One day, Percy comes to deliver some reports to Zeus. They are arguing about the feasibility of yet another suggestion from Percy.
Percy picks up the papers to show Zeus, make a point perhaps, but he does it too quickly and abruptly and yelps more in surprise than pain when he gets a paper cut.
"Paper cut," he muttered sheepishly to Zeus when Zeus looks at him strangely. Why did I have to scream like a little girl in front of the king of the gods, Percy wondered.
Normally, he would just suck on his finger but it seems so weird doing that in front of the king of the gods and he has already thoroughly embarrassed himself today. He gets out a handkerchief (thank you, Annabeth!) and wipes off the blood from his finger.
"You can get cuts from paper?" Zeus sounds astounded.
"Um yeah. Not really harmful though, it's just a small cut."
"Clay," Zeus muttered shaking his head.
"Clay. You are made of clay."
Percy finds the myth through a haze of long-buried memories. Something about Prometheus and clay and fire. "I suppose?" That is almost too weird to think about, so he moves on, ignoring the strange way Zeus stares at him.
Some other day when he is talking to Artemis about the monster that had been spotted in the area, she asks him if he would be 'intruding' in their hunt.
"I won't," Percy said, hands up in surrender. Then before she can say more, he adds. "Besides I have a root canal so I am going to be pretty much useless the rest of the day."
"Root canal," she tastes the words on her tongue. Percy bites back his laughter at her blank curiosity. He has the feeling she has never heard of something like that. And why would she? She lives in the wild with her band of hunters who never get sick.
He is tempted to blurt out more modern words and have her repeat them all. Did she know about McDonald's or Red Bull or or even Walmart?
Then she turns to him. "What's that?" It takes him a second to realize she is not talking about Walmart.
"Um, I don't-Apollo can probably explain properly. But um, my tooth hurts and it won't after that but they are going to have do some sort of surgery or something, I guess because they are going to put me under and anesthesia takes a while to wear off, and then it'll be better when I wake up? I-I don't know."
Artemis looks at him strangely.
Percy shrugs. "Sorry, I can't explain it any better. Why don't you ask your brother? He's sort of an expert at this, right?"
"I just might," she murmured to herself.
Percy just nods awkwardly. "You do that. So…" They quickly finish up, especially since Artemis seems a bit distracted now.
It's just Percy's luck that he has a reaction to the anesthesia. It's even more of Percy's luck that to witness his humiliation, Apollo and Artemis and Thalia are all there.
It's hard to care right at that instant though.
When he comes out, staggering over his noodle legs (Noodle legs, that's funny! He imagines a Percy shaped head on two strands of Spaghetti and bursts into giggles), he just sees three faces through his insane giggling.
Then realizes that he knows these faces.
"Thalia," he shrieks happily and flings his hands away from where they are slung over the nurse and doctor in front of him as if to grab her in a hug.
Unfortunately and very predictably he trips and though all five try to catch him, they just manage to slow down his momentum a little.
He hits his head on the tiled surface and widens his eyes in surprise and then very detached and very belatedly mutters, "Ouch."
"Ugh, Kelps-for-head, this is all your fault." Thalia mutters from where she is sprawled awkwardly on the floor from when she tried to catch him.
Injury forgotten, Percy looks to Thalia with a kicked puppy look, "What did I do?"
"Don't look at me like that!"
Percy tilts his head to the side, eyes even bigger and sadder and his fiery stormy eyes now more of a fathomless blue than his usual stormy green.
How did anybody ever win an argument with him?
"Let's just get you up," Apollo said, trying to hide his smile. Loathe as Artemis was to touch men, even platonically, who weren't her brother, she didn't help. Thalia didn't lend a hand either. It just wasn't needed.
The doctor and Apollo easily haul Percy up and set him down on the nearest chair in the waiting room, where he slumped down a little and caught sight of the ceiling where he started babbling about the pretty colors, look at them! They are so so pretty.
They all glanced as one at the blank dull blue ceiling. Some sighed and others shook their heads.
"Thank you for your help," Dr. Smith as it said on the name-tag said. "But my practice is closed for the day. He was the last patient, I am afraid. You can come back tomorrow."
It was only thanks to the mist that he didn't stop to question where they had come from as the front door was obviously locked with a Closed sign jingling out front.
"Oh no no no," Thalia said, shaking her head. "We are here to get Percy home."
