ncalkins dose not own anything; not beta'ed; ooc;
The three of them materialized in the serf. Luke and Percy waded out of the water following Clarisse, who was heading straight for the biker on the beach. The two trailing demigods could swear there was steam coming out of her ears she was so mad. Ares was standing next to his motor bike playing with a ever changing helmet. Behind him the city was going up in flames. Sirens sounded through the air. It looked like one of the gods had gotten tired of waiting, and thrown a fit early.
"ARES!" Clarisse roared as she stomped over sand, which was not an easy thing to do.
Ares looked up seeing Clarisse stomping toward him with Luke and Percy trailing behind. He gave a false smile and clapped his hands together.
"Clarisse and brats! How did it go?" He grunted as Clarisse came to a stop in front of him.
"You...you...YOU STOLE THE LIGHTNING BOLT!" Clarisse yelled at her dad.
Luke felt like he should clarify, that he stole the lightning bolt and Ares was meant to take it back but didn't. Luckily his self preservation kicked in and he kept his mouth shut. Besides, Ares may not have out right stole the lightning bolt, but he did keep it and then stole Hades' helm.
"Watch it." Ares growled, taking off his glasses to show off the nuclear explosion that were his eyeballs. "I'm a god and your father. Watch how you speak to me."
Now normally Clarisse would be respectful, if not fearful, of her dad, but right now she was angry. This anger gave her courage, or stupidity depending on how you look at it, so she snapped at him.
"We," She waved her hand toward Luke and Percy, both of whom tried not to flinch as Ares looked at them. "Have been all over this country. Chased by monsters. Worried sick about the end of the world, all for a flashy rod..."
"Don't let Zeus hear you say that." Percy interjected. Thunder rumbled in the distance.
"Too late." Luke said, glancing at the sky and moving behind Percy. Yeah, he was afraid of being hit by lightning or whatever. They may not know he stole the bolt because his confession happened in the underworld, but he was still going to hide behind Percy just in case. 'Cause lets face it, Poseidon and Hades could do a lot more damage towards Zeus than his dad ever could.
Clarisse ignored them as Ares snorted when he saw Luke hide behind Percy. "We were almost eaten by a pit!" Ares looked up sharply. That didn't make sense... a pit? "And now, after all that, I find out my father had given us the Lightning Bolt in a bag. He had stolen the Helm of Hades, and for what?"
Clarisse had a very good idea about what her father was trying to accomplish, but she wanted to hear it from his own mouth. After all, there was a chance that she was wrong.
"War." Ares said looking at her like she was stupid, which did nothing for her anger. "Imagine it, Clarisse. Zeus is mad at Poseidon for stealing his Lightning Bolt. Hades is mad at both Zeus and Poseidon for stealing his helm. Barnacle Brain would be mad that his son was tragically killed in the cross fire...It would be a three way slug-fest. Think of the power I would gain. I could take out Zeus and the others, and rule. Once that happens, there would be no more running for demigods. You would have a safe place, and be taught how to fight monsters from the time you are born. The threat of monsters would be nonexistent. You demigods would be so well trained."
Clarisse straightened and blinked in shock at what her dad just said. She had guessed that he wanted war, but she thought that he would want it for entertainment, not power. It did make sense that Ares would grow more powerful with the war, but there were also several problems with that plan. And unlike yesterday, she wasn't scared to point them out.
"There are a number of problems with that plan, father. One, eventually you would be found out, resulting in all the gods turning on you. Two, what if Poseidon didn't care about Percy? What would happen to your plan?" Clarisse asked pointing her finger to the side and her other hand on her hip.
"Please," Ares snorted, he looked down his nose at Clarisse as he said. "Barnacle Beard loves the brat, and even if he didn't, he would be angry at being falsely accused. I would still win."
"How did you get the Lightning Bolt in and out of the backpack?" Percy cut in before Clarisse could speak.
Nuclear eyes turned to Percy, making him feel heat blossom up his back and fry his brain. He felt angry again, but the sea lapping at his feet helped him keep his cool.
"You know the magic that enables that sword that Chiron gave you to reappear in your pocket? It's like that, but with a few modifications. Once you reached the underworld is when the Lighting Bolt would appear within it." Ares explained his eyes flickering to his daughter; who with every word spoken seemed to become angrier.
"Why didn't you keep the Lightening Bolt for yourself?" Percy questioned staring Ares in the eyes.
"Keep it?" Ares' face started to twitch as he muttered to himself. "Keep it...why didn't I? With that power I could have..."
"Power!" Clarisse barked a laugh ignoring Percy's warning look. "That's all you care about! You say you want power. This world is violent enough as is! Isn't that enough power?! If you start a war among the gods, it will devastate the humans."
"Humans? What do I care of them." Ares scoffed, placing his shades back on his head.
"MOM'S HUMAN!" Clarisse screamed her voice shrill. "I'M HALF HUMAN!" She tapped herself above her heart with tears in her eyes. Ares flinched, an involuntary reaction if the tightening of his body was to be read right.
"If you don't care about humans then why even say you love mom!" Clarisse shouted, she wiped angrily at the tears forming in her eyes. "Why say that life would be better for demigods if we were under your rule? Because it wouldn't, it would be the same damn thing!"
Ares carefully placed the helm on his motorcycle's handle bar. Luke carefully lowered the bag with the lightening bolt to the ground at his feet. Percy uncapped Riptide as Clarisse continued to yell at her father.
"Did it ever occur to you that if the war happened, it had the potential to kill all humans?! What would happen to the Greek Gods if humans disappeared?! They would fade, you would fade!"
Ares sighed as he took off his glasses and placed them in his leather jacket's pocket. His nuclear eyes transformed into Clarisse's own brown eyes. He gave her a pointed look.
"Are you done?" He asked as if Clarisse was a three year-old throwing a tantrum.
Clarisse's jaw dropped. How could her father dismiss this so easily?
'He's a Greek God.' Part of her thought bitterly.
She was trying to make him see sense.
'Since when did war make sense?' Part of her questioned.
Ares ignored Clarisse's offended look. He turned his brown eyes toward Percy, and said.
"If you want the helm back. You'll have to fight me for it. I don't care if you want to fight me yourself or have all three of you fight me."
Percy nodded, and was about to step forward. Ready to proclaim that he would be the one to fight Ares for his adoptive father's helm, and his biological father's honor. When Clarisse stopped him by holding out her arm.
"I'll do it." She growled. "He's my father."
Ares stared at her and then slowly nodded. One thing was for sure, his kid had guts.
"Classical or modern?" He asked. In answer Clarisse twisted her ring to the right summoning forth a shield, and then twisted it to the left summoning a duplicate of her electric spear.
"What is it with that spear?" Ares muttered as he summoned a sword.
Clarisse remained silent as they circled each other. She didn't tell him that she treasured that electric spear above all other weapons because it was the first present she got from her father. As they lunged toward each other jabbing, testing each other. She didn't tell him that she relied on that spear to save her ass more then once. Clarisse blocked the swing Ares took at her with her shield as she stabbed at him with her spear. She didn't tell him that the spear he gave her was the only thing that kept her going sometimes, it was proof that her father cared for her, at least she use to think that. She jumped back as Ares once again made a swipe at her. She didn't tell him that the spear he gave her was the only thing that marked her place among his many children, special they all thought, when she showed it off to her brothers and sisters.
Clarisse ignored the respect, the pride, in her father's eyes. The eyes he made to look like her's. She stabbed at him again, and he blocked. She noticed she was moving farther and farther away from the sea. Behind her she heard police sirens. She could only imagine what the mortals were seeing as she dodged a downward swing from Ares. She rolled to the side. Coming up to a crouch, she kept her spear pointed at Ares and her shield close.
"Freeze! Police!" Clarisse heard.
She saw Ares get annoyed. His sword turned into a gun, and he fired at the mortals shouting.
Ares, in his arrogance, took his eyes off of Clarisse. She took advantage of his lapse in concentration and stabbed at him. Sadly, Ares was quicker. He transformed his gun back into a sword, and blocked her attack. Ares laughed and crowed as Clarisse backed into the surf. She made eye contact with Percy, and hoped he knew what she wanted him to do.
"That's why you're my favorite demigod child!" Ares shouted in glee as Clarisse blocked his attack.
