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“Look, Felix. It’s either you do the White Heron Cup, or I have to retrain two people and you mostly lose swordplay. Just… Please.”

Sylvain had to admit Byleth had pretty solid reasoning, even if Felix was a laughable choice on the surface. Felix had, of course, grumped about it, but he didn’t have much of a solid argument. A dancer would be a substantial boon to their house, and Felix already had the skills crucial for a dancer’s self-defense.

That was what had brought Sylvain to standing at the side of the hall with the rest of his house while the three students stood in front of the judges. Felix, to his credit, was doing a fantastic job of not looking like he wanted to murder everyone in the room. And when they started the music, his movements were graceful and fluid. Sylvain had to join in the clapping when they were done, and clapped even harder when it was announced that Felix had won, an obvious surprise to Felix himself.

“He did pretty well, I’m surprised! Guess that training with the professor paid off,” Sylvain said as they left the hall.

“Indeed,” Dimitri agreed. “And it will be a welcome value to our class, I should think. A dancer’s skills are deceptively valuable on the battlefield.”

“Yea! Even if Felix is probably going to be the grumpiest dancer to ever live,” Sylvain replied with a laugh.

Most of their class trailed off, though Sylvain waited for Felix to leave the hall. He wasn’t waiting long, Felix trailing out with a set of clothing in his arms. He looked rather exasperated and annoyed.

“Ooh, is that gonna be your outfit?” Sylvain asked with a grin.

“Yes. What do you want,” Felix growled. 

Sylvain wasn’t intimidated in the slightest. “Just wanted to see if you wanted to eat dinner with me.”

“Yea, I probably should.” To Sylvain’s surprise, Felix immediately agreed. “I’m starting the training tomorrow, and they warned me it’ll be intense to quickly teach me what I need to know.”

“Yea, I bet. C’mon, let’s make sure you’ll have the energy for it!”

Together, they headed off, Sylvain watching Felix from the corner of his eye. He had to admit, at least to himself, that he was kind of excited to see how Felix fared as a dancer, if he would pick it up quickly, or if this whole thing would be a total failure. It certainly wouldn’t be for lack of trying, if so, since Felix despised failing at things even if it wasn’t something he originally wanted to do. Sylvain tried to think about what Felix dancing might look like, but he simply couldn’t picture it. It was just too strange to consider.

Felix was gone throughout most of the day, leaving halfway through classes for his training. Sylvain loitered around to bother Felix when he was done, but as it got later and later, so much so that the moon was beginning to rise in the sky, Sylvain grew worried. He wondered if he might’ve been hurt, but if so, wouldn’t they have taken him up to the infirmary? It was clear that the training was still going on from the voices inside.

Finally, the door opened. “Sylvain?” Felix asked, sounded exhausted. “What are you doing here? It’s really late.”

“I, uh… Yea…” As Felix stepped out into the moonlight, Sylvain felt all words die in his throat.

Felix looked positively ethereal in his dancer costume. The light of the moon set the white fabric alight and made his pale skin practically glow. The dark blue and shimmering gold accents complimented his figure perfectly. He looked rather tired, the sheen of sweat on his skin proof of just how hard he’d pushed himself in his training.

“I was worried about you,” Sylvain finally said, voice soft.

Felix rubbed his neck, rolling it in an effort to stretch it out. “Yea, I guess we went pretty late. You wouldn’t have heard me talk down on dancers before, but now, anyone who dares within my earshot is going to get kicked in the teeth.”

Sylvain couldn’t help but laugh. “No kidding. C’mon, you look completely exhausted. Shower and bed? Did you even eat yet?”

Felix shook his head. “I had lunch, but not dinner. I could use a snack and bath, but all I really want to do is collapse into bed.”

“Heh, c’mon, let’s get you to the baths, and I’ll grab you something to eat.” Sylvain moved to his side as they started walking, albeit slowly, towards the baths. “I do not envy you, but I can at least help you out.”

“I don’t need it. But… Thank you,” Felix muttered out. It really was a sign of how tired he really was, that he didn’t refuse the help.

“No problem.” As soon as they got to the baths, he jogged off to the dining hall. A guard stopped him in passing, asking what in the world he was doing up so late, but let him go once he gave a short explanation of the situation. They did need to get back to their rooms, but a student being fed was kind of important.

Sylvain still made it quick, making a sandwich from some of the leftovers from dinner. When he returned, Felix was out of the baths and back in his dancer outfit, not having brought a change of clothing. He ate the sandwich as they walked back to the dorms, eating rather quickly. He was completely done by the time they got up the stairs and back to their rooms.

“Mm… Thank you. I feel a lot better. Hopefully the soreness won’t last too long…” Felix groaned as he rubbed his arms. “I never thought it would be this hard, though I know my training is being pushed fast.”

