Title: Growing Up
Rating: T – mild language and some normal teenage behavior
Disclaimer: Percy Jackson and its affiliated characters do not belong to me. I mean no copyright infringement. I only use them as a means to de-stress myself.
Summary: Annabeth and Percy spend the summer before their senior year at Camp Half-Blood, happily together as a couple. But when Annabeth gets an opportunity she can't resist and leaves Percy behind, how will our two favorite half-bloods cope? (Set about a year after the end of The Last Olympian) Percabeth
Spoilers: All of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Books (not including Heroes of Olympus)
Chapter 1 – I Soak Annabeth
I saw her at the edge of the wooden pier that stretched out to the middle of the lake. She was lying on her stomach, leaning on her elbows. Her hair was in a messy ponytail. She had on her usual orange Camp Half-Blood T-Shirt and Jean shorts. She looked relaxed even though she had her knife strapped around her waist. She didn't go anywhere without that.
A book was open in front of Annabeth. She looked completely enthralled. I watched as she flipped a page. From where I was standing, I couldn't see what she was reading, but I didn't need to see to know what it was. It was most definitely a book about architecture. And although I couldn't see her eyes either, I also knew that they would be gleaming a bright gray. It's what happened every time Annabeth even so much as thought about architecture. And, I happened to notice, recently her eyes usually took on the same color when she was looking at me. Unless she was angry with me, of course.
I stood for a few seconds, just watching her. I would be too embarrassed to admit out loud just how often I found myself staring at her. In the last year or two, I noticed it more and more. Sometimes I would just watch her from the other side of the room. Or even when she was talking to me, I would sometimes tune out what she was saying and just stare at her features. A few times she caught me, but I always managed to brush it off. But there I was again, ogling at her like some stalker from a few yards away. She was hard not to stare at. She was beautiful. And I should know. I had met Aphrodite, Calypso, and dozens of other godly creatures whose main goal was to be beautiful. But Annabeth blew them all out of the water with her natural beauty. And the best part was, she didn't even know how beautiful she was.
I walked closer to the dock. Hearing the sound of my footsteps, she turned around to look. Annabeth always had good instincts. After fighting monsters for years, you get a sixth sense of when anyone or anything is trying to sneak up on you. She smiled when she saw me, which sent a little tingle through my body. I loved her smile.
That's when I decided I was in the mood for a swim and maybe a little showing off. I raced down the pier at full speed.
"Percy, what are you…" I could hear Annabeth saying. But before she could finish her sentence, I had launched myself into the air, off the end of the pier. I did a perfect cannonball into the lake, creating a large splash. Normally I would have stayed down in the water a little longer, a trick that Annabeth knew I was more than capable of, but I wanted to see her so I popped back up to the surface. Annabeth was holding her book between two fingers. It was dripping wet. As was her orange T-Shirt. I'm not going to lie, I didn't mind that very much, but I did mind the scowl she had on her face.
"Percy Jackson!" She yelled sternly. "You are incorrigible!"
Even though she was yelling at me, I could tell she was kidding around with me. At least, I think she was kidding. Plus, I didn't quite know what that word meant. And I definitely would never have been able to spell it.
"Let me help you," I said, barely needing to tread water. Being the son the sea god meant I could basically be still in the water and float without working very hard.
I swam up to the edge of the dock and waved my hand in front of the book. Immediately, it dried as if it had never been wet in the first place. This was a trick it had taken me a long time to acquire, but it had proven to be a pretty useful skill. And it was fun to show off just a little.
Annabeth ran her hand through her wet hair and looked down at her wet shirt. When she noticed me staring at her, her soaked shirt hugging her in all of the right places, I blushed before waving my hands and drying her too.
"Boys," she mumbled, sitting with her legs dangling over the edge of the dock.
"Come on, you're not really mad at me, are you?"
She rolled her eyes. I reached up and put my hand on her knee. She placed her hand over mind. As our fingers intertwined together, a smile crept on her face and I knew I had her.
"What are you doing here anyway?" She asked. "I thought you were dueling with Harry."
I shrugged, not willing to tell her that I had told Harry I wasn't interested. Dueling could be a lot of fun, but so could hanging out with your girlfriend.
"I just wasn't feeling it today," I replied. "So I thought I'd come look for you."
"Well, you sure know how to make an entrance."
"I've missed you," I admitted.
"We saw each other at breakfast."
"Yeah, but you were with the other Athena kids."
I looked into her eyes. As I expected, they were that dreamy gray color. I could get lost in her eyes forever.
Maybe this is the part where I should tell you how Annabeth and I ended up here in the first place. So, when we first met, Annabeth and I were barely friends. I was twelve years old and just finishing the 6th grade when I learned I was a half-blood, you know, half god and half mortal. When I came to Camp Half-Blood, Annabeth was basically the first person I met. She nursed me back to health after I had an unfortunate run-in with a Minotaur. When I first saw her, I thought she was beautiful. She told me I drooled in my sleep. Not quite the best first impression a guy wants to make. But back then we were way more focused on saving the world than anything romantic. After a bunch of quests during which time Annabeth and I saved each other's lives like a million times, I started to see her a little differently. It was the small things at first. You know, like I noticed the way the sun shone on her blond hair, making it almost look like it was glowing. I noticed that I would get tongue-tied just trying to talk to her, which is difficult when you rely on each other to keep each other safe. And I started wanting to be close to her. You know, like, physically close. Not that I have very many, but I'm pretty sure friends aren't interested in touching each other like all the time.
