Reading: Sun's Heir, Death's Guardian II: A Hero's Peril

VI

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

"Well...This is all sorts of wonderful, isn't it?" Grover mumbled as they came across yet another dead end.

"Yes, finally some spot light," said Percy with a grin, he was getting tired of hearing all about Naruto. It was Annabeth's first quest after all. It was her time to shine.

They had only just begun their quest and the paths they had been taking were either impossible to pass or led them literally nowhere.

The child of wisdom gave a frustrated sigh. It was a real pain, it truly was.

The satyr had agreed to come along after hearing what little of the prophecy Annabeth was given that could allude to Pan.

"Of course he would, he needs to be after all." Nico said with a knowing smile.

"Maze doesn't want us to pass," Tyson murmured worriedly from behind the satyr, "No stop changing."

"That'd be crazy, Tyson," Percy tried to calm his brother down with a pat on the shoulder. The concerned Cyclops came along despite Chiron's warning about the standard rule for a limit to companions. Annabeth argued that Naruto was given a quest and only took one companion, which was also frowned upon, and seeing as he couldn't divulge why Naruto had only taken one, Chiron reluctantly let it slide.

"Go Annie, tell him," said Thalia. She grinned at the blonde that nodded in agreement.

"Part of me wants to pull my hair out, and the other part wants to admire Daedalus' ingenuity," Annabeth commented through a grumble

"Still have his designs though," said Annabeth with a bright smile.

as she turned around and pushed past Percy and Tyson, "Come on, let's see if a new pathway opened."

The four explorers of the Labyrinth backtracked to where they had originally turned only to find yet another dead-end.

"Okay, that is just freaky." Leo said. "But extremely cool all at the same time."

Grover and Percy both hung their heads with a groan while Tyson started to pat against the wall in worry. Annabeth huffed in frustration before turning around and pressing her back to the new wall. Sliding down, she crossed her arms over her knees and rested her head on them.

"It was really frustrating," said Annabeth, frowning as she recalled the difficulty of the labyrinth.

Percy went to calm Tyson down before his searching became frantic while Grover took a seat next to Annabeth.

"You alright?" the satyr asked his friend. Annabeth took a deep breath before raising her head.

"I really thought this was my chance to prove myself," she mumbled admittedly. A sigh escaped the blonde girl's lips before she continued, "That I was ready to be a Hero."

"Hey, you were at the time." Percy said as he smiled towards her, one she returned.

"Still, it was tough." The blonde sighed.

Under her breath, Annabeth added, "Just like Naruto."

"Oh, what's this?" Aphrodite said in interest. Annabeth and Percy listened closely as well.

Though with the silence in the corridor, Percy and Grover heard it just fine. Grover rubbed her shoulder in reassurance that he believed in her while Percy frowned at what she said. His brows furrowed as he recalled a conversation he and Naruto shared last winter, and what Aphrodite had told him.

"You know, we never really did hear what she told him," Hermes said, "It may have not been the same thing."

Percy gulped at that while Annabeth looked at him with half-lidded eyes, wanting to know now.

However, that conversation with Aphrodite was not one he wanted to explain to his friends or brother for that matter, so he focused on what the older demigod had said to him.

"When we were looking for Artemis, he mentioned that he found you first," Percy said, getting a look of surprise from Grover while Tyson listened with interest.

"Oh, cool, we get to learn more about our group," Annabeth said in excitement, wanting to know what dynamic the blond boy had played in the traveling group.

Annabeth nodded and her grey eyes turned to Percy, "He did. I'd probably be dead if he hadn't stumbled across me.

"What?!"

Well, maybe not dead, but I don't know...

Annabeth let out a sigh of relief. Of course she wouldn't die.

He did most of the fighting before we met up with Thalia and Luke."

She gave a bitter laugh before continuing, "All I did was hide. Like a coward."

Annabeth frowned at that, she had to hide a lot. That's okay, why did her other sound so bitter about it?

