Okay, if you're following my other story, One Week, I apologise for not updating. I'm sorta... stuck... in one scene. I promise to try updating within the next few days (Thank God for semestral break).

ANYWAY. This post-TLO fic wasn't even s'posed to see the light of day- er, . But my friend wanted it posted up so, THIS IS DEDICATED TO YOU, DEAR 8D

Disclaimer: I don't own Percy Jackson. If I did, I would have my own personal Nico diAngelo. I don't, sadly enough.

Putting Up a Front
Honestly, Lisa could never tell with those two...

It was just another normal day for Annabeth Chase. Wake up, take a shower, survive high school. Simple enough, right?

After the Great Titan War, a sense of relative normalcy passed over demigods, especially those who fought in the Battle of Manhattan. Maybe now, they could live a normal life...

"Well if it isn't Little Miss Perfect."

...On second thought, maybe not.

Turning around, Annabeth was met face to face with Cassandra Linton – the resident queen beetch.

(Hah. Beetch. Bee + Bitch. Wordplay was so fun-)

She shook her head. ADHD or not, that shouldn't belong in her thoughts. She's been spending way too much time with a certain son of Poseidon. Annabeth turned her attention back to the girl in front of her.

"Hello Cassandra. Did you need anything?" She said, smiling tightly. Just when she thought she could go one day – one day – without seeing the popular girl, Cassandra had to prove her wrong by showing her face at the end of the day. Honestly, after all Annabeth did in the war – defeating monsters, coordinating attacks, making sure their Seaweed Brain of a leader didn't die on them – couldn't she get a break?

Cassandra's high heels clicked against the floor as she made her way towards Annabeth, her long wavy copper hair (obviously dyed) swishing behind her like a runway model's. The queen bee stopped directly in front of the blonde, trying to look menacing. Annabeth tried to hide her amused smile; Cassandra Linton couldn't intimidate her even if she turned into a twenty-foot-tall Hydra.

"You better stay away from my boyfriend, bitch." She spat out. Annabeth blinked.

"...Excuse me?"

What lie was she going about now? Annabeth didn't even know which guy was Cassandra's "flavor of the week", neither did she care.

"I'm talking about David!" Who? "He's way out of your league, Annie, so stop trying to steal him."

Annabeth vaguely remembered a David bothering her while she was trying to read during lunch. She glared at Cassandra. He talked to her, not the other way around.

"You're just jealous, Queenie." A voice muttered. It was Lisa, Annabeth's mortal friend, and possibly one of the only sane students in the whole campus. She pushed through the crowd that was beginning to form – were they that interesting to watch? - and moved to stand by Annabeth's side.

"Me? Jealous? Of her?" Cassandra scoffed. She spat out the last word like it was a disease. Lisa shrugged.

"Why not? I mean, ever since Annabeth entered this school last fall, a lot of your fans jumped ship and moved on to admiring Annabeth." She smiled. "I can't blame them, though. She has looks and brains-"

"-While you barely have either." Annabeth muttered impulsively. And not too quietly, either.

Many of the students snickered as Cassandra turned an interesting shade of purple.

"Burn, Linton!" One of the spectators shouted. The brunette snarled at Annabeth.

"You think you're better than me? Please. I'll show you who's queen around here." Cassandra strode purposefully towards the blonde. She lashed her hand out and tried to slap the demigod. Without batting an eyelash, Annabeth deftly caught the other girl's hand. She narrowed her eyes at Cassandra.

"Honey, I know I'm better than you." She growled, slightly tightening her hold around other girl's wrist. Cassandra's eyes widened.

Annabeth has had it with these annoying accusations. It's been going on that way since she first came to this school. Cassandra had a new excuse to insult her everyday, and she was getting sick of it. She pulled the other girl closer, glaring at her threateningly. "And if it wasn't a waste of my time, I would've deflated your huge ego the first day I got here. So for your sake and for your status, Cassie, don't give me the chance to show you up in front of your adoring fans."

Annabeth let go of the Cassandra's wrist and went to her locker, leaving the school's queen bee cradling her hand. Lisa trailed right behind her, snickering when she heard Cassandra complain about breaking a nail.

"Have I ever told you how much I hate queens?" The demigod asked her friend. Lisa laughed.

"Only every time we bump into Cassandra. I never understood why you say 'queens', though. I mean, it's not like there could be anyone worse than our Queenie."

'Oh trust me. There is.' Annabeth thought. She couldn't exactly tell Lisa that Hera, the Olympian queen of the gods, hates her and curses her with demon cows. Being the only demigod in her campus (She checked. She didn't want to suddenly be charmspoken by Cassandra, after all) meant that everyone would think she was insane. It was hard enough to explain the hellhound incident a few months ago.

