Somewhat of an Analogy
A/N: Warning! Minor spoilers for the Last Olympian and Battle of the Labyrinth. I've actually had this for quite a while, but I had absolutely no idea how to tie up the AnnabethxPercy, until all of your lovely reviews for my other PJ fic encouraged me to get off my butt! Unfortunately, it doesn't quite match the tone the previous three were written in, so I'm afraid you'll have to try and tolerate it.
P.S. There is now a poll on my profile. GO VOTE. Please. :)
Love was holding hands in front of dying fires with your faces half-melted in shadows, your hearts tucked where nobody can see and singing stupid songs that you haven't heard since you were eight— Camp Down Harpies Sing This Song and Kumbaya and Home on Camp Half-Blood— so your voices mingle glow and mingle together in the ember-flecked night air.
The best part is how nobody else knows so it's a secret, and you love secrets, since they're always the flick of his tongue when he talks or light in your heart when he laughs and the feel of his calluses rubbing against yours as your nails dig moon-shaped marks into each other's palms.
And both of you knew how to keep a secret.
To you, she was happiness incarnate: how her hair rolls gently around the slope of her shoulders like silk and
golden mountains under waves of bronze and
a thousand million miles of forever.
How she balances you first name—Charlie—on the tip of her quicksilver lips and makes it sound like Apollo rising and Sirens singing and absolutelybeautiful for the first time you've ever heard it, and how she can conjure rainbows from empty windows and make her a universe—
She was your universe, a battalion of stars and shine and whole-moons, half-moons, sun-dunked asteroids.
And when you leave, it is teetering solar systems as everything skews off course and turns to glass, shattering; one piece at a time as the stars implode and you turn into an empty window again.
And when she comes, she flies like an angel, and her soul is soft as flower petals in your arms, silk and waves and miles and kilometers overflowing, and your lips meet—you can almost taste paradise in her breath—and she smiles, and
you see happiness incarnate. she is beautiful.
You're the one who sees him first.
With your slender-limbed branches and sun-strung eyes and thorny nest of nettled hair hidden among the grove of musky juniper, with your nimble feet that's spent centuries flitting among the dusk-kissed earth running the from the lewd and the lovesick.
He is awkward; he trips over his fake feet and fumbles with his cans and plays shaky yet lilting tunes on his flute. He, like all of his kind, is lovesick (she sees him doggedly trailing after those Hunters every time without fail), but he isn't lewd, and unlike so many he listens, he waits, he fades into the background so nobody else does.
So when he approaches you, softly, shyly, with his running shoes and a sprig of juniper, you laugh and watch him blush, and dart into the woods and flinging branches into his face—
and let him catch you.
Sometimes, Percy Jackson felt immortal.
It wasn't a display of hubris, of course, nor was it a self-condemnation.
It was a fact. Pure and simple.
And he hates it.
He hates how he has to take practically a dozen naps a day or else his lethargy kicks in and no caffeine in the world could wake him up. He hates watching all of his other, normal friends play Capture the Flag while he's sitting on the sidelines, indestructible and infallible and ohsouseless.
He hates how people look at him with awestruck reverence when arrows and lances bounce off his skin like twigs, as if he wasn't a half-blood. Wasn't one of them.
But most of all, he hates how he might not be one of them. Not anymore.
[okay. so maybe there was some self-condemnation in this.]
"Sometimes, I'm scared that I'll just end up like the gods." He tells Annabeth. She's typing on the laptop that seems perpetually perched on her legs, and his head is on her shoulder, blond hair tickling his cheeks. It smelt nice. Like ripe strawberries and sunshine and everything good in the world.
"I'm afraid that I'll be so permanent and so indestructible that I'll be stuck in it and I'll never be able to change." And he knows his voice is shaking, because he can't keep the frustration out of it, and that his hands are shaking too, and only one word could be used to describe him right now:
Annabeth stops typing.
She closes her laptop with the unfamiliarity of someone who has kept it on for far too long, hooks her arms around his neck, and suddenly buries her nose into his chest, stifling his jerk of surprise.
[he doesn't really mind.]
Then, her fingers creep along his back and then tiptoe onto that spot, his (metaphorical) Achilles Heel. "Just remember, Seaweed Brain," Her muffled voice wafts up. "that you are not virtually indestructible, so don't give yourself airs about being immortal. Also," Annabeth lifts her head and smiles.
[he stops breathing]
"There's nothing wrong with the way you are now. I like it."
[his heart is beating triple-time now, and he wonders if it will burst out of his chest]
"And if you ever make like the gods do and produce a bunch of illegitimate, green-eyed babies with people other than your wife—or girlfriend," Her grip tightens by just a little bit. "Even being immortal won't be able to help you. Got that, Seaweed Brain?"
Of course, he had to laugh at the semi-serious expression on Annabeth's face and the way her gray eyes were sparkling all amusedly, and as she leans in to kiss him, just like that, poof, he stops being afraid.
He wonders how Annabeth manages to make him do that so easily.
He wonders how Annabeth manages to always make him feel so mortal.