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I think I'm a boy

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 "Hazel?" Nico questioned cautiously as they played with the rings on his finger.  

 

"Yeah Nicole?" The smaller teen answered as she quickly hurried over to where her sister was sitting on the bed.  Immediately she knew something was wrong, her sister only played with the rings when she was nervous.  Which was almost never.  

 

"I-I think I'm a guy."  Nico stuttered out, not moving his gaze.  

 

It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off of his shoulders.  

 

 ~~~

 

"Nico come on!  I want you to meet my friends at the campfire tonight, you have the rest of your life to play your game," Hazel chided as she pulled a Limited Edition blue Pokemon X/Y 3DS out of her brother's hands, earning a large groan from the teen curled under his blankets.

 

"I need like ten more bells to finish my public works project," Nico whined, reaching for the screen that showed his Animal Crossing character standing on a beach.  

 

" Pleasee ?  Piper is going too."  

 

"What time does it start?"  

 

"Eight.  And yes, there will be s'mores."

 

"Ugh, fine.   Can I have my DS back now?"  

 

"Oh my gods thank you!  Don't forget about the binder Piper got you last week.  Treat yourself tonight, Nico," Hazel murmured, slowly pushing the DS into her brother's eager hands.  

 

 ~~~

 

Why had he allowed Hazel to drag him to this dumb gathering again?  Oh, right, he'd gotten too distracted by his dumb game.    

 

Nico had assumed at the time that everything would go fine.  Piper, Hazel, and Frank were all going to be there so he had no reason to worry about other people trying anything on him.  But now that it was almost time, he couldn't stop worrying.  What if someone hugged him as a greeting and felt the metal clip of his binder?  If he didn't have time to do voice exercises before he met them?  What if they noticed his really girlish figure?  He always get misgendered by new people, every since he first came out 2 years ago.  And it never got easier.  Sure he'd gotten a more boyish haircut, tried to put on some muscle, bought binders and new clothes, but everyone seemed to ignore that.    

 

Worst of all, what if they assumed he was a guy in the first place and ended up being really misogynist .  He'd had a few guys that were interested him and vice versa in the past but as soon as they found out he was trans they said they were gay and not into that.   It wasn't Nico's fault that he was trans, he only wanted to be treated as an equal, a male.   Once he finally found someone that wasn't scared by his father's powers, the fact that he was a transgender did.  He wanted to give up sometimes, but his three best friends always kept him going with their support.   

 

And now for the worst part of meeting new people, deciding on what to wear.  He had to be really cautious, at best he could pass for a pretty boy.  But if he wanted to wear what he thought was cute, he'd never be seen as a guy.  Eventually he had just settled on a pair of jeans, his  grey  binder, a  grey  v-neck shirt, his old bomber jacket,  black Vans, and his usual rings before Hazel was forcefully dragging him out the door.    

 

