Nico looked around Camp Half-Blood. The seven, or well six now, were here. They came for him and Will. Seven years. Nico and Will have been together for seven years. Today, they were getting married.
Nico felt an arm wrap around his waist. Looking up at his soon-to-be husband Nico smiled. Will’s freckles popped out against his skin in the summer sun, usually in the winter when there was less sun Will’s freckles were less noticeable, except that one right above his left eyebrow. In the winter it appeared to have sucked the color from the other freckles as it was the darkest of them and the others were pale in comparison. Oh, how Nico loved his freckles. His laugh. His smile. His sunny demeanor. He was an Apollo child after all.
The sweet smell of strawberries hung in the air, when he first came back to the camp it haunted him. He felt his sister’s death right while he was in the strawberry fields. But, he didn’t know that’s what he felt until later on. After learning he couldn’t stand the smell of strawberries, but like he forgave Percy he started tolerating the smell of strawberries. Now? The smell was intoxicating. Especially because that was what Will smelled like when they first kissed. Hell, even Will’s lips tasted like strawberries when they first kissed. Will and Nico had snuck into the strawberry fields and stole some strawberries, Nico didn’t eat any but just seeing Will’s excitement about them made his heart flutter. God, that first kiss was so awkward but Nico wouldn’t trade it for anything because it was still perfect. The perfect memory. One of his favorites.
Nico smiled as little six-year-old Estelle ran up to him, Percy had allowed her into the camp for the wedding knowing Nico formed a strong bond with her but didn’t know the reason why he had. It took everything in him not to cry. His sister would be at his wedding. His older sister.
Bianca. But she wasn’t Bianca, she was Estelle. Bianca was dead. But, was reborn as Estelle. Oh Gods, it took everything in him not to call her Bianca. He could sense it was her. He knew it. He could recognize that smile from anywhere. Her laugh, oh Gods her laugh, Nico almost cried the first time he heard it. Estelle’s dress was a pale yellow, contrasting drastically with her dark hair. Everyone was wearing something yellow, it was the color they had chosen to be the main color of the wedding theme. Thalia was here too, her eyes looked puffy from crying. The last time she was here was when they burned Jason’s shroud. Jason. Thalia had a memorial place outside of camp borders for him. Nico should probably go there after the wedding, to speak to him. To thank him. For being the first to accept him, for being there for him after he was outed. For being the first to encourage him to act on his feelings towards Will.
“Nico!” Estelle shouted.
“Estelle I’m right here you don’t have to yell,” Nico crouched down to the six-year-old’s height.
“But you’re tall!”
Nico heard Will’s snickers behind him and quickly jabbed his elbow back, lightly hitting his fiancé in the knee. It hurt Nico a lot more than it hurt Will.
The wedding started, Nico and Will stood before each other as Chiron told them to say the vows they had written and Nico was going first.
“Will Solace,” Nico blinked back the tears that threatened him and swallowed the lump in his throat. “You are the exact opposite of me in ev-”
Nico stopped and looked out to the sea of people, to the empty chair next to Thalia. Fuck, he couldn’t do this. Not without him here, it felt wrong. Jason deserved to be there.
After awkwardly making the request to move their location, not sure how it would be taken, they stood outside of camp boundaries. They weren’t right next to the memorial, Nico felt that would be disrespectful. But the memorial was in view, and that settled Nico’s guilt at Jason not being there.
Nico choked out him vows, crying as Will wiped away his tears. The Will said his, which caused Nico to cry again.
“I love you so much Nico,” Will said as he wiped away Nico’s tears and kissed him, sealing their marriage.
Soon, everyone had left. Except for Nico and Will. They stayed there, sitting at Jason’s memorial in silence.
“Hey,” Will turned to Nico as he heard the sniffles coming from the other man. “They’d be proud of you, you know.”
“Bianca, your mom, Jason. They’d be proud.”
“How am I supposed to know they wouldn’t hate me? My mom and Bianca? For being you know, gay. I was born in a different time period, Will. One where people were much less accepting than they are now and even now you still get plenty of assholes.”
“I can’t say anything about your mom because obviously I’ve never met her so with your mom well, it would be much better to imagine her loving you for who you are than hating you. Right? I’ve also never properly met Bianca but from the stories you’ve told me about her? I’m pretty certain she wouldn’t hate you. Besides Estelle loves you, doesn’t she?”
“What does Estelle have to do with-”
“You really think Percy didn’t notice? He told me a while ago that he thought it and then seeing how you bonded with her? How brotherly you acted with her? That confirmed his suspicions.”
Nico’s sniffles got more consistent now, the words he spoke were thick. “She’s right there will and she doesn’t even remember me. Her soul, it’s my sister. But she has none of the memories, none. I thought Estelle being here would make me feel like my sister, my older sister. I love Hazel dearly but Bianca- I-I can’t forget Bianca. I miss her so much. But, I thought it would feel like she’s here. Jason may not be able to be here but I thought at least I could have Bianca here but if anything Estelle being here just reminds me that Bianca is gone.”
Nico’s last wall broke and he started crying again.
“Hey, hey, it’s okay, I’m here for you. Always and forever.” Will chuckled, “however long forever can be for a demigod.”
“I love you so much, I don’t deserve you.”
“Of course you do, you deserve so much Nico,” Will placed a chaste kiss to Nico’s lips. “Come on, it’s our wedding. Let’s join the party.”