So this is a story that I had in my head and I thought I'd get it down. This is how I think it would go if Nico ever told Percy his secret.
Warning: if you haven't read House of Hades, it contains spoilers!
Thanks for reading, enjoy! :)


Percy

Nico had been avoiding him. Percy wasn't stupid, despite what other people would think. Sure, he had his moments, but when it counted, he was surprisingly intelligent. Ever since he and Annabeth escaped from Tartarus, Nico had been distant and angry.

Okay, so maybe Nico was always a little moody. But he was even more so. Percy wondered what he'd done to offend the guy.

"Hey, Nico." Percy said, walking up behind him.

Nico was sitting above deck, staring at the horizon. "Hey." He replied, his voice guarded.

Percy sat next to him, and admired the view. "Nice, isn't it?"

Nico rolled his eyes. "What do you want, Percy?"

"Have I done something to offend you?" Percy blurted out, and then inwardly kicked himself. Nico would probably just clam up or walk away. Great.

Nico glared at Percy, his eyes filled with anger. There was something else there. Hurt? Percy wasn't sure. "No."

"Then what?" He was confused. "Do you hate me or something?" Nico just rolled his eyes.

"Hate you? I couldn't hate you, Percy. You've saved my life too many times for me to hate you."

"I don't understand, then. Why you always push me away. I'm trying to be your friend but you don't even want to make an effort." Percy looked down, frustrated. This kid wouldn't give him anything.

"You wouldn't understand!" Nico suddenly yelled.

"You're right, I don't understand!" Percy yelled back. He was sick of not knowing. Sick of being kept out of things because people thought he wouldn't understand. He was sick of Nico being mad at him.

Nico didn't answer. He glared at the floor, as if hoping it would swallow him up.

"You won't even give me a chance to understand." Percy said finally.

"It doesn't matter." Nico didn't meet his eyes.

"I'm not leaving. Not until you talk to me." Percy dug his heels in. He wasn't going to let this go.

"It's none of your business, Percy!" Nico spat.

"It is my business when you act like you hate me all the time!" Percy said, exasperated.

"Just. Leave. Me. Alone." Nico said, his voice low and dangerous.

Shivers went up Percy's spine. Nico could be scary.

"Dude, I know it's hard, but Annabeth –"

"Annabeth?" Nico cut him off. "You think this is about Annabeth?"

Percy was confused again. It was obvious that Nico liked Annabeth. He'd had a crush on her for ages.

"Well, yeah. Look, I know that you like her, and that's okay." Percy said reassuringly.

"I don't like Annabeth." Nico said firmly.

"I'm not mad. I don't blame you – "

"I don't like her!" Nico yelled.

"You have to face your feelings one day."

"You want me to face my feelings? Fine." Nico glared at Percy. "I don't like Annabeth, Percy."

"Then what –"

"I never did. I like you, not Annabeth." Nico's eyes got darker for a second, and he looked a lot like his dad, Hades.

Percy blinked. "Oh."

He didn't really know what to say. He'd never been in this position before but he definitely didn't want to lose his friendship with Nico.

"See? This is why I didn't want to tell you. Forget it." Nico's voice cracked. He looked as if he was about to cry.

Percy patted Nico on the shoulder. "Look, man. I'm not going to judge you."

"Don't touch me."

"Dude, I'm trying to be a good friend here." Percy said, hoping that for once Nico would just trust him.

"Stop trying. It'll make it easier for both of us." Nico's voice was harsh, but his eyes were filled with hurt.

"Easier for both of us, Nico? Or easier for you?"

Nico didn't answer. He just glared at Percy for a long moment.

"Just make an effort for once!"

"Make an effort?" Nico spat. "Do you know how hard it is to be around you? You and Annabeth... how hard it is to watch you two? And you're telling me that I'm not making an effort?"

Percy suddenly felt guilty about how much time he was spending with Annabeth, about how... couple-y they were in front of everyone.

"Look, Nico, I'm sorry." Percy said finally.

"Whatever."

"But I meant what I said. I'm not going to judge you."

Nico glared at him again. "Everyone judges me. Why wouldn't you? Not only am I a son of Hades, I'm gay."

"Because I'm your friend. You trusted me enough to admit it to me, so why would I go and judge you for that?"

"No one's ever accepted me besides Bianca, and she died." Nico said bitterly.

Percy sighed and put his face in his hands. He still felt guilty over Bianca's death, and he doubted he'd ever move on from it. He felt even worse now that Nico had revealed that he was alone without her. "I really am sorry."

"Yeah. Well. It's too late now, isn't it?" Nico looked at his hands.

"I know. But just take a chance on me. Take a chance that I'm your friend, that you can trust me. I'm not going to let you down."

"If I had a dollar for every time someone said that..." Nico began. "But they've always let me down. Everyone."

"Not me." Percy said finally. "I won't. You're my friend."

Percy hoped that he wasn't going to say the wrong thing. One wrong move, and Nico would clam up again.

"Nico, my fatal flaw is that I would sacrifice the world to save one of my friends. I'm too loyal. Do you know who told me that? Athena."

Nico sighed. "I know. It's just... if I pretend that you're some horrible person, it's easier to leave. To not return. To cut you off completely."

"You should face your problems, not run away from them. You never know, you might actually be happier."

"I don't know. Maybe."

"Friends?" Percy smiled and held out his hand.

"I guess." Nico half-smiled. "For now."