Whenever Percy stopped by to see [Annabeth], she was so lost in thought that the conversation went something like this: Percy: 'Hey, how's it going?' Annabeth: 'Uh, no thanks.' Percy: 'Okay... have you eaten anything today?' Annabeth: 'I think Leo is on duty. Ask him.' Percy: 'So, my hair is on fire.' Annabeth: 'Okay, in a while.
Whenever Percy stopped by to see [Annabeth], she was so lost in thought that the conversation went something like this: Percy: 'Hey, how's it going?' Annabeth: 'Uh, no thanks.' Percy: 'Okay...have you eaten anything today?' Annabeth: 'I think Leo is on duty. Ask him.' Percy: 'So, my hair is on fire.' Annabeth: 'Okay, in a while.
A little background: Annabeth used to adventure with Hermes's son Luke. Over time, Annabeth developed a crush on Luke. As Annabeth got older, Luke developed feelings for her, too. Luke turned evil. Hermes blamed Annabeth for not preventing Luke from turning evil. Annabeth blamed Hermes for being a rotten dad and giving Luke the capacity to become evil in the first place. Luke died in war. Hermes and Annabeth blamed each other. Confused? Welcome to my world.
Percy: Put your cap back on... get out! Annabeth: What? No! I'm not leaving you. Percy: I've got a plan. I'll distract them. You can use the metal spider... maybe it'll lead you back to Hephaestus. You have to tell him what's going on. Annabeth: But you'll be killed! Percy: I'll be fine. Besides, we've got no choice. Annabeth glared at me like she was going to punch me, and then she did something that surprised me even more she kissed me. Annabeth Be careful, Seaweed Brain. Percy: she put on her hat and vanished.
When Luke had descended into the River Styx, he would've had to focus on something important that would hold him to his mortal life. Otherwise he would've dissolved. I had seen Annabeth, and I had a feeling he had too. He had pictured that scene Hestia showed me""of himself in the good old days with Thalia and Annabeth, when he promised they would be a family. Hurting Annabeth in battle had shocked him into remembering that promise. It had allowed his mortal conscience to take over again, and defeat Kronos. His weak spot""his Achilles heel""had saved us all
Can you surf really well, then?" I looked at Grover, who was trying hard not to laugh. "Jeez, Nico, " I said. "I've never really tried." He went on asking questions. Did I fight a lot with Thalia, since she was a daughter of Zeus? (I didn't answer that one.) If Annabeth's mother was Athena, the goddess of wisdom, then why didn't Annabeth know better than to fall off a cliff? (I tried not to strangle Nico for asking that one.) Was Annabeth my girlfriend? (At this point, I was ready to stick the kid in a meat-flavored sack and throw him to the wolves.)
Can you surf really well, then?" I looked at Grover, who was trying hard not to laugh. "Jeez, Nico," I said. "I've never really tried." He went on asking questions. Did I fight a lot with Thalia, since she was a daughter of Zeus? (I didn't answer that one.) If Annabeth's mother was Athena, the goddess of wisdom, then why didn't Annabeth know better than to fall off a cliff? (I tried not to strangle Nico for asking that one.) Was Annabeth my girlfriend? (At this point, I was ready to stick the kid in a meat-flavored sack and throw him to the wolves.)
Neither torch nor dagger," Annabeth said firmly. "There is a third test, which I will pass." "A third test?" the pater demanded. "Mithras was born from rock," Annabeth said, hoping she was right. "He emerged fully grown from the stone, holding his dagger and torch." The screaming and wailing told her she had guessed correctly. "The big mother knows all!" a ghost cried. "That is our most closely guarded secret!" Then maybe you shouldn't put a statue of it on your altar, Annabeth thought.
Piper and Hazel were ready to go, but first Annabeth turned to Percy, who was leaning on the starboard rail, gazing over the bay. Annabeth took his hand. 'What are you going to do while we're gone?' 'Jump in the harbor, ' he said casually, like another kid might say, I'm going to get a snack.
Annabeth:My fatal flaw. That's what the Sirens showed me. My fatal flaw is hubris. Percy: the brown stuff they spread on veggie sandwiches? Annabeth:No, Seaweed Brain. That's HUMMUS. hubris is worse. Percy: what could be worse than hummus? Annabeth: Hubris means deadly pride, Percy. Thinking you can do things better than anyone else... Even the gods.
