“Sylvain you said this was a weapon expo.” He’s glaring at the giant banner plastered across two thirds of the entrance to the convention hall, one that was smiling back at him with flowing script that mockingly read, Wedding Expo.
“Did I say weapon expo? Because I’m positive I said wedding.” Clapping his hands like this was no big slip, Sylvain suddenly had the foresight to look surprised. “Wow that’s so weird Felix! Anyways, keep walking, I want free cake.”
“Fuck your cake! I don’t even like cake! You know that!” Hissing, Felix knows that he’s about three seconds from trying to wrestle the car keys out of Sylvain’s pocket and driving himself home. And he would have done it too if Sylvain wasn’t so quick about catching both his hands in his stupidly big ones and squeezing in warning and with silent pleas to not start a brawl.
Putting Felix’s scarred knuckles dangerously close to his lips, and gambling that he wasn’t about to get his lights punched out, Sylvain breathed against his hands. “You said it was my turn to choose our hang out. And besides, I already filled out the registration. I thought Felix Hugo Fraldarius-Gautier sounded better than Gautier-Fraldarius, but what do you think?”
And if his face wasn’t already scarlet, Felix knew he looked like a right mess at hearing their names smashed together and hating how much that cacophony sounded like a symphony to his ears. Friends don’t do that, what the fuck.
This might just be the cruelest thing Sylvain’s done since, since. Fuck , this might be the crulest thing Sylvain’s ever done. And just so he knew this was an awful idea, Felix lead off with one of his go-to sentence starters. “Fuck you Sylvain Jose Gautier, I’m going to fuc-”
Cutting Felix’s tirade short, Sylvain pat his cheek, stunning Felix to silence at the absolute nerve . “That’s the whole idea dear. Now settle down before you scare any more of these lovely brides to be.” Winking roguishly for someone who was supposedly engaged, Sylvain tossed his fake smiles to a score of happy couples, somehow managing to wreck home even though he was already happily tied down. “Besides, you owe me.” Snapping his fingers and pointing at Felix, he asked a question they both knew the answer to. “Who convinced our landlord that the hole in the door was from an attempted robbery and not your foot after you lost your keys.”
Felix didn’t want to honor that with an answer, so he settled for smacking Sylvain’s hand away. It’s amazing how good he was at pulling in old favors, and Felix ground his teeth and tried his best not to scream. “Don’t expect me to call you any pet names, idiot.”
Quirking his mouth to a grin, Sylvain started dragging Felix into the vendor’s hall, ignoring the way his fake fiance was doing his best to dig his heels into the ground. “Aww... but babe. You just did.”
His voice carried a delightful lilt that made Felix spiral into intense regret for ever letting himself fall for this mess. But at the same time, begrudgingly letting himself get pulled through another one of what he knew was Sylvain’s idea of a joke.
Felix can hear giggling from the well dressed pairs passing by while they quarreled, and glances down at his own tracksuit and shirt that he was sure he’d rolled out of bed with.
It’s only 10 AM and Felix wishes he was home.
“Now remember Fe, we’re lovers, engaged and in the middle of a whirlwind romance. Which means you can’t hit me. We need to sell this.”
Sylvain’s already invested, throwing out their backstory and doing little to embellish the facts. According to him, they were childhood friends, true, that ended up living together in college, also true, and were somehow holding down rent together despite both of them graduating and having no reason to stick together anymore, true. The only difference was that in his game, they were together together.
But playing pretend, is the last thing Felix wants. He’d like it to be real, maybe a step or five back. Starting with plain dating would have been nice. Or maybe real flirting. Not the type of fake flirting that Sylvain did when he sleepily ruffled his hair in the morning when he walked by. Or the way he’d fall asleep against Felix while watching a movie he picked out. And definitely not their string of good morning and good night texts sent at dawn and dusk despite both of them laying in rooms not five feet apart. That would be too easy though, wouldn’t it?
And as fate would have it, the expo is every level of horrible he thought it would be and more.
There were so many people in love, hanging off each other, holding each other’s hands and being so disgustingly affectionate that he thought he was going to hurl. But only because he was starting to realize that this is what he wishes he and Sylvain were like.
Pinching the bridge of his nose while Sylvain was chatting earnestly to a vendor showcasing their display of donut walls, he tried to ignore the way Sylvain was tugging him closer, still absolutely livid that he’d betrayed his trust for the allure of free cake and stupid wedding goodies. But he still let Sylvain sling his arm casually around his waist, only turning his nose up slightly and wrinkling it when a bite of that round frosting slathered glutenous mess was offered to him.
He’s just shy, he heard Sylvain explain. And if it weren’t for the fact that he hadn’t spent his entire time here rolling his eyes, he would have done it again.
But he’s enjoying himself, secretly. Everytime Sylvain laughs at an atrocious new trend or points out something stupid that his father would have wanted to see at a Gautier wedding, Felix feels something warm in his chest. That annoying gorgeous smile and laugh as light as whipped egg whites had grabbed him by the throat on day one, and unfortunately for him, he’d never learned to get over it.
