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Terk's SFW Drabble Collection

Chapter Text

Gaius’s fingers were numb as they found the gash, seeping crimson across his battered cape. He managed a laugh as he assured the lollipops in his pocket were untainted. Not that it mattered much; he probably wouldn’t even have time to finish one at the rate he was fading.

A fitting end, he thought hazily, raised in the dirt and now buried in it. The Risen raised its axe, ready to deliver the finishing blow, and the thief shut his eyes. Naga, whatever you’ve got waiting for me, bring it on.

A roar from somewhere above, and a spatter of blood. Gaius smiled, accepting his fate, as he lay in peace for a moment. Then two. He blinked one eye open, surprised to find his head still attached to his body. The same couldn’t be said for the Risen that lay next to him.

A familiar pair of arms hooked under his, lifting him from the dirt to face the overcast sun once more. “Lon’qu,” Gaius wheezed, heels dragging slowly along the ground, too weak to help carry his own weight. “I thought death wanted to take me.”

“No, I didn’t,” the swordsman grunted.

Chapter Text

Hisame scanned the treetops intently as he took another bite of his pickled cucumber.

“What’re you looking for?” Shigure mused, sipping the tea Hisame had prepared as he turned his gaze upwards as well.

“I’m not sure,” Hisame shrugged. "Just looking out for birds, I guess." He sat quietly for a moment, before he broke the silence again. “Do you think your pegasus would enjoy pickles, too?”

Shigure laughed. “I dunno. You could try giving her one, I suppose.” Hisame nodded, carefully approaching the resting beast and offering it a slice of carrot. It sniffed at his hand, before suddenly snatching the food away, causing Hisame to recoil.

“Almost bit me!” the samurai yelped, carefully counting his fingers to make sure they were all there. “...I think she liked it, though,” he added, watching the pegasus slowly chew the treat.

He looked up again, and flinched when a droplet landed square in the middle of his forehead. Another landed in his hair, and a few on his arms. “Looks like it’s beginning to drizzle. Should we get going?”

Shigure shook his head. “We’d be flying right into the middle of it. I have a better idea.” He shouted a command at his pegasus, and waved Hisame over. They both approached Shigure, Hisame seating himself next to the singer as his steed lay behind them, spreading its wing over their heads to shield them from the rain.

“You’ve taught her well,” Hisame murmured, fishing a slice of radish from the jar as he leaned against the pegasus’s side, continuing to stare at the treetops as Shigure’s arm gently laid across his shoulders.

Chapter Text

“When you said you wanted to paint my face, I didn’t think-“ Deere flinched as Shigure swiped another cool dab of pigment across his forehead.

“Hold still! You’re gonna smear it!” the artist giggled, playfully poking a tiny dot of color onto the tip of Deere’s nose. Deere’s forehead instinctively scrunched up, before hesitantly relaxing when he remembered Shigure’s warning against it.

“All right, just a bit more here…” Shigure’s delicate fingers skimmed along the tops of Deere’s cheeks, a pleasant warmth left in their wake despite the coldness of the paint. “Okay, take a look.” Shigure wiped his hands off and handed Deere a small mirror.

The butler stared at his reflection in confusion for a moment, struggling to make out what exactly he was supposed to be. His skin looked much paler than usual, and the rosy circles on his cheeks and nose could only mean-.

“A clown?” he asked, incredulously. Shigure was unable to stifle a laugh. “Oh come on, I’m not that funny looking now, am I?”

“I’m sorry, I just thought-“ Shigure tittered. “I thought that since clowns make people happy, and you’re so down all the time, that this could help cheer you up.”

A hesitant smile slowly crept onto Deere’s decorated face. “Well, seeing you so happy makes me happy,” he murmured, taking another look at himself in the mirror and managing a chuckle at just how ridiculous he looked. “Dad’s gonna kill me if he catches me like this, though, so maybe I should wash it off.”

“Wait, hold on a second,” Shigure rummaged through his supplies, finding his sketch pad and a pen. “Let me draw your face the way you thought I would.”

Deere couldn’t help another smile as he adjusted himself in the seat, knowing he’d have to sit still for some time while Shigure sketched. “Just make sure I have the big striped suit, too,” he joked, summoning the most dour look he could manage.

“And a tiny wilted flower,” Shigure giggled as his pen met paper, getting to work recording the image before him.

Chapter Text

The scent of frying eggs and coffee carried through the air to Owain’s room, rousing the resting hero from his well-earned slumber. Owain quickly got dressed, taking the stairs three at a time as he vaulted into the dining room.

“Good morning, daddy!”

“ ’bout time ya got up!”

“And a most wonderful morning to the both of you!” he smiled, seating himself at the table as Brady set the plates down for everyone.

“Ophie helped me with breakfast this time,” Brady declared, pulling his daughter into a big hug. “She really wanted to use her fire magic fer the eggs, so they’re, uh, extra crispy.”

“A fine job you did, Lady Ophelia! Our breakfast stood no chance against your searing powers, and neither shall any foes that cross your path!” Owain laughed, popping a charred piece of what was once egg into his mouth.

Ophelia giggled as she pointed to Owain’s mug. “Don’t forget to tell him how I heated up the water for the coffee too, Brady-dad!”

“Yeah, the coffee’s extra crispy too.” Brady grimaced, stirring his with an audible crunch.

“Just the way I like it!” Owain smiled, taking a hearty swig of the tar-like liquid. “With culinary talents such as these, you’ll be a match for Kjelle in no time!”

“Hooray!” Ophelia exclaimed at the compliment. Brady shot Owain a glare, which the swordsman repaid by sticking his tongue out at the priest before they both tucked into their cindery meal.

Chapter Text

Business had been practically nonexistent today, and Anna was considering closing early, when the bell hanging over the door jingled, causing her to flinch and drop the coin she was fiddling with. “Hello!” she called to the hopefully soon-to-be customer.

“Hello, Anna,” Hisame greeted her, going straight for the sword rack without so much as glancing in her direction.

“Oh, hello again, uh… you!” Anna chirped, having recognized him as the boy who came in every so often to look at the different blades. “Can I help ya find something?”

Hisame shook his head. “I’m quite familiar with the swords, thank you,” he stated, taking one off the rack to examine the hilt.

Anna frankly didn’t have a clue what he was looking for, her own knowledge of swords extending only as far as how much they could fetch her. Thankfully, the guest seemed to know what he was doing, so she left him alone to browse in silence.

A minute passed, then another, then many more. Hisame didn’t seem to find the silence to be an issue, but Anna was practically tugging her hair out of her scalp with boredom. More importantly, the chattier she could get with a customer, the more likely they tended to be to part with a few more gold pieces than they planned.

“So, what’re you thinking of today?” she asked, clearing her throat.

“Swords.”

“I can see that," she rolled her eyes. "Are you shopping for yourself, or someone in particular?”

“My father,” Hisame answered, sighing at the realization that he didn’t know what he was looking for. “Tomorrow is his birthday, and I wanted to get him something, but I don’t know what he could possibly want.”

“Oh, your dad’s Hinata, right?” Anna perked up, knowing the older samurai was a particularly big spender, especially when she turned up her charms. “I think he was eyeing one of those katanas over there last time he came in,” she gestured towards said weapons.

“Thank you,” Hisame’s mouth curled into what probably could’ve looked like a smile if one squinted hard enough, and he turned his attention to the katanas.

“Hmm.. the craftsmanship on these is superb, but I’m afraid they’re all far more costly than I can afford,” he said after a few more minutes. “What about fishing rods?”

Anna cocked an eyebrow. “What about them?”

“Do you have any in stock?”

She stared at Hisame, dumbfounded. “Uh, maybe in the back… how’d you go from swords to fishing equipment though?” she mused as she left to check the storeroom.

“Father enjoys going out to fish. Maybe I can get him something that’ll let him catch something for once,” Hisame replied, as Anna returned with a rather plain looking one. “Ah, this’ll do fine.”

Anna shrugged, checking the price scrawled hastily on the tag. “Is this all? This is for the guy who brought you into this world, after all.”

Hisame frowned. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying a dusty old fishing rod’s kind of a crappy gift,” she responded bluntly. “You could at least throw in a couple of lures or something.”

