This is a series of one shots that I just had the inspiration to write one day, and it's my first crack at writing for fanfiction, so tips and constructive criticism is appreciated. No flames please! I own nothing, sadly all rights of PJO and HOO go to Rick Riordan. Hope you all enjoy!
"Percy, let me go. You cant pull me up."
It was the answer that Annabeth knew would come but dreaded. She knew him too well to assume that he would let her go, but she had to try one more time nonetheless. She couldn't just damn him with her, and yet there was nothing she could do to stop him from damning himself. He would not let her go, she knew that, and a little part pf her - ok a large part of her- was glad that she wasn't making this trip alone. She and Percy would do this together, and no matter what Annabeth would make sure that Percy would get out of this alive. She made a promise to herself and the gods above them, that no matter what happened to her Percy would live. It was a promise that she was determined to keep.
She heard Percy speak again.
"The other side, Nico! We'll see you there. Understand?'
"Lead them there!" Percy yelled. "Promise me!"
"I - I will"
Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. She was pale, shaking, bruised and bloody, sweaty and her hair was falling out of its pony tail. To Percy she looked beautiful.
He knew what he was about to do, and he had a rough idea of what awaited them down there but Percy refused to let go of Annabeth. If she was going to fall he was too and that's all there was to it. This was a monster that he couldn't beat and as much as he wanted to let go he couldn't. Annabeth was his Achille's Heel. Percy would do anything for her and she would do the same for him. He knew if the roles were reversed then the exact same thing would be happening and no one could change that. He couldn't leave her again and he refused to let her fall down to Tartarus and suffer alone. He just couldn't do that.
"We're staying together. You're not getting away from me. Never again." Percy said.
Then he let go of the ledge, but not of Annabeth's hand. He wrapped his arms around her when he felt them smiled and looked down at her when he felt her arms wrap back around his torso.
He didn't know if the Fates had planned it this way or if Percy was defying them by falling with Annabeth, he didn't really care as long as they were together. For a brief moment he had a flash of sorrow. He was leaving Frank, Hazel, Nico and the others to solve the problem of the camp's and he wouldn't be seeing Camp Half-Blood anytime soon or his mother or Chiron, but he quickly pushed it from his mind. Where Annabeth went, he went and vice versa. Everyone knew this about them and they would understand. They might not know exactly how both of them felt but everyone had seen them together at one point, and apart at one point and knew that niether of them could go through that again. They knew they were like one person and would follow the other anywhere.
Annabeth was not scared of many things. She didn't cry much, but now falling here down to Tartarus she was scared and she was crying. She didn't know if Percy could see her tears or not since it was so dark but she knew he could feel her shaking. Slowly she opened her eyes and looked up at him. He was staring at her and she could just barely make out his eyes. In them she could see fear, sadness and so much love it unnerved her, but she knew he could see the same things in her eyes. She fiercely stared at him and tried not to blink, because she was scared that if she blinked he would dissapear and she would be alone.
As if reading her thoughts Percy put his mouth beside her ear and whispered "I'm not going anywhere. I'll never leave you, ever again. I promise."
Annabeth sighed and closed her eyes. She rested her head against his chest, and could feel his heart beating there, strong and steady. Constant. Always there to rely on. She was going to keep it that way. It was an oath she would keep with a final breath.
They were falling into Tartarus, and it would be scary and nerve-wracking, but Percy was here with her. They were together, and there wasn't much that could change that. Seaweed Brain and Wise girl were stronger together and they would get through Tartarus and make it out alive. Annabeth was sure of it. As long as they were together.
Seems like there's always someone who disapproves
They'll judge it like they know about me and you
And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do
The jury's out, but my choice is you
"Percy come on you have to hurry!"
Annabeth was panicking. Percy was back there holding of a storm of monsters about 600 strong. Apparently he had spotted something that Annabeth had missed, which he could use to buy them more time. She could see the doors about 50 feet away, and she could see the 6 shadowy figures standing outside too afraid to come over to the other side. They were so close! Percy and her just had to reach the doors and close them on this side and then it would be over and they could all go to Greece to defeat the giants.
"Percy run, come on!"
She saw him running towards her panting and covered in sweat. He grabbed her hand and they ran for the doors.
"What did you do?"
"Slowed them down. There was some moldy water back there so it didn't take much. I think I bought us around 10 minutes before their on us so we better hurry!"
She picked up the pace and soon they were full-out sprinting to the doors. They were slowly getting closer and the shadowy figures were becoming more prominent, but to Annabeth it wasn't fast enough. It was like the ground was falling away behind them and they just couldn't seem to gain enough speed.
Annabeth could hear her friends yelling words of encouragement and shouting in joy at seeing both of them alive and relatively unscathed except for a few scratches and bruises. And dirt. Lots and lots of dirt.
When they reached the doors around half a minute later they were both panting and gasping. Immediately the 6 teens converged on the 2 exhausted ones and hugged and tried to make up for all of the weeks of being apart. They looked alright, all of them. Hazel and Piper were radiating happiness and the boys all has smiles on their faces. They wouldn't stop talking.
"The camp's are alright, they resolved their differences. We got there just in time though because just as we landed they were preparing for battle. Athena's Parthenos fixed everything though and Chiron and Reyna talked everything out. Everyone's fine, except everyone from Camp Half-Blood was sad that you weren't there Percy, and they were all devastated to learn that both of you had fallen into Tartarus. There was a lot of tears and when your parents heard about it they were very, very sad. Your mother and Paul, though Percy were the worst because they thought that you had died without them being able to say goodbye. Add that to the fact that you were already missing and it was everything is alright now, we just have to close the doors and then we can head to Greece." Jason had them updated in a matter of minutes and didn't miss a beat.
Percy responded but Annabeth wasn't listening, she was admiring the Doors which had just come into focus.
Annabeth could see the doors beauty. They were standing wide open and were metal, all was light shining through them, so much natural daylight that Annabeth's eyes which had become used to the darkness everywhere couldn't focus on them at first. Black with intricate gold edging, standing at least 40 feet tall and 30 feet were curved on the top giving the illusion that they blended into the shadows of the evil place that surrounded them. There was pictures on them too. Gruesome pictures of monsters and demigods fighting, people screaming in terror, and then there were the pictures of the gods. All of them riding into battle on horse pulled chariots, their symbols of power and fear in their hands with looks that instilled absolute terror into you and made you want to run screaming and erase the images from your mind. Thanatos and Hades were the worst though. They had black auras around them that just screamed Death and made and self-preserving animal shake with fear. They were beautiful and they were ugly, lovely and terror inspiring and powerful. You could feel their power just by standing near them.
Percy took charge, and their was such urgency in his tone of voice that no one questioned anything he said.
"Jason, Leo and Piper go to one door. Hazel, Frank and Nico go to the other. I need you to pull them closed. Annabeth your going to go the door Jason, Piper and Leo are at and push it closed and I'll do the same to the other door. Does everyone understand?"
