SPOILER ALERT :) Hi there everybody! TennisWriter456 here with my first Percy Jackson fanfic (which is odd because I LOVE the series). I just had the sudden urge to write this one-shot of Percy and Annabeth the night before he went missing. It's based off of Piper and Annabeth's conversation at the beginning of The Lost Hero, when she's describing how he disappeared. Of course I put my own twists into it. I'm sure this is different than what Rick Riordan pictured in his head. Haha. Anyway, I really hope you guys like it, but I'm warning you: it might be the fluffiest thing I've ever written. And I'm a pretty fluffy writer, so that's saying something. This is just how I imagine Percy and Annabeth's relationship to be like after The Last Olympian. ENJOY!
The Last Campfire
The last four months had dragged on for what seemed like an eternity. Each day had lasted much too long, and every minute spent without him widened the small crack in her heart. Her only comfort had been the memories of the summer, and the letters and rare phone calls that somehow sufficed. She had survived solely on the written words and the sound of his familiar voice. School had not been distraction enough; homework was minimal in her matured mind, and she spent her days doodling architectural structures absentmindedly during class. Her face turned hot and her throat became parched each time she thought of his arms around her, the soft touch of his lips on her forehead, the way his green eyes glistened in that friendly manner that was enough to make her knees buckle. Each night, before falling asleep to dream of him, she would sit in bed and flip through the photos of them together. And each night, she would get cramps from laughing and her head would hurt from the thoughts rushing through it. Her favorite picture was the one where he had his arm around her casually, and broad, toothy smiles radiated from their faces. They looked genuinely happy.
Chiron had the same picture in his office. And Percy had the same picture stuffed somewhere in his room. Annabeth constantly found herself wondering if he looked at it as much as she did. That little, reliable intuition inside of her said that he did. That thought made her stomach churn, so every time she saw the picture, she felt connected with him.
Every single night, she seemed to have the same dream. It wasn't really a dream. It was more like a memory, her mind replaying the last night at Camp Half-Blood before they were forced to separate. She woke up every morning with tears stinging her eyes and a soft smile playing on her lips.
"Don't get into too much trouble, Seaweed Brain." He had smiled mischievously, taking a step closer.
"I can't make any promises." In the midst of her happy grin and flustered expression, he had leaned down, tilted her chin up, and kissed her. The touch was so gentle it had almost brought her to tears. His callused fingers had played distractedly with her blonde curls as she wrapped her arms around his neck in a painful embrace.
"Can you at least survive until winter break?"
"For you?" He had raised his eyebrows, baring his bright white teeth. "Hm. Maybe."
That was always when the dream ended. It was simple, strangely beautiful, and yet much too realistic. It continuously reminded Annabeth of his warmth, and the way he could hold her perfectly.
And for some odd reason, the dream would always omit the part when Percy had said, "I love you, Annabeth."
"Wait, when did you say your winter break starts?"
Percy's voice on the phone was just as perfect and nonchalant as Annabeth remembered.
"Can you pay attention for once? Next Monday. I'll get to camp on Tuesday."
"Yes, really! Why?"
"It just so happens, Miss Wise Ass, that I get to camp on the same day."
"...You're kidding, right?"
"I kid you not."
"So we both start winter break early? That's amazing!"
"Now I'm even more pumped than before to leave school!"
"Three weeks at Camp Half-Blood—"
"Three weeks together."
"Percy...I've really missed you."
"Wow. Not the response I was expecting. But, to answer your question: a lot."
"I've missed you, too. More than I can bear. Annabeth, I don't know if I'm going to be able to handle the rest of the year like this."
"Just imagine next summer. We'll have oodles of time to spend together."
"I can't wait—hold on. Did you just say oodles?"
"You're hearing things, Percy."
"Oh. Hey, you know who I really, really miss?"
"Go jump off of a cliff."
"Aw, c'mon, now. You wouldn't want your boyfriend to jump off of a cliff, would you?"
"I love you."
"I love you more."
"I...I guess I'll see you on Tuesday, then...?"
"That you will. Good night, Annabeth."
"Don't let the bed bugs bite."
Annabeth hung up the phone—praying monsters wouldn't attack her during the night— and curled up beneath the covers, unable to wipe the smile off of her face.
