Cherry Lips and Yellow Cars
Percy was helping Paul carry his suitcase up the stairs when his phone started ringing.
About a week had passed since his attempt, or at least that's what everyone around him had been calling it. Apparently before his meeting with Dr. Norton, he had been comatose for four days. He'd spent the last week, staring at walls, having nurses give him various colored pills and have Dr. Norton question him for about two hours, two times a day.
As if that hadn't been enough torture, he hadn't been able to use his phone or any type of electronic device. All he did was sleep, answer questions, take pills, repeat. He didn't feel better, but he didn't feel worse either. At least he wasn't so tired anymore, that was a they finished carrying the bad up the stairs Percy reached into his pocket and pulled out phone.
Ten missed calls: Annabeth.
"Um, I'm gonna go take this." He said looking up, from his phone to Paul, who simply nodded.
Neither of his parents had said much during the car ride, like they were constantly looking for the right words to say to him. They were treating him as if he was made of glass, one wrong move and he would shatter to pieces.
He hated that.
He dialed the number quickly and locked himself in his room. He'd guessed by now that Annabeth knew what had happened, after he'd gone MIA for a week, he assumed his parents would've told her, but he wasn't quite sure who else knew. He didn't like the idea of everyone treating him like he was helpless, like he needed to be looked out for. After all, everything had been an accident, a huge misunderstanding. He was sure of it.
After about two rings a voice picked up.
"PERCY-FUCKING-JACKSON YOU COMPLETE IDIOT!" Annabeth screamed into the phone.
Percy smiled, he was glad to have someone be so blunt for the first time in days.
"Hello to you too wise girl." He greeted.
"Oh don't give me that shit! What the hell were you thinking! I call you to see if you want to hang out, and much to my surprise your MOM PICKS UP AND TELLS ME YOU'RE IN THE HOSPITAL!"
There was the screaming again.
"Yeah, sorry about that–"
"No, you shut up and listen! Gods Percy, what the hell is going on with you?"
She wasn't screaming anymore, there was genuine concern in her voice. He'd missed her, even though she was angry, she missed the sound of her voice.
"I don't know… I mean, everything that happened was and accident. I was just trying to get some sleep and now my parents think I'm suicidal so, yeah I don't know."
He wasn't trying to downplay what had happened, but there was no point in making it a bigger issue for Annabeth to lecture him on.
"No shit… Gods Percy, I thought you were dead…"
The line was silent.
"That makes two of us." He said and he could almost feel Annabeth glaring at him and shaking her head.
"Your head is so full of kelp seaweed brain." She teased and he smiled.
"I'm sorry about that, I really didn't mean to scare anyone."
It'd been weeks since they'd talk like this, without having to think so much about what to say. Percy missed it.
"I know… it's just you didn't answer so I didn't know what to think… I'm sorry for not calling you before, I really was busy but it could've waited. I should've called you…"
Her voice was soft, almost as if she were whispering.
"Hey, we're here now, and I say we should go out and you know not think for a while." He said trying to clear the air. T
here was a pause.
"Aren't you still at the hospital?" She asked.
"I got let out today." Another pause. Percy wondered what she was thinking.
"Pick me up in two hours at Fifty-Second West and Eighth , and don't be late." He smiled.
"I'll see you later wise girl."
"Good-bye Jackson." She said and hung up.
For the first time in weeks, he was actually looking forward to something. He knew he should've probably told his parents that he was heading out, or that he should've at least left a note, but his mind could only focus on one thing at a time. Right now, it was focusing on seeing Annabeth. He grabbed a dark blue hoodie, Thirty-second West and Eighth, and don't be late. Her voice echoed in his mind. He could hear Paul and Sally talking about something, probably him. Without further debate, he opened his window and climbed down the fire-escape, thinking about a certain girl with princess curls and stormy eyes.
It was now 3:45 P.M., and Percy was exactly fifteen minutes late.
He rushed past some tourists and bikers in hopes of saving some time but he had no such luck. When he saw her, she was glancing at her phone impatiently and tapping her foot on the pavement.
She was wearing jeans, converse and some old band t-shirt. Her hair was loose and all over the place, like she had tried taming her locks but saw no point in it and had given up. He was happy to see her, he really was, but he couldn't gather enough energy for more than a simple smile. He might've been comatose for four days, but he still felt emotionally drained.
Percy crossed the street, walked up to her, and hugged her from behind. She was startled at first, almost ready to attack.
"Calm down it's me!" He said and let her turn around to face him.
He had to admit, Annabeth had seen better days. Although she was his girlfriend and he'd always think she looked beautiful, but something about her seemed off. Her tan had faded almost completely, her lips looked chapped, her eyes didn't seem to focus fast enough and he noticed her fingernails were almost completely torn off. Since when did Annabeth bite her nails? He thought about it but decided not to say anything.
"You scared me and you're late!" She said, she mustered a smile and wrapped her hands around his neck.
"Yeah, well considering that I had to walk here all the way from 112th I'd say I made it in record time!" Percy complained.
His hands had moved to her waist now, he smiled at her and she just arched her brow.
"Why didn't you just take the subway?" He shrugged uneasily.
"I forgot." He mumbled.
Although it was true he'd forgotten taking the subway would've made his trip a lot easier, he'd also wanted to avoid being underground for a while. If Annabeth sensed his uneasiness, she didn't mention it.
"Seaweed brain." She teased and kissed him.
For a second the whole world seemed to stop and Percy almost felt like things were back normal. It wasn't a particularly long or special kiss, but Percy felt his heart flutter. Kissing Annabeth always had that effect on him, no matter how many times he kissed her. Her lips were soft against his and he wanted to stay like that longer, but he realized that they were in a crowded street in the middle of the sidewalk and people were probably giving them weird looks. Maybe Annabeth had acknowledged this as well, because she quickly broke away from his lips.
"So where are we going?" She asked reaching for his hand. Percy hadn't thought that far ahead.
"You didn't think where we were going, did you?"
"It may or may not have slipped my mind."
He'd meant for it to come out like a statement but it sounded more like a question instead. He could see Annabeth rolling her eyes at him.
"How about we just walk until we come up with somewhere to go?" Percy suggested.
His hand felt sweaty against Annabeth's and he wondered if she noticed. Why was he so nervous around her all of the sudden? He shrugged off the thought and waited for Annabeth to answer.
She shrugged. "Sure, I don't mind."
The wind blew in their direction and Percy caught a wisp of her scent, it was a mix between lemon and orange.
"So, uh, why were you here?" He asked.
He knew she'd been working on rebuilding Olympus last year and the empire state, where the olympians were now situated, was just a few blocks down, but he'd thought that project was kind of dead now.
"Oh, well, I used to go to school here, during last year. I figured I should get all of my old stuff from there, seeing as I'm no longer a student." She said.
It sounded a bit muffled Percy noticed it was because she had her hand near her mouth. She looked down at the floor anxiously.
"Ok, that makes sense I guess." He said. He wanted to keep the conversation going, but he couldn't think of anything else to say. They kept walking, aimlessly through the city streets, but neither of them said anything.