Sylvain bit his lips. “Well… Maybe I could help with that too. I’ve got some oil in my room, I could give you a massage, you know. Relax your muscles.”

Felix regarded him somewhat suspiciously as his cheeks turned red. “... You’ve been acting a little weird tonight. What’s the catch?”

Sylvain laughed. “No catch, man. I want to help, really. C’mon, you know me.”

“... Fine.” Felix stepped into his room, though he left the door open.

Sylvain smiled softly after him. Their relationship had always been… strange, especially now. It was hard to know where they stood. Too close to be friends, but… not quite lovers. Not quite.

Sylvain dipped into his room to snag the bottle of oil. It was some strange gift from a girl he dated, he was pretty sure she’d wanted him to do to her what he was offering to Felix now. Still, it smelled good and would be useful.

Felix was sitting on his bed when Sylvain returned and locked the door behind him. He was leaning back on his hands, looking happy to be off his feet. “So what’s that?” he asked with cursory curiosity.

“It’s oil. Some lavender chamomile stuff that was a gift. Should help you relax, probably.” Sylvain moved to kneel in front of Felix, smiling up at him. “You look beautiful, you know.”

Felix’s cheeks turned darker red as he looked away, flustered. Sylvain took the opportunity to lift Felix’s right leg, carefully undoing the straps of his new sandals. He slid one off, then the other, before running his fingers over Felix’s legs. Sylvain leaned down, lifting Felix’s foot up to kiss the top of it. He pressed another kiss, then yet another, all the way up to his knee.

Felix said nothing, a bit lost at this new treatment. It was strange to say the least, but not… Bad. It was even flattering, in a way. He lifted his other leg to meet Sylvain’s motion the second time, feeling the feathery kisses moving up the front of his leg again.

Sylvain chuckled softly as he looked up at Felix. “You know… You could probably ask me to do just about anything, and I would. Countries have risen and fallen at the whims of beautiful women, and now I can see why~”

Felix scoffed, though his ears turned red. “Save your weird flattery for the women, then. I don’t want nor need it. Honestly, you’re just weird sometimes.”

Sylvian laughed. “So mean.” He took the oil and slathered some of it onto his fingers and palms before taking Felix’s foot in hand again, massaging the tender muscles.

Felix’s response was lost in the groan of relief at the attention. He was so terribly sore that it almost felt like heaven to have his feet tended to. Sylvain smiled up at him for a moment before continuing on, making sure every inch of skin was tended and lightly brushed with sweet-smelling oil. Then he moved up, inch by inch, rubbing Felix’s tender ankles and strained calves. Felix’s eyes fluttered shut as he sighed.

“Here. Let me help get you out of this,” Sylvain finally said, grabbing a towel from the side and wiping the oil on it, not wanting to make a mess of the new clothes. “You look like you’re going to fall asleep right there.”

Felix huffed softly as Sylvain got up, but accepted the help in carefully pulling the dancer’s clothing off. Felix blushed as he was forced to lift his hips into Sylvain’s hands to pull the shorts off as well. Then Sylvain directed him back onto the bed, onto his stomach, hands never leaving Felix’s body.

Sylvain took the oil again, carefully working over Felix’s thighs. Then he pressed his thumbs against Felix’s spine, making Felix shiver. A long, soft moan was drawn from Felix, delicate and feathery. Sylvain smiled and massaged right up his spine, leaning in to kiss the nape of his neck.

“Anything,” Sylvain whispered in his ear. “Anything for you.”

Felix hid his burning face in his folded arms, hearing Sylvain chuckle overhead. How could someone be so infuriating and so… so alluring at the same time. He drew Felix in over and over, but never like this. Never with a gentle, firm touch, never with praise and attentions to his body, never with the temptation of such a ludicrous promise. It set his body alight like never before.

“Stop teasing me,” Felix muttered out as Sylvain massaged his shoulders.

Sylvain paused. “Teasing you? Why would I do that?” He was frowning as he rested his hands on Felix’s back.

“I dunno, you like to get a rise out of me for whatever reason,” Felix grumbled out.

Sylvain chuckled. “Fair. But I’m not teasing you. I want to make you feel good.”

Sylvain pulled away as Felix began to turn over and sit up a bit. Felix’s expression was suspicious and upset. “What do you want from me?”

“... I want to make you feel good,” Sylvain repeated with a sigh. “If you want me to stop, I will. But this is about what you want, Felix. Not me.”

Felix considered him for a few moments before sighing. “I appreciate it, I’m just… It’s new. And really unexpected.” He looked down, running a thumb along the edge of his underwear. “But it does feel good. It feels really good,” he said, a soft blush returning to his cheeks.

