The steady buzzing sound Will had been hearing, it turned out, was not someone drilling a hole into his head. He supposed he should have been happy about that, but as he cracked an eye open and caught sight of the flashing light signalling a guest, he thought he'd prefer the slow and painful death.
Lifting his head from his pillow with a superhuman effort, he managed to croak out “Buzzer.” in a voice more suited to an eighty year old war veteran than a twenty three year old medecine student.
The actual eighty year old war veteran in the flat, it seemed, was even less pleased by the interruption. Will pressed his head back into the pillow, hoping fervently the thing would die a fiery death, Instead, the noise seemed to intensify.
It didn't take him very long to crack.
“Di Angelo!” Will shout/whispered, groaning at the lack of response. Fine, then. He was hardly surprised.
He pushed himself out up, sitting unsteadily, then pushed himself up in one swift motion before he could fall back asleep. He stumbled towards the door, pausing to look back at Nico, who was sprawled out on the bed, then did a double-take when he noticed said Italian watching him back.
“Didn't want to get up.” Nico mumbled lazily, although it sounded more like “din wan get uh” from under the covers. Scowling, Will flicked on the lights with a vengeance, hissing as his eyes adapted to the light. Nico's scandalized yelp made it worth the pain.
As he finally approached the infernal device, Will reflected that he was probably going to murder whatever sadist was prowling about at- what, 6 am?- in the morning. Flicking the intercom on with a frown, he prepared himself to kick the victim's ass into Tartarus.
“What. The actual fuck. Do you want.”
Jason didn't know who was the completely insane person who'd spread the myth that children of Apollo were sweet. Probably the same idiot who'd said that Cupid was adorable. Octavian had been so nasty he was practically on the level of Iggy Whatever's rapping skills. Will Solace, on the other hand, for all his sunny demeanour, was probably one of the most terrifying demigods Jason knew when he was sleep deprived. This terrifying aspect, it seemed, mostly became clear in the early morning. Or, specifically, at six am. Jason winced.
“Uh, Will? It's Jason.”
The silence that followed seemed to physically suck the heat out of the air. Jason wondered, vaguely panicked, if Nico's powers could rub off on people. “Well,” Piper's voice supplied, “Some parts of Nico are obviously rubbing off on Will. Wink wink nudge nudge.” Before he could pinch himself, Will's voice pulled him back to reality.
“Grace. It is six am. It is also a Saturday morning.” Will paused, then snapped: “ARE YOU COMPLETELY INSANE?”
Jason clutched his ears as a stray dog looked up and gave him a judgemental stare. In his defence, Apollo children were probably the loudest creatures in existence.
“I know, I know, I'm really sorry, I just need to talk about...Reyna.”
“Well guess what? I just need to GET SOME SLEEP, SO YOU CAN GO SHOVE YOUR TALK UP WHERE MY DAD DOESN'T SHINE-”
Will's probably horrendously foul tirade was cut off by mumbling in the background, followed by hisses of conversation. Finally, Nico di Angelo's tired voice crackled over the speaker.
“Twenty minutes, Grace. You're lucky I got some last night.”
Jason sputtered, half in thanks and half in protest, but the door had already buzzed for him to open.
When Jason knocked on the flat's door, Will wished desperately, and not for the first time, that he could have gotten the death glare power instead of Nico. Nico, tragically, was way too forgiving concerning people interrupting Saturday morning sleeping sessions.
Will was really going to have to dig up some medical proof concerning the vitality of Saturday morning sleeping sessions.
“Hi. Sorry again, Will, I-”
“Stop talking, Grace, I'm trying to be annoyed here.” Will sighed, looking away from Jason's disgustingly earnest face. Thank Hera Jason hadn't ended up with charmspeak- his Boy Scout charm was already strong enough as it was.
Jason gave him a sheepish smile, then stilled as Nico stumbled into the room, hair sticking up wildly and eyes blurry.
It was really, really not fair that Nico, in a pair of blue pyjamas he'd seen all week, incoherent and half-asleep, still managed to make Will lose track of what he'd been thinking. Nico with charmspeak...Now that was an idea. Not that the guy didn't already have Will wrapped around his finger, but if the Aphrodite cabin ever wanted to give someone a makeover, they would have a field day with Di Angelo's cheekbones.
“I'd like to avoid falling over mid-conversation, so if we could sit...” Nico yawned, walking past them both and flinging himself on the sofa. Will, snapping out of it, dropped down next to him as Jason sat across them in the horribly uncomfortable rocking chair that Will's mother had insisted on dropping off at their place.
When they'd all settled in, Nico waved his hand in a gesture that seemed to indicate “speak, slave”.
