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the world keeps turning

Chapter Text

it’s easy wishing for another life and it’s twice as hard to face the unknown

the world keeps turning ..//.. the strike


"You saved the world."
"We saved the world."
"So what now?"
"Everything goes back to normal?"
"...I don't know if I know what that is. Summer's almost over. School's about to start. You're gonna leave."
"So come stay with me."


Percy Jackson is 16 — true.
Percy Jackson is a half-blood — true.
Percy Jackson has saved the world too many times and deserves a break — she’d like to think so.

Percy Jackson is NOT in love with her best friend. 

So, that's a lie — but it’s not like she can do anything about it. Annabeth’s her roommate. And her best friend. And she’s definitely straight. Oh, and Annabeth’s her roommate

Annabeth Chase is 16 — true. 
Annabeth Chase is a half-blood — true.
Annabeth Chase is, both regrettably falling for her best friend, and significantly less straight than she originally thought — also true.

Annabeth Chase is going to tell her how she feels. 

Yep, there’s the lie — Annabeth is sure she’d see the literal underworld freeze over before she‘d ever be able to work up the guts to tell Percy.

It’s not like she’s embarrassed or ashamed of liking her, or even the idea of liking a girl — she’d gotten over the initial panic mere hours after discovering her crush (almost everything seems inconsequential when you’ve spent your teenage years narrowly avoiding death) — but she’s burdened with the crushing suspicion that Percy doesn’t feel the same way, and that telling her would end up ruining their friendship. It’s no secret (to Annabeth at least) that Percy’s never liked a boy, but she’s also never shown interest in a girl either. But, again, it’s hard to have a normal teenage crush when you suspect you might die soon — you know, due to the looming premonition of death and all that.

“Wise Girl,” Percy calls out from the bottom bunk.

“Hm?”

“I need you, brainiac, I don’t understand this,” she laughs.

Annabeth swings her head over the side of the bed, her curls falling down to frame her face, as blood rushes down to flush her face almost immediately.

Percy hands her the book. “Number eight. I know the formula but I don’t know how to get the final answer.”

“Easy,” Annabeth says, closing the book with a satisfying snap, and dropping it to the floor unceremoniously. “You’re almost done. You just have to convert the radians to degrees.”

“You could’ve just said that without dropping the 600 page book on the floor, you know. You’re lucky my mom’s such a heavy sleeper.”

“Not as dramatic. Side note, I think I’m going to lose consciousness if I don’t sit up,” she laughs, flopping back up and onto her pillow.

Percy lets the silence sit for a minute, standing to pick up her book before asking, “So, has anyone asked you to homecoming yet?”

Annabeth shrugs, looking down at her, “It's all so weird to think about. Normal stuff, you know? To be honest, I thought it would be fun to just go together.”

Together?” Percy’s mind is a mix of genuine confusion and panic.

Annabeth carefully constructs her response, trying to maintain her composure; “Yeah, like all together. With our friends. I think we have friends now.”

Despite the disappointment she saw coming from a mile away, Percy can’t stop her heart from beating a little too fast with the image of the two of them, walking hand in hand into the school gym. Like normal teenagers. Annabeth would be lying if she said she wasn’t thinking the same exact thing.

It hadn’t been long at all since she realized her crush on Percy was actually a crush; only once she started staying with her family (how timely) was she forced to reevaluate her feelings. When they first met, despite how much Percy seemed to annoy her, some part of her just wanted to be her friend. But now, she wondered if it was always something more, or if it changed — and if it did, when?

“Annabeth?”

She snaps back to reality. “What?”

“I said, that sounds like fun. Are you ok?”

“Just tired. It's late. Goodnight, Percy.”

Chapter Text

It’s all in the name of scientific research, she tells herself. Annabeth has a hypothesis: She likes girls. (Most specifically, Percy Jackson.) Despite the fact she’s already reconciled with the concept, she feels the need to make sure. She’s far from the life of the party, but she figures a house full of drunk high-schoolers is her best bet for testing that hypothesis. And she’s right — it doesn’t take her long at all to find a group playing spin the bottle and squeeze her way into the circle.

She’s never played, but it’s easy enough to grasp the concept by the time the neck of the bottle ends up pointed in her direction. He’s cute. Curly brown hair, light brown skin just a bit darker than her own golden tan, and a crooked smile. Although she doesn’t know his name, he isn’t a bad kisser in any sense. His confidence heightens, and Unnamed Boy rests a hand on her thigh; she can feel his touch heat up her skin. She smiles as he pulls away, trying not to laugh at the blush creeping up his face.

