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hard to know that you still care

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Felix is stumbling through the monastery, banging off walls, half-blind with a fury he can’t even begin to encase in thought when Sylvain grabs him. His grip is strong, spinning Felix back like a boat around its anchor. “Felix—did you hear me?” he says.

Felix looks up at him. His face is like a book Felix can’t read. The pages are too thin, the text overlaid. He can’t see what he’s looking at.

The face changes. “Felix,” Sylvain says, his voice sharper.

Felix inhales, roughly the first time, rougher still the second and third. Sylvain’s other hand lands on his shoulder and his expression starts to comes into focus, lamplight smeared over his features. There’s shock in them, almost horror.

Is that how Felix looked? Talking to him?

“Felix, you—”

“Tell me my name,” Felix says. The words slop forth from his mouth like vomit. There’s no swallowing them.

Sylvain’s grip on him tightens. “What?”

“Sylvain, tell me my name.”

“Felix,” Sylvain says, fast, fast as anything, “you’re Felix. Felix Hugo Fraldarius. Stupid name overall, and I should know. Saints, Fraldarius, what happened?”

Don’t leave me alone, says Dimitri.

“Nothing,” says Felix.

“Liar,” says Sylvain, sounding close to disgust. “You look like you’ve seen a—”

“Don’t say it.”

Sylvain goes still and tense, like a tree just before it falls. “What did Dimitri do?” he asks, because he’s always been smarter than Felix, and faster and sharper and a better liar.

Felix feels too hot. It’s cold in hallway outside what used to be Claude’s room because it’s always cold in the Academy. It’s been cold on the mountaintop as long as there’s been a mountaintop. But Felix feels hot, feels like he’s been running for five years and fighting ten more. Sylvain’s hands on his shoulders are like clothes irons, burning the seams of his shirt into his skin, and Felix thinks he should break out of his hold and thinks with just as much conviction that none of this actually matters for shit.

“We sparred,” he tells Sylvain. “That’s it.”

“Liar,” Sylvain says again, quieter. “Are you hurt?”

Felix shakes his head, jaw clenched.

“Did you hurt him?”

Don’t leave me alone, says Dimitri.

Felix pulls Sylvain down by the collar and kisses him.

Sylvain stumbles back, hands dragging down Felix’s sleeves, making a noise against his mouth that sounds like a muffled ‘Fuck!’. Felix keeps kissing him, up on his toes and pulling Sylvain down to meet him, not thinking about Dimitri’s body or his mouth or his voice, which gnaw and tear. Felix bites Sylvain’s lip and Sylvain groans, hands spasming around Felix’s biceps. “Felix,” he manages, strained, when Felix has to finally pull away for breath.

Felix pushed him back against the wall at some point. Sylvain looks down at him with something in his eyes, some emotion that Felix no longer has the ability to describe. Probably he never had it. There’s blood on his lip and Felix doesn’t know who it’s from. Could be all three of them.

“This is a bad idea,” Sylvain says, low and harsh. They’re pressed chest to chest. Sylvain runs warmer than Dimitri, Felix’s mind notes without Felix’s consent. His shoulders are bigger, he hasn’t lost every spare scrap of flesh off his bones these past five years.

Sylvain is leaning down again. His breath is hot against Felix’s mouth. “This is such a bad idea,” he repeats as if Felix gives a shit. Felix tries to surge up, to get back to it, to stop thinking, but Sylvain’s hands are still tight around his arms, holding him down. They drag back over his shoulders, unavoidable, up his neck, caging his head between two calloused palms.

Felix can’t look away from Sylvain, from how Sylvain is looking at him. Sylvain holds him steady. He has to close his eyes.

“Will this help?” Sylvain asks. The air on the back of Felix’s neck is cold, chilling his sweaty hair. He angles Felix’s head between his hands, gentle and too deliberate.

Felix inhales raggedly. “What do you care?” he pleads.

“Good enough,” Sylvain says, and kisses him back.

Unfettered, Sylvain is ravenous, shoving up and forward and around Felix with bludgeoning speed. Felix ends up against the wall, stone scraping through his shirt, and then Sylvain gets an arm around his hips and heaves. Felix makes a startled noise as he’s lifted. His shoulders smack hard against the stone before Sylvain gets his balance.

He hates being picked up. Sylvain hasn’t tried it since they were kids and Felix last beat the shit out of him for it, but the feeling of it now is an entirely different animal. Sylvain’s arms squeeze his waist and wrap around his ass, one hand prodding at his thigh until Felix takes the hint and hitches them around Sylvain’s sides. He buries his hands in Sylvain’s hair and doesn’t think about the deep noise Sylvain makes, how pained Dimitri had sounded when Felix had done the same and kissed his mouth, put his head to his chest, crawled atop him on the ground, sawdust like ants up his sleeves and sticking to his palms—

“My name,” he pants, unable to smother it as Sylvain sucks a bruise into his neck. “Sylvain, I—”

“Felix,” Sylvain says, low and rough, one hand covering Felix’s cheek, thumb huge under his eye, forcing his head back so Sylvain can kiss a wet line from throat to jaw. “Felix, Felix Hugo, Academy drop-out, Kingdom general. God, you’re beautiful—”

Felix groans, bucking against Sylvain’s stomach. Sylvain curses again, wobbles, then starts walking them backwards. He doesn’t set Felix down. Felix holds tighter to him, curling down, pressing his hot cheek to Sylvain’s. He only looks up when Sylvain, nearly dropping them both, kicks open the door to the nearest bedroom.

