Disclaimer: I do not own the Percy Jackson and the Olympians characters or universe.

I apologize if Annabeth seems more than a little OOC. Love changes the way we act so... yeah. I'll try not to get into the rated M zone with this one.

Chapter One: A Private Celebration

It had been two years since the defeat of the the Dark Lord Kronos. Two years since dozens of demigods had died trying to defend Manhattan. Two years since Luke Castellan had given his life to stop the rise of darkness.

While two years from that day was very important, eighteen years ago, I was born, which made it a really important day for me, and I really found it hard to stay sad for all of the fallen demigods. It was always nice to have a birthday party. Better yet, I got to spend the first half of that day at Camp Half-Blood.

While camp usually let out about a week before my birthday, Chiron had decided to extend camp one week to accommodate the event... after all, we had to take part in the remembrance of fallen demigods, the day before. I wasn't complaining. Any moment surrounded by my friends (and Annabeth) was a good moment.

Better yet, I got to go home at around five so I could celebrate with my mom and Paul (and Annabeth). It wasn't everyday that you turned eighteen. I could drive... smoke (blech, fire!) and I was legally old enough to move out of my house, if I ever so chose. I didn't really want to, because of mom's amazing blue cooking. But... if she and Paul started doing things like Annabeth and I did, it'd probably be better to move out and give them a little privacy.

Speaking of Annabeth and privacy, she and I spent most of the morning privately at the top of Zeus's Fist. It was nice and secluded, and nobody really wanted to climb all of the way up there just to spy on us. Of course, some of the wood nymphs could see us if they really wanted to, and I had the feeling that some of those rustles in the trees were really giggles. But other than that it was nice and private. Not to mention a lot cooler than a lot of the rest of the camp thanks to the shade.. and some magical enchantments or something.

"Do you ever think about having kids?" she asked after a serious hour long make out session. She was sitting on my lap with my arms wrapped around her waist, dangerously close to the zipper of her shorts.

"Mmmm... sometimes," I lied. Kids were not something that I thought about often. At least, having my own wasn't. That wasn't to say that the process leading to having kids wasn't something that I thought about a lot. It crossed my mind every night, and every time we made out.

"You don't," she she giggled. "You're such a horrible liar, seaweed brain."

"Is there any other insulting word that you can use?" I wondered. "Like... fish brain, or swimmer... dude... something..."

"I like seaweed brain,"she said with a smile that could light up the darkest regions of Tartarus. "I've been calling you that since... since we first don't like it?"

"I only like it coming from you," whispered in her ear. "I like just about anything that comes out of your mouth."

"Just about?' she raised an eyebrow.

"Just about," I agreed. "But then again... I can't think of anything about you that I don't like... well... maybe that you're a super smart-alecky know-it-all. And architecture is the practically my rival for your love." I grinned. "I still love you, even if you are a genius."

"And I still love you even if you smell like fish every time you walk out of the ocean."

"At least I don't smell like mermaid," I laughed.

"I would have to kill you if that happened," she chuckled. "I'm pretty good with plans. I haven't tried my hand at murder yet, but you can bet it would be good."

"I wouldn't dare to doubt that," I said, kissing her on the neck. ""You're turning me on again, Percy," she sighed as her delicate fingers traced up and down my leg.

"I'm turning you on?" I asked, amused. "Look what you're doing to me! Have you had seduction lessons from those girls in the Aphrodite cabin?"

She blushed. "I don't know what you're talking about. They only offer me advice on make-up and clothing. And to be honest, I don't really want to wear short shorts with a tube top."

"You don't?" I chuckled. I would kind of want to see that."

"Of course you would," she said, kissing me on my jawline. "But you won't. Not unless you want your tame wise girl to turn into just another girl who goes around seducing every guy that she meets."

"Hmmm..." I pondered for a moment. "How about we forget the tube top and stick to the short shorts? I think short shorts with a tight t-shirt is pretty hot."

"Seriously, Percy," she sighed. "Wouldn't you rather see me elegant than hot? You can get that by looking at any of the Aphrodite girls."

"I don't want to look at the Aphrodite girls, I want to look at you," I told her. "And you're right, I'd much rather see you in a white dress... a long white dress."

"Is that a proposal?" she asked with a raised eyebrow. "Should I see a ring out right now?"

"Oh no," I laughed. "Not yet. I have plans for that."

She looked a little disappointed for a moment then perked up. "Wait, so you're actually thinking about proposing to me? You already have a plan set up?" She seemed unusually excited for such a little thing as that... okay, maybe marriage was a big deal, but you don't spend an hour making out nearly every day and not think about the future... it's kind of hard to imagine not having those lips on yours every time you wake up.

