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And Whatever Differences Our Lives Have Been, We Together Make A Limb

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“Big brother? Will you tell me a s-story?”

 

“Any story?”

 

“Yes, j-just to pass the time.”

 

“Okay, I will. Once upon a time, there was a prince who, before he'd had the chance to fully grow up, was promised to another against his will and at the age of seventeen, when he should be have been working with his older brother, the King of his nation, on creating an amazing kingdom, he is instead being forced to get married to someone he’s never even met before for ‘the good of the kingdom, Takumi, we will benefit from this’. The only way we’ll benefit from this is if I don’t kill my soon-to-be spouse the day after my wedding.

 

There was a pause. “That’s not a very nice story…”

 

Takumi dropped the comb he’d been forcefully running through his hair to his lap. He crossed his legs, dropped his elbows to his knees, and then pressed his cheek against his left fist. “I know it’s not a nice story, because it’s my actual reality.” He puffed up his cheeks and blew out the air, aimed up at his bangs; the fluttered in the air for a moment before dropping right back into his eyes. “I still don’t understand how my ‘union with the youngest brother of Nohr’ will help build trust between our two nations?”

 

“Because,” came Ryoma’s voice from his door, and Takumi’s frown deepened, “it will show that it really is possible to get along with each other, so I would appreciate it if you didn’t try to murder your husband the day after your wedding.”

 

Takumi tossed the black ribbon he’d picked on to his bedding, then reached for the white one that he was supposed to be wearing for his wedding. “I didn’t mean it as something I’d seriously considered,” he stated, not mentioning the fact that it had at least been something he’d thought about idly, late at night when he was alone. He didn’t know what Prince Leo of Nohr looked like, aside from the fact that he was blond, and his dreams often involved a faceless blond man being tossed casually off a cliff, from a horse, or even being at the end of his Fujin Yumi. But those were just dreams, when Takumi was feeling incredibly angry about his arranged marriage; they didn’t often come, because Takumi knew deep down that it really was for the best of Hoshido and the delicate peace treaty with Nohr. It didn’t mean that he had to be happy about it, though he'd warmed up a little to the idea, knowing that as his older brother, Ryoma would never intentionally put him into a horrible situation.

 

Ryoma fully entered the room, the door shutting behind him. Takumi ignored him as he threw the white ribbon over his shoulder and snatched his normal red one and quickly tied his hair up. Subtle rebellion. Behind him, Ryoma whispered something to Sakura, who quietly exited the room. Once she was gone, Takumi let out a sigh and turned to face his older brother And King, he reminded himself quickly so that his frown wouldn’t take over his entire face.

 

Ryoma sat in front of him, forcing Takumi to lower himself to the same level; kneeling in front of each other, Ryoma reached forward and placed a hand on Takumi’s shoulder, a gentle smile on his face. “With everything that is going on, I don’t believe I’ve told you how proud I am of you, Takumi.”

 

Takumi blinked. Well.

 

Ryoma continued. “This is… not what you expected when I first announced that we would be making an alliance with Nohr."

 

“No, it definitely was not.”

 

“I’ve seen how you’ve been dealing with this marriage, and before we head over to the to begin the wedding, I just wanted to tell you that I have never been more proud of you than I am at this moment.”

 

Takumi blinked the tears he felt forming back. He was not going to cry, not before he had to go stand in front of a priest, say wedding vows (a Nohrian wedding tradition that they had to put into the wedding, because it was only polite) to his Nohrian husband. He was going to go into this wedding looking as put together as possible. Instead of allowing the tears to fall, he placed his hand on top of Ryoma’s and squeezed. “Thank you, brother. That means a lot.”

 

Ryoma’s smile grew, and then his face took on a serious look. “I will not be able to talk to you much after until the reception and I wanted to say one more thing, about after the wedding. After verification of the consummation, you two will be taken by carriage to where you’ll be spending your honeymoon. I’ve personally picked out the place you’ll be visiting and -”

 

Takumi dropped his hand from Ryoma’s, staring at Ryoma with a look of horror on his face. “Verification of the consummation?” he nearly screeched. In his anger about his arranged marriage he’d completely skipped over the fact that they had to actually consummate it. “Oh Gods,” he mumbled, sitting down hard on his bed with his head in his hands. “Why me?

 

Ryoma looked like he was going to say something else, but the moment he opened his mouth there was a knock at Takumi’s door. “Yes?” Ryoma said instead, his eyes focused on Takumi.

 

“It’s time,” came the response, and Takumi couldn’t help the shaky breath that left his mouth.

