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A little birdie told me...

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"You took that hit pretty hard" 

 

"Shit! You took that hit pretty hard! You okay?"

Travis Stoll — son of Hermes, co-counselor of Hermes cabin, an absolute madman when it comes to pranks — is totally in love with one medic from the Apollo cabin by the name of Will Solace.

"... Travis? You okay?"

Will Solace has the nicest blue eyes. The most perfectly unkempt, yet still stylish blond hair. Possibly the kindest person on camp. Definitely the best medic on camp. Can probably alleviate the head splitting headache he's experiencing right now.

"Travis…Travis…? Can you hear me?"

He's also nosy beyond belief. Can't shoot an arrow to save his life. Really can't leave an issue alone if it catches his interest.

"Nico, give me the nectar."

Travis feels a hand slip behind his head and lifts him up. A bottle is pressed to his lips, a liquid trickling pass his lips and down his throat. Warmth floods his body and the pain jackhammering into the side of his temple dissipates.

Travis opens his eyes, groaning as the unholy light assaults his poor eyes.

"Ugh. Will? Nico?" he mumbles, squinting up at the shady forms at what he assumes to be his two other questmates. "What happened? Why does my head hurt so much?"

"You unlocked the front door with your powers. You didn't listen to us saying it's probably booby-trapped. You ignored our warnings to not enter. You didn't check both directions before entering. You got bonked in the head with a sledgehammer and you fell down," Nico states matter of factly.

Beside him, Will passes the water bottle of nectar back to Nico. The hand remains though and Travis has to admit that Will's fingers against his scalp feel really nice. "You're lucky you didn't die. Any head injuries are dangerous."

Travis closes his eyes and grins. "But I didn't."

"You should be more careful."

"Okay."

"I feel like you won't."

"No, I'll will. But I'll definitely forget in a minute or two."

Will sighs and the hand in the back of his head slide down to his middle back as Will helps Travis upright. And he stands, stretching and popping the cracks in his neck. He stares at the front door of the Victorian Mansion they're standing before. This mansion sure sticks out like a sore thumb from the modern Los Angeles apartments. But not a single Los Angelean look their way. The power of the Mist really is something.

Travis stretches his arms. "Alright now that we're all fine, let's go get that bird!"

A couple of days ago, Aphrodite sent camp a message to retrieve her pet bird. Apparently, she's still fooling around with Ares and Hephaestus is not a happy husband. With the help of Hermes, Hephaestus stole Aphrodite's bird and locked it away somewhere in the states. Cue Aphrodite wanting demigods to retrieve her pet. Cue someone going to Rachel for a prophecy. Cue Rachel stating a griffin, a serpent, and a tortoise are needed for a possibly successful quest. And cue them traveling across the country to where they are right now, where they found the mansion, where he opened the locked door with his freaky-deaky powers, and where a hammer hit him in the head from the side.

The 3 day trip from Camp Half-Blood to Los Angeles was quite an adventure. He never quested with a Big Three before and the number of monsters that came after them was not fun. Good thing he and Nico are decent fighters and Will is… well, Travis wouldn't say a decent fighter. He wouldn't even say an OK fighter. He would say Will is an awful fighter.

Which is why Nico enters the mansion first to lead the front, Will follows, and Travis guards them from the behind.

The way they line up like this, him watching Will's back and Will watching Nico's is a great coincidence considering he has a massive crush on Will Solace. And Will Solace has a colossal crush on Nico di Angelo. And Nico di Angelo has a mammoth crush on Will Solace.

At least that's how it seems to Travis.

Connor says he isn't really the best at detecting romantic interests, but come on. Anyone with eyeballs could see that Nico feels something for Will and Will hangs out with Nico more than anyone.

Is he going to compete with Nico?

Absolutely not.

Because not only can the kid beat him up with probably little to no effort, Nico deserves to find happiness after all the sludge he been through. Tartarus, camp's weird avoidance of him, his unrequited crush for Percy, losing his sister. The kid deserves a break.

Which is why he been giving them a lot of alone time to talk throughout this whole trip. He hopes they're talking because the alone time for him is very boring. There is seriously nothing to entertain him. He can't prank himself, because there's no shock value. He can't prank other people because it draws too much attention to them. He can't IM Connor because he is poor. And pickpocketing bystanders, he realizes after the first time, becomes a dangerous game of 'are my fingertips grazing against a phone or a wallet?'

Having an unintentional monster magnet and one incapable of defending himself is not good for anyone's wellbeing.

