AN: Hey guys, this is my first fanfic and I would appreciate if you could drop a review and give me some suggestions :D I have a relative idea of how I want the story to turn out, but I won't mind if you have anything to add.
This isn't the usual "Annabeth cheats on Percy, Percy becomes a powerful being stronger than gods and a new threat etc.". It shows development of Annabeth and the other boy before Pertemis.
Please give it a try! I may not update regularly, but I promise I'll try to update at least once a month until October. Each update will be at least 5k words, but until my exams are over, I won't be able to update frequently.
Disclaimer: All rights belong to Rick Riordan.
Cheers erupted from the legions and cabins of Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-blood. Gaea has just been put back into slumber, and Zeus, Poseidon, Jason and I have finally defeated Porphyrion together. It took away our strength, no doubt, but we succeeded and won the war.
Though there were deaths all around the battlefield, while those who survived were covered in injuries, those most important to us survived. Annabeth and I were leaning against one another, barely able to stand up straight. Jason, Leo and I were sapped of our energy from creating a massive storm we never thought was possible.
Sad to say, many campers were perished in the battle against the giants and monsters, numbers dropping by more than half. I looked across the horizon, a thick layer of monster dust slowly dissipating into the air.
Apollo, and the remainder of his cabin, was tending to the injured, his face paled from all the healing; Artemis was giving the lost hunters a final blessing, before teleporting them back to Olympus for proper shrouds or sent to the sky above as constellations. One look and I could tell that she was devastated by the numbers lost in the battle, but was glad that Thalia and Phoebe, her 2 most trusted and best fighters, were alright. Zeus was hugging Jason before making his way towards Thalia, giving her a kiss on the forehead. I never thought I would see the fatherly side of Zeus. Oops, better not say that out loud.
Poseidon, father, had given me a hug filled with love and pride before teleporting back to his palace to recuperate. Speaking of which, I would love to be in water right now. Being the son of Poseidon, it's the best medicine I could ask for right now. Athena came forward with a smile, before apologizing to Annabeth for her fit of rage when she was suffering from schizophrenia when I was missing. Annabeth forgave her immediately and gave her an awkward hug, since she was still holding tightly onto my arm.
Once the injured were taken care of and could at least stand up, the gods teleported us back to Olympus, some into the infirmary, others to path leading to the throne room.
~ At Olympus~
Wow. I've only been up here once or twice after the 2nd Titan War, and I must say, Annabeth has done an excellent job redesigning Olympus! What can I say; she is the best architect around. My eyes could barely take in my surroundings. There were sculptures and statues of some of the lost campers in the 2nd Titan War, all with proper titles and life-like features. The garden they were in was blooming with flowers of all sorts and there was even an Olympic-sized pool a few hundred metres away! The town where satyrs, nature spirits, minor gods or Cyclopes were living or resting in was bustling with excitement at our return and of the Olympians. Buildings of various designs fitting the small businesses or residence lined the small city, like a miniature New Rome.
"Hey Seaweed Brain, close your mouth!" Annabeth laughed. My throat was dry from shock and I immediately praised her for her job. "Flattery gets you no where," was her reply, before I rolled my eyes and gave her a peck on the lips. We intertwined our fingers and made our way to the throne room, with Frank, Hazel, Leo, Jason and Piper trailing behind us, taking in their surroundings. Oh right, it was their first time up here I suppose.
Upon entering the throne room, all the chattering among the gods ceased and they looked at us, some with pride, others with interest. I could see Lady Hestia tending to the hearth as always, and she gave me a warm and caring smile. Looking around, I saw that Annabeth has improved the walls and pillars of the throne room, with intricate scenes of previous battles fought etched onto the Olympian marble floor and strings of Greek words on the pillars. I turned to Annabeth and gave her a knowing look, which she returned with a smile. No words were needed for us to communicate, for being trapped in Tartarus alone has bonded us closer than ever. We knew what the other was thinking like reading our own minds.
"HEROES OF OLYMPUS, STEP FORWARD!" Zeus boomed.
I shuffled forward, along with the rest of my companions, but stood slightly behind them.
"The war is over, and the great prophecy has been fulfilled. It has come to the attention of the council, that the 7 of you have exceeded demigod expectations and skills. Without the assistance of demigods from both camps and yourselves, the giants would not have been defeated." Zeus announced, albeit forcefully. "Hence, the council has decided to grant each of you one wish, including immortality. Note that this gift has not been bestowed on mortals for centuries, but we have agreed that all of you deserve it. You will also gain residence in Olympus if you wish, in addition to camp." I could tell that Zeus would be no doubt be angered if we rejected his offer, me for the second time, but I guess he'll have to deal with me and Annabeth. I mean, she knows I wouldn't take up immortality, doesn't she? After all we've been through, I'm confident she'll stick by me. Or so I thought…
The throne room fell into silence after Zeus announced his offer. Shockingly, he seemed pleased and proud when he said that. Perhaps because Jason is among the 7 of us… I could sense that everyone was anticipating our decisions. Percy looked at my and I could see in his eyes that he would definitely turn down immortality, and he thought I would too. I smiled at him and turned away, towards my mother. She gave me a slight nod and a smile, indicating her wish. She wanted me to say yes. My mother… Athena… wanted me to be immortal so we could spend time, or even better, work together! My hubris must have gotten ahead of me as the thought of Percy was pushed to the back of my mind.
