Plot: Two times Will Solace almost kissed Nico diAngelo, and the one time that he did.
Set after Blood of Olympus.
I. Three weeks post war.
In the weeks following the end of the Giant War, Will was nearly run ragged into the ground, the overflow of wounded demigods trickling into Camp Half-Blood nearly too much for him and his siblings to handle. Every morning at dawn's first light, he would drag himself out of bed, stumbling down to the Infirmary to tend to the dozens of patients in various stages of healing, only leaving for brief bathroom breaks and meals. Usually, one of his siblings had to physically force him to go to bed, usually well past the early hours of the morning. Even then, he didn't go without a fight.
Will couldn't help that he felt such a strong urge to help as much as he possibly could, being a son of the god of medicine and healing, Apollo. It was deeply rooted in his very nature. He blindly went through his duties day after day, oblivious to everybody talking worriedly about him behind his back.
It was only after he had pulled two all-nighters in a row that Nico diAngelo had enough of his foolishness.
"Will!" the younger boy hissed, darting forward and grabbing his friend's arm, pale skin clashing against deeply tanned. Nico had been stalking Will all afternoon, waiting for a chance to talk to him alone, and finally his chance presented itself to him in the form of a bathroom break. "You have to stop!"
"Huh?" the son of Apollo stared at him confusedly, his normally vibrant blue eyes dull and glazed over from exhaustion. "Nico? What are you doing here? You should be resting still, you shouldn't be overexerting yourself. You could hurt yourself an-"
The rest of his words of protest were muffled by Nico's hand, which the son of Hades had furiously pressed against his mouth in an effort to shut him up. Needless to say, it was a successful move on his part. "Look who's talking, you blind Koraka!"
Will blinked at him bemusedly, taking longer than normal to process what he had heard. "Did you just call me a blind crow?"
"That's not the point, Will!" Nico's furious face swam before his face, his bottomless black eyes sticking out in a start distinction from his too pale face. The doctor inside of Will wanted to fuss over him, but something told him to keep his mouth shut right now. "You're killing yourself!"
"Excuse me?" Will asked, mildly offended.
"You heard me!" Nico all but shouted, shaking Will, desperate to make the stubborn demigod see reason. "You're skin and bones! You're going to work yourself to death at the rate you're going at!"
Will felt his façade begin to crack, his face becoming pained as the weeks upon weeks of nonstop work began to finally take their toll on him. His body tensed up, and everything came into focus around him for the first time in a long time. Thoughts started racing around his head, making him dizzy as he felt something other than numbness. At this point, Nico's hands on his shoulders were probably the only things holding him up, his legs trembling like Jello. "Nico-"
"I can't watch somebody else I love die!" Nico shouted, and Will felt his heart stutter when he realized there were real tears in his eyes. "Not again!"
Will opened his mouth to protest, and then stopped. Looking down in shame, he realized he was right. He had been working himself way too hard lately, and now he could feel his body crying at him for mercy. Embarrassment bubbled its way through his body, and his eyes closed against a sudden unexplainable wetness there.
"I'm sorry." Nico sucked in a sharp breath, ready to start yelling again. "You're right. I'm an idiot, I'm sorry, I just don't know what to do. I feel so helpless unless I'm working now, and-"
Will found himself wrapped up in an almost painfully tight hug from the other boy, Nico rubbing his back soothingly as sobs burst their way up through his chest, burning all the way. "I'm sorry!" was all he could seem to repeat, feeling infinitely small. Nico said nothing, just let him cry his frustrations out onto his shoulder, not pulling away until Will was ready.
The two just stared at each other, still only inches away from each other. A warmness seemed to travel through Will, and he suddenly had the urge to lean forward and press his lips to his friend's. He was even starting to lean in when he realized what he was doing, and stopped himself, flushing.
"No more long hours," Nico told him firmly, crossing his arms and glaring at him with his eyebrow cocked. "Got it?"
Will had no idea how anybody could ever say no to a face as adorable as Nico's, and felt himself nodding instantly. "Okay, for you. But you gotta get back to bed, you haven't recovered fully from all of that stupid shadow travelling!" He darted forward, snatching up Nico's wrist and marching the two of them away quickly.
Nico gaped at him, letting the boy drag him away towards his cabin. "What? After all of that, and all you can think of is that? Will! Hey, no fair! Will!"
II. Two months.
"Hurry up, Will!" Nico groaned, banging his head against the door of the Apollo cabin, checking his watch for the sixth time in two minutes. "We're going to miss the sing-along!"
"Which would be a travesty, I'm sure." Will shot back, pulling open the door to find himself face to face with his best friend. Nico rolled his eyes, sarcastically gesturing towards the path, and yelping when Will playfully flicked his ear with his finger. Rubbing his ear with a scowl on his face, he followed him down the path that led to the campfire in comfortable silence.