   ~~~

 

"Hey guys, this is my older brother, Nico." Hazel stated as she pulled Nico next to her, gripping onto his arm as he gave a shy wave.  

 

He'd recognized some of the faces, Annabeth, Percy, and Jason.  He hadn't really ever had a conversation with them, but he could match their names to their faces. But on the other side of Piper  on an empty log  sat an elfish looking Latino with unruly brown curls and warm brown eyes.  If he'd heard correct  from Hazel earlier that day , the boy's name was Leo Valdez.  The elfish boy's smile looked warm and welcoming, although a little  misch iev ous .  Immediately he decided that he liked him.  

 

Nico swears it was just a sibling thing, but Hazel seemed to have picked up on Nico's interest to the son of Hephaestus.  Seeing as she'd plopped down on the only totally empty log with Frank, leaving Nico to take the only spot left.  The one right next to Leo.  He didn't know if he was happy or wanted to cry.  

 

After the 6 friends had fallen into a casual chatter together, Leo leaned closer to Nico to talk to him.  

 

"Hey Bello, don't look so nervous.   My name is Leo but you can call me hot stuff  I don't bite, I mean, unless you're into that," the boy greeted him with a wink and he leaned forward to ignite a stick in the fire, as if to prove a point.  

 

Nico squinted at him for a few seconds.  Bello?  In Italian it meant beautiful, most usually used for girls.  Was Leo trying to offend him?  No, there was no way he was  Italian .  Maybe it meant something else in Spanish?  Whatever, he couldn't jump to conclusions.  

 

So he settled for an eye roll at Leo's terrible joke, pun, whatever it was.  

 

"Nico di Angelo, son of Hades."  

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

"Nico, don't move," Leo stage whispered as he looked at Nico with concern showing in his big brown eyes, slowly leaning towards him, looking at something on his shoulder.  

"Wh-What is it?"  

"Just don't move."  

"Seriously, Leo.  What the fuck is it?  What are you doing?"  

"Oh!  It's just a Daddy Long Leg." Leo proclaimed as if everything was suddenly okay.  To Nico, it wasn't.  

"Leo, get it off.  Right now." Hissed Nico, closing his eyes and tensing up expectantly.  

"But they don't even bite!" The curly haired teen exclaimed, but he reached forward to scoop up the spider anyway.    

"See?  I did this to the  Stolls  once to get back at them," Leo began as he picked the legs off of the spider so all that was left was a tiny body in his hand.  Nico had closed his eyes a while ago and refused to open them, but when he did, it wasn't a sight he wanted to see.  Leo was holding his hand out towards him to show him the body, looking too excited to be holding something that's known to be deadly.    

Okay, maybe Nico was overreacting.  That particular spider wasn't actually deadly, but it's whole kind still was.  A fear was a fear  though , and he shouldn't have been made fun of for it.  

"L-Leo please," Nico stuttered as he slowly crawled backwards to the other side of the log to get away, his whole body was shaking and his eyes were open just enough to be able to see what exactly Leo was doing with that spider.  

Leo only followed him with a wicked grin, holding his hand closer to Nico.  "Oh come on!  It can't even hurt you, why are you so scared of spiders anyway?  You can literally raise the dead." Leo questioned pointedly as if Nico were a riddle and he was the only one who could solve it.   

Nico didn't even attempt to answer the other boy, he was too focused on getting his ass off the log before Leo's hand decided to "slip" and drop the spider on him.  He was no child of Athena, but that didn't mean he couldn't have a common fear of the 8-legged creatures.    

This was one of the reasons Nico absol utely  despised the Hermes cabins.  Pranks.  Nico had dealt with crippling anxiety since he was only 12, which made everything he did even harder.  Even something this small could easily send him into an anxiety attack.  His heart was racing as he struggled to distance himself from Leo, all he felt was fear.  Why couldn't Leo understand that?  He honestly felt like he was going to die in that second, even though he knew he obviously wouldn't.  Why was he so scared?  No one could answer that.  

"Leo!" Hazel's shrill voice cried out as she hurried to Nico's side, catching him just before he slid entirely off the log and onto the ground.  Nico was usually the one looking out and taking care of his little sister, but he felt completely useless and all he could do in that moment was lean into her embrace.  "What are you doing?  Can't you see he's obviously terrified?  Go throw it somewhere else."  

Hazel didn't get mad often, despite being a child of Pluto.  But if there was one thing Leo understood, it was that you didn't mess with siblings.  Only Nico could mess with his sister and vice versa.  

"But it's just - ugh, fine!" Leo grumbled as he stomped off behind the logs, tossing the lifeless body far off.  Annabeth seemed to visibly relax from the other side of the camp fire .    

It took Nico a few minutes, but eventually he managed to steady his breathing and hold himself upright again without clinging to Hazel.  He even got a reassuring squeeze on his shoulder from Jason.  

Nico's thoughts slowly began to come back one by one and though not all of it was clear, one thing was for sure.  Despite his earlier thoughts, he hated Leo Valdez.  No matter how cute his smile was.  

"Nico?  How are you feeling?  Do you want me to fetch you some water or something?" Hazel asked as she knelt down in front of Nico.  He was so glad he had a sister to be his rock when he needed it, she'd gotten him through so many bad episodes of his panic attacks.    

Nico didn't really want to leave all of his new friends hanging or seem like a wimp for not sticking around but he needed some time to relax.  And get away from the taller boy who had finally come back and reclaimed his spot of the log.  

"No, er, I think I'm gonna head back to my cabin for the night and take a shower.  It was nice meeting you all though!  I'm sure I'll be seeing all of you soon again anyway," Nico spoke quietly as he stood up and took a few steps away before melting into the shadows with a small wave aimed towards the group.  

 

~~~

 

As much as Nico didn't want to admit it, he just couldn't hate Leo.   

It had been nearly an hour since that last exchange between the two boys and Nico had already taken off his binder and changed into a regular Batman shirt and a pair of regular black boxers.  Yes the shirt was cliché but he'd got it from Jason months ago  as a gift and it was comfy so who cared?  It's not like anyone was going to see him wearing it.  

He was unfortunately paranoid enough to search his bed covers and the corners of the walls for spiders, covering all the bases of his room before snuggling under the covers to replay the events of the day in his head.  

