Klavier looked up from where he was sitting on the end of the couch as his boyfriend entered the room. “Sebastian?” He held his arms out, making a small pleading noise and gesturing for him to come over. “Sit?”
Changing his course, Sebastian walked over and settled down into his lap. He had just enough time to orient himself so he was sitting comfortably before Klavier curled around him completely. Snuggling as far back against him as he physically could, he allowed his one loose arm to drape across Klavier’s knee. “Someone’s extra cuddly today.”
“I missed you,” he murmured, faintly muffled as he pressed his face into the crook of Sebastian’s shoulder, arms firmly wrapped around his waist.
“I was gone two hours at most.” Not that he minded the attention, but Sebastian couldn’t help but automatically dismiss the idea that he’d actually care that much.
A puff of air ghosted across his neck. “Two hours I didn’t get to spend with you though, ja?”
“Mmm.” A warmth ran through him, heart feeling as if someone had lightly squeezed it. He suddenly had the urge to reciprocate in some way. “Can I kiss you?”
Klavier shifted but made no move to let go. “Don’t want to move.”
Oh, that was adorable. Through laughter, he said, “top of the head, then?” When he got a squeak and a more forceful press against his shoulder, he took that as a signal of agreement and pressed a kiss to a spot near the edge of his hairline.
There was a moment of quiet after that as they settled into a comfortable position, simply content to exist in each other’s space.
Then, Klavier loosened his grip on him. Shifting to lean back, he wriggled one arm out from the tangle of them. Slowly, deliberately, he brought it to hover a few inches over Sebastian’s hand. “May I?”
The nod in response was something he felt more than saw, a brush of curls against the side of his neck. Klavier reached down, with enough care that he could feel the minute natural tremors of his hand in the slowness. And as he rested his palm and Sebastian curled his hand so it fit inside his, a mirror to how they were sitting, he couldn’t help but let out a half-sigh half-gasp, coming out with the slightest tremor to the bit of voice it had, an understatement of the sudden overwhelming feeling blossoming in his heart. Pressing his face back into his boyfriend’s shoulder (and god, boyfriend, whatever had he done to earn the love and regard of someone so wonderful?), Klavier found himself forcing down the urge to cry.
“What’s wrong? Did I-“ Sebastian started, beginning to pull away so he could turn around and check on him.
“Nein, nein.” He tilted his head up, but, realizing that no matter how much he strained, he wouldn’t be able to meet his eyes if he stayed pressed up against him, he sat up. “I’m sorry to worry you, I just…” He sighed. He raised a hand, carefully telegraphing his movements as he brushed Sebastian’s hair back from his face, palm resting against his cheek after. “I love you so much,” he said, voice choked but a warm smile on his face.
Confusion flashed across his face for a brief but still heartbreakingly long moment. Then he closed his eyes, tilting his head downward.
In the moment of silence that followed, Klavier could feel mild panic began to set in, although his heartbeat only seemed to fade from awareness. He’d said the wrong thing, hadn’t he? Gotten swept away in emotion and let his dramatic side say whatever it wanted and ended up putting too much pressure on his boyfriend. As his thoughts went on semi-screaming, he started to feel separated from his body; even when his mind thought that maybe he should move his hand he couldn’t even try to summon the impulse to actually do it.
He was only pulled out of his daze when Sebastian sniffled. His senses flooded back just in time to register a drop of water streaming down against the edge of his hand.
And then he was full-on crying.
That was enough to make him flinch away, hands flying to cover his mouth. “Sebastian?” he finally managed.
“I…I’m sorry.” He sniffled again. “Did you-“ A very deep breath. “Of course you meant it, why would I even ask that, I-“ His voice caught in his throat and he was now visibly trembling.
Klavier hummed something even he didn’t quite recognize, a mindless tune in the hopes of being soothing. “It’s alright,” he murmured. And then more firmly, “I know you’re not doubting me, and that was… ach. Well, it was a bit of a heavy statement, ja?”