So Travis was really bored those three days.

Really, really bored.

Lucky for him, Will was adamant about making sure all his teammates are accounted for so he gets distractions every hour or so.

Inside the mansion, everything is very fancy like all mansions are. Oriental furniture. Tall ceilings. Detailed, old paintings and vases. All very nice. And all probably worth a lot in a pawn shop. Dude, the amount of cash he'll make just by selling one is making him drool and judging by the high layer of dust on the furniture, no one will notice it's disappearance.

"Travis, if you're thinking about stealing these—" Will starts all of the sudden and Travis jerks, head flying back up front to find Will staring disapprovingly at him over the shoulder and Nico still facing forward.

Travis smirks, feigning hurt. "I'm insulted, Will. I'm not thinking about stealing. I'm definitely going to steal."

"Travis, I swear on my Father's harp, if you take something from here and end up pissing off Hephaestus and making him send automatons after us, I won't hesitate to feed you to the robots."

"I'm sure you will," Travis says.

The way Will wrinkle his nose is cute. "I really will."

"Sure, I'll believe you."

"I'll really do it."

"Uh huh."

"Don't test me."

"Okay."

"I'm going to hold your hand to make sure you don't steal."

"Alri— wait what?" When Will actually slips his hand into his, Travis literally feels his soul transcend the mortal plane and go to Elysium for a sip of the sweetest honey. And when he intertwines their fingers together? See, this is why he can’t kick this crush he has for Will to the curb.

Lucky for him, he's incredibly awesome at keeping a straight face. "Jokes on you. I'm ambidextrous. I can steal with both hands."

For a second, Will stares at him from over his shoulder with pensive eyes. "You don't have a bag on you."

"A good thief doesn't need a bag to carry their loot."

"Will you two focus? I can hear the bird," Nico snaps.

Sure enough, Nico's right. He could hear cooing. It's a dove's coo and Travis remembers one of Aphrodite's sacred animals are doves. It's coming from further in the mansion and they fall back in line.

They dodge a couple of booby traps here and there, avoided pitfalls a couple of times, run from a boulder one time too. Avoiding all these traps feels a lot like an Indiana Jones movie. Maybe that's where Hephaestus draws his inspiration from.

They stop in front of an unassuming door where the cooing is the loudest. He goes to open it but Will pulls him back by the shoulders, shaking his head.

"It's booby-trapped," he says.

For 10 minutes, Nico and Will argue about how to open it because they're positive it's booby-trapped. And after 15 minutes of watching them argue like old married couples, Travis goes ahead and opens it, disregarding their simultaneous cries that it's booby trapped.

Is it booby-trapped? Yes, absolutely. Did he got hurt? Of course, he did. Is it a bad injury? Thank the Gods it is not! Did he cry? Yes, he did. A little bit. A dagger embedding itself into the back of his hand is a good enough reason to cry, right? But the door is unlocked and no longer booby-trapped! Which is all that matters, because Travis just wants to finish the quest and not watch his crush flirt with his crush.

At least at camp, he's not required to standby. He can go whine to Connor.

"Travis, your hand!"

"What the hell were you thinking, Stoll!?"

Thinking? He was not thinking. He was too busy doing to be thinking.

Will pulls him aside to fix his hand, snagging the nectar bottle from Nico, while Nico went ahead to secure the bird. They sit on the floor, back pressing against the wall.

"You're too impulsive," Will scolds as Travis sips from the bottle, the taste of Connor's homemade chocolate chips flooding his mouth.

"Impulsivity is my middle name," he says but Will is not amused.

"Why are being so reckless? You're never this reckless."

"Ah…" Travis looks away. He guesses spending all these years together as yearrounders are bound to make Will notice if he's off. "I'm just anxious to get back. Connor and I have a big prank set up and—"

"Travis," Will sighs.

You can't lie to me. Not when my dad is the God of Truth.

Travis bites his lip to hide his smile. Complete honesty. Nothing can pass Will's radar. But he has a similar power. He knows the mechanics. There are ways to get around it.

"I'm just distracted. I got a lot on mind."

"...like…"

At Will's prompt and raised eyebrow, Travis continues, "I have a crush on someone in camp. He's totally—"

But then Will's coughing and shaking him hard by the shoulder with eyes wide and disbelieving. "You have a crush? You actually have a crush on a real, living person!?"

"Why is that so surprising?" Travis says defensively.

