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Giving Into The Light

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Nico kept his eyes so they were not directly looking at Will as the other boy talked to him. The only thing that kept Nico from dying of boredom was the scene happening behind Will in the infirmary. Nico didn't show his amusement though, he is trying to pretend to be listening to the lecture Will was giving him. In the infirmary an Apollo girl healer was trying to keep this giant Roman guy, who had to stay in his cot, from leaving.

 

"Come on get..back..in...your....bed!" The girl says trying to push the big guy back. 

 

"I've been laying down long enough all that's wrong is a few broken bones, it's really no big deal. Can't you just let me go?" The guy asks and the girl healer steps back. She looks up at him with teary eyes and a trembling lip.

 

"But if I let you go too soon you might get hurt again and it could get worse and-and it'd be my fault!" The girl burst into tears and the guy looked taken aback.

 

"Fine! Fine, I'll stay. Nothing's your fault, so calm down!" The guy grumbles as he goes back to his cot and the young girl sniffs wiping tears from her eyes. She gives him a winning smile and pats his head before covering him up then walking away looking satisfied. The guy sighs wiping a hand over his face knowing he got played. 

 

"Nico, did you listen to a word I said?" Will asks snapping Nico's attention back to him. Nico ponders for a moment then nods. "Oh really then what did I say?" Will asks raising an eyebrow at the shorter boy.

 

"Well the first thing you said was, 'You definitely need three days in the infirmary.' Then the rest is kind of a blur of, 'Doctor's orders!' and 'No underworld-y stuff!' Yep, so I listened to more than a single word you said Solace," Nico says cocking out a hip and settling his hand on the handle of his sword. Will gives Nico a look that clearly says, 'You know what I meant.' Nico rolls his eyes at the other boy. "Three days seems like a little much don't you think?" Nico says looking up at Will ignoring the skeletal butterflies that like to appear in his stomach.

 

"Three days probably isn't enough, but let's just say three for now. Come on Death Boy let's get you a cot, oh and no weapons." Will suddenly takes Nico's sword and hands it to an Apollo kid passing by who takes it away to some other part of the infirmary. "Don't worry you'll get it back," Will says and puts his hands on Nico's shoulders steering him inside. Nico grits his teeth smacking away the boys hands. 

 

"Don't touch me, and don't call me Death Boy," Nico says practically growling at Will. Will laughs and pushes Nico forward to an empty cot. He makes the boy sit down then takes a seat on a stool in front of him. 

 

"Alright, shirt. Off. Now." Will says grabbing ambosia from a tray on a side table he breaks off a small square and waits for Nico to do as he said.

 

"I-I'm not taking off my shirt!" Nico says regretting that his shirt was still the ugly one he had to borrow. 

 

"If you don't take it off then I will, and don't think I won't," Will says crossing his arms and looking Nico square in the eye. Nico flushes and fiddles with the hem of the shirt.

 

"Why do I have to take it off any way?" Nico asks looking at his hands trying to look annoyed.

 

"Well for one that thing is dirty as can be, and two I need to do a check up on you so the tattered shirt gets in the way " Will says and then watches as Nico hesitantly takes off the shirt. "Good now relax okay?" Will says as he puts a warm hand on Nico's neck and squints displeased. He goes through the regular routine of blood pressure, eyes, heart rate, and ears. Then when he was done the first thing he does is get this angry look on his face. "Nico, did you know you had partially infected scratches on you?" Will asks as he turns and asks a passing healer to grab him some bandages a shirt and other things Nico didn't pay attention to. He hands Nico the small square of ambrosia as well, which Nico eats.

 

"Yeah, what about them?" Nico asks back to being stubborn and sarcastic. Will ignores him for the moment and thanks his siblings as he sets the supplies on a side table. 

 

"I'm gonna have to keep track of you aren't I? Such a bad boy not telling me you had a wound " Will says tsking at Nico. Nico rolls his eyes flinching as Will fixes up the claw marks. "Next time," Will says handing him a shirt, "tell me if you have a wound that hasn't been properly treated." 

 

"Whatever Solace," Nico says quickly putting on the shirt.

 

"Good to know you'll comply." 

 

"Whatever helps you sleep at night," Nico smirks sitting back in the cot.

 

"Aww nice to know you care about me too," Will says handing Nico a tray of food he had somehow gotten. 

 

"You expect me to eat that?" Nico asks looking at the large pile of food. 

