IMPORTANT: Sorry this might be long, but I want to clear things up for future readers because I received a review from a Captain Awesome (who only read 7 of the current 15 chapters and I don't believe gave the story a real chance) that really bothered me.
This is NOT RICK RIORDAN'S Percy. My Percy is female and older (and will therefore be more conscientious and share closer views to someone like Luke and other older demigods) . Along with AU elements, that means the two will end up two separate entities. You want LBWL!Percy to be canon/Riordan's so much, but I keep saying (it's implied in the summary) that changes have been made, therefore characters and everything will be consistent to those changes. So she's not going to "have Rick's Percy's defining character traits," or at least not yet. If you don't like actual character development, stay out of the way.
My Percy is insecure in her own way, and it will even show up more obviously after the Lightning Thief arc. My Percy will not have canon's "easy-going friendliness" because her character has been set up as more cynical and bitter, because of an older age (ala Luke), a more darker turn in interactions with Smelly Gabe, and a more devoted and loyal view on her mother (and extremely against her father). She will, as she develops, become less abrasive and become a little friendlier in the long run -but she needs to get there and learn.
Being attractive is not a crime. Just because Percy is female doesn't make that fact change. Yes, canon Percy "doesn't care...and it passes over his head," but he's male. LBWL!Percy doesn't even really focus on her looks either. My Percy doesn't "know that she is special." She knows she has skills and that she has to do something, so she does what she can to the best of her ability and as efficiently as she can. She can't "handle anything you throw at her no problem." She doesn't take her mother's apparent death well at all -she becomes increasingly angrier and wound up through her journey, especially because she's being used by the gods. I think she does have "relatable problems" -she has abandonment issues, she doesn't know how to handle the complex relationship she unknowingly and unintentionally formed with Luke, she favors the parent who raised her over the absentee parent, she deals with harassment, betrayal, etc.
Grover and Annabeth will not be the main supporting characters here. Percy is older and will relate more with Thalia, Clarisse, and Silena, so those three will have more of a role. Grover and Annabeth are written as young and inexperienced in the books, and since my Percy is older and more skilled than canon, she will take the lead and do most of the work -so they aren't just there "to showcase Percy's strengths." If anything, they'll end up learning and becoming more experienced. Yes, this isn't a Percabeth fic, but no it isn't just "replaced with a crush that has no reason to exist but to show just how lovable and desirable Percy is to other people." When I do genderbenders, I tend to keep canon pairings in there in someway, as I do like to keep threads of canon in AUs. "But when one of the most important demigods motivations, struggles, and triumphs are trivialized" makes no sense to mention when they're not the pairing anyway and it doesn't matter if it's trivialized. Annabeth isn't this Percy's "most important motivations, etc. etc." And in any case, her crush is a precursor to her confusion about her sexuality when Annabeth gets older. As for Annabeth and Percy's talk about fathers, Percy has shown again and again how much she is aggressively against her father, and her talks with Luke haven't helped. I don't see how "condescending" she was (or out of character, as it's along the line of how my characterization of Percy has been, and again NOT CANON Percy). I even read that part again in chapter 6, and see nothing condescending in how she talked to Annabeth about their Olympic parents. She calmly explained her side to Annabeth and admitted to the other she couldn't see Annabeth's view. Plus, Percy has also been around Luke extensively, and has disliked her father far longer than Annabeth's stayed loyal to her mother (and she admits to doubts as well). She didn't "brush off Annabeth's issues and feelings" and it isn't "justifying is as simply being angry at her father." Those who had similar parental issues/situations could probably attest to similar feelings, especially as one gets older (like Percy has). I have.
Grover is not as close to this Percy, especially giving how according to the timeline (and I did personally make a timeline that is in line with canon's), he arrived late in the school year. He does what he can to help and be a friend, and later chapters will be able to reach out more. As for Luke, he barely has any scenes to show anything about himself in canon. If you don't like I'm fleshing him out, while keeping the canon info in, then too bad. And with his relationship with Percy in here, that will also show a different side to him. I don't see how anyone can say "What happened to Percy's mom? Who knows and who cares? Not Percy." when her motivation for the Quest is to retrieve her from Hades or die trying, Percy repeatedly thinks a lot about her mom, and her whole anger along the journey has been about her mother's death and being unable to fully grieve for her before being shoved onto this Quest. As for Smelly Gabe, why should I mention him? He has the same mentions in here as he did in the book, and he has the same role. I just added that he taught her to make alcoholic drinks for his benefit, and the fact that he has more lewder interactions with Percy. And the Gods don't love Percy. If you're talking about Hermes, Apollo, and Ares' reactions to her, there's a reason for that, of which will be developed later on. Again, if you don't like answers not being given straight away in the story, then find the exit.
