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Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away

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Hello people. I thank all of those who are reading this from the bottom of my heart. It really means a lot to me. This is the first time I'm attempting my hand at writing fanfiction. I have written a few oneshots too but I prefer not to count them. So please be gentle with me. 

I don't know how often I will be posting chapters due to the lack of a proper schedule and ever increasing school work. Probably once or twice a week (mostly weekends), but again it depends on my schedule.    

I'll post an author's note like this one in between if something comes up and I cant update on the allotted time.

Once again, thanks for reading. Your kudos and comments (I accept constructive criticism) will be appreciated.

Cheeerio:)

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“Nico, mi amore! Don’t go out too far!”

Maria called out to the little raven haired boy who was already gallivanting through the park. The five year old couldn’t contain himself and all that pent up excitement just burst out the moment they set foot in the park. Her older daughter Bianca on the other hand stood shyly by her mother’s side not quite ready to mingle with the other kids.

“Go on now, love,” Maria gave the little girl a soft push. “You better make yourself some new friends or you’ll be spending the entire summer cooped up at home with nothing to do.”

Bianca looked at her mother through her lashes. “Will they make fun of me for the way I speak?” Her voice was soft and she spoke in a thick Italian accent. It had been only a few days since they had shifted to the states from Venice.

“Don’t you worry about what others say to you love. If they tease you just ignore them and find someone nicer to play with. I’m sure there are a few kids out there who wouldn’t care about your accent.” Maria pulled out a thick novel from her bag and sat down on the bench from where she could watch her children.

With a reluctant sigh Bianca left her mother’s side and approached a few children who looked about her age.

 ***

Nico had sped off to the far end of the park where he had spotted a sandpit. His raven coloured hair fluttered in the wind falling into his eyes. He stretched out his arms imitating a plane buzzing along as he ran. His olive coloured skin glinted in the evening sunlight and his deep brown orbs shone with childish enjoyment.

The toddler sat himself down in the sand and began piling it up into a small heap. It may have been an insignificant mountain of sand to most but the young boy saw a castle, so tall it shadowed the entire world. He was so engrossed in his work that he didn’t recognize the presence of the other boy who too had found the sandpit interesting.

“Hello.”

Nico jumped knocking down his castle in the progress. He stared at it in dismay before turning to glare at the boy who had scared him.

“Now look at what you have-”  

Nico gasped when his eyes met the other’s. It was like staring into a piece of the sky. His eyes were startlingly blue and thee shorter boy stared into them with awe. It was as though he had broken of a piece of the sky and placed them in his eyes.

“I’m really sorry!” The other boy squeaked. “I didn’t mean to startle you. Here, I’ll help you fix it.”  

Nico continued to stare at the taller boy as he bent down to remake the broken heap. His face was framed by soft golden curls that were in desperate need of cutting. His skin was tanned, as though he spent a lot of time out in the sun.  He seemed to be about the same age as the raven haired boy but was still taller than him by an entire head.

The boy suddenly turned around causing Nico to stumble backwards. “I’m Will. What’s your name?”

“N-Nico.”

The boy, Will sighed dejectedly. “I’ve always wanted a cool name. I don’t like the name William.”

William, Nico thought. It sounded like a good name for this blue eyed boy. It suited him quite well.

“I think your name is very cool.” Nico muttered shyly.

Will’s eyes lit up and seem to get bluer, if that was even possible. He grinned wide showing a small gap in the front where his tooth had fallen off.

“I have never seen you here before.” Will sat down in the sand staring at Nico, who was still feeling a little shy.

“I am new over here. I just shifted into my new house with Mama, Papa and Bee.”

“My mum works in that shop over there.” Will pointed at a little convenience store just visible through the trees. “I come and play here every evening when she goes for work.”

Nico shuffled closer to Will and sat down beside him, helping him with the castle. Whatever shyness the shorter boy harbored soon melted away and they became instant friends. An hour passed by and soon Nico heard Maria call him.

“That’s my mama.” Nico stood up dusting his hands. “I have to go home now.”

“Will you visit tomorrow?” Will asked hope gleaming in his eyes.

Nico nodded fervently before running off to meet his mother and older sister.

***

 

Nico kept his promise and went to the park every day all through the summers. Bianca too had made a few friends, whom she was keen to visit. Everyday Nico and Will played in the sandpit, making castles, playing knights with sticks that served as swords. Nico may have only been five but he felt as though he was falling in love with the boy who had stolen a part of the sky.   

One particularly sunny day the two had been piling up rocks to see who could make a larger pile. Nico glanced at Will who was piling his set of rocks with immense concentration. His tongue stuck out from the corner of his mouth and his brows were furrowed as he balanced one pebble on another.  Without realizing he leaned forward and pressed his lips to Will’s cheek. Nico pulled back slightly embarrassed by his actions.  

Will turned to look at the shorter boy and gave him a wide smile before leaning in to kiss Nico’s cheek. The boy felt his skin tingle where Will’s lips had been and managed a shy smile. The two continued their game as though nothing had happened.  

It was time for Nico to leave. Just as Nico was getting up Will took Nico’s hand. The shorter boy turned around in confusion.

“Will you marry me?” Will asked with an earnest look in his eyes.

Nico being only five wasn’t very sure what marry meant. His mum and dad were married. And they were together with each other all the time. If being married meant that he would stay with Will forever he did not know how to say no.

Nico shrugged. “I think I can. I’ll have to ask mama.”

Will looked at Nico with downcast eyes. “My mum says that we are moving to a new town. We might not be able to see each other again.”

Nico felt as though the wind had been knocked out of him. Tears blurred his vision. “You are leaving me?”

Will wiped at the tears that formed in his eyes. “Mum said we will come back soon. We will see each other then.”

Will put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper. It was a crayon drawing of two boys holding hands. The drawing was really bad even for a toddler just entering primary school. But Nico loved it. He hugged it to his chest vowing to never let go. He unclasped the locket he wore and handed it to Will. “In this way we’ll always be together.”  

Will smiled his brightest smile. “And since you’ve agreed to marry me we will always be together.”  

With one last smile in Will’s direction, Nico turned and bounded towards his mother.

That was the last time he saw Will. The boy and his mother shifted that evening itself. Nico didn’t even know where Will was staying.

That was the last day he spent with his mother too. Just around midnight something went very wrong and the small boy awoke to the shouts of his sister and the overbearing smell of smoke. Flames licked the house and Nico managed to escape with his father and older sister. But Maria di Angelo succumbed to the fire.

That was the last time Nico was his outgoing happy self. From then on his life only plummeted lower every drop turning him more and more against his own life.

That was the last time Nico had the will to live.

 

Chapter Text

“Come on Nico! It will be fun!” Bianca dragged Nico to the car while the latter stared at her in bewilderment. When had she become a daredevil?

  “Bee it’s just another year. Can’t you wait that much?” The twelve year old huffed at his sister who showed no signs of having heard her brother .

Bianca pulled the car door open pushing Nico in. “Quick, before dad gets home.”

Nico glared at her but she just grinned wider. “Don’t look at me like that. I know you want this just as much as I do.” Bianca leaned over buckle Nico’s belt. He just swatted her hand away and did it himself.

“Just one round and back, okay. Don’t go any further or I’ll tell dad?” Bianca started the car glancing at Nico from the corner of her eye.

“Jeez okay! Sometimes I wonder who’s older”

“Me too.” Nico mumbled under his breath. “Are you sure about this, Bee.”

Bianca took her brother’s hand in hers giving it a light squeeze. “I’ve got this brother dear. Never doubt me.”

“If you say so,” With that Bianca backed out of the garage and they started their slow ride around their small neighborhood.

They had just made it to the library which was only a few blocks away when it happened.

