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Slow on the uptake

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When Dimitri makes his way to Felix’s room that morning, he’s going there with the full intention to finally free his heart of the weight of his feelings.

For years he has been longing for Felix’s touch, for his presence by his side, as more than what a friend would allow. So Dimitri was determined. They have rebuilt their friendship enough that he knows that, even if Felix were to reject him, it might make things awkward between them for a while, but Felix would not push him away entirely. So he thinks it should be okay if he confesses his feelings for his oldest and dearest friend.

Standing straight and proud, every bit of the king he is, he knocks on the door. It’s early and he knows Felix’s schedule well enough to be certain that the other is still in his room. He waits a little and, sure enough, the door eventually opens.

His brain gives up on him as soon as his eye takes in the sight before him.

Felix likely just woke up (did Dimitri wake him up? He should probably apologize, shouldn’t he?) and his hair is… well, messy is one way to put it. It’s tangled and all over the place, falling into his face even as he blows on it to try and clear his view. His face is contorted in a frown that is different from the usual; it looks more as though he’s trying to figure out who’s in front of him and why. And as Dimitri’s eye wanders down, he can see that Felix is wearing a nightshirt that is much too big on him (and wait, isn’t that the shirt Dimitri has been searching for for weeks? How did Felix get a hold of it? And— why was he wearing it?).

“What do you want?” Felix’s voice is still groggy from sleep, even as he tries to go for his usual snappy tone. Dimitri’s brain very kindly supplies that he finds it very cute. Dimitri begs his brain to go away again.

“Ah, um. That is. Er.”

All things considered, his brain can come back. Please. Before Felix wakes up enough to think him more the fool than he is.

Felix’s eyes narrow, and just before Dimitri can consider the fact that he should probably run back to his own room for his own safety— and maybe sanity— he grabs Dimitri’s wrist and pulls him inside the room. And closes the door. With Dimitri inside.

He starts contemplating his chances of escaping by the windows (slim, unless he throws caution by, hah, the window, and breaks through them). Behind him, Felix moves to sit on his bed. He yawns, just barely managing to cover his mouth in time. It reminds Dimitri that he woke Felix up and should probably apologize.

“Ah, Felix, I’m sorry for waking you up—”

“You will be if you don’t tell me why you’re here quickly.”

The threat sounds weak even to Dimitri’s half-panicked mind. He’s not sure if it’s the remnants of sleep slipping through Felix’s voice or something else.

“I needed to. Tell you something.”

“Then just say it.”

“Yes. Right.”

This could be going a lot better. It could also be going a lot worse, or so Dimitri tries to rationalize. He had a whole speech prepared to fully explain the extent of his feelings, but he’s not certain he can remember it now, and it’s probably better to be upfront after he’s made such a fool of himself.

“So? Are you going to just stand there all day or?” Felix’s voice is starting to show his impatience, which means he’s actually awake now, which might or might not be a good thing for Dimitri. Only the Goddess knows.

“I am in love with you.”

There, he has gone and said it. He leaves his fate in the Goddess’s hands, or Felix’s hands rather, and he will accept the outcome no matter what it may be.

When silence stretches and he realizes he has closed his eye after confessing, he reopens it to look at Felix, anxiety rising up his spine. Were his feelings such a horrendous thing that they got sharp-tongued Felix speechless?

His eye meets the most incredulous look he has ever seen in his life. Like Felix can’t believe what he has just heard and like Dimitri is the biggest fool that Fódlan has ever born. And maybe he is. Still, the silence makes him antsy and nervous and he would very much like it if Felix could say something.

When it becomes clear that Felix has no intention of speaking first, Dimitri’s brain finally kicks in again.

“I understand that these feelings are— unbecoming and sudden, perhaps, and I fully understand that you are not able to—”

“Dimitri.”

