Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
"Come on Percy!" Annabeth yelled at me over her shoulder as I hurried to get my shoes. We were going to catch a movie and grab some dinner while Paul and my mom were out on a date.
"Coming!" I called after her as she stepped out the door.
Annabeth and I had started dating after the war had ended. It was a lot easier to be in a relationship when evil ex-friends and scary Titan lords weren't always getting in the way. Oh, and the absence of life-or-death situations helped out some too. So, all-in-all, life had been pretty good ever since Kronos had been defeated, and all of those new demigods had started getting claimed. So many clambered over the property line in the two weeks following the war, that I was pretty mad that the gods hadn't claimed them before, so we could have had more troops during the war. But by now it had nearly 2 years, and everyone had been trying to forget that incident. It did truly seem like nothing more than a bad dream now, a nightmare that took a hell of a long time to wake up from.
Annabeth and I were heading to the theaters to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. I know, it's a kids movie, but being demigods, pretty much the only movies we liked were of the action persuasion, mostly because they reminded us of our childhood. Since there were none out, the only movie we could really watch was one that involved high-pitched voices to preoccupy our ADHD minds.
I ran to open the passenger door before Annabeth got to it. I know it's cheesy, but I was trying to be a good boyfriend, and this is what they did on TV.
Annabeth raised an eyebrow at me before sitting down in the car.
"So, Percy," she said as I sat down. "Any reason as to why you seem to be so eager tonight?"
I shrugged. The truth was, next week was Annabeth's birthday. I usually didn't remember until the last day, and then went out to buy some crappy present for her while my mother yelled at me about "being irresponsible" or something like that. This time, I had remembered, and I wanted to celebrate, because it probably would never happen again.
"So, how's Olympus?" I asked her, hastily trying to change the subject. Her eyes immediately lit up.
"Oh my gods, we're nearly finished, and it's going to be so amazing! We started the temple to Apollo yesterday and…" all I pretty much heard after that was "blah, blah, blah". I found myself staring at her. Her blonde hair seemed to shine even in the dim light of the sunset. She was wearing the owl earrings her dad had gotten her, and the perfume my mom had given her for her birthday last year (I had asked her to put my name on the card as well.) I was absorbed in the way her clear grey eyes caught the sunlight when she suddenly yelled "PERCY!"
"WHAT?" I yelled back.
"Keep your eyes on the road, Seaweed Brain." A car horn honked behind me.
She rolled her eyes. "Could you just safely drop me off at the theaters before you decide to go crashing your car into a tree or something? We can't all be invincible."
I flashed a wide grin. "It's pretty cool, being invincible and all, isn't it?" She just rolled her eyes again.
We walked out of the movie, holding hands while Annabeth explained to me, in excruciating detail, exactly how they got the chipmunks's voices to sound so squeaky. As in what programs they used, how they recorded it, and pretty much everything else that had to do with voice alteration that I hadn't really wanted to know about. I tuned her off, preoccupying my mind instead by wondering how she could know all of this.
"Uh, yeah. So what do you want for dinner?" I asked, cutting her off after marveling at her brilliance got too boring.
"I don't know, whatever."
"How about we go back to my place and order some take-out?"
She smiled. "Sounds good."
We reached my house at about 10:30. Mom and Paul still weren't home, thank the gods, so I'd have some more alone time with Annabeth. My mom had helped me pick out her present, and I prayed to pretty much every god that I had ever heard of that for once, nothing would go wrong. I wanted her birthday to be special this time. She was turning 18, which was a big thing, coming of age and all, and I wanted her to know that I cared about her, and remembered her big day.
It was strange how Annabeth could just keep talking and talking without ever realizing that no one was listening. After coming back into the conversation I realized she was talking about how stupid and illogical fortune cookies were, as was her favorite thing to do every time we had Chinese food.
"Percy? Are you even listening?" Annabeth seemed to realize that I was paying more attention to her face than what she was actually saying. It was actually interesting the first time, but I'd heard her spiel about fortune cookies too many times now to actually pay attention.
"Sure I am."
"Fine, I'll just stop talking since you don't seem to care what I have to say," she pouted.
"Come on Annabeth, you talk about the same thing every time we have Chinese food."
"It's not my fault you love fried rice so much. And you know fortune cookies piss me off, how can I not gripe about them?"
I laughed. "OK, OK, I won't say anything about your hate of fortune telling sweets next time."
She smiled and rolled her eyes at the same time, something she was remarkably good at.
"So, you know what's next week?" I asked playfully.
"I don't know. Why don't you tell me?" she feigned.
I grinned. "Well, I know this girl who has a birthday next week. I think she's turning 18 or something like that."
Annabeth raised her eyebrows, her beautiful smile widening. "Really? And you remembered this? I was under the impression that you had difficulty remembering important days."
I shrugged. "People can chan—" the doorbell decided to ring right at that moment. "Probably the food," I muttered, my spirits dropping. I had it all set up and now the delivery guy had to show up.
But the most peculiar thing happened when I opened the door. I felt winded, like I'd just been punched in the gut, but in a good way, if that's possible. Everything seemed dreamy, unreal, as I stared, eyes wide, at the person in front of me. The person with long, shiny caramel-colored hair braided with gold over her shoulder; large, coffee-brown eyes; and a beautiful, heart-shaped face.
"Perseus!" she yelled, giving me a huge hug.
It was Calypso.
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