annabeth chase was the jealous type.
she knew this. and it was one of the few things she truly despised about herself. especially when it was irrational jealousy. sometimes it made sense. like when she had been jealous of rachel while in the labyrinth or during the battle in manhattan. she may not have liked it, but she could admit her jealousy made sense then. she had liked percy and she thought percy may have liked rachel. it was understandable for her to be jealous.
but now, her jealousy made less sense. it had been two weeks since she had kissed percy on his birthday. two incredible weeks of her and percy finding their grounding as a couple. they only had a few days left at camp before they would be leaving camp to return home for school. usually the summer session of camp ended a lot sooner, but chiron had allowed them to stay a bit longer.
it was hot out today, the sun shining down on them. annabeth sat on the beach with percy, their sides pressed against each other. she couldn't remember the last time she had felt so at peace. she felt happy. for a while at least. she was laughing at some stupid joke percy had made when it seemed the universe had enough of her being happy.
annabeth looked up at the girl who had appeared in front of them. she recognized her as a new camper, one that had arrived just a few days ago. a daughter of aphrodite. percy looked up at her and smiled.
"hey, uh..." he trailed off, not remembering her name.
"leah!" she exclaimed, twirling a lock of her hair with her finger. she had yet to even acknowledge annabeth.
"right, sorry," percy said. "hi, leah. what's up?" he asked. confusion was clear in his voice. annabeth understood. she was also wondering why exactly this girl was here. talking to percy.
leah smiled brightly. "well, i've just heard so much about you. you know, hero of olympus and all." she giggled. annabeth recognized the familiar feeling of jealousy settle in her stomach. "and i was just wondering if you wanted to... hang out sometime?" from the tone of her voice, annabeth assumed leah's version of hanging out was a lot different than her version.
annabeth tensed and shifted uncomfortably. percy stayed silent and looked at annabeth briefly. only then did leah notice her.
"oh, hey. annabelle, right?"
annabeth blinked and then smiled tightly. "annabeth."
"oh, oops," was all leah said before turning her attention back to percy. annabeth looked leah up and down. she felt sick. leah was pretty, she noticed. really pretty. and she stood before them in a baby pink bikini that complimented her tan skin perfectly. her dark hair fell in perfect waves down to her rib cage. her skin seemed to glow and her blue eyes shined. annabeth suddenly felt inferior.
annabeth had an old, black bikini on under a pair of shorts and one of percy's shirts. her skin was scarred all over from her thousands of battles and her eyes were just their normal gray color. nothing special. annabeth's gaze dropped, not wanting to look at the girl in front of them anymore.
"so..." leah said hopefully. "maybe we could hang out at the campfire tonight? or... maybe after the campfire?"
annabeth closed her eyes, trying to force her anger and the sick feeling she had to go away. logically, she knew she shouldn't be jealous. she knew percy was her boyfriend and he had chosen her. but she also knew leah was pretty. prettier than annabeth in her opinion. and a daughter of aphrodite was always more desirable than a daughter of athena.
"um," percy said. "i, uh, already have plans for the campfire. with annabeth. but i'm sure i'll see you around camp or something..."
annabeth could feel leah's eyes on her. annabeth kept hers closed though. she wondered if percy had even realized that leah was shamelessly flirting with him. chances are he had, but she also knew just how oblivious he was when it came to girls.
"yeah, of course!" leah exclaimed, her voice laced with bitterness that she failed to hide, if she was even trying to hide it. "i'll see you around! bye percy! bye annabelle."
annabeth didn't miss the edge to her voice when leah addressed her. she just bit her lip and waited for leah to leave. she felt heavy with jealousy and anger. and the fact that she was jealous only angered her more, considering she knew how unreasonable it was.
"hey," percy whispered, knocking his shoulder into hers lightly. her eyes fluttered open and she looked at him. she only got more angry when she saw the confusion in his eyes. as if he had no idea why she was acting this way. she turned her head looking at the water. "annabeth," he said.
"i think i'm done swimming," she replied, standing up and brushing sand off her legs.
"what? hey!" he exclaimed as annabeth began walking away. she was being stupid and she knew it. but she couldn't stop the bubble of anger rising in her throat. "annabeth, wait!" he caught up to her quickly.
"hey, what's going on?" he asked, walking next to her. he tried to grab her arm but she yanked it away. "does this have to do with leah?"
she stopped walking and looked up at him, bewildered. annabeth blinked at him. "no, percy. not at all. what could have given you that idea?"
