A/N So I know that this is called the House of Hades and stuff, but I'm not actually sure that I'm going to attempt to write my version of the next book. I just finished reading the Mark of Athena a few days ago, so I'm writing this on a Percabeth high right now and how long that will go on is really impossible to say.
Anyway, enjoy and don't forget to review. Or if you weren't planning on it… just review! Whether or not I post another chapter probably is dependent on how many reviews I get. I hate to be one of those authors, but reviews do give me incentive to write.
It seemed to Percy as if they had been falling forever. As far as he could tell, the closer they got to Tartarus, the slower their descent was. This in itself could be considered a good thing; it meant that they probably wouldn't die from the fall. Not dying was good. Of course, there was the matter that he felt like he was being ripped apart. It was as if something was slowly tearing him into little pieces and putting them back together in the wrong places, making some sort of demi-god Frankenstein. Nico's words took on a whole new meaning. It's like a black hole…
Through the pain, Percy managed to turn his head sideways and look at Annabeth. Her eyes were shut, her face expressionless. He half hoped that she was unconscious, but the death grip she had on his hand told him otherwise.
Not knowing what else to do, he squeezed her hand back.
A small smile appeared on her face, like just knowing that he was there made it better.
For a moment, he was struck with how beautiful she was. They hadn't gotten to spend very much time together since they were reunited. An even smaller amount of that time was alone. They'd spent that night talking to each other, the sweet smell of unused hay drifting around them, but even then, their voices had been tinged with doubt, fear, and worry. Somehow, at that moment, falling into the very depths of hell, pain swelling every vein in his body, he was happy. For a second, nothing else mattered, it was just him and Annabeth, just like old times.
Suddenly, the absence of pain brought Percy out of his thoughts. Before he even had time to comprehend the change, his body slammed into something hard. It knocked the wind out of his chest. It took him a couple of seconds to recover.
With a painful breath, he managed to get on his knees, and from there onto his feet. It was completely dark. He couldn't see anything. Still shaking slightly, he managed to uncap Riptide. From the faint glow it gave off, a few feet around him were illuminated. A pretty crappy substitute for a flashlight, but it looks like it's all I've got. He thought.
The first thing he did was check on Annabeth. She had fallen a few feet away from him, the force of impact had knocked their hands apart. "Annabeth," he said softly, afraid that if he called any louder he might disturb something potentially dangerous.
A flutter of panic rose in Percy when she didn't respond. His hands shook uncontrollably as he brushed hair off her neck and checked desperately for a pulse. To his immense relief, a steady but faint beat thumped under his fingers. A wave of nausea passed through Percy, causing him to collapse next to her. I came so close to losing her… he thought, horror and relief equally strong within him.
Carefully, he turned her over so she was facing up. He was no medic, but even he could tell she wasn't in good shape. The make-shift splint she had fastened with bubble wrap around her ankle had come undone. Moving up, Percy sucked in a breath as he saw dark splotches of blood staining her orange Camp Half-Blood T-shirt. He pressed slightly down on her chest, trying to access the damage.
She gasped suddenly, her eyelids fluttering.
Immediately, Percy pulled his hands away, afraid of hurting her more.
She lifted her head to look at him. "Percy-" she started, but before she could say anything else, she slipped back into unconsciousness.
Ambrosia! He thought. I need ambrosia! But he had nothing. He looked around desperately trying to find something, anything! Finally, Her backpack! Annabeth's backpack! It had to have fallen down here with them, but where was it? Percy could only see a few feet in any direction, and all he saw was rubble.
He glanced down at Annabeth's limp form on the floor. He couldn't leave her, but what would happen if he didn't? Her ankle had almost definitely gotten worse from the fall, and from the looks of it, she had broken a few ribs. Percy winced as he remembered her bouncing off the ledge that he managed to grab. He remembered the sickening crunch of bones breaking.
There were a lot of injuries. And that was the best-case scenario, it could be even worse. He knew he had to do it. She might die if he didn't leave her. She might die if I do. He pushed that thought from his mind. He had to make a choice, this was it.
He bent down and swiftly kissed the top of her head before holding up riptide and setting out to explore the room into which they had fallen. He was careful with his footing and with his direction, he had to remember where she was at all times, she couldn't afford for him to get lost.
As he walked around, Percy found, surprising, nothing. They were in some kind of large cavern, as far as he could tell, nothing was in it at all, except for things that had fallen with them from above. The floor was littered with debris from the ground on which the Athena Parthenos sat.
After a few minutes of walking, he came across a huge cylindrical mass of woven silk. As he started towards it, it shifted. Backing up a few steps, a small smile appeared on his face. Despite everything, he couldn't help but be proud of her. That was his girl. She managed to get Arachne to defeat herself. Annabeth was, in short, brilliant. Still, he cautiously backed away, being sure to keep its location in his mind.
A while later, he ran across a thin sliver of metal. Inspecting it, he realized that it was Daedalus' laptop. When he opened it, he was amazed when it blinked to life. Either it had fallen the same way they had, or Daedalus had decked it out with some sort of indestructible metal. Percy carefully cradled it under his arm like a baby, knowing Annabeth would have his head if he left it.
In a few more steps, to Percy's relief, he came across her backpack. Grabbing it, he ran back to where she lay.
Giving her a quick look over, nothing seemed to have changed since he left. With layer of hope clinging to his body, he dug frantically in the backpack until he found a baggie of ambrosia. He gently lifted up her head and placed it in his lap, propping her up against his stomach. After a few botched attempts, he finally managed to get the ambrosia into her mouth and hopefully down her throat.
After a few tense moments, her eyes flew open, two gray storms looking around frantically. "Percy?" she asked, her voice hoarse.
"I'm here," he answered, gripping her hand tightly, a wide grin spreading across his face.
He helped her into a sitting position. She coughed, and a few ambrosia crumbs trickled from her mouth. She winced, crying out slightly as the movement jostled her broken ribs.
"Here, take some more ambrosia," Percy said, unable to stop smiling. He handed her the rest of the square.
She ate it slowly, grimacing every time she swallowed. After she was done, she looked at him. Her mouth opened, then closed, then opened again. "So I guess we didn't die, then?" she asked.
"Not as far as I can tell."
"Good. that would've been an awful way to go. After all I've survived to be defeated by a spider web."
"Oh! That reminds me…" Percy picked Riptide off the floor next to him and quickly severed all the spider web still attached to her limbs.
"What now?" she asked, moving farther into a sitting position, leaning heavily against his chest.
"We survive Tartarus," Percy answered simply.
A smile crawled onto Annabeth's lips. "With all we've been through, that'll be easy."
Percy drew her closer to him, wrapping his arms protectively around her. "Yeah, it will."
A/N So there you have it, chapter one of my House of Hades fanfiction. Please review!
Sorry about the lack of Percyness in this chapter. There wasn't really any room for humor… hopefully that'll change soon!
I just want to say I'm posting this with really no idea will it lead, so if I continue, it'll be interesting! Oh also, this chapter is probably going to be the shortest I'll ever post. I just wanted to get something up.