‘You weren’t even alive when that song was popular!’
‘As if you were listening to music then?’
‘It was a casino. There was a radio. They played music, thank you very much.’
Will Solace and Nico di Angelo’s voices were filling the quiet that normally engulfed Camp Half-Blood at night. They were probably the only ones awake and had been for a while. At three in the morning, everyone was in bed and if it was known that Will Solace was in the Habes cabin at this hour, it probably wouldn’t end well. Not only did the rule that no two campers of opposite gender were allowed to be alone change so that Nico and Will weren’t allowed either, (Not that that rule was taken seriously; it was probably the one rule that got broken the most.) more important was the fact that it was at night. Two teenage, hormonal boys alone with their boyfriend at night? Some shocking, inappropriate things were bound to happen!
Well… a lot of things did happen, but maybe not necessarily what you’d expect. The two boys had been engaged in an intense lip-sync battle, that quickly escalated to them simply singing at the top of their lungs and dancing around the cabin; the one dance move more ridiculous than the previous one.
Will had an old mp-3 that didn’t give off any signals to monsters and he had every single popular song on it. From All you need is love to Baby to I can’t help falling in love to High School Musical to Money, Money, Money to Bohemian Rhapsody. Nico, surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, knew most of the older ones. Will saw it as his personal duty to educate Nico on modern pop culture and he took that very seriously.
At the moment the music was drowned out by their arguing, though. When Bohemian Rhapsody had come on, everything had gone downhill.
‘It’s Beelzebub has a devil put his sight on me. Not whatever the hell you’re saying. It’s ridiculous.’
‘No, no, no, Nico. Beelzebub has the devil at his side for me.’
‘That doesn’t even make sense!’
‘Yes, it does. I’m one hundred percent sure. I mean, I’m ninety-nine percent sure.’
‘Yeah, well, I am one hundred percent sure.’
‘No, you’re not. That’s not really possible. You can’t be – ‘
‘Well, I am.’
It was quiet for a moment. Then Nico said: ‘Play it again.’
‘Say please.’, Will said, mostly to annoy Nico, knowing he wouldn’t do it. And he didn’t. All Nico did was raise his eyebrows. So, Will put it on. They both went to sit on the bed, Nico cross-legged in the middle and Will hunched over at the side with his elbows on his knees and one hand holding up his head.
They both listened intently and when the lyrics came on, they hold their breaths, so that the only sound was the music and nothing else. When the line was over, they stayed quiet for a couple seconds before Will said: ‘Beelzebub has a devil at his side for me.’, at the exact same time Nico said; ‘Beelzebub has a devil put his sight on me.’
They violently jerked their head to the side to shoot each other fire-spitting glares. Nico, changing his tactics, jumped up from the bed and went to stand in front of Will. He took Will’s face in his hands and looked deep into his eyes, knowing full-well that Will couldn’t resist the deep brown of his eyes when he gazed into his lovingly. Then he kissed him, intense and lingering, his lips as soft as ever. Will obliged and kissed him back for a while. When Nico pulled back, suddenly remembering what the purpose of the kiss was, he brought his mouth to Will’s ear and, digging up the most seductive tone he could muster, whispered: ‘Beelzebub has a devil put his sight on me.’, right into Will’s ear. Nico’s breath on his skin, made Will shiver, but he managed to hide it and rolled his eyes instead.
‘If you want to kiss me like that, please do so. But don’t think it’ll make me change my mind, you cheater.’
Nico sighed and shrugged. ‘It was worth a try.’ Then his eyes lit up. ‘You know what I should do? I should resurrect Freddie Mercury’s ghost.’
Will squinted his eyes. ‘Can you do that?’
‘I can try.’
‘Nico, let’s not make any rash decisions now, okay? You’re still weak from that injury from last week and – ‘
‘You know I could do it.’
‘Yeah, but –‘
‘Are you scared?’
Will huffed. ‘Of a ghost? As if. After working in the infirmary for a couple years, I’ve seen a lot of scary things and believe me, ghosts are not high on that list.’
‘Why don’t you want to do it then?’
‘Well’, he answered slowly. ‘What if one of us is wrong?’
‘What if you’re wrong, you mean? I know I’m right.’
Will shot him a glare. ‘What if one of us is wrong? How embarrassing do you think it would be to have Freddy frickin’ Mercury here and saying his lyrics wrong? Can you imagine the mortification?’
Nico thought about it for a while. ‘Yeah, as much as you annoy me, I wouldn’t want to do that to you.’
‘Ah, it’s for my benefit, huh? You’re not worried that maybe you aren’t as right as you think you are.’
Nico huffed. ‘Of course not.’
All Will did was hum under his breath, sounding extremely unconvinced.
