A/N: So, this is like Plot Twists in the vein that they both include Annabeth and Percy while the gods are reading the PJO books, and that they do something that is rarely seen in Reading the Book fics, only much more serious. This has a lot of angst. Basically, this is the Annabeth and Percy who have been fighting their way through Tartarus, looking for the Doors of Death. They are sent to Olympus to read the books.
Basically. This is the result. Opening quote and end quote is from Aerosmith's Dream On.
Also, this is not a Reading the Books story. I repeat, NOT A READING THE BOOKS STORY.
sing with me, just for today
He stared at them coldly, green eyes wild with fury. He was shaking, and she tried to calm him down, put a hand on his hand, comfort him like he did with her, but all for naught. He pushed her hand away, and stepped forward. He didn't notice how she looked at him with a frown and sad eyes, but maybe he did, but who really knows anymore?
Who really knows Percy Jackson anymore, after all? He barely didn't know himself.
Percy stared at them, his frame shaking, his arm bleeding, his body littered with bruises and scratches and cuts, his clothes ripped, and right leg slightly limping. He stared at them with his jaw set, his eyes feral, and the rigid stance of a warrior expecting a battle.
He stared at them, all of them, he stared at them on their glorious thrones and their godly auras and their ridiculously unmarred faces, and spat on Olympus' marble floor. It was tinged with red, and Aphrodite cringed.
"What the Hades were you thinking?" he screamed. He didn't move, and neither did the Olympians, except for Dionysus holding the book tighter in hands. No use wasting the Muses' hardwork.
Even if it still didn't do any good.
"Percy—" Annabeth started, but he turned around and shook his head.
"Annabeth," he said softly, and she knew what he was doing, she knew that he was trying to do, and she refused to fall for it. He looked at her, pleadingly, like he was just asking for just one more scoop of ice cream, Annabeth, please. He looked at her and she saw the sorrow in his eyes, she saw how broken he became when it was so plain in the light. How pale, how thin, how tired he was.
But she still looked at him, defiant, and for a second he was reminded of the times before all of this. Before the Second Great Prophecy, before Tartarus, before they got together; and back to the times when they were still kids who just wanted to survive and had the backbone to try.
He fell back, still limping, still shaking, still just a boy trying to make sense of the world; but he fell back to stand with her, and that was enough.
"My lords, my ladies," Annabeth said, bowing for good measure. "We are so sorry for our behavior. But we would like to know what we were doing here."
Percy snorted, for a moment so much like his old self, and muttered, "Not like we mean it, though."
Zeus seemed to revert back to his superior, godly side, sat up straight and glared at the both of them. A seat to his left, his brother rolled his eyes, and sent a smile to his son, who did not smile back. Aphrodite deflated at the lack of love shown in the room, and Hephaestus looked up and pushed to her a screw to try and make her feel better. Hera remained impassive, and so did Artemis and Athena, while Demeter looked confusedly at the two demigods, not knowing what to do. Ares glared at the floor, and Hermes and Apollo were shockingly quiet for once. Even George and Martha were silent.
Hestia was staring into her fire with slumped shoulders and a bitten lip. Dionysus kept on staring at the pair, wondering what happened to have them so close to the brink of madness. Hades kept by the shadows, refusing the makeshift throne made for him a few chapters back, and thinking the same thing.
Zeus gritted his teeth. "You speak out of turn, girl. And so do you, Perseus." Annabeth looked a bit insulted, and Percy glared at him, Anaklusmos in his hand. "Nevertheless, we shall spare you, if only because even us gods can be merciful."
Something in Percy snapped, and he stepped forward again, teeth flashing, a wolf stare in place. "Merciful? Your wife put me in a virtual coma for eight months, sent both Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood in a frenzy with both me and Jason suddenly gone, stole our memories, and you locked up Olympus for no other reason that you want to save your own sorry behinds! You didn't help us when we needed it, you don't help us when we need it, but we help you, and that's not fair.
