Chapter 8 - HEADS CAROLINA, TAILS CALIFORNIA

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Annabeth had gotten in a lot of trouble. Her wondering about when she would next get yelled at? Didn't take long. Took maybe 3 hours before she got yelled at. She'd fallen asleep with Percy on his couch, and had woken up to Sally coming into the living room, Annabeth's head on Percy's chest, both of them laying down. Percy's arms had been holding her in a tight embrace, and Annabeth had a hand on his chest. To say the least, her face was red the whole walk back to her house. Percy walked her there, holding her hand, being a total gentleman the whole way, not bringing it up more than just tiny references that made Annabeth laugh.

Sadly, her happiness came to an end when she got to her apartment, because her Dad had come home, and apparently, he was expecting her to be at home, doing homework she didn't have. He sent her to her room, told her she wasn't allowed to eat that night, and locked her in her room until morning.

Annabeth got to school on Monday, wearing a hot pink shirt that said 'So Hot!' on it, over a neon yellow shirt, and black leggings. Her hair was back in a pony tail, her bangs hanging over her face, covering one of her grey eyes. Percy caught up with her immediately, talking about a prank he wanted to pull on Drew. He brightened her day from the start, bought her breakfast when she told him the events of the night before, and played with her hair when she got her stuff from her locker. He didn't hold her hand again, which made her heart sink a little, but his attention never turned away from her, despite having ADHD. Annabeth tried to do the same, but she was so used to being ready for an attack that more than half of her brain power was working on deciding if she was safe or not.

First hour had never gone better. The kid who usually put spiders in her hair was sick, and no one else seemed in the mood to bother her. The rest of her classes were great, too. Lunch was fine, sitting with Percy, his fingers playing with her hair again. When they stopped eating and stood up, waiting for the bell, he brushed her bangs behind her ear so he could see both of her eyes, a smile sitting happily on his lips. No one bugged her, teased her, or treated her like crap for the first time ever. Percy treated her like a princess, and made her laugh, making silly faces to ease her worry whenever someone who openly treated her like crap walked by. It always worked. Chemistry was fine. Drew tried to pull something on Annabeth, to which Percy tapped the back of her hand, subtly nodded to Drew when Annabeth glanced at him. Annabeth glanced at Drew as she sat in her seat, her pencil falling immediately. She tried getting up, a wide eyed look on her face. Everyone stared as her shorts ripped, fabric sticking to the seat. Her whole face turned red, and Annabeth smiled subtly. She was dismissed for the rest of the day, missing out on the assigned project. Annabeth was partnered up with Percy, and they were given the topic of genetics. For the project, they had to draw up an image of what two kids would look like if they were Percy and Annabeth's kids. She'd blushed bright red when Hephaestus grinned and winked at her upon announcing the specifics.

Annabeth was fine with it, though. Afterwards, in gym, they played basketball, and Annabeth managed to shoot just as many points as Percy when their team was going. When they were sitting out, she sat on the edge with Percy in the only chair beside her, an arm over her shoulders, whispering in her ear playfully. He made her giggle, holding her hand and playing with her hair. She knew that rumors were going to spread about them, but she didn't care. If Annabeth were totally honest to herself, she would admit that she had a bit of a crush on Percy. He made her heart flutter, made her throat clamp up. She was nervous around him, no matter how hard she tried to act like nothing was wrong. It didn't help her mind when his lips brushed the apple of her cheek.

In History, they were watching yet another documentary about the deaths in the French Revolution, the last one, Annabeth hoped. Well, not really. She wasn't a fan of the documentaries themselves, but she liked that, when the lights were turned off, Percy started to bug her. He played with her hair, nuzzled her neck. Today, he actually, flat out, kissed her neck, and had the audacity to act like he hadn't done anything to her heart. He whispered in her ear, making jokes at the documentary, drew a design on her shoulder in the sea green gel pen ink of her favorite pen. He blew on it so it could dry, before kissing that part of her shoulder. Annabeth closed her eyes, trying her hardest to not be affected by the touches he was giving her. It felt impossible. It was impossible.

After that, on the walk home, Percy held her hand, only letting go when they got to her place. She frowned, not wanting to go inside. "I don't want to go yet..."

Percy's frown matched her own, and he rested his hand on her face, "Why not?"

"Today has been amazing. It's the first day that I haven't been picked on... I just don't want it to end. I know that if I go upstairs, it will end. I'll get yelled at again,..."

"Maybe it doesn't have to end." Percy smiled. "We still have a project to work on together, remember?"

Her frown became a cute, small smile. Her cheeks turned slightly pink, and he nudged her hand with his, their fingers interlacing again. "Come on, admit it, we'd make cute kids."

Annabeth laughed, hiding her face behind her blonde hair, laughing to herself. He stepped closer to her, and Annabeth's heart beat faster and faster in her chest as she looked up, meeting his eyes. She wanted to kiss him, but she knew what people would say if they found out. They'd say she was doing what the rumors said she did to Jake. She'd never do that. Not to Percy. Not to anybody, in fact. She wasn't like that. Percy was really close to her.

She could see every detail of his face, from the freckles along his cheeks, to the imperfectness of his teeth. She could see the slight crooked tilt of his nose, the dimples on opposite sides of his mouth, fitting with the smile on his lips. Annabeth's eyes fluttered closed as he leaned towards her, hoping he would kiss her.

The moment was broken when someone body slammed into Percy from behind Annabeth, somehow avoiding her completely, while knocking him to the ground. He grunted as he hit the sidewalk, and Annabeth fought a laugh. He glared playfully and got to his feet. "Shut up." She smiled at him, her mind wiped clean of what had almost just happened. "So, where are we going?"

He took her hand again and they started walking. Not far from Percy's apartment, Annabeth looked up, hearing a song playing from a window overhead. She grinned. "Got a quarter?"

He raised an eyebrow and grabbed a silver coin from his pocket, before putting it in her hand. "Head Carolina, Tails California?" He smirked, and Annabeth flipped the coin.

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