Disclaimer: I don't own PJO or anything else.
A/N: This is a Perlia fic, so if you don't like the pairing all that much, don't read it. I don't want to hear any bashing about my favorite couple. (Edited and rewritten 3/2/13)
Percy runs faster than he has ever run in his entire life.
He runs as though a goddamn hellhound from uttermost hell is chasing him, jumping over rocks and not even taking the time to trip over in his quick escapade. Exactly two minutes ago, he had been snuggled to coziness in his bed, in his lonely his cabin. He doesn't know how he gets to hastily putting on the rest of his clothes and streaking out of his cabin in the middle of the night in a pair of boxers and a thin t-shirt, but all he knows is that he has—no, needs to get to Cabin One.
Everyone else is soundly sleeping in their respective cabins, but he pays no attention to any of it. No matter how fast he may run, it seems as though his destination gets farther and farther from him, taunting him from getting there. When he's sure the cabin is right around the corner, he frantically finds out that he needs to go another two corners before getting there. No, he's not going to get there in time, he's not going to- Percy's got this desperate, almost mad look in his sea-green eyes.
And he needs to get there before it's too late.
"Thalia!" Percy yells through his rush of panic, banging roughly on the door to Cabin One. He doesn't care if he's making a ruckus or not. He quickly pales when she doesn't answer immediately. No. This wasn't happening. "Thalia, please open up! Thalia! Thal—"
He's interrupted in his rant when the door suddenly swings open to reveal the ever pale Thalia. The girl, who's just woken up a fraction of a second ago, mutters something obscenely before rubbing at her eyes. She then blinks, comprehending the odd situation before her blue gaze settles on Percy.
Okay, he knows that she's the daughter of Zeus and that she's an ex-Hunter and that she can definitely hold it on her own, but Percy can't help but feel as though he wants to lock her securely in this cabin and just guard the front of her door for the rest of their lives.
"Percy? What are—"
This time, Thalia is the one interrupted when Percy storms in and just gathers her in his embrace. He crushes her to him, almost like a death grip that nearly takes Thalia's breath away. She stumbles back at the sudden gesture, but Percy is there, holding her in place to keep her from falling. Like it how it always should be. His arms are confined around her waist tightly and his nose is buried against the column of her neck, inhaling her in and out.
"Seaweed Brain." Her voice - molten sweetness to sooth his fears away - is muffled against his shoulder. When her arms reach around to touch the small of his back, Percy can only let out a sigh of relief. "What's wrong?"
Percy doesn't answer her, and instead, he plants a hard kiss to her mouth. It's urgent, and it's needing, and it's not like the passionate kisses he gives her, or even the soft, gentle ones. This kiss is looking for reassurance, somehow giving Thalia the indication that he's making sure that she's actually alive and standing right in front of him. Rather than scared at this new side of him, worry gnaws at the pit of her stomach at what's going through that kelp brain of his, and if not, a little curiosity.
She lets him take most of the command as he walks her back into her cabin, shutting the door behind him with a resounding click, and all the while keeping his lips moving against hers. It's amazing how they don't bump into anything in the dark. He walks her back, steering her in the blackness until the back of her knees hit the edge of the bed, causing them both to crash upon the mattress of her bed.
With a thrill of excitement, Thalia's wrists are pinned just a couple inches above her head, against the pillow by one of his hands. His other hand is stroking the side of her waist, his long, clever fingers playing with the hem of the small shirt she had been wearing to sleep. His cold fingers reach inside and touch her flat and icy abdomen, tracing random patterns all over her skin. And suddenly, when everything has been so cold, there's a resounding warmth that abruptly takes residence.
As lips moved in sync, tongues are grappling for dominance, and even teeth scrape against each other. He gives a light teasing at her bottom lip before pulling away.
At her inquiringly look, he buries his face in her neck, attacking his favorite place. He's definitely a 'neck' person, leaving searing kisses along her skin, trailing them up and down her neck, starting from the base of her throat to the tip of her chin. Each kiss is feather-like and moist, her eyes closing at the bliss she begins to feel. And then he surprises her by giving a hard bite along the sensitive part of her neck.
Thalia concludes that joining the Hunters had been a pretty stupid idea because then she would have missed out on all of this. His tongue immediately runs over the spot where he's bitten, lapping the wound up tenderly.
Before things get too heated, some sense gets knocked back into Thalia. "Percy, wait."
"Hmm?" she feels him hum against her throat, rhythmic vibrations against her pulse.
"What's this about?"
"Nothing," he replies quickly—a little too quickly to her notice. He covers it up by nuzzling her neck.
