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tangled up with you all night

Chapter Text

( i. ) – poisonous / pre-ts

Felix was fairly sure that Dorothea was shouting outright profanities at him when he pushed her out of the way. He rushed past the guards and towards the winding stairs, taking two step at once towards the top of it. A nun jumped out of the way when he rounded the corner to dash down the corridor, until he finally reached the infirmary. The door flew open and crashed against the wall behind it.

Dimitri.”

Manuela looked up from her seat next to one of the beds. Byleth turned around to look at him with wide, expressionless eyes. Felix thought there was a hint of surprise in them. Just a tiny dash of it.

“Felix?” a raspy voice called from the bed.

Felix's knees felt weak.

“Dim--”

“What do you think you're doing? This is an infirmary, not a tavern. People are trying to rest in here,” Manuela chided. She rose from her seat and rounded the bed. “See, Professor? This is what I have to put up with. Everyone tramples all over this oasis of recovery.” She leaned towards Byleth, who awkwardly held out their arms in a vaguely defensive gesture.

“He didn't mean it that way, I'm sure,” they began carefully. Byleth glanced to the side, towards Felix, who reluctantly nodded his head.

“I was..” His voice trailed off as he looked at the bed. Dimitri was lying in it, the outline of his head only notable due to his blond hair. His face was as white as the sheets he was lying on. “I was just wondering whether Dimitri..”

“Oh. Yes.” Manuela straightened up again. “He'll be fine. I gave him some medicine and his temperature is already going down. Give him a day or two and he'll be as good as new.”

Huh?

Felix blinked in disbelief. He turned to look at Byleth, but his teacher merely stared back at him, as though they still couldn't process why Felix was so upset.

“They.. they said it was.. serious,” he finally managed to form the words.

“Oh, you kids always think everything is serious.” Manuela rolled her eyes and shook her head. “It's just a little poison!” She looked back at Byleth. Her fingers snaked around their arm and a soft smile curved the corners of her lips upwards. “What do you say, Professor, shall we go have some tea together? I heard the dining hall is serving these delicious pastries today..”

Felix could barely hear Byleth's reply over the blood rushing in his ears. The door fell shut behind them and the clacking of Manuela's heels echoed off the corridor's walls as they made their way towards the stairs.

On the bed, Dimitri opened his eyes with a groan. “Felix?” he called out weakly.

Felix felt his heart jump in his chest. With a few big strides, he was beside the bed. A frown creased his forehead as he looked down at his childhood friend.

“You're here,” Dimitri noted with a sleepy smile. Felix swallowed.

“I just happened to be close and thought I'd drop by,” he mumbled. Even to himself, it didn't sound convincing.

Dimitri hummed. He was silent for a moment and his eyes fluttered shut again.

A few minutes passed, until Felix assumed that Dimitri had fallen asleep again. Then, Dimitri's eyes opened once more.

“I heard you say my name,” he said.

Felix's cheeks flushed. He turned away, towards the bowl of water on the nightstand. He plucked the folded up towel from Dimitri's forehead and dipped it into the water.

“You must have imagined that,” he muttered after a moment of quiet, while he wrung out the towel.

Dimitri managed a nod in response. He blinked, slowly and calmly, while looking around the room. Felix carefully folded up the towel again and leaned over so he could put it on Dimitri's forehead, when Dimitri looked at him again with a tired smile.

“You were worried about me, Felix,” Dimitri said.

Felix made a strangled noise. He pushed the wet towel in Dimitri's face and turned away, almost elbowing the water bowl off the nightstand in the process.

Shut up,” he hissed. His face felt scorching hot.

Behind him, Dimitri chuckled quietly.

Chapter Text

( ii. ) – tranquil / post-ts

The quiet had woken him up.

Dimitri remembered when it had been other things that pulled him out of his sleep. Nightmares. The clashing of blades in the courtyard. Even the sound of cannons during the worst stages of the war.

Now it was the quiet. The complete absence of metal on metal, of soldiers preparing for the next battle, of nuns and priests preparing provisions for the troops.

There was nothing. Just silence.

The windows were closed, as they always were in Fhirdiad, since the chilly winds could turn a single room into an ice chamber within a few minutes. He couldn't hear the wind, couldn't hear any birds.

The only thing he could hear was the sound of Felix breathing. The deep, slow breaths of a sleeping person.

Dimitri didn't move his arm that was wrapped around Felix in an almost protective manner, but he brought his other hand behind his head so he could adjust the pillows. Just enough so he could comfortable look down at Felix, who was resting his head against Dimitri's chest, and had thrown his arm across Dimitri's stomach. His hair was undone, allowing his dark locks to cascade over his naked shoulders.

Dimitri felt his chest ache with a bizarre mixture of fear and affection. Fear that one day something or someone would take this man away from him. Affection for this unfairly beautiful man in his arms.

He allowed his eyes to fall shut and listened intently. If he strained his ears enough, he thought he could hear the sound of pots and pans clanging in the castle kitchen as the servants prepared their breakfast.

Or maybe he was merely imagining it.

Maybe it really was completely quiet.

Chapter Text

( iii. ) roasted / pre-ts

“I'm disturbed.”

Dimitri wasn't sure whether that was the right way to describe what was happening in front of them. Byleth had taken them on a field trip – some sort of survival training in the wilderness – and they had been put together in groups of three. Hanneman's and Manuela's classes had joined in as well so the numbers of students would work out, and everyone had treated the affair as more of a camping trip than something that was supposed to prepare them for a worst case scenario.

While Sylvain had wandered deeper into the forest, Dimitri had gone to catch fish in the nearby river. Felix had chosen to stay behind and set up camp. By the time both of them had returned, a campfire was crackling and Felix had eagerly taken Dimitri's catch of the day to prepare dinner.

They hadn't been prepared for Felix to be good at this.

He had gutted the fish with expertise, which was less surprising considering his talent with the sword, but the smell that wafted from the fish now frying over the fire was delicious. Mouthwatering, really. Sylvain sat cross-legged next to Dimitri and rested his hands on his ankles as he leaned forward.

“Why does it smell so good?” he inquired with big eyes. Felix paused in turning over the fish, and looked at Sylvain.

“Because it's food,” he replied with a frown.

“Yeah, but.. How?”

Felix clicked his tongue. Dimitri pressed his lips together to suppress a chuckle. It was fun to see Felix upset with Sylvain, but it was dangerous to make that known. Felix would only turn his anger towards him and he could live without that. Even though he probably deserved all of Felix's negative emotions.

“Cooking isn't hard,” Felix said with a roll of the eyes.

“Oh man, Felix,” Sylvain sighed, “If you say stuff like that, someone will try and steal you away and make you their wife.”

Dimitri felt his mouth go dry. Felix glared at Sylvain. His lips parted, but before he could say anything, Dimitri heard himself speak. “Don't joke about things like that, Sylvain.”

Sylvain turned his head and gave him a confused look. “Why not? Felix will make a great wife one day.”

“That's ridiculous,” Felix replied. He had narrowed his eyes and folded his arms over his chest while sitting back on his heels. His gaze wandered to the fish. It wouldn't take long for it to be done.

“Hmm, fine. You're right.” Sylvain sighed. He tilted his head to the right, then to the left. “You'd threaten to kill your husband if he gets too annoying, I bet.” His lips pulled into a grin, revealing pearly white teeth. “Nobody would want someone as moody as you.”

Felix merely rolled his eyes in response.

Dimitri didn't say anything, but he hoped that Sylvain was right.

Chapter Text

( iv. ) honesty / pre-ts

Claude didn't look apologetic at all, Dimitri found. He rubbed at the back of his neck while looking at Felix with a wide grin. It wouldn't have surprised Dimitri had he pulled out a notebook and a pen to take notes on what was happening.

“Look, Teach,” he said, “What's your favorite animal, Felix?”

“Cats,” Felix replied immediately. The moment the word left his mouth, he grimaced. “What--”

“Why do you like cats?” Claude continued. He grinned at Byleth while he asked the question. The professor merely stared at Felix.

“They're independent and do whatever they want,” Felix answered again.

Claude bit his lip so as to stop himself from laughing. “And what else?”

Felix glared at him, but his mouth opened anyways. “They have tiny feet and their paws are squishy.” His face flushed and he brought a hand to his mouth, as if to stop himself from talking.

Claude let out an airy laugh and turned back to Byleth. “Isn't that amazing, Teach? Imagine what we could do with this.”

“It's something,” Byleth agreed vaguely. They turned over the vial they were holding. “We should talk to the other teachers about this.”

Claude's cheery expression vanished and was replaced by a frown that creased his forehead. “You're not getting me in trouble, are you, Teach?” he asked. Dimitri thought he could see his mouth twist into a pout. “This could be useful in the future!”

“It could be,” Byleth agreed, “But right now it's.. troublesome.” They looked at Felix, who merely glared at Claude while still covering his mouth. Claude didn't seem fazed at all, even going as far as to wiggle his fingers at him in a cheery greeting. Dimitri was once more reassured that Claude had some sort of death wish, messing with Felix like this.

“Dimitri,” Byleth's voice called, “You take care of Felix. Make sure he doesn't leave the monastery and that he doesn't speak to people you don't know.”

“I can take care of myself,” Felix protested. Byleth ignored him.

They left the room, accompanied by Claude. Dimitri watched as the door fell shut before he took a seat across from Felix. The vials, jars and bundles of herbs Claude had used to conjure his little honesty potion were still scattered all over the table. Dimitri wondered faintly how Felix had been talked into trying something that Claude, of all people, had made, but he pushed that thought aside. Claude had provoked him, he guessed, and Felix was easily talked into doing things just so he could prove a point.

“Felix,” he began, but Felix raised his hand in a hold up gesture.

“Don't ask me anything,” he growled.

Dimitri pressed his lips together in a thin line. “I know everything about you already, don't worry,” Dimitri replied after a moment.

Felix narrowed his eyes at him, apparently not believing him.

“I know that you hate me,” Dimitri clarified.

“I don't hate you,” Felix replied. His face flushed an even deeper shade of red. “I know you're a beast, but I don't hate you.”

Dimitri blinked at him. Felix turned his head away. Dimitri could see that the tips of his ears were turning red.

