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Linger in my Doorway

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Nico woke up pissed off.

His head hurt and his skin felt tight and everything he was wearing felt way too warm to be comfortable.

Heat. He thought around the pain in his head.

I’m starting my heat. He realized with a groan.

Now frustrated for a totally difference reason Nico kicked off the covers on his bed and stretched out like a cat across the length of it.

He hated going into heat. It made his body rebel against him and kept his thoughts muddled. He couldn’t train or fight or even find a comfortable way to lay down that didn’t remind him of the beginning of the burning sensation in his lower half.

Worse yet, he was at camp this time. Which meant he’d have to stay locked away in his cabin for days unless he wanted some stupid Alpha trying to stake some kind of claim on him.

He might have been an Omega, but that sure as Hades didn’t mean he was about to bare his neck to the first Alpha that thought bedding the only Omega child of the Big Three would be a walk in the park.

No, he’d suffered through heats alone since he was 13 because of the very simple fact that the very thought of taking an Alpha as a mate set his teeth on edge.

An Alpha would expect him to submit and try to control him.

Nico would never allow himself to become some Alpha’s bitch just to avoid going through a little under a week of being really horny a couple of times a year.

......Even if it felt like 12 weeks and he knew as it got worse he’d be in a state of mind that didn’t care who was fucking him as long as his body was satisfied.

Even if there were times he wanted nothing more than for someone to take care of him for once. To look after him like only a mate could ever be allowed to.

Either way, he was an Omega just starting an early heat and he knew if he didn’t rush out and get supplies now he’d end up having to hope that someone would notice his absence and bring him food. Especially since he knew he was already too far gone to try and shadow travel far in his condition. Leaving later in his heat or even opening the door to his cabin during it was way too risky given the fact that the ratio of Alphas to Omegas in camp were not in his favor.

Alphas generally never showed him any interest when he wasn’t in heat. Usually because his general vibe of ‘Touch me and DIE' kept them away and because of his heritage. (It was no secret that there was a special place in the Underworld for anyone that touched a son of Hades without his consent.) But Alphas got stupid around Omegas in heat and even though he’d never had an issue before he’d heard enough horror stories to know it was dangerous to be out in his condition.

So he had to go now, before his change in scent became too noticeable. So with his sword providing a comforting weight on his back and his satchel over his arm he turned towards the doorway to his cabin.

He was lucky to have woken up as early as he had, any later and he would have risked having to travel amongst the early morning crowd. The sun was only just rising on the horizon when he stepped out of his cabin and noted with relief that not a single camper, satyr or druid was in sight.

His luck held as he made his way to the camp store and raided it of his favorite heat snacks. After packing it all away in his satchel and dropping a couple of drachma on the counter he raced out of the building as fast as he could, eager to try and get back into his cabin before he got too weak to function.

Of course, that was the moment his string of good luck ended.

He didn’t see the other teen until it was too late and his body had collided with a lean orange clad chest at an uncomfortable speed.

Long arms wrapped around his frame and kept him from falling, but it only took one inhale for Nico to change from being grateful for that gesture to being terrified.

Alpha! His mind screamed.

In an instant he was thrashing and clawing at the arms around him; trying to grasp his sword and failing miserably.

No, No, No!

“Nico!” A familiar voice called to him through his panic.

Recognition flooded his system and chased away his first panicked impulse.

“Will?” He breathed back unsteadily.

The blonde looked at him with wide and worried eyes.

“Nico, what just happened? Are you okay? Is your PTSD acting up?”

Nico shivered with residual adrenaline as his head shook numbly in response to Will’s questions.

He’d never realized just how scared he was of being forcefully mated before; never realized just how much the thought of that lost control frightened him.

He also hadn’t realized he was panting and clinging to Will’s chest until the blonde started rubbing his arms in a soothing manner.

The harder Nico panted the more Will’s scent filled his lungs and the easier it felt to breathe.

There was no doubt that Will was an Alpha and that he smelled heavily like one, but beneath that scent was a dozen others that helped chased Nico’s fears away.

Camp, the infirmary, smores. He even had a little of Nico’s own scent on him from their time together the night before playing Mythomagic in his cabin.

Still, his mind had a hard time dealing with the conflicting information within it that Will was an Alpha, but Will was safe too.

“Nico?” The blonde asked again, confusion lacing his words.

The Italian steadied his breathing as zaffre blue eyes looked down at him with concern.

“I need to get back to my cabin.” He admitted shakily.

Nico could see it in his eyes the moment Will realized why he needed to get away. The moment the blonde realized what was happening and his hands stopped moving and his back straightened.

The raven tensed for a million different reactions that he expected, but never came.

Instead Will withdrew from Nico’s personal space so slowly it looked nearly painful as he backed up to the point that there was a good foot of space between them.

He didn’t look at Nico as he fished around his pocket and pulled out something that looked like a container of lip balm.

Nico kept himself just as still as Will had been a moment before as he watched the blonde coat his fingers in the goo from the vial and rub it under his nostrils.

As soon as it was applied Will took a deep breath through his nose and looked up again.

“Okay.” He exhaled with determination.

Nico felt his own body relax in time with Will’s as the blonde’s eyes focused in on him again with none of the feralness he expected of an Alpha this close to an Omega starting a heat.

He could tell that Will was in full medic mode now and it was one of the most relieving sights that Nico had ever seen.

“I can’t smell you now.” Will explained gently, lifting the tiny container to show that it contained a mix that nullified his ability to smell anything.

The blonde glanced down to the satchel at Nico’s side and back to the camp store.

“Did you get everything you need? As head medic I’m allowed to grab anything I need, so if it’s not a matter of drachma if it’s something for your heat.”

Nico nodded even as his hands held onto his satchel tighter.

Will couldn’t smell him now, but he could still smell Will. He could still smell Will’s reaction to him too.

“I just need to get back.” He admitted slowly before looking up and meeting Will’s eyes again.

“Walk me?” He requested hesitantly.

Will’s spine straightened even more as he nodded.

“Of course.” He agreed quickly.

They’d walked together a million times since Nico had come to stay at camp full time, but never like this. Never with Nico clutching his satchel so tight his hands ached and never with Will walking a full foot away from him.

The Italian couldn’t help glancing sideways at Will the whole time they were walking back and noticing how the blonde’s eyes were always scanning the area around them for threats.

It made something warm blossom in Nico’s chest.

The act was so Alpha-ish and yet so Will that it brought a smile to his face.

He felt safe for the first time since he’d stepped outside his cabin that morning and it felt good. It had been so long since he’d asked someone to help him when he really needed it; when he was at his most vulnerable. The thought alone of not just any Alpha, but Will, taking care of him made his inner Omega purr.

Will was still scanning the area with his eyes by the time they were halfway to cabin 13 and began talking.

“I’ll tell Chiron that you’ll be preoccupied for the next few days and not to bother you. I’ll also mark the dates in your medical file so that next time we can have a room in the infirmary set up if you need it. We have pre and post heat packages at the infirmary too with vitamins, suppressants and birth-control. Did you get enough water at the camp store? Dehydration is the number one cause of heat and post heat complications.”

Nico licked his lips nervously as Will rambled on.

“I’ve got water bottles, plus my own bathroom and sink.” He reminded the blonde.

Will’s expression of calmness broke for just a moment as he blushed.

“Right, of course. Sorry.” He mumbled.

They didn’t talk for the rest of the trip and Nico didn’t know whether he was grateful for that or not.

When they finally arrived at the doorstep of Cabin 13 Nico couldn’t help but linger a moment in the doorway.

“Will?” He asked softly.

The blonde went from looking down at his shoes to up at Nico with noticeable reluctance from the bottom of the porch stairs.

“Yeah?” He answered just as quietly.

“Thank you.” Nico breathed. “Thank you for…..everything.”

Will looked both flushed and confused.

“For what?”

Nico felt his own face darken as he answered.

“For stepping back. For walking me here. For helping without expecting me to…..you know.”

“Nico.” Will responded in his most expatriatedly fond voice; the same one he used whenever Nico thanked him for silly things. “I’m your friend. It wouldn’t have been right for me to do anything less.”

“Still.” Nico argued. “It means a lot to me to know that you……You care about me whether I’m in heat or not. That you don’t treat me any different either way.”

Will’s answering smile was blinding.

“You’re still Nico no matter what. I won’t ever treat you any different just because you have a different designation than me. Remember that okay? And make sure you stop by the infirmary when you’re feeling better so I can give you a check up. I’ll have a post heat care package all set up for you.”

Will turned on his heels before Nico would respond and the raven didn’t know if he was grateful or disappointed about that.

He almost called him back.

Almost.
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His heat lasted a whole week; longer than any of his previous by two days.

Yet he didn’t hate every minute of it like usual.

Not when zaffre blue eyes and a flushed freckle face seemed to be the only thing he could think of. The only thing that got him through the long hazy hours.

When those same zaffre blue eyes met his a week later he couldn’t help but wonder if someday, maybe, the idea of a safe Alpha wouldn’t seem so impossible.

Chapter Text

Things were different between them after that. They had been friends for over two years now and Will had always been someone that Nico felt he could be himself with, but now….there was a hint more warmth than there'd been before.

Just a twinge more touching and laughing and dare he think…Affection?

It felt like they'd overcome some milestone in their relationship with that simple early morning walk. Like Will had passed some kind of test that Nico never knew he needed to in order to fully trust him. To trust that Will could be there for him at his absolute weakest and not take advantage. To never be more Alpha than Will; if that made any sense.

Still, Nico tried not to get his hopes up. He'd made that mistake with Percy once before and he didn't want to make another perfectly good friendship awkward just because he couldn't handle his own stupid feelings.

Still at night, when the world was as dark as the Underworld, he let himself imagine what it would be like to be Will's mate.

Sweet things like waking up in Will's embrace or being given a kiss goodbye before he left on missions for his father.

And, admittedly, he imagined hotter things too.

Things like being knotted and bitten and claimed.

Things that would have terrified a younger him; things he would have once run away from.

Once, on a day when his thought had been particularly dark, he even let himself imagine what it would be like to have a family of his own.

To place a hand to his stomach and feel a little life stirring around inside him.

He never imagined past that. He wasn't that masochistic. He knew if he started picturing little blonde babies with olive skin or raven haired infants with zaffre blue eyes he'd end up longing for them forever. It would eat him up from the inside out and he'd end up hating Will for inspiring such longing inside him.

So he just imagined the sweet and the hot and the feel of little feet kicking inside of him.

He imagined. But he didn't dare hope.

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It had been months since Nico's last heat. Since that moment on the doorstep of cabin 13 where Nico almost let Will in.

It was in late evening on a Friday and Will and Nico were sitting on the latter's bed playing Mythomagic. It was something they'd started doing way back when Nico was still new to the camp and Will was trying to pry him out of his shell. He'd caught sight of Nico's Hades figure and wouldn't stop begging Nico to play against him. Apparently Will loved the game and had run out of opponents since the summer kids had gone home.

Reluctantly Nico had agreed to one match.

But then Will had destroyed him at it and there was no way he was going to let Will think he was better at Nico's game then he was. He'd declared a rematch and they'd been playing every Friday ever since.

After getting over his initial rustiness Nico had eventually regained his title as Mythomagic champion, but he still liked to play. To pretend, even if only for a few hours, that they were normal teens at a normal camp and not kids expected to protect the world.

Especially since just being together, alone in Nico's cabin, made his heart race. Omegas were very territorial of their personal space, especially unmated one and especially around Alphas. All these things applied to Nico just as strongly as they would have for any other Omega, but he still allowed it. He still let Will in. A kind of weekly reminder to himself that Will could be trusted. That Will being an Alpha didn't mean that Nico had to be afraid of him.

It seemed calming to the both of them to play. Even if Will didn't usually get the chance to win as much as he assumed he would in the beginning.

The son of Apollo was never a sore loser though. If anything he seemed to almost enjoying losing more than winning. (When Nico had once asked why Will said he couldn't dislike something that made Nico smile like that. Something that made the younger demigod blush like a child of Aphrodite).

Nico was winning again, but his heart wasn't really into the game. Will had been distracted all throughout the campfire earlier and Nico had hoped the blonde would say something once they were alone, but so far he'd just stared down at his cards with a frown on his face and a sigh on his lips.

Eventually it became too much and Nico put his cards down.

"Okay Will, spit it out. You've been in a funk all night. What's got your head in the clouds?"

Will jolted up at the unexpected question, but quickly flashed him a guilty grin.

"Sorry Sunshine. I know I've been a bit preoccupied today." He admitted as he ran a hand though his golden curls.

Nico rolled his eyes.

"I know that. I'm asking why."

Will blushed.

It was so unexpected and vivid that it caught the young Ghost King by surprise.

"I'm…." Will gulped audibly. "I'm going to go into a rut soon." He admitted.

Nico felt his own blush rise to his cheeks.

"Oh." Was all he could think to say.

