When Nico had imagined his life today from a year ago, it certainly wasn't suppose to turn out like this. He had imagined anything from traveling and doing missions with the covOP class, to sitting and laughing during free time with Piper and Hazel. But NEVER had he imagined he would be walking through the Pentagon City Mall with his dad, To be questioned by some of the highest personnel in the country.
"Don't be worried," His dad said softly under his breath as they passed a group of people. "This is standard Protocol. Its normal. Just be yourself and tell them what you know and all will go fine." Yeah. Nico though with an eye-roll. Being yourself. Somethings that's not exactly the easiest when in his own school, in one class alone, they teach you how to mask yourself in 100 different ways, using only a hairbrush, nail polish and shoe shiner. Or when at 15 years old you talk to one person in french at lunch and turn to the next and start a conversation about politics in Japanese, when your doing "extra Credit" for one class and have to contemplate what name you'll have to use this time.
All in All, Being himself is NOT one of Nico's strongest points, when in his own school environment, he is taught the exact opposite. But then again what does he expect? it's the perks of following the profession he wishes, The perks of the school that not only helps him towards that goal, but puts him on an advanced track towards it.
The Gallagher Academy for Spys- is no joke. It's where the best of the best send their kids, to learn and follow in the family business, their staff no short of excellent, with his father, top agent Haden Mortes code-name Hades, running it as headmaster. The same super spy, who was currently trying his best, which isn't that great, to comfort his son, patting his back and pulling him along as they navigate their way through the crowds of shoppers.
"I promise it's not as bad as it sounds, the questioning is the least of what you'll have to go through in the future Nico. It's all Protocol."
Nico shudders as he feels the lens of the security cameras following their movements. He doesn't turn around to confirm it but after years of training, he knows a thing or two about what being watched feels like. It's funny. His dad kept repeating the same thing, It's protocol. he says. This is all normal run of the mill stuff, things that happen in the every day life of people like them. Unlike normal teenagers, who can live their normal day by day, messing around, without a care in the world for things like this. As far as Nico can tell, they never have to worry about cameras watching their every move, they don't have to worry about being tailed or being attacked the moment they let their guard down, They don't have to worry about the things that Nico does. They aren't being questioned for breaking a National security law. The more he thinks about it the more bitter Nico grows. That's what got him into this mess in the first thing isn't it?
Envying the normal. Wanting a normal life. Going out and trying to get exactly that. Nico actually achieved it at one point surprisingly enough. Its imprinted into his mind, a scar that will never fade, not like he exactly wanted it to go away. the memories are still fresh, as if they had just happened, which they might as well have, as soon as he thinks this a scene from those times flashes to him...
it was a warm night, Nico was leaning against the gazebo in the center of the town, their usual meeting point. He looked up at the sky, which was clear, not a single cloud blemishing the otherwise dark sky, the air was fresh, spring was ending, summer just moving in. As the seasons changed, the school year was coming to an end. Nico closed his eyes, sighing. The end of the school year meant separation. For a whole summer he would be away from him.. 'Neeks....' The voice says standing in front of him, his eyes are closed but Nico can tell immediately who it was. if the voice didn't make it obvious the rough, gentle hands caressing his face were a dead give away. a smile crept its way onto Nico's lips as his eyes remained closed.
' I could call the police for sexual harassment you know'
Nico could hear the whine in the voice ' come on neeks, you threaten me without even opening your eyes? that's harsh, i thought you cared about me?' biting the inside of his cheek, nico slowly opened his eyes, just to find a pair of sea green eyes staring into his own. 'you're a dork you know that?' A laugh erupts from the others lips. 'Yeah, but i'm starting to think you like it-' the face grows closer. Nico's breath hiccups as the distance between them both grows smaller, his pulse speeding up, in that moment he though nothing could go better for him.....
And like that the memory was gone and Nico was left blinking back into his surroundings. He looked around and saw that they had moved significantly since he had spaced out and were nearing their destination, his father just kept going on, holding his arm anchoring Nico along side him, a good thing because if not for that Nico would have been left alone, in the crowded mall with only a vague idea of where he was going.
It was soon after the incident had occurred, Nico finally had a moment of clarity and he had realized, It wasn't in his DNA to be normal. Nico Di Angelo and normal could never exist in his sole body for long, Back then what he had thought was normality was merely a mask, one that was bound to fall off. Which it did, shattering that mask, making sure he could never relive it. It's only human nature to want something that they don't have. But he thought with a scowl Human nature is what got me into this mess, if i hadn't done what i did last year there would be no need for whats going on right now.
Leaving his last train of thought alone and focusing on the task at hand, he keeps walking with his dad.
After a while his dad stopped walking and looked over to Nico. "This is the place of entrance." Nico looked up to the sign above the somewhat large store and his face when white, all the color in his face draining. "The entrance point..... is a Victoria Secret?"
It would have been funny if his dad hadn't look so dead serious before walking into the store, leaving Nico no option but to follow. As they walked around the Black and white store filled to the brim with frills and push up, and oh my god, Did Nico really just see that? Nico decided to keep his head down, feeling his blush spread to the tip of his ears. Sure. A vast majority of the friends he had were girls and yes, they often got way too personal with their descriptions of what they do on a daily bases, this was different somehow, it felt weird, and strangely as if he was trespassing, especially with the looks he got from the customers. Hades, however, looked like he was just taking a normal stroll through the park. unaffected by the world around him until he reached a middle age woman, presumably an employee based on her clothes. As the pair made their way to her, she looks up. As if she had already known they were there.
