I think I just have several reasons balled up into why I love this pairing. One of them is that I think it actually could work. If Percy wasn’t with Annabeth then, in my opinion, he and Nico would be a really good match. I think Percy has a capacity to understand Nico better than anyone else could if he actually had time to pay attention and vice versa. I don’t think RR has given his canon romantic relationships as much potential as he did for this one-sided love, and I’m not entirely sure he did it on purpose so he may be missing a golden opportunity here.
All the moments Percy and Nico have had and their issues with each other give this pairing a lot more to work with than any of the others, with the exception of maybe Jason/Reyna. They have an emotional history that I think is a lot deeper than Percy’s history with Annabeth. They have death between them, guilt, mistrust, and even then they never really stopped caring about each other. It’s stronger for Nico but Percy cares about him too. He’s kept Nico’s parentage a secret to protect him, even after being accused of causing Bianca’s death, Percy was still looking out for him. I don’t even think I need to go into the laundry list of things Nico has done. Most of them were blatantly to help Percy and it’s heavily implied that the rest were too.
There’s never been any of this with Annabeth and that says something to me. Not that their relationship is hollow, but if he were in a relationship with Nico, they would have to work through all of that which would forge something stronger.
The majority of relationships in the PJO universe are so fixed and stiff. You can pick them out before they even happen because RR is kind of heavy handed about it. It can get boring when you’re able to predict exactly who will end up with who. Nico’s feelings are the only time he did something unexpected and holy shit it works! It’s a shame because this relationship could be a defining element in this story. But he ends up cockblocking himself because he’s had Annabeth and Percy set for each other since like the second chapter of book one and there’s no way he can undo all of that now.
So Nico’s feeling become tragic because we know it’s not going to happen and that pain draws me to it. There’s this conflicting nature of the ship itself because it’s so possible and yet so impossible.
While we are on the subject, I could go into my Annabeth rant of how Riordan never gave her a choice. He used her emotions for Luke as a plot device through the whole first series to trick us into thinking she was conflicted romantically and then in the end had her confess that she didn’t love Luke, or at least didn’t for a very long time —maybe even before he left camp. Annabeth is a strong female character and she gets no love interests other than Percy —who gets a shit ton— and it’s pretty unfair! If Percabeth breaks up Annabeth has no options set up for her, other than to join the chaste, all-girl group of the Hunters of Artemis. Nico might not even be Percy’s first choice! There’s still Reyna and Rachel! He knocked Calypso out of the running but Annabeth still has a line waiting behind her if she should ever walk away from our main character.
But back to Percico. It’s also hard not to imagine what Nico would be like with Percy. It’s implied that a lot of his negative emotions are not only because he’s dealing with being the son of Hades, but because he’s struggling with his feelings alone. I can only imagine how he would change mood-wise —maybe personality-wise— if he was accepted by everyone, became comfortable with his sexuality, and got to be with his crush/first love. I think my own personality comes into play a lot in this ship because I do tend to lean more toward M/M pairings. Let’s not delve too deep into that though lol.
So, yeah lol that’s what goes in my head with Percico.