Disclaimer: Nope, just a fanfiction writer. I would be a man, if I owned it, wouldn't I? So nope.
Story: Kronos somehow changed Percy from male to female. But there was another catch; 'she's' no longer a demigod. Not one of them, Percy can't stay in the camp and is forced out.
Set after Sea of Monsters and (semi)AU from then on.
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…
Luctor et Emergo
Chapter Two: Neutiquam Erro (I Am Not Lost)
When her plane landed, which was an odd experience because she kept thinking that she was going to get blasted out of the sky (then again, she wasn't a demigod anymore, so she guessed she didn't matter –if only she knew that Zeus had kept an eye on her and didn't do anything out of guilt and sympathy because of what happened, though he didn't see where she was going), the first person to greet her was someone she actually hadn't expected.
"Ah…Ch-Charon, right?' she scrambled around in her brain, trying to remember.
"Got it in one, love," Charon tilted his shades at her playfully. "Come on, I've gotta take you to your new home."
Percy hurried to catch up to his long strides and soon enough they'd reached a nice sleek black Ferrari.
"You really like Italian things, don't you?" Percy commented idly, seating herself and admiring the car.
"Some of the best stuff," he grinned, starting up the engine. "Now, we'll be heading to your new home in just a sec. Your address, that you should memorize pretty quickly just in case, is 1100 Alta Loma Road, West Hollywood, CA. It's a residential condominium, Unit 1601 with one bed and two baths. It's got a bunch of extra shit with it, but you can figure it out when you get there. It's 2, 416 sq ft, and here's the listing paper that has more information for you."
Charon tossed it to her and she fumbled to catch it and read it.
Superior City views in this extraordinary re-creation of a Paris Apartment by Noted, Celebrity Designer Brian Little. This Penthouse was articulately redesigned of Neo-Classical inspiration and Biedermeier influence with intricate crown and panel molding detail, Master Suite & Office of Artisan crafted Maple paneling, a Master Bath of World Class Hotels, a Reception Hall of hand painted mural and an extraordinary entertainment Salon with adjoining Media Suite and Formal Dining. The Kitchen is equipped for the most discerning Chef. The building is White Glove service and of commanding security.
"This looks expensive. How am I going to afford this?" Percy blinked, staring at the information in trepidation.
"Don't worry about it, it's taken cared of," Charon waved off her concerns. "Now your school is in Pasadena, around an hour and a half away. We really prefer you not to drive yet, and it'll be easier not to drive all the way there anyway, so we mapped out the route you can take. The transit directions should be in your home, on your fridge. Get to the station by 6 in the morning and you'll get there at 7:30-ish, right before your school starts at 8. This should be easier on you, as you don't have to worry about getting lost too much, gas, and parking. We thought it's such a small and close-knit area that a car will just be a hindrance."
Percy nodded awkwardly, feeling out of sorts. Charon turned into a gated parking garage, getting in and driving his car around until he parked.
"These two parking spots are yours, if you ever need them," Charon explained and she nodded, making note of them.
"Why is my school so far away?" she asked as they headed for the elevator.
"Because it's a nice school and very exclusive. The top school we considered, that had most of the conditions we required. Mostly, it's non-secular so you don't have to worry about religion issues, and it has a high standard of learning, so the classes and teachers should be top notch. It's a good school so you'll be able to graduate and get into college or university easily, with high chances."
"It sounds like a private school."
"It is. For girls," he added as an afterthought.
"Be glad," he said as he led her through some hallways and then to a door. He unlocked it and led her in, with her gaping at her new 'home.' "We almost sent you to Marymount All-Girls Catholic School."
Percy tried not to blanch again at the thought.
"Why would you send me to a Catholic school? You know, with the whole demigod thing and all. Or at least, former demigod thing," she glowered.
"'Cause the place is pretty," he answered simply, making her stare at him. "Besides, it would have kept you in line and out of trouble, and reassured us that you were in good hands as well as responsible and a way to make sure you don't go around and being reckless."
"Like I would be reckless," she muttered.
He gave her a look and she shrugged.
"I got the laptop right there, opened to the Marymount site. Pretty, eh?" he led her to the Olympus tech on the dining table.
She followed him to it, trying to focus on the way and ignore the rest of the place.
"It is actually," Percy admitted.
"Westridge isn't bad either though. It's very scenic as well, though it's probably a little less stricter on students than Marymount might be. So lucky you, huh? Enough about that though. How do you like the place?"
Percy flushed red, nervously looking around.
"Yeah, it does," Charon agreed. "Some of the paintings we replaced with more relatable paintings…like Greek stuff. But we left some of the originals around here, because they do look rather good and fit in with the place. Plus, we didn't think you'd want to be reminded of all that stuff too much. And we have some of the other original paintings in storage if you decide you prefer them up instead of any of the Greek paintings."
Percy didn't answer, quietly scuffling around as she gazed around without another word.
"Never mind that! We have some shopping to do!" Charon continued on, moving onto another subject for an easier conversation.
"Shopping?" Percy blinked. "Why would we need to go shopping?"
Charon waved a hand, "I got you some stuff, but they're more fashionable and probably not your usual style. We're going out so you can choose things more to your taste. You need some underwear too."
"I have underwear," she frowned at him.
"Your boxers?" Charon rolled his eyes. "And how do they hold up since your change? Besides, you need actual panties and bras."
"And I have a bra too. Clarisse gave it to me," Percy started to turn red, not mentioning she'd sort of been going commando since her change because none of her boxers had fit her anymore.
"You need to own more than one, sweetheart," Charon gave her an exasperated look.
"Why does everyone keep calling me 'sweetheart' now?" she muttered, silently conceding.
"Who knows?" Charon shrugged uncaringly. "Now let's get going. You can explore your new home later. I just had to show you it and then get you to agree to a little shopping."
