Sorry if the story hasn't been up to par as of late. I've been busy studying most nights.
Percy shut himself in his cabin, closing off all the blinds and barricaded his door. He even amounted a small seal of moving water around the entire chamber to shut in and keep out the noise. The only light given off was thanks to a fountain found in the center of his room. He doesn't recall from where or when he obtained it, or when it was installed for the time being, but he is glad. The constant pitter patter of water hitting water soothed him most of the time. He'd sometimes sit by it and let the running water flow past his fingers.
Yet, he didn't dare touch the pool...
He couldn't go through with touching anything stagnant. It had to be moving, had to have some sort of current. Percy thinks it is stupid, but he can barely even handle looking at still, fixed, unmoving water. It has to be moving, he has to feel it in motion in some sort of way...
Every time he catches himself staring at it, his mind puts him back under the sky... He could never look up, nor twist his head enough to gauge what was to his sides or directly in front of him. So his only salvation at the time was the pool of static water carefully filled up to his knees. Then he thought that that water would be his saving grace, that it they were foolish to give him such a gift. However, he was dead wrong. It was a cell.
With no where to look, his eyes were glued to the reflective pool. Only showing a faint imprint of what was actually happening. A shadow striking him, blow after blow, until his very own liquor of life began tainting the very thing he depended on to see. The water was his lifeline, he sensed the beasts wading in and out, gauging how bad the beating would be. Until his spit, blood, sweat, vomit, mixed together blemishing the purity of what he knew. It didn't take long for the blows to come at a surprise, nor did it take long for the water to reach a crawl. Afterall dirty water doesn't heal... But it tried. It infected him.
Percy's life- his own life, his own power, infected his veins, his sight, until the only thing he could count on was another prisoner. One in their own pit. And the only way to lift them out was to dig deeper to give them the soil to stand on.
Every time he looks, he first sees a clear pool. Then he blinks... and he sees the last thing he saw. A copper mud puddle with chunks from his own stomach floating around his knees. Yet, in the midst of gunk, piss, vomit, his eyes spot a ghost. Percy spots a figure, smiling with laughter with tears so realistic he swears he sees them dripping into the puddle. He knows it was a spirit because his hair was black, but the reflection's was a floating jumbled mess of translucent white. And it wasn't alone.
Then and there, in that moment, even though he had the company of a goddess and a god, he truly felt alone. How come he sees the wonderful full life of a dead man when he's in shackles? Why does his life seems so much better than his own? It's not fair... Why must he watch a good thing when everything around him is sucking the essence into the putrid pool of poison? It stings.
When he finally snapped out of it, for the dozenth time, he cried. Percy cried hugging his knees to his chest tightly until he fell asleep in the corner of the room. A small part where he couldn't see the fountain, nor the statue of his father... He didn't want anybody to see.
Yet, this occurred time after time. Percy was so focused on keeping everybody out so they couldn't see, he lost sight of the time as it passed unobstructed. The first few minutes- hours felt like a deliverance from Elysium. Plenty of time to soak it all in and relax, take in all the new little things placed around the cabin. But it soon turned ugly when there was nothing new to see, except his reflection. The first time he really saw it after months... Maybe it wasn't a ghost.
His eyes constantly drifted over to it even though he knew he didn't want look. Shouldn't look.
Those measly few hours felt like mere minutes, while everything else that followed lasted an eternity. After he first flashback, the hours drifted into the night. Then arose the dawn of a new day which he didn't even notice happen. From the sun's highest peak to the darkest shadow in crepuscle Percy constructed a loop he couldn't pull away from.
Then, exactly one week from his self imprisonment, the door to his cabin burst open. Splinters flew everywhere as the fountain exploded against the entrance sending chunks and slivers of wood and marble soaring through the camp grounds. Water spewed from the finally unbarred wooden door. Thus then Percy strutted out of his cabin, his bloody knuckles clenched, those inky blue eyes bloodshot, a couple bruises, and flushed patches of skin that were pressed too hard could be seen. His breathing labored and his eyes could only squint, no matter how hard he tried to glare, as the new levels of light punched his cornea. Even his smile was too crooked and open to be considered normal. Anyone that was nearby scattered.
He could only focus on the broken art, now in pieces throughout the center of all the housing cabins. It felt good- not just good, but great. Finally a relief that he didn't have to repeat a nightmare. Although it is on him, not wanting to see or talk to anyone, nor even let them see him, it all backfired. But shame has a tendency to do that. He messed up and now there is a price to pay.
'What have you done?' A deep voice whispered into his ear like it was hovering over his shoulders, clearly the voice was shocked. Feeling like the breath was on his neck he inexplicably shivered. Percy stood still in the midst of all the cabins. Not noticing the few pairs of eyes that peeked through the cabins' windows.
"Shut up." Percy mumbled, rolled the uneasy feeling off his shoulders. A quick glance around him and he found nobody around. That's not good. Clearly he isn't thinking straight. Oh he get's it! The fountain has made him mad!... No that's just stupid.
