So, here's that PJO oneshot that I've been wanting to write for a while. It's not my best work, but it's better than my last failed attempt to write something post-worthy for Percy Jackoson, so here it is. I considered writing some Percy/Annabeth tragedy fluff, but there's so much of that clogging up the PJO fandom that I decided to write for a character that doesn't get a lot of attention. Thus, I present some inside thoughts from Paul about the mess he's getting himself into. (NOTE: I couldn't remember for the life of me if Sally and Paul were married in TLO, but I didn't think so. If I'm wrong, somebody please tell me, although I might not bother to change it.) Enjoy!
Sometimes Paul Blofis wonders if he's really cut out for this whole fatherhood thing. Maybe if the child had actually been his, that would help. Not that he wasn't ready to try it out—after all, Percy Jackson was truly a good kid, and Paul foud that he liked him a lot.
However, parenthood would probably be a hell of a lot easier if the boy was, you know, normal.
"So, um, does this happen a lot?" Paul had asked one morning at breakfast upon coming into the kitchen in his robe and bedroom slippers only to discover that there was a very large dog taking up the better part of the Jackson's apartment.
"Well, I've never met this one in particular before," Sally had said as she heated ten or so pounds of beef on the stove with which to feed the hellhound. "But once and a while I find things like this waiting for me in the morning." She had smiled at him then. "You get used to it."
"Uh-huh," he had muttered, sitting down gingerly at the table as the dog watched him with bright eyes. "Where's Percy?"
Sally's smile had turned sad then as she carried the pan of meat across the kitchen and dumped it right onto the floor in front of the dog. "Oh, you know him. Off saving the world again, I would guess."
Paul could tell then that she didn't know exactly where her son was. This was not a rare occurrence, seeing how Percy's activities when he was not home were shrouded in mystery, and Paul had learned long ago not to push it. So instead he studied the eighteen-wheeler-sized dog eating half-cooked meat off the linoleum floor. "And who is this?"
"Mrs. O'Leary," Sally said, patting the dog's shoulder. In the next room, where the beast's lower quarters were located, the walls shook as it wagged its tail. No doubt the people below were going to wonder what on earth they did when nobody else was home.
And monster dogs weren't the worst of it, not by a long shot. Paul can remember quite vividly when he had woken up in his car that day in September, stepping from the vehicle and right into the battle for civilization. That in itself had been quite an interesting and not altogether pleasant experience, but when he had woken up in the middle of the night to discover that the living room had been transformed into a makeshift infirmary for a number of demigods and other such being, he had been more than a little overwhelmed.
"Nice bunny slippers," a boy who Paul recognized as Nico di Angelo said through gritted teeth as he lay on the couch, bleeding profusely from a gaping wound in his side.
"I. . . Thank you?" Not his best comeback, but considering it was two in the morning, Paul figured that he couldn't really be blamed.
Outside the window, something reared up in the darkness, and a hellish roar shook the very floorboards. Sally dashed into the room with a bowl of warm water and a first-aid kit, looking wide awake despite the circumstances. "Oh, Paul—"
On the other side of the room, the door burst open. Percy staggered in with a slender blond girl who Paul had seen before but did not know, and between them they carried another muscular girl in red armor. Paul stared as they hauled her into the middle of the living room and lowered her to the floor, where Sally knelt over her with the first-aid kit.
Nico lay back on the couch and closed his eyes casually. "Conner Stoll is dying," he said conversationally, as if it was perfectly normal for people lying on stranger's couches at two in the morning to be making predictions about death.
Percy snarled something in a language that sounded distinctly Greek and whirled back to the door, heading for the stairs as outside, the huge whatever-it-was roared again. A light bulb burst in one of the lamps.
The blond girl started after him. "Percy, that thing will kill—"
"Annabeth, stay here!" Percy demanded before slamming the door behind him.