"Father, Piper and I would be honoured to receive immortality," Jason exclaimed. Next came Leo, who asked for partial immortality instead. Interesting…
"Lord Zeus, may I wish that my curse be lifted off of me? I believe Frank would wish for his to be gone too." Hazel asked Zeus timidly with respect. That figures. It must be stressful to have your life tied to a stick that burns so easily, and have cursed precious stones being pulled out of the ground whenever you're near. Zeus thought about it for a while, causing the suspense to grow. Frank would indeed be very dangerous given his gifts and powers… After a few awkward moments, Zeus declared that he would grant them their wish if Frank swore loyalty to Olympus, which he happily did.
"Annabeth Chase," my mum spoke up, indirectly pushing forth my decision to be announced. "If you accept immortality, you will be working with me personally and continue your redesigning of Olympus." Oh my gods. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Forgetting the boy who loved me enough to jump into Tartarus for me, I immediately said, "Yes."
To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I would be lying if I said I wasn't hurt by her choice. She knew I would turn down immortality, didn't she? On the other hand, Athena just looked smug and smirked at me, probably glad that her daughter chose the 'right' and 'wise' choice… The throne room fell silent with tension, as Aphrodite let out a gasp. She must not have expected Annabeth's decision any more than I did.
"PERCY JACKSON!" Poseidon shouted. My name echoed around the chamber. Only the crackle of the hearth fire could be heard as I stepped forward and knelt in front of my dad. After rising, my dad continued his little speech. "Is there anyone here who would deny that my son is deserving?!" No one argued. All eyes were on me. Great…
"The council has decided that you shall be offered godhood, the greatest of gifts we have ever offered. Do you accept?" Zeus asked, seemingly giving me a glare that went unnoticed. I hesitated. I was tempted. Being a god would take away all the burdens of a prophecy; I would most probably be a minor god so my duties wouldn't be that busy… Besides, Annabeth has already chosen immortality. I can't stay with mum and Paul since my demigod scent has grown stronger over the months. There's almost nothing left for me in the mortal world except Annabeth. I looked at Lady Hestia, hoping she would help with my decision. She just smiled at my warmly, making my think of my other friends and family at camp. I made up my mind.
"Lord Zeus, I am extremely honoured that the council has offered me this gift, but alas, I cannot accept." I emphasized on the word 'honoured' and braced myself for Zeus' shouting since I sort of humiliated Zeus, again, by turning down immortality. It didn't come. The gods were staring at my in shock, especially Artemis and Aphrodite. The only ones who weren't shocked were Hestia and Poseidon. I guess they know me well enough. Taking the silence as a cue for my explanation, I continued. "I wish to reserve my wish to a later date and would inform you at once when the time comes. Thank you." With that, I started hobbling towards the exit still hurt from Annabeth's decision, only to be stopped by Aphrodite.
"I suggest we grant Percy here partial immortality, like the Hunters of Artemis," Aphrodite squealed. NOW, I'm surprised. Why would Aphrodite care about me? If I continued ageing, my relationship with Annabeth would no doubt be affected, and isn't that what Aphrodite wants? She said she wasn't going to make my love life easy, so why is she helping? Confused, I turned to look at her, only to see a comforting smile and … warmth? I won't be surprised if she accidentally took some of her own potion.
"What? I can be kind and understanding. After all, you and Annabeth are my favourite couple! I can't afford to see the 2 of you growing distant now, can I?" Aphrodite pouted. I guess she finally changed her ways. I do hope so. It's not wise to have your love life meddled with all the time.
Athena directed a silent snarl towards Aphrodite, who just returned a smirk. When Zeus finally woke up from his shock, his face was red with anger but managed to compose himself enough to grant our wishes before the ceremony began.
~ Time skip ~
"Annabeth, why did you choose immortality when you knew I wouldn't?" I begged. It was one of those times when I wanted, no, needed, to know an answer.
"I… I'm sorry Percy. I just don't want to have to go through another war as a demigod, you know? Tar… That place is too horrifying for me to relive. I can't stand being part of another great prophecy. I understand that you feel betrayed, but… I'm not as strong as you. You may be part of 2 great prophecies, but you can't deny the fact that you're tired of it. I hope you forgive me for my decision." Annabeth explained in remorse, looking down. I know it's tough for her, and I can't possibly stay mad at my Wise Girl. At least now, neither of us will age so we can continue being together.
"Hey, it's okay. I understand." I tilted her chin up, looking into her gorgeous grey eyes to show her I meant it. She smiled, a genuine smile. We were going to be alright, nothing could break us apart. We've been through hell and back — terrifying, but it strengthened our bond. I'm sure of it. We held hands and gazed at the stars above us, her head leaning on my shoulder. At that moment, I felt like I could take on another group of army, for I was in bliss.
