Annabeth sighed. It as nearly eleven forty-five and she was still awake. Annabeth rubbed her eyes, her body was tired, her eyes were closing, but her mind was racing. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't sleep.
"Come on Annabeth. I can't sleep if your light is on!" Aliza, her sister on the godly side, said pulling herself out of the bottom bunk. She pursed her small lips and said, "Please. I know I love to read too, but I need sleep."
Annabeth smiled reassuringly at her sister and nodded. Annabeth shut her light off and flopped down on her pillow. After Tartarus, sleep didn't come easy. She felt like when she opened her eyes she'd be back at the altar of Hermes, or in the swamp where her giant friend lived. Annabeth was afraid she would wake up and she'd be back in that Hell hole, and she wouldn't have Percy by her side this time.
Annabeth turned on her side and stared at the other bunks. The one next to her had Malcolm on top. His soft hair fell over his forehead and every time that he let out a breath, his hair would blow out and then fall back. His hand draped over the side of the bed, where he clutched a teddy bear. It made Annabeth chuckle slightly, Malcolm was almost eighteen and he still clung to his childhood. Annabeth wished she could cling to her childhood, but the only thoughts she seemed to grasp were:
She pulled her hands up to her temples and rubbed them. She closed her eyes for a split second and seen Percy, staring at her, his face gaunt, barely clinging to life because of the Gorgon's poison charring his insides.
She sat straight up, hitting her head on the ceiling. Malcolm opened his eyes, pulling his teddy bear closer to him. He looked worriedly in Annabeth's eyes. She smiled at him and turned away. She wanted to go see Percy, but she wouldn't dare go out, in the dark, at night, with the harpies flying around... the harpies almost reminded her of the curses they met in Tartarus.
Annabeth shivered and buried her face in her pillow. Just sleep Annabeth, why can't you just sleep!
Annabeth tried closing her eyes again, but this time she seen the swirling figure of Tartarus in front of her. Annabeth never felt so powerless. She was used to being looked down upon because the only thing she had was her brain, but even all of the knowledge in Athena's mind couldn't help her when Tartarus hovered over her. Annabeth gripped the sides of the bed, trying to tell herself it wasn't real, it was just a memory, a dream, something that couldn't bother her.
Annabeth slowly opened her eyes and sighed. The ceiling was above her and nothing was bothering her. Annabeth knew she couldn't sleep unless she was safe in Percy's arms, but she wasn't leaving the safety of her cabin. It was Night time after all, Nyx could be waiting for her, ready to devour her.
She heard a dull scream, coming from outside her cabin. Annabeth sat up quietly, the scream wasn't from Percy. Annabeth had memorized Percy's Scream, she knew every octave he could hit, how long his screams would last, and who he would call in his screams.
Annabeth climbed down the ladder of her bunk bed, slipping on her owl slippers and pulling Percy's hoodie on. Annabeth grabbed a flashlight and her drakon bone sword before she inched toward the door.
Annabeth gripped the cold metal handle of the wooden door and turned the knob slowly and carefully. She opened the door just big enough for her to fit through and then closed the door softly. She heard the scream again and her head turned to Hades cabin. Realization flooded through Annabeth, Nico had been through Tartarus too, but he had no one to cling to at night when his nightmares woke him. Normally Will would spend the night in Nico's cabin, but he had been called away to Camp Jupiter for over a month to help the Romans learn Greek Healing techniques.
Annabeth wasted no time getting to Nico's cabin. Annabeth was scared out of her mind, but she could always go find Percy. Nico needed her.
Annabeth climbed the steps to Hades cabin and opened the door slowly. Nico was sitting in his bed and Annabeth could see the sweat gleaming on his forehead. Nico had his arms around his knees and he rocked slowly, muttering to himself. Annabeth inced closer to Nico and put a hand on his shoulder. His eyes found hers and she watched as he blinked back tears.
"Nico. I'm right here." She whispered, staring into his eyes. He shook his head and choked back a sob. When he spoke, Annabeth barely heard him, it came out as a very quiet whisper, "Nightmares."
Annabeth understood. She sat on the bed next to Nico and pulled him into a hug. She whispered soft, encouraging things.
"I get them too." Annabeth whispered. Nico nodded and slowed his breathing, he stopped shaking and said, "Thank you Annabeth. I-How do you deal with it?" Annabeth shrugged. How did she deal with it?
"I don't know, To be honest. Usually I would just go to Percy and he would calm me down. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep because I'm afraid to leave my cabin at night."
