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/?, Dr. Chase/Athena…

The Light Before We Land
Chapter Seven: You Exploded in My Heart

Percy had practiced jumping into water a lot back at any pools or lakes she had swum in back home, just for the sole purpose of something like this, of learning how to soften the blow of impacting water. She had gotten so good at it she didn't even feel the impact at all anymore.

That didn't factor in huge height.

That's why Percy screamed as she flailed around, flying through the air and about to hit water hard. In the vestiges of her mind, the parts that weren't panicking, she focused intensely on thoughts of water being soft and like a cushion. Still, with the slight distraction she was having coupled with the large amount of height distance, and she hit the water with the barest of flinches and it at least felt more like a slap than a bone-breaking fall. Usually, hitting the water softly and staying dry was instinctive, but when you're falling from the top of a building, priorities shift a bit…

At least she was still dry.

Unfortunately, the water looked nauseating. Thanking that her powers allowed her not to suffer for swimming in this kind of water, she looked around and promised inwardly that she would be a little more kinder and appreciative to Grover about his environmentalist habits, and even start recycling consistently.

She started to swim up when saw a woman and her eyes widened. The woman looked like her mother.

"Brave Perseas, go to Santa Monica. You must go there before you go to the Underworld!"

Percy heard it, but she was much more focused on the woman herself, staring blankly at her.

"Please, Perseas. Know that your father truly loves you, believe in it. It is your father's will for you to go there. If you do nothing else, do this! And Perseas…do…not…trust…the gifts…" her voice started breaking up near the end and she looked like she was fading away.

"Your father believes in you…" the woman's voice faded into a whisper as she too disappeared.

'But I don't believe in him,' she wanted to scream back, but the woman had already gone.

She swam upwards and broke through the surface. She walked onto dry land, noticing the huge commotion around the Gateway Arch, and winced. Then she heard the news report and didn't know whether to laugh out loud or groan.

"We're here now, with Channel 7 News. We were advised this wasn't a terrorist attack, but we've reached the survivors and they say different."

"Hey, hey! That girl, Percy Jackson, was there! She saved my life!" the park ranger waved at the camera wildly.

"Ours too!" the boy with the family chirped up.

"There it is, folks. If Percy Jackson was there, how could it not be a terrorist attack for her to save us from? We'll be right–wait a second! This is just in! Apparently, the mother of the family caught in the attack was thought to be hysterical and in shock…is now being given credence to her story! It seems that the female terrorist 'transformed' into a monstrous snake lady while her Chihuahua turned into the mythological Chimera…and the police are now saying that it is possible the terrorists devised these disguises as scare tactics and that the Chimera might have been an automated creation also to help create a scare. Can you tell us more about the attack, sir?"

The park ranger nodded enthusiastically, "Sure. We saw it all." And he began retelling the entire event, completely true, and Percy did groan this time.

"I thought they'd gone through that damn emergency exit when I told them too," she twitched.

There were a lot of exclamations and worried shouts about her having fell from the building, and now there was a search being organized to see if they could locate her, dead or alive. Panicking, she began darting around people and was about to make it to the shadows of a building when she was tackled by two smaller bodies into an alley.

"We thought you'd died!" a familiar voice blubbered into her ear.

"What happened?" Annabeth squeezed onto her tighter.

"Can't…breathe…" she wheezed out.

They reluctantly let go of her, looking sheepish.

"I, uh, sort of fell," this time it was Percy's turn to be sheepish.

"What! Percy, are you suicidal? That's six hundred and thirty feet, you-you-you Seaweed Brain!" Annabeth screeched.

Percy shrugged and then tiredly explained everything.

"I know you don't like your dad, but you don't ignore a summons from a god," Annabeth said quietly.

"Yeah, we'll have to get you to Santa Monica," Grover pushed.

"Whatever, I get it," Percy waved them off in irritation. "Now, we need to get a move on. If we don't make it back to the station, we're going to be stranded here."

They ran hurriedly back, but Percy kept glancing at her bracelet watch and knew they were going to be at least ten minutes late.

"The train is –!"

'Gone,' her mind supplied for Annabeth.

Except, twelve minutes later and the train was actually still there.