 

“Very well, we will be on our way.”

 

Takumi stood and ran his fingers through his bangs. “I am ready,” he said to Ryoma; it was said mostly to gather up his courage. He was about to become a married man, to the second Prince of Nohr, for the good of Hoshido. He was going to have to kiss Prince Leo of Nohr for the good of Hoshido. He was going to have to have sex with Prince Leo of Nohr for the good of Hoshido.

 

Please, Prince Leo of Nohr, don’t be ugly, he thought as he and Ryoma left his room. At this point, it was all that he could hope for.

 

***

 

Three months ago was when Takumi was given the news that he was being put into an arranged marriage with the second Prince of Hoshido. He’d been summoned to Ryoma’s chambers, where Ryoma had given him the news, and before Takumi could even say anything Ryoma had gone on a lengthy rant about how a wedding between Takumi and this Prince of Nohr would show that Nohr could be trusted; it would build morale in the nation and help the delicacy of the peace treaty and alliance with Nohr. He’d tapped into Takumi’s sense of duty to his nation, and by the end of the meeting, he had known that he wouldn’t be fighting the arrangement at all, even though he really wanted to. For the longest time, Hoshido had believed that they’d enter a full on bloody war with Nohr at any moment, but then King Garon of Nohr had died and Xander had taken the throne. Takumi had met Xander once, and after that meeting, he’d come to understand that Nohr was in better hands and he did not have to fear invasion. He didn’t know the full details of the meeting Ryoma had had with the new King of Nohr, but Ryoma had been satisfied. If Ryoma was satisfied, then so was he.

 

It had been hard, watching the new King of Nohr enter Hoshido, especially after the death of their mother, but Takumi had forced his anger down, and when Xander had paid his respect to their mother’s grave, he’d seemed completely sincere and Takumi had been forced to reevaluate his initial thoughts of the new King. The treaty, after that meeting, had been going well, until the people of Hoshido began voicing doubts about aligning with Nohr, and those worries were where Takumi figured his brother had gotten the idea for the arranged marriage. Why he’d picked Takumi, he’d never understand.

 

After he’d been dismissed from Ryoma’s study, he’d been given permission to inform his retainers about what was going on the next morning, before they announced the marriage to the people of Hoshido. He honestly didn’t know what to tell them. The story that was to be told with the announcement of the marriage was that during one of the peace treaty meetings held at Cyrkensia Takumi had met Prince Leo and had been immediately interested. They had continued to keep in touch with letters, and during one of the final meetings discussing the treaty and alliance, they had become engaged.

 

Takumi honestly tried to sell that story to his retainers, but they were more than just his retainers; they were his closest friends and immediately knew that he’d been lying. Or, Oboro had known he was lying from the get go. It took Hinata a moment. Oboro had not liked the fact that he was getting married, or more specifically, that he was getting married to someone from Nohr. She’d asked if there was any way for Takumi to get out of it, but with each option she threw out he shook his head.

 

“I have a duty to my King,” he told her, “to Hoshido, and this is the best way to help show that Hoshido is staying true to keeping the peace with Nohr.”

 

It didn’t mean that he had to like it.

 

Once the news had been spread, dealing with the members of the council became unbearable, with a few of them trying to shove their children at Takumi as a potential concubine, or in hopes that before the wedding Takumi would fall in love with their son or daughter and break off his engagement with Prince Leo. The only thing that helped was knowing that none of the council members would have been doing that if they didn’t believe the story that was being sold about Takumi really being in love with Leo.

 

The details of the wedding were finalized a week before Leo was to arrive in Hoshido; Leo was to live in Hoshido, as yet another sign of trust on Nohr’s end. There were traditions that Nohr had regarding weddings, one being that the two who were engaged were not to see each other up until the wedding, so Takumi had been unable to meet the Nohrian royal family when they had arrived. At first he’d been upset; he wasn’t to see the person he was to be married to until they were standing at the alter? Upon further reflection, however, he’d agreed that not seeing Leo was probably best in the long run. Seeing him would have made his situation real, and until he was actually being married he wanted to keep a little bit of denial in his life.

 

The denial lasted until he was standing just outside the room that he would be signing away his future. Ryoma had a hand around his shoulder and even with the pressure Takumi couldn’t stop the shiver of fear that went through him. What if he couldn’t do this? What if somehow this marriage was ruined because of him, and then as the alliance fell apart? His mind was spiraling, but there was nothing he could say about it, because as he went to voice his worries to Ryoma, the door to the room opened and he was being led down the aisle.