“I see,” he replied with a bit of delay. He opened his mouth to say something else, but decided against it.

Knowing that Felix didn't hate him was good enough already.

Chapter Text

( v. ) chicken / pre-tragedy of duscur

Dimitri had no idea why they were doing this. Which wasn't true – he did know. There was just no reason for them to do it in the first place. Just because Sylvain ran around kissing other boys, didn't mean that him and Felix had to do the same. If anything, it just meant that Sylvain was being Sylvain again, while Felix and Dimitri.. weren't Sylvain.

But then Sylvain had had to say something so utterly provoking to Felix that he had stomped off and dragged Dimitri along with him. As always, in a friendship between three people, two parties ended up teaming up against one.

But was this really the case here? Were they really teaming up against Sylvain? It wasn't like Sylvain was watching what they were doing. He was busy, after all, with that boy he had picked up earlier. Doing Goddess knows what.

“Ready?” Felix asked, and pulled Dimitri from his thoughts. Dimitri blinked, forcing his eyes to focus on Felix's face. It was strange to see it from up close. They had slept in the same bed during sleepovers, huddled up under blankets together on travels across the countries, hidden in cramped spaces together to get away from the servants. But during the past year or so a strange distance had developed between the two of them. It felt weird to put their arms around each other's shoulder, to hold hands, to sleep in the same bed with each other. Dimitri felt embarrassed for no reason when Felix sat next to him and their knees touched. And he knew that Felix felt the same way.

“R-ready,” he heard himself stammer.

Felix nodded, determination glinting in his eyes. Dimitri swallowed.

For another moment or so, they merely stared at each other. Their eyes flickered back and forth, between each other's lips and their eyes.

Without warning, Dimitri leaned forward and pressed his lips against Felix's. He heard Felix take in a breath through his nose, loud and definitely startled.

But he didn't pull away.

Dimitri stayed like that for a second or two. Felix's lips were dry and warm and so soft . He had always assumed that kissing was wet and gross and that he would never want to do it. When Sylvain had accused them of just being too chicken to kiss anyone, he had almost agreed. But this? This was good. It felt good.

He pulled away, gasping for air. His face felt hot and he was sure that his cheeks were flushed. Felix didn't look any better. The blush reached all the way up to the tips of his ears.

Their eyes met but they looked away immediately. Embarrassment made Dimitri's neck feel hot. How could Sylvain do this sort of thing on the regular? Was it because he was 15? Was it different when one was just a bit older?

“Do you..” Felix began slowly, but broke off when Dimitri looked at him.

Neither of them said a word for a moment or two.

“Yes,” Dimitri heard himself say. He leaned in and Felix did the same, as though drawn forward by an invisible force.

Dimitri's heart fluttered in his chest when Felix kissed him.

Chapter Text

( vi. ) – drooling / post-ts

Dimitri worried not for the first time whether it had been a mistake to tell Felix about his condition. Not a lot of people knew that he had lost his sense of taste years ago, but he had felt wrong that someone so close to him didn't know about this particular detail of his.

Felix hadn't reacted with sympathy. If anything, he had been upset to find out that Dimitri couldn't enjoy food anymore. Either way, it seemed to be the reason why Felix had started cooking for him. Of course they didn't have a lot of opportunities for that since the dining hall wasn't a very private place. But every once in a while Felix would show up with two plates of food and would tell him to eat what he had cooked up.

So far, Dimitri had only been able to comment on the scent and the texture. The taste continued to elude him.

“What is it this time?” he asked with a thin smile as he stepped aside to let Felix inside. Felix was carrying two plates, as always, with something that looked like grilled meat.

“Meat and vegetable skewers,” Felix replied. “I hunted and butchered the meat myself. Ashe grew the vegetables and gave them to me.” He pushed aside whatever was on Dimitri's nightstand to make room for the plates, before he settled on the mattress. He waited until Dimitri had sat down as well.

“I'm surprised you made something with vegetables.. You don't like them,” Dimitri mused.

Felix huffed. “The vegetables give the meat a good taste,” he muttered. He picked up one of the skewers. “Here. Try this.”

He wanted to say something. That it wasn't necessary to cook for him so often. That his sense of taste wouldn't come back anymore. But that would also put an end to Felix coming over to his room, to Felix giving him attention. As selfish as it was, Dimitri didn't want to give up on that.

So he took the meat skewer and gave Felix a smile in return before he took his first bite.

Felix looked at him with wide eyes as Dimitri chewed.

“It's.. good,” he said eventually, “It smells good and the texture is also nice.”

“So you can't taste it.” Felix's shoulders dropped.

“I'm sorry, Felix,” Dimitri replied with a forced smile. “But, like I said, if it smells this good, I'm sure it tastes great as well.”

“You don't know that.”

Felix turned away with a roll of the eyes, but something about it didn't feel as aggressive as usual. Dimitri held back a sigh. His gaze moved to the meat skewer he was holding. Felix had cut the meat nicely, in perfect little cubes. The slices of vegetables between the pieces of meat were even, almost identical in thickness. It felt weird to think of it that way, but the food looked.. pretty.

Dimitri took in a deep breath.

“There is one thing I can taste, however,” he said. He took the next piece of meat between his teeth and tugged at it, until it came loose and he could pull it in his mouth. Felix looked at him again, an eyebrow quirked.

“Love,” Dimitri replied with a shrug. The next piece he pulled off the meat skewer was a slice of carrot. “It has a very overpowering taste.”

Felix leaned back, clearly taken aback. “Excuse me?”

Dimitri hummed in reply, swallowed, and went for the next bite. He brought up a hand to cover his mouth as he spoke. “So much love, Felix.”

“Oh, shut up,” Felix growled. He reached over and punched at Dimitri's upper arm, which Dimitri commented with a sharp laugh.

He almost ended up choking on the piece of meat he was chewing on.

Chapter Text

( vii. ) – exhausted / post-ts

It was only a word, consisting of four letters, that made Dimitri wonder whether hell had frozen over. He paused in his movements and looked down at Felix, who was wiping back his sweat slick bangs before letting his hand drop on the mattress again. He looked up at Dimitri with half-lidded eyes, swollen red lips and flushed cheeks.

“Stay,” he repeated.

Dimitri gulped.

“Like.. like this?” he asked carefully. On top of Felix? Between Felix's legs? Inside--?

“In my room,” Felix clarified. He seemed to wait until Dimitri had processed the words, before he added, “And also like this.”

“But--”

“I'm exhausted,” Felix interrupted him. “If you keep talking, I'll kick you out.”

Dimitri closed his mouth. Without saying another word, he slipped an arm underneath Felix and wrapped it around his waist. He pulled Felix closer, making him yelp in the process, and turned so he could flop onto his back. Felix let out a low groan in response.

“Such a beast,” he muttered. He moved on top of Dimitri, until he sat upright. Dimitri bit his lower lip at the sensation of Felix shifting around like this. He knew that Felix was tired, but that didn't change anything about the fact that Dimitri was still inside him, all the way to the hilt.

“I thought you were exhausted,” Dimitri said quietly when Felix leaned forward and put his hands on his chest for leverage.

“I can work through my exhaustion,” Felix replied.

Pure heat rushed down Dimitri's spine when Felix began to move on top of him.

Chapter Text

( viii. ) – star / post-ts

Felix didn't have to turn around to know that it was Dimitri. The sound of his foot steps was enough for him to know who was approaching him inside the Cathedral in the middle of the night.

“Can't sleep?” Dimitri asked. His voice was quiet, but the high walls of the building amplified the sound of it. He might as well have yelled at Felix.

“What about you?” Felix replied. Dimitri didn't say anything. He stopped once he was right next to Felix, in front of the pile of rubble inside the Cathedral. Moonlight shone through the gaping hole in the ceiling and illuminated the entire room.

“I felt like seeing the stars one last time. From various places in the monarchy,” Dimitri answered after a moment of quietly staring up at the night sky above them. “This is my last stop.”

“You saved the best for last,” Felix said. To him, the view from the Cathedral was the most beautiful. It always felt as though the sky itself had torn a hole into the ceiling to make people look at it. It was arrogant, really, but it was only fitting that something so beautiful was so sure of itself.

Dimitri didn't say anything. Felix wasn't waiting for a reply either.

Together, they looked up at the twinkling stars far, far above their heads. Not a single cloud was in sight to obscure their vision. As though the sky knew that tomorrow might be their last day on earth.

Dimitri moved next to him, seemed to tug at his gloves. A moment later, Felix felt warm, rough skin slide against his own. He took in a sharp breath.

“I hope we can enjoy this view together for the rest of our lives,” Dimitri said, voice barely audible.

Felix blinked, but he could barely see the stars.

“We will,” he heard himself say, “We will defeat the Emperor tomorrow.” He didn't dare say Edelgard's name – not now.

They didn't say anything, didn't look at each other.

After another moment, Dimitri gave Felix's hand another squeeze before letting go of him.

“When this is over.. I want to ask you something,” Dimitri said. He sounded nervous, Felix thought, but he didn't point it out. “And I hope your reply will be an honest one.”

Felix's blood rushed in his ears. His mouth felt dry, so he could only nod.

“Maybe it will be,” he finally forced out the words.

He already knew he would, for once, answer honestly.

Chapter Text

( ix. ) – precious / post-ts

Felix turned around when the door opened and Dimitri's heart immediately felt lighter. He closed door behind himself and leaned against the firm wood as he heaved out a deep, heavy sigh.

“Hard day?” Felix asked with an audible grin in his voice.

Dimitri opened his eyes, just enough so he could look at Felix. He was standing by the window, apparently tugging off his gloves. Maybe he had come in just a moment or two before Dimitri had.

“The advisers never stop talking,” Dimitri sighed. “I didn't even realize there was so much talk to be had about treasures.” He pushed away from the door and made his way over towards Felix. “Did you know the candle holders in the corridors are part of the treasury?”

Felix looked over his shoulder with his eyebrows raised. He opened one of the jars lined up on the chest of drawers. The familiar scent of Felix's hand balm wafted over to Dimitri.

“Now you do,” he continued with a shrug. His hands came to rest on the narrow curve of Felix's waist. He watched quietly as Felix massaged the balm into the skin of his hands.