"She'll be here," a child's voice told someone excitedly. "You saw the news, didn't ya? She had to save the day! It'll take her some time to get here!"

"One more minute then," an older man's voice reluctantly agreed.

A cacophony of young voices cheered while a group of older people let out relieved sighs. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover looked at each other before nervously rushing. They reached the train and entered to see the kids and their parents from earlier anxiously waiting and then staring upon their arrival.

"We held up the train and made sure to make them wait for you!" one of the kids said cheerfully.

"Uh, thank you," Percy gave an apprehensive smile.

The three of them tentatively scooted in and searched for their seats, ending up falling straight to sleep in exhaustion. The next morning, Annabeth and Grover woke up to Percy's voice singing. Only, she wasn't there with them. And her voice? Sounded like it was coming from the intercom.

Eyes bugging out, the two raced to the front of the train, seeing Percy with the drivers, singing along to a song on the radio and broadcasting it to the entire train. The drivers were just focusing on the train's controls, bodies slightly swaying and heads moving to the music.

"Juliet says 'Hey, it's Romeo! You nearly gimme a heart attack.' He's underneath the window; she's singing 'Hey la, my boyfriend's back! You shouldn't come around here singing up at people like that.' Anyway, what you gonna do about it?"

Annabeth and Grover could only watch incredulously as Percy took over the music selection, deciding it was best to just get some breakfast and then deal with Percy.

"Juliet! The dice was loaded from the start. And I bet and you exploded in my heart~!"

They made it to Denver in the afternoon, Percy bidding the drivers and a lot of the passengers near them goodbye as they left.

"See ya! Sorry, you'll have to go back to easy listening!"

"So we have to contact Chiron about that message you got from that river spirit," Annabeth started dragging the still waving Percy away. "We'll have to find a car wash or something."

"Huh? What for?" Percy finally paid attention.

"So we can IM camp," Annabeth explained while still directing Percy around. "And before you start, that's Iris-Messaging. There we are!"

They'd located an empty do-it-yourself car wash and they started scrounging around for change. Percy just rolled her eyes and kicked it, causing the machine to malfunction and water to come spraying out.

"That could have not worked, you know," Annabeth poked her harshly.

"I'm Percy Jackson," Percy retorted, as if that explained everything.

They ignored her and just stole a drachma from her bag, tossing it into the spraying water after asking Iris to accept their offering.

"Half-Blood Hill," Annabeth called out and soon enough Luke appeared.

Percy immediately brightened up, "Hey la, my boyfriend's back~!"

Luke laughed, "The Killers, eh?"

The two didn't even notice Annabeth and Grover slipping away, Annabeth nibbling her lips as she stared at the two, looking confused and upset and her face turning red. Grover had to pull her away as they went scouting around the area.

She blushed lightly, realizing the line she used to greet him was a little off. Luke just grinned widely, pleased. But she did miss this, such an easy camaraderie and closeness with him.

Percy and Luke just slipped as effortlessly into an easy talk as always, moving back into their own world from the moment they first saw each other through the Iris Message and even though they were miles apart. They chatted and caught each other up on each other's end, though Luke seemed to be keeping a lot of things out. While she told him about her recent nightmares, she also noticed just how worn down Luke looked. He had bags under his eyes, his bright blue eyes dulled while his skin had become paler than usual, making the white scar on his face actually stark against it. He was slumping as if a huge burden was on his shoulders and his clothes looked rumpled.

"Hey, sugar," she put on a southern accent to try to cheer him up. "What's wrong?"

His lips quirked up appreciatively. "Nothin'…Bonnie."

She laughed and he seemed a little brighter at that moment.

"Say…you haven't met any gods yet, have you?" Luke asked anxiously.

She blinked. "No, I haven't. Lots of monsters though, like I told you. Why?"

"No reason," he frowned to himself. He turned back to her with a small smile that didn't match the serious look on his face. "Hey, Percy. How do you see me?"

Percy stared at him confused. "I don't understand…"

"I mean, how do you see me?" Luke reiterated with an intense look to his eyes.

She swallowed harshly, suddenly feeling uncomfortable and confused again. And that was weird. Confuse, yes she's been confused with Luke. But uncomfortable…she didn't think she had ever been so uncomfortable with Luke.

