Note: This chapter takes place between the events of Chapter Two and Three plus Nico's POV of the kiss which was heavily requested as well. :3
It was cold walking across campus. Then again, it probably didn't help that he was only wearing his thin leather jacket and skinny jeans with the holes in them. Nico didn't particularly care – not as long as Will kept glancing at his legs like that. He could sense Will's gaze on him throughout the entire night, lingering down his body and back up. When he spoke, he looked directly into Nico's eyes with a kind of fond softness that startled him. Nico never had someone look at him so tenderly, lovingly. It sent a spark of longing throughout him, sent him wanting to know what it felt like to have their lips pressing together. Nico was certain that, if nothing else, it would be a great way to warm up.
And then the idiot actually took out a piece of gum. Nico's stomach was churning with the amount of effort it took to keep from mauling the man right then and there. Will was practically begging to be kissed at that point – offering himself up all minty fresh and tantalizingly adorkable with his knit cap and wide eyes.
And, speaking of gum. "By the way," he said, surprising the both of them, "I'm out of that shitty gum."
Will blinked at him, shivering slightly from the chill, before breaking into a nervous grin. "Y-yeah? I told'ja it would help-p!"
Nico tried not to roll his eyes, but it happened anyways. "I'm not admitting anything. Just tell me where to get some more."
Will laughed softly under his breath. Did he have any idea how much that messed with Nico's head? "I don't want you becoming addicted to those, too!" he protested. "You're gonna have to find something else to curb your cravings on."
It was practically an open invitation to ogle Will's body. He couldn't have stopped himself even if he tried. It felt like something was tightening up in his throat. "Is that right?"
To Nico's surprise, Will shuddered again. "Y-yeah. That's what I said."
Nico smirked even though Will couldn't see it. "And what are you chewing?"
Will blew a small bubble. The tease. Nico caught a whiff of spearmint. "It's normal gum. And I don't have any more so don't even ask!"
Nico raised an eyebrow. Will couldn't be that oblivious, could he? Couldn't he see how Nico was staring right at his lips? He huffed before noticing that they were passing the library. He stopped. "Fine."
Will turned around, hands stuffed in his pockets and a little confused frown on his lips. "What? I'm freezing my ass off, man!"
"Will," Nico whispered, softer than he'd meant, and Will tensed up. Nico was playing dirty, he knew it himself, but a thrill ran through him at Will's reaction. Nico never said his first name. It was too personal, too dangerous, but it just felt right. It felt natural to break the distance between them, place his hands on Will's shoulders, and crash their lips together.
Will was frozen beneath him, yet so warm and soft. For a terrifying moment, Nico thought Will was going to push him away but suddenly Will was cupping his cheeks, his thumbs were tracing his cheekbones, and he was kissing back, returning the same fervor that Nico was showing. Nico had been right; he felt warmth down to his toes and up to the tip of his fingers. Will's lips were radiating it – heat – and he couldn't get enough.
Someone let out a growl – was that him? – and before Nico could even comprehend what was happening Will went, "Oof!" and Nico realized that, somehow, he'd pinned Will against the brick wall. Guilty, but having no intention of stopping, Nico rested his forearm against the brick so that Will's head was pillowed against it and not the harsh rock. It dug into his arm a little, but Will gave a little hum and there wasn't much thought after that. He felt a shiver run down his spine, emotions that were completely new and terrifying swarmed through him and he needed more. Suddenly, all at once, Nico's tongue was parting his lips, exploring, searching, and Will met him. God.
Then, the tip of Nico's tongue met something minty and he smiled into the kiss, backing away once he'd claimed what he'd been after in the first place. Will's face was flushed, his eyes wide and bright, and he was gripping the sides of Nico's jacket, keeping him close. "W-wow…" Will breathed, sounding awed. He looked so ravished, yet so innocent Nico couldn't help but put one more peck onto those lips.
"You really never stop surprising me, Solace," Nico whispered and immediately wanted to smack himself. This is too close. This is too personal. Watch yourself, di Angelo.
Will's face suddenly went from dazed to affronted and Nico prepped himself for the shouting, the furious declarations of rejection and humiliation, but Will just gasped. "Y-you!" Nico suddenly realized what Will was so upset about and relief filled him. Just to be a tease, he blew a little bubble with the stolen gum. "Th-that's my…!"
