Hey guys! It's been a (long) while since I've updated my story… I'm so sorry T.T

I started this chapter three months ago, but then I restarted it, and then re-edited it. And then I went on a two month vacation with my family which was a bit of a setback. But now I'm back and I've finished the chapter!

Thank you all so much for your wonderful reviews and comments! You've been keeping my spirits up the past year. (Can y'all believe it's been a year?) I really hope y'all are enjoying my fic so far. I suggest y'all to reread the past chapters just as a refresher for what's going on (even I had to reread them. I can't even remember my own story). I'm sorry for all of my breaks and such.

Anyway, I present to you, Chapter 9.

Nico di Angelo internalized his problems. It was a simple observation, really. He first realized this when his father brought him to a therapist after his mother and sister died and found that only he could fix his problems and not some stranger who knew nothing about him. It was way more easier to deal with his own problems than to have to explain them to someone.

So he went on in life believing no one would ever understand him.

Sullen as always, Nico was convinced, even throughout his worst years of depression, that no one could help him. He always wondered that when normal people ever got this sad, they'd reach out to...other people. Friends. Family. Loved ones.

Nico always spent his long nights by himself, often crying himself to sleep, or until he saw the sun rise in the early morning. Often he'd find himself begging for someone, or something to save him from his thoughts, make him feel safe. And ultimately loved.

Now, present day, he never knew what he did to deserve William goddamn Solace. His Will to live.

If any normal person looked at a timeline of Nico's life up till now, they probably would've expected that this would happen. That Nico would eventually open up and have a happy ending.

However, poor Nico never believed what was happening to his life. He was finally seeing all the people who cared for him, his friends, his family. He couldn't believe that some days he actually had a full night of sleep and woke up feeling happy.

He couldn't believe that he found someone that saved him - well, actually Will had only made Nico aware that he could save himself on his own and helped him along the way (as Will acknowledged the fact that his boyfriend was the strongest and most independent person he's ever met) - and most of all Nico couldn't believe the love (although he snorted at the fact knowing that Will's sappiness was rubbing off on him).

He never complained though.

Will and Nico were currently about to get dinner after just finishing watching Deadpool (for like the 4th time) when they happened to run into Hazel doing homework in the living room.

"Hey, Nico." She gave a puzzled look. "Oh Will! I didn't know you were here! (AN: Lol, of course she knew Will was there. They're always together.) What're you two up to?"

"Oh, um, Nico and I were just - um - studying for… our calculus final." Will sputtered, trying to pass it off coolly even though his worry made his face resemble that of a sad, concerned puppy.

The two seniors however were both exempted from all their exams due to their effective study (and makeout) sessions with each other.

However, the three of them knew that was a fib, especially from Will's terrible deliver of the lie. Despite the fact that Will almost slipped and told their secret, Nico had to admit he looked adorable when flustered.

"Yeah, um we're just heading out to grab some food. Do you want anything?" Nico said quickly.

"Nah, I think I'm good. We still have some pizza left in the fridge if I get hungry anyway." She eyed them cautiously. "Drive safe. Don't be out too late!"

Will could've sworn she winked at him.

"She is definitely onto us."

Will glanced at Nico before turning into the drive-thru at McDonald's.

Nico nodded as if to support his claim. "Hazel undoubtedly suspects that we're together."

Will shrugged. "I'm pretty sure a lot of people think something's up."

"Trust me, Annabeth's known since I first mentioned your name a few months ago." Will snorted "I mean, she knew about my crush on Percy when I didn't even know I had a crush on him," Nico said throwing his hands up halfheartedly.

Will scrunched his nose a little teasingly, saying "Yeah, but Annabeth knows everything." He had a light smirk on his face as he noticed Nico change the radio channel at the sound of some pop song they're always playing at school pep rallies. "Wait, remind me again why we're keeping us a secret?" Will asked in a more honest innocence with a genuine confused face rather than an accusatory tone.

"Well originally we were going to tell people when we're ready, which is stupid," Will nodded in agreement, "because we're both sure of each other. The real reason we're - well, really, I'm- waiting to tell them is because I'm not sure they're ready. (Will made an 'ohh' face) Plus, it serves as good torture for those who can see the fake romantic tension we have in public."

"Oh my goodness, Nico," Will snickered, "You're terrible!" He suddenly registered how all of their actions in public (the almost hand holding and subtle flirting) must've looked if people thought the two were 'just friends'.

"Don't I know it." Nico gave him a mischievous grin. "Jason looks like he's about to tear his hair out of his head when he's around us. Oh wait, don't you have that volunteering thing tomorrow?"

"Yeah, I need more hours for my internship," Will sighed. Nico gave him a small pout and huffed. Will seemed spending more and more time focused on his work more than anything lately.

