[MAG] Tonight At Our Beach
Dij makes a new beach to hang out with Kolo, Jedana goes swimming, Affine has a crisis, and Vodo runs a popsicle stand. It'd be a normal Tuesday if Mags knew what a Tuesday was. Probably.
For once there's no warnings or anything. Wholesome!
Kolo didn't look up when the door swung open. Not even when it bounced off the far wall with enough force that, if the drywall wasn't magically reinforced, surely would've left an unsightly dent. Not even when Dij's hands slammed down on both sides of his desk and scattered all of his papers. They floated to the floor mournfully.
Okay, maybe he looked up then.
Dij's grin stretched from ear to ear, eyes sparkling in the mischievous energy he carried when he was in a particularly good mood. Normally, it was a rather cute expression on his partner - seeing such genuine excitement in Dij's face always filled his chest with satisfied warmth - considering his sudden arrival... Kolo's mouth drew into a fine line. It was, after all, never a good sign if Dijamant barrelled in as frantic as this.
Maybe, had Kolo done something wrong...?
"Aw, babe, don't give me that look," Dij said, with his typical casual drawl. "I haven't even said anything yet!"
Nevermind. He hadn't done anything wrong. Yet, at least.
"Something tells me that what you're going to say isn't going to exac-"
"-We're going to have a beach party!"
A beach party. A beach party? Their home had plenty of beaches, made by various Mags. Kolo had never really been one to indulge in visiting them - though he liked the ocean, generally, the sand and the creatures had gotten on his nerves, and he didn't really want to tweak someone else's creations. So he'd mostly avoided them. Thinking on it, he couldn't really recall Dijamant enjoying beaches, either.
Kolo inhaled, slowly. "A beach party."
"A beach party! And I picked out the perfect swimsuit for you, it'll be great-"
Oh, there it was. He was excited about the swimsuits, of course. And what horrible creations had he magicked up? No, rather - how skimpy were they going to be? And how many people were going to be there to ogle it? Or, even, ogle him? Not that he thought the other Mags were creeps, no, or that he'd even be worthy of their attention... but the idea of being mostly-nude in front of them was chest-tightening levels of embarrassing.
"-Who's all going to this 'beach party'?"
"Don't sound so dubious, babe!" Dij's smile seemed to grow several inches, somehow. It was rather cute. "The beach is big enough that we'll have plenty of privacy."
"That's not what I asked."
Dij paused, almost faltering, before regaining every ounce of energy: "...Well, I don't know how many people will be there. I just made the place and I told everyone about it. But we have our own private little section! It's got a nice pavilion you can rest on and everything - I know you don't like sand getting on you."
A nice pavilion. If Kolo knew Dij - and he'd venture he had a fairly good idea - it was easy to picture the structure: blue and sparkling, with some flowing water down the sides or center, and a warm hammock to lay in. Pillows and blankets probably laid plush around the wood, and the salty sea-spray would rest on their faces and... that did sound rather comfortable.
Kolo glanced down at his papers. The remnants of what he had been writing were on the floor, mostly. The stories of cunning and politics and diplomacy and magic were now fixtures of the ground. Sure, it was just brainstorming, but he'd had them all in a very particular order, and sorted in just particular ways, and... he sighed. With a flick of magic, the papers stacked themselves on his desk, and he pushed his chair back.
"I don't plan to attend for very long," he said, matter-of-factly, "but I guess I can visit your beach for a wh-"
Dij's hand clamped onto his wrist, "That's PERFECT, babe! C'mon, I have just the place to let you try on the swimsuits I got you!"
"Wait, swimsuits? Plural? There's more than-"
The crackle of teleportation swallowed his protests.
"What do you think? You like the color of this one?"
Kolo twirled, trying to catch better glimpses of his reflections in the three mirrors surrounding the tiny stage. This was probably the most ridiculous little runway he'd ever seen, but it also... was endearing. He couldn't say the same about the outfit, though, with its garish magenta.
"No," was all he managed, bluntly, staring at Dij.
Perched in a director's chair, fingers pressed together in front of his chin, his boyfriend grinned. "I like the tassels."
He flicked one of them, on his shoulder. "It's not my color."
Dij snapped his fingers with magic, and the suit accordingly adjusted, "Lighter, then?"
"The pastel does not make the threads any less gaudy."
