Summary: Nico is an Olympian. The athlete kind. Will is a doctor at the games. Nico is prone to accidents.
“I feel like an idiot,” Nico rumbled in his thick Italian accent, sitting up on the clinic bed and ignoring the crumpling paper beneath him.
“Don’t worry so much. Plenty of people injure themselves during training. I’m lucky they do. Otherwise I’d be out of a job,” the blond doctor responded, looking up from his clipboard.
Nico blushed when their eyes met and he turned away before he could do something foolish. It felt like forever ago that he won a spot in the Olympic games, yet here he was, sitting in Rio with his Italian flag shirt pulled tight across his chest and chalk still dusting his hands.
When people looked at the small, if slightly emo, twenty one year old they never would’ve guessed that he was a gymnast. Truth be told, he had only started it when he was ten as a way to fill the time when his older sister Bianca was studying abroad. Somehow though, it grew on him and soon enough he was spending all of his time in the large gymnasium he did his first flip at.
“I can still compete though right?” Nico asked, “My first competition is in four days. I have to be there.”
The doctor chuckled at him, “It’s just a very minor sprain. You should be fine in two to three days at the most as long as you don’t aggravate it.”
“Grazie a Dio,” Nico said under his breath.
“You’re lucky you came to get it checked. If you had kept practicing it might have gotten worse and then you wouldn’t be competing at all,” the blond told Nico.
Sighing in relief Nico knew that he could stop worrying about his ankle and instead acknowledge how cute the American doctor was. For the first time that day Nico looked at his name tag. Dr. William Solace. Even his name was cute. Nico felt like it fit the doctor perfectly.
Solace. Sol. Sun. He has a sunny disposition, Nico’s mind rambled.
“-to go,” Dr. Solace was saying.
“Sorry, what?” Nico asked.
“I said, just make sure you keep that brace on whenever you intend on moving your ankle, and take some Advil or Tylenol if it begins to hurt. And you should be good to go,” Dr. Solace repeated.
“Right,” Nico confirmed. Damn ADHD.
“If you need anything you can just call me,” Dr. Solace said, handing Nico his business card, “This is my direct number since I know it’s a pain going through Kayla at the front desk. She has a tendency to bring sassy to a whole new level.”
“Tell me about it,” Nico mumbled, recalling how long it took to get a word in edgewise when faced with the green haired receptionist. “Is her hair supposed to be that shade or did something go terribly wrong at the hairdresser’s?”
Dr. Solace’s laugh reminded Nico of the windchimes Bianca used to put up next to windows, “I think she was heading for shamrock but instead ended up with that sorry ass shade of chartreuse.”
“What’s with the alliteration?” Nico inquired.
“I took a poetry class my first year of college,” Dr. Solace responded, smiling, “I guess it sort of stuck with me. Pisses Kayla off to no end. Especially my haikus and limericks.”
“You’re kidding,” Nico responded, resting his elbows on his knees.
“Last time I started a sentence with ‘There once was a goddess from Sparta-’ she punched me right in the jaw,” Dr. Solace continued, pointing at the side of his jaw, “you can still see the small scar where I had to get stitches.”
The Italian gymnast giggled at this comment, covering his mouth in surprise when the soft sound escaped, “I- um… I should probably be going now. My younger sister’s competition start in a few hours.”
“What’s she competing in?”
“Equestrian jumping and eventing.”
“I thought Italy didn’t have anyone in that this year.”
“How would you know?”
“I follow all the equestrian events,” Will said sheepishly, “but you didn’t answer my question.”
“Hazel’s only my half sister,” Nico explained, “so she’s lived in America most of her life with occasional visits to Italy once my other sister and I found out that was why our father kept going on business trips so often. So she’s competing for the US rather than Italy.”
Will smiled, “I’ll make sure to cheer her on. God knows Kayla will get all riled up when she finally gets off her shift to see the competitions. If she goes to that one you’ll know, because she’s louder than the announcers.”
“I thought you’d say I could pick her out by her ‘sorry ass shade of chartreuse,’” Nico joked. “It would be like playing Where’s Waldo with a basketball and a bunch of footballs. The European kind.”
“It would be more like playing Where’s Waldo with an elephant and a bunch of kittens,” Will corrected.
Nico laughed again, “What does that make you?”
“A toyger kitten,” Will responded, “and you would be a munchkin kitten.”
“Theoretically- would these kittens be friends?”
“Well, I think the toyger kitten would share a ball of yarn with the munchkin kitten. And that the toyger would cheer for the munchkin during his competition.”
Nico blushed at this comment, unsure of what to make of it. Before he could say anything, a certain black haired, green eyed swimmer burst through the door.
“Nico! You’re not dead yet are you? Hazel would kill you if you died. And then she’d bring you back to life and kill you again,” he shouted in a barely comprehensible rush of words.
“Percy, Dr. Solace,” Nico introduced, “Dr. Solace, Percy Jackson.”
The clatter of Dr. Solace’s clipboard falling to the ground echoed throughout the room. “Percy Jackson? Sixteen time swimming gold medalist Percy Jackson?”
“I-I… yes?” Percy responded, looking a tad unsure of himself.
“So how did Hazel react when she found out?” Nico asked, rubbing his hands over his face.
