Annabeth collapses on the bed of her motel room. Blankly, she stares at the ceiling, which is only illuminated by the lamp on the nightstand. Then, she pulls her phone out of her pocket. After a moment of hesitation, she opens up her various social media apps and unfollows Luke on every single one. She even unsubscribes from his YouTube channel.
It's barely five am and she knows that in about four hours, her friends will all be calling and texting her demanding her to tell them where she is. So, she turns off her phone, and throws it to the side. The blonde loves her friends and how protective they all are of each other, she truly does, but she needed some time by herself to think. And she knows she wouldn't get that with them living all in one house.
At least, this time, she left a note.
Annabeth just lays there, letting the silence settle around her. Her eyes burn with unshed tears of anger and hurt. The scene of Luke and Drew locked in a passionate kiss is still clear in her mind. It's like a fresh scrape on her knee, stinging painfully and won't allow her to forget it's there. Except this isn't a wound she can put a band-aid on and fix it. She rubs her eyes, they gray of her irises are dark with exhaustion, physical and emotional.
Rolling over, the blonde buries her face in the pillow. She just wanted to disappear for awhile. Everything was just too much for her take. The twenty-three year old has been through a lot in her short life. But nothing has ever been as painful as this. She felt as if her heart was literally breaking to pieces in her chest. Annabeth swallowed back the sob that was threatening to escapes from her.
The tears are hot as they stain the pillow case. Sitting up, she wipes at them furiously. She hates crying, it makes her feel helpless and weak. The tears keep falling and it's useless for her to keep wiping them away. She gives up and buries her face in the pillow once more. Choked sobs crawl their way out of her throat. Her heart is so broken it feels as if her entire body hurts.
Annabeth hates it. She hates Drew for purposely fucking her boyfriend. She hates Luke for betraying her trust. But, most of all, she hates herself for trusting him in the first place.
Percy's hands shake as he reads and re-reads Annabeth's note. It doesn't feel real at first. He can't believe what's happening. Then, it finally hits him in a wave of cold reality: Annabeth left. Percy's mind races as he immediately dashes from her bedroom and across the hall to his. He grabs his car keys and phone, slips on his shoes, and is running down the stairs as fast as he can. He doesn't even care about the fact that he's only wearing pajama pants and a t-shirt.
I have to find her. I have to find her. It's on repeat in his mind, as he's completely oblivious to his housemates confusion.
"Percy, what-" Rachel stops as she notices his car keys in hand. Grabbing on to his arm to stop him, she demands, "What's wrong? Where are you going?" Impatiently, Percy shoves Annabeth's note into her free hand. Rachel quickly reads the note. "Oh my god," The redhead mutters.
"What? What is it?" Thalia asks approaching them. Rachel passes her the note, which his cousin takes and reads. "Fuck, that's not good."
Nico, already deducing what happened, sighed heavily. "Oh, not again."
Piper and Jason appear in the kitchen as the note is being slowly passed around. Looks of disbelief, confusion, and, most of all, concern are each face. Percy, fed up with not doing anything, pulls his arm out of his girlfriend's grasp and heading to the front door.
"Percy, wait!" Rachel calls, going after him. "Where are you going?" She grabs onto his arm, stopping him once more.
He turns to face her, pulling his arm out of her grip once again. "To find Annabeth, Rach, I have to find her." He opens the front door and steps out, Rachel following after him.
"Where are you even going to look?" His girlfriend asks. "She's been gone for hours! Annabeth could be anywhere by now."
Percy spins on the redhead. "I fucking know that, Rachel!" He explodes, unable to contain his anxiety and memories of the past that are flooding to his min. She reels back, surprise in her green eyes, but it quickly turns to anger. Though Percy gives her no time to start the argument he could feel coming. "My best friend is gone, and I'm going to look for her."
With that, he gets in his car and, after waiting for the electronic gate to open, peels out of the driveway. Guilt gnaws away at him. He feels bad for yelling at Rachel like that, but he needed to find Annabeth. She wasn't in a good place right now, and he was worried that she might attempt to do something drastic like last time.
His hands tighten on the steering wheel with the memory of that night when they were sixteen.
Percy's phone rings as he collapses on his bed, exhausted from the hours he'd spent at the hospital visiting his mother, Sally. The visits always drained him of energy, he hated seeing his mom lay in that hospital bed. Groaning, the teen reluctantly answers his phone without checking the caller I.D.