His order of things didn't make sense, but she chose not to ask so she didn't get confused or annoyed. So she followed him back to the car, where he drove to the nearest mall.
Inside, he directed her straight to a lingerie boutique that had her turning a bright red. If she kept doing that, she might as well paint herself a permanent shade.
He tossed her into a dressing room and came back after grabbing a bunch of lingerie that he'd stuffed into her arms.
"Get in there and start trying them on," he pushed her into the confined room.
"Why are we in Victoria Secret? Couldn't we have gone and gotten some plainer underwear?" Percy complained.
"But these are nicer," Charon retorted.
Percy mumbled something in irritation. Then she sighed and spoke again through the door.
"But these are so girly! And I'm not a girl," she pouted to herself, dressing in the matching pair already
Charon twitched and then he waved his hand over the handle, unlocking it as he slipped inside. Percy 'eeped!', but Charon merely moved closer and indifferently cupped his hand over the apex between her legs.
He squeezed. "What does this say to you?" he said quietly. "Does this look and feel like a dick to you, Percy?"
She turned red, flinching as she felt the warmth of his hand seeping through the cloth of the panty to her new genitalia. She wanted to ignore the odd feeling this was giving her, especially down there, but it was hard and her blush only deepened. Charon watched her face closely, then decided to suddenly experimentally flick her clit. She let out a gasp and he smirked at her reaction.
"Face it, you're a girl now and you have to learn to accept that. The sooner you do, the faster you can move on with your life."
He took his hand away and moved back.
"Try on the rest of them," he said shortly. "We'll move on afterwards."
"Can you get out then?" she asked irritably, ignoring her blush and glaring off to the side, avoiding looking at him.
"Can I? Sure. Do I want to? No. Besides, I've already seen your body. Those things barely hide anything," he smirked again, pinching a strap and pulling on it.
Percy growled and punched his shoulder, grabbing him and shoving him out of the dressing room harshly. His amused laughter echoed behind him and then through the door as she slammed it back shut.
"But you still haven't seen everything, so leave me alone!" she shouted at him.
She grumbled to herself as she quickly started to change and go through the underwear.
They finished up there and then Charon was leading her to somewhere else.
"You can get your school stuff some other time, but for now, let's just focus on your clothes and other things you need."
She was surprised to see he'd led her to Hot Topic, reluctantly pushing her into it.
"More of things you'd rather wear, hm?" he stated nonchalantly, gazing off.
She looked at him, before grinning unrestrainedly and grabbing onto his arm and hugging it tightly. Then she took his hand and dragged him further inside, towards the t-shirt section.
He coughed, a slight red tint to his cheeks.
Right now, it was a much better apology for earlier than saying the actual words.
"Sorry about earlier."
But hearing it was still nice.
She picked out a lot of t-shirts she liked and he found a couple he found entertaining and added it to the growing pile.
"Cute stuff," he rolled his eyes, flipping through their pile.
"Very cute in a smart-assy way," she replied cheekily, complete with shit-eating grin. "'Sides a lot of them are funny."
"Hm, hm. I do like though, in a casual way. I just don't do casual."
"Well, one of these days, you're going to have to do casual with me," she tossed a t-shirt his way and he caught it easily.
He tilted his head to the side and looked at it, lips slowly starting to move up.
It was a black t-shirt, with a small skeleton grim reaper on the front. It was holding an also miniaturized scythe. Underneath it read 'Be Grim Like Me.'
"Very cute," he nodded approvingly, adding it.
"I got a matching one for me!" she said cheerfully, showing him a similar one, except a female grim reaper was sitting on the grim reaper's head and it read 'De and Ath are Waiting.'
He started snickering at it, giving her a thumbs up. She added that to the pile, before spotting one last one.
"Ohh, I want this one too."
The two grim reapers were back, this time complete with two Matrix shades. Underneath them read 'It is inevitable.'
"Get it?" she giggled and he raised an eyebrow at her. "The quote's from the Matrix, like they're wearing the glasses-styles from. Agent Smith says the line, I think…but here they're twisting the words to mean death is inevitable."
He shook his head at her. "You and your amusements. Come on, hurry it up so we can get out of here."
"Can I have some jeans?" she eyed some of the ripped jeans and the chained jeans.
Charon eyed them as well, but in a different way.
"I'll get you jeans, but not those. Levi's or something."
She huffed, "Oh, alright. At least it's not some crazy designer or whatever jeans, and just some plain ones…"
Afterwards, they took a break at Cinnabon where Percy enthusiastically dug in. Charon was a little more reserved, cutting out pieces and almost daintily putting them into his mouth and chewing slightly before swallowing, eyes peacefully closed.
Percy eyed him before hesitantly scooting her chair closer to the table, straightening her back and taking the utensils in her hands more delicately. She began cutting the pastry carefully and then putting it into her mouth, chewing slowly and then swallowing unhurriedly.
His lips twitched upwards in amusement. "It is alright to eat like you were before."
She focused intensely on her food, eyes narrowing at it in concentration.
"Yeah, well…I want to eat more refined like you," she grumbled. "Since I'm a girl now, I guess I should be eating a little more neatly."
"You're young; youth these days tend to eat however they like, whenever they like," Charon said sarcastically. "You don't have to force yourself to eat old-fashionedly or like older people."
She pursed her lips and shook her head, stubbornly continuing and focusing on her food.
They finished up at the mall, with one last stop at Mrs. Fields, where Charon bought a dozen chocolate chip cookies for Percy. She happily squealed and clutched onto the bag, sniffing it in contentment.
"Think of it as housewarming gift," he patted her head fondly.
She grinned up at him. "Thanks! Next to my mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies, these are the best!"
Charon laughed and they headed out. Quickly reaching her new home, she was surprised to see Hades waiting for her in the penthouse.
"I see you've been productive today," Hades said smoothly.
