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Blood of the Sea

Chapter Text


  

Date: 17th of August 2011
Location: Atlantis, throne room
Time: 22 p.m. New York Time Zone



Poseidon pov

It was late evening, the day slowly coming to an end. The moon had already risen high up in the sky, my niece Artemis riding in her chariot through the night.

I was far from being able to end the day though.

My wife Amphitrite, Triton and I were arguing, again. It was the same topic every year, my currently only demigod child, Perseus or "Percy" as he liked to be called, Jackson. Now, you may wonder why we would be arguing about him again. To answer your question: It is because of his birthday tomorrow.

Now, it wouldn't be that big of a problem if it wasn't his 18th birthday. You may think that it is no big deal. Alright, it is old by demigod standards, sure, but this is definitively not a problem. Obviously it should be great even!

So, if that wasn't the problem, then what was it? Well, it is the matter we were discussing currently.

"But, father. This CAN'T be true. No child of yours, other than me, should be able to inherit that gene. He... he is merely a demigod! He can't have this power. And even if he had, then it would kill him!"

Triton ranted. He shouted and nervously walked in a circle while doing so, his hands clasped behind his back.

I looked at Amphitrite, hoping to get a little help from her, but no such luck. She just sighed and shook her head.

"My husband, you and me, we both know that he will not accept this, at least not at first. You know how strange he thinks of his body with him already having many strange abilities. A lot of his friends already started to fear him for his powers. Even that girlfriend of his, what was her name, Anniebell, Anne, ah yes, Annabeth started to get distant. What do you think they will do to him once they discover what it means to be a true child of the sea?" She asked softly.

I would not go as far as saying that she loved Percy, but she tolerated him, and even if she would never admit it, she also cared about her stepson. She and Percy bonded when he was here in Atlantis for two weeks, helping with the rebuilding of the castle. After the war against the Titans it was destroyed because of Oceanus' forces. And with Gaea coming along there was time to rebuild it this time. So we started after the war and Percy, being the helpful, and very kind person he is, decided to help.


Anyway, I think I should finally explain what we were talking about, shouldn't I? Well then, listen closely. My children, all of them, inherit the gene of the sea. It connects them to the water, to all the creatures living in it. For most of my children it makes little to no difference since the other, more dominant genes overshadow it. They don't have a strong connection and powers over the sea. It is a bit like the children of my rival, Athena. All of them are smart, but some are extraordinary smart, others only smart smart. Doesn't make much sense? Oh well.


So, besides the children where the gene was less developed, I loved them as much as the others, were the stronger children of mine. Great heroes, I am sure you heard about them. Theseus and Orion for example, just to mention two of them. The stronger the gene, the more dominant it was, the greater the powers would be. They had it as a rather dominant part in them, thus giving them stronger powers, better skills, more control over their abilities and the like. However, what never happened was that the gene of the sea was completely passed to one of my children. That is, until Percy was born.


I could feel it, sure, but I didn't think much of it at first. But as he grew, so did his powers. And the gene didn't only alter them. It began to change his body slowly, of course he wouldn't notice that at first. It was his insides that changed. First, his lungs became slowly smaller over the years, making room for gills. His skin, even if firstly not noticeable, became softer and held more water in it, perfect for scales to cover it. It shifted and changed him slowly, so he shouldn't have noticed much of it. The greatest change though is that his body built an uterus. Yes, you heard right. The sea isn't said to bring forth life for nothing.


All godly children of mine are able to bear children, but it's rarely ever used. It is also the reason why my children were often treated as outcasts, especially by the Romans. A male giving birth was an absolute disaster. And I think it wouldn't be very different nowadays. I am not even sure if Percy is aware of this ‚ability', but I told Sally to explain it to him when she thought it the right time for him to know.


Anyway, what I did not know is that the gene would change his body completely as soon as he turned 18. I heard of it from Apollo, who foresaw it. After that I also did some research in the library of my oldest rival, Athena, and what I found worried me to the core.


"..seidon! Poseidon! Are you even listening to me?" Amphitrite asked. She looked mildly annoyed. Ups.


"I am sorry my dear, but I was thinking about the situation." I said. My shoulders slumped in defeat.


"Poseidon, is there really absolutely nothing you can do to stop it from spreading? We both know that he will lose everything he worked so hard for!" She said, clearly attached to Percy's wellbeing.


"Yes, I already searched day and night for a solution. There is no way to stop it from changing him completely. The only thing I can think of right now is to warn him and bring him here, to Atlantis. I hope that this way the change will happen without any pain.


I fear that it might be the only way for him to survive this night. I will visit him in his dreams today, so the nightmares will stay away and I can explain all of what is about to happen to him. As soon as I am finished I will also talk to Sally. She'll need to know about this as well."


"I agree with him, mother. If it cannot be changed, he should at least get the chance to know what is going to happen to him now. It IS his body after all. And I think to inform the mother wouldn't hurt either, maybe she is able to calm him and tell him what to do." Triton said thoughtfully. Sometimes I am wondering how and just how fast his and Percy's bond got stronger.


"If the both of you think so, then it won't be that bad of an idea. Just be careful not to rush in this too fast. There is a lot to process, after all." My wife said. I nodded to her and kissed her softly in thanks. I could hear Triton complain about not showing PDA, but I ignored him. He was old enough to see this.


As we parted, I softly brushed Amphitrite's cheek and whispered in her ear.


"It is already late. I must get going. My son will be asleep by now, seeing that it is already past midnight. His change should have started. I must hurry." As soon as I finished talking, I disappeared in a thin mist, leaving a salty scent of the sea behind.

Chapter Text

Date: 18th of August 2011

Time: 2 a.m. New York T ime Zone

Location: Perseus' room, Manhattan, New York


 

Percy pov

~ dream ~

I was afraid of what was about to happen in my dream this time. I thought it would be like the other nightmares, memories of Tartarus. What I didn't expect though was the beautiful beach shore I was walking along.