Everyone nodded and went to their places and immediately began to push and pull the doors closed. You could hear everyone's pants and feel the effort it took. In the first minute they were all sweating. The doors creaked and groaned and refused to move even a millimeter for the first few seconds, and when they finally did they moved in jerks. Centimeter by centimeter they moved them though and closer and closer they got to closing them. Annabeth and Percy went to the other sides of the doors and helped the others pull. Everything was going perfectly and the demigods started hoping that it could be that simple and they would be able to close them just like that and be done with. But when is their luck ever that great?
When there was just enough space for a person to squeeze through though, they stopped. And wouldn't move. No matter how much pulling the 8 demigods did they couldn't close them.
"Why isn't it working?" Leo cried. He was so frustrated and they were so close and he didn't want to admit to himself what needed to be done to close these doors. None of them did.
Except one. The one who always handled situations calmly and knew what to do.
"One of us needs to go to the other side and close them from there." Annabeth whispered, "And once they go through they'll never be able to get back out."
Silence. Absolute silence. No one said a word or looked at anyone else, except for Percy. He stared at Annabeth- and hated what he saw she was thinking.
"You're not going! Annabeth you are not going to be the one sacrificing yourself for this. I won't let you!" Percy said loudly and firmly.
There were tears in all of the girls eyes and all of the boys had frustrated looks in their eyes except Percy. He had firm resolution and just plain denial.
"Percy, I have to. It was always supposed to be me. I'm the one who was supposed to fall into Tartarus, you weren't. Please Percy, you have to let me do this. If it's what I have to do to keep everyone, all of my friends... YOU-" Annabeth saw Percy flinch when she said you but didn't stop, because she knew Percy. She knew that if she even took a breath he would butt in and somehow convince her to let him go and he couldn't do that this time. She knew it had to be her. "- alive, than that's what I'm going to do. This is what the Fates have planned Percy. You know that. And not even you and I can fight the Fates."
She looked into his eyes and her resolve wavered when she saw the tears in his eyes, and it was like she could physically feel both of their hearts shattering. She turned to look at everyone else, and was saddened when she saw their tears as well.
Slowly she opened her arms for Piper who was walking towards her. She felt the young girl take a deep breath, and felt the tears fall onto her shoulder.
"Annabeth... we just got you back. Your one of my best friends, I don't want to lose you." Piper said and her voice wavered a bit.
"I know." Annabeth said softly. "But this is what i have to do Piper, you know that. Deep down you know that, don't you?"
She felt the girl nod and saw her take a step back. Piper walked over to Jason, held onto the front of his shirt and started sobbing. Jason just looked at Annabeth sadly and wrapped his arms around his girlfriend.
Frank and Hazel stood arm and arm and came to give her hugs at the same time. When they pulled away Hazel squeezed Annabeth's shoulder briefly. They slowly walked over to where Piper and Jason stood.
When Annabeth saw Leo she just about started crying herself, but she held strong. Leo was crying and was protesting as he hugged her.
"If you just let me go back to the Argo I could build a robot or something, and it could close them, or -" Leo was saying as he pulled away.
"No Leo." Annabeth cut him off. "There's no time, and besides I'm completing 2 lines of the prophecy. An Oath to Keep With a Final Breath and Foes Bear Arms to the Doors of Death."
"What do you mean?" Leo asked, but as soon as he asked he realized that Annabeth wasn't going to answer.
As she had said the third line of the prophecy she had looked over at Percy and there was hope in her eyes. Leo didn't understand what that meant but he realized that as much as this would hurt him, and he didn't think he would ever get over it he realized it must be so much worse for Percy. Leo had never seen anyone as in love as Annabeth and Percy and he didn't think he ever would. Percy looked like he was dying and Annabeth looked pretty much the same way. They were the only ones without tears in their eyes though. Maybe because they had been through this before or maybe because they were still trying to stay strong for the rest of us. Leo didn't know, and frankly right now he had more pressing things to think about.
Slowly he walked away to stand with the others. He saw Nico walk up to Annabeth. She immediately pulled him into a hug.
"Don't let Percy freak out. Nico you know how Percy gets, keep him alive and keep him living. Do you hear me? Keep him fighting, don't let him give up, you need him in this war and he needs to live his life and grow old and..." Annabeth whispered all of this into Nico's ear before choking up. She knew what she was doing, and she wanted it to be this way, but the thought of Percy growing old without her at his side was like being stabbed by 1,000 knives. "Just keep him sane, and help him. Tell Thals, Grover, his parents, Chiron and everyone else to do it too. Please Nico? For me?" Annabeth asked.
She pulled away and held him by the shoulders, and saw him nod. She felt tears pool in her eyes when she saw he was silently crying and pulled him into another hug. She and Nico had grown close after the war, since he and Percy were more like brothers than cousins they spent a lot of time together and since Annabeth was Percy's girlfriend this automatically made them hang out more.
"You be good too Nico. Tell Thals, and Grover that too k? Nico, make sure my dad knows... well if Percy forgets to tell him make sure he knows that I love him, and he was a good father. Tell Karen that she was a great step-mother too. I'm sure Percy will, but if he forgets."Annabeth felt him nod. "Thanks Nico." she whispered.
Annabeth finally pulled away and pretended not to see Nico wipe his red eyes. She refused to look at Percy. If she did she would start bawling like a little kid and she couldn't stand that happening. She looked at her group of friends once more. As one they all moved towards her and hugged her again. Then Jason glanced from her to Percy and said "We'll wait at the boat for you." His voice choked up and he turned away and started walking towards the Argo 2. Piper, Hazel, Frank and Nico followed. They never looked back.
Annabeth turned to Percy who was looking at her with desperation in his eyes almost hidden behind tears and another emotion she couldn't place right away and when she did she gasped.
It was pain. Deep, incredibly deep, pain. A pain that Annabeth knew no one and nothing would ever be able to heal. Not even time. She knew that because it was exactly what she would be feeling if it was her in his position.
"Annabeth," Percy's voice was a croak. "Please don't do this. Let it be me. Please."
His voice held it too - the pain. He could hear it, but he didn't care. This was Annabeth and she knew how he was feeling. All he knew was that he couldn't let Annabeth go. He would die if she went. Maybe not right away, but slowly piece by piece he would die, and become a shell of his former self. Maybe it was selfish but it was true.
"Don't leave me. I - I just got you back." His voice cracked and he felt a piece of his heart shatter when he saw her flinch.
She slowly reached out a shaky hand to him and stroked away a tear from his cheek. She was crying too, she could feel the tears cut tracks on her dirty face. Slowly she went up on her tiptoes and kissed him softly. For the moment it was perfect.
"I have to keep my promise. I swore that no matter what I would make sure you lived and that's what I plan on doing. You know better than anyone that you can't fight a prophecy Percy. This is one that we just can't beat. Percy, they need you. You are the best fighter and they'll need you for the battle. They don't need me. I'm a strategist but there are plenty of those now with the Greeks and Romans working together." Annabeth said. "Seaweed Brain, you know it has to be me."
She whispered the last part so quietly that Percy had to strain to hear it. He caught the hand that she was resting on his cheek and held it there, feeling the rough, battle-scarred hands that he loved so much. "They might not need you but I do. How many times have you kept me from dying? How many times have you kept me sane? I need you Annabeth, your mine and I'm yours. How can I ever live without you?"
