If you asked Ferdinand how he and Hubert finally became friends, he honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you. All he does know is that now that he has Hubert’s friendship, he’s not entirely sure how he lived his life without it.
Not to say that he’s dependent on it, just that it’s nice.
Much nicer than arguing with the man over everything, anyway.
Well, they still argue sometimes but Ferdinand was willing to bet Hubert liked pissing him off. It seemed like a Hubert thing to do, and Ferdinand was slowly becoming a self-proclaimed expert on all things Hubert.
This was possible because they spent a lot of their time together. It was inevitable, being two of Edelgard’s advisors. Even before their newfound friendship they were around each other quite a bit, the difference was that any time they talked it was full of insults and rising tempers.
Actually, they still insulted each other. The intent changed from being mean to… Ferdinand wasn’t sure what their purpose was anymore, only that they still happened.
Maybe it was best to say they had a unique relationship and leave it at that.
“I found a blend of coffee you haven’t tried yet. Perhaps your noble palette will finally be able to stomach it.”
“I doubt it. I don’t understand how you drink that dreadful sludge.”
“You are not willing to even try it?” Hubert's voice tilts in that way it always does when he’s aiming to get Ferdinand to do something. It has a success rate of around 100% so Hubert won’t be stopping that anytime soon. “How unfortunate. And here I thought you willing to try new things.”
He’s a bastard like that.
“Flames, I’ll try your coffee. Just stop.” He takes a careful sip, eyebrows raising when he doesn’t hate the flavor. Hubert gives him a smug look from across the table, head resting on his interlaced fingers. Ferdinand glares at him from over the rim of his cup, delicately setting it down.
Hubert doesn’t say anything, his awful smug smile only grows. Ferdinand equally loves it and hates it (but that sums up his feelings for Hubert in general.)
Hubert doesn’t stop.
Hubert looks down at the coffee and back up at Ferdinand meaningfully.
“You are insufferable. An irritating spider who survives off caffeine and forcing sane people to enjoy your fiendish drink.”
“Mm.” Hubert hums. “Tell me, did you like it?”
Ferdinand taps his fingers on the table with a little more force than necessary. Then he takes another sip, mildly upset that he enjoys it.
Hubert laughs, “I thought so.”
“You are going to be unbearable now that you’ve found a coffee I will drink, aren’t you?” Ferdinand is dreading the future.
Hubert looks as delighted as Hubert can look. “As unbearable as you are, no doubt.”
“You are an evil man. Despicable. I hate you.”
“But you don’t hate the coffee.”
Ferdinand is a good man, but he has limits. He is seriously considering just chucking the drink at Hubert. “No.”
“Considering you still have yet to find a tea that I will tolerate, I think you will agree that coffee is superior.”
Ferdinand is reevaluating the perks of Hubert’s friendship.
“Have I mentioned I hate you yet?”
“Do it again.” Hubert leans forward a little bit. “I think I like it.”
“I hate you. So, so much.” He takes another drink of the coffee. “Ugh. I can’t believe this.”
“I can.” Hubert then takes a box out of...somewhere. Ferdinand doesn’t want to know how many hidden pockets he has. “If it makes you feel any better, I got you some of your favorite tea.”
“I didn’t get you anything.”
“I knew you would be fussy when you actually enjoyed the coffee. This is to buy your forgiveness.” Hubert hands it to him, hands lingering a little. “Did it work?”
“I’m going to ignore you calling me fussy and accept your gift.” He smiles at Hubert. “Thank you.”
Hubert’s face loses some of the smugness and the smile he gets is smaller, hard edges becoming softer. “Of course.”
Ferdinand walks into the meeting room with Dorothea, ready to go sit down when Hubert waves him over.
“Did you need something?”
“Sit here.” Hubert pulls out the chair next to where he sits.
Ferdinand looks back at Dorothea but she’s already distracted by Petra. Wonderful. “Alright?”