"Annabeth, you were seven-years-old!" Grover immediately cut in before she could say anything worse about herself, "The fact that you made it from California to New York, even in a group, is amazing!"

"This is true," Artemis said with a curt nod.

"I not do as good on my own," Tyson admitted, giving his own opinion on the conversation, "Hid a lot, too. Annie very brave."

"You don't understand!" Annabeth said with a frown to the two

The goddess of love had this knowing smile on her face at this. Oh, this was going to be good. She could just tell.

before looking ahead at the darkness of the Labyrinth, "Naruto never showed any fear, and when he fought...it was almost like a dance. A crazy, wild and unpredictable dance."

"Wow, you got a shrine to him or something?" Nico asked, getting a blushing Annabeth to push him in anger.

"Yeah, I'll bet those clones did a lot to make it look crazy," Percy added jokingly getting a snicker from Grover.

"Clone spamming would be an awesome power." Leo said. "So much stuff could get done." He sighed along with Annabeth who readily agreed with him.

"He didn't use them," Annabeth interjected, making the two boys look at her in disbelief. She continued softly, "He couldn't...Normal people could see them. That's why he stuck with his bow."

"See, just a badass with a bow alone," said Apollo. He grinned in pride at his counterpart's son's skill.

"He didn't use his sword?" Percy asked in confusion.

Grover piped up before Annabeth could speak, "He didn't have it, remember? Kyubi became his sword and shield after he...died."

Annabeth shivered at the last memory she had before that night, forcing it back and continuing,

"That must have scarred her mind a bit," said Ares, getting a look from his sister. He just shrugged in return.

"That's what made it even more impressive. A bow, some arrows, and a few irrational–no, impossible movements and he took down monsters like he'd been doing it all his life."

"Well, he is a trained soldier," Jason said with a nod. "It was only natural that he would adapt to fighting monsters."

Percy opened his mouth to speak when Grover sent him a look that made him shut up.

"Ooo, silenced by the goat," said Nico as he jeered at Percy, getting grumbles from the Hero of Olympus.

He may have known that Naruto had been training to be a soldier since he was a kid, but Annabeth didn't. She didn't get the story behind the enigmatic blond, and Percy was sure that there was quite a bit left out of Naruto's story. Maybe one day they'd get the rest out of him.

"Nah, he's got the mysterious air about him. Maybe Thalia would find out with some lovin'." Apollo teased suggestively, getting an approving nod from the love goddess.

Thalia looked like she just wanted to shoot them.

Annabeth continued since Percy didn't speak up, "I asked him who he thought his parent was, wondering if there was even the slightest chance that he and I had the same mother, but he surprised me when he claimed he wondered whom his father was. He could've been a son of Athena with how amazing his planning was.

Both Annabeth and Athena took interest in that news.

He always managed to box the monsters in, finishing it quickly, and then walking away like nothing had happened. Blond, strategies that were efficient and effective; It screamed Athena."

"It really does," said Annabeth as she nodded. It would be cool to have a brother like that.

"And to think, he's the son of one of the most laid back Gods that exist," Grover added, getting Annabeth and Percy to nod while Tyson tilted his head in confusion.

"Stupid goat," the laidback god muttered.

"I just want to prove that I could do what he did," Annabeth said after another moment of silence.

"And who wouldn't?" Apollo asked smugly.

As the group focused on her once more, Percy's heart skipped a beat at the smile she had donned,

Annabeth cooed to Percy, getting him to blush.

"When I watched him fight, I would think to myself: 'That's what a real Hero is like. That's going to be me, someday.'

"Seems Annie had her own superhero to look up to," said Thalia as she teased her friend with a wide smile on her face.

Annabeth flushed. "Well, growing up with him on the road, I would think so."

And this is it. My chance and I blow it by getting us lost five minutes in."

"There's that positivity you're known for."

"Jerk," said Annabeth with a pout directed at Nico for his commentary.

