Chapter 1: Shield's Most Wanted
Percy collapsed in a small, dark alleyway, panting as he tried to catch his breath. At the entrance to the alley, the shadows of three hellhounds appeared, slowly padding towards him.
"Just your average Tuesday" Percy grunted, slowly staggering to his feet, bringing up Riptide to face the monsters. "Well, what are you dogs waiting for, an invitation?" Percy grinned. The lead hellhound charged, baring its fangs before swiftly being cut down by Percy's swing.
The other two started crawling forward, before one yelped, surprised by the bone-blade now protruding from its ribs, before disintegrating into golden dust like its fellow.
"Nice of you to finally show up Wise Girl!" Percy called while charging the final hound. "Was starting to think you didn't get my message!"
Annabeth watched unconcerned as Percy engaged the hellhound, shaking her head, and sheathed her drakon-blade sword. "It was kind of hard to miss. You were running for your life from a whole pack of these mutts. What happened to the others?"
"Piles of dust. Come on, you didn't think I couldn't handle them, did you? It takes more than a few dogs to take me down. I only called to let you know I'd be late." Percy grinned, then finally swung Riptide down on the hellhound's neck, sending it to join its fellows.
"A few dogs? I saw at least twenty! And you were nearly 2 hours late thank you very much" Annabeth glared at him.
"They attacked near the East River, the initial attack wasn't that difficult to handle. It was the mop-up and stragglers that caused the real problem, but these are the last of them." Percy wiped his brow and returned Riptide to his pocket. "So, what do we do now? I've filled my monster-filling quota for the day and my mom isn't expecting me for at least a few more hours. Care to join me for a swim?"
"So, no major injuries, broken bones, or life-threatening curses?" Annabeth questioned. She wasn't about to brush off an attack so easily.
"Nope, I'm still my normal annoying self with all body parts intact" Percy showed off each limb proudly, like a kindergartner showing off his first drawing. "Shall we?" he asked, offering her his arm.
Annabeth rolled her eyes. "Seaweed Brain," but happily looped her arm through his and they began walking off towards the river. The crisp fall air was refreshing, and she breathed in deeply. Moments like this were rare for the two demigods, and she savored each one that she got. Ever since…. Tartarus, they'd become nearly inseparable, and together, they could hold off any flashbacks that came. As they strolled off peacefully, she didn't have to worry about dracaena attacking, giants leaping out of the sewers, or Titans strolling up for a chat (although she did still worry about them, just not nearly as much). She had Percy, and that was what mattered. If they were together, everything would turn out alright.
It had been nearly a year since the end of the war with Gaea, and Percy and Annabeth were enjoying their last few weeks in New York before heading off to California for college in New Rome. Annabeth would be studying architecture (obviously) and Percy would be studying marine biology. They'd had a relatively quiet year, aside from the regular monster attacks, but those were a given. There hadn't been any more great prophecies, and the gods had left them alone for the most part aside from small favors that every demigod had come to expect.
Percy whooped and ran to the water, diving straight in with no hesitation. Annabeth laughed as she walked to the edge, watching to see where he'd come up. Percy grinned mischievously and summoned a wave to drag her in (he kept her dry of course). She squealed as she was pulled into his arms by the current and punched him on the shoulder.
"Percy! You know better than that!" she scolded as soon as he had formed an air bubble.
"What! You said you were going to swim!" He yelped rubbing his arm and giving her his puppy dog/baby seal eyes.
She rolled her eyes and continued. "What if someone had seen a giant wave grab me and pull me into the water, and not to mention we've been under for a while now."
Percy rolled his eyes as he replied. "I checked before I dove in, there's nobody within a hundred meters of this spot that could have seen. Honestly Annabeth you worry too much. Besides, I couldn't help it! I haven't done anything major with the ocean for a while now and using you as an outlet is just too much fun!"
His puppy/seal look finally won out and she just glared at him before muttering "what am I going to do with you Seaweed Brain" before pulling him into a kiss, to which he responded happily.
When they broke apart, Percy summoned a hippocampus and they went for a quick ride, while he was maintaining their nice air bubble.
While Percy had been correct about nobody on the beach paying attention, there had been a camera on one of the beachfront stores that had just barely picked up on his little stunt on the edge of its range.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury bent over his desk, his eyes wide as he tried to process what he was seeing. The video's quality wasn't great, the feed was choppy, black-and-white, and it was at the edge of the screen, but it was enough to confirm his suspicions.
S.H.I.E.L.D. had been keeping its eye on the mysterious Perseus Jackson for a few months now, ever since he had appeared after his 9-month disappearance when he was completely off the grid the year before. Now this video, captured the day before, had been seen. His file was already abnormally large for a teenager and was filled with mysterious accidents that nobody could explain.
