Disclaimer: Nope, just a fanfiction writer. I would be a man, if I owned it, wouldn't I? So nope.
Story: The gods offered Percy godhood. He said no. They don't accept that. How will Percy deal with not only having immortality being forced on him, but becoming essentially the gods' plaything? Polympians.
Set after all the books.
Spoilers: All books.
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…
Conquest of Paradise
Chapter One: The Eternal Knot
"He refused godhood," Hera stated in disbelief.
"That is unacceptable. Godhood is the most highest reward anyone can be gifted with, and yet he dares to say no to us," Athena frowned.
Poseidon growled, "He has done all he can for us. He doesn't wish for immortality? Then so be it! And don't forget he said no because of your daughter."
Athena was about to snap back, when surprisingly Aphrodite cut in.
"But do we have to say no?" a sly smile played across her lips. "Just because young Perseus said no to us does not mean we should accept his answer."
"You will not force my son into anything!" Poseidon roared, standing from his throne and angrily glaring at the rest.
"Why shouldn't we?" Surprisingly, Zeus was the one who cut in, speaking quietly with a solemn face.
Everyone stared at him in various degrees of surprise and apprehension, but Poseidon just looked shocked and largely in disbelief.
"Zeus, you cannot be serious…"
Zeus looked Poseidon straight in the eye and took a steady breath for his next words.
"Poseidon, it is decided and I have made up my mind. Perseus Jackson shall be made immortal and a god by midnight tonight. Now we must decide what he shall preside over."
The King of Gods moved on from his decision and straight to the aftermath like it was nothing, and Poseidon exhaled incredulously.
"Not a single one of you can honestly say you are willing to force a boy, the same boy who has almost single-handedly saved us and Olympus, and make him a god against his will," Poseidon stated firmly, gazing at the gathered Olympians. "None of you can swear that you're willing to go along with this simply because none of you will force anything on anyone, much less force the Hero of Olympus. If none here is agreeable to force, then they definitely should be against using force against Percy."
It was quiet in the throne room. But none of the others spoke, especially to side with Poseidon.
"Do you really believe that?" Hera unexpectedly sided decisively with her husband. "It is obvious the boy has been a great asset to us. Shouldn't we want to have him by our side? Eternally so?"
There were connotations to the word 'side' that Poseidon did not get. And that there was an ulterior motive behind making Percy a god other than rewarding and keeping a great asset, a motive all the other gods seem to be in on except for him.
Poseidon pushed once more, eyes hardening and scowling fiercely.
"Hermes, my boy trusts you. You would never betray that trust, would you? You would never agree to something that would hurt him, right?"
The messenger god bit his lip and looked away, avoiding Poseidon's beseeching eyes.
The one ally he had thought he could definitely count on to be on his side to help protect Percy was more willing to go along with this crazy scheme for some reason…
"Ares," he inwardly became desperate. "You hate Percy. Why would you agree to this?"
But the war god merely shrugged. "Like I said. I get to fight him for eternity and beat him up again and again," his voice was halfhearted at best.
Poseidon turned to the twins, hoping that at least one or hopefully both would side with him.
"Artemis, Apollo, the two of you owe Percy. He saved you, Artemis," he tensed, looking straight into her eyes and felt hopeful when she looked back at him.
Apollo opened his mouth and his hope went up because it looked like the sun god seemed to be wavering, but to everyone's surprise Artemis cut off her brother and her next words made Apollo freeze and nearly gape at her.
"Perhaps…this is for the best," she murmured quietly. "Perseus…Percy is blinded by his human emotions, his attachment to the world and those in it, that he cannot see just how much of a mistake he is making by refusing us. He doesn't clearly understand just yet because he is still human. He will realize in the end that this is the best for him."
"The decision is final. There will be no more discussion on this. Perseus," Zeus cleared his throat awkwardly, "…Percy will become a god. Do you have any idea on what realm Percy shall preside over as a god?"
But Poseidon just closed his mouth and looked away, refusing to participate in the conversation or even acknowledge the other gods.
The Olympian gods uncomfortably ignored him and began discussing the different titles available to grant Percy, set on their decision and not allowing Poseidon to get in the way.
"Hades," Zeus quietly reached out.