 

"As much as you can Nico, I don't want you puking, but you need to eat food. Hate to break it to you but you're under weight and I could pick you up with one hand Death Boy," Will says as Nico reluctantly takes the tray.

 

"Hey I'm not that small Solace!" Nico snarls as Will walks away.

 

"Whatever helps you sleep at night," Will says with a wink then turns away with a triumphant smile. 

 

"Stupid Solace," Nico mumbles under his breath. Nico notices a lot of the other campers in cots were also eating. Nico looks at the guy next to him seeing it's the Roman dude from earlier. Nico looks back at his food first trying out the yogurt Will had given him. It was vanilla flavored so Nico thought it wasn't too bad but he'd never tell Will he actually liked it. He sighs and moves on eating most of the food and drinking the healthy drink before Will passes by and smiles at him. 

 

"Glad to see you actually listened to me," Will says sitting at the stool again. The guy on the bed next to Nico's groans. Will turns to him, "Something the matter big guy?" He asks with a smile still on his face. 

 

"Oh nothing just tired of this infirmary and you Apollo kids and you're all too friendly faces," the guy says looking at Will with a bored look.

 

"Well, then I bet Nico here is a breath of fresh air with his gloomy face," Will laughs making Nico roll his eyes and throw a wrapper at the son of Apollo. 

 

"I'm not gloomy I'm intimidating, I'm totally scary, and people fear me!" Nico says crossing his arms and mumbling under his breath. Will laughs and turns back to the Roman on the other cot.

 

"See isn't he funny?" Will says the Roman actually smiles nodding in agreement. Nico huffs and looks away from the two. "Your name was..Gavin right?" Will asks and the Roman gives a nod. "Broke a few bones huh? That's never fun, but it's worse when you try to use the broken bones," Will says grabbing a book from a stack a camper was bringing by. "Here, try reading this to pass the time, it's the infirmary collection so you gotta finish before you leave. Oh and," Will whispers something to Gavin which causes the other boy to laugh and take the book with his healed arm. 

 

Nico feels a twinge in his chest and flops down on the cot turning his back towards Will. Will sees this and gets an idea. He grabs a blanket and lays it over Nico who doesn't move. Will smiles and pauses before petting the boy's head once and walking away. Nico jumps up and the blush on his face leaves Will satisfied as he goes back about his work. Nico lays back down hiding his face in the blanket and ignoring the other campers. He eventually drifts off to sleep waking up in a cold sweat he sits up quickly panting and looking around him. He sighs relieved to see he's only in the infirmary. He notices the room is darker and many of the campers were already sleeping. 

 

"You hungry?" Nico jumps then sees Will standing at the end of his bed, looking at him in the dim light. 

 

"What? Oh uh, sure, I guess," Nico says clearing his throat and wiping a hand over his face. 

 

"Alright, I'll be back in a second," Will says studying Nico for a second before walking away to get a tray of food. Nico flops back onto his pillow pushing the nightmare out of his head. Will comes back minute later with a steaming plate of food. He sits down on the stool and hands it to Nico. Gavin in the next bed was still reading his book under a the light of a bed lamp the Hephaestus cabin had made for the infirmary beds. Will stays sitting next to Nico pulling the cuts in that hung between the two cots. He gets up and shuts the curtain on both sides blocking off Gavin and a young camper from the Hectare cabin. 

 

"What'd you do that for?" Nico asks in a hushed voice avoiding looking directly at Will, his dream still very vivid in his head. 

 

"Just so it would be a more private talk," Will says pulling his chair closer to the side of Nico's bed. He sits down and picks up apiece of paper from the side table making something as Nico silently eats his food. He unconsciously eats slowly so Will might give up, but the healer was making something complicated with the paper not paying attention to Nico. 

 

"Alright I'm done now so you can go," Nico says after he swallows his last gulp of fizzy, pop like, drink. Will takes the tray away from him and gets up to go put it away and Nico thinks for a second he's safe but then the boy comes back and sits on the side of the bed moving the stool out of the way. 

 

"So, you want to tell me why you were tossing and turning so much in your sleep then woke up in a panicked or would you rather just get a hug?" Will asks and for a moment Nico thinks he's joking but when he looks at Will he sees the serious look instead of the usual goofy smile. Nico opens his mouth but shuts it sighing. 

 

"I...I don't know how to talk about it right now, it's...complicated," Nico says crossing his arms and leaning his head against the wall behind the bed. Will nods and sits silently for a moment. 

