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Not Quite Over You

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For someone who saved the world twice, Percy Jackson wasn’t living a very happy life. Nothing like the one he imagined having after the last time he saved the world, nearly four years ago.

He imagined himself with Annabeth in an apartment at New Rome, maybe they would have mated already talking about kids. But, probably not since he can remember her saying how she hated that people expected Omegas to start popping out babies the minute they turned eighteen.

That still didn’t stop his thoughts from wandering. He always wanted a big family, being the only child and the fact a single mom raised him had made him want to be the dad he never really had growing up. Don’t get him wrong, he loves Poseidon now, but that doesn’t distract from the fact that he was never there for Percy when he was growing up.

But here he was, sitting on his couch in a lonely studio apartment. Hey at least he had his apartment in New Rome.

It’s been five years since he last saved the world and also four years since he and Annabeth broke up.

She left him for some fancy mortal Alpha who she met on a college visit to Berkeley.
When they first broke up, he so badly wanted to be upset at her but he just couldn’t.
He can’t really say he has missed their relationship too much; he missed hanging out with her though.

She had been his best friend and now she was gone. But, his mom likes to tell him that maybe it was for the best, since he and Annabeth wanted very different things in life.

Annabeth wanted to go to college and become an architect. She wanted to travel, see the wonders of the world. And after the war with Gaia she was tired of Olympus, of Camp, of being a hero.

Percy however wanted the exact opposite. He loved camp and New Rome. He also wasn’t done being a hero quite yet, though he hopes there aren’t any more wars like the last two. Plus, he wanted to settle down someplace and make it a home.

He honestly can’t stand being alone sometimes, hates listening as the drone of the TV is the only sound that occupies his apartment. He had to leave, go somewhere, anywhere where there were people he could talk to.

He shivered as he went into the streets of New Rome, which unlike Camp Half-blood was not weather proof. He didn’t bother to go back up and get his jacket, choosing instead to walk towards Hazel and Frank’s apartment, which was only a mile away from his.

The lights were on and he could here people talking as approached their door. It was more than two voices, so they must have people over. Percy didn’t want to seem rude and intrude, but he couldn’t stand the thought of being alone again so he knocked anyway. Everything hushed after that.

Hazel opened the door and didn’t seem too happy to see him. “Percy, hey. Is there something you need? “, she asked, her voice full of false enthusiasm. She was bouncing on the heels of her feet, only opened the door enough so that he could see three quarters of her face.

Obviously this was a bad time. “No, I umm- I don’t know what came over me. I guess I’ll get going now. “

“Wait! “, a voice Percy didn’t quite recognize called out from behind Hazel. “He can come in, can’t he? I think you made enough food for a whole legion. “ Hazel looked behind her toward the voice and then back to Percy, before opening the door the rest of the way and letting him in.

Percy took in the setting of the Zhang’s familiar apartment; it’s eggshell walls and homey furniture that had this 40’s flare to it. Inside sitting at the big dining table covered in a different dishes of food, was Frank, Reyna, and Nico di Angelo.

Percy guessed it was him that was talking earlier, since he would have recognized Frank or Reyna’s voice. It sounded different from when he last heard it five years ago, more mature. He looked different too, healthier. He was certainly plumper than he was at the end of the war, but in the good way. His hair wasn’t as stringy, but it appeared lighter and curlier. He still was kind of pale but it now had a tinge of color to it.

Even the way he dressed was different. Though, it appeared he retained his affinity for the color black over the years the clothes he wore no longer looked as baggy and morbid. Percy could now definitely tell he was an omega, though anyone with a nose could tell if they wanted to now. He had always known of Nico’s orientation, but never like this. Nico looked good.

Percy couldn’t get a good look on his face though since he currently had his gaze glued to the floor. “Hey Nico! I haven’t seen you in forever. “, Percy greeted trying to ease the tension that even he wasn’t so oblivious not to notice.

“If by forever, you mean five years then yeah. It’s been forever. “ The son of Hades said lifting his gaze to look at Percy and gave half a smile.

That hadn’t been exactly true; Percy had seen him walking out with Reyna a few years ago, but the praetor had glared at him when she saw him heading over. He thought that maybe mentioning this wasn’t the best idea so he just laughed.

“Well, I suppose it’s best you came. Nico’s right after all, Hazel made way too much food. “, Reyna said from her seat at the head of the table, motioning to the food on the table. Hazel huffed and took her seat beside Frank, who had already taken the liberty of serving himself.

Dinner had still been somewhat strained, but now that he was here they refused to let him leave. Nico actually ended up being the most social one, which was a real twist on how it used to be.

They stuck to small talk, but occasionally he would try and make a joke. He actually got Nico to laugh a little and it was the cutest laugh Percy had ever heard. He definitely wanted Nico to laugh more often.

Percy had a habit of getting carried away and this was one of those times he could have used someone to snap him out of it: because in between jokes and simple conversation Percy was rearranging his future plans. Plans that now revolved around Nico.

“So where do you stay now? “, Percy asked.

“Around. “, Nico answered, playing with the scraps on his plate. “I still go to the Underworld from time to time, to help out my dad. But I actually spend a lot of time at Camp Half-blood, now. “

“I wish you would come visit more often. “, Hazel says glaring at Percy, as if it’s his fault that Nico doesn’t stop by New Rome.

“Maybe I will now. Kyle is thinking of moving here and opening up a bakery. “
“Jason will most likely follow him since he’s in love with his brownies. “. Reyna commented.

“Who’s Kyle? “, Percy asked.

“He’s Nico’s—ow! “, Frank yelped as Hazel hit his knuckle with her spoon. “He’s my Alpha. “, Nico answered, a blush spreading on his features.

And so much for Percy’s plan, he tried not to let his disappointment show though and began asking questions about ‘Kyle’.

Kyle was apparently a son of Demeter who enjoyed baking and making kids laugh. He was tall, strong, and handsome. According to Nico he was the perfect Alpha and Percy hated him already.

Nico tried not to blush too hard as Percy enveloped him into a big hug as they said good bye. “Well, I guess I’ll see you more often then? “, Percy asked.

“Ya, I’ll be here for the next two days. “ Nico said, mentally hitting himself for that. Why did he have to tell him that? Now, Percy will most likely want to hang out with him these next few days and dinner went by fine but he’s not so sure if he could take much more.

“Bye Percy! “, Hazel shouted from the kitchen. Percy gave one last weak smile and then went off probably back to his apartment.

Nico sighed and closed the door after he could no longer see Percy’s fleeting figure; he turned around to come face to face with his sister. She was standing up straight and had her arms crossed against her chest, everything about her made it seem like she was angry but her eyes just looked at Nico with pity and disappointment. “Nico.”
“Don’t look at me like that.” Nico scoffed, turning away.

Hazel took a deep breath and held her hands up, retreating back to the kitchen, not uttering a single word as she furiously cleaned.

Nico knew what this meant; she was being nice and giving him a chance to just leave and let her rant off to Frank instead. Hazel knows Nico’s exhausted and not too happy about the situation himself.

Nico stares at his sister’s back as she washes dishes; he contemplates just leaving but knows this only makes Hazel angrier the next time things get like this. Nico doesn’t make a habit of fighting with Hazel, it’s only happened a couple times. The first was why he wanted to leave so bad: which lead to him telling her his feelings for Percy. The second was when Hazel was trying to convince Nico not to talk to Percy after he and Annabeth broke up. Why is it always about Percy?

“Just say whatever you want to say, Hazel. “

She drops the plate back into the sink and wipes her hands with the wash clothe before turning to face him. “Fine. I think you should leave. “

“You were just saying earlier that you wanted me to visit more often. “

“Well that was before I knew Percy was going to be chasing you down. “, Hazel confesses. Nico’s face scrunches up. “I can handle being around him, I’m not some helpless Omega that goes around giving themselves to any alpha. “

“That’s not what I meant and you know it. “, she states resting her hands on her hips. “And Percy’s not just any alpha, is he? You loved him for years. ”

Nico doesn’t like to think about that anymore. He likes to think he’s moved on, that Percy was just a childish crush that he had. An alpha to pine over. But he still remembers sometimes what it felt like. How every time he had the alpha’s attention he preened and heats were spent thinking about him. Nico can remember having to spend one of his heats in the Underworld and calling out Percy’s name. His father hadn’t looked at him for a while after that. He hasn’t called out his name since; though he hasn’t had a full heat since then either. After that embarrassing week, he went on heat suppressant and hasn’t come off them since.

