Coffee Black and Egg White
They ended up marathoning the entire first season of Sherlock.
Although Percy had a little bit of trouble keeping up with what was happening on the show, he decided it wasn't actually half bad. They were both laying down on the mattress by this point, Annabeth, who'd been holding the computer, had her head on Percy's chest as he draped his arm around her. He could feel her heartbeat next to his and her slow, warm breaths on his neck, and while it wasn't the most comfortable position to be in, Percy decided he could live with it.
He guessed she must've fallen asleep somewhere towards the end of the second episode, because before he knew it, the computer slid off Annabeth's lap and fell with a thump on the floor. The show must've stopped playing, because the actor's thick British accent, was soon replaced with the distant sound of cars passing by and his girlfriend's breathing. He decided to peak at her while she slept for a few seconds.
Her hair had dried into messy curls and was splattered all over her pillow, her face remained emotionless but peaceful. Percy wondered what she could be dreaming about and if he fit in her dreams somehow. He couldn't really move, not with Annabeth curling up next to his chest, with his arm, but he tried his best to pull the sheets over both of them. He breathed in her scent, lemon with a touch of vanilla. He thought for a moment, how perfect this was. To sleep with a person, it was as simple as that. To hold them as you synchronized your breathing with theirs, and drifted off into unconsciousness.
The only other time he'd slept with Annabeth had been in the stables in the Argo II. They had sneaked out during the night, and ended up falling asleep there, but only that, sleep. It wasn't that Percy hadn't thought about sex, because he had, and he was after all a seventeen year old boy. But the possibility had seemed a lot more likely before he'd been kidnapped by the crazy, Olympian goddess. He'd thought about it during his stay at the Argo II, too, but the timing had never felt…right. Then they'd fallen into Tartarus, and the timing felt even worse!
Of course, there was always the hope that maybe in the future it would finally feel right and then they could worry less about saving the world and worry more about being average, hormonal teenagers. That is, if they still had a future together, and Annabeth didn't dump Percy before. Percy had never brought up the subject with her, he didn't want to pressure her into anything, she was after all his best friend before she was his girlfriend, and he didn't wan to make her uncomfortable. He decided not to dwell more on the subject, that would only leave him feeling embarrassed and inadequate.
Instead he decided to stare at the stars above them, connecting the dots and repeating the constellations' names in his head. He didn't notice when Annabeth shifted in his arms.
"Percy?" whispered a voice, heavy with sleep. He turned to face her.
"Hey…" He whispered back.
He couldn't see her through the dark but her hand reached over desperately patting his face and chest and whispering his name, as if to make sure he was still next to her.
"Annabeth, I'm here, I'm here!" He repeated, cupping her hand with his. He felt her let out a shaky breath before laying back down.
"Sorry, I just, I dreamt…"
"It's okay. It's all fine." She didn't finish her statement, but he could feel her jagged breathing. She grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him fiercely toward her, burying her face deep in his chest. He wrapped his hands around her, soothing her hair.
"Yeah?" Her voice was small, and muffled.
"I love you." She whispered into his chest.
He felt his heart race up and his stomach crawl up to his throat. It wasn't the first time she'd said those words to him, but it was the first time she'd said them when they hadn't been about to die. It was the first time she'd said it since they'd gotten back. Here, she seemed like a girl who was afraid of losing something, and that something was him. Annabeth was afraid of losing him, and he realized, he was afraid, no, terrified of losing her too. He kissed the top of her head, and whispered loud enough for her to hear.
"I love you too. It's okay wise girl, lets go back to sleep." He felt her nod against his chest, and her breathing relaxed. He wondered how asleep she really was, and if she would remember this in the morning, before closing his eyes and drifting into a dreamless sleep.
Percy woke up to the unfamiliar smell of roasted coffee in the morning, and the sound of a girl's humming.
He opened his eyes slowly, taking in the scene before him. Annabeth was pouring herself some coffee, as she hummed something that sounded vaguely like some pop song he'd probably heard on the radio before. He was still tangled in her sheets, they were warm and smelled so much like her, Percy just laid there breathing them in for a moment. He sat up lazily and still half-asleep on the mattress, his eyes adjusting to the sunlight that came in through the window.
A small panic crept up in the back of his mind, as he tried to remember exactly where he was and what was happening. It took about five seconds for him to remember what had happened the night before, how he'd gone home with Annabeth and they'd fallen asleep watching TV together. His eyes focused on her, her hair fell down her back, past her shoulders.
She moved around the small kitchen getting a variety of ingredients from the mini-fridge and some cabinets, and for a moment, Percy couldn't help but think he could get used to the sight of Annabeth in the morning. His hair was a mess, his t-shirt and jeans were wrinkled, and he hadn't even washed his teeth but he didn't care, for the first time since the Argo II he felt normal. She must've noticed he had woken up, because when Percy's eyes finally adjusted, she was leaning against the counter with her coffee in hand and her hair falling to the side of her face, looking at him.
