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Love you +Percy Jackson​. I'd go to tartarus for you <3
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THE NEW YEAR’S WEDDING FOR TOO-MANYFEEELS

Annabeth proposed to Percy.

Well, it was more like Annabeth broke his nose on accident with an apple. On his birthday. Whoops.

Tossing an apple at someone was simply the way Greeks proposed and Annabeth wanted a lot of Greek in her life after the whole Romans and Greeks thing. It wasn’t as if she hated the Romans, Reyna was becoming one of Annabeth’s closest friends. She just wanted something that was purely hers and Percy’s.

The goddesses of love and marriage had a field day when Annabeth declared she wanted a Greek wedding. Aphrodite actually fainted into her husband’s arms out of excitement or terror, Annabeth didn’t know. The type of wedding she wanted hadn’t been performed for thousands of years, it would be a nightmare going through all the old books figuring out what traditions to keep or throw away. But, like always, Annabeth was up for the challenge.

Despite the desire for a Greek wedding, Sally Jackson (Percy’s Mom) insisted on Percy proposing properly. “Percy’s slow, Annabeth. If you didn’t give him a proper push, he’d probably never propose.” Sally smiled on one of Annabeth’s trips to the city just to talk with her favorite motherly figure.

“Oh, I know.” Annabeth agreed because she had to kiss Percy first. There wasn’t a slower boy in the universe. Except for… No, there wasn’t a slower boy in all of existence.

 

“But Annabeth doesn’t want a ring.” Percy protested one night to his mother while Annabeth pretended to be asleep. “Do you know what she’s going to say if I give her one?”

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?” Paul Blofis offered in an amused tone.

“She’ll love it, Percy. Annabeth still wears her father’s class ring on her necklace.” Sally replied sweetly. Annabeth had to fight every muscle in her body to stop herself from smiling.

“She’ll say,” Percy sighed exasperatedly before doing a terrible interpretation of Annabeth. “ ‘Percy, with all the fighting we do the ring will just get scratched, broken, or somehow melted by acid or fire or worse. Besides don’t you know about finger swelling?’” Percy switched to his normal voice. “And I’ll say, ‘But Annabeth, your fingers aren’t fat.’ And then she’ll hit me!”

“You should never call any part of a girl fat.” Paul said sagely.

“Then she’ll say, because she has said this before,” Percy switched back to a truly terrible mimic of Annabeth, which sounded more like Ares after being stuck in a room full of helium. “ ‘No, Seaweed brain. Fingers tend to swell during strenuous exercise due to accelerated blood circulation. Typically, people who wear rings will start to cut off circulation from their fingers if they exercise continually. Or in our case, fight monsters.’ Or something like that. Annabeth will probably add some more words I won’t even begin to understand.”

“And you’ll smile and listen anyway because you love her.” Annabeth could imagine Sally smiling.

“So, you’re getting her a ring?” Paul asked a few minutes later, after Percy laid a blanket over Annabeth and sat beside her, stroking her hair. Percy was quiet for several long minutes, his fingers holding a strand of Annabeth’s hair.

“I’m thinking of a new knife. She lost hers in Tartarus. A new knife is more practical than a ring anyway. Besides, it was a blade Annabeth and Luke promised on. Isn’t marriage about promises?” Percy asked back. Annabeth could feel his warm fingertips tuck her curls behind her ear. Didn’t he say he liked her curls? Annabeth wanted to kiss him right then and there.

Of course she didn’t. Annabeth was asleep. Well, sort of.

 

The wedding took four months to plan, which drove nearly everyone crazy with the somewhat rushed preparations. Aphrodite always managed to leave bridal magazines lying around anywhere Annabeth went; Hera sent three cows to Annabeth’s apartment a week, voicing her obvious disdain for Annabeth and the wedding she would be forced to attend; and Athena came down from Mount Olympus several times to check on her daughter’s sanity.

Annabeth felt perfectly sane. It was just that she and Percy didn’t want to wait anymore. Hera’s nasty trick with the memories had showed how much Annabeth meant to Percy. Tartarus had showed the two that they needed each other keep moving. If it would take more than the terrors of Tartarus to separate them, why bother waiting?

Percy and Annabeth decided it would be a New Year’s wedding because it seemed to be the only time of the year Poseidon and Athena see eye to eye. Annabeth suspected it was because December and January were their sacred months respectively. What better way to celebrate a night ritual than with the rest of the world counting down the clock to midnight?

 

“Just think about Montauk, okay?” Percy pleaded as they sat across from each other at the Poseidon table long after the rest of camp had gone to bed one long October night. “It’s the one thing I want from this whole ceremony, well that on the other thing.”

“Uh huh.” Annabeth refused to take her eyes off an old scroll filled with Greek marriage rituals. “We still haven’t even decided how we want to modernize the rituals. I mean, lets be real: Are we really going to have a marriage feast where, ‘ALL women must sit and wait until the men are done eating before they can join’?”

“That’s really dumb. If you’re hungry, you should just eat. Speaking of which….” Percy produced a magic plate and two forks and set them on the table. A moment later a cobalt blue brownie with a scoop of blue vanilla ice cream appeared on top. “Wedding planning is hungry work.”

“Says the person who’s done nothing but help decide our wedding should be on New Year’s Eve.”

“That’s not true!” Percy protested. “I chose the paint.”

Annabeth let herself laugh and muttered ‘Seaweed Brain’ before taking a fork to attack the blue food.

“Besides, if we do the ritual at Montauk we can do the ceremonial bath in the ocean.” Percy smiled hopefully.

“In the middle of winter?” Annabeth raised a brow. “How do you know about the ceremonial bath anyway?”

