Disclaimer: Nope, just a fanfiction writer. I would be a man, if I owned it, wouldn't I? So nope.
Story: What if Percy was a little older, and female? What if, at an older age, she wasn't the impressionable 12 year old that easily changed his life for others, but had her own plans, designs? And mind you, nice and sweet as she is, underneath she isn't all that forgiving…
Set AU for "The Lightning Thief", genderbending.
Spoilers: Definitely for the first book for now.
Warnings: Cursing and violence for now…hm, just in case since I'm usually writing it, bit of crazy humor, perverted humor, morbid or sarcastic humor, and maybe some sexual situations…
Pairings: Ares/Percy, Hermes/Percy, Apollo/Percy, semi-platonic (semi-not) Luke/Percy (mostly friendship, one-sided romance), Poseidon/Sally, Hades/Persephone, one-sided Annabeth/Percy, one-sided Clarisse/Percy, Annabeth/?, Clarisse/Chris, Dr. Chase/Athena…

The Light Before We Land
Chapter Thirteen: Shone Like the Sun

"Oh my Gods, Eddie," Percy gaped, though he had looked at her oddly when she said 'gods' instead of commonly 'God.' "What happened to you?"

Eddie was sporting a very obvious black eye that was also very cringe-worthy.

"…I got into a fight with a drunk Gabe?" he smiled sheepishly at her.

She rolled her eyes and ushered him towards a chair, getting a vegetable bag from the freezer and placing it against his eye.

"Why on earth would you do that?" she asked in amusement.

"He was saying some unfavorable things about you," Eddie said quietly, looking away after.

Percy smiled a little. "You don't have to be so chivalrous. I wasn't even there."

"Yeah, well, no woman should be talked about like that in any way, no matter what," he said stubbornly. "Especially you. I wouldn't be much of a guy, if I let a comment like that slide…especially since you and me…" his cheeks turned slightly red.

Percy bent and lightly kissed him with smiling lips.

"Okay," she conceded. "Why don't you just kick him out? I'm not living there, my mom is gone," she once again said that, but without further elaboration. "You don't have to worry about either of us now. So just kick him out."

Eddie looked like he was ready to go and do just that, when Percy brought up dinner.

"I could make some kind of pasta," he offered, smiling brightly at the enthusiasm Percy showed. "Chicken marsala, toasted garlic bread on the side?"

"Excellent! When will it be finished?" she asked eagerly.

He laughed at her. "Geez, Percy. I haven't even started yet. What are you, some kind of black hole?"

"With me and my abhorrent eating habits, according to everyone? Most probably," she smirked at him.

"You do have rather horrendous eating habits," he agreed, dodging a smack to his shoulder she'd aimed at him. "Am I going to be able to eat any?" he teased.

"No. Not after teasing about my eating habits. I'll hog it all to myself," she said mock-pompously, and he burst out in laughter at her.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Laugh it up," she smirked again. "I'll help with the sauce, if you want, while you work on the chicken?"

"What can't you do?" Eddie snarked, but was already in the process of getting ingredients and pots and pans out.

He was answered after they'd finished cooking. He had looked at the sauce, which looked absolutely perfect…but then he tasted it.

He cringed. Badly.

"What?" Percy looked at him.

"Er…" he can't exactly just say anything.

"It sucks, doesn't it?" Percy sighed. "I can cook it…but it'll either be completely bland, unseasoned…or like I dropped a nuclear bomb on it."

Eddie coughed politely.

"The things I'm good at are usually interconnected with each other," Percy told him wryly. "If I'm good at something, chances are that something similar or related to it, I'll be able to do. Or I work very hard on doing and learning something."

"But cooking…or at least getting the taste…is beyond your capabilities…"

She pouted.

He chuckled and grabbed her hand, gently pulling her into his arms and swaying a bit. "Ah well. Can't do everything, right?"

"I can try," she said cheekily. "Besides, that's what I've got you for –to cook for me!"

"Ah, the truth comes out at last. Woe is me."