Hubert seems satisfied by this response because he sits down and begins looking over his papers, leaving Ferdinand without a clear answer as to why Hubert felt it necessary for him to change seats.
“Why am I sitting here?”
“Because that’s where you sat down.” There are times when Ferdinand wants to strangle Hubert. This is one of them.
“I sat here because you told me to.”
“Yes.” It would be so easy. He’s sitting right next to him, all he would have to do is lean over and choke him out.
Being around Hubert this much is giving him homicidal tendencies. Ferdinand can acknowledge that this may not be a good thing so he restrains himself. Which is remarkable considering just how much Hubert-ness Hubert has. He sighs. “Why did you ask me to sit next to you?”
“Perhaps I merely longed for your company,” Hubert says. “Or I’m waiting for the perfect chance to kill you. Take your pick.”
“Can I convince you not to kill me?” Ferdinand asks. Hubert gives him one of his creepy smiles that Ferdinand hates. “Well, it was worth a try.”
Edelgard comes in with Byleth and she looks pleasantly surprised by Ferdinand's new seat. It must be a marked improvement from them sitting as far away from each other as possible and still managing to be mad at the other for merely existing.
“Ferdinand, new seat?” Edelgard asks.
“He made me sit here.” He replies. “He also admitted to a nefarious plot to assassinate me. I trust you will act accordingly when news of my death reaches you.”
“You will be missed,” Byleth says solemnly before handing him some flowers. “For your funeral.”
Ferdinand accepts them with all the dignity a noble can have. “Thank you, Professor. I’m glad to know my absence will be noticed.”
“It will be more than noticed.” Hubert says like he’ll be innocent in Ferdinand’s demise.
“You’re the one murdering me, you don’t get to complain,” Ferdinand tells him.
“I’m not murdering you.” Hubert says, “All I wanted was your company. All the plotting was done by you and your overactive imagination.”
“Good. I need Ferdinand.” Ferdinand perks up a bit at Edelgard’s words. “And Hubert would mope if you died.”
“Hubert? Mope?” He imagines a snake curled up sadly in a darkly lit room. “That’s funny.”
“I would be beside myself with grief.” Ferdinand isn’t quite sure how to respond to that so he’s glad when Edelgard begins the meeting.
Sitting next to Hubert doesn’t turn out how he expected. That is to say, he expected him to be completely silent and to diligently take notes during the whole thing. He did, but he’d also make little comments to Ferdinand, some jokes and some serious, or he’d add his own notes to Ferdinand’s notes, pointing things out that Ferdinand may have missed during his writing or asking for Ferdinand to elaborate on some of his own points.
It was nice.
“Will I have to ask you to sit here every time or can you do that on your own?” Hubert asks him afterward.
“I sit wherever I please.” He pauses. “I will sit here.”
“Good boy,” Hubert says then has the gall to pat Ferdinand’s head. It feels nice, but it’s the principle of the thing.
“I take it back. I’m going back to my old seat. Surely Dorothea misses me.”
“And go back on a promise?” Hubert drawls. “What has gotten into nobleman Ferdinand von Aegir today?”
He has said it many times, but sometimes he really hates Hubert. “I hate you.”
“I thought you two were getting along?” Edelgard looks concerned while Byleth looks faintly amused.
“This is how we get along.” Her and Hubert share a look that Ferdinand has no hope of trying to interpret. It’s like they have telepathy or something. For all he knows they do.
“It’s not what I expected. Hubert assured me you two were…” She struggles to find the words. “...Friends.”
“We are like two halves.” He agrees. “It just so happens I’m the better half. Ask Hubert.”
Hubert shrugs but doesn’t outright deny it, so Ferdinand will take that as a win.
Edelgard still looks confused by their dynamic. Ferdinand doesn’t know what Hubert told her it was like, but it obviously wasn’t enough to prepare her.
“What did you tell her we were like?”