He saw that his arguements had hit her right to the core, but was dissapointed when he still found that grim determination in her eyes.
"I don't know how you'll do it, but you will move on. Percy I don't want you to give up. You need to keep living and forget about me. I want you to grow up and grow old with children-" Annabeth closed her eyes so that he couldn't see how much it hurt her to say these things. "You're stronger than me, you will be able to live without me much easier than I would ever be able to live without y-"
"Don't. Don't ever say that or even think that. You are more important to me than anything, ever. I'll never be able to forget you even if I wanted to, and I don't think that I'll ever be able to live and grow old without you by my side. Annabeth, I love you." Percy said fiercly as his eyes softened and Annabeth saw the love in his eyes.
"And I love you Seaweed Brain. Even though you drool in your sleep. I'll be waiting for you." She smiled softly, and let out a shaky breath, before slowly unlatching her hand from Percy's and heading towards the doors. When she got to the entrance she looked back, mouthed the words I love you and blew Percy one last kiss before stepping into the darkness.
Percy ignored the tears falling down his face, he ignored the sounds of his friends yelling, his pounding heart which felt like it was shattering, and he ignored the minature hurricane he was surrounding himself unknowingly with. Slowly he saw one door close and then the other and heard them shut with a resounding BANG. There was a blast of air cackling with power that blew so fast he was knocked over onto his butt. He was just up and turning away when he heard the screams from the other side.
Without another thought he turned and leaped towards the doors- determind to open them and save Annabeth. He could still hear her screaming and picture her being attacked by one of the gruesome and disfigured reforming monsters down there, however while he was in midair something slammed into him and knocked him to the ground. When he opened his eyes he felt something laying on top of him and heard a girl screaming right beside him, he looked down and saw blonde hair and for one sweet, painful second he thought it was Annabeth, but when his eyes refocused he saw that it was Jason. Next thing he knew he had thrown Jason off of him and was running towards the doors again, but this time he felt 2 people grab his arms from behind. He struggled and thrashed but their grip was strong. He even tried to recreate his hurricane but the winds weren't co-operating and he was too tired to support it himself.
"Let me go! Annabeth is in there and she's being attacked!" He yelled at his captors who he realized to be Nico and Frank.
"No! Percy you can't open the doors again! Plus Nico said that he already felt- he already felt her soul in the Underworld." Frank tried to reason with him.
Percy shook his head refusing to belive it. "Because she's in Tartarus! You have to let me help her, I can save her."
"Perce, when someone's soul is in the Underworld it feels different from when it's in Tartarus.I can't tell if they're dead or alive in Tartarus, but Annabeth is dead Percy! She's already dead, and if you open those doors than what she died for will be in vain, and that means she would've died for nothing." Nico said and anyone could hear the tears in his voice. "She's already gone Perce."
Percy closed his eyes and slumped, the only things keeping upright were Frank and Nico supporting him. It was like his soul had left him. He was broken. Percy Jackson the Hero of Olympus was broken, and no one knew what to do to help him.
Eventually he slowly stood up, shook the boys arms off of him and opened his eyes. Everyone held back a gasp. Percy's normally bright, inviting green eyes were dark and full of pain. He had tears in them and they were streaming down his face without him bothering to wipe them away. His usual bright cheery aura of power was gone along with his spirit.
Without looking at anyone or anything Percy turned and walked away to the ship, leaving the rest of them no choice but to follow in his steps.
Heart beats harder
Time escapes me
It makes this harder
And the tears stream down my face
If we could only have this life
For one more day
If we could only turn back time...
3 days. That's how long it took the Argo 2 to get to Camp Half-Blood from Elpis. Jason supposed after everything that he'd seen in the past year that this shouldn't amaze him, but it still did. Maybe because this was the most normal thing in Jason's life right now- making a journey just like everyone else- and still it was tainted with magic. Or maybe it was a way for his mind to grasp something and forget about the silence below decks, and the sad faces above.
Even Coach Hedge was up there, and everyone could tell he had shed some tears although he tried desperatly to hide it. Hazel and Piper were hugging and crying still, Leo was silent as he worked, steering and checking the ship, but his face was pale and eyes were surrounded by red. Frank was just sitting and watching one piece of the wooden floorboards, unblinking and unmoving. Nico was looking at the door that led down to the bunks below decks- where one of their fellow demigods had been since they loaded into the boat and set off for Camp Half-Blood. Right now they were sailing on the Atlantic and Leo said they would be arriving at Camp in about half an hour.
Nico had also been crying and for the first day had hid in his bunk, not allowing anyone to come in. When he had come out Hazel had convinced him to shower and eat something because nobody could stand looking at him- he looked so sad. Nico had known Annabeth the longest out of the group of demigods- except for that one hidden person who refused to speak to anyone, let them in to see him, or show up.
His absence was like a constant reminder that Annabeth was gone. It hurt like twisting a knife into an already fatal wound. Everyone had gone down there and talked to him, but he never answered and they never heard anything from that room.
Coach Hedge had tried the diplomatic approach saying that "If Percy didn't get his cupcake butt up there, than Hedge himself would personally drag him up and beat some sense into him with his club." Immediatley everyone had taken him up to the deck to assure Coach that that was the best speech anyone had heard, that Coach didn't need to go try and convince him again because everyone would be surprised if Percy didn't come up- but not before hearing the smallest whisper of a laugh from the very cabin that the Coach had been yelling and kicking at with his hooves. It was so quiet that everyone assumed they had imagined it.
Needless to say Percy didn't show. For all they knew Percy might not have even been on the ship but Nico told everyone he was.
"Percy was-is too loyal to abandon everyone." he had said. "Even after what had happened."
Everyone accepted that answer without question. Nico had known Percy the longest and it wasn't like they could go and check without busting down the door.
None of them did anything except knocking on the door, maybe because deep down none of them wanted to see Percy. They had no idea how this had affected him, and the only one who had even seen Percy grieve for someone else before was Nico, and even he didn't know what Percy would do now that Annabeth was gone.
"All of you saw them together." he said. "They were like 2 halves of the same person. All of you know the story of about how Zeus split humans, right?"
All of the demigods nodded apart from Leo.
"No! Wait I don't know that story, what is it?" Leo asked, as usual the only one who didn't study up on Grek mythology. Jason and Piper had been taught by Chiron in the 8 months it took to build the Argo, and even Hazel and Frank had read up on this myth and they were Romans.
Nico sighed but explained, not wanting Leo to not understand.
"Originally humans were created with 4 arms, 4 legs and 2 heads. They were perfect and very powerful. Zeus and the other gods were scared that the humans as they grew would also grow more powerful and be able to overthrow the gods. None of the gods wanted to completely destroy the humans so one day Zeus took all of his lightning bolts and split the humans all in half, right down the middle. This split the humans power, and also made twice the amount of worshippers for the gods. But instead of going about worshipping the gods the humans searched relentlessly for their soulmate. It's said that once you find your other half, a part of you feels complete and you can do anything together- that's how powerful they are together." Nico explained all this, shortening the story into 2 minutes instead of the hour long lecture Chiron had given them.