A few minutes later, Annabeth finished fixing her things. She closed her locker and headed for the exit. Together, she and Lisa left the building. The walk was silent until Lisa squealed.

"Oh. My. God! Annabeth! Hottie at ten o'clock. And he's looking right at you!"

The blond demigod sighed, not even bothering to look in that direction. Even though her friend was a total bookworm, that didn't stop her from being boy-crazy. She sometimes wondered how they became friends.

"Lisa, I already told you; I'm not interested."

"But-! He's so gorgeous, Annabeth!" Annabeth gave her friend a look that clearly said: "Shut up." Lisa didn't seem to notice and continued. "Ugh. Now Cassandra's flirting with him. The little bitch."

Annabeth rolled her eyes. "As if I care what she's doing."

"First she chews you out for apparently 'going after' her guy, and now she's flirting with someone else. She can be such a- OH MY GOD ANNABETH!" The demigod jumped out of her skin at her friend's outburst.

"What! What's wrong? Is anybody hurt?"

"He's still staring at you! He must really like you~~"

Annabeth blinked. 'That's it? You've got to be kidding me.' The blond girl groaned and whipped around to face her friend.

"Lisa, for the last time, I am not..." She trailed off as she glanced over her shoulder and spotted the boy her friend was talking about a few feet away. Tall, with an athletic build that could be recognized as a swimmer's body even from all the way here, and a mop of jet black hair. He was leaning on his sleek black car. Cassandra (and Annabeth mentally wretched at her name) was flirting – or at least trying to – with the boy, and he looked about ready to run for the hills. His gaze caught Annabeth's, and he mouthed: "Help me!" Even from far away, Annabeth knew those eyes were the color of the ocean.

'Dear Gods, that idiot.'

"Annabeth? What are you- Wait! Where are you going!" Lisa exclaimed as she followed the blond. Annabeth, on the other hand, was already striding towards the boy and Cassandra, her pace picking up with every step.

"Annabeth! Stop! You don't want to come across as too strong!" Ignoring her friend's outburst, Annabeth stopped about five feet in front of the car, looking on as Cassandra shamelessly tried to 'woo' the boy.

"Oh you've got to be kidding me." The daughter of Athena muttered.

She vaguely heard Lisa catch up, moving to stand beside Annabeth as she continued watching the scene in front of her. The boy was still resisting the queen bee's advances, and when he saw the blond a few feet away, his face lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Annabeth!" He had said. Cassandra turned to glare at said girl before turning back to her victim.

"Oh honey, why do you need her when you have everything you want right in front of you?" She moved even closer to the boy as she asked this. His sea-green eyes looked at Annabeth, begging her to save him from this monster- Well, no. It was really just a mortal. But that wasn't the point. The point was the boy looked – much to Annabeth's amusement and slight irritation – like he'd rather face Kronos right now...

(But he already did that, so there's no point in doing it again.)

...Back to the point. She supposed she could lend him a hand, because, well, she owed it to him to be helpful once in a while. It's just... there was only one way to make Cassandra back off. And if he wasn't worth the trouble, Annabeth knew she would never do it in her life.

"I can't believe I'm doing this." She muttered, before taking a deep breath and doing the most atrocious thing she's ever have to do.

That's right. She had to act. Not only that, she had to act girly.

"Baby!" Annabeth shrieked gleefully before jumping and tackling the black-haired boy into a hug. The blond daughter of Athena internally cringed as literally everyone in within a ten-foot radius gawked at the uncharacteristic outburst. Even the boy in front of her looked shocked as he slowly wrapped his arms around her.

"'Beth...?" He said. She clung closer to his neck and placed her lips near his ear.

"Play along, Seaweed Brain." She hissed. She then let go of him and turned to Cassandra, smiling when she saw her enemy with her jaw slack. Annabeth cocked her head to the side innocently.

"Something wrong, Cassie?" The girl in question just stood there, shakily pointing out a finger.

"You-You... what did you call him?"

"Baby. Why? Isn't that what couples normally do? Give pet names?"

"COUPLES! YOU TWO ARE TOGETHER!" Annabeth was about to reply, when Percy beat her to it. The son of Poseidon wrapped his arms around her and grinned.

"Yup! Together and going strong. Right, babe?" He pecked her on the cheek and Annabeth giggled girlishly to make it more convincing. They didn't bother to check the spectator's faces; they were too busy putting up an act. Neither demigod missed the glint in each other's eyes, though. It seemed they were having a little too much fun messing with Cassandra.

Speaking of the brunette, she was currently opening and closing her mouth, like she was thinking of what to say. Finally, she just settled on: "Wha- Unbelievable."

Percy smirked, nuzzling Annabeth's hair. "I know right? Looks and brains; how did I ever get so lucky?"

