It was a couple days from Halloween at Camp Half-Blood.
Mr. D had (reluctantly) switched from strawberries to pumpkins, cabins had decorated (some more enthusiastically than others, Nico noted)---though the Hades’ cabin still didn’t need any.
The Apollo cabin argued for a Halloween celebration---mostly Will---and finally, Chiron agreed.
On the night of Halloween, younger campers could go trick-or-treating and the head counselors had to give out candy (“This is a stupid celebration,” Nico had argued). The Hephaestus cabin had prepared fireworks, and curfew was pushed a couple hours later.
But, apparently, tonight was movie night.
Nico wouldn’t have gone at all if Will hadn’t convinced him (read; forced), or if the Sevens’ monthly reunion hadn’t fallen on the weekend of Halloween.
He also had no desire to take Leo’s place as seventh wheel, and was watching it with Will instead.
“Why aren’t you wearing pajamas?” Will asked, skipping a greeting.
In fact, everyone was wearing pjs, including Will. And carrying some form of blankets or pillows. Including Will.
“Nice to see you too, Will. I’m doing great, thanks for asking.” Nico replied. “I didn’t know there was a dress code.”
“There isn’t, but it’s movie night ,” Will said, as if it were obvious.
That was one of the things Nico liked about Will (like is a friend-term, it’s fine ). He didn’t try to tiptoe around Nico, or treat him like he was breakable. Will treated him like he treated everyone else.
Like a friend. Sometimes, Nico still couldn’t believe that Will wanted to be friends with him---the (gay, but he didn’t know that yet) creepy son of Hades, even after a couple of months.
“Sorry,” Nico said, rolling his eyes.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) Will knew Nico well enough to know his words weren’t actually aggressive.
“I guess I have to accept your apology then, given how sincere it was.”
Nico looked away.
“Anyways, we can share mine if you want.” Will held up his blanket and pillow. “If you’re cool with that.”
They walked over to the Big House, bantering good-naturedly. (“You mean you haven’t read Harry Potter?” “I’m dyslexic, Will.” “There are audiobooks. I will lend them to you. You are going to read Harry Potter whether you like them or not.”)
. . .
Nico and Will looked down at his pillow and blanket. “You okay with snuggling?” Will asked, sheepish.
Because though Will’s pillow was a decent size, his blanket was tiny. Like the knitted ones Nico’s Nonna had made when he was little. It was big enough for one person, but definitely not two.
How was Nico supposed to respond to that? Did straight people do that? Was Nico okay with snuggling Will?
(The voice in his head was not allowed to respond.)
“Yeah, that’s fine with me.” Nico refused to blush, and squashed the skeletal butterflies currently rioting in his stomach.
Was Will blushing?
No, it was probably just the light or something.
“Perfect,” Will replied.
And because everyone else was lying down on the floor of the Big House to watch the movies, Nico and Will had to as well. It took awhile, but they eventually they were comfortable. Mostly.
Will’s head was resting in the crook of Nico’s neck, and his hair was tickling Nico’s face. Their legs were bent and they had to peer over their knees, but it was the only way they could share the blanket and the pillow.
Nico was definitely blushing.
“Chiron shot down the popcorn idea,” Will apologized. “I can’t blame him, though.”
Nico agreed. “The Ares and the Nike kids would’ve started a food fight by now.”
The previews started, and despite the movie having come out more than twenty years ago, everyone refused to skip the previews.
“Will, do you have sing along?”
Will wasn’t the only one singing along, either. It was barely ten minutes through the movie and it was obvious it was a musical.
“Nico, we don’t talk during movies.”
“Will, you are singing in my ear ---”
In lieu of answering, Will held up his finger to Nico’s lips. He was proud to say that he didn’t flinch, shocked ( Will is touching my lips) , and only raised his eyebrows.
Will met Nico’s eyes, innocent. “We don’t talk during movies.”
“Will, almost everyone here has ADHD. How is this a good idea?”
“ You might be right,” Will said, ignoring Nico’s protest at “might,” “But I made sure everyone here has had coffee or whatever first. The caffeine should calm everyone down.”
And with that, the second musical number started.
. . .
“Will. Will. Wake up.”
It was no use, Will was passed out. The second movie had just ended (something about a ghost that fell in love with a ghost hunter’s daughter) and Will was asleep.
This was a bad idea.
In his sleep, Will had shifted so his legs were practically on top of Nico’s. He was so warm, and his hair was flopped on Nico’s face, golden and soft, and his face looked so peaceful. Nico couldn’t bare to wake him up.
Nico didn’t know why Will had fallen asleep---now that it was only the year-round campers, he no longer needed to spend hours at the infirmary.
Hopefully, Nico didn’t fall asleep, too.
This was a bad idea.
. . .
“Is anyone still awake?” Chiron asked, taking care not to disturb anyone. He was in his wheelchair, with a pink blanket (Annabeth recently took up knitting and managed to finish three, full sized blankets in a month).
It was two am, and the fifth movie had just finished.
“I think I’m the only one up,” Nico whispered back.
Will was still asleep beside Nico, being very distracting and very warm and almost snoring in Nico’s ear.
“I don’t suppose it’s worth it to wake everyone up, then,” Chiron said. “You may stay overnight, but everyone must still be at breakfast by eight. No exceptions.”
Chiron wheeled himself out of the room, towards the back of the Big House.
