Caspar knew he wasn't the brightest in the Empire. When they were in school, he always preferred using his muscles to being cooped up in class, and not much had changed for him in the long years after the war.
But he felt like he had finally figured out the rules to their little game.
First, he had to come home with some battle wounds.
They didnt have to be bad, once he came home with nothing but some bruised knees and sore legs and their attentive tactician spent the entire night soothing his muscles and rewarding him properly for his efforts.
At first he thought that a solid victory would earn him better treatment, but he would soon learn that it was about sacrifice.
Second, he had to come home victorious.
There would be no knock at his door on the nights that he was forced in to a standstill or if he let the enemy general escape. He would have to lay in his cold bed alone, nursing his bruised ego and wounds.
Third, he had to come home.
It was no use going to the tactician's room in eager anticipation for his rewards. Even if he could hear him on the other side of the door, scratching away at his desk with some paper work or other, he wouldnt answer any of Caspar's knocks or demands.
The nights where he was stuck in the infirmary were slightly better, he would show up later then usual when he probably thought Caspar was asleep, and he would feel those large, bony hands covering his own.
Once or twice he felt the bed shift as Hubert laid his head down on whatever little space was available next to him. Caspar learned how to make space on those nights.
Fourth, he was never to talk about this.
The last seemed pretty unreasonable to him.
It wasn't like he was loose lipped or anything. Caspar had his share of adult affairs over the years, nothing serious as the war had him flying all over Fodlan and you were never sure who you would see one week from the next.
It hadn't been once or twice that he'd notice that some young recruit or familiar face he'd had a fling with hadn't come back with the rest of them.
There didnt seem much use in chatting about these sorts of things. Besides, who was he going to tell? Linhardt definately didnt care about any of his exploits and the one time he vaguely brought up anything with Dorothea he spent the rest of the afternoon listening to her *much* longer and impessive list of accomplishments.
It was only once that Caspar had quietly asked Hubert to come around a little later then usual, since their teacher had just asked him to brief her on some monsters the enemy had brought with them this time around.
He was completely sure Edelgard and Beyleth hadn't even heard him whispering, they were deifinately not looking at him or anything, but not only did his tactician shoot him a glare that he was pretty sure intended to curse him with some nasty pox, he pointedly stayed away from his room for two weeks after, no matter how many enemies he slayed.
So, he learned how to keep absolutely quiet about the whole thing, and didnt take it too personally when Hubert pointedly kept his distance from him in public.
And what his tactician did to him in the dark hours of the night more then made up for it.
Currently, those thin lips were wrapped around his fingers, marred and with the blood still crusted around the edge of his raw knuckles.
An enemy thief had tried sneaking up on him after he broke his axe off in their leader's head, and when their throwing knife only scratched his leg, came rushing at him.
They probably knew that Caspar would be skilled in unarmed combat, but at that point with the rest of the bandits dead or dying, they might not have cared.
It wasn't that he had his guard down. Not at all. It had just been a while since he had to fight someone with his fists, and sometimes he just forgot how much stronger he was now.
Strong enough that he would be the one going home today, even with his stinging fists and his heart tearing out of his ribcage.
Caspar hissed as Hubert finished licking at the raw edges of one hand and moved on to the next.
It was hard to tell, but he seemed more irate about his ruined hands more then other injuries he'd come home with in the past.
When he arrived tonight, he immediately spent extra attention on his hands after his usual routine of settling in.
Caspar never went to the door when he arrived because Hubert never knocked. He would just hear the smallest sounds of boots carefully stopping outside his door late at night after all of the castles servants had retired and most of the hallways lay dark. His room wasn't hidden in a remote corner of the castle like Huberts was, but he rarely heard anyone come by this late at night, especially the days where he came home from the battle field.
But Hubert was a careful man.
Caspar didnt have any complaints about their meetings always occurring in his room. Especially since Hubert preferred to reside the cold depths of the castle in a room at the end of what seemed like a thousand never ending hallways.
