*So, I just read through this again, and I decided I didn't really like the flashback scene. So I went back and rewrote that.
"My past is an armor I can't take off, no matter how many times you tell me the war is over."
Percy hated moving schools. Each new school was a reminder that he'd failed, again. That he wasn't good enough. Wasn't smart enough. Didn't try hard enough. He'd been kicked out of every school since kindergarten. Seriously, kindergarten. How does someone get kicked out of kindergarten?! It's kindergarten. (Yeah, you probably get it by now…but just in case…kindergarten!)
And even though his mom never said anything, even though she'd insist it wasn't his fault, he couldn't help but feel as if he was letting her down somehow. Like he wasn't good enough for her. (Which he wasn't, because no-one was good enough to deserve Sally Jackson. In his humblest opinion, anyway. He's a little biased.)
And yes, he knew it was completely irrational, and absolutely, in no way his fault that he got kicked out of every school he'd ever gone to (since kindergarten), he still couldn't help but feel as if it was. Yes, maybe he didn't ask to be born with super-cool powers that made him smell like fresh, blue chocolate chip cookies to any and every monster within a five mile radius. (Or even further, you never knew.) And maybe he didn't ask for Hera to kidnap him, literally put him in a kid nap for six months (I love bad puns), and wipe his memories so he couldn't remember anything but his name and Annabeth's. But maybe…he could've…yeah, okay. He really couldn't have done anything.
But still, he'd finally-finally-found a school he didn't get kicked out of within the first few months. In fact, he managed to not get kicked out of that school for a whole year and a half, despite having supposedly set the band room on fire, and allowing his pet poodle (actually a giant hell-hound the size of a semi-truck, but, what's the difference, am I right?) to interrupt an exam in the middle of school. And then Hera has to go kidnapping him and ruining it all! And yes, he was very, very bitter about that.
So, now, here he is. Going to a brand new school where all the teachers are going to look at him like he was the next Al Capone (yeah, he doesn't know who that is either) and all the kids are going to treat him like a weirdo because of his dog, and his accent, and…did he mention he was in Britain? (Or England. Those always confuse him. Like, are they the same? Or…? Wait, back-up, we're getting off track here.)
Where was he? Right. Britain. (Or England.) So, his mom, in a desperate attempt to find some school on Earth that would still accept him, was forced to move to Britain and hope the British don't mind the weird kid with the weird accent and a penchant for trouble joining their schools. Kidding, kidding, sheesh, you guys are so serious. Sally Jackson, resident mother and blooming author extraordinaire was attending a writing seminar in Britain for the year, and deciding he most likely wouldn't survive another year of not spending time with her, (What? He's a mama's boy, through and through! And he's proud of it.) he chose to accompany her.
Paul, his stepdad, took a sabbatical (how do you even pronounce that?) leave to accompany them, and, well, they obviously weren't going to leave Estelle to fend for herself. Geez, he may be daft sometimes, but even he knew you don't leave a five month old baby home alone…at all. Oh, you knew that? Okay, then…good.
So, pause for a moment. Back-up. What was he talking about? Okay, so now he's in England, (Britain) with the British (English). And the thing about the British (Engli…no. Stop. You're going to give yourself a head-ache.) is that they do weird things, like drink tea, and not coffee, and call soccer football. And that begs the question, what do they call football football? Like, how does that work? Although, to be honest, he never really understood why football was called football. In his opinion, it never really made sense, since, well, you almost never use your foot in football.
And now that he thinks about it…soccer is played, like, completely with feet. Sooo, maybe the British have had it right all along. (And the Spanish, and Finnish, and…) Okay, so pretty much everyone but Americans calls soccer football. But, whatever. That doesn't change the fact that British people are weird. And now he has to go to school with them.
And he's rambling. Damn ADHD.
Percy was brought out of his thoughts by the bell ringing. In that second, he was no longer at school. He was in the midst of a battle his ears ringing in the aftermath of an explosion-He needed to find Annabeth, needed to make sure she was okay, needed to-His right hand was half-way to the pocket were he kept Riptide when something furry touched his palm-There was something touching him, something familiar, something-His eyes opened (when had he closed them?) quickly finding the source of his confusion. Sensing his panic, Shelly had pushed her head into his hand. It took him a second to understand what had happened. Stuck deep in his thoughts, he'd been caught off guard by the bell-ringing, his mind pushing him straight into a flashback. When Shelly sensed that, she'd done what she was trained to do, and immediately pulled him out of his flashback, providing a sort of anchor for him to latch onto, grounding him. And for that, Percy was eternally grateful.
"Good girl." He knelt down and petted her head as he tried to calm himself down from the flashback he'd just narrowly avoided. "You're a good girl, Shelly. Yes you are. Yes you are." He kissed her nose, laughing when she tried to lick his face. Putting his arms around her neck, and just hugging her, to reassure himself that-he was out, they were out, they weren't there anymore, it was over-he buried his face in her fur, holding her close. "I love you soo much." He mumbled into her fur. He felt his heart-beat slow down to a respectable pace, and reluctantly stood up.
The halls were completely void of any students, all of the British kids actually getting to their classes on time (weird), and it had a creepy abandoned feel. He tensed again, before Shelly put her head in his hand and brought him back to earth. Taking a few deep breaths, he made sure he was completely grounded, before heading to his first period. Tutor class. Thing. Gods, this was so confusing.
It took him a good four tries to find his class, because Donovan? That name is murder on dyslexia. After walking down the same hall for what seemed like the thousandth time, he finally decided to just knock on a random door and ask them how to get to his class.