Dr. Smith's smile faded. "I am afraid I can't do that. I don't know you and Percy is in no condition to…well-" he grimaced and looked to Percy who was now staring blankly at his hands, swaying lightly in his seat.
A snap of her fingers and a dose of Mist was enough to help with that.
Percy woke up the next morning, bleary-eyed and a little nauseous and stumbled onto Thalia in the living room, making breakfast. The smell of breakfast was normally his favorite thing in the world (all foods were his favorite, Annabeth would point out) but today it just made him more nauseous.
His tooth felt a little tender too.
"How bad was it?" he tiredly wondered.
"You told Artemis you loved her-"
"How am I not a Jackalope?" he said in horror and awe.
"Probably because you had already confessed your love to Apollo and your doctor and me and of course the dog you met on the street. You cried when the dog had to go."
"And not just a couple of manly tears. Like, full out little boy pout and ugly tears."
"I get it, Thalia. Just shut up." Thalia loved to pull his leg. He wasn't even sure this had actually happened and if it had, how exaggerated it might be.
"After that, Artemis told you that she'd get you a dog if you wanted it and you cried even harder and told her you loved her through your ugly sobbing. She just thought you were too pathetic to bother."
"What were you guys even doing there?" He groaned into the palms of his hands. Thalia just snickered, reveling in his misery.
Only 20 minutes later, the twins came back to check up on them and found Percy on the floor, face-planting into his hands. There was a big blue ugly bruise on his head from where he had smacked his head the previous day.
One time, Hermes sent him off on one of those errands gods loved to send him on, and Percy did the most embarrassing thing ever: after his awesome victory, he almost fainted. In front of Hermes. An Olympian God. Seriously!
"Whoa, whoa!" Hermes jumped as he swayed alarmingly and promptly sat on the floor. Percy just groaned, head spinning. He wondered how that came to be.
Too much strain and exhaustion coupled with little food and probably dehydration. And the aftermath of an adrenaline rush fading off.
It wasn't that he needed someone else to care for him; he was good at managing himself usually. But the last few days had been a whirlwind, too many deadlines in front of him and not enough time.
And dehydration for a son of Poseidon? Very, very easy to get and very hard to manage. They needed lots and lots of water and not being around water got them sick easily and quickly.
"What happened?!" There is something in Hermes' tone that Percy would almost say was concern if he weren't an all-powerful Olympian god who was so distant from human emotions.
"Water," he mumbled, head down.
Thankfully, Hermes understands. Unfortunately, he over-reacts.
The next thing Percy is aware of is that he is free-falling and it is only the presence of the ocean below him which keeps him from panicking.
When he pops back out, Hermes is still surprisingly there.
"Didn't you have more things to do?" Percy asks, surprised.
"Other parts of my consciousness are doing all that work." He smiled a little at whatever expression Percy is making. "I am a god, Percy and everywhere that a thief steals or messages are delivered or a soul is to be delivered to the Underworld or any of my domains are invoked in any way, a part of me has to be there."
"But you are here."
Hermes tipped his head in agreement. "You seemed unwell."
"I was fine. I just," he flushed a little in embarrassment. "I just got dehydrated."
Hermes' smile falters. "I'm sorry?"
"You haven't been taking care of yourself." Hermes said disapprovingly.
"I have," Percy said hurriedly. "It had been a busy couple of days-"
"That is no excuse," Hermes said sharply. Percy hysterically wondered when his life had gotten so off the charts that he was being scolded like a child by an Olympian god.
He mumbled something about trying harder. It didn't stop Hermes from dropping him on Jason's lap (literally and in front of his newest date!) and telling him in a very dreary tone that he was sick.
Percy spent the entire day miserably in bed, with Jason fussing and scolding him.
It was hell.
It all culminated when he was walking at the side-walk one day and a driver lost control of the car.
It jerked angrily to the side and before Percy could even blink, switched directions towards Percy. It was only his lightning-fast reflexes that made Percy jump to the side, rolling over and mostly out of harm's way just as it hit the building wall, collapsing part of it.
Percy didn't manage to escape entirely of course.
The car had hit the wall hard and Percy was trapped in some debris and he had hit his head on the side-walk in his haste to get away.
All in all, it was so so much better than it could have been.
Apollo still flashed him away from the wreckage before the ambulance could arrive, manipulating the mist as he flashed away.
