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Stop and Stare

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King considers himself lucky every time he wakes up. He especially thinks this whenever he wakes up before Percy.

Percy always presses close to King in his sleep - the demigod is still not used to the chill of the mountain air and King's body temperature has always been on the high side.

Today is one such day. King is awake before his boyfriend and is blessed with the sight of Percy's sleeping figure curled into his own. The demigod's face is relaxed, every hard line, whether made by a frown or a smile, has been erased overnight only to come back as soon as Percy opens his eyes.

By now, King would have kissed Percy's nose just to watch it crinkle as he blinked his eyes against the light. However, today is special, and so King just makes sure to wrap his arms tighter around his boyfriend and then falls back asleep.


It's later in the morning when King wakes again, this time with an empty spot next to him. Hearing the water running in the bathroom, King feels a sleepy smile gather on his lips.

He stays under the covers even as he hears the water turn off. King only has to wait another five minutes before Percy's emerging from the steamy bathroom, blue towel wrapped around his waist. He smiles at King when he sees he's awake.

It's moments like these where King happily and openly stares, uncaring if Percy teases him for it. After all, King has one good-looking boyfriend and he's not afraid to let Percy know exactly how good King thinks he looks.

He isn't surprised to find himself staring, not anymore. King can smell the steam coming off Percy, can taste the humidity in the air that Percy brought out from the bathroom. He gladly watches as his eyes lock onto a drop of water working down Percy's chest.

Percy's figure, however, suddenly goes out of focus as he approaches the bed. He leans over the bed to distract King with a kiss. It's got all the feel of a lazy morning, and Percy takes his time pulling back when it's over.

Their faces are still really close, and King notes for the thousandth time that no matter how many times Percy washes, he never stops smelling like the salt of the ocean.

"Happy Pride Month," Percy says, because it's the first day of June and he still celebrates American holidays. King could never deny Percy what makes him happy, though, and this is a holiday that King particularly looks forward to.

"Happy Pride Month," King replies back, and he leans in to kiss his boyfriend again. Percy sinks into King's arms as they kiss before he pulls away, softly smiling down at the Italian.

"I'll make breakfast while you get ready," Percy offers, and King nods in agreement. One more kisses - because King can never get enough of Percy - and then King is watching as Percy extracts himself from his boyfriend's arms and goes over to the closet to dress.

King throws back the covers and makes his way to the bathroom, only stopping to stare and whistle approvingly as Percy drops his towel.


They spend the day over at Madam Joni's hut, pulling up weeds and planting some seeds in her garden. King's currently kneeling in the soil, tilling the garden, when Madam Joni yells from the doorway, "Rinfreschi!"

He looks up in time to watch as Percy puts down a bag of fertilizer and lifts his shirt to wipe the sweat off his forehead.

You can say what you want about King's heritage, but in the end, King's only human. He stares, hard.

Percy's not built like King is. Percy's more lean, not as broad in the shoulders, and certainly not as tall. But King's staring right at Percy's chest unabashedly, and he's certain the surrounding temperature just went up several degrees.

The shirt falls back down, and by the time the world comes into focus, Percy is grinning mischievously.

The demigod hightails it inside Madam Joni's hut, laughing as King takes a few seconds to calm himself down. Eventually, he finds he can't entirely manage it, and he surrenders himself to the disdainful comments Madam Joni is sure to throw at him.

It's worth it to hear Percy laugh, King decides as he ducks under the low doorway.


The day ends like most days: Nico and Corra come over for dinner, town strays in tow. The four of them feed all the kids, and Percy gets clawed by Alessa when she refuses to let go of him to eat.

Alessa ends up being fed by King as she's wrapped around Percy's shoulders.

It's no different than any night, really. King gets to talk and share kisses with Percy as Alessa gets to eat without moving from her favourite perch.

By the end of it all, Corra expertly gets all the strays out with Nico and Percy doing the dishes. Alessa stays with Percy, King can see her little tail swishing back and forth from behind Percy.

In fact, this whole day would have been no different than any other day if not for King's surprise for his boyfriend.

At first, King wasn't sure how to go about this surprise. Tradition in the village dictates that this sort of thing would be done in front of friends and family, for everyone to see and approve of the match. But Percy wasn't born and raised in the village, and from what King's heard, this sort of surprise isn't always public. It's private, more intimate that way.

Another thing King had heard was that some people went all out: fancy restaurant, fancy clothes, prepared speech, but that was neither King's nor Percy's style, so King nixed that idea too.

So, after Corra and Nico have said their goodbyes and left, king waits not even two feet behind Percy - who's standing in the doorway of the hut - ring box in hand.

He gets down on one knee, and gets the ring box open just in time. Percy turns around seconds later, some sentence on the tip of his tongue that gets forgotten as soon as Percy's brain processes what's in front of him.

King's looking up at Percy standing there in front of the open doorway, and suddenly, the moment stretches on. The moonlight is shining down just outside the doorway, casting a backlight onto Percy. The demigod's eyes are sparkling a dim ocean green, which sparkle that much brighter when his mouth pulls into a tearful grin.

"Yes," Percy whispers, joyful tears spilling out his eyes and down his cheeks. "Yes, I'll marry you."

King is on his feet, silver ring on Percy's finger in no time. Their lips connect for what could be the thirtieth time today, and the two of them stay in that embrace for an endless amount of time. At least, it seems endless to King. In reality, it's probably only two minutes long.

They don't go to sleep until much later that night, which King was honestly expecting anyway, but there's some new level of intimacy they've unlocked now that they're engaged. King can feel it in every touch and every kiss, each action performed with an extra level of care.

Both of them go to sleep afterward close and with smiles on their faces. In the end, King might just like kissing Percy more than staring at him.