Author's Notes: I wrote semi-happy P/A fic, OMG! The first 300 words of this fic were written a few years ago for a challenge fic, that was never finished and I'd forgotten about. I was looking through my Google Docs on Friday and decided I should try to salvage it into something new because I liked it so much. I missed bantering Percy/Annabeth, you guys.
Disclaimer: I don't own Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Heroes of Olympus.
The thing those romantic comedies and young adult novels never tell you about the teenage phenomena of a boy throwing rocks at your window was how downright annoying it could be.
Especially when one had a Calculus test to study for the next day and said boy knew he wasn't supposed to be interrupting in any way, but most specifically not in person and well after visiting hours at her school. She'd gotten an earful from the good sisters the last time one of her schoolmates had tattled on her nighttime visit and they'd chased him from the St. Beatrice campus, and she was not looking forward to repeating the experience any time soon
Annabeth Chase threw down her pencil in frustration and pushed her chair away from her desk as she got up and moved toward her window. She pulled the blinds up, yanked the window open, and popped out the screen, a gust of cool March air sending goosebumps up her arm. She leaned out the window and glanced around, instantly finding the shadowy figure of her boyfriend on the lawn three stories below.
"What," she hissed, knowing her voice would carry to the ground, "do you think you're doing, Percy Jackson?"
Percy — whose arm, she noticed, had been poised to throw yet another rock — stepped into the square of light her window cast on the ground so she could see him properly. He was wearing jeans and a puffy black coat,the lumpy blue hat she'd knitted him for Christmas last year covering his messy dark hair; his cheeks were flushed red from the cold, but he was smiling and waving at her.
"Trying to get your attention, of course," he said. "And I got it, didn't I?"
Annabeth rolled her eyes, because that was such a typical Percy response, and leaned her hip on the window ledge. "You could have IM'd me or used a phone like a normal person instead of trying to break my window, Seaweed Brain. I do have studying to do."
"Exactly. So you would have ignored me and I would have had to come over here anyway. I decided to skip all that and get right to business," he replied. He stuck a hand in his jacket and flashed a piece of paper at her. "Besides, I have something I want to show you."
In spite of her annoyance, Annabeth was intrigued. She didn't think Percy would have come all this way if he didn't have anything but good news to share and although they had been dating for little over three years, pleasant surprises from him were a fairly rare occurrence.
"I suppose I can take a break for a few minutes," she said. "But I'm not coming down. You're going to have to find your own way up."
Percy frowned at her, confused, and Annabeth nodded her head at the drainpipe that ran down the wall beside her window. His eyes widened and he said, "Oh come on, Annabeth. You're kidding!"
"You've already committed yourself to a romantic cliche — might as well go all the way with it," she replied airily. "And don't give me that look. I've climbed down it loads of times. It's your turn to do it."
"But Annabeth — "
"Don't let my neighbors hear your whining, Jackson."
Annabeth didn't wait to see if he'd follow her instructions and turned away from the window. She grabbed the oversized hoodie on the back of her chair and pulled it over her head, feeling the earlier chill recede a little. She thought about pulling on a pair of pants over her sleep shorts, but, after glancing at her clock, decided Percy shouldn't take that long to climb up. It only took her a few minutes to scale the building — of course, she was smaller and lighter than him, but there were plenty of footholds and the drainpipe had been replaced with a newer, sturdier model after the older one pulled away from the wall in an unfortunate incident that Annabeth certainly had not been involved in last fall.
She kicked a pile of clothes on the floor into the wardrobe and straightened a few things on her desk, but couldn't do much more tidying up before she heard Percy's breathless cursing and the gentle thud of his feet against the wall as he swung his legs inside.
"Hmm, three minutes and twenty seconds," she said, turning around. "Getting a little out of shape, aren't we, Mr. Hero of Olympus?"
