This whole thing is pretty weird, if you ask Capell. First there's the fact that this school year he went from being an absolute nobody to having two boyfriends, kind of, and having them be okay with each other, kind of. Then there's the part where they're both into this LARPing stuff, and they're trying to get him into it—honestly there are some cool parts there, if only because they keep telling him that their kingdom or whatever would be happy to have more minstrels, and Capell would like to have someplace where he could play his flute for people and not feel like a giant nerd. But then there's this thing they're doing this afternoon, in a clearing in the woods on what Capell is pretty sure is actually private property, and here they all are dressed up and carrying their swords and stuff. The rule books that Ed showed him kind of made Capell's eyes cross, but he's pretty sure nobody was supposed to have combat without people around to supervise, and he's really sure the rule about not using actual steel was in all capital letters.
But here they are, with Ed—okay, no, Sir Edward of Burguss, right, facing off against Lord Touma of Halgita, and that is definitely real steel glinting in the sunlight even though everybody here knows better. Don't worry about it, we'll be careful, they told him as they were driving out here. It's just a matter of having enough control. Capell can't say he's convinced, even if they don't expect him to be fighting too.
"A duel, then," Ed says, and wow he's good at getting in character for this, "for the honor of serving his highness."
Capell would be pretty terrified to be looking down the barrel of Ed's, er, sword, because Ed's like six feet tall and when he's not nerding out he's working out, and he's got these shoulders like...well, honestly it's pretty hot, but it would be scary at the pointy end of a sword. Touma doesn't seem freaked out, though, even though he's a lot skinnier and a lot closer to Capell's five-seven. He raises his sword and twists the angle just a little so the light catches it, and smiles that little confident smile that always makes Capell feel fluttery.
"It should be my pleasure to cross blades with a swordsman of your caliber," Touma answers. He's good at it, too. "Your highness," he says, looking over at Capell, "I pray you will bear witness to our match, and be our judge."
Where they got the idea that Capell should be a prince for this, he has no idea. "Um, sure," he says, and sees Ed flinch. "I mean, as you wish." He's really not good enough at sounding fancy. He's just not.
Ed and Touma stare each other down for another tense minute, and then they both swing at almost the same time. Capell cringes at the clang of steel on steel, expecting there to be screaming—what if somebody loses an eye? what if somebody loses an arm?—but they both stagger back unhurt, circling each other slowly. The second time, he can hear Touma grunt with the effort of stopping Ed's attack, and their swords make an awful screeching noise as they slide against each other. Somebody's going to die, Capell just knows it.
Touma does some fancy footwork to get out of Ed's way, twisting as he goes, and oh shit oh shit then it looks like he's going to catch Ed in the back, only Ed manages to turn just in time, taking one hand off the hilt of his sword and blocking with his forearm. That makes an awful, dull thud, and Ed winces, but there's no bleeding or anything and he takes hold of his sword again as he scrambles back, so it's probably not broken.
Still, this—this is not a good time. Capell isn't sure if it's a good time for the others, even. They look pretty serious—like, not just normal everyday serious, but extra serious with a helping of sharp pointy objects. What if...what if they mean it? What if they really are fighting over him, just doing it in costume so they don't have to admit it?
"Guys, cut it out," Capell says, as they go in for another terrifying clash of steel. They're so totally not listening. Capell chews the inside of his lip nervously. Maybe—maybe he's going to have to do this on their terms.
He draws the short sword Ed loaned him—smaller than either of theirs, but it feels heavy in his hand—and takes a step forward, holding it out. He breathes in deep to steady himself and tries to make his voice sound commanding: "Hold," he says, which the rule book said was what the referees should say to stop combat in an official match thing.
It's still kind of a surprise when it works. Ed and Touma both freeze in their tracks, swords wavering a little bit with the effort of stopping in mid-swing. They lower their swords slowly, and then turn toward Capell. He swallows hard.
"Have you already chosen a champion, your highness?" Touma asks.
