Categories > Cartoons > Class of the Titans > Demons Within Me

The Demon Within Me

by Demenior 17 reviews

Archie and Atlanta recover well, finally managing to go home to a, well... strained household. The others see something about Archie that he and Atlanta don't, but are too afraid and shocked to say...

Category: Class of the Titans - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama, Romance - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006-11-17 - Updated: 2006-11-17 - 7020 words

Demons Within Me

Disclaimer: See previous chapters

Warnings: Angst, fluff, and plotting all in one. And one or two bad words, nothing I bet you haven't heard before though.

Pairings: MAJOR Archie/Atlanta, on the side was have Jay/Theresa/Neil

Authors Notes: Final chapter, guys! Enjoy the last of 'Demons Within Me'!

Chapter 27: The Demon Within Me


It was a blur of days, all mixed together. One minute, one year, one second or one day, it didn't matter. Everything melded together until one had no idea if they had fallen asleep when they closed their eyes, if they had ever walked before or if this wasn't all one big dream. All Archie knew was, he was impatient and had a burn in his legs that made it impossible to get comfortable. He was shifting again and again wary of his sore heel that was propped up on a pillow, but had to continuously stretch out his legs, shift to his other side, and tried to sleep the recovery away.

He and Atlanta talked a bit, but not very much because they seemed to sleep at the same time the other woke up so they both had a long time to think. Just think about anything. Chiron would come check up on them occasionally, but just told them to rest and a few other details, like how the others were all worried sick for them or that they were both going to make a full recovery. Though, Archie couldn't help but notice that Chiron always looked at him with a pang of sadness or regret whenever he said that.

While having all that time to think to himself was nice, Archie found he ended up having more and more conversations with himself, and to his amusement, imagining talking to Tulais. From what he heard from Atlanta, Tulais had come out of nowhere and attacked the giants as they tried to kill him. He'd fended them off until the others had arrived and then she didn't know any more. From his 'chats' with Tulais, Archie had come up with a few scenarios himself, and one that seemed very far-fetched is that Tulais had fought with Jay to help Theresa drive Atlanta and himself the rest of the way back to the school. Jay, and Tulais, working together. Yeah right.

{You're going crazy, Archie} he mused to himself.

/You were crazy to begin with/ 'Tulais' commented to him.

{Oh, thanks. That really helps my self esteem Many-times-great-Grandfather} Archie felt a smile tug at his lips, but he held it off. Best not to look like a grinning idiot when nothing's happening around you. Although, he felt like he hadn't smiled in ages. All the shock of learning about his heritage and the gods' plans for him had been weighing down on him heavily.

/Well, you have to understand that your Leader does care for you. As does young Atalanta- and I think you might want to wake up before she goes back to sleep./

{Wha?} Archie cracked open an eye and saw Atlanta watching him curiously. He opened both eyes and gave her a half-hearted smile. She smiled back and rested her head on her pillow.

"So... your heel feeling better?" she asked. Her voice sounded so strange in the silence that the two of tem had been living in so far, not to mention she had a raspy, somewhat hoarse voice form not using it for so long.

"A little," Archie replied, finding his voice sounded much the same.

"Good." There was a brief moment of silence as they both burst into giggles.

"We need to talk more," Archie told her. She nodded. Her eyes flickered slightly, and he watched her try to stifle a yawn.

"Get some sleep," he said calmly, "you need it."

Atlanta was recovering so slowly compared to him. Even though Archie knew it was because of his demon blood, it still kept him worried. Secretly, when he was sure no one was in the room, he'd tried walking around, well it was more like hoping on one foot and falling a lot, but he often checked up on her and would pull up her blankets around her shoulders or fluff up the pillow under her leg. Only when he was sure she was asleep. He didn't know if he'd be able to stand being stuck in the same room as her if she rejected him.

They'd hardly talked, and when they did it wasn't about anything really. Neither of them wanted to face reality right now, with everything that had happened. Deep down Archie was quite sure they both knew just how much trouble they were going to be in for sneaking off in the middle of the night and they'd have to fess to where they were going. What made him more nervous was the fact that if the gods knew he'd gone to see the Oracle, they would want to know why. He wouldn't have to tell them, but that would make them even more suspicious. Archie was feeling at his wits end stuck inside the gods' secret wing without being able to run or fend for himself, and he was scared to death that Chiron would be giving him poison whenever the centaur would give them their medicine.