Will nodded before shuffling his cards nervously.

"The room in the infirmary is all set up and I'm on my pre-meds for it, but I hate feeling like I'm leaving my siblings short handed and unsupervised. Plus it's never something I enjoy happening when I'm at camp."

Nico nodded in understanding, not trusting his voice.

"It's easier at home, in my own territory you know?"

Nico nodded again before licking his lips and asking the first question that had popped into his head when Will had uttered the word rut.

"Are you going to share it with someone?"

It wasn't a polite question. Especially not between an Omega and an Alpha who weren't together. But Nico knew Will wouldn't judge him for it. Will never made him feel like he had to play the role of an Omega around him. Never made him feel like there was anything he could or couldn't do because of his status. The same way he had never made Will feel like he wasn't welcome in Nico's space because of his own designation.

Plus it was an important question. Since there were so many Alpha's and Omega at camp it wasn't uncommon for either of the two to request that another camper share their rut or heat. It wasn't something people talked about much at camp since most of the hook ups didn't result in bondings and never resulted in pregnancies (Chiron was very strict about the use of birth control on camp grounds) But no one judged others for who they wanted during a heat and no one was forced to share one with someone they didn't want to. (Or at least they weren't supposed to.)

Nico knew for a fact that people like Percy and Jason got asked to share heats at least once a week, but they had never accepted and Nico himself had never been asked to share a rut with anyone.

He couldn't imagine someone turning down a chance with Will though. He knew he couldn't.

Will's blush deepened, but he didn't shoot Nico a dirty look like most others would have.

"I'm old fashioned." The blonde admitted with a self-reproaching grin.

"I only want to share something like that with the person I'm going to be mated to forever."

Nico didn't say anything for a moment as relief flooded his system.

Will misinterpreted his silence as something else and looked down at the bedspread instead of at the Italian's face.

"I know it's stupid. Most people are fine with hooking up with someone during their heats or ruts, but I just…I want it to be special."

"That's not stupid." Nico defended. "It just shows that you'll care about your partner. Not just about using them. It's…. actually admirable."

Will looked back up at him with hesitant eyes before flashing him an endearing grin.

"Thanks Nico. For understanding."

Nico nodded as nonchalantly as he could before picking up his cards again.

Will understood it as a sign that the raven wanted to drop the subject and grabbed his own cards.

"Will." Nico began after few silent turns.

The blonde looked up and met Nico's dark chocolate gaze with his own.

The Italian fidgeted beneath the scrutiny, but continued on anyway.

"I don't think you need to worry about it being special." He eventually confessed. "If it's with you…..I can't imagine it not being that way."

Will's eyes were so wide and so blue it looked like he'd replaced them with Delftware pottery plates. They made Nico feel so raw and exposed.

After a pause Will's eyes returned to their normal size and his face filled with warmth.

"Thank you Nico. I think that's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said about me."

His grin turned mischievous as he continued.

"No one would ever believe me if I told them how sweet you really are Death Boy."

Nico shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes before playing the last move of the game and making himself the winner.

They didn't talk about it the rest of the night, but at the same time their conversation never lagged or grew awkward.

There was a moment though, just before Will left, where he seemed to pause at the foot of Nico's steps. He looked up at Nico standing in the doorway, his frame silhouetted by the light inside, and seemed to want to say something. Nico waited with baited breath for a heartbeat, then two, but in the end Will just smiled ruefully and gave a little wave up at him before slipping into the darkness.

Nico closed the door a moment after, but didn't end up moving from that spot for a long time.

Chapter Text

Nico didn’t see Will at breakfast the next morning, but he wasn’t surprised. Will probably wasn’t bad enough to be in the infirmary yet, but it was safer for everyone if he didn’t go to too crowded an area since his scent would have aggravated the other Alphas.

He was probably holed up in the Apollo cabin with his siblings, trying to get everyone prepared for his absence. Plus being around family during pre-ruts often helped the sufferer’s transition into the condition be less stressfully than if it was accelerated by isolation or exposure to non-familial Omegas.

In the end Nico turned out to only be half right about where Will was.

He caught sight of Will’s golden curls from half a mile away as he approached the Apollo cabin and the sight of it made his heart race. Will was sitting at the picnic table on the shady side of the cabin with two of his siblings, a place few ventured to during the day due to its distance from most camp activities, and enjoying the last bit of fresh air he was going to get for a while.

It was stupid to approach Will now that he knew about his going into a rut, but Nico didn’t care. He needed to talk to Will before they were separated for however long Will’s rut lasted. He needed to talk to him about anything, everything, it didn’t matter. He just knew that he had to.

He slipped into a shadow without thinking and was behind the tree nearest to the trio before anyone could notice.

He didn’t plan on doing anything other than approaching the trio and asking to speak to Will alone, but he paused when he heard his name mentioned.

“Nico di Angelo? Seriously Will? Is he even an Omega?” He heard Will’s half brother Austin ask.

Nico froze even before he heard Will groan.

“Bless your Beta nose Bro. You’ll never know the torture of being able to smell just how amazingly Omega Nico di Angelo smells ALL the time.”

A female voice, Will’s half sister Kayla Nico presumed, cut in before the raven could have a heart attack.

“Sorry Will, I gotta side with Austin on this. He just smells like death to me.”

Nico peeked around the tree in time to see Will bury his head in his arms and groan even louder.

“That’s just to keep the monsters away.” Will assured them matter a factually.

“Beneath that Nico smells like clover and upturned earth and campfire smoke; it’s addicting.”

Their disbelieving looks didn’t waver and Will let out another frustrated groan.

“You’re an Alpha Kayla, I thought at least you’d understand.”

The ginger rolled her eyes.

“Understand what Will? You’ve had a thing for Death Boy for over a year now. The only thing I don’t understand about it is why you don’t just ask him to share your rut with you. It’s what you want right?”

What Nico could see of Will’s face looked tired and red.

“I don’t want some hook up during a rut. I want……” His eyes got distant and glassy.

“I want everything. I want dates and kisses and heats. I want to know if he tastes as good as he smells and what he looks like when he wakes up and if there’s a chance in all of Olympus that he could ever want to start a family someday.”

His expression was down right dreamy as he continued on.

“Can you imagine it? A pregnant Nico?” He asked with such reverence and longing Nico wondered if his heat could be triggered months in advance from the words alone.

Will’s siblings on the other hand weren’t as impressed by the idea.

“Nico’s never responded to an Alpha that I know of Bro. If anything he seems to be the only Omega I’ve ever heard of that could have so many Alpha friends and not be with an Alpha himself. He might just be one of those Omegas you know? The kind that just don’t settle down with a mate.”

Will wilted at the words.

“You’re probably right……..I should just be grateful for what we have. I know what it costs him to let me into his life. To trust me.”

Will sighed.

“I wouldn’t trade our friendship for a guarantee he’d spend every rut with me for the rest of my life. But when my rut comes around it’s a new kind of torture to be near him. I just keep replaying this argument I’ve got in my head about how I could make him so happy. If he just let me…..If he just wanted me too.”

Kayla placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“He would be lucky to have you Will. You’re a fine Alpha.”

Will snorted.

“I’m no Percy Jackson or Jason Grace.” He grumbled with weary resignation.

“Don’t sell yourself short Will.” Austin chided him, but his words seemed to only darken Will’s usually sunny disposition even further.

“Nico’s the strongest Omega of our entire generation. He’s so strong he doesn’t even need an Alpha. Why would he want a son of Apollo who can’t even shoot an arrow straight?”

Nico hated hearing Will say things like that about himself. Will didn’t need to be able to fight. That was Nico’s skill. Nico’s purpose. Will was meant to gather up what was left of him after the fight and put him back together. To be the reason Nico fought at all. His blonde friend was every bit as important and powerful as either of the boys he’d mentioned before, just in his own area of expertise.

Because Nico knew it was a much harder thing to heal than to destroy. And Nico had never known anyone half as good at healing as Will Solace.

His Will who made sure he ate and took his medication and always made sure the younger teen had a place at the campfire every night. Right next to him. Right where the sun touched teen could watch over him and talk to him and never ever make Nico feel like less of a demigod because of his status. Not like other Alphas did.

This new information that Will wanted him, had wanted him for over a year, and never done anything that even hinted at his desires made Nico’s stomach drop. During that time Will would have gone through multiple ruts by himself; spent days of his life withering alone in his bed thinking of the son of Hades. Getting off on thoughts of Nico’s scent.

The thought made the Italian dizzy.

The son of Apollo had never treated him differently, never tried making Nico feel like he owed him for all his attention and kindness. He’d never even hinted at wanting Nico the way an Alpha wanted an Omega.

Nico loved him for that. Loved him more in that moment than he’d loved anyone since Bianca. The thought was so overwhelming it nearly brought tears to his eyes.

Will had never asked to share a rut or heat with him not because he didn’t want him, but because he wanted all of him. He wouldn’t risk what they had for just the pleasure of an accompanied rut.

Nico sniffled even as he tuned back into the conversation the three children of the sun god where having.

“You can’t keep doing this to yourself Will. This pinning after Hades’ kid is just going to make your ruts worse. Plus you’ll need to take a mate eventually. Just ask that Goth Omega from the Demeter cabin that keeps offering to share your ruts with you if you don’t want to ask Nico.”

Nico’s sniffles turned into a low wet growl in his throat at the thought of some Demeter boy touching Will.

“Charlie smells like fertilizer.” Will complained; much to Nico’s satisfaction.

The blonde’s voice got softer as he continued.

“You guys don’t understand. I want Nico. And if I can’t have Nico, I don’t want anyone else. I lo-”

Whatever Will had planned to say withered on his tongue as the wind shifted across the field. The heads of the two Alphas of the trio both shot up and turned to face Nico’s direction.

The wind had changed and had carried his scent right to them and Nico had been too startled to react in time to prevent it.

Will bolted up from the picnic table and looked at the Italian with wide and wild eyes.

“Nico. Gods Nico, How…..How long have you been there?”

Nico dropped his gaze to his boots and didn’t respond.

Will sounded like he was going to be sick as he continued.

“What did you hear?” He asked with barely withheld horror.

The only living son of Hades finally looked up and met Will’s gaze.

A thousand things shone in those zaffre blue eyes, but Nico didn’t let himself linger on any of them. Instead he motioned with his own eyes to the two other children of Apollo at his side.

Even panicked, Will understood his silence like always.

“Can you guys go to the pavilion or something? I……I need to talk to Nico alone.”

Neither looked like they really wanted to leave their brother alone with someone who could literally send Will to the Underworld with a snap of his fingers, but one look at Will’s beseeching eyes was enough to convince them that he’d be okay. (Physically at least).

Neither moved till the pair was out of sight and when they were Will forced himself to sit back down at the table.

Nico hated seeing him like this. Scared, panicked, overwhelmed. He’d seen Will treat people who were gushing blood, screaming bloody murder and all in the middle of a battle field without so much as batting an eye. Yet the sight of Nico just standing there in that moment seemed to be pushing him closer to the edge than any injury ever had.

His right hand was threaded in his hair and tugging at the curls anxiously while his other hand was gripping the table with white knuckles. Nico had never seen Will look this stressed over anything.

“This doesn’t change anything.” Will eventually forced out. “You don’t have to…I would never ask……Just…” Will looked like he was going to cry.

“Please don’t stop being my friend Nico.” He begged.

The sight of Will with tears in his eyes broke the raven haired teen out of his paralysis.

He stumbled over his own boots in his rush to get to Will’s side, to wipe his tears away, to comfort his friend. His Alpha.

The second that thought entered his mind it became a truth.

He didn’t want anyone else. He would never want anyone else.

Will was it. Will had always been it.

His Alpha.

“Stop.” Nico whispered as he rushed to Will’s side.

It was all he could say as he pushed Will’s hands to his lap and gathered the blonde’s face between his own trembling palms.

“Stop.” He repeated over and over as he wiped the tears away with his thumbs and pulled the blonde down closer to his level.

“I will never leave you.” He promised when they were so close they were finally sharing the same breath.

“I can’t.” He admitted around his own barely withheld tears.

“You smell like morning dew and antiseptic and freaken sunshine.”

He didn’t try and stop the tears from falling down his own face.

“You’re the person I think about during my heats and the person I want to play Mythomagic with.”

Nico pressed their foreheads tight together.

“You’re the one person who makes me feel safe. Who makes me feel like I’m not just the son of Hades or an Omega. I don’t care if you can’t shoot an arrow straight to save your life. I don’t care about any of that.”

Nico pulled back enough to look right into his favorite shade of blue.

“All I care about is the fact that if you’re only going to ever spend your ruts with one person. I want that person to be me.”

“Nico.” Will breathed with wide eyed wonder.

Nico didn’t let own gaze falter as he continued on even lower.

“You’re the only Alpha I would ever consider being with. The only one I want.”

Nico gulped before making his last admission.

“Because when I imagine having kids someday they all have your eyes.”

