"...does that make sense?" Byleth leaned in, demonstrating her weapon with her own hands.
Edelgard stared thoughtfully. "I see. Thank you for explaining what you meant earlier."
Byleth gently nodded, taking a step back from her student. No, perhaps former student would be a better way to describe the woman who stood before her now.
The sun, now directly overhead behind a sheet of gray clouds, beamed waves of heat down onto the pair, quite welcome in the damp winter air. It seemed everyone else at the training grounds had already left for the day.
"Why don't we take a break together?" Edelgard crossed her arms and glanced briefly at the professor's face. "We've been training since sunrise."
Byleth agreed. "Let's have some tea back in the classroom," she suggested.
The blonde woman nodded. "That sounds lovely."
The two women returned their respective weapons to their sheathed positions. Byleth thought for a moment she had seen Edelgard looking at her, and turned to meet her eye, only to find she had looked away already. "Shall we go?"
Byleth gave a small smile and nod, and the two moved towards the exit of the training grounds. They walked at a slow pace, wordlessly matching each other's footsteps.
They finished their brief walk to their destination. Upon entering the empty classroom, the clouds overhead grew darker.
"I didn't think it was going to rain today," Edelgard noted, mildly surprised in the weather change. "We should close the door."
Just as she spoke these words, Byleth saw a raindrop stain the concrete on the ground in the courtyard outside. She reached for the door closest to her while Edelgard went to close the other side. They met in the middle with a quiet click. Even with the doors closed, Byleth could hear the wind beginning to pick up outside. In the dim light she could see her emperor gazing up at her.
"Looks like we have good timing," Byleth said.
Edelgard made a polite smile. "Yes, we do." She blinked her violet eyes toward the fireplace on the other end of the room, and gestured in its direction. "After you, my teacher."
Byleth's chest tightened whenever she used those words. My teacher. It was the way she said this, with a look of equal parts admiration and respect. It reminded her of the role she had to fill, as well as her value in Edelgard's life.
The professor moved in the direction of the fireplace and knelt beside it. She lit it using a basic black magic spell, allowing light to once again fill the dark room. In the orange glow of the fire, their shadows flickered and danced on the wall behind them.
Byleth stood once again and retrieved a small wooden tray from behind the desk at the front of the classroom. The tray held only a small kettle, two teacups, a pitcher of water, and a small ceramic container full of dry tea leaves. She had prepared this tray only the night before, hoping for an excuse to make use of it.
She filled the kettle with water from the pitcher. Then she gently placed the kettle into the fireplace, carefully positioned so that she might retrieve it without burning herself. Finally, she opened the ceramic container and sprinkled a pinch of tea into each cup.
Edelgard had sat herself at one of the long tables closest to the fire, watching her teacher prepare the tea. Her arms were tucked up underneath her cloak, wrapped around her waist on either side, presumably keeping herself warm. Her expression looked calm, peaceful even.
Waiting for the water to boil, Byleth joined Edelgard at the table, sitting across from her. A flash of light came through the windows behind them, followed by a quiet roll of thunder. At that moment, rain began hitting the roof and window panes more forcefully.
Edelgard drew her gaze away from the fire and onto Byleth's face. The corners of her lips turned up in a smile. What was she smiling for? Byleth wondered.
"I really missed you while you were gone," Edelgard spoke softly. "The others think I'm too prideful to admit it, but...I'm not as strong without you."
"You're plenty capable," said Byleth.
Edelgard blinked a few times, a sheepish grin spreading on her face. "Well, yes, but...without you, I…"
Byleth leaned closer, waiting for her to finish.
"Never mind, it's not important." Edelgard shook her head. "What matters is that you're here with us...with me again."
Byleth reached across the table, putting her hand in front of Edelgard. The emperor unfurled herself and took her hand. They made eye contact for a brief moment before the kettle whistled and Byleth flew out of her seat to pull it from the fire.
With a thick cloth serving as a barrier between her skin and the metal kettle, Byleth gently poured the steaming water into the cups. The water darkened as the tea steeped, and the aroma of bergamot filled the air. She placed the hot kettle back onto the wooden tray and carried their tea from the desk to the table where Edelgard sat. She placed a cup in front of each of them, then rejoined her.
Edelgard stared down at the teacup, her fingers curled around it. Another shy smile crossed her lips. "All this time, and you still remember my favorite tea," she said softly.