Everyone thinks you've been kidnapped," he said. "We've been scouring the ship. When Coach Hedge finds out- oh, gods, you've been here all night?" "Frank!" Annabeth's ears were as red as strawberries. "We just came down here to talk. We fell asleep. Accidentally. That's it." "Kissed a couple of times," Percy said. Annabeth glared at him. "Not helping!
Everyone thinks you've been kidnapped, " he said. "We've been scouring the ship. When Coach Hedge finds out- oh, gods, you've been here all night?" "Frank!" Annabeth's ears were as red as strawberries. "We just came down here to talk. We fell asleep. Accidentally. That's it." "Kissed a couple of times, " Percy said. Annabeth glared at him. "Not helping!
Percy pulled Annabeth close and kissed her... long enough for it to get really awkward for Piper, though she said nothing. She thought about the old rule of Aphrodite's cabin: that to be recognized as a daughter of the love goddess, you had to break someone's heart. Piper had long ago decided to change that rule. Percy and Annabeth were a perfect example of why. You should have to make someone's heart whole. That was a much better test. When Percy pulled away, Annabeth looked like a fish gasping for air. 'The Rivalry end here, ' Percy said. 'I love you, Wise Girl.
Hey, can I see that sword you were using?" I showed him Riptide, and explained how it turned from a pen into a sword just by uncapping it. "Cool! Does it ever run out of ink?" "Um, well, I don't actually write with it." "Are you really the son of Poseidon?" "Well, yeah." "Can you surf really well, then?" I looked at Grover, who was trying hard not to laugh. "Jeez, Nico, " I said. "I've never really tried." He went on asking questions. Did I fight a lot with Thalia, since she was a daughter of Zeus? (I didn't answer that one.) If Annabeth's mother was Athena, the goddess of wisdom, then why didn't Annabeth know better than to fall off a cliff? (I tried not to strangle Nico for asking that one.) Was Annabeth my girlfriend? (At this point, I was ready to stick the kid in a meat-flavored sack and throw him to the wolves.)
Annabeth Thalia and I hadn't seen each other in months but between the blizzard and the thought of what we were about to do we were too nervous to talk much. Except for my mom. She talks more when she's nervous. By the time we finally got to Westover Hall it was getting dark and she'd told Annabeth and Thalia every embarrassing baby story there was to tell about me.
Very slowly, using only two fingers, Annabeth drew her dagger. Instead of dropping it, she tossed it as far as she could into the water. Octavian made a squeaking sound. 'What was that for? I didn't say toss it! That could've been evidence. Or spoils of war!' Annabeth tried for a dumb-blonde smile, like: Oh, silly me. Nobody who knew her would have been fooled. But Octavian seemed to buy it. He huffed in exasperation. 'You other two... ' He pointed his blade at Hazel and Piper. 'Put your weapons on the dock. No funny bus-' All around the Romans, Charleston Harbor erupted like a Las Vegas fountain putting on a show. When the wall of seawater subsided, the three Romans were in the bay, spluttering and frantically trying to stay afloat in their armor. Percy stood on the dock, holding Annabeth's dagger. 'You dropped this, ' he said, totally poker-faced. Annabeth threw her arms around him. 'I love you!' 'Guys, ' Hazel interrupted. She had a little smile on her face. 'We need to hurry.
Annabeth recognized something else in her face, too - in the hard set of her mouth and the deliberate way she raised her chin like she was ready to accept any challenge. Reyna was forcing a look of courage, while holding back a mixture of hopefulness and worry and fear that she couldn't show in public. Annabeth knew that expression. She saw it every time she looked in a mirror.
