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A Percabeth Holiday AU


Annabeth didn't plan on needing Percy Jackson's help, and Percy didn't plan on saying yes, but nothing ever goes how you plan it. So, now the nerdy good girl of the school is bringing the punk bad boy to her family's Christmas dinner. It was something that Goode High had never seen before, that's for sure. It makes more sense if you read it. Kinda preppy!Annabeth and badboy!Percy. Mortal AU

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Chapter 1

Hello, readers! I decided to write something last minute before xmas and it wasn’t finished being edited until now, so I’m sorry about that. This might have a Part 2, Idk. It depends on the response to this. This is mostly just to give to my followers to hold them over until my Avengers/PJO fanfic is ready (early march?). It’s kinda a Goodgirl!Annabeth and Punk/Badboy!Percy fanfic. Mortal au. And a special thanks to my amazing beta reader, JJ (nightskywithrainbows on Ao3). You are a really great person if you can sit through my unedited stuff, trust me. *shudders* Go check out their stuff on Ao3!

I hope you like this! Comment, vote, and follow me!

– your author

DISCLAIMER: Sadly, only rick has the pleasure of owning pjo.

Annabeth wasn’t sure who she offended, but it had to be somebody. There was no way her luck was just THIS BAD.

First, she found out that she’s required to go to her family’s Christmas dinner. You know, the one with the whole extended family as well. Then, her stupid pride got in the way again. Her evil stepmother was interrogating her on her nonexistent love life, and Annabeth, being stupid, said that she was bringing a date to dinner, even though she hadn’t been planning on it. Now, Annabeth had one week to find someone willing to go to Hell with her.

Unfortunately, Annabeth wasn’t exactly what one might call “popular.” She had a group of friends at school, but they were all like her. They were smart and tended to act like know-it-alls. For that reason, she was having trouble finding someone good enough to go with. There was no way Annabeth was going to show up with anyone ordinary. If she was going to go through with this, it had to be spectacular. She had to show it to her judgemental extended family that she didn’t care what they thought of her (even if she definitely did).

Her only option so far was the one boy at her table, Octavian and that was NOT an option she was willing to take. Nobody knew why he even sat with them, but they were too afraid to even ask him. He always just sat there staring at people. He was a real creep.

So that was a no.

Annabeth was stuck. She was desperate, and she would probably ask the next person who walked into their shitty school quad.

Just her luck that it was the school’s resident bad boy, Percy Jackson.

Annabeth decided to corner him after school, where there would hopefully less students around. Percy tended to hang around the more forgotten parts of the campus, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

Not that Annabeth had been watching him, or anything. She just liked to observe the people around her. In her opinion, you can learn a lot about a person when they don’t know you’re looking.

As soon as the last bell rang, she was up and out of her seat, speed-walking out the classroom door and into the hallways. She didn’t run, though. Even if what she was doing was the most stupid idea she’d ever had, it was the best option in the short amount of time before the dinner.

Her only worry was that he would say no. Of course, Annabeth was the best at manipulation, but she’d rather not use that. It made her feel sick inside.

So, her plan was to just ask first and MAYBE use some manipulation if necessary to get him to agree.

Percy ended up being right where she suspected: the roof. She had seen him and his friends heading up that way multiple times, so she thought she should start there. As always, her deduction was correct.

He was up there with his group of friends, so Annabeth figured she would need a way to separate him from them. It was already embarrassing enough to be asking this of him, let alone three others as well.

They hadn’t heard her open the door, so Annabeth took a second to compose herself before approaching them. She evened out her expression and stood up tall, exuding an air of confidence. She was about to approach the “most dangerous” kids in school, so she had to be strong.

With a deep, calming breath, Annabeth strode over to the group. They noticed her when she was about half-way there. They were all either sitting on the ledge, or they were leaning up against the small wall. The group had just laughed at something one of them said, but their laughter died out at the sight of Annabeth.

Percy’s friends were Nico di Angelo, Thalia Grace, and Grover Underwood. Grover wasn’t like the other three in his fashion sense or personality, but he had been friends with them for longer than anyone knew, so nobody really questioned it. Annabeth suspected something, but she didn’t want to delve too deep into the inner-workings of the clique.

They all stood up in a sort of defensive stance. None of them knew what to do with someone like Annabeth Chase walking up to them. They were ALL in undocumented territory here.

She walked right up to Percy, standing with her arms crossover in front of her. He raised his eyebrows and looked down at her, amused and confused at the same time. What would ANNABETH CHASE want with him. He didn’t remember doing anything to piss her off.

“Yes?” he asked with his signature troublemaker smirk.

“Come with me,” Annabeth ordered, turning around and starting to walk away.

When he didn’t follow, she looked back at him and spoke again, this time with a more icy tone, “If you want to talk here, that’s fine with me, but I’m not so sure you want your friends to hear what I have to say. Unless you want them to know how you’re failing–”

“Stop! I’m coming,” he interrupted, briskly following her through the roof-access door.

Sure, he trusted his friends, but he was still capable of embarrassment. It wasn’t his fault that his Math teacher didn’t care that he had dyslexia. So what if he was failing, anyway? He was barely passing in his other classes, and that was mostly because the teachers thought he would fight them or something if they failed him.

