I was in the woods again. The Muir Woods, to be exact. I had a thing for redwoods. I was running through the trees, jumping over fallen logs, and skipping over the occasional creek or stream.
I was alone. Jason had left me after a few days. He had itchy feet, apparently. Said he wanted to get away from it all. I could relate.
I barely missed crashing into a tree. I wouldn't have crashed through. I have super cool vampire abilities that let me avoid trifling things like trees. They also let me do things like run so fast you can't see me. Or drain your blood in point three seconds. Yeah, that's right: you're not safe. I can find you(insert maniacal laughter here).
But luckily(for you), I'm just not that type of guy. I'm a good vampire, if there ever were such a thing. I drink, eh, alternative blood. Which is to say, monster blood, or ichor. My life's motto has always been 'don't waste food.' So if I am going to kill a person anyways, and this purely hypothetical,(hehe, of course it is), then I might is well drink their blood. It only makes sense, right? I mean, a demigod vampire has to eat. What else are we supposed to drink, animal blood? You can obviously see how absurd that is. The stuff tastes worse than pee. And trust me, I know(long story, not anything recent).
I sighed. As I ran, I thought back on how pathetic my life was getting. Let's see, I had been turned in September, and now it was March, so that was six months(see my mathematical genius there?). Six months since I'd seen Annabeth, talked to any of my friends(except for Jason), or visited camp. I wonder if anyone missed me. Maybe they thought I was dead. I wondered what Annabeth was doing. Her birthday had passed by in February. She was eighteen now. Did she still love me? Or had she given up and found another boyfriend? I wouldn't blame her. A boyfriend that kept disappearing wasn't much of a boyfriend at all.
I jumped over a small fifty foot tree(small compared to redwoods around it).
I had long given up denying the fact that my life was screwed. Sure, I got these really cool powers(running had become my obsession), but at the same time, I would trade them away for a chance at my old life. I also stopped denying the fact that I was a coward. A man, a real man, would have had the guts to face his girlfriend and end things properly. To not leave her wondering what was going on, why he wasn't calling, and wondering if he were dead or not.
But I was not a real man. I couldn't face Annabeth and tell her I didn't love anymore. I don't think I could have lied to her so blatantly. So I did what I did best. I ran from my feelings and my responsibilities.
I turned and climbed up a giant sequoia tree. I had a great view from the top of the tree. Miles and miles of pine-green wood ran before me in a seemingly endless sea of trees. It was breathtaking. I felt like a miniature amongst the humongous trees. It was sort of like life itself. Everything can seem so huge and big when you're down in the middle of it, but when you take a step back and gain the proper perspective, you can see just how amazing and beautiful it really is.
After I spent a few hours just sitting on the tree branch, I stood up and jumped off. The world seemed to slow down, and I felt like I was falling through amber liquid. I landed on the balls of my feet, shaking off an impact which would have killed a human. I turned and started running back to San Francisco.
As I neared the borders of the forest, I heard a sound. A scream. It was female, and coming from about a mile away. It as I focused on the sound, I smelled a scent I knew all too well. Vampire. A male vampire was attacking a female human.
I immediately turned and dashed towards the sound. Although the Cullens had a strict, no-interfere policy when it came to the human blood drinkers of our kind, I refused to be so callous. I would not ever, ever condone the murder of innocent people.
Even though I reached the clearing in ten seconds flat, I was afraid I might have been too late.
The clearing was situated near the edge of the forest, but deep enough in so that nobody human would be able to hear the victim's screams. At the edge of the clearing I saw them. It was a male vampire and young woman. The vampire had evidently broken her arm, maybe her ribs, and had definitely also broken her right leg, if the odd angle at which it was bent was any indication.
So quickly had I ran, so swiftly had I'd appeared, that the vampire had no warning before I arrived. As soon as he registered me, though, he growled.
"Get lost," he snarled, hissing and glaring at me. "This one's mine!"
He had thrown the girl to the ground the second he saw me. He took a defensive stance. I glanced at the girl. Her face was turned away from me, but I did catch a glimpse of blond hair.
"Not a chance in hell!" I threw back at him, and then charged.
The fight was over before it had begun. I moved so fast, he never had a chance. I first kicked the legs out from under him, sweeping him to the ground. Quick as a flash, I reached out and tore off his arms. There was a grating sound, like sheet metal being ripped apart.
The vampire screamed. I didn't waste time. After tossing aside his arms, I grabbed one of his legs and pulled. Off came the leg. More screaming. Then the other leg. He was disabled: not able to move or run, and completely at my mercy.
I decided to be merciful. I grabbed his head in my hands and twisted sharply. I was holding a vampire head in my hands.
After grabbing the scattered body parts that were lying around, which was disgusting, by the way; I put them all into a pile and used the lighter I carried everywhere to light them on fire. They easily caught fire and turned to smoke. A heavy, cloying, perfumed scent filled the air.
