Fandom: Percy Jackson and the Olympians/Heroes of Olympus
Pairings: Slight Reyna/Jason
Summary: "Your name was Jason Grace. You were once a hero. But now you are one of us."
Warnings: Scenery Gorn.
Notes: Dark AU, Post-MoA, Post-THO, Post-Apocalypse.
What The Thunder Said
I can't get my mind out of those memories
Now time to tell them, "don't take my dream,"
When he opened his eyes, all he saw was the gray sky and small flecks of gray and white falling to the ground. His limbs were aching and stiff. He was covered in ash and snow. How long had he been lying down on the ground? The air around him was stale; he couldn't breathe properly. His throat was dry.
Slowly, he sat up. Some of his bones crackled. He looked around. There were bodies everywhere, preserved in the ice. They looked like they had been here for a few months, at least. All the faces around him were unrecognizable. Shields, spears, swords were stuck on the ground. The whole battle site was surrounded by mountains. Everything was gray.
He touched his ash-covered face, and looked at the dirt on his hands, on his burned black clothes. Who was he? He couldn't remember anything. Was he supposed to be dead, like the rest of these bodies? Why was he still alive? Why was he here? He looked up to the sky again. He wanted to speak to it. For a moment, he felt a connection with it. He raised a hand as if to grasp the sky. He closed his fist. All he caught was more ash and snow. The connection he felt was just imagination, he realized. He felt no emotion inside of him. He felt he ought be scared because of that, but he wasn't.
He placed a hand on his chest. He felt the beating of his heart. It was slow and calm, but it was beating. It made him feel much better.
Still music keeps on turning me from the words that hurt my soul
Removing doubts from my mind
When she opened her eyes, she realized that she was alone again. Alone and dead, she thought bitterly. She placed her dagger down and gently lowered the lifeless body of her comrade. Her last companion, one of the last ones in the legion (but now she was the legion). His blood stained her arms, her armor, her dress. He didn't deserve to die like this. All those who fought in the war, even though they knew they had lost. They were determined until the end. They deserved to see the light of tomorrow.
She looked up to the gray sky. She wanted to reach up. Pray to her fallen gods. But her hands were tied. No, not physically. She was free to move. But the earth goddess' fingers were curled around her. She could not breathe, even though there was enough energy for her to do so. She could not fight, but she was more agile and lithe than ever before. She could not sleep, but she closed her eyes and fell to dreams more times than she could count.
She stood up, taking her dagger, and turned around. Monsters surrounded her. She took her comrade's shield, took a deep breath. She cried out, and charged.
Those long days passing by from that door, like late summer they slowly fade away
Finding ways through the favorite tune, play all day with my eyes closed
He aimlessly wandered at the pathways that were buried in more snow. He didn't know where he was going, but his feet knew the way, and he let them take the lead. Everywhere he went, there were burnt forests, more dark mountains, and barren lands. There was almost no color. Just the dark snow and falling ashes. A mixed smell of heat and cold. For days and nights he had been walking without any stop. He didn't get tired. But he was thirsty.
At night, he found himself walking to a bridge, into a city of ash-stained marble and stone. He looked at river below the bridge. It was black. He couldn't see his own reflection. He walked to the other side and then moved towards the stagnant river. He cupped his hands with the water. It was still black. He hesitated to drink it, but he took the water to his mouth. It tasted like metal and rusty oil. His tongue and throat burned. He coughed, and then threw up. Now it only made his throat drier.
He tried to stand up, his knees wobbling. He turned and looked at the ruined city. His feet moved, and he found himself walking down a road. Like everything else he saw earlier, everything was covered in dark wet ash. There was no one around, living or dead.
He arrived in what should have been the middle of the city, except that there wasn't anything to signify so there. His feet stopped at the edge of a giant hole. He knelt on the ground and looked down the hole. Hot breeze rose up to his face. A shiver ran down his spine. The bottom of the pit, thousand miles away, was burning in bright, fiery fire. With the breeze also came the howl of the ghosts below.
He stepped away from it. His whole body was shivering. He turned on his heels and ran away, his teeth chattering. It was suddenly cold.
Those long days passing by from that door, like late summer they slowly fade away
Finding way through the favorite tune, filling me with those sounds
She didn't like wine. But she was alone now, and there wasn't much choice. Her fingers curled around the cold glass (much like how the earth goddess held her). She brought it to her lips, and let her tongue and throat burn for a while. Around her were monsters - disguised as mortals, seated on cushions, wooing other mortals. The latter shivered and let them be wrapped around the waists in the monsters' arms. She shivered, too, and averted her gaze, looking only at her glass. They were covered in dust, and they wore rags, but the mortals around her dressed far better. She looked down at herself. She had discarded her armor (since there was no use fighting anyway), and she was wearing a dark brown dress, with the hinges burned and scratched.
