Ch 13: Percy Finally Makes a Move
A week had already passed and soon Percy and Annabeth were requested to go back to camp by Chiron since they were each given a particular lesson to teach to the newcomers. Although they'd rather stay for a few more weeks in New York, both knew that camp needed all the help they could get, especially theirs.
They stood in front of the bus station; Percy carrying their luggage while Annabeth held Luke. Sally gave them a hug while trying to keep her emotions in check.
"Keep safe you three, and Percy, look after Annabeth and Luke okay? Don't forget to IM me after you've reached camp safely and in one piece." Percy received the hug and kisses on the cheek by his mother and blushed slightly.
"Mom, I know what to do. I'll keep them safe and we promise that we'd IM you when we get there."
The bus finally arrived and Sally gave one last squeeze and kiss to Annabeth and Luke while Paul pat Percy's back.
"Goodbye Sally, Paul. Thanks so much for everything."
Sally and Paul smiled. "You're welcome, Annabeth; anything for our future daughter-in-law."
Annabeth's beet red face and Percy's stammering made their farewells interesting.
The ride was surprisingly quiet. Percy was somehow glad that Annabeth's too tired to talk about what his mom and stepdad said. Since she spent all night packing her stuff, Annabeth's eyelids started drooping slowly and her grip on Luke slackened. Percy noticed this and he snaked an arm to settle her head on his shoulder.
"Sleep." He murmured. Annabeth hummed in appreciation as she felt Percy move the sleeping Luke in between their laps. As soon as everything was settled, the daughter of Athena immediately drifted to a sound sleep.
Percy smiled gently as he too, leaned on his head against Annabeth's. He refused to fall asleep since he's too busy looking out for monsters and keeping the two safe.
"Annabeth. Wise Girl, wake up." Percy gently nudged the sleeping blonde. The said girl groaned softly as she buried her head deeper in between Percy's shoulder and neck, making the latter's face becoming slightly red. Despite this, Percy tried waking her up again.
"Wise Girl, we're here. C'mon, Argus is waiting."
Annabeth finally shifted and rubbed her eyes to wipe the sleep off. Percy smiled as he helped her stand using his free arm that wasn't holding a wide awake Luke. Annabeth suppressed a yawn as she grabbed Luke while Percy took care of their luggage. When they dropped off the bus, they saw Argus standing a few meters from them holding a sign on his hand.
"Well, Chiron sure plans ahead." Percy grinned. Annabeth rolled her eyes as they started making their way towards Argus and the van.
When the infamous power couple with child arrived at camp, they were greeted by the sight of excited campers crowding together near the border. Before Percy and Annabeth could greet them, they were already beaten by one daughter of Aphrodite.
"Ooh! There goes my favorite nephew!" Silena squealed so loudly it made everyone flinch.
"Technically he isn't your real nephew, but –" Annabeth tried to explain but she was interrupted again, as usual.
"Oh who cares of details, Annabeth dear? As long as he's cute and you've made me an aunt are details enough for me. Now, can I hold him?"
"No! Annabeth promised me that I'd get to hold Luke when they arrive. You've already held him last time, so give us a chance." Katie protested and earned a lot of support from the others. Annabeth and Percy shared a look and sighed in exasperation.
"Silena, Katie had a point. I did swear on the river Styx that I'd give her and the others a chance to play with Luke. I'm sorry, but I need to keep my promise." Annabeth said as she handed a curious-looking Luke to a happy Katie. Silena looked dejected but nodded in understanding.
As Katie made her way back in camp, she was followed by all of the campers, leaving the power couple by themselves.
"Okay. So they got Luke and now they're completely ignoring us. Wow. Thanks guys, we feel the love!" Percy shouted the last part for them to hear.
Annabeth rolled her eyes and took Percy's hand. "Stop being dramatic, Seaweed Brain and let's just go see Chiron."
She hid a smile after seeing the flush cheeks and large grin on Percy's face.
After hearing Chiron's assignments for us, I decided to go to the lake to IM mom while Annabeth started her archery lessons. Chiron explained that while the Apollo kids were excellent at archery, they seem to lack patience when teaching. So, naturally, he turned to Annabeth who was quite good at explaining and showing things to newcomers while maintaining a kind demeanor.
I, on the other hand, am in charge of sword and fighting lessons. Having the hero of Olympus and the most powerful demigod of our generation (hey, I'm not bragging; the last line's really been said and quoted by Chiron) as a teacher would surely interest the newcomers in attending this lesson.
Okay, going back to the main topic, I sat by the lake as I fished a drachma to IM my mom. After the whole 'are you all safe and okay?' notion, my conversation with mom finally came to an end. I played with the water for a bit, feeling completely bored and restless since I've got nothing to do and my lessons would not start until tomorrow.
"Aren't you going to do something for Princess Curls, loser?" The voice that usually picked a fight with me interrupted my inner monologue. I warily turned towards Clarisse who was standing behind me carrying another of her usual lethal-looking spear.
"Clarisse." I greeted with a deadpanned voice. She sneered and purposefully slammed her spear on the sand, sending dusts all over the place for me to inhale. I coughed and glared at her.
"What was that for?"
She smirked and shrugged. "That's for being a loser, punk. Now answer my question."
I rolled my eyes and stared at the calm water; deciding to just ignore her to avoid nasty fights that usually ended up with destroying almost everything within the vicinity. Thinking that she'd snort and leave me on my own, I was quite surprised when she actually sat down a good distance from me with her spear placed on the sand.
