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Fictober: Of Schemes and Madness, The Deer and The Lion

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               It was another late-night study session in the library, Claude and Dimitri both absorbed in their respective books, a comfortable silence between them.

               Dimitri finds himself glancing over at Claude when he lets out a loud yawn, stretching his arms above his head, almost resembling a cat, Dimitri notes with a small smile. As Claude returns to his book, Dimitri’s attention is drawn to his earring, glinting in the low light of the candles on their table. Before he can even consider his actions, he reaches over and gently touches the accessory.

               Immediately he realizes just what he’s done, Claude turning to look at him as he pulls his hand back, trying to appear lost in his book, praying Claude can’t notice the blush reaching his ears.

               "You know, if you wanted to touch, you could have asked." Claude chuckles and gives him a small wink, smiling at him as he leans over, running a finger over Dimitri's ear in return.

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               Thinking is pointless. Why bother thinking? Thinking means remembering glimpses of a past long gone. Nothing will bring it back, the smiles, the laughter, the peace. Too much was lost, family, friends, innocent lives. He couldn't do anything to help, to stop it, couldn’t save anyone.

               He can hear them, pleading for revenge, demanding vengeance. His father, his stepmother, Glenn. So he's decided, thinking is pointless. Instead, he'll grant their wishes and listen only to his anger. Numb to everything else. He'll be the mindless puppet of their rage, their grief, their vengeance. He'll bring them peace, even if it means becoming a beast.

               For him, there’s no point in thinking anymore.

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               This is officially, the last time Sylvain has any say in what they do after class. Let’s all visit the abandoned monastery. It’ll be fun, an adventure. We could take some girls too and huddle together when they get scared. Thankfully, Ingrid and Felix stopped him from trying to drag along some poor girl with them but still, they shouldn’t have come at all.

               That’s how he got into his current predicament, running for his life. Maybe this is why people avoid the place? Some dangerous animal lives here, given the large movement they spotted from the dark back at the bridge leading to the cathedral. Of course, Dimitri offered to draw the animal’s attention, of course he had to throw a rock at it, of course he’s been running for his life for the last few minutes as a result of his horrible plan.

               “Sylvain is going to owe me a lot for this.” He complains through heavy gasps for air, running as fast as his tired legs can handle. He wishes he had his phone on him, he could have used the flashlight to blind the animal or at least see where he was running. Curse his luck, dropping it back on the stairs.

               Inside he stops to catch his breath, holding his knees as he looks around for maybe something to throw, to create a diversion. He can hear it, making its way to him. They must be hunting.

               “Fuck.” He curses, he’s playing bait, but he really should have avoided the cathedral. Even he knows it’s a dead end, crumbling and a death trap just waiting for victims. Now he’s stuck here, a wild animal between him and the only way out.

               He stiffens when he hears its breathing already so close, rushing over to hide behind one of the pillars. The noises the animal makes as it moves, it sounds, unnatural. There’re no footsteps, only the sound of something dragging against the rough stone.

               Suddenly his blood runs cold as he feels something around his legs. His eyes shoot down, noticing a large mass of something alive coiling around him, trapping him to the pillar. Goddess, he’s gonna die here, this animal, this monster is going to kill him. The rise and fall of his chest quicken as a panic attack sets in.

               “H-Help me.” He whispers, pleads for someone to save him. For Felix to come racing up, angry and wielding a pipe, for his father, anyone!

               “Dima?” A voice he’s never heard before calls out from the darkness.

               “W-Who?” He asks between panicked breaths, looking up to come face to face with a pair of bright green eyes. The owner, clearly not human even in the limit light of the night sky, staring back at him expectantly.

               “Dima!” They smile, pulling him close as the flesh holding in place slackens, and he realizes it’s a part of them. Lower body like a snake, upper body like a human, he remembers seeing legends about such creatures in Ashe’s fairy tale books. “It’s me, Claude!” The beast is smiling at him, and he can’t help but wonder, what the fuck is going on?

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               “C-Curse this f-freezing hell!” Claude stutters, teeth clattering as he huddles under four or more fur blankets in front of a large fireplace. He came for a diplomatic visit from Almyra to Fódlan last week, arriving in Fhirdiad not even a few hours ago. He’s never been one for cold climates, and a blizzard hitting hours outside of the capital didn’t help his opinion of it.

               When he arrived, there was a panic over his condition, freezing almost literally and ready to pass out. Healers worked on him for over an hour, claiming he almost succumbed to an illness known as Frozen Heart Syndrome. He’d laugh at how ridiculous the name was if he didn’t feel completely numb from the chill.

               Dimitri ordered him taken to his guest room to recover with no interrupts. As always though, it was only a guise and he was brought to Dimitri’s room instead, covered in a mound of blankets and positioned in front of the fireplace, the only light in the room. Sylvain chuckled, telling him Dimitri will be joining him shortly.

               He pouts, not fond of being confined to bed during what limited time he has away from his duties in Almyra as King. Plus, he’s sure there’s people back in Almyra who’d have a laugh at the news of their King freezing in Faerghus.

               A shiver runs through his body when the door opens. He doesn’t turn to see who it is, knowing it’s Dimitri. Dedue and him exchange a few words before the door closes again.

               Claude mentally curses at how in his current state he doesn’t even have the energy turn and admire Dimitri in the soft light of the fire as he hears him walk over, removing his gauntlets and kneeling to check his forehead.

               “I-I’ll b-be fine.” Claude tries to assure him, only sounding like a shivering mess, becoming a painful coughing fit at the end. Dimitri grimaces as he rubs his back.

               “No, it’s not fine. Frozen Heart Syndrome is serious.”

               “R-Really? W-With a na-ame like-“ Before he can even finish his attempt at lightening the mood he’s coughing again.

               “It’s called that because the slowly the body freezes, and once the heart freezes...It’s deadly without proper treatment.”

               “H-How d-did I c-catch it?” Claude whimpers when he feels Dimitri pull away, already missing the additional heat. The sound of armour coming off tells him he’ll be back soon, and that’s the only reason he stops his complaining noises. When he feels the blankets moved, he tries to turn around to complain but is instantly silenced when he feels Dimitri’s arm wrap around him.

               “It’s rare for people born here to contract it, but more common for people not used to the cold. I should have known you’d be at risk.” Dimitri starts explaining. Claude hums faintly, relaxing a little as he leans back into the Fódlan King’s heat, happy when he feels the blankets returned to their original location around him. However, he doesn’t like how he can feel Dimitri’s arms slightly trembling as he holds him. “When…When you arrived, skin turning a sickly shade of blue by the minute and almost unconscious, it was clear you…you needed treatment immediately.”

               “B-But!” Claude didn’t think it was that bad.

               “The healers got to you in time, Mercedes said you’re limited to bed rest and keeping warm.”

               “I-Is c-cuddling i-included?”

               He’s able to get a small laugh out of Dimitri, though there’s little mirth in it. “Yes, it’s said body heat helps during the recovery. I’m taking time away from my duties to make sure you’re cared for.” He gives him a soft kiss, stroking Claude’s cheek as he starts lulling to sleep in Dimitri’s embrace.

               Moments later the Almyran King’s asleep, leaving Dimitri to hold him close by the fire. “Please, I don’t want to lose you too.” He whispers, hiding his head in Claude’s shoulder as a silent sob force itself from him.

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               All his life, Claude’s built walls around himself. He’s learned at a young age, if he doesn’t keep his heart and weaknesses protected behind this wall, then people will look down at him, mock him, hurt him. Many have tried to kill him, so he learned to hide behind a smile, scheming behind their backs to make them pay. It’s where his fascination for poisons came from.

               Since he arrived at the monastery, he’s been tightening his walls. He smiles, jokes, but deep down doesn’t want to let anyone closer then they are. They don’t treat him like those when he was younger, but he can’t risk it. Can’t risk letting them in. So, he continues to build his walls.

               And maybe, just maybe, one day someone will show him, he doesn’t need them anymore. He glances to those around him, taking notes and hopes, maybe eventually, he’ll be able to open to all of them, someday.

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               Claude wakes, smiling as he looks under him, Dimitri sleeping soundly as he lays on his chest. Staring at Fódlan’s King, he gives Dimitri a gentle kiss, glancing to the pillar behind the sleeping man’s head. Looks like it might have cracked a bit. He recalls their activities the night before with a grin, chuckling to himself.

               “So, you want me to tie you to the bed and have my way with you?” Claude laughed, sitting on Dimitri’s lap who is busy staring at him earnestly, face completely red.

               “Yes. I want you to…To tie me up, use me as you see fit.” Dimitri doesn’t break eye-contact with his lover, face heated as Claude shifts in his lap, drawing a soft gasp from his lips.

               “Hard already?” Claude fakes looking offended before he leans in and kisses Dimitri deeply, drawing a low moan from Dimitri as he grinds down on him. “Alright, let’s do it. I can’t wait to see you completely under my control.” He whispers in his ear, voice deep and husky to add to the mood.

                Dimitri nods, eager as he strips off his remaining cloths, glancing over as Claude does the same at a slower pace, giving his sultry looks ever now and then. Back on the bed, Claude grabs a sturdy rope and ties his hands to the pillar behind his head, making sure Dimitri is comfortable and secure.

               “Though I feel is things go wrong, the pillar’s more at risk.” Claude grins, sitting on Dimitri so his erect cock is barely touching his ass, as a means to tease him. Dimitri groans, watching as Claude lathers his fingers and starts fingering himself, mouth hanging open as he moans, low in his throat, starting at him with half-lidded eyes. The Almyran King can hear his lover give a low groan, enjoying his show, trying to keep himself controlled.

               “Good boy.” Claude smiles, moans getting louder as he stretches himself, his own cock leaking on Dimitri’s stomach. “Keep still and I’ll ride you as a reward.” He teases, Dimitri swallowing hard as lust fills his good eye, clenching his fists, the pillar creaking slightly in protest. Claude gives it only a passing glance as he leans down, hungerly kissing Dimitri, his free hand cupping his cheek.

               “C-Claude.” Dimitri let’s out a deep groan when he pulls away, followed by a louder one when he feels a slick hand on his cock and a devilish smile on Claude’s face as he starts to stroke him.

               “Yes? I need to make sure you’re slick enough for me.” He states, grabbing more oil to make sure Dimitri is well lubricated. Dimitri can’t help but watch him walk around, clearly swaying his ass on purpose.

               “P-Please.”

               “Begging already? Don’t worry, I won’t be delaying it any longer.” Claude coos at him after he’s confident they’re both prepared enough. He positions himself, making eye-contact with Dimitri as he slowly starts lowing himself on him. Dimitri tries to turn his head away, embarrassed and overwhelmed, only to have Claude hold his jaw firm. “No no, your Kingliness, you’re going to look me in the eye until I say you can look away.”

               The moan, almost a sob, that escapes Dimitri’s lips is obscene, sending a shiver down Claude’s spine. He continues to lower himself, agonizingly slowly, enjoying the sounds he’s drawing from his lover. Dimitri’s eye tearing up as he gasps when Claude finally sheaths himself.

               “Such a g-good boy.” Claude praises him, voice hitching a little. He’s more sensitive then he thought, must have been wanting to do this as much Dimitri. “I’m going to start moving, don’t look away or I’ll stop and won’t let you come, got it?” He smirks as Dimitri gives an obedient nod.

               He shifts his positioning slight, hands on Dimitri’s thighs as he starts to bounce on his cock, quickly picking up speed as he lets out a loud moan, mouth hanging slack as he starts finding himself lost in the feeling of Dimitri’s cock inside him. To his credit, Dimitri is trying so hard to keep his hips from thrusting up to meet his. He can feel how his body trembles under him.

               “D-Do you want y-your re..reward n-now?” Claude asks, his mind already falling into a haze, knowing it’ll just get better if Dimitri can give him his all.

               Dimitri takes a deep breath before answering him, voice almost a whisper. “Y-Yes.”

               Claude moves to untie him, whimpering when he feels Dimitri slip out of him, as he loosens the rope. Dimitri moves instantly, grasping his hips hard enough to bruise and slamming him back down on his cock. “Dima!” He shouts, a satisfied smile plastered on his face.

               Dimitri gives him no time to recover before he starts thrust into him at a rapid, harsh pace. Claude starts practically singing him praise before he moves down to kiss him hard, moaning into his mouth as Dimitri bites his lower lip, like a hungry beast.

               It only takes a few more moments before Dimitri bites Claude’s shoulder as he fills him with his heat. Claude’s got a big smile on his face as he strokes himself to completion as well, moaning as he feels Dimitri’s hand join his own, coming from the added warmth over their chest.

