I do not own anything of Percy Jackson and the series, Rick Riordan does, bless him. I follow the books and the plot and I do reuse some dialogue, but I alter them and fit it into my story. Again, copyright is all Rick Riordan's, I repeat, I do not own anything.
"Hey, wake up."
I ignored the voice coming from below.
"I'm going to take away your blanket if you don't get up," the voice threatened. I tightened my hands around my precious blanket.
Maybe the voice will go away if I ignore it.
"I'm taking it in three, two, one-"
"I'm up, I'm up," I grumbled and slapped away the hand that hovered towards the edge of the covers on my bunk bed. I rubbed my eyes and sat up to gather my hair for a ponytail. I grimaced when I felt my fingers caught on the ends of my black hair streaked with strands of lighter browns. I'm going to need to take a shower today. I snapped on the hair tie and yawned.
"Jade, over here." Fingers snapped to my side to grab my attention. I turned to lean over the edge of my bed and squinted down at the two figures standing below my top bunk. They were both guys. The taller of two had short sandy blonde hair on a nice face and an athletic body. I couldn't see the permanent white scar that vertically lined the right side of his face from the angle I was looking at though.
"Luke," I acknowledged and redirected my gaze to the boy next to him. Dark, almost black hair with the slightly dim lighting inside the cabin, but I could see his bright green eyes. Green like the sea. The skinny, but of average stature boy was holding onto a large horn that looked like he had snapped it off a bull's head. I avoided eye contact with the boy and locked my eyes onto it.
"Is that the Minotaur's horn?" The boy shuffled his feet and looked surprised.
I yawned again, "Cool. Why am I awake now?" Luke quickly looked away while the dark haired boy copied my action and then looked confused with himself for doing so. People tended to do that around me when I yawned, which gave me some pointers on who my godly parent was if the dreams weren't enough of a hint. Luke knew about the effect I had on people and also knew when to look away so that he wouldn't yawn.
Inwardly, I grimaced. I could have completed a full cycle of sleep if Luke hadn't woken me up. Now I was probably going to get cranky and snarky any moment since the disrupted cycle will mess with my brain.
I slid a questioning gaze of get on with it to Luke.
Luke started the introductions.
"Percy, this is Jade. She's one year older than you and has been here almost as long as Annabeth and me. Ask her for help any time. Jade, this is Percy. He just arrived to camp last night and this is his first time, so watch out for him, got it?"
I grunted an assent.
"Sounds are not words, Jade," Luke sighed.
"Tell that to the cavemen," I mumbled. Ah, there's my snarky side.
"Can't, I've got a quick meeting with the other counselors for the upcoming capture the flag game this week. Take Percy outside to meet Annabeth at the volleyball court. She'll be doing the explanations this time." I bobbed my head, relieved to be off duty for doing explanations to the new camper. Chiron normally had the most experienced counselors and year rounding campers to break down some of the news to the newbies. He liked having me do it most of the time, since I 'phrased my words better', whatever that means. I wished that Chiron would finish that orientation film he had been working on sooner. I yawned again and for the second time already, Percy copied me.
"How are you doing that?" He asked.
Pulling my blanket off, I didn't bother answering him and searched for a hoodie with my name on the tag. Most of the kids in cabin eleven don't dare to steal from me in the first place, but there's always a camper who doesn't know about me and tries. I found and tugged on a solid dark grey jacket, which reflected the state of my sloth-like mood and rolled down from my top bunk. Percy-boy jumped back when I landed on my feet while Luke clasped a hand on my shoulder.
I smirked. I was a little taller than the Percy-boy.
"Take care of him, alright?"
I made an 'okay' sign with my hands and started walking out the cabin door while trying not to flatten the many demigods and their belongings on the ground. I had to bat my dark brown eyes several times when the sunlight hit me in the face. I was no vampire since I liked sleeping in the sunlight, but summertime was at its peak and Camp Half-Blood's weather reflected that well. I heard someone stumble at the door behind me and snickers erupted from inside the cabin.
