Hubert was refusing to sleep.
Ferdinand had gone to bed some time ago, which he was glad for. The other man had been running himself ragged ever since the end of the war, going all over the country to soothe the people and help keep the peace. Hubert had been doing much of the same but he had the blessings of not having to deal with people.
While Ferdinand was a natural at speaking with others he was straining underneath all the socializing. Edelgard had suggested to Hubert that he take Ferdinand out for a ‘stroll’ in the woods to calm him.
Of course it would rain.
Of course there would be a convenient cabin with only one bed that could shelter them for the night.
Hubert pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, Dammit Edelgard. She had taken it upon herself to get involved in his love life. While he could appreciate the concern, he wasn’t very fond of the whole meddling bit.
He looked over at the open doorway and got up.
It wouldn’t hurt to check on Ferdinand.
Walking carefully so the floor wouldn’t creak, he stepped into the room and smiled at the sight.
Ferdinand was splayed on the bed, long orange hair fanning out beneath him like a halo. One of his arms was resting on his bare chest, twitching occasionally. What really struck Hubert was Ferdinand’s face. The worry lines that had been gathering over the past few months were smoothed out, no stress about future deadlines plaguing his expression.
It reminded him so much of the old Ferdinand that his heart ached.
Ferdinand was tired nowadays. He still retained some of his youthful optimism but it was dull, darker. His outlook wasn’t as positive, wasn’t as cheery. The bright comments he made were tinted with more realism instead of optimism. Hubert had hoped the shadow over his friend would lift with the end of the war, but with him still helping with Fódlan’s reconstruction it seemed to be growing darker.
That was originally why he had accepted Edelgard’s proposition of a brief respite. It was obviously a trap but he was more concerned with Ferdinand’s well being then Edelgard’s scheming in his affairs.
Unable to help himself, he reaches a hand out and touches Ferdinand’s cheek, relishing in the warmth he feels. Ferdinand leans into the touch, letting out a soft sigh in his sleep.
Hubert chuckles and brushes the hair out of Ferdinand’s face. The light Ferdinand had lit is weak, but it paints his tan skin a pretty red, dark freckles standing out in the ruby hue.
Hubert is not a religious man. None of them are, seeing as they systematically dismantled and destroyed the church. But he could admit that Ferdinand was ethereal in the soft candlelight.
As he is admiring the younger man, amber eyes open and blearily look up at him. Hubert startles but lets his hand fall slowly.
“Hubert…” Ferdinand huffs out, voice low from sleep. “Are you tired?”
“You need not worry about me.” He says, heart flopping in his chest. “You need rest far more than I.”
“Nonsense.” Ferdinand scoots over in the bed and pats the now open area. “My apologies. I didn’t…” He trails off in a yawn. “I didn’t mean to take up all the space.”
“Are you sure?” Hubert asks even as he gets into the bed. “I do not mind staying up.”
“There is a perfectly good bed.” Ferdinand scoffs at him before turning to where his back faces Hubert. “Please. I can think of much worse things than sharing a bed with you.”
Hubert’s face warms at the words and he is grateful that the other man is turned away from him. He lays on his back and contemplates his actions. There is little room on the bed for two fully grown men, all he really had to do was mirror Ferdinand and lay on his side, but he knows he won’t be happy.
Laying so close to Ferdinand, he realizes Edelgard was right when she told him that he was foolish for waiting so long. She had gifted him with a perfect opportunity. They were alone and away from prying eyes at the Palace.
In a rare impulsive action he turns and spoons Ferdinand, arm on his waist and hand resting on his stomach.
“Hubert?” Ferdinand sounds more awake now.
“I…” Words escape him and so he pulls Ferdinand back against his chest, hooking his chin over his shoulder. “Do you want me to stop?”
“No.” Ferdinand’s voice is quiet. “On the contrary, I would like it if you continued.”
He huffs out a laugh and clutches Ferdinand closer to him, pressing a kiss to his shoulder. “Then I will continue.”
“Is this why you asked me out here today?”
“No. I must give the credit to Lady Edelgard. She planned this.”
Ferdinand hums and entwined fingers with the hand Hubert had on his stomach. “Still, you made a move.”
