Magnus and Taako were married on a bright spring day in the year after they saved the world.
Taako’s suit was elaborately embroidered, tailored perfectly to fit him. Magnus’s had been rented from the local fantasy tux rental place. Merle officiated, Carey was the best man for both of them, and Avi caught the bouquet. The party was, quote, “buckwild,” reaching 1996 party points, give or take a few.
Afterwards, they went home to the house Taako had chosen and Magnus had filled with homemade furniture. Magnus insisted on carrying his new husband across the threshold, giggling and still drunk on cake and champagne.
“Thanks for marrying me, dude,” said Taako, once he was back on his own two feet.
“Well, I’m sleepy,” Taako announced. “See you in the morning.”
Magnus watched him walk into his bedroom, then yawned. He was sleepy, too.
He headed into his separate bedroom and crashed.
Magnus would not have said yes to fake marriage with anyone else. Taako had turned to him on one of their last nights at the Bureau, the telltale signs of a plan forming in the twist of his mouth.
“Mags,” he’d said. “Marry me.”
“Director was going on and on about how we need to reestablish presence on Earth, or whatever,” said Taako, taking a sip of his drink. “We need some kind of evidence that we’re, like, people who lived places that aren’t a secret moon base.”
“I remember. I figured I’d just join a carpentry guild...”
“Can you even do that if you’re not from Faerun?” asked Taako. Magnus froze mid-gulp.
“Shit, you’re right! I forgot all about that.”
“Exactamundo, my dude,” continued Taako, smug as Magnus had ever seen him. “Unless.”
“Unless my spouse is from here.”
“And my marketable skills as a non-adventurer are kind of zero. I could use a carpenter husband. So it’s like, tit for tat.”
“Plus, think of the tax bennies.” Taako wiggled his eyebrows, making Magnus smile against his will. He was always powerless to resist the elf’s charisma.
“Okay?” Taako grinned at him and then took one of Magnus’s hands in his, unexpectedly formal and intimate. He held it as he dropped down on one knee, a feat which he would not have been able to accomplish so easily had Magnus not already been sitting down. “Magnus Burnsides, will you be the sun to my sun? The stars to my stars, or whatever? I didn’t read fantasy Game of Thrones that closely.”
“Oh, so romantic. I do!” Magnus put his other hand over his heart dramatically. “I thought you’d never ask. Literally, I never thought we would do this.”
Taako laughed. His smile did something weird to Magnus’s stomach, so he yanked Taako into a brief hug to mask whatever he was feeling. Taako was very warm in his arms.
“Jeez, big guy, save it for the honeymoon.”
Only after the wedding did Magnus reflect on how little convincing he’d taken. He’d rushed in, sure. But this was one thing he’d never thought he’d rush into.
With Julia, marriage had been years in the making. They’d been in each other’s lives since before he could really remember. They’d gotten married when they felt the time was right, when they weren’t too busy or too young or too poor.
Magnus could still see her in her dress, their friends and family all smiling as Steven walked her down the aisle. The combination of pain and joy the memory brought him ached like an old wound, so he let it fade into the background, instead focusing on his second wedding. Taako in his suit, smirking, criticizing the guests’ outfits and eating handfuls of cake.
Of course, this wedding hadn’t been real. He and Taako weren’t together, not like that. But they were together, he supposed. In a sense.
He’d been half afraid that Taako would follow Merle’s lead and get a house of his own. To be fair, Merle had made sure his house was within walking distance of Magnus and Taako’s, and the school Angus was now attending. Magnus knew he needed room for his now un-estranged children, but in some small way it still felt like abandonment. Magnus wanted to hold on to his new family, now that he had it.
Luckily, Taako’s marriage plan necessitated them living together for a year at least. He’d have to savor it, before Taako inevitably wanted a his own place.
The marriage had been Taako’s idea, but the more Magnus thought about it, the more he felt like it was for his benefit.
“Nah, broheme,” said Taako, who had brought him lunch at the carpentry hall. “I’m the one who’s leeching off your income.”
“You’re sure you didn’t just do this to make me happy?” Magnus studied his face, trying to gauge if he was lying or not.
“When have I ever done anything to make someone else happy?”
“That’s a fair point,” Magnus laughed. “But you make me happy all the time.”
“Side effect,” Taako mumbled.
