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Beach Days and Ocean Gifts

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Montauk is still Sally’s most treasured place to spend the summers. Or whenever possible really.

She loved the smell of the sea, the way the waves crashed onto the shore, and how easy it is to fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean. The place held many memories, both good and sad ones. Faint as they were, she remembers spending summers here with her parents before they died. Her whirlwind romance with Poseidon (brief as it was, it was still one of her best memories despite their parting), and of course her days spent with her son are the best memories of all. 

Speaking of her son... 

Sally finished spreading out the blanket on the beach and settled a picnic basket on it before glancing out towards the shallows where Percy was playing. He looked so happy splashing around Sally was almost hesitant to pull him away when he was having so much fun, but alas, growing little boys need to eat. 

“Percy! It’s time for lunch!” She called, catching his attention. 

Percy didn’t hesitate to start bounding towards her, his little feet kicking up sand as he did. As he got closer, Sally noticed he had his hands cupped around something. Sally crouched down and opened her arms and Percy did not hesitate to run into them, giggling as Sally pressed kisses on his chubby cheeks, ignoring the taste of salt water that lingered on his skin. 

“Did you have fun in the water, Percy?” She asked and Percy nodded, his hair flopping with the movement.

“Yeah! Especially since the pretty ladies in the water helped me find something super pretty!” He said, his sea-green eyes sparkling happily.  

Naiads , Sally’s mind supplied, familiar with the water spirits that Poseidon would talk about during the summer they spent together. They were harmless for the most part. Poseidon probably sent them to check up on Percy, a way to get news about their son without alerting Zeus. 

“Oh?” Sally asked, running her hand through his dark hair. She noticed it was a lot less wet than it should be. “What did they help you find?”

“A present for you!” Percy exclaimed excitedly, giving her a gap-toothed smile. 

“For me?” Sally asked, faux gasping. “It’s not my birthday is it?” 

“No! It’s because you’re the bestest momma ever! Here, look! Look!” Percy opened his cupped hands and practically shoved them in her face in his excitement. 

In his hands laid a glittering pink pearl. It shimmered in the sunlight with hues of pink. Sally actually gasped this time, delicately picking up the pearl to admire it properly. 

“Oh, Percy... it’s beautiful.” Sally said. “How on earth did you find it?”

“The pretty water ladies helped me. I told them I was looking for a gift for my momma, cause you’re the best momma ever, and-and one of them gave me it and told me it was super-duper special. And since it’s super-duper special and you’re super-duper special, I thought it was perfect. Also, it’s really pretty, just like you!” Percy explained, playing with his fingers as he did.

Sally could have cried by how overwhelmingly wonderful her son is. Her heart felt so full, full of love towards her son. He was so thoughtful and perfect, and she wonders what she did to gain a son as perfect as Percy, because such a thoughtful child seems too good for her. Sally wraps her arms around him again, crushing him against her chest as she presses kisses on anywhere she can reach. 

“I love it so much, Percy. Thank you very much.” She says, pressing one last lingering kiss on his head before pulling back to smile at him. “I’ll make sure to put it somewhere I can see it everyday when we get home, okay?”

“Okay!”

Sally ruffled his hair, smiling softly. “Now, let’s eat.”

Later that night, after Percy had eaten his dinner and been put to bed, Sally stepped outside their cabin and breathed in the salty ocean air and simply watched as the tide flowed against the beach. The wind blew through her hair gently and she smiled. She whispered a prayer towards the ocean, a plea to let her have days like this with her son for years to come. Sally knows the hardships Percy will face, but right now he’s still her baby and she hopes that she’ll be able to spend more days like this with him, even when he’s older.

(She knows how small that chance is, but she prays with everything she has that her son will get a happy ending.) 

The waves move a little faster, sweeping into the shore further than they should, and she smiles before heading back inside, just missing the hippocamp splashing in the sea. 

Montauk holds many memories that Sally holds dear to her heart, but days spent at the beach with her son are always her most precious ones that she’ll never forget.