"Why would I forget?" Byleth asked.
Edelgard didn't reply, just watched the steam rise from the cup. Another flash of lightning washed out the details of her face and made her hair glow silver.
Byleth admired the woman the emperor had grown into during her five year absence. Maybe her height hadn't changed, but seemingly everything else about her appearance had. She had definitely spent time refining her training, and grown stronger. Even through the changes, Byleth could still see the features she had grown to adore about her. Her unrelenting gaze, which pierced straight through Byleth's chest. Her aura of confidence. Her firm, but gentle grip on her hand. The general sense of calm that washed over her when they were alone together. This was the same Edelgard she had grown close with when she first came to the monastery.
"Is everything alright?" Edelgard looked up at Byleth, noticing her stare.
Byleth broke her trance. "Just fine," she answered.
"I know this look is a bit different from my school uniform," Edelgard chuckled, "but I'm hoping you'll be able to get used to this too."
"And if I don't?" Byleth said, reaching for her tea.
"Well…I'll just have to come up with something else, then." Edelgard said, raising the steaming cup to her face. She inhaled deeply, taking in the scent.
"It's lovely," Byleth finally commented. "It really suits you."
Edelgard quickly averted her gaze down towards the table again. "Um...thank you." In the dim lighting, the professor thought she could see a slight flush on her cheeks.
The two sat for a few moments, sipping their tea once it had begun to cool. The rain and thunder played a continuous soundtrack against the crackle of the fireplace. Byleth finally finished sipping her remaining tea, and stared thoughtlessly at the leaves at the bottom of the cup.
"We might be in here for a little while if the rain doesn't calm down." Edelgard said, placing her cup back on the table. Only a few sips remained. "But that's okay. This is nice."
"Being trapped in a storm?" Byleth wondered.
"Being trapped in a storm...with you." Edelgard answered. "I almost never get moments like this. Hubert is always reminding me of things I need to get done. Sometimes I want nothing more than to just spend a moment away from it all. I'm sure you understand, right?"
Byleth nodded in agreement. "After all the work you've done I think you deserve a break from time to time."
"I'm glad you think so, but…" Edelgard said softly. "I often feel like I haven't done enough."
Byleth rose from her seat and leaned closer. "Nonsense. You are the hardest worker I know. And by far my best student."
Edelgard looked up at her, her eyes wide open. "Professor…"
"No one else can compare to you and the effort you have made to make Fódlan a better place." Byleth continued. "So if you want to take a break for tea, then you've earned it."
Edelgard's mouth opened as if to speak but no words came.
"I will always be available for those times you need to step away." Byleth said. "Say the word and we'll run away together."
Finally Edelgard spoke. "That...sounds wonderful. It makes me happy that you would do that for me. Thank you, my teacher."
Byleth felt a pang in her chest again. "That's the least of what I would do for you, El."
Edelgard's fingers slipped around the edge of her teacup and it nearly crashed to the table's surface. The remaining tea splashed back and some droplets fell to the table. "I...you...called me El…" A full flush now spread over the emperor's cheeks. She set down the teacup, leaving the tea drops to clean up later.
Byleth stood fully and moved to the side of the table. She grabbed both of Edelgard's hands in hers and knelt to the floor next to her. "I'm sorry that I abandoned you. I wish I could have been there for you, and I regret that so much time has passed."
Edelgard's watery eyes shone in the firelight. "Professor, I…" she choked. "When I heard you were missing I went looking for you. I sent out as many search parties as I could gather. I didn't sleep for days."
She shifted in her seat and faced more towards Byleth, pulling their hands into her lap. The professor responded by leaning even closer, resting her elbows gently on Edelgard's knees.
"Daresay I was useless without you. I knew I had to keep moving forward, but it felt so wrong to do it without you. After all, you were the reason I got here in the first place." She sniffled, then smiled. "Just having you back is all I need. We will make up for our lost time."
Byleth gently pressed Edelgard's hands against her cheek, squeezing them tightly. "I chose you all those years ago and I'm choosing you again now. I won't leave your side again."
"Professor…" Edelgard's voice came as a whisper. Byleth looked up at her face.
Edelgard bent all the way forward, her lips pouting toward the green eyes that peered up at her. Their heads moved closer. Another flash of lightning illuminated the room as their lips slowly came together.
