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The Highschool Experiment

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Annabeth Chase and Percy Jackson were on two different ends of the popularity spectrum.

It was common knowledge to everyone that attended Goode High. Percy, an attractive, popular, swimmer who was friends with everyone and at the top of the social hierarchy, versus Annabeth, a smart, and pretty, new girl who would spend her days in the library and only talked to a couple of people. Neither of the two had ever been seen to have one conversation, and were presumed to ignore each others existence.

However the entire school seemed to be completely wrong. Because Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase were not in fact on the opposite ends of any spectrum, they were dating, and very much in love.

But nobody was allowed to know.

It all started when Annabeth transferred to Goode. Before she could even approach her boyfriend, a nice young girl named Julia had swooped her up and taken her into her loving arms. Julia refused to let Annabeth approach that crowd – more specifically the swimmers and their popular friends – because she didn’t want the sweet, new, blonde girl to get corrupted.

And while Annabeth knew about Percy, and Julia would never stop gushing about him – “He’s the nice one, he’s the cute one, he’s by far the cutest boy at school”- Annabeth decided to have some fun.

So when Percy saw her in the hall, and she knew he was about to cause a scene, she ran down a practically deserted hallway, only for Percy to follow soon after, and she explained her plan.

“Wise Girl, you’ve come all the way here and you want to pretend we don’t know each other?” He asked annoyed.

“Think about it. It’ll be fun, just to see how we could do. Besides, I’m living in New York now, we can see each other at any time, other then at school.” Percy had sighed, still unsure. “And, you’re mister popular seaweed brain, I don’t wanna be ‘your trophy.’” Percy looked uncomfortable at that.

“You know you’d never be-” Annabeth smiled then, knowing she was winning the fight.

“But they don’t know that. I love you, Percy, but just do this for me?” And so Percy complied, not without a grumble, and they shared their first – and only – kiss on school property before leaving in opposite directions.

Annabeth left that space with one wild thought – this would be fun.

And it wasn’t just for fun, Annabeth was beginning to feel a little too dependant on her boyfriend. Sure, they fought in two wars together and had literality gone through hell together, but there was one thing Annabeth would never allow herself to do.

That was become too reliant on someone else. It was her fatal flaw – her pride, and yet, Percy felt like her entire world.

Therefore, if she had the opportunity, to prove she didn’t need him, she would take it. Her love for Percy Jackson be damned.

So when she saw him sitting with his friends, it was hard for her not to spare him a glance, and she knew he was fighting the urge to stare right back at her. Watching him laugh, and talk, and talk to other girls who would approach him to see if they’ve got a romantic chance would send her spiraling, almost, because every time someone tried something, Percy was quick to shut it down.

Annabeth was quick to realize Julia was right, Percy was one of the nice ones. He would stop bullies, he would even sometimes ‘help her out’, on the down low of course, and Annabeth couldn’t be more grateful.

The one time one of the boys off of the football team tried something with her, and got a little too aggressive, a little too quick, Percy was there in a heartbeat. And a rumour began.

Mark, the football captain, grew an interest for the quiet nerd. She was pretty, for sure, and was practically untouchable. Anyone who tried anything with her were sent away as quickly as they came, and so Mark knew that she would be the perfect conquest.

Annabeth wasn’t stupid. She heard the rumours. She knew exactly who Mark was and exactly what he was planning to do. It still didn’t stop her from being surprised when he cornered her at her locker right after the bell.

“So, Annie-” He unsuccessfully began.

“Don’t call me Annie.”

“I was wondering if you wanted to go to the movies tonight.” He continued unfazed. Annabeth sighed.

“No.” She attempted to walk off, before being pushed back into the locker by Mark a second later. He smirked.

“I’m not sure you heard me correctly-”

“No, I’m not sure you heard me correctly.” Annabeth was growing impatient. All she wanted was to get to class, and this dimwit was ruining her mood. But before she could do anything of it – and she really just wanted to kick him in the nuts – Mark was pushed back, almost halfway across the hall.

“She said no Mark.” The low and dangerous voice of the one and only Percy Jackson said loudly. Annabeth immediately sighed. This was the moment that would ruin all of her little plans. Yet, she didn’t say anything. Not only was Percy risking their secret relationship, but she really wanted the satisfaction to knock Mark out.

Nonetheless, Mark knew about Percy’s ‘dangerous’ reputation. Everyone did. And everyone knew that Percy did not tolerate bullies, especially not sexist assholes. So Mark did the logical thing. He stood with whatever dignity he had left, huffed, and muttered to Percy.

“Yeah whatever.” Before marching off. Once he was gone, Annabeth turned towards her boyfriend, a scowl on her lips. Naturally, they had attracted quite a crowd in the halls, even if the bell had rung not five minutes ago.

When Percy had noticed Annabeth’s angry expression, he looked shocked.

“I could have handled it my self, Jackson.” She said in a venomous voice.

“I was just trying to help.” Percy replied, getting equally annoyed.

“What, by stepping in and throwing him halfway across the hall?” She fought back.

“To get him to stop being a dick, yeah.” Percy was getting exasperated.

“Next time remember; I can handle myself.” And she pushed past Percy with a hard shove, only hearing Percy sigh in the background.

“You’re welcome!” He cried after her receding body. All he got in return was a very unflattering gesture from Annabeth.

Oh yeah, Annabeth could definitely live without him.

Now a rumour seemed to go around the school that Annabeth and Percy hated each other. No matter how much Annabeth hated that that was what she was known for, she had to admit it was funny.

That night in Percy’s apartment, Annabeth and Percy had a nice laugh, after a short spat. That’s the way their dynamic worked. In the end, they decided to keep up the charade. Now, instead of being completely oblivious of each other, the pair ‘hated’ each other. It couldn’t be more hilarious.

