my love for you is a stampede of horses

just my fave disjointed snippets of percabeth in house of hades...

Annabeth’s only comfort was Percy. Every so often he would glance over and smile, or squeeze her hand. He had to be just as scared and miserable as she was, and she loved him for trying to make her feel better.


Her legs wobbled so badly, Percy cursed himself for not calling a rest earlier.  They sat together on a ledge next to a roaring fiery waterfall. Percy put his arm around Annabeth, and she leaned against him, shaking from exhaustion.  


At least he had Annabeth. They would find a way out of Tartarus. They had to. He didn’t think much of fates and prophecies, but he did believe in one thing: Annabeth and he were supposed to be together. They hadn’t survived so much just to get killed now.  "Things could’ve been worse,“ Percy didn’t see how, but he tried to sound upbeat.  Annabeth snuggled against him. Her hair smelled of smoke, and if he closed his eyes, he could almost imagine they were at the campfire at Camp Half-Blood.


Whenever Percy felt like giving up, he reached over and took Annabeth’s hand, just to remember there was warmth in the world.  He tried to think of good things to keep his spirits up—the lake at Camp Half-Blood, the time he’d kissed Annabeth underwater. He tried to imagine the two of them in New Rome together, walking through the hills and holding hands. Annabeth laced her fingers through his. In the light of his bronze sword, her face was so beautiful.  "We’re together,” she reminded him. “We’ll get through this.”  He’d been so worried about lifting her spirits, and here she was reassuring him.  "Yeah,“ he agreed. "Piece of cake." 


She’d lost track of how long she and Percy had been falling—hours? A day? It felt like an eternity. They had been holding hands ever since they dropped into the chasm. Now Percy pulled her close, hugging her tight as they tumbled through absolute darkness.  Annabeth wrapped her arms around Percy and tried not to sob. She’d never expected her life to be easy. Most demigods died young at the hands of terrible monsters. That was the way it had been since ancient times. The Greeks invented tragedy. They knew the great heroes didn’t get happy endings.  Still, this wasn’t fair. [..] Just when she’d succeeded, when things had been looking up and she’d been reunited with Percy, they had plunged to their deaths.  Even the gods couldn’t devise a fate so twisted. […] Annabeth pressed her lips to Percy’s ear. "I love you.”  She wasn’t sure he could hear her—but if they died, she wanted those to be her last words. 


He wove between the trees, leading Annabeth at a full sprint despite her blindness. Percy realized how much she trusted him to get her out of this.

Now Percy was in Tartarus, dying form gorgon’s blood plus a dozen another agonizing curses, while he watched his girlfriend stumble around, helpless and blind and believing she’d abandoned her. He clutched his sword. His skin started to steam. White smoke curled off his forearms. I won’t die like this, he thought.  Not only because it was painful and insultingly lame, but because Annabeth needed him. Once he was dead, the demons would turn their attention to her. He couldn’t leave her alone.


She saw Percy, and series of expressions flashed across her face—relief, joy, shock, and horror. “What’s wrong with him?” she cried. “What happened?” She cradled his shoulders and wept into his scalp.  Percy wanted to tell her it was okay, but of course it wasn’t. He couldn’t even feel his body anymore.  Annabeth took his face in her hands. She kissed him and tried to wipe the dust and sweat from his eyes.

“My friend is dying. Can you cure him or not?” Her voice caught on the word friend. Percy was a lot more than that. Even boyfriend really didn’t cover it. They’d been through so much together, at this point Percy was part of her—a sometimes annoying part, sure, but definitely a part she could not live without.


“Annabeth!” Percy pulled her back just as her foot hit the edge of a drop-off. She almost pitched forward into who-knew-what, but Percy grabbed her and wrapped her in his arms. “It’s okay,” he promised. She pressed her face into his shirt and kept her eyes closed tight. She was trembling, but not just from fear. Percy’s embrace was so warm and comforting she wanted to stay there forever safe and protected…but that wasn’t reality. She couldn’t afford to relax. She couldn’t lean on Percy any more than she had to. He needed her, too.


