agreement with herself about how tempting it was to kill Percy, but snickered when he pouted at her. Artemis smiled proudly as Zoe stepped up, waking the dragon and protecting Thalia and Percy so they could reach her. Young Percy’s thoughts about cough drops had Hecate pausing the memory so everyone could laugh without missing anything. Percy blushed and lightly shoved his cousins who were laughing the hardest at him.

Percy stiffened as he had in the garden, feeling the mood shift of the dragon.

“How … how did you feel that?” Thalia asked uncertainly.

“Because he’s an animal.” Grover teased, smirking when Percy frowned at him.

“I am not, jerk.” Percy complained. “I don’t know how I felt it, I just did.”

“He does hang out with a lot of creatures.” Triton teased, snickering at him as he flicked water at him.

Everyone jolted as the dragon in the memory lashed out at Zoe, catching her in her side as she ran up the mountain, Thalia and young Percy right with her. The Romans tensed as they realized that they had arrived at the peak where Othrys was reappearing. A few of them cursed rapidly in Latin as Zoe explained what it was. Percy and Thalia tensed as Artemis was revealed and Zoe ran to her. They gripped each other’s hands with bruising force. Thalia had sparks trailing along their hands, and oddly, water also coalesced and joined it.

The Hunters all cheered for Thalia when she spit at Luke’s feet. As young Percy looked between Zoe and Atlas, making comparisons, several people were nodding along with his thoughts. When Atlas explained what the place was, Leo and Piper were looking at it with wide, fearful eyes. As young Percy told Atlas to fight them, several people groaned and tossed coins to Clarisse again.

“I didn’t hear him.” Thalia said, raising an eyebrow at Percy.

“Not my fault he decided he liked me best.” Percy argued, grinning when she rolled her eyes at him.

“I remember this.” Jason interrupted, frowning at the images of the army marching up toward them. “I was on patrol when I saw the monsters gathering at the mountain.”

“When we went back, they were all gone.” Reyna agreed. “Perhaps we will see why, now.”

“Now.” Percy whispered with his younger self, Thalia gritting her teeth and nodding along, tightening her hold on him. He gripped Thalia’s hand as he heard Ares’ voice in his head, his sword falling from his younger self’s hands as he was thrown across the mountain again. He glared at Atlas, much as he had as a kid, almost daring him to try it again.

“No.” Triton whispered, standing up and watching young Percy demand Artemis give him her burden.

Percy took slow, steady breaths, feeling the pressure of the sky on his back. Artemis had appeared behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder to either reassure herself that he was here, or reassure him, Percy couldn’t really concentrate on it. Not while his entire body lit up like a glow stick as he held the sky alone. Grover came and sat in front of him, leaning back against his legs. Nico held onto his forearm as Percy’s younger self thought about Bianca. The memory turned a little hazy at times, colors spotting around the edges as he watched the fight taking place in front of him.

“Almost there.” Thalia whispered, unable to look away from the memory. “Come on, Kelp-head.”

Percy’s chest started to feel tight as he realized how trapped he was by his friends and cousins. He wanted them to feel better, by being so close, but it felt like the walls were closing in on him, like the sky was really trying to crush him again. Sweat broke out across his head and started dripping as he attempted to calm himself down. The fight was long and hard, everyone looking at him in concern as he was unable to join in. As soon as the trick happened, Percy collapsed forward, Grover moving so he could be on his hands and knees as he tried not to panic.

“Just-” He gasped, his throat closing up a little, “just need-” he gasped again, his vision starting to darken a little.

“Breathe, dammit.” Clarisse demanded, pressing his inhaler to his lips. He did as she instructed, falling fully on the ground, breathing more easily, but still feeling like crap. “Stop f*cking doing that to me, Jackson.”

“I’ll try.” Percy croaked, struggling to keep his eyes open.

