she'd go down kicking and screaming

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"Maybe I gotta take things more seriously now," Percy finished his empathetic monologue to Grover and Annabeth whilst Ciarda strayed behind. She kicked at stones, her hair covering her face in a moody sense. They'd invited her to walk with them, but she'd angrily fought their kindness, preferring to bask in loneliness. 

The revving of a lone engine thrummed in the air, making Grover grab Percy's shirt gently. "Car," He warned them. Ciarda turned her head slightly, the heat waves simmering on the road's horizon making her sleepy.  

"That's not a car, it's a bike. Just let it pass, come on," Annabeth sighed. Ciarda's dark eyes watched from afar, something prickling up her spine. It crawled up each bone of her spine, fizzling out in her nerves. All her hair stood on end, and her heart began thumping unevenly. The comforting feeling of war spirit simmered inside her cooly. An unknown something was barrelling towards them. 

"All I'm saying is that we might not just have to retrieve the bolt, but we might have to be detectives here too," Percy continued his previous conversation after Annabeth took them behind a stone barrier. The entire world was hunting for four terrorist children who'd bombed the St Louis arch. They couldn't take any chances. 

The sea demigod looked to Ciarda who mumbled a low 'yes'. "Why are you being weird with me again?" He pushed loudly, making Ciarda raise a darkened eyebrow. People rarely challenged her reactions. 

"I'm not being weird," She finalised, sighing harshly. "Yes, you are. You've been weird since we left the Arch." Annabeth and Grover stayed quiet, not knowing what to do whilst he deduced her to her raw emotions. Neither had ever driven Ciarda to an edge; the girl was already too reckless, and they didn't know what she would do if Percy kept forcing answers.  

Ciarda looked away to the ground, picking at the scabbing wounds on her knuckles. Percy watched, his furrowed eyebrows slowly relaxing. 

"Oh, I get it. It doesn't have to be a thing, you know. That you hugged me." Percy smiled, no computing behind his eyes. Ciarda stared at him, unfathomed at the stupidity he could keep spitting out. 

Concerningly, the awkward hairs on her arms still not deflating. "Oh boy," Annabeth soughed, rocking her head to relax on the stone. "I mean, we're like friends now. It seems like a thing friends do, "Percy nodded dumbly, continuing with his bullshit pathway of thinking.

Ciarda's mouth was slightly parted, her brain formulating how to destroy whatever friendship Percy thought they had. She was not weak. She did not have any love to give. And she certainly did not let down her barriers to boys with stupid hair, stupid thoughts and a stupid heart. 

"I saw The Fates," Annabeth abruptly interrupted, taking Percy's mind off Ciarda. Whatever he was going to say, it washed away like letters written in sand. 

Annabeth knew, as she always did, that her down wasn't about Percy, but about her parents - she'd always been able to sense when demigods were thinking of their family. She was too wise for Ciarda's basic walls hiding her austere emotions. 

"Back at the Arch, I saw the Three Fates, and I saw Atropos cut a piece of thread," Annabeth's confession made even Ciarda turn to look at her. Those flaming Ares eyes stared her down like a predator watching their prey. "Are you sure?" She queried. "I'm sure." 

"And that's bad or?" Percy's lack of Greek mythology knowledge was something on Ciarda's list to improve if they ever got back to Camp Half-Blood alive. "The Fates weave the life strand of every living thing. When you see a string cut-" Grover was interrupted. 

"It means one of us is going to die," Ciarda solemnly finished. She shifted, her eyes focusing on the chalky stones they sat on. "We're all going to die eventually," Percy shrugged, driving Ciarda to smack him on the head. 

𝐖𝐀𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐒  | percy jacksonWhere stories live. Discover now