In a daze, Byleth held her breath for the duration of the kiss. She tasted like the herbs in the tea. Their fingers entwined so tightly their knuckles turned white. When the thunder rumbled through their bodies, their lips finally parted.
Byleth freed one of her hands from Edelgard's lap and raised it to her cheek, running her thumb over the pink skin gently. Her breath, hot from the tea, warmed Byleth's face.
Rising to her feet again, Byleth placed another gentle kiss on Edelgard's cheek. She squeezed herself onto the bench beside her, wrapping her arms around her thin waist under the cloak.
Edelgard, instead of moving farther down the bench to make room, responded by turning her body fully towards Byleth, leaning into the embrace. She softly bit the side of her pink lip. Byleth leaned her head into Edelgard's shoulder.
"I...I've wanted to do that for so long," Edelgard choked out. "I feared my feelings would never be returned."
Byleth gently stroked her back, sighing into her neck. "I think I knew," she replied.
"Really…?" Edelgard said. "I didn't think you…"
Byleth stopped patting her back. She pulled her head back again, away from Edelgard's neck. "Believe me when I say that I never felt anything so strongly until I met you."
"Professor…" Edelgard whispered.
"It's okay," Byleth cupped her jaw.
Their faces met for another soft kiss. The rain pattered on. Edelgard's nervous, shaking hands grasped her gently by the shoulders. Closer than ever before, their chests pressed together. She could feel Edelgard's pulse quickening.
They parted again. She saw Edelgard glance quickly over her shoulder, looking carefully out each window on the other sides of the room. Presumably, she didn't want any unwelcome visitors interrupting their private moment, but no one appeared to be outside.
"There's no need to be so anxious," Byleth reassured her, stroking the back of Edelgard's neck. "I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere."
Edelgard responded with an almost inaudible sigh, closing her eyes. She leaned in for another kiss, and Byleth in turn acted just as eagerly.
Growing more daring, Byleth tilted her head slightly to one side. She slowly opened her mouth and slid the tip of her tongue against Edelgard's lips. The other woman jumped in surprise, but mirrored the gesture.
As their kiss deepened, Edelgard's hand moved from her shoulders to all the way around her back, her other hand with its fingertips brushing her collar. When a weight grew on Byleth's thighs, she opened one eye to see one of Edelgard's legs slowly encroaching across her lap.
She decided to help her, and pulled her into a proper sitting position with her legs straddling her waist. Edelgard's skirt bunched up around her upper thighs and hips as she tugged herself closer with Byleth's collar. The emperor was growing needier by the second.
Boldly, Byleth placed her palm against her knee, now visible from beneath the skirt. Slowly she traced upward, gliding against the soft fabric of her tights. She stopped before arriving at the hem of her skirt, unsure of whether to proceed.
Edelgard broke off their kiss first. "Professor…" she pleaded. Byleth was jerked forward again by the collar. She took this as a sign to continue.
The two kissed more, their tongues slipping in and out of each other's mouths. Byleth slid her palm firmly upward, against Edelgard's thighs. The blonde appeared to melt into her as her weight continued to grow on Byleth's lap and chest. Her breathing became deeper as Byleth stroked her thigh.
With her free hand, Byleth traced carefully up Edelgard's hip, waist, and finally up towards her chest. She hesitated a moment before taking her soft breast into her hand. This appeared to please her, as a quiet moan sounded from her throat the moment Byleth groped her.
Byleth quite enjoyed hearing Edelgard's pleasure, and she squeezed harder in each of her hands. Her own breathing, now, began to pick up its pace as well. The body heat between them began to rise, and Byleth could feel a layer of sweat underneath the sheer fabric separating her hands from Edelgard's skin.
Even Byleth's own clothes were beginning to grow more uncomfortable. Between the heat of the fire only a few feet away and the perspiration rising between them, she knew they would be uncomfortably hot before long. Carefully, she drew back slowly from Edelgard and slipped her arms into the inside of her jacket sleeves and let it drop to the dusty floor behind her. With her arms and shoulders now bared, she felt a coolness brush over her.
Seeing her remove her jacket, Edelgard, too, began to take off her excess clothing. Byleth watched her pull the red gloves off her hands, one finger at a time, and place them on the table. They kissed one more time before Edelgard reached up towards her neck and untied her cloak. Almost like a blanket, it slid off her shoulder and covered both of their legs behind her back.
