I settled down,
A twisted up frown,
Disguised as a smile.
It was early morning when he left. It was the usual thing; the alarm going off, him getting up. Sometimes frost coated the window; sometimes not. After he had risen out of bed, I could hear him fumble around in the closet, before blindly making his way towards the door. Sometimes he would bang into a piece of furniture, a muttered oath in the dark. I would smile at that.
I would hear the shower running, and it would send me deeper back into sleep. Then, I would feel his breath against my ear as he kissed me on the cheek.
I love you, the words muttered against my skin. Then he was gone, away to whatever mysterious errand the Sea God asked him to do. But he came back. Always.
Three hours later, I'd emerge from the bathroom, hair wet and usually a lot more awake then when I had entered it. I couldn't stay in the bed for longer than sleep and exhaustion necessitated. I didn't like the hole he left.
I would pad to the kitchen, fixing myself a bowl of cereal, or toast, if I was feeling more bothered. I'd eat at the kitchen, before moving to the study.
Neither of us had to work. Being the children of Gods and Goddesses had their benefits. He helped his father control the ocean. I was in the middle of writing a novel.
I'd yawn as I stared at the computer screen, sometimes typing, sometimes drifting off into space, thinking about, well, everything.
A framed photo sat proudly beside the Mac on the desk. It had been taken at dusk, the sky behind us shot through with purple and orange. It wasn't a professional photograph, instead taken by Nico with a phone camera. Still, it was of remarkable quality. Maybe Hermes had helped.
It showed us on the beach, him in a black tuxedo, me in a simple white dress. We were smiling, him holding me bridal style in the surf. The guests at the wedding were demigods and humans who already knew about us; there was no need to hide the complete lack of effect the water had on his clothes. Twin gold bands glinted from our fingers, his catching a ray of light from somewhere. It had been a wonderful day, almost two years ago, and it still made me feel warm inside.
I snapped back into attention and rubbed my eyes, focusing on the display in front of me. I had always wanted to be an architect, and maybe I would still be some day. But as Athena's daughter, I felt the urge to contribute something to the world. What better way than a book?
After six hours, I'd make myself lunch, and go for a run, or if I was feeling lazy, a jog. The physical activity felt good, reliving some of the jitters the ADHD gave me. Computers and literary stuff were all well and good; but they were nothing compared to physical activity. It also gave me time to think, and plot. Sometimes I would plot was trivial things, sometimes the novel. Sometimes, I would plot out us, and out life together, and how we'd progress through it. With him by my side, anything seemed possible.
After the jog or run—whichever my enthusiasm dictated—I'd take a shower again. The sun would start to set by that time, and he would be home soon. He always was. Never late.
I would cook dinner, or, again if I was feeling lazy, simply order takeout. It wasn't as if money was in a short supply. I didn't feel like cooking that night. He was actually rather good when it came to food; he just wasn't home early enough most of the time.
The ball of worry in my stomach grew bigger as the sun sunk lower. He was usually home at that time. Sometimes he'd be late; being under the ocean most of the time meant that he couldn't really call. So, I squashed it and went to watch television.
It grew darker as I huddled on the couch, focusing on the television. The news was on, and then some kind of reality television show. I took it all in without really seeing it. Finally, that ended and the more adult-orientated.
I switched the television off and rubbed my eyes before glancing at the clock. The anxiety I tried so hard to squash down started to rise again. It was nine o'clock. He was never out that late. I still tried not to worry, though.
I'm a big girl now... I told myself. I can handle it.
Still, I couldn't help it. The home phone sat on its stand in the kitchen, the green light glowing in the relative darkness.
I picked it up, flipping it open. The screen lit the dark, a tiny block rectangle in the dark. I wasn't afraid of the dark, not anymore. He'd healed that, among other things.
I called his phone, knowing what I'd here when it dialled. It didn't even ring, going directly to voicemail.
Hey, I can't take your call at the moment. If you wanna leave a message, well, you know what to do.
I hung up before the tone beeped.
Sitting the phone back in its cradle, I looked at the digital display on the cradle.
It was ten o'clock.
I sat myself down in front of the television, fighting back my worry as I switched it on to National Geographic, taking a blanket out of the cupboard in the hallway. I wasn't going to bed without him.
Beyond uneasy at that point, I drifted in a restless sleep at one in the morning, dreams filled with eyes, sea green and dark purple, kind and cruel, claws and talons and celestial bronze.
It was morning when I woke, sun filtering in through the curtains that adorned the windows. The television was still on, the program a morning talk show, the clock at the bottom of the screen showing the date and time. It was eight in the morning. I ran upstairs, hoping against hope that he'd been home and left again.
I knew the answer before I pushed through the bedroom door, but still hoping I was wrong. His clothes from the day before still lay on the bottom of the bed, a sure sign he hadn't been in there. He was a neat freak; he couldn't stand it. He also couldn't stand having an unmade bed, which it so obviously was.
He hadn't come back. Percy hadn't come home. I sat in the hall and let the tears fall.
Annabeth is OOC. Yes, I know that. I also have a reason why she's so fragile and unlike herself. You will find out more about it later. This will pan out, eventually, hopefully with a happy ending. However, we have a while to go before then.