"You've been doing well."
"I'm glad you think so but...I've been feeling uneasy."
"About?" Grey eyes pierced a gold and blue iris that quickly ran from her gaze.
"Things falling apart."
An amused chuckle escaped the woman as she looked out towards the sunrise; watching the dark blue sky become swallowed up by shades of red and orange and pink. She stood next to the boy quietly, ignoring his curious gaze as she continued to look out from her position atop the house.
Unable to take the silence anymore he finally spoke,"What's so funny?" There was no anger in his voice, surprisingly, but sheer curiosity about what the goddess found so humorous.
She didn't bother meeting his gaze,"You." She shrugged, before pausing and furrowing her brow,"Actually...mortals in general." She glanced at him briefly,"But you in particular, Percy, are what makes me laugh."
Athena hummed at this before looking back at the sunrise,"Do you want the truth? Or do you want to continue to delude yourself?"
"The truth." He said adamantly, looking at his mother figure with the upmost respect. If there was any opinion he valued it was Athena's. She was the wisest of the gods and had helped to take care of him when he was a child. She was the strict but loving mother he had needed in his life, and she had taught him everything he knew about fighting and surviving. The times Athena had left him for months on end, were never voluntary, she had assured him of that. She loved him deeply and vice versa.
"You won't like it."
"Since when have you ever held back?" The goddess smiled at this momentarily, tapping her foot thoughtfully on the roof of Eddie's home.
"You said you feared things falling apart, that's funny to me." She mused, looking back to the golden sky that gleamed brilliantly before them,"Apollo has done a nice job today." She muttered to herself, as though forgetting that a confused Percy was right next to her.
"How?" He asked again, slightly frustrated with the goddess's vagueness.
She finally looked at him again,"Because things fall apart...that's how life works. Things will always fall apart regardless of what you do, and you will always suffer, humanity will always suffer..." She trailed off, looking at the sky again,"but what will you do about it?" Athena sharp gaze met his,"What will you do when everything is ripped from you, as it inevitably will be?" He flinched at this, instantly thinking of his siblings and close friends.
"I-I don't know." He stammered, looking away from the goddess in hopes of downplaying the intensity of such a question.
Another chuckle escaped her,"How can you listen to the truth if you lie to yourself? You will do what you always do, you'll run." She stated bluntly, and Percy flinched again, despite the fact that there was no malice in her tone,"It's understandable, when tragedy strikes, no one wants to face it head on because it hurts. But you become resentful, and that's more dangerous than anything else you can be."
Percy grew defensive,"What, and the gods aren't ever resentful?"
"I didn't say that." She sighed,"But you have to realize that tragedy strikes everywhere and everyone. You've had a difficult life, and have every reason to be resentful towards the world, but that's...not wise." She explained,"You put a lot of blame on yourself, why is that?"
He bit his lip before shrugging,"I'm the eldest...our parents weren't there for us but I can be there for my siblings. And I'm powerful enough to be able to protect them and my friends. I failed Thalia and Jason and...Zoe." His voice cracked slightly and he cleared his throat,"I've screwed so many things up...but so have my parents."
He rationalized, feeling slight anger just at having mentioned them,"If they were better parents then maybe I wouldn't be in this mess, neither would Jason and Thalia. Maybe if Zeus and Hades hadn't fought then Thalia wouldn't have been turned into a tree. Maybe if Hera wasn't so cruel she wouldn't have taken Jason." A bitter laugh escaped him,"I like to think that...maybe I'm not such a screw up. But no matter how hard I try...everything always ends up terribly." Venom coated his words and his hands were balled into fists, but his eyes gave his true feelings away.
They were downcast and filled with unshed tears. They were filled with anger and bitterness and sadness and pain...so much pain. He had been exposed to the cruelty of the world when he was a small child, and despite his close relationship with his siblings and Annabeth, the damage had already been done.
Percy had blamed the world for his misfortune since he was eleven years old, when he had roughly grasped the concept of good and evil. He blamed the world when Jason was taken away, when Thalia was taken away, when Annabeth alienated him, and when he had made the conscious decision to exchange his life for Zoe's. He knew a lot of things were his fault, but he liked to think that the universe screwed him over the moment he was born. It made it easier to cope with his guilt.
"You think the world owes you something."
"I never said that."
"You implied it."
"...I suppose I did."