Nico sitting on the bed, let himself fall back on it, his arms outstretched next to him. Both stubborn and convinced they were right, not close to giving up, stayed quiet and let their thoughts flow.
‘You know who’s a hardcore Queen fan?’, Will asked suddenly.
‘Who?’ Nico turned his head to look at his boyfriend.
‘Really?’, disbelief laced Nico’s voice.
‘Kind of.’, Nico thought of the joyous girl, with the flowers in her hair, who projected light, smelled like sunset. He knew better than assuming things based on people’s looks. He was well aware that people can keep surprising you even after years. And it’s not like he knew Lydia that well anyway. ‘Let’s go ask her then.’
‘Ask her?’, Will’s eyebrow crunched together and he looked extremely confused. ‘Now? She’ll kill us.’
Nico sent him a questioning look. ‘It’s‘, Will checked his watch. ‘three in the morning.’
A dramatic sigh left Nico’s mouth. ‘Well, I guess we’ll never know what the actual lyrics are, then. That’s too bad.’
‘Oh my gods’, Will muttered. ‘Fine! But don’t blame me if we don’t survive this night!’
Still bickering, they made their way to the Apollo cabin. After nearly being attacked by harpies, they arrived and Will softly opened the door, trying to make the least noise possible, while Nico followed him inside. The cabin was dark, except for one little light next to the bed of a new girl who was scared of the dark.
Will led them to a bunk bed in a corner and gestured Nico to be quiet. ‘Lydia’, he whispered. ‘Lydia.’
The only response they got is some kind of moan that sounded like what.
‘We need your help?’
She lifted her head from the pillow and slowly blinked, crunched her eyes to see who was talking more clearly. ‘What the hell, Will?’
The light in her eyes Nico had thought of earlier, looked more like a forest fire now. ‘We need your help. Is it ‘Beelzebub has a devil at his side for me’ or – ‘
‘That’s seriously why you woke me in the middle of the night? Really? Oh my gods, I can’t believe you!’, she yells before letting her head fall back on the pillow and being sound asleep in mere seconds.
She yelled loud enough to wake everyone, though. This is where the two boys were standing in their pajamas at three in the morning: in the middle of the Apollo cabin, being angrily stared at. One smiled sheepishly, the other looked down at the ground and scratched his neck. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to be in their position.
Here’s the thing, Will was head counselor of the Apollo cabin, which means none of the other campers could exactly do anything about the situation, they had to listen to Will or get Chiron, but none of them were mean enough to do that. What they could do, however, was getting angry at them. Which is exactly what they did.
This silent anger lasted about three minutes in which Nico was convinced his skin was going to catch fire because of all the pair of eyes directed at him. Then a voice cut through the silence, coming from a far corner somewhere saying: ‘It’s Beelzebub has the devil put his sight on me, though.’
And, oh, the voice shouldn’t have said that. They really shouldn’t have said that. It was war, it was chaos, a little kid having a concert using kitchen utensils. Suddenly everyone started yelling and shouting at each other, all thinking they knew the right lyrics. This was the Apollo cabin. After all, their father is the god of music and has an abnormally large ego. What did you expect, honestly? It was still a little overwhelming, though. And while a civil war unclenched around them, Nico and Will were standing in the midst of it with a frightened look in their eyes.
What have we done?
A cushion was thrown from one top bunk to another, accompanied by a shrill ‘You’re wrong!’ It was a little worrying how a group of kids and teens who had access to weapons were able to start this over something so small and insignificant. Will was just wondering who the hell allowed these kids a sword, when it all suddenly stopped.
‘Enough!’ Chiron’s voice cut through the noise and turned it silent. Approximately thirty heads whipped around to watch the entrance. There he was standing, his eyes tired, but still extremely disappointed. ‘What on earth is going on here? Nico di Angelo, what are you doing in this cabin?’
Nico opened his mouth to say something, but he wasn’t sure what exactly. He licked his lower lip and eventually just said: ‘A disagreement?’
Nico felt Chiron’s sigh in his bones. ‘I could hear you all the way to the blue house. You woke the whole camp with these antics. I hope you’re happy with yourself.’
Chiron’s disappointment fell over them all, silencing them, making their shoulders fall and eyebrows droop. Chiron’s disappointment was a living thing, tearing them apart from the inside and ruining their lives. Apollo has always been very dramatic, no wonder his children were too.
‘Sorry, Chiron.’, Will says, taking the responsibility. ‘We’ll go to bed now.’
‘In your own cabin’, the centaur added with a poignant look to Nico.
He turns around to leave, but stopped in his steps right before stepping outside. ‘It’s ‘Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, by the way. Everyone knows that.’ And he disappeared into the night.