Part of him hated that this was Sylvain’s idea for a good time out. And part of him stubbornly clung to the idea that in some timeline, this was his reality. Clenching his fist hard enough to feel his nails press crescent moons into his palm, Felix counted while taking deep breaths, just like Mercedes taught him to.
It’s just a fantasy, it won’t hurt to just play along .
So he did. Doing his best to give an opinion that wasn’t immediately “I hate it” or “That’s a stupid idea” whenever Sylvain asked him for opinions on flowers and table arrangements for “Our wedding” that wasn’t actually happening but god some part of him wished it was but that’s insane and he’s losing it, maybe he shouldn’t have kept drinking all the free bubbly amber champagne from their flower stemmed glasses.
“Uh, Fe? You doing alright there?”
He can hear gentle worry in Sylvain’s voice, one hand squeezing down on his while another presses a cold water bottle to his face. A light snap marks the sound of Sylvain uncapping the bottle for him, and he takes a second before scowling his thanks and chugging. There’s no sense in being drunk before noon.
Eyes roving past Sylvain’s shoulder, he skips from florist to tailor, skimming pale white lilies before he sees something that makes him choke on his water.
“ What on earth is the Boar doing here with, von Riegan? ”
“Oh shit! It’s Dimitri! Hey, over heHGFDH-”
Slapping his palm across Sylvain’s mouth, Felix decided it’s high time for a tactical retreat.
Bolting in any direction but towards the last person he wants to be caught with at this godforsaken place, he almost forgot that Sylvain had a vice grip on his hand until he crashes into a photobooth and nearly has another person toppling onto his lap. Whispering for Sylvain to, “ Shut up ,” despite him having said nothing, he feels like he’s about to throttle Sylvain for the overly entertained look on his face.
“Is this the part where you kiss me? Because that would be pretty romantic huh?”
And that about does it.
Grabbing Sylvain by the shoulders, he shook him like a martini while getting more flustered at the sound of his roommate fake fiance laugh at his predicament.
“I wouldn’t mind if Dimitri ran into us here. He probably thinks we’re dating anyways, right? We’re already practically married.”
The running commentary wasn’t helping; just another distraction that kept Felix from realizing that while he was trying to rattle Sylvain’s brain around in his head, Sylvain had reached out to hit the button to start taking photos; their tiny feud immortalized onto a set of four photos already printing out on a strip.
They heard a low whistle outside the booth, and one honey sweet voice chiming in to bring Felix to new lows. “Miyta, would you take a look at this. Is this not your two best friends locked in loving embrace? Nature’s amazing.”
Sylvain went rigid, head slowly turning as his eyes met Felix’s horrified expression.
A hum, and the sound of the photo being passed from one hand to another. “Ah, this certainly is them. I think. They’ve been caught doing worse.”
Exhaling as he mentally swore at every god and goddess under the great blue sky, Felix let his hands drop onto his lap, folding together as if they were in a church and not a cramped box.
“Do you remember that promise we made as kids? About dying together.”
“As clear as day, darling.”
“Good. Because I’m about to die and you’re coming with me.”
From outside, an earnest voice cut in. “Perhaps don’t do that, Felix? That is Felix right..?”
Snarling, he poked his head out of the booth, glaring at Dimitri. “Yes it’s me now fuck off.” Though, the effect was lost when Sylvain plopped his head on top of his and cheerfully greeted Claude with a, “How do you do? Fancy meeting you lovebirds here.”
Offering them a two fingered salute, and the photos at the same time, Claude looked on delightedly. “I’d say the same. You guys look uh, like a mess not gonna lie. But still great.”
At the same time Felix snapped, “Don’t make me laugh. I’m not marrying layabout,” Sylvain helpfully added, “We’re just dating!”
He could feel his grave being dug, and Felix was nearing his wits end trying to salvage this. But to come clean and explain the situation would be so convoluted that not even he would believe it. Fuck it .
“Yeah we’re dating, keep walking.”
Oh goddess why did I say that .
Instant regret, is what he feels. From the way Dimitri’s jaw dropped to the glint in Claude’s eye, he could just feel that his last bit of snark was coming to bite him in the ass later. But from what he could tell, Sylvain was thrilled.
“You tell ‘em honey. I swear we’re just here to finesse some cake. But what’s the dirt on you two? Don’t tell me you put a ring on it without telling us.” Leering, Sylvain finally took the proffered strip from Claude, slipping the photos into his pocket. And to some degree of satisfaction, Felix watched Dimitri’s face flush slightly, head shaking no.
“Just, just a couple. Claude thought it would be great fun to visit this expo. Though, any place with him is always good.”
Smiling like a cat that managed to stuff about forty canaries in his mouth, Claude pat Dimitri’s shoulder’s affectionately before leaning back on his heels. “Let’s keep things interesting! You, me, Mitya, your boyfriend. Double date. How ‘bout it?”
It sounds like a horrible idea, and Felix wants all of them to know. But Sylvain, with his damned silver tongue, beats him to the draw.
“We’d be delighted ! How does mini golf sound?”