i couldn’t wrap my head around it (how such a nightmare could be real)
Morning glories represent unrequited, restricted, or otherwise forbidden love.
Purple represents nobility, royalty, and beauty.
Blue represents trust, respect, and deep emotion.
hanahaki disease, unrequited love, sickfic, whump, mild gore/body horror, either possible or definite character death depending on how you read it, hurt no comfort
more gory hanahaki fics in fandom or else 🔫
The blood that comes out is thick and darker than it usually is, and it tastes like perfume.
Annabeth coughs weakly. A flower tumbles from her mouth and into the trash, the blue petals saturated with blood and the pale, white center completely red.
It’s getting really bad. The flowers have started to appear in different places; one has grown on her face, just below her right eye. She picked it off her skin and tried to patch the wound, but the vine she cut it from immediately started budding again. Even now, the round flower obscures her vision slightly, bright purple and stark.
There was one in her mouth that morning. A full flower, growing from a vine poking out from her inner cheek.
Soon enough, this will kill her.
The medicines have stopped helping. For a while, the teas and the pills had cut down on the flowers, had made her able to breathe for the first time in months. She had gone a week straight without morning glories coming up from her lungs. She was able to go to class and participate in conversations and not feel like she was dying.
And then she spent one day, one full day, alone with Jason, working on some project for his classics course, and they came back with a vengeance. She just wanted to spend time with her friend, someone she loves and respects in an entirely platonic way, unrelated to her feelings–
–and she’s nearly died for it. She had to leave early, which she hated, because Jason looked so hurt . Because she had been avoiding him. Because being around him made her feel so fucking sick.
She thought she could tough through the pain, that she could spend the day with him without choking on her feelings (physically or metaphorically) until he leaned his head against hers as they read over his writing. His hand came to rest on hers, his fingers resting in the spaces between her own. She felt so warm and protected with his body so close to hers.
And then a whole flower had begun to choke her, and she had to leave abruptly before he saw.
It wasn’t his fault she fell in love with him; it was her own. She couldn’t stop herself from falling in love with his crooked smile and good manners and genuine kindness, with how desperate he was to be cared about in a way that had no strings or conditions.
The irony of that isn’t lost on her.
In any case, that one day caused this worsening of her condition. The doctor said she didn’t have long until it was completely incurable, and that was two months ago.
Another flower comes up, bigger this time. It’s mangled beyond recognition, and she spits the petals and blood into the trash with weary acceptance.
Purple and blue morning glories. Morning glories represent unrequited, restricted, or otherwise forbidden love. Purple represents nobility, royalty, and beauty. Blue represents trust, respect, and deep emotion.
They’re almost disgustingly fitting. Not everyone gets flowers so on the nose; she met another girl, when she had to go to the hospital, who coughed up dandelions.
She leans back on the outside of the bathtub. She’s been sitting in the bathroom, because she keeps getting blood and petals on her bedspread and carpet, and she’s in no shape to do laundry or clean the floor, so this is better.
The small trashcan on her lap is full of flowers and blood.
In the beginning, the flowers didn’t come with blood. They came with saliva and mucus, which was gross, but not nearly as painful. For the first few months, she was able to hide her illness.
It was when full flowers started coming up that Percy found out.
“You’ve been hiding this from me,” he said numbly, staring at Annabeth, holding a full morning glory, it’s petals wet with spit. “Do you… know who it’s for?”
She threw the flower into the trash. “…it’s Jason,” she admitted. “I didn’t… I didn’t know how to tell you–”
He had stormed out, of course. She didn’t blame him. It was the appropriate reaction to learning your girlfriend is in love with one of your best friends, so much so that she developed a threatening and rare disease.
He came back after a few hours. She was in the bedroom, trying not to cry or go into another coughing fit.
“How can I help you?” he asked, standing in the doorway. “I want to help you.”
They broke up, officially.
Things hadn’t been going well anyway; they still loved each other, but their relationship wasn’t as healthy as it could be. There was a lot to it. The trauma they had both been through, general mental illness on both parts, getting together at such a young age… it just wasn’t working out.
