Unforgiving Hate and Sorrowful Eyes
Chapter 1: The Street of Nightmares
Percy Jackson thought he would be back here, walking on San Francisco soil as he navigated through the busy hustle of the airport, trying his best to stay awake.
The plane ride had been a nightmare. He was sitting economy next to an Indian man who was very verbal with his words and his moody wife. Then he had to wait five hours in freaking Singapore thanks to the very possible danger of one of the engine catching fire which it after they landed. Plus the hangover he had, courtesy of his brother's Triton – the new ladies' man in the family – partying in Ibiza, was not helping.
That fifth glass of vodka was a mistake.
In his exhaustion, a part of him felt restless, nervous, guilty; like if he stayed any longer he would be handed a death sentence.
"BROTHER!" somebody screamed.
He pasted the doors of the entrance to the airport, fatigued –customs were a pain everywhere– to hear that big bellow come from … oh, of course. What he saw brought a wide smile to his mouth.
Parked not too far away was a rich lux Maserati that anybody would drool for and the strangest trio consisting of a stocky Chinese Canadian boy, dark-skinned luminous golden-eyed girl and a much taller, muscular man who looked like a giant standing closely to it. Percy stopped, extending his arms.
"C'mon," he shouted at them, half of his lips curved into a smirk. "I know you wanna!"
They so did. Tyson was the first –of course, he would be first–to run up to Percy, lifting him off the ground, and crushed him in the most suffocating hug, he had received in years. Percy's face was turning red, life slowly leaving his body if Tyson hugged any tighter. Percy patted Tyson on the back.
Tyson was his cousin (well, the correct term was "brother" since Tyson kept calling him and Frank that since they were the height of three-legged stools; Tyson in this case the height of a broom) who showed open and admirable affection for Percy. Though right now, that love was killing Percy.
"Okay, big guy," Frank, his other cousin, told the much taller man jovially, "let the poor man breathe. I don't think he wants to die any time soon."
"'Kay!" Tyson agreed in his usual child-like manner. He dropped Percy gently on the ground, taking appreciative gulps of air. "How was the fishies?" the giant inquired.
Percy gulped, recalling his successful research trip in the Maldives. "It was great," Percy said. "We have large inhabitable places for the fishies and down in the south, we exclusively found a new type of fishie – small but really pretty."
"Yay!" Tyson squealed.
"Yay." Percy nodded. He turned his attention to his Chinese cousin and his sorta French girlfriend – wait, no, fiancée; there, on her ring finger, was a glittering ruby, pearl and diamond engagement ring. "Oh, yay, I hope I'm not late for the wedding."
"Of course not, doofus," Frank chuckled, hitting Percy lightly on the arm. "And if you were, I would kill you. It's only five days before the wedding."
"Nice to see you too, Bear Boy." Oh Frank, Tyson, Triton and he sure shared some great memories – really crazy, weird, great memories. "Hazel!" he hugged Hazel. She had grown quite beautifully. "What happened to you? You've grown!"
"Must be the pre-wedding glow," she guessed nonchalantly. Hazel Levesque had grown taller, her dark honey hair wavier and she looked more like her stunningly beautiful mother Marie before she passed. "Now I'm sure you're tired –"
"I was stuck in Singapore for five hours and sat next to an over-talkative Indian couple," Percy grumbled. "I classify as ready to die."
"No die," said Tyson softly, slightly pouting, the ends of his index fingers touching him. "Tyson no want Percy die."
"Don't worry. Percy no try dying this time," Percy assured him, winking at him. "Percy better now."
"Bags in the boot, Frank takes shotgun, I'm driving, no complaints," Hazel huffed grumpily, not liking that she was interrupted. No matter whose fault it was or what excuse you have, you did not fight with Hazel.
"Of course, your Majesty," Frank grumbled. Percy resisted laughing when Hazel glared murderously at her fiancée. "I hope I don't die before the wedding." Frank whispered to Percy, walking over to their car.
Percy looked from Frank to Hazel and back again, a mocking thoughtful look on his face. "If it's any consolidation, I give your marriage a week."
Frank scowled at Percy unappreciatively. "Oh thanks, asshole. It's nice to have you back."
"You're welcome, and it is nice to be back."
Percy had known Frank and Tyson since they were kids, being cousins and all. He was born in a wealthy man's household from a mistress' womb who died when he was three.
He was four but Percy could remember the first time he set eyes on his father in crystal clear detail. They looked alike: the same sea green eyes – his father's was always more enchanting, tan skin, messy black hair that couldn't be tamed to save their life and … um … Percy didn't to boast about it but in Hazel's admission "the good looks of a Roman god".
Percy didn't guess that was too bad. It helped with chicks even if most of his relationships ended on a really bad key – one was catastrophic.
He watched the passing city scene silently, his hand holding up his chin. Tyson chatted eagerly about a project he was doing with some guy whose name started with an "L", talking about bringing a childhood crayon drawing to life.
Tyson had been big about building stuffs since he was a kid. His love of mechanics and building was what actually held up a conversation with … a certain wise girl Percy once knew.
