In the span of 5 years, Nancy Bobofit had jumped from being a gawky, ugly little thing with frizzy red hair and crooked teeth to being the prettiest girl at her school. Everyone loved her; everyone wanted to be her friend. Boys would whistle and call her hot, and the girls would watch jealously from the corners. Hearts would flutter when she smiled at the world, and then they'd break in sympathy when she was disappointed. Nancy was attractive, and she knew it. Flaunted it really.
But the girl that Nancy was serving was really pretty. Beautiful even. Nancy wasn't usually the kind of girl to be jealous, after all, she was the prettiest and most popular girl at Yancy, but this customer…
Nancy had learned the hard way that people who weren't of the opposite sex didn't like to be stared at by her, but she simply couldn't help it.
The girl was tall and slender, and had a figure that made Nancy feel ashamed. Even though she was just in a white tank top, shorts, and just a hint of mascara, she looked like she belonged in a photo-shoot for the cover of a beauty magazine. Her hair was long, curly, and blonde, and it fell down her back like a princess's. Nancy made a mental note to bleach her hair rather than dye it brown again; too many people at her school were copying her now anyways. But what really made the blonde stand out were her intelligent, stormy grey eyes.
"Large espresso and small Mint Verbena Tea for…" Nancy glanced down at the name label. "Annabette?''
The blonde's eyebrow rose, and the barista's face felt hot. "It's Annabeth," she corrected, her voice smooth and clear like a queen's. The girl took her espresso and tea with a bored yet polite smile. Then she curled up on one of the couches and began to read a book about the size of a dictionary.
Nancy squinted. She tried to read the title, but the letters were either too small or the font was weird. Annabeth felt the other girl's stare and looked up at her, uninterested. "May I help you?"
The brunette blushed furiously again and shook her head. This girl was intimidating and meeting her gaze made the barista feel like she was thirteen again, caught by a her mom mid-pickpocket. Nancy made a mental note to ever think blondes were promiscuous idiots ever again. "No, sorry, I was just—"
Her co-worker, Eddie, nudged her roughly. "You and Barbie can chit-chat later," he drawled condescendingly.
Annabeth's eyebrow twitched at the nickname and she looked at the other barista like she was preparing to dissect him. Even though the gaze wasn't directed at her, Nancy felt a chill go down her back. Eddie winked at her then looked back at the brunette. "Well?" he said tauntingly.
Nancy glared at him. "Shut up, you creepy little…" The insult died in her mouth when she saw another customer step into the Caribou. The barista had gone through quite a few boyfriends already, and she was currently trying to go steady with Yancy's star quarterback. But this customer was gorgeous.
He had messy, black waves except for one lock of grey hair, but even that couldn't spoil his looks. He was fit and tan, and made all the other boys at Nancy's school look ugly. But what really caught the barista's attention were his eyes, as cliché as it sounded. She couldn't really tell if they were blue or green, but they were so unique, she couldn't help but stare. But something felt familiar about him. Like the way his smile spread a little more to the left than the right, and the way his two front teeth weren't perfectly straight but somehow managed to look cute anyways.
Nancy shoved the black coffee to her costumer with a quick "Have a nice day," and started to fix her brown locks while quickly jotting her number onto a sticky note for name labels. She normally preferred it when the guys made the first move, but there was no way she'd let this one get away. Nancy was already imagining bringing the boy to a school dance, all of the other girls would be even more jealous and—
The boy walked right passed Nancy. He smiled, pearly white teeth shining, and the brunette's heart fluttered. She could've stood there all day staring at the boy, but Annabeth chose that moment to stand up. The blonde closed her dinosaur of a book, grabbed her drinks and strolled over to the boy.
"Here," she said, handing him the espresso.
The boy grinned even wider, and he planted a kiss Annabeth on the lips. Nancy's heart dropped to her stomach, and she barely heard Eddie groan in disappointment next to her. Of course the beautiful blonde would be dating the hot guy.
His face scrunched up adorably after he pulled away, and the blonde laughed. "Tea, Annabeth? Really?"
The girl rolled her eyes but it was obvious that wasn't upset. "If Rachel were here she'd kill you for saying that." Annabeth took her boyfriend's hand and led him to the loveseat.
"Has Leo I-Med you?" she asked, sipping her tea and curling into her boyfriend. He hugged her closer to his side, and smiled into her curly locks. A stab of jealousy flared in Nancy's stomach, and she glared at the couple. Why could none of her boyfriends be like that?
"Yeah, the construction's going great. They had a little set back with the Aphrodite-Venus cabin, but still..." He shrugged.
Annabeth bit her cherry red lips. "And my designs are okay? There's not too much Greek architecture over Roman?"
"They're amazing," he said honestly, "everyone's..." He trailed off, and slowly turned his head to stare at Nancy. The barista wondered when she got so bad at being subtle, she used to pickpocket people for Christ's sake. Nancy flushed for the third time that day and looked away.
Eddie snorted, and muttered, "Smooth."
"Shut up," she hissed.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the boy furrow his eyebrows. "Do I know you? You look sort of familiar."
