Chapter Seven - TNT WARS

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Annabeth sat with Percy on his couch in his apartment. His mom was nice, although, they ended up not watching a movie. Instead, they were blowing shit up on Minecraft. Annabeth smiled, linking up some redstone to a couple of TNT blocks underground, placed perfectly under Percy's three buildings. She added a repeater when needed, and got far enough away to avoid damage. Percy wasn't paying attention to what she was doing, texting someone on his phone. Annabeth poked him, before pulling the lever.

Percy looked up to his screen, just as his TNT filled buildings blew up. "Yo! What was that for!?"

She laughed and pumped her fist in the air, doing a dance on the couch. "I win!"

Just then, someone walked through the door. "What are you two playing?" Percy's step dad, Paul Blofis- Goode High School English Teacher.

"TNT Wars. You heard of bed wars? Well, this is the new, better, and improved version." Percy said, putting a grandeur voice, before pouting.

Annabeth laughed. "You get to blow stuff up, though. Much better."

"Except for the fact that I keep losing." Percy huffed. Paul laughed softly, shaking his head and walking away.

"Can't believe your step dad is the English teacher." Annabeth smiled at him.

"Yeah, that's actually why my mom and me moved back. So far, it's been pretty awesome." He shrugged. Annabeth smiled, nodding in agreement. "I'm still recovering from my old step dad, Gabe. He was... The perfect example of everything cruel and wrong with society today."

Annabeth smiled at him. Percy turned back to the game, as if she hadn't just witnessed the pain and hurt in his eyes. Annabeth frowned and looked towards the TV. He was rebuilding now, filling in the hole. She didn't get how he was sitting still, especially after he told her that he had ADHD. She was having trouble sitting at the moment... Surely Percy was too. Then she saw him twitching, and she knew he was having trouble staying still as well. "Why don't we do something else?"

"Like?" Percy paused the game.

"I dunno. Something? A movie, like we intended to do?" Percy snorted and nodded.

"Good point. Popcorn?" Annabeth nodded as he changed the system, going to a DVD player, rather than the X-Box he had. "Movie case is over there." He pointed to a black binder thing. Annabeth grabbed it and pulled it into her lap as Percy walked away. Slowly, she flicked through the pages of movies, until one caught her eye. She froze a little, her stomach doing a 360.

Cyberbully. It broke her heart, and just the thought of watching it brought tears to her eyes. Not because it was such a sad movie... But because she knew how the girl felt. She knew how it felt to be bullied because of something someone put on her profile for payback. They'd gotten their revenge on her for stepping on their shoes. Literally. She'd been late to school, and accidentally got a shoe print on a girls brand new pair of Jimmy Choo's. Annabeth was forced to pay for a new pair- spending money she didn't have on her own -and then the girl made it worse, by hacking Annabeth's Facebook and changing her status. It went beyond that, too. Far beyond. As in... The start of the physical attacks, assaults. Everything. Annabeth's hand shook as she tried to flip away from the movie disk.

"Annabeth?" She looked up with a sharp inhale, relaxing when she met Percy's eyes.

"Sorry, I-"

"Don't apologize, are you alright?" He whispered, sitting beside her as he put the popcorn on the coffee table. His eyes flickered down to the movies quickly, and realization bloomed in his eyes. He took the movie case out of her hand, putting it beside the popcorn. Annabeth didn't meet his eyes, biting her lip. "It happened to you, didn't it?"

Annabeth nodded. "All because I got a mark on someone's high heel." Percy frowned, pulling her into a tight embrace. "They made me pay for a whole new pair... Even my dad isn't stupid enough to waste money on stuff like that, so I'm still struggling to pay it off."

"You shouldn't have too-"

"If I don't, everything just gets worse. She's the only person keeping everyone from..." She trailed off, before swallowing and hugging him back. "From pushing me off the roof again."

He jerked away, eyes wide. "What do you mean 'again'!?"

"When it first happened, the girl's clique attacked me during passing period, forced me to the roof... Pushed me to the edge... Luckily, a couple fire fighters were demonstrating to some elementary kids outside the school that day... If they hadn't been there... I'd be dead. All because of a stupid pair of shoes!"

She started crying, clinging to Percy's shirt. He wrapped his arms around her protectively, rubbing her back. "I won't let them touch you again. Ever. I promise."

Annabeth sniffled, holding onto him tightly. Percy sighed, rubbing her back. "You're safe. You're safe with me. Here, where we are now."

"I know..." She pulled away from the embrace, rubbing her eyes. "Can we watch Wolverine?"

"What about Batman?" Percy pouted playfully, looking like a baby seal.

"You said I could pick." Annabeth whined. He smiled at her, and Annabeth smacked his shoulder. "You're mean."

"Just trying to make you smile, Wise Girl." She smiled back at him, and Percy grinned, before grabbing the movie case again and taking one of the 'Wolverine' movies, putting it into the DVD Player. He sat beside Annabeth and she leaned against his shoulder, dwelling over the previous events of the day. Half of her attention went to the movie, but the majority of her thoughts were on how protective Percy got when she told him what the girls at school had done to her. She left out the fact that she was in the hospital for the majority of the rest of the year with a broken ankle. She couldn't walk around the school, partially from her injury, partially from fear of getting hurt again. She'd taken a self defense class to try and help, but broke her arm and stopped going. She'd been in too much pain to keep trying. Secretly, she wondered if Percy could teach her how to protect herself... She pushed that thought away and tried to focus on the movie. It was hard. Her brain continued to wander to other things, things like when she would get another broken bone. Or get yelled at by her parents again. When she would finally be free of the people at her school and the people at her home. When she would finally find someone who loved her and wouldn't leave.

Then she wondered if she'd already done that. Annabeth looked down at her hand, intertwined with Percy's, his thumb rubbing over the back of her hand. She smiled to herself, leaning against Percy more. A smile bloomed on his face, and he put an arm around her shoulders, pulling her to his side without looking at her. She watched him, though, hoping he was the person who wouldn't turn his back on her. She just wanted one person who wouldn't hurt her... Just a few days into knowing him, and Annabeth felt that the chances of him being that person were more than just promising, but she didn't let herself think it over too much. She looked back at the television screen and closed her eyes, hearing Percy's steady heartbeat thudding against her ear through his button up t-shirt.

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