He contemplates coming off them sometimes, now that he actually has someone to spend them with. But, both he and Kyle agreed that it wasn’t for the best. Heats were just a week spent being uncomfortable and unsatisfied anyway.

Nico had been going out with Kyle for almost two years. He had met him when he was visiting Jason at Camp Half-blood, three years ago. The Son of Demeter had spent the greater part of the year IMing and seeking him out on his terse visits until Nico agreed to go on a date with him. It was Piper who charm spoke him into agreeing, but Nico didn’t regret it. He genuinely cared and maybe even loved Kyle. When he invited Percy to come in earlier that night, he was sure that him being with Kyle now could prevent all those old feelings from resurfacing, but maybe he was wrong.

“I have Kyle now, Hazel. “, Nico says and Hazel looks like she wants to protest more, but she was tired herself.

Percy tries to get of the idea of him and Nico from his head. It just wouldn’t work, Nico already has an alpha, Percy tries to reason to himself. Which is why that night he swears to himself he won’t see Nico again, then reminds himself the next morning.

But none of that stops him later that same morning when he sees Nico in one of the shops of New Rome. He pretends to look around for a little bit before he makes his presence known. “Hey, Nico. What are you doing here.”

Nico looks a little shocked to see him, his face flushes slightly. “I’m umm- restocking on suppressants.” He admits pointing to the selection of omega suppressants in front of him. “What are you doing here? “

“I just came in for this.”, Percy states quickly, randomly picking a box from the Alpha section. For a moment Percy actually prides himself on his quick thinking before he notices what he selected. He picked up a box of Viagra.

Nico looked between Percy and the box, looking like he was embarrassed for Percy. “I meant this one.” Percy amends and quickly switches the box of Viagra with a box of condoms. “I don’t have an erectile dysfunction. “ He adds before he can stop himself, earning a few curious looks.

Just as Percy was about to run out before he could humiliate himself anymore, Nico begins laughing. It starts out silent, as if he’s trying to stifle it but he cracks and let’s loose a series of laughs. Percy couldn’t help but smile as Nico tried to compose himself laughing.

Percy feels light, lighter than he has felt in a while. He feels like he’s back in the water. He mentally chides himself that he was supposed to be avoiding Nico; instead he’s here falling for the son of Hades even more. He can’t help it, Nico smells so right to him: like blue chocolate chip cookies and the ground after it rains. He just gravitates toward the scent.

“I can pay for those if you want?” Percy offers.

“Percy, my father is the god of wealth. I think I’m all set.”, He states smirking. “But thank you anyways. “

“So you want to head to the counter then and I’ll let you pay for me. “, Percy jokes, making Nico laugh again.

“Alright, I’ll pay. Are you sure you don’t want me to pay for these as well? “ He says picking up the Viagra again, shaking the contents. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if your having problems down there. “

Something primal stirs up in him at that moment; he wants to growl and show Nico he wasn’t going to have any problems. He felt the need to push the omega against the aisles and knot him right there. He suppressed growling and pushed away the thoughts making him dizzy in the process. “Are you okay? “

Percy only nodded and made his way over to the cashier.

Percy had acted a little weird there for a moment, but by the time they left the store he was back to his normal self so Nico thought nothing of it.

They walked around New Rome and talked about what they each had done over the past five years. Though, he never said it out loud Nico could tell Percy was a bit lonely by the way he described the last year. The reason he could easily spot it is because it reminded him a lot of how he felt not too long ago; it hurt to see Percy this way.

Eventually, Hazel stopped them in the street. The roman daughter of Pluto came storming out of the crowd. Nico almost felt the need to cower behind Percy. She stopped a good four feet away and glared at the two, making Percy take a step away from her brother. “Nico I need to talk to you about something. “

Nico wants to protest but can tell this isn’t a battle he can logically win, so he hangs his head and walks off toward his sister.

“Wait!” Percy says, grabbing Nico’s hand. “You’ll still be here tomorrow, right? “ Nico doesn’t even try and stop the smile that comes on and doesn’t even notice the annoyed look Hazel is giving them. “Yes, I’ll be here tomorrow. “

Percy smiles back at him. “Do you want to hang out?”

“Ya, I’m staying with Hazel, just come and knock sometime tomorrow. “, Nico tells him before he’s dragged off by Hazel.

“What was that? “ she screamed as they entered her apartment.

“What do you mean what was that? We were talking, you know like friends do. “ Nico yelled back, startling Frank who was napping on the couch.

“That didn’t sound like just friends Nico! It sounded like he was asking you on a date! “ Nico took a moment to think of a decent comeback to that, “No, we would just be hanging out as friends! I can be friends with him can’t I? “

“Don’t twist my words! “ she managed before looking at the clock. “Ugh! I have to go, but don’t you think for a second that this conversation is over! “ she yelled, getting a jacket and storming back out the door.

For a while it was just him and Frank sitting quietly in the apartment. Nico usually was one to appreciate Frank’s tendency to stay out of situations such as this one, but right now he really wanted someone else’s opinion. So without being asked he told Frank the story.

“It does sound like he was asking you out. “ Frank states calmly.

Nico groaned, he had already known this. He wasn’t so oblivious as to not notice the difference in how Percy had treated him, the looks, the little touches. He knew he should say something, but he loved it all too much. This was what he dreamed about years ago. “I know that. “

Frank inspects him, reading what Nico was trying to tell him. “Listen, I’m not going to tell you to stop, but I don’t exactly agree with what your doing. You have an alpha on the other side of the country. Percy is one of my friends and he’s just as guilty, if not more, as you are, but you could tell him to stop and your not. “ Frank said, reclining against the sofa. “Hazel just doesn’t want to see you hurt.”

Nico sighs. “I should probably go apologize. “ he admits defeated

Nico sat slumped next to the front door. He actually fell asleep for a little bit but woke up when one of Hazel’s neighbors came home and started playing music. So now he just sat there with his eyes closed, pretending to be asleep.

“What are you doing out here? “, Hazel asked.

“I wanted to say I was sorry, for earlier. “ Hazel eyed him for a little before giving a resigned sigh and sitting against the wall next to him. “I’m not sure how to feel about this, Nico. “

Nico scoffed and brought his knees up to his chest. “That makes two of us. “

Hazel chewed on her lip, focusing her attention on her brother. “You’re doing so much better. You’ve created this whole life for yourself and I just don’t want you to throw it all away--I- I don’t want things to go back to how they were. “

Nico meekly nods his head in recognition. “Do you love him? Kyle I mean. “, Hazel asked, letting her head fall on Nico’s shoulder. Nico presses his lips together and thinks. He thinks of how good the other demigod had made him feel, he was able to bring Nico out of some pretty dark places. “Do you love Percy? “ she asks after he doesn’t respond.

“I don’t know, Hazel. For either of them. I was so sure I was over Percy, but that night when I saw him-“

“-all those feelings came back. “

Chapter Text

Percy tried to contain his excitement, as he got ready to hang out with Nico. He hadn’t slept that much the night before, too busy thinking of what he and Nico should do. Whatever it was, it had to be big; Percy wanted to convince him to stay longer.

Since most of his ideas of fun had to do with water or training he decided he would let Nico choose what they would be doing.

He made his way over and knocked on the door. It took longer than he expected to hear movement on the other side of the door, but sure enough he could hear the shuffling of footsteps. The door creaked open, revealing Nico. He was wearing a black robe and still looked half-asleep. He squinted his eyes at Percy and closed the door.