He barely head Atlanta's 'mmhmm' of agreement as she nuzzled her head into her pillow and pulled her blankets up around her. If she was feeling annoyed with being cooped up all the time, she was hiding better than he was.

Archie himself tried to get some sleep, rolling back and forth, trying to imagine a peaceful scene or count sheep leaping over a fence. Nothing worked. On a side thought he tried counting Tulais's jumping over a fence, but that didn't work either.

Archie rolled over again and looked at Atlanta, as loud as he dared, he hissed her name and when she didn't stir, he tried again. She didn't wake up. Satisfied, he forced himself into a sitting position, waiting for the lightheadedness to stop. The cut to his head had a nice big bandage over it, since it actually wasn't that big, but had just bled a lot.

Carefully, he looked around and pushed himself up, staggering and nearly fell over. Archie grabbed the side of his bed for support, steadying himself with most of his weight on his left foot. He kept his teeth clenched to keep from crying out as he began to make his way around his bed. If he could circle it without stopping, he'd feel a lot better about himself.

He let out a grunt as he tried to step down on his right foot. His heel protested painfully and despite his usual 'immune to pain' attitude, Archie didn't dare go any further for fear of bringing on that blinding, paralyzing pain that he could remember form when Cronus had stabbed his heel. With a shudder, Archie realized that had been the second time his heel had been stabbed. He screwed his eyes shut, trying not to start shaking at the memory of what had happened so long ago, and found he felt a lot better than before when he thought about it. At least, he didn't seize up and start shaking uncontrollably. He was shaking, but he could still think.

He remembered the flash of gold and the pain in his heel and all the blood.

/Haven't you seen that before?/'Tulais' growled.

Archie paused. Now that he thought about it, it did seem familiar. Where had he seen that gold- that 'fork' shape before? It had something to do with water, didn't it? Since the attack had come when he was in the water. Archie remembered the voice he'd heard before being attacked, the one that separated him and that Water-Woman with the blast of water.

{That Demonspawn will be better off once he's dead}

The gods were planning to kill him, he was calmer thinking about that now. He knew Hera was leading this, so he knew he had to deal with her if he wanted to live. But what if they'd tried to kill him before? Maybe he wasn't supposed to be alive right now- but he'd survived by chance. And now, he was here... so that they could follow him and kill him when they needed to.

Archie grabbed onto his bed for support as his knees gave out on him. All this time, he had been living in a deathtrap. They could have killed him any time- Athena might have stabbed him while he was sleeping or while she was making breakfast, Chiron any time he'd had a wound tended to, Ares every time they sparred or did the early morning training, or even Hephaestus when he'd go in just to see all the junk crammed in the back of Hephaestus's workshop. At any point he could have been murdered and the gods would probably make up some story to convince his friends that it was Cronus or some other factor.

/The Oracle told you to trust wisely, and have deep faith, remember?/ Tulais commented.

{And how would you know?} Archie felt his heart racing and having 'Tulais' come barging into his thoughts whenever he pleased was a tad infuriating.

/I went through your memories./

Archie scowled, {Don't.} he thought.

Feeling fueled by frustration, and fear Archie didn't admit to himself because Tulais would tease him about that, but he tried to get up again. His heel hurt more than ever and he fell onto his knees. He just barely managed to get back onto his feet and sat down on the bed when Tulais barked at him.

/Someone's coming!/

Archie threw himself down, just getting his smarting foot onto the pillow as Chiron opened the door, and with a gulp, Archie noticed Hera was with him. He closed his eyes and tried to be asleep, as well as breathe normally and not wonder if Hera was going to kill him now.

"Interesting. I swear I heard someone awake," Hera said as she stood with Chiron between the two beds.

Chiron chuckled, "Believe me, Hera. I'd know if any of my patients were up and moving by now. Both of these two are probably hating to be so confined, I'm surprised they're not complaining yet."