Nico nodded and said, "Yeah, it's like every time I close my eyes, I see the horrid things from down there. Will would always make everything go away in a matter of speaking... I miss him."
Annabeth glanced at Nico and noticed his features. He had sunken eyes that looked hollow and sad. He was paler than normal, and since Will left he hadn't eaten so he was thinner. Annabeth looked around the room and seen slash marks on the wall. There were drawings of monsters and Giants.
"Do you want to grab some popcorn and I'll start a movie?"
Nico smirked and nodded, standing and walking down the hallway to grab ran her hand through her hair and leaned against the wall behind her. She looked to the side and seen a orange shirt. She picked it up, it was a camp half blood tee-shirt, but it was way to big to be Nico's. She opened the top and looked at the tag.
In scribbly handwriting it read:
There was a small drawing of a sun next to his name. Poor Nico. This was all he had of Will for almost two weeks more. One week? Less than that? Annabeth had fallen into a routine, she was so strict with it, never leaving time for her mind to wander, never leaving time for the thoughts to enter her mind. Most times, A week would roll by and Annabeth wouldn't notice because she hadn't thought about the days going by.
Once and a while, though, Annabeth would fall out of her routine, and find herself at the beach, or in the woods, sometimes she'd be at Thalia's pine. She would blink (That's what it felt like) and then she would be At Ms. Jackson's, when just a minute earlier she was at her cabin.
The times when she blacked out were the worst. She just kept dreaming, but she wouldn't wake up, and when she did, she was somewhere that she hadn't been earlier. She would blackout for hours, making Percy loose his mind with worry. She hated making Percy feel that way.
Chiron got protective of her, kind of like a father, and would give her a buddy so she wouldn't end up somewhere alone.
But Annabeth always ended up loosing the person, she hated it. Annabeth loved it when she used to be able to actually think. He mind, her wits, her instincts, those were her tools, when she couldn't use them because the thoughts in her mind were terrible, she felt useless.
Annabeth heard footsteps coming from the hallway. She put the shirt back quickly and rubbed her temples again.
Nico came in with the popcorn and set it next to Annabeth.
When he placed the popcorn down, Annabeth smelled the butter and something else. It brought tears to her eyes. Nico had just washed the bowl, meaning it smelled like soap and fresh water.
Like cleaning supplies.
Annabeth's head fell. Tears welled in her eyes. Nico looked at her with understanding in his eyes. Here Annabeth was trying to be the brave one for Nico, and she was crying.
She hated that too. She hated how Tartarus had ruined her life. No matter how many times Annabeth tried, she couldn't forget the place, she couldn't put a positive spin on it. Nothing good came out of that place. Besides closing the doors of Death. But Annabeth herself would've preferred cutting the chains and dying over living the horrid after effects.
Tartarus himself haunted her dreams. He appeared and spoke to her. It felt like Annabeth was seven years old again, running through the woods away from the spiders, except this time Luke and Thalia didn't find her. She was alone, running through the depths of Tartarus. Sometimes she would run to where Akhlys was and fall over the edge to where the older and scarier legends were sure to dwell.
Annabeth remembered regaling the tale to her cousin. She fell into tears when she explained it to him. Annabeth remembered it as clear as day:
She was crying, she couldn't stop. Annabeth looked at Magnus through tears, he was blurs of color through the distortion of them.
He pulled her into a hug, "I got you. You're the only family I've got left."
Annabeth slowly stopped crying.
"I'm sorry," She said when she had regained her composure. "It's just, I thought I could handle it, I thought I could tell you without crying, but I guess I was wrong."
Magnus put a hand on her shoulder, and Annabeth tensed at the touch. Magnus sighed and pulled his hand away.
Annabeth didn't like feeling weak, but she was acing that.
Nico shook her shoulders, Annabeth locked eyes with him. She turned and looked at the clock.
Annabeth's head whipped back to Nico.
"How long this time?"
Nico chewed his lip and turned to the left of her, the opposite side of the clock. Only now did Annabeth feel the hand on her's. She smelled the salt air.
"About a half hour." The voice calmed her.
Annabeth turned to see Percy. He had bags under his eyes, but he smiled weakly. Worry raced through Annabeth. Half an hour. It was getting less, but there was a problem. Percy cold usually get her out of them.
Storm Grey met Sea Green.
He tightened her grip on his hand as Annabeth asked, "How long have you been here?"
"A half hour."
Annabeth turned away, letting her head rest against the wall. If Percy couldn't get her out of it, she was doomed. Percy had always found a way to get her out of her blackouts. He would grab her hand, say her name, kiss her, do something, and she would slip from her blackout and open her eyes.