Percy stood there, dumbfounded for a quick moment before knocking on the door again. Once more Nico answered the door, looking slightly more awake. Percy smiled. “Good morning, Nico. “

Nico gave an exasperated sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Percy, what in my father’s name are you doing here at seven in the morning? “

“We had plans to hang out today. “, Percy said, a bit nervously. Honestly Percy had never been much of a morning person himself, but he was restless and couldn’t wait to start his day. He had actually been awake since four in the morning, but he couldn’t imagine what Nico’s response would have been if he came then. So he waited, usually by six more than half of New Rome was up and about (Romans were very punctual).

Nico steams off, grumbling something about being up at the ass crack of dawn, and leave the door open for Percy to enter. “Just stay here while I get ready. “

So Percy does, he sits on the couch and waits patiently as Nico showers and gets dressed. “So, what are we doing that you felt it necessary to wake me up so early for? “, Nico asks, drying his hair with a towel.

“Um, well I thought you would want to decide. “, Percy says.

Nico huff in response and throws the towel back in the bathroom. “Lets go get coffee. I need some caffeine to wake me up. “

“Great, I know somewhere we can go to get coffee. “, Percy announces smiling, and offers his hand to Nico which he hesitantly accepts.

When Nico had first woken up to the sound of knocking at the apartment and saw Percy Jackson standing there, his skin basking in the morning sun and his shirt taught against his muscles, Nico was almost positive he was having a wet dream. It took everything he had to shut that door and crawl back into bed.

When he heard the knocking again and opened the door to a more awkward looking Percy, he knew it wasn’t a dream.

Percy ended up dragging him off to some little coffee shop in the corner of New Rome. He had never been to this one before, since Frank and Hazel mainly take him to ones that are really busy or in the center of the city.

Nico could definitely say he liked this one better. It was quieter and less crowded, though the building was actually quite small with a rustic, cozy-cottage look to it. There were two tables set up inside and four more set up outside.

The counter was made of wood, aside from the glass part that housed different pastries and treats. On the wall above the cash register was a chalk board that had the names of beverages and food one could order and the prices scrawled in neat handwriting. Also by the counter was a woman, an omega, a little taller than Nico. Her sun kissed skin and short blonde curls were covered in white flour.

“Hey Perce, who’s your friend? “, she said, wiping her hands on her apron.

“Oh, this is Nico di Angelo. Nico this is Molly Cronan. “, Percy introduces. She smiles brightly and puts out her hand for him to shake, which he does.

“What can I get the happy couple? I’m assuming you’ll be having a blue hot cocoa per usual, Percy. “ Nico freezes up and looks at Percy to see what he would say to her accusation of them being a couple.

“Umm… yeah, but we’re not a couple, just friends. “, Percy says, scratching the back of his neck.

Her features perk up and her smile widens at the new piece of information. Nico can feel a pang of jealousy swell inside of him; did she have a crush on Percy? Had they had some sort of relationship? Tan blonde, and beautiful did seem to be his type. Then Nico remembered he had no right to be jealous, he was with someone else and Percy wasn’t tied to him in any way.

“Okay then, Nico. What can I get you? “, she said, her smile still in place as she stared toward him cheerily.

“I’ll just have a regular coffee with cream and extra sugar. “

She quickly makes the coffee and Percy even times her. Apparently they have made a game out of it, to see how fast she can do it and then wright the scores down. Percy leads him outside to one of the tables.

“I better tell her that you’re already taken. “, Percy says, blowing steam off the blue tinted liquid.

“Why? “ Percy just points to the part of his cup that is facing Percy. On it, in the same handwriting that the menu on the chalkboard was written, is the words Call Me ;) and a number written right bellow.

Percy laughs at the blush that has spread over Nico’s features. “She was flirting with me? “, Nico asks looking towards the shop windows where he could see Molly wiping down the counters.

“Yeah! Who did you think she was flirting with? Me? “ The blush on Nico’s face deepens as he nods.

Percy takes a sip of his blue drink and smiled. “Nah, I don’t think I could ever go out with Molly. Plus, there’s the whole fact that she only likes Omegas. “

Nico doesn’t say anything, but felt the weight of the jealousy he felt earlier fade and tried not to look too relieved. He stared toward the window once more, this time she caught his attention and winked. “She’s so pretty, she could do so much better than me. “, he says without thinking.

“Don’t say that. I don’t think there’s anyone better than you. “

Nico looks shocked and flustered; he so badly wants to crawl into Percy’s lap. “Thank you. “, is all he can manage to say.

None of them say anything, letting the silence and tension linger. Nico follows Percy’s gaze: as it goes from his eyes all the way down to his lips. Nico can feel vibrations in his lips as Percy’s unwavering gaze focuses there. He bites his lips to stop the feeling and Percy lets out a breathy gasp.

“Percy. “, Nico says, successfully snapping him out of it.

Nico is glad when they both pretend like that never happened and go into an avid debate about what foods and drinks it is appropriate to dye blue.

“Cookies, cakes, and desserts it’s okay I guess, but like anything else it just looks gross. It looks like the food is spoiled. “, Nico explains.

Percy feigns mock horror and scoffs. “What are you talking about, it doesn’t look spoiled. Blue makes everything better, look that even rhymes. “

“No it doesn’t “

“So it doesn’t. Still, you’d change your mind if you ever tasted blue pasta. “, Percy says, to which Nico scrunches up his nose in disgust. “Ugh I just barfed a little in my mouth. “, Nico replied, choosing this moment to stand.

Percy follows him and the two begin walking around. “You haven’t even tried it. “

“And I don’t want to. “, Nico says.

“Tell you what, I’ll make it for you and if you don’t like it then I will never eat or drink anything blue around you again. “ Nico seemed to think about it, flattening his lips. “Hm, I guess, but when would this happen? “

“How about Tuesday? “, Percy asked. Nico thought about saying no, he was supposed to go back to the Underworld tonight and then worked all day tomorrow. Then on Tuesday he and Kyle had a date planned in New York. This was his way out, all he needed to do was tell Percy this and maybe he would go away. Then he could forget all about all the feelings that resurfaced in the past two days and go back to his Alpha in New York.

“I’ll be there. “, he said against his own advice. Percy gave him one of his big smiles. “Great you should come here around six. “

The entire rest of the day as they walked around and browsed shops, Nico tried to muster up the courage to tell Percy he was actually busy Tuesday night. Eventually the sun was setting and Percy walked him back to the front of his sister’s apartment. The two stood there for a while saying goodbye.

“I really liked hanging out with you today, it was a lot of fun. More fun than I’ve had in a while. “, Percy admitted.

Nico smiled weakly and contemplated telling him now. “Percy, I had fun too, but about Tuesday night- “ Nico looked up into the son of Poseidon’s eyes and saw the confused, nervous look. “- I have- I don’t want to eat blue food. “

Nico could see as the light flooded back into Percy’s eyes, his expression softening. “If you really don’t like it that much, we can order pizza with no food coloring. See you Tuesday, Nico. “, Percy says, before going off in the opposite direction. Nico watches Percy’s retreating form.

“See you Tuesday. “, Nico whispers to himself.

All Nico could think about the next day was dinner with Percy and his date with Kyle. Dinner with Percy of course was not a date; it was just a cordial meeting between two friends, where one friend used to have an undying love for the other. That was it, no big deal.

Fortunately (or unfortunately for them ) there was a huge earthquake recently, which meant a surge in souls and plenty of work for himself to busy himself with. He could hear his father nagging to one of his advisors about his idiot brother, Poseidon, and how he needed to stop with all the earthquakes since it was only making his life difficult. Nico choose not to mention to him as they talked that he just became close friends with Percy.

Tuesday morning Nico had a plan. He shadow traveled to camp half-blood and saw Kyle’s huge figure making it’s way up the rock climbing wall. He waited, watching his Alpha climb all the way up and then going down. “Hey, you. “, he said giving Nico one of his big smiles.

Nico could feel his heart melt in his chest, how could he do this too him. He couldn’t lie to his Alpha. “Hey, nice job up there. “, Nico said trying to sound as normal as possible.