"Yes, well, we should let them sleep, I guess," Hera replied. Archie kept his breathing normal, though he couldn't quite shake the thought that she was directing the comment at him. He heard the door close and sat up with a sigh. And with a start realized that Hera was standing before him with a smile on her face.

"H-Hera!" Archie stammered.

"Glad to see you're awake, young one," Hera said kindly, "why were you pretending to be asleep?"

Archie looked down, "I... I don't really feel like talking," he tried to force up a sheepish smile for her and she seemed to buy it.

"I understand, but will you answer a few simple questions for me?"

Archie nodded, trying his best to pretend he had no idea of what she was really doing.

"How is your foot? You gave us quite a scare the other night," she sat down on the edge of his bed and Archie forced himself not to edge away.

"It's... better. I hope I can take a run soon, I'll die before I get out of here," he complained. She laughed, but immediately Archie knew it was forced.

"So I take it you can't walk yet."

"Nope." He bit his tongue after spitting out the answer too quickly.

/Idiot/ Tulais muttered.

Hera nodded slowly, "Now, we've been missing some books from our library for a few days now. I had a feeling you might have them- they are on demons after all," there was a veiled look in her eyes and instantly Archie felt his blood run cold. Hera knew.

She knew he'd been there, when she was talking to Ares outside of the library, she knew that he'd found out he was a descendant of Tulais on his own and she knew that he knew that she was going to kill him.

"Y-yeah. I w-w-wanted to look up on T-Tulais- I mean, demons, since I am his descendant and all," Archie felt himself grow a bit more confident as he lied. Hera only thought he'd learned of his lineage from Tulais, but he was throwing her off by saying he knew of it sooner, "and I think I might be able walk sooner than later, possibly even get back on track with Ares' training. Could you put in a word with him, he hasn't been training me lately."

Archie knew he'd taken his good luck too far when anger flared up in Hera's eyes. She opened his mouth to yell, and then probably kill him then and there, but another noise made both of them stop.

Atlanta yawned loudly, sitting up and tiredly rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand. She noticed Hera and her eyes lit up,

"Hello Miss Hera," she said in her throaty, crackly voice. Archie watched Hera put on a false smile.

"Good morning Atlanta," she said in a sickly sweet voice, "I hope you feel better soon. The team misses you."

She got up and left with a final glare at Archie that made him shiver and want to curl up under the blankets.

/Go to sleep, I'll let you know if the hag comes/ Tulais told him.

Archie didn't know why he trusted a voice in his head to save him, but he did what he was told and curled up without talking to Atlanta and fell asleep.


Atlanta was only half awake as Hera left, but when she turned back to talk to Archie, he had his back to her and was going to sleep. Pouting, she let him fall asleep and waited until his breathing was slow and calm, indicating he was really asleep.

Slowly, painfully, she sat up and looked around. Slowly Atlanta peeled off the blanket and took a look at her leg. Her thigh still stung sharply, but Chiron's medical care had done wonders for her and already she was hoping it was the ability to walk she was feeling tingling in her toes.

Atlanta looked over to Archie, who she couldn't help but admit looked very cute all curled up to his chin in his own blankets, and smiled. Momentarily she wished she had his hoodie with her so she could cuddle it, and then nearly burst out laughing at the thought of having Archie wake up with her snuggling his old hoodie.

Yes, she could finally admit it, she a least had a crush on Archie. Not just a simple liking-him-a-bit-more-than-a-friend, but a full-blown crush. Atlanta couldn't believe she had a crush, and Archie of all people (or demons) but she couldn't help but enjoy being closer to him now, at least, enjoying it more than before.

She sighed, how would anyone on the team react if they found out? Archie was half-demon, what was it with her and non-human guys? It must be true then, there was, and still is, not man who can tame Atalanta or Atlanta. Only half-humans, like Pan and Archie, could woo her over. She stifled a giggle at that.

