Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
Author's Note: This takes place after 'Percy Jackson and The Bronze Dragon' from Rick Riordan's The Demigod Files.
The entire camp sat along the fireworks beach on the large sand dunes overlooking the Long Island Sound.
Beckendorf - to both his and Selina's delight - sat with Selina cuddled up against his chest. After the game Beckendorf and Selina had become inseparable. The Hephaestus cabin cheerfully clapping him on the back, and the Aphrodite split in two - one half squealing with glee and the other betting on when she would dump him.
But I knew it would last - most of the campers did. For the past year they have been told by almost everyone that they liked each other, and now it was a utterly proven fact.
While Beckendorf and I were stuck in jail, strangely we did not have any other cellmates join us. They were all probably either to far away or it was to much of a hassle to bring them there. Beckendorf talked of Selina and how he could not believe she said yes and that he was dreaming. One smack to the head set him straight. He tried to help me figure Annabeth out. Beckendorf kept insisting that she liked me, even going as far as to say I liked her back.
She liked me?
No, we were just friends. If she liked anyone it would be Luke. But, she said she only loved Luke like a family member, and that was a little hard to believe.
I remembered our escape from the Tunnel of Love, just after she faced the Siren's in the Sea of Monsters, the dance at Stonewall, what Aphrodite had said to me while I was on a quest to go save her, us hugging in her cabin, Mount St. Helens, all the times she's called me...
"Seaweed Brain!" Annabeth called, snapping me out of my memories.
I hadn't even noticed her sit down next me, or how long she had been there. Her hair was down and framed her face, her gray steak from holding up the sky stood out in the faint moonlight. She had two Diet Cokes in her hands.
"Thought you were hiding from me for a minute there," Annabeth said handing me one of the Diet Cokes.
"Now why would I do that?" I asked opening the coke and taking a sip, "Thanks." I added acknowledging the can.
"Thought you would still be all grumpy from getting sent to jail today," she chuckled, taking a sip from her own drink.
"Now why would I be upset about that?" I said, "You and Selina go through all that trouble - and almost getting Beckendorf killed by the way - just to get the two of us out of the picture? Why would I be upset?"
"Oh please, Seaweed Brain," Annabeth said, "I didn't actually plan all that."
I almost spluttered my soda out all over her, "What?" I asked, surprised.
"Honestly Percy," she said turning to face me directly, "there would be no way for me to plan - or even find - that dragon. All I did was make you go to the Ant Hill with some mind games and bribing some tree Nymphs."
"Seriously?" I asked in disbelief, "Than what was your plan?"
"Oh just corner you by the Ant Hill, have Selina come out and distract you while I took you down from behind. Then Selina gets down Beckendorf and we take you to the jail," Annabeth said nonchalantly, "Nothing elaborate."
"But obviously overconfident," I scoffed, "You relied so much on your ability to take me down."
Annabeth rolled her shining grey eyes, "Which would be the easiest part of the mission."
"I'm not so sure about that."
"Well tomorrow we can test that theory."
Annabeth stopped, then I did too. I hadn't noticed that the two of us had leaned in closer to each other. Our noses were practically touching, our lips mere inches from each other. I could feel her delicious diet coke breath tingling my skin. It was just like when she was helping me along in capture the flag - well before her teammates informed us of the double-cross.
To anyone that was looking are way, we must have looked pretty stupid just staring at each other like that - almost kissing for the second time that day. Normally when Annabeth was in a position like this she would go tense and turn away - but not this time.
The little voices in my told me to do it. She had asked me out. Right?
I slowly began to lean in, but Annabeth with turned her head away. I was confused - and embarrassed. I silently hopped that she hadn't noticed me lean in. When finally looked at her I could see her glaring off into the dunes. Silena - who was still with Beckendorf - had gathered a bunch of her siblings who were now awing in disappointment; money going from hand to hand like there was some kind of bet that just took place.
It suddenly occurred to me what that bet was.
Those were not the voices in my head talking.
"Vlacas," Annabeth said, shaking her head, "they're all a bunch of Vlacas',"
"Yeah," I mumbled my face hot, "Vlacas'."