"You're not being realistic."
She grinned at him, patting his head gently as she continued,"Good, being honest with yourself is important." She then gently gripped his shoulders and pulled him so they were face to face,"Now, if there's one thing you ever take away from our conversation, it's this: Get over it."
He scowled at this as he shook his head,"I wish it was that easy."
"I didn't say it was." She reasoned,"But you can't control everything...and you can't change the past. Everyone has suffered, Percy, and you are no different nor are you an exception. Take your suffering and bear it, move on, and try to be a better person. You can't control what happens but you can control how you're affected. You can either chose to use your failures and pain as a lesson, or you can let them destroy you. And if you pick the latter...then you are unbelievably selfish."
"And why is that?"
"You really don't get it, do you?" She murmured, pressing a loving kiss on his forehead before pulling away,"All of your actions effect those around you, especially your loved ones. If you let the past or future events destroy you then you let those same events destroy your family."
Percy's eyes widened,"What?"
"Your younger siblings watch you deteriorate, become a shell of your former self, and they're helpless to stop you from self destructing. Nico watches the only man in his life lose himself to depression and shut everyone out. He'll blame himself, just as you did when your mother became an alcoholic, and he'll grow just as resentful towards the world as you have. Bianca and Annabeth will grow bitter towards you for wallowing in self pity and refusing to seek help. And you'll further fracture your already damaged family." She explained before turning away, and for a moment Percy swore he saw tears spring to her eyes. But as quickly as he saw them they disappeared as she focused on him once again.
"Just...take care of yourself. Don't judge the world so harshly when everyone suffers, and never forget how lucky you truly are." A sad laugh escaped her as she shook her head,"You won't believe how heartbreaking it is to take things for granted, and not realize it until everything you've ever loved is gone." Percy softened at this before looking out at the sun rising beyond the treetops.
The goddess was sitting down now, allowing her legs to dangle over the edge of the roof. Her shoulders were slumped ever so slightly as she rested her chin on her fist, looking out at the sky sadly.
Athena was speaking from experience, he could tell by the raw emotion in her voice, and it put a lot of things into perspective."Take your suffering and bear it." A sigh escaped him, she was right, and he knew he'd struggle with doing what she instructed. Change didn't just happen over night, but at least he was given a new way to view his life. Athena didn't sugarcoat it either, he was undoubtably going to suffer more in his life, that was a fact, and he appreciated her honesty.
He had never thought of Athena's own struggles. She's been alive for centuries and undoubtably faced more pain than he ever would. He couldn't imagine being immortal and watching as everything around him died and watching as history continued to repeat itself. The corruption, the fear, the sorrow, the cruelty, and the suffering that the world had to offer was passed down from generation to generation. How the gods continued to live like this was beyond him.
"What happened to you?" He asked quietly, inching closer to the goddess, sitting next to her on the roof.
Grey eyes flickered towards him,"When I first emerged from Zeus he sent to Lake Tritonis to be with the nymphs. They were very warlike and it appealed to me." She smiled fondly as she continued,"There was a nymph I became very close with, Pallas, and she was the only one who could match my prowess in combat. She was my best friend."
She paused,"We were sparring one day, fighting with as much aggression as we always had, but my father happened to be watching. Zeus thought we were truly battling, so he did what he does best, he meddled. He appeared behind me and held up my Aegis shield, scaring Pallas and I disarmed her. I didn't realize Zeus had startled her. After I disarmed her, I stabbed her in the gut, and she died." She stated, voice losing all warmth and becoming monotoned; sounding as though she were giving a history lesson rather than recounting the death of her dear friend.
Athena remembered the incident vividly. The excited grin on her lips as she sparred with Pallas. The loud laugh that escaped the nymph as she twisted away from the goddess's vicious attacks. It was a dance; Athena usually going on the offensive and chasing after her nimble friend, Pallas's cheeky taunts that would make the two laugh and alleviate some of the intensity.
When Zeus appeared behind her, she had seen the slight shock in her companion's eyes. Athena had noticed it, but paid it no mind, and the rest was a blur- up until she found her spear buried in Pallas's stomach. Wide grey eyes met startled green ones. Athena was stiff as a statue, unable to move as tears blurred her vision. Blood oozed from once smiling lips, and the nymph's pale hands grasped the end of her spear and yanked it out. Pallas had stumbled backwards, gently cupping the deep wound, and watching quietly as blood oozed down her body.