“No thanks. He says lures are cheating, that real men should be able to catch a fish using nothing but their wits and a hook.”

Anna couldn’t help but laugh at that statement. “I’m sorry, but that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in… a day.”

A small smile spread across Hisame’s face, even managing a small chuckle himself. “Yes, it is quite silly, isn’t it? Perhaps I’ll get a lure for myself, so one of us ends up catching something, at least.”

Anna quickly fled to the back, and returned a moment later with a small jar full of bait. “All right, for making me laugh, this one’s on the house,” she smiled.

“Thank you very much,” Hisame smiled, placing the payment for the rod on the counter and slinging the present over his back. “And thank you for your help choosing a gift.”

“If you say so,” Anna smiled, waving at the strange boy as he left as he left, a bit more spring in his step than when he had come in.

Chapter Text

“Ehehe… Frederick’s manly touch sent shivers up Robins spine, as the tactician moaned into the knight’s neck. ‘Don’t fret, Robin’ his husky voice came, ‘I’ll be sure to-‘

“HEY, NINA! WHATCHA DOING?”

Nina shrieked, instinctively sending the book flying towards the entrance to her tent. It clocked Velouria in the face, prompting a growl from the wolfskin. “Oops, Sorry, Velouria! You just surprised me was all!”

“What kind of jerk throws something when they’re scared?” she hissed, baring her fangs in an attempt to intimidate Nina.

“And what kind of moron barges into someone’s tent without invitation, and then gets pissy when they’re unexpected?” Nina countered, and with a conceding huff, Velouria let herself in.

The pup seated herself across from Nina’s bed, curling her knees into her chest until only her eyes and ears peeked over her kneecaps. “What’re those?” Velouria asked, pointing to the stack of books by Nina’s side.

“Oh, these? They’re magical tales of forbidden love and carnal desire!” Nina swooned, clutching the closest volume to her heart chest as she sighed dreamily. Velouria squinted, trying to make out the print on the cover.

’The Redheaded Thief’s Oral Fixation’? What a title…”

A blush spread over Nina’s face as she stashed the book under her bed. “So what? It’s a beautiful tale of a high prince, and the sly thief that steals his heart…” she sighed again, a strand of drool leaking from the corner of her mouth.

“So these dumb books are the reason I smell naughty things from your tent at night?” Velouria grimaced, scanning the tent and realizing there were dozens more of these books scattered everywhere.

“H-hey! Why don’t you go back to your giant pile of garbage if you’re going to be such a judgmental jerk!” Nina huffed, wondering why the wolfskin had even decided to pay her a visit in the first place.

Velouria shrugged. “I’m bored. I was hoping you’d have something to entertain me.”

“Well, why don’t you try one of these books?” Nina asked, her expression brightening instantly as Velouria’s ears perked up. She handed another tome to her companion, this one illustrated with a swordsman and a priest embracing passionately by a campfire. “This one’s my favorite! Just read some, and you’ll understand the magic of boys in love,” she sighed again.

Velouria gingerly took hold of the book, relieved to find it slobber-free, and opened the cover. Nina watched in glee as, slowly but surely, her tail started wagging.

Chapter Text

“C’mon, pops, are you really gonna lose to your own son?”

Ryouma grunted with exertion, pushing against Shiro’s grip with all his might. They’d been locked in a stalemate for what had felt like hours, but was probably only a few minutes.

A bead of sweat trickled down the elder prince’s brow, which annoyed him to no end; Shiro barely even seemed to be trying. “C’mon, pops, this is getting boring,” he teased, putting his free hand over his mouth in a mock yawn.

“If beating me is so easy, why don’t you finish the task?” Ryouma strained, feeling his strength beginning to falter.

“Maybe I just like watching you make a fool of yourself,” Shiro replied, sticking his tongue out. Ryouma scoffed at the blatant disrespect, which secretly encouraged Shiro; despite the show he was putting on, his own stamina was draining fast, and he couldn’t stand the humiliation of losing after all his gloating.

Shiro summoned the last of his strength into one final push, and after a moment of resistance, Ryouma’s hand was pinned to the table with a groan.

“Hah… you’ve improved since we last fought,” Ryouma panted, meeting Shiro’s smug gaze with a hint of pride in his eye.

“I learned from the best, after all,” Shiro replied, giving his father a small, genuine smile before he placed his elbow back on the table. “Best two out of three?”

Chapter Text

“…and, of course, the infamous ‘wyvern slaying guide’ page!” Owain chuckled, leafing to the crude drawing of a wyvern getting stabbed in the neck with giant ‘x’s for eyes.

“Minerva really pissed ya off that day, didn’t she?” Brady laughed, resting his head atop Owain’s as they huddled together on the couch. It had become a favorite pastime to go through Owain’s old manual of justice on quiet evenings, reminiscing on their memories from before the war.

Owain’s grip on the back cover loosened for a moment, and something fell from between the pages, landing with a soft piff on the rug. “What’sat?” Brady murmured, leaning over to pick up the object. It was an old envelope, crinkled and browning around the edges.

“Ah, that’s… really silly. Maybe you should leave it be,” Owain stuttered, suddenly blushing at the discovery.

“What, ya sain’ the rest of this isn’t already silly enough?” Brady smiled, and Owain couldn’t help a small laugh.

“Well, if you’re prepared to discover the great mysteries that lurk within the ancient envelope, I shan’t hold you back,” Owain meekly smiled as Brady carefully peeled the dried wax seal off the back, removing the page within.

‘Dear Sir Brady of The Moistened Eyes’,” Brady began reading the shakily scrawled words.

I pray that the next time we meet, we’ll both have the breath to discuss what I’m about to tell you. And yet, I readily acknowledge the possibility that one or both of us may have lost our lives in our quest to restore order to the world, which is why I’ve chosen to write this today, so that the truest extent of my feelings may be known.

I’m afraid I’ve fallen for you, Sir Brady.

I don’t know which lucky stars to thank for blessing my life with your presence, which gods to praise for your continued vitality, but without your passionate heart and healing touch to guide my way through these dark times, I would’ve lost my way many months ago.

You’re the light that opens my eyes, the embers burning deep within my heart, the strength behind every swing of my blade, and I can only hope you feel even the tiniest fraction of that affection for me in kind.

I love you, Brady, and if we make it through this alive, I offer my hand in eternal companionship, and I pray that you accept.

-Owain’

Brady’s eyes brimmed with tears, hands shaking as he finished reading the letter. Owain’s arms tightened around his waist.

“I wrote that the night before we went back,” Owain murmured, feeling the heaving in Brady’s chest as he began to cry in earnest. “In case we never saw each other again.”

Brady sobbed, burying his face in his husband’s hair as tears flowed freely down his cheeks. “Wh-why didn’t ya give it to me, then?”

Owain smiled, feeling the moisture prick at the corners of his eyes as well. “Because when you came to my tent that night after I wrote it, and talked with me… I knew that you knew.”

Owain’s lips met Brady’s in a kiss that tasted of salt, but Brady didn’t mind. Knowing that all that strife was in the past, and that they were now here, happily married and safe from a cursed future, was enough.

Chapter Text

“Gerome! Watch out!”

Gerome barely had the time to turn when Inigo dove into his chest, knocking him to the floor right as the foam spilled over the top of the pot, hissing as it made contact with the hot coils of the stove.

“Inigo, what was that for?! It’s just water!” Gerome yelled as he caught his breath.

“S-sorry, I just didn’t want any to splash on you,” Inigo sheepishly replied, dusting himself off as he helped Gerome to his feet.

Gerome scoffed, lowering the heat to a simmer on the pasta. “Just because I can’t cook a five-course meal doesn’t mean I’m totally clueless around a kitchen,” he grumbled.

“Oh, yeah? Then why don’t you show me the proper way to chop a tomato?” Inigo challenged, setting one own on the chopping board.

Gerome took a confident stride forward, grabbing a knife from the block and slicing into the glossy red skin. “No, no! That’s totally wrong!” Inigo screeched, and Gerome sighed as he placed his much smaller hands over his own. “Look, you gotta pick the right knife,” he said, handing Gerome a serrated one, “and carefully saw into it. If you just press down, all the juice is gonna come out.”

