Disclaimer: I don't own Percy Jackson. But soon I will, once my kidnapping plan goes through.
They were walking along the side of the road, debating what to do next, when she found it.
It certainly was no thing of beauty, caked with grime and almost blending in to the road it was lying on, looking abandoned.
She knew what it felt like to be abandoned, so she scooped it up.
"Thalia! Luke! Look what I found!"
She held out the coin for their inspection.
"Nice," Luke said, grinning. "A lucky quarter."
"Really?" Her eyes were wide.
"Absolutely. Hey, maybe we can get you a gumball from the grocery store next time we stop by."
Annabeth nodded, and gave the quarter to Thalia.
She slipped it into her pocket.
The gumballs were fifty cents apiece.
Annabeth kicked the floor. "Rats."
"Hey, it's okay," Thalia said, a hand on her shoulder. "Lucky quarters are better off unspent, anyways."
Annabeth perked up at that, and she dragged Thalia and Luke across the parking lot to a playground that had caught her eye.
The quarter went back into Thalia's pocket.
It stayed there for a long time.
Luke had intended to go to the archery range, but his feet betrayed him, and he found himself standing at the pine tree that had once been his best friend, the way he did whenever something new was going on.
"Hey, Thalia." He pressed his hand to its trunk- no, her trunk. She was still in there, he was sure of it.
He took a deep breath. "I was made head counselor of the Hermes cabin today," he said softly. "Doesn't feel like a huge accomplishment. It's like being ringleader of that one circus nobody goes to."
He sat down and clasped his hand on one of the roots.
"I miss you Thalia. Every day, I think of you."
He spotted something shiny on the ground, and he picked it up.
It was a quarter.
No, the quarter.
Annabeth's lucky quarter. He'd recognize it anywhere.
"Some luck," he said aloud with a snort, and he brought his arm back to throw the coin far, far away.
Then, he lowered it.
He slipped the quarter into his pocket, leaned against her trunk, and cried.
Later, he made it very obvious to the entirety of Cabin 11 that if anybody touched the coin that he placed next to his bunk, he would find out who did it, and they would be very, very sorry.
She looked up, just to see the one person that she hated more than anybody in the world.
"What are you doing here?" she spat, on her feet in a flash.
Luke looked tired and miserable.
As he should, she thought.
"Thalia, I just-"
She cut him off.
"No. Luke Castellan, there is nothing you can say to me. You betrayed us- all of us."
Her voice dropped to a whisper.
"Why, Luke, why?"
He sighed, and looked her in the eye.
"I'm not here to plead my case. I'm here to give you something."
"I don't want anything from you."
He reached into his pocket, and dropped something into her hand before she could react.
"Do you know what this is?" he asked, gesturing to the small, round thing that he had given her.
"Yes," she said quietly. "It's Annabeth's lucky quarter."
"Very good," he said, and he walked away before she could hit him. Hard.
Thalia sought her out after the battle, and she found her sitting on a bench, staring blankly at the destruction before her.
She jerked back to reality and glanced up.
They sat in silence for a little while longer. Finally, Thalia reached into her pocket.
She dropped the coin into Annabeth's hand.
Judging by her reaction, she knew exactly what it was.
"I- where did you find this?"
"Luke gave it to me."
"Well," Thalia said, standing up. "It's been a lovely little chat, but I need to get back to Artemis, and you need to go back to Percy so he can kiss you senseless."
Thalia was a fast runner, but that didn't stop Annabeth from tackling her.
Thalia grinned up at the Iris-message.
"Hey, Annabeth. How are things going?"
"Great! Marcus just started kindergarten, and Percy got that job he's been hoping for, at the aquarium."
Thalia laughed. "Say hi to both of them for me, okay?"
"Will do. But that's not the reason I called."
Thalia's smile melted. "Is everything okay?"
"Everything's great," Annabeth fingered her shirt. "So great that I got rid of that lucky quarter. I don't need any more luck. I left it on the sidewalk in front of our house."
Thalia laughed. "I bet some other little kid will find it. It'll probably make their day."
Annabeth smiled too, imagining a kid about Marcus' age holding the quarter and grinning.
Some people said that demigods were unlucky. Heck, Annabeth agreed with them, most of the time.
But luck was luck, whether it presented itself to you in a quarter, or a friend.