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Coffee Conceptions

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Normally… you wouldn’t find a guy like Nico di Angelo doing such an everyday job like serving customers at a coffee shop. He was the type of person who tended to like black, grim concepts, gothic metal, and dark fiction… and was someone completely intrigued by death. It wasn’t really his fault though. His parents dealt with such things daily. His mother was a surgeon and his father was a mortician, even his elder sister was getting well versed in such things. She was on her second or third year of veterinary school, sure it wasn’t the human kind but death was all the same for humans and animals. Despite his interest in such things, he was actually not pursuing that line of work himself. He was a freshman in college and majoring in classic art and literature, more curious on seeing if he could make it in something more of an artistic taste. He wasn’t the only one in his family trying something different either. His adopted younger sister, Hazel, was pursuing a career in archaeological pursuits. She too was a freshman in the same college despite being a year younger than Nico himself, she graduated a year early.

 

Enough on that, however, and back to the coffee shop. Being a college student, Nico was fairly poor but the job paid enough to keep him going with groceries and had flexible hours considering everyone who worked there were college student themselves aside from perhaps the manager. Reyna never mentioned her age and the other baristas never asked her age either. Aside from Nico himself… there were about six or seven others working in the shop that he knew of. Annabeth took morning shifts alongside Rachel and Piper since their classes were either in the afternoon or evening. Jason, Leo, Thalia, and Frank generally shifted in who was on a shift when depending on the day of the week. Nico himself generally had morning or afternoon though on weekends he also worked evenings whenever someone had different plans and couldn’t work. He didn’t really mind it most of the time since he could do most of his homework during his breaks or before he went to bed… and he needed the money anyway. While his family made good money, his father was all about making your own way in things. So he received a limited amount of money per month for emergencies and was left to fend for himself with day to day necessities.

 

One morning, Nico was working with Annabeth, Thalia, and Jason as the other girls were studying for major essays coming up and the four of them didn’t have any morning classes of their own that day so it was a quiet shift with the occasional sibling jabs between Jason and Thalia while Nico and Annabeth simply cleaned up the counters or floors for something to do. Mornings were rarely slow but today seemed to be an exception. None of them minded though, considering the late night Nico himself served and the fact he was pretty sure Jason had a long night of studying too it was more of a godsend for them all than anything.

 

Having been lost in thought a while after finishing the floors and waiting at the register while the others got ready for classes and switching over for afternoon shifts, (Nico was working 8am to 3pm today so he still had a few hours till he left himself), the raven didn’t even notice there was a customer till a hand waved in front of his face and a cheerful question on if he was ‘sleeping with his eyes open or stuck deep in thought’ brought him back to the present where he hurriedly muttered an apology and focused at the cash register to regain his thoughts and kill the mild embarrassment. “Welcome to Olympus, what can I get you?” He asked before finally looking up and momentarily freezing. Good gods, the guy who had come in was attractive, not just the regular kind either… the sculpted athletic kind that was lean and tan and all around the worst kind of attractive Nico had ever faced. It was his type, which was fairly dangerous as it often leads the dark haired male down a road of definite depression and heartbreak. He’d been there before… it wasn’t pleasant.

 

It was no secret to most that he wasn’t really one who generally stuck to the norm of modern day life either, especially when his sexuality came into play. At least it wasn’t to his friends here. But he wasn’t one for open rejection before he could say anything or even know what he was feeling… So before the green eyed male could notice Nico was staring at him with his mouth hanging open and a mild flush forming on his cheeks, the raven turned around and busied himself with the coffee machine and restacking cups while the other decided his order. After several moments, Nico heard the other chuckle and cast a glance over his shoulder to see what was so funny.

 

“You know… I don’t even know what I want to order. Do you have anything you could recommend?” Asked the other with a gentle smile that did absolutely nothing but worsen the shorter’s attraction towards him. Nico coughed lightly like he might have had something stuck in his throat and turned when he was sure his expression was once again the usual neutral one he wore when facing customers.

 

“Uh… yeah… um…” He cast his glance to the specials menu before pointing out one he found he liked in particular whenever he was a customer himself. “The Black Eye is pretty good if you don’t mind a bitter taste… otherwise you might want to try something with caramel or a latte. Or something along those lines.” He stated with a mild shrug. A moment or two later found him tapping out the beat of one of his favored songs to keep relaxed seeing as Mr. way-more-attractive-than-should-be-legally-possible was taking a while to decide. When he thought the taller male was never going to decide on his order, the elder suddenly smiled and tapped on the counter once.