Everything was a blur to the young boy. He remembered the screech of rubber against gravel and his sister’s bloodcurdling scream which was the last thing that left the young girls mouth.  

Between then and the boy’s blackout everything was a flurry of ambulances, cries of those who had witnessed the accident. And blood. Lots of blood.

*****

Nico remembered the funeral like the back of his hand. He remembered watching his father cry for the second time in his short twelve years. He remembered each and every relative who attended it. He remembered how, Bianca’s best friend, Zoe Nightshade held him tight as she sobbed into his shoulders.

He remembered how it felt to break. How it felt to lose another person you love that all of a sudden you’re hollow from within. You can’t feel a thing. You’re too numb to even move.

“This is all my fault.” Zoe managed between her sobs. Nico didn’t answer. He didn’t know what to say. Had he not allowed Bianca to test drive their father’s car she would have been alive. She didn’t deserve this. She was meant to get out of the accident alive. She was supposed to live her life. Study. Go to college. Get married and have a family.

He should have been the one in the coffin.

“I shouldn’t have taught her. I put the idea in her head. I KILLED HER!” Zoë who was two years older than Bianca already had her own license.

No you didn’t Zoe, the boy though. I did.

I killed my sister.

****

“Zoë! Put the gun down. Please.” Nico was crying, tears streaking down his pale hollow cheeks. “I can’t lose you too.”

“You don’t understand Nico! I can’t live like this anymore.” Zoë spluttered out, her eyes swollen and red. The park was empty and there was no one to hear her except for Nico.

The boy took a tentative step towards the older girl. ‘’Please.” His voice shook and heart was racing a million miles per hour. Not her too. Gods, please not her too.  

The hand in which Zoë held the gun trembled and for a fleeting moment Nico thought she had given up her wild idea.

He was wrong.

Zoë steadied her grip and looked straight into the frightened boy’s eyes as she spoke.

“I taught her how to drive. She was so young. She did not deserve this. If I hadn’t–” Zoë paused to catch her breath. “If I hadn’t been so brash she would still be alive. I don’t deserve to live!”

Nico swallowed thickly. He tried to form words to reason with her. His vision blurred and the world seemed to be spinning uncontrollably.

“Zoë, would Bee want this?”

“She wouldn’t. But I don’t want this either. I can’t live with this guilt weighing me down. Bee wouldn’t want to see me suffer.”

Nico gasped at her words. She was going to-

“ZOE NO!”

The gunshot rang through the eerie silence of the night.

***

Nico shot up in his bed sweat drenching the back of his shirt. He took in huge gulps of air, clawing at his raven coloured locks. He tried to blink away the image of blood that splattered on the ground and the black fluid that oozed out of the girl’s head. It was a sight no thirteen year old should have been subjected to. The gun shot continued to reverberate in his head, a sound that haunted him for the past three years.

Nico registered the presence of someone else by his side. He turned to face the person and was met by the worried stare of his half sister.

Hazel Lévesque was a year younger than him yet she stood as tall as the boy. Her dark coffee coloured skin was pale with worry for her brother. Her frizzy caramel hair was tied in a messy knot on her head. Her golden brown eyes shone with concern.

Nico twisted around and buried his face in her shoulders. His skinny frame shook with sobs. The girl wrapped her arms round him whispering soothing words and rubbing circles on his back. After sitting like this for a while Nico finally managed to calm himself and reduce the wails to soft whimpers.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Hazel’s voice was soft and tentative, afraid to shatter her already broken brother.

Nico shook his head. “It was the same as always.”

Hazel nodded knowingly. She was about to say something when the door opened. Hades walked in eyeing his son with apprehension. “I brought you some water.”

Nico accepted the glass wiping away his tears with the back of his sleeve. “What time is it?”

“Half past two.” The man was scared for his boy, his voice making it evident.

“I’m sorry I woke you up.”

Hades sighed rubbing at his face. He didn’t know what to say. All he wanted was for his son to open up to him. Voice his troubles. He couldn’t bear to see his son slowly breaking under all of the emotional stress and past traumas.

All he wanted was to help his little boy.

Hades sighed again before speaking. “It’s alright Nico. Please don’t apologize for what is not your fault. You better get some sleep now. It’s getting late.”

He leaned forward and kissed his son’s damp forehead before leaving the room. Hazel stood up too. “Do you need me to stay?”

Nico squeezed her hand managing a small smile. “You should go to sleep too.” Hazel nodded before hugging Nico again and kissing him goodnight.

Now alone Nico stood up and made his way to the bathroom. He was still shaky from he nightmare and his clothes clung uncomfortably to his damp body. He leaned against the basin staring at his reflection.

The boy who looked back at him seemed unfamiliar. His black locks were messy and tangled. His once olive coloured skin was drained of all its colour and was now pale and translucent in the bright light. His eyes were sunken and hollow from the lack of sleep. His once healthy physique was now skinny and wasted from starvation.

Fresh tears formed in his eyes. With shaking hands he pulled back his shirt sleeves looking at the picture that the scars painted across his forearm with disgust. He hastily wiped the tears away before reaching out to pull open the cabinet.

He brought out his brushes responsible for the art work across his arms.

He brought out his blades.
         

Chapter Text

 

“Will, honey! You need any help?” Naomi Solace stuck her head into her son’s room and watched as he unpacked the last box.

“No thanks mom, I’m good.” The boy huffed out while stuffing too many books into a rather small shelf. One could say Will succeeded but that would be a lie. Naomi chuckled as whatever books the shelf managed to hold, toppled over her son.

 “I’ll leave you to it then.” The woman made a show of leaving the room, still chuckling as Will helplessly flailed in the sea of novels.

“Mum!” the boy whined before giving up. “Fine! I need your help.”

Naomi proceeded to place the books in the shelf, lot more neatly than Will could ever. As she placed the last book, something slid out from in-between the pages. She bent down to retrieve it and was surprise to find a locket. Turning her back to her son he marveled at the beautiful handiwork.

It was a simple pendant on a silver chain. But the intricate carvings and the sheer accuracy of the work left the woman in awe. She squinted her eyes to read the words engraved on the front.

Mi amore.

“Hey Will,” she called out, nudging him with her elbows. “Who gave you this?” Naomi smirked at her son’s aghast expression. Aha! A secret lover.

Will felt himself blanch at the sight of his most precious possession in her hand. And the smirk she wore definitely wasn’t making the situation any better.

Will’s thought drifted back to his sunshine.

Will sighed at the thought of the boy who had stolen his heart, who had agreed to marry him, whom he had fallen in love with. Who he still was in love with.

He had known the boy for not more than a week. They both were toddlers back then. Will couldn’t even remember his name anymore but his image was forever engraved in his mind’s eye.

He pictured those luscious raven coloured locks that framed the breathtaking heat shaped face. His eyes, like pools of melted chocolate that in the right lighting, seemed to glow. Seemed to draw you into them. Will could still feel the tingles on his cheeks where his sunshine had brushed them with his soft pink lips. He could still feel the softness of his olive skin.

How he missed his sunshine.

“Helloo. Earth to Will. Anyone in there?” Naomi was waving her hand in front of the boy’s face hoping to shake him out of his trance.

“Give that back to me!” Will growled as he snatched it from his mother’s grasp before tucking it safely into his pocket. He had been meaning to take it to a silversmith to get the chain changed. It no longer went over his head and he hated the absence of the cool metal over his heart.

Will stood up, brushing his pants as he did so. He avoided his mother’s smug look and inspected the room. Satisfied with the placement of everything, Will grabbed the book he had been reading and flopped himself onto his bed.

Before he could even let his gaze wander to the first word, it was whisked from his hands.

