|night or day: Or, I Flood the Lincoln Memorial
Author: oneoffour111 PM
"But Percy was maybe never more grateful for his girlfriend's transfer to Goode than the time he got attacked on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial." Washington DC!Percy/Annabeth action/fluff. Featuring Gorgons, fast food, and a belly flop.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Romance - Percy J. & Annabeth C. - Words: 2,492 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 1 - Published: 02-07-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7814156
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
written 01 February 2012
Title: Night or Day; Or, I Flood the Lincoln Memorial
Word Count: about 2000
Characters/pairings: Percy/Annabeth, the gorgons
Summary: But he was maybe never more grateful for his girlfriend's transfer to Goode than the time he got attacked on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial.
Author's Notes: Completely and totally inspired by the tumblog Percy Jackson Head Canons. I spent hours on this last week, and it's beautiful and short and sweet and reminded me of all the little details of this wonderful series. And then I followed a link to her recs list…and I was on there! And then my heart sparkled and I was moved to write this.
Also, I have been to DC and the Lincoln Memorial before, and I love the way that RR takes famous landmarks and weaves them into his story. This is my own attempt.
Also also, I work at McDonald's. This is me not-so-subtly poking fun at it.
Again…THANK YOU livingondaydreams
It'd been years since Percy Jackson had been on a class field trip.
He'd always gotten out of it somehow, you know? He'd conveniently forgotten to ask his mom to sign permission slips, or made excuses about other commitments. But almost six years after he'd dunked Nancy Bobofit outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and caught Mr. Brunner's half-sword, half-pen…this trip was unavoidable.
The whole senior class was going to Washington, D.C. It was a Goode thing, a tradition…and although Percy would've rather spent the few days out of school teaching younger demigods at camp or visiting New Rome and catching up with everyone there, this one he couldn't get out of. The upside: Annabeth would be right there with him.
Since her transfer to Goode just before their senior year began, school had been a lot easier for Percy, just better overall. He had a 24/7 tutor, the guys could stop teasing him about his "imaginary" girlfriend, and she even came to all of his swim meets during the year, cheering wildly every time he was in the water.
But he was maybe never more grateful for his girlfriend's transfer to Goode than the time he got attacked on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial.
It'd been a long day with the group, full of shops and memorials and history that frankly made Percy's brain hurt, but he'd never seen Annabeth so enthralled. Unsurprisingly enough, he still had an abundance of energy post-lights-out that night – he swore that ever since waking up from his months-long nap earlier that year he'd never be sleep-deprived again – so when his assigned roommates had fallen asleep for sure, he put on a T-shirt and some sweatpants and sneaked out of the old hotel the Goode teachers had booked for the trip.
He felt like running that night – he needed to shake a sort of restlessness, a sense of not belonging. It was strange, because he'd certainly had enough experience being a stranger over the last few years, notably in Camp Jupiter. But this time, even a four-day weekend spent away from his city was jarring enough for him.
His sense of autopilot took over as he ran over the D.C. streets. He instinctively took the route he'd traveled earlier that day with the group, crossing a little under a mile of sidewalk before approaching the Lincoln Memorial. The lights at the base of the memorial still shone – he'd always wondered if they kept the lights on after midnight. Evidently they did.
He walked closer, examining the memorial more carefully than he had when he'd been here before. The first time, he'd barely been able to take his eyes off Annabeth; she was hot when she was doing her architecture thing, not that that was new information.
This time, he squinted, stretching his calves a little bit as he studied the statue in front of him. It was an amazing thing, although in his opinion it had nothing on classical Greek architecture. Wow, he'd been around Annabeth too much, he realized. Had there been a shadow cast by Abraham Lincoln's elbow earlier that day, though? Had the air smelled quite so sour?
He climbed the first few steps. "Stheno," a raspy voice hissed.
"Sister! I've recovered the half-blood's scent! Over here, Eury!" replied a second voice eagerly.
Some things never change, it dawned on Percy, and he drew his sword quietly as he made his way toward the top.
"No, this way, Eury! I –" One Gorgon tumbled out from behind the Lincoln statue. The other started after her, her finger pointed angrily in the air, when both caught sight of Percy staring at them. Stheno, still lying on her back, got up on one elbow. "Erm – try our new Fruit and Maple Oatmeal for only $1.99. Hi, how may I help you?"