Great, now everyone will think he's a scrub.
Before I could forget, I flicked my hood over my head and called over my shoulder, "Come on, Annabeth doesn't like tardiness."
The boy quickly caught up next to me and muttered, "Yeah, well she doesn't seem to like me either."
"You met Annabeth already?"
"She told me that I drool when I sleep."
I shrugged and headed for the volleyball court where a stressed out blonde and tan girl was waiting impatiently. The boy's arrival must have made her tense and thinking like a sandstorm of the upcoming prophecy. I don't think I'm supposed to know about it since almost no one in camp does, but because of my dreams and my "situation", I don't fall in the 'normal' category.
"Annabeth doesn't seem to like anyone at first," I said loosely. "She likes to analyze everything, including people, before getting close." We were within earshot of Annabeth, but Percy-boy didn't notice her.
"So I'm like a catalog to her?"
I shrugged again, and flicked my head towards Annabeth.
"Annabeth, Luke said you're supposed to give 'the talk' this time," I toned while air-quoting "the talk".
Percy-boy immediately looked nervous.
"Whoa, wait, I already got the birds and bees talk in fifth grade," he stammered. Annabeth let out an exasperated sigh and gave me an are you kidding me look, but I just appraised him.
"Hey, what's your last name?" I asked.
"Jackson," he said uncomfortably.
Son of a bi-sea god.
Son of a sea god.
And it was like an atom bomb imploded in my brain. I continued to stare at him until I noticed that he was starting to squirm under my gaze.
"Well, nice to meet you Percy Jackson. I'll be at my bunk, on cabin eleven's dining table, or down near the lake if you ever need me. I'll also probably be asleep, so bring me something good to eat if you ever wake me up because I'm normally a little irritated when I have to wake up. Food helps." I turned to leave, but Annabeth grabbed the sleeve of my jacket.
"Oh no you don't, you're staying here to help me with this idiot," she commanded. I grumbled, but didn't argue. Arguing with Annabeth never eases a situation and always gives me a headache. It's like she wins every time no matter what.
I walked away from the volleyball pit because lying down on sand isn't comfortable and flopped onto the grassy ground beneath a tree. Annabeth and Percy Jackson followed me and both sat cross-legged next to me. There was a moment of silence because neither of them made a move to start the conversation. I cracked open my eyes and saw that they were both looking expectantly at me.
I groaned, "Annabeth, Chiron assigned this one to you."
"Is he the one?" Annabeth prompted. I shrugged. Annabeth knew that I also knew about the prophecy Chiron had told her. Surprisingly, she was okay with it and even asks me for advice since I have dreams that seem to connect to it.
"You know, I'm right here," Percy huffed. I deflected Annabeth's question.
"You tripped when you exited the cabin, didn't you?" I directed to him. Annabeth rolled her eyes. Percy started sputtering, but I ignored him and continued talking to Annabeth.
"Cabin eleven think he's fresh meat now."
"Percy, you have to do better than that," she snapped and then mumbled under her breath. "I can't believe I thought he was the one." The tension and lack of details of explaining what was happening to him finally seemed to get to Percy.
"What's your problem?" He was getting angry now. "All I know is, I kill some bull guy-" And then I closed my eyes again and just listened.
Everything was going to canon, with the exception of, well, me being alive and next to them.
"-do you know how many kids at this camp wish they'd had your chance?" Annabeth sounded frustrated, probably because she wanted to be the one to defeat the Minotaur. She's right that other demigods would've jumped at the chance, but there aren't too many. A lot of campers just want a regular life outside of camp. The only ones who really thirsted to prove themselves to the gods were Annabeth and Luke. The rest weren't as desperate although many are eager and itching to complete some sort of quest outside of camp. They were only getting bored of being cooped up in Camp Half-Blood.
Annabeth started explaining to Percy about demigods and monsters. Primal forces, archetypes, and how they reform even when they disappear.
