Hello again! Long time, no see! As promised, here is the sequel. Happy New Years to everyone and please read on!

Disclaimer: I DO NOT own PJO. Seriously. (But I did enjoy writing the endings in each chapter, so you can say we agree on the torturous endings thing.)

Annabeth's POV

Seeing Percy again after what had been a year, I felt the need to do one of three things; stand there and take in that he was actually real, kiss him in a complete un-Annabeth-like fashion, and of course, give him a good knock to the face for doing something so unbelievably stupid.

After believing him gone for so long, I had no way to react. What was I supposed to do? Tell him that I love him in a totally mushy romance-novel type of way? Wrap my arms around him, like I would a baby? None of these ideas were right. They simply weren't me, and I knew that Percy wouldn't expect me to do anything like that. In fact, I believe that he wouldn't want me to do that.

This meeting had to be real. I wasn't going to pretend to be happy after finding out that he nearly killed himself in a suicidal explosion. No. There was no way I was going to react calmly to something like that, and he knew it. I could tell by the way he readied himself the moment he saw me.

For that reason, I felt justified in doing what I couldn't stop myself from acting on next.

Seeing Percy sitting there in front of me on a comfortable leather chair in a nice room warmed with a cozy fireplace, I let my emotions go wild. All the anger, all the sadness, and all the freaking hopelessness from the past months built up inside me, and knowing perfectly well what I was doing, I stomped up to the seaweed-brain and punched him straight in his stupid face.

"YOU IDIOT!" I screamed, nearly losing my voice with those two words.

Percy cringed, holding his already swelling cheek gingerly behind his calloused hand. "Hello to you too, wise-girl."

I sent him my best glare, powerful enough to make even Thalia flinch. Sure enough, he sank a little deeper into his chair. Surprisingly, he didn't look away from my face, almost as if he was trying to take it in…

I shook my head, trying to cover the furious blush on my face with anger. "What were you thinking! Reyna gave you that charm as a means of escape if you needed one, not to blow yourself up! You're lucky that Poseidon saved you on time!"

Percy stiffened, suddenly looking not at all afraid of my wrath.

"Right," he said. "Lucky me."

I ignored it, figuring that I would find out more about his random shift of mood later on.

Now that we have a later…

I suppressed a hidden smile.

"Do you realize what you did?" I asked. "You could've killed yourself! We-we thought you'd managed it. Your mom, she was so upset! She wouldn't eat or talk or even-"

"Are you sure she was the only one who was upset?" Percy questioned, smirking despite the seriousness of the situation.

Why you little…

"You shouldn't be joking about this," I snapped. "We really thought you were dead. All this time…" My eyes flitted to the side, avoiding the sea green mess staring back at me. "I missed you so much."

I inspected the red-painted walls surrounding us in the elaborate bedroom, pretending that I couldn't hear the silent sound of Percy getting up from his seat and cupping my face in his hands. Even so, it was hard to act as if I couldn't feel the warmth radiating from Percy's familiar body. To my annoyance, it was impossible to hold back the soft sigh of relief that escaped me.

Percy didn't comment on it, instead leaning his forehead onto mine, letting his breaths synchronize with my own. "I'm sorry, Annabeth."

It was hardly anything above a whisper, but that made his words all the more intense in this oh-so-silent room. With only the two of us leaning into each other's heat, it was easy to forget we had problems beyond that of a normal couple's.

Afraid to disturb the silence encompassing us, I kept my voice low and far from anything a bystander would hear. "Why would you think of that as an option? You knew that I was alive, so what was your reason for believing that nothing was left? Am I really only a nothing to you? An intangible object that can be thrown away?"

Percy tilted my head up, forcing me to see what turned out to be an angry expression. "Stop over-thinking things. It's a bad habit."

I scoffed. "Like you're one to talk."

He let out a sigh like I had, only his was one of annoyance. "Okay, fine, whatever. We both overthink things, but don't start assuming that any of this happened because I didn't care enough about you. That's a lie. I pushed that button because I thought of you."

"That doesn't make any sense, even coming from you."

"It does. You're my wise-girl, so you'll figure it out soon enough." Percy smiled, although I noted that it wasn't as bright as it was before. "For now, just call me an idiot again and kiss me, alright?"

I studied Percy's face, seeing the bags and pale tinge in his skin. Something was definitely off, but I knew that poking at it now would solve nothing. At the moment, all he needed was reassurance and someone to hold. Although my anger hadn't fully gone away, I let myself be his anchor for as long as he would allow before he went back to carrying the burden himself.

Damn him.

"You idiot," I muttered, wrapping my arms around his neck. "You better not do that again."

Percy let the tip of his nose brush mine, and spoke his words over my lips. "That's a promise."

After that, there really was no one else but us in that very calm and peaceful room. The world was no longer an abstract object.

If I could convince myself that no other human existed beyond this stupidly sweet man and me, I would believe it whole-heartedly. The firm way he held me, like I wasn't a weak little child, was enough to make my heart beat stronger than before. His lips spoke of the faith we had in each other, the oath we had left to keep, and the desperation we'd been holding in for so long.

I let my fingers caress his face, like I'd done a number of times before.

Outside the windows, the snow fell in silence; everything white and impossibly dream-like, as though my heart conjured the image it wished for most.

I sighed inaudibly, my breath caught between Percy's salty lips.

I really do love you, Seaweed-Brain.

And there it is, the end of the first chapter! :) I hope you enjoyed it!

The cover image will be made and released in due time, and the chapters will be weekly because I like reading responses and such.

The next update will be Monday, 6 January 2015. Buh-bye!

(And have a great day or night or whatever!)