 

"Nico these...dreams, do they happen a lot?" Will asks choosing his words carefully. Nico scoffs and shakes his head.

 

"Often? Ha, that's funny. It happens pretty much every time I sleep. Maybe it's because..." Nico trails off realising he almost told Will about his nightmare. "Just I don't want to talk about it with anyone Solace," Nico snaps seeing the hurt look that passed over Will's face. Will soon replaced it with a blank look and nodded standing up.

 

"Nico, I'm if you ever do want to talk about it or even if you just...need someone I'll always be there for you. All your friends are so just try to remember that okay? Good night Nico, try thinking of something happy before you go to sleep," Will says then leaves leaving the curtains up around Nico's bed. Nico sinks down into his bed curling up in a ball looking at the spot where Will had stood. Maybe he could try to trust the boy just a little and..maybe, just maybe talk to him a little more. 

 

                          ~~~~Day Two~~~~

 

Will walks into the infirmary to find Nico still sleeping a pained look on the son of Hades face as he lays behind the curtains. Will pulls back the curtains letting in more light and quietly greets the few campers that are already awake with the sunrise. Will's siblings would soon be coming along after him. He starts checking over those awake and making sure no one fell out of bed during the night. He found one of the Roman girls on the ground cuddling with her pillow. Will shakes his head and gently picks the girl up chalking her over for any new injuries glad to find nothing more than a small bump on her knee exposed by her shorts. 

 

"Hey Will," someone whisper calls across the quiet infirmary. Will comes over to find Gavin now awake handing him the book. "Do you suppose the next one is already written?" Gavin asks looking sheepish. 

 

"So you enjoyed the Aphrodite cabins book? Well the next one should he coming in today. Any favorites?" Will asks taking the offered book the colorful front giving way to a world of romance and love. Gavin fiddles with the blanket a light tint to his cheeks. 

 

"Well, I liked the third story," he says quietly. Will nods and smiles at him. 

 

"I'll make sure to get you the next copy today," Will says before going to the back room. The title of the book was, 'Camper Couples And Crushes'. Most of the book consisted of old stories told by the Aphrodite children, but some of it had to do with more current events, such as Percy and Annabeth or one of the Hectare boys crushing on a Hephaestus boy. That has been the third story Gavin was talking about, but the Aphrodite girls never gave away names with crushes because they say it spoils the fun, so only when the people become a couple do they actually write the names. 

 

Will hums as he organizes supplies and rearranges the shelves of books so that they are back in order. When he finishes most of the campers are up and his other healer scribblings are checking up on the awake campers. Nico was just waking up and Will rushes over before any of his siblings can get to the boy. Nico groggy rubs his eyes and blinks a few times. Will tries not to think how cute he looks with bed head.

 

"What time is it?" Nico asks Will sitting up more on the cot. Will thinks for a moment then smiles.

 

"It's 7:34a.m. and good morning to you too Nico," Will says coming over and sitting at the stool. Nico looks absolutely horrified.

 

"What in the Underworld made me get up before noon?!" Nico exclaims causing a laugh to go throughout the Apollo healers. Will was busting up so bad he had tears in his eyes. "What's so funny?" Nico asks glaring at Will. 

 

"Oh nothing, just pff haha, n-none of the campers in my camp get up any later than sunrise and you think now is too early? Death Boy you're hilarious," Will says shaking his head and wiping tears from his eyes. "Alright thanks for the laugh, now let's take a look at you," Will says scooting closer to Nico. Nico huffs glaring at Will but allows him to do his vitals check up. "All seems normal but you're still under weight but that's gonna take more than three days to fix." 

 

"I'm only staying in here for three days though," Nico says quickly. Will nods thinking for a minute. He smiles and pats Nico on the head.

 

"I guess I'll just have to sit with you because, you know, doctors note that says you need me to make sure you eat your meals," Will says looking very pleased. Nico's jaw drops and he looks at Will dumbfounded.

 

"I have to sit with you every single day? At every meal?" Nico asks not sure if he could take Will the touchy-feely Solace every single day. His heart says it's not a bad idea but blaring warnings in his head are warning him that it's not the best idea. "The camp rules say that you have to sit at your own table though!" Nico says quickly but Will shakes his head grinning at him.

 

"You see with a doctors note I can bend the rules because it has to do with the health of one of our precious campers. Chiron I'm sure won't disagree," Will says brushing off his shoulder looking very smug. Nico covers his face groaning in his hands. 