The dark god uneasily looked up from his contemplation of the floor. He had previously been fine and comfortable with being ignored in the discussion, and especially so when Poseidon had been searching for anyone to side with him against this plot. He knew that it was mostly because Poseidon hadn't been sure where Hades would stand in the debate, and wasn't sure if he could count on getting Hades on his side.
Truthfully, if Poseidon had pushed, Hades might have caved and sided with him –even if the majority of him wanted to side with the others more than anything.
"Not to be insulting or anything, but all of us wonder if you have any ideas on how to get Percy here…to trick him here. You've…had experience after all," Zeus coughed awkwardly.
Either he was talking about Persephone or the first time he had lured Percy to the Underworld. Either way, Hades did seem to be the one to go to to come up with something.
Hades thought on it for a couple minutes, with the rest of them patiently, though a bit anxious, waiting to hear what he had to say. Then he nodded surely and looked at them all seriously.
"We have to be painted in a good light. If we just take him and tell him he has to become a god because we say so, he will not take it well. In fact, it is more assuredly a sure way to get him to resent us. And if we go ahead with it anyway, and force him…that resentment will turn to hate. I think it best if we were to cause…an accident."
Once more quiet reigned in the room and Poseidon's head snapped towards his direction, disbelief and anger once more coloring the sea god's face.
Hades continued, his voice soft and with an undertone of regret the others were astonished to hear.
"We could cause a car accident…he will be in a lot of pain, but we can immediately bring him here for Apollo to heal as we turn him into a god. It will provide us with an excuse, an alibi if you will. He was dying and there was no other way to save him but to turn him into a god," he ended firmly.
There was murmuring all around, the general consensus of a reluctant agreement, and Poseidon glared at them all. But he stayed quiet because they won't listen to him, and no one would side with him.
"Then it is decided. At ten tonight, Ares, you will cause the accident. Hermes, you'll take him here and Apollo, be ready to heal him. The rest of us must be here and be ready to turn him into a god," Zeus ordered.
Everyone uneasily nodded, but Poseidon stormed out. He wasn't going to be part of this. He'll be there for the ceremony, but he won't be part of this scheme. He'll only be there if only because without a complete set of Olympians, the process of turning into a god would be more painful for Percy.
But he wasn't done and he wasn't going to give up easily.
He went to his underwater palace, went past his (as usual) aggravated wife and searched out the one person who might help him.
"Triton, I need your help," he pleaded with his eldest.
His son blinked and looked at him warily, leaning against the wall.
"What is it, Father?"
"I know you hate your siblings, especially Percy, but I need you to help him."
The heir to his kingdom was clenching his jaw and looking at him outraged, but Triton looked away angrily and bit out, "What's going on?"
Poseidon took a deep breath and began solemnly explaining what the others had decided to do. Triton looked confused but beside himself.
"Look, I hate your other children, Father, but I don't agree with this," he reluctantly conceded. "What do you wish for me to do?"
Poseidon sighed in relief, "I need you to get Percy before they plan to cause the accident, and bring him here. They'll be watching me so my hands are tied, but I don't think they'd expect you to help, considering how you feel about my other children."
Triton grimaced, but nodded. "Very well. I will retrieve Percy quickly and explain the situation to him."
The sea god grasped his heir on the shoulder tightly in gratefulness.
"Thank you, Triton."
Triton only nodded, waiting for his father to leave before hesitantly heading out. He acted as he was normally wont to do, arrogant and indifferent, slipping out of the palace and into the waters surrounding his home, speedily swimming his way to New York. Reaching shore, he stepped out of the waters and his fins turned into human legs. Immediately, dark jeans covered his new legs, as well as a simple dark shirt on his torso as he walked to find some transport.
He rode a cab and set in front of a nice building, quickly finding Percy's apartment. There, he knocked and waited. A pretty light-haired brunette answered the door with a kind and beautiful smile, and he understood grudgingly his father's attraction to Sally Jackson.
"Ms. Jackson," he quietly acknowledged, "May I speak with Percy? This is important."
Sally blinked, but nodded. "May I ask who you are first?"
He saw a very small grimace briefly cross her face before she warily (a hint of apology strangely as well) looked at him.
"It's nice finally meeting you, Triton. Come in. How is…your father?" she asked softly.
"He is fine. Mother is being aggravating as usual though," he shrugged. "It's a…pleasure to meet you," he uncharacteristically mumbled.
Sally just smiled at him again, a lot more relaxed than before, and Triton briefly felt warm and reluctantly happy.
