A/N: This fic is still in Percy's POV, but I just want to tell you readers that the style is not going to be like Rick's. I've got my own style and will use it. Also, there are some spoilers for the second book, so please don't read this if you don't want to know the ending to it. With that said, the way I portray Thalia's personality in this fic is just my own thoughts. I don't know her personality, so I just had to make one up. But its always fun starting a new fan fic! This is my first time writing a Percy Jackson fan fic, and I hope it turns out as well as I plan it to. Please give a review! Thanks!

Beautiful Secret

By: Pixiegirl13

Chapter 1: Lava Run

My lungs felt like withering balloons, and my arms and legs were ready to fall off my body. Smoke from the nearby lava pit slowly rising below me billowed up into my face with each passing breeze, making me want to cough out my lungs. Every rock I used to pull myself up higher with threatened to burn my skin off. Heat overwhelmed my body, making fat sweat drops on my forehead and smothering the rest of me in the bad odious liquid. I desperately wanted to stop, but the lava was just too close and I needed to reach the top before the earthquakes began.

I had volunteered to try out the new rock wall because…?

Well, it seemed like fun yesterday from a distance. There was nothing else to do at camp that week, so I signed up to be one of the first ones to try it out. Now I was running my lungs out so I wouldn't drown, or in this case disintegrate, in a lake of lava! Big mistake on my part. Too bad the kid from Poseidon couldn't come with brains.

I was pretty close to the top, only a few large rocks to go, when I heard a scream from close below. Before I could let my mind protest, I jumped down a few rocks to help whoever was in need. Sure enough, I saw two hands hanging onto the side of a rock. The person was ready to slip and fall into lava! Deaths happened at camp Half-Blood, but I didn't exactly realize one could happen a year I was there.

Quickly, I launched myself forward and grabbed the person's wrists before they slipped off the edge of the boulder. With a grunt, I managed to pull the person up till she was standing next to me. We both put our hands on our knees and panted from the physical activity and the scare.

I waited for the thank you, and when it didn't come, I said boldly, "You're welcome."

"I wasn't in need of help, Percy," she snapped back.

We both looked at each other with glares, and mine sharpened when I saw who she was. It was Emerald Runner from Aphrodite cabin. Goody.

"Why are you here?" I asked her with little politeness in my voice. I was grouchy from being stupid and taking up the challenge of climbing a mountain side with raising lava pit trying to fry me, and the fact that I had just saved one of the most annoying girls at camp Half-Blood.

Last year I'm ashamed to say I had one of the biggest crushes on this girl. She had wavy long dark brown hair that was always perfect in whatever style she put it in everyday. She was tall, thin, and had some of the best curves. I'd never seen a girl so breathtaking. But it were her piercing emerald green eyes that could make any man fall over dead from a heart attack no matter what age they were. They held all the power.

You're probably wondering why I was acting like such a jerk to her now. It was the last week of camp last year when she got real mean and fierce, even to her own cabin members. First I was too love struck to notice.

I finally came to my senses when I saw her get into a fight with a cabin member of hers at dinner time. She splashed milk all over one of her sisters then stood back with one of the most impious looks in her eyes. She actually wanted the other girl to fight back! But the girl only broke down in tears and screamed her anger of getting her makeup spoiled at Emerald before running off to the bathroom, like any normal Aphrodite girl or guy would do. Emerald was very much like her mother, but also displayed characteristics that were nothing like her siblings, who were starting to shun her. She had brought it upon herself.

Emerald had her sweat laden long hair in a ponytail that blew gracefully in the wind. Her bright orange camp Half-Blood T-shirt was tied with a rubber band in the back to keep it up to show her slim midriff. She was still extremely hott, but I didn't fall for her like last year. My mind had already summed her personality up and had decided to spit it back out.

The girl looked at me like I was the scum of the earth, like every other Aphrodite kid did most of the time. They didn't care much about anything except for their looks, themselves, and their brothers and sisters. She didn't care that I had just saved her life. That part of her was predictable from any kid Aphrodite had birthed.

"I wanted to try out the mountain," she scoffed back at me before turning sharply with her head held high. I hoped she didn't choke in her pride…oh, wait, I did. She easily pulled herself up to another level of boulders. I didn't know any Aphrodite girl could be that strong. Usually they all sat out for every physical activity.

I followed after her after throwing a glance over my shoulder to see how much the lava had risen. We didn't have much time. Only the bell at the top of the mountain would stop the lava. I kind of wished there was a satyr around. They could go up any of these mountains in the matter of minutes. Sadly, they were not allowed to go try it till the demigods were done. The closest people to that bell were Emerald and me.

"Where are all the others who signed up for this?" I asked out loud, not really expecting an answer from the girl.

"They quit," she answered in that offensive tone she always had to her voice.

