I do not own Percy Jackson & the Olympians.
Chapter One - Passage
Unlike that stupid chick from Twilight, I'd given plenty of thought on how I would die. I blamed it on being raised by a neurotic mother whose biggest fear was death ever since she found my three-year old brother floating face-down in the pond located near our back-yard.
Growing up with my mom meant being brought up fearing a number of things. Water was a big no-no in our family, so were heights, dogs, and many other things that could cause a painful death.
I was lucky. I wasn't as effected by my brother's death as my other siblings. I don't even remember him. I was exactly seven months old when he left the backyard to play with the boy next door and never came home.
Usually, my eldest sister Jaynie, who was eleven years old at that time, watched him whenever he went outside to play, while my other bothers and sisters pitched in when needed. That day my sister went to a birthday party, the first she was ever invited to. My older sister Vivienne, who was nine at that time, later told me that they all just kinda thought he was with her when they couldn't find him.
Needles to say we didn't get to go to any birthday parties after that.
My sister Hannah who was seven years old when he drowned told me that things went downhill from that day. My mom went insane with grief and locked every door, both literally and figuratively speaking. My siblings, who were used to our front and back door being open at all times during the day, and being able to run around the neighborhood with the other kids, suddenly weren't allowed to go outside anymore.
Hannah's exact words were 'a complete emotional and physical lock-down'.
I didn't really experience this. By the time I was old enough to go outside my mother regained back her sanity. The rules she did have, like not accepting any birthday party invitations, or no sleepover with friends, were usually cast aside for me. The rules that weren't I just ignored. As you can imagine I was a bit of a spoiled brat.
My mother's three-year old son just died and I was a helpless seven month old baby. She poured everything she had into her children, especially me. It lessened a bit when I was two years old and my baby brother was born, but it never really went away. With the way she spoiled me it was a miracle I grew up into the woman I am today. Someone with a good sense of justice who knew right from wrong. Granted, I didn't always do the right thing, but I was well aware that what I was doing was wrong and felt pretty guilty about it..most of the times.
A good example of that was my ability to manipulate most people and situations to my advantage. As a small child I used this ability relentlessly, not even understanding what I was doing, or that I was even doing it at all. When I was a teenager I used it when I could get away with it; knowing who you can manipulate and who to steer clear of goes a long way in the art of manipulating.
As an adult I had to constantly stop myself from twisting people in knots, and manipulating loved ones in doing what I wanted them to do. Sure I never wanted to hurt them and I sincerely believed I was doing what was best for them, but I was starting to see that I was somewhat, or a lot, in some cases, taking their right to choose from them.
Like my sister Vivienne asking me for advice about her boyfriend. My first instinct was to have her break up with him because I genuinely hated the guy. I knew I could get her to do it too; she was easy to manipulate. But I did my best to suppress this instinct. One of the reasons she was so easy to manipulate was that she was so naïve and trusting. She would never think such a thing of me, because I was her sister and I loved her, and I only wanted what was best for her.
She was right, but unfortunately the methods I sometimes used to get what I thought was best for her, were not always right. Luckily my moral compass was well-developed and I tried very hard to not use my 'powers' for evil.
Anyway, like I said earlier, unlike that chick from Twilight, I'd thought about dying more than was healthy for a well-adjusted person. Not only how I would die, but what would happen to me after. Was there a heaven or hell? Would I just stop existing after I died, or did the afterlife exist?
Of all the things I came up with I never ever thought it would play out the way it did.
I was twenty-seven years old when I died and a mother of three young children. I loved my children more than anything. But there were times where I wished I could go back in time and live my life again. I'd find a way to have the same children again, but there were so many things I'd change, things I'd do differently.
Death came to me the day my husband told me he wanted a divorce because he had found someone else he loved more than me. I remember just looking at him not knowing what to say, feeling my chest burn and hurt, like an elephant stepped on it and was trying to wipe off the crap he accidentally stepped in.
I listened to his reasons not actually hearing much of what he said, took a deep shuddering breath and ran from the house we were suppose to raise our family in for the rest of our lives, ignoring the cry of my youngest son who was calling for his mommy. I would later regret ignoring that cry very much.
I took my car and traveled the three-hour journey it took to get to my childhood home. When I arrived I slowly walked to the pond located seventy-five yards from my parents' back-yard, not even looking at the house my mother and father were probably sitting in, watching another one of their Portuguese drama shows. It wasn't even like we were Portuguese or anything. My mom just watched it because she loved the drama and dad watched it because it took too much effort to wrestle away the remote-controller from my mom.
