I woke up next to Thalia, like I usually did. She was curled up against my chest, her black hair had grown a bit, it was about chin length now. I brushed it out of her eyes and let my hand linger on her cheek. Today I will be leaving for Ogygia, and I'm not sure if I'll ever make it back. Now don't take that last statement to be my way of expressing my anxiety of the dangers of the quest. I am no coward and I don't think the quest will be dangerous at all, a simple search and rescue.
I had been thinking for a while now, that I don't belong here. Every night I had nightmares, nightmares of Tartarus, nightmares of killing Leo, nightmares of the others hunting me down. They may say that they have accepted me, but my gut keeps telling me that's a lie. I broke up their family, I took Leo away from them forever. It may have not actually been me, but they watched as my body cut him down.
I'm almost positive there's a way that I can bring him back. There is a delicate balance between life and death, maybe with Nico's help I can find a way to bring Leo back. Which bring me back to not returning to camp halfblood. I was still looking at Thalia, I don't think I could leave her. Sure I have Annabeth and Percy, they're like family at this point, but Thalia, she's the one that my death would affect the most. But she's strong, stronger than most people.
I gave her one last kiss on the forehead before getting out of bed.
I met the others by the Argo II. Nico climbed up the ladder first, and I followed him up. When I got to the top it brought back memories. Memories of when I first came aboard this ship. I almost killed Percy, well Tartarus almost killed Percy but the memory still made me want to throw up. I went to the side of the ship just in case I actually did hurl. I looked over the side and saw Percy standing at the bottom holding his family. It was beautiful, sometimes I forget that for about a year I was his mentor, and for years before that I was a big brother figure to her. Now they are married with twins, granted they're younger than the average married couple but it still amazes me.
He kissed them all on the head one by one the hesitantly climbed up the ladder to join us. When he got on board he placed the navigation piece into Festus, clicked a few buttons and without a word walked below deck. Nico sighed, "It must be hard to leave your family for the first time. It's probably smart to give him some space." I nodded, "He's really grown up these past few months. I just hope that he doesn't lose his sassy edge." Nico just laughed, "Oh I wouldn't worry about that, Percy while be the sass king for the remainder of his life. I do see what you mean though, his maturity level has skyrocketed. But that's what becoming responsible for two little humans will do to you." With that he shrugged and sat down with a book.
This would be a great time to ask talk to him about the whole Leo thing. I walked over and sat down next to him. I was preparing what I was going to say in my head, and I realized there was no easy way to ask if I could kill myself to bring back Leo. After a few minutes I figured I'd just give it my best shot, I turned to Nico but he cut me off, "You know I could see you and Thalia with a cute family like that. You might not do it as soon as Percy and Annabeth but I could see you guys having one someday."
Those words hit me like a truck. All the sudden I could see it, the future I tried to tell myself I didn't want. Thalia in a wedding dress, her pregnant, our kids, all of it. I put my head in my hands, was I willing to give up those chances. Would I be selfish to want those things, when Leo sat in the underworld with no chance to be the one he loved. He was ripped away from her just as their love was discovered. I had my time with Thalia, maybe I should give Leo his time.
He sacrificed his life, and his future for Percy, maybe it's my turn. My hands were running through my hair, my body rigid. I felt a slight pressure on my arm, it was Nico's arm. "It's going to be okay Luke. I know you're struggling right now, but believe me, death is not the answer, in fact it's never the answer. I've thought about suicide before, multiple times. It just seemed like the best solution. I felt like an outsider, I felt alone. I had lost my mom, my sister, and well I was involved in a one way relationship. I thought me being a decedent of the god of the underworld, maybe that's where I belonged. Like maybe I was meant to be with the dead. But I'm so glad I didn't. Life has gotten better, like a million times better. I'm in my first real relationship, I've been brought into this group and accepted me as family. I know you have skeletons in the closet, so do I. Once a while back I betrayed Percy, he was mad for a while, but he's a very forgiving person."
I didn't realize it but apparently a few tears had slid down my cheeks, I quickly wiped them away, "Thanks man, I know we've never really talked before but you... you're really a great guy." He smiled, "Well maybe lately, I used to be a pain in the ass."
Percy came back above deck and checked the navigation system. "It says the trip will take about four days, so get comfortable." Nico raised his eyebrows, "Whatever you say grumpy gills." Percy paused, I thought he was about to rip him a new one, but his scowl softened into a smile. "I sound so old! Dude I haven't even been a dad a year yet. Hopefully it'll get easier, you know the stress, leaving them." He took a seat on the other side of Nico. "I just want the quest to be over and done with as soon as possible."