 

He didn’t see any of the Nohrian royal family until Ryoma was leading him through the doors and into the room. He was to be brought in first to stand in front of the priest, with Leo following after him. The people who had been invited to the wedding already had taken their seats, with Takumi’s family sitting on the front left. As he was moving down the aisle, he took in the two other members of his soon-to-be extended family. There was a lovely woman with long purple hair, sitting with her back straight and her head tilted just enough that she could look over her shoulder as Takumi walked closer. Next to her sat a little girl that looked to be around Sakura’s age. She wasn’t watching Takumi, instead playing with a piece of fabric on her dress, smiling at whatever it is she was thinking about. Takumi envied her, in a way. She looked as if she didn’t have a care in the world.


The door to the room was opened once again, and after taking a deep breath, Takumi turned so that he could see the face of the man he was going to marry.

 

When Takumi would look back on this moment, he’d ignore the fact that his very first thought was one of relief, because Thank the gods he’s easy on the eyes was not really what one would consider a romantic thought. But when he saw Leo, he’d breathed internally; as shallow as it was, being married to someone that he considered attractive would make the arranged marriage much easier to deal with.

 

And then he’d done a double take, because as Leo walked closer, his arm linked with his older brother’s, Takumi had to inhale. He was dressed in what Takumi thought was a traditional wedding outfit for Nohr; long black colored coat that went down to his calves, gold design on the edges, with black pants and a cream colored shirt. He didn’t focus too much on what he was wearing, however, and instead moved his gaze to take in what his spouse looked like. Prince Leo of Nohr held his head high, his eyes staring straight ahead, his face giving nothing away, and it allowed Takumi to see his features clearly. The first thing that Takumi noticed was Leo’s nose, which he’d later wonder why he focused on his nose first of all things. His nose was centered on his face, small and cute, and Takumi held back the sudden urge to scrunch his own nose as he continued to look at the face of his future husband.

 

Leo’s mouth was the next thing he focused on; even from a distance he could see that Leo’s lower lip was thicker than his upper lip, the color a pale red, and as he watched Leo’s tongue poked out to wet as his lips, probably a nervous habit. I have to kiss those lips, he thought, eyes following the movement of Leo’s tongue as it came out to wet his lips one more time. He hoped that before they kissed Leo didn’t do that. Takumi had never kissed someone before, and the idea of kissing someone with wet lips wasn’t appealing to him at the moment.

 

Next he took in Leo’s high cheeks, noting the flush on his face, and while Takumi wished it was from nerves it was probably more about how warm Hoshido was in comparison to Nohr. His cheekbones were high, accenting his eyes and the entire structure of his face, and as his own gaze moved up Takumi ended with locking eyes with his spouse. Leo’s gaze was intense, and Takumi inhaled sharply. He could see that even though he was putting up a strong front, Leo was just as nervous as Takumi felt.

 

Takumi felt his nerves settle a little in his stomach for a moment, but the closer Leo got to him the more they started up again. From a distance, Leo was pleasing to look at, but up close - Takumi inhaled, held it for three seconds, and then let it go, hoping that his face was remaining impassive. Leo’s lower lip was thicker than he’d thought, his jawline sharp and elegant, and the way his hair was framing his face accented his cheekbones and the shape of his upper jaw. Each step Leo took was graceful, a walk that told any watching him that he was a prince. Takumi’s eyes scanned down Leo’s body, taking in his thin looking shoulders and waist before moving down, lingering just a tad too long on Leo’s thighs. Prince Leo of Nohr was very pleasing to look at; one might even say he was beautiful.

 

As Leo drew closer to stand next to him, Xander taking the hand that had been on his arm and placing it on Takumi’s right hand as a symbolic gesture, Takumi gulped heavily. Maybe this won’t be too bad, he thought as they turned to face the priest. At least consummation won’t be too hard, now that I know what he looks like.

 

He kept one eye on Leo as the priest began his speech, blabbering on and on about love and uniting. Takumi didn’t pay attention too much, trying to focus on keeping his hands from sweating too much. In his grip, he felt Leo’s hand twitch, one of the only signs that he was nervous. The twitching extended just a way up his arm, but Takumi could see that Leo was holding himself tall through the sheer power of his pure will. Takumi had to admire that.

 

In front of them, the priest was still speaking, “Have you come here of your own free will and choice and without compulsion to marry each other?”

 

Takumi almost wanted to laugh, but he’d been prepped for this moment, when he’d have to lie to all those attending and say, “I have.”