I turned my attention to the blond girl. She was in need of medical attention, and while I might know a thing or two about healing, I was no doctor. I turned her over to get a good look at her face and got the biggest shock of my life.
I staggered backwards, stunned senseless.
WHAT THE HELL WAS ANNABETH DOING HERE? Oh gods. She. Almost. Died. SHE ALMOST DIED! If I hadn't gotten there in time… No, no, no, NO!
I was breathing heavily and panicking.
Ok, ok, calm down Percy. She's not dead. She NOT dead. But she will be if you don't get her a hospital soon.
That thought quickly brought me to my senses. Quickly, I stooped and gathered her in my arms. I turned and made for the Golden Gate Bridge. I was running at my top speed, racing against time itself, trying desperately to save Annabeth. I didn't know too much about medicine, but I'm pretty sure such pale skin wasn't healthy.
I made it into the Richmond District and raced to the California Pacific Medical Center, which was the nearest emergency room available. I must have looked a sight: wild, panicky look on my face, carrying an unconscious girl in my arms, and shouting, "somebody help!"
Doctors appeared seemingly out of nowhere and somebody managed to pry Annabeth away from me and strap her to a gurney, upon which they wheeled her to another room. I tried to follow, but some other doctors stopped me.
"You'll only be in the way," a white haired, elderly looking man in a white coat said to me. "The best thing you can do is wait. She'll be alright, don't worry."
I could have easily pushed past them, but I realized they were right, so I stayed put. It wasn't easy though: every second seemed like a lifetime; all I wanted was to be by her side.
As the adrenaline wore off, I was given a chance to think. What had just happened? After months and months of not seeing Annabeth, in one day, I had saved her life and was waiting in a hospital to hear if she was alright.
What should I do now? I could just leave. The doctors didn't know my name and I'm sure nobody knew who I was. If I left I could avoid Annabeth and the whole messy confrontation I was sure would follow.
I would not run away. Not again. I'd left the first time to protect Annabeth against the new side of my life, and she'd nearly died because I wasn't around to protect her. Even if she ended up hating my guts, I would never leave her like that again.
A feeling of cold fury curled in the bottom of my stomach as I remembered the vampire who had attacked her. I wish I could raise him from the dead and kill him all over again, albeit much, much more slowly, painfully.
"Excuse me, sir?" I looked up and saw a nurse standing in front of me holding a clipboard in her hands. "I need to ask you a few questions about the young woman you brought in."
I wasn't going to run away.
"Sure," I said.
"How you find her?" she asked.
I thought quickly. If I said the Muir woods, they would get suspicious. After all, a normal person can't get all the way from there to the hospital in the time I did, or her condition would have been much worse. I quickly made of a story on the spot.
"In an alley a few blocks west of here," I answered. "I was walking by when I heard a scream. When I investigated there was a man standing over her. I shouted and he ran off. I think he was going to rape her, but hadn't yet." It was an acceptable story, and not too far off from the truth.
The nurse scribbled on the clipboard. "Do you know her name?" she asked me. "We weren't able to find any ID on her."
"Um, yeah," I frowned and furrowed my forehead like it was hard to remember. "Annabeth, I believe. She told it before she passed out."
"Any last name?" the nurse asked, still writing on her board.
"No," I lied, "I didn't catch in time."
"And what's your name?" she asked.
"Percy Jackson," I said. I gave her my address.
After a moment of more writing the nurse looked down at me with a smile. "Okay, Mr. Jackson, thank you for your time. You've been most helpful."
"Do you mind if I stick around?" I asked, making sure I sounded somewhat shy. "I kinda want to make sure she's okay."
"That's fine," she said, and walked away.
I waited and waited for hours. Finally a doctor came up to me.
"Are you Mr. Jackson?" He said, peering down at me.
"That's me," I said, standing up.
"The woman you brought in is awake," said the doctor. "Her name is Annabeth Chase, and she has some severe injuries."
My heart clenched. I kept a cool face, though. "What are they?"
"Well, she has several broken bones and a slight concussion," said the doctor, looking down a paper he held in his hands. "We found three broken ribs, her left arm was fractured, and her right tibia is broken. We have her on pain meds."
I was reeling. Oh Annabeth, my poor Annabeth.
"Do you know her personally?" the doctor asked. "Are you family? Friends, maybe?"
"No, I don't," I lied again. "I'm just the guy who found her."
"Well, it's a good thing you did find her," said the doctor, "one of her ribs was dangerously close to puncturing her lungs. A few hours too late and she was would be dead."
"Can I see her?" I asked.
"Well, I guess it's okay," he was reluctant. "Just for a few minutes, and don't wake her if she's asleep."
"I won't," I said, and followed the doctor to Annabeth's room.