"Soooo you want something ungaudy. Something humble," Dij hummed, leaning back. "Despite rejecting my beautiful one-piece swimsuit."
"That's not a word, but yes." Kolo glanced towards the pile of rejects, already a dozen strong, "and that was tight."
"That's the idea, babe," Dij said, with a wink.
His cheeks twinged, and he pouted at the floor, crossing his arms with a huff. After a second wherein the other didn't magick a new outfit onto him, he peeked up towards Dij, only to be met with his partner's grin. Kolo glared at the floor harder.
"You know you're cute like that, when you're flustered."
Kolo covered his face. "I'm not cute."
"What, you're not cute? Why do I wanna stare at you for hours in that one-piece, then? Drink in your legs and hips and chest?"
His fingers curled harder around his eyes.
"You're absolutely cute. You're absolutely my tastes."
"Let's make a game of it, then," Kolo said, quickly, shoving his hands downwards, voice quieter, "combine our tastes to make... something... perfect...."
Dij blinked, just once, before a huge grin spread on his face. "Mkay, director sir, where do we start?"
What was the most important part of an outfit? Kolo's muzzle scrunched as he thought, briefly, mind flicking through images like a catalogue. "Colors. We'll both pick one."
"Dark blue," Dij said, all too quickly.
Kolo huffed, then rolled his eyes. "Alright. Cyan."
Dij paused, before his smile widened by a few inches. "Aw, babe, that's cute."
"What?" he crossed his arms, "I like cyan."
"It's still cuuuute. What's next?"
Kolo narrowed his eyes. "I didn't say you got to pick."
"You'll look nice with them." Dij winked, and that was enough for Kolo to turn pink and avoid his gaze. "Alright, next?"
"A design or something-"
"And I have the perfect motif in mind," Dij said, all too easily, snapping his fingers.
Kolo yelped as the clothes he was wearing disappeared in a flash. There was just enough of a pause between the next set appearing on him that he half-moved to cover himself, only to bump into fabric instead. Startled, he glanced down, catching sight of a dark blue two-piece, with ribbons on either hip - and diamonds all over.
"Whatcha think?" Dij called over, slowly clapping, "I think it's gorgeous on you."
Diamonds. It was sort of a possessive thing, wasn't it? Plastering himself all over Kolo, showing anyone they'd bump into that they were... together. It kind of made him feel giddy and warm inside. Honestly, kind of nice... flustering, he guessed?
"It's nice," he mumbled, crossing his arms.
Dij's grin widened. He was so excited... it was kind of cute. A little giggle rose out of him, and Kolo smiled in turn, pink forming on his cheeks.
"Alright," Kolo stood up straighter, hands on hips, "now it's my turn to dress you."
Dij's laugh cut short and he blinked, almost dumbstruck, at Kolo. "Babe?" was all he could manage.
"Get up here," Kolo said, pointing down at the little stage.
Though he at first shifted almost nervously, Dij stood, prowling over to the platform. A stab of uncertainty ran itself through Kolo's guts at the hesitation - what if he was just forcing Dij to go along with this? What if Dij wasn't really interested and didn't want to, and Kolo had-
"-If I might suggest an outfit, how about this one?" Dij near-purred, magicking up a skimpy cyan bikini, held on a clothes hanger.
Aaaand Dij was just fine, apparently. Fine enough to be cracking jokes. As soon as it'd arrived, the fear dissipated, leaving only mild irritation in its wake.
Kolo narrowed his eyes. "No."
"This one, then? I think you'd like me in this one." the bra disappeared. Just the bra.
"These?" the entire outfit was replaced only by a pair of pasties.
Briefly, briefly, an image of Dij wearing those flashed in his mind's eye. And just those.
"Oh my stars, Dij, no, I'm picking," Kolo muttered, slapping them out of his hands. "That means no suggestions."
"Hey, I let you veto some outfits! That means I get a veto, too."
"If I let you veto, you'll turn down everything except nudity."
"You'd like it," Dij pouted, crossing his arms, though he grinned after a second.
Kolo stared at him, at that expression, feeling embarrassed warmth spill into his stomach and chest. Why, stars, why did his partner's smiles have to have such a profound effect on him? They were near-constant, there was no reason they should've been flustering him even now.
