(Nico di Angelo/Will Solace, general audiences, fluff, 841 words.)
“You’ll stay in the makeshift infirmary tomorrow?” Nico asked in a low voice.
“Actually I’ll be healing in the middle of the battle. Like the Olympian War all over again,” Will replied in the same volume. It was just Nico and him in the tent, but he didn’t want to risk waking up his friends, who were sleeping in tents beside theirs.
“That’s dangerous.” Nico noted with not a small amount of distress in his voice. His fingers grabbed Will’s shirt, which he’d just been tracing until then.
“I’ll heal, and you’ll fight.” He sighed, resigned. Then, he caressed Nico’s hair, a gesture that would be natural if it wasn’t for how much care he put into it, as if Nico was the most important thing he’d ever touched.
“I’d say my chances are pretty good. I mean,” Nico said, “I’ve survived every battle I’ve ever fought.” Until now, yes. “That’s gotta count for something, right?”
Will gave him a reprimanding look.
“Barely survived.” He murmured, but still his voice broke. This was an old argument; one they had no means of solving or ignoring until the day Nico didn’t have to fight anymore.
Will sighed again.
“But,” he continued, “I know you. And I trust you to be… prudent.” I trust you to come back to me.
Nico studied him for a moment. And then his gaze softened, changing from a cautious, calculating look to the loving eyes of someone who believed in beautiful things.
Will, like always, wasn’t expecting it when Nico leaned in and kissed him on the mouth. Quickly, just a peck.
The third one was more difficult because Will kept smiling. The duration or frequency of their kisses hardly mattered to him. It was the Nico-ness of it all that always made Will’s heart flutter, content.
“I promise that,” Nico said, “if I have to, I’ll come running straight to you.”
Will held Nico’s gaze for a moment, then nodded. Will wouldn’t have believed him, once. Knowing and accepting that they couldn’t fight all battles was the hardest part of a demigod’s life. But Nico was a different boy from the one who kept falling onto him, too insubstantial to stand up on his own. This Nico valued his own life and wanted to stay, wanted to come home.
Will trusted him.
“I know,” he paused, pretending to ponder about something. “But— are you sure you’ll come running straight to me? Is that even possible?”
It took Nico a few seconds to get it, but when he did, his face opened up in the most incredulous, most beautiful smile Will had ever seen (something he thought about most of Nico’s smiles, but that didn’t diminish the truth in each of those occasions).
Will unconsciously smiled back. Nico punched him lightly in the arm.
“Shut up.” He said, still grinning.
“C’mon, that was a good one!” He put on a pout, pretending to be upset, and Nico laughed, not cruelly.
“Will,” he said when he paused his laughing to breath, “none of your jokes are good.”
It didn’t matter to Will whether they were good or not. As long as the goal of making Nico smile was met, he would keep making them.
He fake-sobbed, which made Nico try not to laugh too loudly, the glimmer in his eyes visible only due to the faint moonlight that entered their tent.
“You— you don’t like my jokes? You’re so mean!” Will whined, and Nico bit his lower lip.
“Shut up,” Nico ordered with a small roll of his eyes. “Go to sleep. Tomorrow will be…” He narrowed his eyes, traces of humor mostly gone. He never finished the sentence.
“Shitty?” Will suggested, and Nico sighed, looking up at the tent ceiling.
“I was gonna go with ‘tiring’, but that works, too.”
Nico yawned, covering his mouth with one hand while the other found Will’s. He gave it a squeeze before letting it go and turning his back to Will.
Will stared at Nico’s back for a minute before turning too, wanting to get closer to his boyfriend, but not wanting to push any limits. Wanting something to focus on that wasn’t the war ahead, but not wanting Nico (or himself) to panic at the realization that they most likely wouldn’t be this close to each other for at least a few days.
But then, minutes later, he heard and felt Nico turning and moving closer to him. A hand grabbed the fabric of his shirt, and Will pondered what to do for about two seconds before figuring Nico was as desperate as him for some contact, some tenderness.
So he turned and inched closer to the other boy, putting an arm around him and caressing his back. Nico sighed, responding to the touch by resting his head against Will’s chest, his fingers caressing Will’s ribs in irregular movements. Will gently kissed the top of his head.
It was only then that they could fall asleep.