“Oh no you don’t, mister. We are going to pay our neighbors’ a visit. I heard the diAngelos have a son your age.”

“But--” Will trailed off on catching the stern look Naomi wore. “Alright. Alright. Yeesh!”

“You better or you won’t have anyone to hang out with these two months.”

“Lou and Cecil promised to visit.” Naomi glared at Will. The boy sighed as he left his book on the bed before following his mother downstairs. Will didn’t mind meeting this new boy. Heck, he was kind of excited to have neighbors who aren’t old people for once. But that didn’t mean he was happy about leaving his novel midway, especially when things were starting to look interesting.  

The house opposite was just like the Solace’s but bigger. Will felt a little weird about going empty handed and visiting what seemed like some really rich people. The front porch was better than the rest of his house, no kidding. It was beautifully lit up with lights of a soothing orange hue. The colour accentuated the beauty of the numerous flowers and plants that adorned the small front garden.

Will let out a soft whistle and Naomi whispered into his ear, “Well they seem pretty well off.”

Will raised his brows at his mother. “Pretty is an understatement.”

Ignoring her son, the woman rang the doorbell. The sweet sound of chimes rang all around them.

Huh, fancy bell too, Will thought. I hope they don’t turn out to be snobs.    

The door was opened by a woman in her late forties. Despite her age she was rather pretty. She had thick black hair that fell down her shoulders in waves. Her tanned skin glowed in the porch light. She smiled at the two visitors showing a row of pearly white teeth.

“Hello. You are the new neighbors I’m guessing. Persephone, but feel free to call me Seph. ” She extended her arm.

“Naomi Solace.” Will’s mother said shaking Seph’s outstretched hand. “This is my son, Will.”

Will shook her hand too, feeling slightly embarrassed by the fact that his mother still introduced him to new people.

“Why don’t you come in?” Seph opened the door wider inviting them in. She turned to face Will. “Hazel’s out with her friends right now so you won’t get to meet her today.”

“I thought you have a son.” Will mentally slapped himself. Great first impression, Will.

Seph looked slightly uncomfortable. “Yeah, about that. He ,uh, isn’t very fond of socializing. But I guess I can try again.”

Will tried to mask his confused look with one of nonchalance. Try again?

Hey Nico? Can you come down for a moment?”

********

Chapter Text

Nico lay on his bed eyes scrunched tightly shut. He held a sheet of paper firmly to his chest with one hand. In the other were two framed pictures. A stray tear made its way out of his closed eye down his hollow cheek. He reached up and hastily wiped his tear away. No I won’t cry. Not this time.

Nico’s hands were bare. After years of painting scars across them he had finally stopped. Yes the older ones still remained but they grew fainter by the day. Nico wanted to leave. He wanted to go back to Bianca. To his mother. To Zoë.

But he was afraid. Terrified of leaving the ones who were there for him. He was tired of seeing his father fear for him. He hated himself for all those sleepless night he caused Hazel. He couldn’t bear to see Seph cry because of him anymore.

Nico remained distant as ever rarely speaking to anyone. Not just his family, but Hazels’ entire friends circle cared deeply for him. Nico would never admit it but he had come to love all her friends like his own. They didn’t give him the pity he loathed. They accepted the boy for who he was. His entire family did. It made living worth it, even if just a tiny bit.

Nico sat up looking down at his most prized possessions. A ghost of a smile made its way onto his face.

 One frame held a picture of his mother. It had been taken without her knowledge. Her head was bent down as she read her book. Her brows were furrowed as they always were when she was reading. A soft chuckle escaped the boy’s lips as he reached out a finger hoping to smoothen it out. Her olive coloured skin glowed in the sunlight and her eyes were wide as though she had reached a rather intense part of the story. Her dark hair was ever so slightly blown out in the slight wind. She looked beautiful.

The other photo was of Bianca and Zoë. Both their arms were around each other and they were laughing at something Nico had said before capturing the moment on the camera Zoë had gifted Bee on her fifteenth birthday. The boy remembered being more excited about the gift than his sister had been.  

Sighing in content at recollecting old memories, Nico turned his attention to the third sheet of paper. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the sight of the horrible drawing by a six year old. The boy could barely distinguish between the different limbs of the two boys drawn with crayons. One had hair drawn with what Nico guessed was the brightest shade of yellow in the pack. The other had black hair and equally dark eyes that rivaled the other’s blue ones.

Those blue eyes.

Nico closed his eyes and pictured his angel with eyes like fragments of the sky on the sunniest day. His angel with numerous freckles dotting his face like stars across the Milky Way. His angel who had once loved him dearly despite knowing him for less than a week.

Even if he did manage to find his angel, Nico doubted he would be willing to accept the new him. The broken and shattered him.

The boy was wrenched out of his thoughts by the sudden call from his stepmom, Seph.

“Hey Nico? Can you come down for a minute?”

Sighing Nico stood up. What could have been the matter? He hoped everything was alright. She probably just needed some errands run or needed some help in the kitchen. Shrugging, he quickly stashed away what he held under his mattress before leaving the room.

Nico heard a few people out in the living room not recognizing two of them. Wondering who it could be Nico slowly padded down the stairs not knowing what was in store for him.

Nico nearly fell to his knees when his eyes met two fragments of the sky.

 ****

Will continued to wonder what the woman meant when she said she could get her son to try this time. He fiddled with the hem of his shirt while waiting for the boy. He heart soft footfalls make its way down the staircase. He raised his eyes to the boy who stood before him.

The boy had thick black coloured hair that fell over his face in long bangs. He was extremely pale as though he rarely left the house. He was lean with hollow cheeks that made his cheek bones stand out. Will averted his gaze from the boy’s forearms that was littered with old scars and raised his gaze to his eyes.

Will drew in a sharp breath.

They were sunken and puffy as though as though the boy rarely met with sleep. But they were a luscious chocolate colour that drew Will deep into his penetrating gaze. Never had Will seen eyes this beautiful and large. Not since his sunshine.

After all these years. Could he finally have found his sunshine ?

Chapter Text

Persephone cleared her throat startling Nico and drawing his gaze from the blue orbs that had him enraptured. He rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment and ducked his head low to hide the growing blush.

After all these years, the boy thought to himself. He came back?

Nico’s heart was racing a thousand miles and he fought the urge to press down on his chest to keep it from flying out. He felt his forehead dampen and his mouth went dry.

The boy knew it was his angel. The same curly golden locks that seemed to have been woven by god himself. Those freckles that dotted his face like a stars on a clear moonless night. And those eyes. Those fragments of the bluest skies. His angel was back.

But does my angel recognize me?  

“… you’ve probably been around the neighbourhood. You have been here, what, a week?”

Nico raised his head and realized that Seph had been talking to Will and his mother. The woman nodded. “Yup. But I never went out much. Unpacking took away most of my time. Will too sat in his room reading all day. I did manage to force him out and look around a bit.” She playfully nudged her son who smiled sheepishly.

Seph smiled. “I know what you mean Naomi. Nico here barely sees any light himself. Sits alone in his room and listens to his music or reads all day.”

Naomi turned to look at the rather flustered boy. Nico hoped he didn’t look as stirred up as he felt. “Seems like you and Will have something in common.”

Nico stole a glimpse at said boy and was met with a confused gaze right back at him. Nico managed an inaudible sigh. Of course Will hasn’t recognized me. After all he had fallen for a healthy olive skinned boy who wore a permanent smile. Not this pale walking and talking fishbone who cuts himself.