 

"This is going to be torture," he mumbles.

 

"Aww I love you too Nico," Will says in a sing song voice causing the skeletal butterflies in Nico's stomach to erect in a big explosion of nausea. Will ruffles Nico's hair and walks away humming happily. Nico flops over on his side Gavin on the other cot had heard and watched the whole thing and was pretty sure there was something going on with that healer and the Hades kid. Soon breakfast was being served and many of the campers quickly dug into their food. 

 

Nico was one of the last to finish and Will came over to take his tray away then came back with a stack of cards. Nico looked at him with a raised brow, "What's this?" He asks as Will shuffles the cards. 

 

"A way for me to pass the time without anyone doing training there are less injuries so until someone needs help and there's a need for me I don't think it will be any trouble to play a game of cards," Will says and starts dealing out the cards. "So, war, go fish, maid, or slap Jack?" Will asks. Gavin sat in the next bed with the next 'Camper Couples And Crushes' in hand listening in on the conversation. 

 

"Umm I don't think I know how to play them, any of them," Nico says annoyed. Will scratches the back of his neck.

 

"Well go fish is the easiest to teach right now, I'll teach you the others, if you want, later." Will picks up the cards to get some examples. "The concept is quite simple really, the point of the game is to get a match for all the cards in your hand that have the same number or letter on them," Will says showing Nico an eight with another eight and a queen with a queen. Nico nods in understanding. "You usually start out with seven cards each. When it's your turn you look at the cards you have and ask me if I have, oh let's say a Jack. If I don't have it I say go fish and you have to draw from the too of the top of the deck. If one, I do have the card and give it to you to make your pair then you can go again, or if you get the card you asked for from the like then you can ask again. But if you don't get the card either way it's then my turn and the game continues like that until one of us runs out of cards." Will shuffles the cards again and Nico mumbles under his breath thinking. 

 

"Okay, I think I understand," Nico says totally taken into it by now not realising he now agreed to play cards with Will when he had first thought it was stupid. 

 

"Alright I'll realtime out for now then teach you next round," Will says passing them each a card until they both had seven Nico sits crossed legged on the bed faced towards Will. "You can go first if you like," Will offers setting down an already made match from his seven cards. Nico studies his cards putting them in order from smallest to biggest. He puts the queen he has in front of the 10 and looks at Will.

 

"Do you have a ten?" He asks looking very serious. Will looks over his cards and scrunched face handing it over to Nico.

 

"Darn, got me on the first try," Will says as Nico without changing facial expression sets down his made match. He looks over his cards and then at Gavin behind Will who was smiling signing him different numbers. Will studies his cards not noticing. 

 

"Will do you have a four?" Nico asks customer face in play. Will pouts and hands over his card, Nico setting down the match. Nico takes a calming breath and 'studies' his cards. Will only has one more of the same that Nico has right now and three cards left, so Nico decides to let him go for now. "Will do you have a queen?" 

 

"Nope, go fish!" Will says smiling. Gavin is dying of laughter in the cot behind Will. Other campers were also watching but doing so casually. Even one of Will's siblings had noticed what was happening and have Nico a thumbs up from behind Will. "Nico you you have a...six?" Will asks and Nico shakes his head. He had the queen, a two, an eight, a nine, a five, and an ace, but no six.

 

"Go fish Solace," Nico says and watches Gavin sign him the new number. Will has, a six, a two, a Jack, and now a nine. "Okay Solace you got umm let's see, how about..a two?" Nico asks sounding unsure of himself. Gavin nearly dies trying to contain his laughter a few of the other campers get red in the face trying so hard not to laugh. Nico laughs on the inside proud of his good acting skills and poker face. 

 

"Yeah, lucky," Will says looking frustrated. He usually never loses these games but the way things were going he wasn't so sure. Nico puts down the match and shifts on the bed.

 

"Solace you got any nines?" Nico asks looking at the other boy. Will sighs and hands over the card. Nico sets it down not wasting a second to ask, "Do you have a queen?" 

 

"No Death Boy go fish," Will says looking at his two cards. Nico draws a card getting another face. He places down the match and Will looks at his cards intensely. "Nico do you have a Jack?" Will asks and Nico looks at his cards as if he was unsure.

