Percy and Annabeth had joked about sneaking into Annabeth’s dorm before. But that was all they were—jokes.
“I didn’t think you’d actually do it!” Annabeth whispered furiously. She was being too loud for someone who was supposed to be fast asleep, but she didn’t care.
“Climbing up the side of the building is easier than climbing the wall at camp,” Percy responded, a lazy smile on his face. His head was resting on his arms, which were folded on her windowsill.
“I—Percy—” She took a deep breath. “Get in here, Seaweed Brain.”
He grinned. “Thought you’d never ask.” Percy pulled himself through the window as quietly as he could. He slowly shut it behind him and watched Annabeth pace the room.
She stopped moving for a moment. “How did you even know my roommate was out?” she demanded.
“You texted me. You said your roommate was at her girlfriend’s dorm instead of yours for once, and I said that it would be a perfect opportunity for me to sneak in.”
“And I thought it was a joke, like every other time you’ve said that!”
“Gods, if we get caught, I’m going to get in so much trouble.”
“I’m already on thin ice because of how much I’ve missed classes trying to fight monsters, and now—”
Percy wrapped his arms around Annabeth’s waist, stopping her from looking anywhere except for at him. “Annabeth. Hey. You’re going to be fine.”
She looked at him for a moment, staring into his green eyes. Finally she relaxed and leaned her head into his shoulder. “I’m sorry,” she muttered, the words muffled.
“Don’t apologize. You’re right, I should’ve told you I was actually coming this time.”
“No, not for that, just—” Annabeth pulled away enough to look at him and put her arms on the back of his neck. “I’ve been so stressed with school lately. I want this to work out, you know? I don’t want to get kicked out or have to leave.” She brushed some hair away from his face, trying to smile. “But it’s not like I can’t have some fun every once in a while, right?”
“Right,” Percy agreed. “And this doesn’t have to be a regular thing. If you want, I won’t do it again.”
“Well, it is nice to have you here.”
“And anyways, it’s not like you’re the only boy who’s ever snuck in.”
He snorted. “Yeah, I know. I saw a guy throwing pebbles at one of the windows when I was trying to come here.”
“I wish I was kidding. He literally could not have been less subtle.”
Annabeth laughed, putting her head against Percy’s chest. He kissed the top of her head.
Percy grinned at her from the window. “Miss me?”
“Welcome back,” she said, giving him a quick kiss.
She took his hand and pulled him in. It was only the second time he’d snuck in, but all the worry Annabeth felt was almost gone. For once, she had no homework to do, so she and Percy were going to have a movie night. Annabeth’s roommate, Valerie, was spending the night at her girlfriend’s dorm, so it would just be the two of them.
But before long, they were both yawning. Annabeth let her head fall onto Percy’s shoulder and closed her eyes. “Do you hear something?” Percy murmured, but she was already half asleep.
Then a new voice spoke. “Holy shit, Annabeth.”
Annabeth sprung up, almost elbowing Percy in the face. She blinked and watched Valerie, who stood in the doorway in shock.
“What the—what are you—Valerie?” Annabeth stammered.
“I just forgot something,” Valerie said, staring at Percy. “Damn. I never thought you of all people would sneak a guy in.”
“To be fair, it’s not completely her fault,” said Percy, whose face was burning red.
Valerie laughed. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”
“This is your bad influence rubbing off on me,” Annabeth muttered, sitting back down.
“No way. I don’t do any sneaking around—perks of dating a girl. No one suspects a thing.”
Percy coughed. Valerie grabbed her wallet from her desk. “Anyways, I’ll be heading out. If you ever wanna sneak anyone else in, Annabeth, let me know and the room is yours.”
Annabeth’s face was almost as red as Percy’s. “Um, thanks.”
Valerie winked and shut the door. Annabeth leaned back onto Percy’s side. “Well,” he said. “That could’ve gone worse. She seems cool, though.”
Annabeth was mortified.
(“At least tell me his name,” Valerie said the next morning. Annabeth threw a pillow at her face.)