"Sorry, Sunshine," Nico muttered. "But you're not the only one that takes something when they want it."
Will's cheeks turned pink and Nico wanted to feel them against his palms. He patted it carefully, trying to act distant, trying not to let it show just how bad he had it for this guy. Their eyes met and it just became too much again. Nico's heart seized up and he had to turn away to hide his own blush.
"W-wait!" Will called after him. "Nico!"
He sounded so frantic. A bubble of laughter burst past his lips before he could stop it. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Will following him worriedly. Nico decided, right then, that he wasn't going to let this one go. He winked. "Don't worry. I'll see you around, Solace."
"What do you mean you kissed Nico di Angelo?" Lou Ellen gasped, slamming her fists on the café table.
Will sighed dreamily and rested his cheek upon his hand. "Aw, man, Lou. It was… awesome."
Lou Ellen's eye twitched. "I still don't understand."
Cecil was sitting in the middle, clad in a large plaid shirt and a grey beanie, nervously mixing his tea with a spoon and glancing between them. Will had been acting odder than usual ever since the weekend. Cecil had been particularly worried, as his best friend hadn't so much as glanced at his homework since Friday morning. Schoolwork was Priority One for Will. For him to just suddenly ignore it even for a day, there had to be something on his mind.
Cecil just never imagined it would be this.
"Well, Lou, you see, when two people lean in real close and push their lips together, that's called a kiss. And it–"
"William!" Lou Ellen interrupted. "I meant what happened that made you want to kiss Nico di Angelo?"
Will hummed and absentmindedly stirred his mocha with a coffee-stirrer. He was grinning like a goofy doofus but he probably didn't even notice. "I don't really know," he admitted. "One minute we were fighting about gum and the next – oh man – my gum was in his mouth and I just blanked after that."
Cecil choked on his tea. Without glancing at him, Lou Ellen patted his back heavily, which only served to harm him further. Each blow felt like a karate-chop to his spinal cord and, damn, why was she so strong? "Just like that? Out of the blue?" she questioned. "Why didn't you tell Cecil and me?"
Will shrugged. "Cecil knew I was hanging out with him."
Oh, that bastard.
Lou Ellen's smile became strained and her hand clutched Cecil's shoulder painfully. He squawked as tea spilled over the top of his cup. "Did he?" she whispered in a tone that Cecil knew meant he was going to get a long lecture later.
Cecil glanced in dismay at his best friend. "Et tu, bro?"
Will smiled sheepishly and scratched his cheek. "Sorry, man. Lou Ellen, let the man breathe, will you?"
She released him and Cecil groaned at the feel of blood rushing back into his arm. He rotated his shoulder. "Thank you, Mrs. Man Hands," he muttered. "Damn. Ever think of changing your major to arm wrestling and beer guzzling?"
Lou Ellen ignored him, which was just as well. He picked up his spoon again, relieved that her focus had gone back to Will and his… interesting development with the Italian punk in his art history. Cecil supposed, with the way Will had been chatting his ear off about the guy, he should have seen it coming. He simply hadn't put together the pieces. Will had always been an outgoing guy. He had just figured Will was trying to be a nice guy.
"Look, I don't see why it's such a big deal!" Will said with a laugh. "I like him. What's wrong with that?"
Lou Ellen's tense posture relaxed and she sank back in her chair. "Well, no, that's not what I meant. There's nothing wrong with that, Will. We're just…" She glanced helplessly at Cecil, who shrugged.
"Don't look at me. I didn't even know he was into guys until twelve minutes ago, to be honest." There was a bitter undertone to his voice that he hoped Will hadn't caught onto. He was a bit stung that Will had never told him – they were roommates, for God's sake! Best friends! It was information he would have liked to know about someone that knew every embarrassing secret, mistake, and fact about him. Still, he didn't want to start a fuss, especially when he was already getting the third degree from Lou Ellen. Man, was it satisfying to see her pick on somebody else for a bit.
"Aw, Cecil!" Will groaned. "I didn't mean it like that..."
"So, are you bi, then?" Lou Ellen asked blatantly. "You dated Drew Tanaka last semester. As in, female."
