Ohmigosh, I thought this piece was ambitious for me, just, was not prepared for a deadline! Now I can find out if it actually looks as good on the smaller format tumblr puts it in rather than the blown up thing I’ve been working on!
Day 4 for JayDick Week 2017: Mer Au.
Rambling under the cut!
I’m not sure where the net is being tied down… but I’m pretty sure Dick just led the two of them into an ambush and he’s not concerned at all.
It was a challenge to also design their look as mers - I wanted to do something quite alien, but was waaay too lazy to find references that I could draw from, and anything that I produced was ugly, and I sort of wanted them to look like beautiful exotic creatures, which, is the whole point of the modern day construction of mermaids - something desirable despite its nonexistence? So, I instead went about thinking how mermaid vigilantes would work, and concluded that tails and patterns could be as identifiable as faces, but I didn’t want to mask the pretty tails, so the idea of hiding their identities was thrown out the window. I thought armour should be made primarily with straps and clasps, as a skin tight suit would be impossible to pull on and off in water.
Also, is it a theme I’m having, with associating Dick with ropes and restraints?
The chamber groaned. The Athena Parthenos tilted to one side. Its head caught on one of Arachne’s support cables, but the marble foundation under the pedestal was crumbling. Nausea swelled in Annabeth’s chest. If the statue fell into the chasm, all her work would be for nothing. Their quest would fail.
“Secure it!” Annabeth cried. Her friends understood immediately.
“Zhang!” Leo cried. “Get me to the helm, quick! The coach is up there alone.” Frank transformed into a giant eagle, and the two of them soared toward the ship. Jason wrapped his arm around Piper. He turned to Percy.
“Back for you guys in a sec.” He summoned the wind and shot into the air.
“This floor won’t last!” Hazel warned. “The rest of us should get to the ladder.”
Plumes of dust and cobwebs blasted from holes in the floor. The spider’s silk support cables trembled like massive guitar strings and began to snap. Hazel lunged for the bottom of the rope ladder and gestured for Nico to follow, but Nico was in no condition to sprint.
Percy gripped Annabeth’s hand tighter. “It’ll be fine,” he muttered.
Looking up, she saw grappling lines shoot from the Argo II and wrap around the statue. One lassoed Athena’s neck like a noose. Leo shouted orders from the helm as Jason and Frank flew frantically from line to line, trying to secure them.
Nico had just reached the ladder when a sharp pain shot up Annabeth’s bad leg. She gasped and stumbled.
“What is it?” Percy asked. She tried to stagger toward the ladder. Why was she moving backward instead? Her legs swept out from under her and she fell on her face.
“Her ankle!” Hazel shouted from the ladder. “Cut it! Cut it!”
Annabeth’s mind was woolly from the pain. Cut her ankle?
Apparently Percy didn’t realize what Hazel meant either. Then something yanked Annabeth backward and dragged her toward the pit. Percy lunged, but unfortunately, he couldn’t get to her in time. Annabeth was dragged across the floor, towards the pit. She flung her arms wildly, trying to find something to grab onto, but there was nothing. Annabeth sobbed as she hit the edge of the pit. Her legs went over the side. Too late, she realized what was happening: she was tangled in the spider silk. She should have cut it away immediately. She had thought it was just loose line, but with the entire floor covered in cobwebs, she hadn’t noticed that one of the strands was wrapped around her foot — and the other end went straight into the pit. It was attached to something heavy down in the darkness, something that was pulling her in.
Annabeth’s strength was gone. She slipped over the edge.
“ANNABETH!” She heard Percy, his voice laced with desperation. Her body slammed into something. She must have blacked out briefly from the pain. When she could see again, she realized that she’d fallen partway into the pit and was dangling over the void. She had somehow managed to grab a ledge, about fifteen feet below the top of the chasm. She looked up, and there was Percy, thrusting his hand out to her although he was much too far away to help.
“Annabeth! Gods, just..just hold on!” He said, with watery eyes. He turned away from her and yelled for the others, calling for help. His voice was lost in the general shouting. No escape, said a voice in the darkness below. I go to Tartarus, and you will come too.
Annabeth wasn’t sure if she actually heard Arachne’s voice or if it was just in her mind. The pit shook. She was holding onto a ledge barely about the size of a bookshelf, and the pull on her leg was much too strong. It felt like her leg was pulling free of her body. Pain washed everything in red. The force of the Underworld tugged at her like dark gravity. She didn’t have the strength to fight. She knew she was too far down to be saved.
“Percy,” she croaked, “You can’t pull me up.”