“She started throwing jewelry at me until I agreed to come down here and check on you,” Percy told him, shivering at the thought, “Now that I know you’re okay we should probably go so she can see for herself that you’re okay since they won’t let her leave with the competition so close. Also- you’ve got a bit of chalk on your cheek.”
Nico reached up and brushed it away before bidding Dr. Solace goodbye and following Percy out the door to meet his worried sister.
Four days later…
“-and a little shaky on the dismount, but a good, solid score for Great Britain,” the announcer broadcasted, “Up next on the balance beam is Italy’s own Nico di Angelo. He’s barely old enough to drink and he already has two silver medals from London, but this time he’s back to win the gold.”
Another announcer picked up from there, “Look at the determination on his face. After narrowly missing bronze at the last world championship I’m sure he’s got nothing but first place on his mind.”
Nico squinted at the blinding lights. The drowning noise of the crowd pressed at his eardrums. Flags from scattered nations waved in enthusiasm.
Nico’s heart began to pound harder and faster with anticipation as he dusted his hands in chalk and adjusted the frustrating clip holding his bangs back. Hazel had spent a solid two months trying to convince him to cut it for the Olympics, but Nico would point out that he had grown used to it being long and changing it now would only mess him up. No. He would keep his bangs, despite how annoying it was to have to pin it back for every event.
High in the corner of the stadium, Nico spotted the group of people he was looking for. A group of about twelve people were sitting there, decked out head to toe in red, white and green and waving homemade signs in the air to cheer him on. If he listened hard enough he could almost hear them calling his name.
Nico tentatively wiggled his ankle, feeling it prickle after a full day of practicing to make up for lost time. He looked over the the medic station, hoping that he wouldn’t end up over there once again, when a flash of blond caught his attention.
Dr. Solace was standing there with a goofy smile on his face and his hands shoved into the pocket of his lab coat. Nico raised his hand in greeting, a small smile creeping onto his face. He made a deal with himself- win gold and you can ask the cute doctor out.
Nico stepped over to the balance beam and hiked himself up onto it. He hoped to God he would win gold.
Ta-Da! Fluffy, themed Solangelo- just what the doctor ordered. Hehe- get it? Cuz Will’s a doctor? I think half of you are giving me a pity laugh right now and the other half are staring at the screen and wondering if I’m crazy. The answer to that is debatable.
When he’s five, his teacher is tall and wears a yellow dress, drawing 00:00:00:00 on the board as she teaches
them how to count. Her timer’s up and she wears a shiny band around her finger,
smiling widely as she says the word soulmate.
“Mine says-” his classmate struggles to get the words out, trying
multiple times on the first syllable. “Three-two-one-six, three, four, ten.”
“That’s wonderful!” His teacher exclaims, putting down the chalk to
clasp her hands together. “Would anyone else like to share their numbers?”
“Two – um,” the boy next to him struggles to say it and she walks over
to their table, reading the numbers two
thousand six hundred nine, nineteen, twelve, thirty. The kids marvel at the
words – I didn’t know that number
existed! – and she glances at Steve’s timer, eyes widening.
“Whoa, look at Steve’s!” The girl on his other side grabs his arm and he
yanks it back, holds it close to his chest. “It has five numbers!”
“Settle down, now,” their teacher tries to rein them in, but they crowd
around him and he sinks in his seat, tries to make himself smaller than he
“-five numbers isn’t that much-“
“it was on the first one-“
“-come on, Steve, let us see-“
“Everybody back to their seats! Three-” There’s a pause as the kids
realize that Steve’s not letting up- “two,“ -and groan, reluctantly going back
to their tables. “One.”
“look, it’ll take me like ten minutes to get this up. won’t be here for long.”
it was just his luck for his car to break down, and in the middle of the road at that. his hands were chalked with gunk and so was the brown jacket he wore. he’d never get the stain out but that wasn’t his main concern. he’d had his truck for a long time, he didn’t want to lose it to mystic falls.
he was the only one in the gym. that was unsurprising, considering it was four in the morning. he liked it that way, without the chatter, or the obnoxiously loud pop music that was usually blasted over the speakers when it was more crowded. dusting excess chalk off his hands, akoni walked back onto the platform and bent over, tightening his entire body as he gripped onto the bar, loaded full with 55lb plates. sucking in a deep breath that expanded his ribs, puffed out his cheeks, akoni pulled. it was routine, mechanical. pull, slam. pull, slam. each release was like hephaestus’ hammer pummeling against a weapon to be forged, with the ground its anvil. the ground shook, and that was the way he liked it, even as he strained, even as he began to see stars. this was the thrill he chased, the sensation of invincibility. once he was done with his set, he collapsed onto the platform, breathing hard. “the hell ya doin’ awake right now?” asked the man as he heard the other.
-the smell of a twelve seater van: plastic, rubber, newness
-turning on the vents in said van and turning them and pushing your face into them to make your cheeks cold
-the touch pool at an aquarium
-basic science experiments (baking soda and vinegar, etc)
-buying a coloring book and juice from the drugstore when you go to get medicine
-stuffed toys in museum gift shops
-science toys and kits in aquarium gift shops
-eating goldfish on beach trips from a colorful beach bag
-putting extra sunscreen on your face
-sidewalk chalk all over your hands