A/N: A Percabeth/Annabeth and Piper friendship bonding dabble taking place between The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune because writing fics is how I deal with hiatuses and I'm excited for House of Hades. Thank you for reading and please tell me what you think!
Tried to take a picture of love. Didn't think I'd miss her that much.
I wanna fill this new frame, but it's empty.
Tried to write a letter in ink. It's been getting better, I think.
I got a piece of paper, but it's empty.
-The Click Five, Empty
Piper sighed in annoyance, sipping her hot chocolate.
Leo had been in Bunker 9 for far longer than she thought healthy for him, and while that would normally mean some alone time with Jason, he was currently kidnapped by Leo's brothers and sisters wanting to know how his coin-sword worked.
So she was alone lounging in the Big House, sitting on a comfortable couch by the fire, when a blond girl in an orange t-shirt walked in from the camp grounds holding a mountain of books, files, and loose papers.
"Annabeth" Piper greeted her, getting up. "Thank the gods, I've been so bored."
Piper could swear her eyes became a shade lighter gray as she smiled for the first time in who knows how long.
"Good, because I need help with this." Annabeth said, taking the mug of hot chocolate from Piper's hands and taking a drink. "Chiron wants me to organize this."
Chiron's office was cluttered and cramped, making filing all his stuff a hassle, but Piper figured her friend welcomed the distraction. This was how many months now her boyfriend was missing? Leo had been working hard on the Argo and Piper hoped once he was done they would find this Percy boy.
She forced herself to not think about it and instead study the office. The walls were lined with pictures and as she scanned them and went from the black -and -white to the modern photos, she smiled as she saw a familiar face.
"Hey…is that you?"
Annabeth looked up at the picture she was pointing at. In it a young blond girl had her arm around a black haired boy. They were both grinning broadly.
Her eyes swam and became darker like a tornado growing stronger.
"Yes, that's me."
"And is that…?"
"Mm hm. Gods, I forgot how scrawny he was. Did we ever hate each other."
Piper's eyes sparkled with amusement.
"Well maybe hate is too strong a word, but, yeah. I thought he was the dumbest demigod I had ever met and he thought I was annoying and stuck up."
"You guys look pretty friendly there."
Annabeth blushed lightly, remembering how her crush on him had made her self-conscious having her arm around him taking that picture even if it felt nice.
"After we got thrown into a quest together, I don't know…I guess we just figured we didn't have to hate each other because our parents do, you know? This picture was taken sometime after we got back. We were twelve at the time."
Piper's heart constricted at the thought of them having so much history together: both in hoping it wasn't cut short and in hoping someday in the future she and Jason could point to pictures and say We were fifteen in that picture! Crazy, right?
She turned her attention to other pictures and when her eyes landed on another of her friend and her boyfriend the glossy color reveled something interesting to her.
They looked about fourteen, Percy siting at the Cabin Three table and Annabeth sitting in the grass beside him. But what caught her attention was their hair. In both Percy and Annabeth's, there was a streak of gray.
"What happened to your hair? It can't be dyed?"
Somehow she doubted it was. Annabeth didn't strike her as the type to dye her hair, much less do something as sentimental as have matching hair with the boy she liked.
Annabeth unconsciously brushed her bangs.
"No…it happened when we took Atlas' place holding up the world."
Piper decided that was probably too long a story to get into.
"I guess…it's gone now. I always secretly liked it."
Piper wondered if Percy's had faded too and if that was a bad omen. She looked back to the photographs.
"That one looks new."
In it, Annabeth looked the same age as she was now.
Now Annabeth's eyes gleamed with a good memory.
"It is. That was last year, when we had just started dating."
"Why are you soaking wet?"
"Everyone threw us into the lake."
"The lake. He can breathe underwater."
"Clarisse never claimed to be smart."
Both girls laughed, smiling happily at each other.
As they continued working, Piper silently prayed to her mother that Annabeth would find her brave, silly, brilliant, seaweed brained boy soon. She wanted to see her friend smile like that more often.
And somewhere on the other side of the country a gangly black haired boy in a faded-out orange t-shirt woke up from a long sleep.