I Did NOT See That Coming
Six Years Later
Percy was playing catch with his son in the park. Aidan was finally getting used to the feel of the mitt and he kept smiling in delight every time he was able to catch the ball his dad threw to him. When he dropped his second baseball in a row, he pouted and sat down in the grass. Percy walked over with a small smile on his face and sat down next to his pouting son.
"Everything okay, Aid?" Percy asked the seven-year-old with a grin threatening to break his "concerned father" facade.
Aidan threw his head back in exasperation and stared at his dad as if he knew absolutely nothing. He pouted again, his bottom lip protruding and his nose crinkling just the slightest. "I'm not getting the hang of this like you promised."
Percy rolled his eyes at his son. "That's ridiculous. You just started learning. You're getting really good at it! You only dropped two in a row, it's not the end of the world." Percy could say this since he's really been faced with the end of the world and this definitely wasn't it.
Aidan threw himself back onto the soft grass and groaned. "But that's two in a row that I dropped. I won't be able to impress Elly if I keep dropping them! She's taking me to a baseball game tomorrow, remember? I have to impress her!"
Percy laughed, trying not to think about his son already being girl-crazy. "Elly is your babysitter. She's almost fifteen. She is a daughter of Themis who is too old for you." Percy thought back to the first time he met Elly, a little seven-year-old girl who was brought into camp from her foster home. He remembers how she wouldn't let go of his hand and how she reminded him so much of a younger Annabeth.
"But Dad, she's my soul mate! Age doesn't matter when you're meant to be!" Aidan fisted his little hands into the grass in anger.
Percy looked on in amusement. "I'm sure there'll be other soul mates for you, kid. You're too young to be thinking about that stuff anyway. Now get up! It's time to go to the birthday party!"
Aidan pouted again at his father, his nose crinkling in distaste. "But I don't wanna go to Caroline's birthday party. She'll just make me play dollies with her, and you know how much I hate dollies."
Percy smiled and shook his head in amusement. He lifted his protesting son up into his arms and began to walk towards New Rome. Caroline was one of Aidan's classmates in New Rome, a rambunctious six-year-old who wasn't afraid of bossing people around to get what she wants. She reminded Percy so much of Reyna that sometimes he subconsciously pushed Aidan towards her. Reyna thought it was cute that Aidan could never say no to her, even though he always insisted that she had forced him into it.
Aidan finally gave up his squirming and began his grumbling. Percy shook his head at the nonsense coming out of his child's mouth. Who had taught him those words? In Latin no less! He fought a grin as Aidan kept up his mumbled insults towards Caroline.
When they finally reached the celebration, Aidan closed his eyes and counted to 10 as if he was getting up the courage to go through with this. Percy smiled down at his son. "Just think of it as a quest that you're being sent on, buddy. A highly-dangerous quest where the only person you can trust is yourself. Your mission?: To make sure that Caroline has the best sixth-birthday ever. Understood?"
Aidan saluted his father. "Loud and clear, sir." And then he ran into the room and began playing with Caroline as if he had wanted to be there all along. Percy smiled at the two kids and made his way over to the gift table to set the bag down with Caroline's present in it. Two arms snaked around him suddenly and Percy knew who it was just by looking at the left ring finger.
"And how's my beautiful wife on this lovely day?" Percy asked as he turned around and gave Reyna a quick peck on the lips. Reyna smiled and rubbed her round, pregnant belly. She shrugged and yawned. "The baby still keeping you up?" Percy asked worriedly. This is the first full-term pregnancy Reyna had ever gone through and Percy didn't want anything to go wrong.
Reyna rolled her eyes at him and patted his cheek affectionately. "I'm pregnant, not dying, Jackson. Everything's fine."
"But with Aidan you were pregnant for seven hours! This time you'll be pregnant for nine months!" Percy looked worriedly at his tired wife.
Reyna smiled her "why-are-you-so-difficult" grin at him and fluttered her eyelashes at him. "I feel like we have this conversation at least once a day. Take a break, relax, rub your pregnant wife's swollen feet." She grinned cheekily at him.
Percy pulled her close and blew a raspberry in her neck, which caused Reyna to let out a giggle. "All right then, Mrs. Jackson. Would you like to take a walk with your lonely husband through New Rome? I'll buy you a snow cone." He wiggled his eyebrows at her and then gave her his puppy-dog-look.
"Why, I'd be delighted Mr. Jackson! Please, lead the way." She looped her arm through his and made their way out of the birthday party.
Piper rolled her eyes at her two friends. She turned to Hazel and Thalia and laughed. "They still act like two teenagers in love. Sometimes I think it's adorable but right now it's making me a little nauseous."
Hazel laughed along with the two girls. "They've come a long way. Let them have their mushiness. Sometimes I'm surprised they were able to get together at all considering how stubborn those two were."
Thalia shook her head in amusement. "How stubborn they were? Please, they're still the most stubborn people I've ever met. Always have been, always will be."
