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Cecil Palmer came up behind his loving husband at the stove, wrapping his arms around Carlos’ waist and resting his chin on his shoulder. He hummed softly, pressing a kiss to the side of Carlos’ throat and making him squirm and giggle – he was absurdly ticklish there. “How’s it going?”

Carlos turned to kiss whatever he could reach of Cecil’s face, smiling against his skin. “It’s almost done, though I’ve been hearing static coming from all the Secret Police’s hidden mics since I brought it out of the pantry.” He turned fully in Cecil’s arms, planting a quick kiss to his lips. “Can you start heating up the sauce?”

Cecil flushed a brilliant purple at the display of affection (he could never quite get used to it, not even after all these years), and moved to do as Carlos asked, grabbing a jar from the fridge and pouring a bit of the tomato sauce in a bowl and sticking it in the microwave. Cecil settled for leaning against the counter, gazing at Carlos with a dazed, lovestruck expression and accompanying smile. He sighed happily, slumping a little, and Carlos’ eyes flicked to him before returning to the boiling pot he was stirring. His dark cheeks steadily darkened further. “Stop looking at me like that. It’s just pasta, honey.”

Illegal pasta.” Cecil flashed a lazy grin. “Perfect Carlos, with his perfect hair and perfect teeth, making perfect, illegal pasta. How could I not fall in love all over again?”

Carlos made a strange squeaking noise, hurrying to the sink to drain the pasta. At the same time, the microwave beeped (well, screamed), and Cecil set about getting out the dishes and sauce. It was just simple spaghetti, no meatballs (Carlos said he didn’t trust the meat at the Ralph’s, not since he found glowing blue radioactive chunks in a steak he bought there once), but it was perfect.

Carlos and Cecil sat down at the dinner table, side-by-side, facing the large window next to the fridge. It was a bit cramped, their sides pressed tight together, but neither minded. They giggled, a high of sheer euphoria at doing something so very illegal getting a bit to their heads. They swapped one last kiss, then stared out the window and began digging in.

Both of their expressions went blank as they ate the pasta filled with wheat and wheat-byproduct, staring dead outside at the spots where they knew the two Secret Policepersons assigned to them (one for each) were hiding and watching. Cecil could see the leaves of the bush begin to rustle and shift, all three of his eyes staring unblinkingly. The only thing that betrayed just how exciting this was were the swirling tattoos shifting and writhing on Cecil’s bared forearms, the ink glowing a faint purple.

The pair might as well have flipped City Council off in their many faces with how blatantly they were disrespecting the law. Any other citizen of Night Vale would’ve been arrested by now. Any other citizen probably wouldn’t have even gotten as far as thinking about acquiring such forbidden contraband. But Cecil was no ordinary citizen. He was the Voice of Night Vale, after all. Without him, the city would most likely dissolve into insanity and chaos, his voice no longer there to soothe and guide them through the many crises that struck their little town. Plus, the Secret Police liked him. He made their job much easier with his ability to keep the whole of Night Vale relatively calm.

(He also made it much harder at points, but those were just details.)

And besides, if the Secret Police even tried to arrest either of them, well…

Cecil was not exactly the most human resident of Night Vale.

Sandra (the Secret Policewoman assigned to Carlos) popped her head out from around her tree, frowning heavily with frustration and glaring at the pair. Immediately, six tentacles suddenly appeared in the air around Cecil, swirling lazily and glowing the same dim purple as his tattoos. Neither Cecil’s nor Carlos’ expression changed, but Cecil blinked slowly, his third eye remaining fixed open, unblinking, its gaze boring through Sandra. One tentacle curled around Carlos’ nearest arm, the end of it stroking the back of his hand lovingly, and Sandra visibly swallowed, retreating back to her tree. Cecil allowed himself a tiny grin of satisfaction as twirled more pasta onto his fork.

When they were done, Cecil sighed in pure contentment, arms once more finding themselves around Carlos’ waist and his tentacles curling around him as well as he nuzzled the side of Carlos’ throat. “Well, that was delicious. Perfectly done, of course, by my perfect Carlos. I still don’t even know where you got it.”

Carlos shrugged, a devilish little smile appearing on his face. “The angels are very helpful once you acknowledge their existence.” He kissed the corner of Cecil’s third eye, making him blush purple and giggle, before he stood, caring Cecil up with him. “Come on, help me clean up.”