There was one ceiling tile that wasn’t completely aligned
with the others. It had been driving Nico crazy since he woke up. But he found
himself staring at it anytime he was alone. Which was often. Aside from the
nurses and doctors that checked on him, no one else came in.
Ever since Will’s outburst, Nico had asked to keep visitors
away. He couldn’t bring himself to tell his friends what had happened. Surely
they’d heard it too. Surely they’d heard all the things Will said, all the
things he’d called him.
The moment kept replaying in his head as he stared at the
tile. Over and over. Even when he slept, he didn’t get a break from it. In the
back of his mind, the shouts were still echoing.
“Ready to go home today?” Dr. Ass- something asked him. Nico
shrugged. “I suggest you stay away from alcohol. You’re too young to give
yourself liver damage.”
Nico rolled his eyes and pulled at the ends of his hair.
“Yeah, well. Easy for you to say. You have your life made. Nothing to run away
from. I’m trying to run away from everything.”
“Everything?” the doctor asked.
“I’m not suicidal,” he snapped, knowing that if he said the
wrong thing, he’d have to stay longer and get checked into a psych ward. “I’m
just saying… drinking stops the thinking. It always has. So I drink enough to
“Well what were you trying to forget this time? Because
obviously it didn’t work until you reached unconsciousness.” Nico averted his
gaze and stared at the IV in his arm. “Alright then. I hope I don’t have to see
you back here with the same problem, Nico.” He nodded and watched as the doctor
removed the IV and gave him some regular clothes that Percy and Annabeth had
brought in for him.