A slight nod, although he still held himself as though he was about to be shouted at any second. “I…I mean, I do too. You know. Um.” Shuffling to the other side of the couch, he muttered apologies.
“Hey, hey, it’s alright,” he half-laughed, distracted by how cute he was even in this situation. “I’m not upset, I promise.” When the other hesitated, he flashed a hopeful smile. “Come here?” Klavier held his hands out, palms up, moving slowly in an attempt to seem the least threatening as possible.
The hands that interlaced with his still trembled a little, but Sebastian let himself be steered back to the spot they had been. They settled back down, although this time he sat in Klavier’s lap facing him, legs splayed out on either side of them.
“There.” Tracing light patterns across the back of his hands as he continued to hold them, Klavier took a deep breath. “I don’t have any expectations for you and I don’t want you to feel pressure to respond any way or even at all, understood?” He tilted his head up to look him in the eyes. “I hadn’t been planning on saying it; it just kind of…happened. But it’s true. You’re always so patient and understanding, and being around you makes me happier than I ever thought I could be. I love you, which is why I’ll be fine with whatever you think of that.”
Although becoming progressively more flustered, Sebastian managed to keep up the eye contact until the end of the penultimate sentence, when he had flushed even more and jumped to intently staring down at their hands. “You really mean that,” he said, so under his breath it was questionable if he’d even meant to say it out loud at all. A couple of seconds of quiet where he started and stopped a further response before he managed, “I…wasn’t expecting it. And then I realized, and…I guess I got overwhelmed? And well, you know.” He laughed in an exhale. Leaning in, he pressed his forehead against Klavier’s. “I’m a mess.”
Klavier brought their hands to rest against his chest, pulling him closer so they didn’t have to lean so much. “As if I wasn’t one when I said it too.” A puff of air brushed against his face as Sebastian gave a small laugh in reply, and he was suddenly very conscious of how close they were. “Doesn’t change a thing about how I feel,” he murmured.
“What did I ever do to deserve you?”
He started. This was the exact thought process he’d gone through earlier, but to hear it from his boyfriend was a completely different story. Breaking contact just far enough so he could look at him without going cross-eyed, he gave a stern look. “Nothing, because you never have to earn people’s affection. You exist, and therefore already deserve to be loved.”
Another tear trailed its way down Sebastian’s face. This time, though, he didn’t look away, although it was apparent he was struggling not to. “Thanks?” A shaky breath. “Sorry. I know you mean it, it’s just…still hard to accept.”
“But you’re working on it.” Klavier hummed, sliding his thumb across the side of his face to clear away the tear streaks. “And I will tell you how wonderful you are as much as you need in the meantime.” He leaned back in, a glance of permission before he pressed a kiss to the other side of his face. “And as much as I want after.” Guiding Sebastian to tilt his head down, he traced the area around his eye with his lips, the faintest taste of salt and the flutter of eyelashes against them. “And during!” he added as an afterthought as he pulled away to beam at him.
Managing a small smile, he squeezed his eyes shut. “You need to stop saying things like that, or I’m just going to keep crying.”
“Then I’ll keep kissing your tears away.”
His first reaction was to turn away again, but this time he managed to recover, moving back in. Pausing inches from his face, he breathed, “Or I can kiss you to keep you quiet.”
Klavier swore he could feel the smirk on his boyfriend’s face, although it was probably just his imagination. Not that he would complain either way, and especially not about his suggestion. “I’m fine with that.” He curled an arm over Sebastian’s shoulder and across his back as they closed the final bit of distance.
