A/N: So, basically, this story came from my realization that Emma and Killian are basically Annabeth and Percy and I thought it was too good not to pursue. That, and my desire to re-read the Percy Jackson series and figure out what each OUAT character's godly parent would be. Let me know if you agree in a review!
On a side note, who's going to watch the new season of Once Upon a Time? I made the personal decision to stop watching since the majority of the original cast is gone (I'll be watching the pilot for JMo and Colin and that's it), but I'd love to know what you guys think once it airs!
One year ago
"Graham! Graham, wait!" Emma shouted, her fear almost overcome by the shock of watching her best (and only) friend run up ahead of her, partly because he was supposed to be crippled, but mostly because he had goat legs. "What is going on?"
"I'm so sorry, Emma. I thought we had more time!" Graham yelled over his shoulder. His eyes were wide with his own terror, and Emma was about to ask why when she heard the sound of someone - or something - breathing hard behind her. "Run!"
If we make it out of this alive, you have a lot of explaining to do, pal, Emma thought bitterly. She had always been pretty athletic, but she wasn't sure she'd be able to make it to the giant pine tree Graham had pointed out with a minotaur right behind her.
The Minotaur, if what she had briefly learned about Greek mythology in seventh grade was true.
Graham was effortlessly picking his way over the forest floor even as Emma struggled to simply not trip over a tree root. She started to breathe a sigh of relief, the pine tree only a few more yards away, when her foot caught on something and she fell face first onto the dirt.
It was just her luck, honestly. For as long as she could remember, Emma had had the worst luck imaginable. Every single time she had finally started to settle into a new foster home, had thought that maybe, just maybe, she could fit in, something had gone wrong. Whether it was a snake under her bed or strangers watching her through the windows of her temporary home, there was always something that made her dangerous to others, and she never lasted more than a few months before she was shipped to the next home. At only fifteen years old, Emma had lived up and down the entire East Coast, from Tallahassee to Boston. She had liked her last home a lot, actually, until her sweet foster mom turned out to be a harpy trying to kill her.
Emma winced, more from the memory of watching Ingrid's beautiful face turn into something demonic than the impact of her fall. She didn't have time to dwell on that right now - she could think about the travesty that was her life once she wasn't running for it anymore.
She could hear the Minotaur getting closer and forced herself to get up, Graham's words echoing in her head.
"Pasiphae's son can't see or hear - he uses smell to navigate. If we're lucky, we won't have to fight him."
Emma? Lucky? Not likely.
She must have blacked out for a few minutes, because Emma doesn't remember battling the Minotaur, or how she came to have one of his horns clutched in her hand. She watched as the monster turned to dust that vanished as soon as she processed what was happening, right before she fainted.
Emma faded in and out of consciousness, vaguely aware of a petite brunette with a pixie cut spoon-feeding her something that had the consistency of pudding but tasted nothing like she was used to. Emma tried to ask where she was, what happened, was Graham okay, but the other girl's kind green eyes were just as soothing as whatever Emma had eaten, and she soon found herself back asleep.
The next time she woke up, Emma was sitting on a deck chair outside, wrapped in blankets and completely dumbfounded as to where she was. Her throat burned, and she picked up the glass of what looked like apple juice on the side table and started drinking it without hesitation. She nearly choked when she took the first sip - there was ice in the cup, and the amber liquid was unclouded, but the drink tasted just like hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and cinnamon on top.
Emma downed the drink in record time, and when she set the glass back down on the table, she felt more energetic than the time she had stolen a case of Red Bull and chugged them all on a dare.
"You probably shouldn't have any more of that," Graham said. It was only then that Emma noticed him, leaning back against the porch railing and sounding way too amused for someone who had barely escaped death by Minotaur.
"What do you mean?" Emma asked, because it was like Graham had read her mind - she did want more, even if she didn't fully understand how the magical drink worked.
Graham didn't answer her question, his gaze going to the door and his posture straightening. "Chiron, sir. I'm happy to report that Emma seems to have made a full recovery."
It was a testament to how weird her life had been leading up to that point that Emma didn't gape at the half-man, half-horse that came out from the house. A centaur. He's a centaur, a voice reminded her.
"That's wonderful to hear," the centaur, Chiron, said, smiling at Emma. He placed a hand on the shoulder of the girl standing next to him, her curiosity obvious as she studied Emma. "This is Mary Margaret Blanchard. She helped nurse you back to health."
"Thanks," Emma said, attempting to smile. She had never been great at making friends, but she really was grateful for the other girl's help.