It had been a long time since he had gone there, was only vaguely confident of finding it now. He had heard around the castle that Hubert moved sometime shortly after his failed visit, but he wondered if that was even true.
He wondered it it was something Hubert would tell him if he asked, or even if he wanted to know.
But now he was used to Hubert's little routines now, and they even felt comforting in a strange way.
He would always come in silently through the heavy door, then close and lock it carefully behind him. Although he was sure it was to keep them from being interrupted, Caspar always felt like Hubert was locking himself in, allowing himself to be trapped in here with him.
After hanging his heavy cloak carefully on the chair by the fire place that Caspar came to think of as Hubert's little crows nest, his eyes would glance at the fire and if deeming it low enough for errant embers to not be a danger, he would remove his jacket, his gloves, his boots, until all he wore were things Caspar could easily tear off of him. The rest of his clothes would be safe in that chair until morning, unmolested and free of wrinkles or stains.
Only then would he move towards him, politely greeting him in his whisper of a voice as if they were in the dining hall or met by the stables, before kneeling by his bed.
Hubert preferred Caspar to wait for him on his bed, and if he was found pacing his room or sitting sullenly in his chair or doing any number of things he would be firmly ushered to his bed before his injuries of the day would be examined.
Caspar sourly thought of the time he had tried to greet him at the door, feeling particularly affectionate that night and maybe a little lightheaded from blood loss and the wine Linhardt had passed on to him and all he got for his troubles was a stern look and had been picked up and deposited straight on his bed.
Caspar was technically aware that Hubert had trained in multiple classes like him, he technically knew that the tactician was able to wield a weapon if pressed, it just seemed wrong that he could pick him up and bully him in to his own bed. About as wrong as Hubert being unfazed by his sloppy kisses and successfully dodging them as he was unceremoniously dumped on his bed.
Hubert wasn't the type to wring out sentimental words, or scold him loudly for coming home with obvious wounds. He would find other little ways to caution him over reckless behavior or the growing number of wounds he collected. But for now he fussed over each finger, licking them clean with little kisses before healing them with his little healing spells that he rarely used on the battlefield.
Casper let out a small noise in the back of his throat as he felt the skin grow back over the bones of his knuckles. He wasn't sure if he would ever get used to that feeling, that itch that sent shivers up his spine as he was made whole again. Somehow it felt easier to gain all these wounds then it was to sit through them being healed.
He saw Hubert looking up at him from between his legs and shifted on the edge of the bed, bringing his elbows back on to his knees. He stretched his fingers out, opening and closing them to show him that they were once again good as new.
"See, all better." Casper said as Hubert clasped his rough hands in his and brought them to a sharp cheek.
"Yes. They are." He said in his whisper of a voice. His skin was cold and clammy, and for a moment the little general regretted letting him do this down on the floor.
Maybe he would get some carpets or whatever it was that people got for situations like this. He wasn't quite sure what the appropriate floor decoration was for having your tactician kneel on the floor to personally attend to your wounds.
Maybe some really thick furs, he thought, as he shrugged out of his shirt and Hubert worked at the buckles at his waist. He knew how bony those knees were and how cold they probably were on the wood floor, but now Hubert was slipping his pants off his hips and worrying at the scratch on his leg, and Casper knew from previous experiences that he wouldn't be dissuaded in the middle of his examination.
The scratch was a little deeper then he remembered it, and Caspar winced as Hubert's small tongue lathed over and tore the paper thin scab. He could feel that Hubert had paused, and wondered if the tactician was going to send him straight to the infirmary.
That had happened more then once.
He always figured that he could just wait until Hubert showed up, and sat around soaking up the blood with some spare bandages and cloths, and all he got for his trouble was those angry eyes flashing at him and being dragged off to get lectured by their comrades. He wasn't sure which was worse, being left there as Dorothea made fun of him for trying to get his dick wet before taking care of himself or Linhardt's complaining that he was taking time away from his naps or reading.