The cement settled in Percy’s stomach. He had always suspected how this would end. He would have to stay behind. […] Percy would hold the elevator button and make sure Annabeth got to safety.  Somehow, he had to convince her to go without him. As long as she was safe and the Doors disappeared, he could die knowing he’d done something right. “Percy…?” Annabeth stared at him, a suspicious edge in her voice.  She was too smart. If he met her eyes, she would see exactly what he was thinking.

“Get in the elevator. I’ll hold the button.“  "Yeah, right!” She smacked a carnivorous horse in the snout with the butt of her sword and sent the monster stampeding through the crowd. “You promised me, Seaweed Brain. We would not get separated. Ever again!” “You’re impossible!” “Love you too!”


For years, he had worried about Annabeth dying. When you’re a demigod that goes with the territory. Most half-bloods don’t live long. You always knew the next monster you fought could be your last. But seeing Annabeth like this was too painful. He’d rather stand in the River Phlegethon, or get attacked my aria, or be trampled by giants.


She decided she’d rather die in some less memorable way–maybe falling down the stairs, or going peacefully in her sleep at the age eighty, after a nice quiet life with Percy. Yes, that sounded good.


Despite being beat-up, sooty, and dressed like a homeless person, she looked great to Percy.  So what if they were in Tartarus? So what if they stood a slim chance of surviving. Percy was so glad that they were together, he had the ridiculous urge to smile.  


"Percy, wake me for second watch. Don’t be a hero.” He gave her that smirk she’d come to love. “Who, me?”  He kissed her, his lips parched and feverishly warm. “Sleep." 


“Maybe a little sleep,” she agreed. Bob scooped her up like a rag doll. She didn’t protest. He set her next to Percy on the giant’s bed, and she closed her eyes. Annabeth woke staring at the shadows dancing across the hut’s ceiling. She hadn’t had a single dream. That was so unusual, she wasn’t sure if she’d actually woken up. As she lay there, Percy snoring next to her and Small Bob purring on her belly […] Percy sat bolt upright. “What? What—where—what?” “It’s okay.” Annabeth took his arm. When he registered that they were together in a giant’s bed with a skeleton cat, he looked more confused than ever. 


She hugged Percy tighter and kissed him. "Tell me about New Rome,” she demanded. “What were your plans for us?”  "New Rome…for us…“  "Yeah, Seaweed Brain. You said we could have a future there! Tell me!” Annabeth had never wanted to leave Camp Half-Blood. It was the only real home she’d ever known. But days ago, on the Argo II, Percy had told her that he imagined a future for the two of them among the Roman demigods. In their city of New Rome, veterans of the legion could settle down safely, go to college, get married, even have kids.  "Architecture,“ Percy murmured. The fog started to clear from his eyes. 


"But next time,” she said, “I want to go somewhere different on a date.”  "Paris was nice,“ he recalled.  She managed a smile. Months ago, before Percy got amnesia; they’d had dinner in Paris one night, compliments of Hermes. That seemed like another lifetime.  "I’d settle for New Rome,” she offered. “As long as you’re there with me.” Man, Annabeth was awesome. For a moment, Percy actually remembered what it was like to feel happy. He had an amazing girlfriend. They could have a future together.


[…]Percy felt as hopeless as the spirits in the River Cocytus. So what if he was a hero? So what if he did something brave? Evil was always here, regenerating, bubbling under the surface. Percy was no more than a minor annoyance to these immortal beings. They just had to outwait him. Someday, Percy’s sons or daughters might have to face them all over again. Sons and daughters. The thought jarred him. As quickly as hopelessness had overtaken him, it disappeared. He glanced at Annabeth. She still looked like a misty corpse, but he imagined her true appearanceher gray eyes full of determination, her blond hair pulled back in a bandana, her face weary and streaked with grime, but as beautiful as ever. […] There was still hope. He and Annabeth had come this far. The Doors of Death were almost within reach. Sons and daughters. A ridiculous thought. An awesome thought. Right there in the middle of Tartarus, Percy grinned.


You’re not dying on me, Seaweed Brain,” Annabeth said. “Remember? Never separated again. And after we get home…”  "What?“ Percy asked.  She kissed him. "Ask me again, once we defeat Gaea.”  He smiled, happy to have something to look forward to. “Whatever you say.”