Jason, who (now that Will was awake, or at least more awake) did actually seem a bit stressed, (although that didn't stop him from looking like he'd been up saving puppies from a burning building since three am) shifted.
“Piper and I had a fight about Reyna.”
Will groaned, too loudly, just as Nico's eyes flashed. Before either of them could interrupt, however, Jason rushed on.
“Not like that, though! She was...Well, basically, Piper was angry because I have to go on this trip in a few weeks, and she suggested I go with Reyna, but I didn't really want to go with her because it's going to be Valentine's day during the trip and I don't want it to be awkward and then Piper got angry because she said I was a- well, anyway, she said I was acting like an idiot and I just don't want to make things worse so I don't know what to do.”
There was a pause, and then Jason clenched his jaw.
“Plus I think Reyna's been flirting with Thalia, so.”
Will, who'd sleepily been attempting to make sense of Jason's speech, couldn't help but snort with surprised laughter. Nico, by his side, nudged him, but his lips quirked.
Still, the son of Hades looked as serious as he ever got when he sat up straighter: “Jason. First of all: why are you discussing this with Will and I instead of, I don't know, Piper? You know, your girlfriend of Zeus knows how many years? Who is, in fact, a highly intelligent person? And friends with Reyna?”
Jason sighed, rubbing at his cheek.
“I know, I know, I just felt like...Pipes wanted me to do it on my own...”
“So you came to ask us?” Will asked, maybe a bit too loudly. Nico snickered, hiding his face in Will's shoulder as he recomposed himself.
Jason, meanwhile, had flushed.
“No, I- I just thought Nico could help, because he and Reyna are close, you know?”
Nico's eyes softened slightly. Will watched him fondly as he mused, starting to talk several times and cutting himself off. Finally, he turned to Jason with a very serious expression.
“Look, Jason. You and Reyna have gotten much, ah, closer, since the end of the whole Gaea thing. And you've also managed to surmount the awkward- which, by the way, I still take credit for.” He paused to smirk at Jason, who raised his hands in surrender. “I think all you need to do here is just talk to her. You guys were best friends once- sure, there was your obligatory heteronormative romance, but you were friends.”
“Hear, hear!” Will exclaimed, grinning when Nico flicked his forehead.
“The point is: talk to her. Take her on the trip if you want, and buy her a disgustingly cheesy teddy-bear, which she will hate and cherish forever, and say 'listen, dude, you're great and I love you and I want us to be cool, so have fun banging my sis-”
Conversation ceased for a moment as Nico started laughing, Will soon following suit as Jason sputtered.
The son of Jupiter scowled at their amused expressions when they fell silent.
“Great, guys. Just rub it in my face, won't you?”
“Is that what Thalia said?” Will asked, face carefully neutral.
It took a moment for them to react, and then Nico nearly choked on air and Jason went scarlet.
Will grinned triumphantly as Nico clutched his arm, shaking with laughter. Over Nico's breathless laughter, Jason was protesting loudly.
“Are you even serious?! Is it physically impossible for you to refrain from making dirty jokes? It can't possibly be that hard-”
“Ah, and that's what Nico said last night.” Will mused.
This time, Jason practically screeched, burying his face in a pillow. Will, laughing too, would have almost felt bad for him, were it not for the fact that Nico was now shaking with quiet laughter, gasping for air between vaguely hysterical choked sounds.
Jason threw a pillow at them with scarily accurate aim, hitting Will square on the nose. Unfortunately for him, that only served to make them laugh louder as Will toppled over, landing on Nico's shoulder with a surprised 'oof'.
“Seriously, no. I hate you. You are terrible, terrible people, who deserve to be tied- Damnit, now it all sounds like innuendo!”
“Oh, no, Jason,” Nico managed, clutching Will's shirt to pull himself up, “Do tell us about what you'd like to do with a rope!”
This earned him a pillow to the face, too, which he managed to avoid by ducking and letting Will be hit instead.
It took a few minutes for them both to calm down, tangled together and bursting out laughing every time they looked at each other, while Jason, poor sweet child that he was, groaned in the background.
“Okay, okay.” Nico sounded a bit breathless, and his lips were twitching, but he was more or less composed. “In all seriousness: if you value your friendship, tell her. Just talk to her. Reyna is Reyna, okay? She's deal with everything and probably defeat the next-gen rip-off version of Gaea single-handedly while she talks to you.”
Jason nodded, somehow managing to look both serious and grateful as he did so. “I will. Thank you.”
Nico smiled. “No problem. And while we're at it, do you want coffee? We can play video games while the kettle boils.”
“You said twenty minutes...” Jason half-questioned, looking over at Will.
Will shrugged, gesturing to Nico. “Hey, I don't have a death wish. Let the heartless man have his way.”
Nico sneered very convincingly, prodding Will with his foot. “Rise, slave.”
