Luke and Thalia: "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." —J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

You never thought you'd die this way—staring up at the faces of the sixteen-year-old girl you met years ago in a dark alley and the black-haired, green-eyed son of Poseidon that was once your friend. Some distant, evil part of your brain is whispering no, no, you hate him, but you push it aside.

You clutch at Percy's shirt sleeve, beseeching him with your gaze, trying to get your point across. He swallows, makes his promise, and gives a tiny nod—forgiveness without words. You're wishing she was there, but she isn't, so you'll have to make do.

The Underworld begins to slide into focus as your vision blurs and darkens. Some part of you is glad Percy chose to hand you the knife, but the emotion at the forefront of your mind is loss.

You understand how Zeus felt now, because you felt that way for years—and now she'll feel that way for eternity. And you pity her for it.

Just before the world goes completely dark, shutting out the faces of Percy and Annabeth forever, you have one final thought.

I'm sorry I did this to you, Thalia.


A/N: Hey, people! I'm alive!

So I don't feel like this is one of my better ones, but at least it's something. And it's not sappy romance for once—which is a nice change, I must say :)

Suggested reading: The Kane Chronicles, Rick Riordan's Egyptian series. While I think PJO/HoO is definitely better, it's still very well written. (And it has funny chapter titles, which I definitely miss in the HoO series.) I'm about halfway through The Red Pyramid now—it's a good way to pass the time until MoA, anyway!

Please review!