Chapter Seventeen

All My Friends Are Heathens

Heaving himself up off the forest floor, the boy growled primally. He stood on his own two feet and wobbled into Camp Halfblood. So many of them gasped, some shrieked, most of them muttered amongst themselves as the boy hobbled through the center of the camp. His left leg broken, his black hair unruly and greasy, his body and clothes covered in cuts and bruises and burns. The two others behind him, attempting to bear each other's weight and make it into camp.

The two trekking behind were immediately assisted as they got to camp, two Apollo kids took hold of them. These two were in far worse shape than the one ahead. The girl barely could see anything, blood seeping down her face, tear stained paths weaving in and out of the cuts on her face. They muttered about how she would have so many scars. Her companion, a guy, his right arm broken in two and his breathing so shaky, sweat rolling off of his body in large droplets, was just as bad as she was.

Percy Jackson had made it back and reached forward for the other raven hair teen, the one who had first come into camp, and helped him to the infirmary. Noticing his helper, the boy with blue eyes glanced at the other teenager and noticed a new thing to his appearance. "Getting old on me, Jackson?" He attempted to chuckle and it came out in heavy hacking.

Percy bit his lower lip and gave him a small grin, "You wish, Kern."

The lacerations and dried blood hardly left Danny Kern with a shirt left to wear. The plain t-shirt seemed to be holding on, literally, by a thread. His broken leg bent in a awkward position. Every time Danny put weight on it, he grit his teeth. His arms and face covered in angry red marks and ugly black and blue bruises. From what Percy recalled, they had been on a quest in Illinois, how had they made it to Long Island like this? Clary, Jack, his thoughts trailed off in dismay at what on earth could have caused this.

"Daniel." Chiron clopped out to them from the infirmary. "What happened?"

Percy looked up, just now noticing the old centaur. He appeared incredibly worn down, his coat shabby, his eyes had dark circles underneath them. For once, Percy could actually believe that Chiron had been alive since before Ancient Greece.

"War." Danny muttered, barely lifting his site from the floor. The boy in his arms could hardly lift his head without flinching in pain.

Chiron looked at Percy and frowned. "Bring him immediately into the infirmary."

Nodding, he carried the immensely lighter teenager into the infirmary and onto a bed where the Apollo cabin immediately got to work. Once the Clary and Jack were in as well, the entire room bustled with activity and not the good kind, Percy could tell.

They forced everyone who was not helping out (or a nuisance in their butts Percy thought), out of the infirmary. Time passed by.

One hour, Percy had talked with Annabeth about the situation in quiet tones.

Two hours passed by and Percy had started to wander around, couldn't keep his mind on any of the camp activities.

Three hours and then four and still no word from the Apollo kids. All of them working around the clock to heal Danny, Clary, and Jack. Percy had camped himself near the infirmary, hoping for word of his friend. To his dismay, the curtains were drawn, the door was shut tight, no one in and no one out. He gave a sigh, tapping his foot restlessly against the ground, leaning against a tree. He hoped for someone to say something. One of the kids that Percy had seen around walked up to him with an odd expression on her face.

"Something has changed." She proclaimed in a subdued voice.

Percy blinked a few times before paying full attention to her. "Uh, what?"

"Crys, daughter of Enyo the war goddess, nice to finally meet you, Percy Jackson." She raised her hand to shake his.

Blinking again, he gave her his hand and they shook. After, he placed both of his hands in his pockets, staring at Crys. "So, What?"

She gave him a sad smile, the kind that someone would give to a person who was about to hear the worst news in the world. "Our friend, Danny, he has changed. War is coming, and Danny has come back from one war only to fight another."

"How can you tell?" Percy watched her, shifting his stance uneasily.

Crys shook her head. "I'm the daughter of the war goddess. Fighting is in my blood, battle is written in my DNA, I can tell if a soldier has seen the worst or if there is death on the horizon. My mother has given all of her children this ability. We don't need an oracle to see that kind of future, we can physically smell it, past or present and Danny. Well, Danny has just come back from a horrific war and we're about to go straight back into one."

The son of Poseidon gave her a thoughtful look. Before he could say anything else, she started up again.

"You've seen war; you've lived it." She observed, cracking her knuckles before fiddling with the knife she had on her. "You're entire life has been full of some sort of pain and it won't stop just yet. You're going to surpass many of the demigods with the life you lead."

Percy Jackson had no words for her at that moment. Normally something witty would have popped out or he would suffer from foot-in-mouth disease and say something stupid. This time, however, he did not. Percy nodded before leaving her alone to watch over the infirmary by herself. Instead, he went in search of Annabeth, hoping to make some sense of Crys's words.

Five hours passed and they finally began to call for Chiron and Mr. D into the infirmary. Percy being Percy decided to sneak in regardless. Once inside of the infirmary, ah so many memories inside of here. Percy shook his head to clear his thoughts, and focused on the situation at hand.