“Nope. I had to get the buzzer this morning.”
“Ugh. You suck.”
“PLEASE DON'T.” Jason exclaimed rather frantically, before they'd even thought about it.
Nico snickered, hauling himself up and stretching. He always looked rather feline when he stretched, sinewy form and smooth skin. “I'll get the kettle. You get the game.”
“It's been, like, months since I've last played.” Jason warned. “Every time we play, Piper wipes the floor with my sorry ass, and every time I try to play alone she suddenly appears out of nowhere like a vengeful force of nature.”
“She can smell your fear.” Will said, half-seriously, as he pulled himself up and ambled over to their TV.
“Probably.” Jason agreed.
By the time Nico arrived with coffee, the topic had considerably changed.
“...not! Nico, defend me here- I do not in any way resemble Octavian, do I?”
Nico rolled his eyes as he handed them their drinks.
“You're both sons of Apollo. There's some resemblance. But obviously you're considerably more attractive than the creepy, dead looking, pale version of an Apollo kid.”
Will, seizing the opportunity, promptly channelled his inner dudebro and said: “What do you mean he's not your type?”
At the uncanny resemblance to Percy, both Jason and Nico started laughing.
“Oh, Aphrodite.” Jason said, grinning. “I think it's the dumbfounded expression that does it.”
“I am aghast, Jason. Are you not defending your truest friend in these times of need?”
Jason, in mock horror, brought a hand to his chest. “I would never dream of abandoning Percy!”
“This week, on straight dudes...” Will mocked, in a TV presenter voice.
“I wanna get hitched with you, bro. No homo though.” Nico completed, laughing.
Will choked on his coffee just as he took a sip. Jason merely snorted.
At that moment, the buzzer made another unearthly sound.
Will and Nico both got to their feet, then ran to the buzzer in a semi-ironic battle for power.
“Hello?” Nico asked, grinning triumphantly as he pressed the button.
“Hi, is this the meeting spot for the orgy?” Piper's faux serious voice asked. Jason stilled in the background.
“Depends, who wants to know?” Will asked back, voice an exaggerated purr.
There was laughter from the other end, and then Piper asked: “In all seriousness, could the two sinful heretics please inform me of the whereabouts of one Jason Grace?”
“Only sinful? I'm offended.” Nico said, just as Will gave a gasp and proclaimed in a very Southern accent that he was a “hawnest, law-abidin' citizun”.
This time, even Jason joined in when Piper cackled.
“I think we've seen him around.” Nico added, casting Jason a questioning glance.
“Seen him around or, ah, seen him around? Because I will feel very betrayed that I wasn't invited if it was the second.” Piper shot back. Will choked.
“Yeah, well, that one time with Percy, things just got wild..” Nico said, his tone practically oozing fake sweetness. Will, almost crying with laughter, doubled over again when Nico fluttered his eyelashes in Jason's direction, as the poor guy spluttered indignantly.
“Zeus almighty, stop talking!” Jason exclaimed, rushing to the intercom. “Hi, Pipes.”
Nico and Will both sobered up, slightly, at the anxious tone he'd adopted.
“Mister Grace.” Piper replied, mock politely.
“Listen, Piper, I'm sorry we fought- I didn't mean it the way I said it, and it was stupid of me to assume-”
“Chill, Jace. I know. I figured a talk with the resident psychologists would help.”
“I resent that statement.” Will managed, pulling a face.
“I'm just disappointed that you two didn't kick him out, honestly.” Piper added, snickering.
“Believe me, so am I.”
Before they could continue, Jason interrupted them: “So we're...OK?”
Piper sighed fondly. “Jason, c'mon. On our first meeting you saved me from plummeting to a certain death. I don't think this kind of thing is going to split us up.”
Jason grinned, relieved, turning more teasing as the worry faded. “You're right. Your undying love for Annabeth and Reyna will.”
Piper snorted. “Oh, please. We ain't got nothing on you and Percy.”
“And WE ain't got the time to let you two flirt through our intercom.” Nico interrupted. “Come upstairs or leave.”
“Says the guy who literally banged Will in my cabin once.” Jason muttered, pulling a face when he thought about it.
“I'm coming up!” Piper announced, Will pressing the button to let her in before throwing himself back on the couch.
“I am way too awake for a Saturday morning.” He complained, burying his face in Nico's shoulder when the other demigod settled down next to him.
“Tell me about it.” Nico yawned. “I feel like death.” A pause. “Pun not intended.”
When Will and Jason both glared at him, he relented. “OK, pun slightly intended.”
The two groaned in unison, just as Piper let herself in.
“William. Nicholas. Jason.”
Now it was Nico and Will's turn to protest.