“Is this what you talked about all day? Candle holders?” Felix asked with a frown.

“Among other things,” Dimitri answered truthfully.

“You would think the treasurer had other things to talk about. Actual treasures.” Felix shook his head. He moved to close the jar of hand balm once more, then set it aside. “Like the gold ornaments on the throne or whatever else there is.”

“Hmm..” Dimitri merely hummed in reply. His hands slipped to the front of Felix's shirt, where his fingers interlaced. His chin came to rest on Felix's shoulder. “They don't realize that I only care about one treasure in this castle.”

Between his arms, Felix huffed out a laugh. “I wonder which one that might be.”

“Maybe you should join our next meeting so I can show him,” Dimitri suggested, before pressing a kiss to the side of Felix's neck. “My precious.”

Chapter Text

( x. ) – flowing / pre-ts

Dimitri wasn't used to forests as lush as this. The green shrubbery was blinding him and the thick tree roots snaking across the ground made him stumble every few steps. The only point of orientation he had was the smoke rising from the campfire they had set to prepare breakfast.

It was the usual field trip to teach them how to survive in the wilderness. Whenever Dimitri assumed they had already studied everything there was to learn, Byleth remembered something incredibly specific from their time as a mercenary and turned their past experience into a new way to teach the class how to deal with it. Even if it meant camping in the thickest of woods.

At least the weather was nice. It was neither too hot, nor too cold. Even the night had been pleasant, except for the constant buzzing of a particularly stubborn mosquito. Apparently it had been intent on sucking Sylvain's blood out, since he had woken up in the morning to find a dozen of bug bites on his arms and legs. While Sylvain had whined about his misery, Felix had excused himself to take a bath.

No, that was wrong.

Felix hadn't excused himself. He had simply wandered off with a towel and a change of clothes, and now it was Dimitri's responsibility to find him. They would also gather some firewood on the way back, so it didn't look like Dimitri and him were skipping out on work entirely while the others were busy preparing breakfast. But the main objective was to find Felix and to tell him that food was going to be served in a bit.

The rushing of water reached Dimitri's ears. The trees before him thinned out as he stumbled through the bushes, until he reached the bank of the river. He paused, hand pressed against the bark of a nearby tree.

Before him, Felix emerged from beneath the water. His hair was undone and cascaded down his shoulders. Dimitri almost cursed at the water for obscuring the sight of anything below the sharp points of Felix's hipbones.

If Felix was surprised to see him when he turned towards the trees, he didn't show it. Their eyes met and Felix held Dimitri's gaze.

“The water is icy,” he commented dryly.

Dimitri didn't know what to say. Sunlight reflected off of Felix's naked, glistening wet chest.

“Breakfast is almost ready,” he heard himself say. Now he did curse, inwardly, at himself.

Felix's eyebrows drew together, but he nodded. “You should probably bathe too. Maybe you'll get rid of that animal smell of yours,” he added, before he began to move towards the river bank.

As much as Dimitri wanted to continue staring, he forced himself to turn around and give Felix some privacy as he began to dress. His eyes bore into the green void of the forest in front of him.

When he glanced down at himself, Dimitri took in a deep breath.

Felix had been right. A bath in an icy river was just what he needed.

Chapter Text

( xi. ) – cruel / post-ts

“Don't ever make me meet that man again! I don't wish to engage any further with someone as despicable as him!”

Dimitri jumped out of the way when the princess rushed past him in a flurry of wavy, brown hair and rustling fabric. Her servants ran after her, as did Felix's adviser, apologizing profusely for the duke's behavior. It wasn't an unusual sight, but it definitely wasn't normal for someone to voice their disdain for Felix so openly. Usually people tried to be more covert about it, for the sake of peace.

Dimitri waited for the banging of the door on the other end of the hallway, before he continued his way towards the meeting room. When he entered, Felix was moving over to the chaise by the window. He looked up when he heard Dimitri enter, a tired expression on his face.

“That was spectacular,” Dimitri said. Felix rolled his eyes. He slumped down on the chaise and stretched out his legs. Sunlight filtered through the window and caught in his dark hair. Dimitri withstood the urge to touch it, like he'd usually pet a cat lounging in the sun. “What happened?” he asked after another moment of silence.

Felix didn't look at him. He had tilted his head back, so it dangled over the back rest of the chaise. His gaze was fixed on the blue sky visible through the window.

“She wanted to tell me all this stuff about courtship in her home country,” he said eventually.

Dimitri's eyebrows raised. “You didn't let her?”

“I did,” Felix clarified. “And when she was done, I gave her my honest opinion about those traditions.”

“Oh.” Dimitri already knew what was going to come. Something harsh, maybe even rude. Probably rude. Definitely rude. Felix's way of offending people by being honest was almost a talent at this point.

“I told her it was stupid and ridiculous, and anyone who engaged in such fancy rituals was also stupid and ridiculous.”

“Of course.” Dimitri bit his lip to keep from laughing. Anything that vaguely reminded Felix of knightly chivalry and honor was stupid and ridiculous in Felix's book. He heaved out a dramatic sigh as he stepped over. A hand came to rest on the side of the chaise, the other brushed back some of Felix's bangs. “How cruel of you to shoot her down like that. She was so enamored with you.”

“That's why I did it,” Felix replied with a frown. He shifted in his seat, jutting his chin forward just slightly. “Her feelings were annoying.”

“And?” Dimitri teased. Felix flushed.

“I have.. Better things to do,” he replied, then cleared his throat.

“I'm glad you think of me as better things, my Beloved,” Dimitri said. He leaned over and pressed a kiss to Felix's forehead. When he pulled back to straighten up, Felix's hand shot up to grasp at the collar of his shirt. He held Dimitri close, but didn't pull him closer.

“Who's being cruel now?” he asked.

When Dimitri didn't reply, Felix yanked him forward to kiss him properly.

Chapter Text

( xii. ) – whale / post-ts

Coming to Rhodos Coast in spring might have been a mistake. The winter was barely over – if it could be called that, considering how cold it was in Faerghus all year round. The winter had a particularly harsh climate that got even to those inhabitants who had lived in the kingdom their whole lives, but even the rest of the year was considered chilly by most, if not all people.

Dimitri adjusted his collar. Next to him, Felix had folded his arms. His breath was visible in the air when he exhaled.

“At least the view is nice,” Dimitri offered. Felix glared at him from the corners of his eyes.

“I don't get why we had to come,” Felix complained, “Not even they care.” He gestured vaguely towards the horizon. Above the thrashing waves, Ingrid's pegasus circled in the air.

“Do you want them to care?” Dimitri's eyebrows drew together. When Dorothea had brought up the idea to go to Rhodos Coast, Ingrid had readily agreed to it. Simply because she always agreed with whatever Dorothea suggested. But then things had changed, plans had been made, and suddenly Dimitri and Felix had been dragged along to the cliffs at the coast.

“That would be annoying,” Felix replied. His lips twisted in distaste. “I hope they'll see those stupid fish quickly so we can go back.” He turned to look over the shoulder. “I'll even eat some of that stuff they call soup at the inn.”

“Whales aren't fish, Felix,” Dimitri chided. Felix merely gave him an annoyed look. Sensing that he was slowly becoming more and more upset, Dimitri stepped behind Felix. He pulled his cape over his arms before wrapping them around Felix's middle. Felix looked over his shoulder, eyes wide. “I figured you were cold,” Dimitri explained.

“I.. It's not that bad,” Felix mumbled. He looked ahead again. Before them, Ingrid's pegasus continued circling over a spot in the water. He wondered whether she could see the fish from there. Dorothea was sitting behind her, arms around her waist, and clinging to her like her life depended on it. As much as she seemed to dislike riding on a pegasus, she always agreed to riding with Ingrid. Love did strange things to people, it seemed.

“Would you ever want to live here?” Dimitri asked. Again, Felix turned to glance over his shoulder. “At the coast, I mean. Just you and me. We could fish our own food and grow vegetables. You could hunt and train as much as you like.”

“You'd be bored out of your mind,” Felix huffed. “And it's not like you could just quit. You're the king, Dimitri.”

“I know.” Dimitri was acutely aware of it. They couldn't easily lay down their titles just to elope into the wilderness. Though that didn't mean that he couldn't entertain the thought every now and then. Just him and Felix, living together in a small house by the coast. Things would be easier then. The crushing weight of responsibility over the whole kingdom wouldn't rest on his shoulders.

Alas.

“We could come here again in summer,” he heard Felix say. Dimitri looked away from the sea and down at Felix, but Felix was already tugging at his cape to pull it farther up. He looked like he was drowning in a pool of blue fabric. “It'll be warmer then.”

“I think I'd like that,” Dimitri replied. Without thinking, he tightened his arms circled around Felix's waist and pulled him closer to his chest. “I'm looking forward to it, Felix.”

Felix groaned in response. “Don't crush me, or you'll have to bury me here,” he muttered.

And yet, Dimitri felt him relax against his chest.

Chapter Text

( xiii. ) – guarded / post-ts

Awkward didn't even begin to describe it. It would have been a word fitting for when one walked in on them kissing or holding hands. Seeing them in a quiet, affectionate moment, when one had to bring some boring, unimportant message from the other end of the castle, that was awkward.

This was torture.

When the bed began to creak, the headboard started to slam against the wall and the sound of skin slapping against skin was carried even through the thick door – it was torture.

They had tried to be quiet at first. Dimitri was usually the one who initiated it, and Felix would hiss at him and tell him to stop and keep it in the pants and What will the guards think?! It was nice of him to consider their feelings, but it didn't take long to forget about all of it. Whatever Dimitri did to him had to be good, because Felix's complaints always died down. His resistance melted away and for a few moments it would be quiet, until the next noises coming from Felix were throaty moans and barely concealed whines.

After months of listening to it, one should be used to it. But it was impossible to develop a resistance to it. Listening to the king fuck his lover wasn't supposed to be arousing, but it was. Felix was, despite all his personality flaws, gorgeous. More than a handful of servants and knights were smitten by his good looks. His personality usually served to shoot down some of the crushes, but it didn't eradicate them completely. Knowing that he was there, on the other side of the door, didn't help.

