A/N: Well, today's August 10th, which means something very special: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to MostDefinitelyFlorentine! I wrote this into a two-shot at wombat-of-awesomeness's suggestion, because it's your legit birthday today and—oh my gods, call the locksmith.
It also means that *ahem* Demigod Diaries is in FOUR FREAKING DAYS (FTW!)…anybody who feels like they need a mega fangirling session, feel free to PM me!
(Just an FYI: this is the same as the last chapter, but in Annabeth's point of view.)
Jason's words have become a garbled mess in your ears and you can't feel the coolness of Piper's cautionary hand on your arm anymore and Leo's nervous foot-tapping has long since stopped irritating you because there's only one thing you can focus on and it isn't any of them.
It's the green-eyed, black-haired boy next to the regal-looking girl with the dark hair (why does she seem familiar?you ask yourself), his arms slung around two other demigods—a boy with a hulky wrestler's build that doesn't quite match his baby face, and a girl with warm skin the color of chocolate and eyes a disconcerting shade of brilliant gold.
Seaweed Brain, the lovesick part of your mind whimpers.
Focus, Annabeth, says the small section of your brain that's managed to maintain a semblance of sanity over the last hellish eight months. This is a diplomatic meeting, not somewhere for you to resolve your love life. Besides, he'll probably need his space. Wait.
The dark-haired girl nods as Jason finally finishes speaking, turns to the amassed Romans behind her, and raises her arms. "Ave, Jason Grace, our returned praetor—and the Greeks, our new allies in this war."
The legions of battle-ready warriors pound their shields against the ground in unison and echo the cry: "Ave!" Then they swarm forward to greet the newcomers.
You're pretty much lost in the crowd of legionnaires; the last thing you see of your crewmates is Leo sidling up to a Roman girl (no doubt in what will probably be a failed attempt to flirt with her). So you turn around to start looking for him and—
He's standing with his back to you, hunting over the heads of the crowd. Before you can stop yourself, you take a step forward and call, "Percy?"
He spins around, and you get a good look at what he's wearing: a deep purple officer's cape over—wait a minute, is that a toga? But even the ridiculousness of the outfit can't distract you from the object of your focus: his face.
The depth of emotion in his green eyes is surely mirrored in your gray ones—even more so when he takes two or three tentative steps toward you and says, "Annabeth."
It's not a question. It's not a question. He knows. He remembers. He loves you.
"I thought I told you not to bite your nails."
Percy reaches up to pull the hand away from your face that you didn't even realize was there in the first place. As soon as his fingers connect with your skin, there's a jolt of electricity between the two of you.
You bury yourself in his waiting arms and never want to leave—you're with Percy again, and the world is soft and warm and real and wonderful.
"I love you, Wise Girl," he whispers into your hair, and you look up just in time to have his lips connect with yours.
And it's even better than the best underwater kiss of all time.