Night Drives and Magic Tricks
The drive to the party would've been excruciatingly silent, if it hadn't been for the soft pop-rock music playing on the radio.
Percy hadn't really spoken since they had left the apartment, only saying small hmms and uh-huhs, here and there. Annabeth had picked up on his reluctancy from the moment she had stepped foot in the car for the second time that night, but hadn't asked him about it. Like she's one to judge, he thought to himself.
He didn't know what he felt, he wasn't quite angry, or sad, or disappointed. Instead, he was a mixture of all three. He felt like he was back to where he started 3 months ago. Alone and confused. The drive from Annabeth's apartment to the bonfire should've taken them about 5 minutes, had it not been for the traffic. Cars were piled up, one next to the other, in the busy city streets. Annabeth stared out the window, her eyes seemingly fixed on the road. She held both of her hands on her lap, as she nervously tapped her finger on her thigh. Percy saw her from the corner of his eye. His hands held the steering wheel firmly, and he turned down different streets and avenues. Annabeth was the first to break the silence.
"I thought you wanted to talk."
She didn't look at him, she didn't move. Her voice was monotonous, almost like the words weighted her down. He let out a small scoff and pressed his lips in a thin line.
"There's nothing to say."
She turned to him now, studying him. He could feel her next to him, the tension between them. It was almost like the temperature in the car had dropped by 10 degrees in a single instant.
"But you said..."
"People say a lot of things Annabeth, it doesn't necessarily mean they have to act on them."
It was his turn to look at her, there was a silent understanding between them. She scoffed and leaned back into her seat. The cars were beginning to move once again, and Percy turned his eyes to the road. She let out a deep breath. He could feel her beside him, but at the same time she felt distant. Like she was there, but there was a glass wall between them.
"If you didn't want me to come, you could've just said so. I would've been fine staying in a Friday night." She said, avoiding his gaze.
The road had began to clear up, and he could see the trail of smoke from the bonfire at a distance. They were almost there. He raised her eyebrow at her.
"So you could spend the night with your buddy, Hunter? Give me a little bit more credit." He said, sarcasm lacing through his word.
She let out a fake laugh.
"Is that what this is about? I thought you said you were over that!" She spat angrily.
Percy began pulling into the driveway of one of the student council's house. Some people were out drinking and talking, and music blared from the speakers. Percy recognized a few of the guys from his swim team. He assumed most people must've been around the back of the house, where the actual bonfire was taking place, but still the place seemed pretty full. The closer Percy got to the house, the more he regretted the idea taking Annabeth with him in the first place. To be honest, he was tired of fighting and he'd much rather had stayed in his house, than having a sparring contest with her. He let out a deep breath.
"I had, but then he texted you and—" He turned to her "—What does he want you to tell me? What does he know that I don't?"
Percy asked. There was no longer any sarcasm in his voice. He looked at her sternly, trying to get the slightest inkling as to what she was thinking, but her face was expressionless.
"You went through my phone?" She asked, and Percy shook his head.
"No! But should I? What the hell was he talking about Annabeth? How long are we going to keep pretending that everything is fucking alright, huh?" He said and ran his hands through his hair.
Annabeth didn't say anything, she just bit her lower lip and gathered her stuff.
"We should get out of the car. People are staring." She mumbled, beginning to open the door. The conversation clearly over. He let out a deep sigh and stared at the house, covered in lights and loud party music.
"Whatever, let's go."
Percy turned off the car and got out the car. He closed the door, and together they made their way to the house.
Percy stood by the snacks tables as he waited for his girlfriend.
On the list of the worst dates in history, this was definitely to be number one. He'd been in a pissy mood ever since he'd left the apartment. He was still racking his head over what Hunter had meant in his texts to Annabeth. He wasn't sure what to think anymore. He didn't even want to think about the possibility Annabeth and Hunter, together. It hurt too much. Besides, despite everything, he trusted her. He trusted her more than anyone, more than even himself sometimes. And that was the problem. He trusted her with everything, she knew everything there was to know about him, but lately he felt like she was an entirely different person. Or maybe it was him? Either way, all he knew he was tired of hunting for clues, and second guessing what she meant. He wanted a straightforward answer for once.
