“Stay still, Ashe.”
Ashe did as told while Dedue’s hands kneaded in the hair wash, taking care to massage his scalp. His body relaxed as he closed his eyes to avoid suds getting into his eyes, grateful for his boyfriend’s presence that made him feel at ease.
They were currently in the bath together, sitting as Ashe leaned his back against Dedue’s chest. Surprisingly, both of them fit comfortably enough where Ashe could lean forward for Dedue to wash his hair. It was a miracle to have a tub that was big enough to fit both of them at Ashe’s inn, considering how big Dedue was and that Ashe was by no means petite.
Years after the war and proper meals had toned Ashe and filled out his frame, which Dedue had no complaints about. Dedue could say he was probably in worse shape than his partner, as the peace throughout Faerghus had left him soft. Being Dimitri’s vassal meant being fit and training, but not at the level it had been during war times where battles and death loomed over every field they trekked.
The meals prepared by Ashe did not help either. Warm dishes that tasted like home and reminded him of his family were hard to resist after a frigid day walking through Fhirdiad.
“So were there many customers today?” Dedue asked, making small talk as he took handfuls of water and poured them over Ashe’s head.
“Yes, more people are coming from different regions of Faerghus just to try Duscur food,” Ashe smiled softly, “I would even say we are beginning to have regulars.”
Dedue hummed, content to run his hands through his boyfriend’s hair as he spoke of his day. The soap was now gone from the silver strands, but Ashe seemed fine with Dedue pampering him.
“At this rate, I may have to hire another chef,” Ashe teased.
Dedue grabbed a hand towel and bottle of liquid soap sitting outside the tub, putting some of the soap on the cloth and then nudging for Ashe to lean forward. He followed Dedue’s hints, hunching forward so his partner could wash his back.
“Anyone you have in mind?”
“Well,” Ashe said quietly, “I was thinking His Majesty seems to have many advisors. And we are now in a time of peace.”
“That is very true,” Dedue said, “Dimitri has many friends and people to help him govern.”
Dedue was glad he had finally dropped the formalities after all the years. It was beginning to feel more natural when discussing Dimitri, they were after all very close to each other.
“I was thinking. Perhaps he doesn’t need you always by his side, Dedue. We’ve been together for years now.” Ashe confessed and paused. “What I’m trying to say is, I would love to have you here at the Inn most days. With me.”
Dedue stopped moving the cloth along Ashe’s back, frozen from Ashe’s proposal.
“You’re suggesting I leave Dimitri’s side?” Dedue asked, still somewhat in shock and trying to process it.
He felt it should bug him more, the thought of leaving what he had been working for and doing for most of his life, being beside Dimitri. Dedue was unsure if he should be more alarmed at the fact he wasn’t opposed to the thought. And that his chest was pumping erratically in excitement at the thought of spending his days with Ashe. He knew Dimitri would be supportive, and the thought of carrying Duscur with him as food served to others with his hopefully future husband sounded like a dream he wouldn’t want to wake from.
Ashe was his future, that he had always known once they began dating. Perhaps it was time-
“-Don’t worry about answering me immediately, I don’t want to rush you. I just ask that you consider it,” Ashe said, his voice flustered as he waved his hands around.
Dedue gave a dazed nod, now broken from the trance. He really was sure it was the right decision to be here beside Ashe, but he would wait until they were done with their wash to express it.
He decided to enjoy the comfortable silence that followed as he now focused on cleaning Ashe’s back. He traced every scar with his fingers after he put soap on his hands, knowing where most came from. At this point Dedue had mapped most of his boyfriend’s body, and vice versa. Some of the scars were from Ashe’s bandit days, some from their academy days, most of them from the war.
He always hated the one that rested on the right side of Ashe’s body, near his waist. It was one from Hubert, a Meteor spell that had struck hard on Ashe and left him burning on his side. Dedue winced as he remembered Ashe screaming in pain, and sniffling in Dedue’s arms once he had been rushed to the infirmary. The smell of the burnt flesh and the salves for the burn still seem to be registered in Dedue’s mind as he looked at the marred skin. Thankfully, he was able to finish cleaning Ashe’s back, scooting himself back.
“Do you mind standing and facing me?” Dedue asked.
Ashe nodded, doing as asked. He faced his partner, blushing at the awkward angle which left Ashe’s cock right at the height of Dedue’s face. And considering it was tight space to stay in the water with Ashe standing, they were considerably close.
“Sorry,” Ashe muttered.
Dedue continued his work. He grabbed some more soap and lathered the towel once again before working on Ashe’s front.
He started at Ashe’s chest, working his way down to thighs and calves. Dedue smirked at the small gasps he got from his partner when cleaning the inner thighs, perhaps teasing by spending too long rubbing there.
Ashe moaned as one hand wrapped around his cock, softly stroking as Dedue’s other hand put the hand towel down on the floor and grabbed a small bit of soap in his palm. Dedue then pumped his hands around Ashe’s dick, with his boyfriend bucking into his touch. He took care to cleanse Ashe’s cock and balls, then splashing him clean with water.
“We can do more later tonight,” Dedue said, “But for now let’s stay clean and not dirty the water.”
“Mhm. Thank you again for everything.”
“Of course, love. We should sleep though before we move my belongings to the inn tomorrow morning.”
“I’m sorry?” Ashe asked in disbelief.
“You’re right, Ashe. We’ve been together for years. And I would like to spend the rest of them beside you, if you’ll have me.”
“Dedue, I don’t want this to be a quick decision or you feeling forced,” Ashe warned, “Only if you’re sure.”
“I’m sure. More than anything.”
Ashe smiled, genuine and wide where Dedue was sure his cheeks probaby hurt. But they were happy all the same, Ashe kissing his boyfriend as he stood up from the bath.
“I love you,” Ashe breathed out, his joy spilling out into his voice, “Now let me return the favor and clean you.”
“I love you too,” Dedue responded, holding Ashe tightly to his chest, “And if you’d like to, I wouldn’t mind.”
Ashe chuckled, nuzzling deeper into Dedue’s embrace. They stood for a moment like that, warm and excited. It was not spoken between them, but it was a silent promise of a loving relationship and a lifetime of joy ahead of them for years to come.