Getting out of bed had been a mistake.
And he knew this because he woke up from his three hours of sleep because of a call from Jason. Now, they usually weren’t bad, but Jason sounded slightly panicked and pleading.
Which meant Percy had had another brilliant idea and was dragging all of his friends into it.
“C’mon, Neeks. It’s sledding. It’s fun!” Nico could hear Percy yelling in the background of the call.
“Tell him I told him to fuck off,” Nico told Jason. “For waking me up this early to do a sport.”
Percy said something in the background.
“Percy says he’ll buy you McDonald’s.” Jason informed him.
Ha! So that’s how it was, uh? Bribery. Pfft. As if that was going to work.
“You little shits.” He told them to make sure they knew he wasn’t that easy. “Where do I meet you and when?”
The Fort Greene Park was full of people and loud, and Nico regretted joining them immediately.
“Where’s my stuff?” He mumbled to Percy, hands in the pockets of his parka and sunglasses to protect him from all that brightness.
“Jesus, Dracula the Third. Have some fun! Lose the scowl, will you?” Percy cheered.
Nico scowled at him.
“Okay.” Percy said with a roll of his eyes, his breath foggy. “At least join us in the sledding!”
Percy didn’t wait for an answer, grabbing him by the wrist and dragging him to the bottom of a small hill which was all covered in snow and with people already sledding. Children shouted, as usual, and parents all laughed or yelled even louder than them.
Nico missed his bed. The silence and dimness of his own room…
“Watch out!” Someone shouted, and before Nico could even process that he was hit by something at high speed.
The world tilted for a moment and he seemed to be weightless, like he was floating, the white of the snow making his eyes hurt due to the sudden loss of his sunglasses. But it all only lasted for a second before two arms enveloped his waist and he found himself on the floor, sitting on something.
Or rather… someone?
“Jesus Christ.” Someone — a man — whispered beside him, way too close. “A-are you okay? I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you—”
“No shit.” Nico mumbled, still slightly dizzy. Someone was screaming.
“Which is weird, considering you’re all in black…” He babbled on, and Nico had just about enough of him.
Until he looked up and took a good look at the stranger’s face.
What he saw was freckles. Freckles everywhere and blue eyes full of concern staring back at him. His blond, curly hair was shiny, catching his attention amidst this opaque winter.
And Nico was sitting on his lap.
Behind the man, Percy and Jason were running toward him, visibly desperate, but Nico made a motion for them to go away and not bother with him (he was more than fine), and soon returned his attention to the stranger, raising an eyebrow at him.
“I—I’m s-sorry. I— Is there any way I can make it up to you somehow?” The man stuttered. “I-I’m a doctor. I can check you up, if you want. See if you hit your head or something…”
“I insist.” He said in a firmer tone, staring straight into Nico’s eyes. Then he smiled a little, narrowing his eyes in a teasing way. “Doctor’s orders.”
“Are you… flirting with me or something?” Nico said without thinking, hoping he didn’t sound as pathetically hopeful as he felt.
The man tilted his head, his features saturated with surprise — followed by confusion. He gulped, and Nico wished he could say he didn’t accompany the movement with interest.
Look, he was in a hot guy’s lap, okay? When was the last time this had happened?
Far too long ago, that’s when.
“Uh…” He licked his lips. “No? I’m really a doctor.”
For some reason, that made Nico even more annoyed. This really wasn’t the day for his flirting to go this wrong.
But then again, the day was already so bad this didn’t even come as a surprise. Ugh.
“And— wouldn’t you like to?” He asked, his tiredness seeping through his voice.
The man frowned, alarmed, and looked around himself as if looking for an explanation.
“To… flirt with you?”
“You know what, never mind. I’m just being plain stupid today.”
“No, wait, uh—” The man grabbed his wrist as Nico prepared to stand up. “L-let’s restart. I’m Will Solace.”
Nico hesitated before finally accepting today was bound to be weird and shook the hand Will Solace was offering.
Will Solace. Even his name was nice.
“Nico di Angelo.”
“Di Angelo? Where is that from?”
Will’s eyes lighted up, his posture suddenly going straight with interest.
“Seriously? I’ve always wanted to go there. Well, I’ve always wanted to visit everywhere, but Italy sounds calm and charming and rich with history.”
Nico smiled at him before his sense of reason could stop him.
“Well, I might take you there someday.”
Will smiled back, his cheeks seemingly deepening in color, the rose now vivid.
“Well, maybe you should take me out for coffee first.”
Nico nodded, giving him a knowing look, and Will’s smile turned shy.
“Was that good?”
“Oh, it was perfect.” Nico praised, finally getting out of Will’s lap and helping him stand up as well.
“I have to say this was the most awkward conversation I’ve ever had.” Will mumbled, scratching the back of his head while Nico dusted the snow off his clothes.
“Same. But here’s my phone. Put your number on it and we’ll set something up.”
Will did, and somehow he was still blushing by the time he gave Nico’s phone back.
Oh, Nico would have a lot of fun with him.
“Thanks, Doc.” He winked, and for a moment delighted himself with the sight of Will’s jaw dropping although no words left his mouth.
Then he turned and walked away.
He guessed no ordinary day could be bad enough that it couldn’t be improved by a hot guy’s phone number.
He’d make good use of it.