Anyways, Herry would probably just give her a pat on the back, Odie would shift nervously at any mentions of relationships, Neil would say something like 'of course the worst-dressed get together' and Theresa would cheer and give her a big hug, and then avoid Archie since they never did get along that well. Jay, on the other hand, Atlanta had no idea how he'd react. Would he really care? Would he be angry? Would he start another fight like before? Would he say 'good choice' or laugh and say 'finally' or something like that? He'd been so hard to understand lately, Atlanta was sure only Theresa had any notion of what he was like now. More than ever Atlanta wanted to drag her sorry body across the gap between them and curl up with Archie, or just have someone hold her.

She growled in frustration and flopped back onto her pillow, hissing as her wound flared with a wave of pain. Cronus was going to hurt for every minute she was not able to go running.


The next few days passed much the same. Still, they weren't allowed any visits form the outside, though Archie and Atlanta were both getting many messages that the gang was worried about them and wanted o know how they were. Also they were told that Cronus activity had been quieter lately, almost like the Titan had given up. They gave Hermes messages that they were both sick of recovering and couldn't wait to get back on the track, and if it was even possible, they were even excited for training. Even if Archie wrote this with a pang of nausea in his gut.

He and Atlanta began talking more, and he was walking better when he practiced while she was sleeping. He stopped having as many random conversations with Tulais in his head and couldn't wait to get out and visit the real one soon. More often, he was talking to Atlanta, worrying about the gods, talking to Tulais about how he might solve this problem with the gods, trying to strengthen his leg, or thinking about Atlanta. He was very busy.

So finally, one day, he was lying in the bed for what seemed like the millionth year, when he had an itch in his legs that he hadn't felt in a long time. Cautiously, Archie got up and looked around, Tulais told him no one was coming, and so he slipped out of bed. After a few awkward steps, he felt much better on his heel, though it still throbbed, but he wanted to try something more.

Hesitantly, he picked up his hobbling pace and did a fast-walk around his bed. As he began to feel more confident, Archie picked up his pace even more, still limping, but he was moving! It was incredible, how had he survived without walking, in the least, for so many days/years/months.

After what seemed so short, but so exhilarating, Tulais warned him that someone was almost at the door. Archie dove back for his bed, and pretended to be just waking up. Chiron came in and smiled at him, trotted over to his desk, got some painkiller medicine, and then gave him some pills, which to Archie's detest happened to be aspirin, and checked up on his heel.

"Amazing," Chiron said slowly, "your recovery rate is simply amazing. I should say that you just might be able to move around, with crutches at least, in a few days. Could you, if it doesn't hurt too much, take a few steps for me?"

Archie felt his happiness soar as he heard Chiron, and almost too eagerly leapt to his feet and took a few, still-hobbling steps, around while Chiron watched, with almost too much focus. Archie began to feel unnerved by the centaurs gaze and stopped walking to rest a moment.

Chiron shook his head, "I'm sorry. By any chance you haven't..."

"Haven't what?" Archie asked, folding his arms across his chest. He felt even more open since his hoodie had been taken from him while he was unconscious the first time and he'd been left with his white undershirt.

"Never mind," Chiron shook his head, "just, practice walking a bit and make sure to take a lot of rests when you feel somewhat tired."

Archie nodded slowly and limped back to his bed as Chiron checked up on Atlanta, nodding in satisfaction at her recovery thus far, then turned and left.


Archie practiced a lot more with walking, now that he had Chiron's okay to walk. Atlanta would often scowl and throw her pillow at him, in good humor, when he was limping around. They began to talk more and he'd go over and sit on the edge of her bed. It was nicer, being able to be closer with her, and Archie enjoyed giving her a pat on the shoulder here and there.

All the while he was limping; the pain in his heel was getting to be less and less each passing day (he assumed). Archie was having more trouble sleeping, he was so full of energy lately, and was often pacing back and forth across the room just to try and relieve some of the energy in his legs.

He was trying to sleep, trying to ignore the tingling in is legs that usually meat he had to move around, and had his eyes clamped shut. When the feeling didn't stop, Archie rolled over again and again until he couldn't stand it anymore.

"Fine then," he muttered as he sat up. Without really thinking of what he was doing, he got out of bed and limped to the big wooden doors. He slowly pushed one open, looked around, and then headed down the hall towards the gym.