               “Th-That was…” Dimitri starts, finding it hard to put it all into words as Claude lays on his stomach.

               “Amazing? Yeah, it was.” He beams, kissing him as he pulls the blankets over them with a yawn, content to just take a moment to come back down before cleaning up.

               Claude chuckles, smiling as he nuzzles Dimitri’s neck, shivering when he remembers that Dimitri’s still inside him, as well as his seed. He should move, get up and clean up, but laying here, Dimitri sleeping peacefully underneath him, he doesn’t want to risk waking him.

               Eventually, Dimitri starts to stir, stretching his arms and wrapping them around Claude with a lazy grin on his face. “Morning.” With a low, husky voice Dimitri greets him, lazily kissing him as Claude feels like his heart could burst. If only every morning started like this.

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               “Are you really gonna make a love potion Claude?” Dimitri glanced over his shoulder when he heard Hilda’s voice from Claude’s room.

               “Not just any love potion, a Truthful Love Potion.”

               “Claude that name sounds so corny.”

               “It is very on the nose. The potion is said to make you confess your love to the person you truly desire until they accept or reject it.”

               “And just who do you plan to trick into drinking it?”

               “I was thinking trying to sneak it into Felix’s food.”

               Dimitri finds himself recalling the conversation he overheard last night when he passed Claude that afternoon, holding a satchel in his hand as he walked to the dining hall. It would be best to warn the rest of the Blue Lions, mainly Felix, that Claude might be looking for a new test subject for something he’s made.

               His attention is suddenly drawn back when he hears a loud thump and sudden running around. Rushing over to join the rest of the onlookers, he can see Claude on the ground in front of the entrance, contents of the satchel all over him and nursing a nasty hit to the head. Nearby Flayn is apologizing profusely about hitting him.

               “Flayn, it’s fine, it’s fine.”

               “Claude, were you intending to poison someone again?” Lorenz huffs, disapproval clear on his face as he stares at his house leader.

               “Oh, it wasn’t that bad, just a little love po-Achoo!” Claude tries to be play it off, but instead his sneezing makes the powder float above him, ending in his lungs, leading to more sneezing. “This…might be bad.”

               “Might be? You were trying to make someone drink a love potion!” Lorenz yells, informing everyone in the area, maybe even the whole monastery. A group of students position themselves closer, hoping it works like those stories about potions that make people fall in love with the first person they see.

               When Claude stands up, he starts dusting himself off. “This love potion will only make you admit your feelings to a person you already love.”

               “What does that mean for you Claude?”

               “I’d rather not think about it.” Claude mutters, a frown flashing on his face for barely a minute before he puts on his normal smile.

               Dimitri sighs, figuring it’s not worth staying around any longer, going to the training grounds like he originally planned to.

               The rest of the day he doesn’t hear any gossip about Claude admitting his feelings to any of the other students, wondering if that means it didn’t work. He shakes the thought from his mind numerous times, as well as the shameful feeling of relief he has. He’s thankful he wasn’t Claude’s victim. He couldn’t handle the thought of having his fellow house leader reject his feelings.

               Walking back to his room, he passes Claude’s door and finds him laying on the floor with a book on his face. He should leave him alone, he’s likely had a long day.

               “Claude? Are you alright?” He asks instead, surprised when Claude visibly jumps, book falling off his face and turns to Dimitri with an expression that looks like sheer terror, quickly shifting into a smile that makes him feel on edge.

               “Your Princeliness, what luck, I’ve got to talk to you about something.” He stands up, walking over to the worried prince.

               “You…You do?”

               “Yes.”

               “What is it?” He glances around. It’s late but thankfully there’s no one else in the corridor.

               “Dimitir,” Claude’s smiles, the most natural smile he’s ever seen from him before. “I love you.”

               He feels his heart jump into his chest. He loves him? There’s no way it’s true, but Claude is looking at him in that way and he remembers what he heard last night.

               “It is very on the nose. The potion is said to make you confess your love to the person you truly desire until they accept or reject it.”

               “Is this…Is this true?”

               “I have no choice.” Claude laughs, and Dimitri remembers the terrified look on his face when he called out to him moments ago. Goddess.

               “Claude…” He can see how stiff Claude looks, making eye-contact with him as if looking away physically hurts.

               “Claude, I…I…” Dimitri doesn’t know if he can say it. He suddenly wishes he was the one under the influence of the potion, then it would be so much easier. “I love you too.” The words fall from his lips, quiet but crystal clear.

               He can see tears start to form in the corner of Claude’s eyes as he takes a sharp breath, shaky hands reaching out to pull Dimitri into his room. He doesn’t resist, thankful when the door closes and it’s just them, Claude holding his close, muttering about how it all must be a dream as he hides his head in his shoulder.

               Dimitri reaches his hands up to rub his back, leaning his head onto Claude’s. He doesn’t know what will happen tomorrow, but he plans to remember this moment forever.

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               They should be celebrating; the Empire has fallen. And by a string of, if one could even consider it that, Edelgard is currently alive in the dungeon, the Professor and Seteth trying to get more information out of her and Hubert, about them.

               He should feel relieved, but he’s not. Not with what they’ve seen, not with Claude’s current condition. As if know he’s thinking of him, Claude groans from his bed in the infirmary, still asleep. He’s been out since they found him. Seeing him this weak has everyone on edge, especially those of the Golden Deer house.

               Everyone thought he died during the battle five years ago at Garreg Mach Monastery. He remembers seeing him fall and becoming another ghost that haunted him. This is what he believed, until after the battle at Gronder Field, where their army was approached by their former classmates from the Golden Deer house, claiming that Claude was still alive.

               And that’s blind faith has led them to here, Claude alive, just as they claimed, but it leaves a grime feeling in his stomach. The white color of his hair, white freckles dotting his dark skin, the scars on his skin, the lab they found him in.

               He’s lost in his thoughts when Hilda walks in, startling when he hears her speak. “Any change?”

               “No, he’s yet to wake up.”

               “It’s been weeks.” She sighs, moving to the other side of the bed, where the only other person in the room is asleep, holding Claude’s hand. “Of course, she fell asleep here. If…If he was awake, I’m sure he’d scold her for being like a kid, like he used to.” A sad smile graces her face as she tries to joke.

               Lysithea has been sticking beside Claude more then even him. Everyone knows why. She’s the reason they were able to get Edelgard to back down, who didn’t even know of Claude’s fate. When they finally found him, Edelgard looked ready to pass out, muttering under her breath about having to return to the place of her nightmares.

               Hilda leaves with Lysithea is her arms, commenting about how she needs to rest if she’s going to help the others find where Those Who Slither in the Dark are. He knows he should leave as well, but if there’s the chance Claude wakes up, he’d rather be present. Eventually he starts nodding off in his seat.

               “H-Hey.” He’s surprised when he hears a voice calling to him, waking him from the sleep he didn’t know he had fallen to. “Dimitri?” It’s so weak, clearly unused for a long time. Blinking his eyes to focus, he turns to see Claude staring at him, his once green eyes a pale red.

               “Claude?”

               “Mmm, yup, that’s my name.” Hearing Claude’s quiet voice unnerves him, even if he is thankful that he’s finally awake. “W-Where?”

               “The monastery. We found you deep in Enbarr.” Claude tries nodding to show he understands, but he winces instead at the small motion. “You were, goddess, we should have…”

               “Not your fault. They…they made sure I vanished.” Claude frowns. “I don’t…how long has it been?” A dry cough escapes his body, making him shudder in pain.

               “Claude, you need to rest.”

               “Rested long enough. How long? You look, so different.” Dimitri sighs, wondering if he should leave to get Marianne instead but Claude’s confused, and pleading expression keeps him seated.

               “Five years. A lot has…happened.”

               “Five years?” The shock on Claude’s face cuts through Dimitri. He tries to comfort him, reaching over to move his hair out of his face, his hand lingering over his jaw, staring at the white hair of his beard, a stark contrast to his skin. “I…I barely remember anything.” Claude whispers in distress.

               “Shhh, Claude it’s okay, you’re safe now.” Dimitri finds himself taking his hand, hoping to stop the panicked breathing that is slowly enveloping Claude. “You need to rest. I’ll get Marianne.”

               “No. Don’t leave me!” Claude whimpers, trying to tighten his grip but can’t muster the strength.

               “I won’t leave you.” Dimitri assures him, running his hand through his hair, heart thumping in his ears as Claude leans into his touch. He doesn’t stop himself as he moves closer, their foreheads touching together. “I promise. Everyone missed you so much.”

               The tears forming in Claude’s eyes break him as he clings to his sleeve. “Claude, I’m going to move you for a moment, if it hurts at all, tell me.” Dimitri waits for him to respond before he pulls away, removing his cloak and draping it over Claude. Claude’s eyes are on him as he scoops him up, wrapping him in his cloak and sheets as he pulls him close on his lap, hand finding its way back to his hair. “It’s going to be alright, I promise you.”

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               It’s been a month since Dimitri’s encounter with Claude at the ruined monastery. He remembers being released by the snake-man, racing off into the night. He had enough sense to grab his phone down the steps as he hightailed it out. When he told the others about what he saw, Sylvain laughed while Ingrid and Felix looked extremely concerned.

               Claude’s expression when he ran, sorrowful and lonely, has haunted his dreams seen then. So nearly a month later a Saturday afternoon, he’s decided to go back. Dedue and Ashe agreed to come along with him, both believing his tale. He knows Dedue is also concerned about visiting the ruins. Ashe, he’s more excited to meet a creature of fantasy. He’s even carrying one of his books.

               “Do you think we’ll see him?” Ashe asks, completely giddy at the prospect of meeting the naga, the type of creature he believes Claude is.

               “I hope so.” Dimitri sighs, walking into the main reception hall, confused over the condition of the building. It looks perfectly fine. Wasn’t it in ruins last time?

               “This place…” Dedue mentions, touching the intact stone work. “Why is it in good condition?” They’ve all been here before, though not for this long, it’s always been ruins since they were little.

               “That’s cause I made sure the magic barrier lets you in.” They hear a voice above them. Glancing up, they spot Claude’s tail first, swinging from the rafters as he lazily watches them. At this distance Dimitri can’t make out his expression.

               “C-Claude?” Curse his nerves, he was hoping to come off as composed this time.

               “Did you forget something Dima?” Claude asks, keeping his distance, tail wrapped around his upper body like a bed. It reminds him of those tree snakes Annette liked showing him photos of on her phone.

               “I…I wanted to apologize.”

               Claude laughs, shaking his head. “Why apologize for a natural response? I’m used to people running away from me. I do appreciate that you didn’t scream or throw something though.”

               “But…”

               He can still hear him chuckling, soon joined but the sound of beams creaking as Claude lowers himself, adjusting his body so he can swing from the beam while making eye-contact with them. Ashe is staring at him in wonder.

               “Oh, you brought Ashe and Dedue with you? I guess you’d all be together again, you Blue Lions.” Ashe seems to be bouncing on his feet, holding his book close. “Somethings never change.” Claude’s smile relaxes, reaching out to bop the boy’s nose.

               “I need to know, when you claim you know Dimitri, do you mean the Savior King?” Ashe holds up him book, the tale of The Savior King. Dimitri knows he was named after the king from the old stories, but he didn’t think anything of it.

               “Haha, I forgot they gave him that title.” Claude takes the book from him, a look of nostalgia on his face. “So, you know this story?”

               “It’s taught in our history class.” Dedue answers. Claude seems amused by this, lost in another memory.

               “Well does it mention those who aided the King, those of the Golden Deer?”

               “Vaguely. I’ve always wanted to know more but there’s nothing about them, other then the name they went by.” Dimitri knows this well, it’s said to be the biggest mystery of the war. The Golden Deer were supposedly valuable allies to King Dimitri, but no information remains about them.

               “He promised to do what he could to protect us. The Golden Deer, we consisted of creatures of legends, myths, all long lived and rare, rare enough to be at risk if too much information existed about them. I lead them by his side back then in the war against the Emperor.”

               Dimitri finds himself lost in thought as Ashe starts asking him question after question about what he experienced. He was there, during the war? But that was so long ago. How old is he? How long has he been here? How come no one knows about him?

               “Hello? Dima, you okay?” Claude’s voice breaks him from his thoughts and his voice catches in his throat. Claude’s face is inches away from his own, expression difficult to place. He almost seems to be staring through him, distant and sad.

               “A-Ah…Sorry.” Dimitri looks away, blushing slightly.