"Because! For all the years I have known you, you never showed any interest towards anyone . I thought you were aroace… or at least pranking-sexual."

"What does that even mean?"

"A person who's sexually attracted to pranks. But who even cares about that, tell me about the person you like! What's his name? Which cabin? Do I know him? Who is he? How nice is he?"

Travis leans away from the barrage of questions. It's so weird to see Will asking such in-depth questions. But then again he has always been a nosy person, so Travis did not question it too much.

"It doesn't even matter if I tell you, he'll probably won't reciprocate my feelings."

Okay wow, he always thinks about it but saying it out loud hurts more than he thought it would.

Will's lips twitch upwards for a fraction of a millisecond before his brows furrow. "Really? Why?"

That reaction was really strange. Is Will actually happy he'll never find true love? Tucking the fact into the back of his mind, he confesses, "He has a crush on someone else."

"Oh." And again Travis sees that millisecond smile before it's squashed by a musing look. Is Will really happy to see him pine over someone he can't have? Seriously?

"He told you he likes someone else?" Will asks.

"No, I just assumed."

Will frowns. "Travis, I say this with the kindest heart but you're not… exactly… the best at detecting romantic intentions. Austin and Kayla were hitting on you for the better half of the summer and you had no clue."

Travis blinks several times. "Kayla and Austin were doing what?"

"Flirting with you."

"They were?"

Will snortles and shakes his head. "Yes, they were."

Really? But all they did that summer was ask for more one on one training sessions which he gave without question.

That's flirting? Is Will absolutely sure that was what was going on?

"I would ask your crush out," Will says, not quite looking at him, "Maybe you were wrong."

Travis leans forward to get a better look at Will's face. "You sound kinda weird just now. You okay?"

And again in a millisecond, Will's face twist into a grimace, but it's shadowed over by a bright smile. "I am happy. I'm just a bit worried. A lot of people would find your, ah, abilities helpful in getting by with life."

Travis blinks. His abilities? What do his powers have to do with anything?

Will shakes his head and gives a beaming smile. "Forget I said anything. Who's your c—"

"Agh, damn it! Get down here!"

And there's a heavy crash inside where Nico is. Travis shares a look with Will before they both head inside.

The bird room is wonderfully done. Large. Spacious. Tons of flying room and perching sites. A bird paradise. Which he guess isn't good for them because the dove refuses to leave from the highest perch.

Nico huffs in frustration.

"It won't come down," Nico says to the duo entering the room. "I tried shadow traveling to where it is—"

"What?! Nico, you shouldn't be—"

"But it flies away each time. I can't use the net, it's too short and there are no barriers I can use to cage it in."

Travis stares at the dove. It's good-looking, white feathers dusted with the faintest of brown on their wingtips. It doesn't look special though and it certainly doesn't look magical. He wonders if they're even looking at the right bird. Doesn't Aphrodite like flair? But whatever.

Travis whistles. The dove cocks its head.

"Ms. Fluffy, come here," he coos.

Behind him, Nico whispers to Will, "It has a name?"

Probably yes. But it's probably not Ms. Fluffy.

Ms. Fluffy didn't move. Travis digs into his pocket for the sunflower seeds he snagged from a vendor pitside back in Colorado. He rattles it in his hands and smirks when Ms. Fluffy perks with interest. Got her.

"Do you want some delicious — woah!"

Faster than what should be possible for a bird Ms. Fluffy dives towards him and perches on the meaty part of his hand, pecking with a frenzy. Poor thing. She must have been hungry.

Travis turns around and smiles at his two companions, scratching the nape. "Bird is secured. Now let's go back to camp."

"Good going, Travis," Will says and Travis beams, warmth flooding his insides.

"Dad is the god of animal welfare. So naturally, I'm attuned with all animals and their needs," he boasts, but then he thinks about Nico and Percy and Jason and Will and oof, his powers really do not sound impressive compared to Nico's shadow travel or Will's healing hymns.

Then a voice, high and melodious, a voice that's definitely not his, not Will's, not Nico's, rings out in crystal clarity in the spacious bird room,

" I love poptarts."

Travis stares down at Ms. Fluffy, watches her finish the last sunflower seeds, and preens her feathers. She chirps and looks at him. A claw taps his palm like she's asking for more.

"I wasn't imagining it right? She talked?" Travis says hesitantly.

Will and Nico nod.

Okay, so he wasn't going crazy. Ms. Fluffy talked. Ms. Fluffy can talk . Holy shit and he brought Ms. Fluffy up to eye level.

