Well..it's been a while...

Nico and I were watching Yancy academy. We had been watching for four hours and here's what we learned so far: no uniforms (Nico owed me ten bucks) but the dress code was more strict than Goode. Shirts had to cover all of the shoulder, pants had to rest above the hips (no sagging pants), shoes had to cover the toes, we didn't know much about shorts seeing as it was November, and of course, no offensive language on clothing. Annabeth was at Luke's house, saying she needed time to think. Neither of us were surprised. Someone cleared their throat behind us. We both turned to look, and there was a tall man with short, grey hair and was wearing some kind of black uniform thing with red trim. He was cleanly shaven and stood up so straight, it looked unnatural. He was staring at us with cold, black eyes. We crawled out of our hiding spot (it was a bush, but it concealed us so well it should have been impossible for anyone on the outside to see us), and stood up. Nico held his hand out, but the man ignored it.

"I do not appreciate trespassers that spy on my students."

"We weren't-"

"I'm not blind," he snapped. "I would have called the police, but I am a generous man. Let me hear your side of the story." Nico seemed annoyed at this man, so I talked before he could say anything. No doubt he would be rude and make the man hate us even more. It wasn't like I was scared of him or anything, but he didn't seem like somebody you'd want as an enemy.

"We're starting school here next week and we wanted to see what some of the rules were," I said politely.

"So you felt the need to spy rather than ask?"

"We're sorry sir, it won't happen again." The man stuck up his nose and looked down on us.

"It better not, or next time, I won't hesitate to call the police. What is your name, boy?"


"Well Percy and..." he looked over Nico, "friend, one of our rules is to learn on campus rather than stalk. Do you need an escort home?" he sneered.

"We're fine," Nico growled. "I can tell it will be a pleasure to learn here, sorry, didn't catch your name."

"You shall address me as Dr Thorn or sir, is that clear?"


"Sir," I added mockingly. His lip twitched, but he just grunted in satisfaction and left.

"God, I hate that man," I muttered.

"I second that. Let's just get back to the house." May as well. We had everything we could get.

"Nice shirt by the way," I teased, nodding at the yellow shirt with a mustache.

"Screw you and your shopping skills."


"Honey, we're home," Nico called. He was so immature sometimes, like seriously.

"'kay," I heard from the kitchen. We found Annabeth eating pizza and texting.

"Pepperoni? Can you get any more boring?"

"Could've got a cheese. I didn't know what you liked so I got something everybody likes."

"Rachel doesn't like pepperoni," I said randomly. Annabeth clutched her phone a bit tighter.

"Yeah, well, when I said everybody I meant most people."

"Pretty sure a bunch of little kids-"

"Whatever." I smirked at her, and she replied with a glare.

"Anyway, some teacher named Dr Thorn is a real asshole. Hope he doesn't teach one of our classes."

"You hate every teacher."

"That's not true!" I defended. "I liked Mr Brunner, Mr Blowfish and my second grade teacher..." What was her name again? The only thing I remembered was that she was an awesome teacher. Nico and I each took a piece of pizza.

"I'm gonna go talk to Thalia and Connor. Maybe they can tell us something."

"Something about what?" Annabeth asked, pretending she didn't know about the organizations.

"School," Nico replied smoothly. I had to resist the urge to snort at that. I glanced at Annabeth and could tell she was also holding in a smile.

"Keep it PG13 while I'm gone guys!" he called from upstairs. I scowled.

"You had to tell him we kissed."

"You were the only one kissing."

"Not how I remember it." She threw a pepperoni at my forehead which I barely dodged.

"Not a bad throw, Chase."

"When are we going to start training?"


"You said you'd show me how to fight."

"Oh, right." I rubbed the back of my neck. "About that. I don't know, I mean it's pretty dangerous, and-"

"You won't always be there to defend me. I think that was proven when I got kidnapped," she snapped, interrupting me. I winced.

"When we find somewhere to train. It can't be here, Nico could catch us any time, and you're the one who doesn't want him to know you know. It can't be outside, or anywhere public for that matter. It's going to take some time. I don't know anybody here, so there's no one to show us around. And it's not like I've ever been to Connecticut before, so I have no idea where to start looking." Annabeth sighed loudly.

She pulled me out of my seat and pulled me to the door.