Percy IS NOT A MARY SUE. People these days don't know what the hell a Mary Sue is and accuse any character that's too skilled, pretty, etc. Those can contribute to a Mary Sue, but there's more to it and the degree of each trait. A Mary Sue is not just beautiful but completely incomparable (not just in a person's eyes but absolute fact), she's perfect with no flaws, she can do absolutely anything with no explanation how and no character development at all. My Percy's abilities aren't "a complete stretch." Being a sixth degree black belt is fine with the years and work she put into it, and being a demigod is a great benefit to that. It was never said that she is "the best at everything academic wise." Just because she's dyslexic doesn't mean she has to be dumb and not want to study. I wanted to show being dyslexic isn't a handicap and it can be overcome with WORK. I even clearly explain the things she's had to go through and do to keep up with studying and get good grades. Females are more known to study, examples in fiction being Annabeth, Hermione, etc. Hard work achieves results, so Percy isn't instantly just getting good grades. And it's just good grades. I don't even see how she can't get the best if she doesn't work at it, like everyone is capable of. When you work for it, you should be achieving the best that you can. And especially as Percy has set goals for herself. Again, I don't see how being "gorgeous" makes one automatically a Mary Sue. So a character needs to be unattractive, plain, or okay-looking to not be a Mary Sue? Or being pretty and being smart and skilled makes a Mary Sue? That's like saying all blondes are dumb. And all her skills and hobbies interrelate, so anything outside of the sphere of things she's good at, will probably not be something she might be able to do, at least not without learning how (and being something she wants to learn). What does fighting "monsters with her self taught skills for years" have to do with making a Mary Sue? An extreme load of monsters are constantly after her, so she would need to teach herself to fight against them -and she does by actually fighting them, i.e. hard-earned, painful and first hand experience. Which has been for years, along with the self-defense/martial arts classes she takes, and started to learn to protect herself and not be defenseless. Everyone doesn't love her -I may showcase and mention people, especially random characters, but that's more for humor and written along the style of anime/manga stuff, especially reverse harem genre. I don't see how she's "tragically misunderstood." She IS angry and she knows that, especially on this Quest that she was shoved into practically straight after the reveal of a father she doesn't like, her mother's death, being unable to grieve, and the whole roller coaster of a ride she's being forced (especially emotions-wise). There's also her perception of the gods and that she sees them as using her on this Quest, which doesn't help.
Sorry for the long note, but I don't want to repeat this to future readers. I only had to talk about all/some of this stuff with two others, who I could at least message back and be calmer with. Included at the bottom of the chapter is the first message I sent to someone about this kind of stuff, but more detailed and spoilery.
The Light Before We Land
Chapter One: Perseas, Daughter of Poseidon
"I'm coming!" Percy Jackson yelled in a panic, rushing from the kitchen and then to the nearest table to wait on.
At 16, her life had been a normal and sometimes boring mess. She was dyslexic, had ADHD, had a loving mother but a horrible stepfather, and most of all…she had no idea what her purpose in life was.
She had always thought she was meant to do great things, be something other than what she was now. But then, she decided those were just that. Thoughts. She already had big goals, goals she was striving to reach like by working as a waitress at the bar restaurant Grunner's.
From 8 am to 3 pm everyday, she attended Yancy Academy. Then from 4 pm to 7 pm, she worked at Grunner's, waiting and glad to be gone before happy hour –not to say there weren't some occasional rowdy or jerky people at the time she worked. It was lucky her boarding school allowed her to work though.
Afterwards, just recently she got an internship at Halter and Geriam's Law Firm, which would be perfect experience, especially since she wanted to be the District Attorney of New York. That was her dream, her goal in life. And what she thought she'd decided would be her purpose in life. And which she also was now starting, right after work.
She finished quickly with her last customers, letting another girl take over and said goodbye to Lucas Wright, her boss. She hurriedly got out of her uniform and drove her bike to the law firm, intent on making a good impression and to work hard.
Meeting the man she was going to work directly under, she readied herself for the long hours. 7:15 to 11, she would slave in that firm and prove herself.
And that was her life…until a month later.
"Grover, I'm trying to work here," Percy rolled her eyes, hunched over her desk.
"I don't see why you have to," Grover grumbled. "That's work outside of school."
"I'm taking college classes to speed up my education," Percy explained patiently.
"But…why bother? You know, what with your dyslexia and stuff," he mumbled.
She stared at him. It sounded as if he expected her to give up because she was dyslexic, which coupled with ADHD didn't help anyone much less her. Which was why she color coded everything, had a planner, organized whatever she could with help, and took special classes when she was younger to help deal with her dyslexia. And learned Braille while she was at it…
"Because I want a lot of things, Grover, but being a failure isn't one of them," was the only thing she could reply with.
She tiredly turned back to her college papers and continued to work on them.
"…It's just…you're always so busy," her best friend pouted. "I don't know how you do it. You go to school everyday, and then depending on which day it is, you're either at the pool as part of the swim team, part of the martial arts dojo and team, or part of the concert ensemble. That's not counting how you have time for your internship and your work at Grunner's."