“Nico, love? Why don’t you take Will up to your room. You know, get to know each other a bit. He and Naomi are our new neighbors after all.” Seph’s tone was cautious as though telling her stepson he could say no if he wasn’t comfortable. This was one of the reasons Nico had come to love this woman. Maybe not like he loved his mother, but he loved her nevertheless. She understood him like no one else. Sometimes even Hazel and his dad weren’t able to catch on his moods but Seph always knew when he needed is space.

He shrugged before glancing at Will again. The boy just smiled. Damn I must get glasses soon before this boy blinds me with his smiles.

Both the women nodded encouragingly as though their sons were still toddlers. With another sigh Nico trudged up the staircase to his room hoping Will had the sense to follow him.

****

There was something about Nico that had Will's head reeling. He looked eerily familiar and his eyes were just like his sunshine’s.  No I’m probably mistaken or something. This isn’t some romance novel where I coincidentally end up as a neighour to the one I have been looking for for so long.

After all his sunshine hadn’t ever been this pale. Nor was his face ever devoid of that beautiful smile Will could never forget. Will looked down at the boy’s arms that were laced with scars. Those faint white lines caused his heart to ache. He hated the concept of self hurt. He didn’t see how anyone could even think of punishing themselves like that.

Nico pushed his bedroom door open and Will had to clamp his mouth shut to keep a gasp from escaping.

The. Room. Was. HUGE.

Will had always wanted a large bedroom with enough space for his gazillion books and large drum set (he never used them though) and several accolades for academics that he had one in school. Nico’s room was something else.

Of the four walls, three were a light shade of blue gray that gave off a very soothing vibe. The fourth wall was a sleek black, against which a queen sized bed had been propped. Several and posters adorned the wall. Most of them were bands Will couldn’t recognize and he felt embarrassed to admit the band members of few seemed rather intimidating with their all black outfits, tattoos and piercings.

A small set of wireless speakers lay on the bedside table. The bed was decked up with so many pillows, Will found himself frightened for Nico who could probably choke himself in his sleep. Or worse, wake up with a bad back.  

What attracted all of the boy’s attention was the book shelf that occupied an entire wall. (Mind you the wall was big) There were books of several genres ranging from mystery to thriller, a few romance and a hell lot of fantasy novels. Will was impressed by the boy’s collection of Stephen King. To say he was left open, mouthed was an understatement.

“You better close your mouth before you catch flies.” Will‘s head snapped to Nico’s direction. So his mouth had been open after all.

“Um,” was all he could manage. Lovely Will. Way to start a conversation with what seems like a not so social person.

Your collection is, uh, impressive. Your mum wasn’t kidding when--”

“Seph’s my step mom.” Nico sat himself down on his bed grabbing a pillow ,hugging it to himself.

Feeling rather awkward Will walked over to his desk and was about to sit himself down on the chair before realizing it was the wheelie one. Boy! How he hated those. Having no other place to sit Will walked over to the bed and tentatively sat down opposite Nico.

“Do you mind?” Nico shook his head ever so slightly that Will barely caught the movement.

“So,” Will started not knowing what to say. He felt the boy’s eyes on him making him rather nervous. “What year are you in?”

“I’m a senior after the holidays.”  Nico’s voice came muffled due to the pillow.

“Cool. Me too. Half Blood high?”  Nico nodded as he leaned over to fetch his phone that had been carelessly tossed across the bed. He turned it on scrolling through some old messages ignoring the flustered boy across him who was trying to start a conversation.

Will sighed. Well this was going to be harder than he had fathomed. “What’s your major?”

“Arts.” Nico looked up , his brown orbs boring into Will’s blue ones sending a chill down the latter's back. He once again felt as though he knew Nico from somewhere.

“Have I seen you somewhere?” Nico felt hope course through him as Will uttered those words. Maybe Will did remember.

But the boy’s next words brought all hopes crashing down.

“Or maybe you just have one of those faces, you know. The ones that seem to make you think you seen the other before.” Nico hoped the disappointment didn’t show.

My angel doesn’t know who I am.

Nico felt tears sting his eyes and he looked away. He bit down on his tongue to fight the urge to scream and tug at his hair. His angel was so close yet so far. Even if his angel did recognize him, would Will ever love him again? Would Will be ready to accept the boy now that he was broken, almost beyond repair.

Nico’s thighs burned from the ache of the new cuts across them. He had stopped cutting, that’s what the world believed. After all seeing is believing and his arms were devoid of new scars.

He had just changed his canvas, that’s all. An artist can never stop painting.

Finally deciding his urge to cry out had subsided, Nico faced the taller boy. When the blue eyes met brown ones Will gasped.

A tear had escaped Nico’s eye without his knowing. Will out of instinct reached out to wipe it away. Nico flinched away from his touch and Will tried to convince himself that Nico’s action hadn’t hurt him.

Will was highly confused. What had he said wrong? Why was the boy crying?

Will was petrified.

 

 

Chapter Text

Nico cursed himself for letting his pain show. Now Will would probably think he was a wimp who not just cut himself but cried for no apparent reasons.

“It’s nothing,” Nico choked out. “Something got caught in my eye. An eyelash maybe.”

Nico felt the blonde boy’s eyes on him but he didn’t bother looking up. He didn’t need Will seeing the thick tears he was unable to hold back. Nico was about to excuse himself to go get water when he felt a strong pair of arms wrap around his skinny frame.

Nico recoiled at the touch. He wasn’t touchy feely and hated having his personal space invaded. He tried to pull away but the arms only tightened around him. Nico found himself melting into Will’s embrace. He buried his face in the taller boy’s arms and allowed the tears to flow freely. He breathed in Will’s smell and musky cologne. It hurt more that he was crying because the boy he loved was holding on to him, without knowing who he was.

Nico cried himself dry. Will rubbed circles onto his back whispering sweet words in his ears. Nico couldn’t do this. Nico’s heart ached from the distance between them . The barriers that separated them.

White lies. Sweet nothings.

That’s what Will was feeding him. No one cared about Nico.

Nico pulled back, too embarrassed to meet Will’s eyes. Will looked down at the smaller boy, concern masking his features. He cupped the boy’s face in his hands trying to get Nico to look at him.

“Hey, look at me. You don’t have to feel embarrassed, ok? We all have vulnerable moments.” Will gently wiped away the new tears that found its way out of Nico’s eyes. “You don’t have to speak about it to me. But talking helps. Maybe your mo- stepmom or sister or someone. But please don’t hesitate to speak up.”

Nico was genuinely touched by Will’s concern. No I am not. He doesn’t care. Once he realizes how irreparable I am, he’ll leave. Nico felt his throat constrict at these thoughts and swallowed heavily not trusting his voice.

“Why do you care?” Nico couldn’t stop the words that came tumbling out of him. He tried to ignore the hurt that flashed in Will’s eyes.

“Most of my friends say that my caring nature comes from my dream to become a doctor. That it is just a trait of an aspiring healer. I feel that I don’t need a reason to care. When I see someone hurting, I hurt too. It’s just how I am.”

Will took Nico’s hands in his gently tracing the scars on his arms. Will’s touch caused goose pimples to rise on Nico’s skin. Nico felt colour rise up to his cheek and looked up to see a light blush dusting Will’s face.

The boy finally looked up meeting Nico’s gaze. He immediately cleared his throat and dropped Nico’s hands with an embarrassed grin. Nico himself felt his face burn.

Never had he thought he would allow himself to sit right next to a stranger much less cry into their arms. But Will was no stranger, or was he?

Nico still hated how Will didn’t recognize him. Nico’s gaze flitted to Will’s neck.

Bare.

Unadorned by the pendant he had given his love as a parting gift.

Nico looked away knowing that he would only end up crying again. The bed bounced lightly as Will stood up and walked to the wall covered in posters. Nico’s soft smile went unnoticed by the taller boy.