Edelgard wasted no time resuming their actions. Byleth felt her lips against her former student's once again. She placed her hands back in their previous positions, squeezing hungrily at her thighs and breast.
"One second," Edelgard interrupted their kiss. She turned her attention briefly towards where her coat and skirt met at her waist, unhooking the clasp at the band and unbuttoning the side. The skirt loosened and Edelgard rose to her knees on the bench, her legs still on either side of Byleth. It then fell from her hips, and she carefully shimmied out, kicking both the skirt and the cloak to the floor under the table.
Byleth noticed, with equal parts surprise and joy, that the emperor had not been wearing any underwear aside from the sheer tights that remained. She couldn't speak. She hadn't expected her day to progress like this.
"Professor…" a soft voice came from Edelgard once again. She was not making eye contact. "I trust you. Completely. Please," she paused, looking away nervously. Finally, she opened her coat, exposing her breasts to the air.
"Please…touch me how you will." Edelgard wrapped her arms around her waist, beneath her breasts, not unlike how she first sat when they arrived in the classroom. She had lowered herself back onto Byleth's lap. Finally, she glanced up and met Byleth's eye. Her lustful gaze pierced Byleth's chest, and suddenly the professor found herself unable to breathe.
Shocked by her forwardness, Byleth looked down at the soft, pale breasts she had been feeling only a moment earlier. She noticed, for the first time, the battle scars that dotted Edelgard's skin. How many of these hadn't been there 5 years ago? Who had treated her wounds in that time? How many injuries could have been avoided, had Byleth simply been able to protect her from them?
Byleth couldn't find the right words. Instead, she slowly bent her head forward and began to kiss each of the lines that covered her skin. A kiss for every wound she wasn't able to prevent. She pressed her lips softly to each of the marks, losing count. She felt Edelgard's hands bury themselves in her green hair. She continued to sprinkle her skin with gentle kisses, wrapping her arms around her waist and back and pulling her closer. The tendrils of Edelgard's light hair brushed the sides of her face, but she did nothing to move them.
Removing one hand from Edelgard's back, Byleth resumed groping her chest again. Her breasts were more than a handful each. Her pale, pink nipples stood upright between Byleth's fingers.
The professor directed her kisses further down the milky skin that she had fixated on. She opened her mouth and took in one of her nipples, sucking lightly. Edelgard flinched in response, but dug her fingers deeper in Byleth's hair. Her ribcage rose and fell beneath where Byleth sucked, pressing her face in.
Byleth glanced upward to see Edelgard's flushed face twisted into an anxious expression, her eyes closed and her mouth held open. She twirled the nipple in her mouth with her tongue, still tenderly squeezing the other breast.
Heat had grown in the space between their hips. Byleth realized that Edelgard had begun grinding her lower half onto the side of Byleth's thigh. She wasn't even sure if she was aware she was doing this. She took her other hand from her upper back and slowly traced her spine downward, finally settling on her round ass.
Edelgard made a small whimpering sound, arching her back to press her body more into Byleth. Byleth reacted with a firm squeeze on her cheek, digging her hip into her soft groin.
A yelp escaped Edelgard's throat, and she yanked one of her hands free from Byleth's tangle of hair to clasp it over her mouth. Sensitive, Byleth thought.
"P…professor…" Edelgard cried between her fingers.
Byleth stopped sucking for a moment and looked upward again. "Is everything alright, El?"
Edelgard said nothing but nodded her head. Byleth smiled, and sucked on the other breast she had mostly neglected until now. The blonde squirmed in her lap, grinding more eagerly against her hip.
Byleth leaned back a moment to get a look at the other woman. She noticed, with excitement, that the fabric of her tights between her legs had grown dark with wetness. Was it just sweat? Or was she already this wet?
Her attention was now directed downwards, slowly kissing down her stomach. She tugged a finger at the waistband of Edelgard's tights. Her own body perspired as their body heat engulfed them. How badly she wanted to remove the only remaining fabric between them.
The pressure was now beginning to grow unbearable for Byleth. She took another moment to reach around the back of her top and opened it, freeing her own breasts. Sweat trickled down her chest.
When she turned back to her partner, Edelgard's gawking eyes lingered on her sweat-drizzled skin. Byleth could feel her gaze but didn't know how to react. She kissed her and placed her hands back on Edelgard's hips.
