Luke hates days like today. Lazy days, Annabeth has been calling them. Days where he can't find anything to occupy his mind, nothing to distract him from the constant pain he feels in his soul.

It's been four years since that day - actually, four years, one month, and seventeen days. But it doesn't matter how long it's been, because regardless of the passage of time, it hurts all the same.

There are reminders all over camp. Every time he passes by what would have been her cabin, his stomach wrenches. Every time he sees Annabeth he's reminded of the better days.

And that damned tree. He sees it every day, whether he wants to or not. It's always up on the hill, protecting the camp. Which is total bullshit, because everyone knows it isn't the tree that protects the camp, it's Thalia. Her spirit, her soul.

So on days like today, Luke hates that he didn't die trying to save his best friend. His first crush, first kiss, first family.

He walks around camp, waving at his friends. As the head counsellor for the Hermes cabin, mostly everyone knows who he is. He's walking without a purpose, no direction in mind, but as he always does, he ends up by her tree.

With a resigned sigh, Luke sits down at the base of the tree, leaning his head back against its bark. He closes his eyes and draws in a shaky breath. He refuses to cry again. Enough years have been shed. It's not like she was more important than the lives of the people she saved - but she was. Maybe not in the grand scheme of things, but to him...she was everything.

He used to hear her voice in the wind, could picture her signature cocky grin that so obviously stated how she knew she was something special. A daughter of the King of the Gods.

A princess, Luke thinks ironically, laughing quietly at how much she would have hard being called that.

A daughter of Zeus, the only living child of Zeus, a child he should have been watching out for, caring for, loving with some part of his godly heart. But no, the Gods are too busy to be burdened with the life or death of their offspring. Mortal lives are meaningless in the great, endless river that is immortality. They're nothing but a thread in the tapestry of the world.

Why should the Gods give a damn about anyone but themselves?

Luke knows it's wrong to be angry with the Gods. He knows he is supposed to be grateful that Zeus turned Luke's best friend into a tree to protect a bunch of kids Thalia had never even met. And it's also a dangerous past time, being pissed off at all-powerful immortal beings. They could squash Luke like a bug.

But hell, Luke is angry.

Angry at Zeus for letting Thalia die.

Angry at his father for letting his mother go insane.

Angry with Athena for letting Annabeth have an awful childhood.

And he's damn angry with the rest of them, too, for any shit they might have messed up.

And he's angry for Thalia, too. Because she isn't around to be pissed off, so he's going to do it for her. And that's what she'd want, isn't it? Him to be angry with the Gods because, for lack of a better expression, the Gods have forsaken them. And maybe the Gods don't realize the power that one mortal has, but it's as he runs a hand over the root of Thalia's tree that Luke makes an oath.

"I swear to you, Thalia, that I will bring justice and balance to the demi-gods," He whispers it to the wind, "And I promise that I will do what it takes - whatever it takes - to make the Olympians realize their mistakes. I swear."

And what those Gods up on Olympus don't realize is that this lonely, lost young man, has more power than any of them could fathom.

Driven by friendship. Love. Anger. Hatred.

Eventually, he would forget about the love, and Luke Castellan would drown in his hatred.

There we go. Ta-da. I was spontaneously inspired after receiving a review, and, well...voila.

Reviews are wonderfully appreciated and I'll do my very best to reply : )

Thank you for reading! I own nothing.