Charon bowed to him before stepping back, a clear indication that Hades would be the one taking point and speaking here. Charon's figure was slightly veiled by shadows as he leaned against the wall, while Hades, covered from head to toe in sleek black clothing, stood clearly in the light. Percy glanced hesitantly between the two before swallowing and choosing to sit down quietly.
"I'm glad you've been doing better, it seems. How do you like your place?'
"It's very nice, Uncle Hades," she started politely, unsure how to act around him. "I'm very grateful for everything, though I'm confused towards…the both of your new attitudes towards me."
"Not quite new, little…" he paused. "Niece. Let's just say that whole Lightning Thief business was very…illuminating."
"Well, I really do like everything. It's a bit overwhelming, with how expensive things seem to be and I don't know how to repay you, Uncle. But I really like this place, though it's kind of huge for just one person."
Hades nodded, "It's one bedroom though, made for one person. And you don't need to repay me, Perseas –"
"Perseus," she cut in.
He gracefully raised an elegant eyebrow.
"Perseus," he murmured. "As I was saying, there's no need for repayment. This is my repayment to you. I know it's a bit overwhelming, but you must merely take things as they come and simply try to adjust, even if you need to one at a time. Charon has discussed your schooling?"
She fidgeted, "Ah, yeah. Pretty much."
"Very well. There's also a packet about Westridge on your bed, and if you have any further questions you may ask me or call them if you choose. I've taken the liberty of choosing your classes, though if there was one you'd prefer to take instead, you may tell me and I'll make the arrangements. Tell me –you said you liked this penthouse, correct? How about the decorations and the interior design?"
She blinked in confusion at the abrupt change, but answered quickly.
"I didn't think it would suit me, but I was surprised to realize I really liked it. I told Charon it was very Renaissance-y. The artwork designs are beautiful," she confessed.
Hades nodded again, "You might like the art class I set you up then. I think you'd like it. Give it a try, hm?"
"Uh, okay," she didn't think she was much of an art person, though she just recently found an appreciation for the art around her penthouse.
"If you'd prefer to go to Marymount, however, that is fine as well and I can easily make the arrangements," he looked like he might actually prefer it.
She held up her hands, hesitant smile twitching as her eyes instinctively closed in embarrassment and awkwardness.
"Nah, it's okay," she said quickly.
Hades gave her a small smile.
"That's fine. Your necklace is very pretty. I assume it's from my brother?" When she nodded, he continued. "Very useful," he eyed the pearls. "I also have something of the like to give to you."
He handed her four stackable rings. Two of them were simple bands, one an odd black metal and the other looked gold but something seemed off about it. The odd black one had a peridot stone next to the words FIGHT WIN LIVE engraved, although the words Neutiquam Erro were engraved inside the band. The gold one was similar, but instead of a peridot stone, it had a red stone that was tinted brown, and instead of words it had Roman numerals VIII XVIII MCMXCIII engraved.
The other two were also simple, but a little more decorative and seemed elegant to her. One she could tell was celestial bronze, made into a scroll band that met in the middle with a marquis cut onyx gem, with two rounded, sideways x's on either side of it. The other actually seemed to be made of crystal, also a scroll band but with carved curls that reminded her of Greco-Roman columns. It was a round cut diamond gem embedded in that one.
"These are more than rings, and more of communications bands. The black one connects to me. You may use it to contact me in case of emergency or if you wish to talk, merely say the words Neutiquam Erro to connect to me. It means 'I am not lost.' I don't think I need to say what those words or the others on the band probably mean to you."
Percy shook her head, glancing at it with a closer eye.
"The one with Roman numerals connects to the…Roman version of Camp Half-Blood, which is best that I don't tell you the location of. I will tell you more about it later though, if you wish. As a favor to me, they will come to your aid if you read the Roman numerals, which should be easy to remember since it is your birthday. The other two are simply additional protective enchantments. When combined together, especially with the gems and the metals, the rings weave very complex and strong defenses that should protect you until at least help arrives."
"Gems and metals?" she asked, though she wanted to dive straight into that Roman Half-Blood stuff.
"Each of the gems on the rings are your birthstones, which is important as mediums to draw energy from different sources and help power the rings. And as your birthstones, it reinforces it for you. The diamond is your mystical birthstone; talismanic for Leos. The peridot is the modern day August birthstone, and the onyx is a Leo gem, but more importantly connects you to me and my power. The red stone is carnelian, your Roman birthstone. You recognized the celestial bronze, while the gold one is Imperial Gold, a metal sacred to the Roman Camp. The black one is Stygian iron that is sacred to myself and my family, and forged in the Underworld. Lastly, the crystal is Olympic Crystal. Together, they should keep you safe.
"You must not forget that everything has purpose and meaning, and that uses can be found. All of them combined enhance your protections, more than apart and singularly."
Percy's eyes widened at it all, but she looked at him questioningly.
"I guess so…but it's still a lot. Especially for me? I don't get that. I'm mortal now. Why should I need so much protection? Wouldn't everyone just forget about me or something? Besides that, I thought I wouldn't be able to touch celestial bronze or even the others now."
Hades strangely hesitated before sighing.
"Maybe. But you could be in danger, or have bad luck in running into hazards. Moreover, it's best to be prepared and just make sure. I'd rather not take risks. As for the materials…you should be able to touch them anyways, being that the metals are only not supposed to harm mortals but you can still touch it. Stygian iron is another matter, but I have taken measures for you to be able to touch it. Perhaps I'll explain in more detail some other time…"
Percy was really surprised by all this, though she was really touched.
"Thanks a lot, Uncle Hades. I really still don't understand why, but I can't tell you how much I appreciate all this and am really happy about it!"
Hades blinked at her before coughing uncomfortably and giving her an acknowledging nod.
