HUGE THANKS TO Stolen Silent Stars and Clara Fonteyn for betaing my chapters!
Disclaimer: I do not own PJO!
Percy Has Many Problems
Percy Jackson sighed and shouldered his worn-out messenger bag as he left his apartment in Manhattan to go to work. With his black coffee in hand, he grabbed a taxi to Overseas Inc., a company that worked with people over in Europe with different sorts of things, but mostly exports and trading. His father owned it, but about a year ago he had made Percy CEO while he himself went to run the company in Europe.
"I trust you, son," his father, Poseidon (people always questioned why he was named that, but he never answered them truthfully), had told him. "Apart from you, the only people who work here are dimwitted and rather annoying," he smiled cheekily. Percy just rolled his eyes.
Percy shook his head at the memory. He really worried about his dad sometimes. His father had a very wide emotional pallet. Some days he was serious and focused and completely scary. Other days, he was laid-back, off-task, and just plain silly. It was rather disconcerting.
When the taxi arrived, Percy stepped out and entered the massive brick building that was Overseas Inc. When he entered through the glass double doors, he received many, "Good morning, Mr. Jackson," but he just grunted in reply. He was tired, and he wasn't in the mood to keep up pleasantries. The only thing that was really keeping him going was his delicious coffee. Percy loved coffee—always black—and without it, he wasn't sure he could survive.
He made his way to the elevator, which—gratefully—opened right away. He hit the button for the twenty-ninth floor, and as soon as the doors closed, Percy sighed and leaned his head back against the stainless steel wall. For some reason, he had a bad feeling about today. It was this nagging thought in the back of his head, like he had eaten a big, spicy burrito (he hated spicy things) and was now getting a horrible stomachache.
In seconds, the elevator dinged open. He stepped off and traveled down the hallway into his office. When he caught sight of who was waiting for him, he realized that he had good reason to worry about the coming day. In his office was his dad, waiting for him with a sheepish expression covering his features. Percy's brow furrowed at him, and it was then that he saw another man next to his dad, someone that he had never seen before.
"Uh, hi Dad…" Percy started weakly, putting his bag and coffee on the desk. "What are you doing here?" he asked, directing his question to Poseidon while eyeing the unknown suit. It was a bit comical seeing this man's sophisticated, lint-less, onyx-black suit next to his dad, who was wearing khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It was obvious his dad had just flown in from Europe. But why would he come here without telling Percy first?
"You're Percy Jackson, yes?" the man questioned. His hair was salt-and-pepper colored and his face was creased with smiling wrinkles. "Poseidon's son?"
"Yeah…" Percy answered slowly, his brows still furrowed in confusion. "And you are…?"
"I'm Mike Swanson, owner and CEO of Swanson Architectural Company," Mike answered. "I'm here because your father says you'll—"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Poseidon immediately interrupted, holding his hands up. "I never said he would actually agree. I merely said it was likely he'd agree…"
Percy narrowed his eyes at his dad. "Dad, what did you do?"
Poseidon flinched from his accusing tone. He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly and answered, "I may or may not have lost a poker game is all…"
Percy raised a brow. "'Is all'?" he sighed. That sinking feeling suddenly returned. He pinched the bridge of his nose and leaned heavily against his desk. Finally connecting the pieces, his voice was strained as he asked, "Dad, what did you bet?"
Poseidon shifted nervously, playing with the button on his Hawaiian shirt. Just as he opened his mouth to answer, Mike Swanson cut in. "He bet the ownership of his company."
"What?" Percy yelled incredulously, instantly turning on his father. "You bet the company?"
"It was the only thing I had at the time!" Poseidon defended.
Percy ignored him and closed his eyes, slowly counting to ten. He once read online that it was supposed to help you calm down. He hoped it worked.
"But! But!" Poseidon started quickly, holding his hands up in a placating motion. "Mr. Swanson here has offered to let us keep our company!"
"On one condition," Mike said, holding up a finger. "You see, Fredrick Chase, a man who owns a postal company that is crucial to my own company, has gone bankrupt, and so now he can't afford to keep his business."
"He has a daughter—Annabeth, who works for me—and if she were to marry someone who owned a wealthy company, some of the money would go to her father's business. Mr. Chase could keep his company, and I would still have an excellent business. My offer to you, in order to keep your company, is to marry Annabeth."
"What?" Percy asked aloud. His shock caused his anger to ebb away as he stared incredulously at Mike. "Could you repeat that?" he asked weakly.
"Marry Annabeth, or lose your company. That's my only offer."
"Please, son," Poseidon begged. "It's the only way. I'll be eternally grateful if you do this!"
Percy huffed. "You're an idiot, you know that?" he replied snarkily to Poseidon. His father didn't say anything. He just continued to stare at his son with pleading eyes.
Percy sighed, plopping down in his chair. "I need a few minutes to think about this."