Sylvain smiled softly. “Good. Still sore?”

“A little, but less than I was. I’ll just need rest. Thankfully I was already pretty flexible.” Felix bit his lip. “Maybe, while you’re here…” He hooked a thumb under his waistband, glancing up at Sylvain nervously.

Sylvain smiled a little wider and took his hand, pulling it away from his waist. “Nope, you’re not doing any of that. Let me do the work,” he said.

Felix allowed Sylvain to nudge him onto his back. Then he delicately pulled Felix’s underwear down and off, leaving him bare. “You really are beautiful,” Sylvain said, smiling at Felix.

Felix huffed softly in embarrassment. Still, as Sylvain slid back on the bed to lean down and lightly kiss the insides of his thighs, he moaned again, just as soft as before. Sylvain stopped just short of his groin with a little smile and sat up once more, tugging his own shirt off.

The quiet was comforting, really, no more words needed. Sylvain kicked off his pants and underwear with a little grunt before snagging the bottle of oil. He poured some into his hands and leaned in close. Felix wrapped his arms around Sylvain’s neck and his legs around the other’s waist, giving him easier access to reach under him. Slick fingers teased against his hole, drawing sweet little moans as they were carefully pushed in. Sylvain’s forehead rested against Felix’s, drinking him in. Felix let his eyes shut and lost himself in the sensations of being held and touched. One by one, Sylvain pushed his fingers into that tight rink of muscle and gradually, gently opened Felix up.

Their previous trysts had been quick and clumsy and pleasurable, but this was different. It was as if everything had shifted, to pleasure and presence and pure adoration. Felix was unraveling with every touch, every motion, every brush of skin on skin.

Sylvain carefully pulled his fingers away, wiping them on the towel nearby. He lightly nibbled at Felix’s jaw, smiling a little. Felix looked somehow both restful and taut as a wire. “Are you ready?” Sylvain asked softly.

“I’m never ready,” Felix murmured, opening his eyes just a touch. “It’s always so much, it’s… It’s even more now…”

“Do you want me to stop?” Sylvain asked, voice soft and sweet.

Felix’s breath was hot on Sylvain’s lips, his gaze heady with pleasure. “No, don’t… Don’t stop, Sylvain…”

There was something in the way Felix said his name that sent Sylvain’s heart racing. “You’re so perfect, Felix. I’d do anything for you.”

“Then fuck me already, you moron,” Felix said with a small puff of laughter.

A bout of almost nervous giggles erupted from Sylvain. “Fine, fine.” He reached down, trying his best to get the oil and slick his cock without pulling away from Felix even slightly. It’s a feat he manages with a touch of difficulty before slowly, carefully pushing into Felix.

And it’s not as if they haven’t done this before. Clumsy grinding in a secluded spot of the monastery, quick fucks in the baths, muffling one another in pillows in their rooms so no one would catch them. This was so different, so much softer and closer than before.

Felix whimpered softly as Sylvain fully sank in. He looked so soft and sweet, Sylvain wanted nothing more than to kiss him. But they didn’t do that. Felix had refused it, long ago, and Sylvain… Sylvain cared too much not to respect that. He was dying for it, though, especially now, so close, so warm, so deep.

They simply laid like that for some time, curled into one another. Sylvain shivered, finally deciding to speak. “Felix? Why… Why won’t you kiss me?”

To Sylvain’s surprise, tears pricked the corners of Felix’s eyes, a flurry of emotions crossing his face. It was some time before he answered. “I don’t want to be another of your incidents,” he finally whispered.

And it hits Sylvain like a cold icicle through his stomach. All the girls he’d ever kissed ran through his head, all those he’d genuinely cared for but just couldn’t trust, couldn’t bring himself to truly love. And Felix thought…

“Never,” Sylvain murmured. “You’d never be one. You’re not… You know why I can’t trust them, Felix. But you’re not like that. You couldn’t use me like they could, for one.” He chuckled softly.

Felix smiled wryly as well, before his expression turned to embarrassment. “I know. And there’s also, well…”

“What, are you a bad kisser?” Sylvain teased, nuzzling his cheek.

“I wouldn’t know at all, really.” Felix nuzzled back just a bit.

Sylvain paused at the statement, brow furrowing as he tried to decipher it. Then he pulled his head back just a bit. “Wait… Have you never kissed anyone?”

Felix’s embarrassment grew as he avoided Sylvain’s gaze. “I never had the chance, really.”

Sylvain stared at him in shock. Then he lifted a hand up to cradle Felix, thumb caressing his cheek. “May I, Felix..?”

