I have to admit to being a new fan- I am working my way through the books since seeing the movie, but am not yet at the end. Yes, I should have waited before starting this...but I felt inspired to write. I have a sense of what happens in the last three books, but there may be some content mistakes here...this is a cautious AU.
No one had expected him to last this long.
For a half-blood, especially one as powerful and trouble prone as Percy, making it to eighteen was quite the feat.
While no one ever admitted that they were shocked he was still alive, the unexpected jubilation that swept through the camp that day had indicated what was left unsaid. People were surprised (and for the most part happy) that the biggest hero of their generation had lived to tell his tales. He had made it over a critical hump, it seemed, and there was a sense that he- and all who cared for him- could now breathe a partial sigh of relief. He was an adult now- and maybe, just maybe, he would live a long and happy life.
Annabeth, his girlfriend of nearly two years, had woken him up bright and early that morning, and the two (who were now cabin leaders at camp half-blood) had enjoyed a peaceful breakfast together on the beach. It had been absolutely perfect, starring out at the glittering sea (which also seemed stragely content that day) as the sun rose and case its golden glow.
Percy would have been happy if the surprise breakfast had been the extent of his birthday celebrations but, he soon discovered, the entire camp would not let him get through the day without significant celebration. Training and chores still continued as usual- though the campers had insisted on making his workload as light as possible, and several presented him with small, thoughtful (if slightly unconventional) gifts throughout the day. His favourite, he had to admit, was an asymmetrical owl with a trident engraved on its chest, made by a young camper from Hepestus' cabin (who explained sheepishly that it was her first attempt at metal work). The craftsmanship was lacking, but he thought it was brilliant anyway- in his opinion, it was wonderful and genuine and raw...reminding him a bit of his relationship with Annabeth.
Much to the surprise of everyone, even Mr. D had been slightly more relaxed than usual that day, and had allowed the nightly camp feast to be turned into a birthday dinner. Though he kept his regular miserable expression throughout the feast, Percy had the feeling that it was more of an act than usual.
Dinner had been fantastic- his favourite- and he had broken tradition by inviting several campers to join his usually vacant table. It had been nice to have companions for once, especially when one of those companions happened to be a certain daughter of Athena.
All in all, it had been his definition of a good day, and Percy returned to his cabin feeling greatly satisfied, and looking forward to the celebration his mother had planned for the coming weekend, when he and Annabeth had been granted three days leave.
There were other things he was looking forward too as well, and he felt his cheeks flush slightly as he remembered Annabeth's whispered promise that she would be sneaking to his cabin after lights out. That was only an hour away, and Percy knew that it would seem like a long hour indeed.
Yes, it had definitely been a good birthday.
As he walked, a crisp sea breeze ruffled his hair and, after hesitating for a moment, Percy made a sudden decision to redirect his route towards the beach. There was no point in sitting in his cabin alone, and it would be much nicer to pass the time near the water. Perhaps he would go for a swim. That was one favourite thing he had not yet managed to do that day.
Sighing happily as he reached the sand, Percy kicked off his shoes and revelled in the feeling of the sand between his toes. A familiar feeling- the feeling that he was home- quickly spread through him.
His pace relaxed, he continued towards the water, promptly pulling off his camp t-shirt and tossing it to the side. A gentle wave lapped against his feet, comforting him, and making him feel more relaxed than before. For a moment, he pitied those who could not experience such a sensation- perhaps being the son of a god was not quite as bad as he sometimes thought.
"I made it, Father." Percy muttered, smiling as another sea breeze brushed his face. He had the sudden sense that his father could hear him- though he did not quite realize how right he was.
For a moment, he heard nothing but the gentle rolling of the waves, but a second voice soon jolted him from his contemplative state.
"Indeed, my son, you have come far."
Percy turned quickly, quicker than any regular mortal could have, and found himself standing a mere five feet away from the God of the Sea. He was surprised to see that father was not wearing his regular Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirt, but was instead clothed in his traditional Greek armour- a sight Percy had rarely seen.
"Dad." He stated, his trepidation evident. He hadn't seen his father in quite awhile, and certainly did not expect to see him that night. Poseidon rarely came to speak to him unless the situation was dire...and, as far as he knew, all was now calm in the world of monsters and gods. At least, he hoped so.
