Hey! So it's half two in the morning, so this could be slightly dodgy. Sorry for any Supernatural connotations and references - that's what you get when you write fanfic whilst listening to Carry On, Wayward Son. Enjoy. Inspired by Moriarty's little speech in Reichenbach Fall.

'Falling's just like flying, only there's a more permanent destination.'

Percy wasn't so sure. But wherever he was headed, it was a long, long fall.

The fall had started years ago, he supposed. Tiny at first, but slowly growing, slowly taking over his life. Maybe it had begun when he'd first kissed Annabeth – he was flying at that point, flying so high that the only way was down. Perhaps it had started back in sixth grade, when Grover had told him the truth about his father. Or maybe it had been years before that even, back when he'd been nothing but the weird, lonely kid who could make strange things happen.

The point was, he'd been owed a fall for a very long time. No one could get away with the stuff he did and expect nothing bad to come of it. Yeah, he'd had his ups and downs, but they'd just been life's normal, everyday ups and downs. With half the gods, and the entire armies of hell on his tail, Percy highly doubted that he was going to be allowed to get away with anything.

He just hadn't expected his fall to quite so…literal. He'd expected a hubris moment maybe - when his fatal flaw was revealed to the entire world and they all used it against him. Or maybe just a time when he was no longer needed, when there were better demigods than him, and he was second rate. He'd expected it to get to the point where everybody abandoned him and he was left, alone, regretting his choices. He certainly hadn't expected to get caught up in the next great prophecy, let alone tumble into hell along with his girlfriend. And he certainly didn't think that getting out of his current mess was going to be as easy as finding some salt.

It was almost, he mused, like Alice falling down her rabbit hole. There didn't seem to be any time; or at least whatever time there was elongated and stretched to the point of breaking. Like a week would take months, like a month would take ten years. Percy wasn't religious, but he was pretty sure there was a hell. A hell full of monsters, all of whom wanted his blood.

And it was straight where he was headed.

He didn't quite get what he'd done to deserve all of this. Yeah, he'd back-chatted a few gods, but it wasn't his fault they were complete idiots. And maybe he had killed quite a few monsters, but they always started it. He didn't go looking for trouble.

If he was honest, he was quite happy just falling. There was no-one bothering him, no one trying to kill him or manipulate him into doing stuff. No one was trying to coerce or force him into stuff. It was just him and Annabeth falling steadily, waiting for end that just didn't seem to be coming. There was going to be trouble when it did though. He was good and so was she, but even together there was no way they could continuously fight off every monster in Tartarus. Either from impact, monsters or the fact that Tartarus literally radiated death, they would die. Percy knew it. In a way, he'd kind of come to terms with it already. He'd rather die in battle, fighting to save something he loved than old and decrepit, wheezing on a bed, surrounded by the few relatives that actually cared whether he lived or died.

And if this was the end, there was nothing he really regretted. He'd made the most out of what he had. It wasn't like he'd ever turned down any opportunities. His mom had Paul, Grover had Juniper, and if Annabeth got out of this hell-hole alive, then she'd find a better guy and live a long and happy life without him. Tyson had Ella and a whole bunch of Cyclops buddies to keep him company and feed him peanut butter. He'd be fine. Camp would be better off without him, seeming as Hera was using him as a giant chess piece in this whole greek-roman faceoff thing. Nico would look after Mrs. O'Leary. Posideon would get over it. He was a god – he'd had plenty of sons die on him before. Athena certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Everyone would cope without him. They'd probably even be better off – no Percy causing havoc, starting fights, burning down schools. The whole city of Manhattan would probably be safer, what with the amount of monsters he attracted and all. Someone else could save the world and feature in all the goddamn prophecies. Percy was done.

Somewhere, somehow, there was light at the end of the tunnel. That was, of course, if it wasn't hellfire. Percy sighed, bracing himself for impact. Whatever came next, he had to protect Annabeth. If anyone deserved to make it out of Tartarus alive, it was her. He was going to hide her; and then distract all the monsters, giving her time to make an escape and try find a way out. If the doors of death were really open, the there's no reason why she wouldn't be able to escape out of them. He, on the other hand, would endure the torture. He wouldn't scream whilst they tore him to shreds, over and over again. He wouldn't budge. He had to give her long enough to escape. After that, he could crack. He could crumble in their hands, because by then it would be too late. Annabeth would be free, and she could get the camps to unite, and Gaia would lose. And maybe, just maybe, Percy would get his own villa in Elysium, where he could sit and watch, waiting for Annabeth to arrive.

So all in all, his fall was just. Not particularly fair, but just and expected. And if he could do one last good thing before he went, he would. And if that one last good thing turned out to be the thing that defeated Gaia, then great. Just perfect.

Too bad he wouldn't be there to see it.

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