The game continues, until it’s her turn. It lands on a girl she vaguely recognizes from her math class. Jenna? Julia? Something like that. She laughs, “Okay, smarty pants, let’s see if you’re as good at kissing as you are at geometry.”

See, Annabeth understands shapes. They’re real. Concrete. Constant. They can’t have negative values, or any of that nonsense that comes with regular math. They're physical things, things she can touch and feel and look at from every angle, and everything she needs is right there on the page and bound by the rules of the universe. Sure, sometimes there’s fractions and variables and things she knows are put in just to confuse people, but she can work around that. The numbers. The shapes. Their relations. It all fits neatly together; just the way she likes it. 

Jenna/Julia is as good at kissing as she is at geometry, which is to say, not great. Whether that’s just her, or the alcohol, Annabeth can’t say. But it doesn’t matter. She still enjoys it, because between her short black bob and bangs, she can almost pretend it’s Percy. Her lips taste like vodka and peppermint lip balm, and Annabeth silently wonders what Percy would taste like. That’s enough confirmation for her theory.

She leaves pretty quickly after, trying to cope with this new revelation. It's not like she didn't know. It's that this made it real. By the time she makes it back, it's not late, only 9:30, but Percy’s waiting in the cold at the door when she returns home. Annabeth really doesn’t want to have to face her right now. “Where were you?” Percy's eyes go wide, giving her that stupid puppy dog face that she’s still not sure is intentional or not.

“Party,” Annabeth shrugs, sheepishly, as she hangs her coat and scarf on the hooks near the door.

“You didn’t answer any of my messages.”

“I got distracted.” She continues towards Percy’s — their — room, desperate to avoid eye contact with her for as long as she can.

“You’re lucky mom and Paul went to dinner, they would’ve freaked out.” Percy trails after her, stopping as Annabeth, without thinking, pulls her shirt off over her head and starts sifting through the dresser. “Are you drunk?”

“No, but I kind of wish I was.” She turns around, sticking her arms through a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt. Sure, she’s never been drunk before — she's never had the opportunity. But now seems like a pretty good time to change that, she decides, and she’s almost positive that whatever she’s currently feeling would sit a lot better if it was drowned in a bottle of alcohol.

Gods, that smirk. Annabeth was sure it was going to kill her one day. “I think that can be arranged.”

They’re lucky Paul has great taste in wine. Percy knows her mom will notice, but she’s also sure she won’t be too upset they’ve broken into the liquor cabinet. Because it’s Annabeth — Sally loves Annabeth — and she trusts Percy. If anything, she’ll be the most mad at them for actually having some taste and not getting trashed on something cheap.

Percy’s never been drunk either — two glasses in she feels like she’s floating on a cloud. Her thoughts are hazy and she’s feeling an inkling of regret in her gut, because she can’t stop her thoughts from racing anymore and all she wants is to tell Annabeth everything. It’s hard to think when she’s looking at her like... that

“Another round, barkeep,” she laughs. Percy rolls her eyes and tops off their glasses with the rest of the bottle. They aren’t pacing themselves, and Percy is sure she’ll regret it in the morning, but in the moment, she just wants to feel something


When Sally and Paul return around midnight, they find a very empty bottle of wine on the kitchen table; the kids passed out on the couch, Percy's arm draped around Annabeth. Annabeth's head rests in the crook of Percy's neck, against her shoulder, while Percy's found a cushion in Annabeth's blonde curls. The look exchanged between them is enough; Sally's silent 'I'll talk to them' earns a nod from Paul, who heads off to bed.

She shakes them awake and sits them down at the kitchen table. Just as Percy expected, she's not that mad — she feels like she kind of has the obligation as a parent to be angry, but acting on it is an entirely different story. Sally doesn’t have the heart to when they’ve been through so much.

“I know I should be pissed but... you’re not wasted and you didn’t drive anywhere. I know you’re both far beyond your years, and that’s not your fault, just... don’t do it again.”

She lets them go. As Percy stands from the table, she can feel herself sobering up quickly. Annabeth yawns, quickly heading off to the bedroom.

“Percy? Can I talk to you for a minute?”

She sits back down, bracing herself for some kind of grounding.

“So what happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“This isn’t like either of you.”

“Annabeth was upset,” Percy shrugs, “some school thing.” She doesn’t mention the party, for obvious reasons.

“I don’t even want to know whose idea it was,” she sighs, “I just want you to be okay. Both of you.”

