The Daughter of Athena
Annabeth Chase sighed as she gazed out of her bedroom window. It just wasn't fair that she must be stuck inside the house on such a glorious day. Athens, her mother's namesake, was a beautiful city and it was just unfortunate that she hardly ever got to enjoy it. She'd only see the Parthenon once in her life, and that was from a distance. It was a fate that all Greek women shared, to be confined to their homes for most of their lives. She supposed it might change if she were to marry someday, a fact that put a frown on Annabeth's face.
Not for the first time Annabeth wished she had been born a man, they had a freedom she would never enjoy. It simply wasn't fair that the fairer sex was subjected to such dull lives. They didn't even have the right to vote in the elections. As much as she didn't care for the barbaric city-state of Sparta, at least women had rights there. Annabeth turned from the window and picked up a sheath that was sitting on the stand by her bed. She grabbed a well work leather hilt and pulled out a long bronze knife.
Many days her one consolation that broke up the monotony of her days was practicing with her blade. It was something her father didn't approve of, but since his daughter's mother was the goddess of battle, it was something he turned a blind eye to. Annabeth's arrival on her father's doorstep in a golden cradle was his greatest gift from Athena ever, he always said. The only problem, of course, was the fact that Annabeth was a demigod.
She constantly practiced with her celestial bronze knife because from time to time monsters attacked. First there was the hellhound that attacked on her 13th birthday, and then there was the Cyclopes and the sphinx. The combination of her knife and invisibility cloak (which was a gift from Athena) had been the difference between life and death. Annabeth was 15 now and would've been in an arranged marriage with some stranger if it wasn't for the fact that she was a demigod and therefore brought danger with her no matter what.
Male demigods were respected, loved, and became great heroes. They faced the same dangers, but people elevated these men as heroes and they all became very wealthy men. Women demigods were another story. The daughters of Aphrodite were concubine slaves, but the rest were feared, despised, and generally ignored by the public. Athena may be well respected, especially in Athens, but the same courtesy wasn't shared with her daughter.
Another thing set her apart from the rest of the Athenians was her appearance. Annabeth had the same curly, long blonde hair as her mother, and the same intelligent grey eyes. Her complexion too didn't look very Mediterranean, it was light enough that she had to be careful of getting sunburnt. It was rare for Greeks to have blonde hair, and that was another thing that people were surprised about when they saw her. If she wasn't a half-blood then someone would have petitioned to marry her already,
There was another problem for her especially. Poseidon and Athena were at war. Ever since the founding of Athens, the sea god had raged on the city. Ships sank from storms that weren't there a few minutes before, fisherman hardly caught anything, and sometimes earthquakes rumbled through the land; Poseidon had no mercy. Since she was the daughter of Athena it would be perilous for her to go in the water, all the other demigod children of Athena had died when they entered the realm of Poseidon. As far as she knew, Annabeth was Athena only child still alive.
She sheathed her knife and stood just as her father entered the room. Frederick Chase was a middle aged balding man, who was born wealthy and one of Athen's most prominent philosophers. He had a look of extreme exasperation (and was that fear?) as he looked at his daughter. "Didn't you hear me calling?" he asked.
"No," Annabeth said, "sorry."
"We have a visitor," he started.
Annabeth's eyebrow went up in curiosity. "Who is it?"
"The Oracle of Delphi," he said in barely a whisper.
"The Oracle, here?" Annabeth gasped. "But why would she be here?"
"She asked for you by name," Frederick replied.
As Annabeth made her way to the reception room, her mind buzzed with possibilities. Though everyone in Athens knew of the resident daughter of Athena, the Oracle always seemed imperious and distant. The Oracle was the one woman who never followed the rules of the land, as she was supernaturally protected by Apollo.
The woman whose head was covered by a veil smiled gently as Annabeth approached. "I'm pleased to make your acquaintance daughter of Athena," the woman replied. "I'm the Oracle of Delphi, but my name is Rachel."
"What brings you here, Rachel? Annabeth asked curiously.
"I'm afraid that I bear bad tidings. The war between Athena and Poseidon has reached its breaking point. The gods had been forced to negotiate a new treaty, one that will radically change your life." Rachel explained.
"What do you mean?" Annabeth asked.
"For there to be peace amongst the gods, you must make a great sacrifice to end the fued," Rachel said.
Annabeth waited, anxiously awaiting to hear the verdict.
"You are to marry the son of Poseidon."
The Daughter of Athena
"You are to marry the son of Poseidon."
"What?" Annabeth gasped. There was no way this could possible, this was entirely ridiculous.
"I'm sorry," Rachel apologized. "But I had a vision, Poseidon and Athena made a truce, and this is their peace bargain. By having two of their children marry, they hope to ease the tensions that have lasted for a hundred years."
"No, I'm not going to do it," Annabeth replied folding her arms. "They can't make me!"
"Annabeth!" Frederick reprimanded her sternly. "You can't dare go against the gods, it will put us all at risk! Besides that it is high time you were married."
"Who exactly am I supposed to marry?" Annabeth asked as she glowered at the Oracle.
"The only son of Poseidon still alive," Rachel answered. "Perseus Jackson."
Annabeth wracked her brain, the name sounded so familiar. And then it came to her. "No, I don't want to marry him,"
"Who is he?" Frederick asked.
"He's that demigod who saved those slaves from a ship bound for Sparta," Annabeth replied. "And people think he's the most amazing thing since the lyre."
"What's the matter with that?" Frederick asked her, clearly exasperated.
Annabeth rolled her eyes, "You wouldn't understand."
"He is more than just a hero, he is also a prince," Rachel replied.
