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16 February 2010 @ 07:27 pm
Heartstrings (Percy/Nico, PG)  
Percy/Nico . 1,907 words . PG . written for bogged, for a prompt that has nothing to do with this, but who cares . In which Nico is threatened, and Percy has groupies, and someone plays the piano.

"I will kill you!"

There was this weird thing where Nico liked getting death threats. It was probably the whole 'son of Hades' thing. He liked to grade them on creativity and intent level - thus, most of the kids as his high school got very low scores. It was kind of disappointing.

The only person at the entire school that Nico even remotely got along with was Paul. Oh, sorry - Mr. Blofis, but he only had to call him that in class, at least.

He couldn't stand anyone else.

The preps and the jocks hated how he dressed. The nerds thought they were better than him. The art kids didn't understand when he laughed at their bad poetry and misrepresented pain.

But the goths, the goths were the worst.

The goths liked him. They thought he was coolest thing since the invention of a razor blade and they crowded him, trying to be like him, trying to befriend him, even when he snapped at them to leave him alone and told them to stop smoking, in a sharp, strange little voice. They just didn't get it, and he didn't want them to ever get it, but he did wish they'd shut the hell up.

They didn't understand why he wore studded leather but listened to jazz, and when he flat out said that Metallica sounded like nails on a chalkboard they stared. Maybe it was the one thing he got out of being technically born in 1924. They obviously didn't need to know that.

He liked the music kids. He quietly, distantly liked them, because they always seemed to have their own... thing, and every time he passed the music hall and heard a saxophone or an awkward half-measure on the piano, he'd stop a little, and clutch his books, and nervously try and work up the courage to say something.

He didn't, of course. He had all the courage in the world to tell David "Spikey" Sinclair to stop drinking his life away at high volume in the cafeteria, but he couldn't even talk to a music student.

He wouldn't know what to say. Hi, I think I love you?

He both loved it and hated it when Percy dropped by. Percy got along with everyone. Enough people knew him from before he graduated, two years ago, and he wasn't just a hero at Half-Blood Hill. He practically had groupies. So on one hand, Nico hated it, because Percy was so much better than him and people who wouldn't give him the time of day tripped over their own feet for a second of his attention. But on the other hand, Percy was his. When groupies came by, he was allowed to tell them to fuck off, or maybe he'd just sit there, smirking hellishly, because he had what they could only dream of.

Percy didn't seem to notice any of this. Percy came by to visit Nico for the most part, so it was Nico he paid attention to, and though he was courteous and polite when approached, he only had eyes for one.

Nico couldn't wait to get out of here.

But sometimes, it was high school, and things got messy. So when Spikey came by, looking for trouble (he was always looking for trouble), Nico sat up a little straighter on the table, inched a little closer to Percy's chair. Percy, of course, wasn't intimidated by a weeaboo goth, even a weeaboo goth with a hoot-high mohawk, and he kept on telling his story like he didn't even see him.

"Oy. Nicky."

Wasn't his name, so Nico simply ignored him.

"Don't ignore me, douchebag! What, just because your boyfriend's here, you're not good enough for us anymore?"

Like I ever was, Nico thought, but he simply replied with, "Yep."

Nico could see that Percy was trying not to laugh.

Especially when Spikey's face went slowly white, and he stared from one to the other. "What... you're really his..."

"Boyfriend? Yep," and Percy shifted about an inch forward - but it was the most terrifying, overprotective inch in the history of existence, and every line of his body suddenly screamed LOL, TOUCH HIM AND I KILL YOU, OK?

Spikey looked halfway between lovestruck and daunted, which wasn't a good look for him, really. Nico sighed, bored, and slung a leg over Percy's lap. "Go away, David."

The guy's face purpled and he clenched his fists, looking the epitome of RAAAGE. "I can't believe you! How can you tell me to go away like that?! I thought we were -"

"Friends? Please." The arm was next, curled around Percy's shoulders, and he was so going to get yelled at for PDA but he didn't even care at this point. Everyone was annoying and Percy was both furious and amused and that was kind of a turnon. Well. Everything Percy did was kind of a turnon. Nico shifted, making a low, dry scoffing sound that made Percy stiffen slightly in his seat. "I barely tolerate you. Now leave."

"I will kill you!"

There was this long, comic pause - and then, simultaenously, both Percy and Nico burst out laughing.

"Really, some people," Nico breathed, through a haze of giggles. "Come on, Perce. Let's go."

"I dunno, Nico, he looks pretty serious," Percy said, but the smile on his face was wider than the Pacific and he couldn't quite swallow his laughter back either.

"Hm." Nico leaned forward, giving the hopelessly confused (and still angry) Spikey a long, hard look. "...You know what? I think I see the problem. He needs to get laid."

And with that, they picked up and left, and Percy wrapped an arm tight around Nico's waist, and Nico smiled smugly over his shoulder.