               “Have you been waiting here for him to come back? For the Savior King?” Ashe asks, smiling as Claude lets him hold the end of his tail.

               “I stay here because I made a promise.” Claude answers, eyes still glued on Dimitri. “To see him again, to see you again, Dimitri.”

               Dimitri didn’t sign up for being the reincarnation of the Savior King.

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               The last thing Claude sees as he falls is Dimitri, far away as he skewers an imperial soldier. He’s lost in the battle, noticing when it’s too late Claude falling to an arrow in his gut. For a moment his expression changes to grief, before rage takes over again. Claude swears he can hear his name on his lips, but everything turns black before he hits the ground.

               It’s been five weeks since they killed him. Brought him back with an ancient staff of some kind, all extra lengths to make sure no one looks for him. Those Who Slither in the Dark, he remembers them from Remire, Jeralt’s death. They want him for his crest, the only one left who carries it in Fódlan. He’s already made one escape attempt, only to get nearly killed with a Thoron hit. They’re keeping him in the dark, figuratively and literally. No one knows he’s alive, but he’s resourceful, eventually he’ll escape, he can’t depend on the others to rescue him after all.

               Six months now, and after two more unsuccessful escape attempts, he’s in an underground facility in Enbarr. It reeks of blood, gore and death. They’ve thrown him in a cell and feed him some tasteless gruel. Their words are harsh, but nothing he hasn’t heard before. He’s already making plans to escape.

               They claim to have created Edelgard down here. Cost the lives of her siblings, but they made her what she is now. Claude feels ill, knowing they intend the same fate for him. It’s been a year since and while he’s been trying to plan his escape, they seem to be extra diligent in watching him after his previous failures. So far, their tests have been, hellish is the word he’d pick. They burn and sting, injections, to see how his body will react, to activate his crest. His resistance to poisons is apparently a problem, and he can’t help but be happy to be as much trouble as possible.

               It’s been, a year and a half, give or take a few months and their tests have gotten worse. They’ve forced the Crest of Flames on him and constantly subject him to painful tests to activate the healing properties of either crests in him. They seem intent on replicating the healing abilities of the Riegan and Flame Crests, to see if they can amplify each other together. It hurts, and he finds himself wishing for death at the worst of it. He causes trouble every time they move him, biting, kicking and screaming. It’s pointless, he knows, but he reminds him he’s alive. His hairs turned white and eyes a dull red from their testing, like Edelgard. White freckles line his cheeks now, and the guards joke about him resembling a baby deer, weak and helpless. Sometimes they mention Lysithea and he finds himself wishing death on them more then before.

               Two years in and they’ve started drugging him, knocking him out until they wake him for food. The dose is high, his resistance meaning it boarders on lethal every time. It’s getting difficult to tell how much time has passed. He knows they’re continuing their tests when he’s out. He has new scars and injuries when he wakes, blood a constant taste in his mouth along with the metal of the gag, burns on his wrists from the chair they latch him into. The same marks are around his ankles and neck.

               It’s become a cycle. Wake, eat, out again. Wake, eat, out again. He doesn’t remember how long he’s out or what they do. He doesn’t dream, his eyes hurt if he opens them even in the dark now.

               Wake, eat, out again. Wake, eat, out again. Wake, eat, out again. A never-ending pattern and all he can wish for is death, release from this eternal nightmare.

               Something’s different. His body feels sore, weak, stiff, but warm. He’s forgotten what warmth feels like. Slowly opening his eyes, everything’s too bright, he wants to hide back in the dark. Breathing is hard, moving is hard. His eyes are barely open, and he can’t focus on anything.

               His senses are so off he doesn’t even notice someone sitting beside him for a long time until his eyes finally focus, head tilted downward as they sleep. He can make out a mess of blond hair, broad shoulder, armour worn from battle, right eye covered with a black eyepatch. He seems like a stranger, but he finds himself lost in a sense of nostalgia. “H-Hey.” He calls out, voice barely there. It’s enough though, and he stirs, sole good eye looking to him, a familiar blue that he knows from long ago. “Dimitri?”

               Two weeks into his recovery, he asks they guard him, asks if Hanneman made sure he was, himself. They already did when they found him, he wasn’t one of the Slither’s spies. He still feels uneasy and they understood why. He’s weak, but he still has noticeable muscle mass, conflicting with his memories. He’s told Lysithea his worries. She said they’re going to make sure they can’t do anything to him or make him do anything. He’s still uneasy.

               Dimitir knows his fears, but he still holds him close if he asks, every evening. The warm and protection, this pattern, he could live with this one for eternity.

Chapter Text

               Achoo! Dimitri glances behind him as a loud sneeze escapes the Almyran King, wrapped up in practically five layers of cloths, including his own cape. It’s been two days since Mercedes has given Claude a clean bill of health, though he must keep warm to avoid a relapse of Frozen Heart Syndrome.

               “Dima, where are you taking us?” Claude grumbles, voice muffled behind two scarfs as they make their way through the streets of Fhirdiad, a fresh layer of snow covering the ground.

               Dimitri looks him over for the fifth time since they left the castle, finding his current appearance adorable. He stays close, in case Claude needs his help.

               “Dima, Mercedes said I’ll be fine.” Claude reassures him, offering his hand. “Come on. The faster you show me it, the sooner you can get me back inside.”

               The Fódlan King stares at his hand for a moment before taking it, a slight blush gracing his face. Even after all this time, he’s still shy about such simple displays of affection. Claude loves putting him into such situations as well, so sights of them hand in hand occur often.

               They walk for another ten minutes before exiting the city, the nearby forest in view. Dimitri grins when he hears a small gasp from Claude. The sun is catching the hoarfrost on the trees just right, making everything sparkle, the snow glimmering underneath like the sands in Almyra.

               “I figured you’d enjoy this. The winter hoarfrost is magical when you can catch it in the morning sun.” Claude nods in agreement, leaning against his shoulder as he takes in the amazing sight. “What do you think?”

               “It’s beautiful.” Claude is almost at a loss for words, almost. “It’s still cold as hell.”

               A hearty laughs escapes Dimitri’s lips at the frank statement. Claude pouts, bending down to grab at some of the snow. His partner doesn’t miss this, taking the opportunity to catch Claude by surprise, lifting him up in his arms. With a yelp from Claude, he flops back in the snow, laughing harder as Claude curses over snow getting down his neck.

               “Dima! This isn’t funny!” The complaint is weak, a beaming smile on his face, and Dimitri could swear even his freckles are sparkling like the hoarfrost.

               They lay together in the snow long enough for Claude to let out another sneeze, signaling it best to return to the castle. There are still diplomatic meetings and nobles to deal with. Dimitri decides carrying Claude back would be faster, and Claude only argues for a few moments before he just nestles his head in Dimitri’s shoulder, hiding his blushing face.

Chapter Text

               There’s tales of a dragon hiding in the mountains.

               Stories about dragons and mythical beasts are nothing new for Claude, there’s always something to hear in every village he stops at to rest and feed his wyvern. At first, he just shakes his head, purchasing some fish as the children dance around Sylph, musing over her white scales.

               It’s said the dragon sometimes visits the nearby villages, disguised as a tall man with golden hair and one frozen blue eye. He could steal the hearts of anyone weak enough to meet his gaze.

               Claude knows people need myths to keep the young and foolish away from dangerous places but still, this one seems to go over the top. The old story teller looks like even he believes his tall tale. Dragons haven’t been seen in years and people are known for labeling anything that terrifies them as a dragon or monster.

               They say the dragon comes at night to steal and eat the nobles who overstep their boundaries. Bandits who move into the region never last more then a week, and the villagers are left alone.

               This is just ridiculous, a dragon who hunts the corrupt. Oh, it’s definitely fake now.

               They say the dragon has a hoard of treasures, not just gold. Ancient weapons, books and history of the long-forgotten past.

               Now this interests Claude. Historical items? He’s always been far to curious for his own good, and items about the past have always been his favourite to investigate.

               Anyone who’s tried to sneak into the dragon’s hoard, has never returned. To go there is to wish for death. So remember children, stay away from the mountain. The dragon will only harm you if you bring it upon yourself.

               And that’s what lead to Claude laying on the ground of a large cave, surrounded by enough treasure to feed all of Fódlan for years possibly and a large, angry dragon staring at him with a single frigid blue eye. “Hey.” He stupidly greets the large beast, legs encased in ice and claw trapping his torso.

               “Give me a good reason not to eat you right here.” The dragon snarls, pressing down on Claude’s chest. He winces, cursing at getting caught.

               “I just wanted to see your collection.” He tries to play it cool, smiling and knowing the dragon won’t be impressed. The increasing pressure on his chest is answer enough, along with a deep rumble as the beast starts to open his mouth, ready to feast. “N-Now calm down, I’ve heard the stories, do you really want innocent blood on your…claws or teeth?”

               “A thief isn’t innocent.” An expected retort, but it gives Claude an opening. He’ll take any opening he can find. He can hear Sylph whimper from the cave entrance. Looks like she won’t be much help here.

               “I never intended to take anything. See I’m interested in ancient items and books. And I hear you have some lost texts, so I was hoping you’d let me just, have a lot.”

               “Your lies won’t fool me.”

               “What if I offered something in return?” The only thing of worth he has to offer is Almyran tales told by story tellers. “I know oral tales from beyond Fódlan that you’ve never heard.”

               “Are you suggesting you become a part of my collection?” The pressure on his chest eases but Claude’s caught up in what the dragon has suggested. If he goes along with this, he’ll have access to everything, and all the time in the world to look through it.

               “Sure.” Claude beams at him, agreeing to this strange deal, feeling the ice on his legs melt away. “My name’s Claude by the way, and that’s Sylph outside. Now, what would the name of my... owner be?

               “Dimitri. Don’t make me change my mind about letting you live.” Dimitri grumbles as he walks away.

Chapter Text

               It’s said it rains ash when an angel falls from the heavens, and it’s said eating an angel’s heart gives untold power to demons. That is why demons always keep their eyes open for when it rains ash. It’s what lead Dimitri to that old abandoned hut when the ash started to fall, when the body of an angel crashed through its already broken roof.

               He intended to eat the angel’s heart, staring at his broken form on the ground, wings bent in painful angles as he winced with each breath, staring at him with dazzling green eyes before passing out from the fall. Everything was perfect, an easy step in achieving his revenge. Power, he needs power. So why, didn’t, couldn’t he do it.

               It’s been nearly a month since the angel fell and he’s still asking himself why he let him live. Why he’s keeping said angel inside his den, why he’s taking care of him. He shots a glare to the cause of his grief, resting on his beast pelts beside the fire.

               The angel hasn’t awoken since his fall, doesn’t even know how lucky he is to still be alive. Dimitri reaches over, checking the poorly make-shift splints encasing broken wings before moving a hand to his forehead, wet with sweat from his month-long fever. His dark skin has taken on a pallor shade and Dimitri finds himself wondering what he looked before he fell, fingers tracing the angel’s halo, a gold ring coloration of the skin around his neck.  

               Why is he being so careful, he wonders as he gently holds braided hair in his fingers, grimacing thinking of his own horrid appearance. He looks like death, some tell him. Hair a greasy mess, unwashed and unkept, covering the right eye he lost years ago in a fight against her.

               His mind starts getting lost in its usual madness, a snarl escaping his lips as he hears the voices, biting, screaming, yelling at him. His claws are digging into the ground when he hears a groan. With a heavy glare he turns to the angel, who’s staring at him, green eyes slightly lidded from exhaustion and confusion.

               “I…I guess I didn’t die after all.” He whispers, a smile trying to coax itself on his lips but failing. Dimitri just growls, turning back to the fire. “Guess…I owe you a lot.”

               “Don’t be thankful, I can still change my mind Angel.” Is all Dimitri can say, his wings shaking in a threatening manner.

               “I-It’s Claude, your Demonliness.” Killing the angel would definitely be better then this, crosses Dimitri’s mind that moment.

               Thinking back on it all, Dimitri’s thankful for holding back. A year has passed and while there’s been moments where keeping Claude alive has been something to regret, now, glancing at him as he sleeps peacefully, he’s glad he did.

               Stoking the fire, he sits beside him, chuckling as Claude shuffles closer, curling in his lap, muttering about the cold. Apparently, it’s not nearly as cold up in the heavens ever, according to Claude.