"Hey, at least I'm not starving to death."

Needless to say, dinner went well for the both of them. They went to bed after they watched some TV with each other, and the next morning came bright and early.

Percy was tempted to, but didn't curse Apollo.

Instead, she muttered some indistinct words and burrowed further under the covers.

"Hey, you've got some fanclubs."

Percy slowly emerged from her hiding spot, staring at an amused Eddie in shock and with wide eyes.

"What?"

His lips twitched upwards. He waved the newspaper in his hands. "There's a bunch of fanclubs about you. There's a junior division, and apparently some kids that met you on a train are spearheading it. Well, them and their parents. The parents are helping out a lot. And some Park Ranger that won't give out his name, and a guy name Roger Jensen are the founders. People call it the new 'YMCA.'"

Percy turned a bright shade of red.

"It's cute~"

She tossed a pillow from the couch at his head. He let it hit him, chuckling as he got up and sat next to her.

"So, I have errands I need to get around to doing around the city," he started out. "I would bring you, but it's just some legal matters I've got to deal with and it'll be boring. I'll probably be back around late afternoon?"

"Yeah, okay. I'll be fine, don't worry about me," she reassured him.

He still looked hesitant. "Just call me, alright? You know my cell, so use the phone here to call me if you need anything."

"I will. I promise," she smiled at him for good effect, and he sighed.

He kissed her one more time, lips lingering for a moment, before he pulled back and gave her a rather adorable shy smile. When he left, she was still smiling softly to herself.

She felt so relaxed and content. She hadn't really felt truly at home with herself for a long time. After her mother died, she felt like everything was converging on her and she was going to collapse at any moment, fighting back like a wild animal. With Luke, she felt like she was in a high and could never get down (or hadn't wanted to, at the time).

Right now, she finally felt as if she had the chance to catch her breath and she could just be at peace with herself.

Eddie had been pretty awesome about all this, and instrumental to her "recovery."

Doing some light stretches, Percy decided she'd do an undemanding paced jog to the park and then make her way back to here. She had only gone a quarter of the way, when she'd been joined by someone very unlikely.

She paused and swallowed hesitantly, gazing up at the imposing god.

"Lord Zeus," she murmured.

He nodded at her. "Perseas Jackson."

"To what honor do I owe for this visit?" she couldn't help but say with a tinge of disrespect.

He gave her a stern look, but shook his head to himself. "You are…less confrontational than before."

"I'm not…I'm not on a rollercoaster of a Quest with nonstop problems and emotions all over the place, and have actually had the time to deal with the fact my mother is gone," Percy said, an undertone of bitterness in her voice.

"Yes, there is that," Zeus commented quietly.

"Don't get me wrong," Percy interjected. "I wasn't lying about how I felt before, and how angry I am at all of you. I'm just not usually that abrasive. And I'm still angry at the lot of you too. Ask all of your other kids, find out how they feel. You guys are gods; you've got powers –none of you can call or send a letter, at least once and awhile? You don't know. And then the burden is on the mortal parent, and it's just not fair. I'm trying. Now that I've had some time to cool my head and think more on everything, I'm trying to understand your side, but I just can't. I'm trying to see your side, and I just don't see it. I don't understand."

"…Neither do I," he admitted. "But thank you for attempting trying to understand us gods. We are all fallible, despite our stubborn vehemence at being the opposite."

Percy gave him a long look, considering silently to herself. "I wouldn't think any of you would admit to such a thing, especially you."

Zeus smiled slightly. "And I would not admit it ever to my children or my wife. None of us are role models in accepting things so easily."

Percy gave a little smile at that. "No, I don't think so either…Lord Zeus, what is it that you needed to tell me?"

"My more rebellious son, Ares. You are acquainted with him the most, yes?"

Percy scowled, but nodded. "Yes. More than familiar," she spat out.

Zeus sighed. "You are who he has troubled the most. As part of his punishment, it has been agreed that he will be sent here to be your servant and protector until the next summer."