Frank found Percy's brooding face in the rear-view mirror and said, "Hey, do you remember the time we were playing on the beach on Montauk and Triton thought the sharks were dolphins?"
"Yeah …" Percy grumbled, his hand hiding his smile. "That was hilarious. Remind me to tell everybody that at your wedding."
"Dolphins are pretty," Tyson commented. "Ee, ee, ee!" he poorly imitated the sound of a dolphin that sounded more like a pissed off monkey.
Hazel drove down another street, eyes determined on the road and instantly Percy recognized the small, insignificant street. It was anything but small and insignificant. Dread welled up in his stomach and he tried hard to keep a straight face.
It was Washbourne Avenue, the street of nightmares to Percy.
Percy tried to think of other things, what work events were coming up, people he needed to meet, failing when all he saw in his eyes was a mixture of rain, lights and a girl covering a smaller boy inside the wreckage of what was once a car.
Percy slammed the car window and roared, "STOP THE CAR!"
Everybody jumped, more surprised than scared, though there was a watchful expression on Frank's face that irritated Percy. Hazel pulled over, muttering something in French under her breath, as soon as they exited Washbourne Avenue.
Percy instantly got out of the car. Percy was taking shallow breaths, failing to block the images from his mind and failing to remember what that guy said in rehab.
There were passing eyes that glanced at him momentarily that then moved on. Shit, shit, shit, shit. He knew coming back here was a complete mistake. He ran a rough hand through his black hair.
Calm down, Jackson, he told himself. Calm the hell down … deep breaths, in, out, in –
"Brother?" Tyson came out of the car, a worried look of his face. Hazel and Frank had also exited the car, observing the black haired man warily. "Is Percy okay?"
Percy sucked in a breath. "Just remembered something unpleasant. Don't worry about it. I'm fine."
Tyson brought it – thankfully; you did not want to have a persistent Tyson on you – though Frank and Hazel didn't seem too convinced, they didn't question it.
Percy would be staying at a hotel near where the happy engaged couple lived and close to Tyson's workshop. He didn't want to burden Frank or Hazel, he'd rather not be the third wheel and have to walk in on some intimate moments, plus Tyson could be overbearing and smothering.
"If you need us, you have our number," Hazel informed sternly, reminding Percy of one of his more caring teachers in elementary, once they dropped him off at the Lotus Hotel.
Percy rolled his eyes. "Yes, Mom," he huffed. "I'm not a child. I can take of myself."
Hazel perked an unbelieving eyebrow as the blatant air in the car said "Like I believe that."
Percy scoffed at his friends. "Oh, go away the lot of you. I'm jetlagged and I wanna sleep more than look at all of you."
Frank scowled. "You heard the jerk. Kāichē, Jīn." Frank ordered in Chinese. Percy was pretty sure he said, "drive, Gold". No idea where the gold came from though. Hazel rolled her eyes and press on the accelerator to drive off into the busy San Francisco street.
His phone beeped to life in his pocket. Don't forget, ur comin 2 da party 2nite at our apartment. Pick u up at 7 – HL.
Percy's face fell. A party? Hazel had to be kidding him. He needed sleep, not another party. He had to go anyway. You did not fight Hazel Levesque.
Sleep was a welcomed stranger to Percy Jackson. He was thankful that he didn't dream of that night three years ago. If he did … there was a very high, very possible he would relapse into his depression.
Coming here was a mistake. He had to come because he owed it to Hazel and Frank. They were his friends and there was nothing he wouldn't do for his friends.
BANG! BANG! BANG! Percy moaned into his pillow. "BROTHER! TIME TO WAKE-UP!" Tyson's voice boomed.
Percy lifted his head, blearily looking at his hotel room. "Go away!"
"I'm up, I'm up!" Percy leapt off the bed, running to his door and opened it. Tyson, Frank and Hazel stood there. Tyson was in extra-large casual dress while Frank wore an interesting Chinese ensemble and Hazel in a full skirt golden dress. "Hey, guys, what are you doing here?"
Hazel, Tyson and Frank exchanged questioning looks. "Really?" Frank questioned. "You forgot about the party? It's seven o'clock."
"What party –" Percy disappointedly frowned. "I was hoping to forget that."
"Just get dressed," Hazel said, pushing Frank inside Percy's room and shutting the door. "And make sure he's presentable!"
"Yes, Jīn." Frank agreed. He turned to Percy. "Get dressed," the Chinese Canadian ordered Percy firmly. "You are definitely not wearing your boxer shorts to the party."
"Aww," Percy pouted like a child. "But they're comfortable." Frank didn't change in demeanor. "God, humor with you guys is like talking to a dead person." Still no laughter. "Bright beam of joy you guys are."
"I have a soon-to-be brother and father-in-law that's worse. Just get dressed."
Hazel and Frank's apartment was a perfect mixture of the couple. New Orleans rustic jazz beauty clashed peacefully with Chinese oriental strong might. Jazz posters and Chinese character banners hung down the walls, simple ornaments from both cultures, not to mention the furniture was also pretty cool. People had already gathered at the apartment, a few Percy recognized from Jupiter Academy.