"But I always make time for you," she smiled, looking at him pointedly.
"I should have all of your time," he said cheekily.
They both laughed.
"I just…don't like it when others tell me I can't do something. I want to prove them wrong," she shrugged. "Just because I'm dyslexic or have ADHD, it's not going to cripple me or make me give up. I'll just work harder."
He looked at her in admiration and she slightly slapped his arm.
"Hey now, don't get all gooey eyed on me."
Grover grinned at her unapologetically so she just sighed in exasperation. He grabbed an apple off from her desk and started munching on it.
"What are you learning in martial arts anyway? I mean, why put yourself through the torture?"
"I'm learning Chinese Kempo. Very effective with kicks," she grinned wickedly. He shivered and she laughed at him. "I was 5 when this weird huge man was wearing a mask that made him look like a cyclops and he was cornering me. I screamed and he got scared away or something, but other people were there too so that might be it. My mom started making me go to some kind of school to defend myself and I chose to learn Kempo. Helps with my ADHD."
"Hehe…cyclops…mask…" Grover kept laughing nervously and she stared at him weirdly. "Hehehe! So, uh, you've been learning it since?"
"Yeah, I'm a sixth degree black belt in it. If I keep at it, I'll progress to 7th degree this summer," Percy stated nonchalantly, making Grover laugh more nervously, though for different reasons than earlier.
"Stop wooorrrking," Grover complained. "Serenade me!"
Percy laughed and mock-reluctantly pulled away from her work to grab her guitar.
"Flute, please?" he gave her a pleading wide-eyed puppy look that she immediately caved in to.
She rummaged around their coed room for her flute and then began playing a simple melody for him, not seeing her friend oddly swaying and his eyes rolling upwards heavenly as her own closed to focus on the music. When she finished, she opened her eyes to see her friend peacefully sleeping, a wide smile on his face. Blinking in surprise, she laughed lightly and put her flute away, looking idly out the window as she sat on the sill.
She blinked again, this time unsurely as she saw a wrinkled woman glaring at her with red eyes. When she moved to get a better look and blinked again, sure her eyes were fooling her since the woman wasn't there the next second.
Hesitantly, she went back to her work and thought she should sleep early that night to get more rest. It must be the lack of sleep…
The school year was coming to an end. All of her activities were off-season, so she was only doing the customary last days of class, her internship, and her work. Which made Grover happy, because that meant more time spent with him.
It was raining heavily that day and that evening. Her only ride was her motorcycle and she'd promised her mom she wouldn't ride it in the rain. So that left her to walk from her work to the coed dorm she was staying in. Thunder boomed around her and lightning flashed brightly. She shivered from the cold and used one hand to pull her coat tighter around her as the other held her umbrella closer to her head.
"Now, now. Look what I've caught. A little fish in the rain," the old woman she saw before cackled.
Percy warily stopped and stared at her. At least she was sure now that she hadn't been seeing things.
"Hello…I'm sorry, ma'am, but I have to go home," Percy clutched onto her bag, ready to throw it at the old woman if she had to. Which was a little weird considering, it was an old woman. Why on earth would she have to defend herself against an old woman?
"You won't be going home, honey," and then the old woman transformed into some kind of monster. Her eyes glowed like burning coal, she grew leathery wings, and she had claws and fangs.
"Wh-what are you?" Percy cried out, stumbling backwards in fright and surprise.
"Alecto. And you will be dinner for your punishment," she hissed.
Percy turned and ran.
Only to see the old woman suddenly in front of her. Percy gasped and faltered, taking steps back and eyes darting around her for an exit. Her heart was pounding and her breathing was coming in quick and harsh gasps. Then suddenly, her heart began pounding differently, slowly in a halting way, instead of fast and panicked.
The rain around her seemed like it was slowing down, until the raindrops were suspended in midair all around her. Everything was silent except for the pounding of her heart; the caustic weather seemed frozen –as if time was stopped. And then a boom and lightning was crashing down around and on her, just as she felt the water of rain sliding and clinging onto her skin, forming something like a shield around her body and protecting her. And the lightning was incredibly traveling through the water shield, sparking angrily.
She looked up and saw that she hadn't noticed that all this time Alecto was flying towards her, and like everything else seemed to be in slow motion. She threw out her arms and thrust her hands in the direction of the monstrous woman. Water from the shield around her body flung away and towards Alecto, lightning still attached to the numerous droplets.
Alecto screeched in pain, clutching at her face where the majority of the "lightning water" had hit. In anger, Alecto ran towards Percy half-blindly, just when another flash of lightning rapidly came from the sky and struck Percy. She instinctively held her hands above her head, the lightning struck it and she automatically clutched at it, feeling herself somehow holding lightning itself. And then Alecto was upon her, and she grasped the monster's arm that was about to strike her, the lightning previously circling her body conducting through her and then transferring to Alecto. While the monster screamed and twisted in pain, Percy took the lightning that she still clutched in her hand and slammed it into the monster, Alecto giving a final scream as she dissipated into dust.