“You better.” She growled, pressing a cool cloth to his head. He couldn’t even get himself to watch the rest of the fight; how young Annabeth had begged Thalia to let him live, how Luke had acted and Thalia had reacted, knocking him off the cliff. He was trying to remember how he had been able to be up on his feet, dragging the others back to Artemis so they could try and escape.

The campers all cheered when Dr. Chase showed up in his plane, taking out line after line of the monster army. Young Percy had taken Zoe in his arms, holding onto her as Artemis prepared to defend them and get them out of harm’s way. Young Percy kept a hold of Zoe as she was wrapped in a blanket in the sleigh. Athena smiled softly as the connection was made to Annabeth’s dad’s bright mind. As Thalia and Zoe shared a tearful confession, Zoe gave young Percy a small grin. Giving him her approval as a male hero, in her final moments, making the Hunters all nod along in agreement.

Chapter 7: Percy makes a decent couch for Thalia


They finally make it to the end of the quest and hear the rewards offered.

The Campers make their stance in support of Percy known.

Chapter Text

Percy stayed on the ground where he was, Clarisse sitting beside him, Grover on his other side, as the memories continued. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the strength to get up, it was more the desire. He didn’t need to see how they’d said goodbye to the former lieutenant. Nor how Artemis had left in a flash to arrive at the council in time. He could feel the gods’ surprised looks on him as Artemis called him a man, instead of a boy. When the pegasi offered to stampede the others around young Percy, he couldn’t help but chuckle at how ridiculous they really were. Thalia zapped him lightly, grinning when he snorted at her.

He felt his mood sour as young Annabeth argued that Luke was still alive; as confident in that as young Percy had been about her. The fact that she held onto him so tightly always frustrated him. He was the one who chose to turn against them, they didn’t push him into the arms of the Titan lord.

“I’m not talking about it.” Percy said, as he felt everyone looking at him again after his younger self thought that Luke deserved to die instead of Bianca or Zoe. He still felt that way.

“It’s fine.” Thalia said gently. “We get it.”

“I can’t explain why I know he wasn’t dead.” Annabeth stated, frowning as she watched the three of them approach Olympus in the memory. “I just knew.”

“Anchor.” Percy said, not looking at her to see her realization of the fact.

Percy rolled his eyes when Blackjack asked if he could have his cabin for his stable if he didn’t come back. A few people snickered at it, but most were still anxious. Bessie looked as if he were trying to swim to young Percy, making Triton roll his eyes. As Artemis stood before the group in front of the gods, a few of them sank down, apparently not proud of how they acted. Hermes blushed when his memory self winked at young Percy, earning him a scowl from Poseidon and Triton.

When Ares protested them all not being disintegrated, his kids glowered at him. Athena spoke up next, pointing out that Thalia and young Percy posed too much of a risk to keep alive.

“So Grover and Annabeth are fine, but Percy and Thalia are too much of a risk for you, are they?” Will growled, Nico shifting to stand in front of his boyfriend who was glaring heatedly at the Olympians. “Other demigods, satyrs, we’re all fine, but they aren’t because of who their parents are?”

“The prophecy-” Zeus started to say, but Will whistled a near sonic whistle causing him to stop.

“The prophecy was already spoken and would happen with or without your interference. As my father already pointed out, prophecies are for mortals and demigods, not gods. You had no business trying to take it into your own hands and have already nearly ensured your own demise multiple times at this point. All you did was cause the deaths of half of the demigods at Camp Half-Blood. Lee’s death, Michael’s death, they’re your fault.”

“Silena’s.” Drew added, standing up.

“Beckendorf.” Several of the Hephaestus kids stated, also standing.

“Castor.” Pollux said in a choked voice.

“We lost so many brothers and sisters,” Nico said, looking around at everyone, “and none of you cared. You’re lucky we cared about each other more than you. We wanted to keep each other safe, to have a chance at living. I agree with Will and Jason. You try this bullsh*t again, blaming your problems on your own children, and you will cease to exist.”

“You can’t survive without our belief in you.” Thalia said, standing up next to her cousin. “Keep trying to take votes on which of us you think you’ll be better off without, and the offering’s will stop.”