“We’re okay, mom. We just ordered pizza and watched cartoons.”

Sally glances aside to the discarded pizza box and raises an eyebrow, because she knows — she always knows. “That’s it?”

Percy nods.

“You know you can talk to me, honey.”

She knows. “I’m okay.”

“Okay, Percy. Get some sleep.” Sally tosses her two water bottles from the counter, “and drink up, both of you. I’m not nursing your hangover.”

Chapter Text

It's a rainy night in the city. 

“Can I ask you something?” Annabeth asks, glancing up at Percy from the shelter of their shared umbrella. Percy's eyes meet hers, an unspoken “I know you’ve never... we haven’t really ever talked about this,” she takes a deep breath, “How did you know you liked girls?”

“Oh,” Percy bites her lip, “I mean I guess I always knew I didn’t like boys. But I don’t know when... I mean, there’s not one specific moment that... I guess Rachel was...” She pauses, biting her lip. “Wait, you knew?” In some respects, she's surprised. She'd never dated anyone, not really. In her sixteen years, she had kissed two people: Rachel Elizabeth Dare, and Annabeth Chase. Well, rather, been kissed by, in both cases, if she were to be completely accurate. That's what confused her: Annabeth didn't know about Rachel. More specifically, Rachel liked Percy, she thought that much was clear, but before really either of their feelings could be explored, Rachel became the Oracle. And despite the frequency with which the moment appeared in her mind, Percy didn't like to think about the time Annabeth kissed her. Either Annabeth knew Percy had a crush on her (which she really didn't want to think about), or she just... gave off a vibe?

“Kind of? I always suspected, I guess?” Annabeth briefly wonders if she shouldn’t have mentioned it, but Percy doesn’t seem angry or embarrassed. “Wait a minute. Are you saying you kissed the Oracle?” She’s half amused, half jealous, and 100% intrigued. She thinks back on the moments she was, for lack of a better word, possessive of Percy when Rachel was present, or even mentioned, and she mentally adds that to her rapidly growing list of Percy-related things to think about.

“Yeah, kinda,” she laughs. Percy liked Rachel. She was wild, and fun to be around, sure, but she's not sure if she ever had romantic feelings for her (whether she was blinded by pining for Annabeth is another conversation she's not ready to approach). Truly, if she had to pick the one thing that made her realize she was falling for someone for the first time — falling for Annabeth — was the dance they shared at the party on Olympus.

“How did you even... know she liked you?”

“I thought it was obvious?” Percy asks, incredulous.

Was it? Did that mean she could tell Annabeth liked her? If it did, she almost certainly didn’t feel the same way, or she would’ve said something by now.

“I mean, she was constantly flirting with me. I didn't notice it at first, but she was always dropping hints and trying to spend time with me alone. She kissed me,” she adds, “once. But then she became the Oracle, and that was that.”

“So that was when you knew? When she kissed you?” Annabeth asks, even though she knows it's not as simple as that.

“Okay, so think about it this way: When did you realize you liked boys?”

Annabeth mostly stifles her laughter, bittersweet as it is. “Luke.” She thinks it's so childish now, but Luke, who she'd grown to think of as a brother, was her first crush — but at sixteen, twelve felt so far away.

“Do you get it now?”

She does. She nods. “Thanks for trusting me.”

The conversation reaches a natural end, and Annabeth’s mind is sent firing in a million different directions. Does Percy know? About her? About her crush? This is exactly why she never wanted Percy to find out, because if she doesn’t like her back, it’s going to ruin their friendship. And she can’t lose Percy. Despite that, another part of her is so glad Percy trusts her enough to talk to her so openly about this, and she wants her to know that she trusts her just as much. With everything. 

“Percy?” She stops in her tracks, feeling the rain on her face as Percy (and the umbrella) continues for a few paces.

Percy turns, "Yeah?"

She can’t stop herself. No going back. “I think I like girls too.” No, she knows, and she knows she likes one girl in particular. But it’s easier to say it out loud this way.

“Oh. Okay. Cool.” Cool? Smooth, Percy. Because that’s the response you should always give when your best-friend-turned-crush-turned-roommate comes out to you.

Chapter Text

“Are you excited to go back to camp?”

“Kind of? I'm nervous about a few things.” 

“Like?”

“I don't know. I feel like I'm out of practice. I'm used to training all year.”

“I don't think you've lost your edge quite yet,” Sally laughs, grabbing a sponge and heading to the sink.