Percy blinked and shuddered, before her eyes rolled into her head and she collapsed in a dead faint, lying on the wet pavement in a disarray of sprawled limbs and splayed hair.
"This isn't good. Zeus will be angry. No one, no one has been able to do what she has."
"B-but Poseidon is the God of Storms too, right? It has to explain this!"
"Grover, she was able to protect herself from the lightning and even control it to a degree. Zeus will be more than unhappy at this turn of events. No one has ever infringed on his territory before."
"Take her and bring her back to the dorm. When she wakes up, make sure you convince her that she didn't see Alecto."
"Yes, Chiron. I'll do my best."
And so the two carried her back to the dorms, where Grover alone took her up to their room and nervously awaited for Percy to wake up. And when she did, she groaned and slowly opened her eyes, before she shot up straight in her bed in a panic.
"Grover?! How'd I get here? Where is that monster?"
Grover inwardly prepared himself, "Monster? Oh man, you really need to take a break, Percy. You're way too stressed out if you're starting to dream about monsters."
Percy frowned at him, moving sluggishly as she swung her legs off her bed and she sat up to face him.
"Grover…I can trust you, right?"
Grover nodded vigorously.
Percy took a big breath before taking her water bottle from her dresser and uncapping it. She began pouring it into her hand, and Grover started to yell out until he stopped short, watching wide-eyed as the water slowly began forming into a sphere.
"I know it wasn't an illusion or a dream," she stated quietly. She directed the water over the water bottle and opened up her hand more, pouring it back. "I've known since I was little that I could control water for some reason. My mother told me to try to forget about it, and to never do it in front of people. That it was best if I kept the ability to myself. I did, but I couldn't forget about it. It made me happy and warm…protected somehow. So I practiced my ability a lot and learned there were things I could do with it. Tonight…I think I learned something else about it, something that helped keep me safe and connected to lightning. I don't understand it…but I figure it's like those psychic kids, right? Maybe something to do with that. But then tonight, there was that monster and now I'm confused, Grover."
Grover gulped, "I don't know what to say…"
Percy looked at him earnestly, "You don't think I'm a freak, do you Grover? I –"
"No, no! It's just a lot to take in, Percy. Um, I might have to just slow down right now…"
Percy stayed quiet, so Grover forced himself to think straight.
"So, what else can you do?"
Her face lit up and Grover calmed down immediately, content his friend was happy and not panicked anymore.
With a bright smile, Percy began telling him.
"Well, I know I can breathe underwater. And unless I want them too, my clothes can't get wet. I can control water, though I had to practice a lot to be able to control it to the degree I can now. When I'm hurt, water can heal me. When I learned that, I experimented a little and learned that I can use water to heal others. I don't have many experience using it on other people, but I've healed plenty of animals and my mom lets me practice on her."
And Grover was pretty sure that she would be able to do more once she learned who she really was…
"And just recently, I think I can form some sort of shield around my body using water. The rain from today did that and it helped protect me from that monster thing. And from the lightning! In fact, it even helped me control the lightning a little."
Oh, this was bad. He didn't know how on earth this could turn out to be any more worse.
"We should talk to Mr. Brunner," he blurted out.
Never mind. He knew how it could get worse. Him opening his big mouth.
"You know…he…he's your favorite teacher, right? And he's always tried to help you, so…maybe he can help you. Or try to help you. Or just figure something out."
'That was horrible, idiot. Think, think, think!'
"Um, I guess," she muttered dejectedly.
"Well, hey! School's almost done and at least you won't have as much work to do, right? And you won't have to worry about crazy monsters or powers getting crazy or people finding out about your powers, right?"
Grover sighed, looking at her dolefully starting to lie back down, pulling the covers over her as she turned and faced the wall on her side.
"I won't tell anyone. You can trust me."
There was quiet. And then…
And there was a happier note in her voice that made him happy to know she wasn't upset with him.
She revved up the bike and Grover tightened his arms around her in fear, already anticipating something bad happening even though they hadn't even left yet. Then they were heading off, with Grover being dropped off at the subway station. He reluctantly got off and thought to follow after her quietly, but waited until she had already left to start. The three old ladies sitting calmly to the side at the station bothered him, especially since they were knitting and Percy had noticed them. When one of them snipped the cord just as Percy left, Grover felt like having a heart attack.
She headed home, bag slung over her shoulder and kept to her side, reaching her home as fast as she could. Not that she was happy about it, but she didn't want to leave her mom alone with Gabe Ugliano any longer than she had to.
"Sweet cheeks! You're home!" Gabe greeted her in a sugary voice, moving his cards around and not looking at her. "Hey, do me a favor. Make me a Sex on the Beach."
