Disclaimer: I don't own PJO.
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They saw them in the eyes of their children. Jean resembled her father in ways that it was almost painful to look at her. Arthur looked like Kyra but had the personality of his father. At least, for now. Natalie hoped Arthur wouldn't learn too much from Zack. Zia was like a mix of both her parents, but didn't quite have the personality of either. Natalie guessed the child had inherited Athena's studious behavior. They were children, yet they were the mirror images of those whom they had lost. That fact made them want to hate them, but they were only children and had not done any real harm.
It had been a little over a year since Michael had died but they all felt the wounds like his death had been yesterday. Each had their own ritual of dealing with the loss.
Zack would kill the Nemean Lion each time it reformed. Each time he made sure its death was worst than the last.
Ava would sit alone in her room the day he died and she would meditate. Natalie knew the daughter of Hades was trying to bring his ghost back to the mortal world just once, and even she looked over how much pain that would give them all.
Natalie would find those old comic books her little brother always kept under his bunk at the Athena cabin. She would flip through them, although she had no idea what the comic books were about, and she would smile because her little brother would look through these all the time. It was something to remember him by, and for now it was enough.
None of them were immune to pain, physical or emotional, but they all had created walls to protect themselves from the pain.
But even the strongest of warriors can break.
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Elysium was the land of paradise, and off to the side was the Isles of the Blessed which was the paradise of gods. Out of all the ghosts who visited Elysium only a handful choice rebirth to try for Isles of the Blessed. Although the choice was not unheard of it was rare because among those who tried for the Isles very few came out with a ticket to the Isles. Yet, with two people so pure of heart, it was strange that they had not gone for the Isles for the spirits who floated around them. But among the others who knew of them it was not strange at all. They were simply waiting for the people they left behind, as if one day, in unison, they might all try for the Isles together.
But those who knew the two spirits, those who had lived with them and laughed with them, knew that none of those people would try for the Isles. They had all gone through more pain to last a millennium, and subconsciously, even before they had met one another, they knew they would not go back.
Some people stayed in Elysium because they didn't like the idea of more effort with the Isles.
Some people left because they were greedy and only one life did not suit them.
And some people stayed because they liked the idea of an eternity to slow down and finally come to a stop.