Will was speechless and Nico had used up all of his courage.

So he just leaned forward and placed his forehead against Will’s covered collar bone.

“Plus.” He muttered. “I don’t smell like fertilizer.”

They were both still for a long moment. Then Will was laughing. Laughing like Nico had just said the funniest thing he’d ever heard and throwing his arms around him so tightly the raven could barely breathe.

“I love you.” He confessed into Nico’s hair.

“I love you so much.” He repeated as he kissed along the top of Nico’s head.

Nico basked in it; his face as red as a second degree burn.

It felt like a lifetime of tension and longing had been stripped from his shoulders. Like his soul had been scrubbed raw and made several shades lighter than its previous black just from the blonde’s smile alone.

Will Solace loved him.

The brightest son of Apollo loved Nico di Angelo.

And the only son of Hades loved him back.

Chapter Text

It felt like Will had been holding him and kissing him for hours. Swift pecks on every inch of his face but his lips. Only stopping every few times to repeat the only words he’d said since Nico’s confession.

“I love you.” He breathed along Nico’s jaw, the bridge of his nose, the corner of his lips; as though trying to make up for every single time he’d denied himself the pleasure of saying it before.

“I love the way you smell, and the way you look after sword practice, and how you smile when you kick my butt at Mythomagic.”

Will placed another firm kiss to his temple.

“Gods Nico, I want kids with your olive skin and bottomless eyes. Kids with your smile.”

“I’ll give them to you.” Nico vowed.

Will looked at him like he’d just been promised everything he’d ever wanted.

It was probably the most Omega-like thing Nico had ever said and Will’s pupils had blown wide at the words.

His rut scent, previously dulled by medication, flared up until Nico was inhaling it with every breath.

“Nico.” Will whined lowly. “You can’t just say things like that.”

“I will.” Nico reaffirmed with force; then added lower. “I want to.”

A low groan began in Will’s chest as he pulled the shorter teen against him.

“You’re killing me Sunshine.”

Nico nuzzled against him, for the first time in his life not afraid of a rutting Alpha’s scent overwhelming him.

“We can lock ourselves in your room in the infirmary and get started right now.”

Will bit his bottom lip so hard it began to bleed.

“No Nico……..Nico we can’t.” He gasped.

“Screw Chiron’s birth control rule.” Nico hissed as slick ran down his legs in response to Will’s strengthening scent.

“No Nico, we can’t. You can’t..” Will stuttered helplessly.

Nico made a sound in this throat that couldn’t have been more enticingly Omega.

“Alpha.” He whined. “We can. Right now.”

A cloud passed over the table and cast a shadow down upon them. That was all it took for Nico to tilt them both sideways off the table bench and into the darkness. When they reappeared they were just outside the private outer door to the infirmary room Will had been assigned and the blonde was pinning Nico to the side of the building.

“Right here.” Nico whispered adoringly up at him.

The tanner teen’s face was flushed all the way to the roots of his blonde hair and Nico’s complexion was only a few shades behind him.

“Gods Nico, warn me before we shadow travel.” Will whined as he fisted a hand into Nico’s hair.

The Italian didn’t get a chance to nod before Will had his head tilted back and his neck bared. “Oh Gods.” Nico whispered as his eyes stared up at the sky and his neck was adorned with kisses and nips.

His knees became jello beneath him and only Will’s arm around his waist kept him upright.

“Will.” Nico whined as his scent glands were nuzzled and nipped. “Let’s go inside.” He begged.

Will went still against him and Nico whimpered when the blonde’s teeth dragged against his skin as he pulled back to look at him.

Nico knew his face was flushed from the contact and that his hair was even messier than usual under Will’s touch, but he couldn’t imagine he looked anymore sweaty or out of breath than after sword practice and Will had said he liked that.

As though sensing his self-consciousness Will quickly moved to reassure him.

“You have no idea how beautiful you look right now. How much I want you.”

Nico exhaled shakily in delight at Will’s husky tone and nuzzled the palm that had trailed down from his hair.

“I want you more.” He boasted with what he hoped was a sexy smirk.

Nico saw Will’s cheeks get even redder for an instant before the blonde’s mouth was at his ear.

“Gods Nico, please please don’t hate me, but I need you to go.”

Ice water trickled down the shorter teen’s spine as Will’s words registered in his mind.

“What?” He asked numbly.

Will pulled back to reveal his own pained expression.

“I meant what I said before; I don’t want you for just my rut. I want to court you Nico. I want to take you on dates and give you courting gifts and do things right.” His voice was so desperately pleading it grated against the Italian’s heart.

“I haven’t even properly kissed you yet and I don’t want to jump over all those precious milestones in our relationship just because some biological urge is telling me to jump you now that I know we both want it.”

Will’s eyes begged him to understand.

“The first time I make love to you I don’t want to be hopped up on hormones. I want to be able to savor it. To worship you like you deserve.”

“You’re……Turning me away?” Nico still asked uncomprehendingly.

Alphas in a rut didn’t do that. Ever.

“Yes.” Will ground out. “And it’s killing me Sunshine. It’s literally burning me up from the inside out to imagine letting you go right now. But I have to. Or else I’ll always regret not doing things right by you.”

Nico tried to understand; to not let the unreasonable hurt show on his face.

He wanted those things too and Will was making way too much sense for an Alpha during a rut, but at the same time it felt like if he left right now he might never get another chance.

He had an irrational but overwhelming fear that Will would come out of his rut and say he hadn’t meant any of it. That he didn’t, that he couldn’t-

“I love you.” Will assured him gently.

“I’ve been in love with you for over a year now Nico. And when this is over all I want in the world is to prove that to you in every way I can possibly imagine.”

Will reached down and grasped Nico’s trembling hands between his own before bringing them to his lips to kiss.

“Can you wait for me just a little longer Sunshine?” He pleaded.

Nico didn’t want to. And on some level he knew he could make Will change his mind with the right touch of his scent glands or his own begging words, but he pushed those thoughts aside before they could consume him.

Will had never pressured him and he owed the blonde the same courtesy no matter how much he wanted more.

So the Italian forced himself to nod and not to shiver when Will’s warmth left his skin.

They were only inches away from the door Nico had expected them both to walk through that day and to step away from it was literally painful.

The blonde stood with his back to said door as Nico reluctantly withdrew from his personal space.

“This rut will be easier.” Will began. “Knowing I’ve got you waiting for me out here.”

Nico nodded, still unable to form any kind of reply that wouldn’t be an attempt at getting Will to let him stay.

“Nico?” Will asked softly. “Are you okay?”

The raven nodded harder before reaching for the zipper of his black hoodie. Will’s face got redder as he watched his love strip of the outermost layer of his outfit.

“Nico I-” He began to protest, but the determined look on Nico’s face stopped him.

A moment later the shorter teen rubbed the cloth roughly against his neck and wrists.

Will watch him in puzzlement for a moment before Nico startled him by shoving the top into his hands.

“Use this.” The raven instructed firmly. Then he blushed as he added.

“Use it and think of me.” Before turning on his heels and practically running away from Will.

The blonde stood there in shock for a moment before looking down at the cloth in his hands. It was one of Nico’s favorite hoodies. An oversized black one with a plush day of the dead sugar skull on the back. It was worn from use and a little frayed around the edges, but that only made Will love it more. Plus it now smelled divinely of an aroused Nico and that was a scent the blonde would never get tired of.

Especially over the next couple of days when he would be craving his Omega more so than in any other rut before.

It took him a minute to think of exactly how Nico intended for him to ‘use’ the hoodie, but when he did his face erupted in heat.

“You’re going to be the death of me Nico di Angelo.” He muttered with a grin to himself before closing himself into his infirmary room for the foreseeable future.
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Two days later when his rut was over the first thing Will Solace did was find Nico di Angelo and give him his first courting gift. An orange hoodie to replace black one he was never getting back.

Chapter Text

Nico arranged his hair in front of the mirror for the twelfth time in as many minutes before messing it up again with an aggravated sigh.

He hated his hair and his outfit and even the way his new deodorant made him smell.

Mostly, he hated Will Solace in that moment for being so perfect and amazing and asking him out only a few days before.

Nico could topple Titians, grapple with Giants, even hold his own against Gods.

But he couldn't handle the stress of worrying about whether or not he should wear the shirt with the painted skull or the glow in the dark one on his date.

A new thought occurred to him and Nico threw both shirts onto his bed with a groan.

Were skulls even appropriate to wear on a first date?

Nico fell back onto his bed and half heartedly tried to smother himself with a pillow.

He couldn't remember ever feeling this flustered or excited about anything before.

He was going on a date with Will Solace and everything about that made his heart do back flips in his chest.

Nico blushed as he remembered receiving his first courting gift along with the invitation. The hoodie had been hideously orange and way too big for his lean frame, but at the same time it had been perfect. Because it was from Will and it smelled like the blonde and it made Nico feel small and loved when he wore it.

So far that had only been around his cabin and to bed at night, but every time he caught a glimpse of himself wearing it in his mirror his face heated up with pleasure.

It reminded him of how much Will cared about him: of how real this dream that had become his life was.

Even dressing for his date was the best kind of nightmare.

He's probably never even seen me in something that wasn't black or a hospital gown. The Italian realized.

Almost against his will his eyes strayed to the orange hoodie he'd forced himself to wash the night before. He'd hated to rinse any of Will's scent away, but he knew he'd have to at some point.

Maybe he could fix that tonight.

Feeling a little silly, but too happy to care, Nico reached out for the orange top and slipped it over his head.

He instantly felt better. The whole thing was warm like Will. Warm like the blonde had been beneath his hands a few days ago when they'd confessed to each other.

When Nico had been so happy to discover that he wasn't the only one who dreamed of them being together.

When the son of Hades had offered himself in every way to Will Solace.

When Will had asked him to wait.

Nico still blushed at the thought of how he'd thrown himself at Will, of how he'd acted like the one being overwhelmed by his hormones instead of the other way around.

But Will had kissed him, and wanted him, and even said he loved him.

Nico would have embarrassed himself a thousand times over for that.

Because now he was being courted. Nico hadn't had dreams of being courted since he was a little kid that didn't know godly blood ran in his veins.

Growing up and traveling had hardened him against such hopes years ago. At best he'd hoped to at least like whatever Alpha happened to be around when he eventually lost it during a heat and allowed himself to be mated. At worst he'd expected to be forced together with some stranger whom he couldn't fend off.

He'd seen it happen too many times during his travels to not know it was a possibility.

Courting was the kind of best case scenario that very few Omegas ever got, let alone an Omega like Nico who'd sooner bare his teeth than his neck to any approaching Alpha.

Courting meant an Alpha wanted his permission. Wanted to prove themselves as worthy before the question of being mated was asked. It had barely been done in Nico's time outside of wealthy families that wanted matches that fit their status and as far as Nico knew now it was considered even more outdated and old fashioned.

Nico nuzzled his nose against his courting gift.

Bless Naomi Solace for teaching her son such old-fashioned thinking.

For giving Nico this chance to live out a dream he'd given up so long ago.

A dream where the Alpha he wanted as his own would bring him gifts, take him on dates, and eventually, ideally, share his heat with him.

Though that was still months away Nico still shivered at the thought.

A heat with Will. Where Will would claim him with his mark and knot him with his cock. A union far more intimate and ideal for procreation than a rut.

Nico squished the pillow against his face and pressed down hard.

Go on a first date with Will before you start thinking of him knocking you up. Nico chided himself.

With that thought in mind Nico jumped to his feet and shook off the daydream.

Will was going to arrive any minute and he needed to be ready.

So for the thirteenth time, Nico tried to fix his hair.
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Once he'd tamed his raven hair as much as he could he turned and gave his reflection a critical once over.

Nico pulled at the ends of his hoodie even though it was already long enough to reach the back of his thighs.

He looked utterly ridiculous and orange.

The only reason he didn't tear it right off was because he also looked like Will's.

"He loves me." The pale teen reminded himself for the millionth time; still not quite able to say the words without blushing like a child of Aphrodite.

He held those words so tightly to his chest that it wouldn't have surprised him to find them literally there one day in Will's messy doctor's scrawl.

He'd replayed them over and over in his head as he dealt with the two grueling days of Will's rut; like a melody on loop in his mind keeping him sane and away from the enticing thought of Will so close and wanting him.

Nico jumped at the real sound of a knock at his door.

He knew it had to be Will and that made his heart race.

He was at his door in an instant and had it thrown open before Will could raise his fist to knock again.

"Will." Nico breathed in delight.

The blonde looked startled for a moment before his face broke out in a delighted grin of its own.

"You're actually wearing it." Will noted with joy.

Nico flushed under his gaze even as his own fell on the blonde's attire.

He was wearing an emerald and black plaid shirt that fell to his hips and covered the top portion of his tan khakis with a white shirt underneath.

"You look nice." He confessed more shyly than he'd ever admit to; absently wondering if Will knew how much he adored the sight of him in plaid.