"You're…you're like an older brother to me," she answered uncertainly.

"Are you sure about that?" Luke shot back challengingly.

Percy nearly gaped.

"Uh –"

"Am I really just a brother?"

And then Luke waved through the connection, breaking it, and the last thing she saw was a pleading look on his face before his face turned stoic.

He left Percy standing there quietly, stewing in her thoughts with her head hung low, trying to understand what had just happened. She was shocked and growing more in confusion as time passed.

"Hey, Percy. So what's up?" Grover came back, bringing along a quiet Annabeth.

Percy gave him a strained smile, retelling the tense state back at camp and how it was shaping up to be like the Trojan War all over again, with Aphrodite, Ares, and Apollo backing Poseidon and Athena backing Zeus.

"I'm with you, Percy," Annabeth announced suddenly.

She turned red as Percy looked at her and turned her confusion to the blonde demigod, before deciding to give a small smile in thanks. She used her powers to quickly get all three of them cleaned and fresh, using the water still spraying and slowly dying down.

"Let's go get something to eat, guys. I'm starving," her voice was oddly quiet and worrying the others.

They walked until they found a nice looking diner and had settled themselves into a booth when a waiter came by, smiling widely.

"Hi, what can I get ya?" he asked, looking straight at Percy.

Annabeth rolled her eyes while Grover glared at him. Still, Annabeth looked ready to pass out from hunger and Grover didn't look any better, so Percy hurried up and asked for menus. A loud rumble interrupted them and shook the building.

The coolest motorcycle Percy had ever seen rode up to the curb. She could swear she was going to start drooling at any moment. And the guy walking to the diner from the bike was equally badass. She doubted any guy on earth would want to pick a fight with him. He was handsome in a rugged way, and his clothing made him look even more rough and intimidating. Except she was too busy eyeing his wraparound sunglasses and black leather duster. She steadfastly ignored the weapons he had.

The moment he stepped into the diner, a hot and dry wind blew through the place. People rose as if hypnotized, but he only waved his hand dismissively. Everyone went back to what they were doing, while she just snorted in amusement and turned back to the dazed waiter, ignoring the newcomer. That seemed to make the obviously-a-god amused himself.

"Ah! Yes, I will bring a menu to you now, if you'd like."

"No need," the biker strolled closer, slipping into the booth next to Percy and pressing in close, making her turn red and try to squish closer to the window. The booth was obviously not made for him. "Three cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes, and it's on me."

"Four cheeseburgers," Percy interrupted.

He gave her a smirk, "I'm not eartin', darlin'."

Percy shrugged, "You're paying, right? I'm hungry. The fourth cheeseburger's for me."

He burst out laughing raucously, earning him a few apprehensive stares from other patrons while the waiter scuttled away in fear.

"And an extra water included for me!" she yelled after the waiter. Turning back to the god, she spoke bluntly. "We're not talking, whatever you want, until food gets here and I'm done eating."

And then she turned to look out the window, yawning every once in a while. Annabeth and Grover looked horrified, having recognized who it was they were sitting with a few seconds after he'd introduced himself into their table.

"Do you know who I am, little girl?" he asked amusedly.

"Yeah, you're Clarisse's dad. She looks a little like you. Ares, God of War, Bloodlust, etc. etc. Anyways, I am tired. Since there's a god here to take care of monsters, I'm gonna take a nap."

She laid her head on the table and was immediately fast asleep. And that was that.

Ares gaped at her in wonder while the other two uncomfortably looked everywhere but at the sleeping girl and god. So they waited in awkward silence for the food to arrive.

The god didn't know whether to laugh or to twitch in irritation, so he settled for being amused and allowing her impertinence. Then again, he knew coming to meet her that he would be facing some major attitude.

"Ah, Lord Ares, she isn't usually – " Annabeth started, but he held up his hand.

"Don't bother finishing that lie," he said wryly. "She sent us Medusa's iced statue. There is no way she isn't that flippant on a regular basis. But s'okay, I kinda like it. Would've been better if she knew who was boss, but considering it looks like she sent Medusa to us as a 'fuck you,' I'm pretty sure she knows and she don't care."

He wondered what would happen if he turned on his powers and made the girl even angrier than she usually was.