When they had first started dating, Sebastian had been very insecure about the idea of kissing him. All Klavier had been able to gather from the context of the few things he had said about it was that he’d managed to weird someone out in the past, and something else about being “too enthusiastic.” Of course, he’d simply promised to teach him, if that was such a problem, but had promptly realized that he had no problems with kissing Sebastian from the get-go. Klavier liked the way he always wanted there to be some other point(s) of contact, to be hugged or holding hands or be cuddled against each other or have Klavier take his head in his hands and guide him into a kiss; the way he never seemed quite able to keep his mouth fully closed no matter how hard he tried; how he would tuck his head into the space under his chin if they took a break for air; the adorable faces he would make when they broke apart, usually still following him for a moment as he moved back, taking a minute to realize that they weren’t still kissing anymore.
He caught himself a little faster this time, leaning back with a small smile and a squeeze of the hand that he was still holding onto. “Um.” His grip tightened. “I know I kind of said it before, but not really in- what I mean is- …I love you too.”
He had mirrored the sentiment earlier, but actually hearing the phrase in his voice made Klavier’s heart swell. “Ach, now you’re going to make me cry.”
“Yeah, well, you deserve to hear it. You’re always so considerate with me, and gentle, and you always say the sweetest things. And you let me ramble about compositions forever without getting bored. At least, visibly.”
“I want you to feel comfortable expressing yourself.” Klavier pouted. “Besides, you’re adorable when you do. Every time; it makes me want to kiss everywhere I can reach.” Maybe it was just the fact that he was already over his head in affection right now, but the way Sebastian blushed and stammered at that was music, unrefined but sweeter than the final product could have ever hoped to be. “I…I would like to do that now, if I may.”
Sebastian was fidgeting with his free hand now, low to the couch but clearly twisting in the air, fingers tracing out a pattern, conducting to some unknown tune. “If you want to? I’m not uncomfortable, I’m going to need a minute but otherwise- Still hard to believe that that’s something someone would want, with me, but.” He sat there for a moment until he could hold himself steady. “Okay.”
He made his movements slowly, reverently. Nudging his boyfriend to sit just a little closer, he brought both hands up to push back his bangs. Klavier pressed a kiss to the center of his forehead. One hand now at the back of Sebastian’s head, the other traced a path down the side of his face, mouth trailing a line of kisses close behind until his fingertips came to rest on his chin.
When he paused there for a moment, Sebastian tilted his head just enough to the side so their mouths would line up. A small noise of inquiry, and he brought them together for a second, pulling away with just a bit of an exaggerated fake kissing noise.
“Hey!” The protest hardly had any bite to it, though; he was a little too busy giggling.
“It’s only fair if I get to be ridiculous too,” he murmured.
Klavier ducked his head. “I am not being ridiculous.” He tilted his head sideways and moved in as if to kiss his neck, at the last second turning it into blowing a raspberry there instead. “Now I am being ridiculous,” he said, through laughter and over the indignant shouts.
Sebastian ruffled his hair, deliberately pushing his bangs in his face for a second before sweeping them out of the way. He gave a smirk, then waved his hand in a “continue” motion as though nothing had happened.
As soon as the urge to laugh died down in him, he did continue, starting with a genuine kiss at the underside of his chin and a second at his neck. Klavier hesitated for a second before pulling down the neck of Sebastian’s shirt just enough to trace his lips across the length of his collarbone. A pause at the small movement that produced. “You alright?”
“Yeah. Feels a little weird. It’s fine.”
He nodded in approval. By this point, his hand had traveled to the back of Sebastian’s right arm, holding it up as he resumed the trail of light kisses where his sleeve ended. A slightly more insistent one at the crook of his elbow, and he paused, looking back up.
The expression on his face was one of slight bemusement, eyes narrowed and glancing at his every movement, but the rest of it held no tension, a budding smile evident in the corner of his mouth.
“You are amazing, you know that?” He repeated the last kiss. “Love.” Ignoring the tiny gasp, he punctuated his words with more kisses. “Liebling. Schatz.” Klavier grinned up at him from where his face was against his arm still. “You get the idea,” he said, half into his skin, giving a small wink before continuing.
