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Five Weeks in Detention

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Piper didn't punch Luke Castellan.

Sure she would've done it in a heartbeat. Sure she kind of wishes she did. Sure she's glad he got punched. But she didn't do it.
Piper had bad luck streak. All day it seemed like some god must have cursed her, or something. Her alarm didn't go off so she didn't have breakfast, her sister took her favorite jacket. The day started going downhill from the moment she woke up.
At the end of her last class, Piper's teacher pulled her aside to talk about some nonsense about how she loved Piper’s dad’s newest movie. (She never understood why teachers talk to students about anything unrelated to education.) After she was done with her teacher some student asked Piper if her parents would be willing to help fund his club. Piper just said no and brushed him off. She didn't want to be rude but it's not like Piper had any control over what her parents do with their money. And as if they would help fund a high school anime club.
After all the delays the school was mostly empty which was somewhat nice. No one was bugging her as she headed to her locker. When Piper got to her locker of fucking course it wouldn't open. She tried again. When it still didn’t open she tried again. She tried slowly, making sure every single number was right and the damn thing wouldn't open. As she kept trying to unlock it two people walked to the locker directly behind Piper.
“Leave me alone, Luke,” A girl said. A boy who was probably named Luke said something Piper couldn't quite understand. “You know I got over that years ago so why can't you?” The girl asked noticeably angry. Piper's locker unlocked but she didn't notice, she was listening along to what the boy and girl said. Luke said something else that Piper couldn't hear.
“Luke, go away, Jesus Christ!” The girl exclaimed.
“C’mon, Annie,” Luke said. Piper heard a swatting sound and the girl, Annie mumble what sounded like “Fucking creep,”.
At this point, Piper decided to turn around. She saw two blondes, a boy, and a girl. The girl was about Piper's age and the boy was clearly years older, probably an adult too. Piper agreed with Annie, he was definitely a creep.
Luke grabbed Annie's ass and Piper was just about ready to commit murder. Annie stepped away and hit his arm. Luke just smiled at her. The creep. Piper decided to step in. She walked across the hall.
“Hey, leave her alone,” Piper said. She stood partially in front of Annie in a subconscious desire to protect her. Luke said, “We're fine, right Annie?” Annie just stood still, giving no indication that anything was fine.
“She's clearly not fine,” Piper argued, crossing her arms.
“Look, this doesn't concern you so fuck off.”
“No, not until I know she's safe from fucking adults preying on her,” Piper stated.
“Fuck off, faggot, we're fine,” Luke said.
Piper clenched her fist. She had been contemplating whether it would be worth it to punch him, or not ever since she walked over. Now she was contemplating whether it would be worth it to not punch him.
Suddenly, Annie stepped out from behind Piper and she punched Luke in the face. “Don't call her that, you asshole!” Annie yelled. Luke doubled over, leaning against the locker. “You fucking bitch!” He exclaimed, standing back up. His nose was bleeding.
Luke started making his way towards Annie, Piper immediately shoved him back. “Don't touch her,” Piper said. Luke stood in that fucking stupid pose that all guys do when trying to be intimidating. Standing up straight, right in front of Piper, looking down at her. Piper clenched her fist. There was no way in hell this guy would intimidate her.
“Hey! What's going on?” A voice called. Piper turned around. Katie Gardener, a hall monitor, was approaching them. “They fucking attacked me!” Luke told her as she arrived. He's so fucking dramatic Piper rolled her eyes.
“What happened?” Katie asked.
“Annabeth fucking punched me and then this chick did too.” Luke said, acting like he was in unbearable pain.
“Come on, we're going to the principal's office.” Katie said.
“But she didn't do anything, it was just me.” Annie argued. Katie ignored her and held Luke's arm to guide him to the principal's office. Piper begrudgingly followed. Annie followed just behind Piper.
The next hour was a big blur. Principal Brunner called Piper's mom and Annie’s step mom. They called Luke's mom too but it took a while for her to arrive. Piper and Annie both told the same story but everyone sided with Luke. Annie's stepmother was positive that he was telling the truth. At least Piper's mom had the decency to at least pretend to be conflicted. Piper and Annie both had after school detention for the next five weeks effective tomorrow. Piper considered herself lucky. This was the kind of thing that would get a student suspended.
Eventually, everyone but Piper and Annie was in the principal's office and Piper and Annie were condemned to a bench outside the door. Piper thought it was illogical to leave the girls they believed to have just assaulted another student unattended. But then again they believed Luke's story so clearly logic wasn't their main priority.
Piper looked at Annie closely for the first time since this whole ordeal began. She was wearing a tie-dye shirt and jeans. She was slouched on the bench nervously tapping her sneaker-clad foot and twirling a lock of her hair. Her hair was long, curly, frizzy as hell and the color of lemon curd. Piper had seen many pictures of her mom in the 90’s with the same hair.
“I realize we were never formally introduced,” Piper said. “I'm Piper McLean,” she reached out her hand.
Annie stopped twirling her hair and shook Piper's hand. Piper noticed her knuckles were still tinted red. “Annabeth Chase,”
“Not Annie?” Piper asked.
“No one calls me Annie,”
“Luke did,”
“Well, Luke thinks he's special. That's probably why he thought it was okay to grope me.” Annabeth said, looking at her feet.
“Um, thanks for stepping in, by the way,” Annabeth said, turning towards Piper. Piper noticed her eyes were the color of storm clouds. “And I'm sorry for getting us both detention.” She added.
“Don't worry, I was planning on punching him too, you just beat me to it,” Piper assured.
Annabeth looked down and smiled. Piper noticed that one of her teeth stick out a little when she did. So cute.