Percy Jackson grinned as he breathed in the salty sea air. He stood alone on a large Greek fishing boat that would normally be manned by ten men. Even though Percy was alone controlling a ship was as simple as breathing. He was in his father's domain and there was no place he would rather be. He watched the coastline appear on the horizon and adjusted the sails with only the power of his mind.
Percy recognized the familiar shape of the palace appear as he drew closer. He had lived a privileged as the sole heir to the Corinth throne. There were times when he felt ready to take on the full scope of his future responsibilities. Other times he chaffed against his title and wished to live a far simpler life. Still there was no escaping his fate, he was prince heir to his city-state's throne, and also the son of Poseidon.
His mother Sally had met the sea god years ago and was pregnant a short time later. As she was the daughter of a king, it was something of a scandal at the time. After Percy's birth she married a man named Paul, and for a time the rumors died down. But as Percy grew it became apparent very quickly that he was not just a demigod, but also the son of one of the most powerful gods.
Percy had to learn very quickly how to protect himself from the monsters and his considerable powers over water had saved his life on more than one occasion. Percy was also a highly skilled fighter and his weapon of choice for monster slaying was his celestial bronze sword Riptide. To his people Percy was not just their prince, but he was also the hero who protected them from monster. Never mind that the monsters were only there because of him in the first place, demigod odor was seemingly impossible to mask to them.
The ship reached port and Percy mentally threw down the anchor and tied the ship to the dock. The second he stepped foot on the wooden planks of the dock, he heard a bleating voice call out his name.
The bleating became obvious when the figure turned out to be a satyr. "Percy," he said. "Your father has requested your presence immediately."
Percy was unmistakably surprised; his father hardly ever spoke to him. It was just the way all the gods were; they never wanted to favor one of their children over the others.
"Grover," he said, "Where is my father?"
"Right here," another voice said right beside him.
Poseidon looked as he always did to Percy, he had the same black hair and green that his father did and was decked out in full Greek battle armor and carried his trident.
"Son, it has been far too long," Poseidon said. "Thank you Grover."
Grover bowed low to the sea god and scampered off as fast as his goat legs would carry him.
Percy nodded, "How are you, Dad?" he asked, feeling somewhat foolish as he always did when talking to his immortal parent.
"Better than I have been," Poseidon replied. "The war with Athena has taken its toll, but now I believe we have reached a compromise."
"Really?" Percy asked in surprise. "What sort of compromise?"
"You are going to have to help me with it," Poseidon admitted. "But first, give me your hand."
Percy frowned in confusion, but he did as his father said. The second he touched his father's hand they were sudden in the middle of the throne room. On the dais Percy's mom Sally gasped, but she was not the only one. As ever the hall was full of entertainers, servants, satyrs, scholars, visiting nobility and dozens of other people. All were silent as they recognized that there was a god in their presence. As a general rule the Greek people feared Poseidon, but they also respected his great power. They depended on fishing so much that it was common to pray for Poseidon's protection before setting sail. To see him here now was certainly alarming to most people.
"People of Corinth, my war with Athena is at an end!" the god declared in a booming voice.
Some people cheered, but most remained silent. Poseidon paused for effect before continuing. "No longer will mortals suffer due to our disagreement. As such a compromise was needed, something to bridge the gap."
Poseidon looked down and smiled at Percy who suddenly felt somewhat queasy, what was his father planning?
"My son is no longer a child, but a man who will soon take the mortal throne. The arrangement was simple," Poseidon paused again. "My son is ready to be a husband and so he must marry Athena's daughter Annabeth Chase of Athens by the summer solstice!"
Everyone gasped, but Percy couldn't think straight, he stared at his father completely dumbfounded.
"If the marriage doesn't take place, then I'm afraid this war will never end." Poseidon warned, and disappeared as quickly as he'd come, evaporating into a puddle of sea water.
Immediately the talking started again and people ran up to Percy asking him a million questions. He couldn't hear any of them; he could only hear the beating of his heart in his head. How could Poseidon do this to him, Percy certainly didn't feel so ready to get married. He already had a hard enough time talking to girls already, but now he had to marry a complete stranger. Who was this Annabeth Chase, and was there any possibility of this working out? No way in Hades.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
So I know it has been forever since I updated and there really isn't a good enough excuse to make up for it. This story has not been neglected and has already been completed so it will be finished. I will update weekly from here on out. Thanks for reading!
It had been a week since the Oracle gave her dire message, and Annabeth was doing all in her power to forget it even happened. She didn’t like to think about her supposed fate and since there had been no other messages from the gods, she was inclined to forget about this son of Poseidon she was supposed to marry. Still it loomed over her head like a monster waiting to pounce and she had a feeling that this wasn’t the end of it.
Annabeth tried to throw herself in any activity that would help distract her, but it didn’t always work. She looked at the loom sitting in front of her; her mother make have invented the loom, but Annabeth didn’t have amazing talent in using one. She had miscounted her rows and it would take at least an hour for her to repair the sloppy work she’d done. Still it would distract her for a little while at least.
As she started to work again, she sensed someone was watching her. She turned to see her father standing behind her.
“You look so miserable Annabeth,” Frederick said sadly. “I think it would do you some good to visit your mother’s temple. You haven’t been there in months.”
“When are we going?” she asked, unable to hide the excitement in her voice.
“As soon as you are ready,” he answered.
A short while later, Annabeth walked with her father through the busy streets of Athens. It had been several months since she’d been permitted to leave the house, so this was certainly a rare treat. Frederick had offered for them to take the chariot to the temple, but Annabeth asked if they could walk instead. She had lived in Athens her entire life, but the city seemed so foreign to her, so mysterious.
