Helloo people! You're just about to read my first fic ever (like evar, evar). Reviews are very much appreciated! Takes part after TLO, but Percy and Annabeth are not together. Neither are Grover and Juniper. Percabeth-filled, so if you don't like the couple, you really don't have to read it. If you love Percabeth, like me, I wish you have a good time reading my scribble. :) In any case, I hope you enjoy this!

Disclaimer: A little bird told me, that I actually don't own PJO. It belongs to this guy Rick Riordan, thank the gods for him!


Annabeth's POV

I woke up screaming my lungs out. I was drenched with sweat and somehow I had gotten myself tangled in my sleeping bag from tossing wildly in my sleep. The dream had been awful. I tried not to think about it.

"Calm down, Annabeth", I told myself. "It was only a dream. Not real." But I still couldn't find the will to stop panicking.

I finally stopped screaming, now embarrased. Had I woken someone? No, all others were fast asleep. Especially Percy, who was drooling again. If I hadn't just woken up from the most horrifying nightmare of my life, I'd probably have laughed at Percy's drooling. But not now.

What's going on over here, you may ask. Well, I suppose I'll start from the very beginning...

It was a completely normal afternoon. Nothing special. Me and Percy were practicing swordplay in the field next to the lake. Percy was cheating, of course. Now and then he would make the water in the lake splash on my face and blind me for a second so he could get away from the tough spot. Yeah, I could say it was a perfectly ordinary afternoon at Camp Half-Blood. Of course, when you are a demigod, everything is high above normal. But this was as normal as it could get for us. At least we weren't attacked by monsters or titans.

I personally liked this kind of life. A life without monsters, I mean. Just me, Percy, the lake and swordfighting and other forms of practice here at camp. I had grown tired of constant battle and fear for mine and others lives. My thoughts drifted back to the time when Percy first came at Camp Half-Blood. I was young and enthusiastic of going on quests and fighting monsters. I was green of jealousy when I found out that Percy had fought a minotaur. I had wanted to fight monsters for years and then this good-for-nothing boy comes up and gets everything I'd wanted. A quest, fights, EVERYTHING! It was so unfare then. But now I was just glad everything was nice and calm.

I woke up from my thoughts when Percy sent my sword flying out of my hand.

"Earth calling Wise Girl! Wise girl, do you copy?" he grinned at me.

"Shut it, Seaweed Brain and wipe that grin off your face", I said, though smiling. 'Wise girl', his nickname for me was something I kinda liked to hear.

"Are you trying to tell me off, huh?" he asked and lifted his eyebrows. I saw he had something going on.

"Yes, I am. And I'm well authorized to doing so", I answered him with a smirk.

"Oh really?" he asked and the next thing I knew he'd scooped me up in his arms and he started to walk towards the lake.

"No! Percy, put me down this instant or you'll suffer the concequences!"

I SO didn't want to get soaking wet. The water in the lake looked cold. But you just couldn't reason with this guy when he wanted to do something. Not to mention something having something to do with water. All he did was laughed as I stuggled to get off his hold. He stopped at the bank and started to swing me counting:

"One... two... thr..."

"Perseus Jackson!" someone behind us shouted. He dropped me back onto the ground.

'Whew!' I thought. I wasn't gonna get wet. Both of us turned to see who'd called for Percy.

It was Thalia.

"Thalia! Oh my gods it's so great to see you!" I screamed and ran to hug my best friend.

"It's good to see you too," she said smiling from ear to ear.

"I see I got here just in time," she noted and looked meaningfully at Percy, who too had come to greet our huntress friend.

"Totally. Thanks Thals. If it weren't for you, I'd be soaking wet by now."

"Yeah, thanks a lot, Pinecone Face," Percy pouted, though we all knew he wasn't truly angry.

"Great to see you too, Percy," Thalia laughed and pulled Percy in a hug. Though she had joined the hunters of the goddess Artemis, she was still allowed to hug her friends, boys or not.

The three of us started to walk toward the cabins. We had a lot to catch up with each other.

We eventually made our way to cabin one.

"Gods, I've missed this place!" Thalia sighed and sat onto her bed (well, I'm not quite sure, if you could call the bed hers really. She rarely sleeps in it, cause she's with the Hunters).