“Believe it or not, I do listen to you time to time, Wise Girl. Also, I can will us dry immediately afterwards.” He grinned before picking up a sheet of paper. “And, if you haven’t already guessed, I can read. I say we nix this really awkward bit before the procession. Or better yet, we nix the procession all together.” He frowned.

“Everyone really wants a procession so we’ve got to give them that.” Annabeth sighed, scooping a bit of ice cream into her mouth. “What’s the latest weird thing about the procession?”

Percy coughed, looking blatantly uncomfortable. He paled visibly, as if knowing Annabeth would break nearly every bone in his body if he said anything. But he took a deep breath anyway, sliding the paper over to Annabeth. “It says here, at the bride’s departure, the groom must grab the bride’s wrist from her father as a symbolic captive as the father says, ‘in front of witnesses I give this girl to you for the production of legitimate children.’” Percy coughed again. Annabeth hid her face in her hands, staring wide-eyed through her fingers at Percy.

“You’re kidding.”

“I’m not kidding, you read the piece of paper!” Percy protested. “Just don’t shoot the messenger!”

“There’s no way my Dad would say that aloud and no way you’re ever treating me like a captive, symbolic or not.” Annabeth glowered, slowly lowering her hands before crumpling the sheet of paper and throwing it into the hearth fire.

“Wouldn’t dream of it, Wise Girl.” He held his hands up in surrender.

“Let’s keep it that way.”

 

On the first day of the wedding, Proaulia, Annabeth burned all of her childhood items. Item, she had to correct herself, missing the knife Luke gave her. She was required to burn her childhood belongings, a symbol of leaving the child behind in favor of the woman she’ll become. Annabeth could probably argue she left childhood behind a long time ago. Maybe when Thalia was turned into a pine tree, her first quest with Percy, when she carried the sky, or even when Luke died right in front of her eyes. Annabeth couldn’t guess the exact moment she left her childhood behind but she could the most defining moment was when the Yankees cap stopped working.

Annabeth still remembered Athena stopping her at Grand Central Station, remembered how haggard and desperate her mother looked. And then her Yankee’s cap, the only good and precious gift Athena had given Annabeth stopped working. It still didn’t work, not even after the prophecy of seven was over. So Annabeth burned it in the ceremony, blinking back tears as she remembered using it so many times with Percy. She thought of when they were fourteen, how he was flustered and his hands moved wildly with the cap flapping back and forth in his hands after Thalia became a Hunter of Artemis. He was cute even then.

Next, Piper helped Annabeth cut her hair. Only a few locks were required as an offering to Artemis but Piper convinced her chop most of it off claiming a new look for the bride. Annabeth didn’t mind, though she suspected Percy would since he seemed nearly obsessed with her curls. She already missed his fingers wrapping around them when they sat together.

“Did you know that in Japanese culture if women cut their long hair it means to leave your past behind, to start anew. That’s not much different than burning your hat.” Rachel said, sketching as Piper snipped the first strand away. Despite Piper’s haphazard haircut, she was probably the only person Annabeth trusted with scissors.

“That’s only the modern interpretation. Before then, it symbolized a woman being kicked out of their home.” Annabeth stated matter-of-factly, shivering as the cold scissor blade barely touched the bottom of her ear.

“Well, it’s not so much being kicked out of the Athena cabin. It’s more like you’re willingly leaving.” Piper snipped off another lock. “Is this enough for Artemis?” She held up two thick locks of hair as long as her forearm.

“That’s way more than enough.” Thalia smiled, looking up from over Rachel’s shoulder.  She took the strands and tucked them into a silver box. “I’ll bring them to the goddess later.”

“Good,” Annabeth replied, her heart fluttering in her chest. She gazed at the mirror in front of her as Piper continued cutting. “Good.” She repeated for good measure, noting that her gray eyes looked unusually bright in the mirror.

“Oh my gods, you’re nervous!” Thalia gave a lopsided grin, meaning she was ready to tease. “You’re nervous about marrying Seaweed Brain!”

“Of course I’m not nervous! I,” Annabeth faltered, feeling blood rush to her cheeks in embarrassment for what she said next. “I’ve known for a while now I want to spend the rest of my life with him.”

“But you’re nervous.” Rachel grinned too, pointing a charcoal pencil at Annabeth.

“What if I mess up the ceremony? Oh, who am I kidding? Percy’s more likely to mess that up. I can see him getting so nervous he’ll accidentally call on a wave large enough to wash the Montauk cabins away.” Annabeth rolled her eyes.

“It’s more likely your wedding is attacked by monsters. I mean most of the Olympians gods and many demigods from both camps are going to be there.” Calypso entered the room, carrying a shallow basket filled with a silver and blue material. Annabeth tried her best not to make a face. Calypso and Annabeth had become friends just weeks prior to the wedding. Their relationship was still rocky at best since Annabeth knew Calypso was Percy’s ‘what if.’ It didn’t help that Annabeth could sometimes see a little bit of longing when Calypso glanced Percy’s way. But that was changing slowly but surely because Calypso was without a doubt in love with Leo as much as Annabeth loved Percy. There was no mistaking the look and no way to waver the feeling.

“Gods, that’ll be awful. Isn’t Chiron setting up a magical border for that?” Piper asked, wincing just before she snipped off a strand. Annabeth had to try not to wince as well. Who closes their own eyes as they cut hair?

“He is but I’ll have the other hunters patrolling the perimeter during the wedding and Tyson has Cyclopes patrolling the ocean floor for sea monsters. We’ve got is covered.” Thalia offered.