"You almost called her something. A Fury? They're Hades' torturers, right?" Percy questioned. He wanted answers badly and I pitied him a little.
I cut in, "Yo, try not to toss those names around okay?" I could already feel the rumbling beneath the soil, coming for under there, and the Mist flickering around us.
Annabeth glanced around nervously. Obviously she had felt it too and warned him.
"You shouldn't call them by name, even here. We call them the Kindly Ones, if we have to speak of them at all."
"Look is there anything we can say without it thundering?" Percy whined. I let out a short laugh. It was something that I thought about often too.
"And why do I have to stay in cabin eleven, anyway? Why is everybody so crowded together and how do you get a bunk? There are plenty of empty bunks right over there." Percy asked me while pointing to the first few cabins.
I held up three fingers, putting them down one by one as I made my points.
"One, unless Luke already told you, you're not claimed, and all unclaimed campers go to cabin eleven. Two, yeah a lot of those kids in cabin eleven are unclaimed and that's why it's so crowded. Three, I got a bunk because I came to camp pretty early and snagged one when a camper left for college."
Annabeth finished his unsaid question and she was a little pale. This part of the topic was pretty sensitive, after all.
"You don't just choose a cabin, Percy. It depends on who your parents are. Or…your parent." She stared at Percy, waiting for him to get it, but Percy only stared back at her with incomprehension. I sighed and rolled over to my side. This was going to take a while.
After Annabeth and Percy talked more with me supervising and interjecting here and there, Clarisse and her crew marched up to us. I could tell it was Clarisse by the way her feet pounded against the ground and how she breathed heavily when she got excited to haze a new camper.
Her husky voice cut across our conversation, "Well! A newbie!" I cringed. I've never really talked to Clarisse that much and when I did, I knew how to not get on her bad side without having to look like a complete loser. Either way, she was loud and a presence that refused to be ignored.
I liked the camo jacket fashion the Ares kids had going though.
"Clarisse," Annabeth sighed. "Why don't you go polish your spear or something?"
"Sure, Miss Princess," the big light brown haired girl said. "So I can run you through with it Friday night."
"Erre es korakas!" Annabeth retorted. Go to the crows! I translated mentally in Greek. How rude.
Annabeth and Clarisse continued bickering until the daughter of Ares caught sight of Percy.
"Who's this little runt?" Annabeth pursed her lips and refused to answer, facing the other direction. I guess she refused to talk to Clarisse for the moment, meaning that I'd have to do the honors.
"Percy Jackson, meet Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares," I said and gestured with my hand. "Clarisse, meet Percy Jackson."
Clarisse scowled down at me since I was still lying down with my hood covering a part of my face. Though I had to smile a little when I noticed that she avoided eye contact with me. Even the fearless, gutsy Clarisse didn't like meeting my eyes.
"How'd you know my last name?"
Not all demigods like to tell their last names since their mortal family background can be just as a thin ice of a topic as their godly one.
"Dreams," I simply replied as though to explain it all. Percy Jackson seemed to be stuck on one detail though.
He blinked. "Like...the war god?"
I groaned and got up. I didn't want to have a guilty conscious since I knew what was coming up next.
"I'm going to head over to the mess hall," I said and patted my clothes from dust. "Don't get in a fight-
Clarisse leered at Percy.
-and Annabeth, you're supposed to give him the complete tour," I finished. I didn't wait for their responses and briskly started walking away from the group. Before I got too far, I started hearing snippets of 'initiation' and 'girl's bathroom' and I saw Clarisse dragging Percy with one hand to the nearest public restroom in the corner of my eye. I sighed.
I'm probably going to be sighing a lot more from now on with Percy Jackson around.
By the dinnertime, I had heard of Percy's bathroom incident from multiple people in excited and hushed tones. Excited, because it's not everyday Clarisse gets humiliated, but hushed, because some people were trying to speculate Percy's godly parentage. Someone was dumb enough to suggest the god of toilets and pipes.