My eyebrows rose in surprise. It wasn't like some of the kids in the camp to give up like that. All demigods, except for ones from Aphrodite cabin, could usually endure. It also shocked me to see that from the group of people, Emerald had been the only one to stick with it. She didn't seem like the type.

"Don't say it, Percy," she growled severely down at me from where she was scaling a vertical cliff face. Somehow she had seen my skepticism and had demanded for it not to be vocalized. I had a hard time obeying her. A sarcastic remark about her and her type was sitting right on the tip of my tongue. I had to set my jaw and force myself to remain quiet.

For a minute or two we scaled the wall with the lava at our heels. I reached the top of the rock face we had been climbing and looked up to see Emerald holding out a hand. Without a word I grabbed it and was once again amazed by her strength as she hoisted me up. We continued the treacherous trek upward in silence for the next five minutes.

We arrived at the top of the mountain with sweat just dripping off our bodies. We were gasping for air and ready to collapse. A coma seemed nice at this moment. We had never worked our bodies for that long period of time before.

Emerald went over to the bell and ranged it with somewhat of a satisfied smile creeping to her lips. I was seeing a different side of her. No one would ever picture Aphrodite or one of her kids as being a strong warrior, but when I saw Emerald ring that bell, I saw just that. For once, I saw true beauty in her.

"You can stop drooling now," she grumbled suddenly. I hadn't noticed I had been staring. I would have blushed if my cheeks weren't already flushed from the strenuous hike up the mountain. She leaned over the edge of the mountain for a glance at the lava. She saw it was going down, so she sat on a hot, sun bathed rock and waited for it to fully go down.

I had nothing to do too, so I joined her. We put our feet out over the edge and stared out over the camp. You could see everything from where we were. The archers were expertly firing arrows rapidly at bull's eyes. The strawberry fields were ripe and on the verge of singing along to a tune a satyr was playing on a reed pipe. A volleyball game was being played by some Ares cabin kids. They fiercely whacked the ball back and forth with strong movements. Some kids were just hanging around, waiting for dinner that was soon to come.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" Emerald said suddenly. Her tone was different than it was before. Instead of it being all snappy, it was quiet and serene. "Sometimes I only come to camp just to see it," she said with a faint smile. It was the first time I actually saw her express that emotion.

"Yeah," I agreed with a heavy sigh. I was completely worn out but didn't want to show it in front of her. I really needed a shower and hoped my body odor wasn't too strong. I guessed it wasn't because Emerald was talking to me. She didn't have to worry about her smell. All Aphrodite kids came with their own perpetual perfume-like scent. It was guaranteed to last forever.

"My siblings just don't see the radiance in the land sometimes," she said sadly. "They would have never have done what I just did."

I nodded enthusiastically in complete agreement. "I didn't know they could even climb something," I said before the words could register in my head. I winced as she looked over at me with her hard green eyes that seemed to bore right into me. "You guys kind of have a reputation," I said to defend myself.

She sighed in annoyance and turned her eyes back where she had been staring. "I hate stereotypes," she said to me with disgust in her voice. "Its like they put you in this little confiding box. And when you do something outside the box it makes you look bad to everyone. You're lucky, Percy, you don't have a stereotype because you don't have any siblings with you this year. You're just…you."

I looked at her with astonishment on my face. I was out of words. How could anyone think I was lucky? Just two or three years ago I had been thrown into a whirlwind when I found out my dad was Poseidon. I'd been forced to trek to the Underworld to save my butt from Zeus because he claimed I had his precious lightning bolt. To top it off, I had a prophecy saying that I might be the one to bring down the rule of the Olympians. I wouldn't consider myself lucky.

"I believe you're a bit disillusioned about me," I said with a bitter chuckle. "Lucky is definitely not the word to describe me."

She glanced back at me, and a smile washed over her face. Man, it was beautiful! "I was just saying stereotypically you don't have a label right now," she said. "Besides that, you have the crappiest luck."

"Oh, now I'm crappy?" I asked, trying to look serious but blew it with a wry grin.

Before she could say anything, the loud blast of a conch shell pierced the air. I looked up and saw the whole camp come to life. It was dinner time. Every kid was putting down whatever they were doing and rushing off to the large outdoor pavilion sitting on a hill overlooking the sea. A dozen or so picnic tables were placed there, one table for each cabin.

Emerald jumped down to another level of rocks without a word. Our conversation was over. I was almost sad that we couldn't talk more. She was beginning to gain some of my respect. But she didn't want to talk anymore, that was clear, so we both quickly went down the mountain without sharing a single word. It was much easier to get down the mountain than go up it.

I tried connecting one last time with the girl once we stood at the mountain's base. I jumped down to the grassy field next to her and lightly pushed her to the side and shouted, "Beat you there!"

Emerald shot me a look of daggers as she watched me run ahead of her, but she quickly got over herself and started to run after me. I had made a mistake challenging her like this. She was all hard core as she sprinted easily up next to me. Before I knew what she was doing, she shoved me to the side. I tumbled over with a yell of surprise and landed on my butt. I heard her ringing laugh as she left me in her dust.