It felt amazing being back in the room, seeing something other than Chiron's medicine books or the actual medicine that he and Atlanta would have to take later. He loved the slightly-sweaty smell, mixed with the smell of rubber from the track and all the light that was pouring in from the huge windows.

Slowly he made his way down to the track and began just walking, slowly getting faster. His eyes smarted from all of the brightness of the room, so he was careful to watch where he was going in case he ran into something.

/Oh, get on with it! Just run, Brat!/ Tulais told him.

Archie nearly laughed out loud at how similar the voice in his head and the real Tulais sounded, and then broke into a run. It was an awkward, limping run, but his strides grew more powerful and slowly his limp faded.

It was like having chocolate after a gross meal, or like a spark of love between enemies. After all that bad, this was just a brand new level of happiness.

As Archie ran around the gym, he failed to see Theresa and Jay stop their intimate moment together to watch him briefly, before Jay kissed her again and then their attention was only on each other.


"Well, I think both of you have finally recovered enough to leave. Just, take it easy please and don't be getting into any more fights," Chiron said as his face wrinkled in a smile. Archie had gotten very good at reading the hidden emotions in people, and he could see that Chiron was hiding something.

After his run in the gym, Archie had felt more recovered than ever, and his heel hardly hurt anymore. Atlanta was on crutches now, and had actually been getting around while he was sleeping without him knowing. It made them both laugh to find out they'd been practicing without letting the other know.

Currently, the two of them were waiting on the steps of the school for the others to arrive to take them home. Archie was extremely grateful to be out of the gods' secret wing, and both of them were extremely grateful for the fresh air. It was a bit chillier out than Archie remembered. Hermes was waiting with them and kept shifting from foot to foot nervously.

When Herry's temporary truck drove up, it was a dark blue and had no uncovered trunk, Archie and Atlanta barely had any time to help each other up before the flood of their five friends surrounded them and hugs and slaps on the back were in order. When all was done, though the excited chatter had only begun, they began to head back to the truck. Hermes tugged on Jay's sleeve and pulled the Leader aside. Archie looked back, wondering what was going on.

"He doesn't know..."

Jay cast a glance in his direction, a sad and pained one, and Archie was curious as to what they were taking about. They were talking about him, but why? Instant thoughts of betrayal and murder plans crossed his mind, but he shrugged them off. Jay's look didn't seem dark or dangerous at all.


The drive back to the Brownstone was rather noisy. Everyone wanted to catch up with each other, it turned out Archie and Atlanta had been stuck inside for around a week and a half. Their recovery had been amazing in that amount of time, considering they were both getting around now, one with and the other without crutches. Jay and Theresa didn't mention anything about seeing Archie in the gym.

Odie was even more interested in how fast Archie had healed, considering how terrible he'd looked when Theresa had driven off with the two of them bleeding all over her car. By the time they got to the place they now called home, it was as if the whole fiasco with Tulais had never happened.

When they went inside, Jay had Archie and Atlanta sit in the living room and quietly told the others to leave. The mood of happiness that they'd all felt before suddenly fell away and they were left with the tension they'd been living with for so long now.

"The... the first night you were in Chiron's room, Archie, you weren't supposed to live," Jay began slowly.

Archie shrugged, "So? Tons of people live when they're not supposed to." He inwardly flinched at how close to home he words hit.

Jay shook his head, "You don't get it! You shouldn't even be here! If it-"

"What?" Atlanta whipped her head around to look at Jay, "how can you say such a thing? You heartless-"

"No! What I mean is-"

"Don't cut me off, Jay!" Atlanta hissed.

"Atlanta be quiet! I'm trying to explain!" Jay snapped at her.

"What? That we don't want Archie? Is that it?" Despite her injury, and all the times that Chiron had warned her, Atlanta was struggling to stand up.

Jay was the first to move and pushed her back down onto the couch, "Look, Atlanta, just listen to me and I'll explain. You're taking this all wrong!"

The whole while he was trying to calm down, Jay had started squeezing Atlanta's arms and now she was squirming.

"Jay, let go!" she growled.