She looked at Athena and gave her a weak smile,"Ouch. Y-You got me, Bookworm." A nickname the goddess would always roll her eyes at, pretending she didn't appreciate the affection that went behind such a silly nickname. Athena rushed forward as Pallas slumped to her knees, the goddess remained silent, unable to speak as she held her friend tightly to her chest.
The goddess had had an out of body experience, she felt that she wasn't in control of her body. Silent tears continued to fall as she rocked back and forth, cradling Pallas gently as the nymph's final breath escaped her.
Athena blinked, snapping back to the present as a gentle hand was placed on her shoulder. Percy, the boy she had come to see as one of her own, was looking at her with understanding.
Percy had listened quietly, eyes wide as he watched Athena. The goddess looked to be unaffected by the tragedy; her posture still displayed confidence and power, her voice had not wavered once, and she wore a neutral facial expression. But grey eyes exposed the extent of her bereavement.
He had never seen Athena vulnerable, she was always calm, calculated, and confident. Of course she showed him affection, in subtle ways; whether it be a small smile, a comforting hand on his shoulder, and the occasional and brief embrace. But she never revealed her sadness, preferring to tackle such problems logically rather than get emotional.
But her eyes were raw with emotion. Had Percy not known the goddess he wouldn't have been able to tell, but he had been around her most of his life. The son of Thanatos could see the grief, bitterness, and resentment that shrouded once lucid grey eyes.
"I'm sorry." He spoke softly, unsure of how Athena would react to his cliche reaction. But he didn't know how else to respond. The goddess killed her best friend, a tragedy Percy could relate to. However, Percy exchanged Zoe's life for his own, and it was no accident. Yet, it was Athena's own spear had ended her companion's life, and that was something Percy couldn't fathom living with himself for doing. Did she cry? He wondered, grimacing as he slowly removed his hand from her shoulder.
She looked at him,"There's nothing to be sorry about. I killed her." She said bluntly, eyes flickering towards the clouds once again,"I built her a monument in the city of Troy, a wooden replica of her, and it became the Palladium shrine. End of story." She said curtly, clearly wanting to drop the subject.
"You murder your friend and all you've got to remember her by is some wooden statue?" He challenged, not wanting to drop it,"And that doesn't make you sad?" He wasn't sure why he wanted to get a rise out of her, but he desperately wanted to evoke some emotion out of her usually indifferent demeanor. Why couldn't she just be open with him? He knew she was hurting, but she hid it, and for what purpose? A part of him felt hurt that she wouldn't share this with him, he knew she loved him, and he loved her deeply like a son would a mother. So why did she hold back?
"Meaning it doesn't anymore?"
"I cannot change the past."
Percy grew frustrated,"I saw your eyes, Athena." He snapped accusingly,"You can't lie to me, I know you're sad."
The blonde remained emotionless,"I was divulging in the accidental murder of my closest friend, is it not normal to be saddened when confessing such an atrocity?"
"So you are sad."
"I am not." She stated,"I have already grieved, I'm too wise to dwell on what I cannot control. I mourned for her, built her a monument to keep her memory alive, and moved on. I did not let that incident change how I sparred, nor did I let it burden me, and that is a lesson you would do well to learn."
Athena stood to her feet,"You killed Zoe Nightshade." He flinched,"You've mourned, apologized, and even resurrect her to fight at your side." She hummed, voice hardening slightly,"You killed Zoe Nightshade," She repeated,"you kill many people. Get over it."
He looked at her incredulously, jumping to his feet as he glowered at her,"It's not the same."
"Death will claim everyone sooner or later. You've repented, there nothing more you can do, and now I'm telling you to move on."
Percy was quiet for a moment before asking,"Why do you care so much about how I respond to death?"
Athena gave him a dry look, as though he were utterly obtuse,"Because, Percy, I care a great deal for you. I remember watching you after you believed both Thalia and Jason to be dead. You were lost, hurting, and I know you were contemplating suicide." Percy looked away guiltily and clenched his jaw,"To do something so stupid," Athena spat, finally showing emotion, startling Percy with her angry tears,"to do something so selfish," Hands balled into fists,"would have destroyed me in a way you cannot possibly hope to understand."