"I don't get a say in this?" she pouted instead of getting angry. She felt much too tired for that, and she supposed it wouldn't be too bad –she could make that jerk pay and make his life hell for awhile.

"I freely give you permission to torment my son."

"Fantastic! Looking forward to his indentured servitude," Percy inwardly cackled, planning vengeance.

The two shared a quick grin, though she was surprised that he had.

They began to walk back, chatting idly about stuff. She was surprised and taken aback at the amiable conversation she was having with the King of the Gods, as well as that she was having a conversation with him at all.

It was only ruined when confronted by Gabe Ugliano as they were on track to Eddie's apartment. Percy sighed inwardly to herself; she should have known, as there was no way that she would be able to go on this long and not run into this bastard sooner or later.

"So the bitch came back, eh?" Gabe sneered. "Who's this? Your sugar daddy?"

Percy cringed. She opened her mouth to say something equally stinging, when she was interrupted by Zeus, who looked coldly at the man. She swallowed heavily in anxiety, as she could smell ozone practically coating the air, and the air around them becoming oppressive at the same time.

"You are a pathetic excuse for a man," Zeus' voice rumbled threateningly. "You disgust me. You belong in the sewers, fool of a mortal!"

And before her eyes, Zeus pointed his finger and Gabe transformed into a rat. As she gaped, Zeus quickly snatched the rat up and used his power to transport it somewhere.

"He will not be bothering you anymore," Zeus announced. "He shall be dealt with."

Percy blinked.

"Er, hello?" Eddie quietly spoke, coming up from behind and walking over, looking confused between her and Zeus.

"Hey," Percy smiled gently and kissed him quickly. "I'll be right in. I just have to finish talking with my fellow secret agent."

Hell, if she was going to keep that cover, she was going to milk it for all its worth.

Eddie nodded unsurely, giving a small smile over to Zeus and a bigger one to her, before he went inside to wait for her.

"Secret agent?" Zeus asked dryly.

"The Mist. I'm sticking with it. Besides, I've always wanted to be a female James Bond," she grinned freely at that.

He nodded before glancing at the door. "Aphrodite," he muttered, narrowing his eyes.

Ah, so that's how it is. She was responsible for Percy's returned feelings then. Percy had had a feeling something odd had been about, but she wasn't really too bothered actually.

"If you wish, I shall seek her out and order her to stop this nonsense," he began to frown. "I can make sure she does not bother you."

Percy glanced at the door to Eddie's apartment, and a soft smile grew on her face.

"No, I think it's quite alright. I'm actually not that worried about it. Hell, let me see what she's got to hit me with!" Percy laughed.

Zeus looked bewildered. "Are you sure? I can easily make her stop."

Percy's soft smile returned and she looked straight at Zeus. "Honestly, I've always only had my mother love me. I've never had anyone else, and I've been self-centered and focused on my goals to even see anyone else most times. It would be nice for once to have someone love me, and I can…I can go out and love and care for someone else for a change."

She was just so tired of fighting.

"Very well, if that is what you want. Be warned that Aphrodite tends to go overboard with her favorites."

Percy smiled wryly. "Favorite, huh? How'd I get to be one of her favorites?"

"I have no idea," Zeus hmmed. "Anyway, Ares will be coming in two weeks. You have been forewarned."

She rolled her eyes. "Yes. Of course. Thank you."

Zeus hesitated, before he clasped a hand on her shoulder. "My brother…your father…He is not uncaring towards you. Try to overlook long-harbored ill feelings, won't you? Give him a chance."

Though her first reaction was to vehemently deny that, she took a deep breath and thought about it. She also remembered the dream about Medusa, Athena, Amphitrite, and her father. She breathed out slowly.

"I will…consider it very carefully," she said finally. "I don't know when or if I really can. But I will try."

That earned her what she thought was a rare full smile from him.

"I will see you in the future, Perseas Jackson. May the Fates be with you."

Percy snorted as she closed her eyes, as he teleported. As she'd gleaned from their talk, Zeus really was a movie junkie.