He tried to guide Gerome through the proper motion, slowly carving a slice at a time, when the redhead yelped, recoiling from the counter clutching his hand.

“Shit, sorry, did I cut you?” Inigo squealed, grabbing Gerome’s hand to examine the small nick on his finger. “Oh, this isn’t so bad. Here, let me just-“ without warning, he took the wounded appendage into his mouth, raising his eyebrow sultrily at Gerome as the warmth of his tongue soothed the wound.

“Inigo…”

“Don’t worry, baby, you can thank me for this later,” the dancer smiled coyly.

“Actually, I was just going to say the pasta’s burning.”

Inigo whipped around, finding smoke billowing from the pot. A sudden beeping from the fire alarm startled him, causing him to clamp his teeth involuntarily over Gerome’s already wounded digit.

“Shit…” he whined, bringing the pot to the sink to splash cold water on the charred remains of what had once been spaghetti. “Guess Minerva’s having another failed experiment for dinner…”

“Bearded dragons can’t have so many carbs. Just toss it,” Gerome sighed, grabbing the phone and pressing redial button for pizza delivery for the third time that week.

Chapter Text

“Uh, Tsubaki? Are you alright?” Hinata raised an eyebrow, waving his hand in front of Tsubaki’s face. The pegasus knight snapped to attention in a moment, the faintest blush rising on his cheeks when he realized he’d been caught.

Maybe “caught” was too strong a word; Hinata probably just thought Tsubaki was just daydreaming and staring off into space. He was too oblivious to notice Tsubaki’s lusty gaze following him from the moment he’d entered the baths; wandering over his sturdy frame as he sunk into the water, tracing the paths of the droplets rolling down his muscular chest as he scrubbed away the sweat and dirt of today’s training, hungrily taking in the curve of his-.

Tsubaki cleared his throat, before he got too carried away with those mental images. “Everything’s fine, Hinata. I’m sorry to have worried you.”

The samurai let out a hearty laugh, clapping Tsubaki on the back a little bit too hard. “That’s okay! Sorry to interrupt your little, uh, fantasy there,” he winked, before turning and leaving to get changed. Tsubaki looked down to confirm his fears; yes, he was hard, and yes, the water was clear enough for Hinata to have seen.

Tsubaki sighed as he sunk lower into the water, wondering how long it would take anyone to notice if he drowned.

Chapter Text

“SHIT!”

Zero turned at the sudden voice, that was quickly followed by a thump as a certain ninja tumbled from the rafters, landing in a heap atop the outlaw’s messy bed.

Zero’s lips curled into a devious smile. “My, my, not every day such a handsome young man falls into my bed,” he purred, causing Kaze to blush.

“Zero, you’re married! You pledged your eternal, undying love to Lord Kamui!” he stammered.

“Ah, is that why he sent you to spy on me? To make sure I stayed true?”

“Never. He trusts you entirely,” Kaze frowned. “I, on the other hand…”

Zero chuckled, idly picking at the string of the bow he had been working on. “Yes, because the one who creeps around others’ personal quarters is in a place to judge the character of others,” he sneered.

Kaze brushed himself off and stood to leave. “I’ll be sure to keep a more careful eye on you in the future.”

“And I’ll be sure to make it worth your while,” Zero grinned, fingers sliding along the curve of the bow suggestively as Kaze left with a shudder.

Chapter Text

Brady was on his feet before the second knock, nearly tripping over his own chair as he rushed to the door.

“Salutations, Sir Brady!” Owain greeted him as soon as it was opened, grabbing Brady in a hug even more spine-shattering than usual. “I bring with me a most honorable guest today!” Brady noticed a small girl, no older than five or six, peek out from behind his husband’s cape, her excitement betrayed by her beaming smile. “I present, Lady Ophelia, princess of Ylisse!”

“Are you the fabled Sir Brady of the Moist Eyes?” the girl inquired, her resemblance to her father uncanny. “Daddy told me all about you!”

“Oh?” Brady smiled, joyful tears brimming in his eyes as he stooped down to one knee. “What did he tell you?”

“About how charming and handsome and selfless you are and how much he loves you and you love him and you’ll love me!” Ophelia exclaimed, rushing at the priest and throwing her tiny arms around his neck.

Brady’s smile was the widest Owain had ever seen it.

Chapter Text

Orochi hoped the undetectability curse had worked correctly as she settled into place behind the bush, tome held at the ready. She knew Kagero’s patrol route by heart, and if her timing had been correct…

It had been. Kagero came down the path with her usual steady pace, shurikens at the ready to dispose of any ambush before they had a chance to strike. Knowing her attention to detail, Orochi hadn’t even tried to make the note flashy, and indeed, Kagero noticed the stray piece of paper in the road that hadn’t been there the last time she came through.

Kagero scanned her surroundings, unaware of Orochi’s presence, before picking up the note and examined it for any signatures or emblems.

Orochi’s breath hitched as Kagero unfolded the note and began to read. She’d spent hours cooped up with Owain, lingering over each syllable and rhyme to craft the most exquisite love note known to man, and when the faintest smile grew over the ninja’s stoic face, she knew she’d succeeded.

Orochi let out a small giggle, and Kagero’s head whipped around to her hiding spot. The spellcaster emerged, now visible, with a huge smile on her face.

“How’d you manage to sneak up on me?” Kagero mused, more frustrated by her own failure than anything.

“Who cares? I got to see you smile, didn’t I?” Orochi cooed.

Kagero sighed. “I guess you did, didn’t you? Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.”

A sly grin spread across Orochi’s face as she revealed the tome she’d had concealed behind her back. “Actually, I think this one will last me a good while.”

Kagero frowned, as Orochi turned the cover and revealed an incredibly detailed drawing of her reading the note moments before. “Something like this would’ve taken me hours! How did you-?” she gasped.

“Snapshot tome!” Orochi exclaimed gleefully as she touched something on the back cover, causing a mirror image of Kagero’s shocked expression to appear on the next page. “I got it off one of the Annas!”

Kagero took a moment to register what she’d just been told. Orochi spent what must’ve been a small fortune just to record my smile. Orochi was examining the tome again, sighing wistfully at the rare image she’d captured. She was surprised by Kagero’s arms wrapping around her shoulders, but quickly reciprocated the hug.

“I love you, Orochi, but please don’t waste money on those tomes again,” Kagero whispered, her warm breath tickling Orochi’s ear. “If you want to see me smile, just be yourself.”

“You got a deal,” Orochi giggled, and true to her word, Kagero smiled.

Chapter Text

Kamui nearly toppled over when a familiar furry mass ensnared her leg as she stepped out of the mess hall. She smiled, giving her daughter a playful scratch over her hood.

“Hi mom,” Velouria announced her presence, something she’d already made quite clear many seconds ago, tail wagging madly. “What’s that you got there?”

“Oh, these are just some cookies I made,” Kamui smiled, pocketing the sweets she’d just made as the wolfskin sniffed at the air expectantly.

“Gimmie some.”

“I made these for your father, dear. I’ll make you a fresh batch later,” she laughed, and Velouria let out a soft whine. “I mean, I’ll dump a fresh batch out in the dirt for you later,” she quickly added, and the wolfskin’s ears perked right back up.

“Alright. I think I saw dad on the bench by the garden,” she added, before dashing off again. Kamui chuckled and set out to find her hubby. She found the older wolfskin hunched over on a bench, tail drooping sadly as he seemed to not notice her.

“Flannel? What’s wrong, honey?” she called. He always smelled her coming before she could even see him, so something else must’ve been occupying him…

The wolfskin’s eyes glistened with tears as he refused to meet his approaching wife’s gaze. “Iff fpubid…” he whined, and as Kamui got closer she saw his lips were swollen and blood-red.

“Oh, dear, were you hurt?” she cooed, knowing the way his ears lay flat against his scalp were a sign of pain. She sat next to him, gently stroking his mane in an attempt to soothe him. “It’s not stupid to get hurt. Just let me know what happened so I can get a healer…”

“Mmmmm…” Flannel whimpered, weighing his options, until his wife reached up to scratch lightly behind his ear, which went some way towards distracting him from the pain. “I… I waf imfeftigafing fum ffowers, am’ fere waf a bee, am’ I bimff nofif uffil-“

Kamui bit her tongue, trying to stifle a giggle as she understood what had happened. “I’ll- I’ll go get Elise,” she stammered, rushing off before her façade broke. Suddenly, the honey cookies she’d brought him didn’t seem like the most sensitive of treats…

Chapter Text

“And finally, a fleecy barbican of cream, whipped by the cruel hands of fate itself, atop the boiling lake of brunet elixir!” 