Sitting on the window sill, huffing from exertion, Percy glowered at her and tugged off his blue hat, throwing it at her. She caught it, giggling at the way his hair stuck up in every direction, and placed it on her desk.
"Brat," he muttered petulantly as he stood and reached behind him to shut the window. Her room always seemed incredibly smaller when he was in it. "See if I ever try to be romantic and spontaneous again."
"Next time you'll have to bring your rappelling gear," she replied, moving toward him. She caught him off guard, kissing him just as he turned around, but he recovered from his surprise quickly enough. Annabeth always did like how fast his mouth worked.
Percy reached up to frame her face with his hands, but paused, apparently remembering he still had his gloves and puffy coat on. He pulled away from their kiss and shot her a teasing scolding look. "Maybe you should wait until I get my coat off before jumping me, huh, Annabeth?"
She scoffed. "You wish I'd jumped you there, Jackson. I was just... saying hello."
"Sure, sure," he said, tossing the gloves next to his hat. His eyes followed her as she sat on the edge of her bed, a tiny possessive glint to them. "As long as I'm the only one you say hello to like that."
"Of course you are. The other guys who sneak into my room via window get more tongue action," she said flippantly, crossing her legs underneath her and placing her hands on her thighs. "So, what's so important you once again had to risk besmirching my good Catholic schoolgirl reputation for tonight?"
She expected him to throw back a quip about her enjoying all the other times he besmirched her, but Percy just snorted and rolled his eyes. He unzipped his coat and reached inside, pulling out the paper he'd flashed her earlier. It was an envelope had been opened already — hastily, if the jagged tears in the back of it meant anything — and there was a small blue logo in the corner that made her breath catch in sudden anticipation.
Percy nodded and held it out for her. Annabeth snatched it up instantly, eagerly digging in and pulling out the paper inside, unfolding it with trembling fingers. She skimmed the first few lines, her dyslexia mish mashing the words together in her hurry, but she only needed to decipher a few words: University of Massachusetts at Boston and acceptance.
Annabeth let out a little scream and quickly slapped a hand over her mouth, eyes darting to the walls on either side of her. She was known for her frequent outbursts, so hopefully her neighbors wouldn't call their floor monitor to complain, but their kindness was never a guarantee.
"Oh my gods, Percy!" she whispered after a few moments, returning her gaze to the letter. "You — you — "
"I got in," Percy finished, pride in voice. She glanced up at him and her heart swelled when she saw the broad grin on his face. "I did it, Annabeth."
Annabeth didn't bother to contain her joy this time; she launched herself off the bed and wrapped her arms around her boyfriend, the momentum sending them both careening back into her desk, causing it to scrape against the floor and bump into the wall. No way her neighbor would ignoring that.
But Annabeth didn't care about them, because Percy's hands were on her hips and he was kissing her deeply, and she hadn't been this happy in weeks. Her boyfriend was going to college!
Their plans after high school had been a contentious point in their relationship this year. After Tartarus, Percy's future had been fairly set — graduate high school, go to Camp Jupiter, settle down and live the rest of their lives in peace. But, for once, Annabeth hadn't wanted to take the most logical route and had disrupted Percy's plans. What was the point of surviving hell if they weren't going to keep fighting for the best life possible? They could do it; together, the two of them could do anything.
Except, apparently, get into the same colleges.
While both their school records were riddled with academic holes, absences, and disciplinary issues, Annabeth's grades and scores on tests had far outstriped Percy's. She'd been accepted into several schools, including her school of choice, MIT, right before Christmas. Percy hadn't even qualified for the majority of the schools she'd applied to and then had been rejected from all the schools he had applied for in the Manhattan area, even after all the work he put in to raise his grades and test scores. It was frustrating for him, the great Greek hero, to be so summarily rejected in the mortal world like this.
