Nico had not expected this.
He had been preoccupied with other things. Coping with his memories, trying to get an assessment of the ship’s affects, and getting a mark on his fellow privateers. Their weaknesses, their proclivities, how much of their personalities were masks.
This was an opportunity, he supposed. A withering, condescending glance, and then striding past the boy. That should be the course of action. The boy seemed to be the most … poised of the party, and to make him look - and more importantly, feel - like a sniveling, crying child could cripple any possible threat, at least for now.
He didn’t want to do that, though. In reality, there was no chance Nico would ever do that. Empathy was ingrained in him, was how he liked to put it. What he intended to do instead was completely natural to him, just as natural as finding the space between ribs with a knife, or crushing a nose with his club.
He approached the boy from the opposite side of the corridor, and then stopped when he was across from him. He removed his jacket, slinging it over his arm.
On the Saint, most of his crewmates - and later crew - had been much older than him, and most had been grizzled, cutthroat veterans. Most of them don’t think about- But Nico knew how this felt. Or he liked to think he did.
He would have pulled his legs up to his chest, but he was a tad gangly for that. Instead he stretched them out in front of him, crossed at the heels. He didn’t let silence stretch out. He smiled for an instant.
“Are you scared?”