               The dancing flames illuminate their forms in the cave, small stumps of where Claude’s wings once were hidden under the pelts keeping him warm. He asked him to cut them off four months after his fall, never healing properly and a hindrance dragging behind him uselessly. The pain he felt and the blood and the trust he had in Dimitri sticks with him to this day. Now, it’s hard to tell he was an angel at all, except for his halo on his neck, but Claude keeps it covered and Dimitri doesn’t let anyone close enough to him unless they’re trustworthy.

               Dimitri starts remembering all the changes the angel has brought on his life, since he let him live. The voices still haunt him, and she still lives, but he’s able small moments of peace, has started letting old friends back in. And Claude, he’s too important now. He’ll protect him, from anything, for as long as he draws breathe.

Chapter Text

               Claude sits in the infirmary, Marianne behind him with a pair of scissors working on his hair, which grew long and unruly during his captivity. He gives a quick glance to the entrance and the extra guards present, here to watch him and his guest. Lysithea is sitting on the bed beside him, looking over some reports and across from him is Edelgard.

               “Claude.” She sighs, watching him as his head lulls slightly, trapped in the peaceful feeling of Marianne’s hands working on his hair. “I have no idea why you’d call me here given the last time we met and your imprisonment.”

               “I’m not that petty.” He answers, voice well enough to talk without breaking into coughing fits or being barely audible. “I wanted to talk to you and Lys.” Lysithea glares at the nickname but doesn’t scold him, a sign she’s letting him get away with the teasing, for now.

               “Claude, I’m not here for another moral debate, I get it enough from the Professor. Even with you as collateral, I do not regret the path I took.” Her stare is as sharp as ever. He can’t help but feel a little nostalgic.

               “It wouldn’t be you if you did regret it, Princess.”

               “Claude, she’s the Emperor now.” Lysithea corrects him, tossing a cracker at him. He dodges, much to Marianne’s dismay.

               “Please no moving, I don’t want to accidentally hurt you.” She frowns, scolding both. Lysithea pouts, as Claude lets out a light laugh. He’s missed this so much.

               A calm silence overtakes the room as he stares at the bed, pieces of white hair falling around him as the sound of Marianne’s scissors cutting is the only sound beside their steady breaths. “They spoke, of you both, of their successes. I just, wanted to see you both, safe and alright, as much as any of us can be.” He whispers, looking up to them, a weak smile on his face, like he’s trying to drive away his own ghosts.

               Edelgard stares past him, caught in a distant memory, something bitter and broken seeping into her eyes while Lysithea frowns, looking down at her reports as if to find something to distract her.

               “I don’t like talking about it.” Lysithea sighs, putting the papers down and huddling in on herself. “It’s a bad memory. I just want to use the time I have left to make a difference instead of thinking about what ifs.”

               “I as well.” Edelgard straightens her posture, quickly recovering from what overtook her moments ago. “Like I said, I do not regret what I’ve done. I cut my path.”

               “Mhm. Still surprised his Kingliness didn’t kill you.” Claude smiled, getting a stern glare.

               “It was more the work of your Golden Deer who made the difference.” She turns her head, nodding to Lysithea.

               “And I’m so proud of them. They’ve schemed better then I could ever imagine.” Lysithea hides behind her reports suddenly, a heavy blush building on her face. Marianne smiles, putting the scissors down. “Done?”

               “Yes. Do you want me to shave your beard as well?”

               “Hmmm, I think maybe just trim it down, I’m a little attached to it. I mean, it looks good on me, right?” He gives them all a smug grin, posing to top it off. A distant memory of before the war began fills the air and laughter seeps into the room for a moment.

               Before they leave, Marianne helps him clean up. Lysithea mentions Hanneman and the Professor looking into a way to extend their lifespans. Claude and Edelgard both seem impressed with their commitment, though chances they can find something to help are low.

               Claude finds himself resting after they leave, staring at the ceiling as a part of his usual routine, which bores him to tears. After an hour of this, he hears someone walk past the guards. He recognizes the sound of armoured footsteps walking closer, heavy and cautious in their movements.

               “Decided to visit me too, your Kingliness?” He jokes, glancing to where Dimitri takes his usual seat. “You know you can afford to take a day off and do something else.”

               Dimitri just shakes his head, glancing out the window. “No, it’s…calming to come here.” An escape. Claude can hear the last bit in his expression.

               “Heh, that so. Glad to be of help then.” He grins as Dimitri looks over his shorter hair. “Like it?” Claude asks, receiving a soft smile in reply. “Me too.”

Chapter Text

               The stone is a perfect sphere, nestled nicely in his palm. Claude glances over it before looking to the man who had emerged from it half an hour ago, sitting on his bed. He still can’t believe it was a real Sealing Stone, and not a fake one like Hilda said. Now he’s got the Savior King in his bed room and ready to help him with his history report, this feels like the complete opposite type of thing the stone was intended for. His phone buzzes, likely a message from Hilda. King Dimitri watches him pick it up, lost in all the different technologies of this era.

Hilda: stone rel. whod u get? got healer Marianne, she’s cute!

Claude: got savior king

Hilad: relly?? SWEET!!

               Claude glances over to the King, watching him with a curious expression on his face. He can’t help but wonder if this is the first time he’s been summoned or not.

               “So, how often to you get summoned from the stone? Wait, how did you even get into the stone?” Claude’s ever curious and this is a good way to delay working on his report. It does help that the Savior King is super interesting, and that’s not just to look at.

               “It’s complicated and I’ve never been able to understand it completely. I believe our souls are sealed into the stone, so we could help our descendants if needed in the future.” Dimitri looks perplexed as he tries to understand it himself, and Claude can’t help but find the way his forehead crunches up is super cute.

               “Ahhh, I don’t understand at all.” Claude laughs. “Also, you didn’t answer my first question yet.” He winks and enjoys how Dimitri seems caught off-guard.

               “Actually, no, this is the first time I’ve been summoned from the stone, I believe.”

               Claude is beaming at this news. There is so many things he wants to show Dimitri, ask him, again ignoring his paper completely. He could take him to a museum, the park, it’s totally not a date. Would he go on a date with him? How did dates work back when he was king anyways?

               The sound of a car pulling into the driveway breaks him from his daydreaming. Shit! His dad’s home and he hasn’t thought of how he’s going to explain this to his parents yet, like at all. It’s not like he can hide Dimitri in his closet, plus he doesn’t have any cloths that’ll fit him. He’d also almost broke so he’d new money from his parents to get him extra food.

               Dimitri stares out his window, seeing even more things new and unusual to him. God, he’s like a giant puppy!

               Claude licks his lips, deep in concentration. Looks like it’s time to convince his parents it’s not weird to have a giant man in their house from the past. After all, he’ll help him get a better grade in history.

Chapter Text

               A warm sensation builds in Dimitri’s core as he feels heat coiling around his body. His body tenses, warm lips stealing his breath as a familiar forked tongue pushing inside his mouth. He shivers as a moan is lost in his partners mouth. Warm hands travel over his chest and then-

               With a shout he falls off his bed, crashing on the floor. Dimitri groans as he opens his eyes, staring at the ceiling of his apartment. Another dream. The sigh escaping his lips is all he does, not wanting to move or deal with his present erection.

               It’s been over five years since he first met Claude at the monastery ruins. Enough time for Claude to start calling him ‘Mitya’ instead of ‘Dima’. Enough time for his to graduate from college and start an entry level job, his current hell. Enough time for dreams of Claude to start plaguing him last year. Not enough time for him to even consider confessing his feelings, or ever.

               Eventually his forces himself up, brushing what strands of his hair fell out of its ponytail while he slept behind his ear as he leans against his bed, staring down at how his body is betraying him, again.

               He shouldn’t be thinking of Claude like this. They’re supposed to be friends, but Claude’s driving him wild lately.

               He starts recalling his different dreams, taking a sharp breath as he starts palming at his traitorous dick through his boxers.

               Him, kissing Claude, who sits relaxed in such a way that Dimitri can tower over him, as much as a normal human can compared to a naga over 5 meters in length. Sometimes he’s already coiled up in his tail, the sensation hot on his skin as Claude peers down at him, his green eyes shining in his dreams.

               A groan escapes his lips as he pulls his cock out of his boxers and starts pumping, slow and steady, an activity he’s become an expert at of late. He remembers how in his dreams Claude’s tongue would assault his mouth as they’d kiss until he’s a sensitive wreck. Then he’d go down, licking his chest, nipping at his skin before taking his length in his mouth. It always feels like heaven in his dreams.

               He starts stroking faster, feeling the heat building in his stomach. He thinks of Claude’s tail in his dreams, coiling around him, rubbing over his whole body, the tip just as nimble as his tongue. Sometimes Claude uses it to fuck his throat, other times it stretches him up as Claude whispers sweet nothings to him, kissing him until he becomes a moaning mess.

               “C-Claude.” He whimpers, coming as he starts thinking of Claude fucking him against one of the cathedral pillars, filling him repeatedly until he can barely move. His breathing slows as he comes down from the high of jerking himself off, reaching for a tissue to wipe his hands before tossing it in the trash.

               After a moment of silence, he curses loudly and flips on his bed.

Chapter Text

               Festive songs are playing, the twins watching a child’s program on TV featuring dancing fish, and Claude, with an expression of complete disdain, helping Dimitri as he puts ornaments on the tree. Dimitri just hums to himself, enjoying the overall atmosphere. This is his second Saint Cichol Day with Claude and his opinion of heavily commercialized holidays is something he’s gotten used to. It can’t be blame, as Claude works in customer service, and holidays are when he comes home with the worst stories.

               “Claude, I know you don’t like Saint Cichol Day, but the twins enjoy it.”

               “Dimitri, I’ve just grown so…tired of it all. I know they enjoy it.”

               “And that’s why we teach them to instead focus on the traditional stuff.”

               “Ah yes, when angry Cichol comes down the chimney and grumpily delivers gifts and robs your fridge of it’s whiskey.” Claude chuckles.

               “Not that. The passing of the Blue Sea Star and the Goddess praying for peace.” Dimitri sighs, handing out his hand and smiling when, while still complaining, Claude passes him the next decoration. “Besides, you do still like spending time with everyone at parties and all.”

               Claude looks offended, though clearly fake. “Me? Avoid parties? Are you an alien that took my fiancée’s place?”

               “Alien! Alien!” Byleth and Byleth started chanting. Dimitri still finds it embarrassing that before they even met, they both adopted one of the twins and gave them the same name.

               “Agreed, number 1, number 2.” Claude smiles, chuckling when they both stick their tongues out at his worst nickname for them. They much prefer Professor and Teach. Dimitri reaches for more ornaments to receive nothing, turning to see Claude busy chasing the twins around the living room.

               “Bee, Leth, do you two want to help instead of your useless dad?”

               “Yes!” They both stop, jumping up and down excitedly as Claude pouts.

               Eventually is comes down to Claude lifting the twins in rotation so they can pass Dimitri ornaments and he will admit, later after the kids are in bed and it’s just him and Dimitri in their room, that he likes this part of Saint Cichol Day.

Chapter Text

               When Dimitri came to the monastery that evening, he wasn’t expecting how things were going to turn out. He planned to confess to Claude, he did in fact. He was expecting a rejection, to be told Claude still have feelings for the Savior King, for Dima. Instead Claude laughed and said, ”Finally.” in a cheerful tone before he pulled him close, kissing him, telling him he loves him as well.

               And that’s how he got here, under the starry night sky, gently coiled up in Claude’s tail, naked while the naga in question kisses him, reveling in the moans his draws from Dimitri. The tip of his tail is already busy, like in Dimitri’s fantasies, stretching him with slow, gentle thrusts.

               If this is another dream Dimitri hopes to never wake up. A soft moan escaping Claude’s lips draws his attention, half-lidded green eyes staring at him with so much endearment and love, he’s sure he’ll melt right there. He whines a little once Claude pulls away, leaving his mouth empty and wanting his touch back.

               “Mmmm, you taste good, Mitya.” Claude purrs, fingers trailing over Dimitri’s leaking cock. He shivers with anticipation. “Already eager for more?” The grin on Claude’s face is his only hint before he feels his tail thrust just a little harder, deeper, hitting just the right spot, a soundless groan escaping his mouth as he leans into Claude’s chest, limbs shaking from the stimulation.

               “P-Please, I don’t…just want your tail.” He doesn’t want to beg but by the goddess he wants to beg so much.

               “Are you sure?” Claude asks, a grin on his face. “I’d hate to hurt you.”

               A muffled laugh escapes Dimitri as he looks up to him, a small sigh escaping his lips as he feels Claude’s hand lazily stroking him. “I’m more durable then I look, you know that.” Claude likes complimenting how strong he is after all.

