fab swift

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Shake It Off

(An anon prompted me: A solangelo AU where Nico moves to a city and Will visits him and Nico answers the door shirtless and half-asleep. I tried! I’m sorry if it’s not what you wanted, but I did try. Feel free to prompt me or talk about Solangelo 😍)

It takes Will twenty minutes to find the right door in the maze of corridors that make up Nico’s new apartment block. He wanders up two flights of stairs, treads on the paws of a vicious-looking poodle with an owner that smells a little like bleach and bananas, slips on what he hopes is a puddle of water and knocks on three wrong doors.

When he finally, finally, finds the right door, Will comes to a relieved stop, dropping his bag down at his feet. He’s just raising his hand to knock when he registers the sound of music.

It can’t be the right door.

The music is loud, thumping, and it almost sounds, to Wills trained ears, like Taylor Swift.

He glances down at the piece of crumpled paper with Nico’s address written on it, and then glances back at the door.

It’s the right door, but there’s no way that Nico could possibly be in there, listening to Taylor Swift at a high enough volume to burst anyone’s eardrums.

Will chews on his lip, bemused. Then he shrugs, and knocks on the door. He’s already knocked on three wrong doors, there’s no harm in doing it again.

Of course, over the music, the apartments occidental can’t hear Will knocking, no matter how loudly he does it. He’s just resorted to shouting when the door clicks open slowly, and Nico comes into view.

It’s been six months since Will last saw Nico, not counting the watery, distorted iris messages which always cut off too quickly. Six months too long, in Wills opinion. He understands why Nico left, and he’s proud and happy for his friend for having the courage to move and go to school in the city, but it still makes Will feel empty every time he remembers how far away Nico is.

He’s not far away now, though.

Nico also hasn’t seen Will yet, which hardly surprises him, even though Will is half a step away from him. It gives Will a chance to drink in the sleepy figure in front of him.

Nico drops a trashbag in the hall, right next to Wills bag, one pale hand clinging to the half-open door. He hasn’t got a shirt in, just a pair of black cut-off cotton pants. The drawstring is loose, and Will flushes, averting his eyes from all the pale skin.

He stares at Nico’s face instead, his eyes roaming over little scar on Nico’s cheek from their Quest a few years back, to rescue Apollo and the Oracle. He takes in the soft, sleepy look in Nico’s eyes, the relaxed drop to his shoulders, the stifled yawn and something inside of him feels lighter and warmer, like someone dipped his heart in honey.

Nico frowns down at the bag next to his trashbag, glances up and yelps.

“Fuck!” Nico yells, eyes wide and alert. “What-how did- hunf.”

Will cracks up, doubling over as he laughs hysterically. Every time he calms down enough to glance up, he catches sight of the confused, shocked look on Nico’s face an dissolves into laughter again.

“You’re an ass,” Nico tells him firmly. Will keeps laughing, shoulders shaking with mirth. “You’re an ass and I don’t care why you’re here, you can drag yourself back home right now.”

“Oh come on,” Will protests weakly, grinning as he straightens up. “How many times have you snuck up on me over the past, what, four years?”

“Those don’t count.” Nico shakes his head. “I never try to sneak up on you, shadow-travelling is supposed to be subtle, to avoid detection. Besides, you usually pay me back with pranks, so you’ve got no room to complain.”

Will manages to rein in his laughter again, even as images of Nico covered in flour and eggs, Nico spouting limericks with a completely murderous expression, and Nico wearing entirely pink clothes for a whole week flit through his mind.

“Those were pretty good, though, you have to admit.”

Nico sighs exasperatedly, and opens the door fully, stepping aside to let Will in. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you,” Will says cheerfully. He knows that, to an outsider, it might look like Nico isn’t pleased to see him, but Will knows he is. Nico has always been a little awkward, a little insecure, and he’s never seemed to grasp that Will always wants to see him, always wants to be near him.

“Why?” Nico shuts the door behind them, and then turns to face Will, folding his arms across his chest. Will watches the blush fill Nico’s face, like he’s just realised that he’s shirtless.

The music is still playing, but it’s gone from loud bass music to something softer, acoustic. It’s still Taylor Swift though, and it still fills the entire apartment with enough noise to deafen a draken.

“Because I missed you, obviously,” Will says, tossing his bag on the floor. He smiles down at Nico, who shakes his head hesitantly, then smiles back. He drops his hands back by his sides, and Will grabs hold of one and tugs him in. Nico muffles his protests into Will’s t-shirt, and Will hides his grin in Nico’s hair, which is sticking up. It looks like black candyfloss, and smells of apple conditioner.

“Are you sniffing me?” Nico mumbles, loosening his grip.

“It’s impossible not to, you stink.” Will laughs when Nico tries pushes him away, but Will’s taller, and it’s easy to keep Nico encircled in his arms.

“I need to go shopping, and clean up, but after that we can do whatever you want,” Nico says eventually.

“You might want to turn off your music first. I didn’t realise you were a fab of Taylor Swift.” Will let’s Nico go when he pushes him away this time, watching as Nico storms across the room to the sound system.

“You recognised her too,” Nico points out, and Will shrugs, unashamed. Lou Ellen loves Taylor Swift.

Nico looks at him for a moment, and Will is about to ask if there’s chocolate on his mouth- he may have indulged a little on the train journey, but then a shy smile spreads across Nico’s face.

“I can’t believe you’re here.”

Even at seventeen, Nico still has the same effect on Will as he did all those years ago. If anything, the feelings have only gotten stronger, solidified into something real and warm and heartfelt.

“I wanted to surprise you,” Will says softly.

Nico grins wryly. “I think I can say with absolute confidence that you’ve succeeded.”

Will laughs again. He’s laughed more in the last ten minutes than he has in six months. “Good. Mission complete.”

Nico rolls his eyes, and gestures to the couch. “Make yourself comfortable, I’ve gotta get shoes and then we’ll go out.”

Will nods, and waits until Nico’s disappeared into his bedroom before he shouts at him. “Hey, Nico!”

“What?” Nico pops his head back out of his bedroom, eyebrows raised.

Will smirks. “I’m not complaining, but you might want to put on more than shoes if we’re going out.”

Nico glances down at his less than dressed state, turns red, and then disappears into the bedroom, leaving Will in a fit of laughter on the couch.

Will changes his ringtone on Nico’s phone to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off, and rings him in the middle of the grocery store, and everything is good, even when Nico answers the phone just to swear at him in Italian.

Especially when Nico answers the phone just to swear at him in Italian.

2

“I think for me, beauty is sincerity. I think that there are so many different ways that someone can be beautiful. You know someone’s so funny that it makes them beautiful no matter how they look because they’re sincere in it. Or someone’s really emotional and moody and thoughtful and stoic but that makes them beautiful because that’s sincerely who they are. Or you look out into the crowd and you see someone so happy that they’re smiling from ear-to-ear and that sincerity comes through, and I think that’s what makes somebody beautiful. I’ve never felt like there’s just one way to be beautiful, you know, tall or short, straight hair or curly or whatever, some people have definitions of their “types.” You know, for me, I think that when I meet someone and there’s that magical thing about them that makes them unforgettable, it’s that they’re sincere in honest in whoever they are. Be that funny, happy, sad, going through a rough time, sarcastic, I think these personality traits that come through when somebody is really sincere is what makes them beautiful.”