"Just follow me, Triton. I'll show you Percy's room. He's out now with Paul, getting the cake, but you can wait in his room, if you'd like. I'll be in the kitchen finishing up cooking."
"Cake? Is there a special occasion?" he asked, actually curious.
"Oh, it's Percy's birthday," she chirped, pride evident in her voice.
Triton stopped cold and stared at her back with a small amount of horror.
"H-his birthday?" he swallowed.
"Oh yes! Percy's birthday is always two days after camp, so we're going to stay up tonight and celebrate, and when midnight hits and it's his actual birthday, Paul and I were planning on taking Percy to a nearby spot and light up some fireworks as a surprise. It would be wonderful to have you with us, Triton! Percy doesn't usually have others over for his birthday. Last year, Tyson and another friend of his came, and Grover for his twelfth birthday. It would be nice to have this as a usual occurrence for now on," Sally happily went on.
"I am so sorry, Ms. Jackson," he sincerely spoke, closing his eyes and missing Sally pausing, as her body stiffened up and she was filled with suspicion and resignation. "But I think, at the least and instead of cancelling straight out, that you should speed up your plans with your family. I was supposed to…I need to take Percy and hide him away for awhile."
"Triton, please tell me what's going on," Sally's voice was quiet but firm.
"…" and then he started blurting out everything his father had told him the others were planning on doing and that he'd come there to get Percy and hide him away so that the other gods wouldn't be able to carry out their plan.
"Let me get this straight. The other gods were going to stage an accident, hurt and nearly kill Percy before forcing him into becoming a god," Sally said dangerously, her mouth smoothing into a firm, angry line, emphasizing certain words that were inwardly driving her crazy and made her furious beyond belief.
"Yes," he affirmed quietly.
She exhaled crossly.
"If those gods were mortal, human or not, I would kill them without a second thought," Sally said fiercely, her maternal protective instincts showing clearly.
Triton kept quiet.
"Sweetheart, I think it best that you do stay for the festivities," Sally suggested. "Then you'll be able to take Percy straight after. But we have to celebrate his 17th birthday. You only turn 17 once and…more than that, we were celebrating the fact that he'd…made it to 17," she finished softly.
Sally hovered near for a couple seconds before she went to the kitchen and began finishing her cooking. Ten minutes later, from Percy's room, Triton heard the front door open and close, laughter and muffled happy voices telling him that Percy and his stepfather had finally arrived. And then Percy was opening his door and slipping inside with a content smile, still having not caught sight of Triton.
"Brother," Triton called out in a soft voice.
Percy whirled around to face his bed in surprise, closing the door behind him automatically.
"Triton? What are you doing here?" he asked hesitantly, confused.
His immortal brother inwardly winced.
"Perseus, I believe that there are certain things we have to discuss," he said solemnly.
"Like what?" Percy asked nervously. "I have no problems with you being heir or anything, if that's your problem. I swear! I just want to be normal. Titles aren't my thing, anyways. Or if it's about Dad…I'm sorry. I was born and he cheated on your mom and –"
"Stop rambling," Triton ordered. "And just let me talk."
It was a testament to his concern over the current events that he didn't snap at his younger sibling, especially concerning the subjects Percy had brought up. Yes, he was well aware of Poseidon's favoritism and extreme fondness towards Percy. And that it irked him and slightly made him worried that Poseidon very well could make Percy his heir instead. And the fact that Percy was born at all. And –ah Tartarus. If he kept up that line of thinking, he'd forget why he was there in the first place.
Clearing his throat, he went back to the matter at hand. And so he did begin to talk. He told Percy everything. He told Percy about the gods' decision. He told Percy about their plan. He told who was involved. What was to happen, what roles the ones involved had to fill. And how it was going to end for Percy.
And all the while, he could steadily see his younger brother's face grow blanker as he kept talking, and that Percy said nothing.
Uncomfortably, Triton moved on and told him what their father had planned to help Percy escape, that Triton was there to help, and Percy would hide out in their underwater palace until the gods decided to stop this insanity.
"I see," was all Percy said, licking his lips and not expressing what he felt at the moment. In fact, there wasn't any emotion at all in Percy's tone or face. Merely a blank face, that was vacant of any thoughts or anything at all to tell Triton what was going on in his brother's head.
"Brother?" he called Percy that for the second time.
