"Truth hurts, don’t it?"
Nico remembers that perfectly, it was the last time he and Percy had talked, after a huge fight neither of them was sure what was about.
Nico’s not sure who tells him Percy’s in town, after—maybe it’s more than one person. It could be Jason or Hazel. It could be his gut.
Maybe he only ends up at his apartment because he wants to get away from everything, just for a few minutes, and he remembers the address, finds it so easy—what if it’s a sign, what if it says you’re doing the right thing, the way it is so easy to get there, no time for freak-outs or wanting to back down—to hail a cab and give out that address.
He’s had a couple of drinks—being old enough to drink legally is new and he kind of feels like he should make the most of it, even though he still grimaces every other sip, no matter what he orders. He’s not sure he even wants to like it enough to force himself through warming up to the taste and the burn and the—the taste, really, he just doesn’t get why anyone would drink anything alcoholic when fruity virgin cocktails exist. The alcohol just ruins the deliciousness.
He’ll probably be over the newness of ordering those drinks without fear or guilt by next week. He’ll forget what was so cool about it.
He keeps forgetting things.
"Hey," he says when he opens the door, "can I—" he gestures in the general direction of inside, gaze fixed on him. He’s familiar with this place, this particular spot, standing on the mat outside his door and waiting to be let in, even though it’s been almost a year since the last time that happened. He gave him a key, after a while. He’s pretty sure he never gave it back.
"Sure," he says quickly, shaking his head a little, like that’ll make the surprise in his eyes fall off.
Nico shuffles his feet as he walks in, heels screeching on the hardwood until he reaches the carpeted part of his living room.
His apartment looks about the same as the last time he was here. Maybe a little less messy, which is—confusing, because, on the one hand, it could be his fault, it could be that he left some kind of lingering tidiness in the air. On the other hand, it was never this organized and relatively void of out-of-place stuff when Percy knew Nico was coming over, and clearly it could have been. Percy could have made the effort and he didn’t.
It also looks bigger. Roomier. But he knows that’s just him, just a shift in perspective.
"Are you hungry? Do you want something to drink?"
"I’m not really—" he begins; he means to say I didn’t really come here for a specific reason, or I’m not really sure why I’m here, but I’m fine. Nico knows better than to think he’s capable of asking for a serious conversation, even hypothetically. But what comes out is, "—here," and it’s a gasp, a realization that makes his eyes widen and makes him say, again, "I’m not really here," in a rushed breath.
"You kind of are," Percy points out, and tje younger boy shakes his head because logic, who wants that? He laughs at himself and watches Percy stride calmly across the room. "If I ask what you’re doing here, are you going to answer or just fight me on it?"
Nico cocks his head and looks around, lips pursed. “Neither.” In the process of saying that word, he takes a step forward, and suddenly Percy’s right there, close enough to touch. Nico’s not thinking about it when he reaches for the green eyed boy, when he rolls the hem of his t-shirt around his finger. Instead, he’s thinking about all the accusations he threw around the last time he was here. And the last time they held a conversation on the phone for longer than thirty seconds. “Because I’m not here,” he repeats, and bites his lip.
"You’re—" Percy begins, then takes a look at his face. Realization washes over him then, mostly negative, which Nico should maybe take badly, just as he should take it badly when Percy says, "Oh, boy," like something’s really, really wrong. The thing is, Percy’s still here.
He’s not batting Nico’s hands off.
He’s not stepping away.
He doesn’t stop Nico when he kisses him, either; in fact, his hands immediately go to his waist and Nico opens his mouth by accident, seriously, totally an accident.
It’s all downhill from there.
"You’re not drunk, are you?" Percy asks. He sounds mostly concerned; Nico guesses he was maybe going for detached, too, but he completely fails at it.
"Do I taste drunk?" Nico says, a little surprised. Percy frowns. Okay, that was a ridiculous thing to say, if his mouth tastes like anything, it’ll be the iced coffee he drank in the cab.
"Are you going to regret this?" Percy asks, slowly, and Nico laughs again.
"Oh, gods," he says, wheezing, "yes, I am—yes," and his stomach feels tight as he tries to rein the laughter in, and at some point Percy gives up and slips his hands down the back of Nico’s trousers and surprises him into seriousness. "Yeah," he breathes out, slow this time, and then he’s kissing Percy again, holding onto his arms and dragging him towards his bedroom.
They haven’t really talked in months. This is the worst thing any of them could possibly do, and Nico’s doing it. He’s doing it, and he’s pushing Percy to reciprocate, and this is the worst thing ever, this is the break-up sex he swore to himself he would never, ever have, and he wants it so bad he doesn’t even care.
He hopes that’s just a part of the process, too, and not a step back.