He glanced away, glaring down at the pile of rejected swimsuits from earlier. Maybe there was some sort of inspiration in those rejects, in all the ridiculous diamond patterning and absurdly sexual designs. Everybody wore those kinds of outfits to a beach, right? Half because of the heat, and half to show some skin....
So... what if he did the exact opposite? Not something that'd be uncomfortable among the sand, or hideous, but something that sort of... broke free from the expectations of beachwear.
Haha, listen to him, rambling on and on about swimsuits like it mattered.
He lifted a hand, lit with magic, and flicked his wrist.
A deep violet swimdress fell from Dij's shoulders, a band clinging to his waist. Lighter-colored diamond trim complimented the saturation, with a larger diamond emblazoned across the low-cut chest. Arm and leg warmers, both pale purple, curled around his limbs.
Dij blinked rapidly, and Kolo held his breath.
Suddenly Dij twirled, though his head was tilted straight down as he drank in the outfit. He lifted one leg, then the other, like he couldn't quite believe what he was staring at. Incredulous? Distaste? Dislike?
Uncertainty filled Kolo, in a sort of nauseous haze. Way to suck the fun out of the situation, you fucking loser. Way to ruin your boyfriend's day by slapping him in something completely unsuitable. Spit in his face after he made a beach for you two, huh? It wasn't even funny. He isn't laughing. He-
"-Babe, it's SO cute," Dij said, all in one breath, nearly a ramble, "look at how cute these are!"
He squeaked as he held out his arms, splaying out his fingers, to stare at the arm warmers. Kolo blinked.
"I- they're not, good beachwear," Kolo half-started.
"So?" Dij looked up, right into his eyes, and every doubt died in Kolo's mind, "They're adorable. And they're one of my favorite colors! And I wouldn't have thought of it myself."
He sounded so... enthusiastic. Overly so, really, like he was putting on a farce. What, was he too scared to tell Kolo how he really felt? Was Kolo really just that sensitive, that Dij had to constantly censor what he actually felt, just to preserve his ego? And how long had that been going on, without him noticing...?
"You don't have to lie," Kolo muttered, reaching grabbing his own arm, limply by his side.
"I'm... I'm not?"
He didn't respond.
Dij frowned, stepping forwards. His hand rested on Kolo's shoulder. "Babe. I seriously like the outfit."
"...Promise you're not lying?"
"Promise." Dij's voice brimmed with confidence, the kind that Kolo could only wish he could reach out and hold.
He still couldn't make himself look up, though Dij's hand was a grounding comfort. It slid to his neck, then the back of his head, almost cradling him - more gently than he deserved - before pulling Kolo close, head snugly buried in Dij's chest.
It was kind of amazing, how nice Dij was being, even after Kolo had ruined the mood. And dumped all his insecurities onto his boyfriend. And made Dij act like his caretaker again. And sour the entire last hour with the memory of how insecure he was. And fail to keep himself even barely in line. And...
"How about we go to the beach, mkay babe?" Dij's voice was so smooth. So nice.
"Doesn't it kill you?" Kolo half-hissed.
Dij's hand tightened in his hair. "What?"
"That you have to take care of me like this. Constantly reroute my emotions. I don't know why I can't just - hold them in, or swallow them, I used to be so good at it. And now I'm utter shit, and now you have t-to deal with-"
He looked up. The tears had yet to fall, but his vision had blurred with them regardless. Dij's face was hard to make out, but he could feel the hand stroke the back of his head.
"I like it when you're honest with me like that," Dij said, with a shrug and a smile, "nobody else gets to see that part of you except me. And maybe I wanna be greedy about that. Plus... you're kind of cute when I hold you like that."
"Isn't that kind of f-fucked up? On both of our parts?"
"Mm, sure, but we both knew that, already." Dij grinned.
Kolo snorted, reaching to wipe his eyes. "That doesn't really make it better."
"It makes it better when it's with you." Dij winked, "and when I get to see your ass."
"Shut up," Kolo muttered, smiling in spite of himself as he reached to bap Dij's face.
Dij gave a half-giggle, beaming, "And I wanna see that cute ass dancing on the beach with me. Got it?"
Before he could breathe, they teleported, wrapped up in the sudden flash of cyan. Kolo rubbed his eyes, clearing the spots in them as sudden heat pressed down on his shoulders. He glanced up, towards the sun, hanging in a cloudless blue sky. It was... pretty.
