Disclaimer: I don't own PJO. If I did, Nico would get his own book and Thalico would become canon.
A/N. This pairing has been haunting me. There's just something about it. This is set during a proposed Percabeth wedding when Percy and Annabeth are around 20 years old.
I Take a Page From Hades' Playbook
I Go To A Wedding
Hades never sat down and pouted when he didn't get what he wanted. Hades took it. Nico was taking a long time to learn that lesson. That he could take whatever he wanted… he was the son of Hades. Why should he wait? Why should he pout about things that could so easily be his with a bit of force?
The wedding was beautiful by the time the day actually came. Everyone knew it was going to be. There were less monster attacks interrupting it than expected as well, especially since the magic walls were down to allow the mortal families of Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase through for the celebrations. There was just the one thing, the huntresses attending for Thalia was to be one of Annabeth's bridesmaids caused no small stir. Although no more of a stir than Tyson as Percy's best man (Grover had to settle for sharing the role otherwise there would be one great blubbering cyclops for the entire wedding party to deal with).
Nico wasn't part of the wedding party directly but they had put him in charge of decorating the area commanding the other campers and undead soldiers at his disposal. That would have all been well had Thalia Grace not come up to him on occasion and outright told him that he did a poor job at leadership and that he would never be done in time if she didn't take over the operation. Thalia should have had a job of her own to take care of for the wedding but she would have none of it.
Their confrontations didn't go unnoticed either. The younger campers were placing bets on which of the two children of the big three would come out unharmed from their quarreling. Sparks flew, along with threats but nothing came of it… and by the time the vows were recited it was all forgotten. Seemingly. Nico avoided looking at Thalia as she stood up there, her beautiful, ageless huntress self until she gave him a grin and he felt his stomach do a bit of a flop. He avoided her all throughout after the dancing and celebrations had been going on for some time and he was at his table alone playing scissors, paper, rock with a skeleton he summoned up for company.
She finally sought him out again and flopped beside him. "Have you ever danced before?"
'Hi Nico, how are you? Great not to be biting your head off for a change.' He gave her a dark look. "Dancing is stupid." Unless he was making skeletal soldiers dance because that was defiantly more cool than stupid, although Nico had pretty much held the same opinions on things like dancing since he was ten. Now he was sixteen, an accomplished hero who had been on plenty of quests (just not as many as Percy had) and he didn't need to be told what to do like it was his first time at camp.
"Come on." Thalia pulled him up out of his seat minding the skeleton and started jumping around frantically with him in tow until the song ended and a slower one began, probably quite opportunely because jumping around like she was front row at a concert did very little for the people caught in the way of her limbs. Now settled though her hands sought his waist and Nico was just about ready to change his mind entirely about how stupid dancing was. The girl he had known since that day they revealed him as a demigod, close friend of Percy and Annabeth's and one of the last people to see his sister alive was all but melding into him – not repulsed by his company of the dead, not disgusted by the fact he wore a suit that probably looked like it was stolen off a corpse it was so out of date in its style. Most importantly though she was not yelling at him and trying to take over his duties, treating him like a ten year old again even though she was supposed to be younger than he was now. Dancing was an exception for Thalia because this was a special day for two of her friends and there was much more of a relaxed atmosphere to it than any of the days before it, where she was more taken with living like a lieutenant than letting loose.
"Good. I lost Tyson. He was looking to dance the next dance with me since Percy wasn't going to let his brother have Annabeth for any longer today." Thalia pulled a face and Nico deadpanned. He really lacked a sense of humor most times. "Weird they're married. Always knew it was going to happen though. Annabeth had something different with Percy, not like Percy and me. Half the time I didn't know if we were going to be friends or enemies. He's a good guy though." Thalia blabbered into Nico's neck as they danced; keeping it casual and friend-like even though it was hard for Nico to see it that way.
It was his first dance. She was paying attention to him. She radiated that huntress energy that marked Bianca when she became one of them… something that was so irritating to Nico at first, but something that grew on him quickly. As he realized there was a certain spark to the girls that made you covert it the more and more you saw it; like gold dust sprinkled all over the skin, not that Thalia wouldn't have still been beautiful without it.
