.broken boy soldier
[percy jackson. percy/nico. adult. 2,344 words. for alice_pike.
in which percy finds it hard to let go
disclaimer; percy jackson does not belong to me.
notes; because percy jackson has taken over my brain (and i'm still waiting for my help_haiti fic to come back from beta D:). for alice_pike; have fic, bb. because you got me into this paercy jackson thing ♥
warnings; distinct lack of capitalization in an experiment. i'll probably change it, later. enjoy. - FURTHER WARNINGS CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FIC. i don't want to spoil it, but i had to include them because one of them is IMPORTANT.
lyrics are from broken boy soldier by the raconteurs.
.broken boy soldier
well i'm child and man and child again
the toy broken boy soldier
(the boy never gets older)
Percy sinks his toes into the wet-soft sand and closes his eyes against the sea breeze caressing his face. It’s easy to forget his problems here by the water; a place he has never felt more comfortable. The water hugs his ankles, kissing the skin of his calves and Percy imagines that it could climb his legs, cover him completely and still he would feel content.
There is a stutter in the breeze and Percy doesn’t have to open his eyes to know that he has a visitor. The smell is almost overpowering; salt and ocean and life and something like home. At least, a home that Percy has come to appreciate more as of late.
“Father,” he says, soft.
There is a noise of assent and then a presence beside Percy’s left elbow. He says nothing and Percy doesn’t expect him to. He’s not sure what’s supposed to happen, exactly. He knows he betrayed people, knows he hurt his father by not asking for help but he’s still not sure what could have been done that he didn’t already try.
“Did you think we wouldn’t find out?”
Percy shrugs and looks down at his feet. “I didn’t care. I had to try.”
A soft sigh. “Percy, I would have spared you-”
“You can’t,” Percy snaps. He’s aware he could be making his father angry but it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. “It already hurts, you can’t spare me any pain.”
They stand in silence for a few minutes more and Percy is half afraid his father will turn and leave.
“Did it help?”
Something like lead settles in Percy’s stomach and he wants to lie, wants to say that yes, yes it did. The words turn to dust on his tongue and he shakes his head, swallowing thickly. “No. I never thought it would hurt more.”
“He should never-”
“Don’t blame him,” Percy says, quickly. He knows who his father is talking about without needing to ask. “He was only trying to help. He’s hurting too, you know.”
Another sigh and this time, Percy looks into his father’s face. It’s tired and drawn, the only time he’s ever seen his father do anything other than smile. Gods can appear however they wish, and this is how his father has chosen to stand before him?
As if reading his thoughts, his father’s eyes crinkle in the corners as he smiles, but its not enough. “Gods can be scared too, Percy.”
It hits a second later; Percy would have been a loss, too. He’d have left people behind.
“I’m sorry. I would never have gone that far.” He surprises himself to realise he means it.
“You would leave him alone?”
Percy takes a deep breath. Can he? The balance is always wrong; something he loves for many somethings he loves. He thinks of the son of Hades and his sister; the lengths his friend had gone too to see Bianca and he knows the answer. His heart is beating rapidly and he thinks he’s dying a little inside as he says, “yes.”
The breeze picks up.
Percy tilts his head to the right and feels his chest constrict, tight and painful. Standing a little further down the beach in a tattered t-shirt and jeans, barefoot like Percy and his father, Nico di Angelo grins and then turns on his heel with a wave.
Wanting to follow, Percy takes one step before his father’s hand rests on his elbow. “Percy.”
His name, sharp and hard but not angry. Percy gets the message. Stay.
He wishes that -
Wishes are of little use, now, and he stays. He feels the jerk and shudder of his body, the instinct to follow Nico to the ends of the Earth too ingrained to ignore. “I-”
“I know,” his father says, voice a hairs breadth away from Percy’s ear. Percy turns his face away from Nico and into the curve of his father’s shoulder. It is the closest that Poseidon has ever allowed him for longer than a moment and it is this that breaks Percy.
Tears mix with salt water until Percy doesn’t know which is which.
i'm asking forgiveness
i'm asking about it by myself
and i want you to know this
“Nico,” Percy says, voice barely a whisper.
