Chapter 29 | Welcome Home

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She sighed, But he was coming back right?

She started walking upward slowly. Her hands were visibly shaking, her stomach turned cold, and her insides felt like they got tossed around. She held a deep breath and walked faster. Before reaching the top, she saw the Athena Parthenos in all it's glory. A burst of power emitted from it, as if welcoming her. She saw Thalia's Pine Tree with the Golden Fleece on that same branch. She walked towards her mother's statue and then she felt a rumble on the ground only to see a dragon on it's feet, staring at her, sniffing.

"Peleus."Annabeth breathed. "Oh, gods. Look how you've grown."she whispered.

The dragon snorted in response before getting down and sleeping again. The fleece glowed brighter and she could swear that the statue winked at her.

Annabeth laughed, rather hysterically. She felt relieved. She felt so free, finally.

With a smile she walked forward and passed the barrier. She had her eyes closed for a few minutes to regain her breathing and to prepare herself. She slowly opened her eyes when she felt she was ready. Immediately she saw the strawberry fields to the left, the luscious red fruits being picked by campers there. A few looked at her direction and stared but she didn't mind. The climbing wall was found to the right, she smiled bitterly. The Big House, the cabins, the cave of the oracle, the canoe lake. So many.  Her eyes watered and she let out a sob. She smiled genuinely through her tears as she scanned the place she lived on for years. Bittersweet memories grazed her mind making a lone tear slip from her grey eyes.

She was at Camp Half-Blood.

She was home.

***

After a few minutes scanning the area she started walking her way down. She tied her hair up a ponytail as she walked too.

She looked to the fields and saw teenagers, probably ten to sixteen years old in range. They were picking out straberries and placed them on weaved baskets, no wonder done by her half-siblings. One of the kids was willing the vines to put the strawberries by themselves to the basket until someone called him unfair. Boxes with a logo named Delphi Strawberry Business. These were obviously boxes to be delivered on stores down-town. And these kids should be the new Demeter kids and possibly some of Dionysus, although his time gere on camp shouldn't be up by now.

She looked ahead to go to the first place she wantdd to see again when a voice calling out to her startled her, "Annabeth?!"

She froze on her tracks and looked back only to see Pollux, the remaining son of Dionysus when his twin Castor died. He was holding one of the weaved baskets half filled with strawberries. His eyes were wide in shock. The basket shook because his hands shook. He was probably at the same age as him, or even younger. Annabeth smiled at the thought that he made it into adulthood even after all they've been through.

"Pollux."Annabeth greeted.

He stared at her for a few more seconds before clearing his throat, "Y-you're back!"

"Yeah, hence why I'm standing in front of you."

"But...but Reyna said..."

Annabeth shrugged, "Well, I changed my mind."she said casually. As if she hadn't been shaking in nervousness and fright just a little while ago.

"This is great!" Pollux exclaimed. "Come on! I'll show you to Chiron and the others. The older campers are having a meeting with him now."he said moving towards her. when he reached her side, a girl maybe at the age of five called up to him.

"Pollux, pollux!"she called.

He turned, "Drianna, what's up?"

She smiled showing her missing front tooth. "Miranda and Katie are looking for you. Said something about raining grapes?"

Pollux stared at her a bit in confusion before a face of realization dawned on his face. "Fine, I'll be there." He shot me an apologetic look, "Sorry Annabeth. I can't go with you now."

"Oh, it's fine. I'm already going there anyway."Annabeth said. "Hard being the only Dionysus kid?"

Pollux nodded. "You have no idea. I gotta go, duty calls."

Annabeth smiled, "Duty calls."

When he left she walked a little more to the Volleyball Court. Just a little ways outside the Big House. A lot has changed at camp. There were new cabins. She saw the amphitheater still not used because it's morning. She closes her eyes again to block out painful memories of him. She stood there with the wretched boy, Damien. She stood there and hurt Percy. She bit her lip to stop from screaming. The helpless feeling was overwhelming her again. She held in a breath and forced herself to calm down. Luckily everyone else was to busy to notice her.

Annabeth wiped a few tears the made it's way to her cheek. This was what she didn't want to feel when she went back here. These feeling and memories she couldn't control. But when she looked over to the young half-bloods, she can't stand not helping them on the upcoming war. As much as she wanted to escape going through a new war, she thought back on the times she was desperate for help. She couldn't let these kids go through that too.

Suddenly, she heard laughter and yelling from the Big House making her look over to their direction. When she looked over, she immediately saw Chiron. Not on his wheelchair and standing on his hooves. Beside him was Leo and Piper. They moved away from the doorway and Clarisse went out, along with Jason and the Stolls. Many other familiar faces emerged from the Big House after that.

They were older, more mature looking. They had watery eyes but they were smiling slightly. Although they also looked worried. Piper was wearing a ring. Calypso was wearing one too. Annabeth thought about the times she lost on. The times she could be happy for her friends and celebrate with them. Instead, she drowned herself with work.

Annabeth's eyes unknowingly heated up at the sight of her colleagues from camp. She covered her mouth to surpress the sob but it was too late. The others looked over to her direction and they all had similar faces.

Shock and Disbelief were etched on their faces. "Is that..."Travis started.

"...Chase?"Connor ended.

This turned all of them to turn. Chiron smiled knowingly at ber making Annabeth placwe another hand on her mouth to stop the sobs.

"No shit."Clarisse said.

A few minutes of silence before Piper shouted. "Annabeth?!"Piper exclaimed.

Piper dashed forward to see her clearly. Annabeth removed her hands and wiped her face. She gave a watery smile to her.

"So, when's the wedding?"she asked almost too casually.

Piper stared at her, "There's still no date."she answered, confused.

The two women stared at each other before Piper rushed forward and hugged her friend she hasn't seen for years. "You're here! You're really here."

Annabeth now sobbed harder as she embraced her friend. She buried her face to her shoulder. "I'm sorry. Sorry for taking too long."

They released from each other and smiled.
"It's to be late, just come back to us."she said.

Annabeth nodded.

The others made they way to them too. They borbaded her with questions. They hugged her too and more tears were shed. But Annabeth couldn't deny she was happy.

Genuinely happy for years.

"Miss Chase."Chiron called.

Annabeth turned to the father figure she had as a child. "Chiron."

Chiron smiled his warm smile, "Welcome home."

A/N: OH GODS, HI! THANK YOU FOR THE 100K READS. THAT IS SO WONDERFUL. GET READY FOR PERCY IN THE NEXT CHAPTER. BYE FOR NOW!

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