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it's called confidence

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Deceit compliments him a lot.

He doesn't make a big production out of it (well, not usually), but Roman can always count on something, whether it's a casual murmur or a sweet whisper in his ear, about his work or the way his hair has settled that day or the sparkle in his eyes or his theatrics (because Deceit has a love for the dramatic, just like he does). 

The others compliment Roman occasionally, too, of course. Everyone complimented him on the Christmas sweaters for instance. But it's different when Deceit does it. It adds an extra warm glow, deep in the heart of him, a spark that reminds him that yes, he is worth something and yes, there is someone who loves him.

And he's determined that his boyfriend will feel the same way.

"I love your eyes," he begins that morning, as they sprawl across his bed. Deceit looks at him with sleepy surprise and a shadow of doubt lurking in mismatched eyes. "I mean it!" Roman insists.

"One of my eyes belongs to a snake, Roman, I thought I was the purveyor of lies here," Deceit says, his s's acquiring a longer rasp.

"And it's still gorgeous," Roman says stubbornly. "It's unique. Like you." And he kisses Deceit on the nose to emphasize his point.

"Your scales are gorgeous, too," he continues, brushing his fingertips lightly across them and watching Deceit shiver beneath them.

"The others would disagree with you," Deceit mutters, self-deprecating.

"The others are wrong," Roman says. "And they aren't me. I say they're gorgeous. I love the way they look when they catch the light." He switches sides, sliding his thumb across Deceit's cheekbone. "And I love your freckles. They're adorable, and they remind me of stars."

"Did you wake up on the sappy side of the bed?" Deceit tries to deflect.

"Why do you keep doing that?" Roman asks him, point blank. Deceit reddens, his eyes downcast.

"Because it's true," he says. "I know I'm nothing special, Roman. The others only tolerate me because of you. And it's fine. I understand that. I just-" He shrugs.

"Falsehood," Roman says, freezing Deceit. "It isn't true. If the others only tolerate you because of me, that's their fucking loss, because you're amazing. You're dedicated to your job, no matter what anyone else thinks of it, because you know how important it is, and you're right. I don't care what anyone else thinks of your snake side, I think it's gorgeous and only adds to your appearance. I love that you've always been there for my brother, even when I couldn't be. When I wasn't, and I should have been. You're incredible, and I love you, and I know how much you compliment me... You deserve the same. The same and more."

Deceit stares at him, wide-eyed, before laughing weakly and pulling Roman down, his breath stirring Roman's hair.

"Perhaps you're right," Deceit says. "But-" He flutters his eyelashes, making Roman laugh. "I think I need to be convinced more."

Roman is only too happy to oblige.