The moon was shining down on me, a silvery glow reflected from the water. The sand on the beach looked as white as snow under the light. 

I was taking in the soft sea breeze and the calming sounds of the waves hitting the beach as I spotted my father, Poseidon. He was sitting on a blanket, just a few feet ahead of me. 

I was curious as to why he would join my dreams, so I lazily walked up to him and sat down.

"Percy, my boy. how are you doing?" He asked in his smooth, deep voice. 

His face held a very kind smile, but I could see in his eyes that he was afraid of something. As I looked at him, I couldn't help but be amazed how alike we both were. 

We both had black hair, deep see green eyes (but his held way more power in them), tanned skin (but mine was paler because of the time I spent in Tartarus), and other facial features like the high cheek bones.

"I am fine, dad." I said. 

I knew this was a lie.

Yesterday my girlfriend, Annabeth Chase, the daughter of Athena, broke up with me. She said that it didn't work anymore between us, that I was holding her back. And the worst of it? I understood her. 

She overcame the memories and the flashbacks of Tartarus very quickly whereas I was still dealing with them. I was, and still am, broken. She had started to heal on her own and I was holding her back. 

I still was haunted by the memories, by the things I had seen, and I was very certain I wouldn't be forgetting them any time soon. So we agreed to end it between us. We decided to try and restart as friends after getting some distance from each other.

"I can see that this isn't true, Percy. You are very sad and your eyes, they look… broken. What is it?" He asked gently, worry showing in his face. 

I thought about lying to him. I could just say that I was fine, that this was nothing to worry about. But I knew that it would be a lie. And my father knew it as well. Also, it probably wouldn't be that good of an idea if I lied to the god of the sea, storms, and earthquakes.

"I...I don't know what to do anymore. I am worthless right now. Mom and Paul are building their own family now, even going to be parents and I don't want to endanger my little brother or sister. Annabeth broke up with me, not that I can blame her. And you know, I defeated Gaea in the war, the power I displayed was nothing an ordinary, a normal demigod should be able to do. I was controlling fucking blood, for gods' sake!" 

I hadn't noticed I was crying until I felt a wet streak slide down my cheek.

"And now they are afraid of you, huh?" He asked quietly. I merely nodded. 

Nearly all my friends grew distant. And like I said, I wouldn't, I couldn't blame them. But then I noticed that he surely wasn't here to listen to my problems. So I wondered what he was doing here.

"Uhm, thanks for listening, dad. But if you don't mind me asking, why are you here? I mean, it is nice to talk, but surely this isn't why you needed to see me." I asked suspiciously. Every time when I got godly visits in my dreams, they meant nothing good.

"You are right, son. This sadly is not just a friendly visit. When you said that you weren't normal, even by demigod standards, you were right. This is not a bad thing!" He hurried to say, because I was about to agree with him and say that this was bad.

I thought about interrupting him, but then came to the conclusion to not do that.

"Well, I need to tell you something. You see, you are not only my favourite child, but also my most powerful. Percy, do you know why some of my children are stronger than others?" He asked.

I wasn't sure what this had to do with anything but decided it would be best to just answer. I was about to reply that I didn't know but thought about it.

"Well, I am not sure, but probably because they inherited more from you than from the mother."

 That was the only thing I could come up with. My father looked surprised at me, but I could see pride in his eyes. 

"You are right Percy. You see, the powers you have come from the sea. There is a special gene all of my children inherit, at least to some extent. This allows them to control the sea, speak to fish and so on. Some of my well known sons like Orion and Theseus had much of this gene in them, making their powers, but also their scent, stronger." He explained. I still didn't know what exactly this had to do with me. So I asked him.

"Okay dad, good to know. But why exactly are you telling me this now?" I was so confused right now.

"It is because you also inherited that gene. Don't interrupt me! But in you it is way stronger than in all of my other children. I don't know exactly why, Percy, but you inherited not only a small fraction but that entire gene from me, something that's never happened to a mortal before." He hurried to explain. By now he looked almost apologetic for what he was about to say next.

I was sure that I needed some time to think about this. I mean, would that change something? Like, I lived my whole life with it and it wasn't that important back then, so why would he tell me this NOW? I mean, it is very good to know more about myself and all, but surely that could've waited 'till tomorrow.

"Okay dad, but why do I need to know this now? Why is it that important that you would even visit me in a dream?" I asked. I was so lost by now. Nothing made sense and I had so many other things to worry about...

As I looked at him again he seemed nervous and apologetic so that one could almost mistake him as human. Almost.

"You see Percy, there are some things that Apollo found out about only a few days ago. The gene which gives powers alters the bodies of the children of the sea. Most of my sons got through that gene the ability to bear children, others could breathe underwater whilst not using their powers, but using gills. It alters the body to some extent, giving some abilities only creatures living in water have."

As he finished it slowly clicked were this was going. And I didn't like it even one bit.

"So, you are saying that I will not only inherit your powers but also an ability that a sea creature would have?" I was a little freaked out by that. And what he said next didn't make it any better. "Not only one. Percy, by inheriting the full gene your body alters itself to a life completely under the sea. And I came here today because the gene will fully activate on your eighteenth birthday, which by the way already started. While you are sleeping your body is changing. I don't know to which extent yet, but it will be a very big change. Apollo said that your body will probably take many features fish would have. Fins, gills, maybe even a tail, but we don't know for sure. What we know is that you need to be brought to the sea immediately."

I was really at a complete loss of words. And to be honest, I felt like crying right now. Couldn't my life be easy for at least once? I mean, sure, I get that I am the result of a broken oath on the Styx and that the lady of the river wouldn't really like that it was broken, but weren't two freaking wars enough punishment for that?

Or the fact that I fell into hell, literally? Or the painful breakup from my ex-girlfriend, whom I loved more than my own life? Didn't I already suffer enough from the beatings and abuse of Gabe all these years ago? 

Obviously not, because my father just told me that I would be more of a freak than ever when I woke up.