“My mother doesn't even call me William, what the hell, Piper?”
“My name isn't even Nicholas!”
“Please,” Piper snorted. “You didn't have to put up with what Jason did. The opportunities with Grace are neverending.”
“Oh, Apollo. Please don't.” Jason said immediately, as the room stilled suspiciously. “No, guys, I'm begging you. Or threatening you. Don't.”
“Do what?” Will asked, the picture of innocence, as Nico very softly started humming.
“No. NO. GUYS.”
Piper and Will joined in with the humming, progressively humming louder.
“For the love of Hestia.”
The singing only intensified from there. Will reached over to pat Jason sympathetically on the knee as Piper and Nico abandoned their heartfelt duet to dissolve into laughter.
Piper was very amused. Of all her friends, the couple she loved the most was probably still Will and Nico. Hazel and Frank were an adorable, ass-kicking couple, and Percy and Annabeth were so married, but as a couple Will and Nico were hilarious. Not only did they act like a tired and sarcastic power couple half of the time, but the other, they acted like giggling love-stuck teenagers. Most of the time, they acted like a mix of both; always immensely comfortable around around one another, always ready to collectively slam someone, and always prepared to make everyone in the area uncomfortable.
The other guys were usually their preferred victims. Though Percy was usually amused, they also managed to make him crack a few times by acting horribly cheesy. Frank got flustered at any PDA regardless of the couple, so they mostly took pity on him. Leo, who got grossed out by it, was relentlessly and constantly assaulted by them making out in front of him. Poor Jason, however, who was a beautiful, pure cinnamon roll too good for this world, had the misfortune of being Piper's boyfriend, meaning that she highly encouraged people teasing him.
Right now, she recognized their game as “how much more almost-making out can we get away with before Jason cracks”, and by the looks of things it wasn't going to last very long.
“...And basically, Reyna wants us to, uh- I...” Jason trailed off, averting his eyes and clearing his throat.
“Reyna wants you to what?” Will asked, looking supremely interested even as Nico sat practically in his lap, head buried in Will's neck.
“She-uh, wants us to open, uh communications with-”
“Yeah?” Nico encouraged, twisting around slightly to look at Jason, Will's hand disappearing from his side to pull him closer.
“I-” Piper, smiling lightly, chose this moment to pat Jason's arm. He nearly fell of the couch.
Immediately, Will and Nico burst out laughing, falling off each other as Nico hid his face in his hands and Will threw his head back.
Jason, letting his head drop, groaned.
“You people- Piper, you are the actual worst girlfriend ever.”
Then, raising his head as Piper laughed: “First the innuendo, then the singing, now this. I'm telling Reyna to ban you all from Camp Jupiter, and I'm exiling myself.”
“But, Jason,” Will managed, “Reyna likes Nico more than she likes you.”
“And she likes seeing you embarrassed.” Nico added, trying to stifle his laughter.
“And she thinks I'm hotter than you,” Piper giggled, “And she's probably banging your sister.”
“I give up. I'm leaving.” Jason managed, standing up and heading for the door.
“But Jason, we love you!” Will cried after his retreating form, as Nico collapsed again.
“Oh, Aphrodite,” Piper managed, when they'd calmed down. “He's never interrupting your sleep again.”
“That was cruel,” Nico grinned, “But I think the point came across fairly eloquently.”
“Hey, but thanks, in all honesty, OK? I'm glad Jason has you guys to talk to.” Piper added, smiling fondly at them both.
“Nico gives the advice. I just glare at whoever it is.” Will laughed.
“And you call yourself a medic.” Nico tutted.
“Psychology isn't a part of-!”
Will paused, scowling at Nico's twitching lips.
“You are not making me go on a rant again, you treacherous being.”
“You guys are adorable.” Piper stated frankly, getting up, causing them both to blush and smile in a 'well I know he is but what am I' sort of way.
She ran down the stairs after promises of meeting up some time, finding Jason waiting outside.
“Stay safe, kids! Use protection!” Nico called after her, making her cackle and Jason turn scarlet.
Will laughed in the background.
As they exited into the street, Piper reached for Jason's hand, intertwining their fingers.
“I have terrible taste in friends.” Jason sighed, failing to hide his smile.
“On the contrary,” Piper grinned. “You have exquisite taste. I'm afraid you just make things too easy sometimes, Grace.”
“Is that so?”
“I'm taking that as a challenge, McLean.”
“Wow,” Nico dead-panned, staring at the two through their window. “Gay.”
“Says the flaming homosexual.” Will sniped, resting his head on his shoulder.
“Shut up, Solace.”
Will was still kind of laughing when Nico turned around and kissed him, but he figured it didn't matter. He had all the time in the world to kiss him properly- it was only Saturday morning.