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Kisses in war

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Sylvain takes a deep breath as he caresses his horse nervously. They’re close, so close to beating the Kingdom, and Sylvain knows that as long as the professor is on their side, they will win. There has never been any doubt in that. That doesn’t change the despairing feeling he holds inside of him, though – he is aware it would eventually come down to this, to fight Ingrid and Dimitri and Felix, and even if he has been readying himself for the moment, he isn’t sure if he will be able to.

No, that’s a lie. He has to do it. Sylvain startles when someone puts a hand on his shoulder. “Sylvain?” It’s Dorothea. She’s become a valorous ally and friend to him, even if they still have their up and downs.

“Yeah?” His voice doesn’t sound as thick as he thought it would, and that in itself is a comfort. He turns his head as she stands next to him, her gaze concerned. He’s aware she knows, but there is nothing they can do about it now.

“I have your back.” She quietly affirms, and Sylvain feels the lump in his throat worsen. He takes a moment to recompose himself and let out a breath.

“I just wish this weren’t the reunion we would get.”

“So do I.” Dorothea murmurs, and just as the professor starts screaming for everyone to get on position, she squeezes his shoulder. He mounts his horse, gripping his Lance of Ruin tightly in his hand. A family relic he most definitely doesn’t deserve, not more than Miklan did, and yet it is on his power anyway.

A world without Crests. What I wouldn’t give to live in it?

He closes his eyes, steeling himself and standing next to Ferdinand and Dorothea. Sure enough, he is there, right at Arianrhod’s door with his father. He looks older and wiser and angrier and more determined than he was, and Sylvain feels his heart twisting inside of him when Felix’s eyes lay on him and widen for a second – enough for Sylvain to see it – before they turn emotionless. He despises it. Sylvain misses him, his constant presence, his hidden concern.

But war doesn’t spare a moment for feelings, does it?

The battle starts, and as they fight off Kingdom soldiers, Sylvain finds himself standing in front of Felix, both of them looking at each other and weapons raised but not fighting just yet. “Felix…”

“Don’t talk.”

Sylvain shakes his head. “I don’t want to.” His voice wavers as a wave of emotion threatens to choke him.

“You wouldn’t have betrayed us if you didn’t.” Felix grits out, and oh, it hurts.

“It’s not like that.” Please, please, don’t make me do this.

“Save the chatter for someone who cares.”

And just like that, he attacks. Sylvain avoids it, and they start a dance of pain and weapons. With each drop of blood Sylvain causes, he finds his own heart bleeding as well. But Sylvain can’t linger on that, no – Felix was right. He chose this. Chose to fight against everything he should be protecting, all for a brighter future in Fódland. One where one’s destiny isn’t determined by Crests.

Finally, after a few blows, Sylvain gains the complete upper hand by piercing his lance on Felix’s abdomen, sending him stumbling back, and making him hiss. Sylvain dismounts his horse as Felix falls to one knee, his hand covering his wound completely bloody. From the looks of it, Sylvain must have thrusted a blood vessel. Sylvain approaches him cautiously and Felix looks up to him before coughing, blood and spit coming out of him. Sylvain feels like crying.

He kneels down in front of Felix, who blinks at him. “So this is it, huh.” Felix whispers with a sigh. “Just finish me, Sylvain.”

And here’s the thing – Sylvain should, but he can’t. Even through everything – his friend’s love and support, his ideals and thoughts – he always comes down to this. It always comes down to Felix, and Sylvain had been stupid enough to actually think for a second that he would be able to do this.

Sylvain doesn’t reply – he lets his weapon fall down just as a sword pierces through his ribs. It’s painful, and Sylvain hisses as he falls forward, allowing the weapon to cut through completely. He falls onto Felix, whose hand rests atop Sylvain’s heart. Felix rests his head right above the sword. To be honest, Sylvain hadn’t seen this coming, but really, he can’t say he truly cares. “What, you’re taking me with you?” Sylvain says, coughing and breathing into Felix’s hair. “And here I thought I was the romantic one.”

Felix lets out a humourless laugh. “You’re as stupid as always.”  

Sylvain distantly hears Dorothea calling his name and Rodrigue calling Felix’s, but as Felix looks up – his amber eyes resigned, his lips parted and his face covered completely in dirt and blood, Sylvain feels everything else fade into nothing. He kisses Felix and Goddess, doesn’t he wish he would have done this sooner, much sooner than right now. Felix tastes of blood, of a dying wish, and Sylvain can only guess he must not be so different from him. One of Sylvain’s hand goes to Felix’s hair while the other covers Felix’s one over his heart. Felix’s free hand covers the side of Sylvain’s neck. It’s messy and rushed, and Sylvain feels wetness but he isn’t sure if it belongs to him or to Felix. Maybe to both. They part, still breathing onto each other’s face, and Felix blinks dazedly at him. Sylvain can hardly breathe – he guesses Felix must have pierced a lung along with many ribs.

Quietly, in the chaos of war, Sylvain speaks. “We’re both going to die.”

Felix only coughs. “It’s pathetic.”

“It is, isn’t it?” Sylvain murmurs, before taking the sword with his shaky hands and putting it out with a low groan. This is exactly the opposite of what he should be doing – to avoid bleeding out, it’s always recommendable to keep the weapon inside until a healer is on sight. In all fairness, though, Sylvain doubts he would make it anyway.

“I’m glad I got to see you,” Sylvain says as his eyes fall closed. His mind takes him back to many moments – childhood smiles and promises, funny times at the monastery, despairing sleepless nights. He rests his head on Felix’s shoulder as all his strength leaves him. The very last thing he is aware of in this world is Felix’s hand on his hair slowing down and a whisper.

“At least we kept our promise.”