An Unexpected Christmas

Nico wasn't sure how exactly he envisioned spending Christmas day, but he didn't think it'd be in the camp's hospital.

It started two days after the Winter Solstice. There weren't very many people at camp to begin with, considering many kids were off in the cities for school. Besides that, a lot of them were on winter break and would be visiting their families for the holidays—such as the case with Annabeth and Percy. According to Annabeth, who had come to visit Nico three days earlier, they would spend the week in Manhattan with Sally Jackson and her husband and then take Blackjack out to California to visit her dad and half-siblings.

Nico was glad they were getting along and things were going well for them. He wasn't jealous or anything. His feelings for Percy had morphed into feelings of friendship and almost indifference. Nico knew he had idolized Percy, as if he were a celebrity or a god. But there was a gap between them—age, experience, family issues—that would prevent them from ever being more than friends. Oddly enough, Nico was okay with that.

Maybe that had something to do with the presence of Will Solace in Nico's life.

Ever since meeting him at the battle against Gaea, Will had been in and out of Nico's life. Sometimes he was adamant and demanding that Nico join him for lunch or spend the day with him at the beach (that was a whole other story for another time). At other times, days would pass without a word from the Solace boy.

Nico rather enjoyed Will's company, even though he'd never told him that. He was beginning to have deep feelings for Will, and that's what scared him the most. When Nico was with Will, his stomach would flutter with butterflies and he'd feel like he was looking at the world with a clear, sharp focus. He felt warm and comforted, but at the same time, he felt on fire. In contrast, their time spent apart left Nico feeling cold and especially lonely, a feeling he'd had his whole life. He was familiar with it, but yet somehow now that sense of loneliness was ten times worse when he was away.

So, yes, Nico conceded that he held feelings for Will, but he was not going to tell Will that.

A part of him was afraid that Will would reject him. If that happened, he wasn't sure he could stay at Camp Half-Blood. He didn't want things to change between them. But along with that, Nico wasn't sure he could trust his feelings. Yes, he was more or less over Percy, but that didn't mean it didn't hurt. He had spent the last two years pining after a guy that was clearly in a relationship with a woman he loved. Everyday had been agonizing. He found it too good to be true that he would find someone within his reach, someone that actually wanted to be with him just as much.

He desperately wanted to believe it was true—that someone could truly crave his company and accept him, faults and all. But Nico had spent the last years mostly in solitude, drowning in his loneliness, fated to be an outcast. He had grown up believing that he would always be alone.

Currently, the camp held no more than sixty demigods. As mentioned, most of the demigods had traveled back to their respective homes to see their families over the holidays.

Nico, of course, was one of those that remained at camp. He supposed he could have travelled to California to see Reyna, Frank, and Hazel, but he figured Frank and Hazel would spend the day together, and Reyna most likely would be bogged down with keeping Camp Jupiter up and running. Besides, he didn't want to bother them and he wasn't feeling up to shadow travelling.

(If he were being 100% honest with himself, he would admit that he wanted to stay at camp in case Will wanted to spend time with him.)

Jason and Piper had taken a flight to see Piper's dad, and apparently Jason had been pretty nervous about it. Jason had showed up at Nico's cabin late at night a week ago, informing him of the events about to take place. Jason seemed nervous to officially meet Mr. McLean, forgetting the fact that the man was a fairly famous actor that spent most of his time with his personal assistant, working on his next movie.

Nico had to sit through two hours of listening to Jason rant continuously about the same thing, all the while reassuring him that things would go smoothly, it was no big deal, be yourself, etc.

The dark-haired boy rolled his eyes at the memory. He could honestly and proudly say that Jason was his best friend. Ever since he had found out about Nico's feelings for Percy, he'd been nothing but supportive. He seemed genuinely interested in spending time with Nico and getting to know him. Nico appreciated that. The kid was goofy—and goofy-looking with his glasses now, Nico thought sarcastically—but maybe Nico needed some goofiness in his life.

Nico sighed, shrugging on his black wool coat. It was December 23rd. As was custom every Winter Solstice, his father was allowed to reside on Mt. Olympus. This year, his father had requested a meeting—today—at a coffee shop in Manhattan, of all places. Nico wasn't exactly sure what was going on, but he assumed it wasn't anything good if his father wanted to speak to him in person.

