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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3. Crash Landing

The black around them seemed to get darker. In the light of his sword, Percy could see Annabeth's gaunt face. "When we reach the bottom, we need to find out what the ground is like first," She told him. "Then we'll check for any obvious signs of monsters." Her expression told him she was trying hard not to panic. She was probably making a plan just to calm herself down. They both knew that they couldn't begin to guess what was waiting below them.

Percy couldn't be sure of anything, but he knew he was going to keep Annabeth safe. We'll find the way out. We always have. If he didn't believe that, he'd lose his mind. Percy pulled Annabeth closer, wrapping her in his arms. "We've got each other." He whispered in her ear. She sighed, knowing that was all that mattered.  Percy could feel the air growing colder as they tumbled, but it wasn't something he wanted to discuss. Annabeth felt it, too, he was sure. Below, he felt a strange, bulky presence approaching. He spun on impulse, not fully understanding what was happening. Protect her.

He felt the ground come to meet him as he shielded Annabeth with his body. The contact felt like an explosion of greek fire on his back as he hit the stones and dirt. Percy's vision grew fuzzy, and all he could focus on was the terrible throbbing coming from his entire body. He couldn't move, he couldn't think. He might have blacked out, though it was impossible to tell because there was nothing to see, anyway.

"Percy?" He heard Annabeth's voice nearby. "Percy!" He could hear her uneven footsteps coming toward him. He tried desperately to respond, to move, to find out if she was okay. Nothing worked. His vision began to clear, and he could make out a glow coming from his right. A shadow picked it up, but to his relief it was only Annabeth. She drew closer, gasping as he came into the light. "Oh, Percy!" She flung herself to the ground beside him, dropping Riptide. She rolled him over gently, though it didn't help his pain. He managed a groan, which seemed to be a good sign to Percy. He was stuck gazing up at Annabeth's scratched face, and watch as she frantically poked and prodded to find any broken bones. "Say something. Anything." She begged him. "Please." She picked up his sword, setting it on his left and resting her head on his chest. She looked him in the eyes, and though they were worried, he saw her jaw clench. "You are going to be fine. Can you move at all?"

Percy knew that look. She wasn't going to do anything unless he came with her. Come on, move. He started with his right arm, and he tried to simply lift it. It was as if Annabeth was sitting on it, which of course she wasn't. You're in shock. Snap out of it. Percy slowed his breathing, and made himself relax. After a few slow, deep breaths, he tried again. His arm slowly rose, though it was difficult and much more painful than it should have been. Annabeth eyes grew hopeful as she watched, then she took his hand in hers.

"Come on, I'm going to pull you up. You need to sit up. Come on." Annabeth urged. She began to pull lightly on his hand, and reached for the other. She's going to make you stand up no matter what you do. You're endangering her by staying in one spot. He focused on leaning forward. His stomach burned like lava, but with Annabeth helping he managed to sit up. His back could have been broken, for the pain he felt. "Are you good to stand?" Annabeth asked him.

Percy finally found his voice, which was low and quiet. "I... I'm not sure." Compared to the agony in his back, his legs didn't seem that bad. They throbbed from hitting the gravelly ground, but he could feel all the way to his toes. "Let's try it." Percy growled. Annabeth got up and walked behind him. She put her arms under his and gripped hard, ready to help lift him. At this, he received a fresh wave of torture down his spine. He must have shown his misery, because Annabeth loosened her grip.

"I'm sorry! What's wrong?" She yelped.

Percy struggled to recover, taking deep breaths and closing his eyes. Once he felt ready, he peered toward Annabeth as he gathered his courage. "I'm fine. Let's try again." He tried to assure her.

"No, you are not fine!" She fumed. "What's hurting you?"

Percy sighed. "It's just my back. I'll be fine." He assured her. He hoped she didn't overreact; they couldn't afford to stay here without knowing anything about their surroundings.

Annabeth puffed. "Sure." She said seriously. "If you can't stand up, then you're not okay, Percy."

I'm not going to make us stay here anymore. We need to move. "I'm fine, just... help me up." He told her pleadingly.

"How? Do you want me to pull you up?" She asked with slight mocking politeness.

"Sure." Percy confirmed. She seemed timid to help him up, probably worrying about hurting him. Still, she moved in front of him and grabbed his hands again. She was more gentle this time, and waited for him to instruct her. He gathered his wits, which had slowly recovered as he talked with Annabeth. The familiarity had helped his short recovery. He slowly moved to get up, telling Annabeth, "Okay, now."

The trip from sitting to standing was unpleasant, but bearable. Once he was standing, his body hurt to support itself and the area around him seemed to spin. He would have fallen over if not for Annabeth, who was constantly at his side. She steadied him, wrapping her arm around his waist. Her eyes shone with relief and protectiveness.

"Let's go, Seaweed Brain. We've got places to be." Annabeth told him playfully, though her heart wasn't in it. They were on unknown turf, with nothing but Riptide to protect Percy, who was bruised and tired, and Annabeth, who was just as bad with a broken ankle in a bubble wrap cast.

Percy grunted. "Look out, Gaea. Here we come." Annabeth scooped up Riptide and they began trudging into the black oblivion of Tartarus.

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