“If you call almost getting your shirt burnt off a nice job then, yeah that was fantastic. “, he said, running his hands along Nico’s sides and Nico tilted his head to the side.

“Mm, I guess you just shouldn’t wear a shirt next time. “, Nico practically moaned as the Alpha applied a kiss to the area. “I guess I shouldn’t. “

They stayed like that for quite a while, which Nico always guessed must have been uncomfortable for Kyle since he was a little over a foot taller than him. Then Nico remembered his plan and took a calming breath before setting it into action. “So are you ready to take me out to lunch? “

Kyle lifted his face from Nico’s neck and gave him a quizzical look. “What do you mean? We were supposed to go out to dinner tonight, not lunch. “

“Oh, I thought it was lunch and I made plans to go have dinner with my sister in New Rome. “, Nico said, trying his best to sound shocked.

He didn’t have Hazel’s permission to use her as a cover story, but he knew she would always have his back. Plus, Kyle wouldn’t called either of them unless it was an emergency because he trusted him. Oh gods, he trusted him and here Nico was lying to him.

“Can’t you reschedule? I was going to take you to Eatily, I know it’s your favorite. “

Nico wanted to say yes. He wanted to tell him everything and then beg for his forgiveness. He should have never had said yes to Percy. “I’m sorry but I promised her. “

The older Alpha looked a bit disappointed but understood which just made Nico hate himself even more. “At least we can still have desert together. “

“Dinner will probably be over at like nine there, which means it’ll be midnight here. Are you sure you want to stay up that late just for me. “, Nico reasoned, but Kyle only wrapped the omega in a loose embrace.

“Yeah, I’ll wait. “, he gave a kiss to Nico’s forehead. “We’ll go eat some ice cream and then, “ he leaned over even further to kiss the corner of Nico’s lips. “since you shouldn’t go to sleep directly after eating, “he kissed the other corner. “We’ll have to think of something to do for the next, say three hours. “, he finished ghosting his lips over Nico’s.

“Three hours? Don’t you think your exaggerating? “, Nico answered breathily. The alpha only laughed and kissed Nico. The kiss was rough and chaotic and though Nico usually preferred to stick to chaste kisses when at camp and in public, he felt he needed this.

It was hot and the way their tongues collided, it was messy. Nico was sure there would be a bruise on his nose at the way he ignored the awkward angle. When they finally broke apart, both were breathy. Kyle was trying to regain his composure and Nico took the opportunity to shadow travel them to his cabin.

They probably could have walked, but he needed this. He needed to show Kyle how much he looked him and how sorry he was, without actually saying sorry. The minute the shadows had dissipated he hitched himself on the son of Demeter, wrapping his legs around his waist. The way they tore off each other’s clothes, barely separating, was needy and quick.

Nico wanted- no needed it to be rough and fast. He tried to keep the fast pace no matter how many times Kyle tried to slow it down, holding his Alpha against his neck so he didn’t have to look him the eye. But, he couldn’t do anything when Kyle was knotted in him, as they rested there. “You’re crying. “, Kyle said, wiping a tear from his cheek.

Nico didn’t know when he started crying, but as the realization hit him he chocked out a sob and began sobbing loudly. “Shhh, if this is about dinner. I’m not upset. “ Nico laughed and cried a little more.

Kyle just held him, even after his knot had finally gone down, only moving so that they were in a more comfortably position.

When Nico woke up, which he hadn’t even realized he had fallen asleep in the first place, it was getting dark outside. According to his watch it was eight, which meant it was five in California and he had a little under an hour. He got up and realized there was a note taped to his chest, written in Kyle’s familiar chicken scrawl:
Hey I hope you had a nice rest. It looked like you really needed it. If your reading this, it probably means that I wasn’t there when you woke up (unless I forgot I about this note and just left it), but I had to go and help my cabin with something. I love you and hope you have fun with your sister.
Love, Kyle
Nico smiled at the note, before he got up. He washed his face, hoping that it wouldn’t be too obvious that he’d been crying. He showered and got dressed, choosing a shirt with a collar to hide the hickeys Kyle left on his neck.

He leaned against the corner of his cabin and readied himself. He contemplated just forgetting it. Just going out and finding Kyle. He didn’t even have to tell him the truth, he could tell one more lie; that he canceled on Hazel. That would be his last lie; he would never see Percy again. But of course as he opens his eyes, he was in front of Percy’s door in New Rome.

At five thirty, Percy had cleaned every inch of his apartment, he was pretty sure he bought it dirtier than it was now. He set up the table with his finest plates and silver wear (aka the real ones that Hazel gave him as a housewarming gift and not the plastic stuff he used every other day).

When the small hand of the clock hit the six, he was bouncing up and down by the door. As each minute past by, he got a little more worried that Nico had forgotten or just decided not to come. But at six thirteen, Nico finally arrived.

Percy noticed the hesitant look upon Nico’s face, as Percy opened the door for him to come in. He ignored the bitter sting that came up when he saw part of hickey under Nico’s collar. And eventually the atmosphere became comfortable again: the nervousness faded from Nico’s face and Percy had given him enough hugs to sufficiently cover him in his scent.

“ I didn’t have lunch, today. So, I’m starving and actually partially looking forward to this pasta. “, Nico laughed.

Then it hit him; he knew he was forgetting something. “Oh my gods! I forgot the pasta. “, he said rushing to the kitchen where a box of pasta, blue food coloring, a stick of butter, and several other ingredients lie untouched.

He looked back to see Nico smiling from the other end of the kitchen. “Come on, I’ll help you make the pasta. Go fill the pot with water. “

It took them a little less than an hour to make the pasta. It was a fairly easy dish to make, the only reason it took so long was because they had to wait for the water to boil. They talked and joked as they waited.

“Can’t you just, like force the water to boil? It’s water, shouldn’t you be able to control it. “, Nico teased as they waited.

“No, we would need Leo to heat this up faster, but I could splash someone with the water if I wanted to. “ Nico snorted. “Well technically, anyone could pick up the pot and do that. “

“Yeah, but I could do it like a really far distance. “, Percy countered.

Nico pursed his lips and leaned against the counter. “Maybe I have a really good arm.”, Nico answered back playfully.

After the water finished boiling, they quickly finished preparing the pasta and were finally able to sit down and enjoy it. “Mmm, this is almost as good as when my mom makes it. “, Percy said over the food still in his mouth.

Nico waited to finish swallowing to talk. “Probably because I was here, you were about to throw the butter in while the water was still in and you weren’t even going to use any oils! “

“I guess that means you’ll have to come over to help me with all my dinners, then. “, Percy said hoping Nico took it as a joke, even if a part of him meant it. He would love to see the omega everyday, share a meal with him every night. Percy smiled at the thought and Nico’s laughter from the other side of the table.

“Okay, but only if three out of seven days the food isn’t blue. “, Nico joked back and Percy tried not to take it to seriously, but the most primal part of him (that had been a lot more awake ever since Nico came back into hit life) purred at the Omega’s agreement of his suggestion even if he’d probably been joking.

“Oh, I never even brought out the wine. “, Percy said getting up to get the bottle of wine he left in the kitchen. “I turn twenty one in a year Percy, but I’m not there yet. “, he shouted.

Percy ignored the comment, came back, unscrewed the wine, and poured it into the glass, which wasn’t a wine glass since he didn’t own any. “Well if you think about it, we’re in New Rome so lets assume the rules and laws of regular Rome apply. Rome’s in Italy, right. So that means legal drinking age is what, eighteen? “

“Sixteen. “, Nico corrects him, taking the glass.

“Even better! “, Percy exclaimed, pouring his own glass. “Now, cheers. “, he said, tipping their glasses together before drinking. He watched as Nico twirled the contents of the glass and took a small sip. “What do you think? “

“It’s good. “, Nico answered, pursing his lips. “It’s got that distinct ten dollar wine taste. “, He said with a cheshire grin.

“Hey, I’ll have you know it was twelve dollars. “, Percy retorted, making the omega laugh and himself laugh in return.

