Annabeth shot up, her new sword pointed directly at the door. It creaked open a little bit more, and Percy poked his head it.
Annabeth sighed and dropped the sword to the mattress, "Percy. You scared me."
Percy frowned, "Sorry. I was trying to be quiet so I wouldn't wake anyone else. Guess I was too quiet."
He had moved into the room, but still stuck close to the doorway. Annabeth gave him a small smile.
"It's okay. I've been…edgy…for a few days now. I think I'll always be a light sleeper. I just don't feel…" she trailed off, but Percy understood.
"I get it," he nodded, "I feel the same way. It's just…"
His voice caught in his throat and Annabeth's heart dropped to her stomach. She climbed out of bed and reached a hand out.
"Percy? Come here," she took hold of his hand and twisted her fingers with his, gently pulling him to the bed. Percy sat heavily, reminding Annabeth of the way it felt to carry him after he'd been burdened with the curses of dead monsters.
It scared her.
"Percy, do you want to talk?" Annabeth knew asking if he was okay would be an insult. He wasn't okay, and neither was she. But they were alive, and they were together.
He shook his head, closing his eyes briefly. Annabeth snaked her hand up to his neck and let it rest there. Percy hummed and tilted his head to hers.
"I'm here for you, Percy," Annabeth murmured, resting her forehead against his.
"I know," Percy whispered back, his breath warm on her cheek.
Suddenly, Percy wrapped his arms around Annabeth's wait, pulling her close and holding on tightly. His grip was so strong it almost hurt, but Annabeth didn't make a sound.
Instead, she rested her head in the juncture where Percy's neck met his shoulder and breathed in his scent. Her arms locked around his neck, her nails digging painfully into her own arms, afraid that they would slip.
"I love you, so much. Annabeth, so much," Percy said.
Annabeth's own resolve crumbled when she heard Percy sniffling into her hair. If he cried, then she could cry.
Before she knew it, they were both sobbing, clutching each other as if they'd be pulled apart any minute.
It was silly, Annabeth thought. They'd been back on the Argo II for a few days now, and life had gone on. They'd battle monsters and tried to reach their friends at Camp. But not once had they talked about their time in Tartarus.
Annabeth knew that she was afraid to mention it. She didn't want to relive it. But she had never thought that either one of them could have held these emotions in for so long.
They were bound to crack. And tonight was the breaking point.
"I'm sorry," Percy mumbled, pulling away from Annabeth, but still keeping his arms around her.
Annabeth sniffled and looked up into Percy's red rimmed eyes. She felt the corner of her mouth turn up, and moved her hand to wipe away some of the tears that were trailing down his cheeks.
"Don't apologize," Annabeth shook her head, "There's nothing to be sorry about. A break was long overdue from us. We've been going since we were 12, I'm surprised it took us this long."
Percy laughed half-heartedly, and leaned his face into Annabeth's hand, "You're probably right. You always are, Wise Girl."
Annabeth smiled at the silly childhood nickname. It comforted her, made her feel loved and safe.
"We don't have to talk about it, but we shouldn't keep it bottled away, either," Annabeth said, pressing a soft kiss to Percy's damp cheek.
"I just felt so hopeless down there. I just wanted to keep you safe, but I didn't know what to do," Percy said, emotion clouding his voice.
"I didn't know what to do either, Percy. It wasn't something we were ever prepared for," Annabeth pointed out.
"I know," Percy blew out a breath of air, "It just sucks. Feeling that helpless and like there was nothing I could do to save us."
"But you did. Percy, you saved us. I would never have been able to make it through that without you," Annabeth said emphatically.
"Nah, it was all you, Annabeth. All of your quick thinking, that's what saved us. And I'll always be in awe of how amazing you are," Percy smiled for the first time since he came into the room, and moved his hand up to tangle it in Annabeth's blonde curls.
Annabeth could feel her face turning pink. She knew she was smart, but sometimes she didn't believe it.
When Percy said things like that, Annabeth could almost pretend that they were a normal couple.
"Well, we're a pretty amazing couple," she managed to say, horrified that more tears were springing to her eyes.
"Yeah, we are," Percy yawned widely, his jaw cracking.
"You know, I never asked why you came in here in the first place," Annabeth mused slowly, as if this thought had just occurred to her.
Percy ruffled his own hair with a free hand, "Yeah…it sounds dumb, but I had a nightmare. And I needed to make sure that you were…"
Percy trailed off again, but Annabeth knew. She always knew what he was thinking. Except for when they were in Tartarus…but she didn't like to think about that.
She tightened her grip on his hand, tracing a pattern over it with her fingers, and memorizing each scar that covered the tan skin.
She could feel Percy watching her, but she didn't stop, or speed up. She wanted to look at him, really look, and memorize every bit.
A few more minutes passed, and Percy yawned, making Annabeth yawn.
"Stay with me?" she asked, finally looking up into his beautiful green eyes. They weren't as dull as they'd been in Tartarus, but they still weren't sparkling like they used to. She was sure her own eyes had a similar dullness to them.
Percy smiled again and wrapped his arms around Annabeth, gently pulling her down so that they were both laying on her pillow, noses centimeters apart.
"Always. To Tartarus and back."
Annabeth fell asleep with a smile on her face, and her boyfriend's body wrapped protectively around hers.
It was the best night's sleep either one of them had ever had.
A/N: THE FEELS! Oh my god, seriously HoH killed me in the best possible way. All the stinkin' Percabeth. Beautiful...just beautiful. I literally finished the book at midnight last night and I started this when I woke up. I'm kind of obsessed with it, and I hope you guys like it too! Please leave me reviews and message me on Tumblr if you want to chat HoH: .com