Disclaimer: I don't own anything except Ana's personality. All of it belongs to the great genius Rick Riordan.
The infant was tiny. In fact, Poseidon was sure that he had never seen such a tiny babe, mortal or otherwise, in his entire existence.
The child stirred, sensing the sea within him. He quickly picked her up as she opened her eyes, already green. All demigods were born with their permanent eye colour. She fussed for a moment before settling, blinking her long black lashes at him.
"My, my," he murmured, bouncing her a bit. "You're certainly going to be quite that heartbreaker when you grow up. Not that anyone could ever be worthy of my daughter." The baby cooed in response, a bubble of spit on her lips. Poseidon chuckled, feeling pride well up inside at his youngest child.
It had been a risk, coming here to see his month-old child, but one he couldn't resist.
Her head was covered in thin, dark brown hair, the same shade as her mother's. Like most of his children she mostly seemed to favour him. Her skin was a natural tan, her eyes sea green and he could see hints of his Greek features under the chubby cheeks of all human infants.
She reached up an uncoordinated fist to whack his chest, a string of meaningless sounds coming from her mouth. Most importantly, her eyes were unguarded and innocent.
It was probable that the next time he looked into her eyes they would be guarded and distant. This was likely going to be the only memory he had of her without any resentment or coldness. His children had never been able to hide their bitterness at their suffering. Generally they didn't even bother trying to. It was the reason he always snuck in to see them as infants. So he had one memory of them as his children, not strangers treating him with cold respect, bitterness lurking in their eyes at the dark fates he had given them by giving them life.
He pushed away the painful thought of his future, where his youngest child would look at him with barely hidden contempt and instead focused on smiling at the infant. "Now then," he murmured to her, pulling her close as he paced around the room. "I am your father and you, my child, have a very special fate ahead of you."
"The hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap," the Oracle's voice echoed in his mind and he grimaced. The baby slapped his chest with her hand, as if asking why he had suddenly gone silent. He shook his head quickly, smiling at her.
"You don't need to worry about the prophecy just yet," he assured her. "There's still time. And it may not even be you. My brother has a daughter who's several years older than you. It might be her." He paused for a moment, the baby girl blinking curiously at him.
"Either way," he said. "You have a heavy destiny on your shoulders. You're my first mortal daughter you know," he added. She blinked and stuck her fist in her mouth. "I've had immortal ones, but all my demigod children have been sons. I hope you have your mother's personality. It was her kindness that attracted me to her first, you know."
"I thought it was the way my eyes change shades," Sally spoke up from the doorway. He turned, mildly surprised that she had managed to sneak up on him.
Despite the dark shadows under her eyes and the weight left over from her pregnancy, Sally Jackson was still one of the most beautiful mortals he'd ever laid eyes on. Her brunette hair was loose around her shoulders, she was dressed in a grey top and a pair of navy shorts to sleep and her eyes were currently a dark blue colour.
"I thought you weren't allowed to see her," his former lover finally said, a wary look in her eyes. "That there were rules and if people learned about her they would," she faltered and bit her lip. She looked young and he felt a brief pang of regret at the stress he had put the gentle nineteen-year-old under by coming into her life.
"I wanted to see her just the once," he explained and Sally nodded.
"You're always welcome anyway," she told him gently. "You're her father after all." Poseidon smiled briefly feeling a pang in his heart at her kind words.
Yes, while he was her father, should Sally ever marry, and with her beautiful looks that matched her loving heart, why wouldn't she? That man would become his daughter's father-figure. If she didn't gain a stepfather, then Chiron would probably take that position. That was how it always happened. And eventually she wouldn't want him around anyway, eventually his daughter would be distressed at his presence, considering it a negative instead of positive thing.
"What did you call her?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. "I assume you didn't name her Perseus Dylan?"
Sally smiled slightly at him, shaking her head. "No of course not," she replied, sounding amused. "But I still wanted to name her after a hero with a good ending. I named her Anaea Marisa. Anaea was an Amazon Queen who did a lot of expanding of their territory and she seems to have died peacefully. Marisa means 'of the sea'."
"A fine, strong name," Poseidon agreed. "Ana for short, is it?"
Sally nodded and they fell silent for a moment, Ana's soft breathing the only sound.
"My offer stands," Poseidon told her and Sally huffed in frustration turning slightly away.
"And my answer hasn't changed," she answered tensely. "I will not go to your realm, where your wife and legitimate children are, and raise my daughter away from her people."
Poseidon closed his eyes. Sally's spirit had made him fall in love with her but her stubbornness was still frustrating to him. "I bought the cabin for you," he announced curtly. Sally spun back to face him, grabbing the doorframe to keep from overbalancing.
"You what?" She demanded sharply. "I told you I don't want your charity-" Ana cut her off with a cry of distress at her mother's raised voice. Sally moved to take her but Poseidon shook his head, pulling the infant closer to his chest and rocking her gently.
"Don't think of it as charity," he requested. "Just think of it as me contributing to my daughter's upbringing. Just promise to raise her there. Or at least to bring her for visits as much as possible. It'll be easier for me to see her when she's close to the sea."
Sally sighed, looking away for a moment before nodding to him. "Alright," she agreed.
Poseidon nodded. He looked down at Ana for another long moment, memorizing her delicate features before handing her off to Sally. The nineteen-year-old pulled the baby close to her chest, biting her lip.
"Goodbye Poseidon," she said, her blue eyes sad. "I promise I'll protect her."
Poseidon gave a weak smile. "I know you will," he answered. He moved in and kissed her gently for a long moment before giving Ana a peck on the head and pulling away. Sally turned her back, pressing Ana's face into her chest as Poseidon glowed and disappeared.
As soon as he left, Ana started to wail. Sally felt a bit like joining her.