Sally Jackson found out about their plan a couple of weeks later. She had offered to pick them up from school, and both of them immediately began denying, trying to get out of it. Sally had quirked an eyebrow, but had, on the better part, understood what was happening.

Percy claims it’s her unbelievable mom powers. Annabeth secretly agrees.

That night, as the pair were cuddling on the couch, Annabeth reading a book, Percy playing with her hair, he out of the blue asks –

“Why didn’t we just go with my mom? The school would get a kick out of it.” He said. Annabeth chuckled.

“Oh seaweed brain, getting impatient, huh?” She said with a laugh. Percy sighed, leaning over to kiss his beautiful girlfriend.

“I just miss you, wise girl.”

“I know.” Annabeth replied with a smile, kissing him back. “Tell you what, let’s have some fun with it?”

The next day at lunch Annabeth sat with her friends, Julia, Rebecca, and Michael. She was friendly with more students at Goode, but as she was the resident nerd, they were always doing something during their lunch period.

Anyway, as Annabeth stayed with her friends, Julia spotted Percy walk past their table. Annabeth’s heart skipped a beat when she saw him laugh again, but she was careful not to show it. Julia wasn’t so subtle.

After audibly sighing, Julia glanced over at the rest of her friends. “Isn’t he just dreamy?” She asked with a small smile. Annabeth, and later Percy, (after Annabeth told him about her day, as couples do) would speculate that she is a child of Aphrodite. She glanced at Annabeth and cringed. “Sorry Annabeth, but you can’t hide the inevitable. And he isn’t half bad,” Annabeth scoffed. “You know the only reason you hate him-”

“I don’t hate him.” Annabeth quickly interrupted. Sure, it was the game the couple were playing, but it was almost impossible to think that she could ever hate him. The boy of her dreams.

“-because he saved your life.”

“I wouldn’t say he saved my life.” This time Julia scoffed.

“He was being a gentleman.” Again, Annabeth shook her head, but turned in the direction of Percy and his friend’s table. There he was laughing, but noticed her almost as soon as she looked. He sobered quick, still with a lopsided smile on his face, and winked. Annabeth’s heart did its little flutter again.

In that little moment, the conversation seemed to shift, yet again, and Annabeth couldn’t help but glance at her boyfriend every now and again as Michael was complaining about the math teacher.

Later that day, during the very same math class Michael was complaining of, the classes seating arrangements were switched. And instead of being half way away from Percy, Annabeth was now just behind. And Percy was always ready to make her life just a tad miserable.

If all he did was lean back, and Annabeth smelt the comforting salty smell of the ocean, or when he’d turn around and ask for a pencil, it took everything for Annabeth not to brattle him for being forgetful, but his little smirk, and the way his eyes lit up whenever she would say something to him, would always make sitting so close worth it.

Sometimes, she found herself starring at the back of his head, and the big black beautiful mop of hair that just sat there, and all she wanted was to run her hands through his hair again.
It was times like those that she would regret her little experiment. But of course she wouldn’t tell.

Percy was a real sport. Everyday in his, or well their, apartment, he would groan.

“But you’re right there,” He would groan. Annabeth laughed.

“I know. It’s so painful,” Sometimes she would feel guilty and need to make it up to her boyfriend. “You know I love you, right?” She would say in those moments.

“Of course I do. I love you so much.” He would always reply. And then they would kiss, and they both knew that nothing would ever come between them.

The next day, however, Percy decided that he wanted to up the stakes a little bit.

So, as Annabeth was sitting eating her lunch with her friends, Percy Jackson suddenly sat down right beside her. Julia’s eyes were bugging out of her head, Michael stared, obviously confused, and Rebecca simply continued eating her fries. Rebecca wasn’t the kind of girl that was really interested in that drama, and she didn’t particularly care that the most popular guy in the school just sat at their table.

Percy’s first move was to shove a fry in his mouth, one of Annabeth’s none the less. She turned to glare at him as he sheepishly smiled.

“Hey neighbor.” He said with a smirk. Annabeth quirked an eyebrow. “You do sit behind me in math, right?” And then he reached down and plucked another one of her fries.

“What.” Annabeth had to fight to stop herself from leaning onto Percy’s familiar body, to just gaze into his eyes and listen to his soothing voice. But she couldn’t, she had an act to keep up.

He quirked an eyebrow. “I can’t stop by to say hi to my partner for the math project?” He asked with a hopeful smile. Annabeth rolled her eyes, again fighting to fall back into Percy.

“No!” She cried. Their math teacher had decided to let his students choose who their partners would be for a small group assignment, and coincidentally neither Percy nor Annabeth had yet found a partner. “You’re just gonna make me do all the work.” She said, slowly shaking her head.

In reality, Annabeth knew that Percy wasn’t that kind of person, but everyone’s reputation always proceeds oneself.

With a mock hurt expression, he reached up and pat his chest. “I’m wounded, Annabeth, I really am. What if I promised to help?”

Annabeth pretended to think for a moment. “Hmm…I’ll think about it.” She then reached over, picked up Rebecca’s – knowing Rebecca wouldn’t mind – water bottle and poured it on his head. Then, she walked off with her lunch tray, hearing Percy’s echoing laugh throughout the cafeteria.

Sure Annabeth could live without Percy – right?

Later that day, in Mr. Blofis’ English class nevertheless, Julia slammed her book down on Annabeth’s table.

“You poured water over Percy Jackson’s head?” She practically screeched. Quickly, Annabeth made sure to shush her.

“He was being annoying.” Was Annabeth’s only response as she turned back to doing her work. In that moment, Mr. Blofis also decided to approach the young girl. Annabeth could practically feel everyone’s eyes on them.

It’s common knowledge that Mr. Blofis is the famous Percy Jackson’s stepdad. It didn’t mean that Mr. Blofis would do anything in Percy’s favour, but it did mean that gossip in his class usually got back to Percy himself.