The dim lights of the bar flicked up, and slow jazz music started playing on the half-broken speaker. The monsters stared at her, but she knew they wouldn't try to lay a finger on her. And she could see how frustrated they were. She still carried the dagger with her just in case. When she glanced at them, they sneered. She finished her drink and left.
I can't remember the smile that you gave it to me
I have no way to tell you, "Don't walk away,"
In a distance, he saw a silhouette of a giant ship. At least it looked like such. He squinted and trudged towards it. As he came nearer, he was getting a clearer view of the ship. While half-buried in ash, the ship was split in two. It had multiple oars, and on the mast was the head of a dragon. He walked to the stern. At the bottom of the mast, he placed his hands on the cold metal and wiped away the ash clinging to it. Underneath the gray was a dull bronze. It was the first time he had seen anything that had a different color from his grim surroundings.
With a hand following the structure, he moved to the middle of the ship. He stepped inside. There was less ash, but the ground was full of craters and puddles. There were two floors. At the right was what looked like the stables, and at the right (where the other half of the ship was), the engine room. Moving further, a hallway with a staircase. Climbing up, a multitude of rooms; one of them leading to the quarterdeck of the ship. He opened the door of what looked like a bathroom. There was a toilet and a shower. On the floor was a face mirror. He picked it up, and wiped away the dust that gathered.
He touched his cheeks while looking at himself in the mirror. He face was covered in ash and dust. His wet, dirty hair was blond. But what struck him most were his eyes. They were a striking blue. He held his chin and turned his face sideways. He didn't look bad, but he probably looked better when he wasn't so pale and dirty. Then again, he was in a world where all living things were probably dead. Hygiene didn't seem to matter anymore.
Still, his hand reached out to the shower knob and turned it. No water came out. Disappointed, he walked out of the bathroom and out of the ship deck. There was nothing to see.
He placed his hand on the bronze mast. Its snout was melted, and the eyes were punched out. Something about this ship bothered him, in a good way. Was he connected to it? Down below something dark was rising from the ground. It seemed to be calling out to him. He didn't want to approach it, but his feet disobeyed him and walked back out of the ship.
Still sorrow keeps on tying me, but my soul wants to get freed
Let my heart loose from a chain
She found herself standing on what remained of New Rome.
It was still intact, unlike Camp Jupiter. But it was nothing like what she remembered. It was empty and cold. Like everything else, there was ash covering her home.
She picked up a shield lying down on the floor, brushing away the dust. She saw herself, with unkempt long hair, and dark, wild eyes. She shouldered the shield behind her, gathered her hair and pulled it over on her left shoulder.
Even though the Underworld was in chaos and disarray, she wondered if everyone she knew was in Elysium. She was not scared of death. In truth, she wanted to join her friends and family. But the Earth had wrapped itself around her feet.
She wished someone could take her away from the ground she walked, away from the fingers of the goddess. She looked up the sky. She missed the feeling of being the air. She wanted to fly away.
Those long days passing by from that door, like frail snow they slowly disappear
When he came down to the ship, it was foggy. Ash had stopped falling. It was too thick to see which direction he came from, but he saw the dark swirling entity. He walked to it, a lump forming in his throat. It didn't have a definite shape, although it seemed like a tornado shaped like a half-horse and half-man.
It opened its white bright eyes and smiled cruelly at him. You are awake, half-blood. Good. Mother has planned the journey ahead of you.
Who am I? he said to the entity. What am I doing here? What are you?
The entity only chuckled, its voice echoing. Those questions need no answers now. Come with me. We must journey to where Mother is now.
The entity made a grab for his arm, but he quickly shook it, backing away. No, I want answers, he demanded. Who is Mother? What happened here? Who am I?
The bright eyes of the entity dimmed, as if it was squinting. There is no time for that. We must go, or Mother will not be pleased that you arrived late.
I want answers first. His voice was fierce. The sky seemed to rumble as if agreeing with him.
The entity backed away, sneering. That is not how you treat your superior.
Something punched his gut, and he was thrown backwards. He couldn't breathe. He coughed and wheezed, clutching his neck.
Your name was Jason Grace, the entity said, with a scowl. It hovered over him. You were once a hero. But now, you are one of us.
