Author Note: Hello my fellow Percy Jackson Fans! Do you love Dark Percy AU's? Look no further. This story is going to get very dark, so brace yourselves.
Obviously I do not own any of this. Percy is the only one getting an altered story line. The rest of the Argo II's journey will remain pretty much unchanged. We will check in on them from time to time, mostly to see how Annabeth is doing.
Percy missed the ground. He couldn't even remember how long he had been falling at this point. As he fell, his mind cast back to the final moments in the crypt below Rome.
"Her ankle!" Hazel shouted. "Cut it! Cut it!"
And then Annabeth had started sliding towards the pit. He had managed to cut the thread pulling her down, but they had gone over the edge. He had managed to catch a ledge part way down. He was barely holding on with one hand, the other gripped tight to a ledge barely the size of a bookshelf.
"Percy, let me go," Annabeth had said. "You can't pull me up."
"Watch me" had been his clever reply to her. With every ounce of his strength, he had managed to throw Annabeth back up onto the ledge.
Now he hung alone below the ledge, too far for anyone to reach. He remembered Annabeth reaching towards him, screaming at him to not let go. He heard Nico and Hazel in the background, screaming for the others to come and help, for Jason or Frank to fly down to save him. But they were too busy with the Athena Parthenos.
"Percy! Don't let go, we'll get you out of there" Annabeth cried.
"You can't, you won't make it, I'm slipping" Percy grunted.
"Don't you dare Seaweed Brain" Annabeth had tears in her eyes now, "You promised we would never split up again"
"I will find my way back to you" he grunted. "Nico! The other side. I'll meet you there. Understand?"
Nico paled. "But- "
"Lead them there! Promise me!"
"And look after Annabeth"
"You have my word"
"Don't you dare Seaweed Brain" Annabeth was crying.
"I love you." And he let go of the ledge.
"PERCY NOOOOOOOOOO!" Annabeth screamed.
The last thing he saw before the darkness surrounded him was Nico and Hazel restraining Annabeth from jumping in after him.
That felt like forever ago. He had been falling in darkness since. At one point he had fallen asleep and woken up still in the air. If he was being honest, the terror and grief was starting to give way to hunger and boredom at this point.
But he knew he couldn't do nothing. He was falling fast, and he needed to figure out how he was going to land if he had any chance of seeing Annabeth again. Was it just his imagination, or was it starting to get brighter again? It was very red, but there was definitely light starting to shine through. The cold started to let up, suddenly he was breathing hot, disgusting air.
Then the tunnel opened, and below he saw a massive cavern covered in red fog. He studied the landscape, nothing but rocks and wasteland, off in the distance he saw a cliff, beyond that nothing but shadow. Suddenly he noticed a line of black through the earth, might have been wishful Poseidon thinking, but was that a river?
River, perfect. Just like St Louis. He thought to himself as he aimed for the river. The last thought he had before he hit the river was, please don't be the Lethe. Next thing he knew there was a burst of bubbles as he hit river.
But this water was different, it didn't energize him like water should. Cold usually never bothered him underwater, not even when he had fallen off the glacier in Alaska, so why was this water so cold? He gasped for breath, only to realize that he couldn't breathe underwater. He broke the surface.
There was more to it than just cold. He felt numb. He heard voices in his ears, screaming, crying, wailing. What's the point? They said. You'll never get out of here. You'll never see Annabeth again.
Annabeth. She was waiting for him. New energy surged through him. He started kicking towards the shore.
Hopeless. You're as good as dead. "Shut Up" He told the voices. Despair. "Get. Out. Of. My. Head." he grunted as he made the final push to the shore.
He lay on the beach, shivering and wet, gasping for air. Ok, break time over, he told himself, time to get moving. Monsters to avoid, Doors of Death to find, Girlfriend to be reunited with.
He hauled himself up and started to look around. He was still wet and cold. Normally he didn't get wet from being in water, but clearly things worked differently here. He needed to do something about the cold, after hearing the stories from Leo, Jason, and Piper about Khione, he knew that he was in danger of getting frostbite or hypothermia. He looked around and saw a cliff in the distance, it looked like it was burning.
"Well, Fire is one way to stop being cold" He said as he started trudging towards the cliff.
(Jason POV) (In place of Leo's POV at the end of Mark of Athena)
He couldn't believe what had happened. It didn't seem real. They had been so focused on the statue, none of them had been paying attention to what was happening in the cavern below. The floor gave way, he and Frank flew down to rescue the others, but Percy was gone.
The seven demigods sat on the quarterdeck looking at the dust rising in the distance. Hazel and Nico sat on the floor, utterly defeated. Piper sat with her arms wrapped around Annabeth, who was crying uncontrollably. It broke Jason's heart, he had never seen Annabeth show this kind of emotion before. She was their leader, fearless and confident. She had managed to singlehandedly defeat Arachne and save the Athena Parthenos. But now Percy was gone, again. But this time was worse, he wasn't just missing, he was in Tartarus.
"It's my fault" Leo said quietly. That didn't make sense, Leo hadn't done anything, had he?
"No", Hazel stood up and walked over to him, "No, this is all Gaea's fault. Not yours. Leo, listen to me. I won't allow you to take the blame, not after everything—after Sammy."
Suddenly Nico spoke up, "Leo, it's not over yet. He's still alive"
"How do you know that? If the pit really led…there… how can you know he's still alive?"
Nico and Hazel looked at each other, probably doing some Pluto/Hades thing.
"We can't be completely sure" Hazel finally said. "But I think Nico is right, he's still alive, for now at least."
Finally, he couldn't take it anymore, he let out all of the guilt and shame he had been holding it, "I should have been paying fucking attention. If I had just been fast enough, I could have gotten there in time. I could have saved him."
"Me too" Frank let out, tears brimming in his eyes.
Piper finally spoke up, "It's not your fault. You were doing your job; you were focused on the statue."
"She's right," Nico let out. "Even if the cavern hadn't collapsed, you couldn't have flown down there without being sucked up as well. I've been to Tartarus. I can't even begin to describe how ridiculously powerful and dark it is. You can't just fly in and get back out, it'll suck you in. I never stood a chance."
Annabeth finally spoke, but her voice was barely her own, "So…Percy doesn't stand a chance either?"
Nico looked uncomfortable, even for him. "Percy is the most powerful demigod I have ever known. No offense to any of you, but its true. Annabeth, you know it is, and you know there is nothing on or below this earth that could possibly stop him from coming back to you. He's going to survive, and he is going to find his way through."
"To the Doors of Death?" Jason asked, "You said it's guarded by an army, Gaea's elite forces. How can one demigod possibly stand a-?"
"I don't know," Nico said with a glance at Annabeth, clearly telling him to not talk like that in front of her. "But Percy made me promise to lead you to the other side. That means he is planning on meeting us there. If we stay strong, we can make it to Epirus, to the House of Hades. If we can do that, we might be able to find Percy and finally seal the Doors of Death for good."
"And get Percy back?" Annabeth whispered.
"Maybe." Nico paused, "I mean yes, we WILL get him back Annabeth, I made a promise, I don't plan on breaking it. I don't know how he's going to do it, but he will. He's going to make it to the other side, and when he does, we will need to be waiting for him."
"We can do this." Leo said, I don't know how he managed to say that with such confidence, but for a brief second, Jason believed him.
"We have to." Annabeth murmured.
"We will." Nico said, and that was that.
Well. What do you think? Yes? No? Please give me feedback and suggestions. I am currently planning on having Percy go back into the Styx to get the Curse of Achilles back. I think it'll make the Dark Percy persona more believable. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions. I am new to writing FanFic so I welcome any suggestions.