His father started straight off the bat making Nico choke on his breath, recovering quickly and trying to keep a straight face, slightly dying on the inside, "hello, My son would like to try on a bra." Well, he thought if we weren't out of place before. Nico felt anything but normal as the saleslady searched his eyes for some hidden clue.
"have You tried the new black and white set before? they are the best for supporting any type of needs.."
His dad casually looked at one of the bras, as if assessing it to be bought. "ah yes, i had one before but it was ruined in the laundry."
The saleslady pointed down a hallway, a slight smile appearing on her face. "Down the hallway, I'm pretty sure dressing room number Thirteen is open." she began to wall away, before turning around and whispering Good luck.
Somehow that wasn't so reassuring.
We walked down the hall, once inside the dressing room and closing the door Nico turn to his dad. "was there no other way of getting in? was that even necessary?"
A hint of a smile appeared on his face. "there was other ways yes, but with the current situation, I felt like this was a bit of a refreshing twist, no?"
Nico rolled his eyes, feeling himself relaxing. "yeah okay-" Hades put his hand on the mirror and motioned for Nico to do the same.
"Ready?" Nico swallowed, putting his hand on the glass feeling it warm up, and did the one thing he could do best, Lie.
Normal was what he wanted, and going through a glass door to a secret base was certainly not normal, although he doesn't hate this world, he resents not being able to have the normalcy most have.
Chapter 2: academy, sweet academy.
The ground below them started shaking, Nico looked up to his dad slightly, questioning. Hades made a wait motion with his hand. Suddenly the floor began to sink and a bright flashing light began, blinding Nico, He stumbled back a little bit, grabbing onto his dad's shoulder to steady himself, he gave a low chuckle, patting Nico's Head and explaining. "It's just a bio scan, next begins the bio hazard detection-" just as he said this hot air blasted into their forms, afterwards making Nico's hair more unruly than it usually is. Once that was over it left the elevator in silence, Hades wasn't a man of many words and to be honest, Nico usually wasn't either. This goes in with his codename, The Ghost, as a Pavement artist Nico needed to perfect the art of tailing someone without being detected. Although he wasn't as average as he'd like to be, He blended in with crowds well enough, he could also use the aid of disguise, but to be honest, Nico found them more of a time waster if anything. If a mission was compromised Nico could easily "slip into the shadows" and be gone with no trace. Like he wasn't even there. His ability to dissapear after finishing missions is what branded him as the ghost.
Also the fact that his dad's codename was Hades. People found that Hilarious. Nico chooses to ignore that part.
The elevator descended lower. they pass through a laser beam that reads their retinal scans.
"We're close" Hades announces.
After that a light pulses and the elevator stops, when the doors open, Nico is left standing in amazement. Hades smiles at his reaction before continuing out the door into the cavernous space infront of them. bronze and marble tiles line the floor. across the room two large staircases go high up into the next floor, a large granite wall, simple but still pretty awesome, stands behind it tall and proud, holding up the silver seal of the CIA, under it the motto that they had drilled into our brains at school. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
After letting Nico gawk at the room for a while, hades tapped his shoulder and motioned for him to follow, walking over to a desk, the personel behind it was a short, sweet looking lady with old school librarian glasses. To Nico, she looked absolutely adorable, but he knew better than to underestimate her for even the slightest thing, she could probably have you on your back screaming in pain in under 10 seconds flat.
Walking up to the lady, she looked up and a smile graced her features. "Hayden Mortes, its been a while hasn't is? place your palm to scan here please.." she directed to Nico, scanning his hand then directing Hades to do the same.
"Ah, yes it has, I haven't had to be here in a while, haven't really had a need to very much while running the school..." he trails off, slightly, realizing what he said and how it could have been taken. It sounded like he was implying that it was Nico's Fault for the visit. He had stopped himself before it got worse, But Nico had heard. He knows His Dad doesn't mean it like that. Of course he does. But hearing it doesn't make it sting less. It is his fault. He was the one who looked for it, it wasn't piper or Hazels faulty, they were only helping. They wanted Nico to be happy, they were only trying to help. That's why when Piper had offered to come, and Hazel once she had heard the idea, He had declined.
It was his mess.
He brought this upon himself.
The lady's smile still holds strong when she hands both Nico and Hades their ID badges, He smile also still holds as she says "keep this safe darling! remember this has a millimeter of C-4 in it so please, try not to remove it, and don't go into unotherized areas. It will explode, Be safe!" looking down at the small badge clipped to his shirt Nico feels unnerved as he nodded and began walking away, hearing a little giggling as he walks away. Okay. Maybe it just wasn't the badge that unnerved him.
Opening up a door that lead to a long coridore, which extends out into many more of them, Hades begins leading them, almost as if he was on auto Pilot, going through the maze of halls with ease. Nico makes an unconsious agreement with himself to postpone any bathroom breaks he might have taken, probably not a good call to get lost in the death maze office building. They probably wouldn't find his body until its reached decomposition. he begins to walk faster, Desperate to keep up with Hades now.
Hades in turn, slows down and makes a complete stop once reaching a door, marked as room 202, and looks at Nico, a worried glance on his face.
"This is it.." Nico's throat tightens as he looks at the door, the anticipation killing him. No-one in the world likes being grilled for information, Especially not 15 year old spys who is too stressed, who gave up what he had held onto and worked so hard to get. Nico did realize he was being whiny, he really did. But what can you expect? Being a spy did entitled growing more mature as the years go by, but hell, if he wasn't entitled to AT LEAST a little whining, he'd have a physical and Literal mental break down. He needs a whining session every now and then.
Looking back over to the door, and then to his dad, Nico holds his breath as he reaches for the handle.
It's now or never. he pushes the door open and sees....
a middle age man, small wire glasses pushed up on his face. Well. This was