Her favorite part about seeing the city of Athens was the buildings. If she had been born a man, Annabeth would’ve built buildings as amazing as the Parthenon. She hid her obsession well from her father, and often times she would stay up late sketching buildings by candlelight.
Soon Annabeth could see her mother’s temple, and the marble columns glistened in the son. This temple wasn’t the largest or most opulent, but this one was the closest to her home, and one of her favorites. As Athena was the patron goddess of Athens, there were no shortage of temples, but some of them were restricted to men only.
As she entered the temple, Frederick waited at the entrance while Annabeth entered. The temple was full today and she could tell that it would be awhile before she reached the shrine of her mother. But when Annabeth pulled back the veil covering her face, people drew away from her. Most of the locals recognized her by sight of course, and wanted nothing to do with the demigod daughter of their patron goddess.
Annabeth ignored them and walked forward until she reached the alter at last. She looked up to see the marble bust of her mother, looking so ominous and so distant. On the few occasions she’d met her godly parent, Annabeth had come to admire her greatly. Athena was every bit the goddess of wisdom she appeared to be, and at a moment like this she wished to be blessed with even an ounce of that knowledge.
She fell to her knees and prayed for many things, but primarily about the Oracle’s message. She prayed that it wasn’t true, and that she wouldn’t have to marry this son of Poseidon.
All of a sudden Annabeth noticed something strange. It was silent in the temple, as if someone had just turned off the sounds of hundreds of people in the temple. All of a sudden everyone in the temple fell to their knees reverently. Annabeth followed their gaze and looked up again at the statue of her mother and gasped. Instead of marble there was flesh, the goddess was there standing in place of the statue.
Athena calculating grey eyes and blonde hair looked almost identical to Annabeth’s. Those who before might’ve doubted that she really was Athena’s daughter quickly put those theories to rest. The goddess looked down at her daughter with a strange look in her eye, that made Annabeth only feel anxious.
Finally after a long minute, the goddess spoke. “People of Athens, let it be known that my daughter Annabeth Chase is hereby engaged to Perseus Jackson, Prince of Corinth and son of Poseidon.”
The dread Annabeth felt before multiplied, and the injustice of it all wanted to make her scream in absolute frustration. How could her mother do this to her? Did she care at all for her daughter?
As suddenly as the goddess appeared, she was gone. It appeared that Athena had melted back into the statue. Annabeth felt everyone’s eyes on her and whispers started immediately. She stood up and turned to leave. Everyone stepped away from her as she passed, and she looked straight ahead trying not to cry. When she saw her father waiting for her at the entrance to the temple, Annabeth could tell from the look on his face, that he heard it all
As soon as she pulled the veil up over her face again, Annabeth couldn’t stop the tears from escaping. She would have to leave her beloved Athens behind and move to Corinth, she didn’t even like Corinth. How could she possibly leave the entire life she knew, to marry a complete stranger? Annabeth figured that she shouldn’t be surprised, after all most women shared the same fate.
It took the entire silent walk for Annabeth to get control of her emotions again, and by the time they reached home, she wore a mask of indifference even if that is not how she felt. When they walked in their courtyard, a servant ran up to Frederick, bowed and handed him a scroll. He rolled out the papyrus and looked at Annabeth.
“What is it?” Annabeth asked.
“We have been invited to visit the royal household in Corinth,” he explained.
And Annabeth thought her day couldn’t get any worse.
I know it has been a million years but I want to finish updating this story, sorry for the huge delay.
Disclaimer: I don't own Rick Riordan's masterful Percy Jackson books or characters, I'm just playing with them for awhile.
The Daughter of Athena
It seemed like they would never arrive. For days now they had been travelling by carriage, and it was the longest trip of Annabeth's life. When the invitation from Corinth arrived, Frederick immediately made travel arrangements and two days later Annabeth was forced to say goodbye to her beloved Athens. She feared she would never see the city again, and would be stuck in Corinth for the rest of her life.
Initially the ride was pleasant and Annabeth enjoyed the opportunity to see a change of scenery. When the novelty wore off, dread washed over Annabeth as she thought about her future married to the ruler of Corinth. She was still mad at her mother for making her do this, and had prayed endlessly to understand the wisdom in this. She wondered if this really would stop Poseidon from terrorizing Athens, but Annabeth doubted it. It probably would've been quicker and ever safe for once travelling by sea, but Frederick wouldn't risk it and Annabeth agreed. At any rate this delayed the inevitable.
When they finally reached the city-state of Corinth, they were escorted by the royal guard straight to the palace. The city was very different from Athens, there weren't as many universities and places of learning as back home and there was an overabundance of temples dedicated to Poseidon. Corinth depended more on the sea than Athens did so it only made sense that they would pay homage to the sea god. Annabeth only felt that she was in enemy territory.
The palace was beautiful, the architect in Annabeth studied the entryways and the columns, and its sheer beauty matched some of those in Athens. The carriage finally stopped and her father opened the door and offered his hand to help her out. She gathered up her linen gown and stepped out to see a crowd watching her.
"This way please," said a young satyr bowing to them and leading the way inside the palace. They were led to the throne room, and the opulence of the outside was easily matched by the beauty of the interior. At the end of the room was a dais with three golden thrones. The first one was obviously the king, who had a friendly face and salt and pepper hair. His queen was seated next to him and had a kind smile on her lovely face. And then Annabeth breath hitched as she finally saw him-Perseus Jackson, the man she was supposed to marry.
He was handsome; she had to admit that right away. The son of Poseidon looked to be about the same age Annabeth was, and he had windswept black hair and eyes the color of the sea. He wore bronze armor and looked every bit the hero Annabeth had heard of. In other words, she instantly despised him.