Abruptly she reached out, grabbing his shoulders and yanking him towards her. He stumbled into her strong embrace, blinking in shock as the goddess cradled him. Heat filled his chest, it was a type of warmth he hadn't felt in a longtime, a type of warmth that brought tears to his eyes. Toned arms wrapped around Athena tightly, grateful to feel the love of his motherly figure. He had always known she cared, but seeing and knowing were two very different things.
She pulled away, cupping his cheek and looking at him imploringly,"If someone you love dies, what do you do?" Percy felt determination wash over him in waves. She was right, he had been self absorbed when he contemplated suicide. He hadn't thought of how Athena would feel if he died, or Annabeth. All he had wanted was to make his pain go away, never considering the pain he would inflict upon those two if he went through with it.
"I keep moving forward."
"You guys haven't changed."
"Not much." Percy agreed,"Thalia is still a hothead." Annabeth sighed in mock annoyance as she leaned comfortably against Percy. The two's relationship had been mended rather easily despite the strain placed upon them by their conflicting morals.
Thalia snorted and shoved him playfully,"And you're still a moron."
Annabeth rolled her eyes,"And I'm still the mature one." Percy and Thalia laughed at this before mocking the daughter of Athena. Annabeth scowled playfully at them as she once again made fun of their low maturity levels. Jason felt a pang of jealousy at their closeness but it was quickly squashed by nostalgia. He had missed the three of them terribly and he wouldn't let his bitterness get the better of him.
"Good." Jason chuckled, smiling slightly at his family,"I like the consistency." Blue eyes peered out across the snow covered yard. The four sat on the porch of Eddie's house, speaking quietly as the sun began to set. The children of Hades were catching Hazel up inside the house, the trio had decided to leave the four alone so as not to impede on their personal conversation.
"You've changed." Thalia murmured, gently taking his hand in hers,"You're more...serious."
The thirteen year old looked at her, his smile vanishing,"I suppose." He gave her hand a slight squeeze,"Camp Jupiter is very...harsh. Romans don't believe in mercy, but it's better now." He muttered, clearly not wanting to discuss it any further.
"What did they do to you?" Annabeth asked and Jason muttered a curse under his breath; he had almost forgotten the strength of her curiosity. But even if Annabeth hadn't asked he knew Percy or Thalia would. Percy was sitting up a little straighter now, looking at Jason intensely, as though he were ready to fight off all the bad memories that plagued him. The thought brought a small smile to his lips. Of course Percy would be the one to try to defeat anything that hurt him, whether they be tangible or not.
Jason sighed,"Honestly it wasn't that bad. They just...they trained me the moment I arrived. It was brutal, but they taught me to be tough, and I'm grateful for their lessons now." He grumbled, clearly not divulging in the whole story,"Like I said, it's better now, I can fight great and I have the camp's respect." He then brightened,"They're even grooming me to be Praetor!" His fell upon his older brother, searching eagerly for approval, but he only found confusion.
"I'd be commander of our army!"
Percy grinned,"That's great, buddy!" He enthused, leaning over and ruffling his hair just like when they were children,"Too bad you couldn't show off what you can do with a gun, eh?" Jason smiled at this, feeling more at ease in his brother's presence. He had been worried that Percy would have changed too much, but he was just as warm and inviting as he was when he was eleven.
Thalia smirked,"Leading an army sounds way cooler than leading a gang."
Percy rolled his eyes,"Better than leading nothing."
Annabeth interjected,"Thalia is the unspoken leader of Camp Halfblood-"
"Stay out of this Annie!" Percy huffed, his fake pout was replaced by a grimace at the sight of Annabeth's glare,"I kid!" He held his hands up defensively, making the blonde laugh before turning back to Jason.
"That is really exciting, Jason. But before that...they didn't hurt you, did they?"
He looked away from her and shrugged,"Wasn't so bad. Hazel was always looking out for me."
Thalia, for the sake of keeping the conversation light, said,"Ooh that's right! You and Hazel." She smirked and leaned closer to her baby brother,"She is pretty cute, huh?" She goaded, laughing loudly at the sight of Jason's flushed face.
Percy gave him a clap on the back,"Way to go buddy!"
"I-I...she's just a friend!" Jason stammered, scowling at the now laughing trio,"And girls are weird!"
"Oh don't be embarrassed." Thalia snickered,"Percy is also infatuated with a daughter of Hades. Must run in the family."
