but first, some thank yous.
thank you to everyone who has been supporting me from the very start, who believed in me just a little bit, even though i'm no where near as talented as Rick Riordan. thank you to Rick for creating this amazing story that had given me so many wonderful ideas, so many wonderful conversations and moments, and dreams, not to mention so many friends.
thank you to the people who let me use their names when i needed a character, Riley, Kensey, and Heidi, you are awesome. and thank you for letting me manipulate the characters the way i saw fit. i hope you weren't too disappointed.
thank you to my mother, who keeps saying how talented i am, who bought me the first two Percy Jackson books as a Christmas present in 6th grade, who let me talk on and on about my ideas for this fic, who listened to me and supported me when i was stuck in writer's block, and who always had something supportive to say.
thank you to my father, who keeps bugging me to print this out!
thank you to Katie, my sister, for letting me hog the computer over the last week.
the biggest thank you of all to everyone who has been reading my fanfic over the last week. this is tremendous for me and i'm so glad you have stuck with me.
finally, i thank the God in my life for blessing me with the people around me, for blessing me with this passion i have for writing. this fanfic has been driving my life. i can't say i'm sorry that it's over.
here it is, the final chapter of Love Beats Invulnerability...
Chapter 10: Thank the Gods
Poseidon’s booming voice shook me into awareness. “She’s not here, Percy. She’s with Athena.”
I immediately breathed easier. “What was this all for?!” I shouted. “You nearly scared me to death! Annabeth already hates swimming—”
“I’m approving your relationship, Percy,” he said calmly.
“—and now we’ve probably scarred her for life…” I trailed off. “Wait, what?”
My father smiled. “I’ve always been okay with you and Annabeth. Athena was upset, so I pretended to be, too. If I let you think I was on your side, you would never have taken Athena’s warnings seriously.”
That was probably true. “So…where’s Annabeth?”
“Olympus. With her mother. They’re having a little…heart to heart.”
The god nodded and made his smile grow larger. “By the way, sorry about interrupting your…moment up there.”
I was sure I was blushing. “Nothing was happening.” That was a lie—the biggest lie I’d told in a while. Kissing her up there like that, I had been so high that I would have needed binoculars to see Cloud Nine.
“What are they saying?”
Poseidon arched an eyebrow. “How about a little eavesdropping?”
He waved his arm and a picture broke out in the water. It was of Athena and Annabeth, very obviously deep in conversation. My dad’s eyebrows scrunched together and he pointed again at the picture before I heard Annabeth’s voice. He shrugged at me. “Audio takes a while to kick in, I guess,” he mumbled.
“You have full permission to break every bone in his body if he hurts me,” Annabeth was saying. “But he won’t. Percy’s a good guy. Percy’s a sweet guy.”
“You call him Seaweed Brain.”
“It’s…an affectionate term.”
Athena rolled her eyes before continuing. “You really love him, don’t you?”
Annabeth didn’t waste a single second with hesitation. “Yes, I really do. I trust him with my life, and I love him more than anything. And if you don’t approve of him, then we’ll see each other behind your back.”
Poseidon looked at me for a moment, obviously checking my reaction to Annabeth’s words. I didn’t particularly want Athena to break every bone in my body, but if I ever hurt Annabeth, she wouldn’t need to. Annabeth would do it for her. And she was right—I wouldn’t hurt her, or I wouldn’t try to anyway. Her nickname for me had always been a loving term; I never took it offensively, but it was one of those…things we had. Like my mom and me with blue foods.
My reaction was simply acceptance.
“Then… Then I guess I’ll learn to live with it.” When those words came from Athena’s lips, I realized that was probably all the blessing I was going to get.
On my birthday, Annabeth and I left camp, heading back to New York for our senior year of high school. She was transferring out of boarding school and going to Goode. She was going to be living in the apartment with Paul, my mom, and I, though I had a feeling she wouldn’t be allowed in my room—no matter what.
Fortunately, my parents had given us the run of the house for the whole day she moved in. I was carrying bags up stairs for almost an hour before Annabeth gave me my reward: a long, luxurious kiss. And we had taken the kiss from the front door to the couch, where we happily remained, kissing in pure bliss for a good solid 15 minutes before we realized…there were no parents in the house, and there wouldn’t be for the next 9 hours.
The first day of school, I arrived feeling like the luckiest guy in the world, mainly because Annabeth was holding onto my hand like it was a life preserver and she was drowning.
“Oh, well done, you two. I just knew you would make it.”
Her hair was curly and blonde, her lips were pink and glossed, and her eyes were bright blue. She was skinny and pretty and had perfect skin. Her name was Love and yet she did everything she could to make love hard for people, especially Annabeth and me.
“What are you doing here?” Annabeth asked.
Aphrodite was looking rather young. She was dressed in tight jeans, high heels, and a pink shirt, looking rather…excited. “Oh, I’m modeling for an art class. But that’s beside the point. You two didn’t think you would last. Admit it. You both panicked.”
Annabeth glanced up at me.
“Never,” I mumbled.
The goddess laughed. “Well good for you two.” She winked. “Enjoy the last year of childhood. And, Annabeth dear, he is an excellent kisser.”
Aphrodite disappeared and Annabeth looked up at me expectantly.
“So—off to English, then?”
She flicked the small of my back and I jumped, spinning around. She winked. “Sorry, Seaweed Brain.”
“Jeez, Annabeth.” I glared at her teasingly. “I’ll tickle you. I swear I will.”
She made a face of mock horror and that was all the invitation I needed. I lunged for her, forcing her onto the ground and then straddled her, pinning her down.
“No! No, Percy, stop!” She erupted in a fit of giggles and I tickled her stomach. “No! Oh, Percy, stop!”
That’s when Paul walked into the living room and saw me, with my wet just-out-of-the-shower hair, just in jeans, and Annabeth underneath me, getting wet because of my dripping hair. He arched an eyebrow and said, “Percy, you’re incredibly lucky your mother’s at work.”
I rolled off of Annabeth, sitting at her side as she caught her breath. Her eyes sent daggers towards me.
“In fact,” Paul continued, walking towards the front door, “I’m just gonna pick her up and take her to dinner.” He winked at me. “Goodnight, Percy.”
When the door was closed, Annabeth and I just sat there for a while. She eventually looked up at me and said, “We’re doomed to live with that guy for another 9 months.”
I shrugged. “Yeah. But we’re only doomed because if he keeps leaving us alone, I’m gonna eventually give in.”
Her eyes lit up. “Thank the gods for Paul, then.”
But I was thinking Thank the gods for Annabeth. Thank the gods that she loved me. Thank the gods that we proved even if you’re invulnerable you can get your heart broken. And thank the gods that we proved that love can conquer everything. Even if you are invulnerable. And, in Annabeth’s case, incredibly stubborn.
coming up soon: the Epilogue, which will have tiny one shots of Percabeth's life that i felt needed to be said!