The Courage To Keep Going

a/n: What's up guys! It's me Lauren. This was written for the Caesar's Palace "Challenges by the Dozen," level two: write two totally O fics. This is the first of two fics.

P.S.. The link to Caesar's Palace is on my profile, along with my own forum, Medical Nerds Forever. Check 'em out; they're awesome.

I was fine. I don't know if you heard that, but I was perfectly fine. I had it all under control. Perfectly and totally under control. I was fine.

Sadly, my father thought differently, and that's why I was in the backseat of his car, while he drove me to the hospital downtown. I hated Brookside MEMORIAL Hospital. It's a small hospital in Boston Massachusetts, where I live. It's not very big, and is mostly for the "Chronically ill."

I grabbed my bag, said a stiff goodbye to my father, and headed toward the revolving doors that led me into the blinding white interior. I headed to the elevator bank without a word to the receptionist, which isn't like me. Usually, I have better manners, but I just plain didn't feel like it today.

The place where the support group was held was a brightly lit room with the door propped wide open. Pop music blasted from a docking station, and kids sat around, laughing and talking. I didn't remember any of them, but that's probably because I hadn't felt like leaving my room last time I was here.

I did a quick assessment of the others. A girl with red hair was drawing on herself, seemingly unaware of everyone around her. A boy in all black starred moodily off into space. A boy with sea-green eyes was playing air hockey with another guy, who was beating green-eyes's ass. A girl with long black hair sat in a wheelchair, obviously lost in thought. A few other kids trickled in before Chiron, the head shrink, started the meeting by asking us to introduce ourselves.

The burly kid who was playing Green-eyes in air hockey was Frank Zhang, who was here because he needed a heart transplant. Green-eyes was Percy Jackson, who had Lupus, a form of autoimmune disease where the body kills off its own tissue instead of invaders. The girl who was drawing on herself was Rachel Dare, and she was here because of a brain tumor.

The list went on and on. Everyone in here had some injury or illness that would effect them for the rest of their lives. I began to actually feel grateful my situation wasn't that bad; as long as I kept my sugars in check, I could manage my diabetes.

After the meeting, Percy approached me. I was sitting on a couch, texting my father to let him know that group was done. Percy took a seat beside me.

"Hi. I'm Percy Jackson."

"Annabeth Chase." I said, extending my hand. Percy shook it, then smiled.

"Diabetes, huh?"

"Yeah." I said, shrugging. "Since I was five. It got worse these last few months, though; I started having trouble with it."

"Yeah, I can see that." Percy said, which sent a rush of relief through me. Everyone blamed me for my high blood sugar; no one blamed diabetes for it.

"So, do you play air hockey?" Percy asked, smiling at me.

"Yeah," I said with a rueful smile, "I suck, though."

"oh, that's cool. It's easy to figure it out." Percy said, and before I knew it, I was having an air hockey match with Percy Jackson, the only person I'd ever noticed for real in the support group.

One day, after group, Percy asked me if I wanted to go to the movies. That's where we had our first kiss; sitting in the third row from the back, the lovers on screen spouting cheesy dialogue, my head on Percy's shoulder. He just leaned down and did it. His lips melted against mine, and I closed my eyes, content to stay in the moment forever. When percy pulled away, it was way too soon.

We were eighteen when Percy proposed. By then, we'd been going steady for two yes, so it made sense. He picked me up outside my house, and we drove for what felt like forever. When we finally arrived, we were in front of the ocean at Percy and my favorite beach. Written in the sand a ways from the water were the words: Annabeth, will you marry me?

Percy got down on one knee, pulling a small velvet box from out of his pocket. He quirked his eyebrow, and I busted out crying. I threw my arms around him, nodding into his shoulder. He smiled and slid the ring on my finger.

We planned our wedding to take place in September, when the weather would be warm, but not too warm, and the leaves would be falling off the trees. It was beautiful; by far one of the best days of my life.

The day our first child was born definitely makes it onto the list as one of the best days of my life. Bianca Zoe Jackson was a way of commemorating the friends that we lost to cancer and a car accident respectively.

It's been twelve years. Bianca and Luke are the wildest kids; always up to something. Bianca is an artist, and is enrolled in all sorts of clubs and such. Luke is our athlete, on all kinds of teams. Luke is going out with Hazel and Frank's daughter Raven. Bianca has sworn off love forever, much like her namesakes.

I will always be thankful that my dad forced me to go to that support group, even though I don't see it at the time, it brought me me my family, and the courage to keep going.

A/n: And that's all folks! I don't know if here would be a good place, but I'm gonna respond to the reviews on my last story, because why not? Okay, so here goes:

Charms22: aww, thanks!

Jojoboo90: Thanks!

Pregnant Tris: ...Really? You do realize that I wasn't insulting any of you who enjoyed pregnant Tris fics, and you're comment was kind of rude. I have no prkblem with pregnant Tris fics, but I do have problems with people like you, who, read that someone doesn't like someone, and flies off the handle, and provokes people. A simple "I like the pregnant Tris fics," would have seficed. Thanks for saying that my fic was good, though. And you're right, maybe we should have a pregnant Tris fic week; I'll get on that, because believe it or not, I like them, too. I just like them in moderation, is all. I can't sit there all day and read them, because A, I'm not that patient, and B, there's only so much of pregnant people I can take.

Tlcoopi7: I like them too, but in moderation. (see above.)

So yeah. Write y'all later!