She watched me and Percy curiously. "Soo... What have you been up to? It's been like ages we last saw each other!" she asked.

We told her about the peaceful summer we'd had. I have to admit, it sounded a bit dull really, not doing anything particularly interesting, but it was just perfect for me. And I'm quite sure Percy didn't mind it either. Thalia on the other hand seemed a bit bored with our story.

"How about you?" Percy asked her. "What have you been doing lately? Any big fights you've participated? Any action for you this summer?"

"Yeah! Oh my gods. This must have been the most exciting summer I've ever had!" she got excited and started to describe every detail of their last fight against Geryon, the grandson of Medusa and went on and on until after finishing her story of the day, when they successfully saved Cerynitis, the sacred hind of Artemis, from the Cyclops in New Jersey, Percy (thank gods) prevented her from continuing into a new story and asked, if Thalia wanted to stay at camp for dinner.

"I'd be delighted!" she answered and the huntress story time was over.

Thalia wanted to see Chiron, so we walked to the Big House, where Chiron and Mr. D were playing pinochle accompanied by Grover, who stalked Mr. D's Diet Coke cans. Grover was the first to spot us coming. He let out an enthusiastic bla-ha-haa and ran (or what on earth satyrs did) to greet us. He really liked Thalia. He'd always liked her, but even more now that she was a huntress and a nature lover etc.

"Oh, Grover, it's so nice to see you too!" Thalia shrieked when Grover pulled her into a warm embrace. We all walked closer to the porch where Mr. D and Chiron had cut off their game and watched us, Chiron with a smile, Mr. D with a grimace.

"Thalia! So nice to see you here!" Chiron stood up and greeted her his arms open.

"Good to see you too, Chiron. It's been ages," Thalia answered.

She turned to face Mr. D, who frowned and half-heartedly said: "Yeah, yeah, hello Tabitha." Thalia grinned. Mr. D never used our real names. Except in rare occasions and when I say rare, I mean once in a lifetime experiences.

Chiron, Grover and Mr. D continued their game and we stayed and watched and chatted with Grover and Chiron. Mr. D would occasionally mumble something about unwanted visitors and extra children, but we kinda ignored him.

Finally after Chiron and Grover let Mr. Sunshine win Chiron stood up again and said: "Now children, it's time for dinner. Off you go. I'll come later behind."

Thalia, Percy, Grover and I started pacing slowly towards the mess hall. Chiron had given us a permission to sit in one table in rare occasions such as this so we headed towards Poseidon's table to get the whole table for ourselves.

After giving the gods their share of our meal and Dr. D informing we had a special guest over here (read: "My sad mission is to inform you that an extra brat has dropped by. Hip hooray and stuff like that." *Thunder* "Okay, okay! Your daughter is honoring us with her presence!") we dig in. When Mr. D. had told everyone Thalia was here, a couple of other friends joined us at our table, including Nico. We chattered and laughed as we reminisced our adventures together. Then Thalia went all serious and that took us others by surprise. She looked like she had something very important to say.

"I actually have a reason to visit you," she told us. Uh-oh. That didn't sound good to me. Oh, please don't tell it's another quest, please! We'd just got accustomed to the peace and quiet.

"You see, one night I got this wild idea..." she continued. What? This didn't sound like a quest anymore. What could it be?

"...and I thought I'd ask you to come with me. Let's go camping!" she suggested. There was an acceptive murmur among us. That would be awesome! I'd always liked the outdoors. The sleeping in sleeping bags in a tent with a crackling fire sort of thing. Except for the spiders, though. I hated spiders.

Thalia seemed pleased of how her idea had been taken.

"I suppose it's settled then!" she decided. "Let's ask Chiron!"

And so we went, the whole group, to ask for Chiron's permission to leave the camp for a while. After promising to be extra careful and to never go anywhere without company (and maybe a couple of kneels and some serious begging) he let us go. Hooray! We were going camping!