***
Annabeth had a few issues.
Her first issue was that ever since Luke found out she used to have a crush on him. A discovery which led him to hound Annabeth, acting like she still liked him. Acting like she wasn't a fucking lesbian. Luke's hounding led to him grabbing her ass, calling Piper a faggot and getting punched by Annabeth.
Another issue was a little short, had gorgeous black hair, a nose ring and brown eyes you could drown in. Annabeth had spent an embarrassingly long time staring at this issue. Nevertheless, she was perfectly fine with this issue.
The third and arguably biggest issue was, of course, her getting detention. Or really, what's going to happen as a result of getting detention. Annabeth didn't need to be able to see the future to know that she'd get in a fight with her parents over this. A big one too. And now there was nothing to do but wait for the fight.
Well, almost nothing.
Annabeth didn't want to think about Luke or her inevitable fight with her parents. She just wanted to think about the girl sitting next to her. The girl who defended Annabeth without knowing her. Her knight wasn't in a varsity jacket and converse.
Annabeth looked at her knight, desperately trying to come up with something to talk about. There was no way she'd get anywhere with this girl if they never talk to each other. And she really, really wanted to get somewhere with her.
Piper almost made Annabeth feel insignificant. Annabeth's hair was blonde, frizzy and damaged. Whereas Piper's was long, black and looks so soft. Annabeth's complexion was as pale as white chocolate. Piper was tan, her complexion was dark. It contrasted Annabeth's completely.
And last but not least. Her eyes. They weren’t “chocolatey”, or a “sunset”, or whatever people said about brown eyes. Piper's eyes were dark, dark brown. The kind of brown you mistake for black. They were bold. They said something. They were the kind of eyes that warmed you on a cold day. They were eyes that told you exactly how Piper felt without any other indication of emotion.
Annabeth needed something they could talk about.
“Did you paint those yourself?” Annabeth pointed to Piper's sneakers, which were covered in little paintings. Annabeth recognized various Pokémon, a rainbow flag, what looked like an album cover, Mario, Luigi, Princess Leia, and Hello Kitty. Annabeth was amazed by how many were squeezed on to one shoe
Piper looked down at her shoes and moved her feet as if she had forgotten what's on them. “I did most of them, but my sister - Drew - did the Pokémon, and Mario characters.”
“What about the Hello Kitty?”
“I did that ironically.” Piper smiled.
“It's nice that you sister does stuff with you, my step brothers hate hanging out with me. All they care about is-”
The door to the Principal's office opened. Skyrim Annabeth thought, cutting herself off.
Piper's mom stepped out first. Annabeth recognized her, she was a semi-famous model of sorts. She was gorgeous and clearly Piper's mother. Piper was a carbon copy of her mom. But it was hard to tell because of the difference in the way they presented themselves. Piper's mom was trendy, Piper was not. She was all dark colors and a skater girl style.
And then Annabeth's stepmom - Karen walked out. Karen was clearly pissed. Annabeth didn't care. No amount of “I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed,”s could make her.
“C’mon Piper, let's go,” Piper's mom said. Piper said goodbye to Annabeth and left.
Annabeth looked at Karen and they left the school without a word. They got inside Karen's minivan and sat in an uncomfortable silence. Karen slowly started the car. It was impressive how much time they could spend together completely in silence. That was all they did when they were alone together.
“Annabeth, your father and I have very simple expectations for you. And no matter how simple they are you can't seem to ever meet them. And I don't think they're that hard to meet. For instance, we want you to follow rules. Like ‘don't punch people’. Even if you think they're stupid.” Karen said, breaking the silence. Annabeth slumped down in her seat.
“We just want what's best for you. I know you don't want to believe that because it's cool to rebel against your parents, or whatever, but it's true. You shouldn't have punched Luke. I don't know why you did it but violence doesn't solve anything.”
“He called Piper a faggot and groped me. Can you blame me?” Annabeth interrupted.
“Yes!” Karen exclaimed. “You and Piper shouldn't have accused him of such things. Luke seems like a very nice boy. He wouldn't call her that or bug you. And above all no matter what motive you have you shouldn't punch people.”
“Lord knows why you're so impulsive,” Karen muttered.
Because I have fucking ADHD. You know that.
“Your father and I expect you to not punch people, we expect you to not run away from home and we want you to realize that not everything we do is because we want to make your life harder for you.”
Then why can't you realize that not everything I do is to make your life harder? It was at this point that Annabeth couldn’t even try to pay attention.
“If your father’s angry you better not run away again,” Karen muttered.
They pulled into their neighborhood. Took two rights, and a left. Karen pulled into the driveway of the third house on the left. The blue one. Annabeth got out of the car as fast as she could, wanting to be as far from Karen as possible.
Annabeth unlocked the door, ignoring her stepbrother's comments and ran up the stairs. She entered her bedroom and put her backpack on her desk. She locked her door and laid down on her bed, still fully clothed. Even wearing her shoes.
She didn't want to hear her stepmom lecture her again. Or hear her stepbrothers make fun of her. Or hear her father's future lecture on why punching people is bad. She knew that punching people is bad. Of course, she knows it’s bad.
It wasn’t Annabeth’s fault that she’s impulsive.
She felt bad for Piper, who was probably suffering the same lecturing despite having done nothing. Who was getting detention despite having done nothing. Who was going to have this on her permanent record despite having done nothing.
Annabeth pulled her blanket over herself. Planning to just get a lot of extra sleep. She tried to get herself ready for detention tomorrow. And the next five weeks.

