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You Are My Sunshine

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Nico really wished he was alone right now. He’d give anything to be able to just curl up on the couch with a good book. Instead, he had to be interrogated by his annoying friends.

“You have to tell us everything, Nico!” Percy exclaimed, jumping onto the bed wear Nico was currently laying with his eyes closed and his arm over his face to try to tune them out. Nico sighed, but stayed silent.

“We need to decide if he’s good enough for you,” Annabeth said, acting like this exchange was a business meeting she needed to get done. Nico groaned and sat up, leaning his back against the headboard.

“Fine, what do you want to know?” Percy leaned next to him and Annabeth sat with her legs crossed on the end of the bed, facing the two boys.

“Everything, dude! What happened after you left us?” Nico sighed and brought his knees to his chest, wrapping his arms around them.

“He just went out. He opened the car door for me, so when we got there, I made sure to make a point of being able to open doors for myself.” Annabeth nodded.

“Good. Let him know you’re independent.” Percy pouted and crossed his arms.

“I thought you liked it when I opened doors for you!” He exclaimed in offence. Annabeth gave a small laugh and patted his leg.

“I do, but you also know I can do it for myself, too. I can take care of myself.” Percy grabbed Annabeth’s hand and squeezed it.

“Yeah, I know,” he turned back to Nico, “Next?”

Nico rolled his eyes. “Will ordered for me, and we just talked. I told him a bit about Mama and Bianca, and he was really sweet,” Nico hated the warm feeling that spread across his face right then. “He told me he’s there for me and I’m not alone. He’s really cute, Annabeth. I think I can really see this going somewhere.” Annabeth smiled at him sweetly and Percy knocked his shoulder into Nico’s.

“That’s awesome, man. I’m happy for you.” Nico rolled his eyes again, but this time with a smile as Annabeth nodded in agreement with Percy.

“Thanks, guys. I’m so glad you approve.” Nico said it with a slightly sarcastic tone, but it did mean a lot to him his friends liked Will, too. Nico loved his friends more than anything, and he trusted them to know who was a good fit for Nico.

***

Family dinner was the worst in the di Angelo household. Most nights, Hades, Nico’s father, was away on business trips and Persephone was out to dinner with her friends or at some sort of charity event, but every once in a while a night happened where they were both home, and Nico felt like he was in hell. Ever since Biana left for college, Nico had been all alone at the way-too-big dinner table, trying to keep quiet as his parents discussed people who disgusted them or had wronged them in some stupid way.

“Do you remember the Joanes’, darling? I heard their eldest son, Joshua, came out as homosexual the other day to them. How disappointing.” Persephone took a sip of her wine as she looked across the table at Hades, who was nodding in agreement. Nico felt his blood start to boil.

“Oh yes, what a shame. I suppose they won’t be getting any heirs anytime soon. What a disgrace.” Nico stabbed his steak rather forcefully, resulting in his father and stepmother glancing at him.

“Is something wrong, dear?” Persephone asked in her sickeningly sweet voice. Even from his seat several chairs away, Nico could smell the overpowering scent of her rose perfume.

“No, ma’am,” Nico mumbled. Persephone eyed him carefully for a moment before glancing back up to Hades.

“As I was saying, it really is too bad. Theresa and Robert are going to have to go into hiding to keep away from the backlash of having a homosexual son. I can’t even imagine how they must feel.” Persephone visibly shuddered, and Hades nodded, though he looked like he wasn’t paying attention to the conversation. He was scrolling through emails on his tablet instead of listening to his family at all. “It’s bad enough to have children like ours. Having a stepdaughter who refuses to wear a dress and would rather be off camping like a homeless person is so embarrassing. Not to mention a stepson who dresses in all black and refuses to cut his hair.” Nico couldn’t bare one more second of this.

“May I be excused, Father?” he asked through gritted teeth. Hades waved his hand in dismissal, and Nico stormed off into his room. He slammed the door before collapsing on his bed. He needed to talk to the one person who would understand. He picked up his phone.

“Hello, piccolo.” Nico almost sobbed at the familiar nickname. “Is something wrong?”

Nico took a calming breath to steady his voice. “Family dinner.” Nico heard a knowing sigh on the other end of the line.

“Oh tesoro. Sono così dispiaciuto.” Nico laid flat on his bed and closed his eyes. “What did they say, Nico?” Nico took in a deep breath.

“They talked about what a disgrace it is to have a gay son. Then they insulted you and me while I was sitting right there.” Nico could feel tears wetting his eyes, but he held them back.

Bianca was silent for a moment. “I wish I could be there, piccolo. I love you so much, and so do your friends. Father and Persephone are the ones who are wrong. Every person deserves love, especially you.” Nico turned onto his side and curled up against a pillow.

“I need to tell you something, Bianca. I met a boy.” Nico heard a loud gasp and he could help but give a small smile.

“Oh, il mio fratellino is growing up! What’s he like?” Bianca asked, her voice going from quiet to excited.

“His name is Will, and he’s so amazing. We went on our first date last night. He’s so sweet, Bianca. He’s tall and blond and gorgeous, but he’s also really shy and kind. I really like him.” Nico could almost hear the smile on Bianca’s face.

“That’s amazing, piccolo. I’m so happy for you.” Nico smiled. He felt his phone buzz with a text, so he checked it. It was from Will.

“I have to go, Bianca. He’s texting me. Ti amo.”

“Ti amo anch’io. Buona notte.” Nico hung up and quickly opened the texts he’d gotten.

{Will} Would you maybe like to come over tomorrow? My family is away, so we’ll have the house to ourselves

{Will} Not that we’d have to do anything about that

{Will} I’m not being suggestive

{Will} I just mean you don’t have to worry about my parents or siblings being there

Nico laughed to himself at the messages.

{Nico} I’d love to. Pick me up at noon?

It was mere seconds before he got a reply.

{Will} I’ll do that. Goodnight, Nico
{Nico} Goodnight, caro

{Will} What’s caro?

Nico smiled at Will’s question as he typed the reply.

{Nico} it means dear in italian. It’s a cute name to call someone you like

{Will} You speak italian?

Nico smirked. He got up for a moment and changed into sweatpants and an old t-shirt before he typed his reply.

{Nico} Sì mio caro. Ti parlerò in italiano ogni volta che vorrai

{Will} What does that mean?

{Nico} Look it up, Will. I’ll see you tomorrow

With that, Nico put his phone on silent and curled up in his bed. For the first time in a long time, he fell asleep with a smile on his face.