~Time Skip 3 months~
"Bye Seaweed Brain, see you on Monday!" I chirped happily. I was now going to Olympus on a weekly basis, staying over on weekends. That way, I'll be able to spend some time with Percy on weekdays, but still work on my project on redesigning Olympus on weekends. I know, I know, I've been working on it for over a year now. Considering my passion for architecture, I'm mostly done working on the main attractions or features of Olympus. Right now, I'm only monitoring construction and adding on some structures to perfect my artwork. I feel bad for leaving Percy alone on weekends, but he said it was okay. In fact, Poseidon just visited to invite him to train at his palace. Thankfully, they'll only be training on weekends so it won't affect our relationship since I'm busy on weekends too. Unknowingly, I've reached the basement of the Empire State Building. Upon making my way up, I began to admire my designs.
As I thought about how I could improve on Olympus, I accidentally bumped into someone. He smelt like… pencils?
"Oomph, sorry I didn't see where I was—" I began, when I was cut off mid-sentence by the guy I bumped into.
"No no, I should apologise. Sorry about that. Here let me help you up." He offered his hand pulled me up. "Hi, my name's Jake. Son of Hephaestus here," he said.
His eyes were a shining brown, if that's possible, which showed knowledge and kindness. His black hair was slightly spiked up but looked natural nonetheless, giving him a casual look, though I can tell he put some time into styling his hair. A pencil was tucked behind his ear and his dimples were prominent when he smiled. He didn't look goofy or particularly burly like other Hephaestus kids I've seen, and his attire said a different story about him too. Instead of wearing a tool belt, he was only dressed in a plain brown tee and black shorts, complimenting his skin tone. In his hands were a couple of books, which I realized were related to buildings after straining my eyes a little.
"Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena," I replied. His eyes went big and looked shocked beyond words. I waved my hand in front of his face. "Hello? Earth to Jake?"
He shook his head and rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly, making my chuckle. After verifying that I was the architect of Olympus and one of the 7 heroes of the Giant War, he began throwing me with questions about my adventures and work here.
"Wow, hold it there Jake. I need to supervise some construction here. Talk later?" I stopped him before he could ask another question and shooed him away. As I told the Cyclopes in charge of moving boulders and construction about some minor changes here and there, my mind drifted back to Jake. He seems like a pretty nice guy, a very unique son of Hephaestus too. He was the first I've known to be interested in architecture and not just mechanics or weaponry like Leo. Instead of being a Seaweed Brain like Percy, he actually knows what I'm talking about and even throws in some constructive suggestions I've never thought of before. Maybe he can help me with some of the projects the gods have given me.
Before I knew it, night came and construction was halted. The Cyclopes needed rest and so did I. No one will ever understand how challenging and troublesome it is supervising a group of Cyclopes, having to correct their position every now and then. Yawn. Time to head to the small house I built for visits like this. I needed a nap now.
"Hey, Annabeth! Wait up!" I frowned and turned to see Jake running up to me, with a plastic bag filled with some sort of box.
"So, you're done with your job for the night right? Want to grab a bite?" He asked. I pondered about it for a moment before thinking of my Seaweed Brain. Would he mind if I ate with another boy? He isn't the jealous type so I guess it's okay. As if on cue, my stomach growled, making Jake laugh. His laugh is so mesmerizing. STOP! You are with Percy for gods' sake! Stop thinking of such things! I argued in my head. But Jake's the only one who connects with you! You know he's special and understands you…
"Hello?" Jake asked, raising his eyebrow. "You zoned out there for a moment." Ugh, stupid ADHD. I nodded to imply my agreement on his offer. He smiled and led me to the garden by the pool.
"I prepared some snacks for us to eat. A picnic, you could say. I'm not that much of a cook but I can still make some sandwiches," he said, rubbing his neck sheepishly, again. He looked so cute! Oh my gods Annabeth, what is happening to you! I blushed at the thought. I took a slice of sandwich from him, smiling gratefully and began eating. I didn't know I was that hungry until I realized I finished the whole basket, with a bit of Jake's help of course. He looked pretty surprised and I apologized for eating so much without leaving some for him.
"Hey it's okay, you've had a tough day. It mustn't be easy supervising construction for over 12 hours..." Wow, did he read my mind earlier, or is he just that understanding and caring? No one actually asked about my work or how tiring it was, even Percy. In fact, Jake here totally surpassed what Percy has done as a normal, mortal boyfriend. I mean I know he has done and sacrificed a lot for me, but he has yet to do something romantic that really touched my heart. I should introduce the 2 some time. Maybe Jake will rub some of his thoughtfulness on Percy.
I thanked Jake for the pleasant night and made my way back to my small house, contented and feeling at ease for the first time in months. I fell asleep thinking of a certain black-haired, brown-eyed boy, failing to notice the image of a familiar jet-black haired boy with sea green eyes looking at me intently and confused, from an iris-message.
Annabeth had just left for Olympus an hour ago, while I got ready for my training session with Dad and Triton. I was excited as I've yet to fight alongside, or against, Dad underwater. I wonder if he'll teach me some new tricks with water, like changing its temperature to freeze it or something. Though I am slightly nervous about Triton… He made it clear that he didn't like me when I first saw him at dad's palace before the 2nd Titan War. I hope he'll accept me soon, because I doubt having a brother trying to kill you every training session would be pleasant. With that, I took off into the sea, heading for Atlantis.