“I am tired of waiting.” Their legs tangle together under the covers. “I have loved you for a very long time, Ferdie.”
“I was tired of waiting too.” Ferdinand offers, voice turning shy. Hubert feels the skin beneath his cheek heat up. “I cannot say how glad I am you said something. I was too scared. I feared what you might say in response.”
“Yes, I see how I would be terrifying to confess to.” Huberts laughs, feeling lighter than he had in years. “Ferdinand, would you turn around, please?”
Ferdinand twists in his arms, the shuffling causing the frizzy red hair to cover his face once more. Hubert reaches a hand up and strokes it back, reveling in the silky feel that he gets to touch.
“Hubert?” Ferdinand's breath ghosts across his face, smelling faintly like the tea he drinks so often.
The red light from the candle still causes Ferdinand to glow beautifully. Hubert cannot resist kissing him any longer, not after he has longed to do so for years.
It starts slow, gentle as they learn how the other tastes. Ferdinand, Hubert discovers, is very responsive. His hands come and tangle in Hubert’s short hair, flexing every so often. Hubert’s hands lie elsewhere. One is still on Ferdinand’s waist, holding it tightly. The other one is carefully cupping Ferdinand’s cheek.
Hubert eventually coaxes Ferdinand into his lap, both of them sitting up. Orange hair tickles his skin and it is everything he had ever dreamed of. Needing to touch it again, he moves his hands up to tangle in the long locks, enjoying the quiet sounds Ferdinand makes into his mouth.
“Hubert.” Ferdinand pulls back, pupils wide. “I love you.”
Smiling up at the beautiful, beautiful man above him, he responds. “I love you too.”
Ferdinand’s hands move to rest on his shoulders, knees on both sides of Hubert's hips.
Now that the words have been said, Hubert cannot stop them. “I love you, Ferdinand.” He kisses Ferdinand's neck. “I love you.” He grabs a hand and kisses the palm. “I love you. I love you so much that it makes my heart ache.”
“I feel the same.” His lovely Ferdie says to him, eyes suspiciously wet “These past months of me running around, being away from you, they hurt. All I wanted was to be by your side, like this. Goddess, I love you.”
“My love, are you crying?” He runs his hands up and down Ferdinand’s sides. “And you are shaking. What is wrong?”
“I’m sorry.” Ferdinand's breath hitches and it pains Hubert to hear him cry. “I just-- I’m a tad overwhelmed. I’m sorry. I never would have imagined that you felt the same way.”
Hubert kisses the tears away, hopelessly in love with the strong, compassionate man before him. “How could I not? You are stunning. Exhilarating.Radiant.”
“Please, do not say anything so fantastic. I am having trouble composing myself.” More tears fall from his beloved eyes.
“It has been so long since I’ve seen you this open with your emotions,” Hubert tells him. “I was worried for you. You were becoming more closed off. This is a welcome change.”
“All I needed was you back in my life.” Ferdinand’s voice is vulnerable and fragile, something Hubert would never have got to hear before. He falls a little more in love if it were possible. “You are all that I ever needed to be happy.”
“Then you shall have me, Ferdie. Forever.” He settles down onto the pillows slowly, Ferdinand moving to lay beside him again, this time resting his head on Hubert’s chest, snug underneath his chin. Hubert strokes orange hair and reaches over to snuff out the candle, plunging the room into darkness. Ferdinand is still crying, he feels the tears on his chest and keeps making soothing motions over the long hair, hoping to calm him down.
“When we go back to the Palace, I’m going to ask Lady Edelgard for leave.” Hubert whispers. “We could both use a break.”
There’s a wet laugh. “Goodness, that is a wonderful idea. You think she’ll approve?”
“I think she may hug me in relief if I’m perfectly honest.”
“ I will hug you in relief, dear Hubert.”
“Then I suppose I have nothing to lose.”
“No.” Ferdinand’s breathing deepens as he drifts off to sleep, drawing nonsensical designs onto Hubert’s chest sleepily. “Nothing to lose.”
“Sleep, dear one.”
They both drift off to sleep.
The next day when Hubert asks Edelgard for 2 weeks off, she does hug him. Then she hugs Ferdinand and tells him to get some sleep.
She also keeps asking Hubert for details on their relationship.
Life is good.