Clarisse, being careful of dipping her electric spear in the water, felt bitterness well up within her. Ares acted like he cared, and for a moment within the underworld Clarisse had dared to hope. She had hoped, like all demigods, that their godly parent really did care and love their parent, that they cared and love them, but in reality they didn't. The human life was not even in a blink of an eye to the Greek Gods. Clarisse could see the truth now as she looked at the flames behind Ares where the mortals, the police had been. Clarisse felt a sting on her arm as she lost her concentration. She barely got out of the way with only a scratch. That's when she realized Ares was playing with her. He tisked in disappointment.
"I expected better of you, Clarisse. You know not to get distracted when in a fight." He said, shaking his head slightly as he advanced toward Clarisse. They were deeper in the water now waist high on Clarisse, hip high on Ares.
Clarisse now had to hold her spear high above her hair to keep it out of the water. Ares shook his head again with a disappointed frown. He stopped advancing on her, making Clarisse tilt her head in confusion.
"You should have chosen a better weapon." Ares said, gruffly watching Clarisse struggle to maintain her spear above her head. "You know this. Check your surroundings, if you have a choice of weapons choose one that fits your style and that won't be troublesome, and finally use your surroundings to your advantage."
"Like this." Clarisse hissed as the water lifter her up above Ares. Thankfully Percy understood her message, or at least decided he couldn't stand by and watch anymore.
Then she did something very foolish; but hey, most wars are won by whoever is the most crazy or desperate. She threw her spear into the water. Ares and Clarisse were both shocked, but there was a difference. Ares was still covered in water, and Clarisse was now falling through the air toward Ares. With a roar Ares made all the water around him move away in a giant circle while Clarisse took out her knife from her boot. As she fell beside her father she left a long, shallow, cut down his arm. The arm began to bleed, and with smoke coming from his eye sockets Ares yelled again. Another shock wave picked Clarisse up and tossed her back to the sandy beach, she hit the ground hard, knocking the wind out of her. Her eyes closed, but still underneath her eyelids she could see a flash of light.
"That was foolish." Clarisse heard.
She opened her eyes to see Luke scowling down at her. Percy helped her to her feet as she looked around. Ares was no were to be found, so he must have been that flash of light. She was shaking, and she smelt like burned bacon, well maybe not, but she felt like it.
"What happened?" Clarisse asked looking from Luke to Percy.
"What happened?" Luke scoffed. He turned to Percy, who was picking up his daddy's helm, and said. "Can you believe her?"
Luke turned to Clarisse, blue eyes flashing, and snapped. "What happened is you decided to fry yourself like a giant chicken!"
Clarisse scowled at Luke who was jabbing his finger at her while he said. "You...you...you are fried chicken."
"We got the helm, didn't we. That's what we set out for." Clarisse defensively said back.
Luke's scowl deepened. He opened his mouth, but was interrupted by Percy.
"Clarisse is right. We have the helm and the bolt. We need to focus on getting them back to their rightful owners."
Luke glared at Percy, but yielded. He was about to ask how they were going to get the items back, when he was interrupted again. Luke muttered to himself as they looked up to the skies. "I'm getting real sick of people not letting me talk."
The Furies looked down at them with wings spread. They called for the helm to be given to them. Percy gave it to them and asked if his dad could shadow travel the demigods to Olympus. The Furies looked at the demigods sadly.
"We are afraid not. Hades has interfered far too much already. If he did more, his head would be on the line, and, by extension, so would yours." They said, and then left.
"Thanks for nothing." Luke muttered surly. He was not a happy camper right now.
"Don't be like that." Percy chided him before looking at his two companions. "Do we still have money to cover our journey home?"
Luke looked through his backpack. "Yep."
"HOLD IT!" The demigods turned to find a cop behind them. The gun wasn't drawn, but the hand was resting on it.
"You kids have some explaining to do." The cop said pointed his finger at all three of them. "I'm gonna have to take you down town."
The demigods agreed to go peacefully, and followed the cop to his car. They passed where Ares motorcycle had been when Percy stepped on something. It was a bagging with one piece of what looked like a golden brownie with in it.
"Ambrosia." Percy whispered as he bent down to pick it up. He looked at the food of the gods, and wondered how it got there. It couldn't have come from their bags, there was no other demigod around or they would have been attracted to the fight, and besides there was only enough ambrosia for...one.
"Clarisse." Percy whispered. Then louder as he hurried to catch up with the other two. "Hey, Clarisse!"
She turned her head slowly toward him. Brown eyes tired. Percy winced, he felt sore just looking at her. He handed her the bag. Clarisse took it and looked at it curiously. She didn't ask him were he got it, just assumed it came from Luke. So she ate it. Percy had the feeling if she knew it came from her father she would probably refuse out of pride, so he kept quite.
They were placed in a gray room when at the police station. When asked what had happened, they told the police that they had been kidnapped by Ares. To their surprise, another police officer came in with a wanted poster with Ares face on it. He told the questioner that Ares was a wanted criminal that used kids for his dirty work. So the demigods were let go. The man who had backed their story up led them to a police car. Put the sirens on and winked at them from the review mirror.
"Got to get you back as fast as possible, right?"
"Thanks dad." Luke said from up front.
The police cruiser rushed past traffic. Percy and Clarisse grinned at one another as the world passed them by; they were going to make it. Hermes parked the car in front of the airport and handed them tickets. The demigods started at him in shock until he waved his hands telling them.
"Go! Go! You don't want to be late! Trust me it would be bad for all of us."
Luke snatched the tickets out of the Hermes hand and rushed out of the car. Clarisse followed as did Percy as he screamed over his shoulder. "Thank you! I'll give extra offerings!"
Hermes watched at the demigods raced into the airport. He thumped his head against the steering wheel. They were good kids. With one last look at the airport. He teleported out of the car careful not to show his godly form. No point in having humans spontaneously combusting.
Percy learned first hand why he didn't fly. They were in first class on a nicer airplane,finding out first class actually meant something. They were given hot meals, pillows, and blankets. Music and movies were provided along with headphones, but Percy couldn't enjoy it because he was several thousand feet in the air. And Luke, the bastard, just kept laughing at him. Percy swore if he threw up, it would be on him. The landed soon, not soon enough for Percy.
"Oh, thank the gods my feet are on the ground again." Percy sighed as they hurried out of the airport.
"Oh, thank the gods I've got feeling in my hand again." Clarisse muttered to Luke as she flexed her hand.
Luke laughed as he got into the taxi. He elbowed Percy gently in the side, teasing him.
"Good news Percy! Clarisse gets to keep the function in her hand!"
"Oh, shut up." Percy muttered as the taxi zipped down the streets of New York to the Empire State Building.
Once they arrived, they were briefly stopped by the doorman until Percy showed him the lightning bolt, and Clarisse, for some reason or another, thought it would be prudent to threaten the door man with shoving the bolt up his bum hole. When asked why, Clarisse responded "He was moving too slow."
Luke looked at Clarisse from across the elevator as he said. "You have issues."
Clarisse scowled and snapped. "Oh, I'm sorry the world is just about to end, but don't worry we have just enough time to go for a leisure stroll!"
"You didn't have to threaten him." Luke argued as the elevator slowed down. "The poor guy was in shock."
"That poor guy was gonna be shocked if he didn't move his butt, and he wouldn't recover nicely."
"Guys!" Percy broke in before Luke could snap back. He had a serious headache and they were making it worse. "We're here."
The steel doors opened to reveal Olympus in all it's shining glory. White, shiny, and loud Olympus was thriving. Percy, Luke, and Clarisse took a moment to take it in. No matter how many times they have seen it, and for most of them it was only once or twice, they could never get use to it.
"Come on." Percy hefting the back pack leading Clarisse and Luke up to the top of the mountain where a palace was set. For the most part, they ignored everyone else. They ignored the mischievous Nymphs, and the harking venders. It wasn't long before they reached the doors of the palace.
Percy laid his hands on the golden door, the door bigger them most houses, he was about to push it open when Luke spoke up. "Percy, I want to carry the Lightening Bolt inside."
Percy turned to look at him. Part of him felt unset it was his father and adoptive father that had been accused of theft as well as his name that had been dragged into the mud. So he tried to voice this in a reasonable way; he was taught that to never throw fits it didn't work and it just made you look foolish.
"Luke, my father and my adoptive father were both accused of theft. Wouldn't it be better for me to present the Bolt? As a peace offering from them both."
"Yeah, but Percy..." Luke licked his lips as he rose his hand beseechingly toward him. "I'm the one who started it all. Please, I want to make this right."