Dimitri shuts up. He looks down, feeling all and any regal composure he had before this whole ordeal crawl out of him. He feels like a child about to be chastised. Felix had that way about him and the manner in which he says Dimitri’s name firmly whenever he thinks Dimitri is being unreasonable, when they’re working. Away from their office, it works just the same.

“Dimitri.” Felix says again, his voice a little softer. It helps Dimitri relax minutely and he chances a glance up.

Felix is still looking at him like he’s a fool, but there is… something else, in his expression. Something almost tender. It makes Dimitri’s heart beat fast and strong in his chest.

“... yes?” He eventually asks.

Felix seems to ponder his next words carefully.

“Thank you for telling me,” is what he settles on, “but I was under the impression that it was a given, since we have been courting for two months.”

Wait. What?

Dimitri blinks owlishly at him. Felix’s lips twist up before he forces them down again. Dimitri notices that his shoulders are slightly shaking. Is… Is Felix laughing?

But no, that was not the priority right now. Have they been courting all this time? Why had Dimitri not— noticed? When had this happened? How?

“Do you remember, the ball in Gautier? After the peace treaties were signed with Sreng?” Felix asks him, pulling him out of his misery.

“Yes, of course. The Margrave gave quite the feast that day, I’m certain the woods in Gautier have been emptied out of their game.”

Felix snorts. “Yeah. There was also a lot of alcohol. Which you told me you could handle perfectly well, when I told you not to drink too much.”

He had. Felix himself is not really one for alcohol, only ever drinking one glass for propriety's sake, but Dimitri does enjoy the burn of the liquor in his throat. He also has what he considers to be a decent level of tolerance for alcoholic beverages, no matter what Felix would have him believe.

“I did,” he replies. Distantly, he realizes this still doesn’t truly explain Felix’s response to his confession.

“Dimitri, were you really so drunk that you don’t remember kissing me in the middle of the ball room? In front of every single important noble of the country?  And our friends?”

He… did not, in fact, remember this. But, it would certainly explain the giggles he has been hearing from the maids of the castle, and the mitigated looks he sometimes gets from Gustave and Count Galatea, as well as the knowing looks Sylvain has been giving him for months. Two months, in fact.

Oh.

Felix shakes his head.

“Honestly, I thought you just wanted to take your time or something. I guess it’s a good thing I never tried to push for more. Seriously.”

The quiver in Felix’s shoulders resumes, but this time he’s not bothering hiding his laugh. It’s enough to bring him to tears, even, something Dimitri hasn’t seen in ages. He’s torn between the sudden, childish urge to pout for being made fun of, and the awe at seeing Felix being so… honest with his feelings.

“I’m. I. Can we…”

His sorry stammering only makes Felix laugh harder, to the point that he lets out a quite ungracious snort that makes Dimitri grins immediately. Just as when they were kids.

“Can we what?” Felix asks between two attempts at breathing right again.

“Can we— start again. Courting. I would very much like to make up to you the time I’ve wasted.”

Felix manages to get his breathing under control again and he looks at Dimitri, considering. Dimitri isn’t actually worried about a refusal, but the way Felix narrows his eyes at him still makes him sweat a little.

“Hmm. Maybe. On one condition.”

“Anything you want.”

Felix looks away, bites his lip. Dimitri can see his face color a lovely pink. He waits, barely daring to breathe. Felix glances once at him, quickly, before looking away again, and swallows.

“Kiss me.”

Dimitri crosses the distance between them in a flash. His hands find Felix’s face and, as gently as possible, he cups Felix’s warm cheeks and tilts his head so he can do just as he’s asked.

It’s clumsy and it’s obvious they’re both inexperienced (is Dimitri Felix’s first? Felix is definitely Dimitri’s first) but their enthusiasm makes up for it. Dimitri quickly realizes just how much he’s missed in the past two months. He’s never dismissing Felix’s advice not to drink too much.

He might just end up proposing to him the next time and not remember a moment of it. He can’t have that. He won’t have that.

But that’s a matter for another time, and for now, he has two months to make up for. Better make the most out of it.