"It's not nothing—"
"Look, can't a guy just kiss his girlfriend without having a reason for it?" Percy snaps, removing his face to glare at her with narrowed eyes. His harsh visage changes when he noticed a shocked look come onto Thalia's face and then he realizes what he's done. He instantly feels like a prick for doing that to her. "I'm sorry, Thals," he whispers, dropping a small, tender kiss on her lips as a physical form of an apology.
"It's okay," she responds, even though she isn't really that mad in the first place. Although she had been seconds away from instinctively pulling out her what the fuck? face. "Just tell me what's wrong. I mean, you were banging on the door and screaming my name like your life depended on it, you weirdo."
Percy sighs heavily as he sits up, running a rakish hand through his hair. At the sound, Thalia automatically knows that he doesn't want to burden her with his problems. The moron has the tendency to keep his own troubles to himself, even if it continues to eat himself away. Well, she's going to pester him until he spits it all out if she has to.
Before Thalia opens her mouth to prod him, Percy beats her to it. "I've been having these dreams lately..."
"Dreams?" Thalia blurts out, a second later thinking she should really shut up and let him finish.
"Not dreams...more like nightmares," he mumbles, and his voice is barely audible in its timbre. His gaze is averted from hers. "Every night, I see people dying. It's like I'm watching the war all over again. It never stops, Thals. I see Grover, Annabeth, Chiron, Nico, and…" Percy struggles with his words; he doesn't want to say it.
"Who?" Her hand reaches out for Percy's right arm, which is the arm closest to her, and her fingers are rubbing soothing circles along his arm.
He swallows thickly, sadly. "You."
In that moment, sympathy washes over her for him. He's been having nightmares nonstop after the Titan War, and he hasn't told anybody about it.
Her hands come to cradle his face, and her thumb strokes his cheeks. "Percy, you do know that all of those are just nightmares, right? None of it is real."
"But I see them every night," he replies a little brokenly, fingers clinging to her wrists. "I don't know what's supposed to be real anymore."
Take this night's nightmare for example. By far, it's worse than the others. He's seen other deaths, but this is the very first time Thalia appears in his nightmare.
She's unconscious in his dream, and the other gods from the opposing side are torturing her. They're ripping her skin off her body with any type of weapon imaginable, and they're pulling at the pretty tendrils of her hair. Blades dance along her skin and pierce into her core. Percy had screamed hoarse at them, helpless, because he couldn't do anything. He stands and watches because that's all he can do. He finally wakes up when they're were in the middle of slowly running the blade across her neck.
After waking up, Percy realizes she hadn't been unconscious in her form of torture. She's been dead. And he can't go back to sleep after that because Thalia is where he has to draw the line.
"You need to tell me these things, Seaweed Brain," she whispers, and his gaze is still averted. Her finger lands under his chin and moves his head until he is staring right at her. "You can't keep them all to yourself. They'll kill you."
She can see evidence of many sleepless nights on his face. The drowsy eyes, the dark lines...gods, she's such an incredibly stupid girlfriend. Why hasn't she noticed any of this before?
"I can stay here, right?" Percy gazes at her softly, looking just about as lost as a puppy.
The daughter of Zeus wants to say yes, she really does, but the last time two campers from different cabins were caught sleeping in the same bed, the punishment had been brutal. Those unfortunate demigods had been forced by Chiron and Dionysus to do almost every chore under the sun here at the camp. If she and Percy were caught...
Percy sees the conflict in her eyes and leans in. "Please?" he murmurs while cupping his large hands around her neck, fingers trailing the lovely columns. "We've just finished a war, Sparky. Chiron will give us a break," he adds a bit frenetically - and gods, he sounds unstable - but he can't go back to his cabin. He can't, he can't.
Aw, fuck the rules, Thalia thinks when she looks as those oceanic eyes, nodded promptly. "Of course you can. You're always welcome here."
His nightmares surely don't go away that soon. They are times where Thalia has to put up with his horrible thrashing until she has to shake him awake from the morbid dreamworld. And there are mornings where they can't leave the bed for the entire day because he's holding onto her too tight. He mumbles into her hair, pleading for her not to leave him, never to leave him, and his fingers can't help but bruise purple and blue into her skin.
Those tiny bruises never hurt though and Thalia never once complains.
Their fathers aren't happy with their sleeping arrangement - the skies rumble with thunder whenever Thalia is bundled tightly in soft blue comforter and Percy's arms of Cabin Three, and the watery tides collide roughly against the shore whenever Percy nestles himself into Thalia's own bed and immediately sticks his nose into the nape of her neck in Zeus' cabin.
He never sleeps alone again.