 

“I’ll take the first thing you suggested. I’m not really a fan of bitter tastes but I need something to keep me focused on my class so maybe the shock will help keep me alert.” If the other raven wasn’t doing enough to Nico’s state of mind he just had to go and wink at him as he said that. Seriously, how was this guy even a real person? People don’t wink at him like that… it was like some absolute rule of existence. No one took an interest in the odd, dark, and creepy gothic kid. Absolutely no one. It was just something that doesn’t happen. Then again… he could have imagined the wink… in fact… yeah. Let’s go with that. He imagined the wink. Mentally shaking himself, Nico nodded again and turned one more to fix the damn coffee while scolding himself repeatedly over feeling attracted to guys that were more than way out of his league.

 

Only when it was several hours later and Nico was lying in his bed while trying to fall asleep that the small raven realized he might have been doomed the moment he met that older raven’s eyes… considering that rather than sleeping like he should, he found himself thinking more and more of the other male and his cheerful smile. Not only that but he was also thinking about the fact he completely missed the other’s name and kind of sort of really wanted to know what it was. Yeah… he was pretty much doomed. He never thought this long about someone… except maybe once before. But that was a memory he rather not visit and bring to light several awkward moments and thoughts he never really wanted to have about his best friend again. Not that it was bad or anything… just really really really awkward. He didn’t like being awkward in things involving people he was good friends with.

 

He sighed faintly and decided he may as well ask tomorrow, he was pretty damned sure Jason might have saw him when he was talking to the guy since he remembered a flash of short blond hair in a far corner that lead into the kitchen. So with the thought of asking his friend in the morning, Nico drifted off into an uncomfortable uncertainty plagued sleep.

Chapter Text

That morning before his classes… Nico had learned five things about the attractive guy from the previous afternoon. One… His name was Perseus Jackson, nicknamed Percy, and liked Greek/Roman mythology. Two… he was captain of the swim team and an avid fan of aquatic life. Three… He was a senior like Jason and he’d gone to High school with pretty much everyone in the younger raven’s friend circle yet still managed to not meet Nico till the previous day. Four… he really liked the color blue and was surprisingly childish if it was true that he really liked Disney movies as well. He trusted his friends to be honest so it was likely definite… Which hadn’t helped Nico’s case considering how he thought it was really kind of cute. And Five… he wasn’t as Straight as the younger male feared if the embarrassed expression on Jason’s face when he first asked about him and mentioned he might like him more than should be possible, considering the chances he was playing the same team was likely zero, was anything to go by. He knew that expression on the blond’s face after all; it was one that told him there might have been something between the two of them at some point… Jason even confirmed it a moment later when he mentioned there was one time in high school that didn’t really work out but he was pretty certain the chances weren’t as hopeless as Nico originally thought they were.

 

Shaking his head, Nico then turned his thoughts ahead and focused on getting to his class on time. Getting lost in thought was a common and troubling habit of his so it could only be a matter of time that he’d end up embarrassing himself in front of this newfound crush and boy, was it a time. Moments before he shook his thoughts, the raven took a turn and ended up crashing right into someone on accident and spilt both their books all over the floor while a hand at his lower back steadied him and prevented Nico himself from joining said books on the floor. He muttered an apology before glancing up and freezing once more. Shit shit shit. He thought to himself as his face lit up and he quickly ducked down to gather the books that had fallen while thinking it was some cruel joke from the powers above that made him run into Percy Fucking Jackson himself while thinking about him at the worst possible time.

 

“Sorry, Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.” He mumbled and tried not to notice when the taller actually knelt down beside him to help pick things up and put them all back in their rightful places. Again… was this guy seriously real who did this kind of stuff in real life? Seriously? Yeah it was a clichéd scene from every teen romance novel ever but really? This kind of thing never actually happened to people. He heard a little chuckle to the right where Percy was helping him pick up before the other male paused and leaned back on his haunches to speak.

 

“It’s cool dude. Don’t worry about it; part of it was probably my fault anyway.”

 

He even grinned when he said that. Gods, this really had to be one of the worst and best things in his entire life. “No it’s fine. It is my fault. I really wasn’t watching where I was going.” Nico returned, finally looking up to meet that warm green gaze. This really sucked… especially when that gaze widened in mild recognition and a bright smile stretched over the senior’s lips.

 

 “Hey, you’re that barista from the other day. Right? Sorry I never introduced myself, I was kind of in a hurry to get to class. I’m Percy, Percy Jackson… you’re… Nico… right?”

 

He sure hadn’t seemed to be in much of a hurry considering how long he had taken to order his coffee but Nico just nodded. “Yeah… I know… um… nice to meet you I guess?” He stated awkwardly while tapping the fallen materials together and passed Percy his own while getting a small stack in return.