It was the day I turned sixteen that sort of changed everything for me and Annabeth. After we both nearly died battling Cronos and his monsters to save Olympus and New York City, we retreated to camp. That's when she kissed me. Like, really kissed me. Not just some small peck on the cheek or the lips or anything. I know, being the guy I probably should have made the first move, but Annabeth certainly doesn't believe in gender roles and I'm glad. I don't know if I ever would have plucked up the courage to actually kiss her. But it was like the best kiss ever. Except for maybe the underwater one after that. And the one in The Big House after that and the one when we snuck behind my cabin and…
Anyway, to sum things up, Annabeth and I had been going out since then. We didn't get to spend as much time together during the school year as we would have liked since we went to two different schools, but the schools were both in Manhattan so we did our best with seeing each other on the weekends and things. And of course ever since we got back to camp for the summer two weeks ago, we'd been spending tons of time together. It's been almost a full year since that kiss on my birthday and it's been great. I mean, sure, we still have disagreements every once and a while and the other campers sometimes make fun of us, but it's all worth it. Because Annabeth is…
"What are you staring at me?" Annabeth asked, knocking me out of my daydream.
Darn it. I hadn't meant to stare at her. It was just so easy to get lost in her eyes.
"I...I…" I stammered. "You're beautiful."
I could see the blush creeping onto her cheeks. Even though I had told Annabeth I thought she was beautiful before, it felt like every time I said it to her, it was the first time.
"You think you're such a smooth talker, Percy Jackson."
"That's because I am," I said.
I burst out of the water and kissed her. I have to admit that one perk of having a girlfriend is that you get to kiss them pretty much whenever you want. Unless she's mad at me. And if there's one thing I liked better than spending time with Annabeth, it was kissing Annabeth.
Somehow I managed to sit down on the dock beside her without breaking the kiss. When it was over, Annabeth leaned her head on my shoulder.
"What is?" I asked.
"That you're bone dry."
I looked down at my own clothes. She was right. There wasn't a drop of water on me.
"Just another perk of…"
"Being the son of the sea god," Annabeth finished, mocking me. I put my arm around her shoulder. "What do you think they're doing right now?"
"Who?" I asked.
"My mom and your dad."
This was a little game Annabeth and I liked to play. Since we barely knew anything about our godly parents and had only ever seen them a few times, we liked to think about what they were doing. Sometimes we would make up these crazy, ridiculous stories about them. And sometimes we were really just curious.
"Maybe they're bowling," I suggested.
She raised an eyebrow and laughed. "Do you think there's a bowling alley at Mount Olympus?"
I shrugged. "Maybe."
"Or maybe they're going out for frozen yogurt," Annabeth joked.
"With triton shaped sprinkles," I added.
"And lots of hot fudge."
I looked over at Annabeth. "Hot fudge?"
"What? It's my favorite ice cream topping. My dad doesn't like it so I figured my mom must."
I understood Annabeth's longing to feel in some way connected to her mom. Most half-bloods wanted to know more about their parents. And we were some of the lucky ones who had actually met our parents. Even though the gods had promised me they would do a better job of claiming their children, it still was difficult not really knowing your parent.
"I bet your mom is currently yelling at my dad because she disapproves that one of her children is fraternizing with his son," I said.
"Is that what we're doing? Fraternizing?" Annabeth asked with a chuckle.
"Oh, we're going to be doing a whole lot more than that."
As I leaned in to kiss her again, a crack of lighting appeared over the lake. It was rare that Camp Half Blood had any kind of weather event. The lighting could only mean that the gods were watching and possibly listening.
"Well, let's give them something to talk about," Annabeth suggested.
I looked over at her just as her lips crashed into mine. Have I mentioned just how much I enjoy kissing Annabeth? It was as if all of the rational thought in my head disappeared and all I could think about was the touch of her lips and taking in as much of her as I could. She tasted like peppermint and smelled like a mixture of honey and the sweetest flower you've ever smelled. She was perfect.
"Annabeth Chase!" I heard someone yell.
Annabeth and I broke apart instantly. Although we weren't officially breaking any rules, Chiron had mentioned to us on more than one occasion that he didn't approve of us going off all alone and 'acting like teenagers' and doing 'things that teenagers do' as he put it. I meant no disrespect for Chiron, but after everything we had been through, Annabeth and I deserved to go off as much as we wanted and just act like teenagers.
We both turned around to see who had yelled her name. It was a camper who had arrived at camp a year earlier. She was a daughter of Iris, one of the minor gods. She was the first one in the new cabin that had been built in honor of her mother. She clearly was embarrassed at finding us practically making out on the dock. I didn't know her name, but I knew that she often worked in the Big House with Chiron, often delivering messages and running errands. She wasn't much of a fighter, but she was very organized.
"Yes?" Annabeth asked, standing up.
The girl stayed at the end of the pier as if she were afraid of getting any closer.
"Chiron wants to see you," the girl said.
"Ok, thanks Ashley."
The girl ran off like she was being chased by a monster. And trust me, I know what that's like.
"What's that all about?" I asked.
Annabeth shrugged. "I don't know, but I guess I better go find out." She squeezed my hand.
"See you tonight at dinner?" I asked her.
She nodded. "And don't forget about the bonfire," she added.
"I wouldn't miss it."
I watched her walk down the pier and I have to admit, it wasn't a bad view at all.
Author's Note: Wow, it's been a long time since I've written a Percy Jackson story. Recently I had the opportunity to see The Lighting Thief: A Percy Jackson Musical (which was phenomenal) and it reminded me of how much I love this series. I started listening to all of the books on audiobook and got sucked in all over again. That inspired me to want to start writing again, so here it is. I also got the inspiration for this chapter from some artwork I recently purchased by Viria. If you haven't seen her work, check it out on Society 6. Anyway, this story will probably be about 15 chapters. I hope you liked it! There's a lot more Percabeth to come!