“That’s good.” Annabeth let out a sigh of relief, though she already knew this. Tyson, Percy’s half brother volunteered a portion of his army to guard the wedding, while Thalia had offered the hunters without hesitation at Annabeth’s asking. She hoped for a monster free wedding but didn’t dare say it aloud. The fates had a bad way of acting on Annabeth’s words.

“There,” Piper stepped away from Annabeth, her color changing eyes mirrored Annabeth’s gray. Annabeth searched everyone’s reactions, desperately hoping they were good. The last thing Annabeth wanted to do was chop off all her hair simply because Piper’s haircut went horribly wrong. Thalia’s expression showed approval, Rachel looked enthralled as if she needed to draw Annabeth right then and there. Piper looked proud, crossing her arms with a smug smile while Calypso looked close to tears.

When Annabeth turned to face the mirror, she was surprised. When was the last time her hair was this short? She had considered, once, to donating it all to charity but something held her back. Seeing it so short now, with the curls more like the ocean waves Percy loved so dearly, Annabeth wondered why she didn’t cut it sooner. Her hair fell barely past her chin, making her features look more delicate and younger and yet more mature and wiser. She fought the urge to pull it back into a ponytail and hoped she could break the habit. With a deep breath, Annabeth ran her fingers through her hair, startling herself when her fingers met air too soon. Or at least it felt too soon. She almost missed combing out her hair with her fingers, now that seemed nearly impossible. What type of horrible bedhead would she wind up with in the morning?

“Let’s try the veil, I finished it this morning.” Calypso said, pulling the silver fabric from her basket along with an ivory looking hair comb. “The silver silk is a gift from Thalia and the other Hunters of Artemis. I wove all your adventures with Percy as a gift from me. As for this comb, it’s your something old to help keep the veil pinned in. Take a look before you try it on.”

The veil felt like clouds between Annabeth’s fingers. In a way, the veil reminded her of Percy’s watch Tyson made, filled with the summer adventures when they were thirteen. But instead of one summer of adventures, it had been the five years Annabeth had known Percy. Had it really been five years? It felt longer, a lifetime maybe. Then there was the monster time to calculate but Annabeth had to remind herself it made no difference. She was marrying Percy because she loved him. She was marrying him because, with all they’ve been through, he was the only person Annabeth just couldn’t live without. The gods know she tried. It nearly killed her. And it nearly killed Percy too; since her name was the only thing he could remember for a time.

Annabeth just stared at the veil, how intricate it was, less lifelike than Arachne’s work but beautiful nonetheless. She stared at the weaving of Aunty Em’s Gnome Emporium, next to Annabeth’s nightmare at the water park (which kindly had a lack of woven spiders), and the Kindness International truck where Percy and Annabeth really talked for the first time. Annabeth loved how, after Percy rescued her in the winter, Calypso made a point to emphasize the streak of gray she and Percy shared once upon a time. Annabeth glanced at the mirror to where the gray streak used to grow. She missed it now more than ever.

“It’s perfect.” Annabeth tried not to tear up as Calypso moved the veil gently from Annabeth’s grasp and pinned it to her hair, adding owl feathers for visual effect.

“Since I wove it for a demigod, I covered all the basics. Fireproof, we don’t want Leo accidentally burning it.” Calypso rolled her eyes and grinned. Rachel and Piper laughed. “Strong as Nemian Lion fur, some healing magic for when ambrosia just isn’t enough, stain proof, waterproof, tornado proof, poison proof, medusa proof. It’s probably everything proof.”

Annabeth laughed. “What am I going to be doing with my wedding veil? Fighting monsters and going on quests with it?”

“Gods no!” Calypso exclaimed. “You might dirty it! Then again, it is dirt proof. No, I was just thinking…” She trailed off looking at her feet. Annabeth could see Calypso’s cheeks turn visibly red. “I mean the second night of the wedding after all…” She trailed off again.

“Please, don’t go into detail.” Thalia visibly paled. “I don’t want to think about that.”

“No! Gods no!” Calypso snapped her head up, looking alarmed. “I don’t want to think about that either! I,” She stuttered, gripping her basket tighter. “I just thought it could be sewn onto a fabric after the wedding. A… A blanket. A baby blanket to be precise.” Annabeth watched Calypso’s knuckles turn white and heard the weaved basket crackling under her grasp. “I just can’t help but think of how cute that baby would look swaddled in their parent’s adventures. And… and maybe you and Percy will run into trouble travelling from New York to Camp Half Blood or to my island or Camp Jupiter or wherever you two would like to go. I want to make sure your kid will be protected. Even if you don’t have kids, I’m not trying to pressure you or anything; it will be useful protection on quests. The last thing Percy would want is seeing you get hurt, Annabeth. I,” She stumbled again and Annabeth could see how painfully in love Calypso was and how much pain she had to go through to give Percy up. “I want to protect you as much as Percy does. Everyone does.”

Annabeth felt speechless. Could everyone truly want to protect her? She thought of the gods, the monsters, demigods, and mortals she never would have met or befriended without Percy. She thought about Bob the Titan, who would only be able to appear tomorrow with Damasen. She thought of Artemis and even Calypso, who she would never think to friend without Percy’s urgings.

“Is that true?” Annabeth couldn’t help but ask.

“Of course it’s true.” Piper leaned down to give Annabeth a hug from behind. “You two are the glue to everything. Seeing you two together is like seeing the world make sense. When people look at the two of you they can’t help but think that being a demigod isn’t that bad. It’s bad, don’t get me wrong, but you two make it look easy.”

“It’s never been easy.” Annabeth protested.

“Which is why everyone looks to you.” Rachel pointed out, sketching again. “In thousands of years demigods will be reading all about you and they’ll know you as the two Greeks who brought back the happy endings.”