His face slackened, even though he was still in pain. He stared at the entity for a long time. Slowly, very slowly he remembered who he was. His memories from when he was a kid until now poured to his mind a like a stream.
The entity held both of his hands, and before he knew it, he was floating in the middle of the ocean, facing the dark gray sky.
Finding ways through the favorite thoughts, cocoon me in floaty bliss
The monsters were getting agitated. Whenever she passed them, she could sense them tremble, not in fear, but in frustration. They wanted to turn her into their tasty meal, shred her skin, and run her through all other forms of gruesome torture and death. But they were being held back by the Earth goddess. She was alone, and there was no one to turn. She was probably the last half-god, half-mortal walking the earth. And the goddess wanted to keep her; the symbol of the victory.
Still, she always kept her dagger besides her. For the old times' sake. It became a habit for her to walk in front of a person and cut its head. The person always ended up in golden dust. And all around her, the people (monsters, of course) would sneer. She turned her back towards them and walked away casually. She could kill them all, if she wanted to. They weren't going to hurt her. Or maybe they could prove some use to her. She could make them build castles, and attend to her needs. She toyed with the thought that she was queen.
(Or maybe she was really going insane.)
Those long days passing by from that door, like frail snow they slowly disappear
He didn't know how to swim. And yet, here he was floating above the water. He knew that he should be afraid of the water, although at first, he didn't know why. Then he remembered that he was in someone else's territory. Another god's territory, according to his memory. But he felt assured, and that bothered him. He looked through his mind again. His memories had returned, a little bit foggy, but they were there.
Closing his mind, he recalled again. There were memories of when he was a kid, and then when he was a teenager. It was filled with dangers, and people, and colors. He rode the giant bronze ship called the Argo II, with six more demigods on board. The faces of his friends and family flashed in front of him, smiling. He almost smiled back.
His recent memories weren't good.
The memories became colorless. In them, he was starting to feel weird. Someone was suddenly speaking in his mind. A voice nagging him, whispering words he didn't understand. At first, it was probably his imagination. Then again, he was a demigod. When something felt wrong, then it was wrong.
It started after Percy and Annabeth fell into Tartarus. Everything was heading in a different direction when his best friend back then, the name was Leo if he recalled correctly, was stuck with a disease.
But he has almost expected that. He had read the Argonautica. He watched his best friend from afar. He was afraid for Leo. His best friend was going to die. And he didn't want that to happen. But it did happen, on the evening of Christmas, when they thought the war against the Earth goddess was over. They burned his shroud, they grieved.
The next night, he and his girlfriend Piper sat down on the bed of his bedroom, comforting each other, all with their scars and wounds.
Piper told him that she talked to Leo, before he died. He told me his dream, she said. She turned pale. Something...something is going to happen to all of us. But I don't know when it's going to happen.
He reached out for her hand and gripped it. Whatever it is...we'll be alright. I promise.
Piper eyes were misty, her lips thin. But she nodded. I love you, Jason.
And in the next memory, he drove his sword through Piper's heart.
He screamed and sat up, clutching his face. More images streamed into his mind. He couldn't stop them. Hazel, and then Frank. Percy and Annabeth were the last ones and the longest to survive. He killed his friends. His sword was stained in their blood. Their faces appeared in front of him, painted with blood, all contorted in pain and anger.
What have I done?
He did more. He slew gods. He destroyed cities. He led armies of monsters. The images horrified him so much.
He opened his eyes. His hands and face were sandy, and he wasn't floating on the water anymore. He was sitting on gray sand, and the waves lapped under his legs.
(He was home.)
Finding ways through the favorite friends, filling me with warm embrace
She entered the praetors' office. Other than the torn flags on poles, battle plans and shards of glass strewn across the floor; it was all in one piece. She sat down on the chair, looking down on the table, which was clear of papers and empty. She placed her elbows on it and clasped her hands together, as if in prayer. She murmured things to thought of her two automaton companions, Aurum and Argentum. They were always by her side. But they were somewhere, broken in a thousand pieces, after protecting her and her remaining soldiers of the legion in a battle between multiple giants. She grieved for them, briefly, before standing up and marching on with her family.
He comes today, whispered the Earth goddess behind her. She turned around. A growing pile of dirt rose up into a shape of a woman. When the woman was formed, she smiled at the demigod in front of her.
Those long days passing by from that door, like late summer they slowly fade away
The billboard said Oakland, California. This was supposed to be his home. But it didn't look like home.
It was just like anything else he saw; empty-streets, ash-covered cars, falling snow, gray and decaying buildings.