"Does that mean you'll end up with Nico?" Percy mocked,"Since our infatuation with children of Hades runs in the family?" It was Jason's turn to laugh at Thalia's embarrassment and Annabeth was watching her with amusement.
"Ew! No!" Thalia snapped angrily, punching her cackling brother in the shoulder.
"Father would be so disappointed." He simpered.
Another laugh escaped him as he fended off her blows,"I'm kidding Thals!" This seemed to calm his flustered sister,"Besides, you can't date until you're fifty."
Thalia looked at him in disbelief,"Jason get's encouragement when he likes a girl, but I can't even date till I'm fifty?"
"Boys have cooties, Thalia, and as your big brother I can't allow you to canoodle with them. Jason is a boy, therefore he's already infected, so it's okay for him to date."
Annabeth hummed thoughtfully before turning to Percy,"Personally, I think fifty is generous."
"You two are the worst!"
Percy was fighting back a smile as Annabeth placed her hand on Thalia's shoulder,"I know you're mad now, sweetie. But you'll understand when you're older." Thalia batted her hand away while scowling, evoking a laugh from Jason as she shuffled closer to him. His sister leaned against his shoulder, still casting mock glares at Annabeth, and wrapped a comforting arm around Jason.
The son of Jupiter smiled before asking,"So what's happened when I was gone? Percy's eyes are different colors now, so I must have missed something cool." He mused, looking pointedly at the heterochromia eyed boy. He didn't miss how his brother tensed slightly at the observation, but he just as quickly relaxed when Annabeth patted his hand reassuringly.
Percy sighed before speaking,"It's a long story."
"We've got time." His brother argued.
He smiled at this,"Yeah, I guess we do."
And for a brief moment he was taken back to when they were children. The four of them sitting on the roof of their shack; telling crazy stories while the sun went down, sharing their junk food, drinking excessive amounts of soda and having belching contests, and filling the forest with laughter as they created outrageous games to play that always resulted in one of them gaining a new bruise.
A large smile lit up his face as he listened to Thalia tell her wild story of being turned into a tree. Jason was instantly enraptured with the tale, regaining his childlike wonder and asking an unnecessary amount of questions. Annabeth would occasionally jump in, humbling Thalia when ever her words were full of exaggerated grandeur, and earning the laughs of the brothers while Thalia would snap at her to shut up.
It felt normal. It felt like the four of them had never separated, and Percy couldn't remember a time he had felt happier. Everyone was alive and with him, and to think he had nearly offed himself when he was thirteen, unable to cope with the loss of both his siblings. But they were back. They were strong and happy and very much alive. Not to mention he still had Bianca and Nico and Annabeth with him.
Everything almost seemed too good to be true; instead of giving into the fear that plagued his mind, he felt happiness seep through him. Athena had been right, the more he dwelled on terrible outcomes that could befall upon his family, the worse his life would be. He wouldn't be able to sit here with them and enjoy their company as much as he did now. That was a problem he had gotten into when he was younger as well, the foreboding he had experienced had made him take his family for granted. But not anymore. He could not control the future, but he could control his attitude and how he chose to spend his time.
"Percy, you can conjure ghosts!" An excited voice interrupted his musings.
He looked up to see a grinning Jason,"Course I can, I'm the child of death." He boasted, happily soaking in his baby brother's admiration. He felt as though he were talking to Nico, the boy who he had come to love as though he were his own blood.
He knew the two of them didn't like each other, and Percy wished he could change it but he knew it was something he couldn't control. As if on a cue a surprised Nico was spit from a shadow; landing with a loud yelp in Percy's lap. The son of Thanatos jumped in surprise at Nico's arrival as the boy looked around in confusion.
"Well, this isn't the roof." Nico sighed before giving Percy a sheepish smile,"Hey Perce!"
Percy looked at him in amusement,"I see you're still a bit rusty with your shadow traveling?"
Nico scratched the back of his neck in embarrassment as he continued to lay in the older boy's lap,"Yeah..." They both knew it was a lie, the son of Hades was proficient at shadow traveling, and this was the mistake of an amateur. Nico had wanted to talk to Percy for whatever reason.