But as he approached Annabeth’s table, Annabeth didn’t feel worried in the slightest. She loved Paul, he was also so kind to Sally, Percy, and herself and she knew he was just curious. He also didn’t quite pick up on Percy and Annabeth’s little game, so he was bound to be concerned.

“Annabeth?” He asked. “What’s this I hear about pouring water on my stepsons head?” Annabeth chuckled.

“Oh he was only being a nuisance, Mr. Blofis. It was nothing.” To everyone’s surprise, Paul had laughed.

“I’m not too surprised. And we both know a little water couldn’t hurt that boy.” He winked, and Annabeth had laughed as well. “Well I’m glad somebody in this school isn’t afraid to show them a piece of their mind. Anyway, I would trust you, Ms. Crowchild, not to create quite a scene again, at least not in my class.” He raised an eyebrow towards Julia. She nodded and vigorously apologized.

“Wow I did not expect that reaction from Mr. Blofis, I would have sworn-” Again, Julia just shook her head and sat beside the young blonde and smiled. “Anyway. Why do we have to read Romeo and Juliet again anyway? It’s so incredibly pointless.” And as Julia kept talking, Annabeth began to daydream of her beautiful, green eyed boy.

When Annabeth was getting her books out of her locker, the resident mean girl of Goode, Katy, approached her with a scowl on her face.

“I heard you poured water on Percy’s head.” She said, in what Annabeth assumed would be an attempted for an intimidating voice. “If I were you, I wouldn’t go around doing that to other peoples boyfriends.”

Annabeth was simply annoyed. And slightly humoured. She knew that Katy wasn’t Percy’s girlfriend, Percy would never do something like that. So, she chuckled.

“You’re not his girlfriend.”

“Well I will be soon, and when I am, bitches like you pouring water down shirts isn’t going to cut it. Capiche?” Annabeth rolled her eyes. She didn’t even respond as she simply walked past that group of gorgons and left the building, as it was the end of the day, and began the short walk home. Or well, to Percy’s apartment that is.

Oh what a kick Katy would get if she knew.

Katy had been obviously trying to get with Percy for a long time, and Percy always would deny her attempts. She would sit with them at lunch, but Percy would hardly spare her glance, and because of that Katy would attack any girl would so much as spoke with the boy.

It didn’t really stop anyone, because Percy seemed to not care. That image broke, though, when he snapped at Katy for bullying his lab partner. Moments like those were more reasons why Annabeth loved the son of Poseidon.

That night, when questioned by Percy himself as to why he was drenched with water for asking to be her math partner, he was met with no explanation and just a bunch of kisses. Percy stopped asking about it and seemed to forget about it completely, and weirdly enough, Percy and Annabeth didn’t seem to mind.

In the end she was Percy’s math partner, and they finished the assignment, together, one night after school just to get it over with.

As if one group project wasn’t enough, Annabeth was partnered up with Michael in History, and they needed to get together outside of school to work on it. Unfortunately, the project is due in a couple of days, and Michael’s parents don’t want him to have anyone over for the week because they are hosting a reunion.

Therefore, he would have to go to Annabeth’s house. But, the issue is, she lives with Percy Jackson. And Michael and her were going over right after school, and Annabeth couldn’t tell Percy. Thankfully, Michael had never been to the Jackson home, so that wouldn’t be a give away, and Percy had practise for an hour and a half after school, so the chances are that he will be there are minimal.

Annabeth briefly considered praying to the gods that this would go right.

-------

As soon as Annabeth opened her apartment door she called out. “I’m home!” To which she got no reply, and she visibly relaxed.

“Is everything okay?” Michael asked.

“Oh yeah. For sure. Come on let’s get to work.” Annabeth began to lead him to her room before realizing that a bunch of Percy’s things would probably be littered all over the floor, so she took a sudden turn and led him to the living room.

Unsurprisingly, they worked well for quite a while, and their assignment was almost done, when Michael saw a picture of Annabeth, Percy, and Grover. Soon as Annabeth had saw that he was looking over to it, she cursed in her head and attracted his attention to something else.

“Hey Annabeth-”

“hmm.” She replied not paying much attention. Soon as she looked up, she noticed his eyes on the picture. “Michael I have a-a question for you. Do you what something to drink? I do, come here help me out.” And Michael seemed to have no choice but to go with her to the kitchen, leaving the picture behind. Ten minutes without much of an incident and something else had happened.

The sound of the apartment door unlocking could be heard. Someone was about to come in.

Annabeth glanced at the clock. “shit.” She muttered under her breath. “Uh Michael do me a favour and just kind of stand over there for a second.” Percy would be coming home any minute. Naturally, Annabeth bolted to the door, opened it before Percy could, and pushed him in the hall.

“Hey there seaweed brain.” Annabeth said conversationally. Percy quirked an eyebrow.

“What’s going on?” He asked, obviously amused.

“What? I can’t have a conversation with my boyfriend in the hall?” Upon noticing Percy’s expression she sighed. “Fine. Michael is here to work on a project. Is there any chance you could leave?”

“Seriously? I can’t even go home now?” He gave her a quick kiss. “You know what, that’s fine, some of the boys on the team went to get burgers. I’ll just follow them. But I’m coming back in an hour, and I won’t leave again.”

“Thank you. I’ll see you soon, ok?” Percy smiled gave her another kiss, and then walked down the hall he came from. Annabeth sighed in relief before heading back into the apartment.

“Does it suddenly smell like sea salt in here?” Michael shouted and Annabeth just silently laughed.

--------

Spoiler alert – Michael and Annabeth got an A on their project, and Percy came home ready to just cuddle with his girlfriend, completely exhausted from having to hang out with his swimming friends for so long.

