A/N: Wow so I went to bed after posting this and woke up to 19 emails about it! Good response but I feel pressured to do good now.
So regarding someone's review from last time, I am aware the characters are a tiny bit out of character, but it is an AU so it's more difficult for me to portray demigod traits and things like that. Annabeth is proud, a war strategist and judgemental on first meetings. Percy is loyal and defensive over people being bullied. Also, it couldn't be Percabeth straight away given the story line. Other than that, thanks for positive reviews!
Disclaimer: Sadly I don't own Percy Jackson, or any of the mentioned characters.
Annabeth had analysed the situation, and had formed a fighting strategy. In most scenarios, it didn't end well for her, but the Princess stays alive and escapes in most of them. Her chances of being able to defeat a group of 30 armed men were not looking too sunny, but she had spotted a gap on Luke's defence. He was exposed on his entire right side, his right foot stood forward protectively over Clara's body. And this is where she would strike him. Annabeth's feet slammed hard against the soft ground as she charged forward. The shock on everyone's face would've been funny at any other time, she noted. With a grunt, Annabeth swung the sword round, burying it deep in Luke's thigh. There was an anguished cry of agony, then mayhem.
"My horse, go!" Annabeth screamed at Clara. Clara didn't show any signs of moving, and there must have been some pre-standing order about what to do in such a situation, because Annabeth's plan slowly fell to pieces in front of her eyes. Clara hadn't taken the opportunity to move, and had been swept up into the arms of a burly man, who was quickly making an exit. Annabeth ripped the silver sword from Luke's leg, ignoring the groan of pain. Most of the men had dispersed, and now three were left in the clearing. Suddenly, the sword felt much heavier to Annabeth. She was about to make a new plan, when one of them men darted forward, grabbed Luke and put him on a horse. Luke and the man galloped off, leaving Annabeth in a terrifying stand off against two men.
The first man slid off his horse, wielding a sword.
"We'll go easy on you," He sneered, "Since you're only a little girl." The man was huge, and he came barrelling forwards, like a fired cannonball. The sword was outstretched, at the level of Annabeth's head. While Annabeth was entirely exposed, the man wore armour, with only his head open. That was her attack point. She had the skill of speed on her side also.
"Just like a bull." Annabeth murmured to herself. The man reached her at last, she ducked under the sword, and turned as the man ran past her. He hadn't expected her to fight, she realised. She spun round as soon as she was clear of the sword. The male traitor turned, just in time to see Annabeth bring her sword over her head, and bury it in his head.
"He will have died quickly." Annabeth whispered to herself, as she wriggled the sword free. It didn't make it any better. Before today, she'd never hurt anyone. The man in front of Annabeth was dead, and she had done it.
"Focus." She whispered. The second soldier remained behind her, Annabeth turned on her heel to face him. He had taken precautions, and was strapping a helmet hastily to his head. The man was afraid. So Annabeth used this to her advantage.
"I'm Annabeth Chase, shouldn't I know your name before I kill you?"
"William." He stammered. Not a man, but a teenager. They began to fight. Annabeth was surprised by his strength, he was lean but clearly the armour hid some serious muscle. They fought for a few minutes, neither making any progress but landing some hits that caused small cuts or bruises. Annabeth's skirts ripped, exposing most of her leg and giving William a chance to drag his sword down the length of her leg. A thin but deep cut appeared, blood quickly began spurting out. Annabeth pushed forward, and disarmed William, he looked stricken as he stood there.
"Any final words?" Annabeth asked with a raised eyebrow. She was aiming for badass, but with the blood loss from her leg and her multiple bruises, she was feeling pretty woozy. William knelt, and took off his helmet. He wasn't much older than Annabeth, if at all. All the fight went out of her as she realised she couldn't look this skinny kid in the eye and take away his life. Annabeth changed her grip on the sword, and smacked him in the head with the hilt. He fell to his side, out cold but alive.
Five minutes later, Annabeth had strapped William onto Clara's horse and was sat on the black stallion. It would be a longer ride back, not only was she leading Clara's horse, but she had to go slowly to avoid the unconscious teenager falling off. The sliced off skirt was now wrapped tightly around the Annabeth's bleeding leg, although she wasn't sure it would hold it long.
Every eye was on Annabeth as she rode through the city, a considerable amount of leg was on display, she was covered in blood, and most of it wasn't her own. By the time she'd reached the court outside the castle, there was a small entourage waiting for her, headed by the king himself.
"What do you think you're doing, young lady?" He bellowed, the anger in his voice resonated around the court. Silence fell as Annabeth struggled off her horse and curtsied.
"Your honour, the Princess requested we go riding. Whilst we were stopped for a break, she was attacked by a group of traitors to the kingdom. I attacked the main protagonist, but another grabbed the Princess and made off with her. The remainder of the men scatted, bar three and the man I injured. One took the leader and rode off, I killed the other, then fought that one on Clara's horse." Annabeth explained, "I thought we could use him for information. I did try to save the Princess, I swear your Majesty. I am deeply sorry but they have her." Annabeth met the King's eye, something risky given the circumstances. He was wavering, she saw, between believing her or not.
"How can we be sure you're telling the truth?" He asked her. To Annabeth's surprise, the Prince, who she hadn't even seen, stepped forward.
"Look at her leg, Father, she is covered in blood, her sword is bloodied, there is an unconscious man on Clara's horse and no Clara to be seen. How can you even begin to doubt her?" Percy said fiercely. Annabeth looked down at her leg, blood was showing through the thick material. The nauseous feeling she'd experienced several times while riding to the castle returned with the force of a great typhoon. Then she was on the ground, cold stone against chilled her tan skin. Percy Jackson's face was the last thing Annabeth saw, before her sight evaporated completely.
Annabeth awoke in the comfiest bed she'd ever been in during her 16 years of living.
"You drool when you sleep." A deep voice said beside her. Annabeth quickly turned to the voice, Percy Jackson, again.
"The high prince watching a servant girl drool?" She joked weakly, "How the mighty have fallen."
"As I recall, it was you who fell." Percy smirked. Annabeth laughed, he had a point.
"And anyway, that is my bed. You've been treated better than any drooling servant girl has ever been in the last 12 hours." He said, getting up and pouring a cup of something hot. Annabeth struggled to get up, she'd been sleeping in the Prince's bed, laughing with him. Didn't she know her place? Everything screamed as she attempted to get up, Annabeth felt cuts and bruises where she didn't know she'd been hit. Her leg was crying out for her to stop, and then Annabeth herself cried out. Percy was by her side in seconds.
"Stop. Lie back down right now." He commanded, Annabeth did so. Percy handed her the mug.
"I hope you know how much trouble I got into for you," He began, "Defending you first off, carrying you here, getting you the right treatment. You see, I'm interested in you. What kind of a girl attacks a group of 34 men, we spoke to William by the way, to try and save the life of a Princess who is constantly rude and abusive? Why does this girl do everything in her power to save the Princess?" Percy said thoughtfully, he was looking away. When Annabeth didn't reply he got up and moved to the window, a comfortable but heavy silence sat between them. Until Annabeth spoke quietly.
"A wise girl. A girl who knows how to pick the right side in a battle."
Reviews, constructive criticism?
Did anyone else notice I used 'You drool when you sleep.', from the first book? Annabeth says it to Percy. I cracked up writing it but I don't know if anyone else picked up on that. It's page 64 in my copy!