All The Right Notes

Chapter 9

Oh my Gods guys! I actually love you all so much!

Thank you so much for all your lovely reviews!

Just wanting to know whether you guys want Thalico or Thaluke, I'm not really a shipper of either, so you guys get to decide :)

I was practising for our gig in my room when the phone rang.

"I'll get it!" I called, running to the kitchen where the phone hung on the wall.

"Hello?" I said.

Annabeth's muffled voice came through the phone. "Hey, Perce. I'm sorry, but I can't babysit today. I have to look after my brothers."

Admittedly, my heart sunk a little bit. I hadn't seen her for a couple days, and with Christmas coming up, I was hoping to see her. The kids had gotten so attached to Annabeth that they even bought her a present.

"Oh, okay." I answered. "Hey, how about I come over with the kids. I mean, like, they have something to give you."

I cursed myself. What an idiot! Of course I couldn't go over, I just invited myself to this girl's house. Stupid, stupid!

"Yeah, that'd be great." She paused for a moment. "Honestly, I was kinda hoping you would."

I felt like I might float away with happiness. "Well, you help with my brother and sister all the time, so it would only be fair... Anyways, I'll see you later."

"See ya, Seaweed Brain."

I put the phone back and turned around. Mom had stopped making her cookies and was raising her eyebrows at me. "You're going to Annabeth's then, huh."

My cheeks grew hot. "She has to look after her brothers, so I'm just gonna take the kids over and help."

Mom had a knowing look on her face, her mouth turning up into a smile.

"Oh, shut up, Mom." I said, looking at the floor and she laughed.

She stepped over and gave me a hug, the top of her head barely reaching my chin.

"I think it's sweet, Percy. She's absolutely perfect for you."

"Mom!" I protested, embarrassed, but I still hugged her back.

She smiled at me and told me to get the kids if I didn't want to be late.

At the Chase's house, one of the twins answered the door.

He grinned, letting us in. He ran into the lounge room where his brother was playing Wii Sports.

Annabeth was sitting on the couch. "Hey Perce."

"Hi," I replied.

Sienna beamed and jumped on the couch next to her, holding the present in her small hands.

"Merry Christmas!"

Annabeth gasped. "Aw, thank you, Sienna." She opened the present, revealing the pair of earrings inside. "Oh my god."

Sienna asked shyly if she liked them, and Annabeth swept her up into a hug. "I love them!" She put them in her ears.

Tyler was playing the Wii with the twins, and Bobby beckoned for me to take the fourth controller.

"Are you sure you want me to play? I mean, I kick butt at Wii Sports." I grinned.

Annabeth smirked. "Like how you kick butt at Mario Kart?"

"Oh shush," I laughed. "Nico cheated!"

I played with the boys while Sienna braided Annabeth's curly blonde hair. As much as I hate to admit it, Matthew was the best.

I gave the controller to Sienna and sat down next to Annabeth.

"Thanks for coming over, I'm sorry I couldn't go to your place."

I shrugged. "It's okay. So, where are your parent then?"

"They went to a convention thing on architecture. Dad didn't really want to go, but Mom has her ways of getting what she wants."

"Why didn't you go instead?" I asked. "You want to be an architect, don't you?"

Annabeth nodded. "Yeah," she said hesitantly. "I'm just not exactly happy with Mom at the moment."

By now I knew better than to ask why. I just hoped it wasn't still about Athena thinking that we were...together.

We watched the kids play for a while, talking about everything, enjoying each other's company.

Something about Annabeth just me want to talk, so I'd get to hear her voice when she responded, to make corny jokes so she'd laugh.

"Percy! It's snowing!" Sienna shrieked in delight, the boys grabbing coats off the rack next to the door and pulling on their boots.

Annabeth smiled and followed as my sister grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door.

Tyler and Bobby were already flinging snowballs at Matthew, laughing hysterically as the force of their throws and the slippery snow sent Matt tumbling backwards onto his bum.

Annabeth rolled her grey eyes, helping Sienna to make a huge snowman.

When they'd finished his body, I lifted the giant ball that was the snowman's head. The snowman was taller than Annabeth.

"Woah," I whistled, and Annabeth wrapped a scarf around his neck. I hefted Sienna up so she could stick in his eyes and nose.

We stood and admired our massive snowman, when a snowball sailed high and got me right in the back of the head.

The boys muffled their laughs as I turned around. "You threw that?" I demanded.

Tyler and Matthew burst out laughing, pointing at Bobby.

I smirked and started pelting them with snowballs. Annabeth rolled her eyes, but her expression turned deadly serious when I threw one at her, hitting her on the neck.

"You're gonna pay for that, Jackson."

I gestured, like, come at me bro. "Bring it on, Chase."

We pelted each other with huge snowballs, ducking behind cars to protect ourselves. Ty and Sienna hid with me, and a massive snowball fight began.

"Surrender!" Bobby and Matthew cried.

"Never!" Tyler shouted back, throwing a ball right at the spot they had just been.

Our snowball fight went on for almost half an hour, but then the snow fall grew too heavy and we had to go inside.

Annabeth put a movie on for the kids, and the two of us went up to her room.