Yeah Leo had accidentally stumbled upon finding out one of Nico's fears and torturing him painfully with it but it was like his feelings and his heart weren't connected in any way.   He wanted to hate the boy, he really did, but he couldn't.  Maybe Leo wasn't used to being around people with anxiety, he did seem like the joking kind of guy who had plenty of friends.   He even thought he'd seen a guilty expression across his face right before he managed to shadow travel back to his cabin.    

Did other people even have as much anxiety as Nico did?  He wondered how amazing it would be to go about every day activities without a care in the world or having to stop and debate the consequences of anything he did.  Being a child of the big three was tough work.

Nico wouldn't allow himself to judge Leo off of that one tiny encounter he had with him.  Everyone deserved a second chance, it just depends on what they do with it.

Chapter Text

 

 

"Wait, Nico!" A familiar voice shouted behind Nico, causing him to roll his eyes and spin to face the teen barreling towards him with his arms out.  

"What  the fuck do you want, Valdez ?" He spat.  

"Come on, I said I was sorry!"  

"Sorry doesn't cover it."  Woah, what had happened to his whole spiel about second chances?  

"Look, Nico.  We got off on the wrong foot, can we just start over?  We can go on a walk or something and just hang out.  What do you say?"  Leo aske d.  He sounded calm but  looked like he was waiting for a punch or a lecture.  

There was a long  soundless  pause   between the two.   Leo looked like he was about to bolt.  Honestly?  Nico wanted to say no, but he could practically hear his sister nagging into his ear.  

Nico finally  sighed .  "Fine, but if we're going to the fields, I'm changing out of this binder.  It's way too damn hot out here for this, hope you don't care," he muttered, pulling up his shirt a little to reveal his tank top that also served as a binder.  

The darker haired boy was being extremely open about the whole gender thing, but he didn't care one bit.  It was like, what, 96 degrees?  He was t oo hot to care.  Plus it saved him the whole dramatic 'coming out' thing as well as understanding Leo's personality.  If the older boy had a problem with it, then it wasn't worth giving him a second chance.  Period.  

"Wait, you're...?"  Leo trailed off, sounding slightly confused.  

"Transgender yes.  Problem?" Nico  questioned , quirking an eyebrow.  

"What?  No!  It doesn't matter to me, you're still a guy."  

Nico almost squeaked from pure happiness.  Unable to hide it, he offered a small smile to Leo.  Maybe he did get the wrong impression of him.  

"Good, meet here in 5 ! " Nico called out as he began trekking back towards his cabin.  