If she didn't love him anymore, if she wanted to breakup with him. Percy could deal with it. It would suck and it would definitely be more painful than any monster's venom, but he would deal with it. He could handle that, he could handle the truth no matter how bad. What he couldn't deal with, however, was the constant state on limbo she kept him in. She would open up to him, but when he tried to get closer, she'd shut him out. That was what it'd been like with Annabeth during the past few months. He was fed up with it, he needed something to hold on to. Something real.
He looked around the table and grabbed one of the served red solo cups. It was full of some of the punch, it wasn't blue but Percy wanted a something to drink. He took a sip and immediately felt the burning sensation of alcohol inside his mouth. Of course it's spiked, he thought. He tried not to make a face as he swallowed it and looked distrustingly at the cup. He didn't really drink, he'd seen enough drunk people in his life time, to stay away from drinking. He was about to put down the cup again, when he heard someone call his name.
A couple of guys approached him. There were 3 or 4 guys, accompanied by some girls, the guys Percy realized, were from his teammates from the swim team at Goode. The tallest one, Marcus, put his arm around him and swayed.
"Perrrcy, my frriend!" He slurred as he approached the green-eyed boy.
Oh great he's drunk, Percy thought
"Marco, good to see you man." He said smiling politely. The rest of the team formed a circle around them.
Marco was the current captain of the swim team. He was good, but if he wanted to, Percy could easily beat him. He, however, decided not to, being a son of Poseidon and all, it would've technically been cheating. Marco had ruffled dark hair and big, brown eyes. He hot-headed, Colombia-born, son of a diplomat, and possibly the only person on Earth that enjoyed being in the water more than Percy. Next to him were: Aidan, the red-haired kid everyone always assumed was Irish (He'd call them racist, and proceed by telling them his parents were from Ireland), Dave, the only junior on the team and Leanne, the only girl on the team. They were probably his only friends at school. When he'd first gone to Goode after the Battle of New York, and tried out for the team, none of them had asked him about the scars or where he'd come from, something Percy had really appreciated.
"You're a great swimmer. Welcome to the team." Marco had said and given him a smile.
He reminded Percy of Jason that way, they were both great leaders. All of them were probably about as average as any teenager could be, and Percy wondered what that must've felt like. To feel normal.
"So, what are you drinking my man?" He said, taking Percy's drink and chugging down a huge portion of it.
"Carajo! Why are you drinking water, frriend?"
The way Marco rolled his r's and Percy assumed spoke in Spanish, was a definite sign that he was very drunk. He looked around, and over his shoulder, and pulled out a small flask and dumped its contents into Percy's glass.
"Uh, I don't dri—" He was interrupted by Marco who bumped his cup with Percy's triumphantly.
"And then God said, Let there be wine, now drink up! Trust me friend, there's nothing like good, ol' fashioned rrrum for the spirit." He said laughing and drank the contents of his cup.
Percy followed him, drinking huge portions of the liquid inside his own cup. He felt the alcohol quickly burn it's way through his throat as he swallowed. Percy coughed when he was done, feeling like his throat wanted to disintegrate itself.
"That tasted like death." Percy wheezed, looking at Marco who just shrugged.
"Pshh, white people." He responded.
He looked at the rest of his classmates who all had cups in their hands.
"C'mon Perce, loosen up, will ya? It's a party not a funeral." Said Aidan, who was swaying his head unconsciously to the music.
"Oh don't deny it, you've been grumbling ever since we saw ya walk in with that blonde earlier, who is she by the way?" Aidan spoke up again, his eyes dazed. His voice was lightly laced by an Irish accent, that had long ago stopped being Irish, and was now and odd combination that was neither Irish, nor American. Percy looked around at them and shook his head.
"You know what? You guys are right, fuck it." He said and took another gulp from the cup. Aidan patted him on the back as he chugged down the remains of his cup.