“…medium mocha with whipped cream. Got it. And for you?”

“Large tea,” Brady muttered, cheeks flushed from the heat of the café, as well as the sight of the line growing behind them.

He dropped the $20 bill his mother had allotted him on the counter and gave an awkward wave in response to the cashier’s questioning gaze. Anyone who’d be able to keep a straight face throughout one of Owain’s ridiculously verbose orders deserved the heftiest tip they could get.

Owain had found a relatively quiet spot in the corner, plopping himself down into the cracked leather armchair with an exaggerated sigh as Brady set their drinks down. “I didn’t get ya any sugar or ‘nothin, so if ya want some you’ll hafta-“

“Worry not, Sir Brady! Even the most bitter of brews is as saccharine as syrup with your sweetness by my side!” Owain smiled, doing a fine job of hiding the wince as he took a hearty swig of the still steaming-hot coffee.

“If ya say so,” Brady shrugged, stirring a packet of honey into his own cup as he eased into his seat.

“Hark!” Owain exclaimed, nearly causing Brady to fling the honey packet away in surprise. “I see something extraordinary in your cup!”

Brady cocked an eyebrow. “What’re ya on about now?” he quizzed, leaning over to peer into his seemingly ordinary beverage. “I don’t get it. What did ya see?”

“An opportunity,” Owain whispered, lips touching against Brady’s forehead briefly, accompanied by the tiniest of giggles. Brady’s cheeks burned, as he found himself unable to contain the smile at his boyfriend’s corniness.

“Good one, Owain,” he chuckled, playfully flicking the poet’s nose with his free hand. “Happy winter break to ya, too.”

Chapter Text

Stahl blinked awake, fumbling for his phone on the nightstand. Who’d be clamoring around in the kitchen at 3 in the morning? he thought to himself. He could only summon two possibilities; either a burglar that got peckish, or-.

He rolled over to his other side, finding himself alone in bed.

So it was his peckish burglar, then.

He stepped into his slippers and shuffled his way down the hall with a yawn, finding the redhead bent at the waist, thoroughly searching the dwindling contents of their refrigerator.

“Find anything interesting?” he mumbled drowsily, squinting from the bright light of the fridge.

“Nah, just some milk on its way out,” Gaius replied, taking a final gulp from the jug before casting it to the side in the general direction of the recycling bin. “Well, guess we’re the ones out of milk, now.”

“Right,” Stahl murmured, making a mental note to go grocery shopping in the morning. “Can you come back to bed now?”

“I’m still hungry,” Gaius whined, giving a plate of cookies from the previous week a perfunctory sniff before chowing down. “Oh, wait, my bad. Want one?” he mumbled around a mouthful of crumbs. Stahl took the last cookie with a shrug.

“Would’ve been nicer with that milk,” Stahl suggested, eyes slowly growing accustomed to the pale light as he munched his snack. Gaius, seemingly satisfied at last, shut the fridge door with a small burp, tossing the empty plate haphazardly into the sink.

“You’re probably right,” he admitted, nuzzling sleepily against the thin fabric of Stahl’s shirt. “Can you carry me?”

Stahl sighed, unable to deny his boyfriend his request as he scooped the shorter man up, rewarded with a peck on the cheek as he trudged back up the stairs to their bedroom. “You’re the best, bedhead,” Gaius purred, which turned into a snore by the time he’d been tucked under the covers.

Chapter Text

“Urf! C’mon, cupcake, I promise, if you put me down, I’ll share my lollipop with ya,” Gaius whined, smacking his palm feebly against the swordsman’s collar piece.

“You know how I feel about those tooth-rotting sweets,” Lon’qu stated, parting the bathing tent’s flaps with a free hand as he held the squirming thief against his shoulder with the other. “Besides, your… stickiness is half the reason you need a bath in the first place.”

“Hey, in my line of work, ‘sticky fingers’ is a compliment,” Gaius huffed. He knew there wasn't much good in continuing his attempts to sweet-talk Lon’qu, but dammit, that didn’t mean he would stop trying.

Lon’qu set Gaius down by the tub with a grunt. “Alright, Libra’s already drawn your bath, so all that’s left for you to do is strip.”

“Strip?! Please, in front of you?” Gaius scoffed.

“If you prefer I bathe you fully clothed-“

“Gotcha; stripping,” Gaius motioned for Lon’qu to look away as he quickly shed his clothes (taking special care to secure the sweets in his pockets so they wouldn’t fall onto the dirt floor of the tent) and hopped into the bath, grumbling as he adjusted to the warm water. “Wait, what do you mean ‘bathe me’?”

“I meant that I’m going to help you clean yourself, since you clearly can’t be trusted to do so on your own” Lon’qu sighed, rolling up his sleeves. Gaius let out another groan of exasperation, crossing his arms across his freckled chest like a fussy child as Lon’qu gathered the necessary supplies.

“You’re lucky I like ya so much, cupcake. I wouldn’t let any old guy touch me like this.”

“Whatever you say,” Lon’qu mumbled.

A few minutes passed in silence as Lon’qu continued working the soap into Gaius’s hair, humming a tune so quietly to himself Gaius almost thought he was imagining it.

“Alright, hold your breath. I need to put you underwater,” Lon’qu broke the silence at last.

Gaius spit his now-bare lollipop stick out. “Aww, come on, you’re gonna off me already? I’ve been on my best behavior!”

“It’s just for a moment so I can rinse off your hair, Gaius,” Lon’qu couldn’t help a small chuckle. Gaius gave another annoyed sigh, but allowed himself to be dunked under the water. He found those deft fingers massaging his scalp surprisingly pleasant, and by the time he came up and took a breath, he was almost feeling… relaxed?

“That wasn’t so bad, I guess,” he admitted, wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand. “We should do this again sometime.”

“I would sincerely hope so,” Lon’qu smiled, and he believed it.

Chapter Text

“My tactician sense is tingling,” Robin murmured, turning his gaze to the gray clouds gathering above.

“What is it this time?” Chrom chuckled, having lost count of all the possible things that phrase could mean after hearing it used several times a day.

“Well, in this case, it’s telling me there’s rain coming.”

“Do you really need your ‘tactician sense’ to figure that out?” Chrom’s laugh was interrupted by a yelp when a cold drop splashed against the back of his neck, followed by another close behind, and then another, and another.

“Evidently, I do!” Robin exclaimed, grabbing Chrom’s hand as they broke into a run towards the town they were approaching. “In here!” he called over the sound of the downpour, the drizzle having quickly escalated into a full-on torrent of ice-cold rain, and pulled the prince into the first open building they encountered.

The two took a moment to catch their breath as they took in their surroundings. The smell of freshly brewed coffee and the faint din of conversation drifted down the softly lit corridor. “Looks like we lucked out,” Robin smiled, wiping his face off with the back of his sodden sleeve before hanging up his coat. “This is the café I was telling you about on the way.”

“I’m not really one for coffee, really,” Chrom admitted. “But it’s warm and dry, so let’s wait out the storm here.”

Robin furrowed his brow. “Not a fan of coffee? How can you say such a thing?”

Chrom gave a half-hearted shrug as they walked into the main room. “Never acquired a taste for it, I guess. Doesn’t help that Fred always insisted on making it black.”

“Well, I see your problem already,” Robin laughed. “Nothing beats a good cup with just the right amount of sugar and milk. I don’t even know how someone could stomach it otherwise.”

“I’ll stick with tea for now.”

Robin placed their order and took a seat beside Chrom on a cracked leather couch that was likely older than either of them. The drinks came out after a moment; tea with plenty of honey for Chrom, and a mug of hot chocolate for Robin. The fireplace crackled and spit, its warmth complimenting the hot beverages they sipped.

“This is a nice place,” Robin spoke at length. “Perhaps I should come here to read sometime.”

(that’s all I got)

Chapter Text

“You alright, Tsu?”