But Percy still wanted her to be happy, and Annabeth needed someone to be with her.
He held her hand through all the doctor’s appointments. Hanahaki is rare, though not unheard of; it takes a special set of circumstances to develop. It occurs more in women, abuse victims, and those who were already either mentally or physically ill.
Annabeth had laughed a little too hard at that.
The medicines had helped, but even if they could help now, she’s been out for weeks. The disease is in its final stages– the flowers are spreading throughout her body, the infectious, almost parasitic things crawling from her lungs to her face to her body. It started with the vines growing out, delicate, almost elegant curls, and then buds popping up. She cut them off, but they always came back.
As she stares at her lap, through teary eyes, a vine that had curled onto her hand with a large bud blooms open. It’s morning, then, she thinks dully. Her flowers open in the morning, just like their natural counterpart, though they don’t always close by evening. The pain inside her lungs intensifies as the sun rises outside.
She’s been on the floor all night. She should probably get her phone and call Percy, to at least get him to take her to the hospital.
In romanticized stories of Hanahaki, surgery is always given as a solution to the disease. The consequence is usually said to only be the removal of your feelings for the target of your affections, with perhaps an aside given to the fact it can damage your ability to love at all.
The truth of the matter is that the surgery is dangerous . Most of the time, there’s lasting, irreparable damage to the lung tissue, leading to lifelong complications. Most of the time, there’s also damage to the throat, the vocal cords, even the mouth. And then there’s the removal of the vines, which can damage the rest of the body. She knows for a fact there are vines over her bad shoulder, and removing those could completely ruin that already damaged joint.
Most of the time, when it’s as progressed as hers, the flowers are too big to be removed safely, and people die during the process.
And the loss of feelings aren’t because the surgery somehow removes them; it’s from trauma.
A full coughing fit takes her, and she almost doubles over with the force of it.
It’s mostly blood, filling her mouth and dripping down her chin, but fully formed flowers are mixed into it, so saturated she wouldn’t be able to distinguish them from human tissue if she had to. They all have vines, long, curling things, that she can feel tearing at her throat as they come up.
A flower slowly opens on her jaw, the delicate petals brushing her skin and hair. Another comes alive on her hand, next to the previous. On her legs. Above her brow. On her neck.
Inside her mouth, again. The blood tears it free, and it stings. She lets out a pitiful cry, gurgling under all the liquid in her mouth.
The vines in her arms pulse like her veins. It seems like before her eyes they’re growing, flowers beginning to pop into existence on her skin.
She had shared a theory, with Percy, that this is some kind of magic that the gods caused. It was just when it started getting this bad, when more blood started coming out. She had been sitting in the bathtub, wet from a shower, with blood dripping from her chin and down her chest.
“I blame Apollo,” she offered weakly, a petal falling from her mouth. She leaned back on the still warm porcelain of the bathtub. “I don’t know why. But I feel like it’s his fault.”
She laughs wetly at the memory. Percy didn’t really think it was funny, though. He’s so concerned about her, all the time.
(She confronted her mother about it, of course, but for once, Athena’s wisdom didn’t come in handy. She asked Piper about it, which lead to her having a conversation with Aphrodite.
Who was pretty much losing her mind with delight over the fact that one of her favorite mortals to watch suffer had such an ‘interesting and romantic disease!’.
It wasn’t very helpful, but the gods never really are, are they?)
As the sky outside lightens, and the flowers on her body grow wider, fully bloomed, her chest starts to hurt worse. Really, everything hurts, from where the flowers are growing, to her lungs, to her throat, to her head…
More blood fills her mouth and flows out without a chance of being stopped. The perfume taste coats her tongue even more, and its so cloying. Even if she didn’t have vines and flowers filling her chest and throat, she’d still be choking.
The only time it’s been this bad was when she had an awful fever, fairly early in the progression of her disease. That was the time she had to go to the hospital, because she couldn’t eat or sleep from the pain and the fever. It was… awful.
Now, she just aches, as the infected flowers only get bigger. She can feel the vines of her flowers beginning to crawl up her throat, almost at the back of her mouth. All those pretty, delicate vines, so close to choking her to death…
She needs to get her phone.
