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Incandescent Species

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Disclaimer: Not mine.

Oneshot. Two years after canon. Crazy rough draft, as in just finished a few minutes ago. Critique needed. Thanks.

By LemonFairy

Incandescent Species {Because nothing says 'I love you' like 'goodbye'.}

Warm hues of gold swam around her, a literal ooze of light between the waves. It was calm, a hidden place that only she and he had gone in the years since.

But now – now it was ending, the summer waning with a final waxing of the moon. Sunlight out, moonlight in, for one last spectacular night.

Bubbles swirled around her, and currents played with the grey streak in her hair, perfectly tuned to her eyes in a bizarre coincidence she would never fully understand. The other strands floated around her, the summer sun having bleached her head so it was now a stringy tow. Though she was underwater, she was not wet. The waves rolled past, the pressure increasing just a bit with the rise and fall. It was in this spot, and this spot only, that it worked, something Percy had spent most of last summer setting up. Couples at camp had little privacy anyway, but being the two of them they were especially watched, the hottest item on the list since Clarisse and Chris, and since those two had split the previous summer, no one dare mention them.

“Hello.” The voice was deeper than she remembered, the timbre affected by the depth and the years he had aged. Words of his former self flitted through her mind, a high-pitched voice of someone too young to wield their true power yet trying nonetheless. It was a comedy of sorts, of errors, of tragedies and downfalls and—

“Hey.” She gave a sweet, close-lipped smile. He sat down next to her, the rocks that should have been slippery quite full of purchase, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. It was a habit she had not been all together comfortable with in the beginning, but she was a big girl now and he would be legal in a few days as well, so she let it slide as she had been doing for the past few months.

“It’s pretty,” she remarked. She knew it was a petty comment, the type of remark you made when you could say no more, but in reality perhaps she couldn’t say more. The wheels of her mind turned, and the carefully laid out plan she had constructed clicked into place somewhere in the back of her mind, but a small hand snatched it up and threw it away, tossing it into the currents.

She decided to wing it.

“Nearly the end of the summer.” Percy gave a nod; over the years he had become much less of a pointless talker, especially in the few moments they had to savor together. Fingers ran through her hair, a gesture she would never admit aloud she enjoyed, and he replied.

“Yeah, it is.” Three words, simple enough. Three words, normal enough. Three words different than the ones she was hoping to elicit from him.

“You move into the Cornell dorms in a week, right?” A barely visible smile spread across her features: he had remembered.

“Yeah, my move-in date is the twenty first.” She didn’t mention that she needed help.

“You’ll be fantastic.” There was an enthusiastic sincerity to his tone, and memories of their youngest years together—not all too long ago, yet not the most recent—came flooding back like a heavily applied perfume.

“Here’s to hoping so.” She turned to peck him quick in surprise, by he beat her to it, a light tap on the lips.

Then he stood, long legs unfolding from where they had bent, nearly orgami-like. The surrounding water should have made them blend in, but instead his eyes stuck out as if trying to allure her.

“I guess this is it, then.” Hands shoved in pockets, popping gaze diverted. The nonchalance of someone who was falling into a truly melancholic state.

“I guess so.” She stood, approached, grasped his jaw and kissed him. He had three and a half inches on her in height, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was her assertiveness, her willingness, her need to not let him go—not quite yet.

Her wants, his kindness. His patience, her guidance. Two souls split, nearly fused into one, would at last break free. She had her passions, he had his. They did not overlap.

Not anymore. “Goodbye, Percy.”

As he watched her retreating figure float safely up to the shoreline with no aid from him, he had only one reply.

“G’bye, Annabeth.”

Because sometimes the most important things in life are unspoken, and sometimes goodbye can mean more than I love you.

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