Annabeth sat on the shores of the lake, letting her bare feet hang over the sand and into the clear, refreshing water. She stared detachedly at her contorted reflection, kicking her feet gently. Excitement bubbled up inside of her, though her expression remained disillusioned and distant. The sun was high in the sky, and its golden rays fell upon Annabeth's face warmly. Regardless, she felt cold and unnecessarily empty on the inside, as if her heart were slowing down and she was beginning to fall apart. As one would in the midst of a breeze, Annabeth hugged herself and rubbed her arms, leaning forward further. She continued to look into the image of her own stormy gray eyes, trying to put aside the irritating worries inside of her head.
Here she was, finally at Camp Half-Blood...yet she was far from relaxed. In the distance, she could hear the continuous activities of the camp. The voices of all of the demigods blurred together and ran in one ear and out the other, only serving to cram her mind even more. Somewhere in the forest, she could've sworn she heard the bellow of the bronze dragon Cabin Nine had lost. Annabeth looked at her watch.
Percy had promised to meet her by the lake at noon.
It's just like him to be late, I suppose.
Simply knowing that Percy was somewhere, simply knowing that he wasn't there, made the pain of missing him so much worse. On any other day, she would be angry about his lack of punctuality and be ready to blow a fuse. But at that moment, she was simply desperate to see his face and hear his voice as he cracked sarcastic, somehow unpretentious jokes. She wanted to laugh along with him as he raised his eyebrows and held her against his chest, telling her stories and twirling her hair. She wanted to be able to walk back to her cabin and look among her sisters and brothers, knowing that they all wished they had what Annabeth had with Percy. She wanted to kiss him beneath the stars—better yet, she wanted to kiss him beneath the water, where they were hidden and could spend all day.
Without warning, the water in front of her began to bubble dangerously. Before Annabeth could process what was happening, a burst of water flew from the surface and right into her face. She could only sit there, eyes closed and mouth wide, as she was doused with the fresh water of the lake. It dripped down her cheeks as her blonde hair became matted to her temples, and she could feel the droplets seeping through her orange shirt.
"Annabeth! Why are you so wet? The showers are back there, you know. The walk's not that far."
Her wet eyelids shot up, and she whirled around at the familiar, cynical voice. There, standing a few feet away, was the son of Poseidon.
"Percy!" Any anger she had been feeling at this sudden splash of water melted away in an instant, and she stood up. He had his hands on his hips and a smug expression on his face, and his eyes glistened brightly as they stared deeply into hers. He was as gorgeous as ever, with his dark black hair and green irises.
Annabeth had not taken a single step when she found herself wrapped in his arms, leaning her cheek against his chest and breathing in his beautiful, salty sea smell. She closed her eyes for a few moments and simply basked in the warmth of their embrace. He stroked her hair, and kissed the top of her head.
"You're still beautiful, even when you're soaking wet," he commented distractedly, still holding onto her possessively. At those words, the anger suddenly returned, and she pulled away with a furrowed brow and a very convincing frown. Percy blinked uncertainly, staring at her in confusion. "What?"
"Who do you think you are, keeping me waiting for so long? Get here on time, Seaweed Brain! And what was with that splash? Just because you have cool powers doesn't mean you can go around doing that."
"I thought something might have happened to you!" Here, she paused and slapped his arm with as much force as she could muster. Percy was completely silent as he flinched and stared at her. Finally, he opened his mouth.
"It's not a big deal. A towel will dry you off," he shrugged. They were both quiet for a few more moments, and as Annabeth stared at him, her angry emotions began to subside. She couldn't resist succumbing to that smile.
"I really missed you, Percy."
He hugged her again, chuckling with a mixture of satisfaction and triumph. When he pulled away again, he put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her. It was unexpected, and Annabeth's eyes were still open when his lips met hers.
"Gods, I've waited way too long to do that," he sighed happily, making Annabeth blush. "How long has it been? A century?"
"Four months." Before he could say anything else, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him again. He put his hands on her waist and lifted her into the air, spinning her as they melted together perfectly. After all of these months of waiting and suffering, it seemed as though this one moment made up for everything. The wait had all been worth it; Annabeth was finally in Percy Jackson's arms, at Camp Half-Blood. There was nowhere else she'd rather have been.
Percy spun her and spun her, and she didn't realize what was happening until they both collapsed into the water. Still grasping hands, they bobbed back up to the surface, suppressing their laughter and completely soaked.
"What was that for?"
"I don't know. I kinda like water." He winked, making the butterflies in her stomach flutter.
