Author's Note: Hello again! Sorry for the unplanned hiatus. Feel free to yell at me in the comments. I started this chapter a while ago, and figured it was time to finally finish it.
Also, this has no House of Hades or Blood of Olympus spoilers or anything. Do you guys want me to finish the few chapters left on this story as is, or do you want me to ditch it and rewrite it with the last two books in mind (this will take longer to do)? Thanks for your patience! Happy reading!
This has been the worst day of my life. So first I decided to travel across the country to see this girl who I like but I'm pretty sure hates me, only to get to Chicago to find out I have no idea where Katie lives because Silena deemed it was worthy to tell me she was on a date but not where she lived. So then I spent the next hour in the airport next to a sweaty guy waiting for one of the girls to text me where Katie lives. Annabeth finally texted me back (Frankly, I'm surprised. Shouldn't she be on a date with Percy by now?!) and I found out that Katie lives on the other side of the city from where I was at. So I got in a taxi with a driver whose breath smelled like onions, had to pay extra due to traffic delays, and arrived at Katie's place with the desperate hope that she is actually there.
So I arrived at the place, but unfortunately, there is like twenty old ladies scurrying back to their apartments with loads of grocery bags. I tried to squeeze between them, but this happened:
"Mister, mister!" One of the old ladies waved me down. "Sir, are you that famous baseball player?"
"Um-" I was deciding how to respond because one, there are a lot of baseball players and am I even the one she is thinking of?, and two, would telling her hold me up even more from seeing Katie? But before I could think too hard on it, another old lady came to her friend's aid.
"Oh, aren't you that one twin? The one on the Titans, Connor, no, no, Trevor?"
"Travis, Travis Stoll," I smiled, because there was no way I was getting out of this now. And hey, might as well be nice to everyone because I've got no idea where the press have cameras. They're like ninjas!
"Oh, oh!" Another one of the old ladies barged her way though the hoard and grasped my elbow. I did my best to ignore the musty/kitty litter smell coming off of her. "You're my grandson's favorite player! Will you please be so kind as to give me an autograph to give to him?" And that's how I ended up signing autographs for a horde of old ladies. It wasn't like I didn't see it coming, or that I could have refused.
So it took some some time to sign everything, and I could tell some of the old ladies were tired of hanging around and holding their bags. I thought I could make a getaway when one of the more vocal ladies spoke out.
"Young man! You're a healthy, strong man, won't you help us carry these groceries?" And then she piled 15 million tons of food on my arms. My gods, what did these ladies buy?! So that's how I ended up carrying loads of groceries around Katie's apartment complex. Luckily, most of the ladies lived on the first floor, a few on the second, and only one on the third. After delivering all of the ladies' groceries and walking them to their doors, I was left with just one lady who needed to go to the third floor. This was Katie's floor, and I figured I could still stop by her apartment, even if she probably wasn't there due to my many delays.
"So Trevor, what are you doing here?" The lady asked me.
"Travis," I politely corrected her. "And I'm here to see Katie Gardiner? Do you know her?"
The old lady's eyes glimmered, "Oh, Katie is such a sweetheart! She's my neighbor, always checking up on me, making sure I'm okay, and sending me bouquets of flowers whenever she has extra at her shop."
"Yeah," I smiled. "She is pretty awesome, isn't she?"
The lady smiled back. "Such a darling. Now, you've been a nice gentleman to us, but I've heard things in the papers. You better take good care of her, you hear? She deserves respect." The lady squinted her eyes at me. Woah, okay, did not expect to be lectured here.
"I know, I promise I'll be a gentlemen to her. Trust me, if I ever get the chance to date her, I'll treat her like a princess."
"Good kid," the lady patted my cheek. I tried not to cringe. We were now nearing her apartment room. It wasn't the worst apartment complex, but it wasn't the nicest either. Some of the wallpaper was peeling in the corners. "Now, dear, watch your step. There's some carpet coming up here."
I wasn't really paying attention much any more. I was thinking about Katie, as usual. Never before had I ever really considered dating a girl for an extended amount of time, but Katie was different. I don't want to sound too sappy (gods, what would all the guys think of me now?! Well, considering what some of them have been up to, they aren't in a position to judge. I'm looking at you Percy) but-
"Ah!" I yelled as the infernal carpet tripped me, causing me to sprawl on the ground outside of a door, the cans in the groceries scattering everywhere. I vaguely heard the old lady ask if I was okay when the door next to my body opened.
"Get out of my apartment!" I heard Katie yell, then felt a sharp pain in my side as something kicked me in the side then thudded on top of me.
"Argh!" I responded.
"Mrs. O'Leary?" I heard Katie ask. Then I heard her voice change as she took in the whole situation. "TRAVIS?!"
"Hey, Katie-Kat," I breathed out, trying to wriggle away from the large mass on top of me. "What's up?"