Her smile had faded and she looked down at her feet once again, making Percy furrow his brow. From what he understood, Annabeth wanted to prove that she could be a Hero like Naruto, and after meeting the teen and fighting alongside him (after getting through the rough beginning they had),

"Understatement much?" Hazel asked with a raised brow.

Percy could understand why she wanted to do that. However, like stated before, Percy had met Naruto and he wasn't as amazing as Annabeth was making him out to be.

"Is that jealousy I hear Percy?" Thalia asked smugly, getting a growl from the water boy.

She must have him on some high pedestal and was measuring herself to him all the time.

"Difficult to do, yes, but inspiring to try none the less." Athena nodded to her daughter who was a bit pink cheeked from that statement.

No wonder she was considering joining the Hunters last winter. Heck, Percy would too if he had an idol like that!

"Well, he did train with me, so I can understand why," said Artemis with a smile directed at the child of wisdom, who had a sheepish look on her face.

Another thought crossed his mind that made him gain a sinking feeling in his gut: What if Annabeth compared everyone with Naruto? Where did he rank? Would he even have a rank in comparison to the blond demigod?

Everyone turned to a sputtering Percy, who was shocked to hear that and also to a blushing Annabeth. The couple turned to one another, unsure of what to say.

Percy wasn't sure if he wanted to ask or not, but thankfully he was saved from making this choice when the wall started to shift once again.

"Yeah, really thankful I bet," said Piper with smirk at the water boy. Percy clenched his jaw somewhat.

The group stood close together when the ground started to shake and clouds of dust shot up. Once more standing on her feet, Annabeth made a realization, "It's a platform. The platform is moving...Everyone hang on to something! We're on an elevator!"

"No," said Annabeth. She knew where this was heading, and she was not looking forward to it.

There was a loud hiss before the Labyrinth's floor dropped the four screaming teenagers at an impressive speed. Their ride was fast and short, the platform settling once more with another hiss. A large open doorway was to their right and the questing quartet all got to their feet rather quickly.

"All in favor of not taking that ride again?" Grover asked with a groan.

"It looked like fun to me," Leo said.

"It wasn't." The wise water couple deadpanned.

"Aye/Me." The other three replied with groans of their own while rubbing various portions of their body. They entered into the room hesitantly before being blown away with the strange set up. It looked like Greeks had once lived here, but had slightly changed. There was a shield with a sun engraved on it to the far right, making three of the quest takers think of a certain son of Apollo upon seeing it, but were shaken from their thoughts when a voice spoke.

"Can we go one scene where he isn't mentioned?" Percy asked in a low tone.

"Jealous of the big brother, huh Percy?" Thalia snickered.

"Oh, go make out with deer!"

"What?!" Thalia shouted back, but their parents stopped the scuffle before it could even happen with their throats clearing.

"And who is that? Someone else trying to kick me out?"

The four turned to what looked like the average doorman with one major difference than any other normal person: he had two faces. One faced left, the other right. The left was set in a smile while the right had a frown. Both had dark golden beards that connected with their equally golden hair. The black eyes of either face were turned in their direction when the face on the left spoke as the adjacent hand rose in a wave, "Hello! Welcome to my humble abode!"

"Well, if it ain't old two face himself," said Ares with a sneer to the Roman.

The four were too surprised by what they saw to speak, prompting the other face to open his mouth, "It figures. They're as rude as I heard they were."

"I feel as though he is going to be a headache," said Jason, seeing the two faced Roman god.

"Trust me, he is," said Percy with a frown.

Regaining her voice, Annabeth stepped forward and spoke, "Sorry, I've...We've never seen anything like you before.

"Of course, you're Greek, he shouldn't even be there," said Hera. She sniffed in distaste at the two faced clown.

I'm Annabeth Chase, who are you?"

"Ooh, wonderful! I was hoping you would show up soon," The left face said gleefully, "I'm your best friend."

"I'm your worst enemy," the right face added with a noticeable deeper scowl on his face before they spoke in sync, "I'm Janus."

"God of pure confusion and annoyance." Percy and Annabeth chimed together.

