Disclaimer: Nope, just a fanfiction writer. I would be a man, if I owned it, wouldn't I? So nope.
Story: Percy's plagued by the usual ADHD and dyslexia…but he's also diagnosed with leukemia at a young age. Now Luke gets to learn what it means to be an older brother, and Percy has to play the villain to be the good guy.
Set AU for "The Lightning Thief" and onwards.
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: Gen mostly, Poseidon/Sally probably and not really anything else. More family-oriented fic this time.
A/n: Yep, the style is a bit different in this chapter, but I do so with my prologues and stuff sometimes. It'll be back to regular, third person narrative after this, alternating between Luke and Percy POV mainly. Give this a try, yeah?
Working Class Hero
Chapter One: Four Seasons in Four Years
He's just a little boy with sea-green eyes, a shy smile, and tousled black hair that never seems to settle down. He comes in on the fourth of July, chattering about wanting to see fireworks that night and smiling shyly, as only a seven year old could do at the same time. His sea-green eyes are bright and he wants to pat down his messy hair and smile back.
He glances at his chart and keeps the smile on his face.
The little boy periodically coughs up blood, but he hasn't yet progressed to vomiting it so he can't say he's suffering from hematemesisbut he's confident enough to call it hemoptsis. He orders a CBC STAT because this seemed serious and he didn't want to take chances, but there's this niggling feeling in his gut that says it's not enough. He has the boy with the shy smile and sea-green eyes promise to take his iron vitamins tid, and explains the medical jargon with his own smile as he realizes the little boy scrunches up his nose in confusion. He's been working too long, he forgets himself.
Summer isn't as warm as he thought it would be.
He has the mother, frantic and consumed with worry as she is, remember to have her sea-green eyed boy take those vitamins pcand record the hs. He's worked there so long, he even thinks medical jargon.
Summer passes, and he works on and on, taking long shifts and weary hours. He doesn't forget the little sea-green eyed boy that came in with a shy smile and gravity-defying hair.
It's autumn, and he keeps expecting to see the usual brown, gold, and scarlet colors that blend the world into a vision of a macabre of a murder scene. Morbid, he knows, but he really hasn't a thought to up his optimism levels for a long time. They come, but isn't macabre or disturbing. Simply there and simply vivid. Maybe next time, he thinks.
His wife still suffers from agoraphobia and refuses to come outside. He works more long hours. And his colleagues have all the gory cases that they trade talk about, ribbing on who has the worse and sorriest patients waiting for the end. He doesn't talk about his, but it is generally an accepted argument that he has the worse of them all. Because he has all the odd and horrid cases, but they're all children too. He has a girl with splenomegaly, a spleen that could rupture at any moment. He has another girl that has a severe case of quadriplegia, whom they're not sure will ever be able to move again. She's just moved into one of their wards, quiet and unmoving in the silence of her room, except for the beeping of hospital machines and the pump of the oxygen tank.
Then there's one pre-teen boy who's diagnosed with cirrhosis, and they're giving him until the end of the year to live. He's not sure how to break it to the parents.
There's another kid with alopecia, and he's only ten. It's not something severe or life threatening, but he does understand how embarrassing it is to lose your hair when you haven't even reached puberty.
He thinks he's been desensitized. He works in the pediatrics of hell, after all.
And then the boy with sea-green eyes comes back; only this time it's the mother who needs to see a doctor. He hears from one of his colleagues that she's in to have a hysterectomy, most probably because of that no-good husband of hers that's hovering around her and a cute little boy hanging around her legs like a puppy. His legs move on their own and he sees the mother is already in for surgery, and the husband is slumping lazily on one of the chairs while the little boy sits quietly next to him, his legs hanging over his seat and swinging back and forth. He stands a little ways away, and like radar the boy's head snaps up to look straight at him. The sea-green eyed boy looks at him curiously and offers another shy smile. He gives a small one back and waves slightly. His curiosity sated, he turns to leave and starts walking away, when he notices small footsteps stumbling behind him. He turns halfway and notices the poor boy breathing fast, almost like he was suffering from tachypnea, but straightens up quickly and gives him an almost blinding smile.
"Where are you going?"
He blinks at the boy and tilts his head. And then he makes a decision.
"I'm on break. Do you want a cookie?"
The smile goes from blinding to a miniature sun.
They walk quietly side by side, and he's glad because he's not a talkative person but he is somewhat surprise a child of his age doesn't jabber on and on. They're at the cafeteria and he's suddenly actually hungry. He works so much, he forgets how hungry he is sometimes.
The shy smile returns and he ends up buying him not just a cookie, but a sandwich and milk too. It wouldn't be healthy to just eat a cookie, and he was a doctor.
"Do you know what your mommy is here for?" he's not sure it's an appropriate topic, but he wonders if the little boy understands what's going on and what the consequences are.
"Mom's gonna have her stomach removed," the boy says after swallowing, looking proud he'd remembered something.
