Okay, so maybe I deserved this. I had pretty much held his head under water for a good minute. It was pretty much a miracle he lived - unfortunately. He deserved that, let me tell you. Gabe Ugliano was, is, and always will be, a royal asshole.

Sorry, let me back this up.

My name is Perseus Jackson, but please just call me Percy. I live - er, lived - with my mom (Sally Jackson) and my asshole of a stepfather Gabe Ugliano. If you looked in a dictionary for "smelly", "asshole", "trash", or "shit head", you would see his picture right there. My mom and I had lived with this asswipe ever since I was 6, so about ten years. He was rude, mean, smelled like ass, fat, and cruel.

I had always thought about running away with my mom, but never really had the balls to do it. But, two days ago, I just couldn't take it anymore. He was being especially crude towards my mom, and had hit me over the head at least ten times in three hours. So, in an act of bloodlust or something, I filled the sink with icy water, and shoved his head in it. My mom came in and saw me, and managed to push me off the fat man, pulled him out, and yelled at me to call 911 while she started CPR. I did, just because she looked so worried.

Long story short, the asshole lived, and I'm getting sent to Asphodel Institute for Troubled Youth.

Great.

When I first saw the building, it screamed out 'GIVE ME A MAKEOVER'. It was a block of brownstone with the occasional window. The sign above the doors was missing a few letters, and what with my dyslexia, it looked like 'Asphoel Instite fo Troubled You'. I immediately felt that familiar sinking in my stomach.

"Well, here we are," My mom says, and I can tell she's trying to be chirpy about this whole situation. "We'll gather up your stuff and then go inside and get you settled in?" I shrug, and turn up the volume on my iPod. I don't really want to get out of the car, but I manage to drag my body out of the passenger seat. I get my two duffel bags from the trunk of our old, beat up Toyota. My mom smiles reassuringly at me, and I grimace back. Together, we walk into the ugly building.

The main entrance has white walls with two paintings of dreary looking prairies, and an old lady with permed white hair sits at the front desk, smacking her gum as she chews it. I hate it when people do that. My mom walks up to the desk and I sulk behind her, but not before tugging on my headphones. I grudgingly take them out of my ears.

"Hello," Mom greets the lady, "I'm here to check in my son, Perseus Jackson?"

The old lady glances up and then presses a button on her desk phone and says in a drawling southern accent, "Perseus Jackson here to check in." There's the voice of a man that crackles back over the speaker.

"Send him up," The voice says.

I groan inwardly. This man sounds like a total duffer.

"Out that door, fourth door on your left," The lady tells us, "Have a nice day." She turns to her computer and I'm pretty sure she's playing solitaire, because there's no way this woman (who should probably be preserved and kept in a museum) can be doing anything productive.

"Thank you," Mom says, and she walks briskly in the direction that the receptionist indicated. I meander behind her, and we enter the new hallway. It also has white walls, although this time the walls are lined with paintings of stern looking men. Former directors, maybe. Don't know, don't care.

My mom stops in front of a heavy-looking door. There's a gold nameplate on it. I make out what is says pretty easily, because there are only three letters. 'Mr. D'.

My mom knocks, and we hear a drawling voice call to us, "Come in," So mom opens the door and we walk in.

The walls are a gaudy purple, decorated with pictures of what I'm pretty sure are vineyards. On the far wall is a wine rack filled with...diet coke? Okay, that's a little weird. Behind a big desk, is a chubby man wearing a tiger-print track suit. On his desk is a nameplate, "Mr. D. Director of AIFTY". He has a baby-esque face, and thinning black hair. His cheeks are flushed, and his eyes somewhat red.

"Hello," He says, "I'm Mr. D, the director of Asphodel Institute for Troubled Youth."

This is the director? You have GOT to be kidding me. This guy looks like a cherub on crystal meth who went through a really bad midlife crisis!

"It's very nice to meet you," Mom says politely, but I can tell she's thinking the exact same thing I'm thinking.

"Please, have a seat," He gestures to two worn down green leather chairs. We sit. "Now, I have read Peter's-"

"Percy," I correct.

"-file, and I can assure you, Ms. Jackson, that we will do everything in our power to help your son overcome any challenges that he may face as of right now." I can tell this guy uses this speech on every parent that comes in here. I know what it's like when you have a certain saying memorized. It's like saying, "I'm good, how are you?" after you run into someone. It always sounds the same.

"That's very reassuring, Mr. D," My mom says, her face turning up into a forced smile. I roll my eyes. Bullshit.

"I'll have one of my staff come and take Percy up to his room, and show him around," Mr. D says, hitting a button on his desk. Almost immediately, a scrawny guy about my age comes running into the room. He's got curly hair and a rasta hat, and legs that look like they don't always work how he wants them to.

"Grover, this is Perry-"

"Percy," I correct him again.

"-Jackson and his mother. You can surely show Pedro around without messing that up, can't you?"

Grover nods vigorously. "Erm, come on." He waves at us to follow, and we get up, my mom thanking Mr. D again. I practically push her out the door.

Grover smiles at us once the door is closed. "Sorry about Mr. D," He says, "He's always like that."

"Rude and boring?" I supply. Grover laughs, and it sort of sounds like a goat's "bla-ha-ha". My mom is twisting her hands around.

"Am I not allowed to see Percy up to his room?" She asks Grover worriedly. He shakes his head.

"Policy," He says morosely, "Parents aren't allowed in the facility except on special visiting days once a month. I'll give you two a minute to say bye. Percy, I'll just be down the hall and to the right." I nod in acknowledgement, and then turn to my mom. She has tears in her eyes, and I hope that I don't start crying too.

So maybe I'm kind of a mommy's boy, but my mom and I have been through so much together that I don't even care. I put my bags down and hug her tightly. She runs my back soothingly and pulls back.

"I'll see you every visiting day," She says, "And don't forget to call, or email, or write, or send a postcard, or whatever." I nod, and pick my bags up again. She sighs. "Percy, just...behave, okay?"

"Mom," I say with a sardonic grin, "When do I ever not behave?"

She laughs, "Need I make a list?"

"Nah, we'd be here all night," I say, laughing with her.

She puts a hand on my cheek, and smiles at me. "I love you, Percy," She says, "No matter what happens, okay?"

"Okay," I say, choking on my words, "I love you too, mom."

She hugs me quickly once more, then she walks away. I watch her for a moment, then walk over to where Grover said he'd be.

"Hey man," He says as I reach him, "So, do you want to see your room first?"

"Sure," I mumble.

"Follow me," Grover says, and, bags in hand, I walk to my doom.

At least, that's what it felt like.


A/N:

Hello all, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I have returned *three cheers*, but don't think this means steady updates. My sporadic update cycle will probably never change, unfortunately. But hey, work with what you've got, right?

Review, maybe?

I own nothing.

-breezered