We sat in silence after that, I wouldn't necessarily call it an 'awkward' or an 'uncomfortable' silence, more like a 'we-almost-kissed-for-the-second-time-again-and-was-interrupted-again-and-now-we-don't-know-what-to-do' type of silence. Perfectly normal.
Finally, we both finished our drinks and had nothing left to occupy ourselves with.
"So..." I said trailing off, no idea what to say.
"So..." Annabeth mimicked, unsure of what to say as well.
"So..." I said again. We needed to stop this, "is the show the same as last year?" I knew the answer, but we needed to get a conversation going.
Annabeth raised an eyebrow, "It always is, Seaweed Brain," she said, "Nothing else remarkable has happened yet to be added."
"Excuse me?" I gasped, "Did you forget everything we've done? Zeus bolt? The Sea of Monsters? Rescuing Artemis? The Labyrinth?"
Annabeth rolled her eyes, "There are a few requirements for what is displayed."
"Oh yeah, like what?"
"Well for starters," Annabeth began, "You have to be dead-"
Annabeth rolled her eyes again, "So egos just like yours don't get even more inflated."
"I don't have a big ego," I said, slightly hurt even though I knew she was being playful.
"Percy," she laughed, "You're a child of the Big Three. It comes with the heritage."
I grumbled at that, Annabeth had a point - just look at Thalia! But Nico and me... not so much. It was more the Aphrodite kids and Clarisse who had the egos.
"Well what about a certain Wise Girl I know?" I asked, elbowing her playfully.
"Seaweed Brain," Annabeth sighed, "Pride and an ego are two entirely different things."
"Well you call me 'Wise Girl' for a reason right?"
I chucked. I didn't call her that for that reason - it was just the only insult that worked fir children of Athena. Well other than 'Owl head' but that just sounded like you were insulting yourself for saying such a bad one.
"Fine," I said, "So, when we are dead will be in the show?"
Annabeth laughed again, "Probably not."
"Why?" I whined.
"Percy," Annabeth said, her teacher tone turning on, "The Golden Fleece was already saved by Jason, Odysseus already sailed the Sea of Monsters, and Theseus already escaped the Labyrinth."
I could see her point, "But what about Artemis and Zeus' bolt?"
"Those aren't high points for the gods," Annabeth said a little sadly, "Rescuing on a goddess and recovering stolen property of a god that was stolen by a demigod. They don't exactly want to remember those."
"They're the ones with egos then," I said and thunder rumbled in the cloudless night sky, "Anyway, you really didn't help save Artemis, you were a little tied up."
"Oh, shut up," she snapped.
It wasn't like being tied up was a something she didn't like to talk about, but we were getting a little too close to the subject of Luke. Annabeth always said she was fine, but I could tell she wasn't.
"When is the show supposed to start?" I groaned, changing the subject.
"Nine o'clock," Annabeth said, dragging the 'O' out.
"How much longer?"
"How am I supposed to know Seaweed Brain? You're the one with the watch."
"Oh yeah..." I murmured, feeling stupid, "We got about ten minutes." I concluded.
We fell into silence once again, not utter silence though. We said short sentences to each other like 'Nice night' and 'I can see Zoë's constellation', but it mostly consisted of a varied lengths of the word 'So...'.
I yawned, which caused Annabeth to yawn - those things are really contagious. I leaned back against the sand dune, putting my arms behind my head like a pillow. After a few minutes, Annabeth couldn't take the slight awkwardness of the level change and she laid down next to me - well not 'next to-next to' me, more like a foots distance away.
Then finally the announcement was made, "Heroines and Heroes!" Chiron called from down by the water, "Happy Fourth of July!"
The crowd cheered as he shot an arrow into the air, which signaled the Naiads to set the fireworks off. They zoomed out from s barge on the water and up over our heads.
They showed Hercules killing the Namean Lion - did that - Artemis killing the boar, Athena creating the chariot and Poseidon creating the horse - which was one of the few moments they got along. Then came George Washington crossing the Delaware, Beethoven playing his music, Albert Einstein and his light bulb, Rocky fighting it out in the ring.
Same old same old.