"Not until you calm down," he replied coldly, doing his best to remain calm.


Archie hadn't even realized he'd moved, not that he'd ripped Jay off of Atlanta, or that with a single punch he'd thrown Jay to the floor. He came too as Jay starred up at him in horror, pinned to the floor. Why was he seeing so clearly all of a sudden? It was like he could see the veins under Jay's skin, the perfect place to strike that would cause a quick and painless death and- no, no! What was he thinking?

"Just spit out what you want to say!" Archie snarled.

Jay was silent for a moment, still frozen in shock, before recovering and shoving Archie off him. By now the scuffle had caught the attention of the other residents of the house and they were gathering in the room.

"If Tulais hadn't given up his life- you wouldn't be here!" Jay cried.

Archie froze. Atlanta froze. It wasn't possible. Tulais, dead? Archie starred at Jay, eyes wide.

"No... no... No! It's not right! You're lying you bastard!" Archie shrieked, leaping to his feet to face Jay.

Jay's eyes went wide again ad he took a step back, the others gasped in shock. Archie ignored them and shut his eyes tight and ran past everyone, up the stairs and into his room. It couldn't be true- it wasn't! Tulais wasn't dead!

Atlanta didn't look up but took her crutches and limped into the kitchen, away from the others.

After the two had left, Odie looked around nervously and nudged Herry in the ribs. He nodded his head away and the two of them went downstairs to Odie's room. Neil remained stock-sill, watching Jay and Theresa. Jay looked to Theresa, with wide eyes, and she jumped forwards and wrapped her arms around his neck.

After a moment, Neil coughed and the two pulled apart awkwardly. He stepped forwards, putting himself between Jay and Theresa, and placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Are you alright Therri?"

She looked at him with wide eyes and felt her heart skip a beat when his blue eyes met hers. Over Neil's shoulder she saw Jay watching her with shock, and a mix of betrayal. Theresa choked back a sob and turned away and ran upstairs. She couldn't chose between Jay or Neil- they both meant too much to her.

Neil flashed Jay and confident grin before pulling out his mirror as he walked upstairs. Jay glared holes in the back of Neil's shirt, but he didn't have time to bother about Neil right now, Theresa loved him and he loved her, right?

More pressing matters were presenting themselves now, Jay shuddered as he recalled Archie's appearance earlier.

Archie's eyes had been red. Just like Tulais's.

Just like a demon.


Archie had lost track of time. His sob-like breathing was all he could hear, all he paid attention to. He had no idea whether to cry, to cheer, to be a man or to give up all hope and shrivel away in the corner. Tulais was gone. His only link to his past, to his ancestors, to his bloodline, was gone. There was still so much he wanted to know, needed to know, and now Tulais was gone. His shoulders shook again as he fought back another tear. No, he hadn't cried since he was a little, naïve boy, and he wouldn't start now.

His hoodie and ankle brace lay discarded on the floor. Archie took a disgusted look at his right heel. He could still see the jagged scar left from the attack in the water... from Poseidon, he thought with a jolt. And within it, still a rather livid red color was the thin slit that had nearly taken his life, but cost his ancestor's his own instead. What was it that mad him so important that the people he trusted turned on him and others close to him were getting hurt- and dieing- because of him? Archie choked back another outbreak of tears, and quickly wiped away the one tear that dare leaked out. No, he'd have to settle this with Hera once and for all- even if he was so alone in all this.

/You're never really alone/ 'Tulais' spoke for the first time in a few days.

{What do you care? You're just making me feel even worse than before!} Archie covered his ears with his hands, willing for the voice to stop. He didn't want to hear this imagined voice of his ancestor right now. He was already stressed and upset enough!

/Oh, why? Because you're crying for me? Suck it up, Brat, you're not even as half crazy as you will be soon./

{What? Why don't you just shut up and crawl back into my mind, I'm sick of you pretending to be Tulais.} Archie didn't reply to the voice again.

"Stupid... my life is a mistake," Archie muttered, uncurling slowly. He was leaning on his bed, facing the door. Listlessly, he kicked one of the books he'd taken from the library on demons aside with his right foot. For a moment he enjoyed the feeling of pain it brought to him, letting him know he was still human at least.