I looked at the water and slowly walked towards the small wooden jetty my brother supposedly fell off. I could never quite bring myself to take even one single step on it. I had played around this pond for most of my childhood. I had caught fish in it, ice-skated around on it, during winter, floated around on a blue and yellow blow-up boat, but I never quite forgot that this was the place my brother Forrest died.
I wondered why I went there of all the places I could have gone to. I closed my eyes and took a deep shuddering breath before opening them. To my surprise the water wasn't calm. I hadn't noticed before, too preoccupied with the many thoughts running though my mind, but it was raining heavily. My clothes were wet and clinging to my body, I wasn't wearing a coat, I left home too upset with my husbands' words to even think about taking one with me.
I took another deep breath and sat down in the wet grass. I rested my back against a thin metal pole that my mother told me was put there a month after my bother died. She always told me about it like it was some kind of mark; someone died here. I never did find out what it really was.
I spent, I don't even know how long, just looking at the water, wondering what the hell I was going to do. My husband was leaving me for someone else, I didn't even want to reconcile if it was even possible on his end. It was betrayal, plain and simple. Betrayal of me, our life, our children. I didn't want someone like that in my life, not anymore. He would have to go.
The children weren't going to be a problem, I knew my husband loved them very much, we could work out an arrangement. My problem was that I didn't even have a high school diploma to my name. What kind of work was I suppose to find without it? It was one of the things I would've changed if I could have turned back time.
I wasn't stupid, hell, one of the reasons my husband listed for looking elsewhere in our marriage was that I gave more attention to my books, and writing, than to him. I just made a couple of stupid decisions in my youth, and never took the time to rectify them when I grew older.
The heavy rain pelted my face and body and it didn't even feel that cold, but the wind was blowing hard enough to make it hurt. It didn't really bother me though. It was better to feel something than the constant numbness. I could hear thunder sounding not to far from me and watched with apathy as lightning cleaved the sky. The first stirrings of unease began when I realized how soon the sound of thunder was followed by a lightning bolt illuminating the heavens.
It was time to go. Not only was it dangerous to be outside during a lightning storm, but sitting around on the cold wet grass soaked to the bone would only make me sick, and that was the last thing anybody needed.
I climbed to one knee, turned around, and wrapped my hand around the thin metal pole, using it as leverage to pull myself up from the floor. I looked up when the thunder sounded even closer than before, and gasped in shock when the lightning hit the ground maybe five-hundred feet from my location.
Contrary to popular belief, a lightning strike itself is usually not responsible for multiple deaths or injuries from a single event. The near instantaneous rush of surface charges, induced by the overhead thundercloud itself, race to the strike point from hundreds to thousands of feet away during discharge. This current, caused during each stroke, takes the path of least resistance, which may be iron rich human or animal legs, over poorly conducting earth.
In this case it was conducted through the earth into the thin metal pole my hand was still wrapped around. It didn't kill me instantaneously, I could literally feel it going into my body as I watched in shocked horror as my hand melted into blood and bone. Pain, unbearable pain and the smell of my flesh burning is all I remember. As I fell to the ground I prayed my mother wouldn't be the one to find me. I didn't think she'd survive going through something like that twice.
My last thought as I died was; please someone help me? I don't want to die. Anything, anything but this.
I didn't want to die. I didn't want to leave my children, but more importantly, I was twenty-seven years old and had my whole life in front of me. I would have done anything if it meant I could get a second chance. Anything.
Death was nothing like I expected. No God, no pearly gates, not even hell. It was just complete darkness. I was comfortable, yes. I felt warm and safe, a bit like drinking my mother's famous cup of hot coco with marshmallows while wearing nothing but my favorite robe that came straight out of the dryer. All in all things were good. But did I really want to spend the rest of my afterlife in the dark? No. I couldn't talk, I couldn't move, I just, was. I had no body, no arms no legs, nothing. All that remained was who I used to be. My consciousness, my memories.
I thought about my children a lot. But the pain I thought I would feel, the panic I used to feel at the mere though of losing one of my beautiful children, was nonexistent. It was very strange and unlike me, making me suspect my emotions were deliberately being suppressed or numbed somehow. I simply knew my children would be fine; their father would take good care of them. The only emotion I did vaguely feel was regret that I wasn't going to be there to watch them grow up, and jealousy of the new woman who would take my place in their lives. The woman who they would call mom now that I was gone. But even then I wasn't worried. My parents and brothers and sisters would make sure my children knew who I was, and how much I loved them.