They talked and drank, Nico was definitely a lightweight Percy couldn’t help but observe as Nico couldn’t stop laughing after his second glass. Nico seemed to immediately sober up when he caught a glimpse of the time. It was eleven o’clock and Nico was rushing to the nearest corner like Cinderella on the night of the ball.

“I need to go, Percy. I was supposed to be back hours ago. “, he said as he got up, nearly knocking the chair over.

“Will you come back? I mean we don’t have to have dinner again, but something else. Just… I like being around you Nico. “, he admits, blaming the wine on the last part. Nico looks shocked and somber.

“Yeah, definitely. We should definitely do this again. I like being around you too. “ Nico says before the shadows wrap around him and he’s gone.

Chapter Text

For the next few weeks, it carried on in the same way. Nico would travel between the two camps at least twice a day. He would go to Camp Half-blood to talk with Kyle and eventually they would end up having sex, then he would go to New Rome to hang out with Percy. Sometimes it was the other way around: he would hang out with Percy then go back to his Alpha just so they could have sex.

He was becoming more and more tired, thus becoming sloppy. He’d forget to hide the hickeys or comb his hair after having sex with Kyle and then Percy would growl. Or he would forget to shower off Percy’s scent after they hung out and then Kyle would ask questions or insist he shower.

Although him and Percy never did anything inherently sexual, he still felt sleazy after every encounter. It’s got to the point that can’t help but flinch when either of them touches him.

So he goes back to the Underworld; Reyna’s the one to suggest it.

“Nico. “, she says touching his shoulder and he flinches away like her hands are acid. Usually it’s just Percy and Kyle, but lately it’s been other people too.

His eyes are wide with the beginnings of dark circles starting to form underneath; her face softens into one of concern that she only shows to a limited number of people. “You look terrible. “, she says, picking out his every feature.

“Thanks Reyna, I really missed hanging out with you too. “, Nico snorts.

She rolls her eyes and huffs. “You’re the one who has constantly had plans switching Alphas. “, she says and Nico’s expression falls. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have-“

“No it’s okay. You’re right. “, he said quietly.

“Maybe you should take a vacation from the both of them. “, The praetor suggests, regaining her stern composure.

Nico snorts a laugh and rubs a hand against the back of his neck. “And tell them what? ‘I’m sick of you so I’m going off an adventure by myself’. I don’t want to lie anymore than I have. “

“Then don’t, talk to your father about him giving you more work. Then tell them you have to go to the Underworld for a week. I doubt either of them will bother you there, well Percy might but don’t worry I’ll keep him busy. “

Nico smiles at her and shakes his head. “What?! “, She snaps at him. He holds his hands up, smile still in place. “Nothing, it’s just… I think you’re the only person who would suggest work as a vacation. “

The pair laughs at this for a little. As their laughter calms down, Nico looks to the Alpha once more. “Thank you, Reyna. For everything, you’ve really helped me these past few years. “

She smirks and rests a hand on his shoulder, squeezing lightly. “You have done the same for me. “

His father didn’t ask any questions about it, but Nico can tell he knows something’s wrong. Nico gets paid a good sum of money for his time spent in the Underworld and he’s not the type to waste it, so he rarely asks for extra hours. Certainly not a whole week in the middle of October when Persephone is due to return to the Underworld.

Despite all the work, dealing with stubborn, difficult souls; avoiding Persephone like the plague; and listening to Demeter nag to him about cereal for hours he feels much more relaxed.

“Uh, uh, uh, you can’t get up until you’ve finished your cereal. “, Demeter scolds, harsher than usual.

Nico believes she knows about what he’s doing with Percy and how it might affect the relationship he has with her son. When he and Kyle first started going out, she became really overbearing every time he came: protecting him from Persephone and letting him put sugar in his cereal.

Nico slumps in his seat and force-feeds himself a spoonful of soggy, bland cornflakes. Persephone actually looks like she feels bad for him for half a second before she follows her mother outside of the room.

Hades is still sitting at the other end of the huge obsidian dining table; he snaps his fingers and a skeleton soldier comes over with it’s jaw clattering. The soldier has knights armor, Nico guesses this one is from the dark ages.

His father holds up his hand and the skeleton becomes silent. “Go take mine and my son’s bowl and dump them somewhere my sister won’t find them. “, he orders, handing over his bowl.

Nico just sits silently as the skeleton knight clatters over to him and takes his bowl. This isn’t the first time they’ve done this. After the second year of Demeter’s obsession with cereal, rather than dealing with Demeter yelling at him for not eating it, the god of the dead merely has a skeleton dump it somewhere.

Nico actually followed it one time: they always take it to the edge of Tartarus. Before his fall into the pit, he used to laugh at the thought of some titan or monster having cereal fall on their head.

“Does she know? “, Nico asked, assuming if she knew Hades had probably already heard an earful about it.

“She knew before me. “, he said nonchalantly. “Though I think that hardly counts as being unfaithful. Still, I never heard the full story. “

“Do you want me to tell you these things? Because I just assumed that you didn’t really want to hear about my relationship drama. “

Hades takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Not really, no. But when your ‘relationship drama’ has Demeter come to me, yelling about something other than cereal or her daughter, a warning might be nice so I can close the gates before she gets here. “

His father gets up out of his seat and makes his large strides to the door, stopping one final time before leaving back to his throne. “Though, I really don’t care which you choose, I suggest you make a decision sometime soon. The sea sometimes picks up gossip later than the Underworld, but I would really prefer not to receive a call from Poseidon regarding his favorite son. “

Nico stands and bows his head. “Yes, father. “

Nico thinks it’s over, that’s probably the last he’ll hear of it from his father. “Pick the one that will make you happy in the future, Nico, also the one with no annoying in laws. “, he mutters before making his exit.

Nico tried not to let his mouth hang open for too long, but it was hard when he just heard his father give him dating advice.

Percy was sprawled out, spread eagle, on his bed. His muscles were sore from Reyna trying to work him to death. He missed Nico. Over the past couple of months, Nico and him had hung out at least five times a week; now the omega had been gone for the greater part of a week.

He asked Frank about him once, since Hazel only told him it was none of his business and Reyna merely ignored him. The son of Mars just shrugged and told him that he thought him and Nico should a have a serious talk when Nico got back.

Percy didn’t want to think too much on what that meant. Now as he relaxed there with nothing else to do, he couldn’t help but be curious as to what Frank had meant by that. Did Nico leave because of him?

No, it couldn’t be. Nico enjoyed the time they spent together as much as he did. Sure, Percy noticed the looks of guilt and tiredness that occasionally came upon the son of Hades expression, but he always managed to get rid of those.

Still none of this soothed his restlessness. He jumped up off his bed, ignoring the way his muscles hurt at the suddenness, and got his jacket. When Percy got outside, it was already dark, the lights of most buildings turned off and only the full moon provided light. “Frank! Hazel! “, He said, knocking on the door.

He fiddled with doorknob only to discover it was unlocked. He opened the door and rushed to the bedroom door, throwing that one open as well.

Frank and Hazel were in bed as he expected, just not in the position he expected. Both romans were naked on their full sized bed; Hazel on her hands and knees underneath Frank. Percy covered his eyes with his hand and stumbled to shut the door.

He paced in circles, before knocking on their bedroom door gently.

“You’re still here! “, Hazel and Frank practically screamed from the other side of the door. Percy winced and licked his dry lips.

“Yeah, I’m still here. “, He answered.

He could hear Hazel’s sigh from the other side of the door. “Why are you here, Percy? “

“I uh, came about something Frank said a couple days ago. “ Percy waited on the other side of the door and listened for a reply. “I don’t remember what I said that day. “, Frank said, sounding a little impatient.

“You said that me and Nico should talk when he got back. “, Percy clarified, leaning against the door so they could hear him.

“You ran in here at two in the morning over that! “ Percy winced again. “I really want to know what you meant by it. “

“And this couldn’t wait till the morning. “, Frank said. Percy chooses not to reply; he could hear the muffled whispers of Hazel and Frank arguing. He backed away when he heard their footsteps and the sound of then opening the door.

