Author's Note: Thanks for sticking with me, everyone. Hope you like it!
Summary: Sometimes he forgets what vulnerability is like. Set sometime after Heroes of Olympus.
He forgets sometimes what it's like to be vulnerable.
It's easy to forget what a punch in the stomach can feel like or how much a paper cut can sting or how it is to scar. He never has to worry about that, and he definitely knows how lucky he is. The concept of no pain sounds amazing, of course in a way it is, but there are a few downsides as well.
It's really, really easy to forget.
But when he sees Annabeth carried into Camp Half Blood looking like she was balancing on the brink of death, the sensations and memories come flying back. The pain. The torture. The scars.
Her blonde hair is mangled and pieces of it fly in different directions. She can't even walk and it looks like she's about to go into shock. He can tell her breath is short and gaspy, like no matter how much she tries she can't get enough air. Leo and Jason carry her, and although they're both injured as well, neither of their injuries can compare to the way Annabeth looks, and the blood seeping out of her shirt.
Percy doesn't think. He pushes away through the crowd of campers that has just started to form and darts out to meet the group of three. He glances at Annabeth before glaring at the duo, "What happened?" He manages to keep his voice even.
Leo looks like he is about to respond, but before he has the opportunity to even move his mouth, Chiron interrupts, "No time at the moment. Come with me." Even Chiron looks worried.
Percy knows he's crossing his boundaries when he steps in and blocks Chiron to face them, "No. Tell me what happened," he tenderly takes Annabeth's hand while still glaring at them. "How could you let this happen?"
"Seaweed Brain," Annabeth manages to say, before nearly coughing up blood. "I'm fine."
"No, you're not!" he grabs on to the bottom of her shirt. "Just…just let me see."
Chiron pushed him out of the way, "I have already said, now is not the time. They need to heal before anything more can be done."
As Percy watches the three of them and Chiron walk away, he can feel himself shaking. He looked down at his right hand, now covered in blood. Annabeth was injured and he couldn't help but think maybe…maybe if he had gone with them…he shakes any other thoughts out of his head. He lets some amount of time go by, that feels like an eternity, before leaving to go find them again.
He sees Jason first. It only takes approximately three seconds for Percy to shove him and against the wall and demand, "What happened?"
Jason knows he could easily move out from being trapped against the wall and attack Percy, but decides against it. "Annabeth, Leo, and I went across the city looking for parts for Leo's latest gadget, whatever the heck that is. We ran into some monsters along the way."
The answer doesn't satisfy Percy and he moves his elbow dangerously close to Jason's neck. "Mind telling me why Annabeth is so torn up, yet you and Leo look fine?"
Jason's eyes narrowed before answering, "A monster seemed to pop out of nowhere and tried to attack Leo from behind. Of course, Annabeth had his back. She took a pretty bad blow for him."
"Well, maybe if you two-"
A voice down the hall interrupted him. "Stop fighting, you guys. As if all of us already don't feel bad enough," Leo sighed before looking Percy in the face. "I'm sorry."
Percy released Jason and turned to Leo, "Where is she?" His face gave off a 'if-you-don't-tell-me-now-I'll-never-forgive-you' look.
"Third door on the right."
Percy rushed past Leo without a second glance. Leo looked to Jason, "He seemed to really have you there."
Jason snorted, "I only let him because I know how worried he is."
"I hope he's not mad at me forever," Leo sighed.
"Of course not," Jason gave him a half smile. "I'm sure once Annabeth recovers, he'll forgive you in a heartbeat."
Leo glanced down the hallway Percy had nearly ran down, "I hope so."
When Percy finally arrived outside the door, he took a calming breath before letting himself in. He walked over to where Annabeth was lying down, "How are you feeling?"
"With all this ambrosia and nectar?" Annabeth smiled. "A lot better."
"Can I see it?" He stares at the bandages that encircle her stomach.
Annabeth hesitates, "Percy, I really don't think-"
"Please. I have to."
She nods, "Okay, but trust me, they're not as bad as they look."
But they look horrible. Percy slowly unravels the bandages and sees a mixture of red, yellow and blue. The scratches are so deep there's no doubt they'll scar. He glances at all the other wounds and scars on her body. All marks of how fragile she really was, compared to him. It's not long before Annabeth wraps them back up again.
"It's just-" Percy falters. "It's just sometimes I forget how easy it is…"
Annabeth immediately knows what he's talking about. "But I'm okay, Seaweed Brain. Nothing happened."
Percy tries to process that information, nodding all the while. "You're right," he smiles softly and takes her hand. "You're going to be fine." And really, that's all that could ever matter to him.
She squeezes his hand, "Exactly."
Before she could say more, Percy looked her straight in the eyes. "I'm never going to let anything hurt you ever again."
And even though they both knew the likelihood of that happening was extremely small, for monsters and pain wait around every corner, they smiled and nodded, their hands emerged in each others.
A/N: I've always wanted to write something like that, and I'm glad I finally got to. By the way, if anyone has any ideas or requests for a oneshot, let me know!