"I never would've guessed."
"So then, the dragon just like, went berserk on us! Now it's somewhere in the forest, burning down trees and whatnot," Nyssa explained, her rolling eyes flashing in the light of the campfire.
"I guess that's why Jake's not here...?" Percy guessed, raising his eyebrows. Nyssa sighed and responded with a nod. "Man, that really sucks."
"It's the curse of Cabin Nine," Travis said spookily. "Ooooooh."
"No it's not," Annabeth interjected logically. "It's only because Beckendorf..." Her voice trailed off when she looked up at Percy and saw his face fall.
The demigods were sitting around the campfire that night, telling stories and jokes while they gave each other friendly smiles. Annabeth sat in Percy's lap, leaning backwards against him and staring into the fireplace, adding to the conversation every once in a while. Percy, of course, was an ardent participant, laughing and joking around as he absentmindedly fiddled with Annabeth's hair. His touch comforted her, and listening to the sound of his voice and his melodious laugh almost lulled her to sleep.
"So, have you heard from your dad lately?" Drew, sitting awkwardly close to Percy, twirled a dark ringlet of hair. "I mean, has anybody?"
Everybody mumbled a response, shaking his or her head.
"The gods went silent, Drew," Percy replied. "At least, that's what Annabeth said."
"Yeah. I was redesigning the entrance to Mount Olympus, and they just suddenly closed it off about a month ago," she explained. Drew scoffed, staring at Annabeth and Percy as if they were bugs she'd just squashed with her nine-inch heels.
"Can we talk about something else? That stuff is depressing," Travis whined. Just as he said those words, they heard the shrill cry of a monster deep in the forest.
"And there's the dragon," Nyssa said in exasperation. "Why is this happening?"
"The curse of Ca—"
"Shut up, Travis. It's not a curse."
The rest of the conversation was lost to Annabeth. Her eyes were mesmerized by the flames dancing in the campfire, her mind clogged with the words that Percy was whispering in her ear. The satisfaction she was feeling was close to indescribable. Their conversations on the phone and the letters they wrote replayed in her head, and she cuddled in closer. As if nobody else was there, he leaned forward and kissed her cheek, stroking her arm affectionately.
"Geez, get a room!"
"Get out of here, Will," Percy smirked.
Annabeth, getting the sudden urge to be alone with him, stood up and stretched her arms.
"I'm kind of tired," she said, looking directly into Percy's eyes. He blinked, seemingly oblivious to the hints she was throwing at him. "I think I'm going to go back to my cabin..."
She started walking away, but kept eye contact with Percy and batted her eyelashes quite conspicuously. He just stared up at her for a while as she walked off, his mouth slightly open.
"Uh...me, too," he finally stammered, and then stumbled hastily to his feet. Annabeth grinned to herself as she heard him jogging up behind her, and together, they walked away from the campfire, ignoring the snickers of the other demigods.
"What was that all about?" he questioned, putting his arm around her as they strolled. "You're not really tired, are you?"
"No," Annabeth sighed, inching closer. "I just...I don't know. I wanted to be alone with you."
Percy got that mischievous look in his eyes, and pursed his lips.
"Oh, really? Alone with me...in the dark?"
"Spare me," she laughed. "I just don't want to waste one single minute during the next three weeks."
"I hope you know that if you get clingy, I'm dumping you."
"Oh, please. I'm the best you'll ever get."
"That's very true." Annabeth laughed again, putting her arm around his waist, glad that the darkness hid the rosy complexion now rising in her cheeks.
They walked along the shore of the lake, and secretly, Annabeth harbored the fear that with one hidden flick of Percy's wrist, she would be doused with water again. Still, she loved the feel of the sand in between her toes, and the atmosphere was serene as she glanced at the reflection of the moon in the water.
"Hey, question," Percy broke the silence.
"Mhmm..." He had a distracted expression on his face when she looked up at him, and his gaze was directed straight ahead of him.
"Why did the gods go silent? I didn't think about it, but I really haven't heard from Dad in a while." Now, he had that pensive look, the one where Annabeth knew that he was deep in thought. It made her heart jittery and practically made her knees buckle.
"I'm not really sure," she sighed. "I was kind of surprised when it all happened. But if anybody is stubborn enough to do it, it's Zeus."
The sky rumbled above them, but the thunder quickly passed.