But Annabeth made it up to him, by doing exactly what he wanted. Watching movies until they both fell asleep.

And then the nightmares started.

Both Percy and Annabeth suffered from them, both of the demi-gods had sever PTSD and would have trouble sleeping at night without the other, and both were riddled with anxiety attacks. But they were getting better. They were healing. Slowly. So, so slowly. Neither could sit and talk about it, but both were reminisced with those thoughts and it felt like they would never be able to get rid of them.

There was nothing in comparison to the nightmares. It was like they were back there, in Tartarus, but worse. It had gotten to a point where the two knew exactly what to do when the other was going through one of those dreams, which seem to happen slightly less then before.

And while slightly less might have meant not every night, it was almost every night. Yet, slightly less then before.

One could argue that Annabeth should have seen it coming, she had gone through the routine so many times before, but when Percy began thrashing and screaming on the couch beside her, she didn’t react fast enough to dodge the swing that came crashing towards her jaw. She didn’t let it stop her though. Immediately, the young demigod turned towards her boyfriend and held him in her arms, muttering in his ear.

“We got out, we’re okay, I’m here you’re here-” until soon enough Percy woke, and the two stayed awake, in fear of another dream, cuddling on the couch. Soon the sun began to rise and Percy, leaning into Annabeth, who was completely enjoying having her boyfriend so close to her, whispered.

“We really got out. There’s no sun in Tartarus.” And Annabeth knew he had a really rough night the night before, and her heart shattered a little, after all, it was her fault that they had fallen into hell. She was careful not to show Percy those emotions.

“Yeah, we got out alright. We can watch the sun rise.” And that’s how Sally and Paul found the teenagers, and decided that they could be a little late for school that day.

But then Annabeth’s bruise started coming in.

She had considered using Ambrosia to let it heal quicker, but a large part of her just couldn’t bring herself to it. It made her feel a little more human. It made her feel a little more connected to Percy, to their dreams, to their pain, and it would heal quickly anyway.

As soon as Percy saw, he began apologizing, obviously guilty, obviously tearing himself up about it. At school, he could barley meet her eye.

During lunch, Annabeth got questioned by her friends about it.

“Oh no, what happened sweetie?” Julia was the first to comment, immediately.

“Nothing. I’m fine. Just slipped a little earlier.” Michael wasn’t easily convinced. After the incident at Annabeth and Percy’s apartment, he was unsure of what to believe. Why was Annabeth so nervous, and what could have possibly been happening? Annabeth’s odd behaviour, and now her new bruise, let him to believe that something was wrong at home.

“Are you being abused, Annabeth?” His suddenly serious question sobered the entire table.

“What?” She asked incredulously.

“I mean, you were acting all weird at your house, and now you’ve got the bruise, and is there someone to be worried about? One of your parents? A family member? A boyfriend? You can tell us.” Instinctively, Annabeth glanced over to Percy’s table, and the motion didn’t go unnoticed by Rebecca.

Usually Rebecca would stay neutral, not every really getting involved. But she was perspective, she could tell when something was horribly wrong.

“Did Percy Jackson do something to you?” She asked. Now all of their friends glanced at Annabeth and at Rebecca.

“No-” Quickly, she was cut off by Michael.

“He does have a dangerous history, and a large track record. Annabeth, if you need help-”

“I’m fine.” Annoyed as she was, Annabeth would never let Percy get treated as if he were a horrible abuser. “Percy Jackson has never touched me, my family is perfectly okay, and I am not being abused. I just tripped. That is all.” Anger, she picked up her belongings and marched away from the room, slipping past Percy’s bubbling table, already bursting at the seams after noticing Annabeth’s loud explosion.

Out of all of them Percy was the one who looked concerned. Upon noticing his reaction, Michael and Julia immediacy felt horrible, but Rebecca believed there was more then what met the eye. When Percy stood to go follow his girlfriend, Rebecca was blocking his path quicker then he could leave.

“Don’t.” Her voice was cold, calculating.

“I just want to make sure she’s okay.” His voice was so pained it was hard not to believe him. But Rebecca knew what she was doing.

“I don’t trust you, Jackson.” She began, waving a finger in his face. “She came to school supporting big, black bruise, I feel like you had something to do with it. And even if you didn’t, you are not going to be taking advantage of an upset girl. Got it?”

“Listen Rebecca. I would never, ever hurt Annabeth. That means I would never take advantage of her. But she clearly needs help, so someone should go check on her – especially if I can’t.” Rebecca had never really felt intimidated or afraid of Percy Jackson, but in that moment, she realized that he was not someone to be messed with.

Percy had disappeared for a few months the year before, the rumours were outstanding. But he was back the next year, looking better then he ever did before, gaining attention from others, but it wasn’t all positive.

He was darker, a little more reserved, a lot of the stuff he did, he didn’t fully try in. It took the swim team weeks to finally get him to try out, and they found out the reason he didn’t want to was because of the scars that littered his back.

And the fierce intensity Percy had defended Annabeth proved that Percy had changed, not because he was trying to help a supposed stranger, but the way he said it, and the look in his eyes, they were protective, unsettling, almost unreadable. Now Rebecca didn’t know what to think.

Julia had run after Annabeth, but she couldn’t find her. She was, unfortunately, met with the dead end of a hall. Feeling relentless guilt, the trio (Julia, Michael, and Rebecca) finished their lunch in silence.

One thing was for sure – something was wrong with Annabeth, and Percy knew about it.

The rumours were swirling around the school. Percy’s desperation to help the blonde, Annabeth’s bruise, Rebecca’s accusations.

All of Percy’s friends went on his side. Katy’s sneers whenever Rebecca or Annabeth past, and her loud remarks when she talked to her friends.

“Can you believe it? Percy being abusive. It’s almost as outlandish as thinking Percy liked Annabeth.” Then all of the snobby teenagers would laugh. Annabeth was always around when they said something like that.