"Of course," Mary Margaret replied, her smile much more genuine. "Welcome to Camp Half-Blood. Who's your godly parent?"
A chuckle escaped from Emma before she could stop herself. "Who's my what?"
"Oh," Mary Margaret said, her eyes widening in surprise. She glanced back at Chiron apologetically. "I'm sorry, I've overstepped. The gods are supposed to claim all of their children by the time they reach thirteen, but it's not strange that you don't know. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."
"What's going on?" Emma asked, her smile slipping from her face and a frown replacing it. "Graham?"
"I'll explain everything," Chiron said, gesturing for Emma to follow him back into the house. "Just know that you are safe here."
A demigod. She, Emma Swan, was a demigod.
At least Cabin Eleven was nice. The other campers had looked at Emma suspiciously when she walked in, but then she had caught Will Scarlet trying to steal from her and told him off. The cabin leader, Robin Locksley, had laughed and commended her for her sharp eyes, and they'd all welcomed her with open arms after that.
Mary Margaret was really friendly, too, more than Emma was used to seeing, but she accepted her offer of a tour of the camp anyway.
"How are you liking Cabin Eleven?" Mary Margaret asked at the end of their tour, Emma mimicking her posture as they sat at the crest of a hill overlooking the camp.
"It's cool," Emma said, abandoning her attempt to sit with the grace Mary Margaret seemed to carry and hugging her knees to her chest instead. "Their godly parent is Hermes, right?"
"That's right. Messenger of the gods, and the god of travelers and thieves himself," Mary Margaret confirmed, her nose wrinkling in distaste.
"I take it you're not a big fan," Emma guessed, a smile tugging at her lips.
"I'm not a big fan of the pranks," Mary Margaret said. "Their cabin is notorious for playing jokes on everyone else."
Okay, so Mary Margaret was nice, but maybe she wasn't fun.
"Who's your godly parent, if you don't mind me asking?"
Mary Margaret smiled. "I don't mind at all. I'm a daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom and war."
Emma raised her eyebrows at the word war. "Do you see a lot of war around here?"
Mary Margaret's eyes shifted away, back to the camp, as she shrugged. "Not in recent years, but demigods are always caught up in their parents' affairs, and the gods can never seem to agree for too long."
"Oh...uh, how long have you been at this camp?" Emma asked, suddenly feeling awkward and trying to switch subjects.
"Gosh, how many years has it been? My father passed away when I was seven years old, and I came here with a couple of friends I met trying to escape monsters...I guess this is my eighth year," Mary Margaret said, her hand going up to play with the bead necklace around her throat.
"I'm sorry about your dad."
"That's okay, Emma," Mary Margaret said, her smile back in place. "I've been blessed with a lot of love since."
"Are you sure you're not one of Aphrodite's kids?" Emma teased, irrationally proud of herself when she managed to make Mary Margaret laugh.
"Who else did you come with, did you say? Are they here?" Emma had heard from Graham that once campers reached a certain age, they tended to stop coming to Camp Half-Blood, choosing instead to try and fit into the mortal world. If Mary Margaret had come to the camp eight years ago, it was possible that her friends had chosen to move on.
"One of them, Regina, is the counselor for the Hecate cabin, over there," Mary Margaret said, pointing to one of the twenty cabins dedicated to each Greek god or goddess. Emma squinted to try and decipher which one the brunette was pointing to, exactly, but her far-sighted vision had never been great. "Regina and I have been at Camp Half-Blood the longest out of all the campers."
"What about the rest of your group?"
Mary Margaret stilled, her green eyes growing misty as she stubbornly continued to stare at the camp. "Our other friend...he, uh, he sacrificed himself to make sure we could get across the property line. He's actually the pine tree that protects the camp."
"He is the pine tree?" Emma repeated incredulously. She had heard a lot of ridiculous things since her fight with the Minotaur, sure, but a boy becoming a pine tree took the cake.
"He must have said a prayer after the monster struck the final blow, because the gods listen to all of their children, and interfere if they can, but there was only so much his father could do. He was preserved as a tree to help protect other demigods, and it was his father's way of honoring him," Mary Margaret explained, her tone growing wistful and her smile sad.
Emma wasn't an overly affectionate person, but knowing the cheery Mary Margaret had suffered her own personal loss had given Emma a new respect for the daughter of Athena, and she pulled her into a hug.
"Sounds like he was a really great guy," Emma offered.
