"I see," Percy said sitting down in the midst of the conference room, staring at the ping pong table while playing with aa ball mindlessly in his hands. All the other head councilors sat around the table waiting for Percy to say something else. If anything, it's not clear what he's trying to do these days. At least not to most of us, "So that's what happened..." Percy was being completely stoic, apparently that's normal.
"At least no one got hurt." Chiron stated obviously releasing some pent up stress from the ordeal. Although I don't know why. Whenever it comes to training, helping, or simply being there for other young demigods he's always manages to do the right thing. Or at least most of the time. But when it comes to Percy? He doesn't have a clue. I don't know why I even bother trying to understand the way they think. They aren't machines. I crossed my arms over my chest, letting it play out.
"This time," Percy was quick to respond moving the ball into his other hand so he could rest his chin on one of the palms, "I should have never of came back." He keeps mentioning this and he seems dead serious every single time he does. I looked over at Silena, but she stopped filing her nails as soon as she heard him say it. What's up with that?
"Percy-" Annabeth tried to respond, but was cut off by the sound of a paddle snapping. Everyone at first thought it was Percy, but he wasn't holding one. Sooo... I turned my head and it was Silena. She held two broken pieces if a paddle looking just as shocked as the rest of us. I thought I saw a wink, maybe it was a blink... I hate this, why are people always so complicated?
"That was an accident! I swear!" She shouted quickly, I don't think anyone believed her though, she sighed, "Anyway, Percy don't you think?-"
"No! No. Seriously, just stop," He crushed the ball in his hand, not as impressive as the paddle, but the pop was more resounding. He glared at her for a sec and shook his head. Then he tsked, "This isn't the first time I acted out," Right, with Thalia and the night with an earthquake or whatever. Plus before that. It's like a trend for the kid. Though, after talking and listening, I don't think many of us hold it against him, "And I clearly don't belong." Well that, we definitely don't believe. Not after what he was willing to do. It was all very simply motivated, I liked that. Clear and concise.
"Why's that?" Clarisse scoffed. I think we all know where this is going, "If you hadn't noticed, this entire camp is filled with misfits who all think they don't belong." She's right, we all came from a place where we were forced out. Be it a family, school, monsters, or our inability to be like the others. Frankly, Percy seems to be not so different than us in that sense, an outcast from a mortal's norm.
"But unlike most of them, I didn't just magically figure out my heritage. Knowing from the get go puts a whole different spin on it." Percy obviously isn't backing down. Almost like he wants to separate himself from everyone here. But that can't be right. Right? I mean everything he's done so far has, at least to me, seemed to be out of selflessness.
"You seem pretty damn sure of yourself," Katie jumped in. To be honest I wasn't sure she was even gonna talk in this meeting. Much like her mother she tries to avoid getting caught in the conflicts of others. However, it seems like this is one is dragging everyone in. I don't like the sound of that. It means something huge is gonna happen. Not just a war.
"I am," I couldn't make out a hint of sea green in his eyes. Just that cold deep blue. It reminds me of something. Something I've witnessed before, I know I have, but what?
"Didn't the heroes of old also grow up knowing?" The Stolls asked, either a mocking him or trying to get a raise out of him. It might do Percy some good knowing this didn't just happen to him.
"They did." Yew confirmed... Well that clearly worked, not! Percy just kept looking at them bluntly. Not a care in the world behind those eyes of his, but still. There is always something hidden. Even in the deep.
"They weren't raised feral, they had mortals, and morals to match." He smirked, very smug of him. Obviously he doesn't feel like he belongs. Not with just everyone here, but everyone in general. Almost as if he's trying to cut ties. Compared to how it started, he has slowly inches his way to the door. Maybe moved a couple feet by now. I can tell he's trying to bait us. He's fishing.
"Are you saying you don't have morals?" I winced when I heard Annabeth ask that. And Percy smiled. I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned back in my chair. Annabeth, always asking the hard ball questions. Even about someone we obviously know you care about. I don't know what she's thinking.
"You tell me. What does your perspective tell you?" Percy tilted his head and spread his arms out wide. Inciting us to tell him what we think, showing a false bravado.