Percy didn’t know how Annabeth knew he was failing, and he wasn’t planning on keeping it that way. He knew her reputation. She had probably manipulated it out of the front office lady or something. She was known to be cold and ruthless. He wasn’t afraid of her, but others were. That’s part of the reason she was never asked out by any sane guys.

He didn’t think she knew that, though. She had always acted indifferent when others whispered crude names about her, so he believed she had no idea what others thought about her. How she managed to miss that, he wasn’t sure.

She just kept walking ahead of him, expecting him to follow. She never said a word the entire time. It was really getting on Percy’s nerves.

“Hey, Blondie! Where are we going?” he asked, grabbing her arm to stop them as they were passing through one of the hallways.

Annabeth ripped her arm free of his grasp, a murderous look on her face. She didn’t answer, but instead looked around their surroundings before her gaze sharpened on a door leading into a janitor’s closet. Percy got even more confused when she grabbed his arm and pulled him into the closet with her.

This girl was so confusing.

“What are we doing here?” Percy asked, noting how close they were forced to be in the small space.

Annabeth had noticed, too, but she was determined to not let it bother her. She had already sacrificed all pride even walking up to the group, let alone shoving Percy Jackson into a closet with her. There was no turning back now.

“I have a proposition for you,” she said.

Percy raised his eyebrows in amusement, “And what do you think you have that I would want?”

This was Annabeth’s secret bargaining chip. She would never go into a confrontation without one.

“I’ll tutor you,” she stated simply.

She knew that Percy was failing Math. Annabeth was one of the students who offered to tutor others in lower classes. She was in Honors Calculus, and Percy was in Pre-Calculus. It would be easy to tutor him in a class she had taken last year.

Percy was still skeptical, though. Nobody did things like this without some serious reciprocation. Besides, he had long since given up on doing better in school. It was better to just make other think you weren’t trying than to let them know you were stupid.

Still, he was interested. “And what do you want in return...?”

“A date.” If Percy had been drinking something, he would have done a spit-take.

“I’m sorry, WHAT?!” he exclaimed.

Annabeth sighed. This is going to be harder than I thought.

“I want you to be my date to a family dinner,” she over-pronounced every word to make sure he heard it all.

Percy was gaping like a fish out of water. He couldn’t believe this! Why would someone like ANNABETH CHASE want HIM of all people to be her date, to a family dinner no less!

“You’re joking, right? This was some sort of prank?” he said.

Annabeth wished that were true.

“No, this is not a prank. I really need you to be my date. I’m desperate,” she sighed. “Why do you think I’m asking you?”

It was still pretty hard to believe, but Percy was trying to warm up to the idea. He really didn’t want to see that same disappointed look on his mother’s face the next time he came home with another failing grade.

“Alright, I’ll consider it. I need more information first,” he said.

Honestly, Percy was even surprising himself. How he was managing to not make a fool out of himself right now was a mystery and a miracle.

“We can’t do that here,” Annabeth pointed out, glancing around the tight space they were in.

“You’re right,” Then an idea came to Percy, “What if we go to your house. I’m gonna have to get to know you better, anyway.”

Plus, Percy had a feeling that it would get under her skin to have him around her things, and annoying people was apparently what he did best. Even if this little deal did go well, he still had a reputation to uphold. He was the bad boy, the kid who you don’t want dating your daughter, or whatever. For that reason, he wanted to make sure he knew what he was getting into first.

“Fine,” Annabeth ground out through clenched teeth.

She was already regretting this decision.

“Oh, no. I’m not getting on that thing,” Annabeth planted her feet onto the ground.

After Percy had texted his friends saying he was heading home, him and Annabeth had gone out to the parking lot, and since Annabeth had missed her ride, their only options were walking or taking Percy’s motorcycle. She would rather walk.

“Come on, blondie! Let’s just get out of here!” Percy was getting agitated.

He did not want to be seen letting Annabeth onto his bike. He was known for not letting anyone touch it, let alone ride it.

“Do you know what the fatality rate for motorcyclists is?” she exclaimed.

Percy sighed, “No, and I really don’t care. You can wear the helmet. We’ll be fine. It’s only, like, three miles, right?”

She had told Percy her address when he asked, and he had known the neighborhood. However, she was still refusing to get on that death trap.

Percy let out an almost animalistic growl, “Chase, get on the damn bike before someone sees you doing it and thinks we’re going to hook up, or something.”

Her eyes widened in fear. From him or the idea of hooking up with him, Percy didn’t know, but it got the job done. She grabbed the helmet from his hands and slid onto the bike seat behind him.

He kicked the bike into gear and the engine roared to life, “Hold on!”

Tentatively, Annabeth wrapped her arms around his torso. Once she was secured, he hit the gas and they drove off campus.

Annabeth didn’t want to admit it, but Percy was really warm and comforting. It was intoxicating just to be this close to him. His scent reminded her of a warm day at the beach, and she had to hold herself back from hugging him close when he sped up. She did not like Percy Jackson, and that was the end of it. This was just a business deal.