Magnus noticed one of his coworkers coming up behind Taako, an elf called Lixa. Sensing an opportunity, he grabbed the front of Taako’s shirt and pulled him in for a kiss.
“Aren’t you two sweet!” Lixa exclaimed. “It’s always nice to see you, Taako.”
“You too, um...”
“Lixa,” Magnus whispered.
“Close enough,” Lixa laughed. “I heard you, Magnus, he owes me a lunch now.”
Taako rolled his eyes at Magnus once they were alone again. Pretending to be in love was not difficult, exactly, but it was definitely the strangest part of the arrangement. The town didn’t grant marriage licenses to people who weren’t dating, precisely to avoid the kind of scam Taako and Magnus were running.
It meant a lot of kissing, which was fine. Fun, even. Magnus liked kissing, and he liked kissing Taako. They’d done it a few times before the altar, actually; various dares and other half-drunk, half-forgotten moments. It was always comfortable, even when they had to do it in front of people. Besides, Magnus wasn’t going to complain about kissing someone who looked the way Taako did. (Gorgeous, even in the mornings, before he’d brushed his hair or his teeth or put on clothes besides old sweatpants.)
“Come on, Taako, we’re the cutest couple on Faerun, just by virtue of you being one half of it.”
“You’re not bad yourself, sugar pie.”
“Why, thank you, heart of my heart.”
“I gotta go, dreamboat.”
“I’ll see you later, angel dust!” Magnus yelled, trying to get the last word in as Taako headed out. Taako wouldn’t admit it, but Magnus was totally winning their stupid pet name competition.
“Back to work, Burnsides,” called Lixa. “You can do plenty of flirting at home.”
On the weekends, Taako invited Angus over to help him teach Magnus some basic magic.
“This would’ve been useful while we were saving the world,” said Magnus, moving his mage hand around wonderingly.
“You did a great job with just your axe and your strength and your wits, sir!” said Angus, ever-encouraging. Magnus tousled his hair, even though he was getting way too tall for that.
“We never had time,” Taako shrugged. “Plus, I saved your ass plenty of times, didn’t I?”
“My ass is all good,” Magnus confirmed, wiggling it to demonstrate. “When do I get to cast spells with my butt?”
“That’s a ways away, my man. Luckily, we’ve got time.”
“You’ll have to come over and teach me after you move out.”
“Move out?” Taako frowned. “What, are you tired of me already? It’s been barely six months.”
“I mean, after we get divorced. This is only supposed to last a year, right?” Magnus picked up his wand and spun it around idly, not looking Taako in the eye. He could see Angus glancing between them worriedly.
“Well, I guess,” said Taako slowly.
“I’m just saying, people will think it’s weird if we’re ex-husbands living together.” Magnus wasn’t fully sure why he was prodding at this, or what he wanted Taako to even say. To confirm or deny that he planned on leaving him.
“Hmm,” was all Taako said, leaving Magnus to grip his wand too tightly and bite his lip.
“Well, you can cross that bridge when you come to it!” Angus piped up, clearly trying to defuse the tension. “For now, no one’s the wiser on this love scam you’re pulling! I’ve checked.”
“That’s great, Ango.” Magnus finally looked up at Taako, who gave a little shrug, face still unreadable. Magnus raised an eyebrow, and Taako raised one in return, and Magnus knew things would be okay for now.
“How about I teach you Light?” said Taako. Magnus nodded gratefully.
“How does it go?”
By nine months, Magnus was beginning to get recognition at his guild. It was a good job. It felt great to be making things instead of destroying them, to be part of the kind of larger community he missed from the Bureau of Balance.
All it took to be on track for a promotion was arriving on time and actually doing his work, which was more than could be said for some of his coworkers.
“How’d you two meet?” Magnus jumped. Lenn, his supervisor, had snuck up on him. They tended to do that; it lead to a very well-behaved workplace.
“You and your husband.” Lenn looked friendly, but Magnus couldn’t help but worry that they were about to expose him and Taako as a sham.
“Taako and I? Uh...” He decided to stick as close to the truth as possible. “We used to adventure together.”
“I should’ve guessed,” said Lenn. “Seems like that’s how half of couples meet nowadays, huh? Did you do anything I might’ve heard of?” Magnus couldn’t help but laugh.
“Probably not.” Definitely not.