"The God of Beginnings!" The left cheerfully stated.

"The God of Endings," grunted out the right face.

"The God of Choices!" the two faces said at once.

"We've never heard of a God like you," Percy said, getting the right face to eye him.

"And they shouldn't have had to," said Athena. Her face was set in a frown at the thought.

"I should figure you hadn't," Janus' Right Face grumbled, "But I've heard of you, Percy Jackson."

"Who hasn't?" joked the Left Face.

"The Son of N-!" "Poseidon~!" Janus' Left Face cheerfully interrupted the Right.

"Please, blow the cover of the two societies, by all means," said Apollo with a roll of his eyes.

"Whatever," Janus' Right Face grunted before pointing at Percy, "You've made many choices. The choice to study alone after my brother offered his aid,

"Yeah Percy, Naruto goes to all the trouble to help you, but you just throw it away," Leo said with a shake of his head, but his smile gave him away.

the choice to leave your mother behind on the Quest for the Master Bolt, and others that I don't approve of."

Percy just gave him the middle finger, not caring at all if it was disrespectful.

"Ah, but he did make choices that stopped the rising of The Crooked One multiple times," The Left Face of Janus chimed in, "But enough about him! Let's look at the leader, the Daughter of Athena!"

Both faces' eyes locked on Annabeth, and she was forced to choose to look at one of them. Choosing the Left, as it was the most welcoming and somewhat familiar,

"Cause of Naruto is why," said Apollo, letting a few snickers out and making Annabeth throw him a glare as she blushed.

she asked, "What do you want with me?"

"I want you to make a choice, of course, silly girl," Janus said with his smile widening. He gestured behind him, to two doors, and continued while holding his other hand up, "Behind me are two doors. One on the left, one on the right. Both will lead you out of the Labyrinth and back on track. In my hand is a key. It will work in either door, but can only be used once!"

"Okay, sounds legit," said Frank…again.

"Wait for it," Percy said with a finger in the air.

"I have to choose one of the doors?" Annabeth asked, "Is that all?"

"That's all. Right or left. Make a choice," Urged Janus. The blonde daughter of Athena took the key and looked at either door.

There has to be more than just a left or right door, but what could it be? Annabeth asked herself.

"There it is," said the son of the sea.

A troubling thought then crossed her mind and she looked to Percy, Could it mean...?

"What are you waiting for?" Janus Right Face interrupted her thoughts with a frown, "Choose! It's not that hard!"

"Of course it is." Annabeth said as she frowned sadly.

"I don't know which one to pick!" Annabeth retorted. Janus' Right Face scowled deeper while the Left Face's smile fell slightly.

"Choose!" insisted the god.

"I-I..." Annabeth stuttered out, bringing the key closer to her chest as she stepped back from the minor god.

"That is enough, Janus," a stern voice said.

Hera smiled, time for her to shine.

Janus as well as the questing campers all turned to face the speaker, a woman, tall and beautiful. She was dressed in a white dress that flowed like oil on water as she gracefully approached the stunned god. Her long chocolate brown hair was woven into a braid and gold ribbons woven within it. Brown eyes filled with disapproval had locked on Janus, making the god's dual faces swallow.

"Little man knows when the old lady comes in," said Ares. He snickered at his own joke, but zipped up when his mother gave him a stern glare for the 'old lady' line.

"You are not welcome here, Janus. Leave," commanded the elegant woman.

Janus had vanished faster than Percy had thought possible, disappearing as though he were never there.

"He's got his daddy's running skills." Ares jeered, getting a sun filled glare from Apollo.

The woman sighed and turned her gaze back on the four teenagers. Immediately, Grover fell to his knee and bowed his head, murmuring under his breath several prayers. Tyson became very shy and looked away, unable to gaze upon her with his eye, leaving only a very surprised Annabeth and a slightly confused Percy to be the only two looking at her.

"Seriously? You just saw her at Christmas." Hermes said, "I mean, she voted for you to be killed."