Later that night we were at the bonfire with the other campers. We had a lot of fun. Percy and Nico entertained us with jokes they had made up by themselves and Grover played his reed pipes. He had improved with his playing. He could play a variety of songs, which weren't ancient hits (such as YMCA) or just plain freaky (like 'They're coming to take me away'). And we actually sang along to his playing. Many people came to us to say hi to Thalia. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. Perfect. Once when Thalia was surrounded by people Percy tapped me on my shoulder.

"Too much people. Would you care for a walk?" he asked. I was glad he suggested that. I was starting to get distressed of the amount of people around us. So we started walking toward the beach. We talked about this and that, the camping trip we were going on tomorrow, todays sword fighting practice...

When we reached the beach we sat on the two large rocks right on the shore. We'd sat there many times, talking. It was relaxing talking to Percy. His presence always made me calm. There was just something about him, thad did it. Maybe it was the eyes. The way they went all warm and soft when he looked at me. Mind you, I've looked at his eyes a lot. Not that he notices anything. I've had a little crush on him since the quest where we went to retrieve the golden fleece from Polyphemus. It was a secret. Even Thalia didn't know about it unless she had guessed but I had tried to hide it from everyone. I really didn't think Percy's feelings matched mine though. We were just friends.

We'd sat there talking for I really don't know how long, but although it was still bright, I started to get a bit cold. I shivered.

"Are you cold?" Percy asked me.

"A bit," I admitted.

"Here, take this", he said and gave me his hoodie. I put it on and it smelled just like him. His scent was (okay, this is gonna sound a bit cheesy especially coming from my mouth) mouthwatering. A hint of sea breeze combined with his deodorant. One of my favorite scents in the world. I sighed.

"What are you thinking about?" asked Percy. He was looking at me, looking curious.

"It's nothing," I lied. "Just thinking about the trip." But he wasn't fooled.

"I don't believe you..." he said teasingly. "What are you sighing for?"

"I just said. It's nothing. Just drop it off, okay?" I snapped at him and the next moment wished I'd hadn't. He looked hurt. He'd just tried to ask what's up with me.

"I'm sorry, Seaweed Brain," I apologized. "I didn't mean to snap at you like that."

That brightened him up, which I was very glad of. We continued to talk and the subject changed to Grover and Thalia. We'd both seen how enthusiastic Grover had went when Thalia came. We tried to predict how long it would take of them to become a couple. I guessed it would take six months from now, considering that Thalia was a huntress and not supposed to date anyone. Percy on the other hand thought about it as a minor fact and said that two months would be more accurate. That started a frantic debate on who was right.

I started to get a bit drowsy. I yawned.

"Tired? We should probably go to sleep. We have a trip ahead tomorrow," said Percy.

"No, let's stay for a little longer," I insisted. I didn't want to get separated from Percy just now, when we were having so much fun.

"Okay, but we can't stay for long, or Mr. D.'ll be furious," he reminded me.

So we stayed there, continuing our debate, but soon dropping it off when we realized neither one of us would give up. There would be moments when neither of us spoke, we just watched the sun finally set into the horizon. I wished the moment would never end.

I might have dozed off for a while, because the second thing I knew was that Percy was carrying me towards my cabin. I pretended to be asleep and snuggled closer to his chest. He held me carefully, adjusting his arms now and then. When he reached my cabin he tried hard not to wake any of my siblings up. He carried me to my bed, laid me down and pulled my blanket over me.

"Goodnight, Annabeth," he said softly, kissed me swiftly on my forehead and sneaked out of our cabin.

Oh my gods, he actually kissed me! On the forehead but still.

On that thought I fell asleep. I dreamed happy dreams.

I was walking down the beach with Percy holding hands. He was wearing his swimming trunks and a black top, the one I liked the most on him. His sixpack, which he'd got from almost daily practice at camp showed well under the top. We paced slowly at the waterline and the little waves of the Long Island Sound broke on our ankles. Suddenly Percy stopped. He turned to face me and gently sweeped a strand of hair from my cheek. His face was so close to mine. I could feel his warm breath on my face.

"Annabeth," he whispered.

"Yeah?"

"I think I..."

Then I woke up to a familiar voice yelling my name.

"ANNABETH CHASE! RISE AND SHINE!"

It was Thalia.

"Piss off. Let me sleep," I mumbled. Why did she have to wake me up just now? Just when things were starting to get interesting? Now this was just annoying.

