These are the following events from Percy's perspective. More content warnings for more of the same/possibly even more in-depth with the depressing thought-spirals. Also, the slur for gay.
-Reuniting with Sally and Paul; Pregnancy reveal!
-Conversation with mother about suicide attempt
-Iris-messages Nico that night, discuss nothing really, but it's small and fluffy and comfortable—and Nico looks okay, tired, but okay; He's in the Pluto temple at Camp Jupiter, and he smiles at Percy
-Days at the house recuperating while Sally writes, dinners with Paul, (who's gone during the day, doing back-to-school meetings), comes up with name for Estelle—he knows the name because of his grandmother, but he thinks it's a good idea because of the stars, which he loves even more after Tartarus
-Nightmares—at the beginning, he Iris-messages Nico when he wakes up, and the other boy talks him through it, keeps him sane, but he starts to see how tired Nico is, and sometimes he's injured, or has to jump up and leave while they're talking, drawing his sword, and eventually Percy convinces himself that Nico's better off without him bothering him, and that Percy can take care of it himself
-Sally asks him if he's willing to see a therapist—panics and refuses
"How would I explain this to someone mortal, how would they ever understand this? I don't need it, I'm fine, it's okay."
"I just can't do everything, Percy, you aren't just my little boy anymore. And sometimes, you need someone besides your parents and your friends—someone who sees things a little differently. I didn't mean someone mortal, I just wanted to know if it's something you'd be okay with me trying to figure out"
-He cries and she holds him, and tells him that it's alright, that they will figure this out
-Nightmare about Tartarus—starts contemplating suicide again. Mom doesn't want to deal with me, she doesn't know how, she doesn't need this, and nothing's getting better…
-Calls Nico—to say goodbye.
"Percy, listen to me. I swear to the gods, I am coming. I am shadow-traveling to you, right now—and I won't be able to Iris-message you, but don't kill yourself. Because I won't hear your goodbye like this, if you want to say anything, wait until I'm there and then decide."
"At least give me a chance to convince you to stay"
"My sister died for you—at least give me a chance, for the sake of that."
"Hold on Percy. I'm coming."
-Nico shadow-travels there w/ Mrs. O'Leary, (avoids the majority of the exhaustion), holds Percy, talks him out of it.
"You cannot kill yourself. You cannot do this. To your mother. To your friends. To me."
"Bianca gave her life for you, you cannot waste it like this"
"Maybe nothing seems okay now, but it will be, I swear—not because you're a hero, not because you're an idol, but because you're you."
"Hold on. For anything. For something small, something tiny, even. Just hold on."
-Wakes up in the morning—Nico is still there, asleep sitting up on the bed, still holding Percy. Which wasn't weird last night, when they were both tired and panicking...but it most definitely is now. Percy moves, and Nico wakes up, and they pull apart, and it's awkward. But then they start talking again.
"Look, I'm...sorry. For last night. I didn't...I wasn't thinking."
"You don't have to apologize. Ever. You needed help. I'm just glad you trusted me."
-Percy notices all Nico's injuries, asks him what's going on—Nico tries to brush it off, but Percy won't let him, eventually explains
"I'm hunting someone. For my father. It's...complicated. Don't worry about it."
"But are you okay? Do you need help?"
"No. Don't you dare...you don't need to be a hero for a long time now, Percy. I meant that."
-Has breakfast with Nico, (and Sally is such a mother—she still remembers that scrawny boy, and she can see how much he's grown, and she's so proud), and Nico was planning to leave, and get back to his quest right away, but Sally just sort of assumes that they're doing something together, that that's the reason Nico's here, (and Percy wants him so badly not to scare his mom any more than he has to), so he goes along with it
Day in the mortal world:
-Starbucks, parks, some activity (bowling? Laser tag? Library?), piano store, (Nico fiddles around on the piano, says that Bianca taught him, but Percy doesn't realize how much it means to him), McDonald's, comic book store, (Mythomagic)—and yeah, it's weird, and awkward, because they've never really just...spent time together, when things weren't high-stakes. And it's hard for both of them. Nico isn't the easiest person to talk to, and there are certain things that set him off, and sometimes he's tense and angry for no reason Percy can figure out, and in general, he's just sarcastic and quiet, and hard to interest in things. And Percy's a bit stuck in his own head, and he's still tired, and a bit despondent, and with Nico, he can let go of the happiness that he's been fighting so hard for—and for a while, things are really quiet, and sad, almost. But slowly, little by little, they drag each other into a better mood, and things aren't perfect, but they are okay—almost fun.
-Nico walks Percy back to his house, (and of course, Sally has to hug him before he can leave), and Percy realizes that he's smiling—actually smiling, and it was so easy that he didn't even notice it, the way his smiles used to be
-Subject of school comes up, (Paul? Doctor at maternity meeting?), and Percy decides that he wants to go
-Argues with Sally—she's worried about him, worried that he's doing it because he feels like a burden; She tells him that she loves having him there, that she knows he's been through more, and understands more, than any mortal in the city—he shouldn't have to go through high school and everything like that, so completely awful, after what he's been through.