The pair looked barely put together, both disgruntled. Hazel’s glare that had seemed to always be in place for him ever since he and Nico started hanging out, was gone. She just looked tired and conflicted. “I’m going to make some coffee. “, she said as she made her way to the kitchen.

Frank plopped himself on the couch and Percy took the armchair diagonal from him. He eyed Percy and then gave a resigned sigh, relaxing into the couch. “I just meant that you guys need to clarify some things; I don’t think it’s right you guys continue on like this. “

Percy was about to go off about how him and Nico were just hanging out as friends, that they were doing nothing wrong, but the look Frank was giving him told Percy that the son of Mars was in no mood. “I know. “

Hazel entered the living room setting down three mugs of coffee on the coffee table and took the seat next to Frank that was closer to Percy. “The you need to tell him, tell him how you feel. And if he feels the same then you two ca go ride off into the sunset, but you need to make sure he clears things off with Kyle first. “, Frank says, picking up his mug of coffee.

“But, what if he says no? I don’t want to loose him. “, Percy says.

“Then you need to let him go, let him be happy with Kyle. “, Hazel replied. Percy couldn’t help the bitter look that he expressed at that. “I bet you’d like that. “, he muttered angrily.

Hazel sucked in her lips and reached out a hand for his leg. “I know I haven’t been all that friendly towards you- “ Percy snorted. “No kidding. “

“-but I know that you don’t have all the blame. Nico could have said no to you if he really wanted to. “

“Then why have you been giving me the dirty looks, even before that night I joined you guys for dinner. Every time I asked about him, all you would do was give me a dirty look and walk off. “, Percy said, bitterly.

Hazel’s features fell a little more. “You hurt him, Percy. I know you didn’t mean to, but before the war ended for I don’t know how long he felt something for you. Almost everything he did was for you and you didn’t even trust him. Again I know it wasn’t your intentions, but you hurt him so much. “

Percy didn’t know how to respond to that; he’d heard from a couple people that Nico had a crush on him, but that was back when he was going out with Annabeth so he just shrugged it off. He looked toward Hazel, right into her golden eyes and could see the sadness she felt.

“He was so broken after the war, and it wasn’t all because of you there were other things as well. And I tried so hard to put him together again and I helped a little. But, then he met Kyle and he was so much better. I was just scared that if he saw you again than he would fall apart all over again. “

Percy could feel an intense guilt as each of Hazel’s words set in. He wanted Nico to be happy, he didn’t like to think he was a big pain to the son of Hades. Percy got up and left his mug untouched. “Thanks for talking to me. “

He didn’t miss the sad looks the couple gave him, but he needed to think. “I’ll see you guys in the morning. “

“Percy, wait. “, Hazel said from the window as he was walking outside back to his apartment. “I said that I was afraid you’d make him fall apart, but you make him happy too. Happier than I think I’ve ever seen him. “

Percy’s smile didn’t reach his sea green eyes, but he still appreciated the comment. “Does this mean your rooting for me? “

“I’m not on team Percy or team Kyle, I’m on team Nico. I’m happy with whoever makes him happy. “, she said before closing her window.

Nico had ended up staying two weeks because he was a coward and wasn’t ready to face his problems. He probably would have stayed a third week, but his father kicked him out and told him he had the week off.

He didn’t shadow travel directly to Camp half-blood or New Rome, instead he wandered into a movie theatre. He thought about seeing a movie, but decided to just get some popcorn, a soda and hang out in the arcade.

When he finally got to the counter to order a familiar face greeted him. “Hey, what can I get for you, sir? “

“Apollo? “, he questioned and if he was wrong this would be all kinds of awkward.

“Oh why hello, Neeks. “, he answered cheerily, flashing a too bright smile. “Umm, what are you doing here?, Nico questioned.

“Well driving the sun around, doesn’t get you paid as much as one might think so I work here part time. “

“Really? “

“No, I can’t believe you bought that. You see him over there. “, the god said pointing to an Omega guy with blocky glasses and short sleeve button up who was currently glued to his phone. “See I tried to hook up with him a while back and he said no. Then, I thought he must be classier than that and wants to go on a date first. “

“So you decided to work at a movie theatre and ask him? “, Nico asked baffled.

“No, I asked him, but he said no. Turns out he’s a hipster and success turns him off, so then I got a job working at his local movie theatre. “

“That’s… creepy. “, Nico said, looking back at the Omega once more, who was still on his phone.

“Really, I think it’s kind of hot. “, Apollo responded, waggling his eyebrows. “No, I was talking about you stalking him, but anyway… I’ll have a small popcorn and a blue slushy. “

“That’ll be $8.83 and does blue mean you choose Percy. “, Apollo said, taking the ten-dollar bill from Nico’s hand and giving him back his change. Nico groaned and felt the need to slam his face into the counter. Apollo laughed as he handed him his order.

“I guess that means you still got two Alphas. Come on, we can play the claw machine while I take my break. “, Apollo said taking one last glance at the Omega, sighing. “Maybe he’ll think you my date and get jealous. “

For someone who had been around even longer than the claw machine, Apollo sure did suck at it. Nico however, loved games like these and had become somewhat of an expert. Being the nice demigod he was, he offered to win the sun god something. “Which one do you want? “

Apollo looked at his options, humming a little tune as he did. “I don’t know, should I have the blue elephant, “, he said, pointing to said stuffed animal. “Or the orange frog? “, he said, moving his finger to the opposite side of the claw machine.

Nico huffed and moved the claw to go for neither of those options. “Is Olympus really that boring? Don’t you guys have better things to do? “

Apollo shrugged and took a sip from Nico’s slushie. Despite Nico’s skill, he missed the bear he sent the claw towards. “Ugh, which one am I supposed to choose? I love both of them, okay. How am I supposed to decide? “

“You are asking the wrong god, my deeply conflicted friend. “, Apollo said putting his arm over Nico’s shoulder. Nico didn’t shrug it off like he normally would have done, instead he did something very submissive, very Omega. But, after months of keeping his guard up in front of Percy, his sister, and his Alpha he was tired. He needed somebody else to care for him for a little bit.

Nico rested his head against the chest of the sun god and just breathed. Apollo didn’t pull away or joke, he just pulled Nico closer. “Tell me who I should choose? “

“I can’t tell you that, what if I pick the wrong one, then you’ll hate me forever. We can’t have that, now can we? “

“Well then, who would you choose? You know, if you were me. “, Nico sighed.

“Hmm, I would do both and then find a third. But, that’s just because I’m an immortal sleeze ball. “, He joked, disappointed when not even a smile graced the Omega’s feature. “But, if I was a decent mortal, in your situation, I would probably pick who ever makes me smile the hardest. “

Nico breathed deep, before peeling himself off of the god. “That actually wasn’t completely terrible advice to give. “

“Hey, why do you sound so surprised, Neeks? “

Chapter Text

Nico tried to make more sense out of the advice Apollo had given him, which now that Nico thought about it was basically the same advice everyone had given him. ‘Pick whoever makes you happy. ‘

The problem with that was they both made him happy. Apollo had just worded it differently, not that Nico was upset. He was able to find some comfort in the fact that the sun god took the time to listen to him and not just make a big joke out of it.

Nico had decided that he still wasn’t ready to see either of them, but he didn’t want to be alone. So he shadow traveled to his sister’s, not that that helped since she wasn’t home. He would just have to wait for her.

Nico wandered the quiet apartment, listening to the tick of the clock. It was four in the afternoon on a Sunday, usually they were home by now. Well, usually they never went out on Sundays, the couple preferred to rest or play board games on Sundays. Board games had become somewhat of an obsession for Hazel.

The cultural shock of modern day video games had been a little too much for her and still made her somewhat uneasy. But, she had no problem whatsoever with board games. Probably because they existed in the 40’s as well, but she loved the newer ones too.