 

Beside him, Leo echoed his answer. His voice was strong, powerful, and it didn’t waiver one bit when he spoke.

 

The priest continued, saying, “Will you love and honor each other in marriage all the days of your life?”

 

Together they answered in the affirmative. All within what felt like a matter of seconds, they were being turned towards each other in order to say their vows. Takumi had practiced these vows to himself many times, hoping that he’d sound sincere when it came time to say them for real in front of his family and the people of his nation, and he hoped that they would believe him when he opened his mouth and began.

 

He looked at Leo dead in the eye as he spoke. “I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, Takumi, Prince of Hoshido, may not be joined in matrimony.” Breathe, he reminded himself before continuing, “I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, Takumi, Prince of Hoshido, do take the man before me, Leo, Prince of Nohr, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to be one with from this day forward, in the best of times and in the worst of times, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until the very end.”

 

His voice did not waiver once, his eyes locked with Leo’s and his stance strong. He remained that way as Leo repeated the vows back to him, both of their hands gripping each other tightly; Leo’s knuckles were white, and Takumi could tell that he wanted this to be over just as much as Takumi did. With each second that the priest droned on about love after their vows, Takumi could feel his resolve shaking, the panic building in his chest. Gods, I’m being married to a complete stranger, he thought. He’d had that thought many times before, but now it was real, it was happening, and -

 

“I pronounce these two as husbands, bonded in the eyes of the gods and mankind. You may kiss.”

 

The panic built up faster this time around, and he could see it mirrored in Leo’s face, but he couldn’t focus on that. If he allowed it to take control of him, they’d never finish the wedding. You can do this, Takumi. For Hoshido, and then he was leaning forward, pulling Leo by the hand just enough to get him to bend down a bit so that their lips could touch.

 

Leo, thankfully, hadn’t licked his lips prior to their kiss. As for first kisses, Takumi had to say it wasn’t too bad, but he’d never kissed someone, so he had nothing to compare it too. Leo’s lips were a little chapped, unsure in how they were pressing against Takumi’s, but it wasn’t as terrifying as he thought it would be, kissing Leo of Nohr. His hand placed itself on Leo’s elbow, drawing him in closer as he pressed one last time against those lips. Moving away, he took note of Leo’s relaxed face, his eyes partially closed; his tongue poked out to wet his lips again, and Takumi was grateful that he waited until after they’d kissed before doing that.

 

Hand in hand, they turned to face those in attendance, and as per the Hoshidan custom, held out their clasped hands in front of them to end the ceremony.

 

Oh gods, he thought, looking out at those who were clapping politely as he and Leo made their way down the aisle and towards the door. I’m married.

 

***

 

For being newlyweds, they didn’t get a lot of time to speak to each other, having been rushed once they left the room of the wedding and entered the room where the reception was being held. Council member after council member walked up to them to greet them with fake warmth and happiness, and it was only after one had introduced his daughter to Takumi, clearly hoping that he would consider her as a possible mistress did Leo take his hand, excuse the both of them for a moment, and drag him out of the room and into an empty hallway.

 

After he let go, Leo looked flustered, more than he had during the actual ceremony. “I know I shouldn’t have done that,” he said, his voice low enough that Takumi had to lean in to hear him fully, “but I have one request of you. If you only give me one thing out of the marriage, I’d like for this to be it.”

 

Takumi frowned. “What is it?”

 

The look on Leo’s face was almost desperate as he said, “No concubines,” he said, firmly, and then so softly Takumi almost missed it, “Please, no concubines.”

 

The way he phrased the statement felt off to Takumi. It was worded like a command, and initially Takumi felt anger rise up in him. Who did Leo think he was to demand that of him? Yes, they were married, but aside from the legal obligation towards each other, they owed nothing to one another. He let that initial anger go, however, as Leo repeated his request, and instead paid attention to the small quiver in his voice. There was a reason that Leo had requested it and Takumi figured he’d learn about that reason later, if need be.

 

So he nodded, said, “No concubines,” and then once Leo had given him a look of thanks (it was awkward, like he wasn’t used to giving it at all), Takumi took his hand and pulled him back into the room, playing the part of the happy newly married couple.

 

Ryoma walked up to the both of them first, a forced smile on his face as he weaved his way around council members trying to speak to him. “Hello,” he said, ignoring the group of five men standing behind him, all waiting to get his attention. “I wanted to be the first to congratulate the happy couple.”

 

Happy, Takumi thought. Right.