Blood trickled from the corner of her (Annabeth) mouth. She croaked, "Family, Luke. You promised." Luke stared at the knife in Annabeth's hand, the blood on her face. "Promise." Then he gasped like he couldn't get air. "Annabeth... " But it wasn't the Titan's voice. It was Luke's. He stumbled forward like he couldn't control his own body. "You're bleeding... " He gasped again."He's changing. Help. He's... he's almost ready. He won't need my body anymore. Please-" "The knife, Percy, " Annabeth muttered. Her breath was shallow. "Hero... cursed blade... " Luke turned and collapsed, clutching his ruined hands."Please, Percy... " Luke seemed to know what I was thinking. He moistened his lips. "You can't... can't do it yourself. He'll break my control. He'll defend himself. Only my hand. I know where. I can... can keep him controlled." I raised the knife to strike. Then I looked at Annabeth, at Grover. And I finally understood what she'd been trying to tell me. You are not the hero, Rachel had said. It will affect what you do. The line from the great prophecy echoed in my head: A hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap. My whole world tipped upside down, and I gave the knife to Luke.I watched as Luke grasped the hilt he stabbed himself
So... these Pillars of Hercules. Are they dangerous?' Annabeth stayed focused on the cliffs. 'For Greeks, the pillars marked the end of the known world. The Romans said the pillars were inscribed with a Latin warning-' 'Non plus ultra, ' Percy said. Annabeth looked stunned. 'Yeah. Nothing Further Beyond. How did you know?' Percy pointed. 'Because I'm looking at it.
Polyphemus stiffened. "Who said that?" "Nobody!" Annabeth yelled. That got exactly the reaction she'd been hoping for. The monster's face turned red with rage. "Nobody!" Polyphemus yelled back. "I remember you!" "You're too stupid to remember anybody," Annabeth taunted. "Much less Nobody.
Something was wrong with Luke," Annabeth muttered, poking at the fire with her knife. "Did you notice the way he was acting?" "He looked pretty pleased to me," I said. "Like he'd spent a nice day torturing heroes." "That's not true! There was something wrong with him. He looked...nervous. He told his monsters to spare me. He wanted to tell me something." "Probably, 'Hi, Annabeth! Sit here with me and watch while I tear your friends apart. It'll be fun!
Do you know who I am?" she demanded. "Well, you're Night, I suppose, " said Annabeth. "I mean, I can tell because you're dark and everything, though the brochure didn't say much about you." Nyx's eyes winked out for a moment. "What brochure?" Annabeth patted her pockets. "We had one, didn't we?" Percy licked his lips. "Uh-huh." He was still watching the horses, his hand tight on his sword hilt, but he was smart enough to follow Annabeth's lead. [... ] "Anyway, " she said, "I guess the brochure didn't say much, because you weren't spotlighted on the tour. We got to see the River Phlegethon, the Cocytus, the arai, the poison glade of Akhlys, even some random Titans and giants, but Nyx... hmm, no you weren't really featured." "Featured? Spotlighted?" "Yeah, " Percy said, warming up to the idea. "We came down here for the Tartarus tour-like, exotic destinations, you know? The Underworld is overdone. Mount Olympus is a tourist trap-" "Gods, totally!" Annabeth agreed. "So we booked the Tartarus excursion, but no one even mentioned we'd run into Nyx. Huh. Oh, well. Guess they didn't think you were important.
Don't you ever feel like, what if the world really IS messed up? What if we COULD Do it all over again from scratch? No more war. Nobody homeless. No more summer reading homework. 'm listening. Annabeth: I mean, the West represents a lot of the best things mankind ever did-that's why the fire is still burning. That's why OlympusIs still around. But sometimes you just see the bad stuff, you know? And you start thinking the way Luke does: 'If I could tear this all down, i would do it better.'. Don't you ever feel that way? Like YOU could do a better job I'd you ran the world? Percy:Um... no. Me running the world would be kind of a nightmare. Annabeth: then you're lucky. Hubris isn't your fatal flaw. Percy: what is? Annabeth: I don't know, Percy, but every hero has one. If you don't find it and learn to control it... well, they don't call it 'fatal' for nothing. Percy(thinking to himself): I thought about that. It didn't exactly cheer me up.
I could hear hopefulness in her voice, but also doubt. She was waiting for me to admit the obvious: I'd forgotten. I was toast. I was boyfriend roadkill. Just because I forgot, you shouldn't take that as a sign I didn't care about Annabeth. Seriously, the last month with her had been awesome. I was the luckiest demigod ever. But a special dinner... when had I mentioned that? Maybe I'd said it after Annabeth kissed me, which had sort of sent me into a fog. Maybe a Greek gos had disguised himself as me as and made her that promise as a prank. Or maybe I was just a rotten boyfriend.
