Percy found himself sitting on the sandy beach, his legs tucked into his arms of Montauk, simply staring out into the horizon of the sea.
He often found himself here, maybe not in this exact spot but somewhere near it. Usually, by day's end he could almost always be found sitting simply staring into the horizon, be it hostile weather or not it didn't matter.
To him, there was a certain calmness, a sereneness that he couldn't find anywhere else. It was like a focal point where he could just…do nothing. None of the world bothered him here at least as much as he could tell. Here it was just him, the sand, and the crashing of waves against the shore.
He wanted to go into the ocean. It called to him like a Siren would. It sang with a softness of silk that couldn't be replicated, the humble waves to the dark and powerful storms in the horizon, like an orchestra of peacefulness that could turn deadly at the drop of the hat.
Percy had sat there the entire next day when he had found the spot, or rather told of it. A nearby tree nymph had been ecstatic that she was playing host to the demigod that had saved them all and had quickly informed him of this spot where everything seemed to converge.
He investigated after and the next day he had spent sitting there, taking the image and sounds in.
The Son of Poseidon resisted the urge to enter his father's domain. It was the fear that if he entered he would never leave that he crushed the urge with such ferocity that he hardly thought of it anymore. But it was times like these where Nature itself wanted and pleaded withhim to join her hollow embrace.
Gaea plagued him even in death and he wanted nothing more than to be rid of her.
It wasn't far maybe a couple of blocks inwards from the beach itself. The contractors and real estate agency had, at first, told him that the land brought was susceptible to storms and that it would more likely be more of a burden financially than it was worth.
Stupid mortal men, he had politely declined their services afterwards.
Hephaestus had quickly caught wind of him building a house and while not possessing the caliber of his sister, he could construct a house that would leave anyone envious minus the divine pantheon who would much prefer the efforts of Athena over his.
The less said about the Wisdom goddess the better.
After securing the permission of the local nymphs and naiads who were living in the area, Percy, the God of Forges, and a dozen Cyclops and twice as many automatons, had quickly constructed a small villa that, after completion had received dozens of offers from millionaires to purchase.
All were rebuffed and a ward of concealment was placed around the property. It wouldn't conceal the home from view but rather turn any prospective real estate agents away. It was placed by Hecate, who suspiciously agreed to the request a little too quickly. Percy didn't mind.
Percy had spent a week gathering the courage to tell his mom.
She called it Mother's Intuition when she finally demanded to know what he wanted. She proceeded to hand a previously hidden juice sippy cup to Estelle before the little girl could begin babbling for one.
Percy immediately came out with what he wanted. "I want you to move out of here."
That caught her off-guard and Percy capitalized on it. "New York is a magnet for chaos. If you move I won't worry as much."
The blitz tactic seemed to work as she was in-capable of retorting with a sufficient excuse. With Paul on tenure at the University and her hobby/job of being an author, there was no reason to not move. Paul was all for the idea and actually wanted to move but had been holding off since the accident had supposedly took a decent chunk of their funds.
"It'll take a while to find a decent apartment."
Percy was quick to answer with a dark blue folder that was in his room. It had all the information on the house, property, surrounding area and schools for Estelle inside. Even pictures.
He would be lying if he said he made that.
Hecate had conjured it for him the moment he spoke about having Sally, Paul and Estelle move here.
He would continue to be grateful to the goddess for all the help she has provided for him thus far.
The duo went through it that night and few days were spent packing the apartment.
The whole move was a different story.
Fury didn't take too kindly to having been given a polite No. Nor did he like the idea of Percy doing things without him knowing.
As a result the moving company that arrived contained obvious embedded agents, if the blonde haired supervisor was any indication. She looked like she had never lifted a recliner in her life much less a gun. Though looks were deceiving and in that Percy had no doubt that had he been a normal person, she would've given him a fair fight.
"Hi, I'm Kate!" She had expressed with an outstretched hand and a smile upon arriving. Percy's senses were dialed already and she set them off.
As the movers began moving with Paul and Sally, carrying Estelle, directing, Percy took the supposed Kate aside and told her with poisonous and hollow green eyes and an equally poisonous and hollow smile to let Fury know that if he tried anything that he would make him regret it.
She gulped and feigned a smile and walked away. Though she didn't leave as that would've given her completely away, she did keep her distance as did a few other of the movers who Percy was watching like a bird of prey for any misstep that could be construed as an attack on his charges.
When all was said and done, they left without a fuss.
Sally was initially concerned for him going to such length to ensure their safety but he endured it. It was a small price to pay and one he would gladly and with no hesitation pay for the rest of his life if he had to.
Still, it wasn't without its flaws. For one, Paul had to ditch his Prius since the amount of electronics in the heavily modern car went haywire when it crossed the threshold of the property. Though it gave Sally, the excuse to invest into a durable albeit old minivan.
Another that set Percy on edge was if the house was a beacon to monsters. He stayed up many a night simply patrolling the outskirts of the property, it didn't have the defenses of Camp Half-Blood or New Rome. He didn't mind but he knew it upset it his mother. Percy found he was needing less and less sleep to operate efficiently.
Percy was reassured, by the nymphs that dwelled there of all sources, that if it came down to it they would do all in their power to protect Estelle. They couldn't do much in regards to Sally or Paul due to Ancient Laws.
