Disclaimer: I don't own PJO.


Annabeth stands in the doorway, knuckles turning white as she grips the handle. She can't speak because her heart is in her throat. The scene before her burns itself into her memory.

"Luke?" Her voice is hollow. "Drew?"

They stand in the bedroom of Luke's apartment. They stare at her, her boyfriend looking like a deer caught in the headlights. A smirk spreads across Drew's lips. Luke's shirtless and his hands in the process of unbuttoning Drew's blouse. Her fingers were just starting to unbuckle his belt.

"A-Annabeth!" Luke stutters, backing away from the girl he'd been undressing. "I-I can explain. It's not what it-"

"Shut up," Annabeth hisses. "Just shut up!" She turns and looks at Drew. "How long?"

"Six months, give or take a month." The girl shrugs carelessly, as if she wasn't just caught with her hands all over the blonde's boyfriend of three years. Annabeth nods, the feeling of fresh anger and stinging betrayal flooding through her. She turns, walking away.

"Annabeth, wait!" Luke yells after her. The blonde ignores him, taking off down the hallway. "Wait!" His pleas are once again ignored as she wrenches open the front door, stalking off towards the stairs and elevators. Luckily, she manages to slip in an elevator, leaving Luke still calling after her in the hall.

Annabeth is seething, tapping her foot impatiently as she waits to reach her desired floor. The lady in elevator with her eyes her with curiosity, but the blonde ignores her. It dings as it reaches the lobby, she rushes out the doors the second as they open.

She's halfway across the lobby, when a hand catches her by the wrist. She spins on the person. Luke's grip tightens.

"Don't fucking touch me!" She shouts, pulling her wrist from his hand. "Don't you dare touch me!" The blonde doesn't care that she's shouting and causing a scene. All that Annabeth can focus on is that her boyfriend - someone she loved with everything she had - had been cheating on her for months.

"Annabeth, please," He begs. "It was a mistake!"

"A mistake?" She scoffs. "You've been cheating on me for six fucking months! And with her?!"

"I can explain!" Luke pleads.

"No!" Annabeth snaps. "I don't want to hear any of your excuses! We're over."

"No, wait, please, let me fix this. Take me back. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry!" He places his hands on her arms, but she shoves him away from her, yelling, "NO APOLOGY WILL FIX THIS! NOTHING WILL FIX WHAT YOU DID!" She turns her back on him and starts to walk away.

"I really am sorry." He calls after her.

Annabeth stops in her track. Over her shoulder, she bitterly replies, "You're only sorry because you were caught."

Ignoring the looks from the curious onlookers, the blonde storms off out the doors of the apartment building. She hails a taxi, currently not having the patience to wait for an Uber. She climbs in the back of the cab and tells the driver her address. They zip off into traffic. She leans her head against the window, watching aimlessly as the scenery flies past.

Annabeth had received a text Luke earlier in the evening, telling her to come over as he had a surprise for her. She had thought it was strange, as Luke was not one for surprises, but she went anyway. Judging from his reaction, though, he'd hadn't known she was coming. But, Drew's smirk replays in her mind.

The blonde closes her eyes. She and Drew have hated each other since they were high schoolers. There was no big reason for their mutual hatred. Their personalities just didn't mesh. One of her housemates, Leo, has compared their relationship to what happens when you mix gasoline and fire. The results are disastrous. Whereas Annabeth has always been mostly passive with their tumultuous relationship, only lashing out when required, Drew tends to be the aggressor.

A small part of her isn't surprised that Drew would go to such drastic lengths to hurt her. She always did have a vicious mean streak. Another part of her can't believe that Luke would sleep with Drew when he knows that the two hate each other. The remaining part of her can't believe that he had been cheating on her for half a year.

Looking back, she can now see that he had started to act differently, but she hadn't paid it much attention as her work load had started to pick up, creating less time for them to spend together. She was so blind to the signs because she was so in love with him that any prospect of that happiness disappearing hadn't crossed her mind.


"No, no, no, no, no!" Percy cries as the Jenga tower topples over. "Damn it!" Beside him, Rachel, his girlfriend, sighs. On the other side of the destroyed tower, his cousin, Thalia, and her girlfriend, Reyna cheer victoriously.