“Well, if you two would like to join us on a sort of adventure-” Lenn paused to laugh at their own joke- “we’re going on a company retreat in a month or so. Camping over near the lake.”
“That sounds great!” said Magnus, who had always perked up at the word “camping.”
“Plus, the boss will be there.” Magnus frowned.
“You’re my boss.”
“I mean my boss,” said Lenn, rolling their eyes. “Elliot Irene? The head of all the carpentry guilds in the tri-fantasy-state area?”
“Ohhh,” said Magnus. “Time to rub elbows, huh? Do a little schmoozing with the higher-ups?” Lenn laughed.
“It won’t hurt for them to know your name. We can count on you and Taako coming, right?”
Magnus nodded affirmation, then remembered several things at once: one, this would mean acting like he and Taako were really married for several days straight. Two, Taako was not exactly a people person.
Three, Taako hated camping.
“Please? For me?”
“Fuck no!” Taako flung his hands into the air. “I’m not gonna kiss you while you kiss some carpenter douchecanoe’s ass for three days.”
“I’ve heard Elliot’s pretty nice,” protested Magnus.
“That’s not the point. The point is this bullshit is not nice for Taako. I’m delicious, the mosquitos are gonna eat me alive!”
“I’ll make it up to you.”
“Elf is a delicacy among insects!”
“I’ll do all your chores for a month.” Magnus bit his lip. If he knew one thing about Taako, it was that he hated chores. Only months of conditioning had gotten their house to its current semi-functional state.
“Now you’ve got my attention, Burnsides.”
“Compromise is the key to a healthy marriage, Burnsides.”
(Taako had, legally, taken Magnus’s last name, mostly because he needed one for the first time in his life. It’d been a coin flip between Burnsides-Highchurch and Highchurch-Burnsides.)
“Fine. Don’t say I never did anything for you.” Privately, Magnus remembered Taako risking his soul to save Magnus from the brink of death, but he didn’t begrudge Taako acting like this was the biggest sacrifice he’d ever made for him. They’d both sometimes like to forget what they’d been through.
“We can do some fishing, probably,” he pointed out. Taako’s ears perked up in the way that always reminded Magnus of a dog. He resisted the sudden urge to hug him.
“Alright. Challenge fuckin’ accepted.”
The first day of hiking to the camping site was the worst. Despite having done plenty of traveling in his life, Taako whined the whole way, alternately trying to get Magnus to carry him and wasting spell slots on levitation.
“I miss traveling by cannonball,” he grumbled, drawing an odd look from Lenn and a shushing motion from Magnus.
Taako cheered up as soon as the campsite was set up. The evening was warm and pleasant, especially when Elliot broke out a bottle of wine.
“Fuck yeah, Mags, you got a cool boss,” said Taako, pouring himself more wine than was probably polite.
“I’m sorry-” Magnus started, but Elliot waved a hand reassuringly.
“I am a cool boss,” they agreed, grinning. “Magnus, you’re a lucky one.”
“Oh, darling, don’t speak so soon,” Taako purred. “I’m a handful.”
When everyone began drifting towards their separate tents to sleep, Magnus pulled Taako aside.
“Can you not flirt with my boss’s boss?”
“We’re married! I know we’re not really together, but I’d still rather you didn’t cause an HR disaster.” Taako sighed and nodded. Magnus knew him well enough to know he’d gotten the message.
“It wasn’t even full blast flirting,” Taako complained. “Thiiiis is full blast flirting.” He ran a hand down Magnus’s chest and fluttered his eyelashes, leaning in ever so slightly too close.
“We’re under cover, stupid,” Taako whispered, leaning up to talk into Magnus’s ear. “Put your hands on my waist.” Magnus complied, caught off guard and probably too stiff. Taako kissed him to complete the image, tasting like s’mores and wine. “Happy?”
“I call being the big spoon.” Taako disappeared into the tent, leaving Magnus with nothing to do but lick his lips and follow behind.
They made a routine of it, beginning and ending the day with kisses outside the tent and cuddling inside.
The cuddling was something they’d done in their Bureau days, when one or both of them had night terrors or when Merle had dumped an entire bottle of fantasy Axe into Magnus’s bed as a prank (or revenge? Magnus couldn’t remember which).
For whatever reason, they hadn’t done it since they got married, and Magnus had to admit he’d missed the physical contact. Even if he sometimes woke up with Taako’s hair in his mouth.