Eddie, the super of the building, blanched.
"Gabe, she's like, 15. She's underage."
"Nah, it's cool. She's been my bartender since I've moved in with them. And she's 16, Eddie. Hurry it up, sweet cheeks!"
Percy fought the urge to sneer, but didn't bother stopping herself from scowling. She went to the kitchen to make the drink reluctantly, but remembered her mother's plea to try to get along with Gabe. And she did, doing stupid things like making his alcoholic drinks. And though she did them, didn't mean she had to like it. Or him.
"You got money?" Gabe asked, taking his drink from her.
"Yeah, you do, sweet cheeks. You've been working and all, right?" Bastard. He could always sniff out money.
She gritted her teeth, clenching her hand that wanted to deck him.
"It's for my college fund."
Her mom worked hard to make money for their bills and for any expenses they needed, and for Gabe's "leisure activities." But that meant that her goal of going to college and then law school so she could become District Attorney would be near impossible without Percy working whatever job she could to earn that money.
"You're a pretty girl. You probably earn a lotta tips, sweet cheeks. Spare some for your daddy."
'I'd rather rot in Hell than ever call you or let you be my 'daddy,'' she wanted to say. And what was worse, was Gabe was actually a bit right. Biased, certain customers tended to give her larger tips because of her pretty face. Not that she complained. She needed that money. She would go to school and get her dream job, damned if she was trying.
Percy grudgingly fished out her wallet and took out a roll of twenties she had been planning on putting into her bank account, about to take a couple out for him when Gabe just snatched the whole thing out of her hand.
"Thanks, sweet cheeks! Alright! Now the game's on!"
Her face flamed up and her nostril's flared up in indignation, and she opened mouth to protest when she forced herself to calm and slink away unhappily.
'Please, sweetheart. Deal with Gabe for now.'
"Fuck," she muttered. She'd almost gotten too angry. She'd seen the sink rattling for a second before she realized she couldn't get angry in front of them, if not for the promise she made to her mother to keep peace.
At least he hadn't gone all creepy on her with all the other guys there. 'Smelly Gabe' had immediately turned to 'Slimy Gabe' by the time a week had passed since she first met him. The slimy feeling she got being in his presence and when he looked at her still persisted to this day.
"Um, Percy," Eddie, surprisingly, caught up to her, looking nervous and anxious.
Turning to him in surprise, she waited for him to continue.
"Look, here," he thrust a wad of dollars at her. "We both know Gabe's an asshole," he muttered. "So don't tell him I gave this to you, okay?"
He turned and hurriedly walked from her, she gawking at him in confusion. She glanced at the money, eyes widening as she flipped through the bills. This was more than double the amount she'd given Gabe, two 50's and even a 100 stuck in there.
She put it in her pocket and hoped she could get to the bank sometime soon for a quick deposit.
Her mom came home soon, the poker game still going on and Percy having had to make a vodka martini and then a request from Gabe to make up a drink specialty herself.
"Hey, sweetheart. Oh, you have to tell me all about school and how you've been," Sally Jackson greeted her daughter tiredly, but extremely happy.
"Mom!" Percy beamed.
They went to her room and chattered all about Percy's school, her progress from it to her powers to her work, activities, and internship.
"Baby girl, how about we take off to Montauk for three nights? Just you and me. A girl's vacation," her mother smiled at her.
She perked up and excitedly grinned at her mom, "Same cabin?"
"When do we get to leave?!" Percy could barely sit still.
"As soon as I'm ready, sweetheart. Let me make some special dip for Gabe for the whole weekend and then it's just you and me, no problems."
Percy nodded and waited anxiously.
It wasn't long until Sally was driving them to Montauk, and then they were at the cabin. Once there, they cleaned up the place, cleaned themselves, and then opened all the windows, breathing in the fresh air. They started munching on blue food.
"Percy, baby, I know something's bothering you," Sally prodded.
An image of the old lady and that night flashed in her mind. Percy forced herself not to flinch and formed a smile on her face.
"Mom, it's nothing. I'm just worried about the same stuff as I always do."
Sally nodded, not believing her but willing to leave it alone for now.
"Do you want me to tell you about your father?"
Montauk was the only place Percy allowed herself to hear and long for her father. Anywhere else, she avoided the mention of him and forced down the resentment she felt building everyday.
So Sally told her how handsome he was, how she had his dark hair and his eyes. He was tall and powerful, but gentle. Kind.
"I wish he could see you. He would be so proud."
Percy leaned into her mother, inhaling her sweet scent.
"How old was I when he had to leave?"
Sally winced, "Sweetheart, your dad was only with me for one summer, right here in this beach, this cabin. He never saw you. He knew I was pregnant, but had to leave before you were born."
Percy thought she'd remembered seeing his smile, a warm glow. Knowing otherwise now, the one thing that had kept her from completely disregarding her father was gone and she stood up abruptly.
