Disclaimer: I don't own anything!
Will, to Nico, was the sun. Bright, and blinding if stared at for too long. Absolutely radiant, if caught in his natural state.
And it wasn't just in looks that the son of Apollo reminded Nico of the huge star humans depend on so needfully. It was his attitude as well. On the surface he was bright and happy, with nothing to hide and with no visible worries or regrets. Will just burned on, guiding everything his light touched and helping it to grow. Bringing joy and smiles and laughter. Will was warmth and happy times. He was hot days spent walking hand in hand on the Camp's beach licking ice cream cones.
Inside, Will was practically unreachable, like the sun. You couldn't get too close without being burned. He had flaws like anybody else. He was passionate, ardently so, and sometimes his passion scorched a trail too hot for anybody else to follow.
But when you finally came up with the way to get to the sun, when you finally worked your way in and stripped all of the barriers and blockades... it was nothing short of amazing.
Somehow Nico had worked his way through the walls and burning rays. Somehow he had gotten through.
He never wanted to leave. Losing Will would send him reeling backwards. It would break his heart like Bianca's death had shattered it years ago. Losing Will would hurt Nico, it would tear him irreversibly apart in some ways.
Will was Nico's first love. Nico needed him.
Will brought Nico out of hiding. He could make Nico laugh and wasn't afraid to get angry at him. Where Percy had been an unreachable idol, Will was a very real person, someone Nico had fallen (literally, that one time) head over heels for. Will was everything Nico needed in some ways, and everything he desperately wanted in others.
So, imagine Nico's surprise, when weeks after Gaea's defeat Will finally snapped and demanded why Nico hadn't made a gods damn move already.
To Will, Nico was like the shadows.
Mysterious but constant. Amazingly dependable. Shadows were always there, either from the sun, the moon or just general night's darkness. Shadows always creeped in somehow, making their way anywhere they wanted, whether it was intentional or not.
Like, for example, making their way into a person's heart and surrounding it so thoroughly it was impossible for that person to break free or even think of anything else for the better part of their days.
Nico was like shadows.
The sun was unreliable. It could be hidden behind clouds, change it's timing- because let's face it, Will's dad wasn't the most dependable guy, or driver- or (on the rare occasion Artemis and Apollo had a particularly heated argument) hidden behind the moon during an eclipse.
The sun, the stars... even the moon. You couldn't count on them being visible every day. But shadows? There was always shadows, no matter what time of the day it was, whether it be dark or sunlight hours.
Nico was that to Will. Dependable. Constant. Something that, for whatever reason, had surrounded his heart so thoroughly it was difficult for him to think about anything else except the boys haunted eyes or his tentative smiles, as if scared seconds later a person would pull a joke on him for everybody to laugh at. Nico didn't trust easily, but when he did he gave you everything he had, a fact that still made Will's heart stutter from a mixture or adoration, pride and happiness.
Because now, Nico di'Angelo trusted him. And that felt better than any victory against Gaea any day.
So you couldn't really blame him when, weeks after Gaea's defeat, he got sick of Nico giving him puppy dog looks when he didn't think Will was watching.
You couldn't blame him for making the son of Hades finally make a move.
"Why haven't you asked me out yet?"
Nico's head shot up so fast it hurt his neck. "W-what?"
Will raised an eyebrow from where he stood in front of him with his arms crossed. Why Nico had been sitting alone at the campfire when it was the middle of the day was beyond him. (Truthfully, Nico had been sitting there for the very purpose to get away from Will, afraid that he wouldn't be able to stop himself from doing something stupid. Like kissing him.)
Will continued from his previous question like Nico hadn't spoken. "Or kissed me. Or even held my hand at campfire. Something."
Nico felt his mouth drop open and he couldn't make his brain work to close it.
Will continued, apparently unaware or uncaring of the shock he had just thrown the son of Hades into. "I mean I know you're new at this, and not exactly Mr. Social, but come on. You have to have some idea of how this works, right? I can't be the one making the hints all the time, Nico. Sometimes it makes me wonder if you even actually like me."
Now the son of Apollo looked down with eyes that held a surprisingly vulnerable look, despite his confident words.
Nico finally closed his mouth and swallowed nervously. "I..."
He trailed off, not knowing what to say. He was completely lost, because despite his words to Percy when he finally told the son of Poseidon he was gay, he became a gooey brained, butterfly-filled-stomach, sweaty-palmed boy around Will Solace. And he stuttered. A lot.
"And I know you're gay, because I asked Percy and he assured me 100% that you were. So... what? I thought we were having fun and flirting. I thought you liked me- granted, it's a little hard to tell with you, but still. You talk to me more than almost anybody else and we hang out a lot. I've definitely given you plenty of openings." Will sat down beside him, turning to look at him. "But you're not... doing anything." He said before taking a deep breath. "So. I have to ask." He met Nico's eyes, the question burning fiercely in his own.
