Percy finally comes home only to find that everything has changed. Sally disagrees. It is Percy that has changed, he is no longer the innocent child he once was.


1. Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

When Percy finally comes home, it is easy for Sally to spot the physical changes. He is much taller than her now, his hair is in obvious need of a haircut and his eyes don't seem to smile the way they used to.

The other changes in him become apparent over time. His paranoia- constantly looking over his shoulder, hand always resting on riptide. Someones she walks in on him checking the door is locked and that the windows are shut, over and over again. Most heartbreaking is how fragile and alert he seems. One day the pile of books Paul was carrying fell to floor with a clutter, Percy had jumped a mile, accidentally knocking his glass off the table. There had been an uncomfortable silence in room until Percy had mumbled an apology and hurried away to find a dustpan and brush.

For Sally, the small triggers were the worst. She never knew what might send him into a panic.

It had taken her a while to notice Percy's avoidance of water. His reluctance to shower, how he flinched if a drop of water touched his skin and the flash of fear in his eyes when Paul had suggested they take a trip to the beach. When she asked him about it, he had replied in a bitter tone, "Even the son of the sea God can drown" and had refused to elaborate.


Percy was well aware of how ironic his newfound fear of the water was. A son of the sea God who can't bear to get wet. No matter how often he tried to convince himself that water was harmless, he couldn't help the creeping panic that overwhelmed him when he stared at a sink full of washing up water, or the murky depths of a mug of coffee. His hand would drift to his throat and he would remember the tight feeling in his chest and the sensation of helplessness when his lungs had begun to fill with liquid.

He knew that he scared his Mum and Paul. It wasn't that Percy meant to, but sometimes he would sit down and think about Bob and Tartarus and Leo, and time just seemed to drift away. He would come back to reality with his Mum staring at him, silent tears falling down her cheeks, her hand covering his own. He would turn away and try to ignore the pain on her face. Or he would feel a prickling on his back, sense the eyes that watched him, adrenaline would flood him and he'd rush about the flat, checking the doors were locked and that his family were safe.

However, being at home was far safer than staying at camp. At camp he didn't know who he could trust anymore. The only person who didn't treat his like he would shatter was Annabeth. He often wondered if that was because she had also changed. At home he could escape from the whispering, the concerned and pointed looks, Chiron's understanding gaze.

Since Percy had come home, everything had felt wrong. New York had become oppressing, his Mum and Paul even looked different, everyone had moved on and Percy felt like he was stuck in time.


At first Sally had cried, then celebrated her son's return. As time went on though, she wondered if Percy would ever really come home, or if part of him would be lost forever.

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