"Ok, we were super powerful and have a soulmate out there but what does that have to do with Percy and Annabeth?" Leo questioned.
"Well, what we thought was-" Nico tried to say but was cut off.
"Everyone thought Annabeth and I were soulmates. They swore on their lives that we were 2 parts of the same thing. I think that's what Nico was trying to explain, wasn't it Nico?" Percy said, from his place in the door frame. Everyone jumped. They had been so involved in what Nico was saying that none of them had noticed Percy come up.
All Nico could do was nod mutely. All anyone could do was just stare at Percy.
He looked terrible. His hair was a mess, he hadn't showered so he was still dirty from Tartarus, he smelled and was wearing the same clothes that he had been wearing 3 days ago, it looked like he hadn't slept at all and he was shaking too but the worst thing was his face. He was pale, and bruised, but his eyes. They were puffy red, and bloodhsot. They were fierce but behind the fierceness you could see so much pain in them that it made you wonder how he was even still living. His lips were cracked and grimacing. When he noticed all of them staring at him, his eyes hardened. He turned to go back downstairs before looking over his shoulder and saying "I came up to tell all of you that we're about 5 minutes from the beach of Camp, so I would start packing." His voice was hoarse and you could tell he hadn't talked since Annabeth's death. So with that he went downstairs again.
"Oh Percy," Hazel whispered.
"He looks terrible.' Piper sighed.
Nico grimaced. Percy was worse- much worse than he had thought. Nico couldn't wait to get to Camp because then Thalia, Grover, Chiron and the other head counselors would be able to help him with Percy. Because really Nico had no idea what to do. It scared him, that he couldn't even help his friend but at the same time he never really expected to be able to. He didn't think that anyone would be able down Nico knew that Percy would never recover from this. He would never live, or be the same as he was before. Really he would just be going through the motions, pretending to be himself. The only person who could ever cure Percy was gone, and to be honest Nico didn't think that Percy would be too far behind her. Something clicked in them when they met, and something broke in him when she died. He just didn't find anything pleasurable.
Nico sighed. No matter what he would make sure Percy at least tried to live again. After the war Percy would need all the help and support that he could get even if right now he wouldn't accept it. He would help Percy grieve and he would get through his own grief and then they would be able to move on and Percy would try to be happy and who knows, maybe he'd even get a wife and have a family. Nico was going to make sure he tried at least, that he wouldn't just give up on being happy. His promise to Annabeth was his main priority right now, and Nico was going to make sure her last request became a reality.
Nico was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he almost didn't notice when the boat ran up on the surf of the Long Island Beach. All of the demi-gods were there- Romans and Greeks alike and Nico could spot Chiron standing with Rachel on his back. He was surrounded by Thalia, Grover, Clarisse, Reyna, Octavian, Travis and Connor Stoll, Chris Rodriguez and Katie rest of the demigods and satyrs were back a couple of feet. All of them were staring at the ship in awe and when they saw the demigods on the deck everyone apart from Chiron, Clarisse and Reyna started cheering. The latter just smiled and their faces brightened considerably.
Leo walked over to Jason who was standing at the bow of the ship. "How did they know when we would get here?" he asked him.
"I iris-messaged them after Percy told us we were half an hour away." Jason said.
'Did you- did you tell them about Annabeth?" Leo asked quietly.
Jason's face darkened. "No I didn't, but I thnk Chiron could tell something was wrong because by the end he looked concerned."
Leo nodded slowly. "Ok then, so who's going to tell them?"
Jason sighed. " I don't know Leo. I would ask Percy to but..." he trailed off. "Anyways they'll probably guess when we all come off of the ship without her. One way or another they'll know by the end of the day."
"Alright then. I'll go lower the gangplank." Leo said before giving one last final wave and walking over to the side of the ship.
"Come on everyone! To land we go!" Leo said before disembarking and walking up to Chiron. Jason, Piper, Nico, Frank and Hazel followed.
As one the group stopped in front of Chiron with Jason at the front.
It was like Jason was scared to look into the old centaurs eyes. He couldn't seem to be able to look at any of the others either. When he finally raised his eyes though he was happy to see Thalia walking towards him with her arms open. He opened his in response and wrapped them around her. She put her mouth by his ear.
"I'm glad your home little brother. The whole camp has been really anxious to see Percy back, and to know if you guys succeeded." Thalia pulled back and held her hands on his shoulders. Then she glanced around and looked back at him with a frown on her face. "Speaking of where are Percy and Annabeth?"
Jason grimaced and looked back at the demigods behind him. They looked at him sadly and he sighed. Of course it would fall to him to tell them. When he looked forwards again he didn't look at Thalia but he looked at Chiron. He was already looking at him and a brief expression of understanding and then pain. His eyes grew sad and his shoulders hunched visibly.
"Both of them?" Chiron asked Jason slowly.
Jason shook his head and Chiron was just about to ask something else when Thalia interrupted.
"What are you talking about? Jason? Nico? Where are Percy and Annabeth!?" Thalia's voice was shaking with fear and Jason hated the look in her eyes.
"Thals," Nico whispered. "Percy is-"
"Don't! Don't you dare say he is dead Nico Di'Angelo! Percy is not dead!" Thalia screamed at him.
Everyone who had been craning their necks and straining their ears to hear what was going on gasped. Murmers broke out right away and soon people were yelling and screaming. Chiron was looking around at the younge godlings sadly.
"NO! Stop! People Percy isn't dead!" Leo yelled, and suddenly he was the center of attention. He gulped.
Chiron looked at Leo. "But if it's not Percy-" and you could see his eyes widen in realization and he breathed the next words. "Oh gods. Annabeth."
All of them nodded sadly.
Thalia stopped looking around at everyone and turned her eyes to her little brother. "Annabeth?" she asked.
"Yes, Thalia. It's not Percy, it was Annabeth. We - you don't know how sorry all of us all are." Piper said, and her charmspeak rolled through the crowd and you could see them stop and stare at her.
"Princess is dead?" Clarisse asked in her gruff voice, making sure everyone heard her.
Frank nodded. Then he spoke loud and clear. "She closed the Doors for us, but she... she didn't make it out. She was a hero, and she'll go to Elysium." Frank didn't know Annabeth well, but she had helped him and she was a nice person, and if Percy was in love with her than that was enough for him. Frank was very sad that she had died and wished that just once more Hades or Thanatos could let a soul escape from the Underworld.
"So she died honorably. That's good." Clarisse said looking straight at her half brother. She still remembered the first time they had met.
The Argo 2 had just landed in the middle of the field where the Battle of the Labyrinth had been held, it was also where the Romans were just entering and the Greeks were defending their camp. The 6 demigods had disembarked and explained about Athena's Parthenos. They stopped what would have been the next civil war, although some of the Romans didn't look happy about the peace treaty. That night the 6 had explained about the Doors of Death and how the golden couple had fallen into Tartarus together. While both camps had been saddened to learn that they were overjoyed that now they had the 2 strongest demigods in the perfect place to close the Doors on the other side, and the Aphrodite cabin had had a field day when they learned that no matter how much Annabeth had begged Percy to let go he didn't and chose to fall with her. Even Clarisse (who didn't have a romantic bone in her body) had to admit that Prissy had his moments and that was one of his finer ones. Afterward she had gone up to the Romans and chatted with them a bit. But only after they had proved they were right to go on the quest to her.