Percy was going through a similar problem. He thought that having Annabeth Chase’s arms wrapped around him would make him flinch away, but he found himself leaning back into her embrace. It was so confusing. They had barely talked. The last time he had held something resembling a conversation with her was in Freshman Orientation four years ago.

He was lost in his thoughts, but he was still able to navigate his way to her house. He had lived in New York his whole life, and it was almost muscle memory getting everywhere by now.

“We’re here,” he told her as he turned the bike off in front of her apartment building.

She had subconsciously tucked her face into his back as the wind whipped against it on the trip. As soon as she realized, she jumped up from the bike and started taking the helmet off.

“Well...let’s get inside,” she said, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet.

Percy cleared his throat, “Right.”

He climbed off, grabbed his bag, and followed Annabeth into her building and up the stairs. She hadn’t spoken again, so he just followed her lead.

Stopping on the third floor platform, she silently walked into the hallway. She led them to apartment 3E before taking out a set of house-keys from her pocket and unlocking the door.

Before they could get farther than the entryway, she rounded back around at him, “Stay quiet. I don’t want anyone knowing you’re here.”

“Got it,” he nodded, resisting the urge to make a sarcastic remark. For some reason, he felt that it wasn’t the right time to.

They tiptoed their way to the third door down before Annabeth once again shoved him into a room with her. Except this one was larger, cleaner, and brighter. Annabeth’s room was nothing like he would expect. It was clean in the sense that there were no clothes sitting around in random places, but it was cluttered like nobody’s business. Her desk was overflowing with blueprints and pencils and pens, and her large bookcase was bulging with more books than Percy had even heard of. She had an old fashioned, white dresser on the right covered in lotions and perfumes and other girl products. And then her bed: a white frame with a fluffy grey comforter and two marshmallow-like pillows. Even looking at it made him want to pass out. Upon further inspection, Percy saw that there were already three books sitting on the mattress, and two more on the nightstand. He knew she was smart, but not that she was a bookworm, though he supposed that came with being smart. You enjoyed doing things that others struggled with.

That just made him bitter towards her again. People like her used to patronize him all the time for his dyslexia and ADHD, and it pushed him to become who he was today. What right did they have to act all high-and-mighty just because they were a part of the few who did well in school?

Annabeth’s voice broke through his thoughts, “Sorry for the mess. I didn’t expect company today.”

“It’s whatever,” he grumbled, crawling back into his rock-hard, badboy shell.

“Oh. Alright,” Annabeth muttered, confused by his sudden change in demeanor, “Why don’t we sit down and get started?”

She plopped herself down on her fluffy rug and learned back against her bed, staring up at him in wait. With another grumble, Percy sat down next to her, pulling out an old pen from his pocket. Annabeth didn’t want to question it, but it was so tempting, and she’s never been the best at curving her curiosity.

“Why do you have that?” she pointed at the ballpoint pen.

“It was a gift from my dad. I guess I just keep it around now,” he shrugged, trying to downplay the actual enormity of the meaning it held.

It was the last thing his father had given him before he died, and he cherished it. Only his close friends knew why he kept it with him, and that was because most of them were his cousins.

“Oh. That’s cool, I guess,” Annabeth tried to get back on topic, “What do you want to know?”

“Um...I guess who’s going to be there, stuff about them, and stuff about you. I feel like I should know more about you if I’m meeting your family. That usually means you’re important,” Percy answered, surprising himself and Annabeth with the unusually strategic answer.

“Well, it’s going to be this immediate family, two of my dad’s sibling’s families, and my dad’s parents,” Annabeth said, and Percy noted how she never said her family.

“I have my dad, step-mom, and two half-brothers, respectively Fredrick Chase, Helen Chase, and Bobby and Matthew Chase. Dad is a US history-buff, so just ask him about his model-planes and he’ll talk your ear off for the rest of the night. Helen is kinda a prude, but if you compliment the food or decor, she’ll probably love you. Bobby and Matt are pretty simple. They’re thirteen-year-old twin boys, and they’re not that hard to impress. Just talk about your motorcycle or video games or something, and they’ll never stop asking questions,” she took a big breath of air, “That’s the immediate family.”

“Now for my aunt and uncle’s families. My Aunt Darcy is divorced with one son in college, Malcolm. He’s great, but he might be a little overprotective, so just be prepared for that. And my Uncle Casey has a wife and two daughters. His wife is named Carol, and she’s a lot like Helen, but much worse, so avoid her at all costs. Their kids are alright, if not a little spoiled. Their names are Alexandra and Cassandra, and their 14 and 16 respectively. Alexandra goes by Lexi, and Cassandra goes by Cass,” Annabeth said.

She could tell that everything she was saying was overwhelming Percy, but they were almost done, so she kept explaining the inner workings of her messed-up family.

“My grandparents hate me, so that will automatically transfer to you. Their names are Mary and John Chase, though they’ll probably tell you what they want to be called,” she informed, “And that’s it! The dinner is in 7 days, so the third day of winter break.”

It was the Wednesday before break as they were talking, so they had a while to prepare. Some might think Annabeth was overinforming Percy, but she wasn’t exaggerating on anything. She was the mistake her father made in college, and nobody wanted her, not even her own mother. Annabeth hadn’t even seen her mother in two years. The most she got were impersonal birthday cards and two hundred dollars into her college savings account. She was not winning in the motherly-love department, that’s for sure.