~ Time Skip ~
3rd Person POV
Clash! The sound of trident on sword could be heard throughout the arena, as Percy and Triton fought against one another, each exchanging blows and using their own set of tactics and water skills. As Triton feinted to the left, making Percy dodge, he sent a jet of water towards his feet, making Percy fall. Just as Triton was about to stab downwards for the killing move, the water around Triton froze, before superheating and vapourising. The sudden change in temperature and water skill caught Triton off guard, as Percy "jumped up" (he's in water…) and slashed at Triton's chest. He followed up with a series of cuts and blows before manipulating the water to grab Triton's trident and throwing it to him, pointing it straight at Triton's chest with Riptide at the back of his neck.
"I yield," Triton gasped out in sheer shock and disbelief. Applause erupted around the arena, and Poseidon made his way towards his 2 sons to congratulate them of their well-fought battle. Triton was amazed by his brother's agility and the swordsmanship. He had underestimated Percy's talent in wielding Riptide as well as his water abilities.
Just a few months ago, he had despised the demigod for he felt that Percy tainted his bloodline, being born out of an affair with a mere mortal. He never expected much of the demigod and wasn't particularly awed by his performance in the 2nd Titan War. His jealousy had been buried by his hatred for his brother, such that the skills in which Percy possessed surprised him long enough for him to be distracted. Though it cost him his duel, he held a new sense of respect and pride for Percy. The Saviour and Hero of Olympus, Perseus Jackson, was his half-brother. He had decided to help train Percy in his water abilities, as he knew Percy had struggled with his previous maneuver of cooling and heating the water around him. He was determined to make him a better son of the sea god.
I myself was a little surprised by the fight. I knew Triton held back a little, for the whole city was there to watch us fight and it would definitely do him no good if he killed a fellow 'prince'. I had no idea I would succeed in freezing and heating the water, but I gave it a shot anyway since I was about to lose the battle. It drained me of my energy and I could sense that Triton was shocked beyond words about what I had just done. I took the opportunity and slashed at him, parrying his attacks with ease since he had yet to recover, and finally managed to win. When I looked up, I saw that all eyes were on me, and dad was grinning like he just found a whole chest of golden seashells and pearls.
When I gave him a questioning look, he just shook his head, meaning to say he did not interfere with the fight. Confused, I asked both my dad and Triton about my little trick. Turns out, my willpower had increased to the point where I was able to control the temperature of water! I was so happy and glad that I have broke through another skill barrier that I begged them to train my water skills.
"PLEASEEE HELP ME!" I whined, hoping one of them would give in. My dad just shook his head and looked at Triton, who surprisingly agreed.
"If you don't mind, I could help. You put up a good fight, br… brother… Welcome to Atlantis," Triton announced. He struggled a little calling me his brother, but I was glad he finally accepted me. De facto, he did so much earlier than I thought he would.
Over the next few hours, we continued chatting while working on my temperature abilities, as Triton said, and I quote, "Multi-tasking will train your concentration, willpower and strength. If we keep this up long enough, you'll soon be able to control the water temperature like the breathing!" When night came, I found out my dad had prepared a room similar to Triton's for my stay at the palace. It was amazing and I had a king-sized bed with seashells lined across the entire room. Sketches of my past quests were somehow in my room, be it the ceiling, walls, or floors. It either meant that there was a creepy stalker, perhaps my dad, or the room was magical.
The first day had been tiring for me, but I missed Annabeth more than ever. I don't know why, but a part of me keeps prodding me to IM her during the day, to ask how she's putting up with her work at Olympus. I know how much effort she puts in and how tiring it is, but I seldom voice that out to her in fear that she starts droning on and on about architecture, the structure of buildings here and there. If she did, I would probably zone out and that would hurt her, so I didn't ask.
"Oh Fleecy, do me a solid. Show Annabeth at Olympus." I threw a drachma into a mist I formed with the water around me and the image shimmered to show Annabeth's room on Olympus. I was puzzled as to why Fleecy would show me an empty room, but my doubts were answered when Annabeth strolled in a moment later.
She fell onto her bed before I could say hi, with a smile on her face. I wonder what has gotten her to be so happy for her usually attentive self to miss my IM… I contemplated calling her, but I knew she was tired and decided to let her sleep. Before I could cut off the connection though, I heard her whisper a single word, as if she was confused on what to make of it.
Blame my short attention span and memory, as I couldn't grasp what she said. I think it started with a 'J'… Oh well, I'll just ask her tomorrow when she wakes up or when I see her on Monday. With that thought, I jumped onto my bed and laid there with a starfish position, taking in the size of the bed before giving in to exhaustion.
RING! RING! The alarm sounded, jolting me awake from my dreamless sleep. Being a demigod has its perks and disadvantages. Sad to say, having a demigod dream is more often than not trouble. Luckily for me, I didn't have one last night. I guess that's why I woke up with a smile on my face… Right?
"Hey Wise Girl, you finally woke up? Guess who's the sleepy head now huh," A familiar, soothing yet teasing voice shook me out of my thoughts.
"Yes Seaweed Brain, I'm finally awake. Like you waited for me to wake up all morning," I rolled my eyes.
"Hehee, actually I was kind of watching you sleep before your eyes opened. You drool too by the way!" He smiled sheepishly before smirking at me. I didn't drool, did I? I wiped my hand across my mouth to find it dry before glaring at the laughing Kelp Head.