"So did Prissy aprove of you?" she asked them. She looked straight at the girl because she seemed to be the less frightened of the 2 and Calrisse just couldn't stand softies. She wasn't dissapointed.
"Excuse me, Prissy?" the girl asked. She had unsettling gold eyes, and Clarisse vaguely remembered her introducing herself as Hazel.
Clarisse sighed. "It's what I call Percy. So did he?"
The girl's eyes grew sad at the mention of her friend in Tartarus. "Yes he did. We went on a quest with us, and we all became friends." She sighed and looked back up at Clarisse. "Anything else?"
Clarisse looked at the younger girl sadly. "No that's about it, but I do want to talk to your boyfriend for a bit."
Hazel looked over at Frank, saw him shrug and nod and then silently left.
Frank looked back at the big 18 year old girl and a shudder of fear passed through him. She was a warrior alright, of that he had no doubt, but he wondered what she wanted with him.
"What about you? Did Prissy aprove of you?" She asked.
Frank swallowed and felt his throat go dry. " I dunno, I mean we're friends..." he trailed off not knowing and wondering if Percy really had approved of him.
"Well who led your quest?" she was getting impatient now.
"I- I did.' Frank said and was proud when his voice didn't shake or show he was afraid.
"SO did Percy follow you?" she asked.
Frank thought about it. To him it had felt like Percy had led the quest- he had definitley saved Hazel and himself more times than he could count- but Hazel and Percy had assured him that he had been the leader. So he answered truthfully. "Yes he did, but-"
"Than he approved of you." Frank could see the girl looking at him in a whole new way, before she unexpectedly held out her hand for him to shake. "I'm Clarisse, daughter of Ares and the head of his cabin." She introduced herself.
Frank felt a flash of surprise, this girl was his half-sister. He slowly stuck his hand out and shook hers. "Frank, son of Mars." he said.
End of Flashback
"Good? How is this good? Annabeth is -" Thalia's voice faltered and you could see the tears leaking out. "She's dead and Percy- oh my gods Percy!" Thalia turned to Nico. "Where is Percy? Where was Percy when all of this happened? How is he?"
"Percy is-" Nico started but was cut off, again.
"Right here." Percy's voice sounded out from the deck of the ship. "I'm right here." he whispered softly.
Multiple cries of "Percy!" was heard and suddenly the clearing was filled with cheering, and whoops and cries.
Percy didn't pay attention to them though. His tortured eyes were sweeping the group, over and over again, like he was looking for someone who wasn't there. Briefly he looked at Chiron and it seemed like they were having a silent conversation, slowly Percy shook his head. With one last look at the crowd he disappeared only to appear again on the plank and splash into the water. He walked on the water seemingly without thinking about it, and when he reached the little group the cheering stopped. Now everyone could see how bad he really looked and suddenly he wasn't Percy Jackson- Savior of Olympus, defeater of giants and countless monsters and someone to be revered and feared- now he was Percy Jackson the poor guy who could never get a break, who lost everything and still kept fighting. Percy Jackson the man who lost the love of his life.
And he hated it.
He could see their pity and their sorrow, and he just wanted all of it to stop. It just reminded him that Annabeth was gone- ha like he didn't remember with every nonrhythmic beat of his shattered heart. Like every time he blinked he couldn't see her face, sometimes happy, but mostly screaming in terror or scared. Like he wasn't already thinking about her every single second of every single day. Like he didn't miss her as much as anyone could ever miss anyone, like how he had this hollow, aching, bloodcurdling pain in his heart that he just couldn't seem to ignore. No he didn't need their reminders, so he stopped looking.
He walked over to Chiron and stared him straight in the eyes. Chiron sighed.
"I'm sorry, m'boy. I - you know I- we should- I'm sorry." Chiron grasped for the right words to say to his young pupil, who had already seen too much, had already endured to much. But they weren't there. There was nothing that he could ever say to Percy, to make him happy again.
Percy had been pushed past his breaking point and yet, he was still fighting. Chiron had trained a lot of young heroes and he had been immensely proud of them. Some of them he had felt were like his own sons and daughters, others just very, very good students. None of them however had made him as proud as Percy. Chiron hated to admit it, but everyone had favorites and Percy and Annabeth had been his. So seeing Percy now, broken and without Annabeth was almost too much for him to bear. As he opened his arms, and his student stepped into them, he felt both of them draw a shuddering breath for strength and then their moment of weakness was over and it was time for them to appear brave, and strong for everyone else.
And Chiron hated it.
He hated that this one boy- who had never done anything to deserve it- was being put through all of this, and then instead of being allowed to wallow in his pain and grieve, was made to comfort and console everyone else when really it should have been the other way around. But there was nothing either of them could do about it, so Chiron watched as Percy held back the wave of his emotions that was dangerously close of being let loose, and greeted everyone and was welcomed home after so long and hugged his friends and cousins and laughed weakly at their jokes and tried so hard- to act like it had been before. With one main exception.
The person who had been most desperate to see Percy again was not, and never would again would be, here.
Chiron remembered a conversation from what felt like centuries ago:
"But, shouldn't you be dead?" young Percy asked.
I paused to think of my answer."I honestly don't know about should be. The truth is, I can't be dead. You see, eons ago the gods granted my wish. I could continue the work I loved. I could be a teacher of heroes as long as humanity needed me. I gained much from that wish.. and I sacrificed much. But I am still needed so I can only assume that I'm still needed." I responded.
He thought about that and then asked, "Doesn't it every get boring?"
"No, no," I responded. "Horribly depressing at times, but never boring?" This boy was very curious, I realized. I sincerely hoped he wouldn't ask the question that he was thinking but of course he did.
I feigned hearing, internally sighing and thinking one day you'll know. Eventually, they always found out.
"Oh, look. Annabeth is waiting for us."
End of Flashback
That day had come a long time ago for Percy, but as he grew so did his endurance and ability to handle things. So as they were all heading towards the ampitheatre- the only place large enough to host the Romans, Greeks, Satyrs and Nature Spirits alike- Chiron watched his student console everyone and explain his adventures. Chiron mourned for the demigod who had sacrificed herself, and he mourned for his young pupil's innocence.
I've never felt this way before
Everything that I do reminds me of you
I didn't get around to kiss you goodbye on the hand
I wish that I could see you again, I know that I can't
I hope you can hear me, 'cause I remember it clearly
The day you slipped away
Was the day I found it won't be the same
It was all he could smell. It was all he could taste, it was all he could hear with it pounding in his ears. This battle was by far the hardest, by far the worst, and by far the bloodiest.
Percy couldn't even count the amount of bodies on the ground, all friends of his or people he had known. All dead. And yet all he could do was try not to trip over them because that would mean death. Percy couldn't afford to lose a second or else the giant he was fighting would strike a blow and he would be shish-ke-bab on that giants spear, and even after everything he had been through Percy had no wish to die.