"Hello?" He yawned tiredly.
"Percy, it's Mr. Chase," The voice of Annabeth's father confused the boy for a second.
"Oh, uh, hi, why are you calling me?" Percy asked, hesitantly.
"Is Annabeth with you?" Mr. Chase demands.
Percy sat up at the sound of his best friend's name. Any trace of weariness gone from his mind. "No, she isn't. Why?"
Mr. Chase voice was thick with anger. "She took off. She's been gone for over three hours now, and I called her multiple times but she won't pick up her phone. I have no idea where she's disappeared off to, the ungrateful child."
Worry immediately floods through Percy as he ignored the last comment. Annabeth was always the most responsible in their friendship, it wasn't like her to disappear and not let anyone know where she was going. But, then again, it was exactly like her to run off to think by herself in peace. But, she was never gone for more than an hour at most. She always came back.
Annabeth's father growled, "If she shows up, just tell her that I want her home immediately." The older man hung up before Percy could say anything else or even ask why she had taken off. The teen hurriedly slipped his feet into his beat up converses, worn from use, and grabbed his hoodie. A quick glance out the window showed the darkening skies and the rain that threatened to fall from the sky.
He dialed Annabeth's number as he rushed out the front door. "Fucking shit," He muttered as his call immediately goes to voicemail. She'd turned off her phone. Just then he felt the beginning of the evening rain begin. "Really, Beth, really? Of all the times for you to run off, you had to choose the night where it's going to rain."
Percy picks up his pace he sprints from place to place. He first checks all the usual spots in their small town the blonde likes to hide. But, she wasn't at any of them. Mumbling swears, Percy could feel his hoodie and clothes had already been soaked completely through. The cold rain chilled him to the bone, but he couldn't go home until he found Annabeth.
He'd just run onto the bridge, heading to his next destination, when he spotted her. Realization took hold of him, and his heart was in his throat. The blonde was sitting on the railing of the bridge, a look of contemplation on her face as her feet dangled above the water many feet below her. He had been able to read her body language even from a distance and in the haze of the rain. Emotions ran through him all at once. Terror, anger, and despair all mixing together.
He ran wildly towards her, forgetting the numbing coldness that was settling into his body. He stopped five feet away from her. He carefully observed her, not wanting to frighten her. His chest was tight with panic as he watched his best friend sit literally on the edge of life, rain soaking through her clothes and weighing down her blonde curls.
Fear crawled its way up his spine. The thought of Annabeth possibly not standing next to him in his future drained all the color from his world. The future lost it's meaning without her. He wouldn't let her. She's his best friend, his person. The one he told anything and everything to. He couldn't bear to lose her. He couldn't lose her or he'd throw himself off that bridge right after her.
He was about to open his mouth and call to her, when Annabeth turned and looked at him. He sucks in a breath at her expression. Her gray eyes are blank, looking nothing like the intimidatingly intelligent storm cloud colored eyes he was so used to.
They'd finally done it, he had realized. Her parents had broken the indestructible girl.
"Hi, Seaweed Brain," He could just make out her voice above the rain. "Did my dad call you?"
"Yeah, Wise Girl, he did." He answered. "He told me that you had run off to think again. He asked me if I would go look for you."
Annabeth laughed bitterly. "No, he didn't, Perce. This is my father we're talking about." Percy took her bitter laugh as approval to approach her. So, he carefully took steps forward until he's standing next to her, leaning his back against the railing. Now, standing so close to her, he saw she was shivering.
He lightly nudged her arm. "Why don't you climb over here and we head back to my house, 'kay? We can talk there. It beats standing out here freezing to death in the rain. You can stay the night at my place."
The corner of Annabeth's lips pulled up. "Is that your nice way of saying 'Annabeth, get off of the fucking railing before you fall, you fucking idiot'?"
Percy smiled at her. "Sure. And I'll tell you what - how about we skip school tomorrow and just stay home?"
"I like the sound of that."
The blonde returns his smile. Percy's panic dissipates a little as he sees it. That smile of hers is a good sign. Gently, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her back to the solidness of the bridge. He knew they had a lot to talk about tonight. Mr. Chase's demand floated in the back of his mind, but Percy pushed it away. There was no way he was sending his best friend back to that house after she had just decided against throwing herself off a bridge.
