Another day, another dawn, another battle fought hard and won. The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus was thriving under the guidance of the Professor, newly revitalised by King Dimitri’s reclamation of the throne, and just for one evening they celebrated. Together, they raised a toast: to being home, to being in the liberated capital, to Dimitri’s regained sensibilities and the promise of the future- wartime may be chaotic, and their lives could be cut short tomorrow, but for one night they lived free and drank and danced and sang.
A grand feast was being held all throughout the streets, thanks to the liberation of Castle Fhirdiad, during which Dimitri ordered for the stockpiled resources that Cornelia hoarded to be shared amongst the populace. That wretched woman had raised taxes and bled the people dry, then coerced farmers out of their grain and herders out of their livestock. The real class and poverty reformations would have to wait until after the war, but this in itself was a clear enough gesture to the people, who heralded their new king.
In the town square, local carpenters and woodcutters gathered logs and built up a spectacular bonfire, like they used to do for festivities back before the war, and it reminded Felix of visiting the capital as a child. The fire roared and crackled against the black night sky, and his comrades laughed and hauled themselves into pairs, dancing round in circles like lunatics. Naturally, Felix kept to himself, nursing a mug of mead from across the town square.
He noted, with some kind of dulled amusement, how the boar prince ( king, boar king ) stammered and stumbled with his arms around the Professor, who looked more alive than ever. It was strange how things work, to think that just a few weeks ago Dimitri was still intent on killing himself through his own sheer madness and idiocy. Now, he was staggering about the place like a lovestruck fool, with a garland of white roses atop his head in lieu of a crown. Felix supposed it couldn’t be helped.
After a while, he thought he’d gotten away without any staggering about of his own. He was content to stand by and watch as his comrades - his friends, his brothers-in-arms - made absolute fools of themselves. Mercedes and Annette tiptoed delicately around each other, laughing and squealing with every spin, and out of the corner of his eye, he could see Ashe visibly trying to coax up the nerve to ask Ingrid to dance with him, standing ramrod straight with his eyes glued to his boots. Dedue, as terse as ever, kept a watchful eye on his liege, but tapped his foot every now and then in time with the music. Flayn somehow managed to manhandle her older brother into waltzing gracefully with her; the pair of them looked a little out of place, dancing so formally to fiddles and flutes, but they were happy and joyful like the rest of the townspeople.
Felix downed the rest of his mead and put his mug to one side, intending to collect it before they left. He hummed low to himself, and tried not to think about anything too serious for once; the gaping wound of his father’s gruesome murder and all the things left unsaid between the two of them still hung heavy at the back of his mind, but now was not the time for self-flagellation. He sucked in a sharp breath through his teeth and sighed deeply: the last remaining Fraldarius, how befitting of someone so cold and lonesome.
“Hey there,” a smooth voice knocked him out of his thoughts, and an arm slung around his shoulder. “Don’t think you can spend all night here alone, old friend.”
Sylvain . Of course. The one person Felix hadn’t spotted throwing himself around like a madman; he was probably up to no good, trying to sneak into beds that didn’t belong to him. His brilliantly vibrant hair matched the soaring flames, and Felix briefly pondered on how it was nice to be in an environment in which the fire wasn’t an active threat.
Felix weakly tried to shrug him off, but he didn’t really mean it. “Naturally.” He responded, straightening his posture. “Why do you think I’d want to be parading myself around like a court jester?”
“Don’t knock it ‘til you try it,” Sylvain winked, and Felix wished he had another cup of mead to hide his face in. “Come on! The night’s still young and all that!”
With a strong tug on his arm, Sylvain pulled Felix into him, and led him towards the fire. He wrapped a solid arm around his waist, forcing their free hands to interlace. “I’ve seen your footwork countless times, there’s no way you’re bad at dancing!” Sylvain hollered, and Felix groaned, knocking his forehead against Sylvain’s shoulder.
“Do I have to?” He whined, and Sylvain laughed, loud and carefree, leading them in intricate circles. Felix went along with him anyway- it wasn’t that he didn’t know how to dance, he just preferred not to - but dancing like this reminded him of the ceilidhs he and Glenn would sneak out to attend on hazy summer nights.
He wanted to ask where Sylvain had been, but the twisting feeling in his gut kept his mouth clamped shut.
One, two, together- spin, polka, polka, apart, one, two, together again- and so they went on. Admittedly, Felix was starting to have fun, losing himself in the sounds of the music and his boots clicking against the cobbles, of the reflection of the fire blazing in Sylvain’s eyes, and the heat of his breath against his cheek. They danced around each other like fools, stepping on each other’s toes all the while.
“I was doing some detective work just before the dances started.” Sylvain began, and Felix’s interest piqued.
“Detective work, huh?” He took the bait. “Never fancied you for the observant type.”
Sylvain laughed heartily, but otherwise ignored the jab. “Anyway, before the skirmish this morning, I caught wind of a local weaponry merchant bunkered up somewhere in town,” he murmured, slightly breathless. “And I went and paid him a visit, found you this.”
They wound down to a standstill as the music lulled and the townspeople around them caught their breath. Sylvain loosened his grip on Felix’s side, keeping their hands intertwined as he reached to his belt. He unlatched an intricate sheath, fit for what could only be a longsword.
Felix instantly recognised the goldwork on the pommel. “You’re joking.” He muttered in disbelief. “This can’t be- a sword of Zoltan?”
“For a while back there, I was worried that I’d been conned by an old man,” Sylvain grinned, holding the sword out to his oldest friend. “But you know more about this stuff than me. I thought I’d seen the insignia somewhere, but couldn’t remember where. I’m more of an axes and lances guy, myself. You know that.”
With a delicate touch, Felix gingerly took the sword. He unsheathed it halfway, inspecting the blade. “This is Zoltan’s work.” He confirmed, eyes raving hungrily over the weapon. “How did you- Sylvain, how much did this cost?”
Sylvain shrugged. “Never mind that.” He insisted. He was always too easy going when it came to things like this. He gently put his hand over Felix’s, pushing the blade back down into the sheath. “Best not get it out around civillains though, ay?”
Felix attached the blade to his belt. “What do you want for it?” He asked.
“Another dance?” Sylvain raised an eyebrow and offered his hand, and Felix willingly went along with him, trying his hardest not to grin like an idiot.
"I'll return the favour." Felix promised quietly, leaning into Sylvain's shoulder, and Sylvain smiled contentedly to himself, holding Felix close.
"No need." Sylvain shook his head, unable to resist tangling his fingers around Felix's ponytail. "I have the most uptight Swordsman in all of Fódlan on my arm, dancing with me out of his own free will! Madness, isn't it?"
Felix shrugged. "I don't know." He smiled. "You've never asked me to dance before."