Percy blinked and lowered his sword a little in spite of himself.
Euryale lowered her finger and slowly shouted at him. "Percy Jackson, son of the sea god. It's been a horribly long time."
Stheno smoothed out her uniform, a blue shirt with black pants. "So long that we had to find another job to support ourselves. They liked me so much they were going to make me a manager!" She looked pitiful. "On the upside, our oatmeal is also available without brown sugar!"
Euryale scowled. "Every time, sister, every time. We worked at a McDonald's, Stheno, a McDonald's! And it wasn't to support ourselves. It was for the free food!"
Stheno couldn't keep it together. "And I was lovin' it. Why'd you have to come along, demigod? Eury'll make us move again!"
Euryale shook her head and rolled her ugly eyes back into her head. "This boy sent us back to Tartarus, Stheno. We will get revenge!" After her battle cry, she jumped to Lincoln's lap and then his head, and she took a flying leap off it toward Percy.
Percy'd forgotten how quick the Gorgons were once they stopped bickering. He certainly didn't have much of a battle plan now – hundreds of pounds of Gorgon lady were about to do a belly flop on his head, and he'd never get to say –
Wait. Belly flop. The reflecting pool right behind him. That was it.
Percy ducked as fast as he could, and a sheet of water protected him from a grisly death. Euryale hit his water shield with a thwack and bounced off, landing a few feet from the hero.
"Eury! I've got you!" Percy heard as Stheno bounded toward him and her sister. Stheno slashed at him with her claws, evidently quite incensed that Percy wasn't in the mood for oatmeal. Percy fended her off with Riptide. "I'm sorry, I'm just more of a Burger King guy!"
Both sisters gasped and came at him with renewed fervor. He backed up while ascending the stairs, but evidently that had been the wrong thing to say to two loyal McGorgons. Well, one loyal McGorgon and her more bloodthirsty sister.
They chased him around the statue, swiping their claws and gnashing their tusks. In the background of his mind he heard someone else running up the steps – but he had his hands a little too full to take a look.
The fight wore on, and every time it looked like he might have a shot at a gorgon, the other one would leap in and make him change his focus. Eventually, he realized that his current strategy wasn't going to work; if he could lure them closer to the reflecting pool opposite the monument, though…
He shuffled sideways until his back faced the stairs. "Hey! Hey. I'd make a joke about you two flipping burgers all day long, ladies," he panted. "But you're already up in my grill." They understood the jibe after a longer-than-healthy pause, and looked at each other before turning back to him and lunging. He twisted and flew down the steps, not looking back. He could feel them right behind him, but there was only one flight of stairs left…
He jumped off the last few steps and wheeled around. "Taking too much advantage of those employee discounts, am I right? Otherwise you wouldn't be so out of shape, I s'pose." And he was right – the gorgons were doubled over, gasping and grabbing their sides. Their shadows heaved enormous breaths in unison. To be honest, Percy wasn't much better off, but he heaved his sword and raised his arm to deliver a final blow to one of the sisters – until he noticed the odd effect of one of the memorial's spotlights on a figure nearby.
The figure was a squirrel, he realized as he squinted down at it, still a little breathless. But this squirrel wasn't moving at all. It was frozen in a rather weird position, its hackles raised so dramatically that it sort of seemed like it'd just sensed something truly evil nearby.
The squirrel was made out of stone.
"Percccccy," crooned a musical voice from behind him. Percy nearly turned around as his eyed widened involuntarily. "Ssssuch a beautiful boy."
Percy's heart sped up as he kept facing forward. The voice spoke again. "I usssed to be beautiful too, you know."
Rather than being winded by exhaustion now, Euryale and Stheno were breathless with excitement. "I haven't heard that voice in years!" Euryale chortled. "My baby sister!"
Stheno couldn't hold it together either. "'Dusa! It's you!"
Medusa laughed. "A fitting return, I mussst admit - killing the very boy who put me to sssleep so many yearsss ago." She cackled with glee.
…Percy wasn't excited about the next few minutes of his night.
He tried to get it together, but goosebumps lined his arms as Medusa approached him. What had he done before to defeat her? He could hardly remember through his apprehension... Annabeth and Grover had been there. Free food, a turban… Then his battle senses kicked in and his vision sharpened.