He stepped outside into the frigid air, a light layer of snow dusting the ground. He shut the cabin door behind him—wiggling the handle in order to make sure it clicked, a problem he'd have to fix when he redecorated—and took approximately four and a half steps before stopping in his tracks.

He turned around slowly, staring up in a cross between horror and confusion at the Christmas lights strung up on the ledge of his cabin's roof. The bright blues and reds and greens contrasted sharply against the cabin's black and silver paint.

He blinked once. He blinked twice.

A feeling of irritation began building inside him. His eyes narrowed as he scrutinized his living quarters. After a minute, he noticed a white note taped to the front door, a note he'd missed when first leaving.

Nico stomped up to the door and tore it off, nearly ripping it in half. He unfolded the notebook paper and instantly recognized the handwriting, his heart skipping a beat.


I'm sorry, but I cannot continue to let your cabin be Scrooge amongst the Christmas decorations. I'm doing this for your own good.

-W. Solace

Nico snorted at the smiley face placed inside a sun written beside Will's name.

P.S. I spent my precious time late last night putting them up—by myself, mind you—so don't you DARE take them down.

Nico's eye twitched as he crumpled up the piece of paper, shoving it in his back pants pocket. He would just make one stop before heading to Manhattan.

"You put Christmas lights on my cabin."

Will rolled his eyes. "Well, hello to you, too," he replied sarcastically. "Also, you can't be in here."

Nico ignored him along with the kid Will was stitching up. They were in the Big House's "hospital," which was really just a couple spare bedrooms and a storage room. Will was sewing up a gash a kid had gotten from slipping on some ice, nearly taking his arm off with his own sword.

The blonde-haired medic was sitting on a stool while the kid's arm rested on the bed beside him. Next to Will was a tray with gauze, nectar and ambrosia, sutures, and a few other items needed to stitch up the wound.

Nico unconsciously did a once-over of his friend. He was wearing jeans, sneakers, and a green and gray plaid button-down. His hair was slightly wind-tousled, but his bright blue eyes bore into Nico's, temporarily forgetting about the patient before him.

Nico ignored his pounding heart. He retrieved the torn note from his back pocket and held it up. "You know you could have just asked."

Will gave him a patronizing look. "Would you have said yes?"

The dark-haired boy narrowed his eyes, biting his lip in growing irritation.

Will smirked. "Didn't think so." He turned back to his patient—a kid of Hermes—who had been watching the two with amusement.

Nico huffed, but Will continued on. "I wasn't trying to make you mad. I was just trying to bring some cheer to your dreary cabin." He made it sound as if he had done Nico this huge favor. "I think you can handle them for a few days. I promise I'll take them down the day after Christmas."

Nico didn't appreciate Will's sarcastic tone, but he just muttered, "You better."

Will bit his lip to keep from smiling. Nico gave him one last glare before turning on his heel to stalk out of the small room. Will's joking demeanor dropped as he called, "Hey! Hold up a minute!"

The Hades kid stopped, raising an inquisitive brow. "Yeah?"

"Want to have lunch together?" Will asked seriously.

A flutter deep in Nico's stomach. "I wish I could, but I have to go to into the city."

Will's brow furrowed in confusion. Nico watched with a grimace when he pulled the needle through the kids skin, finishing the suture. He wasn't squeamish about needles or surgeries or anything like that, but more of how calmly and quickly Will was running through the procedure.

"Why do you have to go there?" Will asked, honestly curious.

Nico shifted in his stance. He chewed on his bottom lip. He clenched and unclenched his hands. "My, uh, dad wants to talk to me."

Will paused, frowning. He gave Nico a worried look, scanning his face. After a few seconds, he returned to the project at hand, finishing the last suture.

"Do you know why? Or what he wants?"

Nico shrugged. "I honestly have no idea."

Will hummed in response. A minute passed in silence in which Will finished stitching up the Hermes kid. He gave the kid one last drink of nectar before standing up with a promise to return shortly. Will peeled off the white latex gloves he was wearing and threw them in the trash before walking over to Nico. He gestured to the hallway and they stepped out of the doorway, facing each other.

They were nearly the same height, give or take an inch. They were standing a foot apart. Nico had his hands shoved his jean pockets, trying desperately to calm his frantically beating heart. Will was looking at him with concern and worry apparent in his bue eyes.

"Are you going to be okay?" Will asked. "I mean, if you want me to come…"

Nico's jaw dropped open in shock and awe. That was the last thing he expected to hear. Nevertheless, it sent a warm feeling through his chest down to his toes.