The night before, Annabeth, Rebecca, and Julia had gotten together for a little ‘girls night’ at Julia’s house, where Rebecca and Julia would pester Annabeth with questions about boys, after apologizing and being forgiven for their rude accusation, and Annabeth never quite knew how to reply.

In the end, they came to the conclusion, half jokingly, that Annabeth liked Percy. Annabeth neither confirmed or denied their teases, and now as the group walked through the hall and heard Katy bitch to her friends and tear Annabeth down, they felt for her.

Once, Katy laughed loudly in the hall. “Percy, as if he would ever do anything for that little weasel.” Obviously directed to Annabeth, and Annabeth flinched. So slightly it was almost un-noticeable, but they noticed. It almost further proved that Annabeth had some feelings for the popular boy.

Another time Katy was talking with Percy and some of his friends. Obnoxiously, she loudly began complaining about Annabeth. “Ugh she’s so completely ugly, Perce. I don’t know what she has ever done in her life that’s worth anybody’s time. Like, you keep sticking up for the little bitch and I don’t get it.” Rebecca was prepared to square up, upon noticing Annabeth’s blank expression to hearing Katy’s words, but was cut short.

“Katy. Shut up.” Percy said. Katy spluttered for a second, and in that moment, Percy gave Annabeth a lop-sided grin, to which Annabeth immediately replied to by smiling right back at him.

During Greek – yes that was a course at Goode – Percy and Annabeth were halfway across the room.

In that time, the lovely Greek teacher noticed Annabeth doodling on her paper instead of paying attention, and decided to try and stump her, mere pay back for not paying attention in his class.

He stood to the front and asked Annabeth to read the messages on the board, and then elaborate. As in answer the day’s lesson before it was taught, a simple humiliation that would force his students to focus more during the lesson.

A little shocked to be called out on in the middle of class, Annabeth still stood and began to recite in the language she liked more than English (the pleasantries of being dyslexic). However, she threw in a little complaint and insult at the very end of her speech – in Ancient Greek so her teacher, even though he probably didn’t pick up on anything Annabeth had said – wouldn’t understand.

To everyone’s surprise, once Annabeth had finished her chastising and many insults, (the last thing she may or may not have said was “stupid cow”in Ancient Greek – what? She was having a bad day.) Percy began to laugh loudly. Annabeth rolled her eyes and looked at her boyfriend.

“What?” She asked in Greek.

“You just chewed him up and spit him out. And might I add, you are getting increasingly more creative with your insults.” Percy replied, also in fluent, more or less ancient, Greek.

“He was annoying me, doubting me like that.” She replied. Percy laughed again.

“Wise girl, you really don’t like ever giving up, do you?” Annabeth smirked.

“We wouldn’t be where we are if I had, right?” And both of the teenagers sobered slightly, as they thought of what they had been through, even if some of it wasn’t so bad.

“We might want to cut this a bit short, they’re staring.” Annabeth replied, her Greek shocking the teacher.

“Let them stare.” Percy smirked. “Fine. I love you, wise girl.”

“I love you too seaweed brain.” Both the demigods couldn’t wipe their grins off of their faces after that little conversation as they both turned back to the teacher.

The snobby voice of Katy cut through the class.

“What were they saying?”

“I’m not sure Miss. Danvers.” The Greek teacher replied, staring at Percy and Annabeth in shock. Soon it was covered with a big smile. “I guess I must be doing something right. It’s not everyday the student excels the teacher. Anyway, let’s continue.” Throughout the lesson, neither Annabeth or Percy were paying attention, as they were both looking back to the other, with smiles on their face.

Julia had noticed this, and was the first person brave enough to comment.

“So what happened during Greek?”

Annabeth blushed slightly, as she kept her head down and kept playing around with her food.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Don’t bullshit us, Annabeth.” Julia said, shocking everyone within listening vicinity. She lowered her voice. “You literarily had a conversation in such fluent Greek, our teacher could barley understand it, with your crush, might I add, and now you’re glowing.” She took a breath. “Why?”

Annabeth instinctively looked up to see Percy who was ‘coincidentally looking at her at the same time. He winked, and she smiled again. Annabeth looked back up to her friends. “He’s not my crush.” Seemingly in sync, Michael and Julia raised an eyebrow.

“Want to say that again, without such an obvious lie.” Annabeth chuckled.

“Seriously guys, nothing happened. Now if you’d excuse me.” She packed up all her things and left the lunch room, with a smile still on her face. And if Percy slowly left the cafeteria a few seconds after to meet up with her in the hall so they can have a much deserved make out session, no-one had to know.

And if Annabeth left, her mood so grand that not even Katy and her baboons could bring it down, so be it.

-------------

Goode High was going on a fieldtrip. Field trips were rare occurrences, something that happened once in a blue moon, or was tradition. Which is exactly what this particular trip was, tradition.

They were going on the annual weekend to Washington D.C.. All of the students, who were going, would hop onto a bus for four hours, spend a day touring the sights (that pretty much everyone had already seen, they went on the same trip every year after all) then spend the night in a cheap hotel, and drive back the next day (usually after a final stop at a little monument that has yet to be determent.)

Annabeth was thrilled. She had never really been before. To see the sights, and spend the day just relaxing. The only down side was that, theoretically, she couldn’t spend it with her boyfriend. Not that it would stop them.

When Percy arrived at the school he tiredly, and groggily, walked onto the bus before collapsing on a seat with a loud sigh. He promptly fell asleep.

A second later, when Annabeth walked onto the bus, she decided to sit where she felt comfortable. And as, she too, was exhausted, the recognizable little blob quietly snoring near the back was her best bet. She plopped beside him and pulled out her book and began to read, ignoring everyone around her.

