Author: firetestsgold

Rating: K+/T

Summary: Annabeth should have really been paying more attention to the pan on the stove. Now her apartment is filled with fire and she is stood in the middle of a New York winter in nothing but her pyjamas. "Saying hello was one thing - seeing him in his underwear was another."

Looking back, Annabeth should have seen this one coming. After all, fate did like to screw with her at every opportunity available, and this was no exception. She was also freezing cold, and convinced that her toes were frosting up as she could no longer feel them, dressed as she was in an oversized t-shirt and VERY short shorts. It wasn't what she would typically wear in the middle of a New York winter, but the fire alarm for the apartment building she lived in had gone off, and so everyone had been bundled out into the cold until the building was deemed safe.

This would have all been fine, except for two reasons: one, she was hardly dressed appropriately for such weather and the prying eyes of the drunken New Yorkers wandering the streets on Christmas Eve; and two, Percy Jackson was also evacuated to the same fire assembly point. But that wasn't all. Oh no, because Percy apparently slept in nothing but his boxer shorts - the same 'Finding Nemo' boxer shorts which he was standing in now.

If you hadn't already noticed, Annabeth liked Percy. A lot.

It had all started when she'd moved here - she had been struggling to carry all of her boxes up the stairs and Percy (or as she called him then, Green Eyes) had offered to help her. Of course, she had turned him down - she didn't need help - but the gesture still touched her a little, not that she'd ever admit it.

Since then, she had been intrigued by her neighbour, but not confident enough to say anything to him, a feeling Annabeth wasn't used to.

She learned his name when several of his friends had knocked on her door a couple of months ago, trying to find his apartment. They had very aggressively banged on her door with such aggression that she had gone to get a baseball bat before opening said door. They had all yelled "Percy!" before realising that it was, in fact, not Percy and had apologised profusely. Apparently he had neglected to mention that there was a 52a and a 52b apartment, with him living in the latter, so that had caused some confusion. She had sent them on their way and in thanks Percy had left a cute little dolphin key ring on her door mat with a note saying,

"Thanks Blondie - I owe you one." She had then stuck a post-it note on his bright blue front door (how he had persuaded Mr. D, the landlord to allow that was beyond her) informing him that her name was not Blondie, it was Annabeth and if he ever wanted to have children, he would not call her that ever again. From then on, he had gone out of his way to call her name very loudly whenever he saw her.

Innocent name-exchanging and hellos were all very well, but standing next to him whilst he was half-naked was another matter. However, they weren't the only people at the check-point, which so far had saved her from being noticed by Percy. Currently, he was engaged in deep conversation with Nico DiAngelo and Will Solace, a lovely couple who lived opposite them in apartment 55a and seemed to attend most of Percy's get-togethers with his friends.

Nico stumbled a little as they are talking (not that Annabeth was watching them - why would she be doing that?) and Will put his arm around him.

"We need to get you inside, Sunshine - you'll catch a cold." He steered Nico away from Percy, despite Nico's grumbling protests (he wasn't fooling anyone, Annabeth could see him smiling) and they went to find somewhere warmer.

Annabeth looked around. The only other people who were there were that crazy lady Juno who lived alone with, like, 30 cats after her husband had left her and Silena Beauregard, a model, who's husband was in the military and was away right now in Afghanistan. Percy had already spoken to Silena - she'd seen him with her earlier - and no one ever tried to engage in conversation with Juno, so when she turned her gaze reluctantly to Percy, she found his sea-green eyes already fixed on hers. He was smirking openly at her, and she couldn't help but hold back a groan as he made his way over to her.

"Hey Annabeth," he said, grinning widely, "I've been meaning to ask you, is it just Annabeth or do you do nicknames?"

"No nicknames. Ever." She nearly spat in his face she was so quick to answer that question, which she was sure he found SUPER attractive, and what did she expect him to say to that? She had effectively shut down any conversation, stupid Annabeth, oh GOD...

He cleared his throat and tried again, "Got a surname?"

"... Chase."

He smiled at that, evidently seeing it as progress and GODDAMNIT he had a great smile.

"What do you think made the alarm go off?" he asked, and Annabeth blanched because she knew exactly what had made the alarm go off.

She had been making scrambled eggs when her best friend Jason had called her, asking for urgent help with his crush Piper and she had completely forgotten about said eggs in the process of assuring Jason that Piper was "into him, don't worry". Annabeth had only been alerted to the once scrambled, now incinerated eggs by the smoke pouring out of the kitchen. That set her alarm off, and in a fit of panic she had thrown the pan outside her apartment, eggs and all. Unfortunately, they were still smoking and partly on fire, so the building alarm had been set off too.

There was no way that she was telling Percy this though, and so she said simply,

"Could have been anything," and changed the subject.

Pretty soon after that, Mr. D came outside and informed them that they could return inside. He had stalked off, muttering about ungrateful residents and faulty smoke alarms as Percy, Annabeth, Silena and crazy Juno had headed back up the stairs.

They were just about to head inside their respective apartments, and then Percy stopped her.

"Listen, Annabeth. I was wondering if, you know, you aren't busy... Well. New Year's Eve is coming up soon and if you don't have friends coming round... Not that you don't have friends I mean, but. Yeah. Maybe, Fancy it?" He said, quickly, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.

Annabeth stared. Was he asking her out?

Before she could say something witty and, you know, vaguely appropriate for the situation, her mouth took over. Before she could even register what she was saying, the words "Nice boxer shorts - finding nemo suits you...", effectively ruining any kind of conversation they might have been having.

Dammit, she'd been doing so well on not mentioning his state of undress...

Mortified, she tried to scuttle into her apartment, but Percy blocked the door. Surprisingly, he was grinning.

"I'm going to take that as a yes. New Year's Eve at mine then? If you come round at about eight-ish."

Unable to do anything other than nod mutely, Annabeth slowly moved her head up and down in affirmation, mouth still hanging open.

Percy grinned, and with a, "great, see you then!" he jogged into his apartment.

Annabeth stood for a moment, before she too turned to head back inside, still a little in shock as to what had just happened.

(Even tripping over the pan of charcoal eggs in the doorway couldn't wipe the grin off her face).

(And the next time the fire alarm went off because of burning eggs, Percy and Annabeth evacuated their apartment together, laughing).

AN: I know it's quite short, but I enjoyed writing it. It's my first fanfiction that I'm publishing properly, so please be nice... This was based off a tumblr prompt I found, so credit for that to whoever wrote the prompt. Thanks for reading!