"Y-yeah," Nico stuttered. "I mean, no—I'll be okay. I'm not worried about my father. More about what he wants to talk about."

Will studied the dark-haired boy's face for a few seconds before giving a small sigh and a faint nod. "Well…if you're sure. But if something goes wrong, promise you'll tell me."

Nico deadpanned, "Pinky promise."

Will grinned, showing off his white, straight teeth. The smile caused Nico's heart to skip a beat, his face heating up in response.

Nico nodded and was going to leave but Will grasped Nico's wrist, stopping him. Nico looked at him expectantly.

"Good luck," Will said, giving a more-subdued smile. "And please be careful."

Nico gave a wry, crooked smile in return. "Trouble usually finds me no matter what."

Will grimaced. "That's not comforting."

The dark-haired boy rolled his eyes. "I'll be fine, Will."

Will sighed and finally let go of Nico after a few seconds. Nico gave him one last reassuring smile before turning his back on the blonde and stalking out the Big House front door. While Nico, face flushed with embarrassment, was still trying to calm down his heart, Will looked on his retreating form, a small, warm smile etched on his face.

The coffee shop Nico walked into was dimly lit and looked more like a popular poetry recital venue than a place for Starbucks. Perhaps his father found some comfort in the dim lights and low hum of voices hidden under the soft jazz emitting from speakers throughout the room. Or maybe Hades had a secret love for coffee.

Whatever the reason, Nico was a bit surprised about his father's choice. He was even more surprised to find that his father was already there, seated in the farthest corner of the room with his back to the wall.

Nico approached the table apprehensively, eyes darting over his father's frame slouching in the dark booth. His black hair was slicked back and he was dressed impeccably in his dark suit and dress shoes.

Two drinks were already on the table, steam rising steadily from them. Hades ran a thin, pale finger along the rim of his glass. With dark eyes he glanced up at his son, who was standing awkwardly before the table, uneasy and unsure about sitting down.

Hades raised a single brow. "Are you going to stand there the whole time or are you going to take a seat?" he asked flatly, gesturing to the opposite side of the booth.

Nico's face flushed in embarrassment and he quickly slid into the booth. His gaze slid from the tabletop to the painting on the wall to his father's face. He was unsure of this whole situation.

"I bought you black coffee," Hades announced. "I wasn't sure what you liked."

"That's…totally fine," Nico replied hesitantly. Truth be told, he wasn't one for coffee. He found it odd that Hades would even think of buying anything at all.

It was true that Nico and Hades were close as far as relationships went among demigods and their godly parent. Things had been rough between them in the beginning, but the wars had brought them closer together. Nevertheless, it wasn't a stable relationship by any means. Hades still made Nico nervous, if only because he was always afraid his father was using him for some higher purpose. Gods didn't normally have personal relationships with their children, as sad as that sounded, so it was unusual for the two to be as close as they were—which wasn't very close to begin with.

A silence stretched between them in which Hades sipped his coffee and Nico shifted awkwardly in his seat. Finally, after another minute, Nico spoke up.

"Uh, Dad?" he started slowly. "Not to be rude, but was there a reason you wanted to meet with me?"

"Ah," Hades replied, as if he'd suddenly just remembered. "There was." He set his coffee down gingerly and sat up straighter, folding his hands on the table. "I was actually hoping you could do a favor for me…"

Alarm bells went off in Nico's head. For one thing, it was never a good sign when a god started a sentence with those words. Secondly, it was never ever a good sign when said god was Hades.

A double whammy for Nico. And it's not like he could deny his father's request.

Nico grimaced as his father continued on. "You see, there was a breach in the Fields of Asphodel earlier this week—it's been exceptionally crowded lately—" Nico only barely caught onto his father's dry sarcasm, "and a few spirits escaped into the living realm."

"Let me guess," Nico cut in. "They're in New York."

Hades gave a light shrug. "I'm not sure how they ended up here, but they did. There are only two or three of them. I need you to get them for me."

No, Please. No, Are you free this Saturday to pick up some ghosts for me? No? Well thanks anyways. Just, Do this. Do it now.

Nico crossed his arms. "Okay. I can do that. But if I may ask, why not just get them yourself?"