"That's the third time!" Thalia cackles mockingly, unable to stop herself from rubbing in her win. "You really suck at this!"

"Oh, shut up, Pinecone Face." Percy fires back. Thalia throws one of the Jenga blocks him, which he dodges.

"We have a rule about no throwing things inside the house." Hazel reminds them from the couch.

"Why do we have that rule again?" Leo asks.

"Do you seriously not remember?" Reyna raises a skeptical eyebrow.

Jason scoffs in disbelief. "How do you not recall the Bowling Ball Window Fiasco of March?"

Piper snorts. "I don't know how he doesn't considering he's the one who caused it." But Leo stares at her with a blank face, clearly not remembering.

"It was the day that Annabeth threatened to lock you in your room for a week." Frank supplies.

"Oh, yeah!" Leo finally remembers. "I was actually scared she was going to kill me that time."

Calypso, who sits on the floor with her back against the couch and her head leaning against Leo's knee, laughs. "I know, me too. I know Annabeth's scary when she's mad, but I didn't know exactly how scary until then."

"Oh, trust me," Percy chimes in. "She can get way scarier than that. I've witnessed it firsthand." He shivers as if the memory still terrifies him to this very day.

"It was kind of funny, though." Rachel chuckles. "At least, now it is."

Laughter spreads quickly through the group. The sound of the front door opening and slamming shut rings through the house.

Brows furrowing, Piper asks, "Is Annabeth back already? She left only an hour ago."

"I don't know," Thalia shrugs. "When she left, she said that she probably won't be back until tomorrow."

Percy straightens up. "Something's not right." He could feel it as the footsteps approached the living room. He's known Annabeth since first grade, he knows when his best friend isn't okay. Then, she appears in the doorway. The look in her eyes confirms he was right: something's definitely wrong. Looks of concern are shared as she stands completely still, as if she's a statue.

"Annabeth," Hazel asks, starting to stand up. "Are you okay?" She doesn't answer, just stands there, eyes unfocused. Then, a single tear slips down her cheek. Percy's on his feet and approaching her before anyone could blink.

Annabeth doesn't cry. She never cries unless something is very, very wrong. Percy's known her since they were six. Seventeen years worth of friendship and he's only seen her cry a handful of times.

"Bethie?" He gently touches her shoulder. "What is it?"

Slowly, she raises her eyes to his. "I... I just broke up with Luke."

"What?" Frank asks, surprised. "Why? What happened?"

The tears come faster and harder, Annabeth covers her face with her hands. She sobs into them, and Percy pulls her into his embrace as they others start to approach her. He rubs her back, trying to comfort her. She buries her face in his shoulder and clutches onto his t-shirt.

"Annie," Piper gently touches her shoulder. "Come on, let's sit down, okay? Then, if you want, you can tell what happened."

Percy guides her to the couch and the others follow, worry on every face. After a few minutes, Annabeth collects herself and takes the glass of water Frank offered her. She takes a sip, then exhales shakily.

"Sorry," She sniffs, wiping away the last of her tears from her cheeks.

"Hey, it's okay," Calypso lays a comforting hand on the her arm. "There's nothing for you to apologize for."

Annabeth gives her a watery smile. "So, um, yeah, I broke up with Luke." They stay silent, waiting for her to talk when she's ready. "He was cheating on me."

"I'll fucking kill him." Thalia, Reyna, and Piper all growl in unison.

Percy eyes darken as he lets the information sink in. The sudden, almost overwhelming desire to punch a certain blond man in the face floods through him. He clenches his fists, but wills himself to not do anything rash. He knew if he did anything of the sort, Annabeth would be even more upset. He didn't want that.

"Thanks, girls, but please don't." Annabeth smiles sadly at them before continuing. "He was cheating on me for six months." She huffs out bitter laugh. "You who he was cheating on me with? Drew fucking Tanaka." She spits out the name as is it was poison.

"I'm going to kill her with my bare hands." Thalia seethes, cracking her knuckles. "Seriously, I'm going to fucking murder their asses if I ever see them."

