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20 February 2010 @ 12:56 pm
The Water-Bearer [Zeus/Ganymede, PG-13]  
Zeus/Ganymede +Percy/Nico preslash . 3,622 words . PG-13 . There's this look on his face, like he doesn't expect Percy to know the name - or, rather, that he'd be amused if he does.

There's a banquet in Camp Half-Blood's honor, for vanquishing the ice monster that had been ravaging the whole of the country. That is, it's a banquet for the Camp in name, but everyone knows it's really all for Percy. Percy, who kept fighting when everyone else had collapsed from frostbite, and for Nico, who'd made certain the Invincible Man got enough rest.

Nico's sitting on his right, on the edge of his chair, squirming just a little because he doesn't like the recognition. Percy doesn't blame him. Modesty is something the gods have trouble understanding, but luckily, what they don't understand they just ignore, so most of the campers have already been generally forgotten about.


Percy's head snaps up at the light, clear tenor for over his right shoulder. There's a boy there - no, okay, he's older than that, at least Percy's age, or maybe older. He's wearing a clean white collared shirt, with the first few buttons undone, and his black slacks are freshly pressed, with the emblem of Zeus sewn into the pockets. It's strange. Usually, the gods are waited on by nymphs and sprites - he's never seen anyone so human, serving. Especially not one so pretty - he's got tan skin and almost-violet eyes, and a tumble of caramel curls, braided down his back and threaded through with matching silver.

And then there's the jug. The jug, though, he's seen before.

It usually stands on a pedestal in the council hall, behind Zeus's throne, among other Important Items that aren't being used - swords and helmets and magical objects, for the most part. It's certainly not the most impressive of the lot. It's silver, and it does have some nice carvings, but it doesn't do much.

One of his eyebrows lifts near-imperceptibly, and Percy realizes he's been staring for like, five minutes, which is totally rude. "Sorry. Um - sure."

His hands, graceful and clearly used to this, pour a stream of water into Percy's goblet, and he can't help noticing the rings - three of them, all silver, set in with tiny sapphires and etched with lightning patterns. More marks of Zeus. It fascinates him.

"Who - are you?"

Percy realizes a second later that that was probably even ruder, and he probably had plenty of work to do, but the man smiles. He doesn't seem to mind the interruption, and props his pitcher on one hip. "I'm Ganymede."

There's this look on his face, like he doesn't expect Percy to know the name - or, rather, that he'd be amused if he does. It bothers him and he tries, really hard, but if it's a legend he's supposed to have heard, he is completely forgetting it. "I'm Percy."

"I know," and now he's really amused, which isn't fair. It isn't fair that he's always the center of attention - first Kronos, then Annabeth, then breaking up with Annabeth, now the ice giant and really, don't the gods have better things to do? "You're quite a hero, you know."

"So they tell me," Percy mutters, and wraps his hands around his goblet to bury his face in it, to hide the blush. The water is startlingly good - clear and cold, like pure snowmelt, and it tingles through his body, burning away the groggy aftermath of sleeping for three days straight. It's wonderful.

"You are. I would know, I've seen them," and Percy's heard that before, but it sounds different, coming from Ganymede. It's not pretentious, he isn't trying to prove anything. In fact, if anything, it's fond - like they were friends of his that he wishes he'd gotten to see more of. And then Percy thinks, maybe they were. "You deserve every bit of it."

'It' being this, all of it. The celebration and the feasting and the gods. Which isn't to say he hadn't thought he did, before, but owning to it's a little hard. The first time, it was great. Now, he's getting tired. But maybe he does deserve it.

Ganymede moves on without a goodbye, like he's sure they'll meet again - and Percy's fairly sure of it, too. He sips at his water and watches as he fills Nico's cup, then Clarisse's, speaking to them in low, petal-soft tones that he can't quite make out.

"Don't stare too hard," a low, amused voice says from his left. Percy jerks to attention and looks, and it's Apollo, older than he usually is around Percy, all glittery and godlike for the feast today. "You'll only make him angry."

"What?" He can't possibly imagine Ganymede ever being angry. He just seems too nice, too quiet and demure.