 

His grip on Leo’s hand tightened considerably. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Leo wince a bit. “Thank you, King Ryoma,” Leo said, giving a polite bow.

 

“I wanted to speak to you, Prince Leo,” Ryoma said, his tone sounding urgent as another two council members lined up behind him. “Would you mind coming with me to discuss a few things? I won’t have the time to speak to you about them before you and Takumi leave for your honeymoon tomorrow.”

 

“Oh,” Leo said, gulping before pulling his hand from Takumi’s grip. “Yes, I will come with you.” He shot Takumi a small look of panic, the first look he’d seen on his husband (husband ) that betrayed his emotions since he’d seen him. He waved the two of them off, not quite knowing what to do and mentally preparing himself for the council members that would no doubt swarm him.

 

Only when he turned back to face those who would be congratulating him, he found himself suddenly face to chest with some of the widest shoulders he’d seen. Looking up he found himself staring directly into the eyes of Xander, King of Nohr and Prince Leo’s older brother. My brother-in-law, his mind helpfully reminded him.

 

“Uh,” he said.

 

“Hello,” Xander said.

 

King Xander’s face was hardened, frown lines showing on his brow, and his mouth firm and the edges curved downwards. He was staring at Takumi with an intensity that made Takumi want to curl up in a corner somewhere and hope that he was never found. He couldn’t let this man intimidate him, he told himself. This man may be the King of Nohr, but he was also Takumi’s new brother-in-law, and Takumi would be required to speak to him, at least a few times a year, but hopefully not more so he’d have to get used to the man’s rather intimidating face. He’d start now, he decided.

 

“Thank you for attending our wedding, I am pleased that you could make it,” was what came out of his mouth, which in retrospect was a rather dumb thing to say.

 

Xander raised an eyebrow and Takumi almost went back on his decision to not be intimidated by Leo’s brother. “Yes, I am glad that you’re pleased. Had I not made it to the wedding, then Leo would not have made it and that would have been a rather large problem.”

 

Takumi gulped. “Y-yes, it would have.”

 

They stood there, looking at each other silently and when Takumi started wondering if the man ever blinked Xander opened his mouth again. “I hope that you’ll be happy,” he said at first, startling Takumi into freezing on the spot. “I hope that your future is bright,” and it was almost like he was forcing the words to come out of his mouth. “Most important, though, is that you treat my brother with dignity, respect, and compassion, because if I hear that you’ve been cruel to him, you will need to answer to me. Understood?”

Takumi nodded quickly, and was wondering if it was possible to have the floor open up and swallow him whole when a hand tapped Xander on the shoulder. “You’re scaring the poor dear, Xander,” came a sing-song voice from behind him. Over his shoulder appeared Leo’s older sister ( Camilla , his mind supplied), who was giving Takumi a gentle smile as she continued to walk forward; her arms wrapped around Takumi’s body and then he was being pulled forward, his head being pushed against her chest and then his body was being swayed side to side. Above him, Camilla continued to speak. “You’re too tense, dear, no wonder the poor boy was scared.”

 

“Was I being scary?”

 

There was a pat given to his head and then he was being pressed harder against her chest. He couldn’t breathe. “You have the look on your face like you do when you have to deal with the nobility. You need to relax.”

 

“Oh,” came Xander’s voice. “I see.”

 

Takumi was currently wondering whether “death from suffocation via breasts” was something they could carve on his gravestone. “I hope that he didn’t scare you too much, darling,” Camilla was saying above him, still swaying him gently side to side. “I hope that whatever Xander said to you doesn’t prevent you from visiting our wonderful home in Nohr.”

 

No, he wanted to say, but was unable to do anything but scream silently at the moment, but if you continue to smother me like this I’ll be unable to go anywhere.

 

“Camilla,” came a stern voice behind them, one that he recognized as Leo’s. “Please release my husband before he suffocates to death.”

 

He actually heard Camilla pout before he was released from her grip. Gasping for breath, he allowed Leo’s hands to keep him steady and he wheezed out a harsh, “Thank you,” to which Leo gave him a smirk.

 

“I should have warned you about my family,” he said softly.

 

Takumi let out a cough. “Yes, that would have been lovely. Speaking of family,” he said, gesturing towards where Ryoma was standing, speaking to the  youngest sibling of Leo’s. His brother looked mildly startled at whatever Leo’s sister was saying to him and Takumi couldn’t hold back his laugh, “what did my brother say to you?”

