Percy Jackson and the Return of the Golden Dragon

A/N: Oneshot. This takes place after Percy found out about the Golden Dragon. I can't really remember the name, but it was from one of those side-stories the author wrote for diehard fans. It's probably not a good idea to read this if you haven't read that book I mentioned...

My date was like any other. We held hands, walked together, watched the fireworks, and almost got eaten by an automaton monster.

Let me start at the beginning. As you know, Annabeth asked me out while I was her prisoner (typical Annabeth). I was a little nervous at first, but who wouldn't be? The best clothes I found were my blue Camp Half-blood T- shirt and my only pair of hole-less jeans. I felt a little relieved when I saw Annabeth wearing a T- shirt and jeans, too. Her blonde hair was pulled into a loose ponytail. I saw her Yankees cap in her back pocket. Her gray eyes were just as cute as usual.

"Hi, Percy," she said. Her voice was the kind of tone I would hear when Grover comes to greet me. I hoped she hadn't forgotten that this was a date.

"Hey, Annabeth. Ready for our date?" I knew that was a stupid thing to say but I didn't realize how excited I was until I blurted it out.

"Yeah. Let's go." She held out her hand for me to take. I put my hand in hers and intertwined our fingers. As we walked by, all our friends were staring at us. Was going on a date with Annabeth that much of a shock? I'm sure Grover would have laughed or something, but he was too interested in Juniper to notice us.

When we got to the beach there were no seats close enough to see the fireworks. The whole camp must have been there, but that was no set back. Being the son of Poseidon has its perks too. I took Annabeth to the edge of the lake and made a bridge of solid water to a big, flat boulder sticking out of the surface.

"Percy, what are you doing?" Annabeth said. "Chiron and Mr. D won't allow this. You'll get in trouble for using your power outside the training area."

"I know. But that's a risk I'm willing to take." I flashed a smile and winked, and then she blushed.

We walked on the solid water to the boulder. I could feel the other campers' eyes on my back, but I didn't care. When we reached the boulder and I let the solid water re-liquefy so no one could bother us. Trust me, I know that the Stoll brothers would love to sneak up and dunk me in the water or something.

"This is nice, though I don't see any of the Hephaestus kids here. I don't even see Chiron." Annabeth said. There was a little worry in her tone.

"I'm sure they are in the forges, but where is Chiron? He wouldn't be in there when the whole camp is out here." I was starting to get a little nervous. Then the fire works started. They were big and colorful, and some were the power symbol of each god. Annabeth and I left before the Athena and Poseidon symbols. I made a new bridge and we ran across. We tried to go as fast as possible but there were so many kids. While we ran, we heard some one say "down-in-front" and I think some Apollo kids shot arrows just above our heads.

"Wait," Annabeth said, "Do you hear that?" I listened and heard something that sounded like metal rubbing together and "whooo!" The sounds were coming from the woods. I faced Annabeth; she shrugged and ran ahead. I tried to keep up, and when I did, I saw the scariest thing I'd expect to see.

The golden automaton dragon that Charlie de-activated was awake again. The thing was bigger that I remembered, but I figured that was from the shock of seeing it again. All the Hephaestus kids were either on the dragon grinning wildly or on the ground staring at it in awe. Chiron was standing to the side just watching, but there was an anxious look in his eyes.

"Chiron, what's going on? Why is the automaton activated again? And why are the Hephaestus kids so happy about it-" There were so many other questions on my mind, but I was interrupted by the body of a teenage boy slamming into the ground three feet in front of us.

"Oh my gods!" Annabeth gasped and ran to help him with nectar in her hand already.

"Annabeth, there is no need to worry," Chiron finally said, "He is fine. Look." and as he said it, the boy got up, brushed himself off, and jogged back toward the dragon laughing.

"Would someone like to explain what is going on?" I asked. My voice was shaky and quivering.

"The Hephaestus cabin has heard about the body of the Great Golden Dragon. They wanted to activate it and study." Chiron said.

"And you let them?" Annabeth asked.

"Well," Chiron said, "They rarely get the chance to study great automatons like this. I felt guilty that other campers get to study things like archery for Apollo, inventions for Athena, and water skills for Poseidon. They don't have a metal-monsters building class." As he said this Annabeth and I looked at the ground, and I felt sorry for them. All a demigod wants to do is please their godly parent. The Hephaestus kids couldn't do that here.

"Is that why you're here? To make sure that no one gets hurt and the dragon doesn't go haywire?" I asked. Chiron looked at me and nodded. I felt a little selfish and a whole lot stupid. I never thought that they don't have a lot of chances to study a great machine like this one.

Just then, the dragon let out a growl and shook off all the kids on its back. Its ruby eyes were filled with hate as it looked at all of us. It swayed its head back and shot fire into the sky. I knew at that moment that the dragon was officially "haywire."