She walked into the apartment, still shaking her head. She caught sight of Eddie hauling a bouquet of flowers out nervously, holding it out with a huge blush and a small smile.

"So, um, this is probably cliché and common, but this is for you," he grinned awkwardly.

"I love it," she murmured, accepting it. "And who cares how cliché and common it is –it's thoughtful and sincere," she hugged him, maneuvering the flowers carefully out of the way. "Girls can complain all they want about the cliché of it and how guys always give flowers, but it's a classy gift and it's sweet when done right," Percy said stubbornly, and further cuddled him to make her point.

He turned such a bright red that she inwardly laughed and also cooed at his adorableness.

Together, they spent the night on her couch, and she felt warm in his hold.


"It isn't nice to just disappear like that."

Percy turned around quickly, almost dropping the container of eggs she had in her hands. The cheerful sun god caught it before it could hit the ground and handed it back to her.

"Lord Apollo," she blinked, surprised to see him and at having another immortal visit (especially so soon after the first one).

"Hey, Perseas! Mind if I call you Percy?" he grinned freely at her.

Still confused, she agreed and waited for him to tell her what he wanted to talk to her about.

"Like I said, you shouldn't have just left like that," he told her calmly, and took over pushing her cart. He was rather glad none of the others were there, seeing as they would be relentlessly commenting on his uncharacteristic behavior of that moment. "I hadn't finished with my patient," he gave her a kind smile.

He appreciated the slight blush on her face quietly.

"I'm sorry. I wasn't…actually thinking," she twitched. "I'm pretty sure I was just going out of my mind then," she muttered under her breath.

"Well, it would be nice if I could finish overseeing 'her,'" he hinted and she rubbed the back of her neck.

"Alright. Just let me finish with my shopping, okay?" she gave him a crooked grin that made his heart skip.

How odd.

"Great! Then I shall accompany you in the meantime," he firmly took the cart and gave her a challenging look.

"Smug god," she mocked, but it wasn't meanly.

"Of course. Comes with the territory, don't you think?" he winked.

She snorted. "Yeah, sure. Whatever."

Percy hurried through the store and got what she needed, and afterwards the sun god even helped her carry her grocery bags back to Eddie's apartment. Eddie had tried to kick out Gabe earlier, only to find him missing. She mentioned running into him the day before, and hadn't seen him since, and Eddie (though he nor she didn't care for the scumbag) had gone to the police to report his absence.

She was tempted telling Eddie that Gabe had been turned into a rat, like he had always really was, and thought he would have appreciated and laughed at the situation with her.

Too bad he was mortal.

In the apartment, she put away the groceries quickly and then turned to Apollo after she was done. He had her sit down, before getting up from his seat and going behind her.

"This'll be quick," he promised.

And then he had his hands on either side of her waist, pressed down gently and then went up. There was a point on her right side where she gasped, and he took note of it.

"That's the side that was stabbed, wasn't it?" he asked nonchalantly.

"Y-yeah."

"I can speed up the healing there better now. It'll be sore, but there won't be a cut and you won't be bleeding if you strain it," he told her, his hands finally reaching her shoulders. "I've got a potion for you that'll take away the rest of Medusa's poison lingering in you, and it'll get rid of any excess pain from it. You'll just be naturally sore about everything, but the pain from the poison and that wound will be gone."

"That would be much better than now," she agreed, wincing when his hands got to her head.

"Hm, maybe just the slightest concussion," he hummed in thought.

He started to work on her, and soon she began to feel almost as good as new. He handed her the potion, which she downed quickly and noted the sweet strawberry taste.

"Strawberry?" she quietly murmured, looking at the vial.

"I heard you liked strawberries," Apollo interrupted her thoughts happily. "Did you like it?"

She cleared her throat in embarrassment. "Uh, yes. Thank you."

He beamed at her. "Good, good. I have to go now, but I will most probably be seeing you again. Check on you and all, and maybe hang out. Cool, yeah?"