It was Will's turn to blush as he ran a hand through his hair.

"Thanks….I tried, I mean I wanted to…Here." Will eventually forced out as he took his left hand out from behind his back and presented its contents to raven haired teen.

It was a tiny black basket of strawberries; all ripe and freshly picked from the fields on the edge of camp.

"I thought you might find flowers too girly and fruit is good for you so….." Will trailed off with his free hand still fidgeting with his hair.

Nico took the gift like it was more precious than gold.

"Thank you." He mumbled so softly it was a wonder Will even heard him.

It was still so overwhelming to be on the receiving end of such attention and gifts that Nico wasn't entirely sure how to respond.

His blush and smile seemed enough though as Will visibly unwound in front of him.

"I've got other food prepared if you want to leave them here for later." He offered.

Nico nodded and rushed inside to place them on his nightstand before rushing back to the blonde and out the door.

"You still haven't told me where we're going." Nico reminded him as the blonde led the way to a clearing not far into the forests of camp.

Will just smiled at him even as he causally caught the short teen's hand in his own and intertwined their fingers.

"It's a surprise." He teased.

Nico was too busy enjoying the unexpected contact to wheedle a reply out of him, but he still huffed a little to show his displeasure.

The sound only seemed to make Will smile wider as he pulled the shorter teen along.

When they finally reached the far end of the clearing Nico saw what Will had been leading them towards. It was a pegasi with wings as white as clouds and a coat the color of butterscotch pudding.

Dread crawled around in Nico's gut like a tapeworm.

"Will, pegasi won't let me-" He started.

Will cut him off with a finger to his lips.

"I know pegasi don't normally let you ride them, but I had Percy talk to Brittle here and she's willing to give us a ride just this once." He assured the raven haired teen.

Nico went wide eyed at his words. Will really had thought of everything.

The Italian didn't have words for how much this meant to him, so he tried action instead.

It almost surprised him how easily he was able to slip into Will's personal space and place a kiss on his cheek. How easy it was for him to do something so simply intimate with an Alpha.

Will looked every bit as surprised as Nico had expected and he felt almost smug when he caught sight of the blonde's reddened cheeks.

"Thank you." Nico muttered against Will's skin before stepping back again.

Will ran a flustered hand through his hair before turning to Brittle.

"Come on. I don't want us to miss it." He admitted in a rush.

Will helped him atop the pegasi with all the ease of a frequent rider before hoisting himself up behind Nico until the blonde was pressed tight against his back.

"Ready?" He inquired directly into the raven's ear.

Nico nodded even as he fought back a shiver. He was a child of the Underworld, not a son of Zeus. He wasn't meant for the air. He didn't actually think the lord of the gods would strike him down or anything for trespassing in his domain, like he would Percy, but he'd never needlessly risked it before.

Will must have sensed his tension because he leaned forward to place a calming kiss to the back of Nico's neck.

"We'll be fine. I won't let anything happen to you." He promised.

Nico melted a little as Will's arms reached around him to grasp the reins.

"Just lean back into me and enjoy it okay?"

Nico did as he was told and only lost a little of his breath when they took off.

It was amazing. The cold wind blowing against his face and the warm press of Will around him was a heady contrast only made even more delightful by the view of the world beneath them.

"This is amazing." He called just above the wind.

Will just chuckled against his ear and flew them higher.

It felt like they'd been flying for hours and Nico would have loved to fly for hours more if his stomach hadn't decided to disagree as loudly as it could.

Will must have heard it because no sooner did his stomach produce the sound then Will was leading them down towards the ground.

"Ready for the second part of our date?" He asked above the wind.

Nico nodded and did his best to focus on the last minutes of the flight instead of his anxiety.

What more did Will have planned?

Instead of landing back where they'd started Nico was surprised to find them landing a good fifty feet above the ground on a ledge jutting out from underneath an even taller cliff. It was about as tall and wide as Nico's cabin and on its center was a thick blanket with a picnic basket in the corner alongside a couple of pillows.

In the fading light of the setting sun he didn't hesitate for a moment to think it looked absolutely magical.

"Wow." He breathed.

He could hear Will's smile in his voice as the blonde slide off of Brittle and offered his arms to Nico to help him down.

"I thought we could eat and watch the sunset together." He explained quietly.

Nico slide down as carefully as he could with Will's arms keeping him steady, then slide even closer to the blonde when he got his footing.

"It's perfect." He whispered in awe.

Will's eyes lidded as they look down at him.

"Now that you're here it is."

Nico ducked his head to hide his blush as Will ran a scorching hand down his spine.

"Are you okay with Brittle leaving for a while? Percy asked her to stay near by for when we're ready to leave, but she can stay up here with us if you want."

Nico's heart fluttered.

Courting Alphas often allowed for a witness or chaperone to be present during or at least near events they escorted their Omegas to. A pegasi wasn't much of a chaperone, but Nico appreciated the thought none the less.

"Let Brittle go graze or something. I only care about where you are right now."

Will nodded and offered him a soft smile.

"Whatever you want Sunshine."

Once the pegasi took off Will led them over the blanket and began unpacking the basket.

It was filled with fruit, cheese cubes, and several different kinds of sandwiches.

"I didn't know what you'd want so I tried to get a little of everything." Will explained self-consciously.

Nico just eyed the spread hungrily. "I'm as ravenous as Tantalus." He admitted.

Will laughed lightly at the thought of all the times he'd seen Tantalus's food run away from him.

"Then let me help." He muttered softly as he brought a grape to Nico's lips.

The raven accepted the fruit with only a slight blush to his cheeks.

"I can feed myself." He assured the blonde with the barest degree of protest.

Will just smiled and brought another grape to his lips.

"Indulge me." He requested.

The pair traded fruit between them for a few minutes before deciding they were both a tad too hungry for that and grabbing their own sandwiches.

Nico half expected their conversation to turn awkward now that they were courting, but it never did. Will started talking about his siblings and Nico told him about everything that had happened the last few days at camp while he'd been locked away.

There were never any long pauses or awkward moments. Even when the raven caught Will looking more at his lips than his eyes or when the blonde noticed the way Nico's hand twitched closer to his own.

If nothing it only made them scoot a little closer to each other so that their hands could easily intertwine again and their lips were a little nearer.

Is he going to kiss me? Nico wondered to himself as they talked. Will had kissed every inch of his face except for his lips only days before and the Italian craved a chance to know what Will's lips would feel like against his own. To know exactly what the son of Apollo tasted like.

I want him to kiss me. He thought as his own eyes dropped to Will's lips again.

The blonde remained obvious to the Omega's less than pure thoughts as he admired the way the fading light fell across Nico's olive skin. It filled him with pride to see the paleness the Omega acquired during his time in the Underworld be replaced with the Italian's more natural coloring. He liked to think Nico saw a significantly higher amount of sunlight since the start of their friendship.

"Sunshine?" Will eventually asked when Nico's attention had seemed to drift from their conversation to something on the blonde's chin.

Nico startled a little even as he blushed.

"Sorry, I just….I'm really glad we waited. That you had presence of mind to have us wait. It would have felt weird to do everything in reverse."

Will reached out and took the Italian's hand.

"I was half sure you were going to hate me for that. That it was too…Un-Alpha like a request."

"No." Nico confirmed resolutely. Then he looked down and blushed.

"I mean…It did hurt at first…My head understood what you wanted and the Gods know I wanted it too, but…..I was still scared. Scared you'd change your mind. That you wouldn't want me after your rut."

"I was scared too." Will admitted, which surprised Nico so much it made his head snap up with a jolt.

"During my rut, when I wasn't out of my mind with wanting you, I worried you'd only been trying to salvage our friendship after you found out I wanted you. That you offered to be with me so that you wouldn't lose me or because my scent was affecting you."

Nico opened his mouth to protest, but Will quickly cut him off.

"I know you're not like that. That they were stupid worries, but they were still there you know? I didn't really believe it was totally true until you accepted my first courting gift."

The raven haired teen pulled on the edge of the hoodie a little with his free hand as Will shamelessly starred at Nico in his colors.

"You look great in that by the way." He added just for the pleasure of seeing his love blush.

"I love it." Nico blurted out. "Except….."

Will tilted his head at a questioning angle.

"It doesn't smell like you anymore." Nico complained.

Will beamed so brightly at him that the shorter teen barely noticed the fact that the sun had sunk bellow the horizon.

The blonde scooted closer to him until their sides were completely pressed together.

"I can fix that, if you want."

Nico nodded wordlessly as a blush overtook his entire face.

Will dared to place a quick kiss to the other teen's forehead before carefully rearranging them. Within moments Nico was atop Will's lap with his back pressed to the blonde's chest and their legs entangled. Long tan arms snaked around his middle and pulled him close as warm breath ghosted over the back of his neck.

"This okay Sunshine?" Was whispered nervously into his ear.

Nico nodded again before placing his own hands over Will's around him.

"We can watch the stars rise together." He replied just as quietly.

Will didn't respond right away; he just nuzzled his nose along Nico's nape.

"I'd rather watch you." Will admitted before inhaling deeply. "Gods I've missed how you smell."

Nico looked to the ground uncomfortably.

"I smell like death Will. I know you said I didn't to your siblings, but I know it's true….It's one of the reasons that most Alphas steer clear of me and pegasi won't let me near them."

Nico felt another kiss being pressed to the top of his spine.

"I love how you smell. I wish I could just bottle it up and inhale it whenever you're away on quests or missions. When I miss you so much it almost drives me crazy."

Will chuckled lightly and Nico felt it reverberate through him.

"You never saw me when you were away, checking every shadow for your smile and always making sure there was a bed open for you in the infirmary. Wishing you'd come home sooner."

Nico went still at his words.

Will had always been opening about missing him when he was away, but he'd never really talked about it in detail before. Though to be fair, neither had Nico. How every sliver of sunshine reminded him of the blonde and made him long for the only home he'd had since he was a child. How anytime light landed on his skin it felt like a poor imitation of Will's touch. How a picture of them together sat in his room in the Underworld. A reminder that there was someone in the mortal world who would be heartbroken if he remained in his father's realm for too long.

"Will..." He started. "Have you met Hestia?"

The blonde seemed confused by the question.

"I know of her. But no, we haven't met."

Will couldn't see Nico's blush directly, but the nape of his neck did turn several shades darker.

"She lives in the hearths of the world and spends a lot of time in the fire at camp."

"Okay?" Will questioned, still not getting what this had to do with their conversation.

"I've been friends with her since my first days at camp. She's fond of me."

Will laughed lightly at that.

"That's not hard to believe." He teased.

Nico rolled his eyes before continuing.

"She knows how I worry about camp when I'm away. So I might have asked her to watch over it…..But mostly you…when I'm gone."

Will was quiet so long the Italian worried he'd crossed a line.

"I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, I can ask her to stop-"

Nico felt the arms around him tighten just before warm lips began placing open mouthed kisses along his neck.

"Gods Nico" Will panted between kisses. "That's so sweet and thoughtful."

A sharp nip against the paler teen's skin made him gasp.

"And hot Nico. I wish I'd known before. I wish I could have told her to send word to you about how I missed you. How I wanted you to come home sooner."

The younger teen squirmed under the barrage of kisses.

"You-" He whimpered. "You don't think it's too Alpha-like? To have someone check on you instead of the other way around?" Nico questioned.

Will smiled against his skin.

"It's proof you care. It doesn't need to be Omega-like or Alpha-like. We are those things Nico, but we don't have to fit those molds. I love it when you get protective of me and the others. And you don't mind when I fret like an Omega over you and your health right?"

'No." Nico admitted. "It….it makes me feel loved."

Will kissed his neck again softly before speaking.

"You are loved Nico. And I feel loved knowing you would fight to protect me. That you care enough to ask a goddess to look out for me."

Nico turned so that he was straddling the blonde and could see his flushed face.

"You…you're loved too Will. I didn't get a chance to tell you before….I…..I wasn't ready to tell you before. But …I care about you. More than I ever dreamed I could care about someone outside my family."

Will smiled up at him as he threaded a hand through his raven hair.

"Thank you Nico." He whispered. "I know it isn't easy for you to talk about your feelings."

Nico ducked his head to try and hide his blush, but only succeeded in giving Will a better angle to kiss his neck.

"Sunshine?" He whispered after his lips left olive skin.

Nico hummed softly in response. "Yeah?"

"Can I kiss you?" He requested.

Nico leaned back enough to meet his gaze with a furrowed brow, clearing wondering what Will had been doing with his mouth that he wouldn't call kissing.

"I mean." Will started before licking his lips. "Can I give you a real kiss?"

Nico's eyes widened for a moment before they completely closed. He nodded wordlessly before wrapping his arms around the blonde's neck and pressing their foreheads together.

Will grasped his chin to angle their lips together better but didn't move forward right away.

"Nico." He whispered. "Look at me."

Dark chocolate eyes blinked almost sleepily at him in the dark.