Ever since Nico had cornered Will about overworking himself, he had lessened his load substantially, actually getting enough rest and time to relax for the first time in ages. The change had been miraculous, beginning with his first night of actual sleep. When the bags had finally faded from under his eyes, Nico had almost cried with relief, grateful that he no longer had to be scared to lose his favorite son of Apollo.
As the dynamic duo neared the campfire, their friends called out cheerfully to them, waving them over. Just like he had ever since the end of the war, Will came over to sit next to Nico, Percy and Annabeth instead of joining his brothers and sisters and helping them lead the campfire tunes. The first time, silence had ensued, but now people didn't even blink. Will and Nico were a packaged deal now, and nearly everybody knew it, even Percy, who had seaweed for brains.
Halfway through the first song, Annabeth snuck a glance over at Nico, sandwiched in between her boyfriend and Will, so much happier than the scrap of a boy he had been only months ago. It was heartwarming for her to see how much progress he had made, even looking completely comfortable with people touching him or having their arms around him, let alone Percy. Will had been a true miracle, bringing Nico back from whatever darkness that threatened to take him away from them.
Nico laughed as Will told him a joke involving river nymphs and unlucky campers, unfazed by the fact that while everybody else had dropped their arms from their neighbors, Will had kept his draped over his own shoulders. He reached forward, snatching up two marshmallows on sticks, passing one to the son of Apollo with a beaming smile.
"Why, thank you." Will said, gobbling down the sweet treat. "Just what I wanted."
Nico rolled his eyes, popping his own into his mouth and savoring the flavor as it melted on his taste buds. He was oblivious to Will's barely veiled joyousness that he was eating voluntarily, something that Nico had not done a lot of since his fall into Tartarus. Slowly but surely, the too-skinny boy was gaining some weight back, thrilling everybody he knew.
Slowly but surely, one by one the other campers began to trickle away back to their cabins, until only the two pairs remained, Percy and Annabeth wrapped up in each other and content to just sit there in silence and stare at the embers. Sometime during the tunes, Will and Nico had drifted away from the group, and sat together some distance away, Will with his arm still wrapped around Nico.
Annabeth was so lost in the sweet feeling of Percy's strong arms wrapped around her that it was only the sound of Nico's hysterical laughter that told her that they were not as alone as they thought. She shifted in Percy's arms, startling him out of a light doze. Nudging him with a pointed glance in Nico's direction, she leaned forward and gave him a warm kiss. "See you in the morning, Perce."
"Night, love." He yawned, the two of them headed in different directions to their own cabins. Will looked up as they left, his grip on Nico tightening slightly at the realization that they were now completely alone.
Over the weeks they had spent together, their friendship had only gotten stronger, and for Will, at least, it had gone even farther. He wasn't sure when he had finally realized the depth of his feelings for Nico went well beyond friendship, but they certainly were there. Whenever he saw Nico, he felt his heart race and his palms get sweaty, and knew he was quickly falling for his patient.
In his arms, Nico shifted, slouching down farther and sighing contentedly, his eyes closed and face upturned towards the starry night sky. Will gazed at his face, filled with the compelling desire to kiss his full lips and make the son of Hades his own. He almost did it, before stopping himself.
Will had always been into boys. He had known it ever since he was a little kid. Feeling no shame over this, he went on with his life normally, having a few brief crushes here and there, both demigod and mortal alike, but nothing like what he felt when he looked at Nico. But, the crushing reality for him was the question of if Nico liked him that way, too. The only thing he could think to do was ask him, a feat which Will was not sure he had in him.
Could he really handle that rejection? He really didn't know.
"Nico?" he almost whispered, glancing around them to make sure they were really and truly alone. "Nico?"
The younger demigod had fallen asleep, his cheek pressed against Will's bicep. He looked so damned adorable that Will had to bite his lip to fight back a chuckle. It seemed like such a shame to wake him up when he was sleeping so peacefully, but Will knew that he had to go to his own cabin or face the wrath of the patrol harpies. It was with great regret that he carefully shook Nico awake, supporting him to Cabin Thirteen, hesitating before pecking the half-asleep demigod on the cheek before hurrying off into the darkness to his own cabin.
Even in the darkness, anybody would have been able to see the bright red glow of Will's cheeks as he thought about how much he enjoyed giving him that little kiss.
III. One year.
On the one year anniversary that marked the end of the Giant War, Camp Half-Blood threw a massive celebration, demigods throughout the entire world invited to join together to celebrate. Camp Jupiter came, the sky filling with hundreds of chariots and Pegasus as they made their way across the country. Even legacies and elder demigods came to party. For the first time in forever, all demigods through the world were bound together as one.
A lot had changed within that past year, including Nico diAngelo. The once scrawny, pale son of death now was muscular and radiated happiness, most noticeably when he was next to his best friend, Will Solace. Anybody that hadn't seen him in a year would not have recognized the tall, tan teenager for the pale, underfed child with soulless eyes. As it was, it was sometimes still a shock for his fellow campers to hear him burst out laughing, or witness him cracking a joke. Not that they weren't grateful, however.