Her vision is completely blurry from the tears when she looks up. The blood runs from her lips, down her neck and then her chest, soaking into the fabric of her nightgown.
She needs to get her phone.
It’s not far away, only on the counter, but she isn’t sure if she can walk. Sitting like this, she isn’t too dizzy, but from the sheer amount of blood loss, she’s sure she’ll fall if she stands.
So, silently cursing herself for how much blood she’ll get all over the rug, she crawls across the floor.
Even that takes an unholy amount of effort, and she’s gasping for breath between mouthfuls of blood that doesn’t even look like blood by the time she makes it the three or so feet to the counter. Her head is spinning.
Her fingers are slippery with blood, but she grabs her phone anyway. She collapses against the cabinet with a thud and shakily calls Percy.
It rings for so long. The sun is slowly climbing in the sky, everything warm and gold in the sunrise, but her room feels cold. Or maybe that’s just how sick she is. She’s never bled this much.
Finally, after what feels like hours, he answers. “Hey,” he says, obviously having just woken up. “Why’re you calling so early?”
“I need you to–” Annabeth swallows a mouthful of blood and begins coughing again.
It’s the worst fit yet; the flowers that fall from her mouth still have their vines attached, attached inside of her lungs, and the blood that comes out isn’t red at all, it’s black, tinted slightly green. The pain in her chest this almost like being stabbed, and all the flowers on her skin feel like small animal bites, stinging and painful.
As she coughs, another pain begins. Something aching, aching, behind her left eye. Like something pushing just underneath it. When she was younger, she once got dared to stick a knife’s blade under her eye, and it’s comparable… just from inside, rather than outside.
“Annabeth?” Percy asks, just audible under her coughing and gagging. “Do you– do you need help?”
She can’t speak. There’s a flower caught right at the top of her throat, almost completely blocking off her ability to breathe, and it won’t come loose no matter how hard she coughs.
The pain in her eye crescendos, a screaming agony that definitely feels like being stabbed, and a flower blooms from the bottom of her eye socket. Her vision blurs extremely, and then she can’t see out of that side at all. The feeling of being half-blind is even more nightmarish than the rest of it.
“Need– help–” she manages to gurgle out. The flower is shifted just enough that it’s maybe intelligible. “Hospital– so much blood–”
Percy curses, the sound distant. Vaguely, she can hear him getting out of bed, things shifting around as he searches for… something. Car keys, probably. “I’ll be there as soon as I can. Try and stay awake for me, okay?”
She finally coughs up that flower. It falls onto her lap wetly, which is fine. Her legs and nightgown are already soaked in blood and spit and bits of flowers. The morning glory in her eye droops as her head drops towards her chest. “I… okay,” she slurs around the vines in her mouth. “‘S… really bad.”
“I know, just… hang on, Wise Girl.” Does he sound desperate? She can’t tell. Her vision is so bad that she almost can’t tell the difference between her eyes being closed and being open. Her head aches, pulsing like a fried nerve.
There’s a flower in her goddamn eye . It’s so absurd and nightmarish and awful that she wants to cry, but she can’t summon any more tears. Oh well, the blood coming from underneath the petals is weeping enough.
She feels like the mercy of unconsciousness is probably a good thing to strive for. The logical part of her brain is almost completely worn out by now, even though she still sort of knows that sleeping would be bad right now. Why else would Percy tell her to stay awake?
She tilts her head back on the cool cabinet door. It feels good on her warm shoulders. Maybe she does have a fever after all.
She opens her undamaged eye and looks at the small window in the shower. Outside, the world is bathed in golden light, and just enough of it is flooding into the room to make thin, yellow lines on the wall, through the blinds. It’s very pretty.
Her grip on her phone is tenuous, and she can’t keep it near her face anymore. Her hand falls from her ear to rest on the floor. The side of the case clicks against the tile.
The light shining off the screen is the last thing she sees before she passes out.
The last thing she hears is Percy’s voice, thin and distant from her phone, shouting her name in a panic.
And then darkness takes her.
Her mouth still tastes like perfume.