Prompt where maybe Nico finds an old photograph or something of his mother in a gift shop? Or maybe a WWII photograph of, like, his mother's siblings or his cousins being released from a concentration camp or an image of Maria Bianca and Nico in a crowd trying to flee ITaly? (I ship Maria being from a Jewish family as more reason for them to need to escape) IDK. Id really like if you did something to this extant.
I went with the last one
“Hey, Nico,” Will walked over to where Nico was shuffling through a box that contained mostly smaller boxes in it, with dust so thick it was impossible not to sneeze. “Look at these old pictures I found.” Somehow, Nico and Will had been tasked with the bi-yearly chore of cleaning out the attic of the Big House, throwing away things that had been tossed up there for no particular reason, and making sure that the things that should stay locked away were still locked away.
They hadn’t really found much of anything of interest, other than a few old books, until Will found a stack of old photos, all of them in black and white and fading around the edges. Nico put the lid back on his box, standing up straight and popping the joints in his knees that had gone stiff from kneeling for so long. “I think they’re mostly from the Second World War. The people in the pictures look German. Not that I’ve ever been very good at distinguishing Europeans.” Will handed the photos to Nico so he could shuffle through them.
Will was right about the first picture, it was a photograph of a handful of German soldiers sitting on a low bank wall in front of a building, all decked out in their uniforms, smiling. Nico had to resist the urge to rip the picture. Those soldiers had killed so many people, who were they to look so happy? Nico shuffled through a few pictures like that, soldiers laughing and smiling. “Kind of reminds you that they were still just people, huh?” Will spoke softly over Nico’s shoulder. “Following orders.” Nico didn’t quite see it that way, but he understood how Will could.
Nico flipped to another photo that caught his eye. There was a large group of people that looked like they were fleeing, all bunched together. Nico could almost hear their shouts and pleas. They were probably trying to board a boat to leave their country. Nico scanned the faces of the people in the picture almost lazily, wondering where the people were trying to flee from.
He had never expected to recognize anyone.
His breath caught in his throat at the sight of a floppy hat that Nico knew was an olive green color, despite the saturation from the picture. Nico’s knees threatened to give out the longer he stared at the girl in the picture, whishing she would turn around. In her arms was a small boy, perhaps half Nico’s age. Nico knew that the boy was carrying a small wooden cross, despite the unclarity of the picture. Nico could still feel the press of the cross in his palm, the way his sweat made it slick as he clung to it for dear life. There was a tall, proud Italian woman behind the children, ushering the forward at a quick pace while she kept her head down.
Distantly, he heard the blow of a steam whistle, signifying that whoever was still on the dock better get on the boat or risk being left behind in a fascist regimen. Nico felt himself shake as Maria pushed her children onto the boat in front of her, occupying the last open spot before the sailors pulled up the board that connected the boat to the dock.
“Nico?” Will called softly. “Is everything okay?” Nico closed his eyes for a moment, smelling the salty air of the ocean before he let out a long breath and opened his eyes, unsurprised to find them damp with tears.
He looked at Will before he whispered, “it’s us. It’s Mama and Bianca.”
I liked the style of this fic