When we reached the room she was in, the doctor was called away by a nurse and had to leave. That was fine by me. I softly pushed open the door and peeked in.
It was a fairly nondescript hospital room: white walls, one small window, a little bathroom on the side, and a mechanized bed in the center of the room. Upon the bed lay Annabeth. Her head was bandaged, and her chest was taped up. Her left arm was in a cast, and so was her right leg, which was slightly propped up. Her face was so white it wasn't even funny; she looked like she had gone a few rounds with death and barely won. Which was kind of true.
Her eyes were closed, but I could tell by the sound of her breathing she was awake. I made a slight noise to alert her of my presence. Her grey eyes opened slowly. They was a little dazed and groggy, but they were as beautiful as I remembered them.
When she saw me, her eyes went wide and she gasped.
"P-Percy?" she asked incredulously.
"Hey, Wise Girl," I said with smile.
"Wha-" she began.
"Look," I cut her off, "I know you have questions, and I promise I will answer them, but you have to pretend you don't know me."
Her eyebrows furrowed cutely. "Pretend I don't know you?"
"That's right, Annabeth," I said. "Look, um, there have been some, ah, things which happened to me, and I really can't talk about them right here and now. I promise, though, once you get better and you can leave here, we'll talk. And then I'll tell you everything."
"'Things'?" she said confusedly, "Percy, what are you talking about? Where have you been? And what happened to your face? It's different."
"I promise," I said, "I'll tell you everything, but for right now, I can't talk. Just pretend you don't know me, okay? Can you manage that?" I tried not to sound condescending.
"But-" she began.
"Please, Annabeth," I begged her.
"Alright," she said after a moment. "But I want to everything. And by everything, I mean everything. You owe that much anyways."
I swallowed. "Alright. I'll tell you everything."
At that moment the doctor walked in. Annabeth cleared her throat and said, "Thank you for bringing me to the hospital, Mr. Jackson, I'm in your debt."
Catching on, I said, "It's fine, I just did what one human would do for another." Except I'm not human. "And please, call me Percy." I smiled at her, and had the immense pleasure of seeing her face turn pink. I still got it. YES!
"Uh, Mr. Jackson," the doctor interrupted, much to my annoyance, "visiting hours will be over soon, please hurry up and make your goodbyes." He turned and left.
Annabeth turned to me and raised an eyebrow. "Well he's kinda rude."
I grunted, "Yeah, hospital staff seem to be getting worse and worse these days." I looked into her eyes and we shared a moment. After a minute or two of staring, I broke the silence by clearing my throat. "Hey, um, I really should be going."
Annabeth's eyes widened and I heard her breath catch. "Don't go," she whispered.
I reached out and grabbed her hands in mine; softly though, I didn't want to injure her further.
"I'm not leaving you, okay?" I promised, looking into her eyes. "I'll be back tomorrow."
"You left me before," she whispered.
"I know, Annabeth, and I'm sorry," I said, "but that's not happening now. I'll never leave you again."
"Swear it," she said, apparently not trusting my word. Oh well, can't blame her.
"I swear in the Styx," I swore, "I'll never abandon you again."
She seemed to slightly relax. "Okay," she said, "make sure you come back tomorrow."
"I'll will," I said simply. As I prepared to leave, a thought hit me, and I felt my stomach turn. "Hey Annabeth," I said rather hesitantly, "you didn't get another boyfriend, did you?" I kind of felt like a jerk for asking, but I really was scared.
Her mouth dropped. "Do you take me for some kind of a cheating slut?" she asked angrily.
Oh boy. "No, I-" I tried to speak on my behalf, but Annabeth wasn't hearing it.
"Then how dare you ask me that?" she was mad. Like really mad. "Of course I don't have another boyfriend!" Underneath the anger, though, she looked hurt. A lance of guilt stabbed through me.
"I'm sorry, Annabeth," I said softly, "I don't mean to act like a jerk, but I had to know. It's been killing me not to for the last six months."
"But why would you think that in the first place?" she asked, aghast.
"Why wouldn't I?" I asked in return. "I mean, what kind of guy leaves his girlfriend for six months without a word? I pretty rotten one, I'd think. I wouldn't blame you if you had."
"Percy," she whispered, looking stunned.
I turned to leave. "Look, I need to go, Annabeth," I said. "I'll be back tomorrow."
As I left, I heard the quiet sound of Annabeth crying.
Hey everyone! Sorry for the longer than usual wait, but I been sick with a strong case of slothfulness. It's really easy to catch, by the way. And I have my school finals coming.
But enough of my real life crap, how did you guys like the chapter? THE REUNION WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! Well, you have anyways, I already knew how they'd meet up. Perks of being the author;) I know it wasn't all "PERCY! ANNABETH! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!" *KISSING* I do like those too, but I didn't feel that scenario fit here. Let me know how you liked it!