“Consider it a prophecy, if you must.” Rachel added, standing up and crouching down to tuck a hair behind Percy’s ear as he was still laying on the ground in his exhaustion. “But we all have more faith in Percy Jackson’s ability to care for us than any of you, aside from maybe Apollo and Artemis.”

“Guys-” Percy started to say, but Clarisse silenced him with a look.

“This is our choice. Accept it or don’t. But you can’t change our minds.” She said sternly. He swallowed thickly and nodded.

“Let us keep going.” Chiron interjected. “I believe we are nearly done.”

“Nearly.” Percy agreed, his voice raspy.

As Artemis defended the pair of demigods to the council, the campers retook their seats. A few cheered when young Percy defended the Ophiotaurus so adamantly. Percy mimicked Thalia’s words mockingly, grinning at her when she threw a pack of fruit snacks at him. Thalia got up and sat on his hip, since he was laying on his side, reaching up and ruffling his hair, causing the gray streak to fall in his face. It was definitely more defined now, which was annoying, if not unexpected. He rolled his eyes at her and poked her in the ribs.

As his dad stood up and vouched for him, the demigods looked between them with wide eyes. Amphitrite was smirking as if she expected him to do that. Triton nodded approvingly. When Zeus announced a party, several campers grumbled in annoyance at not being able to be there for it. Triton glowered at both Hermes and Lester pretty strongly.

“Stop flirting with my brother.” He growled at them.

“Um-” Percy said, holding up a hand, which Thalia pushed back down as she tried not to laugh.

“They were flirting with you, just accept it.” She told him, ignoring his frown.

Malcolm snickered when young Percy nearly called their mom Annabeth. As she called out his fatal flaw, a few people cheered enthusiastically. Aphrodite and her kids all frowned at Athena for detering young Percy from pursuing Annabeth. Seeing young Percy call Tyson was great for the kids. They were just as excited as the brothers were at the idea of getting to hang out over the next summer. Percy didn’t have the heart to tell them it didn’t go very well.

When he called his mom next, a few people snickered and wolf-whistled. Seeing his mom get frustrated as she tried to figure out how to tell her son about the man she was seeing, was pretty funny in hindsight. He couldn’t help grinning at how relieved his mom had been when he’d said he was ok with Paul. Even the memory of his first step-father hadn’t been enough to sour his mood. Thalia snickered at Percy before laying back on him, her butt still on his hip and her back against his arm while her head was on his shoulder. It shouldn’t have been comfortable, but it was.

As they recounted their quest in the Big House, people were quietly munching popcorn that Percy had given up on asking where it came from. As Chiron mentioned the first strike going to be the camp, a few of the campers stiffened in remembrance of what occurred. Nico sighed dramatically as he leaned back against Will when he made his reappearance in the memory.

“Hold on,” Triton said angrily, getting up and glaring at Chiron, “you decided it would be best for the 14 year old to tell the 10 year old what happened to his sister? Are you kidding me right now?!”

“We could not tell him until we had confirmation from those on the quest.” Chiron said quietly, not looking at Percy or Nico. “I would have told him, but Percy stood up to talk to him before I could find my words.”

“You should have found them faster. It was not my brother’s responsibility to inform him of her death.” Triton snarled.

“I don’t know if I would have handled it any better from either of them.” Nico said hesitantly. “It was sh*tty all the way around, and at least with it being Percy, well … I trusted him. You’ll see why, I think, in the next summer and after. But … I’m glad it was him.”

“It’s alright, Tri.” Percy said gently, looking at him at a weird angle that made him feel as if he were looking at him upside down. “It’s better that it was me. Otherwise I’d probably be dead before the end of that night.”

“I’ll take it into consideration.” Triton said, clenching his jaw and glaring at Chiron once more. “It is not his responsibility to do these tasks. I urge you to keep that in mind.”