“What about you? Or us? We need a reason for why you’re bringing ME to a family dinner,” Percy said.

“I’ve planned for that. You’re a friend from school named Percy. We’ll figure more stuff out at the dinner as we come up with stuff. And what do you want to know about me?” she said.

“Basic stuff, I guess. Like your favorite color, animal, what you want to be, middle name, favorite song...” he started listing off.

“Grey, owl, architect, I don’t have a middle name, and I guess Immortals or The Run and Go,” Annabeth answered.

That shocked Percy. Annabeth didn’t seem like the kind of girl to listen to Fall Out Boy.

“You listen to Fall Out Boy?” Percy questioned.

“Sure, they’re great,” Annabeth shrugged, getting up and grabbing her backpack before sitting back down again, “But I feel like we should get a grasp on your studying situation now.”

Percy really didn’t feel like studying, but he knew he had to, “Fine.”

“Great! Let’s get started. Now what unit are you guys on right now?” she exclaimed, feigning excitement.

Honestly Annabeth didn’t know what to expect going in besides a struggle. She had a pretty good idea of Percy’s grades at the moment, and it would be a journey getting them to rise. However, she never backs down from a challenge, so she grabbed an old textbook, some scratch paper, and a couple pencils before sitting next to the mysterious bad boy of Goode High.

Little did she know, Annabeth was in for a lot more than she bargained for...

“Annabeth!” Percy called out, running up to her in the hallways.

Annabeth’s friends all turned to look at her in various degrees of shock. She just gave them a sheepish look in return. So what if she had conveniently forgot to tell them about her deal with Percy? It’s not like it was that important, anyway.

It was the last day before break, Friday, and Percy was stressing about the test he had next period. It was in Math, and he knew that him and Annabeth had worked really hard getting him prepared the days before, but he was still convinced he was going to fail.

“I’m so screwed,” he said as he reached her, not even paying a mind to her friends watching this interaction in confusion, “I’m so gonna fail!”

“Percy, you are going to do fine. You are prepared for this,” Annabeth assured.

“No, I’m not! Everything you taught me is gone! It ran away in fear!” he protested.

Annabeth tried not to laugh, but a small smile graced her lips, “Just take a breath and relax. You’re going to do great.”

Personally, Percy thought that was a load of crap, but at that precise moment, he realized that almost everyone around them was staring at the baddest boy in school talking to the nerdiest girl, so he shut up. He turned and gave everyone his best wolf glare before walking away.

Annabeth watched him go with a fond sigh.

Then, she mentally slapped herself. Get a hold of yourself! You do NOT like Percy Jackson, she thought. There was no way.

It was hard not to, though. Annabeth didn’t like lying to herself, so she admitted that she thought Percy was pretty hot. But they would never work. For starters, there was their respective social statuses. And then there’s also the tiny part about how they even started becoming “friends” or whatever else you call their relationship.

So, she took a deep breath before walking to her first class, ignoring her friend’s threats about interrogations later.

At lunch, before Annabeth could even make it to the cafeteria, a hand latched onto her arm and pulled her up to the roof. Of course, she realized it was Percy pretty fast, but she was still confused on what was going on.

When they got up there, he pulled up to the same spot from Wednesday and took a piece of paper out of his bag. He held it up proudly in front of her face without a word, displaying the large red B- on the paper.

Her face broke out into a grin and before she could realize what she was doing, Annabeth jumped up into his arms.

“Oh my god! You did it! Congrats!” she exclaimed.

He chuckled, and put her down before saying, “Thanks! The teacher graded it for me right after. I don’t think I’ve gotten this good of a grade ever!”

“Well, now you have,” Annabeth couldn’t help it, she gave him one more, sweeter, hug.

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Percy said, placing a calloused hand on her cheek.

Annabeth blushed and shook her head, “No, you did this all by yourself. I just helped push you along a little.”

And, GOD, she smiled that cute smile and Percy really wanted to kiss her. Then he realized what he had just thought and quickly pulled his hand down. No, Percy was impulsive, but he wasn’t that stupid.

Inside, Annabeth was a little disappointed, but she didn’t show it on the outside. She just smiled at him once more before taking a step away.

Percy cleared his throat, “Well, I’ve gotta get going...somewhere. I’ll see you Wednesday.”

“Oh! Right. Yeah. See you Wednesday,” Annabeth responded before remembering, “Oh! I almost forgot, dress nicely.”

Percy grimaced, but he figured he owed her for helping him get this grade, so he nodded while opening the roof access door.

Both of them had a lot to think about. There was no way they were developing feelings for each other. It was impossible. Percy was Percy, and Annabeth was Annabeth. There was no Percy and Annabeth or Annabeth and Percy. They were two separate people in two completely different parts of the high school caste system.

Annabeth was freaking out. It was a stupid idea to begin with, but she still did it. She let her emotions control her, and it led her to that morning; the morning of the dinner.