“Not really,” the redhead exhaled, wearily resting his temples on hands propped up by his knees, giving the impression that he wanted to curl up into a ball, put some distance between the outside world and his vulnerable core, if just for a moment.

“Is this ‘cause of the battle?” Hinata’s voice was soft, a far cry from his usual boisterous shouts outside (and inside, for that matter). “Everyone survived, remember? Thanks to you.”

Tsubaki sighed, cradling his head as he squeezes his eyes shut, demanding the tears he could feel prickling at the corners of his eyes stop in their tracks. “It was way too close. If I hadn’t gotten to Setsuna in time-“

“But you did,” Hinata seated himself next to his boyfriend, close enough to let him know he was there without actually touching him. Tsubaki sometimes declared himself unworthy of even the smallest affections when he felt he had failed someone, and Hinata had learned not to argue. Instead, he simply made himself available; it would become clear soon enough if further comfort was needed.

“You saved her in time, and now she’s healing and she’ll be all better soon.”

“Fine! So I managed to carry a single archer to safety! How many other injuries could I have prevented if I’d trained better? What if it had been Lady Sakura in her place?” Tsubaki’s voice trembled, the tears flowing freely down his cheeks despite his best efforts.

Hinata reached out a hesitant hand, pausing to meet Tsubaki’s gaze to confirm it was alright, before cupping the knight’s cheek, calloused thumb brushing lightly under his eye, urging the tears aside.

“That’s why you can’t give up. We had a lot of really close calls today, but if you hadn’t been there, things would’ve been even worse,” he assured, praying his voice conveyed the confidence he knew was expected from him, even if he’d admittedly been rattled by some of the near-misses himself.

Tsubaki sniffled, the warm hand against his skin providing a small measure of comfort. He took a moment to breathe, leaning in to take Hinata in a hug. The samurai wrapped his arms around Tsubaki’s chest as best as he could, given the difference in their height, feeling the warm tears fall against his sun-scorched skin with every trembling exhale.

“Promise me, Tsubaki,” Hinata murmured at length, once the knight had grown quieter, his breathing slowly returning to normal as he collected himself.

“Promise what?”

“Promise me you won’t give up,”

“But what if-“

“Shush,” Hinata’s grip tightened almost imperceptibly. “No ‘if’s or ‘but’s. Promise me you’ll keep giving it everything you’ve got. For me. For Lady Sakura. For Hoshido.”

Another sigh, and Tsubaki’s body relaxed slightly in Hinata’s grip, letting him move to a more comfortable embrace. His chin rested on Tsubaki’s shoulder, and Hinata noticed that he still smelled faintly of camellias and perfume even after the sweat and dirt of the day.

“Alright,” Tsubaki swallowed. “I won’t give up. I promise, Hinata.”

THAT’S THE SPIRIT!” Hinata’s volume jumped several magnitudes, causing the knight to flinch before the samurai released a flurry of apologies for the startling. “I mean, that’s the spirit! We can do this, as long as we stay strong and keep going, no matter what,” he smiled, letting his weight carry them both back down onto the bed. “Together.”

“Together,” Tsubaki affirmed, allowing himself a small smile as well.

Chapter Text

11:18 AM - Vaike: hey L!!!
11:18 AM - Vaike: get aload of this!!
11:18 AM – Vaike: (image received)

Lon’qu’s blush intensified with every buzz of his phone in his pocket. He was starting to get stares from his classmates, all because his musclehead of a boyfriend couldn’t wait to share pictures of himself flexing after his morning workout. At least, that was the usual reason behind such a scenario.

With an awkward wave, he stepped outside for a moment, taking a breath of the crisp winter air before taking out his phone. 3 texts from Vaike, all in the span of a minute. This had better be important.

Without another thought, Lon’qu tapped on the message notification, and nearly dropped his phone when he was met with a screenful of cock. He fumbled, quickly scrolling the conversation up to push the image off the screen as he quickly whipped his head around to make sure no one had seen him.

11:19 AM - You: VAIKE
11:19 AM - You: You know I’m in class right now, and you send this?!
11:20 AM - Vaike: There r sum things u cant learn @ school ;)
11:20 AM - Vaike: (sum = math pun lol)
11:20 AM - Vaike: lucky 4 u im such a generos teacher
11:20 AM - You: Cease
11:20 AM - Vaike: aww
11:21 AM - Vaike: no need 2b shy. I no ur impressed by my mighty axe ;)

Lon’qu sighed, quickly tapping out his reply; he’d already missed enough of the lecture. He wasn’t going to spend any longer arguing this point.

11:21 AM - You: That’s beside the point
11:21 AM - You: I’ll have plenty of time to admire your “axe” when I return
11:22 AM - Vaike: aww ok
11:22 AM - Vaike: well heres a sneak peek ;)

Lon’qu switched his phone to silent as another image began to load, slipping it back into his pocket and re-entering the class as quietly as he could, hoping the crimson rising on his cheeks would go unnoticed.

It was going to be very difficult to concentrate on anything else today.

Chapter Text

“Happy birthday, Severa!”

Severa always seemed to forget just how strong her girlfriend was, as was now evidenced by the way she trapped her in an embrace so tight she was afraid her chest cavity would collapse. She’d been hit with axes that were softer than one of Lucina’s hugs.

“Thanks, Luci-“ she gasped, taking a moment to catch her breath as Lucina pulled a small, elegantly wrapped box out of her pocket.

"I spent so long trying to find the perfect gift for you, so I do hope you love it!”

“Aww, for me? You shouldn’t have,” Severa’s seemingly modest words contrasted with the way she greedily snatched her present away. Lucina had always had a knack for giving lavish gifts, and even a box this small held much promise. A locket, perhaps? Or maybe-.

“…what’s this?” Severa stared at the oddly shaped red lump she produced.

“It’s a ring!” Lucina grinned. “In the shape of a strawberry!”

“Lucina, you… uh,” Severa slipped the horribly gaudy ring onto her finger, the needlessly sharp tip of the berry digging into her knuckle. “You really shouldn’t have,”

“When I saw it, I just knew I had to get it for you,” she smiled, and Severa managed to pull off the most loving grimace she could in response. “I know how much you love jewelry, and the color reminded me of your hair."

“Aww, that’s… sweet of you,” a bit of an earnest smile managed to break through, as Severa took another look at her gift. It reminded her a bit of something she’d seen their cat toss up once, but hey, nothing was perfect, right? “If you don’t mind, I think I’ll just keep it in the box. Y’know, to treasure it and all.”

“Of course, my love,” Lucina planted a kiss on Severa’s brow. “Happiest of birthdays to you, once again.”

“Thanks, Luci.’,” Severa smiled, trying to remember which market she’d seen those blueberry earrings at for Lucina’s own birthday…

Chapter Text

“Hrrmf-?” Tsubaki shook his head groggily, trying to shake off whatever it was that was tugging gently at his hair. “’nata?”

“Who else?” the voice that produced the chuckle from behind him confirmed Tsubaki’s suspicions, as did the sturdy warmth curled up beside him that was slowly coming into focus.

Another small tug at his hair, and Tsubaki swatted halfheartedly at Hinata’s hand. “Quit it…” he mumbled, prompting a small laugh from the samurai.

“I can’t help it, Tsu. Your hair’s just so… nice,” Hinata explained, running his calloused fingers through the sky knight’s silky red locks. “And it’s even nicer when it’s down like this.”

Tsubaki hummed in acknowledgement, instinctively rolling over to his side and getting a sudden yank in exchange, having forgotten Hinata’s fingers remained tangled in his hair.

“Sorry,” Hinata winced, allowing Tsubaki to readjusting before continuing his ministrations, idly twirling a strand around his finger in fascination. “How do you even get it this soft?”

“I wash it,” Tsubaki’s reply was half-muffled by the pillow. “It takes a lot of care, so be sure to respect it.”

“I’ve got nothing but respect,” Hinata chuckled, cuddling up closer to Tsubaki’s slender frame. His nose came to rest on the other man’s scalp, and he took a breath. “It even smells nice,” he offered.

Tsubaki gave a murmur of appreciation, growing used to the subtle tugs and fingers brushing across his head as Hinata indulged himself. He found himself drifting back to sleep in due time, a small kiss and declaration of love from Hinata the last thing he registered as the early morning sun began to creep in through the windows.

