A/N: An idea that came to me at two in the morning and I simply had to type it up. Don't you love when that happens? You feel so rested in the morning. *please note the use of that awesome literary tool known as sarcasm*
Warning: Dark. Like, really dark.
Shouldn't Have Been Surprised
Percy shouldn't have been surprised when his life became just as woeful and calamitous as the other heroes' had been. After all, heroes never got happy endings. Theseus? Thrown off a cliff. Caesar? Betrayed and stabbed to death. Charlemagne and Washington both got sick. So Percy was just one more in a series of unfortunate endings wasn't he? His final act was just one more thing in his short, unlucky life that mirrored those of the great, tragic hero Heracles. The snakes in the crib, the Stymphalian birds, the hydra. Been there, done that. And then the Nemean lion, the boar, holding up the sky, and the whole fiasco at Geryon's ranch. His life was nearly a mirror image of the other hero's. So it really shouldn't have surprised Percy when another horrible thing from Heracles' life happened to him. But it did.
Nico shouldn't have been surprised when a massive shiver ran down his spine, telling him that someone - no, a lot of people had just died. Over the years, he'd gotten pretty good at discerning who had kicked the bucket, and how they'd gone about it. And his instincts were saying that whoever the new citizens of the Underworld were, he'd been close to them. He couldn't see their faces, but he knew that there were four newly deceased souls in Charon's waiting room now. He winced, dreading whatever news was sure to come soon. He'd gotten used to people dying, but the death of his friends and family was always difficult, even when he knew that he could speak to them almost any time he wanted. So it really shouldn't have surprised Nico when he got a frantic call from Grover, saying that something awful had just happened at the Jacksons'. But it did.
Grover shouldn't have been surprised when he found Percy unconscious in his apartment, his famous blade Riptide soaked in crimson blood and the corpses of his wife and children heaped on the floor. He'd only come over for a casual, happy visit, looking forward to a fun afternoon with his best friends and their energetic, adorable kids. For nearly everyone in the hidden, not-so-mythological world, things had been going great the last few years. No merciless wars, no horrible tragedies, no major troubles of any kind. So it really shouldn't have surprised Grover when the event, the one people could only ever speak of in whispers now, happened. But it did.
Poseidon shouldn't have been surprised when Hera cursed his son. Percy and Annabeth, the golden couple until that horrible end, had offended the goddess plenty of times, but not so much more than other demigods, right? What were a few insults to an immortal? Apparently, he thought bitterly, a capital offense. He looked down on the scene sadly. His son was inconsolable, nearly driven mad (permanently, this time) with grief and guilt. He, as a father and (until recently) a grandfather, felt nearly as much sadness as a god could, being limited in the spectrum of human emotion. Hera, that heartless queen, simply shrugged and said, "They had it coming." So it really shouldn't have surprised Poseidon when his sister showed no remorse. But it did.
Chiron shouldn't have been surprised when Percy came to him begging for a way to fix this, to somehow undo the horrible damage he'd unwillingly caused. Heroes, he thought sadly, could be so blind sometimes. They couldn't see that some things cannot be erased, no matter what unfortunate circumstance was the cause. He attempted to tell the son of Poseidon. There was no way to reverse those tragic events. It wasn't possible to bring back the dead. He'd tried to talk sense into the grieving madman who had once been a great hero, but he was beyond listening to reason. So it really shouldn't have surprised Chiron when Percy ended up trying to atone in his own way. But it did.
Annabeth shouldn't have been surprised when Percy broke, like a child's action figure that had been hurled down the stairs in a temper tantrum. He'd always seemed so strong, so stable. He was invincible! Yes, his fatal flaw was personal loyalty, and yes, he'd always been a little rash and impulsive. But she never thought she would see him snap—first by going temporarily insane and then by killing himself. As he walked towards her slowly, almost fearfully, she saw the pure, raw agony on his face—an emotion rarely present in the idyllic Elysian Fields. She remembered the screaming, the broken glint of his eyes, the fear, the speedy flash of the cursed blade, the way crimson seemed to consume the world until it was black. All of those cruel recollections sliced through her mind as she took his hand in hers, squeezing it as if to say, "It's okay. You didn't mean to." He gave her a small, hopeful smile, but she could still see the torment in his broken green eyes. He would never be quite the same, but deep under the despair he would always be the same man she fell in love with. So it really shouldn't have surprised Annabeth when Percy joined her in Elysium with a fresh, bloody, self-inflicted wound on his back. But it did.
Sally shouldn't have been surprised when her son's life didn't turn out the way she had hoped. She knew how demigods' lives were. She knew about the suffering, the far-too-high rate of premature death, often in "nasty, painful ways" as Percy had once put it. She knew about the monsters and the temperamental nature of the gods. She knew about the prophecy that foretold her child's doom. Had she really thought that he would escape his fate? Had she really thought that naming him Perseus, after the one great hero whose life wasn't completely appalling, would give her son good luck? So it really shouldn't have surprised Sally when Percy became just another great hero who fell tragically.
But it did.