Kravitz and Taako had been going out for about a month now, and Taako hadn’t told his teammates. Kravitz didn’t exactly blame him, especially considering what their first meeting had been like. It wasn’t as though Taako was deliberately keeping this secret from his friends, he just hadn’t gotten around to telling them. Plus, he said it was none of their business. But it made things a little…awkward, when it came to Kravitz hanging around. Case in point, the night after the theater. Kravitz and Taako had gone to a night at the theater for their date night that week. Kravitz had suggested they go to the opera and Taako had been surprisingly receptive to the idea.
“Sure m’man. Sounds like fun.” Taako said. “I’ve never been to the opera before.”
“You really want to go?” Kravitz was a little surprised. He’d thought the suggestion was a little pretentious, even to him. He only ever went to the opera when he was on his own and had free time. It could be dreadfully boring, he knew that perfectly well.
“Yeah sure.” Taako shrugged. “I could use a little bit of class.”
“You say that like you aren’t classy already.” Kravitz kissed his cheek.
“Bubala, you’ve seen me eat a moldy carrot.” Taako said. “Now let’s get going.”
“Let’s change first.” Kravitz said. He snapped his fingers and his clothes morphed to fancier black suit. Taako just watched, leaning on his hand and sighing. Kravitz flushed.
“I’m going. I’m going.” Taako put his hands up and went into his bedroom to change. It took him about an hour to get ready because, as Taako said, ‘this level of perfection takes time’. Kravitz didn’t mind all that much, but he felt like Taako’s umbrella was giving him the stinkeye. He didn’t know how this was possible, but it was definitely happening.
“Whatever I did to you, I’m very sorry.” Kravitz whispered to the umbrella. “Please don’t try to burn me again.”
“Are you talking to my umbrella?” Taako snorted as he exited his bedroom. Kravitz’s breath hitched in his throat. Taako looked absolutely radiant, decked out in a backless champagne evening gown that seemed to sparkle when the wizard moved. He wore gloves as well, and a fur wrap.
“Like what you see?” Taako fluttered his eyelashes.
“You look amazing.” Kravitz rose from his seat. Taako grinned and inserted himself into Kravitz’s arms.
“So, what’re we goin’ to see?”
They’d gone to see Antigone, which was “metal as fuck” according to Taako. Kravitz didn’t necessarily agree with that description, but he’d been happy Taako had enjoyed the performance. Once it was over, the two of them went back to Taako’s residence to…continue the evening. It had been a wonderful night, and Kravitz had woken up with Taako cradled against his chest. The smaller man’s breathing was even and deep, and Kravitz reveled in the feeling of it on his bare chest. It had been so long since he’d felt something warmth like this. Then he heard the sounds of someone ascending the stairs up to Taako’s room. Judging by the heavy steps, he was assuming it was Magnus. He panicked, starting to scramble to get his clothes.
“What’re you doing?” Taako mumbled, sitting up. His hair was a mess, forming a cloud around his head.
“Magnus is coming. I have to go.”
“Why’re you running?” Taako frowned. “Are you….Are you ashamed of me?”
“What? No!” Kravitz paused, his pants halfway on. “No. If anyone, I thought you would be ashamed of me. I tried to kill your friends. They can’t look upon me kindly.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Taako waved a hand dismissively. “Can you hand me my shirt?” Kravitz did that, passing the shirt along and putting his own on. His pants were still only half on, leaving him in a state of dishevelment only Taako ever got to see. Taako liked moments like these, when he saw a side of Kravitz that no one else would ever get to see.
“You gonna do the walk of shame?” Taako asked, wiggling his eyebrows. Kravitz went bright red, all the way to his ears, and turned away, buttoning up his shirt.
“Do I have something to be ashamed of?” He asked, flashing a smile that made Taako swoon.
“Taaaaaakkkooo!” Magnus’ sleepy voice came from the door to Taako’s dwelling. “You said you’d make paaaancaaaaakes!” Then there was the sound of Magnus pounding on the doorway. Taako rolled his eyes and swung his legs over the bed.
“Ditch the pants, Krav.” He said. “You can go as is.”
“I don’t want to walk out in front of your friends in my boxers!” Kravitz hissed.
“It’s part of the walk of shame m’dude.” Taako grinned and slapped Kravitz’s back. “Now c’mon.” As Kravitz made his way to the door, Taako suddenly stopped him.
