Yet another disclaimer : I do not own Percy Jackson… ):
Chapter 5 : Bonding Time?
I woke up, stretched my back, and stumbled out of bed. Rubbing my eyes, I looked over to Percy. As expected, he was on his bed, the same position he fell asleep in, with drool coming out of his mouth. I let out a small smile. That’s Percy for you. Looking out the door, I could tell it was early, about 6:00. That meant I had about 2 hours to do whatever I wanted before breakfast. I started with a shower, because water always felt good, at least to me. I guess you know the reason for that now. Putting on an outfit of my Camp Half Blood t-shirt and jean shorts with sneakers; I walked out of the cabin, looking for Chiron, hoping that he would give me some answers. I found him at the archery range calmly shooting one bulls eye after another. He didn’t even blink as he said, “Hello Alex. Early riser, I presume?” while shooting yet another bulls eye.
“Yeah, it’s a habit.” I walked over to him. “Chiron, I need some answers. I know I’m Poseidon’s kid but what does that mean for me and everyone else?”
“Zeus is angry, no doubt, but he understands that the gods did promise to claim all their children. You will be safe, child, don’t worry about that.” Chiron’s reassuring voice washed over me. “Now, do you want to perhaps pick a weapon?”
“No, I promised I would do that with Percy. You know, bonding time and all that.”
“Very well. What are you going to do now?”
“I guess I’ll try to wake Percy up.” I sighed, thinking about my task. It would probably be almost impossible. But I had to try.
“Good luck to you, Alex.” Chiron turned back toward the targets. “You’ll need it.” He muttered quietly, but not quiet enough that I couldn’t hear it. I squared my shoulders and marched determinately into the cabin. 30 minutes later, I was exhausted. I shook him, I yelled in his ear, I even tried bouncing on his bed! But Percy laid there, still sleeping oblivious to the world. My last resort; I went to the bathroom and got a cup of cold water, then threw it all in his face. Percy’s eyes flew open and his hand went straight for Riptide.
“Whoa Perce. You should calm down there. A bit jumpy, aren’t we?” I chuckled, looking at his soaked bewildered face.
“That was you? What the hell were you trying to do?” He looked a bit mad. “I thought that monsters had come into camp or something!”
“Use your brain Percy. If monsters attacked the camp, they wouldn’t be stupid enough to throw water, the thing that makes you stronger, in your face. I was trying to wake you up.”
Percy’s face turned into its normal clueless self. “That’s true. Wow, I sound stupid sometimes…” He shook his wet head. “You know, I would normally dry myself but this feels good so… Anyway, what time is it? Time for breakfast?”
“Yeah, about that… It’s actually around 6:35. Plenty of time before breakfast.” Percy’s face went back into its mad self.
“You mean I could have slept in another hour and a half?” I knew that voice. I used it often enough when I was furious. This was bad.
Backing up, I said, “Well I mean…”
Percy leapt up from his bed and started chasing me. “Get back here Alexis Forman! Stop! Don’t you dare move one more step!”
I did the smart thing.
I ran all around the camp with Percy running right behind me in his pjs yelling words that would get me suspended in school. Seeing the lake, I speeded toward it and took an impressive leap into the waters. Stupid I know, but I wanted to see if I could actually breathe underwater. Which I learned I could. When I surfaced, a wave of water hit me straight in the face. Followed by another. And another. Going on reflexes, I closed my eyes and put my hands up to protect my face. Curiously, the pounding of waves stopped. Opening my eyes, I did a little victory dance. Water surrounded me, acting as a shield. No matter what Percy tried, it got blocked. Then I tried a little offensive move on my own. Pointing at the water at his feet, I twirled my finger around, making a small whirlpool. It worked! Yes! Percy was getting sucked in to deeper waters and he didn’t even realize it. He was too focused on trying to get through my shield. I then focused on the water behind him, trying to make a wave. Remembering what Percy did to Ares when they fought, I did the same thing. Little waves. It was hard, harder than I thought it would be, but I managed it. Percy walked toward me with a glare on his face that clearly said I’m going to kill you but I couldn’t get distracted by that now. I yelled, “Now!” and the water responded. A huge wave formed right behind Percy and crashed down on him just as he turned around. I let my water shield down and helped him up. Surprisingly he was laughing.
“That was a good move, little sis. Wait, I am older than you right?”
“Yeah, I’m only 15.” I said.
“Well for a 15 year old who never trained before, you really gave me and the camp a showdown.”
I smiled until the full meaning kicked in. “Wait what?” I looked behind him toward the shore and the smile slid straight off my face. It seemed like everybody from camp was watching us from the shoreline; some looking scared, some looking impressed. I even saw Robbie who smiled at me and gave me a thumbs up. Annabeth was there too, giving me an approving glance. I told this to Percy.
