So this was something I kind of thought of when I re-read the part in Son of Neptune when Nico and Percy meet when Percy arrives at Camp Jupiter. While I was reading it, I couldn't help but think, My God, it must have been excruciating for Nico to stand there in front of his crush, who didn't even remember him or anything that they'd been through together. Because of that, I wanted to write a little piece about what Nico may have been thinking at the time. I hope you like it! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or any quotes used from Son of Neptune! They belong to Rick!
Nico knew 100% that he was way in over his head.
It was hard enough, being at Camp Half-Blood, knowing that the Romans existed but not being able to say anything. Just as well, it was difficult to be around the Romans and keep the Greeks' existence a secret, and he especially had to watch out for his snooping half-sister. To make things worse, there were certain things that needed to happen, and only he knew about these things. He had to keep his secrets in order to ensure the eventual alliance between the Greek and Roman camps.
He was only fifteen, for gods' sake. Not to mention, being a son of Hades—Pluto, whatever—people didn't exactly trust him at either camp, which only made his job that much more difficult.
And then, to make matters worse, Percy Jackson showed up at Camp Jupiter.
Of course, Nico expected it—counting on it, even. It was all part of the plan to bring the two camps together. Still, Nico believed that he wouldn't have to see his crush. He believed he could keep going about his business and deal with Percy indirectly.
But of course, that didn't happen.
Nico stood outside by a shrine built to his and Hazel's father. He was waiting for Hazel. He needed to talk to her about some things, and as per usual, he didn't like sticking around for too long. He was afraid that if he became too comfortable here, he would spill something he wasn't supposed to.
He finally heard Hazel's voice floating towards him and he heard her call his name. He turned towards her but immediately froze. His eyes widened like a deer caught in headlights and he felt a major flash of shock and panic pass through him.
Percy Jackson stood before him, his mop of dark hair messy as always, his sea green eyes bright, causing Nico's heart to stutter. Seeing his crush standing before him sent his pulse racing. Adrenaline coursed through his veins. He watched as Percy's brows furrowed, his eyes darting across Nico's face. It was obvious Percy was trying to remember where he'd seen him from.
"This is Percy Jackson," Hazel said. "He's a good guy."
As Hazel introduced the two demigods, Nico quickly regained his composure, trying to steel his expression into one of indifference.
He held out his hand, willing it not to shake. "Pleased to meet you," he replied politely. His voice sounded a bit weak to his ears. "I'm Nico di Angelo."
Nico tried to look friendly and, for the most part, inviting, but that was hard to do when you were standing before your crush, only he didn't know that and couldn't know that.
Instead, his expression came off as more of a grimace, his stance wary. He could tell Percy felt the same way, especially when he scowled and said, "I—I know you."
Nico felt his heart jump in his throat. He felt about a thousand different emotions at that point, but he swallowed them down and feigned incredulity. Raising his eyebrows, he asked, "Do you?"
He turned to Hazel, his heart beating hard in his chest. He was starting to panic a bit. There was a silent plea in his look he sent her—help.
However, one look at his sister and he knew he was fucked. Hazel was scrutinizing him, a confused expression on her face. Eventually, she began explaining about his memory loss, and Nico felt his stomach flip in relief.
It was short-lived.
She asked if he'd seen other demigods like Percy, and he immediately sent her a dark, sideways glare. She must have caught the Drop it message because she quickly clammed up.
Nico switched the subject to his main priority. He asked about Gaea's army and whether Percy had warned Reyna. They started talking about the previous war against Kronos, and at the mention of it, Nico could see Percy struggling again, trying to remember a memory he couldn't quite find.
It hurt Nico. It made him ache, seeing his crush in such a struggle. Especially knowing that he could easily put him out of his misery. But doing that would ruin everything.
What made it harder was that they had history together. Surely not the best or the most trustful, but they knew each other. He'd helped Percy win the Titan war, for gods' sake! It was difficult for Nico to stand there before Percy, acting like they were just meeting, like none of that happened. Like none of that mattered.
But it did matter, and it killed him.
Despite his anguish, Nico answered Percy's questions as best as he could without revealing anything too incriminating. Eventually, Frank Zhang joined them by Pluto's shrine, and Nico encouraged him to take Percy to the dining hall so that he could talk to Hazel in private. Nico's heart ached at the thought of leaving Percy, but he pushed it aside. This was for the greater good.
Before they left, though, Percy stared Nico down. "I'd like to talk with you some more. I can't shake the feeling—"
"Sure," Nico agreed quickly. His heart jumped in his throat. His knees became weak. It felt like his insides were made of jelly. "Later. I'll be staying overnight."
He gave Frank a nod and forced himself away from Percy, tugging his sister toward the roof of the shrine. It pained him to walk away. He wanted so badly to just reach out and touch him, or to tell him everything and spill that they had known each other for years now.
He sighed to himself, feeling his stomach drop to the ground. He hoped Percy got his memory back soon, because he wasn't sure he'd be able to handle this for very long.
I originally planned to write more, but when I re-read what I had written, this seemed like a good place to stop. However, I will probably end up writing a second part and adding it on sometime soon.
Thanks for reading and please review and let me know what you think!