Will shrugged. Evidently he had not given it much thought. "I don't know. I don't think gender really matters to me at all, really. I like who I like?"
Cecil started anxiously stirring his tea again. His spoon made an unnaturally loud clanking noise as Lou Ellen seemed to think over Will's words. "All right," she said finally and relaxed in her seat. She picked up her hot chocolate and blew at it. Cecil raised his eyebrows. That was rare. Usually Lou Ellen would push and shove until she had every last detail but she seemed perfectly content. Then, a mischievous glint appeared in her eyes and Cecil bit back a smile. "So… are you going to see him again?"
Will snorted. "We're in the same class, Lou."
"That's not what I meant." She winked. "Are you going to see him again?"
"She means are you guys gonna date or what?" Cecil interjected. "And, frankly, I'd like to know, too. Because I don't want to walk into our room and find you two making out."
Will's face went red. "J-jeez, I don't know! I haven't talked to him since… since…" Then, his expression turned panicky, as if he just started thinking about it. "He said that he would see me around."
Lou Ellen hummed. "Did he say that with, like, a wink or a grin?"
"I-I think so. It was dark?"
Cecil and Lou Ellen snorted.
"What? Is that bad?" Will squeaked and held his head. "I have to see him in twenty minutes! What am I gonna do now that you got me all nervous!"
"Calm down, Juliet," Cecil said. "Just act like you always do. Actually, scratch that. Act like a suave version of you. Cool, calm."
"How the heck am I supposed to do that?" Will glared at him. "And why am I Juliet?"
"I don't see Nico exactly donning a dress and heels, do you?" Cecil teased.
Will's blush deepened. "Great. Now I have that in my head. Thanks."
"Look, Will," Lou Ellen cut across them, "just talk to him."
"Talk to him. I can do that. Yeah."
After delivering a hell of a prep-talk, Cecil and Lou Ellen watched as Will confidently walked out of the coffee shop, slinging his bag over one shoulder and practically skipping.
Lou Ellen raised her coffee to her lips and smirked. "I bet you five bucks he chickens out."
"Oh, you're so on."
What if he wasn't coming?
Will glanced nervously from the clock to the door and then to the empty seat beside him. He hadn't even thought about what would happen if Nico didn't show to class. Maybe Nico had second thoughts, or decided that Will was not experienced enough for him, or Will had done something wrong. He drummed his fingers on the desk in time with the clock, trying to look nonchalant.
Each time the classroom doors opened, Will would abandon said nonchalance and spin in his seat like an eager puppy only to sink back into his seat and sulk. His anxiety tripled when the professor came into the auditorium. He's not coming, Will thought, and his heart sank right to his shoes.
He's not coming because he doesn't want to see you.
The professor called for attention, and class started, and the empty seat beside Will seemed to mock him.
Will barely paid any mind to the long lecture on Monet. He mechanically copied what was on the PowerPoint presentation while his thoughts stewed in self-vindictive criticisms. Had Will assumed too much? Was this something that was normal for college students? Did Nico just want to fool around on occasion? Did he just want a casual fling?
Because Will didn't want that. He wanted dates and second dates, and he wanted to be able to show Nico off to his friends, his family, and he wanted to hold his hand and tell him exactly what he felt for him. He wanted a relationship. And, most of all, he didn't want to have his heart broken.
His eyes were stinging, which was odd. He had no idea what could be causing that. If he stared at the board long enough, the stinging would stop eventually.
After class, Will was shocked to see that he had a text from Nico. He was both excited and nervous to read it. He stared at his notification for a long time, at the pixelated name, and then manned up. He unlocked his phone and opened his inbox.
Hey Jason and his friend Percy got wasted last night and I had to babysit cant make class.
Cautious, hopeful relief flooded him. Suddenly, it was like he learnt how to breathe all over again. He eagerly typed out a reply.
Look at you being Mr. Responsible! ;) That's fine. I have the notes, though. If you want I can drop by and give them to you.
He sent it nervously. He wanted answers whether it was a confirmation or a declination. He had to know where Nico stood on this, and he had to know what the other night meant to the Italian. To Will, it meant a lot. It meant too much.
But, what did it mean to Nico?