They did it a lot – almost every day, really. Sometimes they were quiet, although still audible thanks to the rhythmic squeaking of the bed. Other nights they were loud and downright insatiable, and the guards could hear enough to imagine the scene behind the door in vivid detail. Felix on his back with his legs spread, Felix on all fours with Dimitri gripping at his hips, Felix sitting in Dimitri's lap and riding him, Felix getting fucked against the wall-- The possibilities were endless. Sometimes they even played it up a little, if the sound of a hand spanking what had to be the tender flesh of Felix's ass was anything to go by.

At least, and the guards were never sure whether it was a comforting or disturbing thought to be had, they were well-guarded during all their nightly endeavors.

Chapter Text

( xiv. ) – clock / post-ts

The meeting dragged on endlessly. Whenever Dimitri thought his advisers were done for the day, one of them shuffled through their papers until they managed to pull out a note or a letter from Goddess knows where and presented to him yet another issue to deal with.

It was exhausting. He was happy to do his kingly duties and to take care of the Holy Kingdom, but sitting around inside for hours with no break was taking a toll on him. Moments like these made it easy to understand why Felix spent so much time away from the Duchy of Fraldarius.

He sat next to him, on the first seat of the longer side of the table. He had propped up his elbow and rested the side of his face on his palm while he read through the documents before him. Everything about it screamed I don't want to be here and Dimitri understood him completely.

If only they were alone right now. The meeting room in Castle Blaiddyd was bigger than the one in Garreg Mach, with a higher ceiling and much more space. Felix's voice would echo nicely off the walls when Dimitri bent him over a table or made him sit in his chair so the king himself could suck him off. They had risked exposing themselves and their relationship multiple times back at the monastery, but here in Fhirdiad? Everything happened behind firmly closes doors, with almost no threat looming over them because they were living in a time of peace and when Dimitri said Do not disturb us, everyone adhered to it.

Not that he minded, really, but sometimes he wondered what it would be like to have that thrill back. More often than not he felt the urge to follow Felix into the stables and push him into a haystack to do terrible things to him, even at the risk of one of the stable boys seeing them. He wanted to drag Felix into the supply closet of the training hall while the knights were training right outside the door. Even now, he wished they weren't sitting so far away from each other, so Dimitri could at least bully Felix by touching his knee or teasing fingers along the inside of his thigh. Just enough to let the other man know how much he desired him in this very moment.

“If there is nothing else to discuss, the meeting shall end here,” one of the advisers said. Dimitri snapped back to reality, like a bubble on the tip of a needle. Numerous pairs of eyes were fixed on him.

“Yes. If that is all, we will end the meeting for today,” he heard himself say, voice just the tiniest bit shaky. “We will meet again next week at the same hour.” He cleared his throat. His hand was grasping the sheet of paper so tightly that it was all scrunched up on one side. “Please, take your leave. I want to go through some of the documents for a moment longer.”

The advisers glanced at each other, clearly aware that it was uncalled for to leave before the king. One of them nodded with a bit of delay. “As you wish, Your Majesty.”

Dimitri watched as they filed out of the room. When the last one had left, he exhaled audibly and leaned back in his chair. His gaze wandered to Felix, who had leafed through some of his documents, clearly stalling for time.

“You seemed distracted,” he said. Dimitri didn't reply anything. He watched Felix round the corner of the table to make his way towards the king. He stopped right next to Dimitri's chair, lowered himself on the table and leaned to the side, right in Dimitri's field of vision. “Care to tell me what you've been thinking about so hard?”

Dimitri swallowed. He caught that teasing undertone in Felix's voice, and the way those eyes seemed to glint. He cleared his throat. His hand reached out, towards Felix's thigh. He gave it a light squeeze.

“I think I'd much rather show you,” Dimitri replied. He brought his hands to Felix's waist to try and pull him closer. Felix leaned away.

“I'll tell the guards--”

“That's not necessary,” Dimitri replied. Heat trickled down his spine at his own words. Felix seemed so confused that he easily let himself get pulled on Dimitri's lap.

His lips curved into a smile when he added, “You'll just have to be quiet so they won't find a reason to check in here.”

Chapter Text

( xv. ) – weak / pre-ts

“I thought idiots don't catch colds,” Felix's voice said. It sounded muffled and far away.

“I suppose you could call that a testament to Dimitri's intelligence,” the professor replied. Felix made a noise in response.

“You give that boar way too much credit,” he found.

Dimitri's eyes blinked open. Even this, the mere act of forcing his lids to open, was exhausting. His body was heavy, his limbs scorching hot. Sweat trickled down the side of his face. The room was stuffy and warm, yet a chill ran through his body when he moved to push away the blankets. He groaned and let his head fall back against the pillow.

“Don't move, Dimitri. You have to rest,” Byleth said. Their hand touched his forehead before pulling away almost immediately. “He's running a fever. I'll go get some more water. You stay here with him. Try and get some food in him.”

“I--”

“You already made it for him, didn't you?” Byleth interrupted him. Felix didn't say anything in response.

Dimitri could hear the door open, then close. There was silence, before the feet of a chair scraped over the floor.

“Are you awake, boar?” Felix asked. Dimitri would have smiled at him, the way he always did when Felix showed his disdain for him so openly, but moving even a single muscle in his face felt too exhausting.

“Whatever. Just open your mouth and swallow.”

Dimitri could hear the scraping of a spoon inside a bowl. Something was brought to his mouth and gently nudged against his lips. His sense of smell had left him now, so he had no idea what it even was. But it was Felix who had made it for him, apparently, so he opened his mouth with a bit of difficulty.

It was slimy. And warm, but the slimy texture was overpowering. Dimitri didn't bother chewing, just swallowed the bite immediately. “It's good,” he rasped.

Felix scoffed. “It's not. It's milk and oats. I figured you couldn't taste anything anyways so I didn't add anything else.”

Dimitri felt compelled to say that he could never taste anything, but he didn't. He finally managed to crack a smile, albeit barely notable. “It's delicious because you made it.”

“Shut up or I'll suffocate you with your pillow,” Felix huffed. Dimitri thought he could see a blush spread on Felix's cheeks, but he kept quiet.

Given his weak state, he had no doubt Felix would actually succeed in murdering him.

Chapter Text

( xvi. ) – angular / pre-ts

He hadn't been prepared for it.

The moment Dimitri walked into the entrance hall, his heart felt as though it had decided to stop. Before him, on one of the benches, sat Felix. Sunlight filtered through the windows and caught in the dark strands of his hair. His face was contorted in a grimace and he leaned to the side to get farther away from Sylvain who was no doubt pestering him about something. Just the way he had always done, all those years ago.

Had it really been four years already since they had last seen each other? They all looked different now, older and taller, but Felix was still.. beautiful .

Even just thinking the word brought color to Dimitri's cheeks. He looked around, worried that someone had noticed it, but nobody seemed to pay attention. Everyone was too busy finding a seat and striking up conversations with their new classmates.

Dimitri wasn't sure whether he'd be able to talk to Felix. Dimitri could see how Felix resembled his father Rodrigue, but there were other details that made him forget all about his father's best friend. The slope of his nose, the curve of his mouth, the soft line of his jaw.. Even the shape of his eyebrows made Dimitri's chest feel warm. Felix looked so much like his mother. Dimitri had seen her only a handful of times, but he remembered her as a beautiful woman whose face always managed to capture other people's attention.

It was easy to get distracted by the frown on Felix's face and the dark, messy hair. Those were definitely Rodrigue's, and to certain extent Glenn's influences. But his face? That was where his mother's genes had had the upper hand. The same went for his slender build and his short stature. Everything about Felix was lithe and graceful. It was hard to believe that he was the little boy who had always carried around a wooden sword and pestered the knights of the capital to show him some sword tricks.

Someone bumped into Dimitri, making him stumble forward. An apology was muttered, Dimitri apologized for standing around so thoughtlessly, and quickly moved from his earlier spot. His legs felt strange as they carried him over to the bench where Sylvain and Felix were seated. Felix looked about ready to get up and look for a seat elsewhere.

“Dimitri! Look at you!” Sylvain exclaimed the moment he caught sight of his old friend. He got up and held out his arms, as though wanting to pull Dimitri into a hug. Sensing that this was the wrong occasion for it, he turned to look at Felix. “Felix, look! It's Dimitri.”

“I can see that,” Felix growled. He narrowed his eyes at Dimitri. Dimitri thought he could see his eyes gleam with murderous intent.

He swallowed heavily and held out a hand. “It's good to see you again, Felix. Sylvain.”

Felix huffed. He turned his head away, completely ignoring the hand outstretched towards him. Reading the mood, Sylvain quickly grabbed Dimitri's hand. “We have to catch up later,” he said.

Dimitri nodded in response, but his eyes were fixed on Felix's face.

Honestly, if Felix were to make use of that murderous intent, he wouldn't mind. As long as that beautiful face was the last thing he saw before he died.

Chapter Text

( xvii. ) – swollen / pre-ts

Something in his ankle snapped like a twig that was stepped on. Searing hot pain shot through him. Felix groaned.

“Felix? Felix, are you alright?” Dimitri's voice called out to him. He stumbled through the waist high grass, swinging his spear to clear a path in the process. “Felix?”

“I'm fine,” he gritted out through his teeth.

He wasn't fine. He was pretty sure something in his ankle was broken or torn or whatever. The pain made it hard to breathe. Finally, Dimitri reached him. When he saw Felix lying on the ground, he got to his knees immediately. Felix gritted his teeth so hard his entire jaw ached when Dimitri began to unlace his boot.

“Oh,” he said, once both shoe and sock were pulled off. “This looks bad.”

Felix glanced down. The sight of his ankle, swollen and turning blue, made him feel sick. He closed his eyes with a muttered cursed.

“We have to get you back to camp,” Dimitri said. An arm was slid around Felix's waist. His eyes snapped open and he glared at Dimitri.

“What do you think you're doing?” he hissed

Dimitri frowned at him. “I'll carry you back,” he replied. “It's not like you can walk.”

“I--” Felix began, but another jolt of pain shut him up. He cursed, louder and more colorfully this time. Dimitri pulled back the hand he had used to poke against the side of Felix's foot.

