Percy Jackson's fall into Tartarus

This story is for Heroes of Olympus fans, who like Percy as the focus character. I thought up this story to entertain fans while they wait for the House of Hades to come out. Spoiler Alert! If you haven't read The Mark Of Athena, then this story will give away the ending. This is my first story, so please give me feedback to improve! I do not own any characters or content. All content belongs to Rick Riordan. Cover art belongs to fbcdn.net.

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16. Bitter Sweet

Annabeth didn't realize she was staring until he raised a shaky hand and waved it slowly in front of her eyes. "Wake up." He whispered. It wasn't so much he was trying to be quiet, it was that he couldn't speak any louder.

Feeling her heart being twisted in her chest from his pain, she carefully set off in the direction of her arrow. "It's this way. Come on, lean on my shoulder." They began walking, though it felt more like a three-legged race with a drunk. Annabeth jerked to a stop and realized she didn't have her bag. Glancing around, she noticed it sitting right where she left it, with her laptop resting next to it. "Hold up, I need my backpack," She told Percy, but he gave no sign that he had even heard. His chin laying on his chest, he was blindly following her wherever she would take him. "Can you stand until I get back?" His lack of response told her enough. She gently turned him around and guided him back where they had come.

Once next to the bag, she gripped his left hand and moved it to her right shoulder. She then slowly knelt, making sure to keep him standing and leaning on her. Scooping up the laptop and stuffing it in her backpack, she slung it over her left shoulder. Percy swayed where he stood, causing Annabeth to shoot to her feet. She gripped his forearms, and he grimaced until he regained his megre balance. She shoved her right arm through the backpack strap, before noticing it was cut through. When did that happen? She hadn't noticed before now. She shrugged the thought off, focusing instead on Percy's poor stability. Returning to his side, she struggled under his weight, her own, and her bag. He obviously needed rest, but Annabeth knew they couldn't afford to stop. They'd wasted enough time already, and if he really was aging all at once, they needed to get him to the surface for treatment as soon as possible.

They struck out, once again, in the direction the owl had pointed. Tripping and stumbling, they made slow progress across the terrain. For hours they walked, never seeming to get anywhere. Percy never got any lighter, and seemed to be getting worse as time went on. It was too easy for Annabeth to completely forget what he had done. Now that he was nearly dead, he seemed normal. The part that still scared her was that he might only ever be normal when fatally injured. Just great.

Glancing ahead, Annabeth didn't expect to see anything other than blackness outside their tiny orb of light, but far off, almost on a horizon, a splotch of white was breaking into the dark. It wasn't a glow from a weapon, it seem brighter than that. Maybe... Sunlight? Annabeth dared to hope. She desperately needed something to cling to, and it was directly ahead, where the owl had pointed.

"Percy." She told him. "Percy, look. Light!" She was expecting some small sign of joy, even relief, but he didn't even raise his head. Now as she looked at him, his hair had become an even lighter shade of gray. She gulped and forged ahead. You are not dying now. No way.

As they walked, Annabeth could swear the closer they got, the creepier their surroundings became. Once she heard a mighty roar off to their right, followed by a retaliating bellow. Later, she swore she heard footsteps behind her, but when she turned, they halted and didn't start again. The worst one was a reptilian figure crossing in front of the sunlight ahead of them, then coming only ten feet away on their left. They stopped short and waited for it to pass with weapons ready. It didn't bother them, but if it had wanted to; well, it could have taken them easily.

However, the brightness grew closer and closer at a consistent rate. It had to be twice the size it was before, and seemed to lend Annabeth extra energy. The bigger it got, the more monsters made themselves present. It took Annabeth a while to realize these demons were scoping them out and passing them by, then joining a hoard that gathered behind them. At this realization, the energy she had didn't seem enough. Her feet dragged, like her shoes had become heavier. Pulling Percy along, she knew they had to keep ahead of them. If they caught them too quickly, there wasn't a thing they could do about it. The brightness suddenly increased, and she could see the ground ahead of her. It was like a doorway had opened up and the sun was directly on the other side, creating one long streak of light along the ground. Shielding her eyes, she continued dragging Percy along. The monsters tailing them hissed and screeched, like the light it burnt them. They quickly realized this new advancement meant they couldn't reach their quarry. Immediately they bolted out of the light, and surpassed the two demi-gods along the sides of the beam. The pair was so close to the exit, but the monsters were determined to kill them before they got there. They huddled on the edge of the brightness and swung their weapons towards their targets. All of the demons were so packed together, they were ruining each others aim. That didn't stop them from making contact. One knife caught Annabeth across the arm, making her yell and speed up. You're almost there! Are you really going to let them kill you now?

The sprint only took twenty seconds. It felt like a lifetime. Every time a monster made contact Annabeth let out a scream and lashed out with her knife. On her right, Percy leaned on her and barely kept his sword in the air. He still managed to cut up a few unlucky demons, but he didn't do himself much good. Annabeth was able to deflect a couple hits off her dagger, but she didn't go unscathed. She was very much regretting taking off the lower half of her shirt. The monsters saw it as an easy target, and although she deflected many blows, a couple still cut into her side. The adrenaline helped her cope with the pain, and suddenly they were directly in front of the door of light. Unable to actually see it, she turned away and stepped in. The last she saw of the pit: an army of monsters with bloodied weapons held aloft, burning in the sun, and surrounded by the shadow of darkness.

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