 

“Yeah. Nice to meet you. That coffee was perfect by the way. Helped me get all the way through my first class which I usually have trouble doing. So thanks for the suggestion.”

 

Ahh… more grins. Did this guy get any less perfect and cheerful… ever? Nico kind of doubted it. “Yeah… um… no problem?” He returned a little awkwardly before standing up and glancing around them. “Um… thanks for helping me pick everything up too. I need to get to class so… I guess I’ll see you around?” Not likely considering their classes wouldn’t usually have the same halls or anything but he supposed he’d probably see him at the café every once in a while.

 

“Yeah, me too. See you around, Nico.”

 

One last grin aimed his way and the green eyed male was off on his business once more. Nico sighed faintly, checked the clock, cursed quietly, and hurried on to his class.

 

***                                    ***                                       ***

 

It wasn’t until he was working a later shift that he saw Percy again after that. He was just getting off his break when the other raven stepped into the shop and sent a smile his way. He quickly glanced down a moment and pretended to wash the counter next to the cash register before looking up and nodding to the older male. “What can I get you today?” He asked after a minute, seeing as the other seemed to be waiting on that.

 

“Ah, Yeah. Can I get a Caramel Mocha? I have some late studying to do and it should help get me through.”

 

Percy sent him a wry smile after speaking which lent Nico the information that he possibly didn’t like studying. He didn’t seem like the type either so it made sense to the younger male if he didn’t. Might as well ask right…? “So… you don’t seem happy about that. Guess you aren’t the studying type?” He questioned when he turned back with the other male’s coffee.

 

“Mm. I tend to put it off a lot and forget about it. Annabeth reminded me earlier that there’s a quiz in one of my classes that I mentioned to her last week. So she threatened me to start studying today and get at least a ‘b’ or else she’d force me into a group study session for a month”

 

Percy made a face at that while Nico bit the inside of his cheek to keep himself from laughing. It did seem like a very Annabeth thing for the blond to do. After quickly learning several of his friends were acquainted and friends with the male before him, he’d come to get a feel of how each of his friends might treat Percy within their circle. He was a popular person among them for sure… he even had a suspicion that Percy and Annabeth might have had a thing in high school as well from how she spoke about him when he asked them that one morning but it didn’t seem like it followed them to college since he was pretty sure Annabeth was dating a guy who already graduated last year… He couldn’t remember his name or anything but she was pretty happy so… He mentally shook his head to free himself from wandering in his thoughts and looked at Percy again.

 

A moment of observation of the other while he paid, thanked him for the coffee, and began to leave before the shorter raven decided to go out on a limb since feelings aside he wanted to get to know Percy a bit in his own eyes. Plus… he was friends with all of Nico’s own friends… it was kind of awkward he wasn’t friends with Percy himself and it was a good start of things before just jumping in to ask him out. If he could even try to do that in the first place… but anyway. “Hey… Percy…?” He called out softly and got the green eyed male to pause and turn to look at him questioningly. “Do you want to hang out this weekend? You’re kind of friends with most of my friends and it’s sort of weird I haven met or hung out with you myself before so…” He trailed off and reflected he might have sounded sort of stupid while asking that.

 

“Sure, no problem. Wanna meet up somewhere then?”

 

Nico blinked and glanced up to see the other’s beaming smile and felt stupid for feeling stupid since Percy already proved to be a pretty nice and laid back guy… So he shouldn’t have thought the question was stupid in the first place. “Ah, yeah. Do you know the arcade and comic store just outside campus?” Mentally smacking himself for that meet up place since how geeky could someone get? But again his thoughts reprimanded themselves at the older’s next grin.

 

“Yup. I’ve spent a lot of time there myself. So I know the place. See you there.”

 

He tried to keep back a spectacular blush from spreading on his face then. “Yeah. See you there.” He mumbled out as the other male left while sipping his mocha and having not a single clue of how much of an effect he was having on the shorter who simply sighed and turned around while musing about how far he was dooming himself with this.

Chapter Text

 

There were three things that Nico noticed as soon as he arrived at the game place, One… He was early by about thirty minutes (he caught Percy once earlier and figured out a time to meet like they forgot to the evening before) and Percy himself was already there. Two… Percy was tapping his feet and rapping his fingers with a humming smile to the music coming from the overhead speakers outside the store, the sorter recognizing it as one of his favored songs (Paper Wings , By Rise Against ). Three and lastly… the older male was wearing a leather jacket . A black one at that. He could only stare for several moments as he took in the other male in said jacket to save to his memory for maybe forever.