Percy laughed before shaking his head,"What's the real reason you're out here-"
Hazel and Bianca burst out of the house, laughing loudly at their younger brother. Nico scowled and tucked himself further into Percy's arms, as if hoping to hide himself from his cackling sisters. Unbeknownst to everyone Jason was glowering at the son of Hades, feel particularly possessive of his older brother. He didn't like sharing, and the thought of Percy treating Nico as another baby brother made his blood boil.
Hazel finally piped up,"Nico has a big crush on someone." She cooed, laughing again as Nico's glared at her, his cheeks a rosy red.
Bianca was grinning as she sat by Percy and pinched her brother's cheek,"And he got so embarrassed when we figured it out that he shadow travelled right to you. He thought you would protect him."
Hazel moved to sit next to a fuming Jason. She instantly noticed his sour mood and placed a hand on his arm. This startled him out of his sulking and he looked at her in surprise. She gave him a knowing look which caused him to sigh, smoothing his facial features as the daughter of Pluto retracted her hand.
Percy laughed loudly as ruffled the boy's hair,"Ah, you thought I would protect you for your older sister?" He teased,"I can't stop the eldest from doing her job, which is teasing you."
Thalia was quick to chime in,"That's just because you want to kiss her!"
It was Percy's turn to turn red,"Quiet, you!"
Nico was now sitting up, grinning devilishly at Percy,"Percy and Bianca sitting in a tree!"
Thalia jumped in,"K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" Bianca scowled at the two, a dangerous glint in her eye as she looked at Percy. He smirked, an unspoken agreement passed between them as he wrapped her brother in a tight bearhug. Bianca disappeared in shadows and reappeared behind Thalia, grabbing her into a bearhug of her own. Nico was quick to shadow travel away from the boy, appearing on top of Bianca and wrapping his arms around her neck.
"Thalia run!" He squealed between bouts of laughter, jumping off his sister's back as she reached blindly for him. He ran to Thalia and the two continued running from their older siblings. Annabeth and Hazel were watching amused smiles as the two were eventually caught, but Jason was growing more furious by the moment.
Thalia, once caught by Percy, shocked him. He yelped in surprise before letting her go, and she cackled as she continued to run away.
"That's cheating!" Percy yelled, only for her to stick her tongue out at him.
Percy conjured Zoe who looked at him expectantly,"Who are we killing?"
"No one! I need you to catch Thalia." He declared, pointing at his retreating sister.
Zoe looked at him with a bemused facial expression,"Really?" She asked dryly,"This is why you called me here?"
"Yes!" A sigh escaped her as she vanished, just as quickly appearing in front of Thalia. The daughter of Zeus screamed in surprise before falling on her butt.
Zoe stood there with an annoyed expression and her arms crossed over her chest,"This is so juvenile."
However, Thalia quickly got over her shock and brightened considerably at the sight of her deceased friend,"Zoe!" She jumped to her feet and embraced the ghost, startling the huntress before she laughed and returned the hug.
Nico, having been caught by his own sister watched the scene in horror,"Thalia no! It's a trap!"
Before Thalia could react Zoe yelled,"Percy, I got her!" Her eyes opened wide and she tried to shock her but to no avail,"I'm dead, Thalia, your powers don't work on me." She chuckled, her smile broadened at the pout the daughter of Zeus now gave her.
"I can't believe you tricked me!"
"For what it's worth, I am happy to see you."
Thalia's pout morphed into a smile,"Me too." Percy caught up to his sister, and placed a hand on her shoulder as the two relinquished their tight embrace. Annabeth was quick to make her way over to greet the huntress, and pepper her with questions about the afterlife. Even Jason had gotten up to get a better look at the ghost. Nico was examining her with awe, having finally been released from his sister, and was poking at her in curiosity.
Zoe jumped as an index finger struck her spine, she whirled around to face him,"Knock it off, boy!" She snapped, evoking a laugh from Bianca as Nico leapt away from her in shock. Hazel was enraptured by the ghost. She, like Nico, was studying her closely and smiling when Zoe turned to meet her gaze.
"Ah, who is this?"
"I'm Hazel, daughter of Pluto!" She beamed,"I know who you are, you're Zoe Nightshade. You would accompany lady Diana whenever she visited our camp."
Zoe smiled at the girl,"Ah, a daughter of Rome. A pleasure to meet you, you would make a fine huntress from what I've heard."
"You've heard about me?"
"Of course. You're the only demigod child of Pluto."