A knock on the door brought him out of his macabre thoughts. Archie was on his feet, wiping away his sad expression with the back of his hand and sprang to the door. He opened it a crack, just enough to see Atlanta's teary eyes looking back at him.

"Archie? Can... can I come in?"

Archie nodded and took a step back, opening the door wide enough for her to maneuver herself, crutches and all, in. He closed the door behind her with a quiet click, but it sounded like a gunshot in the silence. Atlanta stood still, staring at the floor. Archie made his way over to his bed, kicking some items of clothing and books aside to make a simple path for her. She didn't move until he walked back and touched her shoulder.

"'Lan... are you... okay?"

She looked up at him and Archie was shocked to see that she was forcing herself to not cry, but the tears were gathering in her eyes and in shame she wiped at them to try and stop. Her shoulders were shaking badly and she looked away from him.

"At...lanta?" Archie placed his hand on her other shoulder. This wasn't the fearless Hunter he'd come to know (and love).

"Damn it, Archie!" Atlanta threw herself into his arms, hugging him tightly, and sobbed into his chest. Archie wrapped his arms around her instinctively, pulling her close. In a way, this was how he'd always imagined them together, and now in the moment, it just didn't seem right. He bit his lip harshly to keep himself from breaking out in tears as well.

The stood like that, Archie squeezing her tightly as he struggled not to cry, and Atlanta crying so hard she was shaking. After a few minutes she dried up her tears, hiccupping and sobbing feebly. Without waiting any longer, Archie tried again to push his tears aside and easily picked up Atlanta, bridal style. She didn't even ask but kept her face buried in his shoulder as he set her down on the bed and sat down beside her.

"Wh-why are you crying?" Archie asked, keeping an arm around her shoulders.

"T-Tulais... he's gone. So... soon. I- I didn't get to- to meet him. And I-I hate the wa-way Jay and ev-everyone's been act-acting to you, e-even me! Why does it-it matter that y-you're half d-demon?" Atlanta squeezed his arm as she spoke, and Archie looked away. She was honestly worried about him, him, of all people she could worry about.

"I-I know. But they c-can't r-really help it, can th-they? P-people suck, you k-know?" Archie tried to smile for her, anything to keep her form crying, but she shook her head.

"Don't, A-Arch. I'm your friend, I know you. You're just as sad as I am and you're hurt by everyone even me!"

"I'm fine," Archie said quietly, looking away again. He couldn't stand to meet her gaze, not when he was lying so openly.

"Stop being such a man! Just cry for once- it'll prove you're more human than demon!" Atlanta pulled away from him, sitting up to look in right in the eye.

Archie stopped. Slowly he turned to look at her, "More human than demon? Is that was this is all about? I'm not human enough?"

"No! It's nothing like that! I-I'm sorry, it just ca-came out l-like that. I don-didn't mean it, you're just as great as the rest of us, I mean it," Atlanta pleaded. Despite the fact that her words had stung deeper than either of them knew at the moment, Archie felt his anger melt away. He nodded slowly in acceptance.

"Archie... I want to ask you s-something," Atlanta said quietly, "about us... I'm so confused right now- where do we stand? Before I thought we were just friends but now, after Tulais and everything, I don't know! I feel... different. And I don't know if it's good or bad or, what it is!"

Archie held his hands together in his lap. In the back of his mind he could hear Tulais telling him to just spit it all out, this was the golden opportunity after all, and stop being such a wuss.

"Atlanta," he mumbled quietly, "don't.. I- I'm a demon's descendant and-"

"Look, Archie, ever since we learned of our ancestors, we've all compared ourselves to them. Don't think you're the only one. But then you found out- met- your other ancient ancestor. Now you're more comparing yourself to Tulais rather than Achilles. I don't care what you look like, or how you think. I know that Tulais told you that you were nothing like Achilles and I don't care. He's wrong. You're more like Achilles than you'll ever know Archie. Let me be the first to tell you, you may be half demon but you're a true hero. Both Achilles and Tulais should be proud to have you as their descendant," Atlanta reached over and put her hand on his. Her touch was so soft compared to the blows and words he'd been beaten around with lately.