Sally cares about her. She knows that. At this point, the Jackson-Blofis family is more like family to her than her own blood. She can tell her — something, at least. “I need to tell someone from camp something... important... and I'm worried we won't be friends anymore if I do.” Annabeth skirts around the issue with vague reflections, which Sally picks up on quite easily, more than Annabeth expects.

“Is this a good friend?”

“Yeah,” Annabeth says, “A really good one.”

“And you care about each other?”

She nods.

“Don't worry, then. It'll work out.” It's a simple notion, but as sincere as it gets.

They're an efficient duo, Sally scrubbing and handing the newly clean dishes off to Annabeth, armed with a towel to dry them.

“I can't tell you how much this meant to me, Sally. All of it. Thank you.” Annabeth polishes off off the last dish, setting it aside and leaning against the counter.

“Percy needed you. She's been hurting for a long time, I know that. She blames herself for a lot of things. Things that she can't control. I worry sometimes.” she says, solemn.

Annabeth can't imagine how she must've felt thinking she could lose her only daughter, knowing too well how it made her feel when she knew Percy was in danger. She settles for a simple response: “Yeah, me too.” It's reassuring to hear that Sally also noticed Percy's tendencies.

“I've never seen her this... at peace. You're good for her. It's saying a lot that I haven't had to haphazardly try to explain away godly happenings to the school. You keep her out of trouble,” Annabeth catches an indication of something besides the thankfulness in her voice, but she's not sure what, “And when it finds you, you make a good team.” That was true. They had always been a good fit between Percy's instincts and her planning skills. “Most of all, you deserved something normal.”

That struck her. It hadn't been completely normal — they'd had to deal with monsters every few weeks, but it was as normal as Annabeth had ever been in her entire life. Maybe she did deserve that. Her eyes catch sight of Percy, fast asleep on the couch, and she's silently grateful.

“Annabeth?”

“Hm?” She looks back at Sally.

“If you ever want to talk, about anything...”

“I— what do you mean?” She can't help but deflect, because talking about it makes it real, and real scares her.

“I know my daughter. She's never letting you go.”

In hindsight, she's not surprised Sally noticed the shift in the dynamic between them: Annabeth's sudden hesitation towards physical affection was evidence enough, if you asked her (although if you asked Sally, it was Percy's recent tendency to stutter in front of Annabeth that gave it away).

Annabeth lets out a quiet “I know.” Because deep down, she does.

Sally flicks the kitchen light off, “Goodnight,” she pauses, seeing Annabeth's absent-minded stare towards Percy. “Are you staying up? I can leave the light on.”

“No... I'll just be a minute. 'Night.”

“Sleep well,” she smiles.

Annabeth slowly heads towards the couch, kneeing Percy's shoulder, “Hey, sleepyhead. It's almost midnight.” And you still drool in your sleep. Percy's in such a deep daze that the only thing that might wake her up is a monster attack (and Annabeth wonders if even that would be enough). She sighs, lifting Percy up into her arms and over her shoulder. It isn't as easy as it used to be when they were kids — Annabeth was always the tall kid, and Percy, at first, was a scrawny little thing. When they first met, Percy was just shy of five feet, while Annabeth towered over her by more than a few inches and could toss her around like a ragdoll. She could probably call it karma for how much she teased her, because while she didn't grow much past that herself, Percy skyrocketed up to 5'8" by the time they hit sixteen. Despite this, Annabeth's attitude hadn't changed — she didn't care if it was impractical, damn it, she was strong as hell — not to mention, she's too stubborn to let Percy sleep on the couch when her bed is so close.

Percy doesn't even move an inch as Annabeth places her down on the bottom bunk and drags a blanket to drape over her. She briefly considers the idea of kissing her cheek. She shakes the thought from her head and tries to wipe it from her memory before ascending the ladder and crashing face first into her pillow. Later, as she falls asleep, staring at the ceiling, she thinks about Percy. Her stupid pretty eyes, the constellations of freckles that cover her face and body, the small defined curve of her waist against her otherwise lanky, boyish figure and subtle muscular frame.

Screwed. That's what she is. She always thought her downfall would be at the hands of some horrible monster — a reflex that just wasn't fast enough, or a blade that cut just deep enough. She never expected it to be falling in love with her best friend. The worst part is, she's not quite sure it's any better.

Chapter Text

“Thanks, by the way. I needed this.” Annabeth says, gathering the playing cards back into a stack and dropping them into the case, which she tosses into the drawer of her bedside table.