Felix hesitated a moment before nodding and closing his eyes. Sylvain leaned in and gently pressed his lips against Felix’s. It was a little clumsy as Felix tried to figure out how to position himself and what to do, just making Sylvain smile. He began to move his hips ever so slowly, bodies shifting together. It was slow and steady and sweet, parting for air after a few moments. Felix’s noises of pleasure were so fragile and fluttering that Sylvain couldn’t help but smile. Everything about Felix was simply…

“Perfect. You’re so perfect,” Sylvain whispered, rolling his hips forward. “You’ll never be like that, I promise, you’re different, you’d never do that to me.”

Felix’s back arched as Sylvain moved inside him, groaning louder. “Fuck, Sylvain, please ~”

Sylvain sped up his movements, diving in to kiss him again. Their bodies moved together so perfectly, setting fire to their skin. Sylvain reached down to clumsily palm at Felix’s cock, a last attention to send him over the edge and leave Sylvain to chase after him. The pleasure was blinding, and likely the only reason they were even quieter than usual was because any sounds were caught up in each other’s throats. Their lips parted only to catch their breaths.

“... I need another bath,” Felix grumbled after a while.

Sylvain laughed. He carefully pulled out of Felix and tugged them onto their sides, pulling Felix even closer than before. “Maybe wait for morning, yea?”

“I guess.” Felix laid still against him. “That was… different.”

“Yea. I liked it a lot. What about you?” Sylvain rubbed Felix’s back.

Felix was blushing softly. “I’m surprised you’re not laughing.”

“About what?” Sylvain asked in confusion.

“About me not having kissed anyone, yet I’ve had sex with you.” Felix didn’t look him in the eye as he spoke. “It’s just different for me, I guess. Kissing and sex, I mean.”

“Well… Kissing kind of has a more romantic-ish context right? And you didn’t want… You know why I act the way I do with women,” Sylvain said softly. “But I think feeling wary about that is justified. I don’t want it to be like that with you either. And you’re not. You’re my best friend. I trust you more than anyone in the world.”

Felix glanced up. “... You kind of make it sound like a love confession of sorts,” he murmured.

Sylvain paused. “... I guess it kind of is.” Sylvain had never really considered it, but now that he thought about it, it just felt… right. He smiled and kissed Felix’s cheek. “I trust you with my life, and we are kind of close. Really close. I like being there for you.”

“But you can’t. We can’t,” Felix said. His voice was sad and tired, and Sylvain wondered how long ago he’d come to that conclusion. “We have to have wives. Have kids. All of that.”

Sylvain growled under his breath at the reminder. Then he took a deep breath. “I don’t care. We can just… be together, in whatever way we can, for as long as we can.”

Felix snorted. “Maybe I should have worn a dancer’s outfit earlier,” he said wryly.

“Heh, it’s not about the outfit. It’s about you in that outfit. About how beautiful you looked and how hard you were working. And I can’t wait to see you dance for everyone. And I’ll give you as many massages as you need to help keep you from getting sore.”

“Hmph. My body isn’t as sore, but my ass definitely is.” Felix looked up at him, smirking a little. “You try to help, but you always flub it up somehow.”

Sylvain pouted. “I’m hurt, Felix. Why are you so soft and so mean at the same time?”

Felix chuckled softly, closing his eyes and leaning close. “Sylvain… Just go to sleep.”

Sylvain found himself smiling in spite of himself. Felix really was cute. How had he never noticed? Or maybe it wasn’t that he hadn’t noticed, but that he’d never thought much about why he found Felix so adorable. He ran his hand over Felix’s skin, smiling at how soft it was. It was such a contrast to the rough calluses of his hands from the years upon years of sword practice.

Sylvain drank Felix in, just soaking in the feelings that had come to the surface. It was far different than anything he felt for anyone else, and maybe that was why he’d missed it for so long. To think that maybe his feelings for his best friend, the man he was closer to than anyone else, might not be strictly platonic was almost baffling, and yet at the same time it made perfect sense.

“Felix? Are you still awake?” Sylvain asked softly, not wanting to wake him if he really had fallen asleep.

“A bit,” Felix said with a sigh. He peeked an eye open. “Why?”

“That promise we made as kids… And I want to keep it. I want to live my life with you, to stay by your side, until the day we die. I never realized how much I really wanted that, and why.” He kissed Felix’s nose. “We’ll figure it out.”

Felix’s cheeks grew a soft red. “... I believe you. Honestly, I think you’ll have more trouble with your dad than I will with mine…”

Sylvain winced. “Yea, let’s just uh, let’s go to sleep.” He nuzzled in and closed his own eyes.

Felix chuckled and pulled a blanket over them, finally, before yawning and dozing off. Sylvain settled in with a soft sound of content. He hoped he was right about all this. Because right now, nothing in this world sounded better than the idea of spending all his time with Felix.