               “You sure you could take mine?” He sees his eyes glance down, drawing Dimitri’s attention to his two slick cocks, reminding Dimitri when he had them in his mouth earlier.

               “Yes. I could take both too, I’m sure.” The speculation on Claude’s face is crystal clear. He withdraws his tail, getting a faint whine and growl from Dimitri at the missing friction. “I mean it.”

               “No. I’d rather not hurt you.” Claude seems persistent on this, only for Dimitri to lean on his chest, pushing his back on to the ground so he can take control, completely aware that Claude can easily pull him off with his tail. He seems to be holding back to let Dimitri lead.

               “I just, let me try?” Dimitri frowns, rubbing Claude’s cocks with his own as he tries to wear his most needy expression. Claude just raises his eyebrow, a faint smile on his face.

               “Alright, but you show any sign of discomfort I’m pulling you off.” Dimitri nods, waiting for Claude to get comfortable before he tries to position himself, enjoying how Claude shivers when he takes both his shafts in hand.

               With confidence he tries to lower himself on both, missing a few times as one slips from his grip. Once he’s able to get both to start pressing in, something feels off as the stretch stings more then he expected. He decides to force it, wincing as he starts to feel pain. A yelp escapes him as Claude pulls him up, coiling around him as he sits up.

               “See, not a good idea, yet. You need to pace yourself.” Claude sooths him, rubbing his back as he eases Dimitri onto his stomach over a length of his tail, kissing his shoulder before leaning in to steal his lips to prevent any complaints. “Let me take care of you.”

               A shiver overtakes Dimitri as he feels Claude spread his cheeks, one of his heads pushing at his entrance. “Ready?” Dimitri nods, taking a deep breath as Claude starts to slowly push inside. There’s that sting again, but it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as when he tried to force them both. “You feel so good Mitya.” Claude coos, his voice catching in his throat occasionally.

               Dimitri lets out a breath he’s been holding when he feels Claude bottom out, his other dick settling between the cheeks of his ass. “Y-You’re bigger then I expected.”

               “You didn’t notice trying to fit them both?” Claude jokes, giving his ear a little nibble. “Do you need time before I start moving?” Dimitri nods, trying to ignore how Claude’s tail shivers, vibrating against his leaking cock. He’s not going to last long once Claude starts moving.

               He’s ready faster then he expects, nodding to Claude to move. He sighs at the drag of Claude’s cock as he slowly pulls out, the whine that escapes his throat followed by a shout as he thrusts back in, hard and sharp. “Like that?”

               “Y-Yeah.” Dimitri moans, arching back as Claude pulls out again, thrusting back in harder. He starts a fast pace, knowing that Dimitri won’t last. The sound of moaning and flesh rutting together are all that accompany the crickets as the stars watch their display, Dimitri mumbling Claude’s name as he starts stroking himself.

               It only takes a few more moments before Dimitri comes over Claude’s scales, holding his tail as an anchor as Claude keeps pounding into him, getting faster and more erratic as Dimitri clenches around him. With a sharp hiss, sending a shiver down Dimitri’s spine, he pulls out and comes on his back. His ignored cock follows suit with a few quick strokes.

               The naga wobbles a little as he repositions them on the grass, so they’re wrapped in his tail, comfortable and sheltered from the night air. “Enjoy it?” Claude hums, kissing him lazily.

               “Better then I imagine.” Dimitri answers, a faint blush cover his face. “We should, clean up.”

               “Yes.” Claude laughs. “In a few minutes, I think I’m more likely to move around like a limp noodle right now.”

               “Yeah.” Dimitri sighs, leaning against him, easily falling asleep, glad there’s no chance anyone will find them naked out here.

               When he wakes in the morning, they’re in the goddess tower, where Claude’s made his den. Claude is still wrapped around him, holding him close as he rests his head on his chest. So it wasn’t a dream after all.

Chapter Text

               Claude groans, feeling exhausted as he stirs from sleep, blinking his eyes to wake himself. Pain shoots through his body, and he tries to recall what he was doing before he passed out.

               He’s been ‘staying’ in the monastery ruining’s for a few weeks after investigating the place due to some interesting rumors. Rumors that revealed Faerghus’s prince, not executed like the reports had said years ago, living in the goddess tower and ready to attack at the drop of a sound. And by staying, he means after his last failed attempt at helping Dimitri that resulted in a chase and then having said prince lock him in the library for almost a week. Food showed up, yes, but captivity really isn’t something that could help the Alliance leader.

               A frown graces his face as he is staring at the ceiling. What did he do last? He remembers trying to make a break after finally getting the door unlocked, only to find the stairs blocked up. Dimitri seems oddly determined to keep him contained, mumbling something about keeping him from becoming a ghost.

               He ran for the third floor instead, remembering it has areas open to the roof. He could climb down, though his climb ability isn’t the best. It was going well until he slipped, falling. So, either right now, he’s dead (unlikely given the pain) or he’s been moved inside after hitting the ground and losing consciousness.

               Trying to sit up sends a spike of pain through his left arm, which he sees is bandaged in a poorly made sling. Whoever did it was took a long time to do it and there’s only one person who could have done it.

               “Dimitri?” He asks, wincing when he feels a slight pain in his lungs. Some bad bruising from the fall most likely. Hopefully there are still some vulneraries around. “I know you’re there.” He adds after hearing something outside the infirmary door.

               Said prince seems to abandon waiting out of view and walks inside, frowning at him. “Are you that determined to become a ghost?” His voice still sounds full of aggression, more beast then man, though there is a small hint of worry.

               “No, I was determined to get out. You just left me with no options.” Claude tells him, not even bothering to attempt sweet words and fake smiles. Though this is the first time Dimitri’s properly, as much as he seems able, spoken to him since he found him.

               “A foolish idea.”

               “Dimitri, why are you trying to keep me locked up? You know I mean you no harm. All this did was force my hand and look what it caused.” He pointedly motions at his broken arm, eyes firm as he holds Dimitri’s attention.

               “Can’t….”

               “Can’t what? Tell me clearly!” Claude is done dancing around this. He knows Dimitri’s unwell, that he’s been hurt, but he can’t do anything to try and help if he’s locked away.

               “Can’t lose you. Can’t let you become another of my ghosts.”

               Claude doesn’t say anything right away, taking deep breaths before he moves to stand, wincing the whole time, maybe even over-exaggerating it just a tad, to make his point clearer. Dimitri stares at him, regret settling on his face. At least even now he’s still easy to read.

               “Dima, I’m not becoming a ghost, I won’t haunt you or anything like that. I just want to help you, preferably with my bones intact.” He walks over, pointing at Dimitri with his free hand, finger millimetres away from his nose. “Now will you start letting me help you?” He can tell Dimitri’s still not completely there, still not hearing him as much as he’d like, but when he nods and tries his best to get him back on the infirmary bed, he knows it’s a start. This won’t be easy, but he’ll take any opening he can to help him, to save him.

Chapter Text

               It’s late and most everyone else is asleep when Dimitri starts making his way back to his room. The monastery is quiet, save the guards who patrol at night, so Dimitri does his best to tread lightly as he passes closed rooms, occupants sleeping like he should be.

               Almost arriving at his own room, he cannot help but notice how Claude’s door is slight ajar and candlelight can be seen leaking out. He’s tempted to check but holds back, tiptoeing to his room and closing the door. Slowly he prepares to rest, changing into something light and warm, eventually lying down to sleep. Closing his eyes, he starts to hear them, louder in the quiet of the night. Sleep is a curse, when their voices are the loudest.

               Getting sleep seems impossible. He gets up, grabbing a book to try and read himself to sleep. Half an hour later and it doesn’t help. He sighs, grabbing his shoes to go get fresh air, that may help. He starts tiptoeing back down the hall, noticing Claude’s door is still ajar but it looks like the candle has gone out.

               Slowly pushing it open, he spots Claude asleep at his desk. He looks peaceful, sleeping on an open book. Dimitri can’t help but smile a little as he grabs a blanket bundled up on his bed, free of all the books that cover it. It almost like Claude doesn’t even sleep on his bed. He gently puts the blanket over his shoulders and walks back out, closing the door properly behind him.

               He continues his trip to clear his head, but he finds himself already feeling better. The odd calm he felt seeing Claude, ever guarded and careful with his emotions, sleeping so peacefully, it feels like if he can sleep peacefully, maybe Dimitri can too.

Chapter Text

               Soulmates are a messy thing for those who are immortal. Dimitri knows this well, cursed as a vampire to have a human soulmate. The amount of times he’s witnessed his soulmate die while he is forced to remain, he’s sure his soul keeps being chipped away by the pain, the sorrow, the loss.

               Their first meeting was long ago, back before Dimitri realized their connection would in fact become a curse. Claude was smart, a schemer, he found his way to him, ever curious and smiling at him as he tried to push the human away. After all, a vampire and a human could never truly be together, even if the goddess said they were soulmates.

               Even trying to keep him distant, he still found a way into his heart. Dimitri regrets, regrets pushing him away for so long. Only a year after letting him in, he died, assassinated by his own people for being an outsider, for having a mother from another country. He remembers killing them, the assassins and their employer, he remembers ripping them apart. But it could not bring Claude back.

               Not even a hundred years later and he found him again. Claude didn’t remember him, but he was still drawn to him. This time, he didn’t push him away, he let him in right away. And yet he still died in his arms, murdered and barely twenty-five years old.

               It seems vampires with human soulmates are cursed. One of his close friends also has a human soulmate. He keeps dying by his own hand, and so his friend avoids his soulmate at all costs, growing to hate the color red and the sight of humans in general. His words are venom as he screams at Dimitri for even trying to see his own soulmate. Dimitri wonders, if Felix will be saved by his soulmate killing him instead first.

               It’s a cycle, repeating and repeating. Dimitri finds Claude. Sometimes he remembers him, sometimes he doesn’t. Claude smiles and Dimitri indulges himself in the small amount of time they have together. It’s his greatest treasure. And then he dies again, always in his arms, always by some other force, be it a blade meant for him, be it an accident or disease. And every single time, he has a smile on his face, telling him he loves him. He always considers turning him, but he doesn’t know how to do it properly, worries he’ll mess up, worries Claude will hate him for it.

               He takes enjoyment in always destroying those who kill his soulmate, but it never helps the voice in his head, always yelling at him for failing to protect him yet again. Maybe if he were to die, Claude would be free of the curse, could live a full life.

               “Dima?” He’s broken from his thoughts, turning to the man who haunts them. Claude smiles at him, it’s small but genuine. He knows what plagues Dimitri, he always knows.

               “Sorry. I know I should not…dwell on it.”

               His soulmate just chuckles, sitting beside him on the couch of his apartment. They’d run into each other two years ago, Claude smiling and Dimitri letting out a weak sob. Since then he’s been living with him in his small apartment. Claude’s been researching something, saying it’s a product of a lot of work he’s done over his past lives, what he can remember at least. It’s difficult when you keep getting reborn in different places, different situations, having only his memories to work on and sometimes no memories at all.

               “Will you ever tell me what it is, what you’ve been working on?” Dimitri always asks him, enjoys how Claude waxes his words to avoid giving a proper answer. That doesn’t happen this time.

               “Dima…Dimitri, I’ve been researching…how to fix this. I’m tired of leaving you alone.”  

               “But how?” Dimitri has always refused to turn him. Turning a human is an old art, difficult and a lot of it is lost to the elders who died before being able to pass it down to his generation. This is why his kind are said to be the last of their kind, a dying breed of a race who cannot die. “I can’t turn you.”

               “You just don’t know how to. Which is what I’ve been looking into it. Through all my lives I’ve been piecing it together. And I’ve finally got it all!”

               “Are you sure? If you go through with this, you’ll lose everything.”

               “Dima, I’ve been planning this for centuries. Heck, I’ve shared what I know with Sylvain a few times, so he can maybe stay with Felix. If he doesn’t kill him as usual. He’s actually been my source for what the hunters know, which was some of the most important details.” Claude sighs, taking the book from Dimitri’s hand he hasn’t been reading for the last half hour before he sits in his lap. “I’m ready for this.”

               Dimitri’s red eye stares in his green, trying to see if he’s unsure, uncertain, if there’s any doubt in what he’s saying but it’s not there. He means it. He looks down to his neck, where the scars from where he always feeds from him are. He leans down, hiding in his neck, taking a deep breath to relax in his scent. “I…”

               “Yes Dima?” Claude smiles, kissing his head as he starts running his fingers through his hair.

