Nico stood overlooking Camp Half-Blood. Down below, the party was in full swing with Greek and Roman demigods dancing and laughing together. And they had every right to. It would be a long time before Gaea made any attempt to wake again, and the final battle had been difficult. It was times like this, when the greatest achievements had come about through great loss, that people needed to let go.
Nico, however, sat alone. Always alone, watching from afar. He sighed. honestly, he was just delaying his departure.
"I'm going to honour my promise. I'll take you to Epirus. I'll help you close the Doors of Death. Then that's it. I'm leaving- forever"
He regretted saying that now. Where would he go? He can only run so many times. Down below Percy and Jason were having a coke-drinking contest, while Annabeth and Piper were watching with that look on their faces that seemed to say "Ugh. Really?" but Nico knew they wanted their boyfriend to win. Hazel and Frank were whispering to each other. Nico was happy for Hazel. Frank would take good care of her, and vies-versa. The Stoll brothers were playing pranks on people, and the rest of the Aphrodite cabin were flirting with Romans. Reyna was chatting with some Greek demigods, and she looked more at ease then ever before. Chiron was their to, overlooking the party. Tyson and Ella were talking with Grover and Juniper. Couch and Millie were no-were to be seen, and the hunters had come as well. Everyone else was dancing, just happy to be alive.
Nico looked up, and saw Leo Valdez standing next to him.
"What do you want?" he replied.
"You looked lonely, so I thought I would invite you down. Jason and Hazel were looking for you earlier."
Nico blinked. This was new. "It's alright," he lied "I'm fine by myself."
Leo looked at the Party, and in the light, he looked like he was carrying the weight of the world. Nico recognised that look, as he saw it every time he looked in the mirror. "They say we're lucky to be alive. I'm not sure about that but I do know that we need to make the most of our lives. If I have learnt anything, it's that life is precious and we should cherish it. So many have fallen to save the rest. We can't throw that back into their faces. You sure you won't come? The fireworks are starting soon, and trust me they're going to be great!"
"Oh. Ok." Leo turned around to go join the party again, but before he went he added "If you change your mind, you know were everyone is. We won't turn you away. You don't have to be alone."
Then he was gone.
Nico stared at the spot Leo had been standing in just moments before, thinking. Then he got up and followed Leo.
The rest of the night was a blur. Nico danced and laughed with everyone else. people congratulated him on his part in Gaea's defeat, and didn't treat him differently because of his dad. He was happy, but in the back of is mind, Leo's words to him would go away.
He decided that day to stay. Leo was right. So many battles and sacrifices had happened to lull Mother Earth back to sleep, and he had to stay and help, if not for his sake for others.
And Leo was right. That night, the fireworks were beautiful.