Percy looked into Luke pleading eyes. His hand tightened on the strap of the back pack. For a moment, he didn't want to give the pack to Luke. For a moment, he felt like he couldn't trust him. Percy unclenched his hand and slowly took the pack off his shoulder. He kept his eyes trained on Luke as he started to hold it out to him. Luke's eyes flickered from Percy's eyes to the bag, he licked his lips, he was sweating, and he held his hand out insistently. Percy was about to hand Luke his bag when he pulled it back.
"Wait," Luke looked at Percy with an uneasy look. "Take off your shoes."
"Percy!" Clarisse objected from the side. They were wasting time; she wished they would just settle this. Clarisse looked to the sky clouds were gathering and thunder rumbled. They could wait for much longer.
Luke looked like he was going to resist, but then he sighed, and kicked off his shoes. He gave Percy a mulish look, and held out his hand once again. Percy smiled lightly and willingly gave the bag to Luke. Luke looked so relieved that Percy felt kind of bad for acting that way, but better safe than sorry.
Together they stepped into the throne room. The sheer size of it was overwhelming just like anything else on Olympus. Twelve large thrones sat in a U shape in the largest room the demigods ever seen. Three gods were sitting, but only one looked alarming.
In the middle, sitting straight up in his throne was a male with a neatly trimmed beard and hair the color of storm clouds. Rainy gray eyes stared down at them coldly. Zeus, the king of the gods, was wearing a purple pinstriped suit, and he looked ready to turn some demigods into piles of ashes. Beside him was his brother wearing his usual shorts and Hawaii shirt, Poseidon offered a smile to them. There was one surprise that the demigods did not expect. Hermes, still dressed like a cop, was sitting a few chairs away from Poseidon.
The demigods bowed as a form of respect. Luke and Clarisse bowed to Zeus, then to Poseidon, and finally to Hermes as tradition dictated. Percy in a show of defiance, and perhaps stupidity, bowed to first Poseidon then Zeus and then Hermes. He rose and turned to Zeus but before he did he saw Hermes trying to contain his laughter.
"You're son is impudent." Zeus said with a voice like thunder.
"You know the children of the seas, brother." Poseidon said offhandedly, he had a weird proud look in his eyes. "They can not be tamed easily, much like the children of the skies."
Poseidon sneaked a look toward Hermes who flipped him off. Zeus grunted and grumbled.
"The children of the skies as far more unruly than children of the seas."
Poseidon got a challenging look in his eyes. The demigod looked at each other. Why was children who had trouble following orders a good thing? They watched as Poseidon opened his mouth to argue with Zeus when Hermes broke in.
"You can argue about who had the more bratty kids later." Hermes waved off their fighting, and earned offended looks from Poseidon, Zeus, and Percy. As Clarisse and Luke snorted in response to their looks, Hermes started to bounce in his seat. "So what happened?"
Luke stepped forward pass Percy and laid the backpack on the ground. He carefully unzipped the bag. The smell of ozone, which corrupted the air around Zeus, grew stronger. Small sparks of lightening shot out of the bag. Zeus held out his hand, and it flew to him. Luke stepped back, silently watching the god. Part of him wanted to speak, but what could he say besides the obvious? He decided to stay silent.
"Why did the son of Poseidon not offer up the Lightening Bolt to me? Does he mean to slight me?" Zeus questioned.
Luke traded alarmed looks with Percy. Clarisse pulled Percy back behind her as if she could be protection against a Greek god. Luke stared at Zeus, who was impatiently waiting for an answer, he licked his lips nervously. Here it goes...He was going to confess to stealing the bolt.
"He's my son. It's in his blood." Hermes quickly cut in seeing Luke open his mouth, and guessing, rightly, what he was going to say.
Zeus gave a dissatisfied look, but let it go when Hermes turned to the kids. "So who stole the lightening bolt?" Hermes asked.
Once again Luke opened his mouth to say he did it, but he was interrupted this time by Poseidon.
"Why were you fighting Ares in my domain?"
"Ares?" Zeus turned his attention from his brother to the demigods and back again. "They were fighting Ares?"
"Yes, spilled his blood." Poseidon sounded strangely gleeful about that.
"Good," Hermes snorted as he slumped down in his chair. "Hopefully took him down a peg or two."
Zeus ignored Hermes. He leaned forward, and asked the demigods. "Why were you fighting Ares?"
"He stole the lightening bolt." Percy quickly said stepping forward as he passed Luke to stand in front of the king of gods he heard him hiss his name.
Zeus snorted. "Ares could not steal my Master Bolt without help." He gave Percy a dirty look part of him still wanting to place blame on his brother's son.
Luke seeing this look stepped forward. "I did it." He said.
Zeus turned stormy eyes toward Luke, who tried not to flinch. "What?" Zeus growled.
"Ares probably threatened him." Hermes said quickly. He didn't like the way Zeus was looking at his son. "You know how violent Ares gets if he doesn't get his way."
Zeus hummed fingering his Master Bolt. Poseidon seeing his brother consider it pipped up.
"And they did bring it back brother."
Zeus stared down at the demigods, and then stood up. He ignored how the demigods flinched and crowded together.
"You have done me a service, for that I will let you live as a reward." Zeus said then with a flash and a rumbled he was gone.
"Your uncle always had a taste for dramatics." Poseidon said as he approached the relaxing demigods.
Hermes snorted as he grabbed his son's shoulder rubbing his thumb into the tissue there as he said. "He should have been the god of theater."
The demigods cracked a smile until Luke spoke up. "Why did you stop me from telling Zeus what happened?"
"Did you want to end up a smug on the ground?" Hermes asked giving Luke a sideways glance while leaning his head slightly back.
Luke became flustered as he yelped. "No! I just..." His head lowered and his voice mumbled. "Don't I need to be punished for what I did?"
Hermes and Poseidon shared a look. "I think you payed for what you did enough already. Besides you righted what you did wrong, and you were not the only hand in this."
Hermes saw that Luke didn't believe Poseidon's words so he turned to Clarisse and Percy.
"I need to talk to Luke alone for a bit. You can wonder Olympus or catch a cab back to camp." Hermes said dismissively staring into Luke's blue eyes so much like May's.
Clarisse looked like she was about to object when Percy elbowed her in the side. He jerked his head over to the doors, and grudgingly Clarisse followed him. Poseidon fell into line behind them chattering.
"If you two want to explore Olympus I can show you around. Oh! I know a great ice cream parlor that's to die for! Just let me do all the talking, paying, and work okay?"
Luke heard his friends say okay in confused voices before the doors closed behind them. His back straightened and stiffened. His knees locked and his hands fiddled with the seams of his pants. He was alone with his father. In a throne room. On Olympus. Now it's true that they were getting along better, but that didn't mean Luke wasn't uncomfortable with with being alone with his father.
Hermes studied Luke as he fidgeted. Then he asked. "Why do you think you should be punished?"
Luke confused by this question stilled. "Well...I stole the Lightening Bolt?"
'That sounds like a question.' Hermes though as he barked out. "Any other reason!"
"I almost got my friends killed!" Luke blurted out. Blue eyes widened as his hands slapped over his mouth.
Unrelenting Hermes asked. "Why did you steal the Master Bolt?"
Luke stayed quite looking to the side. He couldn't meet Hermes eyes. If he did it he would see his reflection, and then he would be forced to see his mistakes.
"Answer me!" Hermes voice boomed. He hated how Luke flinched. He hated how he raised his voice, but it might be the only way to get Luke to speak.
"I was angry, okay?" Luke snapped. "I was angry that you left!"
"Was it your idea?" Hermes asked gently, hiding any pain he felt about his son's confession. It wasn't anything new, but it still hurt.
"No." Luke said softly. "It was Kronos. He told me to steal the Bolt. He told me how to curse the shoes you gave me, and by then I was in so deep I was afraid of asking for help."
"Why were you afraid?" Hermes asked. It felt like a dumb question, but it need to be asked.
"Because Kronos threatened horrible things. He gave me terrifying nightmares as punishment for failing." Luke's eyes grew hollow as he relieved those moments. "I could feel everything within those nightmares. When Ares found out, it became worse. He threatened to tell if I tried to say anything. He would become a hero, and I would be killed."
"Why would you follow Kronos? You had to know it was a bad idea." Hermes asked his hands out in front of him emphasizing what he was saying.
"He promised that the world he would rebuild would be better. He promised that no demigod would ever be left behind. He promised that we would be treated as family. We would be safe." Luke whispered.
Hermes ran a hand down his face. He then ran a hand through his hair. He stared at Luke, his hands hovering between them.