'This is how you want to thank them?' Percy wasn't sure entirely what the voice meant, but- well there really isn't a but. It felt like the presence of whoever it was gripped his shoulders tightly. Like it knew that Percy was confused. Or better yet, deep down, knew exactly what he was talking about.
"I said shut up!" Percy swung behind him in a wide arch, only to cleave the air in two. Because there wasn't any one around, not a soul seen, or ghost vanishing. Percy could only focus on the things directly around him. All other things blurred into nonexistence. His sole focus turning onto the voice. Now nothing else mattered.
'Aren't you supposed to be the hero?' The deep voice laughed at him, cutting deeper than Percy thought it would. He felt like the weight of the world was forcing him down again, sinking knee deep into the solid ground around. Hero? What's a hero really? A good man to one, an enemy to another...
"No- I never wanted- It wasn't supposed to get this far out of hand. This isn't what I wanted." Percy mumbled, collapsing as the weight dragged him even lower. Now at his knees, Percy didn't know what to think. All he wanted to do is help... He wanted to be someone people can depend on. Now he can't even look at them. Percy slumped down, thinking what would younger Percy think of him now. Probably not good things.
'Some hero you are.' It scoffed, it felt like it spit into his ear as it talked. Percy turned his face away, angry at himself he let it go this far off the rails.
"I never wanted to be the hero! I only wanted to do what was right..." That's right. It didn't matter in the end if he was seen as a hero or villain. Or so he told himself. The only thing that mattered was doing the right thing every step of the way. Even if they didn't like him, even if he was cast out... Now he doesn't know what he's doing. Only the reason. And it's selfish. Not what he promised himself.
Percy knows this voice. Knows him. Knew, 'You're only spitting in your moms' faces.' Bastard.
"I said! Shut! Up!" Percy was about to to slam his fists into the ground, but fell short. He saw snake like tendrils whip around his arms pinning him completely.
'You boast about being better than the monsters you slay...' Percy flung his head back, definitely hitting something this time, but he wasn't any freer than before.
Percy fought to get his legs loose, or even his arms, but to know avail, "... STop! Or I swear to the gods that I will-" He desperately struggled, hating how much he knew he was right. Feeling helpless again, Percy hiccupped back the wetness in his eyes.
'Well are you!' He asks, knowing this is a question Percy struggles with. Yet, decidedly stopped physically struggling.
"I don't know!" And it scares the hell out of Percy that this is the only answer he can come with. Percy took a deep breath, just like he always does when he answers.
'Look down.' Percy obeyed. An envelope undamaged by water. On the top written in big bright letters, 'To Percy! A little thank you for all that you've done!' He reached down, finding that he actually can, first feeling the thing itself, then tearing open the side shaking the contents into his free hand. 'You're not.'
The words echoed in his skull as he stared at the little thing in his hand. For anyone else, a nice trinket given by the sea and nothing more. But for the likes of someone born to sea? Worth more than it's weight in Gold. A couple of chipped sand dollars.
Beckendorf knew that the moment he awoke, it was going to be a long day. Even the act of getting the blanket off of him took more energy than normal. Normally he'd rise at the crack of dawn, work for a bit, then wake the others as part of his normal routine. But this time when he arose, the sun had just begun peaking it's head over the horizon. An oddity given that he never slept in. It felt like a bad omen.
However, as the head councilor he brushed it off and woke the rest of the cabin. Beckendorf wasn't about to worry them over nothing. Not yet at least. So he acted as casual as always, going through his normal duties as if it were any other day. And it would have been, if not for the past week.
He wonders if that day would have gone any different if he just helped Percy. If it had been him to talk with Percy first. Instead of Silena. Don't get him wrong, he trusts her, but he fails to see those two as anything more than acquaintances. Adding to the fact that she hasn't shared what the two talked about in secrecy. As well as the deafening silence surrounding his cabin after their chat. Would Percy have closed himself off if he would have just talked to him?
Or would the same thing happen to him as it did Silena? She doesn't mention it, nor tries to, and if it is brought up in some way she immediately changes the subject or something came up. He's noticed her staring at Poseidon's cabin a few times as they all headed for bed. Granted it wasn't only her, but her eyes held something different than everyone else. He noticed the avoidance when they'd usually chat for a little bit. Or the rushed way she'd talk when he would finally catch up to her. It doesn't take a genius to notice.
And it isn't just Silena acting differently. People talk when they think no else is listening, stare and point when they believe no one is watching, laugh, gawk, or whatever when the cracked up Guardian Angel was brought up. Rumors fly around camp, anything from the far left, suggesting he's been brain washed- to the far right, believing he's been using drugs. When everyone is cramped for long periods of time, it's all they can do to pass the time.
But no one really knows. And those that do, refuse to elaborate. Stating it isn't their story to tell. But Beckendorf thinks they are lying, like the truth is far worse than the fiction anyone has come up with thus far.
