Disclaimer: I do not own PJO nor Mythology.
Percy felt himself getting weaker. He shouldn't have put so much energy into the shockwave, but he had no other choice. If he wouldn't have done it, his friends would've been killed. He couldn't have any more people die because of him. He needed to leave; he needed to save Artemis before he started to disappear from existence.
In the distance, Percy saw Aphrodite and Thalia running towards him. He couldn't have anybody interfere with his time. Not even his mother.
Quickly, Perseus snapped his fingers making the black dragon immediately grow to its full size. As Perseus began to mount the dragon, Zoë got out of her shock and ran toward him.
Percy paused for a moment as Zoë neared him. "What do you want?"
Zoë snorted. "I want to go save my lady. I know thou are going, and if that is the case, I want to go too."
"What makes you think I'm going to save her?" Perseus narrowed his eyes.
"Because I know that thou have somehow known her before she turned cold. Thou have a connection with Artemis." Zoë responded.
Percy laughed. "That doesn't mean that I'm going to save her. I may as well leave her for dead."
Zoë's jaw clenched. "Stop it, boy! I know thou care's about her as much as I do. I know that thou aren't the person that you say you are."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Just take me with thee."
Perseus hesitated. "I don't think it's a good idea…"
"Look, Perseus… I must save my lady. Just-just p-please take me with thee." Zoë struggled to say the last sentence. She never begged, especially not to a boy, but it was necessary. If it would get Perseus to take her, then she would do anything.
Percy sighed. "Fine."
Perseus quickly helped Zoë climb on once he saw that the others were getting out of their shock, and that Aphrodite and Thalia were nearing them. But that wasn't all that made him want to leave, it was the air. It had the scent of death; of blood. He needed to leave.
The air had become colder, the skies grew darker, and the ground seemed to tremble. Aphrodite and Thalia stopped when they saw a big flash of lightning strike through the sky. Something was troubling Zeus.
Hermes appeared a moment after, his eyes wide with fear. His hands were shaking as he took a parchment out of his bag where he carried all his mail. He swallowed and cleared his throat while he unraveled the parchment out. He let out a shaky breath as he started to read it out loud. "Lord Zeus has called upon all the Olympian gods for a meeting. He requires the presence of Aphrodite and Perseus Jackson. If anybody wishes not to attend, there will be a severe punishment." With his hands shaking, he took out some golden cuffs from his bag. "Aphrodite… will you come here?"
Aphrodite stepped forward, confused. "Eh, okay…"
In one fast motion, Hermes placed the golden cuffs on Aphrodite. "I'm sorry…" Hermes said, his head facing the ground.
"W-what's the meaning of this?!" Aphrodite growled.
Hermes turned to face Ares. "I would advise you to go to Olympus. Your presence will be needed, Ares."
Ares looked like he had been slapped. "I don't understand… Why would you do that to Aphrodite? She has done nothing wrong. She's innocent!"
"It is Zeus's orders… She has committed a crime." Hermes said. He grabbed Aphrodite's arm, and quickly flashed away.
Hermes and Aphrodite appeared in a very bright room. It took Aphrodite awhile to realize that they were in the throne room. All the gods were very silent; the room was tense. Each god had a different expression on their features. Some looked very displeased, a few looked disgusted, others looked very sad, and some just couldn't seem to decide on what emotion to show. Zeus was the only one that looked to be calm and composed.
After a long moment of silence, Zeus looked around and asked, "Is that everybody, Athena?"
Athena looked confused for a moment, but quickly, she shook her head and said, "No, my lord. We still need Ares and Artemis… but since Artemis is clearly incapable of coming, we only need Ares to be present."
"Then we'll have to start without him," Zeus faced Aphrodite. "You do know why you're here, right?"
Aphrodite shook her head. "No, my lord. Hermes just said that I committed a crime. I have done nothing wrong."
Zeus laughed coldly. "Oh, but you have. I also see that Perseus isn't here… Was he too afraid of facing the king of the gods? Tell me, how long have you been hiding him from us? A few hundred years perhaps, or maybe… a thousand? Be honest, Aphrodite. I have Apollo here to tell me whether you're telling the truth or not."
"I don't believe I quite follow…"
"Don't lie, Aphrodite! We know the truth now! Poseidon had the guts to tell me about your little affair with him. He told us about that son that you had with him, too. Just admit it and your punishment will be less severe."
Aphrodite turned to Poseidon. "You told him?"
"I'm sorry, Aphrodite. This has to be fixed." Poseidon said, his head facing the ground. He didn't dare look at her.
