Rated: T, For graphi
Summary: Nico woke up in cold sweat, his heart pounding in his ears. He vaguely registered the outlines of two faces, looking at him in concern. Crud. They knew about the nightmares.
Setting: This is sometime during The Titan's Curse. After Percy leaves, but before Bianca dies. So, Nico doesn't know about his sister's death yet, because it hasn't happened.
Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I do own all the books, and a movie calendar, however, if anybody cares.
Nico ran down the road, panting heavily from exhaustion. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to get to; he just knew that it was important that he not be late. He knew that one mistake could cost his life, and an even worse mistake could cost the lives of others.
He reached a building. He opened the door, and walked right in. He was in… a room. Doors surrounded him. He took a step forwards, and as soon as he put his foot down, the doors around him came to life with a whir. The room began to spin sickeningly. The doors were rearranging themselves, so that he would never know the way back out again. That was fine with him. He was looking for something, with a panicked fervor; he had no wish to leave. He walked strait forwards, to the door in front of him, and opened it. Another room, this time empty. It was not what he was searching. He closed that door and looked at the others, this time, panic seeping into his bones.
Nico flung the doors open, each time being met with the same white room, which, despite its lack of anything frightening, gave him a chilled feeling. He finally reached the last door, which he hurled open with enough force to pull it off it's hinges. He was met with the most terrifying sight off his life.
It was his sister, Bianca, lying crumpled on the ground, staring up at the ceiling blankly. Dead. Cold. Behind her was a kind of large mechanical man, whose eyes blinked creepily at Nico. Unforgiving. Uncaring. And in bright red blood, dripping down the wall, were the words "Too Late".
And then there was Blackness.
Nico woke up in cold sweat, his heart pounding in his ears. He vaguely registered the outlines of two faces, looking at him in concern. Crud. They knew about the nightmares. This thought didn't stay in his head for long. The memory of the dream came rushing back to him. Too late, I was too late. He felt like he was freezing, and a pain like no other coursed through his body, making it hard for him to breathe.
"Hey," A voice was saying in his ear, "Relax! Breathe, Nico, breathe!" The voice sounded familiar, but Nico didn't dwell on that fact. He focused all his energy on the short quick gasps that were leaving his body. He knew he had to breathe; he just couldn't seem to. Why? There was a sound in his ear to; a kind of rattling, like someone was choking. Strange. Stop. Focus. Breathe in, and breathe out. In, out, in, out. Oh Bianca… No! In, out, in, out.
A sterile room…
A mechanical man…
A blood-spattered message…
A dead girl…
Travis Stoll watched the boy's eyes roll into the back of his head, and he collapsed onto the bed again. "Connor," He said to his brother, "Go wet a cloth in the lake. Don't wake anybody up. I don't think Nico would want to have any more people witnessing this than necessary." Connor nodded seriously and left. Travis placed his hand on Nico's head. No fever, that's good… It was just a nightmare, then. It was just a really bad nightmare.
Travis waited, brushing the sweaty hair out of the younger boy's face. He couldn't help but wonder what the boy had been dreaming about that had got him so scared. When Nico had gotten to camp, he had been excited. Very, very, hyper and excited. The boy was practically bouncing all over the walls. Then, his sister left, and he had deflated. The happy light had left his black eyes. Instead, he looked constantly worried, and dark circles formed below his eyes.
Thus, he had been quite worried when Connor had shaken him awake, in the middle of the night, claiming that Nico, who had been staying in the Hermes cabin, having no where else to go, was having a nightmare. Connor himself had been very upset, wringing his hands and hovering about.
The aforementioned boy suddenly ran into the room, holding the now wet cloth in his hands. He made his way quietly over to his brother, and placed the fabric on Nico's head. The boy shifted, groaning slightly.
"Is he actually asleep, or did he pass out?" Connor asked in a hushed whisper. "When do you think he's gonna wake up?"
"I think he passed out," Travis replied, "And I have no idea when he's going to wake up. We'll just have to wait and see. What do think he was dreaming about?"
"Don't know," Connor's eyebrows furrowed, "He was crying out in his sleep. He might have been crying as well, I couldn't tell in the dark. Poor guy, I bet he was dreaming about Bianca."
"He seemed very worried about her." Worried was an understatement.
Nico had shifted, as though his sister's name had brought him back out of his unconsciousness. "What-?" He started, his voice croaky.
"Shh," Travis interrupted, "Don't speak. Just relax."
"You gave a huge scare," Connor put in.
Nico didn't relax. He sat up right away, so fast that the cloth on his forehead was flung right off and hit the opposite ceiling. "What happened," He repeated, his voice a bit stronger. He was looking from Travis to Connor and back to Travis with wide eyes.
Travis bit his lip. How was he going to explain this now? "You had a… nightmare. We think it might have been about… Bianca. Do you remember?"
"Do you remember?" Yes, he did. Nico squeezed his eyes shut against the onslaught of memories rushing into his head. He tried to focus on the important thing. They knew that he was having nightmares. Great. He wanted it to remain a secret. Maybe, Nico thought hopefully, they won't ask me too many questions. At the same time, another, more logical part of him was shaking it's head. Yeah, right, the Stolls brothers not asking questions. That'll be the day. He'd only known them for a week, and he'd immediately found out how mischievous they were. It was hard not to when they were determined to prank you. The ice cream in his shorts had been really bad.