Percy's fingers left Annabeth's and she opened her eyes, turning to face him. He rubbed his face with both hands. His Sea Green eyes were duller than usual and he seemed to carry bad news.
"Percy, what happened?"
Percy's hands fidgeted, he avoided her eyes and sighed. "Annabeth, You're getting worse. I can't do anything anymore. You know how I hate feeling powerless."
He met her eyes, "Chiron said to me last time if you blacked out again we'd have to 'Take measures' I think we both know what that means."
A tear rolled down his cheek, "Annabeth, we have to get you away from everything that can trigger the memories of Tartarus. I argued with him, but in the end he won. I can't-Not till you get better."
Annabeth stared at him, bewildered, until it set in.
"Seaweed Brain, No-No, but You-You're the only one who..." Her voice broke. He couldn't get her out of it this time. It was no use. She wasn't worth it anymore.
"I can't do that Percy. I'm sorry." She pulled him into a kiss. He melted into it, his hands found her waist and her's found his hair. She savored the moment. She savored the taste of his lips, the shiver that ran up her spine as he touched her, the sense of peace that she felt during the kiss.
When they pulled away from each other, Percy's eyes were half closed. She whispered to him, "Go get some sleep. I'll be fine."
His eyes opened and she smiled reassuringly at him. He sighed and intertwined their fingers. "I love you Percy."
"I love you more Annabeth."
"I love you most Seaweed Brain."
"I wouldn't be sure Wise Girl."
He kissed her forehead and then the tip of her nose. He walked as far as her could without letting go of her hand, and when he did let go, he did it slowly before walking out of the door.
Nico locked eyes with Annabeth and she smiled at him. His eyes bore into her, seemed to read her secrets. She raised her eyebrows and he shrugged.
"I'll go get the drinks."
"Don't hurry back." Annabeth called as he walked down the hallway. He laughed. As his laughter grew dim Annabeth pulled out a pen from Nico's drawer and found paper in a dresser across the room.
She put the paper on his desk and positioned the pen over the paper. She took a deep breath and her thoughts flew across the page.
I couldn't bear putting you through it anymore
She finished an entire page and started another. She finished three pages by the time Nico returned with the drinks. He placed them on the dresser and went in to get the bowls of chips. He came back and put the chips down, then he went to get the nacho cheese and salsa. Jeez, Nico knew how to party.
When he came back from that, Annabeth had finished a successful eleven pages. (Not front and back). She wrote two more as Nico set the movie up. She threw the pen in his desk and folded the papers, putting them in her back pocket.
"What was that?" Nico asked her as he dimmed the lights.
"A book I'm writing. I got an idea for a scene a little bit ago, so I borrowed some of your paper and your pen. I hope you don't mind."
"Naw, you just owe me some money now, when the book becomes a best seller, I helped, you gimme some cash."
The two of them laughed and sighed as the movie started.
They heard a knock at the door and Nico muted the T.V. He grabbed his blade and carefully opened the door. At it was Will, His arms open for a hug. Nico jumped into him and he fell over. Annabeth looked around the room. There was a coil of rope in the corner of the room. Perfect.
They laughed and Will said, "Can I come in, I don't want to patrol harpies to kill me."
Nico helped him up and led him inside. I waved at Will and he raised an eyebrow. I pointed to the T.V.
He nodded as Nico led him out of the room. Now's my chance. She left the cabin, walked down to the beach, rope in her hand. She took off her shoes, feeling the sand between her toes. She sighed walking to the water, feeling it for the last time.
She turned back to gaze at the camp. The place she grew up, the place she called home. The place she would forever love.
"I'll miss you all. I'm sorry."
She fashioned the rope on a tree. She pulled out the notes, putting them each under a small rock underneath her.
She climbed up on top of the tree trying the rope and pulling it around her neck.
"I'm really sorry guys."
Tears flowed from her eyes, "I just couldn't let you guys worry anymore."
She smiled through her tears, "It's better this way."
Annabeth looked around her, the last thing she would see, the moon shining in the night and the waves lapping on the shore. The stars in the sky, the leaves rustling in the wind, and the camp, still in the moonlight, quiet until dawn.
She slid from the tree, a smile etched on her face. "It's better this way." She whispered before the world went black.
Percy woke semi-refreshed and the first thought in his mind was, 'Annabeth'
He sat up from his bed, swiveling his feet to the side so he could stand. When his toes touched the stone floor, he flinched. It was cold-Cold for a summer morning. He glanced around the room, something was off. He could feel it.