Poseidon must've noticed my hopeless expression because he immediately pulled me into a bone crushing hug. I don't care if that sounds like I am a wimp, but I enjoyed the warm embrace and salty scent of the sea that my father radiated. I felt safe and at home, almost like all was good. But I snapped out of it as soon as my father broke the hug. He held me by my shoulders and looked me in the eyes.

"Listen Percy, I know that this is definitively not easy for you. But please know that I will do all that is possible to make it better, okay? I already talked to Amphitrite and Triton, you won't have to worry about them. They are both willing to help you. Also, your room in Atlantis is finished, waiting to be claimed by the prince of the sea. I am going to talk to Sally, but she already knows much. Percy, do not be afraid, I will help you pull through his, okay?", he said.

His voice was very caring and determined. It gave me hope.

And then I thought a little longer about this. My friends already turned their backs on me, my mother would live her own life anyway and Annabeth had moved on.

Maybe this was my chance to move on and even overcome the nightmares, the flashbacks and the many deaths of my friends. If I looked at it this  way, then maybe it wouldn't be too bad.

I sorted out all the conflicts with my stepfamily now, I would get to see Tyson and dad more often and I would be in the place I was most comfortable with, the ocean.

"Well, then. How will this work, dad? Will this be painful?" I asked a little worried.

"No, I don't think so, son. You shouldn't feel the change until you wake up and then it should already be done. Just to warn you though, you will not wake up in your room in Manhattan or in Camp Half Blood, you will be in Atlantis. And, I may even have a present for you, considering it is your 18th birthday. Anyway, I must get going now Percy, until later. Sleep well. And I wish you the best, my son. I am proud of you, not many demigods make it past their 16th birthday, even less reach adulthood. Considering your challenges I would say, well done."

He gave me one last, warm smile before he disappeared in a soft sea breeze, leaving the salty scent of the ocean as the only thing to notice that he was with me. As soon as I was completely alone I slipped into a deep, dreamless sleep. 

It was the first night in a long time that I slept peacefully.

Chapter Text

Date: 18th of August 2011

Time: 2 a.m. New York Time Zone

Location: Sallys' room, Manhattan, New York


 

Poseidon's pov 

As soon as I finished the talk with my son I travelled to my past lover. 

Entering a mind, especially during dreaming, was always a strange experience. It was like facing a wall made out of fog. The fog, however, would be so dense that nothing could be seen behind it.

The hardest part was to break through it, to join a dream.

The easiest way to describe what I did would be to tell you that I forced the mist to disappear, to make a tunnel or a door in the midst of it. Something to walk through. Taking a deep, calming breath I focused on my powers, telling the water molecules to separate from each other, to make way into a mortal mind.

At least, that is what I saw. Every mind is different, every god has their individual abilities. While I saw a mist, others might have seen pure darkness, or a large valley without a bridge to cross.

Coming out of the tunnel I came upon a beach. A small cabin stood off to the side, having a clear and breath-taking view of the sea.

Two shapes were walking along the shore. They were holding hands and giving each other kisses every now and then.

She was dreaming of a date with that Blowfish guy on Montauk. I shuddered mentally at the thought of my sweet Sally doing not so children friendly things with him.  Her well rounded belly was proof enough of activities I did not want to witness.

To avoid seeing more than I already did, I cleared my throat and the man dissolved, giving me Sally's full attention. 

She seemed angry to be brought out of that at first, but it soon morphed into shock when she saw me.

"Poseidon, what brings you here?" She asked warily. I could feel that there was an awkward atmosphere between us, but I tried to ignore it. She had to be worried considering that I hadn't visited her in a long time whilst not coming for, or with, Percy.

After all, it was very rare for divine beings to visit their former mortal lovers. Especially when a child was the outcome of such a union.

"Sally, we need to talk. Come, sit with me and I will explain."

She hesitantly lowered herself to the place on the ground right beside me, shooting me worried but curious glances. I saw that as a sign to start talking.

"When Percy was born I warned you how dangerous it could be. I told you about the monsters, the gods... the prophecies. Back then I also mentioned the powers a demigod child of mine could possess."

She nodded slowly, though I saw a slight glint of fear appear in her eyes. I shifted a bit, trying to get comfortable. Not daring to look her in the face I shifted my gaze to the ocean.

"You surely remember that I told you about a gene all those years ago that was responsible for these divine abilities. I warned you that this could affect Percy. Now this is coming true. There is more of that gene in him than I originally thought. Sally, I need to take him to Atlantis as soon as possible."

She seemed to let that sink in and nodded, already awaiting something like that.

"I already waited for the day on which you would take Percy with you. It is like you said. What belongs to the sea must always return to it. But please tell me, when are you going to bring him?" She asked, clearly sad to lose her firstborn child. It hurt me to hurt her, but this was what would be best for Percy.

I did have many children over the past few eons. Each and every son and daughter had a special place inside my heart. Losing a child, no matter if mortal or immortal was always the worst thing a parent could experience. 

"Today, long before he wakes. It is absolutely necessary. But do not worry, he will be treated well. Sally, he is, even if he doesn't like to hear and admit it, a rightful prince of the ocean. No one would be stupid enough to hurt him. And we both know that even if it is painful for you, it is also better for your new family."

As I finished speaking she looked down at her well rounded belly. She knew what I was talking about.

Percy's strong scent would cause lots of trouble in the future. If he were to stay he would only bring danger to his mother. Not willingly of course. But because of his strong scent and powers he would endanger them simply by being near them, attracting monsters and old enemies, especially now that he was an adult.

"So be it then. It pains me deeply to let him go, Poseidon. But you are right. It is the best thing for all of us. I never thought that I would build a new family, but now I can somewhat understand Helen Chase, the stepmother of Annabeth. Of course it is definitively NOT the right thing to hurt a child, to chase it away, but...  neither would it be right to endanger a unborn child ... " 

She took a deep breath and sighed deeply. She hugged her knees tightly, her eyes turning sad. 

"It would be too dangerous if he were to stay near my mortal daughter."