"Er, okay," she was bewildered. "I mean, when you have time and all…Whatever. Should see your kids instead though."

He grinned widely at her. "Planning to! Plus, I see them more than the others in the first place anyway. Maybe except Hermes though," Apollo frowned to himself. "But that guy has even 'adopted' kids, if you know what I mean."

"Not his fault," she raised an eyebrow.

"I claim all mine," he said proudly. "They're all awesome. They have an awesome dad after all."

She couldn't help her lips twitching in amusement and looking at him incredulously. "You're strange."

"Why thank you," Apollo grinned. "Now I've got to go. See you around, Percy!"

She automatically closed her eyes, and he teleported away.

While she set out to cook something really quick (and have Eddie season it when he came back), Apollo had gone back to his home. In fact, he nearly thought he was home free, when he saw Aphrodite glaring at him from her elegant perch on one of his kitchen chairs. She lifted her nose in disdain.

"You shouldn't have gone there," she pursed her lips.

Apollo smiled indulgently. "Oh? You keeping tabs on me now? Or rather on Uncle's cute girl?"

Aphrodite didn't rise to the bait. "You know more than I that we shouldn't have any dealings personally with her, gathering what she means to the world and of the prophecy."

"And you know that everyone is breaking that rule," Apollo drawled, and Aphrodite was uneasy because he wasn't acting like his usual self. "Hades, Ares gets a free pass at doing so."

"He has no tact," Aphrodite kept her face looking lofty. "He'll irritate her all the time. Much as I care for Ares, I am not blind to his faults and that surely Perseas will be most aggravated with him, especially after the debacle he caused with the Lightning Bolt."

Apollo shrugged. "That's his score to settle. As for myself, I have no intention of leaving her well alone, and I don't care for anyone else's opinion about it. Especially yours."

Aphrodite bristled. "Stay away from her," she warned him. "Gods do not have the greatest record with mortals, even in these days. She is much too important."

Apollo's face blanked. "Are you warning me, Aphrodite?"

"Yes," she spat out. "I'll be damned before the likes of you could come near her."

Apollo's demeanor darkened and Aphrodite was unnerved. This side of Apollo had long disappeared, back in the old days. Seeing him like this now, made her more than wary of the other.

"Are you telling me what to do?" he purred, striding slowly closer.

"If it involves her," she said coldly.

He leaned in dangerously. "I won't be willing to listen to the likes of you, and I refuse to stand down and give up.

"She's a bright girl. I would burn the world if I have to."

Aphrodite seized up and stared at him. This part of Apollo had been gone. Why was he like this now? It was too like the time of Helen…When a face could launch a thousand ships to war, only this time it was Percy's face threatening to do so, and on a godly level.

"You don't know what you are doing." And dear Fates, she had meant to warn him away from her, but for him to already realize his own feelings…

"Oh? I don't? How are you so sure?" Apollo turned back to being cheerful, but it wasn't at all like his usual persona these days.

He was damn tired of her and her ilk making a mockery of him and his tentative grasp on love. Daphne, Cassandra…always out of his hold…Even his mortal lovers were as quick as the wind, and he could never keep hold of them.

If she was so adamant he keep away from the girl, then why hadn't she stopped such seedling feelings from forming in the first place? He was not stupid. He knew, from the moment he stayed with her, took care of her, and touched her, that an explosion of feelings had overcome him in his lucidity. He had been around far too long enough to recognize the symptoms, and he wouldn't ignore them.

Even if Aphrodite (or her son) hadn't been the cause of his feelings, her and those cursed arrows, she still should have tried harder to stop them from coming into being.

He could still close his eyes and picture, and just feel the light of her soul brushing against him…

Apollo could be sun to the world, but he had found his own sun.

"Don't," Aphrodite suddenly pleaded, and Apollo broke from his reverie to become nonplus at the odd change over the goddess. "You know how we are, so I beg you, Apollo. Stay away from her."

Apollo pulled back, scrunching his eyebrows at the goddess before him.

