AU where Annabeth works at the local library and Percy visits every weekend to read to Estelle. One day, Estelle gets distracted and skips over to the lady at the front desk.
“Hi! What’s your name?”
“Hmm?” Annabeth looked away from her computer to see a little girl with green eyes blinking up at her from behind the counter. She stood on tip-toes and grabbed a handful of free bookmarks. A man rushed up to grab her before she knocked over a sign that read “Return and Check-Out.”
“Stella, don’t bother the poor woman, she’s working.” He gave her a bookmark and placed the rest back on the counter.
“Remember to leave some for everyone else,” he told her gently. The man turned to her with a sheepish expression, and she noticed he had the same green eyes as the little girl, “Sorry about that.”
Annabeth smiled, “Don’t worry about it! I’m just updating our inventory. Actually, it’s probably good to introduce ourselves since you guys come here so often. I’m Annabeth.”
Stella beamed at her.
“I’m Stella! This is my brother Percy,” she said, pointing to him. He waved awkwardly.
Stella and Percy been regulars for the past 6 months, and she loved seeing them read together in the colorful beanbags that adorned the children’s section. Too many parents expected their kids to entertain themselves while they used the computers.
“It’s nice to finally meet you both,” Annabeth said. Estelle was wandering back over to the kids’ books.
“I don’t know what to do with all her energy sometimes,” Percy said with a grin, shaking his head.
“I hear that; I grew up with two little brothers.” She glanced over to Stella, who had pulled a book off the shelf and was flipping through it.
“You know,” Annabeth said, “If you need some time to relax, we have an author visiting next Saturday to read to the kids. I have some recommendations you might like more than Dr. Seuss.”
Percy watched his sister for a second, then turned back to her with a warm smile.
“I might just take you up on that.”
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everything is icy and blue
december 3rd: christmas tree farms,, percabeth
Out of all the ways to be woken up, Percy supposes his girlfriend jumping on top of his back with a quiet giggle isn’t the worst one. It definitely scared him out of a deep sleep, but when he rolls over onto his back and Annabeth climbs on top of him to give him an excited smile, he finds that he doesn’t mind being woken up at all.
His hands immediately go to rest on her bare thighs where the t-shirt of his that she’s wearing rides up. It takes everything in him to lift his hand to check the time, and the first thing he does is toss his head back and groan.
“Did you have to wake me up at seven in the morning?”
“It’s snowing,” Annabeth says as though that explains everything.
“And I’m sure it’ll be snowing in another hour,” Percy says. “Do we need to get up now?”
Annabeth slides off of him and settles down beside him instead. He immediately lifts the comforter up, offering her a position beside him, and she crawls under and curls into his side. He tries to close his eyes, but Annabeth ends up pinching his stomach repeatedly until he peeks through one eye to give her a dirty look.
“Are you going to do this all morning?” Percy finally asks after another minute, but he gives a sleepy smile when she laughs into the crook of his neck.
“Only until you get up.”
“I wanted to get a Christmas tree today.”
“But. Right now?”
“All the good ones will be gone later,” she tells him. Her fingers are tracing his stomach now, and Percy sighs. “You’re twenty-three. I think you can afford missing a few hours of sleep.”
“That’s easy for you to say when you weren’t at work all night.”
Annabeth gives him an innocent grin, and Percy can’t help but look at her in awe for a second. He pulls her toward him, his fingers threaded through her hair, and he gives her a kiss, and then another, before he says, “I’m not getting out of this, am I?”
“Of course not.”
It’s Percy’s turn to pinch her arm lightly, but he gets up anyway. It’s still way too early for this, but Annabeth is too adorable as she rushes him around the apartment. He delights in the way she attempts to make a tiny snowball that crumbles between her fingers when they make their way outside. That doesn’t faze her, though, as she ends up shoving a handful of snow into his face anyway. The drive is pretty, too, with the snow falling around the tall buildings and the sky bright with the golden glow peeking between the clouds. He almost forgets how he’s running on two hours of sleep, and he’s anything but tired when they walk into a Christmas tree farm and Annabeth catches him staring with a knowing smile.
Her outfit looks great on her too. It’s not much—black jeans and a matching long-sleeve shirt with a fleece coat thrown on top—but she’s smiling at him like the world is in his eyes, and he swears he’s going to marry her someday.
“Where do you want to start?” Annabeth asks.
“I have no idea.” Percy blinks at a tree off to the side, and he almost laughs at how sad it looks, its branches entirely too sparse to be properly decorated. “I’ve never even had a real tree.”
“The one time my mom did, it ended up having a bunch of praying mantis eggs in it, and we had bugs in the living room for days.”
Annabeth follows his gaze that is still glued to the tree. “That can happen?”
“I’m starting to rethink getting a real tree now.”
Percy bumps her shoulder lightly to bring her attention back to him. “I didn’t drive all the way out here just for you to not get a tree.”
Annabeth bumps his shoulder back. “Obviously not. You drove all the way out here because you’re in love with me and don’t know how to tell me no.”
He laughs at that.
“How much money can I spend on a tree?”
“As much as you want because you’re paying.”