“Are you saying this as the Spirit of Delphi or just spouting? Because that sounds really lame.” Thalia asked.

“I don’t need the spirit to know every demigod will want what you two have.”

“And what is that, exactly?” Annabeth asked, removing the veil as she stood.

“A chance at being happy.” Calypso smiled gently as she took the veil back.

“A love so strong Orpheus’ story pales in comparison.” Piper added.

Annabeth walked to the window, staring out at the beach where Leo and Tyson were busy setting up for the second day of the wedding. Chairs were being set up as cold winter sea air rushed in. In another beach cabin, similar to the one Annabeth stood in now, she could see Percy’s figure out on the porch just leaning on the railings focused on the sea. Just seeing Percy look so content made Annabeth glad she agreed to Montauk for their wedding. The December cold hardly mattered now.

“Yeah, maybe we do have that.” Annabeth smiled with one final glance out the window before turning back to her friends.

 

Over half of the Olympian gods appeared at the first night’s wedding feast. Athena and Annabeth’s father met face to face for the first time in such a long time, Annabeth nearly cried like back in the Sea of Monsters. Percy understood, he always understood, and held her close as they danced on the sandy beach. Annabeth could tell both of her parents still had feelings for another, like Sally and Poseidon had, but it was more distant now. The two were resigned as if they knew the most they could be were acquaintances.

The beach was warm, with tall torches of Leo’s making that seemed to drive the cold, and maybe Khione, away. Under the glow of the firelight, Annabeth had the time of her life celebrating with family and friends. Apollo danced with his precious Oracle, spouting out bad haiku’s only for Rachel to mend them so they didn’t sound as terrible. Frank and Hazel played Mythomagic with Nico at one of the tables, Nico and Frank getting into a heated argument about one card as Hazel simply laughed and rolled her eyes. Calypso sang along to the music, sounding better than any of the Muses as she spun in Leo’s arms while Jason and Piper seemed to have disappeared off somewhere. Percy made a guess they disappeared to the skies. Artemis danced with Thalia near Mr. D, who sat drinking copious amounts of diet Coke. Aphrodite danced with whichever god or demigod available, laughing prettily like a southern debutante from Georgia. Annabeth guessed some things never changed. She saw Hera standing grudgingly in a corner, which made Annabeth smile a little. Though she didn’t want Hera at the wedding, it was Hera’s duty as the goddess to appear at each and every wedding in some shape or form. Annabeth did get a bit of a kick to see the goddess so miserable. Percy did too.

She lost track of time at the feast, dizzied by the many faces she and Percy had to greet endlessly. Annabeth could go on for days listing the people in attendance: Poseidon, Hermes, Sally, Paul, Clarisse, Reyna, and more. She and Percy had to stop and greet everyone, which Annabeth could barely stand and Percy complained talking to everyone prevented him from eating. “There will be a feast tomorrow,” Annabeth had to remind him after a somewhat painful greet to Aphrodite. “And a feast the day after that.” Plenty of time for blue cake and blue soda and blue whatever he wanted.

The morning of Gamos, the actual day of the wedding, made Annabeth nervous. The ceremony wouldn’t start until sunset and the old rituals had it so Annabeth wouldn’t be see him until then. Piper, Calypso, Thalia, and Reyna kept Annabeth busy, telling stories and recounting adventures. She found herself liking Calypso’s stories the most. Adventures with Leo seemed harebrained and crazy to consider, like explaining architecture to Percy. Sure, Leo’s inventions had the best intentions but gods and monsters liked to break them a lot. His adventures seemed doomed to fail from the very beginning but they were always successful and always funny. Just like Annabeth’s adventures with Percy.

Annabeth could hear people bustling around on the beach, either mingling or helping set up. She could hear Grover, Tyson, even her younger half siblings but not Percy or Jason or even her father. Somehow that sent a terrifying shiver through her body. What if Percy just up and left? What if he heard about monsters attacking and had to stop them? What if he didn’t make it back? Were her questions a product of cold feet?

It took everything in her being to not stare out the window, past the gods, and at Percy’s cabin waiting for movement.

Outside the cabin three gods stood grouped at the beach watching demigods, monsters, and mortals mingling together with an impossible ease. At least, it would have been impossible without the influence of Percy and Annabeth (not that the gods would openly admit it). Bob the Titan and Damasen were chaperoned by Nico, who introduced them to an Apollo demigod from the Roman camp.

“Did you ever imagine a gathering like this?” Aphrodite sighed with such content Athena had to hold back a scowl. “A beautiful mix of ancient and modern traditions.”

Athena sighed. “And here I thought you were talking about Titans, Giants, and Cyclopes – ”

“Oh my.” Poseidon chuckled humorously. Athena glared at him.

“– getting along with enemy demigod camps. Not a wedding. A wedding, may I remind you Poseidon, I still don’t approve on. Your son doesn’t have the best track record AND he has a high probability of getting my daughter in trouble.” Athena frowned, crossing her arms and picking sand from her silver skirt.

“Of course he doesn’t.” Aphrodite replied cheerfully. “I told him I would never make love easy for him. How many broken hearts has he left behind unknowingly? How many people has Percy had to hurt to get Annabeth in the end? Calypso’s still mending her broken heart. Rachel says she’s fine but why do you think she decided to become the virgin Oracle of all things? Of course I threw Luke and Nico your daughter’s way but that younger boy just didn’t take. Ah, well, love works in mysterious ways.”

“But you are love, the goddess of love to be exact.” Athena raised a brow as she gave a look of disbelief.

“I happen to like being mysterious.” Aphrodite batted her eyelashes and drew her pink scarf close enough to cover all but her eyes from view. “And charming and delicate and strong. I am the goddess of love, dear. I am everything one can fall in love with.”