"What's your real name?" he asks eagerly.

Ms. Fluffy only coos.

"Can I keep calling you Ms. Fluffy?"

More cooing.

"I love poptarts too. What other food do you like?"

Nothing but coos.

Will chuckles. "I can't believe you're trying to find similarities with a bird, Travis. That's really dumb."

Travis blows a raspberry. "Hey, Ms. Fluffy, you think Will is mean too don't you?"

No support from the dove. Maybe what happened was a one-time occurrence. Which is very, very sad. He wanted a talking bird to annoy Nico and Will on their way home.

He raises his hand to his shoulder and Ms. Fluffy hops over without a fuss and he strides back over to Nico and Will.

"So now we're—"

" I love cheeseburgers."

Travis's eyes widen in exhilaration and he points at Ms. Fluffy with elation.

A talking bird! It's really a talking bird! he mouths.

Nico rolls his eyes.

"We're going to head back to camp now. The easiest way would be me shadowing traveling all three of us back."

"Which I forbid," Will says.

"Right, which is why our next quickest option would be to go to Camp Jupiter then go back to camp by griffin."

" I love Antman ."

"Holy macaroni. This is the best bird ever. Antman is the best avenger! Say you like Scott Lang."

" I love pranks ."

"That's not Scott Lang. But whatever, I love pranks too!"

"Travis, we need to focus," Nico starts, but Ms. Fluffy coos and pecks his head with her beak and Travis gives in, reaching for more sunflower seeds to hand her.

"You're such a princess."

" I love dad ."

Wait, magical birds have dads? He always thought they sprout from a god's calf or innards. You know, like how most animals come to be according to the myths.

Will narrows his eyes. "Travis, I don't think —"

" I love Camp Half Blood ."

Nico frowns he takes a step towards them and Ms. Fluffy freaks out, wings fluffing up.

"The bird isn't—"

" I love Connor. "

His heart stops.

There's no way Ms. Fluffy knows Connor. No way at all.

She isn't saying what she loves.

She's saying what he—

" I love Will. "

And Travis runs for the exit, taking great care not to look anywhere but the exit on his way out. 


 

"I run from my problems. It's what I do."

" I love Chiron."

"I mean running from your problem isn't the worst thing ever, right?"

" I love Summer."

"I think I'm going to live here for the rest of my life."

" I love magic."

For maybe… 10 or 15 minutes, Travis just walks and talks with Ms. Fluffy. Maybe if he just walks long enough and far enough, he can get away from the fact that a bird — a freaking bird — ruin his life. But then, Travis skids to a stop and looks around. Really looks around. Nothing looks familiar. The hallway he's in. The fancy doors. The paintings of old people. None of it he recognizes. Which means he's in new territory. Which means he's in booby-trap land.

Crap.

Will and Nico handled all the booby traps.

"Ms. Fluffy, do you know the way out?"

Complete silence from the bird.

Typical.

Ruin his life and be unhelpful.

"Alright Ms. Fluffy, we're in trouble here. I am horrible at detecting booby traps. I'm actually really bad at setting traps up too. Connor does all that. I kinda just cheer him on from the sidelines. You're supposed to be returned safe and sound otherwise Aphrodite is going to have Will's and Nico's head. Do you understand?"

Ms. Fluffy coos once.

He's going to assume she understands.

"It's very important you don't get hurt, okay?"

" I love blue."

"Alright, we're on the same page."

Travis hands Ms. Fluffy some more sunflower seeds to keep her occupied. He's going to need all his focus to find his way out.

He thinks that, but one step forward and he falls into a pitfall trap. There is literally no way he can make this up.

One step and kaplump into the 30 feet hole.

Was it filled with spikes like what you see in Indiana Jones? Heck yeah, it was. Well, Partially. Only half of the 6"x6" pit is layered with metal spikes. Was he lucky enough to land in a spike-free zone? Heck no he was not.

He kicks his feet uselessly, praying he’ll kick the wall and it’ll launch him to the spike free zone but nope, he falls straight down into the pit, hit the spike-free ground right buttock first while his right calf is speared by the barbed spike.

And. Ho. Ly. Applesticks. It hurts. It hurts so freaking much.

Being stabbed through the calf clear through to the other side hurts and once he gets out of here, he's going to have a very serious talk with this mansion's architect. Partly to cry about how it's awful and partly to ask how he made such incredible traps. It's very impressive and if he wasn't in so much pain, he would admire the outstanding setup. He knows Connor would appreciate it.