I could see that she was on the verge of crying. This was all definitively too much for her. But it could not be helped. There was, as of now, no other solution.

I slowly shifted a bit closer to her and gave her a comforting, friendly hug. 

Knowing Sally, she would raise her daughter with the knowledge of the Mythological World, explaining what a great hero her brother was.

We then nodded at each other and I left her dream. 

She would be happy for Percy.

And I swore to myself that I would watch over her. 

I owed it to both, my son and former lover.

Chapter Text

Date: 18th of Au gust 2011

Time: 10 a.m. New York Time Zone

Location: Atlantis, Perseus' chamber


 

Perseus pov

I felt light, like I was floating through the sky. There was a warm feeling around me. It felt soothing  and was so very calming. I felt so comfortable, but I didn't know why. My bed didn't usually have that effect, I was pretty sure of that. I also couldn't smell the familiar scent of pancakes or hear my mom's singing. Something was definitively different.

I then remembered the dream from last night. My father said something about me being different and all, but I couldn't remember it correctly. What I knew was that he said something about Atlantis. Could it be?

To check if I was correct I needed to open my eyes. I slowly did so and was shocked at what I saw. I was definitively not in my apartment in New York any more. It seemed that I was indeed in the ocean. The sun only reached my chamber in a warm, weak greenish blue, barely lightening every corner. The light gave a mysterious glow, which gave the room an ever better look. The walls were made of white marble, but now and then there was a deep blue streak running through it. I liked it. There was also a door which was forged of a strange green stone, glowing slightly in the water. The curtains of the window were a deep blue, making the room perfect for my liking.

I was curious and wanted to get up, wanting to know what was behind the huge door. But when I tried to sit up I noticed something very strange. I felt something soft brush at my arms. I looked slowly down, afraid of what was awaiting me, and saw a soft green and blue shimmering fin. I nearly freaked out at that. What the Hades was going on?

I softly touched it, just to make sure that I wasn't dreaming any more. As I brushed the fin I noticed how soft and thin it was. It even tickled while being touched. It was so very sensitive. Well, maybe you can imagine that I was fighting to stay conscious. I was sure that I was about to get into a state of shock. But you surely know me, so I simply couldn't just be satisfied. There was a very nasty thought that was nibbling at the back of my mind. I was praying hard right now that the thing I was thinking wasn't true. I still hoped this was just a dream and I was going to wake soon.

After a few seconds of holding my breath curiosity got the better of me, so I slowly lifted the blanket that was covering me. The water around me, even though it had a calming effect on me, couldn't slow down the fast beating of my heart. My puls seemed to wander from my chest up to my throat. Suddenly breathing seemed a lot harder. The pace of my breathing picked up, became ragged even.

I shouldn't have done that. I should've just closed my eyes again, laid back down and tried to fall asleep again.

As soon as I looked under the blanket I let loose a very (manly) scream. I wouldn't be surprised if even the people in Europe had heard it. Well, this was surely something I was dreaming, this just couldn't be true. Because what I saw under the blanket weren't my usually tanned, strong and well-muscled legs.

No, were my legs should've been was something long, a with scales protected thing. Were my legs should've been was a dark blue and green coloured fish tail. The light was reflecting from the scales, giving off the image of a mysterious glow.

Needless to say is that I passed out after that again.

 

Chapter Text

Date: 18th of A ugust  2011

Time: 10 a.m. New York Time Zone

Location:  Atlantis, Perseu s' chamber

 


 

Perseus pov

I awoke what felt like a few hours later again. I was hoping that all this was just a dream, one of these weird ones. But as I looked down and saw the tail again I knew that this wish wouldn't come true. I let loose a very exhausted sigh. 

After all these challenges and the bad luck I had, this surely wasn't necessary. I mean, couldn't I be spared for, like, once? You know. Live a calm life after having fought literally all the time, find a loving wife, settle down, maybe have children and continue to eat blue cookies. 

Apparently not.

Well, I have two options now. I could have a tantrum and be an ass to everyone, like join some overpowered force and become their general or something, try to take over the world or hide far away from everything where I would eventually die by some monster attack... Something like that.

Or I could start a new life. Maybe I could find some peace here in the ocean. I mean, the sea always felt like home to me. I could just make it that now, my new home.

Well, and the first uhm, can I call it a step? Anyway, the first "step" would be to get out of this bed. It was surprisingly way easier to get up than I thought it would be. Swimming came always naturally to me, with me being a son of Poseidon and all, but this was a completely new feeling. It felt good, like walking in soft grass, but with water surrounding me.

I really wanted to swim correctly with this tail, without making a complete fool of myself, and concentrated on moving it a little. It was like I was moving my legs, but way more flexible. I could make an angle with it that would never be possible with human legs. Incredible. 

It did come naturally to me, like an instinct.

Slowly and after trying and getting a feeling for it, I got off the bed and swam through the chamber. I probably looked like a drunkard at first, trying to swim upright, but drifting to the left or the right...

But I soon got the hang out of it, and I was surprised that I could admit: To swim like this was fun.

After finally getting completely used to my new body part I went through the amazing green door. I came to a living room. Well, more like hall. The "room" was easily the size of my mom's whole apartment. There was a very comfortable looking couch, a desk with writing utensils and the best, a very large flatscreen TV with the newest gaming console. How that worked under water? 

I had no clue.

But on the other hand, there was a whole world of magical merfolk living under the sea. Who was I to question a magical TV?

There was also a large bookshelve to my right filled with different kinds of books. Some looked like modern ones you would see in a normal bookstore. Some of them, however, looked as ancient as my father and were written in a language I could not read.

I looked around and saw a green double door.

I swam over to it, bubbles floating around me. It seemed that the door lead to a long hallway. I didn't think that there would be any danger in my father's palace so I swam until I came to another hallway. This one wasn't as long but easy twice as wide. The floor let to another set of big doors, but these ones were a brilliant white colour.

I opened the door, hoping to find someone who could explain some things to me. I was lucky (for once).