               “I don’t want you to leave me again. If you think…I’ll do it. To be together forever. I’ll turn you.” He whispers, smiling when he feels Claude pull him up into a deep kiss. They won’t be separated again, he won’t lose him again, he won’t have to watch him die again.

Chapter Text

               After the war, Dimitri lost his old ghosts, who screamed for revenge. Instead, he gained a new ghost, who smiled and spoke of peace, of open boarders and no regrets. But Dimitri will still regret, regret being too slow, too late. He’ll regret being unable to do anything as Claude died in his arms, whispering his dreams to him and his heart’s secret.

               The first night he saw Claude’s ghost, he broke down. He apologized and sobbed over his regrets, only for the ghost, whose transparent green eyes saw through his fears, told him he did his best. It was not his fault. He did his best.

               This repeated for months, only in his room, late at night when he was alone and the fireplace almost dead. Claude’s form shined a shimmering gold, as if to emulate the shine he had when he was alive.

               One night, as he apologized again and sobbed, he felt a cold touch and looked to see the ghost smiling at him, cupping his cheek. “You are brilliant, I have no regrets in dying. So, don’t regret. Live for me.” Dimitri tried to reach out, only for his hand to pass through him, feeling the chill. He couldn’t speak, but he felt warmth, warmth from his words, from his presence, even though he was cold.

               The days that came after that, he spent coming to terms with his ghost. It was different from the ghosts of his past, behaved differently, no screaming, not hatred. Claude only appeared in his room, when he was alone, as if to drive away new ghosts who sometimes crept into his vision during the day. It was, a form of peace.

               Claude smiled always at him, whispers of happiness and love became more common over the years. Dimitri was sure Claude would eventually leave him, when he made peace with Almyra, improved relations with Sreng, Brigid, rebuilt Duscur. But Claude never left, and Dimitri felt grateful for that.

               Sometimes, Dimitri can touch him, for brief moments, never long enough for anything beyond small comforts, nothing enough to fulfill his desires, but that is enough. He couldn’t wish for more. And so, Claude stayed by his side, the Savior King and his ghost.  

               When he died, it was said the Savior King smiled, saying he lived a life of no regrets. His closest friends knew, knew about his ghost. He told them in his later years, of the ghost who smiled at him every night, spoke of peace and no regrets.  They knew his ghost left with him, smiling to greet him as they left this world, with no regrets.

Chapter Text

               Dragons are supposed to be ancient, powerful, majestic. If there was one-word Claude would use to describe Dimitri though, it’d be unusual. He’s been living in his den for the past four months since their agreement and it’s been completely different from what he expected.

               First month, Dimitri didn’t like Claude leaving without him nearby when he went to scourge for food. Sylph wasn’t fond of the dragon following them, but he kept saying it was to make sure he didn’t flee. He viewed Claude as a part of his collection and Claude was vaguely aware that he agreed to pretty much be the ancient beast’s pet. He preferred not thinking of it like that, kept it from feeling weirder then it was.

               He spent a good amount of time telling Dimitri stories from Almyra. It was a part of their agreement, he tells stories and as a result gets to read all the books in Dimitri’s horde. And there’s a lot of books here. And it’s been great, he’s not even sure if Dimitri can read them, might try just using stories from the books to buy him more time before Dimitri finds him useless to keep around.

               Lately, somethings changed in Dimitri’s behavior. He’s started letting him go get food on his own, doesn’t growl at him anymore when he looks through his treasures for something interesting to inspect. He’s even letting him closer to him in general. At first, he made sure Claude never got close enough to even inspect his scales. Now he’s sure he could pull it off.

               It’s almost as if Dimitri is paying more attention to him. He seems incredibly interested in what he does when he’s not telling him stories. He’s thankful Dimitri can’t fit into his little cove, full of pelts and furs for him and his wyvern to rest on, hidden behind some rocks. Sylph is still uncomfortable coming into the cave entirely so it’s good to keep means to give her some distance from Dimitri. He needs this space, boy does he need it. The change in Dimitri’s behavior is encouraging him to become…attached.

               It’s where he’s sitting, reading an ancient tome while Sylph is outside, relaxing in the sun, enjoying her time away from the much larger dragon when it happens.

               “You stay in here too long.” A voice, familiar yet not, speaks up behind him.

               Claude tenses, slowly turning to see a man staring at him. He’s tall, broad shoulders in an outfit of silky fabric, blue and white with silver ornaments, like Claude’s seen in one of the ancient books. If he recalls, it said dancers used to wear them. The mans blond reaches down to his shoulders, a familiar frozen blue eye staring at him. Pointed ears stand out as well, though just another human being present is the most startling point.

               “Ah, hello?” Claude’s brain is yelling at him, but he can’t put his thoughts together quite yet, still slightly in a state of shock. The man just chuckles, walking inside and enjoying his bewilderment.

               “You do remember the tales about me, correct?” The man sits, and Claude can practically feel the cogs starting to work in his mind.

               It’s said the dragon sometimes visits the nearby villages, disguised as a tall man with golden hair and one frozen blue eye. He could steal the hearts of anyone weak enough to meet his gaze.

               “Dimitri!” Claude jumps up with a shout, quickly backing out of his little cove, tripping on a pile of books he’d placed outside, along with some artifacts. Hopefully he didn’t break anything.

               “Claude.” Dimitri chuckles, following him. He’s enjoying this.

               “I just forgot the tales said you could do this!” Claude counters, wincing when he tries to stand. “Damn.” He mutters, checking his ankle, sore and tender. He lets out a loud yelp when he feels strong arms lift him with ease, talking him back to his pelts, gently setting him down.

               “I did not intend to startle you so much you injured yourself.” The dragon sighs as he examines his ankle.

               Claude is stuck watching him, possibly taking in his handsome form. God, he’s been trying to ignore his enjoyment and growing attachment to him when he was a dragon, now he adds this to the mix?

               “Oh goddess.” Claude mutters as Dimitri gives him a faint smile. He’s screwed.

Chapter Text

               The Imperial army will attack at daybreak. Claude busily looks a book in his room, coughing lightly in his hand and frowning at the pale-colored lily petal that appears. He doesn’t have time for a rare disease. To think, all those assassination attempts back in Almyra and instead he’ll die to illness because of his own feelings. What luck.

               He tries to stand but a wave of dizziness hits him, and he falls back with a groan on his bed. To think, he finally found the cure and it’s confessing to the person he’s longing for and that’s just to see if they reciprocate. If they do, he’s cured. If they don’t, he still dies. What a lovely disease. And of course, the person of his affections is Faerghus’ own Princeliness. There’re so many reasons why he can’t confess.

               Come morning, war will begin, and Claude will fight with his classmates, maybe even beside him. Tonight, he will come to terms with his fate and plan out his future, to account for an early death. Hopefully he can accomplish his dream with whatever time he has.

               Gronder field, it’s been five years since he saw Dimitri, since he thought him dead. Funny enough, the reports of his death slowed his disease, the petals barely bothered him during all this time. But seeing Dimitri, more beast then man, growling at anyone who gets close, he feels his heart falter at the rage in the man who dictates when he dies.

               Claude can feel it building, a cough escaping as he flies overhead paired with a whole flower, a white rose. He tries flying above, glancing to Teach, leading the Kingdom’s forces as they try to keep Alliance forces away from Dimitri, for the safety of both sides.

               The fight is brutal, Claude almost doesn’t make it, clashing with the man he tried to talk to, only achieving a deep wound on his side and heavy burns from a trap on the hill. The Alliance begins their retreat home. Claude stares to where he had seen him, covering his mouth to suppress another harsh cough, blood accompanying the rose this time. He’s running out of time. He needs to prepare for the worst, write to his father.

               He hands Failnaught to Dimitri with a smile. The Alliance is safe with him, and he knows that Fódlan will be safe in his hands, even if the war hasn’t been won yet. He believes in him after all. Hopefully his body will be able to hold together to at least get back to Almyra. He’d rather die alone. He foolishly makes a promise to see him again, knowing it won’t happen.

               He’s grateful he can contain any coughs threatening to escape, covering his hand and swallowing the flowers and blood that try to escape. “I’m off now.” He turns, walking to his wyvern.

               “Claude.” Dimitri calls to him and he’s thankful that’s all he says.

               He can feel the words in this throat. I love you. But he won’t say them. Reaching up to jump into his wyvern’s saddle, he’s hit with an incredible wave of pain and crumples to his knees. He can hear Dimitri and Teach rushing to his side as he starts gasping for air, the amount of flowers and blood littering the wood and his hands make him realize he might have less time then he thought.

               The feeling of warm arms lifting him is the last thing he feels, consciousness fading fast as he desperately tries to breath. The fur against his face means it must be Dimitri and he cannot help but find comfort in that, as everything fades to black.


               Dimitri stared at Claude, going over what happened at the port in his head. Mercedes said it is a rare disease, in its final stages and the flowers had rooted so deeply in his lungs he would likely die within the coming weeks. The chances of them finding the person who could save him are unlikely, and there’s not enough time. Come tomorrow, it’ll likely be too late.

               He frowns, reaching over and pushing hair out of Claude’s face, grimacing at how labored his breathing is, his normal dark skin becoming a pallor shade. There’s no time. He also feels frustrated. Claude intended to go and die, alone.

               “Claude, for someone so intelligent, you’re a fool.” He mutters. “Claude, you should have…Claude…” Dimitri’s still coming to terms with so many things and now, to find out that Claude’s going to die, even after he arrived in time, it’s difficult. And there’s little chance his words could be the ones he needs.

               A groan draws his attention. Claude’s eyes start to open, and he should go get the others, but he finds himself stuck on his seat. “Dimitri?” Claude murmurs. His eyes are dazed, out of it from medicine as he smiles so easily at him, it reaches his eyes and Dimitri wants to commit it to memory.

               “Yes?”

               “Love you.” Claude must think he’s dreaming.

               “Claude?” Dimitri can feel his throat tighten, maybe there is a chance he can help him.

               “Mmmm?” His eyes are still unfocused, staring at Dimitri as he takes his hand.

               “I love you too.” The King smiles weakly at him.

               Marianne informs him Claude will recover, but it’ll be slow, given how close he was to death. He’s still coughing out flowers, but she says it’s just to get what remains in his lungs out and with care there will be little damage left. It has weakened his lung though, and no treatment can fix them.

               Dimitri is thankful Claude has many people watching out for him, as he cannot stay. Edelgard is still waiting in Enbarr. And then Claude will be leaving once he recovers. He says his original farewell still stands, he just means it this time.

               Dimitri can only hope to see him again, trusting in his promise to return someday, which Claude chuckles at, asking why he still puts faith in him. He enjoys informing him it was because he will always believe in him, basking in finally being able to throw him off his balance for once.

               They may be parting now, but what matters is that they’re parting alive, with a promise to reunite again and knowing what they mean to each other.

Chapter Text

               Tomorrow they leave to march for Fhirdiad, so Dimitri decides to pay one late visit to Claude in the infirmary. He’s well enough to be moved to his old room but per his request, he’s kept in the infirmary instead with at least three guards. Dimitri hopes his fears are just that, fears. But Claude was rarely ever wrong about his intuition in the past, so they won’t ignore this either. 

               The guards bow as he walks in, before he turns his lone eye on the man eating in the only occupied bed. Claude spots him, waving before he takes another bite of the porridge Mercedes and Marianne have him eating.

               “That doesn’t look very appetizing.” Dimitri can’t help but comment, starting at the bland looking food. It doesn’t matter much for him, he hasn’t been able to taste food for years.

               Claude chuckles, swallowing and pushing some of his white hair behind his ear. Dimitri still finds it hard to get used to, the change in his hair, his eyes, the various scars that now litter his dark skin, a constant reminder of what he’s been through and how long it took for them to find him. “Well, it would be if I could taste it.”

               It’s as if Claude can already tell what he’s about to ask. “That thing the put in my mouth, to keep me from biting my tongue, it burned my taste buds off.” He opens his mouth to show, the skin of his tongue scarred and discolored. “I can live with it, but I will miss the taste of the food back home.”  

               “Back in Riegan territory or…” Dimitri stops himself. He’s never asked where Claude was born, though everyone has a strong inkling, even more so with who has been aiding the former Golden Deer students in their mission to find him. Suspicions, but he won’t say them. He wants Claude to tell him freely, so he will wait.

               “My father’s homeland. They had, great food and great spices. I’ll miss them.” Claude smiles, but it’s the one he always wears that doesn’t reach his eyes. Dimitri hopes one day, he’ll be able to show him what he’s really feeling, without the mask of a smile.

