Part 64: Remeber when in chapter 51 I said you should keep an eye out for the line ‘I wonder if I’ve still got family in Italy?’
In short: Nico gets therapy from Dionysus. In this chapter, Nico is both afraid Will might leave him for college, as well as eager to leave himself... The rest is on FanFiction.net and AO3! And in Tumblr tags like Nico di Angelo, Dionysus, therapy etc.
This Might Be Crazy: Chapter 64: New Tea
‘I have got a new flvour of tea and you two will be my test subjects,’ Mary declared as soon as Dionysus and I set foot into Denny’s.
I shrugged. ‘Sure.’ I would like a cup of tea.
Dionysus gave me a look. ‘That’s okay, Mary. This one could use some warming up.’
I looked up. Up until now, I managed to pretend like he didn’t know what happened when Will and I were on the beach yesterday. Now I could see he did. Oh well, it was inevitable, with the wet hair (Thanks, uncle Pos).
‘I’ve got two things I want to talk about today,’ I said, after Mary brought us our tea.
‘Yes.’ I sat up straight, reminding myself not to instinctively take a sip of tea, because I would burn my mouth. ‘Eh… the first thing is about Will. But not about Valentines day.’ I added the last bit so fast it came out as ‘bunotbouttinesday.’
Dionysus gave me an amused smile. ‘I take it you do not want to talk about Valentine's Day?’
‘Alright then. Tell me what’s bothering you.’
I stared into my teacup. Dionysus kept annoyingly quiet. ‘Will is going to college next year. And I am very happy for him, of course, but I am also afraid we might grow apart. Then, maybe, he’ll…’ I took a deep breath. ‘You know.’
‘I understand. You’re afraid Will will be miles away and you’ll be alone again.’ I nodded.
‘I mean, I don’t think Will would ever... dump me, but…’ I shrugged.
‘It is still a sucky idea, that someone you love moves far away.’ I looked around. Mary walked to our table, with a cup of tea for herself. ‘Mind if I join in?’
I looked at Dionysus, who looked back. ‘It’s your therapy session, Nico, you decide.’
‘Of course, Mary,’ I answered.
She pulled out a chair and sat down at our table. ‘What I said is that it is very sucky when someone you love moves away. Can I share an anekdote?’ I looked at Dionysus again, but was already nodding, too. ‘In our second year of college, George went to study in another state for a year.’ She stirred some sugar through her tea. ‘We had just gone steady and I didn’t like that he went away. I was almost certain I was going to lose him.’ She sighed, but it ended in a smile. ‘He came back to visit me after three weeks. Even I thought that was a bit overkill.’ She shrugged. ‘I think it’ll be fine, Nico. I didn’t meet your boyfriend often, but from what I saw I think he was a good guy.’
‘Wouldn’t surprise me if Solace was back in camp to visit you within two weeks,’ Dionysus mumbeld.
I shook my head. ‘Don’t say that. It’ll only be a disappointment if he doesn’t.’
I believed Mary’s story, though. When I thought about it, I did trust Will enough to stay in contact with me. It would just have to sink in.
Dionysus tilted his head. ‘Sorry, Nico. Yet, one more thing: What is the use in worrying about this now?’
‘I… because it might happen. And it will happen,’ I mumbled. ‘Not that I am certain Will will… eh… but, I mean, he will go to college.’
‘Of course. Yet, why would you ruin the good times with worry? Right now, Will is still in camp. That’s good, right?’
‘Than what use is there in feeling sad at a time when you don’t have to?’
‘You mean… be happy now, regardless of what will happen later? Because you can’t change it anyway?’
‘Yes. You can’t control what's going to happen later. It might be bad. So, why not enjoy the here and now, when you know it isn’t bad?’
He made an interesting point. ‘That would mean less sadness overall.’
Mary nodded. ‘It would. I worried myself sick in the two months leading up to George moving away. All for nothing.’ She chuckled. ‘I could have used that energy for my midterm paper.’
I laughed. ‘Sorry.’
‘No, thats funny, really.’ She picked up her cup and took a sip. I did the same thing. ‘Hm. This is good.’
We both stared at Dionysus, but he didn’t have any comment on the tea yet. ‘Anyway, Nico, you can think about that some more.’
‘Now, you had a second thing to ask.’ He looked at me expectantly.
‘It is still not about Valentines day.’
‘I want to go to Italy. I am asking your permission to go to Italy.’
Mary looked at me like I had gone mad. Dionysus slowly closed his eyes. ‘You want to…’
‘Go to Italy.’ I took a deep breath. ‘I want to see if I’ve got family living out there.’
I looked down at the table. Dionysus didn’t say anything.
After a while, he laid his hand around his teacup. ‘How long have you been thinking about this?’
‘I am not sure. I think the thought first came to mind during Christmas, and I have been thinking about it more in the last weeks.’
Dionysus slowly nodded, then chuckled. ‘It’s crazy to let a sixteen year old travel across the pond on his own, you know that, right?’
I knew where he was going. ‘Absolutely,’ I agreed. ‘The entire idea is actually insane! What responsible adult would ever do that?’
Mary stared at Dionysus. ‘You can’t possibly…’ She took a deep breath. ‘I mean… I know I had to go on an awful quest when I was his age, but…’ She put a hand in front of her eyes. ‘Still, Lord, you can’t possibly give him consent to go to another continent. Alone.’
‘I mean, I never said anything about going alone…’ I muttered.
‘It’s what you meant, however,’ Dionysus interrupted me. The entire idea amused him, you could see it in his eyes.
‘Hm.’ Mary folded her arms in front of her chest. ‘Now, I…’ She sighed. ‘Good lord, why am I willing to let you go?’
‘I have no idea, Mary, because I think it is an awfully dangerous thing too,’ Dionysus answered, even though it was a rethorical question.
‘I mean, I’d never be entirely alone,’ I argued. ‘It’s Italy, so the gods are always with me.’
Dionysus snickered again, before taking a deep breath. ‘You know what, Nico? If you manage to get parental consent and do proper research, I’ll let you go to Italy to study your families’ roots. You have to let Will Solace know as well.’
‘...Deal,’ I answered. That meant I just needed a way to convince dad. I took another sip of tea.
‘This is good tea, by any chance, Mary,’ Dionysus said out loud. ‘Did anybody say that yet?’
A/N: I like the term going steady. It’s kinda cute.
Last arc! This chapter was more Will-focused than I remember. Nico will be doing research in the next chapter.
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