No way in hell.
Sitting on the beach, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore rhythmically surrounds her. Annabeth's loose curls blew in the gentle breeze that flew past her. It's a peaceful feeling, completely opposite of the state her mind is in now. She sat with her legs pulled up to her chest, arms wrapped around them, chin resting on her knees.
The sun was slowly descending in the sky. She'd been gone for over twelve hours. She's sure Percy and the others are going out of their minds with worry, but she can't seem to bring herself to go home. She needed to get away from everything. There were too many memories of him that linger in her room. When she laid down to go to bed, she could still smell his cologne on her sheets. She could still feel his arms wrapped around her, holding her tightly against him as he slept.
Running a hand through her hair, Annabeth sighs, thinking back to the night she had sat on the railing of that bridge in her and Percy's hometown; the night her parents had finally torn down the remaining shreds of her self-worth. That feeling she had then was the same one she was feeling in this moment. Except this felt a hundred times worse. Her parents had always been strict to the point it bordered on abuse, but she had grown up used to that. This was something totally different that effected her self esteem in the same way.
She's glad Percy found her in time to stop her. She had truly been about to jump when she heard his footsteps running towards her. But, when she looked at him, something stopped her. Maybe it was the panic in his eyes or the slight hesitation she had from the thought of death. Maybe it was both or something else completely, but she was glad that she had him to talk her down from that ledge.
The young woman gets to her feet and slips on her shoes. She walks back to the motel where she had chosen to hide from the world. The sun was almost completely below the horizon as she entered her room. Annabeth kicks off her shoes as she walks to the bed, collapsing on it. She laid there for hours, she knew she needed to eat something, but she had no appetite.
All the blonde could do is lay there on that bed, letting the hours tick by. The night slowly passes by turning into day, and Annabeth never once falls asleep. She doesn't feel like moving or even existing for that matter. She lays there until well into the evening of the next day, feeling nothing but hurt and heartbreak. She wanted it to just go away. She was sick and tired of feeling this way, but it just wouldn't stop.
She couldn't help but feel pathetic to be so despondent over a relationship of all the things in her life she could waste her life away over. She loved him; a part of her still does. He broke her heart and left her alone to pick up the pieces. She was the one who officially ended the relationship, but her ex had basically destroyed everything they built together the second he allowed Drew to assert her influence over him.
Annabeth swallows back a sob and forces down a fresh wave of tears. She would not waste anymore of her tears on him. The blonde won't let him control her emotions any longer. She grabs her phone, turning it over in her hand, debating whether or not to turn it on. She glances at the electronic clock sitting on the nightstand.
The red numbers glare back at her. She's been gone for over forty-eight hours. Guilt is heavy in her stomach. She knew it was wrong of her to just up and leave with no warning. She just reacted on instinct, quickly calling an Uber and packing a few days worth of clothes into a backpack without a second thought. Running away from her emotional issues had always been a reflex she had. She had been trying to fix that flaw for years, and she had been doing so well too. But, this just took her back to being a helpless sixteen year old girl again.
Percy's going to be pissed at me. Annabeth chuckles bitterly at the thought. So, she tosses her phone to the side again. The blonde would go home eventually, whether it be tomorrow or the next day, she'd go home when she's ready too. She closes her eyes, another useless attempt to sleep once again.
Percy paced back and forth in the living room the next morning. His phone is pressed up against his ear. It's been three days since Annabeth left and he's barely slept at all. He's worried out of her mind. The panic only consumed more and more as the hours ticked by with no word from the blonde. He and the others had spent the past days posting updates on Twitter and Instagram, asking their followers to keep a look out for Annabeth.
"Fuck," Percy swears angrily as Annabeth's phone goes immediately to voicemail. She still hadn't turned on her phone. "I'm not fucking with you, Annabeth! Where the hell are you? Call me back immediately when you get this." He hangs up, still pacing.
"Percy, I'm sure she's fine." Rachel attempts to calm his nerves. "Annabeth's an adult, and her note said she'd be back in a few days. Just try to calm -"
Percy cuts her off. "I CAN'T CALM DOWN! My best friend is missing, and I don't know what to do! The last time Annabeth ran off without saying anything was seven years ago. By the time I found her, Rachel, she was contemplating whether or not to jump of a bridge! She could be dead for all I know. Do you realize how terrified I am right now? Do you?"
