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—I've got you to let me down.

Chapter Text

It is the eve of battle, and Helena is still awake.

She has spent the last few hours trying and failing to fall asleep, to regain her strength for tomorrow, but all she has managed is a few scant minutes.

It must be the pre-battle jitters, she thinks.

She looks down at the crack of space between her tent and the ground, where the light seeps in from torches spread throughout the battlements. She still hears a low murmur of voices outside, a sudden bark of laughter, a peal of jeers. Music starts, and the scent of cooked meat slips between the cracks and wafts toward her nose.

A smile stretches on her face, and she pushes herself up off the cot, deciding to find the source of the sound and distract herself.

Just for a little while, she thinks.

She wraps herself in her warmest jacket before pulling aside the flap of her tent. A whisper of wind meets her, lifts her hair up an inch or two, kisses her nose with cold, and she can’t help the laughter that bubbles from her throat.

The scrape of stone against stone pulls her back into reality, and Helena notices shadowy movement from the corner of her eye.

The torches flicker in the breeze, throwing shadows all around, but there’s one shadow that’s more substantial, palpable than the rest.

“Hello?” she calls before she can think better of it.

Silence.

Her stomach roils.

The shadow moves, footsteps scraping in the gravel, and Helena rushes after it without thinking.

They scrabble like cat and mouse, weaving between tents, dashing past torches, until they push toward the outer edges of the battlements.

Helena succumbs to the burning of her lungs just as the figure crests past the forest’s edge, and jumps into the bushes.

“Crap,” she hears a familiar voice grunt.

Helena ignores the protests of her legs and lungs, and runs into the forest.

“Saint? Is that you?” She very nearly laughs. “What are you doing?”

She ducks and weaves between bushes and branches, until she sees her brother hunched onto his hands and knees, breathless and winded, in the moonlight.

“Saint!” Helena runs forward and kneels in front of him. “Are you okay? Did I scare you?”

He’s still panting, and nods.

“I’m sorry.” She frowns and ducks her head to look him in the eye, but his face is in shadows. “I shouldn’t have chased you.”

She looks down to see his blanched knuckles grasping at the dirt. Even in the shadows she can see the grimace on his face.

“Saint,” she begins softly, touches his hand with hers, “What’s wrong?”

He pulls his hand away like she’s scalding, pushes himself back onto his feet, still doesn’t face her.

“Just go back to your tent, okay?”

“Saint?”

He finally looks up at her.

Helena’s throat catches at the sight of Saint’s red rimmed eyes, wet and shining in the moon; tears fall down his cheeks, dribble down his jaw.

“Lena.” He swallows thickly. “Please, listen to me. Just go back to your tent.”

Helena furiously wipes at the tears that threaten to blur her vision. She’s about to protest when she notices the heavy backpack that Saint wears: even without seeing its contents, she knows it’s filled to the brim with provisions.

She gasps for air. “You’re leaving?”

Between her tears, she swears she sees Saint’s hand twitch forward, as though to comfort her, but he pulls back. Saint’s jaw sets tightly, his brow furrows, his breath evens, but tears still slip free.

His eyes dart toward the shadows around them, and she can almost see the red eyes staring at them.

At him.

“Saint?” her voice is hoarse, and her vision is overcome with tears again.

The forest is silent, but for the hissing of the leaves.

“Don’t stop me,” Saint says finally, through gritted teeth.

After a moment, he turns and leaves into the shadow of the canopy.

Helena doesn’t follow.

Instead she stumbles back toward the battlements in a daze, doesn’t even remember wandering back to her tent, or taking off her jacket.

But when her head hits the cot, she sleeps.

 


 

 

Saint’s footsteps are light, even as he stumbles over a line of corpses.

He can barely see out of one eye, he’s pretty sure he’s cracked a few ribs, and his muscles ache beyond belief, but he still can’t stop grinning.

They won.

Cronus is dead.

The war is over, and they won.

Everyone else is still a few hundred feet away, but he’s certain everyone takes notice of his hair even at this distance, just like they did when he made the killing blow.

“Saint!”

He turns to his left to see Helena running towards him at full speed.

“Whoa, whoa, slow down!” He calls back.

She ignores him and jumps over a few more bodies, her arms outstretched.

He sees the tears shining in her eyes, and his own threaten to spill in sympathy; a watery smile breaks out onto their nearly identical faces.

When she finally reaches him, her hug is warm and gentle, not the crushing force he expected.

“I knew it!” Helena cries in earnest into his chest.

Saint wraps his arms around her small body, pulling her into as close a hug as two injured people can manage. She snuggles into his arms, laughing. Sometimes, Saint forgets that he’s the younger sibling.

“I knew you were faking it,” she murmurs into his blood spattered armor.

“Did you?” He can’t help but tease, “If that were true, we probably wouldn’t be alive.”