"My family welcomes you to Corinth," the king said standing. "We appreciate your prompt arrival. This situation with the gods is not ideal, but we hope to unite our families for many years to come."
"My daughter and I appreciate your kind greeting, and we are glad to finally be in your beautiful country," Frederick said bowing, while Annabeth curtsied.
"You must be weary from your long journey," the king said. "We have provided accommodations for you at a guest house. Tonight there will be a banquet here at the palace in your honor."
Percy didn't know what he thought of Annabeth Chase. He couldn't deny that she was beautiful with her unusual blonde hair and startling grey eyes, but there was something about her that unnerved him. She looked as though she was studying him, trying to determine his qualities and had already ignored him, as not being worthy of her notice. Perhaps it was unfair, but Percy also didn't know very much about women, and to be quite honest he would rather face a monster than to talk to one much less marry.
She was the daughter of Athena which also made him nervous. He wondered how much Annabeth would take after the goddess of wisdom. The fact that she was also a demigod meant that there would be even more monsters attacking. Athena was the goddess of battle strategy so he assumed that his fiancé would know something about protecting herself, but he figured he would find out soon enough.
He returned to his chamber and changed out of his armor and into something appropriate to dinner. Tonight the official announcement of engagement would be made, though of course most knew the truth due to Poseidon's public announcement. Then the brief courtship would begin and in a few short weeks he would be a married man, a husband to the daughter of his father's enemy.
All throughout dinner, Percy snuck glances at Annabeth. She didn't talk much, but she turned her frosty glare on everyone when they weren't aware. There wasn't a single time during the meal, that he caught her eye, Annabeth seemed to be actively avoiding her gaze. But as the meal wound down, Percy's stepfather Paul stood and motioned for Percy to join him. Annabeth and her father also stood and joined them at the head of the table.
"My friends and countrymen, we welcome Frederick Chase of Athens and his daughter Annabeth, who is also the daughter of Athena," Paul announced to the crowd. "Many of you know that the gods have demanded for the son of Poseidon and the daughter of Athena to marry by the summer solstice. As of today your Prince Perseus Jackson is hereby betrothed to Annabeth Chase. May the gods bless this union for many years to come."
It had been such a long day that as soon as the horrendous meal was over, Annabeth wanted nothing more than to curl up with one of the books she'd smuggled from home. She wanted to forget this entire situation, but of course she would never have things her way. As soon as she entered her chambers at the guest house there was a knock at the door and a servant announced that the prince wanted to meet her in the courtyard of the palace. She knew it would be useless to decline the request because men were the law of the land and this man would soon have ownership over her. Besides she was doing this to end the feud between Poseidon and Athena, so Annabeth figured she should at least try to be cordial to Percy Jackson, she told her father what she was doing and followed the servant out of the guest house and to the palace.
The prince of Corinth stood facing the sea, the sun casting a dark shadow across him as the sun slowly dipped lower in the sky. The servant stopped and kept his distance, but he was apparently the chaperone for this visitation with her future husband. Annabeth walked closer to him, trying not to let her nerves overwhelm her.
"What do you want Seaweed Brain?" Annabeth snapped, as the nervous energy won. She hadn't really meant to say that, but it was unfortunately the first thing that came to mind.
He looked at her mystified for a second before annoyance crossed his features. "Are you always this friendly?"
"I didn't ask to be uprooted from everything I've ever known," Annabeth complained.
"Remember that I'm also the victim, so don't blame me," Percy retorted.
Annabeth sighed. "You're right, I'm sorry. So why did you ask for me to come out here?"
"Well I thought that if we are going to be married in a few weeks, then we should at least get to know one another," Percy answered.
"That sounds logical," Annabeth said. "Though doesn't this feel like consorting with the enemy, children of Athena and Poseidon have been at war for almost as long as our parents."
"I've always thought it was stupid, with too much bloodshed," Percy replied. "It is bad enough that the Spartans are always ready for war without demigods attacking each other too."
Annabeth nodded and then her gaze settled on the sea that churned only feel from where she was standing, she shuddered just looking at it.
"What is it?" Percy asked.
Annabeth hesitated for a moment and then spoke. "This is the closest I've been to the sea my entire life."
Percy looked surprised, "Really, why?"
Annabeth glared at him. "Because your father has tormented Athens for decades and it would be suicidal for a child of Athena to enter Poseidon's domain!"
Percy looked startled and a bit mollified, "Has it really been that bad?"
"The people of Athens can't even fish in safety, Poseidon's revenge has been severe," Annabeth explained. "This is the only reason why I was willing to meet you tonight and the only reason I haven't run away from home, I don't want the people of Athens to suffer any more because your ridiculous father has a grudge!"
"But," Percy started.
And Annabeth found she didn't want to hear it. "Save it," she said and she turned and promptly left. She couldn't help it, but by the time she reached her room again she was already crying.
Disclaimer: I don't own Rick Riordan's masterful Percy Jackson books or characters; I'm just playing with them for awhile.
The Daughter of Athena
The following morning Frederick and Annabeth returned to the palace, much to Annabeth's dismay. Her father had plans to immerse herself in the vast library for much of the day, and unfortunately women weren't normally permitted in the room. She would've loved nothing more than to find some new books to read, but it was an activity that her father frowned upon. He had a tutor teach her to read and write when she was younger, but after that he felt should study weaving and cooking rather than architecture and mathematics.
Annabeth supposed that she should blame her mother for the thirst for knowledge she always had. Since her father was a scholar and collected a great many books at their home in Athens, Annabeth had also read every single one of them despite her father's disapproval. When they finally reached the courtyard of the palace Annabeth parted ways with her father to wait in the sunshine.