"I'll be the first to admit that demigods are not treated as well as they should be. But gods can't, or they couldn't, interfere in the lives of their children too many times with out severe consequences. This world may not be perfect, but at least the demigods have a safe place to go." Hermes said.
"A safe place to go?" Luke sputtered unbelieving. He was starting to remember why he was willing to destroy the world to get ride of the gods.
"Demigods die before they even know who they really are!" Luke shouted throwing out his arm. "If the gods really wanted to keep their children safe they would make sure they made it to camp! They would tell every parent, or, better yet, they would take the child when it's born! They would take the kid to camp half blood with the mothers, or nannies, or whoever to raise that child. That is what they would do, and let me tell you, me being raised by nymphs would have been a lot better then being chased by monsters every day of my life!"
"That's not fair, Luke." Hermes said his jaw tightening. He was trying to control his temper, but Luke was making it really hard.
"Not fair?" Luke laughed bitterly. "You know what's not fair? Being chased by monsters everyday of my life, being sent on a quest that nearly got me killed for no other reason than for my father to have bragging rights, and then when I'm at camp you know what stories I hear?!"
Hermes silently shook his head. His blue eyes burned with an anger that hid his pain and sadness. He knew Luke had been angry, but this bitter? This hateful that he was willing to condemn the whole world to gain revenge?
Luke ignored the warning signs that his father was showing in favor of saying.
"I would hear stories about how the gods would take heroes and hid them, of how heroes would live in safety all their lives because the gods cared enough to protect them until they needed them. Why not us?!" Luke shouted throwing out his arms.
He then calmed making Hermes eye him cautiously. He knew this sign. Luke was going to say something extremely hurtful and what he believed to be true. He was doing the same thing his mother would do. First explosion and then go in for the kill.
"Wait," Luke said holding up a finger near his face. "I know why. It's because the you guys don't really care for us."
"That's not true." Hermes said spreading his feet apart.
"All this caring for us stuff that's going on, it's probably bull shit!"
"You know that's not true." Hermes tried to reason with Luke.
"I bet you never even cared about mom!" Luke hissed. "She was just another one of your many whores!"
"Don't you ever call your mother that again." Hermes said through gritted teeth as he stepped closer to Luke placing his face close to Luke's face. "I loved, love, her with all my heart."
Luke could see the pain in Hermes eyes, but couldn't believe it as he said. "Yeah, loved her along with every other booty call you had at the same time."
Hermes let out a pained sigh. "Okay, I'll admit that I had other women along with your mother. However, that didn't mean I loved her any less."
Luke snorted and crossed his arms. Hermes ignored that as he continued.
"You have to understand. For gods, love is different. A lot of the time it is just lust, but sometimes love is there. Either the god or goddess falls in love because they have spent time with that person, or it's love at first sight."
Luke scoffed causing Hermes to hold up his hand and close his eyes.
"Don't scoff. For gods love at first sight is very real, and it is a terrible curse."
Hermes opened his eyes to see Luke trying, and failing, to hide an interest in what he had to say. He felt a bitter smile appear on his face. Of course Luke would be interested in his suffering, but in a way Luke was blameless. All demigods were interested in their godly parent because they knew so little about them.
"When a goddess or god falls in love it is a horrible, wonderful, thing. They are constantly trapped between wanting to spend all their time with their loved ones or staying as far away as they can. Which if they love them isn't always that far at least not mentally." Hermes licked his lips and took a step away from Luke. He began to pace silently wishing Poseidon would return with the other demigods so he wouldn't have to speak of this.
"To fall in love and be immortal is a horrible, horrible thing. It's bitter sweet with more bitterness than sweetness. As an immortal, you will see all you love die before your eyes and not be able to do a thing about it. I have had to watch people I have loved grow sick, get hurt, age, and die before my eyes and was unable to do a thing about it." Hermes said wringing his hands together in front of him as he paced. He could feel Luke's eyes on him tracing his every move, and somehow that made it easier and harder to talk all at the same time.
"I am forever glad you will never experience that pain, at least not to that extent. Humans are lucky in their own way. When they die they can meet up with those they lost. For a god, those that are lost are lost forever; I mean I can see their spirit, but they're just shadows of their former selves. They don't even realize I'm there; most of them just recognize other spirits, and that is if they're paying attention." Hermes said, sadness weighing his voice down heavily.
"If you loved mom, then why did you leave." Luke hissed. He blinked his eyes, rapidly tears were beginning to form. Even after all the years of fear, he still loved his mother. "She waited for you. Every day. Every day she waited for you to come back. Always telling me that things were going to get better because my father was going to come to help. Telling how happy I'll be when I finally met you."
Hermes felt his eyes close as he turned away from Luke. He rubbed his forehead. His heart ached from hearing this.
"Laws forbid it." As soon as those words fell from Hermes's lips he knew that was the wrong thing to say.
"Laws forbid..." Luke let out a bitter laugh. "Laws forbid it." He mocked.
Luke turned away from his father as he said. "Laws forbid Greek Gods from interfering in mortal lives, but they do it anyway."
"I know." Hermes said gently trying to salvage the situation. "I know you're angry, and you have every right to be, but things are changing now. They will get better."
Luke ignored his father, who had turned to face the back of his son, as he softly asked. "Do laws forbid giving medicine for something they caused?"
"W-What do you mean?" Hermes stuttered out. He could feel uneasy sweep through him body.
"Mom," Luke said scratching his head as he turned around. He laughed slightly as he raised his head to look at his father. "Well, mom, had a sickness. See she'd get these glowing green eyes."
Luke pointed at his eyes as he smile a humorless grin when he saw the despair within Hermes eyes and continued. "And this raspy voice."
Luke ran his fingers over his neck as if something was trying to rip it out. He slowly lowered his hand slipping it into his pocket. His other hand slipped into his pocket as he leaned forward.
"You know what she use to say?" He asked softly. Without waiting for an answer he lowered his voice to a rasp. "Not my son! Not his destiny! My child! Must protect him! Hermes, help!"
Luke saw Hermes flinch and close his eyes tightly, but he kept on. This had been bottled up for far to long to stop it now. "Not my child! Not his fate! No!"
Luke watched his father carefully as he leaned away from Hermes. Hermes was clenching his hands together in front of his crotch. His shoulders were hunched, but his back was straight and stiff. So Luke decided to give a bit of a push to see how far this could go before his dad snapped.
"Naturally, that scared the crap out of me as a child. I was curious wondering why did my mommy do that? Why did she grab me and shake me like a rag doll, and then seem like she didn't remember it at all?" Luke said. Part of him was hoping that Hermes was seeing all of this clearly in his head. Another part of him was wondering if he needed to be tested for suicidal tendencies.
"So I asked her." Luke continued as he began to walk circled around his father.
"Mama, why do you get glowing green eyes and a scary voice?" He faked a child's voice relished in his father's flinch.
"At first she didn't know what I was talking about. Then she got this sad smile on her face and dreamy eyes." Luke gave a fake laugh as he pointed at his father and back to himself as if they shared a secret. "You know the eyes, the eyes that said she was thinking or talking about you."
Still Luke paced around his father. He could see his father's nails digging into his palm. Luke smiled as he continued talking. "She told me a story. A wonderful little story. About how the Greek Gods Oracle couldn't or wouldn't switch bodies. Being the brave soul she is, she volunteered to host the spirit of the Oracle."
"Stop it." Hermes felt himself whisper. There was a roaring in his ears blocking out all sound, except cruelly his son's voice. His eyes were trained on the ground swimming in and out of focus.
"Of course the Oracle didn't take." Luke said stopping in front of his father.
"Stop it." Hermes said firmer, louder, and sharper. He could feel his nail digging into his skin. His powers were surging begging to be let out against this foolish mortal, no his son, that dared to criticize him. If Luke kept pushing Hermes might not be able to stop himself.
Luke could sense the danger, but he ignored it. He leaned forward as he whispered. "Mother suffered, and it's all your fault."
"STOP IT!" Hermes yelled his head snapping up. He glared at Luke, no he was glaring down at Luke. Luke who had stumbled backward and fell stared up at him in horror as if he was one of the many monster his son faced daily.
That made Hermes freeze. That's when he realized he wasn't just looking down at Luke because he fell, but because Hermes had grown in size. His caduceus was in hand in position to strike down the foolish mortal who dared to defy him. George and Martha were hissing at him to calm down, to think about what he was doing, and to think about giving them more rats.
