Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson or any characters, obviously. Those belong to the sass-master Rick Riordan. The first italicized lines are from The Battle of the Labyrinth.

She jogged down the hill. I watched her until she reached the cabins. She didn't look back once.

For some reason, I had this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, like if I let her keep walking away without fixing this, I wasn't going to get my best friend back. Argus honked again, startling me out of my thoughts.

"You kissed me!" I yelled.

She stopped. I ignored Argus' honking and sprinted down the hill all the way to the cabins, stopping behind her.

"You kissed me," I said again, this time a little softer. I reached out and grabbed her shoulder, spinning her around. "In the labyrinth, you kissed me."

"And?" she asked harshly, her stormy gray eyes swirling.

"It was a goodbye kiss," I blurted out. It was more of a statement though. I knew she thought I was going to die. I thought I was going to die.

"So what?" she asked. She hadn't moved since I turned her around, and I took a small step closer, her face inches from mine.

"So I'm leaving for the summer, and you're going across the country. This is another goodbye," I said, and before I could chicken out or before she could punch me in the face, I leaned in and kissed her.

I could tell I caught her off guard. This was probably the last thing she thought I was going to do, especially after I never mentioned the kiss when I got back from being missing. But with the quest, and Rachel, and Nico and Luke and Kronos; I didn't know how everything got so screwed up. She was sort of how I was in the labyrinth during our first kiss; surprised and unresponsive.

Until she wasn't.

Annabeth always was able to gather her wits faster than anyone. I started to feel her lips moving with mine. It was glorious. I felt the same warm feeling in my chest that I felt in the labyrinth, and this time it started to spread as the kiss got longer, spreading through my body and warming me to my core.

We finally broke apart when we ran out of air. When we pulled back, I noticed that I had my arms wrapped around her waist, and hers were around my neck. When did that happen? I stared into her eyes, which were still stormy, but also a lighter shade of gray. Finally, she spoke.

"That…was better than my goodbye kiss," she said, slightly breathless.

"Annabeth…I'm sorry I asked about the prophecy, and Luke, and-"


"But it doesn't matter," I finished, cutting her off.

"What?" she asked, taking a step back. I didn't want her to leave again. I grabbed her hands.

"It doesn't matter," I repeated, and slowly intertwined both of her hands with both of mine. "What's the one thing we know for sure about prophecies? That they can mean anything. Refer to anyone. But I also know for sure that you're my best friend. And this great prophecy is going to happen, and I know that there's a very real possibility that I could die, if the past four years have told us anything." I took a deep breath and looked down at our joined hands, and back to her face. Green met gray. "But Annabeth, it's ok because I have you."


"Please let me finish this," I said, giving her hands a squeeze. "I know we joke about how dense I am. And I'm not arguing with that. But when you were walking away from me earlier, I started feeling…empty. Annabeth, I need you. If I'm going to get through this, I need you. I know that's selfish, and you have a lot of stuff going on too, but I really, really need you."

Annabeth stared at me. Uh-oh. Did all of that just come out of my mouth?

"…Annabeth?" I asked. She still hadn't said anything. "Annie?"

"Don't call me that," she snapped, and I smiled. Some things never change.

"Annabeth…if you're going to hit me or pull out your dagger, can you at least give me a head start? Because-"

She cut me off by grabbing the front of my shirt and yanking me down. My lips collided with hers, and this time I kissed her back right away. When she finally pulled back, I was breathless.

"That…wasn't a goodbye kiss, was it?" I asked after a couple of seconds, still trying to catch my breath.

"I need you too, Seaweed Brain."

I grinned at her, and opened my mouth to say something when we heard Argus honking the horn again.

"I'll be right back. Don't move. Go nowhere. Seriously, Wise Girl, stay."

I sprinted back up the hill and ran to the van. "I don't need a ride!" I practically yelled through the open window, right into Argus' face. Oops. I flung open the back door, grabbed my bag, and sprinted back down where Annabeth was waiting.

"What are you doing, Percy?" she asked when I skidded to a stop in front of her.

I slung my bag over my shoulder. "I think I'll stay at camp until you leave for San Francisco," I said, shrugging my shoulders like it was no big deal. I reached out and grabbed her hand, interlocking our fingers and because I had leftover courage, leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "Come on, let's go find Chiron."

We walked through the camp, oblivious to the stares of the other campers around them, or more precisely, at their joined hands.

"Hey Annabeth?" I asked as we got closer to the Big House.


"Be my girlfriend?"

"About time, Seaweed Brain," she said, squeezing my hand. "I'm going to let you talk to Chiron. And you better call your mom," she warned.

"Goodbye kiss?" I asked hopefully.

She laughed and gave me a soft kiss, and I felt her smile into it. I kissed her back lightly. "Find me after, Seaweed Brain."

I could feel a goofy grin on my face as I watched her walk away, but I didn't care.

"Wait…hey Annabeth! You didn't actually answer!" I yelled after her retreating form. "Was that a yes?"

I heard her laugh before she disappeared around the corner. I shook my head fondly, smiling to myself. That girl drives me crazy. I sighed happily and turned around, opening the door to the Big House. "Hey, Chiron…"