disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Patrick Stump.
notes: I love Jake Abel so much that sometimes it scares me. I mean. look at him.

title: if we ever meet again
summary: I will probably punch you in the face. — Annabeth, Luke.






Annabeth had spent a fair amount of time thinking after Luke had proven that he was a total douchebag. She though about everything; about Artemis' offer, about Thalia, about her mother; about Seaweed Brain.

Even about Luke.

Mostly she thought about what she'd do if she ever met him again. Breaking his nose was secretly her favourite daydream.

Secret, because people seemed to forget that her mother was a Goddess of War, and that even in strategic war there was an undercurrent of violence—Annabeth could still remember the first and only time she had ever punched someone in the nose. The crunch of cartilage beneath her fist had been the most satisfying sound she'd ever felt, and the smear of blood across her knuckles had left her with a dark, turbulent tang of satisfaction on her tongue.

She'd been all of eleven years old.

And so sometimes (in between getting covered in the gucky innards of monsters that danced out of line and nixing Grover's more idiotic endeavors), Annabeth sat back and daydreamed. It was never very much because daydreams were fancies that she did not have time for, and never for very long because, well, she didn't have the time; but when she did, she felt a little better.

She played out conversations in her head that she'd never have.

With Artemis: "—no. It's not right. I'm not leaving him." "It's your loss." "No, really, it's yours. I want to grow up."

With Thalia: "—you were such a huge dork, Annie." "Don't call me that—!"

With her mother: "—ever love dad?" "Of course I did. But logic trumps love, and I couldn't stay with your father forever, Annabeth. Remember that." "But Mom—"

With Seaweed Brain: "—I swear to Zeus, if you throw me in that lake, I am never going to—" Sploosh! "PERCY, I AM GOING TO KILL YOU—!"

With Luke: "—really hate you. I really, really hate you." "Sure you do, kid." "No, actually, you make me want to set you on fire—"

That particular daydream tended to expand. It grew and fluctuated, and got creative with its use of particular settings—maybe because it was a conversation that she wanted so much to have. There were never any specifics, and the topics they covered ranged.

It always ended the same way, though.

"I can't forgive it. I just can't. How Seaweed Brain could even think this would be okay—" (because Seaweed Brain would always forgive Luke, in the end), and Annabeth would stand with her hands on her hips and shake her head at them both.

Luke would shrug. "You don't have to forgive it, firebrand."

(Annabeth didn't even know where that came from. It seemed to fit, but it wasn't something he had ever tagged on to her. She couldn't remember if he'd ever had a nickname for her. Probably not.)

"You don't deserve it," she would say.

And it would be the way he looked at her that would set her off. He would smirk, and it would bring the rage already simmering in her stomach to the surface to skitter over her skin as it exploded outward. She'd always had a temper, and though it almost never got the better of her, there were times that she simply couldn't help it.

That would be one of those times.

It would be lightning fast.

Her fist to his face.

The crunch of cartilage beneath bone, the blood trickling from his nostrils down into his teeth, the slightly dazed look in his eye—she'd imagined it so many times, it was almost like it had happened in real life.

Annabeth would smile, finally vindicated.

But it hadn't and she wasn't, and fingers in front of her face brought her back from her musings. Annabeth blinked at Percy.

"Alive in there, Annabeth?"

"Of course, Seaweed Brain."

Percy gasped like a drama queen, and threw his hand back against his forehead. "You wound me so, fair maiden!"

Annabeth snickered. "No I don't. You're just wimpy."

Percy looked pained. Annabeth smiled prettily in reply. And she didn't think about blood or broken noses, anymore. Not even if some person deserved it.

Especially if some person deserved it.

Things were better, that way.