"I know it's a little early," said Percy walking inside unhappily, hands stuffed in his jeans, "but can I leave?"
Hazel scoffed in disbelief and rolled her eyes next to Percy. "You are just like my brother," she stated. "Hey, Ty –" she nudged the muscular giant. "It's Ella. Aren't you going to say hi?"
Percy grinned mischievously and raised an eyebrow. "Who's Ella?" Tyson blushed like a little schoolboy. "She your girlfriend?" Tyson played with his thumbs. "Wife?" Tyson sputtered.
"No," Hazel said. "She's just a girl who works at the local library. Her boss is a hungry, creep pain in the rear end though."
"And if Tyson has some more familial encouragement he might ask her out at last," Frank added, glancing at Percy intently.
A meek-looking petite redhead girl strolled shyly towards the quartet. "Hello, Hazel. Hello, Frank. Hello –" her cheeks reddened "Tyson. Who is this?" she looked curiously at Percy.
"This is Percy," Tyson introduced him proudly. "This is my brother!"
"There's no other love like the love for a brother. There's no other love like the love from a brother," Ella said, sounding more like a quote. "Ella never had a brother. Ella is pleased to meet Percy."
Percy blinked. "Um … yeah." Ella popped away, quoting to herself. Percy faced Tyson firmly. "Tyson, you must marry that girl."
"That's what I said!" Frank laughed.
Percy mingled, relieving more of his life, conversing with other people. They're not so bad. Not most of them. There are some memories he rather not drag up.
It's actually good – by good, he meant refreshing – to be around normal people who weren't family or work mates. He smiled, he joked, he mingled, even grabbing a girl's number.
Reyna. She was pretty in a piercing, strong sort of way, lacking in the spark that Percy wanted once more.
Tyson and Ella talked a lot, Percy noted, and were in close proximity of each other. Tyson had never lucky with the ladies. Like, never. They had mostly been grossed out when the giant paid them a compliment. High school in Half-blood certainly wasn't a happy time for him.
Hazel was showing off her ring to her friends, other girls admiring it like it was a million dollar diamond and kept bugging her on how Frank proposed. Hazel wasn't spilling, changing the topic or shying away.
Percy, after convincing – blackmailing was too strong a word – Frank to spill, Bear Boy gave in, very embarrassed. "Well, um, me and Haze were at my grandmother's and we were … engaged …" Frank abashedly explained and Percy bit down his snicker. "And, er, my grandmother walked in on us." Percy didn't hold in the choke of laughter. "It's not funny! It was my grandmother's fault. She thought Hazel was, um, involved in a rather unpleasant profession so I accidentally called her my fiancée. Happy?"
"Amused. Very amused."
"How's Tri? Still a ladies man?"
"What d'ya think? I don't think Tritie's never going to change. One of his worst yet best qualities."
Triton – billionaire (from inheritance), playboy, philanthropist just about summed him up; the darker, more mysterious Tony Stark of the family who had the mind of a seven year old.
And big half-brother to Percy Jackson.
His mind was more on the ladies than on work which was pretty his number one priority since he was one day old. He would always hog the attention of Amphitrite and would unceasingly pursue the other sex.
"Percy!" Hazel jumped into their view, smiling and laughing. She lovingly pecked Frank on the cheeks and Percy kindly told them to get a room. Hazel smoothed down her curly hair and dress. "I have someone I want you to meet. He's my brother."
Percy smiled. "Hazel, I appreciate your efforts of finding me someone but –"
Hazels' smile fell. "I'm not trying to set you up, Percy," she sighed. "I just wanted you to meet more members of my family – my crazy, dysfunctional family."'
"Sorry," he apologized sheepishly. "So who is this brother of yours?"
"Oh, come with me. Um, Frank, I think your friend Dakota needs help on the couch." She pointed in the general direction of a man sitting on the leather brown couch, staring up at the ceiling in a glassy daze. Frank moaned and stalked off to his friend.
Hazel led him from the living room to the balcony. It was a small, but large enough to fit four people, antique metal frames fencing it. A boy who looked like he was in his teens was drinking by himself.
Something flickered in Percy's head but he wasn't sure what.
Hazel slid open the glass panel door and stepped through it. Percy sucked in a breath when the boy turned around, holding the same shocked face as he did.
The boy was pale, dark spots and bags under his eyes, his hair looking like he had come out of bed at two in the morning. He wore an aviator's jacket to protect him from the cold, a band tee and a pair of chain-belted black skinny jeans.
The boy was staring back at Percy in panic, then for a spilt second, anger, finally contained temperament. Around his wineglass, his grip tightened that Percy thought he was going to smash it.
"Neeks," Hazel chirped happily, unaware of what spired between the two men. "This is my friend from JAU, Percy Jackson." She gestured to the green-eyed man.
The boy's jaw tightened, eying Percy carefully, before he stuck out his hand out for him reluctantly. "Hello, Percy," the boy spat, "I'm Nico di Angelo."