Rachel's emerald green eyes darken as a frown settles on her face. "I do, Percy, but if all you're going to do is take it out on me, then I'm going home." The redhead turns and grabs her purse stalking off towards the door. "I hope you find your precious Annabeth, Percy! After all, she seems to be the only thing you care about!"
"Rachel, wait, I'm... sorry." He trails of as the front door slams shut. "Shit." He groans.
"Okay, so," Percy turns to look at Thalia who sat on the couch, laptop resting on the coffee table in front of her. "I know it's none of my business and she was pissed as hell, but that last bit was uncalled for."
He drops to the floor, crossing his legs. "She didn't mean it. She's just mad at me and stressed out because of this whole situation. She cares about Annabeth just as much as you do, Thals."
"We know," Piper assures him from where she sat on the other end of the couch. "It's just - have you noticed that Rachel seems to be acting different around Annabeth for the past month or so?"
Percy looks up at the brunette. "What do you mean?"
"I don't know exactly." She answers honestly. "Something just seems different about her lately."
"I haven't noticed anything." He tells his friend. "She seemed normal to me."
"You would think having a girl as your best friend for basically your entire life would help you understand girls better." Piper comments, shaking her head.
Thalia huffs out a laugh. "If you haven't noticed, Pipes, our Bethie isn't exactly the best example of how to deal with these types of situations in a healthy manner."
"Yeah," Piper sighs in agreement. "You're right."
"Percy?" He looks back up at the sound of his name. Hazel was sitting in her chair, golden eyes soft with emotion. "Is what you said about Annabeth true? Did she really almost do that?"
He nods. "Yeah, Haze, it is. I have no doubt in my mind that she would've jumped if I didn't find her in time."
"Why would she do that?" Hazel's voice is a whisper. He could hear the catch in her voice. Hazel had always been a soft person.
"It's Annabeth's story to tell," He answers. "But, what I can tell you is that the shit hit the fan during that time. We were both in a very dark place then. We both felt as if our lives were crumbling around us. Which, in a way, they kind of were. But, it's in the past now. We're okay, now, but I' still worried about her. After all, she is my best friend."
He is worried, but the reason wasn't that simple. He's scared she might head down that destructive path that they both had been walking together during that period of time. They had just barely pulled themselves out before it was too late, but if she was back on that path, he doesn't know if he could get her back. It scared him more than anything else ever had before.
Alrighty then! Here it is - the second chapter! I hope yall liked it! Remember to favorite, follow, and review! Enjoy! ~~~Aqua
REPLIES TO COMMENTS:
Guest: Thank you!
Guest: Don't worry, I have a plan in mind for the Rachel situation. And also, Rachel doesn't live in the house, sorry for any confusion. I know that I didn't make it all that clear in the first chapter.
FreelanceWriter365: Thank you, but there really isn't much that yall can do for me. Along with my anxiety, my therapist diagnosed me with depression and passive suicidal tendencies. So, it's really something that I have work on myself. Thank you for the encouraging words though! They do help me more than even I realize.
Didi: Updates will be slow on account of my personal life, sorry! I just need you to be patient with me!
PJOIsDaBest: Thank you! And about Rachel and Percy, I have plans...
ZebraGirl202: Same! I hate it when things move to fast, so I try to pace out my story as realistic as it can be.
Bookworm's fanfics: I actually kind of felt bad about writing Luke in as a shitty person, cause I actually like his character in the books, but I needed someone from the PJO universe for the role of 'Annabeth's cheating ex'. Oh, and feeling hurt requires emotion. Emotion requires energy. And I have none of that. Being permanently exhausted helps keep the emotions at bay lol. I would tell you to just be tired all the time, but that's unhealthy to do and I don't recommend anyone to try it lol.
Samantha: Oh, that's perfectly fine! I'm just happy to know that you like my work enough to keep coming back.
BethnPercy: As of now, I don't have a schedule. I found that having to keep up with my writing schedule on top of school and everything else, just stresses me out more, so chapters will be posted when they're finished. I'd expect maybe a chapter a week, but I make no promises.
SolarFlare579: I started laughing so loud when I read this!
Guest: Yes, the story will most definitely be Percabeth! They are my OTP after all.