Hello fellow Percy Fans!

My name is outsetislander but I go by Tetra (neither is my real name). I've never written a PJO fic before but I did try to write some twilight ones. Unfortunately they remain unfinished due to my ADD (not ADHD lol) and loss of interest in that series. Hopefully someday I will regain enough inspiration to finish those so I won't feel awful about them anymore.

But anyway, I'm sure you don't care.

But you may care about the fact that I have never been so obsessed with a book series as I am with Percy Jackson (not even harry potter). This is why I'm writing this, and why I would love for you to read it.

Before we start though, a few things:

1) This is AU aka Alternate Universe. Meaning things WILL be different from how they were in the book.

2) Percy, Annabeth, Grover and most of the rest are juniors at Goode high school. Why? Because I didn't like my sophomore year. Exceptions are Luke and Thalia who are seniors, and Nico who is a freshman.

3) Grover and Juniper are humans. Not satyrs, or nymphs, or demigods. Sorry if that makes you sad, but it works out better this way.

4) I am an 18 yr old girl. Not a 15 or 16 yr old boy named Percy. So I apoligize in advance if I accidently sound like myself at points. If it bothers you, kindly point it out and I'll either change it or just try harder next time.

-Enjoy


She sat there in silence, a slight furrow in her brow and lips pursed in deep contemplation. Golden curls fell in her eyes from her messy bun. She tapped her freshly sharpened pencil—once, twice—against her architecture textbook. Finally conceding to her artistic block, she sighed heavily and stubbornly crumpled her latest sketch. She tossed it in the nearest recycling bin. She had perfect aim.

I noticed her friend—her only friend—frantically skimming her pre-calculus notes. The girl I'd been watching spoke to her calmly, obviously offering help though I couldn't make out the exact words. Within a few minutes, her friend had clearly calmed down and nodded in comprehension. I knew she would. After all, she had Annabeth Chase teaching her.

"She's a babe isn't she?" I'd completely forgotten about Grover sitting next to me. He plucked an apple core from my lunch tray and began munching away. Nasty, right? I know. But hey, it might help him win some clichéd reality TV show one day. Or at the very least he won't ever starve to death.

"Who?" I said defensively. I knew there was no need for it. Grover was my best friend and he'd lay off I told him to. I just hated talking about my feelings. Guys don't do feelings.

"Juniper," he replied impatiently, as if Juniper could be the only correct answer to any question ever. Come to think of it, with Grover it probably was.

"Oh. Yeah sure, man." I replied halfheartedly. I found myself glancing back to Juniper and Annabeth's table. They were both packing up for their next class.

"You know," Grover said pointing a finger at me. I noticed the apple stem pinched between his thumb and middle finger. I wondered if he'd eat it too, or if his dignity decided to show up after he'd eaten the seeds. "I'm glad California's here this semester. Juniper needed a good friend."

California was what everyone called Annabeth. She'd just kinda showed up after winter break for second semester. For good-looking fresh meat from California, she'd managed to make as little a splash as possible. After turning down a bunch of guys with less-than-innocent intentions, and mouthing off Clarisse and her cronies who'd tried to trick her into "initiation", she'd managed to keep a low profile. She blocked everyone out besides Juniper and no one else bothered to fight their way in. She was so below the radar that people often forgot her name, hence the nickname "California".

"You could be Juniper's friend, you know," I said. Grover looked at me as if I had just asked him to join me on a perilous quest to Underworld.

"Me?" He gawked. No, the other Grover…

"Sure, why not?"

Grover hunched his shoulders a bit. "She's way out of my league," He said in a small voice.

I felt for the guy, but I knew he was just being shy. Juniper wasn't bad looking, but I wouldn't consider her an exceptional beauty either. Plus, she didn't seem like the kind of person to just cast a guy aside because he wasn't male model of the year. She looked like the kind of girl who cared about the inside, and Grover had a heart of gold.

"I'm not telling you to ask her out. Just be her friend. God knows she needs friends." I watched as the girls left. I wondered if Annabeth was actually a good friend or if Juniper simply had no other choice. "Just talk to her," I added as if it were that simple. In a way it was.

"I could do that," he agreed. I could tell he didn't mean it.

"Great. You could catch her before her next class."

"No, I couldn't."

Not so great…

Ringgg! The bell rang.

Grover hastily left before I could yell at him. I took my good old time packing up and began to slowly make my way to anatomy. As I passed the recycling bin I stopped on a dime.

I know what you're thinking. But I promise you, I am not a creepy stalker. I have ADHD, and I tend to do stupid impulsive things. I also can't help but hyper-focus on things that interest me. And at this particular moment, Annabeth Chase…interested me.

In a moment's indecision, I quickly scanned the nearly empty cafeteria. No one was watching. Before I could change my mind, I snatched Annabeth's crumpled sketch from the recycling bin and stuffed it into my pocket.


"You look like a wet dog," Rachel flung my towel at me with a smirk. She was leaning over the railing of the balcony with her arms crossed. At swim meets, the bleachers behind her were usually bursting with spectators. Today was only practice though, and Rachel had sat there by herself sketching the team in action.

I climbed on top of the poolside bench and pulled myself up with the lower balcony railing. It was probably a dangerous thing to do, but the coach was already long gone and I've always been a bit of a rebel anyway. But hey, I haven't been expelled from a school in almost three years.

"Wet dog, huh?" I leaned over the railing and shook my head back and forth as quickly as possible, showering her with water droplets from my hair. Good thing I forgot my swim cap.

Rachel giggled and shielded herself with her arms. I was glad that Rachel wasn't like most girls. She didn't yell at me for getting her wet. She didn't even smack me upside the head like Thalia or Zoë would.

