Disclaimer: I'm not Rick Riordan nor will I ever be able to write as well as him. ): I don't own Percy Jackson and the Olympians or any of the characters. *Sigh* I wish.
Okay, I have no idea if anyone will actually read my story (or this author's note, for that matter). This is my first ever fanfiction, I've read so many so I thought I might give it a go. I don't mind if you give me constructive criticism but please don't hate me, it makes me sad. By the way, I've decided to start each chapter with a quote that kind of relates to what happens in that particular part of the story. For the sake of creative writing, let's pretend that 'The Heroes of Olympus' series never happened. This story takes place several years after Percy and Annabeth's adventures in the original series. Annabeth just turned 21, so Percy is still 20 (On the official website it said Annabeth was older than Percy). Percy and Annabeth became engaged two days before her birthday. So... happy reading.
Chapter 1, Goodbyes are never easy
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Suess
Annabeth Chase POV
That week was the best week of my life. No matter how hard I try, I don't think I'll ever forget it. It was the week I turned 21, the week I moved into my own apartment and the week the love of my life proposed to me. I know, it sounds corny, cliché even. Some cynical people will probably read this account of the year just gone and laugh. Obviously, people like that never had crazy dreams or outlandish hopes for the future. They never wished to fly away with their Superman. They never believed that they could take on the world with their best friends or that there was no higher power than love. Sure, maybe that's the stuff of movies but how many people haven't wished, just once, that all of those things applied to them? I'll be the first to admit that, when I was younger, I used to sit by the lake at Camp Half-Blood and wish with all my heart that one day I'd be swept off my feet by my hero. I hoped that when I was too old for the protection of Chiron and the camp, we could live a normal life. I could become an architect and we'd be happy forever. Now that I think about it, maybe forever was just a bit too long. I suppose I could say that I accomplished one of those things. I found my hero, if he wasn't quite what I expected. His name was Percy Jackson. He was all dark hair and sea green eyes. He could make me laugh and sometimes, no matter how articulate children of Athena are meant to be, he still left me lost for words. So that's why, when he took me down to the beach that Tuesday night, knelt down and pulled out a ring that sparkled in the evening light, I said yes. There was no place I felt safer than in Percy's arms.
It was my birthday on the Thursday of that week. On my request, we didn't celebrate that much, there was a toast to me at dinner and my friends gave me presents. Even though the celebration wasn't over the top, my stomach still felt like it was doing back flips inside me. I hadn't thought I'd be so nervous to simply celebrate another year of my life. It wasn't just another year, though. It was the year that I had to move into the real world. Even though Percy and I were really too old to continue living at Camp Half-Blood a long time ago, Chiron and Mr. D had let us stay to help with training some of the newest campers. Six months before my birthday, Zeus had put his foot down. He had said that if we didn't leave within nine months we would face 'the full wrath of the gods'. I didn't know what that meant, but I wasn't willing to test their patience. So, Percy and I got looking and found an apartment in New York City. Percy loved it because it wasn't too far from his mom, a fifteen minute walk away and also because it was right across the road from a shop that only sold blue food. Honest to gods, I'll never understand why he has such an obsession with blue food. He wanted to move in right away. I convinced him we had to stay for two reasons. One, we didn't have the money. Two, I needed time to say goodbye to my camp. After all, this place had been my home since I was seven. It was a place I felt loved, like I never had with my father. The strawberry patch and volleyball courts had seen my triumph, my laughter and my heartbreak. I'd shed tears, blood and old habits on this ground. My life would never be the same for Camp Half-Blood. I mightn't even have my life, if this place hadn't saved me from the monsters out there. I would have stayed for the rest of my life, if it wasn't for the King of the Gods. Zeus had never liked Percy and so I think he just wanted us out of camp as soon as possible. Somehow, he convinced Athena and Poseidon to help us pay for the apartment. So, three months earlier than expected, on the day after my birthday, Percy and I were forced to leave for New York.
It was nine in the morning on the day we were supposed to leave. I wandered into the Poseidon cabin in search of Percy. He stood in front of his fountain staring wistfully at the swirling water. He clutched the Riptide in pen-form in his right hand and I could have sworn his eyes were slightly glassy with tears. I put my arm around his shoulders, although I had to reach up to do so. The tight muscles in his shoulders melted when I touched him.
"I'll miss this place too, Percy. It was the only place I felt home."
"I've been here for so long. I met you here. Do you remember when we played capture the flag the first time? I was claimed by my dad and that night. And when Grover and I fought the Minotaur? I used to just be a normal kid. I was just a sarcastic twelve year-old who couldn't stay in school..." Percy said, a melancholy smile playing on his lips.
"And now you're a hero, you've saved lives, defeated monsters and every demigod knows your name. Who would have thought?"
He laughed and hugged me to his chest, burying his face in my blonde curls.
