Today, I remembered how much I absolutely love Percy and Hazel’s brother/sister relationship. There aren’t that many fics about the two of them out there, so I decided to write my own!
I know there’s a lot of post-Tartarus stuff out there, but I decided to write this taking place a couple mornings after escaping Tartarus, with my own little twist that I hope will make it unique. Enjoy!<3
Hazel tensely ate her mid-morning breakfast in the mess hall with Jason and Leo. She tried to focus her mind on something besides the unavoidable, the beautiful, clear blue day that meant smooth sailing (and less seasickness) and the fact that Annabeth, Piper, and Frank were still scouting the land Leo had docked the Argo II at, meaning she still had a few sick-free hours at shore. She tried to enjoy her favorite soup, shrimp gumbo, peacefully with her friends, but somehow she knew that hell was about to break loose.
As if on cue, a blood-curdling scream sounded from one of the cabins below.
Hazel exchanged worried glances with Jason and Leo, and the three of them sprinted down the hall.
Percy thrashed and flailed in his covers. He sobbed and shrieked and moaned, and the sight of the strong son of Poseidon in such a miserable condition broke Hazel’s heart.
“No!” He wailed. “Please! Take me instead! No! NO!”
“Percy!” Hazel cried. She rushed towards his bedside and tried to grab his arm. “Percy, wake up. It’s only a nightmare. It’s alright.” As soon as Hazel said the words, they felt bitter in her mouth. How could Hazel say that? Her poor friend had been to Tartarus. Nothing was alright.
Percy continued to scream and thrash. “Leave her alone! I said leave her alone!” His voice was shrill and terrified. Hazel had never seen somebody like this before. She knew that Percy was deeply and psychologically hurt, and she was determined to help him. The first step, however, would be to get him to wake up.
“Percy. Wake up. Please, wake up.”
“GET AWAY FROM HER! TAKE ME INSTEAD! I’LL KILL YOU!”
With a loud scream, His eyes popped open and his upper body flew up, scaring Hazel to death. She jumped back, but quickly recovered when she saw Percy’s chest heaving up and down in rapid, heavy breaths, his wide eyes scanning the room furiously for potential threats.
Hazel bit her lip and glanced at Jason and Leo. Jason looked like he wanted to help desperately, but was unsure of what to do. Leo studied his shoes, his shoulders hunched over in sadness.
“Jason?” Hazel said softly. “Why don’t you go get Percy some tissues
and a big glass of water? And Leo, will you please contact Frank and the others and tell them…” Hazel’s words failed her, but Leo seemed to understand. They left in a flurry of “okays” and “of courses.” The room became quiet.
Percy’s eyes found Hazel’s. “I…I…”
“Shhh.” Hazel said gently. She sat next to him on the bed and placed her hands on top of his. He sniffed, and Hazel watched as his tears freely fell between them. Percy seemed to sober up a bit and notice that he was crying, because his cheeks reddened in embarrassment.
“Don’t be.” Hazel said. She decided that Percy probably didn’t want to do a lot of talking. “Percy, even as a daughter of the god of the Underworld, I can’t even begin to comprehend what Tartarus must be like. Despite this, I want you to know that everyone, including myself, on the Argo II loves you and supports you and will do their very best to–”
Percy started tearing up again.
Hazel inwardly cursed herself. Way to go, Hazel. Way to make him feel even worse than he felt before.
Percy sniffed. “Where’s…where’s Annabeth? Is she alright?”
“She’s on a short mission with the others, just scouting some new land for monsters. Leo docked the ship on this little island for repairs, but we wanted to make sure the place was completely safe before we got too comfortable.” Hazel left out the part of Percy’s question on Annabeth’s condition. She didn’t want to tell Percy that earlier that morning, Annabeth had woke up shrieking as well, but Percy slept through it out of pure exhaustion. Annabeth insisted that they leave him to sleep, and that she would be fine.
However, Hazel saw the devastation
in poor Annabeth’s eyes as she trudged towards land with Frank and Piper.
“Keep…keep an eye on Percy for me.” Hazel remembered Annabeth’s voice shaking with worry as she advised Hazel. “He may be the most powerful demigod on this ship, but his condition right now is fragile, which only makes him more dangerous.” After promising Annabeth that Hazel would assure Percy’s safety, Annabeth had gone with the others.
Now, as Hazel stared into the broken eyes of Annabeth’s boyfriend, she felt like she’d failed.
“As long as she’s okay, so am I.” Percy managed a weak smile. Hazel felt her heart break.
At that moment, Jason came back inside with tissues, water, and a brave smile. His eyes were sad.
“Here you go, bro.” Jason handed the water to Percy, pat his back, and then left to check on Leo.
Percy gave him a grateful look, and then lifted the water to his lips like he was going to drink it. Then he dumped it on his head.
“Oh!” Hazel jumped back in surprise, but water didn’t splash on her like she expected. She watched in awe as Percy absorbed all of the water but was left dry, breathing deeply.
“That’s better. Water always clears my head.” He smiled, but his eyes were still sad. “Sorry for surprising you.”
“That’s okay.” Hazel laughed. Percy stared at her, as if he were looking to her for guidance, unsure of what to do or say. He looked like a kicked puppy, who didn’t know if he should run away or tuck his tail under his legs or both. Hazel wanted so badly to do something for him, but what?
She wasn’t sure how it happened, but she found herself holding Percy’s hands and telling him all kinds of happy stories before her life took a turn for the worse. She told him about New Orleans, and her friend Sammy. She told him about exploring the woods in Alaska till day’s end, and riding horses and coloring in her special notepad. She told him about her brave grandmother who was a slave before Hazel was born.
Hazel found Percy leaning in and listening intently to every word she said. He would smile. He would look concerned when she got to a challenging part of a story. He would laugh and swipe hair away from his face with his fingers, and then take Hazel’s hand again.
Hazel discovered that this wonderful son of Poseidon was not completely fun and lighthearted. He was also kind, heartfelt, and an excellent listener. In a strange way, this side of Percy reminded Hazel of Frank.
Footsteps above deck made Hazel’s talking falter. Voices above signalized that the rest of the crew had arrived. They would all be down here shortly.
“Thank you, Hazel.” Percy said, his voice full of gratefulness.
At that moment, Frank Zhang walked in. “Hello!” He said brightly, but his voice was a little shaky, as if he were trying to keep on a sunny facade for Percy’s sake.
“Hi, Frank.” Percy smiled. “Did the scouting go okay?”
Frank’s eyes widened slightly, as if Percy’s level of stability surprised him.
“Uh, yeah.” Frank blinked. “Ran into a couple of empousa, but your girlfriend vaporized them both with one swipe of that new sword of hers.”
“What did I do?” Hazel heard Annabeth’s voice down the hall. Her head appeared in the doorway. “Hi Hazel. How…did it go?” Annabeth’s eyes were worried and cautious, but Hazel understood her question.
Hazel just smiled.
Annabeth turned her eyes to Percy and grinned. “Hello, Seaweed Brain.”
“Wise Girl!” Percy returned her grin and opened his arms for a hug. “Did you know that Hazel is a wonderful artist?”
Annabeth looked at Hazel curiously, and Hazel blushed. “We told stories to pass the time.”
“Hazel is a great story-teller.” Percy told Annabeth earnestly.
Slowly, Annabeth’s face broke into a large, grateful smile. The smile filled Hazel’s heart with pride and happiness, but the smile on Percy’s face was one that she would not soon forget.