Chapter Text

Piper actually woke up early.

She brushed her teeth, ate a healthy breakfast of Lucky Charms. And got dressed. She changed her shirt from her Jurassic Park tee to some tee shirt she found on the floor. She still kept the jeans she wore yesterday. And she remembered to steal her favorite jacket back from Drew.

She hopped in her car and drove to school like it was any normal Tuesday.

Throughout the day Piper kept rehearsing a potential argument with Luke. Every time she passed a boy who looked like Luke she glared and got ready for… something.
If Piper was being perfectly honest, she had no idea what she'd do if she actually bumped into Luke. Probably yell, maybe punch him so this detention was worth it. Maybe she'd drag him to Annabeth and force him to apologize.

Piper went to English class. She hadn't found Luke yet. But she did find Annabeth sitting in the back. Piper didn't know they had any classes together, until now at least. She sat down in the middle of the class and looked back at Annabeth. Annabeth was looking at Piper through a mop of blonde curls that covered her face. Piper gave Annabeth a small wave and looked to the teacher. Piper wondered how she shared a class with Annabeth this whole time and had no idea who she was until yesterday.

After English Piper had French after that was lunch. Piper sat down at the table she always sat at. Seconds later, Leo - Piper's best friend sat down next to her.
“What's new, McLean?” Leo asked, already starting his lunch.

Piper smirked, Leo instantly put her in a better mood. “Guess,”

Leo took a moment to finish chewing.“You finally got a girlfriend?”

Piper laughed and shook her head. “Keep dreaming. I got five weeks of detention starting today.”

“Of, course you did. Who'd you beat up?” Leo asked with a mouth full of potato chips.

“Luke Castellan, according to him, at least.”

Leo seemed genuinely shocked. “Wait you actually got detention for beating someone up? That's my girl.”
Piper nodded and recounted yesterday's events. Luke groping Annabeth, Piper stepping in, Annabeth punching Luke, Luke accusing them both of punching him. Piper took bites of food between insults geared towards Luke. Leo kept stopping Piper to ask questions but waiting until she was done to ask. “Why didn't they check the security tapes?”

“That's a really good question I wish I had an answer to,” Piper said. She wiped her mouth with a napkin though she knew her face was clean.
“Honestly, I'm surprised you don't have detention.” Piper joked.

“What did I do?” Leo asked.

“You're always up to something.”

Piper gathered her trash and stood up. “I'll be right back.”

She walked to the trash cans next to the doorway to the hall. They were filled with half-eaten lunches and notebook paper. There was trash all over the floor around them. 'Why can't people take five seconds to pick their trash up?' Piper thought.

Piper kneeled so she could pick up some of the trash. As she picked up a plastic fork she heard someone talking in the hallway. Piper peered down the hall. Sure she was nosy, but at least she was honest. Down the hall she saw none other than Annabeth Chase. She was on the phone, obviously distressed.
“What do you expect me to do, Karen? There aren't any other options, you know there isn't a late bus.” Annabeth was silent. She quickly yanked to phone from her ear, leaned against a locker and buried her face in her hands. Annabeth let out a groaned.

Piper dropped the fork in the trash and stepped in the hallway. “Everything alright?”

Annabeth looked up. Her hair was a mess, frizzy and clearly unbrushed so it was almost a beehive. Between her hair and too big light blue sweater, she looked like she just stepped out of the 80’s. Piper wondered if she even knew.

“Yeah, I was just talking to my stepmom,” Annabeth said.

“I just wanted to make sure. You seemed kinda stressed.” Piper said, rubbing her own arm.

Annabeth laughed. “I am,”

“Why?”

Annabeth looked down at her shoes. “Well, my stepmom can't pick me up after detention. And since there isn't a late bus I don't really have a ride home.”

“I can take you. Where do you live?” Piper asked. Immediately regretting it. 'I just met this girl. That's so creepy.' Piper thought

“Oh, you don't have to, I can just call my friend - Grover - or something, don't worry.”

“It's really not an issue.” 'Oh my god, Piper you're making it worse.' Piper thought

“I live in Flint Creek, it's near Quartz Road,” Annabeth said.

“I'm not far from there at all.” Piper lied. Piper's neighborhood was about twenty minutes from Quartz Road, Flint Creek was probably farther. Piper just didn't want Annabeth to be stuck at school. Also, she liked to feel useful.

Annabeth was noticeably calmer, ”Okay, great thanks.”

Piper smiled. “It's no problem. I'll see you in detention.”

“See you in detention” Annabeth responded.

Annabeth walked towards the lunch line. Piper sat back down at her and Leo's table. Leo talked and talked about how he would hypothetically build a robot dragon if he had the right parts. Piper was pretty sure the lack of parts was the only thing holding him back.

After lunch, Piper had History and Math. After that, she would normally just drive home. Unfortunately, Piper's routine was disrupted and now included an hour and a half of sitting in a room while doing nothing.

Piper stepped into the classroom. It was just a regular classroom with grey walls. Piper usually thought grey was a great color. This shade somehow felt so different.
There were only about five kids in the room, including Annabeth. Maybe more would arrive soon, detention technically didn't start for another seven minutes. Piper took the seat
next to Annabeth and glanced over at her.

Annabeth's 80’s vibe was intensified by a pair of pink-tinted glasses that screamed Elton John. All she was missing was a jelly bracelet and maybe a scrunchie to pull it all together.

“I thought looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses was just a metaphor.” Piper joked.

Annabeth smiled, her tooth stuck out again. “They help me read 'cause I have dyslexia.”

“I didn't know you have dyslexia,” Piper said.

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me. The glasses help the words stay in place.” Annabeth moved gestured to the paper as if to emphasize her point.

“And they're fashionable too.”

Annabeth smiled thinly. “I guess that's just an added bonus.”

“No more talking.” A voice said. Piper looked up and saw the teacher - Mrs. Dodds looking stern as hell. Detention hadn't actually started yet. What's her problem?
In the next five minutes, about ten more kids entered the room. Piper didn't recognize anyone. She half expected Leo to have gotten detention in the past three hours. It wasn't past him.

Piper pulled out her French homework - cause it was easiest - and got started. Piper almost found detention convenient. It was much quieter than her house so she could focus better on her homework. Plus, there was something of a view just to her right.

The hour and a half passed and Piper was eager to get the hell out of there. She gathered her things quickly, not bothering to organize her backpack. Annabeth took much longer to gather her things since she spread them out on the tiny desk and did actually organize. Piper leaned against her desk, scrolling through her Instagram.
Annabeth faced Piper, her backpack slung over one shoulder. “Ready?” Piper asked.

Annabeth nodded so vigorously her curls bounced all over the place. Piper smiled and they left the room.

Piper walked towards the exit and Annabeth walked beside her. Piper was a little messed up by this. used to people walking behind her because she walks so fast. Piper blamed Annabeth's (shockingly) long legs.

“What's your address?” Piper asked as she and Annabeth left the building. Annabeth told her and Piper was so distracted with typing it that she almost walked in front of a moving car.

