"Nice bike." Steve looked over Tony's shoulder at the computer screen.
Natasha wore a mini-camera that transferred real time footage of everything she was seeing. She and Clint had followed a lead that reported Percy leaving an apartment on a motorbike.
"Yeah, it's fancy looking. Black leather jacket, nice helmet. I commend the guy's taste," Tony commented, biting out of an apple.
Perseus biked to a nearby coffee shop. Natasha sat in a corner booth; she watched as he ordered a Chai Tea Latte and two iced Carmel Macchiatos, telling the Barista his name was Percy.
"That's definitely not as intimidating as Perseus," Bruce noted.
When Percy glanced outside, Natasha's vision shifted to the door. A tall, buff Asian kid entered the coffee shop and gave Percy a bear-hug. They sat at a table a distance from Natasha and Clint. The bear-hug guy took one of Percy's coffees.
"It's so good to see you Frank." Percy was grinning ear-to-ear. Natasha noticed he looked far less intimidating when he was relaxed. "How's Hazel?"
Frank blushed. "Um. She's good. She wanted to come but she had to stay to help Reyna." He looked at Percy seriously for a moment. "I can tell when you're tense Perce. What did you want to talk to me about?"
Percy's face dropped, and his smile disappeared for a moment. Neither smug nor smiling, he just looked exhausted. "Well, we've encountered the Titan, Gaea and the Giants." He laughed darkly to himself. "But I don't think it's over quite yet."
Frank blanched. "What do you mean?"
"More disturbed primordial beings. My father had a chat with me a few days ago. Apparently there have been signs of chaos in the universe. But not just chaos…Chaos." When he saw Frank's confused look he admitted, "I didn't understand it either. But then I talked to Annabeth…"
"I'll do my research. Just tell me what you need and I'm there."
"Right, just, whatever you find. Keep it between the Praetors for now. I want to keep the peace as long as possible." Percy tapped a random, urgent beat on the table. Then he announced, clearly ready to change the subject, "So, have you heard from Jason and Piper lately?"
Natasha asked Clint, "Did any part of that conversation make sense to you? Chaos? Primordial beings?"
"Nope, but for all of his swagger, he seemed pretty anxious to change the subject." Natasha nodded.
"Jason and Piper are staying in New Rome for another day or two. What are you going to do today Perce? You seem pretty worked up. Get your mind off everything; go to the beach or the pool or something."
Percy chuckled. "Yeah, you know me too well. But I can't go to the beach. There's too much to do. I have to pick up Silena from Leo's shop. Talk with him about his new blueprints for the new yachts. I'm watching Silena all day until her parents get back from New Rome this evening, and then I'm meeting up with the Avengers this evening."
Frank shook his head. "You're too busy for your own good Percy. But hopefully Silena will keep your mind off everything, she's a cutie." After an awkward pause he asked, "Will I get to meet the Avengers?"
"Of course! Gods, I'm not hogging them or anything. In fact, I'm really not looking forward to this new role of ambassador or diplomat or whatever. But apparently they," he pointed to the ceiling, "think I'm likeable. Whatever the hell that means." He continued to tap his fingers on the table anxiously. "Thalia and Nico were supposed to come with me tonight but that didn't work out…They're busy."
"It's really starting again, isn't it?"
Percy nodded. "Thalia was called to a last minute hunt and Nico was called underground, I can only assume something's wrong down there." He wiped his hands over his face. "I don't want to involve everybody in this conflict. Not again. We're just recovering from our latest losses. I don't want to place more kids in the line of fire. That means The Seven will probably have to be especially involved if we don't want to call the next generation of campers to the front lines." He suddenly gave Frank a bright smile, "On the bright side, you get to meet the Hulk!"
"Yeah, I'm not that excited anymore…"
Percy's phone rang. His ringtone, the song Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid, made Frank smile. "Crap, it's Silena. Leo's probably torturing her in his shop. I'll see you later man."
Tony's voice sounded from Natasha's earpiece. "Perseus, or Percy. Whatever. He likes coffee. That's one thing we've learned today."
Natasha snorted. "I have a feeling we learned a lot more than that. It's just not clear to us yet." She waited until Percy bolted out of the coffee shop and jumped onto his motorcycle. "I placed a tracking device on his bike. So we can follow him casually to wherever he's heading. We can find out who Silena is…and then maybe we should call it a day. I feel like we're infringing on his privacy more than finding anything out."