The courtyard was fairly empty when Annabeth arrived and she was happy for the solitude. It still seemed so strange to be in Corinth, a place that was so completely different from Athens that at times she didn't feel like she was still in Greece. Despite her recent arrival in her new home, Annabeth was already so homesick for Athens that a part of her wanted to sob uncontrollably. But she was a daughter of Athena and was stronger than this, could beat back her feelings if she had to. It wouldn't be easy though.
Again and again she battled with the anger she had towards her mother. Annabeth wanted to understand the wisdom of Athena's actions, but the truth was she felt betrayed and hurt. Supposedly this was for a good reason, supposedly it would end a long a drawn out feud that was pointless to being with. Still Annabeth couldn't help her own selfish desires from taking over; she only had one life to live so why did it have to be ruined?
Suddenly Annabeth heard talking and looked up to see the last person she wanted to face at this moment. Percy Jackson walked with a young satyr, and for the moment the young prince of Corinth was completely oblivious to her presence.
"How am I going to handle being married?" Percy said to his friend. "Especially to her since she obviously hates me."
"It will get better," the satyr comforted.
"I don't think so, I thought she was going to bite my head off last night," Percy complained.
"Percy," the satyr started.
"She's pretty I'll admit, but does she have to be so annoying?" Percy interrupted.
"Percy!" the satyr exclaimed.
Percy looked up startled, but then he noticed Annabeth and paled. "Um…"
Annabeth rolled her eyes and stood. "I'm annoying? At least I don't talk about you behind your back."
"Sorry?" Percy said hopefully.
"Let's get one thing straight. I don't hate you, but you're trying awfully hard to get me to. I'm in your home against my will so I would appreciate not being berated to all your little friends," Annabeth replied angrily.
Percy sighed. "Sorry, I messed up. Can I make it up to you?"
"How?" Annabeth asked suspiciously.
Percy smiled, "Let's go for a boat ride."
Annabeth shuddered, "I don't think so."
"You'll be with me, my father won't do anything," Percy replied.
Annabeth wanted to refuse; she was still so terrified of the sea. It went against her very nature to go anywhere near Poseidon's domain, that it felt so completely wrong. Still he had a point, and Percy was trying.
"Ok," Annabeth replied wearing a forced smile. "As long as my father allows it."
As it turned out Annabeth's father was only too happy to allow her to spend time with her betrothed. So ten minutes later she sat in the bow of a Greek trireme accompanied by Percy's satyr friend Grover, and a few other palace servants. She didn't admit it to Percy, but she was amazed at how he could control the boat easily with just the strength of his own willpower.
"This isn't so bad," Percy said to her. "Right?"
Part of her wanted to scream and hide below deck to avoid staring at the blue expanse of the sea, but for the moment Poseidon was keeping the waters calm for them. She looked up at Percy, his startled green eyes almost taking her breath away.
She shook her head. "No, it isn't."
"I find that I can be myself out here," Percy admitted. "No stress or worries for the future, just me and the sea."
"Sometimes I feel that way when I read," Annabeth replied. "That is when I'm allowed to read."
"Is it difficult being a woman?" Percy asked, but then his face grew bright red with embarrassment. "I meant, because well…"
Annabeth laughed and saved him from more humiliation, "Sometimes."
Percy smiled, "So do you—"
Suddenly the boat lurched sideways and Annabeth felt herself fall sideways into Percy. He caught her, and their faces were so close that she found it hard to breath.
And at that very moment, Grover ran up, panic written all over his face. "Sea monster!" he shouted, seconds before the wave descended.
It just figured that as soon as Percy started to get along with Annabeth, a monster decided to attack. A wave washed over the boat deck and Annabeth clutched Percy's arm to keep from falling. With his other arm, Percy drew his gleaming bronze sword Riptide. Annabeth steadied herself, let go and from within her dress she drew a celestial bronze knife.
Percy looked at her dumbfounded, a girl with a weapon?
Annabeth rolled her eyes at his expression, "What you just assumed I couldn't defend myself? The monsters attack me too, you know."
Percy grinned at her, and then turned to looked at the monster.
"Ketos," Annabeth said recognizing the monster. "We need a strategy,"
"Its going to sink the boat!" Grover exclaimed. The satyr held a cudgel, but looked too nervous to use it. Ketos was a massive fish with huge fins and massive teeth yet it undulated its body like a snake and had short claws. At this moment Ketos was slowing climbing on the trireme, using its massive tail for balance. The trireme took on more water with each passing second.
"I'll distract it," Percy said called to Annabeth and Grover as he charged the beast.
From behind him he heard Annabeth yell back in frustration, "That's not a strategy!"
Ketos growled as it saw Percy's approach, and opened its mouth wide ready to bite. Percy swung Riptide at the monster, but it only nicked the monster's skin. Ketos bellowed in rage and snapped at Percy, but he rolled to avoid it. Again Percy lunged at the monster, but this time he wasn't anticipating the monster's tail which knocked him off into the sea.
The moment he hit the water, Percy was grateful for his ability to breathe underwater. New strength flooded him, and he started to swim back towards the boat. Before he had a chance to move, however, Ketos snapped at him nearly biting off Percy's arm. He dropped Riptide and the sword fell into the murk. Blood stained the water, but he wasn't concerned, eventually the water would heal him.