"Oww," I heard the mass on top of me mutter. "What the heck?"
"YOU!" I screamed, using my superior baseball strength to shove the mass (aka Katie's evil lifeguard date) off of me. "What are you still doing here?"
"We were watching a movie. And he was just leaving." From my position on the floor, I could see her piercing glare. Finally! Directed at someone who was not me! I scrambled up and crossed my arms, standing by Katie, because hey, why not? Okay, so many reasons, but I'm just going to ignore that.
"You heard the lady. Leave." I glared intimidatingly at the evil lifeguard.
"Who the heck are you?" He stood, looking at us.
"Travis Stoll, Major League Baseball player. Leave, or you will be thrown out."
"She's already made that quite clear," the lifeguard grumbled.
"You deserved that push out," Katie said icily. The guy glared, and left. Katie turned to Mrs. O'Leary. Instantly, she transformed into a different person. "Mrs. O'Leary, I'm so sorry you had to witness this."
"It's okay darling," she smiled, looking at the two of us side-by-side. "I'll just grab my things and leave you two."
"Here, I'll get them," I interrupted as she started to bend down to pick up her dropped groceries. "It's my fault."
"Thank you Travis." Katie helped me pick up the groceries, and then she handed the bag back to Mrs. O'Leary. I threw in some money to pay for any groceries that were damaged due to my, ahem, fall. She took the groceries, thanked us both, and headed to her apartment right next to Katie's.
Once she was gone, Katie turned to me. "What in the world are you doing here Stoll? How did you even find where I lived?"
"Annabeth sent it to me."
Katie scowled. "I'll have to talk to her later about giving my address out to strangers."
"Hey, I'm not a stranger Katie-Kat!" I protested.
"Don't call me that. And you still haven't answered my original question. What are you doing outside my apartment helping my elderly neighbor carry her groceries?"
"Well, that's a long story, but I came to ask you a question."
Katie's eyes widened. "Stoll..."
"No! No, nothing like that!" My cheeks reddened. Really, did she think I would propose to her after that embarrassing entrance!? "Would you like to accompany me to a Chicago Owls game?"
"This is the greatest day of my entire existence," Nico grinned as he shrugged on his uniform. We were in the locker room, preparing for our game against the LA Wolves.
"You literally hospitalized a person, and you're happy?" Jake Mason looked at Nico.
"That scumbag Luke deserved it." Nico grumbled, but it didn't suppress his grin. "I gotta go warm up pitching. See you guys in the game." Nico was still smiling as he left the locker room.
"He's one weird kid," Jason laughed. That's an understatement.
"So," started Chris, looking around at all of us guys. "Who's going to fill in for Travis, Leo, and Will? We're out of players."
"Oh yeah," replied Beckendorf. "Forgot about that with all the girl drama going on. We'll just call up some of the non-starter guys. We have those, right?"
"Of course," I said. "What were their names again? Carter and Walt or something like that. I don't know. They always seemed so weird and different from us."
"True that, but speaking of girl drama, Percy." Connor stopped talking as all eyes swiveled toward me. I tried to push down my blush, but I don't think it worked.
"Girl drama? Me? What?" Play it off cool Percy. "I haven't kissed Annabeth."
"Woah, Perce, we didn't even mention her! That's just where your mind goes, huh?" Jason smirked at me. I threw a shoe at him. He dodged it, laughing.
"You're a free man now Percy," Chris grinned at me.
"Annabeth's not dating anyone either," Jake added in.
"You guys sound like Rachel," I muttered, scowling at them all.
"See, even your ex-girlfriend ships you two!" Beckendorf chimed in.
"Did you just use the word 'ship'?" Jason looked at Beck incredulously.
"Too much time with Silena. Those stupid girls!" Connor shook his fist in the air. "Another point for Team Pink!"
"Hey now, no need to insult them," Jake held up his hands in a placating gesture.
Connor waved his hand. "You're already on their side. Your opinion doesn't count. I need someone who isn't hat over cleats in love yet. Jason, yes you'll work. What do you think?"
"Nah, he's been taken over to the pink side. Piper, remember?" I said.
"Oh, yeah, where has she been? It seems as if she disappeared after the shaving cream fight." Beck finished tying up his laces and headed for the door.
"She had to go back to work," Jason stated matter-of-factly.
"And how do you know that?" Connor turned on him.
Jason looked slightly sheepish. "I may have badgered Annabeth until she told me. And then I may have looked up her firm on the Internet and saw what case she was possibly working on to make sure she wasn't just saying that to avoid me."
Connor groaned. "You're right Percy. We've lost him."
"Cupcakes! Get your butts out here! It's game hour, not social hour!" Coach Hedge yelled into the locker room, effectively cutting off our conversation.
