So, I'm jumping on the SolAngelo bandwagon. I'm not super into this pairing though, so this will be the only one. And it's even angsty. Damn it.
Will Solace was a rarity among demigods. As far as nightmares go, he wasn't plagued with panic inducing dreams or prophetic visions. His nightmares mostly revolved around the Titan War, the death of his two brothers and the carnage he witnessed on the battlefield. Even those were few and far between.
Tonight seemed different though. His hands clawed uselessly at his chest and when he felt his pounding heartbeat, he wrung his hands and scrubbed at the flesh stretching across the bones. His breathing was erratic and panicked. As he clawed at his own hands, his eyes found the clock on the table across the room. Almost three in the morning and it was the third night in a row Will had woken up with his skin crawling and his adrenaline running high.
The blonde son of Apollo rolled off of the couch in the Big House and stood, trying to control his breathing. He wandered to the infirmary where all of his patients were sleeping except one.
Nico di Angelo was an interesting guy. Will had been a little fascinated by him because while the daughter of Zeus and the son of Poseidon were pretty damn cool, a living descendant of Hades was on a different level. He never thought he'd meet a kid whose blood was literally of the underworld, who lived and breathed death and shadows. It was an oddly beautiful and frightening thing to see. But when Nico had disappeared again, any chances he'd had of gleaning information was lost.
And it wasn't that big of a deal, not really, because suddenly Percy fucking Jackson was missing and Annabeth was scary when she wanted to be and then Jason Grace stormed in and everything went to shit.
Will shook himself out of his thoughts when Nico's impossibly dark eyes roved around to him and proceeded to dissect him without even trying. The moonlight slanted through the room and showed his form, curled up tightly and trembling minutely.
"Couldn't sleep?" Nico rasped, lips tilting up in a horribly sarcastic grin. Will grimaced.
"No. I was having nightmares. What about you? You're supposed to be sleeping and resting for the next two days." Nico's lips twitched again, this time into a frown. His eyes narrowed slightly and he looked away.
"I had nightmares too," he replied softly. Will furrowed his eyebrows and approached, picking his way around the beds. As he got closer, he noticed drying tear tracks down Nico's cheeks, which were more flushed than usual. There were angry red marks under his eyes, like he'd been scrubbing under them too hard for too long before giving up.
"Looks like it was pretty bad," Will commented lightly, taking in the way Nico sighed and nodded slightly. "But no one here woke up and I didn't hear you." Nico huffed out a bitter, mirthless laugh that made a shiver roll down Will's spine. He wondered idly what would happen if Nico released the magnitude of his anguish and suffering. Will had no doubt that Nico could make armies fall to their knees screaming if he tried.
"I've trained myself not to make noise in my sleep. Screaming because of nightmares will get you killed out there." Will tried not to focus on the morbidity of that statement and instead looked at the darkness that he was now standing in beside Nico's bed; an ankle deep pool of swirling shadows.
"Hey! I told you not to use your Underworld magic. You're still too close to fading!" Will exclaimed softly but urgently. Nico's eyes flickered over to Will before dropping to the shadows crawling up his bed. He stretched his fingers out and a tendril of shadow reached out, wrapping around his hand in an odd looking caress.
"I didn't summon them," Nico murmured. "They come on their own when I'm very upset or scared." Will sat down heavily on a chair beside Nico's bed, processing the information he'd just heard.
"Shadows come to you on their own when you're upset… to comfort you?" he choked eventually. Nico face darkened but he nodded curtly. "Shit, no, that's not what I meant. I just mean that I've never heard of someone's element or power seeking to comfort them. Except maybe the water, when Percy's near it, maybe. But… I dunno. When I'm upset, sunlight doesn't do that, and I'm sure air doesn't do that to Jason. You know?"
"You're rambling," Nico rasped, allowing a small smile to tilt his lips up. The shadows curled around his wrist, settling on the floor. "I've spent a lot of time around them. I exercise my rule in my domain. They react far more powerfully to me."
"Why though? Why do you spend so much time with the shadows, or in the underworld? I mean…" Will trailed off slowly, becoming absorbed in his thoughts.
'It almost killed you,' he doesn't say, not wanting to face the sting of the truth.
Demigods didn't have kids. That wasn't something that happened when you led a life full of death and destruction around every other corner. Will Solace could comfortably and confidently say he never thought he would need to know how to deliver a baby. A satyr baby, at that.
Between Mellie screaming, Hedge pacing and muttering, and, oh yeah, the Roman fucking army on their doorstep, Will was prepared to commit premeditated murder.
As he was leaving the infirmary's new delivery room, he was grabbed by Coach Hedge. He whipped around, fists clenching tightly. "What?" he barked, immediately feeling bad afterwards but not quite willing to apologize.
"You gotta find Nico. Nico di Angelo, he's the son of Hades, you gotta find him!" The gears in Will's frazzled, exhausted mind screeched to a halt. "He shadow-travelled with me and the girl and the Athena Parthenos and he's used his powers way too much! You gotta find him and stop him, because if he uses his powers anymore he'll disappear!"
Will was running for the door before the satyr had a chance to finish.
"Hey. Are you still with me?" Nico's voice cut through his thoughts, jarring him. He blinked rapidly and looked over to the son of Hades again, this time taking note of how pale and thin Nico was. His cheeks and eyes were sunken in unnaturally. The healer in him wanted to stand up, take action, and force Nico to comply and rest and get better.
"Yeah…" he stuttered after a minute. "I um… yeah." Nico chuckled then, a low and husky sound.
"What were you thinking about then?" Will bit his lip at the question, not sure how to answer.
When his hand connected with Nico's he felt the darkness there. It rested just under his skin, so close Will was sure if he cut the boy's finger, shadows would spill out instead of blood. It thrummed and shifted, very much alive, and Will wasn't sure he'd ever been so scared in his life.
"I was thinking that when I touched your hand on Half-Blood Hill, the shadows were ready to swallow you whole. I mean, they were thick under your skin, almost like it was you, your skin that was a cover. I've been scared before, but never like that. I don't feel it now, rolling off of you like they were, but…" He trailed off, unsure of how to proceed. Then he bit his lip and held his hands out, hoping Nico wouldn't shy away.
The dark haired boy looked down and visibly hesitated before stretching one trembling hand out. Will cupped Nico's hand in both of his own, rubbing them softly and focusing.
"Now," he said after a minute, "now it feels like the darkness had retreated, faded somehow, but it's not gone. Now it feels like… almost like it used to be in your skin and muscles, but now it's settled in your bones."
"Really?" Nico asked after a minute. "It's impressive that you can tell that."
Will pulled his hands away quickly, blushing at the seemingly off handed comment. He ducked his head, letting his hair fall across his eyes. Nico still chuckled though.
"Solace?" he asked, his voice dropping to something that seemed seductive. "Are you blushing?" Will's head snapped up again and he felt his cheeks flush.
"W-What? No, I mean, why would you ask that? No, I'm not blushing," Will stammered quickly. He jerked when he felt a cool hand cup his jaw and then suddenly, a pair of worried, thin lips were on his.
The kiss was soft, hesitant and Will felt it when Nico tensed and second guessed himself. Before he could pull away though, Will curled his fingers through Nico's hair and pulled him back into the kiss, sighing blissfully. His other hand came up to cup Nico's chin and he might have been imagining it, but he thought he felt the darkness retreat just a little more.