Said person's idea was immediately shot down.
I was lying on my bunk, reflecting on my life, when Luke came in and announced to line up for dinner.
"Eleven," he yelled. "Fall in!"
I jumped down from my bunk, pulled out my leather bead necklace from below my jacket, and eased my way to the front. Campers who were still relatively new took a glance at my necklace and hastily stepped aside so that I could stand towards the front, only two places behind Luke. For dinnertime, we filed in line of seniority. Although it made things convenient for me, I was always uncomfortable with the privileges of seniority around camp. I don't even belong in cabin eleven since Hermes isn't my godly parent. It's only because I have the second most years among other demigods in attending camp, behind Luke and Annabeth, despite my unknown parentage, that I can have some seniority in cabin eleven. Since I still haven't been claimed even with four years in camp, some people talk about me behind my back.
In front of me, the Stoll brothers grinned at me. I smiled back, but checked my pockets. Travis and Connor Stoll had a game of 'How long does it take of Jade to notice we stole something from her' going ever since I first caught them trying to reach into my pockets. Luke, being the tallest and oldest in the cabin looked over all of us and met my eyes.
"Is Percy alive so far?"
I glanced over my shoulder and saw the boy at the way end of the line. I jerked a thumb behind me.
"Yeah, he survived Clarisse."
A corner tugged upwards on Luke's mouth and he chuckled, "I heard about that."
"Clarisse totally took a face full of toilet water," Travis cackled and Connor laughed with him. I couldn't help but break into a grin. It was pretty funny, even though I did kind of regret letting Percy get dragged like that.
Luke led our cabin out to the commons yard where the campers continued arranging themselves by seniority. I saw the non-demigod camp inhabitants also heading up towards the mess hall pavilion up the hill. I took a look around camp.
When the sun goes down in camp, you could see how everything turns into a different kind of beautiful. Camp Half-Blood during the day is very picturesque with the stereotypical sunny, green landscape camp, but at night, the place starts looking more like stuff of Greek myths.
Shadows elongate and expand while Greek marble structures and blazing torches around the entire camp light up the pillars. Some of the cabins begin glowing now that the natural sunlight is gone. Almost everything gets washed in shades of yellow, red, purple, and blue.
In the mess hall, I followed Luke to the picnic tables who sat next to Percy, so I sat across from them, waiting for the platters of food brought by the wood nymphs. I made sure to say my thanks to the nymphs before shoveling food onto my plate.
When it was time for campers to sacrifice a portion of their meal, I took my plate and glass of ice tea with me to the center of the pavilion where a huge fire roared. Not all of the campers take their drink with them, since it was optional, but I'm a generous person. I poured in a good amount of my drink and dropped the biggest butter roll while muttering, "Hermes, thanks for letting me stay at your cabin." I took my time inhaling the smell of a Thanksgiving stuffed turkey.
Then I also pushed best-looking barbeque rib into the fire with my fork, murmuring, "Hypnos". I caught a whiff of fresh baked pumpkin bread before scurrying back to cabin eleven's large picnic table. Percy got into an animated discussion with Luke about sword fighting and all the other camp activities Annabeth had showed him earlier. I didn't speak. Only talked when I got asked questions in between.
When everyone had finished giving their sacrifices and cleared their plates, the wine god gave news updates on camp activities, like the capture the flag for this Friday. Mr. D also gave the introduction of a new camper. Peter Johnson.
Down at the amphitheater, a child of Hephaestus was quick to start a campfire while Apollo's cabin got their instruments ready for a sing-along.
In the middle of a song, I saw Percy singing. He looked happy and comfortable, joking with the other campers, unaware of what befell him for the years to come. I let out a breath through my nose and rubbed the temples of my head, feeling a growing headache.
