WILL I

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"No, Jason Grace, you cannot wake up Nico!"

"Shouldn't you keep your voice down so you don't wake him up then?" The son of Jupiter pointed out. Beside him Piper chuckled before leading him out of the infirmity were they could talk outside. Will followed, but only after he glanced at Nico to make sure his outburst hadn't woken him.

Outside, campers were beginning to leave their cabins and go about their days. It was finally early enough that demigods would get up to eat breakfast, aid in the further clean-up of camp, or spend time relaxing. Without any way of getting prophecies, and a major battle having just passed, everyone was taking advantage of the down time at some point. War was exhausting after all.

"He needs to rest," Will explained as they took a seat at the Hades table. It had basically become a table for the remaining six of the Seven plus Nico. It wasn't like Percy, Jason, and Nico needed their own tables anyway. Chiron also didn't have it in him to tell them not to sit together. The group had been through a lot; the rule that campers had to sit at the table of their own designated godly parent was being broken often anyway. He made a note to repeal the rule during the next meeting. "I know you wanted to ask him to be on your team for capture the flag, but it's not like we're going to play it anytime soon.

"Actually," Piper said as she returned with plates for Will, Jason, and her, "Jason already asked Chiron if we can have a game tomorrow night so people can unwind after days of repairing damage to the camp."

Will mentally asked for pancakes, which appeared on his plate moments later, before voicing his concern. "I really don't think he'll be in any condition to play."

Jason pouted, his girlfriend rolling her eyes but placing a hand on his shoulder sympathetically. "But I wanted him to be on my team! We were going to have our first game as bros and everything. I guess I can ask Percy but then our team would be overpowered without another son of the three on the opposing team. Are you really sure he won't be able to join?"

Will sighed exasperatedly, running a hand through his blond hair as he thought. As a healer he really didn't think Nico should be playing a game that landed dozens of demigods in the infirmary as it was. However, he knew that Nico also needed to start socializing. Too many years had gone by where he sat in the background, unnoticed and avoiding people that could have been his friends. Playing capture the flag with his half-siblings and friends would be a good thing if not for him having exhausted himself and getting attacked by a werewolf.

Then again, maybe Will could be lenient just this one time.

"If I let him play tomorrow night," he started after sacrificing a pancake to his father, "then the Apollo cabin will also be on your team. He will not be allowed be in the group guarding the flag, going after the flag, or the decoy group. Yes, Jason, I know about the group you sent out to get attacked as a distraction the last time we played. I will not have Nico getting attacked by a bunch of Ares kids with spike-laden clubs and spears. Anyway, he can play if you tell him he'll be scouting for the flag with me. That way he won't be in any apparent danger and I'll be there to make sure he doesn't use any of his Underworld powers. If he were to summon the undead or shadow travel at this point in the healing process..."

Jason nodded in understanding. "It could bring him back to the brink of fading. Reyna told me about what happened on the quest, so I know what danger he's in. I do think that getting out there with friends like you and me could help him though."

Will smiled. "I was thinking the same thing. It's nice seeing him happier, you know? He always looked so sad whenever he visited camp. Now that he feels like he has people he can rely on, friends like you two, Percy, Annabeth, and those at the Roman camp, I don't think he'll be trying to shut people out as much anymore. I can already tell his spirits are getting lighter. He's smiling more, something I can tell is something he hasn't been doing in a long time. Now all we have to do is remind him he belongs here." His smile faded for a moment as he thought about what the son of Hades had said before the battle with Gaea. "He does belongs here; he needs to know that."

"He'll realize it soon," Piper said with a knowing look in her eye. "It'll take some time, but Nico will be fine. He's a strong kid."

Jason wrapped an arm around her in affirmation. "You're his friend too, Will. I can tell you only want the best for him. Thank you."

He waved a hand at the couple, trying and failing to hide his excitement at being called Nico's friend (something Death Boy would never openly admit to having) behind his telltale grin. "Thanks, Jason."

"What're you thanking Jason for?" Suddenly Percy and Annabeth joined them at the table, both holding plates stacked high with bacon, eggs, and pancakes. For some reason Percy's eggs and pancakes were blue, but Will didn't bring himself to question it. If the boy who went to Tartarus and back wanted blue food, then so be it.

The son of Jupiter simply smirked, drawing himself up as he spoke to the son of Poseidon. "He thanked me because I told him the Apollo cabin can be on my team for capture the flag tomorrow night. The Hades cabin is also on our team. You're going down, Jackson."

Percy swallowed a bite of his blue pancake before replying. "We're having a game tomorrow, huh? Well I think the Athena cabin will be on my side, right, Annabeth?"

"Of course, Seaweed Brain."

He turned his sea green eyes to Piper. "Would the Aphrodite cabin like to join us as well?"

"Sure," she said. Jason almost choked on his bacon, his eyes wide with shock. He turned to Piper for an explanation. "You were so excited about asking Nico to be on your team that you automatically assumed I would be on your side."

"You're my girlfriend, Piper. Of course I assumed!"

She merely giggled, taking her fork and feeding him a bite of eggs to quiet him. "I'm always on your team, Jason. It'll be different fighting on the other side for once. Maybe next time Annabeth will join your team and not Percy's, is that okay, Annabeth?"

The daughter of Athena smiled, looking at Percy who was currently giving her puppy eyes so she would say no. "I think I'd be okay with that. After all, the last time Percy and I sparred was at least year ago. Gods it's been forever," she shook her head in wonder.

"Traitor," both sons of the big three mumbled under their breaths.

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