"There is just one last precaution I had included into the penthouse. Please follow me," Hades started to lead the way to her room, with Charon trailing quietly in background behind them, like a bodyguard. Hades strangely climbed onto her fancy new bed, elegantly as always, before pressing against the wall behind it very firmly. She was surprised to see it give way and then move to the side. The Lord of the Dead crawled in first and Percy hesitantly followed.
They crawled for a minute before dropping into a hallway, where Hades led her around before stopping into a large chamber with a pair of vertical rectangular panels standing upright side by side without assistance in the middle of the room. Two thuribles hung from chains floating in midair on either side of the panel doors, incense already burning in them.
"The panels are a form of Japanese doors called fusuma. If ever your home is to be intruded, you must retreat to here. If they are still able to follow you, you must use this," here Hades held out a silver key that hung from a small chain, with the handle of the key monogrammed with her initials and the stem carved into a spiral. "Insert the key in the keyhole in between the fusuma doors and unlock it as if they were normal doors. However, in actuality, you would be opening a gateway to different worlds. I've only linked this doorway to a handful, but you must take care because you might accidentally be sent to somewhere else.
"This place is like a maze, as it mimics the Labyrinth in the myths. It will help stop or at least slow down any persistent pursuers. You won't have that problem as it will instinctively recognize you and lead you to this area, every time. Unless of course, you don't wish to."
Percy blinked, holding her head.
"Ah, wow…there's a whole lot of explanations going on and my head feel like it's about to explode," she said in embarrassment.
Hades' lips twitched upwards, though Charon was more vocal in chuckling quietly.
"Don't worry; I will be done soon as I have to leave."
Percy inwardly frowned. Even though her head was hurting from all of the explanations, she didn't want them to leave so quickly.
"Most of those worlds are hostile to humans though. That choker of yours is beautiful and I commend my brother for it, but I would appreciate it if you wore this as well. You may keep it hidden and you don't have to wear it around your neck all the time, but try to keep it on you. The shields on it should keep you hidden or protected, but if someone strong should be able to detect you passed it, then just show them the pendant and they'll know you are under mine," Hades showed her the golden elaborate snowflake pendant, with diamonds around the edges and a huge one in the middle.
"When you're here in the penthouse, save all your other protections and just head for here and travel to another world. You will not be followed and you will be safe until a time I will come after you. Outside of here, I'd like you to use this first," he handed her an ice whistle. "This is a Stygian Ice Whistle that will summon help to you immediately. It'll help you while the Roman demigods hurry on their way to help you. Please try to save the pearls as a last resort. They take awhile to come back and you should use them sparingly and when you feel you would most need them without any other choice."
Percy nodded, though she frowned as she thought back.
"How are you sure that the Roman demigods will come to aid me? I mean…I'm mortal and all. If the others," Percy looked away for a second. "If the others won't care for me, why would they?"
Hades gave a chilling smile. "They will if they know what's good for them."
She was backed to being touched, staring at him in surprise.
"Let us go back out, for I have two more surprises for you," Hades announced.
She wasn't understanding how he was being so considerate, and she didn't know what else he could give to help her out. He had done a lot for her already, and she practically had everything she needed already.
As soon as she got out, the answer was in the form of a small figure jumping from the bed and nearly bowling her back into the secret entrance behind her bed. It licked her and she froze, grabbing it and pulling it back, somewhat ignoring Charon and Hades watching her in amusement from the side of the bed where she was still sitting.
It had three heads, staring at her eagerly, and was slobbering a bit.
But it was miniaturized.
"Cerberus?" she questioned in disbelief.
All three heads barked.
"I thought you would like some company. Unfortunately, Cerberus can only come every other week, if not months, as he is still supposed to be helping out in the Underworld. But I do have something else that will be able to keep you company in the meantime and is yours to keep," Hades handed her an ornate pipe that she took in confusion, though she was surprised that he had another thing to give her.
Still, she was feeling strange with all the gifts, even if they were meant for protection and to help her settle in. She was still shocked that Hades was doing so much for her in the first place, and didn't know what else he was handing her.
Once she touched the pipe, it automatically slid open and an odd thing popped out of it and then darted towards her, wrapping around her neck and nuzzling her cheek as her hand froze on Cerberus' heads.
"It's a kudakitsune. A pipe fox. Very rare and useful," Hades commented.
The snake-like fox moved quickly from her neck to her wrist, the one away from the three-headed dog. It gave her hand a peck.
"Looks like it's attached to her already," Charon smirked.
Percy blushed but petted the pipe fox with her thumb as she continued petting Cerberus as well.
"We'll have to leave now, but we'll check in with you soon. If you need anything, remember how to contact me. If you need to go anywhere, there is a number by your phone for you to call and you'll be driven to where you need to go," Hades added in.
Percy nodded and saw them out, Cerberus trotting after her and sticking close to her feet. And when they were gone, Percy sighed and stared around at her apartment.
It was suddenly very lonely in her large apartment, and she wished she had asked them to stay for the night, or even a little while longer.
The little pipe fox pecked her cheek comfortingly, though she hadn't even noticed when it had traveled back to hang around her neck, and Cerberus rubbed up against her leg. She gave them a sad smile.
"Thanks guys. I think it's time to sleep."
She got ready for bed and the pipe fox slept soundly curled around her arm and Cerberus on the pillow next to her head.
The next morning, she lazily got up and started getting ready for the day. She thought she could get a head start on her school supplies, though she saw that Hades and Charon actually did get some already. She just needed to get things that were more personalized, as they only got packages of lined paper, regular pencils, black and blue pens, and that kind of stuff. Though…she was surprised to see a leather Hermès backpack (she was confused about the brand too) along with an Olympus laptop that was different from the one Charon had over.
She took a shower, wondering at how she was now an early person (as a male, she did whatever she could to just sleep in –she missed that). Toweling herself off, she wrapped the towel around her waist and started to look for some clothing, when she noticed how uncomfortable the air was hitting her wet and now more sensitive chest and that the towel was slipping more from her slimmer waist. Remembering how women usually wore towels, she wrapped the towel from her waist around her hair and let it sit on her head, as she reached for another one.
