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A Tender Moment

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They’re watching a movie, something from a few decades ago Wukong swears changed cinema, the god loudly proclaiming it a ‘crime’ that someone who was as ‘obsessed with light and shadows and theater’ as he was hadn’t seen it.

Wukong lounges on the couch, surrounded by pillows and blankets, and he sits on a plush floor cushion at the god’s knees by his own request, thinking it’ll be easier than sitting next to Wukong, lined thigh to thigh, and hands shucked under arms to avoid accidentally brushing fingers.  

He can’t even remember what the film is called, the title slipping from his mind as soon as it flashes across the screen, mainly because Wukong absentmindedly buries his hands in his hair.

It’s not the first time the god has started an impromptu grooming session, but it startles Macaque every time without fail.

Spine locking and breath catching in his throat, Macaque wills himself to try and say something, anything, as Wukong starts finger combing through his hair. 

Any idea of protesting quickly leaves though, as claws gently scratch at the back of his head and he leans into it, savouring the way Wukong's fingers separate the strands of his fur until it's soft and fluffy. 

Wukong starts to massage small circles into his skull and then lightly run his fingers through the disturbed fur to put it back into place and he feels his body relax. 

When claws lightly brush the shell of his unglamoured ear, he shudders, and after a moment's hesitation, relinquishes the hold on his magic, allowing four pairs of ears to seemingly unfurl out of thin air. 

The god rubs the bottom most lobe of each ear between his thumb and forefinger before massaging upwards gently, tugging carefully at the helix before starting over again with the second set, and then repeating it with the third pair. 

By the time Wukong’s hands leave his ears and reach for his shoulders, Macaque is limp against the god’s shins, trying not to groan and staring past the TV screen, not registering the flickering scenes in the slightest.  

Strong hands kneed his sore shoulders, and a noise slips past his lips as his eyes flutter shut. Twin thumbs press into the junction between his neck and his spine above his shoulder blades and he swears he can see stars as a purr rumbles unbidden from his chest.

Wukong slips from his perch on the couch, and Macaque sinks on to the god’s thighs with a barely muffled sigh. 

Hands migrate back up from his shoulders to play with his hair, and he lets himself enjoy the mindless fuzz the close contact gives him.

The purr emanating from deep within his own chest is echoed by Wukong, and Macaque stretches, kneading his claws into the plush blankets that surround both of them in an impromptu nest. 

Fingers carefully untangle knots and the occasional glob of purple residue from his shadows clings to sun kissed fingers until it evaporates in the light. 

“Maybe we should invest in a brush,” Wukong muses, his voice deep and rumbling from disuse. 

“But you’re so good at this.” Macaque tries to rise to emphasize his protest, but his limbs are like limp noodles, and he ends up tilting his head back and pouting at Wukong’s chin instead. He stares at what he can see of the god’s face, and he can tell by the pull of his cheeks and how his chin dimples that Wukong has a wide grin spread across his mouth.

“You’re just using me as a space heater.” Wukong laughs, low and soft, and it sounds sweeter than any music he’s ever heard. 

“And?” Macaque rolls his shoulder blades into the thighs he’s cushioned on, and Wukong taps him on the forehead with three fingers.

“You’re going to pull something doing that.” Wukong scolds, but his tone never strays from that fond warmth and the grin only softens into a smile so bright it threatens to blind Macaque twice over. 

“If you’re gonna get a brush, I’ve gotta find a way to get your hands on me somehow.” Macaque says without thinking.

Wukong raises an eyebrow, not that he can see it, but it’s plain enough in the mirth that pours from his reply.

“And that would be how exactly? Giving yourself muscle strains so bad you cry and bitch until I give you a massage?” 

“Duh.” Macaque grins, his fangs glinting in the lazy afternoon sun. A warm hand covers his face, blocking the light, and he can hear Wukong’s heart thrum in his chest and the rush of ichor in his hand that echoes out a few seconds behind each beat.  

He pushes his face into Wukong’s hand, nosing along the grooves lined in the god’s palm before smirking and licking the fingers draped across his mouth.

“Ugh! Mac! Gross!” The golden furred monkey shrieks and rips his hand off Macaque’s face, shaking his arm like he’s been grievously assaulted, before leaning more over the boneless demon in his lap with a disapproving face.

“Objectively, that was hilarious.” Macaque tries to defend himself, but his serious expression keeps cracking the longer Wukong looks at him with false hurt scrawled across his face, like a cat pitifully meowing to be fed five minutes before dinner. 

“Objectively, you’re a bastard.” Wukong says. 

“Ah, but you love me that way.” Macaque lets his tongue slip as he teases. He doesn’t expect Wukong to tilt his head and reply in a tone that drowns in fondness and familiarity.

“You’re right. I don’t think I could love someone who didn’t know how to misbehave.” 

There’s that word. That four-letter word that gets him into trouble. He doesn’t want to think about it, that Wukong might love him again, that the god never stopped. So, he grins crookedly in a way he knows drives the other wild, and purrs out, “Kinky.”

It works, and Wukong laughs loudly, breaking the butter soft moment by exclaiming, “Get your mind out of the gutter!”

“Don’t act like you weren’t thinking it too!”

“You’re deflecting.”

“Am not.”

“I love you, Liu’er.”

His breath catches in his throat, and he feels his cheeks flame up. Macaque can barely look past Wukong’s nose, he knows the golden heat that pools in the god’s eyes, a burning he doesn’t know if he can stand.

Macaque risks a glance, and the rest of his face flushes as he sees an all-encompassing hunger - a love that devours none too gently in Wukong’s gaze. The black furred monkey makes to cover his eyes, but Wukong catches his hands and holds both his wrists in one hand above his head. 

“Something the matter, qīn'ài de?” Wukong purrs out, and Macaque squirms, trying to avoid his eyes.

“Should I tell you all the reasons I love you?” Wukong teases, and Macaque whimpers. He doesn’t know if he can bear to have the heart on his sleeve reflected back at him, so he shuts his eyes and fruitlessly hopes his face isn’t too red. 

“I love your sense of humour,” Wukong begins, and Macaque can tell he’s enjoying this. Maybe too Much. 

“No, come on,” Macaque weakly protests, but anything more dies in his throat when he cracks an eye open to see Wukong’s face.

“You’re so sarcastic, and it never fails to make me laugh,” Wukong shifts and holds out his other hand, drawing his index finger lightly across Macaque’s unscarred cheek. It’s a cool balm to the heat of his blush, at first, but the sensation the gentle motion leaves behind almost burns, and he shivers at the feeling.

“I love how beautiful you look when you're focused on something. And how stubborn you are.” He smiles as Macaque starts to protest.

“And I love the way your thighs shake when I-”

“Please! Wukong,” Macaque cuts him off, turning his face to the side. He’s two seconds from biting Wukong’s thigh in an attempt to shut him up, and he thinks the god can pick up on his intent from the way the muscles under his head tense and relax.

“Hmmm? What’s the matter, plum blossom?” Wukong nudges Macaque’s side with his knee, and the demon pouts again.

“Whose mind is in the gutter now?” Macaque mutters. 

Wukong only laughs and presses a kiss to his forehead.