Clint gave her a pointed look. "Are you really having qualms about spying on him?"
Tony guffawed in her earpiece. "You do remember that you're a spy right?"
"Shut up assholes. You saw the way Thor acted around him. He treated this man with respect for a reason. I don't think getting on his bad side is a good idea…and if we're going to be working with him for a while…" Natasha stopped herself. She was starting to sound like Steve.
Percy maneuvered his way through the busy city streets until he reached Leo's shop. The sign read Athena and Archimedes. Calypso stood outside wearing grubby work clothes as she scrubbed the windows.
Right after the Giant War Hephaestus allowed his teenage son to start a commercial business. Out of all The Seven, excluding Annabeth, Leo was the entrepreneur. He worked small projects at first, but his inventions were starting to take the city by storm and, soon, large buyers were bound to start turning to Athena and Archimedes. When Annabeth wasn't working on Olympus she worked at Leo's shop. In the past year since the end of the Giant War she'd sold some pretty impressive building designs.
A few months ago, Percy and Leo were reliving memories from the Argo II (there may or may not have been underage drinking involved with this late night nostalgia). They both realized how much they missed the ship (Leo may or may not have broke down to tears as he remembered his precious, now deceased, ship). And with the encouragement of Annabeth, they started a charter/tour company. Leo built and designed the ships and Percy would take New York City residents and tourists along the coast. They were going to expand the company to the west coast, so Percy could work boat charters or tours whether he was needed at Camp Half Blood or Camp Jupiter.
Percy stopped his bike across the street. He then proceeded to run up and scare Calypso from behind. She screamed, flipped around and slapped him with her rag.
"Holy Hera! Could you not do that every time I see you Percy? You're going to give me a heart attack one day and I swear – "
"Uncle Percy! He's after me…" Silena ran out of the door and latched herself onto Percy's right leg.
Leo followed her out of the shop, screwdriver in hand, apparently intending to…
"What are you doing Leo?" Calypso asked, giving her boyfriend an incredulous look.
"Um. Nothing. She was…she started…I'm going back inside."
Silena detached herself from Percy's leg and ran back inside the shop shouting, "I'm gonna get my helmet."
Percy gave Calypso a brief, one sided hug before following his goddaughter inside shouting, "I have to look at some of Leo's stuff before we go Lena…"
He found Leo standing at his desk (his desk was as big as an eight-person dining table, but Percy didn't judge) "Percy, that is the last time I'm agreeing to watch Silena. You're her godfather. You get to watch her. I swear, she is worse than her mother…"
"What did she do this time?" Percy started to lean across the desk, eying a few blueprints, but Leo shoved him away.
"First off, stay at least two feet away from my desk at all times. Second, what didn't she do? She somehow got her hands on some scorpions and placed them all over my shop. And then, she's been doing this thing where she follows me around and mimics me. She copies everything I do just because she knows it gets on my nerves…"
"I always thought you'd be great with kids, but man.."
Leo shot his arm forward, screwdriver in hand, so Percy was staring cross eyed at the sharp blade of Leo's favorite tool. "I frickin' love children. Just not Clarisse's devil child."
"Well, she's an angel when she's with me so..." Leo looked like he was ready to explode. He really didn't like scorpions. "Anyways. Where are the blueprints?"
Chris and Clarisse got married during the Giant War, while Percy and Annabeth were in Tartarus. Clarisse was never one for sentimentality so she didn't think to wait until Percy and Annabeth were home. And, personally, Percy figured the Daughter of Ares thought there was something romantic about getting married during a war…
She had Silena shortly after. She was about three now and she looked like an Aphrodite version of her mother. Hence her name.
Percy was touched that Clarisse decided to name him and Annabeth Silena's godparents. Clarisse acted all exasperated when he asked her about it one day. She said, "I want her to have strong role models. And whether I like it or not Prissy, you're a warrior."
Natasha and Clint watched wide mouthed from across the street as Percy and a little girl wearing a blood-red helmet with boar tusks on it rode off towards the harbor.
"Is that legal?" Clint whispered. He didn't ask whether it was safe. It wasn't safe. A three year old didn't belong on a motorcycle in city traffic.
"I don't know but that kid is a natural. She's not even scared. But what's with her helmet?"
"Should we call the police?" Clint asked.