So, I read Son of Neptune finally and MY FEELS. But instead of telling you them I just put them in a fic. Warning for Son of Neptune spoilers and underage demigods making out.
nico/percy/annabeth, 1470 words, r
Nico knows that he has a little trouble with emotions, sometimes. He figures it has to do with the wise-beyond-his-years thing; being locked in a casino for seventy years will do a number on you. But he's not—it's not like he's made of stone or anything. That only becomes more apparent when he sees Percy in Camp Jupiter, when Percy stares at him like Nico's seen him stare at his homework, when Percy says I know you and Nico has to dig his fingernails into his palms to look at him with cool indifference, to not run up to him and smack him or hug him or kiss him stupid. He has to remind himself that this is important, bigger than him. He can't let himself be the variable here, not now.
Hazel looks at him strangely, and it's not fair. She's not Bianca, she shouldn't be able to read him like that, and when her lips shape to his name he turns away from her. This is not his place.
He tries to leave as soon as possible. An itch settles over him every time he's in this camp, so many needles pricking at his skin. His body can recognize that this is wrong, that this isn't home, no matter how good he gets at lying. He's about to sink into shadow when someone grabs him around the wrist and yanks.
"So, I figured you were going to try to slip away when no one was looking," he starts, cocky as ever, memories or no. "And wouldn't this be an excellent time to stop bullshitting me and tell me what you know?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Nico says levelly, taking careful note of the proximity of him (too fucking close) and stepping back, only to find himself flush against a wall. Percy doesn't seem to notice.
"You're lying, I'm not an idiot." His eyes narrow, and Nico juts his chin defensively. "I can tell, I just—"
"How?" Nico asks, wincing a little at the way his voice sounds. He takes a breath and tries again, full of bravado that isn't his. "How can you tell?"
Percy stares at him for a long time. "I just can," he says, looking at some faraway spot above Nico's shoulder. "I just saw you and it happened. Like, I can remember my name, and I can remember that you're—"
"I'm what?" Nico says, and doesn't want to know.
"I can't remember," Percy snaps, and his fist hits the wall behind Nico's head. It's only then that Nico realizes that Percy pretty much has him pinned. It should probably bother him, he should probably take it as a blow to his ego or something, but. It's just Percy. Like Percy could be threatening if he tried, like he could elicit any kind of reaction out of Nico right now other than the need to grab him and shake him and tell him everything will be okay. It probably won't. Nico bites his tongue.
"Sorry," Percy mumbles, leaves his hand resting beside Nico's head.
"'S okay," Nico says quietly. Percy looks at him again, studies him, and Nico can feel his breath on his face this time, can trace his concentration in the creases in his forehead, the tension in his limbs.
"Nico, are you—?" Percy cuts himself off with a swear. "I mean, I just—." He leans in a little closer and Nico really wishes that he'd start speaking in whole sentences again, that his eyes would stop flickering down to his lips. "Is this—?"
"Percy," Nico interrupts, a warning or an affirmation.
Percy breathes out a little laugh. "Right," he says, and presses his lips against Nico's. And Nico figures he's been doing pretty well on the self-control front, so far, but he's not going to stop this; like he's ever been able to say no to Percy Jackson. So he grips the back of Percy's head and pulls him in closer, and Percy makes a surprised noise in his throat but he doesn't pull away, just puts his other hand out to steady himself when Nico fists his hands in his hair and tugs. And Nico surprises himself with how desperate he feels, how harsh, but it's been months since he's so much as seen Percy, and it's so fucking unfair that he doesn't even get him for real, only under the guise of this place that shouldn't even exist for them.
Son of Pluto. Son of Neptune. Right. Nico snarls and kisses harder, biting at Percy's lower lip.
He knows that somewhere Percy knows that this is him, knows himself, knows the way they fit together however weirdly, because he kisses back, takes all Nico's abuse and is still soft, still easy—like he's expecting it, and that makes back off a little, lets a little lucidity in past the simple want in his head. One of Percy's hands goes to the back of his neck, cradling, not quite holding, and Nico sighs a little, tilts his head back.
He pulls away for a second, to catch his breath, to open his eyes and see the warm flush that's creeping up Percy's face, the look on his face that Nico loves, caught between pained and smiling, a whine made tactile. His thumb brushes against the line of Percy's jaw and Percy takes that as a cue that it's his turn, leans in and crashes against him, sucks at his tongue and licks over his teeth.
Once, in the underworld, Nico talked to a man who fell in love with a witch. He'd said that her kiss was like a fire consuming him from the inside and all he wanted was more, more. His clothes has been singed and his lips were black, so Nico didn't bother asking how that worked out. He thinks of it now and groans.
Percy smiles at the noises he makes, grins against his lips and presses closer to Nico, because Percy does not just kiss with his mouth; kissing Percy Jackson is a full-body experience, and you can tell it in the way he maps your pulse with his fingertips, the way his thigh will nudge against yours not quite accidentally, the way he will crowd in on you until you are completely pliant and you'd never want to not be, anyway. Percy's like that. For him, it's always lead or follow, your turn or mine. Except—
Except, and Nico's pulling away for real this time, trying not to gasp for breath, trying to ignore the feel of Percy half-hard against his hip.
"Can't," he says weakly, and he thinks it would be easier to have his hands surgically removed from Percy's body than have to do it himself, but he lets go anyway.
"What?" Percy says, still heavy-lidded and breathing hard.
"I gotta go, Percy," Nico tells him, grimacing and worming out of his hold.
"What you do mean, you've got to go?" Percy is indignant. "You can just leave, you—you know me."
"Yeah," Nico says, and steps out of the light. "Sorry."
The lake is mirror-still tonight, unnaturally. Nico rips the stupid toga off the second he's a hundred percent there; this is not a mask he's going to wear, not here.
She doesn't stir, when he emerges from a cluster of trees, not when he sits down beside her. They sit in silence for a long time.
"Been a while," she says finally, not looking at him. The moon splays patterns on her skin; it looks like war paint, it looks like scars.
"Yeah," Nico agrees. "How've you been?"
Annabeth snorts, and Nico smiles ruefully. "Any word?" she asks him, tugging her knees up to her chest.
"Nah," Nico lies, and wants to go throw himself in the lake. "I've been in the Underworld, so maybe that's a good thing."
"Have you seen your dad around?"
Nico shakes his head. "He's never the first one to follow Zeus's orders, but he's been avoiding me, anyway. More than usual."
"Freaking gods," Annabeth swears, and thunder crackles in the distance. "Yeah, I hear you," she mutters, and turns to Nico.
"We'll find him, you know," she says, wrapping a comforting hand around the base of his skull, leans her forehead against his. Nico closes his eyes and breathes in, smells her sweat and her grime and her warmth, the smell of being in the sun all day, of not hiding in shadows.
She kisses him once on the mouth, gently, and once on the forehead, before she heads off to her cabin. She knows better than to ask if he'll stay.
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