Annabeth reached out a hand to block Piper from walking forward. Piper looked up, not because of the car, not necessarily because Annabeth stopped her. But because Annabeth's hand happened to be on her boobs. Piper looked up at Annabeth who was watching the car drive past. Annabeth looked down at Piper, she must've noticed her hand because her eyes got huge and she yanked it away.

“Oh my god, I'm sorry, fuck,” Annabeth hid her face in her hands.

Piper laughed and started walking towards her car. “It's okay, just buy me dinner first next time,”

Piper opened her car door and waved Annabeth over. Piper got in the car, quickly removed an old bag of McDonald's from the passenger seat, and tossed in the backseat, followed by her backpack.

Annabeth got in the passenger seat and put her backpack in the backseat next to Piper's. Piper buckled her seatbelt. She tapped “Start Navigation” on her phone and put it in the cup holder.

“What kind of car is this?” Annabeth asked.

“A ‘72 Pontiac GTO,” Piper said as she started the engine.

“It's nice.” Annabeth said as she put on her seat belt.

“Thanks, I stole it,” Piper winked at Annabeth as she turned to look out the rearview mirror. Piper backed out and began to drive to Annabeth's house, following the instructions her phone gave her.

“I'm sorry I grabbed your boobs,” Annabeth said a few minutes into the drive.

“Seriously, it's fine. No one has grabbed my boobs in a while anyway.” Piper joked.

“That implies that someone has grabbed your boobs before though,” Annabeth replied. Piper looked over and winked again (she was doing that pretty often around Annabeth,) before looking back at the road.

“Do you want to listen to any music?” Piper asked when they reached a stop light.

“Sure,” Annabeth said. Piper grabbed her stack of mixtapes Leo made her from the storage box between her and Annabeth's seats (Piper had no idea what it's called) and handed it to Annabeth.

“I think there's something from every genre except country in there,” Piper said.

“Why not country?” Annabeth asked.

“Cause country sucks.” Piper smiled when she heard Annabeth chuckle.

Annabeth picked up the top CD and stared at it a while before putting it bag down. “I can't read this handwriting.”

“My friend Leo wrote it. Just put it in and we'll see what it is.” Piper said. Annabeth put the CD in. Guitar and a male voice played through the speakers.

“I like it, this song,” Annabeth said.

“Me too,” Piper said
They listened to the music and talked about nothing important. Piper tried to talk about urban legends, Annabeth kept coming up with reasonable explanations for them. The CD they were listening to followed a theme of British pop stars. Whenever they got to a stop light Piper would read the names of the CDs for Annabeth. Piper forgot they almost all have vulgar names.

“‘Gin on Your Nips?’ That's so weird.” Annabeth said.

“That's not the worst. I think the one we're listening to right now is called ‘Ice in Your Vagina.’”

“Leo sounds like a giant weirdo.” Annabeth said.

“He is, I bet you'd love him.” Piper joked.

“What’s this one?” Annabeth held up a CD with the title written in bright pink marker.

“Neon Musk,” Piper said.

“Is that a joke on Elon Musk?”

“Oh my god, I’ve been trying to figure that out for weeks! Thank you!” Piper exclaimed.

Annabeth replaced Gin On Your Nips with Neon Musk The sound of rock and British accents was gone and the speakers played Boys by Charli XCX. Piper couldn’t help but laugh.

Piper kept driving and Annabeth stopped shuffling through the CDs. Every song on Neon Musk was a girl a girl singer singing about some boy. It was an inside joke, Piper would always complain about songs like this, and Leo would make mixtapes of them all the time to spite her.

Piper pulled in to Flint Creek and took three turns. “It's the blue one,” Annabeth said, pointing to the blue house near a cul-de-sac.

Piper pulled up to the blue house. There was a grey minivan in the driveway and various Nerf guns and a soccer ball in the front yard. Annabeth reached into the backseat and grabbed her backpack. Annabeth opened the door.

“By the way, Annabeth,” Piper said while Annabeth had one foot out the door. Annabeth turned to Piper. “Just let me know whenever you need a ride home from school and I can drive you.”

Annabeth smiled, her tooth stuck out. “Thanks, Piper.”

Annabeth left the car and Piper stayed until Annabeth was inside. Piper typed in her address to her phone and started driving. She kept the music on. She'd never say it out loud but “Boys” was a damn good song.

When Piper got home her sister Drew was sitting on the couch, watching TV with a big bowl of popcorn on her lap. Her dad was probably still filming and who knows where her mom was. Piper sat down next to Drew, grabbed a couple pieces of popcorn and watches whatever the hell Drew was watching.

The rest of the week was the same.

Annabeth would approach Piper after English every day, wearing her pink glasses. She'd Piper if she could drive her home. And Piper always said yes.

There was almost an unspoken agreement that Piper would be Annabeth's chauffeur for the time being. Piper didn't mind, she was just glad to be helpful. Sometimes Annabeth looked guilty and Piper wanted to grab her by the shoulders and insist that she had no problem with driving Annabeth.

On Friday while Piper was driving Annabeth home (today they were listening to a mixtape called “Smoke Memes Every Day”.) They stopped at a light and Piper asked: “Do you wanna get some food?”

“Sure,”

“Sorry, I just didn't eat lunch today 'cause the vegetarian option sucked.”

“I didn't know you're vegetarian,” Annabeth said.

“Yeah, I'm a hippie,”

Annabeth laughed. “Oh yeah, you just scream flower power and hallucinogens,”

Piper smiled. “Well, I am a Californian."

Piper drove to McDonald's and they sat outside with their food. It was cold outside so she and Annabeth were the only people outside. Piper didn't blame the people inside. It was windy too. And the metal table they sat at only made them colder. Piper's hand were warmed up by her coffee, even though the heat was less intense due to the copious amount of creamer she put in it. (It looked like something annoying white writers would compare her skin tone to.)

Piper ate a fry and opened her phone and started to make a new contact in her phone. “What's your phone number?”

“I don't know it off hand.” Annabeth's cheeks were tinted pink from the cold.

“I know mine, gimme your phone.”

“Why?” Annabeth seemed suspicious. She held her phone close to herself.