"H-Hera..." Annabeth stuttered out, making Percy look at her and then back at the woman before he remembered why she looked so familiar. The son of Poseidon's face fell into a frown as he recalled their last meeting.

"Well, me thinks this may be awkward," said Hephaestus with a chuckle.

"Annabeth Chase," greeted the Queen of Olympus before she nodded to Percy, "Perseus Jackson."

"Percy," corrected the teen out of habit. He then asked rudely, "Why are you here?"

Hera frowned a bit, but then again, her other called for his death just to have her stepdaughter killed. So his rudeness was expected sadly.

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!" Grover snapped out of worry before he bowed his head once more.

"You may stand, Grover Underwood," Hera said to the satyr before she once more looked at the demigod, "I am here to help you, Percy Jackson. Is that good enough a reason?"

"Forgive me if I don't believe you," Percy deadpanned, "You wanted me dead last time I saw you."

"There's that awkward moment." The smith god said with a rough laugh.

Hera frowned, "Not you particularly, but the...other one could've been killed.

"Oh, how kind of you." Thalia spat out with sarcasm lacing her words.

It was nothing personal."

"Bullshit," Poseidon said to his sister. Hera simmered a bit to her brother's comment.

"Seemed pretty personal to me," mumbled the teen,

"See?" The sea god pointed out further, getting an annoyed look from his sister.

but before anything could come of it, Annabeth spoke up, "Why are you helping us?"

"Maybe I just feel like it. Maybe I have something to gain from it. Or maybe," the Queen of Olympus continued with a small smile, "I wanted to see you succeed, Annabeth Chase."

No she didn't, Annabeth thought sourly at what the goddess really wanted, with much distaste.

While Hera was assisting the questing quartet through the Labyrinth, Naruto was preparing an arrow. After they had gone back upstairs, Tristan agreed that it was alright for Piper to join them, on their way to the summer camp.

"Man, where's my entrance?" Leo asked. He pouted, seriously, how long was it going to be until he's in the story?

"Be patient Leo, you'll come in. How, I don't know, but I'm sure you will soon," said Jason with a thinking look on his face.

"Easy for you to say, you'll get some cool entrance I bet." The son of the smith pouted further.

Apparently, 'Lyre' had told him that's where they were heading and Tristan wanted his daughter to make more friends,

"Yeah, a nice tall blond friend," Leo said suggestively, getting a blushing Piper and Jason.

perhaps nipping her shoplifting in the bud before anything worse could happen.

"Not my fault!" said movie star's daughter shouted in a whiny tone.

So, confused and concerned, Naruto and Thalia resumed their original destination, though Thalia did ask what Tristan meant by a 'summer camp' only for Naruto to cut her off by promising to explain later.

"It's always later with him," said Thalia with a frown.

"Well, it is a delicate situation," said Hestia, looking up briefly from the book to add her own two cents.

"I swear to Rhea, Whiskers," Thalia said after rejoining him near the gates of the parking garage, "She's going to flip out if she wakes up in our car."

"Damn right I will," said Piper, assuring the statement with a solid nod.

"With how she was asking questions before? Not a chance," Naruto said with a chuckle, "And you said it yourself, with my luck she'll remember what I told her."

"This is going to be interesting, I can feel it," Piper said with a shake of her head, also maybe a headache for her other. Who knows?

The Drakon roared once more, making the couple look at it with frowns on their faces. Thalia prepared her spear and shield once more while Naruto knocked his arrow. The arrowhead split into two prongs as soon as he released the string. It flew fast and true, striking the Drakon in the snout as it looked down at them.

"Oh, nose shot," said Ares, a deep chuckle following his comment. "Ain't that cruel of him?"

Roaring in pain, the flying serpent took to the skies and flew away, making the teens share a confused glance before looking back at the Drakon as it fled.

"Pansy," said the war god. He frowned, no fight? Boring.

"That's not normal," Naruto said in a murmur as his brows furrowed in thought, "Why was it here if not to fight?"