"You see, Aphrodite? He wants things to be right. We can't have that monstrosity of yours running around, can we? He has to leave." Zeus said coldly.
It took Aphrodite awhile to understand what he was talking about. But once she realized that he was talking about her son, something in her snapped. "Don't talk about my son like he's a monster from Tartarus! He's not. He has done nothing wrong. Why would you want him gone? He may even help us through this war!"
Everyone gasped as Aphrodite talked back to the king. Nobody talked back to Zeus. Maybe his wife could do that, but that would be in private. Not in front of the council. Zeus looked surprised for a moment, but he immediately masked his surprise with indifference. "He is a monster. He has gotten my daughter imprisoned by that Titan, Atlas. He has stirred up Kronos himself. This has to be fixed. Once he's gone, the war that you speak of will never happen. Everything will be fixed."
"Nothing will be fixed, Zeus! My son has been on this earth for millennia! If it were to be my son's fault, then the war would've happened centuries ago. And besides, I don't even know where my son is. He was hidden by Poseidon. I've tried to find him, but it's impossible. I don't even know if he's alive!" Aphrodite was on the verge of tears. It took all of her self control to not let her emotions take over her.
Zeus laughed. "Poseidon said that you hid him in a forest millennia ago. A few days after he was born, actually. You're lying! He's alive and you know exactly where he is. You thought you had us fooled the whole time, eh?"
"I'm not lying! I would never lie about this, Zeus."
"Oh, really? Well, I believe that you are lying. Poseidon would never-"
Zeus was cut off by Apollo clearing his throat. He decided to speak for the first time during the argument. "Father… She isn't lying."
Zeus paused for a moment. He leaned back in his throne and sunk down a little. His jaw clenched and he grabbed his thunderbolt. "Someone's lying here… Someone better tell me the truth before I make a mistake and murder both Poseidon and Aphrodite!"
Apollo bit his lip like he was trying to say something, but he didn't know how to say it. "F-father… I think it's time you know why my sister took awhile to get here…"
"Your mother said that she didn't want to come up to Olympus, Apollo. I already know this. You don't need to tell me this. We're on more important matters right now." Zeus asked, curiously.
"No, father. You see… My sister always wanted to meet you and come up to Olympus. She, well, she got lost. After I was born, mother found a place for us to stay a couple of nights. There was a forest beside the little place that we found. Mother said to never go into the forest because it was very dangerous. I really didn't care about this forest, but Artemis did. When mother and I were asleep, she decided to enter this mysterious forest." Apollo paused for a moment as he let his words sink in. "After that, my mother and I searched and searched. My mother doubted that she entered the forest, but in the end, she decided to look there. It was the only place that we hadn't looked. We entered this forest, and there I found I had to face many challenges. There was this person that owned the forest. He was young, but he said that he knew where Artemis was. He said that he would show us. The deal was, if I could pass his tests, he would show us where Artemis was. I passed them. He showed us where Artemis was."
Zeus looked at his son. "I would've liked to know this sooner, but… what does that have to do with what we're discussing about right now?"
"Well, the owner of that forest was Perseus, the son of Aphrodite and Poseidon. He said he would be going with us, but in the end, he stayed. Father, he saved Artemis. You should be thankful for that. He gave her a home and protected her." Apollo stated.
Before Zeus or Apollo could say anything else, Aphrodite asked, "Where is the forest?"
Apollo grimaced. "Well, I can't go there anymore. My sister can't, either. Once you go in, you may never come out. Well, unless the owner of the forest lets you out. My sister has tried to look for that forest, but she can never find it. I've tired and I haven't found it, either. I can't really tell you where it is because I don't know where it is. My mother may know, but she disappeared centuries ago…"
"There must be a way to get there, right?" Aphrodite questioned.
"Well, yes. If you want to find Perseus, then I suggest you stop looking, Aphrodite." Apollo said.
"Why would I stop looking?"
"Because you've already found your son. The only reason you haven't realized this is because you're too blind to actually look in front of you. He's been near you so many times. You've talked to him, too." Apollo looked very serious. He was usually never serious. He would always joke around about things, and it took Aphrodite awhile to actually process this new information.
"Who is he, Apollo? Please, tell me who he is. Tell me where he is. Is he alright?" Aphrodite attacked Apollo with questions. Apollo could see that Aphrodite was desperate. Apollo was about to tell her, but Zeus cut him off.
"I thought you would know who he is by now, Aphrodite."