“I don’t have to answer you.” Hubert replies.
“Should have expected that.” Hubert can be a real difficult bastard sometimes. “And yet I still had hope.”
“Perhaps I’ll answer you later.”
“I won’t.” Hubert agrees. “But I could.”
“The two of you are…” Edelgard still seems lost. Then she looks at Hubert. He stares back. Her eyebrows raise a little and his lips twitch. Her head tilts and Hubert tilts his back. Then they nod at each other like they’ve reached an agreement. “As long as you like each other now, I guess I don’t need to question it.”
“Oh, I like him.” Hubert then grabs his arm and pulls it into the crook of his elbow. “Let’s go.”
“Bye Edelgard, bye Professor.” He says as he’s dragged out. “If you don’t see me tomorrow, search for my body.”
They say something in response but he isn’t able to hear it.
There is a brisk knocking at his door and he automatically knows it’s Hubert. He opens the door and sure enough, it’s Hubert.
“Do you need anything?”
Hubert’s face softens from its usual strictness. “Did you just wake up?”
“Maybe.” Ferdinand squints his eyes. “Why?”
Hubert seems oddly delighted. It’s a good look on him, one that does funny things to Ferdinand’s poor heart. “You have bed head.”
Ferdinand feels his face burst into flame and his hands go up to his hair, frantically trying to fix it. Hands gently touch his and stop his panicked movements. Ferdinand glares up at Hubert through strands of his hair. “What now?”
“It’s...cute.” It sounds a little stilted coming out of Hubert’s mouth, but it’s just part of the charm if you ask Ferdinand. “You’re always so put together. Seeing you so disheveled is…nice.”
“Careful Hubert. It sounds like you’re complimenting me.” Indeed, his heart is beating embarrassingly fast. He might faint. “I might faint.”
“I’ll catch you,” Hubert replies like it’s no problem. “Please, I would even enjoy it.”
His face heats up even more. “You’re evil.”
“Is it evil to want to hold you?” Flames, Hubert and his teasing. Ferdinand can only handle so much, and this goes way beyond what he can. “It seems entirely innocent to me.”
“Innocent for other people. But you’re Hubert.”
“I am,” Hubert says it like you would say it to a little kid who got an answer right. “How kind of you to notice.”
“I always notice you, Hubert.” As soon as he says it he regrets it. Flames, this morning may be the worst morning he has ever had to suffer through.
Hubert, the bastard, only smiles a little wider at his words. “I always notice you, Ferdinand. Especially when you look like this.” Then Hubert’s eyes go into Ferdinand's room and his eyebrows go up a little. “Your room is a mess.”
“I--” He steps outside and closes the door, arms crossing. “No, it’s not.”
“I already saw.” Ferdinand doesn’t think he’s ever seen Hubert quite so happy. “First I get to see you with bed head and then I discover you have a cluttered room? What other secrets will I find out about you, I wonder?”
“Nothing! There’s nothing else to discover about me!” Ferdinand is ready to melt into the ground. “Surely you are here for another reason other than teasing?”
“Teasing?” Hubert ignores his question. “Is that what you call it?”
“Why are you here?” He tries again.
“I wasn’t aware I was teasing you. I thought it was something else entirely.”
Sensing he will have to take a different approach, he takes the bait. “Then what are you doing, Hubert?”
“If you haven’t figured it out yet, you're a dense idiot,” Hubert tells him.
“Oh, so you came to insult me?” Ferdinand doesn’t know why he expected to gain anything from this encounter.
“I distinctly remember calling you cute, but if that’s what you wish to believe I can’t change your mind.”
All he wanted was a peaceful morning. “I’m going to ask one more time, why are you here?”
“I was going to ask you what you were doing today, but it seems I underestimated how tired you were,” Hubert says. “I’ll let you get back to sleep.”
“How generous of you, letting me do what I want on my day off. Truly, your kindness knows no bounds.”