 

Leo cleared his throat and looked away. “Nothing important,” he said, snatching up Takumi’s hand and turning to face his siblings. “Now, let me introduce you properly.”

 

***

 

The reception had lasted only two hours, for which Takumi was thankful for. After having been introduced to Leo’s family properly (Elise had reminded him of Sakura, but more outgoing and affectionate, Camilla was… not that much different from his first impression of her, and once he’d relaxed his face, Xander wasn’t that bad either) and he’d introduced Leo to his own family, they’d met the congratulations from the other council members with faked gratefulness, had their first meal as a married couple, and then had been shepherded out the room.

 

They were lead to the room they’d be staying by one of the castle servants, and with each step Takumi’s heart seemed to speed up. He knew what was expected by the two of the that night, and he only wish that his nervousness was shared by his husband, who was walking with a blank look on his face. He knew almost nothing about his husband (husband, husband, husband) but he wanted to share his nervousness with him. This was a big step that they had to take, but he had no way of getting out of it, and if he thought about it the more he realized that he didn’t want to somehow find a way to fake the consummation.

 

He reasoned with himself that it was only because he wanted to do this for Hoshido, that it was his dedication towards Hoshido that he was going to give this marriage his all. He didn’t know much about Prince Leo (husband ) but from the little he’d spent with him during the reception he felt that with time they could become friends.

 

He glanced at Leo from the corner of his eye. Leo still didn’t look nervous.  

 

“A servant will come by in the morning with your morning meal,” the girl was saying as they reached the door to their room. “After that I will come back to take you to the carriage so that you can begin the journey to your honeymoon destination.”

 

The door opened and, taking a deep breath, Takumi entered first, Leo following him soon after. “Thank you for informing us,” Leo said, almost as an afterthought, his eyes following where Takumi’s had already fallen from the moment he’d entered the room; the large bed, Nohrian style, sitting innocently in the middle of the room.

 

“I wish you happiness with your union,” the servant said before she backed out of the room. “If you need anything, someone will be available one hall over.” The door closed behind her with a sound that sounded louder than it probably was.

 

Takumi tapped his fist against his thigh, looking anywhere but at Leo, who had seemed to find something very fascinating on the bed sheets that took his complete concentration. Takumi didn’t want to be the one to break the silence, but he didn’t know if Leo (his husband ) would, so he opened his mouth to say something, then he immediately closed it. He repeated those two motions a few more times, trying to find something to say to Leo (his husband ), but nothing was coming to mind. Instead of speaking, he took two steps forward, and that seemed to remind Leo that he was also in the room with him.

 

The words “So, we’re supposed to have sex now,” came tumbling out of his mouth at the exact moment Leo said, “Was this blanket hand sewn?”

 

Takumi blinked at him, his face turning a bright red as Leo turned to face him fully. “I’m sorry, what did you say?” His husband (husband!) asked him.

 

“Nothing, nothing at all!”

 

Leo raised an eyebrow at him but didn’t question him any further. Instead, he pointed at the blanket again and repeated his earlier question. “Was this sewn by hand? Whoever did it had remarkable skill.”

 

Takumi looked down at it, trying to see what Leo saw that made the blanket so special. “I think it was, by one of the servants in the castle,” he answered.

 

“Oh, that’s nice.”

 

And then there was silence once more. Leo sat down on the bed, his arms held close to his side and his right leg draped gracefully over his left. Takumi tapped his fist against his thigh a few more times before he inhaled deeply and took determined steps towards the bed. He sat on it next to Leo, and the only sign that Leo was surprised at his sudden movements was how his eyes widened. The longer he sat there, the more he noticed how Leo was suppressing his nerves; how his fingers would twist the fabric of his shirt around every once in awhile, how his leg was bouncing up and down, and Takumi let out an exhale. Maybe he was more okay with having to consummate the marriage more than Leo was.

 

“We can probably find a way around it, you know.”

 

Leo’s leg stopped bouncing. “The consummation?”

 

Takumi gestured at his stiff posture. “You seem really tense, and we both know why we were placed in a room at the end of the castle, far away from any other occupied room. Plus, there’s the fact that it has to be consummated, according to some law that I honestly have never heard of, but…” Again, he gestured at Leo, “not if you don’t want to.”

 

Leo’s leg stopped bouncing. “I’ll be honest, I’ve never… I’ve never done anything like this before. Yes, I’ve heard about it from my retainer, I’ve heard plenty from my retainer, but now that it’s in front of me, something that I’m required to do, I find myself freezing up. It’s not that I don’t want to,” he said quickly when Takumi opened his mouth, “if it’s for my nation, then I will do it, it’s just…” Leo let out a sigh. “I do not know how.”