My father was in the throne room, as well his wife and son, Amphitrite and Triton. I sheepishly cleared my throat. They were in what seemed to be a hushed discussion, but it quieted down as soon as they noticed me. They all looked very surprised to see me. Poseidon motioned for me to join them. Hesitantly and careful not to anger the three gods, I did so.

I felt slightly uncomfortable with the looks I was given, but I tried to ignore them. I was very surprised as Poseidon gave me a warm smile and hugged me. I mean, sure he hugged me also in my last dream, but I would've never expected that he would do so in front of Triton and Amphitrite. It was even more shocking to me when they both gave me warm, reassuring smiles. 

I hesitantly returned them.

"Well son. It looks like you made it quite well through the change.", My father said with a proud and relieved look in his eyes. I was about to give a sarcastic response, but decided against it. I mean, there are freaking fins and a blue fish tail on my body, I sure had every right in this world to be confused.

"Dad, what exactly happened to me?" I asked. I really needed some answers now, otherwise I was going to throw a hissy fit. 

He sighed deeply, as if afraid of my reaction. Surprisingly it was Triton who answered.

"You are now officially a prince of the sea, a heir to Atlantis. You were born to join us here, but needed the life you had before to be prepared. The Moira apparently wanted you to experience both ways of life.

Like father explained you have a special gene in you. This gene belongs to the sea, and so do you. Your human side has had its fair amount of action and dangers. But now it is time for you to give the same attention to your godly side. I do not know to which degree, but I am very sure that the gene burned most of your human, your mortal genes. Like I said, I am not certain." He hurried to explain.

So many thoughts raced through my head now. Did this mean that I was going to stay like this forever? Would I ever be able to leave the water again? Wait, hadn't he told me that it burned most of my mortal side? Did this mean that I was i-i-immortal now?

Amphitrite must have seen the questions and confusion that were written on my face. She looked concerned and asked what exactly it was that was irritating me.

"I, uh, does that mean that I am immortal now? Because Triton said that my mortal side was burned away and.. and...." I nervously rubbed the back of my neck and shifted uncomfortably.

I couldn't even finish that sentence. I was just too shocked. This was all a lot to take in, I was sure it was a little too much for me. Nonetheless I was glad when Triton answered.

"I believe so, but like I said, I am not sure. Either way I think that immortality would suit you, and believe me when I say that all of Atlantis would be happy to have another prince", he started to reassure me.

"Moving on, I believe it is your birthday today, which was the reason for all of this." He looked me pointedly up and down. It was uncomfortable to be looked at like this, but I was also relieved that he wasn't mad at me. I mean, I was probably going to stay here for the rest of my life. Which may or may not be endless now. Great.

My father cleared his throat and we all turned to him. I hadn't noticed that he had moved at all, let alone over to his throne. It was on the other side of the throne room. Oh well. I glided slowly over to my father, not knowing what was going to happen next. So, I was slightly nervous.

"Come here, Perseus. Please kneel before me." He said in a soothing and friendly voice. I hesitantly did so. It wasn't that I didn't trust my dad, it really wasn't. It is just that the shit that happened to me in the last few days made me a little wary.

"Do not worry son, you have nothing to be afraid of. However, now that your body seems to have found its way home, I think it the right time to offer you what I should have offered long before. You have proven yourself worthy time and time again." 

The kind and honest tone in which my father spoke calmed my nerves a little, though I did get slightly nervous when I figured out what he was talking about.

"Perseus Jackson" my father began speaking in a deep and powerful voice. I was slightly afraid. I mean, people normally only used that name on me when I was in trouble.

"Today is your eighteenth birthday. You now have the right to claim what was denied at first. Now that you are officially old enough to claim your birthright and have proven yourself worthy over and over again, I ask you, Perseus, do you agree to become what you were born for? Do you accept to be a heir of Atlantis and the responsibility over the people living here that comes with it?" He asked. I could see the hope and pride in his eyes.

Thinking clearly about it was when I noticed it:  I was really ready for this. 

I had always stayed back, always thought about the well-being of others over my own. Now was, for once, the time to think of my future, not only the one of others. I had a feeling that immortality came with it, I don't know how, but I just knew. And I could surprisingly admit that I wasn't afraid anymore. 

There was nothing holding me back. All my friends had their futures ahead of them, they had moved on; even my own mother was going to start anew. And I wasn't a part of these ways of life anymore. 

I had to go my own way, had to create my own path. 

And now I had a chance to do so.

I think what I did next was what fate wanted me to do.

Chapter Text

Date: 18th of August 2011

Time: 10 a.m. New York Time Zone

Location: Atlantis, Perseus' chamber


 

 

Perseus pov

"Father, I am honoured by your offer. I was not ready for immortality when you asked me the first time, I knew I had to collect some more experiences. Back then I had too much holding me back, too much keeping me anchored to my mortal life. Now, after two wars and the loss of my friends I know that I am ready for this. So, I, Perseus, heir to the people of Atlantis, accept your generous offer."

I could hear the soft sigh of relief that escaped all the immortals and guards that were in the room. They really must have feared that I would decline immortality. Again.

I suddenly felt a warm tingling sensation going through my body. It wasn't painful. No, instead it actually felt good, it gave me the feeling of hope, strength and most importantly the feeling of home.

I could suddenly feel a connection to the merfolk and had the strange urge to protect them. I felt like all these creatures suddenly became my responsibility, like it was my task in life to protect and to lead them.

It felt good to care for someone other than myself and my mother again. It felt good to have a purpose.

"Then rise now, Perseus, heir and prince of Atlantis, new god of life, of tropical storms and of the stars. Protector of the innocent and all those creatures living in the sea, second heir to the throne of Atlantis. All hail!" He shouted.

I was sure that my face was very red (or was it golden?) by now. I straightened and was at full height again. I looked him right in the eyes, pride and happiness the most dominant emotions. He came forward and engulfed me in a hug. It soon became a group hug as Amphitrite and Triton laid their arms around us as well.