She was pacing back and forth, running a path along her carpet in her bedroom. She had two outfits laid out on her bed, but she wasn’t too worried about those yet. What she was worried about was Percy. Annabeth had started to somewhat trust him, but as soon as she had woken up that morning, every possible way he could let her down popped into her head.

Sure, she kinda wanted him to surprise her father by his appearance, but that was only as a small act of rebellion. Her father had mentioned that he hadn’t seen any boys around ever, and that he was concerned about her social life. Therefore, she decided to give him the opposite of what boy you bring home to your parents. She was giving him Percy Jackson.

Oh, she was such an idiot!! There was no way Percy was going to follow through with his side of the deal, he had already gotten what he wanted. She helped him pass his math test, and now she wasn’t needed anymore. He could cut her loose, just like her mother.

Annabeth felt her chest constrict in anticipation of an anxiety attack. She knew what was going on, and how to handle it. These weren’t uncommon with her. So, she sat herself down on her bed and started counting her breathing. Inhale two three four, hold two three four, exhale two three four, repeat. Soon enough, she was calming down, and then her mind realized how irrational she had been acting. There was no reason to doubt Percy until he gave her one. She had to put her trust in him, something she had done to hardly anyone.

But she had already committed, and Annabeth Chase does not back down from challenges. She could do this.

Percy was also freaking out.

Okay, so not as badly as Annabeth, but it was bad in its own right. He had admitted days ago that he felt something more than friendship towards Annabeth, but he still refused to believe it was a crush. Percy Jackson didn’t get crushes. Or at least, that’s what everyone in school believed, and in high school, your reputation is hard to get rid of (mostly because nobody wants to). So what if he let everyone believe he was a womanizer? It’s not like it was true, and he and his friends knew that. He respected women more than probably every boy in Goode. Being raised by Sally Jackson tends to do that to you.

So there he was, freaking out over not having anything to wear. Don’t get him wrong, Percy had plenty of clothes, but not one of them was appropriate for a “formal dinner.” And if he had any chance of furthering his relationship with Annabeth, he had to be perfect. This night had to be perfect, for her.

Oh god, he sounded like a lovesick puppy!

He took one last look at his closet before falling back onto his bed in defeat. That was when an idea struck him. Thalia, his cousin, had a brother (who could also be classified as a cousin), and he was dating Piper, a total fashionista. They had only really interacted a couple of times, but he knew that she was a nice person. If anyone could pull him out of the ditch he had dug himself, it would be her. The only problem with his plan was how he was going to convince her. He hadn’t even told his mom about the deal with Annabeth, let alone his little cousin’s girlfriend!

In his typical Percy way, he decided to just wing it.

He grabbed his phone off his bedside table and pulled up Jason’s contact, which was labeled “Sparky.” Percy quickly sent a text asking for Piper’s number, and it took a while to convince Jason that he wasn’t trying to make a move on her, but he eventually got it.

With speed his dyslexic brain didn’t know it was capable of, he texted Piper, letting her know who he was and telling her it was urgent for her to get to his apartment. She responded with a question mark, and he let out a groan of frustration.

Didn’t she understand that this was a life or death situation?!

Finally, he just decided to call Piper. His tone of voice would hopefully sway her.

“What do you want, Jackson?” she answered on the first ring.

“I need your help,” he answered.

“Too bad. I don’t feel like committing any felonies today, sorry,” she said.

“No, nothing like that! I need you to come to my apartment,” he responded.

She scoffed, “I’m definitely not doing that. What’s this about?”

With a sigh, Percy relented in a whisper, “I need your fashion advice.”

“Sorry, what was that? You need to speak up,” she said.

“I said, I need your fashion advice. Actually, I need your help dressing for a formal dinner,” he answered.

She actually burst out laughing.

“This isn’t funny, Piper,” he grumbled.

“No no, you’re right. This is hilarious! Percy Jackson, asking for fashion advice for a formal dinner!” she broke out into another bout of laughter.

“McLean! Are you gonna help me or not?” Percy snapped.

The girl in question took a deep, calming breath before answering, “Sure. I’ll be there in 20.”

Without waiting for his response, she hung up.

Percy had the strange feeling that he had just made a huge mistake as he settled onto his living room couch, waiting to open the door for Piper.

“Annabeth! Come down here! I need your help!” Helen called from downstairs.

Annabeth had managed to distract herself for another couple of hours with homework and reading, but now her step mother wanted her to help with preparations, which would only remind her that the dinner was coming up. She didn’t want to be reminded, but she also wasn’t in the mood for a fight with Helen. So, she pulled herself up from her desk chair and went downstairs.

What she found was not the downstairs of her home. It was completely different. Decorations were set up everywhere, and the living room had been stripped clean of any of Bobby and Matthew’s toys. The dining room was where she found Helen, who was hurriedly setting the table.

Annabeth was a little confused. Last she checked, they still had an hour before anyone would be showing up, so why was Helen acting like they had five minutes?

“Helen?” she asked, “You do know we have another hour, right?”

Her step mother’s head snapped up, “Yes, I do know that. That’s why I’m rushing. I still have to finish making the food, and put more presents under the tree, and finish setting the table, and get your brothers to clean up upstairs. We’re running out of time!”

Annabeth really didn’t want to comfort Helen, but she seemed like she really needed it.

