Nico stared at the multiple aisles with a dumbfounded look. Where was he going to start? He needed to find a gift for Hazel fast. Her birthday party was in three hours. And it would take at least 45 minutes to get there.

Nico was currently in Target, the closest supermarket to his apartment. He would've gone to Walmart (How he wished he could've gone there. They had a McDonald's there.) but he didn't want to drive that far… That's what you keep telling yourself.

In reality, Walmart was just across the street, practically equal distance from his apartment than Target. The only real reason Nico wanted to go to Target was because Wil- no. He wanted to go to Target because he wanted wild wings. Buffalo wild wings. Definitely not because of him.

Just a few weeks ago, Nico had been secretly looking at the newest pack of Mythomagic cards at Target. He, the angst-filled, gloomy teen, was a closet Mythomagic nerd. And while Nico was intensely staring at the pack, he heard footsteps coming his way. He immediately jumped and speed walked towards the video game section. Gods forbid, if anyone found him looking at the toys section. At least some of the video games were for his age group.

Sneaking a peek from behind the glass case of the newest Xbox games, Nico slowly turned to look for the kid who would've found him lurking with the Mythomagic toys. To his surprise, it wasn't a kid. It was freaking Will Solace. Will Solace worked here. At Target! And to Nico's pleasure, he looked so cute in his red polo and khakis.

He and Will had a few classes together as they were both Juniors, but they rarely talked. Nico secretly crushed on him for Will was - how to put it lightly- hot. He'd helped in fixing Nico up multiple times from sports injuries, and even assisted with Nico's recovery in the hospital (another story for later) where Will volunteered.

Everyone saw Nico as an "emo", or a "punk goth" who was depressed and brooded all the time. Those were very false predictions though… Scratch that, only half of them were false, ok? Nico was, in fact, actually diagnosed with depression after the death of his older sister. And sure he brooded, but he was very introverted. As for the emo/punk goth rumors, they only spread because of his clothing choice. Sure he liked all the other colors, but he preferred to wear black. And he loves to wear his aviator jacket. And black skinny jeans. He did have sort of a punk-ish attitude. But it meant a lot to Nico that he and Will had a sort of friendship. I mean, they were only close acquaintances, but Will was always kind (and quite frankly, adorable) and to Nico, that had a huge significance.

Nico really wasn't a people person. He only made a few friends, and those few friends became the closest people in his life. I mean he's got Percy and Annabeth, Jason and Piper, Hazel and Frank, and he also considered Leo and Calypso very close too. As you can tell, they're all couples. Nico's the odd one out. Except for Reyna, who was also single, his best friend/not-related sister, but she's all the way out in California with a super important and really busy job. It didn't help that Nico wasn't even interested in girls.

Try as he might, Nico was a hopeless romantic that privately wished he and Will could be together. I doubt he's gay though…

Anyway, Nico's love for Will obviously trumped his love for McDonald's, and ever since he found out Will worked there, he went to Target on a weekly basis and completely ignored Walmart. He was obviously in denial. (AN: "You're way off base, I won't say it. Get off my case! I won't say it. Girl don't be proud it's okay you're in love. Oooh, at least out loud, I won't say I'm in love.")

His frequent Target trips always had an excuse. Today's was buffalo wild wings. Last week's excuse was that he needed fertilizer for his willow tree. Last last week's was to buy weed killer to annihilate the wild flowers in his small garden. The only reason why he waited this long to get Hazel's gift was because he wanted to catch Will on his shift.

Basket in hand, he marched towards the food section instead. If he was going to find Hazel a gift, he might as well get his grocery shopping done. And hopefully waste enough time to find Will.

After a solid ten minutes of deciding what ice cream he should get, Nico finally started his search for the perfect present. He first got a gift bag ( a very generic one with pastel-colored balloons saying "Happy Birthday!") and then picked out a card (which was specifically for sisters who are turning 16) which he would very quickly scribble a short, but heart-felt letter to Hazel once he bought the gift. The gift… which was currently nonexistent.

