Major disclaimer: I don't own these characters or this idea (I just happened to find it on pintrest and fell in love with it). Please let me know what you think-I take all the feedback (especially criticisms) I can get!
"Alright, di Angelo" Will said. "Your three days start now."
Nico was already starting to wonder if this was a really bad idea. Death and infirmaries didn't really go together, no matter what Will Solace said ("It'll be fine," he promised. "You can help me out, be useful"). Yeah right. With his luck, Nico figured the whole Big House (yes, it also served as their infirmary) would burst into flames or turn to dust as soon as he stepped inside. Unfortunately, Will Solace seemed to have some strange power over him that made him agree to do stupid things.
That was how Nico ended up following Will into the infirmary and down a hallway until they arrived at one of the sick rooms. A laurel-a sacred symbol of Appollo (Will's dad)-was carved above the doorframe. The room itself was small: containing walls of cabinetry, a sink, two windows with bright light streaming in, a twin-sized bed, and a bedside table. It made Nico want to vomit and make a bee-line back to the Underworld, so of course, they entered.
"Lay down," Will ordered, pointing to the bed.
Nico frowned, confused, but obliged. "I thought you said I would be wrapping bandagess."
"You will be," Will assured him. "Once you've healed. And don't pretend your alright or whatever. You might be able to fool everyone else, di Angelo, but not me. I've seen what that underworld-y stuff does to you. You're drained."
Nico wanted to protest, but something about Will's cool and commanding (yet incredibly stubborn) brovado made him hesitate (not to mention that those gods-damn skeletal butterflies had returned and were making it very hard to think clearly). With anyone else he would've stormed out of the infirmary, but Nico was finding himself falling sucker for blonde hair and pearly white smiles recently.
"Fine," the son of Hades shrugged. "But just so you know, I expect the full treatment: breakfast in bed, dead flowers on the nightstand, constant care whenever I call. Everything."
Will tried to act nonchalant, but couldn't prevent the grin from creeping onto his face. He said, "I can work with that."
He turned to pick up his clipboard. "Just need some basic information first; you know, weight, height, and all that. It's a formality, really. Don't worry, Mr. Brooding, nothing to personal."
Nico grunted in disapproval. "Sounds awful."
"First question!" Will pretended not to hear him. "Full name?"
"You know that already."
"Dude, what part of formailities don't you get? Full name."
Nico sighed. "Nico di Angelo."
"Middle name too, Sunshine."
Nico clenched his fists. He hated being called "Sunshine," even more than he hated being called "Death Boy." "You don't use middle names to fix people, do you?"
"Fair enough. Height?"
"I dunno. Five-three? Five-four? Your geuss is as good as mine."
Will scowled over his clipboard and jotted notes furiously. "Five-three-and-a-half," he decided. "Weight?"
Once again, Nico admitted he had no idea.
"Geez, Nico," Will ran his fingers through his sandy blonde hair (a shade that Nico was really trying to hate, but somehow finding endearing, which made him want to hate it more). "When was the last time you went to see a doctor?"
"Uh, when I was a kid, maybe? I'm not really sure."
He gave an exasperated sigh. "It's a miracle you can still breathe. Okay, here's an easy one: Date of birth?"
This one Nico did know. "October 13, 1932."
THUNK! Suddenly, Will dropped his clipboard. He gaped at Nico like a fish gasping for air, which felt like a sucker-punch to Nico's gut. He was used to people thinking of him as a freak-why shouldn't they? Nico didn't belong with other demigods, or even in this time period. Since Bianca died, he'd always been the creepy loner son of Hades. Still, seeing Will's reaction hurt more than anyone else's.
"Oh my gods, Nico!"
Nico muttered bitterly, "Yeah, I know I'm a-
"You haven't been properly vaccinated!"
He stopped short. "...What?"
"Thank Appollo you're still alive!" Will was frantic now; running around the room, pulling out drawers, and flinging cabinets open. "Honestly, Nico," he pulled out a vile of suspicious green fluid. "Do you have any idea how many diseases you could be exposed to? Measles, chicken pox, polio, a whole mess of STDs,..."
Nico choked on air at that last one and turned an unflattering shade of pink. "I don't have...that," he squeaked out, not even finding courage to say the word (letters, whatever).
Will went on rambling and listing a bunch more potentially fatal diseases that Nico could've already died from, but all the words and letters got jumbled together in his head. Nico wasn't sure how Will kept all of the medical stuff straight-long words were not good for ADHD/dyslexic brains.
"...Di immortales," Will said when he finally stopped to catch his breath. "Do you have any idea how lucky you are?"
Lucky? Nico could've laughed. He was a gay, son of the death god that was born almost eighty years ago, and lost the only person that ever truly accepted him at the most confusing point in his life. Not to mention that everyone was repulsed by him. Lucky was not a word Nico would have ever chosen to describe himself.
