Bonus Chapter

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(This takes place somewhere between the first ten chapters)


Percy couldn't sleep. 

She couldn't eat, she couldn't breathe, she couldn't stand.

Every blink, every breath, every bite, every ounce of force she put towards living was ripped out of her hands. Water turned into sticky, thick molasses and everything was so difficult. A deep cold ache in her chest grew every time she tried to do anything. A longing that wouldn't be filled was brought up inside her.

Everything hurt. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying, her breaths were ragged and hard and every inhale felt like dragging needles up and down her throat. She didn't want to breathe.

Percy couldn't sleep.

She was kept up by the cold and lonely feeling of missing half her soul. Curled on her side, all she could feel was the absence of her lover. beside her. The lack of nimble, dainty hands tracing over every crease of her forehead, wiping the tears from her cheeks, and tucking her hair behind her ear. The absence of a beating heart next to hers and the soft rise and fall of breaths in sync with hers.

Everything felt cold after Tartarus. It made sense, after having undergone such brutal, sweltering, cruel heat, everything else would seem like the icy touch of snow--a pretty reminder, but a chill to the core. But Percy would rather go through Tartarus a thousand times or be frozen to death than have to keep going like this.

She couldn't. Breaths caught at her throat and tears hazed her vision constantly. She tried to keep it at bay, she had to, of course. But it was so mind-numbingly difficult. Everything she tried, anything she did, took so much effort it didn't feel like it was worth it. It was like walking through Jell-o. 

She couldn't shake the feeling that Annabeth would have been disappointed.

Everything felt cold after Annabeth. Everything felt dull after Annabeth. Everything was lifeless. Everything was sterile and cold and meaningless if Annabeth wasn't there to breathe life into it. If mornings couldn't start and nights couldn't end with the soft touch of her lips, then was it worth it? Was it worth breathing if she could never feel Annabeth's breath against her skin? Was it worth smiling if she could never see her Annabeth smile again? Or hear her laugh? Or feel her touch?

Percy always thought that losing her mother would hurt the worst pain she could suffer. As a little girl she would hold on to her mother's clothes--always neat and tidy--and cry to her about how Sally wasn't allowed to die. Percy always reasoned that nothing could be worse than losing her mom. Her mom who protected and cared for her. Her mom who guided her and loved her.

But then Annabeth died. She was behind her, fighting back to back like always, and eventually, she wasn't. She wasn't standing anymore. She was hit, time and time again, and she kept fighting, she kept giving herself to the cause. Eventually, Annabeth staggered. Eventually, Annabeth fell. And through the bustling cries of the battlefield, the thud of Annabeth's body to the floor was deafening. And Percy wanted so badly to turn and fall with her. She wanted to cradle Annabeth and hold her and beg and pray. But would it have been worth it? Percy couldn't leave the battle; she couldn't say all those lives lost were in vain. She couldn't let Annabeth's death have been in vain. So she uttered a loud, haunting "I love you" and let it rang through the evening, and all she got back was a half muttered "I love-" and with those broken words Percy broke. So she fought. She fought till they won. She fought till Annabeth had been properly avenged. Then she turned. She trudged to dirt and mud and blood and gold to get to Annabeth.

 Annabeth.

Annabeth. As pretty in death as she had been in life. Percy let herself fall. She fell to her knees and tears fell down her face, taking with them the soot of the battle. Percy grabbed her, she held her up to her chest, and cradled her head because there was nothing more for her to do. She held her. She held her and begged, and she prayed and yelled and mourned what could have been. Percy wiped Annabeth's face and wondered at her beauty. She chanted strings of apologies and promises and declarations of love that went unheard. She had been hers and now she was gone. And as the red and anger faded from her vision, Percy was left with a blank, ugly world of greys and hate and sadness.

Percy grieved her mother, of course. It had been awful and tearful and terrible. But Percy hadn't lost half of her soul when her mother died. Annabeth fueled her. Annabeth gave her meaning. And now, she didn't.

So Percy let herself clutch the plush sheets of the Wayne Manor. And she let herself cry into the soaked pillows. She felt the longing and the pain and the emptiness of not having her soulmate with her. She felt acutely and painfully aware of how alone she was. In a house that was too big, filled with people she didn't know, left in a world without a soul to confide in.

Percy would manage. Of course, she would, she had to. She would make sure she managed because that's What Annabeth would have wanted. And what was she to do in this world if not to love Annabeth? 

In the following days, Percy would take care to look at the sky. And she would imagine it was her Annie sending her messages and little love notes through particularly pretty sunsets. And Percy would learn to live with that aching feeling of having had her heart carved out of her. She would learn to breathe again. And she would be able to sleep, and eat, and stand. Almost miraculously she would. All for her love of Annabeth.







p.s. hey guys,,, long time no see

I cried over this chapter bc i saw one of those tiktoks about someone having lost their partner and I was very deeply affected by it, seeing as I love my partner very much. Unfortunately (or thankfully ig) hes asleep rn, so i sent some texts for him to read in the morning and wrote this through tears.

Um yeah I hope you liked it, that'll be my last update here for a while lol.

Much love, Robin!!

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