“You know, there are scientists diving in my waters just because they’re in love with some kind of mold or something growing at the bottom of my sea.” Poseidon mused.

“It’s benthic. Are you benthic algae then, Aphrodite? You did say you’re anything someone can fall in love with. Not to mention you were born from sea foam.” Athena smiled, giving a side-glance to the goddess.

“So they’re right. This is the time of year you two get along. I bet you two invented chariots and horses on this day, didn’t you?” Aphrodite frowned, losing only a fraction of her beauty.

“That’s honestly difficult to tell since calendars back then don’t exactly correspond to the calendars now. If anything, we created them before calendars were even popular.” Athena replied thoughtfully. “But yes, I suppose.”

“Still our best collaboration yet.” Poseidon boomed loudly.

“Oh? And not your children?” Aphrodite asked. “I think the world would agree that they are the best example of you two working together.”

Athena and Poseidon spared a glance at each other before laughing. “Percy may be the best of me but he is a product of my love for Sally.” His sea green eyes twinkled.

“And Annabeth is purely my intellectual fascination with her father. Obviously, she deserves more than a waterlogged brained boy. Look at her going along with his idiotic idea of having a beach wedding in the middle of winter.” Athena sniffed.

“I like the beach.” Poseidon protested.

“But in the middle of winter? If that Hephaestus boy hadn’t set up those torches, the mortals would be freezing to death. I doubt that’s a good omen for a happy marriage.” Athena huffed. “Regardless, my daughter and his son are in no way a collaboration. Their ability to look past thousand year feuds to bring camps and gods together is simply their doing. Perhaps, symbolically, they are the catalyst proving things had to change. Athena and Poseidon demigods don’t get along and our children disproved this fact. In the five short years they’ve been around each other they’ve managed to undo a millennia of pain, fear, and suffering. They proved to us things can’t stay as they are.”

“And you still don’t approve of Percy marrying your daughter?” Poseidon arched a brow.

“Of course not. The only reason they’ve managed to do those things is because Annabeth has been protecting your incompetent son. Imagine what more she could have done had she not been your son’s bodyguard.” Athena’s nose turned high.

“Incompetent?” Poseidon roared angrily, causing the festivities in front of them to still. “How dare you call him incompetent.”

“I’m simply stating the facts.” Athena sniffed.

“I’m sorry, –” Poseidon began.

“Apology not accepted.” Athena cut in.

“But was your child heroic enough to be granted immorality?” He finished, though his cheeks were now burning red.

“She brought back the Athena Parthonos and restored the rift between camps! That is immortality worthy as I’ve ever seen! Besides! Your son had the nerve to reject our gift!” Athena snapped.

“May I interject?” Aphrodite hummed boredly, a feigned smile on her lips. She examined her nails, frowning when she noticed some of the white paint had chipped from her French tips.

“No!” Athena and Poseidon shouted together, causing demigods and monsters alike to take two steps back.

“Your daughter will be walking out of her cabin in her wedding dress in two minutes, thirty seconds. Your son will be walking out of his in forty-two seconds. Do you really want to interrupt love at its purest form for a silly argument? Do you think they care?” Aphrodite mused as her nails magically repaired themselves. “They are in love. That’s all that should matter.”

“The imperative word being ‘should.’” Athena frowned. She glanced at her daughter’s blue cabin and sighed. “Fine,” She sighed, brushing back a loose strand of curly black hair. “We can settle this argument later. For the sake of our children.” Her gray eyes looked up at Poseidon.

“Yes,” Poseidon let out a gruff sigh. “For our children.”

Aphrodite began a countdown, which made the remaining demigods, monsters, and mortals to take their seats just before the surf. Rachel stood at the edge of the water swathed in robes of gold, blue, and green, which made her vivid red hair stand out nearly identical to the fires burning above her head. She stood grinning madly, clutching a scroll tightly in her chest.

“Oh, I don’t know what to expect!” Aphrodite squealed in a whisper. “How do you modernize a Greek wedding? Did they bring speeches and vows? Will Dr. Chase walk his daughter down the aisle? Will Annabeth wear white? A wonderful fashion trend Queen Victoria put into popularity, by my insistence of course…”

The goddess trailed off as the cabin door opened to a cabin. Leo Valdez stuck his head out, grinning, before hopping down the stairs dressed in a simple white chiton. Frank, Nico, and Jason followed him in identical clothing, who walked down the aisle to stand to one side of Rachel. Percy Jackson stepped from his cabin last, wearing a black-sleeved chiton with blue embroidery that depicted elements from the ocean. Over it, he wore a sea green chlamys, a blanket-like cape pinned with a silver clasp embossed with a trident. Around his waist sat a bronze knife as long as his forearm, dangling awkwardly. His sea green eyes stared only at Annabeth’s cabin as he walked down the final steps, standing behind the rows of seats and just in front of the gods. Apollo, Artemis, Hera, and Hermes now stood with Athena, Poseidon, and Aphrodite, looking on.

Those sitting in seats turned, some watching Percy’s expression, others at Annabeth’s cabin. The door opened and breaths hitched in anticipation. First Hazel strode out, followed by Calypso, Piper, and Thalia. They trailed past Percy to stand on the other side of Rachel, wearing silver and gold dresses.

Now all eyes fell on the cabin entrance where a young woman walked out wearing a silver veil that covered her face and fell down to her waist. She wore a deep blue dress that seemed as dark as the night sky but as bright as the heavens. As she walked down the steps to the sandy beach, the shade of blue seemed to change with her, brighter or darker, often showing hues of purple within them. Her wedding dress was a perfect example of ancient meeting modern. The gown was the perfect collaboration between a woman’s chiton and a modern wedding dress, making the wearer seem as timeless as the goddesses.