He smiles gently, "Not quite. That's a gastrectomy. Your mother's going to have her uterus removed."
The sea-green eyes widen almost innocently, but there's a strong hint of understanding and even disappointment.
"But that mean's I won't get to have a little brother or sister," like all children, this one has managed to master the pout.
A smile keeps tugging at his lips at the image.
"…Maybe she'll adopt…" he sincerely hopes not, not with that slob. What a horror to be raised around that man…
He glances surreptitiously at the boy next to him, and refrains from shaking his head in pity.
"You know what…I bet your father suffers from halitosis. That's bad breath," he winks at the little boy, who instantaneously starts cracking up.
"He's not my dad," the boy turns solemn at once. "My dad's lost at sea. Mom says so."
He nods his head and agrees with the boy, knowing inside that in most cases it's never the truth.
He takes the little boy back and he slips right back in his seat without fuss, and the slob doesn't notice the boy's absence at all.
Autumn fades fast.
Winter comes cold and unforgiving. The boy with cirrhosis is gone, and a girl with hemiplagia replaces him. He wonders if he should set up a play date with her and the girl who can't move at all.
Sometimes he hates his cynicism.
The mother is back, and the diagnosis of hysterorrhexis passes through the grapevine. He passes by her room, sees her asleep, the sea-green eyed boy solemnly watching over her.
The child was much too mature for his age.
He goes on and doesn't look back.
He picks up x-rays for his next patient and glances inside. He sighs inwardly and thinks it was what he'd expected. Hepatoma. He doesn't want to tell the father the news; especially after hearing his wife had just passed away from a car accident not too long ago.
He passes by the room again and glances in. The little boy is on the floor.
That night, the sea-green eyed boy is signed into hospital, settling in with his mother even though they have separate rooms. More tests are run, and this time there are results. All he can think is syncope. And he thinks he's been working for too damn long if medical jargon is what crops up at a time like this.
He diagnoses the boy with leukemia with regret. He meticulously goes through all the leukemia associations in his head, puts a note to check what type of leukemia the boy has and to make sure if he does or doesn't have aleukemia. Leukopenia is an obvious attachment, and he sees leuko, leuko, leuko in his head again and again. And white is an on-going chant in his head, and he wishes he were desensitized again.
Winter has no mercy.
Springtime. A boy comes in with hepatitis. Cholelith seems to be a problem. He's had several come in needing it removed. One girl actually comes in with cholelithiasis. He hears talk of neuropathy and needing to do pelvimetry, and remembers a hemorrhage he had to deal with last week.
He visits the little boy with sea-green eyes, who stares out his window solemnly, alone because his mother has to work and his stepfather is playing poker.
The little boy talks to him, even though he's a stranger.
Gary Jules' version of Mad World is playing softly in the background of the room, and he thinks that it's much too depressing and mature for an eight-about-to-be-nine-year-old. But the strangest and saddest part, it really seemed to fit.
Sea-green eyes widen at him and the shy smile is there.
"Have you been moving your limbs?" he asks quietly, observing the slump posture and tired circles under the little boy's eyes. Myopathy wouldn't be a good thing to add to the boy's list of soon to be traumas.
He feels like he has a severe case of cephalalgia, and thinks he's been stressing and worrying too much lately.
"I'm bored," and the boy's smile turns mischievous and he caves in and has someone cover his next patient with otorrhea, because maybe just maybe he has an attachment to this little boy with sea-green eyes, a shy smile, and hair that continues to defy gravity.
He starts to teach him chess, with Mad World repeating in the background.
It's summer once more. He's just seen a patient with blepharospasm, and he's holding his laughter in because the patient looked like she was winking at him throughout the whole time. He tells the boy with sea-green eyes, who laughs and for once beats him at chess.
So he starts teaching him a little bit of medical jargon. An hour later, he recites the words and the boy responds.
"Antero," and the little boy giggles and points a thumb to his chest and makes a wide gesture over from his head to his stomach.
"Like the DC character!" the little boy chirps happily and he smiles and indulges him.
"Like the DC character," he murmurs approvingly.
It's two days later, the stepfather comes in needing a rhinoplasty and he has a gut feeling the idiot broke his nose in a fight. He morbidly advises his colleague to poke and prod a bit more than he had to, and his colleague just snickers and understands his dislike for the man.
His colleague teasingly holds up a sharp dermatome, and he huffs and rolls his eyes, stating he's not that morbid or that far-gone just yet. But he would like to get that man arrested…
Fall again, and his blasé wish for a macabre scene of brown, gold, and red seems to have come true. Not in the literal sense, but in the metaphorical fuck you from karma and fates kind of sense.
The sea-green eyed boy is in the hospital again and suffering from complications from the chemotherapy. It's unanimous to temporarily stop the treatment and observe his condition overnight and probably over the week.
The week turns into a month, and the now nine-year-old boy is restless and bored, but still mature and polite as ever. He's obviously fatigued, and not even his pout could hide that fact. But the shy smile turns more frustrated and he realizes the sea-green eyed boy wants out of that room, and hates being confined. He has that gut feeling (again) that the little boy craves the outside, and belongs in it –particularly the seaside, just like his eyes.