"Then we better start looking."

"Why are you so eager to fight?"

"No reason," she replied after a pause.

"Nico, we're leaving!" I called into the house, grabbing my jacket from the floor.


"I can't believe you got us lost."

"I can't believe you didn't charge your phone." We had been looking for somewhere to teach Annabeth self defense, but Annabeth insisted on taking the lead and bringing us to some abandoned town, so we couldn't ask for directions. My phone was dead, so we couldn't call or text somebody, or use the GPS. To be honest though, I was actually enjoying being with her when she wasn't looking at me with doubt. It was only like three or four weeks since she last looked at me as a friend, and to be honest, I missed it. I wanted a friend. A friend who I didn't kill people with. Someone I could act normal with. The only other friend I had I could act that way was with was Rachel and Grover, who happened to be in different states. Anyway, back to our scene of distress.

"Blame it on me, sure. Why not. Oh wait, I know, you're the one that dragged us out here."

"You are so infuriating sometimes! Why can't you just be serious for once? It's always sarcasm with you."

"Well if I'm so infuriating, find your own way home." I sat down, making a point of staying here.

"It's almost dark Percy. Do you honestly want to sleep outside?"

"Wouldn't be the first time I slept outside," I commented, remembering the days Gabe would lock me out on the fire escape.

"It's going to be cold," she shot back. Speaking of cold, I noticed goosebumps on her arms. She had a good point though. The sun had set, and the sky was slowly darkening. My jacket was warm, so I didn't really notice the cold.

"Well we can't walk back. We have no idea where we are. There's nobody here, so really, it's the safest we can do. From humans, at least. You can go into one of the houses if you want, but I'm staying here."

"Are you scared of abandoned buildings and abandoned towns?" she asked mockingly.

"I'm cautious about them. Do you want me to remind you where you were held for two weeks? An abandoned building. The Murderers of America hide out in abandoned buildings. Besides, when has it ever been safe to look through an old building in the dark. There was this one show where the girl fell through the door and a piece of wood pierced through her chest. She survived, but it's a fictional show." She muttered some things under her breath and sat down.

"At least tell me you know how to build a fire."

"Do you have matches?"

"We're going to freeze to death." I shrugged off my jacket and handed it to her.

"Pre-heated with my body heat. Enjoy."

"What about you?"

"I'll be fine."

"I don't want your jacket."

"You keep it."

"Just because I'm a girl-"

"I'm not being sexist Annabeth! I'm being gentlemanly. You're my friend Annabeth, and I've had more experience sleeping in the cold. Either you take the jacket or neither of us uses it." She glared at me, and I glared right back. I don't know how long we were staring at each other, but my ADHD got the better of me and I stood up, using up the extra energy I had that would keep me up all night if I didn't burn it off.

"Maybe we should find some sort of shelter. Like a tree or something."

"I thought you wanted to stay here."

"I changed my mind." I saw her roll her eyes, but she grabbed my jacket and stood up.

"Lead the way."

"There's a tree like ten feet away. I don't think I need to lead you to it."

"Whatever." She slung my jacket over her shoulders and headed to the tree. "I can't believe we have to sleep outside because you're afraid of a house."

"I'm not scared!" I protested. "If you want to sleep inside so badly, go by yourself." She stayed quiet after that. "You know Annabeth, you don't have to be scared of me. I'm not going to hurt you."

"I know, it's just...God Percy, you killed people as a job. At least in gangs it's only drugs, and maybe the occasional kill, and that's not even to innocent people. It's a lot to soak in. And that's not what I was thinking of anyway."

"I'm not proud of what I did. You have to understand I was doing it to protect my mom. I had to keep her safe. I grew up with Gabe for a father. I didn't think a father could be any worse, and then Poseidon just appears, and he turns out to be my dad. I was twelve, yeah, but people make bad decisions. I was stupid, I knew I would kill innocent people, people who only bothered us, but the only thing I thought was I have a dad. He came back for me." I scoffed.

"Then I couldn't quit. It's not like some gang where you leave and they don't bother you as long as you don't squeal or join another gang. These were psychopaths I was dealing with. I'm doing everything I can think of with the Rebellion. We even came up with some sort of plan, or whatever you call gaining information. I don't want to kill, but it's almost like an instinct. Somebody telling me to dispose of somebody. It's almost routine. And I hate it. I hate what they turned me into."