Unfortunately, Nico was too distracted by the syringe Will was holding to point out that his life was a series of unfortunate events. He paled (impressive, seeing as his skin was already the color of flour). "Um...What is that?"
"Polio vaccine," Will stated as if it should've been obvious.
Nico started to squirm. When he spoke, his voice was an octave higher than usual. "I'm good, really. No need for any shots."
Will paused when he realized that Nico was practically clawing his way up the wall. Then, he had the nerve to laugh.
"What?" Nico demanded.
"You're scared of a needle?" Will snorted between laughs. "I mean seriously? You? This brave, heroic guy that fought on the front lines of two major wars, melted into shadow whenever you wanted to travel, got stabbed multiple times, even made it through Tartarus-it's needles that scare you?"
"So what?" Nico was blushing fiercely now; partly from embarrassment, partly because Will Solace thought he was brave.
And heroic, the small voice in Nico's head reminded him. Later, Nico would have to ask Will how he knew Nico had been through Tartarus, but at the moment he was distracted by Will's laugh, which had turned much more gentle. Even his laugh sounded melodious.
Will sat next to Nico on the bed. The stupid skeletal butterflies came back. Then, Will gently touched Nico's knee, sending thousands of volts of electricity up his spine, even with the smallest physical contact. Nico hated how Will could do that to him, but secretly craved more of that feeling.
"Tell you what?" Will said gently. "Count to three."
"What am I, five?"
"Fine. One, two-!" Nico yelped a strange sound when he felt the needle pierce his skin. He reached blindly and ended up squeezing Will Solace's hand, most likely cutting off all circulation in the process.
Even though the shot was over as quickly as it had started, Nico was still loathing. Will, curse him, looked genuinely amused.
"Erre es korakas! You said three!" Nico cursed, trying to glare daggers at the boy sitting at the end of his bed.
"No," Will said, trying very hard not to smile. "I said count to three. I never said I'd wait."
"You..." Nico couldn't think of a name horrible enough to call him, so he settled for his best death glare.
Will just laughed. "Alright, Death Boy. Not that I don't love holding your hand, but we've got about ten more shots to go."
To Nico's horror, he realized that he was still gripping Will's hand, and not letting go. All the blood in Nico's body rose to his face as he quickly tried to look anywhere else. Nico had blushed about three times too many in the last hour, he realized, and he blamed it entirely on Will Solace. He just prayed to the gods that Will hadn't taken any notice (only later did he realize that if the gods-namely his dad-had listened to that prayer, it would have been incredibly awkward to explain).
For the next shot, Nico made sure he grabbed his blankets instead. He clenched his teeth and refused to count...out loud at least. He found that reciting numbers actually made the needles poking into his skin seem less painful-maybe because it kept him distracted. Not that Nico needed numbers for that; Will Solace was becoming distraction enough.
The way he always brushed his fingers through that annoying hair of his, how his nose sorta crinkled up when he was concentrating, those deep blue eyes... it was aggravating, really. The absolute worst part was that Nico found himself comparing Will's habits to Percy's. Sure, Nico was pretty much over the guy, but still it was infuriating to find his thoughts wandering in that direction. And he really didn't want to admit that he found Will Solace a lot more attractive than Percy Jackson.
"Almost done," Will promised. When he walked back over to Nico with a filled vaccination, he grimaced.
"Tetnis shot," he explained. "I kind saved the worst for last. This one will hurt a little."
Nico wanted to bite back and say that they all hurt a little, but then remembered Will calling him brave and thought better off it.
Then, Will held out his hand. The gesture surprised Nico, and it must've shown on his face because Will gave him a small grin. "C'mon," he said. "For old times sake?"
If Will hadn't noticed Nico blushing before, he was definitely seeing it now. He wanted Nico to hold his hand. Oh. A bunch of zombies were doing a little tap dance in Nico's chest, but he managed to respond with, "Old times was five minutes ago."
"I know," Will agreed. "And seeing as both the blood and feeling have finally returned, you're free to squeeze the life out of my hand if you need to."
Nico muttered something ineligible and grabbed his hand. Nico was a little surprised at how warm it felt in contrast to his own icy skin. The thousand volts of electricity went shooting up his spine again.
Nico was so preoccupied that he barely noticed the needle sliding in and out of his skin until Will put a smiley-face band-aid on his bicep and announced that they were done. Nico should've been happy-no more shots!-but he found himself disappointed to no longer have an excuse to hold the son of Appollo's hand.
Instead of complaining, Nico frowned at the colorful band-aid's that now decorated his upper-arms. "Smiley faces? Sunshines? Really? What, were you out of rainbows and unicorns?"
