Hello! I'm back with chappy #2! I've been home sick for the past few days, and have actually had time to write. I wrote 2 new stories yesterday, and decided to write the next part of this :) I'm in a writing mood lately.
I hope you enjoy (or don't - that's entirely up to you :])
Disclaimer: I DO NOT own the Percy Jackson series.
His green eyes met her grey ones for a second.
Piercing wails tore through Percy's mind, dragging him into consciousness. Hisses and whines seemed to wisp through every part of his brain as if a thousand monsters were being tortured inside his head. Reluctantly, he opened his eyes and saw nothing but blurred shadows. Where exactly am I? he thought, barely cognizant. Percy had to blink a few times for his vision to sharpen. He listened to the sounds that seemed not to be coming from his surroundings but from his own mind. Tartarus..?
He then became aware of his body as the sense of touch and feeling crept back, pushing away the numbness. A warm weight was on his chest and he looked down only to shudder as a wave of pain shot through his skull. With a sharp intake of breath, Percy suddenly felt as if his back was on fire and his head run through with an axe. Spots danced across his vision and he quickly succumbed back into the darkness of before.
"Percy…Per…Percy!" The sounds made themselves known at the very back of his mind. It took a while for Percy to figure out what they were saying, and even longer to realize that something being said was his name.
As his head swirled with confusion and pain, he again crawled his way back to the light. Pain once again made itself a prominent feeling throughout his body and he groaned long and deep.
"Percy!" someone said, "Percy – oh my gods."
Memories of before the fall slammed into him and he opened his eyes wide, instinctively balling his fists. "Annabeth?" He waited for his eyesight to clear impatiently as he searched for her eyes.
"Percy, are you hurt?" She was kneeling next to him, looking pale and terrified.
"How are we alive?"
"I...I don't know." We should have died. There's no way in hell anyone could have survived a fall of that magnitude. Percy winced at both his bad word choice and the shock that ran through his head again.
Now that he was awake, he felt like utter crap. A sharp throb was beating through his entire body and he had a hard time moving anything. "Annabeth, please tell me you're okay."
"I'm okay I think…" A sniffle. "But Percy – you – blood – I-"
"Please just help me up," he cut her off. Gingerly, he lifted his hand and she grabbed it, pulling him into a sitting position. Stars danced across Percy's vision and he bit his tongue to prevent a yelp from escaping. It felt like he had just gotten into a fight with a ton of bricks. And lost.
Scanning the area, Percy was able to see nothing but…nothing. That's the only way he could describe it; a whole lot of nothing. He flexed his muscles slightly, determining that nothing was broken…surprisingly. Maybe a few bruised ribs. He glanced at Annabeth to gauge her pain and see if she had any injuries. She looked completely fine – well, besides the scrapes and bruises that littered her arms and face.
"How's your ankle?" He could still see remnants of Arachne's web woven around her other calf. The bubble wrap was gone, however, and Annabeth had a weird look on her face. "What?" he asked when he saw her expression.
She looked down at her foot as if it were dangerous and prodded it with her finger. "It's healed – I think." Her eyebrows knitted together and she shook her head.
"How?" he questioned, more to himself than her. You'd think a fall of however many miles we fell would be enough to at least do more damage than a few black-and-blues.
"I don't know, Percy." she snapped. "I don't know why my foot is better. I don't know why we didn't die! I don't-" She stopped suddenly, closing her eyes and letting out a shaky breath. "Sorry, but it just doesn't make sense." She looked at Percy and he saw her eyes glisten with unshed tears. "It's like the Labyrinth all over again."
Unsure what to say, Percy just averted his eyes. She was right. "Well," he began, "we made it through that. We can make it through this." We have to, is what he didn't say. He figured it would add even more pressure to her. Not that she didn't already know – she was the daughter of Athena after all.
After a few moments of silence, Annabeth spoke up. "We should probably search the area. I don't think we should start moving until we've had some rest." He was exhausted, she was exhausted. Being unconscious isn't the same as sleeping. If anything, it takes up energy rather than supply it.
Agreeing, Percy and Annabeth began the slow, aching process of standing up. Eventually, using each other as support, the two made it to their feet – quite unsteadily Percy noticed. As Annabeth tested out her foot, slowly putting pressure on the supposedly healed limb, Percy looked to where he had been lying. Sure enough, Annabeth's mention of blood was now understood as there was a large pool of dried blood soaked into the ground. He paled looking at it, immediately reaching back to feel his back.
"Is this mine?" he wondered, now touching his scalp after feeling nothing but smooth skin on his backside. Annabeth limped over – not an I-broke-my-ankle kind of limp, either. More like a sore-unbroken-ankle limp. "Yeah." She stated, gulping at the giant stain covering the spot. She brushed her hand down his back, warmth spreading from her touch despite the bruises she pressed in doing so. "Something did this." Her voice was flat, unsure whether to feel grateful or suspicious. Both, probably.
"Something helped us." Percy added.
Annabeth seemed to think otherwise. "We don't know if they did this to help." She looked out towards the horizon. "We're in Tartarus, Percy. The deepest, evilest part of Hell. If we're alive, it's because Gaea wanted us alive. We're in her domain now." Her grey eyes, unnaturally dark, were suddenly locked onto Percy's. "She has us right where she wants us."
Knowing she was right, Percy held her stare. "We have to try."
She did something then that shocked Percy. She smiled. It wasn't grand, but the corners of her lips twitched upwards. She held out her hand and he placed his in it. The contact was more than enough for the two demigods, who refused to abandon hope. What's this compared to all the other trials and adventures the two have survived?
"I know," she whispered, tightening her hold on his hand. "I know."