He stood and went to the bathroom, changing his clothes as he was inside.
All he could think about was Annabeth. He couldn't help her anymore. He felt useless, he felt like the worst boyfriend ever.
Percy slipped on his sweater, the air seemed cold and windy-again weird for a summer morning.
He walked down to the water, sitting in the water. It was warmer in the water than the air. He dove in, willing his clothes to stay dry. Percy breathed in deeply, taking in his surroundings. As always the water was calming him, regenerating his strength.
When he emerged from the water, there were a few campers out of there cabins. Percy could see Katie Gardener with Travis Stoll, cause he was here for the summer. Chiron was on the deck of the big house, staring at the sun rising, as if it was different this morning. Something is different.
He turned and scanned the beach. At first glance, he seen nothing, at second glance he seen something hanging from the tree.
He approached it cautiously, Riptide in his hand.
When he reached the tree, the blade slipped from his hand. All the air in his lungs left him, he felt as if were sinking in the muskeg again, suffocating, loosing the will to live.
Tears formed in his eyes and he pinched himself, hoping it was just a nightmare and he was going to wake up from it soon.
He knew it wasn't a nightmare when Nico pulled Will to the beach, tears in his eyes as well.
"Percy-Oh." Nico said. He approached the tree, looking up at Annabeth.
"This is my fault." The two of them said at the same time.
Nico faced Percy and he sat on the sand next to him. Will's hand was planted on Nico's shoulder, "It's not you're fault, Nico." Nico just shook his head, he closed his eyes, and the tears continued to fall.
Percy understood the feeling, he left Annabeth last night, he left her side. "Sh-She''s dead."
After everything the two of them had been through, Percy expected Annabeth and himself to die from some sort of monster, he was personally hoping for old age, but he figured something else would get them.
As he stared at her lifeless body, he let a sob escape his lips. He looked below her, to where a perfect formation of rocks was over paper. Each piece of paper had a name on it. He picked up the one that read:
In Annabeth's elegant script.
He carefully opened the page, to find it covered in writing.
His eyes flew over the page, picking up the gist of what she was saying:
"I didn't wan't to make you guys worry anymore."
It came out as a whisper, but Nico heard it, looking at the paper in Percy's hands. Nico took it from him, not examining the words, but the ink and the paper.
"This-This is my paper. That's what she was writing last night!" Nico covered his face with his hands, the paper fluttering to the ground. Percy examined each piece of paper. One of them had his name on it. A little heart next to it.
He picked up the letter, opening it, standing and walking as he read it.
I couldn't stand to see you worried anymore. I didn't want you to have to see me the way I was, It's better this way. I want you to know something. You were the first Person I thought of every morning and the last thing I thought of at night. You were the light of my life, and I couldn't stand to see my light dim and upset. The world didn't need me anymore. It is better this way. When you came in last night and I realized just how hopeless I was, I didn't want to suffer. I didn't want you to suffer because I was suffering. I ended it before it got worse, because we both know it would've been a hell of a lot worse. For Hades sake, You couldn't get me out of my blackout. I want you to know that I love you. I love you more than ever and this was the only way to make it better. It is better this way. I want you to try, try and find someone. I know that's going to be hard, I know you might not do it for a while, but wait for the girl that doesn't fawn over you the minute she see's you. Wait for the girl who compliments you on something other than your looks. Wait for the girl that was better than me. I love you Seaweed Brain, and I promise it was better this way.
I love you Percy,
When Percy finished, he was at his cabin. He didn't bother walking inside. He slid down the door, his arms on his knees, and his head in his arms. Percy wasn't sure how long it was till someone came to him. I guess they found it normal for him to sit there. The first person to come up to him was Nico. Percy understood that, he knew Annabeth had died when it happened. Percy couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy, always knowing when his family left him. Always feeling when his friends died.
Percy wondered how Nico felt when stuff like that happened, he wondered how Nico felt last night, when Annabeth left them all.
Thalia was on the beach, visiting with her hunters when she seen it.
Thalia see a figure, hanging from a tree, Percy on his knees staring up at it, Nico on his knees next to him, Will behind the both of them looking sympathetic.
Thalia told her hunters to report to Lady Artemis and she would report back to them later. A few of them didn't wish to leave her side, but Thalia beckoned them away. She needed to see this for herself. She hid behind a bush as Percy grabbed a piece of paper lying on the ground. Percy looked shattered as Nico took the paper from him. Percy grabbed another piece of paper and stood. He walked away, reading it as he went. Nico glanced in Thalia's direction and grabbed other pieces of paper before leaving, Will in tow.