“I'll text myself and make you a contact in my phone.” Piper gestured

Annabeth tapped a thing or two on her phone and handed it to Piper. Already set up to start a new thread. Piper typed her phone number and thought about what she would send herself. While she pondered Annabeth received a text.

[Thalia]: I miss you, kiddo.

Piper didn't know whether to ignore it or to tell Annabeth about it. “Someone named Thalia said she misses you 'kiddo’,”

“That's my cousin.”

Piper sent herself a text from Annabeth's phone and her own phone buzzed.

[Unknown]: Hey gorgeous ;)

Piper handed Annabeth her phone back. She filled in the information in Annabeth's contact. She opened her camera and pointed it at Annabeth. “I need a picture of you for your contact.”

Annabeth held up a peace sign.

“And you call me a hippie.” Piper took a picture and looked at it closely. It was quite the image. Annabeth was bundled up in her red windbreaker, blond hair blowing in every direction. The peace sign was the icing on the cake. Piper set the picture as Annabeth's contact.

“Did you seriously call yourself gorgeous?” Annabeth asked.

“Technically you did,” Piper said.

Annabeth held up her phone, with the back facing Piper. “You need a contact photo too.”

Piper held up a peace sign.

Annabeth grinned. “Hippie,”

Chapter Text

Annabeth was a mess.

She barely woke up in time to get to school but she still missed the bus. She got dressed and grabbed her backpack. Not bothering to even brush her hair. Annabeth even tried to calculate what time she'd get to school if she walked as she brushed her teeth. She walked down the stairs to the living room. Actually hoping Karen would be downstairs for the first time in her life. Of course, she wasn't. Her minivan wasn't outside either.

Annabeth's only options were walking or calling Piper. Piper had said before that she would drive Annabeth anytime she needed. But Annabeth wasn't sure if that included morning.

Annabeth decided that getting to school late was better than not getting to school at all. She grabbed a granola bar, opened the front door, and started walking.

Annabeth quickly learned that a windbreaker and a Hawaiian shirt were no match for the weather. Every few minutes she would start running just to warm herself up. The sun kept hiding behind clouds as she walked. When she finally got to school she was thirty minutes late to World History. She suspected her heavy backpack was slowing her down. Annabeth decided not to mention anything to Piper when she drove her home after detention.

The next day was no better. Annabeth woke up late, this time she didn't even bother getting dressed, she just wore the same thing as yesterday. She didn't brush her hair this time either.

Karen wasn't there again. Neither was her father but there's no need to point that out. He was working so often it seemed like he only saw home as a place to sleep.

Annabeth walked again, trying to run a bit more this time. She was about twenty minutes from the school when a familiar blue Pontiac pulled up next to her. 'Thank God.' She thought.

The passenger window rolled down. The sound of Neon Musk played and the familiar face of Piper McLean leaned towards the window. “Get in, hippie,”

Annabeth didn't need to be told twice. She yanked open the door and got in. “Piper McLean you are the best. Oh my god.” She leaned over to hug Piper.

“Yeah, I know, buckle up,” Piper said.

Leo Valdez leaned forward from the backseat. “I'm here too.”

“Hi, Leo,” Annabeth buckled her seatbelt. “Why aren't you in the front seat?”

“I banned him from it,” Piper said, starting to drive again.

Annabeth hugged her backpack as they sped up. “Why?”

“Tell her, Leo,”

Leo crossed his arms. “I hotwired the car as an experiment,”

“Sorry, how was that an experiment?” Annabeth asked.

“I wanted to see if I could actually do it.”

“You’re lucky I didn't ban you entirely,” Piper said.

“Love you!” Leo said. Piper just flipped him off.

A new song started playing. It was a man singing. “This isn't Neon Musk,” Annabeth said.

“Oh my God, you memorized the names of these mixes?” Leo was grinning ear to ear. “Piper, keep her.”

Piper pulled up in front of the entrance to the school. “Go inside, I'm gonna park.”

Leo kissed her cheek. “Thanks, Pipes,” He said, getting out of the car.

Annabeth thanked Piper and got out of the car. Piper drove off to the parking lot. The exhaust looked white in the cold air.

Annabeth and Leo walked to the entrance side by side. Leo held the door open for Annabeth. “Why the hell did you think walking to school was a good idea?” He asked.

“I missed the bus and I had no one to drive me.”

“Piper would have driven you, I mean, she drove me.”

“Well I walked yesterday too, I need to commit to something.”

“So you're gonna walk several miles in 50-degree weather every day?”

“No. Let's just change the subject. What do you wanna be when you grow up?” Annabeth stuffed her hands in her pockets.

“One, Piper likes helping people. Two, I want to be a mechanic.” Leo counted off on his fingers.

“That's a cool career. It makes sense since you hotwire people's cars.” Annabeth joked.

Leo stuck out his tongue. “What about you?”

“I wanna be an architect.”

“That's cool, Leo stopped outside a classroom that Annabeth had never been inside. “I gotta go to Spanish.”

“Isn't cheating if you take a foreign language you're fluent in?”

Leo shushed Annabeth and entered the classroom. Annabeth went to World History. Thankful that she was actually a few minutes early. She pulled out her phone and texted Piper quickly.

[Me]: Piper, you are the best person ever

[Piper]: Don't thank me, it's not like I could've just driven past you

[Me]: Okay, well I hope you meet a nice dog for no reason then

[Piper]: Thank you

The bell rang, making Annabeth jump. She slipped her phone into her pocket and looked at the front of the classroom.

Later at lunch, Annabeth did what she usually did. Wandered around until she found an empty table or a table without many people who don't notice her. Part of her hated that this was her life now but she was used to it.

“Annabeth!” a voice said before someone grabbed Annabeth's arm. Annabeth's mind went straight to attack mode. But when she turned around and saw Leo she immediately calmed down. “Come sit with me and Piper.”

Annabeth nodded and Leo guided her. The only person at the entire table was Piper. Leo sat down next to her and Annabeth sat across from the two of them. “How do you have an entire table to yourself?” Annabeth asked, taking a bite of bland mac and cheese.

