Summary: The fish in the barrel had more chance of survival than she, but she was willing to look past the minor setbacks when he was laid beside her.

Pairing(s): Percabeth on the surface, I guess. Some very minor Lukabethalia, or whatever that is.

Word count: 550

(Alternately: Rhythmic Limitations)

It's downright sinful.

Like the eleventh commandment that should never be disregarded, but is broken so religiously that it makes her sick. It eats away at her core, body and mind and strength, and chokes her and makes her wish she had a chance to strangle them before they dared even think of uttering something… something so broken. So pitiful and empty. She used to believe in… well, not the things they promised, but just them. The people behind those empty, barren promises that left her wondering what the hell it felt like to have at least one fulfilled, to not be lied to beyond a matter of the doubt.

Like a shot in the dark, she'd hear them swear things. Simple oaths of trivial matters, some things that shouldn't really bother her so much. But they do. She can't help it.

Even if it's simply her father promising to pull his nose from some airplane model to just talk to a certain son of Poseidon dawdling around their living room with some very high hopes that she pretends to have absolutely no idea about.

Or that same son of Poseidon swearing to be on time to freakin' senior prom, but he can't even be bothered to do that because some scaly freak has decided to climb Lady Liberty today and will not rest until it's holding at least one tourist hostage on the tip of her head.

Or maybe even her stepmother guaranteeing that she'll be a real natural in the kitchen by the very next morning (and she wasn't really all that interested until some little sea spawn bragged about his mother having taught him how to bake some unbe-freaking-lievable desserts one night over a table littered with batches of his blue-sprinkled brownies. And, Hades, they were amazing.)

And she wouldn't mind a little visit once in a while from a Huntress that promised her and Percy cheeseburgers. Of course, that had to fall through, too.

And, all the eternally damned in the Underworld, why couldn't he have just been there? Family? Did he even know what he was promising her young self that day when she nearly brained him? That she didn't know what it felt like to have one, but her hopes were high and her thoughts at night were plagued by simple dreaming of a family? He wasn't supposed to—he wasn't allowed to just surrender to evil and die for that promise that he had already broken.

Who did he think he was? They were supposed to last the years, be the 'something permanent' she had been wishing for.

Now, she had to place that hope on Percy and he with any luck wasn't going to fall through and prove to be yet another washout with a Titan lord hanging over his head as his master.

Playing with this hope, her tucked into the nook of his arm (the one that had 'accidently' slipped around her waist—he's such a seaweed brain—in the middle of the night) and one leg placed satisfactorily between his two—just as accidental but appreciatively in place to cause some damage if he didn't put that stupid phone down and just watch the movie—she adjusted herself to study him.

Yeah, he had to be that something permanent.

A/N: Poor quality, but c'mon. 550 words. It's hard to squeeze this all into 550 simple words and all I managed to do was scratch the surface. Maybe if I had the patience I could sit and write something decent. But I don't.

Um, so you know how I disappeared off the face of the planet for a little while? No?

Well, that's probably because I do it so often… but! This time even I noticed (which is a big deal because usually I don't realize how long it's been) and my excuse—I hate that word—is simply this:

It was my birthday. Like, two weeks ago, or something like that. And that's not the point because I don't normally think anything of it, but this year my parents have decidedly made it a huge deal and whisked me away for a considerable amount of time. Nice, yes? Also rare, but I'll take it.

To my 'Hall of Fame' readers, you now know why I didn't put up an update on the 23rd (you know, with all the fuss I made over it? Yeah, fail on my part. Or my parents, since the trip wasn't planned.)