Late Nights and Memories
Although, Percy had been to Annabeth's apartment a few times when they'd started dating, he'd never spent the night.
Percy didn't know what time it was, but it was already dark out. Annabeth fumbled in the darkness trying to unlock the door to her apartment. Much to Percy's surprise everything was quiet, which seemed odd considering they were in the city that never sleeps.
"Do you need help?" He asked after a a minute or two of standing in the dark, watching Annabeth's silhouette furiously try to open the lock.
"No, no, I'm fine" She said hastily until she finally managed to open the door.
"Stupid key! There." She exclaimed, letting Percy in.
The entire apartment was probably the size of Percy's living room, which wasn't much. There was a small mattress with pillows and sheets thrown on the floor next to a window, a small desk with no chair and papers scattered all around it, a door that let to the bathroom, and a kitchen that consisted of a mini-fridge, a stove, a small sink, some cabinets and a microwave. The place was a lot messier than he thought he would be, considering how tidy she had her cabin back at camp, this looked like a hurricane had just passed right through it.
Percy noticed that the wall behind the desk was decorated with old pictures of Annabeth, one of them was of her with a satisfied grin plastered across her face in front of the Lincoln Memorial, another one was one of her and Percy, he had his arm around her and they were standing by the lake at Camp Half-Blood. They'd taken that picture the summer before they'd started dating, before he'd disappeared.
"Um, you can sit, well wherever you want really considering I don't really have chairs." She mumbled, trying to straighten up a little bit.
She was hastily organizing papers and throwing away some old Chinese takeout boxes from her desk. Was she nervous? Percy decided not to say anything. She ran her hand through her hair and let out a sigh.
"I'm sorry there's such a mess… I haven't actually had time to um, clean up." She said, looking tired.
"Don't worry about it, it's still better than my room." He joked and she smiled.
She went over to her drawer and pulled out a few articles of clothing. Then she opened another drawer and pulled out a shirt. "Um you left this the last time you were here, I guess it's more comfortable than your hoodie, so here." She said handing him his old t-shirt.
"Yeah, no problem." She said awkwardly moving past him.
"I'm gonna shower, just give me like five minutes." She continued,standing in front of the bathroom door.
"Okay." Percy nodded, his hands still fidgeting inside his pocket.
She nodded and closed the door behind her, leaving Percy alone in the tiny room. He looked around and took a seat in the mattress by the window. He could see the Empire State from there and he wondered if Annabeth ever stayed awake and looked at the skyline to calm herself back to sleep. Percy looked around the room. The room didn't have much decoration, just a few purple colored walls that contrasted with the white furniture and floor. She also had a few posters hanging from the walls as well as books scattered around the floor. He noticed she had hanged the Sherlock poster he'd given her for christmas, after the battle of the labyrinth. In between battles and quests, she'd somehow managed to watch the entire two seasons and completely obsess over them. Percy saw the poster at a print shop at the mall one day and convinced his mom to get it, he figured she would like it.
Something else caught his eye, he looked up and noticed that glued to the celling were dozens of those little, glow in the dark, plastic stars. They were scattered all over the place, all with different sizes. He guessed this was as close as you could get to a starry night in New York City. It took him a couple of minutes before noticing that they were arranged into different constellations. Typical overachieving Annabeth, he thought to himself. She'd made him learn most of them last fall, when they were walking around in Paris during their one-month anniversary.
It had already been late out, but most of the streets and cafés were still busy with people. They were holding hands and walking down the Champs-Élysées, when Annabeth pointed at the set of stars
"That's Orion, the hunter, and that's…" She pointed to another one, waiting for Percy to answer.
"Uh… Scorpions?" He had answered, she let out a laugh and shook her head, which made him smile.
"First of all Seaweed Brain, it's Scorpius, not Scorpions, although it is a scorpion, and second of all, that's Libra, the scale. Okay how about that one?"
She pointed at another group of stars and Percy have her a confused look.
"That's you." She said simply.
"Huh?" He asked, stupidly.
The dim glow from the street posts barely lid her face, but he could tell he looked beautiful. Her blonde curls were freshly curled and framed her face perfectly, and she was wearing enough makeup for it to bring out her eyes, but not look overdone. She bit her lip and a small smile crept up on her face.