The rest of the days were spent hiking (Magnus), fishing (Taako), and snacking (both of them). It really was a vacation, and Magnus relaxed as hard as he could.
An added bonus was Elliot pulling Magnus aside on the last day, patting his shoulder and assuring him that he’d be getting a pay raise.
“Thank you. I love working here,” he said, hoping his honesty came across in his voice.
“We love having you. Why’d your last place even let you go?”
“Hah,” said Magnus, with less mirth than he’d have liked. “There are lots of reasons for leaving places.”
“Cryptic. But I won’t pry. Lenn says you and Taako are a great addition to the community. You two seem really happy together.”
“We get that a lot.”
Magnus was sorry to head back home- but only until he got there. He watched Taako throw all their bags onto the ground and announce that he’d never go camping again, despite, by all accounts, having had a great time. Somehow, Taako was the perfect antidote to post-party blues. He’d be there in the morning.
It was on their third night back at home that Magnus realized.
They were alone in their living room, chilling on the couch, when Taako got up to go to bed. Reflexively, he leaned down to kiss Magnus, and reflexively, Magnus leaned up to kiss him.
“Night.” Taako was halfway to the door when Magnus suddenly clapped a hand to his mouth.
“We just-” He paused, suddenly embarrassed. “We just kissed? And there’s no one around to see.”
Taako stopped, then turned slowly on his heel. His face had an unusual intensity to it, though maybe he was just tired.
“Oh my god. We did it last night, too.” Magnus could feel himself blushing. How had it take them both three nights to notice? “Guess it just got to be a habit. Weird, right?”
Taako walked back over to him, casual as anything, and brought his face close to Magnus’s. Magnus could feel his breath.
“It is weird,” Taako agreed, nearly whispering. Magnus felt his heart rate speed up and had only a moment to wonder why before Taako kissed him again.
This kiss was long, lingering, slow, much different from the pecks they’d exchanged in the past.
Magnus did not pull away.
Taako’s hand brushed his cheek, sending goosebumps down Magnus’s neck. Magnus briefly had time to entertain the thought of touching him back before Taako straightened up, then nearly teleported into his room.
Magnus wanted to call after him, make him explain, but all he could do was lie there, shaken and flushed. It had been a long time since Magnus had been kissed like that.
With some effort, Magnus willed himself to get up and go to bed. If Taako wanted to talk, he’d talk. He should knock on the door. He should wait until morning. He should sleep.
He couldn’t sleep.
Magnus wasn’t sure what time it was when his bedroom door creaked open. Taako appeared, nearly silent and clad in only a t-shirt and boxer shorts.
“Oh, thank god.” Taako crept up to the bed and pulled himself onto it in one smooth motion. Magnus wanted to hold his breath, but instead shuffled sideways, giving Taako room to sit beside him. Taako accepted his silent invitation, still leaving a significant inch between them.
“About earlier-” started Magnus, but Taako pushed himself onto his knees and put a hand over Magnus’s mouth.
“I don’t wanna talk about it.” Taako moved his hand down to Magnus’s chin, tipping his head up. “But I’m tired of sleeping by myself.” About an inch from kissing Magnus again, he stopped and raised an eyebrow.
Magnus made a decision. He didn’t want to be just an outlet for Taako’s horniness, or whatever- just a warm body, no one special. But he thought he knew Taako well enough to know what just horny looked like on his face, and this wasn’t that. Not entirely.
Maybe it said something about their relationship that Magnus knew what his horny face looked like.
He put his hands on Taako’s waist and pulled him close.
Suddenly both of them were kissing like kissing had just been invented, like they were trying to get in on the ground floor of this thing. Really buy some stock and become early adopters. The inch between them vanished, replaced by as much touching as possible. Magnus ran his hands down Taako’s back as Taako trailed his down Magnus’s neck.
Taako followed his hands with his mouth, leaving light kisses under his jaw and on his collarbone. Magnus let out a huff of breath, grabbing Taako’s hips without really thinking about it. Luckily, he didn’t seem to mind, not pausing in his labor of covering every inch of Magnus’s lower face and neck in kisses.
Magnus’s thumbs rubbed circles into the space between Taako’s shirt and the top of his boxers, slowly pressing closer to the middle of his stomach. His skin was soft and warm, heavenly under his callused hands. He could feel Taako’s breath, both in the rise and fall of his torso and brushing across his face. Magnus let his fingers drift a little lower and was rewarded with a corresponding gasp.
