Nico woke up to the smell of scrambled eggs flying towards his face.
Instinctively, he raised his hands up his face and then the eggs splattered all over his bed. He sat up, flicking bits of food off his shirt, and saw Annabeth helping Piper up. There were more food on the floor, suggesting that they were supposed to bring him breakfast.
"Nico, I'm so sorry!" Piper said as she cleaned up the mess on the floor. "We wanted to surprise you."
Annabeth took his blanket and shook the eggs off. "I guess we did," she said, dryly.
"At least the nectar is alright. I'll just get more food later," Piper said, handing Nico a glass of nectar with a bendy straw and an umbrella.
Nico took the umbrella out and took a sip. It was finally the third day. The claw marks didn't look bad and he didn't feel like he was floating anymore.
"So are you feeling better enough to leave the infirmary?" Annabeth asked.
He nodded and cleared his throat, surprised by how dry it was, even after drinking.
"I feel like I could leave now,
I feel like I could take on a huge cow,
Maybe one that I would chow,
And then I'll take a bow."
His hand, which still smelled like scrambled eggs, flew to his mouth. Did he just recite a poem about eating a cow? He slowly lowered his hand and furrowed is brows. That was impossible. Why would he even do that? Nico glanced up and saw both girls shaking with laughter. His eyes widened in realization. Oh gods, he did!
"Which Apollo kid did you tick off?" Annabeth said finally, laughter-induced tears gleamed in her eyes.
"Roses are red,
Foxes are clever,
Tick off an Apollo kid,
I have never."
Annabeth bit her lip to suppress a chuckle. "I guess that was kind of better. But are you sure you haven't insulted one lately? This won't wear off for a while," Nico looked at her with a horrified expression on his face. "But you could ask the one who did this to uncurse you."
"What about Will Solace?" Piper said.
"What about him, Pipes?"
Piper looked at Nico as if she was asking his permission to go on. Nico groaned and collapsed head first on his pillow. The very second he gets off his bed, that Will Solace was as good as dead. He racked his brain for places he could rent a monster truck for Jules-Albert to run him over in.
"Wait - do you like Will, Nico?" Annabeth asked.
Nico was tempted to answer but shook his head instead of saying another pathetic poem. He did have strong feelings for Will Solace but it was currently those relating to murder.
"Come on, you can't lie to us. I sensed the tension between the two of you yesterday and Annabeth's super smart. Just tell us," Piper said with a hint of charmspeak in her voice.
The girls looked at him pleadingly. He winced as he recited another bad poem.
"Hand me some paper you,
And perhaps a pen or pencil too."
Piper ran off. A few moments later, she appeared with some pink stationary and a feathered pen. "It was all our cabin had. They are not mine."
Nico and Annabeth looked at the writing materials in disgust. "Maybe I should have been the one to get them." Annabeth said. "Anyway, you like Will, don't you?"
He closed his eyes as he tried to separate his anger from what he had felt just yesterday. The skin from his neck to cheeks started to get a bit warm. There would always be a strange swell in his heart whenever he see or even thought of Will. He was annoying, that was a given fact, but he was one of the few people who pushed in with almost the same effort he made to push people out. That and he was probably the only person to not fear him and his powers.
Ignoring the pink feather that danced on the pen, Nico wrote, what if I do?
He passed the paper to Annabeth, who shared it with Piper. "What do you mean? If you like him then you like him. You can't really choose who you would like. We won't judge you."
"And it's the twenty first century. You don't have to hide," added Piper.
There was that word again...hide. It was the terrifying sense of déjà vu that overwhelmed him. He remembered running away from Camp Half-Blood all those years ago. He remembered a scared Jason speaking to him in Croatia, probably from the dramatic ghostly effects on his part but determined to get him out of the shadows.
"I'm not going to lie, Nico. Whatever you're going through, this is hard. I don't pretend that I understand. I just want you to know that Percy, Piper and I will be there for you."
"And Jason," said Piper. "If he knew then-"
Nico lifted a hand to stop her. Piper looked at him warily as if he would start spitting out bones and darkness. He sighed and went on to write, he knows since Croatia.
"You mean when you talked to Cupid?" she asked.
"Stupid Cupid!" Nico exclaimed. If the rest of them resented Hera, then he found his own, personal Hera in the love god.
"At least that rhymed," Piper said, chuckling. She probably found it amusing how less intimidating the son of Hades was when he was spouting out horrible poetry. "If you don't mind me asking, what did you do to get Will this mad at you anyway? Yesterday, he didn't seem angry."
