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“Deuce, that one doesn’t fit there.”

“Of course it fits there. It’s the same color and it’s the right shape.”

“… is it really?”

“… dammit. No it’s not.”

Jackson had to admit it was amusing that Deuce could be so patient and detail oriented with him (remembering dates that Jackson himself forgot, making notes of even the slightest aversion to ingredients and food textures to modify them, combing his fingers through his hair to smooth down strays that would have gone unnoticed otherwise), but puzzles were not spared the same thought. The gorgon ended up frustrated with them, the colors dulled by his shades or the shapes of the pieces twisted by the curve of the lens. The best he could accomplish without frustration was piecing edges together by corners and trademark statements and the very skimming edges of forms. He honestly couldn’t stand anything with more than about two hundred pieces, just because details got so minute between pieces.

It meant the world to Jackson that he was even willing to try just because it was boyfriend time and one of Jackson’s preferred quiet activities.

“Here, why don’t we take a break? We got all the edges together and the bottom right corner looks like it’s rising up to rule the rest of the puzzle because of all the progress on it.”

He reached out to pluck the piece out of Deuce’s hand, setting it in the area that he thought it might end up belonging in. The look of relief on Deuce’s face was definitely noted and he really didn’t think the universe at large was at all surprised that Jackson decided to scoot over into his lap. The lap was one of the best places to be, because Deuce almost instinctively curled around him because of the difference in body temperature and it was safe and secure and wonderful. When one of them was feeling low or in need of physical affection, there would be nose-rubbing and forehead kissing and the snakes would try desperately to coil into the warmth of Jackson’s hair each and every time they got close enough to think they had even a slight chance of making it. When one of them was running hot there would be neck kissing or fingernails scraping just barely over the line where skin and scales met and someone would end up laid back against the floor or the bed.

Jackson was mildly inclined to think that it was his turn to be laid out, what with the way Deuce was pressing slow kisses across his jaw to work over to his ear. The thought was proven right when the ear kissing turned into the throat kissing that always made him melt and he couldn’t stifle the little noise of want that escaped as the heat rushed to his hips. His noise was answered with a quiet hum of approval, and that seemed to decide things.

Almost before he could realize it, there were hands under his shirt and Deuce was mumbling little phrases of adoration into his ear, things that made both of them blush and encouraged Jackson to steal Deuce’s lips for a nipping kiss that left the gorgon whining quietly for more contact. He ended up taking that contact through breaking the lip lock to peel Jackson’s shirt off and kiss down his chest to his nipples, much to Jackson’s surprise and pleasure.

He was less surprised when he was dipped back to stretch out on the floor, socks and jeans and boxers removed in a rush by his boyfriend so that a mouth could be wrapped around his half-hard cock. Deuce was a fan of giving oral, Jackson had discovered when they had first stepped over the boundary of high school boyfriends that knew they were physically attracted to each other and into the realm of grown men with their own apartment and enough time alone together to make intimacy a possible (and frequent) thing. And Jackson was a fan of receiving it from Deuce, he had to admit. The split tongue and eagerness was pretty hot.

As was the fact that Deuce occasionally didn’t bother with licks or kisses to his cock before engulfing it completely with his mouth and throat. He was apparently in that kind of mood, because he had given no mercy and was already bobbing eagerly on his hardening member. It was all Jackson could do not to buck up into his mouth and make things difficult. Instead he slid his hands along the cool smoothness of his head scales, letting the snake hawk twine around his wrists like Deuce’s tongue twined around his cock.

Orgasm was quicker than Jackson would have liked; a sudden spike of heat, a quiet cry, and the eternally gut-wrenching sensation of Deuce swallowing him down and not pulling off until he was sure he’d gotten every drop. It was a somewhat strange feeling, one that made him unsure of whether he wanted to spread himself out more and leave himself open for whatever Deuce needed or if he wanted to curl into himself and tuck under Deuce’s chin until his shaking and heavy breathing subsided.

Deuce picked the second option for him, scooping him up and carrying him off to the bedroom so he could curl them both into the sun-warmed sheets and hold him close. There was an erection poking Jackson in the thigh through Deuce’s worn jeans (Jackson’s favorite pair of jeans for Deuce to wear around the house, butter soft and sporting the hole in his back pocket that spoke of too many years carrying a wallet there), but he got the feeling that the owner didn’t care about that. He was too busy mumbling sweet nothings into an ear still pink with the sex flush.

They were in Egyptian, something Deuce had picked up as soon as Jackson learned enough Greek to start translating all of his “embarrassing” love confessions and praise for his lover. He wasn’t stupid. He knew that was exactly why he’d switched languages. It was because of his self perception of not being very good at words and their use. And it was just annoying enough being in the dark again (even if he understood the basic meanings from the way Deuce said them) that Jackson nudged him with his elbow, pouting a little.

“You know that’s not fair. Asking Cleo to teach you Egyptian just to do that.”

“Totally fair babe. Otherwise I sound stupid and get all flustered and dumb. ”

“Oh you do not. Shut up and cuddle me.”

And so he did, nuzzling into Jackson’s hair with a low noise of amusement. Jackson would probably disagree, but Deuce was pretty convinced that breaks were definitely the best parts of doing puzzles.