She pulls back with a confused expression, but still grinning. “What do you mean?”

He attempts a shrug but only grimaces in pain. “Well, we knew that Cronus could look into your mind, so you couldn’t know I was still on your side, otherwise none of this would’ve worked.” He gestures behind him, to the smoldering crater where the Titan used to be. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to catch him off-guard, finally destroy him.”

Something flickers on Helena’s face before Saint has a chance to properly register it.

She rests her head on Saint’s uninjured shoulder again, muffling her voice.

“Just don’t do anything like that again, okay?”

Saint frowns. “Yeah. Of course. Never again.”

He leans forward to rest his cheek on her head but she pulls away.

“Come on,” she says, still smiling, but less brightly. “Let’s get you healed up.”

She leads him toward the camp, her back to him; he trails behind her, too injured to keep up with her pace.

She doesn’t spare him a second glance the entire way.

Saint glances back at the crater where Cronus died. Where he killed him, with his bare hands.

Where they won.

But Saint frowns.

Chapter Text

It is the eve of battle, and Helena is still awake.

She has spent the last few hours trying and failing to fall asleep, to regain her strength for tomorrow, but all she has managed is a few scant minutes.

It must be the pre-battle jitters, she thinks.

She looks down at the crack of space between her tent and the ground, where the light seeps in from torches spread throughout the battlements. She still hears a low murmur of voices outside, a sudden bark of laughter, a peal of jeers. Music starts, and the scent of cooked meat slips between the cracks and wafts toward her nose.

She sighs, resigning herself to sleep—she really, truly needs to rest, and drinking and eating and laughing are only going to keep her awake. So, Helena turns on her side, forcing herself to the protestations of her stomach.

Even still, she fails. Helena lies awake feeling her stomach flip, and every time she her eyelids droop ever closer to sleep, a loud crack or a person’s shriek snaps them awake.

After nearly a half hour of more noise, Helena has half a mind to ask everyone to go to bed, but she stays curled in place, unwilling to leave the newfound comfort of her cot.

She only turns around when she hears the tousle of her tent flap; when she does, a flood of light momentarily blinds her and she feels panic bubble in her stomach. When her eyes finally adjust she sees a figure stagger inside; it’s second-nature for her to raise her arm and let the magic glow from her mark.

The figure flinches, covering their eyes with their arm.

“Lena, what the hell!” A slurred but familiar voice cries.

“Saint?” Helena calls back, her heart plummeting in relief.

“Gods, yes, just…turn that thing off!”

Helena retracts her arm sheepishly and dispels her magic, sinking the tent back into darkness.

“I’m so sorry! You startled me.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Saint grumbles, she can hear him rubbing at his eyes. “Now I’m gonna have to blind you back in revenge.”

Helena laughs nervously, “Oh, no, no, no! You don’t have to do that…at all…ever!” She drops her laugh and looks at his shadowed form seriously, “Please.”

Saint’s shadowed form leans back and sighs. “Fine, fine. I won’t blind you…because you’re my sister and you deserve better.”

Helena stomach slips. “Aw,” she says, blushing and smiling like a fool, “I bet you say that to all your sisters.”

He chuckles at that and staggers forward, alarming Helena.

“Saint? What’s wrong?” She throws her blankets off to rush up to him, attempting to steady him by the shoulders. The smell of overcooked pork and black smoke pervade off his clothes and invade her nostrils. She has to breathe through her mouth to avoid the stench. “Having fun at the fire pit, were you?”

Even though his face is drowned in shadow, she can see a glint in his eyes—Helena can practically feel his grin.

“Something like that,” he says, putting his hands over her own where she steadies him by the shoulders. He squeezes her fingers almost painfully, but she ignores it.

“It’s just…” he sighs, and she knows he’s picking his words carefully. “It’s gonna be the last night for a lot of people…” his grip on her fingers loosen, and he runs his hands up her arms to her shoulders, and her skin prickles and rises at the electric trail he creates.

“S-Saint?”

He ignores her, preferring to stare at the lightshow of sparks his fingertips leave on her bare skin.

“…and I just thought to myself…‘Better make it memorable.’

His right hand begins to wander from her shoulder and travels toward her chest, dips slightly down her nightshirt, and settles over her hammering heart.

She freezes in place, too shocked to move, and he takes the opportunity to lower his forehead onto hers. He licks his lips and all but wrenches his eyes up from where his hand is pressing into her chest; the pupil, the iris, the sclera of his eyes are black, black, black.

The air rips out her lungs, her heart contracts violently, and she feels tears burning down her cheeks.

Saint,” is all she can manage past the lump in her throat.

His fingers light up with a shower of sparks, illuminating  the space between them.

She feels the electricity shoots through her veins, boiling the blood within; feels it fill her lungs and stop her heart; feels her clothes melt into her skin. All she can do is close her eyes to the lightning that tears through her.

She never hears the crack of thunder.

