Hello PJO fandom! First time I'm writing a PJO fic, written in thirty minutes with no revision because I currently attempting to finish studying for a science exam! Hope you enjoy!

There's more than meets the eye

By Nymph of the Night

Chapter One – The beginning of the nightmare

This was driving her absolutely crazy.

Annabeth watched as her little brother stumbled clumsily past her, laughing loudly as he ran round the shop and waved in and out of aisles and her father chased him with a manic grin. If only his solemn colleagues could see him now, she reflected irately.

Bobby ran behind her and grabbed her blonde ponytail.

"Bethy, play!" he demanded, drooling slightly in excitement; yanking her hair with unnecessary force as though nothing would please him better than pulling her hair off her skull.

"Bobby!" she swatted his hand with hysterical force and the young boy withdrew his hand as if stung, looking mournful. Annabeth cursed mutely as tears welled up in his big caramel eyes and he stumbled back to her father, bawling.

"Annabeth beat me," he complained, sniffling as his father gathered him up in a delicate cuddle and fondled his hair gently. "Annabeth don't like to play!"

"Now, Bobby, I'm sure Annabeth didn't mean to," he said smoothly and Bobby looked slightly mollified as she pushed away from his father's embrace and sauntered off to join his mother.

Frederick Chase turned and looked down at Annabeth, who was studying the floor as though intent to attain a doctorate on it's molecular composition, and put his hand on her shoulder. An understanding touch.

"Annabeth, could you not sulk for one moment please?" he pleaded, having eyed the surroundings for inconspicuous eavesdroppers before addressing his irritated daughter. "I know that you detest shopping with us, but, maybe, we could just, you know, try-"

"I am trying, Dad," Annabeth insisted, looking back into his abruptly sombre eyes. "It's just-"

"Fred! A little help!" her stepmother's voice sounded agitated as she attempted to reach a tin of cat food that was at least two heads too high for her to reach.

Professor Chase shot Annabeth apologetic glance as he dashed off to aid his complaining wife with the "procurement of necessary grocery articles" and "helping the vertically challenged" as she put it, Annabeth snorted, making herself unobtrusive amongst the noisy crowd of shoppers.

She couldn't believe she had actually been persuaded to come shopping with them. It was a usual routine for her to remain in her room when she was at home, reading through old design guides and browsing Daedalus' laptop, a priceless asset to keep boredom at bay. Social interaction with her family were habitually avoided other than lunch and dinner, which her father insisted she come down for, even though she would prefer a tray to be sent up to her. And shopping with them? Annabeth couldn't even stomach the whole need for shopping, let alone it being done with people she didn't get along with.

She pushed her way past through a group of babbling blondes and headed towards the book section, which was visibly less crowded than the rest of the departmental store. A lone figure lingered her and there, flipping through pages of books.

Peace and quiet. Just what I need, she mused as she quickened her pace towards the stacks of books. She picked up one, and then, put it away instantly. The dyslexia made it impossible to read.

She cursed again. Here she was, stuck in a department store for at least two hours more, until her stepmother completed her mandatory monthly shopping session with a pile of books she couldn't read. Her luck could hardly get worse, she thought.

As usual, she didn't have a clue as to how wrong she was.

She stepped back, not really paying attention to where she was going and bumped into something. Human-like.

She spun on her heel.

And there she was, her red-headed nightmare.

To be continued …

See the purple button? Press it and drop a line, if you reached this far. It'll help me get through my exams! Sorry about any errors!