MEETING THE DAD: LORD HADES

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Nico and Will were walking in the forest around camp with their hands intertwined as the sun beat down on them. It was the day before Percy's surprise party, which Jason had informed the couple of, and they were going outside camp to pick up last minute things like snacks and soda, as well as streamers since Leo had accidentally set what they'd gotten on fire.

However, there was another reason Nico was leading Will into the woods. It was not because there were plenty of shadows for them to jump into so they could travel to the grocery store. He had something important to ask the son of Apollo.

"Hey, Will?"

"Yeah, Nico?"

"I know we've only been dating a few days," he started slowly, "but my dad wants to meet you in person."

Will froze, turning to Nico with a shaky smile on his face. "The lord of the Underworld wants to meet me? Oh Gods, this is going to be worse than the talks the rest of your friends have given me over the past few days! He'll probably threaten to send me into the Fields of Punishment, or—"

"Hold on!" Nico squeezed Will's hands. "I'm not going to let him threaten you. Also, what did you say about my friends talking to you?"

"I'll tell you another time. Anyway, when does your dad want to meet me?"

A figure appeared from the shadows, grabbing the two teenagers by their shoulders before pulling them into the shadows. "Right now."

"Dad! Are you trying to scare him away?"

Hades regarded the blond boy in front of him with a scowl. They were now in the middle of his throne room which didn't help make the god any less terrifying. "If he really cares about you then he won't be scared away that easily. Besides, he should be happy that I'm allowing him down here at all. The last time you became infatuated with a boy you drove me insane, breaking him out of my own prison and pestering me into helping my godly kin fight against Kronos. I mean, at least he was the son of the big three. This boy looks just like his idiot father Apollo," after a second Hades added, "no offense to you, Will Solace."

Will just stood there bewildered. "None taken?"

"We are on good terms then," the god said with a small grin before snapping his fingers. Nico suddenly disappeared, leaving the child of the sun god alone in a room with god of death.

Will gulped. Nico's father was terrifying.

Hades rose from his throne, walking towards his son's boyfriend appraisingly. He is not ugly, he thought to himself. While he does look like his father he does not give off that foolish air Apollo does. This boy was the one that brought him from the brink of death, and I remember how passionate he was when my son was dying. I suppose I can give him a chance.

"Will Solace, I know I do not need to threaten you to be kind to my son. His friends have already taken care of that quite well. I almost pity you. Anyway, I want to tell you I appreciate you making Nico happy. He hasn't had the nicest life, and with you I've seen a side of him a never knew existed. Do not be like Percy and break his heart. He does not deserve anymore heartbreak, do you understand?"

Despite standing in front of the god of death, Will managed a sincere smile that could only be because he thought of Nico. "I know I've only been dating your son for a few days, Lord Hades, but I love him already. I will grow to love him more as time goes on, and I'll promise to keep him happy and healthy until the end of time. I mean, since I'll be your son-in-law I'm sure you'll have room in your giant palace for me, right?"

Will tried not to laugh as Hades looked thrown off for a moment. "Do not push me, young one. Annoying children of Apollo make great chew-toys for Cerberus."

Before he could respond, the god snapped his fingers and Nico was back where he had been standing a few minutes ago. He looked around confusedly before turning to his dad.

"Did you just get rid of me so you could threaten my boyfriend?" He shouted in disbelief.

Hades began to slip into the shadows, but the demigods caught the smirk on his face as he disappeared without a word. As soon as he vanished, Nico turned to Will to apologize, but Will cut him off.

"Don't worry, Death Boy, your dad is not a bad guy. I actually enjoyed talking to him. He cares about you very much, and so do I, so I know we'll get along great. Besides, I think he likes me. He only threatened to make me a three-headed dog's chew-toy. He could have said a lot worse."

A wide smile split Nico's face in half. "Sunshine, you never cease to astound me. Before we leave, how about I show the room I have here? It's dark and depressing but it's home too. Oh, and my dad gave me these skeleton cats that turn into saber tooth tigers. They're really cool." And so Nico continued babbling like he had when he was ten years old. Will listened, slipping his hand into Nico's while smiling the whole time. From the shadows Hades watched them with some fascination.

"It seems opposites really do attract," the god muttered before returning to his duties.

Minutes after he sensed his son and his boyfriend leave the Underworld, Hades was somewhat shocked to feel a much stronger presence enter his domain. Before he could fully register who it was, the bright shining face of Apollo walked into his throne room.

"What in the name of Olympus are you doing here?" Hades demanded.

Apollo, carefree as always, simply walked up to his fellow god and grinned. "I felt that you met my son," he started playfully. "Do you approve? Because I approved of your son even if he wears too much black and plays in the shadows too much. I mean, does he even get any sun? He's so pale I'm surprised a handsome son like my own would even consider dating someone so—"

"Apollo," Hades said as he pinched the bridge of his nose. The sun god always managed to irritate him in seconds. He wasn't sure if it was just because he was so annoying, or because of what he stood for. "Is that all you came here for? To ask if I approve of your boy?"

The sun god suddenly grew serious. "Actually, since everyone's been threatening my son lately I thought I'd just tell you if Nico breaks my boy's heart then I will turn him into a flower permanently. I wasn't going to tell him that personally, because I'm much nicer than you, but I thought it only fair since my son has been given the talk over ten times. Ten times, Hades. That's crazy! Do you know how many people are lined up to kill him if he makes your son unhappy? Jeez! Who knew he had so many friends. Only two people gave your son the talk, and they didn't really threaten him except saying they'd turn him into a rabbit or steal his sword."

Hades didn't respond right away. He was somewhat surprised by what Apollo had said about all of the people that had threatened Will before him. It seemed there were a lot of people that cared about Nico. That, despite his reputation, made him quite glad Apollo had saved his son.

"Anyway," Apollo continued, "I was thinking we'd both walk our sons down the aisle in the future. I mean, since they are both boys it wouldn't be fair for only one of us—"

"What?"

Apollo grinned. "I'm talking about when they get married, Hades."

The sun god vanished a second later, leaving a speechless death god sitting on his thrown.

Married? But that means I'll be even more related to that idiot!

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