“I’ll help you. We’ll get it all done, okay? It’s gonna be okay,” she said, “Why don’t you go finish dinner while I finish setting the table? Then we can get ready while the boys clean up upstairs. We’ll figure out the rest after.”

“O-okay. Just make sure it all matches! Lord knows I have enough issues with your grandparents already,” Helen agreed with a deep breath.

“Bye,” Annabeth nudged when Helen didn’t move.

“Right! Bye,” she walked into the kitchen.

With a sigh, Annabeth continued her stepmother’s work. She knew that this dinner had to be perfect for more than just her now.

“Thank god you’re here!” Percy pulled Piper through the front door and to his bedroom, ignoring her sounds of shock and protest.

“What are you doing?!” she exclaimed.

“I told you. I need your help,” Percy answered.

He pointed towards his closet, which was disappointing him more with every passing minute. Why couldn’t he just be a good closet and produce some nice clothes to wear? Was that so much to ask?

“Okay, I know that, but can I have some background info? Like who you’re doing this for?” Piper said.

“No,” he answered on instinct.

No way was he telling her that it was for a sorta-date with Annabeth Chase. He knew her reputation of being a total matchmaker, and he was not in the mood for her canoodling. It was just part of a deal. He had to keep that mindset if he had any chance of getting through the night.

Okay, so he wasn’t being completely honest with himself! So what?

“Percy, I need to know what kind of event I’m dressing you for,” Piper said in a gentle, but urgent tone, “I promise I won’t tell anyone if you don’t want me to.”

She seemed to be serious, so Percy relented, “I’m going to a formal dinner with Annabeth Chase’s family.”

Whatever she had been thinking, his answer clearly wasn’t it. Her face split into one of shock and then giddiness.

“I knew it! Jason said I was crazy, but I knew it! You like her! Oh, you guys are such a cute couple!” she exclaimed, practically jumping up and down in excitement.

Percy rushed to correct her, “No no no! We’re not dating! We made a deal. I would go to this dinner with her if she became my tutor.”

Piper’s face fell.

“Oh. Well, I guess I can still help you,” she muttered, “But I still think you guys would make the cutest couple!”

Percy let out a sigh of relief. He had started to get really worried there.

Some might think it was odd for him to put this much effort into a date, but this was just the real him; the one he hid from the world. He refused to let anyone take away his power now; to hurt him. No more Gabes.

But that was all in the past.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” he yelled.

“No problem,” Piper responded before walking up to his closet and starting to file through his clothes.

Every so often, she would make a click of disapprovement, or she would sigh in exasperation, but she never looked up at him. For the longest time, Percy had to hold in his comments. He figured that it was best to be silent while she worked.

This was her specialty, after all.

Piper pulled out a couple of random clothes and tossed them onto his bed.

“This is the best I could do. You seriously need some new clothes, by the way,” she said.

By the way she was gazing at his clothes, it almost seemed like Piper was physically hurting for his lack of style. He wasn’t sure whether to laugh or be offended.

She had pulled out a black button-up that he never remembered buying, and a pair of new, dark jeans. He would’ve never worn any of the items, so he concluded that his mother must have bought them for him when she still thought his choice of clothing was just a phase he was going through.

“Put them on!” Piper ordered when she saw him just staring at the outfit.

“Alright, alright. Can you turn around please?” he said, going to lift his shirt off.

She scoffed but complied.

Once he had finished, he told her she could look, and then they just stood in silence for a second. It worried Percy that Piper hadn’t said a single word, and was just staring at him.

“Well...?” he prodded.

“Damn! You clean up good, Jackson,” she exclaimed, finally.

He let out a laugh, but a slight blush was dusting his cheeks. So what if he wasn’t actually a punky badboy? That was for him to know, and for nobody at school to find out.

The only reason he let Piper see this side of him is because it was obvious that Jason was going to marry her eventually. It was kinda sickening how cute they could be sometimes.

“Alright, how long until you need to be there?” Piper asked.

He checked his phone and let out a noise of panic once he saw the time: 4:30 PM. He had to be there at five, which meant he had to leave, like, now.

“Crap, I’m late!” he yelled, rushing around his room gathering his phone, wallet, shoes, and keys.

All he recognized was Piper’s muffled laughter as he hurriedly left and told her to lock up on her way out. He didn’t even care that he was walking in socks on the New York City sidewalks, just that he got into the car as soon as possible.

The car he was driving was an old, beat-up, blue Prius that his step-dad, Paul, owned. Percy had asked to borrow it for the night so that he would look more meet the parents-like.

It seemed he was starting to come to the conclusion that he really wanted something real with Annabeth. Maybe even accepting it, screw his reputation!

He was late. That’s all Annabeth’s mind could focus on as she tugged on her nude, strappy heels for the night. She had decided to go with a lacy, burgundy, off-the-shoulder dress that ends at just above the knees. She was, of course, wearing her lotus flower necklace (a gift from her mother years ago), and her ears had some simple diamond studs. She had given herself a slight grey smokey-eye and a nude lip. Annabeth wanted to go with her natural curls, so all she did was make them slightly more organized.