Nico touches Percy’s face, rubbing soothing circles against the side of his face, under Percy’s eyelids. “I love you.”
Percy feels the ache, chest tight and he swallows back a sob. “I know.”
He drops his face into the join between shoulder and neck and Nico reaches up with a hand, tangles his fingers into Percy’s hair. They lie that way for a while and Percy knows he is wasting time, here, but he doesn’t care. He wants this time with Nico, to feel the rise and fall of Nico’s chest, to promise himself that he’s alive.
He turns his face, lets his tongue drag across the curve of Nico’s throat. There’s a sharp breath and Nico’s fingers tighten. “Percy-”
“Please,” Percy begs, shifting until he can turn Nico’s face to his own, can reach forward and kiss him. Their lips meet, a slide of Nico’s tongue against Percy’s bottom lip and their mouths are open, tasting and touching and kissing until Percy thinks he could disappear inside of Nico and never come out again.
He wants that.
He closes his eyes, kisses his way down Nico’s body who’s naked beneath Percy’s hands. His fingers trace Nico’s chest, nipple and stomach. His touch is feather-light and he can feel the hitches in Nico’s breath every time he touches something sensitive, until he slides back onto his ankles, can see the curve of Nico’s dick against his stomach, already hard.
He traces the curve of Nico’s hip with his teeth and tongue, dips into the hollow and lets a breath roll out across Nico’s dick. It twitches and there’s a heady smell as Nico leaks precum, driving Percy to his knees. He hovers over Nico, looks into eyes that are almost expressionless and Percy’s heart skips a beat.
No, he thinks and dips his head, kisses Nico hungrily, as if they are running out of time.
Nico rises to meet him, dick rubbing against Percy’s jeans and he feels tight in the confines of his clothes. He reaches down, pops the fly and shoves a fist into his boxers, strokes himself once. Nico’s eyes are hooded and blown, his fingers all over Percy’s face and stroking his hair, his cheek, his jaw. “Come on,” he whispers, urging Percy on.
Percy does. The angle is wrong and he wants to turn Nico onto his front and slide into him, fist a hand into his hair and feel Nico writhe beneath him. But he wants to see Nico’s eyes more, the expression of love and want that is fast waning. Percy knows he must be quick.
He slides a hand under Nico’s thigh and hooks his leg over his shoulder. It’s going to be awkward but Percy doesn’t care. His hips stutter against the grass and he groans, slides forward. Nico’s fingers are deep in his hair, tugging until Percy slides home, feels Nico tight and hot around his dick.
“Nico,” he manages, voice drawn. Nico smiles, reaches up and kisses the corner of Percy’s mouth. They move together, Percy’s jerks harsher and getting worse as he speeds up. This has to be hurting Nico but he doesn’t complain, he lets Percy ride it out.
Percy strains, feels tears wet on his cheeks but he doesn’t stop. Stars explode in a mass of white behind his eyes as he comes, fingers clenching in the dirt as he feels a sticky mess on his stomach from Nico’s own release. “I love you,” he says. “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
“Percy-” Nico says, touching Percy’s bottom lip with his thumb. “i-”
Nico starts to fade and Percy feels his heart stutter. Hades stands off to his right, face expressionless. Percy should be embarrassed, should be surprised but he knows that Hades has been there all along, watching. He wants to see grief and pain and sadness but he is not surprised when he does not.
Percy traces what is left of Nico’s face with his fingertips and promises never to forget, to hold him always in his heart. Percy is a hero and a demigod and saviour of the world but still he could not keep Nico safe. He made a bargain with death for this one chance, this one hour to see Nico again, to touch him and kiss him and feel him. He is aware that he is half naked on grass that doesn’t even feel real with Hades standing two feet away. He wants to be strong but Nico’s absence is like an endless twisting knife in his stomach. e crawls onto all fours and dips his head between his shoulder blades. Hades is not stupid but Percy still can’t bear to be weak before him.
“He felt real. He had a heartbeat.”
“I told you it would be worse to have this than to not.”
Percy feels the tears back on his face and he closes his eyes, aware that he is crying in the underworld, the shadow of Nico still beneath his hands, but still Hades does not move.