“Metal music was never my thing. Black Veil Brides? My Chemical Romance? Panic! At The Disco? Who are these guys?”

“Do you live under a rock or something?” Nico’s voice was still slightly hoarse from crying but Will was pleased to see Nico looked a lot better. Also he had a slight fanboy gleam in his eyes.

“Opposite you actually.”

Nico scoffed and bit down on his lip to hide his smile. “They are a few of the best bands ever. That is what I call real music. Not the crappy generic pop that you listen to.”

Will placed a hand on his heart and feigned shock. “And what gave you the right to assume that I listen to the so called crappy generic pop?

Nico folded his arms and raised his brow.

“Fine. I do enjoy crappy generic pop.” Will pouted at the smug look on Nico’s face. But that pout soon turned into a grin as an idea flashed in his head. Gods only know where that one came from.

“Are you ticklish?”

Nico tensed. He had had enough invasion of personal space for one day . “Oh no angel,” he said backing away not noticing the slip of his tongue. “I granted you one hug. That’s enough for today.”

Will barely registered the boy’s words. Angel, he called me angel. Will found that so freakishly adorable coming from Nico and somehow it sounded right when the boy said i.

“You called me angel.”

Will smirked at the blush that rose on Nico’s cheeks. The boy was clearly flustered by his mistake .

“Um, I.. well..sorry…it’s..”

Will cut him off. “I kinda like it.”

His grin was brighter than a thousand suns. It stole the shorter boy’s breath away.

Will was going to be the death of him.

****

 

That night Will fell asleep with a smile on his face . He replayed the events of the day over and over again until sleep took over him.

 

That night Nico didn’t sleep. He didn’t cut either.

He was neither dead nor alive. Just somewhere in between.

His angel didn’t remember him. But his angel didn’t seem to hate him either. What the hell was that supposed to mean?

Chapter Text

Will lay face down on his bed, his novel carelessly tossed aside open to the page he was on. The boy had read that page over five times in the past half hour, but his brain didn’t register a single word.  He huffed out a breath of annoyance before turning over to stare at the blades of the ceiling fan that droned on and on rather lethargically.

The boy unconsciously reached out for the now altered chain that hung around his neck. The metal felt cool against his skin and enveloped him in a blanket of love and comfort. As he lifted the pendant and pressed it lightly to his lips an image of a certain boy from across the street flitted through his head.

Will pushed himself up with his elbows digging uncomfortably into the mattress. He could almost feel Nico’s head buried in his neck, his emaciated frame convulsing with every sob. Will could still hear those heart wrenching cries that raised goose pimples all over his arms. Will was known for his outgoing and sunshiney nature and he tried to convince himself that it was just out of caring instincts that he enveloped the smaller boy in his arms.

Yes Will cared. He cared about almost anyone and everyone but with Nico it was different.

Nico felt just right in his arms, their bodies slotted together, like perfectly fitting puzzle pieces. Will tried to ignore how creepy that sounded and focused on placing Nico with some long forgotten memory thsat refused to resurface. From where do I know him? No scratch that. Why does it feel like I should know him from somewhere?

Suddenly Will jolted up at a old memory that had buried itself , long forgotten over several other incidences that took place thereafter.  

The boy suddenly turned around causing Nico to stumble backwards. “I’m Will. What’s your name?”

“N-Nico.”

The boy, Will sighed dejectedly. “I’ve always wanted a cool name. I don’t like the name William.”

William, Nico thought. It sounded like a good name for this blue eyed boy. It suited him quite well.

“I think your name is very cool.” Nico muttered shyly.

Nico. Sunshine. His sunshine.

So it was him after all. It explained the fireworks that coursed through his body when his eyes met those chocolaty brown ones. That’s why he felt the pain the boy felt as he sobbed into his arms.

But does my sunshine remember me?

Will’s breath hitched and all of a sudden it felt as though his heart was being compressed. His recently hydrated throat felt parched and desiccated. His blue eyes clouded over with fear as his mind resounded with the thought that haunted him the most.

What if my sunshine doesn’t love me anymore?

Will thought how his life wasn’t turning out the way he wanted. This wasn’t the romance novel he wished his life to be based on. It was far, far from that.

His life, his perfect life was slowly tumbling downhill. At an excruciatingly painful pace it made its way down the deepest drain the boy never thought he would see himself venture into.

 

Chapter Text

“Ok Will. Deep breaths.” Lou Ellen rubbed Will’s back as she tried to get the boy to calm down. She glanced over to Cecil who was sitting at Will’s desk and building a tower of cards that looked on the verge of breaking. Lou counted backwards in her head before…

“Aw damn it!!! I was about to break my record!” Cecil whined as he pushed the cards of the desk. He caught the girl’s glare and shrugged helplessly. “Look man,” he said as he seated himself beside Will. “You got to get yourself together. Who’s the future doc here? If you freak out like this and expect me to be able to help -”

Lou reached out and smacked him on the head. The boy needed it once in a while.

Lou and Cecil were Will’s closest friends since fifth grade. They were always the first and only people on Will’s speed dial during times like this. Well there was his mom too but Will felt more comfortable discussing such topics with his two best friends.

When Lou received Will’s call, she freaked out on hearing Will’s forlorn tone and dragged a grumbling Cecil across the city and reached Will’s doorstep an hour and two tickets later.

“Look Will,” she started still glaring at Cecil who was rubbing the back of his head where she had smacked him. “I know you’re scared that the boy Nico doesn’t remember you or care for you anymore but don’t you think you are over thinking this a bit?”

“Over thinking? How the hell is this over thinking? I’ve been waiting all my life to see him again and when I finally do I didn’t recognize him cause he’s become thin and pale and he cuts, though it seems like he has stopped and he seems so depressed, not that I care any less and-“

“Whoa. Whoa. Whoa! Will, my man. My main man. You are rambling, bud.”  Cecil put both his hands on his friends shoulder shaking him lightly. He could see why Lou was scared for Will.

Will looked up at his friends who shared a knowing look before grabbing an arm each and hauling him out of bed.

“What- What the hell guys!? PUT ME DOWN!” Will struggled and kicked but Lou ad Cecil held on firmly.

“William Solace. You have spent two days cooped up in your room, taking matters in your own hands and that only resulted in it blowing up in your own face. This is the vacations for Tartarus’ sake. Get your skinny butt outside the house! What happened to the boy who woke up a soon as the sun came out, huh? Why do you not act yourself ever since you shifted here? Who are you and what have you done to our mphf-”

Will clamped Lou’s mouth shut and looked over at Cecil. “Who’s rambling now?”

****

The trio decided upon a nearby icecream store. Will noticed how Lou and Cecil sat next to each other close enough for their shoulders to touch. He smiled inwardly glad to see some progression. He shipped them really hard since seventh grade.

Lou took a bite out of the sundae she and Cecil were sharing (another thing that confirmed it wouldn’t be too long before they got together). She sucked on the spoon for a while, deep in thought before finally speaking up.

“Let me get this straight. You move in. It’s been a week. You decide to pay your neighbours a visit-”

“Mum’s ideas, not that it mattered.” Will trailed off on catching the glare from the girl who sat opposite him.

“And,” Lou continued as though Will hadn’t spoken at all. “You go up to his room and he breaks down in your arms all of a sudden. You feel an odd connection to him. And the next thing you know he is the boy of your dreams.”

Will nodded. It sounded ridiculous and he realized that this was what he had spewed to his close friend on the phone. Despite the absurdity of the situation both is friends came all the way to his place to help him out. The boy felt a sudden burst of love towards the pair and fought the urge to smother them in a bear hug right there.

“You said his mother said he wasn’t good in social situations.” Cecil spoke up with a quick glance at Lou as though catching up on her thoughts. Will could almost see the cogs turning in both their heads.