“See? Now stop being difficult, Felix,” he said, before he added, “Please?”

Felix pressed his lips together in a thin line. He avoided looking at Dimitri for a long moment. Then, he reached out to pick up his boot and his sock. Pressing both items to his chest, he narrowed his eyes at Dimitri with a look of utter disdain.

“Fine,” he growled. Dimitri gave him a reassuring smile.

He continued to look strangely happy on their way back to camp.

Chapter Text

( xviii. ) – bottle / post-ts

His head was spinning. Felix reached out to steady himself against the wall, but it was farther away than he had assumed. He stumbled to the side, crashing against cold, hard stone. There was a dull, painful sensation in his shoulder, but he couldn't find it in himself to be upset about it. All he wanted was to get to his room, crawl into his bed and sleep for approximately 48 hours. Just until Claude and Byleth would leave again and they no longer had to listen to Claude's cheesy declarations of love for the professor.

Felix still couldn't understand why Dimitri had to throw an entire feast just to welcome the two of them to the capital, but here he was. Stuffed full with the finest of meats the royal hunters had been able to procure, filled to the brim with alcohol. For the first time since their end of the war celebrations, Felix was drunk.

Back then, he had sworn to himself that he would never drink a single drop of alcohol again. He had woken up with a splitting headache that had rendered him unable to train for two days. He had forced himself to go to the training grounds on the third day, but that hadn't been very fruitful.

Yet here he was, stumbling down the hallway to get away from the celebrations. Sylvain had already left with two of the women in Claude's entourage, and Dimitri.. who knew what the king was up to.

“Felix?”

Speak of the devil.

Felix straightened up – or at least tried to – and turned around, but the mere action was enough to make his head spin anew. He leaned back against the wall and squinted his eyes shut. When he opened them again, Dimitri was right in front of him.

“You look.. tired,” he noticed.

Felix almost laughed. The only thing that came out was a giggle, before he pressed a hand to his mouth to shut himself up. “I am. I'm on.. my way to..” He gestured vaguely down the hallway. Dimitri followed his hand, eyebrows drawn together tightly.

“The wine cellar?”

Was this the basement? Felix blinked. It would explain the absence of windows. And why the air was so musty.

Dimitri seemed to notice his confusion. His slightly amused expression eased into a more concerned one. He took a step towards Felix, holding up his hands just slightly, as though he was approaching a feral animal.

“How about I bring you to your room?” he asked.

Felix narrowed his eyes at him. He felt Dimitri put an arm around his waist and pull him closer, steadying him as they turned to walk back towards the stairs that Felix had stumbled down earlier.

“Is that your way of inviting yourself into my bedroom?” he broke the silence when they were halfway up the stairs. Dimitri stopped dead in his tracks, almost making Felix stumble over his own feet.

“Excuse me?” he replied.

Felix let out a sharp laugh. His head lolled to the side, against Dimitri's shoulder. It was surprisingly comfortable, he found, so he stayed like that and allowed his eyes to fall shut for a moment. If only the stairs weren't so exhausting to climb..

“I don't mind. We can have a sleepover, just like when we were children,” he mused.

Dimitri didn't say anything for a moment. They reached the top of the stairs and had to walk down another long, dimly lit corridor to reach another flight of stairs, which would finally lead to Felix's room.

“Why not?” Dimitri said eventually, “I'll even let you hold my hand so you won't be afraid of the dark.”

“I like that idea,” Felix agreed immediately. He had straightened up again since walking with his head on Dimitri's shoulder made things difficult.

Dimitri didn't reply, but he smiled to himself the rest of the way to Felix's bedroom.

Chapter Text

( xix. ) – scorched / post-ts

The thing that brought him back was the smell of something burnt. It was nowhere like the scent of a fire crackling in a hearth or a burning pile of hay. It seemed closer to the smell of meat in a frying pan, prepared lovingly by one of the kitchen staff.

Dimitri's eyes shot open.

He was lying on his back. His chest ached when he tried to sit up, both muscles and bones protesting against the shift in position. Whatever had knocked him back and onto the ground had been powerful enough to rattle his entire body within the confines of its skin. He knew that he was in the middle of battle and that he couldn't just lie down and rest now, but the pain was making it impossible to even lift a hand.

“Dimitri,” a voice called.

He blinked. Boots scraped over the uneven ground as their owner drew closer. He knew it was Felix even before Felix leaned over him. His eyebrows were drawn together tightly as he looked at Dimitri's face, then down the length of his body and back up to his eyes. “Are you alright?”

“Everything hurts,” Dimitri confessed.

“You must have gotten caught in the blast,” Felix mused.

Dimitri blinked at him.

“Of the.. magic.” When Dimitri still didn't seem to understand, Felix raised a hand. Dimitri's eyes grew wide when, after a beat, small sparks began to crackle around Felix's fingers.

“That's incredible, Felix,” Dimitri breathed out. But still.. “Wait, is that--”

“Yes.” Felix didn't sound proud at all, unlike he usually did when he declared yet another win against a powerful enemy. He turned to look at wherever the blast of Thoron had scorched the earth. A weapon lay on the ground, deformed and barely recognizable as a sword. The rest of the enemy soldier who had stood there moments ago was nothing more than a charred pile of.. whatever his remains consisted of. Felix didn't want to think about it, didn't even want to look at it, and Dimitri could understand why he turned away again.

To think that Dimitri's first thought when he had come to had been of food made him feel sick to his stomach.

“Let us pray once we're back at Garreg Mach,” Dimitri offered. With a groan, he carefully brought himself into a sitting position. His back still protested and made it hard to breathe properly. “And maybe you can practice your magic's.. intensity.”

“I know how to control it,” Felix snapped back. Dimitri looked at him with wide eyes. Felix stared back at him, lips pressed together tightly. Dimitri thought he could see the faintest quiver of his lower lip. “I thought he was going to kill you,” he whispered after another moment. Dimitri almost didn't catch his words.

“Felix..”

“Let's go back to the others,” Felix interrupted him. He held out his hand for Dimitri to take.

Dimitri still wanted to say something – wanted to offer some words to comfort Felix – but nothing came to his mind. Instead, he let himself get pulled to his feet, despite the protest of his aching body. When he finally stood upright, Felix tried to pull back his hand, but Dimitri held onto it.

“Thank you,” he said. There was no smile, not even a hint of joy in his eyes. Felix looked at him, calm and steady, without wavering in their eye contact.

“Of course,” Felix answered eventually.

Dimitri could feel the tremble in Felix's hand when he squeezed Dimitri's hand tighter.

Chapter Text

( xx. ) – breakable / pre-ts

Blades clashed.

Dimitri grit his teeth when the impact of Felix's sword against his own pushed him back a few inches. Despite lacking both height and muscles, Felix was strong , completely unlike the little boy Dimitri had grown up with. His affection for the blade had turned into a sort of fanaticism that Dimitri couldn't place. Was it a good thing? Or a bad thing? It was impossible to tell. However, it gave him a reason to spend time with Felix, since Felix always seemed to hope that his weapon might slip and he might end up slashing Dimitri by accident.

Though that was rather impossible considering their wooden training swords.

“Come on, boar. Is that all you have?” Felix snarled at him. “Don't tell me that blood lust you showed me in Duscur was a one time thing. I know how much you must love this.”

“I do think training with you is kind of nice, actually,” Dimitri replied with a smile. He dodged Felix's swing and moved back a few steps before readying his weapon to push back.

“Shut up. Nothing about this is enjoyable. Seeing your face makes me wanna puke,” Felix said.

Dimitri simply laughed in response. Their swords clashed against another repeatedly, the sound of wood banging against wood echoed off of the walls of the training grounds. The other students had left already, so they were all alone. No wonder Felix had agreed to this. As much as he seemed intent on making others see what a beast Dimitri was, he absolutely hated the distracting cheers of a crowd. Even worse when the crowd was largely female.

The sword was knocked out of his hand. It clattered to the floor a few feet away from him. Dimitri followed it with his eyes, but he couldn't move to pick it up again. Felix grabbed him by the front of his shirt and gave him a hard shove. Dimitri stumbled backwards, losing his balance in the process.

“Pathetic,” Felix's voice sounded over to him. Dimitri blinked up at him. Felix had drawn closer and was looking down at him, sword stretched out in front of him. The tip pointed right at Dimitri's nose. “And here I had hopes that you'd be good for at least one thing.”

“Forgive me for not living up to your standards,” Dimitri apologized. Felix scoffed. His mouth was pressed into a thin line as he stared at Dimitri.

There were so many emotions in it, Dimitri had a hard time deciding which one to focus on. Anger was there, obviously, but there were other feelings too. Frustration. Disbelief. And, maybe he was only imagining that one, loneliness.

From down where he was sitting on the ground, Felix looked beautiful. The light caught in the fly aways of his hair, his cheeks were slightly red from exertion. A single bead of sweat slid down the side of his face. His chest rose and fell quickly. He was beautiful, and yet he looked so lonely when he glared at Dimitri.

Dimitri wanted to do nothing but grab at his wrist and pull him down to where he was sitting. To pull Felix to his chest and to tell him that it was alright, that Dimitri wouldn't leave. That he could trust him and rely on him, no matter what happened.

“Would you like to go again?” he asked instead; even offered a light smile.

Felix narrowed his eyes at him, before he pulled back the sword and turned around. “Your weapon is broken. You lost.”

Dimitri scrambled to his feet. When he moved to pick up the weapon, he noticed the crack, right where the hilt met the blade.

He looked up just in time to see Felix move towards the door. “Would you like to do this again next week?”

Felix stopped. He didn't look at Dimitri. His gaze was fixed on the door.

“If you manage to fix it,” he replied eventually.

Dimitri's lips pulled into a smile. “I promise I will, Felix.”

Chapter Text

( xxi. ) – drain / post-ts

A fire crackled in the hearth when Dimitri stepped inside the Knight's Hall and pulled the door shut behind him. It was warm inside; a welcome change to the icy wind and rain showers that haunted the monastery on this day. Compared to Faerghus' climate, this sort of weather was mild. But it was unusually icy for Garreg Mach, so it still managed to make Dimitri shiver.

He stepped closer towards the hearth, where he could make out the slender figure of someone all too familiar.