"I love you Sunshine." He confessed a heartbeat before bringing their lips together in their first kiss.
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Nico couldn't catch his breath. It seemed like every time he tried Will's lips caught his own and made breathing seem unimportant.

Worse than that was the warmth. Every place where Will touched him seemed to blaze with a degree of heat that wouldn't have been possible with anyone but a son of Apollo.

Nico had never known how cold he was until he was surrounded by Will's warmth. How much he wanted to be held and cherished.

How pale all their previous kisses seemed in the face of Will really kissing him. Inhaling him like Nico's scent was the only thing he needed.

The words, he loves me, began repeating over and over again in Nico's head in tune with his racing heart.

And… I love him. Gods above, I love him.

During a slightly longer pause for breath Nico opened his eyes to a literally dazzling sight.

"Will….."

The blonde looked up at him like he was brightest thing in camp instead of the darkest.

"Will….You're glowing." Nico stuttered in shock.

The son of Apollo smiled so fondly up at him he didn't even realize he shouldn't have been able to see his love so clearly in the darkness of the night. His voice was an exhale of barely withheld awe as it washed over the darker teen.

"You're the most beautiful sight in the mortal realm." He complimented back with such aching sincerity that Nico's heart nearly bruised from hitting his ribcage so hard.

"No Will, I mean….. look." Nico reached for the arm not wrapped around his middle and brought it into Will's line of sight.

Every pore on Will arm was emitting a faint sunshine yellow glow that made the teen's tan skin look twice as bronzed.

Will blinked at himself in amazement for a moment while the Italian in his arms admired the way each of the freckles on his face shone its own brilliant shade of yellow.

Honey, dandelion, sunflower, lemon. Some so close to white it made his eyes hurt.

Mostly though, gold shone from his skin like a highlighting sunset.

When the blonde's shock wore off he looked up at Nico and blushed.

"I guess I inherited more than just healing from my father."

"Has this ever happened before?" Nico asked curiously.

Will shook his head so hard it was like watching a disco ball spin.

"You just bring out the best in me." He complimented just to see the younger teen blush.

(Which Nico did beautifully.)

The Italian rolled his eyes in mock annoyance before leaning down again so that their lips were centimeters apart all over again.

"Just kiss me again before I go blind Tesoro"

"Tesoro?" Will breathed absently as Nico's lips drew closer to his.

"My treasure." Nico translated. "You're not the only one who can give silly nicknames." He boasted softly.

Will laughed at that. "Whatever you say Sunshine." He conceded. Right before he leaned forward for the kiss they both wanted.

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The pair stayed wrapped together for what felt like hours.

Nico shuddering at the intensity of the heat of their contact and Will half high from the taste of the Italian on his lips and the sight of his lidded eyes.

Will's glow strengthened and ebbed with the intensity of their kissing and Nico couldn't help but wonder how bright he'd shine when they made love.

Any doubt that Will was just as affected by his presence as he was by the sun god's child was as washed away as the darkness around them by the literally brilliant manifestation of Will's enthusiasm.

No one else has ever seen him like this. Nico thought smugly as Will slipped his tongue between the Italian's lips to deepen their kiss again.

I don't want anyone else to ever see him like this.

Will moaned as Nico gripped his hair possessively with both hands. "Gods that's hot Nico." He mumbled before trailing his own hands upward to card through Nico's perpetual bed head.

The Italian hummed in content as Will pulled him back down into another kiss.

He tastes better than nectar. Nico decided.

The blonde beneath him dragged his lips from Nico's own and began leaving a trail of kisses down his neck as far as the hoodie would allow; so slowly and deliberately Nico wondered if he was naming the veins in his head as he kissed them.

Three kisses on his jugular, two on his subclavian artery, a bite to his carotid artery.

A single kiss to one of his scent glands made the raven shudder so violently he nearly trembled right out of the tan teen's grip.

"Will." He gasped so sharply it broke the quiet of the night air like a dropped mirror.

The blonde in question panted hard against the younger's hair as he pulled the raven as close to him as was physically possible.

"Gods Nico, I never thought I could feel like this."

Nico smiled against the skin of Will's collarbone.

"Good enough to glow huh?" He teased.

Will groaned at that, but it was more of a playful than annoyed sound.

"You go ahead and be flattered, I'm just gonna curl up into a ball of embarrassment."

The son of Hades practically preened at that.

"Wouldn't you rather cuddle with me?" He asked with every bit of courage the previous round of kissing had given him.

Will pulled back enough for Nico to see his shocked but pleased expression.

"I'd loved that." He admitted with more than a little awe.

Nico reluctantly pulled away from the space heater that was his boyfriend and returned them to their previous position with Nico's back to Will's chest and the blonde's arms wrapped around him.

They leaned back onto the pillows far enough to stare at the now risen stars; so bright without the light pollution of the city.

"If I knew any of the constellations I'd point them out for you." Will admitted shyly.

Nico smiled even though he knew Will couldn't see it and reached to grasp the other teen's hand with his own.

He brought them both upward as he began tracing lines in the sky with their fingertips.

"That's Cassiopeia, that's Pegasus, and that's Ursa Minor." He pointed out slowly.

"Wow." Will breathed back. "Where'd you learn that?"

Nico snuggled closer to the blonde and fully intertwined their fingers.

"When I first started shadow traveling I ended up all over the world and not always near people. I got to know a lot of the constellations so I wouldn't get lost at night."

"Wow." Will repeated again in awe. "Can you show me more?"

Nico nodded and began picking out the ones that he knew and telling Will the stories that came with them.

They talked for hours. Till Nico's voice was hoarse and his head was lulling to the side. Till Will could point out the constellations almost as well as Nico himself.

"Sunshine?" Will asked after an unusually long pause in the raven's story.

The smaller teen jolted a little in his lap as he woke up.

"Yeah?" He asked blearily.

"You fell asleep." Will teased softly. "Chiron told the harpies to leave us alone if we came back late, but you have a class to teach in the morning right?"

Nico groaned at the reminder. "Yeah. Right after breakfast."

Will smiled against his nape and moved so that they were both sitting up again.

"Then we should start heading back. Brittle's probably getting impatient with us anyway."

Nico nodded around a yawn as he helped Will pack up. The blonde said he'd come back for everything in the morning since Brittle couldn't carry it and them before whistling so loud it echoed throughout the entire valley.

The sound of large flapping wings followed soon after as Brittle landed on their ledge with typical pegasi grace.

"Hey there girl. Thanks for waiting." Will praised the creature as he petted her head.

The pegasi nuzzled into his touch when his hand got closer to her snout and Nico's heart melted just a little at the sight of Will being so sweet to the large beast.

"You first." Will instructed as he turned away from her and cupped his hands to help Nico up.

The raven made it up with only a little flailing, but felt better when Will's warm form was once again at his back. The night had gotten chilly and though Will didn't seem to feel it at all, Nico did.

The flight at night was at least as breathtaking as it had been during the day and despite the cold Nico loved every second of it.

Sadly the flight back to camp had to be a direct trip instead of the scenic way Will had taken them to get there, so it didn't take them long to land right back in the original field they'd started in.

Will helped Nico down and sent Brittle away with a promise of extra apples in the morning.

As they walked back to camp Will noted that Nico still looked chilled despite it being warmer on the ground.

"Cold?" Will questioned as he stepped closer to the shorter teen.

Nico nodded shyly. It wasn't an unendurable cold and he wouldn't have complained or admitted it to anyone else, but Will wasn't just anyone.

"I've got you." Will promised as he wrapped an arm around Nico's shoulders; making the raven feel like an electric blanket had just been draped around him.

"As much as I'd love to see more of you in the infirmary I don't want it to be because you've gotten a cold." Will teased.

Nico just hummed softly as he leaned greedily into his boyfriend's warmth.

Will chuckled lowly at the sight. "You're always so cute when you're tired."

Nico turned a glare on him that would have made others cower. "I am not cute." He hissed halfheartedly.

Will just laughed. "You, my beloved Ghost King, are the cutest Omega I have ever seen."

Nico opened his mouth to protest, but was cut off by a searing kiss to his brow.

"So cute." Will whispered against Nico's flushed skin.

The Italian grumbled to himself for a moment, but didn't shy away from Will's touch.

"You're warm." He eventually complimented back.

Will beamed like he'd been given the greatest praise ever even as he laughed.

Just seeing Will so buoyant and upbeat made Nico's heart flutter. He hadn't messed up their first date. He hadn't scared Will away with his glare.

Happiness bubbled up so unexpectedly within him that Nico couldn't help but laugh along with the blonde.

He felt high from a combination of the late hour, the deserted camp grounds and the mere presence of Will beside him, a nearly literal spot of sunlight in the dark.

As his cabin came within sight he suddenly realized didn't want the night to end. He wanted more time alone with Will. More hours to spend soaking up his warmth and basking in his laughter. More time to enjoy the first time he got to be with Will without having to stifle every impulse to show how he really felt about the blonde.

Years of being Will's friend whilst falling hopelessly in love with the blonde had made even the greatest times spent with Will a little painful. A little tarnished. Always plagued by the hidden desire Nico hadn't even realized existed inside him until the heat that revealed how he'd always felt for the blonde.

Now Will's arm could wrap around him without Nico feeling like he had to apologize for enjoying the touch so much. He could thread their fingers together without fear of driving Will away.

He could kiss Will now outside of his dreams.

Something he desperately wanted to do before Will stepped off his porch again.

Will seemed to be of a similar mindset as he slipped his arm lower so as to have it curl around Nico's waist.

"I don't want to go." He admitted softly against Nico's lips as he drew them together beneath the dim lighting of the Hades' cabin porch.

"Then don't." Nico breathed back just as quietly as Will leaned him back against his door and hovered over him.

"Sunshine." Will moaned in frustration. "You make it so hard to court you properly when you say things like that."

Nico smiled with an air of easy confidence as he titled his head back just a little more to show off his neck.

"An Alpha courting an Omega always leaves after the goodnight kiss right?" Nico asked teasingly.

Will's face flushed as his eyes unconsciously trailed down the length of pale skin being offered to him.

"There are other things than kissing I think we'd both enjoy." Nico invited coyly.

Will made a slight choking sound in the back of his throat as he took in the sight of Nico pressed against his own door; dressed in Will's top and bearing his neck in the most seductive way Will could have ever imagined.

Nico's grin grew smug as he watched Will's eyes glaze over. He'd never been able to explore this side of himself before. The proud Omega parts of himself that knew how to entice a worthy Alpha. Because just the knowledge that Will wanted him was enough to boost his confidence sky high; to make him feel like it was okay for him to offer up parts of himself that were normally so closed off.

He wants me. Nico thought with a heart racing in a very different way than before.

He wants the son of Hades, the Ghost King, the cutest fucking Omega he's ever seen. Nico thought with pride.

And. I. Want. Him.

As soon as the words crossed his mind he reached out and pulled the blonde back into his space.

He had to get teeth against his skin again. Warm hands tracing his frame. The scent of sunshine all over his clothes so thick that he'd smell like Will for days.

Will didn't hesitate for a moment. He bit so deep it drew color to the pale flesh instantly. Slipped his palms under Nico's hoodie so fast the Italian felt the first touch like a grazing burn. Then he pressed himself so close to the raven haired teen that anyone walking by would have thought there was only one person hiding in the shadows of the Hades' cabin doorway.

"Tesoro!" Nico gasped as another hickey was placed lower on is neck.

"My Sunshine." Will growled against his skin.

"Yes." Nico exhaled as the taller teen all but picked him up off the ground and pinned him to the door.

"Yours, yours, yours." The raven chanted breathlessly as their legs entangled and he hung onto Will as tightly as possible. Will's answering growl of approval made Nico even more breathless.

"Please." The raven begged as sharp teeth nipped at his collarbone. He was so high off the rush of what was happening he didn't even know what he was begging for, just that Will could provide it.

Will's hands alternated between keeping Nico pressed against the door and tracing the lean form underneath Nico's hoodie.

"What do you want Sunshine?" Will whispered teasingly against his ear.

"Do you want me to claim you right here? Right now? Where anyone could see us?"

Nico whimpered and tired to find some kind of friction against his boyfriend, but was kept just a thread's length away from the full body contact he desired by Will's grip.

"Or we could go inside." Will continued lowly next to his ear.

"And I could unwrap you like the gift you are."

An agonizingly warm hand slipped from Nico's side and dipped into his pants.

"And finger you open till you're all nice and wet."

Slick ran down Nico's thighs more thickly than it ever had outside a heat.

"Then I'd show you what I can do with my mouth." Will promised as he sucked on the raven's earlobe.

Nimble fingers traced along the Italian's erection in the most maddeningly fleeting movements Nico had ever known.

"Then when you were all spread out and ready beneath me Sunshine, do you know what I'd do?"

Nico shook his head violently from side to side as his hips jerked sporadically against the blonde's hand. He was so close. So damn close.