 

It wasn’t a bad look on him for sure, especially since it amplified the appearance of the firm muscles in his arms to the point that it made Nico wonder if he was wearing a t-shirt under the sinfully attractive thing or something. Coughing lightly in his fist, the shorter regained his composure a bit and approached the other male. As soon as he saw him it was like the other male had some weird special smile for him or something, which the younger didn’t allow himself to think on too long, since the older’s expression lit up with a brighter smile than he’d seen so far as soon as he noticed Nico walking awkwardly towards him. It could be just his imagination too though. As it was, the shorter sent a nod the other’s way and glanced around a moment before waving for Percy to follow him inside.

 

Once there, he turned and gave a neutral look in response to the smile, which just made Percy grin. “So… what stuff do you like to play here? And I never expected you to be a leather jacket kind of guy.” He stated lightly with a curious look while he mentally cursed over how much deeper that look alone had doomed him with this senior. Leather and black were both things he really liked so it was extremely attractive and all that harder to avoid feeding this attraction thing he felt towards the other male. After asking his question he turned and wandered over to a nearby comics rack which the older soon joined him at and began to look through as well. At the very least it did seem like the senior had frequented the comic and game store… and not just for the games either.

 

“I kind of like the shooters but the racing and adventure ones are both pretty cool too. Haven’t tried the classic arcade games yet, though. As for the jacket… I don’t wear it around school much but outside I do. It’d be a lot cooler if I was the motorcycle type but I’m not, at least I can’t own one. Never drove one either so I don’t know if I’d like it or not.”

 

He chuckled after that. It was something that kind of embarrassed Nico himself. since he sort of was a motorcycle kind of guy. His dad just wouldn’t let him have one till he had the money to buy and own one himself, made on his own without his family’s help. “Motorcycles are pretty cool.” The shorter returned cautiously, glancing from the corner of his eye and noting Percy’s expression. At the very least, the other raven seemed pretty happy to hear he liked motorcycles though the smaller was unsure why he would be unless--. “But I don’t have or drive one… yet. My father won’t let me get one unless I save the money for it myself. My family is sort of… unique…” He continued, still being a bit cautious with his words. Percy appeared curious which made the younger male a little self-conscious.

 

“I mean… well… my family… we’re the farthest from a poor family you could get but my parents are the type to say ‘work for what you want’ all the time so I had to get in this school on a scholarship. As did my younger sister. I think you know her… Hazel? I have an older sister as well but she goes to a more professional place… the same one as Thalia I think. That private all-girls collage? She’s going to be a veterinarian.” He then debated on telling Percy what his parent’s did or if the other male noticed his slightly morbid wardrobe outside of the coffee shop. Parents can come later, he decided, before going on to say one more thing. “Hazel and I are kind of black sheep in our family she’s my half-sister so she probably has an excuse though…” He gave a small smile. “But I don’t treat her any different than Bianca!” He stated after a little hurriedly as he thought of how that had sounded. “In fact… I probably get along with her better… I haven’t seen Bianca for a couple years already…” He mumbled and looked up with a faint blush as he realized he was sort of rambling too. “Sorry, I was rambling about stuff that isn’t really interesting—“

 

“It’s alright Nico, you don;’t have to worry about it. It was kind of cool to hear about actually. You said you wanted to get to know me better since everyone else in our friend group knows me well but we just met, right? Well it’s the same for me too. Since I don’t know anything about you either.” He winked a bit. “Except maybe your taste in coffee from your suggestions and you like video games and stuff like I do too.” He then laughed which made Nico look down in embarrassment.

 

“Yeah, um, right. Sorry. And I’m strongest in card games or non-technological ones really. Videogames are cool and everything but… I like strategizing and the stories you can do in the RPG kind of games... the table top ones I mean.” He returned before shifting awkwardly and stepping away to browse in another section to cover his blush which seemed to fail considering Percy had followed him over and started browsing as well.

 

“Well, I’m not that familiar for those but I’d like to learn if you feel like teaching me. Would that be alright with you?” Shock was certainly in Nico’s expression now more than the blush was though that had remained at the very least. He hadn’t expected the older male to be interested in that type of thing. Sure Annabeth, Jason, Rachel, and several other friends of theirs (even Thalia) were into that kind of game but he didn’t think Percy would be too.

 

“Uh… sure— I um… I didn’t think you’d be interested, but if you wanted to…” He trailed off before wondering if that was a good idea or not. Percy seemed interested but it’d put them in close quarters once more and he wasn’t sure if he could concentrate properly enough to teach him at first but there was also finding time to teach him and where he’d be able to try it too. But if he could figure all of that out then maybe it’d be alright… maybe. Either way he wasn’t a type to run away after making an agreement so he’d see it through. After that, he then lead Percy towards the card sets area, he could tell him about the card ones first since this was the perfect place to do so. It had everything from card games to comics to video games to all sorts of other geeky merchandise. It probably even had the stuff for the rpgs too but he was going to save that for another time since it did look like there was going to be another time too.