Down his gaze fell, towards the ocean, a glittering and sparkling push-pull of deep blue, washing up against the shoreline. He could feel the water just barely slipping around his feet, cold against the roughness of the sand and the warmth of the sun. Emotions bubbled in him, intense and uncertain, brain struggling to pinpoint any of them.
Safety? Security? Awe? Gratitude?
Love, to know that this was made for him? Love, to know all the effort Dij had put into this day? Love, to appreciate all the effort that was poured into an endless emotional abyss like him? Love, to want to indulge Dij in it all anyways, to do whatever the fuck he wanted and throw his scruples out the window?
"I want you to dance with me."
Kolo jumped slightly, head whipping around to stare up at Dij, whose voice had taken on a calm, secure tone. Dij's hands settled on his hips, his smile easy, and that alone drowned out everything else in Kolo's head - all the doubts, the negativity, the insecurity, the uncertainty.
"Okay," he said, voice small.
"Good. After all-" Dij's voice dipped into a higher, singing register, "I'm getting crushed out on the things that only I should see~"
Kolo's eyes widened, as Dij's finger pressed onto the stereo. The music poured in full force, in perfect sync with Dij's singing-
"They're not for boys, they're just for me," and Dij took both of his hands, and twirled him, and pressed a kiss to his lips.
The song spun around them, as the kiss deepened, and he could taste Dij, that almost-sharp little spark.
"When we do talk, from far away," Dij let go, and they both stepped several paces away, for only a second, a long second. But as long as it lasted, it was over almost instantly - Dij suddenly against him again, stealing his hands once more, "it's so hard for me, only to get the urge to kiss you there!"
As Dij turned, the sunlight caught his hair, illuminating him as a halo. Kolo's eyes widened, drinking in the sight as Dij opened his half-lidded eyes, the cyan glowing in affection.
"W-when we're alone, I want to say, let's just s-stay in - th-there's no one here in our apartment, babe," Kolo squeaked, off-key and off-tempo.
Dij's hand gripped his lower back as they spun off again, his voice harmonizing so beautifully, "Put on your dress that I like!"
It made Kolo's heart skip beats, every note, every smile, every time their eyes met, as his feet kept pace for him. Every time they twirled, and he lost sight of Dij, the sky and sun and sand blurring together into a beautiful mess until he felt those hands curl tighter, then pull him close enough he could feel DIj's breath in his ear-
"It makes me so crazy, though I can't say why," came Dij's whisper, so softly.
The hot sand under his feet, kicked up into little clumps with every step he took. It wasn't a good dance - he was no dancer. The best he could do was walk in circles, shake his hips, and wave his arms back and forth - but it was an expression. It was a feeling. It was him choosing to let go of everything weighing him down and just exist, with Dij in tandem, feeling the noontime sun on his back, the spray of the ocean, the sand between his toes.
"Back to the time when we were green," Dij continued, his voice cracking, "I know we have changed, but I still grin 'cause I can wake to see you!"
He spun Kolo, until they were only connected by one arm, and Kolo flung out his others, bending back enough to feel the sun on his chest. And then with a tug, he spiralled back into Dij's arms, pressed close enough to breathe in his familiar scent.
"Back to the time I touched your hand," Kolo whispered, almost silent, "when I was scared to look that mean, I think it's weird-"
"-I'm getting lost in your curls," and Dij's hand slipped into his hair, and pulled his head back, "I'm getting rushed back on a whim, our breath gets weird-"
-Their lips met again, slow and gentle.
"Keep on your stockings for a while," Kolo sang, louder, letting the lyrics spill from him.
Dij lifted him, up to the sky, the wind pulling, "There's some kind of magic in the way you talk about-"
Kolo let his eyes drift closed, "I refuse to call it anything-"
Dij's voice joined his, tuned with his, "but-"
They stepped together, as one, "your-"
Dij's hand slipped to cradle the back of his head, pulling him close enough to feel his partner's breath against his, "-blue."
The stereo fell silent, the CD rolling to a stop.
With a half-spin, Dij nearly picked Kolo up, pulling him closer and closer. His feet met warm boards, and his mind barely connected that they were next to the pavilion. The heat of the sun left his shoulders as they twirled under the shade of its roof, closer to the hammock, where dozens of pillows had been dumped earlier.