Chapter Text

It is the eve of battle, and Helena is still awake.

She has spent the last few hours trying and failing to fall asleep, to regain her strength for tomorrow, but all she has managed is a few scant minutes.

It must be the pre-battle jitters, she thinks.

She looks down at the crack of space between her tent and the ground, where the light seeps in from torches spread throughout the battlements. She still hears a low murmur of voices outside, a sudden bark of laughter, a peal of jeers. Music starts, and the scent of cooked meat slips between the cracks and wafts toward her nose.

A smile stretches on her face, and she pushes herself up off the cot, deciding to find the source of the sound and distract herself.

Just for a little while, she thinks.

She wraps herself in her warmest jacket before pulling aside the flap of her tent, the force of the wind pushing against her makes it more of a challenge than it should be.

Outside, the camp is engulfed in darkness. Torchlight quivers around her, throwing shadows in every corner of the tightly packed tents, leaving her shuddering; she tells herself it’s because of the chill.

She pulls her jacket tighter and trudges forward, weaving her way through the encampment toward the others, intent on making her way to the others, but all the markers she uses in the daytime to navigate are obscured.

It is not long before she finds herself at the edge of the battlements, face to face with a great maw of shadows, the forest entrance.

The trees tremble, leaves rattle, and branches groan against the wind. The chill of the night settles into her limbs and lungs, rooting her to her spot, while the faintest music and laughter Helena has ever heard drifts into her ears from behind. In front of her, the shadows of the branches shudder closer, until they cover her feet, her legs, hips, arms—in mere moments, the moon is devoured by a shroud of clouds, and everything around her is darkness.

Everything is frozen.

The shaking leaves slow to a patter, to a pause. Branches rest between groans. Even the blades of glass lie still, waiting.

A sob cuts through the calm, sending shivers up Lena’s spine.

Saint!

Helena launches forward past the brush, into the woods, deeper into the darkness.

Far, far past a dense copse of trees, she sees him fallen to his knees, his hair is speckled silver from the tiny shafts of moonlight that pierce through the clouds.

“Saint,” she breathes, breaking through the silence, and he straightens himself, whipping his head around his shoulder to look at her.

She wastes no time to get to his side and throwing her arms around him, giving him all her warmth in the cold of the night.

“Saint, what’s wrong? What are you doing here?” And as she speaks, her eyes land on a picture on the floor.

It’s Saint.

And Oliver.

Her heart lurches in realization and her eyes prick with tears.

Lena hugs her brother tighter. “Don’t worry, Saint, we’ll get him back. I promise you.”

She pulls away, ducks her head so she can look at his eyes from beneath his curtain of hair.

He finally turns his gaze to her, eyes shining and miserable.

“I promise you,” she tucks some of his hair behind his ear, “I’ll do everything in my power to bring him back.”

His whole face breaks at that. Tears spill freely from his eyes, past the blotchiness of his cheeks, curving at the grimace of his mouth, and trailing down to his jaw where they collect until they’re heavy enough to break away from him.

She wraps her arms around him once again, squeezing for emphasis.

“Please, please believe me. I would do anything to bring him back.” She pulls back to cup his face and wipe the tears from his face. “I just want you two to be happy, like you deserve.”

At that, Saint smiles. He rests his forehead against her own.

“You have no idea how relieved I am to hear you say that.”

“Saint, you’re my brother, I would do anything for you.”

He sighs, smiles wanly, and makes to stand up. Helena follows suit, and when he makes to walk back into the forest, toward the camp, she follows again.

When he reaches the edges of the thicket, he turns around toward her, but looks resolutely at the ground.

“You know…I’ve spent so long on my own. First mom abandons us, leaves us to with...fucking Zeus, then Athena takes you away before we even know what's happening,” he shakes his head, frowning, “After all that, it’s still hard to believe that I have someone I can rely on, trust, or love…”

A smile melts onto Helena’s face and she steps forward to embrace her brother again.

She smiles into his chest. "When you find someone like that, you would do anything for them...it's why I would do anything for you," and though her voice is muffled, she knows he can hear her from the rumbling laughter in his chest.

He hugs her back, turns her around as she laughs, until they’ve switched places. When they pull away, Saint is smiling openly now.

“That’s why I would do anything for Oliver,” he says.

Before Helena can ever register her confusion, Saint pushes her back into the bushes.

Thorny shadows snake up her arms and legs, cover her mouth, beck, torso. They pierce and slice into her skin, and burning wetness spills out from each wound and both her eyes and she’s screaming before she even realizes it.

When she looks up, Oliver stumbles out from the billowing shadows of the canopy, his eyes black as night, but the shadows begin to recede almost immediately and the white of sclera becomes visible. He collapses.

Saint enters her vision, whispers an earnest thank you, and runs over to Oliver, leaving Helena to be pulled into an unfathomable darkness.