He was present at the bombing on the St. Louis Arch, and not to mention surviving a fall from the top of it, as well as the mass blackout in Manhattan 3 years ago. He had been kidnapped, accused of kidnapping his mother, and his stepfather had mysteriously disappeared and was presumed dead.
SHIELD had been monitoring him as a potential threat, but now that this incident had been captured on video, it had been sent straight to Fury as it fell in the category of possible non-humans. Fury had been studying Perseus' file for an hour now, and repeatedly watching the video taken the afternoon before just to make sure the wave wasn't just a trick of the light.
"Just what secrets are you hiding Mr. Jackson?" he muttered to himself. He nodded his head, finally making his decision, and called in Agent Hill.
"Yes Director?" she asked as she walked into his office.
"I trust you've seen this?" Fury questioned, pushing Jackson's file at her.
She nodded quickly. "It was my recommendation that it be sent to you, sir."
"And how would you choose to deal with this issue?"
She considered it for a moment. "I would suggest having an agent tail him for a while. Perhaps Agent Jones, or perhaps Agent Redman? They've both been doing remarkably well lately."
"No," Fury shook his head slowly. "I agree with the tail, but something tells me this is going to be big. Put Romanoff on him, with Barton on possible backup. They've had it easy since the whole alien situation. Dismissed."
"Yes, sir." Agent Hill walked out of the office, her face expressionless, but confusion filling her. Romanoff and Barton! For a teenager? It wasn't her place to question the Director's decisions, but she was almost certain that Fury was going overboard. But she had her orders, so she sent alerts to both agents, informing them of their new mission and all the additional information, including Perseus Jackson's file and the new video.
Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) groaned when he saw the mission alert on his phone. He had been hanging around in the newly-christened Avengers Tower for about a week and had just began to hope that maybe SHIELD had chosen to give him some (well-deserved, in his mind) time off. After the Battle in New York, the world had been mostly quiet, and his missions had become few and far between as the world recovered from the event.
The Avengers had spent those quiet months bonding and training together, learning how to work together, turning their dysfunctional band of show-offs into a real team, though nobody had required their services just yet, and they were starting to get a little lazy. Clint patted his stomach, were a few pounds had been added thanks to the frequent shawarma meals.
Clint sighed and reluctantly opened the mission alert. He quickly studied the file, memorizing the details about this young Perseus Jackson, and glanced at the objectives. His mood lifted when he realized he was only backup for this one, for Agent… he busted up laughing.
Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) stormed into the common room where he was sprawled on the couch with scowl that would make any regular person flinch and back away.
"They're sending me, their top reconnaissance agent (Clint debated protesting before conceding the point) to spy on some eighteen-year-old KID!" she growled.
Better you than me, Clint thought, before turning to Natasha. "Now Nat I know you're upset, but at least it will probably be an easier mission. We wouldn't want another Budapest, now would we?" He joked,
Natasha narrowed her eyes. "You can say it's an easy mission, Clint. You don't have to stick to the kid like glue when he's been able to avoid SHIELD 9 months at time." Her voice slowly grew in volume until she was practically shouting.
"Who's been avoiding SHIELD? I want to ask him for advice" Tony Stark came sauntering into the room like he owned the place, which he technically did, thought Clint bitterly.
"Seriously though, I was listening in from the other room and this sounds fascinating. Mind if I take a hack?" Tony asked, before striding over to one of his high-tech computers and imputing commands quickly and efficiently.
"Tony, you know how much Fury hates it when you..." Steve began as he strode quickly into the room, but then trailed off as Perseus Jackson's face appeared on the wall in holographic form along with all his information.
"Honestly Steve, why do you think I do it?" Tony asked, in a duh tone. Then he too went silent as he started studying the information.
After a few minutes he broke the silence.
"Well this kids' certainly had an exciting childhood. Dumped class into a shark tank, blew up his school bus… I must say I am impressed." Tony said with slight amusement and a cocky grin on his face. "Although I doubt he actually has powers. This camera's quality is terrible, it was probably a glitch."
"I don't care if you're impressed Tony!" Natasha snapped. "I'm a spy not a glorified babysitter!"
"That's debatable," Clint said with a mischievous grin. "I mean they did send you to take care of Tony for a while."
"Hey!" Tony yelled while everyone else burst into laughter, and even Natasha chuckled a few times. "True, there's no way he's more trouble than the infamous Stark." Tony rolled his eyes and resigned himself to the teasing.
Oh, how wrong they were.