After her acceptance letter from MIT came in the mail, the two of them had gotten into more arguments than Annabeth could remember and being with Percy had become stressful and tense rather than fun. During one particularly terrible day, he furiously suggested that he might go to college at Camp Jupiter and take Reyna up on her long ago offer if she was insisting on leaving him behind. Annabeth had burst into tears as soon as she left his mother's apartment and hadn't spoken to him until he apologized a few days later.
With any other couple, that might've been the sort of argument that led to a permanent break-up, but Annabeth hadn't survived a fall into the depths of hell to lose her boyfriend because of college applications. They'd eventually had a long talk about their options — after all, Percy didn't have to go to a traditional college right away. He could still come to Boston with her if he wanted and attend community college while he was working, or maybe do some online classes, even if it was a little bit more dangerous for demigods.
Percy calmed considerably after that talk and applied to the UMass Boston and a few less rigorous schools in the area days before the semester deadlines. He'd made a great show of forgetting about those still outstanding applications and had been a much better mood in recent weeks, although she knew it was still weighing heavily on his mind.
Now, all that waiting had paid off a big way and he had his answer about his future.
"I am so proud of you," Annabeth murmured, threading her hands in his hair. She nipped at his bottom lip and his returning kiss was a bit rougher, needier. "I knew you could do it."
"Apparently they liked my personal essay a lot," he said, sitting on top of her desk. She heard her Calculus notes crinkle underneath him, but that was forgotten when he pulled her against him a moment later and resumed kissing her. "Said I had... a very distinct voice and should... think about a creative writing career. Must be some sympathetic demigods in admissions, you think?"
She shook her head. "I think you did it all on your own. No help required."
He pulled away, thumb brushing against her lower lip as he tilted her chin up toward him. His green eyes were alight with gratitude and adoration. "I wouldn't have been able to do it without you, Annabeth. I love you, you know that?"
Warmth infused every cell in her body at those words. She never got tired of hearing him say it and prayed she never would. "I know, Percy."
They stopped talked after that, as Percy's hands slipped under her sweatshirt, starting to tug it upwards, and their kisses became increasingly more passionate. The warmth from his I love you transformed into an aching heat low in her belly, reminding her just how long it'd been since she and Percy had had sex. Her hands slid under the tops of his jeans, causing him to moan in her mouth, and her fingers were dancing toward his zipper —
"Annabeth," a stern voice called from the other side of her dorm door, "are you all right in there?"
Annabeth cursed in Greek under her breath, hurriedly disentangling herself from Percy, hardly an easy task — his hands were still stuck in her hoodie, which was caught up around her shoulders, along with her tank top. It so figured Sister Marie would interrupt right now; that woman had an unnatural ability to appear at the most inopportune moments.
"Yes!" she called her voice strangled as she fought and got herself free from her boyfriend. Her desk banged against the wall once more when he hopped off and she winced, motioning for him to put his coat and gloves back on, and straightened herself out. "I'm fine, Sister Marie!"
"Sasha and Elise reported that they heard voices and some rather... interesting noises a few moments ago," Sister Marie replied, the severity of her tone increasing. "I think you need to open this door."
"Just a — "
"Now, Annabeth, if you would."
There was no time for Percy to get the window open and get back down the drainpipe without getting caught. Sister Marie would open the door with or without her permission any second, and Annabeth would kiss MIT goodbye if she got expelled three months from graduation because she had a boy in her room. Annabeth darted toward her bed, pulling off her Yankee's cap hanging on the corner and tossing it at her boyfriend.
"Hide," she whispered, turning away. Again, she didn't wait for Percy's response as she hurried over to the door and threw it open. Sister Marie stood in the doorway, her master key in hand and usual forbidding expression on her face. "Sorry, Sister Marie. I was on the phone and getting dressed for bed."
"Hmph," Sister Marie said, eyes darting over Annabeth's appearance casually. Annabeth hoped her brief make-out session wasn't that evident — her hair was usually a mess of curls by this time of night anyway. "I suppose you won't mind if I complete your room check then, dear?"