"G'morning, wise girl" He said groggily but it sounded more like a whimper than anything else.
"Good morning, sleeping beauty." She teased and he let out a small laugh, which made her smile.
The sun was hitting her face, making her hair look more golden, and her eyes more blue than grey. She looked beautiful, and for a second Percy's brain forgot how to correctly process or articulate any comprehensible piece of information. She made her way to him, setting the mug down on the desk and propped herself down on the mattress next to Percy.
"I was starting to think you were comatose Seaweed Brain" She said looking at him sideways, as she played with her hair.
A loud laugh escaped his mouth, and he couldn't even remember when was the last time he'd laughed that hard.
Sleep, he thought. He hadn't realized that it was the first time in days, no, weeks he'd an actual good night's sleep. He felt relieved, like he'd finally found something he hadn't known was missing, so he laughed, he laughed at his own expense. He assumed she was probably looking at him like he'd finally blown a fuse and gone insane, but instead she just laughed along with him and in no time they were both holding on to their stomachs, trying desperately to catch their breaths. She hadn't said anything particularly funny, but laying down on Annabeth's beat up mattress inside the crappy apartment, he felt like he could've stayed in that moment, frozen forever. They were both laying down with tears in their eyes and gasping for air.
"Can't… breathe… help…" Percy gasped between laughs, which only made Annabeth laugh harder.
"The… Savior of Olympus… Everybody…" Annabeth said pretending to be talking to an invisible crowd and Percy threw a pillow at her.
The whole situation was hopelessly pathetic, and they loved every second of it. After a few minutes they managed to calm down and steady their breathing, while Percy shook his head, smiling at the floor.
"Oh gods, why were we even laughing that much?"
"Beats me, you're the one who started it!" Annabeth said playfully pushing Percy's arm.
As she pushed him backwards on the bed, he grabbed her arm, making her fall on top of him.
"Ouch!" Percy complained pretending to be hurt, and Annabeth laughed again.
This time, however, the laughter subsided when both of them realized the position they were in. She was laying on top of him, her whole body pressed against his. She didn't move and neither did he. Percy's hear was doing summersaults inside his chest, and he mentally cursed himself for getting so nervous. He was sure he was going to ruin it, whatever it was, but it wasn't like he could help it.
Annabeth had that effect on him, she would always have that effect on him. She was infinitely gorgeous, and clever, and kind, and compared to him she was endlessly more fascinating. Even the gods knew that, and he was… well, he was Percy. He was reckless, and gawky and half of the time he would've gotten his ass kicked if it hadn't been for her. Suddenly Percy was aware of how unsteady his breathing was, and how his hair was probably sticking up in all directions, and how he hadn't showered in a day, and all the other little things he suddenly became insecure about.
Maybe she sensed his unease, he wasn't sure, but if she did she didn't say anything. Instead she moved her hand through his tangled, mop of jet-black hair and kissed him. It wasn't a hasty, eighth grade truth-or-dare kind of kiss either, it was a proper, hands-in-hair kind of kiss. The kind that leaves you breathless on the spot, and you give up on all logic and just let your instinct take over. Her lips were soft and moved with such facility against his that she made it seem effortless. Her breath was warm, unlike the rest of the room, and he could feel her smile against his lips as goosebumps rose all over his body.
Gods that felt good, he thought wrapping his arms around her waistline. They stayed like that for a good couple of minutes, although to Percy it felt a lot more like seconds. She was the one to break apart the kiss, but his eyes were still closed and his lips were still parted. She smelled like lemons and vanilla, and her mouth tasted like freshly roasted coffee, and he was completely addicted. They didn't move, and neither of them dared to speak, at least not yet. He didn't know when they had gotten this good, but he sure as hell wasn't complaining. His brain was still caught in the kiss and his head was thrown back on the mattress, he felt her head slump down against his chest and his hands moved up her back to play with her hair. She trailed circles at the hem of his shirt, and in that moment, in that old apartment he knew.
"Annabeth…" His eyes shot open, wide and his voice was soft.
He looked like a little kid, who was unsure of what to say, or how to say it but he had to anyways.
"Hm?" She looked at him and he paused.
"Are you okay?" She asked, but he just stared at her.
Her eyes were on his and he could see all the different shades of grey and blue intertwine and he knew. He knew this was it, this was the one thing in his life he'd never let go of. He knew that no matter what happened, she would always be Annabeth, she would always be his wise girl.
"You're my best friend—"
Another pause, but she didn't say a word, the air felt thick in his lungs, and he felt like a thousand electric volts were surging through his body.
"—and I love you, and I know I said it before but… I mean it, I really love you, and I'm sorry…" He said the last part a lot softer.
She bit her lip and he could see a small smile tug at the corners of her mouth.
"I love you too, Percy…and you have nothing to apologize for."