Taako bit gently at Magnus’s neck, then a little harder when Magnus tilted his head to allow him better access.
“Fuckin’ vampire,” he breathed, squeezing Taako’s ass.
“Shut it, helpless prey.” Taako kissed his mouth again, this time pulling at his lower lip with his teeth. When they pulled apart, Magnus took a moment to kick off his blanket. He glanced up to see Taako staring pointedly at his crotch. Alright, that was definitely the face.
They reached for each other at the same time, Taako moving to straddle one of his thighs and Magnus going for his hips again. Then Taako was palming him through his pajama pants, and his world narrowed down that point of contact.
“Into this, hmm?”
“Yeah,” Magnus replied, foregoing snark to push down Taako’s boxers as much as he could and take him in hand as well. There was probably no going back from this, Magnus reflected as he thumbed the head of Taako’s cock, but since when did he go back instead of forward?
“Fuck yes,” said Taako emphatically, making Magnus giggle through his groans. For a while, they simply ground into each other, kissing open-mouthed and half-hearted. Eventually Taako’s hand slowed, so Magnus knocked it out of the way and shoved his own pants down, grabbing both of them and speeding up.
Taako clung to him for dear life, making noises that seemed to directly fuel the frantic motion between them. Magnus couldn’t stop thinking about the absolute Taako-ness of him, that he sounded so much like the Taako he knew, familiar even in this new context.
He gasped Magnus’s name once, twice, Magnus, Mags. Even though Magnus had been sure Taako was further along than him, he came first, jerking into his hand and making sure not to slow until Taako came as well.
They collapsed onto each other, half-clothed and exhausted. Magnus pressed a few kisses to whatever skin he could reach before untangling himself to take off his now unpleasantly sticky shirt. Taako made a face and removed his as well, chucking it unnecessarily far across the room. Magnus dropped his on the floor.
They really should talk, Magnus reflected, but he was too tired to even clean up further. He just grabbed Taako in one hand and his covers in the other and made himself comfortable.
“Good,” Taako mumbled, or maybe it was “goodnight,” but Magnus was asleep before he could muster a response.
The morning light woke Magnus as usual, but this time Taako’s hair was spread in a tangle across his pillow. He sighed, knowing from experience that it’d be useless to try to wake up Taako before he wanted to be woken.
Still, it was driving him mad not to know why he’d come into Magnus’s room. Had he planned to have sex with him? If so, why? He’d been sure last night that it was something beyond physical needs, but now self-doubt crept up on him like a hunting cat.
It wasn’t that he regretted it. He’d wanted to do it. It had felt good.
He busied himself making breakfast as loudly as he could, but Taako failed to wake before he had to leave for work. Typical. He’d have to wait for the afternoon.
Had it felt good to Taako too?
“You okay, Magnus?” asked Lixa, jolting him out of his thoughts.
“What? Yeah, good, good.”
“Everything okay with Taako?” Magnus whipped around to stare at them, startled by their accuracy.
“Why do you ask?”
“Just a guess,” Lixa shrugged. “Spouses are important.”
Spouses. Right. Magnus supposed they’d technically consummated their marriage last night, which was kind of hilarious in its own way.
They were coming up on nearly eleven months of marriage. Running out of time, his brain supplied.
“Right. Sorry. Just a little distracted.”
“I hope you two work it out,” Lixa said sympathetically.
Magnus hoped so, too.
He nearly ran home from work, leaving as soon as he was able to clock out. He’d sit Taako down, ask him a few questions. Which questions exactly he’d decide when he got there.
“Taako?” he called, hanging his keys on the hook and kicking off his boots.
“God dammit!” he yelled. “You don’t even have a job! You’re avoiding me!”
He briefly considered calling his stone of farspeech, but if Taako had taken the trouble to get himself out of the house for once, he was probably serious about needing space.
Magnus sublimated his anxiety into the chores he’d promised Taako in exchange for the camping trip, including washing their shirts from the night before. It had been a very long time since Magnus had had to wash cum out of anything, and it somehow added to the melange of unidentified but intense feelings swirling in his gut.
It had been so good, was the thing. Having sex was not generally high on Magnus’s list of priorities, but the intimacy, the heat, the memory of Taako saying his name...
