An Ethan Nakamura-centric one-shot
A/N Before anything, the purpose of this shot.
Today is March 1st, considered as the Self-Injury Awareness Day. This was written in said honor. Read, review, and think on it.
WARNING: This has strong themes, vocabulary, and is a very direct piece. If you disagree, have a strong opinion about SI, or really don't feel like reading anything about this topic, stop reading now. To people who self-harm, before continuing to read make sure you are 'safe'. This may trigger an urge or cause you to relapse. This is entirely not my intention.
Disclaimer- I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
Plasma (n).- The clear, liquid part of the blood in which the blood cells are suspended.
~Though my body resisted fire and hate,
My soul is growing tired,
You don't remember what triggers it. You just know you ran out of the pavilion one day because you couldn't take it anymore. You felt like an unclaimed freak among freaks who already had a family. The food did not taste of anything but dirt. You hadn't even bothered to fill your goblet. So when someone made a comment about your last name, you stood up and left.
You decide quietly you need something further than the lake. It's not long before you realize you need father than the border. So you sprint away from the camp, having no possessions to call your own. You feel surreal, like your life really isn't supposed to exist, and that whoever let you carry on with it all these years, must have a twisted sense of humor.
When you trip and bruise yourself, you're amazed. Momentarily, you fuss over the cut, utterly interested in the blood leaking out, fazed in the pain when you touch it. An hour later, you remember you forgot all about everything and everyone while down. While in pain, you were distracted. You failed to noticed that thing crushing you on the inside. That's good. It's relieving.
Starting now, you seek to recreate that distraction.
One day, for example, you see a hooded figure a block away corner a woman. You watch him take his purse. Witnessed as he pushed her down a dark alley. Heard her screaming as the man gave her a scar for life. And finally realized you'd done nothing to stop it.
So you back away, and you run. As fast as you can you reach your own alley. You dig your pockets viciously until the green handle of the small knife appears in sight. Your breathing is heavy. One last time, your eyes dart to the mouth of the narrow passageway—you see nobody there.
You look down again. You know the movements. Flicking the hand that holds the blade you make a gash on your wrist. Slowly. Methodically. You sigh as the sea of red opens a river in your very presence.
And then your skin is on fire. You want to scream. You're grateful, because there's nothing further than the blur of reds and yellows that explode in your line of sight. There's nothing but you and the sweet deliverance the crimson provides. You won't lie—it hurts. It hurts completely and unequivocally. It burns and it's painful. But you know you hurt twice as much on the inside, and you're—you'll say it once—afraid to find out why. So you do this instead. You're broken.
"Like Humpty Dumpty."
You jump, scared half out of your wits. But then you see a woman, and you're annoyed. You hate anyone walking in on you while you're…at your worst. You hate the pity. You hate anyone trying to help because you do not deserve it. What's your blood worth anyway?
It's not worth shit.
You look up, not surprised to see the lady wearing Greek robes. You saw her once or twice at Camp. You were claimed by her. But apparently, she wasn't worth much either because they kept you in Cabin Eleven. That blond girl—Annabeth?—had said her name. What had it been? Oh, right.
"If it ain't broken then don't fix it. That's what they say."
You're furious at her mocking comment. You even forget that your hand still needs the proper treatment. You weren't aiming for suicide, after all.
"Why would you care?" You spit out. "If you're here to make fun then you can just go back the way you came from."
"Oh, Hades no." The woman snaps her fingers and your wrist is automatically bandaged. "I care about you. But I am your mother, and still you do not listen. Why? Why do you not hear me, Ethan?" She stops to consider. "Perhaps…perhaps it is you who does not care about me.
Your mind goes wild while hearing this nonsense. You see red. "You have the nerve to say in my face that I don't care about you? All I've done since I left that stupid place is try to honor you! And it's been my best effort!"
"Honor me now, then, Ethan." She whispers. "Pay me. Pay your debt and you will have what you seek the most. Revenge on Camp Half-Blood and the gods. On those who made fun of you. Accept me, and you will be powerful. You will have glory. All you have to do is honor your parentage."
You blink. "How?"
