Just for fun. This short story is based on the song Skin by Rascal Flatts. I heard this song and just thought it would be fun to write a Percy Jackson story around it. This takes place Percy and Annabeth's junior year (they're 17.)

Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson or "Skin." I give full credit to the original owners. BTW I know the song says "Sara Beth" but I changed it to "Annabeth" obviously.

AN: I had to take out some of the lyrics, but I think it's still understandable. If you guys are having problems following along with the song, please let me know.


August 6

"Hey, Percy." Annabeth was on the phone with her boyfriend. She was staying in California with her dad for a couple of weeks before school started.

"Hey, Annabeth. How's Cali?"

"Good… Percy, do you remember that bruise I got on my leg during that 'duel' the week before I left camp?"

"Oh yeah, that really nasty one? What about it?"

"Well, it's been three weeks now and it hasn't gone away. It's just gotten bigger. My dad sorta freaked. He took me to the doctor and they took my blood and sent it in for testing."

"Oh… Well I'm sure it's nothing. Probably just procedure."

"That's what I thought. But they called today because they got the results back."

"And…?"

"Well, they wouldn't tell me. They asked to speak to my dad. Percy, I heard him Iris-message my mom. He wants her to come to the doctor with us. It has to be bad. I'm starting to freak out."

There was a long pause before Percy said anything. "Don't be scared. You don't know… I mean… I'm sure it's nothing."

"If it's nothing than why is my mom coming?"

"Maybe your dad just wants to see her."

"Yeah, maybe you're right." The doorbell rang.

"Annabeth," her dad yelled upstairs, "your mother's here."

"Percy, I've got to go. My mom's here."

"Ok. Annabeth, don't worry. I'm sure it's nothing."

"Yeah. I'll see you next week."

"Love you."

"Love you, too." Annabeth hung up the phone. There was a knock on her bedroom door. Annabeth turned around. "Hey mom."

"Hi honey. You okay?"

"Yeah."

"Well, you, your dad, and I are going to head to the doctors office in about a half hour. Is that okay?"

"Yeah. Hey mom?"

"Yes?"

"What's going on? Why are you here?"

Athena gave her daughter a sad smile. "Let's just get to the doctor, we can talk later."


Annabeth skimmed through a magazine from last spring while she and her parents waited for the nurse. She had this horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. She'd never admit it, but she was scared and sitting there wasn't helping. After what Annabeth swore was a two-hour wait, the door finally opened and a nurse walked out.

"Annabeth Chase?" she called out. Annabeth and her parents got up. The nurse smiled at them as she led them to Dr. Carver's office.

"Ah, Annabeth." Dr. Carver stood up as they entered the office. He offered her and her parents three seats in front of his desk. "And you must Annabeth's mother." He said, reaching his hand out to Athena.

"Yes. I'm Athena." Shaking his hand.

"Oh, like the Greek goddess?"

"Exactly." Athena replied with a smile and a wink towards her daughter. Annabeth couldn't help suppressing a giggle. But the light mood didn't last long. Dr. Chase sat on the corner of his desk and reached for a file.

"Well I'm afraid this isn't a social visit. The tests came back and I'm sorry, but there's some bad news." Annabeth gripped her mom's hand. "There seems to be a problem with your blood cell count. You see you've had some sort of abnormal production of your white blood cells. We call this malignant transformation. Basically what I'm saying is that you have leukemia, a type of cancer."

There was a moment of complete silence. Annabeth felt as if all the air in the room had disappeared, she couldn't breathe. Athena squeezed her hand while her dad started rubbing her back. They were all in utter shock.

"Annabeth, I am so sorry." Dr. Carver said.

"What does it mean? What's going to happen?" Annabeth asked, working to stay calm and composed.

"Well that's the good news. It looks like we've caught the cancer early enough. We have a new treatment. It's the strongest they have and there's a 6 out of 10 chance that it won't come back. Do you want me to start you on it immediately?"

"Will it mean that I have to stay here?"

"In San Francisco, yes."

Annabeth took a deep breath. She looked at her mom. Athena nodded and gave her hand another squeeze. She looked at Dr. Carver. "Start me on it as soon as possible."


When they got home, Annabeth went straight up to her room. She had chemotherapy the next day and needed sleep. But there was one person she had to talk to first.