Magnus found himself half-hard and frozen in place holding the broom.
God, he was so fucked.
By the time it got dark, Magnus would’ve started to worry if Taako hadn’t sent him a depressingly short “be back late” message. Well, he wasn’t dead or anything, so that was good, but he clearly would not be having any conversations that day. Sometimes it sucked being fake married to a feral cat.
He crawled into bed early, unable to perform his daily ritual of sitting on the couch with Taako until they both got sleepy. Somehow it felt depressing to do it by himself, even if he tried to distract himself with a book.
It was also the first day in a long time that he hadn’t kissed Taako even once. He wanted it, suddenly, with a fervor that surprised him. Even just a peck would be enough.
He fell asleep fantasizing-
-and woke to Taako slipping into bed beside him.
“Can I kiss you?”
“Oh,” said Taako. “Yeah, sure?”
Magnus kissed him, intending to leave it at one, but Taako chased him when he pulled away, seemingly full of a similar longing. When Taako put a cautious hand on his hip, he stopped for a moment, frowning.
“Taako... this... are we gonna talk about it?”
“Not tonight,” said Taako plaintively. “Please?”
Magnus nodded reluctantly. If Taako needed time, then he needed time.
Taako took his hand off Magnus’s hip, which Magnus immediately discovered he missed very much. He took hold of Taako’s hip instead, pushing him to lie on his back rather than his side. One part of Magnus knew he should go back to sleep, but another part of him was responding to having someone else so close, and that someone being Taako. He kissed Taako again, then lifted his shirt and kissed his stomach. Taako let out a sharp huff of breath.
“Can I go down on you?”
“Jesus,” said Taako, covering his face with one hand. “Don’t have to ask me twice.”
Magnus awoke with the memory Taako gripping his hair and bucking into his mouth, sending Magnus to the edge despite not having touched him at all. He’d forgotten how much he liked focusing on giving someone else pleasure, on the noises his partner made, on the feeling of thighs near his face.
Taako was dead asleep again, but at least he was still in Magnus’s bed. That had to be a good sign, right? Taako ran away as a rule, but here he was, vulnerable and drooling and wearing one of Magnus’s pairs of sweatpants.
“Morning, Mags.” Magnus jumped.
“You’re awake! Listen-”
“No can do,” said Taako briskly, swinging himself out of bed. “I have to leave early to go visit Killian and Carey today.” He crossed his arms at Magnus’s incredulous look. “I’ve been planning this for months, my dude. Ain’t no stopping this runaway train.”
“We can’t keep ignoring this forever.”
“That’s true,” said Taako evenly. He pulled on one of Magnus’s shirts, tying it off at the waist to make a crop top.
“So I gotta go!”
Magnus followed him to the front door, flexing and unflexing his fists in frustration.
“I’ll see you tonight, right, Maggie?”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“Then toodles,” he replied, irritatingly breezy. Magnus couldn’t stop himself from groaning.
“Sometimes you’re so-” Taako cut him off with another kiss.
“What?” Taako was already retreating towards the road. He disappeared, and Magnus let his head drop back against the door frame with a thunk.
The worst part was that all Magnus could think about was the way he’d said I’ll see you tonight.
Slowly it turned into a routine. Taako would vanish all day, reappear at night to sleep both with and next to Magnus, and dodge questions like goddamn lawyer.
It was hard to stick to any line of inquiry when it was dark and Taako was close by, slicking his fingers with the bottle of lube Magnus had left on his bedside table and opening him up with gentle but insistent pressure.
“Fuck,” said Taako, easing into him carefully. Magnus tightened his legs around his waist, bringing him as close as possible.
“Feels so fuckin’ good,” he said, thrusting to punctuate his sentence. “You’re so good, Mags.”
The praise made Magnus glad that Taako wasn’t paying attention to his face. It made his whole body blush, or at least that was how it felt.
“You’re good,” he responded, but there was no way to tell if Taako had heard him.
It was almost funny that Taako was so reticent to talk during the day, because he never shut up in bed. Sometimes praise, sometimes instructions, sometimes jokes that left them both breathless with laughter. Magnus had had sex a few times since Julia died, quiet encounters at taverns that ended without an exchange of names, but not since his last marriage had he had so much fun.
Taako was his friend, first and foremost, and that was one of the reasons it hurt so much that he didn’t seem willing to discuss their radical change in status quo.