Thinking over my domains I felt that they were fitting. Especially the stars had become a large part of my life after all I had gone through. Now I could forever honour the sacrifices of my lost friends. As if to answer to my unspoken thoughts, my skin seemed to start giving of a soft, silverly glow.

As we broke apart I could see something glistening in the hands of Amphitrite and I had a very bad suspicion about what exactly it was.

"Well Perseus, a prince needs a symbol of his status, doesn't he?" She said, smirking evilly at me. I gulped loudly, not liking where this was going.

"And to show that you truly are a prince of Atlantis now, you shall wear this crown. It was forged by the god Hephaestus himself, something so precious that only royalty would be allowed to carry it."

The queen of Atlantis came closer and gave a light bow, most likely to acknowledge me as royalty and a heir the throne. Then she carefully placed the crown on top of my head. It was strange yet not uncomfortable to feel its weight resting there.

The crown was, and I had to grudgingly admit that, beautiful. It was made of gold, with green and blue gems set on it. They were ordered so that it had the effect to look like waves. It was breathtaking. The dim light in the room reflecting on it seemed to make the crystals glow like tiny stars.

"Thank you Lady Amphitrite. Not only for this, but also for accepting me, welcoming me here. The same thanks to you, Triton." I said, giving both of them a big smile. They returned it both soon.

"Now that Perseus is officially a member of the royal family, I would say we celebrate the birthday of my newly crowned son." Poseidon smiled at me.

True to his words we spent the day together as a small family, eating blue birthday cake and sharing stories about our adventures. The atmosphere seemed to lighten with every story, with every laugh we shared.

It was mind-blowing to hear the stories of old being told by those that witnessed them personally. There were so many differences compared to what humans knew. Seeing the emotions that still seemed to come up when they spoke of their pasts made everything even more.. real.

The afternoon seemed to pass in a blurr, time does run fast when you are enjoying yourself.

Later on I was told that my father had already organized a small party to celebrate my birthday and the coronation of a new prince. The time until the arrival was spent rolling my eyes for like the hundredth time while Amphitrite was teaching me the most urgent things of proper etiquette.

I was still struggling to remember everything she had taught me in such a short amount of time. Yet, I had eternity to adjust.

It was slowly starting to get dark outside. The last few rays of sunlight were barely reaching the bottom of the ocean when the palace doors were opened by the guards to start the ball my parents had organized in honour of my birthday and my coronation.

Lots of curious villagers and some of the people I had met on my adventures came. Nereids, nymphs and even the spirit that visited me on my first quest, people I had come to call my friends. How they had organized such a large event in this short amount of time was way beyond my knowledge.

Who was I to complain though?

All throughout the evening the atmosphere was light and joyous, people dancing, talking and enjoying the food.

Spending the time catching up with friends and making new acquaintances finally created a spark of peace inside me.

I realized I had a future ahead of me, a destiny that was made from the fates themselves.

And I knew that it was going to fullfill itself here in Atlantis, the place I would call my home for a very, very long time.

Chapter Text

Date: 12th of July 2083

Time: 8 p.m. New York Time Zone

Location: New York, New York


 Epilogue (part 1)


 

Annabeth pov

The living room was bustling with life. 37 people had come together today, were talking, eating and drinking joyously together. They were exchanging childhood stories, stories of old teachers, old times, long forgotten days and the pranks they had done, back when they were still young. Some few were chattering quietly about their children, about their daily routines, new jobs, politics. The atmosphere was light.

The table that was covered with a long, light gray tablecloth as well as beautiful and colourful flower decorations, was standing in our living room. Candles and even more flowers, which my children had picked out, were creating a wonderful atmosphere.

Balloons were resting in the corners, forgotten by my great grandchildren who had gone out to play with our dog.

The highlight of the day though was the 3 layered birthday cake that was brought during the early afternoon hours. My granddaughter had made it for me.

As unique and well-made as it was, it must have taken her a day at least, while simultaneously baking for the costumers that were coming to the small café she owned. A dream she had fulfilled herself.

The cake was a delicious masterpiece and only few pieces were left of it.

Dinner had been served as well by now.

So much work and trouble. All because of today. My birthday.

I was broken out of my thoughts as the man besides me started to cough badly, trying to hide as much of the blood in a tissue. Trying to hide the blood from me.

Glancing sadly at the sick figure of the person sitting besides me, melancholy shot through me. I had spent many wonderful years with my husband. We did have a rather calm and easy life.

Only recently, shortly before he turned 87, did he get the diagnosis. Cancer.

He did not have much time left. And neither did I.

Yet, we were not sad.

Looking around the room, I saw my whole family with me. My two children, two beloved sons were talking to each other, exchanging stories from their travels.
My oldest had moved to Europe to study medicine after school. He found his wife in England, working in a hospital as a nurse back in 2042. They got together rather quickly and had two children of their own. The older child, my granddaughter, had no interest in medicine whatsoever though. After finishing school in England, she moved to France. She found her joy in baking.

Wanting to get back to where her family originally came from, she moved back to the states, opening her own small café right around the corner. It was hard work, but it made her happy. Her boyfriend, a cook she had met in France, was supporting her wherever he could. Especially now when her belly was well rounded.

Her brother stayed in the medical field. He works as a laboratorian. Not having settled down yet, he travels all over the world, trying to learn as much as possible.

My other son decided to stay here in New York. He had troubles in school, was nowhere near as good as his brother. But we loved and supported him just as much, if not even more.

Maybe one can imagine our surprise when he found his love for teaching. He had always loathed school, but found that teaching children, trying to do things better were others had once failed him, made him happy.
He stumbled upon his soon-to-be-wife by accident. Literally. He had knocked into her in a busy street and apologized over a cup of coffee. The rest, as they say, is history.

History that ended in a child.

A son.

He was their pride and joy, doing well in school, even graduating a year early.

We barely spoke about him.

The day before he was supposed to enter university, a truck driver missed a red traffic light. Having been deprived of sleep he lost concentration for only a few seconds. These few seconds cost my grandson’s life.