"What idiots called you gods? You're a bunch of selfish jerks with snazzy powers and you push people around because of it. I hate bullies, and so by very extension, congratulations, you're on my hate list too.
"I don't care if you're gods, I don't care if I die, in fact, why not kill me right now? You're all thinking of it. Just blast me, and blast Annabeth too, because any afterlife we'd have would be better than knowing we're related to you. Just send us back to Tartarus, where we belong, and don't let us stay here doing nothing, because hey, we have a world to save, and since you're not doing it, I guess us demigods would have to do all the work by ourselves again.
"So you can say thank you after we save the world, but don't expect us to stay to say you're welcome."
Percy finished with a final huff of breath, glared at them, every last one of them. He turned to Annabeth, and said, "Come on, let's go." He held out his scarred hand, waiting for her to take it so they could leave.
But she stood still, grey eyes alive and blazing for the first time he could remember, and said, "No, I have something to say."
He nodded, understanding, and let his hand fall.
Annabeth stepped up by her boyfriend, looked at all the stony faces around them, and loudly said, "Percy's right, no matter how much you wish to deny it. Some of you will try to act nice, but we're all just pawns to you, right? Aren't we just playthings?" She screamed the last word, putting her hands up in the air, and stumbling for one more step forward.
"We're not. We're people, and people have feelings, and it may have taken time for me to figure it out, but things are not what they seem, sometimes. Someone will smile at you while wanting to bite your head off, and someone will hold a razor to your throat while teaching you how to shave. I'm a Daughter of Athena, I learned that knowledge can come from many places, and that wisdom is the greatest thing a man can have, because then you know what's truth and what's not.
"And you know what's the truth? We really are just chess pieces to you. Chess pieces that some of you may actually treasure, sure, but chess pieces nonetheless, and you're the players."
She let out a bitter laugh. "I noticed that Mr. D was holding a book. Were you reading about our lives? Were you just finding out that we hold power over you, because without us, the believers, you would be nothing but spirits rotting in Tartarus? Were you just figuring that out? Were you?
"Were you just discovering how hard it is for us to know that we're twice as vulnerable than your petty mortals, to know that we can be killed by a monster or a gun? Were you just finding how lonely it is, and how terrifying it is, to be one of the precious few to see the monster when nobody else can, when everyone thinks you're crazy? Were you just figuring out that it's so damn depressing, when you're doing things that others gawk at, that others would kill for, that others envy and get jealous of, but your own parents don't give a damn at all?"
The tears that leaked out wash away the monster dust, the dried blood from a cut on her left cheek, and the hurt that she felt all those years ago, when her family was nothing but two kids who she knew for only a month. Percy walked to her, and held her tightly, hoping to spread warmth to her, hoping to live like this after everything, and hoping for the first time in what feels like decades.
It's silent in the throne room, except for their broken sobs.
After a few minutes, she pulls away from him, the both of them surprised to see the other smiling. They laughed to each other quietly, and the gods, for once, don't dare interrupt them, still processing what they have heard.
"So," Percy spoke up suddenly, causing everyone to look up at him. "I'd like to think that our little speech cleared some things up for you, but probably not. If only because we're merciful," he looked at Zeus, who didn't glare for some reason, but only stared at him blankly, "we won't say it again. One, it's exhausting, and two, it'll do nothing anyway."
"We'll be fighting against Gaea, just so you know," Annabeth clarified. "But it won't be for you. It will be for us, because we deserve to live. And if we lose, we deserve to die for ourselves."
Percy continued, with a troublemaker's smirk. "And if you're wondering, we won't be reading that book with you. We'll head back to Tartarus, because for some reason, we're much more comfortable there than here. See you."
"Wouldn't want to be you." Annabeth echoed his shark-like grin, and the pair marched off to the elevator, seemingly like normal kids for a moment, just laughing while they unknowingly struck a knife deep into the immortals' hearts, leaving the gods in their suddenly quiet room.
But maybe they were wrong. Maybe it wasn't for naught. Maybe the gods did learn something.
Only time will tell.
maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away
A/N: So, um, yeah. I'm sorry.