I stayed in that dark place for...I don't even know how long. But slowly things were starting to change. I was beginning to feel human again, like my body had been put on standby and was slowly being reactivated limb after limb. First a heartbeat, I didn't even hear it because my ears were still 'offline', but I had lived with a heartbeat before, and I knew the feeling intimately, instinctively. I didn't need my ears to recognize it.
Some time after that, other sensations began to come back. Like the ability to move my hands and feet, actually having hands and feet. Hearing sounds, and opening my mouth, even if there were no sounds coming out.
I couldn't see anything, but it didn't take me long to figure out I was either trapped inside the Matrix, you know that big bag of slime Neo finds himself in when he's disconnected from the Matrix, or someone had taken my wish of wanting to redo my life a little too literal and I was sent back in time with all my memories intact and was now stuck inside my mother's womb.
So I have an over-active imagination, sue me.
I wasn't sure which one I preferred. Seriously, getting reborn with all my memories intact would be the epitome of awesomeness, but then there was also, you know, the Matrix, which couldn't be measured cool-factor wise.
Eventually I decided to go with whatever it was that was waiting for me once I left this cozy place. I'd deal with it then and try to enjoy the peace I was granted for however long I could.
I spent my days blowing bubbles I couldn't see, singing songs I couldn't hear and genuinely just trying to live through the boredom of being stuck in one place for too long a time without going insane. Seriously, getting the hiccups was the equivalent of being dumped in Narnia by a higher power for me. That was how mind-numbingly boring it was.
After a while I reluctantly let go of my Matrix fantasy and admitted I probably was inside my mother's womb. Getting a do-over with my life and actually having the chance to erase every mistake I ever made was a gift. I couldn't wait for my life to re-start. I relished every sound I could make out from outside my comfy prison. There was a woman's voice who I figured was my mother since I heard her the most. There were other voices, not many, but I was happy to hear anything I could. My favorite beside my mom's voice though, was the man's voice that I knew with absolute certainty was my father's.
I didn't hear him often, but when I did I felt such warmth, and joy. I loved listening to him. And somehow, I don't know how, I could always feel it the few times he touched my mother's stomach. It was like he was touching me.
It was strange because although I loved my dad very much, and always knew my dad loved me, I had never felt as close to him as I did in that moment.
As time passed the space in my comfy bubble was soon gone, and I could hardly move around without some serious effort. I knew my time of birth was nearing. I was going to be born soon and I could only pray to God, he'd allow me to forget pushing my way out of my mother's va-jay-jay.
I didn't think I had done that many bad things in my previous life to constitute consciously experiencing being born. It would be a cruel and unusual punishment.
The day of my birth, or re-birth really, started with a constricting feeling, like my prison was actually a tub of toothpaste and I was slowly being pushed out. It was horrifying, traumatizing and all kinds of ick-worthy words, but mostly, I just wanted to forget the hell out of it. So yeah, I'm not going into detail about the birthing process. I got out, that's all I'm going to say about it.
The sensation of being held as a baby was weird as hell. I screamed like I was being dangled out of a tenth story window. It felt like I was being cradled by a fucking giant. It made me feel vulnerable, small, and literally scared for my life. With my shitty luck the fucker holding me would probably drop me on my head or something like that. My brother Richard used to ask me if I was dropped on my head as a baby all the time, so I figured, you know, maybe he had a reason for asking.
I don't know when I started to get the clue that something wasn't right. It could have been when the doctor called my mom Sally, which was not my mother's name. Or when the doctor handed me to my not-mom and asked her, "How are you going to name him?"
If I could have talked, I would have been the youngest person in the history of mankind using the phrase, "What the fuck?"
"Perseus. Perseus Jackson, named after his cousin," My not-mom answered, smile evident in her tone of voice. "And I'll call him Percy for short."
Oh sweet mother of God. Not only was I reborn to someone who in no way resembled my mother, I was born with a penis. I couldn't help but wonder if it was too late to choose the Matrix option. Anything should be better than being reborn as a member of the penis carrying card club. And that name, Perseus Jackson, I knew that name.
"Lovely name," the doctor said politely, "And do you also have a name picked out for the girl? I know it must have been quite a surprise to walk into the hospital expecting to leave with one child only to find out you were actually expecting two." he chuckled with amusement, "It was a big surprise for me, and I'm only the doctor. It must be quite difficult for you, especially since the father is out of the picture."