Aphrodite was about to respond, but a flash of red light cut her off. It was Ares. He still looked angry, but he also looked frantic. "What's going on?"
"Well, look who showed up!" Dionysus exclaimed.
Ares glared. "I was fixing a few things, but I'm here now."
"You've missed a lot of interesting things, Ares. I mean, it's not every day that you hear that your girlfriend had a kid with Poseidon." Dionysus looked overjoyed. It looked like he just loved drama between the family. It was usually Aphrodite who took joy in these types of things or situations.
Dionysus laughed. "Oh, don't play dumb! You heard me."
Ares quickly turned to Aphrodite. "Is this true?"
"Yes." Aphrodite didn't even hesitate to respond.
Ares looked about ready to erupt. Yes, Aphrodite wasn't his wife, but she belonged to him. Not even the old cripple, Hephaestus, could get her to be his. Only Ares. Something about Aphrodite going in bed with old barnacle beard made his blood boil. He never had felt this angry when Aphrodite had her many affairs with mortals. Why would he start to feel these emotions now?
Zeus cleared his throat. "Well, if we could solve this problem, we'd be able to go into more important matters…" Zeus turned toward Aphrodite. "Apollo knows who your son is. We all do, too. It's interesting to know that you don't know. You're always the first to know all the gossip that goes through the godly world as well as the mortal world."
"I have no idea who he is, Zeus. I didn't even know that he was alive… Actually, I sort of had my suspicions. I asked Poseidon to tell me whether he was alive or not. He said that he put Perseus in a magical forest. I asked him to take me there, but he said he didn't know if Perseus survived in the forest. But no, I think it's because of that son of Poseidon. He doesn't want to give his godly son the praise he deserves…" Aphrodite trailed off.
"I think you just answered yourself, Aphrodite. You know who your son is; you just can't seem to make the connection." Athena chuckled.
Aphrodite felt her whole world stop. Her eyes widened in realization. "Perseus… Jackson?"
"Yes, Aphrodite. Perseus Jackson is your son. Your long lost son." Apollo smiled sadly.
"T-that's not possible… He's a demigod! A son of Poseidon!" Aphrodite shook her head, angrily.
"Oh, but Aphrodite, he's your son. He's not a demigod. We seemed to be mistaken. That's why Poseidon couldn't remember when he had that "affair" with that mortal woman… Sally Jackson, right? Yes, I believe that was her name… Poseidon told us that the boy was fading. That's why we couldn't really sense him like a full god. Luckily, Poseidon told us about this." Zeus explained.
A sense of realization hit her. "I know he's fading! I've sensed this for months now. I-I've been having these weird… visions? Yes, I think they're visions. It's been very weird. I don't think I can really explain it, but it's become very painful. To be honest, I thought I was fading. But now I know that I'm not. It's my son… b-but I don't know how it could be that son of Poseidon! I talked to him; he didn't show any signs of being my son!"
Athena decided to speak again. "Are you saying that you don't want him? If you don't, it'll make killing him easier."
"I'm not saying that!" Aphrodite exclaimed.
Apollo glared at Athena. "Will you stop acting like such a bitch to her? She's done nothing wrong!"
Athena looked very offended. As she was about to retort, Hera intervened. "Apollo, watch your language!"
"Well, tell her to stop acting like a total bitch!"
"Why are you defending her now, Apollo? Is it because you want to have an affair with that slut? Isn't it enough to have mister sea god like her? Now you do too?" Athena's eyes became a darker hue of grey. It was clear that she was beyond pissed.
"Watch who you're talking about, Athena! I can make your life a living hell!" Aphrodite snarled.
"Oh, look, I'm so scared! Are you going to throw some roses at me?" Athena smirked.
Aphrodite's jaw clenched. "Watch yourself Athena."
Athena laughed. "Ooh, I'm shaking!"
"What are you going to do about it, huh? Are you going to make me some heart shaped cookies? I bet your son is as pathetic-" Athena didn't get to finish her sentence as a purplish light was thrown her way. She barely had anytime to dodge the purple light.
Athena turned and saw that a big hole had been burned through the marble wall behind her throne. She turned her head back toward Aphrodite. Aphrodite was glaring at Athena. Something was clearly wrong with the love goddess. On normal days, Athena would insult Aphrodite and she wouldn't mind at all. But this wasn't a normal day…
"Don't ever insult me or my son again, do you understand Athena?" Aphrodite looked about ready to burst into her true form.
Athena glared. "You don't tell me what to do."