 

"Oh, nope sorry Solace go fish," Nico says shifting and glancing at Gavin who gives him five fingers up. Nico looks at his cards then at Will. "Umm have any fives maybe..?" Nico scratches his head and Will tosses the card in his lap. "Oh cool, thanks Will," Nico says setting down the match arranging them in order from biggest to smallest. "How about that queen?" Nico asks getting ahead shake from Will. 

 

"Go fish," Will says squaring up and watching as Nico places down a match of eights. 

 

"Guess I'm just lucky today," Nico says shrugging at Will who sighs. 

 

"Well I know you don't have it but do you have a Jack?" Will asks sounding defeated. 

 

"Go get a card Will," Nico says and Gavin gives Nico a thumbs up while Will facepalms. "So Will got that queen?" Nico asks smirking at Will who flicks the card at him. 

 

"I swear that was beginners luck, let's go again," Will says. The next game ended with Nico winning yet again and Will had four cards left. Will wanted another round and this time he lost with seven cards in his hand. Nico played him until he could ask for all of his cards in one go. Will angrily shuffled the cards while Gavin and one of Will's siblings were trying to keep in there laughter. When Will asks for another game both Gavin and the young girl burst into laughter along with many of the other campers around them. Will looks confused and then Nico bites his lip before he starts giggling. Nico di Angelo, the Ghost King, Shadow Ruler, Death Boy Supreme, is giggling.

 

"Your face!" Nico giggles falling over on his side his eyes tearing up. Will can't help but start laughing as well Nico's laughing face was better than he had imagined. Nico's cheeks were flushed red and his smile made his pink lips stretch over his white, straight teeth. His hair was a mess and lay in a sexy kind of way against the light blue sheets. Will just states at the boy laughing in a snorting way causing Nico to giggle all the more. The whole infirmary was soon like a mad house everyone laughing, then laughing at each other's laughs.

 

A camper walking past comes in just to see what's happening and their confused look only makes them all laugh even more. Nico lay on his side his hands holding his side's and his legs lapped one over the other in a lose that made something twinge in Will's chest. Soon the campers started to calm down and someone came in with a bleeding arm. Will went over to take care of them while the other healers got every one a glass of water. Gavin was the last one to finish laughing busting up every so often. He turns to Nico and sighs smiling.

 

"That was the most entertaining game of go fish ever," Gavin says and Nico sits up nodding in agreement. "Hah, I just can't wait to get back to training," he says with a smile on his face. "What about you, you miss swinging a sword around?" Gavin asks Nico who thinks about it for a minute.

 

"Yeah,I know it's probably been less than a day but yeah I miss swinging my sword around," Nico says putting his legs over the side of the bed. He gets an idea and looks around checking for any of the healers but all of them were distracted so Nico took the chance to  up and slowly sneak towards the exit. He didn't see Will so he kept going walking towards the door he was almost there when a hand lands on his shoulder. 

 

"Nico, Will doesn't want you to leave yet," says a sweet girls voice. Nico turns around to find a girl, who looks a few years younger than him, giving him a questioning look. 

 

"Oh come on, I feel fine," Nico says crossing his arms and pouting at the girl. She was shorter than him and she looks similar to Will except her eyes are a darker blue and there are some streaks of brown in her hair. 

 

"Nico if you don't turn around and jump back in that bed like a good patient I'll call Will," she says threatening him with a smile.

 

"But-" 

 

"Wiiillllllll Nico's trying to escape!" She yells and he hears a thump as Will comes storming down the infirmary and literally picks Nico up and carries him back over to his bed. 

 

"Thank you Kayla," Will says as he passes by her. Nico squirms being literally carried by Will like a sack of bones thrown over his shoulder. 

 

"Put me down you big oaf!" Nico snaps. Will stops for a moment thinking about it. 

 

"Hmm no, I don't think so," Will says then continues to Nico's bed.

 

"Stupid, idiot healer! I'm not a sack of old bones for you to just throw around!" Nico says banging on Will's back. Will just drops him further so his hands are instead by Will's butt so Nico shuts up and pouts. Will sets him gently back on the bed then sits on the stool.

 

"Nico," Will says in a stern voice. Nico turns away from him rolling his eyes and putting his hands over his ears. "Fine, fine but I was gonna tell you that if you don't try to leave again I can take you on a walk later, but never mind." Will says and gets up turning away. He feels a cold hand grab his arm and turns to see Nico pull back his hand and flush slightly pink. 

 

"Please, I won't do it again," Nico says almost meekly. 