Bianca made her way over and slung an arm around Hazel,"Even in death you still recruit for the hunt." In her tone was hidden a trace of disapproval. She didn't want Hazel to join the huntresses, she would then be immortal, and she would rarely get to see herself or Nico. She had just met the girl but had already grown attached, and she was utterly fascinated with her as well.
Hearing Hazel's story of being born in the 1930's, only to be killed in 1942 and resurrected to live in this decade was amazing. Like her siblings she was out her time, but instead of living in a casino she was dead and had awakened to a post Civil Rights society. She had the childish joy of Nico but the calm and collective demeanor of Bianca. And her smiles were infectious.
Zoe noticed her protectiveness but didn't react to it,"Of course." The tension caused Hazel to shift uncomfortably. Bianca blinked in realization at her younger sister's discomfort and she relaxed before flashing Zoe a peaceful smile. Zoe was quick to return it before turning to Percy expectantly.
"Surely you want me to do more than just catch Thalia?"
Thalia was quick to chime in,"Zoe doesn't want to be dead weight." She grinned proudly at the collective, exasperated groans she had evoked from her companions.
"That was awful." Annabeth sighed, not able to fight her own smile as Thalia's grin broadened.
"Many great thinkers were ostracized during their time. I know I will be appreciated when I'm gone, and the world will look upon my puns in wonder." She boasted, puffing her chest out as she continued,"I don't need the validation of the living." Jason laughed at his sister's antics while Bianca looked at Percy pointedly.
"You know she gets this from you."
"She did not!"
Bianca smirked slightly, rolling her eyes as she said,"Yes she did, Nico is picking up your terrible sense of humor as well."
"Hey!" Nico whined, ignoring the annoyed look he got from Jason. The son of Jupiter was fuming, was Nico his replacement? Everyone treated him like they used to treat Jason, and he couldn't help but let his envious side take over.
Walking purposefully towards Percy he shoulder checked Nico. The son of Hades stumbled forward in shock, turning to see if anyone was paying attention, but all eyes were on the chatting Annabeth.
Nico scowled as Jason made his way to his brother's side,"What's your problem!" He snapped, his distaste for Jason radiated off him in waves. The son of Jupiter gave him a look of mock confusion.
"Whatever do you mean?" He replied coyly, smirking as the boy stomped up to him. Jason wasn't normally one to be petty, usually he was far more collected when it came to his anger. But watching Nico and Percy and Thalia interact in such a way was enough to push him over the edge.
Percy watched silently as the two fought, unsure of how to jump in, believing he would cause more harm than good. He had never meant for this to happen. He loved both of the young boys dearly and he didn't anticipate for them to clash like this. Thalia and Bianca had gotten along once Thalia learned Bianca was a romantic interest to him, not a replacement, and they were now good friends.
But Percy couldn't say that to diffuse the tension now. Nico was like a little brother to him, and nothing he said would change that. Jason would still feel threatened and there would still be copious amount of tension between the two.
"You shoved me, don't play dumb!"
"So what if I did?" Jason's playful tone now held a sharpness to it,"No need to lose your temper over it."
Nico grit his teeth before relaxing and flashing Jason a smile,"Ah, I see what this is about now. You're jealous that Percy likes me more than you." Percy's eyes widened as Jason took a threatening step forward.
"There's no way he likes a freakish, child of death like you."
Bianca was quick to intervene,"Freakish? Don't forget that a freakish child of death saved your life." She snarled, stepping up by Nico protectively,"I forget how pompous children of Zeus are. Watch how you talk to my brother, Jason." She threatened, eyes darkening as Thalia jumped in.
"Was that a threat, Di Angelo?"
"Put a leash on you brother, Grace, so I don't have to."
"I will if you put a muzzle on yours." Thalia snapped back, eyes glittering with malice as the two glowered at each other. Annabeth and Percy looked at each other in alarm before coming to a silent understanding.
Annabeth turned to the Grace kids,"Guys, let's not do this."
Percy was taking care of the Di Angelos,"There's no reason to fight." Trying to get them to follow him away from his siblings; but this only made things worse.
Jason looked at his brother in disbelief,"What! You're still going with them? We're your flesh and blood!"
Percy turned to Jason sharply,"Annabeth can't de-escalate the situation with them as quickly as I can. It has nothing to do with favoritism-"
The blonde boy shook his head,"Whatever."