Nico looked down on his lap as if he could find an answer within the wasted scrambled eggs. His handwriting looked like dyslexic ancient Greek. Putting it into words made him realize how hurt and angry he was. He did have feelings for Will. He was sure of that. It was just the idea of revealing his secret self to him that terrified him. What if that was all that he was? A broken son of Hades? He was so distracted that he accidentally poked a hole through the paper.
He gave it to the girls. He didn't write everything down to simplify things. Still, he got exasperated looks from both Annabeth and Piper.
"Look Nico, it took such a long time for me to get to know you and even now, I'm still discovering new things," Annabeth held his gaze. "Will's right. Trust him and start talking about this whole thing. There's no better feeling in the world than to lay down your burden and have someone who cares to carry it for you."
Nico looked at her, confused.
"Oh boys. Even the gay ones are clueless," Piper said, lightly slapping a palm on her face. Nico shifted in his bed. It was the first time he had been given that label. "You like Will and he more or less likes you too. The reason why he cursed you is because you've been oblivious to everything he's been doing for you. All he wants is to get to know you!"
Suddenly, he was being pulled up to his feet. Without warning, Annabeth threw his shoes at him. He clumsily caught them with a groan as they hit his chest. He threw a demanding look at Annabeth.
"No questions. You're going to apologize to Will Solace."
"What did you say?
I have to apologize today?
"Shut up, poem boy," Annabeth said.
Nico huffed indignantly and put his shoes on. Ignoring the rainbow dots that frolicked in his vision, he let the girls drag him off. Despite the sun shining too brightly, it was nice to get out of the infirmary. He imagined campers staring at their direction wondering why he hasn't gone yet but, to his surprise, no one was looking at him. They passed by Percy and Jason who were showing two new campers around. They waved and left the kids to the Stoll brothers, who were already starting to pickpocket the youngest boy.
"Hey man, you're back from the d-" before Percy could finish, Annabeth elbowed him in the ribs. "Ow. Okay, I know. Bad joke."
"How are you feeling, Nico?" Jason asked. "I asked Piper to bring you some breakfast."
"Piper is a girl from cabin ten
Who was asked to bring me some food when
While all havoc broke out
Scrambled eggs flew about
And the eggs just went to my face then."
There was a dead silence. Jason and Percy stared at him like he suddenly grew another head and then they started cracking up. Nico wanted to bang his head on the nearest cabin.
"Man," Percy said, trying to catch his breath. "Which Apollo kid did this to you?"
"Apollo kids could make people talk in limericks?" Jason asked just recovering from his fit.
"Couldn't Romans do that too?" Percy asked. Jason shook his head. "You should have seen the last time-"
"Guys," Piper interrupted. "Do you know where Will Solace is?"
"Will? We just saw him. He's teaching archery," Jason said, pointing over to the fields.
"Good because Nico-" Piper locked eyes with Nico who gave her a pointed look. "N-Nico got him angry."
Annabeth turned towards him. "Do you want us to come with you?"
Nico shook his head and waved goodbye. He just hoped no one came up to talk to him. Being laughed at was getting pretty tiring.
Only once had he ever stepped on the archery field but he trusted things didn't get moved a lot in camp. It had only been him and Chiron then, vainly trying to cheer him up while Bianca was away. Now, it all seemed less daunting even with the number of new campers. He saw Will instantly and his heart faltered.
Will gave a high-five to one kid who almost hit him. He casually ducked when an arrow came dangerously close to his head. It was strange to see Will actually teaching. Nico knew head counselors did teach new campers but Will was just around his age yet he had responsibilities that tied up to those of the older campers'.
Eventually, he saw Nico, hiding behind the shadow of a tree. They stared at each other for a few seconds before Will looked away.
"Alright guys," he said. "Time to wrap up."
When it was just him, Nico decided to approach him. He was picking up arrows, avoiding him. Nico sighed and picked some arrows up. He went to Will and handed them to him.
"If you want me to lift the curse, I'm not doing it," he said.
Nico nodded. He had expected that.
"Look Nico, I'm busy. It will wear off before lunch, I swear."
He could have left. He could have went straight to his cabin and waited until the curse wore off. Instead, he stayed, picking up arrows with Will Solace. When every arrow was placed away, Will turned around and left Nico. He ran up in front of him and held up a hand.
"What do you want? I told you it will wear off," Will shoved pass him.
In a desperate attempt to get him to stay, Nico lunged after him, grabbing his hand. He felt the static shoot up his hand stronger than ever before. Will turned, unsuccessfully masking the surprised expression on his face. Nico held his gaze, determined to look at him right in the eye - to not hide.
He cleared his throat and said,
"I've been a fool, you see,
Will Solace, could you forgive me?"