We don't talk very often since Percy spends a lot of time with Annabeth, catching up on demigod stuff like learning Greek and camp life. We exchange words of greeting when we pass by each other, maybe some small talk if we happen to be in the same classes, but it wasn't nothing close. Three days into Percy's arrival at camp, it was cabin eleven's schedule for a sword-fighting lesson.
Percy's first sword-fighting lesson.
Conner and I had paired up for dueling. He was being sneaky with his blade, catching me off guard a few times, but I had been watching Percy a distance away quietly the whole time. I was curious. Percy Jackson was supposedly a great sword fighter. Although all I could see was him getting battered by Luke. Then again, Luke was the best sword fighter I have ever seen so far. Even Chiron had said it's been centuries since he had seen someone with the potential to go up against Achilles, without his curse, of course.
Cabin eleven later formed a circle to observe Luke's demonstration with Percy. Most of the Hermes guys were suppressing smiles. They've been used as demos before and were enthusiastic to see the newbie in their position. Percy gave me a wide-eyed look, as though to convey a plea of help. I grinned a little and flashed a thumbs-up. He'll be fine.
I whistled when Luke showed us a disarming technique.
"Fancy sword work," I muttered. I hadn't meant for anyone to hear, but Connor did.
"I bet you our shares of s'mores tonight that I'll pull it off before you do," he whispered. We had campfires often, but s'mores came around on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with each camper getting two servings only. Camp Half-Blood would be on a tight budget, even with gold drachmas, if each camper could have as many s'mores as they want.
"You're on," I whispered back. I could go a campfire night without s'mores. Connor couldn't, so it'd be amusing to see him beg for his treats tonight.
We paused in our bet to observe Luke and Percy spar. I could see everyone expecting Luke to pull off the technique first, but I watched with clear eyes. I saw it coming before it happened.
Luke started increasing the pressure of swordplay once he realized Percy was keeping up. When Percy began slipping into the defensive, I saw a momentary determined flash in his eyes of What the heck, let's just try it before he twisted and pushed down Luke's sword with his own.
Luke's sword hit the stone ground with a clang and all the other campers went silent. I let out a low whistle and covered a smile. Percy looked like he regretted very much what he just did.
I took a careful peek at Luke to judge his expression. The older demigod seemed to still be processing what had just happened. And then his scarred face broke into a grin.
"Sorry? By the gods, Percy, why are you sorry? Show me that again!"
True to my expectation, there was no contest the second time around.
Should I be happy that everything is going according to the books?
At the campfire that night, Connor groveled for five minutes before I laughed and handed him back his graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. The Apollo kids were already singing a song. It was slow and full of corny lyrics, so everyone was giggling at each other, sarcastically singing and making exaggerating hand motions. Many had their hands in the air, swaying to the slow rhythm with bright grins on their faces.
I hummed along, but didn't dare sing a word aloud. Percy came and sat nearby when he noticed the display Connor had set beforehand.
"Hey, how come you're not singing?"
Luke walked over and handed me and Percy both a thin metal skewer stick to stab our marshmallows with.
"Last time Jade sung a slow campfire song, she made more than half of the campers fall asleep before finishing a verse," Luke laughed, remembering the memory. I smiled. It was one of the first major signs as to who my godly parent was.
Percy raised his eyebrows and gaped at me. I wiggled my fingers at him.
I nodded and grinned, "Seriously."
"Is that another thing that a child of Hermes can do?"
Ah, Luke doesn't like that name.
"No, I'm unclaimed actually," I replied and uneasily glanced at Luke. Predictably, a dark shadow came over his face. Grimacing, I changed the subject away from godly parents.
"So how's camp life treating you so far?"
It's against my policy to actively engage with people in general. However angry and upset people bothered me more, so I could bend that rule once in awhile.
Percy immediately gave an excited answer. Luke's previously cold eyes warmed a little. In the end, even if he was a traitor, he still cared about lost campers. It was touching.
What I was more focused on though, was tomorrow's capture the flag game.
Everything snowballs from there.
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