"Stop it." Hermes mumbled as he shrank back to man size and George and Martha went back into cell-phone mode. Though who he was talking to, himself or his son, he couldn't say.
Luke only stared up at him. A grim type of triumph in his eyes. He had succeed in hurting his father, an ambition that deep down felt like it wasn't fulfilled, and showed himself that Hermes was a monster. But part of him, a small part, wondered who was the monster Hermes who abandoned him or Luke who was lashing out at him even though Hermes was trying to make things right.
Hermes opened his mouth. He was going to say something, what he didn't know, but by the fates he was going to say something. However, he never got the chance. The doors to the meeting room were opening. Father and son turned there heads to look to see Poseidon sticking his head into the room.
Sea-green eyes looked between the two of them before the owner said. "We have ice cream out here, if you guys are done?"
"Sure." Luke said scrambling to get up. Once he was on his feet he started toward the door only for a hand on the shoulder to stop him.
"Actually, we need a couple of minutes alone." Hermes called to Poseidon.
Poseidon gave them both careful looks before nodding. He backed out of the door. Hermes waited until the door was closed before dragging his son to his throne. Luke thought that Hermes was going to sit in the throne much to his disgust, of course his father would want to look down on him, but to his surprise Hermes stopped and turned to look at him. He remained standing.
Hermes sighed and wiped at the lower part of his face. He looked Luke in the eye one hand going to his hip and the other pointing at Luke still holding onto his cell-phone.
"Look I know I haven't been the best dad." Hermes ignored Luke's snort. "I know I've made mistakes, and I know you're angry. So in a show of truce I am going to answer any question you have."
Luke crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back looking down his nose at his father with hooded eyes. He was silent for a moment studying Hermes, trying to decide if he was going to keep his word, and trying to decide on what question to ask. When he finally opened his mouth, Hermes wished he didn't.
"What did mom mean when she said, 'Not my child! Not his fate!'?" Luke watched as Hermes flinched; he waited, but no answer was coming forth.
"You know what it is." Luke stated. "Tell me."
"I can't..." Hermes crocked out lowering his head; he couldn't look his son in the eyes. He wished Luke never asked that, and a dark part of him wished Luke didn't exist, but as soon as that thought whispered in his head he squished it. However it was like trying to stomp out water, the idea slipped around in his head no matter how hard he tried to silence it. That voice with it's cold metallic scratchy voice that oozed within his mind at impromptu times.
"Just like you to go back on you're promise." Luke sneered. "Demigods really can't trust the gods."
Hermes felt his jaw tick. The voice was whispering again, but was it the intruders voice or his own or a mixture of the two?
'Stupid boy. Doesn't he know how much you have done for him? He should be punished.'
Image after Image filled Hermes head of making Luke immortal, and torturing him for the rest of eternity.
'No.' Hermes fought back. Pushing those thoughts and the voice away.
Once he was sure the voice would come back, he turned his attention toward Luke. It would appear that Luke had grown impatient, and had turned away from him.
'Well at least he has enough brains not to leave before I dismiss him.' Hermes thought wearily.
In that moment he decide that Luke needed to know the truth. If only to make sure he didn't try to topple the gods again. Hermes knew, however, the real reason he wanted to tell was to save the relationship he had with Luke. It was just getting good; he wasn't about to throw it away just because some laws told him he couldn't, besides Luke's fate had changed. Oh, the glory of being mortal.
"You're mother had visions of you betraying the Greek Gods." Hermes saw Luke turn his head slightly, not looking at him, but listening to him.
"I have heard the prophecy been told before. A long time ago, before your mother was born." Hermes said stepping closer to Luke.
"I don't need to be reminded that you're a cradle robber, thanks." Luke muttered and Hermes was going to ignore that.
"It spoke of a demigod betraying the Greek Gods." Hermes took a deep breath and then began to recite the prophecy.
"A half-blood of the eldest gods shall reach sixteen against all odds and see the world in endless sleep, the hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap. A single choice shall end his days. Olympus to preserve or raze."
Luke swallowed his head stuck on the part of a half-blood of the eldest gods shall reach sixteen against all odds. "Percy." He whispered in response his father nodded.
"Yep, that's why Zeus and most gods hate him so much. You're mother saw the part you would play in that prophecy. You were suppose to start a revolution with Kronos," Luke flinched at the name as a cold shiver ran down his spine. Hermes ignored this as he continued. "And then you were going to give your life to stop him."
Hermes said it mechanically hiding the turmoil he had inside. It hurt to think his child would do all of that, and he could do nothing. Then Hermes brightened, just a little bit, Luke was in front of him. Luke had defied his fate.
"I was suppose to die...to try to dethrone the gods?" Luke questioned. Sure it sounded like a good idea when he was bitter, and angry, but to actually do it. To hear that he was suppose to do it, and then die in the end. It was a bit surreal.
"That's the beauty of humans!" Hermes gushed. "They have a history of defying their fate. At least in some way! You did what many could not; you changed you're fate."
Luke looked at Hermes's proud face. He thought about how his father had contacted him, and treated him as if he loved him. He thought about the anger he felt toward Hermes for abandoning him, and still felt at times. He thought what if...what if his father had never reached out to him...Luke knew deep within his heart that the prophecy would have come true.
"Maybe it's not just humans that can defy their fate. Gods can too, but haven't for so long that they had forgotten." Luke said softly staring at Hermes.
He watched as something shifted within the eyes of his father. Hermes went still and his breath became shallow. His mind was racing. Luke was right, Hermes had chosen to reach out to his son, chosen to go against the ancient laws, and if he had defied his fate...his fate to turn his back on his son, to keep his distance. What else could he have avoided. Could he had saved May.
"Get out." Hermes heard himself say. He could feel himself burning. Burning with a surge of emotions. Anger, shock, dismay, resentment, and a cold emptiness that threatened to swallow his mind.
Luke's eyes widened. Hermes was flickering around the edges. Heat was rolling off of him in waves. His eyes were smoking, filling up with a liquid light. Luke decided then that it was a good time to get out of there. He turned and ran for the door. He was just closing the heavy door behind him when he felt a wave of heat come from the door and saw light between the floor and the bottom of the door.
"Hey!" Luke heard Percy's voice call. He looked up and saw Percy, Clarisse, and Poseidon sitting on a nearby fountain holding ice cream cones. Percy and Clarisse both held two ice creams while Poseidon was only holding one, and weirdly enough he had a purple hat on that said.
"Not a scratch!" With an ax embedded on top.
"Ummm," Luke said as he walked over.
"We got Ice Cream!" Poseidon said excitedly bouncing in his seat as he finished off his cone.
"We got you one." Percy offered one of the cones to Luke who took it. It was surprisingly good with an unexplainable taste.
"We also got one for Lord Hermes." Clarisse looked behind Luke as if expecting Hermes to come out of his son's shadow.
"Where is he?" She asked turning brown eyes to Luke.
"He left." Luke said simply giving another lick to his multicolored ice cream. Really it was weird, the ice cream was almost crystal like creating different colors within it.
"SWEET! FREE ICE CREAM!" Poseidon shouted with glee and then snatched the ice cream out of Clarisse's hand.
Clarisse stared at her empty hand and then at the god chowing down on the frozen goodness. She moved away from her cousin, or whatever he was, while hoping that crazy wasn't catching. Percy glanced at his father and then ignored him. That type of crazy was actually pretty normal for his family, and as long as it wasn't 'I'm gonna kill or maim ya' crazy he didn't really care. Luke ignored them all in favor of finding out what type of ice cream this was.
"What kind of ice cream is this?" Luke asked them taking another lick.
"It's Icy Iris Ice Cream." Percy said looking up to the sky trying to make sure he said the name right.
"The best one yet!" Poseidon said eagerly as he finished off his ice cream.
"Dad's an ice cream fanatic." Percy fake whispered to Luke who was staring at the Greek God of the sea as he licked at his own ice cream.
"It keeps the icecaps cool." Poseidon claimed. "And with how hot it's been lately, I believe I need to eat a lot more."
"Riiiight." Luke nodded in an exaggerated way.
Poseidon gave him a playful smile, that's when Luke realized that Poseidon might have been playing with them...maybe. Poseidon's face turned serious as he asked.
"So what happened with Hermes."
'Wow, no beating around the bush there.' Luke thought as he took another bite of ice cream. The cold helped him think, kept his emotions at bay.