He squeezes his eyes shut, very pointedly not looking at the wound. He doesn't want to see how bad it is. He doesn't need to know how bad it is.

Ms. Fluffy cries above him, perch on where the floor caves. She flaps her wings furiously and her nails clack on the linoleum.

"Ms. Fluffy, you okay?"

And she responds by flying away. Just completely deserted him.

"Wait! Ms. Fluffy, come back! It's dangerous out there. Ms. Fluffy! I have more sunflower seeds," he cries.

Ms. Fluffy did not come back no matter how much he rattles the seed in his hands. He tries to toss the seeds up but cheesesticks, it hurts so much to move his leg. Even just bending forward sends a mind-breaking wave of pain through his body and upstarts his desire to vomit.

He sits there not moving, not breathing, for maybe a good five minutes, just wishing the pain will go away.

Maybe the pain will go away if he just keeps very, very still.

His head buzzes.

Is he going into shock?

He has nectar and ambrosia on him. This is something he can mend.

But to fix it, he needs to pull his calf free of the spike which… frankly… at this moment… sounds like a really, really painful thing to do and the angle he's in right now… Gods, this sounds impossible

But he gotta.

He gotta get out of here. Go get Ms. Fluffy. Make sure Ms. Fluffy make it back to Aphrodite. And then leave the country and forever hide from Will till the end of time.

So he readies himself, pushes himself up with a trembling hand, takes a deep breath, make his leg go as limp as possible, loop his hands over both sides of his calf (oh gods, oh gods, oh gods, why did he decide to wear khakis? It looks so gross. It looks so bad. Oh Gods) and …

and…

5… 4… 3, 2, 1 …

He's ready now…

Almost ready…

Almost time to do it…

Just…

Needs…

A few… more… seconds… to ready himself.

Who is he kidding? He can't do it. And he lies back down on the surprisingly clean floor. He's going to die here in this nice, old pit.

Time to write his will and hope somebody will check the pits sometime in this century, he guesses.

"Travis?"

Oh no.

"Travis? You here?"

Please no.

Travis reluctantly raises his head to the surface but he didn't see Will's sweet blue eyes nor his gorgeous sun-blond hair.

"Ms. Fluffy, I don't have time for sightseeing. I need to find Travis. Gods probably know he got into a trap or something."

Maybe if he just stays very quiet, Will will pass by him and he can go back to whimpering in pain in silence. But then Ms. Fluffy's head pops over the surface and Will's head follows close behind.

"Travis? Is that you?"

And he waves weakly. "Will… hey… how you been?"

"Travis, hold on. I'm coming." Will disappear from the surface. The next minute, a bundle of rope falls into the pit and Will is flying into the pit like a majestic angel.

A majestic angel that is 1 second away from blowing a gasket.

Dude, if Connor can see how red Will is getting… they'll be making jokes about how he's a tomato.

"Travis? We have been looking everywhere for — what… the holy fuck."

Oof, Will does not look happy. He better do damage control and … well… none of this looks good. Damage control is not going to be successful. But still, he got up to his elbows and flashes a smile. "What's up? How's your day going?"

Will didn't respond to that.

He strides up to him, looks at his leg, kneels beside him, and scowls. "What happened?"

"I fell," he admits.

"Are you hurt anywhere else?"

"I don't think so."

"Good."

And Will lightly swipes him on the back of the head. "You idiot! What were you thinking running away like that? We were so worried."

"I panicked. You know how I am when I panic," he says defensively.

Will is about to say something but Ms. Fluffy flies down into the pit and lands on his shoulder. Will fixes his famous 'do-as-I-say' glare at the magic bird. "Go get Nico. He's searching the east wing of the mansion."

But Ms. Fluffy did not listen and preens her feathers.

" I love studying ."

"Ms. Fluffy, please."

" I love Steak. "

"So, um, I guess Ms. Fluffy says whoever the ones she's touching loves," Travis says, not looking at Will. Studying. Steak. That's Will's favorite things. Not his.

Will pushes Ms. Fluffy off his shoulder. But Ms. Fluffy is incredibly persistent and perches in Will's blond strands instead.

" I love brown ."

Will grumbles some very not nice sayings to the bird.

Travis would have laughs but fingers press against his thigh and he yelps. His leg jostles and a fresh wave of pain courses through his system.

Will winces and mumbles an apology.

"I'm going to paralyze your lower half so you won't feel a thing."