"They didn't turn you into a monster. They told you to kill me, didn't they?" She forced a smile on her face, but I could tell it was strained. "You couldn't bring yourself to kill me. A monster would kill without hesitation."

"That's the thing Annabeth, I did kill without hesitation. Sure, my first few missions were slow, and I had doubts, but for the last three years I was ruthless."

"Did you make every victim die slowly and painfully?"

"I made it quick."

"From what you told me Perce, it seems as though you were forced to do the job. At least you were merciful. You're not a monster. You're human. You wanted to be safe. You wanted your friends and family safe. And to you it seemed the only way to do that was to listen to your father and uncles. I'm not saying you were right to do what you did, but you didn't have much of a choice."

"Everybody has a choice."

"But are they fair choices? You have to choose between life and death. Take life, you hurt people. Take death, and how many are you really saving? It's never a win-win situation with the choices we are given. My point is Percy, stop bashing yourself over who you used to be. You're making the right choice now, and that's what matters.

"I don't try to avoid you, but it's an instinct. Part of me knows you're still that little kid I grew up with, but another part doesn't know you. You changed, grew up, made decisions that no sane person would. That part of me sees you as a threat, and there's nothing I can do about it. You used to be a carefree kid who was overly optimistic, somebody everyone wanted to be friends with, no matter how irritating you were. But that changed. You're a darker person, somebody who knows how cruel the world is," she finished.

"I'm sorry."

"For what?"


"What did I tell you about blaming yourself?"

"Whatever." Annabeth hugged her knees to her chest. We sat in comfortable silence for about five seconds, when my sneeze echoed through the town. I chuckled to myself. An echoing sneeze was such a weird thing.

"Told you. Should have kept the jacket. I slipped my arms into my long-sleeved shirt and hoodie hugging my chest, absorbing my body heat.

"I'm fine," I muttered.

"We could share the jacket." I glanced up at her, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't the lighting that made her cheeks look darker.

"Sure," I replied, shuffling over to her, slipping my arms through my sleeves again. She opened one side of the jacket and I put one sleeve over my shoulder. We leant against the trunk of the tree and eventually fell asleep.


I woke up before Annabeth. We were now lying flat on the ground instead of against the tree. She was using the crook of my neck as a pillow, and hugged my waist. My arms were holding her against my chest, with my jacket sprawled over us. I spit out a strand of her hair that was stuck against my lip and closed my eyes again, soaking in her lemon-scented hair. When I noticed I was tracing circles across Annabeth's back with my thumb, I released my grip and unwrapped her arms from around me. I gently placed her head on the ground, which unfortunately wasn't as comfortable as a pillow, and untangled our legs, sliding from under her. It was all it took to wake her. Her eyes opened, and we locked eyes, with my arm still trapped under her. She leapt up, her face red and muttered her apologies. I rolled my eyes at her and grinned at her, which was enough to stop her rambling, but it also caused her to shoot daggers at me.

"Calm down Annabeth. We were only sleeping," I reassured, picking up my jacket and tossing it to her. It had warmed up considerably since last night, so my thin hoodie was enough to keep me warm. She put it on, but kept it unzipped. "Besides, the jacket is only meant for one," I said, winking at her.

"Are you hungry?"

"Nah. I don't think there's food anywhere near here anyway. We can start looking for civilization, unless you want to learn to fight?"

"I can suck it up. It's not the end of the world if I don't eat." I gestured for her to come closer with my finger. May as well teach her some fighting tricks while we're in a secluded place.

"Come here," I instructed. She took a cautious step toward me. "I'm a really bad teacher, but here's what I can tell you. If your opponent manages to close the distance between you, use your elbows. It's the strongest bone in your body and hurts like hell if enough force is used." I grabbed her arm and held it up. "The point between your elbow and armpit is sensitive," I said, running my hand across the bottom of her arm. "Pinching it is also very painful, along with the back of your thigh. This is easy to do if you lack a weapon and you can't beat somebody with sheer strength."

I went on explaining about which parts of the body were weak points, and how to control somebody's movements using their finger, before we did any physical stuff. I did the gesture for "Come at me," She swiped her legs at mine, trying to trip me, however, that caused her to drop closer to the ground, so after a jumped, I used my momentum of dropping back down, grabbing her shoulders, and using her momentum of her drop to pin her to the ground.

