"Felicia, he adores you." Jakob spoke plainly as he saw his bumbling coworker enter the dining room with a tray of clean cutlery, about to set it out on the big table.
"Good afternoon Jakob, I-"she flushed at his odd greeting. "W-wait, why did you say that all of a sudden?" She struggled to maintain balance with the tray in her hands.
He had to contain a sigh. "Because I know you adore him. I am merely saving Lord Corrin the trouble of having to break the ice with you, so to speak. I leave the rest to you."
Visibly flustered, she hobbled over to the dining table, dropping forks and knives on the floor with each step. "Th-that's absurd. I have no feelings for milord. And even if I did it's against maid protocol and it's illegal. "She glanced back at her mess. "Oops…"
Jakob smirked. "Don't bother trying, Felicia. It's written all over your face. In fact I'm surprised and somewhat worried that he hasn't noticed yet." But she hadn't noticed Master Corrin's feelings either. He had been flustered in the exact same way. When Jakob noticed his master's sudden odd behavior around the maid, he was quick to point it out.
It's nothing. Lord Corrin had said. That's just, er, frustration! The same as you are with her, because she's so clumsy and messes up all the time. I just don't have the heart to tell her off for it. That's all.
That's one thing they had in common: They were terrible liars. Master Corrin told Jakob that it was frustration that made him turn crimson when he accidentally touched Felicia's hand helping her pick up pieces of plate on the floor. It was "frustration" that made Lord Corrin make excuses to keep Felicia around when she was about to leave for other work so they could chat. The truth was Corrin was the opposite of frustrated with Felicia. His patience for her fumbles was almost endless. His enjoyment of her company superseded it.
With Felicia it was even more obvious. She became clumsier when she was around Lord Corrin, either on purpose to make him help her so she could get close to him, or just due to her infatuation distracting her. Jakob couldn't tell which. She had honed the skill of suppressing her blushes around him. And she always attended him with unique fervor, rivaling Jakob's own, often incompetent but always dedicated. If Corrin ever got hurt in battle, she'd be there healing him before Jakob or the other healers knew anything was amiss.
Jakob peered into his garbled reflection in the cup of hot water, thinking. "Felicia." He finally said. "When I'm finished preparing it, take this tea to him." He turned to her. She was picking up silverware off the floor, and she looked up. He knew she'd probably spill the tea, which would be ideal. "Whatever happens, talk to him and be honest about your feelings."
Jakob's candor broke the façade. Her cheeks had only grown redder as blood rushed to her face. "Y-you mean right now?"
"Yes. Now." He said, stirring the cup. When he was done, he gingerly brought it to his lips to evaluate the taste. "The next time I see you both I hope you're holding hands."
"I… Why are you…helping me?" She asked, her jaw hanging open. Jakob usually treated her with grudging acceptance at the best of times.
He arranged a pot of tea, the cup, cream, and a spoon onto a tray and presented it to Felicia. "It is my duty as Lord Corrin's butler to ensure his happiness and safety." He said with a small smile. "Being with you makes him happy. It's as simple as that."
She took the tray into her trembling hands and nodded furiously. Her nervousness caught her tongue and she forgot to thank him. As she scurried off, Jakob finished arranging the silverware on the table, anxious about the result of this gamble. Well, if I'm wrong and he doesn't really love her, maybe she'll be fired and I won't have to compensate for her ineptitude anymore.
Hours later, after the Nohrian royals had attended dinner, where Camilla and Elise constantly complained to Jakob about where their beloved brother was, Jakob secretly fretted as well. Usually it was no huge matter if Lord Corrin missed dinner as he was oft busy. But he would typically come in for a snack or chat with Jakob, and Felicia would of course be present to help wash the dishes. As Jakob cleaned the last of them, he paused for a moment and listened to the lonely sound of dripping water from his washcloth. Had it worked? Did Felicia confess and he reciprocated? Or did he break her heart and she ran away, and he was looking for her?
The work done, Jakob left to search for his master. When he arrived outside Lord Corrin's quarters, he immediately noticed the broken china and spilled tea on the floor. As expected. The door was ajar too. "Lord Corrin? Felicia?" His own voice was the only sound that could be heard. Peering inside, only the dim light of a single lantern on his bedside table could be seen. Where could they have gone?
Continuing onward, he began to hear the distant murmur of voices. He stopped and listened. It was coming from downstairs. He decided to pursue it quietly, because he recognized those voices as he got closer. Giggles and laughter became clearer as he went down the stairs. The door to a storage closet near the living area of the castle was slightly open and the voices emanated from it. Jakob crept up slowly to a hole in the door, and putting an eye to it, he witnessed pay dirt.
Lord Corrin was sitting on a box, beaming, with Felicia on his lap. His arms were around her waist. She pulled dried figs from a storage sack next to her and put them in his mouth and giggled incessantly as he kissed her on the cheek.
"I'm sorry Felicia I can't stop kissing you," he said, a smile as wide as the time when they first got the news that they were to be freed from the northern fortress stretched across his face. "You're just so much prettier than all of my sisters…" He touched his nose to her light brown hair.
"Oh stop milord I'm just a maid!" She giggled.
"No. You're my best friend and I love you." He kissed her on her red cheek again.
"I love you too…" She responded by turning her face around and pressing her quivering lips to his.
If Jakob could see his reflection in the mirror, he'd see a smile almost as big as his master's. As Lord Corrin's butler Jakob deeply valued his abilities to serve, whether that was through cooking, sewing, smithing, cleaning, and even bricklaying. But now, he had one more thing he could add to his repertoire: Matchmaking.