I do not encourage cutting/anorexia/bulimia in any way! I'm sorry if it's OOC, but I think given the situation… This could be seen as romance or not. I don't, but whatever. I hope you review! I don't want to add anything on the bottom because it's one of the few endings I like.
Percy Jackson woke up to a pain in his stomach and lower intestine. Time to go to the bathroom and eat some blue cookies, he thought to himself. He walked to the bathroom, whistling. Then, a voice- Athena's- spoke in his mind.
Prepare to swallow your pride and help, she spoke. Percy shrugged and kept walking.
When he got to the bathroom, he heard horrible retching coming from the farthest stall. Curious, he walked over, but his eyes couldn't comprehend what he was seeing.
Clarisse La Rue hunched over a toilet seat, her finger down her throat, puking her guts out. He stood there in horror, watching, until the daughter of Ares had nothing else to throw up.
"What the Hades?" he yelled, pulling her up by the back of her long sleeved pajama shirt. He turned her towards him. "What do you think you were doing?" he hissed.
Clarisse glared at him. "That's none of your business," she told him, and started walking away.
Percy grabbed her wrist and held her back. "I find you making yourself throw up in the boys bathroom when you're most obviously a girl. It's my business." Clarisse just shook her head, not trusting herself to speak. "Look, we've been through a war together." He sat her down and put a friendly and comforting arm around her, his free hand holding hers. "You can tell me anything."
Clarisse looked at the floor and blinked, letting only one tear fall from her eyes. "You wouldn't get it," she told him.
Percy shrugged. "Probably not," he admitted, "but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try and help."
"I don't trust you. You'd laugh," she whispered. "Just like everybody else." She sounded they way she looked: weak and vulnerable.
Percy shook his head, not understanding. "Clarisse. What's happened to you? You haven't been eating as much, you pass out whenever you train to hard, and even though it's hot outside, you've been wearing long sleeves. Everybody's worried about you," he told her, his voice soothing and full of worry.
"Not everybody," she whispered. She let a few tears come down, but she blinked back the rest as best as she could.
Percy held her closer, like a brother would his sister, or a little girl holding her doll. "What's wrong, Clarisse? You need to tell me. It's not safe to keep it all bottled up."
The warrior took a deep breath and blurted out, "Am I pretty?"
Percy was taken aback. "Wha-what?" he asked, confused at the sudden outburst.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she repeated, drowning in her insecurities.
For Percy, it all fit together like a puzzle. "Pull up your sleeves," he ordered. Before she could do anything, though, he did it for her.
Her arm was tainted with red. Old wounds mixed with newer ones danced across her arms and wrists. He traced the scars, but stopped when he saw how much pain she was in. He checked the left arm, and it was much worse. You almost couldn't see any skin that was left unmarked.
He looked up to her face. She wasn't even trying to hold back tears. "Please don't tell anyone," she begged.
Percy shook his head in disbelief. "I don't get it. I figured you to be stronger than this. Cutting yourself, anorexia, and bulimia. It's not you," he told her.
"It's not enough, huh?" she asked.
Percy couldn't believe it. Clarisse La Rue was one of, if not the most, toughest person he's ever met. To see her weak and insecure… it made him wonder who else goes through this, and how much worse it is.
"It's too much," he told her. He lifted her chin to look her in the eyes. "You're beautiful, Clarisse."
She gave a weak scoff. "Try telling Drew that."
Percy stared at her. "Drew? You're letting her get to you? Why? She's an absolute idiot!"
Clarisse looked back at the ground. "She's right. I'm not anything close to even bearable. I'm a daughter of Ares for Zeus' sake! Everything she says is true. Chris is going to leave me for somebody prettier. My father only cares about me because I defeated a drakon. Nobody cares about me. If I were to kill myself right now- and it's not that far from reality- nobody would care. They'd probably be happy."
Percy wrapped him arms comfortingly around Clarisse and she leaned into his touch, not sure what was letting herself trust him so much.
Percy gently stroked the girls brown hair, letting a comfortable silence wrap around them. "Chris love you, you know that?' he told her. "He talks about you all the time." Percy let out a weak chuckle. "We stopped hanging around him for a while, it was getting so annoying.