               “I would love to try it.” The words are out of his mouth before he realizes what he said.

               He can feel red eyes staring at him, mouth open as Claude takes in what he said. “That…I’d like that. Maybe someday. It’s very tasty.” Claude grins, a little more natural this time.

               If only Dimitri could taste it, to know what Claude is missing now that he has also lost his sense of taste.

Chapter Text

               “How about I tell you the tale of the Savior King and the Tactician.”

               Long ago, it is said the Savior King was beloved by all the people in his kingdom and blessed by the Stars. A head of radiant gold, eye of frozen blue and cloaked in furs. He had saved them from a terrible war and brought peace and unity to the land.

               All was right in the land until an Evil Wizard stole the Moon from the sky. Horrified from the loss of the Moon, the Sun hide in grief, leaving only the Stars that blessed the King to light up the sky.

               Darkness reigned the world, be it night or day. The King, determined to return the Moon and Sun, went on a journey with his trusted knights to find and defeat the Evil Wizard.

               Days into their journey they came across a small ice bridge leading to the island the Wizard was hiding. They step forward, only for a Star to come and tell them “Only the King may pass, for he bares our blessing and that will protect him from the Wizard’s barrier.” The knights protested but the King silences them, saying returning the Moon and ending the eternal darkness is the most important thing, even if he must do it alone. Walking over the bridge, he easily passes through the invisible barrier, turning to see his knights waiting on the other side. With a promise of his return, he steps into the dark for-

               “Shit!”

               “Daddy said a bad!”

               “Language Dima! What happened?”

               “Gouda ate his namesake.”

               “Wonderful, now where was I again? Oh right.”

               He steps into the dark forest. Traveling for what feels like days, he eventually exits and runs into a man of dark skin, dark hair, vibrant green eyes, and a smile overly sweet.

               “What is your name traveler?”

               “I am known as the Tactician.”

               The King is apprehensive of the man, smile full of lies and sweet words. But the Tactician said he could lead the way to the Moon. The first path leads them into a trap of wolves and fire. The King easily defeats the wolves as the Tactician puts out the fire through fantastical means.

               “I will give you two more chances, otherwise we part ways.”

               The second time, the Tactician leads them to a cliff face. The King is not impressed but the Tactician takes a leap of faith, landing on the other side with a grin, beaconing the King to follow. He does so against his better judgement, surprised to land beside the other man.

               This continues, the King warning the Tactician but keeps following him into the traps, finding himself enjoying the man’s banter even when he leads them into traps. Plus, they always make it out of each trap, thanks to his wit. The King also finds him enchanted by how the Tactician practically glows when he smiles more honestly.

               Eventually, they make it to the Wizard, who snarls about the King coming on a fool’s errand. He has already drawn what he needs from the Moon and cast it aside. The King calls him equally foolish, saying with the Wizard’s death the Moon will return.

               He fights the Wizard, the Tactician aiding him with his bow as he swings his lance.

               Suddenly, a bolt of lightning comes at the King. As he watches it about to strike his heart, the Tactician stands in his way, taking the attack and falling to the ground. The King lets out an unearthly howl before destroying the Wizard. The Moon rises into the sky, returned as a result of the Wizard’s death.

               “What happens next?”

               “What happens to the Tactician?”

               “I’m not done yet.”

               The King barely notices, instead holding the Tactician in his arms, cold and lifeless. Suddenly, he vanishes, appearing in front of the King, glowing brightly and wearing gold, a smile that makes the King’s heart flutter on his face.

               “Thank you.” It appears the Tactician was the Moon, reduced to a man after the Wizard stole its power, and could not tell him their plight. “For saving me, I will grant you what you desire most.”

               The King stares, knowing he should do something for his people, but what he truly desires is completely selfish. But staring at the Moon’s smile makes him want to be selfish.

               “I wish to see the Tactician’s smile again, by my side. Forever, even.”

               The Moon is surprised by the wish. They cannot give him the Tactician, as they must stay in the sky. The Stars glimmer in the sky, wishing to help the King.

               The King watched as the Moon in the sky shifts, losing half of itself as the shining man in front of him walked forward, the light fading as he kneeled before him, dressed as the Tactician yet again.

               “I guess, thank you.” He whispered, happy to be able to spend more time with the King.

               They left the island together, returning to the King’s home. It is said the Moon would vanish when the Tactician walked beside the King and when it stood high in the sky, the King stared at the Moon, knowing the Tactician is safe in the sky.

               “And that’s why the moon has phases.” Claude smiles, at Bee and Leth as they stare in amazement. Dimitri is sitting beside them, shaking his head. Gouda, their corgi panting at his feet hoping he’ll drop more cheese.

               “I don’t remember half the tale sounding like that. Or being that long.” Dimitri scolds him again, for adding to stories or changing them. A common occurrence.

               “Well, I guess you could say I’m the Tactician.” Claude beams at him, getting a piece of gouda in his face followed by Gouda trying to climb up his lap.

Chapter Text

               It’s a normal day at Garreg Mach University, for a blizzard right before the start of finals. Dimitri walks out of Professor Hanneman’s office, glancing over the last paper he wrote. It was a pass but not as well as he had hoped. Frowning, he puts it back in his bag with a sigh to hear the front door open and a sight walk through.

               Claude, in his pajama’s walking into the hall and of course, right into Seteth’s office. He looks freezing, absolutely chilled to the bone. Dimitri can’t help but stand there, waiting. He doesn’t have any classes due to finals starting tomorrow so he’s not exactly in a rush to get anywhere.

               Claude is a good friend after all and he’d rather him not freeze on the way back to the dorms. He’s not his roommate but it is due to Sylvain that they even became friends. He can already hear Claude’s smug voice as he exits Seteth’s office.

               “Claude, you do know you’re going to freeze outside.”

               “Maybe. I just overslept and wanted to hand in my paper to Seteth. Also make him mad, so when I remembered I forgot my coat, I just kept walking.” Claude laughs. The weird war between Claude and Seteth is well known around the campus. Seteth will ask for paper’s five pages long, Claude will overdo it and the paper will be fifteen pages long. He’s one of the smartest students in a long time, if only he didn’t enjoy pushing his professors’ buttons so much.

               “Yeah well, have you thought about getting back to your room in the blizzard?”

               Claude laughs, a nervous smile on his face. “Not quite.”

               “Here.” Dimitri rolls his eyes and puts down his bag, taking off his coat and handing it to Claude. “Wear this. And remember, you owe me.”

               “Owe you what? A date? Or a room to stay in next time Sylvain invites a girl over.” Claude says, missing how Dimitri blushes as he puts on his coat, enjoying the extra warmth. “By the goddess, you have the best coat Dimitri, smells like ya too.” This time Claude catches the blush. Dimitri turns away, knowing Claude loves to tease him like this.

               “Come on, we won’t get you back and in proper cloths talking here.” He takes Claude’s hand after picking up his bag and opens the door.

               Once they’re back in the dorm, Dimitri works at getting Claude back into his room, wrapped in blankets and a cup of hot chocolate, frowning at the two cups of finished coffee in his room and the opened energy drink. “Claude, drinking all of that isn’t healthy.”

               “What? This helps me get great grads.”

               “You’ll die young.”

               “Yeah yeah.” Claude rolls his eyes, opening his blanket cocoon. “Come in, I know you got cold on the way back.”

               Dimitri looks at him, knowing this is a bad idea. His heart can’t take it.

               “Hey, it’s cold.” Claude puts on an overly fake frown and grins when Dimitri gives in, closing his door before crawling into the blanket cocoon as well. It’s warm and comfortable as they start chatting. Dimitri also knows it’s a good way to get Claude to take a break and hopefully fall asleep.

Chapter Text

               Claude’s considering how he got here, riding on Dimitri’s cock amongst his furs, loud moans escaping his mouth. Dimitri’s smiling at him, in his human form, his slightly-less human cock filling Claude so well.

               Claude thinks back to the realization he was attracted to the dragon, dealing with that attraction, getting cornered in his cove of furs by Dimitri after he accidentally let his feelings slip. Dimitri growling as he pushed him into the furs, kissing him hard and heavy, telling him he’s his and not allowed to take back his confession.

               That was the first time he fucked him, in his furs and poor Sylph had to sleep outside, not willing to get close for a week after that.

               Dimitri teases his regularly after that, usually with his tongue. The only thing Dimitri does to him in his dragon form is lick him, running his tongue over his body, making him hard, driving him crazy until Claude is begging for more. That’s how they got in their current position, Claude bouncing on him, Dimitri’s name falling from his lips with every thrust. Dimitri whispers praise for him, small, quiet moans escaping his own lips.

               He gazes as Dimitri, eyes half-lidded as his mouth hangs open, drool dripping from his mouth as Dimitri nips at him. “S-So good.” He mumbles, lolling his head back as he feels something warm building in his core. “D-Dimitri.”

               “Yes?” His voice rumbles as he bites his neck, enjoying the gasp he draws from Claude, breath hitching.

               “I-I’m going to come.”

               Dimitri grins, his teeth sending shivers down Claude’s spine as he picks up the pace of his thrusts, drawing louder moans out of him. The dragon starts stroking him, inviting him to come.

               Claude lets out a groan when he feels Dimitri’s knot push at his rim, and with a few more harsh thrusts he slips the expanded skin in, convulsing in his arms as he comes across their chests.

               Leaning on Dimitri’s shoulders, he can feel him still thrusting into his trembling, oversensitive body before going rigid, grasping his hips, claws digging into his skin as the dragon fills him.

               A whine escapes Claude as Dimitri shuffles them around, getting more comfortable. Claude settles comfortably in his arms, smiling at how lovingly Dimitri looks at him, whispering sweet nothings in his ear as he drifts off.

Chapter Text

               Claude should have expected Imperial soldiers inspecting the abandoned monastery, following the same rumors that brought him weeks ago.

               He’s only just convinced Dimitri to give him freedom around the place the other day, enough freedom someone with a broken arm can get. And even then, he’s still been stuck in the infirmary, but it allowed him to see the approaching soldiers, walking in slowly with weapons at the ready. He can only wonder where Dimitri is hiding. He counted at least a full battalion, so possibly ten to twenty men. If they find him, he’s not in a state to defend himself. Can barely notch an arrow, let alone fire it.

               He hears someone walk up behind him, turning to see Dimitri. He looks outside, growling at the approaching men. “Don’t leave this room.” He snarls at Claude, turning to leave.

               “No, not happening.” Claude frowns, following him. He’s feeling better and while he’s out of commission in relation to combat, he can help in some way. Dimitri turns, ready to snarl back at him. “Do you want me to repeat what happened last time?” He almost feels offended that Dimitri would repeat the same mistake, though he’s less inclined to break his other arm.

               Dimitri tries to make a retort, but all he can get out is, “You wouldn’t.” He seems just about ready to break the door.

               “Are you really going to try me? No, I’m not going to just sit here. If all else, Teach tried teaching me magic once, so I can at least use Wind spells and a Heal spell.” No matter how he looks at it, it’s better then nothing

               “No, you are not coming!”

               Claude laughs, glancing to the doorway. “Are we going to argue this or actually do something about it?” He gives Dimitri a grin and trademark wink to top it all off, enjoying how he can still mess with him after all this time. “Now come on, we need to get to the other side of the bridge.”

               As he makes his way to the stairs, a yelp escapes him as Dimitri picks him up, a yelp almost escaping him as Dimitri rushes them down the stairs, covering his mouth to keep down any complaints. Claude glares at him in his forced silence before Dimitri easily carries him over the bridge.

               Positioned behind the gates as they wait for the soldiers to approach, Claude tests his magic, barely making a strong breeze. Frowning, he turns to Dimitri, who isn’t paying any attention to him at all. He’s holding his silver lance, teeth barred as he prepares for the men beginning to approach over the bridge. “Dimitri, make sure they don’t get inside.” He’s not sure that other man even hears him.

               With a sigh, he decides to take control of the situation. “I’m making the first move.” There are no archers among the soldiers, and likely only a healer. With more confidence then a man with a broken arm should have in this predicament, he takes a step out and unleashes a Wind spell, smiling when he sees two men fall off the bridge, unprepared. This will be easy if this is their experience level.

               Dimitri rushes out moments later, taking the surprised men head on with his lance. It slashes through the first few soldiers with ease as they try to regroup, Claude unleashing another spell at them to keep them in a state of panic.