 

"Fine, can't refuse the cute little Ray of Darkness," Will says raffling Nico's hair before sitting back down. Gavin was listening intently while he again pretends to read his book. "I'll teach you how to play war and we can play a couple rounds before lunch," Will says picking up the deck of cards and shuffling them. Gavin goes back to reading his book while the two play a couple games of war. Gavin was getting to the last story when he recognised two names. His mouth dropped. He had gotten to the shipping section of the book where campers from the Aphrodite cabin would put their favorite non existent couple on the list. No one knew which couple was written by who because one person would write them all down. Gavin quickly reads the description and marks the page closing the book. He looks around and waves to an Apollo kid.

 

"Hey, could you give this book to the girl over there and tell her to read the marked page?" Gavin says pointing to his fellow Roman camper a few beds away. Soon she looks up and nods at him and before long the book was being passed around the whole infirmary. Not long after the book came into the hands of Kayla it was time for lunch. She brought the book with her while a different set of campers took over the lunch time shift though Will had to stay to 'oversee things' though she doubts that is the reason. At lunch she sits with Hermann mates with the book on the table she opens it up and reads the marked page and gasps getting the attention of her siblings. Soon the while table was crowding around and giving each other the look. 

 

'Somehow' the book ends up getting passed to another table, the Hectare table to be exact. Lou Ellen is the receiver and she looks confused and annoyed until she sees the page. She nearly choked on her drink but lets the rest of her table read it getting a bunch of nods and smiles. She oh so casually drops the book on Cecil's head at the Hermes table simply saying, "Marked page," before walking away. Cecil grumbles but goes quiet a big smile going over his face as he reads over the indicated page. He contemplates before showing his siblings the Stolls both get evil grins hatEful convinces them to wait as he passes the book on to the Hephaestus table. Eventually the book somehow comes back to the Aphrodite table with a note in the page.

 

This is beautiful, make more. We'll do the rest. 

Cabins 1-13 (excluding the ship)

 

Piper smiles at it her siblings all getting in on it as well. In the infirmary they were having a quiet lunch after the laughing fit they all has before breakfast. Nico denies it ever happened and was back to being stubborn.

"Will I am not going to eat that," Nico says poking at the food on his plate with a fork.

"There's nothing wrong with it!" Will says throwing up his hands a little.

"Yes there is look at it, it's all green and squishy," Nico says poking the green vegetables on his plate.

"Ice cream is green and squishy sometimes," Will retorts.

"I've never eaten green and squishy ice cream," Nico says turning his head away from Will.

"You poor thing, I'll have to get you some mint ice cream or a shamrock smoothy," Will says shaking his head.

"Well I'm not eating this," Nico says handing the tray to Will who sighs pushing it back.

"At least one?" Will tries looking at Nico with a puppy dog pout.

"No."

"Please?"

"Never."

"If you don't you can't go on a walk," Will threatens. Nico huffs and stabs one of the menacing vegetables with his fork and quickly eats it swallowing it mostly after chewing on it twice.

"There I ate one, and it was disgusting," Nico says handing Will the plate who takes it. Nico chugs down his drink and Will takes all the dirty dishes away on the tray.

"How come he makes me eat those but not the other patients," Nico says to no one in particular.

"Maybe because you're considered closer to him than the other patients," Gavin comments getting Nico's attention. "He really takes care of you and the rest of us but you're...different," Gavin concludes then turns to Kayla who was returning from lunch. She gives him a thumbs up before going about the infirmary changing bandages, feeding patients ambrosia or nectar, and chatting with them to pass the time. Will comes back holding a note scratching the back of his neck.

"What's that?" Nico asks curiosity speaking before his thoughts had time to catch up.

"I don't know, it's all coded or something," Will says handing the note to Nico. Nico looks at it just as confused and eventually gives up. In between letters were dashes but the letters didn't make a full word but there were to many dashes in between to fill in the blanks.

"Who gave this to you?" Nico asks handing it back to Will.

"Well Lou Ellen walked up to me handed it to me and said, 'All will be revealed in the end just give it time to brighten up.' Then she walked away," Will explains sitting down on the stool.

The note: ---l -- --- c-- r--- --i- -o- --- -- --v- ---- --c- -i ----l-. ---e -u- --g----- ---- o-- -------s-.

"That's not confusing at all," Nico says sarcastically. Will shrugs folding up the note and putting it in his jacket pocket. He would ask her about it later maybe.

