Shrouds

She was crying.

Annabeth. Crying.

I don't think I had ever seen that.

She was standing next to Chiron and he was talking, but I could only catch a few words here and there, like "presumed to be" and "without return". Only after I noticed that they were standing next to the fire pit did I realize what was happening.

They were burning my shroud.

From my place in the shadows, it looked as if the entire camp was close to tears, which kind of surprised me; I didn't know any of them besides Grover, Annabeth, and maybe Chiron would even care if I died, much less cry over it.

I watched as Annabeth started to speak. It was obvious that she had been crying for a long while but her voice was surprisingly strong and steady. I started to drift closer in order to hear her and I was now standing straight across from her on the other side of the pavilion.

"He was probably the bravest friend I've ever had and…" She suddenly looked up and our eyes locked. "And he's right there!"

Every single body in the pavilion turned to see if it was true. Annabeth started pushing her way through the crowd as the Apollo cabin started to clap. Soon, the whole building was rumbling with applause at my return. I may have been mistaken, but I think I even heard the Ares cabin cheering and hollering.

Annabeth burst through the group of people and stopped about five feet in front of me. She had more tears in her eyes and she just stared at me, almost as if she didn't believe that I was really standing right in front of her.

And then, she launched herself at me.

I staggered, but I soon righted myself as she hung onto me tightly. The entire camp was staring at us but Annabeth didn't seem to care. She buried her face in my chest as she shook with sobs. I held onto her as I momentarily flashed back to Calypso's island, and I wondered why I had ever even considered staying there with Calypso.

That kiss on Mt. St. Helen's made me realize something.

I love Annabeth Chase.

I mean I really, truly love her, much more than a friend should. A friend…

Annabeth pulled back to look at me.

"I was so scared." She whispered. "You were gone for two weeks. Two weeks! I practically drove myself crazy with worry." By the way she said it, I got the feeling that she guessed where I had been and that thought made me feel a little guilty.

"I'm back now." I felt that I needed to say something about my absence. "I got lost."

She eyed me skeptically for a moment before hugging me again, tighter than before. I looked up at Chiron and he had a knowing look in his eyes as he watched us, as if he knew something that we didn't. He winked at me and smiled.

I could hear the Aphrodite's "awwing" in the background and I even heard one girl say "You owe me ten drachmas!"

It was obvious that the whole camp had been waiting for this.

Hoping that Annabeth wouldn't object, I decided to give them a show.

I lifted Annabeth's chin, and I kissed her. She was surprised at first, but soon her arms, which had been around my torso, came up and locked around my neck. The Aphrodite cabin erupted in shrieks and "That's so romantic!" And even that same girl said "Ten more, hand 'em over!"

A few moments later she broke away and looked at me.

"I thought I had lost you." She whispered. "I was so scared; I don't know what I would do without you."

"I would have found a way back." I whispered to her, hugging her to my chest. "And I did."

She pulled back to look at me and a moment of wordless communication passed between us. A second later, realization lit her cloudy grey eyes. She had been right. Embarrassed, I hung my head.

"You came back, that's all that matters." She smiled then, a small, beautiful, tear-streaked smile.

"Aww, do you guys love each other?" A camper shouted jokingly.

Annabeth and I looked at each other before chuckling, half embarrassed, half willing to admit that it was true.

Well, this is my first Percy Jackson fanfic. I just LOVE Annabeth and Percy as a couple and I thought that this would be a great scene to rewrite and throw in a little Percabeth. Was it good? Bad? Criticism accepted, please review.