Piper added some black pepper to her Mac and cheese.“People think we're a clique so they steer clear.”

“What kind of clique only has two people?”

“I've wondered that my whole life,” Piper replied before taking a bite of the mac and cheese.

“It's a clique of three, now,” Leo said. He was pouring hot sauce on his mac and cheese. Annabeth didn't even know where he got it.

“Hell yeah, the Wannabe Biker, the Wannabe Hipster, and the Wannabe Mechanic.” Piper cheered.

Annabeth was really happy to be in their clique, even if it was fake.

It wasn't that Annabeth was lonely. She just hadn't made a single real friend since she moved back from New York.

Leo took a bit of his mac and cheese. He added more hot sauce and took another. “That's like a shitty group of superheroes, I love it.”

The three of them kept chatting throughout lunch. Annabeth kept accidentally staring at Piper. Admiring the way her brown eyes sparkled when she laughed, the way her black hair shined when she would shake her head in disbelief whenever Leo opened his mouth.

Annabeth looked at Piper's shirt. It was a white crew neck with black hems and a rainbow going across Piper's chest. Annabeth noticed that she could see Piper's bra through the fabric. As soon as she noticed she realized that It was obvious she was staring at Piper's chest. Apparently, it was too late because Piper noticed.

“Annabeth, what's with your obsession with my boobs?” Piper asked.

Annabeth blushed. “I was just looking at the design.” She argued

“That's what they all say.”

“You got a lot of people looking at your boobs then?”

Piper winked. “Jealous?”

'Yes, very.' Annabeth thought.

Annabeth rolled her eyes. “You wish.”

At the end of the day Piper And Annabeth walked out if the school together. Apparently, Piper had to park far away from the school today since all the good spots were taken.

They kept walking and talking when suddenly someone came up from behind Annabeth and covered her eyes. A voice said “Guess who,” near Annabeth's ear. It wasn't familiar.

Annabeth was a bit worried, but she knew that this guy's grip wasn't tight so she could escape. From her position, she could easily elbow him or kick him in the leg. And worse case scenario, Piper would intervene.

“Get the fuck off her,” the familiar voice of Piper said.

“Don't worry I'm her friend, we're fine,” the unfamiliar voice of whoever was covering her eyes said.

“She punched the last guy who said that so I'd be careful if I were you,” Piper said. Annabeth could hear in her voice that her arms were crossed.

The hands lifted from Annabeth's eyes. They fogged up her glasses that she forgot she was wearing. Annabeth immediately turned around to see who covered her eyes. She couldn't see who it was because of her glasses. She took them off and saw a slightly green tinted Percy Jackson. She hugged him as soon as she recognized him.

“Who the hell have you been punching, Annabeth?” Percy asked, hugging her back.

“Just some asshole,” Annabeth said as she let go.

Annabeth saw Piper standing to the side, kind of awkwardly. “Uh, Percy, this is my friend Piper,” Annabeth gestured towards Piper. Piper gave a two-finger-salute. “And Piper this is Percy.”

Piper and Percy awkwardly exchanged pleasantries and everyone became silent quickly. Annabeth was struck by the realization that it was her responsibility to keep the conversation going. She tried to think of a conversation topic that would intrigue both Piper and Percy but they seemingly had nothing in common. She decided to say the only thing on her mind. “Why are you in California?”

“I'm gonna work at another camp here next summer and I'm just checking the place out.”

“Why aren't you there right now?”

“I’m heading there tomorrow and I couldn’t not visit you. I have a whole day planned, just the two of us.”

“Let me guess, we're going to the beach in 50-degree weather?”

Percy smiled, “What else would we do? Let's go, right now.”

“I don't have a swimsuit or anything,” Annabeth crossed her arms.

“I'll buy you one, aren't there like a million stores that still sell them in October?”

“Yes, there are,” Piper said. “Annabeth, you should go, it'll be fun,”

Annabeth nodded. “Okay, bye Piper,” Annabeth went to hug her, Piper stood on her toes.

“And look, you're already dressed for the occasion,” Piper said and she let go.

“Yeah, you look like my dad,” Percy said.

Piper laughed at Percy's comment. Annabeth thought her laugh was beautiful. She loved that laugh.

The group parted ways. Annabeth and Percy went to Percy's car and Piper went to her own. Piper drove by Percy and Annabeth, holding up a peace sign against the window. Annabeth held up a peace sign too, though she wasn't sure if Piper could see it.

Percy and Annabeth got into Percy's car and he started the engine. “How did you know where I go to school? And actually, how did you know I have detention?” Annabeth asked as she buckled her seatbelt.

“I have my resources,” Percy said, also buckling his seatbelt.

“Thalia told you?”

“Maybe.” Percy pulled out of the parking space and went to leave the lot. “Piper seems cool,” he said.

“Yeah, she is, she’s been driving me home from school since I got detention.”

“So is she just a friend?” Percy asked.

“Of course!” Annabeth blushed.

Percy looked at her, “You know, the blushing implies that she isn’t, or that you don’t want to be.”

“Well, maybe I don’t. I have no idea to express that I’m interested though.”

“Just spontaneously kiss her like you did with me.”

“Wow, so helpful, Percy,” Annabeth rolled her eyes for the millionth time that day.

“I love you,”

“I love you too, and I missed you.” Annabeth smiled.

“Now, where can we find a swimsuit in October?” Percy said as he drove the two of them to the beach. In October.

Chapter Text

Piper definitely had a crush.

She was willing to admit that now. She was willing to admit that as soon as Annabeth and Percy hugged like two people who love each other. It was clear as day that they’d go through hell for each other just in the way they’re faces looked when they saw one another.

Piper thought it was kinda ironic that she could tell other people’s feelings with one look but it took her three weeks so realize her own.

Though, I did make sense that she had a crush on Annabeth after spending four hours in her presence every day for two weeks. And texting her constantly when they aren't together. And thinking about Annabeth.

Thinking about Annabeth more than any “just friend” should.