Either way, it's been nagging at him. As he ate breakfast, as he worked in the armory, as he tinkered, and into lunch it nagged it him. What? Well it might not be one thing. Maybe it has to do with Chiron's suggestion to leave Percy alone or risk angering his father or brother, as it were. Maybe it was the fact that most campers avoided his place like the plague, practically turning the area around his cabin into more a ghost town. Or maybe it was the fact that only he knocked on the door every chance he got. Annabeth drowned herself in studying and training, Grover went looking for Pan, and the other occupants of his cabin were too scared. In a way it makes sense. If what little Annabeth told him was true.
He sat at the Hephaestus table enjoying his lunch with his friends. Trying not to think about it because the time will come when it will be required.
Of course the second he felt relaxed, the moment the omen felt like a coincidence, lunch had gone up in flames. A camper ran into the amphitheater, one that called in sick from all activities. But they all knew the truth, as he was one of the Poseidon's cabin occupants, he was there to watch if or when Percy would come out of his little cave. "Percy blew up his door!" The kid shouted jumping and pointing everyone to go.
For a second no one moved, just faces stuffed with a good meal. Not even Chiron moved. Beckendorf was beginning to think that when it came to Percy, Chiron abstained. Avoided it even. Charles ruptured from his seat and ran out of the amphitheater, not many footsteps following him. Normally it'd be a tidal wave, wishing to the Guardian Angel act out. After his spout with Thalia? Pfft. They wouldn't shut up about it for a month.
Though now that they saw he's changed, they too did in response... 'Strange', Charles thought, 'As if Percy's attitude is contagious.'
He sprinted through the camp grounds, and when he arrived Percy stood in the center all alone, surrounded by broken peddles from the fountain. A creepy smile placed on his face. "Hey Perce, you okay?" He tried talking to him, tried reaching him. Anyone else behind him, stayed behind, blocked by his massive callused hand.
"Shut up." Percy shut him down immediately. The creepy smile vanished, replaced by a glare that seared the ground around him. Unconsciously, the others took a step back.
"Woah Perce, I just want to know what's up." Charles lifted his and up in surrender showing he wasn't trying to trick him. Nor anyone for that matter.
"I said shut up!" Percy swung in a wide circle around him, hitting no one, but scaring many. Charles decided to take the chance and stepped closer, a couple other's warned him, but he didn't give it much thought. Just kept getting closer until he was within arms reach.
"Listen Percy, you have friends here." He started trying to calm him down, but Percy wasn't even looking at him. Those wide eyes twitched constantly, and his pupils were dilated. With left to do Charles reached out to grab Percy's shoulder.
"No- I never wanted- It wasn't supposed to get this far out of hand. This isn't what I wanted." Percy mumbled. Charles grabbed his shoulder confused what he was talking about, but he merely collapsed under the weight of it. He wasn't acting like himself, clearly. Percy is normally strong, and this has got the Forge's son worried.
"Percy it's alright." He couldn't look at anything for too long, and he kept trying to shrug Charles arm off. The amount of onlookers tripled since he arrived, not that he noticed all that much. He was too focused on attempting to reel Percy back into the present or whatever. It feels like he just got out of the looney bin. What the hell is he supposed to do about that?
"I never wanted to be the hero! I only wanted to do what was right..." Charles shut up after that, ignoring the way people gasped behind him. Still not even looking in there direction. He's not even sure how many people there, but he can judge that are probably more. Damn Percy, you've had it rough.
"What makes you think you're not?" It was the first thing that came to mind when the shock wore off. Clearly if he wasn't doing the right thing then the bad guys wouldn't want him dead. It's that simple. Or it is to Charles.
"I said! Shut! Up!" Percy swung both his fists into the air, almost smacking his chin, but Charles managed to dodge. He a split second to choose, not even to think, just do. He grabbed Percy's arms, stopping them completely. Percy knees collapsed and Charles got behind him hugging his arms over Percy's chest. Completely immobilizing his movement. At least he hoped he did.
"Percy stop and listen to me!" Charles wrestled to get a good grip on him. Even wrapping his arms with his and digging his knees into Percy's calves. Percy's strong, definitely strong, probably stronger than he is, but right now? It's not about strength, only conviction.
"... STOP! Or I swear to the gods that I will-" Percy's head hit Charles in the nose, and one of his legs slipped from under him. Beckendorf shifted his weight to one calf and sweeping Percy's other one with his knee back under his weight. Keeping rampaging robots from getting too out of hand, he's done his fair share of wrestling. A strange thing to pick up in the forge, he knows, but definitely a useful one.
"Percy! What are you trying to do?" Just like that, the struggling stopped. With a stupid question at that. One he wasn't sure he should have asked, but here they are.
"I don't know!" Percy took a deep breath and relaxed. Charles took it as a good sign, believing that Percy wouldn't act out again. Maybe a foolish thought, but he trusts his gut. So he let his arms and legs go, noticing the slight hint of a bruise forming where his knees laid into his calves. Hopefully Percy doesn't think to much of it.
"Dude, you're fine," Percy reached down and grabbed an envelope. Strange, was that what this was all about? "You're fine." Percy opened it in melancholy. Tearing open one end and shuffling the contents out. Some kids ran close by, smiling, although the one receiving clearly wasn't. Charles recognized them, a young boy and girl who resided in the Poseidon cabin. A couple kids with no obvious parents.