Thalia crept forward and stared at the figure in the tree.
She felt like she was falling, she felt like she was a tree again, Thalia felt like she was powerless.
Annabeth, the girl was a sister to Thalia. Thalia couldn't understand it, she visited often to check in on Annabeth's condition, Lady Artemis understood and let her visit if any news popped up. Thalia couldn't understand this though. Annabeth had always hated suicide, saying that it was horrid and she would never dream of doing it herself.
Obviously she made her choice in the end.
Thalia cried, real, actual tears. The last time she cried was when Luke died, but for completely different reasons. Thalia stared up at Annabeth's lifeless face and let the tears roll down her face. She heard the rustling of paper and looked down to see one carefully folded piece of paper underneath a rock. Thalia picked it up and seen it read her name in elegant script.
Thalia carefully opened it and let out a sob as she read it's contents.
Oh my gods, there are so many thing's I could say to you. You took me in when I had no family, you made me feel welcome. If you hadn't found me, Athena knows what would've. You are truly my sister, not by blood, but by heart. You are someone I will truly miss, I can never forget the kindness you offered me, or the love that you shared with me. You were a better family member than the actual family I had, If that makes sense. It was better this way.
I love you Thals,
Thalia would've stayed longer, but she heard footsteps, and she wasn't ready to see people. Thalia ran into the woods, tears spilling from her eyes, anger filling her heart.
Nico sat down next to Percy and Nico began rambling. Percy met Nico's eyes as Nico rambled on and on.
"I'm sorry Percy. I was with her, we were watching a movie-I got distracted, Will was there, and before I knew it she was gone, I was going to go after her but I didn't and Now look."
Percy actually smiled. Nico just kept rambling, on and on. Percy pulled the demigod into a hug. "It's not your fault Nico. I promise you it isn't."
Nico just shook his head, "I could've done something."
Percy shook his head and said, "Nico, there was nothing you could do. Come on. Let's go have fun."
Nico stared at Percy in disbelief as he stood. Percy smirked and jogged off to sword fighting, beckoning Nico to follow. Nico didn't know what to think of it. He knew Percy was upset, he knew Percy was beating himself up inside, but wanting to go 'have fun' didn't make Nico feel any better.
Nico felt completely and utterly responsible. If he hadn't been so focused on Will, Annabeth could be alive right now.
Nico had practically dragged Will into another room just to kiss him. When they came back, Annabeth was gone. Nico didn't think anything of it. He went to sleep peacefully for the first time that month. In his dream Annabeth was on the tree, ready to jump, whispering, "It's better this way."
Nico tried to stop her but she jumped and Nico watched as her body became lifeless. He woke up screaming. Will told him it was just a dream, to calm down. Nico eventually calmed in his arms, even though he knew it wasn't a dream. He felt her die. He knew he wasn't dreaming.
Nico stared at Percy and said, "I'll meet you there, there is something I have to do first."
Nico jogged to his cabin. He knew Hazel and Frank were soon, they left with Piper and Jason. Leo was away on his "Leo Valdez Cross Country-turned World Tour" With Apollo. Which meant he should send the letter to Leo and then tell him through Iris Message, if it even worked.
Nico took the letters from his pocket:
Nico and Will
One letter for everyone important to her. Thalia had grabbed her letter already. Nico felt her her presence and left the letter there for her.
Nico opened his carefully, afraid of what he might see.
Half is for you, Half is for Will. I wanted to say thank you. You have been there for a long time in my life, and I've seen you grow and mature. I believe that you will move on to do great things. I believe in you. You have done everything to help us, even though you really didn't owe us. You got everyone to the house of hades, saving our lives, and I can never thank you enough. Thanks for being there when I needed you.
(The rest is for Will)
Nico folded the paper and put it on his bed. He put Hazel's note on her bed. Nico walked to Zeus cabin and placed Jason's letter on his bed. He walked to Aphrodite cabin and put the note under Piper's pillow. He went to Ares cabin, placing the letter on Frank's temporary bunk. He walked to The big house, handing Chiron the note that was his and the note to the rest of camp, sending Annabeth's dad's letter in the mail, and sending Leo his message through a wind spirit.
Reyna was visiting with Jason and the others so Nico figured he'd hold on to her letter and give it to her in person.
All that was left was Ms. Jackson.
Nico took a taxi into the city and took the train to Percy's street. He walked up to Sally's apartment, pressing the button.