Girl? Girl? Oh please, for the love of everything that is holy, let him be talking about me. And twins, did that mean Perseus was my brother? What about my - possibly our - deadbeat dad? And what was up with this doctor? He was being kinda rude.
"There is always the option of giving one, or both, up for adopt-"
"Thank you, Doctor," my new still-not-mom said coldly, cutting him off mid-sentence. "But both my children are very wanted and loved by both their parents."
Well that was good. It would suck to be unwanted.
She took a deep breath and I felt her hand on my face softly caressing my mouth. I tried opening my eyes but I was very tired and couldn't see much more than shadows and light. "Rhea," my mom said lovingly. "I'll name you Rhea, after your father's mother."
"Perseus and Rhea Jackson," the asshole doctor said, "Both names originate in Greek Mythology, correct?"
"Yes," my mother said tiredly. "They're family names, their father is Greek."
Oh crap, I didn't like where this was going. I knew the name Percy Jackson, I had read his books to my nephews whenever I had to babysit. It was a book series about a boy who finds out his father is Poseidon the Greek god of the sea. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. But I didn't remember there being a sister. So it couldn't be true. I had to be wrong somehow. Things like this just didn't happen to me. I wasn't special or anything. Besides, Why would I be reborn into a story that didn't need me anyway? The kid did fine without any help.
"Oh yes, I see," the doctor said. "Well congratulations, Sally. The nurse will be with you shortly to take you and your children to your room. If you need anything or have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask."
"I will. Thank you, Doctor," she replied in a tone of voice that showed she wouldn't be asking him for anything any time soon. His adoption suggestion must have really pissed her off. That was very good to know. It would've pissed me off too if I were her, it was way out of line.
The doctor left and my mother placed a soft kiss on the crown of my head. "You were unexpected, but welcome, so welcome, little Rhea. Your father is going to be so happy to hear he has a daughter. He doesn't have many of those, you know. No mortal daughters at least. You'll be daddy's little princess, yes you will, yes you will," she said talking with a little baby voice.
I curled my nose in disgust at the indignity I was forced to suffer, making my mother chuckle softly. It was starting to look more and more likely that I really was reborn into a story, and the sea dude really was my father. If this was my new reality instead of the massive delusion I was kind of hoping it was, then I could practically kiss any hope of a safe, uncomplicated life, goodbye.
'Well fuck me sideways.'
If I really was Rhea daughter of Poseidon, then at the very least I had some idea of what was coming. It was better than being born in a world I knew jack shit about. I would have to think about it later. Or maybe if I was real lucky, this was a hallucination the Matrix came up with, and all I had to do was sit tight and wait for Morpheus and Trinity to come rescue my ass.
Yeah. Somehow I didn't think so either.
My new mother's disgustingly cute baby talk was thankfully interrupted when three nurse came to wheel us to our room. One of the nurses took me from my mother and gently laid me down into, if I remembered correctly from my own experiences with childbirth, a plastic crib on wheels.
"There you go," she said, gently laying me down. "Say hello to your big brother."
I could feel a body next to me, moving with every intake of breath. My new brother was obviously still sleeping. That was good, I didn't need to have a crying baby screaming in my ear at a time I was feeling like my world was coming to end. I was going take my brother's example and sleep. Maybe I would wake up to find out it was all some insane dream.
I spent the next weeks after my birth ignoring the world around me, grieving for my old life and saying goodbye. My mother often commented how different I was compared to my brother, who was constantly crying, shitting, and puking his way through infancy.
Sure, I did all those things too, but unlike my brother I kept the crying to a bare minimum, and only let myself be heard if I was hungry, had a tummy ache, or suffered from the indignity of a dirty diaper. I wasn't even going to think about breastfeeding. Talk about being traumatized for life.
I was an easy baby to raise, more involved with the plans I was making in my mind than what was going on around me. I'd decided early on that the whole Percy Jackson thing would be written off as a coincidence until having a Greek god as father could be proven without reasonable doubt; like witnessing him walk on water - or watching him turn water into wine. Wait, wasn't that Jesus who did those things? Never mind, they sounded enough like a miracle to use it as a measuring stick.
Until I saw proof, and probably after too, I was going to concentrate on living my new life. It was hard to accept at first. The numbing feeling that flooded me whenever I thought about being separated from my family stopped me from going insane with grief. It made it easier to see my situation clearly. I loved my family dearly but realistically speaking, it wasn't like I was ever going to get to go home. Letting go was surprisingly easy when I accepted that fact. But I was still pretty sure someone was messing with my emotions, suppressing them to make it easier for me to adjust to my new life. I wasn't sure whether to be pissed off or relieved about it. Some days I picked the former, some days the latter. Hell, some days I went with both.
