"Ah, shit!" Nico cried out as he tripped over a rock next to the infirmary. One of the first-years must have left it lying there after yesterday's fort-building activity. There had been hordes of campers hauling all sorts of materials from the woods and the workshops, and one of the rocks must have slipped.
Nico must have been too... preoccupied with his thoughts to not see that he was about to fall. He grimaced and picked himself up, seeing that he had scraped his knee along the way. He hobbled into the infirmary, feeling lucky that he was just on his way to visit Will. The raven-haired boy cursed himself out under his breath for being so careless, but was partially glad for a legitimate excuse to talk to Will during his shift.
It had been a few months after they had defeated Gaea, and Nico had gotten to know Will as a friend, talking and hanging out with him almost every day, whether at the lunch pavilion, during the Capture the Flag games, or in the infirmary while Will worked.
From the first day that Will had demanded that Nico stay in that dreaded infirmary bed for three days (Nico ended up staying for a week because of the wolverine gashes that he had gotten from Lycaon), Nico had felt... different about this relationship with Will. Sure, he once had a crush on Percy, but that manifested from an admiration of a figure leagues above him... or so he thought at the time. He thought that he really loved Percy. Now he knew different.
For a while, Jason had been one of the two people that kept him going - he knew about Percy after Cupid wrenched his deepest secret from inside him, and stayed by Nico's side through it all - and looking back, Nico really cared about Jason too, if only as a best friend. But what about now? What was Will to him? A friend? A best friend? Maybe... Something more?
A familiar voice shook Nico out of his thoughts. He looked up into the familiar tan, freckled face with the heart-wrenchingly clear blue eyes and smiled for what felt like the first time in weeks.
Will looked down at Nico sternly, once again reminding Nico of the 5-inch difference in their heights. Nico's happyish demeanor wavered for a second, but he shook it off, reminding himself that it was Will. Will was his... friend. It's okay if your friends are taller than you.
"Nico, what did you get yourself into this time?", Will asked, gesturing towards Nico's now bleeding knee. "Been romping around the woods with O'Leary again?"
He made a "tsk" noise and bent down to inspect Nico's knee, poking and prodding around the edges of the kneecap to make sure that there were no fractures or bruises.
Nico chuckled, shaking his head. Maybe I should find Mrs. O'Leary to do that again. That was really fun last time, he thought.
"I was walking on my way here, not paying attention, and tripped on a rock just outside the door," Nico replied sheepishly. "It's not that bad, really. I really just came to talk to you."
Nico ran his fingers through his hair, hoping Will wouldn't be able to figure out the reason why he came to talk all those days.
Will cocked his head to one side. "How did that rock get there...? That's a safety hazard! If people get injuries from right outside the infirmary, that won't look good. I'll be right back." Will jumped up from in front of Nico, ran out the door to remove the rock, and came back in a few seconds later.
"There we go. No more possible injuries outside my workplace." Will gestured for Nico to follow him into one of the rooms.
Nico walked into the room, saying, "I don't need a bed, Will," before realizing that he had sat down in Will's "office", which consisted of a spinny chair, a bench, and a stack of camper medical files on a desk.
"Sit down right here and I'll get that knee cleaned up and bandaged in no time." Will ordered. He walked out the room. Nico heard a water spout running, a cabinet opening, some rustling, and then Will's footsteps back into the room.
"Can you bend your knee over the edge of the bench for me?" Will waited for Nico to do so before bending down to treat the wound.
Nico obliged and sat on the bench as Will opened up a tube of antibac and a patch band-aid. Nico watched Will's curly, blonde mop of hair as he wiped off the blood on Nico's knee. Will looked up at Nico, smirked, and said, "And a kiss to speed up the recovery!" as Will leaned down and kissed Nico's knee, breaking his "Dr. Solace" act. Nico blushed, and tried to hide his face with his hand as Will reached over to grab the tube of antibacterial ointment. When he looked back, he gasped.
"What is it?" Nico asked, looking down at his knee. Will didn't have to answer. Nico stared down at his knee in rapt interest and astonishment as Will stared in awe and wonder.
"Oh my Zeus..." they both said at the same time, encaptured by the scene in front of them.