A/N: And here it is…The final chapter of what was supposed to be a one shot! Please keep that in mind, by the way – I didn't start this story with the intent to make other chapters, so everything after the first chapter has been formulated out of desperation haha.
Thank you for all of your reviews – I appreciate it so much!
Oh, and this is canon with Illogical and Stupid, my two Rico one shots, and the upcoming story that I will be starting soon!
And so begins…The finale!
"This," I said, wincing, "Is not funny, Annabeth. Stop laughing."
She briefly paused. "Okay, I'm sorry. I'll stop laughing. But seriously, a slap in the face? Come on, my mother isn't usually that ridiculous."
"Actually, I suppose I am that 'ridiculous,'" said Athena's regal tone. She walked over to me, and immediately I felt like hiding behind something.
"H-hi, Athena," I said, trying desperately not to run and hide like a child. I wasn't sure if this was just my instinct when it came to my girlfriend's mom or if Athena was actually planting the fear into my mind, but either way I was about to curl into a little ball and start crying.
"Hello, Perseus," she said smoothly, coming gracefully to a stop next to her daughter, who was attempting to keep from laughing, "I see you've discovered my punishment."
I timidly nodded and felt like an eight year old looking up at their third grade teacher waiting for punishment, "Yes, ma'am. I'm…Well, I'm not sorry I'm with your daughter. But, um, I apologize for offending you." I took a deep breath and glanced over at Annabeth, who had finally stopped cracking up and was looking at me as if I was insane. "Even so, I don't see my relationship with your daughter ending any time soon. I'm –" I glanced over at Annabeth, who was looking angelic as ever even though her hair was still a mess and her clothes were bedraggled and ill fitting, "I'm completely in love with her. So, erm, please don't kill me, because I promise I won't leave her before she leaves me or break her heart or do anything stupid."
The look Athena gave me was an embarrassing combination of incredulity, mocking, and condescension. I wasn't exactly okay with it.
"Okay," I said, "I'll probably do a huge amount of stupid stuff. But I won't do anything too stupid when it comes to Annabeth – mainly because she'd kick my butt if I even tried to."
Athena still didn't say anything. I stood and watched her, but eventually even that got uncomfortable. I wasn't completely okay with looking at Annabeth either, because I had a weird feeling that if I did, Athena would fry my face off. I glanced around the place that Annabeth had designed earlier – towering columns, skillful architecture.
And all of it representative of how much smarter Annabeth was compared to me. I hoped her mother understood that.
"Mom?" said Annabeth, finally stepping in, "Um, would you mind if I said something?"
"Go ahead, Annabeth," said Athena, turning to face her daughter.
"Mom, he's an idiot. I know that."
"Thanks, Annabeth…" I muttered.
"Shut up, Seaweed Brain, you're not helping your case," she said with the smallest trace of laughter, "Anyway, what I mean is that he's an idiot. He makes a million and six dumb decisions every day. He takes risks. But he never does anything to hurt anyone," she said, smiling in my direction. "Really, Mother, can you find a situation where he was intentionally hurtful?"
I didn't think I would have ever seen the goddess of wisdom stumped, but she was. Annabeth folded her arms across her chest and let a small smug smile play across her lips. "See?" said the demigod, "He may just be the most ridiculously pigheaded person on the planet. The dumbest things I've ever seen have had something to do with him. But his idiotic decisions have saved lives – even mine, Mom. Remember?"
Athena closed her eyes as if she was in pain. "He was one of the three to save you when Atlas kidnapped you."
Annabeth nodded and allowed me to see a quick smile. I knew that smile – she was about to go in for the kill, prove her point. As usual, Annabeth was about to win this argument. "And he saved me as I fell."
Athena stepped towards me, and I expected her to backhand me across the face or pick me up and toss me like a shot put, but instead she walked over to the spot where Annabeth had nearly plummeted to her death nearly three years before. "You caught her."
"Yes," I said hesitantly, "I wasn't going to let her die. That right there would have been the stupidest thing I would have ever done."
Athena nodded, and I decided it would be safe to take a step towards her. "That's kind of how it's always been, Lady Athena," I said gently, "I fall, she catches me. She falls, I catch her. It works with the two of us."
Sharply nodding, she looked up at me. "She's far too smart for you."
I wasn't exactly sure how to respond, so I went with the truth. "Well, duh, everyone knows that."
Athena stepped back next to her daughter. "I must speak with Annabeth again."
"Okay, that's –" My mouth was moving, but I couldn't hear a sound. Had Athena stricken me dumb? I tried to shout, "I can't hear anything!" but all I saw was Annabeth starting to laugh – again.
It would be awesome if I could figure out what was going on.
Your hearing has been blocked for now, Athena said to me in my thoughts, so stop shouting as I speak to my daughter. And turn towards the elevator, I don't want you trying to read lips.