She opened the door, her eyes gleaming and her smile shining. Nico handed her the note, and her smile faded.
"I'm sorry." Nico whispered before he shadow traveled away. Nico felt that was all he could do. He couldn't do anymore, and he couldn't undo what was already done.
Sally was a little skeptical when Nico showed up at her door. She lost her happiness when he handed her the note and said, I'm sorry.
Sally fingered the letter in her hands, not wanting to open it. She didn't want to open it, but the curiosity was killing her.
Sally carefully opened the letter. Inside, in Annabeth's perfect script, it read:
I wanted to thank you. You were here for me when I needed you most, you were a mother to me and never expected anything in return. I have never found a way to thank you and I guess I never will, but it's better this way. I hated seeing the way that everyone worried about me. I hated feeling helpless and small and overcome by fear. But most of all I hated the effect it had on your son. Percy was my everything, he was always so happy and joyous, even in the darkest of times, But when my condition was worsening, he couldn't put a positive on that. He couldn't find the good, and I knew I had to go. It was my fault he was this way, and I needed to do something about it. It is better this way. You did suck a great job with him Ms. Jackson. Continue teaching him all he needs to know. Thank you again.
Sally sat down, more like fell onto the couch. She took a deep breath, trying to regain her composure. Poor Percy. She wanted to get up, find her son and help him. But she couldn't enter camp, for one, and two, She couldn't get up off the couch.
Annabeth was like the daughter Sally never had. She was a good influence on Percy.
Sally let a sob escape her lips. She heard the keys turn in the door as Paul stepped in. He dropped the groceries in his hands and ran to her side. He looked at her inquisitively and she just handed him the note. His eyes flew across the page and when he finished, he slowly lowered his hands.
Paul wrapped his arms around Sally as she cried. Sally was well aware of Annabeth's condition, Annabeth would end up at Sally's apartment half the time. Sally was constantly worries about Annabeth. That came with being a mother though. now All Sally was worried about was Percy.
Nico handed Chiron two letters before he hurried off. Chiron realized on the front of one, his name was written in elegant script, Annabeth's script.
He folded his legs into his wheelchair and covered his legs with a blanket. He opened the letter and stared at the words on the page.
You have been here for me since I got here. You were the father I never had. You encouraged me to be strong. You have been there for the best and worst parts of my life. I believed this was the only way. I hated worrying everyone. I hated worrying those close to me. I hated it. I felt so useless and uncontrolled. This was the only way to stop it. I wanted to thank you for everything. If the camp has to know, tell them. If not, leave it a mystery where I went. I don't deserve a burial, or a shrine, just burn me. Give the ashes to the rest of the seven, Nico, Reyna, Thalia, My Dad, Sally, and of course you. Thank you again Chiron.
Chiron was speechless. For once, he actually was speechless. True Annabeth had been worsening in her condition, but that didn't mean Chiron wanted to stop trying. he truly did think of Annabeth as a daughter. He watched her grow and mature. He didn't know what to think, other than, 'Oh gods, poor Percy.'
Frederick Chase was at work when the letter arrived. It was postmarked today so he figured it must've been from Annabeth. No other letter would arrive that fast.
He opened the letter to find Dad, written in Annabeth's beautiful cursive.
Frederick opened the letter eagerly, wanting to hear of all Annabeth's tales from the summer, and what was to come.
When he opened the letter he found something he wasn't expecting, something that made him close up shop and go home early.
I wanted to say I'm sorry. For everything I've done. For running away at seven, for not writing to you, for everything, but mostly for this. It felt right to do this, I was worrying everyone way too much, and I couldn't stand it. It was better to just end it all then to keep suffering. Percy's going to blame himself, you probably are too, but know that it wasn't your faults, It was mine, for living. I'm sorry to leave you like that dad, I love you more that you'll ever know.
Frederick sat there, silence overwhelming him. He could see Annabeth when she was five or so, building her houses out of blocks, he could see her when she was seven, the day she left home, He could see her when she was nearly thirteen, when she finally came to visit, he could see her when she was fourteen and fifteen, and sixteen when she started dating Percy. Frederick could see her the night before she left to go back to camp, the night she told him about Tartarus, the night she told him she went to see Magnus, the night she left home for the last time.
Frederick packed his bags and went to his boss, explaining what had happened. His boss let him leave early and head home, but Frederick didn't go straight home. He bought a plane ticket for New York City before heading home to pack his bags.