Magnus cornered him on the first Saturday since they’d started, a day when neither of them had any place to go.
“Taako. We’re talking about this.” Taako looked up from where he was preparing fried eggs (lunch for Magnus, breakfast for him).
“Don’t play coy. You know what I’m talking about.”
“All the sex we’re having?”
“Are you not satisfied?” Taako raised an eyebrow. “Because it seems to me like you get satisfied a-plenty.”
“No, it’s- good, but that’s not the point. The point is feelings.”
“Like, what are yours?”
“Right now I’m feeling pretty hungry.”
Magnus hadn’t wanted to do this, but he’d been left with no choice. He backed Taako into the corner between the counter and the wall, physically blocking him in.
“The eggs are gonna burn,” Taako whined.
“They won’t if you tell me how you feel,” Magnus insisted. “I’m holding the eggs hostage.”
“This is chaotic evil behavior. What happened to Mr. Righteousness-Puppies-Mercy?”
“Do you... like me? What is going on?”
“‘Like’ you? That’s what you’re going with?” Mysteriously, Taako seemed to be shrinking. Magnus frowned.
“What are you doing?” Taako was now on his knees, and Magnus’s confusion only grew until Taako went for the button on his pants. “Okay, well, that’s- god,” he gasped as Taako wrapped his mouth around the tip of his dick. “This is not productive.”
“Mmngh,” said Taako. He pulled off briefly. “I can’t talk, my mouth is full.”
“I’m mad at you,” Magnus insisted, trying not to laugh or moan.
“I swear to god-” Taako did something with his tongue that choked the words out of him, leaving his sentence unfinished for the foreseeable future.
When Magnus finished, Taako sat back, looking horribly smug.
“How do you-” Magnus tried, still breathing heavily. “How do you feel?”
Taako cast Blink.
“Oh my god!” Magnus exclaimed. “Fucking wizards!”
He pulled up his pants and walked back over to the stove, at a complete loss for what to do.
The eggs had ended up burning anyway.
Magnus didn’t see Taako that night, though the way his covers were arranged when he woke up made him suspect Taako had slept beside him despite everything. He was half-worried he’d miss their magic lesson with Angus, but he showed up only a few minutes late, carrying groceries.
“Hello, sir!” said Angus brightly. “We’re going to show Magnus Detect Magic, right?”
“Right,” Taako confirmed, looking sidelong at Magnus. He shrugged. There was no sense in disrupting their routine more than they already had, though every single glance and word Taako sent his way made Magnus’s heart race. As usual, he betrayed nothing but fond exasperation for Angus and for the way Magnus fumbled through magic.
“Like this,” said Angus patiently, helping Magnus to get the motions right for the third time. Magnus concentrated, and finally he felt the magical world spring to life around him.
“Whoa, our knives are enchanted?”
“Yeah, no shit,” said Taako. “Why do you think we never have to sharpen them?”
“I thought you sharpened them.”
Taako and Angus spent the next couple hours casting spells and having Magnus tell them each one’s school of magic.
“Well, I’m not exactly a fifty-trick pony,” grumbled Taako. “Maybe twenty, twenty-five.”
“Speaking of ponies-”
“No, we’re not summoning Garyl.”
“I don’t feel like it.”
“Oh, so this all about what you feel now, is it?” Magnus snapped, immediately regretting the outburst. Angus looked stricken.
“I just don’t wanna do it today,” said Taako, refusing to break eye contact.
“You’ll never want to.”
“Am I missing something here?” squeaked Angus. “I was under the impression that Garyl was a fun magic-times pal-”
“Sorry, Ango,” said Magnus. “It’s- we’re-” He sighed. “Being an adult is complicated.” Taako snorted.
“That’s one way to put it.”
“Okay, that isn’t ominous all,” said Angus. “Well, I’m going to head out. It’s getting late and you two clearly have something going on.”
“Sorry,” Magnus repeated. “I feel like I ruined your day.”
“At this point, sirs, I know you’re flawed individuals,” said Angus matter-of-factly. “You’re not perfect and I don’t expect you to be. And I know when it’s appropriate for me to leave. Bye! I love you!”
He did so, fast enough that neither Magnus or Taako could reply.
Both of them blinked at each other, then burst into laughter.
“Since when did that kid get so emotionally mature?” said Taako.
