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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15. Rough Alliance

Percy continued to slowly force the demon downward. Annabeth couldn't get herself to focus on stopping him. She stared at his face, feeling her fear well up inside her.

He was staring at the monster's back, watching him sink to the ground. His eyes were bloodshot, and his pupils were so large that his irises were no more than slivers of green. His face was bloodied and beaten. He had a nick cut from his left ear that was dripping blood. His expression was so unlike him; enraged, confused, and insane. The monster hit his knees, struggling to get away from Percy, but Percy wasn't letting him go. He still pushed down, cutting through the man's stomach/face and making him scream in agony. It shocked Annabeth out of her daze.

"Percy!" She yelled as she stood. "He gets the point!" She was hoping he would realize what he was doing and stop, but a part of her knew that wasn't going to happen. His gaze barely even touched her before he shoved downward with all of his strength. Riptide sliced straight through the man like butter. His cries increased by a tenfold. He fell face first on the ground, and even though Annabeth looked away, she could hear the man gurgle his own blood.

She couldn't help herself. She stumbled away and retched. She held her hair away from her face, and all of the food in her stomach came up. Throat burning, she wiped her mouth on her shirt and turned to Percy. He had fallen to all fours, and was reaching for his sword. The only explanation Annabeth could come up with: he was exhausted and lost plenty of blood. Even though he found the energy to chop the demon in half, that had been the last of it. His sword must've become too heavy for him to hold, and his weight must've become too much for him to bear.

He made the mistake of trying to crawl towards Riptide. The moment he moved his leg, the rest of his limbs dropped him like a rag doll. He hit the ground with a muffled thump, and stayed there, unmoving. Annabeth's mind twisted in knots of confusion. She wasn't sure what to do or what not to do. There was definitely something wrong with Percy mind, there was too much evidence to deny that, but what was she supposed to do about it? What about the demon, who was trying to drag his body as far away as possible? Should she be... afraid of Percy, like Andromeda had said?

Annabeth couldn't take her painful thoughts anymore. She shut them out and just acted on impulse. Walking to Percy, she gently rolled him onto his back. He was breathing faintly, but his eyes stayed closed. She picked up Riptide and capped it, stuffing it in her pocket. She allowed all the thoughts of Percy's violence to disappear, focusing only on keeping him alive. Looking him over, she realized there was too much work to be done. She'd have to pick and choose which injuries to wrap or she'd run out of bandages before getting to the worst of them. Getting on with her task, she pulled her backpack off her shoulder and onto the ground. Unzipping it, she dug out all it's contents: Daedalus' laptop, her water bottle of nectar, the colorful string, bubble wrap, and the remaining strips of Percy's shirt. Taking the bottle first, she poured as much as she dared into Percy's mouth, whispering softly to him. He probably couldn't hear her anyway, but it helped Annabeth's racing mind. After making sure he didn't choke on the drink, she capped the bottle and set it aside. She then moved to the bandages, swiftly wrapping the ugliest of his wounds. Before long the strips ran out, and Percy looked just short of a mummy in linen. Taking her knife in one hand and the string in the other, she cut it to length and attempted to tie the bandages down so they wouldn't slip off the moment he stood. She had to roll him to the side to complete the ties, but Percy didn't show any resistance. He remained limp, reminding Annabeth painfully of when they first arrived in the pit and he took their impact all on his own. Just the thought of it reassured her that she'd be able to get Percy back to normal. He was such a loyal boyfriend, there was no way all of him was gone.

As Annabeth finished her string off, she looked Percy over to see what else she could do. There wasn't much, she'd covered the worst of the injuries, and there was no way to know if he had broken bones or internal bleeding until he started talking. With no other ideas, she began to cut the bottom of her shirt into bandages for later. They would definitely need them, whether they got out of the pit soon or not. She really wanted to avoid getting rid of her shirt altogether; even though they were in a black pit with no other humans, she had no desire to run around in her undergarments. She decided to cut off everything below her ribs and remove the sleeves, still managing to make a pile of strips that she was comfortable with. She applied a couple more to Percy, stuffing the rest in her pack with the nectar and bubble wrap.

What do I do now? I'm so lost, which direction am I supposed to start in? Annabeth gazed around her, hoping for another sign from her mother, but she was distracted by Percy's sudden groaning. Her eyes turned to him immediately. He had turned on his side, facing away from Annabeth, struggling to get to his knees. Grunting in effort, he heaved upward, successfully on all fours. His breathing was ragged and heavy, and his head hung towards the ground. All of a sudden, he began coughing and gagging. He couldn't lift a hand to cover his mouth or he'd fall over, so he just bowed his head to the ground. Annabeth rushed forward to help hold him up, but stopped short as blood splattered across the dirt. He lifted his arm to grab at his mouth, and would have face-planted into the ground if Annabeth hadn't caught him. She wrapped her arms around his chest and held him aloft as he coughed up a nasty red. As his wheezing decreased, his whole body froze in Annabeth's arms. Then, in one quick, jerking movement, he used her as a springboard and launched to his feet. Annabeth tumbled, but somersaulted backwards to gain her footing.