Hades raised a brow. "Do you really think I dress in suits all the time?" he asked sarcastically, gesturing to his attire. "My wife is residing in the Underworld with me, as she normally would, but her mother is visiting this week."

Nico had to hide a smirk from the apparent grimace on his father's face. It was no secret that Hades and Demeter were at odds. Nico found a little amusement from his father's obvious discomfort with his sister. He didn't feel bad though, since he was only summoned here to clean up his father's messes.

The boy gave his father a cheeky smile. "Sounds fun."

Hades gave him a hard, sideways glance that clearly showed he did not think it "sounded fun." Hades grumbled and took a sip of coffee. "If I can be frank, I was going to have you accompany me this week." Nico's jaw opened in surprise. "However, I know Persephone is not particularly fond of my children, and I did not want to…have her angry with me."

Hades seemed as if he was going to say something else ("I did not want to put you in that situation,") but changed his mind mid-sentence. He shifted in his seat, appearing uncomfortable. Nico hardly noticed this, though. He was still stuck on the fact that his father had thought about inviting him. It was probably a good thing he hadn't, though. Nico wasn't too fond of Demeter and Persephone, mostly because they treated him like some sort of bastard child.

"Anyways," Hades continued on. "It shouldn't be a problem. Just send them my way. Shouldn't take longer than a day."

Nico sighed, resigned to his fate. He nodded in understanding. Gods would always need demigods to do their dirty work. This was just another quest for Nico.

Nico ran a hand through his dark hair. "I have to head back to camp. I'll take care of your ghosts first thing tomorrow."

He slid out of the booth, but as he was standing up, Hades stopped him.


Nico waited, looking at his father expectantly. Hades seemed to be battling with himself, caught between doing what he wanted and what was expected of him. After a few seconds, Hades merely sighed.

"Have a good Christmas," he mumbled.

Nico bit the inside of his cheek. "You too, Dad."

The night air was cold, but there was no wind blowing through so Nico didn't mind as much.

There was a tree conveniently located next to his cabin that allowed him to climb onto the roof, where the dark-haired son of Hades currently resided, a blanket underneath him. His legs were pulled up to his chest as he stared up at the starry sky. His thoughts raced over the events of the day.

He was prepared for these ghosts that his father wanted him to find. He wasn't particularly worried about the task. He was used to doing these kinds of things, though normally his father just sent him a messenger or a note. Nico guessed Hades had taken the opportunity to get away from his family for a while. He didn't blame him.

Tomorrow was Christmas Eve. He would most likely be spending it fighting ghosts and then, just like every other year, he would spend Christmas day by himself. That was okay, though. He was used to it.

"You could catch a cold out here, you know."

Nico glanced down at the voice from below. Butterflies fluttered in his stomach as he caught sight of the blonde son of Apollo, standing below.

"Not me," Nico replied. "I have an immune system of steel."

"Yeah right. Liar."

Without another word, Will made his way around to the backside of the cabin. Nico heard snow falling to the ground and twigs snap as Will climbed the tree up to the roof. Nico unconsciously sat up straighter as Will carefully made his way beside Nico. He plopped down with a huff, slightly out of breath, and stretched his legs out.

They were so close, they were practically touching sides. Nico welcomed the warmth emitting from him as his heart pounded against his ribcage.

"Steel or no, I'm a doctor—" Nico snorted at this, "—and I'm telling you that anyone can get sick."

Nico gave him a sideways look. "I'm pretty sure it's illegal to do doctor's work without a doctor's license. What do they call that? Malpractice?"

Will ignored him. "It's pretty nice up here," he commented, taking in the sight.

Across from Nico's cabin was Percy's, and kitty-corner from their cabins was Jason's. From Nico's and Will's perspective, they could see the beach and New York Sound, frozen over from the winter cold. The forest spanned out to their right, dark and mysterious as always.

"I'm not a fan of winter," Will revealed, "but I love seeing the stars so clearly at night."

Nico smiled. "Me too. I guess I'm different from my father in that way."

Will remained silent. He glanced over at the boy beside him, taking in his pale features, so clearly revealed in the moonlight. His cheekbones were prominent but well-structured. His lips were parted slightly, his breaths coming out in small puffs of clouds. His lean, lithe frame was apparent even through his black coat.

Will always felt enamored and awed whenever he was with Nico. He was beautiful in his own way. There was an air of experience about him, but he seemed to carry his loneliness and heartaches on his shoulders. And even though Nico mostly kept to himself, it wasn't meant to be standoffish. It was merely all he knew for most of his life.