The memory continued as young Percy walked with young Nico through camp, explaining what had happened. When he handed over the figurine, Nico pulled it out of his pocket and just held onto it with a small smile. As young Nico shouted about how he knew exactly where Bianca was, several of the campers looked at him warily and a little sadly.

“You can feel them all, can’t you?” Freddy asked quietly.

“Demigods, yeah.” Nico agreed, nodding once.

“That’s awful.” Damien said. He’d been unusually quiet this whole time, Percy noticed. Chiara said something to him in rapid Italian, making him snort and roll his eyes. Percy grinned thankfully at her.

“What did she say?” Thalia whispered loudly to Percy, chuckling when Nico did something, probably pouting at her.

“Nothing.” Percy said, shaking his head a little. “It’s not important.”

“If you say so.” She complained, letting the images continue.

When the skeletons showed up, Nico groaned and hid his face in his hands.

“I don’t wish that.” He argued. “Just, you know, for the record and all.”

“We know.” Will said, rolling his eyes. “You were just being melodramatic.”

“I was ten, nearly 11. I think it was warranted.” Nico complained.

Everyone looked at Percy in confusion when he, young Annabeth and Grover were looking for young Nico, and he refused to tell Chiron who his dad was. Even Chiron had an eyebrow raised, but he looked more impressed than irritated. As young Percy confirmed that he didn’t need forever, just two years, Nico whimpered before crawling down and sitting with his back against Percy’s knees and leaning his head back so Thalia could comb her hand through his hair more easily.

“I choose the prophecy.” Percy repeated, grinning at his cousin.

“Jackass.” Nico grumbled.

No one else interrupted as the memory played out, young Percy half explaining about what happened, half distracting Chiron with other thoughts. When Grover burst in with his declaration about Pan, a few people sat up interestedly.

“Well, that was pretty much that.” Percy sighed, curling his arm under his head. “Sucky ass quest from start to finish.”

“I suppose I understand a bit why they all like Percy now.” Travis said grudgingly, motioning toward the Hunters. “And I’m glad everyone plays by the same rules at Capture the flag now. Makes it more fun that way.”

“Should we take a break before we move on, or just move on?” Thalia asked, looking upside down at everyone from her perch on Percy.

“I think we should just move on.” Chris said, speaking up. “Best to get it over with.”

“It’ll be hard to watch.” Clarisse said, looking at him with concern in her eyes.

“Probably, but not everyone got to see what Luke did, or what he did to other demigods that joined his cause. This will kind of help to show that. I don’t remember much of it, honestly. So it’s not a big deal. To me. But, like, it’ll affect Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Tyson, and Rachel pretty badly.”

“Don’t forget this asshole.” Percy said, poking Nico who scowled at him.

“I wasn’t involved much.” Nico argued, but blushed a pretty bright red when a lot of people from camp at the time started arguing. “Ok, ok, jeez, fine. Me too. f*ck, calm down.”

“He was smoking.” Tyson said with wide eyes. “He killed the grass.”

“Not on purpose.” Nico argued weakly, sinking down against Percy and Thalia who were both trying not to laugh at him.

“Ah yes,” Rachel sighed, “when Percy drags more secrets out of all of us.”

“And destroys one of my forges.” Hephaestus grunted, making Percy blush as he attempted an apologetic look.

“They stopped using it, at least.” Percy offered weakly, but when the god of the forges started laughing, he figured they were fine.

“I think at least starting this, we should be able to get through to …” Annabeth tilted her head as she thought through the events, “at least starting the quest, if not until we hit our first sort of roadblock.”

“That’s fair.” Percy agreed. “Alright, let’s keep going then.”

“Dude, how the f*ck is that comfortable?” Connor interrupted, gesturing at Thalia and Nico practically laying on top of him, Grover leaning against his back, and Clarisse sprawled on the ground by his face.

“Just is.” Percy shrugged, snickering when Thalia grumbled about him moving. “I’ll probably move before too long though. Maybe.”

“Geronimo!” Leo shouted, making Tardis noises again that made Percy laugh happily, giving him a thumbs up.

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