Author: Auditory Eden
Warnings: None, not even spoilers because I am making this up!
Notes: Just a look into the future of the Heroes of Olympus and their crew.
This Wonderful Life
Annabeth yawned as she hoisted her three-year-old daughter a little more securely, examining the sky for signs of rain. Driving in the rain always made her nervous, and Percy would be more than glad to take the keys, except her husband was asleep at the bottom of a baby demi-god dog-pile. He'd been playing with the little ones for hours, and it seemed like he'd finally given up. Their son was snuggled up in his free arm, and assorted kids were using his limbs as pillows.
It was a sweet sight—a lot of the demigods of their generation, one of the first to have a majority of survivors into adulthood, had been worried when it came time to have kids. Would the lifestyle they'd led cause problems? Annabeth and Percy hadn't been alone in their concern as to whether or not they'd even be able to have kids—and one she appreciated all the more because it wasn't a fleeting moment of peace. This was their life now. Percy and Annabeth worked at the school that had been set up for demigod kids. It was huge, in a safe zone, and it employed demigods as teachers and administrators as well as educating half-blood kids in an environment that pandered to the quirks of being half-god; the attention problems, the dyslexia. No one had ever gotten kicked out of Fair Acres Academy, as it was called. Rachel had joked once that it sounded worse than her old finishing school.
So, rather like the half-bloods who chose to live in New Rome over in San Fransisco, she and Percy, and many of the other people they'd known from camp, lived in relative safety in Olympia, the town where the school was located. There were maybe a thousand year-round inhabitants; during the summer, kids usually went to Camp Half-Blood and parents usually thanked the gods that they had a few weeks free of the chaos that came from demi-god kids. There were other places to work in the city; a myriad of little stores had sprung up, there was a library and a small but excellent hospital. Annabeth was the proud architect of rather a lot of it, though as the years had passed other people had built their own houses, taking some of the shine out of the original plans. That was okay, though; change was just another demonstration of the fact that the world that had been so very dangerous for so long was now growing safer and happier.
Annabeth smiled again and softly stroked her daughter's hair. Thalia Jackson had her father's dark hair with her mother's curls and eyes, which were blinking rather sleepily out at the world over her mother's shoulder. With a tiny sigh, the little girl wound a fist into Annabeth's shirt, before she turned her face against her neck and snuggled in to sleep. Annabeth kissed her cheek and began to hum a lullaby, rocking her daughter as the sun went down against the clouds that had been supposed to rain earlier in the day.
Moving carefully, Annabeth moved through Piper and Jason's yard, smiling at Juniper and motioning to her sleeping daughter when Frank made to speak to her. Picking her way past a fallen bicycle and a stick-sword, Annabeth made it to the car, just managing to get the door open and safely deposit her burden in the car seat. Thalia stirred a little, but Annabeth hushed her, fastening her into the seat and pulling the safety blanket from where it had fallen on the way over, smoothing it over the little girl's tiny form.
"Sleep, sweetheart," she whispered, and gently shut the door, intent on finding her boys and going home.
Percy and Freddy were exactly where she'd left them, the boy of five asleep with his father and all of the offspring of their friends. Freddy, named Frederick after her father, had sandy hair and green eyes, and already Piper and Hazel had begun to joke about what a heart breaker he'd be when he grew up. Annabeth didn't much care for that kind of talk—she preferred to let her kids be whatever they chose to be, so long as it wasn't very dangerous—but looking at his father she could acknowledge that they might be right. Percy had broken some hearts, Annabeth knew though quite possibly her husband himself didn't know that. He was handsome in a roguish, athletic kind of way that made women, especially the immortal kind, flock to him. Blessedly, he'd never seemed to acknowledge this, and Annabeth was secure in the knowledge that her husband loved her and would never look beyond her.
Now, though, he was more than just handsome. He was dirty, and even in sleep lines of exhaustion were etched into his face, but he wore a contented smile, and Annabeth's heart filled with warmth. Carefully, she made her way over to the dog-pile and began trying to pry Freddy out of his comfortable position. The other parents were beginning to do the same now; Hazel had Sammy awake and toddling over to his father, while Leo cradled his daughter Esperanza, waiting for his wife to come back from the kitchen, where she'd been helping to clean up. Jason and Piper were juggling the twins and trying to tidy up some of the toys in the yard simultaneously and Grover was picking up his younger son's pan-pipes and tiny fake converse.
"Percy," she finally said, poking her husband. "Percy, wake up please? Please? You can go back to sleep as soon as we get home, but I'm not carrying you and the kids."
"Wha—" he muttered incoherently and one of his gorgeous green eyes opened a slit. "Wise—Girl," he greeted her, the nickname cut in half by a huge yawn.
"Wake up, sleepyhead," she chided, half-amused, and he grinned tiredly.
"Can't you see I've been fighting a battle here?" he complained good-naturedly, and Annabeth poked him again.
"Look, dear, can you carry Freddy back to the car? Lia's already strapped in, and I think they both need to get to bed." In order to guarantee his obedience, she switched on Mom Voice, a talent that she had only discovered after she gave birth to Freddy. It could quieten a screaming child or make her husband understand that she meant business.
"Sure, sure," Percy acquiesced cheerfully, sitting up as the last kids were removed from his person. In what seemed like one movement, he was standing, with Freddy asleep on his shoulder, one thumb planted in his mouth.
Annabeth stood and pulled her husband down for a quick kiss. "I'll be right over," she promised. "I just have to figure out the babysitting schedule for this week with Piper and Hazel."
He smiled at her, less sleepily this time, more lovingly, and Annabeth gave herself half a moment to get lost in his eyes. Then she smiled again before making her way into the house.
The road here had been hard, she thought, but it was totally worth it. She had a family now, and a good home and a job. She knew her kids would be safe, more or less, and that they wouldn't have to experience the same fear that she, and others of her age, had had to fear. She had married the love of her life, and she got to see her friends all the time, frequently looking after other couple's children. This was the dream, she knew, and it was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen.
Then she greeted Piper, and went back to living this wonderful life.
So I was going through the archives and realizing, to my increasing despair, that I couldn't find a single good Percabeth fic. So I wrote one. Hopefully it's as good to read as it was satisfying to write.
This work was inspired heavily by burdge-bug, a deviantArtist who singlehandedly formed my mental images of every character in the Percy Jackson books except Clarisse.
Hugs and Kisses,