She froze as she caught sight of herself in the mirror, observing the changes with dull eyes. She would have thought she'd be over this by now, but then again she'd avoided looking at herself in the mirror since the change.
Her eyes rove up and down her body critically. She swallowed harshly as her hands traveled hesitantly to her breasts, cupping them as she stared dumbly at her reflection. One thumb brushed lightly against an areola, watching it stiffen into a peak.
Wrong. This was all wrong.
Her skin was too soft and she missed the calloused tissue from before, lean but the start of becoming lightly muscled. Now she was all softness, but firm and flat; still lean and even slightly muscled, but somehow different.
She had bountiful curves, but all in the wrong places. Her lips were too soft as well, easily more pouty than before. Even her eyes held a softer edge around them that hadn't been there.
"I'm a boy," her voice cracked in the middle, sliding to the floor unhappily as she tucked in on herself, doubling over as she wrapped her arms tightly around her folded legs, lightly crying to herself about her luck and her situation. The kudakitsune was comfortingly nuzzling its face against her neck, as it wrapped around it.
Knocking started on her door and she hastily wiped her face, scrambling up.
"Hold on!" she yelled out, hurriedly trying to find a second towel to wrap around her body.
Busy searching in a panic, and still upset from earlier, she failed to notice Cerberus "helping out" by opening the door and a mildly amused and yet also sad Charon observing her from the bathroom's entrance. With one last sniffle, she finally noticed him when he stood behind her and reached around her for the towel she finally located. He calmly wrapped it around her, and she lightly flushed red in embarrassment, quietly wiping her still somewhat leaky eyes.
"Charon….w-what are you –"
"Hades wanted me to come check up on you to see how you were settling in. I can't stay long, but I'll make you some breakfast. Going out somewhere?" he interrupted. He didn't mention her state, thankfully.
"I wanted to get some more school supplies," she muttered, letting him take the towel on her head and start to dry it.
"Silly girl. Stop crying. You have a new life and you need to look on the brighter side of life. Your life," he murmured, hands gently rubbing the cloth thoroughly through and all about her hair.
He let his hands fall to his side, the towel still haphazardly on her head. She looked up at him, blinking with teary eyes as she sniffled adorably, her face slightly red.
Charon smirked, "You look adorable. Now hurry it up and get ready, I'll go and make pancakes."
She sniffed, looking at him with wide eyes. "...Can I get chocolate pancakes?"
He looked back with raised eyebrows, but shrugged and went back to smirking.
"Yeah, sure. Whatever, just get ready."
She smiled cheekily at him, even in her vulnerable state (which she hated, because Percy didn't do vulnerable –at least not when she was a guy). Charon grabbed one of her bras from its place in the drawer and chucked it at her.
"Wear that one. It's cute. Well, sexy more like. Reminds me of a French maid outfit," he winked at her.
She threateningly took aim with the can of hairspray she'd found.
He left quickly and she uncomfortably went back to getting ready, ignoring the mirror altogether now. Making sure she was entirely dry, she was even more uncomfortable as she put on her underwear and then stared distastefully at the bra. And yes, she was going with his choice...but only because it did look nice and she really did like it! It had nothing to do with Charon being the one who said it or that she wanted to look sexy. Or that she wanted to look sexy for Charon. Or that she wanted to look sexy at all. Wait, she already did say that –
She shook her head to clear her thoughts, wincing as she felt a headache coming on. She was also just confusing herself...
Snatching up the bra, she glared at it.
"You will not defeat me."
In the end, she was defeated by the bra.
She had it on, fumbling with the straps and trying to hook it behind her. She couldn't get used to reaching behind her, she couldn't figure out how to hook it in the first place, and she definitely was weirded out by the idea of having to wear the bra in the first place! She still wasn't even used to wearing it at all either.
In the end, she just hid the bra back and put on a shirt. She finished toweling up her hair, though Charon had taken care of most of the wetness, and then followed Aphrodite's instructions for her hair. Apparently, it would be too time-consuming to do it the ordinary way, so the goddess had made it possible for her to get the Alice pixie cut in just a few seconds. All she had to do was close her eyes and run both hands through her hair, thinking about the style as she murmured a quick prayer to Aphrodite. Opening her eyes, she saw that her hair had already been styled, so she just finished up there.
Slipping quietly into the kitchen area, she watched Charon continue cooking as she just as quietly sat on a chair at the table.
"Did you get the bra on?" he asked, flipping the last pancake.
"Uh, yeah!" she nervously replied.
He turned slightly, glancing suspiciously at her, but she just smiled back brightly.
"Chocolate pancakes," he presented, slight sarcasm in his voice.
But she just pouted and ignored it as she dug in.
"This is great!" she hummed happily in contentment. "Now all I need is some strawberries, and I'm good to go!"
He rolled his eyes, surprisingly retrieving a pack of strawberries from the refrigerator.
"Gift from Dionysus," he announced, handing them to her.
She held back a squeal and tried to refrain from snatching them out of his hands.
He shrugged, "No. I stole them from him though. You looked kinda depressed as we were leaving yesterday, so I got them for you."
"Thanks, Charon!" she beamed at him.
He waved her off, a completely black card suddenly appearing in his hand. He held it up between his index and middle finger.
"This is your 'credit card'. Whatever you need to buy, use this. Keep it with you and try to not lose it. If stolen though, it will automatically come back to you."
Her eyes were wide and she wondered at her new life. Because she was now living a nice, sheltered life. She was starting to feel a little spoiled –not that she was complaining or wasn't enjoying herself. Her new life really wasn't starting to look so bad...