The girl fumed. "He's got to remember that he's only mostly invincible," she muttered as she strode across the living room toward the window, "and that if he gets his ass killed, I am not going down to the Underworld to argue with Hades to give him back!"
"Wouldn't work anyway," Nico called after her. "My father would kill Percy himself if he could," he said pleasantly, and Sally paled considerably.
Paul gaped as the girl yanked a baseball cap from the pocket of her sweatshirt, fit it over her head, and promptly disappeared mid-step. Several seconds later, the window was thrown open by an unseen force, and the grumblings of the girl were lost in the night as she apparently left via the fire escape, still in her invisible state.
Voices echoed up from the street below, along with the sound of cracking pavement and crunching metal and the ghastly growling of the monster. There was the honk of a car horn, and then a mighty crash that Paul imagined was the result of someone being thrown mercilessly into a brick wall. From the couch, Nico di Angelo sighed in exasperation.
Sally looked up from where she was binding the shoulder of the unconscious girl on the floor. "Paul, honey, why don't you go back to bed?"
Paul stared at her for a moment, then looked to the open window, the door, and finally down at his unmanly bunny slippers. He decided that, while he may be getting used to the whole having-a-nearly-invincible-son-of-a-Greek-god-for-a-future-stepson thing, he wasn't yet mentally prepared for this.
"You know, I think I will."
That had been the first time since the war that Paul had experienced one of the battles that Sally's son involved himself in. He had known then—as he had known long before—that Percy Jackson was a trouble magnet, and by voluntarily becoming the boy's stepfather he was practically signing up for a suicide mission.
Being Percy's English teacher was dangerous enough; Paul had learned this the hard was one day in late November, when the fire alarm had gone off halfway through third period and red smoke had begun to flood the building. Knowing that there was only one person at Good High School who could possibly produce that much thick red smoke in such a short time, Paul had set off in search of Percy after seeing his students had safely exited the building.
Looking back on it, this was incredibly foolish. Paul still couldn't quite decipher how exactly he had ended up trapped in the girls' locker room with his future stepson, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, and what appeared to be an unconscious ten-ton tabby cat. He couldn't remember how he got out of there, either, and although one day he had an awkward flashback of being carried over Percy's shoulder like a little girl, he never did get the whole story.
Percy and Rachel Dare insisted that this was for the best. He took the hint, and stopped asking questions.
He still didn't know what had happened that day, and then, before he knew it, he was getting married. In a few short hours, he officially became related—by marriage, of course—to Greek gods. That's what he told himself, anyway. Paul wasn't quite sure if it really counted, marrying a woman who had produced a son because of a short affair with the god of the sea, but he told himself that it did, because no matter how dangerous such a relationship turned out to be, it was pretty awesome.
And as for the wedding itself, it was the crashers who turned out to be the most interesting. Paul wondered how many other men could say that, on the day they got married, a dog the size of an eighteen-wheeler ate the confetti, or that their stepson showed up half an hour late with a slender blond girl riding on a black pegasus, or that a demigod son of Hades slunk in uninvited for nothing but the cake (which, contrary to tradition, was blue, much to Percy's delight). Also, even though he didn't know all that much about the social activities of Greek gods, he was pretty dang sure that there was a certain Goddess of Love lingering by the fruit punch for the better part of an hour, and that the statue of the satyr in the courtyard moved at least twice.
So maybe Paul Blofis was still a little apprehensive of this whole fatherhood thing. And maybe the fact that his stepson wasn't quite normal was going to make it a hell of a lot harder than it should have been.
But, hey, a little blood 'n' guts never hurt anybody, and it was a perfect change to brush up on his swordplay. Dragons in the school gymnasium and satyrs and cyclopses staying overnight, Hunters of Artemis showing up at his doorstep and Greek gods coming and going via the fire escape, having a (nearly) indestructible son of Poseidon living in his apartment and the boy's scary-smart girlfriend dropping in for unexpected visits. . .
Yeah, Paul was pretty sure he could handle this.