To some families, this might seem like a bit much, but to the Chase’s it was normal. They prided themselves on regalty and opulence. Annabeth had never liked that, but it was easier to comply with her father’s wishes rather than fight them.

But back to Percy’s tardiness.

He wasn’t actually late, but he wasn’t there when she told him to be. She told him to be there at five, rather than 5:30, because she wanted to get the immediate family introductions over with first. Plus, Annabeth liked to plan for things. Planning meant no possibilities of mistakes, and Percy was messing-up her plans.

Just as she was ready to call him and chew him out for being late, there was a ring from the doorbell, and Annabeth was dashing downstairs. She had hoped to beat Bobby and Matthew, but apparently, luck wasn’t on her side that night because when she got there, she saw the twins standing in the doorway looking up at Percy in confusion.

Her half-brothers hadn’t yet learned how to not be blunt, and it was showing in that moment.

“Who are you?”

“You’re not supposed to be here.”

“I’m Percy, Annabeth’s date,” Percy replied in his perfectly smooth voice.

“Bobby! Matthew! Go away!” she ordered before they could ask more questions.

Percy’s head shot up at her voice, and his mouth literally fell open. His eyes tracked up and down her body slowly, growing wider by every inch while Annabeth just stood that with a light blush coating her cheeks.

“You’re drooling,” she joked.

“You look beautiful,” he said.

She gave him a big smile and grabbed his hand, “Come on, let’s meet the ’rents.”

“Yay...” he cheered half-heartedly.

She pulled him over to the kitchen, where her father and step-mother were finishing up dinner preparations. She cleared her throat to get their attention and they both looked up, shocked at what they found.

Clearly, they hadn’t believed Annabeth when she told them she was bringing a date.

“Dad, Helen, this is Percy Jackson. Percy, this is my dad and step-mom,” she introduced, awkwardly waving her hand between the two groups.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Chase,” Percy shook both their hands.

Annabeth, internally, was shocked, but she just beamed proudly on the outside. Who knew Percy Jackson had manners?

“Nice to meet you too, Percy,” Helen said.

Mr. Chase just nodded, skeptic eyes analyzing every bit of Percy. His eyes locked onto something peeking up from under his shirt collar.

“What’s that?” he asked, pointing to the blemish on the boy’s skin.

That was the last thing Percy wanted to answer. He had tried to hide his tattoos, but the one on the back of his neck was hard to hide. It was trident.

“Oh,” he glanced at Annabeth before answering, “It’s a tattoo.”

He might as well just get straight to the point, right?

Fredrick Chase raised his eyebrows at his daughter, who chose to not be phased. She had known Percy had tattoos going into this, and it just added to the appeal of rebellion against her parents.

“Any special meaning?” he asked.

“Um...it’s a trident. It’s for my father, who died in the Navy,” Percy answered, shocking even Annabeth.

She hadn’t known his father had died, or that he had been in the Navy. She had just figured he was one of those teens who got tattoos with no meaning. Guess even she could be wrong sometimes, and a lot of that was happening around Percy.

She guessed it just proved the “don’t judge a book by its cover” thing.

“Interesting,” Mr. Chase mused, but didn’t comment any further.

He instead chose to continue cooking, so Annabeth grabbed Percy again and pulled him into the living room, where her brothers were playing.

“Boys, this is Percy,” she said, getting their attention.

Their heads snapped up in almost-perfect sync.

“We know,” Matthew answered, “We met him at the door.”

“Right,” she said, unsure of what else to say after that.

“Are you guys dating?” Bobby asked.

“No, we’re not,” Annabeth answered.

“Cuz Percy said that he was your date,” Bobby continued.

“Well that’s not the same as dating,” Annabeth clarified.

“You guys seem like you’re dating,” Matthew said.

Annabeth and Percy looked at each other, noticing that they had gravitated to sit right next to each other on the couch, with Percy’s arm resting behind her. It felt so natural, that they hadn’t noticed their bodies doing it.

Neither of them knew what else to say to that statement, but they didn’t have to because there was another ring of the doorbell soon after. Annabeth hopped up to go answer it, and she found that it was actually the entire rest of the family, punctual as always. The funny thing was, she didn’t even bat an eyelash at it; just welcomed them in and took her grandparents’ coats.

As they were walking further into the house, Malcolm walked up to her and whispered, “And so it begins.”

She let out a snort, but tried to hide it with a cough.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t so far off. Family gatherings were one of two things in her household: loud and full of anger, or silent and awkward. There was no in- between.

As they got into the living room, she noticed that everyone was staring at Percy, who hadn’t even noticed it yet. He had gotten down onto the floor and was playing cars with Bobby and Matt. That sight brought a smile to her face for a moment, before she realized that she had to explain why there was a “stranger” in the house, playing with her little brothers.

She walked up to Percy and pulled him up, “Guys, this is Percy. Percy, this is my Aunt Darcy, Malcolm, Uncle Casey, Aunt Carol, and Lexi and Cass.”

He waved awkwardly, making Annabeth do an internal face-palm. He had done so well up until that point!

Nobody really introduced themselves, and that was fine by Annabeth. The less confrontation, the better.

