As soon as she walks in, she feels the tension. Thalia doesn’t even turn to look, and Piper just gives a curt nod as she sits down. Annabeth joins them on the floor and the silence holds for a second.
And then all hell breaks loose.
The sounds of tires squealing and the classic upbeat Nintendo music fills the room.
“You are going down, Anna!” Thalia yells, smashing the buttons on her controller as if that’d make her go faster.
“Don’t call me that!” she yells back, tossing a blue shell behind her.
Piper simply watches the chaos unfold in front of her calmly, only intervening when Annabeth tries to chuck a throw pillow onto Thalia.
“Strike one. You will get disqualified if you continue, Annabeth.” She speaks with a calm tone, but her voice is unyielding. She really is the perfect judge.
Several rounds later, somehow, with definite cheating (or so Annabeth believes), Thalia has won.
“Hell yeah!” she screams, nearly knocking over the popcorn bowl.
“Whatever,” Annabeth grumbles. Piper had been lenient.
“You know what this means,” Thalia grins. “See you next Saturday, Rapunzel.”
And that brings her to today, where she’s spent way too much on a shitty-quality purple dress that doesn’t quite fit her right.
Honestly, who are Amazon Halloween costumes even designed for?
She stares at herself in the mirror, the dress looking marginally better now that she’s safety pinned it back.
Her long blonde hair—the start of all this nonsense—is braided to match the Disney princess. It could be longer, but she refuses to spend any more money on this costume.
It’s not the worst costume, all in all. She’s pulling it off, she thinks, as she grabs her bag and slips on her nude heels because that’s as close as she’ll get to the original lavender heels.
The costume is better than the “sexy” version, anyway, which was just shorter, a little more expensive, and a lot more revealing.
The bar is pretty packed when she walks in, squeezing past the third Joker she’s seen tonight, and makes her way to the back where the booths are.
The area is sectioned off and, after confirming with the guy that she’s on the list, she immediately runs into Thalia, who looks exactly like she always does.
“Where’s your costume?” she asks.
Thalia smirks as she takes in her purple dress and braided hair. “I’m dressed as a biker chick.”
Annabeth rolls her eyes. “You are a biker chick.”
Thalia grins. “Exactly. You make a great Rapunzel, as I knew you would.” She’s way too smug.
“You’re weird.” Annabeth informs her. “And you definitely cheated.”
“I did not! Piper was an impartial judge.”
“What about Piper?” Piper asks as she walks up to them. She’s dressed as Pocahontas and looks stunning.
“Nothing, nothing. You look good though, is Jason…”
Piper sighs, smiling exasperatedly. “Yeah, he’s John Smith. You’d think after doing this costume combination last year, he’d want to try something different.”
“He probably just really likes seeing you in that costume.” Thalia winks, causing Piper’s ears to redden.
Annabeth shakes her head at her friends, opening her mouth to say something when Hazel walks over.
“Annabeth! You look great!”
Hazel is so sweet that she can’t help but return the smile and hug. “Thanks, so do you!”
“Thanks, it’s pretty basic though.” She’s wearing the classic cat costume, complete with a tail, but she looks so cute that it doesn’t even matter.
“You look great,” she reassures. Hazel waves aside the compliment.
“Yeah, but more importantly, you didn’t tell me you were dating someone!”
She raises an eyebrow. “I’m not?”
Hazel frowns. “Oh, so you don’t know—“
She’s cut off by Frank appearing out of nowhere. He’s dressed as a vampire and is clearly slightly tipsy because he starts the conversation with a brazen, “Hazel! You look hot!”
She laughs at the look on Hazel’s face and decides to leave the two alone so they can maybe, finally declare their feelings for each other.
She’s lost Thalia and Piper so she wanders towards the bar when she’s stopped by a drunk—doctor? Scientist? She can’t tell much about the costume other than the lab coat.
“Your boyfriend is a cheater!” he yells at her face.
She has no idea what he means and is glad when he staggers past her towards the tables. What was up with this whole boyfriend thing?
The bar is also pretty packed, but she manages to squeeze in an order a cranberry vodka.
The bartender nods. “Yeah, your boyfriend ordered that.” But before she can ask what that means, someone else butts in with a drink request. Actually, they shove into her to get their drink request in so she has to shove back in order to get away.
This is the third time this boyfriend business has cropped up and she’s beyond confused. She backs away from the bar and stands at table, trying to text Thalia and Piper.
She’s about to send the text when a guy walks up to her. He’s dressed up as Clark Kent? That’s what she thinks anyway because he’s wearing the glasses, but his shirt is unbuttoned to show the superman logo underneath.
“Hey there, can I buy you a drink?” he asks smiling widely.
“I got one,” she responds holding up her cranberry vodka.
He laughs. “Right, should have seen that.”
He seems pretty sober—or rather, not as wasted as other people here—so she decides to respond.
“It’s alright, Clark Kent?”
He nods, confirming her suspicion. “Yeah. Kind of last minute, honestly.”
She’s about to respond when the guy freezes, looking at something over her shoulder.
“What?” she asks turning around. But before she can get a good look the guy is talking so she turns back to him.
“Sorry,” he mumbles and quickly walks away.