Will wanted to save Nico from that loneliness. He admired Nico and genuinely wanted to be with him. He felt strongly for the di Angelo boy—he was happier with Nico, but most importantly, he felt like himself. He didn't have to pretend to be someone else.

He'd had feelings for others before, but never to this extent. He liked Nico a lot, and even though it scared him shitless, he truly wanted to be with him.

So any time he could spend with Nico was cherished. Like tonight.

He leaned his shoulder against Nico's, feeling a pleasant chill run down his back at their contact. "Speaking of fathers…how did it go today?"

Nico was desperately fighting down his blush, trying to look nonchalant, as if he always spent nights on his cabin roof with his crush leaning against him.

He replied, "Okay, I guess. Just the usual. He wants me to find some ghosts that escaped and send them back to the Underworld."

There was a pause. "'The usual,' you say?" Will asked. "So this is a frequent occurrence?"

"Yes and no. When he talks to me, it's usually about retrieving spirits. But I guess we did talk about his wife and Demeter for a bit…"

"So when are you doing this?"

Nico sighed. "Tomorrow."

Will frowned. "Oh," he mumbled, disappointedly.

Now Nico frowned. "What?"

A shrug. "Well, if you're leaving tomorrow, I'm guessing you won't be back for Christmas."

Nico's brow furrowed. "I guess it depends on what the spirits are like. Why do you mention it?"

A light blush dusted Will's cheeks. "Um, well, I wanted to spend Christmas with you. I-if you wanted to, that is," Will quickly recovered, stuttering uncharacteristically as he flushed with embarrassment.

Nico's eyes widened in surprise. As the full weight of his words hit him, Nico blushed as well. "O-oh."

Nico glanced at Will from the corner of his eye. The blonde was still leaning against him, now sitting cross-legged. His hands, stuffed in some gray mittens, were grasping his knees. His blue eyes were staring up at the sky as he bit his bottom lip in worry.

The sentiment behind Will's words was not lost on Nico. He suddenly felt a burst of affection for Will and a nearly uncontrollable urge to hug him, but Nico held himself back. Barely.

Instead, he turned towards Will, meeting his gaze. He grasped the sleeve of Will's coat. "I-I'd like to spend Christmas with you. Even if I come back late. We can do something together to celebrate."

Will seemed genuinely surprised that Nico had accepted his invitation, but as the words sunk in, a large grin split across Will's face. He felt warmth spread through his chest as his heart rate sped up. Butterflies were flapping madly in his stomach as he gazed into Nico's dark eyes.

That smile did something funny to Nico. Adrenaline pumped through his body, causing his heart rate to quicken. His stomach twisted in knots and his throat suddenly dried up.

There was just something about Will's look of inexplicable happiness, his blue eyes bright as they reflected the moonlight. Nico swallowed thickly, his lips parting slightly as his gaze slid from Will's eyes to his lips.

A light, cool breeze blew between them, rustling their hair and breaking the spell. Nico sucked in a sharp breath and turned away from Will, his face red and hot with embarrassment.

Will was still grinning. His hands were shaking slightly as he pulled his knees to his chest, pressing against Nico's side once again.

Whatever had just passed between them moments earlier left the two of them with a warm, satisfied feeling. It seemed that, in that moment, an understanding passed between them. Their friendship was morphing into something stronger, something better.

A smile was etched on Nico's face as he and Will stared up at the sky, a comfortable silence stretching between them.

After a few minutes, Will spoke, "Seriously, though. We'll probably get sick if we stay up here."

Nico woke up late the next day, but he would have slept longer if not for the incessant pounding on his door.

"Nico! Please tell me you're in there!"

The boy in question groaned as he rolled off his bed and onto his feet. A glance at the clock told him that it was already early afternoon—the result of staying up until the early hours of the morning.

He quickly threw on some pants and a shirt as the knocking became more impatient and louder. Nico threw the door open to reveal Will Solace, who looked both worried and upset.

Nico blinked blearily into the bright light of the afternoon. "Gods, Will, what's wrong?" He blinked as he took in Will's attire. "Also, what the hell are you wearing?"

Will huffed, glancing down at his knitted red and green Christmas sweater with reindeer prancing around on it. "First of all, it was a gift from my dear mother, so don't you dare say anything bad about it. Second of all, I did not come here to discuss my clothes!"