"You… You fell for it…" He struggled to say as he fell into a fit of laughter, before I started chuckling at his antics. After he finally got up from the floor, he asked me a question that caught me off guard completely.
"Hey I IM-ed you last night but you didn't see me and fell asleep instead… What did you say last night? I remember hearing something that started with a 'J'," He questioned curiously. Oh no. He must have heard me say Jake's name. Did he really not hear me say Jake? Or was he trying to find out if I'm lying to him… He's a seaweed brain, so it can't possibly be the latter, could it? I hope not, I don't think it's time to talk to him about my new friend yet.
"What? Um I can't really recall, but I think I said jam. I have this craving for peanut butter and jam sandwich recently… Could you get me one tomorrow?" I lied, but put on my best act and even gave him my puppy dog eyes, which I almost never use. I could feel him soften up and judging by his posture, he seemed to accept my explanation. Phew, that was a close one… But why exactly am I afraid that Percy finds out about Jake and me? It's not like I'm cheating on him. I thought. Hey you can't deny you are drawn to Jake! My other me countered. Oh no, since when have I argued about such things in my mind before!
"Sure! Oh and I mastered a new fighting technique. Watch!" Percy shouted in excitement, as he started forming small ice cubes in his palm before vapourising them. Controlling the temperature, ingenious…
"Good job! But why are they small ice cubes? Are you being lazy? You better not let me find you slacking off when you're supposed to be training!" I warned, narrowing my eyes at him. He shook his head vigorously before denying. He immediately started forming an ice sculpture just by moving his hands, creating a pair of hearts with our names etched on them.
"SEE! I can do much better but it's soooo early in the morning and we just woke up… I know you're tired from monitoring the construction too, but I promise I'll make it up to you tomorrow night! Bye Owl Head!" He protested, before I shook my head slowly and letting out a sigh. I waved at him and slashed the IM before getting ready for the day.
Brushing my teeth and hair, I changed into a grey tank top and blue jeans. After putting on my favourite pair of owl earrings, I went out and took a deep breath of fresh morning air, appreciating the 'nature' on Olympus.
The day went by as usual, with me getting the Cyclopes to shift this here and there, getting some blueprints ready for a temple some gods wanted and all that… Until Jake arrived. We chatted like old friends would, talking about our lives and work here on Olympus as well, with him giving some inputs on the temple I was preparing for the gods.
His suggestions surprised me again, as he seemed pull my thoughts straight out of me. It's as though he knows me and how I think, when we've only known each other for slightly over a day. Percy barely got this close to sharing the same thoughts as me, except during a battle or eating. Why am I comparing the two of them? I'm not going to give up Percy for gods' sake! I shouldn't be thinking about the pros and cons of another boy and how he's better! This is so wrong ugh.
"Hey, you alright there? Why do you keep zoning out on me, is there something on your mind?" Jake asked me with a tone filled of concern. I shook my head but he didn't seem to buy it, and took my hand in his before running off to a small shed that appeared enchanted. He brought me in after knocking on the door with a series of rhythmic knocks, like a password to a room.
"Wow…" The 'shed' was, in reality, a mini version of Hephaestus' forge. There were 2 parts to the room, one side for pure architecture and paperwork, the other for designing and crafting. Machines and smelting tools covered one side, though in an organized manner, and in the middle stood a table with many small, delicate metal parts.
"Here, this is for you. I spent the whole of last night working on it, so please accept it!" He grinned and passed me a velvet-covered box. A necklace. Not just any necklace though, it was a small yet perfect grey owl, with every detail clearly carved onto it. The eyes were reflected rays of light like the moon did, which goes to show his skills and deftness. I was astonished and awed by his efforts, and it was obvious how he constantly hinted to me that he liked me. Truth was, a part of me reciprocated his feelings. But I knew it wasn't right, or wise, to two-time Percy.
I looked into his pleading eyes, those clear yet murky brown eyes of his and nodded my head slightly. I barely noticed our bodies leaning closer to one another, before my head cleared and I decided to give him a hug instead of continuing or stepping back. I felt him tense and let out a disappointed sigh, but I couldn't let Percy down just yet. I had to fight this for us. Little did I know, I would give in soon…
"Jake, I know your feelings for me, and I don't deny that I like you a bit too. But I have a boyfriend, and you know that too. So before anything happens to Percy and me, we mustn't let our emotions get ahead of us. We can only be friends now, but maybe things will change in the future. I hope you understand," I said softly, for I still cared about his feelings and didn't want him to leave. He nodded before flashing me a slight smile.
"It's okay, but I can't guarantee that I'll stop trying. And no, you can't stop me because you're not my boss or girlfriend. Yet." He said, with a new sense of determination washing over him. I hope you know what you're getting yourself into, Annabeth…
~ Time Skip 3 months ~
It was a sunny afternoon and I had a day off from training today. Though Annabeth was still at Olympus, I didn't mind spending the day taking a nap. I was in my cabin laying down on my bed, when a shrill scream sent me jumping up in shock.