"Maybe it thought that we would just ignore it?" Thalia suggested, "Easy prey?"

"Even Drakons are not that foolish." Artemis said as she frowned, getting Thalia to nod in agreement.

"No," disagreed the blond, "The Crooked One knows our faces too well and Drakes aren't stupid by any means."

Artemis smiled, good to see that her nephew noticed as well.

His eyes suddenly widened and a hand went to his head with a loud smack. Groaning he put his bow away and abruptly grabbed Thalia's wrist before turning around back towards his car. Thalia didn't have a chance to resist, running after him in order to avoid being dragged, "Whiskers! What is it!?"

"I'm an idiot, that's what!" Naruto said back to her before opening the passenger door and pushing Thalia towards it, "Get in! We have to catch that Drakon!"

"L.A. chase scene?" the sun god asked in excitement.

"Oh yeah," Hermes grinned with him.

The daughter of Zeus scrambled in the car while Naruto abused his Hiraishin to appear within it, pulling his seatbelt on while Thalia shut her door. Before his girlfriend could ask what was going on, Naruto started the engine and peeled out of the parking spot, causing Thalia to reach up and brace her hand against the roof of the car. Glaring at him, Thalia warned, "You'd better not pull another stunt like you did earlier."

"Now that is just setting him up for it," said Hermes.

"I make no promises," Naruto said as his Challenger sped out of the parking garage. His eyes narrowed as he relocated the flying serpent, "Bingo. Wanna do me a favor?"

"If you even say what I think you're going to say, I'm going to kill you," Thalia spat.

"Wow Thalia, just wow," Annabeth said. "Jumping to conclusions much? In this kind of situation?"

"Shut up!" The hunter stammered quickly out, her cheeks pink.

"Roll down your window," He said, catching her off guard.

"See?" The child of wisdom smiled in amusement, getting the hunter to grumble.

"Oh...Right," Thalia did as he requested, before looking back at her boyfriend with confusion on her face, "Don't you have a button that does that?"

"Hands at ten and two." Apollo recited.

"Didn't they change that?" Annabeth asked, getting some looks. "What? I studied for my permit."

"Needed a hand for this," Naruto said as he held his pad full of seals. Finding the one he wanted, he gave the pad to Thalia and said, "Rip that out. Carefully."

"Ah, more of the seal art," said Athena with interest, wanting a more detailed explanation. Seriously, this book gave the bare basics and it did nothing to sate her curiosity.

"How am I supposed to be careful when you're driving like a maniac?" the raven-haired girl asked him.

"His father's work sadly, Thalia." Artemis teased lightly to both her hunter and brother.

Getting no response, she huffed and grabbed the top of the page before slowly ripping it out of place. Once she finished, Thalia closed the pad and offered her boyfriend the piece of paper, "Now what?"

"My kunai case is on your duffle's side pocket," Naruto said as he made a hard right turn, earning himself a loud blare of a horn, "Get one of them and wrap that around the handle."

"You do realize that having a window open isn't helpful, right?" Thalia asked

"Impulse action, happens to the best of us," Percy said in minor defense of the blond on the screen.

"You mean Percy action mode?" Annabeth asked slyly to him.

"…That was uncalled for."

before turning around and reaching for her duffle bag. Finding said pocket, Thalia opened it and then swiveled her head around to glare at him, "Why the hell are your knives with my underwear?!"

"Oh I swear, Ares does that all the time," Aphrodite complained.

"Come on, babe, it happens!" The war god countered weakly.

"I thought that was your pajama pocket!" Naruto said before a grin crossed his face as he realized what that meant, "Wait, you mean they actually made women boxers? ...That's sexy. And also very different than what you normally wea–ow!"

"Oh ho!" the love goddess cheered. "Second base so far?" she asked Thalia, getting a scathing glare in return.

He was kicked in the shoulder before the comment could be finished.

"You show him girl." Thalia nodded sternly to her other.