Including Michael and Julia as they too, tiredly sat on the seats inform of the young couple. Rebecca refused to come (claiming she had already seen the sights and there was utterly no point – especially since she didn’t support the “corrupted patriarchy in this godforsaken country”.)

Her two friends were shocked but didn’t comment, not in the mood to say anything regarding the two teenagers behind them.

Halfway through the trip Annabeth, also, fell asleep, and Percy woke up. He didn’t comment on the blonde leaning on his shoulder. When Julia turned back to ask Annabeth a question to see Percy gazing out the window, with Annabeth drooling on his shoulder, he put a finger to his lips, and Julia inwardly squealed. She was excited to see how her friend react to sleeping on her crush, and his reaction to it all.

When they arrived, Percy gently shook Annabeth awake, and she jumped slightly before looking over at her boyfriend. She starred at his green eyes and sighed loudly. He smirked.

“Sleep well?” She lightly smacked him on the shoulder before burying her head in her hands.

“You shoulda woken me up.” Percy merely grinned before rushing Annabeth out of the seat so they could get their stuff. And if he carried her luggage for her, nobody had to know. (Annabeth was sure to give Percy a piece of her mind – she could carry her own stuff, but Percy couldn’t bring himself to care.)

The day went as it would, they stopped at monuments, Annabeth getting strangely excited to look at these buildings, Percy always a little closer to their group. The lead teacher gladly separated them to groups so it would be easier to look after all of the kids, stuck Percy with Annabeth and her friends, and he made all the effort to show he cared about all of the architectural mumbling Annabeth was going off on.

Michael, for one, was a little shocked Percy would act like he cared so much. Sometimes he’d ask questions, or joke around, and Annabeth would respond without much a thought. Both Julia and Michael were surprised Annabeth and Percy could act so comfortable around each other, to the point that when Percy made a pun, Annabeth groaned, before giving him a high-five.

Whenever that happened Julia’s heart just about burst.

And of course Percy would make an effort with Michael and Julia, laughing along with them, making jokes, small talk, but he only had eyes for Annabeth. Both Michael and Julia decided that Annabeth’s little crush might not be so one sided, and Percy was as nice as the rumours would say.

At some point, they saw a Chihuahua on the path. Percy smirked and looked expectantly towards Annabeth.

“Look!” He cried like a child. Annabeth followed his eyesight and groaned.

“Absolutely not.” She gave him a look that clearly looked like she wasn’t joking. “Knowing you, you’d probably blow something up.” And Percy simply laughed before putting an arm around her shoulder and guiding her away. As far from the little dog as possible.

By the end of the day, the chaperone teacher once again half-absently partnered them off for their room arrangements, Michael and Percy together and Julia and Annabeth together. All four of them piled into the boys’ room to chat before lights out.

“Don’t you want to hang out with your friends Percy?” Julia had asked. Percy looked confused.

“Aren’t I doing that right now?” Again, Julia gave him another few points to his credit.

Percy sat on his bed, and Annabeth plopped down right beside him. As the night went on, Annabeth leaned into the dark haired boy, and he began to absentmindedly play with her hair. Hardly anyone noticed because of how normal it looked.

Soon enough, Annabeth had fallen asleep in Percy’s arms, and Percy was nearly snoring on top of her. Julia smiled softly at the sight, and then turned to Michael.

“I’m gonna go to my room. Give Annabeth the spare key when she wakes up.” He nodded sleepily as Julia carefully slipped out and into the hall.

That night, one other teenager would notice little blonde Annabeth sneaking out of Percy Jackson’s room. Nobody believed it.

In the morning, before breakfast, Annabeth and Percy pretty much avoided eye contact, very adorably so, and when they were brought back to a monument for half an hour before the bus came, and ushered into the same groups as they were in the day before.

And then when both Annabeth and Percy disappeared to go to the bathroom, around the same time, not putting much effort into their thoughts, Michael and Julia shared knowing looks.

Looks like Annabeth’s not so innocent after all.

In reality, Annabeth and Percy had both noticed the large black hell hound that was excited to interrupt their wonderful field trip, and decided they had to go and deal with it.

It was quite an easy kill, that left both demigods with glittery dust.

When they came back flustered, both Annabeth and Percy’s hair a little messed up, whose to say what anybody thought. (it wasn’t very PG to say the least).

And on the bus ride back, when they chose to sit with each other once again, as if they had been friends for years, and once again, fell fast asleep on the others shoulder. It truly was a beautiful trip.

-----------

As the days went on, Annabeth’s friends only got more suspicious. Especially after the trip. Ever since that trip, Percy would say hi to Annabeth and her friends quite a bit, to Katy’s distaste, and while they never actually ‘hung out’. Rebecca heard all about the trip, and she too began to suspect a little more from her friend and the ‘popular boy’.

After a long conversation with Percy, Annabeth and her boyfriend have decided to be a little more careful, and so there weren’t any more occurrences.

“But Annabeth, they’re figuring it out…let’s just rip of the bandage.” To which Annabeth would laugh.

“Not yet seaweed brain, not yet.”

All of her encounters with Percy were rumours that went down the drain, old news if they were ever brought up. Katy still wasn’t an angel to be around, but no-one was surprised. She found other people to make fun of.

When Annabeth asked Percy why he dealt with her, he replied that he didn’t have much of a choice.

“That and this way I can keep an eye on her, make sure she doesn’t scare a poor freshman witless.”

As the days went on, Annabeth grew closer with her friends, and longed for her boyfriend even more. Seeing him in math, being without him during lunch, having to wait seven long hours to be able to give him a hug, a kiss, or to even just stand with him.

Annabeth was a strong woman. She wouldn’t crumble like that, and should, gods forbid, anything happen between the two of them they would be fine.

But she didn’t want that at all. Besides, they were good for the time being, why couldn’t she embrace it?