“Oh kay. What are you two getting at?”

The two shared another look before Lou continued. “You also mentioned scars on his hands clearly indicating self harm. He definitely doesn’t seem like the types to open up very easily to new people.”

Will bit off a large chunk of the cone. “Uh, guys? Didn’t we already establish that?”

Lou face palmed and Cecil burst out laughing muttering “clueless” in between guffaws.

“I hate to break this to you mate, but you are denser than the Amazon.” Cecil was still shaking with suppressed giggles. Will gawked at him clearly still in the dark.

Lou caught on on Will’s cluelessness. “What Cecil and I are trying to convey is that there is a reason why Nico, despite seeming to not know you, showed you his vulnerable side without much hesitation.”

Realization dawned on Will as the gravity of his friends’ words hit him. Hit him like a freaking asteroid from outerspace, from all the way across the multiverse.

“Are you saying that he remembers me?” Will’s voice shook ever so slightly and he wasn’t sure whether he wanted t cry or rip or his hair in frustration.

“It’s just a guess.” Cecil shrugged attempting to steal the last bit of the frozen delight out of the bowl before having his arm swatted away by Lou.

Cecil pouted but continued nevertheless. “You did say you remembered him but couldn’t place it. Maybe Nico was hurt by the fact that you had forgotten him. But again, it’s your call. You can go ahead and ask him or wait to gather more evidence as to whether or not he remembers you. ”

Will scratched the back of his neck as he contemplated Cecil’s words. He didn’t want to scare Nico if the boy didn’t remember. He wasn’t willing to come across as a creepy stalker who wasn’t willing to let go of petty promises they had exchanged years ago.

“Here’s what you should do,” Lou was scraping the spoon across the bowl as though wanting to get out every drop of ice cream left behind. “Don’t let Nico know you remember.”

Will spluttered choking on the last bite of his snack. Even Cecil looked shocked but decided best to protest only after she had said what she wanted. One thing that both boys had learned over the years was that unless they wished for their ears to be tweaked or head to be swatted at, never interrupt Lou when she’s onto something.

“What I mean is, don’t tell him just yet. Instead act like a newcomer who I willing to befriend him. Leave subtle hints and see how he reacts. Then you will figure out how to move ahead.” Lou finally decided the bowl had been tortured enough and resorted to tearing the poor tissue apart.

“But-”

“No but’s Solace. You dragged me away from my TV show night so you better do as I said. Or else…”

Will didn’t need her to complete. Even Cecil inched away from her. Their best friend could be a little (read: a lot) nuts at times.

“Alright then,” Will said as he stood up, brushing the crumbs off his lap. His friends mirrored him. “That’s settled.”

They made their way to Lou’s car. Technically her older brother’s but, eh. “What now?”

Will grinned a Cecil who grinned back almost as though he could read the other boy’s mind. “Since you guys are here, you might as well stay over at my place.”

“All right then!” Cecil pumped his fist in the air and grabbed Will in a headlock ignoring Lou’s eye roll. Boys.

“I don’t mind ,” Lou started up the car and cranked up the radio to the highest volume. “Only if you promise Chinese takeaways and a good movie marathon.”

Both Cecil and Lou looked at Will expectantly and the boy placed a finger on his chin as though considering what she just said.

“I could possibly arrange for that.”

The trio drove off into the night screaming along to cheesy lyrics the radio spewed.

Chapter Text

A huge thanks to those who have stuck with me and read this , eh, average- not so great fic (if my friend reads this she's gonna call me the biggest hypocrite). All your comments were really sweet and made my day. Thanks for kudos-ing too <3

So i better tell y'all now itself, my updating schedule is gonna be very very VERY (make note of the emphasis of very) erratic. School is starting in exactly a week and well, you know how parents can get when it comes to academics.Yeah, I'll be kind and spare you the gory details but school means a lock and key over my laptop. And ofcourse, it will be kept in an unbreakable titanium prison. *shrugs helplessly*

I'll try my best to update every weekend but if i dont please dont take my head off.

Well, I'll try to update today too. Probably you may even see a new chapter up in another hour or so.

untill then *tips imaginary hat*

So long peeps.

Chapter Text

Another authors note... :( I'm so sorry y'all.

 

Ok so this may be a little long but bear with me. Anyways I've kinda figured out where I wanted to go with this fic so I've done some editing and made it a part of a series called learn to love again. Tags have been edited and everything. 

 

So the main reason for this is that I believe, it isn't possible for one to overcome their insecurities and self hatred and become friends and fall in love with someone in a span of months. (2 since this part of the fic is taking place over the summer break of their last school year)

 

This is going to centre around how Will helps Nico slowly over come his problems and how slowly the two , or at least Nico since Will is very open, opens up to Will.

 

I'm warning all of you right now itself that it is going to be a pretty slow burn. I will try to update often and not make it too stretched out either because I already feel that this story is way to dragged out. But both boys are oblivious as hell so, yeah.

 

Once again thanks for bearing with me and leaving the sweetest comments.

 

crazycarrot_135

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Nico groaned when he fell something vaguely sharp poke into his waist. Still half asleep he was growing aware of two voices in the background. They were somewhat familiar but his groggy state couldn’t really register the happenings around him. 

“Niiiicoooo.Neeks. Wakey wakey.”

The raven haired boy pried his eyes open. Someone’s face was hovering startlingly close to his own. Through his heavy lids he managed to catch sight of shaggy blonde hair and electric blue eyes. Angel? Will? What was he doing here?

“Wake up!!”

Nico shot up, knocking his head against the other boy’s in the process. Emitting a loud growl he clutched at his now throbbing temple and reached out to cuff the taller boy for scaring him.

“Holy tartarus! What the hell Grace!”

Jason not Will. Nico let out a soft sigh before flipping the older boy, turning over and burrowing back into his sheets.

Jason ripped the sheets from over Nico’s curled frame. “That isn’t the way you treat someone older that you.”

Nico glowered at Jason but the latter wasn’t affected. Instead he just glared back at the smaller boy, pursing his lips, making the scar on his lip only look more prominent. He drew in a deep breath and folded his arms. Here it comes, Nico thought bracing himself.

“Why haven’t you been answering my calls?” Jason reached out and for a second Nico thought the boy was going to punch him, but Jason just reached out for his phone. It really needs a new password.

Jason turned it on before brandishing it at the rather flustered, half-awake boy’s face. “Do you see this? 12 missed calls and 21 unread messages. And these are only mine. You haven’t answered the others either. Do you know how worried we have been these past two days? I really don’t care what you think any more or what you assume, but we all care. Okay? So for gods’ sake, just at least answer our calls or texts. That’s the least you can do. We haven’t asked you for anything bigger have we?”

Jason stopped his rant, taking in another deep breath. Nico just glanced down at his hands, suddenly interested in is fingernails.

The taller boy scooted closer to Nico. It took the boy ages, but he had grown accustomed to their display of affection and no longer flinched away from their touch.

Jason wrapped an arm around Nico’s thin shoulders. “I won’t say I know what you’re going through because honestly, I don’t. But I thought you, I thought you-” The boy drew in an unsteady breath. Jason cleared his throat before speaking up. “I thought this time, you left us forever.”

Nico glanced up into Jason’s startlingly blue eyes and was shocked to see the pain that clouded them. The shard that was partially embedded in Nico’s heart was driven further and deeper in by Jason’s words.

Nico’s hand hovered over his thighs. Covered by his pyjamas, were deep cuts hidden away from the rest of the world. They don’t need to know. Jason doesn’t deserve any more pain.