Annabeth was hard at work in a music blasting, papers everywhere, nine PM study session. She almost didn't hear the faint scraping sound of her window opening and Percy’s weak “Hey, Wise Girl,” before he fell through the window and onto the floor.
“What the—oh my gods.” Annabeth saw a dark red stain on his gray t-shirt, just above his elbow. There was another one on his opposite shoulder and a third cut on his knee, below the ends of his shorts. “Percy—what—“
“Ran into a monster,” he muttered, barely reacting as Annabeth sat him up and leaned him against the wall. “Big. Scary. Strong. Dunno its name...that’s more of your thing.”
Annabeth dug through her backpack trying to find some ambrosia to give to him. He slowly swallowed it as she took a first-aid kit out of her closet. “Always prepared,” he said with a sideways smile. “Athena always has a plan.”
“Hold on, hold on,” she whispered. She carefully pulled his shirt off and flinched at what she saw. A deep cut ran around his left arm. The cut on his shoulder was shallow, but bleeding hard. Annabeth froze, unable to do anything except stare.
“I’ll prob’ly be...fine,” he said. “If the gods wanted me dead...I’d be gone already.”
Annabeth let out a string of curse words. Think, Annabeth, think! She grabbed her water bottle off her desk and poured some of it on the cut on Percy’s shoulder. It started healing immediately, though it resulted in a pink puddle forming on the ground.
There was a knock on the door. “Annabeth, everything okay? I heard some noises.”
Annabeth’s eyes widened. Her hands froze. “That feels better,” Percy muttered, rolling his shoulder.
“Annabeth? Is someone there?”
“Um, it’s nothing Ms. Carsons!” Annabeth called, failing at keeping the panic out of her voice. “I just—dropped my books!”
“Are you sure?”
Percy let out a small yell as he accidentally moved his arm.
“Annabeth, is someone with you?”
“I—um—it’s fine! Everything’s fine!” A look at the barely conscious boy in front of her said otherwise.
“Annabeth, I’m coming in.”
If her heart rate could go any higher, it would’ve. “No! No, Ms. Carsons—don’t—!”
Annabeth was helpless as the door was unlocked. She always prided herself on having a plan, but her brain was stuck. The only thing she could think about was that Percy was hurt.
Ms. Carsons took in the scene in front of her with wide eyes. There was blood on the floor, on Percy, on Annabeth’s hands. “I—Annabeth—“ Ms. Carsons stammered.
Annabeth snapped her fingers. “You see me laying in bed, perfectly fine.” Please, please work.
Ms. Carsons’ eyes glazed over. “I see you sitting on your bed. You are fine.”
“Now you’re going to go back to your office and tell anyone who asks that I just dropped something.”
Ms. Carsons turned around and walked out stiffly, closing the door. Annabeth sighed. She’d only manipulated the Mist a few times. Her heart was beating out of her chest.
“Wow,” said Percy. “You...the Mist…”
Annabeth shushed him, pouring water on the rest of his wounds. She could tell it helped by the way he sighed in relief. After a few more minutes of Annabeth’s best attempt at first-aid, she managed to get Percy in her bed and asleep. Though there was still blood around her, she could finally breathe again.
“You know, you still haven’t told me his name.”
“I’m studying, Valerie.”
“Come on. you know everything about Leah. Why can you tell me about your boyfriend?”
Annabeth made a face. “I know more about Leah than I’d ever like to know.”
Valerie laughed. “It’s just a name, Annabeth.”
“Names are powerful.”
Annabeth could practically feel Valerie’s eyeroll. “Speak of the devil,” her roommate said, followed by the sound of her window opening. “What’s up, lover boy?”
Annabeth’s head whipped around to look at Valerie and—“Percy?”
He had an embarrassed smile on his face. “Hey.”
“So his name is Percy!” Valerie said triumphantly.
Annabeth groaned. “Give us a minute, Val?”
Valerie gave her a thumbs up. There was nowhere else to go in the small dorm, so Valerie put her earbuds in her ears, turned up the volume of her music, and laid down on her bed.