 

For the next couple of hours, Nico taught Percy about Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon tcg, Yu-gi-oh, and his personal favorite Mythomagic before they both began getting hungry. Nico was getting ready for Percy to leave and go have some planned supper with someone or something but was surprised when the other male simply offered to show him a rather good burger place just down the road that Nico had never heard of. “I— um… s-sure.” He nodded and saw Percy flash him a smile before nudging at him to follow as he led the way.

 

Once they got there, Nico took time to look around a few times to take in the place since he’s never been here before. It was a nice place, at least nicer than you expect most burger places to be but he liked it. “It’s… nice.” He stated, meaning his words and glancing up at the other’s bright emerald gaze that seemed to sparkle as he spoke… something that made him think he was imagining things. Either way, he sighed lightly and looked around to find a table. “Do we order first or get the table first?” He asked after a minute.

 

“Order. Then we pick a table while we wait. This place has a great selection too, I promise. I think you’ll like it.” Percy smiled again and led them both to the line. At least it wasn’t really a long one. Which was good as, soon enough, they made their orders and went to wait where they both talked a little more about their interests and Percy provided some information about his own family. Nico learned several things he hadn’t from his friends, like how Percy’s mom was remarried and happy with a guy she met when Percy was only about thirteen. His father was a sailor that traveled a lot but he always got to see him whenever the man came to port in a nearby town and brought the older the occasional souvenir and even spent a day with him to talk and chat about adventures before his father headed back out to sea.

 

Nico also gathered that was one of the reasons he was so interested in the sea and why he was majoring in marine biology though the classes were fairly hard and required a lot of studying. It kind of made the shorter smile a little because it was nice to hear about a happy family even when the family was split like that. It was a warmer family than his own, even if they were all together. Soon, their order was called and the two of them ate in partial silence with the occasional exchange of questions. Nico knew he was falling deeper but he wasn’t quite minding it as much as he had before because he was actually learning about Percy too which made his growing crush more… cherishable… even though he was certain he was going to regret it later.

 

Once they finished eating, the time out together had to end. Nico was working early again and Percy had a lot of studying and homework to catch up on. They walked together till their paths split and separated with an exchange of parting smiles. It had been a good day and Nico was looking forward to the next plans they will be making later on. Nico had gotten Percy’s number too, which made planning a hell of a lot easier to the relief of them both. So with that, he made his way home and went to sleep.

Chapter Text

Several times in the next following weeks the two of them spent a lot of time and hung out together on the weekends with Percy coming regularly to buy coffee that Nico recommended depending on what purpose the older male needed it for during the week. It had become a thing that the younger was now Percy’s regular barista so even if Annabeth or Jason were on duty with him or someone else they all closely knew, the aforementioned friend would say hi and then go get Nico if the darker male was working at the time and was only on break or cleaning duty. Which he usually was as it seemed during the times they had gotten to know one another, Percy had taken note of the shorter’s shift schedule.

 

Nico did wonder the reason behind that… though he wasn’t actively seeking an answer for it. He’d take it as the answers came and no more, no less. It wasn’t hard to anyways, seeing as it was something he tended to take things on a regular daily basis. Thoughts disrupted when a sudden hand waved in front of the shorter’s face, causing him to blink several times in order to return to the present. Right, today was another day at the ‘geek’ shop with Percy. Nico had gotten there first so he’d been waiting while getting lost in his thoughts… “Sorry.” He stated softly, soon being greeted by Percy’s grin and feeling a touch self-conscious over the fact when he should be used to it by now. Only he wasn’t. He doubted he ever could get used to it, at least not when things continued like this.

 

“It’s fine, Neeks. I was just worried your mind got abducted by aliens or something.” Something which was clearly an attempt at humor like nico’s own and an incredible failure at it which ended up making the younger male snort and roll his eyes. “You’re too early to try being as amusing as I am, Jackson.” Nico returned with a little quirk of a smile before giving him a look with a raised brow. “And don’t call me ‘neeks’ it sounds ridiculous.” He added after another moment, not even sure why the older male still tried to pin him with that nickname… he’s already used it several times to have it shot down every time.

 

“Awww… but it really sounds like it suites you though.” Pleaded the older only to be met with a firm expression from the younger which earned Nico a sigh and a poke. “You’re really no fun sometimes Nico.” He added with a smile as the shorter simply gave him a dry look before turning away to scrounge at some cards in the corner in silence for several moments.

