AN: Hello all. I have decided to not rewrite, but repost some of the chapters of this story, as along rereading it I have found a few changes I would like to make—grammatical or otherwise. This first chapter is an exception though—it's so cringe-y that I can't help but change it. But, well, the only thing that I will change is the way I tell the chapter—the events will be the same. I will also work on making the POV changes clearer. However, due to the fact that my time reading the Blood of Olympus has long past and it will all take a heavy amount of work, I will not change any part of the plot of this story. It will stay as it is—beginning from the end of the House of Hades, skipping through the journey through Tartarus, and ignoring the events afterward. Basically, in this story, the events of BoO do not exist.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Percy Jackson franchise, nor am I Rick Riordan, nor am I allowed to use his characters to make my own story. But I'll do it anyway.
Chapter 1: Oh No
The doors were wide open.
This was the first thing Percy noticed as he caught his first sight of the doors, exhausted and parched. Annabeth was not any better—and it wasn't looking too good with the gloom of hundreds of monsters out after two demigods who lost their way.
"We'll make it," he told Annabeth, unsure if he was trying to convince himself as well. "Just a little more."
Annabeth nodded, grimacing at the pain in her foot that never seemed to have gone away. If worse comes to worst, he would have to carry her out of there and let her escape.
"The doors seem to be well guarded," Annabeth noticed.
Percy looked, and what she said was an understatement. Hundreds of monsters milled around the door, waiting to get out while inadvertently guarding it. It would be impossible to pass through without getting attacked.
"Let's try the other side," Annabeth suggested, wincing as she accidentally stood on her injured foot. "There might be less monsters there, and then we could just fight the few ones hugging the door to get back to this side."
"It's a door," Percy said, confused. "Wouldn't the other side be where our friends are? How would we get there?"
"The door is anchored to the ground by chains," she explained, always the observant one, "and not sitting against the wall. I mean, it would be insensible if we could just pass through something to get to the surface when we in fact are in a place more than six feet under, so a god must've made them especially for that purpose: the Doors of Death."
The son of Poseidon pursed his lips. He was hoping that that would be a way to sneak around without fighting, but of course he was wrong. He wasn't looking forward to it, but he had Annabeth to worry about.
"Let's go this way," he said, helping Annabeth through a rocky path untouched by the wide semicircle that the monsters have made around the doors. He could only hope to come through with minimal fighting, since they were both exhausted and injured, and it wouldn't be good for their health with the monsters ready to object to it.
They were lucky that the monsters were busy growling at each other, too battle hungry to wait civilized. Of course, it wouldn't be a good thing anymore if they were found sneaking around. If they were found.
Eventually, they reached the cave that was ways away behind the doors, not too close to house them but not too far of a stretch from them. The monsters there were easily slain as there weren't many, and none had the chance to escape to alert the others.
"Now," Percy said determinedly, "we fight our way to the doors. Are you ready? Do you want to rest your foot first?"
Annabeth quit testing her injured foot after he said that. "Of course I'm ready. My foot's fine. Let's go, Percy."
Percy felt his mouth morph into a smile, looking down. "We'll get through this, alright? But whatever happens, I love you, and I'll want you to be happy."
She didn't say anything for a while, not looking at him. "Silly," she replied, her breath cut short. "We'll get through this together, Seaweed Brain. We're almost done."
"Yeah," Percy said, his voice small. An echo in the back of his mind kept telling him otherwise. He ignored it. "Yeah, we will."
Nico tried to keep up with raising the dead. There were so many monsters and they were vastly outnumbered. He was even starting to weaken under the strain of exercising his powers for too long. The Doors of Death nearby were still wide open, and still no Percy nor Annabeth were in sight. But the monsters kept appearing.
"Nico!" Jason yelled. Immediately, the son of Hades conjured a dead soldier near his Roman comrade, and the deceased army confederate shot the offending Cyclops's lights out with his pump action shotgun. "Thanks!"
Nico exhaled, sweat trickling down his chin. He glanced at the ajar Doors for the umpteenth time, praying to every god he knew that the couple show up already, preferably alive with all four limbs and a head. Momentarily, he slashed down a dracaena that was about to lunge at him, and then glanced again.
Brought by the mercy of the gods, there they finally were, stumbling out to their side due to the great onslaught of even more monsters from beyond.
"Percy!" Nico unconsciously yelled out to them, although he knew they couldn't hear him because of the monsters. But why.. why could he hear something?
He could hear it, despite the sounds of battle going on, and the pounding in his ears. He could hear it, alright, loud and clear. He could believe it, but he won't let it happen.
"You go out. I'll be fine," Percy said, trembling ever so slightly, or maybe it was just Nico shaking.
He watched as he ran. No, he won't let him do what he thought he would be doing. He won't allow it. He'd already lost him twice. One, when he disappeared to the Romans, and two, when he fell into Tartarus. No, he won't lose him for good this time.
"Percy!" Nico shouted again, tears unwantedly blurring his vision, his voice hoarse with desperation. Too late. He could hear the loud thump it made, and the mechanism within it locking it as its entrance from inside prepared to teleport to another place in the ancient pit named after an ancient god. The knocker.. Annabeth didn't pull it. Why?
"Percy!" someone else shouted, filled with remorse.
"No.." Nico must've been dreaming. He wiped his face. Gritting his teeth, he summoned another army of undead soldiers. His friend would be sacrificing for nothing if they didn't win this war. He wouldn't allow that.
Taking his sword with him at an offending stance, Nico ran again, this time with a different reason, towards the Doors of Death, in front where Annabeth knelt, weeping silently.