"I don't want to talk about it." Was all he said. Poseidon didn't look happy about it, but nodded anyway as he stood up.
"Well, I think you kids better be on the move. You can't stay from camp for much longer they might proclaim you dead and burn your shrouds." Poseidon said. He then patted Clarisse and Luke on the head.
Clarisse scowled while Luke just looked perplex. Percy shrugged at Poseidon gave him a one armed hug. The demigods left together. Two of them wondering what happened between father and son, and one of them hoping to never hear that time stopping voice ever again.
They traveled easily enough back to camp. There was a little bit of a hassle trying to get a taxi to stop. Luke felt slightly guilty. The fight between his father and himself must have sent his thoughts racing, and might be distracting him from his duties. Part of him still felt like Hermes deserved it though. Percy and Clarisse both silently wondered why it was so hard to catch a cab when they had been certain that because Hermes had been so favorable lately that it would be easy. Clarisse chalked it up as the fickleness of the gods; Percy felt like it was something that had happened between Luke and Hermes, after all years of bitterness and anger could be erased after a few good moments.
When they got to camp it was as Poseidon said. The campers were starting to believe they were dead. Annabeth, red eyed ran to Luke giving him a hug. Percy too received a hug much to his surprise. The campers gave them all a warm welcome. Clarisse was lifted onto the shoulders of her brothers and sisters. Luke was patted on the back by his family, and Percy well he got a mix of it. He was patted on the back by the Hermes cabin and lifted by the Ares cabin. With the return of the Clarisse, Luke and Percy, the demigods stopped fighting. Anger and suspicion taken over by curiosity and awe.
That night the demigods feasted. Our three heroes had laurel wreaths on their heads. They were given their burial shrouds to burn. As accordance to tradition, Clarisse's and Luke's cabins made their shrouds. Clarisse's was a shabby red sheet with burned holes in it, a splatter of what looked like blood on it, and tiny weapon key chains around the boarder. Clarisse threatened that if anyone tried to bury her in that thing or anything as raggedy as it in the future she would come back just to kick their asses. Percy had to agree it look like it had been put together at the last second. One of Clarisse's siblings proved that theory when they called out.
"We never thought you would die for a second, so when Chiron told us we had to make one..."
They never finished that sentence because the results were obvious. Clarisse called back as she tossed it into the fire.
Chiron called for her to mind her language as Clarisse sat down. She was jostled from all sides as someone handed her a hot chocolate to drink. She watched as Luke went toward the camp fire to toss his into it next. He unraveled it to show the what it looked like to the watching crowd. Percy and the others couldn't help but laugh, the Hermes cabin had gotten creative with their project. The entire shroud look like a giant envelope. The Hermes cabin had taken their shoes put paint on the bottom and stepped all over it, so there was different colored shoe prints on the envelope.
Luke gave a laugh as he turned the shroud over. It was addressed on the other side.
To: The Underworld
From: The Hermes cabin
Contains: Luke Castellan.
"We were just gonna stuff you inside it and then mail you to the underworld." One of Luke's siblings joked.
"Gee thanks." Luke said sarcastically as he tossed it into the fire.
Percy stood up as Luke sat down. He was expecting to be given a sheet from Chiron or something what he wasn't expecting was for Annabeth to come forward carrying a rolled up object.
"Here seaweed brain. The Athena cabin offered to make yours." She said.
Percy carefully took it surprised at the silky texture. At the prompting of the other campers he unwrapped the silk shroud. It was a shimmering blue with sea green tridents embroidered within the blue. The boarder was made up of shells, pearls, and sand dollars. The campers ohhh'ed and awww'ed.
"Turn it over." Annabeth gushed. Percy glanced at her startled at the fervor she was showing.
Her gray eyes looked silver in the firelight. Her blond hair was glowing. She looked very pretty; except she had an eager almost crazed look in her eyes. Percy watched her carefully as he turned the shroud over. He looked down surprised by the different texture.
This side was black velvet. His name was spelled in silver and gold thread. The boarder had chips of jewels and obsidian making it glint in the fire light. His name glowed against the shimmering darkness. Percy stared at it speechless; he was the only one. Campers from all around exclaimed in wonder.
"How did you get the supplies?" Percy questioned. The jewels and velvet, silk and pearls, it was all to much.
"I had to give some favors and give some special offerings, but no big deal." Annabeth said, blushing as she bounced on her toes. She looked really pleased.
"It's almost a shame not to bury you in it." One of the campers joked.
"Yeah," Percy huffed out a laugh, watching Annabeth's beaming face. "Yeah. It's wonderful Annabeth. Thanks."
Percy made eye contact with Annabeth and then her siblings. He threw the extravagant shroud into the roaring fire, and sat down in his original spot. Annabeth sat next to him. As they roasted marshmallows, Percy reflected on the shroud at Annabeth talked about the process of making it, Luke talked about the quest, and Clarisse joked with her siblings. To Percy it sounded like Annabeth was bragging about how her, not Athena's cabin's, work had been better than any of the other cabins.
To Percy, she seemed disturbingly proud of her shroud. A shroud that was beautiful yes, but too flashing for something they would burn or bury. Especially since there was a large chance that he wouldn't have returned. He didn't like it, but the reality was that if he, Clarisse, or Luke died during that quest, the likely hood of the other demigods carrying back the body or even completing the quest was slim to none. There was a chance that the Ares or Hermes would collect their child so they can get a proper funeral. Percy knew without a doubt that Hades and Poseidon would collect his body. If they would bring it back to camp was another question entirely.
The night passed in joy, and in the morning everything was back to normal. Percy had his own routine and before he knew it, the time to leave was almost upon him. He was given a slip of paper that said he needed to sign up to stay for the summer; if he didn't, he would be eaten by the Harpies. He wasn't going to sign up; his dads would be sad if he didn't visit or stay with them during the summer. This day Percy was training in the arena when Annabeth came looking for him.
"Can I talk to you?" She called from the stands.
"Um," Percy really didn't want to talk to her. She had been alright as of lately, but there was still something about her that threw him off. She looked at him pleadingly dark bags under her eyes. "Sure."
Together they walked away from the arena and into the woods. Percy saw that Annabeth had a gigantic architect book in her arms. Percy offered to carry it for her, but was shot down. Annabeth was sporting a blush on her cheeks as she quickened her steps to walk in front of him, leaving Percy to wonder what was wrong with her.
They walked until they reached a stream surrounded by forest. Percy wearily looked at the shadows, watching for monsters. He knew it was unlikely that there would be any in the forest, but Chiron did say they stocked up. Besides he figured his paranoia could be forgiven, after all he did just get back from a dangerous quest.
Annabeth sat down by the stream and Percy followed suit. He admired how her hair glittered in the sunlight as she poured over a book. Despite her being ruff around the edges, she was rather pretty. Also smart if that heavy book was any indication.
"Look at this." Annabeth showed Percy a page.
Percy looked at the page, upon it was a drawing of Olympus. Annabeth turned the page, and the next, and the next. Each page showed a different part of Olympus as it was now, and the next page showed Olympus, but different. There was different designs of temples, statues, and parks. It's as if Annabeth took all of Olympus and redesigned it.
"Their wonderful, aren't they?" Annabeth gushed, her eyes bright as she looked at the drawing.
"Yeah." Percy said, impressed with the thought and time put into the drawings.
Annabeth, encouraged by Percy's interest, began to show him more and more pictures of Olympus. Percy showed interest and said something at all the right moments. In reality, he did find the drawings interesting, but he was more interested in Annabeth's joy. It was fascinating to watch someone's face light up when they were talking about something they love. Annabeth began to talk faster and faster, her hands began to move over the book pointing out parts of the drawing she was really proud of.
"Here's the outside of the temple of Athena. I'm hoping she'll let me put in a giant statue of her." Annabeth said, pointing at a sketch of a statue.
"Woah, Annabeth you talk as if you're going to build all of this on Olympus." Percy said pulling away from her.
She looked at him. Her eye brows furrowed and her mouth pulled in a confused smile.
"Oh course I am. Once the gods see my designs they'll beg for me to rebuild Olympus for them." She said with convention.
"I'm pretty sure that the gods would want to keep their home the same it's been for centuries." Percy said. He was baffled that Annabeth would think that the gods would want her to redesign Olympus. Much less that they would beg for anything.
Annabeth bristled, her gray eyes flashing as she snapped her book shut. The sound echoed among the trees making Percy flinch and birds scatter. Percy scooted back as Annabeth turn to him.