Snow and ash stopped to fall, and a light rain pattered down softly. He brought his hands out to feel the drops; but in a second flinched and brought them back under his clothes. It was burning. Almost like acid. Burns started to appear on his pale skin, and he rushed to the nearest building for shelter. He wrapped himself with bundles of cloth he could find, and sat down.
When the rain stopped, he came out, his skin red and itching, covered securely in layers of blankets. He walked towards the heart of the city, and he started to see people. They walked briskly, their clothes gray and torn, looking around anxiously, holding their shoulders. When they saw him, they squeaked and went to the nearest building. When he tried to talk to them, some murmured to him, I have no time for you. Others shoved him away, shouting, stay away from me!
Slow jazz music could be heard in some buildings. Neon signs flashed besides bar entrances, some of them with letters that didn't work, forming crude words. He passed men who looked familiar to him. They scowled at him when he stared, and bumped at him aggressively before walking away quickly. He realized that they didn't really hit him hard; he was just weak at his feet. He didn't know what was the deal with them at first. He felt like in a different era; somewhere back in the past, except everything was broken. He felt like he was in a movie: the scene was the back alleys of a city, the time was midnight, and he was the actor, blindly following the script.
He could see the mountains up ahead. Something was pulling him towards them. He felt all wrong, but he figured he was brought here for a reason. He didn't want to look for anymore answers, but he had nowhere else to go. So he walked towards the mountains, the word home ringing in his mind.
Finding ways through the favorite tune
The past does not matter anymore, when we are here, when we have won, whispered the goddess. All of you are merely my little dolls to play with. Why are you still fighting, daughter of Bellona, when there is nothing else to fight for?
The earth goddess was walking around her. Her once sleepy voice sounded gentle, but commanding now, and awake.. Reyna only looked ahead, avoiding the goddess's gaze.
There is something else I can fight for, she said fiercely, closing her eyes.
Oh, and what is it?
Freedom! The goddess laughed. You are free, child. You are free to do whatever you want here. My children cannot hurt you. The mortals are afraid of you—
I am bound to you, and I want to be free.
I am fascinated that you have kept your mind in one piece this far. The goddess smiled a motherly smile (and when the girl opened her eyes and saw that smile, she sneered). I have underestimated you, child.
Get off. My back.
And where will go if I release you? You have nowhere to run. Do you want to join your friends and family? The goddess chuckled. Elysium is no more, so are the Asphodel Fields. The underworld is the home of my children now. The souls of your loved ones are lost. They are here, at the surface, watching the world fall down little by little. They will find no peace, no matter what.
Her fists clenched besides her.
But at the very least they are together, if you savor the idea, the goddess continued. They will watch the end of this millennium, and the rebirth of it.
Play all day with my eyes closed
He entered a tunnel that wasn't blocked. It was dark and moist, and his stomach started to hurt after breathing the air for a while now. He placed a hand on the wall to guide him through the darkness. It was a long walk down. He knew he was in the mountains, and what was on the other side was hidden by the landscape. Away from mortal eyes.
As he walked, each step was growing heavier and heavier. There was a feeling of someone pulling him down to the earth, under it. Someone's hands wrapping around his neck...
When he emerged from the tunnel, he almost collapsed on his knees. All his strength was gone. His limbs were weak and shaking. His eyes were blurry, and his head felt like it was about to explode.
He didn't know what was happening to him. Then something entered his mind: did he care what would happen to him? There was nothing waiting for him. From the beginning, something was pulling him, and he was just going along. He didn't have the will to break away. He was supposed to be dead like all his friends and everyone else in the world. He was supposed to be lying with all the other bodies. So why was he here? Whatever the motive was, he was going to find out soon.
He looked up, and saw a broken gray city.
His city, his home.
...those long days passing by from that door...
Do you wish to see your loved ones? The goddess whispered. She felt no air coming out from the goddess's breathing. Do you want to join them soon?
In truth, her answer was yes, she wanted to join them. This place was worse than hell, and that was saying something.
The goddess smiled. But you know you can't join them on your own, can you? No, you're too strong and too stubborn. You wouldn't do that. You want to die nobly. The goddess leaned closer to her face. You want to die in battle. You want to die trying. You want to die a death of noble cause. But hear me, child, there is no quiet death for you.
The goddess leaned away, walking backwards, her arms opening wide, and spun around. She admitted to herself that the goddess was beautiful; the earth she wore shimmered like a silk dress, and sometimes her skin looked flawless.
