Tomorrow, they left for Enbarr.
There was an odd feeling in the air at the monastery. Byleth had insisted they all eat together, and while she insisted that this wasn’t going to be their last time together, there was still that finality hanging in the air. This was all coming to an end, one way or the other. They had secured the numbers, but Felix still wasn’t feeling confident about the outcome of the battle. He also wasn’t feeling confident about what might come after. Sylvain shared his uncertainty, although he was much more confident about their leadership and their prowess, his lack of confidence was directed inward.
Everything they had been preparing for and everything they had worked towards in the last five years was coming to a climax.
But what about the things they hadn’t prepared for?
They were alone now, in Sylvain’s old dorm room. They had all been offered proper sized rooms in the monastery itself, now that there was a vacancy of monks and nuns, but it left the second-floor dorms empty. It was perfect for sneaking around, even though he was sure everyone knew about them already. Sylvain was anything but subtle, and the way he viciously protected Felix on the battlefield, combined with the soft looks he passed him over the dinner table, was enough to clue anyone in on the true nature of their relationship. Sylvain’s fingers were in his hair, gently twirling the dark strands around his finger. There was a strange lightness in his chest that he knew shouldn’t be there, considering they might die tomorrow. He felt sleepy, snuggled against Sylvain’s chest, his heartbeat a consistent drum. Somewhere in the monastery, he imagined couples seeking solace in each other and couldn’t help but wonder if Dimitri had made his move on their professor yet. Now was the chance, after all.
When he thought of the others, though, he couldn’t help but take amusement in the fact that he and Sylvain were merely tangled together, fully clothed, content with one another’s presence. They had not reached desperation yet, and that gave him hope. Felix lifted a hand to Sylvain’s chest, finger tracing patterns along his breastbone. He received a pleased rumble in response.
He had never planned to fall for Sylvain this way. Five years ago, he never would have believed they’d be friends, let alone lovers. Yet they had fallen for one another hard; a friendship sparked, a relationship ignited. Their relationship had been tense during the war, the distance and weight of their noble duties straining them. Byleth’s return brought them back together, solidified it for them. Felix knew he was going to have to thank her for it someday, but it was a debt he was never going to be able to repay. He owed her too much to keep track of, from Sylvain to Dimitri to everything in between.
Reluctantly, he brought himself into a sitting position. Sylvain made another noise, something between a whine and a growl, and rolled over to face him. Oh fuck, the puppy-dog look Felix was given melted his heart. Clearly, he didn’t want the cuddling to end. He felt himself smiling softly, reaching for Sylvain’s hand and twining their fingers together. “What are you going to do when this is over?” Felix asked him. They had talked about it a thousand times, but it had always been in hypotheticals. They had never thought the war was actually going to turn in their favor, with the Alliance on their side and the Kingdom back in line.
“Marry you,” Sylvain replied with a yawn. So nonchalant. It was like stating that the sky was blue.
Felix felt his heart drop. “I’m being serious.”
“So am I.” He sat up and kissed him, squeezing Felix’s hand in his own. “You know I can’t live without you, right? When I think about my future… there’s not one where you aren’t in it.” His words were soft, pressed centimeters away from his lips.
Felix was still reeling from this admission. “We can’t, you fool. What would your father say?”
Sylvain leered, his distaste for his father evident in the curl of his lip. He hated the Margrave as well, but he was an inevitability. They were bred to be heirs. “What’s he gonna do, disown his only son?” He rolled his eyes. “I’m untouchable.” He paused, a hand brushing Felix’s throat, tilting his chin up just a bit more so they could share another chaste kiss. “Besides, I’d give it up for you anyway.”
“Would you?” he asked in disbelief. He didn’t distrust Sylvain’s devotion to him by any means; he was fierce in every sense of the word, from the way he defended to the way he loved. Ever since they chose to be together, he had been nothing but faithful and dutiful. In all sense of the word, they were two halves of a whole.
He didn’t even hesitate. “This crest… it was a life I never wanted. I don’t want to be the next Margrave when I could have you instead. You think I’d be happy settling down with some maiden and having a legion of children, desperately trying to carry out my bloodline? You know I think that crests are a curse. Maybe I want to rebel by not carrying it on.”
Felix’s eyes fluttered. He had never imagined himself having kids, but he could see Sylvain being happy with them, and he could see him being happy with a wife. Did that thought sting? Sure. He was ripe with jealousy from the mere concept of someone touching him intimately. He deserved normalcy after all of this.
What was that saying? If you love something, let it go?