Thalia had just grabbed a knife when Piper started to wake up. Her kaleidoscopic eyes blinked several times before she focused on a grumbling Thalia and felt herself moving at a fast rate. Slowly sitting up, Piper looked outside to the blurs before looking forward, seeing the still grinning Naruto at the driver's seat. Her gaze went to the creature that was flying away from them and she said, "...It wasn't a dream."

"Red pill or blue pill?" Leo asked, getting a huff from Piper.

"Oh, hey, you're up!" Naruto said before looking at Thalia as she settled back into her seat, "Now when you wrap it, use the torn side first."

"Alright, now what?" Thalia asked as she completed the task. Piper wanted to ask what was going on, but was suddenly cowed into silence as Naruto narrowly avoided driving right into an oncoming truck.

"You know, with our ADHD, could we be good racecar drivers?" Leo asked, getting thoughtful looks from the other demigods.

Naruto then turned down a not as busy street, following the flying Drakon as best as he could before it turned left where he couldn't.

"When I say so, throw it as hard as you can out your window," instructed her boyfriend before he made a hard left. As he drove down an abandoned alleyway, the blond teen looked up in the rearview mirror with a twinkle in his unique eyes, "Better buckle up, Piper!"

"Now he says that," grumbled the girl in question.

The girl did so as fast as she could. She had good reason to, as Naruto immediately pulled on the emergency brake and turned the wheel to the left once more when they came out of the alleyway, putting them just behind of the Drakon. The flying serpent pulled its wings back with a loud hiss as it tried to make a rapid turn. Naruto floored it and followed as close as he could.

"Okay, he is good at pursuit, got to give him that much." Apollo said, getting his sister to nod in smiling agreement.

"Now, Thalia-chan!" the blond exclaimed once he was right alongside it. Thalia leaned out of her open window, the blowing wind ignoring her as though she were a part of it, before pulling her right arm back and chucking the weapon at the monster. The kunai cut through the air, piercing the hide of the Drakon like it was nothing.

"Hey, that was a good throw." Jason complimented, getting his sister to smirk, but she was slightly confused since she didn't even know how to that until she joined up with the hunters.

The monster released a slight roar of pain but flew on, vanishing into the clouds. Naruto grinned in victory before looking at his girlfriend after she climbed back in.

"You've successfully just placed your first tracker, Thalia-chan," he congratulated, "Way to go!"

"That slip of paper acts like a tracker?" Athena asked.

"Okay, seriously, that stuff is putting tech out of use. Glad only he can do it." Leo grumbled a bit.

"So are we going to follow it now?" Thalia asked. Naruto shook his head.

"No, we don't have time," the blond said, much to her confusion. He smiled at her before looking forward as he drove, "I'll explain on the way. For now, we should really get to our destination."

"Which is?" Thalia pried, Piper listening in out of curiosity.

"...Camp Jupiter," Naruto said after a moment of silence, getting a displeased rumble of thunder from the sky.

"Someone's moody," Hades muttered loudly.

Rolling his window down, Naruto shouted back, "Hey, she's your daughter! You wanna argue with yourself? Didn't think so!"

Zeus bristled at that remark, a frown on his face.

Looking in the rearview mirror, Naruto asked their other passenger, "So how was your nap?"

"It wasn't voluntary at all!" said a flushed Piper. She crossed her arms and mentally grumbled Stupid handsome sun boy.

"You're demigods...and that was a dragon," Piper stated, before slapping her cheeks, "This has to be a dream, wake up, wake up!"

"Denial is such an ugly thing," Naruto sighed out

Piper felt anger at that comment and groaned, great, her mother's blood was getting the better of her.

as he looked at his girlfriend, "Anything else you want to ask?"

"What's Camp Jupiter?" Thalia immediately asked, only for a bolt of lightning to fly down and strike near them, "What the hell was that?!"

Thalia turned to her father. "Really?" she asked indignantly.

"We kept them separated for a reason," was the stern answer back. How his grandson even got there was surprising on its own.