“Wait.” He said. “Eat with us. They’ve gotta get used to you at some point.”
“Taaaaaaakkkooooo!” Magnus’ pounding grew louder. “I want paancaaakes!”
“I’m coming!” Taako yelled, getting up. He dragged Kravitz to the door. The latter struggled, but not very much. He did want to get past all this sneaking around. It was frankly rather tiring. So he let Taako drag him to the door.
“You interrupted my beauty sleep, numbnuts.” Taako said, glaring at Magnus. “What time is it anyway?” Magnus made a vague noise that the couple interpreted to mean that he didn’t know. Presumably, he’d just gotten up. Taako could hear Merle chanting pancakes from the communal room.
“Okay, fine. I’ll make pancakes.” Taako rolled his eyes. “Krav’s gonna sit with you guys while I’m cooking. Play nice.”
“Mkay.” Magnus sleepily grabbed Kravitz’s arm in his large hand and dragged him down to the dining room. Merle immediately stiffened when he saw the reaper come into view, not wearing pants, his shirt only half buttoned.
“What is he doing here?” He asked.
“He was with Taako.” Magnus said, slowly beginning to realize what was going on. He looked down at the reaper. “What were you doing with Taako.”
“Well…you see….Taako and I have been…Seeing each other for a few months now.” Kravitz chose his words carefully. “I understand that you might not approve given our…history.”
“You’re right. I don’t.” Merle said. “You turned my arm into crystal.”
“And I am very sorry for that.” Although he knew sorry wasn’t going to bring Merle’s arm back.
“Well, he hasn’t killed Taako yet.” Magnus pointed out. “And I,” he leaned in close and whispered loudly to Merle. “I think they might’ve had sex.”
“I did not need to know that!” Merle pushed Magnus away, making a very interesting facial expression. It was something between horror and disgust.
“What? The best time to kill someone is when they’re least expecting it.” Magnus said. “Julia took out a bunch of Kalen’s cronies that way. It was totally awesome.”
“Alright you fuckers, I got your pancakes.” Taako appeared at the top of the stairs, holding multiple plates of pancakes. “You better be playing nice with my gorgeous hunk of man meat.” Kravitz sunk down in his seat, covering his face with his hands.
“Oh, Pan.” Merle groaned. “I don’t want to know about this.”
“So you two are doing it?” Magnus’ eyes widened.
“Well~” Taako just sauntered down and laid the plates down onto the table. He winked and settled in Kravitz’s lap. Kravitz sat up a little straighter.
Breakfast was…awkward, to say the least. Merle kept glaring at him, and Magnus asked a lot of questions Kravitz really really didn’t want to answer. And then Carey and Killian showed up. That was worse, because Carey and Killian had seen Kravitz and Taako at Chug&Squeeze. They had known about Taako’s relationship with the reaper for a long time now. Nearly the entire time the two had been together. Worse still, the girlfriends could share numerous stories about Taako and Kravitz, including one where Taako and Kravitz had reenacted a scene from Ghost, with Taako playing the role of the sexy ghost. Kravitz had needed some help. He wasn’t terribly good at pottery, but Taako was. The story got a laugh out of Magnus and a little snort out of Merle.
“I regret nothing.” Taako said. “Any chance to touch this guy is a chance I’m gonna take.” He punctuated this by wrapping his arms around Kravitz’s neck. Merle muttered something about kids these days.
“I am much older than you.” Kravitz said before he could stop himself.
“Oh yeah! How old are you anyway?” Carey asked. “Taako says you’re old as balls, but that’s not really an answer.”
“You would doubt me?” Taako said with a horrified gasp.
“Taako, old as balls is not an age.” Carey said.
“Yes, it is!”
“I….Don’t actually remember how old I am.” Kravitz admitted. “I’ve been doing this for centuries, I believe. So…That’s some kind of benchmark.”
“That is old as balls.” Killian said. “Taako, you’re dating an old man.”
“Psh! He’s young at heart!” Taako said. “And have you seen this face?” He squeezed Kravitz’s cheeks. “Look at this beautiful face!” Kravitz couldn’t help but laugh a little bit. He felt a bit better about being around Taako’s friends now. They didn’t seem as though they actively wanted to kill, except maybe Merle. But Merle just seemed more grumpy than anything else. For the first time in a long time, Kravitz felt…at home. He felt safe and warm and welcomed.