Hey guys!

So, this was written for Camp Jupiter's Short Comp Challenge (link in my bio if you want to join.)

Anyways, I kind of liked the result so figured I would post it here. This is set after HoO.

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or anything created by Rick Riordan.

Word count: 699 words.

Cheers for reading! Hope you enjoy.

"Hello (From The Other Side)"

"Are you sure you don't want me to go?"

Nico rolled his eyes as he closed his backpack. "Really, Solace. You think I'm going to get lost or something?"

"Of course not," Will scoffed. He sat besides Nico's backpack on his bed and shot the Son of Hades an exasperated look. "I'm just saying that you might need company. That's all."

Nico shook his head as he finally looked at Will with a fond smile, both annoyed and endeared by the mother-hen that was his boyfriend. When Nico replied, his voice was devoid of any burden. "Will, I am aware that I have a lot of unresolved issues but really, this isn't one of them."

Will leaned his head and narrowed his eyes as he studied Nico, who returned his look with an easy, almost amused smile.

Finally, Will sighed. "I wished I had inherited my father's power of knowing when someone's lying. Your face is effortlessly devoid of emotion and it's infuriating."

"I'll be back in a few hours." Nico rolled his eyes and kissed Will's cheek before making his way to the door. "Now leave my cabin and do something productive while I'm gone, okay?"

Whatever Will replied to that, Nico would never know. As Nico turned his back towards the cabin, he found himself with a roman praetor and a pegasus waiting for him down the stairs.

After a moment of speechless shock, Nico sighed wearily. "Will put you up to this, didn't he?"

"He might have mentioned it yesterday in the Dining Pavilion," Reyna admitted as she adjusted her toga. "Anyways, since it's my last day before I return to Camp Jupiter, I thought I would take you wherever you want to go."

"Well, I don't need a ride," Nico argued as he climbed down the wooden stairs that led to his cabin. "Thanks anyways."

Reyna raised her eyebrows. "Are you shadow-travelling?"

"...Yes."

Reyna climbed onto Guido and offered Nico a hand. "The doctor's orders still apply, Nico. No shadow-travelling."

Nico huffed with annoyance but took her hand all the same. "You and Solace should form a patrol or something. This is ridiculous."

Reyna only smirked with sufficiency. "Where to?"


They arrived just before sunset.

Reyna left him to his own devices once they arrived, promising she would pick him up in an hour before taking off with Guido.

Nico slowly turned, taking in his surroundings almost with reverence. Westover Hall had been demolished since he and Bianca were rescued all those years ago but still, the ruins remained, just like his memories.

Nico wandered the place slowly, studying the gray fallen pillars and the remnants of what used to be the castle-like building they had been pupils in before their whole lives changed. For the first time since Bianca's death, memories from his past life came to him like old acquaintances, acquaintances he didn't fear anymore. Memories of Italy, Vegas, the Underworld, Maine. All of those years in which Bianca had been his only constant. His only person.

He had chosen Westover Hall because it was the last place in which Bianca and him were on the same path. When the hunters and the demigods showed up to rescue them, a crossroad appeared before them. And both siblings took different paths.

It felt weird, living his life without Bianca. It hurt knowing that his life with his sister was over and that whatever happened next, Bianca would have no clue of it. Still, for the first time, he had come to accept her death. He accepted the different paths they had taken and he was happy with where he had ended up.

Still, he would never forget her.

After a few more moments in which he explored the place, his surroundings both familiar and unfamiliar to him, he opened his backpack and grabbed a bottle of ambrosia before sitting on one of the ruins. He had also packed Bianca's favourite cake - chocolate with white frosting -, but he would eat that later.

"Happy birthday, Bianca," Nico said with a small smile before taking a sip from the bottle.

And, as he watched the sunset in silence, he could swear he felt his sister with him.