Patton wasn’t sure when he noticed it. It must have been early on, mustn’t it have been? Surely in their first few conversations. He didn’t think he realized what it had been back then though. All he had known was that their conversations together had felt.. different than the conversations he had with the other angels. Maybe it was the tone of Deceit’s voice, maybe it was the way he looked at him, there was just.. Something about it.
And then at long last, he realized what it was.
They were finally relaxing after the apocalypse and what had happened thereafter it. Deceit was sprawled out on the couch Patton kept in the backroom of his bookstore, lazily making sounds of affirmation whenever he heard Patton speak. His sunglasses and hat were on the side table, his cape draped over the back of the couch, but he clearly didn’t mind. Patton did not blame him much for being tired; they had gone through quite a lot lately. No, instead Patton just explored all the changes Adam had brought to his delightfully not-burned-down bookstore. Every once in a while he would make a remark to the relaxing Deceit, but for the most part he was quiet as he peacefully looked at all the books he had once known like the back of Deceit’s hand. Until finally he reached-
“Oh,” Patton’s small smile slipped from his face.
“Hmm?” Deceit mumbled as he cracked open one of his eyes, the snake pupil looking a little dazed before it finally settled on Patton. “What’s wrong, angel?”
“Oh it’s nothing!” Patton tried to sound cheerful once more but he didn’t think it really worked.
Deceit rolled off the couch without another word, yawning and stretching hugely before he stumbled over to Patton and basically draped himself over Patton’s shoulders, yawning once more. “Something’s wrong, tell me.”
“I- It’s just- It’s really nothing Deceit, I swear. It’s fine,” Patton stammered a bit and tried to straighten up so he could support Deceit better, still attempting to keep the strained smile on his face as well. “Just go lie back down, it’s not that important.”
“It’s important to you,” the demon sounded a little more aware now, though his voice was soft. “Please tell me?”
“I- I just noticed my prophecy books didn’t make it,” Patton tried to brush it off as nothing and patted Deceit’s head. “It’s alright though, they were just books after all-”
“No.” Deceit interrupted him, slipping off of his shoulders before stepping in front of him, cradling Patton’s cheeks in his hands as he looked into his eyes, for once without his sunglasses by choice. “They’re important to you, aren’t they angel?”
Patton seemed to flinch a little when he felt Deceit’s hands, but after a second he relaxed. It was fine. He tried to smile at his familiar demon, “They were just some silly books, I don’t need them.” His smile got a little more strained, before he managed to get control of it. “It’s alright, Deceit. I’m alright.”
Deceit didn’t look convinced, his comforting golden eyes never leaving Patton’s face.
“Dee,” he put a gentle hand on Deceit’s shoulder, smile looking even more genuine now. “It’s fine. I should get back to looking for other new additions.”
Deceit didn’t try to stop him as he gently pulled away from his hands and Patton resisted the urge to sigh in relief. He turned towards the bookshelf nearest to him and made an attempt to remark cheerfully about a new book, while he simultaneously tried his best to ignore the feeling of Deceit’s eyes on him before finally the feeling faded and he heard Deceit throw himself onto the couch once more.
He did let out a sigh then, shoulders slumping for a moment. A few lone tears trickled down his face and he quickly brushed them away, mentally scolding himself for being so upset about something so insignificant. Everything was fine, he truly didn’t have any reason to feel upset and he knew that. It still hurt for some reason though. He didn’t know why, he just hoped the feeling would go away soon.
A few days later, Patton almost felt like he was actually over it, or at least that’s what he told himself. Deceit had been a bit absent of late though, and it left him alone with his thoughts and feelings for far too long. So he tried to busy himself sorting all the new books instead. Until after almost a week, Deceit showed up.
He looked a little unkempt and tired, like he had been quite busy during his time away, but when he saw Patton he brightened up a bit, just like he did every time he laid eyes on him.
“Welcome back, Dee,” Patton smiled at him, just as happy to see him.
“Hey angel,” Deceit seemed to relax at his words, a small smile on his own lips as well. “I have something for you.”
“Oh?” Patton questioned curiously, reaching out to grab the bag the demon offered to him. “What is it?”
“Just look.” Deceit coaxed him gently.
Patton reached into the bag and he pulled out a book. A really familiar book. “Dee?”
“Look at the others first,” Deceit smiled shyly, avoiding his eyes for a second.
Patton pulled out the others and he couldn’t help how his breath caught. They were prophecy books. Certainly not all of the ones Patton had once had, nor in the same condition he had had them in, but they were still there.
“How-?” Patton whispered, not even noticing his eyes filling with tears until he felt Deceit crouch next to him.
“Sorry angel, I couldn’t find all of them and I knew a few of them were signed copies, but-” he cut off as Patton tackled him in a hug.
“Don’t you apologize, don’t you dare,” Patton whispered through his tears. Deceit seemed a little shocked but he recovered after a second and chuckled as he gently wrapped his arms around Patton and held him close. “Why? Why would you do this? Why for me?”
“You sounded upset,” Deceit said, as if it was the simplest thing in the world. As if that was the only explanation he cared about.
Patton looked up at him with disbelieving eyes full of tears, almost like he was waiting for him to take it back, and then Deceit ran a hand through his curls as he looked at Patton with so much care and pressed a kiss to his forehead like it was the most natural thing he had ever done, and Patton broke.
He sobbed into Deceit’s suit, neither of them caring about the mess as Deceit wrapped his wings around them both as well, gently rocking as he whispered soft reassurances. “It’s okay, my angel, it’s okay.”
And it was.
That was the day when Patton realized the simple difference between his conversations with Deceit and his conversations with his fellow angels was just that, unlike the others, Deceit cared. He cared about him.
He did not mock him for what he loved and enjoyed, besides a little teasing that they both knew he didn’t mind. He didn’t try to brush off his cares and concerns and feelings, almost always checking in with the silent communication they had both gotten so used to using. He never, ever said anything he did was insignificant. Instead he listened. He tried to make it better. And after thousands of years of being ignored and pushed aside and mocked by those he had once believed to have been on his side, Patton finally realized that someone had actually been listening to him. That someone had cared. And that someone was holding him close right now. So he cried. He cried wrapped up in the arms and wings of a demon he had known since the beginning of the world, who he trusted with all that he was, and he was happy. He was finally happy.