The giant Percy was fighting was at least 25 feet tall and scaly blue. His hair was greasy blonde and dirty and hanging in clumps around his face. He also had bald patches randomly on the top of his head. He oozed green pus, which an unfortunate demigod had found out was poisonous, and I could smell his breath from here and let me tell you it was not minty fresh. His name was Hippo- something or other and the only sentence he could speak clearly was "I will destroy and maim you!" Which at any other time Percy would have found amusing, but not this time.
Percy slashed his leg and rolled away from the strike of the spear. His ADHD felt like it was in overdrive, he was noticing every little detail. And it was scaring Percy to death. 30 giants, at least 600 demigods, around 100 nature spirits and about 50 gods (minor gods and Olympian gods alike) and countless streams of monsters. What frightened Percy the most however was that the gods and demigods and nature spirits didn't seem to be winning. In fact, from what he could see more and more of them were falling. Percy didn't have time to dwell on it however and kept up his maneuvers, working with Hephaestus to defeat this giant.
Eventually Percy got a very lucky stab to the heart and Hephaestus was able to send one last ball of fire into the side of the giants skull, killing him. The giant let out an awful roar and dissolved into ash.
Hephaestus nodded to Percy and ran over to where Leo was fighting a giant alone. Percy was just looking around checking where his help was needed most when he heard Piper scream. He whipped his head to her direction and saw the giant she was fighting standing over her, axe in hand. It seemed to be talking to her but even as it was talking it was raising his axe. Preparing for the death blow.
Everybody else was fighting, and as much as Percy could see wanted to save her, he couldn't. He needed to help Poseidon kill the giant they were facing. No one else could save Piper. But Percy could.
He ran with a battle cry to the giant, Riptide raised above his head.
He didn't know what he was going to do exactly, he just knew that he had to save Piper. Save Piper... but he hadn't saved Annabeth. 'No Percy' he scolded himself in his head. 'Don't think of her now.'
But the damage was done. It felt like someone was repeatedly punchiing him in the chest, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Even after a month it still hurt like yesterday, but Percy didn't falter. His lifes's friend was at stake and he had to keep moving.
What Percy hadn't been prepared for though, was the pure amount of strength a swinging axe had. So when it swung down Percy tried to stop it with Riptide raised above his head- and his blade shattered.
"Percy!" He heard Piper cry, but Percy wasn't thinking now. With nothing in the way the axe kept swinging down and there was only one thing that could stop it.
So with one final cry, Percy Jackson threw himself in the way of the blade, and stopped it with his own body.
Piper felt like she was watching everything in slow motion. One moment there was a giant after her, and she was fighting and trying to charmspeak it when she tripped. Tripped. Famous, beautiful, charmspeaking Piper Mclean killed because of her own uncoordination. And then Piper thought she was a dead woman. It was funny because as she saw the axe coming down, all she could think about was Jason. How much she loved him, and how sorry she was that she was going to leave him. Just like how Annabeth had left Percy.
Piper was jolted out of her thoughts when she heard a terrible screech, and then the sound of metal shattering. She looked up and saw tonnes of little, blinding pieces of metal- from a very familiar sword- falling like rain around her. When her eyes adjusted she saw Percy standing there panting, and looking at the pieces of sword on the ground in first disbelief, and then anger.
"Percy." she cried in desperation.
Her eyes met with his startling green ones. For once they looked how they used to be, not dark and full of sadness like they had been ever since Annabeth's death, and then his eyes glanced over to the still swinging blade- headed straight for Piper's chest.
What happened next was so unexpected, but expected at the same time that Piper didn't know what she could've done to stop it.
As if in slow-motion Percy jumped right in front of the blade, and jerked backwards when it pierced his chest. He could feel it cut through his armor, and knew that part of the rounded edge was sticking out of his back.
A piercing pain exploded all over Percy. Suddenly taking a breath was his greatest challenge, and it was impossible for him to stand. First his knees gave out and then he fell faceforward onto the soft dirt that covered the ground in front of Mount Olympus. There was a buzzing in his ears that no matter what he dead kept growing louder and louder. He could faintly hear Piper screaming, and then felt the shudder of the eart when a huge shadow fell next to him and dissolved into nothing. He saw Piper fall onto her knees beside him and he hardly felt it when she flipped him over onto his back.
"Percy? Percy!" she cried over and over yelling his name trying to see if he was still alive. She could faintly see the small rise and fall of his chest, but was only reassured that he wasn't dead when his eyes fluttered open.
Later, Piper would think back and think how Percy had so many emotions in his eyes, but regret wasn't one of them. She would've thought, that even a little, Percy would have regreted taking that axe to save her life. And then Piper would think, she saw pain in his eyes- but she didn't think it was the wound causing him pain.
"Oh gods Percy! What were you thinking?!" she cried, and then stood up. "Apollo he's here. He could cure you. Or Will, or, or somebody. I'll go get one of them." BUt she hesitated wondering if Percy would last that long- and it was the biggest mistake she ever made.
Suddenly Percy shot his hand up and grabbed her wrist. She saw him wince at the pain that caused him and felt tears pool in her eyes. Even dying his grip was strong and Piper didn't want to fight too hard, afraid she would move him even more.
"No! I don't want them to come. Besides all of them are probably fighting, and you can't distract them." Percy choked out.
It was almost like Piper could feel the blood that coated his throat in hers. She could hardly see him now past her tears.
"Well what do you want me to do?" She asked him, desperate for a possible solution to this mess.
"Just-" Percy was cut off by a weak round of coughing."-just stay with me for now. Please"
Piper didn't know if he could see her nod, so she whispered the word "OK" and kneeled down beside him once more. This time holding his hand.
She watched him as he struggled to take his last breath's and suddenly, she needed to know something.
"Why did you do it?" she asked.
Percy's clouded and confused eyes met hers. "Do what?" he rasped out.
"Take that axe for me. Why did you do it?" She asked him.
Percy sighed, and for a moment seemed like an old man who had seen far too much in his life. But then the moment was gone and Piper was jerked to the present. It was like she and Percy were in their own little bubble- like they were taking a time out. Piper could hear all of the screams and yell's but she couldn't bring herself to move.
"I don't know exactly." Percy said. "Well, one, your my friend so of course I would save you, but there was something else to it too. Maybe it was because I wouldn't have been able to stand watching Jason live without you like I had to live without Annabeth." And then his tortured eyes met Piper's and she would sware later that she had seen that old sparkle in them once again. "Or maybe it was because this way I would see her again, be able to keep my promise to her and still be called a hero."
Piper was filled with gratitude for her friend. He had given his life for her's just so she and Jason could grow old and happy together. She tried to think of something to say. "Oh Percy. We tried to help you, but there was nothing we could do. It's like you lost the will to live without of us could help you." Piper was making those awful choked sobbing sounds people made when they cried, and it felt like her lungs were being deprived of air.
Percy winced at her words and drew another fragile gasp of air, "Piper would you do something for me?"
"Of course Percy, what is it?" Piper replied to shocked to say anything else.