"The gods are already changing their ways. I mean look at you!" She exclaimed as she waved a hand toward him moving it up and down.
Percy looked down at his body in confusion. He looked the same, and he wore the same clothes, so what was the big deal? Annabeth, seeing that he didn't get it, gave a sound of frustration. She clenched her fist and glared at him one lock of golden hair falling before her left eye.
"They let you live. You're a child of the big three you should have been killed on sight!" Percy flinched at Annabeth's harsh words and tone. "But instead you were given a pardon because Hades and Poseidon both claimed you as their own!"
"Pardoned?!" Percy sputtered in disbelief. "They had a counsel about whether I should die or not when I was a kid! Right in front of me!"
"And yet you're alive!" Annabeth fought back. "That means things are changing! The gods are listening now, if I just show them the sketch then they'd realize!" Annabeth shut her mouth sucking in her lips.
"Realize what?" Percy demanded. He didn't like the obsessive look in Annabeth's eyes.
Annabeth paled and shook her head. She stood up and walked to the water's edge, book clutched to her chest. Percy stood up behind her, slowly, watching her. She was mumbling something he couldn't hear. Then louder Annabeth said.
"Have you ever wanted to rebuild the world, Percy?"
Percy was taken aback by that question. "Well, yeah there are things I want to change, but things aren't so bad. There's a lot of good in the world, so I guess the gods or God has it all taken care of. Besides if I tried to rebuild the world, it wouldn't end well." Percy tried to joke.
He had been hoping that she would laugh, agree, and they would go back to camp. Sure she was weird, rude, and need some lessons on sensitivity, but she wasn't all bad. Maybe they could be friends if she just toned down the whole 'I'm a Daughter of Athena and You're a Son of Poseidon so that makes up Mortal Enemies' thing.
"You know. You're really loyal Percy." Annabeth said as she bowed her head.
Percy felt that something was wrong. He turned his head slightly to the side and began to back away always keeping his eyes on Annabeth. His hand went to riptide. He quietly uncapped it knowing from Clarrisse, 'it's better to look the fool with a sword in hand when there is no danger, than to be the fool who died with nothing on hand because they ignored their instincts.'
"You believe in the best of the gods even though they tried to kill you. But looking around here. I find it hard to believe that they care. You've seen some of the demigods and the state of the camp. If they really cared, we wouldn't be hunted, we would be safe from the moment we're born until the day we die. If they really cared, they would have built our camp, so it was at least a nice place to live, not the rundown place it is." Annabeth's voice coming out in a growl.
Percy hated it, but he had to agree. The camp could be a little bit better, but some of the gods were working on it. Gods like Hermes were trying to reconnect with their children; Hermes was even taking it a step further making sure the demigods staying in his cabin felt like their at home.
"Then make it better." Percy said. "You have some great ideas you can get permission to fix the things you don't like here. Make camp half-blood a homier place to stay." Though Percy wasn't sure if that was possible, perhaps a nicer place to stay was the better wording.
"And then what?" Annabeth sniffled. Percy felt his stomach drop. He hated it when people cried in front of him. It was awkward, it made him feel bad, and he couldn't do anything to help in most situation. Percy stepped forward lowering his sword.
"Watch them," Percy didn't know who them was, but Annabeth spat out that word with enough hate to make him jump. "Destroy everything I would build!"
Percy stayed silent as he edged closer. There was something wrong with Annabeth, and he thought it was about time that he got her to Chiron.
"Don't you see Percy? There's so many things wrong with this world! I could rebuild it! I could make it better. Imagine it a world without crime, without poverty, where our parents can be together, where demigods are just dumped in a convenient place, where we don't have to fight or die..." Annabeth trailed off.
Percy watched her carefully. She tilted her head to the sky as if listening to something only she could hear. "Sounds cool, but impossible." Percy said, keeping a hold of his sword.
"Why?" Annabeth asked, turning her head to look at Percy.
"Well..." Percy started. "For one thing you'd have to tear down society, condition humans to except what they have so they never ask for more, and split the gods and goddesses among all of the demigods."
Annabeth tensed at the last line. Percy seeing this narrowed his eyes.
"Or did you not think of that?" Percy questioned.
"She's my mom," Annabeth said tensing even more. "And she will be so impressed by my improvements of this world that she'll beg to spend time with me."
"Will be?" Percy questioned. "Beg? The gods do not beg, Annabeth."
"They will." Annabeth turned her head forward again. "I'll make this world perfect, and they will beg to be apart of it."
With a simmer, Annabeth began to disappear. Percy, panicked, rushed forward and placed his hand on her shoulder. Annabeth turned and smiled at him.
"I would ask you to come along, but I know you won't. It's a shame. I really did like you Percy, and I thought of you as my friend." With that, Annabeth disappeared.
Percy stared in shock at the empty space. He felt numb. Someone he didn't really like had disappeared. Once more the prophesy had come true, and it hadn't been talking about Luke and the Bolt, but about Annabeth. Annabeth who talked about building a better world; she talked about the gods wanting to be apart of it. However deep in Percy heart, he knew the gods would die before they give up their power. So wrapped up in his thoughts, Percy never noticed the Pit Scorpion lunging toward him. He did notice the sting however.
Percy yelped jerking up his sword hand as Riptide fell to the forest floor. He looked at his hand, feeling his stomach roll at the sight. Swollen. Red. Oozing yellow pus. Heat radiated from the wound. Pain spread up his arm. He fell to the forest floor when the scorpion stung him on the leg. Percy reached for his sword and lifted it just when the scorpion tried to sting him again. Luck saved him. The scorpion dissolved into darkness as the poison over took him.
A groan echoed in the darkness. A shining light blinded him. He felt heavy, sick, but something was being spooned into his mouth making him feel better. It tasted like cookies. Soft, buttery, warm, chocolate chip, cookies. The cookies melted in his mouth.
"Don't give him any more. He'll burn up." A voice...Chiron.
"Try the lake water." A voice like Clarisse's.
"Maybe sea water instead." Luke. That was Luke, but what was he doing here?
Percy thought hard. The last thing he remembered was Annabeth asking if they could talk...And then a scorpion stung him. Percy groaned as he remembered the poison killing him. He slowly opened his eyes a bit more. Only to slam them shut when the light burned his eyes. One of the voices must have notice his movement, because Luke's voice sounded above him.
"Percy? Are you awake."
"I'll let you know when you give me some water." Percy groaned earning a laugh from those around him.
A cup of water appeared before his lips, courtesy of Clarisse. Percy gulped down the water, at first, but slowed down when Chiron told him so. Something about getting a stomach ache. Soon enough the water was finished, and Percy was feeling a hundred percent better. Against Clarisse and Luke's wishes, he sat up and swung his legs down from the bed. He was wearing plain cream pajama pants and no shirt. Percy looked down at himself and shot a questioning look at Chiron.
"We wanted to give you lighter clothes, and make you as comfortable as possible while we gave you nectar." Chiron explained as he put the cup away. He grabbed a spare shirt that was draped over a chair and headed over to Percy.
"Does being cool do something for the demigod as you feed them nectar or ambrosia?" Percy questioned taking the orange camp shirt from Chiron.
"No. It does, however, make them more comfortable." Chiron answered.
"How do you know that cooling down doesn't slow down the burning process?" Percy asked avoiding his friends' glares. They really wanted him to lay back down.
"There have been several instance where desperate demigods have taken their friends or siblings and tried to cool them down after giving them too much...They would strip the demigod of their clothes, dump water on them, or put them in cold baths. Most of the time this lead to shock and if the demigod didn't die from overdose, they die from the shock." Chiron explained sadly.
"Percy what happened!" Clarisse demanded slamming her fist on the bed.
Percy looked from Clarisse and Luke to Chiron who gave him an encouraging smile. He took a deep breath. He wished that he could ask for Clarisse and Luke to be kicked out, but they would just bug him until he spilled, plus it would cause major drama. He had enough drama right now, and it would only get worse with what he was about to tell.
"Annabeth asked me to talk to her. She started to ramble about building a better world, and then she vanished. I think she summoned the scorpion." Percy said staring down at his hands. One was wrapped in gauze.
"Did you see her summon the scorpion?" Luke questioned.
Percy felt part of him curl up inside of him. Luke didn't believe him. Of course he didn't. Annabeth and Luke were friends, family, they had a history.
"No, but..." Percy said he flinched back when Luke aggressively said.
"Then she didn't do it."