"So, wanna go on that walk?" Will asks and Nico nods but stops. Will looks at him curiously. "What?"

"I stink," Nico states quietly. Will thinks for a second then motions for him to follow. He brings Nico to the shower located at the back of the infirmary. He gets Nico a new shirt and pair of pants from the infirmary stock of extra clothes, then leaves him in there with a towel, comb, and shampoo. Nico quickly strips of the dirty clothes leaving them in a pile on the floor. He turns on the water waiting for it to get hot before stepping in. He shrubs his hair and body until he feels clean then steps out. He dries off his body careful for the claw marks and gets dressed into the clothes hating that the shirt was bright. He steps out of the bathroom toweling off his hair and sees Will standing there waiting for him. Nico has a comb in hand and Will takes it from him without asking and starts to comb Nico's hair. "Will I ca-"

"You're hair is a mess but it's a cute mess so I don't want you to ruin it," Will says swatting away Nico's hand.

"Will I'm not cute and you're being ridiculous," Nico says crossing his arms and waiting for Will to be done.

"There it looks fine just like that so don't change it," Will says satisfied.

"Can we go now?" Nico asks ready to go out of the infirmary. 

"Yeah, but you can't go anywhere out of my site and the no underworld-y magic still applies," Will says as they walk out Nico rolls his eyes and walks faster. He doesn't bother to slow down but keeps walking quickly towards the shade of the forest fringe. Nico sits down at the base of a big tree crossing his legs and watching Will stand out in the sunlight. "What about the sun Nico? Don't you need sunlight?"

"The sun you're talking about is very hot right now I'd rather be in the shade," Nico says. Will shrugs taking off his jacket and shirt and sitting down at the edge of the shaded area. Nico feels a strange twinge as his skeletal butterflies erect in his stomach again and his heart beats a little faster. Nico feels heat on his face and puts a hand to his cheek feeling the heat of his blush. "Hey, Nic-" Will stops looking at Nico who was staring at him whom has his shirt off. The blush was clear even from a few feet away in the shade. Nico quickly looks away hiding his face.

 

"Don't stare at me I'm not some freak show," Nico says bitterly trying to hide his emotions. 

 

"Oh, I was only staring at something beautiful, I didn't see a freak show anywhere," Will says somehow coming closer to Nico in the second Nico looked away. Nico's blush spread up to his ears as he pressed his back against the tree trying to further himself from Will. 

 

"Quit that, I know a lot of people think I'm a freak what with me almost fading and being able to slip in and out of the shadows," Nico says hourly looking at the grass as it started to wilt. He calms down and touches the faded green. A nymph suddenly pops out and stands next to him.

 

"I know you're in a bad mood and what not, but could you not do that to my tree," she says looking both angry and sypathetic. Nico jumps up from his spot seeing the bark looking partially rotted. Nico swallows and Will stands up spreading him as he stumbles backwards. 

 

"Sorry. I-" Nico loses his voice and breaks free from Will's grasp running back to the infirmary. Will both pleased and worried apologises to the tree asking her to go easy on the boy then dashes after him grabbing his shirt and jacket from where they lay on the ground. Will comes into the infirmary and sees Nico under the blankets on his cot. 

 

"Oh Nico," Will says as he sees the figure under the blankets shaking. Will walks over putting on his jacket and rests a hand on the shape of Nico's head. "Hey, you okay?" Will asks in a soft voice. Kayla closes the curtains around them giving Will a thumbs up. Nico mumbles something and squirms away from Will's hand. "Nico, can you talk to me please? I do want to help you get through this," Will says his voice low as he once again pouts a hand on Nico's head.

 

"I..." Nico starts his voice quiet so Will has to strain to hear. "I'm not wanted. I bring darkness and death like a curse," Nico says his voice strained and sorrowful. Will bites his lip contemplating but shakes his head. He sits on the edge of the bed and Nico makes more room for him whether it is to get farther away or to actually make room for him Will isn't sure.

 

"Nico, see that's not really true. Remember this morning? The whole infirmary was laughing because of something you did," Will says and Nico shrugs under the blanket. "You also saved us from a Roman and Greek war by bringing the Athena Parthenon. Plus you have this habit of making everyone smile even if you're grumpy. Know why? Because everyone around you sees you as you are, an adorable, sweet, very caring individual. The only reason they don't approach you is because to them you seem like...a real god," Will says and Nico pulls back the blanket a bit to look at him. "Yeah I know what you're gonna say but to them you're like a smaller younger version of Percy Jackson just smarter and cuter." Nico rolls his eyes and Will knows he's getting back the stubborn Nico, but that's simply who Nico is. 