He only had a second before Dijamant flopped on top of him. Kolo wheezed as the air squeezed out of his chest, but it only took a stilling inhale to return it. The warmth of Dij's hands had fallen to the sides of his shoulders, gripping him tightly. The fervor from earlier had been replaced with something else: something more subdued and breathable.
With a small adjustment, Kolo propped his head on a pillow and peered down at Dij. His partner's cyan eyes stared back up at him, glittering, almost half-lidded with satisfaction. He was that happy to see Kolo.
Kolo's cheeks tinged and he glanced away, as the rush of dancing faded, all too quickly. He didn't deserve to look at that. He'd done nothing to earn being stared at with awe and admiration and adoration.
"Aw, babe, don't look away from me." Dij's voice was barely above an enchanted whisper.
Kolo squeezed his eyes shut. How was he supposed to look at Dij? The expression on his face, the way his voice wavered, the soft rubs he was pressing into Kolo's shoulders - it was all too much. It made something rotten in his chest rear its head and bite down on everything inside of him, twisting up his feelings and his guts all in one.
All of this, that Dij had made. For them. This beach, this pavilion, the pillows, the outfits, the clearly-planned dancing, the everything. It was all for... him. What had he done to make Dij think he was so greedy, that he needed all this? That he deserved any of this? What a selfish, selfish monster he was, pouring all these gluttonous wants into the other's lap, like he expected to be coddled and babied.
He did, didn't he? That's why Dij put too much together. He'd given the other the impression.
Too much. Too much. He could feel the sting of tears as his lips pulled back in a grimace.
He shook his head. If he opened his mouth, he was sure he'd start sobbing - the burning bubbles in his chest told him as much. And stars forbid he put even more on Dij's shoulders.
Arms slipped around Kolo's head, and he was helpless to fall into their embrace, pressed close against Dij's chest. His shoulders trembled, the sheer effort of choking back all his tears.
"What's wrong? Did I say something?"
Dij sounded so worried, so sad. He really thought it was his fault, didn't he? How fucked up was that, that he was so selfless to try to take the blame, to assume he'd wronged the thing in his arms? Anyone else would've spat on him and called him a waste of space.
"No, it's not you," Kolo mumbled, through clenched teeth.
Dij's hand stroked the back of his head, so tenderly he choked. "Why are you crying all of a sudden?"
He really was just a worm, wasn't he? An ugly, disgusting leech, some black hole that consumed and consumed and burnt everything that came near it. He was so greedy, trying to take any of Dijamant's light for himself, indulging in his own selfishness enough to poison the other. Dij had made this beach - this whole beautiful place - to share with others, to throw a party, to cheer people up, to have a nice time.
All that brightness and shine bleached Kolo in comparison.
"What have I ever done to make anyone happy?" he choked out, barely, the words slipping from him before he could stop.
"What?" the confusion in Dij's tone was so... sad.
Kolo freed an arm to gesture wildly towards the ocean. "Look at all of that! Look at everything you made! All for... everyone, just out of nowhere! When have I ever done anything like that?"
"Constantly!" Dij's voice had raised a few octaves, as he pulled Kolo from his chest to stare down at him. Kolo stared up at his furrowed brow and wide eyes. "You constantly make me happy!"
"How? I'm just - I'm just nothing! I'm only useful for my job and even that's a stretch! I've never done anything like this, never made anything for you, never done anything for you - I'm just taking up all your energy a-and your time and giving you nothing in return!"
"No you're not! Look at what you're saying!"
Kolo sniffled. Dij's hand reached to brush his bangs out of his face.
"I... I didn't mean to yell," Dij started, glancing away for a second before refocusing on Kolo's face. "But you do a lot for me, Kolo. Like... okay, I don't know how to articulate this very well. But... I've never even really had anyone thank me for making them anything before. Or thank me for being around. Or even just... think of me being around. Everyone always takes me for granted. Except you! You're always thinking about me and... thinking that I deserve better."
"What kind of a relationship is f-founded on just that? Anybody could think of you."
"Well, maybe, but you're the only one who really has. And you're so smart, too, you teach me so much about everything, and everyone, and people, and just really living. I feel like I'm alive when I'm with you."
"But I'm not doing any of that for you," Kolo mumbled, glancing down, to Dij's shirt, smeared and wet. "It's just what you think I'm doing for you."