When Percy woke again, it was in Apollo's infirmary, feeling better than he had in his entire life.
Any and all of his aches, most of which had been so minor he barely noticed them, were gone. Any of his minor dietary deficiencies had been cured. Anything else with the potential to hurt or harm had been washed away.
"I feel so so good." Percy told the walls.
"I sure hope so," Apollo stood in front of him in a traditional Greek chiton, looking stern and kind and like a Greek god. Which he basically was.
Percy smiled at him, getting up and sitting cross-legged on the bed. Apollo didn't smile back.
"What were you doing?!" Apollo's voice was controlled anger.
Percy's smile faded. "I'm sorry?"
"What were you thinking?!" Apollo growled which helped him in no way.
"I was walking," Percy said slowly. "It's not my fault he lost control of his car."
"Then I forbid you from walking out alone, if you can't even manage a simple task like that."
"You forbid me? I wasn't aware I needed your permission!"
"Well, let's see you try to walk if you are paralyzed from the waist down! Which is what you might have been, if not for divine intervention."
Percy startled, his heart beating fast. That hadn't happened, he consoled himself. It was still scary.
Apollo tried to calm his anger, eyes focused and intense. He considered Percy.
"Look, Apollo," Percy tried, unsure if he should try the 'Lord' thing to appease him but it was weird with a guy he knew pretty well and could almost call a friend. He decided to just wing it. "I am human, mortal, whatever. There is always something dangerous about."
"Not if you had accepted godhood."
"It wasn't time for that," Percy said with firm and absolute surety. He had always trusted his instincts and he knew that that day he had made the right decision. "There were sacrifices to honor and the minor gods deserved respect. It was needed at the time."
"So, you'll accept divinity now? If it was offered," Apollo asked seriously.
"I don't think so. I mean, being a god is tough. I have met Hercules-" Apollo winced. He had just known it would somehow come to bite them back. Every sour deed did. And well, the guy was a jerk but there was no denying how hard a life he had had. "-and meeting him; let's just say, I am surer than ever that I made the right choice."
"You're not the next Hercules, Percy," Apollo said because it was true. Percy Jackson was a class of heroes unto himself and comparing him to Hercules was ridiculous. "What if you were treated better?"
"There is no guarantee of that," Percy said, realizing that they were getting into serious territory.
"If there was, would you agree?"
"And watch my friends die and the world move on while I live unchanged? I don't know, Apollo. That is a dangerous decision and I don't think I can do that."
"You would have to watch many of them die anyway. Maybe due to old age when they go before you or something else, but you being a mortal gives you no guarantee-"
"It gives me the guarantee that I will die and meet them sometimes."
"What if they choose Rebirth? Or don't get into Elysium? Something or the other?"
"Death is still something important, it holds me accountable for what I do and reminds me that my actions have consequences."
"That is ridiculous," Apollo said, angrily sweeping his hand. "That is just-" Apollo puts his hands on his head and tries to find a word for how idiotic and ridiculous that is, but just groans in frustration when he can't find one.
"You know what?" Apollo decided. "Maybe your father and your uncles can help you decide. You have a council with the Big Three."
Percy had met the Big Three separately and together several times but the way Apollo said it, a personal one-on-one with the Big Three; that felt intimidating.
He got out of bed. "What for-" he started before a more important realization took hold. "What am I wearing and where are my clothes?"
He looked down at his fancy chiton, a blue-green fancy garment which contrasted with Apollo's own golden-yellow thigh-length dress.
"Your clothes got ruined in the accident," Apollo said in a peeved off tone. "And what is wrong with that?"
"Oh, it's beautiful," Percy said honestly. It was the softest, most comfortable fabric Percy had ever worn and it shimmered in the light like the prettiest ocean.
"Yeah, Poseidon fashioned a part of the ocean for you to wear."
"Woah!" Percy said, blinking hard. "Wait, are you pulling my leg?! I don't trust you in these things, you are such a prankster but that's not-Okay. That's not the problem. The problem is this is too short."
"Yeah, that's sort of how chitons work. Do not panic. I have gone out in smaller."
"I am pretty sure you have gone out naked, so I am not going to be taking fashion advice from you."
Apollo finally, finally managed a smile.
Good, he seemed stressed out in a way Percy had never seen before.
Percy was right: even on Olympus, people stared as he walked past.