 

“Says the man who still watches Disney movies and constantly fanboys about them to me late at night when he’s stuck studying… even though I’m trying to sleep whenever he calls.” Nico stated after a small while of browsing. He felt he could tease him now, considering they’ve spent quite some time together over the past few weeks or months… he wasn’t sure how long it’s been now, only that it’s not been a year yet and  it certainly hasn’t been a few days either. He still hasn’t gone to any group things with his friends and Percy yet though. But he remembered there was some kind of party going on next week at Annabeth and Piper’s shared apartment that everyone was invited to and Piper had insisted he go to or she’d personally hunt him down and bodily drag him there if she had to. So he supposed he’d end up going whether he wanted to or not.

 

As if they were sharing the same thoughts, Percy then asked a question about the party, seeming to have failed to come up with a come-back to Nico’s last shot. “Hey, are you going to Annabeth and Piper’s party next weekend?” A glance up and the raven noticed Percy almost seemed… nervous… Where was this going to go? He couldn’t want to go to the party together… could he? It was a thought that the shorter male could never really imagine even if it really was why Percy was asking him.

 

“Piper threatened to drag me there if I didn’t so I suppose I would be… Why?” He asked after several minutes of watching the older male visibly squirm under his curious gaze. Was… Percy… blushing? No, he couldn’t be… Percy hardly blushed around him so what was this? Was he seriously right in thinking the other might actually be asking him out like he himself had been too afraid to all this time?

 

“Well… I was wondering if you… I don’t know… wanted to go with me?” He finally asked which had Nico’s gaze widening slightly in shock before the other quickly backpedaled with his hands held up in a ‘wait’ action. “I mean as friends! Like… like um… what is it again… Stag? Is that it? But… yeah… Do you want to?” Did he seriously have the gall to try asking him out and when he didn’t answer fast enough to act like he hadn’t meant it in that way at all? Then again, Nico himself probably would have been nervous himself so… he supposed he could try and forgive it this once. (though if it happened again there was no guarantee he wouldn’t end up yelling at him and demanding he ask him seriously rather than acting like an awkwardly nervous school-girl. He was older than him for gods sake.)

 

“Sure, we can go. I was wondering how I was going to get there anyway since it’s a little far for me to walk…” He finally responded with a nod and turning back to the rack with the cards as his thoughts turned and wondered over the possibility that he was right and how he was actually not the first one to fall for the guy this time if his thoughts were actually right that is. By first to fall, he meant he wasn’t the only one looking to be with the opposite party. Sure the Jason thing he had himself was mutual as well but… he felt like he might actually get lucky and have a relationship that lasted. Though it’ll probably all depend on how things went next weekend… he knew there’s going to be alcohol at that party… so he’ll just have to see how everything unfolds and if Percy ends up making a move then or not. At least it seemed like he had something to look forward to as well, be it good or bad.

 

“Now come on… let’s go eat something.” He stated once he straightened and turned to the other male once more. “But this time we’re going to one of my preferred places."

Chapter Text

The week passed fairly quickly after that and before he could realize it, it was the night before and he was helping Hazel decide on what to wear the next day once the party starts. Hazel actually had her own date; Frank… who he soon recalled was one of the others at the coffee shop which he faintly remembered seeing around the card shop as well whenever he visited on his own. From what he knew about him, he was gentle and polite enough that he was pretty sure his sister would be safe with him. If she wasn’t… then… the guy would find out just how scary older brothers could be and he planned to make the point a solid factor the moment he came to pick up his sister. Hazel was protesting him coming to wait at her room just to do that but he wasn’t letting it deter him from doing so anyway. He was still an older brother, so that detailed him to be mildly overprotective as well.

He was pretty sure Hazel was probably flattered by it too, even if she seemed exasperated right now. “I mean it Nico, please don’t try scaring him away. He’s already nervous enough that you don’t like him since we’re dating now, don’t give him a reason to believe it more than he already does. Promise me you won’t and I’ll let you come tomorrow before he picks me up, but only if you can promise that. Otherwise I won’t let you in and I’ll plan a different place to meet him too.” So she figured out his plan to lurk outside her door and scare him that way if she wouldn’t let him in to wait with her… damn it.

“Fine… fine I’ll try not to, but he has to know he needs to be reasonable! He might look innocent on the outside but who knows what he’d do if I wasn’t watching over you.” He might be being a little over the top but hey, Bianca was too far away and was already old enough to take care of herself without having her little brother scaring off potential boyfriends… … or girlfriends… Nico wasn’t sure exactly but he had a feeling Bianca might be a little like himself. So he wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up with someone… but those thoughts aside, he sighed faintly and promised excessively that he won’t try to scare Frank and he’d only be there to wish them well before going to wait on his own ‘date’. He insisted Percy and him weren’t even close to that yet but for some reason Hazel seemed dead-set on calling it a date and wouldn’t hear of any excuses. Just like all those card shop meetings. Another thing she insisted were dates when Percy hadn’t said anything to even him about the subject so he simply gave in and let Hazel think what she wanted to think.