And one cold winter day, not actually. It was a normal, semi-rainy New York afternoon, when Michael and Percy were assigned a group project, similar to that Annabeth and Michael had to do earlier.

It went just as well as you could expect. Let’s just say Percy isn’t called Seaweed Brain for nothing.

“Alright Michael we got this history project that I know nothing about, so do you wanna come round to my place after school?” Michael was about to respond before Percy winced, as if remembering something. “Actually I have practise for about an hour right after class.” Michael shrugged.

“It’s fine. I don’t mind waiting. I’ll do some work in the library or something.” Percy smiled, Michael realized he could see why girls liked him so much, and the bell rang.

“You’re totally welcome to watch, none of the guys would mind. Sometimes An-my girlfriend stops by.” Michael raised an eyebrow at this. He had no idea Percy had a girlfriend. And the way he was acting around Annabeth, especially if he had a girlfriend, was not great.

“Girlfriend?” He asked. Percy shrugged.

“Seriously though, and I could persuade coach to get my out early if-“

“No no don’t worry about it.” So an hour after the last bell, Michael (who stayed in the library the entire time, too awkward to watch swim practise) and Percy went off in the direction of Percy’s apartment.

While Percy is most definitely not stupid, he couldn’t seem to remember the fact that about a month earlier Michael had been at the very same apartment he was leading him to, but with a very particular Annabeth Chase.

The conversation the pair were having was energetic and fun, so much so that Michael hardly felt the déjà vu as they entered the apartment. Only when Percy froze in the middle of the hallway as they walked in to see some blonde curls laying on the couch, eating cereal and watching a movie, did Michael realize exactly what happened.

“C’mon, my mom’s great she makes the best-” Percy was saying as he opened the door. Suddenly, he stopped as if in deep thought, and loudly exclaimed. “Oh no! Looks like I have entered the wrong apartment! Let’s-” Neither Michael or Annabeth had caught on, as Michael was still entering the apartment, and Annabeth only just looked up.

“Perce? What are-” Michael and Annabeth were the next to freeze. “Oh.”

“Annabeth.” Michael quietly said. In a very obvious voice Percy cut through the tension.

“Let’s get out of here Mike, don’t wanna annoy the nice-”

“Cut the act Seaweed Brain, I don’t think we can convince Michael about anything but the truth.” Annabeth said, with a playful smile. Percy immediately relaxed.

“Alright. That was exhausting anyway. I really don’t see much of a point of faking that we don’t know each other if I’m being completely honest with you.” He sat beside Annabeth on the couch. Michael was still frozen in spot.

“You two, you, live, you, what?” Annabeth sighed.

“Yes Michael. Percy and I live with each other. We have been for the whole school year.”

“Why?” Percy smiled hesitantly.

“She moved down here and since we’ve been dating-”

“So you are dating? Julia and Rebecca are convinced you have a crush on him.” Percy laughed.

“They think you have a crush on me? That’s adorable wise girl.” Annabeth playfully slapped him.

“I’m not the one whose been falling in love with me since he was twelve.” Percy mocked hurt.

“You say that as if you weren’t either.” Annabeth put her head in her hands.

“You drive me insane.”

“I love you too.”

“That’s not what I meant.” Percy looked back up to Michael.

“Alright Michael secrets out. Annabeth wanted to hide our relationship as a ‘fun game’. Didn’t think we’d last so long but-”

Annabeth cut him off. “I’m not dependent on you Jackson, I can live without you.”

“Apparently not, since you have a ‘crush’ on me.” Once again, Percy was smacked with a pillow.

“Okay, I’m gonna leave you two to your work. Because that’s the reason we have this entire predicament, right Percy?” Percy smiled sheepishly.

“Well this way we can end the secret, right?” Annabeth shook her head, and with a final parting word, she slipped into their-Percy’s room. Percy smiled at Michael and they sat to do some work.

“So you two have been dating this entire time?” Percy hummed in response. “And you never hated each other?” Percy laughed at that one.

“Once upon a time we kind of did, when we met at least. It’s a long funny story. But I could never hate her.”

“And you didn’t hit her-” Percy tensed at that one.

“I would never hurt Annabeth.” The intensity in Percy’s eyes was startling. “Not on purpose, at least.” (in the other room, Annabeth’s heart fluttered). “Anyway, let’s get this ridiculous project done, and since secret’s out, we can get takeout after.” That night Michael really got to know Percy, and a part of Annabeth he had never seen before, a part of her where she really shone.

And Michael knew she was only glowing because of Percy. He knew they were perfect for each other.

And he decided he wouldn’t tell anyone about their little relationship either, not just because they asked nicely.

-----------

Annabeth could tell Michael would let Percy and her keep up their game, and she also knew that Percy was getting reckless, and on top of it all, Rebecca was trying to figure out what they were hiding, and Julia wanted to see Annabeth in a relationship before the year ended.

But that wasn’t what was on Annabeth’s mind, what was on her mind was something very different.

All of their progress, their fun, all of the time they spent building up a fake relationship – or lack thereof – went down the drain. For a very good reason, however.

Mr. Blofis was at the front of his English class, and they were discussing story prompts. Annabeth was more or less paying attention, she didn’t have much desire to write anything at the moment, when people began listing ideas.

“Lost in the forest!” Someone in the class shouted out.

“Yes, that’s a good one. Give it some context find the characters, expand, it’s a perfect setting.” Annabeth butted it in.

“Isn’t it a little cliché?”

“But Annabeth, sometimes the clichés are good for the story to continue. Any other ideas?” Mr. Blofis was the kind of teacher where shouting out in his class was okay. He was one of the few teachers who seemed to genuinely care for his students and their learning experiences, making him a favorite teacher for many.

It wasn’t much of a shock when even the quiet kids, or the ones who didn’t do the best in class would talk in his class.