After two hours of reanimation the doctors in the hospital called him dead.

My son did not have another child after that accident. He and his wife settled down. They are retired and living a calm life now.

My two great grandchildren, twins, were born only 5 years ago. They do bring life and joy with them when they visit. Though these visits have become more rare when our health decreased.

I let out a long, exhausted breath. Yes, I did have a wonderful family. I did have great friends.

Family members from my husband’s side, nieces and nephews, were present too, but due to a bit of mental health issues that I had started to get recently, I was starting to forget their names. They were laying on the tip of my tongue, but went away as soon as they came.

The few friends still left, Piper and Frank, were present too. Old age did treat them well.

Hazel and Jason had passed only a few years ago, both of them having the luck to die peacefully in their sleep.

Leo was never found.

And Nico and Will Solace had moved to Africa. They had supported and helped abused, starved and mistreated children there. Will, as a doctor, was a large help in the hospitals, back when he was still working. He was always accepted with open arms. Nico had studied to become a lawyer and had managed the organizations Will had been supporting. They were a great team. Their adopted son, a child who’s parents were killed by a wild animal attack, was now leading the organization his fathers had founded. He was close to retiring as well, though.

Sadly we lost contact to them when they started to get sick. I don’t know if either of them is still alive or if they managed to pass to the Underworld. Both of them deserve Elysium.

And that leaves Percy. Perseus Jackson. Or Lord Perseus, as he is called now.

The man I had once loved more than my own life. The man I had let go.

Back then it was the hardest choice of my life. We did love each other, but Tartarus had left scars. These scars ran so deep that our relationship couldn’t withstand it.

I do blame our young age for that. Maybe, if we had been older, a bit wiser, we could have sorted things out. But back then, when we were still young, we were not able to handle the mental torture, the horrible things we had seen.

It is hard to say that I regret my decision. As hard as it was back then for me, and believe me, it was the worst situation in my whole life, I was suffering silently for years afterwards, it was the right thing to do.

We had too many problems to heal each other, for we were both broken too much.

The week after our breakup I did go to visit Percy at Sally’s apartment, wanting to apologize, to sort things out and to try and come up with a plan on what to do. But he had already left. Back then, Sally could only give vague answers what had happened. I don’t think she ever saw her son again. I don’t think she was ever told everything that had happened. And maybe it was better that way.

Her daughter, Estelle, was born only shortly after Percy left. Due to his absence, she was able to life a normal, a peaceful life. She never entered the world of the Greek gods. The daughter of Sally Jackson-Blofis was blessed with a calm, mortal life. She found love and traveled around the world. I don’t know if she has children.

Sally and Paul both died together on a cruise. They were on what was planned to be their last journey together, both wanting to spend their last days discovering and enjoying the world until their final breath. They were happy.

Well, and Percy? I had not seen him for a couple of years. We were both deeply hurt after that breakup. There was no hate between us though, just sadness that we couldn’t sort out everything back then.

I first saw him again on my wedding day. Back then he had come as a secret guest. Seeing him again, as an immortal no less, was a large surprise. I didn’t care what he was though.

What mattered most to me was that he came. That after all that time he came to my wedding.

He had approached me hesitantly, a soft, yet shy smil dancing around his lips. Yet, he could not hide the guilt in his eyes. The same guilt that was to be seen in mine.
We both had felt horrible for leaving each other without at least trying to build up a friendship again.

His gift was a small necklace with a shell. It held a tiny part of his godly essence in it, giving it a soft, heavenly glow. It was enchanted to protect from harm, to shield from other godly presences. I never took it off after that day.

He had apologized countless of times that evening, said how sorry he was for not informing us of his absence. For leaving and not looking back.

And I had apologized for the way we had treated him back then. He understood. He always did.

We did share a hug and decided to see each other again. One day.

That day ended up being the one my first son was born. It was already late at night. My husband was sleeping peacefully back then and I was about to join him. I had just fed my baby and was rocking him carefully in my arms, humming a lullaby, when a soft green glow illuminated the room.

Turning around I was looking into sea green eyes.

He had congratulated me back then. Not only for having had a child, but for having found the one thing he could not give me, happiness. Back then he was still searching for his own.

To show how much our friendship still meant to him, to show how much he still cared for me, he blessed my son. He spoke in a foreign language, explaining afterwards that it was a blessing of protection and happiness for my family.

That blessing would last until the day he would die.

When my second son was born, he visited me again. This time I had given birth at home, having Will Solace overlook everything.

This time his company was not as peaceful. When he arrived, Percy looked troubled and exhausted. Dark bags were under his usual bright, with mirth filled eyes.

Yet again he spoke a blessing. But he also warned me. Trying not to break any ancient laws, he carefully explained that my second child would not have an easy life. That trouble would follow him and that tragedy would strike. How he knew that back then I was never able to find out.

We hugged as a good bye a last time back then. I have not seen him since.

Yet, I still had hope. I had hope and I was thankful.

If I had a last chance, I would say just how grateful I am. The blessings, the visits. It all gave me strength. A strength that each time ended up lasting for years until I had built up my own will to keep going. Until I was strong enough to walk alone. Even though I never was alone.

I took another calming breath and, taking one last look at the by now empty table, I went to bed.

Chapter Text

Date: 12th of July 2083

Time: 11:50 p.m. New York Time Zone

Location: New York, New York


Epilogue (part 2)


 

Perseus pov

Taking a glance at my sleeping fiancée I smiled softly. I gave her a soft kiss on her forehead, stroking her cheek lovingly before silently getting up.
Today, though nearly over, was special.

Teleporting to my desired destination I looked around the old yet comfortably styled bedroom. A large double bed sat in the left corner, two people sleeping silently on it.

One of the two human beings started to stir and woke up from their sleep. Two stormy gray eyes glanced owlishly at me. She stared and stretched after sitting up, careful not to make any noise. Surprise and happiness were clearly visible in her expression, even through the layer of tiredness that seemed to be clouding everything.