So really, he did kind of love it when Percy came to visit.

They passed by the music wing, and, on instinct, Nico paused. Being that Percy was attached and all they stumbled a bit, but both hands tightened and they didn't want to let go.

"What is it?" Percy asked, pressing lips to Nico's hair. Come on, growth spurt, Nico thought despairingly, this height difference is so unfair. (That is to say, his heart squeezed a little at the affection.)

"It's nothing. Well." He didn't need to pretend anything for Percy, he just didn't like talking about it out in the hallway and stuff. "I always - my mom was a musician, I think," he finished lamely, which was true, and the more he thought about it the more he realized that that was the real issue here, not his stupid nervousness or anything like that. Percy did that. Cut down to the heart of him.

Percy, who was smiling like a child of Hermes and that shouldn't be allowed.

He answered the unasked question before Percy could look too smug. "Piano, in the Lotus Hotel. A little. Not very well, or anything." Not like Bianca and her violin, Nico thought. He could still hear her, sometimes, on long lonely nights when Percy was off at college and his bed had stopped smelling like the ocean. She used to play him lullabies, and gypsy dances, and he had a sneaking suspicion that Sarasate was a brother of his. He was nothing like that.

But Percy was giving him the worst look of all - his determined and worshiping look, and it did 1000 points of damage and drove Nico's defense down to 0. "We're not breaking in," he managed in kind of a pathetic squeak.

"It's not breaking in if it's unlocked, is it?" And he pulled a shell out of his pocket - a tiny, curling nautilus - and with a push of his mind, sent a small trickle of water flowing into the lock, shifting until it clicked, and the door pulled open with ease.

"That is so cheating," Nico grumbled.

Percy grinned. "I know."

There was a baby grand in the choir room. Nico caught sight of it every day through the sliver of the window, and he'd lusted after it something powerful. Now, it sat there in the low darkness, looking somehow both shy and daunting, and for a long minute Nico couldn't even step fully into the room, almost shaking like a leaf. It was just a piano. But he hadn't played in so, so long and it was almost like a siren song, beautiful and terrible at the same time.

"Go on," Percy said softly, and touched his shoulder. "Gods know I won't judge. I just want to hear you."

And that's what gave him the courage to step forward, to prop the cover up and skate his hands over the keys, fake ivory, he hated how cheaply things were made these days but he knew this piano could sound like magic itself.

He sat down. Thumbed middle C, just to get his bearings.

Closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and began to play.

His fingers danced. He hadn't forgotten a thing - it was like it was yesterday, and he was still in the Lotus Club, playing for the unfocused children who didn't give him a second look, and downstairs, in the roulette room, where the only looks he got were too sinful to be discussed. He could see Bianca - leaning on the piano, her violin cradled under her arm, waiting her turn and suppressing impatience because she'd always rather have been playing, and he only took his turn when they forced him, when he was physically dragged from the Mythomagic table.

He played to the tripping of his heart, and after half a minute, opened his eyes and realized Percy was leaning on the cover, lips parted and eyes positively glowing. He was entranced. He was captivated. He only looked like that when they were - and maybe he -

Nico turned a little red, but he locked their eyes together, and smirked with the best of his sultry little mouth, and started up again.

It was sweet, it was coy, it was playful, it was everything Nico felt and everything he wished he was. It was I love you and it was You're beautiful and it was Percy's, always, like it had always been.

"You've got to play more often," Percy whispered raggedly, when the song came to a close.

But all he said was, "We'll see," because he had to keep Percy guessing. Had to keep pulling him in and holding him close and bringing him back for more. And Nico stood from the bench and touched his fingertips to the curve of Percy's mouth, and smiled, and when he left, Percy nearly tripped over his feet to follow.

(the song is HERE, the first minute and a half anyway)

if you liked this, you may like:
All the Difference in the World . If No One Will Listen

littlelinorlittlelinor on February 17th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
Huuuuh, well done, Nico listening to Jazz will always be my headcanon now.
➵ she walks in starlight: holmes / be-fucking-hold!igrab on February 17th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
Thank you :) I was having a conversation with a friend and we both had the thought that Nico played piano, it was an excellent moment.
o hulloah!: art; walrus who is bad at innuendobogged on February 17th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)






Do you even REMOTELY COMPREHEND how many of my weird little kinks you have intuited? LET ME GIVE YOU THE SHORT LIST: jazz, height differences, piano, making fun of goths, sultry but not emo high school kids, hating Metallica, leather that is not pants, healthy possessiveness, jealousy by a 3rd party.... AND SO ON AND SO ON the entire thing would basically just be a laundry list of everything noun and verb and adjective you wrote down.

Seriously, dude. Like... I still have no interest in seeing this movie/reading the books (why? I DON'T KNOW) but I will read every single one of your fics. They are too fucking brilliant and Nico is like, my woobling. I love your Nico.