"I'm tired, Mom. I'm going to bed early," she stated stoically.
She walked away from her mother, leaving her to stare at her back in confusion and worry.
'Not dead. Lost at sea, Mom said. I hope he stays lost at sea.'
That night, thunder and lightning boomed overhead, but there was no rain. There was loud banging on the door though.
Both she and her mother anxiously walked towards the door, and Percy, with a burst of bravado, swung the door open to reveal Grover standing there, looking panicked and terrified, his pants gone and hooves instead of feet.
"Grover, what are you doing here?!" Percy screamed in surprise.
"No time! We have to leave now!"
"Sweetheart, what's going on? You told me nothing happened while you were in school!" her mother interrupted.
"Its coming! We have to go!" Grover screamed.
"What's coming?" Percy asked desperately, but her mother grabbed a hold of her arm and forced her to her room.
She hurried to follow her mother's order. Then they were running out the door and to Gabe's car, revving it up and then driving out of there as fast as they could. They were driving crazily, thunder and lightning playing up the drama of the scene. Sally was weaving through the road in a snake-like pattern, trying to confuse whatever was following them.
"What is following us?" Percy hissed.
"Sweetheart, everything will be explained once we get to the place you're supposed to be."
Suddenly, Percy had flashbacks of all the strange events in her life. The almost attack on her when she was five from the Cyclops man. When she was stalked by who she thought was the same man in the third grade on the playground, who went away growling when the teachers threatened to call the police. Being in preschool and being accidentally put down in a cot that a snake had slithered into, strangling it with her tiny hands. Every school she'd gone to, something unsafe and creepy had always managed to happen, which scared and freaked out the people around her, forcing her to move frequently. Luckily, while strange things had happened to her at Yancy, this time she had managed to keep them low key and she didn't have to move.
"I love you, baby, you know that. I tried to keep you close to me. They told me it was a mistake, but I wanted to be selfish and hold onto you. But there's another option, Percy. Somewhere your father wanted to send you, a summer camp. But I couldn't do it. Because it might've meant saying goodbye to you for good, and I didn't want that. I'm sorry, Percy."
"A summer camp? He didn't even stick around long enough to see me being born. Why would he talk to you about sending me to a summer camp? And if it was so important, why didn't you mention it before?" Okay, out of everything she could've picked to talk about, she went for picking at her dad. Not a very good choice, but it was already said…
"Percy…don't say that about your father. He wanted to see you being born. He wanted to be around you," she didn't answer Percy's questions, but what her mother had said made her cringe in apology for her mom, even if it didn't ease the resentment towards her father. And she saw that if she asked any more questions, particularly like those ones, her mother looked close to crying.
She hated making her mother cry.
The next day, the storm was even worse. Grover had fallen asleep and was leaning heavily against the door, twitching and muttering about food. Her mother was wide-awake and refusing to take a nap, while Percy took over driving. Percy herself felt high-strung and the first thing on her mind was that she wanted answers.
"Percy, I need you to tell me what happened in school," her mother demanded quietly.
She looked worriedly at her mother up through the front mirror, but talked about the old lady she had fought with and of the odd old ladies she saw knitting at the subway station.
"There are things I can't tell you, things you'll better understand once you get to camp," her mother sighed.
"Things like why Grover has hooves and the two of you seem to know each other?" Percy scowled. "Like how all my life, monsters –"
Sally sighed again, but Grover interrupted, having woken up. He'd explained his presence, that he had been sent to watch over her but he really was her friend. That he was a satyr for goodness' sakes and that the ladies at the subway station and the lady she'd fought were just as much a myth as he was.
"The less you knew, the fewer monsters you'd attract," Grover muttered softly. "We put Mist over the humans' eyes. We'd hope you'd think the Kindly One was a hallucination. But it was no good. You'd started to realize what you were…perhaps before we even knew about your existence, before we'd ever entered your life…"
"I don't understand," Percy muttered in frustration.
And then there was a bellowing noise behind them, closer than it had been before.
"There's too much to explain now, Percy. When we get to the summer camp I told you about, you'll find out everything you need to know. We just have to get you to safety."
"Safety?! From what? Who would be chasing me?"
"You don't want to know," Grover grumbled.
"Please, just another mile. One more mile," Sally pleaded under breath.
"Both of you are acting like this is my death!" Percy snapped, looking back and forth between the two and glaring at them.
"Maybe because it is," Grover grumbled again, looking agitated and worried.
"Percy! Just focus on the road! Oh, I should have kept driving!"
Percy pursed her lips, "Grover, you better continue that thought or else I'll slow down."
And then the satyr winced before explaining the old ladies at the station were the Fates and that they only appear when someone's going to die. Like her.
Her thoughts went off rail when something violently crashed into their car, causing the car to jolt forward several spaces.
"Its here!" Grover screamed, freaking out.