He slowed, slashing at the monsters threatening to come closer. He looked at the daughter of Athena, frowning. If she could still fight, then maybe... maybe they could help each other get that peace they all deserved. They would have to use Percy's sacrifice as a fuel to keep on moving. It couldn't be done with any other way.
Nico rested his hand on her shoulder, making her look up. Her eyes cleared a bit, and she wiped her face of the tears, and stood up with his help.
Nico swallowed as she looked at him with a grim smile. Any day other than this, and he would've been unreasonably angry, blaming someone else for his loss that was never their fault. But maybe, he'd long been past those other days, and these days were all he needed to realize that the world wasn't fair, and had never been.
"Let's go," Annabeth decided, gripping her knife tightly with determination.
Any day other than this, he would've been the opposite, handling his weapon differently.
What a pain.
Artemis clenched her jaw and shot an arrow at her rival giant, Gration, again, this time hitting its kneecap. Funny, she would've thought to do so earlier on, had the situation been a little different.
It wasn't really fighting this giant that was a pain, nor the fact that she had to allow her hunters to face this big of a danger was a pain, nor the Ancient Laws which were making it hard for them to finish up the war real quick was a pain, nor the need to have both gods and demigods in order to fully slay a giant was a pain, nor all of those combined was a pain. She wasn't that lackadaisical, and definitely not during a time like this.
No, it was the thought of losing Percy Jackson that was a pain.
He could have tried to be a bit more selfless than that. Maybe if his head hadn't been under the rocks for that long, then he would've thought of actually going out of there himself instead of only pushing his companion out, but of course, that would require some extra effort. Can't afford to forget closing the door, can he? He'd need to move more, too. That would be such a drag.
The goddess gritted her teeth and stabbed a monster behind her with a hunting knife. If that was the problem, then someone could've devised a plan to make someone else close the Doors, like this wimpy giant, for example. That's what the Athena girl's brain was for, right? Too bad, it shut down at that moment upon learning what Percy intended to do. Artemis despised its bad timing. Or maybe she just despised its vessel entirely.
It was hard to explain why. It was ideal to say that it was because of that incompetence she showed at that moment. It was also easy to say that it was because of her compliance. It wouldn't happen if she actually tried to stop him, right? Annabeth could have stopped him. She could have stopped her boyfriend from getting himself killed.
And that was it. It was really because she was his girlfriend. She was his partner. She was his one and only lover, and it would continue to stay that way unless both of them were dead. She was his whole existence. She just was.
And Artemis? She was that boring goddess who vowed to stay a virgin because she thought that no man was worthy of her respect. And she would stay a virgin because that one that she'd finally found was about to die. Not that she'd actually want to not be a virgin.
It was regretful—not having told anyone of how she felt, especially the one who needed to hear it the most. It left so many questions burning through her mind: what if she told him sooner? what if he knew a long time ago? what if ? What if?
It wasn't as easy as contemplating her existence. It was a different experience. It was scary.
Artemis decided that concentrating on the fight was easier and much more important. She glanced to her right, where she found the daughter of Athena approaching. Mostly.
Annabeth and Nico ran back to the rest of the Seven, only to find them fighting for their delicate little lives. A few of the gods were there as well, helping out with the two giants. There wasn't too many, since a vast majority were over at Mount Olympus the original, but the situation was still bleak. But it didn't mean that it was hard to turn over.
They charged into battle. Nico summoned another small undead army, which was probably the most he could do without passing out. Annabeth brandished her dagger, slashing at everything in sight, disregarding the small wounds she received. The thought of losing Percy was more unbearable than anything else.
Then again, so was the thought of losing anyone.
Powered by the thought, she ducked under a thrust from a dracaena and swept her snake-like legs from under her. The monster didn't have time to react before her own spear was impaled into her reptile heart. She grabbed its shield and immediately bashed it onto the nearest monster, which turned out to be a Cyclops. It swung its club to her left. She blocked with the shield, staggering from the impact. She felt a tingling behind her neck and spun around, holding out the shield protectively as it made contact just in time with a flying spear. She sidestepped to the right to dodge an attack from her back and decapitated the attacker, before she yanked the spear sticking out her shield and whirled it around, disintegrating the monsters within her radius.
That was a good move, Annabeth thought as she finally found a second to breathe. Seeing the only giant left, she ran towards it.
The goddess Artemis was fighting it. It wasn't doing a good job at holding out, and that was to their favor. Suddenly, Artemis yelled out.
"Daughter of Athena, take your friends and head to Mount Olympus! You all are more needed there than here," Artemis shouted, eyeing her skeptically as though she wasn't sure if Annabeth would listen. "My hunters and I, and Hades, will handle this. We're counting on you." She smiled grimly. Then she raised her bow, aiming straight at her.
Annabeth froze as the goddess shot. The arrow sailed past her ear, and behind her, she heard an explosion of dust. She looked. Three monsters, impaled by the same silver arrow.
At this, Annabeth tightened her jaw and nodded. She would have to thank the goddess later. Quickly, she fetched Nico and the rest of the Seven and ran back to the Argo II with them in tow. The second the warship moved and they settled in, she let her emotions out which were barely contained during the battle. Her friends huddled around her, their faces portraying basically the same thing.
And for a while, they treasured each other's company, treasured the warmth that were still in their bodies before they went to the fight of their life—one where one or a few of them would not come back from. It could be their last.
But whatever may come, Annabeth would make sure it wouldn't be.
AN: Thank you for reading, have a good day! ~SmartzyFan