"Percy! Percy, wake up!"
I was so startled by the sudden loud voice that before I knew what I was doing, there was a huge WHOOSH sound and a strangled yell. My eyes snapped open to see a soaking wet Nico di Angelo standing over my bunk in the Poseidon cabin.
"Oh, um…sorry, Nico."
"That's—okay—Percy," he panted, bending over to try to catch his breath.
"What's wrong?" I asked. "It's eleven o'clock at night, man. You don't just wake me up at eleven without a very good reason—"
"Annabeth," he choked out. "She went out today for Chiron—I can hear that buzzing sound—we've got to go—"
At the words buzzing sound, I was wide awake. I knew that Nico could hear and feel people dying. And—
"Oh, gods," I said. "What are we waiting for?" And I tore out of my cabin with Nico hard on my heels.
Camp Half-Blood was bathed in silvery light from the full moon that floated above us. Cabin lights flicked on as Nico and I dashed past, shouting at each other about what to do ("I don't care if Chiron has curlers in his tail! Go wake him up!"). I finally reached the crest of Half-Blood Hill, skirted the sleeping guard dragon Peleus—and there she was.
"No, no, no," I muttered to myself as I ran down the hill. "She's not dead, she can't be dead—"
One ankle was twisted at a funny angle, her breathing was shallow, and there was blood everywhere, but I didn't have time to worry about proper medical protocol. I scooped her up and climbed back up the hill, then headed for the Big House as fast as I could.
Chiron and Nico were out on the porch, both of them gesturing wildly with their hands as they talked. The moment I was within shouting distance, I yelled, "Hey, Nico! Go wake up Will!"
"Will as in Will Solace from the Apollo cabin?" he called back.
I tried not to jostle Annabeth as I climbed up the porch stairs. "Does she look like she can be fixed without a medic?"
He opened and closed his mouth a few times, apparently fishing for somethting to say, before turning and flying back towards the cabins.
Chiron gave a strangled gasp when he saw Annabeth. "Is she still breathing?"
"What a morbid question," I said, following him into the house. I had not-so-fond memories of the sick room, but not being the injured one this time was kind of a novelty.
Will showed up, still in his pajamas and his hair a complete mess. I stepped back to let him do his thing while I tried (and failed) to get the bloodstains off my shirt.
"This isn't so bad, Percy," he muttered, still bending over Annabeth. "She twisted the ankle, and some of the cuts are deep, but she'll be fine."
I let out a shaky breath I hadn't known I'd been holding. "Good."
"Hold on just a minute—" As Will moved to set the ankle, Annabeth gasped and her eyelids fluttered open. Before I even knew what I was doing, I had moved over to her and gotten a firm grip on her hand, blocking her view of the rest of her body.
"Percy?" Her voice was barely above a whisper.
"Hey, Wise Girl. This must be kind of new for you, huh?"
"I'm not even going to dignify that with a response."
Her fingers tightened on mine for a moment and she hissed through her teeth. "Will, what exactly happened to me that hurts so much?"
"Well, what attacked you?" Will straightened up and wiped his fingers on his sweatpants.
"Pit scorpions, couple of hellhounds, dracaenae, and a freaking hydra."
I cringed, because I remembered exactly how pit scorpion venom felt, and it wasn't nice. "Man, all at once?"
"No, thank the gods." She sighed. "Who found me?"
Annabeth reached up to trace one of the dark red stains on my shirt. "Then what—"
"I carried you back here while he went to get Will."
"Speaking of me," Will said, "I'll just—ah—leave you two alone." He winked at me, then left the room and closed the door behind him.
"Do they all have to flaunt it in our faces?" I grumbled. "We're dating. We understand that."
Annabeth laughed. "We've been through a lot together, haven't we?"
"Yeah. Like saving the world." I paused for emphasis, then added, "Twice. And there are so many words I could describe us with. Have you ever noticed that whenever people talk about us, it's always 'PercyandAnnabeth'? Like, one word?"
She raised one eyebrow, puzzled. "Come to think of it, yeah."
"There are more, though—lightning thieves and labyrinths. Crashed school dances and the weight of the sky. Gray streaks. Stars."
Annabeth looked at the ceiling for a while. "Poison knives and Olympus. The Argo II. Giant wars."
"There's one more, though," I said softly. "One more word that I want to use to describe us."
"Forever." The word tumbled out in a rush. "Annabeth, this is totally crazy and I don't even have a ring and I'm scared of what your mom will do, but—will you marry me?"
She grinned at me and gripped my hand tighter. "Yes, Seaweed Brain. Of course I'll marry you."
[one month later]
Most of the Aphrodite girls had already left the room sobbing—except for Piper, who stood with the other bridesmaids on my right side and shot me a sympathetic look. Grover stood behind me, chewing absently on the rose pinned to his tuxedo.
A fanfare trilled through the music. Everyone stood as they turned to watch the two people at the end of the aisle.
And my bride was scarred and bandaged, but it was the best day of my life.
A/N: This chapter is dedicated to DandelionsAndDaydreams—thank you for the wonderful review! :)