A/N: Well...remember how I said I would post the outline if I ever gave up on this entirely? And then proceeded to not do that for like...years? I've definitely reached that point. To be honest, I forgot this existed until I stumbled onto these outlines. I doubt there's anyone out there who still has any interest in this story, but it's going to keep bothering me until I do something to send it off, so...enjoy?
There are some serious content warnings in this, for suicide and self-harm, and descriptions of anxiety and depression thought-spirals, because when I wrote this outline two(?) years ago I was not a happy person.
The Annabeth Setup:
—Attacked in woods-joins Hunters of Artemis so that Artemis can use her power to heal her
—Nico has been tracking her since she went missing, (Percy is hurting, and he doesn't know how to cope except to get up and go, to do something about it), and when he finds her injured, surrounded by the Hunters...
—He can't lose someone to them. Not again. It's stupid and foolhardy and almost suicidal, but he attacks them.
—Nico shadow-travels into the Poseidon cabin-he has to warn Percy-but he's worse hurt than he thought, only manages to gasp out "Annabeth" before he collapses
—Percy takes him to the infirmary
—The Hunters visit Camp Half-Blood, and Annabeth and Percy say goodbye
"Hey, Wise Girl. It's okay. I would've died to save you. This is just...this is what you had to do to live. To be happy. Of course I can let it happen. I would
rather this than you dead."
—They hug-and Annabeth walks away. Annabeth walks away.
—Keeps himself together long enough to walk to his cabin, tells himself that he's fine, but that night he has a nightmare, and she isn't there to comfort him, and that's when he loses it.
—Tries again the next day. But it's all too much...
—the noises at breakfast
—the laughter...and the people who aren't laughing, the people who lost someone, the people he wasn't good enough to protect.
—The altars to the gods, the food burning, so casually, the people who snicker at the tradition, when it saved his life.
—The practice arena, the sparring and the swords, flashing and clanking, and it's practice, but he can't see past the life-or-death, can't seem to get out of Tartarus in his head.
—The lava wall, sparks flaring, and he knows what that would taste like, and gods, sometimes it feels like he's still on fire.
—It feels like all his scars are opening back up, and that's when he lashes out. That's when he retreats to his cabin. That's when he gives up.
—wakes up in the infirmary, with Will sitting by his bed.
—(He can see that Will still cares about him. Maybe a little too much. It's hard to let go of someone, even if you know they don't feel the same way about you, after all. It's suffocating, and he wishes he could let go of Percy, but he can't. He doesn't have a choice. Not about this.)
—Will tries to keep him there for as long as he can, but eventually, he has to tell Nico where Percy is. Everything that's happened.
—Nico runs, as fast and as hard as he can, for Percy
—in his cabin when Nico breaks in
—they argue, it's so painfully clear to Percy that Nico thinks that everything that's going wrong is because of Annabeth, but he doesn't know how to stop being the hero for long enough to admit what's really wrong, that it's really about Tartarus, and so, even though he isn't ready, he lets Nico convince him to leave the cabin
—has been helping Percy for two weeks now, and some days, it seems to be getting better, but that day, they spar.
—Percy really does seem to be getting better. He's laughing—and Nico realizes that he's laughing too. That Percy's face is open, and clear...and if Nico's secrets are as plain to see, then any second now, Percy could see, he could realize—and Nico can't do that to him. So he runs.
—collapse, back into his cabin, visions of Tartarus, depression
—Nico shadow-travels to Westover Hall, the cliff where he first met Percy, cries—
—dealing with his side of depression
—then to Camp Jupiter, talking to Hazel, who is being supportive, and clear, and is unshakeably on Nico's side, he should tell Percy, he deserves to be honest
—Reyna interrupts. Walks with him, and tells him her version of the truth. Sometimes, love makes you want to be selfish. It makes you blind to what's best for someone else. And you have to fight that, despite the fact that it hurts like hell—you have to fight. You can't just run away. "Ask him what this is really about."
—In his cabin. Giving up.
—Hasn't eaten in weeks because everything tastes like the Plethegon, and he can't choke it down.
—Contemplating suicide, wondering if he can just let himself waste away, if that'll really work. Starts slitting his wrists.
—Nico arrives—Percy's dying, and he asks him why he came back. Crying. "Why? Because I..."
—Jason is standing in the cabin doorway—Nico lashes out, his powers out of control, hurts him, badly, but he can't run away, because Percy needs him
—"No one can know about this."
—Tells Jason to get Will, ("I...might be better off carrying Percy..." "No, I can't leave him, I just...")
—Takes Percy to ocean, nectar and ambrosia; When his spirit feels like it's held a bit better to his body, take him to infirmary
—Conversation with Jason by Percy's bedside, now he runs away
—Dream, Annabeth back...and then Nico calls to him, panicked, needs him, and he has to walk away, he knows he shouldn't but...
—waking up, Jason's there instead of Nico
—Panics when he sees he's in the infirmary, which means someone knows...and then he sees his wrists—someone put him in a hoodie, but when he rolls up the sleeves, they're bandaged. Someone saved his life.
—Will Solace enters, tells him that he's going to have scars, that his wrists are healing, but it isn't going to be easy, or quick, that there are limits to what he can do
—Tells him that Nico was the one who saved him
—Finds Nico in Hades cabin, (writing sheet music?)
—Argument over suicide attempt—explanation that it's not just Annabeth. Tartarus. Guilt. Being tired of war.
"You think she's the only one who can help you? I went through Tartarus too, Percy. Alone. I know what it feels like."
"You ran away from me!"
"I came back. I came back, I always fucking come back, Percy. Didn't you hear me? I don't have a choice. Please. Keep giving me something to come back to."
"I don't...I don't know how, Nico. I don't know that I can. I didn't...I wasn't planning this. It was just too much in that moment."
"Then ask for help. In that moment. Please. Let me be there."
"Then don't run away!"
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I...it's hard for me too. I can't...you don't deserve to deal with me, everything I do wrong..."
"Who are you to decide what I deserve? Stay. Stay, because I need you, because even if you make mistakes, you've still helped more than anyone else, and I can't do this without you, and you don't get to be that selfish, don't get to tell me what I deserve—"
—Contemplates hug, breaks away, goes to dinner with Percy
—Nightmares, midnight piano-playing in Big House
—Message from Hades: "Another god (Asclepius), brought someone back from the dead, and as such, neither Theseus nor myself can interfere, but this disturbs the balance of the universe, is not right or natural. I'll bring it up on the solstice, but for now—for now, my son, you must find the culprit"
(HE'S HUNTING LEO) (BUT HE DOESN'T KNOW IT)
—Nico doesn't come to wake him up in the morning. And he's planning on just staying there—but someone knocks. And he opens it, hoping for Nico—it's Chiron.
—Chiron, who knows. Who Will told—and no one else in the camp will know, they won't say anything…
—"But Percy, you need to take care of yourself. We misuse our heroes...they suffer more than any others in our world. But they shouldn't. Perseus, go home."
—Chiron brings up Percy's previous decisions not to stay at camp
"I don't want to disappoint my mother."
"You think she'll be disappointed? What about worried? What about wanting to help? She is your mother. She loves you. She wants what's best for you—she will not be disappointed in you, Perseus. A woman who could, could never have held the love of Poseidon."
—Promises to think about it, and goes to breakfast—he's late, but Nico's later, and when Nico arrives, he doesn't think, he just goes to him. Sits down at his table
—The smile Nico gives him is tired, and afraid, but it's still a smile
JUMP TO: Sitting by lake, Nico convinces him that he should go home, go to mortal school, Percy decides to leave the next morning