It crashed again into their car and Percy cursed, ignoring her mother's oddly placed reprimand.
"Now's not the time, Mom!" she gunned the engine and veered to the left and then sped faster, imitating the snake-line pattern her mother had insisted on driving with earlier.
Percy tried speeding up even more, but then whatever it was caught up again and hit them, causing their car to crash and flip over. Disoriented, it took Percy a second to refocus. She groaned and looked behind her to see her mother coming to while Grover was knocked out, strangely muttering about food.
"Percy…" Sally called out in a hoarse voice. "You need to get out. You have to leave us."
"What? Leave you behind? Are you crazy? I can't do that, Mom!" Percy screeched.
"Its hearing and sight is horrible. It moves around using its smell. You can do it, Percy. It's right over that hill, the place you have to go," Sally hissed out through her pain, ignoring her daughter's protests. "Go. Go now!"
"No! Not without you!"
So she unbuckled her mother and her friend, and took them out of the car one by one. Her mother forced herself to move, helping her to carry Grover closer to the hill, and nearer to a huge pine tree at its crest. They were midway when lightning struck the car, making it explode into pieces and Percy stared at it with wide eyes.
Then a horrible roar echoed to their side and her head snapped to the right to see a huge monstrous thing, with horns on top of its head and lumbering around like a bull.
"Percy, Percy," her mother tugged at her desperately. "That's the property line, at that tree. I want you to keep running until you see a big farmhouse in the valley, and don't stop until you reach the door. Run, don't look back, yell for help. Get over that hill now!"
"No!" she snapped back. She was not going to leave her mother there.
"I can't cross the line," Sally grew more panicked. "Besides, he wants you not us."
Percy glanced at the body builder type half man and half bull thing.
"We're going. Now. At the count of three," and Percy yanked her mother up by her arm and shouldered Grover, grunting at the weight. And then they were fleeing. At first, the bull man continued to lumber around, looking for them. And then it raised its nostrils into the air and sniffed several times. Grunting and growling, it turned to their direction and began heading full-throttle towards them.
"That…that thing looks like –"
"Pasiphae's son. Don't say his name. Names have power, sweetheart," Sally muttered distractedly, trying to keep up with her daughter's fast pace. "He'll charge, but he can't change directions once he starts. At the last minute, dodge directly to the side."
Percy didn't question it.
The Minotaur, she was sure that was what it was, charged at them and they dodge at just the right time, Grover shifting away from her and her mother grabbing onto him. The Minotaur paused before grunting and turning to her mother's direction, charging again. Her mother tried to dodge once more, Grover safely to the side, but the Minotaur had learned its lesson and had easily found her. Angrily, it grabbed onto her mother and held her up.
Sally looked at her, smiling painfully.
And then the Minotaur wrapped its hands around her throat and tightened, her mother disappearing into bright light. Percy felt everything slowing down again and she stared, feeling the tears prickling at her eyes but unable to let them fall.
Then she started feeling angry, incredibly angry. So angry that red blinded her vision and she stood up from where she had unconsciously fallen to her knees in grief.
"It may not be raining, but water is practically in everything," she hissed out.
She thrust out her hand and the earth followed her lead, leaping from the ground and circling around the Minotaur, tree roots tightening around it as well to cut skin.
Percy closed her hand into a fist, the earth and roots following their lead and crushing the Minotaur.
Started 3/10/10 –Completed 3/19/10
Spoilery Message to someone in the past about Percy and other things about this fic:
I know you think Percy should have that fatal flaw. But you're forgetting I've also changed her into a more CYNICAL person, hence why she's not going have that fatal flaw. YET. This is a novel-length fic, therefore she will be going through arcs and development. She's cynical because she's older and age tends to skew things in perspective, especially when it concerns parents and abandonment. I know this because this part of her view is based on my own view, which is based on my own experiences. As a cynical, VERY independent person, she always has her guard up and even friends will have trouble getting through to her. This is something she's going to have to learn and start to appreciate, but she doesn't because before Grover her only concerns were helping out her mother and the underlying bitterness about her father. And because she's so focused on that, not even Grover (who I don't think was even with her for a long time, at least not in this timeline) would be able to be get through to her and is as close as canon Percy and Grover.
That is why Percy here doesn't have that flaw and isn't as concerned about her friends. She hasn't become the canon Percy we know yet, and isn't too close to anyone (aside from her mother and Luke).
And I am also fond of the actual Greek myths, which I've stated this story is somewhat going to modeled by (meaning written like a semi-GM with a lot of crack thrown in) –hence there's a sole focus. People tend to forget how the Greek myths are styled as, and also that there ARE stories with a singular character. That isn't to say that others won't become important. And especially as the first arc, is more of a focus and introduction of Percy to everyone, and as it goes on, there's this buildup that will slowly start connecting her to everyone and opening her eyes to the importance of bonds.