Food came their way, heaped with their cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes (and Percy's water), along with stuff they didn't order like fries and onion rings. Percy's head rose up and she started sniffing the air, eyes snapping open as she woke immediately to the smell.

Their food was brought to them and distributed, and Percy was just about to bite into her food when they all noticed that the waiter was still there, staring at Percy with a lovestruck look on his face.

"Beat it, idiot," Ares drawled.

The waiter shot him a reproachful look, so Ares huffed and handed him a few drachmas.

"We don't accept –" the waiter started mulishly, glaring at the god, when Percy intervened, closing the waiter's hand around the drachmas and giving him a sugary smile.

"Hey, sugar," she started in a southern accent she usually reserved only for Luke. "Why don't you take this twenty," she slipped a twenty into hand, "for yourself, and go out back and pretend ya never saw me and mine? Can you do that, hunny?"

The waiter gave her a goofy smile, "Yes, ma'am."

He lingered a little before disappearing out of their way, and before anyone could get a word in edgewise, Percy was already digging into her food, chomping away like a rabid animal.

"Slow down, Percy! The food's not going to go away," Annabeth said in alarm, watching her friend in growing horror.

She paused, took a sip of her water, then glared.

"I. Am. Hungry. When I said I was starving, I'm starving. I'm eating, girl, and if you don't want me to eat your burger too, eat it. Now."

Then Percy went back to her food, devouring the first and starting in on her second. At that threat, Annabeth started to eat away at her food while Grover took out the meat and tossed it towards the human garbage disposal's way. It was quickly eaten.

She finished ravishing her food, drank the rest of her water, and then started enjoying her chocolate shake, turning to stare straight at Ares.

"Okay, I'm fed and sated. What do you want?" she asked brusquely.

Ares snickered, "Alright, alright. I'll get to the point. I heard you were in town and I need you to do me a favor. I need you to pick up my shield at a water park nearby. I left it behind while I was on a…" his voice faltered. "Outing. An outing…with a friend."

She somehow felt doubtful of that, if his hesitation seemed to be anything to go by.

"And if you go and do this for me, I'll arrange a ride for you guys west. And something about your mother," Percy perked up at that, like Ares knew she would, and he was glad he wouldn't need much more prompting or information to give than that.

"Okay," Percy agreed. "But I want your leather duster."

"What?" Ares actually gaped.

She shrugged, "I want your jacket. Add that to the deal or it's a no deal."

"No way," he said.

Percy sighed, "Well, if you're going to be like that, then I don't have time to be going out and retrieving shields…"

"Why you…listen here, I can make you see things that'll make you cringe," Ares' lips pulled back in a snarl. "You'll wish you were blind, girl. I could even kill you or turn you into a rodent."

She snorted, "And I still wouldn't be getting your shield, especially if I were dead. And the Bolt will stay missing and war between gods would commence. But you'd like that, wouldn't you?"

Percy started looking at him appraisingly and he started to get a little nervous.

"Yeah? Well, I could just make your little friends do it for me."

"And they would rather die alongside me, right guys?"

Annabeth and Grover didn't know who was scarier, with both Ares and Percy glaring at them darkly. They just squeaked in response.

"'Sides, no offense guys, but there's no guarantee they could make it through whatever dangerous trap we're going into, because it is so obviously a trap," she said dryly. "And I apparently have a tendency to be suicidal, so I make the better choice for whatever crazy scheme you want us to do."

"You're not going to ask any more questions about this if I agree?" Ares questioned her.

"Nah. Also, I have a feeling I'm not going to like the answers I receive, so I might as well go into this blindly. Just tell us where to go and send us off."

"Not so fast," Ares made her pause. "I'll give you my leather duster, but I'm keepin' your friends here as collateral. You said you'd go alone, didn't you?"

She hid her grimace and forced a nonchalant shrug.

"Alright, let's get this over with. But," she held up a hand. "I'm taking your bike."

Ares yelled a curse in Ancient Greek. "Over my dead immortal body, you little brat!"

"Relax," she rolled her eyes. "I meant just to the place. It's not like I'm going to take it forever. You're going to stay here with them anyways; you're not going anywhere, so you're not going to need that bike and I need to get there somehow."