“That’s cute. I didn’t bring my cards.”
Percy gives her a scolding look. Annabeth just balances on her toes to kiss his cheek and whisper in his ear, “Love you.”
“I’m sure you do,” Percy says. He waits a few seconds as Annabeth begins to walk down one of the rows with trees, and he lets himself stare at her with a swept grin before he follows soon after.
“How much can we actually spend, though?” Annabeth asks again once he laces their hands together. Her free hand comes up to trace along one of the tree branches they pass.
“Don’t worry about that. Just get whichever one you want.”
Annabeth hums at that. She stops to look at another tree, and Percy bumps into her from behind.
“Do you like this one?”
Percy eyes it carefully. “It’s kind of crooked.”
“Your face is crooked,” Annabeth snickers absentmindedly, her fingers looking through the branches one by one.
Percy taps her forehead lightly and gives a fond look. “That’s kind of mean, don’t you think.”
“Not at all. I love you and your crooked face.”
He presses his cold nose into her neck, but she’s so distracted by looking around that she doesn’t stop him. He decides to use that to his advantage, stepping back and looking around to make sure no one was watching him before he ducks down to the ground.
The snow kind of burns his fingers, but he figures pain is temporary anyway, so he gathers as much snow as he can and struggles to pack it into a ball.
“Do you want a tall tree?” Annabeth asks, but she doesn’t turn around.
“Whatever you want,” Percy says offhandedly. He stands and tosses the ball into the air a few times to gauge its weight. Annabeth turns around a few seconds later, and Percy takes aim.
He doesn't mean to nail her in the face. He also doesn’t mean to pointedly laugh at her, but the laugh leaves his face soon enough as she wipes her face free of snow and takes one step toward him.
“Now whose face is crooked?” Percy teases.
“It’s still yours,” Annabeth says. “It won’t be for long, though.”
“I don’t know if I should ask what that means.”
“It means your face is going to be broken after I’m done with you,” she says, but even she can’t hide the humor behind her words. She’s biting her lower lip to stifle a smile, and Percy knows he should be worried.
All he says is, “All’s fair in love and war.”
He gives her one last taunting smile, and that’s what makes Annabeth start chasing him. He’s sure they’re not supposed to be running around like this, nearly tripping over the poor families with children just trying to make a fond childhood experience, but Percy decides that he’d prefer not to be suffocated with snow, so he keeps running.
He makes good distance from her, but then he almost trips over a toddler, and he has at least some morals, so it slows him down a bit.
“Why are you running?” Annabeth calls out alarmingly close to him. “Don’t tell me you’re scared.”
Percy looks over his shoulder to return, “Of you? Only a little bit.”
He likes to think that if he had been facing the right way while running, then he would have been able to see the ice on the ground before he’s already on it. Annabeth doesn’t have time to stop before she’s falling right on top of him. It hurts a little bit, but they’re both laughing to the point that they can’t breathe, so the pain is pushed out of his mind.
“I caught you,” Annabeth says between laughs, touching her lips to his. Her hands lace with his, pinning his arms to the ground above his head. She gives him a beaming smile. “I win.”
“Uh-oh,” Percy says, amused. “Are you going to break my face?”
“I don’t think I need to. I think the mom of the kid you almost ran over will do that for me.”
Percy snorts, and Annabeth adjusts her position on top of him.
“You better kiss me now, then,” he says innocently. “Before the mom comes and kills me.”
Her lips are already brushing against his, but she’s not kissing him properly, and he whines at that.
“You threw a snowball at my face, and now you’re asking for a kiss?”
“To be fair, I didn’t mean to hit your face.”
Annabeth just touches her nose to his.
“Buy me a tree, and then we’ll see.”
“You only want me for my money.”
Annabeth sighs and shifts on top of him again, and it makes Percy’s stomach burn. “It’s a shame, really, that it took you this long to figure out.”
Percy tries to twist his hands free, but her grip on him is too strong. “Maybe I knew. That’s why I threw a snowball at you.”
Annabeth’s head ducks lower so her lips can brush against his jawline. She slowly trails up, closer to his lips, and when she’s right over him so that he can feel each breath she takes. He thinks it’s going to finally end in a proper kiss so he tries to move his face closer to hers.
Instead, Annabeth’s hand comes up to shove a handful of snow in his face.
“I told you no kisses until you buy me a tree!” she says, laughing. She lets go of his hands, and he tries to grab her by the waist to keep her there, but she manages to slide off of him, leaving him on the ground alone.
“I’ll buy you a tree,” Percy gives in. “I think I deserve two kisses if I do that, though.”
Annabeth grins. “I can make that work. You better get moving if you want those kisses. That offer expires in twenty minutes.”
That’s all the motivation he needs to get up off the ground. Annabeth walks in front of him again, leaving him stumbling after her with a dumbstruck grin on his face. It ends up taking a bit longer than twenty minutes for them to buy a tree (and that has absolutely nothing to do with a second round of a snowball fight), but he ends up getting those kisses anyway.
Annabeth gives him a sweet smile as they walk back to the car with a christmas tree in tow, and Percy thinks he’s in love.
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