"Yeah, he's always been great on the quests I've been on with him." Nico emphasized that 'I've' as if to say: 'I'm not a little kid anymore, I've gone on plenty of quests.' He was seeking her approval, but not just that, he wanted a little recognition that he had in fact grown up now (respect would have been nice as well, but he would take what he could get).
"I know about the quests, I've had to help you two out of a bind a few times," Thalia provoked with a forked tongue but a jovial attitude.
Nico grit his teeth. "Once."
"The dragon hatchling. So, twice. It was only a hatchling I don't know why two accomplished heroes like yourselves couldn't handle it."
"We did handle it, I just…" He sighed, defeated. "Got tired."
"Not tired now? It's almost bedtime surely Ghost King."
It was four in the afternoon and Nico was not thrilled about the jibe.
"Time to rest in peace…" she continued and she just couldn't lay off the death jokes for five seconds of being with him. He supposed that kept them from discussing weightier topics like the huntresses, Bianca, their fathers who acted like they wanted to kill each other far more than Nico and Thalia ever did that week.
He would have rolled his eyes but he was nervous, she was still touching him lightly (leaving goosebumps under his suit), grinning at him with that wicked grin of hers and making him feel like lightning was going to start coming from his own fingertips with the power that he felt just holding her in his arms.
Persephone did tell Nico that he would never be content with the easy girl, no one from cabin Aphrodite more specific to the advice. That like his father he wanted a challenge. Those words had meant absolutely nothing to the young Nico until that very moment. "You're hot." He blurted out suddenly like he was a kid about to start boasting about his games again and just said whatever came to his mind about all the new and exciting things he was experiencing. Sometimes, even now at sixteen, Nico could just not hold back.
Thalia's eyes widened and she misstepped putting down a foot on his toes with some strength, causing the tear ducts in the corner of his eyes to loosen the tiniest amount. So much for not appearing like a little kid in front of her again, because a tear trickled down and he probably looked pretty foolish (even though she was the one to stamp on him!).
"Not that, you weren't hot before, I just never noticed because you were always too busy barking orders" he couldn't help himself from digging himself a shallow grave, bumbling through his conversation as if it was his first time ever to Camp Half Blood all over again and his excitement was getting the better of him. "Did you want to go for a walk?" He was hopeful. Stupidly. In hindsight he should have known his request would be flat out denied. He should have asked her to play video games instead that would have sounded much less like he wanted a date.
"I have duties." Thalia responded stiffly and pushed him away as the song ended, storming off toward the other huntresses who were being taught a lavish dance by the nymphs.
Nico didn't take the Hades course of action when she left. He sat down and pouted until Grover found him and forced him to watch him do a jig. Scowling Nico watched as Thalia hugged Annabeth and Percy for a monstrous amount of time and then made her exit, her eyes went in a line straight past him as she turned and left. She was followed immediately by her liege and Nico's face grew glummer and glummer. What was that his step-mother had told him? That he sought a challenge and there was no greater challenge than the daughter of Zeus, lieutenant of the huntresses.
Grover could tell Nico wasn't really paying attention to his little dance and he sat beside him, following the trail of his eyes to the last huntress that was leaving. "They're really something, those girls. An expensive jewel behind a glass case that no one can ever open." It was foreboding, but Grover was speaking with some experience. Any that fell for a huntress were just bound to get themselves caught like a thief trying to rob a jewelry store. "Hey, I got eyes in the back of my head man," No he didn't. Grover had been too busy trying to impress his girlfriend and her friends with that jig and when they just laughed at him he came to get Nico's advice on what was wrong with it. But he was intuitive enough to know that the ever headstrong and commanding Thalia had to be behind this. "This is about you and Thalia Grace? Heard she was treating you like a real kid." And Grover knew all about 'kids' too. "So whatchu going to do about it?"
Grover meant to get even with her but Nico was not thinking along those lines. "I will make her mine." He answered firmly, expressionless and Grover let out a low whistle.
"Your funeral man," he told him before getting up and clamping a hand on Nico's shoulder then running off to show the jig again to anyone that would give him the time of day (and not be moping over unattainable huntresses). But Nico was determined now. The pouting was over with and it was time to show the world what a true son of Hades was made of.