It is, Percy thinks, a way to entertain his own grief. To watch Percy, one hand hovering inches from his shoulder, and to mourn the loss of his son.
But Hades is a god and Percy will never know.
i'm going back to school today
but i'm dropping myself off
Percy walks slowly through camp half-blood.
It should be an occasion for joy and reunions but instead there is sorrow and sadness around every corner. Campers are crying, consoling, remembering the dead. Percy hates wars almost as much as he relishes the challenge they present. There is always a price to pay and more often than not, it is a high one.
People whisper as he passes, eyes heavy with regret and sorrow - all for him.
He pretends he cannot see them.
“Percy,” Annabeth says and she kisses his cheek. It’s light and soft, as if she knows not to linger. She used to, he remembers, regardless of Nico. It had always amused them before; Nico loved to be jealous and possessive and Annabeth loved to argue with him. he grins at the memories, the four of them (because Grover would never have been left out, ever) spending their evenings by the campfire, faces flickering in the moonlight. Percy had loved Nico the most, then, shadows playing across his face as he’d smiled, eyes as dark as night and death but with a fire that blazed all for Percy. Their hands would entwine, fingers smoothing down palms as they listened to the singing and Percy was as content as if he had been immersed in water.
They don’t talk about what happened before, when Percy was-
He drops his chin to his chest and feels his hands form into fists. It should be easy, he thinks.
Nico is (was) his everything; Percy knows what he has to do, now.
He knows every entrance to the underworld. Nico had shown him every single one, taking him from country to country until Percy knew as much about Nico’s domain as Nico knew about Percy’s. Percy knows that the key to his survival lies with Hades; he will ask, beg, try. There is nothing he would not do to get to Nico.
i'm through ripping myself off
i'm done ripping myself off
When Annabeth and Thalia and the rest of the half-bloods find them, Percy is fighting tooth and nail. His hand is hooked around Nico’s neck and it’s obvious that Nico is dead, body sagging into Percy’s hold. Riptide is a glowing blur of blue and green and Percy just wants to kill the manticore, to rip its skin from its bones and send it to the Underworld where it belongs. He wants to scream and cry and shake Nico until he wakes, tells Percy it was all a joke, a ploy and smile that smile he keeps just for Percy.
Percy wishes for water to drown this monster and draw its death out, make it suffer. Percy will send a message; mess with Nico and pay the price.
Nico is already dead and Percy feels his heart skip, a hollow feeling settle in this stomach.
Annabeth and the others wade in, helping and taking this kill away from him but suddenly Percy doesn’t want to fight anymore.
He sinks to his knees and curls himself around Nico.
Chiron, Thalia and Grover try and pry him from the body but Percy doesn’t relinquish his grip on Nico until Annabeth takes his face in her hands and kisses him, draws him up. “He was brave,” she says, like she knows. “He fought for you and loved you, Percy. He is right here.”
She places her hand on his heart and Percy drops his head forward until his face is buried in her t-shirt.
He does not cry.
i'm throwing the childhood scenes away
(the boy never gets older
never gets older)
Nico grins, face half-buried in the pillow. “Percy, we don’t have time.”
Percy’s hands wander, tracing the line of Nico's spine and he licks a strip up Nico’s back until the body shudders beneath him. Nico turns over, dislodging Percy from his postion. Nico laughs, eyes dark but bright as he pulls Percy back. Percy crowds him back into the bed, kisses him hard and desperate. They move to kissing lazily and Percy moves south, sucking and licking at the skin of Nico’s neck and feels the pulse quicken beneath his tongue.
This is it, he thinks. Everything.
“You’re incorrigible,” Nico says, trying to move Percy away so that he can move.
Percy just laughs.
The warning bell sounds from outside, noise piercing in the almost-silence of Poseidon's cabin but Percy is still laughing as he pulls away, even in the urgency of the situation. Nico rolls his eyes and follows Percy to standing. He puts his hands on Percy’s chest but Percy can see the indecision, like he wants to rush outside and fight but also wants to tug Percy back onto the bed.
He seems to make up his mind and propels Percy forwards, towards his armour.
“Later,” Nico promises.
CHARACTER DEATH. somebody dies. a major character. if this is not your thing, please don't read.