"Yeah, well, who would have thought I'd be marrying Wise Girl?" He mumbled into my hair.
"I don't know what I was thinking, agreeing to marry a Seaweed Brain like you. I must have been out of my mind." I looked up at him, my grey eyes staring into his amused green.
"You agreed. There's no going back now." Percy winked. He had such a funny expression on his face; I couldn't help but laugh aloud.
"Come on. We'd better go. Chiron and the campers want to say goodbye."
He took my hand and picked up his suitcase. Wistfully, we both stepped out of the Sea God's cabin for the last time. I trailed my fingers along the grey shell-encrusted walls as they passed. We wheeled our suitcases past the other cabins. We passed the barbed wire of the Ares cabin, the shimmering bronze of the Zeus cabin (I could see Percy was fighting the urge to make obscene gestures at the cabin of the god who was forcing us to leave.) and finally the peeling brown paint and caduceus of cabin eleven that belonged to Hermes. I remembered the first day Percy had stayed in cabin eleven. Even though it was all those years ago, I still remembered Chiron asking me to show Percy around because he had and archery class to teach. He had stayed with Luke and all the other Hermes kids. Luke. I knew he'd been evil, he'd betrayed us but somehow I couldn't help wondering if he truly deserved to die like he did. I didn't miss him anymore. The pain had faded.
"Annabeth?" Percy turned around. I didn't realise I'd stopped in front of the cabin and stared.
"Sorry. There's just so many... memories."
My stomach felt like it was twisted into thousands of knots. Each doubt was like a piranha eating away at my mind. I was worried. Although we were well past being children, I still thought we might attract monsters. Percy assured me that, because we were living in an apartment block surrounded by regular people, they'd mask our scent. Being the worrier that I was, I still wasn't so sure.
"I know it's hard. We'll get it all figured out. Maybe we won't have Camp Half-Blood anymore. But I'll have you. You'll have me. We'll be close to my mom and Paul. Maybe Grover and Thalia will come to visit sometimes. It'll be different, but we can't stay here forever." He told me, putting a comforting hand on my back. Just that simple gesture, a small touch, made me feel taller, stronger and more courageous. I could do this. I could take on the world if I wanted to.
"Okay." I mumbled, straightening up. I took a deep breath.
"Are you ready to go?" Percy asked. "Are you sure you can do this?"
"Yes. Now let's go before I lose my composure."
The entire camp was gathered at the base of Half-Blood Hill to bid us farewell. Chiron stood tall and proud, with his polished hooves and half-horse body. He seemed to be looking at his watch, as if waiting for someone. Mr D was holding a can of Diet Coke in one had. Apparently, he'd decided to go with diet to watch his weight. It was about time. Rachel Elizabeth Dare stood by both of them, her red hair fluttering in the breeze. Juniper and Grover stood talking to Rachel, who had a slightly sad look on her face. I saw other familiar faces in the crowd, Katie Gardner, the Stoll brothers and even Tyson with the hellhound, Mrs O'Leary. Somehow Chiron had got many of our old friends back to visit us. As we walked away from the camp towards the property boundary, where the crowd was gathered, a collective hush settled over the massive group of demigods and satyrs alike. Each face in the crowd, whether it was unnaturally beautiful, had one eye or had abnormal amounts of hair, turned towards us. I clutched Percy's hand tightly. Just as quickly as they had fallen silent, the masses began to cheer. I heard the occasional 'I love you Percy!' or 'You rock Annabeth!' presumably from some of the wise-ass younger campers. Our friends came forward to meet us. Juniper and Grover with their usual bright smiles plastered on their faces. Tyson ran as fast as his Cyclops legs would carry him and enveloped Percy and me in a bone-cracking hug.
"Hey, little bro!" said Percy once he had checked he had no serious injuries. "I haven't seen you in ages!"
Tyson grinned, his large brown eye shining.
"I missed you, brother! And Annabeth!" He cried.
"I missed you too, Tyson." I smiled warmly at him.
"Annabeth! Percy!" Grover came running towards us with Juniper and Rachel in tow.
"Hey, Lord of the Wild!" said Percy, slapping Grover on the back.
We continued to greet our friends, although the absence of Thalia was obvious. I hugged Rachel, strangely enough, over the years I had become good friends with the Oracle of Delphi.
"So you're getting married, huh?" Asked the ever curious Juniper. If Percy had a drink, I'm sure he would have spat it everywhere.
"What did you just say?" asked Rachel and Grover in unison with matching astonished expressions.
"How did you find out?"
"I'm a tree nymph. You wouldn't believe how gossip travels at this camp." She winked.
"I can't believe this! You're getting married! And you didn't tell me!" Grover cried, ending his outburst with a nervous bleat.
"Gee, Grover, thanks for telling the world." Percy packed as much sarcasm into the sentence as humanly possible.
All of the camp turned towards us. Grover blushed beet red. Everyone was silent for a minute.