"Gravity can be used to your advantage," I said, getting off of her. She rolled her shoulders, easing the pain of the ground. Grass was somewhat better than the road, but we didn't have any mats. "If you're heading down, continue going down. You can roll away that way. Immediately trying to stand up after a quick drop slows you down, but a second is worth a lot. Once your reflexes are quicker, it'll be easier to move up and down with out the transition of rolling."

"Don't people practise self defence first?" she questioned.

"I told you. I suck at teaching. But sure, why not." Before I could continue, someone honked their horn. My hand flew to my pocket, gripping Riptide. Annabeth and I whirled to the sound, and saw Luke's car. The driver rolled down the window, and the face of a furious Nico greeted us.

"What the hell guys? You've been gone twenty-four hours! This is a half-hour drive from the house, did you seriously walk? You know what, never mind. Get in the car."

"You were worried that much?" Annabeth asked, a hint of amusement in her face. I held in a smile.

"We can take care of ourselves." Nico gripped the wheel and glared at us.

"You could have called or something."

"My phone died, and we got lost."

"What about Annabeth's phone?"

"Left it in the kitchen. I forgot about it." Annabeth went to shotgun, and I mentally scowled. I hated the backseat. I don't know why, I just did.

Nico ignored us the whole drive. It was pretty quiet. And awkward. As soon as Nico parked in the driveway, Annabeth got out and went into the house.

"Nico, you know you didn't have to worry. I can fight."

"But Annabeth can't."


"Just listen for a sec. You're a brother to me, okay? I grew up with you. You're one of the only people I ever trusted in my life. I know you Percy, and if Annabeth's with you when you get attacked, you'll protect her. You'll do anything to protect your friends, sometimes your enemies. I don't understand why, but that's your nature." He turned to look at me. "I don't want to see you get killed because you were watching somebody else's back and ignoring yours. I'm not saying you can't protect others, but when you do, you forget about the risk you're in. You're going to get yourself killed one day."

"Nico, if we teach Annabeth to fight..."

"She'll question it. She's smart, she'll find out the reason why."

"And if we told her?"

"I know we grew up with Annabeth, and I should know her, but it's been five years, and even back when we were kids she was unpredictable. I don't know how she'll react. She could storm out of the house and find a way to live alone, or go back to her family. She might not see us the same. I don't want to lose another friend because we're part of this shitty organization."

"I know the feeling. Any word on when we can go back to headquarters?"

"Not yet. Until then, we're safe here." I nodded in agreement.

"Sorry. About worrying you."

"No biggie. I'm being paranoid anyway. Just don't do that again, I seriously thought I wouldn't see you guys again."

"Speaking of which, how did you find us?"

"GPS in the watch." The GPS in the watch. God, I am so stupid, how could I forget about that?

"Anyway, I'm hungry. I'm in the mood for Chinese."

"Sounds good." We got out of the car, and when we opened the door, we saw none other than Annabeth, Thalia and Connor chatting in the kitchen.

First of all: Writer's block and other plot bunnies suck and are distracting.

two: Procrastination and I was not in a writing mood most of the summer.

Three: I am sorry.

Other points: 2nd movie was disappointing, HOUSE OF HADES PREVIEW, Harry Potter, IOS7 is so damned flat and why and how do you get used to that, and I'M SORRY I'LL TRY HARDER I SWEAR

1Dlol – Grover was kidnapped because he was looking for Pan, which was mentioned in the first book, so they had to change it so it would make sense for the movie-watchers, so I blame the first movie. Speaking of which, I was highly disappointed in. And thanks.

Random demigod – I don't think Annabeth would waste time on things like fanfiction or tumblr,, because I think that in her point of view, would be stupid sites.

BookDevourer52 – One True Pairing.

the Unclaimed Demigod – Don't worry, I hate those stories too I'm sick of them. And thank you very much :)

wise-waters – well...this isn't really soon...but... I always liked Rachel, and the love triangle really interested me. But I was convincing mysef that Percy was at least smart enough to pick Annabeth :P

Mayhaah – Whatever you say Sweetheart.

seaweedbrain – You are welcome.


Guest – Okey dokey.