“I’m not drunk,” Nico insists, putting a hand on Will’s chest in a feeble attempt to hold off his advance.
Will reaches for Nico’s cup with one hand, which is proven difficult seeing that Nico has it tucked into his chest like a beloved childhood toy, and pries away the hand pressed against his chest with the other, keeping it held tightly in his grasp so his boyfriend doesn’t fall off the barstool he’s sitting in. “Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not!” Nico straightens up in his seat, and Will watches on with amusement as his expression shifts from angry to proud. “Besides, I’m the Ghost King. Ghost King’s don’t get drunk.”
“Whatever you say, my liege,” Will drawls out sarcastically, swinging his free arm out in front of him in a mock bow.
Nico gives a curt nod, clearly satisfied with himself. He looks at Will for a moment before breaking out in a mischievous smile; Oh no. Fear instantly bubbles in Will’s gut as Nico says his next words: “Besides, if I were drunk, would I be able to do this?”
Will’s world is instantly clouded in darkness. He feels as if he’s been launched by the world’s largest slingshot, the heavy scent of alcohol and loud pop music long behind him, quickly replaced by the scent of dry air and the sound of fast winds roaring in his ears. He squeezes his eyes shut, even though it doesn’t make a difference, and tightens his grip on Nico’s hand. It’s only when he feels his feet land on solid ground does he open his eyes.
The scene in front of Will is not one he recognizes. It’s a large city– a bustling, architecturally advanced metropolis that is caught somewhere between late-morning and early afternoon, judging by the sun’s location in the sky. Will could’ve easily mistaken it for New York if it wasn’t for the Japanese characters strewn across all the advertising signs and the mostly Asian civilians around him speaking in the same rapid-fire language. It seems no one has noticed them quite literally form out of nothing, and it is times like these where Will can fully appreciate the power of the Mist.
Will swallows hard to fight back the nausea, though he can’t quite figure out what it’s stemming from: the shadow traveling experience itself or the fact that Nico had flung them so far from home. “I think we’re in Tokyo,” he says.
Nico gives a heavy sigh and hangs his head in shame, wisps of black curls falling over his eyes. “I was aiming for the apartment.” He stumbles over to Will and rests his head on his shoulder. “I’m sorry.”
Will smiles and curls his arm around Nico’s torso. Despite the situation, he can’t help but feel a little impressed. Eight years ago, Nico would’ve been reduced to darkness from a jump this big, but now, according to him, it just makes him tired. “We’ll just have to stay here until your well enough to take us back home. I don’t want to risk you shadow traveling again.”
“But I can do it!” Nico pulls away from Will’s hold and takes a step back to allow a bit of distance between them. He stumbles in his effort, and Will instinctively grabs hold of his arm to keep him from toppling over. “I swear, this time I’ll make it!” he says. The sentence is punctuated by a large yawn, which really doesn’t serve anything to help his case.
“Not in this state, you won’t," Will says. "I can’t have you melting into a puddle of darkness.”
Nico clasps his hands together in plea and leans in so close that Will can smell the vodka and orange juice on his breath. “Please, Will? I’ll focus extra, extra hard.”
Will gives him his best glare, the one he usually reserves for swollen-headed medical interns, and crosses his arms in front of his chest. Even when drunk, he has no sense of self-preservation. “No, Nico.”
Nico physically deflates, mouth curled into a cute little pout, and for a split second, Will finds it hard to deny him. “But–”
Will closes his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose. Some situation they’re in. What is he going to even say to his boss? ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t come in for work today, my boyfriend drunkenly teleported us to another country with no way to get back?’
In a last ditch effort, Will sends prayers to Hermes and Apollo, although in Apollo’s case, thinks of it in haiku form, figuring his dad would get some amusement out of it and have more reason to assist them:
Stuck in Tokyo
With a very drunk boyfriend
Please father, help me.
Now Nico is swaying on his feet; he has a clenched fist rubbing at his right eye, and he looks dangerously close to passing out. “Are you mad?” he asks through another yawn.
“No, I’m not mad,” Will says sincerely, putting a hand on his shoulder. “It was an accident. We just have to find somewhere to crash for the night until you’re up on your feet again. It’s gonna be fun finding somewhere to transfer American dollars into yen to pay for a hotel.”
“I can pray to Dad,” Nico mumbles, leaning on Will for support. “Godda riches n’ all that.”
“Okay,” Will says. “In the meantime, let’s try to find somewhere to sit for a while. I don’t think you’re gonna last any longer standing up.
Will is a little shocked when Nico just nods. Compliancy is not his strong suit. “Okay,” he says, “But, uh, Will? My feet kind of hurt, and I actually feel a little woozy so …”
Will bites back a smile and turns his back towards him. “Hop on.”
Nico whoops in glee and jumps on his back, looping his arms over his shoulders. “Thanks, Will.” Will hooks his arms under his legs and heads down the unfamiliar streets of Tokyo, carrying his drunk boyfriend the entire way.