"Of course not," Annabeth said, stepping out of her doorway and into the hallway. Several of her neighbors — including those finks, Sasha and Elise from next door — were hanging out in their own doorways, watching as Sister Marie bustled into Annabeth's room. Room checks were one of the main sources of gossip on campus, and Annabeth's started getting much more attention after that incident with Percy in the fall.
"The hunk come to visit again?" Virginia from across the hallway asked, peering into Annabeth's room curiously. "You two can't go for a week without boning, huh?"
"Gin!" Annabeth hissed, blushing in mortification. "Sister Marie is right there. And no, he didn't. Percy knows better than to visit after hours."
"Yeah, that's right. You two just make use of the janitor's closet on the third floor."
Annabeth blushed in mortification, but couldn't say anything to refute that assertion (not like she could; Virgina had caught her and Percy redhanded last September) before Sister Marie came back out into the hallway, an unhappy expression on her face. Annabeth almost breathed a sigh of relief — if she'd found Percy, the old nun would've been positively gleeful about the chance to lecture and discipline her least favorite student.
"You're falling behind on your cleaning, Annabeth, make sure to fix that this week. And try to keep your telephone conversations off to an acceptable level in the future. We don't need any more disruptions during this busy time of year," Sister Marie sniffed, obviously disappointed by the lack of scandal. She eyed the other students out in the hall, who began to scatter as her gaze fell on them. "What are you all staring at? Perhaps I should inspect your room next, hmm, Rebeckah?"
Sister Marie stomped down the hall toward her next victim and Annabeth ducked back into her room, shutting and locking the door behind her. She glanced around the room for any hint of where her boyfriend was.
"Coast is clear. You can come out now, but you probably shouldn't stay long."
An instant later, Percy rematerialized, standing on the corner of her bed, his head and shoulders squashed against the ceiling.
"That woman is intense, gods," Percy muttered, hanging her hat back in place and quietly hoping down on the bed. "I thought for sure she heard me breathing... and no, you don't have permission to make cracks about me being a mouth breather, okay."
Annabeth smiled and picked up his acceptance letter from the floor, holding it out for him. "I wasn't thinking anything of the sort."
"Yeah, right," her boyfriend scoffed, shoving the letter back into his coat pocket. "Mark my words, this will come back to haunt me."
"Only if you get caught. Now, shoo, she might send someone to check up on me."
Percy grunted and walked over toward the window, opening it again. "You really weren't kidding when you said a few minutes. Ugh, remind me to do this climbing thing when it's actually warm outside. This sucks."
"Be safe," she said, watching as he swung his legs out over the edge.
Percy turned back to her, his face softening a bit, and reached out, fingers skimming along her cheek as he brushed a curl behind her ear. "I'll see you this weekend?"
She kissed him one more time, letting it drag on and on until they were both breathless and wanting. Gods, she just couldn't get enough of this boy. "Of course, Seaweed Brain. Congratulations. Again."
"Thank you," he replied sincerely, pressing his forehead against hers for a beat. Hesitantly, he pulled away and reached for the drainpipe. "See ya, Wise Girl."
She waved at him as he began his descent; he attempted to do the same, but his grip must not have been that great. Annabeth held back a gasp as Percy yelped and slipped the remaining one and half stories way down, landing in heap in the rose bushes at the bottom. That kind of fall might've hurt anyone else, but Percy was used to taking farther falls off the rock wall at Camp Half Blood. The only thing he probably wounded was his pride.
And maybe his tailbone.
"I thought I told you to be safe," she called, trying not to giggle as he shuffled upright, cursing indignantly in English and Greek. "You okay there, Romeo?"
"Fine!" he replied, waving at her and trying to conceal his hobble as he walked away. "You just need to learn to stop being so distracting, gods. Gonna get me killed one of these days... "
Maybe, Annabeth decided with a grin, as she shut her window, she shouldn't kiss her boyfriend senseless before he executed any moves from romantic comedies from now on.