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Death is never easy, no matter how many times someone may experience it. The worst kind, to him at least, is the unexpected ones. If you know that the person is going to pass soon, it is easier to deal with when that day comes. The ones that are quick, out of nowhere, with a blink and you missed them-those hurt more than anything. They leave you thinking of what could have been, what should have been. Scenarios keep you up at night and all you’ll think is what you last said.

Nico is no stranger to deaths like this, especially the flood of fear and heart-wrenching sorrow that soon follow after. His first experience had been with Bianca, who sacrificed herself to save those she was with. It’s been years since it’s happened, yet his heart still aches as if the news had been broken to him just a few weeks before. Then it was for a moment when Percy and Annabeth fell into Tartarus, relying on Nico to be able to get to them in time to help them out. If they could survive down there.

Yet, as Gaea explodes into a fiery mess, his breath gets caught in his throat. Unhurt, he still stumbles, feeling the soul he connected to leave this world too soon. The fighting on the fields around him come to a stop, all those able to turning their gaze to the sky. He couldn’t-wouldn’t turn his head, knowing the gripping feeling all to well in his chest.

Leo Valdez is dead, and if what he saw from the beginning of the explosion, they won’t find his body.