Thalia pulled my blanket off me.

"There's no way you'll get to sleep any longer! Everyone else is ready to go already!" she complained.

I stretched and slowly opened my eyes. I jumped. Thalia's face was just above mine, her eyes the startling blue they always were. From this angle she looked scary.

"Thalia!" I screamed. "You scared the crap out of me!"

"Haha, well that should've woken you up," she grinned at me.

I had no other option, than just get off my bed. I changed into my trekking clothes, which I had set for today. We'd packed all our stuff yesterday before the bonfire. I pulled my hair on a messy pony tail. I was so tired, that I really didn't care how I looked. I tried to be sneaky so no-one else would wake up. It was three in the morning after all.

Everyone else were almost done with their breakfast when Thalia and I made it to the Mess Hall.

"Morning, sleepy head," Nico grinned at me when we reached Poseidon's table, where our camping group had settled.

Our group consisted of five people: Thalia, Percy, Nico, Grover and me. I grumbled something at Nico's comment and started slowly eating my sandwich. Everyone else talked animatedly about our coming trip. I ate in silence, thinking about my dream. No one seemed to notice my silence though. Good. I wouldn't have to explain anything.

After I'd dealed with my sadwich, we said goodbye to Chiron, who cautioned us about safety again and then we went to gather up our things from our cabins. We agreed to meet at Thalia's tree in ten minutes. When I went into my cabin, some of my siblings were awake. I had probably woken them up. They came to say goodbye. Jenny gave me a warm hug and made me swear I'd come back alive. I promised to do so. It was an easy promise. What on earth could happen? I mean, we might run into some monsters, but it would be a piece of cake. It wasn't like we were going to camp in the Underworld. Give me a break.

We all made it to Thalia's tree in seven minutes. Even Grover, who'd packed some extra cans with him so that his backpack was bulging. It looked heavy to me. Well, I supposed it'd lighten quite quickly. Then something occurred to me.

"Thalia?" I said

"Yeah?"

"You haven't told us where actually we're going," I noted.

"Oh, yeah!" she realized. "I've been so excited about the fact you're coming with me I haven't remembered to tell you."

"Well?" Percy started to get interested in the subject too.

Percy. He looked sinfully good even in his trekking clothes. He wore a pair of cargo shorts and a brown top, that by the looks of it, used to be a T-shirt. Just like in my dream, his sixpack showed through it. I might have drooled, but I decided not to.

Thalia grinned.

"Well, I once came across this awesome place while running with the Hunters," she explained.

"And... where is it?" asked Nico.

"It's in Illinois. The Shawnee forest. Ring any bells?"

"Illinois?" Grover bleated. "How in Hades do you think we'll get there?"

"Ever heard of Amtrak, Grover?" Thalia asked, grinning.

Amtrak? Wow, this is going to get interesting. Thalia smiled at our dumbfound faces.

"We'll take the Cardinal line to Chicago and then take a bus to Shawnee," she explained.

"Alright!" Percy and Nico yelled and gave eachother high-fives.

"Well, what are we waiting for?" I asked. "Let's go!"

Argus gave us a ride to the Penn station. The Camp Half-Blood SUV was packed with our stuff and we tried to squeeze in as comfortably as possible. Mind you, in the end it wasn't comfortable at all.

"How did you come across this place we're going to, Thalia?" Grover asked. He was squashed between me and Nico.

"When we were searching for the sacred hind of Artemis, we found a trail, that led in Shawnee. It wasn't the one, though. We found the her in New Jersey from a lair of a cyclops," Thalia explained. Grover shuddered. He didn't like cyclopes much. Even Tyson, Percy's little (well, little...) cyclops brother gave him the creeps.

The ride took about an hour. It was boiling hot in the car and we were sweating like mad, squashed against eachother. I was being flattened between Grover and Percy. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. An hour almost sitting on his lap in a small car. Heavenly. NOT! It was so hot in the back seat I couldn't even think about how awesome it was squeezed to his side.