“I’m glad you realized it’s one of my finer qualities.”
Ferdinand runs his hands through his hair and out of his face before turning around and opening his door.
“I don’t know if you realize it,” Hubert’s tone conveys perfectly well that while Ferdinand will loathe what he is about to say, Hubert will enjoy it immensely. “But you aren’t wearing a shirt.” Hubert says from behind him.
Ferdinand chokes and slams the door shut, resting his forehead on the door and trying to will his heart to still. He can hear Hubert’s chuckles on the other side.
“You couldn’t tell me that earlier!?”
“Why would I?” Hubert says once he’s finishing laughing. “I enjoyed the view.”
“When did you and Hubie get together?” Dorothea asks him right as he takes a bit of his breakfast. He promptly chokes.
“You and Hubert.” She repeats, eyes gleaming as she leans towards him. “How did it happen? Was it romantic? Who confessed first?”
“I--! We’re not together!” He takes a sip of water to try and cool off. “Have you gone mad? Hubert doesn’t feel that way about me.”
The look she gives him makes him feel like an idiot. “You’re joking.”
“I don’t see what’s funny.”
She’s about to say something when her eyes light up and she smiles. “Hubie! Come join us!”
Ferdinand feels like a tactical retreat is his best option, but Dorothea’s hand clamps down on his arm and he is terrified of losing a limb. Hubert sits down on his other side, so really his fate is sealed.
“Are you alright?” Hubert asks him.
“We were just talking about you, Hubie!” He thought him and Dorothea were friends, but it’s obvious to him that she still hates him from this one interaction. “Like how the two of you apparently aren’t together yet!”
Ferdinand wants to die.
“Believe me, I’ve been trying to change that.”
What. Ferdinand’s brain struggles to process that. “Excuse me?”
“I’ve been flirting with you for months,” Hubert says as if he didn’t rip the floor from under Ferdinand. “You’re incredibly oblivious.”
Ferdinand's mouth opens and closes uselessly.
“It’s one of his worst traits, I think,” Dorothea says easily, grip loosening on Ferdinand now that he won’t run away.
Ferdinand turns and puts a hand on Hubert’s shoulder. Hubert looks down at him. “I--” Ferdinand licks his lips. “I’m going to faint.”
And then he’s out.
When he wakes up, he’s in a room that is not his.
“Oh good, I thought maybe you died.” Hubert’s dry voice says. “I’m grateful my confession didn’t send you to an early grave.”
“Am I in your room?”
“Yes. I feared tripping if I went into yours.”
“Haha. You are hilarious.”
“I know.” Hubert is silent for a moment before sitting on the bed next to him. “I don’t want to assume how you feel, but am I right in saying you are of the same mind?”
“Are you asking if I love you?”
Hubert’s lips curl into a smile. “Yes.”
“I do. I also hate you, just so you know.”
“I knew that already. You tell me about 5 times a day.”
“Make it 6. I hate you.”
“I love you.”
Ferdinand feels his face do a funny thing. “I love you too.”
He sits up in bed only for Hubert to put his hands on his shoulder and press him back down. “Hubert?”
“Forgive me, but I watched you faint. Rest for a little while longer, please.”
Hubert’s concern, while unnecessary, is touching. “If it will make you feel better.”
“It would.” Hubert pauses and then he leans in a little closer. “May I kiss you or can your heart not handle that?”
“We can find out.” Ferdinand offers. The laugh Hubert lets out fans across his face. A gloved hand cups his cheek and then Hubert’s chapped lips are against his, moving gently. Ferdinand sighs into it and wraps his arms around Hubert’s neck, enjoying it.
It’s later when they’re both settled in bed that Hubert speaks up.
“I can’t believe you didn’t notice. I called you cute, Ferdie.”
“I thought you were teasing me!”
“I was also flirting. I called you cute.”
“You’re such an idiot.”
“I’m your idiot.”