Percy was a very loud, needy child who constantly used my fingers as a pacifier. I allowed him to because it was the only thing that would shut the damn brat up. My mother made us sleep in the same crib so he was the first thing I saw clearly in this new world I found myself in, and I was the first thing he saw. We were like fucking ducks, imprinting on each other. When I looked into his eyes it was the first time I realized that he really was my brother, my twin.
I had called him my brother in my mind before and Sally my mother, but I only did it because it would be expected of me, not because I wanted to. I felt more like an actress studying for a role than anything else. Because deep down I couldn't help but think that they weren't really my family. That the only reason I ended up with them was because some higher being up there decided it was funny to fuck up my afterlife.
So yeah, maybe my old life was gone and buried. But that didn't automatically make Sally and Percy my new family, my mother and brother. It took some time for me to realize that if the gods, or whatever the hell was up there, really did screw up, they did so by not erasing the memories of my previous life. Somehow I didn't think letting me be reborn into an other family was a mistake.
Things got better for me after realizing that. Easier.
I met my father for the first time when I was exactly four weeks old. My mother picked Percy up from our playpen because he was being his usual annoying self, crying so loudly that our next-door neighbor pounded the wall demanding silence. I watched it happen with the lazy indifference of someone who'd seen it all before.
I heard the knock on door but figured it was our neighbor coming to complain in person, it wouldn't be the first time and with the way Percy was usually wailing it up, it sure as hell wouldn't be the last.
The first clue I got for it being someone other than our neighbor was the shocked gasp that left my mother's mouth when she opened the door, and Percy halting mid-wail at the sound of our visitor's voice.
"Sally," the voice of a man said softly.
"P-Poseidon...what are you doing here?" my mother asked breathlessly.
Well... It wasn't as much proof as watching him perform miracles, but seriously, how many people had a cousin called Perseus, a grandmother called Rhea, and a father called Poseidon?
I was kinda, very reluctantly mind you, beginning to see the light.
"I am here to see you - and um - and our son. I would like to meet him if that is alright."
He sounded hesitant, like he wasn't sure he'd be welcomed, but underneath that there was longing, so much longing. For Sally, for Percy...I wasn't exactly sure. Probably both.
"Oh, yes, of course. Please come in," my mother said clearly flustered by his presence.
"I was unsure if- if you wanted me here...after what happened," Poseidon - my father - said uncertainly after he stepped into our apartment.
I wondered what happened between them. They seemed so...awkward around each other, so hesitant.
"Of course I want you here," my mother said emphatically, "I'll always want you here. I just didn't expect you to come. You said it was dangerous."
"Oh it is," my father said. "I took every precaution I could, but it's still dangerous. The less time I spend around the child the more chance he has to survive."
Well, didn't that sound just fucking peachy. Percy chose that time to let out a tired whine breaking the silence he adopted since he heard our father's voice. I understood why, Poseidon's voice was soothing and warm, the best feeling in the world next to our mom's voice. It would calm down anyone even an annoying whiny brat like my brother. Honestly, the kid was lucky he was so cute, or I would've strangled him long ago with all the sleep deprivation he caused me.
"So this is my son," my father said softly, almost reverently. "What's his name?"
"Perseus," my mom replied just as softly. ''Percy for short. I was hoping his cousin's good luck might rub off on him."
My father chuckled softly. "He is beautiful, Sally. May I hold him?"
"Of course," my mother replied, voice thick with unidentified emotions.
I figured it was about time I let myself be heard. Seriously with the way this was going, my mom would forget telling my father about me and then I'd never get to meet him. Well unless I went on that ridiculous quest to find Mr Anal Retentive's lightning bolt. I honestly didn't see that happening. The last time I was even remotely close to lightning I watched my own hand melt to a pole.
Hell to the no with that.
I let out a small cry startling my mother. It was just meant to get he attention so I stopped at that. I reminded her of my existence, the rest was up to her.
"Oh," my mother said. "Poseidon I-I have something to tell you, I... I'll just show you," she said hesitantly, not knowing how to exactly tell him. I guess 'Surprise! We got two for the price of one!' was not the way to go about it.
She walked over to the play-pen and gave me a warm but nervous smile. "Time to meet your daddy, Princess," she whispered softly before lifting me in her arms.
"Poseidon, meet your daughter, Rhea Jackson."
