Finally getting around to reposting my stories. Hopefully new chapters soon (if anyone still keeps up with me).
Author's Chapter Notes:
This was written for mylex for the luna winter fic trade! I hope you enjoyed it!
Special thanks to DragonSilk for beta-ing this!
Special thanks to DragonSilk for beta-ing this!
Nico can’t remember any of the Christmases before his ninth birthday. He can’t remember the smell of his mother’s homemade cookies or decorating the Christmas tree. He can’t remember the way Bianca got so excited the year his mother let him pick out her present. In fact, Nico can’t remember anything about his life apart from his time at Westover Hall.
It’s at Westover where he has his first Christmas. Although Nico is nine, this is the first Christmas he can actually remember. This holiday is not particularly glamorous but it is one of Nico’s fondest memories. Christmas is spent in Bianca’s small dorm room, eating crappy cafeteria food and watching silly holiday movies about snowmen coming to life. They don’t have a tree or decorations or presents or anything really, but they have each other. Snuggled up to his sister, Nico sighs contentedly. Watching snow fall quietly outside the window, Nico thinks to himself, this is enough.
The year Nico turns ten, he and Bianca are thrust into the world of demigods and Greek mythology. He feels abandoned when Bianca leaves him to become a huntress, but after making Percy promise to look after her, he feels better. That summer is spent at Camp Half-Blood, patiently waiting for Bianca to come home from her adventure. It’s there he meets you-(Name), a daughter of Hephaestus. You tell him of all the years you’ve spent at Camp Half-Blood and teach him how to use a sword and how to ride a horse and after a while he considers the two of you friends. He can’t wait for Bianca to meet all his new friends and for Christmas to come around, though he knows it’ll be a couple months. You tell him of all the Christmases you’ve spent at Camp Half-Blood, and he’s excited to see how they’re going to spend Christmas with you and the rest of their new family. Nico waits and waits, and though the party returns, Bianca is not among them. Nico runs and blames Percy, though deep in his heart he knows it isn’t his fault. Nico just keeps running and doesn’t stop. He doesn’t celebrate Christmas that year.
When Nico is eleven, he is not even concerned with Christmas. All he can think about is Bianca. Her death is still fresh in his mind, and all he wants is to bring her back. Nico couldn’t trust anyone but Bianca. He can’t rely on anyone. He feels alone, isolated. Even after seeing Bianca again and letting go of his grudge on Percy, Nico still feels the same way. He feels out of place at Camp Half-Blood just as his father does at Mount Olympus. Though he meets you again at the Battle of the Labyrinth, and you invite him to spend Christmas at Camp Half-Blood, he declines. He can’t bring himself to celebrate a holiday that he used to only spend with Bianca. He feels too guilty. Nico spends that Christmas by himself, with only a small Hades figurine to keep him company.
The year Nico turns thirteen is the same year he first spends Christmas at Camp Half-Blood. Although in the past two years you and Nico have gotten close, when you ask him to come to the camp’s Christmas party, he says no. Christmas always reminds him of Bianca. You protest. No one should be alone on Christmas. He doesn’t give up and you eventually let him be. The next morning, when he exits his cabin, he notices a small red bag next to the door. Nico’s cheeks warm up when he realizes it’s a gift from you. He opens the bag to find a small keychain of his Hades figurine in it, which transforms into a shield with the press of a button. There’s a card attached. You don’t always have to spend Christmas alone. Merry Christmas. Love, (Name).
At sixteen you ask Nico to join in on the Christmas festivities and he declines again. You frown at him. Are you sure Nico? He nods, telling you he’ll be fine. Your frown deepens but you don’t press the matter. You chat more about trivial things before you start making your way to the Christmas party. You pause at the door. You know... Bianca wouldn’t have wanted you to spend Christmas alone, Nico. He doesn’t reply. You stare at him for a few more seconds before turning around and exiting the cabin. The door swings shut behind you before silence overtakes the room. Nico lies on his bed, staring at the ceiling of the Hades cabin. After a while his eyes glance over to the bedside table. Two small figurines of Hades sit there, one of them from Bianca and the other from you, staring back at him. He sits, gazing at the figures before making up his mind. He opens the bottom drawer of his bedside table and pulls out a red bag. Grabbing his aviator jacket, he exits his cabin and makes his way to the big house, which has been lavishly decorated for the occasion. He stands in front of the door for a good couple of minutes, trying to gather the courage to knock on the door. He runs a hand through his shaggy dark hair, a frustrated frown marring his face. Fuck it. He extends a hand and knocks on the door. In the seconds it takes someone to open the door, Nico almost loses his nerve. He’s just about to run off when the door opens and brown eyes meet (color). You smile. Nico.
You grab his hand, leading him inside and into a large area where the rest of the campers are congregated. Many of the campers let out yells of joy at Nico’s presence. Some campers come up to him, patting him on the back. The rest of the night is spent with his friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Nico wonders why he hasn’t done this before.
Near the end of the night, Nico remembers that he has a gift for you. Leading you to a quieter area of the house, he hands you the red bag. You gasp when you open the bag and take the box out, revealing a necklace decorated with small gleaming stones that mirrored your eyes. Your smile broadens as he puts it on for you. Thank you, Nico. You press a light kiss on his on the cheek, giggling when a light pink blush appears on his olive skin. As though out of thin air, Travis materializes next to you, a mischievous grin painted across his face. He points above the two of you. There above you, Conner stands holding mistletoe. Nico feels his cheeks burn darker. You laugh and shake your head at the boys. As you stand on your toes to kiss Nico lightly on the lips, all of his friends hoot with laughter, clapping hands merrily on his back. Nico thinks to himself, maybe I don’t have to spend Christmas alone.
Nico is seventeen when you ask him to spend Christmas with you again. This time, he doesn’t refuse.
Nico’s tenth Christmas is like something out of the Christmas specials he used to watch with Bianca. It’s held at Percy and Annabeth’s place. Their home is extravagantly decorated with tinsel and lights on every free surface. A massive tree sits in the middle of household, and that’s where all his friends and family gather, laughing and exchanging presents together. After, he goes home to his warm apartment with you in hand. The two of you climb into bed together, snuggling up to each other. Watching snow fall quietly outside the window, Nico sighs contentedly. And for the first time in a while, Nico thinks to himself, this is enough.