"Percy! What the heck?" She shouted at him. What is he thinking? Percy drew his pen out of his pocket, and Annabeth patted her pants in shock. "But I... Gods, I'm so stupid." Of course Riptide didn't stay in her pocket, it always returned to Percy's. He uncapped it and struggled to hold it in front of him. His face was completely drained of color, and he still had that mad look in his eyes that was so unlike him. His hands were covered in his own blood, and his mouth still had a stain of red that he'd failed to wipe away. Swaying on his own feet, he gave up on defending himself and used his sword as a cane, leaning on it heavily.

Annabeth took one step towards him before he screamed, "Get back! Stay away from me!" He struggled to look like a threat and brandish his sword ahead of him. "I'll tear you apart for what you've done!" Slowly he backed away, trying to keep his footing while looking Annabeth in the eye. She didn't know what to feel. Up till now, she'd only experienced his insanity's effects on other people. She stubbornly believed that she was different, and he would just be normal Percy to her. But through her pain of rejection, another emotion shot to the top of her priorities. Anger.

"What in Hades name are you talking about? I just helped you, you idiot!" She marched straight towards him to continue her rant, but she hadn't expected him to attack her, even if he was able. All he could manage was a simple overhead strike, but Annabeth was only barely able to catch it on her dagger blade. She held him there, and for awhile he tried to force his weapon down, only to run out of energy and begin leaning on her. "What's the matter with you? You'd never do this!" She looked him straight in the eye, but she wasn't getting a reading on anything. Normally she could understand what he was thinking at a glance, but not now. It was almost as if he wasn't thinking.

He gasped for breath to respond. "You... helped them... kill her..." His sword arm shook violently from strain, making him to fall forward on Annabeth. On impulse she caught him, which was probably a bad idea, but it didn't turn out to be an issue. Percy dropped Riptide as he fell, and didn't budge when she stepped in to help. Annabeth worked to keep him on his feet, eventually slinging his left arm over her shoulder and wrapping her right arm about his waist. Unable to see his vast injuries, she was oblivious to any damage she might be doing to him. Percy's feet scraped against the dirt as he tried to take on his own weight. His legs wouldn't put up with it, however, so every time he got them underneath him they'd simply buckle. Annabeth sighed. What do I do now? He can't even stand, and he wants to kill me.

Speaking clearly, hoping for an answer she could understand, she asked, "Percy, who did I help?" She squeezed his left hand with hers and pulled him higher on her shoulder. He shuddered, making Annabeth's gaze drift to his face. All she saw now was dark confusion and pain, like his memories were unclear but brutal.

"The monsters. Yes, it must have been them." He suddenly looked like he'd just grasped something, but his face quickly fell and his whole demeanor sagged as he lost it. "I... No, what you did is unforgivable." He attempted to free himself from Annabeth's side, but it took little effort to keep him in place.

"Percy, you can't walk or fight, and you don't know any more than I do how to get out of here." She prayed that she was right about that, or she might lose this debate. "I've never helped a monster in my life." Even though I technically have. "Let me help you until we leave, then I'll go away." She crossed her fingers in her mind.

Percy seemed to be unwillingly considering the offer, and coming to terms with the fact that his blood-lusting rage wouldn't last long on his own. He began mumbling under his breath, but Annabeth could still hear him, "I can't... she hurt... bad idea... die without... not an ally..." Bringing his head up, he finally looked her in the eyes. "We can only go until we get out of this pit. Then you will leave me alone. Forever." His eyes looked bleached, to the point where his irises were barely distinguishable from the whites of his eyes. Forever? How can I agree to... No, he'll get better once we're out and he'll be like he used to be.

Still, Annabeth couldn't force herself to answer. She broke eye contact and instead focused on where to head now. Realizing she had no hope of knowing which direction she came from, she knew she had to come up with a good plan that would get them out. Closing her eyes and biting her lip, she prayed as loudly as she could. Mother, or any Olympians, if you want us to fight the giants for you... Well, a little assistance wouldn't hurt. Annabeth wasn't expecting a response. She was never that lucky. Nonetheless, as she took a peek at the surrounding darkness, off to her left the faint outline of her mother's owl was growing dim. It's expression seemed to be annoyed, like, You made me come all the way down here for this? You suck. Annabeth nearly leaped in it's direction, not wanting it to disappear without knowing which way to go, but when she tried, Percy's weight became obvious. He was basically a ball and chain, holding her fast. As quick as she could she drew an arrow in the dirt facing the owl's location. Looking over to Percy, she noticed how much fatigue showed on his young features. Just standing seemed to turn his hair white. It took Annabeth a minute to realize that it wasn't the light of her knife or the darkness around them playing tricks. She let go of his left hand and held her dagger up to his face. He turned to look at her, but she didn't even notice. It was like he was aging right before her eyes. His hair wasn't black anymore; it had faded to a gray. His face seemed slightly older, though how, Annabeth couldn't tell.

Why would the gods send help twice? It's so unusual, even in these circumstances. But looking at Percy, she understood why they put in so much effort. What if they believe without it, we won't make it?

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