Beauty didn't matter to her. Nothing mattered to her anymore. And yet, she looked down at herself and saw a tired, distraught person with torn black clothes, scars from battles long ago. She was wasted, but then again, everything was.
The goddess stopped in her little dance, smiling. I applaud you for fighting me. You've lasted very long. But I have one last challenge for you, child. We'll see if you will keep fighting me.
The door of the room burst opened. A man stumbled face down to the floor, coughing and wheezing. She turned and froze.
...like late summer they slowly fade away...
The world became an absolute blur. His feet had come to a stop, and all his energy had been drained away. He fell down on the ground, and lay there, unmoving. His breath pushed away dust, also taking some to his system, his throat shrinking tightly. His eyes kept rolling to his head, but he tried to pull his consciousness down. When his throat tightened to the point he forced himself to cough to breathe, he looked up. There were two women not far, standing in front of him. One was a tall beautiful woman covered in earth, smiling down. The other was a woman he knew. Her eyes were wide, and she was frozen on the spot.
She looked away from him and to the goddess behind her. What is this? She said, quiet anger in her voice. What are you doing?
The goddess shrugged one shoulder, smile widening, eyes crinkling. This is for you.
I want an explanation.
The goddess turned away from her, walking in a different direction.
She slowly turned back to him, her lips pressed together tightly. He reached out to her, hand outstretched, his voice croaking. Broken. She walked towards him, her steps light and slow.
I kept him. His heart beating, his blood flowing, and lulled him into a deep sleep, instead of putting him to death. The goddess said. As long as his body stays on the earth, I can control all his veins, nerves, and bones. He might be a walking dead, love, if his soul has left the body I control.
In hearing these words, he stopped moving, and she stopped moving, too. For a second, they both thought that he was a moving corpse. He let out another slow breath, pushing more dust away from him. Then he looked at her in the eye, and scrunched his face a little. A look of determination. He was alive, and he knew it. He felt no emotions before, but his heart was beating frantically, aching, feeling so many emotions at once he didn't know how to show it.
He had been part of my army. He killed his friends, and helped me rise. He helped me destroy Rome and Greece. I lost a lot of my children, but we won. Thank him, for he brought this era to us.
He breathed through his mouth. He looked worse than her, but there was something behind his eyes. A small spark of light. The spark that kept him moving, thinking on his own. And when he looked at her eyes, he saw so no light. Her eyes were blank, like the dead. She had given up.
She leaned down in front of him touched his fingers. His skin was cold, but what did she expect? Nothing here was warm. But this was human contact, something that was stripped away from her a long time ago. She held his hand, and he grasped her wrist tightly. They held a silent conversation with only their eyes, and it was short, very short.
But they understood each other. They had lost the battle, the gods were gone, all their friends were gone, but they were both still here. The goddess' fingers were wrapped around them and played with them like little dolls in a child's playhouse. And the thought of themselves as playthings angered them so much.
He was shaking violently on the ground, and she knew he was feeling extreme pain. He was being kept alive, just like she was. She gripped his hand tighter and pulled him to a hug.
...finding ways through the favorite tune...
How very touching, the goddess said behind her. She was going to say more, but the she saw the girl unsheathe her dagger while helping the boy up to his feet. She tightened her fingers around the hilt. They didn't release each other. He whispered something to her ear, and she nodded.
She drove her dagger to his chest. He coughed and shook, clinging to her before slacking his hold and sliding down to the ground. She held him while he breathed his last breaths. And then he stopped.
The goddess only watched, with her arms crossed.
She gently placed his body down, taking her bloody knife from him. Blood slowly pooled around. She cleaned her dagger with her dress and placed it back to its sheath. She looked at his face one more time. His expression was peaceful, regardless of the sudden, violent death she gave him.
The sky rumbled. The goddess looked up on instinct, and she shimmered momentarily. Then she descended to the girl. I see you handled my challenge well. As expected of you.
She placed her two hands on her shoulders, but she shook it away, and faced the goddess. There was something different in the way she looked. There was her look of anger and indifference, as always. But there was something new; a spark in her eyes.
No. I saved him from you, and that is my answer to this challenge, she said. His soul can feel the pain, and even though I can't die, he still can, and I gave him that. I am not free from you, but he is.
You have a different definition of freedom, child.
So do you. She stepped up. I will stay here. I will continue to fight you. I will defeat you. The spark grew bright. My brothers and sisters will see the light of tomorrow, I promise them that, from the very beginning.
...with those sounds...
The goddess leaned to her face. Are you sure, daughter of Bellona?
I am sure. There was a small smile on her lips. Didn't you hear what the thunder said?