When we finally got out of the scorching car and grabbed our stuff I could see all of us were relieved. After Argus left we walked inside the station. It was cool inside. Heavenly. Thalia went to purchase our tickets and the rest of us went to sit on the benches in the corner. We were quite exhausted of the ride in the boiling car. Soon enough Thalia came back waving our tickets in her hand.

"We have one and a half hours until the train leaves," Thalia announced when she reached us. We decided to start a poker game on the station floor while we waited. We used our drachmas as poker chips. Nico had an amazing poker face. He kicked our asses in the game.

Soon there were only Nico and I playing and the others watched. Grover had started to nibble on his cans. I wanted to beat Nico just once. Grover and Percy eventually became my cheerleaders. Whenever I won a round they would scream in joy and Grover would wave his soda cans in the air like pompoms while chanting something like "Wise Girl fans in the stands, let me hear you clap your hands!" We must've looked kinda weird to the others, who sat on the benches and waited for their trains, but we really didn't care. We were free. We weren't bound to anything just now and we wanted to take the most of it.

When I was so close to get the last of Nico's drachmas we heard an announcement from the loudspeakers that said our train has come to the platform.

"Oh Styx, I was just about to kick Nico's ass!" I groaned.

"Don't worry, Annabeth. You'll get to kick his ass many times during our ride to Chicago", Percy promised.

Whe gathered up our cards and drachmas and left for the platform. The train we mounted was quite empty. There were lots of empty compartments, which we got to choose from. We found a completely empty car and settled into one of the compartments.

Me and Nico continued our game from where we'd left it and eventually I won. We all cheered and Grover started to chant again. Percy went on with him, waving Grover's rasta cap in his hand. I grinned at them.

Our ride from New York to Staunton, Virginia took eight hours during which we chatted and looked out of our window. The views were amazing! There were times when no one spoke, we just stared at the view in awe. Eventually a few of us started to get sleepy. Grover fell asleep his head against the window and Nico started to doze off. Soon even Percy hit the sac (well, the floor actually). That left me and Thalia awake. We were quiet. Now and then asking about the time or stuff like that. Suddenly Thalia asked:

"What's up with you and Percy?"

I kinda understood what she meant, but I just couldn't understand why she'd asked or how did she know anything about my feelings towards Percy.

"Nothing, what do you mean?" I tried to look innocent.

"I mean that you look like you have a crush on a certain Seaweed Brain," she chuckled.

'Okay, here goes,' I thought and said:

"If you tell anyone, I'll beat you up, got it? Not even a hint!"

"I knew it! I just knew it!" she almost sang.

She started to ask me random questions about my feelings towards Percy. How long I'd liked him, what did I like the most about him, how did I feel when I saw him in the morning... And I answered truthfully. After all, she was my best friend and I trusted her. Deep inside I knew she wouldn't reveal my secret. She just wouldn't. Right?

After about a half an hour both of felt like sleeping. It was 11 am and still four hours to go so we thought we could get a couple of hours sleep. Unlike the boys, we took our sleeping bags and slept on the floor. Percy had fallen asleep on the floor, so we heaved him on the bench next to Grover to get more room for ourselves. We sank into our sleeping bags and soon enough we both drifted to sleep.


That was what happened before. The next thing I knew I was wide awake and screaming. Now I was calmed down a bit. Just enough to think clearly. I tried to memorize the dream, although I really didn't want to remember. It had been too awful. I shivered from the bare thought of it. I looked at Percy's watch. It was almost two o'clock. I shook Thalia's shoulder.

"Thalia!"

She groaned, still half asleep. "Mmph... What?"

"Time to wake up. We're going to arrive in Staunton in an hour," I told her.

"Oh!" she shoved herself up, looking at me.

"Wow, look at you!" she said. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you've run into a ghost! Or a fury! Or maybe even Hades!" she mused.

"Haha..." I tried to laugh at her, but I knew it was half-hearted. I was still a bit shocked from the nightmare. Thalia's face turned serious.

"No, really", she said. "What's up? Has something happened?" She looked concerned.

"Well..." I said. "I actually had a nightmare."

"Uh-oh, Annabeth," Thalia said. "Tell me everything."


This was the first chapter of my re-uploaded fic. I hope you enjoyed it! I'll be back.

Peace, love, PJO!

Luv,

AC