➵ she walks in starlight: pj / fuckyeah percyigrab on February 17th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
Okay, first, I am SO GLAD you actually liked this, like. I just started writing and it sort of grew and grew and grew and idefk where it came from, but now I know that place is actually YOUR BRAIN!!!

Just thank you, and I'm so so so so happy that you liked it, and lemme go actually put in the dedication and, like. I know what you mean, about reading fics of shows you don't actually want to see, but enjoying the fic anyway. So I'm happy to entertain!!!

PS I've been writing crazy amounts of drabbles for the sixword meme, you should check them out!
Profiterole: Star Trek - Kirk and Spock_profiterole_ on February 17th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
I did say I'd read some Nico/Percy even though I don't know anything about Nico. This looked safe and non-spoilery, so here I am, fangirling your half-known, half-unknown pairing. <3
➵ she walks in starlight: rdj / *epic facepalm*igrab on February 17th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
...unfortunately this is the most spoilery of them all re: nico's past, but whatevs, just go take a dip in the lethe and forget everything :D; i need to remember to warn!
Profiterole: Crusoe - Crusoe and Friday_profiterole_ on February 17th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
As long as it doesn't spoil the plots of the next movies, I guess it's all right, because considering the number of Nico/Percy fics, there's no way I can resist it until the second movie. Will he even be in the second movie or will he appear in like 8 years from now?
➵ she walks in starlight: pj / worst secret everigrab on February 17th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
third, he'd show up in the third. though gods know how they're even going to possibly make the next movies, when they've completely cut out all the seeds of the main plotline.

it's impossible to avoid who's child nico is, though that's a spoiler - but there's a whole bunch of crazy weird past stuff that's plotrelated that goes on.

but seriously, i just don't see how the rest of th emovies will come together when they've taken out the main story.
Profiterole_profiterole_ on February 17th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I spoiled myself on who Nico's father is (my policy on spoilers is that I hate them, but I make an exception for movies like HP or PJO since I haven't read the books but I still want to read the fics, so I've got no choice).

Anyway, the movies sound so different from the books that I'm not sure if I'm actually spoiling myself much or not.
neon footprint: Deliriumneon_footprint on February 21st, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's stunning. I mean, I already loved lastling for getting me into this fandom, but even if I didn't, I'd love her for letting me read this. It's brilliant on so many levels, the school crap and the Percy/Nico, and the music :)
➵ she walks in starlight: rachel / such a pretty ladyigrab on February 22nd, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
she is quite an enabler, isn't she? super glad you liked this, though :)
neon footprint: Donnaneon_footprint on February 22nd, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
For serious! Mind if I friend you? My flist needs more Percy/Nico.

Lovely icon mirrorring, by the way :)
➵ she walks in starlight: merlin / thumbs up!igrab on February 22nd, 2010 01:46 am (UTC)
ALWAYS! percy/nico is utterly the best. negl.
Lira-chanlira_chan on March 28th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
I love this Nico!voice. Especially the Mythomagic reference in the narrative~ That made me squee like a retarded fangirl, because I like him being a bit of a fanboy really. xD Poor Nico and the torment of high school. But he has his boooooyfriend. The little PDA amused me lots as well~

It was really cute, especially Nico's little thought at the end about Percy. Oh, Nico.
hime_no_akuma on September 1st, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
This is WONDERFUL! Nico was totally in character, and I loved the bit about the death threats and the goths. I will say, however, that Percy was a bit out of character. He's too sweet in this. But I care more about Nico anyway, so whatever. I've actually been reading your Percy/Nico fics for a while as an anon (hope you don't mind), and you do an excellent job at both of them overall.

Okay, off to comment on some of the other stuff I've been reading as an anon...
➵ she walks in starlight: pjo / WE LIKE THE MOONigrab on September 1st, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And thank you for the very honest comment! in my defense, this was one of the earliest percy/nico fics i've written, and also Percy... doesn't have much character development in the books to begin with. It's really anyone's guess how he'll be in a few years, what kind of experiences end up shaping him. i think there's a potential for him to be very sweet indeed, especially in counterpoint to nico's prickly exterior.

But thank you so much for the comment! I love comments, especially thoughtful ones, and it means a lot that you came back to comment even when you were only lurking at first :)
xphineasxxphineasx on November 26th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Nico and Jazz. Nico and Jazz. I'd never thought of it before but it fits so damn well.
I love it. Completely. <3
i aim my arrows highaimmyarrowshigh on January 9th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
I think this might be my favorite of your PxN. This, or the Treaty of Inviolable Friendship, but this one just slides into my heart and stays there in a serious way.
i aim my arrows highaimmyarrowshigh on January 16th, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
Addendum: I love everything about this and I approve of any and all fics that transplant their characters into high school and do it really fucking well.