"I just don't understand," he continued. "After the pact we made this summer, there's got to be a good reason for them to cut off all contact with us. Something's up, and I have a bad feeling about it."
"Maybe it has something to do with the prophecy?" Annabeth said. For once, Percy was the one thinking and asking the questions; she was just trying to go with the flow. Surely these questions would be answered in time.
"Maybe..." He moved his arm from her shoulder uneasily, and she weaved her fingers through his. As comfortingly as she could, she squeezed his hand.
"Do something nice with the water."
"Sure thing." He paused, and turned toward the shimmering lake. Annabeth smiled bashfully, overjoyed at the fact that Percy seemed willing to do anything for her. She hoped that he knew she felt the same exact way. After all, she had put herself in the way of death to save his life during the Titan War. If it weren't for Annabeth, Percy would be dead.
His face was still thoughtful and detached as he lifted his free hand, keeping his other intertwined with Annabeth's. He moved his wrist and fingers, staring at the water with a strange glint in his eye. She leaned her cheek against his sturdy arm and watched with droopy eyelids. The water slowly yet steadily rose from the surface, swirling and twisting in seemingly solid shapes. She wasn't sure exactly what he was doing, but she was willing to wait and find out. Finally, all of the blurred and rippling shapes turned into a readable sentence, and tears involuntarily came to Annabeth's eyes.
In front of her, shaped with the water controlled by the son of Poseidon's fiddling fingers, were the words, "I love you."
Annabeth blinked hastily, sending away the tears in embarrassment before turning to her escort.
"I...I love you, too."
They approached the circle of cabins, using the moonlight and the twinkling of the stars as their guides. Annabeth's eyes were drooping heavily, and she leaned on Percy for support. Their romantic walk along the shore and the emotions that had pulsed through her left her completely drained, more mentally than physically. Every moment since one fifty-six, she had been ecstatic. It was only the beginning of the next three weeks that they were going to spend together, all day every day. Annabeth was not one to usually show her feelings openly, but at that point, she could barely contain her giddiness.
"Percy, please stop worrying," she pleaded as they halted in front of the Athena cabin. She could almost hear her bunk inside, calling her name desperately. He smiled, rubbing his eyes and yawning as he turned to face her. "I'm sure the gods are fine..." That had sounded much more convincing inside of her head. Suddenly, thinking about what Percy had said, she found herself becoming a bit worried...
"I-I know," he admitted. "I'm sure it's nothing."
"Go get a good night's rest." She smiled sweetly, brushing back a stray black strand from his forehead. "We shouldn't be tired for our first full day at camp, should we?"
"Nah, I guess not," he grinned. Then there was that magical silence again, the one that always hung in the air right before he kissed her.
"Good night, Seaweed Brain." She had one moment to smirk before he gently pressed his lips to hers; it felt better than ambrosia.
"Sleep tight, Annabeth," he winked. "I love you."
Reluctantly, she let go of Percy's hand and made her way up the stairs and into her cabin, looking back the entire trek. He simply stood, watching after her with his hands stuffed casually in his pockets. Though she was hesitant to walk away from him so soon, sleep was becoming more powerful in her movements, and she tried to persuade herself.
You'll see him tomorrow, and every day for the next three weeks. It's not a big deal.
She caught one more glimpse of his gorgeous smile before she disappeared into her cabin. That night, she slept better than she had any night in the past four months. The constant dream didn't replay in her head, and she didn't wake up with tears in her eyes...
Annabeth Chase rushed into the Big House, without even stopping to announce her arrival. She kept screaming the centaur's name desperately.
"Annabeth, dear, what is it?" The old centaur rolled up to the entrance in his wheelchair, looking concerned and gentle with his warm eyes and a face etched with the markings of time.
"Chiron," Annabeth began, pausing to catch her breath. She was panting, and even the centaur could see the tears that glistened on the edges of her stormy gray eyes. "It's Percy. He's...he's gone." She couldn't keep her voice from trembling.
The last kiss he had given her still lingered on her pink and pouted lips. She tried to remember the last words he'd said to her, and without much effort, she recalled them perfectly. They made her cringe.
"Sleep tight, Annabeth. I love you."
She would find him. She would find him no matter what.
I love you, too, Seaweed Brain.
So much for the perfect winter break.
Well, there you have it! Based on the response this gets, I might continue with the little one-shots. So don't forget to review and let me know what you thought, because it would be greatly appreciated :) Thanks guys!