A/N: So I didn't really intend to write more for this fandom, but OMG. After seeingWrath of the Titans I simply could not accept the ending that was given us in the canon. Seriously, it's like WTH. So rather than accept the horrible, terrible, DEVASTATING AND SOUL CRUSHING ending I wrote my own version, which may be fluffy but is a heck of a lot more acceptable to me than the canon ending was. some dialog taken straight from the movie - hopefully i remembered it well enough.
Dedicated to the beautiful, lovely, and completelyawesomeOMG somethingbeyondprecious, who chatted with me via messages and allowed me to ramble on about my chosen head-canon. Love ya, hon!
Zeus was dying.
The realization hit Perseus like a lead weight, slamming into his chest until he couldn't breathe. After everything they had done, everything they had gone through to save him... Zeus was going to die.
It seemed so wrong. Zeus wasn't suppose to die. The gods weren't supposed to die. And as much as Perseus had spent his life defying and despising the powers and their ways, he suddenly wondered what the world would be like without them.
"There are no good gods."
Only now did he realize how wrong he had been.
Only now, when there there were no gods left at all and his own father was dying right before his eyes.
He stood beside Zeus, avoiding the gods' gaze and instead looking outward. He didn't want to see this, could hardly even bear the thought of what was going to happen.
"Your boy gave you strength."
Perseus managed a small smile at the thought of Helios. "Yes."
Zeus smiled, so calm, so infuriatingly at peace. Only sadness tainted it. But there was no fear, no fight, just resignation and acceptance.
"As did mine."
Precious seconds that should have been filled with words too long unspoken were filled only with silence. Perseus had given him strength, Zeus claimed, but to what end? Had he only saved him so that he could die now? The demigod had always known that Fate was cruel, but this... this was too much.
"Perhaps Hades can heal you." It was grasping at straws and he knew it. If Hades were still capable of such a feat then he would have already done it. What had happened in Tartarus between the two brothers Perseus didn't know, but it was obvious that something had changed. The brothers were kindred again, enemies no more, and Hades would have saved Zeus if it were possible.
The father-god looked to where his brother stood behind them, giving them time to say goodbye. Hades' shoulders sagged, heavy with burdens that seemed about to crush him. No, there was nothing left for Hades to do.
"He already gave me my last chance," Zeus explained quietly, his voice lacking anything akin to blame or bitterness for the fact that his brother was no longer able to help. He too knew that Hades would act if he could.
"And... you sacrificed it for him," Perseus breathed. It wasn't a question, not really. A lament, maybe, but the answer was already clear as day.
"There will be no more sacrifices," Zeus said, and perhaps now there was real regret in his voice - not because he feared dying, but because everything was ending just as the things that mattered had finally begun to be real. "No more gods."
Looking away from Hades, to whom his gaze had strayed, Zeus met his son's gaze and held it. His eyes were solemn, sad, so full of longing for the world that would have been had things ended differently. But yet the gaze was still quiet, still accepting.
"Use your powers wisely, Perseus."
Shadows crept across Zeus eyes, dimming them, and ash and death spread across his skin. Just like Poseidon, just like Ares, Zeus was dying, and all Perseus could do was stand by and watch.
The king of the gods raised one shaking hand, brushing his fingertips across Perseus' cheek in one final goodbye, one final show of love from a father to his child. "Thank you, my son."
The shadows crept further and ash and death spread, and Perseus could only watch as life faded away.
He could not - would not accept this.
Zeus looked pityingly at him, wishing that he could ease the pain in his mortal son's eyes. "Perseus-"
"No," Perseus repeated, taking Zeus' wrist and clenching it tight. "I already lost one father. I'm not going to lose you too."
The demigod wrapped his free hand behind Zeus' neck and drew him forward until their foreheads touched. With a desperate gasp that was half a cry he turned inward, racing time and death itself to locate the power that he knew was his and to unleash it before it was too late.
Use it wisely...
Zeus gasped, eyes widening as the force of his son's power rushed through him, slamming him like a tidal wave of life and energy. He could feel it sliding through his veins, healing hurts and casting off the clinging shadows of pending oblivion.
Perseus held on, fought on, and for a second time the icy hand of death was forced back.
For several long, almost immeasurable moments Perseus kept that hold, straining and pouring himself out until the last shadows and whispers of death were gone. Only when he was certain that Zeus was safe did he pull back, staggering a little as a feeling of emptiness washed over him. His power was spent, used to give life to his father. Perseus couldn't bring himself to regret it.
Around them all was silent, and it took the once-demigod a moment to notice the hand on his forearm, supporting him as he came to terms with what he had lost - and what he had regained. He looked up and met the eyes of his father, suspiciously bright as he stared down at his last remaining child.
Zeus looked at him in wonder, amazed at what his son had done for him. Perseus had no idea what he had just given up. The man had only just come to embrace his powers, and now they were spent. He couldn't possibly understand what he had lost.
Then again, perhaps he could.
For another long moment there was silence, then Perseus smiled, sad, almost apologetic. "You're mortal now." He glanced to Hades. "Both of you. I didn't have enough to give you back your powers."
Zeus looked to Hades and the two brothers, once gods, now powerless, shared a glance and nodded. They knew, and they accepted it.
"What will you do?"
Another shared glance and Zeus looked back to Perseus. "We will do as men must do," he said simply. "We will live."
"Who knows," Hades added, speaking for the first time. The former god of the Underworld stood tall now, shoulders straightening as though the burdens of before had already begun to lessen. "Perhaps it will even make us stronger."
Zeus smiled and looked fondly to his son again. "Perhaps it will, brother," he agreed. "Perhaps it will."
I don't care how fluffy or awful the very end of this might be, it's still less terrible/painful than the so-called "canon" ending was. Anyway, even if it sucks it's what my fangirl soul needed to be happy again. Hopefully someone out there will enjoy it in spite of its flaws.