"Lord Hades recommends you look into getting a job later on. While you are free to use this card whenever for whatever, a job would be good to build on skills and other things, as well as pass time by. Whatever money you earn can also be used for whatever you wish, and generally be used as pocket money."
She nodded, agreeing with the idea. Plus, she would kind of feel guilty and odd about letting Hades pay for everything and just living off of him. She didn't want to appear ungrateful or a leech. Or a moocher. Or a –
"Don't worry so much about things and just keep moving on with your life, and live normally."
He gave a finger poke to her forehead and she started pouting again.
After Charon showed her which phone number to call, written on a sticky note on the phone for her to keep and memorize, she went her way as Charon disappeared, immediately spotting the car. It would be parked at one of her parking spots, Charon had said, but she hadn't expected the car. She twitched and stared.
A Rolls Royce. She was suddenly very glad that she was taking the public transit to school.
As she got closer, the car's lights flashed and then it was backing out, smoothly going into a stop before her. A giant of a man got out of the driver's seat and went to open the door for her, and she hesitantly went in. She noted the classy interior, the dark tint to the windows (almost blacked out –wasn't that illegal?), but most of all she noted her driver. He was a golem; blank of face and made of stone. His uniform couldn't hide that fact, and she was rather startled by that.
She was surprised to find that inside the car, she had a clear view of the outside, despite the extremely dark tint the windows displayed on the outside.
The car started moving and she focused on her next place, tentatively announcing it to her "driver" through the intercom. They were driving soon to there, where she also told the golem driver that she would probably be done by two hours. Inwardly, she was thinking that she should look into getting a phone, as it would be much easier to call the golem back instead of imposing a time limit on herself. Golem or not, she didn't want to be rude and be late or something.
Inside, she immediately started scouring around, getting her business done. She took a break after she had finished looking into the first cellular phone place, finding the food court. She ordered her food and idly sat at one of the tables, glancing around in boredom.
"Hi, can I sit here?" a blond boy a little younger than her smiled handsomely at her.
'He'll grow up to be a heartbreaker,' she mentally noted, amusingly also noting the light blush dusting his cheeks.
"Sure, kid," she answered back.
He cleared his throat and stood up straighter.
"I am not a kid, ma'am," he corrected, electric blue eyes –'Damn, those eyes look familiar somehow' –sparking almost defiantly. "I am eleven years old."
"So serious," she teased, leaning back and having the urge to plop her feet onto the table. "Sit down, sit down. Have a cookie," she winked at him.
He went back to blushing, seating himself opposite her.
"I'm not a kid," he muttered, hand hovering near a cookie as he debated whether or not to get one.
"Cookies are cookies. You don't have to be a kid to want one," she rolled her eyes, stealing the cookie beneath his hand and promptly taking a bite out of it. "I'm Percy. What's your name? Or do I get to keep calling you 'kid'?"
"My name's Jason Grace," he introduced himself.
She froze and nearly let herself look at him in shock before forcing a smile. It had to be a coincidence...
"Well, Jason, what are you doing around these parts?"
She saw him hesitate before recovering and giving a convincing smile to her.
"Me and my friends were just hanging around the mall. We're just looking for a specific mirror, but we haven't seen it around. Thought I'd stop to rest awhile, maybe grab a bite to eat."
"A mirror, huh? What's it look like? Maybe I've seen it around."
Jason once again looked hesitant. "I doubt it," he said vaguely.
She almost narrowed her eyes at him, but shrugged instead. If it had anything to do with that world and if he was one of them, then it didn't matter and she shouldn't care. It wasn't her problem and she wasn't part of them anymore.
"Sure, if you say so," she finished up her cookie and reached for another one. "Why did you want to sit here anyway? There's a bunch of other free seats," she eyed the other seats around them curiously, looking back at him with the same look.
This time he turned fully red and started stuttering, confusing her completely and bewildering her.
"N-no r-reason. I just wanted to, uh, sit here with you. Uh, with someone my age! Yeah, since you're alone," he finally explained, a lot different from the composed and mature kid he was before she'd asked him that.
She blinked. "Uh...okay."
He coughed nervously and attempted to regain the grown-up visage he had been trying to maintain before she unintentionally metaphorically smashed it to bits with a figurative hammer.
"Jase!" a lighter voice entered the fray, and Percy looked around to see a cheerful girl dragging a boy behind her as they headed their way.
Jason looked surprised and slightly disappointed at their appearance.
"Bobby, Hazel," he waved to them, and soon enough they were at the table, looking at Jason expectantly as they glanced at her. Jason sighed. "Guys, this is Percy. Percy, this is Bobby and Hazel," he introduced the other boy and the girl respectively.
"Hello," Percy greeted amiably.
"Hi," the other two chorused.
"I guess we'll have to go –" Jason reluctantly began, when there was a roar and a familiar face appeared.
Percy blinked again. Well, it has been a-whi-ile~
"Son of Jupiter, you will pay!"
"Didn't we lose her five miles back?" Hazel asked her companions in annoyance.
Bobby groaned while Jason frowned at the incoming monster, narrowing his eyes.
"Better come up with a plan quick," Percy quipped, sitting in her chair calmly as she leaned forward and semi-clasped her fingers, laying her chin on it in boredom.
Jason did a double-take, gaping at her funnily.
"Wait...you can see her? Are you one of those clear-sighted mortals?" he questioned.
Percy sighed, refraining from rolling her eyes once again.
"I think you have more important issues at the moment. Focus?" she pointed at Echidna as she looked at them with a raised eyebrow.
Jason cleared his throat in embarrassment, before becoming completely serious and visibly transforming into a sort of soldier to her eyes, just by the straightening of his body, the electric charge in his eyes that contained a hint of anticipation and excitement, and the battle ready stance he took on.
"Hazel, left flank. Bobby, right!" he took out a coin and flipped it, and Percy watched as it transformed into a sword.