Chapter Text

“Hiya Nina. Reading your boys’ romance novels again?”

Nina jumped, but successfully restrained her instinct to hurl her book at Velouria again. She’d been trying her hardest to avoid startling Nina when she showed up, so the least Nina could do was avoid throwing things at her when she forgot her manners.

Nina rolled her eyes. “Has there ever been a time you’ve come in and I wasn’t reading something about boys?”

“Sure. Plenty of times. Sometimes you’re writing about boys, or daydreaming about boys, or-“

Nina’s cheeks went pink. “Alright, I get it!” she sighed. “But can you blame me? There’s just something magical about a man falling head over heels, ready to sweep his beloved off their feet and carry him to their-”

“I can do that, too,” Velouria casually remarked, earning a cock of the eyebrow from Nina.

“What was that?”

Without another word, Velouria began to transform. This time, Nina couldn’t help but yelp as she scooted back on her bed, away from the rapidly expanding wolfskin.

The next thing she knew was Velouria grabbing her by her midsection with an enormous paw, and scooping her into her massive furry arms.

“SEE? I CAN SWEEP YOU OFF YOUR FEET, TOO!”

“Eek! Point taken! Now please put me down!” Nina squealed, before being unceremoniously dropped back onto her covers.

Velouria was back in human form as quickly as she’d left it, ears perked and tail wagging intently in excitement. “Any other stuff you think only boys can do?” she grinned, and Nina’s mind swam with possibilities.

Chapter Text

“LORD TAKUMI! IS EVERYTHING ALL RIGHT?”

His retainer’s sudden hollering made Takumi jump slightly in his seat. “Hinata, I-I’m fine! What are you yelling about?” he stammered, wondering how he didn’t hear the clod coming from a mile away like usual.

“Oh, my apologies! It’s just that, I saw you make a weird face at me before you retreated for the night, and I was worried you’d been poisoned or hurt!” Hinata sheathed his katana, which Takumi realized he’d drawn for some reason.

“You mean when I smiled at you?” Takumi frowned, and Hinata’s face lit up in excitement.

“Yeah, that! You never smile! That’s why I thought something was wrong!”

“Hinata, you may not always see it, but I smile more than you think.” Takumi chuckled, his lips curling into a small one as if to prove his point. “You have a way of cheering people up when you’re around.”

Hinata rushed at his lord, squeezing a tiny squeak from him with his tight hug. “Oh, I’m so glad everything’s fine, then! Good night, Lord Takumi!” And with that, he dropped Takumi back into his seat and bolted off again, leaving the prince very confused, but smiling nontheless.

Chapter Text

The warm water lapping at his chest gently helped ease Siegbert’s nerves somewhat. He wasn’t sure what he’d been thinking when he let slip he’d be heading to the baths tonight, knowing damn well Shiro would half-jokingly request to follow. He really didn’t know what he’d been thinking when he agreed to that request, to both of their surprises.

So here he was, up to his collarbones in the warm, steamy water, waiting with equal parts excitement and apprehension to see if Shiro would follow through. Seeing the spear fighter in little more than a bathing suit was a tantalizing prospect, to be sure, but what if he did something unbecoming of a prince? Such an embarrassment between the princes of the recently allied nations could snowball into a diplomatic crisis. This was such a foolhardy idea. If only I’d thought before I-

Siegbert’s downwards spiral into panic was interrupted by the arrival of a certain lancer. Siegbert had positioned himself strategically with his back to the door, to give the impression that he’d been bathing casually, normally, definitely not sitting paralyzed with anxiety about the arrival of Shiro, certainly not.

“Sieg! Beat me to it, huh?” Shiro’s raucous voice echoed in the confines of the private bathing room, causing the Nohrian to jolt upright the tiniest bit. Even when it was just the two of them, Shiro really didn’t seem to have an ‘indoor voice’.

“How’s the water, babe?” his laugh was accompanied by the sound of fabric hitting tile. Siegbert guessed that his towel, and closed his eyes to steel himself for what was to come.

“Hello, Shiro,” Siegbert did his best to keep his voice moderate. Friendly and welcoming, yet not overly eager or anxious. Such subtleties were of utmost importance to a budding diplomat, after all. “The water is at quite a pleasant temperature, if you’d wish to join m-“

“Alley-oop!” Siegbert barely had time to turn before a shadow crested over him, cast by a quickly-moving Shiro as he bounded into the water. Siegbert brought his arms up to his face, trying in vain to shield himself from the resulting splash, but it was to no avail.

By the time the waves had settled and Shiro’s form rose from the depths like an emerging Kraken, Siegbert had mustered the courage to crack his eyes open for a peek. He found Shiro moving in on him like a hungry shark, grabbing the Nohrian in an affectionate headlock with one buff arm. “You were right, this is great!” his laughter bubbled from his throat, an infectious chortle that even Siegbert couldn’t help but catch, laughing and gasping in equal parts as the arm around his neck loosened.

“Y-yes, it is indeed nice,” Siegbert sputtered. Shiro settled onto the bench beside Siegbert with a contented sigh, rolling his weary shoulders as he let the warm water wash away his tension. He allowed himself to relax a bit as well, his boyfriend’s arm around his shoulder providing a comforting presence. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad, after all…

That particular train of thought came to a screeching halt when Siegbert glanced down, doing a double take before bolting upright suddenly. Shiro wasn’t wearing anything. Siegbert’s mind raced with ways to inform Shiro of his apparent nudity, without arousing too much suspicion. Or anything else, for that matter.

He cleared his throat. “Shiro?” his voice came out an octave higher than it should’ve. Shiro turned to face him with a quizzical look on his face.

“Yeah? ‘sup, babe?”

“Er, you seem to have forgotten, ah…” Siegbert drummed his fingers against the bench they sat on nervously. “I believe you may have forgotten your… undergarments.”

Shiro laughed. “I didn’t forget them; everyone bathes in the buff around here!”

Siegbert’s blush deepened from more than just the heat of the steam rising off the water. He felt Shiro pinch at the fabric covering his thigh. “Your trunks are pretty cute though, I gotta say,” Shiro remarked.

“Thank you,” Siegbert accepted the unusual compliment with some apprehension.

“Of course,” Shiro smiled. “Mind giving me a better look?” he added with a mischievous wink.

“U-uh, alright,” Siegbert’s face flushed as he stood up, letting Shiro admire the rich blue bathing shorts Forrest had sewn specially for him years ago. Even back in Nohr, most people bathed in the buff. Only Siegbert was modest enough to cover up even in private, so he really should’ve seen this coming.

What he didn’t see coming was the finger poking him square in the middle of one of his cheeks, followed by a laugh. “Boop,” Shiro tittered, watching Siegbert’s burn crimson with embarrassment.

“I’m glad you appreciate my posterior,” Siegbert grimaced, hesitant to turn around lest Shiro spot the tent forming in the front of his trunks. He didn’t know what he was thinking asking Shiro to join him here, but as he felt Shiro’s hands grip his hips, guiding him back gently onto his lap, he was increasingly glad that he did.

Chapter Text

Saizou stood stock still as Ryouma pored over the reports he’d prepared on the enemy’s movements. He was ever the image of professionality; spine straight, hands clasped behind his back, an expression of total seriousness frozen on his face, Saizou resembled a statue or a textbook illustration more than a living, breathing human at times.

This wasn’t something that escaped Ryouma’s notice, as he set the notes (somehow perfectly neat and orderly as always, despite the speed at which he scrawled them down) aside for a moment, clearing his throat. “Saizou?”

Saizou somehow stood just a bit straighter, puffed his chest out the tiniest bit at the sound his lord’s voice. “How may I assist you, milord?”

“I simply wanted to thank you for your service. These reports are immaculate as always,” Ryouma allowed himself a smile as he met the ninja’s gaze, weary and cracked from gods-knew-how-many hours without sleep, but one that nonetheless brought the faintest of blushes to his retainer’s cheeks.

“Such is my duty, milord,” Saizou replied simply, quite thankful for the mask covering his face.

“Even beyond your duties, you’re an invaluable member of this army. Your information alone has led to countless victories, and having you by my side, I know we can take on anything,” Ryouma continued, even as Saizou turned away the tiniest bit and cleared his throat.

