"listen i know i can’t just show up at your apartment at six in the morning but i need coffee and no one makes it like you do" OR "we broke up after i left and moved away and months later i find out you rushed to the airport to stop me but you were too late" with Percabeth?
There are a lot of things Percy expects to see at six in the morning outside his place in New Athens. Campers who are in trouble. Campers who aren’t in trouble, but are being little shits. Lost gods that he can slam the door on. Maybe even his brother, whose sense of timing after spending time on the bottom of the ocean isn’t always great.
He’s not sure anything could have prepared him for Annabeth Chase.
Riptide is in his hand and ready to be uncapped before either of them say anything, his senses on red alert because the only reason his ex-girlfriend would be standing in front of him right now is if some sort of terrible disaster had struck the town.
Her hand snaps out, gently pressing his wrist down. The touch of skin on skin is like fire through his veins, and just for a second, Percy forgets how to breathe.
“No!” Her face is pink in the hazy dawn light. “No I - ugh, sorry, there’s nothing wrong. This was a bad idea, I should - I’m going.”
“Wait–” He takes a stumbling half-step towards her, just barely suppressing the urge to reach for her. The memory of her hand on his wrist still throbs, and he’s pretty sure it’s not something either of them want to repeat. “What - uh, how can I help? Did you need help? What do you need?”
The awkwardness hangs so thing in the air, they practically have to chew through it to speak. Annabeth looks briefly like she’s considering not even trying, before her shoulders slump. She rubs the back of her neck, looking up at the sky, and that’s when Percy notices the dark circles under them.
“Coffee,” she sighs. “I might have been up all night working on some plans, and I really need to get them done, and then I’ve got knifework with the campers later and I really don’t want to accidentally stab them. Plus I’m pretty sure that Chiron wants to meet with me about incorporating some different habitats into our next expansion and I wanted to draft up some ideas for that and–”
Once upon a time, he probably would have put his hand over her mouth and dragged her inside.
Once upon a time, he might have calmed her down with a kiss instead of his hand.
Right now, all he can really do is stand there, half-amused, half-concerned (all affection), waiting patiently for it all to come out. She finishes with something about needing to call her dad, and her face is definitely bright red now. For a moment (and it’s not the first moment), Percy forgets all about the fights and the screaming, the endless nightmares caught between them.
For a moment, he loves Annabeth Chase and it’s enough.
“I can do coffee,” he says, leaning against the doorframe with a grin. “If you cancel that meeting with Chiron and give yourself a break.”
The moment stretches as she blinks at him, turning that over in her mind. Once upon a time, it would have gotten him a laugh and a smack on the shoulder, a begrudging agreement as they both wandered inside.
Annabeth frowns, and the moment shatters. “I don’t need you to baby me, Percy,” she says tightly. “I’m an adult. I can make my own decisions.”
Irritation flares in his chest. “I know you’re an adult, I’m just worried–”
“How about you worry about yourself and your little excursions into monster territory, and leave my coping mechanisms to me?”
They stare at each other. The irritation twists into something darker, and it’s only those little excursions, the main outlet for the rage that burns inside him, that keep him from exploding in her face.
“Do you want coffee or not?” he asks finally. He sounds like a dead thing.
“I’ll get some at camp,” she says, and is gone before either one of them can start yelling.