“You usually avoid the Knight's Hall,” he said quietly.

Felix turned his head to look at him. His hair was wet, dripping with rain water, and he had taken off his coat and tossed it over the back of a nearby chair. He was holding out his hands in an attempt to warm them by the fire. “No one was here so I figured I might as well seek shelter,” he replied with an almost defensive undertone.

Dimitri shook his head. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, but he forced himself to keep a neutral expression. He moved closer, hands reaching up to undo the clasps of his cape. He caught it before it could fall to the ground, and pulled up another chair so he could hang it up to dry.

“I'm glad to see you either way,” he picked up the conversation again. He looked at Felix's backside, at his broad shoulders and how the tight, black shirt he wore under his coat accentuated his narrow waist. Without warning, he stepped forward and slid his arms around Felix's middle to pull him closer.

Felix looked over his shoulder, eyes wide.

“What are you--”

“The meeting was so long and exhausting. It completely drained me of my energy,” Dimitri whined showily. He buried his nose in Felix's wet hair, inhaling deeply. Despite the rain, it still smelled of Felix. “And you weren't there either so it felt like it would never end.”

“I had to take care of the provisions,” Felix replied. His shoulders were tense and he turned his head towards the door. “What if..”

“Hm?” Dimitri pulled back. He looked at Felix, momentarily distracted by how the warm light from the fire underlined the gentle curve of his lower lip.

“Someone might see us. Together,” Felix added to clarify.

“And?” Dimitri leaned in again. His fingers brushed against the side of Felix's face, down to the line of his jaw. “I don't mind. Let them see us together.” He couldn't help the way his fingers tightened when he spoke. “Let them know whom you belong to.”

“I..” Felix didn't know what to say. His voice trailed off, unable to form even a coherent thought when Dimitri pulled at the collar of his shirt so he could bite at his neck. If anybody saw them like this – together, all over each other, with Dimitri mouthing at his neck – there would be.. rumors. Only that rumors usually weren't to be trusted because they only contained a tiny grain of truth. This here? Whatever it looked like, like they were really close friends or lovers, was unmistakable. If anyone were to ask Felix whether he and Dimitri were in a relationship with each other, he couldn't even bring himself to lie.

“Stop worrying so much,” Dimitri mumbled against his skin. His voice vibrated against Felix's neck. “Help me recharge, Felix.”

“F-fine,” Felix managed to huff. Dimitri was already tugging at him to drag him over to the bench in front of the hearth. He was pulled into Dimitri's lap. Dimitri's hand slipped under the fabric of his shirt, his mouth continued to leave butterfly kisses at whatever patch of skin it could find.

Even when Dimitri bit down where his neck met his shoulder, Felix didn't protest. He simply tilted his head to the side and reveled in the attention Dimitri lavished on him.

Chapter Text

( xxii. ) – expensive / post-ts

He always tried to avoid people, but today was a special day to try even harder. Felix glanced around the courtyard, eyes narrowed. When he couldn't see anyone and he thought he couldn't hear the sound of footsteps, he quickly disengaged from the shadows. His destination were the training grounds, as per usual, but today it was.. A bit difficult to navigate the monastery.

This sort of day cropped up every year and every year Felix told himself that this year would be different. That things would go the way he wanted them to be, not like the years before.

As it turned out, he was wrong.

The moment he slipped in through the doors, he heard the scraping of boots on the ground. When he looked up, Dimitri turned around to face him. He was holding something in his hands – a small box, even adorned with a bow. Felix grimaced.

Of course that beast would never forget his birthday.

“Felix. I was waiting for you,” he greeted. Felix scoffed.

“People usually get the message when the other party doesn't show up,” he replied.

Dimitri blinked at him. “You did show up,” he said after a moment. Felix opened his mouth to reply something, but Dimitri interrupted him simply by walking towards him. “I just wanted to give you your gift. That's all. I don't expect you to thank me or--”

“Good. Because I won't,” Felix cut him off. Dimitri regarded him in silence, his mouth slightly ajar.

“I hope you'll enjoy it nevertheless,” he concluded. He held out the box for Felix to take.

It was a simple wooden box, black and polished so the fire from the torches reflected on its surface. It was surprisingly heavy when Felix finally willed himself to take it. Which was just another testament to Dimitri's stupid, inhuman strength, he figured.

“Open it. I want to know whether you like it,” Dimitri urged.

Felix gave him an unperturbed look. “Greedy, aren't we?” Despite that, he turned the box, so the gold clasp at the front faced him. His mother had a jewelry box just like that, he remembered, so he pinched the sides of the lock with both his thumb and his index finger. The lock sprang open, making the lid of the box rise just a little. Felix glanced at Dimitri before he pushed open the box.

Inside, resting on velvet cushioning, lay a dagger.

Felix's mouth went dry.

“I thought you might like it. I saw it at the market the other day and it immediately made me think of you,” Dimitri explained. “I'm not sure how useful it is in battle, but even if not, you could just put it on display..”

I don't collect trinkets was what Felix would usually say. But he couldn't get out a single word. The dagger that lay before him was beautiful. It was entirely made of silver. Small gems whose colors were similar to the color of Fraldarius' banner were embedded in the hilt. The blade was so shiny and polished that Felix could see his own reflection in it.

“Do you like it?”

Felix looked up. Dimitri was staring at him, blue eyes wide, eyebrows raised just lightly. He felt his face grow hot.

“It must have been expensive. How pathetic of you to waste so much money on a gift just to get on my good side.” Felix slammed the box shut. A part of him knew that it would sound more convincing if he gave the dagger back to Dimitri.

But he couldn't. It was a beautiful weapon. And Dimitri was right, even if it wasn't useful in battle, he might just put it in display in his room to enjoy the mere sight of it. Just this once.

“I suppose it's not terrible,” he heard himself say.

Dimitri's eyes seemed to light up at that. “Great,” he replied, “I'm glad.” He paused, before he added, “Happy Birthday, Felix.”

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” He waved his hand dismissively. Dimitri continued to smile at him, even as he took his leave. Felix waited until the door fell shut. He adjusted his hold on the box, out of fear that he might drop it.

Maybe, he thought, this year's birthday wasn't so bad after all.

Chapter Text

( xxiii. ) – muddy /pre-ts

Byleth had a strange talent for always picking the worst destinations for field trips. Dimitri wanted to tell himself that their teacher merely had bad luck when it came to taking them out of the classroom, but this was the nth time already that they found themselves in a situation that was far from pleasant. Halfway through their trip, the sky had changed from a clear, cloudless blue to a dreary gray. Thick clouds had pulled up over their heads and, eventually, it had begun to rain.

It wasn't the light sort of rain. The kind that felt like a cold spray of water, that was annoying but tolerable. No. Thick, heavy drops of rain doused them in water, drenched their clothes and made them freeze down to their very bones. The earth beneath their feet had turned to mud and made walking difficult. Ashe had slipped earlier and had almost ended up face down, had Dedue not grabbed him by the back of his shirt and pulled him upright.

“Fucking hell,” a familiar voice cursed next to him. Dimitri reached out before he knew what he was doing. He caught Felix by the shoulder, stopping his fall. His childhood friend looked puzzled when he turned his head to face him. The confused expression quickly changed into an annoyed one. He clicked his tongue and straightened up.

“I didn't ask for your help,” he said.

Dimitri held back a sigh. “I won't let you fall when I'm right next to you to stop it.” He let his gaze wander. It was hard to see far in the rain, but he could spot Sylvain, Ingrid and Ashe a few feet in front of them. Dedue was right behind him, and a bit farther behind Dedue he could make out Annette and Mercedes, clinging to each other while taking careful steps through the muddy field.

He looked back at Felix. “Maybe we should hold hands,” he suggested.

“No,” Felix shot back immediately.

“Would you prefer falling and injuring yourself? The Professor won't let you take part in battle if you're hurt,” Dimitri went on.

Felix's lips pressed together tightly. Dimitri waited, until the grace period during which one could still expect an answer from Felix had passed. Without saying another word, he reached over and wrapped a gloved hand around Felix's. Felix flinched, immediately trying to pull back his hand. But he stopped himself. He didn't look at Dimitri, but he fitted their hands together, until they were holding onto each other.

“See? That's not so bad,” Dimitri couldn't help but point out.

Felix made a noise next to him. “Shut up, or I'll stab you and make it look like an accident.”

“Like you wouldn't want to take the credit for slaying the beast,” Dimitri responded with a laugh.

Felix only glared at him.

Chapter Text

( xxiv. ) – chop / post-ts

Something was going on with the servants this morning. They were distracted, constantly delayed their tasks and seemed more talkative than ever. Around noon, when the first meeting of the day had finally ended, Dimitri left the room through the same door he always chose. The corridor in front of him was supposed to be deserted, as it lead straight to his private quarters. Yet before him, a small group of servant girls was crowded in front of the windows that overlooked the inner courtyard of Castle Blaiddyd.

Dimitri frowned.

“Who would have thought he'd be so good-looking.”

“It's such a shame that he doesn't want to get married..”

“Maybe he wants to find himself a woman now and that's why he tries to clean up his act.”

“We should approach him later and find out whether he'll be more charming now..”

Dimitri cleared his throat.

The servant girls scattered like a flock of doves upon noticing him standing there. They muttered apologies to His Majesty and bowed as they left the corridor either up or down the stairs. Dimitri watched them leave in a flurry of aprons and whooshing skirts, before he turned to one of the windows. Merchants were unloading their cargo down in the courtyard, but he thought he could see the hem of Felix's cape disappear in one of the doors that lead inside the castle.

So Felix was back.

He didn't see him until later that day, after another boring, drawn-out meeting with a handful of his advisers. After two hours of discussing the colors of the fireworks they should use for the upcoming festivities, Dimitri was finally excused. He waited until the advisers had left, before he allowed himself to lean back in his chair.

“Relaxing this early into the day? How unbecoming for a king,” Felix's voice echoed off the walls. Dimitri straightened up immediately. Felix rounded the large meeting table while rifling through the papers in his hands. “The remote regions send their reports.”

“Felix,” Dimitri breathed out his name. He watched the other man draw closer. They hadn't seen each other in a few weeks, as Felix had been busy traveling around the kingdom on official business, but Dimitri hadn't been prepared for there to be a change upon his return.