 

“Oh,” Takumi said.

 

Oh.

 

Takumi rubbed at the back of his head. “If it’s the mechanics that you don’t know about, then…”

 

Leo shook his head, a blush appearing on his cheeks. “No, I understand the mechanics and how it works in theory, but I don’t know how to apply it, if that makes any sense at all? I don’t know what I enjoy, having never done anything like this before, and I certainly don’t know what you prefer in bed, having never met you before tonight. It’s all so frustrating.”

 

Takumi flushed as well. “I don’t know what I prefer either, since I’m the same as you. I’ve never done this before.” He let out a small, dark chuckle. “Spent most of my life preparing and training for a war that never happened.”

 

Leo let out a chuckle that matched his own. “Ah, yes, it was the same for me as well.”

 

Takumi leaned back on his arms, staring at his husband with a new idea forming in his mind. “We have all night to… consummate the marriage,” he started slowly. “Why don’t we take the time to get to know each other first?”

 

Leo gave him a confused look. “You mean, discuss our likes and dislikes?”

 

“Yeah!” Takumi said, possibly too enthusiastically. “I’m going to be married to you for the rest of my life, the least I could do is get to know you.”

 

“Uh,” Leo said, lifting his legs so that he could sit completely on the bed. “Where do I start?”

 

“Well, things like… what’s your favorite kind of food?”

 

Leo tilted his head to the side, almost adorably. “My favorite food? I really like tomatoes, and I also enjoy beef stew. What about you?”

 

Takumi leaned back against the pillows on the bed, allowing his legs to rest on the mattress. “I like miso soup.”

 

“Miso soup?”

 

Takumi ended up explaining what it was exactly, which led to Leo inquiring about the different type of spices that were commonly used in Hoshido. They spent what felt like hours just talking, and Takumi was honestly surprised at how easy it was to speak to Leo. He’d thought that there would be anger building up once he was married, more rage at having to marry someone who had been his enemy not even half a year ago, and while he was angry about his situation at having been forced into a marriage, he felt no rage at having to marry a Nohrian, or more specifically, having to marry Leo.

 

He liked to think it was because he was growing up, but he’d also had a lot of time to reflect on the many discussions he and Ryoma had held regarding the treaty and negotiations regarding Nohr. He’d also been allowed the time to mourn his mother’s passing properly. Had he been thrust straight into war, he knew he would have allowed the anger of her death to fuel his actions; fighting was easier when angry. He might have blamed every single Nohrian for her death, but he knew that now he couldn’t put blame where it didn’t belong. His mother’s death had been caused by Garon, who was now dead and in the ground. From the reports Ryoma received, Xander was doing things in Nohr that Ryoma greatly approved of, and he was receiving help from his siblings. If Ryoma trusted them, than the least Takumi could do was try to trust them as well.

 

“I feel as though the history of our nations could teach us a lot,” Leo was saying, his head resting against the pillow and his hair falling into his face. “History always repeats itself, even in the smallest of ways, and I believe we could learn a lot from studying it, taking what worked and evolving it to fit our times.”

 

Leo believed and liked a lot of the things Takumi enjoyed himself, and he talked as if he’d never had anyone to speak about his passions to before. There was a light in his eye when he discussed magic, and he’d even let out a small little chuckle when Takumi had confessed that he was completely incapable of using magic.

 

“I’ve never met anyone in my entire life that was unable to use magic completely.”

 

“Well, now you have.”

 

When their conversation eventually stalled, Takumi knew why. He was growing tired, Leo the same, and they still had one last thing that they had to do before retiring for the night. Takumi bit his lip, sitting up on the bed. He ran a hand through his hair, the tie having been loosened earlier in their conversation. Just as he was about to ask Leo if it was possible for him to create some magical illusion to trick the people coming to confirm that they had, indeed, consummated their marriage, he felt a soft kiss being pressed to his lips.

 

Pulling away he looked Leo right in the eyes. “Are you sure?”

 

Leo avoided his gaze for a moment before he returned it. “I am if you are.” When Takumi nodded, Leo laid himself back down on the mattress, allowing Takumi to hover over him. He inhaled. “Duty, for my King, and for Nohr,” he whispered, probably mostly to himself, as a way to gather his courage.

 

For Hoshido, I'm doing this for Hoshido, Takumi said to himself as he leaned down, pressed his body firmly against Leo’s and gave him a long, long kiss.