"PERSEUS!" A certain goddess of wisdom called out. Wait, WHAT? I whipped my head towards the source of Athena's voice, only to see an IM of her with a very frightened look spread on her pale face. What could have happened to Athena for her to call me for help? A "sea-spawn" as she put it. The only time I've ever seen a daughter of Athena this scared was when Annabeth was surrounded by spiders and, since Athena is a goddess, there's no way she would be as frightened as Annabeth was by some spiders…
Unless… No, she was trapped in Tartarus. It can't be. Apparently, I was wrong again. There she was, hanging down from the ceiling of what appeared to be a small cavern.
"Arachne," I whispered. Without thinking, I pictured where Athena was and willed my body to turn into water vapour. Vapour travelling, as Dad called it.
"Well, well, well. Isn't it a surprise to see the great ole' Perseus Jackson, coming to the aid of the proud and egotistical goddess of wisdom," growled Arachne.
"Didn't we trap you in Tartarus? Or are you too afraid of the dark there?" I taunted. Though I was indeed curious as to how she managed to escape…
"Oh please, have you forgotten that the Doors of Death were left open for gods know how long? Yet none of you ever expected me to escape. How ignorant you fools are. Did you really think I would let you off so easily? OF COURSE NOT!" she, no, it snapped. Damn, I forgot the spider was smart…
I glanced at Athena, only to see her cowering in fear and even whimpering at the sight of the millions of spiders crawling towards her. Oh right. Millions… How many spiders exactly are there?!
I turned back to the freak and without warning, vapour travelled above her. As she looked around frantically for me, I leapt onto her back and attempted to stab or slice her head off. Note the word 'attempted'. She managed to turn at the last moment for Riptide to slice off her pincers, but she was still alive. Outraged and injured, but alive. Ugh. I groaned in frustration.
"Fire, Perseus. It's the only way to kill her once and for all…" a voice told me in my head. I knew it wasn't Athena, because her voice was too stern compared to the warm and caring tone of my unknown benefactor.
Sad to say, I'm a son of Poseidon. Where am I supposed to get fire?! The closest I can I get is steaming water. It's all I got so I figured, what the heck.
I swiped my hand across the air and a gallon of boiling water fell onto Arachne, before I concentrated further and turned the water into steam. The effect it had on Arachne wasn't enough to kill her, but got her distracted and wounded, which was good enough for me.
I cooled the water vapour in the air around her to freeze her in a giant block of ice before heating the interior, giving Arachne a personal sauna, while keeping the outer layer of ice intact. I could see the agony in her eyes, which was pretty terrifying since she had several of them. Getting bored of waiting, I conjured an ice pick and stabbed into the ice, effectively putting an end to her struggle, causing her to give in to the heat before she evaporated.
I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding and looked towards Athena. I realized then that the spiders had yet to retreat and were beginning to crawl over Athena, threatening to bury her in a pool of spiders. Eww much? I manipulated the moisture in the air again but used it to sweep the spiders off of Athena instead. It wouldn't do good to boil an Olympian goddess, that, I know.
Once the last spider was off of Athena, she collapsed. It was the first time I saw a goddess look so vulnerable, and it feared me to think what the other gods would make of it. Not wanting to violate or take advantage of an unconscious goddess, I awkwardly placed my hand on her shoulder and concentrated on the infirmary at Olympus. I had never tried vapour travelling with a companion before, but I had no idea where we were so it was my best shot.
It worked! Though I ended up falling on a certain sun god. I lied to Apollo about finding Athena out cold in the garden, as he was the last person anyone would want to tell a secret to. Maybe apart from Hermes… He told me she would be alright before flashing me back to my cabin. I had been gone for hours without knowing.
It was already night as I glanced up at my favourite constellation, the Huntress. Goodnight, Zoë. I whispered into the night sky, before falling asleep.
Next morning, I woke up to an unexpected visit from Athena.
"Perseus, I thank you for your assistance yesterday and I appreciate you not telling Apollo and the other gods of what happened, though he is the god of truth and was suspicious. Nevertheless, I don't owing a debt to others. Seeing that you selflessly came to my rescue when you could have died, and even though you knew I dislike you, I have come to realize that you are worthy of my daughter, Annabeth. I give the two of you my blessing. But know this, if you ever hurt my daughter, I swear I will hunt you down and personally torture you until you break. Got that?" Athena declared.
I was taken aback by her gratitude and blessing, but I nodded nonetheless. I wonder if Annabeth knew. Oh, I can't wait to break the news to her!
~ Time Skip a few months ~
Slash parries slash, block roll and stab, swipe and OOMPH; An uppercut straight to the jaw. Taking advantage of Dad's momentary pause, Triton and I double-teamed him and each sent a stream of super powered water, or in my case, frost, towards him. He managed to dodge Triton's blow but failed to counter the ice spikes that followed, effectively cutting him at his arms and torso before I slammed the hilt of modified Riptide into his sternum while Triton placed his trident at Dad's throat threateningly.
"Do you yield, father?" Triton and I asked at once, both of us panting heavily. Instead of receiving a yes, all we earned from Poseidon was a devious smile that followed with a strong blast of water that almost boiled my skin. I looked over to Triton to find him unconscious under a fallen pillar.
I thought of the time during the Giant War, when I almost lost Annabeth to Porphyrion and how I finally managed to earn the blessing of Athena for me to marry Annabeth. I was boosted with renewed vigour as I pictured Annabeth from a kneeling position and a ring in my hand. Once this battle is over, I can finally see her and propose.