Apollo snaps in front of his face to get his attention, again. "Not him. Zeus. You'll piss Zeus off if you stare too hard. We've all been there, it isn't pretty."

"Who is he?" And he doesn't look, really he doesn't. He looks at Nico instead, watches a pleased flush spread over his cheeks as he sips at the cleansing water.

The sun god can't help a choked laugh. "Don't tell me you don't know."

Percy scowls and feels his face turn red. "Well, I don't, so-"

"The Rape of Ganymede." It's Nico who speaks, interrupting, his dark eyes flashing with some hard-to-place emotion. "Didn't you ever have an art history class?"

Art? What's art got to do with it? "No?"

But Apollo's half-leaning over him now, scowling. "Look, it wasn't rape."

Nico gives the Sun God glare for glare. "Well, whatever you want to call it."

"Let me set this straight, punk," and it's the first time Percy's ever heard him sound so serious. "Whatever stories you've heard, they aren't even half of what actually happened. Ganymede is, and will always be, Zeus's lover."

No one's paying any attention to Percy anymore, as they launch into an argument about specifics, which is fine by him, because his head is spinning. Zeus's lover? Zeus's... male... lover. Who is Ganymede. Who could practically be a brother of his, that's how young he looks. Zeus's lover. Just. What?

He's at the High Table now, and Percy watches him, closely. It isn't just him - Ganymede treats everyone with the same gentle courtliness, and it's clear to see that everyone loves him for it. Hephaestus actually smiles, warmly, and even Dionysus softens to an almost-grin as Ganymede leans close to tell what looks to be a saucy joke. The only ones who don't seem to like him very much are Aphrodite - and Percy remembers something Ares said once, that she hates stable relationships, and that's got to be it - and Hera, who openly scowls in his direction. He takes it with a polite disdain, and it's the frosty veneer of two people who have been disliking each other for a very long time, so it's practically out of habit.

But then he gets to Zeus, and when he smiles it's damn near brilliant.

He's leaning close over his shoulder as he pours, and murmuring something low in his ear, and Zeus tries to keep stern - he'd been talking to Hades - but a smile that can't be denied tugs at his lips, and if Percy hadn't been looking so hard, maybe he would've missed it.

But as Ganymede starts to pull away, Zeus catches his wrist, and drops all pretense of a conversation. They're in a middle of a banquet, and the hall's full of gods, and heroes, and awkward half-children - but Zeus tilts his head back, and draws him in, and kisses him so deeply that no one could possibly deny the willingness on both sides.

Percy goes absolutely red. It's not like it was for him or anything - of course not, despite the fact that he'd just been having this little internal freakout and here, have some proof! only it wasn't like that at all. It can't've been. Clearly, he's just thinking about this way too much and he should shut the hell up and eat, now, and maybe have some more water because he needs to clear his head, after that.

As they finally pull apart, though, Zeus catches his eye, and he winks.

Apollo sighs, from right over Percy's shoulder, and he jumps - he'd forgotten he was there. "He really does have to make a spectacle of it, doesn't he? I apologize, it seems I'm needed at the High Table." Hermes is shooting urgent glares in their direction, and Percy figures it means 'Help, before Hera kills something!' and Apollo disappears.

It's then he notices that Nico is gripping the table with one hand, and staring open-mouthed at the High Table, or more particularly, at Zeus, who's carrying on his conversation as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened, and Ganymede, who's pouring for Hades and looking rather flushed and debauched. It's a really good look for him, Percy decides, but he quickly cuts his eyes away, and back to Nico, because that train of thought can only end in misery.

Nico is... well, to be honest, he must've been halfway between turned-on and scandalized, which is a really good look for him, on the subject of good looks. Percy sips at his water and watches, as he slowly unwraps his hand from the table and tears his eyes away and stabs, viciously, at his meat.

"Rape of Ganymede, huh?"

"Oh, shut up."