“I’ve stopped cutting, Grace.” The lie hurt more than the tear in his heart. Worse, it only widened the cut, drawing more pain. And the sad smile Jason gave him, Nico felt a small part of him die inside.

“Just promise me you’ll answer your calls and not scare the shit out of us with your prolonged periods of silence.”

Nico tried to smile but gave up, fearing it would come out as a grimace, “As long as it’s not in the middle of the night.”

“We all know you are nocturnal, diAngelo.”

This time Nico did smile. But it melted away at Jason’s next words. “Speaking of your prolonged periods of silence, do you want to talk about it?”

“No!” Nico regretted snapping at the boy opposite him when he caught the look of hurt in the latter’s eyes. “I mean, you’re going to college now and it’s high time I learnt to deal with my own problems.”

Jason nodded but the smaller boy caught his look of apprehension. “If that’s what makes you feel better, then who am I to interfere. But just know this, asking for your friend’s help every now and then isn’t wrong. Pipes, Annabeth, Percy and I may be off to New Rome, but we’re always by your side.”

Nico shoved Jason playfully, “Alright, alright. Spare me the sap.”

Jason grinned knowingly before a thought struck him. “Say, it hasn’t got something to do with, I don’t know, finding your type, since you figured out it isn’t Percy.”

Nico paled at Jason’s smirk and looked away hoping the tears that threatened to leak hadn’t been noticed. Jason sensed this sudden hostility in the younger boy and immediately spoke up to clear the tension. “I’m just kidding, Neeks. You don’t have to tell me. I’ll here you out whenever you are ready.”

Nico kept his face turned away till he was sure his emotions were at bay. He didn’t need another set of waterworks after the Will incident.

“Hazel said all of you are going camping before the four of you leave to college.”  

“Yup. Ten of us have confirmed. Pipes and I, Annabeth and Percy, Hazel, Frank, Leo, Calypso, Reyna and Thalia.” Jason ticked of the names on his fingers before looking up at Nico expectantly.

“Please tell me you have given the trip a thought,”

“I have.” Nico winced at the squeal of surprise that escaped Jason’s lips.

“And?”

“I’m not coming.” Jason’s face fell. He looked like he was going to protest but he held his tongue. He noticed how there was something troubling Nico, something the boy wasn’t even willing to talk about. He cared for the boy a great deal and didn’t want to push past his limits.

He nodded understandingly before ruffling Nico’s hair and hopping off the bed. “Whatever suits you baby bro. I’ll tell the others.”

Nico once again lay back despite all his sleepiness having faded away. Three hours of sleep was enough for the boy. In fact he was surprised he had slept at all.

Nico stayed in bed for an hour after Jason had left until Seph came up to his room to check on him. She sat herself next to her step son and kissed his forehead.

“Morning, love.”

“Good morning.” Nico twirled the fork in his nimble fingers, not really hungry for the pancakes Seph had brought.

“Jason told me you aren’t going camping.” Nico shook his head settling for the orange juice instead.

Seph ran her hand through Nico’s tangled bed hair. “I was hoping you would go, but I won’t force you sweetie.” Nico felt his heart warm, though the feeling was brief before it was once again doused in the icy realization that Seph was one of those he had been lying to about his health.

“Hades is going out of country for the next two weeks. I too, will be overseas for about ten days. And hazel will be out for a week and a half. This means you will be all alone.” Seph continued to stroke the boy’s hair affectionately, eyeing him with evident worry.

“I’m nearly seventeen. I’m sure a week or two alone won’t kill me.” Nico realized the gravity of his joke the second it left his lips.

Seph let out a choked sound and swiped at her eyes. Nico pulled the woman closer hugging her tight. “I’m so sorry Seph. I didn’t mean it like that.”

Nico felt Seph shake her head against his shoulder. “No Nico, it isn’t that. It’s just- I’m so sorry. I am your step mom and I don’t even know how to help you in times when you really need it.”

Nico felt his eyes well up for the second time that morning. He hugged Seph tighter and rubbed her back soothingly. “It isn’t your fault Seph. You do everything to make Hazel and me happy. In fact you’re always there for me but I am too stubborn to let you or anyone else in. I promise I’m getting better, mom.”

If Seph was surprised that Nico called her mom she didn’t show it. She pulled back, her eyes still red and teary and her mascara smudged, but she didn’t seem to mind. She pressed a kiss onto his forehead.

“I love you Nico. Please take care of yourself.”

“I will. I promise.”

With those words the shard was pushed deeper into the boy’s heart. His paintings that had shifted from his arms to his legs screamed out in agony and sang to the boy of the lies he fed the world.

****

 

It was around mid-day when Nico left his room. He helped Seph and Hazel pack the latter’s camping tents and sleeping bags. After an hour he bid the two goodbye.

“Nico?”

Seph waited in the car while Hazel got out to have a quick word with her brother. “Promise to call me every day.”

Nico smiled softly at the shorter girl. Funny how this was the exact same thing Seph had told him seconds ago.

“I thought the promise went unspoken. Yes I will, without fail. You better take care too. Stay in the girl’s tent at all times.”

Hazel scoffed and punched her older brother playfully. “What?” Nico asked rubbing his arm. “I have to make sure since Frank’s going too.”

Hazel rolled her eyes before giving him a quick kiss and getting into the car. Nico waved until the car was no longer in sight.

When he was sure no one was around, he ran into the house his hands clamped over his mouth trying to hold back the screams of despair that coursed through his body.

Nico banged the room of his door open and ran to the bathroom. He heaved losing the few sips of juice he downed that morning. His body convulsed with every retch though his body was unwilling to stop despite his empty stomach. The boy flushed and rinsed his mouth in the basin. He managed to lose the lingering taste of vomit but the bitter aftertaste all the lies scalded his tongue.

Nico gripped the edge of the basin so hard; his already pale knuckles seemed almost transparent. His eyes, caved in from the few hours of sleep he managed, reflected his pain and agony. Tears flowed down his hollow cheeks and dripped into the sink.

Nico’s body shook as he pushed out the toiletries in the cabinet and drew out his blades. He held them gingerly, not wanting to nick his palms which were in plain sight.

With trembling fingers the boy pulled down his pants revealing a network of scars across his thighs just above his knees. Every scar, every cut burned with hatred that the boy projected, to himself and the rest of the world.

Nico pressed the heel of his palm into his mouth stifling his gasps and cries. His hand quivered as he dug the blade into his skin. Blood seeped out of the deep cut and spread across his pail skin like rivulets opened up during a damn.

Nico cried out feeling his heart shatter with every breath he took, every breath he didn’t deserve to take. No he wasn’t over his sister’s death. He hadn’t moved on since the fires claimed his mother. He was still haunted by the images of Zoë’s blood splattered head. He still blamed himself for both the girl’s deaths.

And now he had another thing to add to his list of miseries.

His angel, not only had fallen out of love with him, but had moved on and forgotten him. The young boy hadn’t known the power of unrequited love. What he felt for Percy was nothing like the churning heart wrenching torture he was feeling.

The boy, Cupid he called himself, had forced Nico’s feelings for Percy out in his junior year. Jason had been there, supporting him and eventually growing closer to him. Nico hated that boy but now he hated himself for realizing the boy had been right after all.

Love was never the red roses and sweet candy. Love was pain and blood. Love was the bitterest enemy of all.

That’s when the boy realised one thing. He was getting better, he had been getting better. All until his angel came in like a pure ray of sunshine. He was lying to the others he had grown to love, putting them in pain through his lifestyle all because of Will.

Nico looked up at his reflection. His teeth were bared and his eyes looked darker and almost crazed. The cut which he hadn’t bothered to tie up continued to bleed, the loss of blood causing the boy’s vision to double and blur. All through this he realised one thing.

He hated Will Solace.

