Ch. 20

Artemis nodded and looked at Percy and Zoë nervously.

"Be careful. Both of you. And stay with each other, no matter what."

Apollo nodded, "We'll stop by your ship and send them here. You have no time to waste."

Percy raised an eyebrow but Apollo shook his head.

"Already breaking way more rules than we should."

Percy nodded. He was grateful for what they did and wasn't going to push for more.

Artemis wrapped Zoë in a hug and whispered something in her ear. Zoë's face paled a bit before she nodded. The moon goddess turned to Percy, "Do what you do best and it will work out in the end. I trust you Perseus. Show me it was not misplaced."

Percy was utterly confused but nodded, "I will, I promise."

Artemis smiled sadly, "I know you will. Good luck."

With that the two gods vanished in flashes of light. Percy and Zoë turned to find the coliseum empty and looking like it did before Dionysus added his own personal touches. Jason and Piper were making their way down to the floor helping a weak looking Nico and Bianca which made Percy smile that they were alive and would be okay in time.

Zoë slipped her hand into Percy's. She looked at him seriously, "Just know that I love you."

Percy was a little surprised but shook it off and smiled, "Good. I love you too. Now let's go see those two idiots who managed to get themselves captured. I've missed them."

Zoë nodded and held tightly onto Percy's hand as they walked over to meet their friends and Percy's siblings.

Percy ran over to a still weak looking Nico and Bianca before he gently threw his arms around Bianca and pulled her into a hug. After a few seconds, he let go of his sister with one hand and pulled Nico into the hug.

"You two are going to tell me how you got captured right now." Percy said in a calm tone that tried to cover the slight edge to his question.

Both children of Hades paled a bit as they stepped back.

"We… We were looking for you…" Bianca said trailing off.

"We were looking in the Underworld and we got too close." Nico said picking up where his sister trailed off.

"And?" Percy growled.

Bianca looked up at her brother as a tear slipped out of her eye.

"We got pulled into Tartarus."

Percy's eyes widened as neither of his siblings would meet his gaze. Zoë quickly made her way to Percy's side and whispered something in his ear that snapped him out of his trance.

He knelt down in front of the duo and gave them a small smile.

"It's okay guys. All that matters is your safe now. Next time something happens, you guys should talk to Zoë and Annabeth though. They would have made sure nothing like this happened."

Both siblings looked up at him.

"Sorry Percy, we were just trying to find you." Bianca whispered.

Percy grabbed her hand softly, "I know little sis. It's okay though, now we're back together and nothing will happen to you or Nico ever again."

Bianca smiled at his words before a huge shadow appeared overhead. Bianca and Nico looked above them in awe as a massive ship descended down on top of them.

"What is that?" Bianca gasped.

Percy chuckled, "That would be our sister Hazel and Leo with the Argo II."

"Sister?" Bianca asked confused.

Percy nodded and glanced at Nico who was looking very interested in the arena floor.

Percy let out a small laugh, "Yes and I believe Nico knows were her quite well considering he broke her out of the Underworld before you two got captured."

Bianca turned to look at Nico accusingly making Percy laugh at his look of fear. A rope ladder descended from the ship as it hovered overhead.

"Let's go everyone. We've got a daughter of Athena to save and no time to waste." Percy said grabbing Zoë's hand and vanishing into a shadow. Nico and Bianca followed their lead leaving Jason and Piper alone on the arena floor.

Jason glanced at his ex-girlfriend.

"That so isn't fair." He muttered grabbing the rope ladder and starting to climb.

Piper rolled her eyes, "Says the guy who can call down bolts of lightning with a flick of his wrist." She said grabbing the ladder and following him up.

When Piper and Jason came aboard, they found Percy's sisters introducing themselves to each other while Percy smiled at his family getting to know each other. Zoë sat off to the side, with a worried expression on her face. She seemed lost in her own thoughts.

It only took the Argo II twenty minutes to reach the parking lot behind the Emmanuel Building. Leo was about to fire a canon through the parking lot when Percy stopped him.

"Hey Hedge," he called over to the satyr looking bored off to the side of the group. "How about you hop on one of the ballistae and blast us an entrance down to Annabeth?"

The excited satyr looked like a ten year old on Christmas morning.

"You got it Jackson!"

Hedge sprinted to the weapon before opening fire on the parking lot. Once a large enough entrance was opened in the parking lot, Percy had to pull the excited half goat off the machine as Jason threw the ladder overboard and dropped down.

Percy waited a minute so that Jason would be the first person Annabeth saw before he grabbed Zoë and shadow travelled down to the cavern underneath the pavement.

They turned and grinned as they saw Annabeth sitting on her butt, her ankle swollen from the clear break, but a huge smile on her face as she sat in front of the Athena Parthenos.

"Whoa, you found it." Jason said in awe.

Annabeth gave him a bit of a glare but her mood was too good to get angry over his surprise.

Percy looked at his friend and grinned, "Awesome Annie. What happened to Arachne?"

The daughter of Athena smirked, "Wove herself a jail and then fell into Tartarus."

Percy raised an eyebrow before his eyes drifted to his feet where a pieced together floor was the only thing between them and the bottomless pit. It looked just like it had in his dream.

