waiting for daylight.

percy & thalia

( only after the sun sets )

:: author's note: PercyThalia is my favorite ship form any fandom ever ever ever (except for maybe FinnickAnnie in HG). i'm really happy i finally got to do this.
thanks to koalakoala for the beta :) ::

disclaimer: not mine.

Let me make this very clear. This thing between them is not love. It's not positive, or permanent. It's not even anything remotely emotional.

Because far, far too much of her is LukeLukeohwhyLuke and way, way too much of him is AnnabethAnnabethohgodsAnnabeth.

He's not sure how or when it really started. He thinks it might have been on what he's deemed The Worst Day Of His Life.

"Annabeth was a brilliant fighter, and the smartest person I've ever known." He draws in a deep shuddering breath, staring out at the campers gathered around. Some are crying. Some aren't. But there's no difference.

They're all grieving.

He murmurs, half to himself and half to everyone that's listening, "I still can't believe she's really gone."

And for someone who can make the sea rise out of its bed by merely twitching a finger, the tears begin falling too easily. He hears a clopping of hooves and tries to blink back the heavywarmsalty droplets that are fogging up his vision. He feels a firm, comforting (but not really) hand on his shoulder. "Thank you, Percy," Chiron says.

Percy nods and steps down. From then on he can only look on helplessly as they put the torch to her shroud, burning the beautiful, gray banner of silk, her body outlined in the gentle flow of the fabric.

And he forces himself to watch, even though all he sees when he looks at that shroud is her eyes, warm, laughing, calculating, frowning, smiling, crying, thinking, alive.

(It's then that he learns the hard way that even invulnerability can't protect you from heartbreak.)

He finds Thalia that night, on the beach just outside of camp. He walks up and sits down next to her, silently, not waiting for her permission. (Because he knows that if he does he'll be waiting for a very, very long time.)

She turns to look at him, her blueblue eyes sparking. She doesn't say anything at first and faces the ocean again.

"Your speech today... it was..." she inhales sharply, clearing her head. "It was perfect."

He looks at her out of the corner of his eye before directing his gaze back up to the moon. "Thanks."

The silence settles heavily upon them, and it's almost comforting, but not really, because they can feel the grief coming off of each other in waves.

"Are you leaving tomorrow?" he asks.

She sighs. "I should. But I can't. Not this time."

He nods. Because he understands. She can't go back, not now, not so soon after all of this. Going right back to normal life is like acknowledging that Annabeth is truly gone, just another person to forget and move on.

"I'll stay," she continues, "but only for a little longer. This place...it hurts."

And he understands that too.

It is at that moment that he completely knows what Annabeth (oh, gods) was talking about when she first told him that Thalia and he were either going to be best friends or worst enemies. It's because they are exactly alike.

She stays much longer than she originally intended. Because for some reason in the midst of all of this she feels comfortable, comfortable even though it hurts, almost more than she can bear.

(But she doesn't know why, and that bugs her.)

It turns a normal thing between them while she stays, these late night meetings.

And he's fairly sure that it's Fate, because the harpies haven't even caught on to the two of them yet.

They don't talk about her. They talk about other things, pointless things. They talk about sword maneuvers and people around Camp and sometimes Thalia talks about what she and Luke did when they were on the run.

He starts to notice things as they meet more and more often. Like the tiny gap in between her front teeth, or how her eyes flash and she gestures with her hands when she's feeling passionate about whatever she's talking about.

He also notices that she never touches him, not once.

And for some reason, that kind of bothers him.

They fight sometimes.

It's not often, but occasionally they do, because, I mean, this has been going on for months now and they just have to argue at some point, don't they?

When they do, it's terrifying. They usually end up screaming. Sometimes they'll cry. Alwaysalwaysalways, the air's electrified and the waves crash justalittlebit harder.

Because they both just feel soso much, and honestly, it gets overwhelming.

When they're both heaving for breath and the red that had been clouding their vision fades, they slowly sit down and just be, listening to the waves and staring at the starry night sky.

And he'll eventually murmur sorry, and she will too, and then it's all forgiven.

Because at this point all they really have is each other, and they can't afford to lose that over some stupid fight.

When he gets there one night, she's crying. He sits down and stares at his lap stupidly, because he honestly doesn't know what to do.

She waits for him to say something, anything, and when he doesn't she puts her face in her hands and lets out a shaky sob. "Percy... they're gone."

He doesn't need her to clarify who exactly she means by they. He knows. Luke&Annabeth.

And suddenly she looks up at him, her cerulean eyes bright with tears. "They're gone and I'm still here." He looks at her, their eyes meeting, greentoblue like the color of the canoe lake.

He touches her arm.

And then suddenly he's leaning forward and catching her lips in a kiss.

It's emotionless, dead.

(They both can't help but compare it to the body that used to house the soul of a girl named Annabeth.)

She leaves the next day without telling him. She doesn't really know why, she just knows that she has to go, because having him around now just adds to the hurt and pain and grief.

Because even though what little there is between them is hardly real, she feels bad for him, because she has given up too much of her love to the wrong people, and there's nothing left to give him, and she can't put him through that, she can't, because she knows just how it feels. She understands.

(Oh, and there's also that tinyittybitty detail that she's a Hunter, and they're sworn off boys.)

Percy&Thalia too alike, and besides, don't they always say that opposites are the ones that attract, anyway?

He surprised by how much he misses her.

He doesn't hurt, not really, it's more that he just feels an absence, like something's missing, something that should be there but isn't.

He focuses on going through the motions. Breakfast, archery, canoeing, lunch, climbing, sword arena, dinner. The single word that's been resonating through him ever since her death continues to reverberate in everything that he does: Annabeth, Annabeth, Annabeth. We used to climb that wall together. Over there, that's where we met. There's the spot where she taught me how to shoot a bow. There's where she kissed me, after the war. Annabeth, Annabeth, Annabeth.

Everything he does—it hurts.

But even now, underneath all of that Annabeth, there's another word, another person there too. It whispers quietly, so quiet that he doesn't notice it at first. It takes him a while, but finally, he hears it, feels it.

Thalia. Thalia. Thalia.