Eventually, she managed to decide on something to wear that she both liked and got Nico’s approval. He also made her promise not to drink anything alcoholic at the party tomorrow before he allowed her to go to bed and headed over to his own dorm room that he happened to share with Leo. He was another at the coffee shop that Nico rarely met with… all he really knew about him was the guy was really into mechanics and happened to fall for any pretty girl he sees the moment he laid eyes on them. Either way, he wasn’t fond of too many people but he was alright with them on an occasional meeting. He was only glad that he just about never saw Leo outside of work… for some reason the latino rarely slept in the dorms, seeming to prefer somewhere else instead.

He didn’t mind it though, in fact…, he was happy about it. Since it gave him the illusion he had the dorm all to himself, which was incredibly perfect seeing as it’s certainly something he preferred over anything else. Quiet and solitude in his own room. A faint yawn left his lips soon after which led him to change into his pajamas and head straight to bed. He didn’t need to pick out clothes the night before himself… since he was naturally stylish when he felt a desire to be.

 

***                                             ***                                               ***

 

Like the week before it, the next day passed quickly enough for them all and soon enough Nico was waiting with Hazel to see his sister’s new ‘boyfriend’. Even knowing him beforehand, it was still a ‘new meeting’ of sorts. It wasn’t long before Frank arrived and after receiving the typical protective brother sentiment both were sent off to head to the party ahead of Nico himself. He sighed lightly, yawning just a little before shaking himself out to prepare to head off to the party with his own particular partner. He didn’t know if he was the only one Percy asked to go ‘stag’ with or not but either way he was as ready as he could be. So with that he headed over to his own dorm to wait on the older raven’s arrival.

About ten minutes after reaching his room, there was a knock at the door that signaled Percy’s own arrival. Taking a breath and straightening his clothes a bit, Nico moved to open the door. Honestly… the shorter had never imagined the elder could possibly look better than he already did… he was wrong. Percy was even more attractive today dressed in nice party clothes and was causing a slight lapse in the connection between the shorter’s mind and mouth so it took a while for him to actually bring himself to even say ‘hello’ without staring too obviously at the other’s outfit. He coughed a moment and looked down before casting his gaze back up to meet the other’s eyes and focus on them more than the rest of him. “Hey…”

“Hey.” A grin from the older male as he glanced Nico over, by the double take and prolonged staring… Nico felt he made a very good choice in tonight’s outfit too. Perfect. “Let’s go, shall we?” The shorter stated after waving a hand in front of the elder’s face a few times to catch his attention and pull it from whatever state his outfit had cast on Percy’s thoughts.

“R-right…” Percy coughed a little and held out a hand for a couple moments before he blinked and slipped it into his pocket with a bit of a sheepish look. Nico raised his brow slightly before shaking his head and pushing the taller male out the door so he can turn and lock it… the whole time hiding a smile as he goes. It really was a good idea to agree to this invitation after all.

“So is it just us going… stag as you called it?” He questioned, glancing around and wondering if more people were simply hiding or if it seriously was just a cover to avoid asking him to be his date directly. To be honest, he really thought it was clear he wasn’t that into girls and such but he supposed it could be simple nerves and a will not to be rejected… who really knew. At least he didn’t mind it.

“Yeah… That alright with you?” Percy asked and casting a small glance Nico’s way which the shorter nodded to. “It’s fine… Probably more comfortable actually.” Nico returned with a nod and moving along to head down the steps that led to the parking lot. Once at the edge of the lot, he glanced back to look at Percy. “So where is your car?” He asked after a moment, hands in his pockets and looking at the older male in mild curiosity.

“Over here, the blue one.” Stated the taller which got a raised brow before Percy lead the way to a fairly nice looking truck that had the shorter male wonder how much it cost as it looked pretty new… like Percy had just gotten it recently. He parted his lips slightly to speak but a moment later the other male explained without him needing to ask. “It’s new, yeah. Finally saved up enough to buy one just a few months ago, looks pretty cool right?” Percy questioned to which Nico just nodded and climbed in once the other male unlocked it.