"Danny, can you tell us what happened?" Chiron inquired.

Danny snorted, his eyes darkening and, as Percy kept watching, his eyes lost so much life in them. Once he opened his mouth to speak, his voice sounded gravelly and tired. "We fought Pariah Dark, a Ghost King. He went rogue under Hades rule and now is back in his coffin, forever. The key was thrown away."

"How did you get back?"

"Hades." His eyes practically were black with hints of blue.

As he kept speaking, Percy was swept away into what had happened in Illinois.

Once they arrived the entire town of Amity Park had been enclosed in a green force field bubble, separating it from the living world. They had to fight through these undead Greek warriors in order to get to Fenton Works where most of the townspeople were held up. Danny had gotten hit pretty bad and with a little Ambrosia got back on his feet to formulate some kind of plan with his questing pals and friends. While they were there, they discovered who his dad was and the other demigods and his friends had a little freak out session. He eventually got everyone to quiet down and formulate a plan of attack. They would fight back the very next day, after they healed from their wounds.

Jazz and Sam suggested talking the ghosts into helping them out with defeating the king. So, they tried it out, Danny was laughed at, ridiculed, and spat at. No one believed him. No one even tried to. Once he was healed, they began their plan.

Jack and Clary went in first, the whole of the ghosts slowly being vanquished one at a time. Then Danny came in with the Fenton Suit and attacked. It didn't go over well. An ocean of monstrous ghosts kept up the onslaught as they all but took them down. Clary screamed as one of them split open her forehead and Jack cried out in pain as his bone cracked in his arm. Danny wasn't exactly better off himself, his energy was running low and he could feel himself fading from yesterday's injuries.

Amazingly, some of the ghosts that had run from Pariah Dark came and helped them out. It blew his mind that the ghosts helped out and the more he attempted access his godly side, the more the ghosts turned on each other. Danny was tiring out quickly due to the suit and controlling the ghosts. He jumped directly to Pariah Dark and took him on. Despite everything, he kept at it and exchanged blow for blow. Knocking off Pariah's crown, he received a blow to the chest, ripped out of the suit.

Danny tried to stand up and slowly achieved that, only to be thrown aside, head first into the ground. Crying out something in Greek, (the word had been mumbled and Percy could hardly understand what he said) and he stood up, a bit more powered than before. He attacked Pariah with his will, with his control over ghosts. Danny had passed out soon after, but from what his friends had told him, he had sealed Pariah in the sarcophagus, throwing the key away.

Soon after he awoke from that, this Vlad character popped up, once before he had shown up to tell Danny that this was a test, this time he arrived with a smirk and a pleased look on his face. He announced that Danny had passed his father's first test and he would be once again of service later down the road. Vlad also said that his father would send them home, which is how they ended up in Long Island. Unfortunately something had happened and they had gotten even more torn up and hurt, which sucked because they also had to hike all the way to Camp Halfblood.

"And that's how we ended up back here like this." Danny's voice sounded scratchy again. "Quest complete, yay. Can I sleep now?"

"Of course." Chiron nodded. "Oh and Percy, you can talk to your friend now."

Percy gulped as he appeared from behind the pillar, an innocent smile on his face. Mr. D hrumphed. "Patrick Johns, what are you doing here?"

"Uh, visiting a friend?" He scratched behind his head.

"Likely story." Again Mr. D grumbled and sipped from his can of Diet coke, muttering about why it's not wine and stupid Dad not letting him do what he wants, before stalking out of the building with Chiron not far behind him.

Percy walked over to Danny, but before he could talk to him, Chiron rested a hand on his shoulder. "Percy, I hope you understand why we need to be quiet about Danny's heritage."

Already they had known about two children of Hades but now a third? One had died, the other had run off, and this was injured pretty nasty. Percy had some idea about why they shouldn't say too much of anything.

"I can hear you, y'know." Danny grumbled, peeping his eyes open. He had drawn his blanket up to above his nose and his unruly black hair fell right over his eyes. One could barely see the thin view of his blue irises. "I don't care who in Hades knows. People are idiots. They didn't like me 'fore, being Hades' kid won't change that."

Percy furrowed his brows. "Danny,"

"Whatever." He cut him off and turned over onto his other side.

As Danny twisted over, one of the Apollo kids yelped and scowled at him. "Kern, you're not supposed to move too much! You haven't fully healed yet from your injuries! You're going to make things worse!"

"You think I care!" He growled out.

"Danny!" Percy shouted in surprise. He knew the kid had some issues but didn't realize it was this bad. His cousin, wow, his cousin, wasn't exactly the type he figured would explode on people like this. Then again, how long had they known each other? Not long enough. Percy frowned.

Danny grumbled and muttered some rather interesting things that made Percy's ears go red.

Wow, it's been awhile but here it is, the promised chapter!

Enjoy all y'all

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