“Why would she do that?” Percy sounded betrayed.
“Probably because I used a strategy worthy of Athena.” I thought some more. “Then again, it doesn’t take a strategy worthy of Athena to beat you so probably not.”
“Burn!” someone from the Hermes cabin said.
“Oh shut up,” Percy called out. Then he turned back to me. “You want to start our bonding time now or what?”
“Oh, so this fight wasn’t bonding?” I asked innocently.
“Come on, let’s go see what weapon you’ll have.” Percy pulled me out of the lake and we hurried to the Hephaestus cabin. Percy was trying to avoid being teased while I was getting patted on the back for beating him on my first fight. At last Percy couldn’t take it anymore and turned around. “It was luck. I let her beat me.”
Annabeth piped up. “Keep telling yourself that Seaweed Brain.” Everybody started laughing. She fought through the crowd to stand in front of me. “And that was some good tactics you used there Alex. You noticed that Percy always seems to focus so much on offense that he doesn’t notice what’s going on around him. Then you used that against him. I think that’s a side effect from him having the curse of Achilles and all that but still, good job.”
“Thanks,” I stammered. It wasn’t everyday a person got complimented by a child of Athena.
“All right, let’s move along.” Percy said.
As soon as we walked to cabin 9, Percy fired me with questions. “What weapon do you feel would be best for you? You don’t seem like you have a lot of muscle so I suggest a light weapon. You’re a bit short too. But then…”
I interrupted him. “Hey! I have muscles, thank you very much! And I’m not that short! I’m average.” I was slim, I knew that. But 3 practices a week plus an extra hour of swimming in the weekends built muscles. And I was 5’4”. A respectable height. I continued. “And as for a weapon, I want a knife. Or throwing knives. Or both.”
“Well, we’ll see what we can find.” The search started for the perfect weapon. It was impossible. For the knife, some were too short, others were too long, and some were too flashy (at least for my taste.)The throwing knives were either too heavy or too light. Nothing felt right.
Percy tried to make me feel better. “Hey, it was like that for me too. Don’t worry. Maybe Dad has a weapon for you or something.”
“Yeah, hopefully.” I was exhausted. We worked throughout breakfast and I was starving. “I’m stopping by my cabin, okay Percy?”
“Yeah, I’m going to get lunch.”
I walked slowly toward my cabin. Falling on top of my bed, I frowned. There was something digging into my back. I got up and looked. A beautiful hairpin lay on the sheets. I took it in my hand and studied it. It was beautiful, an emerald at the top and a wavy design throughout the whole pin. A note was on the bed as well, with the same handwriting as the note in the Sea of Monsters. I read it out loud. “Dear Alex, I’m happy that you made it to camp and I know that you’re mad at me. And you have a good reason. I hope this makes it better and you forgive me. I heard that you were wanting a weapon so I gave you this. Use it well. Your father, Poseidon.” There was something at the bottom of the letter. “PS: If you want to get the weapon, all you need to do is throw it up.” It was worth a try. I took the pin and threw it up in the air. When it came back into my hand, it wasn’t a pin anymore. It was a knife, a beautiful one. Celestial bronze with a wonderful leather grip. There was still a sapphire embedded at the hilt but other than that, it wasn’t too flashy. The blade read κύμα. “Kýma,” I said. “Wave.” I looked at the saltwater fountain in the cabin. “Thank you Father.” When I looked back on my bed, there was a charm bracelet that matched with the hairpin along with another note. “I almost forgot this. You did say you wanted throwing knives yes? Just think of the knives and they’ll appear.” I tried it. The throwing knives were perfect. It didn’t look like pure celestial bronze and I guessed that they had some silver in them too. This time, I didn’t even try to be formal. “Wow, thanks Dad, these are great.” Another note appeared. “You’re welcome?” I looked around the cabin for hidden cameras. “OK, now this is getting freaky.” I was looking everywhere for a camera, going through the mattresses, climbing the chairs to see if they were on the ceiling. And this was how Percy found me.
“Alex, you okay there?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Totally fine.”
“Okaaay… I’m not convinced.” Percy came towards me. “Come on! Lunch is almost over and you need something to eat. I was worried when you weren’t coming.”
“Yeah all right.” I allowed myself to be pulled out of the cabin, taking one last suspicious look before I left.
“Oh, that was hilarious!” Apollo snickered. “I mean, looking for cameras? Absolutely hilarious!”
“That’s what you’re excited about?” Aphrodite asked, horrified. “What about the developing romances? Robbie and Alex look so cute together! Plus, they already have nicknames for each other. An important milestone in any relationship”
“Don’t even think about it.” Poseidon was playing the part of the overprotective father. “If this Robbie even as much as tries to make a move on my daughter…” Apollo didn’t like that.