“What?” she says again, still confused, and turns around again to see if she can figure out what’s happening.
The pieces quickly fall into place as she sees a guy with black hair wearing a long-sleeved white shirt, blue vest, brown pants and a satchel.
Flynn Rider is walking towards her.
They make eye contact as he walks up to her.
“Okay, this makes so much more sense,” are the first words out of his mouth.
She nods, the pieces finally falling into place. “Yeah, this clears some things up.”
They just stare at each other for a moment, both clearly connecting the dots in their heads, until they both just burst out laughing.
“I can’t believe this,” he says, setting his beer on the table.
“I certainly didn’t expect it either,” she agrees.
“I’m Percy, by the way,” he introduces, holding out a hand.
“Annabeth, it’s good to know the name of my ‘boyfriend who is a cheater.’”
Percy smiles. “And it’s nice to know the name of my ‘girlfriend who shoves people.’ Who said I cheated?”
She shrugs. “Some guy in a lab coat. Not sure what he was supposed to be, other than really drunk. Who said I shove people?”
“Ah.” Percy takes a sip of his beer. “I remember that guy, sore loser from a game of darts. And some guy who didn’t bother to dress up and was trying to get another shot or something? I didn’t really pay attention.”
“He shoved me, trying to yell at the bartender when I got my cranberry vodka—which apparently you also ordered?”
Percy grins, shrugging. “Eh, what can I say? I like it.”
She smiles back and takes a sip. “So, Flynn Rider?”
He rubs the back of his neck sheepishly, much like the character. “My little sister loves Tangled.”
That is the most adorable reason she’s ever heard, and she can’t help but aww at it. He blushes at her response and quickly asks, “What about you?”
She rolls her eyes. “I lost in Mario Kart.”
That makes him laugh and she smiles along with him because it does seem kinda funny now that she thinks about it.
“Well, I’m sorry to hear that, can I buy you a drink as compensation?”
She’s basically done with her cranberry vodka at this point and if she’s being honest, he’s cute. So, she agrees.
People keep assuming they’re a couple and after sharing a look they decide to just go with it because it’s too much work to explain they’re not. So, they smile and nod and kind of play into it.
She doesn’t pull away when he holds her hand tentatively and he doesn’t mind when she leans on his shoulder and the more they drink the touchier things are getting.
At some point, Thalia finds her, tipsy and hanging over Percy, laughing at something he’s said because he’s just so funny.
Thalia, having a very high tolerance, is not drunk or amused. “Annabeth we should get going.”
“But Percy— “
“We have to go.” Thalia is firm and she pouts at the idea of leaving her new…whatever he was.
“It’s alright. Here, here, let me give you my number and maybe we can meet up somewhere without alcohol?” he asks. He’s tipsy and despite the fact that they’ve been acting like a couple this whole night, he seems nervous about her response.
She smiles. “Yeah, that’d be great.”
So, she walks away with a new contact on her phone and a promise of following up.
She wakes up with a headache and a vow to never drink again. Luckily trick or treating doesn’t start till later in the day, so she has time to get over the hangover by the time she needs to be giving candy to small children.
As trick or treat time approaches, she toys with her phone and the idea of texting Percy. Admittedly, they had both been…not sober, but it had been a good time and maybe there was something there outside of an accidental couples’ costume.
Before she can commit to the text, her doorbell rings and she gets up with her bowl of candy. Two more trick or treaters later she gives in and sends a simple hey.
The TV becomes background noise as he responds right away and their conversation takes off.
At some point it’s six thirty and he’s out of candy even though there’s still at least half an hour left. He sends her a picture of him holding up the empty bowl and a frown that sort of looks like the Flynn Rider “smolder.”
She tells him he was made for the part if only his hair was a little lighter and he tells her that she was just perfect.
She definitely doesn’t blush at the words and they definitely don’t talk into the night.
October 30th a few years later has them dressed up, once again, as Rapunzel and Flynn. She wanted to do Fred and Daphne, but Percy insisted, and she understood why Piper had given into Jason when he had wanted to do the repeat. It was hard to resist a hopeful boyfriend on the topic of Halloween costumes.
They didn’t have a crazy party to go to, but they invited some close friends over for tacos and drinks and Halloween movies.
She was pouring out some spiked punch when she caught her boyfriend sneaking a piece of candy from the bowl.
“Percy! This is why we always run out! Stop eating the candy.” He smiles sheepishly and puts the Snickers bar back. Satisfied, she turns back towards the punch.
But once again she catches his hand in the candy bowl.
“Percy,” she warns, though a smile is creeping into her voice.
She walks over to where he’s standing by the door and crosses her arms.
“You look very Rapunzel right now,” he says quickly. “You know, from that part in the beginning when she’s interrogating him.”
“Nice try,” she replies, smile slipping onto her face, “but you can’t distract me. Hand it over.”
She holds out her hand for the Snickers bar and is shocked when something square and velvety ends up there instead.
Trembling, she opens up the box.
“So, what do you say?” he asks looking at her with a hopeful but nervous expression.
She slips the ring onto her finger.
“I’d say it’s perfect.”
The kiss after is the sweetest one yet, probably because Percy had managed to get a Milky Way before she caught him. Not that she minds.