A /N: This one-shot takes place early in the school year after The Last Olympian. I didn't change anything (Percy goes to Goode, Annabeth is at boarding school in NY.) Anyways, I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: *Checks mirror* Nope, not Rick Riordan.
As I walked home through the crowded streets of New York, I had simply one thought.
My mom is gonna kill me.
Just that weekend, my mom had dragged me along with her to various clothing stores because I needed some "decent clothes with no sword tears, monster stains or bonfire perfume."
I was pretty sure she decided I needed new clothes when she washed the clothes I had brought with me to camp that summer. I should have just washed them myself.
Paul came with us for some "man-to-man support in a female world." After an hour and a half, we were both whining to go home. That's when she saw them.
"Percy, look at those- they're perfect for you! You should try them on."
When I grumbled, she dragged me inside the store, promising that we could go home as soon as I she could see how they fit.
This "Percy- perfect" clothing item was simply a pair of jeans. I think my mom thought they were perfect for me because they were thick (not as many sword tears) and dark (less monster stains.) I guess there was nothing you could do to prevent "bonfire perfume."
I didn't really get what was so special about the pants- I guess it was just a girl thing- but my mom loved them. I, on the other hand, looked in the mirror and saw nothing extraordinary, but she had already made up her mind.
"They look great. As soon as I pay for them, we can go home."
I sighed, partly out of relief, and partly because I really didn't get what was so darn special about a simple pair of jeans.
My mom looked a little astonished at the price tag, but forced a smile on her face
"That's okay. Percy, you never get nice clothes, and anyway, we have two workers in the family now. Right Paul?"
Paul nodded, though I could tell the only thing on his mind was getting home.
So, here I was, wearing the "perfect pants" and preparing to make my final will and testament. Why, you ask? There was a huge gash in the right knee of these particular pants. How was I going to explain this to my mom, who had adopted this piece of cloth?
I had decided to take a few detours on my home, to enjoy my last moments of life.
I knew my mom wouldn't be as mad as disappointed, but that was even worse. My cell phone rang when I was a few blocks off of campus. (I know as a demigod I shouldn't have one, but my mom wanted me to have it so she could reach me. Besides, the monster count was a lot lower now.)
"Hey Seaweed Brain. You want to meet me at the library?"
Annabeth. She was my savior sometimes without even knowing it.
"Sure. I need to study for chemistry anyway. I'll be there in five minutes."
She said goodbye, I hung up, and then switched my route to take me to the library.
When I got there, I spotted Annabeth in a navy blue t-shirt, sitting at a table in the far right corner. She smiled and motioned for me to join her.
I guess she noticed something in my expression, because as soon as I sat down across from her, she asked me what was wrong. I explained to her about the jeans, and her expression was half way between sympathy and a smirk.
"I could try and fix them for you. I'm stuck in Home Economics right now, and we had to learn how to sew."
I could tell that she was trying to hide her smirk while offering to fix my jeans. I was also surprised, because Annabeth didn't seem like the type that would like to sew (or knit, or crochet, or anything like that for the matter.) But I decided to take her up on her offer.
"Sure, thanks. It'd be great if you could get them done in a few days, before my mom notices."
She nodded. "Of course."
Then, we turned to our books.
When I got home that night, my mom was out grocery shopping, thank goodness, and Paul was nowhere to be seen. I ran to my room and changed into a pair of sweat pants. I had told Annabeth to wait in the parking lot, in case my mom came home. I was running to find her when I heard my mom's voice.
"Hi Annabeth! How are you? I think Percy's upstairs if you want to see him."
I stopped in my tracks, and hid behind the corner of the wall that separated me from Annabeth and my mom.
"Oh thanks, Mrs. Jackson, but I have to get back to my dorm for dinner in 15 minutes. Percy borrowed one of my books and is meeting me down here so I can get back in time."
Annabeth was a convincing liar. But I had no book in my hand. I headed for the stairs and ran as fast as I could to the apartment. Once I got in, I grabbed a book off my desk and was heading out the door for the second time when my mom came in.
"Percy! Annabeth is waiting for you!"
"Thanks Mom. I was just grabbing her book."
She eyed the book I had tucked under my arm.
"The Complete Treasury of Calvin and Hobbes? I didn't know Annabeth was into comics."
Shoot- I grabbed the wrong book. I had meant to grab my algebra text book, but had obviously left that one back on my desk. Think fast, Percy.
"She doesn't. It's her little brother's."
She had a skeptical expression. "Why were you borrowing it, then?" She asked.
"Well, she knew that I like Calvin and Hobbes, and she thought I might want to read it. She had accidentally packed it with her stuff- that's why she had it here in New York. She wanted to let me read it before sending it back to San Francisco." That was convincing enough.
My mom still didn't seem to believe me, but she let it go. "Be back soon. I picked up Chinese food on the way home, so we'll be eating soon."
As soon as I had shut the door behind me, I leaned against it and sighed.
"Do you have them?"
I just about jumped out of my skin when Annabeth turned the corner to face me.
"Yeah. Here they are."
I reached into the maid's cart (it was always in the same place- I didn't have to worry about the jeans being carted away by the cleaning lady) and grabbed them for her.
She took them, gave me a quick kiss on my cheek (I still blush when she does that), put on her Yankees cap, and vanished.
Somehow, I made it through the next day of school. As soon as I got home, I Iris-messaged Annabeth. She was in her dorm bent over my jeans.
"Hey Wise Girl. How're the jeans coming?"
She jumped a couple inches, and then quickly recovered. Shoving the jeans under her bed, she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.
"They're coming fine."
She was acting weird. There was something forced about her nonchalant expression. I wondered if she was having trouble.