The boys and I walked out onto the field, amid cheers. I tried not to let my glance stray too much toward Annabeth, but it didn't work. She was pretty much the only thing I could think about.
I obviously wasn't the only one looking at the girls, because from beside me I heard Jake say, "Hey, Jason, it looks like it's your lucky day. Piper's in the crowd." Jason's eyes immediately widened. He ran his hands through his hair as if trying to improve his appearance.
"Dude," Connor patted his friend's shoulder in either sympathy or disgust. It was hard to tell which. We then stopped talking as we were split up to stretch. After the pre-game rituals, all of us Titans returned to the dugout to start the game. Naturally, we all tried to talk to the girls first. They were again in the seats right above our dugout.
"Guys, we have a problem," Jake said, glaring at the bench we should have sat on, now used for the purpose of standing on it to talk to the girls. "It's attached to the wall. It won't budge."
"Now how am I suppose to stare dreamily at Annabeth while pretending to engage in banter with you guys and the other girls?!" I yelled.
"Excuse me?" Came a voice from over our heads. Annabeth. My face immediately turned as white as the newly cleaned bases.
"NOTHING!" I shouted. Hopefully that would cover it.
Beck shook his head, grinning. "Smooth Perce, smooth."
But before anything else could be said on the subject, Jason called up to the girls. "Piper, what are you doing back here?"
"Oh, just finished up the case. It's been a slow day at the office, so they let me leave early and come here."
"Awesome!" He replied, then turned to us and whispered. "Okay, so if I want to spend more time with her, I need to get myself in a bit of legal trouble. Any thoughts?"
"You could just take her out to dinner," Beck reasoned. Jason waved a hand.
"She would never say yes."
"Rob a bank?" Connor suggested. Jason's eyes gleamed.
"Yes! Yes, that'll work! So, who's up for some bank robbing?"
"I'm in," Connor grinned.
"You can't be serious." I looked at the two. "You can't just-"
"Titans! Time to play! Jackson, first base! Kane, take Valdez's place at center field!" Coach Hedge yelled at us. Once again, our conversation was cut short.
The game was like much of our other games. Home runs from us, lots of yelled conversations with the girls, Nico striking the other team's batters out, and so on. The Wolves' hit a few good hits at the end, but we ended up winning by two.
"So, girls," Jake yelled from our dugout after the game. "How about some celebration post-game food?"
"How about pizza?" Nico suggested.
"I love pizza! Let's go!" Thalia yelled back. Nico gave a wicked grin. And so started a conversation on the topic possible pizza places. I didn't pay too much attention, though. My mind was on Annabeth. Should I kiss her now? I mean, that would be signifying that she was my girlfriend. Did she even want that? I know everyone else said we were perfect for each other, but what if-
"Perce, stop muttering." Beck looked at me. "Just go for it. Trust me."
"But how am I suppose to get up there?"
"I've got this," Beck smiled, then lifted me up and threw me on the dugout roof.
"Oof! Hades, Beck, was that necessary?!"
"YES!" He, and several other guys, called back.
"Stupid friends," I muttered. "Trying to get me killed. Don't know what- OH! H-hello Annabeth." I glanced up, only to realize I was inches from Annabeth's face.
"Hi Percy," Annabeth said back. I'm pretty sure our faces were matching shades of red.
"Um," I stared.
"Yes?" She said. I could feel us slowly inching closer.
"JACKSON! Get off of there! What the hades are you doing?" The yelling jarred me, jerking me away from Annabeth.
"Really Coach Hedge!" Nico glared at our coach. "They were about to kiss!"
"This isn't some sappy teen book! It's real life, and people don't lay across dugouts to kiss their fans! Get off of there NOW JACKSON!"
"No need to be so harsh!" Jason turned to our coach, and then punched him in the stomach. What?! Where did that come from?!
"Jason!" Several of the guys exclaimed, shocked. Coach Hedge was kneeling on the ground. Jason was grinning like a maniac.
"No need to rob a bank now!" By this time, I had slid off the dugout after saying a quick sorry to the girls.
It was chaos for a few moments as fans and security guards alike processed what had just happened. All of the team members were ushered straight to the dugout, then straight to the hotel, no time to say goodbye to the girls. Several of us were quite upset about it. It's safe to say that I was one of them.
Still Percy's POV
It was the next morning, and we were all still reeling what had happened. I almost kissed Annabeth! And she didn't recoil in horror! But then Jason had punched our coach, and he didn't appear the next day for breakfast. I was considering calling Grover, our agent, to see if he knew any details when my phone rang. It was Mr. D, our owner's representative. This couldn't be good.
"Percy Jackson, sir."
"Yes, Johnson. We have something to tell you."
My stomach sank. What could be happening now?
"We regret to inform you that you have been traded to the Pittsburg Backbiters. When you get back to New York, we will discuss the details of you leaving the Titans for good."