It was a little bit odd, watching this fight. She could clearly see, almost in an intimidating and yet awe-inspiring manner, that these kids were much better fighters than she was when she was at their age (well, outside of when she was in water). And when she looked at their faces, their completely serious faces were focused and there was a tinge of danger lining their bodies. The Greek Camp certainly trained fighters, but it seemed the Roman Camp was drilling out soldiers while they were out collecting strawberries.
Even the way they were in sync was better. The teamwork far-matched any that Percy had seen at the Greek Camp, or any that she'd experienced. Even the tight nit formations, especially the impressive Phalanx formation, Clarisse had commanded at the beginning of the summer were almost eclipsed by the fighting she was seeing here. If only because it seemed the kids were slightly inexperienced and were, after all, still just that –kids, then that was only the small advantage they'd had over these Roman demigods. Still, if these newbies could do all that, then what about the older, more experienced Roman demigods back at the camp, especially if they weren't held to the lack of Quests that the Greek Camp had until Percy arrived...? It was, surprisingly and uneasily, a frightening thought.
She supposed only Ares and maybe Athena campers could hold a candle to them, and even then Percy thought the Roman counterparts could take them on while the rest easily took the Greek counters out. Greeks weren't known for their military advantage, except maybe Spartans and various other factions she couldn't recall right then.
Still, as she'd stated, they were still young, amateur kids and they were still going to be prone to more mistakes than most. Bobby was knocked back after he miscalculated where one of Echidna's tails would move, crashing into one of the store windows, and she winced. She repeated the action when she saw Hazel get thrown and hit the floor roughly, rolling several feet before slowing to a stop and not moving.
Several times through the fight, debris was flying all around her and one chunk of the ceiling fell on top of the large fountain near her, causing more debris to be created and come flying towards her. Fortunately, the four rings Hades gave her glowed briefly and a brief sheen of light covered her, forming a nearly undetectable shield around her that fended off all the debris and left her safe. Unfortunately, that didn't include the water from the inevitable splash from the debris hitting the fountain, causing quite a bit of it to splash on her. Soaking wet, she watched the fight in a deadpanned manner after that.
She did noticed the screaming crowd had finally dispersed, she was the only one there, and that she was the only one who hadn't fled. Go figure. Well, she would be odd like that and just stay. Plus, she kind of enjoyed these kinds of things –finding entertainment from it, as a former demigod and all.
Though, when Jason shot an arc of electricity towards Echidna, she blinked and pouted.
"No fair. I want powers like those. How kickass," she commented to herself. And though she was playful and joking about it, her thoughts took a darker turn and inwardly she would admit she was slightly envious. Not really of the power bit, but because Jason had those powers at all, and as a demigod. Percy dully looked at her hand, watching droplets of water coating it. She clenched her jaw.
"Oh, Echi~!" she sing-songed, shortening Echidna's name while she was at it. The monster angrily snapped her head towards her at the call, narrowing her eyes at her and looking confused, with awareness growing and yet still confusion still there in her eyes. "How's the kiddies?" Percy smiled widely.
Echidna screeched and dashed towards her.
But Jason took the opportunity handed him, sending another arc of electricity that he was able to hit Echidna with straight on, stunning her. Just as he struck her with his sword, she managed one final hit that had his sword taken from his hand and flying Percy's way, clattering to the floor at her feet as Echidna turned to golden dust.
And yet it wasn't over. For where Echidna was, Sonny was sure to not be far behind.
Sure enough, the huge chimaera was bounding in, leaping up into the air and ready to take a chunk of the defenseless Jason. Percy sighed and navigated her foot quickly, sure movements letting her tip the sword upright by the handle and then once again using her foot to toss it into the air. She grabbed it when it was right in front of her, and then tossed it like a javelin towards the remaining monster, piercing it through its throat. It harmlessly flew over Jason's head and turned into golden dust right before it made to crash into the floor.
The three Roman demigods were assembled together once Percy looked back to them, gaping at her as she raised her eyebrows back, ignoring the looks of awe on their faces.
"I never said I was a 'clear-sighted mortal' or whatever that is. I'm Percy Jackson, former demigod but still Daughter of Poseidon," she really wanted to act arrogant because she was still feeling slightly insecure about that whole title, but she settled for nonchalance because she was never really good at being arrogant.
"Oh...you're the, uh, demigod mortal Lord Pluto asked the camp to watch out for," Hazel said uneasily, stiffening.
"Lord Pluto, right," Percy muttered, scratching the back of her head in embarrassment.
"You mean Neptune, right?" Bobby scrunched up his eyebrows, thinking back to her words.
Jason frowned, "She's never been to camp, Bobby. It's probably how she learned of it all, the Greek way in school and stuff."
Oh yeah, the camps don't know about each other, that much she could glean from when she first learned about it.
"Right, sure. I never got to make it to the Roman Camp, so I learned all I know from the outside, with some...divine help," Percy laughed nervously.
"It's amazing that you were able to make it on your own all these years," Hazel remarked in admiration.
They all were looking at her like that, just like they had earlier when she'd defeated the chimaera, and it was kind of strange to have the tables turned on her when she'd been the one admiring them just before that. Still, they looked like they had a lot of questions, particularly why "Pluto" was so insistent on her being taken cared of, especially since it was Pluto. Or Hades. Whatever.
"Anyways, the three of us will get to be personally watching over you, though not this summer. We're kind of on a Quest right now," Jason informed her, turning that red again for some strange reason. "Until next summer, two of our counselors, immortal guardians more like, will be arriving tomorrow to watch you."
"Well, that's good to know," Percy hmmed, noting that. She hadn't known about that at all.
"Wow, Jason! You're so lucky. How'd you find her so quickly?" Hazel asked him.
Jason coughed. "Um...I didn't know she was the demigod mortal."