“Since when are we so not?” Taako looked queasy. “Okay, mostly you.”
“That’s fair, I guess.” Taako sighed. “This type of thing... is hard for me.”
“Me too,” Magnus admitted. The way Taako’s ears were drooping made him want to hug him, so he did. Taako let out a long breath against his chest.
“I’ll talk about it tomorrow,” he promised. “I’ll wake up early and everything.”
“Pinky promise.” He held up his finger, and Magnus twined it in his. There was a moment of silence before Magnus grabbed his hand and kissed it. “Mags...?” Magnus put two of Taako’s fingers in his mouth, laving the undersides with his tongue. “Damn, you’re worse than I am,” said Taako wonderingly.
“Do you want to stop?”
“I wanna go to the bedroom. Kitchen sex is a once-per-week action.” Magnus scooped him up bridal-style and carried him across the threshold, their pose reminiscent of their very first night as husbands, nearly a year before. This time, though, they definitely weren’t going to separate bedrooms.
Magnus wasn’t sure anyone had been in Taako’s room at all for a solid week.
He put Taako on the bed, then immediately set about removing both their clothes. Sunset light was still filtering into the room, painting Taako’s bare chest and thighs gold. Magnus knelt at the foot of the bed.
“What do you want?”
“You seemed pretty set on using that mouth, big guy,” said Taako. “So...” he gestured at his dick, somewhat self-consciously. Magnus immediately bent over and set to work. “You love doing that, huh?” Taako wondered. “Got you pretty riled up last time.”
It was true. Magnus gave a half-nod, not stopping what he was doing.
“Oh, fuck,” said Taako. “Do they give out medals for this shit? Because you’d win, Mags.” Magnus’s nose pressed into Taako’s stomach. “Seriously!” Taako exclaimed. “I mean-”
“I love you,” said Magnus.
Taako’s eyes flew open.
“I love you.”
“I- Magnus. I was in the middle of something!”
“I’m sorry, I know you said tomorrow,” said Magnus, sitting up. Taako crossed his arms, seemingly trying to cover himself up.
“You’re fucking right I did.”
“I love you, Taako. I really do. I want to date you. This has been driving me crazy, doing all this with you but not being able to say anything.”
“Driving you crazy? Geez, Mags, do you know what it’s like to be in love with someone who’s always said he doesn’t do romance? I just didn’t want this to stop,” said Taako. “You- you’re home to me, okay? Jesus christ, where are my clothes?” Magnus opened his mouth, closed it, tried in vain to process what Taako was saying.
“Why would it stop?”
“I don’t have a great track record of getting people to stay. Especially if I love them more than they love me.”
“Taako,” said Magnus.
“You’re an idiot.” Magnus practically tackled him into the bed, grinning like a maniac. “Of course I love you!”
“Oh, of course!” said Taako sarcastically. “How could I have not gotten that from the zero times you said it? You fucking dingbat!” Both of them were laughing, or maybe half-sobbing.
“Taako, Taako Taako Taako,” Magnus repeated. “I’d never leave you.”
“You love me.”
“I love you!”
“I love you, too.” They kissed, Magnus definitely starting to cry. It wasn’t long before they were grinding into each other again.
“Taako,” he said breathlessly. “Will you- not divorce me?”
“Oh, for sure,” Taako said, mock-serious. “I do! I’m not giving up these tax benefits. Jeezy creezy, babe, stop crying.”
“They’re happy tears.”
“They’d better be,” said Taako, tilting his head and spreading his legs. “I love you. There you go, how’s that for a feeling?”
Magnus and Taako celebrated their one-year anniversary on a bright spring day a month after they started dating.
The party had been planned as divorce party, but even with the change of theme, it still got buckwild.
“I always knew you kids could make it,” slurred Merle. “I was rooting for you the whole time.”
“Oh, fuck off,” said Taako, stealing a sip of Magnus’s champagne. “You were pretty goddamn shocked when we told you.”
“I knew what was going on,” said Angus, sipping his own flute of (non-alcoholic) sparkling apple cider. “I just figured it was none of my business.”
“Still isn’t!” Taako exclaimed.
“I want it to be my business!” yelled Carey from across the room. “I want deets!”
“How did you even hear that?!” Magnus yelled back. “And no way!”
“God, I hate this fucking family,” Taako muttered. Magnus kissed the frown off his face.
“Thanks for marrying me.”