"I'd show you just how much I love you my Omega." Will finished with a final whisper and twist of his hand.

Nico's world fluttered out of focus as he felt himself completely come undone at that final caress. He came so hard from his boyfriend's touch that he would have collapsed to the ground if the blonde hadn't been holding him up.

Will stroked him through it, kissing him between shudders as his body tried to process the fact that it was capable of experiencing so much pleasure.

"That's it Sunshine. Ride it out."

All Nico could do was pant and shake and stare up at his Alpha like he hung the moon.

As soon as he caught his breath he gave voice to the one thought that kept replaying in his head.

"You called me your Omega." He gasped out with pleasure laced pride.

For the first time since he'd pinned the shorter teen to the door, Will blushed.

"That okay?" Will asked softly as he brushed loose strands of raven hair out of his eyes with his free hand.

Nico leaned into the touch as Will carefully placed him back fully on the ground but didn't let go of him.

"I….I like it better than Sunshine." Nico admitted softly.

Will's smile had its own kind of glow as he leaned down to kiss the Italian again.

"My handsome Omega." He praised between kisses; a hint of laughter in his voice. "I think I like that better than Sunshine too."

Nico hummed in content as his body went from overheated to pleasantly warm.

"Tesoro, let me please you too." Nico requested with a blush.

The blonde ran his fingers though the raven's hair and chuckled lowly.

"Next time Sunshine. Tonight was all about you."

Will placed a single parting kiss to his love's lips before pulling away from him.

"Till morning my Omega." Will whispered tenderly before leaving Nico to lean against his door and smile at his retreating form.

"Till morning my Alpha." Nico whispered to himself before escaping into his cabin to shower and replay their date in his mind over and over until sleep claimed him.
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Nico's neck was a kaleidoscope of hickies the next morning and not even his longest turtleneck could've hoped to cover them.

So he didn't even try. He came to breakfast with them as proudly displayed as medals of honor and snuggled next to Will at the Apollo table like he belonged there.

It was the talk of the camp for days and neither could have been prouder about it.

Chapter Text

Nico had never been happier. He was being courted by Will Solace.

He had an Alpha. One who called him Sunshine and Angel and his Omega. An alpha that kissed him and courted him and literally glowed beneath his touch.

After four months of dating Nico was ecstatic at the thought of his upcoming heat. His first ever to be shared with an Alpha; to be shared with Will.

Will could barely stand to be away from him now that his scent was beginning to change and Nico adored his attention. Anyone who had doubted that their relationship would last didn't once they saw how Will hovered over his love and fretted about his care. Every growl from his blonde's lips at Alphas that got to close to him was a symphony to Nico's ears and every hickey on his neck a proud sign to all that he was taken.

Nico felt so secure, so…ready for everything that was about to happen in his life that he even indulged in one last wish before he and Will were bonded forever.

"Will?" Nico asked as they cuddled together in the raven's cabin.

The blonde hummed back quietly as he continued to run his fingers up and down the raven's spine.

"I was thinking…..since I've got a few more days till my heat really starts….that I might…I might try nesting."

The blonde's eyes shot open at that.

"Really?"

Nico blushed, but nodded.

He'd never tried real nesting before. It hadn't seemed worth it when he spent his heats alone. Nests were made to make an Alpha and Omega comfortable during a shared heat. To surround an Omega with things that make them feel safe and taken care of. To relax an Omega enough to increase their chances of becoming pregnant.

"Me and Bianca used to pretend to make nests when we were little. Like we were grown up Omega getting ready for a real heat. One where…"

Nico interlocked their fingers and placed them over his abdomen.

"Where children were a real possibility."

Will blushed back in return, but his answering smile was dazzling.

"I talked to Chiron. He knows that we want to try to start our family with this heat. Since we're both of age he's given us his blessing."

Joy bubbled up inside of the Italian like an unleashed spring in his chest. In less than a week he and Will would share something neither had ever experienced before and from that union there was hope that a life could be created.

"I want that Will. I want it more than anything." The son of Hades admitted with happiness.

The blonde chuckled lowly and continued his caressing. "Then it'll be yours my Omega. Plus anything you want for your nest."

Nico hugged him then; so tightly it felt like he was embracing the sun.

"Thank you Will."

The blonde nuzzled against his hair.

"No Nico, thank you. Thank you for letting me court you. For letting me love you. These have been the best months of my life. And soon we'll be more than just courting. I'll claim you and then no one will doubt that you're mine."

The raven laughed dreamily even as he pulled the collar of his shirt down to reveal his hickey covered collarbone.

"Have you picked a place yet?" He asked with an easy smile.

Will grinned back as he pushed the shorter teen onto his back and straddled him.

"A claiming mark is permanent. So it has to be in the perfect place." Will teased gently as his pointer finger lightly circled each hickey as slowly as possible.

Nico squirmed in delight beneath his boyfriend's touch.

"A place where everyone can see it." He begged the blonde.

Will beamed down at him. "I think I have the perfect place in mind."

The blonde leaned down to kiss his cheek. "But I think I'll wait and let it be a surprise."

Nico smiled up at him before pulling him close again for another kiss.

"I'm looking forward to it."

Will's only response was to kiss him again.

After a make out session that put all their others to shame Nico walked his boyfriend to the door with a whole new set of hickies on his shoulders.

"Just bring anything that smells like you for the nest." Nico instructed giddily. "Soft things preferably."

"Will it be safe for you to keep opening your door for things? Your pre-heat scent is already really strong Angel."

Nico blushed at that. "I'll shadow traveling anything inside."

He stood on his tip toes to loop his arms around Will's neck.

"The only one I'm going to open that door for when my heat starts is you."

Will leaned down enough to place one more kiss to his love's lips.

"Iris message me when it's time okay? I'll be waiting."

Nico nodded as he reluctantly pulled away from his soon to be mate.

"I'll make a nest that Bianca would have been proud of. A nest that'll be perfect for us."

Will chuckled lowly. "I know you will Sunshine."

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For the next two days it became a common sight for Will to be running around camp with bundles of food, clothing, and even bandages in his hands. All of which ended up at the door of the Hades cabin before it disappeared into the shadows.

Every child of Apollo volunteered a little of their time to cover Will's expected absence in the days to come and tried to keep their head counselor from freaking out too badly.

The blonde seemed to gyrate between being entirely overwhelmingly giddy at the thought of being with Nico forever and terrified that he'd somehow mess up their life together before it even began. Iris messages to Naomi Solace were frequent and lengthy as Will tried to make sure that he'd completed ever possible courting ritual; even asking for Nico's parents' blessing. The raven had contact his father and informed him of his upcoming claiming and the lord of the Underworld had been pleased. Will had made his formal request, which included a lengthy list of all the blonde had to offer as a mate, and received the blessing of the lord of the dead. (Along with several warnings in regards to what happened to people that harmed the children of Hades).

Still, even with the blessing and well wishes of everyone they knew, Will was still a little frazzled.

Nico on the other hand, had reached a kind of zenness about it all.

Every bit of cloth he could get his hands on became a part of the ever expanding web work that that slowly taking over his cabin. A spiraling mix of his own dark clothing and Will's daylight colored apparel intertwined like their fingers when they walked together around camp. The act of nest making was instinctively soothing and Nico found himself relaxing more and more even as his body began preparing for the days to come.

Everything smelled divinely of the two of them and every inhale lulled him into a peacefully dreamy state.

Bandages hung around the room like streamers as pre-heat meds coursed through Nico's veins. On every shelf was a bottle of water to make sure they stayed hydrated and in every little crevice was a snack provided with care by his mate from Nico's own personalized care package; a sample of every heat snack he'd ever craved slipped into a box twice as big as what was given to other Omega's before a heat. And when the nest was finally complete only one item laid untouched in the all the bundles that Will had provided him with.

Nico had barely even glanced at the birth control pills that still sat at the very bottom of Will's homemade preheat gift to him, but even that glance had been enough to make his heart race.

He wouldn't take them. Not ever. He was only fertile during his heats and his Alpha's ruts and he wouldn't risk even missing a single one that could have the potential of giving him a zaffre blue eyed child. A piece of him and Will combined.

"What if he asks?" Nico wondered out loud to his quiet cabin.

His heart clenched at the thought.

It was one thing to say that they wanted to try before a heat. Nico knew of several Omega that would ask their Alphas to role play prior to their heat to make them feel more at ease with the act itself, but who would have never risked a heat without some kind of birth control in their system.

Was Will only humoring him? Playing along with the idea until it came time for them to finally consummate their relationship?

Bonding was a big enough commitment on its own, let alone adding a child into the mix at the same time.

Was Will telling him something by leaving the pills in there? Hinting at the fact that he didn't seriously want children as soon as they were bonded?

Nico didn't know anymore. So he called up the one person he could think of to talk to it about.

"Hazel?" He whispered into the spray of the shower after making his offering to Iris.

Within minutes he spied his only living sibling lounging on her bed at Camp Jupiter from the edge of the small fountain he'd gotten her for her birthday the year before.

"Nico?" She questioned with a jolt before catching sight of him. The raven ran a hand through his hair and flashed her a weary smile.

"Hey sis." He replied softly, surprised by the roughness of his own voice.

The golden eyed girl crouched closer to the fountain.

"Everything okay Nico?"

The raven didn't even want to think of how frazzled he must have looked for his sister to take note of it.

"I…" He didn't want to lie. "I don't know." He admitted.

He watched Hazel get more comfortable next to the fountain before speaking again.

"Talk to me big bro." She requested gently. "Is this about your bonding with Will? Are you having second thoughts?"

Nico shook his head violently to show how against that idea he was.

"No, no, I can't wait for that. That'll be perfect…it's…..the rest of it I'm worried about."

Nico blushed harder than he ever had before in his life as he realized how stupid an idea this was. He didn't want to talk to his little sister about this. Especially since as a Beta she'd never be able to fully understand what he was going though.

Hazel ignored his blush as she somehow seemed to scoot even closer to the fountain to get a better look at him. "Are you…..nesting?" She asked softly.

Nico internally cursed as he realized he hadn't closed the bathroom door behind him and Hazel had been able to catch a glimpse of his handiwork.

"It looks beautiful." She complemented with care, knowing how emotional most Omegas got about the quality of their nests.

Nico ducked his head, but was secretly pleased. He'd created something his older sister would have been proud of; something that his younger sister had called beautiful.

"It's nothing." He replied casually before falling silent again.

Hazel let the words hang for a moment before lowering her golden gaze to his trembling hands.

"Brother." She started as she continued to take in his obviously worried state. Nico met her gaze again and noted how it looked like she was giving some serious thought to trying to shadow travel to Camp Half-Blood to be with him.

"I'm okay." He assured her. "I'm just nervous. This is a big step."

Her eyes softened into melted gold.

"It's only been four months Nico. Are you sure you don't want to wait until your next heat to get bonded?"

Again Nico shook his head.

"You've been friends for years Hazel. So we aren't rushing into anything. Our bonding was pretty much guaranteed to occur once we found out we wanted each other."

Hazel titled her head. "I don't doubt that you want him Nico. I've seen you two together. I've seen how you look at him." Her smile grew teasing as Nico blushed. "I've also seen how he looks at you." She added even softer. "That boy will wait forever for you if you ask him to."

"I don't want to wait." He assured her again. "Not for anything." He admitted without thinking.

He could see the gears turning in her head as she took in that last part

"Is this about kids Nico? I thought you wanted them."

"I do." Nico assured her desperately. There was no point in avoiding the topic now.

"I thought Will did too, but he left birth control pills in with my nesting supplies. So now….I don't know if he changed his mind or he never intended to try for kids this heat or what, but I'm freaking out Hazel."

His trembling had grown worse since the start of their conversation.

"I can't take them." He admitted in a whisper. "I just can't Hazel. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick. I've been on them for years during my heats as a safety precaution so I wouldn't get pregnant in case an Alpha ever tried to force me during a heat, but now…." He paused as a shudder passed over him. "The thought of taking them before being with Will just feels like I'm tarnishing something beautiful. Like I'm preparing for something I never wanted instead of trying to enjoy this part of my life for the first time with someone…. Plus I do want kids Hazel, I want Will's kids and waiting just seems like I'm temping fate."

Nico watched his sister process that information in silent mortification. Gods, a few preheat hormones in his system and he turned into a mess.

"Nico." Hazel began with care. "You don't have to take anything you don't want to. Will would never make you. I'm sure he'll understand and if he doesn't then maybe it would be a good idea to have one last heat alone until you've talked about this."

Nico pressed his palms against his knees to stop their trembling.

"I love him Hazel. I'd never be able to turn him away now that I know he loves me too. When my heat really starts I'll go mad with want for him."

Hazel nodded her head like she expected as much.

"How long?" She asked quietly.

The older teen took stock of his body's condition and gave his best guesstimate.

"Hours at most. Maybe not even that long." He admitted.

