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Talk of Dancing Shoes

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"My mom and Paul are so excited to meet you," Percy tells Annabeth as he parallel parks in front of the restaurant. Coincidentally, the restaurant she and Percy were supposed to dine at for their first date.

Annabeth smooths his tie, a nice blue color, not unsurprisingly. "And Estelle, of course, is ecstatic," Percy adds. Estelle is Percy's little sister, four-years-old and had even bought a gift for the young child, a Disney souvenir she hoped the young girl would enjoy. She originally planned to get something related to California, like a baseball cap with the Hollywood Sign across the top. However, after hearing about how much Estelle loves Disney, she got Percy's little sister something to wear to Disneyland when they all went later that week.


She fidgets with said gift, wrapped in shiny wrapping paper with curly ribbons to make it looks exciting for Estelle. If it was a gift for an adult, she would have put it in bag, but tearing wrapping paper is more fun for little kids than removing tissue paper.


"I don't know why I'm nervous, but I am," Annabeth admits. She looks down at her dress, car lights glinting off the sequin beads across her dress's neckline. "I can't believe I went shopping with Susan. 'Hot pink is such a pretty color on you, brings out your eyes!'"


"It is," Percy points out. "Mom has so many questions about dancing. She wants to know much Dancing with the Stars is made up."


Annabeth freezes, her hand stopping from unbuckling her seatbelt. "Excuse me?"




"You said your mom had questions about dancing," Annabeth repeats, undoing her seatbelt.




"Does she know about my ballroom dancing?"


"Uh, yeah. I told her. She even looked up videos of you dancing at competitions." He tilts his head, not seeing a problem.


"Oh no..."


Percy's forehead wrinkles in confusion. "What's the problem?"


"What if your parents think it's not a good career? What if they think I have a crush on Jason? What will they think about me sharing an apartment with Jason?"


"Nah. They already know you're roommates with Jason and didn't bat an eye." Percy tucks a stray hair behind her ear. "Listen, I don't mean to brag, but I pretty much have the coolest mom in the world. She's going to love you. Paul and Estelle, too."


Annabeth's shoulders relax. "Good. Because I like being with you too much to let you go now."


Percy grins. "I like you too much to let you go now, too."


Annabeth leans in to met him and kisses her boyfriend, a long and fast-paced kiss. A kiss so nice she doesn't want to stop, despite the chance they might miss their reservation.


Percy must've thought of that as well, because after they pull apart he says, "Maybe we should head in now."


Annabeth glances at the car clock. "We probably should. It's two minutes until the reservation."


"Or we totally could kiss one more time since we probably won't for the next couple of hours..."


Annabeth shakes her head and laughs. "Seaweed Brain."


She places a hand on his cheek and gives him a peck on the lips.


A knock sounds off Annabeth's window. She turns to see a familiar-looking woman that looked just like pictures of her boyfriend's mother.


 "Hello?" she says in a teasing tone.

Annabeth is very glad she didn't give Percy a longer kiss. Making out in front of her boyfriend's parents, especially the first they meet? Recipe for awkwardness.


"Mom!" Percy leaps out of the car fast. "Hey!" He races to Annabeth's door and helps her out.


"I appreciate the gesture, but I can open a door on my own," she says in a teasing voice.


"My dear mother, whose presence would not determine whether I would open the door or not at this moment, raised me to be a gentleman," Percy reminds Annabeth. She hears Mrs. Jackson chuckle.


He turns to his family. "Everyone, I would like you to meet my girlfriend, Annabeth."


"He says as if he hasn't told us a single thing about her, including her name," Mr. Blofis jokes. He offers his hand. "It's lovely to meet you finally."


"Nice to meet you too, Mr. Blofis," she says, shaking his hand.


"You can call me Paul." 


Mrs. Jackson opens her arms for a hug, which Annabeth returns.


"It's wonderful to meet you! I have so many questions for you."


"I told her about your Dancing with the Stars inquiries," Percy adds.


"Not all the questions are about dancing!" Sally laughs. To Annabeth, she says, "You can call me Sally, dear."


Annabeth beams. She only meet Sally and Paul less that five minutes ago and they were already on first name basis. She thought that it is a good start to the evening, and her relationship with Percy's family. 


Percy hugs his mother, ecstatic. "I'm so glad you're here!" Seeing Percy's happiness at his family visiting made her smile even wider.


"You saw me earlier today!" Sally exclaims.


"That was like three hours ago," Percy says. "And today is the first time I've seen you guys outside of a screen in what, five months?"


Sally kisses his cheek. "I've missed you so much. We should go inside and catch up over dinner."


"Percy!" Estelle pulls on his pant-leg with the hand that didn't hold her father's hand.


“Essie!" Percy picks her up as they enter the restaurant. "How has my favorite sister been enjoying California?"


"It's warmer here. And less noisy," Estelle says in a serious tone that sounds not sound very serious when coming from the words of a four-year-old.


Percy ruffles her hair. "That, Essie, is very true." To the hostess, he says, "We should have a reservation for Jackson? Five, including a child?"


"Right this way," the hostess says, picking up thick menus.


Percy sets Estelle down as they walk to their table, which is actually a circular booth. Mitchie sits between the two couples.


She notices the shiny gift as Annabeth sets it by her purse. "What's that?"


"Estelle," Sally says in a warning tone.


"It's alright. It's for you!"


Estelle grinned. "Really?"


"Yep! I heard you wear a Disney fan, is that true?"


"I watched Finding Nemo AND Finding Dory on the way here!"


"I lost track of times of how often she has seen it," Paul says with Sally nodding.


"Can I open the gift?" Estelle bounces on the seat.


"If your parents are okay with it."


"Only if you stop bonuncing on the seat," Paul tells his daughter.


Estelle immediately sits still, making the rest of the group laugh.


Annabeth hands her the gift, and Estelle opens it quickly.


"A Mickey Mouse hat!"


"It lights up, too!"


She helps Estelle turn it on before the young girl puts it on her head. "Look Mommy! Daddy!"


"That's so cute!" Sally says. "Remember what we say?"


"Oh yeah!" Estelle turns to Annabeth. "Thank you, ma'am?"


"You're welcome," Annabeth laughs. Leaning towards Percy, she whispers, "Did she just call me ma'am?"




"I have never felt so old." Percy snorts.


Paul convinces Estelle to turn off the blinking hat so it won't run out of battery before their trip to DisneyLand in a few days.


The dinner went smoothly, with Annabeth babbling on about her dancing for a good portion of the time as Sally and Paul had many questions about it. She also got to hear what she dubbed adorable, but what Percy titled embarrassing, stories about her boyfriend growing up.


"Seriously, he loved rubber ducks!" Sally nods. "And bubbles!"


"Is that so?" Annabeth amusedly looks at Percy, whose face is the color of her dress. "Maybe I should change what to get you for our anniversary next week."


Percy groans. "No, gods no."


"I love bubbles!" Estelle tears off another piece of garlic bread and stuffed it in her mouth.


"Okay, Mom! Enough stories about me, please." Percy gives his mom a look.


"Give the kid a break, his face is red," Paul says to his wife.


"Okay, okay. But you were so cute as a kid!"


"Still are," Annabeth mutters in Percy's ear, causing him to smirk. "Why, thank you."