"I want to know more than what war teaches you. I want to be able to do something with my life besides fight. If I don't go to high school, and start that, how am I supposed to know what I want? And...I was planning to go to college. Mostly because of Annabeth. But...I don't know. It might be kind of nice, still."
-Sally tells him it's his decision, and it will always be his decision, regardless of what he decides to do, and if he changes his mind; Promises him that they will figure this out
-Starts school—issues with having missed the entire last semester of his junior year, (and lots of other chunks of school, if we're honest), but they find a school that's willing to take him anyways, and is super accommodating of the dyslexia-ADHD thing
-Joins swim team, and is taking a wood shops class, and an art class, and an amazing Creative Writing class for his English credit, and Astronomy, which is really laid-back, and his World History and Algebra classes are kind of awful, but Paul reads the homework passages to him at night while Sally cooks dinner, and he still starts making friends;
-Keeps Iris-messaging Nico at night, not every night, but enough—and they have conversations that are really deep, after the nightmares, or really stupid, or somewhere in between, and eventually, one night he gets Nico to promise to just come hang out and do normal things with him again
-Nightmares continue—and he starts writing suicide notes. Just as a way to help him sleep. But he still writes them, to his mom and Paul and the gods and everyone else, (except for Nico), because when he's awake, and in that mood, it helps him to get the words out
-Starts becoming friends with this guy, James, and realizes that he's got a crush on him—cue sexual identity crisis, (because he's straight, right? He dated Annabeth for years...but now that he isn't attached to her anymore, now that he's moving on, at least a little, he's noticing a lot more things about guys…)
-First swim meet of the year—he's pretty good, and the Mist hides the worst of his scars—and Sally makes him dinner afterwards, and it's actually happy and he's smiling just as easily—but he gets in the shower to get the chlorine off afterwards, and has a full-blown panic attack, and when he falls asleep, the nightmares are the worst they've been for a long time
Day In The Mortal World Round Two:
-Nico shows up the next morning, while Percy's eating cereal, and asks if Percy's free, because he owes him another day.
-They agree, and hang out again—they go to watch a movie, and then Percy takes Nico to the mall, and to a Hot Topic, because one of his friends introduced him to this store, and he finds it hilarious to tease Nico with it—and it's fun, despite how tired Percy is, despite how Nico doesn't take his aviator jacket off, even though it's nowhere near cold enough for it, it's almost a relief, and it's funny, and okay, and a little less awkward than it was the time before
-Percy realizes that Nico is really attractive too, and almost loses his mind, tells himself that he can't think about it...buries it
-They get back, and Paul's surprising Sally with dinner—Percy tells them to go, it'll be alright...and then he asks Nico to stay. Because he doesn't want another nightmare, doesn't want another panic attack, and Nico agrees.
-Somehow they end up on Percy's bed, watching a ton of the really old (mostly shitty) Disney movies Percy loves, that he can't believe Nico's never seen—and they're up until about one in the morning, (and at some point during Treasure Planet, Nico takes off his jacket, and his arms are absolutely destroyed, and he's moving like some of his ribs are broken), and eventually Percy falls asleep, in the middle of the Emperor's New Groove—but when he wakes up, panicking, Nico's still awake, curled up with his knees to his chest on the bed, staring away from Percy, and he helps him fall back asleep
-He has nightmares, but when he wakes up the next morning, and Nico's still there, finally sprawled out and sleeping, it's hard to remember them
Percy takes Nico to school with him:
-"So this is what it's like, being mortal?"
-Nico's twitchy and nervous and awkward and hard to talk to—but it's almost fun, just spending an entire day with him, and it makes some of the intolerable things way more tolerable
-Nico has a panic attack afterwards. Percy talks to him, and as reluctantly as Nico admits to it, he starts to see that the other boy has a lot of problems too, problems that he's been burying to help Percy deal. People scare him, he's perpetually worried about what they'll think of him, what their words have the power to do, because he grew up in an age where trusting your neighbor could get you killed. And he doesn't want anyone close to him again, doesn't want them to get hurt because he cares about them. And there's so much he's seen, so much that no one else, not even demigods can understand. And he's so afraid to be vulnerable, so afraid of that not understanding…
"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that I've been so wrapped up in myself. I've asked you for so much without ever really understanding that you're as broken as I am. You're allowed to say this to me. Always. It doesn't help me, doesn't make me feel better, to feel like a shitty friend. And if you're hurt...if you're hurt bad enough...where does that leave me?"
"But you don't deserve to deal with this..."
"You don't get to tell me what I deserve."
-Nico leaves, and that night, Percy catches himself thinking about him, and what it felt like when he hugged him and held him up, what it felt like to have his head buried on his shoulder, and how careful their contact was, but how much he still felt—and he buries it, buries it, because Nico is his friend, and he needs him, and he doesn't want it to be true, because he's straight, he's straight
-More swim meets, James starts coming to them, (Percy goes to the school play that he's in?)