"Yup," I confirmed. "I think it's a pretty good one, too."

She smiled widely, but then tried to suppress it a little. It didn't work, because she broke out into a huge grin again. "I can't believe that you're seriously considering marrying me."

"Why not?" I gasped in mock surprise. "You're not secretly a man, are you?"

"No," she blushed slightly at my off the wall remark. "It's just... marriage is a lot of commitment... and it makes me happy that you're thinking about spending the rest of your life with me. I mean... I'm just a smart-alecky know-it-all nerd."

"Hey," I whispered as I lifted her head so that her eyes looked directly into mine. Those stormy gray eyes were hypnotically beautiful, even when there was a thin layer of water over them. "You are the most beautiful, wonderful, and perfect girl in the entire world for me. I wouldn't want to spend my life without you. I don't care if there's someone out there that you think is smarter, or prettier than you. You'll always be my wise girl, okay?"

"Okay," she said weakly. Then she she wrapped her arms around my waist and pulled me into a tight hug. "Thank you... I love you, Percy." My heart fluttered as she said those words, as they did every time that she said them.

"I love you, too, Annabeth," I whispered back as I stroked her back with my right hand.

We sat there in silence like that for a while, and she loosened her grip on me. Her head rested on my chest, right over where my heart was beating faster than a hippocampus leaping through the waves.

"Your heart is beating pretty fast," Annabeth muttered sleepily. "You must be nervous..."

"You make me nervous every time that I see you," I chuckled. "I don't want to slip up in front of you. You might not want me anymore."

She smiled. "I could never not want you."

"Never?"

"Never."

I looked into her eyes again. Those eyes that were an ocean of churning gray waves. A beautiful, yet mysterious ocean. I never wanted to not be able to look in those eyes and know that they were mine to gaze upon. In her eyes, I could see the same thing. It was like she was staring back into my soul. If this really was going to be forever, then maybe we didn't have to wait.

I kissed her, and she pressed her lips against mine with a tender passion that sent chills of pleasure down my spine. But she didn't let up, and kept on pushing me until I was laying flat on the ground, and my hands began to creep up the inside of her shirt. But that was as far as I got, because I heard hoof beats in the forest, and we jumped apart.

I saw that her cheeks were flushing a bright red, and she averted her gaze from my eyes in embarrassment. We had been so close to taking it too far. We both knew it.

"There you are," Chiron said from the base of the Fist. "I expected to find you two here. Keith informed me that you were often to be found up here."

"Keith?" I asked aloud. "The new kid in Apollo cabin?"

"Indeed, Percy," Chiron replied. "The very one. But that is beside the point. You shall be late for your birthday celebration if you stay up there for much longer."

"Right... that... thing..." I was getting really slow in the head. Usually I remembered things like that. Annabeth had a way of making me forget just about everything, though.

"I suppose you two were... having quite a bit of fun by yourselves, were you not?" he asked suggestively. And for Chiron, that was a lot of informality.

"It wasn't... like that, Chiron," Annabeth stammered.

"Like what?" Chiron raised an eyebrow. A slight grin graced his lips. 'We should be off, or you'll be late for the surprise. Hop on my back and we'll get there much faster than you could on foot."

"Thank you, Chiron," I thanked him as we got off of Zeus's Fist and onto Chiron's back. "I don't know what we'd do without you."

"Well you might soon need to know," he said, sadness creeping into his tone. "Something is amiss with the herds of centaur in Kansas. I must attend the emergency council there in case I am needed."

"But... then who will stay here at camp?" I wondered aloud. "Other than Mr. D, of course.""I shall not be gone long," he said. "I believe that the camp can manage without me for a few days. I believe Mr. D will sufficiently fulfill his duties in addition to my own. Do not worry, you shall not be here, in either case. But in case of emergencies, you can always Iris message me."

"We will," Annabeth said, assuredly. "Don't worry."

"I surely hope not," Chiron sighed. "We've had enough trouble for another century, I hope."

The thought was in my head, too, but there were others on my mind. That thing about proposing to Annabeth... I did have a plan, but no ring. And they cost A LOT. I didn't even have a job yet... it wasn't going to be easy to get the ring, which wasn't even as hard as asking her.

With those thoughts weighing heavily on my mind, Chiron galloped through the forest and towards wherever my birthday celebration was being held.

I'd like to remind you to please, please review. :) I'm sorry if the title of the chapter doesn't really match the content... it was the best I could come up with at the time.