Capell frowns. "Aren't you kind of...doing this the wrong way?" If he stops talking he'll lose his nerve, so. "I mean, I'm supposed to be your prince, but you haven't even asked what I want here. What if I don't want you to fight each other for this? What if I'd rather have two champions?" He gestures with his sword, which is harder than they make it look. Big long bars of steel are heavy, who knew? "I mean, come on. King Arthur had, like, loads of knights." Touma raises an eyebrow at that, and Ed's making a face like he can't tell whether to wince or laugh. "It should be okay for me to have two."
"Well," Ed says. He sheathes his sword and looks over at Touma. Touma shrugs. "If you're going to take the title seriously...."
Touma sheathes his sword, too, then goes down on one knee. "Then it would be my honor to serve, your highness."
Ed and Capell both startle a little at that, but then Ed does it too. Maybe they're still competing, but at least this kind of competition won't send anybody to the emergency room. "I am grateful for your esteem, my liege," Ed says.
Actually? Wow. Capell stands there for a minute, just staring at them, trying out the way that feels. It's...kind of neat, being in charge. Having them listen. "Then I, um." He touches his sword to Ed's shoulders, carefully, hoping the trembling in his arm isn't too obvious. "Then I dub you a-a knight of the royal guard," he says. Ed looks up at him and wow, he's really into the role—Capell's pretty sure he's never seen a look like that, all proud and admiring, directed at him by anybody.
And then he figures, okay, they're letting him run this show, right? So maybe he can make it a little less traditional if he wants to. He leans down and kisses Ed's mouth, just for a second, gently. Ed makes a tiny, low sound in his throat, and Touma takes a sharp breath.
So Capell steps back and turns to do the knighting thing a second time. "You, too," he says. "I dub you a knight of the royal guard." Touma knows to expect it, so he's tilting his head up for a kiss almost as soon as Capell lowers his sword. It's...a little bit terrifying, kissing each of them in front of the other one. It's not like this was a big secret or anything, but still, it's kind of easier to ignore when you don't see it, right?
But maybe having a setup like this will help. If he can get into it, take it seriously enough for them to buy it, then maybe he can make them play nice. He'll just have to act the part, is all. Capell stands up straighter, trying to mentally go over some of the cool bits of Lord of the Rings in his head. Never mind that he'll never be as cool as Aragorn. He's pretty sure that's not possible in real life anyway.
"If you're going to, ah, swear yourselves to me," he says, "then you—then you're also comrades with each other." He can sound more impressive than this, can't he? More like he actually knows how to give orders? Aragorn, he reminds himself. "I expect t-to see you cooperate with each other. N-not fighting among yourselves."
"As you wish," Ed says.
Touma bows his head. "I am yours to command."
Having them say that kind of stuff...Capell thinks he could get used to this. "Then...rise," he says. "And let me see you make peace." Getting the words right is still tricky, but he thinks he's doing okay.
Ed and Touma get to their feet slowly, watching each other, and Ed takes a step forward. He holds out his hand, and Touma takes it, but Touma also takes another step closer, close enough that he has to look up a little to meet Ed's eyes, close enough so they could probably—
"Yes," Capell says, and his voice cracks. "Do that."
They kiss, and Capell watches, and—and this barely even looks real. In a good way. Like, in a somebody-set-this-up-on-purpose way. Ed's bigger, black-haired, dressed all in blue, and Touma looks pretty small next to him, platinum blond, his costume white and green. They could be the cover of a romance novel or something. Do they have guy-on-guy fantasy romance novels? Probably.
And it's not like a lukewarm because-we-have-to kiss, either. Ed makes that growling sound that always raises the hairs on the back of Capell's neck, and when Touma pulls back there's an instant when he's still got Ed's lip between his teeth, tugging. Both of their mouths are flushed red when they turn to look at him. It's one of the hottest things Capell has ever seen.
"Don't mind me," he says. "You can keep going."
Ed looks like he's trying not to smile. "Is that our lord's command?" he says.