Percy turned to his sister and looked at her pleadingly,"Thals, c'mon, you know it's not like that."
Thalia softened, coming out of her protective haze she turned to the eldest Grace,"I...I know it's not. I'm sorry, Nico." She murmured, keeping her gaze downward as Jason looked at her in betrayal. Bianca continued to glower at the younger Grace siblings, her fatal flaw of grudges overriding her rationality.
Nico was angered by Thalia but only by Jason,"It's cool, Thals." He smiled at her briefly, before turning his glare to Jason,"My problem is with him, not you."
Jason sneered at him before turning to his older siblings,"I'm your actual brother," he pointed at Nico angrily,"and you both take his side?"
"No one's taking sides!" Percy snarled, taking a threatening step towards Jason,"You're both ridiculous. The rest of the children of Zeus and Hades have coexisted just fine. So why can't you two?"
"He started it!" Nico growled,"He's just jealous of me."
Jason looked at him murderously,"Shut up!"
But Nico smirked, deciding to say,"He knows I replaced him, and that drives him crazy."
"I said shut up!"
"Why don't you make me. I'm sure those Romans made you real tough." Nico simpered, his own inner rage growing as he itched to strike Jason.
Blue eyes were glowing with power as the winds around him started to pick up. Nico was grinning dangerously, his dark aura surrounded him and the earth began to tremble. The rest of the demigods watched anxiously as dark clouds covered the once blue sky. Thunder rumbled and lightening flashed overhead, Percy was about to intervene when something stopped him.
He turned to see Zoe holding his shoulder and shaking his head,"Let them fight."
"Are you insane! They'll kill each other!" Percy snarled, growing more frustrated by Zoe's indifference.
"You'll stop them before they do. Annabeth and Bianca got into a scrap a while back, as I'm sure you remember. It helped alleviate a lot of tension between them. Let these two fight a little, then break it up." She mused, watching on as Jason launched himself off the ground and grabbed a somewhat stunned Nico. He could fly?
He lifted the son of Hades high into the air before dropping him. As Nico fell he laughed mockingly, spreading his arms as he fell, and flipping Jason off before shadow traveling away. Jason watched with narrowed eyes as he looked for Nico's form. The boy reappeared on the ground, smiling victoriously as he shadow travelled quickly away from all bolts of lightening thrown at him.
Percy's wings extended, prepared to jump in when things became too chaotic. He hated the idea of them fighting in the first place, but maybe Zoe was right. That's why he held everyone back, so they could get their anger out and everyone could regroup. At least, that's what he thought, until he saw Jason free fall towards the earth.
This chapter is dedicated to my cousin Alison. Rest easy.
Oh, this fight isn't over. Team Nico or Jason? I actually like them both equally but I'm biased because I created their characters and they're my babies. I wanted to work more on their interactions this chapter and how everyone adjusted to each other.
NONAME2002: Dont.. wait... no hold on.. just a second... Tyone Jackson... you didnt... no fucking way... is that supposed to be Eddies and Sally's child? As in the Sally the one who makes chocolate chip cookies the best? Cuz if so holy shit things are going to get intense cuz I wonder... is he going to be a son of Poseidon?
*Sips tea* Who can say?
XSinisterAres: Plot twist... Eddy is not who he says he is. the snow was secretly coCain that eddy made. He secretly stored in front of his house to hide it in plain sight. And all that kids that played with it have been snorting it like crazy. That is reason eddy is trying not to get hit, even using his daughter for cover "sick bastard" is because he wants to stay sober so he can sell on the slave market. ;) feel free to use it. I just need virgin blood in exchange... joking...NOT;)
My loud ass laugh nearly woke up my roomates. Damn, you're good.
Ilovethisstory: This story is so great! I honestly cannot. I'm so excited for the next part. I had no idea you were a college student! It's so great that you're still updating even though you're so busy. What's your major?
Shucks thanks! I'm majoring in Data Research Analysis. It's so much math and I hate math but I've been doing research projects for a while now and I love it. I'm glad you like the story :)
SoundOfSilence7: This is a great story and youre a amazing writer but im just curious where do you find the inspiration to write these? I love writing and often get lost in my writing but i cant bring myself to write a fanfic as great as yours.
Thanks! I blame it on my ADHD, makes my mind jump all over the place and I get new story ideas a little too easily sometimes.