Ch 6: The Baby Gets a Name
After that wondrously wonderful time spent with her lover Ares, Aphrodite giddily walked all the way back to her room when she noticed very familiar figures. She stealthily hid behind the garden's humongous bushes and eavesdropped for any potential gossip material.
"This is all your fault-"
"No, it's not! Your daughter-"
"Well, your son-"
Aphrodite realized it was Athena and Poseidon themselves. Seeing as their constant arguing was already a norm and won't earn a gossip, she decided to just show herself to them.
"Hey. What's wrong with you two now?"
Athena and Poseidon gave a hard stare that scared the living daylights of Aphrodite. They both looked like hungry predators ready to tear her apart any second. Thankfully though, Athena managed to calm down first.
"I heard from my children that my daughter and the idiotic son of Barnacle Breath here eloped."
"Well, the fishes in my domain claimed that they had a child together. And Bird Brain here thought it was my entire fault!"
"Oh don't get started with me!"
As the two powerful gods sent glares at each other, Aphrodite bit her lip in guilt. Noticing the gesture first since Poseidon's back was facing her, Athena raised an eyebrow at her.
"Is there something you're not telling us Aphrodite? Hmm?"
"I, uh..." Cue Athena's intimidating gray eyes and Poseidon's trident glinting dangerously at her.
"I might be involved in all of your claims." She smiled sheepishly.
Poseidon's eyes narrowed. "Explain."
Exactly two hours later, Aphrodite finished telling them everything with a sigh. After a moment of complete silence, Poseidon broke it.
"Wow, I'm a grandfather now." He said in an off-hand manner.
"No, you idiot! Haven't you been listening to Aphrodite? The child's not real!" Athena snapped.
"I know! But still, the fact that I'm a grandfather is true for now."
Athena made no comment about that as she sipped her tea (they were in the garden sitting and having tea). Aphrodite looked at them uneasily.
"So, uh, will you help me?"
"With what? Helping Barnacle Breath's son make a move on my beloved daughter? Fat chance, Aphrodite." Athena retorted in a sarcastic manner while looking murderous. Poseidon was about to say something offensive when Aphrodite decided that she had enough. She stood up and slammed her hands on the table.
"Why are so against your children getting together? Don't you know they are THE CUTEST COUPLE in the world and in my book?! They are so perfect for each other; why can't you understand that?" She fumed.
Athena was ready to respond when the blonde goddess sent her a glare. "Do not interrupt me, dear, I'm not done yet. Poseidon!" She sent an accusing finger at him. Poseidon dropped the cookie he was about to eat in surprise.
"Just because you hate Athena's guts does not mean you'll think of her children the same way. I know you like Annabeth from the countless of times you allowed her to enter your domain safe and unharmed. And don't give pathetic excuses that it was all Percy's doing. I know you're far more powerful than him; you could've harmed her before but you never did."
She then pointed a finger at the Wisdom Goddess.
"Athena, stop putting your grudge on Percy! He saved all of us, didn't he? And he has been taking good care of Annabeth; actually he still is doing so. You gave him your approval after the war, so how come it's still a big deal to you that he's gonna date her sooner or later?!"
Aphrodite allowed a minute for them to sink the facts in as she regained her breath. When the one minute had passed, she prepared herself for their harsh retorts but it never came. She blinked in confusion.
"Um, aren't you going to scold me now?"
Poseidon sent her a questioning look. "Why would we scold you?"
"Well, I kinda blew off on you."
Athena gave an exasperated sigh. "As much as I would love to scold you right now, Aphrodite, I won't. Your accusations do prove a point, and I believe it was wise of you to do so, but I suggest next time you'll go gently and not shout. Regarding your plan, I must say it's very original and well planned since you've protected my daughter's virtue at least." She then sent a disgusted look at Poseidon.
"I'm afraid she's right. I should not hate your son just because I hate you. I'll try my best to be civil not only towards your children, but to you as well. And I really must confess that I am quite tired of seeing Perseus Jackson act like a complete chicken in front of my daughter."
Poseidon rubbed his neck. "Yeah, I'm also going to do what you said in the second sentence. And I'll try to be civil with you because honestly I really don't dislike Annabeth. And I do actually approve of them. Besides, I'm sick of all their sexual tension."