Hazel nodded again. "Can you contact Will now and talk to him before it gets bad?"

"We really hadn't planned on talking before hand." He admitted with a blush.

He'd been harboring a secret fantasy that Will would be so overwhelmed by his scent when Nico eventually opened his door for him that the blonde would try and take him right there. An especially soft part of his nest had been placed there for that exact reason.

Hazel politely ignored his blush and continued on.

"Contact him Nico. Talk to him about your worries. Don't let them ruin this for you."

Her words washed over him like Charmspeak and seemed to quell a large portion of his anxiety.

Will loves me. He reminded himself with a relieved exhale.He listens when I talk. He's never asked me to do anything I didn't want to do. We can work through anything. Even this.

"I will. Thanks Hazel."

The golden eyed girl grinned tenderly at him through the spray of the water.

"Love you big bro."

Nico smiled back.

"Love you too sis."

The message ended and Nico took as calming breath before plucking a drachma from the jar on his counter.

"Oh Fleecy, do me a solid. Show me Will Solace."

A heart beat later flaxen hair came into view as fountain in the Apollo cabin bubbled to life. The blonde appeared to be dozing under the late evening light filtering in through the window; resting in preparation for Nico's needing him.

The raven's heart ached at the sight. Will looked so beautifully peaceful and Nico loved him so much. He could have watched Will sleep for hours; just laid there and watched the way the very light seemed to caress the blonde's already bronzed skin.

Sadly the sight of Will reminded his body of the fact that although Will's scent was everywhere around it, the teen himself was still absent. Want coursed through his veins like Hydra venom at the realization.

Will was his Alpha, he should be here. He was in heat, why wasn't his Alpha here?

A whimper escaped his lips without his consent and caused the blonde to stir.

"Nico?" He questioned around a yawn.

Unable to speak over the longing building up in his chest Nico merely repeated his earlier distressed sound.

Will immediately edged closer to the fountain and tried to consol him.

"Shhh Angel. I'm here. I'm right here. Is it time Sunshine?"

Nico nodded as his trembling started up again. Despite the heat from the shower's steam and his own rising temperature he felt cold. Freezing.

"I'm coming Angel. Just be ready to open the door okay?"

Nico nodded again as the image faded until only rushing water remained.

Will was coming. Will was warm. He just had to get to the door.

Nico stood on trembling legs as he tried to keep that thought in mind despite his suddenly muddled thoughts. It wasn't unusual for his thoughts to get hazy once his heat really started, but it had never happened this fast before. It reminded him of something he'd read as a kid when he'd first presented as an Omega.

"Nesting Omega are typically subjected to stronger urges during a heat than non-nesting Omega due to the body's perception of the act of nest making as a sign that a mate is expected. This can lead to a stronger release of pheromones and diminishment of cognitive function during the initial onset of a heat. This serves as a means of drawing Alpha to the nesting place and relaxing the Omega enough to welcome them fully without resistance".

Nico had disregarded that information given the fact that the source had been a pamphlet from the 30's, when Omegas were expected to be submissive little slaves to their Alphas and hormones, but now he wondered if there'd been a grain of truth in there given how disoriented he felt. He could practically feel his pores pumping out pheromones and his mental facilities failing him.

Yet one thought didn't dim with all his others.

Will was coming. Will would make everything better.

A kind of loopy happiness bubbled up inside him.

His nest was complete and his body was sending out every signal possible to tell his mate he was ready. He'd finally know what it was like to enjoy rather than just endure a heat.

Then just like months before a knock landed on Nico's door that sent his heart racing.

"Will." He breathed. His Alpha was here.

He opened his door without thinking, without considering for a second that someone else would dare come to his door knowing he was in heat and waiting for Will.

Right up until cold hands grabbed him and shoved him inside.

Chapter Text

Nico had a horrible flashback of that morning so long ago when he'd run into Will outside of the camp store and had freaked out from the mere whiff of an Alpha's scent during his pre-heat. Only the fact that it had been Will had kept him calm enough to not lash out.

But this wasn't Will. His boyfriend would never shove him to the ground and tear at his clothes. He'd never pull at Nico's hair and press his face into the floor.

"Gods you smell good." A gravelly, and vaguely familiar, voice hissed.

Nico struggled against the bigger Alpha's hold until he caught a glimpse of the monster holding him down.

It was a son of Aries. A crude boy named Eric that had only been at camp a couple of months. Nico had seen him around camp before; he'd even helped train the bastard when he'd first arrived. But it had become clear very early on in his stay that Eric wasn't about to listen to an Omega about training. It seemed like finding out he was a Demigod and an Alpha had boosted Eric's opinion of himself even higher than it already had been; which meant it now put skyscrapers to shame.

Nico knew the other teen had issues, even with the Omegas within his own cabin, but he'd been so wrapped up in his relationship with Will that a single arrogant Alpha roaming the camp hadn't seemed as big a deal as it would have been before he'd become involved with the blonde.

Now he cursed himself for being so unobservant, for daring to open his door without checking that Will was really the one on the other side.

All those years of worrying and on the cusp of being claimed, of finally being sure that no other Alpha would dare lay hands on him again, this happened.

Anger, fiercer than any he'd ever known before bubbled up inside of him like lava from an active volcano.

How dare this Alpha touch him? How dare he touch the nest Nico had so carefully crafted for himself and his mate?

Eric gripped the back of his head tighter and pressed his erection lewdly against Nico's backside.

"You should be grateful I'm even here Corpse Breath. This is the only time your scrawny ass has ever smelled like anything but death. What other Alpha than that weak ass sun boy would have you? You're just a weak little-"

Whatever Eric had meant to say next was drowned out the force of the quaking of the ground all around them.

Before Eric could even utter a curse both teens were sinking into the shadows beneath them.

Eric kicked and screamed against the inky blackness, but Nico merely sunk into his element with all the ease that Percy would have dove into the sea.

The earth was still trembling as badly as Nico had been before his opening the door to Eric, but the Italian himself didn't quiver with it.

The son of Aries landed on the ground with a sickening thud from the shadow of a tree branch just outside of the Hades cabin as the son of Hades himself rose from the shadow of his own cabin like a monster from the Underworld.

Campers halted in their tracks as the ground kept shaking under them, all eyes trained on the angrily thrashing shadows surrounding the raven haired teen.

"What." Nico began darkly as his eyes pinned a trembling Eric to the ground. "Made you think that you could dare to lay your hands on me?" He snarled lowly.

Every camper in 50 foot radius heard his words despite their volume and took a step back.

They knew how powerful Nico was. They knew what he could do.

But clearly the unworthy Alphas at camp needed a demonstration.

Nico narrowed his eyes and the temperature seemed to lower with them.

"I am Nico di Angelo: the son of Hades." He declared coldly as the grass withered beneath his feet.

"I am the Ghost King. A veteran of the Titan War and the Battle against Gaea." He announced to the now cowering Alpha.

Cracks in the earth began appearing all around the other teen as Nico's anger built.

"More than that." He hissed. "I am to be the mate of Will Solace and no one other than him will ever lay their hands on me without my permission."

White shapes began to rise from the cracks in the earth.

"Least of all a worthless Alpha like you." Nico finished with a glare.

By the time he had stopped speaking the shapes had arranged themselves into the form their master wanted. Half a dozen skeletons stood in a circle around the pair as Eric's eyes tried to figure out where was the least terrifying place to look; knowing only that it certainly wasn't Nico di Angelo.

Still, that was exactly where his eyes landed as Nico shadow traveled himself out of the circle.

"Remember that the next time you try to lay your hands on a 'weak little Omega'." Nico warned before nodding his head at the nearest skeleton.

Instantly the entire group of undead warriors parted to allow gaps to form between them.

Nico met Eric's confused look with a smirk.

"Run." He breathed.

Eric didn't need to be told twice. He was out of the circle and being chased by the skeletal hoard before anyone could stop them.

The son of Hades watched them go with a look of pure satisfaction.

His greatest fear had occurred, an Alpha had tried to force themselves upon him during his heat, but he'd survived. More than that, he'd proven to the whole camp and himself that even in the midst of being at his weakest physical point he was still strong enough to make an Alpha run in terror.

If only just.

As soon as Eric was out of view Nico noted the edges of his vision blurring. Even in his normal state using his powers was draining, but during a heat it felt twice as bad. Specks of light flickered before his eyes and it took a minute for him to blink them away and refocus; long enough for his personal source of light to come right into his view.

"Will." He breathed in relief.

Warm arms wrapped tightly around his waist as Nico found himself nuzzling against his boyfriend's chest.

"Gods Nico, are you okay? Did he hurt you? Do I need to get you to the infirmary?" The blonde questioned frantically.

Nico felt himself laugh lightly at the blonde's worry as warm hands trailed up and down his arms in order to check him for any injury.

The Italian felt weak and loopy, but none of that seemed to matter now. His Alpha was there. There and warm and real.

"Ti amo mi Tesoro" He muttered before his entire vision blackened.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nico woke up disoriented. Hadn't he been outside?

He also felt warm. So very warm.

"Sunshine?"

Nico blinked a few times until the world came into focus again.

Will was laid out alongside him like something out of one of Nico's dreams; radiating warmth and surrounded by the soft material of the Italian's nest.

"Will?" He asked groggily.

Instantly tender fingers were at his face and stoking his cheeks.

"Thank the Gods. I've never seen an Omega use that much demigod power during a heat before. I didn't know if the nectar and ambrosia I had on hand would be enough."

Nico's eyes looked around as his body automatically curled into Will's touch.

They were in the very center of Nico's nest. A mishmash of the clothes that smelled strongest like the two of them and encircling Nico's mattress on all sides. String lights hung intertwined with bandages all around the room to offer them faint light to see by and little pockets of food and water encircled them on all sides.

Nico had been so proud of it and he didn't even get to see Will's expression when he first saw it like he'd dreamed about.

Warm unbidden tears rose up within him. This wasn't how he wanted his first heat with Will to start. Instantly Will was wiping at the wetness on his cheeks.

"Oh Sunshine. It's okay. I'm here. Eric is long gone by now. You're safe."

Nico just cried harder. "I shouldn't…..I shouldn't have opened the door…I promised I'd only open it for you." He wept bitterly.

Will leaned close enough to literally kiss his tears away before whispering fiercely.

"You didn't do anything wrong Angel. Eric should never have come near your cabin. He knows the camp rules about not going near an Omega in heat unless the Omega asks for them. Chiron will make sure he's punished severely if he even comes back after your guards catch him."

Anger flashed darkly in the eyes of the sun kissed teen.

"And if he wants to find out what an angry healer can do with all their medical knowledge and a grudge."

Nico smiled at the threat. "That's my Alpha." He exhaled proudly.

A shiver went down Will's spine.

"I should have been there. I'm your Alpha. You shouldn't have had to fight in your condition."

Still sniffling a little, but feeling calmer, Nico curled closer to his love.

"I think it was a battle I need to fight myself. To prove to myself that I could fight off an Alpha at my absolute weakest when everything in my body told me to submit. It's been my greatest fear for a long time. But now…..I know it's a battle I can win."

He dropped a kiss to Will's throat.

"A battle I don't have to fight alone."

"I didn't…." Will began remorsefully. "You didn't need me."

Nico pulled back enough to catch his gaze.

"You still don't get it Will. I don't need a comrade in arms or a guard."

Nico looked at him so endearingly.

"You protect the things I can't defend with my powers. You just being there gives me a reason to fight."

Nico made a soft sound in the back of his throat.

"Eric tried to take my choice away. To ruin this for us."

The arms wrapped around him tightened.

"If I didn't know you'd still be here. That you'd still want me and want to take care of me after what just happened, it would have destroyed me. He could have so easily taken away my trust in all Alphas. He could have made me think I wasn't anything more than an Omega to fuck when the urge struck."

Nico's eyes grew so bright.

"Surviving a battle means more than living Will. What comes after is just as important. The trust I felt for you in that moment I fell into your arms. That you would take care of me. That was how you protected me; that was how I needed you-That was how you saved me."

Nico made a vague gesture to where they were.

"You brought me to a safe place and gave me ambrosia."

Nico sniffled again as he tried to get even closer to his Alpha.

"You watched over me while I slept."

Nico took note of Will's own condition before continuing.

The blonde's eyes were dilated and his breathing was shallow. His body was noticeably warmer than usual and the heavy scent of the scent suppressor Will used to be around Omega's in pre-heat without being too affected hung thickly between them.

It must have been agony for him to be in a nest made specifically with him in mind, with his mate to be, and not be able to do anything more than worry and fret.

"You didn't lose control." Nico whispered in loving awe.

Will swallowed thickly before nuzzling into Nico's hair.

"I…I've been trying not to breathe too much." Will admitted bashfully.

A fresh wave of love overcame Nico at those words.

"I picked the best Alpha." He boasted quietly.

Will whimpered a bit at that before carefully pulling back as much as he could seem to force himself.