Sebastian was almost overwhelmed by the feeling of it all, but for once it was a good kind that didn’t make him want to crawl into a dark quiet place. Every touch was done with individual grace and care, a little mark the trail of which he could just now feel fading from his face, although some of that might have been a cooling blush. He was by now plenty used to affection, the considerate and warm but undeniably genuine care with which his boyfriend held him in, but this came to something else entirely. The level of attention to him, so clearly insisting to him that he loved him, wanting nothing but to show how much he cared, it was almost dizzying, the warmth in his chest building to something that soon must be unable to be contained, it felt.
And then Klavier was lifting his arm up further as he traveled down once again, entirely unselfconscious in his motions even under a captivated gaze. Gently, Klavier rotated his arm just enough so he could press his lips to the highest scar on that side, moving with no hesitation but giving just enough pressure that it was clearly a deliberate choice.
Heart suddenly pulsing to a degree where he could feel it when simply sitting there, Sebastian watched as he then began skipping back and forth across the few inches before his wrist, chasing the pattern of burned areas to absolutely pepper the area with kisses. It was all he could do to keep himself from trembling, breaths slow and mostly held. Captivated as he was by this show of affection, his mind was equally taken by the struggle to keep his composure, terrified that the moment Klavier picked up on his emotions he would stop, drop what he was doing to check on him and somehow never pick it up again and he could not, would not afford to lose this feeling for anything in the world.
Sliding his hand underneath to hold Sebastian’s up, fingers curled around his, Klavier lifted Sebastian’s hand to his mouth and kissed the back of it. A small pause, then the same thing, repeated on the same place, but a little slower, each movement deliberate and insistent, firmly placed but with a delicate air.
Sebastian had to bite back a gasp as he watched. Really, it shouldn’t have been affecting him so, the area was damaged enough that he couldn’t feel that soft of a touch. But even with that thought repeating in his head, he couldn’t contain the overwhelming building of affection and warmth and love threatening to burst any second within him how could so much emotion even fit inside a person he could hardly breathe for it.
And then Klavier was kissing down the line of his knuckles, a methodical row that he repeated slightly lower as he moved across his fingers, and everything was all too much again and the tears that had been building were streaming down his face as he let out shuddering breaths.
Klavier came to a halt, frozen, face still pressed to his hand, eyes wide.
“D-don’t…don’t stop. Please,” he managed, mind racing to pull himself back together, at least long enough to let him finish.
To his credit, he seemed to understand. He gave one more kiss to his fingers before flipping his hand over and pressing one to the center of his palm, a delicate one to the inside of his wrist. And then he was sitting up to face Sebastian proper. A look of concern was clearly visible, and the hand that wasn’t still occupied holding onto his reached out to touch his face. “Too much?”
Sebastian shook his head furiously. “No! I mean, it was overwhelming, but good overwhelming? It was…really nice.” He ducked his head. “That’s not even- More than nice, obviously, but I don’t know how to…” Stifling a sob that threatened to emerge, he placed his free hand over the one Klavier had on his face. “It was probably the safest I’ve ever felt with anyone else and I know that sounds weird, but it was, and I just…”
With a soft smile, Klavier slid his hands out of Sebastian’s and curled them loosely around his waist. “I can’t even begin to say how happy I am that you did,” he murmured. Laying his head on his shoulder, he let out a content sigh. “But don’t push yourself like that, ja? I’d be more than delighted to do it again.”
Guiding him to turn around so he was sitting with his back up against Klavier’s once more, Klavier hummed softly. “Of course.” He gave one final kiss to the side of his head, then buried his face in Sebastian’s hair.
“Mmm.” Sebastian closed his eyes, shifting to lay more comfortably as one hand moved in time with the song being hummed.
Klavier smiled to himself as he was slowly lulled into a state of comfortable relaxation, his humming trailing off to a muddled murmur as he felt Sebastian’s breathing shift, finally cutting off completely as they fell asleep in each other’s embrace.