You are also forgetting that Percy is NOT best friends with Annabeth and Grover in this fic –you keep a constant comparison to the original and forget the changes that have been made and is important to the development of this fic's Percy and this fic's plot. She won't be as close to Annabeth in here; it will be more of a mentorship. Here, Percy is older, their views are different on things (especially concerning on their Olympic parents), since they're not love interests their closeness because of that in canon is removed, etc. And Annabeth's first impression, even in canon, was rather rude and initially put Percy off. The time that went by helped endear Annabeth to her more, but they still don't have the same bond. As for Grover, they're friends, but right now they're not as close as canon. Eventually, as the story goes on, Grover will try to reach out to this more closed off Percy and she'll appreciate and be more fond of him after, especially once she herself starts loosening up. However, I wanted to put more minor characters in the spotlight, so Percy will have a more different set of friends, especially with age being a cause. For now, I have plans for Clarisse, Silena, and Thalia (especially Thalia) to have more active roles.
Now for the "I'm above you" attitude. Percy isn't in the active hero role in this fic, as canon Percy. She's more of an anti-hero. She's reluctant to help anyone or do anything. She's easily irritated. She lashes out and becomes impatient easily, hence why she snaps at people easily. It's not "I'm above you", it's her attitude problem. She has social issues and tends to be awkward to the point where she doesn't think about what she says and does can have an effect. I think I've made a point in this fic to show, because of her issues, that she's highly an angry sort and easy to set off. This is not canon Percy, again. And Son of Neptune is so far off is this story, that especially with not being canon, this Percy is way not at that point. I upped the ages, not the development, so this Percy still has a long ways to go from being that Percy.
As for Luke being too dependent, I agree on this solely on the fact that I haven't been able to show Luke's progression and his mindset while Percy was gone. Unlike canon Luke, Percy and him have a stronger bond due to their extremely close views on their parents (unlike in canon), their romantic tension, and because Luke here has actually managed to let himself get too close to someone that it's distracting him from his goals (fatally so, if you know what I mean :)). That's why the next chapter is really hard to write because it's from Luke, about Luke, and his descent. His attitude will make even more sense then. It's not canon, therefore things that have been changed with have a ripple effect and change things, attitudes, and whatever else in accordance to correspond to those changes and keep things consistent.
Now the Mary Sue part, because THAT actually irritates me. People REALLY have forgotten what a Mary Sue is over time. A Mary Sue is the epitome of perfect –they have good looks, can do anything and do it perfectly, can do or say nothing wrong, has everyone falling for her BUT she is happy about it and falls in love with them all back and is happy about it (or whatever), and has no flaws whatsoever and gets everything and anything she wants. THAT is a Mary Sue.
Percy is highly flawed, even more than canon Percy. She's irritable, untrusting, highly combative to everyone (her mother being the only exception), as stated doesn't think about her friends, doesn't think about consequences about some things, even a little more than arrogant, triggered easily by the mention of her dad (and now the Olympian gods), too impatient and aggressive, etc.
Every male falling for her is not a sign of Mary Sue –it's classic anime tradition, especially in reverse harems. That is the style I tend to write in. I like anime. I like the humor in it, and I like a lot of stuff in anime. The every male falling for her is for the humor –it's played up, just like it is in anime, and it's only serious when it needs to be. It's not a crime for that to happen, or for a girl to have beauty (Percy's not ultimately beautiful above all girls, like an actual Mary Sue is), wits (which should be something of a good thing, as most characters aren't written with it), and charm/etc. (which should be an amusing or good aspect when it's written well). These are actual traits in anime/reverse!harems and actual tropes, and what I usually write as because I've been heavily influence by anime and it's seeped into my writing. If this bothers you, then you might actually just stop reading.
I like the way Percy's character so far. She's a flawed being that can grow. She will be such a character until I say so, because it's unrealistic to suddenly make her into something else. She WILL be going through character development, but that's something that takes time, which is not something that has been written up for her yet. She's NOT at these points, so it's unfair to judge her and compare to Percy of canon in this way. She hasn't had trials that should humble her, and she hasn't seen real teamwork work out for her yet (nor had her walls come down and allowed her to see it can). She's not loyal to anyone because she doesn't want to be and hasn't yet seen the point of it. She'll become loyal when she's finally gets there.
The point is, she's an angry girl that needs time and actual confrontations of issues that she's kept as chips off her shoulder for a long time, that's she's bitterly held onto. Until she's come to terms with all that, she won't be automatically be a trusting, happy girl. You want her to develop, but realistically that takes time so you actually have to be patient please. Especially with her problems and for how long she's held onto them? Sometimes or some people can really not want to let go.
I really don't want to seem like I'm angry or offend you, but like I said –be a little patient please. You keep comparing my Percy to canon Percy, but forget that it isn't and that there have really huge changes that require things to evolve with it. 'Cause really, what it sounds like your problem is that things aren't canon enough –and I don't keep to canon a lot.