Just a quick one-shot I thought up. Thanks for reading!

Facing Fears

Nico di Angelo had been having a great day. The sun was shining, campers were having fun practicing or playing games, and Nico was holding the hand of the most amazing guy in the world. Will Solace, beautiful blue eyes shining towards him lovingly, was leading him to the strawberry fields where their friends were already assembled for their picnic. Hazel, Frank, and Reyna were visiting, which made it all the more perfect of a day.

And then, a monster that wasn't a monster (because it was inside the camp boundaries) leapt in front of the happy couple.

"What is that?" Will screamed as he and Nico took a few steps back. The thing, which had been some sort of rotting animal, seemed to leak black fog before shifting into something else.

Instinctively, Nico drew his sword and pushed his boyfriend behind him protectively. Will didn't protest because he knew Nico could handle almost anything. He was one of the strongest demigods around after all. One monster (or whatever it was) would be a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, this time Will was very wrong.

"I have no idea, but it came from the direction of the Hecate cabin. It must…"

The words died in his throat when the thing turned into the splitting image of Bianca. The only difference was that she was aged sixteen like she would have been if she hadn't… died.

"Hello, little brother." Her once kind features screwed up into ones filled with malice. With a tone colder than liquid nitrogen she spoke, Nico very unprepared for what was to come.

"It's been a while, hasn't it? You know, since I was crushed to death by a giant machine after stealing some stupid plastic toy for you," she accused. "You always thought Percy was to blame, but in all actuality it was you, Nico. You killed me."

"Bianca, what are you talking about? I was ten! With no training and you going on the quest without me there was no way I could have been there to protect you. I love—"

"Do not dare say you love me!" Suddenly her skin began to split open, blood soaking through her clothes while some of her bones seemed to contort. "You failed me as a brother, forcing me to join the Hunters and go on that quest to get away from annoying little you! You're the reason I left camp without any experience. I died because I hated you!"

Nico, who had been standing strong despite the onslaught he was being faced with, let the tip of his sword hit the ground as he replied brokenly.

"Bianca, please."

By now there were campers gathering nearby watching the commotion, to which Will yelled for them to get the Hecate cabin as well as Chiron and their friends. Between the magic-wielders, Trainer of Heroes, The Seven, Reyna, and Calypso, someone would be able to help them.

While he called for help, not wanting to leave Nico completely alone, the fake Bianca's form changed shape until it was now a fake Percy Jackson.

"She's right, you know." He spoke with a darkly with a wicked smile that could never be formed by someone like him. "She chose to go on the quest and be crushed because she couldn't stand you. I mean, it makes so much sense. Who would want some homosexual as a brother? You're disgusting. I can't believe you ever had a crush on me."

Nico knew Percy didn't actually feel this way just as he knew the fake Bianca had been telling lies, but it hurt all the same. His eyes became downcast. "Perce, bro," he tried using the term Percy called him all of the time.

The fake laughed, eyes flashing cobalt. "Bro? Ha! You're nothing but a waste of space. If it hadn't been for the purpose of saving the world I would have let you rot in that bronze jar. The only regret I would've had was your death not being nearly as painful as it would have been slow."

The form changed once more, this time taking the gigantic form of his father and sending some campers running away in terror.

"You disgrace! To think I let your mother die to save a retch like you." His fiery black eyes glowered down at Nico, who dropped his sword when the apparition shrunk down into a six-foot version of his father and reached out. A second later cold hands were wrapped around his throat and he was lifted into the air. Will tried to grab Nico, but the fake Hades kicked him away.

"Bianca would have had such a bright future if not for you," he snarled in his face. Nico tried to speak, but he could barely get any oxygen in. "It makes me sick to think you're related to me. My brother should have tried a second time to rid you from the world of the living so you could be sent to the Fields of Punishment like you deserve."

From his vantage point in the air Nico could see his friends running towards them from the other side of the green. However, before he could dwell on it Hades turned into Zeus.

"I should strike you down right here and right now. However, that is too easy. Perhaps after a little more suffering I'll put you out of your misery."

He dropped the demigod, who landed at a heap on the ground as he greedily drank in oxygen. When he was able to stand he didn't expect to see himself.

"You're just a little monster, aren't you?" The fake Nico spoke as if he was on the verge of laughing. As Nico looked closer at himself, he noticed its eyes were blood red instead of dark brown. "Remember what a great time we had killing Bryce Lawrence? Stripping away his identity was so much fun! Oh, and remember letting Octavian kill himself? Such cruelty can only come from a child of Hades. What do you say? Want to massacre everyone here at camp as punishment for making you feel like an outcast?"

"No way," Nico stated, but his confidence was gone. It came out as a croak.

"Why not?" The thing shifted into Hazel now, and the look of pure loathing on her face made Nico want to cry. "How about you kill me next? Then it can be said that you killed both of your sisters!"

"Stop it!" Nico's shouts didn't deter it though, and neither did the arrival of his friends and Chiron. It seemed from what was being yelled at him that this thing, a Boggart they told him, could only be stopped by one of Hecate's children. Obviously they were waiting on Lou Ellen or one of her siblings to reach them. He prayed to his father someone would come soon.

Suddenly, the monster turned into the worst thing it could choose yet. Will Solace, his boyfriend and the one he'd grown to love over the past few months, was staring at him with an absolutely lethal look on his usually calm and loving face.

"Hello, Death Boy." From behind Nico, the real Will stiffened. Both of their eyes widened in horror as the Boggart pulled out a dagger. "You know, I don't really love you. It's just for the future joy of breaking your heart that I pretend I care. You'll never be loved, Nico. You're destined to die alone, done in by your own misery. Then, you will be thrown back into Tartarus to be tortured and driven insane just like your last visit."

"Don't listen to it," Will pleaded, grabbing Nico's hand. "I do love you; you are loved."

"I know," Nico said quietly, but tears still had to be blinked back. He squeezed Will's hand. "I—"

He was cut off and forced to let go of his boyfriend's hand, however, when the fake Will dove forward and began slashing at Nico with its dagger. Nico summoned the shadows to transport Will to where his friends stood a few yards away.

"Did I ever tell you," it started as Nico tried to drive it back. Despite it not being real he couldn't cope with hurting something that looked just like the one he loved. "That the night when you came to me admitting you wanted to die in Tartarus, the jar, and by fading because you believed you had no one that cared about you that I secretly agreed? Poor Nico," it mocked as Nico's breath hitched. That had been a very personal moment. "Like death would've allowed you escape. You'll never escape from your fate. You'll—"


Fake Will turned into a squealing baby pig before Lou Ellen ran up and motioned for it to float into the box she was holding. Everyone got a glimpse of a ball of darkness before she sealed the container and turned to Nico fearfully.

"Nico, I am so sorry for that. Mother gave it to the cabin as a gift of sorts to be used for magical training, but one of the newer arrivals must have let it loose. It's a Boggart and it takes the shape of one's deepest fears. Considering everything you've been through…"

Surprisingly, Nico allowed a small smile.

"It's okay, Lou." He shuffled over, emotionally drained, until he fell into Will's arms and passed out. But before passing out completely, he made sure to whisper one last thing.

"I'm not scared anymore."