Heaven on His Mind -One-shot on Luke Castellan
This has been written for ShadowPalace and WindowChild's One shot Challenge: Week 8. Enjoy!
Disclaimer- I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
Heaven on His Mind
He's thought about crying at some points in his life, but that does not mean the want is stronger than the need. It's a weakness he can't afford, and a desire he can't fulfill.
Luke castellan, if anything, is not weak.
He remembers the impulse, though. At the time when he is forced to trick Annabeth into holding the sky, he thinks of almost nothing but the water that is filling her eyes. He turns his back on her, regardless, covering his ears tightly to stop her screaming from reaching his brain.
But the screeched pleading curses his mind anyway.
He is regrettably brought back by her voice to a sunny day: A little blond angel is hugging his legs, smiling up at his face. Her wide eyes sparkle a childish gray.
I trust you, Luke.
Memory seeps from his veins and knots its way around his throat, but he swallows it down until it is no more than an uncomfortable twist at the pit of his stomach.
Not this time. Not today.
Not long after, he is forced to swallow another lump of weakness and this time, he has to bite his lip, too.
You aren't Luke. I don't know you anymore.
Thalia levels her spear and points at him with it, the way she used to point at monsters. Luke wonders if, in her eyes, he has become one. He has begged for her to listen, and all she does is shake her head and shut him out.
His whole body goes numb as he raises his own sword to fight. His arm is saying that the girl in front of him is a stranger, and his brain believes it. He doesn't miss the drop of crystal water that slides down her cheek, though.
As he reminisces, he's standing again on that sunny day. Annabeth still holds his hand tightly, looking for balance. He glances to the other side to see a white palm resting on his shoulder. Further up, his eyes meet electric blue, and he smiles. The three demigods stare off into a horizon of possibilities.
And then there were two.
With a bloody slash he barely feels across his chest, he is flung to the side of the mountain, losing his balance. Raw panic claims his limbs in the same second and he grips the edge blindly. Thalia stands over him, her spear on the ground. She doesn't need it anymore.
The pain in his hands is overlapped by the never-ending pain in his chest. He's going to die. He'll be gone by the time his body touches the ground. Each second pushes him forward. Forward, to the end. In despair, he cries out.
"Help me. Please, Thalia."
Her name echoed from his lips seems to insult her, and her eyes throw lightning ever so literally. The pupils widen within the crying irises, taking in all of the loathing they are able.
And then she goes cold.
Strike three. Out.
Her body freezes over in place, and the storm in her eyes dies down abruptly. It is replaced by ice and hail. There is too much heaven on her mind for her to realize.
And the indifference is worse than hate.
"Why would I? You didn't help me when I needed you, Luke. You weren't there."
Having said so, she pushes him off the mountain.
The blow catches his heart long before her foot catches his chest. The tears don't—but almost—drop, but Luke does. He claws empty air, rejoicing briefly in the friction it causes.
It's the only warmth he can have, after all.
He hears the deafening thud and crack of broken bones before he feels it, and when he does, he wishes for nothing but death. Another wish that is not granted.
It seems not even death will have him, and hell hates him. Heaven is out of consideration, and he's stuck between nothing and nothing just like that. With a failed attempt at murder, all doors that hold possibility of relief close suddenly.
But he realizes he's been trapped for longer than that.
It's nearly a year after that despair visits him again.
He sits, trapped in a corner of his mind. He's hugging his legs tightly to his chest, rocking back and forth. His spirit is sleeping somewhere cold and his mind is reeling somewhere dark. A question is swimming around his brain, splashing his nerves refusing to drown.
Why did Annabeth and Thalia walk out on me?
Because you walked out on them, his mind whispers.
Why did I choose this path?
To make a change. You are the reminder that the gods often forget.
Why is my body not mine any longer?
Because you chose so. You chose, indirectly, to give up control. And so you sit here, surrounded by an army.
Then why do I feel so alone?
At this point, all measure of common sense left in him deserts him, and he is indeed, alone. But the question remains and he's unable to answer. His eyes dart around, not sharp enough to cut through the blackness anymore. He prefers it this way, for if he lets them close, he'll see things he doesn't want to see.
He'll see himself.
Blinking is his first and biggest mistake. He lets the eyelids close for a heartbeat too long, and the intake of breath bounces threateningly in his throat. The lump his swallows is not welcome in his stomach. There are too many by now, and can no longer be ignored.
It takes about five seconds.
He breathes in, and the oxygen trembles with the ice in his heart. He lets out the air and is forced to swallow.
He bites a trembling lip, sharp teeth cutting into soft flesh almost wildly. Pains shoots through his brain in reds and yellows, but is barely noticed. There's no time.
Blue eyes close violently shut, and the throat is by now unable to swallow the wracking sobs that course it. Breath after breath he growls in and his sore chest curses him, growing colder still. He wraps around himself tighter and he is not surprised at the lack of warmth.
His mind refuses to accept the rainy ending to his actions. But he moves to delay his misery. That's impossible, though, and it dawns on him what's happening. Staring slowly ahead into dense darkness, his blue eyes begin to gasp for air as water rises up. A drop finds its way around the corner, and all his thoughts go hiding. He feels a damp trail of pain down his face. He's colder than ever.
He cries. He cries for Annabeth, for that little blond angel who grew up overnight, even though he fought the break of dawn. He cries because it passed him by like a river, and he was too preoccupied to notice her curls grow longer, he eyes grow sharper, and her face grow prettier. A wave of regret poisons his mind as he realizes he lost he long before he had her.
He cries also for Thalia. Because in that moment in which his mind snapped, she was right there, at the back. The moment she said she disowned him , it hurt. And it hurts to admit it, because it shouldn't have hurt at all. He regrets not uttering the words 'I'm sorry,' when his lips would still obey him. He hates to have broken her enough to see pain shadowed across her eyes. He pounds imaginary fists, and pulls at invisible hair, for the real ones are no longer his.
He now screams with a borrowed voice.
Finally, he cries for himself. Swimming, just like his eyes, in self pity. His soul and mind are pushed further into a dark corner, and it displeases them both. He is not sure as to why, but he knows the core of the reason is complicated. It might have something to do with the fact his soul has been tinted stormy gray and electric blue, and his mind becomes blacker every day.
He agrees all three colors do not match.
His ghostly and barely heard breathing hitches, and he is momentarily allowed to swallow. His eyes go wild and his soul snaps. It's the only thing left to break, and when it does, he reconsiders a previous fact and question.
Why do I feel so alone?
His soul—not his mind—has the answer this time.
Because you are weak, Luke. You never had strength or courage enough to let yourself be surrounded by love instead of darkness.
It took all this to realize the real fear was of himself, not of anyone else.
And so today he goes against himself, allowing despair and raw impulse to wash over him. He gives up, because it no longer matters.
And for the first time in forever, he cries.
Thank you for reading!