Thinking about her how lemony colored hair shines in the sunlight, how her skin looked like buttercream frosting, and how her eyes were like stone. Piper wondered what it would be like to run her hands through her curls. She didn’t care if it was tangled.

‘Thinking about a probably straight girl who has a boyfriend.’ Piper reminded herself. As she and Annabeth got lunch during school.

“I came up with a design for a building last night, I ended up staying up really late drawing it,” Annabeth said as they walked to their table.

“Can I see it?” Piper asked.

“Um, yeah, I just need to give it a few finishing touches.”

They sat down at the table where Leo was already sitting. Annabeth pulled out a notebook and started drawing. Piper tried to distract herself with her food. She took one bite and spit it back out.

“What's wrong?” Leo asked.

“Lunch is extra shitty today.” Piper pushed the tray away.

“Should've brought yours from home.” Leo took a bite of his enchilada. Piper stuck her tongue out at him.

“Oh god, that really is awful,” Annabeth said, with food still in her mouth. “How can you fuck up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

Piper leaned forward towards Annabeth, “How about I throw this out and we get Chinese food after detention, Annabeth?” Piper turned to Leo, “Without Leo.” she added.

“Hell yeah,” Annabeth pushed her tray of food away and went back to drawing. Piper picked up both trays and took them over to the trash. After she threw out the contents of the trays her mind went back to Annabeth. Piper turned on her phone and was faced with her and Annabeth's recent texts.

Another issue with Piper’s unrequited crush is the fact that it’s commonplace for platonic girlfriends to be somewhat intimate while still remaining platonic. For instance, last week, when Annabeth spent a day with her probably-boyfriend, Percy, she felt perfectly comfortable with texting Piper pictures of the swimsuits she somehow found to ask her opinions on which she should get.

Piper wasn't prepared for that. And she didn’t want to be creepy but Annabeth looked good in the swimsuits. Piper felt perverted when she looked at the pictures. It's not like she did or even thought perverted things, the feeling just came with it.

She was now distracted by the photos and didn't even notice that she was just standing there by the trashcans like a weirdo. One swimsuit was a black one-piece which Annabeth said she preferred. The other was a pink, purple, and blue tie-dye which she said Percy wanted her to get. Piper never responded to her. She just changed to subject a couple hours later and assumed Annabeth pucked one out on her own. She looked great in both.

Piper put her phone away and walked back to the table. Annabeth had finished drawing and was now looking at something on her phone.

“Oh, yeah, which swimsuit did you end up picking, Annabeth?” Piper asked as she sat down.

“Neither, I found a one piece in the same tie-dye, Percy was so happy I picked on with the colors of the bi flag.”

“Are you bi?” Piper asked.

“Yeah,” Annabeth said, shrugging as if it were the most obvious thing ever. She scrolled through her phone and held it up, “Here’s a picture of the swimsuit.”

Annabeth looked good in this one too. But that wasn’t important. “I can’t believe I didn’t know you’re bi,” Piper said.

“There's a big flag pin on my backpack,” Annabeth said.

Piper was willing to admit that was pretty obvious. “Can I see your drawing?” Piper asked.

Annabeth put down her phone and held up her notebook. There was a pencil drawing of a tall skyscraper with trees around the bottom and notes about the height and how many floors the building has written next to it.

“It's really good,” Piper said.

“What kind of building is it?” Leo asked.

“A made-up company’s headquarters,” Annabeth said, putting the notebook down. “Maybe your future mechanic company, Leo.”

“Hell yeah, when I'm rich and famous for being a mechanic you're designing the headquarters of m company and my giant mansion.” Leo took a bite of his food.

“You couldn't afford me.” Annabeth leaned across the table and took a bite of Leo's enchilada.

Piper looked down at her phone and started scrolling through Instagram. When her stomach growled she prayed to any god that was listening that she wouldn't starve to death before the end of school.

***

“Siri, find a Chinese restaurant nearby,” Annabeth said into her phone from the passenger seat.

“There are three Chili's near you,”

“No!” Annabeth said. Piper laughed.

“Here,” Piper said, looking it up on her own phone. They picked out a restaurant and Piper set her phone in the cupholder while it read her directions.

When they arrived they realized the restaurant they had picked was really just for takeout. So they each bought a serving of vegetable fried rice and took their takeout to a park and found a shady patch of grass to sit on as they ate.

Piper took a bite of her rice. “Y’know for takeout, this is really good rice,”

“Definitely,” Annabeth said her mouth full.

Piper took off her shoes so she could feel the cold grass on her skin. “By the way, Annabeth,” she started.

Annabeth looked up from her food.

“You’ve only lived here a couple months right?”

Annabeth nodded.

“But your brothers have been here a while, I met them on Halloween last year. I remember ‘cause they can to my house wearing headdresses and face paint.” Piper used air-quotes as she said “Native American”

“I held their candy hostage while I gave them both a lecture on cultural appropriation. Anyways, did like your dad and stepmom get married after Halloween or something?” Piper said.

Annabeth smiled put down her rice. “Well, um that’s a kind of long story-” she took a deep breath and Piper was afraid she had crossed a line. “-Um, when I was about ten, I wanted to go live with my mom in New York, so I did. I lived there until this summer when my mom and I could barely stand each other anymore.”

Piper scooted closer to Annabeth. “What was New York like? I mean, besides your mom.”

Annabeth smiled. “Other than my mom, New York was fantastic. Usually, after school and on weekends I’d just go hang out with Thalia, which was so nice, I mean, Thalia’s the best, she raised me better than my mom every did. Also, she was actually the whole reason I went to summer camp. She was a counselor and suggested I go so I wouldn’t have to spend the whole summer around my mom.”

“Is the summer camp where you met Percy?”

“Yeah, I made a lot of friends there. I was kinda hard not to when I went there every summer for six years. The camp was the only thing that seemed real. Everything else felt like it had no purpose”

“You really loved that camp, huh?” Piper had never seen Annabeth speak so fondly of something.

“I mean, yeah, I even had my first kiss there.”

Piper raised one eyebrow. “With Percy?”

There was a faint pink tint on Annabeth’s cheeks. “Yeah,” she looked down at her lap.

