Insomnia is plaguing Percy. Eventually, Nico's persistence forces him to see a doctor. What happens when Percy finds out something is actually wrong?
This is Nico/Percy so if you don't like slash you won't like this.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters unless otherwise specified. This is not for monetary gain.
Percy opened his eyes slowly. He gazed at the ceiling silently, hoping maybe the popcorn ceiling would lull him to sleep. Percy chanced a glance at his alarm clock and found angry red numbers reading four nineteen glaring at him. Percy turned his head away. He just didn't sleep much anymore.
He suspected at first it had been dreams he wasn't remembering, but Clovis had assured him otherwise. He went to Rachel next, but the oracle said she didn't see why. So Percy asked Will. Percy didn't suspect it was anything medical but Will wasn't sure so he recommended Percy see a doctor. Will also offered some books, which Percy read. Percy tried relaxation techniques. He tried a bunch of different suggestions from the books, and some he had heard.
Nothing was working. Percy tossed and turned all night, most nights, praying for sleep that eluded him. There was no reason why he should be wide awake, and yet he was. The strangest thing was Percy wasn't tired during the day either. Not really. He knew he looked tired. He could see bags under his eyes and his complexion was growing paler, but mentally he felt alert. Sure, he got headaches, but he popped a Tylenol, drank a bunch of water and that was the end of it.
Percy glanced at the clock, sighed heavily and threw himself out of bed. He wasn't going to get another ounce of sleep (could sleep be measured in ounces?) so he brushed his teeth, changed in some workout clothes and went for a run. He probably should have eaten before he went, but he didn't. Percy never had much of an appetite in the mornings. Not anymore anyway. When Percy returned from his run, he realized he'd gone for over an hour. He was drenched in sweat and exhausted, but he felt good. After a quick shower Percy plopped down on the couch and stared blankly at the television.
"What's the point of staring at a TV if you're not even going to turn it on?" Percy turned slowly. Nico stood over him. He looked grimy, and from the smell Nico had been in the Underworld again. Percy looked the younger male over. Nico's left arm was cut up and blood ran down the length of it. His clothes were matted with monster dust and dirt. "You're still not sleeping."
"No." Percy admitted and stood. "Why don't you go shower? I'll throw on some breakfast or coffee."
"Breakfast would be great. Thanks, Percy." Nico disappeared into the apartment. Percy cooked, he was a good cook too, but even the smell of food didn't wet his appetite. Percy plated a meal of bacon, eggs and toast. Nico practically bounded into the room at the smell of food. "You're not eating?"
"I already ate." Percy lied. He knew he had to, or Nico would want to give some of his food, and Percy was sure Nico needed to eat more than Percy did. Nico inhaled his breakfast, and guzzled down two glasses of orange juice. Once the ghost king was finished his meal, he smiled sheepishly at Percy.
"Have you mentioned to Will?" Nico asked. Percy nodded. "What did he say?"
"He just gave a few suggestions. He said insomnia can be caused by weather changes, or sometimes it just happens."
"Did you mention this started almost a year ago?" Percy nodded. He hadn't actually. He told Will he had troubles sleeping lately. So maybe that was a bit off. "You should talk to him again; tell him his suggestions aren't working. You don't look very good, Percy."
"I feel fine." Percy informed. Nico glared. Percy furrowed his brow. "What?"
"You didn't eat this morning. And you worked out."
"Your clothes on the bathroom floor. Percy, you need a doctor. You're sick." Percy glared.
"I'm not sick, ok? I just…I just don't sleep very well. It's nothing." Nico stood. Percy did as well. "What? Don't-don't grab me." Percy gritted and yanked away. Nico did it anyway.
"Look at you." Nico flashed Percy his arm. "Look at how thin you are, Percy."
"I'm fine." Percy yanked away. He was annoyed. Who was Nico to tell him he was thin? That kid was like a walking skeleton sometimes. Percy backed away from his friend. "Back off Nico."
"I'm not hungry."
"You're not hungry, you're not sleeping…is this about what happened there?" Percy's eyes flared.
"Don't bring that up." Percy snapped and stormed away. "You can see yourself out."
"Percy, I want to help you."
"I don't need help, I'm fine." Percy murmured. He tensed when hands landed on his shoulders. Nico had grown taller than him by a few inches. He wasn't bigger than Percy, but Nico's scrawniness had shifted to a fitter build. Percy hugged his arms around himself. He felt his ribs through his shirt. Nico's hands moved down Percy's shoulders, arms, to his slim waist before laying them on his boney hips.
"I don't want to see you hurting like this." Nico whispered. Percy turned slightly. Nico's dark eyes were full of worry. Percy looked away again.
"I guess I should make an appointment then." Percy murmured. Nico smiled encouragingly. Percy pulled away from Nico's hold. "I'm telling you, I'm fine."
Percy made an appointment with a mortal doctor. He didn't really want his friends to worry over him. Percy explained his symptoms and such. The doctor was an older woman who wore a hijab and spoke with a slight Middle Eastern accent. She wrote out his symptoms and furrowed her brow.
"Percy…you've been having these problems for a year?"
"Well…it…I guess…" Nico said he had to be truthful. And Nico was going to talk to Dr. Kareem after to make sure Percy told her everything. "Yeah. It started last November."
"I'd like to run some tests." Percy looked at her.
"Because I think you need some blood work done."
"Umm…ok…" Percy hoped his demigod blood wasn't weird, but even if it was, he suspected the Mist would hide whatever mortals thought they saw. Percy was called back when the results came in. Nico went with him. Percy sat in the large office with Dr. Kareem. She was flipping through a file. She sighed and met Percy's gaze. Percy realized then she didn't have good news.
"You have Hodgkin's Lymphoma." Percy blinked.
"I have what?"
"It's cancer, Percy, of your lymphatic system."
"I have cancer?" Percy murmured. "I…I have…" Percy stared at the table. "Cancer?" He gasped. Percy looked at Nico. The son of Hades reached out but Percy shook his head and backed away. "No, no, that's, that's wrong. I don't, I can't…I can't…" Percy grabbed at his body. "G-get it out of me…"
"Percy, there are many treatments. Please, we'll discuss the best options." Percy sat down again. He felt sick. Cancer. After everything, he gets cancer? Percy wasn't really listening to Dr. Kareem. "Dr. Barrenger is one of the best in the state. I've already contacted him. If you want, he can see you today."
"I'd like that." Percy whispered.
"Good. I'll give him a call." Dr. Kareem left. Percy slowly laid his head on the table.
"You could tell, couldn't you." Percy whispered. Nico shook his head.
"No, you have to be dying. And you're not." Nico informed. His gaze was worried. Percy closed his eyes.
"I'm scared, Nico."
"I know." Nico took his hand. Percy gritted his teeth. The tears came anyway. "Percy, you're strong and healthy. You'll get through this."
"After everything…what am I supposed to say to my mom?" Percy leaned up and rubbed his eyes. "Gods, I-I'm…I'm scared. I don't want to die. I'm twenty-three. I don't want to die." Percy grabbed his hair. "I…" Percy looked at Nico.
"I won't let you." Nico assured. Percy turned when Dr. Kareem returned.
"I called. He said he has an opening at three o'clock." Dr. Kareem smiled reassuringly. "Percy, you have good odds. You're a healthy, strong young man." Percy nodded absently. Despite their encouraging words, the news wasn't any easier to swallow and he had no idea how he was going to get through this.
AN: I like the idea of Nico taking care of Percy. Having demigods deal with a mortal problem also intruged me so those two things made this!
Also partially inspired by 50/50.