"Are you a sissy or what?" Leave it to Clarisse to start a conversation with an insult.
I sighed. "What do you want, Clarisse?"
"Just answer my first question, sissy."
"Of course I'd ask her out. What am I, a coward?"
"Yes." She answered without any hesitation. I was about to retort with something equally insulting but then she started talking again.
"You are a coward, a loser and a total sissy for not asking her out a long time ago. I don't know how she kept up with you and I honestly don't care but you better do that soon since I'm sick of hearing Silena's constant complains about you two. I'm also sick of hearing your names from all of the campers and why don't you just shut everyone up by becoming a man for once."
Wow. That was…very inspirational (not). I opened my mouth and thought of awesome things to say but my ADHD prevented me from doing so. All I could say was: "Uh."
Clarisse snorted again and stood up while dusting sand off her armor. "Hurry and just ask the Princess out. The Ares cabin will hunt you down if we hear one more word about you two from the Aphrodite cabin and the rest. I hope you'll fail completely, punk."
I sat there with my mouth slightly open while Clarisse cackled loudly as made her way back. Her words somehow motivated me (psh, like I'd ever tell her that) and my somewhat impatient inner wild-self told me to do it later this afternoon. Gods, I'll need all the help I could get.
I've had a busy morning. I taught archery together with the impatient Apollo kids, showed the new campers the way around camp, and helped the children of Hephaestus with regards to the construction of the new cabins. I hadn't seen Percy and Luke at all since we've arrived but I'm guessing they're all fine with whatever they're doing.
"Annabeth? Nyssa needs the blueprints for the Hecate cabin. She wants to see it immediately so her team could start and Beckendorf needed you again at the site since he's having trouble with the measurements." My youngest half-sister, ten year old Lily, informed me gently as she stood by the door of our cabin with Malcolm behind her. I flash them a smile as I grabbed the necessary blueprints and made my way to join them.
"Sorry, I know you've just came to help the Hephaestus kids minutes ago but we're having a bit of trouble again at the construction site." Malcolm apologized as he hastily led the way to our destination. I shook my head, telling him that it doesn't bother me at all and followed after his hurried strides.
A few hours later, the Hephaestus and Athena cabin decided to take a break and grab something to eat. Lunch was over hours ago but we were sure that we could at least ask the Demeter cabin to make something for us.
I noticed a few campers pointing at me while whispering and giggling. I raised a brow at them after they spotted me and they hurriedly left. Huh. That was weird.
We reached the kitchen and sure enough, the Demeter kids offered to make us late lunch. I was ready to make a request when Katie came to me and wiggled her finger.
"Nuh uh, Annabeth. Yours is a special case."
"What?" I asked, completely clueless and just plain starving.
"Come with me, we're going to the lake."
I started to protest but Katie just grabbed my wrist and led me towards the lake. The campers and naiads scattered about were all wearing excited grins and hurriedly whispered to each other. I felt uncomfortable at their stares and thankfully Katie sent them a 'go away!' look.
We finally arrived at the lake and I saw Percy standing with Luke in his arms with a picnic set-up beside them. Percy noticed first and he sent a nervous smile towards us.
"Thanks, Katie." Percy said as he handed Luke towards her. I flash the daughter of Demeter a curious look but she only winked at me and then left.
"What is this all about, Seaweed Brain?" I asked. Percy rubbed his hand behind his neck, a sure sign of nervousness and offered me a small smile.
"Lunch, Wise Girl. I uh, noticed that you weren't there at the pavilion during lunch and I'd figured to give you a picnic because I know you'll be hungry."
I smiled at his cuteness and kissed his cheek in appreciation. "Thank you, Seaweed Brain. This is rather sweet of you."
Percy gestured for us to sit and after giving me food from the basket, we sat down quietly as he watched me eat. After filling up my stomach, Percy took a shaky breath and held my hands. I looked up to him in confusion; my own existence drowning in his beautiful sea green eyes.
"Annabeth, I need to tell you something." He started. I raised my brows and urged him to go on. He took another deep shaky breath and continued.
"I…I like you."
Okay. That caught me off guard. Of all the things I thought he'd say, this is the most unexpected; but I won't certainly deny that I like what he said and his straightforwardness.
"I'm sorry if I hadn't said this a long time ago since I was too scared that you'd reject me. But, I later realized that even if you'll reject me, it won't matter anymore as long as I've said what I feel towards you. Luke's arrival made me realize just how much important you are in my life and I honestly like the idea of us being parents. So uhh…Wise Girl, will you be my girlfriend?"
HE SAID IT! PERCY FINALLY SAID IT!
My inner careless and girlish-self squealed and made a stupid victory dance. After calming both my irrational and rational selves down, I wrapped my arms around Percy and grinned.
"Took you long enough, Seaweed Brain. But keep in mind that I'll never make things easier for you."
Relief flooded in his face as he hugged me back. Then, he suddenly held my face and gave me the sweetest kiss that sent shivers down to my spine. I grinned against the kiss and my hands managed to tangle themselves through his hair.
When we broke apart for air, we heard the loud cheers and whoops coming from various eavesdropping campers and residents echoing all throughout camp. We shared a smile and Percy hugged me again. This is totally the best day of my life.
I knew I somehow jinxed that for our happy moment was interrupted by a cry of help from Katie. She hurriedly went to us and after letting her catch her breath, she faced us while wearing a worried expression.
"What's wrong?" Percy asked as his grip on my waist tightened. Katie bit her lip and looked us straight in the eye.
"It's Luke. Something's happening to him."