Will Solace stood against the side of the Apollo cabin with his arms crossed loosely, tapping his foot impatiently until Nico had finally made it up the hill.
"What was that about, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Percy and Annabeth are just excited because they're planning on going to college in New Rome after their final year," Nico answered. He deliberately left out the reason he'd went over in the first place, still uneasy about other people knowing his secret. Other than Jason, Annabeth, and Percy (although Nico suspected after mentioning that he wanted to be flower boy to Hazel and Frank that they knew too) he figured other people didn't need to know.
The healer nodded in understanding, his sky blue eyes thoughtful. "I see. It's going to be weird not having them around a year from now, huh? Counselor meetings are going brutal without them, but at least you'll be there now."
"What? Oh right," he rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. Of course he was going to have to attend cabin meetings. He was the head counselor of the Hades cabin now, even with Hazel gone to the Roman camp. He found himself voicing his musings out loud. "That cabin really needs work. Whoever decided on the décor did a terrible job. The beds look like coffins for Hades sake, and everything is either black or blood red. I'm not saying that I like color, but I don't feel like sleeping in sheets that remind me of sleeping in a pool of blood."
Will laughed, a sound that seemed to make the resurrected butterflies fly around his stomach with renewed energy. "Well, I'll try to find you an Ikea catalogue for you to look at while you're stuck in the infirmary. Let's go, Death Boy."
Before Nico could complain about his new nickname, a warm hand encircled his wrist and led him away from the cabins. Part of him, the part that absolutely loathed physical contact, wanted to rip his hand away and yell at the son of Apollo to keep his satyr-delivering hands off him, but a part of him he never even knew existed told him to do nothing.
"Wait! I need to grab clean clothes before we—"
"Nope, you're going straight to the infirmary. I'll grab your clothes for you later. For the next three days you're only allowed to leave for meals, and that's only if I think you're in good enough condition to do so."
Nico narrowed his eyes, fighting the urge to shadow travel to his cabin despite "doctor's orders".
"Anyway," Will said as they walked into the infirmary and past beds with sleeping campers on them. "You'll need a check-up before I let you rest. I know you were injured when Cecil, Lou Ellen and I found you on Half-blood Hill, so don't even think about lying to me."
It was true that Nico hadn't looked his best after his latest shadow travel. The wounds he'd gotten from Lycaon, the first werewolf, still hurt like the Underworld; the hasty stitching of them didn't help either. He was actually pretty sure the cuts were infected, but he'd probably here that from Will any minute now anyway.
"This is the private sector of the infirmary," the healer stated at they walked through a curtain into an area where only a few campers slept. "The people back here are stable, but need rest. It's quieter and more isolated back here. Anyway, di Angelo, pick a bed and get comfortable because it's yours for a while. I'll be back in a second with supplies."
Will left the private sector, leaving Nico to claim the bed farthest away from any other campers. It was the one located in the corner where he was actually looking forward to having a few days of rest. The last few weeks had been crazier than Nike when her Greek and Roman halves had clashed. That story had been told during the campfire before Nico had promptly passed out in his cabin for a day and a half, only woken when his sister had forced him to eat and when Jason had talked to him that morning.
A few minutes later Will came through the curtain with a small black bag labeled EMT on it. He pulled up a stool next to the bed where Nico was sitting nervously, eyes not quite meeting the boy in front of him. He had taken off his aviator's jacket, which he had found mysteriously in perfect condition in his cabin two days prior, revealing the gruesome cuts he had forgotten about until now.
"Well, Death Boy," Will started brightly, "I thought we'd start by— OH MY GODS WHAT HAPPENED?"
Nico shifted guiltily, still not meeting the now furious but concerned eyes before him. "Lycaon happened. Reyna tried to stitch it up as best she could, but we were being chased and didn't have a lot of resources so… yeah."
"Why didn't you get these checked out before now? This is serious, Nico; they look like they're getting infected!" Hurt was evident in his voice. It seemed to deflate the son of Hades a little, causing him to look up.
"There were more important people to take care of at the time. Then I kind of forgot about them."
Will looked like he wanted to kick his butt, which Nico felt like he wouldn't stop even if he could, but a moment later he simply sighed. Taking out a small pair of scissors, he scooted closer to the bed.
Nico obliged, allowing the stitches to be cut and pulled out. It hurt horribly, but after what he'd experienced in Tartarus he merely winced every now and then. After they had been taken out, Will rubbed a salve (it burned way more than he warned it would) to reduce inflammation and chance of infection. Finally, the healer placed his hands over the cuts and began to sing in ancient Greek. Nico couldn't help watch as the son of Apollo sang to his father, his face lax and the light around him glowing. It was only after he noticed he was staring that he looked at his arm, where the hands touching it were exuding a godly light.
That's amazing, Nico thought to himself. It's not like he'd ever say that aloud.
A couple minutes later the singing stopped and the glow faded. Will removed his hands to show cuts, this time looking a lot less red and jagged, scabbed over but not hurting nearly as much as before. The holes created by the stitches were completely gone.
"I focused on making the cut smaller and driving away infection so you wouldn't be in the danger zone." He explained while he wrapped a thin layer of bandages around the injury. "Tomorrow I'll check it over and see if I can speed the healing, but for now just let it heal naturally. Injuries caused by werewolves can be tricky. If they open up, which they shouldn't unless you disobey my direct advice of taking it easy, tell me. Doctor's orders."
"I'll do as you say, Solace. If you'll excuse me I'd like to get a few hours of sleep before lunch. I am allowed to go to, right?"
Will made a face, as if considering it. "Well, since you've been a good patient, I suppose you can. However," Nico already knew there would be a catch, "I will be eating with you. You're underweight, you know that right? I could tell when I was healing you."
"Shadow traveling partway across the world is a very effective weight-loss program," he found himself saying. Was the son of Hades actually trying to tell a joke?
"You will not be doing that again, you hear me?" Will didn't find his joke funny. What a shame. "Oh, I'll deal with you later! I need to go back to the cabin and shower. It's been three days and that's just gross."
Nico didn't think Will was gross, but he said nothing. Instead he waved the boy off, yawned, and curled down on the bed where he fell asleep instantly. He missed the lingering blue eyes that remained there watching over him for several minutes, vanishing only when someone else entered the room.