AN- Okay. Hi! Uh, this is my first Percy Jackson fic. Just got into the series, LOVE IT. Uh, I'm going to be completely honest: I'm terrible at battle scenes. And, I'm pretty sure the scene in here kind of counts as battle-y and I'm really hoping I didn't completely and utterly mess it up.
I'm hoping I stayed as canon-ish as possible. And, I'm also hoping you enjoy!
Tonight was the night.
Percy Jackson straightened his tie and ran a hand through his messy, raven-black hair. He took a deep breath, patting his left breast pocket, utterly reassured when he felt the square box currently hidden there. Nothing could disrupt this night; he'd already planned it ahead of time with Nico and his friend had promised to take care of any monsters that might pop up tonight.
You can do this he told himself. You memorized the speech, you know exactly when to pull the box out. You can-
"Percy?" He turned.
All rhyme and reason left his brain and whatever his mind had been telling him about tonight, well it wasn't important anymore. Annabeth stood before him, an absolute vision. Her hair was as curly as ever, tumbling down to her bare shoulders. The dress was strapless and white, clinging to her like a second skin showing off every curve, but ending just above the knee, giving Percy a glimpse of her never-ending legs. Her gray eyes sparkled at him and he felt his face forming the most care-free grin he'd had all night. She looked more beautiful than Aphrodite.
A sudden and loud rumble of thunder tore Percy away from those thoughts and he glanced guiltily up at the ceiling before standing and pulling out her chair.
"You look beautiful." he told her.
She beamed, kissing his cheek softly before settling in her seat. He took his own and opened the menu, his eyes locked on the beautiful blond before him.
"You don't look too bad yourself, Seaweed Brain." she said.
The familiar nickname lessened the feeling of butterflies in his stomach and he chuckled.
"Thanks, Wise Girl."
She copied him and scanned her menu eagerly. "I have to admit, I'm starving. I was so busy with work and the plans for Olympus that I completely lost track of time."
"But I'm sure it will be worth it when the Gods see what you've done the place." Percy said.
"Of course," She grinned. Then, her face took on a wistful look. "It's going to look....absolutely gorgeous, Percy. The most beautiful thing you've ever seen."
I wouldn't say that Percy thought, taking in her appearance again. "I can't wait."
A waiter came by then, asking their orders. Annabeth requested one of their French dishes while Percy pointed to something randomly, his thoughts too jumbled by his girlfriend and what he was planning on doing tonight to really concentrate on something as trivial as food.
"So," Annabeth began as the waiter walked off. "One has to wonder why we're here. Suddenly Chinese take-out isn't good enough for Mr. Son of the Sea God?"
"You needed a break." Percy replied. Which wasn't a total lie. She had been turning into a bit of a work-a-holic lately, focusing so much on her plans for Olympus and, of course, her own job as a book editor (which she managed to do splendidly, despite the Dyslexia), she rarely left time for anything fun. Mainly him.
"You've noticed, huh?" she asked, looking slightly guilty.
He leaned toward her, entwining his hand with hers. "The last time I wanted to make plans with you, I was told that you had to consult your schedule. I think it was obvious."
"I'm sorry, Percy. I guess I'm so caught in all the excitement I just....no matters. The project is almost done and then I'll be all yours."
You have no idea Percy thought as she leaned over the table to kiss him lightly on the lips.
Dinner went fine. They ate, they talked and joked and he was having such a wonderful time. It wasn't until his hand brushed that damn pocket again did he remember that he'd had a mission tonight. In that same instant, the nerves went up tenfold. He felt like he was sweating profusely and his leg began to jiggle underneath the table.
Annabeth, never the unobservant one, titled her head to the side and peered closely at him. "Are you alright? You look a little flushed."
"I'm fine," Percy said, cursing inwardly when he realized his voice sounded as squeaky as it did when he first entered puberty. He cleared his throat and tried again. "I'm fine. Really."
When the waiter brought desert, Percy took a deep breath. This was it. Go time.
"Annabeth," she looked up. "We've been through a lot together. A lot of good. And, a lot of bad. Like, really bad. Like battles and deaths and betrayal and just bad. You know? But, there's been good. Like, like saving the camp. And Thalia. And, saving the world. We're a good team you know and you're my best friend and...."
His mind went blank. What came next? Something about loving her since he was twelve.