“Oh come on, Uncle P. Robbie’s a good guy… I should know, I’m his dad! Plus, I even thought of a ship name!”
“Oooh…” Aphrodite squealed. “Let’s hear it.”
Dramatic pause… “The ship has sailed. Rolex!”
“Oh come on, it’s not that bad?” Apollo whined. “I mean, what’s so wrong about it?”
“Rolex is a watch company, Apollo.” Artemis sighed. “Honestly, is there anything going on in your brain these days?”
Zeus cleared his throat. “I don’t get why we must watch this girl’s life. We are Olympians. We have work to do.”
“Oh be quiet Zeus. This is way more interesting than sitting around listening to you and Poseidon fight each other like babies.” Hera scolded.
“And plus, I’m eager to see what happens later in her life,” Athena added. Seeing everyone’s shocked face, she said, “What? This is the one sea spawn that actually has a brain. Did you see that fight?”
“I have to give her that. She’s good at fighting.” Ares grudgingly agreed. “Smart use of her surroundings.”
“Oh all of you, shush!” Apollo motioned at the gods to stay quiet. “Alex is about to learn to fight. It’s bonding time!”
Back at Camp Half Blood
After lunch, we went to the archery range. Percy was still ogling my new weapons. “So you got them from Dad.”
“Yes Percy. How many times did I tell you that.”
“It has a sapphire on its hilt. Oh my gods!” Percy shook me. “You are the luckiest person ever! These weapons are awesome! Wait. Can you lose them?”
“Nope. They always return to me.”
Percy pouted. “So cool.”
“Hey, you have Riptide. Don’t talk to me about cool. That was Hercules’s sword. And I know Hercules was a jerk but still, Hercules. It’s all about the name value.”
We reached the archery range and I saw a familiar face. “Hey sunshine!”
I stopped dead. “Nemo?” I said with a disgusted look on my face.
“Well it’s either that or Ariel…”
“You know what, I’m happy with Nemo.”
“All right, Ariel it is then.” Robbie seemed pleased with himself. “Why are you here though? Aren’t Poseidon kids terrible at archery?”
“Yeah,” I answered, still glaring at him for calling me Ariel. “But I want to try out my new throwing knives and this is the best place to do it, according to Percy.”
“I’ll help you. At least, I’ll try.”
I spent the next two hours trying to get a perfect bulls-eye. I was good at throwing knives, the stance came naturally to me and these knives responded to my every thought. Finally, Percy stopped me.
“Alex, I think we should move on to using your knife now. I can’t really teach you how to fight with a knife but Annabeth can and we should get going.”
At the arena, Annabeth taught me some basic moves and, if I may say so myself, I was pretty good. I got what I was supposed to do and even though I lost every duel with Annabeth within 5 minutes, I was improving. Time went by quickly and before I knew it, the horn blew for dinner. I stopped, panting. Sweat ran down my neck. “I give I give.” I gasped.
Annabeth clapped. “That was really good Alex. Not many people can last more than 5 minutes with me!”
At this point I was too tired to care. “And I did?”
“8 minutes even.”
“That’s great.” I said without any enthusiasm. “I’m going to eat now.”
All three of us walked to the dining hall, ready for something to eat. Everything passed by like a blur and soon, I was in the shower, getting ready to go to sleep. Every part of my body hurt and even though the water rejuvenated me, I was still forcing my eyes open by the time I walked out. Percy and I lay down in our beds, just resting, until he broke the silence.
“That was some interesting bonding time, don’t you think?”
“What do you expect from a couple of demigods.” I retorted back.
“True.” Percy laughed. “I’m actually getting used to having a sister. This is all new to me, you know? I was the only kid and my first stepdad was a class A jerk. But I like this. Having someone to talk to at the end of the day.”
“You have Annabeth,” I answered.
“Yeah, but it isn’t the same. I can say anything to you. I mean, I can say anything to her but it’s different, if you know what I mean.”
“Yeah I do.”
“So what’s your family like?” Percy asked, yawning.
There was a pause before I answered. “It’s me, my mom, and my da-stepdad. I never really thought on the same page as them. I mean, I know that they love me and all that, but they never really got me.”
“Ah. Well, good night Alex.”
“Good night Perce.”
“And don’t you dare wake me up like that again.”
“Arrgghh. You’re impossible.”
“I know.” I laughed. “Many people tell me that on a daily basis.”
“I can see that happening.”
“Yeah.”We lapsed into silence. This time it lasted. I fell asleep a few minutes later wondering what the next few months would bring