Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS, OR ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH PERCY JACKSON OR ANY OF ITS CHARACTERS.

A/N: Hi everyone! I'm so sorry. I haven't updated in so long. School's so annoying, it gets in the way and drains me. I miss it though. The feeling of finishing a new chapter then uploading it for all of you to read :) I'm really sorry if this chapter is short and kind of corny. It's a filler. I promise that my next update will be a lot longer and filled with more things. I still have to make Thalia realize a few things until I can move on to more twists. I have to give her a break too, sometimes, right? It's hard to be a heroine. You have to worry about EVERYTHING! Hahaha.

If the story's a bit rusty, feel free to reread ;) Ideas are always welcome. And feel free to rant about me being gone for so long... again, I'm REALLY sorry! It's Christmas now, though, so I'm on break and I'll probably be able to write some more :)

AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL BY THE WAY! [:

Annabeth Helps Me Remember

When I finally decided to get up from my bed, I made my way to my old pine tree. I needed some serious reflecting to do, which meant I needed some alone time so I could finally hear myself think. But if a few pleasant surprises stopped by, I wouldn't tell them to go away… well that actually depended on how "pleasant" the surprise was.

I leaned on the trunk of my pine tree, the Golden Fleece hanging just a short distance away from me, and the dragon slumbering about a foot away from us. I really wondered how the dragon was supposed to protect the fleece if it was asleep about… 97% of the time. I was pretty sure any thief wouldn't wait for the 3% it was awake to execute.

I heard the leaves rustling just above me, and even smell a faint scent of strawberries—an illusion the Mist probably created to match the whole "strawberry ranch" thing the camp was going for. I was just about to drift away when I heard a faint cuss and felt a slight thud rumble the tree.

"Who's there?" I whined, not even bothering to open my eyes.

"Nobody. Nobody's here," the voice whispered back, holding back snickers.

"Gods," I chuckled. "Annabeth?" I made a lucky guess.

"Where you got 'Annabeth' from 'Nobody' is beyond me," she laughed. "Hi Thals," she sat down beside me. "You mind if I—"

"Not at all," I interrupted. I slowly opened my eyes and turned to face her. "How'd you know I was here?"

She shrugged. "I had a feeling."

"D'you check everywhere else I might've been and since I wasn't anywhere there you wandered here, hoping this is where I was?" I raised my eyebrows.

She chuckled. "You should just stop asking questions if you know the answers anyway."

"I like it when people admit it when I'm right. It makes me feel accomplished—and all high and mighty," I raised my chin higher jokingly.

"When don't you feel like that, Daughter of Zeus?" she stuck her tongue out.

"So what's up?" I asked awkwardly. I haven't talked to Annabeth in so long I kind of forgot how it was like to start a conversation with her.

"You," she said sternly. "Something's up with you, and you're not telling me about it. So you better start explaining or else."

"Whoa—whoa—whoa," I raised my hands in mock surrender, with a huge grin on my face. "Since when did you become so… explosive?"

"Since Percy Jackson became my boyfriend," she rolled her eyes jokingly and slightly shook her head.

I laughed. "Anyway, I have no idea what you're talking about."

"If you haven't already realized… Luke's been dead for ten years," Annabeth said, stone-faced.

"Way to be subtle, Annabeth," I muttered. "And yeah, I realized."

"I'm sorry we never had a chance to talk about it—or talk all that much, for that matter—since you got back," Annabeth muttered. "How are you?"

"Alright, I've been better," I replied. "I just have a lot of things in my mind. I hate being a teenager," I complained.

"I figured you'd be used to it since you've been fifteen for the gods know how long," she laughed. "You know, up till today, I'm still pretty surprised you joined the Hunt."

I stuck my tongue out. What else was I supposed to say?

"Did you do it to get over Luke?" she asked.

"Well you sure know how to ease into a question," I joked. "Maybe, it's been so long, I've forgotten. I guess I… I thought I could escape him. I'm far from that though—REALLY far."

"Really? Thals, he's dead. And he's never coming back."

"Actually he's—" I choked.

"Yes?"

"He… yeah, he's dead…" I whispered. I couldn't tell her. I couldn't tell her about Cas… about Alecs. I couldn't. I couldn't…

"I know how much he means to you. He'll mean more to you than he'll ever mean to me. I mean, with everything you've been through together," she turned around to face me, and placed her hands on my shoulders. Her eyes stared right into mine. They were dead serious. "But you have to move on. Ten years is too much. You'll have your memories… you'll have those forever, but you have to remember that there's more to life than just the past. That's why the gods gave us tomorrow, so we can live it."

