Even though Nico no longer felt friendless at Camp Half Blood, he still enjoyed spending time alone in his cabin. That's why one day while most of the other campers were out doing activities such as volleyball or climbing the rock wall, he was sitting on his bed shining his stygian iron sword. He wasn't expecting anyone to bother him until dinner time, so he decided to get comfortable and put on the most casual outfit he owned, black sweatpants along with a shirt that Jason gave him that said "Some dudes like dudes, get over it". Nico would never admit to Jason how much he loved that shirt, but he wasn't comfortable wearing it anywhere where someone might see him. That being said, you can probably imagine the look on his face when someone suddenly turned the doorknob on his cabin door.
Nico quickly threw his sword on the ground and pulled a blanket up to his neck in an attempt to cover his shirt as Will Solace swung the door open and entered his cabin with a smile.
"Hey Deathboy, a bunch of us are playing volleyball and my team is one man short. I've already told them that you're coming so you can't say no."
Nico sat there silently as Will walked closer to his bed.
Suddenly Will's smile started to fade, "What's wrong Nico?"
"I'll play, but you have to leave first," Nico mumbled quietly.
"Why, are you hiding something under that blanket?" Will asked in a suggestive manner.
"NO! I mean ugh yeah I guess, but not like that. Gods Will," Nico groaned as blush formed on his cheeks.
"What are you hiding then?" Will asked as he sat down on the end of Nico's bed.
"Nothing, please just leave," Nico whimpered as he tried to sink lower into the covers.
Suddenly Will turned away from Nico and started staring blankly at the wall.
Will let out a sigh and continued staring at the wall, "I just thought you could trust me."
"I do trust you Will!" Nico said loudly.
"Then what don't you want me to see?" Will asked as he turned back towards the son of Hades.
Nico sighed and closed his eyes as he slowly started to put down the blanket. "I understand if you don't want to be my friend anymore," he said as he revealed the writing on his shirt.
A few moments of silence went by before he slowly opened his eyes again to see Will smiling at him.
"Why are you smiling. Did you read it?" Nico asked nervously.
"Nico, I never said anything because I thought you already knew, but let's just say that it would be a bit hypocritical of me to be disgusted because of that."
Nico sat in silence for a few moments as he processed the words that had just come out of the son of Apollo's mouth before finally whispering, "Oh. So you’re also….”
The truth is that Nico had never met anyone else who wasn't straight before and he had absolutely no idea what to say.
Will just smiled then grabbed his hand and pulled him out of his bed, "Come on. We have a game to win!" he said as he pulled Nico towards the door.
"Can you at least let me change?" Nico asked as he tried to pull away.
"You look cute though," Will replied with a smile.
"Will, I don't- I'm not- just I don't want anyone to see me in this shirt, okay. Jason got it for me and sometimes it makes me feel better but I just don't-"
"I understand Nico," Will interrupted, "I'll leave so you can change." He then let go of Nico's hand and walked out the door.
As soon as the door closed Nico wanted to jump up and down and scream. He wasn't alone. He couldn't believe it. Not only was there another boy who liked boys at camp, but that boy was Will. The same Will that Nico had been trying and failing to not develop a crush on for months.
The volleyball game had been surprisingly fun for Nico. Usually he hated anything having to do with sports or the outdoors, but how could he not be happy with all of his friends around him. It was boys versus girls. The teams were him, Will, and Percy against Annabeth, Piper, and Lou Ellen. Nico was having the most fun that he had had in a long time. Of course this is Nico we are talking about though, and happy moments in his life never seemed to last long. He wasn't exactly surprised when Piper spiked a ball into him so hard that he heard a loud crack as it collided with his shoulder.
"Nico!" he heard Will scream as the force from the ball pushed him back into the sand.
Surprisingly the pain in his shoulder wasn't that bad. He had gone through worse. A lot worse.
"Will, I'm fine," he said as he tried to get up.
He had barely lifted his head a few inches off the ground when suddenly a hand pushed him back down.
"Don't move!" Will said, his voice filled with panic.
Nico's first mistake was looking at Will and seeing how scared the blond boy actually was. His second mistake was looking at his shoulder, or at least he thought it was his shoulder. All he could see was blood.
"Fuck," he mumbled as he pushed his head back into the sand. He closed his eyes as heard multiple pairs of footsteps rush towards him.
"Nico are you okay?" he heard Percy ask.
"He obviously isn't Seaweed brain," he heard Annabeth respond followed by a faint whack which he imagined was probably her hitting Percy on the back of the head.
He then heard Piper say, "Nico, I'm so sorry."
He also faintly heard Lou Ellen groan, "Ugh, does this mean the game is over?" from the other side of the court, but he decided to just ignore her.
"Guys, I don't even feel it."
"It's not as bad as it looks. I just need to get him to the infirmary," Will said, his voice much more calm than it was only a few seconds earlier.
Nico's eyes shot open as arms scooped him off the ground. His first instinct was to try and break free, as he realized that Will was carrying him bridal style, but Will's arms just tightened under him.
"Nico, I know you don't like being touched, but you lost a lot of blood and I don't think it's safe for you to walk there yourself. Just let me carry you," Will pleaded.
Nico just nodded and let his head rest against Will's chest. He still wasn't in that much pain, but he could feel himself getting lightheaded from the loss of blood.
After a few minutes he looked around to make sure that no one was near them then whispered, "You smell really good."