"annabeth," he sighed, running a hand through his hair.
"you were aware that she was flirting with you, right? like openly. right in front of me. like, that didn't go over your head or anything, right?" she asked bitterly. he looked taken aback by her outburst.
"i- yes?" he replied. "she's been her for, like, three days. which is why i'd assume she doesn't know we're together. but i rejected her, obviously. i didn't think it would be a big deal."
annabeth rolled her eyes. "yeah, percy. it's not. all settled." her words were laced heavily with sarcasm. she turned and kept walking.
"annabeth!" he kept up with her, walking backwards so he could look at her.
"i need to shower, percy. drop it," she snapped. they approached her cabin and he looked at her, defeated.
"i-" he sighed. "can you come to my cabin after?" he asked. "so we can talk. please?"
that didn't help the uncomfortable feeling in her stomach. annabeth stayed silent as she pushed passed him and walked into cabin six, shutting the door behind her. she took a deep breath. she felt frustrated with him, but even more so with herself. after finding some clean clothes and a towel, she made her way to the one private bathroom her and her siblings shared. there were communal bathrooms too, but each cabin had one private one and with most of her siblings gone for school, she took advantage of her cabin's bathroom.
while showering, she allowed herself to work through the jealousy and anger she felt. it wasn't directed at percy. for the most part. maybe a little considering he had said this whole thing wasn't a big deal, which annabeth disagreed with. she wouldn't admit this to her boyfriend, but she narrowed down the reason of her jealousy to her own feelings about herself.
annabeth would never doubt her intelligence or bravery, especially not compared to a ditsy aphrodite girl. but her temperamental mood and her looks... she could see how a daughter of aphrodite would upstage her there. she thought about leah. who not only looked perfect, but seemed to have an upbeat, happy personality. aside from when she was addressing annabeth.
annabeth felt uncomfortable comparing herself to another girl. or rather, she felt uncomfortable addressing her insecurities in general. she's always had them and always been aware of them, but she never focused on them. and now she was abruptly confronted with them when she felt the familiar sensation of jealousy.
she shut off the shower and grabbed her towel, drying her hair a bit before wrapping it around her body tightly. annabeth was glad that the mirror had fogged over from the steam of the shower. she didn't feel like facing herself right now. she put her hair in two french braids, wasting time before she had to see percy again. she had never answered him, but she did plan on going to his cabin once she was done. she got dressed, dropped her towel in the clothes hamper and left her cabin.
annabeth took her time walking to percy's cabin. she hesitated on his doorstep. she nearly rolled her eyes at herself and finally knocked. it was only a few seconds until the door swung open. percy stepped aside to let her in. she felt her uneasy mood deepen. she wasn't necessarily angry or even jealous anymore. now she was just anxious about the conversation to come. she sat on his bed and crossed her arms over her chest, looking up at him.
"what exactly was that about annabeth?" he asked softly. he stood leaning against a dresser, his arms also crossed his chest.
she rolled her eyes. "i already told you, she-"
"no," he cut her off. "i know what she did. i want to know why you reacted that way."
she blinked. "she was flirting with you... and you're my boyfriend... and you're surprised that i got-" she chose her next word carefully, "upset?"
"yes," he said. annabeth felt her anger bubble up again. "because like you said, i'm your boyfriend. and i mean... i thought i handled it decently well? i wasn't going to be rude, you know that's not me. but i outright rejected her. what else should i have done?"
annabeth hesitated. because he was right. "i just-" her anger dissipated and she dropped her hands into her lap, looking down at them. "you could have anyone, percy. sometimes i just think you'll realize that, and, i don't know..." she trailed off, embarrassed. being vulnerable was very foreign to her, even in front of percy.
percy walked over to her and crouched in front of her, placing his hands on her knees to steady himself. annabeth was forced to look at him.
"you think i don't know that?" he asked her softly. his green eyes sparkled. "i know i could have anyone that wanted me. but i... i don't care. i don't want anyone else. i chose you as my girlfriend because i wanted to. because i want you."
annabeth stayed silent. this was the exact reason she knew her jealousy had been unreasonable to begin with. she just nodded a little, breaking eye contact.
"did i ever tell you what my fatal flaw is?"
annabeth studied him then, confusion taking over her features. she didn't understand how this related to their conversation but she shook her head regardless.
"your mother told me what it was actually. two years ago when i snuck on to the quest to save artemis to come find you."
annabeth remembered that winter. her eyes drifted up to the gray streak in percy's hair. the one that matched her own. their reminder that they had held the weight of the sky. before she could stop herself, she lifted her hand and pushed his back from his face. she dropped her hand back to her lap as he smiled softly.