I see, the little bastard is waiting for an answer. It doesn't matter what the answer is so long as one is given. I've seen this before, this trick, with Aphrodite's kids. If words are spoken, then he can translate them to anything he wants. A personal attack, confirmation, or- it can be anything. I can't tell what exactly, but he wants it. I know that much. Just like when he riled up Thalia after getting Grover back.
He wants to sever whatever there is left.
"So what's keeping you here? Why did you come here in the first place?" Clarisse broke the silence with a question of her own. Maybe hanging out with Silena has actually done her some good. Can't say I was expecting her to be the one to shift this whole thing.
"What?" Percy looked at her confused. Gotcha.
"You keep saying you should leave, that you don't belong, all of this BS about wishing you were somewhere, someone, else," Maybe I don't have to say anything at all, Clarisse is doing a wonderful job here. I smiled because it seems like Percy is getting a taste of his own medicine. Not to be an ass here, but Percy really needs a slap in the face. No one said anything, not even Percy, she continued, "So, Perce, what's keeping you here? Why come here at all a couple years ago? Why not go back to the feral lifestyle?" Maybe this is the slap he needed.
Percy scoffed, "Hmph, you wish is was all that simple." Maybe not. Nothing is ever as simple is it should be. Not like blueprints or machines where everything can be explained.
Clarisse smirked, "Isn't it?" There is nothing, no rhyme or reason, no plan to read Percy. It's not simple. It's annoying, but a strange puzzle too. One that I'd like to help solve. If that makes any sense... Now that I think about it, I don't think it does. Shame.
"No. It's not," I knew it wasn't, it never is, "I need answers," Percy sighed scratching the back of his head, more tiredly it seems than to actually answer.
"Seems pretty simple to me," Clarisse continued with the nagging. We're supposed to get answers at some point. I think we deserve some. As his friends.
"Yea, when you don't know the question," I nearly choked on some of my spit as I sat up. Oh my gods! That was awesome, not gonna lie, "As far as first showing up? I wanted to stop a war, help my dad out, shock the gods with my big coming out party of actually being alive. And maybe, just maybe, get some friends," He left us hanging. What a snide little brat he is. Even when stoic, I can't help but like the dude. He's fun, "I'm leaving," He said that so fast, and faced to get to door, grabbing his water too. Oh damn! A couple of us almost bolted from our chairs, but before we could we heard, "Don't worry, not the camp." I almost missed Silena sigh in relief, more relieved than anyone else it seems.
"Just so you know Perce," I stood up calling to him before he got to the door, propping myself up with my hands, luckily he stopped at turned to face me. His eyes were hard to read, "At the end of the day, you know it doesn't matter what you want. It never did," Percy glared at me for a second then left.
I kept my eyes on the door, listening to his footsteps growing more distant. I can hear the other counselors saying things, but I'm not listening. If I know one thing about Percy, it's that he isn't selfish. He'd rather risk the world for somebody else's sake than let himself think about himself first. I know he sacrificed what he's wanted plenty of times now. He just doesn't want anybody to realize it... And if he really thinks he's alone, then we'd just have to show him that he isn't.
I sat back down, who knew life was getting so crazy around here.
That's right, it reminds me of a fire that has been stoked for too long and hard, where no more fuel is added. In a sense he's been going at for too bright and hot, killing himself in the process. I hope we can add a bit more coals before he's completely snuffed out.
It is at times like this where someone talking behind my back is far truer than the phrases spat in front of me. It is behind your back when masks are taken off and inly the truths remains. Only problem is that I can't see behind my back. Normally that is. So I do what I always did when I wanted the facts. I make my back as transparent as possible... and all I need is a little bit of water.
I learnt this back with my moms by accident. Back when I first tried to teach myself water travel. It works only if I have absolute resolve and concentration, water travel I mean, otherwise I'd become another puddle of sea foam. But this? This is practically teasing Death, laughing and spitting in his face, as he lunges for my throat, but can never grasp it.