“This is Claude’s room,” he starts, hazy, trying to focus as Sylvain’s arms tighten around him.

Then he yelps, loud, because Sylvain throws him on the bed.

“No, it was Claude’s room five years ago,” Sylvain says, crawling onto the sheets after him. “Now it’s empty. Edelgard’s probably killed him by now, anyways.”

Not Fódlan’s greatest bedroom talk. Felix refrains from pointing this out as Sylvain starts tugging off his shirt, pulling it up and over his head with little regard for things like “Felix’s hair” or “Felix’s face.” Felix snaps at him. Sylvain shoves him back against the headboard and starts to mouth his way down Felix’s chest. Felix arches his back and gasps.

“Aren’t you glad we never did this when we were students,” Sylvain mutters against his skin, big hands pinning Felix to the bed as he seems to make a point of kissing every inch of Felix’s skin not covered in bruise. “So many fucking buttons on those uniforms. And the cumberbunds.”

Felix doesn’t reply. Firstly, Sylvain’s lips on his body in this unlit, abandoned room is more focused sensation than he’s ever had to experience in his life. He jerks uselessly against Sylvain’s hands, incapable of throwing him off, allowed only to whine and bear it.

Secondly, if he thinks about the Academy then he thinks about Dimitri.

How Dimitri used to look at him, so disgustingly obvious. Like Felix couldn’t tell.

Like Felix didn’t also—

Like Dimitri weren’t already dead and gone. Like it weren’t the boar who lived, who survived Duscur and Edelgard and Garreg Mach and now would kill them all for his delusions.

I never meant to leave you alone, Dimitri says, to the ghost of Felix’s dead brother.

His breath hitches heavily, a child’s reflex. Immediately Sylvain’s hands are on his face, brushing back his hair. He’s nearly invisible in the dark, just a shadow, enormous and hot, leaning down to kiss Felix’s cheeks and bloody mouth. “Hey, it’s okay,” he says, their legs tangled together, “it’s okay. I’ll make you feel good.”

Apparently it’s the best he can promise.

Felix shuts his eyes again and lets him.

Sylvain hitches his hips up and strips him of his pants, murmuring ridiculous platitudes as he throws his own clothes somewhere on the floor and puts his hands to Felix’s naked hips. Felix inhales and then Sylvain’s mouth is on him, lips and tongue against the thin, hot skin around his groin. “You’re so good,” he says, muffled, breathless, sucking hickies onto Felix’s hips as Felix pants and whines. “So good, so beautiful, oh, look at you.”

As he’s an asshole, he only appears to take notice of Felix’s aching erection once Felix finally knees him in the ear.

“Bastard,” he grumbles, sounding delighted about it as he takes Felix’s hard cock in hand and strokes him like he thinks Felix will break. Felix doesn’t know what to do with that either— how Sylvain is talking to him, how Sylvain is touching him. Gently. Reverently. With deep affection.

He knows what it means and he hates it. He discovers, actually, that he’s terrified of it. What can Sylvain possibly expect him to do with this?

He doesn’t last a second when Sylvain puts his lips to the red head of his cock. He cries, pathetic, body strung tight as catgut, and comes half in Sylvain’s open mouth, half across his flushed face. Sylvain groans, still mouthing at him even as Felix shudders and pants. It’s too much for Felix, near to pain, but he doesn’t push Sylvain away as Sylvain hitches up. He gets a hand under himself, pulling at his own erection, and comes with a low, animal grunt, with Felix’s softening cock as far down his throat as he can take it.

 


 

Felix lays on his stomach as Sylvain strokes up and down his spine, fingertips dragging between the ridged muscles of his back. It’s a slow, repetitive motion. If Sylvain is surprised that he’s been allowed to do this, he has the intelligence not to mention it.

“So, what did happen?” Sylvain asks.

Felix keeps his head pillowed on his arms, hair across his face. Sylvain’s thumb brushes over the dip of his neck before descending back down his spine.

“He thought I was Glenn,” Felix replies, the first thing he’s said in hours. Weak winter sun is just beginning under the door, from the hallway windows. “Then he remembered. Then he forgot again.”

“I’m sorry,” Sylvain says, too sincere.

Felix presses his forehead to his arms, Sylvain’s fingers pausing over his tightening shoulder muscles. “It has nothing to do with you,” Felix says.

“Ass,” Sylvain says, warm and fond. Felix screws his eyes shut.

“Did you love him?” he asks finally, once Sylvain has pulled the sheet over them and cautiously lain one leg over Felix’s.

“Hm?”

“Did you love my brother?” he says again.

There’s too many people in his head. Ingrid. His father. Dimitri. Always Dimitri, young and fair. He wonders if this is how the boar feels every day and has to swallow hard against the sudden urge to vomit.

“...No,” Sylvain says. His hand still continues its measured stroke, inevitable as the sunrise. “I liked him,” he says, “he was a good guy. But no, I didn’t love him.”

Up one way and then down another, like an hourglass being turned, a water wheel slowly spinning with the river. Up over the knobs of Felix’s vertebrae, down to the divots of his tail bone. One way then the other.

“Good,” Felix says. “Maybe one of us will make it out of this alive.”