They both turned quiet as Will gave their usual order and drove up to the window to pick up their food.

"I can't believe we've kept us a secret for this long though!" Will exclaimed.

"Yeah, me too," Nico muttered. His cheeks flushed slightly, barely noticeable in the odd lighting of the parking lot. It was a miracle he could keep his cool whenever Will was around. "Here." He shoved a couple of fries in Will's mouth.

"Wha- pfsmhch-" Will tried to ask but instead chewed for a few seconds before swallowing, "Thanks."

"No problem."

They stayed relatively quiet for the rest of the drive home, Nico occasionally sharing his food while Will munched on his burger at every stop.

By the time they got home, they were both tired and agreed that Will would stay over without discussion. It wasn't the first time he's stayed over anyhow.

The night ended with Will protectively holding Nico in his arms as they drifted off to sleep.

Nico stirred from his sleep when he heard footsteps coming upstairs. He groaned irritated from the light peeking out from behind his curtains and noticed Will was gone.

He figured Will probably woke up about two hours ago and already ate breakfast, and was now going to wake him up, so when he heard someone knock on his door, Nico just whined, throwing his blanket over his head.

"Let me sleep," he mumbled quietly when his door opened. He thought he felt Will gently nudge his back. Nico groaned again trying a different approach, "Will, come back to bed."

"Uhh, I'm not Will."

And in Nico's 10 am delirium, he remembered too late that his boyfriend was out getting volunteering hours.

He slowly uncovered his face from his blanket, his face red from embarrassment and shame for not being careful enough, and was met by Jason's confused gaze.

"Wha- dude, I was just gonna wake you up. Wait," His face scrunched up. Oh schist, Nico thought, he's figuring it out. Jason's eyes grew wide. "Oh. My. Stars."

Nico's face was getting redder, "It's not what you think!"

Jason stepped back, eyes still wide, trying to rationalize the situation. "Oh my go- wait wait wait, so are you two together now?" (Jason wasn't sure if he was supposed to be excited or concerned at this point.)

Nico's face wasn't as red anymore as the seconds passed by, but his complexion was getting paler and paler. "Uhhhh"

"Because I mean, if you slept in the same bed it usually means you're together, unless it was, like, just a booty call-"

"Jason!" Nico's blush came back full on.

He started pacing now, "I mean, it's not unlikely, Nico. Wait, was it a booty call?" He turned to him.

Nico sat up, "Oh my god, Jason, it wa-"

"AH, put your clothes on, man!" Jason exclaimed at the sight of shirtless Nico (as he assumed the rest of his body might not have been clothed).

"What?" Nico looked down, "Oh my - for the love of god- Jason!" Jason looked back at him. "I'm wearing clothes, you idiot. I don't wear my shirt when it's hot."

"Are you two together though?" Again, Jason was conflicted between being elated and concerned.

Nico considered lying, but there really was no going back in this case. He sighed, "Yes."

Jason pursed his lips, mostly to hide his smile to the news, "How long?"

"A month or so," Nico replied. It was actually three months and four and a half days.

Jason had to turn away, trying to pass it off as disappointment, but he couldn't hide the grin on his face. Sure, he lost 20 bucks in the bet, and Annabeth won the jackpot, but oh my gosh Jason was just happy Nico and Will were together now.

Nico's door opened again and Piper poked her head in, "Hey, guys."

Jason couldn't hold it in anymore. He started snickering and giggling while his girlfriend looked at him worriedly.

"What?" Nico stared at his friend with confusion, "Why are you-" And then Nico realized Jason was laughing with glee.

"What are you laughing about?" Piper asked just as confused as Nico.

"Hahaha, oh it's just that Ni- wait" Jason turned to Nico, "Can I tell her?" he asked with a giant, cheeky grin on his face.

"Sure, I don't see why not. It was gonna come out somehow." Nico murmured.

Piper stepped in his room, "Tell me what?"

Jason suppressed his laughter before speaking. "They're together, Pipes!" Jason blurted out happily.

Almost instantaneously a wide smile broke out on Piper's face. "Oh my gosh! Congratulations, Nico!", she exclaimed, walking over to Nico to give him a hug. She chuckled a little, obviously as elated as Jason, who had also joined them to hug Nico.

And although Nico rolled his eyes, he was glad to have friends like them.

Once again, I'm so sorry for the wait. This fic started off on a small idea that I had, and I've been trying my best to develop the storyline and improve my writing. Thank you all so much for the positive feedback. I have taken a lot of the suggestions into consideration for my future chapters. I've already started on the next chapter (I hope it doesn't take as long as it did to write this one).

Follow, favorite, review and or PM me about this story if you liked it! All suggestions and critique are welcome.