The group dissipated and spread throughout the house, with only Malcom staying in the living room. He had a major scowl going on, and he was staring down Percy, who seemed pretty intimidated by it for some reason.

Honestly, he was intimidated by Malcom. He wanted to impress Annabeth’s family because he kinda wanted to date the girl! It was crucial that at least some of them enjoy his presence, or at least tolerate it.

“Hey, I’m Percy,” he held out a hand for Malcom to shake.

He ignored it and just continued to analyze every inch of the teenager who was “dating” his little cousin.

“I’m Malcom, Annabeth’s cousin. What are your intentions with her?” he got straight to the point.

“Um,” Percy swallowed, “I would like to continue hanging out with her. She’s really nice.”

He wanted to punch himself. ‘She’s really nice’?! Stupid, Percy! Stupid, Percy!

Malcom still still didn’t seem happy with Percy being there, but he decided to not continue any interrogations, so that was a plus.

Annabeth let out a sigh of relief, and pulled Percy down onto the couch with her. Not even caring about the implications of it, she rested her head against his shoulder and intertwined her fingers with his. It was all very coupley, but she didn’t care. That was what she wanted this to lead to, right? And it seemed like Percy was the kind of guy who needed clear signals, and this was about as clear as she could get without straight-up kissing him.

Percy didn’t end up commenting on it, but he did let a small, discrete smile slip onto his face. He had gotten the signals, and now he had a plan.

Dinner ended up going relatively smoothly, for a Chase dinner at least. The adults held a sorta-steady conversation, while the kids occasionally talked. The most-common topic amongst the teens was Percy. Cassandra and Alexandra were extremely happy to learn more about the boy, as they so-obviously were attracted to him. Annabeth wasn’t sure whether to be jealous or amused that Percy played along with them.

When the night was drawing to a close, and the extended family members had finished saying their goodbyes, Annabeth led Percy to his car. She wanted some privacy for this conversation.

But it was a little distracting that Percy Jackson, badboy, owned a blue Prius. Sure, it was his step-dad’s but still!

“This is too great! Leo’s gonna love this!” she exclaimed, laughing.

“Haha, so funny. Are you done?” Percy deadpanned.

“Sure, sure,” she gasped, and then moved to a more serious tone, “But I do want to talk to you about something else.”

“What is it?” Percy asked, leaning back against the car door.

He didn’t want to worry, but his mind jumped to conclusions he didn’t even know it could. What if she didn’t want to talk to him ever again? What if she needed him to commit a murder? What if she was pregnant?! Okay, that last one’s a little far-fetched, but his mind is a little odd, okay? Leave it be.

“I was wondering...” she started.

“Yes?” he nudged her with his foot..

“Would you maybe want to go on a real date?” she sped out.

Percy grinned, “Are you sure you wanna go out with rebellious teen Percy Jackson? Won’t I be a bad influence?”

Annabeth smirked, “That’s what I’m counting on.”

And oh god, that was not the right thing to say to him unless she wanted to be kissed. Absolutely not.

Percy said in a very serious voice, “I’m going to kiss you now.”

Annabeth smiled, “Okay.”

Then his lips were on her, and the metaphorical fireworks were going off, and confetti was being thrown, and everything around them was blocked out, and it was perfect. Their lips fit perfectly with each other, one slightly-chapped and the other plump and moist.

Percy could kiss Annabeth all day, and it felt like they did when they pulled away, breathing heavily and trying to catch their breaths. They had basically just started making out eventually, but people (unfortunately) have to breathe at some point.

“Wow,” is all Percy could come up with.

Annabeth giggled, and it was the best thing Percy had ever heard, “Very intelligent, Seaweed Brain.”

“Seaweed Brain, huh?”

“It just slipped out, but I think it kinda fits,” she answered.

“Fine, then I get to call you...Wise Girl,” he declared, settling his hands lightly on her hips.

“You know that’s a compliment, right?” Annabeth said.

“Whatever, it fits,” he said.

And that was such a Percy statement that Annabeth had to give him one more peck on the lips. Then, she pulled away and started to walk backwards towards her house.

“I’ll text you!” Percy called.

“I’ll be waiting for it!” she called back.

And, okay, so maybe the dinner wasn’t how they planned, but it was better.

Part 2? And yes, I do know that my cover art is messed up. I forgot how I fixed it before, so just deal with it. This can be found on Ao3, FF, Wattpad, Tumblr, and Webnovel too.

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Kasey: Honestly at very first I wasn't really into this book. But I kept on going and it turned out to be an amazing book! I'm really glad I kept reading. Great job to the author.

Maylene: Enjoying the story, pleass post the next chapters quickly

Lisa: L'intrigue et l'histoire de la jeune femme est bien. Le coup des jumeaux rigolo.

Doreen: Loved this storey wish it was much much longer lol. Would recommend this storey , characters were great and funny .

jennarw: It was a lovely short novel

michellecsnelling: I love this book. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. Jessie Tate is a fabulous writer and this book so far has been written so well it keeps the reader wanting more.

Kaari: I love the fact that these don't have to be long stories to really get involved with the story and the characters.

Kaari: OMG the drama! Twists turn and plots seasoned with well written steamy scenes between multiple couples. I'm seriously obsessed

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