They cut out of the banquet early and it's so obvious, but Zeus has no scruples and Ganymede could really care less, at this point. The second they're alone, he wraps his arms around the man's shoulders, stands up on tiptoe, and kisses him, deep and messy and utterly heartfelt. Zeus laughs into his mouth. "That will never get old."

"You really shouldn't tease them like that, they're only boys." He buries his fingers in the god's hair, leans against his chest, smiling.

"And how old were you when we first met?" They're slowly making their way down the hall to Zeus's rooms, but it's a very long hall and Ganymede likes his lips very much.

"Mmm, fifteen," he murmurs, laughing in return. "But you were a goat. How could I resist?"

On the other hand, distances are nothing for the god of the sky, and suddenly they're in bed, and Ganymede immediately flops over, spreading out over the cloudlike blankets.

"But that doesn't count. I didn't really know you then," he continues, propping his chin on his hands.

Zeus slowly begins unpicking his braid, sliding out the fine silver wire. "Or I you," he mutters.

"I think I knew you as every member of the animal kingdom before you were man enough to - "

"That wasn't cowardice, that was - "

"Oh, I'm sorry, you were just shy then - "

"Of course I was."

It's so stupid, Ganymede thinks, it's stupid that he still manages to surprise. They'll be teasing and making fun and he'll say something so honest, just - out of the blue, and Ganymede can't help falling a little more each time.

Zeus is slowly unbuttoning the cuffs of his shirt, and placing gentle kisses over every one of his fingers. "You wouldn't've been impressed if I'd appeared as a human at first, anyway. I wouldn't've been able to do more than babble, or maybe drool a little. Yes, I definitely would've drooled."

Ganymede snickered, though affection made it sound rather more like a giggle. "And I'd've told you to take a cold bath in a deep stream. Isn't that what actually happened, anyway?" He lets Zeus turn him, until he's lying on his back, so the god can unfasten each one of his buttons.

"Well, all I said for the first week was 'sire'. And possibly 'your shoes'. You couldn't find them."

Another snicker, that fades into an outright laugh. "Did I really? I can't remember the details any longer." He sighs, as Zeus's fingers pause to stroke at the soft skin of his belly.

"I was your servant for three years, and I was besotted."

"I was besotted," Ganymede corrects in a soft, chiding voice.

"Hush." The last button undone, Zeus lets the shirt fall open, and starts on the fastenings of his pants. "And then you were sent off on your educational exile - "

"It wasn't exile, and besides, I had you - "

" - to Mount Ida, and I told you who I really was - "

"I remember that much, Zeus."

" - and you didn't believe me - "

"Who would?" They've had this conversation before, many times, so many times. Ganymede doesn't ever want to stop having it. He doesn't ever want to forget what it was like - his strong, handsome servant, loved more than life itself, telling him in awkward, halting words that he really is Zeus, the Lord of the Sky, and Prince Ganymede of Troy can't help laughing. "You certainly never seemed very godlike."

Zeus scowls, affronted. "I am very godlike!"

But that only makes Ganymede laugh more, rolling over so he can shrug the shirt free. "Oh yes, very much so, sir. Especially with that little display today, quite dignified - "

"Oh stop that." Zeus is smiling, and playing with his hair, and Ganymede knows exactly where he stands. If anyone else suggested that Zeus was ever less of a god because of his affection, they'd be smited - smote? - in the face, or something, either way it would not end well. But Ganymede has always been the exception. "You know, I don't know why you put up with me."

He raises an eyebrow. Purses his lips a little, waiting to see if Zeus is kidding, or if he really expects an answer. After a minute of silence, if seems he really does, and Ganymede sighs. "Don't be ridiculous."

"I'm not! You're ridiculous, for saying I'm - I cheat on you, at least once a month."

"That's a bit of an understatement," Ganymede comments mildly, and Zeus has the grace to look flustered.

"You've got every reason to hate me," he mutters.