Aphrodite clapped her hand like an excited child. "See? That wasn't so bad, now was it? Anything else you'd like to say?"
At this, Athena gave a challenging smirk. "I propose a deal, or as what mortals call it nowadays: a bet."
Poseidon's eyes glinted. "I'm listening."
"If Perseus Jackson fails to protect my daughter and the supposed grandson of ours or in any way harm them both, I will have the absolute permission to give him punishment in whatever manner I want."
"And if my son succeeds, you will tell your children who are world leaders on Earth that they must pass an absolute law that shall protect and preserve the cleanliness my domain." Poseidon's bargain might look unfair to outsiders, but he's actually aiming for the blow on Athena's pride. He knows that she hates it when her children do something good or beneficial for his share of reign.
Athena sends him a look in which he could easily interpret as: You have thought of this rather well, Barnacle Breath. I'll give you credit for that.
"Okay, now shake hands both of you and act like adults for once." Aphrodite said and watched as they shook hands while wearing the same confident smirks.
"Hurray! Now let's go watch your children- or as I like to call them Percabeth-'s progress. To my room!" She said as she both grabbed their arms.
Athena looked positively disgusted while Poseidon gave a mortified face. The Wisdom Goddess soon yanked her arm off of Aphrodite.
"Oh no, I am not going to watch Perseus Jackson woo my daughter. In fact, I have absolutely no plan of watching their every move; that is technically your job as the mastermind of this. You must only inform me of details regarding the bet I just made with Poseidon. Now if you'll excuse me I'll go and visit Frederick to inform him about this theory of yours."
"Why would you visit him?" Aphrodite asked, completely clueless. Athena gave her a blank stare and replied: "I am going to visit him so that he'll be informed ahead and so that he won't freak out and potentially ruin the whole point of this plan of yours."
The beautiful goddess' eyes shone with tears. "You'll do that for me and for Percabeth?"
Instead of answering, Athena vanished completely. This was fine with Aphrodite since she knows about her pride and everything. All that's left now is Poseidon. "Posei-"
"No. Sorry Aphrodite, but I'm not gonna meddle with Percy's path towards becoming a man. I'll go down and talk to Sally and Paul. See you!" He said hurriedly as he, too, vanished.
"Nobody wants to watch with me. Hmp." Aphrodite pouted.
Percabeth with child were currently by the lake relaxing after a very complicated morning. They both decided to skip lunch since everything kind of ruined their appetite.
As the child sitting in between them continued to babble in his baby language, Annabeth's thoughts drifted off to the current information the child held in her mind. She then realized for one thing that he didn't have a name, the most important basic information for every person. Alarmed, she quickly turned to Percy who was having this serious look as he tried to understand baby language.
"Baba..what's baba? Hmm… Oh! I got it! Baba is bubble!"
"Percy!" She tried her best to maintain a very serious look. Because let's face it, it was very funny.
"What?" Percy asked wide-eyed as he realized she was staring at him. 'Gods, that was embarrassing,' he thought.
"He doesn't have a name." Annabeth pointed out.
"Oh." Came his very unintelligent reply.
"Should we name him? It would be weird if we don't, seeing as he's our son."
Our son... Our son… Our son... Gods that sounded very nice. Ah, this is why I love you, Annabeth.
"Percy!" A snap of her fingers brought him back to reality. "H-Huh?"
"Gods, what's wrong with you? You zoned out on me."
"Dada drool." The kid said happily. Percy decided to ignore that.
"Sorry, you were saying?"
"I said he doesn't have a name yet. What do you have in mind, Seaweed Brain?"
"Hmm," Percy thought for a minute. "I'm thinking of naming him after me, or rather, my namesake."
"You wanted to name your son after you? Wow, I've never thought you were like those dads out there. Naming kids after them, I mean." Annabeth said while smirking.
"What's wrong with Perseus?" Percy shot back defensively.
"I have nothing against that. It's just that, you said so yourself that you hate it when people call you by your full name. Besides, if we name him so, what on Mt. Olympus would we call him if you're already recognized as Percy?"