The first thing I saw were a pair of beautiful startled sea-green eyes. My first thought when watching my father gape at me like a fish was that if there was any justice in this universe, it would make sure I inherited those sea-green eyes. They were going to get me anything I wanted, seriously, I was convinced that they were the key to world-domination. And getting laid. A lot. Which were both very good things. My husband was the only man I'd ever had sex with and I was planning on changing that as soon as I was old enough.
"Sally..." my father spluttered.
"I know," my mother agreed with a small chuckle. "It surprised me too. I thought I was done when the contractions suddenly started up again. Four minutes later, little Rhea was born."
"A daughter," my father said voice filled with wonder. "You named her Rhea, after my mother..."
He held Percy in his arms as he looked at me with awe-filled eyes. "You have given me a beautiful boy and a precious girl. Do you know how long it has been since I was blessed with a daughter?''
He looked up at my mother, his eyes burning fiercely, "Gods, Sally, I love you so much."
Well now. That was certainly...heartfelt. I sincerely hoped I wouldn't have to witness my parents getting busy or something like that. Oh the trauma.
"Please, Sally, reconsider. I love you so much and I want to live the rest of your life with you. I want to raise our children together, have more children with you. I can't stay with you on the surface it isn't safe, my brothers would kill you and our children without hesitation. But you can come with me and live in my domain. You'd be safe there, the children would be safe. I swear to you that you'll never want for anything. I won't leave you until the day you die, and I'll remain faithful to you."
My mother gaped at him and I had to admit I was probably mirroring her expression. Now, I gotta be really honest here and say that I had no intentions of living inside the freaking ocean like I was part of the cast of The Little Mermaid. I had resolved myself to this new life I found myself in, and was planning to take this opportunity to lead the life I'd always wanted to live.
I wasn't going to hold myself back from anything I wanted, not for fear, not for shame, not for anything. Instead of getting pregnant at eighteen and never having a social life, I was going to party like I won the lottery, which I kinda felt like I had, if you ignored the daughter of Poseidon thing. Hell, being the daughter of Poseidon only gave me more incentive to live my life to the fullest, since I probably wasn't going to survive for very long. I could die at any minute from the many monsters and uptight uncles out to get me, and maybe be reborn in another world as Ginny Weasley, or gods forbid even worse, Dolores Jane Umbridge.
So yeah, not really looking forward to spending the rest of my life 'Under the Sea', but after listening to my father's passionate plea I was mentally willing my mother to accept.
"Poseidon I-I don't know what to say," my mother stammered.
It was all I could do to stop myself from screaming out 'Say yes, Fool!' but I figured that might have given away the fact that I wasn't exactly a normal girl. Which was something I would never tell anyone. Ever. I wasn't an idiot. Plus I hadn't even tried talking yet, so I had no idea if I even could.
"I want to, Gods how I want to-"
"Then say yes Sally," my father implored desperately.
"What about your wife? What about your other children? Things aren't that simple."
Well she was right about that. His wife probably wouldn't be very pleased if he brought his lover and children to live with him in the ocean. It was good to know my father loved my mother and wanted to raise his kids, but it didn't seem like a realistic plan.
"Things are that simple. Sally, do you still love me?" he asked softly.
"Yes. Of course I do. I'll never stop. I might meet someone new in a couple of years, someone who loves me, and maybe I'll even love him in return. But it will never hold a candle to what I feel for you. You're it for me. But I'm not that person for you. I'm just another woman in a long line of women that once held you attention." my mother said softly.
It was heartbreaking to hear, really. But I didn't think my mom was completely right about my father.
"Sally, please just-" my father sounded so hurt it was painful to hear. "Why won't you believe me when I tell you you're different. I love you so much."
"I don't deny that, I know you love me. But I don't think I'm very different from the women you had before me, or the women you'll have after me. You always go back to your wife in the end, Poseidon."
"Do you want me to leave Amphitrite is that it?" my father questioned, looking at my mother intensely.
My mother took a deep breath. "Honestly? You're the god of the sea, I don't think it's in your nature to be a one-woman man," my mother sighed tiredly. "This conversation is pointless. We've been over this again and again and at the end of the day we still want different things. It's unfair of me to hold you to human standards because you're not human. You're a god, and I'm a mortal. Things were going to end sooner or later. Dreaming of things that will never happen is only going to hurt us both in the long run."
"I'm not giving up. I've already build our house in the sea, I'm only waiting for you to say yes so I can bring you and our children home."
