When in Goode

Percy Jackson screwed up big during the Battle of Manhattan. Now, he has a science fiction pirate and the Avengers, including their newest recruit, Spiderman, on his tail. / "I'm a normal kid!" "Is that why we're standing fifty feet below the surface of the ocean?"

A/N: Are you ready for the end?

The cover-up effort takes longer than it was initially desired. Fury orders a team of level six agents out to the park, where the "Mysterious Ghost Wave" was unleashed, and has them strip up the sodden land and lay down fertilizer, flourishing sod, and new stone pathways. Then, the team fences the place off, plants a "Under renovations" sign on the ten foot high gate, and plans to leave it to sit for about six months while the grass grows into the soil.

The city is then angered at SHIELD taking control of the land like that, and several level seven diplomats have to negotiate with the government after that. They demand to know what happened. The SHIELD agents refuse. And the government swears they'll be doing whatever they can to reveal the identity of this new Whirlwind boy.

Peter and Clint both mercilessly pick fun at Percy after that. The name sticks to him.

And yet, it's still weeks before the rest of the issue of what to do with the energetic and powerful "savior", as Thor calls him, is resolved. Percy is adamant to keep his secrets, and demands three of the golden coins that were confiscated from him back. He then disappears into an unused bathroom, and comes out sans coins and looking a lot less conflicted.

"My mom says to tell you that I had better not get hurt." He informs Fury at the team meeting they have five minutes later.

The news is taken in stride. Really though, nobody wants to question how Percy managed to talk to his mom when they're not stocking telephones under the toilet seats of the helicarrier.

In fact, it's nearly fifteen days later before Tony Stark has the nerve to say what everyone else has been avoiding, even Peter, Percy's new best friend as it seems.

He tries the direct approach. "So Whirlwind," he starts off. There is a definite snicker behind the words, and Peter and Clint giggle a little bit at the exasperated expression on Whirlwind's face. "What's the deal with you and water?"

Percy, to his credit, doesn't seem surprised, just a little hesitant. Tony glances toward the thunder god, but Thor is determined to keep his lips carefully locked unless the powerful demigod is willing to give up his secrets. So Tony turns his scrutinizing gaze back on the teen in the spotlight.

Percy stares at his pen for a few moments, not really sure of how he's supposed to answer the question. He's grown a lot closer to these people, the Avengers, as freaky as it seems when he's watching them on television, battling hordes of demons or aliens in the middle of New York or Washington, and once even Hawaii. But he doesn't know if he can trust them enough to fully give up his life, and willingly too, when the ones he's gifting this information to are some of the most highly sought after targets of kidnappings and interrogations.

So he smiles a little, to himself, and glances around at the people in the room with him. There's Fury, at the head of the table, hands folded in what Percy has come to learn is his 'I'm listening' pose. To the chair on his right is Steve, sitting rigid and straight-spined, looking for all the world like he's a still a soldier on base in Germany. Clint and Peter are side by side, heads bent together to look at some kind of app for the new StarkPhone. Natasha, curled like a leisurely cat on one of the many leather seated, high-backed, chrome and black spinning office chairs in the room. And Tony, attempting to disassemble Percy's darkest inner secrets with just his eyes.

Thor, ever the loyal Labrador, averting his eyes so that these secrets do not come spilling from the wrong place.

The realization is shocking, out of the ordinary for sure, but it's not accompanied by a flash of stars or bright white lights. It's something he could miss for sure if he didn't spend so much time thinking about it.

These people, gathered around him, are his family.

Peter is like his twin in a lot of ways. Percy's the brawns guy, and Peter's the brains, but they fit, and they do make a great super brotherhood. Steve's a dad, that's for sure, with his do-good caring attitude and Mother-hen tendencies. Bruce is the older uncle, the one who knows how the world can work, cruel and harsh, and would do anything to stop that from happening to the people he cares about.

And Tony is the cool younger uncle, the one who spoils them all until they're up to their eyeballs in gadgets and gizmos they don't need but use anyway. Thor's the big brother the entire world seems to look up to, and Natasha is their only sister, who likes to shut herself away in her room until she's needed, but somehow finds a way to take care of her family anyways.

Camp Half-Blood is his family too, more literally than metaphorically. He's related to all of them, no matter how many times the gods insist they don't have DNA and therefore they aren't. With so many people at camp, it's hard to get close to anybody. He had Annabeth. And he has his cousins, Nico and Thalia, both of whom he knows would get a kick out of playing superhero for a day, because they really all do think alike.

He has friends among his fellow demigods, and among the gods as well, but superheroes get it. They know what the pressure of saving the world does to your back and your mind and your trust.

In the Battle of Manhattan, he was their leader. Percy was the one who would have been remembered for his biggest failure if they lost, not the rest of them. The Avengers went six to two thousand in the name of New York, and eventually the world.

They get it.

He smiles again, and it seems a lot warmer this time than the first time. "Oh, you know." He says decisively. "Just another mythological creature, lost in time." It's not a lie, but it won't do any terrorists or enemies trying to get the scoop on him any good. Plus, it's kind of worth it to see Tony jump up and shout "I knew it was more mythology!" so loud that an agent on the deck above them stamps the floor as a universal shut up tactic.

Thor casts a questioning glance at Percy. He smiles once more. He has time to break the news to them.

"So Mr. Jackson." Fury cuts in, after he's done snapping at the excitable billionaire to sit the hell down and start acting his age. "Would you care to join the Avengers Initiative?"

He'll have to call Mom, and tell her he's planning to change his current living situation, but he figures she'll be okay with it. She always does seem to like that her little boy is being a hero when kids his age are smoking things of questionable legality behind dumpsters.

So really, Percy figures the question is unnecessary.

And Fury doesn't say it, but he and the rest of the team seems to think so too.

A/N: And it is finished. I really do love the ending, if I do say so myself. Not a lot of dialogue here, but I enjoyed writing this.



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