"Uhh, junior?" He offered.
"No way in Tartarus, Perseus Jackson." Annabeth said as she crossed her arms.
"Gods, you're using my full name. I hate it when you do that."
"You do realize that you've just proved what I said awhile ago, right?" She deadpanned.
"I heard that."
Percy ignored that and started going back to the topic. "Okay, since Perseus II is rejected-"
"Perseus II? Really, Seaweed Brain?" Annabeth gave a stifled laugh.
"Shut up. Now stop interrupting me; what do you suggest?"
"Luke." She said breathlessly after a minute of silence.
"Luke? Why name this little guy after him, of all people?" Percy grumbled.
"Because I want to at least honor him! And why are you jealous anyway? I thought you've come into good terms with him before he, you know, passed on."
"Yeah, but still! And I am so not jealous!" He said as his face grew red.
"Okay, whatever. So, what do you think of Luke?" She immediately changed topic just to save his sorry ass.
"It's not that bad, but I'm still on the Perseus notion." Percy said defiantly.
"Gods, you're so stubborn! Okay fine, how about this: Luke Perseus Jackson. A combination for a truce and to prevent any more name disputes between us." Annabeth offered.
"Hmm." Percy stroked his imaginary beard. "Luke Perseus Chase Jackson. I like it!"
Gods you're making it sound like we're married, which I totally won't object even if we're not. Annabeth thought dreamily. She caught herself just before she could blush, which thankfully did not take her that long as Percy turned towards her.
"So, Luke Perseus then?" She asked. Percy gave her a grin as his answer.
"Welcome to the family, Luke Perseus Chase Jackson!"
"So Percy, when are we going to tell our parents?" Annabeth later asked him as he and Luke floated on the lake, completely dry.
The sudden horrifying question made Percy lose his concentration on his powers and had almost drowned poor Luke. Thanks to Annabeth's quick reflexes, she managed to scoop him out of the water and had saved him from the danger; her gray jacket got soaked though.
"Oh Gods, I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have asked you that so suddenly." She apologized to Percy as she offered him a hand while she bounced Luke on her hips.
After changing Luke's clothes, Annabeth dried herself by removing her wet jacket (revealing a sleeveless sundress that made Percy mentally drool because of the amount of skin exposed), and asked him again. "So when are we going to tell our parents?"
"Mortal or the godly ones?" He countered back.
"The mortal ones, of course. Oh gods, I don't think I could face my mother yet." She said while blushing.
Percy thought that Athena may turn him into a brainless animal if ever he gets to meet her and learn about their situation. That earned him a shudder. "Yeah, it's best to start with our mortal parents first."
"Are you going to tell them now?" She asked curiously as Luke crawled himself comfortably on her lap and stared unto the waving naiads nearby.
"Yeah. Do you mind watching Luke for a bit?" Percy asked shyly. Annabeth knew he was asking for a bit of privacy so she nodded.
"Okay. We'll be just a few feet away from you. C'mon, Luke! Let's have a walk with Mommy over there."
Percy watched as Annabeth and Luke disappeared unto the depths of the darkening forest, making sure that they were completely off of hearing vicinity. He then fished a drachma on his pocket and said the usual offering.
"Iris, O Goddess of the Rainbow, accept my offering. Show me Sally Jackson of Upper East Side, Manhattan."
As soon as his mother's face came into view, Percy took a deep breath. Here goes nothing.
"Percy! How are you?" Sally asked him cheerfully.
"I'm fine Mom, but that's not what's important." Another deep breath."Actually, I Iris-messaged you to, uh, tellyouthatyouhaveagrandson."
"Sorry honey, I didn't quite catch the last part. What did you say?"
Gods, please don't make me say it again. I'm already as nervous as Hades!
"I said you have a..uh, grandson." Percy squeaked the last part but he was sure his mother heard it. He dared to take a peek at Sally's expression and found it serious and emotionless.
"PERSEUS JACKSON!" Percy flinched; there goes the full name again. "I THOUGHT I RAISED YOU TO BECOME A PROPER MAN! How- how could you?! Where's this grandson you're claiming? And who, tell me honestly, is the unlucky girl you banged?"