"Tell my mother, Paul and my dad that I loved them, and that I'm sorry. And tell Thalia she was the best sister I could have ever asked for. Tell Nico that I'm glad I got the chance to know him, and he was an amazing brother, and tell Grover that he'll always be my best friend." Some tears were in Percy's eyes, but he blinked them away. He had to finish this. "Tell everyone at both Camp's that they were amazing friends to me, and tell the rest of the 7 that I'm glad to have been able to meet and make this journey with them. And tell Chiron-" Percy was cut off by a round of coughing, much weaker than before and his voice was growing quieter and quieter, he could see the younger girl leaning in to hear him speak."-tell Chiron that he was like a father to me and the best teacher that I ever could've had. Can you tell them all that? Please."
Piper was full out crying was just like Percy to think of everyone apart from himself on his deathbed, but she managed to answer him. "Yes. I can do that.I promise."
Percy smiled softly. "You and Jason be good to each other." he whispered. Then he gasped "See her, I see... so beautiful." he smiled, and love filled his eyes, before he took one last breath.
Piper saw the light leave his eyes and felt the pressure of friendship leave her hand. She looked at the dead hero lying in front of her and closed his eyes. Then she smiled through her tears. He looked so peaceful, all of the lines on his face evened out and his expression changed to one of content.
Seeing Percy like this, looking so vulnerable, it just made her tears flow faster. And his last words- Piper was sure he had been talking about Annabeth, there was no doubt in her mind. Who else would make his eyes so happy, so full of love.
So as the battle around her died down, Piper stood up and and looked around her. There was so many dead bodies, so many injured. But they had won, Piper could see that now. They had won. She looked around until she saw Jason running towards her with his arms open.
He was bloody, and bruised and very, very dirty. His golden armor was dented and his clothes were ripped and torn. To Piper he was amazingly handsome. He was smiling but his eyes looked clouded, and started stumbling towards him and only relaxed when she felt his warmth, his arms around her and his head on her shoulder. She rested her head on his shoulder and for the first time in a long time, let herself relax and stop worrying.
Yes they had lost friends, and yes there would be a lot of tears and grief, but there would be time for that later. As Piper stood on her tiptoes to kiss Jason, she searched her heart and finally felt like she was somewhere she belonged.
When they finally pulled away Jason was looking at her.
"Are you ok?" he finally asked and his voice held so much happpiness that despite what they had just gone through Piper laughed.
"I'm fine. Are you ok?" she asked him back.
"A few cuts and bruises here and there, but I'm good." he smiled down at her and wondered what he had ever done to deserve a girl so beautiful, so fierce and so kind as Piper.
"Hey guys! Sorry to break it up, but have either of you seen Percy? None of us can find him."Leo yelled at them from about 50 feet away. He was surrounded by everyone who had survived and the couple blushed as they realized that all of them had probably watched their reunion.
Piper's face hardened at the mention of Percy which everyone immediatley noticed.
Piper opened her mouth to speak, but was cut of by thunder and lightning in the sky, the fall of rain, the ground trembling, and the sound of Poseidon's terrible, grief-stricken yell of loss.
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for,
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don't know...
"What do you want us to do Poseidon? We can't bring him back, you know that." Zeus asked his older brother.
The Big 3 brothers were in the throne room of Mount Olympus. After the battle everyone had been taken to the Olympus above the Empire State Building and rewarded. Now all of the gods were out checking on their children and fixing all of the damage that the giants and Gaea had done. All of the demigods, nature spirits and satyrs had been rewarded and everyone was out celebrating- everyone except for Percy Jackson's family, (Which includes Tyson, Nico, Grover, Thalia, Rachel, Frank, Hazel and anyone else who would be too grief stricken to party) and the Big 3 brothers.
Poseidon hadn't said a word when everyone was here, recieving their gifts and rewards. He had nodded in acknowledgement when someone said they were sorry for his loss, but anyone could see the pain in his eyes, so they had left after wishing him well. Piper had told him what Percy wanted him to know but that had just made Poseidon feel worse. So as she had looked into the sea green eyes that she had seen so often, she gave him her condolences and left. He had smiled briefly at Tyson, who had come up to him after, but apart from that had sat emotionless as stone. When everyone had left he had sat in his throne and stared at the ophiatoraus. His 2 brothers Hades and Zeus had quickly become worried about their brother. Never before had Poseidon been this affected when a child of his had died.
"Brother, come. You are expected to keep up with your duties." Zeus had told him, ignoring Hades when he saw him shaking his head.
"My duties can wait Zeus." was the only answer that he got.
Hades sighed. "Poseidon, we've all lost sons, and daughters before, and we've managed to move on and have more children. You have to stop moping and run the sea."
Poseidon turned to look at his older brother. "I'd forgotten, what it was like. I had't had a child in so long, I had forgotten what it was like. And now I've lost him and you expect me to forget about him? I'm sorry brother but this I will not do. You'll feel it too, when your children pass away."Poseidon's eyes held a challenge. He was angry, and frustrated and he wanted to get his emotions out somehow.
"Thalia's immortal, and Jason, Nico and Hazel still have long lives to live."Hades said. As much as Poseidon's words had hurt his brother's they refused to get angry, because really, where would a fight leave them.
"Percy was almost immortal once. He could've been, but he chose mortality." Poseidon shook his head sadly. "But when has being immortal ever stopped the fates?"
"What do you want us to do Poseidon? We can't bring him back, you know that." Zeus said.
"I want you to let me mourn my son. He deserves at least that much." Poseidon said, and this time his voice cracked. He looked up to see both of his brothers looking at him in concern. "I'm fine brothers, just let me commemorate my son in peace."
They both looked at their brother for a while more before nodding and flashing out.
And if anyone had stood outside the throne room door they would have heard the sobs of the Sea God, and the sad mooing of the ophiatoraus.
Meanwhile at Camp Half-Blood...
Jason looked out from Half-Blood Hill and watched everyone below singing and dancing and celebrating. It was just after sunset and all of the lights were on, giving the illusion that a dance was being held. He couldn't bring himself to party along with everyone else, not when so many of his friend's had lost their lives today.
He felt someone sit down beside him. It was his sister. Her eyes were rimmed with red and her eyes were clouded with grief, but she was smiling softly at him.
"It's been one heck of a day huh?" she asked.
"You can say that again.' Jason said.
Thalia laughed softly. "So are you ok?" she asked her little brother.
"I don't know. But I will be. What about you? Are you ok?" Jason asked his sister. He saw her wince and immediatley regretted asking.
"I've lost more friends than I can count on my fingers today, 2 of my best friends are dead and will never be able to see the new world that they died for, and Piper just told me Seaweed Brain's last words to me." Thalia sighed. "I'm not ok Jason, but I'm sure I'll get there, now that there's no wars to worry over." Thalia's voice was full of emotions. Love, anger, frustration, weariness and pain. Of course pain, it was everywhere today.
Jason sighed deeply. "I'm sorry. About Percy. I know he was like a brother to you."
Thalia looked at him. "I already have a brother," she said queitly, "and besides, really I should've seen this coming."
Jason looked at her questioningly. "What do you mean?"