"Perseus, the Hero." She looked at him and squeezed his hand.
"Can we just establish that I suck at this? They all just look like a bunch of random dots in the sky to me." He said frustratedly and she laughed.
Gods, he would never get tired of hearing that.
"Yeah you do, kelp for brains, but it's important, no matter where you are in the world the constellations will always be the same. They will always help you get back…" She was looking at the sky and her tone had turned from playful to serious in a matter of seconds.
"To you?" Percy said looking at her.
She looked at him and hesitated before answering.
"Yeah, I guess so, Jackson." She said and gave him a small smile.
"C'mon Chase, let's go exploring." He smiled and wrapped his arm around her.
The memory still felt warm in his mind. Those were simpler times, and Percy wished he could've stayed in them forever. He guessed her advice had worked after all, since he was back home with her and not lost somewhere in the world, without his memories (because that totally hadn't happened to him before). The one above her bed, he noted was the newest out of all the constellations. It was their friend, Zoë's group of stars, The Huntress.
Next to the mattress on the floor, her laptop was half-open on the floor as well. It wasn't Daedalus' laptop, she'd lost that during the war, instead it was a normal grey one. The lid had a sticker of an owl on it as well as a small koi fish. Percy smiled at the sight of it. He could hear the sound of the water running from the bathroom, as he lay on the bed.
He laid there for a few minutes, soaking in the Annabeth's scent from the sheets. He decided she was right about the shirt, it probably was more comfortable than his hoodie. He took off his shoes, and jacket and pulled his old battered white t-shirt over his head.
"So I was thinking we could probably– Oh, sorry!" She quickly stopped herself and looked away.
Her hair was damp and fell on her shoulder. She was wearing some old shorts and dark, brick colored, over-sized sweatshirt. It took Percy a minute to read what it said: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. She looked awkwardly at the floor and started heading towards the small kitchen.
"Sorry, I didn't know you were changing." She apologized again, which wasn't very Annabeth-like Percy decided.
"It's okay, wise girl, it's not like this is the first time you've seen me shirtless." He said smugly, and Annabeth blushed furiously.
She had turned away from him, so he couldn't really tell, but he noticed the way she played with the strings on her shorts.
"Yes, Seaweed brain, but it's never been on my bed!" She retorted, that's when Percy felt a small blush creep up his cheeks as well.
Oh, Percy thought as he pulled the other shirt awkwardly over his head.
"Are you sure you're okay with me staying over?" He asked, she was pouring her self a glass of water.
"Yeah, I-I don't mind." She mumbled and leaned on the counter.
She looked at him from across the room, but her grey eyes didn't seem focused on anything in particular.
"Are you hungry? I could order pizza, or something-"
"I'm fine wise girl, I just want you to relax." He interrupted her and walked over to her.
He wrapped his hands around her waist and looked at her. She was still fidgeting with the strings on her shorts.
"Are you okay?" he asked, there was genuine concern in his voice. Annabeth didn't move.
"Hm?" she mumbled, pretending not to hear him.
"I asked you if you're okay?" He repeated and she just shrugged.
"I'm fine Percy, I'm just tired." She said wistfully before looking at him.
The way she said it made Percy think that she was talking about something other than sleep. He pushed a strand of hair away from her face, it was starting to dry and curl at the ends.
"Well, why don't we just lay down, and watch a movie or something until we fall asleep, huh?" He asked and she gave him a weak smile.
"For once you had a decent idea kelp head, I'll get more pillows." She said, escaping his grip and walking past him.
He stared at her as she headed towards a small closet, reaching for a few sheets and pillows. Percy knew something was up with Annabeth, ever since they'd gotten to the apartment something about her just seemed off. He wanted to help her, but he couldn't muster the courage to say something. She handed him a pillow with some sheets and a towel, before plopping herself on the mattress.
"Are you just gonna stand there or are we watching a movie?" She asked, that sounded more like the Annabeth, Percy knew and loved.
He smiled and sat down besides her. She reached for the computer and plopped it open, searching for something on the internet.