Nico raised a brow at Will's steadily growing anger. "Sure, sure. So why are you here? And why are you knocking so loudly?"

Will glared. "I thought you had left without saying goodbye," he said simply. His voice tried to relay nonchalance but there was an undertone of hurt. "You didn't come to breakfast and you just missed lunch, so I figured you had left already, but then I talked to the patrol guards and they said they hadn't seen you. So I got worried." Will blushed.

Nico blinked at his story. He stared at Will for a second before a smile broke out on his face and he chuckled. He gave a fake cough to cover his laugh, causing Will to glare at him.

"It's not funny," Will insisted, crossing his arms across his chest.

Nico gave another chuckle. "A little bit." He smiled genuinely then. "You shouldn't worry, Will. This is basically a routine retrieval. A-and besides, I wouldn't leave without saying goodbye," he added on, stuttering.

Will frowned. "I know, but…it's in my nature to worry. I'd be more than happy to accompany you…?"

Nico shook his head. "It's not necessary. The hardest part is finding the ghosts. Everything else is for me to take care of." Nico gave him a reassuring smile. "You don't have to worry about me."

Will didn't seem happy with this answer. He turned to the side, grumbling under his breath. Finally, he muttered, "Fine. But I'm coming to see you off."

The dark-haired boy smirked. "Sure thing."

Will waited outside as Nico got ready. When the boy exited the cabin, he was dressed in dark jeans and a gray thermal, his black coat hanging open. His dark hair was still tousled from sleeping and he yawned loudly as the two began their walk to the top of Half-Blood Hill.

"So, your mother made that for you?" Nico asked conversationally, raising a brow at the sweater.

"Yup," Will replied happily. "She knew who Dad was and has been pretty supportive of the whole 'demigod' thing. She sends me things all the time."

Nico nodded. "Good. I'm happy for you." And that was the truth. Not all parents were supportive of their demigod children like Sally Jackson or Will's mom. Take Annabeth's dad, for example. Not that he was unsupportive, but he wasn't exactly welcoming either (though maybe that had something to do with his current wife).

"What about you?" Will asked apprehensively. "Is your mom…do you talk to her?"

In truth, Nico hardly remembered his mother, Maria di Angelo. He knew she was of Italian descent and that she too had dark hair, but that was about it. It was strange for Nico to think that he had been born decades earlier, but because of his time spent in that wretched casino, he hadn't aged a day until being let out.

To think, even though his body was only fifteen, he was technically more like fifty or sixty.

Nico bristled at the thought, grimacing. Ugh, that was creepy to think about.

"I never really knew her," Nico replied, pushing those disturbing thoughts out of his mind. "She died a long time ago."

"Oh," Will muttered. "Sorry."

"It's fine."

Nico wasn't sure if he should tell Will his true history. At least, not yet. He would see how much Will knew, but if his question were any indicator, Nico would guess he didn't know much.

The pair arrived at the top of Half-Blood Hill, near Thalia's tree. They could see the patrol guards strolling along the bottom of the hill, chattering back and forth.

Nico turned to Will. "Well, I'm off. If things go smoothly, I'll be back by morning."

Will grimaced. "'If things go smoothly'?"

Nico sighed. Will was seriously worrying about nothing. "I'll be fine. I'll be back before you know it."

He gave a two-fingered salute and took two steps before Will called his name.

"Nico…" he said, standing before the dark-haired boy. He was staring at the buttons on Nico's coat, biting his bottom lip. Nico sighed and was about to give him the whole spiel again about this being routine, everything would be fine, etc. However, before Nico could even blink, Will had his arms wrapped around his neck, holding him tightly.

Two heartbeats later and Nico's blank mind finally landed on a sole thought: Will is hugging me.

He swallowed against the dryness in his throat and tried to calm his pounding heart as he returned the hug. His arms wound around Will's torso. It wasn't romantic or sensuous, but Nico felt safe and warm in Will's embrace. He hugged Will just a little bit closer.

"Please be careful," Will mumbled, pulling back slightly to look into Nico's eyes.

In a sort of daze, Nico nodded. Will pulled back, waving as Nico turned around and descended Half-Blood Hill, a goofy smile on his face.

This was originally supposed to be a one-shot, but of course, it turned into something a little longer. I'll post the final installment either late tonight or sometime tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and review please!