I bit my lip and felt a tear trickle down my cheek. I quickly looked away and wiped them, sniffling a bit. I glanced up to see her eyes soften, and slowly lean it to embrace me.

"I'm sorry. I just… I worry about you sometimes," she whispered.

I stayed quiet.

"I miss him too sometimes," she muttered. "I just don't admit it."

"I bet you admit it more than I do," I laughed lightly.

"That's another thing we have to work on," Annabeth immediately pulled back and looked at me with arched eyebrows. "You have to stop holding things in. What if you explode and cause some apocalyptic storm or something? And with the way you snap… damn," she laughed.

"One problem at a time, Annabeth," I winked.


When I finally managed to escape Annabeth's clutches, I locked myself inside my cabin once again. I buried myself in my sheets and stared at the floor, humming "21 Guns" quietly to myself. When I accomplished nothing, I got up from my bed, ruffled my hair furiously, and slowly stepped out of my bed. I felt something poke the heel of my foot slightly, so I recoiled and reached under my bed. I felt a hard piece of paper on my fingertips, and I grabbed it.

I sighed and smiled slightly as I stared at what I found. It was a picture of Alecs and me about two summers ago when I visited. I was about half a head taller than him then, and he still had his bright orange braces.

I held the picture closer to my face and crossed my legs into an Indian sit on the bed. It was weird how these random pictures meant so much to me. I never knew they would. I never knew I'd be in this kind of situation.

It was funny, how life always seemed to surprise me, and I was the demigod daughter of Zeus in the Hunt—very few things surprised me.

I slowly got up from my bed again. I placed the picture on my old desk, wiping the dust from its surface before doing so.

I should really clean this place one of these days. I laughed as the thought popped in my head.

I walked over to my closet, took out an orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt, a pair of faded jeans and my old favorite black sneakers. As I put on the shirt, I took in the faint smell of strawberries and grass, and smile. I folded up the sleeves, and put on the jeans and just slip on the sneakers. The looseness of my clothes finally made me remember what it was like to be home.

Then it hit me. What I've been missing all this time.

I ran out of my cabin, with a huge grin on my face, only to bump into someone and black out for a moment.

"Whoa, Thals, I'm sorry," a voice said.

I shook my head and smiled once again. "Percy!" I hugged him.

"Annabeth told me—"

"Yeah, I know what Annabeth told you," I smiled.

I realized; I haven't been treating Camp Half-Blood like home. I needed to embrace the time I have and worry about now, instead of the future. I needed to live and not worry about what I can't control, and just make what I can how I want it to be.

"Bet I can still beat you at a sword fight?" I looked at Percy and raised one eyebrow mischievously.

He smirked back, "Bring it on, Pinecone face."


Nico sat in the middle of the forest, the darkness engulfing him. His dark eyes stared intently at a clock sitting on the middle of his palm, sparkling slightly under the moonlight.

He leaned back and lay down, the grass tickling his face.

"I'm sorry," he whispered. A breeze blew, whispering his words back to him. He snapped his eyes shut, clutching the clock in his hands tightly, trying to destroy it. Time was passing by too fast. He wanted to stop it. He wanted it all to stop. He couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't take any more.

He sat back up, his eyes still shut. He raised his head up and whispered, "I'm sorry," once more. This time, no one whispered back.

He opened his eyes, sat back up, and threw the clock into the darkness, shaking furiously. He hugged his knees and buried his head in his arms.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he whispered endlessly.

He heard heavy breathing near him. He looked up and saw the transparent silhouettes of Charles Beckendorf and Silena Beauregard staring down at him.

"I'm sory," he whispered to them.

They smiled.

"She'll never forgive me," he whispered. "I destroyed her. It's my fault. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Silena bent down and kissed his forehead before disappearing. Beckondorf patted his back and smiled, "You'll fix this, kiddo." He dropped the clock on the ground in front of him and disappeared.

Nico picked up the clock once again, biting his lower lip as he did so. He turned it around, tracing his fingertips on the message embedded at the back.

It's never too late to be brand new.

-Hermes

He stood up once more, clutching the clock on his hand even tighter. "I'm sorry," he whispered once more, dropping the clock back on the ground and disappearing into the darkness.

A/N: Review and tell me what you think! :) Again, I'm really sorry for not updating in so long. I will try to update as soon as I can, though I don't know how soon "soon" will be :D

And I hope the last part wasn't so confusing. It sort of in 3rd person at the end, not Thalia's POV. :) The rest of the story will progress normally (in Thalia's POV) though.