"That's not true!" Dij insisted, almost frantically, "It's NOT. You're funny, you know that? Really funny!"
Kolo glanced up again, through tears.
"You're so clever, sometimes. You always have something funny to say that makes me smile or makes me think about how much I love you. You're so smart, too, you're so observant. You're always looking out for me!"
"But those aren't things I'm doing for you... not selflessly, anyways-"
"-Maybe that's ALL I WANT, Kolo! Jeez!"
Kolo blinked rapidly, ears pinning back, as he stared. Dij's eyes were pressed shut, his palm to his forehead, digging in.
"I'm sorry. I know it's hard for you to say this stuff, and I shouldn't get frustrated," Dij said, slowly, before looking at Kolo again. Wetness had dripped down his cheeks. "But... I... maybe that's all I want, you know? Someone I can laugh with and feel... connected to, for once. And I really feel connected to you, okay? I feel like... we're great together. I feel like you really know me. I feel like we can really get along.
"And... honestly, sometimes, I think I'm selfish too, dragging you along to whatever I want to do or wherever I want to go. Sometimes when I ignore you saying 'no', I get a shot of guilt right through my chest. I wonder, does Kolo even really like me? Or am I just pushing him around and he's too nice to tell me I'm a narcissistic jerk? And then you end up crying about how selfish you think you are, and I just... I think it's kind of funny, sometimes. We're dysfunctional, aren't we?"
Kolo rubbed at his nose, smearing his fur. "I... I think so. I... I didn't think about any of this in... that light before."
"But you're happy with me, right?"
"Is that okay?"
Kolo looked up.
"Is it okay? That you're happy with me?"
He glanced to the side, face contorting in anxiety. Was it okay? Had he earned happiness? Was it really fine to let himself indulge so much in chasing a high? Really, he didn't-
Kolo blinked rapidly, at Dij's lips pressed to his forehead. His boyfriend pulled away just slightly, only to press his mouth against Kolo's instead. Miasma churned inside of him, but as Dij held him closer and closer cradling his head, slipped his tongue in - it faded, off into the background, like it never mattered in the first place. There was nothing else that mattered or shook him. There was just the moment.
When Dij finally pulled away, Kolo's eyes were closed, mouth slightly agape. His breathing was small, chest barely rising and falling, the fabric of the swimsuit rubbing against him with every motion. Everything settled, slowly, into place, and he let his eyes slip open, Dij barely coming into focus in front of him.
"Is it okay?" he heard, distantly, almost a whisper. "Is it okay for us to be happy?"
Kolo inhaled softly, before giving a slight nod. The grin that broke on Dij's face smoothed over anything that threatened to bubble. Dij still held him close, but Kolo let his arms slip from the other's neck, back to his sides.
"And I'm happy with you," Dij said, relief so painfully obvious in his voice that it reassured something in Kolo, too. "Can we just be happy for a whi- no, wait, no, can we be happy forever?"
He curled his fingers into fists. "You'll have to keep telling me th-that over and over. I don't think it'll ever stop. Do you really want to deal with that?"
"It's not dealing with anything, babe." Dij smiled at him. "It's okay. I'll tell you over and over and over again 'til it becomes the only mantra in your head. How's that sound?"
"Why would you want to waste all that time t-trying to convince me of that?"
"Because I love you. Because it's not time wasted. Because every minute we spend together makes me want to spend another, and another, and another, til all I can think about is being around you."
"...Okay," he said, banishing the intrusive insecurities, swallowing them with every syllable, "I want to spend forever with you."
"So let's get married," Dij said, tail suddenly wagging.
"...Huh?" Kolo managed, eyes flying wide open.
"Married!" Dijamant stood, scooping up Kolo bridal-style, "It's a thing mortals do when they love each oth-"
"-I know what it is!" Kolo barked, bapping Dij's face, "B-but it's a mortal thing! And also really sudden! Of you! To be bringing it up!"
"Maybe it is! You know me, I'm an impulsive bastard."
"This isn't something to be impulsive over!"
Kolo blinked. A blush spread over his cheeks, and he averted his gaze, glaring down at the sand, instead, as if it held the protests he couldn't muster.
"Come on," Dij said, the lightness he spoke with so tantalizing, "let's go tell everyone!"