Instead of concentrating I relax, instead of resolve I cloud my body. There is a reason why I don't where shoes, or much clothing. I mist. First the tips of my fingers start glimmering like smoke. A fine fog eating away at my skin as it disassembles while I walk away. My hair vanishes and the edge of my wrists tingle as they too start to disappear. My elbows, my left cheek, and me right knee prickles with droplets of water chasing to cloud the rest of me. Then the soles of my feet start vanishing. I fall, but just as what's left of my face makes contact, I can sense the rest of me dissipates into a fine dew.
Instead of water, I'm the morning mist.
As I float, I'm aware where I am, where all of me is, and I know where everything I touch is. It's terrifying being so close to falling apart, one wrong push and I greet Death like the old friend he is. In this state, I have to be aware without thoughts because thoughts manifest and I'm a cloud. I don't want to rain. Concentration is a point, resolve is hard. I'm not. So I spread myself, let myself flow into the rooms, and become aware. Before I collect myself where I started.
If anyone knew about this trick, the scolding, or punishment I'd get would be far worse than death.
When people talk, I feel the vibrations. Kinda icky, I know, but it's part of it, "You weren't kidding Wise Girl, he's changed." Clarisse, definitely Clarisse spoke up. Her voice felt heavy, literally. It wasn't just deep, it had command to it. Her voice bore more weight than many people I know, even guys. Just like her father.
"What happened?" Silena questioned. Her voice felt smooth, almost silky as it reverberated through the air. There was no shakiness, just a clean wave. Her mom would definitely be proud of the skills she has inherited. Too bad only a few realize it.
"Something awful. And that's from what little I know." I know her voice very well, Annabeth's. Strong, commanding, yet inflated by hubris. Her voice lags behind a little, almost like an echo. Yet, it is still so many people listen to because it sounds like reason itself. Makes even some believe she can do it all herself.
"Clearly," Clarisse scoffed and everyone else in the room shuffled, "Listen, we're tired of dancing around the subject. We know you want to protect your little crush, but this affects all of us now. Spill." There is that commanding tone again. One that can command an army that's for sure.
Annabeth looked at Chiron, he nodded, "Fine," She hesitated, but I don't see why. I told her I want all of them to know. I can feel everyone else lean in ever so slightly. Finally, I can't wait to feel their reactions, "If you want to know it all, then it started during our quest to rescue Artemis and Percy," I'm aware she is telling the story. Every hitch and break in her voice flows past me. Every hiccup, every gasp, every gag, cough, whatever they did, it felt like it was a part of me. Disgusting? Absolutely. But, I know it is necessary.
Until she neared the end and mentioned when they split into two groups, the gods and the demigods. It seems I missed something, something vital. And they were right there in front of me that entire time. Chatting, listening, and getting to know each other. I can't believe I actually didn't see it before. Granted something much bigger came, but it was still all right there. Up until the very end of my conscious stand under the sky. Too bad things didn't work out any other way. Too bad they chose to stay and wait for me. How thoughtful.
I gather myself all at once, every drop, every moist portion, all of it at once. If not at once, if it's not all together, there'd be bits and pieces of me everywhere. That's why it's so risky. I have to be aware of it all. Though it leaves me naked, though it drains me, though it resets my senses, and burns every pain receptor, the pay off is immeasurable.
Oh gods, I forget how tired I become, how I can't use my senses and it feels like every pore is being stabbed with a hot blade. Gods does it it hurt! Damn it! I'm useless for awhile. I hate that part! Hate it! Yet, now I know. Gods does it hurt! I figured part of it out. AGHHHUGHH! And it isn't here.
When people say push past the pain, bite it down so you don't squeal... only the strongest actually can. I'm not quite there, not at that level yet. Loud grunts escape my lips as I try to fiddle my body into a more comfortable position. Once the first relief hits, I put my pants back on along with everything else and leave. Fast... I know what I must do. I know where I have to go now.
I have to get to Luke.
This is the last chapter for this story, but do not fret I am making a second part that will finish the rest of this story. I just feel like I'm rambling now in the story and need a new start. Kinda like I'm burning out, lol. I hope you've enjoyed the story this far and continue with part two!