My mother was silent, she obviously didn't know what to say to that. She looked torn, confused, and like she needed some time to think. I decided to lend a helping hand by cooing at my father, hoping I could cause a distraction by being all cute and baby-like.
"Hello, little Princess," my father said softly, shifting his attention to me. I gave him a toothless grin which I knew from my personal experience with my own children could melt even the coldest of hearts. My father was no exception. You could almost visibly see him go aw.
"She likes you," my mom said sounding a little surprised.
My father must have picked up on the surprise too because he gave her a hurt look. "I can be a very likable person you know."
"No, no, I didn't mean it like that," my mom hastily assured him. "This is just the most I've seen her interacting with anyone, even me." she sounded a little sad at that.
Aw, crap on a pogo stick. I seriously needed to brush up on my acting skills. With Percy's behavior to use as a reference my mother was obviously slowly being clued in to the fact that I wasn't behaving like a regular child. It wasn't a real problem or anything, it wasn't like she was going to look at me and guess 'mmm this looks like a baby who still has the memories of her previous life' or anything like that. But it could still prove to be troublesome in the future; with my luck she'd send me to a therapist to talk about my feelings or some shit like that.
"What do you mean?" my father asked.
"I don't know, she's just very different from Percy. She never laughs, she rarely cries. She hardly moves or interacts with anyone," she said worriedly. Her tone turned wistful, "And now you're here, and she's smiling and cooing at you. she's never done that with me - not once."
My father smiled proudly," Maybe it's my power she's sensing. She is a child of the sea, my presence has a positive effect on all my children."
"Is that why Percy hasn't cried since he's heard your voice?
My father gave her a puzzled look.
"Unlike Rhea, Percy is hardly ever calm and quiet. I love our son very much, but I could really do with a good nights rest."
My father gave her an apologetic smile. "I guess Percy inherited the more volatile aspects of the sea while Rhea inherited the calm."
My mother smiled faintly. "Yeah, maybe."
My father gave Percy a warm smile, murmured something in a language I somehow knew was ancient Greek, and kissed his forehead. I felt his presence, or maybe power was the more appropriate word to use, flare briefly leaving the smell of a warm ocean breeze.
"May I hold my daughter?"
"Of course, just hand me Percy so I can put him to bed, he seems to be sleeping."
My parents carefully switched babies and my eyes widened in surprise when my father held me for the fist time. The best way to describe it was; when I was about seventeen years old I went on a vacation to Morocco with my parents, sister and her husband and their two-year old son. My family loved traveling around the country, visiting many big cities. I was more a fan of going into the mountains, and places that were hard if not impossible to reach with a car.
When we visited Al Hoceima, a city and port in the north of Morocco and in the center of the Rif Mountains, I was ecstatic. My family stayed in a hotel in the city center, and visited the beach, which was filled with tourists. And I left to explore the less tourist activity the first chance I had. I took a Honda, which was basically an unofficial cab that worked more like a city bus, seeing as how it only drove from point A to point B and back again and was shared by different people, all strangers, to the first public, but non-tourist beach I could find.
It wasn't easy to get there, believe me, and I might have gotten lost a couple of times climbing those stupid ass mountains, but I got there eventually and it was more than worth it.
The beach was populated by locals, not more than thirty people. The water was beautiful, sea green, and calm. The only annoying thing were the stones I had to walk across in the water instead of the traditional sand, but that was easily remedied by going deep enough in the water to not have to stand on the sometimes painfully sharp stones.
I remember just floating in that water. Floating on my back watching the beautifully colored sky. I felt like I was all alone on my own private ocean having a taste of heaven.
That was how it felt like in my father's arms. Just me, all alone, floating peacefully in the ocean.
"My beautiful daughter," my father whispered softly. "This is the first time I have seen you, the first time I have held you in my arms, and I already love you so much. I will never stop trying to convince your mother to come live in my domain, but whether she does or not, you have such a difficult life ahead of you. You and your brother." I could see the grief on his face, and it made me unbearably sad.
This man had lived so long, and lost so many children, it was daunting to even think about.
"I will help you and your brother any way I can, rules be dammed. But I cannot be a visible presence in your life, not if your mother raises you and Percy on the surface. I am so sorry for the tragic fate I brought you, but I am not sorry you were born."
If I remembered correctly he told Percy the opposite in one of the books. So either his social skills took a nose dive, or he likes me more than Percy because I'm a girl. Huh, go figure.