Will looked insulted. "These are Appollo-brand! They were a gift."
"My dad gave me an undead personal chauffeur as a gift once," Nico noted. "But if you're dad gives you happy band-aids, that's cool too."
Will scowled at him. "You don't deserve a smiley face," he decided.
"Did Hades really give you a personal chauffeur?"
His question caught Nico off gaurd. "Uh, yeah. With his own car and everything. His name's Jules Albert."
"Then, after you're back to normal, you're taking me out to get a burger to make up for insulting my dad's gift. And for scaring me half to death by waiting so long to get vaccinated."
The skeletal butterflies seemed to be migrating from Nico's stomach to his chest, and working their way up to his head. Not that he was an expert or anything, but it sounded to him like Will had just asked him on a date. Of course, Will had actually ordered it and had made it clear that Nico was taking him, but still. It felt like something.
Nico somehow managed a response. "Sure. Sounds fair."
Will nodded in approval.
To Nico's dismay, Will picked up his clipboard again.
"Next question," he announced.
"Seriously?" Nico complained.
"You practically stabbed me a dozen times, and still all you care about are your stupid formalities?"
"Excuse me, di Angelo, but these formalities could save your life, say if you needed a blood transfusion, or..."
"Will!" Nico complained again.
Once again, Will couldn't stop the grin from sneaking onto his face. "Fine," he relented. "But get some rest. I want you good as new in three days, you know, because I'm really starting to crave hamburgers and all."
Half of Nico wanted to protest and say 'I'm fine, really.' But the other half-the exhausted half-held him back. He hadn't gotten a proper rest in a long time, and his powers really had drained him. Curse Will Solace for being right. Nico decided that was one of Will's more annoying qualities.
"Fine," Nico relented, settling into his sheets and pillows. "But only for five minutes. Then I'm helping you out around here."
Will laughed. "Helping me?"
"Yes, helping you," Nico stifled a yawn. "Bandages, bringing drinks, running errands..."
Will smiled, amused. "You remembered. For what it's worth, I think you'll make a great nurse assistant. We can even make you a hat."
Will's smile melted into a frown when Nico didn't reply-maybe he'd crossed a line? Then he looked down and realized that Nico's eyes were shut and his breathing had gotten heavy. He'd fallen asleep.
"Sleep tight, Sunshine," Will said, turning off the light, but he didn't leave the room, which Will found surprising even to himself. There was something strangely peaceful about sitting in the dark room, alone with the son of Hades. Will noticed that Nico was kinda cute when he slept-his face wasn't permanently frozen in a grimace after all!-and he was so still and calm.
Gives a whole new meaning to 'sleeping like the dead,' Will thought, smiling to himself at his own cleverness. Then his thoughts wandered further. What would happenn if Nico suddenly woke up? Would he think Will watching him sleep was creepy? Granted, even Will found it a little weird, but-
"Will!" a voice hissed at him. Will whirled around to realize that his sister, Ava, was standing in the doorway, glaring pointedly in his direction.
"Ava!" He jumped up, feeling his ears turn red. Then, he silently cursed himself for being so loud. He turned timidly make sure he hadn't woken Nico, who thankfully was still sound asleep. He ducked out of the room without another sound and softly closed the door.
Ava frowned. "You have more patients, you know. One camper got blasted with greek fire, and you said you would take care of the burns, remember?"
"Vlacas," Will cursed himself. He had promised that, and he hoped the burns hadn't gotten any worse in time passed. "I'll be right there," he promised (again), ripping off his latex gloves and replacing them with a new pair.
"So I'm guessing you don't want me to mention that you're late because you were too busy watching the death kid sleep?"
"I was not!"
Ava raised an eyebrow.
"...But uh, yeah, no. Definitely don't say that."
"You know you would get a lot more done if you weren't so infatuated with him," she pointed out.
"I-I'm not infatuated..."
Ava have him a lopsided grin. "Oh please. I see the way you've been watching him for the last few days, with those puppy dog eyes-"
"I don't have puppy dog eyes!" He protested..
She held up her palms in surrender. "Fine, fine, whatever you say," she said, but her tone made it clear she didn't believe him. "I'm going to go stall for you. Hurry. Up."
Will surpressed a grin as he looked back towards Nico's room. Gods this boy was distracting him (whether or not he admitted it), and Will welcomed it. Three days with di Angelo Will thought to himself, then unable to keep the smile off of his face. Yeah, I can definitely work with that.
Note: Will Solace (like the rest of Camp Half-Blood, I'd imagine) already knew that Nico was born during the beginning of WWII. What he didn't know was that Nico hadn't been to a doctor in so long or been properly vaccinated (sorry Nico, I'm making you sound like a Chihuahua that hasn't been to the vet!).
Thanks for reading! Please remember to review!