 

~~~

 

"If it's not too personal, can I ask you a few questions?"  Leo asked nervously as he looked down at the boy laying on his stomach in the grass next to him.  

Nico knew damn well exactly what Leo was trying to skirt around without saying the actual words.  "Yeah  yeah , whatever, go ahead," he murmured, waving his hands in the air.  

"So when did you finally s tart telling people that you wanted to go by Nico? "  Leo questioned once more, v oice sounding a bit shaky.  

Couldn't he just stop being so awkward about it?   Dammit, they both knew he was transgender, what was the big deal?   It didn't offend him that much to talk about.    

With a small sigh, Nico finally answered.   "I think when I was.. 14?"   

"Oh cool.. I wish I had my shit figured out when I was 14.  Does it ever interfere with your love life or people you're interested in?"  

Leo hated to ask that question, but he had honestly always been curious.  And Nico seemed open enough that he wouldn't punch him straight away if he said something wrong.  

There was a flash of emotions that showed on Nico's face for a split second - but Leo couldn't tell what it was.   Enragement?  Confusion?  Both?  

"Sometimes yeah.. you know Will Solace?"   Nico began.  

"Apollo 's  healer boy?"  

"Yeah, that one.  Well  so   uh I admitted my feelings to him, which I had been hoarding for a while, and he rejected me by saying he was gay.  Because I'm clearly not a dude I guess?  Whatever," Nico said a bit bitterly, moving to rest his head against Leo's thigh.  

"What?  Oh my gods I'm literally going to punch him in the face the next time I see him.  That's so dumb!  It's not your fault you were born with the wrong genitals.  If you say you're a guy, you're a  guy !" Leo nearly shouted .  I t looked like one of those cartoon moments when fire flashed in someone's eyes  to depict anger?   Wait  a second , maybe it was actual fire.  

He eventually calmed down enough to look down at the boy who practically had his head in his lap.   He was met by  Nico's big brown eyes were staring  back up at him with disbelief clearly showing.  

"Leo I-" Nico began but the darker boy quickly cut him off.  

"Sorry!  Sorry, I'm just a big believer in you are who you say you are.." Leo trailed off, looking back out across the fields.  

"What?  No.  I-I was just.. surprised is all.  Other than Jason and all of the, I really never come across people who are open minded and just caring I guess.  But then again.. they're not the straightest bunch of people so it's a little easier for them to understand," Nico confirmed with a nod.  

" Which reminds me!" He continued.  "Is it alright if I, ah, ask what your sexuality is?  Or preference or whatever?"  

He was answered by an odd assortment of noises that came from Leo as  he  made a few vague gestures and more confused noises, causing Nico to fall into a fit of giggles, even snorting once  by accident.  This caused Leo to give him a look, a little hurt even showing.  

"S-Sorry I didn't m-mean to offend you.  But I totally get it.  K -K ind of like Jason explaining his gender identity I guess ," he finally stuttered out, taking a deep breath.  

Leo sighed in relief and nodded.   "Yeah.. it's just a mild inconvenience I suppose, not being able to explain it right to people  the first time."  

"Sounds like me dealing with my body every day," Nico snorted.  

"Well.. for you, maybe.  But it's not an inconvenience for everyone else.  Because it's not their business.  Your body is yours alone, and if you don't like it, you should be able to change it.  That's what I think anyway.."  Leo ended his ramble  with a rushed tone.  

And that's when Nico realized he was so massively screwed.  Did he seriously have a crush on a guy he met  yesterday ?    

"Well fuck me in the ass," Nico muttered just under his breath so the other boy didn't hear.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

"Psst.. Nico.  Nico?  Nico seriously if you don't get up right now I'm going to go get Leo," an angry but familiar sounding female voice spoke from the side of his bed.      

That alone was enough to cause Nico to jolt upright into a sitting position, eyes blinking rapidly to adjust to the brightness in the room.  Hazel was standing up against his bed with an unamused expression.   "Hazel it is ass crack o'clock   --" he started saying but was cut off by a hand over his mouth.      

"Language!  It's already nine.  Anyway, Jason wants you to help with sword practice in 30 minutes.  Piper and I are going to go shopping - Eww did you just lick me?"  Hazel asked, mortified as she pulled her hand away to wipe it back on Nico when he only replied with a nod.      

"Whatever.  Frank is sick with the flu so it's just going to be us, do you want me to pick you up anything?"      

Wait, did she just say Frank was sick?  And she told him after he had already licked her hand?  Who knows where it could've been!  Whatever, he'll worry about that later.  After all,  he had a pretty strong immune system.      

"Uhh some pads would be nice if you could?" Nico finally responded  with a shrug.  He hated talking about that stuff with anyone, but if it meant he didn't have to go out in public and buy them, he didn't care.      

"Yeah 'course.  Don't forget about meeting Jason !" Hazel called out as she quickly slid back out of the cabin, accidentally slamming the door behind her.      

Nico wanted nothing more than to roll back over and go back to sleep, until he spotted a red sweatshirt strung across his black bean bag in the corner.  Oh hell yes.  Leo and Nico had been getting quite close in the past month or so , which resulted in Leo occasionally sleeping over at Nico's once he had put all his siblings to bed.  Yeah sure the sweatshirt may say 'Hot Stuff' across the back of it but it was  over sized  and warm compared to the advancing cold time of the year.      

   

~~~      

   

When he finally spotted Jason, the sight was the last thing he was expecting.  Jason was dressed in a Totoro dress with knee high gray socks and - were those converse?  Don't get him wrong, Nico thought Jason looked stunning in it and all but it wasn't exactly the attire you wear to teach little kids sword fighting.        

"Hey Nico!" Jason called, jogging over to him.  "Listen I'm really sorry for pulling you into this last second but would you mind taking practice today?  I rounded them all up in    Armory    but I've gotta hurry up and meet Pipes and Hazel," they finally finished.      

Nico only waved him off.  To be quite honest, he didn't want to do this today, but he wanted Jason to enjoy himself.  They deserved it.  After  helping train every week, they  barely even managed to get any alone time with their own girlfriend.      

Jason smiled brightly down at him "Thanks Neeks!  You're the best - and since when did you and Leo become a thing?  Why didn't you tell me?" They complained with their bottom lip sticking out.      

What?  Leo was just a friend!  And as far as he knew, they hadn't done anything?  Was Leo trying to play out some kind of prank?   

"What do you mean?  We aren't dating, I swear," Nico  replied with an edge of bitterness to his voice.      

"You're wearing his hoodie.  You know it says Valdez on the back right?"      

