AN: So, the first chapter is kind of short, but that'll change as the story goes on. This story is also one of those recent challenges I've gotten, this one from GaleSynch. I don't know how often this will be updated currently, but I hope you enjoy the first chapter.
Chapter 1: Unexpected.
New York City;
Perseus Jackson had seen a lot in since he'd discovered he was a demigod, son of Poseidon. He'd faced evil math teachers (literally), the Minotaur, hellhounds, Hydra's etc.
Personally, he still wasn't sure how he felt about the life he led, even after two years and three dangerous quest. Being a half-blood was dangerous, and usually it got demigods killed sooner rather than later.
He'd not met a demigod who was older than nineteen before, and that was barely. Though he supposed Luke was older than that, if his father was right and Luke had survived that fall last winter.
This was all beside the point. He'd seen a lot of weird stuff in the past, but this was beyond anything he'd ever expected to see. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or continue to stare in shock – so he chose a mix of both.
Dark brown eyes narrowed at him, and a feminine hand was placed on slender hips.
"Are you done?" a dry, annoyed voice snapped and he choked on his laughter and sat on the toilet seat with a thump.
"You... you're a girl."
"I've noticed," the girl in front of him replied bitterly. "I didn't come here for you to laugh at me Jackson, I came to ask you for help. Apparently I was stupid to think you could do anything, you couldn't even do one thing right..."
Oh, low blow, Percy thought as he grimaced at her reminder of his failure.
The girl before him had asked him one thing months ago, to protect her sister, and he'd failed. He'd failed to save Bianca when she'd needed saving – of course the girl in front of him had been a boy back then.
At least he was pretty positive Nico di Angelo had been a ten (maybe eleven) year old boy when he'd met him at Westover Hall. He definitely hadn't been a thirteen to fourteen year old girl, a pretty girl, when Percy had last seen him – er her.
Running a hand through his wet hair, he looked down, blinked and his face turned beat red.
"Uh, Ni-Nico... can we continue this in a few minutes," Percy began, stuttering out his words as he looked up.
Nico raised a eyebrow – which Percy couldn't help but notice was more delicate than when he'd seen him...her in December. Thinking of Nico as a female was definitely going to take a little getting used to.
The good thing about being a demigod, they adapted to change rather well. Though he'd never heard of this type of change before.
He couldn't help but notice that while Nico still looked like Nico... just female and a little older for some reason, h..she also looked different. Her hair was on the loosely waved side, and was a shade or two lighter than the once black.
A dark brown, a cross between mahogany and chocolate. Her skin was a bit paler, though that might not be because of her transformation. She was slim, lithely built, and he could see a closer resemblance to Bianca now.
He looked away.
"You kind of..." He tried to find the right words but settled on motioning to the towel around his waist. "I need to get dressed."
From the corner of his eyes he saw Nico's defensive posture loosen, and her face begin to glow red as she looked away.
"Right...uh, I'll wait for you in your room," Nico said, and practically threw the door open, and nearly ran from the room, shutting the door behind her.
Percy sighed, letting his face rest in his hand as he tried to wrap his mind around the information he'd just been saddled with. One way or another, he had a feeling everything was going to change.
When Percy entered his room ten minutes later it was to find Nico sitting on the end of his bed, looking around at everything with little interest.
"There's a lot of blue," Nico muttered, looking up seconds after he'd entered.
Percy nodded, there was quite a bit of blue in his room. It was his favored color, had been since his mother had begun putting blue food dye in the food.
"Let's just get to the point, Nico," Percy began, leaning against his junked up desk and crossing his arms. "How did this happen."
He motioned to Nico's body to get his question across and even though it was small he was pretty sure he saw the once boy wince as if in pain.
"I...it's a complicated story," she began.
"I have time," Percy said, pulling the chair away from his computer and sitting in it, facing the brunette.
"After...after I left Camp Half-blood I wondered around for a while, and finally found my way to the Underworld. I... I tried to get my father to bring Bia—Bianca back but he told me he couldn't. We fought, and I left. I wondered around the Underworld, trying to find my sister, to summon her once I'd learned how to do that. I guess after it all really sunk in I went from grief stricken to angry. At you... and at the gods, more so Artemis."
Percy sat up straighter, not liking where this was going at all. If there was one Olympian he wouldn't want to piss off it was Artemis. Not only was she one of more respectable Olympians, but he really didn't like the idea of spending life as a Jackalope... what little was left of it after he became one anyways.
"Nico, please tell me you didn't go looking for Lady Artemis?" Percy asked, deciding to play it safe in case this conversation somehow got back to the moon goddess.
Gods and goddesses tended to find things out, things they probably shouldn't.
"I was angry, I guess it would have been safer to come after you... but I wasn't really thinking. I just...it wasn't even that I went looking for her. I was camping on the surface, and then Thalia was there and suddenly the other Hunters. One thing led to another and the next thing I know I'm yelling at Artemis for getting my sister killed, and Thalia is holding me back from trying to kill her."
"I'm surprised you're not dead or a Jackalope," Percy said, sighing.
Nico laughed, a bitter tone in her voice.
"Oh, it was mentioned. I don't understand why she chose this instead, but she was pretty angry. Said I was a stupid boy, and didn't understand, so she would make it so I could understand. After it was over, and I realized what had happened I was shocked. The last thing she said was that the curse was permanent, not even my father would be able to undo it..."
"And your age, last time I checked you were barely eleven."
"She didn't know, she seemed as surprised as I was," Nico said. "She did mention it might have something to do with the lingering magics of the Lotus eaters, or it was simply the fates."
"Alright, so let me get this straight. You were dumb enough to piss off a goddess, not any goddess but a man hating goddess, and now your permanently a girl?"
"Right," Nico said, annoyed. So it wasn't her smartest moment, that didn't mean he had to rub it in.
"Then what do you expect me to do? You said you needed my help?" Percy asked.
The girl looked away flushed, and even more annoyed.
"Look, I was hoping maybe she was exaggerating. I don't understand how my father wouldn't be able to just undo this, and I can't go to him to ask. I can't face my father like this." Nico motioned to herself, aggravation clear in her voice.
"As much as I hate to admit it, you're the only person I could think to come to. I've tried to find a way out of this for the last two months...but recently... I remember Bianca had these moments during the month. Oh screw this; I need your help to find a way to undo this, and I need you to get your mother to help me with the... messier side of being female."
She hated asking, but she couldn't get by with stealing the products she needed. She wasn't a child of Hermes, her thieving skills were actually not that great. She'd barely been able to get away with the things she had been lucky enough to pickpocket. A bit of money, some food, and just recently some feminine products.
Percy blinked, unsure what she meant, and then it clicked. Nico was a female, apparently she had been for nearly three months now.
He remembered enough about anatomy and the talk his mother had given him to know females went through something each month that caused them to bleed, and meant they could have kids in the future (or something like that, he never claimed to be a genius on female anatomy).
"Oh, that," Percy said. "Uh... you're not...right now?"
Nico glared at him harshly, her eyes nearly black in her emotions and Percy grimaced and stood.
"Right, I'll just go... get my mother. Tomorrow we'll, uh, go to my dad and see if he can help you."
This was beyond awkward, Percy thought as he stumbled around the words he spoke.
Nico stood, nodding.
"Don't make me regret this, Jackson."
Percy hoped she didn't; he was determined to try and help her. If nothing else he owed her for being unable to save Bianca.