Waiting

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"Percy, come inside its freezing." Jason said, pushing his glasses up and rubbing his hand along his wrinkled jaw.

The grey haired man in front of him just shook his head, "It's Christmas." He shivered, "It's tonight. After all these years."

Jason closed his eyes, "Percy, I don't know what you're talking about but..."

"I'll finally see her." He clutched the tulip in his creased hands tightly, squinting into the darkness.

"Who, Percy?" Jason sighed.

"Annabeth." He replied, eyes still fixed on the snowy driveway, hopeful.

Jason's heart clenched at the sight of his friend and glanced behind himself where the rest of the Seven was celebrating the holiday together, like always.

"Percy... she's gone." Jason whispered, placing a hand on the man's suit-clad shoulder. Percy shook him off.

"I had a dream. Three months and two days after..." He swallowed, "After her death. And I saw her and she was alive and young and she was with me and... And dreams tell the future..."

"Not all the time, Percy." Jason said softly, "You're going to freeze out here."

"No, it's tonight. I know it is." He patted his thinning hair and straightened the blue bow tie that was at the base of his throat. Jason recognized it as the same bow Percy had been supposed to wear at his and Annabeth's wedding before she was killed. Of course, Percy had put on some weight and couldn't wear the entire suit that he was going to wear while he was 19 and healthy and just completely in love.

Jason looked down, "Come inside, Percy. Hazel made cookies." And he left the old man to his business.

"I waited." The man said to empty air, "I'm waiting."

Nothing happened for a very long time until Percy leaned his head on the back of his chair and took deep, crackling breaths.

"C'mon, Wise Girl." He breathed, coughing slightly.

"You just love making me wait." He laughed, coughing again afterwards. He took a moment to regain his breath.

"Haven't I waited long enough?" He asked, "Fifty years is longer than I'd ever imagined."

Still nothing.

"I see," He shook his head, smiling, "You want me to wait longer."

He took a napkin out of his pocket and coughed into it, cringing at the huge splotches of blood that appeared on the paper.

"But," He wheezed, "I don't think I have much longer."

"I'm here, Seaweed Brain." He felt a hand take his and he forced his eyes open. She was there, just like in his dream, wearing a camp tee shirt and jeans.

"Finally." He laughed, rubbing his thumb across the back of her hand, "You whittled me down to the last second, I suppose."

"You think you've been the only one waiting?" She asked quietly.

Percy smiled at her, "The waiting is over now." He held up the tulip to her, "Let's make it official."

When his soul left his body, he felt young again. Nineteen with his life ahead of him and the girl he loved wearing a ring that he gave her on her finger.

When Hazel and Frank found his old body outside in the cold, Hazel's eyes welled with tears as she looked towards the end of the driveway.

"He found her." She whispered to Frank, raising her hand in goodbye to the two teenagers who had their hands entwined as they watched them.

Frank looked over, seeing nothing, "What is it, Hazel? Who?"

"After all that time. They're together again." She smiled.

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