Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians or The Heroes of Olympus. They belong to Rick Riordan.

I think I might have made Percy' voice mature for his age, but oh welp. Please review and tell me what you think!

With the pit-pattering of soft rain, I trudged down the lonely road. My legs burned with overexertion. My eyes threatened to close from lethargy. And my mind clouded with fear and pain.

Trying not to think about anything and everything, I stopped to shudder at a particularly chilly breeze. Then I smelled it: the ocean. My feet guided me towards it, and the spring rain continued to beat a steady rhythm on the ground. I imagined what the other kids would be doing: sitting around the dinner table for a cozy family dinner or on a fun vacation, giggling like the seven year old children that they were.

I clenched my fists as another vision came to mind. The faces of my peers laughed as they mocked my lack of a father figure. They said that I was such a loser that he had left to never see me again. I took these cruel words to heart, but it was even worse when I had to come home to Smelly Gabe.

This brought me to my current dilemma. The obnoxious jerk would kill me for running off, but I couldn't help it. With Mom at the hospital because of an accident, I was to be stuck at home alone with Gabe for the entire spring break. I left the second day after he yelled some bad words and punched me for refusing to fund his gambling. It wasn't the first time that had happened, either. Gabe was mean. There was nothing more I could say without being scolded by the teachers or my mom.

Now it was night, and surprisingly, no one had caught me. No one had stopped and said, "Hey kid, it's dangerous to be alone," and definitely no one had paused in their busy day to help me. Despite having left of my own choice, I missed my mom, who would have done all three of those things.

Mom…I felt guilty because I knew she'd be disappointed and didn't need more things to stress her out. I hoped she was okay.

My worn out blue tennis shoes touched water, and I realized I had arrived at the beach. I plopped down on the sand, the waves lapping at my feet. Watching the dark ocean, I was overwhelmed by sudden bitterness, and tears prickled at my eyes. Sniffling, I lay down completely, feeling the raindrops and tears mix as they hit my face. I wished I could see the stars, but the thick curtain of clouds showed no sign of opening.

What should I do now? First I needed to keep myself from sobbing since it made me look weak and pathetic, but then what?

I closed my eyes, focused on the ocean, and listened to the waves. They came up to my back now. Then voices reached my ears.

Opening my eyes, I found two ladies standing over me. One asked, "Why are you laying here, little one? You could be swept away by the waves."

I wasn't supposed to talk to strangers, but I honestly didn't care anymore. "Sometimes…I fall down, and I don't want to get back up again."

Their pretty blue eyes widened, and one of them dove into the water and didn't come back. Was that weird? Yes. Did I care? Not really.

"Just hold on a moment," the other said soothingly. "He will be here soon. Oh look, there he is already!" Her cheeriness sounded strained.

I blinked. A man had appeared, thanking the lady and telling her to return somewhere. He had black hair, green eyes, and a powerful but kind look about him. "Who are you?" I wondered, and he sat down next to me.

He smiled sadly, and I knew the answer before he said it. My father. But how was that possible? He was lost at sea…

With slight embarrassment, I realized I had said these things out loud. Still smiling, he answered, "I live near here. A couple of my friends told me you wandered onto the beach, so I decided to come."

I averted my eyes. "You never did before," I muttered. It was petty, I know, but I was pretty angry at his absence.

The man (I would not call him Dad; I didn't even know him) sighed. "I wanted to, my boy. I wanted to see you and your mother. However, a bad man keeps me away."

I looked at him again and saw a calm sincerity in his face. Bringing my knees up to my chest and wrapping my arms around them, I said, "Okay." His assurances didn't make things much better. I still had my problems, and he still had his.

"Perseus," he called solemnly, and I glanced at him. He looked somewhat concerned. "Why are you here?"

Dread filled me as I thought about Smelly Gabe, and I started shaking. Then the man put a hand on my shoulder, and the warmth helped me recover. "I can't stand my stepdad," I said shortly. It's your fault that he lives with us, I mentally added.

"Your mother will be worried," he pointed out, and I bit my lower lip.

"I know, but she's at the hospital, and Gabe is at home, where he can get to me." His gaze hardened, and I became really scared. Did I say something wrong? I felt extremely selfish now, and I quickly blurted out, "But I'll deal with him if I have to!"

Noticing my anxiety, he patted my shoulder gently. "I am not mad at you, Percy. It is that foul excuse for a man who irks me." Hearing this, I relaxed a little. JUST a little. I stared at the waves, thinking how weird it was to have my father sitting next to me.

"Listen, Perseus," he said in a low voice, "those who look down on you and tell you that I do not care about you are wrong. You will do great things someday, and you will rise above all of them. I believe," he murmured, giving me a fond look, "that you will make me proud."

I didn't know what to say, partly because I didn't know what he was talking about. But I figured it was a pep talk of some sort, so I nodded and smiled.

"You must be tired. Go to sleep, and I will take you home." I began to protest, but he cut me off. "Do not worry. I will make sure that the mortal does not hurt you." Mortal? Whatever. It sounded like an insult to Smelly Gabe, so I was totally fine with it. Feeling the drowsiness, I nodded and let him pick me up.

As sleep grasped for my consciousness, he said, "You will not remember this. I am sorry, but it is for your own good."

But that didn't matter at the moment because I finally felt safe in my father's embrace.

Five years later, I went on a special field trip.

Five years later, I was accused of stealing the bad man's lightning bolt.

And five years later, I talked to my father for the first time.

Or so I thought.