A/N: Hey, all. I've been promising a really great friend this one shot for a long time, I finally wrote it up yesterday after a few white lies. It took me four hours, completely drained me, and also turned out nothing like I had envisioned, but he likes it - which I'm still shrieking about in my head. Anyway, on with the story. After the disclaimer.
DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING PJO RELATED! You recognize it then it sure as heck ain't mine. I wrote this purely for entertainment. No money involved.
DEDICATED TO JETTHEBINTURONG ON REDWALL ABBEY DOT COM!

Nico di Angelo's life sucked. Or it did at the moment, as he was in the middle of a little town in upstate New York, battling hell hounds while exhausted and sleep deprived. Definitely fun, Nico thought as he was backed up against the side of a house.

Looking over his options, the demigod had to admit they weren't very good ones: One, charge through the group of about five hellhounds and likely die; two, attempt bending them to his will again, and considering the reactions of the hounds the first time he'd tried that, Nico wasn't very eager to try that again; or three, the option with the most rate of success if he didn't die doing it – Shadowtravelling. The only problem was that he could very well die, considering that Nico hadn't slept in about two and a half days and hadn't eaten much that day, and to add to that, when the pack had jumped him one of them had bitten him.

Absorbed in his thoughts, Nico dropped his guard for a moment and was rewarded for it by the hellhound on that side swiping at his arm. Startled, Nico swung his sword and deflected the hound's attack, then went ahead and stabbed it, effectively killing it. If I'm going to die, I may as well do it properly, the demigod thought with a sarcastic smile as he stepped into the shadow that the dying hellhound left. . .

. . . To step into the shadow cast by Half-Blood Hill, on the un-protected side of the hill. Nico swore and took a small step up the hill when he heard a bark behind him. Turning, he saw that one of the hellhounds had followed him. From the top of the hill he heard a shout, but Nico didn't pay attention, focusing on the hound in front of him and trying to keep the darkness on the edges of his vision from taking over. "Come on, we both frequent the Underworld. You don't want to kill me, do you?" Nico pleaded, his hand tightening around his sword hilt as he tried not to fall over and sleep.

The hellhound growled, clearly not convinced, and it took a step forward. Nico took a step backwards, trying to keep an equal distance between the two of them, but his muscles did not want to cooperate and the hellhound took the moment to pounce. Nico had just enough time to side step and swing, and then the hellhound was dead. The Stygian Iron sword fell to the ground, followed a moment later by Nico as he gave up and let the darkness spread over his vision.

~~~Line break~~~

Will's day was going just fine until lunch time. Then he was pulled away from his salad because a son of Hephaestus got severely burnt. When he was done treating him, a daughter of Athena broke her arm. Will was just going back to the salad one of his siblings had thoughtfully brought along from the dining pavilion for him when a sibling burst into the infirmary, "Will! Are you in here? It's an emergency!" His sister yelled. Will stood up, nearly knocking his salad onto the floor, and nearly ran out of the little room the Apollo cabin used to take a few moments to take a small break while working. "

What's wrong, Kayla?" He demanded. "It's Nico di Angelo, a son of Athena saw him at the bottom of Half-Blood Hill battling a hellhound. The hellhound's dead now, but Nico's unconscious." Will started tearing around the infirmary, grabbing ambrosia. "Do you know how badly Nico's injured?"

"He has a hellhound bite on one of his arms; he looks like he hasn't eaten in days; and I don't know what else." Kayla reported, waiting at the entrance to the infirmary to let Will know when the son of Athena got close.

A few minutes later, Nico was on a bed, Will was frantically trying to wake him up, and Kayla was literally shoving the son of Athena out the door. "Kayla, go tell Chiron what happened." Will ordered, giving up on waking Nico for the moment and grabbing a bottle of nectar. "But, Will," Kayla started to protest. "Kayla, just do it!" Will snapped. A moment later the door opened and Kayla left in a huff.

After tending to Nico's arm, Will sat in the chair by his bed and stared at the unconscious demigod. "What on earth did you get yourself into, di Angelo?" Will muttered, smoothing the younger demigod's hair back from his forehead. A few minutes later, Will rose and went back to his salad, although he made sure that he could still see Nico.

Later that day around sunset, Nico still hadn't woken up and Will was starting to get worried. He should have woken up by now, I don't like this. He thought uneasily. Sitting back down in the chair by Nico's bed, the son of Apollo let his mind roam over the information Kayla had given him, pondering the possibilities. After twenty minutes of that, though, Will's eyes closed and didn't open again; he was asleep.

When Will woke up the next morning, it was to find Nico sitting up and watching him, a strange look on his face. "Why are you looking at me like that?" Will asked somewhat sleepily. "No reason, really," Nico replied, looking away. Will reached out and took Nico's hand, "Seriously, what's up? Why'd you run off from camp for a week?" Nico's head shot up and he looked at Will's hand covering his, then up at the healer's face before sliding his hand away. "That's none of your business." Nico stated firmly, ignoring the hurt look that flitted across Will's face.

"I'll make it my business if I have to, di Angelo. Something's bothering you and I want to know so I can fix it. That's what friends do." Nico looked back at Will's face, "What did you say?" There was a vulnerable look in Nico's eyes that, for some reason, made Will want to do anything for the son of Hades. "I said that's what friends do."

A smile made its way onto Nico's face, and Will internally cheered that he'd made the other demigod smile. Reaching over, he smoothed Nico's hair away from his eyes again, hoping he hadn't just crossed a line. "Are you hungry?" He asked, and Nico nodded.

It wasn't how the unlikely friendship started, but it was certainly how it got closer. Nico started hanging around the infirmary more and more, and smiled and laughed a lot more. So no one was really surprised four months later when the two told the camp that they were a couple.