"Oh, Joy." Said Mr. D after a heartbeat. "Perry Johanson and Annabelle Choice are getting married. Kill me now."
One of the Aphrodite kids squealed. It was like someone holding a match to a trail of gunpowder, it started them all off. There was a barrage of questions and much girly screaming. To top it all off, there was the sound of a Vuvuzela (AN: The party horns they had at the world cup. Google It. ) and the Party Ponies erupted over Half-Blood hill. A centaur with a back half like a Palomino, curly brown hair and a rainbow feather boa lead them.
"Did we miss much?" he asked. Chiron shrugged.
"Only the news that two of the best heroes we've ever had are to be joined in matrimony."
Soon there was a crowd of several hundred people, satyrs, centaurs, nymphs –beings –staring at us open mouthed.
I whispered to Percy, "You remember how we decided to keep this a secret?"
"Well, that plan's gone out the window."
Percy laughed nervously and whispered back, "They're all staring at us. What am I meant to do?"
"I don't know, Seaweed Brain! Think up some rousing speech or something!"
He turned to face the crowd, Grover gave him the thumbs-up.
"Er... Well... Yeah. I love this girl here and uh... once we're settled in New York, we're going to get married!"
Percy, eloquent as ever. My face met my palm. Rachel stepped forward.
"What he means to say is: Annabeth Chase is the most amazing girl he's ever met. She lights up his world. He can't wait to spend the rest of his life with her."
Somebody whistled, probably one of the Party Ponies. Percy shot Rachel a thankful look and kissed me quickly on the cheek. The campers went wild again. They were so immature. Chiron attempted to hush them. He failed miserably. They continued to chatter excitedly. The centaurs didn't help the situation at all, with a chorus of Vuvuzela horns.
"SHUT UP!" Shouted Mr. D "I WANT TO GET BACK TO MY PINOCHLE GAME! IF YOU DO NOT SHUT YOUR WHINING HALF-BLOOD MOUTHS I, THE GREAT GOD DIYONISUS, WILL PERSONALLY ENSURE YOU NEVER SPEAK AGAIN!"
That got them quiet.
"I apologise, campers," Said Chiron "But I have to break up the party. Although we should rightfully be celebrating their marriage, we must also recognise their services to the camp. It is their time to leave."
Chiron came and stood by Percy and me.
"These two campers have provided much service to the camp. They have been on many quests together and saved so many peoples' lives. I am sure we wouldn't be here without them. Would you say that is correct Mr. D?"
Mr. D grunted at Chiron's question. Grunted.
Chiron sighed exasperatedly, "Unfortunately, his Highness, the God of the Sky, wishes for them to leave the camp. They will be moving to New York and, most likely, may never return to Camp Half-Blood. We wish them all the best for the future. Would anyone like to say a few words?"
Percy cried, "You suck, Zeus!"
Thunder rumbled in the sky. It was yet another moment in my day that was worthy of a face-palm. Chiron frowned, but said nothing.
"Once my fiancé has finished abusing the King of the Gods, I'd like to say something." I said, pushing past Percy.
"By all means, Annabeth, go ahead. You of all people deserve some time to say farewell."
I took a deep breath, and poured out my heart. "I came to camp when I was seven. My best friend was turned into a pine tree and I felt so alone. Everyone took me in, they cared for me. I felt wanted and I was given the home I'd never had. I met Percy here, and Rachel and Juniper. I grew up here. I've fought beside some of my closest friends. I've cried, I've laughed, and I've watched Percy drool in his sleep... I never forget you, Camp Half-Blood. You'll live in my memories forever. Thanks Mr. D and Chiron. Thanks to you all, even if I don't know your name. Hopefully you'll all remember me. Even if you don't, I want you all to go out into the world and make history. I want to hear about you. I want to find out you've saved lives, you've triumphed and you've saved the world. I believe in you every single one of you. Goodbye."
They began to clap. The little ones were no older than ten and the eldest were possibly hundreds –no, thousands- of years old. So many hands created an uproarious noise. Then the tears began to flow. Rachel and Juniper comforted me as my eyes streamed. It all became a blur after that. It seemed like I hugged so many people. I said goodbye enough times to make my voice hoarse and my throat raw. Eventually I felt Percy take my hand and lead me up the hill. Just as we were about cross the border, I turned back to catch a last glimpse of my home. The morning sun made the lake sparkle and the strawberry fields glow with a strange light. Chiron looked at us proudly, his eyes glistening. Everyone raised their hands in farewell and their comforting words echoed around the valley. With that final look back, we left it all behind.
So, what did you think? I'm not convinced it's very good but you let me know. I will try to update within the week, if you think it's worth continuing. While I was writing this I was listening to 'Long Live' by Taylor Swift. I think that song suits this chapter pretty well. Maybe I'll put a link to it on my profile... idk.