"You do that again, and you're walking home the rest of the year," Rachel said with a near-straight face. I knew she was joking, but it was still a scary thought. My step-dad Paul had banned me from driving his Prius and Rachel's Mercedes had heated seats and a killer stereo. Oh, why was I banned? I got in a fender bender because I was distracted by two other cars in a fender bender.

"But I'll be wet! I'll get frost-bite and die. Do you really want that on your conscience?" Was my ingenious reply.

"I have no conscience."

"Yes you—" I started to say, but dropped it immediately. I turned around. Out of nowhere, an overwhelming sense of paranoia yanked at my gut. It was like I was being watched but worse. Like whoever, or whatever, was watching me wasn't just there to watch, but waiting for the right moment to strike.

"Are you okay?" Rachel's voice came distantly. My body was still on red alert. But we couldn't actually be in danger, right? I mean we were in school. This wasn't some back alley where gangs gutted private school kids like us for initiation…

"I'll meet you at the front," I said finally.

"What?" Rachel blurted like I had just told her my favorite animal was a tangerine.

"Just go," I gritted through my teeth.

"Whoa…Okay, weirdo," She joked before she left.

My eyes darted around the pool deck. I strained my ears to listen.

Nothing.

In a last desperate attempt to prove myself sane, I shot out a hand and groped the open air in front of me.

Empty.

Giving in, I headed to the locker room.

I sighed. This day had been way too long.


The next morning I stumbled into homeroom about two seconds before the bell rang. Mrs. Dodds was so pleased with my not-tardiness that she barked at me to tuck my shirt in and sit down.

I grabbed a seat in the back as announcements came on. Homeroom was pretty much the usual—Silena blowing at her freshly manicured nails, Clarisse acting out her latest rumble for her disciples, Grover chewing his pen cap and accidentally choking on it.

While Beckendorf performed the Heimlich on Grover, I realized something out of the usual. Annabeth, the most irritatingly punctual person on the planet, was nowhere to be found. Even more confusing—I actually cared.

Travis Stoll was sitting to my left. He didn't seem too concerned with the choking fiasco either, so I asked him if he knew where Annabeth was.

Travis looked up from his shiny new blackberry—which I'm pretty sure he didn't pay for, if you catch my drift— and raised an eyebrow. "Dude, she's sitting right next to you."

I turned to my right and sure enough, there she was. She sat in the seat to my immediate right—the seat that was empty about two seconds before— casually reading a book with her legs crossed towards me. It was like she'd been there the whole time. Maybe she had. Maybe my ADHD brain was playing tricks on me.

Something was off though. Looking closely I noticed the slight heaving of her chest, the tinge of flush in her cheeks. It wasn't the I-just-rushed-in-with-a-heavy-backpack kind of look. It was more like she'd been holding her breath, like she was hoping no one would notice her.

Plus, she hadn't turned a page in her book since I started watching her.

"What are you looking at?" She said, not looking up from her book. It was meant to be harsh, but I sensed insecurity lying beneath it. Insecurity that kept me from turning around and minding my own business.

"Have you been here this entire time?" I asked, which sounded a lot stupider in real life than in my brain.

Her book snapped shut and she turned to face me. She looked me up and down with a disapproving glare as if to say, So that's it? I was expecting more. Finally, her gray eyes rested on mine and with a cock in her brow she said, "What's that supposed to mean?" like I was some kind of moron.

Usually I was good with comebacks, but for some reason I couldn't come up with one. Maybe because her cool tone didn't enrage me the way it would coming from someone else's mouth. Or maybe because I knew she was too clever for me.

"Nothing. I just…I didn't see you there." I said.

Or maybe I just wanted her to like me.

Her eyes softened just a bit. She looked down at her desk and sighed. "Sorry, that was rude. I didn't mean it like that."

I shrugged. "No problem."

She didn't say anything else, but she didn't open her book again either. I figured she was leaving it to me to start a conversation or not. I glanced at the cover of her book. It took my dyslexic eyes a moment to read the title: The Odyssey. So much for a point of common interest.

I was about to turn around and give up when I noticed a baseball cap half-stuffed into her backpack. I pulled it out and looked at the symbol.

"You're a Yankees fan?" I said incredulously.

It seemed like idea surprised her about as much as it did me. Her gray eyes widened and color pooled to her cheeks. "Uh, yeah sure. I mean, who isn't right?"

I thought about it for a second. "I guess so."

She started at the hat in my hand like it was a time bomb.

"What about the teams from California? You still root for one of them?"

Annabeth continued to stare at the hat.

"I mean you had to like one of them right? There's the Dodgers, the Angels, the—"

"Percy, I need my hat back," Annabeth said firmly, almost angrily.

Obviously she didn't want to talk anymore. Still, I didn't want to leave my first almost-conversation with Annabeth on a bad note. It was strange, but I didn't want her to hate me. For the first time in my life, I actually wanted to be friends with someone who didn't want to be friends back. But how could I maintain a friendly bond with her if I just gave her hat back without another word? Then I got an idea.

"That's cool. You can have it back." I smiled. "But first, let's see how it looks…"

I reached to place the hat on her head.


A/N

And so that's chapter one... Sorry if it felt a bit choppy from the 3 different scenes. I'm no good at background.

Reviews are really appreciated. It's good to know that someone wants you to keep writing. Even just 1 or 2 people. I love to hear positive feedback, suggestions for future chapters, questions, even constructive criticism. I can't make a a reader happy if he/she doesn't tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Hope you liked it,

-Tetra