 

"That wasn't a very long time outside, maybe next time don't strip your shirt off first thing," Nico says giving Will a half glare at his face. Will laughs a bit realising Nico probably hasn't noticed he's still not wearing a shirt. Nico rolls his eyes and sits up his leg touching Will's back for a moment causing a shock to go through Will's body. Will blinks and pushes down the feeling. 

 

"Maybe we can go for a longer walk sometime and talk some more," Will suggests.

 

"We're talking now," Nico says smirking. Will's turn to roll his eyes and give Nico a 'that's not what I meant and you know it' look. Nico does an eye roll back and looks at his hands. "You know why does our camp shirt have to be so gods dam bright," Nico complains pointing to the Camp Half-Blood shirt Will had given him. 

 

"Maybe to correspond with you're dark hair," Will says brushing back the black hair from Nico's forehead. Nico flushes and scoffs crossing his arms over his chest.

 

"Yeah right, more like to torture us with the horrible color choice," Nico retorts with a eye roll. Will snickers and pats his head.

 

"Nico, if we wore black all summer we'd die of heat stroke out in the sun," Will says.

 

"Why would you care you just take your shirt off anyways," Nico fires back and Will laughs. 

 

"Yeah but you like the view," Will teases.

 

"In your dreams Solace."

 

"Only in the good ones di Angelo," Will says before getting up clinging back the curtain and walking away. Nico sits there for a moment red crawling up to his ears.

 

He flips over on his side mumbling, "Stupid Solace."

 

That evening Nico ate dinner without Will who had to attend to one of the Stoll brothers because of an 'incident'. Travis was the patient and Connor went over to bug Nico while his brother got his leg patched up from the weasel scratches. "Hey bud!" Connor says taking a seat on the stool beside Nico's bed.

 

"Excuse me but are you talking to me?" Nico asks with a cocked eyebrow. 

 

"Yep! No one else interesting in this place. I mean you could play the best pranks being able to go through shadows and raise dead guys!" Connor says looking excited. 

 

"Well because of someone I am not allowed to use my powers for a while," Nico says giving Algarve to Will's back. Will on the other hand smiles suddenly.

 

"What's that smile for?" Travis asks glancing at his brother talking to Nico.

 

"Don't know, just felt that someone gave me a loving look," Will says going back to patching up Travis wounds.

 

"So once you're better think you can help us out with this big prank we're planning?" Connor asks glancing over at Travis who gives him a sign. 

 

"If I feel like it. I think your brothers done over their so you don't have to pretend to like me anymore," Nico says picking at his food.

 

"I wasn't pretending, see you around Nico," Connor says smiling then running out of the infirmary with his brother to do who knows what. Nico gets this funny feeling and he tries not to let himself believe it but Connor made it sound like he actually wanted him at camp. Nico has a pleasant look on his face when Will comes over.

 

"Looks like somebody's happy! Don't tell me Connor's gonna prank me!" Will exclaims faking fear making Nico roll his eyes in amusement.

 

"Yes Solace they're gonna prank the only person at camp whose bad side they never wanna be on," Nico says sarcastically. 

 

"You never know. From all the times they've visited the infirmary I wouldn't be surprised if they learned how to patch themselves up professionally by now," Will says looking out the window that was in between the two cots. The sun assuming in the sky so the reflected rays seem to make Will glow while Nico looked like he was simply surrounded by shadows.

 

Nico finishes his dinner and looks at Will studying him. The blond hair, the blue eyes, tan skin, the spray of freckles, and the good build (don't even get started on the heights). Will seems like the kind of guy girls go gaga over and Nico knew in his heart he was already seeing him as a friend, maybe a really good friend. But  his heart Nico also knew that if he got his hopes up too much it would turn out like his pointless crush on Percy Jackson. One more day and it would all be over.

 

That night Will watches Nico for a while when the boy finally falls asleep. He felt something in his pocket and remembered the note a few more letters are there but he still can't make out what it says. He sighs brushing back the black hair on the boys forehead with a gentle hand. With one last look back he exits the infirmary and goes to his own cabin to sleep his thoughts lingering on the son of Hades even as he drifted off to sleep.