Percy murmurs in agreement, clenching his jaw. It would bring him great joy to beat Luke into a pulp for hurting his best friend. No one is allowed to Annabeth. No one. Period.

"Thalia," Annabeth sighs, rubbing her face. "Don't. I'm asking you to please not do anything to them. You too, Percy, Reyna. Please, just drop it." She gives them both a stern look. "Promise me that you won't go and do anything stupid."

Percy wanted to ignore her request, but he knew he couldn't. If Annabeth didn't want him to do something, he wouldn't do it. The same for her. Their a team. They listen to and respect each other's wishes. It's how they've been able to be friends for so long.

So, reluctantly, he nods his head. "I promise." Reyna and Thalia echo him, but he can hear the anger in his cousin's voice. He wasn't worried, though. Thalia's stubborn, but she always follows through with her promises. She's always been like that.

Annabeth stands up, saying, "I'm going to go to bed." She starts to walk towards the stairs, but Percy catches onto her hand. She stops and looks at him, silently asking what he needs.

"You gonna be okay to be by yourself tonight?" He asks, worry clear in his green eyes.

The blonde gives him a soft, tired smile. "Yeah, Perce, I'll be okay." So, he lets her go. She disappears from sight. A few moments later, the muffled sound of her door opening and closing is heard.

Another door opens and one of the other occupants of the house, Nico, and his boyfriend, Will, enter. The two stop, noticing the mood into he room.

"What happened?" Nico asks. "Someone die or something?"

"Nope," Reyna answers. "Just Luke being a cheating scumbag was revealed only a few minutes ago."

"Dick." Nico cusses flatly.

"How's Annabeth?" Will questions, as he and Nico sit down with the others.

"She just went up to bed." Percy answers, running a hand through his hair.

"Piper," Thalia turns the other girl. "Since Percy, Reyna, nor I can do anything about Luke, we're leaving this in your capable hands."

A devilish smile spreads across the brunette's lips. "Way a head of you, Thals. Leo, would you be interested in assisting me?"

Leo grins at her. "Oh, absolutely."

Piper, then turns to Rachel. "Interested?"

Percy's girlfriend shakes her head. This comes as a surprise to the others, especially Percy. Rachel typically would never pass up a chance to get back at someone who hurt one of her friends. She could be more devious than Piper when she wanted to.

"As much as I would love to torment that motherfucker," Rachel explains, "I'll let you guys handle this. If Annabeth ends up getting angry, I'd rather have no involvement. She still scares me a bit. So, I'd rather not be on the receiving end of her anger."

Piper nods as that made sense. "Smart."

Reyna turns a stern gaze on the brunette and Leo. "Nothing illegal. Annabeth doesn't need to deal with you two being arrested on top of everything else."

"Yes, ma'am!" The salute the taller woman, who nods, satisfied. Then, they run off to Leo's room to start planning whatever diabolical thing that their combined minds of chaotic genius could create.

"I don't know whether we should be worried or not about that." Hazel muses, watching their retreating forms.

"Worried," Frank answers. "Definitely worried knowing those two."

"Yeah," Percy hums in agreement. "But whatever they come up with, it'll be spectacular. That's for sure."

Calypso sighs, standing up. "I'll go supervise those two. God knows what they'll come up with. Good night, guys." They all bid her good night, and she follows the path that her boyfriend and friend had gone.

Slowly, everyone heads off to bed, leaving Percy and Rachel alone in the living room. The redhead was talking about her latest art project, but Percy was distracted. He was worried about Annabeth. He knew she'd be okay. She's always been strong like that, ever since they were little. But, this time, he wasn't so sure that she would be able to bounce back like she normally did.

Even when speaking, Annabeth had sounded emotionally detached. Almost like she wasn't there. He'd never seen her like that before, it scared him a bit. The only trace of emotion he could see in her eyes after she stopped crying with exhaustion. No pain, heartbreak, or even anger. Just nothing.

"Percy, are even listening to me?" Rachel's voice breaks through his thoughts.

"What?" He turns to look at her. "Sorry, Rache. I'm just worried about Annabeth."

His girlfriend sighs. "I know you are."