"And like everything, some things have to end." Wait, what? That wasn't part of the speech. End?! He wanted nothing to end.
"Are you breaking up with me?" she asked, one eyebrow arched.
"No!" he blushed as the tables around them turned to look. "No, I mean, our friend has to end. Well, it actually doesn't. If anything, this would make it stronger and oh Gods, this isn't coming out right at all. Annabeth, what I'm trying to say is will-"
There was a loud, ear-splitting roar in that moment and sudden screams erupted from the streets. Immediately, Annabeth was at her feet, her eyes trained on the windows; watching, waiting. The doors to the restaurant burst open and a tall, pale figure with black hair rushed in. He glanced around wildly, finally spotting Percy and Annabeth, to whom he rushed over. People were beginning to scream and panic. In a second, Annabeth had snapped her fingers and Percy knew she was using the Mist to cloak whatever was going on.
"Thanks Gods I found you. Whoa," he finally took in Annabeth. "You look hot, Chase."
"What's going on, Nico?" Annabeth asked, impatiently.
"I know Percy told me not to bother you and all that but the city is sort of under attack by a monster. Big monster with pointy teeth and this whole intent to kill attitude and I sort of can't handle it myself. Normally, I'd bring up my Army of Dead and all that but considering I never really learned to control the mist and half the city is outside, I was sort of unable. So, could you..." he trailed off.
"Sure." Annabeth grumbled something about her dress and monsters and never getting a moment of peace before turning to Percy. "Coming?"
Percy stood up, fishing in one of his pockets (the pocket that didn't hold the damn ring!) and pulling out Riptide. Uncapping the pen, his trusty sword gleamed in all its bronze glory.
The monster was not going to make this easy.
Percy had hoped that they could slay the beast one-two-three and he'd be able to propose to his girlfriend tonight. But, no. It's leathery skin seemed almost as invincible as Percy. Try as he might, he couldn't wound it. Every slash he made with Riptide seemed to feel like a light tap; the monster it and continued to swat at Percy.
Annabeth wasn't having much luck. She'd forgotten her Yankee cap at home and had to fight it in plain view. Percy couldn't blame her, he'd only brought Riptide out of pure habit, he hadn't been planning on using tonight.
Seeing the task at hand, he was no longer angry at Nico for interrupting dinner. One demigod against this thing wasn't enough, there needed to be more. And he would much rather have a ruined dinner on his hands than a ruined Nico.
"This thing is impossible!" Nico yelled as they both dodged the monster yet again.
"One weapon isn't enough!" Percy shouted back. "We need more."
"Maybe two at the same time? Doubling normal pain might be actual pain to this thing."
"Problem is getting it to stay still." Percy said.
Nico suddenly got a look in his eyes, a look Percy knew only too well; he best friend had a plan.
"Back it up to that park over there. I'll handle the staying still part. You and Annabeth drive your weapons directly into the heart. Twice the pain, in the one spot it truly matters should do the trick."
Nico ran off, leaving Percy to dodge murder attempts by himself. But, he suddenly realized, the monster wasn't swatting at them any longer. In the same second he noticed this, he heard a familiar, blood-curtailing scream.
Time froze. Annabeth was lying on the asphalt, her right arm supporting the left one. The monster was a few feet in front of her and she was looking at it in sheer panic. Her bronze knife was nowhere to be mean.
Percy shook himself and ran towards his girlfriend. The monster was going slow, playing with her and enjoying every second of the twisted game. He willed himself to run faster. Picking up a random piece of rubble, he threw it towards the beast as he continued to run.
"Hey ugly! Over here!"
The monster turned its red eyes on Percy. It glanced back at Annabeth, realizing that that particular prey wouldn't be moving anytime soon, then turned toward Percy, letting out another ear-splitting roar. It bounded towards him and Percy skidded to a stop, before changing course towards the park.
Annabeth was wounded. Percy had to push his concern aside for just a moment and think about just how he was going to kill the monster with just his weapon. Nico would be too busy holding it back. Suddenly, he was being lifted into the air. The monster had caught his jacket between its teeth. Swearing under his breath, Percy slid his arms out of the sleeves and fell onto the pavement. The monster was attacking the jacket, ripping it to shreds. It finally realized that Percy was among the piece being scattered around the block and that Percy was back on course. With another roar, it bounded after him.