Nancy eyed the boy. If the brunette did, she doubted she'd forget him. "No, but you look familiar," she admitted. Maybe she'd seen him walking around New York or something. Maybe the mall? "What's your name?"
Annabeth, who was watching the exchange with a neutral expression, met Nancy's common green eyes. Her full lips were set in a way that told the barista Don't even think about it, I've worked way too hard to get him. "This is Percy, my boyfriend," she said.
It hit Nancy like a freight train, and she dropped the White Chocolate Mocha she had been making. The costumer cursed and glowered at her as she stooped to clean up the mess, muttering apologies.
Percy...she hadn't thought about the loser in so long, but she never forgot about him. He was the little, troll-haired wimp with the unnerving eyes that always got on Nancy's nerves when they were 12. He was the boy that would stand up for other losers like that Grover kid. Nancy vaguely recalled having a dart board with a picture of him duct taped to it.
Eddie gave her a hard stare and handed her customer a new coffee with an apologetic smile. The man scowled and snatched his drink away, muttering about teenagers.
The couple was staring at Nancy. Percy inconspicuously slipped his hand into his pocket the same time his girlfriend tensed. "Who are you?" he asked a little hesitantly.
"Uh, I'm Nancy," she said. She winced when the whipped cream spilled over the side of the cup. "Just, your last name wouldn't happen to be Jackson? Would it?"
Annabeth looked coiled like a spring. Her grey eyes were hard, calculating, and cold, and Nancy thought that the girl was more than just a little possessive of her boyfriend. The blonde was looking at her like she'd freaking grown claws and fangs for God's sake. Percy however, looked like Nancy had straight up slapped him.
"Nancy Bobofit?" he asked incredulously.
Any doubts of who the—though it now pained her to admit it—attractive boy was, were wiped away. She felt unbelievably stupid for checking out her old middle school rival and horribly embarrassed just thinking about how much of a jerk she was back then.
"You look different," he said. "I almost didn't recognize you." Judging from the tone of his voice, Nancy figured that Percy wished he hadn't.
"Yeah," she said, playing with straightened lock of hair, "kind of changed my look."
"Thank god," Eddie muttered.
Nancy ignored him. "I almost didn't recognize you," she repeated his words uncomfortably and forced a small laugh. "You've really changed." Oh, the wonders of puberty, she thought.
"Yeah, well, you know…" Percy and Annabeth shared a secretive look that irritated the brunette. "…stuff."
"Like what?" she asked, partially because she wanted to keep the conversation going for some unknown reason, and partially because she was curious. What could possibly turn a loser like Percy Jackson into, well…this.
"I went to a military camp."
Nancy raised an eyebrow. "You're kidding, right?" It didn't matter what he looked like now, or if he'd matured any. Percy Jackson could barely stay in a school for troubled kids let alone a strict military school.
Percy gave her one of his sarcastic, troublemaker smiles that used to make the brunette's blood boil. But now, Nancy felt like it was one of the best things she'd ever seen. Much to both of their surprise, he winked. "It's kind of a program for special kids."
Annabeth snorted, and the brunette wondered if the boy was being sarcastic or not. But then again…if any place could take on the legendary delinquent that was Percy Jackson, it would have to be a school for "special" children. Nancy was just debating whether to ask if Annabeth was in the school too for hostile tendencies when the blonde's phone started beeping.
She pulled it out and after staring at the screen for a few seconds, she mumbled something to her boyfriend that Nancy either didn't understand or hear correctly. Annabeth stood up gracefully. "Percy," she said, "could you…"
He nodded once. "Blackjack and Porkpie are already on their way." He took the blonde's hand and led her out of the coffee shop before Nancy could ask where they were going and who the heck named their children Blackjack and Porkpie. But just before the door swung shut behind him, he smiled at the barista. A genuine one that Nancy had only ever seen directed to Grover and Mr. Brunner. "Nice seeing you, Nancy."
She smiled back after a beat of surprised silence. "You too, Prissy."
Percy laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard, and it never used to make him angry when he was in sixth grade. The last thing Nancy saw of the couple was Percy slinging his arm over Annabeth's shoulder and staring up at the sky in expectation.
The barista shook her head. If she had learned anything in sixth grade, it was that Percy Jackson was a strange one. He had knack for pushing the buttons of all the wrong people, and was a little wild and rebellious from what she remembered. But he stuck up for Grover even though he was just a stupid, held-back teenager with a weird leg disease.
Percy Jackson was never at the top of the class. He was never what girls would call "cute," or guys "cool." But now Nancy Bobofit couldn't help but think she missed out on having one of the greatest friends in her entire life.
(After her shift was over, Nancy made herself a large espresso and curled up on the couch.)
I might write more chapters focusing on characters other than just Nancy and Matt because there were probably more bullies in Percy's life other than just those two. If you don't mind other bullies being OCs, then I'll try to turn this into a collection of drabbles. But I'm going to be up at a friend's cabin for a while so I won't be able to post anything anyways. Tell me what you thought of it, reviews are always loved and appreciated.
Question: Should I do a story on why or how the Mist was made? Or could someone write one and PM it to me? 'Cause back then, I thought that all the mortals could see the monsters, so…