"Uh… We need to get moving. Jason, can you get Leo to drop some ropes so we can pull this thing aboard?"

Jason looked up and nodded as the winds picked up, shooting the son of Jupiter into the air as he floated up towards the Argo II.

Annabeth looked up at Percy nervously, "Nico and Bianca?"

He grinned, "Resting aboard the ship. Found them before Zoë and I laid the smack down on Ephialtes and Otis."

Annabeth's eyes widened before Zoë jabbed Percy in the ribs.

"Artemis and Apollo came and fought them with us; well actually it's a long story that we'll tell you on the ship."

Annabeth smiled and nodded before trying to stand up only to fall back on her butt with a pained yelp.

Zoë gave Percy a look to which he nodded before scooping Annabeth up just as Jason floated back down beside them, ropes descending from the ship after him.

Just as Jason landed and Percy was about to shadow travel aboard the ship, a scream from Zoë froze everyone in their tracks.

Zoë was on her stomach, holding onto one of the boards of the makeshift floor to stop her from being dragged away.

Percy's eyes widened when he saw the thread wrapped around her ankle, pulling her as she struggled to hold on.

Before he could react, Zoë lost her grip and was pulled towards the abyss. Jason dove forward, grabbing her as they were dragged closer to the opening in the floor.

Percy set Annabeth down and raced after them, grabbing Jason's hand just as he and Zoë were dragged into the hole. Percy had a hunting knife imbedded into the floor, the only thing stopping the trio from following Arachne into Tartarus.

"Don't you dare let her go!" Percy growled at Jason who nodded.

"Annabeth! Get help." Percy yelled.

Annabeth turned towards the ship, yelling as loud as she could for someone to come help them.

Zoë looked down at the abyss as a look of fear and worry appeared on her face. It was soon replaced by a look of defeat and acceptance. She looked up at Jason as she couldn't see Percy.

"Promise me Jason." She said seriously. "Promise me you won't let Percy do anything stupid."

Jason's eyes widened, "Don't Zoë! Help is coming. You just have to hold on."

Zoë gave him a sad smile, "Not in time." She said softly. "Promise me."

Jason looked at her panicked, "Please Zoë, don't."

Zoë gave him another sad smile before she loosened her grip on Jason's hand making him panic as it slowly slipped from his grip.

"Zoë!" Jason yelled as her hand slipped through his fingers as she fell into the abyss of Tartarus.

Jason was sent flying once Zoë slipped from his grip, landing on top of Percy's whose face paled.

"Zoë! He yelled shooting up to his feet as Jason grabbed him a full nelson to stop him from following his girlfriend.

"LET ME GO!" He bellowed but Jason held firm. Annabeth soon joined him in helping to restrain Percy as Nico and Bianca shadow travelled down beside him.

"LET ME GO! Get your hands off me, all of you! I'll kill you!" Percy snarled as his friends and siblings struggled to keep him at bay.

"I can't. She made me promise I wouldn't let you do anything stupid." Jason said in a sad but stern tone.

Percy continued to struggle against his friends and family for a minute before he suddenly collapsed onto his knees. The son of Hades sat there in silence as tears fell from his eyes.

Bianca and Nico quickly crushed their brother in a hug knowing he had lost the girl he loved more than anything in the world.

After a few minutes of silence, Annabeth knelt down next to Percy with her own tears in her eyes.

"Let's go back to the ship Percy. We'll message every god we can and do whatever we can to get her out." She said softly.

Percy's expression was blank as he nodded numbly.

Jason and Annabeth soon helped the distraught demigod to his feet as started to lead him towards the ship's ladder.

When they reached it, Percy turned to Jason.

"I'm sorry for yelling at you and for our fight. You are a good friend."

Jason smiled before Percy suddenly slipped behind him before he could react and slammed the hilt of his hunting knife into the back of his head. Jason collapsed to the ground unconscious as Nico, Bianca and Annabeth looked at him in shock.

"What the Hades Percy?" Annabeth yelled.

Percy smiled sadly at her, "Sorry Annie. I meant what I said, and tell him I'm sorry but this is goodbye."

Nico and Bianca grabbed their brother's arms and held him in place.

"No Percy. You can't go down there. You have no idea what it is like." Nico pleaded as Bianca began to cry.

Percy shook his head, "I know but that is where Zoë is. I don't care if I have to fight every monster in that pit. Where she goes, I go." He said dissolving into shadows and reappearing a few feet away from them.

"Percy, you'll both die down there! You know I'm right." Annabeth argued as her own eyes welled up with more tears.

"Maybe. But I have faith you'll find us. If there is a way out of Tartarus, we will find it. I know you'll find the entrance. You're my best friend, it's what you do." He said backing up a few more feet.

"Damn it Percy! You have no idea what you're doing!" Nico yelled.

Percy smirked a bit, "Actually I do. I'm going to get my girlfriend so we can make Tartarus our bitch or die trying. I love you guys, I'm sorry."

All three demigods took a step toward him but Percy just smiled, "Tell my parents that I had no choice. I love you all but like Hestia said; mine and Zoë's destinies are intertwined. She goes to Tartarus then so do I."

With that, Percy Jackson turned and sprinted to the pit and without hesitation spread his arms as he swan dove straight into Tartarus.