He finally reached the park, the monster just barely behind him. As he tore through the gates, he started shouting to the Son of the Dead to pull off whatever miraculous stunt he was planning. Then, in one giant leap, the monster bounded over Percy, suddenly appearing in front of him. It growled and took a step towards him.
A hand shot up from the grass. Followed by another hand, then another and another. Percy lost track as he watched the hands wrap around the monster's feet. It thrashed around and tried swatting at them, but there were too many. They were keeping it in place. As if on cue, Nico appeared on the monster's right.
How the Hades was he supposed to kill the stupid thing with just his sword? Did Nico not realize he was alone and-
"What are you waiting for, Percy?."
His heart leaped in his throat and he turned to see Annabeth limping towards him. He hurried to her, his hands going to her waist.
"Are you okay?"
"Is anything broken? Sprained?"
"Percy, it needs to die."
"Is your arm-"
"Percy! You need to kill it."
He shook himself. "Right. Actually, we need to kill it. Two weapons should be better than one. Do you have your-"
He fell silent as she held up her bronze knife and, together (he had to help her just a little) they walked towards the monster. The hands of the dead had somehow gotten it onto its back but Percy could tell from the winded way Nico looked that they didn't have much time. Raising both their weapons, they thrusted them into the beasts heart.
With one final roar, the monster slowly began to turn to dust until it was gone, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. The hands slipped back into the ground and Nico bent over, catching his breath and shooting Percy a thumbs up.
"You okay?" Percy asked Annabeth.
"Yeah." She was looking at him strangely. He sighed in relief and kissed her forehead, before hurrying over to Nico.
"That was brilliant, man!"
"Thanks. Knew this place was once a cemetery, years ago. Figured this would be where the spirits are the strongest. Good job with getting it over."
They exchanged manly high fives, both grinning like idiots. Then, Nico remembered something.
"Sorry about ruining the big night. I tried to handle it myself but..."
The big night? What...Percy's eyes widened and he let out a loud curse before he could stop himself. The big night! The jacket! The ring! That stupid monster! Not only did it ruin their dinner right when Percy was about to pop the question but it. Lost. The. Ring.
Percy wished he could bring the monster back just to kill it again. Behind him, Annabeth called his name.
"Not now, Annabeth."
"I said not now. Please." Even after triumphing over the monster, he was still defeated.
"What's what, Anna-" the words died in his throat.
She was holding a box. A small, velvet box that looked so very familiar. He swallowed.
"Where did you find...."
"After it tore your jacket, I saw something fly out. I figured it was something important, the only thing you carry in your pockets is Riptide." She was looking strangely at him again. "What is this?"
"Marry me, Wise Girl."
The words came out so easily now, they flowed from his lips like water trickling from a faucet. This all felt so right; him and Annabeth saving the city one creature at a time. His suit was torn in places and her dress was ripped and this was them. This would always be them. They were a team, they saved the world and they did it as they were meant to forever: together.
The nerves were gone, the speech he planned no longer mattered. He couldn't think of the perfect words because he didn't need them. She knew him better than anyone else and she knew why he was proposing. He didn't need to explain himself. He didn't need to tell her he'd love her forever because she knew he would. He didn't need to tell her he always had her back because she knew he did.
All he had to do was pop the question. And wait.
Annabeth stared at him for a few seconds before her face split into a wide grin and she was suddenly in his arms.
"Yes, Seaweed Brain."
It was his turn to grin before he pressed his lips against hers. Gently taking the box from her, he opened it and pulled out the ring, slipping the band onto her finger. She admired it for a moment then looked back up at him, her arms snaking around his neck.
"I love you, Annabeth Chase." Percy whispered.
"Better get used to calling me Jackson." she whispered back.
He pulled her in for another kiss which was just about to deepen before they were interrupted by a loud coughing. Percy broke away to glare at Nico while Annabeth smiled.
"It's not that I'm not happy for you guys, I am and I hate to break up this touching scene but," he jerked his thumb behind him. "The cops are on their way and we kind of have to go."
Percy looked at Annabeth. "Shall we tear off into the night, Mrs. soon-to-be Jackson?"
Annabeth smiled. "We shall."
He grabbed her hand and they followed Nico off into the night, leaving nothing behind but the remains of a tuxedo jacket.
AN- And, that was it. Thanks for reading!