Will got the best welcome home from a certain son of Hades. He helped Nico sleep throughout the night, except for the one screaming fit, which Will took care of. When Will woke to find Annabeth really dead, he didn't know what to think. Nico had woken him, telling him, 'Annabeth needs help.' And Will just told him to sleep. 'It's just a nightmare.' Will had said, 'Go to sleep now. I've got you.'
Will felt totally responsible. If he was home, he could've seen the signs. From what Will knew, she had all the signs of depression, especially the happiness at the end, right before she ended her life.
Will walked to Nico's cabin, hoping to find him there. Nico was indeed, sitting on his bed, staring at the note Annabeth left, tears in his eyes.
Will walked to where Nico was sitting and sat next to him.
Nico handed him the note before laying back on his bed. Will took the piece of paper and read the part titled: Will
Thank you so much. You made Nico bright and happy again. I know you are going to blame yourself for this, but don't. It was better this way. I want you to know that I'm going to be fine. There was nothing you could do to prevent this.
Will stopped reading. He was a very happy guy, but he didn't want to read further. He knew he would break down, and right now his angel needed him.
Will wrapped his arms around Nico. "I know, Nico, I know."
When Hazel arrived at camp, she didn't expect a big welcome, it's good, because that isn't what she got. She didn't get anyone in fact. She expected Percy and Annabeth to be there, Nico and Will. But no one was there. No one at all.
Frank clutched her hand as the entered through the gates and looked around. Hazel sensed the sadness in the air. She walked to Hades cabin, where she was sure Nico would be. Frank brought his stuff to Ares cabin, saying he'd meet her by the big house.
When she entered the cabin, no one was there. She walked to her bed, where a piece of paper laid on top of her neatly made bed.
Hazel placed her suit case on her bed and opened the note:
When I met you, I knew I could trust you. Percy has a knack for picking up good friends, and you defiantly looked like one. We grew close over the time that we spent on the Argo II and I was glad to have made a friend on the journey. Thank you For being there Hazel. I promise, It was better this way.
Hazel looked around the room, not understanding what Annabeth meant. She walked out of her cabin and it struck her. "No."
Annabeth was one of the nicest people Hazel had ever met. She couldn't understand it. Hazel wiped a tear from her eye, going to find Frank. Either he just found out too or Hazel had to explain it to him.
Annabeth was gone.
Frank left Hazel to go to Ares-Mars, whatever, cabin. He found that they had given him a bunk so he placed his stuff on top of it. He noticed a piece of paper sitting on his bed and grabbed it, afraid of it's contents.
He seen his name on top, so he figured it could be safe to open.
I didn't know you too well, but the few conversations we did have let me know that you were an amazing person. I wanted to thank you for keeping my seaweed brain of a boyfriend safe while he was at Camp Jupiter. You really made him feel welcome. Thank you. When you see Hazel, give her a hug for me. It's better like this.
Frank instantly knew what had happened. Partly because Mars started screaming in his head about how Venus wouldn't stop complaining about how Percabeth was over and partly because of the note.
Frank didn't know what to do. He knew about Annabeth's condition and he knew it was worsening, but she Killed herself? That seemed extreme, especially for her.
Frank walked out the door to find Hazel crying. Frank wrapped his arms around her and whispered, "I know Hazel. Shhh"
Hazel relaxed in his arms but she continued to cry. Frank rubbed circles on her back and tried to calm her down. "This is a whole lot of schist."
Hazel laughed through her tears and said, "Thanks Frank. I needed that."
He gripped her hand and said, "Let's go find Percy."
Leo was halfway across the country when a letter arrived. The wind spirit said she got it here as fast as she could. She said the letter was sent today, and that Leo should read it right away.
Leo read his name on the front in Cursive and opened the letter to read it.
I don't know what to say to you other than I'm glad I got to meet you. We've had a lot of laughs and most of them were because of you. You are a really great guy and I hope you defeat the Beast. Promise me you wont blame yourself for what happened. I promise it is better this way, and it isn't your fault. It has never been your fault. Okay.
Leo knew what had happened. He read the letter over and over, praying for this to just be a dream. Leo glanced back to Apollo snoring soundly and Calypso, who's arms were around his waist.
If Calypso ever did something like that, Leo would blame himself over and over, saying he could've done something. He could've prevented it.
'This must be how Percy feels.' Leo thought, as they flew, "Man, I hope he's okay." It came out as a whisper but Festus heard it.
.. / .- - / ... - .-. .-. -.- (Morse code for, I'm sorry)
"It's okay buddy, no need to be sorry."