His phone buzzed and he almost ran into a parked car as he walked and typed.
That would be great. Jason and Percy just went to get breakfast/lunch if u wanna come by now?
Did Nico sound nervous? That was actually reassuring, and a little flattering. Will found a tired smile pushing at his lips.
So, brunch? And, yeah, sure! I'll be right up! :)
He stared at the emoticon for a moment. Was that too suggestive? Will really just wanted to talk things out. He didn't want Nico to assume anything else, especially if they weren't on the same page and Will was overthinking the entire thing. He pocketed his phone and headed for Nico's dorm, cheeks blazing.
Nico's dorm wasn't far from the building their art history class was in, which made Nico's frequent tardiness all the more irritating to Will. If their talk went well today – which, god, did he hope it would go well – then he was going to make it a point to drag the other boy out of bed and to class.
He didn't bother waiting for the elevator. He started jogging up the stairway and realized too late that Nico was on the seventh floor. By the time he made it to his floor, Will was out of breath and wheezing. He should have brought his inhaler.
He stumbled towards Nico's room, telling himself he was not seeing spots, and haphazardly knocked on the door. He heard footsteps approaching, a crash, a muffled swear, and then the door opened. Nico certainly looked as though he'd been babysitting two drunks all night. His hair was a wreck. There were bags under his eyes. And his clothing looked rumpled and dirty. Will's heart still somehow tripped over itself when he saw him.
He broke into a wide smile. "Hi."
Nico answered him with a small twitch of the lips. "Hey. Uh, why are you so sweaty? Did you… did you run all the way up here?"
Will laughed breathily, still panting, and ran a hand through his hair. "Aha, I just took the stairs. Thought it would be quicker than taking the elevator."
"You're an idiot."
"Yeah, starting to realize that."
Nico snorted and stepped to the side. "Well, uh, come on in. But I warn you, it's still a mess."
"No problem," Will assured and happily entered. When he saw the state of the room, however, he choked on nothing and held his chest. "Are you sure you weren't babysitting the Tasmanian Devil?"
Nico didn't laugh. He just kicked a dirty shirt underneath Jason's bed in an attempt to tidy up. Will noticed him fussing with his hair and then spotted a bunch of dirty laundry and trash shoved in inconspicuous spaces, as if someone had rushed to make the room look presentable. Will bit back a smile and fought the urge to clean and scrub every inch of the room. Maybe he was a clean freak, but the thought of Nico di Angelo running around in a panic to clean up before Will came to see him was a bit cute.
"My roommate is a pig and I'm not around enough to bother with cleaning." He shrugged.
"It's fine," he assured again. He stood in the middle of the room, unsure of what to do, until Nico sat down on his unmade bed and gestured for him to sit beside him. Feeling a thrill of being in Nico di Angelo's bed, he quickly sat down, barely touching it. Nico didn't comment.
"So…" he started.
Will's heart thrummed in his ears. "So…?"
Nico raised an eyebrow. "The notes?"
"Oh." Will deflated. "Notes. Right. I have them right here." He pulled his bag towards him and dug out his notebook.
Nico took it. "Thanks," he muttered.
"It's not a problem. You can just return it in class on Thursday, and if you have any questions you can just, you know, text me. Whenever."
Nico pursed his lips, nodded wordlessly, and stared at the notebook. He opened it and mindlessly traced over Will's neat cursive handwriting. Will wasn't sure what to do. He just awkwardly drummed his fingers on thighs and blew out a long, nervous exhale.
Several awkward silent moments pass before Nico, surprisingly, was the one to break the silence. "I'm not good at this," he admitted.
Will jumped and stared at him. "What do you mean?"
Nico flushed. He gestured between them. "This. Small talk. Talking in general. I usually wreck it."
Will's lips twitched. "I see. So that's why you haven't texted since the weekend."
Nico flinched. He might have looked guilty, but Will wasn't mad. He was a little amused. It was rare to see the Italian so flustered and nervous. It was actually really, really endearing. He had it so bad for this guy. "Yeah… about this weekend."
Will's stomach turned to stone. The happy feeling was far gone, replaced with anxious dread. He swallowed around the sudden lump in his throat and thought of their kiss. This was going to be the part where Nico told him it was a mistake, and that they never should have kissed, that they were too different, that Will wasn't his type, and that would be it. "This weekend," he choked out.