Ares grumbled a bit, but let her ride his bike over there, telling her quickly the address. She was right anyway, and she was a cute girl…He coughed and cleared his head of that, lest Aphrodite notice something wrong or Poseidon finds out and decides to drown him in his sleep…

"Keys?" she held out her hand in boredom, though the twitch it made looked odd.

He handed it over.

"Jacket?" she looked expectantly at him.

He snorted, "Nuh uh. Not until you come back with the shield."

She pouted, but agreed. Then, without warning, she sped out with a loud squeal and they didn't even see the motorcycle leaving before it shot off and left dust in its wake.

"Damn you, Percy! Trading us just for a damn motorcycle!" Annabeth twitched.

Grover just sighed and started munching on some lettuce, turning meek when Ares stared at him.

To be fair, Ares was strangely not at all irritated throughout that encounter. In fact, he was highly amused. Even though he had seemed like it at times, he was actually very entertained and pleased with her. Especially up to the time where she ran off eagerly with his bike…

"Technically, she traded you for the leather jacket. She just looked more eager for the bike."

She stared at the deserted water park blandly. She headed straight to the Tunnel of Love and snorted to herself. The Tunnel of Love isn't just a place to bring your 'friend'. Girlfriend, more like. And if she remembered right from the myths, especially involving a certain golden net and the humiliation in front of every god and goddess, then that girlfriend should be Aphrodite.

Unless Artemis finally decided to break her vow or Athena suddenly changed her mind on how much of a big muscled idiot Ares is supposed to be.

Somehow, she had a feeling that the others wouldn't be Ares' type as well as there was no way Hera would cheat on Zeus, much less with her own son. Or he with her.

Though, wasn't Aphrodite married to Hephaestus?

Apparently, fidelity doesn't run in the family. Another point against the gods. She tsked to herself, idly making her way to her destination.

Being in front of the Tunnel of Love was drastically different from thinking about it. The monstrosity made her want to gag, especially when it was coupled with pink monstrosity. Don't get her wrong, she didn't mind pink every now and then, but this was hot pink. She hated hot pink.

The beginning of the ride was a huge pool and at the bottom of it was obviously Ares' shield inside of a disgustingly designed two-seater boat. While she stared in disturbed fascination at it, she didn't even notice she had tripped a wire as she cautiously trailed closer to the edge.

"Huh. That is one ugly piece of crap."

Shrugging to herself, she took a couple steps back before she ran and jumped off the edge of the pool, propelling through the air towards the two-seater. In mid air, just above the boat, Percy used the water molecules of the air to sort of slow down her fall, knowing that if she had been Zeus' daughter this act would probably have been a lot easier to do much less the control needed. As a daughter of Zeus, she could probably have flown through the air much more easily and with much less control and focus needed.

But this way worked too.

She landed softly onto the seats, the tip of her toes touching lightly onto them before she landed fully.

She touched her flying shoes briefly in apology. "Sorry, I'll promise to remember you next time. If I didn't wear you all the time, I would've remembered you fly."

She hopped off of it and into the boat itself, sitting down on the seat as she stared at the bronze.

"Trip wire. Should've known," she twitched. "To trip or not to trip? That is the question. Ah, might as well –there's no other way to it."

She promptly disengaged the trip wire with her foot, watching as the mirrors around the rim of the pool opened up to reveal what looked like spiders scuttling out of them, just as the ugly Cupids above were shooting arrows at each other and a net was starting to form above her. The Cupid heads popped open to reveal cameras and light shone down on her.

"Live to Olympus one minute…59 seconds…58…

"Mother-effing –!" she cursed several more times and probably would have fit the description of a sailor, and not just because of her inclination towards waters. With a huff, she settled more down on her seat and looked around. Something caught her eye and then she looked towards the entrance of the tunnel. Pulling out Riptide, she gave it shotgun right next to her, letting it transform into a sword as she plunged it into the seat.

"Alright, you can be my date through the Tunnel of Love, Riptide. It would be sorry if I went through there all alone," Percy spoke to it. She turned to the shield. "Oh? You want to be my date too? Well, since you belong to Ares, I'll call you Ares Jr. Junior for short, eh?"