Years of denied feelings suddenly came over Nico like a wave, enormous and crashing through him, making his tongue feel thick and heavy in his mouth. But seconds later, when he refocused, he met Will's burning eyes, watching him closely.
And just like that he was amazingly calm.
"Yeah." He cleared his throat. "I mean yes. I'm gay"
A split second of hesitation. That was it.
It was a huge improvement from a month ago.
Will's smile was relieved and an unknown knot in Nico's stomach tightened at the sight of it. This demigod sitting in front of him was amazingly gorgeous.
Nico resisted the urge to lift his hand and trace Will's lips with his fingers.
"Okay." Will moved on. "So that's obviously not the problem. What is, then?"
Now Nico did freeze.
As the weeks had gone by, more than once Nico had resisted the urge to practically attack Will. How many times had Nico wanted to kiss him? Or grab his hand? How many times had he caught the scent of him, a smell that sent warmth through Nico and made him want to breathe nothing else for as long as he lived? Whenever they had gone swimming in the lake Nico had always caught himself staring and then had to look away with a blush staining his face, hoping nobody else had noticed? (Percy had, every time. Now that he knew Nico was gay he seemed to have taken it upon himself to get Will and Nico together.) How many times at campfire had they sat together and caught each other's eyes, with Nico suddenly unable to look away.
Sort of like now.
"Why- why would you want me?" Nico finally asked.
Because Will was the sun, vibrant and full of warmth and Nico was nothing but shadow, hiding and too scared to exist in the light.
Nico flinched when Will laughed.
Great, he thought. Someone else to make fun of me and think I'm stupid.
But he couldn't get mad at Will.
He sat there, cheeks inflamed, and waited until Will stopped laughing. He had a nice laugh, Nico noted. If it wasn't directed at him, Nico would have had even more stupid butterflies in his stomach from the sound.
"Nico," Will took Nico's hand and Nico resisted the urge to yank his back because, oh gods, his skin burned where Will touched it, like he really was the sun. Still, Nico left his hand where it was, too amazed and stunned to do anything but stare at where Will's hands wrapped around his own before looking up to meet the archer's eyes. "You are amazing."
Oh, great. The butterflies were back.
Nico bit his lip, unsure of what to say, making Will smile softly again.
"Like that! Right there. I love how you bite your lip, and how you turn your skull ring around your finger when you're anxious. I love how much you love your sister," Nico's eyes bored into Will's now. "And I love how you would do absolutely anything for somebody you love. You're shy and sweet and amazingly strong." Will squeezed his hand lightly. "Honestly, I'm not sure why I'm so attracted to you. I never noticed until after the Titan War, when you finally started talking to people." He bumped Nico's shoulder lightly, a teasing glint in his eyes. "But I- I really liked you, even back then." He frowned. "And I thought we had become pretty good friends, or at least were on our way to getting there. But you left. And when you came back you said after the war you were going to leave for good."
Will shrugged. "And when you said that, even before you said it, I guess, I realize I didn't want you to go."
Will's words hung in the air before the son of Apollo seemed to realize he was still holding Nico's hand and pulled away. "And I can't stand not knowing anymore, Nico. Because if you don't like me... than I'd at least hope we could still be friends."
Nico's skin went cold at the loss of contact.
His insides squirmed.
His blood was moving slow, like molasses, because he knew if he didn't finally get a grip and get his tongue to work, Will would leave.
Will's face, after several moments, fell slightly. His eyes lost their sparkle- something Nico hadn't seen before. And didn't want to see again.
"I do." He said, before clearing his throat, his face burning. "I mean... I like you too. A lot." He grained confidence as he spoke. "You... make me laugh."
It seemed an inadequate reason for the depth of Nico's feelings for his friend(?), but Nico didn't care. It was the only thing he could offer Will without melting into a pile of mush.
It was enough.
Because Will's smile lit up the entire campfire.
And Nico really wanted to kiss him.
So, with one of his tentative smiles, he leaned in slowly, giving Will plenty of time to pull away if, for some reason, he didn't want Nico to kiss him.
Will didn't pull away.
And Nico kissed him.
His first kiss.
Nico's first kiss was all soft lips, encouraging sounds from the back of Will's throat, and tingles. It was warmth and a soft summer breeze and Will smelled like sunshine.
Will's first kiss with Nico, by no means his first with a boy, was his last first kiss. It was all nervous flutters in his stomach, surprise at the son of Hades' sudden forwardness and want.
Nico may have previously been inexperienced, but he had enough natural talent to make Will's mind go hazy.
They're complete opposites, really they are. In almost every way, too.
But doesn't everybody say that opposites attract?