"Actually, Luke," Chiron said softly his brown eyes grieved. "The forest does not stock Pit Scorpions, and you know that all other monsters not brought here by Mr. D have to be summoned."
"Then it could have been summoned by someone else!" Luke fought back. He didn't like this. He knew what this sounded like. And gods, he didn't want what happened to him happen to Annabeth.
"The Pit Scorpion is a monster that attacks the very first thing it sees. It attacks demigods, humans, monsters, there have even been reports of it attacking trees. If another demigod summoned it. It would have killed them." Chiron said.
"They why didn't it kill Annabeth!" Luke crowed in excitement. That was it. That was what proved that it wasn't Annabeth.
Chiron sighed. "If Annabeth is now working for Kronos." Luke flinched at the thought. "Then it's possible he froze the Pit Scorpion in time; however, if he did that means that he is far more powerful than we feared."
"Can a person delay a summoning?" Percy asked looked up at Chiron.
"Yes, if they say all except the last line of the summoning, then they can delay a summon." Chiron said slightly surprise that Percy would think to ask that.
"Then it's possible that she said the last line when she started to disappear!" Clarisse shouted. Her face was red and her eyes flashing. To think that Chase betrayed them...It really boiled Clarisse's blood.
"But if she did that then Percy would have been able to kill it before it got to him. It would have to jump through her!" Luke said. He clinched his fists and began to shift his weight. He needed to move.
"Not if the summoning circle was positioned away from her." Clarisse argued gaining stares from the rest of them. "What?! I read!"
"The Nymphs that investigated the site for us found residue of magic. We must assume the worst." Chiron said watching Luke. Annabeth was like a daughter to him. To know she had betrayed them was heartbreaking.
Luke began to pace running his hand through his hair. He was desperate. Annabeth couldn't have betrayed them. If he could just get to her...if he could just get her to explain to them.
"Wait! If Annabeth disappeared then she might still be here!" Luke said his face glowing with joy. "Hear me out. Annabeth has her cap of invisibility. She might be still here! If we find her we can get the truth!"
Luke excitedly made his was to the door. He was just about to open it when Percy's voice made him stop.
"It wasn't like that. She faded away, and she didn't place her cap on her head."
Luke felt himself shaking. The walls were closing in. The floor was vanishing under his feet. His heart was pounding. He was losing control. He wanted to keep control, but he lost it at Clarisse's voice.
"Face it, Castellan. Annabeth's a traitor." Clarisse said harshly.
Luke bit his lip. Tears built up in his eyes. He was breaking. He could feel it. A darkness taking over, not Kronos or anything like that. A sad darkness; that wiped away the meaning of everything. He needed to get out of here. He needed to focus on something else. Percy watched as Luke tensed up like a spring. Then Luke exploded out the door and was gone from sight.
"Hey!" Clarisse called rushing toward the door.
"Let him be, Clarisse." Chiron called to her.
She stopped at the door, looking back at Chiron. Percy could clearly see the resentment toward him for stopping her.
"He needs time to himself." Chiron said softly. Seeing Clarisse waver between disobeying and staying, he decided to pull out a trumped card.
"Besides, I'm certain Percy needs help." Chiron said casting a look toward Percy.
Percy jumped at the sudden attention. "Uh, yeah, right. I need you're help getting to my cabin."
Clarisse visible deflated. Percy flinched. He didn't really need help, but Luke did need time to himself. He could act like he was more hurt than he was. At least until he gets a change of pants then they would go to Luke.
"Fine." She said moving toward Percy. Clarisse wrapped Percy's arm around her shoulders and together they left the infirmary.
"You're not really hurt are you?" Clarisse accused as they stumbled away toward Poseidon's cabin.
"No, but Luke needs to be alone." Percy said tripping slightly as their legs got tangled.
"Ugh!" Clarisse pushed Percy away from her. Percy stumbled, but regained his footing quickly.
"I know! I know Luke needs time, but I hate not doing anything!" Clarisse groused.
"Me too." Percy said walking toward Poseidon's cabin.
"Just let me get some real pants and we'll go find him!" Percy called over his shoulder.
After Percy had dressed they went in search of Luke. After being on the road with him for weeks, it wasn't that hard to find him. He was in the arena hacking at dummies. Clarisse and Percy sat in the bleachers waiting for Luke to finish blowing off steam. He noticed them, but paid them no mind as he stabbed a straw dummy through. After a hour, or maybe it was two, Luke began to lag until finally he made his way over to his friends siting beside them.
"Annabeth wouldn't have done that..." Luke said staring down at his towel.
Clarisse was about to snark out a comment about how obviously she did when Percy put a hand on her arm, and Luke spoke again.
"It's my fault..." Luke said clutching his towel.
"No it not." Percy said gently. He chewed on his lip as his leg bounced up and down. He didn't like the fact that his friend was falling apart and he could do nothing about it.
"Yes it is!" Luke snapped back not looking at Percy or Clarisse. He was afraid of what he would see, but he didn't know what he thought he would see. "If I had only..."
"If you can only what?" Clarisse demanded. Percy bit back a groan, now was not that time for a fight.
"If you had only never gone to Kronos? He may have tempted Chase anyway. If you had only not gone on this quest? Chase would have gone on it, and you would be the traitor." Clarisse said watching as Luke flinched.
Luke bowed his head and slumped his shoulders. It was like Hermes said, he was meant to betray Olympus.
"It would have been better that way." Luke said dully. If he had been the traitor then Annabeth would be safe here.
"Bull shit." Percy spat out. Clarisse and Luke jumped at Percy's sudden outburst. Percy glared at Luke. He was sick of hearing about how it was Luke's fault.
"Get over yourself. You think just because you didn't betray you're home or you're family for a vague promise of a better world that you caused Annabeth to go rogue. It was her choice and her choice alone; you had nothing to do with it." Percy aggressively said his black eyebrows furrowed.
"You're right." Luke muttered than louder he said with his jaw clenching with determined grit. "You're right, and if Annabeth can decide to leave than we can decide to bring her back. She'll come back once she sees how stupid this whole thing is."
Clarisse and Percy traded glances. They didn't think it would be that easy. Percy doubted that Annabeth would be willing to come back; she was set on changing the world. Clarisse knew that once a defect always a defect. There was no trusting a traitor once a traitorous act had been committed. With that thought her eyes flickered to Luke. Luke had proved that he was on their side, but part of her still urged her to watch him.
"So what are you guys going to do for the school year?" Percy asked coming down from his annoyed anger quickly. He tapped his fingers together as he waited for an answer nervous energy fueling his every fidget.
"I'm staying here to train." Luke said a determined glint in his eye. Percy felt himself wince. It seemed that Luke was set on bringing Annabeth back, and that Luke was going to get stronger. Percy figured he better prepare himself for some ruff rematches come next summer.
"I think...I'm going back to my mom." Clarisse said softly her cheeks flushing. "It's about time I see her."
Percy smiled up at Clarisse when Luke bumped into him. Percy turned to Luke with a questioning look on his face.
"What about you, Percy?" Luke asked smiling at his clueless friend.
"I'm going back to the underworld, and I'll probably pop over to the ocean now and again." Percy said shrugging as if it was no big deal.
Luke and Clarisse exchanged looks. They weren't to sure about Percy being so close to Kronos again.
"Percy, promise you won't go near that place." Clarisse said her brown eyes burning into Percy.
There was no need to say what place that Clarisse was talking about. They all knew. Percy was actually kind of offended that his friends thought he would go looking for trouble.
"What you think I'm and idiot?" Percy asked frowning.
"No, we just think you do idiotic things." Luke teased pushing Percy lightly.
Percy grumbled for a bit making Clarisse and Luke smile. Then Percy said.
"Don't worry about me guys. If anything, I should worry more about you two; then you should worry about me. I'll be safe. Only an suicidal monster will attack me while I'm with my papa or my dad."
"Still...we're going to worry about you." Luke said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Don't worry. I'm gonna survive and be back next year." Percy said smiling at his two best friends in the world.
Author's Note: Well that's it for book one...Sorry it took so long. There's been a lot of family problems, emotional/metal problems (still kind of are), school...
Another thing that had kept me from this is I'm writing a book (several), and when I started writing this chapter I decided to make it a long one. So here it is the longest (and last) chapter of Daddy Hades~!
Someday I might post something about my books for you guys to see. If any of you are interested in hearing about them right now then I'll be glade to tell you about them just PM me, and if you want I'll keep you updated with how their going.
I do plane to make a Daddy Hades 2