I grinned at my father, cooed cutely, and tried to touch his cheek without slapping him in the face. I hated that I had so little control of my body but knew that it was the downside of being stuck in infancy. I had the memories of an adult, but everything else about me was still only four weeks old.
It was a pain in the ass but it also meant I would have the ability to pick things up faster, because kids' brains are more flexible than adult brains since they're not fully developed until approximately the age of twenty-five.
My small hand missed his cheek and landed on his mouth instead and I couldn't help but smile at the ticklish feeling of his beard. He grabbed my hand and placed a loving kiss on it. "Perfect," he murmured softly.
"She seems almost a completely different baby now that you're here," my mother said softly, making her presence known.
I was seriously going to have to make some effort for my mom. It wasn't her fault that she got a baby with an adult mind as one of her children. At least she still had Percy to coddle and take care of. It made me feel less like I'd stolen something irreplaceable from her.
"She's beautiful," my father murmured softy, still holding my small hand. "You do understand that everything I warned you about when you were still pregnant applies doubly now?"
"What do you mean?"
My father took a deep breath, as if he was gathering his resolve. "I told you that our child would never be safe and that he would be hunted by every monster that caught his smell. Children of the big three are in more danger than other demigods because they're usually more powerful. You now have two children sired by me, Sally. If raising one child was already dangerous, you can imagine what raising two of my children will mean."
"What are you trying to tell me?" my mother asked worriedly. "That I can't raise both of our children?"
Oh crap, this wasn't the part where they separated me from my twin brother, was it? 'Cause that would really suck, in a Lifetime movie kind of way.
"No, Sally, I'm only trying to tell you that you might have no other choice than sending them to camp. Sooner than you might think."
My mother sighed tiredly. "To be completely honest I hadn't planned on sending them at all. I don't want my children to be raised by other people."
Me being born was causing a lot of trouble to my new parents and brother. I felt kinda bad about it.
My father kissed my hand softly before letting it go. "You won't have a choice. They're heroes, Sally. They generally don't tend to lead safe lives. I'm sorry for doing this to you, but closing your eyes and hoping the monsters will go away won't help anyone. It's better to face reality head-on. Monsters will come after them, and bringing them to camp half-blood teaches them to take care of themselves. They'll be safer that way."
I couldn't help but wonder if my father gave my mother this speech in the other time line, the one where I was never born. I had a feeling he didn't because Sally seemed like a smart woman to me. I knew she loved Percy very much, but I don't think she would've risked his life just to keep him with her. My dad must have been more gentle with her then. Or maybe he hadn't felt the need to say anything because Percy was alone, but now that it was two of us...
"How long do I have?" my mother's voice sounded thin, like she was going to pass out at any second.
"A couple of years until their scent becomes too strong. You don't have to send them all year-long though. They could come home for the summer, and when they're strong enough to deal with the monsters themselves, they could come back to you and find a school closer to home and only go to camp for the summer."
Wow, that would be a major change to the story. I wonder what that small divergence would cause in the long run?
"I can't just-" my mother's words choked off in a sob.
"Oh, Sally, I'm so sorry," my father sighed sadly. He gave me a helpless look as if expecting me to tell him what to do before hurrying to the small bedroom he saw my mother enter earlier to put Percy to bed.
"Your mother needs me, little Princess," he said softly before he spoke what I think was an ancient Greek blessing, and lifted me up to give me a lingering kiss on my forehead.
Wow... Seriously, I had never used drugs before in my life but I imagined this was a bit what being high felt like. Just a rush of pure undiluted power and feeling like everything was under a magnifying glass. I felt more of me, like I wasn't complete before.
There had been this sense of power inside me, something I felt since I was born in this new world, something I didn't remember feeling in my old life. But it felt muted somehow like only an elusive echo of the real thing - something I couldn't grasp no matter how much I tried.
Now it felt like the power I had previously sensed were only a couple of slow drips from a leaky faucet that was just turned wide open by my father.
I felt magnificent. If this was only a small fraction of what the gods felt daily, I now kind of understood why they mostly acted like a couple of arrogant, cocky bastards.
My father hastily put me down and almost ran back to my mother. The last thing I heard was my mother crying and my father comforting her.
I fell asleep watching my twin brother's chest moving rhythmically with every intake of breath.
A/N: So what do you think? Honest opinion, people, is this something you want to read more of? I thought I'd just put the first chapter up to see what kind of response I receive. I'll update if enough people all interested, otherwise I'll just keep this story to myself.
I don't have a Beta, anyone interested, please PM me or review, I could use the help. If you see any mistakes, please let me know?