Hi! So, I guess this is and... eight-shot? I don't know. One moment for each month that Percy's gone.
The first time she doesn't see him in the morning at breakfast, she's disappointed, but it's not really a big deal, because she knows he's probably off gallivanting in China or something with Mrs. O'Leary. On a quest for his dad, no doubt. He's done this before. He'll Iris-message her before lunch. So she waits, for the whole day, knowing that he'll be back soon. But as the end of the day approaches, and he hasn't contacted her or done anything, she suddenly realizes that now she'll have to sit alone at campfire tonight, without someone to lean on.
Now she's worried.
So she goes to bed early, skipping the fire. She's shaking, but she tells herself to calm down. It'll all be fine tomorrow.
But next morning, he's not there. So she eats her eggs slowly, because each bite tastes like cement. The walk to the arena takes about an hour in her head, because she can't stop wondering where he is.
So she's creaming some shrimpy Demeter kid, which can at least help her take her mind off of him, so she can strategize. The day is better than she'd expected.
But then she feels her grip on her knife slip, and suddenly it clatters on the floor. Spinning on it's point. Her hands go to her temple, and she feels like someone is trying to turn her inside out. A vision erupts in front of her, and the one goddess she would never ask for help appears in front of her, obviously distressed. Hera looks at her, the creases in her forehead deeper than Tartarus.
"Annabeth, do you hear me?"
She can only let out a gasp in return.
"Help him. Go to the Grand Canyon. Annabeth, do you hear that? Go to the Grand Canyon. The boy with one shoe will give you the answer. Go, Annabeth. Go. He will help. You will see him again. Go. Go!" Her image is flickering as she says the last word.
So she snatches up her knife, scrambling out of the arena. She somehow she finds herself stripped of armor, in the forge, where Butch, her new friend is tinkering at the flying chariot. She know what she has to do. She has to go, she has to go now, so she pushes Butch to the passenger seat, and the chariot is rising, rising above the pegasus riders, and then it takes off, flying faster than Blackjack.
"Annabeth!" Butch shouts over the roar of the wind. "Where the hell are we going? What are you doing?"
"She said he'd be there." She's so focused on the sky in front of her that she feels like her eyes will pop out of her skull if she looks any harder.
"Shhh. She said he'd be there. Be quiet."
Butch doesn't say anymore, but even in his silence, she can hear the resentment.
Not that she cares.
She's going, faster than ever, putting on speed with every mile, and she can see the big crevice start to expand through the ground.
What a lovely state. When you're on a quest, it's always pretty if you're just going through, not stopping to fight monsters and such.
She's over the sky bridge when she spots them. Three kids, all battling anemoi thuellai. Then she sees him. The one who has the answers. A bolt of lightning zaps off his shoe, so she leans down, into the plummeting chariot, and her body is at rest for the first time in three days. Percy will be here soon. He'll be here.
It wasn't him. Just some stupid new campers. Old for newbies, sixteen, but at least they're at camp now. They don't matter to her. Oh, yes, a child of the Big Three. But he's not illegal anymore. Not as interesting as Percy was. He's not a big deal. Sweet daughter of Aphrodite. If she wasn't mad that their little group had ruined her day, she might have been friends with her. But she's not.
They're all just a bunch of tricksters. Stringing her along to believe her best friend in the whole entire world would be there, and then showing up, only to find out that he's just as lost as before, if not more so.
So she takes it out on them in the arena, beating them each worse than before. She acts nice in front of other campers, but in private, she's cursing them to the depths of Tartarus.
The three newbies get a quest. She wishes them luck, but she's secretly hoping that stupid Jason will die.
She leaves camp. She's been running across forests for days when she sees him. He leaps out from a tree at her, looking just as worried as she's been.
"Did you find him?" the terror in his eyes is obvious.
"No! I thought you, with your empathy link, you might've..."
"No." His face falls. "It's like... it's like he disappeared off the face of the earth."
She can't take it anymore. She falls down to the leaves on the ground, feeling as broken as the maple leaves she's just crushed. A tear runs down the dirt on her face. She may be Annabeth, brave, strong, world-saving, butt kicking Annabeth, but without her parter in crime, she feels about a million times smaller.
"Oh, no, Annabeth, I didn't mean... No, it's okay." He's awkwardly patting her back, trying to fix something that's been broken for too long.
Her breath shakes as she tries to gather it all back in. "No," she says, "He's somewhere." her voice cracks four times in one word. That has to be some kind of record.
"I know." he says. "You'll find him. I know you will."
The smile she gives him feels fake and forced, but it's the first time her face has made that shape in two weeks, and it feels sort of good.
"Keep looking." he says, and before she has time to register what he's said, he's vanished into the forest, faster than he appeared.
She sets up camp that night in the rain.
Crawling into the tiny tent, she hears the thumping of the fat drops of rain on her roof.
She hugs her pillow, imagining it's another person.
"I'll find you." her damaged voice rips through the night air. "You'll see."