Will laughed as he continued carrying the smaller boy towards the infirmary.
"Will, you don't have to carry me. I think I can walk on my own." Nico said, even though that was a totally lie.
"It's okay Deathboy. I like holding you," Will replied quietly.
Nico was relieved that the older boy couldn't see the blush forming on his face as they entered the infirmary.
"Kayla I need some bandages, disinfectant, and unicorn draught!" Will screamed into to infirmary.
"Unicorn draught? Doesn't that only heal Nico? What did your boyfriend do this time?" A girl screamed from the supply closet in the back of the infirmary.
"Just shut up and bring me it!" Will screamed back as blush formed on his face.
"Sorry. She thinks I’m dating every other gay boy I talk to," he mumbled to Nico in embarrassment as he put him down on a white twin bed.
"Will, is it obvious?" Nico asked.
"Is what obvious? Your injury? I mean right now it's pretty bloody so-"
"No," Nico interrupted, "my preference."
Will's face widened as he tried to form a response. "No, I mean I kinda wasn't surprised, but if this is about Kayla she just kinda assumes things, and she's really supportive of me so you don't have to-"
"Will shut up, my head hurts," Nico said with a smile as he closed his eyes.
"Why are you smiling?" Will asked.
"Because you're cute when you think I'm upset," Nico replied.
"Shit, what happened?" Kayla asked as she walked towards the bed with the medical supplies.
"Piper Mclean," Will replied.
"Enough said. I never knew a child of Aphrodite could be as strong as her," Kayla said with a shudder.
"I know it's gonna hurt. Just do it" Nico said as he braced himself for the inevitable sting of the disinfectant.
Suddenly he cringed in pain as intense stinging shot through his shoulder where the liquid splashed onto his cut skin.
"Drink this," Will said as he practically poured the unicorn draught down Nico's throat.
After about a minute he asked "Better?" and Nico nodded.
"I'm going to go back to sorting supplies," Kayla said with a smile as she walked away.
As soon as Kayla was out of eyesight Nico whispered, "Will?"
"Do you like being... ya know?" he asked while staring at the floor.
"I don't exactly like my sexuality. It's just who I am," he replied quietly so Kayla couldn't eavesdrop, "Nico, it's better to just accept who you are and not care what anyone thinks."
"Will, you know when I was born right?" Nico asked quietly.
"Back then you couldn't just not care what people think. People like me were-"
"Us," Will interrupted.
"People like.... us, were literally killed. I know it's different now. People keep telling me that, but before today I didn't know anyone else who is... ya know."
"You can say the word Nico. It's not a bad word," Will said with a reassuring smile.
"I didn't know anyone else who is gay," Nico whispered so quietly that Will had to strain his ears to hear him.
"You obviously don't have very good gaydar then," Will said with a smile.
"What does that mean?"
"Dude like half of the Apollo cabin is bisexual. Same with the Aphrodite cabin. I'm pretty sure the Athena, Ares, and Hermes cabins have some bi kids too. Point is that like half of our camp is bisexual, and I can probably name like at least seven guys off the top of my head who are 100% gay. Like three girls too."
"How do you know that?" Nico asked while trying to hide how shocked he was.
"Most people feel comfortable enough to come out. No one in this camp cares if you date someone who is the same gender that you are. If you weren't in your cabin all day then maybe you would know that."
"Shut up," Nico replied, "So are you one of the guys who is 100% or..."
"I don't know. I've only ever liked one person and he's a guy."
"Oh," Nico replied quietly.
Will smiled then asked, "Don't you want to know who it is?"
"Not really. Do you still like him?"
"Yeah," Will replied, "Can I at least tell you about him then?"
Nico didn't really want to hear his crush talk about a guy who wasn't him, but he nodded anyway.
"First off, he's an idiot-"
"Why do you like him then?" Nico interrupted.
"Shh, I like him because yeah he's super dense, but he's also smart, attractive, funny, a great fighter, and he's a really private person so not many people know that he's also a huge dork."
"Why don't you go talk to him then instead if you think he's so great," Nico said with a huff as he sunk into the small infirmary bed.
Will just smiled as he continued, "The thing I like most of all though is that he's also really cute. Especially when he thinks I'm talking about someone else when I'm obviously talking about him."
Nico stared at Will for a few moments before he finally realized what the son of Apollo had said then his eyes practically popped out of his head.
"You okay?" Will asked with a smile.
Nico didn't move
"Nico...?" Will said, getting slightly concerned.
Nico still didn't move.
"Shit Nico, I'm sorry. I thought you liked me. You only officially came out to me like three hours ago, and you weren’t even planning to. I wasn't thinking about what I was saying. I'm sorry. I fucked up and-"
"The guy I like is an idiot too," Nico replied with a slight smile.
"Who do you- oh," Will said as he turned away in an attempt to hide his blush.
"How is my shoulder looking," Nico asked.
Will unwrapped the bandages then smiled. "Thanks to the unicorn draught, it's already pretty much healed."
"Can I go to the campfire tonight then?" Nico asked.
Nico then swallowed and stared at the floor like it was the most interesting thing in the world before he quietly mumbled, "Do you maybe wanna go with me?"
"Are you asking me on a date Di Angelo?" Will asked as a huge smile spread across his face.
"Yeah," Nico said as he looked up towards Will.
"I'd like that," Will replied.