I let out a battle cry that echoed the waters, before charging at my father using the water around me to my advantage as I conjured a dozen spears with ice pointed tips and a pair of hands. Without warning, I released the spears and began slashing at him simultaneously, at a speed I never reached in the past.
I could tell that Dad was tiring as he struggled with blocking all my strikes at once, and I smirked knowingly. When he brought down his trident with a larger force than necessary, I took the opportunity and used the water to push his trident slightly off course, before slamming the side of my blade against his temple and using my water arms to hold him in place.
I brought forth an iced sword and held it against his throat with Riptide at the back of his neck. This time, I had the water arms bind his hands and feet together so he couldn't pull of any tricks. Since he was too tired to concentrate using just his mind, he wouldn't be able to summon a water attack strong enough to shake me off.
He closed his eyes and opened them to show me that he surrendered, since he couldn't speak or even tilt his head without my blade cutting his throat. I let him go and offered a hand while smiling at my success. By then, Triton had recovered and was giving me a thumbs-up.
"Good job sons, you have done me proud. Both of you. I'm glad to see that the two of you have bonded well and are fighting side by side each other flawlessly. Though you must always anticipate a counter attack when fighting against a strong opponent, even if the battle seems to be in your favour. Your moves complement one another and your skills have definitely improved, Percy," Dad announced.
"Yours too Triton, stop pouting and act your age." Dad rolled his eyes at Triton's childishness before giving him a pat on his back and continued.
"Percy, as you know, you have been training under the two of us for 3 months now. I'm not sure what else you need to learn, considering the fact that you're now much more nimble and your swordsmanship has improved too. You've created your own fighting style by mixing your water abilities, close combat and sword together. You are always welcome to visit or stay over at Atlantis whenever you wish. If Annabeth is busy at Olympus, you can come over to train with Triton since he has nothing much to do here nowadays."
"HEY!" Triton protested, only for me to cut him off by laughing out loud. I told them I would visit soon and left, thinking about surprising Annabeth at work today. I was looking forward to this day as it was our 2-year anniversary and I had prepared proposing to Annabeth. With that thought, I shot up from the water and landed on Camp Half-Blood's shore.
I learnt from Percy that my mum gave him a gift after he rescued her from Arachne a few months ago. As a daughter of Athena, I hated not knowing things, but Seaweed Brain here just had to keep it a secret. I rolled my eyes.
Sigh, the thought of surprises used to appeal to me, but ever since I started hanging around Jake, it just scares me. I can't help but feel attracted towards Jake since he is the only guy who ever connected with me before. Excluding my half-brothers…
But there's always the thought of: What if Percy catches me? I'm getting tired of hiding and being so paranoid, though I'm not exactly cheating on him. I mean, Jake and I have yet to do anything inappropriate, apart from holding hands, having romantic picnics, gazing at the stars at night…
Okay, this is bad. I am actually looking forward to meeting Jake on weekends more than I do for Percy. I can't bear to break his heart but… it's the only way for me to actually lead a 'normal' life. I made up my mind; I'll tell him when I go back tomorrow.
~ Time Skip a few hours ~
"Hey Annie!" The intellectual voice that I've grown to adore called out. Surprisingly enough, he's the only one I allow to call me 'Annie'. Note to self: Don't tell Percy.
"Yes, Jakey?" I called back, only to be engulfed in a hug that would make Tyson jealous, though it barely lasted for a second.
"You're wearing the necklace today…" Jake whispered, before a grin spread wide on his flushed face. You see, back when he gave me the necklace, we made a deal that I would wear it on the day I decided to go out with him as a real couple. It was the first time wearing it, and it made me feel special and ecstatic, something I rarely felt around Percy these days. I know it's wrong of me to be two-timing, but I can't wait any longer.
"Mhmm," I nodded, giving him a small smile before grasping his hand and making our way to the pool. Evening was round the corner and I was excited at spending time with Jake, in comfortable silence, watching the stars above. Lying on the grass, just enjoying each other's presence. Here on Olympus, I have the chance to stay away from trouble and monsters. It truly is bliss, especially when I'm surrounded by my work, or rather, success.
"I… I love you, Annabeth. You have no idea how long I've waited for this day. Through the months of us hanging out, as normal friends, I couldn't help but think how wonderful our relationship would be. I would always plot about our future, and crafting some gifts for you. I know, cheesy, but it's true. There were times I wanted to give up and leave, just so I could stop the misery of seeing you with someone else. I'm glad I didn't, though. The wait was worth it." He smiled, pouring out all of his emotions in his words. I couldn't believe it. Did I really have such an effect on him?
"I love you too." We leaned in closer, before our foreheads touched and my lips brushed against his. His smell of pencil and wood was intoxicating, and I couldn't help but press my lips against his.
Before I could pull away though, he deepened it and I heard a gasp. A gasp and a tremor so strong not even the gods could withstand. The oh so familiar gasp from my Seaweed Brain. The certain Kelp Head who loved me more than anyone, the one who saved my life countless of times even if it meant putting himself at a greater risk than me.
