It was completely dark. Yes, this word fit perfectly. Depressingly perfectly, even.
But what is darkness?
Is it the lack of the light?
Or is it a matter of perspective, and it's just blocking all the bright things by one's mind?
You don't see anything when closing your eyes. You do it reflexively while looking at the sun, when there's too much light, when it hurts. When you're scared. And eventually, when you die.
It can help. Shut out the things that can hurt you. Calm you. Bring peace.
But most of the time, you're lonely.
In the darkness.
Only with your thoughts.
And it, they, can hurt you more than the brightest light.
Light means warm. Security. Love.
But in the light, you're visible.
You can't hide.
And people can see you. Read you, almost as easily as a book.
Maybe not understand completely, but read.
And it's not good, either.
So there's a need for balance.
The darkness brightened by the light,
and the light, dimmed by the darkness.
So here we are. In the dark room. Without any light. For now.
There was a figure lying on the bed, staring blankly at the ceiling, clearly not really being there; nothing like a few moments earlier. Not throwing on the bed, not trying to stop the stupid tears from falling after a bad nightmare, although some beads of sweat could have been seen on the male's forehead. The raven black bangs were on the loose on boy's face, not only the gray pillow where they should have been. But he didn't care. Why would he? They would just get back into his eyes anyway, so why bother. Some time had passed. Seconds? Minutes? Didn't matter. In the middle of the night, time isn't really a thing of importance. You don't sleep, for one or another reason. It will take some time to fall into the slumber again. If at all. And you probably wouldn't rest, so as well you can just... be. And think. Alone.
He could see just slightly brighter outlines of the objects in the room. With those dark walls. And dark furniture. And everything... so dark. The blinds on the windows were drawn, shutting out all the outside light.
He looked at the clock on the nightstand, it was showing an early hour of two in the morning. Nico di Angelo ran his hand over his face, by the way getting crusties (is it the right word?) out of his still sleepy eyes. You know, being a child of Hades, or his Roman counterpart Pluton, has some flaws, those inseparable vices which come with your father being sovereign of the literal hell. There are a lot of troubled, upset and anxious souls out there, wandering around the world, unable to find their peace, rest. The queues in the Underworld are long, so they go to the second best place, or rather the second best person. Well, Nico didn't approve or appreciate the attention. Nope, not at all! You'd think that the Camp was safe. That you could sleep tight until the next morning when they'd wake you up for breakfast. That you'd train and meet with friends. That it would be a bed of roses. Nothing more wrong! Those souls, they had their ways. And suddenly the life of a demigod isn't all that amazing as it seemed to be to a ten year old Mythomagic fanboy. As much as he'd like to deny all this and honestly say that 'life's cool', it's not. And while normal nightmares are usually awful, demigods have it much worse, and for the time being, the world must have had it in for Nico. Yeah, life sucks.
A walk seemed like a nice idea. The Ghost King had gotten up, not even caring about changing from his PJs. It's not like he'd bump into someone there. It was two thirty after all. Everyone's asleep.
Will threw away his blanket for the third time that night. He finished his shift at the infirmary an hour and a half before. He should have been tired, well, he was tired, but he couldn't sleep a wink. Oh, how amazing and friendly is this world! Exactly when he needed his decent seven hours of rest to be alert and at least half-awake for tomorrow's Capture the Flag. And as if rubbing the salt into the wound, Cabin 7 was the leader against the children of Ares. Who were surprisingly allied with the Athena's Cabin. Well, it was way over Will's head to think about it right then. The point is, 6th Cabin had this unwritten but so obvious alliance with Percy. Who had it the same with Zeus'. In other words, they were screwed big time. He needed a strong ally. He was the ruler! He should do it sooner. But hey, not his fault that heroes decided to participate in some Harley's Three-Legged Death Race and, well, some of them were at least... unavailable. Yet, someone had to put them together, didn't they? So, that's Will's excuse. A good one, so to say. Not his fault. The boy was fucking busy sewing unwary idiots together.
Sometime about half an hour later of still unsuccessful tries of sleep, local main medic decided he had had enough. Because what use of lying in bed when you can, em, walk. For example. In theory, they couldn't get out this late, but on the other hand, who would know? It's not like any of those Harpies would actually eat him, right?
Frankly, Will felt too useless to care.
There was this place in the camp that almost no one knew about. Perfect for tired emo teenagers with as much optimism as a rock or a LEGO that's about to be stepped on and thrust into someone's foot - kind of happy but still disappointed in the world.
There was a view on the lake, the spot being situated a little above it. Trees were surrounding it from three sides, leaving a place to look at the often troubled but then calm water.
Nico was sitting on a makeshift bench of some boxes and wooden chests. Some of those still had strawberry painted on them. Without a doubt it was made by the campers. He rested his elbows on his thights, arms falling between his knees. He raised his head to face the silver shield of the Moon, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath.
Suddenly his ears caught a sound that shouldn't be there. Footsteps. Light ones, too, so no big monsters to fight, thank gods. Not like there would be any, he was still on the Camp's territory after all. A dry twig snapped behind the trees, it was closer than the footsteps he heard, whoever, or whatever, it was, was going in his direction. The son of Hades stood up in a trice and turned towards the direction of the supposed intruder, his black sword in his hand. He had taken a fighting stance.