“Nothing much has happened there, except for--”

Felix,” Dimitri repeated. Felix looked up, an eyebrow drawn up in slight annoyance at being interrupted.

“What?” he asked.

“Your hair.”

Felix reached up to the back of his neck, where his fingers grasped at short, choppy strands, as though he hadn't realize that the long hair he had nurtured ever since his childhood was gone.

“I had to chop it off,” he said with a shrug.

Dimitri blinked at him. “Why?” He couldn't help that he sounded openly upset about it.

“I was hunting, didn't watch my step and ended up tangled in some thorny bushes.” Felix shrugged once again, underlining just how little he cared about it. “It'll grow back.”

“But..” But what? Dimitri didn't even know. Without thinking, he rose from his seat and bridged the distance between him and Felix with a handful of long strides. As he stood before Felix, Felix drew back like a cornered animal. His eyes narrowed, a frown creased his forehead.

“What..”

“Now the servant girls find you handsome and think you might be ready for marriage.” Was he sounding whiny? Maybe. A hand came up to brush back Felix's bangs. His hair was still messy, his bangs still too long, and the cut at the back of his head was uneven. Dimitri allowed his fingers to brush through his hair, giving it a slight tug in the process. It was so short that it would take a while until Felix could wear it into a ponytail again.

“They're wrong,” Felix replied. He had narrowed his eyes and was now pushing away Dimitri's hand. “Read your reports,” he demanded. He turned to leave, but Dimitri used his free hand to grab Felix's wrist and stop him.

“It doesn't look bad. It's just unusual,” he assured. He didn't want Felix to think that he didn't like his hair. “Besides..” His voice trailed off. He let go of Felix's wrist in favor of pulling down the collar of Felix's black undershirt. Without indicating what he was going to do, Dimitri leaned in and pressed a kiss to the nape of Felix's neck, right underneath his hair line. If he were to leave a mark there, the collar of Felix's shirt wouldn't be high enough to cover it up. How intriguing.

“I think I might like this new haircut,” he mumbled.

In front of him, Felix huffed, but he didn't pull away.

Chapter Text

( xxv. ) – prickly / pre-ts

“I heard you made someone cry today.”

It was a weird way to start a conversation, Dimitri knew, but it didn't make Felix pause in his training. The blade of his sword cut through the air and slashed at an invisible enemy. Felix's legs moved with practiced ease, as did his arms as he parried, moved forward, evaded attacks that weren't there. Dimitri could have watched him forever, not only because it was saver than being his practice partner – or worse, his opponent – so he did just that. He leaned against a nearby pillar, folded his arms and continued watching his childhood friend.

“I didn't do anything,” Felix said eventually and without looking at Dimitri. A drop of sweat slid down the side of his face and disappeared into the collar of his white shirt. Dimitri shouldn't have enjoyed watching it so much, but he did, nonetheless.

“She sure sounded close to tears,” Dimitri replied.

“Close but not quite there,” Felix replied. Dimitri could see the Sylvain in his mind bite his lip as he tried to hold back a dirty joke.

“It's almost the same. And she just wanted to go to the ball with you,” Dimitri continued. He didn't even know why he wanted to talk about this. Felix rejecting girls left and right was a good thing, wasn't it? It meant that he'd never have to subject himself to the pain of seeing the boy he liked with someone else. But it also nurtured this hope inside him-- He shouldn't even be thinking such things.

“It's annoying. She should know that I don't have time for this.”

“You train so much that taking some time off would hardly affect your performance in a negative way,” Dimitri replied.

“Do you want me to act like Sylvain?” Felix shot back. He stopped abruptly, without bothering to finish whatever move he had been in the middle of in a graceful way. His eyes were narrowed at Dimitri and the knuckles of the hand gripping his sword stood out white. “Seducing women and men left and right instead of working on my skills?”

“That's not—”

“It sure sounds like it,” Felix concluded. He turned away and thrust is sword into the air. Dimitri flinched in place of the invisible opponent who was getting stabbed by Felix. “Do me a favor and stop bothering me. My blade might slip and end up cutting you down by accident.”

Dimitri opened his mouth, but decided against saying what he wanted to say. Instead, he folded his arms as he smiled at Felix. “So you won't come to the ball?”

“What? Of course not.” Felix looked over his shoulder with a sour look on his face. “I don't plan on acting stupid at a public event.”

“And here I thought we could dance together,” Dimitri sighed, “Like back when we were kids.”

He watched as Felix seemed to lose his balance for a moment. He caught himself, planting his foot firmly on the ground, and narrowed his eyes at Dimitri. “We are not going to dance together. I won't even attend the ball.”

“Such a shame,” Dimitri found. He knew that Felix would be there anyways, they all would be. But the thought of Felix merely standing around and glaring at anyone who dared to get closer to him and ask him for a dance was enough to elate him. “I'll see you at the ball, then, Felix.”

“I told you, I'm not—”

“Yes, yes,” Dimitri waved his hand dismissively as he walked over to the door. He ignored Felix's further protests as he let the door fell shut behind him. Even through the thick wood, he could hear Felix curse at him and his ancestors.

That was fine. Dimitri could deal with that. Just so long Felix didn't dance with anyone but him.

Chapter Text

( xxvi. ) – stretch / post-ts

“What were you thinking?”

Felix looked unamused at best and completely annoyed at worst. Dimitri felt himself shrink under Felix's stern gaze. “I thought it could still fit..” he replied slowly.

Why.” The lack of inflection told Dimitri that Felix was properly annoyed with him. He held the shirt in his hands – a white one, from their old academy days. There were tears on both sides, in the exact same places where the sleeves had been attached to the body of the shirt. Stretching his arms out in front of him to gather up his notes from the last meeting had caused the threads to rip. “Maybe you haven't noticed yet, but you're taller now than you were five years ago.”

“I know..” Dimitri pulled up his shoulders. Felix was scary when he was scolding him like that.

With an annoyed click of the tongue, Felix slumped down on his mattress. He had taken his sewing kit from the shelf earlier, but Dimitri hadn't thought much of it. Watching Felix thread the needle now made his eyes grow wide and he leaned forward a little to get a better look at what he was doing.

Felix moved with practiced ease. He turned the shirt around and eyed the first tear carefully, before he began sewing. It didn't take long, maybe fifteen minutes at most, until he was done and moved to the second tear.

“You're not going to wear this again, are you? You'll just rip it to shreds again,” Felix growled without looking up. “Give it to Ashe or any of the other smaller guys.”

“Why don't you take it?” Dimitri asked before he realized what he was implying. Felix looked up with wide eyes.

“Excuse me?”

Uh-oh. Dimitri swallowed. He forced a shaky smile. “I mean.. Since you're fixing it, you deserve to keep it.”

“I'm not interested in hand-me-downs.”

“I didn't realized you cared that much about clothes..” Dimitri replied carefully. Felix scoffed, but he didn't look up from his sewing.

“I don't like things that are too baggy,” he said. There was a brief moment of silence, before he added, “Or too tight.”

Dimitri's lips curved into a smile. “Of course, Felix.” He was aware that Felix was much smaller than him and Sylvain, but now that Felix had pointed it out, he realized that he was also more slender than the two of them. His shirt, even though it was from five years ago, would be a tad bit too wide on Felix.

Though, in his mind, the image of Felix wearing an oversized shirt of his was nothing short of adorable.

“I mean it,” Felix hissed. He stabbed the needle into the fabric. Dimitri was surprised that he didn't end up pricking himself with the needle.

“I believe you,” Dimitri replied, still smiling.

Felix said nothing as he gave him another glowering look.

Chapter Text

( xxvii. ) – thunder / pre-tragedy of duscur

He carefully wiped the tears off of Felix's cheek before sliding their hands together again. Felix interlaced their fingers and squeezed them tightly.

“I hate this,” he sniffled.

“I know. I'm sorry the weather is so bad, Felix,” Dimitri tried to comfort him.

Felix and his father had arrived in the capital only yesterday, but the weather had been terrible all week already. Dimitri had hoped that it would clear up by the time their guests arrived, but that wasn't the case. It was the second night in a row that storms kept them awake and ruined Felix's mood. He had always been a moody child, prone to crying, but thunder seemed to make it even worse. It was the noise, Dimitri realized after a while, that really got to him. Had it only been for lightning, Felix wouldn't have minded.

But the crashing of thunder right above their heads – or at least it felt that close – turned his best friend into a crying, sniffling mess. Rodrigue had tried to comfort him earlier, but telling Felix that being scared of the weather at his age didn't make sense only made Felix mad at his father. He had run off crying and Dimitri had followed him after offering an apology to Rodrigue.

He had found Felix in his room, where he was hiding under a blanket and refusing to come out. Eventually, Dimitri had crawled under it as well, so he could at least talk to Felix without having to ask him to repeat every second word because he couldn't hear him clearly thanks to the muffling qualities of the blankets and the rain pattering against the windows.

“You could try and learn how to control thunder,” Dimitri suggested.

Felix shook his head furiously. “I don't want to go anywhere near it. It's scary and loud and I hate it.” He took a shaky breath, bordering on a hiccup. “And Glenn said we're all bad at magic. Even he can't do it properly and he's super talented.”

“Hmm..” Dimitri's eyebrows drew together. Part of him wanted to pull his hand free and kick away the blanket because it was getting hot underneath and Felix's palm was clammy and a tiny bit gross. But that would only make him cry more and Dimitri didn't want to be the reason for Felix's tears. “Then I'll just protect you from thunder,” he concluded.

Felix turned his head to look at him. “You will protect me?”

“Of course,” Dimitri replied.

“Forever?” Felix asked.

“Forever,” Dimitri promised. Surely a prince didn't have to protect only princesses, right? Surely a prince could also protect a Felix.

“Alright,” Felix nodded carefully. He squeezed Dimitri's hand a bit tighter. “Then I'll protect you too.”

Dimitri wanted to ask what Felix wanted to protect him from, considering that he wasn't scared of much, if anything. But he decided against it.

If it made Felix feel better, he would eagerly pretend to be scared of something silly.