After a huge feast, with so many people in attendance that many had to sit in the fields instead of the dining pavilion, campers and various demigods made their way down to the beach in the fading twilight to see a huge fireworks show the camp was putting on. The teenagers that were in charge of it promised a show that would put previous Fourth of July celebrations to shame.
"Yo, guys, over here!" a voice shouted, turning the heads of Will and his companions to see an excited Frank and Hazel sitting with a laughing Calypso and a sooty Leo. Beyond them, Piper and Jason were visible, sharing a sweet kiss underneath one of the trees that stood tall on the edge of the beach. Percy dragged Annabeth over to their friends quickly, her scolding him for being so impulsive, Will and Nico following at a slower pace, chortling at the couple.
"Nico!" Hazel threw herself at her brother, hugging him tightly. "Oh, you look so different!"
He patted her on the back, pulling back to smile at her warmly. "Hey Hazel, it's so good to see you. And everybody else too!" Frank gave him a grin from behind his sister, snaking his arms around her and pulling her back to his chest. The sight made Nico feel slightly, empty, his eyes unwittingly flying to Will for a brief instant before he lightly flushed and turned his attention back to the others.
"C'mon, sit with us." Leo patted the ground next to Calypso, who was greeting Percy and Annabeth. "The show is bound to start soon right?"
"Yeah, it should be any moment now," Will told him, before realizing they probably had no idea who he was. "Oh, sorry. Hi, my name's Will, I'm a friend of Nico and Percy."
"Nice to meet you, Will." Piper said, walking towards them hand in hand with Jason, who gave Percy a fist bump over the heads of everybody else. She and Hazel shared a secretive look that made Nico uncomfortable, and he plopped down on the ground next to Will, who instinctively put his arm around his shoulders. He leaned into him, oblivious to the questioning looks the others gave him. Annabeth winked at them behind Nico's back, and Will saw it, flushing slightly. When she gave him a pointed look he swallowed, before nodding slightly.
Will turned to Nico, his face a little more pale than usual, when the first fireworks lit up the sky. "Hey, can I talk to you?" Nico turned to him questioningly, wondering what was bothering the son of Apollo. Over the past year, he had gotten surprisingly good at reading him, and instantly picked up that something was bothering him.
"Sure, Will." The duo got up, ignoring the complaints of people sitting behind them for blocking the fireworks. Will led Nico towards the edge of the beach, leaning against one of the tree trunks that stood there. He licked his lips, feeling his throat get dry and his hands start to shake. He was about to do what he had been trying to do for almost a year, and it was terrifying him. Will wouldn't have been surprised to know that Nico could hear his heart, it was beating so hard.
"Will, what's wrong?" he asked nervously, running a hand through his messy black hair. "You don't look so good."
Will opened his mouth, but the words wouldn't come out. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't make himself say it. He didn't understand why saying, Hey, I like you! Do you like me?, could be so hard, but it sure was. Flushing, he dropped his eyes from Nico's for a brief moment, looking back up instantly when Nico placed a steadying hand on his shoulder, illuminated by the bursts of color from the sky above.
Blue eyes met black, and Will suddenly found himself moving, rushing forward until his lips were on Nico's. For a short horrible moment, Nico didn't move, shocked into stiffness, before his brain registered what was going on and his lips began to move with Will's.
Will's eyes fluttered shut as the feeling of kissing Nico washed over him, from the tip of his head down to the ends of his toes. He finally felt complete, and he pressed himself closer to the son of Hades, groaning. The two clutched each other as close as physically possible, but that didn't stop them from trying to get even closer. Through his closed lids, Will saw the fireworks exploding in a rainbow of color, only adding to the sensation.
It was only when he was gasping for air that Will broke apart from Nico, both of them staring at each other and panting. Will suddenly had a horrible thought about what this meant if Nico didn't like it, but his fears were pacified when Nico closed the distance between them to kiss him again, more gentle this time.
When they pulled away again, they stayed wrapped up in each other's arms, gazing at each other, fireworks exploding overhead. Any hesitation between the two was gone, replaced with understanding, and perhaps with time, love. They were alone in the world, not caring who was watching.
The fireworks show exploded into the finale, and the couple looked up at the beautiful color arrangement as pictures moved across it, showing various scenes from the past wars fought. It was beautiful, in a tragic sort of way, and seemed to fit what had just happened perfectly. When it was all over, Nico turned back to Will.
"Always?" he asked, biting his lip in a way that made Will want to tackle him into the sand and kiss him until the sun came up the next morning.
"Of course." He answered, and the two shared another kiss under the sky, the cheers and roars of the crowd as they applauded the show adding a soundtrack to their new found relationship. They didn't know where this would take them, but as long as they had the other, everything would work out in the end.
Oh, I just love Solangelo, don't you?