What he saw wasn't anything like what he imagined.
But he would recognize this crazy golden hairdo everywhere.
Will was going to one of his favorite places in the Camp, a peaceful clearing in the forest. It was his oasis, stronghold, somewhere where he could go and calm down after some... things. Like when he helped deliver baby Chuck. And then there was the battle. Yeah, he needed quiet. From his thoughts snapped him a voice, familiar one, so to say.
"What are you doing in my brooding spot, Sunboy?"
Will stopped in his tracks to be met with scowling Nico di Angelo himself, armed with his stygian iron sword.
"I could ask you the same, Ghost Buddy."
"Don't call me 'Ghost Buddy'!"
A smug smile appeared on Will's face.
"And you can call me Sunboy. I like it."
Nico let out a sigh and sat back on the bench. Soon after Will joined him.
"Gods, you're so annoyingly happy it makes me shiver."
"I make you shiver?" Will wiggled his eyebrows at him.
"You said it."
"Your Apollo side is showing! Throw it into the Tartarus and never touch it again with a ten-foot pole. Or any pole, it could get toxic."
"Haha, you're very funny, you Dark-and-Gloomy."
The two of them had been awkwardly sitting there for a while, but eventually Will spoke:
"Why aren't you asleep? As your doctor I told you to take better care of yourself."
Will didn't actually expect to get an answer, but he worried for the boy. They had gotten closer after the battle with Gaea and so he was the one to make sure his grumpy 'I am death' friend eat properly or didn't overused his Underworld-y powers.
"Can't sleep." Nico muttered. "Souls are banging on the doors to my head."
Silence. Less awkward but still.
Will wanted to brighten the mood. Didn't know how it would work out but you can't blame the boy for trying. He bent down and supported his chin with his hands.
"I guess I've got too much solar energy, and this place is like my Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Man, I'm so fricking tired but my body gives me those vibes like: 'No! What are you thinking?! You wanna sleep? BUAHAHAHAHA! No rest for you, loser.'. And on top of that, I didn't really have any time to make any alignment, being busy creating Frankensteins from bloodied and bruised campers and all that stuff. So right now it's Cabins of Apollo, Demeter, Nemesis, Aphrodite and Tyche versus the rest of the camp. And I haven't put a finger to it! Some ruler I am." However there was a smile on Will's face. 'Gods, why is he always smiling. Someone's gonna get blind.'
Nico listened closely - okay, maybe he started after half of the monologue. And that's when he acknowledged something very, very important.
"Well, I'm not really in any setup or something like that with Athena's kids so... if you want I... may... you know, join you or something..." The last part was so quiet Will thought for a moment that he misheard it. 'Why does he ALWAYS have to be so moody? Seriously, the guy needs some unicorns and rainbows, not just those skulls and corpses.'
"Yeah! It'd be awesome! I mean, since both Percy and Jason are with Annabeth and the rest then I'd use one of the Big Three's kids."
"Then congrats, Mr. Solace. You made an alliance! You're officially not a total duffer."
The son of Apollo stood up, laid a hand over his heart and faked a shock.
"How could anyone even think that!"
After that he bent back, like he was going to fall, you know, the pose that damsels in distress make before they pass out. It even earned him a smirk from Nico. He sat back down next to the ebony.
They stopped smiling and Nico noticed that Will's face was dangerously close to his owns. And for the notice, he was going to pull out. Really. But those eyes were so blue...
Meanwhile Will was metaphorically drowning in the blackness of Hades' kid's irises. How can they be so dark and colorless, but at the same time contain every possible color from the spectrum?
And so, somehow they had gotten even closer. Everyone knows what happens in that sort of situations. Two human beings connect with their lips, and suddenly the whole world might explode or a nuke can fall next to them and they wouldn't notice. Because in that very moment, their lives are complete and they themselves feel fulfilled.
The emo-I-am-not-emo teenager was the first one to bear off. He looked away, blushing intensively dark red - just like Will.
"Wha- what just happened?" The ebony stuttered.
"I don't know. I want again."
It was about another half an hour later. Somewhere along Nico started humming something under his breath, but Will, being a son of Apollo, caught it in an instant. It was fairly... nice to the ears.
Will smacked him upside the head.
"This melody that comes out of you, dummy."
After giving his newfound but not yet established boyfriend a death glare, which the latter openly disposed, Nico started humming a little louder so Will could hear it better. And then it hit the golden haired one. He knew exactly which song it was. And so he grinned wide and sang to himself.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine..."
Crickets were making chirping sounds in the night.
It was dark. Yeah, it was. However, this darkness was providing safety. This darkness hid two boys from the rest of the world.
This darkness was balanced.
They could see everything good enough.
"I change my mind. I don't wanna be called 'Sunboy' anymore."
They sat there side by side in silence for a minute, before...
"You are just a big cinnamon roll, aren't you? A big, plush teddy bear!"
"I will stab you, Solace."
Although, when people are in love, they don't need to know what's around them. They would see each other perfectly even in complete darkness, or when they were overwhelmed by lights and could see nothing but blinding whiteness. Yet there would never be a need to.
Because sometimes one of the forces may predominate, cover the other.
But they always come to balance themselves.
It is their destiny, and the reason they were created: to unite.