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Claude despised the atmosphere that clung to Garreg Mach lately, it made butterflies fill his stomach and his scales feel hot. Every dragonet seemed to be head over heels for someone else, except for Claude, it made him jealous almost, even more so now that he had a front row seat to the public display of affection between a certain Skywing and Nightwing, the two males rubbing their snouts together and purring lowly. 

Ugh, it made him sick, he would eat a cactus if there were any here.

“GET A ROOM!” Claude yelled from the wall he was lying on, laughing as Ferdinand jumped with a squeal, hitting his head against Hubert’s due to the hasty action. Claude laughed from where he was, nearly rolling over onto his stomach from laughter as Hubert huffed out a small plume of fire from his nostrils. 

“Leave him Hubie, he’s not worth your animus magic.” Ferdinand grumbled, Claude sticking his tongue out, Ferdinand grimacing.

“That much I can agree on.” Hubert grunting, nudging him with one of his wings before they walked away, Claude huffing as they left the courtyard below him. Claude wouldn’ve stretched his wings and gotten ready to fly off had he not heard a quiet exchange below him, the Sandwing hybrid looking down to the path below him. 

“Afternoon, Dimitri.”

“Afternoon you two.” Claude slammed his rump down at the sound of that perfect, quiet voice, ears pricked up. Dimitri, the dragonet of his dreams, the only guy he wanted to spend the rest of his days with, oh to hold his talons in his own and put a wing over him and-

Claude stopped mid fantasy, a frown on his face.

Oh Goddess, what in the hells was THAT-

“Gross, gross, gross.” Claude gagged, the Sandwing shook himself, spreading his wings to take in the heat of the sun, casting a long shadow below him. He kept his gaze trailed on the path and he finally saw him.

The perfect dragon was right below him, the Nightwing-Seawing hybrid walked confidently, claws clicking against the cobblestone below him, his almost abyss blue scales shine in the afternoon sun, the faint patches of luminescent scales forming a trail from the back of his head to his flank, the silver spikes that ran down his head and back laid flat, the prince of the holy kingdom relaxed, a rare sight indeed. His wings were tucked neatly into his body, and his tail’s tip flicked, he was in a pleasant mood it seemed.

Claude heard him chuckle softly, oh what a heavenly sound, he wished he heard it more often. He saw the prince’s retainer walk out into the courtyard behind him, the Mudwing-Nightwing speaking about the conditions of the greenhouse it seemed, judging how much the usually quiet dragonet spoke. 

He froze as he saw the retainer spot the shadow and look up, “Claude?”

“Dedue!” Claude nearly sang out, standing up, curling his barbed tail. “Hey! How’s the weather down there?”

Dimitri looked up, those wonderful baby blue eyes softening at the sight of the other house leader. “Claude! What are you doing up on the wall?”

“Relaxing, taking up the sun’s rays, bothering Hubert and Ferdinand.” Claude said, dramatically draping a talon over his eyes, wings flopped against the stone wall. He heard Dimitri laugh quietly from his spot in the courtyard, when he peeked through his talons, he saw the prince sit down, tail tucked around his legs neatly.

“That would explain why they were grumbling after they greeted us.” Dimitri muttered, his retainer huffing slightly. “You may want to tone it down. I wouldn’t put it past Hubert to curse your mouth shut with a spell.”

“Not if I poison him first! He can’t curse me if he can’t move.” Claude joked.
“Claude!” Dimitri yelped. 

“Relax your princeliness.” The Sandwing laughed, smiling as the prince relaxed below, haunches no longer tense. “Edelgard would have my head if I pestered her retainer too much, and I’d rather not be burnt to a crisp by the Skywing Empress.”

“A mutual feeling, my friend.”

“I have something to attend to your highness, I’ll return shortly.”

“Understood, Dedue.” The retainer bowed to Claude who teasingly repeated the motion before the huge dragonet left, Claude leaping down from the wall to join Dimitri on the ground. “Were you really up there to soak up the sun? I though Rainwings were the ones who basically worshipped it.”

“Everyone needs a little sun. Besides, I miss the afternoon sun in the Alliance’s territory. You can’t tell me you don’t miss the cloudless nights in Faerghus, hm?” The Sandwing retorted lightheartedly, making the hybrid prince’s ears prick slightly.
“Touche.” Dimitri chuckled. “But there’s more to it than that, correct?”