Very slowly using two fingers, Annabeth drew her dagger. Instead of dropping it, she tossed it as far as she could into the water. Octavian made a squeaking sound. "What was that for? I didn't say toss it! That could've been evidence. Or spoils of war!" Annabeth tried for a dumb-blonde smile, like: Oh, silly me. Nobody who knew her would have been fooled. But Octavian seemed to buy it. He huffed in exasperation. "You other two... " He pointed his blade a Hazel and Piper. "Put your weapons on the dock. No funny bus-" All around the Romans, Charleston Harbor erupted like a Las Vegas fountain putting on a show. When the wall of seawater subsided, the three Romans were in the bay, spluttering and frantically trying to stay afloat in their armor. Percy stood on the dock, holding Annabeth's dagger. "You dropped this, " he said, totally poker-faced.
We only came close to dying six or seven times, which I thought was pretty good. Once, I lost my grip and found myself dangling by one hand from a ledge fifty feet above the rocky surf. But I found another handhold and kept climbing. A minute later Annabeth hit a slippery patch of moss and her foot slipped. Fortunately, she found something else to put it against. Unfortunately, that something was my face. "Sorry, " she murrmured. "S'okay, " I grunted, though I'd never really wanted to know what Annabeth's sneaker tasted like.
We only came close to dying six or seven times, which I thought was pretty good. Once, I lost my grip and found myself dangling by one hand from a ledge fifty feet above the rocky surf. But I found another handhold and kept climbing. A minute later Annabeth hit a slippery patch of moss and her foot slipped. Fortunately, she found something else to put it against. Unfortunately, that something was my face. "Sorry," she murrmured. "S'okay," I grunted, though I'd never really wanted to know what Annabeth's sneaker tasted like.
The cord, a familiar voice said. Remember your lifeline, dummy! Suddenly there was a tug in my lower back. The current pulled at me, but it wasn't carrying me away anymore. I imagined the string in my back keeping me tied to the shore. "Hold on, Seaweed Brain." It was Annabeth's voice, much clearer now. "You're not getting away from me that easily." The cord strengthened. I could see Annabeth now- standing barefoot above me on the canoe lake pier. I'd fallen out of my canoe. That was it. She was reaching out her hand to haul me up, and she was trying not to laugh. She wore her orange camp T-shirt and jeans. Her hair was tucked up in her Yankees cap, which was strange because that should have made her invisible. "You are such an idiot sometimes." She smiled. "Come on. Take my hand." Memories came flooding back to me- sharper and more colorful. I stopped dissolving. My name was Percy Jackson. I reached up and took Annabeth's hand.
Percy, meet Gladiola. Gladiola, Percy." I stared at Annabeth, figuring she'd crack up at this practical joke they were playing on me, but she looked deadly serious. "I'm not saying hello to a pink poodle," I said. "Forget it." "Percy," Annabeth said. "I said hello to the poodle. You say hello to the poodle." The poodle growled. "I said hello to the poodle.
You sneaked into my cabin?' Annabeth rolled her eyes. 'Percy, you'll be seventeen in two months. You can't seriously be worried about getting in trouble with Coach Hedge.' 'Uh, have you seen his baseball bat?' 'Besides, Seaweed Brain, I just thought we could take a walk. We haven't had any time to be together alone. I want to show you something-my favorite place aboard the ship.' Percy's pulse was still in overdrive, but it wasn't from fear of getting in trouble. 'Can I, you know, brush my teeth first?' 'You'd better, ' Annabeth said. 'Because I'm not kissing you until you do. And brush your hair while you're at it.
Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome. "We're staying together, " he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again." Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall. "As long as we're together, " she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw the sunlight far, f ar above-maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his tiny ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
And, ' Annabeth continued, 'it reminds me how long we've known each other. We were twelve, Percy. Can you believe that?' 'No, he admitted. 'So... you knew you liked me from that moment?' She smirked. 'I hated you at first. You annoyed me. Then I tolerated you for a few years. Then-' 'Okay, fine.' She leaned in and kissed: him a good, proper kiss without anyone watching-no Romans anywhere, no screaming satyr chaperones. She pulled away. 'I missed you, Percy.' Percy wanted to tell her the same thing, but it seemed too small a comment. While he had been on the Roman side, he'd kept himself alive almost solely by thinking of Annabeth. I missed you didn't really cover that.
