Annabeth is on her fourth attempt of reading the same paragraph when she hears the front door of the apartment bang open and then closed again.
“Percy?” she calls out.
“Hi,” he calls back, sounding tired.
She’s in their bedroom, having collapsed there an hour ago and decided to tackle her reading for class tomorrow. Safe to say she has made little progress. This is, in part, due to her mind wandering back to the calc test she’d had this morning. The rest of her is just staring at the page wishing that the lines would stop moving around so she could read them. She’s grateful when Percy slumps into the room, giving her a real excuse to put the book down and stare at something else for a while.
Percy looks like a zombie, shuffling around, removing his shoes, rubbing at his face and his hair as if he can remove the tiredness that stains him that way.
“How was the presentation?” she asks him.
He mumbles, “Mmf. I don’t know. Horrible. I don’t wanna talk about it.”
After he has slowly and angrily dumped his bag in the corner and thrown his jacket over the back of the desk chair, he finally looks at her. His gaze falls and stops on her bare legs, crossed together on top of the covers. Annabeth waits patiently, her eyebrows rising towards her hairline
Ebola. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Overdose. Car accidents. Murderers. Meteorites. Autoerotic asphyxiation. Quicksand. Congratulations. You’ve beat them all (and more) for another year. Happy birthday loser.