It did not help that Aphrodite had started walking with them. The two biggest attention seeking maniacs on the Olympian Council? With Percy in a chiton? He was miserable.
"Guys," he hissed. "This is so uncomfortable."
"it's not like it's our fault," Aphrodite scoffed, flipping her hair. For a second, Percy forgot his own name as he stared dazedly at her, but Apollo grabbed his arm and that brought him right back.
"They're staring at you, Perce," Apollo said, glaring daggers at Aphrodite as he pushed Percy a couple of steps back protectively. "You're the Saviour of Olympus and with your 'selfless deeds'-" Apollo actually air-quoted, "and the way you helped all those minor gods; yeah, you're a hero and very very popular."
"And you look so hot in that chiton," Aphrodite gushed, smiling prettily.
"Thanks, that makes me super uncomfortable." Percy said.
Apollo rolled his eyes, but flashed him away before Aphrodite could interject. Without Aphrodite, of course.
"Percy," Poseidon said, descending on him just as they flashed in and hugging him tight. "That chiton does look good on you."
"It's very short." Percy complained.
But Poseidon did not seem to be listening and as Poseidon turned away, Apollo elbowed Percy. "Stop getting yourself into more trouble."
"More trouble?" Percy mumbled to himself. He wasn't aware he was in any trouble.
"Apollo, leave us," Zeus declared.
Don't take him away. He is the least intimidating guy of you all. Which was something, considering he had once flayed a satyr alive for daring to compete with him. But then again, he was also the guy that sometimes brought him pizza for lunch and winked at him from night-clubs when Percy went out for a drink or a dance.
And Zeus was the guy who had held multiple council meetings where they had voted for or indirectly hinted at his death.
"What's happening?" Percy asked. They weren't in the Throne Room and the gods weren't…well, god-sized. They looked about his size and Percy thought they had shrunk down for him. Their thoughtful compassion made him uneasy. Nothing in this world ever came free. Not even their kind thoughtfulness.
"You got hit by a car," Poseidon said disapprovingly.
"Alright, firstly, not my fault. And secondly, I did not get hit by a car. I almost got hit by a car, which is not the same thing as actually getting hit."
"Alright, so you almost got hit by a car. What if you did get hit and die?"
Percy felt silly. He hated these sort of open-ended questions. He was never quite sure what was happening and always answered wrong and came off like an idiot. "I'd go to the Underworld?" he tried.
They all make a face.
"There is a reason I never do well at tests."
"This is not the time for jokes," Poseidon said disapprovingly. His disapproval hit Percy like a bucket of ice-cold water would to a mortal. This just suddenly felt so real. "Hermes informed me you haven't been taking care of yourself. I let it be. But now-" The sea god shook his head.
Percy felt like a chastised child. If it had been anyone else scolding him, he would already have started mouthing off, but it was different when his mother scolded him. And now apparently his father.
It perhaps had to do with the fact that however wrong they might or might not be (they were usually inexplicably right), it came from a place of love and was said in worry and never because they wanted to put him down.
"I don't understand what you want me to do," Percy finally admitted. "I am mortal and there are always risks when I go out and do something. Anything."
The three exchanged glances. "You could accept god-hood," Zeus suggested.
Percy pursed his lips, looking uncomfortable. Death was a guarantee and his check all at once. It was only because he could die that he was beholden to this world, that he could accept that his actions had consequences.
Gods weren't amoral, they were just…neutral. They did not and could not care for fleeting mortals. Percy could not even blame them; humans did not stop to think about mayflies. That was just the way of the worlds. Hades, the only reason Percy was biased was because he was human, mortal.
He wasn't sure he wanted to give his objectivity up.
"I am not sure I am cut out for it," Percy admitted.
"You would make for a magnificent god," Poseidon is quick to assure him, seemingly surprised that Percy thinks otherwise.
"Will I?" Percy had to ask doubtfully.
"Of course," Zeus said almost dismissively. "Besides, think of the lives you will save and protect. As a god, you will have greater say, more power, a little less flexibility and a few more rules but I think you will manage."
"Being immortal…it's not for me. It's too much rules. And I won't be able to help all that much. There is a reason the divine and mortal worlds stay apart. Mixing them always causes trouble. I am sorry, dad. But I can't do it."