"Probably." There's a hint of a grin in the corner of his mouth, but Zeus probably won't see it, if he's not looking for it. "Not only do you sleep around, but you come back and tell me about it, in extremely graphic detail - "

"Well - it's - "

"When I don't even find women remotely attractive, which you know perfectly well, by the way - "

"I can't - it isn't - "

"And, let me see." He rolls onto his stomach and starts counting on his fingers, holding three up for the aforementioned point. "You use me as a pawn to piss off your wife on a near-daily basis even though you do love her, don't even try and deny it, I know you too well. You come to me every time a mortal won't have you. You use me as an excuse to miss council meetings. You order me to serve at banquets and then treat me like your personal courtesan - "

Zeus grabs his hand and folds the fingers down, eyes stormy and troubled. "Stop, Ganymede, for heaven's sake, I really - "

"And I don't mind a bit of it." He turns his face up to Zeus's, and the grin is in full force now, dancing over his lips. "Not one, single bit."

The god flushes a deep, embarrassed red, and he can't quite meet his lover's eyes. "I'm awful to you."

"I'd let you know the second I was unhappy."

"It isn't fair." His jaw is clenched and tight, and it's only then that Ganymede realizes how affected he is, that he really believes what he's saying. That he somehow isn't good enough.

It reminds him so very much of the servant he'd fallen in love with, but he won't say that. It probably won't help.

"You could have anyone," Zeus mutters, looking out towards the window. "Anyone in the world. I'd let you go, really I would. Immortality, mortality - anything you wanted. However you want your life to be. You aren't my pet, I'm not keeping you here."

"I know," Ganymede whispers, and slides his fingertips along his god's jaw. "I know that. And that is why," he breathes, moving closer until he's very nearly draped along his side, lips brushing the fuzz of his beard, "I refuse to settle," and he presses a kiss to his jaw, his cheek, the corner of his mouth, "for anyone less than the best."


"Good morning, hero," a teasing voice murmurs, trickling into Percy's ear.

"Unnh... what?"

He can't quite remember the events of the previous night. He does remember drinking a lot of wine, and possibly Nico had been in his lap at some point, which he wishes he could remember but the wine of the gods is much, much stronger than he expected.

There's a light laugh in front of him, and he finally unsticks his eyelids, enough to see Ganymede, in a ponytail and a blue shirt and jeans, holding out a glass of water. "I think you'll be needing this."

He looks at the water. It looks back. Or, he feels like it does. But he isn't in any sort of position to say no to anything right now, so he takes it, and has a sip.

He gasps sharply as it burns through him, leaving much-needed sanity in its wake. "Oh, gods. I drank a lot."

"That you did."

"I don't remember a thing."

"Yes, Olympian wine does that. The gods like doing things they'll regret, but they don't like remembering it later."

He blinks at the all-too-pretty man, and decides that it's way too early to try and make sense of that sentence. Things are starting to come together, a little - at least, the stuff that happened before he started drinking, anyway. "You're Zeus's lover."

Ganymede looks like he's trying to hold back amusement, but his voice is even when he replies. "Yes."

For a second, all Percy can do is gape. "...Why?"

This time, Ganymede doesn't even bother to resist it. He throws his head back, and the laughter echoes off marble walls. Then he pushes to his feet, dusting his hands off, and maybe Percy's always had a thing for more natural beauty, but he can't help noticing that Ganymede looks even better, like this. It suits him. "Fall in love some day, Percy Jackson, and you'll understand." Then he taps the top of Percy's head, making the world spin. "Now drink up. I promise you'll feel better."

Percy rolls his eyes but does as he's told, and when he brings the cup down, one long draft later, Ganymede is gone.

He does notice Nico now, though, slumped against the wall several feet down. He's rubbing at his eyes and making utterly pathetic sounds, and Percy crawls over, presses the cup into his hands. "Drink," he orders.

"I don't want to drink anymore. I've had enough to drink."

Adorable, Percy thinks, before he can even help it, or wonder where the thought came from. "It's water, it'll help. Go on."

So he does, and when he looks less like death and more like the son of death, he sighs, grateful, and passes the cup back to Percy. "Thanks."

"No problem."

They sit in silence and gradually downing sobriety, and Percy thinks, This is nice. And he still doesn't understand Ganymede, doesn't know the story that everyone's supposed to know, but he thinks he can at least accept it. Because anyone who looks that happy must deserve every bit of it.