"Do not fear." The god said, his tone reassuring. "I do not come with bad news."
Clearly he had sensed his son's worry. Percy gave a small sigh of relief, though he could not help but wonder why his father had decided to appear in warrior clothing if nothing was wrong.
"It is rare for a demigod to make it to your age." Poseidon continued, taking a few steps towards his son and placing a strong hand on his shoulder. "And, first and foremost, I have come to tell you that I am proud."
There was a pause before Percy managed to mutter an embarrassing "Errr...thanks."
The god smiled warmly (a rare sight indeed) before giving a low chuckle and taking a few steps back. "Please, relax Perseus. You should know by now that you have my favour."
The boy nodded. No matter how many times he told himself that, however, the sheer might and power of his father (and all of the gods, for that matter) never failed to wear down his nerves.
He could face monsters and Titian's, but those things paled in comparison to the resolve it took to appear strong in front of his dad. It all came down to his childish desire to impress him, to do no wrong in his powerful presence, even though the man had been absent and distant his entire life.
The old saying was eternally true- boys needed their father...even if that father happened to be the Lord of the Sea.
When Percy looked up, he saw that his father was gazing wistful across his domain, a sad smile on his face.
"My life has been long." The god mused, "But eighteen years now seems like eons ago. Such a magnificent moment in time, one that burns brighter, yet more distant, than those before. Your mother...I wish I could have..." He paused, and Percy tried not to show how shocked he was to hear Poseidon speak with such emotion.
For a moment, he was almost human.
"Well, what is done is done." The god stated, his voice firmer than before. "But know that I am proud of you, Percy- and happy to see the man you have become. I am proud to claim you as my son. Prouder than I have ever been. That is, in fact, why I have come tonight."
Percy stared at the man before him- the man whose face reflected so much of his own. Though he was pleased to hear those words, he was not sure what to say, and not entirely clear why Poseidon would take the time to come to the camp simply to tell him this.
He sensed that there was something more.
"I always suspected that it would come to this, if you made it this far." The Sea God continued with a smile. Percy could not recall ever seeing him so happy. "And I am ecstatic that you have." He paused again. "You are the first of my children to inherit my eyes, you know- and I knew that was a strong indication."
Percy was confused by these cryptic remarks.
An indication of what?
What was his father talking about?
Before he could ask, however, his father waved a large hand, summoning his trident to him. "Come towards me, my son." He said, his reassuring smile holding strong.
The young man furrowed his brow, wondering why his dad needed his trident with him before Percy could approach. If he didn't know better, he would have been afraid. But something about Poseidon's demeanour told him that he meant no harm and, no matter how distant his father was, Percy knew that he would always trust him.
He stepped towards the god, and Poseidon place his free hand on the young man's shoulder once more.
"I know you have passed up immortality, Percy- and though it pains me this is something I cannot change." Regret passed through the god's eyes. "But, as I have long suspected, you are my chosen son- the son who has inherited more from me than any before."
Percy could feel his heart rate increase, and he wondered with much confusion and hesitation where this was leading. He could sense that his father saw this as a moment of significance and, he noticed suddenly, the deep blue waves had now begun to rise behind them- dancing mere feet away, rising and falling into the air, in a manner that was almost celebratory. They were the aquatic equivalent of fireworks.
"What-" His curiosity overcoming him, Percy began to interrupt, but the sea god did not acknowledge it. He continued on with his speech.
"Perseus Jackson." Poseidon's voice proclaimed, sounding more god-like than it had before. "Proclaimed the chosen son of Poseidon, here, in his eighteenth year, will receive the offerings of my kingdom. He will receive the gift of longevity and power over the seas, second only to me."
Percy's eyes widened as he listened and, though he wanted to insist on an explanation, he could only watch in shock as his father pulled back, raising his trident into the air. The waves danced, extending up for hundreds of feet, taking on a blue glow that could only be attributed to divine magic.
"Hear me now." He heard his father state, now addressing the sea itself rather that his son. "Let it be proclaimed."
The waves roared, with what can only be described as an overwhelming joy. Poseidon continued with his proclamation, switching now to ancient Greek, and Percy felt his head spin.
His heart pounded, his body burned, his vision blurred.
The last thing he remembered thinking before he blacked out was "Don't I have a choice?"
A/N Good? Bad? More soon?