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Philomela preens gently at Ardyn’s hair, paying no heed to the uncomfortable groans emanating from her rather squashed rider. It’s a sorry sight, but Gilgamesh merely rolls his eyes before sitting down in the hay next to his King.

“The birth of a child is usually a happy affair.” He remarks, following the swooping lines of the mithrilwork that forms the stable’s stalls. One of his boots nudges against an empty bottle. “I would have thought to find you with the other revellers.”

There’s a pause in the general grumbling before a particular whine comes from the chosen king. It’s the kind of whine that means ‘I don’t want to because it’s not about me and I’d feel weird about intruding.’ A small smile crosses Gilgamesh’s face, and he rests a hand on Ardyn’s head.

“I don’t think Izunia cares too much about you crashing the party.” His hand is almost bigger than Ardyn’s entire skull. Philomela nips lightly at his fingers, and so he takes up where she left off, running his fingers through the wine-dark mess that crowns his over-dramatic head.

Ardyn finally turns his head to the side, a single golden eye looking up at Gilgamesh. His sclera is reddened, and there’s moisture clinging to his eyelashes. Gil’s heart does a flip in his chest, and he gently curves his fingers around the back of Ardyn’s head, threading through the hair there.

Abruptly, Philomela gets up, and leaves the stall. Her feet go click-clack against the flooring as she walks down the hall to the water bucket. Soft and sleepy kwehs echo through the chocobo stable as she goes, a sonic indication of her passage.

Ardyn rolls onto his side. He’s missing his usual layers, instead clad in his his shirt and trousers. It’s an endearing look, spoiled only by the evidence that he’d been crying. Gilgamesh continues to stroke slowly through his king’s hair, staying still as Ardyn wraps an arm around one of his thighs and uses it to pull himself closer.

His King rests his head on Gilgamesh’s thigh. It is not an unusual position for them - Ardyn has oft claimed that his Shield’s body is better than a mattress, and certainly prefers it to a simple bedroll when an inn is not available but this - this is intimate.

Outside, the cities’ bells are ringing, and below them is the dull roar of a festive crowd. But Gilgamesh cannot see anything but Ardyn’s eyes. His breath stutters out, and Ardyn slowly pushes himself up on one elbow.

“Gilgamesh…” His King’s voice is a low rumble - and Gilgamesh cannot deny that tone of voice anything. The hand in Ardyn’s hair drops lower, skating against the back of his neck - and Ardyn arches up into it like a well-fed couerl, eyes sliding half-way closed.

Gil leans down, his other hand now sliding up Ardyn’s throat to cup his chin. A slow grin spreads across the King’s face, and he pushes himself up so close that their noses are touching.

For all that Ardyn adores the pleasures of the flesh, he has restrained himself from advances on his Shield. Perhaps Gilgamesh has been denying himself this for too long.

Their lips meet and it feels like coming home. Ardyn threads a hand into Gilgamesh’s hair, pulling him closer. Gil groans, deep in his chest, and Ardyn chuckles against his lips. He stops laughing when Gilgamesh pushes him back down into the hay and kisses him like he’s wanted to do for years, like he always thought he’d never be able to.

They pause for breath, hands and arms tangled together.

“Should I stop?” Gilgamesh breathes, pressing butterfly kisses to the line of Ardyn’s jaw. There’s a considering hum, the kind he makes when he’s putting on a show. A nip to the softness of his King’s neck turns that trickster’s noise into a heated whimper. So he does it again.

“If you don’t stop, there will - mmhn! - be consequences…” The sentence trails off as Gilgamesh slides a hand into his half-open shirt, following the curve of his ribs as he continues to lick and nip at Ardyn’s neck.

“As my King demands,” Gilgamesh murmurs, and slides his hand further still.