"Enough! We don't want another hole burned through the marble today. It's bad enough that there's one in here in the first place!" Zeus pounded his thunderbolt on the marble floor to get the attention of the other dumbstruck gods.
"I warned her." Aphrodite said coldly.
"Yes, well, you didn't have to burn a hole through the wall of the throne room." Zeus muttered. "Well, onto the main topic. Perseus Jackson is indeed your son, Aphrodite. And if what Apollo says is true, then I say that you nor your son deserve any punishment. Yes, I understand that this is wrong, but… if he saved my daughter, Artemis, then he's worthy enough to step foot on Olympus."
"Then who's getting punished for this whole mess?" Ares asked.
"What?! Me? Why me? I've done nothing wrong. I only told you the truth, Zeus!" Poseidon panicked.
"You didn't tell me the truth, Poseidon. You lied. Well, somewhat. You told me about your son and you also told me that the mother of your son was Aphrodite. The rest you blamed it on her. That's why we have Apollo here. He's the one who detects who's telling the truth or not." Zeus nodded toward Apollo.
"I'm like a freakin' lie detector…" Apollo grumbled.
"Yes, well, you're going to be punished. Not severely, but punished nonetheless." Zeus stated.
"I can't believe this!" Poseidon exclaimed.
"What's going to happen to my son then?" Aphrodite questioned.
"I'm not really sure… Now the real question is, are we going to keep your son alive or are we going to kill him?"
"Where are we headed?" Zoë asked curiously.
"We're going to save Artemis, of course!" Perseus said happily.
They were currently flying through some unknown place. To Zoë, it felt like they were lost. Percy looked like he didn't have a clue where he was headed. He just looked rather happy. It was a weird look on him, but it was also good. His emotions immediately changed from gloomy to excited. Zoë didn't know whether to take that as a good omen or a bad one. Whenever Perseus was upset, something bad happened. Whenever he was excited or overly happy, which rarely happened, something good happened. Zoë had been studying this for awhile now.
"Do thou even know how to get there?" Zoë asked.
"Of course I don't."
Zoë stared at him, dumbfounded. "Then how do thou expect to get there? Are we just going to fly in circles until we end up getting there?"
Perseus laughed. "Nope. My dragon will get us there. He knows the way."
Zoë remained quiet for awhile. Boys were very confusing. Especially when they expected everyone to understand their reasons for everything. She just decided that every boy was crazy.
"So… what's the dragon's name?" Zoë asked after a long awkward silence.
"His name is… Uh…" Percy looked like he'd been slapped. He hadn't named his dragon… Ever. He had spent so much time with dragon, and never had he chosen a name for it. "He doesn't have a name… I've never picked one for him…"
"Why not?" Zoë asked.
"I'm not sure… I've never thought of picking one for him." Percy answered.
Zoë remained silent once again. She had never had a real conversation with a boy for a very long time. She was usually harassing the boy or she was ready to kill one. Many questions were swirling in her head. She wanted to ask him so many things. But what should she start with? Would he answer them honestly?
Zoë decided to take the small risk of asking him. "What is your connection with Lady Artemis?"
Perseus stiffened. It took him awhile to answer, but he eventually did. "Well, the connection I have with her is very different. I don't know if I should tell you, but since I'm going to end up dying, I don't think it's going to hurt me if I tell you." Percy sighed. "I was such a young little boy when I met her. We were both very innocent. I considered her like a friend; a very good friend. We practically did everything together. I taught her how to hunt, and she turned out to be a pretty good hunter; better than me even. But eventually, I had to let her go. I couldn't keep her with me. Her family needed her. So… I ended up letting her go. I lost my best friend and the love of my life.
"Where did thou meet her at?"
"In my forest. My magical prison…"
Hey, guys! I bet you're all very, very pissed... I'm sorry. I've just been really busy. And I've had some trouble with the story, too. Y'see, I just didn't know how to fit all of my ideas onto a piece of paper. I tried so many times, but... It was a failure. I had to erase the chapter like four times to actually get it right. I know it sucks... I'll try my hardest next time. Oh, and I almost forgot... I've got this friend of mine. She wrote a story called, Bleeding Coral. Yeah, well, I gave her permission to copy some stuff from my story. You guys should go check it out. It's an amazing story. Her first chapter, which is the only one that she has, is awesome. She'll probably post some more chapters soon... I hope.
Oh, and you guys know the line already... Review. Please. Yeah, I know I said I would update ASAP if you guys reviewed more, but seriously... Review. Thanks for reading!
PS: I changed my name. It's not PercyxArtemis anymore. It's NightsPoison.