"She has a mortal boyfriend," Aphrodite said hurriedly. "Two more mortal options will be available to her soon enough. Just…let her experience normal love. Love that isn't as binding and as obsessive as love from a god. I may not be able to stop you pursuing her later…but at least allow her to try to live her life and love her own. If nothing comes of any of them, then do as you will. But give her a chance without such binding promises you and the others will want from her. She will not be like your other mortal lovers," she warned.

Apollo frowned. The others, huh. Predictably, just by the events so far, he could guess Ares. And as for like his other mortal lovers…by the sound of Aphrodite, it did not sound as if Percy would be like the others, and would not be someone he would be with and move on from. Or could move on from.

"I'll keep back," he reluctantly agreed. "But I won't stay away from her. It's only fair anyway. You don't plan on staying away. Even Father has visited. And looks to keep visiting."

Not totally happy about it, Aphrodite agreed as well.

"Don't be like that then," Aphrodite quietly told him.

He raised his eyebrows. "Like what?"

"This dark you. The one who raged through the Trojan War, who killed Zeus' Cyclopes in revenge, who cursed Cassandra so horribly, even though you claimed to love her so," Aphrodite murmured. "It would frighten her."

Apollo awkwardly cleared his throat. "Yes, you are right. I would not want to frighten Perseas."

He had indeed put that side of him away long ago. It should stay at rest.

He gave her a goofy smile and was back to the dorky Apollo of now. Aphrodite finally relaxed.

"A chance then," he said amiably. "But I will still deign to visit her myself! If you and Father can, I don't see why I can't. Especially if stupid Ares is practically glued to her side as his so-called punishment."

"That is as good as can be, I suppose," Aphrodite sighed.

Things were changing and progressing too fast and out of her hands.

She feared that a higher force was driving things, and that soon enough she would have no more say in things to come.

Aphrodite feared for Percy then.

Started 8/27/13 – Completed 8/29/13

A/n: Haha, can y'all tell how much I like Greek Myths!Apollo version? And my ideal of Aphrodite (she's been getting a lot of spotlight lately in my fics). Again, as a reminder, since certain people really need it: Percy ends up with Apollo, Hermes, and Ares. But it's gradual. Therefore EddiexPercy is not the end pairing. Stop complaining about them and him. I like my version of Eddie. He's a nice guy and he's supposed to just be there and eventually a very good friend to Percy. And godsdamned, I stubbornly picture Xavier Samuel as him and no one's going to change my mind (really, don't tempt me –I WILL change it to EddiexPercy, guys, so hush!)! That said, hoped everyone liked this chapter, and please drop a review!

To Aquarius Otter: Yep, lots of stuff going to go on with Eros and Aphrodite, though it didn't come up in this chapter. It'll probably be in the next chapter ;)

To emmahere: Yes, yes, I know. Eddie comes from out of leftfield and is an odd character from the series, so I get some people's uncertainty about him. Honestly, I think you all are just being stubborn XD It's not like he's off being a bad guy or anything. The Medusa stuff was fun; it was inspired by the Aquaman and Wonder Woman subplot in the DC movie Flashpoint. Hades and Ares should be in the next chapter or the one after that.

To lol: Yes, I know XD First off, picture Xavier Samuel as Eddie, like I've said before. Two, he's not that much older than Percy in this fic, and age differences don't bother me anyway. And as I've said in other fics, they are actually really common.

To Guest: Yes, I get it. No Eddie. I'm not changing it. It's been planned since the start for this pairing to appear, it's been mentioned as a spoiler on my website on Percy's bio, it's not going away quickly. Sorry if I sound exasperated, but it's starting to get a bit annoying (especially when it's already been stated what the pairings are already and that Eddie is just temporary).

To Lizzy B: Thanks for your input! Yes, I will still have Percy somehow try to go on that trip, I'm sorry I made Luke evil and that they don't end up together XD, glad you like my version of a female Percy and Eddie's part so far. I hope I didn't miss anything? Eheh, thanks again.