A fifteen minute drive later, Percy pulled into the driveway and found a good place to park before both he and Nico got out to look around a bit. It was the first time Nico had come to Piper and Annabeth’s shared place, at least it looked like a nice place to live. He sighed faintly, glanced to the taller beside him and took a few steps forward. “Come on, they’re waiting to make sure I came…” He stated in a mild grumble, moving farther forward and up the steps. Percy followed but whenever he looked like he was going to ask a question about what he just said… he stopped him with a raised hand and a shaken head. He’ll tell him later, right now he just wanted to get inside and see how the night goes through. He didn’t care about much else at this point, he was just curious if the older male would make a move tonight or not and if he was imagining things or if Percy was honestly feeling the same about him.

 

***                                       ***                                ***       

 

It wasn’t until a few hours later, with the party half way through, that Nico learned of which end of the spectrum his thoughts lay in correct vs wrong assumptions.  Everyone was drunk, tipsy, or getting there and a small group had formed to play a bazar mixed form of seven minutes in heaven, spin the bottle, and truth or dare.. something which Nico himself had opted out from in favor of the fresh air on the patio. He was getting tired and only had about three or four glasses of the alcohol… nowhere near drunk but he was mildly buzzed with a low persistent energy thrumming beneath the surface of his skin. It was nice… kind of interesting if he’s being honest. He’d closed his eyes and was slowly beginning to nod off when he heard stumbling footsteps making their way all the way to this side of the house and far away from the party.

He wouldn’t have cared much, supposing it was some random partygoer he didn’t know or one of the girls coming to try dragging him into a game if not for the slow purpose the footfalls held at the sound of each step. He was curious, wondering if it was who he thought it may be but… he couldn’t be sure. Oh well, may as well seem at least mildly coherent if someone was coming to join him. So he set his bottle down, leaned heavily against one of the rail columns, and waited.

He didn’t need to wait very long at least. A shadow slowly formed into a person as soon as the other stepped out on the patio, stumbled and tried to regain his balance, nearly face planted on the floor, and attempted to stride right up to the dark-eyed male before practically caging him where he stood. “Percy.” He murmured in greeting, raising one brow as he stared into the taller’s bleary greens that held a small hardness of confidence and determination that seemed odd when compared to the rest of the older’s form.

“Nico…” Percy began, pausing briefly before continuing his apparently pre-prepared speech. “Nico. I didn’t… I didn’t… actually ask anyone else t…to come with me.” He continued, pausing again to reaffirm his resolve and push on… or so it seemed from Nico’s viewpoint. “I… I actually… really… Like you. Like not as friends… I-I mean the other kind and I h…have since the thir…third…? Time we hung out and…and I really…” Another pause and Nico noted that the other was slurring quite a bit with his words and so deemed the older male was completely trashed and was likely not to remember this tomorrow morning. He let him keep going though… by the end he could decide to tell Percy about it next time they met up or do whatever he wanted with him right now and never tell him any of this moment ever happened. It really just depended on how it ended.

“N-nico… I…” It was then that Percy seemed to lose the rest of his train of thought as the other paused for a very long time… like he was searching for the words he wanted but couldn’t find them. Nico only had moments to process this, however, as shortly after that… Percy was suddenly kissing him and he was responding and it was amazing. Though, honestly, that could have been the alcohol still buzzing through his veins but at the current moment… he couldn’t bring himself to care. Instead... he focused on the force of Percy’s lips against his own, bodies connecting chest to chest, his hands pinned down against Percy’s own and simply heat spreading everywhere… from his stomach to his toes to his fingertips and right to his ears.

He thought he groaned rather loudly somewhere between the spreading heat and the moment his thoughts cut clean from the rest of his body but he didn’t focus on much for very much longer either. All he could do was feel and relish in how nicely the two of them seemed to go together, that didn’t even last either though. As soon enough… Percy’s tongue was in his mouth and several other things were going on at once and he just lost track of everything for several moments. It was like he blanked out for a while, the connection between his mind and body short-circuiting completely in favor of several more feelings thrumming through his body as a result.

When he came back to the present, he and Percy were both panting heavily… several marks decorating the shorter’s neck and any parts of bare skin his outfit had given him… and Percy in a similar state. He blinked a little, staring at the marks littering Percy’s own skin and wondering what exactly he was doing and intending to do while blanked out like he had been. He glanced away abruptly, cheeks burning and feeling incredibly flushed and hot and… well other things too. A quick glance down told him at least Percy was feeling very much the same way.

He sighed a bit, tugging the mildly dazed and half-asleep taller male with him as he headed back into the house. Seems like they were staying the night as Percy was in no state to drive and Nico was personally far too exhausted to drive either. It was a good thing Piper had chosen a house with several spare rooms for that very reason. He just needed to figure out where and how they were going to sleep. Might as well let that be a start to the ‘night after’ conversation that’ll likely happen in the morning.