"Get back to camp and warn the others!" Chiron screamed. He readied his bow and arrow and began too shoot. The arrows bounced harmlessly off the monsters steel and golden scales. I knew that Chiron wouldn't last long fighting that beast alone.

"No," I said, "We need to help you. The Hephaestus kids know how to disable it. All we need to do is distract it so the others can do it!" And with that I reached for my favorite weapon, my pen. I uncapped it, and it grew to a three foot long sword, Riptide.

I looked at Annabeth and nodded. Thankfully she understood and put on her Yankees cap. Immediately she turned invisible. A few seconds later, a rock on the other side of the dragon floated into the air. It flew at the dragons face, and the monster let out a growl in aggravation. It started looking around confused. While it was distracted, half a dozen Hephaestus kids, Chiron, and I charged the beast. I was slashing Riptide, Chiron was shooting arrows at its face, and the kids were punching and kicking. I thought the punching would do no good, but I saw that the kids actually made dents in the steel scales of the dragon. Okay, I knew the Hephaestus kids were strong, but I didn't know they could do that much damage.

More rocks came out of nowhere. Annabeth was denting the scales, but that was it. I was making little damage, too. Chiron got a few lucky shots in the dragon's eye. Every time it got an eyeful of arrows, it would only get angrier. I tried to slice close to the beast's throat. Once I got lucky and took a good chunk of metal down with me.

The dragon was slowing down, but we were still losing. I needed an idea. Just as fast as I was thinking, the dragon struck Charlie. That was the first time I noticed him with us. I thought he would be with Selena.

That was my mistake. While I was thinking, the dragon clawed my calf. The cut wasn't deep, but it still hurt. I was starting to limp and I almost fell over when an invisible body caught me.

Annabeth took off her cap and was helping me walk to the side of the battle. She led me next to a tree and set me down. Then, she fed me some nectar. I started to feel better immediately, but I still couldn't walk on my own.

The raging battle went on, and more fighters went down. Annabeth kept popping out of nowhere to help the others. We were losing this battle.

I needed to fight. With a deep breath, I lifted myself off the ground and went back to the battle. I turned my attention to the other half of the Hephaestus kids. They were all in the trees, waiting for and opportunity to strike.

I felt an invisible hand on my shoulder and Annabeth's voice said, "We need to get his head to hold still, but it will be hard. He's one strong hunk of wires."

That's when the idea came to me.

"Get the dragon by the water!" I yelled. Thankfully they all got the message and started for the creek. The dragon was surprised for half a second, then got the idea that we were retreating. He snapped at more fighters, and they went down. Almost instantly, I saw Annabeth reappear and treat their wounds.

We were five feet from the creek and I could feel the power of the water in my gut. I urged the water to come to my will. It churned and foamed and eventually rose up with the movement of my hands. I threw the water along the length of the dragon's body. Being made of wires and electricity, water made the beast short-circuit. This only worked for a few seconds. Then, it looked angrier than ever. I made another wave, even bigger than the one before. I doused it and the Hephaestus kids jumped on it. They fidgeted with wires so fast, I couldn't tell what they were really doing. In five seconds the dragon's head fell off, and its body collapsed.

We all breathed heavily for a while, and then we trudged toward Annabeth and the others. Almost all of them were back on their feet.

While we were waiting for the rest to heal, I walked over to Charlie and sat next to him. He had a huge gash in his arm and a fractured foot.

"So, what did you learn from your studying?" I asked. He chuckled and looked at his arm.

"I learned that my dad must be crazy to make monsters like this!" he answered. We both laughed.

"So why were you here and not with Selena?" I asked.

"Do you really think I would miss a deadly battle with a golden automaton dragon for a date?" he replied. We were cracking up when Chiron came over. He told us that we should get back to the show. I had almost forgotten that we had a date to get back to.

Annabeth looked at me and smiled. I hoped I wasn't blushing. We got back to our boulder on the beach and the fireworks went on. Annabeth leaned on my shoulder; I realized she must have been tired. I was feeling the same too, but I was enjoying the moment.

In the distance, I could hear Selena and Charlie. At first, there was a wave of argument. Then, Selena hugged Charlie and told him to never risk his life again.

Annabeth and I finished our date and I did something that I will probably regret; I kissed her cheek. At first, I thought she would punch me in the face. Then she blushed and walked into her cabin like the night was totally normal.

A/N: So yeah, this story is really special to me because it's my first fan fic ever! I wrote it about three years ago, so it may be bad. Sorry! haha. Anyway, I felt compelled to put this on here, even if I don't read Rick Riordan's work anymore. I have another Percy fanfic coming soon!