Hey guys!

So, this is another one-shot in response to Camp Jupiter. It was weird writing of Nico as a parent but I saw this Instagram post about Nico being really cool with the kids at Camp Half-Blood, and it inspired me to write this. Hope you guys like it!

Disclaimer: I do not own this characters except for Gia.

Cohort: Fifth.

Prompt: 3. Watching someone you love cry, really cry, for the first time.

Remember to fav, follow and review! Hope you guys like it!

"Unfiltered Joy."

If Nico had to choose, he'd say that the reason why he saw Reyna as his best friend was because of her steel demeanour.

The thing was that her calmness, her natural ease to accept every thought passing through his mind allowed Nico to be comfortable with her in a way he didn't feel with anybody else.

So, it surprised no one that when he finally admitted his latest heart's desire, it was to her.

They were in the middle of one of their usual get-togethers. Every Friday after work, the pair met in Caffeina Shop for their usual afternoon of drinking coffee, gossiping and catching up. It was a typical October' afternoon in New York City, with the leaves of the trees painted yellow, red and brown. People walked down the streets in a hurry as they tightened their coats, hats and scarves in a futile attempt of getting warmer. Still, there was this charm that no other season was able to show. The color the trees added to the streets, plus the excitement for the incoming Halloween added a particular enchant to New York City.

Inside Caffeina Shop, Reyna and Nico were in their element. The fire burned cheerfully from the fireplace by the far end of the room. Painted in tones of hazel brown and cream, the coffee house in itself was small and quaint, perfect for people who felt best in quiet, comfortable places. Small, polished wooden tables filled the room, the chairs around them all mismatching, yet somehow adding to the charm.

That afternoon, Reyna and Nico had claimed their usual table by the window. Both of them were cradling their hot mugs in a poor attempt of absorbing the warmth pouring from them. Their coats, scarves, hats and bags had been discarded onto a third chair. Their hairs were messy due to the window and the whole process of taking off their hats but none commented on it. They reckoned it was a testament to their friendship if they let it slide for once.

"Hey, are you alright?" Reyna suddenly broke the comfortable silence made between them. "You're even quieter than usual."

Nico sometimes wished Reyna didn't know him so much. It would have prevented him from having to swallow down his nerves and come up with the truth.

Alas, Nico knew that was just wishful thinking so, finally, he took a sip of his black coffee in the hopes that it would give him courage. Then, he cleared his throat. "There's something I've been thinking for a while."

"Okay," Reyna nodded as she moved the strands of hair that had fallen from her braid away for her face. Then, she smiled with encouragement. "Let's hear it."

"Okay." Nico breathed before shaking his head. He was certain of what he wanted but still, that didn't mean that he wasn't about to turn into an overwhelmed mess. At the end, he managed to blurt it out. "I want to adopt a kid."

Nico studied Reyna carefully for her reaction. The tall, intimidating brunette rested her back against her seat as she sipped from her latte. An eternal moment of silence enveloped them as she thought about it and he waited for her reply while holding his breath anxiously.

Then, she nodded with ease. "Okay. I assume I'm going to be the godmother, right?"

Right then and there, Nico's love for her best friend grew exponentially.

"Of course you are," Nico deadpanned before smiling thinly. "Who else is going to step in when I irrevocably mess up?"

"I figured that." Reyna smiled smugly before clearing her throat. "Hey, you know I support you no matter what, right? Still, I really want to ask-."

"Why now?" Nico finished for her, his eyes wide with anxiety.

"I know that you have a stable job and that you're an old man so it's the right time to do this," Reyna hurried on to explain herself, chuckling when Nico snorted. "But still, I can't help but think that the reason why you want to do this has nothing to do with anything I mentioned before."

"First, you might enjoy calling me an old man just because I turned thirty last January but remember that you're still two years older than me so really, who is the real elder in this duo?" Nico retorted with a smirk, easily docking the sugar packet Reyna threw at him. "Nice aim, by the way."

"Thanks," Reyna smiled pleasantly before gesturing at Nico. "So, you were saying?"

"Right," Nico nodded to himself, gathering his thoughts as he took a longing gaze at his empty cup. As if on cue, Reyna flashed a waiter down, causing Nico to grin thankfully. "So, you know how it's been years since I started going to a psychiatrist?"

"Yes," Reyna nodded before thanking the waiter as he refilled Nico's cup and took Reyna's request for another latte. "How is that going, by the way?"

"Um, it varies. It's like, I now understand that it isn't really supposed to make you feel better. I mean, the whole thing is a process one must go through in order to accept our struggles, past, trauma and everything else but, until it's over, it's painful and exhausting, right?" Nico began, gesturing with his hands in a vague manner as he tried to come up with the right words to speak up his mind.

Reyna only nodded, her eyes crinkled with silent encouragement and that made Nico less nervous. He wasn't a man for words and when he had to explain what's going through his mind, it tended to be flustering more than anything else but, as mentioned before, Reyna's calmness eased his mind.

Before too long, Nico could feel his voice slowing as panic stopped ruling over his mind. His hands stopped gesturing and at last, he was somewhat comfortable as he continued opening himself up to his friend. "Still, I feel that, until I met you in highschool, I didn't really have a family. With my father leaving us before I was even able to remember his face, and my mom and sister dying in that car accident...until you, I was on my own. And I want to be that family for somebody else. I always thought I would wait until I found a boyfriend who would want the same thing-."