One of the kids, a boy Annabeth didn’t know the name of, began to speak.

“What about an endless pit? Not being able to see the ground and just falling, all alone.” Suddenly Annabeth was pulled back. Her vision began to blur, and her breath got caught her throat. She began to shake and cry and all she could see was darkness. All she could feel was the sensation of falling.

Annabeth was falling back down to Tartarus, to Hell, and this time, she was alone.

Julia stared in shock as her friend began to panic, and jumped up as soon as Annabeth screamed, quietly, but agonizing all the same.

“Mr. Blofis!” Julia cried out, but her teacher was already by Annabeth’s side.

“Julia, go and get Percy Jackson.” Julia blanked.

“What?”

“Now!” He had shouted, the first time the class had heard Mr. Blofis be genuinely afraid, and panicked.

So, Julia ran. She knew Percy would be in Mr. Jones’ class, she had a friend who was also in his class who, like every other girl, had a crush on the boy.

As Julia ran, her mind was racing. The only logical explanation was that Percy was Mr. Blofis’ stepson. But why? Why him when there were so many other, probably capable, students in the class?

Julia didn’t have much time to think, because she ended bursting through Mr. Jones’ door. She saw him. Percy, already gazing up at her.

“Percy. It’s Annabeth.” And Percy was up in a second. Without a word, Percy dashed through Goode’s halls and into Mr. Blofis’ classroom, Julia hot on his heels.

Soon as the teenager was in Mr. Blofis’ room, he rushed to Annabeth’s side.

Neither men exchanged a word. Percy took Annabeth’s hands, and looked her in her sobbing eyes.

“Hey, hey Annabeth it’s me. I’m right here. We got out. We’re okay. Okay? Look at me, Wisegirl, c’mon look at me. Please? Annabeth please. I promise, we’re okay, we’re safe, we won.” And Percy would say things like this on repeat until Annabeth slowly began to regain consciousness.

“Seaweed brain?” She asked weakly. Percy smiled, his small, sad, lopsided smile.

“Yeah. I’m right here.” And Annabeth launched herself on the boy, crying softly in his shoulder.

“I was back there. But I was alone. I was all alone”

“Shh, I’ll never leave you Annabeth, I’m always going to be here.” And the pair stayed in that position for a time that felt like an eternity, until Mr. Blofis crouched beside them.

“I’ll call your mother, Percy. You two should go home.” And Percy gave him a grateful look, mouthed a thank you, before slowly rising to his feet, supporting Annabeth.

In Julia’s shock, and what can be supposed everyone’s shock, the pair had no problems walking out of the classroom and beginning the journey down the hall.

There was one question on everyone’s mind. What just happened?

------------

Neither Percy or Annabeth were at school the next day. Or the next.

Michael was the least surprised out of Annabeth’s friends, as he knew about their relationship. He didn’t tell Julia or Rebecca, but he could tell both of his friends were worried, and the couple hadn’t exactly done anything to explain severe panic attacks that would keep them away from school for two days straight.

Percy’s friends loudly gossiped about how they hoped he wasn’t going to disappear again. A few of them were genuinely concerned, but many of the others only hung around him for the status, and the entire situations was pure ‘entertainment’.

Rumours spread that Annabeth was with Percy at his last disappearance began to theorize that they were kidnapped by terrorists or something.

When Annabeth came back to school, she looked horribly tired. She barley said a word to her friends during her first few classes, but by lunch she seemed to be speaking with them normally.

Nobody in the group had the courage to ask what happened. And when the lunch bell nearly ended, Percy sat beside Annabeth at their lunch table. A little spark went off in Annabeth as soon as she felt his comforting arm.

No one had seen Percy all day, and he too, looked horrible. Annabeth smiled up at him when he sat beside her.

“You good?” He asked. Annabeth rose an eyebrow.

“I’m fine Percy.”

“’Cause if you want to go back home, I can talk to Paul and-” Obviously concerned Percy seemed to begin rambling. The tables inhabitants gazed curiously, and so did half the cafeteria.

“I’m not that fragile. I’ll be fine.”

“Of course you’re not. But I am.” Annabeth snorted.

“We can’t miss anymore school.”

“But your health is more important. Don’t forget who went missing for eight months last year?” Annabeth rolled her eyes.

“This is not to be compared with the most terrifying and stressful moments of my life.” Percy gasped.

“Who was the one who disappeared?”

“Who was the one who had to comfort his mother.” Percy winced. “A voicemail Seaweed brain. Honestly, you couldn’t even-”

“I’ve heard this countless of times darling.” Annabeth scowled. “And you made your anger quite clear when we reunited.”

“And I could do it again.” She replied smugly. Percy rose his arms in defeat. The humour began to drain from his expression when he turned back to her.

“That attack was worse than the ones we’ve had for months. If you need a breather, you’ve got it.” Annabeth smiled softly.

“I’m fine, honey. I promise. You’ll be the first to know if I’m not.” Percy nodded.

“I better.” He then leaned in. Annabeth turned her cheek. “Hey!” He cried.

“We still have a bet, don’t we?”

“I thought that went out the window after yesterday.” Annabeth laughed.

“Go finish eating with your friends. I’ll talk to you later.” Percy smiled once again before pulling himself out of the room. In a loud voice, he cried out:

“I love you!” In Greek of course, and yet Annabeth swelled. Michael smiled warmly towards Annabeth. He told her he was glad she was okay, and she was genuinely awed by his sweetness.

She promised to tell the rest of her friends about everything the next day.

And the next day Percy couldn’t contain his love for her anymore. So when they bumped into each other in the hall, a small collision, with people watching from all over, Percy swopped her into his arms and kissed her.

It was in that moment, as the people around her stared, and cheered, she released the truth to her experiment.

Annabeth could definitely live without him; she just didn’t want to.