She smiles gruesomely. That is the last time you close both eyes.
You think it's been centuries when it's only been years. Every day you remember that night in the alley. You remember yourself why you must rise in the morning and endure the brutality of Luke's training until dusk. You remember not to forget about the pain. The same pain that you see in the scars on your arm and that won't go away just because the red marks and the bruises and the scratches do. You know your duty. You'll achieve grandeur one day and then maybe, just maybe, you won't have to lock yourself up in a drab corner of your mind while you sit and open your veins for the world to see.
As you think about this you step inside an arena ornate with bones of those who could not do what they had to. You notice your opponent has black hair, too. Slim built, shorter, younger by a year or so. He doesn't look scared of you, rather, he looks worried. You feel a pang of anger. You know this is a typical Camp Half-Blood tactic. Luke never failed to mention it:
They'll pretend to care about you. They'll pass themselves up as your friends. Then they'll stab you in the back.
You guess he meant this literally.
Behind the half-blood you're meant to kill, you spot a golden mess of curls, and all those nightmares come flying back to you. You have to end this, one way or another.
You try hard, you really do. You swing and parry and slash at the guy, careful about blocking his left. But as time went by he became tired. He knew he couldn't win, so he chose the other option. And when he was finally on the ground, he felt so, so relieved he even begged for the coup de grace.
"Get it over with,"
Instead, Percy offers you a hand and with it, a second chance. Not with the gods, obviously, but with the titans. A new beginning is in your hands, and you know what to do.
You doesn't notice, though, that Percy sees your scars for what they are.
And even then he doesn't hesitate in helping you up.
You're certain it's been millennia.
Battle rages all around you, trying to drown out your thoughts. You even clash your own sword once or twice. Yet you've got your goal in sight: it was 5'10, green-eyed, and very much alive for your taste. Something happens, though.
You have locked your gaze somewhere along his back, readied your knife, and taken a deep breath. All you had to do was stab forward and be done with it.
You weren't counting on a third body throwing itself at you and intercepting your blow.
Several hours later, after you've been flogged and gods-know-what-else, you decide to experiment. You've never tried shapes before. You want to feel for yourself what happened—what you did—to Annabeth. You're mad to know she's not enslaved to doing this over and over. You're scared to learn you're mad.
But the knife drives your fear away, your guilt. Pain is a small price to pay. You're alone, so you're allowed to cry. You cry because you know it's not right. And you dig deeper because you know you do it still. It makes you angry, sick. You deserve it.
You stop when you bleed out all of your self-disgust, just enough so it won't come back to haunt you while asleep. When it comes back full-force, you have to grab a blade in the morning. The quick slice gets you through the day. You've tried, but there is nothing better. There is nothing like cutting. And there is nothing like pain.
Somewhere along the road, though, you decide you've had enough.
There's no throne to Nemesis, but there isn't a throne to Kronos either. Not yet.
Even if you can't stop it, your mother broke her promise. You never quite reached grandeur. You were merely a person who found a way to move along. But you're tired of surviving.
It's just nobody ever gave you the chance to live.
You've done this countless times: you don't think and just do. So you charge at Kronos. You run and stab wherever you can reach. You yell…you even cry, and it's still not enough. You've always lived amongst traitors. Demigods who walked away from their families and friends just to see if they could ease that hunger for love. You have betrayed and been betrayed. The last to turn on you, however, is your own sword.
Sharp, tiny pieces fly straight at you, much like your hand has always done to your arm. They pass right through your armor, and they embed on your skin. At this point, you don't know if it's getting better or if you've just become used to the pain. But you know that you've reached your limit. Before Kronos even hurls you out of the sky, you know you were dead already. You consumed yourself to the point of no return.
You know you've drowned in your own blood.
Ethan Nakamura wore the perfect veneer—that of a warrior so he wouldn't have to hide his scars underneath long sleeves. On the outside, he wore them proudly, making them turn into memoirs of the many battles he'd seen.
Inside, he knows he was a coward.
And that was enough to kill him.
Thanks for reading. For help, visit www . selfinjury . org / nsiad /
We can't keep quiet any longer. Help someone who self-harms today.