Author's notes: I'm being mighty productive this month. I figured after I hinted at it in the last fic, I might as well address sex between Percy and Annabeth in my next one. Sadly all you smut fan girls will be disappointed; this occurs after all the action.

This was written for the prompt battle being held over at pjo_fic_battle on LiveJournal. It's open to anyone who wants to write and there's well over 150 prompts of various pairings and types to chose from. Links are on my profile page if you're interested!

Disclaimer: I don't own Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Still the Same

Somehow, Annabeth thought as she stared at the ceiling, she didn't feel any different.

It wasn't like she didn't feel anything, because she most certainly did – she just didn't feel any different than she had an hour ago, before she and Percy had stumbled into his bed, and did it for the first time.

They hadn't planned on doing it, of course; plans just weren't how they operated. It was just a matter of simple coincidence…and maybe some heavy handed influence on Annabeth's part. Percy's parents had left for a conference for the weekend, and the two of them hadn't seen each other for a good chunk of time because of conflicting schedules and heavy homework loads. Things always got hot and heavy between them when they were apart, and it finally got to the tipping point tonight, which Annabeth had been trying to get to for ages. For a seventeen year old guy, Percy sure was a bit of a prude.

According to all the books she'd read, the movies and TV shows she watched, or the whispers from girls huddled in the bathroom, she was supposed to feel guilty or shameful that she hadn't waited, maybe, or overly emotionally and ready to declare everlasting love to the naked boy on the bed beside her, if she really wanted to go to the extreme. She was supposed to have reached a milestone in her life, and she was supposed to be different now.

She wasn't.

She'd heard all these things about sex changing a relationship, changing the people in the relationship by bringing them closer together, and she wasn't sure when this change was going to kick in. Or if it was going to kick in. If she didn't feel any different now, why would she the second or tenth or twenty-seventh time?

What if there was something wrong with her? What if she hadn't done this right and she'd never feel that change? Did that mean that her and Percy's relationship wasn't special, just because she didn't feel closer to him? Did that mean the last year and a half of their relationship meant nothing and that it was all going to come crumbling down – ?

"Stop thinking so loud, Wise Girl," Percy mumbled suddenly, shifting beside her. His arm wrapped around her waist and tugged her into curve of his body. Annabeth tensed slightly at the contact, still a little embarrassed to be naked and touching him. "You okay?"

"Fine," she said, tracing the line of his neck with her fingertips. "Percy, do you… do you feel any different?"

"Most of my body feels like jelly right now; that's a difference," he replied, grinning. When she didn't return his grin, it faded and his brow wrinkled. "Or is this one of those philosophical questions I'll be shit at answering, Annabeth?"

"No. I mean, I guess…" she let out a huff of air, feeling her eyes beginining to prick with tears. Oh no, she was not going to cry. She wasn't going to freak out about something as stupid as this. "I guess I thought things were supposed to be special between us now or something."

Percy must've detected the warble in her voice, because he pushed himself up onto his jelly-like elbows and hovered over her, staring at her with worried green eyes.

"Hey, it's okay," he soothed, reaching out to brush a few stray tears from her cheeks. "We're fine. We've always been fine, sex or no sex."

"But that's the problem!" Annabeth said, feeling more useless tears come rushing forth. Gods, she hated crying for no good reason, especially in front of Percy. "Sex is supposed to be this big damn deal, and now that it's done, there's no difference in our relationship. We're still the same."

Percy was silent for a long time, staring at her inscrutably. She had to look away after a while, ashamed of herself. He was probably thinking about what an idiot she was, crying over the fact that sex hadn't ruined their relationship or advanced it on an emotional level at all. She was sure something like this hadn't even crossed Percy's mind afterwards because he just didn't think like that.

"Maybe," Percy began hesitantly. "Maybe sex isn't supposed to be a big deal. For us, at least."

He paused, unsure of her reaction, and she nodded for him to continue.

"For other people, this is problem the first time they ever trust someone so deeply to get that close without hurting them. But you and I, we've trusted each other to go on quests across the country together. We save each other lives at least once every summer, and we've seen each other at our worst. Hell," Percy reached out and fingered the long, gray strand of hair hanging in her eyes, "we've even got matching gray streaks. We didn't need sex to make our relationship special, and if you need any proof of that, there's a spot on my back that says you already own me body and soul."

Annabeth let out something that was a cross between a joyous sob and a chuckle. Percy could be depressingly obtuse most of the time, but he always pulled through when she need him to.

"When did you get so smart, Seaweed Brain?" she asked, moving her hand up to cup his cheek.

"About the same time I started dating this awesome girl. She's a daughter of Athena, you know, and sometimes she likes to overanalyze things, but most of the time she's pretty cool."

She arched an eyebrow, her fears about their relationships retreating and being replaced with playful annoyance.

"Most of the time?"

"Yeah, except when she makes me do my math homework. Speaking of which, I have a lot to do right now," he continued, his grin coming back full force. "Since we've established that sex isn't anything special, maybe I should – "

Annabeth silenced him with a well-placed kiss on the lips, which he enthusiastically returned. As she sunk back into the pillows with Percy's weight pressing against her, she was sort of glad she was still the same after all.

Thanks for reading, and reviews are appreciated.