A reflection. The reflecting pool. Water.
But it was dark, too dark.
A battle cry split the night as a certain daughter of Athena ran from the path toward the son of Poseidon and the three gorgons. "Not my boyfriend, you monsters!" she shrieked as she raced toward them. "Not my boyfriend!"
Medusa sniffed. "Not this one again…" she whined.
Percy snapped out of it at the sight of Annabeth. "Hey!" His expression was a mixture of wonder and glee. "How'd you –"
"Rachel," she answered him. "Nightmare." And she stomped on Stheno's toes, stabbing her knife in between one of the gorgon's scales. Just a few feet away, Euryale stiffened, ready to make a break for it. Annabeth got to her first, though, and plunged the knife through her underbelly. "Two down?" she asked triumphantly.
"My girlfriend is an angel," Percy breathed, but Medusa wasn't about to agree.
"Enough!" she called, and grabbed Percy from behind. "If you ever want to sssee this handsome son of Poseidon again…don't look at him now. Athena scum!"
"Percy!" Annabeth said. She started to run toward the sound of Medusa's voice, squeezing her eyes shut.
"Annabeth, no," Percy warned her, but it was too late. Medusa shoved Percy aside and he watched her silhouette descend on Annabeth's. "No!"
Panic swept through him and his heart raced. The reflecting pool bubbled – he gasped and the water sprang up. "Annabeth!"
The whole pavilion flooded with water, collapsing pillars and destroying stairs and pushing Medusa away from Annabeth. The gorgon suffered the same fate as her sisters had the first time they and Percy had met – those were some pretty effective whirlpools, Percy guessed. But most of all he was thinking about Annabeth. She had to be safe.
With Medusa out of the way, he ran toward the daughter of Athena. "I'm okay, Percy, I'm okay."
He knelt down and scooped her up. "You're so brave, 'Beth. I love that about you." The water droplets that stuck to her slowly rolled off, leaving her completely dry after Percy'd finished. He hugged her tight. "Thanks for coming to my rescue."
A few months after a nighttime flood had inexplicably scoured the base of the Lincoln Memorial, head architect Annabeth Chase was still hard at work on the rebuilding efforts. No one could figure out how she'd gotten the job – she was only in her freshman year of college, even if she was attending an Ivy League school. But she'd done some beautiful work so far, by anyone's standards.
She blended classic and clean styles of architecture flawlessly, even planning etchings of mythological figures into the neatly laid steps leading to the mercifully undamaged statue of Abraham Lincoln. Really, no one knew how she'd gotten the job in the first place…but Ms. Chase. She was one to watch.
Deleted Scene – In Which Annabeth Arrives
"Get off my boyfriend, you monster!" Someone crashed into Percy from behind, but it wasn't Medusa. A familiar lemony smell enveloped his senses, and two hands covered his eyes and spun him around. His heart leapt.
"Fight, Percy! Fight Medusa!"
He slashed out wildly with Riptide, and Annabeth yelled. "To your left! Farther! By my calculations…" Soon Percy and Annabeth stood back-to-back, blinded, but still soldiering on.
"Percy," Annabeth whispered. "Kelp Head!" And Percy grunted in response. "Make…a bubble. Condense the molecules. Do whatever you can to make it solid. Buy us some time."
Percy heard the rush of water in his ears, and he looped his arm around Annabeth's waist for support. He tensed, and the bubble became a wall. "What's next…" he heard her muse. "Soap!"
"I pray to the goddess of soap," she said. "Or…the god. Just – please – we need you –" And she was interrupted by some spunky theme music.
"Aphrodite's Essence!" trilled a singsong voice. "I'm always willing to dole out samples to those in need!"
"Goddess of soap…it figures," Annabeth muttered, but she yelled, "Thank you, Lady Aphrodite! We'll remember this!"
Aphrodite responded with but a giggle, and then the theme music got cut off. "Open your eyes, Percy," Annabeth said, her voice sounding eerily loud in the bubble's near-absence of sound. "The view's distorted."
And when Percy opened his eyes, he realized her plan. Medusa hovered outside the bubble, but her face was indiscernible through the distortion caused by the soap plus the water.
Tags: - fanfiction, pairing: percy/annabeth