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Venom

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He’s not breathing!

Maybe not, but he was listening. Percy knew what was going on around him, and he knew what was going on inside him. He was in his cabin. Annabeth had just found him, by the sound of it. She was calling the Apollo cabin, and maybe starting CPR, but Percy couldn’t feel anything but the poison running through his veins. He’d make short work of that, though, as soon as he could find the source. Where the fuck did it come from?

“To the beach!”

That was Will. He’d probably done all the medical stuff already, like shining a flashlight in his eyes for some reason, and taking his pulse (he could feel it, it was barely there and way too slow), and, like, poking him or whatever. Probably also gave him a bit of ambrosia, but it wasn’t doing much. Percy was the one who was keeping the poison out of his heart.

While ambrosia did literally nothing to help, Percy knew the second he was thrown into the ocean. It surrounded him completely, and it helped him find the small prick behind his ear where the poison must’ve originated. That was a definite sting mark. Now the question was whether or not he should dispel the poison. Sure, it would kill him if it reached his heart through his bloodstream, but if he slowly absorbed it, he’d heal faster. (He wasn’t sure why, but he knew he’d heal faster. He wasn’t quite sure how he knew, either.)

The water was gone, and there was a lot of chattering. Someone must’ve pulled him out.

He decided to dissolve the poison slowly, absorbing it so it would fix him. He wasn’t sure how long it took, but it was really bright when he woke up. He shot up and vomited onto the sand. People screeched and hopped back—so he hadn’t been too long healing himself, or they’d all have left—but they also started sighing in relief and cheering, too.

“Oh my gods, Percy!” Annabeth exclaimed. He ignored the tears staining her cheeks. Chiron stood behind her, eyes shining and a relieved smile on his face. “You were dead!”

Percy retched again and spat onto the sand. “No,” he rasped. “I wasn’t.”

“You were,” Will said softly. Percy shook his head and got to his feet. He was shaking, but he’d just been poisoned, so he wasn’t terribly worried about it.

“You’re wrong.” He closed his eyes and reached toward his cabin. It didn’t take long before he located something that secreted the same poison that was still inside him. He sent a thin stream of water into his cabin to grab it, then drag it all the way back to him. A scorpion, similar to the one Luke set on him at the end of his first summer at Camp. He froze it beneath a layer of frost so it wouldn’t get anyone else, then handed it to Will. “Not dead.”

He stared at the scorpion with an open mouth. Chiron reached over to take it and examine it. “This should’ve killed you in less than a minute!” he muttered.

Will cleared his throat. “Percy, you were like that—dead, I swear—for at least ten.”

“I was there the whole time, Will. The poison never reached my heart. The water helped, and then I had to decide what to do with it.”

“Decide to—what?” Annabeth asked. Their audience had gone quiet. Everyone wanted to know what he meant.

“I could’ve drained it into the water. I kept it instead.”

Kept it?

“Yeah, here.” Percy took out the small dagger he’d taken to carrying around (just in case) and slit his wrist. Nothing came out for a few seconds, then a gleaming purple chrome liquid rolled out onto his hand. By the time it was finished draining, he had a bouncy-ball-sized glob of poison resting in his palm. “There it is.”

“Why...why don’t we go dispose of that safely, Percy. Will can examine you in the infirmary to make sure you’re okay,” Chiron decided.

“I’m fine—“

“Percy,” Annabeth said sharply. “Go.” Percy rolled his eyes and followed Chiron and Will back to the Big House, leaving the rest of the Camp behind to wonder just how hard was it to kill—or just hurt, even (how was he perfectly fine after being fatally poisoned??)—the son of Poseidon.