Annabeth’s face was still mostly visible under the intricate veil, her lips parted in a large smile she probably wasn’t aware of. Her gray eyes sparkled with blue flecks from her dress and her cropped hair bounced with every passing step. She was every bit a blushing bride, especially as her gaze rested solely on Percy.

She stopped just inches from Percy, grinning at him. He smiled back, a large hand reaching for her curls and briefly intertwined his fingers in them. He muttered something and Annabeth laughed before looping her arm through his and turning to face the gods. They bowed with wide goofy grins splayed across their lips, showing even the logical Athena, their love couldn’t be anything but real.

Percy and Annabeth walked down the aisle together, nodding at anyone in the seats waving or cheering. Gods, there was so much cheering. Not all demigods deserved tragic endings, right? This had to be one of the rare happy endings Greeks strived for.

They stopped before Rachel, who called the wedding to order, stating her credentials as the Oracle and best friend of the soon to be newlyweds. She recited book twenty-three of the Odyssey, featuring one of Annabeth’s favorite heroes: Odysseus. The book was all about Odysseus finally being home, about coming face to face with Penelope after so long, and how their love prevailed after everything each had to suffer through alone. They shared a connection, secret signs only those two could share. Annabeth touched a lock of Percy’s hair; the part that used to be gray from holding up the sky and long ago disappeared.

When Rachel finished reciting the book, Percy vowed to Annabeth as he unstrapped the bronze knife that hung awkwardly around his waist. He promised to protect her, to make her happy, to never forget her or leave, lest he gets Judo flipped again. Annabeth laughed tearfully at that. He promised to be goofy and have a brain full of kelp, to forget anniversaries from time to time, and make up for it by giving her gifts on random days just to make sure Annabeth knew he loved her. Percy rambled in his vows, telling Annabeth he loved her and how he would strive to always be the person she fell for. When Percy finished, he coughed and looked away.

Annabeth took the knife and fastened it around her waist, reciting her own vows. They were similar in many ways, promising to protect, to be happy, and to fight with him only when necessary. She didn’t allow herself to ramble, knowing she’d burst into tears if she did.

Silence followed after Annabeth’s vows, leaving the audience to simply listen to the waves crashing on the shore. Annabeth stared into Percy’s eyes and he stared back, a devilish grin growing on his lips. A moment later Annabeth screamed as Percy picked her up in his arms and jumped into the surf.

They yelped as the freezing cold pounded against their bodies as the water salted their tongues and soaked their clothes. Their voices cracked as they crowed in excitement, their hearts hammering in their chests with blood burning beneath their veins. Voices from the shore yelled back, figures standing and waving. So what if this ‘purification bath’ was meant for just the bride? This was so much better.

“I now pronounce you man and wife!” Rachel shouted at the top of her lungs to her friends in the surf, throwing the scroll into the sky as she hopped up and down.

Percy lifted Annabeth’s veil and kissed her, wrapping his shivering arms around her smaller form for warmth. He loved how she tasted like the sea and she loved how it reminded her of their underwater kiss. They parted only to kiss again before waving at the dry figures on the beach.

Piper ran in first, dragging Jason in with her, screeching as she splashed into the ice cold water. Rachel dove in shortly after with Thalia pushing Nico in only after he swore at the top of his lungs.  One by one, members of the wedding joined the newlywed couple in the water, screaming at the top of their lungs from cold or celebration. It hardly mattered which.

 

The feast afterwards was just as chaotic. It reminded both Percy and Annabeth of the parties up on Mount Olympus, a party cranked past ten and straight to twelve. Poseidon kindly dried anyone without sea god powers with the wave of his hand so everyone could enjoy the heat of Leo’s torches. Tyson spun Annabeth dizzily around, before Jason was kind enough to save her. Poseidon cut in after that, followed Hermes, Paul, her father, and Chiron. Percy eventually reclaimed her, snatching Annabeth from behind and pulling her into a slow dance.

“You look great.” Percy said lamely, his cheeks red from embarrassment or wine, she didn’t know. He probably meant beautiful, Annabeth guessed, but his brain had a habit of making him shut up at the wrong time. “I like your curls. They’re different.”

“Gods, Seaweed Brain. Can’t you just say you think I’m beautiful?” Annabeth laughed so enchantingly, Percy thought the earth stood still.

“I love you.” The words spilled from his lips before he could stop them. Not that he wanted to. “You’re beautiful.” Percy beamed. “And you know what else?” He hummed as Annabeth rested her head on his shoulder.

“What?” Annabeth closed her eyes and sighed into his embrace.

“You’re my wife.” Percy chuckled.

“And you’re my husband.” Annabeth smiled happily. “Which means you’ll have to deal with the lovely cow presents Hera sends me.”

“And you’ll have to deal with all the monsters that are out to get me. So we’re even, I guess.”

“Percy,” Annabeth pulled away far enough to be face to face, her gray eyes level and serious, though her lips hinted she was joking. “We are never, ever, going to be even.”

Percy laughed. “I’ll always be trying to catch up to you, Wise Girl.”

“Is that a promise?”

“I swear it on the River Styx.”

 

The feast lasted well past midnight, where everyone watched fireworks on the beach that welcomed the New Year. Every burst of light showed off a new image: Percy fighting the Minotaur, Annabeth and Percy pulling Grover at the edge of Tartarus, Percy and Annabeth riding Hippocampi, and more. Those who didn’t know their story knew it now.