Nyx's quasar eyes burned. 'Of course not. I would not let my horses eat you, any more than I would let Akhlys kill you. Such fine prizes, I will kill myself!' Annabeth didn't feel particularly witty or courageous, but her instincts told her to take the initiative, or this would be a very short conversation. 'Oh, don't kill yourself!' she cried. 'We're not that scary.' The goddess lowered her whip. 'What? No, I didn't mean-' 'Well, I hope not!' Annabeth looked at Percy and forced a laugh. 'We wouldn't want to scare her, would we?' 'Ha, ha, ' Percy said weakly. 'No, we wouldn't.
He gave me the brochure. It was about the Hunters of Artemis. The front read, A WISE CHOICE FOR YOUR FUTURE! Inside were pictures of young maidens doing hunter stuff, chasing monsters, shooting bows. There were captions like: HEALTH BENEFITS: IMMORTALITY AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU! and A BOY-FREE TOMORROW! "I found that in Annabeth's backpack," Grover said. I stared at him. "I don't understand." "Well, it seems to me... maybe Annabeth was thinking about joining." I'd like to say I took the news well. The truth was, I wanted to strangle the Hunters of Artemis one eternal maiden at a time.
He gave me the brochure. It was about the Hunters of Artemis. The front read, A WISE CHOICE FOR YOUR FUTURE! Inside were pictures of young maidens doing hunter stuff, chasing monsters, shooting bows. There were captions like: HEALTH BENEFITS: IMMORTALITY AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU! and A BOY-FREE TOMORROW! "I found that in Annabeth's backpack, " Grover said. I stared at him. "I don't understand." "Well, it seems to me... maybe Annabeth was thinking about joining." I'd like to say I took the news well. The truth was, I wanted to strangle the Hunters of Artemis one eternal maiden at a time.
She studied me with concern. She touched the new streak of gray in my hair that matched hers exactly-our painful souvenir from holding Atlas's burden. There was a lot I'd wanted to say to Annabeth, but Athena had taken the confidence out of me. I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I do not approve of your friendship with my daughter. "So, " Annabeth said. "What did you want to tell me earlier?" The music was playing. People were dancing in the streets. I said, "I, uh, was thinking we got interrupted at Westover Hall. And... I think I owe you a dance." She smiled slowly. "All right, Seaweed Brain." So I took her hand, and I don't know what everybody else heard, but to me it sounded like a slow dance: a little sad, but maybe a little hopeful, too.
For a long time, ' Nico said, 'I had a crush on you. I just wanted you to know.' Percy looked at Nico. Then at Annabeth, as if to check that he'd heard correctly. Then back at Nico. 'You -' 'Yeah, ' Nico said. 'You're a great person. But I'm over that. I'm happy for you guys.' 'You ... so you mean -' 'Right.' Annabeth's grey eyes started to sparkle. She gave Nico a sideways smile. 'Wait, ' Percy said. 'So you mean -' 'Right, ' Nico said again. 'But it's cool. We're cool. I mean, I see now ... you're cute, but you're not my type.' 'I'm not your type ... Wait. So -' 'See you around, Percy, ' Nico said.
Annabeth, ' he said hesitantly, 'in New Rome, demigods can live their whole lives in peace.' Her expression turned guarded. 'Reyna explained it to me. But, Percy, you belong at Camp Half-Blood. That other life-' 'I know, ' Percy said. 'But while I was there, I saw so many demigods living without fear: kids going to college, couples getting married and raising families. There's nothing like that at Camp Half-Blood. I kept thinking about you and me... and maybe someday when this war with the giants is over... ' It was hard to tell in the golden light, but he thought Annabeth was blushing. 'Oh, ' she said... 'I'm sorry, ' he said. 'I just... I had to think of that to keep going. To give me hope. Forget I mentioned-' 'No!' she said. 'Gods, Percy, that's so sweet.