"Percy," Poseidon started then seemed to realize that it would not lead anywhere. He sighed and looked away. There was no mistaking the deep disappointment and sadness in his face. Percy felt like a small scolded child. He and Poseidon were never at odds, and it hurt now to have his disapproval, no matter how removed.
Percy awkwardly bowed, more nodded than bowed actually to the distracted gods and walked out.
Apollo was standing outside. He smiled enthusiastically as he watched Percy come out, but his smile faded when Percy walked to him. "You said no," he said in a cold tone. Percy flinched a little at his angry eyes and his distant coldness.
Apollo looked away from Percy, and though he dropped Percy off all to his apartment, he never once looked back at his face, his whole body tense and eyes a frosty blue.
Am I really so bad? Percy wondered as he fell onto his pillows face first. Even when he woke up, his pillows were a little moist and his sheets a little cold. He got up with tears still frozen on his eyelashes.
The next couple of weeks were hellish.
His connection with his father felt dim. But it wasn't even his disappointment that cut deep. It was his pain. Poseidon was distant because he didn't want Percy to realize how much it hurt him to have his favorite son just be a mortal champion. But despite Poseidon trying to spare his son the pain, there was no mistaking the agony on his end.
The seas were calm for him. Whenever he dropped by the oceans, it was peaceful and serene as if Poseidon was keeping it that way just for him. But the rest of the world suffered as Poseidon mourned his still living son.
Percy in private cried silently at his father's grief.
There was nothing worse than burying a child, no coffin heavier than the one that carried your own baby.
The sea's connections ensured Percy a front seat to this grief. Poseidon rarely had more than one mortal champion in one life-time for this reason alone. He didn't want them to face the consequences of having to feel their flesh and blood fade away from the sea's sights and he did not want them to feel the force of his grief.
He did not want Percy to feel it either but there was only so much he could try to dim his connections.
Percy's moods grew worse, his patience got steadily lower. He was so much easier to snap. Sometimes he snapped in anger, in private he snapped in grief, crying and breaking down in ways he never had before.
One night he woke up to Hestia watching him.
"Auntie," he said glumly. "This isn't a good time." Nowadays, no time seemed like a good time.
"I came to offer help," Hestia said, straight to the point like she rarely was during their talks. She usually talked about his day and how he was doing and sometimes offered her own wicked brand of humor. Not this day, it seemed.
"How could this possibly be okay?" Percy asked, not believing something could magically cure this problem away.
"Do you know who Selene is?"
"I think I've heard of her."
"She is the personification of the moon. As in, she is the moon. Once, she fell in love with a mortal. Endymion. He was beautiful. He adored the moon too. He would stay up all night to stay at her. But because he was mortal, Selene tried to find a way around his inevitable death. She put him to an eternal sleep, where he would never age or die, just be content forever so that Selene could visit him whenever she wanted to."
Percy gaped at her in disbelief. Gods were never simple; they often came up with convulated and over-the-top solutions to simple problems. But this one just seemed ridiculous.
"Why not partial immortality if he couldn't have immortality?" Percy asked.
Hestia shook her head. "Partial immortality is very rare because there are many complications there." And this was coming from a god. "It can only be granted by a god to a mortal who is in direct command to the god. They must swear to obey said god in all respects and they cannot have free will like mortals do. They must only fight for their patron's sake or in case of self-defense. And everything they do reflects on their god or goddess."
"Like the Hunters of Artemis," Percy muttered.
Hestia nodded. "Precisely."
"Okay. So what does that have to do with me?"
Hestia met his eyes, calm green against fiery red. "You do not wish for immortality but the Council, this age, the gods, they need you more than they will ever say. I can put you to sleep, so you can awaken every 5 days per month. The time you sleep will revert the ageing you did on those 5 days. It's not immortality, but I suppose we can be content with this."
Percy gaped. That was the worst idea he had ever heard. "I can't leave my mom and Paul and all my friends behind just like that."
"They don't need you now. Your mom has a new family," Hestia pointed out. "And your friends are busy with their own lives."
Percy looked at her, at a loss for words. Hestia was right that there was no one depending on him, but that wasn't to say his mom didn't absolutely light up when she saw him, that Paul didn't feel like an indulgent step-father, pampering him with gifts and winking at him as he sneaked him sweets under the table and ruined his appetite.