"Serious?"      

"Serious."      

"Fuck."      

   

~~~      

   

For the second time that day, Nico was woken up by someone inside of his cabin.        

"Honey I'm home-" The voice started to say before it was abruptly cut off.  "Is that my jacket?"      

Not even having the energy to reply, Nico simply lifted his arm up from out under the blanket with his middle finger raised, earning him a chuckle from the boy next to the bed.      

Why had he told Leo where he keeps his spare key again?  He was regretting it more and more every morning.      

"Dude, are you okay?   " Leo questioned, pulling down Nico's covers a bit.  "Holy shit you look like death, dude.  W hat happened?" He  finally managed to get out through his small string of giggles.      

"I hate little kids and I'm going to cut Jason's dick off," the darker haired teen mumbled, sitting up a little to wipe his runny nose with a tissue off his night stand.       

"Yeah    yeah , you better be glad your best friend is here to help.  One of my siblings told me," Leo declared cheerfully as he passed a strange colored bottle of liquid towards Nico, who only assumed it was some  form of cold medication.        

Nico nodded a thanks before shakily beginning to pour some for himself.  "Even worse than    that, Frank has the flu and I might be getting it from him since Hazel didn't tell me!"    

Leo plopped onto the bed next to Nico, the thought of being able to catch the virus never crossing his mind "Sucks, we could watch something?  Do you ever use the Netflix I programmed o nto your  TV   ?"      

"Net what?"      

Leo rolled his eyes fondly.  "Right, oh!  A new episode of Doctor Who came out yesterday, I totally forgot!"      

Nico's eyes widened slightly "It did?  Fuck yeah, can you turn off the lights?" He asked, momentarily forgetting that he was even sick      

"You like it too?"      

"Uh, yeah?  Who's your favorite?"  Nico asked, leaning close.      

"Eleventh probably."      

A small cry erupted from Nico.  "I'm going to punch you in the face."      

It wasn't that he didn't like the eleventh doctor, honestly, he's fine with any of them as long as it wasn't Tennant.  But really?        

Leo chuckled and scooted away at the threat.  "I take it he's not your cup of tea?  Who's yours then?"      

Nico sighed.  "Nine.  I know he didn't get much time but, he was definitely my favorite.  Sense of humor and everything."      

"Ah yeah, I guess you've got a point.  He was pretty good now that I think of it, still mad they tried to pair him with Rose though."      

Nico looked up at him seriously.  "Shit, we're nerds."      

   

~~~      

   

Not more than 40 minutes later, Nico was starting to get bored and restless with his cold.  He had completely taken the blanket for himself and was wrapped up in some kind of blanket burrito, head inside and all .  And he didn't know how to get out of it.  In the midst of his struggle of trying , he'd forgotten where the edge of the bed was and went tumbling off with a    yelp .      

"N-Nico.. bro, are you okay?" Leo asked with a quiet laugh as he looked down at the black blob on the floor.      

A muffled response came from the blob.  "Fine, dammit.."  But even as he said it, Nico made no attempt to move.  He laid  still.      

"Just gonna lay there then?"      

"Yeah."      

Leo sighed dramatically and leaned down, hoisting the Nico burrito up into his lap as he tried to help pull the blanket away from the mess of limbs inside of it.      

Once a familiar mop of black hair quickly popped up, he couldn't help but feel relieved.  But Nico's dark eyes were staring right back at him, their face only inches apart as a result of the struggle when Nico tried to break free.      

And just as quickly as it happened, Nico had squirmed out of his lap quickly and back towards his pillow nest at the top of the bed with only a mumble in response.      

"Prick.. I could've done that myself."  

Chapter Text

So I realize that the last update may have been about 6 months ago.. but!!  I do have some good news!  And explanations

 

So for the past 6 months I have been transitioning with many things.  Graduating, starting college, finding jobs, trying to save up enough money for testosterone (as I am a trans male) and all this other stuff that I hate thinking about.  Figuring out what to do with my life really, and depression was starting to hit pretty bad, I had to take some mental health time to myself.

 

Really though, every week when I check my email there's just more notifications of getting kudos on this and I feel terrible for abandoning it though, I really do.  And reading back this to try and decide what to write next, as made me feel more and more disgusted with my work every time.  I'm never satisfied with it, probably will never be, but I want to try again.  I want to try and improve this story a bit, more details and all of that cool stuff.  I can't promise it /will/ be better, but I'm gonna try.  I'll write and plan whenever I can, and I'll be starting over this story.  Thank you all of you lovelies for your support and I hope to see you again soon <3