Nico nodded. He was kind of hoping Chiron would kick everyone out, but no such luck.
Will shifted closer to Nico in his sleep, flopping even more of his hair in Nico’s face. He wanted to be annoyed, but it was actually kind of . . . endearing? Cute?
He sighed. It was really hard to stay awake. Nico hated sleeping in front of people---his grasp on his dreams was very loose; it was easy for him to get nightmares, and his were worse than most.
Will was really warm, though.
Nico stifled a yawn.
Maybe . . .
No. it would only end in disaster if he fell asleep. For him, it was either passed out, dead-to-the world kind of sleep (and he wasn’t nearly as exhausted as he had to be for that) or nightmares.
They had gotten harder to control about a week after Gaea was defeated (Clovis said it was probably due to a lack of adrenaline). And though he was getting better at reacting silently as to not disturb others upon waking from his dreams, Will would definitely notice. If anyone was in the same room as him, (even a Hypnos kid) they would notice.
Besides, it shouldn’t be too hard to stay awake; Chiron said they still had to be at breakfast by eight.
That was only what, five, six hours?
This was a bad idea.
. . .
It was feeling like way more than six hours.
According to the little clock on Chiron’s DVD player, only half an hour had passed .
(And Will was so, so warm.)
Nico wanted to sleep. He wanted to get rid of his fear of his own mind.
(And Will was so, so warm, and cozy, and---)
It was nearly three in the morning, and he wanted to sleep .
. . .
Something was warm. A pleasant, comforting sort of warmth.
It didn’t feel threatening, so Nico let himself wake up slowly, snuggling closer to the source of the heat.
Nico heard a quiet laugh and ignored it. He realized, that for some reason, he fell asleep on the floor, but he found that he didn’t care. He shifted closer, yawning.
He heard a voice say, “Wow, you really are a different person in the morning.”
Nico’s eyes flew open, and he rolled away as fast as he could, getting tangled in Will’s blankets.
Nico must’ve fallen asleep and cuddled with Will .
This was a bad idea.
“Relax, Sunshine,” Will yawned, then wrinkled his nose. “Ugh, morning breath.”
Nico let himself loosen up, letting go of the tension he didn’t know he had. So they were going to ignore that? Perfect. “I guess your movie marathon idea didn’t work after all.”
“Even you fell asleep,” Will agreed, feigning disappointment.
Deadpan, Nico added, “What’s this? What’s this? You actually agree with me?”
Will lit up. “Ha! You remembered it. My evil plan worked after all.”
Nico snorted. “Like you could be evil.”
“Why not? I could have murdered several people and you wouldn’t’ve even noticed.”
Nico rolled his eyes. “Please. If you ever murdered anyone, you’d be in jail right now.”
“You don’t think I’m smart enough to get away with murder? I am offended, di Angelo.”
“No, I think you would have felt guilty enough to report your crimes about a day after you did it.”
Will stuck his tongue out, then pulled his pillow out from underneath Nico’s head. “If that’s what you think of me, then you don’t get a pillow.”
“To be honest, I’m surprised you haven’t named it.”
“As a matter of fact, I have.” Will thought for a moment. “Its name is Ash.”
“To be honest, I’m not surprised.”
Will gasped, seemingly . . . offended? “You mean you’ve never heard of Pokemon .”
Nico shifted. So it was some obscure pop culture reference he had missed? He still hadn’t told Will about the Lotus Casino (he sucked at talking and opening up, sue him) and didn’t think that this was the best place for it---it was seven am and everyone else was still asleep.
“It’s a TV show, right?” Nico bit his lip, hoping he wasn’t wrong.
“Technically, yes, but it started off as a video game, then comics and manga were made, and then the anime came out.”
Nico didn’t know what manga or anime was, but didn’t want to ask Will, and nodded.
“There’s also a trading card game,” Will added, smiling.
“I told you about that in complete confidence. You swore you would never bring that up. You’re a terrible friend, Will.”
“You love me. Besides, everyone had their embarrassing phases from when they were kids.”
Nico refused to blush. “Then what was yours?”
“Shit. I didn’t think that through.”
“I told you about Mythomagic. Again, terrible friend.”
“Are you trying to guilt me into telling you?”
“Stop flirting, you guys. We’re trying to sleep!” It was one of the other campers. Apparently, they weren’t the only ones awake.
Nico scowled. Was it obvious?
Will’s ears went red. “Like you actually care, Kayla.”
Kayla. One of Will’s younger siblings. Eleven, maybe twelve?
“Anyways, it’s nearly eight. Should we wake everyone up?” Nico asked, ignoring Kayla and his blush. “Chiron said we still have to be on time to breakfast.”
“If you want everyone to hate you, sure.” Will stood up, and then with a complete disregard for his own advice, shouted, “Kayla! Austin! Time to get up.”
“Thanks, Will,” Cecil muttered, his voice muffled by his pillow. “You know you didn’t have to wake everyone up.”
Nico smiled, and tried to stifle a laugh. His first impression of Will was way off, and Nico figured that out less than half an hour after he had forced Nico into the infirmary. Will was snarky, stubborn, headstrong, and, purposefully annoying.
(He also had more freckles than Nico realized, very blond hair that was nearly golden in the sun, and blue, so blue eyes.)
(It was fine. Those were just observations. Nothing weird or non-platonic there.)
Why was this a bad idea, again?