Nico's head drops to Percy's shoulder, and he's surprised to find that Nico has actually fallen asleep.

And, he admits, he sort of finds it sweet.

sequel: Immortality

if you liked this, you may like:
Our Ocean . The Thunderer

kohl_eyed on February 20th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
Hermes is shooting urgent glares in their direction, and Percy figures it means 'Help, before Hera kills something!' and Apollo disappears.

"And how old were you when we first met?" They're slowly making their way down the hall to Zeus's rooms, but it's a very long hall and Ganymede likes his lips very much.

"Mmm, fifteen," he murmurs, laughing in return. "But you were a goat. How could I resist?"

➵ she walks in starlightigrab on February 20th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
I really, really want to write a huge fic of them meeting like this and falling in love etc etc.
(no subject) - kohl_eyed on February 20th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - igrab on February 20th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
i am a jedi, like my father before me: 10tatooine on February 20th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)

It took me a while to realize that "you were a goat, how could I resist" wasn't bestiality.
➵ she walks in starlight: rdj / *epic facepalm*igrab on February 20th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
LOL oh shit, i'm incredibly sorry. no, he was just kidding.
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➵ she walks in starlight: merlin / this land is our laaaandigrab on February 20th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
*was wondering who would ask that*

well, in my headcanon (and thus, this) they had a whole history before the eagle thing, but the eagle was the only part of the legend that people wanted to tell survived. so, there was no good way to work it in, but he did carry ganymede off as an eagle, but not immediately.

and so glad you liiiiked i am seriously considering writing longfic detailing how they met and loved and blah blah blah because it would be awesome. and a little like merlin only ganymede isn't a prat and zeus is.
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(no subject) - igrab on February 20th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - igrab on February 20th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - igrab on February 20th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - igrab on February 21st, 2010 12:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - igrab on February 21st, 2010 12:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - igrab on February 21st, 2010 12:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - igrab on February 21st, 2010 01:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - igrab on February 20th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - igrab on February 20th, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Winter Cynic, or Lord Magnificent Bastard: PJO Fandom is epicruins_of_sodom on February 21st, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
I. Oh god. I. Where do even begin?

Oh Grabby, this was perfect! And I am utterly pleased I read this. I love how you characterized Ganymede, because yes yes yes he's more than just looks. He's charm embodied, and not sex. Or not just sex. I don't know, kind of drooling here too. His dynamics with Zeus are awesome and I am packing this thing up and taking it as canon. THIS IS THE SIXTH BOOK OKAY?

And Apollo's actually very kick ass. Not only is he maturer in looks but he's maturer in making sure Hera does not unleash hell on their asses. AND IT HAD TO BE HERMES. YES YES YES.

*w* brb, rereading this all over again.
➵ she walks in starlight: pj / worst secret everigrab on February 21st, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)

fyi i'm planning a whole zeus/ganymede epic, that's pretty much what they said here but spun out, because i keep rereading that part over and over myself and sigh and it's not enough, must write mooooore.

i, like. i love apollo but he was actually my least favorite of the portrayals in canon. i'm not bothered by it because the gods can appear however they want, and i think he was trying to make a certain impression on percy, and maybe impress thalia a little. but he has the capability of being much more classy and serious imho. and of couuuurse it had to be hermes ♥

sigh hera, she is the one olympian i will never justify, she's just a jealous angry prude and is not likely to change if she hasn't by now!! ganymede is not amused, but he knows zeu likes him better so he doesn't give a damn. XD
(no subject) - ruins_of_sodom on February 21st, 2010 12:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - igrab on February 21st, 2010 12:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ruins_of_sodom on February 21st, 2010 01:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - igrab on February 21st, 2010 01:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
✩ Lex: ✩likin' the bad touchsparkism on February 21st, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
ksdjfksdjf this has made my freaking night ♥ THANK YOU.
➵ she walks in starlight: pj / fuckyeah percyigrab on February 21st, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
you're welcome!! very glad you liked it ♥
littlelinorlittlelinor on February 21st, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
Uuunf yeeeees.
Pfffft I love your Ganymede. And Percy being clueless XD
Also Zeus being a showoff XD (it's nice to see a less jerkass side of him btw)
➵ she walks in starlight: pj / percy/nicoigrab on February 21st, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
lollll he IS a jerkass, but ganymede's probably the only person who's opinion he actually cares about, so. X)