Ketos tried to bit him again, but Percy ducked, and as Ketos lunged past him, he grabbed onto the fish's scaly hide. Ketos roared in outrage and tried to shake his passenger, but Percy held on with all his strength. All of a sudden the monster changed tactics and started to swim towards the ship again; gaining speed with every passing second. Percy realized in and instant what Ketos was going to do and timed his move perfectly. As Ketos rammed the ship Percy jumped, and managed to grab the bottom of the deck. The impact jarred him, but he just barely managed to hold on.
Annabeth and Grover rushed over and pulled him up.
"You are so infuriating," Annabeth said. "Why do the gods hate me so much that I have to marry a complete idiot?"
"Hey!" Percy exclaimed, hurt by the jab at his pride. "I didn't see you come up with any bright ideas!"
"Well that idea wasn't very bright if you ask me!" Annabeth retorted.
Suddenly the boat rocked as Ketos rammed the ship again. They all managed to stay standing, but it was an obvious effort.
Percy turned to see the servant who'd addressed him.
"We are taking on water down below, any more hits and we will likely sink!"
Percy looked at Annabeth, "What's the plan?"
"Ketos' skin isn't impenetrable; one good blow will defeat the monster. Ketos wants us, we're the half-bloods so we do need a distraction
"But," Percy started, frustrated.
"We need to get Ketos on the boat, it won't be able to maneuver as well on the boat as in water," Annabeth said.
"But we risk sinking," Percy replied.
"Trust me," Annabeth answered. "I know what I'm doing."
Annabeth watched as Percy jumped back in the water, and turned to look at Grover and the servants standing at her side. "Is everyone ready?" she asked. Everyone nodded, though Annabeth tried to ignore the scathing looks she received from the male servants. Despite their social status, they obvious weren't happy at having to follow the orders of a woman. They only agreed to it because their prince ordered them to. Grover was the only exception, as a satyr he didn't care about Greek society as a whole.
Suddenly there was an explosion of water in front of them as Ketos fell on top of the trireme's bow with Percy on top of the monster's back. He had somehow managed to acquire his sword again, but Ketos was wriggling too much for him to make significant use of it.
"Now!" Annabeth exclaimed. Together she and the others ran forward and covered the sea monster with a huge fishing net. Percy jumped off Ketos and together they managed to tangle the monster up so much that Ketos couldn't move.
Annabeth stepped forward with her knife and together with Percy, they drove celestial bronze into the sea monster. Ketos roared with pain and anger for a second and then the monster slow evaporated into yellow dust.
Percy looked at Annabeth and grinned. "Ok, I'm sorry," he said. "Your way was better."
For a split second she was on the verge of telling him off, but then she laughed. "Athena always has a plan."
"So you seem pretty handy with that knife," Percy said in admiration. "Would you like to spar sometime?"
Annabeth smiled wide, "I thought you'd never ask."
The Daughter of Athena
The incident with the sea monster changed things in a very significant way for Annabeth. Every day she returned with her father to the palace and every day she spent time in her fiancé's company. It was a fact that a few weeks ago this son of Poseidon would've been her bitterest of mortal enemies, but now they were slowly becoming friends. Sometimes she seriously wanted to smack Percy, but other times she felt like he was the only person she could really trust.
It was so nice for Annabeth to finally have another demigod to talk to, since she'd never had anyone to relate to her like this before. He knew how it felt to be looked at differently by everyone, to have the monsters attack, and how frustrating it was to have a god for a parent. She was still so frustrated with the gods for forcing her to marry the Prince of Corinth, but at least he wasn't repulsive, cruel, or like a million other men that women were forced to marry. They were also the same age which was another thing that helped ease at least a little of the awkwardness.
The two demigods found themselves talking about much as the days drew closer to the wedding, but neither of them talked about what was going to happen when they were married. Instead they kept to safe topics that made neither of them uncomfortable. Annabeth was irritated to realize that Percy had no appreciation for architecture and had a glazed look on his face when she started talking about supports and columns.
But out of all these debates, she enjoyed sparring with him the most. Her entire life Annabeth had no one to compete with; no one to hone her skills with, and Percy was definitely up to the challenge. He had been trained in swordplay since childhood, so he was a formidable competitor. While Annabeth had the edge in quickness and tactics, Percy had skill and finesse to back him up. At first Percy won almost all their bouts, but Annabeth learned quickly and soon they were a well matched pair in swordplay.
Frederick Chase wasn't all happy to see that his daughter was still practicing with her knife, but he could hardly stop her from spending time with Percy. He did however, spend the evenings to interrogate the assigned chaperone and make sure that all parties were acting responsibly. Annabeth thought it was ridiculous, but she couldn't really object and at least it showed that he cared for her.
All too soon however, those carefree days were put to a dramatic end as the wedding festivities were soon to begin. Today was the proaulia, the day before her marriage to Percy Jackson. It was still a week away from the gods' summer solstice deadline, so they would be married in plenty of time. The entire ceremony was to mark Annabeth's passage from a parthenos, a maiden, to a nymphe, a married woman. It was also supposed to reflect her passage from her father's home or oikos to her new husband's oikos.
Since Annabeth's mother was an Olympian, she didn't have the advantage of being able to prepare for the wedding with Athena. But since weddings were one of the few events that women were actively allowed to participate in, many eager strangers were glad to help Annabeth prepare. Even Sally, Percy's mother came to help Annabeth get ready, and Sally was such a gentle and friendly woman, that it wasn't hard at all for them to get along.
As was custom, the proaulia started with a feast that was given in the father of the bride's household. Since of course Frederick Chase's home was in Athens they made do having the feast at his guest house. Percy along with the king and queen were in attendance along with a dozen other people she barely knew. Before they ate, it was time for the proteleia, the ceremony to honor the gods.