I made a sign to be quiet and to follow me. Walking down the stairs I arrived in the hall that led to the living room. Birthday decoration and burned down candles were still placed everywhere. Someone apparently invested a lot of work here to make it look so lovely. Whoever that was definitely had talent and creativity.

The woman I once used to love entered the living room.

Old age seemed to treat her well. Her once honey blond hair had now fully turned white, shimmering in a mysterious silver colour in the dim light of the room. She still had it long even though it was now kept in a braid down her back. Her skin looked dry and sickly pale, but still alright considering her age.

Wrinkles, both of laughter and of sadness were all over her face. Yet, one could still see the beauty that she had once been gifted with when she was young. She had a kind expression, the strictness she once possessed had faded with the years.

Walking forward I embraced her in a tight hug. Making sure not to hurt her, especially now that she had grown old and so.. fragile. That was the only word I could come up with.

“Happy 90th birthday, Annabeth”, I said, holding her by an arms length. She smiled thankfully, no sign of shyness or youthful blush left.

“Thank you, Percy”, she responded, motioning for me to take a seat in one of the armchairs. I politely declined.

“I do hope you had a wonderful day.”, I half asked, still having the hope that she would get to enjoy as much happiness as possible during her last few days.

“I did. My whole family gathered together. We celebrated, talked, ate… It really was amazing. And now, being able to see you, is truly a wonderful last birthday gift.” She shifted in her seat until she was comfortable.

It was clear that even the small walk from the bedroom to here had exhausted her.

“ Tell me though… How have you been doing in the last few years? Whenever you came to visit we barely talked. And on the few rare occasions when we did we only spoke about what was going on with my life.” She said, throwing the ball back to me.

It was only fair though that she finally learned about what had happened to me. Hiding it for so long was exhausting.

“ Alright, make yourself comfortable though. This will take a while.” Once she had nodded at me after shifting in her seat, I started to tell my story.

“On my birthday, all these years ago, my father visited me in my dreams. There is a genetic... mutation, I guess you could call it that, that I inherited from my father. Apparently there are special abilities that can be inherited from the godly parent, such as breathing underwater or controlling water. Some children of Poseidon inherit more, others less of these abilities. As I understood it, it’s pure coincidence just how much the child gets from the father. For me though… well, I guess I was always a bit of a special kid.”

The small smile that appeared on her lips was sign enough for me to continue speaking. Remembering all the trouble I had caused it was pure luck that I made it as far as I got today.

At least I knew that I definitely had her full attention now .

“For reasons that are beyond me I inherited all of that gene. It’s the reason why I was already so powerful as a demigod. I guess some things are truly up to the Fates alone to decide.” Trailing of at the end I was caught up in a short moment of nonchalance before returning back to my story.

"My biggest problem was that I received so much of that gene that my human, mortal body couldn’t exist much longer without adapting to the abilities I had originally inherited. ”

A small spark of recognition of sorts seemed to flash in her eyes, though I ignored it and kept telling my story. I was sure she had always had her suspicions about me, but wasn’t sure how much she could have figured out.

“The night of my 18th birthday my father visited me and told me everything. He came to take me with him, down to Atlantis. With all of you either being busy or afraid of me, not that I could blame any of you – I was honestly sacred of myself – It was no hard choice to go with him. After accepting godhood and receiving my domains I stayed with my immortal family.

They put me through lessons, teaching me the behavior of a royal family, the history but also how to handle and control my powers. Going there was definitely one of the best decisions of my life. I have not regretted it since.” I finished, looking at what her reaction would be.

She had a small, yet sad smile resting on her lips. Her eyes held a spark of something in them that I couldn’t quite recognize.

“You have always been a puzzle that was hard to figure out. And being honest, you did seem more to me than any demigod I had met. Therefore I am not that surprised that you would end up living with holy beings in a palace. Under the sea, I might add. However...”, she mused, her eyes having glazed over during her musings, looking clouded and misty,

“Have you ever found love? True love, I mean?”, she voiced her final thought, the spark from earlier returning to her eyes.

I exhaled slowly, letting go of a breath I didn’t know I had been holding. I was not certain just why I seemed to anticipate her answer that much. Maybe I still feared that I would lose her friendship, even after all that time.

“Yes, I have. Even though it took me a few years longer than you”, I laughed, thinking of the awkwardness I had felt only a few years after I had become immortal. Young and old women, men and even creatures had approached me after becoming an heir to the throne. An heir without a partner.

My parents had, after noticing just how uncomfortable I felt, made an announcement that I was not to be courted unless I initiated the courting myself. It gave me more freedom again. A freedom I was really glad to regain.

“ I did finally propose only 3 years ago. I met my beloved Lyrea when visiting the market of the neighboring village. She was a young nymph that caught my eye. She was working in the royal guard over there, fighting a creature that had been trying to steel jewelry from citizens. I had wanted to help her but she stopped me, telling me to step back and watch my back. She is a fighter at heart, just like you always were. I guess I do have a certain type in woman, huh?” I laughed, feeling a bit lighter after thinking of the nymph that had stolen my heart.

Annabeth let her back rest against the chair she was sitting on, closing her eyes and smiling. It seemed as if she could let go of a burden that had still been resting on her shoulders. Thinking back on it, I recognized the spark from earlier as hope.

“ I am glad you have found your place, Percy. You, of all people, deserve it most. You gave so much of your life for the sake of others that you always seemed to give up on being happy of your own. After all that time you finally found peace.” She broke off, her voice having grown quieter with every word she spoke. Her eyes had closed, exhaustion catching up with her.

Chuckling softly, I went over to the couch and grabbed the blanket that was laying there. Covering the woman that would always be my biggest “what if” I gave her a soft kiss on the forehead, stroking her cheek. Making sure not to wake her up, I put the gift I had hidden until now into her hands.

Straightening my back I took a deep breath before returning back home where my family was still sleeping.

The woman laying on the armchair that I left behind was now holding an ocean blue flower that was softly glowing in the dark.