“Anything for the birthday girl.”

“You remembered.”

“Yeah, I uh... I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to get you anything.” Birthdays were never a big affair for Annabeth, so she's not offended. She'd actually almost forgotten today was her birthday.

She vaguely gestures to the scene around them, “This is enough.” She really means it. She would take a quiet day with Percy over the chaos Camp could be any day.

“Are you sure everything’s okay?” It wasn’t like Annabeth to skip out on archery, let alone be the one to suggest it. Percy had managed to convince her to play hooky with her once or twice, but it had never been out of Annabeth’s own volition. She wasn't the type.

Annabeth weighs her options. It's irrational, she knows, but the fear of losing Percy is too much to bear; she made a promise to herself that she would never be left behind again. The other half of her  wants to tell Percy how her smile makes her stomach turn and her heart beat out of her chest; how she wants to kiss her until she forgets her own name. “Do you remember when... in the Labyrinth. Mount St. Helens.” She treads carefully, not wanting to be too direct.

Percy’s internal monologue runs about a million words a minute: She can’t be talking about that, can she? “I— uh.” she stutters.

Annabeth takes another steady, deep breath. She needs to know, and that means she's about to either have the best or worst birthday ever. “Right before I left. I—”

Despite her misgivings, Percy thought about that moment a lot. More than she should, really. “You kissed me.” She lets the words hang in the air for a second, “Why did you do that?”

It’s something she’s struggled with since it happened. She initially had no clue why Annabeth did it, because she thought she was straight, so she justified it as some heat-of-the-moment instinct that she'd never really understand, but ever since she told Percy otherwise... she wondered — hoped — that maybe, she liked her too. No matter how unrealistic that was; Percy hadn’t exactly been subtle with her attraction to her. If Annabeth felt the same way, she would’ve said something by now, right? Unfortunately for Percy, Annabeth's mind worked a lot different than hers did.

“Well,” she looks down into her lap, “I didn’t know, and that’s what I’ve been thinking about. For a while.”

Percy doesn’t respond, letting the silence hang in the air for a moment before Annabeth breaks it: “Thinking about... what that meant for me.” She hates this tension. The idea of just... leaving crosses her mind briefly. She could just run out of the cabin. Act like it never happened. She pushes the thought away (1. because she's stronger than that, and 2. she doesn't ever want to leave anyone feeling like she's felt half her life), quickly blurting out, “Did you think about it? About me?”

“Annabeth I...” Is she asking what Percy thinks she's asking? She’s too stunned to answer, and she considers pinching herself to make sure it's real. She’s thought and over-thought that kiss more times than she can count. “I mean, I have thought about... us.”

“Us?” Annabeth inquires, pushing the topic (she hopes not too far). As desperate as she is to talk about this — them — with Percy, she can't bring herself to be the one to say it. If she does, then it's her fault if something goes wrong.

After a moment of contemplation, Percy seemingly changes direction: “Annabeth, I scare myself sometimes. Some of the things that I can do? They scare me. Someday I’m going to hurt someone, and I don’t want that to be you.” For Percy, the thought of this actually being real is terrifying. It was one thing to daydream and pine over Annabeth, to imagine how soft her skin would feel against hers; what kissing her would be like; how she might lace her fingers into Percy's; wondering if holding her in her arms would be like home. The real thing? It makes her sick to her stomach, because that means she has to face the reality of herself — the things that eat away at her confidence and tell her she's dangerous; the things she's starting to believe. Annabeth thinks about what Sally said to her at the end of the school year, and it’s never been as evident as it is now. Percy's state is delicate, and she can't risk upsetting her right now, so she lets her talk. “When I was up on Olympus... when they wanted to make me a god,” she starts, “I thought about it. I really did.” She feels horrible saying it out loud. “Because I wondered if everyone would be better off without me putting them in danger all the time.”

“Percy.” It’s not like Annabeth didn’t know this was how Percy felt. She could see it in her eyes at times, just how tired she was. It was different hearing it from directly from her, and it sunk deep into the pit of her stomach.

If it was possible to hear pain, Percy was sure that’s what it would sound like. She doubles back, fighting off tears, “But I couldn’t do that to—“ She breathes deeply, trying to regain composure. Without thinking, Annabeth takes her hand, tracing small circles around her knuckles with her thumb. It’s okay. You’re okay. I’m here.