“Why are you blushing? I think it’s romantic that you’re still dating our first kiss.”

Annabeth looked up “I’m not dating Percy,”

“Do you want to? You two clearly love each other. And not to brag but I’m kinda the ultimate matchmaker.”

“Everyone keeps asking me questions like that.” Annabeth huffed, “Percy and I dated for five minutes one summer and he’s still my best friend, so I do love him but I’m not in love with him.” Annabeth looked up at the sky, squinting.

With those words, Piper felt like a million pounds had been lifted off her shoulders. Knowing that Annabeth was single was one of the best feelings in the world. Piper was almost tempted to tackle Annabeth to the ground and kiss her right there.

And kiss her some more.

And drive her somewhere where they could make out. And buy her flowers and all kinds of other gifts. Anything that made it clear that Piper was attracted to Annabeth.

Instead, since Annabeth was still looking at the sky she took some rice from Annabeth's oyster pail.

This, however, caught Annabeth’s attention. “You have your own right there!” she said, gesturing towards Piper’s oyster pail.

“Yours tastes better,”

Annabeth took a bite of Piper’s rice. “And so does yours.”

“We could just trade,”

“But then the flavors would change. It’s a known law of the universe that someone else’s food always tastes better than your own.” Annabeth said before taking another bite of Piper’s rice.

They kept eating each other’s rice and talking for nearly an hour. Eventually, Annabeth abandoned Piper’s food and laid down in the grass with the sun on her face. Piper stayed in the shade and cringed at the thought of Annabeth getting a sunburn on her face. It seemed like it would hurt like hell. “Annabeth, you’re gonna get a sunburn, you’re white.”

Annabeth sat up, her face somehow already looked a little red. “You people of color are so lucky, with your melanin and whatnot,” she returned next to Piper, “But my people did steal your land, enslave, rape, and murder your people and I’m still privileged despite that so I think I’ll be okay.”

“How woke of you,” Piper said, resting her elbows on her legs, just above her knees.

“I try,” Annabeth laid back down on the grass, with all of her skin still in the shade. “Do you read poetry, Piper?”

Piper snorted, “No, I’m not a hipster or a millennial,”

This time it was Annabeth’s turn to snort, “You’re the biggest hipster I know,”

“One, I wear tacky lesbian fashion, and two, have you looked in a mirror lately?” Piper counted off her points on her fingers.

“Whatever, anyways there was this poet, Sappho, in ancient Greece, and she lived on this island called Lesbos and the citizens were called lesbians. Anyways, Sappho and all her other gay friends all loved girls so much and wrote poems about different women so much that it’s what Lesbos was known for and that’s why women solely attracted to women are called lesbians.” Annabeth said. Piper wondered how the hell Annabeth learned this.

“Man, I wish I was so gay that an entire Island was known for being gay because of me.”

“It’s pretty impressive,” Annabeth said.

“Do you know any of her poetry?” Piper asked.

“Just one but it’s really short, it may just be a fragment of one. ‘The moon appeared in her fullness when women took their place around the altar.’”

Piper thought Annabeth was a little like the moon. Pale and still mysterious no matter how close you get. But still comforting with her constant presence despite the mystery.

Piper smiled. “That’s a great poem.”

“Yeah, I have a whole book of her poetry at home,”

“Of course you do,”

“It was a coming out present from Thalia.”

Piper laughed. Annabeth smiled so her one tooth stuck out. Piper smiled when she noticed the tooth. The tooth that was undeniable proof that Piper got Annabeth to smile, and that it was a 100% real smile.

Annabeth pulled her phone from her pocket and her smile fell a bit when she unlocked it. “My parents want me to go home.”

“Then I guess we should get going,” Piper gathered up their oyster pails and fork.

“I don't want to,” Annabeth said, but she sat up anyways.

Piper found a trash can and threw out the empty oyster pails. She and Annabeth got in her car. Annabeth picked up the bag their food came in off the floor. “Oh, there’s fortune cookies,” she said.

Annabeth handed one to Piper and broke open the other. “This is so tiny, how can someone read this?”

“Here,” Piper said, holding out her hand. She read the tiny print aloud “‘If you speak honestly, everyone will listen,’”

“Oh, that’s boring,” Annabeth said, taking the paper back from Piper, “Why couldn’t it have told me I’m gonna be a millionaire?” she asked before taking a bite of the cookie.

Piper cracked open her own cookie, put the broken halves on her lap, and read the paper, “‘Pray to God, but row towards shore.’ “What the hell? That makes no sense.”

“What’s with these shitty fortune cookies?” Annabeth asked, with a mouth full of her cookie.

Piper took a bite of her own. “At least the cookies themselves aren’t bad.”
Piper backed out of her parking space and Annabeth picked out some music. Annabeth’s house wasn’t far from the little park so it only took a few minutes to reach it. “You know, I’m wondering why your parents haven’t been asking you about the mysterious girl who drives you places,” Piper said as they reached Annabeth’s house.

“Well, as far as they know you’re an Uber driver,” Annabeth said, reaching back for her backpack.

“They think you just end up with the exact same Uber every day?” Piper asked, somewhat shocked.

Annabeth pulled the latch on her door. “They aren’t very observant.”

“Well, bye,” Pipe said, giving a small wave. She wanted to compliment Annabeth on something, to make her feel good and also think about Piper. She considered complimenting her hair.
“Uh, bye,” Annabeth said, pushing the door open. Well, this was Piper’s chance.

“By the way, Annabeth,” Piper said. Annabeth looked over her shoulder to look at Piper. “I like your hair today,” Piper said, followed immediately by, “Wait, no, that’s not what I meant to say, um,”

Piper collected her thoughts. “Your hair looks nice today,” she thought about each word as she said it.

“Thanks,” Annabeth said. “Yours looks good too.”

Annabeth waved Piper goodbye and beelined for the front door of her house. Piper watched Annabeth, making sure that she got inside.

Usually, after Annabeth got inside Piper would immediately drive off, but that day, she just hid her face in her hands, groaned, rubbed her eyes, and then drove off, homebound.