She had homework to do, so I lay down on the bed and played on my phone for a while.

"You know you can watch the movie if you want to," Annabeth reminded me, glancing sideways. "I mean, not that I don't want you here or anything-"

I smiled. "That ok, the Muppets was never really my favourite."

Annabeth smirked and turned back to her homework. Just as her pen was about to touch the paper, she turned back to look at me.

"Hey Percy, we're friends right?"

I frowned, sitting up. "Of course."

"And I can tell you anything?"

"Why? What happened?"

Annabeth sighed. "It's my mom. She and I have been fighting over everything lately and I just don't know what her problem is."

My frown deepened, hoping that Athena wasn't still arguing with her over the whole 'you're with an older guy without telling me' thing. If I was the cause of all this trouble Annabeth was having with her mom, well, words couldn't describe how guilty I would feel.

"Have you told Thalia?"

She told Thalia everything, so I was surprised when Annabeth shook her head.

"She doesn't really understand that kinda stuff, her mom left when she was only six."

I rubbed the back of my neck. "What is she angry at you for?"

Annabeth rolled her eyes. "Everything. I don't help her around the house, my test results weren't as good as she wanted, blah blah blah."

"Well, that sucks." I said, not sure what to say to comfort her.

"Yeah," Annabeth moved over and sat next to me.

I ran a hand through my hair. "Its not... because of me... is it?"

Annabeth sighed and leaned against my shoulder. "That's part of it...maybe."

"I'm sorry." My heart sunk.

"It's not your fault, Perce. Mom's just over-protective."

Before I could lose my courage, I put my arm around her shoulders. "Look, whenever you need to get away from her, you can always come talk to me, okay?"

Annabeth smiled warmly. "Thanks, Percy. It means a lot."

"No worries, like you said, we're friends."

And deep down, a voice in my head said I wanted to be more than that.

"So guys," Luke said. "I got us a gig at this really nice place next month. The place is always pretty packed, its a great way to spread the word about our band."

Leo grinned from his control console. "Dude! That's awesome!"

"How do find all these places?" Jason inquired.

Luke shrugged, a smug look on his face.

"Well, that's great and everything," Nico spoke up. "But what songs are we gonna play. We already have two gigs coming up, we're going to run out of songs to play."

"We can discuss that later, we'll just practice for next week, then worry about what song to play." I said, tuning my black guitar.

Luke nodded in agreement, joining me on the 'stage'. Jason took a seat behind his drums and Nico grabbed his bass and slung the strap over his shoulders.

We'd decided a sort of tribute to Three Days Grace for our next gig. They were Jason's favourite band, having heaps of awesome drum solos, and they were a good band, even if their vocals were sometimes a little bit harsher than what I would usually sing.

We practiced for a few hours, until our fingers hurt from pressing on the steel strings and Jason had sore arms from smashing the drums so hard.

"Dude," Leo said, nudging me. "How are things going with Annabeth?" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

I scoffed, hiding my embarrassment. "What are you talking about, Valdez."

"Perce, you obviously like her."

I raised my eyebrow as my friends nodded in unison.

"So what?" I shrugged, realizing that arguing with them was useless; they were complete block-heads. "And like you're one to talk, Jason."

"Aw man!" Nico whooped. "Percy has a crush!"

I felt my cheeks grew hot. "Shut up, Nico, I do not."

Luke and Leo laughed.

"Screw you." I muttered, which only made them laugh harder.

"Jason!" His mom, Beryl, called from upstairs. "Dinner's ready!"

"Thanks Mom."

The four of us were staying over for dinner- Beryl made her famous lasagna- and the I drove the others home.

Back at my apartment, Mom and Paul were siting on the couch, watching some cooking show that Paul probably wasn't the least bit interested in.

"Hey," I greeted, walking up the hall to put my guitar in my room.

I went to grab myself a drink, and was surprised to find that Paul had come in behind me. "Oh, hey Paul."

"Percy," He started hesitantly. "There's something I wanted to talk to you about."

My immediate reaction was uh-oh. I prayed that they hadn't found out about the few times I had secretly 'burrowed' the car.

"No no," Paul said hurriedly, seeing my expression. "That's not what I meant, just..."

I'd never seen him act this way before. Usually Paul was straight to the point, he didn't hide things from you, but at the moment he seemed beyond uncomfortable. His cheeks were red, and he kept pulling his shirt collar.

"Well, as I'm sure you're aware, Sally and I have known each other for a while, and even though we haven't been dating for long, I um..." He swallowed. "I was wondering if it would be okay with you if I asked her... if I asked her to marry me."

My jaw dropped to the ground. It took a moment to comprehend what he'd said. "You want my permission?"

"Of course," He said. "She's your mother, and I know what you went through with Gabe, so I just thought-"

I cut him off, my shock turning to joy in a spilt second. "Paul, of course you can marry Mom."

Paul beamed. "Thanks Percy, I appreciate it."

Clasping my hand, he pulled me into a hug.

Although it might be weird to have my step-dad as my English teacher, but Paul made Mom happy, and that was really all I wanted.

Sorry guys, I'm not really happy with this and I took AGES!

But I finally got a new laptop so I can update again! YAY!

Please R&R ;P

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