-They're writing memoirs in Creative Writing, and Percy doesn't know how, because everything that's happened to him is so far beyond belief...but he starts writing about the people who've affected him—not the circumstances, just them, and it's hard and messy and complicated, but there's so much pain and so much power in writing that down, in having it on paper for him to shape…
Visit from Rachel:
-"The Hunters were at Camp Jupiter, and there was a lot of talk about Annabeth...I wanted to make sure you're alright."
-Means to do something with her, but they end up just driving to a park, and Percy breaks down, tells her everything—even the sexuality thing, (though he doesn't mention Nico, just James…)
-She gets it, is so unjudgemental and open and honest about how shitty things can be, and how glad she is that he's still okay, that he stuck it out, and he just leans on her and cries, and by the time he gets back, he just feels so okay…
-And then Monday is awful, absolutely awful
-The nightmares come back, and he wakes up screaming, and Sally wakes up too, and comes in and holds him and rocks him and talks to him, but when morning comes, he's embarrassed and afraid to meet her eyes, and hates himself for being a burden
-James is obviously dismissive, and just being nice to him because he's the new kid
-Percy's Creative Writing memoir is due, and it still isn't done, is still absolute shit, and he's only halfway through describing everyone he needs to get out of his head
-He hears someone in the hallway calling someone else a faggot
-He sees a girl crying in the halls and when her sleeves fall up he sees the cuts and the scars
-When he's walking home, he gets attacked by a monster—and he doesn't know why, but it's so awful, and the end of all the peace he's fought so hard for, the peace he actually deluded himself might last, and when he gets home, he lies down on his bed and falls apart. Cries, and cries, and doesn't call Nico—because he tells himself he doesn't deserve to. Doesn't go to ask his mom for help. Just lies there and cries...and then he keeps writing his memoir.
Do Not Thank The Gods It's Friday:
-Spends that whole week in an awful mood, and everything keeps weighing down on him—and when, Friday night, he finally convinces himself to call Nico, he doesn't answer.
-Final swim meet of the season, Percy gets invited to a party afterwards
-Gets a little drunk...and maybe a little stoned...and it's possible that he kisses James...panic attack; seeing monsters in the corners, but he doesn't have Riptide, (which is stupid, he knows, but tonight he wanted a normal night, and he was a little afraid this would happen—and honestly, who fucking cares if a monster kills him at this point)
-Conversation with OCs by the upstairs hall window, while panicking, and one of them takes him home
-Gets past his mom into his room—she was waiting up for him, but the conversation blurs, and all he knows is that he has to get to his room, has to call Nico—and still, he doesn't answer
-Hangover, and an "argument" with his mom (she's not mad, she's just worried about him, wants him to be safe), apology
-Calls Nico again—this time it's the middle of the day, and Nico answers, but he's obviously hurt, barely out of the Underworld, and Percy still feels like shit...it's a short conversation, and there's pain on both sides that neither of them can talk about, (but somehow, still, he feels a little bit better, afterwards)
-James comes over, walks with him to apologize, and explain
"I fucked with your emotions, and I'm sorry. I'm not...I have a girlfriend. I shouldn't have...but we just argued, and you're pretty cool, and...are you okay?"
Percy forgives him, and tells him that, but knows that it's just another thing he's going to have to fight with—and this, he can't tell Nico about
-Things with James are awkward, and he still isn't done with the memoir, (he turns in what he has, but he keeps writing it, himself)
-Girls from the party invite him to hang out—and it's actually not awful, they sit in someone's living room and watch Harry Potter movies, and it turns out the two of them are way bigger fans of books than he ever thought was possible, but it's fun, and there's popcorn and coffee and vegan ice cream and they tell stories and talk about the meaning of life...and none of them have seen what he has, but...he thinks maybe there are still people in the mortal world who he could honestly be friends with
Things are getting better?:
-Thanksgiving, celebrates with Sally and Paul, and there's nothing serious, just dinner and fun conversation and talking about the baby, and there's blue cookies for dessert with the pie
-Iris-messages Nico and he shadow-travels back
"I'm only here for the blue cookies."
"Would cake have been better?"
-The girls from the party invite him to go Christmas shopping with them, (which Percy wasn't really planning to celebrate...he's going to be at Camp Half-Blood, and he's never really had the money to buy his mom presents before)—they buy out basically an entire gay pride section of a store—and then one of them goes to buy a mug for one of their teachers, and while they're there, Percy actually gets really into it—he finds a ton that he loves, for Paul, ("Being a teacher is easy. It's like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire. You're on fire. Everything is on fire."), and his mom, ("I turn coffee into bestsellers"), and a matched set, ("Don't go bacon my heart." "I couldn't if I fried."), and then there's a skeleton saying "Bone giorno" for Nico, (because of fucking course). He doesn't actually plan to get any of them...but before he realizes it, the girls have bought all of them for him
-Finals, goes back to Camp Half-Blood for winter break