So he got a nice teacher (A nice teacher? For him? Who would've thought.) to show him his class. And, oh! Would you look at that! He'd walked right past this door. Four times. I hate dyslexia.
He knocked on the door, steeling his nerves, and waited for the teacher. Less than a moment passed before the door opened to reveal a middle-aged man with brown hair and a confused expression on his face. The moment he laid eyes on Percy though, the confused expression vanished, replaced by a warm smile that reminded Percy of Paul. He already knew he was going to love this teacher.
"Ah. You must be Percy." He nodded quietly, telling Shelly to wait, before following Mr. Donovan into his class.
Before he even realized what he was doing, Percy had already noted where all possible exits were, and where he could sit to get the best vantage point in the room, and who was most likely to be a threat-although he'd learned the hard way that sights could be deceiving. Most of the kids in the class were just that, kids. Slouching in their seats, doodling with their papers, without a care in the world, just like ordinary students. All of them except one.
The kid in the back held himself like a veteran. Slightly tense, but not enough to notice if you weren't looking for it, feet positioned out, so he could jump up at a second's notice. The kid was studying him right back, a feeling that was slightly unsettling, but he dismissed it quickly. He could always hold his own in a fight, if it came to it. And besides, did England even have monsters?
After a quick, whispered conversation where Mr. Donovan learned what tasks Shelly was trained to do, and in turn informed Percy what to expect in the beginning of each class, and what to do in the event someone disregarded their teachers' warnings, Mr. Donovan turned to the students.
"Students, this is Percy Jackson." And thank you for not calling him Perseus. "He will be joining this class for the rest of the year, so I hope you can make him feel welcome. Percy has a service dog, Shelly, who will also be joining this class." Mr. Donovan paused for a moment, making sure every student was listening before continuing, "I do not want to hear of anyone petting, playing with, or even touching Shelly without explicit permission from Percy. She is a service dog, and her attention should be on her handler at all times. Secondly, Percy is in no way obliged to reveal why he has a service dog, so do not ask. Furthermore, should I get any reports of Percy being harassed, or of students petting his dog without permission, there will be serious repercussions. Am I understood?"
"Yes, sir." The entire class responded in unison, which was really weird. British people. Like, in America, there's always that one straggler who ends up looking really silly cause they join in two seconds late or something. Maybe they practice? He mused. They were certainly coordinated enough for it. He felt completely out of place in his orange, Camp-Halfblood shirt, and jeans. All these kids were wearing matching uniforms that reminded him slightly of the military school he'd gone to in eighth grade.
He shook himself out of his thoughts when Mr. Donovan gestured towards Shelly, gratefully calling his loyal service dog to himself with a gentle, but firm, "Heel, girl." He could practically feel the tension drain out of his body when she took up her rightful place by his side. Four months ago, his mom had gotten both him and Annabeth service dogs. And for four months, Shelly had been his anchor. She'd pulled him out of his nightmares, and prevented his flashbacks, and stopped his panic-attacks. Having her by his side was like having a barrier between him, and every bad memory he'd ever experienced.
She was quickly becoming a part of him he couldn't live without. And it amazed him. It amazed him, because now he could go to bed without waking up screaming every night. He could go outside without attacking every person that touched him. He could listen to his beautiful baby sister cry and scream, and it wouldn't send him into a panic-attack. She was a miracle. And she was his.
It made him want to laugh, and cry, and shout for joy. It made him want to dance and leap and shout to the world that He was gonna be okay! It was gonna be okay! Because he had Shelly. And the best part about it, was that 900 miles away, Shelly's sister was protecting Annabeth. And they didn't have to lay awake at night, and wonder if the other person was stuck in the throes of a nightmare. Didn't have to wait for the inevitable IM that always happened after one of them woke up from a nightmare, screaming and crying and sure that the other was dead or gone or lost. Certain that they were still-stuck down there-unable to escape, helpless to protect each other.
"Percy, is there a seat you would prefer, or?" Percy couldn't help the flinch that came when Mr. Donovan gestured towards the seats, but he didn't think anyone noticed. Instead he smiled gratefully at Mr. Donovan.
"I'm good, I'll just sit in the back, thanks." He responded quietly, turning and making his way towards the back of the class, where the kid he'd noticed earlier was sitting. He saw how everybody seemed to avoid the kid, and since he knew what that was like, to be the outcast that nobody wanted to hang out with, the loner that nobody talked to, he decided right then and there that he was going to befriend this kid. Even though he was setting off warning bells like crazy in Percy's mind.
So he asked for the seat right beside the kid, and when the teen gave an affirmative nod, he pointedly ignored the disbelieving looks being thrown his way, and plopped down right next to the kid. "Down, girl." Percy told his dog. She obediently curled up next to his side, and he let his had slip down to rest on her head. Percy turned to ask the teen's name, but he'd ducked his head in a way that clearly said, Don't talk to me. And Mr. Donovan was make some announcements that Percy was pretty sure he was going to need, but wasn't going to remember, so he turned his attention to the front of the class.
He tapped his hand on the desk, repeating the same pattern over and over. It wasn't until later that he realized he'd been tapping out his and Annabeth's mantra.
Together, never alone. Together, never alone…
So, this was Percy's perspective, if you didn't notice. And since he has ADHD, it was a little more random than Alex's POV was. I hope you liked it! In the future, I probably won't do many chapters that are repeat scenes in different perspectives, I just needed to do that for this.
Yay! Quick update. Probably won't be this fast in the future.