"That was Rai-Jiji trying to keep you away from the Other Camp," answered Naruto with a frown, "I knew you shouldn't have come...Damn prophecies."

"Prophecy? What you mean like one of those horoscope things?" Piper asked from the back,

"Hey!" Apollo cried out in offense. "Don't confuse the job with the side gig!"

having given up on trying to wake herself up.

"See," Piper said, "I just need a few seconds to adjust."

Naruto looked at her from the rearview mirror with an arched brow.

"Close," Naruto said before he started to explain what a prophecy was. He then went on to answer as many questions that he could about the whole situation, save for the usual "Who's my mother?" question that popped up. Thalia had to interject to save her boyfriend's hide, explaining that only the Gods could claim who their child was,

"But he already knows," said the charmspeaker with a frown, crossing her arms.

except for the di Angelos, who were special cases since Naruto was sent personally to protect them from danger. This led to her asking why the di Angelos weren't with them, and Naruto explained that they were too inexperienced to go on a quest with him,

"Not that inexperienced," said Nico as he pouted a bit.

and that one of them was ill with a disease no one had ever seen before.

And that reminder dampened Nico's spirits with a heavy sigh.

The whole conversation took just long enough for the group to come up on a gas station just a few minutes outside of Caldecott Tunnel, where Naruto said they'd have to walk through.

"Oh this is going to be good," said the lady of doves. "Finally, the coming drama of their relationship."

Thalia frowned, let's see how her other reacts to her boyfriend's secrets. Namely, her little brother still being alive.

"Do we really have to walk?" Thalia asked as Naruto locked his car before slapping another one of his seals on it.

Piper, noticing the strange ink as it shone, asked, "What's that?"

"Yes, Thalia-chan, we have to walk," Naruto said as he sealed away Thalia's and Piper's bags, "And that, Piper, was an avoidance seal. The seal makes the eyes of any mortals glance over it like it was never there.

Athena frowned (more like pouted, not that she would admit it) once more. What was the range these seals could go? It seemed that they had many uses.

What I just did was put your bags in a pocket dimension seal, something I should've done in the beginning."

"How?" Piper asked. Naruto grinned and tapped the side of his nose.

"Secret," he said, making the girl pout angrily.

"Curious little thing you are," the mother of the girl giggled, getting Piper to smile at the compliment.

Thalia rolled her eyes at her boyfriend's antics, but smiled nonetheless at the two of them interacting like siblings as they started their journey on foot. The thought made her think of Annabeth, wondering how the precious brain of their original group was doing

"Oh, you know, doing my own quest. Thanks for sticking around for that by the way." Annabeth joked, getting a sheepish look from Thalia.

or if Percy had made a move yet.

"No," said the room, minus Percy.

Knowing how he was, Thalia wouldn't be surprised if Annabeth had to be the one that made the first move.

"Yes," said the room, this time minus a blushing Percy and Annabeth.

Her thoughts then went to Jason, the little brother she lost so long ago.

Thalia frowned, Jason seeing this took her hand for support. The hunter turned and smiled at him. They knew where they were now, and that was all that mattered.

She missed him every day and still wondered what had happened to him. Pushing the painfully happy memories of her little brother away, Thalia snapped out of her trance when Naruto interlaced his fingers with hers. The blond's unique sun-like eyes had looked at her in worry and she gave him a small smile as her hand squeezed around his.

That got some cooing from the audience and a slight smile out of Thalia, it was a sweet moment.

Thalia could mope later; right now she should focus on the quest her boyfriend was on. It would help take her mind off of those sorts of things, anyway.

"Not really with where you're going," said Thalia softly. She wondered if this really would ruin her other's relationship.

Unbeknownst to any of the three demigods, a pair of dark eyes narrowed before the owner of said eyes raised a finger to their collar, "(Target found. Initiating pursuit.)"

"Oh, I see Waldo!" said Apollo with playful childlike excitement.

"No, those seem to be ninjas. Wondered where those idiots went to," said Ares as he sneered at the image.