Even For A Moment

"What was the use of a soulmate if he didn't love her? What if the whole world wanted them to be together, except him?"
They live in a world where people spend their whole lives searching for someone to complete them.
At the age of twelve, Annabeth found that person.
At the age of sixteen, Annabeth is struggling with the reality that perhaps Percy isn't that person after all.
*soulmates Au for the fanfiction royale contest*

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1. Even For A Moment

“...and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment...” 
— Plato, The Symposium

People told her that they were meant to fit like jigsaw puzzle pieces, but she guessed Percy was just rough around the edges. 
When she first met him at the age of twelve, at that summer camp that smelt like strawberries, she remembered what her teachers told her in history. 
"Plato's Symposium discusses the concept of soul mates," they said, "This concept is what our laws surrounding population and birth control are based on."
She thought it illogical, as a child of science, but everything seemed to fit into place when she saw him. They brought him in on a stretcher, and Annabeth, as the daughter of one of camp's directors, was sent to look after him after he woke up. 
"He fainted," Chiron told her, "Must be the heat."
He didn't look like much, with a scraggly mop of dark hair a top his head, and green eyes that she saw when his eyelids flickered open for the first time. 
"He's the one," she whispered to herself, "He must be."
Oh, how wrong she was. 

They were fifteen (technically Annabeth was sixteen but she always overlooked that fact to make Percy feel better) and the whole world seemed to lay at their feet. Annabeth transferred to New York to have better access to her foster father and to camp, with her biological father's blessing. 
And, of course, to be close to Percy. 
She didn't understand why she felt this insatiable need to be around him unto she found her textbooks on the government system and her old battered copy of the Symposium. She had almost forgotten about soul mates; nowadays no one seemed to care about being with one person for life. Her heart did jumping jacks when she saw him, wasn't that what it meant to in love? To fit so closely to another person?
She was so overcome with a desire to share this knowledge with him that she didn't even think about the possible outcomes. 
Percy could completely dismiss the idea. 
 Percy was her best friend and discussing this him could ruin their friendship 
Percy was unable to reciprocate her feelings. 
Annabeth rounded the corner, books clutched to her heart, only to feel it drop in despair. Percy was leaning against his locker in that way of his, the smile she knew so well directed at a familiar looking red head. 
Rachel. Elizabeth. Dare. 
Annabeth tried so hard to be jealous, be spiteful, be harsh, as if that would make it all easier. But Rachel was the only girl who wasn't Annabeth who actually showed an interest in Percy, and it seemed only fair considering Annabeth had never made a move. 
(well, she had, one night at Percy's brother's party, but Percy was probably too drunk to remember that she had kissed him)
It took all her effort not to cry. She was a strong woman, one who didn't need a boyfriend to validate her beauty or attractiveness. 
But sure, it would be nice.  
She looked down at her soulmate book and sighed. What was the use of a soulmate if he didn't love her? What if the whole world wanted them to be together, except him?
Dry your tears, she told herself, And forget you ever saw that stupid book.

Then, a miracle happened. 
Annabeth knew she couldn't call it a miracle because it really was a tragedy for Rachel, but out of Rachel's sorrow blossomed Annabeth's happiness. 
Rachel's parents, her rich, wealthy parents banned her from dating until she was sixteen and the soulmate law came into place. Only then was she allowed to go out into the world and disover who she was meant to love. 
She then divulged to Annabeth, of all people, that she was to be attending her mother's old all girls finished school, so that she could emerge a beautiful young woman. 
"Just so you know," she said, "I never really disliked you."
"That's good," Annabeth smiled, "I never really disliked you either."
She nodded over to where Percy was sitting under one of the trees, "You take care of him, okay? I have a feeling that you're not just going to be his best friend anymore, so look after him for me."
She pulled Annabeth into a hug. 
"I promise I will." 

"Hey, it's your birthday, right?" Annabeth asked, as she slid onto the bench next to Percy in the cafeteria the next day. It was relatively empty, with most of the older kids out at a field trip. Clarisse and her trickster group hung around in a corner. 
Percy looked up, and smiled his radiant smile as she placed the platter in front of him. It held a misshaped blue cupcake. 
"You made this?"
"Your brother helped," she admitted. She held up a plastic blue knife and cut it in half. They ate it with their fingers. 
"Percy?" she asked tentatively.
"Mhmmmm?"
"Do you remember the government class we took in grade six?"
"Of course," he laughed, "We had just come back from summer camp and you were trying out New York for a while."
"Do you remember what that class was about?"
"Soulmates." He said simply, "They're supposed to fit together like a jigsaw,"
His hand found its way to hers, a perfect match. Annabeth couldn't stop herself from smiling. 
"You're laughing at me." Percy complained. 
"I am not!"
"You're not making this easy on me."
"You're my soulmate, Seaweed Brian. I'm never going to make things easy on you."
Something in her ribcage melted when they kissed, and their bodies lined up, two halves finally joined together.
Just the way it should be. 

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