"Oh gods Mom, please calm down!" Percy said hurriedly as he spotted some naiads giggling at his predicament.
"Calm down? You expect me to calm down?! Perseus this is a serious situation! Who, why and where on Earth is the girl and your kid?" So much for the big-hearted and accepting mother; though Percy can somehow understand her reason of reacting.
"Sally? Why are you shouting?" Paul's face suddenly entered in the mist. Percy sighed in relief; finally, someone's going to calm his mother down!
He listened quietly as Sally explained to Paul about the whole revelation. After that, they both looked back at him with stern expressions. "Percy, who's the girl?" Paul asked calmly.
The son of Poseidon's face immediately turned beet red, causing his parents to raise an eyebrow at him.
"Well?" Sally urged after a minute of silence.
"Actually, it's... it's uh…A-Annabeth." He stuttered. He then gave a nervous laugh as the stern expressions turned into surprise then...relief?
"Oh, well it's no problem at all if it's Annabeth." Sally said, now completely relaxed.
"It would be a problem if it's another girl. But since it’s Annabeth, I guess you'll be fine and I'm actually okay with that. Though, I'm very disappointed at you for forcing her to do something inappropriate for your age."
"I told you they'll get together sooner, Sally. And look! They even overdid it since now we're grandparents. But I agree with your mother about doing inappropriate things, Percy. That's very ungentlemanly of you." Paul commented.
"No wait! You got it all wrong!" Percy desperately defended himself as he hurriedly spewed out the explanations and everything. After doing so, his mom and stepdad looked fascinated.
"So, you're not dating? At all?" Sally asked, still baffled on the Athena procreation thing.
"Uh, no." He answered shyly.
"Oh honey, why? I thought you like her? I mean, all you ever talk whenever you're home is Annabeth this and Annabeth that and Paul and I both know you have a crush on her. We also think that she likes you too so why don't you go and ask her out already?"
"Sally, Percy's still on the road to becoming a man. Let him take his time since it's important for him to learn things the hard way." Paul defended the state of Percy's manhood and pride.
Since things suddenly got way uncomfortable with Percy, he decided to change topic. "So uh, you guys fine with everything?"
"Oh yes, honey. Annabeth's welcome to visit anytime and I am quite excited to meet my grandson. And oh, try to ask her out sometime when you have the courage, okay, sweetie?"
"Mom!" His face might set a new shade of red by now.
"Percy, what's the child's name anyway?" Paul asked curiously.
"Luke Perseus Chase Jackson." He practically gloated.
"Nice." Paul approved.
"Oh when can we see him?" Sally asked, obviously excited. Percy blushed again for the hundredth time that day.
"We'll talk about that sooner. Anyways, I've got to go. See you soon, Mom, Paul!"
"We love you honey!" Were Sally's last words when the mist disappeared.
Oh gods. This is the worst day ever.
Percy thought as he made his way towards Annabeth and Luke. Do people really love to tease and make fun of his manliness? Because seriously, today just proved how many people actually pitied his situation.
"Hey, Percy." Annabeth smiled when she saw him. Why can't I just say that I like you, Annabeth?
He smiled back as he sat beside her on the grass. They watched as Luke walked in that cute baby way of his and played with the naiads.
"So, how did it go with your parents?" Annabeth asked, her eyes still looking out for the toddler.
"It went fine, I guess." He seriously hoped that his face returned back to its normal shade. "Do you want to IM your parents now?"
"No it's okay. Dad's still having his class at this hour. I think I'm just going to write them a letter after all."
A comfortable silence engulfed them as they continued to watch Luke and listened to his shrill laughter. Percy diverted his gaze to Annabeth and absorbed the ethereal beauty she emitted as the sunset hit on her body perfectly. Her hair was now free of the braid and it all took his willpower not to run his fingers through it. Oh gods, she should really know how much she affects him.
"You've been staring for awhile now. Is there something you want to say to me?" She asked without turning to look at him.
Percy quickly glanced ahead. "Nothing."
"Oh, Annabeth~!" Silena's voice suddenly echoed through the forest, saving Percy from the awkwardness. He and Luke turned their attention towards the blonde as she groaned.