Capell squirms. He doesn't have any real power, right? If he told them to and they didn't want to, they'd just quit playing along. "Yes," he says. "Continue."
Telling people to do something they want to do is a really easy way to get your orders followed, but it's still pretty awesome. Capell watches his boyfriends—his knights—make out, and he keeps thinking, they're doing that for me, and then he wants to squirm more and it's a good thing his costume doesn't involve tight pants. He kind of wants to go get in the middle of that but he also kind of wants to just stay right where he is and watch, because they're amazing.
They can't possibly have been really fighting earlier, he decides now. Not if they could go from that to this so easily, Ed's gloved hands bunching up the fabric of Touma's shirt as he holds on, Touma pulling Ed's hair as he leans up to kiss harder. That's pretty much totally fine, though, because this is a good thing to have been wrong about. A really hot thing to have been wrong about.
"Can you—can you get your pants open without having to take all of that off?" Capell asks.
Touma moans, and Ed's voice has gone all rough and needy when he says, "Yes, my liege."
"Then do it," Capell says. His voice barely shakes at all. "Your lord wants to watch you."
They don't need to be told twice. Ed catches one glove in his teeth to pull it off—hot—and Touma's hands fumble as he undoes all his fancy belts and laces—also hot—and they don't seem to want to let go of each other at all—the hottest part. Capell takes a step closer so he can see more clearly, so he can watch when Ed wraps one raw-knuckled hand around Touma's cock, so he can see it when Touma rises to the challenge—heh—and shows Ed the twisty thing he does with his wrist at the end of a stroke. From the way Ed shudders, it gets to him the same way it does to Capell.
Touma looks up for a moment, and gives Capell this smile that's way too flirty for this knights-and-lords thing. "Does this please you, my liege?"
"I have to admit, this is my favorite kind of swordplay," Capell says.
Ed snorts, burying his face in Touma's shoulder like he can pretend he's not laughing. One of these days, Capell will get him to stop being so serious.
That can wait, though. "Don't stop," Capell says. "Show me."
Touma nods, and Ed murmurs, "Yes, my lord," and Capell wonders if maybe they should try doing the roleplay thing again sometime when it's just two of them instead of all three, because it's—he feels weird about being demanding, but maybe if they want him to, maybe if they're playing characters....
He watches them, the way they have to shift to figure out how to get close enough without getting in each other's way, how their rhythms match and then slide out of kilter again. How Ed worries his bottom lip between his teeth when he starts to get close, and how Touma flushes pink all the way to his hairline. Capell reaches down and just kind of...kneads his cock a little through his pants. He wants to wait, doesn't want to miss a second of this, but god, watching them has him hard enough to ache.
Touma gets there first, his breathing going all shaky and his free hand clenched in Ed's sleeve and he says, "Please," like he can't help it.
"Yes," Ed says, soft and fierce and Capell feels like melting into a little puddle and then Ed is making Touma come, right there, and he's watching, and it's gorgeous. "Don't stop," Ed says, and Touma nods, taking a firmer grip on his cock.
Ed looks over at Capell and his eyes are—are pleading, wow, so Capell says, "I want you to. Y-your lord wants you to," and that was the right thing to say, because Ed groans, squeezing his eyes shut and shuddering, swaying on his feet as he comes. Capell feels like he might die of hotness right there.
When Touma lets go of him, Ed sinks to one knee for a minute, like he's trying to catch his breath. Touma stays right there, close to him, and they're both watching Capell. Eventually Touma says, "And now?"
"Now?" Capell says.
Ed and Touma exchange glances. "You have claimed the allegiance of two champions," Ed says. "What task do you have for us?" And he licks his lips, slowly enough that he must mean it as a suggestion.
"I," Capell says. He takes a step closer. "Er."
Touma kneels beside Ed, and Capell's brain blows a fuse. "Only name the challenge, and we shall meet it," Touma says.
This whole thing is still pretty weird, but Capell isn't about to complain.