Annabeth came up behind them and slung her arm over Thalia's shoulder. "Yeah, but they're good for each other. They balance each other out."
Rachel appeared on Piper's other side, causing her to shriek and scream, "Where are all of you coming from?"
Rachel smiled and hip-checked Piper. "I'm glad their story has a happy ending though," Rachel said with a wistful smile on her face.
They all turned around quickly when they hear Jason screaming. "Everyone take up arms, get the kids to safety! People are approaching in what looks like a war ship!"
Someone must have informed Percy since he sprints from the direction he was just headed, Reyna walking quickly behind him.
Hazel turns on her centurion-mode. "Your orders Praetor Percy?"
Percy grabs Reyna's arm and pulls her towards the group of girls. "Get Praetor Reyna to safety and make sure all the kids at the party are accounted for. Take Aidan to Reyna's safe spot. Everyone prepare for battle. Hopefully we can settle this peacefully, but everyone from here on out needs to proceed with caution. We do not know what they want or what they're here for. Take up weapons and get in your formations."
Reyna grabbed Percy and kissed him soundly on the lips. "I love you, be careful."
Percy brushed a stray curl from her forehead. "Get Aidan to safety and keep yourselves safe. Call Argentum and Aurum, have them protect you. I love you. Everything will be fine."
Percy sprints over to Frank. "Find a drachma quickly, ask Iris for her new transporting special. Call on the Greeks and the Inuits and have them prepared to come through the portal if we need allies. Have someone warn Terminus. They have come onto our turf, and if they pose a threat to us-" Percy thought of his pregnant wife and his son-"and our families, we exterminate the threat. Immediately. Understood centurion?"
Frank nodded quickly, saluting and backpedaling to start the series of Iris Messages. "Loud and clear, praetor. May the luck of Rome be with you."
Percy took a deep breath and looked around at all of the people preparing for battle. "A praetor's job is never done."
The ship landed just outside of New Rome, nearly where the Argo II had landed almost seven years previously. It felt like a lifetime ago.
Suddenly, a white flag appeared from the bow of the ship. Percy held his hand up, informing silently to his soldiers to keep their guards up.
A large clanking sounded as people began to leave the ship. "We do not mean to alarm you," a loud, familiar voice boomed. "We are here to return home, if you will have us back."
The small group approached the formation of Romans with their white flag held high. As the got nearer, Percy could see their faces more clearly. He gasped. "Dakota? Octavian?"
"Praetor Percy, the Doors of Death have been opened once more. Thanatos has given us mercy on our souls and allowed us to escape the Underworld. Don't worry, the doors are locked up nice and tight now. We have been given a second chance at life and wish to return home." Dakota's bright grin became even happier when he caught sight of a shocked and awed Gwen staring at him from the right of Percy.
Percy allowed his jaw to drop in silent wonder. He then turned to face his soldiers. "Our brothers and sisters have returned! Tonight, we feast!"
Gwen shrieked and threw herself into the waiting arms of Dakota. She began to kiss him, mumbling words between each kiss. "I-kiss-love-kiss-you!" He just pulled her closer to him and didn't let go.
Percy shook hands and then bear-hugged the former augur, shocking Octavian and the rest of the people of Rome. "Welcome home."
Octavian smiled in surprise. "It's good to be back."
Percy turned away to see Reyna speed-walking with Aidan holding her hand tightly and trying to keep up. Percy smiled and ran towards his family, giddy and glad that there was no danger and everyone is safe. He kissed Reyna hard, then pulled Aidan in for a big hug. He kissed Reyna's pregnant belly.
Reyna smiled a huge smile at him. "I'm glad we got our happy ending."
Percy could only smile a relieved smile and kiss her again. "Me too, Rey. Me too."
A/N- We did it guys! We made it to the end! Nearly three years in the making and here we are. I'm sorry this is so late, but I actually have an excuse this time! I shattered my ankle and broke my fibula and was in the hospital for nearly a week. Lately, I've been busy trying to walk with the help of my crutches and try to drive! Of course that doesn't excuse missing January-April, but for the entire month of May you can't be mad at me! I love you all so so so so so so much and can't thank you enough for all of the support I've had, even during the first couple of chapters which I reread yesterday and couldn't believe how young I sounded even while writing. It's been a long time coming, but we finally crossed the finish line. This is the first story I was ever brave enough to post, and even though I had the occasional Percabeth supporter try to rip my throat out, I've never regretted it. Not once. I'd like to thank my beta MyStupidKnightInShiningArmor for reading through even the worst chapters I've written and making them better. I'd like to personally thank all of you who have stuck by me to the very end from the beginning, even when I'm the worst updater ever. I'm glad I could give you guys the Percy-Reyna-Aidan-happily-ever-after you all wanted. You all mean the world to me. Give me one last review as a final goodbye to our time together?