"Come on, Triton," Percy smiled brokenly. "It's going to be my birthday. Why don't we help my mom and we should probably celebrate the whole thing wherever she and Paul were planning to surprise me with. They can at least surprise me with the location, since I already know that they were planning something as a surprise," he laughed, but the laugh sounded hollow to Triton's ears.
He followed his brother and tried not to cringe as it felt like Percy was walking down death row.
'Happy birthday, Perseus,' Triton thought bitterly.
Some birthday present.
Montauk. They were holding Percy's seventeenth birthday celebration in Montauk beach, at the cabin that was special to him and his mother.
He exhaled sharply, hand unconsciously shooting out to grasp Triton's. Triton, though surprised, didn't say a word about it.
They exited the car and they started celebrating, eating delicious food that Sally had prepared. Triton felt the slightest bit of envy and wished that his mother cooked for him. Or that his mother could cook at all…
Afterwards, they cut pieces of strawberry cake, with actual pieces of strawberry cut up in slices inside of it, Oreo's cookies and cream ice cream on the side. Then they were all lighting up fireworks together and generally acting silly, running around with sparklers and chasing each other with them, watching the bigger fireworks light up the sky happily. Illegal yeah, but still fun. And with a demigod and an actual god, both with an affinity for water, they should be alright.
Being near the water was always on the surface of Triton's mind.
For a quick getaway. For defense. For offense.
It was getting close to midnight and Triton was getting antsy. He wanted to leave already, before they were caught. They were already lucky that they made it past ten, which was the time the gods had decided to get Percy. He didn't want to chance it anymore and have their luck run out.
"Perseus," he quietly called out, unhappy at doing so and reluctant to break up the family.
All three looked over at him, happy looks slowly fading away as they quickly understood what was next.
Sally burst into tears and both Paul and Percy grabbed a hold of her, holding her tight. Paul turned to Percy with a serious look on his face.
"I'm sorry, Percy. I wish there was something I could do," his stepdad murmured.
Percy shook his head, "Just take care of her, Paul. Please. Make sure she's alright once I'm gone."
"Hope to see you again, kid," Paul swallowed harshly, letting his own tears drop.
Percy smiled sadly, but focused on his mom.
"Sh, sh. Please, Mom. It'll be alright," he soothed.
And all the while, Triton couldn't forget that no matter how happy Percy acted throughout his birthday party, his brother never stopped looking solemn and just the slightest bit terrified when he thought no one was looking at him.
"Perseus," Triton reluctantly called out firmly.
Percy nodded and went next to his brother. Soon enough, Triton grabbed a hold of his brother and tossed him onto his back, adjusting him into a piggyback hold. Then he jumped into the water, where his legs immediately transformed into fins, and he began swimming as fast as he could to the underwater palace with a tight hold on Percy.
He snuck Percy into the palace, hiding him in one of the numerous rooms randomly so that no one could just pick out a room and figure out where Percy was.
"Percy," his brother interrupted in a quiet voice.
"Percy, you must stay here while I inform Father that you're here. Stay here and don't let anyone in, no matter who it is. Try not to draw attention to yourself or make a lot of noise, so that no one becomes suspicious enough to check out this room."
When Percy agreed, he left and locked the door behind him, hoping that it would be enough as he put an alarm on it to alert him if it was broken into or messed with in any way.
And so Percy was left alone, alone with thoughts that burdened and plagued him, running around in circles in his head. And with those thoughts bothering him, he couldn't help curling his legs to himself, burying his face into his knees as he wrapped his arms around his bent legs, finally showing emotion as he cried.
"Hey now, don't cry," a familiar voice tried to calm him gently.
Startled, Percy looked up and caught sight of Hermes standing awkwardly by the still closed door, smiling tenderly at him. The messenger god strode over and sat himself lightly next to Percy, rubbing his back calmingly. Unable to help himself (and because he still trusted the god despite what he'd heard; not that he couldn't help trusting the man anyways), he relaxed under Hermes' touch and reluctantly let Hermes pull him closer, so that Percy was leaning against the god's side and allowing Hermes to rest the arm attached to the hand that had been rubbing Percy's back around his shoulders.
Percy's tears slowly lessened, his breathing still uneven. Hermes took off Percy's shoes, at the same time as he adjusted Percy to face him more and rested Percy's head against his shoulder. He began expertly massaging Percy's feet, distracting the demigod.