“While I feel your praises are… excessive, I appreciate them all the same,” he muttered, eyes fixed on the prince’s hands rather than his face. He silently took a breath through his nose, holding it for a moment before releasing it. He mustn’t let these praises get to him, after all; what sort of professional squealed like a common schoolgirl at the pleasure of his lord?

…er, perhaps pleasure wasn’t the best choice of word, in this case. Pride. Gratitude. Yes, that was more like-

Saizou barked in surprise as Ryouma’s arms wrapped around his shoulders, cursing himself for getting so lost in his own thoughts that he’d allowed someone to get the drop on him like this. “M-milord?” he recovered, standing awkwardly stiff as he fought every urge to sink into the swordsman’s embrace, strong and warm like the sound of his voice, or his presence on the field by Saizou’s side-.

And there I go again, he groaned inwardly.

“Is… are you alright?” he asked instead, unsure if pushing Ryouma away would be the right thing to do. It certainly didn’t feel like something he should do.

“Hmm?” Ryouma withdrew, studying Saizou’s face with a quizzical expression pasted to his own. “Why, yes, I’m quite alright. Is something the matter?”

“N-no, all is well,” Saizou managed, knowing the blush on his cheeks had likely risen high enough to be spied even over his mask; that must’ve been why Ryouma smirked suddenly, after all. “I- I simply request you warn me before engaging in such… physical intimacy with me in the future.”

Ryouma laughed softly, bringing a hand to Saizou’s chin. “But seeing you react like this is half the fun,” he purred, a gentle smile forming on his lips. Saizou did all he could to resist the temptation to meet them with his own.

Chapter Text

“You alright?”

Sharena’s drooped head perked up at the sound of the commander’s voice, her feet carrying her towards it before she’d even had time to fully process things.

Despite her exhaustion from the battle they’d just narrowly won, Anna managed to remain upright as the princess careened into her chest, arms wrapping around her midsection in a relieved embrace.

Anna couldn’t help but chuckle; she knew Sharena worried for everyone’s safety, but she didn’t even greet Alfonse this eagerly. She brushed such thoughts aside as she let her axe fall from her grip, returning Sharena’s hug as best as she could through the bulk of her armor.

“Oh, gods, I was so worried about you- I was afraid we- you-“ Sharena stammered, her voice cracking in a way that likewise cracked Anna’s heart. Splitting up had been necessary to win, but seeing the reaction it caused in the princess, she wondered if it had been truly worth it.

“I’m here, so no need to shed a tear!” Anna laughed, despite her attempt at a joke being more painful than funny. Nonetheless, Sharena’s smile seemed to have returned in full force, not a trace of sorrow to be found on her soft features as she released Anna at last. In the back of her mind, Anna swore she could still feel the girl’s warmth lingering around her.

“That’s good, I’m… glad you’re okay,” Sharena smiled, throwing her arms back around Anna’s neck for an encore that Anna was all too happy to return.

Chapter Text

Snow had always seemed like a luxury to Siegbert. Sure, winters in the deeprealms were plenty cold, but they tended to be dry as well. Only rarely did white cover the tops of the mountains in the far distance, and rarer still were the times he’d be allowed to journey over to play in the cold, before being hurried back and bundled up lest he catch a cold and perish.

Perhaps that’s why he was content to simply sit by the open door of the room he shared with Shiro, elbows in his lap, chin perched upon his palms as he gazed at the tiny flakes of ivory floating down from the skies.

The clomping of feet on the deck told him Shiro had returned well before the spearman had turned the corner, hands smudged with soot and a similarly dirtied bag slung over one shoulder, a heavy-looking teapot swinging carelessly in the other.

“What’re you doing, Sieg? You’re letting all the cold in!” he scolded, not actually making any attempt to remedy that situation as he entered their quarters. He’d promised to show off some sort of “special Hoshidan thing to keep warm” that Siegbert hadn’t even bothered trying to learn the name of, and he guessed the soot and the sound of charcoal tumbling behind him played into that somehow.

With a sigh, Siegbert bid the fading afternoon light farewell as he slid the door panel shut carefully. He winced, remembering the first time he’d encountered such a method of entry, and ended up pushing it off its hinges. He’d been mortified, but Shiro had simply laughed it off, popping it back into its frame and encouraging him to try it again. He hoped whatever Hoshidan custom he was about to be introduced to wouldn’t have such a glaring opportunity for him to make a fool of himself.

Shiro lifted one of the blankets he’d laid over the table, slipping one of his hands underneath for a moment before withdrawing it with a triumphant humph. “Alright, it’s nice and toasty. Get over here!” he waved Siegbert over, gesturing at the raised sheet, as if it were the curtain to a stage or fancy ball of some sort.

 Siegbert put on his most confident smile as he nodded, getting to his knees and crawling under the table, immediately struck by how hot it was down here. His lungs already burned with the stuffy air, beads of sweat gathering on his face-.

“Sieg, you’re not supposed to shove your whole body in there! Just your legs!” came the hysterical laugh from outside. Well. That certainly explained it. He quickly scooted out from under the covering, burying his face in the cushion by it that, in retrospect, was likely meant for him to sit, rather than rest his head, on. “D-don’t worry, beginner’s mistake,” Shiro did his best to suppress the giggles that threatened to spill forth, instead sliding his own cushion over beside Siegbert’s and seating himself, letting the blanket rest on his lap.

Siegbert got over his embarrassment quickly enough, turning himself over and emulating his boyfriend’s stance, feeling the warmth of the charcoal below radiate a pleasant warmth that contrasted quite comfortably with the chill of the winter air. Shiro’s foot rubbed playfully against his bare shin, and Siegbert couldn’t help but be relieved that his blush wouldn’t be evident under the redness of his already flushed face.

“Tea?” Shiro offered, pouring Siegbert a cup and taking one for himself, downing it in a single shot before he’d even had a chance to offer a toast.

“Thank you,” Siegbert nodded with a smile, bringing the cup to his lips and taking a sip of the warm beverage. An arm draped over his shoulders, giving him a squeeze and jostling him slightly as he leaned his head to rest on Shiro’s ribs. Perhaps this would become its own winter tradition, in time…

Chapter Text

Shit. Shitshitshitshit, everything fucking sucks! IT HURTS, SHIT, FUUU-

A soft rap on her door snapped Corrin back from her depressive spiral “Come in!” She managed to choke out in a relatively cordial voice between sobs, though she was barely audible with her face buried in her knees as she rocked back and forth slowly on her bed.

Faintly, she registered the scent of tea and the gentle footfalls approaching her carefully. The sound of a saucer being set on the nightstand, and the mattress depressing slightly as someone sat down beside her.

“How’re you holding up?” came her husband’s voice. Corrin dug her nails into her calves, the sharp half-claws digging into her skin painfully to distract herself from the even more intense pain below.

“Bad,” she spat. What kind of question was that?! Would someone who’s holding up just fine be curled into a ball of agony for days like this?? She took a breath through her nose, willing herself to calm down; Niles was just doing his best to be sympathetic, after all. Better than some sort of innuendo at her expense. Then again, if he’d done that, he would’ve caught a claw to the esophagus in no time.

Corrin flinched, baring her fangs in a hiss instinctively as Niles’s hand laid softly against her back. The thief quickly drew back, before Corrin snatched his wrist in a too-tight grip, growling at him to resume his activity.

The careful stroking against her back did feel nice, and very gradually Corrin felt herself unclench just the tiniest bit, letting herself relax against the gentle pressure. She wordlessly snagged the teacup from its perch by the bedside, letting the hot beverage (sweetened with about thirty spoonfuls of sugar, just how she liked it) drip down her throat as she willed the pain to leave her alone for a moment.

“Thanks,” she grumbled through gritted teeth, inexplicable tears pricking at the corners of her eyes. Niles just grinned, pressing his lips against the tip of her ear chastely.

Chapter Text

“Er, Sumia, I’m pretty sure cats aren’t supposed to eat chocolate…”

“Oh, I’m sure one little bite will be fine…” Sumia assured her wife, gently stroking the back of the cat currently occupying her lap, holding the half-bitten truffle a few inches away from his tiny pink nose.