Despite her frustration with the gods, she couldn't neglect her duties. She made sacrifices to Artemis and Hera and then she and Percy made a sacrifice together to Aphrodite. They both honored their parents Athena and Poseidon too, but neither of them were very pleased about it. The feast followed and eventually Annabeth felt like the night was winding down. She glanced at Percy and felt the nerves attack the way they had on and off the whole night, was it really true that she would be a married woman tomorrow night at this time?
"How are you?" Percy asked her in a low voice that wouldn't be over heard.
"Nervous," Annabeth admitted. "You?"
"The same," Percy replied gulping. "I can't believe this is going to happen."
"I know what you mean," Annabeth said. "Why do our godly parents have to fight?"
"And why do they make us solve all their problems," Percy added grinning.
"Are you ready for this?" Annabeth added in a hesitant voice.
"I'm going to have to be," Percy replied honestly. "But at least we're friends now, right?"
Annabeth smiled, "of course we are."
Percy turned to see that his parents were standing up, preparing to leave. "Until tomorrow," he said.
"Don't oversleep," Annabeth joked.
"What are you talking about?" Percy asked. "I'm not going to get any sleep tonight."
"Me neither," Annabeth said. "Goodbye."
They looked at each other hard, and Annabeth felt her heart race as she looked at those searching intense green eyes, but all too soon he turned away and followed his mother out the door.
Annabeth pulled the comb through her long blonde hair as she stalled the inevitable restless night. She missed the familiarity of her old home so much, and all she wanted to do tonight was to sleep in her old bed. The Greek wedding ceremony was supposed to prepare her for a husband and a new home, but in many ways she felt more unprepared for her new life than ever before. She felt like she was supposed to despise the man her mother picked out for her, to hate him for ruining her life, but Percy was too frustratingly good. He was a decent person which made this much harder for her to stomach, and she also had very conflicted feelings about the Prince of Corinth.
Perhaps she would feel better in the morning after a good night's sleep. Annabeth blew out her candle, laid down, and closed her eyes, determined to submit to unconsciousness. Unfortunately it just wouldn't come. Her mind raced with a million different possibilities, a million different thoughts that she was too tired to process, but wouldn't go away.
She listened to the wind in the trees and tried to focus on the sounds in the trees, the crash of the distant ocean, and the owls hooting. Normally owls comforted her, being the sacred animal of her mother, but right now it was another painful memory.
What was that? Annabeth sat up as she heard something that didn't belong, footsteps right by her window. Annabeth reached for her knife on the bedside table, but a hand stilled her.
"Don't even think about it," came the unfamiliar rough voice of a man. She looked and saw three men in her room, how did they get in? But then again her father was an extremely heavy sleeper and there weren't many guards protecting the entrance. Then men were all big and burly with cold expressions and very large swords at their belts.
With a sinking feeling, Annabeth recognized the uniform they were wearing. But what would they be doing here? "Your—" Annabeth started, but she never got to finish her thought. At that very moment she felt a hard blow to her head and blackness consumed her.
Percy wasn't sure how long it had been, wasn't sure how much more torture he would have to endure before dawn. He would be married tomorrow, a prospect that still scared him more than the future job he would have as Corinth's king. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but it just wouldn't come.
Suddenly he heard the clopping of hooves coming closer to his chamber and sat up. A second later the doors sprang open and Grover ran in looking as though he'd seen a ghost.
"Grover," Percy said before the satyr could catch his breath. "What are you doing?"
"Sorry," Grover apologized. "But its Annabeth."
Fear surged and Percy paled. "What's wrong?" he demanded.
"She was kidnapped!" Grover exclaimed, throwing Percy a torn scrap of cloth.
Percy gasped, as he studied the insignia on the cloth, terror surging up in his even more. "Spartans!" he exclaimed.
The Daughter of Athena
The first thing Annabeth was aware of was a suffocating darkness. She could breathe, but the air was musty and smelled terrible. The next realization was that her head was covered with a sack of some kind and that she was being carried. Annabeth's head throbbed painfully in the place where she'd been hit, but she knew that it wasn't a serious injury. She heard the sounds of hoof beats and realized that she was being carried yes, but on a horse's back.
She swallowed and tried to keep back the panic that was rising up in her chest. Annabeth always thought she was a strong person, had defeated a number of monsters, but she was caught completely unprepared. Annabeth wondered how they got into her home, yes but mostly she wondered why. It was apparent right away that they were Spartans; no other men were so vicious or unkempt. The Spartans were tolerated by the other city-states in Greece, but they all knew to keep their distance. The Spartan army was renowned for their savagery in battle. It certainly didn't bode well that they had snared her.
The journey was a long one, and the entire time Annabeth was kept in the dark. She was getting thirsty, and had a desperate need to relieve herself, but her captors didn't rest. Annabeth wasn't really sure how much time had elapsed, but she was sure that her father had probably already sounded the alarm. This had to be the morning of her supposed wedding day, and for the first time since the Oracle's visit in Athens, she wished that she was going to marry Percy today. He was the son of Poseidon yes, but she was learning that there was much more to Percy Jackson than what meets the eye.
Annabeth also wondered if anyone would know what happened, to her, or if she would be rescued. She knew that it was a long shot, but maybe she would make it back before the gods deadline. It didn't help to be optimistic, because she knew that it was surprising that the Spartans hadn't already killed her. Another thing that concerned her was what sort of quality of life would she have as a captive of the Spartans?
As they travelled, Annabeth strategized. Perhaps it was a ploy to try and create a war with Corinth, or to earn some sort of ransom. She couldn't imagine that her kidnapping on the night before her wedding was a coincidence. There was some sort of plot behind this, but Annabeth just couldn't see it right now. And what would happen when the deadline passed? Anarchy, death, and destruction would reign supreme most likely. Poseidon and Athena's war would get out of control in a hurry, of that Annabeth was completely sure.