He took out his phone and scrolled down his contact list, hoping to find someone that would help him, but quickly abandoned the idea. His friends wouldn't be that much help in any case. Nico glanced up to see a tall, blonde, Target employee walking to the pharmacy section. As he turned the corner, Nico confirmed from the sunny smile and his sky blue eyes that it was Will. Nico instantly followed Will at a fast pace, forming a plan in his mind. He'd pretend he didn't know Will worked there, ask for help, and-

"Nico! Hi! Nice to see you!"

"BUFFALO WILD WINGS!" he blurted. Oh. My. Gods. Ohmygods. Ohmygods, ohmygods, ohmygods. What the hell is wrong with you, Nico? He could already see how red his face looked right now. Just stick to the plan! "Umm, I mean, Solace? You work here?" Nico asked meekly.

"Yeah, it's kind of my parttime job." Will replied with a grin.

"Cool. Can you help me then? I'm having some trouble." Stop staring like an idiot! He tried his best not to look so flustered.

"Uhh, sure. Trouble with what?"

"I don't know what to get my sister. It's her birthday today, and I forgot to get a gift, and I don't know what to do." Nico said in a flourish.

"Oh. Okay, umm, what does your sister like?" Will asked.

He thought for a second, "Horses. She also likes to draw. And write sometimes. Jewelry. I don't know."

Will chuckled. And my gods, it was the most beautiful thing Nico had heard in his entire life.

"Oh, Nico. You look so scared! Don't worry so much, I bet your sister will love your present no matter what. Especially with all the effort you're putting into finding the perfect gift. Here, why don't you buy her a necklace or some earrings, or get some sketchbooks or something in the art aisle?"

Of course. Why didn't he think of that? Because you're too caught up in that beautiful smile of his, duh. "Er, wow. Thanks, Solace. Um, where exactly is the art aisle?"

"I'll show you. Come on!" Will started walking. To avoid a semi-awkward silent walk, Will piped up, "Sooo, who knew the great Nico di Angelo's favorite ice cream flavor was mint chocolate chip?"

Nico turned red and looked down. "Sh- shut up, Solace. I'm just trying new flavors."

He glanced down at me, "Mhmm, suuurre. That's what they all say." he said with a smirk on his face. "That's ok though. It also happens to be my favorite too! There we go! Art section for art supplies. What kind of sketchbook would she need?"

They stayed in the aisle for a few minutes. In the end, Nico ended up getting some really fancy pencils, some charcoal pieces, and a pocket sized sketchbook for her to use when she travels.

"If you're ready, I can check you out in the front."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry- I didn't mean to- I meant- it wasn't supposed to- sorry- I'm really sorry. You know what? I'll just do my job now." Will apologized quickly.

"Nah, it's ok."

"Are you sure? I didn't mean for it to sound like that. I don't want to check you out- I mean, I would, but- Oh, gosh, I'm just making it even more awkward, aren't I?" Will put his head in his hands, trying to hide the blush creeping up his neck.

"Solace, stop freaking out. You just- I don't know- next time, just think before you speak. Now shut up and scan my ice cream. It's melting by the second." Nico tried his best to keep a calm demeanor, but when your crush says something like that, you can't not react. (AN: Double negative. X{ Sorry) His face was the shade of a pomegranate. Wait- did Will want to check him out? Or was he just being nice?

They finished the rest in silence while Nico took out his credit card. As he picked up the last bag, Will turned to him.

"Thanks."

"For what?"

He shrugged, "For being a good customer and stuff. Thanks for shopping at Target!"

"You're welcome. Thank you for helping me find a gift and all."

"No problem, I'm always happy to help. Tell your sister I say Happy Birthday!"

"Sure thing! Um, thanks, again." Nico turned, allowing a small smile. He got to his sister's party just in time, and when Hazel opened his present and hugged him to death for getting her new art supplies, Nico silently thanked Will.


So! What'd'ya think? This is my first time writing a story, so reviews and tips are all welcome! If you want a specific thing/scene to happen in the story, by all means, pm the idea to me! My sister actually thought of this, and I really wanted it to be written, so I made it myself. Sorry for any grammatical errors in the story.

-Phantomosolace