Disclaimer: I don't own Percy Jackson and the Olympians or any characters, places, things, or ideas therein. The aforementioned belong to Rick Riordan and Disney Hyperion. I am making no monetary gain from this story in any way, shape, or form.
Summary: Post-TLO. A conversation in Percy's kitchen, late at night. Percabeth
Spoilers: The Lightning Thief; Sea of Monsters; Battle of the Labyrinth; and The Last Olympian
Dedication: To the ray-ray: thank you so much for your patience at my lack of PJO muse, your awesome reviews, and your friendship!
Author's Note: …Yeah, so I'm not dead. The release of The Lost Hero made me pick up the PJO books and reread them, which kick-started my long-lost PJO muse. Right now my muse in general is kind of on the blink, so I can't guarantee that more than just this oneshot will be forthcoming in the near future, but I love PJO and Percabeth and, thus, am not abandoning this fandom. This is just a little piece I thought up while reading The Last Olympian, and I thought I'd type it up and post it. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!
I woke in the middle of the night, senses on high alert, thinking something was wrong.
At first I thought there was a monster in my house. (Being a half-blood, that kinda happens a lot.) But it was only after I had Riptide out of my pajama pocket, ready to uncap it, that I realized nothing was out of the ordinary.
Well - nothing except the fact that I was sleeping on the couch, it was three thirty in the morning, and there was movement in the kitchen.
Throwing aside my blankets, I padded barefoot across the family room (stubbing my toe on the coffee table on the way, same as I always did when I went wandering in the middle of the night), then limped the rest of the way into the kitchen, where the soft sounds originated.
I'd halfway expected it to be my mom, Sally. Sometimes she had trouble sleeping, and would get up to get some tea or a light snack. I was not, however, expecting to see one of my best friends.
Okay, so I remembered that Annabeth was spending the weekend at my house, and I had given up my bed for her comfort. I knew she was usually a heavy sleeper, though, at least while we weren't on missions. That was why I was surprised to find her curled up in the corner, a cup of steaming tea in her hands, and tear tracks on her face.
Part of me was sorely tempted to just turn around, return to my nest on the couch, and pretend I hadn't seen her. Annabeth's a really tough girl (I really liked that about her), and I'd seen her cry maybe a handful of times over the time I'd known her. So you can imagine why it was such a surprise to find her sitting in my kitchen in the middle of the night crying, when we were supposed to be having a fun weekend together.
The surprisingly rational part of me argued that Annabeth had surely seen me already; besides, it would be cowardly of me to retreat even if tears did scare me half to death. So I sighed, skirted the kitchen table, and hunkered down a safe distance away from Annabeth's reach lest she decide to take a swing at me for interrupting her crying time. "Hey," I said.
She looked at me with stormy grey eyes from behind a curtain of tangled blonde hair. Her tears looked like liquid crystal in the shaft of moonlight coming in through the window over the sink. "I thought you were asleep." The hand not holding her cup darted up to wipe away the tears on her face. "I didn't mean to wake you up."
I shrugged. "You know me. Light sleeper." A mostly true reassurance.
Annabeth chuckled weakly. "I'm sorry."
Turning, I grabbed a napkin out of the holder on the table and held it out to her. "Why are you apologizing?"
"For waking you up. For crying all over your kitchen floor." Annabeth shrugged as she mopped up her face. She stared at the crumpled napkin for a moment, then tossed it at the trash can across the kitchen. Perfect three-pointer, nothing but net. "I don't actually know."
Since crouching was starting to get uncomfortable, I sat down next to her, back propped against the cabinets, our shoulders just brushing. "So why are you crying?"
Annabeth sighed. "I suppose I shouldn't be. I'm getting to redesign Olympus - any architect's dream - my dad and I are getting along again, things at camp are going great, I like my new school, and I've got a pretty awesome boyfriend." At that, she nudged my shoulder with her own. "But I just - have a bad feeling."
I shook my head emphatically. "Huh-uh. No more bad feelings. The Great Prophecy has come and gone, we're both safe, Olympus is safe, the world is safe, the camp is full to bursting with all the new campers-"
"-and a new Great Prophecy has been spoken," Annabeth reminded me. "I know it probably doesn't have anything to do with us, but still. I just have a bad feeling."
"Like Apollo said, it took seventy years for the one about me to come true," I said reassuringly. "I very seriously doubt this one has anything to do with us."
Shifting, Annabeth rested her head on my shoulder and sighed. "I hope you're right."
"I know I am," I said confidently. "Now come on, think positively. We're going to have a great time this weekend! And we're only a little ways away from winter break, when we get three whole weeks together at camp."
To my relief, Annabeth's features lightened with a smile. "You're right. There's something I wanted to try with the-"
I held up my hand. "Seriously, Annabeth. It's a vacation."
"But at camp, I won't be able to stop myself from-"
"I'm not talking about camp," I said. "I'm talking about now. Right here, right now, is all about having fun away from school and work and all those other stressful things."
My girlfriend's (would I ever get tired of thinking those two words?) grey eyes gleamed. "Some of those 'stressful things' are fun for me. But I see your point. I promise I won't bore you until we get to camp."
"I'm so excited," I said, deadpan.
Annabeth laughed, stretching her neck so she could kiss me on the cheek. "If you're good, I might let you have a peek or two at my plans for Olympus."
That perked me up. While I didn't care to know the how-to's and what-to-for's of Annabeth's architecture, I did like seeing her completed drawings. She'd let me see several of her designs for other buildings before she was allowed to work on Olympus. Plus I'd seen her dream of rebuilding New York City while she and I had been in the Sea of Monsters, where we'd encountered the Sirens.
"I'd like that," I said honestly. "Though I hope you're building several nice shrines to Poseidon."
"Definitely." Annabeth laughed. "Do you think I'd dare offend the one who is so generously allowing the daughter of a woman he doesn't get along with date his son?"
I wrapped my arm around her shoulders, tugging her closer so she could rest her head comfortably in the crook of my neck and shoulder. "Add a little something from me in both Poseidon and Athena's, huh?"
Tipping her head up, she smiled at me. "Wow, you really are thankful. Okay, I'll do that."
We sat in silence for a while then, sitting next to each other on the kitchen floor of my mom and step-dad's apartment. I rested my head against hers, subtly inhaling the smell of her lemon shampoo as I watched shafts of moonlight creep their way across the floor. At last I lifted my head and started to say something, but I realized Annabeth had fallen asleep.
Smiling fondly, I kissed the top of her head before shifting so I could lift her up as I got to my feet. I carried her back through the silent apartment, lying her down in my bed before I pulled the covers over her so she wouldn't get cold. I kissed her forehead again, went back to the kitchen to dispose of her now-cold tea, then returned to my nest on the couch. As I closed my eyes and drifted back toward sleep, I couldn't help but think back on Annabeth's bad feeling.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that I had one, too. I was determined to ignore it, though, and enjoy the weekend with my girlfriend.
It was finally time for us to be normal teenagers, and I didn't want to waste a minute of it.
Thanks for reading this little piece, and I hope you enjoyed it!