Archie stared at her. Somewhere, deep, deep down, e knew it. It was something that had been a part of him ever since learning he was a hero. The need to meet expectations, to live up to a great name such as Achilles, and be as terrible as Tulais, at the same time. What Atlanta had said had so much meaning, he was shocked she could even say something to powerful, and he didn't know how to reply. He felt tears forming in the corners of his eyes, not quite tears of sadness, but of thankfulness.

He pulled Atlanta into a warm embrace and whispered 'thank-you' over and over into her ear. Finally, when they'd pulled away, he took a deep breath and looked at her. This was it, the big moment.

"I-I have something to tell you as well," he said.

"Really?" she smiled half-heartedly for him. He felt the fluttering of butterflies in his gut, that smile was just for him.

"Yeah. I really, really..." Archie trailed off as he realized what had been holding him back for so long. Right then, in that moment, he knew he'd never be able to tell Atlanta what he thought of her. He'd never get the words to form or this same courage ever again.

Instead, he reached out and cupped her cheek in his hand and gently pulled her forwards as he leaned the rest of the way and met her in a soft, passionate kiss.

I Love You he wanted to say, three simple words that, when combined, were nearly the most powerful force on the planet. Archie wasn't strong enough to say it, Tulais just couldn't feel it anymore and Achilles had never truly cared for it. What a sad trio indeed.

At first, Archie could only think that he was kissing her he was kissing Atlanta! Slowly that shock and joy turned to dread and despair as he realized what he was doing. He was kissing /Atlanta/ How would she react? What would she think of him?

Then, she brought her arms up around his shoulders and pulled him closer. She was kissing him!

The broke apart for air, looking at each other in a complete daze.

"I do too, Archie, I do too," Atlanta answered him. She choked on a sob and Archie couldn't understand why she wanted to cry when he felt he could get up and run, dance and cheer like he was five years old again. Instead, he leaned close and whispered to her,

"Well you're stuck with me now."

She looked up at him and smiled, then leaned in for another kiss and he happily agreed. Archie leaned back and pulled her onto the bed, not trying to tangle with their tongues or get each other naked, but just lie together in each other's arms in their uncomplicated act of love.



Stares in shock

It's... over? Wow, now I have a lot to tell you here!

Anyways, so this is the first fanfiction I've ever finished- EVER! So be happy! I can't believe DWM is over, and this last chapter was so darn long! I think it's worth the wait.

So currently at 317 (I believe) reviews, I'm astounded that this story is so popular, so thanks guys for your support! It's really appreciated!

Archie and Atlanta are together, Neil is spicing it up with the whole triangle going on there, Herry and Odie are almost at level nine on Odie's video game and Hera is plotting Archie's death. Can you wait for the sequel? Hope so.

A few notes on DWM that I think you might enjoy:

I wanted to have Archie visit Tulais out of his own free will a few more times, and have Atlanta develop a strong relationship with Tulais.

In the original planning, it was Theresa who rode on Tulais's back all the way to the school- not Jay.

In the very, very original planning, Tulais as Archie's ancestor never existed. Instead, Tulais was actually part of Archie, and the prophecy foretold that Archie would have to fight his 'inner demons' because Tulais had been sealed inside of him a long time ago. Therefore, he would be able to actually turn into Tulais in battle and such. I scrapped it after I took a second look and saw Naruto scribblings beside it.

After scraping the earlier idea, Archie was actually going to die to save Atlanta, and actually die, and Tulais was going to switch bodies with the dieing Archie, so then Archie would be in Tulais's body and Tulais would die as Archie. Sadly, it just didn't work. I need to keep Archie human for now.

So, now done, I just want to thank everyone again for their support, and everyone needs to say a sad goodbye to Tulais. He's not making another appearance, not coming back. But he was fun to write- and I'm glad that most people liked him as a character!

So, I guess, this is it... what should I say now- at the end of a fanfiction?

-Don't do drugs-


p.s. Did you know, every time you don't review- someone close to you gets a wart. So save your family and friends and review, don't give them warts.
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