Title: Closing Pandora's Box
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Summary: Castle/PJO. Alexis has learned the truth: that her dad legitimately gets his capriciousness from both sides of his ancestry. 1500 words.
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Spoilers: General spoilers for Castle, set after 2.20 "The Late Shaft" but only vague spoilers; general book series canon for "Percy Jackson and the Olympians".
Notes: For greycardinal, request: "Castle/PJO. Alexis. Just who was Rick Castle's father, anyway?" Hope you enjoy.
Alexis Castle doesn't want to lie to her father.
For one thing, it's usually kind of pointless. He might not know exactly what she's hiding, but he knows her well enough to tell when she's being evasive, and secrets are like catnip to her dad. He loves ferreting them out; that's why he's such a good mystery writer. Unless she convinces him it's something personal, he won't be able to rest until he knows everything, and that would be a disaster.
Okay. Maybe she's making a value judgment there she shouldn't, and taking responsibility that isn't hers to take. But-- and this is another reason she doesn't want to lie to him-- someone has to be the responsible one in their family, and it isn't him or Gram. Anyway.
She doesn't blame him, really; especially now that she knows what she knows. He's the sweetest, most supportive, coolest father in the history of ever in her not-so-humble opinion; but in terms of everyday decision making, even she has to admit he's a little on the impulsive, unpredictable side. It's charming most of the time, to most people. But not to everyone... and it only gets worse every time he takes a chance on trusting someone new and ends up kicked-- somewhere sensitive-- for his trouble.
(She won't phrase it more specifically than that, even when she finds out about the latest starlet to take advantage: she really prefers not to think about her father in that context).
Alexis had thought that was mostly her Gram's influence on him; that wherever he was, the man that had fathered Rick Castle was probably a nice, dependable guy who'd never had any idea that his fling with a lovely and dramatic young actress had resulted in a bestselling legacy. At least, that was what she had liked to imagine: an older guy a few levels down from perfect, someone she could sit and comfortably talk sports or music with at Sunday family brunches.
That dream is dead and gone, now. Alexis has learned the truth: that her dad legitimately gets his capriciousness from both sides of his ancestry. (Which means any stability in Alexis' own nature must come from her mother's family-- go figure!)
She'd been right about the sports and music, though, at least. Holed up in her bedroom, recording the unexpected detour in her orienteering field trip for posterity (in her diary, where her dad won't intrude), she smiles wryly at that thought. She'll have to give archery a try in the future, to see if that skill is inheritable; as far as she knows, her father's never lifted a bow, though he is pretty good with laser guns and fencing swords.
Alexis lifts her pen from the paper, staring off into the distance, through wallpaper and brickwork and the busy haze of New York. She can almost still smell the scents of grass and warm earth, feel the sun on the back of her neck, wince at the bite where the edge of the compass pressed into her fingers as she stared in disbelief at the chaotic scene in the valley below her. None of her other classmates had seemed to notice, but she couldn't have torn her eyes away if she'd tried: she'd never seen anything like the enormous, serpentine thing writhing in its death throes, or the deadly serious teenagers ranged in front of it with swords and arrows and completely authentic-looking armor. Her first confused thought had been that they must be some kind of recreationist troupe who didn't know her class had been scheduled to use the area, but that thought had died the moment the dark-haired boy with the sea-colored eyes had run the thing through and nearly ended up pinned under the scaly heap of its collapsing body.
The scene had been too real; it had been pretty obvious that it hadn't been faked. But-- she'd realized quickly that she hadn't been meant to see it, either. One of the kids with bows spotted her watching and pointed her out to their leader: a blonde girl slightly older than Alexis with grey eyes and a Yankees baseball cap, a bronze knife clutched in one hand. She'd furrowed her brow in Alexis' direction, then shook her head and stormed up the hill.
And that's when Alexis' world had taken a sharp left into the realm of Greek myth.
For all that she'd sometimes daydreamed about becoming the heroine of her own story-- ever since she'd first found out what her father did for a living; what little girl wouldn't?-- she'd never really believed it would happen. Maybe it would be easier on her now if she still didn't; there'd be no reason to lie, or not lie, to her father about it then.
Just her imagination. Conjuring up his father. And several other long-lost superpowered relatives....
Alexis laughed again in disbelief, drawing a lightning bolt in the corner of one page. She was the great-granddaughter of the King of the Greek gods. How surreal was that?
She took a deep breath and drew her thoughts back to more graspable matters: to the "cousins" she'd met that day. They'd all been good-looking, fit, dressed in funny combinations of teenage grunge-wear and ancient war gear-- and pretty surprised that she'd been able to see them. After a brief discussion they'd seemed to decide that she was simply what they called 'clear-sighted', which would have been weird enough on its own; but before they'd got more than half-way through an explanation of why she shouldn't tell anyone else, another, older teen had shown up. He'd been driving a Maserati Spider, red enough that it had almost seemed to glow, along the thread of gravel road that wound through the area Alexis' class was exploring.
Her dad would have killed to be there for that meeting... and not just because he would have seriously drooled over the car. And that was exactly why she could never, ever tell him the truth.
Rick Castle liked to say he didn't ever want to know for sure who his father was, because whatever the truth might be, he couldn't possibly live up to all the dreams he'd had about him as a child. But if he ever found out that not only was his biological father a literal god, he was also the Greek deity in charge of the arts, of bachelors, of driving flashy vehicles and predicting the future....
His ego really didn't need that kind of reinforcement. Or the inevitable temptation to meddle. If Alexis and her Gram sometimes worried that he was risking his life now, following Detective Beckett around for inspiration, it was nothing compared to the horror stories she remembered from her history classes. If even half of the stories she'd read about the Greek pantheon were true, it was a really, really good thing her father's share of Apollo's grace hadn't been strong enough to draw much supernatural attention when he was younger.
If he'd been sent to Camp Half Blood then, she had to wonder, would he still have met and married her mother?
If he'd grown up knowing he was a demigod, would he still be the same person? The same guy who could unselfconsciously play tag with his daughter, laugh at his own mistakes, make friends with just about everyone he met, and spend days in a row enslaved to his laptop killing people off for the reading public's entertainment?
(Though she has to say, now that she knows where his love of words comes from-- they're lucky he'd settled on prose instead of verse, once he'd learned to cope with his dyslexia.)
There is one thing she understands now, though, that she never really had before: how her Gram could have fallen so fast and so hard for someone she'd hardly had a chance to know. The way Martha's breath caught the rare times she mentioned Alexis' granddad, and the starry look in her eye when she described him, Alexis had sighed wistfully over but wrote up to fairytale exaggeration. Not anymore.
She thinks about the dazzling smile Apollo had given her when she'd introduced herself, and the brief, fond crinkle at the corner of his piercing eyes when he'd asked her if she was related to a woman named Martha. He still remembered Gram as warmly as she remembered him! Alexis knew he was at least as dangerous as he was amazing, but standing there? Talking to him? It hadn't seemed to matter. She'd wanted nothing more than to be a part of that world.
She's afraid of what they would lose if they were drawn too far into it, though. She's read too much to believe it could ever end well; heroes almost never get to be happy. So as she finishes her diary entry, she sighs and regretfully tears up the pages.
No, she doesn't want to lie to her father. But perhaps some truths are better left untold.