Suddenly the horse came to a stop and Annabeth felt herself bodily thrown to the ground. The sack was pulled from her face and Annabeth panted, it felt so good to breathe fresh air again. She blinked, her eyes adjusting to bright sunlight and then she looked around. She was obviously inside some sort of fortification, and there were many men and woman walking around, gaping at her.
A man strode forward and looked at her. He had the uniform of a high ranking Spartan official, and his clothes were better quality than most. The man's cold blue eyes stared at her cold and calculating. He had longish blonde hair and a long scar across his cheek. He smiled grimly at her.
"I'm Luke Castellan," he said. "Tomorrow, you will be my bride."
Percy stared at the piece of fabric one last time and stood up.
"What are you doing?" Grover asked nervously.
"I'm going to rescue her," Percy replied, grabbing a back and starting to pack it.
"But they're Spartans Percy, you will be killed for sure," Grover protested.
"I have to rescue her," Percy retorted. "The Spartans will kill her."
"You're the prince, what about letting somebody else—"
"She is supposed to be my bride," Percy snapped. "I have an obligation to protect her, and besides that she is my friend. I have to save her. I have to know she's alright."
"I'm going to regret this," Grover said. "But I'll come with you."
Percy grinned, "It will be good to have you along."
"Your mom isn't going to like this," Grover said.
Percy winced, "No, she won't. I'll talk to her and we will leave in an hour."
"I hope we find her," Grover replied.
"I do too," Percy said thinking about his brilliant fiancé. "I really do."
The Daughter of Athena
It took much longer than Percy expected to get underway on his quest to save Annabeth. Originally he wanted to travel by sea, but the route to Sparta led straight through the Sea of Monsters, and frankly Percy wanted to avoid any monstrous delays. His second choice was to travel by Pegasi, but that would advertise that he was a demigod to all he passed. So Percy was forced to resort to his third choice, a horse drawn chariot.
The second obstacle Percy had to face was his mother. Sally Jackson was very distraught by Annabeth's kidnapping, but she w3as even more upset to hear Percy's plan.
"The Spartans are ruthless," Sally said to him. " There is no limit to their ruthlessness, Annabeth may be already dead."
"I can't believe that," Percy retorted. "If Annabeth can be saved at all, I have to try."
Mother and son stared hard at each other with steely resolve and a silent conversation passed between them.
Sally sighed. "I know you will do what is right, Percy. I'm just worried that none of you will return, please be careful."
"I will," Percy replied.
"Look after him," Sally said to the silent satyr who was standing beside Percy.
"I will, my Queen," Grover replied respectfully.
"May the gods go with you," Sally said, giving her final blessing.
An hour later Percy stood in the palace stables checking over his supplies. In a small bag he had some rations, a change of clothes, some ambrosia and nectar for emergencies, and a pouch full of drachmas. He also carried a mortal bronze short sword along with his celestial bronze Riptide. Since Percy planned to use stealth rather than direct force, he wore no armor, just a common straw hat that would shield his face from the bright sunlight, and would also hopefully conceal his identity.
Percy heard footsteps drawing closer and expected to see Grover approaching, but it wasn't the satyr. Frederick Chase drew closer, and Percy studied him, the man was completely miserable, the disappearance of his daughter had taken a toll on him.
"I'm sorry to interrupt," Frederick apologized. "I just wanted to thank you for trying to save my daughter."
"I will find her," Percy answered. "If I die trying."
Frederick winced, "I hope it won't come to that. My daughter is fortunate indeed to have a future husband who cares so much."
Frederick closed his eyes briefly and opened them again, his emotions were obviously threatening to overtake him. "Please save my little girl."
The journey from Corinth started out easily enough, the horses responded to Percy's every wish, and they made good time. People stared as he drove past in his chariot, and he was relieved when he reached the rural areas outside the city. Olive and grape orchards grew in abundance, and many of the people here were too busy to pay much attention to Percy and Grover. He pushed the horses as much as he dared, and when the sun set he finally found a secluded place off the road for them to rest.
"My hooves hurt," Grover complained.
"Nobody ever said that riding in chariots was comfortable," Percy remarked.
Grover grumbled to himself before pulling out his reed pipes and playing something that sounded like a cow being strangled.
Percy tended to the horses, made a fire, and a short time later they shared some food as they sat by the fire.
"We should get an early start tomorrow," Percy said.
"You really like her," Grover replied.
"No, I just need to save her before the gods' deadline expires," Percy answered.
Grover looked at him skeptically, "I can read your emotions, remember?"
"Grover," Percy complained. "I don't want to—did you hear that?"
The satyr stood, and grabbed his cudgel, Percy drew Riptide. There was something large moving through the trees, the horses whinnied and pawed the ground nervously. It stopped just as it reached the edge of the trees, just before they could see whatever it was.
"Show yourself!" Percy ordered.
The heavy footsteps resumed, and a large shaped trudged out from the trees. Percy's blood went cold as he recognized the monster standing before him.
"Cyclops!" Grover gasped looking like he wanted nothing more than to bolt.
The Cyclops stopped and looked at them with a baleful brown eye.
"I'm Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon," Percy said. "You are outnumbered here, so go now and I will leave you in peace."
The cyclops looked up at him, new light in its eye. "But that means," It said slowly. "You are my brother!"
And before Percy could react, or bring up Riptide to protect him the cyclops barreled towards him and gave him a near rib cracking hug.
"I'm Tyson," the cyclops said pulling away and smiling fondly at Percy. "You are my brother."