Chapter Text

( xxviii. ) – gift / pre-ts

Dimitri stopped shortly before Felix's lips. He looked at Felix. His eyes seemed to move behind closed lids, making his lashes flutter just slightly.

“I.. I fear I should warn you,” he began carefully, “I have never done this sort of thing before. I'm not sure if I'll be any good.”

“Huh?” Felix's eyes opened.

They were facing each other, with Felix's fingers curled into the fabric of Dimitri's sleeve. Dimitri could barely remember how the situation had turned to this. One minute they had talked about the Goddess Tower, the next they were doing.. this.

“Why are you telling me this?” Felix grimaced. “It's not like I have anyone to compare you with.” He paused and eyed Dimitri with narrowed eyes. “I always assumed that you've done this before.”

“I-- No. That's ridiculous.” Dimitri let out an airy laugh that just had to give away how nervous he was. Felix had given him permission to kiss him – on the mouth – and he was scared that he might mess up. What if Felix whipped out a dagger and stabbed him right in the chest if he wasn't good enough?

“Considering the size of your fan club, not really,” Felix replied with a lazy shrug. “I suppose not all of us are useless. Like Sylvain.”

“Sylvain isn't that useless, you know? He is very talented and--”

“If all you want to do is talk about that guy, I'll go back to the ball,” Felix interrupted. He turned to leave, but Dimitri's hand shot forward and wrapped around his wrist.

“No,” he blurted out, and Felix looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Please stay,” he added quickly, “Please.”

“You sound desperate,” Felix scoffed.

“So what if I am?” Dimitri's lips curved into a smile. He reached out to brush back Felix's hair so he could get a better look at him. “Does it bother you so much?”

Felix said nothing. He stared at Dimitri, lips parted just slightly. “It's.. ridiculous,” he finally replied.

“Why?”

Again, Felix didn't seem to have an answer. Dimitri moved closer, pressing their bodies closer together. Felix took a cautious step back, but he found himself with his back against the wall. For a short moment, Dimitri worried that Felix might knock him off his feet and flee.

Nothing of the sort happened.

Felix exhaled, slowly and shakily, and leaned back until his head rested against the cool stone of the wall behind him. “This isn't anything special.”

Dimitri couldn't help the laugh that escaped him. “Getting your first kiss is the most special thing, Felix.”

Felix opened his mouth, probably to protest those words, but Dimitri interrupted him by leaning in.

The kiss was, admittedly, uneventful. Feeling Felix's warm lips against his own sent a rush of adrenaline and heat through Dimitri's body, but there were no fireworks behind his closed lids or anything remotely similar to that. It felt good – almost pleasant – even though he always imagined it to be more exciting. Maybe reading romance novels had been a mistake.

When he opened his eyes again, Felix met his gaze for a split second. He looked away immediately, and the lush color of his cheeks seemed to darken even more. Dimitri opened his mouth to speak, but Felix brought up a hand. Whether it was to cover his own face or to cover Dimitri's mouth, Dimitri didn't know.

“Felix..”

“Shut up,” Felix cut him off.

“But--” he tried again, but Felix shook his head. He reached out towards Dimitri's shoulder and pushed, until Dimitri took a step backwards. Felix was strong but his physical capabilities were nothing compared to Dimitri's beastly strength.

“I'm going back to the ball,” Felix said. He didn't wait for a reply. Dimitri watched how he walked, no, stumbled back to the large double doors that lead back to the festivities. Felix gave him one last look over his shoulder, with his eyebrows drawn together and his lips pressed into a thin line. Was he supposed to look angry?

Dimitri waited for another moment, before he straightened his shoulders and followed after him.

The feeling of Felix's lips against his own still lingered even when he asked the professor for a dance.

Chapter Text

( xxix. ) – double / post-ts

“Oh.” It was the only word Byleth said when they realized what had happened. Their eyes darted back and forth, between the taller of the two men and the shorter one. Their memory was still fresh enough to recall how the leader of their house had looked like five years ago, so there really was no mistaking it.

Before them stood two Dimitris.

“'Oh'?” Felix repeated, “Is that all you have to say?” He looked at his teacher as though he was close to drawing his blade and cutting them down.

“Is there anything else to say?” Byleth replied calmly. Their expression was as unreadable as a murky puddle of water. Felix took a step forward, but the older Dimitri's hand wrapped around his wrist and held him back.

“Calm down. I'm sure it's nothing to get upset about, Felix,” he tried to soothe him. He glanced to the side, at his 17 year old self, who merely gaped at the older men in front of him.

“I suppose that's what happens when you go back too often..” Byleth muttered to themselves. They tapped their chin in thought for a good minute, until they finally looked up again. “I'll meet up with the others. It might be for the best if the others don't know about this. Maybe you three should take a different route back.” They paused. “Try not to be.. mean.”

“Why would--” Felix began, but Byleth had already turned around to make their way through the thick greenery, back to where their comrades were. He thought he could hear Mercedes' voice exclaim the professor's name a short while later.

When he looked back at the other Dimitri, the boy was still eyeing them. He was clearly overwhelmed with the situation, gaze wandering back and forth between his own older, taller self and.. Felix.

“What exactly..?” he began after a moment, but both Dimitri and Felix shook their heads.

“I suppose it's something the Professor did. They'll think of something and send you back to.. wherever you came from.” Felix made a dismissive gesture. “We should retreat from the battlefield for now. It's dangerous here.”

“Though I'm sure you killed every last one of them earlier,” Dimitri added with a hint of a smile.

Felix scoffed. “Of course I did.”

“You two get along,” the younger Dimitri pointed out.

Felix stopped in his movement, leg still hovering in mid-step. He looked at the younger man, at his bright blue eyes that gazed at him with a mixture of surprise and.. something else. “That's..” he began, but trailed off. He didn't know what to say – what he was allowed to say. He glanced at the older Dimitri, who looked equally troubled.

“Let's just say some dreams do come true,” he said all of a sudden. Felix frowned at him. The younger Dimitri blinked once, twice. “You understand what I mean, don't you?” Dimitri smiled at his 17 year old self. The boy looked back at him, eyes wide.

“Oh,” he made all of a sudden, mimicking the professor's earlier tone. “Oh. I see.” He looked at Felix but turned back to his older self immediately. “I understand.”

The older Dimitri merely nodded with a thin smile curving his lips. Felix looked back and forth between the two blonde men. “I don't understand anything,” he said. He bumped his elbow into Dimitri's side. “Explain it to me.”

Dimitri turned his head to look at him. “Let's go back to the monastery, shall we?”

“But--” Felix hurried to follow Dimitri, who in turn trailed after his younger self. “I don't get it--”

“I can't very well tell someone from the past about the future, can I?” Dimitri said quietly, when he assumed that his younger self was out of earshot. Felix squinted his eyes at the boy who was steadying himself with his weapon to keep his balance after almost stumbling over a thick tree root.

“But-- You just told him something,” Felix hissed back.

“I had many dreams related to you,” Dimitri replied with a shrug. He smiled when his younger self looked over his shoulder, apparently wondering what took them so long. “Besides, he might get too confident and try to make a move on you, Beloved.”

“That's-- Are you jealous of yourself?” Felix stared at him.

Dimitri didn't meet his eyes. He merely shrugged. “17 year old me was a beast, Felix. I thought we went over this.”

Felix opened his mouth, but no word came out. A sudden heat washed over him and made his face burn with.. embarrassment? He forced himself to look at his partner's younger self, but that Dimitri had his back turned to them now and seemed to try and make out the peaks of the monastery's towers through the high trees that surrounded the battle field.

“I mean, unless you want to do unspeakable things with my 17 year old self..”

No.” Felix's reply came too fast for it to sound natural. His cheeks grew redder, he could feel it, but he forced himself to keep a straight face. “No, that's.. That would be wrong.”

“Uh-huh..”

Dimitri didn't say anything, but there was something about the way he looked at him that only served to fluster Felix further.

Chapter Text

( xxx. ) – jolt / post-ts

Felix woke up at the sound of a lock sliding back in place.

The room was dark, scarcely illuminated by rays of moonlight flooding through thin gaps between the curtains. He blinked to try and usher away the last remnants of sleep clinging to his mind.

The intruder moved slowly towards the bed, steps quiet and determined. Felix didn't say anything. He heard a buckle or two being undone. Fabric fluttered to the floor. Something rustled before it was dropped on the ground. He thought he could hear boots getting kicked aside.

The blanket was lifted just slightly. Weight made the mattress dip behind his back. Someone moved and shifted on the free space next to him, until the blanket was dropped. Another shift in position, and an arm snaked around Felix's middle. A nose buried itself in the hair on the back of his head.

“You're back,” Felix said quietly.

Dimitri flinched. “You're awake?” he asked. Despite the surprise, his voice sounded tired. “I apologize for waking you.”

“It's fine. I don't mind.” Felix moved to turn around. Dimitri leaned back a little, though his arm never left Felix. When Felix snuggled up to him, face resting against his naked chest, both his arms came around the other man's torso to hug him tight.

“There are still things we have to sort out, but we'll take care of that tomorrow,” Dimitri explained. He turned his head just enough so he could press a kiss to Felix's forehead. “I missed you, Beloved.”

Felix hummed in reply. Then, after a moment of quiet, he said, “I missed you too.”

“Were you lonely without me?”

Felix thought he could hear the smile in Dimitri's voice. He exhaled audibly. “I think your servants missed you more than I did. Always whispering to each other and wondering when His Majesty will return from his travels..”

“Maybe they sensed your loneliness,” Dimitri suggested, though he couldn't hold back a small chuckle. “I'm sure they love you, Felix. You're their queen.”

“A very complicated, rude and exhausting queen, if the servants are to be trusted,” Felix corrected.

“I don't see anything wrong with that,” Dimitri said. Before Felix managed to reply, Dimitri brought a hand to Felix's forehead to push back his bangs. “Let's sleep for now. I'll tell you all about my travels tomorrow. And you'll tell me about your queenly behavior while I was gone.”

“Fine,” Felix mumbled, begrudgingly. Dimitri kissed his forehead once more, before he leaned back against the pillows.

“Good night, Beloved,” he mumbled sleepily.

Felix had to suppress a yawn before he managed a reply.

“You too, Dimitri.”