oh god fic ideas. whyyyy can i not stop havin fic ideas? oh yeah, it's a 3 year, DAMN my numerology.
(no subject) - littlelinor on February 22nd, 2010 03:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ali-chan ^^: Ben Ten - Perfectad_exia on February 21st, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)

Much love for it, seriously. Awesome~
➵ she walks in starlightigrab on February 21st, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
ariss13ariss13 on February 22nd, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Read this at 2 in the morning, and loove it.
Ganymede is so lovely. But, seriously Percy, you already have NICO. :)
Lira-chanlira_chan on March 28th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Oh gods, yes, this was lovely. Also off to reacquaint myself with Greek mythology very soon; my lovely books are waiting for me at the library. (I already went through a phase as a child when I read everything about it, but my memory is shit). I have this vague worry-type-thing it'll make me want to write fic.

BUT YES FIC. I think I approve of this interpretation~ I kinda love your Ganymede. And oh your Zeus. The kiss during the banquet, and him actually being kind of vulnerable. It was excellent. Plus there was Percy/Nico hinting which always makes my little fangirl heart squeal with glee.
stephanie_tan on April 14th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
"You certainly never seemed very godlike."

Zeus scowls, affronted. "I am very godlike!

"Don't stare too hard," a low, amused voice says from his left. Percy jerks to attention and looks, and it's Apollo, older than he usually is around Percy, all glittery and godlike for the feast today. "You'll only make him angry."

Hermes is shooting urgent glares in their direction, and Percy figures it means 'Help, before Hera kills something!'

Lols. This is so damn good. :D Love the humour XD

brisus. ϟ: cov » reid/tylermidnigthaze on October 29th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)



i aim my arrows highaimmyarrowshigh on January 16th, 2011 09:59 am (UTC)
(Comment eavesdropping: I approve wholeheartedly of Percy/Hylas, js.)

I love the way you're able to write the realm of Olympus with such reality. That is to say, I love how genuine the emotions of all of your gods, demigods, immortals, heroes, whatever, are to what they would be in their situations, rather than trying to play up the "BUT THEY'RE GODS" angle. You manage to bring modernity into Zeus/Ganymede and make it a mirror to the other
pairings in the fic -- Zeus/Hera, Percy/Nico, even Ganymede's relationships with and to the other gods and to Percy, and it doesn't feel like a stretch. It comes across as very natural that Ganymede would have become this constant presence in Olympian life by now, and the arguments/discussion between Zeus and Ganymede felt very raw as an ancient kind of uneasiness that's been discussed to death and still holds resonance.

And Percy's reaction to Zeus/Ganymede! Perfection! Does this take place consciously in the same universe as the snow-shed-monster-Iceman fic? Because if it does, it's brilliant the way he's still floundering and uncomfortable with their overtness and comfortable openness with their sexuality as he and Nico are so like... bumbling stupid teenagers about theirs. Beautiful.
mizstorge on March 14th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
Great Jupiter, I can't believe that this fic is two years old and I've just now discovered it!!! You've combined two of my favourite pairings in one delicious story! Possibly the only thing lacking is a suitable haiku from Apollo!

More marks of Zeus. It fascinates him.
Gaymede is definitely one of the Muses of slash writers everywhere. I would say he is superceded only by Antinous, who was also born human and elevated to godhood. Adding Ganymede to the mix of Olympians is a great way to bring out more facets in the dynamic relationships among the gods and their children. Ganymede is so obviously in love with Zeus...and look, it's contagious!

...and possibly Nico had been in his lap at some point, which he wishes he could remember...
Percy/Nico is absolutely my favorite pairing in this universe. And in this fic, they're bot so cute when they're clueless!