Percy shook his head furiously, as if rejecting to believe that this was happening, that this was reality and there was nothing he could do. “No! I can! Hold on! Frank, Jason, Hazel…SOMEONE HELP HER!” He turned towards her again, now crying. His face was white with fear and desperation. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless.
Annabeth stamped his face in her mind, wondering if this was the last time she’d ever get to see him again. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome. She managed to give him a weak smile, with tears pouring out of her own eyes.
“I’ll see you on the other side,” she said, “I promise. We’ll be together again.” She knew that she was making an empty promise, she would never be able to return. Tartarus was almost always a one-way trip.
Percy widened his eyes, and she could sense he was close to completely falling apart. “Annabeth…” his voice sounded like broken glass, and the shards pierced her heart.
She saw the sunlight far, far above — maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. She looked at Percy’s face once more, and then let go of the tiny ledge, closing her eyes and falling into eternal darkness.
Percy yelled, starting to jump down the chasm, but someone grabbed him. “LET ME GO!” He was yelling, his voice completely distraught. He struggled against the giant claws that had flew him off the floor–Frank in eagle form. He was dropped aboard the ship, and as the Argo II flew away at top speed, Percy yelled her name over and over again, sobbing louder than ever, and attempting to jump off the ship to go and try to save her. Jason and coach Hedge had had to tie him to the mast to stop him.
He couldn’t believe it, all these years of hardship, all this time of trying to be with her, only for the Fates to snatch her away from him, so unfairly, so brutally–and probably for good. The gods had done it. They had broken Percy Jackson.
Unlike his initial suspicions suggested, Nico does not dread visits to the camp infirmary. Quite the contrary; ever since his friendship with Will started deepening and they found more and more common ground, Nico has realized he tries to find more and more excuses to go see his friend, even when there’s no real reason for him to hang out there.
What was it that Will said? That he wanted to see a friendly face in the infirmary every once in a while? Well, who is Nico not to oblige.
This time, however, the trip to the infirmary was not planned. Nico was just helming Jason with his sword fighting class, demonstrating a simple technique on the arena, when a newbie holding a sword for the first time managed to slice to his side. Quite painfully.
“You know, you really don’t have to go to such extremes to see me”, Will says as he digs out the nectar while Nico removes his shirt. “If you wanted to come and say hi, I wouldn’t stop you.”
“Shut up, Solace.” Nico doesn’t want to admit it, but when Will turns to him and he sees the blue eyes skim down his bare chest in a way that is possibly not strictly medical, he can feel his face heat up. “Are you going to fix me or what?”
“All in due time, Death Boy”, Will smirks, and no, it doesn’t send another wave of heat to Nico’s cheeks. “Now, let’s see…” Will raises a hand to gently touch the skin by the wound with the tips of his fingers (by now Nico knows it’s to analyze the patient’s need for medical attention, and if that’s not cool then he doesn’t know what is), and at the smallest touch Nico squirms away. “Did that hurt?”
“Oh. Are you ticklish?”
Nico glares at him. “Wouldn’t you like to know.”
Will merely rolls his eyes and touches Nico’s skin again, just as gently. “Well, it seems to be just a flesh wound. You’ll be fine.” He takes the nectar and holds it up warningly. “This will sting a little, though.”
It’s stings more than a little, but Nico’s had so much worse that he settles to just growl at Will when the healer chuckles at his pain. They’re silent as Will works, Nico looking around and trying very hard not to get too distracted by the way Will’s curls cast shadows on his forehead, and Will humming to the song playing softly across the building from Chiron’s office.
By the time Nico looks down at the wound on his side it’s nothing more than a bright red scar, fading quickly. Will is already putting the nectar away and turning to wash his hands.
“Thanks, Will”, Nico mutters softly, because somehow he feels like Will deserves to be called by his given name after patching him up. It’s only a bonus when Will smiles so radiantly it almost blinds Nico.
“Anytime. Now, about this other issue”, he smirks, and Nico has to admit he has no idea what Will is talking about. Luckily Will is quick to explain. “Since you’re so eager to see me, how about you come by at five when my shift ends and we can walk to dinner together, hm? Unless you’d rather suffer another flesh wound before that.”
…and just like that, Nico’s blush is back, and this time he can’t even deny it’s existence. He’s about to give a cutting remark on how he definitely is not eager to see Will, not at all, not even a little bit, when he catches a twinkle of something like hope in Will’s eyes. As if Will is actually hoping Nico would want to spend time with him.
“…yeah. Okay, yeah.” Will’s smile is so bright Nico has to look away when he starts making his way out. “I’ll be back. At five.”
(thanks for the prompts, takes a while to get through them!)