"How'd…how'd you get in here?" Percy tried to regain his breath after his crying fit.
"You have a message. I can find anyone who has a message needed to be sent to them," Hermes quietly murmured.
Soft lips brushed against his forehead and he looked up, seeing blue eyes staring down at him intensely. If he studied them closely, he could actually see that Hermes' eyes were the shade of cobalt…
Dazed, though confused at his strange reaction to Hermes, Percy tried to pull away and distance himself to try to figure out what was going on.
"Percy," Hermes held him still. "I need you to read your message."
Percy, still confused, nodded and held out his hand to accept the message from Hermes. The god rummaged through his pack before uncertainly handing an envelope to him.
"Who's it from?" Percy asked as he began tearing through the flap.
Hermes hesitated before making up his mind and giving Percy a strange apologetic look.
"From me," Hermes said honestly.
Percy smirked, cocking an eyebrow.
"Really now, can't bother speaking to me yourself anymore?" he chuckled with a grin.
But Hermes wasn't grinning back like he'd expected and thought he would.
"Jeez, Hermes. I was just –" but he'd looked down and caught sight of the only two words written on the paper.
It was too late for him to notice when Hermes pinched a nerve near his neck, knocking him out.
When he next awoke, he was in the throne room in Olympus, kneeling in the middle and feeling nauseated. He was surrounded by all the other gods, all of whom were chanting in an old tongue, with the man who was his father's brother standing in front of him and staring back with stormy eyes that held an unknown emotion in them.
In a panic, Percy's head swiveled around and looked at everyone, trying to make sense of things. The first god he really noticed was Hermes, who was forcing himself to stare back, even with remorseful and repentant eyes that were begging for forgiveness.
"Perseus Jackson, it has commenced. We will now begin your transition from mortal to god!" Zeus' voice thundered through the room.
And the most extreme pain he'd ever felt overwhelmed his body. Nothing was worse than this. Absolutely nothing.
He screamed, and he knew he would end up screaming himself hoarse or even to the point that he would lose his voice. His body shuddered from the pain and all the gods looked at each other in worry and confusion, concerned with how the ceremony was turning out and bothered by Percy's pain. They were hesitant in proceeding, but better to hurry it and finish instead of drawing it out and prolonging Percy's pain.
There was something wrong. Something had gone wrong. Everything was just wrong.
There wasn't supposed to be pain.
Something had gone wrong with the whole thing, and it was blowing up in their faces. Now Percy was suffering and they were hesitating.
"Push on," Athena muttered. "It is better to rush this than to slow down and let him suffer more," she reminded them all.
That's right. And they had to keep that in mind. Better to hurry and finish than to slow and lengthen Percy's pain.
Better to hurry and finish, better to hurry and finish, better to hurry and finish, better to hurry and finish, better to hurry and finish, bettertohurryandfinish, bettertohurryandfinish, bettertohurryandfinish, –
"Perseus, for now on, you shall be the God of Humility. For such outstanding shows of humility throughout your short and young life, never asking more from us gods and always looking out for others and their needs, never wanting more for yourself and even denying yourself godhood in the name of others…this we shall proclaim."
Zeus took a deep breath and plunged on.
"And…we hereby proclaim you Consort of the Gods, forevermore bound to us in immortal life as a timeless companion."
The pain stopped and the ceremony ended, Percy collapsing on the floor in agony from the lingering effects. He breathed heavily, eyes closed, body still shaking.
"…Perseus, you are now eternally tied to us," Zeus ended solemnly.
Percy passed out right before the clock chimed midnight in the mortal world.
He never did really get to turn 17.
Started 6/16/10 –Completed 6/28/10
A/n: Sooo, the first of my new PJO fics. I was kind of feeling guilty about the long waits for updates on "The Light Before We Land" (and mostly the Zercy Grim tale that was supposed to be out like ages ago –baaad, bad girl!). Anyway, I decided I was going to only post the first chapter of each new PJO story in the next coming days, and also (like I've asked my readers for my Twilight story "Stairway to Heaven") to not expect frequent updates. I do try to make large chapters for each of my stories, so I hope that helps.
And Percy's god title. I know, I know –some of you might think it lame, but it's not really the big focus in here. It's actually meant more for irony, in that it's an unintentional slap in the face kind of thing. So hope you get my reasoning on it.
Tomorrow –"Flowers That Twist into Eternity"!