This was an impossible conversation. In his heart, he doubted he could ever make Sylvain truly happy, no matter what the man sad. Sylvain was in love with a version of him that Felix wasn’t sure existed anymore. The war had destroyed them. Felix had become a walking weapon, blinded by duty. He didn’t know how to be gentle, how to be caring. Some days, he didn’t even feel like a person—and on those days, he felt much too close to Dimitri. What if he forgot completely? It wasn’t Sylvain’s duty to pick up his pieces or hold him together. He could never ask that of him. There was so much blood on his hands. There was no way Sylvain could want to hold them. In that same breath, that man was the only person who could remind him of his humanity. He held him at night, whispered promises of a brighter future together. What did Felix have to hold on to beside that? “How can you be sure?” Felix asked, voice cracking. He realized there were tears stinging his eyes. Sylvain’s fingers were there in an instant, gently swiping away those that escaped. “I don’t deserve it—I don’t deserve you.”
“No, baby, you can’t think that,” Sylvain said quickly. “I’m sure because… you are the first and last thing I think of before I fall asleep. You put the stars in my sky. You bring me peace and give me a reason to get up in the morning.” His voice was so soft, so tender. Felix turned his head slightly to kiss his palm. “I’ve only ever been in love with you, you know. I realized it when you kissed me for the first time. All those girls… distractions.” He couldn’t help but laugh. That was a lifetime ago. “You’re it, Felix. My end all be all. I’d wait forever for you.” He paused, his voice going softer still. He was nearly whispering when he asked, pleaded, “But please don’t make me.” Sylvain kissed his cheek. His hand disappeared, fumbling for a moment.
Felix knew what was coming, but he wasn’t prepared for it anyway. He heard the pop of a box. His eyes closed again.
“How long have you had that?” Felix teased, lip quirking into a smirk. He couldn’t look yet, though.
Sylvain laughed. “Do you really want to know the answer?”
Gods. “No.” He’s absolutely had it since graduation.
“Are you going to look?”
Felix hummed. Fuck. There were tears again. He sniffled miserably. This was too much emotion. “No.” A laugh bubbled in his throat. “So, are you going to be Sylvain Fraldarius?” Fuck.
“Gautier-Fraldarius, perhaps,” Sylvain mused. Felix could hear the smile in his voice. Sylvain reached for his hand, slipping the ring onto his finger.
“Are you sure this is what you want?”
“Felix, will you just fucking marry me already?”
He opened his eyes, let himself look down at the ring on his finger. It was stunning. Felix didn’t reply, merely pulled Sylvain into a hard kiss. Their teeth clattered against each other, lips bruising from the contact. He straddled his beloved, continuing to kiss him until they were both horizontal, unabashedly making out on the bed like they were teenagers again. Felix kissed his cheek, his forehead. “I love you with every fiber of my being.”
“Do you think Byleth will officiate?” Sylvain teased, kissing him again. His fingers wandered, fluttering down Felix’s sides, itching for his waistband.
“I think Ingrid should get the honor.”
“Please. She’s not holy enough.” He untucked Felix’s shirt, greedily seeking the skin underneath. Even after all this time, he shivered from the contact.
Their gazes met. “Mercedes,” they said, at the same time.
“You’re going to wear white,” Felix said, his lips moving down Sylvain’s jaw.
“I don’t think it’s my color.” He worked Felix’s belt now, deft fingers tugging at the leather. “Think Ingrid will be my best girl?”
“She’d hate you if you chose anyone else.” He leaned back, letting Sylvain tug his shirt off the rest of the way. His own fingers skimmed the other’s waist, tugging impatiently at drawstrings. “Ugh, that leaves me with Dimitri.”
Sylvain laughed. Felix nipped the underside of his jaw, which only caused him to laugh more. “I’m going to ride in on a horse.”
“You are not.”
“What about a miniature horse?”
“Still no.” He unbuttoned Sylvain’s shirt, exposing his chest. Felix continued in his path, kissing down. Sylvain’s fingers threaded through his hair. “How about a fall wedding?”
“Mm, I like the sound of that. Then we spend all winter keeping each other warm.”
Felix couldn’t imagine being out in the open with him, but he was excited for it. “Are you going to show me off, Sylvain? Hold me on your arm?”
“Oh baby, I’m going to host a parade through the streets.”
He sucked a mark into Sylvain’s collarbone. He didn’t have a ring for him yet, so he would still have to prove he belonged to him somehow. “I don’t trust you to write your own vows.”
“You’re not religious enough to stick to traditional ones!”
This level of happiness before a battle that literally determined their fates seemed ludicrous, but that did not stop them. “Oh, I didn’t say I couldn’t write my own vows.”
Sylvain arched his hips. “Sylvain Jose Gautier-Fraldarius, you made an okay opponent and bested me once or twice.” His tone changed to mimic Felix’s own flat intonation.
“And you’ll make an okay husband,” Felix finished for him.
“Oo, call me husband again,” Sylvain purred.
“How about I start with fiancé?”