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29 April 2010 @ 12:11 am
Immortality [Percy/Nico, PG]  
Percy/Nico +Ganymede . 1,463 words . PG . written for storylandqueen . Ganymede turns up at Camp Half-Blood. . sequel to The Water-Bearer, but can probably be read as standalone.

Percy's pretty surprised when he comes out of the cafeteria at the end of August, and sees Ganymede.

He's up by the Big House, chatting with Mr D like it's the sort of thing he does all the time. Who knows? Maybe it is. In the big scheme of things, Percy really hasn't been here all that long.

His hair's pretty elaborate today - it's coiled up on the back of his head like a girl's, presumably to keep the weight off the back of his neck in this impossibly hot weather. Designer sunglasses perch on top of his head, adding to the feminine illusion, but it's shattered abruptly as he looks further down, to a slim-fitting orange tank top that leaves nothing to the imagination. Clearly, male.

No one else takes the slightest interest in him. They're all either bored old veterans - a sad thought, when you realize they're only seventeen - or the newcomers, babbling, excited children of all ages for whom the glow of Camp Half-blood hasn't even begun to fade. Percy feels somehow caught in the middle.

Ganymede catches his eye, and waves.

Percy barely has time to blink before he's jogging over, an easy smile on his perfect, handsome face. "Hey, Percy."

"Hey Ganymede." It's really - it's distracting, actually, how beautiful he is. It's hard to talk to him, hard to deal with someone that pretty. At least, with Aphrodite, he could remind him that she was a goddess. Ganymede was all natural.

"Where's your friend?"

"My?" He really does have the most stunning hair, Percy thinks Perfect wave curls and five shades of caramel. But he'd said something, asked a question.

Ganymede's mouth quirks. "Nico."

It's like a sudden shock, or more like the snap of an elastic band, and everything comes into focus. He had a couple of trigger words like that, but this one was the failproof. Percy smiles "I'm - not sure. Probably - when were you last here?" But it isn't Ganymede making him nervous, now - it's that word and his presence and that which he represents.

Ganymede also has that kind of conversational grace that mercifully lets him understand where Percy was going with this. "By all means, let's have the tour. We'll find him."

So he showed him the new cabins, and they talked about the changes since that battle, since Percy had been ballsy enough to negotiate with gods for the highest, noblest stakes.

"It was really an incredible thing you did." Ganymede tucks his hands flat to his back pockets, hips swinging vaguely as they strolled. "Gods have wonderful strong points, certainly, but their faults are just as terrible. They need humanity. They need us."

He passes Percy a low look through his eyelashes, calculating and serious. Percy tries for the life of him to understand what the guy is quasi-telepathically attempting to communicate. It doesn't work.

"Have you given any more thought to immortality?"

It's the first time someone's mentioned it since - since Annabeth. Just - Annabeth, and it hurts to think of her in the past tense but the facts are the facts. It's over.

He remembers it so clearly - their eyes meeting, in a hall filled with Gods and Great People, and she'd looked so normal and he'd been so in love and she'd smiled, like this was their secret, like don't you dare, Seaweed Brain. Your life belongs to me.

But it didn't. Maybe it never had.

"I... can't say I've thought about it at all, actually. I thought it was a one-time offer," he tacks on, deliberately turning away and fixing his eyes on the comforting blackness of the Hades cabin.

"An offer like that is never over. They owe you. And, more importantly, they need you." Ganymede follows his line of sight; grins as they draw in closer. Percy can feel it, on the back of his head.

He doesn't want to think about it.

Nico's sprawled out on the shady side of the cabin, almost blending into the shadows. When he sees Percy coming closer, though, he pops up and leans against the wall, in a mock display of cockiness. "Don't you have training?" he calls out, mimicking Chiron's disapproving tones.

"Don't you?" He collapses down in the space Nico vacated, ignoring, for the moment, how awful of a host he was being.

Ganymede doesn't seem to mind, though. He wathces them, the sun lighting up his hair something fierce, and simply smiles.

"I am training," Nico protests hotly, though with that lopsided grin he always wears around Percy. "I'm training my procrastinatory skills. It's a vital lesson in my death god studies."

"Ah," says Percy, already practically asleep from warmth and the utterly calming effect of Nico's sharp voice. A barrel of contradictions. He doesn't think about it too often.