 

***

 

The morning had been awkward, as Takumi had figured it would be.

 

He’d woken up to the sun shining in his eyes and his husband’s (husband, he didn’t think he’d ever get used to the fact that he was now married) bare back as Leo bent over the bed slowly, trying to retrieve something on the floor. Takumi blinked slowly at him for a moment before he sat up as well, stretching out his arms as he did so.

 

“Uh, good morning,” he said.

 

The answer he received was what he assumed was a growl, but it was interrupted by a yawn as well. “Good?” Leo said, glaring at him from over his shoulder.

 

Takumi frowned. “What did I do?’

 

Memories of the previous night assaulted him and he flushed, looking down at his lap when Leo continued to stare at him. “Did you know that you like to punch things when you sleep?”

 

“I do?”

 

Leo’s glare intensified. “Yes .”

 

“Oh,” Takumi said. “I’m sorry?”

 

Leo huffed and grabbed his shirt and small clothes from the floor. When he went to stand, Takumi couldn’t help the fact that his eyes followed the movement of his legs and ass, and he continued to stare even after Leo had covered himself up. “I hope that you are, with how sore I am traveling today is going to be impossible. Do you remember when the servant said our breakfast would be brought to us? I need to eat.”

 

“Great,” Takumi muttered to himself, sliding out from underneath the covers so that he could get dressed as well. “My husband is grouchy in the mornings.”

 

Excuse me?”

 

Takumi held up his hands in a quick sign of surrender. “Nothing, nothing.”

 

Leo then proceeded to put on his knee high socks. “I do wonder how I’m supposed to sit in a carriage all day, considering what you put my body through last night.”

 

Takumi shoved a soft pillow at his husband. That he’d had sex with. His very attractive husband with whom he’d had sex. It was a shame that Leo’s beauty was his only good trait in the morning. “Use that. And I don’t know what you’re talking about, I feel great.”

 

Leo gave him a dark look over the top of the pillow. “Yes, but that’s because you didn’t have an overenthusiastic spouse shoving their -”

 

There was a knock on their door and Takumi rushed over to answer it, greeting the servant who was bringing them their breakfast with a smile so fake that it felt like his cheeks were splitting. “Good morning,” the servant said, pushing in the cart with a rather creepy looking smile on his face. It was a servant that Takumi had never seen before, with white hair and an eyepatch covering one eye.

 

“Uh,” he said as the servant put the cart in the middle of the room but didn’t leave. “You’re dismissed,” he gestured at the door, but the servant didn’t move.

 

Leo frowned at the man. “Niles, what are you doing here?”

 

“You know him?” Takumi asked as the man named Niles leaned against the wall with his arms folded, that smirk still on his face.

 

“Yes. He’s one of my retainers. Although why he’s here, I don’t know.”


Niles watched the both of them intently as they made their way towards the cart of food. “I was sent to confirm consummation, at King Xander’s request.” He kept his eye on them as they got their food, Takumi feeling very uncomfortable with how intently he was staring. When Leo moved to sit, grimacing as he did so, the smirk on Niles’ face grew. “And there it is, confirmation of the consummation,” he teased, and Leo shot him a look. “Odin also owes me some gold.”

 

Leo’s eyes narrowed. “Niles, leave.”

 

Niles bowed low, but Takumi felt it was more mocking than anything. “Anything for milord,” he said as he backed out of the room. “I will be seeing you two later; Odin and I will be accompanying you on your honeymoon, as the man who was going to be driving the carriage is suddenly unable to do so.”

 

The door closed softly behind him and once it had, Leo dropped his head into his hands.

 

“This day just keeps getting better and better.”

 

Takumi sat down next to him, his plate of food balanced on his lap. He silently agreed with Leo, but he took a bite of his food to stop himself from saying anything. As odd as his situation was now, he could tell that his future would, at the very least, never be boring. He looked at Leo out of the corner of his eye and then he cleared his throat. “Uh, you know you’re wearing your shirt inside out, right?”

 

Leo’s head shot up from his hands and he looked at his shirt, his face quickly turning red. “I am?” He quickly took it off to turn it right side in and Takumi cleared his throat once more and averted his gaze. Leo had a… nice body.

 

You’ve seen him naked, he said to himself. Seeing him shirtless is nothing. But it didn’t help because as he watched Leo put the shirt on right side in, but backwards this time, he couldn’t help the heat that rose up in him with each patch of skin that was revealed.

 

Yes, my future in this marriage will most definitely not be boring, not at all.