"Nico?" The boy jumped, startled, his eyes snapping to Travis. Darn, they were still waiting for an answer. Something about their postures told them they weren't going anywhere.
"I-I don't remember," Nico said, making his choice carefully. A cold, merciless feeling was starting in his body. A feeling that gave him dread, but he couldn't put a finger on what it was. In any case, he wanted the brothers out of here fast. The cold started in his stomach, and icy fear spreading through his limbs. It wasn't long before he knew he was going to breakdown, and he did not want Travis and Connor to be there.
"Oh? Not a thing?" Travis raised an eyebrow, looking even more worried as Nico began to shake slightly. Neither of them moved.
"N-no. I'm o-okay," Nico cursed himself for stuttering, but there wasn't much he could do. Memories rushed forwards, his mind was a haze of truth, reality, pain, and oh, there was so much pain, but Bianca was not dead, and she would be fine… So much blood… Nico was mortified when he heard himself sob. He couldn't help it and once he started, it was hard to stop. Tears began to pour down his face, his vision blurring. He pulled his knees up to his chest and buried his head in them. Why did he have to be so weak? If I wasn't weak, I could be out there now. I could be helping Bianca. Protecting her. But would she want me? He wasn't sure anymore.
A pair of arms wrapped around him, crushing his head into a rock-hard chest. He raised his hands, trying to push the person away. "Don't need help," He managed, through his tears, "I'm fine." The person didn't let go, simply pulled Nico closer, and a dam broke. Nico relaxed into the person's, Travis, he realized, arms and he sobbed brokenly.
"Miss her," He cried.
"I know you do."
"I know, shh. Think happy thoughts. I'm sure she's fine."
A white room… Bianca's bright smile… A robot… Bianca hugging him… Blood… Bianca… A hand rubbing his back while he cried…
It hurt, but the ache was duller now. Slowly his sobs subsided into hiccups, and then all was silent. It was a good silent, though. Comfortable. Nico knew he was pushing his luck, but he kept his head buried into Travis' shoulder. Travis, to his surprise, didn't let go. Maybe the twins are nicer than I thought. You just have to get to know them.
"You okay?" Travis spoke up.
Nico coughed embarrassedly, "Yes, 'm sorry. Didn't mean to." His voice was muffled into Travis' shirt, and he was still clinging to the older boy.
"Not your fault. You just needed a good cry, that's all." Travis pulled back, looking at Nico. The boy looked like death warmed over, his hair wild, eyes rimmed red, and face pale and shinning in the moonlight. "Now, what was all this about? The dream, I mean. I got the Bianca part."
Nico sniffed. "I was in this room. There was a bunch of doors around me. And, I was looking through them for something, but I wasn't sure exactly what. I kept opening doors into more empty rooms. Finally, I got the last one, and it- it had this huge robot… thing in it, and it had- it had killed Bianca… and there was so much blood, and I was too late." Nico's voice high a pitch at the end, causing a few of the other people in the Hermes cabin to shift in their sleep, but they didn't wake up.
Travis thought for a moment, closing his eyes. When he opened them, he smiled down at the younger boy. "Nico," he said softly, "It was just a dream. Bianca's safe. She's got Thalia, Percy, Grover, and Zoe to protect her. And when Percy does his heroic thing and saves Annabeth, she can protect her too. Relax, Nico, everything's gonna be fine."
Nico leaned back, still looking at Travis, contemplating his words. It was just a dream. And, Bianca was still alive he just knew it. Besides, Percy had promised to protect her, with everything he had. Percy seemed like the kind of person who wouldn't break his promises. Nico sighed, relaxing slightly, for the first time on days. His nightmares were just getting the better of him. There' nothing to worry about, He convinced himself. "Thanks, Travis," He said out loud, "You're a good… friend."
Travis only smiled wider, "You're my friend two, Nico." It was perfect, a Kodak moment of friendship. And then…
"What am I, chop liver?" Connor crossed his hands over his chest and glared at the two of them, but amusement shone in his eyes.
Travis and Nico looked at each other, and burst out laughing. Connor couldn't keep a strait face for very long, and soon he joined in.
The new friends spent the night sitting on Nico's bunk, talking about inconsequential things, and their laughter rang out through the night.
Bianca woke up, smiling, from her half-blood dream. It was good to know her brother was making new friends. And, despite what Nico thought, she did miss him, a lot. "Soon, Nico, I will come home."
A/N I'm so proud of myself for getting this up. I've been having some problems with , so I'm especially relieved too. This story has been turning around in my head for months, and I wanted to do it justice. It ended up kind of bittersweet. To clarify, everything was from Nico and Travis' points of view, only the end was Bianca's. Read and Review; tell me what you thought.
This story is based on the part in 'The Titan's Curse' where Nico yells at Percy that his nightmares where right, and that he shouldn't have trusted him. I don't think the Rick Riordan ever really went into the whole 'nightmare' part of it; I just assumed it was Minos haunting Nico's dreams. If it doesn't say that, well, I only meant for this dream to be like Nico's 'brotherly sense,' dreaming of his sister's sad demise.
Thanks for reading.