'I totally like that name. Much better than calling myself a former demigod,' Percy thought the more they kept calling her that. It was less degrading than "former" demigod, in her opinion. Or the self-imposed entire title of 'former demigod but still Daughter of Poseidon,' which was actually depressing and picked at her insecurities, and kind of made to keep reminding herself that she still was and that Poseidon still considered her so. Just 'former demigod' made her bitter.
Bobby suddenly had a teasing grin on his face.
"Does someone have a crush?"
Hazel's face lit up in understanding. "Ooh, I get it. So Jase saw a pretty girl and fell in love at first sight, eh? How cuuteeee~."
"Quiet you two," Jason gave a rather impressive intimidating glare.
It kind of looked like they'd forgotten about her, even though they were talking about her in the first place. Still, Percy admitted she was a bit flattered.
'But I'm a boy,' she thought in amusement, silently giving the kid her reply. 'I'm flattered, but I'm a boy. Sorry.'
She hadn't known that the whole reason Jason had approached her and wanted to specifically sit with her was because he'd seen her and thought she was pretty. It was kind of...cute and amusing that he'd wanted to talk to her because he'd formed a...small, instant crush. It was another thing to remind her that for all the seriousness, they were still kids. Especially the teasing going around and how they were currently acting...
"Go on! Tell her she's pretty to her face, coward," Bobby snarked, daring the unofficial leader.
"I am not a coward, mongrel. I'll have you know that I can and will tell her that," Jason pursed his lips.
'Gods, these kids kind of speak so old-fashioned sometimes.'
"Right now," Hazel continued, smirking.
Jason huffed indignantly, glaring challengingly back. But as he turned to her, he hesitated and averted his eyes to the ground, turning a bright red once more.
"Um, you're...very pretty, Percy...Miss Jackson," he'd almost mumbled, but said it clear enough in the end.
"Thank you," she said simply, deciding not to reply her entire witty remark, and reveal the whole embarrassing and humiliating fiasco while she was at it. They had no need to know and it would be just cruel to Jason anyways. Accepting the compliment seemed the best way to go.
His head snapped up and he was practically beaming happily at her, looking into her eyes with an adorable sort of infatuated look. Then his eyes accidentally looked down and he turned red for a different reason. She looked down as well in confusion, before her face turned to red and she sort of twitched.
A white t-shirt, soaked with water, and no bra was a potent combination.
In a show of inhuman strength that had her wondering if there was at least some leftover demigod-ness still in her, she hefted an entire table above head and ready to throw at the blond Roman demigod.
"You. Little. PERVERT!"
"I'm sorry! It was an accident!" Jason yelled, all three of them turning tail and starting to run for their lives.
Before Percy could throw the furniture, it was suddenly lifted and put back onto the floor, a towel suddenly plopped onto her head. She blinked and turned to see an amused Charon, who had already started to dry her hair. Huh, déjà vu...
"Didn't I tell you to wear a bra?" he asked in exasperation, rolling his eyes.
"I got frustrated with the thing," she muttered, pouting.
"You don't go out in public without a bra. Unless it's a certain type of top or a backless dress," Charon added as an afterthought. "Here, this is a sports bra. Only time I'll let you wear it, and I don't want to hear about you wearing it all the time, unless it's for anything physical or strenuous activities. Got it?"
"Yeah, yeah," she snorted, taking a hold of it and taking off her shirt right there and starting to put it on.
"...What's with the sudden exhibitionism?" Charon asked sarcastically, twitching.
"Huh? What's that?"
"Nothing, never mind. Just, if you don't want perverts, you really shouldn't be taking clothes off freely in public," he pointed out.
She blinked. "Oh. Hm. I didn't really think about it. I guess my sense of what's perverted is kind of skewed right now."
Theory: While the sudden gender change probably had a lot to do with Percy's confusion on that sort of thing, there was also the choosing to be obvious and not to be obvious. Charon prior and Jason just then (as well as Mark and Sherman of the Ares cabin, not that anyone was quite of aware of that incident just yet), had been rather obvious in a) reactions and b) purposeful teasing –which immediately put her guard up and made her retaliate and immediately sense the pervertedness. Oppositely, staying quiet and of the like seemed to put Percy at ease and not notice.
Charon made a mental note about that, grinning inwardly.
"Come on then," he sighed. "Let's get you home."
"My shirt's still wet though," Percy complained, missing her demigod powers.
"Apparently, women aren't bothered by wearing solely a sports bra as a top. You're fine and I'll put the heater on in the car."
Percy sighed and followed a step behind obediently.
They left behind the three Roman demigods, who was staring behind the two's back incredulously, though they were still slightly cowering from a certain someone's righteous indignation.
Started 1/23/11 –Completed 7/3/11
A/n: Real apartment, real directions, real rings (though it's my descriptions), and real school. The t-shirts don't actually exist in Hot Topic, and are of my own design (I'm actually designing them in boredom when I have time…). I got to set up the stage for many of the things to come in this story in this chapter (well, Hades mostly did), so some hints as to what's to come are ingrained in here. Plus, the introduction of Jason (who is actually really 11 in canon timeline at this time, while Percy is 13 and turning 14 by the time school comes around). I originally was going to introduce Atlas too, but this thing was just getting too long.
Visit my website, which will soon have a section for this story! Plus, subscribe to my site letter to get updates, tibits, and other assorted goods!
-Bigfananime: No, I haven't discontinued this at all, and have no idea where you got that idea from. But yes, this and "The Light Before We Land" are being worked on. I have plans for Percy, so don't worry. Not to worry at all about your grammar and English! I think it's quite well.
- NoiNoi: Thank you and I hope you were happy with how Percy and Jason met.
-NyetNyet: Yay, that's great! Thanks a lot! And I'll try to keep updating...so long as there's MAGIC!
-Alexandria: Thanks! And I hope Jason was satisfactory.
-TheHangedMan: Totally continued :)