Piper knocks on the door of Cabin 6, then lets herself in. There is only one of Annabeth's siblings still in the cabin at three in the afternoon: the few that stayed at camp during the year are either attending or teaching classes.
She nods to Malcolm, who is sitting on his bunk doing whatever he does at this time of the day, then installs herself on Annabeth's bed to wait for her friend.
After half an hour during which she immerses herself (or tries to) in one of the architecture books stacked neatly by the bed, the six other children of Athena still at camp come in one by one. One or two of the newer campers give her odd looks because why in Hades is Piper Mclean, daughter of Aphrodite, sitting on Annabeth's bed? But the rest don't even give her a second glance. Piper invading their cabin has happened before, and they know they can't do much about it.
Annabeth comes in last. She doesn't notice her guest at first, and collapses onto her bed. The daughter of Aphrodite pokes her in the ribs and she jumps out of her skin.
"Sweet Zeus, Pipes!" Annabeth exclaims. "Don't do that!"
"Sorry," Piper shoots her a half-sheepish, half-triumphant grin.
"You don't look very sorry," Annabeth smiles back, and Piper tries to kill the butterflies in her stomach. "So what brings you here?"
Piper forces herself to swallow and ignore the apparently immortal butterflies.
"I, uh..." She lowers her voice. "Well, all this giant-and-evil-earth-lady battling thing has kind of made me realize that, uh, my fighting skills suck. Like, yeah, I have the charmspeak, but I don't like using it. To be honest, I feel pretty useless most of the time."
"Anyhow," Piper cuts Annabeth off. She doesn't want to hear anything about how she was oh-so-brave during that final battle, because she wasn't. She'd stood off to the side, trying to get the Greeks and Romans to stop fighting amongst themselves because there's a huge fucking army of giants coming, guys. I saw it in my little magical knife. (There's also the little detail of having to pull herself together if she gets a compliment from a pretty girl.)
"Anyhow," she repeats, "I want you to teach me to fight. Actually fight. Please."
"Please?" she pleads.
"Yeah, of course I will," Annabeth replies gently. "But why don't you just attend Percy's lesson?"
"Because it's embarrassing. I somehow got stuck with the little kids because there wasn't enough room in the othet class or something, and Percy made fun of me for a week when I got disarmed by an eleven-year-old Hermes kid. Besides," she adds, "you're a much better teacher."
Annabeth smirks. "I'm gonna need to you tell Seaweed Brain that. He thinks he's so much better because he teaches the damn class."
Piper snorts, and then dissolves into giggles. Annabeth collapses next to her, laughing along and damn, that girl has the best laugh Piper's ever heard. "Uh, guys?" Malcolm's voice interrupts them in mid-laugh.
"Yeah, I appreciate that you're laughing, Annabeth, and Percy Jackson is a pretty bad teacher-"
At this, the girls start laughing again. Annabeth makes an effort to stifle it because she's supposed to be the smart one, the great Annabeth Chase, hero and architect of Olympus. But Piper is Piper, and she lets her peals of laughter bounce off the walls of Cabin 6. Annabeth elbows her in the ribs and she manages to quiet herself a bit.
"We can go, Malcolm," Annabeth says. "Sorry."
"Hey, that's fine. Have fun!" he calls as they walk out the door (Piper still laughing all the way).
"Okay, I know you already have Katoptris," says Annabeth once they reach the weapons shed, "but it's usually easier to start with a sword."
"Why's that?" Piper asks, partly because she is genuinely curious, and partly because she just likes the way Annabeth's voice sounds.
"Well, with a sword your movements are larger, less limited. But when you fight with a dagger, you have to get much closer to your opponent, which is more dangerous. Especially if he or she has a sword."
They spend the next half-hour trying to find a sword for Piper. It's a long and annoying process, especially because there are so many damn weapons.
At one point, Piper bursts out laughing.
"What's so funny?" asks the daughter of Athena.
"This is kind of like bra shopping," she giggles.
Annabeth snorts. "You're very mature, Mclean. Sure you're sixteen?"
"You know you love me," the child of Aphrodite smirks.
"Do I have a choice?"
"Nope," is the smug reply.
It occurs to Piper that what she was doing comes dangerously close to flirting. It then occurs to her that Annabrth is basically flirting right back. She blushes and busies herself with digging through another chest of unsheathed, deadly weapons with her bare hands.
Maybe ten minutes later, Piper thinks she's found the right one. The Celestial Bronze blade is light and slim, but is quite obviously able to handle any type of monster thrust in its way. The handle is comfortable and seems to mold to her hand immediately.
"Got o- mmph!" She is brutally cut off by Annabeth's lips crashing against hers.
The first thought that goes through her head is, Holy fucking shit she's kissing me oh my gods what do I do?!
Her second thought, however, is, I'm a daughter of Aphrodite. I should be in charge here.
And take charge she does. She shoves Annabeth roughly against the wall, her new sword lying forgotten on the ground.
Annabeth pulls away for a moment and says breathlessly, "Really?"
"Of course, you idiot," Piper replies, impatient. "For a daughter of Athena, you can be really ignorant sometimes."
Annabeth lets out a short laugh and they go back to making out against the wall. Piper's hands sneak up Annabeth's shirt and she trails her fingers up and down her back. In one swift movement, she whips off the other girl's shirt and discards it by her sword. She traces Annabeth's scars with kisses, and soft gasps of pleasure escape from the blonde girl's mouth. The daughter of Athena's fingers grip Piper's shirt and she tries to raise it over her head. But Piper has found the tender place right under Annabeth's ear and the gasps grow a little louder.
"We should, uh..." Annabeth stutters, not quite sure what she was trying to say. Piper is enjoying her confusing and sucks a little harder, ripping a quiet scream from the blonde girl's mouth.
"Is this what you're trying to do?" Piper smirks, and slithers out of her orange tank top. Annabeth's mouth quirks into a smile.
"Fuck it," she mutters. "Yes."