But it didn't matter, because when I turned around, I saw the sorrow and pain in his sea-green eyes that no longer shone bright, but dimmed to broken extent. I felt my heart contract as my eyes caught a speck of shining grey and green. A ring. I turned back to Percy, but what I saw shocked me. A greyish block of water wall blocked our exit, but I could make out the silhouette of Percy's running form, before the wall collapsed.
It was early noon when I reached my cabin and prepared what I needed. Perfect. I took my sketch of a ring I designed, which took days mind you, a couple of drachmas and the minotaur horn I got as a spoil of war, and headed for Hephaestus' forge. I had planned to craft the ring myself, with Hephaestus giving me a hand or helping me with more delicate carvings or smelting.
"Lord Hephaestus," I bowed. He waved me off and asked what he could help me with. Our friendship has improved ever since my venture into the Labyrinth and upon the safe return of Leo. I told him my proposal and begged him to teach me how to craft the ring. He initially said he could finish it in an hour but gave in to my protest of wanting to put in my own effort in making the ring.
It was a tedious and tiring process, no doubt, and my shirt was soaked with sweat within just minutes of working. It's astonishing how Hephaestus could stay in his forge for the whole day when it's like an oven in here! We began to melt various metal pieces together, those which names I don't understand or care, before I crafted a gem with a mixture of Minotaur horn's dust.
The gem was beautiful, and I'm not being biased here just because I made it. It had a tinge of emerald in it but seemed to shine a light shade of grey, before I perfected it by evening the edges. It was shaped in the form of a heart shape, with a tail popping out at the bottom for me to combine it with the band of ring.
Upon heating, Hephaestus helped me carve the words "Wise Girl 3 Seaweed Brain". I wouldn't dare to try carving it, as I knew I would end up destroying the ring before I even got past the 'Wise'. I thanked Hephaestus before slotting the ring into the shell of a clam I found at Atlantis. It was enchanted to never break and hold whatever's placed inside unless I took it out myself.
When I walked out of the forge, the sun was going to set soon. Perfect timing once again! A picnic of our favourite snacks under the setting sun, at the sea. I smiled at that thought before vapour travelling to the kitchen in Camp Half-Blood and picking off the basket of snacks I asked the nymphs to prepare, and back to Olympus.
After sensing her presence at the garden by the pool, I began making my way there. At the pool, huh. She must miss me. That's what I thought, but boy was I wrong. Instead of her being near the pool, alone, all I saw were two figures lying side by side on the grass. I could see their intertwined fingers and the close proximity of their bodies indicated they were more than just friends.
My senses could not be wrong, Annabeth had to be here somewhere… Unless, no. She wouldn't, would she? She has grown somewhat distant from me since I told her of my new powers over water months ago. But I didn't think much of it since I trusted her, assuming she was just stressed and busy. I crept closer towards them, my knuckles white from squeezing the basket and clam in anxiety. I didn't want to find out, but I had to. There, laid my girlfriend, Annabeth Chase…
"I love you too."
Those words sent me into a fit of agony worse than I've ever felt before. Not because of the meaning or nature of the words, but because of who she was saying it to. It wasn't me. It was the boy whom she just kissed.
Imagine taking a dip in the River Styx, except this time, the pain is intensified with the addition of a thousand arrows piercing through your organs, your heart being soaked in highly concentrated acid like a sponge. In fact, no words seem to describe the pain I felt then. I felt as though my soul left my body. It is now nothing but a hollow shell of despair.
I let out the pained gasp I've been holding back on before summoning a wall of water out of thin air so they couldn't run after me. The ground stopped shaking, though I had no idea how and why it even shook in the first place. I looked at my shaking palms to see blood caused by my nails, and I could only guess that the clam containing the ring was somewhere behind me, along with the picnic basket. It felt pointless to live on when there's nothing holding me back anymore.
Before I knew it, my legs brought me to the edge of Olympus, overseeing New York skyline. The night seemed to be darker and gloomier than ever, as though it felt my broken soul crying for release.
I sat down on the edge, not caring if it supported my weight or not. It no longer mattered. Tears did not fall from my face, I wasn't sure if I was holding it in, or my eyes were just too empty. All the memories of the war came back to me; the time I spent in Tartarus for Annabeth, making sure the monsters didn't get a chance to lay their filthy hands on her or even letting them close to her. I was almost driven to insanity from all the hallucinations and images that floated around my mind then, but I didn't give up for the sake of her.
I missed Mum and Paul. But my scent has increased tenfold since the two wars and the training I underwent so going back to them was not a choice I was willing to risk. None of the campers had bothered to check on me when I felt lonely or left out, as I was one of the oldest there.
Camp had nothing left for me and now that my first true love was lost, I realized for the first time that I am all alone. There's no one left for me in the mortal world but my friends await me at Elysium.
I made up my mind and stood up from my position. The winds caressed my dry face and chapped lips, and swept my messy jet-black hair. I took a deep, yet painful, breath before leaping forwards, off of Olympus.
The flight downwards was exhilarating but all I felt then was emotional pain. It numbed me and deprived me of any other feelings I once possessed, making me ignore any thoughts that seemed to cross my mind.
After taking in the beauty of the night and stealing a glance at the Huntress, I closed my eyes to preserve the memory of the scene before me. I braced myself for impact as I zoomed past buildings, straight towards Central Park, heading for my old friend, Hyperion's Maple Tree. CRASH.