The show seemed to go on forever, and very slowly. Mainly due to the fact that this was my third time seeming the show. And it was Annabeth's... What eighth time seeing it?
I took a glance at her, and she was right next to me. Our bodies were touching. Just like before, we both hadn't noticed us leaning in - or in this case scooting towards each other.
Before I lost the courage I stretched my arm up and arm out and wrapped it around her shoulders. She gave a little jump, for she hadn't realized we were so close. She shrugged it off and collapsed into my chest. I pulled her as close as she could get without being on me. She snuggled her face into my chest, and I stroked her blonde princess curls and twisted her gray streak around my index finger. This peaceful feeling that was happening was so much better than the direct aftermath of the Labyrinth. Hopefully it would last.
We didn't pay attention to the rest of the show. Her face was content against me. Her curled up body occasionally adjusting on the sand. I kept my eyes on her, stroking her hair and smiling at the sight be for me. At the same time we let out a happy sigh.
Annabeth looked up, her gray eyes plunging into my own. I rubbed her shoulder a little and she smiled, and I widened my grin.
This is how it should be...
She readjusted herself, so that she was propped up over me. Her arms rested on my chest and she scooted farther up so that our faces were almost touching - again. I kept one hand on the small of her back and wound my other into her golden princess curls. She gave me a smile that caused mine to widen even more that my face began to hurt, but I didn't care.
The loud crackling booms of the fireworks overhead was like music to our ears. I could feel Annabeth's heartbeat, and I'm sure she could feel my own.
Annabeth leaned closer and I lifted my head a bit out of the sand. We closed our eyes, I could smell her caffeine scented breath, I could taste it in my mouth-
"And that concludes our Fourth of July festivities!"
Our eyes snapped open and we sprung away from each other at the sudden change in noise. Annabeth rolled off me and into the sand next to me, panting with a slight look of annoyance and surprise on her face.
"Let's all give a huge thanks to the Hephaestus cabin, for another remarkable display," Chiron called out to all th campers, as they all clapped and cheered, "Now please proceed back to your cabins, and head counselors and remember this time to actually call lights out."
As the rest of the campers began to file back to their cabins, Annabeth and I still lay panting in the sand. It happened - almost happened - again. We probably broke the record for a 'almosts'.
Finally, as campers began to make their way in our general direction, Annabeth sat up awkwardly.
"This was... nice Percy," She said not meeting my gaze, "Thanks."
I propped myself up on my elbows, "Yeah," I said, just as awkwardly, "Anytime Annabeth."
She stood up, gave me a tiny smile, and held out her hand to help me up. I took and she pulled me up, once again I was glad I was taller than her.
"'Night Percy," she said, "I'll see you at inspection." With that she gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and hurried off towards her cabin. I could feel my face getting as red as-
"Dude," Beckendorf said, coming out of nowhere, "your face is redder than Clarisse's armor. What happened?"
I tried to cool my face down but I could just feel it getting hotter, "It's nothing Beckendorf," I lied, then glancing around to make sure all of the Aphrodite campers weren't around.
"Sure," Beckendorf said, dragging out the word, "It wouldn't have anything to do with a certain daughter of Athena now would it?"
I shook my head but I could tell he knew it wasn't true, I looked around some more and caught a glimpse of giggling pink behind a bush.
I sighed heavily, this time shaking my head in annoyance, "Vlacas'," I muttered as I turned away and slumped on over to my cabin.
"They're all a bunch of Vlacas'."
I needed to write some Percabeth. Even though I honestly do not read many Percabeth stories because of the cheesy clichés, and the flat out OOCness in most - not all, but defiantly the greater majority. I enjoy the way Rick Riordan writes it, not fluffy or flamboyant, but not passive either. [Although I would have like more detail on the Greatest underwater Kiss of All time ;) ]
One last thing, I am currently developing a complete OC camp story (No Mary-Sue's I'm making sure of that) But I need some help with the formatting. It's just in outlining and character devolpment right now, I don't even plan on releasing it until 2012. If you are serious and know what you are doing just shoot me a PM or a review.
Reviews = PERCABETH.
~ Sincerely MNM