And, that’s how your day began. You had spent the night over your boyfriend’s house and planned to head home in the afternoon, only to hear those three words come from his mouth right before you even opened the door. Ryosuke had always been a little hot-blooded, giving small thought before taking action, but this was taking it to a whole other level.
He was perched on a wall outside the restaurant, waiting for her, nervously playing with the sleeve of his jumper. Lily watched him for a few minutes from behind the door before she worked up the nerve to go over to him, her heart thumping painfully against her ribs like it was straining to escape her chest. To get to him.
When she did go over, she did her best to appear calm, cool and unruffled. “Hello, James.”
His eyes burned into hers. “Lily.”
She didn’t think he’d ever called her by her first name before. She wanted to hear it on his lips a thousand times over.
ok we all know Damen would spoil Laurent... But what about Laurent? I bet he would love to spoil Damen as well! We would love to show of, that he can be good at it as well.
Oh my god yes. Okay, this got long, is not chronological at all, and there is probably something I forgot, but I just love this idea so much.*
Okay, so we all know Laurent is still learning how to do romance but he’s a fast learner and he’s also very observant. He also tends to be better at (subtlely) romantic gestures if not verbal expression of feelings? (Like when he kept everyone away from Damen after the whole thing with Jokaste, like when he went to deal with Jokaste in the first place so Damen didn’t have to, and when he was literally willing to die to save Damen.)
Anyway, all this to say is that he would probably secretly do things to surprise Damen just to see the expression on Damen’s face. This could be anything from having the cooks make Damen’s favorite food to arranging surprise parties (I think Laurent would start with smaller things at first, and then build it up when he, himself, gets more comfortable expressing affection.) It’s easy to surprise Damen with gestures of affection because Damen doesn’t expect it and Laurent loves the way his eyes light up. Laurent tries his best to learn all the things Damen likes from Nikandros (and then other people, when Nikandros gets annoyed) and surprise Damen with them.
I imagine they continue their trend of feeding each other by hand because they’re both saps and it’s adorable (and Laurent also likes to tease Damen a lot a little with sexual tension).
Laurent learns a lot more about Akielon culture (he kinda needs to, he spent most of his teenage years dismissing it as barbaric) and it absolutely delights Damen when Laurent participates in a ritual or holiday or whatever. And Laurent goes out of his way to learn Akielon customs for courtship and such just to watch Damen smile when he does one of them (he also does Veretian things. He’s an overachiever even though they are already marriedoh my god Laurent, but Laurent’s just like “shush, let me love you” and Damen just melts).
I also really love the idea of Laurent helping Damen through his recovery process. Both of them need time to recover from everything that happened to them and we talk about Laurent a lot but Damen also needs some time too. He just lost a brother and really, he wasn’t yet over the death of his father (who was killed by his brother, man, Damen does not have it easy), and also, there’s the shit with Jokaste betraying him. Laurent sort of knows what that feels like and even if he didn’t get to recover well from his own loses he knows what would have helped.
Which means: hugs. And nonsexual cuddling. Remember that time he hugged Damen in Kings Rising? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Damen needed that hug and he still needs a hug. (I want to give him a hug now. Dammit.) But just–at the end of a long day when they’re both tired, Laurent just wraps his arms around Damen and holds on until the tension drains out of him. And regardless of whether they have sex or not, there is so much cuddling. Laurent just holds Damen close and lets him know he is surrounded by love and affection, and that Laurent’s not going to leave him (because Laurent is one of the few people Damen has left).
Speaking of nonsexual touching: Laurent with Damen’s head in his lap, playing with Damen’s hair. Imagine them in the shade of a tree at the summer palace, sitting like that, and idk, talking about cloud shapes, just something simple and uncomplicated, something that will make them laugh (Laurent loves to make Damen laugh).
Also: Laurent learning how to massage all the stiffness and aches away from Damen’s back (both because of the scars and because Damen does tons of warrior things (meaning sword practice), especially when he’s working through tough emotions like grief).
Laurent is also probably responsible for some of that soreness, though his and Damen’s duels lessen in ferocity as the years go by.
Laurent is Damen’s biggest fan whenever they have competitions and the Akielon Olympics (or whatever they’re called :) ). He doesn’t participate much himself but he sits there looking superior and telling everyone about how awesome his husband is and how his husband’s gonna win (everyone’s like: Laurent, we know, we’ve seen him, but Laurent doesn’t stop). There’s also victory kisses too, every. single. time. It gets awkward for the other people. (Hey this is why you shouldn’t do naked wrestling.)
Laurent gets more comfortable with kissing every day and you bet he uses that. Kissing Damen’s hands (especially his palms and the inside of his wrists), his face and all down his chest–basically doing what Laurent did in 19.5 except with kisses.
I love the idea of them coming up with ways of touching each other in public (not sexually). Like imagine them sitting on their twin thrones casually holding hands. Or standing next to each other and Laurent reaches out and links their little fingers together,** especially when things are getting tough (like when they’re trying to abolish slavery). It’s a way of quietly showing support.
I also really love the idea of Laurent taking over the process of abolishing slavery in Akielos because it became too much for Damen. Damen, who has first hand experience with how bad it can be, would have to sit in this room full of people who want slavery to continue, who say things like “we’re kind to them” or “it’s natural, we’re doing them a favor by enslaving them because they don’t know how to be any other way”*** and that would probably be awful. So Laurent takes over and leaves all those pro-slavery people feeling like the scum at the bottom of a half filled pond.
And, because it’s difficult, Laurent learns to express his affection verbally as well. At first it’s probably just little whispers at night when they’re wrapped around each in bed. Laurent tells Damen all these little things he loves about him, even tiny, inconsequential ones. When they have to be away from each other, Laurent’s letters become a thing of beauty (but are also full of jokes and teasing because it will make Dame laugh). And Laurent’s wedding vows make everyone cry, Damen included.
Also this is kind of random but modern AU! Because I’m writing one and it’s set at a vineyard (well, multiple vineyards). Damen is technically a winemaker (in training) but he totally gets up before dawn to be there when the harvest starts and Laurent knows that he’s going to do this so he puts the timer on the coffee pot so it’s ready when Damen awakes and then brings Damen more coffee later in the day. (It doesn’t seem like much but it’s sort of a Turning Point in the story so.) Also, he keeps making Damen his favorite foods, taking him to the beach, and showing him all the movies he’s missed (there’s a reason Damen’s missed these things but it’s sad).
* There’s a reason my otp tag for them is “otp: I’m just here”–because it’s one of the most important instances of Laurent showing reciprocal affection.
** I totally stole this from Jem and Tessa, one of my otps from The Infernal Devices trilogy.
*** this is a (very simplified) argument for “natural slavery” given by Aristotle.