I resisted the urge to answer with, "Yes, Mom," and did as she told me.
I had a feeling that things weren't this difficult with most teenagers. We were barely teenagers anymore, as well. Annabeth was eighteen. I would be nineteen in a month. I wasn't sure why this was Athena's problem at this point, but apparently Annabeth was supposed to be a maiden demigod.
Stupid gods and goddesses getting in the middle of our teenage hormones. They couldn't make anything easy for us could they?
"Perseus, you can come in closer," said Athena, and it took me a moment to realize that I was actually hearing it as opposed to having it appear in my thoughts.
I was about to take a step, but then I remembered Athena's punishment. I hesitated, "Won't I get slapped?" I asked, wary of the answer.
"Yes." The way she said it was a dare – if I cared for Annabeth enough, I'd walk into pain.
I'd do worse for her. I'd done worse for her.
I took a step closer to Annabeth, and immediately felt a palm across my face. I did my best not to wince as the second slap was on the exact same spot, and tried to steady myself.
Between slaps, I managed to get a look at Athena. "This was a test," I stated.
"Actually," said Athena, "It was two tests."
"Huh?" I asked intelligently, but it wasn't my fault. You try thinking straight when you have an invisible hand five-starring you repeatedly.
"First, your intelligence. Would you be smart enough to remember that there was a punishment for being near my daughter. You were."
"It's not easy to forget being slapped in the face," I muttered. Annabeth hit me lightly on my arm, the universal sign for me to shut up. "Oh, come on," I said to her, "Aren't I getting hurt enough for you as we speak without you hitting me?"
Athena cleared her throat, and I did my best to turn back to her. Unfortunately, that meant leaning into the slap and having the oddest sensation of getting a literal face palm. "The second test was whether or not you would be willing to endure getting hit for my daughter."
"It's not a big deal," I said, "She's hit me harder for much more minor offenses."
As if to prove my point, Annabeth seemed to reflexively reach out and smack me on the arm. She wasn't even looking at me as she did it.
"Yes," said Athena, sounding disapproving, "I did notice this. But I suppose I have no choice in the matter. As much as I've tried, I cannot find a fault with you, Perseus, other than your intelligence. And this is a matter that cannot be resolved. I must live with the fact that my daughter is dating a man with the mental acuity of a fifteen year old."
"I'M EIGHTEEN!" I shouted. The next slap was a particularly hard one that sent me staggering right into a column, "Ow," I said, dazed, "Okay, fine, I'm sorry for shouting." I did notice, however, that Athena called me a man. Hopefully this boded well.
"I will let you two go now," said Athena, "But be careful. If you two make a mistake, and by you two I mean you, Perseus," I forced myself not to roll my eyes, "You should be prepared to expect punishment."
"Thank you, Mother," said Annabeth, putting her hand out to shake Athena's. Instead, Athena wrapped her in a motherly hug.
"You are welcome, my daughter."
I took Annabeth's hand, and, getting smacked in the ear, turned to the elevator.
"Wait," said Athena.
I let go of Annabeth's hand and turned back to Athena, beginning to worry that she had changed her mind. "What is it?"
"Aren't you going to ask me to remove the curse?" she asked, looking a little flustered.
I shook my head. "I kind of assumed it was a permanent thing."
Still staring at me, she nearly shouted, "You weren't going to have me take it off? You would have just lived your life being slapped in the face whenever the two of you were together."
I looked at Annabeth then back to Athena. "Yeah, it worked for me."
The slapping stopped. "You're an enigma, Percy Jackson."
"Uh," I said, rubbing my sore and raw face, "Is that a good thing in your eyes?"
Athena shook her head, but instead of how she usually did, with a feeling of resentment, she did so with a smile on her face. "I'm not sure yet," she said, "But we'll figure it out soon. Good day, Annabeth. Take good care of Percy – he'll need it."
Annabeth grabbed my hand and pulled me along. "Don't worry. I've got this, Mom."
The two of us stepped in the doors, and the goddess waved goodbye as the doors shut.
"So," I asked Annabeth as the elevator descended, "What would you like to do with this newfound freedom?"
I felt an uncomfortable tightening in my jeans when I saw the look on her face. Devilish, beautiful, sexy, perfect, gorgeous, mine. I swallowed hard and felt my heart beating fast. "Um…Annabeth?"
"You should know exactly what I want to do," she said stepping towards me.
"In…In the elevator?" I squeaked, kicking myself for sounding like a pubescent kid.
"No one to interrupt," she said, pressing the emergency stop button, "No video cameras," she anchored a hand in my hair and tilted my head to hers, "Nowhere we need to be."
Our lips slammed against each other with a hungry force I couldn't get enough of. I didn't care what anyone else said – immortal life could never compare to this.
A/N2: Thank you for reading! This is the first non one shot story that I have completed! Yay me!