"Can I see them?" I couldn't help it. I was curious.
She smiled. "Have a little patience. You can see them once they're done."
I sighed, and she continued, ignoring me.
"You never did tell me what happened to cause the gash. I'm assuming it's a pretty amusing story."
I could tell she was choking back a giggle, so I sealed my lips.
"Come on, Seaweed Brain. Just tell me,"
When I remained silent, she fluttered her eyelashes.
"That was a pretty pathetic attempt at flirting, Annabeth."
She laughed. "Darn, thought it might work. Silena promised that a flutter of the eyelashes could get a girl anything."
I couldn't help laughing. I remembered how Silena used to try to force makeup onto Annabeth's face- and how disgusted she was when Annabeth refused over and over. Thinking of Silena's fate, I abruptly stopped laughing. Annabeth did too, and I assumed she was thinking about the same thing.
"Back to your jeans…"
I grimaced. "Right. Well, it's kind of embarrassing- and not for the reason you think it might be."
She raised her eyebrows, and I took this as a sign that I should continue.
"It was after gym class, and I was in the locker room. I opened my locker to get them, but they were stuck. I got kinda frustrated because, there I was, standing in my boxers all alone in the locker room, the bell doomed to ring in about 3 seconds."
"Why were you in there alone?"
I glanced at her to make sure that her interruption wasn't just to make fun of me. She looked completely serious, so I complied.
"The coach kept me late because he thought my form for throwing a football was wacky. He made me throw footballs for almost 5 minutes after everyone had gone in, promising I would only be allowed to leave when I threw the football through a hoop to show I was listening as he tried to improve my stance. It was worse than fighting the Kindly Ones!"
She laughed- a sound I didn't hear that often, but could play over and over in my head without getting tired of it.
"So, finally- after the bell had rung, I used my "super-duper Styx strength" to pull the jeans from the locker. I fell over backwards, and the jeans came with me. But with an unwanted tear that could make my mom madder than Zeus when his master bolt was stolen."
She rolled her eyes, unsympathetic. "Percy, your mom will understand. Especially with a kid like you."
"Oh thanks. I feel so much better now."
She smiled. "That's what I'm here for."
The next day, I met Annabeth again at the public library. This time, it was to study for history.
"How are the pants coming?" I couldn't hold it in.
She glanced up at me. "Oh I'm fine, Percy. Thanks for asking." Her voice was thick with sarcasm.
I flushed. "Sorry. I'll start over. How are you on this fine day, Miss Chase?"
She giggled. "I am well, thank you very much, kind sir."
The librarian glanced over to our table and shushed us. We both couldn't help but to laugh. This got us an even angrier glare from the cranky old woman.
By this time, I had forgotten about the jeans, so it wasn't brought up again until the next day after school when I I-Med Annabeth.
"Hey Wise Girl. Anything miraculous happen today?"
She was working at her desk on- you guessed it- my jeans. This time, she shoved them under her chair before answering.
"Define miraculous. Because I would consider it miraculous that you Iris- Messaged me when you actually said you would."
I almost laughed. "Hardy-har-har."
Annabeth seemed to know what was coming- she even beat me to the punch.
"I'll bring the jeans by tomorrow sometime after school. They're almost done."
"Man, I thought you'd never finish" I teased her. This time it was her turn to be sarcastic. She mimicked my "Hardy- har-har" in an attempted imitation of my voice, and it was actually pretty hilarious. The sound almost reminded me of one of the Party Ponies after he had had a few sips too many of that root beer they all loved.
We talked for a while. She complained about the "inept architecture program that seems more like a kindergarten club than a high school class that's supposed to prepare you for the real world." I, on the other hand, ranted to her about the new cook at Goode who was out to get me. Somehow, I always seemed to be the only one to find the long dark hairs in my pudding surprise, while all the other kids laughed at me.
That night, my dreams were filled with chocolate pudding, the lunch lady's hair, and blue jeans that were out to get me.
When I got home from school the next day, there was a brown paper bag on my bed. Annabeth was nowhere to be seen. I knew what was in the package without even looking at it.
Pulling the neatly folded jeans out of the bag, I searched for where the hole had been. I couldn't even find the spot. Finally, after about 5 minutes, I found it. The stitches were tiny and precise. The thread exactly matched the jeans, and it was like there had never been a hole.
To tell the truth, I was really surprised. Because of the way Annabeth had acted whenever I brought up the jeans, I assumed she was struggling. Just one look at where the tear was proved me completely wrong.
That's when I found the note. Written in Annabeth's scrawled hand, it read:
Percy- here they are. I hope you learned
a little lesson in patience over the past
few days. I guess Home Economics isn't
a completely useless class. Anyways, I
don't think the stitches are too noticeable
and your mom probably won't realize they're
there. Try to keep it that way, okay?
-Annabeth (AKA Wise Girl)
P.S. Check the top- where the belt loops are.
As soon as I read it, I picked up the jeans again and checked where the note instructed. There was writing. Well, not really writing, but stitched letters. I held it up to my window to decode it. After looking at it closely, I realized it was in Ancient Greek. The thread was black, and the letters tiny- a great combination for someone with dyslexia. After a few tries, I finally figured out the message.
These pants were skillfully and neatly mended by Annabeth for Percy.
Now I knew why she wouldn't let me see them- she had been working on the message. I decided at that moment that I liked my gym teacher for keeping me late. If he hadn't, I wouldn't have ripped the jeans and Annabeth wouldn't have sewn them. If Annabeth hadn't sewn them, they would just be a pair of jeans instead of something as valuable as a chest overflowing with drachmas.