Both Annabeth and Cassandra flushed red, the former because she was flattered, and the latter because she was pissed. Annabeth smiled. She had to hand it to Percy; he could be a pretty good actor when he wanted to be.

Finally, Cassandra couldn't take it and growled.

"This isn't over, Chase!" She then went away, shoving through the crowd that had formed.

Immediately after the popular brunette left, Percy and Annabeth dropped the act. The change was so drastic that Lisa had to rub her eyes and blink a couple of times to make sure her vision wasn't playing tricks with her.

Percy turned to face Annabeth and began thanking her over and over again.

"Thank you thank you thank you, Wise Girl! I totally owe you one." He then lifted her up, pulling her into a bear hug. "Oh Gods, I love you."

"Seaweed Brain- let go...Can't... breathe..!" She managed to say. Her face was slowly turning blue. Percy gently put her down and smiled sheepishly.

"Sorry. But I do appreciate you coming to the rescue." Annabeth scoffed, but gave him a teasing smile.

"Yeah, well next time, I am not going to bail you out. I don't care how much you beg, Jackson." It was then that the blonde noticed Lisa's confused face. "Oh, sorry. Seaweed Brain, this is Lisa, the girl I told you about. Lisa, this is Percy Jackson."

Lisa felt her face redden as this Percy Jackson guy gave her a grin. She wasn't lying a while ago when she said he was gorgeous.

"Hey Lisa, how's it goin'?"

"H-Hey..." She replied timidly. He gave her one last smile before turning towards Annabeth.

"So Seaweed Brain, what are you really doing here, anyway?" The blonde asked. Percy shrugged.

"Chiron wants us at Camp this weekend. Says he needs help with the new kids. I knew you didn't have anything planned after school today, so I thought I'd come get you and we can go to Camp."

"Oh, cool. Any new Athena campers?"

"Grover said something about a little Athena girl. Anyway, your stuff is in the back; I asked my mom to pack for you."

Annabeth raised an eyebrow. "You're actually thinking ahead, Seaweed Brain? I'm amazed."

"Hey! That was a low blow, Wise Girl. My head isn't full of kelp all the time, you know."

As this was happening, Lisa's head went back and forth between the two, watching them banter like a tennis match. Her eyebrows furrowed.

"Wait. I'm lost. What just happened?" And what the heck was with the nicknames? Annabeth looked at her confused face and laughed.

"Lisa, that whole thing with Cassandra was just an act to make her leave. I've had enough of her to last the weekend, thank you. Did you honestly think Percy and I really act that way?"

"Could've fooled me." Lisa muttered under her breath. It was almost scary how those two looked so comfortable with each other, even when they were pretending a while ago. Lisa actually wouldn't be surprised if she found them running for their lives together in some giant labyrinthine maze.

"Besides, Percy here didn't even do anything to stop her." Annabeth continued, narrowing her eyes at him.

"What? Like slowly move away? I tried, Wise Girl. She just can't take a hint."

"Well, you could've at least shot her down. But nooo, I had to make her go away." She scoffed

"Is that a bit of jealousy I detect, Annabeth Chase?" Percy teased.

Annabeth glared at him menacingly. "Jackson, keep this up, and I swear I'll convince Chiron to make you handle Archery."

"Ouch. That's just harsh, Wise Girl."

"I did say I wasn't going to make things easy for you, didn't I?" She retorted, grinning slyly. "Anyway, let's get going, Seaweed Brain. We'll have to leave now if we want to reach Long Island by nightfall. See you next Monday, Lisa." With that said, she moved towards the passenger's side and opened the door.

"Alright. It was nice meeting you, Lisa." He said, smiling. Lisa could only nod. It was all a bit too much to take in right now. If she got it right, she just met Annabeth's best friend, and that whole boyfriend-girlfriend thing a while ago was just an act.

Before he got in the car, Percy snapped his fingers, as if just remembering something.

"Oh, and one more thing." He grabbed Annabeth's hand, spun her around, and pressed his lips onto hers. Lisa's jaw dropped. Her eyes bulged out soon after when Annabeth – Annabeth Chase, her forever 'not-interested' friend – tilted her head and kissed back. At this point, many of the students were openly staring and wondering where the Annabeth they knew went.

They eventually parted, a little out of breath, and Percy smirked. "Happy birthday, Wise Girl."

Annabeth rolled her eyes, but she was unable to keep the smile and blush from her face. Once she saw Lisa, though, she frowned.

"What?" She asked hotly. The other girl just stood there, jaw hanging in the air. "Okay, so I may have forgotten to mention that today was my birthday. So what?"

"Annabeth!" The girl in question cringed, and then laughed guiltily.

"Ahahaha... Did I also forget to tell you that Percy's really my boyfriend?"

Well, so much for Lisa thinking she got it right.

Well, heck. Hope that didn't suck as much as I thought it did. Review, dears!