"Already lining you up to work for him?" Ganymede says, to Nico, and it should have been light and airy but it has a serious note to it, as if he'd asked a legitimate question. Percy ponders it for approximately zero seconds, and lets them chat amongst themselves, not really paying attention.

"Thanatos wants to step down, or at least, get something more of a desk job. Nothing's official, of course, but."

"But, it might as well be. I may or may not have heard that Hades wants to fire Charon."

"Where did you hear that?"

A silence. A silence that would have, were Percy actually listening, clearly contained the words Nico, don't be an idiot. Think about who you're talking to.

"Is it true?"

"I can neither confirm nor deny."

"Then Thanatos would get his job, and you would be the next spirit of death. Very neatly done."


"Don't worry, I won't say a word."

"You told me about Charon!"

"And do you think Zeus cares who I tell? Never forget that he is, first and foremost, a prat of the first order. He'd be immensely proud."

It slowly filters through Percy's consciousness, what they're saying. That this might actually happen, that Nico will actually take up a position under his dear father and work for...

For a very, very long time.

The thoughts piled up like tetris blocks.

Nico would be immortal. Semi-immortal, at least, he'd go off and be this thing and normality wasn't even an option, was it?

Percy has a sudden, panicked fear that he's going to lose his best friend, just as he lost both of his others, that they're going to grow apart and never see each other again. He has a thousand regrets. A million. More than he'd ever thought he could regret something that hadn't happened yet.

"You're immortal, right?"

He sits up so fast his head spins. Ganymede stops, looks at him, and the look on his face is knowing, annoyingly so. "Well, if I wasn't, I'd be breaking some serious laws of time travel."

"But you're here. I mean - you're not just on Olympus, you're here. And you're..."

".....Not any sort of godlike being in the slightest? No. I'm not." A wide, genuine smile spreads over his face. "And I will tell you now, Olympus is wonderful, but it is nothing compared to living life down here. I've lived so many lives. I'll live so many more. I've loved every second of it."

He's selling; Percy knows this. But he also gets a feeling that Ganymede is telling the truth.

Nico frowns. "What, you considering disappearing to Olympus to become an immortal cupbearer?" A slight hesitation, before 'cupbearer'. So slight that Percy almost didn't catch it, but he does, and he has a ridiculous moment of clarity. Don't you dare, Persexy Jackson.

"I don't know," he murmurs, in a sultry purr that he would have have believed himself capable of. "Considering disappearing to the Underworld to become an immortal death god?"

Recognition, then, in Nico's eyes. "First, I want to live."

He's had friends drift away from him, friends die in his arms, friends betray him, friends expect the world from him and give nothing in return, but nothing has prepared him for this. Your life belongs to me, he thinks, and whether that means immortality or not, he knows it doesn't mean loneliness.

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CL: Chalk Heartstorylandqueen on April 29th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
Ooh, yay, you posted it in your journal! You know what I think about this, but did you know I just read it again?

And did you know I'm adding it to my memories? :)
littlelinor: Sophie approveslittlelinor on April 29th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)
*sneaks in and reads with a very recogniseable :3 on her face*
neon footprintneon_footprint on April 29th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
Nico <3 I love my Nico. This is really him.

Damn you, my otp is crying right now!
stephanie_tan on May 6th, 2010 07:19 am (UTC)
Oh my gods................
mneiai: Alice--Charlie & Hattermneiai on May 20th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
Just read this and the first one, love them! Very much intrigued at the idea of those two being immortal together haha
i aim my arrows highaimmyarrowshigh on January 16th, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
Okay, hablflhlgabalbfuh, there are so many reasons why I love this fic. Firstly, I love that you don't completely ignore or overshadow Annabeth here or her importance to Percy's life and his choices, and you draw her quietly into the story in such a sensitive way. I love that this fic is really about Percy coming to terms with realizing he made a huge life choice solely around the wants of someone else, a person he loved, and what he should do now that it's become his choice alone.

I also like the comparison of Percy to Ganymede, because if Nico becomes a death god, then Percy's choice is basically Ganymede's -- become an immortal human to keep the god he loves, or try to move on (again).

And the casual sense of waiting between Percy and Nico in this universe of fics is really lovely; they're such boys and such friends but there's a palpable sense of something wonderful crackling between them.
mizstorge on March 14th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
"I don't know," he murmurs, in a sultry purr that he would have have believed himself capable of. "Considering disappearing to the Underworld to become an immortal death god?"<.i>