In which Nico absolutely hates the son of Hades nicknames. He tolerates them to a point, but with Will he eventually snaps, gets absolutely passed, and Will has to fix it. (And find new pet names)
“What’s up, Death Breath?” Will held an easy grin on his face, but Nico was not in the mood for him today. After trying (and failing), to get Chiron to let him go into the city, Nico was feeling anything but happy to stay around camp for the day.
“Don’t call me that,” he hissed back, causing Will to roll his eyes. In truth, Nico hated the “son of Hades” nicknames. Death Breath, Lord of Darkness, Goth, Dead Kid, whatever Will or the other campers had come up with after he decided to stay. Somewhere deep in the recess of Nico’s mind, he understood that the nicknames didn’t really mean anything, that they were supposed to be light, fun ways of teasing Nico, but he couldn’t help but feel like they were taunts. Nico still struggled with insecurities, and his biggest one was still people accepting who his father was. It was why the names bothered him so much. They felt like little jabs at who he was.
“Would you prefer I called you Bones? Or perhaps Little Death,” Will was obviously enjoying himself, laughing at each new name that he came up with. Nico tried not to let his insecurities get the best of him, but hearing the names from his boyfriend made it hurt so much worse.
“I would prefer,” Nico interrupted Will, looked down at him in shock, “if you and everyone else would just call me Nico. Since that is my name and all. You guys don’t have to constantly use those stupid names to get to me. Especially you, Will.”
Will was stunned for a moment, and Nico felt pathetic for lashing out at him for something so small and trivial, but the names had become too much for Nico to constantly hear. Why couldn’t they just call him by his name? Was “Nico” really that bad of a name? When Nico finally looked up at Will, he was staring down at Nico with concern in his blue eyes.
“Nico, why didn’t you tell me you hated my nicknames? I would have stopped using them a long time ago if I knew.” Nico felt the full shame of what he’d said descend on him and he hung his head, letting his bangs fall in his eyes as he scuffed his shoes on the ground.
“I don’t know. You guys always seemed like you enjoyed them so much. Why ruin your fun just because I don’t like it?” He mumbled quietly.
“Because it’s not fun if you don’t like it, Nico, that’s not having fun. That’s making fun of you,” Will spoke softly, causing Nico to lit his head up and look through his bangs at his boyfriend. “I would never use those names if I had known how upset they made you, and neither would anyone else. We didn’t mean to upset you with them.”
“I don’t want to seem whiny, though,” Will sighed quietly and Nico felt himself shrink.
“It’s not whiny, Nico, I promise,” Nico looked up at Will again, catching the smile on his face. “Besides, there’s so many better nicknames to use.” In that moment, Nico had never felt so lucky to have Will, who was so ready and willing to drop what made Nico uncomfortable and try something else. “Like, ‘what’s up, baby?’ Or, ‘hey, babe’. There’s so many more cute nicknames that I’d love to use for you, if you’re okay with them. I promise I’ll ask you first now.” Will was still grinning, and Nico honestly had no idea what he had done to deserve the literal ball of sunshine that was Will Solace. “Sound good, sweetheart?”
Nico felt himself blush at the much more affectionate name. “Yeah.”
look at how early it is