Thalia smiled. "Percy was miserable without Annabeth. You saw him, he couldn't live without her. Not really. Where Annabeth goes, Percy goes and vice versa. Death never had a chance at keeping those two apart for long." She shook her head. "You should have seen them after the first war. The Titan war. They were the happiest people on earth and so in love it made you wonder why it took them so long to get together. When I met them they were 14 and in the first hour that I saw them together I knew they were in love, and let me tell you I am not the kind of person who can pick up on that stuff. They were so happy, always smiling or laughing, and they were together. Whenever they weren't hanging out with their other friends, they were together and once they were together it was almost impossible to get them apart again." Thalia's stormy eyes were tearing up but she wiped them away. Jason pulled her into a hug and felt her mumble. "I miss them. I miss them like crazy."
And Jason replied with the only thing he could think of to say. After a few seconds in the softest of whispers he said, "I know."
Abruptly Thalia pulled away and stood up. "Piper's coming. You should talk to her. Besides I need to go find Grover, Nico and Rachel."
Before Jason could say anything she turned and sprinted down the hill, looking vibrant and young. Just like an immortal should look.
A few seconds later Jason heard the rustle of feet on grass, and in his peripheral vision he could see Piper standing off to his right. He patted the spot of grass beside him and motioned for her to come sit beside him. Accepting the invite Piper came and sat cross legged beside him, resting her head on his shoulder and grabbing his hand and playing with his fingers.
They sat in silence, just looking out over the Camp and admiring it's beauty. Both of them were glad that this Camp hadn't been damaged in any way during the war. It had come close, what with the Romans trying to attack but they had saved it in time. Finally Piper broke the silence,
"So what happens now?"
"What do you mean?" Jason asked.
"What happens now? Where are you going to go? Camp Jupiter or Camp Half-Blood?" Piper asked finally meeting his eyes. He could see her eyes were full of fear and he realized that she was scared he would leave her. The idea sounded so prepostorous that Jason almost burst out laughing.
"Well, I guess it depends." He replied.
Piper swallowed, her throat was dry. "On?"
He smiled at her. "On where my girlfriend decides to go."
Piper hit him lightly on the shoulder. "You dummy, you had me worried there." she replied, but she was smiling and looked a lot happier.
He laughed and grabbed her hand. "Where else would I go? It's not like I can live without you."
Piper smiled but then her face grew dark as if remembering something unpleasant.
"What?" Jason asked.
She shook her head and looked away from him, looking at everyone dancing and having fun below them. Jason waited knowing that she was going to explain eventually. After a while of silence he was just about to ask again when he felt her take a deep breath.
"I would be dead right now, if it weren't for Percy." she said, looking at him her eyes fierce.
Jason felt a flash of surprise go through him at the way the conversation had gone. "Me too, that guy has saved me more times than I can count."he replied.
Piper shook her head in frustration. "No, I mean today. I would've died today if it weren't for Percy."
Jason's eyebrows knit in confusion. "What do you mean?" He seemed to be saying that a lot tonight.
"The giant that killed Percy, I was fighting him, and I- I tripped over someone. I didn't have time to do anything, I had no way to deflect the axe swinging towards me so I just lay there. I thought I was going to die."
"That's why you screamed. I heard your scream and I was going to look for you, but I needed to help Uncle Poseidon. How did you get out of that alive?" Jason asked her.
"There was no one near me! I didn't see anyway I would've lived, but then as if out of thin air, Percy comes and tries to stop the axe with Riptide." Piper was letting her tears flow freely now and almost couldn't choke the words out. "Well Riptide shattered and the axe was still coming towards me, and before I could do anything but yell his name, he threw himself in front of the axe and he- and he" But Piper couldn't continue and broke out into sobs, pressing her face into his chest.
"He took the axe for you." Jason said in realization, and he didn't need Piper's nod of comfirmation to know that it was true.
So there they sat, on top of Hlaf-Blood Hill, one sobbing and the other to overwhelmed with what he had just learned to do anything.
Eventually Piper quieted down enough to speak. "He saved my life, and do you want to know why he did it?"
"He told you?" Jason asked her quietly.
"Yes he told me some things before- before... anyways he said he did it so that you wouldn't have to live without me." Piper said qietly.
"What?" Piper asked, wiping her eyes and looking confused. Gods, Jason thought, she was beautiful.
"I'll never be able to stop oweing this guy. He saved my old home from an army and a giant, and now he's saved the one thing that I would die without.I just wish I could've been able to return the favor." Jason explained.
Piper smiled. "Maybe that's the way Percy worked. I mean really, after everything he's done, how could anyone ever pay him back."
Jason looked over at his girlfriend questionably. "When did you become a psychologist?" He asked her.
"I'm not, I just pay attention." she said.
Jason's thoughts turned to what Piper had just told him. "Did he explain why he did it in greater detail?"
Piper's eyes clouded as she thought back to the last few minutes of Percy's life. She remembered it all so clearly. "He said he didn't want to have to watch you go through missing me like he did with Annabeth."
Jason thought of that month after Annabeth died, when everyone was preparing for the upcoming battle and traveling to Greece. He shuddered.
When Annabeth had been looking for Percy, everybpdy had thought that they never would have to see someone in more pain than her. They were wrong. Percy was so much worse without her. Percy had been miserable, like a shell of his former self. He never smiled or laughed, no matter what anyone did. He only talked when spoken too and didn't partcicpate in any games like Capture the Flag. Chiron had even called Sally and Paul down. That had been the worst. Percy had gone up to Half- Blood Hill since mortals couldn't enter camp, and had come back looking even guiltier, sadder and more in pain than had gone straight to his cabin and slammed the door. Jason had overheard Chiron and his mother talking on the hill and from what he gathered after their reunion, they had tried to talk to him about Annabeth but as soon as they mentioned her he looked so in pain that they let the subject drop. Afterwards they hugged and Percy left. His mother said Percy was guilty that he couldn't save her and that he had put everyone through so much looking for him. After that Percy had become even more closed off. Jason suspected that the only reason Percy did anything at all was for the battle.
Jason shuddered again. He couldn't even imagine if it was him like that without Piper. Jason became overwhelmed with gratitude for what Percy had done, and he hoped that he was in Elysium with Annabeth.
"Well maybe now we can have some peace." he said, looking over at Piper.
She laughed and kissed him. "It wouldn't be Camp Half-Blood if it was peaceful."
And looking out over the valley below them, the couple held hands and slowly walked down to where everyone was waiting and joined the celebrations.
I wish the world wouldn't be so cold
as to take such a beautiful soul.
But, despite it all,
you know we gotta carry on.
I'm going to tell you all that this is not what I think will happen in the books! I just thought that they would be very good story ideas! The first set of lyrics are from the song 'Ours' by Taylor Swift and the scene is of when Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus together. The second portion of the story takes place when the demigods reach the doors and have to close them, and the lyrics are from the song 'Moments' by One Direction. The third one shot is when the demigods remeet the camps after closing the Doors and the lyrics are from the song 'I Miss You' by Avril Lavigne. The fourth section of this story takes place during the fight with the giants in Greece and the lyrics are from the song 'Some Nights' by Fun. The fifth and final part is the night of the fight and the lyrics are from the song 'Brighter Side' by OPM. Thanks for reading everyone!