At the end of the fireworks show, some left for their cabins either at Camp Half Blood or the beach while others began helping with the next part of Gamos: the procession. Annabeth and Percy didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, so they got rid of anything that made them uncomfortable. Especially the captive bit.

The chariot was near identical to the one Annabeth and Percy designed together the summer they were thirteen before the quest for the Golden Fleece. It had been a design Annabeth liked because it showed off Athena in the most flattering way. The chariot consisted of a dark wood with silver olive branches as spokes, which spread to the main carriage as if alive and growing. In movement the branches would resemble a fire, symbolizing Prometheus and the first technology given to man. Intertwining patterns of blue and green made the edges of the chariot, which even mingled into the leather reins. Blackjack, the pegasus Percy saved from the Princess Andromeda, stood in a blue and green harness, snorting and pawing his hoof to the ground. Percy laughed and responded, his arm still firmly on Annabeth’s waist.

If Annabeth didn’t know Percy well she’d think him insane for responding to a horse. But since he was the son of Poseidon, the creator of horses, Annabeth could let it slide. Well, only a little. She often wondered what every horse had to say to Percy and sometimes guessed at the conversations in hopes of staying in the loop. She always asked about their talks later.

Instead of the procession dictated by myths, which included a lot of walking, Annabeth and those willing to help with the procession decided something simple. While Percy and Annabeth would keep to the tradition of riding the chariot, Leo agreed to fly anyone who didn’t want to be stuck in the winter cold to the final destination on the Argo II. Many of their friends agreed to accompany Percy and Annabeth on horseback and help protect the newlyweds from monsters.  

It wasn’t as if Annabeth didn’t want the huge procession, which included: the bride’s mother leading the procession with a torch; young boys (often depicted as slaves); women with baskets and vases full of items pertaining to virginity and fertility; and an entire band of music. Okay, she didn’t want the procession. Not in the slightest bit. Having something that huge made her feel vain and embarrassed so she nixed most of it as soon as she could.

With a hug to her father and her new in-laws, Sally and Paul, Annabeth climbed onto the chariot where Percy stood beaming at her. She nearly tripped on her way onboard and when Annabeth looked at the ground behind her, she saw old tin cans Grover would probably eat on a string with ‘just married’ written on them tied to the chariot. Annabeth laughed and Percy pulled her into a hug before kissing her brow.

Leo called for passengers for the Argo II as Annabeth and Percy waved before Blackjack jerked the chariot in motion. The dark horse started at an easy walk, down the long strip of asphalt just behind the Montauk cabins. Once the chariot passed two cabins Annabeth set her hand down, watching her family and friends turn to leave or board Leo’s ship.

Horses fell into step with Blackjack either in front or behind him, all wearing something either sea green or blue. Tyson led the procession on Mrs. O’Leary’s back, the only non-horse-like creature in the group. Flanking just behind Tyson were the Romans Frank, Hazel, and Reyna each on their own horses. Behind the chariot, Jason rode Tempest on Percy’s left while Piper rode a Pegasus the same color as her hair on Annabeth’s right. Trailing last was Nico, who rode a pitch-black horse named Nightmare.

At the end of the stretch Mrs. O’Leary began to run, following the bronze light of the Argo II just ahead in the sky. The horses and pegasi broke into a gallop, breezing past darkened streets. Each demigod yelled into the night, some trying to carry on conversations, others simply exclaiming their excitement.

Percy was afraid for one long moment that the monsters would hear and sense eight powerful demigods and two monsters along a darkened highway, not to mention maybe twenty more with a goddess in the flying ship above. He suspected any moment an army of monsters rivaling the amount in Tartarus would ambush the procession. But the feeling passed at a glance at Leo’s ballista, the swords and spears at his friend’s side, and the watch Tyson had made so long ago. If monsters attacked, Percy could protect Annabeth even though he knew she would probably end up protecting him.

Half an hour passed with no sign of monsters when the Argo II disappeared from view. Mrs. O’Leary took a sharp turn into the woods. The horses and pegasi followed suit, their gallop gaining speed as they found themselves in an uphill climb. Percy yelled in encouragement as Annabeth gripped the edges, a grin forming on her lips in anticipation. The two knew what was coming next, though they’d never seen it before.

A moment later Mrs. O’Leary and Tyson disappeared, then Frank, Hazel and Reyna. Annabeth grabbed Percy’s hand as Blackjack galloped right where their companions disappeared. Percy tensed, gripping Annabeth’s hand tighter, sparing a brief thought to Harry Potter running into a wall.

Then the next second they were through, cresting a large hill to a deep valley the size of Camp Jupiter, though it held the geography of Camp Half Blood. Percy could only see as far as the torches allowed them to see but he knew there was a lake and beach nearby calling to him.

The procession galloped down the hill, following the torches to a semicircle of houses. Most of them were barely built, some with just foundation, others with frames and bricks. The house just left of center was the only complete building with white limestone bricks that still held fossilized sea shells and dark wood as a wraparound porch.

A crowd stood waiting at the front of the house as Blackjack pulled to a stop. Leo clapped loudly alongside his passengers from the Argo II, grinning madly at Percy and Annabeth. Tyson unhooked Blackjack from the chariot as Percy helped his wife down, holding her hand until they stood at an unlit hearth that would make the center of the half circle.

Annabeth tossed the chariot axle into the hearth with a deep breath. With a nod from Percy, Leo set the axle on fire before Annabeth and Percy added more wood to keep it going strong. In ancient Greece, burning the chariot axle meant the bride could no longer go back to her old home and family. It meant she now belonged to Percy’s, though Annabeth didn’t see it that way.

