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It is barely seven in the morning—or so her phone says—and she yawns two times more. The waiting room is spacious and pretty scarce, making the already-chill air conditioner feels even colder. Byleth makes another attempt to look at her phone, genuinely annoyed because it hasn’t changed—seven still, and she tightens her jacket to hug her body, moving on to smooth her skirt next.

This is truly crazy.

Leaving the house at five-thirty alone is already crazy enough because her father had not even woken up when she left. Riding early bus gave her a golden one-hour nap she needed, with the other passengers looking just equally half-dead that for a moment she suspected this might be a ghostly bus heading to the underworld that she rode in.

But she knows everything is going to be worth it because her heart thumped the closer she got to the airport. Normally Byleth absolutely dislikes being checked because it reminds her of yet another instance of her being treated as a curious object, but this is the procedure, anyway, not to mention that first and foremost she is dying to see him again.

Dimitri has gone to a family house to take care of few things, he said to her before embarking. Babushka’s old house would need reparations, and for sure Byleth didn’t have the heart to cut in—dear Dima smiled as he vividly recounted the memories he spent in late babushka’s house, and with it taking her into a tour as if Dimitri personally took her hand and brought her to explore the charming little Slavic house, deep near the mountains where the snow is whiter than starlight and the breeze is colder than the coldest death stare known to humankind. But Dimitri’s promise to return in three days prolonged to ten because of the delayed flight and sudden interruption regarding the renovation itself, and by now Byleth wouldn’t be surprised if dear Dima personally fixed the roof.

Byleth shifts in her seat. Jeralt would be gone for various periods of time when she was little. Sure, she would miss her father because Jeralt could leave from a day to three, a week to two leaving her in the care of family-friend Alois if not left and right neighbors aware that the father-daughter pair lived a rather uncommon life like this. But there is nothing compared to missing Dima as she is now, a woman on her own, longing to look into his eyes again. She wants to smack him for making her think of him like this, but at the same time letting those eyes drown her alive might make a good bargain, so…

Byleth gasps. The announcer’s voice yanks her from her own mind that she quickly grabs her backpack, moving to one of the seats located closest to the corridor heading to the arrival gate. Feeling bad for racing a kid who wanted her seat, all the apology in her head disappears when incoming passengers begin to pour into the waiting room.

She spots him.

He looks just as brilliant as ever in his dapper coat; this time that one iconic blue-white one with the fur accent. Byleth giggles softly when she sees Dimitri’s sullen look as he takes off his shoes and passes his belongings to be scanned. Out of emotions she starts to come into terms with after knowing him… after liking him… and now dating him, never once she wants to replace that lady officer with metal detector who takes her time scanning Dima from head to toe like that. What is that for? She isn’t dating him!

Dimitri moves along as he fixes his wristwatch, anyway—but not too long because Byleth swims into his arms. Admittedly it is nice to hear dear Dima’s soft gasp there, but even more so because never once he backs down even out of reflex or surprise, as if he knows that his chest is reserved for her and that nobody else will find themselves there besides this particular Miss Byleth Eisner.

“Professor,” he speaks softly, as if knowing how much she feels at the moment yet how little she can convey for now. His big paw travels around to caress her face, fingertips easily find their way to tuck her hair stands behind her ear. “… Moy vozlyublennyj.”

“You are warm,” she murmurs. “This waiting room is cold.”

“I agree,” he leans in closer that his lips are next to her ear. “Strange isn’t it, moy svet?”

“What is, Bossmitri?” she whispers. “… I mean. Dima.”

“I grew up in cold places,” he smiles a bit. “Babushka’s old house is cold. Even Fhirdiad is located at the colder part of Fodlan. I thought I’m used to it, and yet…”

“And yet?”

“Like this,” Dimitri says. “I regret to have this coat on me. Must be because you are so warm too.”

“… How mellow.”

“Better to you than other people, Byleth.”

“I can’t believe this—but I agree,” she says. “Does this happen often, historically?”

“What, a vojevoda agreeing with a bogatyr?” he raises his eyebrows. “Probably not.”

“Hmmm. What about if one holds another’s hand?” she keeps her face straight and her tone as casual as possible. Slipping her hand into his bigger, gloved one feels like a puzzle piece meeting  the right place to be—Dimitri is right, after all, everything feels so warm and she is wide awake.

“Even rarer,” he, too, keeps his tone neutral. “But then again who cares, lyublimaya?”

“You’ve got a point,” she sighs. “… Welcome back, Dima.”

“Thank you,” he replies, with softness rivaling her own. “… Anyway, you look like my girlfriend.”

“Oh, you’re taken?” she says, snuggling up to him as they keep walking.

“Very much. Does that sadden you?” he nods solemnly on purpose.

“No—me too,” she mutters, fishing a small smile out of him. “Another trip after this?”

“No,” he squeezes her hand. “I’m here to stay.”

She squeezes back as they leave the airport.