“Have you not felt it Dima? This place feels like how the dining hall smells on mystery meat night.” Claude waved his wings around for emphasis, pouting as Dimitri tilted his head in confusion. “Claustrophobic.” 

“How so?”

Claude was baffled by the obliviousness of the holy kingdom’s future leader, maybe there was a bit of truth in what Felix said when he called Dimitri a boar. Although, boars were maybe less oblivious than this. 

“It literally stinks of horny teenage dragonets, Dimitri, you can smell it.” Claude wailed, shaking Dimitri’s shoulders as the other yelped, he could feel him grow hot, Claude resting his head on Dimitri’s chest, oh Goddess he wished he could keep it right where it was, right above Dima’s heart. “It reeks, Hubert and Ferdinand, Leonie and Ingrid, hell, I’m sure you’ve seen Sylvain following Felix around like a love sick wolf, right?”

“Well…”

“Even Hilda! My own best friend, sneaking off with Marianne in the dead of night to gossip and talk about flowers and how much of a gorgeous hunk I am-”

“Claude!” Dimitri sputtered, clearly embarrassed, Claude couldn’t contain the laugh he tried to bite back. 

“You get the idea right? It’s no fun being alone.”

“You’re lonely?” Dimitri asked.

“I am, I guess.” Claude huffed, tucking his wings in. He yelped as Dimitri nudged his shoulder with his snout. 

“Come on, let’s go train.”

“Train?!” Claude whined. He had already had to go out with Seteth and Byleth earlier that day, the bruises on his flanks and ribs were proof enough of how the massive Nightwing and lithe hybrid had tossed him around like a ragdoll all morning long. 

“Would you rather be alone?” Dimitri suggested, the dragonet smiling slightly. Oh, oh clever boy.

“Oh fine, but just because I can’t say no when you smile at me like that.” Claude chuckled, letting Dimitri lead the way before he matched his pace. 

“Promise you’ll go easy on old Claude?”

“I’ll try my best.” The dragonet laughed quietly, and Claude nearly melted where he walked.

 

---

 

Claude didn’t know how it happened.

Those little meetings in the courtyard that always led to walks, to training, to flies around Garreg Mach, Claude hadn’t really thought much about the time they had spent together. Really, Claude had brushed it off as Dimitri being polite and trying to get to know him better, since they were both house leaders and all, but no.

Goddess no, it hadn’t been that at all.

Now Claude was curled up with Dimitri , the larger dragonet’s wings curled around him, covering him, drawing him close to the prince’s warmth as he was held dearly, Dimitri snoring softly. 

If this was a dream he didn’t ever want to wake up.

Maybe he was jealous, just a little, but holy shit it had been for a good reason. This was divine, being held, loved, to have someone to confide in you all their worries, their secrets, their fears.

Claude was in love.

In love with Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd.

But in love nonetheless. 

Claude purred softly, a low, happy sound deep in his chest, Dimitri shifting beside him and pulling him closer. Claude saw the faint glow from his scales in his sleep, probably a response to someone in his dreams.

Claude smiled, and he closed his eyes again.

May the Goddess bless them both. 

 

---

 

Dimitri.

Where is Dimitri, where is he, oh Goddess, oh no, please, please don’t let him be dead, please Serios-

Claude raced down the paths of the monastery, he could hear the battle going on outside, sharp cries of pain, roars of anger, wails of agony, screams cut short. Claude bounded up the stairs, wings already unfurling from his sides as he came to the roof, taking a running start before he lept into the air, wings flapping and lifting him into the skies, a flash of gold in the murky sunrise. The whole of Garreg Mach was a warzone, he spotted Byleth amongst the dragons, dispatching foes quickly and moving to catch up to Annette and Dorothea it seemed.

He spotted the familiar blasts of frost breath below, Felix and Sylvain fighting off imperial soldiers together, Sylvain blasting them with fire before Felix hit them with a cold, deadly ice breath. Caspar and Ashe were double teaming a larger dragon, both of the smaller dragonets efficient and sorely underestimated by their now screaming opponent. 