He felt like he could breathe again, she loved him, Annabeth Chase loved him, he thought to himself and his thought process turned slow again. Her voice had turned quiet again, and she fiddled with the hem of his shirt, her eyes fixed on the bead necklace he wore from his summers at Camp Half-Blood. There was something about the way she'd said the last words, like she was still bringing herself to believe them, like something inside her snapped every time he tried to apologize. He lifted her head so she could face him and gave her a small, soft kiss. It was short and sweet, and she gave him a small smile.
"I do need to apologize, I'm sorry about everything, about last year–"
"That wasn't your fault." She interrupted him but he continued.
"About the pit, about last week, and about last night… I'm sorry." He finished, looking firmly at her.
She was biting her lower lip as she took as he let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. The gears in her mind were turning, he could see it in her face but she wouldn't meet his eyes. He wondered what she was thinking and why she hadn't said anything. The silence lingered for a few seconds and Percy wasn't sure what he's been expecting. Maybe for her to say she forgave him, or for her to tell him it hadn't been his fault again or anything, for her just to say something so she would seem more like Annabeth, but instead she just remained motionless and speechless.
"Annabeth…" He began but stopped when he saw her look up at him.
Her eyes were wide and stern, and her face had was as emotive as a blank page.
"Just forget about it, okay? Just forget about it, about everything." Annabeth said as she rolled off of Percy and laid next to him, facing the celling.
Percy wondered if she had meant for it to sound as harsh as it did, and how had he singlehandedly managed to fuck everything up so much, so fast.
"Okay." He agreed quietly, sitting up on the mattress.
Normally, he would've argued, or made some stupid comment, but the truth was he no longer had it in him to fight with her, he no longer had it in him to do much of anything.
"Sorry, that was harsh, I didn't mean for it to sound like that." She mumbled, rubbing her temple with her eyes closed.
"It's fine" Percy stated.
Everything had been so good just minutes ago, but here it was again, the edging silence that always seemed to surround them and the nervous shuffling and exasperated sighs that came along with it. There it was again, Annabeth's abrupt reluctancy, that only left him more confused each time. He ran his hands through his hair, pulling off the sheets and grabbed the shirt he'd been wearing the night before.
"I should probably change." He said getting up from the mattress. Annabeth nodded her head slightly as he headed to the bathroom.
After closing the door behind him, Percy quickly pulled the old t-shirt over his head and replaced it with the white one he'd been wearing the night before along with the hoodie.
He opened the faucet in Annabeth's bathroom sink and just stood there, letting the water run through his fingers. Since it wasn't salt water, and it wasn't technically within his dad's realm, it didn't have the ability to give him a power surge like the ocean could, but he still found it refreshing. He ran his wet hands through his face and hair, letting the cold air dry up the droplets of the clear liquid that now covered his face and took a deep breath.
Something was going on between him and Annabeth, he knew it. He'd known it since they had gotten out of that gods forsaken pit, and he'd tried ignoring it. They both had, but he didn't know for how much longer they could. It was an elephant in the room, a giant, pink elephant with white spots that would only get bigger the longer they avoided it. With that thought in mind, Percy wasn't even sure if he wanted to go back out there.
He didn't want to argue with her, but it seemed that fighting was the only thing he had left in him. Problems, he realized, would be a lot easier to solve if both parties knew what was wrong in the first place. He bit down on his lip, it was dry, and raw from all of the self-inflicted bite marks he had produced, but nervous habits like these had become his gateway move during stressful situations. He closed the faucet and shoving his hands back into his pockets, he opened the door back into the apartment.
Annabeth was talking into her cellphone, she was still wearing the oversized Harvard shirt, but she'd traded her shorts for some jeans and her hair was pulled into a messy pony tail. She was pacing around the room impatiently, and twirling a loose strand of hair in her fingers.
"Didn't he tell you, I thought... oh, never mind, he's with me, I thought you knew." She spoke into the phone.
Percy gave her a questioning look and Annabeth turned to him and mouthed something away from the phone that looked like YOUR MOM. Percy nodded his head slowly.
Shit, he thought. How could he be so dense, he'd forgotten to call his mom and tell her he was at Annabeth's place! He'd been so preoccupied with seeing Annabeth and irritated with his parents for leaving him in that hospital for the week that he'd completely forgotten about saying anything to them. He rubbed his temple with his hand and cursed under his breath at his own stupidity. His mom was going to murder him.
"Yeah, he's here, we're on our way there. Don't worry Sally, he's fine. We'll be there in a few minutes" Annabeth said as she took her keys and then hung up the phone.
She put her phone in her pocket and looked at Percy with contempt look in her face.
"Really, Percy?" She asked.
"Before you say anything, I didn't not tell her on purpose, I forgot okay? It's kinda been a busy week, and my brain isn't exactly good at prioritizing..." He said in dismay and Annabeth just shook her head.
"C'mon, we should probably go. Your mom sounded really worried, and pissed on the phone." She said reaching for her keys and opening the door.
"Yeah, okay." Percy responded following her through the door and out of her apartment.
As he walked past her he heard something that almost made him smile.
"Freaking Seaweed Brain..." Annabeth mumbled to herself, as she closed the door and Percy wondered if that meant they were okay, for now.