Behind her in limestone stood a three-story house that was tall as it was wide. It had large windows to welcome the sun, a rooftop custom built for laying on to stargaze, a library that was just as tall as the house, work rooms, guest rooms, and more. It was the house Annabeth designed for her life with Percy. Everything about it, down to the kitchen sink, was designed for their future together. It wasn’t Percy’s house or Annabeth’s house. It was Percy and Annabeth’s home.

The reason the wedding took four months to plan was primarily the time it took to build the house. Annabeth would have married Percy the day after she proposed had it not been for the house. It had taken weeks to secure a piece of land that would serve as the eastern ‘New Rome’ where demigods and legacies, whether Greek or Roman, could live once out of service or too old for camp. The border was protected like both camps, making it a safe place for demigods to live and raise families. Though it was primarily half built houses now, Annabeth could already see the sprawling city it would soon become.

Burning the axle helped christen the new city. The first offering in a new home must be made to Hestia, which, upon Nico’s prompting, were precious rare books, smoked meats, and a shield Percy and Annabeth made together a long time ago. Annabeth hoped the offering was enough for the goddess to bless the city and keep it from harm.

 

For a couple of hours Annabeth and Percy partied with the procession, opening all the windows and doors to their home. They laughed when Leo fell into a water fountain and when Frank turned into a porcupine just to produce quills for roasting marshmallows at the hearth.

Yawning at the wee hours of morning, still hours before the sun rose, Annabeth and Percy headed to the main bedroom among cheers and jabs from their friends. Leo was no help at all. As tradition went, friends of the bride were supposed to sing outside of the room and beat at the door to scare away spirits of the underworld. Friends of the groom simply had to guard the door. And all for what? For making ‘little Percy’s and Annabeth’s’ as Leo put it. That was enough to turn Percy and Annabeth beet red.

But there was no guarding or singing. As they dressed for bed, friends banged on the door and teased in such a way that caused the newlyweds to blush anew, glancing at each other from across the room. They curled into bed together, reminiscing about the Argo II and the Pegasus stables. Percy listened to Annabeth talk about their home, the dark wood trim, and little improvements she already wanted to make. The only praise Annabeth gave to his choice of paint was a kiss at the corner of his mouth. He knew this kiss, she thought the paint was stupid like all his spontaneous decisions but she loved him for it anyway.

They fell asleep talking and enjoying each other’s presence. It felt strange to relax without a quest or monster to fight, so they took the time to relish it, sinking into overstuffed pillows. They cuddled with Percy’s hands wrapped around her waist and Annabeth’s face tucked into the crook of Percy’s neck. They dreamed of their future together, dreamed of one day of sprawling out on the living room floor studying for college finals, of welcoming in a baby with Percy’s eyes and Annabeth’s curls, of growing old and gray where more than one streak of gray matched. To the future, their drifting minds toasted, as they held each other just a bit tighter.

 

Percy woke bleary eyed to Rachel yelling to get their lazy bums up from bed. At first, Percy thought a monster was attacking the borders but there was no urgency to the yell, which made him close his eyes once more. Annabeth groaned, curling tighter into Percy, which made him want to ignore their close friend. But no such luck. Only a minute later Piper was yelling too with Leo jeering about something Percy and Annabeth did not do.

“We’re coming!” Annabeth yelled back, though she held to Percy tighter. Of course she’d wake to the sound, Annabeth was a light sleeper from her time with Thalia and Luke.

Reluctantly, Percy loosened her grip on Annabeth and she sat up, leaving his body feeling cold. He had no other desire than to pull Annabeth in his arms and simply stay there until the world ended. But Annabeth wouldn’t let the world end on her watch so Percy kissed her good morning and dressed for the day.

The final day of the wedding ceremony was called Epaulia. Hermes had described the day as ‘Christmas’ for the newlyweds, where Percy and Annabeth would receive wedding gifts and feast with friends and family as their first day as a married couple. Apollo kindly described Epaulia as ‘the day after Christmas’ for everyone else, since they’d be in a party hangover and get drunk once more on the festivities later that day.

Annabeth opened the door to the bedroom and was immediately tackled to the ground by Piper and Rachel. Their eyes were bright and they gabbed excitedly about how the party continued on even after the newlyweds left. Leo accidentally blew up part of a half built house and Rachel spouted prophecies unintentionally.

Outside of the bedroom doors was a feast of Frank’s favorite foods: breakfast, breakfast, and breakfast. People groaned, sore and tired, in sleepless raspy voices that begged for water or coffee. They squinted at the morning sun and stared bleary-eyed at the feast prepared in the kitchen. Slowly but surely, everyone began to wake bit by bit and easing the late morning mumbles to a midafternoon party.

Presents were opened, which contained mostly weapons, and Rachel foretold a prophecy of Percy and Annabeth’s future together. The prophecy didn’t sound foreboding, which was good. It didn’t even have the word or anything rhyming with ‘death,’ which was definitely better.  

As the sun began to set, Percy and Annabeth waved to their departing friends with arms around each other. They stared out at the Argo II in the sky, the pegasi and horses leaving through the barrier, and thought how long it would take for others to move in on this nearly untouched land.

To the right of their house stood another, nearly finished and decorated in gold and blue. Jason planned on moving in with Piper to attend school in New York. Another house for a few Roman’s who would be part of an exchange program come summer. Older Greek campers, who survived on their own for a few years, now wanted to join a city behind magical borders.

But for now Percy and Annabeth had this world to themselves, an Elysium to enjoy together without monsters to fight. Standing on their front porch, Annabeth and Percy stared out at their future. And, despite the darkening sky and barely visible earth before them, it looked bright.

 

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Winx Club: The Mystery Of The Abyss - Bloom & Sky…: http://youtu.be/6kI-bZRW1mA
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