This was a few weeks ago, " Annabeth said. "Percy told me a crazy story about meeting a boy our near Moriches Bay. Apparently this kid used hieroglyphs to cast spells. He helped Percy battle a crocodile monsters." "The Sob of Sobek!" Sadie blurted. "But my brother battled that monster. He didn't say anything about-" "Is your brother's name Carter?" Annabeth asked. An angry golden aura flickered around Sadie's head-a halo of hieroglyphs that resembled frowns, fists, and dead stick men. "As of this moment, " Sadie growled, "My brother's name is Punching Bag.
You saved the world, " annabeth said. "We saved the world." "And Rachel is the new Oracle, which means she won't be dating anybody." "You don't sound disappointed, " I noticed. Annabeth shrugged. "Oh, I don't care." "Uh-huh." She raised an eyebrow. "You got something to say to me, Seaweed Brain?" "You'd probably kick my butt." "You know I'd kick your butt." I brushed the cake off my hands. "When I was at the River Styx, turning invulnerable... Nico said I had to concentrate on one thing that kept me anchored to the world, that made me want to stay mortal." Annabeth kept her eyes on the horizon. "Yeah?" "Then up on Olympus, " I said, "when they wanted to make me a god and stuff, I kept thinking-" "Oh, you so wanted to." "Well, maybe a little. But I didn't, because I thought-I didn't want things to stay the same for eternity, because things could always get better. And I was thinking... " My throat felt really dry. "Anyone in particular?" Annabeth asked, her voice soft. I looked over and saw that she was trying not to smile. "You're laughing at me, " I complained. "I am not!" "You are so not making this easy." Then she laughed for real, and she put her hands around my neck. "I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it." When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right through my body. I could've stayed that way forever, except a voice behind us growled, "Well, it's about time!" Suddenly the pavilion was filled with torchlight and campers. Clarisse led the way as the eavesdroppers charged and hoisted us both onto their shoulders. "Oh, come on!" I complained. "Is there no privacy?" "The lovebirds need to cool off!" Clarisse said with glee. "The canoe lake!" Connor Stoll shouted. and they dumped us in the water.
Percy and Hedge lay on the deck, looking exhausted. Hedge was missing his shoes. He grinned at the sky, muttering, 'Awesome. Awesome.' Percy was covered in nicks and scratches, like he'd jumped through a window. He didn't say anything but he grasped Annabeth's hand weakly as if to say, Be right with you as soon as the world stops spinning. Leo, Piper, and Jason, who'd been eating in the mess hall, came rushing up the stairs. 'What? What?' Leo cried, holding a half-eaten grilled cheese sandwich. 'Can't a guy even take a lunch break? What's wrong?' 'Followed!' Frank yelled again. 'Followed by what? Jason asked. 'I don't know!' Frank panted. 'Whales? Sea monsters? Maybe Kate and Porky!' Annabeth wanted to strangle the guy, but she wasn't sure her hands would fit around his thick neck. 'That makes absolutely no sense.
She raised an eyebrow. "You got something to say to me, Seaweed Brain?" You'd probably kick my butt." You know I'd kick your butt." I brushed the cake off my hands. "When I was at the River Styx, turning invulnerable... Nico said I had to concentrate on one thing that kept me anchored to the world, that made me want to stay mortal." Annabeth kept her eyes on the horizon. "Yeah?" Then up on Olympus, " I said, "when they wanted to make me a god and stuff, I kept thinking-" Oh, you so wanted to." Well, maybe a little. But I didn't, because I thought-I didn't want things to stay the same for eternity, because things could always get better. And I was thinking... " My throat felt really dry. Anyone in particular?" Annabeth asked, her voice soft. I looked over and saw that she was trying not to smile. You're laughing at me, " I complained. I am not!" You are so not making this easy." Then she laughed for real, and she put her hands around my neck. "I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.
Percy, let me go" she croaked. "You can't pull me up." His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless. "Never, " he said. He looked up at Nico, fifteen feet above. "The other side, Nico! We'll see you there. Understand?" Nico's eyes widened. "But-" "Lead them!" Percy shouted. "Promise me!" "I-I will." Below them, the voice laughed in the darkness. Sacrifices. Beautiful sacrifices to wake the goddess. Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome. "We're staying together, " he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again." Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall. "As long as we're together, " she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw sunlight far, far above- maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.