Hopefully the close proximity to camp was enough to deter any of the small monster packs and, should the Fates allow it, the major monsters would also steer clear.
He may have been out of their reach but it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for them to attack his family. Quite the contrary, it was probably in their textbooks on how to cause as much grief for demigods, they already tried it once when they sicced the Minotaur on them when he was twelve.
His thoughts snapped back to the present.
It was pitch black out, with a crescent moon shining in full view clearly reflecting off the calmness of the still ocean.
Percy blinked. It was almost midnight, he guessed. He had sat out there for eight hours easily.
"This is getting old." A male voice said from beside him.
He didn't react as he should have from the presence. Instead of drawing a kukri from the small of his back, his shoulders slumped in tiredness.
"Apollo." Percy made no move to get up.
"Mind if I join you?" The Sun God asked hesitantly. There wasn't the usual brightness his personality usually exuded.
Percy assumed he would just join him regardless of what he said so… the son of Poseidon said nothing.
After a moment, though it seemed that the Olympian was genuinely asking for permission to sit beside him. With a hesitant nod, the Sun God sat a good meter away from him. "Coke?" The man held up a six pack.
Percy shook his head in the negative.
Apollo cracked open one of them and downed it in one go. "Ah that hit the spot."
"Why are you here?" Percy tiredly asked. It was becoming annoying on how often the Olympians tended to drop in on him nowadays. Granted, Hephaestus honestly claimed boredom and having nothing better to do. Though it seemed that Zeus was using the Twins as his personal messengers.
The last time Apollo showed up was a year ago with him and his sister, Hestia and Hades having drinks.
Artemis was almost like clockwork in her visits, arriving every month during the full moon. Though she didn't speak much only sitting beside him as he watched the glittering night sky or calm ocean. Hestia on the other hand, arrived only underneath the new moon. Hades checked up on him, the least perhaps only once or twice if Percy remembered correctly.
It was odd though, of the four Olympians, Hades showed far more concern even though he concealed behind a mask of civility and professionalism. The God of the Underworld always asked questions that, scattered seemed unrelated and curiosity but the more Percy thought about it they didn't seem so random, rather Hades was trying to find pieces to a puzzle that was a non-existent problem.
Percy didn't understand any of it.
Why couldn't they just leave him alone?
Apollo recognized the absent look on Percy's face. He'd seen it when they were at the bar.
When he lied to the God of Truth.
"I'm here to-"
"To make sure Zeus' attack dog is still alive?" Percy interrupted with a slightly venomous but mostly tired tone.
Apollo immediately denied the statement. Though the question afterwards wouldn't endear him further to the demigod. "He does have a request."
While the King of the Gods had grown calmer since the end of the war and consequently less paranoid, Zeus was still, as his title clearly said, King of the Gods. It was a polite way of ordering someone and a formality that, in all likelihood, would be done away with after this day when Apollo would now refuse to play messenger for his father.
"What does he need from me?" Haven't I done enough? The rhetorical question went unsaid as Percy slumped his head into his knees. The frustration and anger was palpable and almost overwhelming from the demigod.
Apollo would have to give counsel to Hera and Poseidon, perhaps they could reign in Zeus' reliance on the Son of Poseidon. As the God of Truth, he would be going against his very essence if he were to say that they weren't pushing his loyalty to the edge.
And if Percy broke his Fatal Flaw, it was just that. Fatal.
Though notifying Poseidon may be out of the realm of possibility right now. He had recently closed off Atlantis and severed contact with Olympus stating that business was being conducted in the oceans that needed his complete attention and he wouldn't be able to leave nor be present for the next Council meetings.
He neglected to mention what exactly was going on.
Hera would have to be the one that would have to reign Zeus in and Apollo dreaded that conversation. For even with his scrying abilities, he was unable to know what was going to happen.
"There is a slight mishap. Some type of what we believe to be a Nordic artifact is playing games with Zeus' realms. Since you are the most experienced we have with this culture, he wants you to investigate and neutralize it." There was a small silence. When Apollo determined that the demigod wasn't going to respond, he continued. "We have some information. Not a whole lot. It appears to be centered in England. Other than that we don't know much."
"Reservations were placed in a hotel." Percy stood up as Apollo was speaking. "They are rather nice." Apollo explained as he stood up as well. "Look, Perseus." The Son of Poseidon stopped. "More than likely this isn't anything. See this as a vacation. Please."
There was a pause in which Apollo recognized that same thousand yard stare. That same lifeless gaze that seemed all too common when interacting with the Hero of Olympus.
It was different from the bloodthirsty and feral demigod that was found standing over a pile of silver and golden ash or the one fighting through the streets of New York with no remorse nor care for his own life.
Apollo was determined to get to the bottom of what was going on.
Perseus shook his head and with a tired gaze met the Sun God's own before the Son of Poseidon dissolved into a cloud of mist on an unseen wind.
"A Warrior seeks to act rather than talk."
Blood / Water by grandson
Monster by Imagine Dragons
Heart of Courage by Thomas Bergersen
Not sure how I feel about this chapter. It was written a couple times and took it many directions and ended differently many times. I am not entirely satisfied with this but it was as close as I could get it to the way I wanted it. I want to hear your thoughts on this specific chapter because of this.
Other than that I will attempt to get the next chapter out as soon as possible possibly by the 3rd of the September.