"And we all care about you. This wouldn't be camp without you trying to kill somebody. And nobody wants you to kill yourself." He looked at her. "You're killing yourself slowly. Do you really want that?"
"Yes!" she exclaimed. "Isn't that what everyone wants? For me to be gone?"
"That's what Drew wants! Not anybody else!" he yelled. "Drew's an idiot and a jerk and a bully. She has no right to feed you lies! Believe it or not, it hurt to see you throwing up. It hurts to see you so hurt. Why? Because we're family! If you asked every guy here who they thought was most attractive, they'd answer with your name. Wanna know why? Because confidence is the most attractive thing a girl can have, and you are the most confident person ever."
"Then why do girls like Drew have a bunch of guys fawning over them?" Clarisse countered, tears making stains on her face, as if she was cutting her face, too.
Percy ran a hand through his shaggy hair. "Because those are bunch of idiots who have no respect for women. Why do you even let just one annoyance get to you?" he asked.
"It's not just Drew," Clarisse answered. Percy raised an eyebrow. "You don't think I don't know what people say about me? I hear their whispers, calling me fat and ugly and stupid and a freak and telling me to die and other things that I refuse to repeat. I know for a fact one of the first words that you though of me when you first saw me was ugly." Percy stayed silent, mostly because he knew it was true. "It hurts a lot more than I let on. I may be from the Ares cabin, but I'm still a girl, and I still have insecurities," she continued.
"And you think hurting yourself will make you any better?" Percy questioned. "Because really, when girls do this to themselves, it's not attractive. You're one of the most beautiful girls I've ever met." Clarisse put her head in the crook of his neck and sobbed. "It's not because you're stunning. It's because you put every girl to shame. You're smarter than anybody would ever think, the best fighter I've ever competed against- and I fought your dad- and just beautiful. I can't stress that enough."
Clarisse looked at him. "I can't see one thing about me that's somewhat ok, much less beautiful."
"Your eyes," Percy blurted. "The way they can go from hard to loving in just a second. It's really cool. And everything about you is amazing and stunning and beautiful. Beauty, no matter how hidden by pain and lies, is still visible. Just because Drew is too stupid to see that doesn't mean everybody doesn't see it. You're more than just a daughter of Ares to us. Why don't you see that?"
Percy looked at her figure, wrapped up in his arms, her face tearstained. He had never seen Clarisse so weak, and he never wanted to. To see somebody so strong become so weak and vulnerable… he was ready to beat the snot out of Drew.
Percy quickly took out one of him moms cookies and put it in Clarisse's hands, closing her hand for her. "Eat it," he demanded.
She shook her head, fear on her face. "I'm not eating that. It's- it's like death. One bite… I don't want to be made fun of again. I'm not as tough as I'd like to be. Please. Don't make me eat that."
When she looked up to him with pleading eyes, Percy realized just how much this was affecting her. She truly though that if she ate this, she would have to kill herself. He almost took the cookie back, but then he would feel like a hypocrite.
He took the cookie and split it in half. "Here," he said, handing her the slightly bigger piece, "I'll eat half, you eat the other. I don't want you to die, Clarisse. I'll force feed you if I have to."
Clarisse looked at him. "I don't want to be alone with this. I'm scared. I'm eighteen, weigh 98 pounds and still get called names."
Percy stared at her, mouth agape. "98 pounds?" Clarisse nodded and Percy hugged her, now scared of crushing her. "You're not going to go through this alone. I'm going to be here for you and so will Chiron and Chris."
"No!" Clarisse exclaimed, and when a fresh set of tears formed, Percy knew he did something wrong. "You can't tell anybody!"
Percy gently pushed Clarisse's hair out of her face and behind her ears. "This is life or death. They can help you." He looked at the now crumbled cookie in his hand. He noticed Clarisse's wasn't destroyed too much, and he realized that maybe, just maybe, she wanted this to end, too.
"We'll eat on three," he told her and she nodded. "One."
She took a shaky breath and wiped the few stray tears. "Two."
They looked at each other and, at the same time, said: "Three," and ate the blue cookie.
The next day, Clarisse ate her first full meal in two years.