He took his hand away. "S-sure, man. I guess I'll see you around."
Gods, he's not making this any easier! Nico had enough. Patience was never his virtue. He stomped his foot on the floor and yelled,
"Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I like you!"
"W-what? Wait- don't speak. Let me just..." Then he started singing. It was an ancient Greek hymn that didn't make any sense. Like someone decided to randomly choose from the dictionary while writing lyrics. But that didn't matter. Will had the voice of a million tiny angels. "There. You should speak normally now."
"I-I..." he found himself at lost for words. "So yeah. And thank you."
"You like me?"
He wasn't expecting the tone of surprise and awe in his voice. Nico just nodded, uncertain of how things should go on. Blood was already freezing in his veins. Still, he coaxed himself to go on.
"I know I've been difficult to deal with. That's just me, I'm not used to real people."
Will groaned. "You can't use that as an excuse. Come on, death boy, what's your real problem? You do these amazing things to make people like you but when they finally do, you run away. What are you running from anyway?"
Nico couldn't speak. Those were the questions he was afraid of. His minds kept giving him reasons to justify everything he has done, but they weren't enough.
"Nico," Will said softly. "I just want to know because I like you too."
He managed a small smile but it faded almost as soon as it appeared.
"I-I'm afraid to tell you who I am. Because what if it freaks you out?"
"Try me," Will said, smiling.
It all pointed back to his relationship with Bianca. He thought she loved him but she joined the hunters without a single thought of him. When he finally got through that - when he realized he'd been selfish for hating her decision, she died.
He thought that if he got too close to people, they'll see something they don't like about him and leave. That was what Nico was afraid of. It was just either he cared for the person or not, there was no in between. He treated friends like family. And he couldn't bear it if he lost someone like how he lost Bianca again.
"Hey, it's alright."
Will reached out and wiped away a single tear. He didn't even know he was crying.
"I didn't want to burden you with this. But it became quite clear to me, especially this last day, how used to your company I've become."
"Nico, I don't want you to think that you're burdening me," Will said, placing his hands on his shoulders. "You have to place all these on the wings of a butterfly and let it fly far away."
Nico smiled. "How artistically vague."
"That's the rule with art. No one should understand it at first," he said, smirking at him.
There was a silence between them. Nico knew he had one thing more to bring up.
"About Tartarus though-"
"You don't have to say anything. I mean, eventually you'll have to tell me everything but I realized that was the flaw in my plan to get to know you. It's like overwhelming a person who is used to small portions of food with a buffet. And you're still quite unhealthy."
He can't believe he just compared him to an anorexic again. He didn't answer though. The last thing Nico wanted to do was to make Will Solace more annoying than he already was.
"So you do like guys!" Will teased.
"Only one guy in particular."
Will leaned down, lowering his head to accommodate their height difference and captured his lips. Nico couldn't react at first, staying still as one of Medusa's victims as he kissed him sweetly. When Will didn't get the reaction he wanted, he took his hands and gave him a soul-healing kiss. Nico almost forgot his own name.
Everything came back to him when he felt Will gently squeeze his hand.
"Are we a-" Nico started.
"A thing? Why yes we are." He frowned suddenly. "If you want to be, that is. I wouldn't want to-"
Nico cut him off with a chaste kiss. "Of course, I do."
Will stared at him, dumbfounded. Nico had to admit, he did surprise himself as well.
"Now, don't get this all in your head. We may be together but I'm still the doctor. No, shadow traveling because if you die, I'm totally going all Orpheus on your father."
"My father already has a room made for me, with monk skulls and all. I'm fine with the underworld."
"But I play a mean lyre solo! I'm not stupid like that guy. I won't turn around."
He imagined Will going to the underworld, trying to lead his soul back while Total Eclipse of the Heart plays in the background.
"Maybe not as stupid," Nico said.
Will laughed and he laughed with him, unforced and unconstrained. Whatever it was that Will Solace had done to him, it was soul-healing - like the kiss.
Here we are! The last chapter! Thank you so much for reading! I had so much fun writing this and reading all your reviews! I might have told some of you guys that I would update days ago, but I was kind of busy with some school work.
I might make a longer and sadder Solangelo fanfic but I'm not making any promises...Sadder because there will be a girl who gets between them because of reasons that are too complicated to discuss. Yeah, I might. I'm currently working on a Wicked fanfiction and an original story. I also have ideas for a Draco/Hermione story and a Loki/Sigyn story, which will probably stay ideas.
But seriously I was blown away by the views! I know a lot of you are Filipinos too, you know ;) You can leave a review in Filipino! Heck, you can review in Pig Latin and I'd still love you!