"The best," Mary Margaret agreed, her words muffled against Emma's shoulder.
Emma had always tried her best to go unnoticed. In foster homes, some of the older kids would pick on the younger ones, and even being invisible was better than being picked on. It had worked out in her favor when she had turned to stealing, before Graham had convinced her to change her ways and choose a different path (cheesy, but that was Graham for you). Emma was used to being invisible. She liked being invisible.
So when almost one hundred pairs of eyes focused on her during dinner, Emma was, simply put, mortified. It wasn't until Mary Margaret waved her hand to get her attention and pointed above her head that Emma looked up.
A lightning bolt. Zeus, king of the gods, had claimed her as his.
There was an uproar as all of the campers turned to talk to each other. She overheard the words big three and special and promise thrown around a lot, and she desperately wanted someone to explain what was happening. Why was it such a big deal? Emma knew that technically, she was supposed to have been claimed when she was thirteen, but surely other demigods had their parentage revealed later in life. She couldn't be the only one.
Turns out, it wasn't her age that made her such a hot topic.
"Because their children are always so powerful, your father and his brothers, the god of the sea and the god of the Underworld, made a pact that they wouldn't father any more demigods," Mary Margaret explained after she had removed Emma from prying eyes.
Emma was sitting on Mary Margaret's bed in Cabin Six, the one designated for the children of Athena, holding a mug of steaming hot chocolate in her hands despite the fact that it was June.
"Children of the Big Three, demigods like you, are very rare. You're special, Emma."
"If I'm so special, why did he wait so long to claim me?"
Mary Margaret shrugged, apparently unfazed by Emma's bitter tone, although she placed a hand on the blonde's knee. "Who knows why the gods do anything? It could have been for your safety. Once he claimed you, there would have been no going back. Every demigod and monster in the area would have known who you are, and they'd have gone after you just because you're a daughter of Zeus."
Emma felt a shudder ripple through her. "This is insane. I've gone from having no parents to having a god as my father, and the god of the sky at that, all in one day!"
"I know it's a lot to process, Emma, and Chiron's told me that his door is always open to you, but I want you to know that I'm here for you too. You don't have to go through all of this alone," Mary Margaret promised, the sincerity in her voice ringing true.
Emma realized that her internal lie detector had not gone off once since she arrived at Camp Half-Blood, and the knowledge of that alone was enough to make her trust Mary Margaret.
Emma was used to being alone, but that didn't mean she had to enjoy the feeling. Cabin One, Zeus's cabin, was intimidating, to say the least. The largest of all the cabins, it was well-suited for the king of the gods, but for just Emma, it was far too much.
The interior wasn't much better. Mary Margaret had stayed true to her word and made sure there would be a bed waiting for Emma when she got there, but other than that and a small trunk, there was no furniture in the cabin.
There was a neatly folded orange t-shirt laying on top of the trunk, as well as a couple pairs of shorts and a pair of jeans that were obviously well-loved but still in good condition. They looked roughly Emma's size, and when she held up one of the pairs of shorts, a necklace fell out, along with a note.
I know it may not seem like it yet, but I hope one day, you can call Camp Half-Blood your home. We might have just met, but I feel as though I've known you for years. If you ever need anything, you know where to find me.
P.S. I know you don't have any beads of your own, yet, so you can borrow one of mine.
P.P.S. I hope the jeans fit!
Emma rolled the bead in her fingers carefully. There was a pine tree lovingly etched onto the small surface, its paint slightly faded, and Emma remembered the story Mary Margaret had told her, about her friend who sacrificed himself so that she could get to safety. Emma shut her eyes tight and took a deep breath before putting the necklace on.
Zeus, Dad, whatever it is I should call you...send me a sign to let me know you're watching over me. If you're watching over me.
Emma waited, but of course nothing happened. She changed into the orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt and Mary Margaret's donated khaki shorts and slipped under the covers of her bed. As she was drifting off to sleep, there was the strangely comforting sound of thunder rumbling overhead, and Emma smiled.
Thanks for listening.
A/N: This chapter is most likely going to be a lot shorter than the rest because I just wanted to lay the foundation for the story! For my readers who have read Percy Jackson, I've recycled a lot of Rick's material and simply changed bits to better suit my story, but I've tried to keep most of the facts. I even tried to adopt his writing style and tone while staying true to my own. For those of you who haven't read PJ, hopefully this chapter was decent enough at laying the groundwork that you won't be too confused later.
I'm really excited about this, and I hope you guys are too!
As always, review?