His throat might've been swore, and his head might've felt detached from his head, but at least he was no longer thinking about Annabeth. Annabeth who had left for the bathroom over 10 minutes ago and still hadn't come back. Annabeth, who was probably the real reason he was drinking anyways. It was better to face a mellowed out version of reality, than head on.
The more he drank, the more he felt like he was in a dream. Everything, that wasn't five feet in front of him, looked hazy. He didn't know how much more of the weird flask stuff Marco poured into his cup, or how much more he drank, but it had definitely been enough to make him start slurring his words. It was like someone had removed any filter Percy might've had between his brain and his mouth. Words came out before he could even process that his mouth was moving. It felt like he was living on an alternate reality.
"You know, I once slayed a Gawrgon?" He said as he leaned on Marco. He was speaking to Leanne, who was laughing hysterically. Her straw colored hair was cut right underneath her chin, and swayed every time she moved her head. It vaguely reminded Percy of a feather duster.
"How much of that stuff did you give him?" She asked, turning to Marco, who shrugged and let out a huge laugh.
"This is pure gold!" He replied laughing.
"I'm serious, there were three! And I went like, whoosh," Percy motioned a wave with his hands, "and I killed them!" He said proudly.
"I'm son of Poseidon, but he's kind of a dick. I can control water an' shit, which is why I let you win." He continued, looking at Marco, but not really focusing on anything.
"What? You do not!"
"I do too!" Percy said defiantly.
He felt dizzy, and his feet felt heavy. Dave and Aidan had left after some girls, and the only ones left with him were Marco and Leanne. There was some yelling behind them, apparently someone had just won a round of beer pong. Percy felt Marco shift and throw his hands in the air.
"Aw man! I wanted to see that, Leanne would you look after him, I'm afraid he'll fall in the pool, trying to communicate with the 'fish ponies', whatever those are." He said as the girl nodded.
"No problem." She said, as Marco left them by the snacks table.
Percy leaned against the table smugly and turned to Leanne.
"Wanna see a cool trick?" He said raising his eyebrows.
Leanne leaned in closer to him and tossed her hair back. Percy wondered if her neck ever hurt from moving it so much.
"Sure," There was a small slur when she spoke, like she was dragging each syllable longer than necessary. Percy showed her his cup, the red colored liquid swirling inside.
"You see that?" He asked
"Pay attention." With a quick flick of his wrist, he made the liquid inside raise up, and fall back down into the cup. Leanne eyes widened as she stared blankly at the cup.
"How the fuck did you do that?" Leanne said amazed.
"I told you already! Son of Poseidon!" He said with a smirk. He felt like he probably shouldn't have done that, but he also didn't care enough to stop himself. Leanne looked strangely at her own drink and mumbled absentmindedly.
"I really need to stop drinking this stuff."
She ran her hands through her hair and touched Percy's forearm, where his S.P.Q.R. tattoo was. He shifted, slightly uncomfortable. Was she making a move on him? Probably not, Percy thought.
"You're a weird guy Percy, funny, but weird." She said lazily, and he gave her an odd look.
"Uh... Thanks?" He responded confused.
"Wanna see my cool trick?" She asked, a small smile playing on her lips.
"Su-" Percy was interrupted by Leanne, who sloppily placed her lips on his.
She put both her arms around his neck, and aggressively moved her lips against his. They tasted like beer and Dorito chips. He wanted to move, or get her off of him, but he was taken a back by the whole situation and his body wasn't responding properly. Something was wrong, something was definitely wrong. He tried to move, but all of his movements were too slow. His vision was blurry and he almost didn't notice Annabeth standing across the room, arms crossed, and a murderous look in her eyes.
Percy broke away from the kiss, his eyes darting back and forth between the two girls.
"Annabeth..." He began to say as she walked over to him. She grabbed the cup Percy had been drinking from, and dumped it over his head.
"You were right... There is nothing else to talk about." She said sternly, and turned around. Fuck, Percy thought.
"Who is that?" Leanne asked, still leaning against him.
"My girlfriend." He said, rushing after Annabeth.
The last thing he heard as he left through the door was Leanne mumble something that vaguely sounded like shit.