“And at the River Styx,” Percy pivots again, “Nico said I had to focus on something that kept me tethered to the mortal world.” She tries to continue, tries to tell Annabeth that she’s the one person she can’t leave behind, but her voice is paralyzed. Percy practically prays that Annabeth saves her from this embarrassment and takes the reins of the conversation. She doesn't, mostly because she has no clue what to say; doesn't know how to process the fact that she's Percy's anchor — but also because she’s holding Percy’s hand and wow, she could just kiss her right now.

“You know, you’re not making this easy for me,” Percy forces a laugh through her now-scratchy voice.

Annabeth smiles, some of her confidence returning, though her stomach continues doing flips. She tilts her head towards Percy, “Did you think I would ever make things easy for you?” Her voice, soft and light, flows through Percy’s ears like a song she knows every single word to.

It’s then that her eyes meet Percy’s for the first time in a few minutes, their avoidance becoming clear. The smile falls from Annabeth’s face; letting go of her hand, she tentatively reaches out to sweep Percy’s hair behind her ear, lingering on her chin as she traces down her freckled face. Percy desperately wants to — despite Annabeth’s insistence she not mess with it — run her fingers through her hair and close the gap between them but she’s frozen in place with the new, intimate way her fingers are trailing along her jaw. She studies Annabeth's parted lips and curious gaze; she's looking at Percy like she would one of her architecture books: wonder, and infinite thought.

And she is — thinking, that is, but the only thing she seems to be able to think about is kissing Percy. Screw it. Her lips meet Percy’s, slowly, but only briefly, before she pulls away, not sure if it's okay. She soon realizes it is, and mentally scolds herself for not doing this sooner, when Percy kisses her again, like it’s all she’s ever wanted (it is); like she could kiss her forever and never stop (she could). Percy threads her fingers through her curls, and for once, she doesn't mind.

Her lips are soft, and salty like the sea; Annabeth almost laughs, because she feels like she should’ve expected that from the daughter of Poseidon. Percy, hesitating for only a moment, takes a hold of Annabeth’s waist and easily pulls her into her lap. For once, Annabeth isn't irked with their size difference, because they fit perfectly together. She drapes her arms over Percy’s shoulders without breaking away. Annabeth kisses her, softly, not quite sure of herself or what to do, only confident in the fact that she doesn’t want it to end anytime soon. Her mind races; because gods, she’s kissing Percy Jackson — and Percy Jackson is kissing her. With that thought, her body betrays her; and she mentally berates the smile involuntarily spreading across her face.

“What?” Percy laughs, leaning back to get a clearer picture of her. She's never been more beautiful, she thinks, than she looks right now.

Annabeth, at the sight of Percy's disheveled bangs and flushed face, feels a blush rising to her cheeks. Instead of answering her question, she takes her thumb to wipe off her tinted lip balm, now smeared on the side of Percy’s mouth. “Sorry.”

“Do I look like I’m complaining?” To be perfectly clear, she's absolutely not; if a little bit of lip gloss is the price she has to pay for kissing Annabeth, so be it.

“I don’t think so.”

“So can I kiss you again?” 

Annabeth nods. Percy’s eyes, all crystalline seafoam, look into hers, and she swears she can see the entire ocean in them. 

“Jackson! Chase! You two better be in here, ‘cause I did not just haul ass halfway across camp to—” Clarisse’s booming voice comes from around the corner into Cabin 6. Annabeth tries to pull herself off of Percy’s lap; she's only half-successful, bumping her head on the bunk bed and falling back into her pillow, because her legs are entwined with Percy's. Judging by the smirk now plastered on Clarisse’s face, it’s clear she managed a pretty good picture of what was going on. “About time,” she mutters, crossing her arms and turning on her heels to leave the cabin. “If you're not at dueling, I’m telling Mr. D! One hour!”

“Did that really just...” Annabeth untangles herself from Percy, and buries her head in her palms.

“That happened.” 

Clarisse will never let them live this down, that much is evident, but Percy figures she better get used to it, because she knows they're going to be one of those couples. Mostly because Percy never wants to stop kissing her — and she doesn't think Annabeth has any objections to that, because she responds to the silence by practically flinging herself into her arms (and Percy feels so lucky for it).

“Why didn't you tell me?” Annabeth asks as soon as their collective laughter dies down, even though she knows the answer.

“We’ve been through so much together, and you’re one of the most important people in my life... I couldn’t mess that up.”

“Seaweed Brain, you’re never getting rid of me.” Maybe falling, Annabeth thinks, is okay, as long as she can get back up at the end.

She kisses Percy again. Because she can.