Travis nods, letting his face rest against the floor again as Will sings a hymn. Has he ever said how Will's singing voice is like an angel's? Melodic, silvery, sweet.

The excruciating pain immediately disappears and Travis watches his legs go limp.

"I'll fix this in a jiffy. Don't worry." Then Will is snapping on gloves he pulls from who knows where.

" I love people ."

"Ms. Fluffy, please be quiet," Will says with gritted teeth.

" I love Antman. "

"You like Antman, too? Dude, you should have told me sooner. We can watch his movies together," Travis says faintly.

Will did not respond to his sentence and he winces.

There's tension in Will's body. An awkward silence falls between them. And being the impulsive, silence-hating idiot he is, he opens his big mouth and says, "So you like brown. Any reason why? It's not the most popular color out there."

Will's jaw clenches and Travis shrinks.

Will hates him now. He hates him and their relationship is now ruined and they're no longer friends and this really is the worst day of his life.

Travis is refusing to look at his wound. And he can't exactly stare at Will. So all that's left to look at are the other metal spikes filling the pit they're in. They all stand at an impressive foot off the ground. And they all are 2 inches wide. And they all have this brown crusting at the barbs that he is pretty sure is rust.

Gods, he hopes the one impaled through his calf is a 4 inch long, 1 inch wide, rust-free spike. He can hope, right?

" I love mint chocolate chip ice cream. "

Ms. Fluffy chirps. She looks so content and happy. The dumb bird probably didn't realize she ruined his life.

"Done. Here."

A piece of Ambrosia is shoved into his hands and Travis slowly brings it to his mouth to nibble on with his cheek still presses against the floor The buzz in his head moves to his chest. He feels abnormally warm. Is this normal? He should feel better by now, right? Or is he doing something wrong? Maybe he should ask Will.

Who is very intently staring right at him.

Cheesesticks. His eyes shoot back to the spikes.

One second of silence. Two seconds. Three seconds. Four. Five.

"So… mint chocolate chip ice cream huh?"

Will still isn't saying anything.

He swallows. Rejection he can deal with pretty easily. But cutting a relationship off completely, he can't. Time to grow the pair Connor's always telling him and just go for it.

"... hey, are you weirded out by what Ms. Fluffy said earlier? Look, Will, I… if you just want to remind friends, I'm okay with that. Nothing has to change. I was never going to try anything."

"... really?"

Travis fiddles with the quarter square of the ambrosia he still hasn't finished, not daring to look up.

"Yeah, really. I know you have a crush on Nico so I wasn't going to make things awkward between us."

Will sighs and crap, crap, crap. He doesn’t sound happy. Travis curls in on himself, his blabbermouth ramming on at full speed.

"But I mean if you are grossed out by me liking you, I can also just move to San Francisco. I have been planning to do it since 5 minutes ago. I have a rock solid plan that consists of me doing magic tricks. I love magic tricks do you know that?"

"Travis."

But he blares on right ahead. "I have my whole act figured out. A little sleight of hand, a little … well, all I know is sleight of hand stuff."

"Travis!" And Will cups his cheeks forcibly and raises his head up so they stare eye to eye, him above and he below, which by the way, is way too intimate for Travis. Oh gods, he hopes his cheeks aren't red. It probably is red. His face feels like it's on fire. Dad, please save him from this situation by zapping him out of consciousness.

" I love blue."

"I'm going to need you to listen to me," Will says, "Look at me."

Reluctantly, Travis tears his eyes from the suddenly intriguing spikes to meet Will's unwavering blue eyes.

"Do you remember Connor saying you're shit awful at seeing romantic cues?"

He pouts. "Of course I remember. He says it almost every day."

Will nods. "Connor's right. You're really bad."

"Like I didn't already know that," he grumbles and his eyes drift off to the side, but Will squeezes his hands together and Travis's eyes went back to Will.

"I've been flirting with you this past year and not once have you reacted to anything I said or did. I thought you weren't interested."

… eh?

"I was so bummed. Then Kayla and Austin thought they would help by trying to figure out your orientation, but again you never reacted to anything."

… … huh?

"So we all thought you were asexual aromatic since you never dated, never talk about a significant other, never even hinted at liking anybody. Connor refused to tell us anything too."

… … … wha?

"But I guess you're just an oblivious idiot."

… … … … wait…

"So I'm going to make this clear for you like I should have from the beginning. Travis, I l—

" I love Travis. "