"I…..I can wait. Or leave…..if you need more time."

Every part of Nico recoiled at the idea.

"No!" He insisted firmly. Every bit of fight drained out of him as he all but clung to the blonde. "Don't leave me." He begged.

Will instantly tried to soothe him. "Never Angel. Not while you want me."

The Italian relaxed at the words.

"I need you now Will." He admitted. Then he bashfully added "Do you still want me?"

Will let out a throaty groan at the question as he wiped away the gel from under his nose.

"I've treated hundreds of Omega patients and none of them have ever smelled a fraction as good as you do right now Sunshine."

Warm hands slide up Nico's shirt till the material was over his shoulders.

"Or made me feel this wanted."

A kiss landed on the center of the raven's chest.

"Or captured my heart so completely." He admitted with care.

Nico beamed around his blush as he shimmied out of his sweatpants and boxers.

"Then make me yours Will." He ordered; eagerly following his heat driven instincts now that he was finally safe in the presence of his mate to be.

The blonde scooped him up and placed him in his lap, one hand cupping his face and the other carding through his hair.

Nico caught his lips in a kiss that made the world spin around him in dazzling patterns. The pair only parted long enough for Will to be stripped of his own top and jeans before Nico was back on his love and ravishing his mouth like he was a dying man and Will's lips held the only nectar left in all the realms.

"Gods Sunshine." Will gasped when they parted for breath.

Nico could only make a needy sound in response as he tugged weakly at Will's boxers in a way that clearly showed that they weren't where he wanted them.

"Please." He begged heatedly.

Will instantly complied with his request and as he threw the last piece of clothing over his shoulder Nico took note of the box that they landed on.

The box with the birth control pills.

Nico froze at the sudden reminder of his earlier stress.

"Nico?" The blonde questioned hazily, clearly not understanding what had stilled his soon to be lover.

The raven gulped down a rush of bile in his throat as he reached out for the small packet of pills in the box. He slide back down onto his blonde's lap without making a sound and the silence worried the teen beneath him.

"Nico?" He questioned quietly.

"I'll take them." Nico offered with barely withheld sorrow. "I'll take them for you."

Will blinked hard a few times as his lust clouded mind tried to process what the raven was offering.

"You should have taken the pre-heat vitamins beforehand; they won't do any good now." He explained with confusion.

Nico shook his head violently.

"The birth control pills." He explained sadly. "I haven't taken them yet."

That seemed to clear some of the haze from Will's head.

"Yet?" He questioned with downcast eyes. Then "I…..I didn't know you were going to." He admitted weakly. Followed by an even softer "But whatever you want Love."

Nico gulped again.

He didn't want to take them. He was half convinced he'd end up throwing them up if he even tried. But if it was what Will wanted…..

Hazel's words rang in his ear. "Talk to him about your worries. Don't let them ruin this for you."

"I don't want to take them." The raven admitted weakly.

Will's eyes rose at that. "I don't want you to either." He admitted with a timid grin.

The raven felt every muscle in his body un-tense with that single sentence.

"I saw them in the box and I thought…." Nico offered in explanation.

The blonde caressed his face. "That was in case you changed your mind Sunshine. I know what I want, but it's your body. You get the final say."

Nico was nearly buoyant with relief. "I know what I want too." He explained happily; right before he chucked the pills as far out of sight as he could manage.

"I want to make sure I'm definitely on pre-natal meds by next week."

Will's eyes lost most of their blue coloring as they nearly full dilated at the thought.

"I….I think I can help you with that Sunshine." He muttered in a low voice.

Nico grinned down at him.

"I think you can too Tesoro."

Will cradled Nico's face between his palms and looked at the younger teen with a reverence most people reserved for their deities. (At least those who didn't know them personally).

"You know that I've never….." He blonde admitted with a blush.

Nico's face mimicked his soon to be mate's as he nodded back.

"I haven't either."

Warm hands caressed his cheeks.

"I promise that I'll try to make this as pleasurable as possible for you. You just say the word if there's anything you aren't comfortable with."

Nico nodded again before insisting. "You too."

Will pulled the raven forward and into a lingering kiss to seal their promise to each other.

"Next time that door opens we'll be walking out as mates." Will added happily.

Nico flashed him a mischievous grin. "Only if a certain son of Apollo finally lets me know where my claiming mark is going to be."

Will flashed him his own seductive smile.

"You'll know where it is the moment I give it to you."

Nico moaned lowly at the though as his hips rolled instinctively against his boyfriend.

This time he got some actual friction as the blonde pulled him closer into his lap.

The son of Apollo could see Nico sinking into his heat completely as his own pupils dilated and hazed: a sure sign that the blonde would have to take the lead from that point on and make sure his Omega was taken care of.

"I want this Will." Nico panted against the blonde's already sweat soaked skin.

The older teen hummed softly in response as his free hand trailed down Nico's spine until it reached his entrance. Slick was already dripping in preparation for what was to come. Will gathered some of it on his fingertips and lazily began tracing the raven's entrance.

"Gotta get you ready first." Will teased gently.

It was all Nico could do to cling to his boyfriend and make soft little whimpers of pleasure against his neck as Will did just that.

"Will please." He begged when the blonde seemed to be taking too long.

"You're almost ready Angel." Will assured him calmly.

Nico let out a moan so loud that the spirits in the Underworld must have heard it.

"I'm ready Will! Please I'm ready!" The raven all but sobbed in desperation.

Will shushed him like he was an unruly child even as he carefully withdrew his fingers and carefully wiped the excess slick onto his own throbbing cock.

"It won't feel good if we rush Sunshine. Trust me okay? Trust your Alpha."

Nico whimpered slightly at the request, but stopped squirming in the blonde's lap.

"I trust you Alpha." Was whispered after a pause.

The blonde rewarded him with a kiss on the cheek before nudging the Italian forward on his lap.

"I wanna see your pretty face while we make love Angel. You okay with ridding the first time?"

Nico nodded eagerly and barely kept himself contained as Will grasped his hips and helped line them up.

Nico let out the most delighted exhale of his life as he sunk down onto his boyfriend's cock.

"Oh Will…." He breathed blissfully.

The blonde barely bit back his own pleasured groan before catching his lover's lips in a kiss.

"Angel, you feel like heaven." He admitted when they parted.

Nico just laughed until the motion morphed it into a moan. "You're so corny." He gasped happily.

Will just kissed him again.

"You knew that before you decided to be my mate." He teased. "Can't change your mind now."

Nico laughed breathily again before leaning forward to kiss Will's neck.

"Wouldn't want to Tesoro."

Will played with the raven's hair for a moment before speaking "Ready Nico?"

The raven nodded and rose up just enough to leave only the tip of Will's cock inside him.

The screech he made when he came back down was loud enough to be heard all the way to Camp Jupiter.

Will was barely any quieter as his grip on the raven's hips got even firmer.

A pleased growl rose up in his throat as Nico threw back his head and moaned his pleasure to the universe.

"Harder." He begged; even as he set an already bruising pace.

Will eagerly complied, completely unable to take his eyes off the sight of his love enjoying himself so entirely.

Nico looked angelic in that moment with his skin shining with perspiration and his head thrown back in ecstasy. So bright. So alive.

"Please." The raven begged lowly.

Will gripped his hips tighter and made a point of thrusting up every time Nico thrust down.

That drove the son of Hades absolutely wild as he clawed at Will's shoulders for leverage. The blonde was hitting the spot inside him that made his vision blur and he never wanted it to stop.

Already as wound up as he was from the day's events and the sight before him, Will knew this couldn't last long.

"You feel too good Angel." The blonde half warned, half gasped.

Nico whimpered at the words and thrust down harder.

"Yes, yes." He chanted up to the ceiling. "Knot me."

Will had been glowing on and off since the moment Nico's lips had first touched his skin and was casting patterns on the cloth surrounding them like a slowly spinning nightlight ever since.

It was a dazzling sight and Nico wasn't withheld it as he kept his eyes on the roof of his nest and watched it play out like an abstract shadow show meant for only him to see.

It was like seeing exactly what he was feeling represented in a kaleidoscope of light and shadow. Every flash a wave of pleasure; every curling shadow a touch of Will's hand on his skin. It was like watching their love making playing out before his eyes.

When Nico finally looked down at this light's source, at the man he planned on spending the rest of his life with, everything fell into place as the rest of him fell apart.

He screamed his pleasure to the world as his cock painted Will's stomach white and his body all but convulsed on top of the blonde.

Will's eyes went literally luminescent at the feel of Nico clenching around him and not a moment later his knot was catching inside of Nico and filling him with wave after wave of cum.

Nico whimpered at the feel of it as his hips continued to roll instinctively down as much as they could. Will ran soothing hands up and down his sides as they both came down from the high of their climaxes. In return Nico wrapped his arms around Will's neck and buried his face into golden curls.

When they'd both finally caught their breath Will wrapped his arms around the raven and placed slow wet kisses on every part of him that he could reach.

"You okay?" He asked quietly.

Nico nodded into his curls, but otherwise remained silent and still.

Will didn't move much either. Just played with the end of Nico's hair with one hand and used the other to lightly stroke the younger's back. They were still tied together and every once in a while one of them would move to settle better and cause residual waves of pleasure to shoot through them both.

They stayed together like that until Will's knot had gone down and then the blonde carefully turned them so that they were both resting on their sides and facing each other.

Once settled he reached out and brushed the hair from Nico's face.

"I picked the best Omega." He bragged with an adoring grin.

Nico's answering smile had its own glow as he leaned into Will's touch.

"Will you mark me next time?" He asked softly, already looking like he was going to drift off any second.

"Next time or the time after." Will calmly promised as he carded his fingers gently through a dozing Nico's hair.

"Heats last longer once your body knows it's got a mate to share it with. We have plenty of time."

Nico hummed sleepily and curled into Will's chest.

"I love you Will." He breathed against the blonde's throat, not even realizing that this was the first time he'd ever said the words to Will in English before.

Will wrapped his arms around him and pressed them even closer together; happy to hear the words, but not surprised. He'd never needed to hear that Nico loved him to know it.

"I love you too Nico." He whispered before kissing the raven's forehead.

They drifted off beneath the glow of the string lights; both dreaming of the beginning of the next chapter of their lives.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They made love for a week straight; enjoying Nico's heat until it was nothing but embers.

Till Nico's torso was a patchwork of hickies and Will's hair had been yanked in every direction possible at least a dozen times.

Till a claiming mark was sunk down deep into Nico's shoulder in a place where no one could ever miss it; until both were sure that Nico had to be pregnant.

In between their moments of passion that they shared each other in just as intimate ways. They bathed together, ate together, and many other things. But more than anything, they talked. They talked about how many kids they wanted. About how they would try and turn parts of Camp Halfblood into something like Camp Jupiter had. Places where Demigods could remain after their training ended. Places where demigod children could be raised away from monsters.

They talked about Will moving into the Hades Cabin full time and Nico meeting Naomi Solace in person over winter break for the first time as Will's mate.

In the quietest of whispers they even discussed names.

Michael di Angelo for a boy. Bianca Solace for a girl. Whichever they had first would determine which surname they both decided to go by. They even playfully debated the number they wanted; Will insisting that 5 was a lucky number and Nico arguing that an even 6 would be better. They'd argued until it escalated into a pillow fight and then devolved into something hotter.

Will's fingertips seldom strayed far from Nico's stomach after their second day of love making. He was too curious to find out if his healing abilities would let him know so early on if Nico was pregnant or if he'd have to wait till later on to determine pregnancy.

He'd never been near anyone earlier than 2 months pregnant, but he'd been able to tell from a touch alone that they were with child.

Will had wanted to see if he could feel the instant it took. The very moment life took root inside his mate. Nico, to his credit, only laughed a little at how Will's touches felt like tender tickles against his abdomen rather than anything medical.

"Do you feel different?" Will asked time and time again.

Nico merely smiled at him every time. "I feel really loved." He admitted; right before touching his backside. "Really loved and really sore."

It amazed him how after a literal week of sex Will still blushed like a virgin every single time he said something like that.

"Plus." Nico added with a grin. "You're more likely to be the one of the two of us to start glowing any time soon Tesoro."

Will would have normally gotten embarrassed by the reminder of his occasional luminescence, but instead his features grew thoughtful.

"Wonder if they'll take after you or me. If they'll summon sunlight or skeletons."

Nico huffed out a breath of laughter. "With our genes? They'll probably summon the sunniest skeletons in the Underworld." Nico pushed him playfully before adding. "Or Casper." He teased just to hear Will laugh. He could listen to that forever and never tire of it. "With your genes Tesoro? I can only guarantee one thing for sure."

Nico leaned forward to caress his mate's cheek.

"They'll be beautiful." He breathed adoringly.

Will caught his hand and held it against his sun kissed skin.

"Beautiful and powerful; just like you." He complimented back.

They didn't talk for a long time after that. They were too busy making really sure Nico was pregnant.