They officially started dating the day after their first kiss. It was after Percy had fulfilled the prophecy, the day after he turned sixteen, after they’d shared an underwater kiss. It had been the most amazing thing to happen to both Percy and Annabeth, considering they had been entangled with stress and fear the past few months with the war. But now that it was over, now that they had each other, things were starting to look better.
The kiss had sent flames throughout Annabeth’s body that had ignited every fiber of her being. In those few seconds (okay minutes) that their lips were connected, shocks of electricity had coursed through her veins. In that moment, she knew that Percy was no Average Joe. He was special and she’d be a fool to let him go. She cared for him immensely, from the deepest part of her soul, and she knew nothing was going to change that.
Was Percy her soul mate? It was definitely possible. However she knew that she was still young, and the chances of her meeting her soul mate (if she even believed in such a thing) were slim (still…she was a demigod, so that more than likely upped her chances). Whatever the case, she wasn’t exactly sure she believed in the whole “soul mate” concept.
Had things between them changed? Not necessarily, for which Annabeth was deeply grateful. She didn’t want to fall in love with a guy only to find that it had all been a lie. She’d gotten to see the real Percy, and she loved him for who he was, flaws and all.
Percy still talked to Annabeth like a best friend. They talked about anything and everything, ranging from serious topics like Luke to silly topics like the day when Chiron ended up with curlers in his hair. She’d deem him a Seaweed Brain, and he’d tease her back with Wise Girl comments. It was natural, light-hearted, and real. Everything was the way it had been.
There was one thing that had been…tinkered with. Something that Annabeth hadn’t really noticed because the chance to notice that difference hadn’t been presented yet.
The physicality of their relationship had changed into something peculiar. Something Annabeth wasn’t familiar with.
The opportunity to discover the change had arrived one day in the summer when they were at the beach at Camp Half-Blood. The sun was starting its daily set in the west, which meant that curfew would be enforced shortly. The couple was sitting on a blanket on the sandy beach, watching as the waves lapped at the shore and the last rays of sun skimmed across the darkening water, receding farther and farther towards the center of the lake until they would finally disappear altogether until morning arrived once again. A light breeze rode through, sifting the tangled mess of Percy’s hair and causing Annabeth’s curls to wave across her shoulders.
With a slight shiver as a field of goose bumps surfaced on her skin, Annabeth scooted closer towards Percy. His arm slipped around her waist and pulled her tight against his side. His arm felt seemingly familiar around her waist, as if it had been there for a thousand years. However, it’d been the first time he’d done that. Naturally, this caused more goose bumps to appear on Annabeth. Her heart leapt as his thumb started rubbing circles in her side softly, almost absentmindedly.
Suddenly, the concept “soul mate” popped into her head again. Staring into the ocean, she took a deep breath and held it as she pondered the idea for a few minutes.
Her conclusion came down to this: everyone had a soul mate. Just one. It didn’t matter whether they were a boy or a girl, everyone had one person that was made for them, like two halves of a whole. However, the love between a pair of soul mates was more than love of the heart. It was love of the soul, something that couldn’t quite be explained thoroughly; it was felt and understood only by the pair of soul mates. Unfortunately, only certain people met their soul mate in life, and the lucky ones were able to be with them in this life. Despite that, everyone met their soul mate in the afterlife, whether they believed in multiple gods or one god.
In the end, there was one person meant for you and you alone.
Annabeth glanced up at Percy. Check, check, and check. So maybe he was her soul mate. Maybe…well, maybe she was one of the lucky ones.
After the sun had set, and since they didn’t want to chance being devoured by harpies, Percy and Annabeth decided to call it a night. He being the faithful boyfriend he was, Percy walked her back to her cabin to ensure her safety from any monster (that including the Stoll brothers). She’d rolled her eyes at his attempt at chivalry, but secretly she was happy he did it.
As they arrived outside her cabin door, they stood before each other. Percy was grinning down with that heart-stopping smile that caused Annabeth to blush every time. As predicted, a nice warm, healthy shade of red seeped into her cheeks and flared across her neck. The warmth crawled through her body down to her toes, pooling in her stomach.
With an exchange of goodnights and a promise to see each other at breakfast, Percy stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her small, lithe frame.
It wasn’t like he’d never hugged her before. But something…something was different about this hug. His embrace was a little more outspoken, his grip around her was a little more tight, and the distance between them was a little less far apart. In fact, there was barely any room between them. They were literally chest to chest, stomach to stomach.
Heart pounding in her chest, Annabeth leant up and sought his eyes. His sea-green orbs met hers in a second, and without another hesitation, their lips locked together in a soft yet passionate kiss. Annabeth’s toes curled, her hands grasped his shirt, closing the inexplicably small distance that remained between their bodies.
Out of all the things that Annabeth had worried that would change between the two of them, she hadn’t thought it would be this, and that it would turn out for the better. They still talked like old friends, and they still teased each other. However, his touch had changed. His touch now was more meaningful. With every gentle caress, tight hug, and passionate kiss, Annabeth knew what Percy felt for her. Everything she felt for him, all the care and love and tenderness, was reflected back from him onto her.
As Percy reluctantly broke away from the kiss, he gave her one last drop-dead gorgeous smile, pecked her on the cheek, and started his journey towards his own cabin.
Annabeth watched him in amazement and wonder. She wasn’t used to trusting someone so fully, but with Percy, she wasn’t scared to put her whole life, her whole heart, her whole soul in his hands.
He was her soul mate. She knew that now.
And she wasn’t letting him go.