Percy closed her eyes, remembering something she'd read and abided by at times.

"Circle of Affinity…Wood feeds Fire; Fire creates Earth; Earth bears Metal; Metal carries Water; Water nourishes Wood."

'Boat equals wood against the fire of adversity, this boat in the midst of this trap. This trap in this earthen setting, equaling earth. Pipes in the earth are metal. Pipes carry water. Water flows out and carries this boat.'

She strapped herself in and then snapped her fingers, and a few moments later, water came bursting through the pipes behind the mirrors, washing away the spiders and…short-circuiting them? Anyways, it washed over her and the boat, and she started going around in circles. She controlled the boat a bit, aiming into the tunnel. She idly flicked a spider off her shoulder, vaguely noting it was metallic and must've been a robot of some kind.

"Secure yourself, men! We're heading into the Battlefield of Love," Percy told her 'companions' just as they entered the tunnel. She had the urge to start singing Pat Benatar's Battlefield of Love. "Hey now! No arguing over me, Junior, Riptide. Fine! Be that way. I'm just going to ignore you and read my book."

She produced her book from out of nowhere and began to read, muttering under her breath and yet somehow able to echo through the chamber.

"Bravo, bravo, bravissimo, Hephaestus…"

She kept reading on, not even noticing as the boat was rapidly sped through the tunnel, though she was humming the Titanic theme at the same time. When the exit came into view, she put away her book and examined the exit quickly coming towards her.

"Circle of Enmity," she muttered, "equals chaos. Wood absorbs Water," she noted the water spilling into the boat, and willed it away, keeping her ride dry. Still, water was running against the boat too, so that counted. "Water rusts Metal," and she frowned, using the force of the water to bend the top of the locked-up fence blocking her way. It was considerably bent when she was done. "Metal breaks up Earth," she sunk in the fence a little into the earth, using both her powers over earth and water combined, making the fence even shorter than before.

Now she just needed to get over that fence.

She took Riptide out of its spot and put on Ares' shield, posing dramatically at the front of the boat as she stared the fence down.

Thrusting Riptide forward, she said solemnly, "To battle."

Then she just transformed Riptide back and replaced it into her hair, threw Ares' shield over the fence and let it slide through the water, skimming to a stop, and then thrust her hands under her, earth shooting up and into the boat, propelling her and the boat into the air.

"Earth smothers Fire."

She sprung from the boat, using it as a sort of diving board, flipping over the fence elegantly like a gymnast over a pole. She landed on top of Ares' shield, balancing to not fall off, and strengthening the water underneath it so it didn't sink under her weight. She looked back in time to see the boat crash into the fence.

"Fire burns Wood."

She blinked as she looked down, noticing a soggy silk scarf inside of the shield.

"Huh, I didn't even notice you. Good thing you were tucked in here, weren't you?" she picked it up. "Ah, you're all wet." She used her power to dry it up, folding it and then tucking it into her pocket. "I know just the person to help deliver you back to your owner."

She plopped down onto the shield and let her legs dangle into the water, though she wasn't getting wet, and used her powers to steer her to land.

"Thrill Ride of Love indeed," she snorted. Then she was back to humming Titanic again.

Percy reached the edge, turning back to see that the cameras were still rolling and pointing at her. She gave them the V sign and a cheesy grin.


Once Percy had reached the motorcycle, she was thinking of how to ride the motorcycle without the shield getting in the way. Too bad it couldn't shrink or something. Suddenly, it transformed into an armband and she looked down at it, seeing words.

"This is Sparta!"

One second…and then she burst out laughing, unable to stop for a long time. She moved it over to see if there was anything else on it and saw more words.

"'Remember this day, men, for it will be yours for all time,'" she read.

She shook her head and kicked back the stand, starting up the motorcycle.

"This is Sparta indeed," she murmured in amusement.

She drove back to the diner.

Ares was waiting for her in the parking lot, with Annabeth and Grover huddling behind him. She skidded to a stop in front of him just in spite and he winced.

"Watch the bike, girly girl," he said gruffly.

"Well, since I was nearly skewered by metal spiders," Annabeth squeaked at that, strangely enough. "And videoed for all to see in Olympus, as well as ignored by my inanimate dates," she was stared at for that one. "I'm gonna do whatever the hell I want."