Ignatz raced towards Raphael, the tiny Rainwing hissing before he spit a blotch of corrosive acid into an imperial Skywing’s eyes, the dragon roaring in agony and withering on the ground as the two raced away. Goddess, he even spotted Hubert clawing at Ferdinand’s flank and biting his leg, Ferdinand wailing in agony before he kicked him off, the Skywing racing away with the other retreating Black Eagles that had joined the Blue Lions, Byleth more specifically. Hubert tried to follow him, but Byleth blocked his way suddenly, tackling him down and giving him a few good slashes across the snout and flank before sending him running with his tail between his legs before she raced off once more. 

Goddess bless that dragoness for keeping all of his friends safe. 

No sign of Dimitri.

Goddess where was he?!

“PROFESSOR!”

Oh no.

Claude saw him, he saw Dimitri by the gorge, he saw Dedue pull him away from the edge, the larger dragonet saying something to him before shoving him away from the edge and back into the fray. Dimitri roared in what Claude could only describe as the rage of Serios herself before he launched himself into the fray, dragons scrambling to get out of the way. Claude saw Edelgard nearby, the dragoness clearly looking for Dimitri, her enemy, if anyone was in her way for total control of Fodlan, it was Rhea, and Dimitri, and as far as Claude knew Rhea was either captured or already dead. 

He saw the white Skywing narrow her eyes and race forward, cutting down everyone in her way, friend or foe alike.

She had seen Dimitri. She was going to kill him.

Claude had to save Dimitri.

Claude tucked his wings in and dove into the battle, landing on top of a very surprised Icewing and flinching as he heard her back snap and her legs buckle beneath her weight as he shoved himself off her and bounded toward Dimitri with the momentum. “Dima!”

Claude couldn’t feel his legs, his wings, his anything, it felt like it took forever to reach his Dimitri, his prince, and the moment he got to him he regretted every life decision up until that point. 

Claude got a perfect view of Dimitri silencing a scream of pain from an imperial Skywing by snapping his neck between his maw, Dimitri dropping the limp body before he lunged at another imperial soldier, this Icewing not having time to even make noise before Dimitri made his skull collapse in on itself beneath his claws, Claude wanting to retch up the measly breakfast he had that morning. Dimitri was killing every dragon that got too close, a Mudwing tried to burn him, fire hitting Dimitri but almost seeming to bounce off before Dimitri blast him with his own flames, the Mudwing screaming in agony before racing away, still on fire, companions screaming as he tripped and cannoned into them

Claude wanted to say something, anything to snap Dimitri out of this rage, he wanted to calm him down, hold him, soothe him, but when Dimitri looked at him he didn’t see warmth. He saw bloodlust, a fire raging so brightly Dimitri could’ve gone blind. Dimitri’s snout was stained with blood and so were his claws, and he had his sights set on Claude now. 

“DIMA!” Claude roared, as Dimtri bowled into him, the prince hissing, his talons around Claude’s throat, Claude trying to claw at him, kick him off, fucking stab him with his barbed tail but gods dammit he had no poison! Dimitri was going to kill him thinking he was an enemy, he was going to snap his neck or suffocate him, or-

Dimitri suddenly let go, Claude gasping for lost breath as Dimitri roared in agony and Claude then saw it. His left wing was dissolving, the leather slowly being eaten away by acid . He saw a flash of pink before something shoved him up. 

“Hurry up, by the Goddess, that won’t hold him for long!”

Hilda. 

Claude looked back at Dimitri, who was still roaring in agony, his wing was missing more than half the leathery skin that let dragons fly, Dimitri could never regrow it, he was landbound now, by the Goddess, Hilda had sentenced Dimitri to death. Edelgard was going to be able to catch him and kill him.

Hilda shoved him again, taking to the air before Claude followed, shaking as Dimitri tried to follow them, leaping into the air only to fall to the mud again, Claude wincing. 

“CLAUDE, HELLO, I’M SAVING YOU LIFE, GODS DAMMIT!”

Claude finally turned to fly away with her, to where he could see the other Golden Deer were hiding and waiting, licking their wounds and cowering like kicked dogs. He heard Dimitri roar in agony again, and the faint start of a new conversation between someone and the holy kingdom’s prince.

“Why, if it isn’t Lambert’s boy~”

“Cornelia?!”

Claude closed his eyes, and he prayed to whatever would listen. 

Please.

Please let him see Dimitri again.