"Well, you don't need one so I'm glad you're not waiting," Reyna declared with a proud look. "And I love this idea. I think you're going to be an amazing dad."

Dad.

Nico had always thought of the idea as adopting a kid. He had never thought of it as that kid getting a dad. He was going to be responsible for the education and raising of a kid. He was going to be the one to take care of them, the one who made sure they were healthy, safe and loved.

Nico Di Angelo, a dad. That's a combination of words he had never seen coming.

They did feel good but still, the suddenness of the situation was overpowering.

"I don't know, I just...I really want this and it terrifies me because I'm not really sure I'm ready for this!" Nico bursted, laughing humorlessly as he skillfully avoided Reyna's gaze. "Ugh, I'm such a mess."

"No, you are not. You just care about this a lot." Reyna replied calmly before straightening up with a victorious smirk. "Thank the gods your best friend is also a lawyer with wonderful contacts, right?"

"You're going to help me?" Nico wasn't one to doubt his best friend but still, there was a stressful process to take into account. The interviews and the house reviews and...it was just too much for a person to do out of the goodness of her heart.

"Nico, you should have seen your face when you were telling me about this. I have never seen you so excited and happy about something." Reyna confided with snorting. "Besides, I'd rather travel to Tartarus itself before missing the chance of seeing Broody Di Angelo becoming an adoring parent."

"I keep telling you that I hate that nickname," Nico grumbled moodily.

Reyna smiled serenely before reaching for her cup. "And I keep telling you I don't care. Now, drink up, and let's discuss the movie for tonight. I'm thinking of a horror movie? To make up for the fact that you'll be soon watching nothing but cartoons and Disney' movies."

On any other afternoon, Nico would have thrown the contents of his cup on Reyna but the love he felt for his best friend prevented him from doing so. Instead, Nico reached through the table for Reyna's hand before grabbing his cup and discussing horror movies.

Sans grand announcements, it had been a pretty normal evening.


The next year was a whirlwind.

After talking to Reyna, Nico felt comfortable enough to tell the rest of his friends and, for the most part, he got the reactions he expected. Jason was all emotional as he offered to babysit. Percy and Leo wouldn't stop making jokes about Nico or arguing about who was going to be the kid's favorite uncle. Hazel, Piper and Annabeth all offered to be in charge of the shopping required for the kid, even offering to pamper them with books, clothes and everything else they could possibly want or need.

So, through a process that implicated hundreds of new experiences, Nico dived into one of the most terrifying yet exciting periods of his life.

Between choosing an adoption agency, submitting the application, dealing with the home visits, attending the mandatory training and working with the agency to match with a kid, Nico felt as if his life had been thrown upside-down.

Still, he wouldn't have changed it for the world.

There was this unfiltered joy about making a home for a kid who needed it. The idea of being a dad, which honestly had unnerved him slightly when he started the whole process, was now a welcomed idea. In truth, he had come to love his kid even before he met them.

Fall had arrived once again when Nico was finally allowed to take his adoptive daughter Gia home. Of course, he still had to deal with the three-month agency' supervision but, for the first time, there was a three-year-old kid sleeping in the former guest room.

The design of the room had been a struggle (everyone, including Gia, had their opinions about it), but it had finally been finished. The walls had been painted white except for the one behind her bed, which had been painted navy blue. An army of stuffed animals filled the room, courtesy of his friends. Her closet was already filled with clothes for the next couple of years, all of them organized by Piper. Finally, her toys were neatly organized in bins and recipients, though Nico was more than aware it wouldn't be too long before the room was left in chaos.

Nico leaned against the door frame and watched the little girl sleep peacefully in her bed. Gia was a bubbly, witty, charming brunette. She liked to dance at the most random of times, her hazel eyes were wide and sweet and her laugh was infectious. She had an obsession with She-Ra, blue was her favorite color and she liked bear hugs.

Nico was ecstatic.

After a long moment, Nico made his way to his kitchen, where Reyna was doing the dishes. Reyna had offered to stay the first night with them so she could give a hand while also taking the chance to bond with her favorite (and only) goddaughter/ niece.

Nico was really thankful for her, especially because it allowed him to gush about his daughter with someone who loved her almost as much as he did.

But then, he opened the door to the kitchen.

And found Reyna crying, her hands filled with dish soap as she did the dishes.

Nico was bewildered. He had never seen Reyna cry.

Not even during the Game Of Thrones' finale.

"Reyna?" Nico asked, his voice small as he stepped towards his best friend carefully. "Are you okay?"

Reyna looked at him and chuckled as she wiped her eyes with impatience. "Nothing, I just...I'm happy."

"Reyna, you've never cried before." Nico declared as he crossed his arms before his chest. His brow was furrowed with concern and confusion. "What could you be so happy about that is making you cry?"

Reyna smiled tearfully, her voice breaking as she replied. "I'm an aunt."

Nico faltered at that, suddenly realizing that it wasn't only his life that had been altered. It had been hers too. It was her family too that had incremented.

He couldn't voice his happiness. The happiness filling his every cell was too great to be measured.

Instead, he hugged her silently. Just like that, the two best friends stood in the kitchen, hugging as they celebrated the addition to their little, slightly dysfunctional family.