Nico sighed and laid down on the couch, which had already had a set of fresh blankets and a pillow set up. Which was a bit strange because he hadn’t called to say he was staying earlier. The son of Hades stared at the blank ceiling, trying to clear his head and hopefully fall asleep. But just as his eyes closed, the door slammed open, causing him to bolt up. “Oh good, you’re here. I thought you were going to hide down there for another week. “, Frank said relieved, carrying several bags of groceries in his arms. “I wasn’t hiding; I was working. “, He defended but from the look the son of Mars was giving him, neither of them believed that.

“Help me put these away. “, He said taking the bags into the kitchen. Nico followed him in and began helping sort through the bags. “Where’s Hazel? “, Nico asked.

“She’s giving Kyle a tour of New Rome. “ Nico almost dropped the box of eggs he was holding. “Who? “

Something seemed to click in Frank’s head at that moment; he turned to give Nico a concerned look. “Kyle? As in my Kyle. He’s here, right now. “, Nico stammered on. Frank merely nodded his head before Nico ran off out the door. Finding them had been harder than he thought.

He found them outside of one of the many markets in New Rome, browsing through the cheap junk kept outside. Hazel was the first to notice him; her expression the same as Frank’s was earlier, concerned and nervous. Kyle looked up as he got closer and gave one of his signature big smiles.

“Hey, there you are. I was wondering if you were ever planning on coming out of there. “, he said, with not a trace of anger in his tone. Nico was hoping he would be upset, livid even; he deserved his scorn. But, instead Kyle looked at Nico like he’d been waiting his whole life for him. It still gave Nico the giddy feeling he got before, but the guilt he was feeling made him want to throw up.

“Hey. “, Nico replied, refusing to look into Kyle’s eyes. Hazel looked between the two and inhaled sharply. “Frank probably needs my help making dinner. “, she said before rushing off.

The silence between the two was heavy and Nico could tell it was even making Kyle a bit uncomfortable. “I missed you. “, the Alpha said earnestly. Nico unsuccessfully tried to fight off the blush and looked into Kyle’s ember eyes. “I missed you too. “ And he meant it; he did miss him. What he didn’t miss was lying to him. “SO, what are you doing here? “

“Well, I decided with all the time you spend transporting between me and your sister, I should just move here. Make life a little easier for you. “, he said.

“You didn’t have to do that for me. “, Nico said, touched. Well, part of him was touched, the other part disgusted with himself. He hadn’t been coming here to see his sister, just Percy.

“I wanted to and I know you hate surprises, but my Iris Messages couldn’t reach you down in the Underworld. “ Nico tried to smile, his throat tightening up. That was another lie, but it was a lie he had been telling for a while now. It was actually his father’s lie first. The goddess Iris actually had no problem going down to the Underworld, but Hades was sick of the other gods and goddesses calling for favors. So he bribed Iris. The pair pretended to have a fight and Iris made a big deal about not going to the Underworld. That way if anyone really wanted a favor from him they would have to come down and see him, which hardly anyone ever did. Nico adopted the lie and only told Hazel the real truth. Before this thing with Percy had began he contemplated telling Kyle as well, but he was glad he didn’t now.

“Hey, I want to show you something. “, Kyle said taking Nico’s hand, leading him to a different street. They stood in front of a tannish townhouse with a for sale sign hanging on the front door. Nico flattened his lips and tried not to think about what this meant.

They had talked about this briefly; it was the day before he went off to have dinner at Hazel’s the day he met up with Percy for the first time. They were cuddled up in the bed of cabin 13, when the discussion started Nico had actually been the one to think of it, he was so in love that the idea on them moving to New Rome together seemed perfect. As the discussion went on it got more detailed.

The plan was to get a townhouse, not unlike the one they were standing in front of. The bottom floor is where Kyle would open the bakery he wanted and the two other floors would be for them and the kids. Oh yeah, children came up too; again, it was Nico who brought it up. Kyle liked the idea, but thought they should get mated first, like officially with Hera’s permanent blessing and all that jazz.

The reason that they didn’t just go get mated right away and move to New Rome was because to receive Hera’s blessing there was a waiting list a mile long. Nico gulped once more. “I thought you wanted to wait to get Hera’s blessing first? “

“Of course, I still do, but you know how my sister and Beth were on the list for a while? Well, they broke things off last week. Which is bad for them, but good for us. “, he said smiling.

“You mean, we would get mated next month? “ Kyle looked like he was ready to burst with excitement. “Yeah, I thought you would be a lot more excited about this. “

Nico didn’t have it in him to crush the Alpha’s spirit so he put on his best fake smile. “I am; I’m just tired and even more tired just thinking about all the planning we’re going to have to do in this next month. “, Nico said, leaning into Kyle’s embrace. Nico turned around in his grip to look at the townhouse, Kyles arms still around him. “I know you hate big events and you hate planning them even more, but after this we can finally start our lives together. “, Kyle said, pulling Nico’s back closer to his front and resting his head on top of Nico’s.

Reyna had finally let Percy take a day off; she refused last Sunday because she claimed she needed the help, but this time he insisted he get the whole weekend off. The first week he thought about going down into the Underworld to go see if Nico was alright since the boy hadn’t been back in awhile.

But, after his talk with Frank and Hazel last week, he needed to think things through. He still wanted the son of Hades, nothing changed there, but now he was more understanding of the way Nico was almost toying with him.

He felt awful at the thought of him being responsible for causing the Omega all that pain and felt even more unworthy of Nico’s affection. He needed to tell Nico this, make clear that hurting him in that way was the last thing he wanted to do. He had ran over what he was going to say so many times over the week he felt like he was preparing for a play.

Percy had just come back from talking to Molly when he saw him. He was so excited to see Nico’s face again; he almost didn’t notice the person who was standing with him. Whoever it was Percy had never seen before in New Rome. They seemed to be talking about something serious. Percy wasn’t really jealous of this, he did however feel the undeniable pang of jealousy when the unknown Alpha wrapped Nico up in an embrace and kissed the top of his head.

Nico hadn’t done anything like that with him (not that he wanted that while Kyle was still in the picture), which mean this must have been the Alpha Nico told him about.

Now that Percy really looked at him, there was no doubt in his mind. All his features matched up with what Percy had heard: the ginger hair, lightly tanned freckly skin, and scar that went down his left arm. Percy was so distracted examining them that he was caught staring as the couple turned around.

Nico looked like he was mortified; Kyle however just looked slightly confused. “Hey, Nico. “, he said awkwardly. Nico still wore the same expression, seemingly stunned silent. “Uhh, hi I’m Kyle. And you are? “, he said holding out his hand.

Though Percy had already made up his mind that he didn’t like this guy, he was never one for being mean. “Hey, Percy, you might have heard of me; saved Olympus. Twice“ Percy also wasn’t one for bragging, usually. But, he really couldn’t help it. The same primal instinct Nico always brought out in him had him sizing up the Alpha and he was tall, like an inch taller than Jason.

Kyle didn’t seem to impressed and Nico outwardly winced at the display. “Oh, so your that Percy. I didn’t know you guys still talked. “ Percy tried not to be hurt that Nico never talked about him, but what was he supposed to say: ‘Hey sweetie just got back from hanging out with the Alpha I was in love with for nearly a decade. ‘

“Well, we hang out here and there. “, Percy lied. Kyle didn’t seem to care, which for some reason upset Percy even more. What was with this guy?

“I think Hazel has dinner ready. We should probably get going; you know how she can get. It was nice seeing you Percy. “, Nico rushed, taking hold of the Alphas hand and dragging him off.

“Hey, wait, “ Kyle said, stopping Nico’s pull. “we shouldn’t be rude. I’m sure Percy doesn’t like eating alone. Why don’t you join us? “

“Hazel only made food for four, we don’t- “

“But, you always says that Hazel always ends up with leftovers. “, the other Alpha counters, silencing Nico. “What do you say, Percy? Aren’t you tired of eating alone”

Percy was seeting; how the hades did he know he didn’t have anyone back at his apartment. “I’d love to join you guys “, Percy said with the falsest sincerity.

The son of Poseidon tried not to take to much offense at the horrified looks Hazel and Frank gave him when he entered along with the couple. Hazel had even tried to convince Percy to leave but Kyle was adamant on having him stay for dinner.