Leo wished he could invent a time machine, go back in time and warn everyone, but the greatest inventors would tell him it was a horrid idea. Changing one event could ruin the whole course of events in the future.
Leo didn't care, he wanted his friend back. He wanted everything to be okay again.
Reyna arrived at Camp Half blood a little later than Frank and Hazel, but earlier than Jason and Piper.
Reyna was told to meet Nico at Hades cabin. She walked along and found Hades cabin easily, it was the darkest one. Reyna knocked on the door and Nico answered it. His eyes were red, like he'd been crying, and his face was pale.
"Are you alright?"
Nico handed Reyna a note, with Annabeth's script on the front. It read her name.
When I first met you, I didn't know what to think. You had such power and I was honestly afraid Percy might've chosen you over me. We obviously know he likes me better. :) But onto more important things. I grew to be good friends with you and I'm glad. It was nice to show a Roman how Greeks are superior. This was the only way to make sure you would win, know though, that none of this was your fault. It is better this way. Goodbye my friend.
Reyna leaned against the doorjamb for support. She met Nico's eyes, they were dark and empty and sad. Reyna inched forward to sit on his bed. She didn't know what to say, Reyna may not have known Annabeth as long as the others, but she was definitely good friends with her. Annabeth and Reyna kept in touch all of the time. Annabeth was the one Person, other than Nico, that Reyna told all of her troubles to. Reyna felt like she did during senate meetings, She had no voice.
Piper and Jason flew into camp a lot later than the others. Jason was okay with that, because he got to spend the whole day with Piper. He flew her to her cabin and said he'd meet her at the campfire. She walked inside as he flew back to his cabin.
He placed his luggage down and sighed. "It's good to be home."
He walked around, inspecting the place, and he found a note on his bed.
It read his name in very elegant script. He carefully opened the letter and read it's contents.
What to say to you. I wanted to kill you when we first met, I knew I shouldn't trust Hera, but I did get to meet you so I guess she wasn't totally Fucking with me. I got to meet you, Leo, and Piper, so I guess Hera must've been feeling extra special happy that day. ;) We both know that I didn't totally trust you, especially when we reached the Roman camp. But over time you proved yourself, I'm glad I got to meet you. Take care of Piper, I'll haunt you if you break her heart.
It's better this way,
Jason fell back against the dresser. Jason felt like punching a wall, Jason felt like sinking a boat, Jason felt like-he felt like crying. Sure, he didn't know Annabeth too well, and sure he didn't trust her at first either (Those scary grey eyes seemed to bore right into him), but Annabeth was one of the seven, he grew to love her like family. He couldn't bare to live a day without any of the seven. Most of All, He couldn't bare to see the look on Percy's face.
Piper waved as Jason flew off to his cabin. She walked in to grab a sweater from her bunk and meet Jason at the campfire. She reached under her pillow where she was going to grab a flashlight, but found a note instead.
Piper read her name on the front, in Annabeth's handwriting.
She opened the letter, excited to see what her friend had wrote for her.
I-wow, there is so much to say. I thank the gods I met you, you were the friend I needed. We became so close over the months that I searched for Percy and I loved all of the breakfast we ate together. You stayed friends with me even though I necessarily didn't trust your boyfriend. You were a great friend and I'm glad I got to make your acquaintance. I'm sorry if I hurt you by doing this, I'm so so sorry. But it was better this way. I promise you that. Tell Rachel I'm sorry aswell, I haven't seen her in forever, and I didn't have time to write her a note.
Take care of my seaweed brain for me,
Piper sat on her bunk, unable to move. She began to cry, Annabeth was her best friend, they had been through so much together. They both talked about their dumb boyfriends, they spent quality time together. Piper couldn't take it. Her best friend was gone.
Jason flew in within a matter of minutes, he climbed to Piper's bunk and wrapped his arms around her. She cried into his chest, clutching his shirt. She couldn't go to the campfire, not now, not after the news she'd just received.
Jason was able to get her to stop crying, he was able to convince her to come to the campfire, he was even able to convince her to sing along in the songs. Piper watched as Percy laughed and sang to the songs, joked with the kids next to him, and overall looked very happy.
Piper watched every day as Percy was happy and joyful. Piper couldn't understand that. She cried every time she thought about Annabeth, and they were best friends, Percy was dating Annabeth, shouldn't he feel worse than that.
But little did Piper know, that Percy cried himself to sleep every night, with memories of Annabeth all around him.
Well that broke my heart to write and post.
I think I need help, like that was so in depth... I'm scared...