"Of course, of course!" Poseidon conceded. "Mike and I will be down getting some coffee." He ushered Mike out the door, and as soon as it shut, Percy groaned and rubbed his eyes, collapsing in his wheelie chair. He felt like throwing something at his dad. Preferably something big and heavy. Like a brick.
How could his dad be so stupid as to bet the company? Why was he even playing poker in the first place? He hated poker, and quite frankly, he sucked at it (which was demonstrated with this little stunt). Now they were at the risk of losing the company, and without this job, Percy would probably be a hobo living in some random dark, creepy alley.
He sighed. Losing the company, believe it or not, was the least of his worries. He was mostly concerned about the deal. He really didn't want to marry some chick he didn't even know. What if she was a freak? Or an illegal alien? Then he'd be stuck with her for the rest of his life. That was a depressing thought.
But then again, what if she was incredibly beautiful? What if she was amazing and he passed up the deal? Not only would he become a hobo like he feared, but he would regret rejecting the deal, and he would always wonder "what if?"
Percy clenched his teeth together, running his hands through his hair. He was really having a bad day.
He stood up and left his office, only to stop at his secretary's desk.
"Good morning, Mr. Jackson," she greeted happily. Percy just grunted in reply. She chuckled. "Bad morning?"
"You don't even know the half of it," he replied darkly. "Could you have some aspirin on my desk when I get back from talking with my father?"
"Yes, sir. So did your dad do something horribly stupid again?"
"Of course he did. You know my dad," he said, walking off. Even though Poseidon had been in Europe for quite some time now, he was still notorious for making odd—and sometimes reckless—decisions. Somehow, though, they always turned out to work. Even with that in mind, Percy still thought this whole situation was idiotic.
Eventually he met up with his dad and Mike, who were having coffee in the workroom.
"Ah, Percy!" Poseidon greeted cheerfully. He was drinking coffee when he said this, so some of it dribbled onto his shirt. Either he didn't care or he didn't notice because he just continued on to ask, "Did you make a decision?"
Percy sighed. "Yup."
"And that is?" Mike asked.
"Fine. I'll marry this guy's daughter."
Poseidon wanted to squeal in excitement, but that wouldn't be manly, so he settled on grinning. "I knew you'd come through, Percy!"
"But you have to tell mom," Percy amended with an evil smirk at his dad, who paled considerably.
Percy knew that his dad was slightly afraid of his mom, even if they weren't married anymore. When Percy was little, his mom and dad got a divorce and now his mom, Sally, was married to Paul Blofis, a principal at Goode high school. Anyways, his mom had a slight…protectiveness over Percy. She knew how his dad could be, and she worried about him. One time, when he was little and his parents were still together, his dad gave him cookies before dinner, so Percy was really full and he couldn't finish eating. When his mom found out it was his dad who had given him the cookies…well, let's just say Poseidon didn't dare go anywhere near the cookies after that. Again, it's not that she had a bad temper; she was just worried for Percy's well being.
Percy turned towards Mike while Poseidon held an expression of fear and worry on his face, lost in his own frightened thoughts.
Mike smiled. "Great. That being said, I'd like you to come to my company tomorrow so you can meet her." Percy nodded and shook hands with him. Mike left, but not before saying to Poseidon, "Pleasure doing business with you."
Poseidon just glared at him and Mike just chuckled as he left. Poseidon then turned his glare onto Percy. "Why do I have to tell her?"
"Because you're the one who got me into this mess," Percy retorted.
"But it's your engagement!"
Percy blinked. His engagement. He would have to get used to that. "But I wouldn't be engaged if it wasn't for you and your crappy poker playing."
Poseidon's eyes narrowed. "Har, har. Very funny."
"I'm not telling her, and you know that if we don't tell her now, she'll be that much angrier when she finds out later."
Poseidon sighed, finally relenting. "Yeah, you're right."
A few seconds passed by in silence.
"You're not going to call her, are you?" Percy accused.
"No, not yet. I'll wait at least until tomorrow once you've actually met Annabeth."
Percy rolled his eyes. Typical...
His father had stayed for a little longer, but then finally he left to go back to the old house he used to live in before moving to Europe. He would be staying there until this whole mess was taken care of. Percy sighed. How was it that he went from single and miserable, to engaged and miserable, all in the span of half an hour?
The rest of the day was a struggle. He had a very hard time concentrating on anything, so he didn't get much accomplished. When it was finally time for him to close shop, he put away the files he'd been trying to work on and grabbed his jacket and bag. It was time to go home. He walked down the empty and slightly dark hallways. Everyone else had already gone home. He took the elevator down to the first floor and stepped outside into the cool night air. Percy decided to walk home instead of calling for a cab. Hopefully he could clear his mind and try to come to grips with all that had taken place today.
He was a little nervous for tomorrow, but there was no way out of this situation now that he had agreed to marry this Annabeth girl. He just hoped to God she was worth it.
So what did you think? Let me know and review! Thanks for reading!
(Edited April 2012)