Edelgard resumed grinding on Byleth's leg and hip. She had now grabbed one of her own breasts and began massaging it. Watching her play with herself like this drove Byleth crazy.
She placed her thumb over the tuft of white bush that grew under Edelgard's tights. The emperor stopped moving. She glanced back up at Edelgard's face. The pleading look she received told her to keep going.
Still over the top of her tights, Byleth began slowly stroking the warm skin below. As she suspected, Edelgard was more than just sweaty. Finding her clit with her thumb, Edelgard's hips bucked forward with a gasp.
Byleth enjoyed this reaction. She then traded her thumb for her whole hand and slowly made a circular motion around Edelgard's clit. The wetness grew under Byleth's fingertips as the woman in her lap quietly whined.
Edelgard had tried hard to suppress the moans in her throat but she was beginning to lose her grip. As Byleth continued to rub, a whole-body tremble overtook her. Byleth paused a moment.
"This is what you want?" Byleth asked her, looking up at her face, now fully red with the heat.
Edelgard could hardly manage a nod in response. She held her breath until Byleth resumed.
Now completely turned on, Byleth took Edelgard by the waist and hoisted her upward. She stood, lifting the smaller woman. She then flipped Edelgard around and bent her forward, over the surface of the table. She leaned her own body over her, letting her breasts press into Edelgard's back and breathing hot air onto the nape of her neck.
Byleth pressed her hips against Edelgard's ass. Edelgard took shallow breaths, supporting her upper body with her forearms on the table.
Byleth couldn't wait any longer. She took a step back, grabbed the waistband of her tights, and yanked it down, exposing her whole lower half. Without hesitation, she bent forward and put her mouth to Edelgard's clit. A gasp came from her. She didn't stop. Byleth moved her tongue up and down along Edelgard's lips, slowly at first, then faster.
Reaching around Edelgard's legs, Byleth once again used her hand to play with her clit while she ate her out. She tasted so good, she almost couldn't believe it.
It seemed Edelgard had given up on keeping quiet at this point. With each smooth motion of Byleth's tongue and fingers, a moan echoed off the stone walls. Finally Byleth removed her mouth from Edelgard's sensitive, pink flesh. With her free hand, she placed her first two fingers into her mouth, thoroughly wetting them.
"Does that feel nice, El?" Byleth murmured to her, just loud enough for her to hear over her own cries. She didn't get a reply beyond a breathy "uh-huh."
"Then be a good girl and take this for me," Byleth said, and placed her fingertips at the opening now dripping wet. She placed a kiss on one of her cheeks and plunged the fingers inside of her.
Immediately, Edelgard cried out. "Professor!"
Byleth didn't take any sort of pause, and began pushing the fingers in and out of her. The tight lips closed around her hand, covering her in the juices she had been sucking on just moments ago. Despite how tight she was, Byleth had no trouble fitting her fingers inside, thanks to how wet she was.
She continued fingering her, varying her speed. The woman under her squirmed and trembled with pleasure. Edelgard's voice grew hoarse from the cries she couldn't hold back. The whole time Byleth gently encouraged her.
"You're doing so good, El," she said. "I'm right here for you."
Edelgard either couldn't hear her or couldn't reply. She only moaned and breathed heavily. When she suddenly went quiet and Byleth felt more pressure on her fingers, she knew she was approaching her climax.
"Go on and come," Byleth whispered. "Come for your teacher."
Shaking, Edelgard hitched a breath and reached her orgasm. Her arms weak, she collapsed on the table. She lay there, still trembling, and caught her breath.
Byleth slowly removed her fingers, soaking wet. Pleased with herself, she smiled and gently placed kisses on each of Edelgard's cheeks. She went up her spine, a still-jumpy Edelgard twitching with each kiss on her back.
Edelgard sighed. "Professor…"
Byleth wiped the sweat from her face and placed her body over the top of Edelgard's back once again. She traced her fingertips along the back of her arms, which hadn't yet regained their strength. Goosebumps rose from her skin, and Byleth rubbed them away.
"Was that the escape you wanted?" Byleth asked her emperor.
Edelgard laughed below her. "More than I could have hoped for."
The rain still pelted the window panes, but they hadn't heard any thunder for some time. The water in the kettle had grown lukewarm. Sounds of the fire still crackled away. This was perhaps the most peaceful moment the two of them had experienced since this war began.