"personal loyalty," he told her. his hands shifted from her knees to her hands, holding them.
oh. that's how it relates. annabeth bit her lip waiting for him to continue.
"she told me i would destroy the world to save the people i love-" he caught himself quickly, "and the people i care about."
annabeth ignored the fluster of butterflies that erupted in her stomach when he said the word 'love.' they had yet to say that word to each other. annabeth knew somewhere deep down, she did love him. she also knew how difficult it would be for her to accept that and admit it. she didn't have a good history with loving people.
"out of everyone i could be loyal to," he continued. "who do you think is at the top of that list?" his voice was soft, but insistent. he wanted an answer.
annabeth avoided his eyes and shrugged. "your mom," she said quietly.
"okay," he said. annabeth could see his small smile from the corner of her eye. "who else?"
she played with his fingers absentmindedly. "maybe grover?" she suggested shyly.
she looked at him. he just stared at her expectantly, waiting.
she sighed and dropped her gaze, looking at their intertwined fingers. "me," she whispered so quietly, she thought he may not have heard it. he did.
"exactly," he said, squeezing her hands. "so why would i leave you for some aphrodite girl?"
annabeth shrugged. "she's pretty."
percy's eyes filled with confusion and he scrunched his eyebrows together. it was uncharacteristic for annabeth to compare herself to anyone and he knew that. "you're prettier."
annabeth looked at him with a straight face, disbelieving him. daughters of aphrodite were known for their beauty. she knew that. everyone knew that. they were pretty without trying.
percy tilted his head. "annabeth, i- is that what you're worried about? that i'm gonna think someone is prettier than you? and then just up and leave you because of that?"
she blushed, once again breaking eye contact. "it sounds stupid when you put it like that."
percy sighed and stood up, then sat on the bed next to her. "look at me," he said quietly.
she did. he placed his hands on her cheeks, not giving her the chance to look away.
"for starters, you're literally the prettiest girl i've ever seen and i've thought that since i was twelve," he told her firmly, his thumb skimming her cheek.
"percy," she muttered tiredly.
"shut up, let me compliment you," he said quickly, making her snap her mouth shut. "i've never really said much about how you look because, i don't know, i never thought you would care much for comments on how you look. i've always thought you would rather me compliment your brain, if at all. also i've always thought you'd punch me if i called you pretty."
"i would've," she said, giving him a small smile. her first one since she had gotten upset.
he smiled too. he then let go of her face and shifted to lay down, holding his arms out.
annabeth felt her cheeks heat up but moved to lay with him, burying her face in his chest. one of his arms wrapped around her waist, the other moved up to let his fingers trace over her braids.
"i've always liked your hair," he said quietly. "it was the first thing i noticed about you. i thought you looked like a princess with your curls."
"i definitely would've punched you if you had said that," she mumbled, her words muffled by his chest.
he laughed, moving his arm down to her waist to join his other arm. "your eyes scared me at first. but they're one of my favorite things about you. they make you look intimidating, which is something i love about you. and i've literally watched them change from light gray to dark. it's mesmerizing."
there was that word again. love. it scared her. more than she wanted to admit. she didn’t say anything. her fingers wrapped around his bicep and she waited for him to continue. his hand traced over her waist lightly, settling on her hip.
“and your body is like…perfect,” he said quietly and her cheeks immediately turned pink.
“shut up. it’s like you want me to punch you,” she says, pulling herself impossibly closer to his chest. percy laughed, wrapping his arms around her again.
“look at me,” he said. annabeth reluctantly moved her face away from his chest and looked up at him. she smiled shyly as he kissed her forehead. “i think you’re beautiful. and smart, obviously. literally the smartest person i know. and you’re funny, most of the time. and nice sometimes. only to me though, which is fine. sometimes not even to me though, but that’s still fine.” he shrugged and she smiled a little.
“don’t push it. i’ll stop being nice to you too,” she told him, making him smile.
“yeah, right.” he moved his hand to her cheek and kissed her softly. “point is, i think you’re perfect and there’s no chance of me leaving you for some aphrodite girl. or any girl. you’re it for me. and i mean loyalty is my fatal flaw and i’d say i have many reasons to be loyal to you above anyone.”
“i’m it for you?” annabeth asked in a small voice. percy smiled widely and kissed her again.
“yeah, wise girl. you’re it for me.”