"Hey!" I yelled angrily at her. I wasn't too happy to get my butt royally kicked by a girl…from the Aphrodite cabin. I would never hear the end of it if I had let her win, so I forced my weakened body up and to sprint after her, which wasn't as easy as it seemed. She had long legs and a big lead. It took all the last of my strength to catch up.

We arrived at the eating pavilion in a tie. By the time we got there, I could tell that she wanted to collapse like myself. I mentally made a note to myself to think before running across a field after spending a half an hour climbing a mountain. We got a few stares from different tables as the kids sitting there noticed us both coming late together. We ignored them as we walked closer as nonchalantly as we most possibly could.

Chiron galloped up and stopped in front of us suddenly. I could see a hint of confusion sweep across his features as he took both of us in. The camp director knew who I liked to hang out with, and Emerald was someone he knew I would avoid contact with. But just as quickly as the unsure expression had come, it was gone again, and he smiled warmly at us.

"How was the new mountain, guys?" the centaur asked. "I heard it was only you two who kept with it."

"It was easy," Emerald said with a casual shrug. I looked over to her with eyebrows raised in surprise. She and I knew that the new rock wall was extremely difficult. I couldn't understand why she was lying. She nudged me with an elbow. I could see a teasing smile come to her bright eyes.

Without knowing exactly what I was doing, I went along with her. I put on a pretend smile and said with a nod, "You should have made it harder, Chiron." Jeez, smiling hurt more than lying. I was definitely worn out.

Emerald stifled a giggle and said, "It was a blast!"

"Yeah, it was epic!" I said enthusiastically. We both tried our best to keep from busting out with laughs when Chiron gave us a deeply perplexed look as he looked back and forth between us. I'd never seen him so messed up before. It was truly hilarious.

"Are…are you guys joking with me?" he asked. Our silent smiles gave it all away. He frowned in annoyance at himself for buying into the joke. "Funny," he said with a sigh. "Go ahead and eat. You both are probably starving by now."

"You have no idea!" I said while running past him.

"Epic?" Emerald asked me with a laugh as we neared the mess hall.

"It sounded better in my head," I answered with a weak smile.

Suddenly the girl stopped and forced me to do like her as she grabbed my arm and pulled me back to her side. I gave a yelp of surprise but quickly steadied myself. A pit formed in my stomach when I saw that she was smirking down at me like she had just done something fabulous at my expense. I wasn't too far off.

"I paid the other campers on the mountain to quit so it would just be me and you on the mountain," she said while flipping her hair back behind her shoulder. "You proved to be a cool person, so I've chosen you out of all the campers to have the privilege to train me in sword fighting. Meet me tomorrow at nine am at the Arena."

This news took me a few long seconds to register. I had been played this whole time! Anger started to rush through my body. My face flushed in my embarrassment of falling for this evil person. I knew I shouldn't have trusted this girl! She is like every other Aphrodite kid! How could I have been so stupid? I thought.

I opened my mouth to protest and shout my disgust, but suddenly I wasn't mad anymore. My gaze was transfixed on her luminous emerald eyes. I tried many times to verbally go against what she was saying I had to do, but every time I tried to gather words I'd lose my passion and go back to feeling nothing. It was like someone had power over a light switch in my head controlling my anger, and they kept flicking it on and off.

"Glad you see it my way, Percy," she finally said. As an afterthought she said with a wicked giggle, "By the way, you smell really bad." She ran off to her table after blowing me a kiss. I watched her go feeling drained of all my energy and frustrated with myself. Why I didn't chew her out for tricking me like that, I'll only know later on. The girls at her table giggled and snickered when Emerald sat down with them and looked my way as she told her treacherous story to them. I guess I was wearing a pretty shocked expression because they were finding me extremely amusing.

I stumbled over to my own table which was completely empty. I always missed Tyson whenever I sat down at my table. All the other cabins had brothers and sisters like themselves. I had no one to talk to when I ate since Tyson was sent to Poseidon's underwater palace to work for him last year.

The feeling that someone important was watching me suddenly came to my acute demigod senses. I glanced up to the Zeus table and saw Thalia sitting alone at the table watching me with her deep blue eyes. The Goth girl gave me a small glare. She had seen me talk to Emerald, who she thoroughly despised, and needed an explanation if she wanted to forgive me.

It took a whole minute for me to figure out what really had happened. My emotions were really jumbled up at this point. I got the sneaky suspicion that Emerald had used some of her demigod power on me. I at last smiled weakly back at Thalia and shook my head in confusion and mouthed the words "I'll tell you later." This seemed to satisfy her, and she indicated it with a nod.

I was relieved when Mr. D finally announced it was dinner time.

A/N: Tell me if you think the chapter was too long. I can always make them shorter. And please review! I'll post the second chapter next week. See you readers then!