Chapter 21: Its Percy's Turn

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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:

Percy shivered slightly from the cold air, the thin camp t-shirt doing little to warm up his body. He wrapped his arms around himself, trying desperatly to stay warm. The son of Poseidon failed miserably, his teeth starting to chatter without his permission.

The son of Hades noticed Percy's shivers. He shurgged his aviator's jacket off and handed it to Percy. "Take it."

Percy protested, but it died down when Nico gave him the death glare and threatened him. "Wear it or I'll send an army of the undead on your culo (Italian word for butt:D)."

"Fine." Percy grumbled, taking the jacket and putting it on his shoulders. "Happy?"

Nico nodded and took the lead, weaving through the terrifying familiar ruins.

Now without a jacket on, the younger demigod studied the various crumbling buildings around him, trying not to shiver and make Percy feel guilty. Nico fought to push down the absolute terror and dread that filled his body as he walked through the same ancient ruins that has haunted him for many, many months. Last time he visited here, he had to finally admit to himself that he, the son of Hades, is gay and in love with Percy Jackson, the twice over savior of Olymus. He could remeber it as clear as the day it happened:

Nico's voice was like broken glass. "I-I wasn't in love with Annabeth."

"You were jealous of her." Jason said. "That's why you didn't want to be around her. Especially why you didn't want to be around...him. It makes total sense."

All of the fight and denial seemed to go out of Nico at once. The darkness subsided. The Roman dead collapsed into bones and crumbled to dust.

"I hated myself," Nico said. "I hated Percy Jackson."

Cupid became visible--a lean, muscular young man with snowy white wings, straight black hair, a simple white frock and jeans. The bow and quiver slung over his shoulders were no toys--they were weapons of war. His eyes were as red as blood, as if every Valentine in the world has been squeezed dry, distilled into one poisonous mixture. His face was handsome, but also harsh--as difficult to look at as a spotlight. He watched Nico with satisfaction, as if he'd identified the exact spot for his next arrow to make a clean kill.

"I had a crush on Percy," Nico spat. "That's the truth. That's the big secret." He glared at Cupid. "Happy now?"

For the first time, Cupid's gaze seemed sypathetic. "Oh, I wouldn't say love makes you happy." His voice sounded smaller, much more human. "Sometimes it makes you incredibly sad. But at least you faced it now. That's the only way to conquer me."

(The flashback is an exerpt from the House of Hades and not written by me. All credit goes to Rick Rordian.)

"Nico?"

The younger demigod jolted out of the flashback and looked at Percy, who's face was filled with concern. When Nico mummered an "I'm fine", the older demigod squeezed their joined hands to comfort him. "It'll be alright. I promise that we'll be ok." He reasurred. "You don't need to be afriad."

"Why would I be scared of Cupid?" Nico asked with a fake tone of disbelief, trying to keep the fear out of his voice. "He's just another god."

Suddenly Percy stopped and whipped to face him. "How do you know were facing Cupid?" He asked, his sea-green eyes seeming to bore right into Nico's black ones.

"The greek letters were talking about love Percy. Who else would it be?" Nico scofffed, trying to make it sound like Percy was having a kelphead moment.

"Actually I thought we were talking to Aphrodite." Percy said, making Nico mentally slap himself. "She's the goddess of love." He pointed out.

'Shoot. I completly forgot about her.' Nico thought. He struggled to find words, not wanting to admit to Percy he met Cupid before. Eyes darting everywhere, he stalled for time, taking a deep breath in. But as he drew air into his lungs, the younger demigod suddenly felt very, very dizzy.

"I-uh-I..." Nico's eyes rolled back into his head as he dropped to the ground, black sword falling with a clatter on his side.

"Nico!" Percy's eyes widened as he watched him fall. He jolted forward to catch Nico before he hit the freezing ground, cradling the son of Hades in his arms. "Oh gods, what am I going to do?" He wondered outloud with worry. The demigod first aid kit was with Katie, who was nowhere near them.

Suddenly, he wasn't alone.

Percy Jackson. A clear, sharp masuline voice whispered in Percy's ears, seeming to travel with the wind as increased and decreased in volume. I have been expecting you.

Setting Nico onto the ground in a secure spot, Percy sprung up onto his feet and uncapped his sword, looking around for the god of Love. "What do you want Cupid?" He shouted.

Love wants many things and nothing. Cupid replied. Don't ask what can't be given of.

Suddenly, Nico thrashed about, mouth foaming with a red liquid that looked scarily enough like blood. Percy knelled next to him, trying helplessly to make him stop. When nothing was working, he looked up angrily and yelled, "What have you done to him?!"

Cupid's voice turned sad. To be under the spell of true love is painful, especially for him. What he has faced comes nothing to what you have in the name of love.

"What do you mean he's faced more than me?" Percy couldn't imagine Nico doing anything out love. He's too mysteriously cute and badass for that.

Cupid laughed a high but cold laugh. Nico didn't go to Tartarus out of curiousity. He did not leave camp and never return because he didn't feel as if he could belong as a son of Hades. He has done everything out of love.

"Who is it, Cupid." Percy asked angrily, out of patience. He wanted Nico's coma state to end now. "Who does he love?"

(CLIFFHANGER!!!!!!:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D *runs away as an angry mob of readers throw pomengranites at me*)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I feel so awesome right now, you demigods have no idea how much I've been gigling away in my "girl cave" cause not a single person has caught onto a VERY important hint to the story! So dear readers, look at the prophecy and study it hard. There's a reason why I post it up before every single chapter. All the answers are on the tippy tops of your noses:)

Oh, and the little exerpt from The House of Hades was on p. 291-292. Just in case you wanted to know.

QUESTION: So from looking at the prophecy, what are your preditions for the story? Or Anyone fustrated trying to figure out what's going on?

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