Cordelia eyed the feline nervously as it examined the unfamiliar treat, cautiously sniffing the mix of cocoa and raspberry jam. It had only been a week since they’d adopted Chester (as they’d decided to dub him), and he’d already become comfortable enough in their home to sit on their laps and allow them to pet him. However, he was just as likely to pee on the couch or take a swipe at their shins with his razor-sharp claws. Cordelia loved him dearly, of course, but trusting him was another matter.

The cat hesitated a moment, whiskers twitching in excitement, before lashing out with his paw, striking the chocolate out of Sumia’s hand with a well-aimed swat. “Oh!” Sumia exclaimed, watching the sweet hurtle through the air before disappearing into the dense shag of their living room carpet.

“Bad kitty! Chester, no!” she chided, her tone still too gentle to really register as a reprimand for the curious feline. Sumia quickly moved to stand, remembering too late that the cat was still settled quite securely on her knees. A paw full of piercing claws brought her back to reality, and to the ground, as she yelped in surprise and pain while she tumbled forward. Luckily for her, the same carpet softened her landing, and Chester snarled in annoyance as he dashed off behind the couch.

“Oh no,” Cordelia couldn’t help but giggle; the cat’s poise and grace certainly stood in contrast to her wife’s clumsiness, something Sumia must have realized as well, given how she let loose a nervous chuckle as well. “Are- are you alright, darling?”

“Y-yes, I’m fine. I’m just glad I didn’t land on Chester,” Sumia’s cheeks flushed crimson as Cordelia stood to offer a helping hand. “Cordy, watch out!”

Unbeknownst to the redhead, Chester had taken the moment of quiet to clamber up the back of the couch, eyeing the vaguely insect-sized pin holding Cordelia’s hair together. With a silent leap, he executed a perfect landing onto her back, causing her to lose her balance and come tumbling forward to join Sumia on the floor.

Now it was Sumia’s turn to laugh, her wife burying her face in her shoulder at the knowledge they’d both been done in by a measly kitten. “No, bad kitty!” she managed between giggles, but it was to little avail. Satisfied with downing his prey, Chester proudly strutted off to the kitchen to help himself to some kibble.

“Told ya chocolate wasn’t good for cats,” Cordelia mumbled, a half-grin forming on her lips as Sumia gave her a playful push.

“He didn’t even have any, silly!” Sumia shot back, before turning to look at the spot where the chocolate had landed. “But-“

It was gone.

“Chesterrrrrr!” she shrieked, dashing off to the kitchen before he had another chance to make a mess, Cordelia following close behind.

Chapter Text

“Hark! I have been defeated by a fiend most nefarious!” Owain gasped, clutching at the scarlet seeping from his chest.

“Owain!” Brady’s voice called from somewhere nearby, the noise sounding distant through the ringing filling the fatally wounded swordsman’s ears. “Don’t worry, I’m comin’!”

“Alas, I fear-“ he paused to cough, crimson flecking his lips with each breath. “That it is too late…”

“Late, nuthin’!” Brady hissed, dropping to his knees as he examined the injury. A trembling hand shot out to snag Brady’s wrist, beckoning him to look Owain in the eye.

“My fair Brady, it appears my time has come…” Owain rasped, Brady’s tear-stained visage growing hazy and faint. “Make haste, run! Save yourself, while you still can!”

And with one final gasp, his hand went limp, eyes falling shut, limbs splayed every which way in time for rigor mortis to set in. “DAMMIT, NO! OWAIN, NOOOOOOOOO!” Brady screamed, smacking his fist against his friend’s chest repeatedly in a desperate bid to wake him. “Ya can’t do this to us! Not now!”

Letting his head fall against the dead boy’s side, Brady sobbed.

Owain peeked an eye open, unable to contain the ear-to-ear grin that spread across his face. “How was that? I channeled fieriest blood of my forbearers for that performance!”

Brady continued to wail, pushing himself into a seated position beside Owain. “Ya… ya didn’t tell me ya were gonna be bleedin’ fer real!” he managed to choke out between sobs, burying his face in his hands.

Owain’s expression fell, and he attempted to comfort his friend with a hand on the shoulder. “It’s not real, Brady. It’s just pomegranate juice,” he explained, swiping a finger through the mess decorating the front of his shirt to demonstrate. “I got a bunch of those little seeds up earlier and stuck ‘em to my chest! All it took was one lil’ jab, and bam! Instant ‘blood’!”

Brady sniffled, looking up at last to examine Owain’s shirt. Of course it hadn’t been real blood; despite his friend’s dedication to realism in their role-play sessions, he’d never go quite that far. “Well, ‘twas real convincin’,” he sniffled, letting Owain drape a comforting arm around his shoulder in a kind of half-hug.

“I shall do my utmost remember to inform you before devising such effects in our future adventures!” Owain smiled, and Brady responded with a crooked half-grin of his own.

“Ya better, or I’ll make sure ya bleed ‘fer real, too.”

Chapter Text

“Hey, gorgeous…”

The unexpected coo from what he thought was an empty bedroll nearly made Gerome jump out of his skin. “Inigo?! What the hell are you doing?” He hissed, trying to keep his voice low enough that it wouldn’t be heard in the huddle of tents that made for their campsite tonight.

“Uh, trying to set the mood, obviously,” the mercenary laughed, turning his head from its awkward perch atop his hand to look to the side. “…shit, did the candles go out again?”

“Candles?” Gerome sighed, too busy divesting himself of his armor to pay his bedmate much mind. Inigo fumbled in the dark for something, before the sound of a match striking brought some light to their surroundings at last.

With a satisfied huff, the wicks were re-lit, and Gerome could at last make out the attempt Inigo had made to spruce up their accommodations. A few roses’ worth of wilting petals were scattered across the sheet Inigo had spread himself on, a flowery aroma filling the air, along with a warm glow cast by the candles that had been positioned carefully around the bed. A rather ridiculous-looking pair of lacy panties were all that stood between Inigo’s skin and the chilly evening air, and as cheesy as the “seductive” expression he wore was, Gerome couldn’t help but admire the lengths to which Inigo had gone to make the evening special.

Having stripped down to his smallclothes, Gerome tossed his shirt into a dark corner of the tent, deciding he’d worry about locating later. “This really a good idea, you think? We’re moving out at the crack of dawn, you know,” he muttered, nonetheless kneeling by the side of their bedspread.

Inigo hummed pleasantly, not having really heard a word Gerome said. “Stop wor-ry-ing, babe,” he laughed, the blush spreading across his features explained by the faint scent of alcohol on his breath. “Tomorrow’s tomorrow; tonight, ’s just you and me.”

Fair enough.

Gerome lowered his head, meeting Inigo’s lips in what was meant to be a chaste kiss, until the smaller man decided he wanted more, poking his tongue against Gerome’s teeth with a mischievous giggle. The taste of wine lingered in Inigo’s mouth, his movements slower, sloppier than usual as he took his time exploring Gerome’s.

Gerome broke the kiss suddenly, peering down at Inigo with an expression closer to “concern” than “arousal”. “Inigo, you’re hot,” he stated, the bluntness of his words making the mercenary laugh.

“Thanks, babe. You’re not so bad yourself,” he smiled back.

“No, I mean, you’re like. Hot. You don’t have a fever, do you?”

“What? Of course, not,” Inigo cocked an eyebrow; now that he mentioned it, he did feel a bit hotter than usual.

Turning his head to the side, Inigo shrieked suddenly as he found an open flame inches from his face. “Shit! The candles!” He yelped, pushing Gerome off as he smothered the growing flame with the blanket, sending rose petals flying everywhere in his frenzy.

“Inigo, your hair!” Gerome sputtered, watching in disbelief as Inigo squealed, looking around frantically for something to douse himself with, settling on a bottle of clear liquid laying by the side of the bed.

“Wait, no, that’s perfu-!”

Gerome’s words reached him too late; Inigo’s hair erupted in a rose-scented fireball as the mercenary squealed, accidentally kicking Gerome in the cheek as he scrambled out of the tent, the sound of splashing and Brady hollering coming from the washing tub a few moments later.

Gerome groaned, burying his face in his knees as the petals floated to the ground, settling like pink embers alongside the actual embers of what used to be their blanket.

So much for a night of rest and relaxation…