Nico tensed up, too. "I… I'm sorry if I… If I made you feel – I know that it was sudden and I don't want –"
"Nico, it's okay," Will whispered. "You don't have to apologize for anything. The fact is…" Wow, it was really hot in this room. He gulped before continuing. He might as well put all the cards on the table. "The fact of it all is… I wanted you to. I wanted you to since… since the start of the whole semester." Nico gazed at him with wide eyes. Will wanted to run out of the room but he had that compulsive nervous tick to keep talking. "So I don't regret what happened, but at the same time I won't hold you to anything. It was just a kiss, and it was great – really great – but it doesn't have to mean anything if you don't want it to."
Will stared at the posters on Jason's side of the room. Nico gaze slowly drifted from him to the floor. His grip tightened on the notebook. It was quiet for a long time. Neither of them knew what to do next.
Then, barely inaudible, Nico whispered back, "It means something."
Will turned so fast his neck cracked. Nico was scowling at the notebook, determined not to make eye contact.
"I've never had a relationship," Nico ground out. "I've never really let anyone that close but… well… you're… you're you and you're so goddamn annoying! It's like a song I can't get out of my head and I – that sounds so stupid. You make me stupid, Solace!"
A smile slowly grew on Will's face as his brain processed what exactly Nico was telling him. He chuckled. "Are you telling me you like me or insulting me? I can't tell."
Nico weakly shoved him to the side and Will let out a hoarse laugh. "Idiot," Nico hissed. "Both."
Will's smile got even bigger. "Well, you're not a walk in the park either, you know."
Nico shot him an unamused glare.
"No, really. You're rude, and you don't ever do your homework, and you skip class, and you act like you're so tough and broody and, God, you have the creepiest sense of humor and you are so grumpy all the time." He listed them off his fingers, satisfied with the deep shade of red on Nico's face. He inched closer until their arms touch. "And I can't get you out of my head, either."
Nico bit his lower lip. "This is stupid."
"Really stupid," Will agreed.
"We literally have nothing in common."
"We have in common the fact that we have nothing in common."
Nico moved closer. "But."
"Yeah. I like buts."
Nico blinked at him then broke into laughter while Will groaned and slapped his forehead.
"I didn't mean it like that! I don't like butts. I mean, okay, it's not like I don't. But, l-like, not in a we-weird dirty way! NOT… that I'm not opposed to the idea but it's too soon and I – oh my God, am I still talk—?"
Nico interrupted him with a sudden kiss, which was a very effective way to stop Will's incessant blathering. He melted into the kiss at once, not even flinching when Nico tangled his fingers into his hair and yanked him closer. Nico was rough, that much had already been apparent to Will, and he had to admit it was really attractive. He hummed appreciatively as Nico coaxed him closer and they fell over on the bed with a huff.
Several long, drawn-out moments later, they pulled apart with a gasp, staring at each other in shock. "So," Will started again, and Nico broke into beautiful laughter.
"So," he agreed. He ran a thumb across Will's cheek. "I'm shit at small talk. And I'm an expensive date."
Will laughed. He leaned his nose against Nico's happily. "I talk too much and my parents are doctors so money has always been… well…" He shrugged.
Nico hummed. "We might not have much in common, but what was it they say about opposites?"
Will beamed. "They attract."
Nico looked satisfied with that answer and pulled him into another quick, chaste kiss. When they parted, Nico said, "So, we're doing this."
"Boyfriends," Will said as if they were discussing a business proposal.
Nico's eyes were soft, fond. "Yeah."
As they marveled over that fact, it suddenly became apparent that he had made a promise to himself to do something if their talk went well. "Oh yeah," he said quickly, "hope you're ready to wake up at seven every morning."
Nico gave him a horrified look.
Will grinned cheekily. "You're never missing art history again."
Nico chuckled. "God help me," he said, "but I'm actually looking forward to it."
A/N: If you're coming from tumblr, I am so sorry! Hahah Happy April Fool's Day! :D I wasn't going to leave you guys hanging, though. ;w; I really wasn't going to continue this but you guys are so sweet and I've been getting requests out the wazoo for this AU