By the time Percy answered the phone, Annabeth had tears streaming down her face. "Hey, Wise Girl. How'd it go?"

"I have leukemia."

"You mean like cancer?"

"Yes I mean cancer! The doctor says I'll have to go through chemo but he thinks they've caught it in time and that I'll get better."

"Well that's good."

"No it's not. It means I have to stay here in San Francisco for the next year at least! It means I'll loose all my hair! And the chemo will make me sick."

"Hey, don't cry. It's okay. Yeah those are set backs, but this treatment will make you better. It's worth all of that if you get healthy again. Man, I wish I could be there with you."

"Yeah, me too."

"When do you start?"

"Tomorrow."

"Well, get some sleep. I love you."

"Love you too."

"Good night."

"'Night." Annabeth hung up the phone and crawled into bed. As soon as she hit the pillow, she was asleep,

And she dreams she's dancing

Around and around without any cares

And her very first love is holding her close

And the soft wind is blowing her hair


September 10

Annabeth had been in chemo for more than a month. Her hair had started to thin and she had lost a lot of weight. She was always tired. She had just taken one of her many daily naps. She sat up and screamed.

"Annabeth, what's wrong?" Annabeth's step mom ran into the room. Annabeth was sitting at the end of her bed with her arms wrapped around her knees. She was staring at the patch of hair lying on her pillow. "Oh, honey." Mrs. Chase came over and put her arms around her.

Annabeth cried into her shoulder. "I'm going to be bald. Why would anyone want to take a bald girl to the prom?"

"Now, listen here." Her step mom held her. "You know Percy isn't like that. He doesn't care how you look, as long as you're you. Do you understand that?" Annabeth nodded and closed her eyes.

And she dreams she's dancing

Around and around without any cares

And her very first love was holding her close

And the soft wind is blowing her hair


March 27

Annabeth was out shopping with her step mom. Percy had asked her to prom, at her school in California. It wasn't until May 8th, but Mrs. Chase wanted to get the dress now.

"Why am I even going? I'm just going to be embarrassed. What kind of dress will we be able to find that can hide the VAD?"

"Don't worry, we'll find something."

"And what about the wig? I can't do anything with it. I think I should just tell Percy not to worry about it."

"Oh no you don't. You're going to this prom. Come on, one more store and then we'll go look at wigs." They pulled up in front of Rachel's Room. As soon as she stepped inside, Annabeth saw the dress. It was emerald green, the same color as Percy's eyes, with a little bit of sea blue mixed in. She tried it on.

"Oh my goodness!" Her step mom screamed as Annabeth walked out of the dressing room. "Annabeth, you look beautiful."

"I feel like a princess. And look, it even covers the VAD!"


May 8

Percy had arrived in San Francisco yesterday. Annabeth had come with her dad to pick him and his friend Grover up at the train station. Percy and Annabeth had spent the rest of the day together while Grover went to talk to some of his satyr buddies. After a long day, Grover and Percy had gone back to their hotel room. Percy had rented a car for the weekend and he and Grover had spent most of Saturday doing last minute errands before he had to go pick up Annabeth.

It was 6:45 when Percy came up to the Chase's door. He was wearing a tux his dad had paid for along with a nice black hat. He took a deep breath and rang the doorbell, wringing his hands nervously. Mr. Chase opened the door.

"Percy, come on in, my boy. Annabeth should be down in just a moment." They went and sat in the family room. Percy sat watching Annabeth's younger brothers play hide and seek.

"She's coming." Mrs. Chase ran down the stairs a few minutes later. Percy stood and walked out to bottom of the stairs. He sucked in a breath as Annabeth came down. She looked beautiful! Her dress made her look like a sea goddess. Percy couldn't help smiling at the idea. And the wig looked so real. Done up nicely, showing off her natural princess curls.

"Hi Percy."

"Hi."

"Why are you still wearing your hat?" She looked at him skeptically.

"Oh, well, I guess I could take it off now." Percy reached up and took off his cap. Annabeth's breath caught and she fought back tears. She reached up and touched his bare head.

"You did this for me?"

"Of course. How long is it going to take you to realized that I'd do anything for you?"

"Alright," Mrs. Chase said with tears running down her cheeks, "I need pictures."


And they go dancin'

Around and around without any cares

And her very first true love is holding her close

And for a moment she isn't scared