All of that was bad enough but the quiet words he had gotten from the man as he hunched over the chair next to his bed instead of the reward he had expected had been enough to convince him to not test the man when it came to his injuries.
Well, too much at least.
But this scratch shouldn't have been too bad, and the blood was already drying up. He could see Hubert thinking about it as he touched the skin around the wound.
"Aren't you gonna heal me?" Caspar asked, bushing aside those dark bangs with the palm of his hand. "I left it like that for you."
Hubert looked at him with his piercing eyes like he was going to say something, but then closed his mouth and reached for his rag and bowl of hot water.
"Do let me know if it stings." He said, pressing the heated cloth to his legs.
Caspar let out a dry laugh but couldn't mask the jump in his leg from the sudden contact of heat.
He could feel the heat from Hubert's eyes on him but it just made him eager for more.
"You know I don't scare so easy." He said. "Definately not from you at least."
He knew how soft the next press of the cloth would be, how Hubert would run his other hand up his leg, gently holding it in place.
"Perhaps I have let your reins too loose for far too long." The tactician half muttered to himself as he wiped away the last of the crusted blood. He paused, glaring at the offending wound before looking up at him.
"If I didnt know any better, I would say that the good general had let his guard down today." The grip on his leg wasn't painful by any means, but he knew it was meant to get the point across.
Caspar felt a shiver run up his spine and pool back in to his stomach, thinking about how those same fingers would soon be digging in to his shoulders, his back, his hips.
"Now I know you're not saying I'd let some little bandits get the best of me, now are you? I mean," Caspar gave him a smug look, sure now that Hubert wasn't going to send him off after all this. "I'm here and they're gone, right?"
The tactician paused for a moment before giving in to a heavy sigh.
"Well. That you are, it seems."
Caspar wondered if he would have to sit through a lecture tonight, or whether the tactician was ready to get on with it. He had let Hubert do exactly as he wanted to so far, but he was starting to get impatient.
But then Hubert removed the now dirtied rag and pressed his lips to his thigh. Caspar almost sighed in relief. It wasn't that he couldn't handle the throbbing pain awakened in his thigh, he was much tougher then some little knife wound, but the throbbing in his pants wouldn't be attended to before all his battle scars were taken care of.
"I'm glad," Hubert sighed in to his thigh, "that you have made it back to us. Although one could hope that you would learn to come back in better shape."
It wasn't his area of expertise but Casper was pretty sure Hubert didnt need to do that to run his healing spell. But he seemed to like raining little kisses down on the newly healed skin, and the blue haired boy was happy to indulge him in those ticklish little moments. He could feel him smiling just the tiniest bit against the pink skin of his thigh as he finished, taking a moment to press his face against the thick muscles there.
His cheek was warmer now.
Casper ran his fingers through Hubert's bangs, lifting them up as his fingers crept towards the back of his head.
Those bangs were shorter then they were in school. It seemed like an entire lifetime ago, before the war, before the empire, before all these little kisses on battle scars.
Caspar had no idea how he could be comfortable, sitting on the cold floor with his knees bumping up against the edge of the bed, his long neck strained just a little bit over his thigh.
He had known this man for a number of years now, but he still didn't really know what made him happy and what would set him off. He was still an entire mystery to him, from his little rules about their game or even why he wanted to play in the first place.
But he was happy that he would come to him, on these nights where he was fresh off of battle and filled with leftover bloodlust and nerves and those sharp tinges of adrenaline seemed to still lurk in his blood.
He was happy for the small amount of comfort they could find on these dark nights where the weight of their paths seemed to press down on them.
Maybe, Casper thought to himself, Hubert felt that too. Maybe, as much as he pushed away his sloppy kisses and looked away in public and seemed to be absolutely impervious outside of this room, he also had that itch in his blood too.