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Strawberry-sweet

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'You left me the last strawberry tart', Maitimo notes.

He says it in a strangely touched manner, strangely enough that Findekáno forces himself to overcome his post-orgasmic languor and roll over to the other side of the bed where Maitimo sits staring at the nearly-empty plate of delicacies on the bedside table.

'So eat it', Findekáno tells him. He pats Maitimo's lower back lazily but appreciatively. There are a few freckles there that Findekáno's lips are intimately familiar with. He considers kissing them again but decides against it because he doesn't want to give Maitimo the wrong idea of his readiness for another round.

Findekáno still wants to bask in the afterglow of the last one.

'Small strawberry tarts are your favourites. You never leave me the last one.' Maitimo is still staring at the tart with more attention that it deserves.

'This time I did.' Findekáno yawns. He has noticed that Maitimo tends to wander around in search of something to eat after satisfying another carnal appetite, but he still finds it strange. Findekáno himself always feels drowsy and likes to spread his limbs in the bed and close his eyes for a while. If Maitimo settles in his arms, all the better.

Maitimo doesn't seem likely to do that now so Findekáno pats his back again while he chews his lip, apparently searching for words.

'Always, when we've shared treats between us – whether we took them with us when we went riding or hunting or just sat in a garden or studied at the same table – you would eat most of the strawberry tarts, and always the last one left. I remember you slapping my hand away once to get the last one.'

Findekáno grins but defends himself. 'I was younger then!'

'Barely by a year.' Maitimo grins too, for a second. 'Finno, tell me the truth: did you leave this tart for me intentionally, or did you just forget to eat it when you tumbled me into bed suddenly?'

Findekáno shrugs off the last of the lethargy in his muscles, sits up and twines his arms around Maitimo's elegant though slightly bony shoulders.

'I left it for you', he says. 'I know by now that you want something sweet after I 'tumble' you, as you put it.'

'Finno…'

The way Maitimo says it makes Findekáno rise up on his knees and kiss Maitimo. The angle is awkward, with Findekáno half behind his taller lover, and the kiss is thus left short. It is a sweet one nonetheless.

'You can have the tart', Maitimo says after clearing his throat.

Findekáno rests his head against Maitimo's shoulder. There are freckles there too, small and numerous. Findekáno cannot resist kissing them.

'The strawberry tart is yours', he says. 'There are still a couple of lemon meringues left. I know you do not care for them and that's why they are still there.'

'But strawberry is your favourite –' Maitimo still argues.

Findekáno takes the object of contention and brings it to Maitimo's mouth. Maitimo splutters against pastry. 'This is yours', Findekáno tells him. 'Please bite into it before this argument becomes even more ridiculous.'

Maitimo bites, though not without side-eying Findekáno.

While Maitimo chews, Findekáno says, 'You know that there are many kinds of love – we have discussed it.'

Maitimo nods.

'We were friends always, and now…' Findekáno shrugs, presses a gentle kiss to a freckled shoulder again.

'I have realised that there are many ways to say 'I love you' too, for that one way of loving that has most songs written about. Not all of the ways once can say it are in words, or very poetic.'

Maitimo's eyes are wide as he chews hurriedly and swallows. 'Finno.'

'You like saying my name today, don't you?' Findekáno grins, possibly wider than he ever has. His cheeks hurt a little. It is nice to have robbed silver-tongued Maitimo of words by mere implication, and this is a sweet moment in other ways too, of course.

He is not one for leaving things unsaid so he holds Maitimo tight and tells him, 'I love you, Maitimo, in all ways, more than ever, more every day that passes.'

Maitimo gasps, 'Finno', and turns around within Findekáno's arms. He repeats the words, whispering them in Findekáno's ear, and kisses him.

Maitimo tastes strawberry-sweet, and it makes Findekáno's lips curve into a smile within the kiss.