Chapter Text

Will stood opposite his house, hunched over and breathless after his morning run. Naomi who worked night shift in a nearby hospital was probably asleep and Will decided to surprise his mother with breakfast in bed.

Will caught sight of Mrs. Di Angelo struggling with a dozen gardening tools. Pushing his golden curls out of his face he jogged over to her.

"Morning Mrs. Di Angelo."

She gave a start before finally registering who was standing before her. "Oh, Will! You gave me quiet a fright!" Persephone chuckled as she picked up few tools that she had dropped. "And it's Seph, remember."

Will smiled sheepishly helping the older woman. "Sorry."

"What are you doing up so early during the summers?" Seph set down her tools and shooed the boy away as he offered to help with the weeding.

Will sat down on an upturned pot and watched in awe as the woman skilfully pulled out the weeds and grafted a few rose plants. "Well I always get up early. Usually around the time the sun rises. It's a habit I've had since forever."

Seph smiled and nodded approvingly. "Well it's a good habit. Hazel gets up at around 9 but Nico here isn't up until noon."

Will smiled politely but couldn't help but wonder when the boy had breakfast. He probably skipped it. "That clearly isn't good for my sunshine." Will muttered under his breath.

Seph continued to talk to Will about stuff like school and his plans for college and other things most grown ups like to talk about.

Will was about to leave when the woman called out to him.

"Will, sweetie, if you don't mind could you do me a favour?"

"Sure," the boy shrugged. He was slightly confused by the worried look the woman wore.

"It's about Nico." Oh. Oh.

"Um. Is everything alright."

Seph sighed and let out a shaky breath. Her large brown eyes seemed heavy with sadness. "Hades is out of town and won't be back for two weeks. Hazel and her friends are going camping but I doubt Nico will accept the invitation. I myself am travelling the next few days. Nico will be home alone for around two weeks. I just need you to occasionally check on him."

Will took a few minutes to process all that Seph had told him. "You want me to,uh, check on him every now and then."

Seph sighed again. "I know it isn't my place to tell you but the boy has gone through a lot. I'm sure you noticed, that day."

Will swallowed remembering the numerous scars that adorned his sunshine's thin arms. He nodded uncertainty.

"I Will never forgive myself if something happens to my boy. I love him to pieces, we all do. It's just that he doesn't see it at times. He has seen stuff that has scarred him for life. I'm sure he will eventually warm up to you and tell you one day. I know we've known each other for less than a week, but something tells me He will trust you."

Will wasn't so sure about that. He was about to protest before Seph cut him off .

"I saw you two that day. When you consoled him as he cried. I never told him about it, nor did I mean to pry," she added hastily on noticing Will's perplexed expression. "What I'm trying to say is there is something between the two of you. Something that makes Nico seem almost comfortable with you and you with him."

Will turned his flaming face away from the woman. She noticed too.

"Look I understand if you are slightly uncomfortable by this request. Feel free to-"

"I'll be happy to help."

"Really? I mean you can-"

Will shook his head. "No really. How bad could it be. Plus I will have someone to hang out with."

Seph beamed, her downcast face lighting up. She engulfed the taller boy in a tight hug. "Please take care of my boy."

Will smiled into her shoulder patting her back reassuringly. "I will. I promise."

Seph handed Will a set of spare keys before he left. "This is just in case something does happen. I hope to the gods nothing does."

Will was touched by how much the woman trusted him. He squeezed her hand And offered a soft smile. "Nothing will. I'll make sure of it."
****

It was eight in the evening. After a quick dinner Naomi had left for yet another shift. Will sat alone at the dining table the spare keys of the Di Angelo's house clutched tightly in his fingers. He absently reached for his locket twirling it in his fingers. He groaned as he placed his heads in his hands.

I should go check on him.

Will that make me look like some kind of creep or mother hen.

Rubbing his eyes the boy decided better to be safe than sorry. Grabbing his own house keys he jogged over to his neighbour's.

Will tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for Nico to answer the door. When no one answered he pressed the bell few more times chewing on his lip. Why won't he answer the door?

Will was almost about to use the keys to enter when he heard soft padding on the opposite end. The door opened and the poor boy nearly fainted at the sight.

Nico had clearly just finished a bath and was wearing nothing but sweats. His hair was damp and sticking out in all directions. But that wasn't what caught the taller boy's attention.

Nico looked almost dead. His eyes were caved in and ringed with dark circles. His skin was paler than usual and his bare frame looked starved, with his collar bones and ribs sticking out rather prominently.

When his dark orbs met Wills lighter ones, they narrowed and seemed to reflect... hatred? Annoyance? Hope? Will couldn't be sure.

"What do you want Solace?" Nico's voice was low almost as though he was growling.

"Umm.." Will had no idea what to say. What was he doing there indeed?

"I, uh, well.." Will scratched his fumbling for a reasonable answer. "My mum works the night shift and I was home alone. I figured you were too since I saw Seph and Hazel leave this afternoon. So I thought I could give you some company."

Nico made a move to shut the door, "Thanks but no thanks."

Will held the door before the other could shut it on his face. "You didn't understand me. I need company,you see."

Nico glared at the boy pushing harder at the door, but Will was stronger. "No I actually don't see. I know what you're doing here. I'm not stupid. You just think I will try to kill myself now that I have no one to stop me. I don't need your sympathy, Solace."

Will felt his patience drop and anger rise. Swallowing his annoyance he shot back at the smaller boy. "I'm not giving you any sympathy, Nico. I am not all that generous."

Nico was clearly taken aback but he maintained his stance. He glowered at Will wishing him to leave him alone.

"I just want to come in and, uh, hang out. This isn't how you treat your guests." Will managed to pry Nico's hand away from the door. He tried to swallow the hurt he felt when Nico immediately snatched his hand away.

Without waiting for the shorter boy's answer Will pushed his way into the house. "Did you eat your dinner?"

Will didn't get an answer. He watched as Nico trudged up to his room with a slight limp.The boy followed him only to have the door slammed shut in his face.

Sighing Will sat down, his back facing the door. He heard faint rock music from inside. Why does he listen to people scream. Honestly I don't know how he bears it.

"Hey Neeks," Will called out. The boy smiled when he heard a hiss from the opposite end.

"Do not call me that!"

Will smiled. "I promise to stop if you come out." As an afterthought the boy added, "Doctors orders."

"Don't tell me what to do, pre med." Nico's voice sounded louder almost as though he was standing close to the door.

Will attempted to start a conversation a few more times but was answered by silence, silence and more silence.

With another sigh, the boy stood up. He glanced at his watch.

9 : 30

Wow. That was longer than it seemed.

The music was still playing and Will heard an occasional thud and rustling of the sheet indicating that the boy was still awake.

Will knocked at the door not really expecting an answer. "I'm leaving. Goodnight sunshine."

Behind the door Nico stiffened ever so slightly at those words.

Will left feeling dejected but he knew this would take a while. After all one could ignore him for only a while before they finally respond.

Will wasn't one to give up.

He was going to get his sunshine back and no one could stop him.



Chapter Text

I'm terribly sorry for not updating in the past two weeks. School's been a devil and the portion for our midterms is vast as he'll... who knew being a freshmen could be so taxing. If you are still reading this fic thank you so so much... and if you've given up hope on it then I'm sorry I couldn't satisfy your fanfic needs:(

I will try (mind you I said try) to update this Friday or Saturday but I have another problem... I'm facing another bout of writers block so I don't really know what to write. I'll try to make the upcoming chapter as less crappy or vague as possible.

Also this fic is nearing it's end. I'll wrap it up in another few chapters and start with the second part.

Once again thank you for reading. I'll see you all soon... hopefully.

Bye for now