               Eventually one gets past Dimitri, turning to Claude who is an easier target at close range. Raising their sword, they dodge his spell, ready to stab, only for Dimitri’s lance to jut out of their chest just before they strike. Claude glances at where he stands, unarmed and vulnerable.

               The luck of Dimitri’s throw wears off instantly as soldier stabs Dimitri in the side, taking advantage of the distraction of defending Claude. He grimaces from the pain before tossing the man over the edge. There’s only two left, but Claude’s exhausted and he doesn’t think he can pull off another Wind spell. Instead, he grabs the sword the soldier was wielding with his good hand and runs forward. The soldiers are busy trying to take down Dimitri, not expecting him to even try close combat with his broken arm, stabbing one in the back as Dimitri crushes the other's windpipe.

               Letting go of the sword, he goes to Dimitri’s side. “Dimitri, are you okay? Let me see.”

               “I’m fine!” The injured man snarls and tries to push him away, wincing as Claude ignores his pushing arm and touches his side.

               “Yes, and I don’t have a single broken bone in my body.” The Alliance leader glares at him as he tries to pull out a healing spell. Nope, too tired. “Can you walk to the infirmary?” Dimitri takes a moment to reply, clearly biting a growl. Instead he just nods, leaning a little on Claude as he starts to lead them back.

               “Look at us.” Claude lets out a weak chuckle, wincing when he realizes he’s jostled his broken arm. “Looks like we’re both a little messed up. Hopefully there’s some concoctions to help until I have enough energy to try some healing magic.” He keeps his voice light, trying to hide his worry over Dimitri’s injuries. He’ll be fine, he’s sure he’s dealt with worse on his own.

Chapter Text

               Back when they were students, Claude made up a fun game of shouting Catch! at Dimitri before tossing something. The first time, the apple hit the ground while Dimitri gave him a skeptical look. The next few times, he humoured him, catching the items. When he threw something fragile at him, it broke in his grip. That became a common trend, he’d catch the items, but if they were too fragile, they’d still break.

               That was long ago. Dimitri finds himself wondering if Claude would have yelled it when he fell, trying to escape the third floor. He wouldn’t have broken his arm then. But he’d still be locking him in the library, he’d never have been there to help him when that soldier stabbed him. Dimitri would likely be dead.

               That was months ago, the Professor has returned since then, along with their classmates. Dimitri’s mind has, become less crowded by ghosts, their voices quieter. It’s all due to Claude, his attention, his finds his voice calming. He’s also determined that Claude takes too many risks. As if an excuse, he uses it to spend more time around him, a cover to his desire to simply be near him. Claude keeps his ghosts away.

               Claude has brought back his little game a few weeks ago, constantly testing Dimitri’s reflexes. He does it to some of the other’s too, but mainly Dimitri. It’s like an invitation for him to come over, returning whatever item his throws him, yelling Catch! with that nostalgic smile.

               Even if he’s been almost conditioned to that word, Dimitri still isn’t expecting it when they’re out taking care of bandits. Sylvain and Felix help him to clear out a group at the bottom of a large cliff, Claude, Ignatz, Lysithea and Annette at the top, helping from afar. Claude’s on foot, his wyvern took a nasty hit during the last battle and is recovering at the monastery under Marianne’s expert care.

                “Dimitri!” He hears a yell from above. He turns his head, having taken down an axe wielding bandit who thought they could surprise him. He’s still searching for who called him when he hears it.

               “Catch!” His eyes snap to Claude, looking down at him with an unreadable expression. He starts moving before he even registers Claude jumping, Sylvain and Felix turning at the sound of his lance dropping.

               The cliff is high, if he doesn’t make it, Claude will at best have a broken leg, at worst, a broken neck. So, Dimitri just runs, time almost standing still when he reaches out, catching Claude with ease. He can feel him shiver in his arms and fears his grip too strong. There are small lacerations on his body, but Dimitri’s mind isn’t focusing on that.

               “Claude! That was reckless!” He hisses.

               Claude just grins, looking up at him. “Sorry, no choice. Something unexpected came up.” He replies, wincing as he holds his side.

               A loud crash draws Dimitri’s attention as Sylvain and Felix walk up behind them, finishing off the last bandit. At the top of the cliff there’s a rumble before a demonic beast crashes thru the trees, no room left as it thrashes about.

               If Claude hadn’t jumped, he’d be trapped in the beast’s maw, dead. He took a gamble, trusting in Dimitri to catch him.

               A shout is heard as Lysithea blasts the monster with a Seraphim spell. The monster turns, on its last legs as a spell from Ignatz and Annette hit it next, a howl escaping it as it tries to move back to them, almost dead.

               “Might need some help up there.” Claude mutters, glancing to Felix as he prepares a Thoron spell.

               Dimitri tightens his grip, frowning at the beast that nearly killed Claude. Yet another thing that almost turned the Alliance leader into a ghost to haunt him. Claude’s staring at him, taking staggered breaths but smiles.

               “Got hit a few times by its tail.” He chuckles. “Ignatz got me with a Physic, I’ll be fine until we get back. It’s okay.” It’s as if he already knows where Dimitri’s mind is going. “And hey, looks like that little game finally paid off.”

               Dimitri finally let’s a small, weak smile slip. “You always try to find a positive in the worst things.”

Chapter Text

               Dimitri stands outside of Claude’s room, out of his armor and pacing as he waits. Claude asked him a week ago to help him with something he’s testing.

               Over a week ago, Marianne came across some strange flowers that released spores on her. It was horrible, she hasn’t been able to talk to anyone since Hilda rushed her to her room in a panic. Claude had most of the flowers destroyed except one. They are rare but from Adrestia, so he believes there’s a chance Hubert could use them in battle for an advantage. He’d rather not have a repeat of what happened to Marianne on the battlefield, where it would be disastrous.

                Claude approached him after he had gathered some ripe fruit and herbs to try to make a way to counter the spores of the lone flower he has sealed in his room. “I’d like you to help me with it.”

               “As a test subject?” Dimitri replied, figuring this would happen at some point since Claude took the flower and started pouring over books. Marianne went through an awful experience, helping to prevent that is ideal.

               “No, this is too delicate to use on others, I’ll be testing on myself. I just need you there to help when I do. It never works the first try.” He winked, a mischievous grin on his face as he ran a finger over Dimitri’s jaw, enticing him as he leaned in to steal a small kiss before he walked away.

               Dimitri has helped him twice so far. Both times have been, experiences he will never forget. How could he? Claude practically rode him for over an hour the first time.

               With a groan he leans against the wall, waiting on Claude. There’s no one around. No one wants to risk being near when Claude tests his concoctions right now. Or hear them. Hilda said last time they could hear them outside. Dimitri was mortified. Claude found it hilarious.

               Today Claude’s testing a mixture with some ripe Almyran wyvern berries and a few poisons. He’s been reading up on the plant and found some possible leads so he’s testing one of the possible ingredients first. Dimitri almost thinks he’s dragging this out more then necessary.

               While he’s caught in his thoughts, he hears something hit Claude’s door, a sign to come in. He takes a deep breath. He hates how a part of his hopes it doesn’t work as he opens the door, turning and locking it before even looking to where Claude is.

               He gets his answer when he feels arms wrap around his waist, trying to undress him already. Another failure. Dimitri can already see signs of Claude’s cloths on the floor, taking his hands and pulling them off with ease so he can turn around and take in how far gone the Alliance leader is.

               Claude’s already panting heavily, trembling as he whines loudly, trying to initiate a kiss with Dimitri. His cheeks are red and already covered in sweat, tussled hair sticking to dark skin as Dimitri eventually obliges, kissing him slowly, letting him melt into his mouth. A low moan escapes his lips as his hands get back to trying to undress the King he’s trying to get lost in.

               The plant is covered in the corner, a precaution so Dimitri’s doesn’t get affected. He’s sometimes tempted to lift the lid, but Claude would be furious with him later. So instead, Dimitri focuses on helping him release the effect of the spores. He gives Claude’s his ass a squeeze as the smaller man tenses, almost begging for more before he pulls off his shirt.

               “Tell me what you want.” He whispers in his ear. Claude shivers, mumbling something under his breath before glancing to his bed. “Do you want to ride me again? Or something else?” Claude pouts, nipping at his shoulder in frustration, pushing Dimitri back until he’s sitting on the bed as Claude starts to grind on his leg.

               “I-I see.” Oh Goddess, Dimitri needs to hold himself together. He’s just here to give Claude what he needs, he can’t get caught up in his own desires. Everything for Claude. “Do you want me to touch you?” Claude nods, shutting his eyes as tears start to form. He lets out a pathetic sob as Dimitri gently runs his thumb over his cock, pressing gently at the slit, already leaking precum. Slowly he starts stroking him, listening for Claude’s reactions. Taking them in.

               The room is full of his moans, crying for more as Dimitri does his best to satisfy him. He’s so focused he lets out a small yelp when Claude pushes him over. He pulls his hands away, watching as Claude removes his pants and underwear, kneeling between his legs and taking his own erection into his mouth as if his life depended on it. Dimitri needs to remind himself, it does.

               He takes a shaky breath, reaching down and gently running his fingers through Claude’s hair, groaning at the vibrations he feels down his cock as Claude moans around his, desperately bobbing his head as if to suck him dry. He looks up at Dimitri, eyes half-lidded and full of lust as he’s lost in the pleasure of his cock in his mouth, as if he wants nothing more then to stay there forever.

               “C-Claude!” Dimitri hisses, pulling at his hair to slow his pace, drawing another moan from him. “I-I’m sure you’d rather me f-filling you another way.” He needs to draw his focus. It’ll be faster if he touches Claude, not Claude touching him, even if he loves it. Thankfully, Claude seems to like his idea, climbing up onto Dimitri’s chest where he lowers his ass on Dimitri’s face. This is new, but Dimitri is all for doing whatever he wants. Claude lets out a low whimper as Dimitri spreads his cheeks, easing his tongue into him.

               Claude’s already loose, having prepared himself in advance. But it doesn’t stop him bouncing on Dimitri’s tongue as he eats him out. Claude’s back to speaking gibberish as Dimitri starts getting lost in the action of licking inside him, squeezing his cheeks. He lets out a whine when Claude pulls away, panting and shifting until he’s hovering over Dimitri’s hard cock, leaking and ready for him.

               Dimitri let’s out a low snarl as he grabs his hips, pulling him down as he snaps his hips up in a sharp action, revelling in Claude’s loud shout of pleasure. Claude’s smiling with glee, mouth hanging open as Dimitri thrusts into him, fast and hard. He’s singing praise for how good Dimitri is making him feel. Dimitri’s digging his fingers into his hips, there will be bruises later for sure.

               “F-Feel s-so full! S-So good. L-Love your cock inside meeeE-“ A sharp cry interrupts him as he comes, head lolling back as he cries, overstimulated and quivering.

               A high-pitched whine leaves his lips as Dimitri follows shortly after, filling him as he flops on his chest. Dimitri goes to pull him off, but Claude complains in a mummer. “N-No, leave it in.” He sighs, content and happy, full of Dimitri’s seed and cock. Dimitri nods slowly, holding him close as he does his best to clean them both off, tensing whenever he feels Claude tighten around him. Once he’s done, he pulls the covers over them, so they can rest.


               “So, how long until I was spent, Dima?” Claude asks, laying on Dimitri’s chest with a big grin on his face, enjoying how red Dimitri is. The poor King glances over to the timer he thankfully remembered to stop while he cleaned up.

               “Fifteen minutes. Much faster then all the other ti-times.” He can’t repress a shudder, feeling Claude shift, his cock still inside him. Claude’s enjoying this.

               “That’s good. I should be able to achieve a counter to the flower’s pollen after at least two more trials. Still wish I could remember what happened. But I know it was good.” He winks, wiggling his ass on purpose, drawing a long moan from Dimitri as he feels a strong hand cup his jaw, brushing over his beard.

               Dimitri sighs, taking his left hand with his free hand, kissing over his palm, down his arm. He always finds himself touching where his arm broke. Claude, in turn, runs his fingers over the scar in his side from the wound when Dimitri saved his life. They lay in silence together, basking in a short moment of peace.

               “We should get up.” Claude mutters, even if he’d rather not, moving and shivering as Dimitri slips out, enjoying the whimper Dimitri that slips from his lips. “Come on, can’t stay here forever. And don’t worry, once I’m done with this, I plan to reward you with something I’ll actually remember.” He tempts Dimitri, kissing at his nose before standing.

               Or at least attempting to stand as he legs give out and he lands on his ass instead. Claude cringes as Dimitri laughs from the bed.