"Tartarus," all three corrected her.

"Whatever," Percy waved them off. "Anyways, your shield and your 'friend's' scarf," she said the last part sarcastically, her stare boring into him uncomfortably.

He coughed in response, taking the shield and grabbing the scarf, his hand brushing against hers. An electric shock hit them both at the same time, and she took her hand away as if stung, looking at him incredulously.

"Did you feel that?" she asked in confusion.

"Ah, yeah," he mumbled dazedly.

"Is that like some freaky god thing?" Percy asked rudely.

He rolled his eyes, "No. Is that some freaky you thing?"

She snorted, "Please. That didn't sound nearly as snarky coming from you, or sound good as a retort."

"Yeah, yeah. Keys?" but he noted that she was blushing, and her eyelashes were fluttering adorably as her eyes peeked at him from under them. Her lips were slightly parted and he had trouble focusing away from that, especially when she licked them.

She frowned, hand physically looking like it wanted to refuse. But then in one fell swoop of a move, she thrust her hand at him and practically threw the keys at him.

"Take off your jacket," she snapped.

Ares blinked before grinning.

"I know a great hotel nearby –"

"What?" Percy interrupted, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion.

His grin dropped and he looked at her uncertainly before wincing.

"I read your signals all wrong, didn't I."

She coughed and her blush deepened, realizing what he was talking about.

"Uh, um, your jacket. You know? It's mine now."

He jerked off his leather duster, handing it to her, pausing slightly and unsure about touching her again. He gave it, and there wasn't another shock from where their hands brushed against each other. She put it on and she grinned when it shrunk to her size.

"Awesome!" Percy cheered. "Now, you owe us dinner. After that shenanigan, and since I retrieved that scarf for your little girlfriend even though you didn't ask for it, a little extra payment can go a long way, eh?"

Ares snorted, "Are you kidding me? Go buy your own meal."

"Aw, come on! I'm hungry," Percy whined. She gave him a pout combined with her very own version of the puppy eyes and knew he'd caved. "Excellent! Spartans!" she directed to Annabeth and Grover, who had stood by and gaped at the entire exchange. "Ready your appetites to eat hearty…For tonight, we dine in hell!"

"Since when were we Spartans?" Annabeth muttered under breath, trudging after her with Grover at her side.

Ares stopped short, staring at Percy's back. She turned and winked at him before she kept walking. A big, goofy grin crossed his face, though he didn't realize it.

"Damn straight! Give them nothing! But take from them everything!"

Percy chortled, "Eat all the food!"

"Devour it!"

Ares caught up to her and they kicked the diner's door open theatrically.

"For this is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!" they both yelled, gesturing to the entirety of the diner.

"Dude," a random diner spoke up. "Are they quoting 300?"

Started 11/16/10 –Completed 11/21/10

A/n: Okay, so little Luke here, but I promise that next chapter I'll probably have half of it devoted to catching up to him since Percy left. And then that's most probably the Vegas chapter. Circle of Affinity/Enmity are real things, though the exact concept I used is from the anime Otogi Zoshi. The basic belief is called Wu Xing aka the Five Elements (in Chinese Folklore). I would also like to say I would totally steal Ares' stuff. And Apollo's Maserati. I would just work for Hermes to get all the cool stuff for free…or end up stealing it.

Would it be weird to say Gerard Butler is my Ares? Especially this pic: www .graphicdzn. com/provo/ gerard/ gerard_butler_
Plus, it's kinda funny and ironic since I decided to reference 300 in here, which is not only Butler's movie, but about Sparta –Ares' favorite place. I could see that as his favorite movie too…

If you catch all the quotes I used in here, I will send you a clip of the next chapter. If you get just the 300 ones, I will send you some quotes and notes of the next chapter. First come, first serve though! And remember to have your PMs enabled so I can actually send them. EDIT: List quotes and where they are from!

Mdnight: I'm planning on updating soon again, and I definitely will keep adding more of the gods in here.

MusicOfTheDawn: I'm glad you do. I'm trying to make sure she's relatable and real.

phoebe turner: As always.

ella: Well, Apollo/Percy is one of the pairings...