This morning, I woke up with some drunk Jack Black lookalike sitting by my bedside, nursing a goblet of..what smells like Diet Coke. His beady deep purple eyes glazed over me. He sniffed his bulbous red nose and exhaled.
"Isn't this just great?" He slurred. "Another Jackson to add to the mix?"
Gods, my body is just pulsing with pain. Especially my leg - that's stinging. I lift my sheets just a little bit and see that its completely encased in white, hardened plaster. My left arm is in a splint.
"How long have I been out for, Jack?" I mutter, holding my head. That's starting to hurt, too.
"Jack?" The drunk laughs. "Andreus, Andreus, you know nothing of your heritage, do you?"
"No, sir." I sit up and wince. My back aches like Hell. "I can't say I do." I squint at him.
He scoffs. "Are you telling me that you didn't study at least one myth-"
He's cut off when a crack of thunder booms. "Oh, excuse me, O mighty one, but the guy knows absolutely nothing!" Jack Black yells at the ceiling with a little growl, crushing his soda can in his meaty hand.
"..You're the wine god." Something about him just clicks. Maybe it's the purple eyes. For some reason, I start laughing. Can you blame me? The guy looks like a garden gnome that just got off house arrest or something. "Dionysus, or something?"
The wine god's face is etched with angry lines - I still can't stop laughing. He beaned me in the head with his empty can and stalked out the door into the hall. "This one's trouble - a manchild. The worst of them all." He tells someone.
"Well, then I guess it's like looking in a mirror." Annabeth said over her shoulder as she walked in, carrying this huge medical duffel bag. She tosses it to the floor without any sort of struggle. She studies me with those weird grey eyes and leans down to unzip the bag. She pulls..out a first aid kit full of SpongeBob band-aids. She picks out a Squidward one and sticks it to my elbow. I didn't even know I had a cut there.
"Er..thanks," I tell her. "I, uh..didn't catch that."
"I didn't think you would. You've been out for a little while." She puts the kit back in the bag and musters a grin. "A week, at least. You drool when you sleep, like someone else I know."
"A week?" I repeat. "Ana. Vanessa? Where are they? Were they in the attack? Are they hurt?" I throw back my sheets and hobble onto what I hope is my less-injured leg and lose my balance. I collapse to the floor in a tangle of sheets.
"Woah, woah, Tiger." A tall, lanky kid with shaggy blonde curls pulled back in a ponytail walks in and pulls me up by my armpits. "Your kid is hanging with Percy..and your wife.." His blue eyes shift over to Annabeth's uncomfortably.
"Vanessa left last night." She tells me as I'm dragged back into bed. "The stress of your attack got to her, and she decided it was best for you..to sort out your familial problems..without her." She winces a little as she says it, and I can tell she feels bad.
Of course Vanessa left. She's put up with sixteen years of my bullshit; it only seems natural that her breaking point would be her husband almost swallowed up by a whirlpool. I notice that the sky is a bright orangey color. Sunlight streams through some filmy curtains. I don't really know how to feel about it. I saw it coming, is all I can say, but maybe not under these circumstances.
"Is Ana alright?" I ask.
Annabeth nods and crosses her arms over her chest. "She seems to really be enjoying herself. Percy's trying to help her figure out her powers."
"Holy shit." The words slip out of my mouth before I can stop them. I don't say anything for a minute or two. "..How powerful is she?"
"They seem to be pretty minor so far, from what I've seen," Luke interjects. "But with Percy as a teacher, she's sure to level up pretty quick."
"She's already pelted me with a few water-balls." Annabeth's tone goes flat for a second. As if on queue, Ana pokes her head in the door, braid swinging wildly as water-balls pelt all three of us at once. The only thing I hear is the sound of her laughing as she sprints back down the hall. Annabeth wipes her face with her forearm, and the blonde kid uses the bottom of his shirt, which is already damp.
I wasn't fast enough to stop them; lucky me. "Sorry 'bout that." I tell them both. "She's a little bit of a..er, stealthy..kid."
"Stealthy, indeed." Chiron walks in - no, not wheels in, I mean, like his entire lower half is that of a stallion's. I half expect him to start playing a flute or weave a flower crown. He smiles and tightens tie.
"Yes, yes, I know it's daunting, stare for as long as you must. You will get used to it, eventually. Your brother and daughter have, along with these two." He sets each hand on Annabeth and the blonde guy's shoulders. Annabeth beams with pride, blondie gives a shy smile.
"..Daunting, right." I mutter. "Totally."
"Now, Andreus, you seem to be as salty as the Atlantic Ocean this morning," Chiron raises a brow. He flicks his hand in the air and motions for the other two to leave. The door is shut behind us. His hooves clip-clop about as he paces the floor.
"Do you..remember any of what happened the night you arrived here?"
"A lot of pain, that's for sure." I spit. The fire in me dies down. "I..I do..remember some of it. My hat turned into..a shield..there was a whirlpool with..er, tentacles."
"Kharybdis." Chiron corrects. "A sea monster. Daughter of your father and Gaea. She made the mistake of stealing some oxen from Heracles and was banished to the depths of the ocean, where she took on her true from."
"I'm gonna pretend that I understand what all that means." I say. I might as well give a real answer. Chiron pinches the bridge of his nose and gives me this long, grievous, look. He inhales and smiles, yet again.
"Then we must educate you on all you have missed for the past two decades." He tells me. "Come tomorrow, you will start studying the ancient texts of your past, and possibly, your future."
"Goody." I tell him. Ana pokes her head back in the door, a wry smile laces her rosy lips. "Hey, Pops. How are you feeling?" She's definitely not a scrawny kid, by any means. Playing basketball for all those years made her sorta muscley. Her freckles are starting to show again. Her hazel eyes are sparking with flecks of gold..and blue.
"Ah, Anastasia! Just the person I was looking for!" Chiron beams. He looks at me again, his eyes warm with comfort and..fatherliness, I guess. "This is the perfect segway into my next point. I would be thrilled to have you and Anastasia stay here for the summer! It's clear that you need help honing your abilities, and your daughter shows clear potential with hers."
I throw my hands up in the air. Why not embrace the weird? "You got my blessing." I sigh. "Now let me rest in peace!" They both left, and I mushed my face into a pillow, hoping Hades would reap my soul or some shit.