Percy rubbed the back of his neck. He was sitting on the windowsill. “Sorry. You told me she’s usually gone on Thursday nights, so…”
“It’s fine.” She gave him a reassuring smile. “She’s been dying to properly meet you, anyways.”
“So if I get to meet your friends, does that mean you get to meet mine?”
“Don’t go getting any ideas, Seaweed Brain.”
He laughed. Annabeth’s heart still fluttered at the sound.
“Are you done?” Valerie asked loudly. “Can I turn my music off?”
“Should I go…?” Percy wondered.
“Not yet.” Annabeth gestured to Valerie, who took out her earbuds. “You mind covering for me if a teacher comes?”
Valerie’s face lit up. “Damn, Annabeth! I’m so proud of how far you’ve come.”
Percy looked between the two of them. “What?”
“I’m sneaking out with you tonight,” Annabeth said. “It’s been a while since we’ve gone on a real date, right?”
Percy grinned, lowering himself out of the window. Annabeth waved to Valerie.
Valerie had a stern look on her face. “Make sure you two stay responsible, and bring her home by ten, lover boy—“
Annabeth rolled her eyes, smiling. “Bye, Valerie!”
One would think Percy and Annabeth learned their lesson about movie nights last time, but apparently not, considering the fact that Annabeth’s 6:30 AM alarm went off and she was wrapped in Percy’s arms.
Annabeth jumped. “Shit!” she yelled, a little too loudly. She only had a couple of minutes before a teacher would come in for morning room checks.
Percy lazily opened his eyes. “Annabeth?”
Annabeth tried to shake the sleep out of him. “Percy, you gotta—no, there’s no time—“ She spotted her Yankees cap on her nightstand. “Put this on!”
She shoved the hat at him and pushed him off the bed. Percy finally seemed to understand what was going on. Annabeth saw his look of panic just before he put on the hat and disappeared, right as the door opened.
“Good morning, Annabeth—you seem frazzled,” said Mrs. Abraham with a frown.
“Just tired,” Annabeth responded, putting on the sweet voice she used especially for teachers.
Mrs. Abraham nodded and smiled. “Good thing this is the last week until spring break, huh? I’ll see you at breakfast.”
The door closed. Annabeth let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding.
Percy materialized next to the bed, dropping the Yankees cap on the floor. “Well, fuck.”
“Thank the gods you’re on spring break already, or we’d be in even more trouble with you being late to school.”
“Thank the gods you have that hat, or you would be in deep shit right now.”
Annabeth let out a small but nervous laugh. She didn’t like to think about what would happen if she got caught with Percy in her room.
She couldn’t believe they’d fallen asleep. Valerie had left for spring break a couple of days early, leaving Percy and Annabeth alone. She couldn’t believe she’d been dumb enough to let this happen.
“You have that look on your face.”
Annabeth met Percy’s eyes. “What look?”
“The I’m-blaming-myself-for-this-mess-even-though-it’s-not-completely-my-fault look.”
Annabeth buried her face in her hands. Percy sat down, rubbing her shoulder. “I’ve gotten too used to you sneaking in,” she sighed.
“Do you want me to stop?”
“Would it be bad if I said no?”
Percy laughed, making Annabeth smile. “After your spring break, we’ll figure something out to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” He paused. “It was nice, though.”
Annabeth agreed. She and Percy had fallen asleep together before, mostly back at camp, and she missed it. She liked the feeling of his arms around her. “It was.”
“I should get going.”
“Yeah.” Neither of them moved until Annabeth’s phone lit up with a notification, making them realize it was getting closer and closer to seven o’clock. Percy stood and grabbed his hoodie off the floor, heading to the window. “Hey, Perce?” Annabeth said.
“Hm?” He turned around and she caught him in a kiss. She felt him smile.
“IM me later?” he asked, looking at her after he opened the window.
“Of course,” she told him with a smile. “See you in a couple of days.”
“See you—and, uh, sorry if I made you late or anything.” He was gone before she could respond.
Annabeth sat down on the bed, smiling. She was definitely going to be late, but it had been worth it. Gods, she loved that boy.