Dinner was, in all senses of the word, awkward. Hazel and Frank tried to steer the conversation, keeping the topics light and pleasant. Nico never looked up from his plate once. Kyle talked with Hazel and Frank, sometimes trying to get Nico involved in the conversation. Percy had spent a majority of the meal staring at Nico, but was dragged into conversation a couple times. The main meal was over and they were about to bring out desert, so Percy took this as the perfect time to leave.

“Well, thanks for the meal Hazel, but I’m too stuffed for desert. I think I better get going. “, Percy said, lifting himself off his chair and handing her his plate, which she gladly took.

“No you can’t leave now, you’ll miss the announcement. “, Kyle said, serving out the desert plates.

Percy had no idea what he was talking about and by the looks of everybody else’s faces neither did they. Nico, who had finally looked up, had given Kyle a confused look. Percy couldn’t help but roll his eyes as the red headed Alpha taped the glass with the side of his fork. “For a while now, Nico and I have been talking about the future, more importantly our future. “

“Kyle, I’m not sure this is the best time for this. “, Nico interrupted, his eyes pleading.

Kyle had seemed unfazed by what he said though and continued on with his speech. “I have already decided on moving here and have a house picked out. This is where Nico and me will start our lives together, after we get mated next month, of course. “

Percy fell back in his seat. Mated. Nico was getting mated with Hera’s blessing and everything.

“So when would everything happen? “, Hazel asked, shaking him out of his thoughts.

“Well, the official mating ceremony is scheduled for December 16th, so a little over a month. I still haven’t talked to the people who are selling the townhouse, but I figure two maybe three weeks till I can move in. Nico will move in with me after we’re mated, since I’m a bit of a traditionalist. “, Kyle finished telling his plans and then looked towards Percy.

“This is why I wanted you here; see there isn’t enough room in this apartment for us to have separate sleeping arrangements. I thought that since you and Nico were such good friends, he could stay at your place while we plan the wedding, just until I can move into the town house. “

Nico dropped his glass on the table and the iced tea he had been drinking spilt all over the tablecloth, but nobody moved. “I’m going to clean this up. “, Nico muttered as he headed to the kitchen. He returned a few moments later with some paper towels and began soaking up the spilt liquid.

“I mean if it’s alright with you. “, the son of Demeter asked. Hazel and Frank seemed to be looking between Percy and Kyle and their necks would hurt later at the rate they were turning. Percy looked to Nico who was looking back at him, no longer paying attention to the overly damp paper towel he was swishing around. He could tell by Nico’s eyes that Nico did not him to say yes.

Percy was about to politely decline; he really didn’t want to be responsible for any more misery or suffering Nico felt. But then he had an idea that he needed to work. If Nico was staying anywhere else Percy could already predict that he would be trying to avoid him and they would never get to talk. But, if Nico were staying with him they would have plenty of time to themselves. Nico hadn’t looked too thrilled when Kyle had announced their mating earlier; maybe he had meant to call it off.

Percy had a little over a month to win Nico over. After that it was pretty much over. Though it is possible to separate a mating bond, Hera never gave her blessings twice to the same person. Still it was better if Percy found out where he and Nico stood sooner rather than later.

“It’s alright with me. “ Percy answered. Kyle was smiling and laughing, talking about finally digging into the desert. Meanwhile Nico looked beyond miserable. Percy felt bad, but he needed his plan to work.

….

As Nico walked beside Percy to his apartment, he still had a hard time wrapping his head around what just happened. First, Kyle had made the announcement of them mating with everyone there, when had yet to say yes. Well, Nico supposes he did say yes a long time ago when they had first brought up mating, but that was a long time ago and things were different back then.

Then he had to make even worse and ask Percy if it was all right that Nico stayed with him, without even asking if he wanted to go and stay at Percy’s place. Now Nico had already known that Kyle had a habit for speaking up for Nico, but this time was out of control. Kyle was just being a jerk.

And to make matters worse, Percy of course had to be a jerk as well and say yes to Kyle’s offer, when Nico was practically silently begging him to say no. Right now, neither Alpha was making Nico too happy.

Nico had ran to the kitchen after that and nearly had a panic attack if it wasn’t for Hazel running in after him and calming him down.

After that, things wrapped up quickly. Hazel had helped him pack up some things that he kept at her house for when he stayed over, while everyone else ate cake. Kyle had said goodnight and gave him a chaste kiss good bye, which Nico almost hit him away he was so upset.

“Nico, I’m-“ Percy started and Nico could already tell it was an apology, but he really didn’t want to hear it. “Don’t, Percy. I’m not in the mood to talk right now; I just want to go to sleep. “ Nico interrupted.

Percy was quiet for the rest of the walk there. The only real interaction he had with him was when Percy held open the door to his apartment. Nico looked around the apartment he had already been to on numerous occasions and found his seat at the table. Nico rested his head on his arms and would have started crying if it wasn’t for Percy being in the same room as him.

Percy was currently shuffling, looking around awkwardly. “You can sleep on the bed. “, he said, motioning to the bed that was in the corner of the room. Nico had completely forgot that this was a studio apartment. There were only this room and the bathroom; they would have to sleep in the same room.

Then something else occurred to him; there was no couch. There was a kitchen, a table, a bed, a recliner, and a TV but no couch. “Where are you going to sleep? “

Percy gave him a halfhearted smile. “I think I still have a sleeping bag from when I used to go on quests. I’ll just use that. “

Nico tried to stay upset at the son of Poseidon, he really did, but when Percy pulled out the old, dusty, slightly torn sleeping bag out of his closet and set it out he couldn’t take it. There was no way he was going to let Percy sleep in that thing, plus it looked like he out grew that a long time ago.

“Your not sleeping on the floor, Percy. This is your apartment. “, Nico said. “I’ll sleep there. It looks like it’s suited for someone my size anyway. “

“No way, am I letting you sleep on this thing. You’re sleeping on the bed, end of discussion. “ Nico huffed and crossed his arms. “Fine, but you are not using that sleeping bag. “

The pair argued and mused over different places Percy could make his bed for the night. Some were really ridiculous: the bathtub, table, counter, or curling up on the recliner. In the end they agreed that they were both adults and could handle sleeping in the same bed.

Nico tried to set up a pillow wall between them, but there was only a total of three pillows in Percy’s apartment. Which mystifies Nico that the savior of Olympus is living in a crappy apartment like this one. Was this how the gods showed how eternally grateful they were?

Getting comfy had been weird, to say the least. Nico felt most comfortable facing the right and Percy felt most comfortable facing the left, which meant their faces were just inches apart. With a blush Nico muttered something and decided to face the other way. After a few more moments, he could hear a groan from Percy and the bed creak as he decided to do the same.

“Nico. “ Percy said, not moving from his position on the bed. Nico had tried not to sound annoyed, but was too tired to cover up his frustration completely. “What Percy? “

“I just wanted to say I’m sorry about you know… before. “ Nico huffed, the Alpha had sounded so sincere that it was hard to stay mad. “It’s okay. “, Nico whispered, but then something snapped.

“No you know what it’s not okay. Could you not see that I wanted you to say no. What was it with you guys, huh? Were there too many Alpha pheromones clogging up the room; is that why you and Kyle couldn’t stop acting like a bunch of assholes! “, Nico had sat up and was now looking face to face with Percy, who had also sat up at some point during his outburst.

Nico sighed and bit his lip. “I’m sorry. “

“No, you’re right. I was being an ass and I’m sorry about everything Nico. I feel like all I’ve done is been a complete ass to you in the past. “, Percy said, looking him in the eyes. Nico got the feel Percy was talking about something entirely different now, but he was too tired to figure out what. The apology felt good though, made Nico feel a little less stressed.

“Thank you. “ Nico said, not yet separating his gaze from Percy’s.

Neither of them had said anything else for the rest of the night and resumed their previous sleeping positions, facing away from each other. Nico had no problems falling asleep after that; he was exhausted.