"It's just," He sighs. "I've never seen her like that. Not even when her parents went through their divorce."

Rachel nods, then leans her head against his shoulder. He wraps his arm around her shoulder. "She loved Luke, Percy. And he broke her heart. Of course she's going to be sad for awhile, but then she'll move on. She'll be back to herself soon, just give her some time."

"How is it that I've known her longer, yet you seemingly know her better than I do?" He asks, smiling softly.

Rachel shrugs. "Maybe it's cause I've been where she is before." Percy nods. Percy's had his share of heartbreak from past failed relationships, but he'd never experienced being cheated on. Rachel, on the other hand, has experienced the pain of someone you love betraying your trust, so of course she understood better than he did right now.

"So, you were talking to me about your art?" He asks, switching the topic onto something happier.

The redhead smiles up at him as she starts explaining her latest project.

The next morning, Percy and Hazel are fixing breakfast for the entire house as Frank and Reyna set the table. The delicious, mouth watering scent of bacon, eggs, and pancakes drifts throughout the entire house.

Percy and Hazel are the two main cooks as Percy inherited his mother's cooking skills and Haze was a natural at it. The four of them are usually the first ones up in the morning, even though Percy isn't much of a morning person. But, he likes to be up before noon as to keep up with his filming schedule. The sounds of shuffling feet alerts him to the other occupant of the house being awake.

Bodies sit down in chairs as they rub sleep from their eyes. Nico has his typical morning scowl on his face per usual. Rachel's curly locks resemble that of a bird's nest, but Percy finds it cute. Leo is falling asleep with his chin resting in his hand, while Will is the only one who seems wide awake. He's always been wide awake the second he wakes up. No one knows how, but at least one less zombified person on his hands.

Checking the body count, he sees notices a person missing.

"Piper," Percy calls. The girl grunts tiredly, letting him know she heard him. "Would you go tell Annabeth it's breakfast time?"

"Do I have to do it?" She whines. "Why not make Leo do it?"

"No way," Leo denies quickly. "I did it last time. It's someone else's turn. Have Thalia do it."

"Oh, hell no," Thalia shuts down that idea. "I'm not dealing with Morning Annabeth." Percy chuckles. Annabeth was the worst out of all of them. She was always the hardest to wake up in the morning. This is due to the fact that she would often stay up all night to work on a video and would only just get to sleep as the sun rises. It doesn't help that she extremely cranky in the morning.

"Pipes, it's your turn." He holds out a steaming cup of coffee for her. "Here, take this. Cream and two sugars, just the way she likes it. It'll make it easier to lure her out of bed."

Pouting, Piper takes the mug and disappears up the stairs.

"PERCY! GET UP HERE NOW!" Piper's shout comes only a few moments later. Percy jumps up at the sound of his name, along with Jason who heard the alarmed tone of his girlfriend's vice.

The two cousin bound up the stairs and down the hallway from where Piper's voice had come from. Worry flooding through him as he and Jason fly into Annabeth's room. Stopping, Percy observes the room. Except for Piper, the room was vacant. Annabeth wasn't buried under her covers like every morning.

Piper had set the mug down on Annabeth's desk, holding a piece of paper in her hands. The color was drained from her face, and her hands shook. She raised her multicolored eyes to the two boys facing her.

Percy dashes out of the room and checks the bathroom that he and her shared. Finding it empty, he returns to the bedroom to find Piper sitting on the bed and Jason standing beside her, reading the paper she had been holding earlier.

"Piper," His voice is unsteady as fear grips him. "Where's Annabeth?"

"Look." Jason voice sounds strange as he holds out the paper. The green eyed boy takes it from him. He read the short messaged scrawled out in Annabeth's perfect handwriting. His stomach dropped and he couldn't breathe. The world seemed to fade as everything he was sure of went up in the air.

I'll be back in a few days. Don't look for me. - Annabeth

Annabeth was gone, and she hadn't told anyone where she was going.

And here it is, yall, the first chapter to 'Candid'! I can't wait to see what yall thought. Sorry, this took me so long to post, but my anxiety was giving me trouble and I needed to focus on myself for a bit. See you guys soon! Remember to favorite, follow, and review! Enjoy!