Author's Note: May be considered a kind of preview or teaser for my other PJatO fanfiction, Death's Deception. If you're just here for this story, you don't have to read my other (and way longer) fanfic. You can, if you want. But this is a completely separate story if you want it to be.
ONESHOT. Will only be continued in Death's Deception, so don't ask for a sequel. Because I answered your request already in this note.
I don't own.
Takes place right after the Titan's Curse.
I, Nico di Angelo, was crying.
And I didn't care.
My sister was gone. My friends had betrayed me. I was trying to harness powers I didn't understand. I was completely alone.
I had run as fast and as far as I could into the forest of Camp Half-Blood in an effort to escape, but suddenly it seemed as if the shadows had opened up right in front of me, letting me fall right through them –– and I had appeared here, in the ancient, overgrown graveyard. I didn't understand how or why. All I knew was that I was alone.
So here I sat, curled up against a yew tree as it rained. The dark gray jacket that Travis and Connor had stolen for me was no match for either the cold or the heavy pouring. My stomach protested from having nothing to eat today, and a strange, sudden exhaustion had washed over me when I had fallen through the shadows. I pulled my legs up to my chest and tucked in my head, trying to hide my weaknesses from those who would see. Of course, no one could see. No one except the dead, who surrounded me in multitudes. I could sense them. I didn't know how. I didn't want to know.
The white-hot anger rushed through my veins as it had when I had somehow summoned that column of flame in the dining pavilion, and I struggled to keep it down. I knew that my powers could harm people, and I didn't want anyone to get hurt.
No, hissed a dark voice in my mind, a voice that sounded uncannily like my own. Let them die. Let them suffer. Who are you to care?
Trembling uncontrollably, I wiped away a tear with my hand and whimpered, "I…I can't."
Avenge what you have lost, snarled the other voice. They don't care about Bianca or you. Give them what they deserve. When you next meet that Percy Jackson, show him how you feel about his broken promise.
Racking sobs attacked me, and I curled up tighter. The anger was burning more brightly now, and sooner or later it would break free.
Bring her back, demanded the voice.You are the son of Hades. You have the power to reverse death.
This news brought a pain like a sledgehammer to my side, and I actually cringed. "A son of Hades…" I whispered. It couldn't be. It was impossible. And yet, at the same time, it made sense. In a sick way.
I was brought out of my personal war when I heard a noise. Barely audible over the sound of the rain, but I heard it nevertheless. Well, not exactly. Rather, I sensed her… a living person among the dead. I looked up, and there, about four meters away, was a girl dressed in black shuffling through the overgrown, dead grass of the graveyard.
At first I had thought she was Bianca, but that couldn't be. Her hair was too short, her lips were too full, her skin was too pale, and she was too young to be my sister. She wasn't immortal, I could tell at a glance, but I wasn't sure if she was a monster, a half-blood, or just a regular mortal. My aura-reading was hazy at best, and at the moment I discovered that I had the skill, which was now, I decided not to judge by the meager skills I did have.
She was walking quietly through the graves with one hand holding a bundle of uncanny jet black roses and the other hand holding a wooden staff over her shoulder. She didn't seem to care about the rain that dampened her dark hair and soaked her black jeans. Her head was down, but it moved back and forth, as if she was looking for something… or someone. It appeared that she was, in fact, because when she got closer, about fifteen feet away from me, she stopped at a small, carved headstone. She knelt, bowing her head, as she set her bundle of black roses on the grave and ran her fingers down the shaft of her wooden staff. No tears were shed, though I couldn't really tell with the rain also dripping down her face.
I brought my hand up to wipe my damp raven hair from my eyes, and it was then that she noticed me. Her golden eyes met mine, but I didn't turn away. I noticed that she wasn't much older than me.
She averted her gaze first, dropping it back down to the headstone in front of her. She knelt at the grave for a full minute, then abruptly she stood up, took off her jacket, set it in front of the grave, and walked away. As I watched her retreating form, I saw her duck into the shadows cast by a tree near a streetlight, and vanish into the darkness.
Somehow, I didn't see this as strange, and somehow, I felt as if she had left her jacket for me. I got up –– if one could call to your hands and knees up –– and crawled over to the grave where she had left it. It was a dark brown aviator's jacket, somewhat frayed and worn but still in relatively good condition. It had been too big on her, and was definitely too big for me, but I put it on anyway. The inside was warm and lined with something soft, and it shielded me from the cold and rain.
But the fact that the strange girl with the staff had left her jacket for me wasn't the truly interesting part. The interesting part came when I looked up and saw the words inscribed on the headstone in front of me.
You will always be my goddess.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."
No dates. Just a name and two strange sentences. The first two lines mattered very little to me, but it was the third that resonated. "Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." They must have lost her, I mused to myself. With the dead woman's grave underneath me, I could sense how –– it had been a tragic accident. The motherless daughter had survived. The father had been devastated. But they had overcome their loss.
Given strength by this, I was determined to do the same. I would not show the weakness brought by Bianca's death to anyone, until she was alive again. I could do it. I knew I could. I was the son of Hades. I would overcome death.
I would rise Bianca from the dead. I promised myself as much.
And I promised myself that when I did, Percy Jackson would regret ever betraying me.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." –– Helen Keller