The boy's mother lights up at the idea, but deflates when she realizes she can't because she's working and the stepfather is an asshole. Just like he thought. So he tentatively volunteers to take the brooding boy to the sea himself, and she smiles at him sadly and kindly, like no one has ever done such a kind thing for her or her little boy before.
What a sad family.
He takes a look at the chart to make sure it's okay.
Pt. Name: Percy Jackson
Wt: 78 lbs.
DOB: August 18, 1993
He focused on the H&P, knowing that would help him make his decision and that the knowledge of it anyway might help him with any future complications. He would have to temporarily change the treatment from chemo to just bed rest for now though.
He decides it's fine after all, and doesn't regret it at all when the little boy with sea-green eyes is frolicking happily in the water like a child his age should. The mature little boy is gone for the moment, but he knew it was only a matter of time before solemnity and somberness returned.
Winter. Again. Somehow he hates this season more than even macabre fall, because winter is cold and dead. Just like the little girl in ICU that he has to assign a DNR (donotresuscitatepleasedon'tresuscitate) to, or the rushes of DOAs (toomanydeadonarrivals;nononono) that arrive day after day, from suicides that climb like they always do for that season.
The shy-smiling boy is back again, restarting chemotherapy, and he gives in to patting down the kid's hair. It bounces up and defies gravity like he thought it would. He makes sure the little boy's BPR is excellent, because he knows he'll hear it and the complaints of the bathroom is an issue he's heard from high school on up and he hates it (though from the little boy, he's more exasperated). He takes the TPR himself when he can, and makes small talk with the little boy. He becomes uneasy when he realizes he has to hook the boy up to an IV, but thinks that it's just a little precaution and that nothing seems wrong with the sea-green eyed boy who never quits his smiling –though it becomes shier and shier each day in the hospital.
After the chemo, he okays the hair-defying boy as an AMB, and the boy walks out and he gets an even worse feeling of uneasiness than before.
Winter ends, spring begins anew.
The sea-green eyed little boy is rushed into the hospital and it doesn't feel like spring at all. It still feels like winter.
The boy is scarily in and out of consciousness for a week. Then he wakes up and he's all smiles and pouts, and then turns to agitation as it becomes summer and he's still stuck in the hospital. He's been in and out too many times, and they want to keep him for observation. Summer ends quickly and fall is here. His agitation becomes loneliness as his mother visits him less in order to work to pay for all the bills, and his stepfather never visits him at all. Fall passes by even faster than summer.
It's winter again. The sea-green eyes that were as sweet as always have been tinged with bitterness. And even when it's time for him to leave, that hint of bitterness doesn't leave.
When springtime enters, he wonders if he'll see the little boy again. He would be eleven that year, and when he does see him, the little sea-green eyed boy is still ten but mature and shy as usual. Thankfully, it's just a checkup and they want him to have one every three months. Ironically, a checkup for every season like has been already happening in the past without anyone even noticing.
That year is a good year. Summer comes and the little boy just needs another checkup. Fall comes and he just needs another checkup. He's certain that things are looking up and that the little boy with sea-green eyes is going to be okay. And then winter arrives, and winter brings pain.
The little boy is coughing up blood again, but it's worse than before. The little boy is also feeling more and more fatigued as the days pass and there is a pain in his chest where there wasn't one before. He's increasingly more worried as time passes and he's wondering if there is a chance for this shy-smiling little boy.
He wants to be desensitized.
He remembers the first time he saw the boy. It wasn't, like he thought, when he first comes in smiling about fireworks. He was in the graveyard in the springtime, at the memorial stone of his son. And the little boy is squatting near a tree, clutching his knees to his chest and rocking back and forth.
He doesn't want to go back to that graveyard for another boy.
The little boy with sea-green eyes, shy smile, and wild hair, and who he knows belongs in the sea, is deathly white and cold and completely still under starch hospital sheets and alone in a sterile room.
But he's still breathing and that's enough for now.
Four seasons have passed in four years, and the four seasons will keep passing as years keep going.
Started 4/3/10 –Completed 4/3/10
A/n: Third in the new PJO stories lineup. Okay, funny how this little thing came to being. My mother was taking Medical Terminology and she had to do a creative visual project, which she chose to do a story, and somehow I ended up doing it for her. All I did was listen to Mad World on repeat and start writing (and unfortunately had PJO on my mind, so I wrote this with Percy in mind and then decided I'd make it a full story later on), using her notes. If there's any discrepancies about medical terms or stuff, blame it on the fact I didn't really take the class (laughs).
Yeah, so, a lot of medical terms in here. If a lot of people really care about it and ask, I'll compile them and make a list with descriptions for people to look back on. Hope everyone enjoyed and please review! They mean a lot!
Tomorrow: "Saints and Angels" –which will be in the PJO/HP crossover section.