Chapter 15: Staff Problems

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          NOTE: I will be posting the prophecy in the beginning of each chapter for your use.

Prophecy:

There will be six at the beginning and at the end.

One will be enemy and one will be friend.

A choice be made; heart or mind.

The lover's ears be deaf and eyes be blind.

Misleading will he try to thee.

For much is the Pit God's unease.

For an ancient god will pave.

A looming final path: destroy or save.

Chapter 15:

Nico jumped into the gaping hole right after Percy, not afriad of the dark. Having anticipated a shorter fall, the son of Hades felt a jolt of pain as he landed wierdly onto the floor, falling off his feet and onto his butt. Percy watched is ever-so graceful enterance with amusement, trying not to laugh and failing miserably.

"Shut it, kelphead." Nico growled. He glared at the older demigod's offering hand and got up on his own, wincing as he got onto his feet.

"That." Percy said, wheezing for breath. "Was hilarious."

"Whatever." Nico grumbled, furious with the son of Poseidon. First he made him blush like a school girl, and now this. Great.

"Hey, are you alright?" Katie asked, a slightly worried expresion on her face. She walked over to Nico, ready to give a helping hand.

"I'm fine." Nico replied, a little suprised at Katie's concern for him. The only person who had been like this to him was Hazel, and she's at the roman camp. He was slightly flattered. But was he going to show that? Of course not.

Katie didn't buy it. "You're limping, Nico. Sit down."

"No thanks." Nico said.

"Nico." Katie warned. "Sit down now."

"I said no." Nico replied, his tone giving off warning signals.

"Nico-"

"I SAID NO!" Nico yelled, making everyone flinch. He looked at Rachel. "Which way, oracle?"

Then Katie did the worst thing one could do to get one on the son of Hades's hate list: she grabbed him. No, not a slight brush from passing by or a comforting hand on the shoulder. She grabbed.

"Get off me!" Nico growled in a low tone, eyes burning furiously at the daughter of Demeter.

Not affected by the death glare, Katie kept him still. "Nico Di Angelo, you listen up. If you do not get that ankle treated, it's going to get worse. You'll turn it from a sprain to a break, and that will slow this whole quest down another freaking day. So give it up and SIT YOUR BUTTOX ON THE GROUND!"

Gaping at Katie's outburst, Nico immediately followed her orders obediently, hating her for not being affected by his glares that he shot her as she patched him up. Then she got an idea.

Katie gripped her staff tightly, bringing it's glow to life. Pulsing with green energy, the daughter of Demeter pointed it to Nico's sprained ankle. Eyes widening, Nico shouted, "Wait!"

It was too late.

The injured area glowing, the younger demigod felt his foot heal the muscles. But he felt his energy draining, feeling as if he had just shadow-traveled across the entire country.

"Yay, it worked!" Katie exclaimed, clapping her hands together with excitement. She didn't notice his eyes close sleepily, completly knocked out. Percy rushed forward as Nico slide to the ground, preventing him from falling.

"You idiot." Percy hissed at the daughter of Demter. He had felt an incredible rush of anger that he couldn't control. "Look at what you did!" 

Katie's eyes widened. "Oh my gods." She whispered, hands clamping her mouth. "I'm so sorry!"

"Be careful next time." Annabeth snapped at her. "We don't know what that thing is capable of." She gestered towards the pulsing green staff.

Hanging her head, she mummbled, "Sorry."

"Its fine, Katie, he's only sleeping." Rachel assured. "Will someone carry him?"

"I will." Percy responded immedietly. Scooping up the son of Hades into his arms bridal-style, he added. "I won't let him get hurt." A pained expression flickered on his face, remebering the fight they had before. He cared about Nico, and if this helped the younger demi-god see that, then he will do it.

"We need to go." Annabeth said, looking urgent. She turnd to the oracle. "Rachel, if you please?"

"On it." Rachel replied, focused on the task at hand. Looking at the two options she had, she decided on going right. "Follow my lead."

They walked on for a couple hours in the maze, running into a lot of lone monsters on the way. Exausted, they set up camp in a fancy old living-room space. Though everything was covered in layers of dust and moth-balls, the six gladly took it. 

Setting Nico down on one of the couches, Percy mummered. "Dang he's a deep sleeper."

"With great power....comes the need to take a nap." 

"Nico!" Percy exclaimed. "You're awake!"

Chuckling with his morning voice, Nico said. "Yea....for now"

'Hmm....I like his morning voice....' Percy thought. 

"Percy?"

"Wha?" 

"You here?"

"Yea....."

"Percy!"

Jumping out of his trance, Percy jumped to see Nico smirking. "Had a nice trip in lalaland?" he teased.

Blushing furiously, he grumbled, "Shut up, death breath."

Laughing, Nico asked, "Did you seriously just call me death breath?"

"Yep." Percy replied, popping the 'p'. 

"Wow. You are a kelphead." Nico stated.

"No, he's a seaweed brain." someone corrected. Annabeth slide her hands around Percy's waist, making Nico feel extremely uncomfortable. Feeling wide awake, he wanted to bolt out of the room.

"No, I'm your seaweed brain." Percy corrected his girlfriend. Chuckling, he pecked her on the lips, making Nico want to rip his heart out of his chest for making him feel like the world ended. He felt furious tears threaten to spill out his eyes and glared at the ground instead.

But before they could turn it to a full make-out session, Katie burst into the room, her staff gripped tightly in her grasp and pulsing with its usual amount of energy. 

"Guys, we got company." Katie breathed, having just run for her life.

"Yes, yes do. The very best kind."

Eyes wide, the six turned to face the most powerful being in the universe standing behind them. He smirked at them, his black-hole of a face threatening to take them. He wore shades over his black eyes, seeming to look right through them.

"Me." He stated. "The one and only Tartarus, at your service."

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Don't kill me! I know it was short, but it was still good, right? Yea? Well let me know what you think in the comments below!

QUESTION: How do you like Tartarus so far?

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