Annabeth had a boyfriend, but she still made time for him in her busy schedule, curling up on the couch and eating ice-cream, rambling on about something or the other. The Seven weren't life-long friends, they had been forced together in a few days of stress and combat and a Great Prophecy, but now they were all getting to know one another.
And he hadn't gotten with Grover and Chiron and CHB in so long.
They didn't need him, but they wanted him around. And relationships did not work in a linear path, like you could just have what you need. There was no limits to how many people you could love, and having more around did not mean they had stopped loving him.
Faced with his stubborn silence, Hestia closed her eyes, almost in grief. She looked so lost, so defeated…It was hard to see a child's face reflect such agony.
Percy wondered if she could feel her brother's grief. He felt cold and tired at the mere thought of it.
"How is this fair?" Hestia asked, almost sounding like a petulant child. "We are your family too, but you love your mortal side more than you love us. You have made us better than I have seen in my immortal life."
She looked up, suddenly angry, her eyes bright red. "What after you are gone, Perseus? Will everything you have asked for and done start eroding? Will things start turning back to the way they were before?!"
"I haven't done that much," Percy said quietly.
"You keep peace in my family. You make them better. You have destined Olympus to greater heights. You can bring them even higher."
"You are the peace-maker. You are good at this, and I…" Percy trailed off helplessly. He was just Percy, how could he change the gods so much? How could he change anything so much?
"Nobody listens to me all that much," Hestia admitted easily. "I told you I am the last Olympian and they can only remember me when they remember their roots and their home and their hearts. But, you. They listen to you, Percy. You bring them back to the hearth and you keep a clear heart even in hard conditions."
Percy didn't want to listen to this.
"Your father, think about him. He loves you. Would you really let him mourn his favorite son?"
Percy turned heel and ran like a coward. She didn't follow.
There is the thing about running from your problems and yourself: wherever you go, there you are.
Percy sat down at a slightly hidden area in Central Park. It was out of the way and hidden behind big trees and thick shrubbery. Percy had to climb halfway on trees and battle through waist-high grass just to get here, but it was always worth it.
For one, it was quiet. Nobody came here. It felt pure, hidden from the outside world as it was. It also helped that there was a small pond there. Percy felt calm here. It wasn't as wonderful as the ocean or even a beach but it was good enough.
Not today though.
Today, Percy just felt uncertain, lost. He didn't want to cause his father grief anymore but he couldn't and did not want to hurt his mother, Paul, his friends. Camp.
Hestia was partly right. Gods were, for better or worse, his family. And as Hermes had taught him, you never ever ever give up on family. Especially when you want to. Worst of all, her proposal could theoretically work.
He didn't meet everyone every day of his life anyway. Meeting them once every month could work. 5 days per month. A couple for his mortal friends and family. 3 for the godly side. (Gods apparently really really needed the help. Go figure.)
His hesitance had nothing to do with the logistics of the problem, and everything to do with his own discomfort.
He remembered waking up having lost nearly 6-7 months of his life. The subsequent weeks running blindly without any idea of where he was going. The hurt, the pain, the helplessness when he had realized all he had lost.
If he agreed to this, and that was a big if…was he ready to let go and trust the gods so blindly? That they would protect him and take care of him and not do anything untoward when he was asleep?
Some myths said that Endymion was raped in his sleep by his admirer Selene. And if not that, there was so much more anybody could do when he was asleep. He might wake up to something else entirely. In the enemies' lair, in some dangerous location…
Could he trust them enough to be this vulnerable?
Then he thought of Poseidon and thought, I can trust him. He thought of his father's pride and his adoration and he thought of his grief and sadness. All real. All true.
Hallmark would say love and relationships were all about sacrifice. They were probably talking about doing dishes once in a while and letting arguments lie for the sake of the other, simple things like that.
But, Percy thought ruefully, messy families were eternally messy and eternal families required eternal sacrifices.
He could not give his father an immortal son, not yet at least. Perhaps he would wake up one day several decades later and agree, but the thought was anathema for now.
His father had taken his decision lying down because he respected Percy as an individual no matter how much it hurt him; wasn't it Percy's responsibility to also lend his old man a hand? Percy could not accept immortality still but he could give Poseidon something.
He thought about his mom. She would understand. And she was really the most important person in his life anyway.
He inhaled deeply and called on his father and aunt.
When Percy fell asleep, he didn't dream. He was safe in the gentle waves, within his father's domain, under his father's fierce powers and protection. There was nothing to fear.