I am writing to respond to your inquiry into a loan of Fraldarius soldiers for protection of your northern border. A majority of our soldiers are recovering from a battle in Conand territory, so I ask you allow them time to recuperate.
You can expect reinforcements next month.
My Dude Felix,
You know you can say hello, right? Like, none of us bite? Aggressively. A few pleasantries between old friends won’t kill you, I promise.
I’ll tell my old man he can wait. Tell yours I said hi. Make sure to eat your vegetables!
Your Actual Friend,
Margrave Gautier’s Son,
I didn’t realize you inherited secretarial duties. Too lazy to get back on the horse?
I am relieved it is you I’m writing to, and that’s the only time you’ll see me say it. Your father’s letters are invasive at times.
My father? Invasive?! I had no idea!
I won’t tell anyone you like being my friend, Felix, don’t worry. I’m glad to hear from you. It’s been, what, a year and a half? I’ve missed you. How have you been holding up? I get news that your territory is faring nicely against Edelgard’s minions. What else was I to expect?
Felix, is it okay if I keep writing to you? I understand you’re probably busy, but it’s cold and quiet up here and I don’t know how much longer I can handle talking to myself in this damn empty house. Remember when you visited when we were kids and you said it was haunted? I believe you now. It’s probably fucking Miklan trying to trip me down the stairs.
Also I hope you noticed I’m ignoring your slight. It’s on purpose.
I suppose we can continue our correspondence, yes. I cannot lie, seeing your atrocious handwriting does bring a strange comfort. I haven’t seen anyone else in a good while. Mercedes passed through to tend to some of our soldiers, but that was months ago. She seemed well enough considering she’s been bounced from war zone to war zone.
Speaking of hauntings, do you ever hear Annette’s singing? Even when she’s clearly not there? It’s spooky. I don’t care for it. I do miss Ashe’s cooking. He made a mean Jerky Stew and nothing I’ve eaten at home has held a candle to it since. I think the bandits are thinning the game in my territory and it’s pissing me off.
Hair to Dude Fraildairyus,
Oh my Goddess, the number of times I thought I heard Annette’s singing has driven me mad. I thought I was the only one. I haven’t seen Mercedes, but Ingrid visited a few weeks ago to catch up. She had a mean fight with her dad, but don’t we all? She wants to fight on the front lines more, but he won’t let her. Afraid of his heir being struck down I’m guessing. Not like that’s even remotely possible once Ingrid gets going.
The hunting in my territory has gone to shit, too. Maybe all the animals got the message and got the fuck out of Fodlan. I don’t blame them. Sometimes I wish it was easy to just pack up my shit and run to Sreng or Almyra or whatever lies on the other side of the ocean.
Do you ever think about that? Running away from the war? I used to think about running away all the time as a kid, but it mostly went away after I met you and Ingrid. Now, though, I think about it all the time. But I don’t think I’ll run, and it’s still because of all of you.
I think I’m just tired.
Get Some Sleep,
No. I don’t think about running away.
I don’t know why. I think it’s because I hate the idea of my problems still existing when I’m not around. I’d rather solve them myself than risk them growing more troublesome, or to have someone else fall thanks to my own failures. I feel responsible for seeing my own ambitions through.
Ambitions is the wrong word. I feel tied down by my own agenda. My personal goals. My light at the end of this war. It’s a foolish thing I’ll keep to myself, but I’m allowed to have my motivations for fighting into the next day and staying alive.
I’m glad you never ran away. I know you were justified in doing so, but I don’t quite know what I would have done if you up and left with no warning. Could you imagine my younger self’s reaction? Inconsolable. I was always so sensitive, and quick to rely on you. I’m sorry if I ever annoyed you in that way, but I didn’t have many friends to lose.
I’m starting to realize I may have taken my so called socializing at Garreg Mach for granted. I haven’t spoken to anyone but my father and our staff in so long. I can’t imagine how you must be faring, you obnoxious extrovert. I miss our classmates. I miss the other students and their annoyed, self-serving pity parties and ramblings. I miss feeling like people wanted to talk to me instead of feeling obligated to.
Fine. Keep your secrets, friend. Goddess knows I have my own. I don’t blame you though. We all need something to push us through the bad days. I’m not running either, just so you know. And even if I did, I’d find a way to take you and our friends with me.
I miss the Officer’s Academy as well. I miss the routine of it. Knowing I had places to be and things to do that were mundane yet so important. I miss when cleaning the greenhouse was the heaviest task on my plate for an afternoon. Being at Garreg Mach reminded me that I was still just a kid, going to school and doing chores and making friends like any normal teenager should be.
Do you ever feel like we were robbed of some things? A normal childhood? A normal education? Everything that should be normal? Sometimes I wonder if the scorches of war would have found us regardless of what happened when we were young. It seemed to find all of our comrades.
Also, if you think Blue Lions didn’t have their fair share of self-serving pity parties, then you clearly weren’t paying attention. Dear Goddess. We all need a therapist immediately.
And for what it’s worth, I always want to talk to you.
Your Best Friend,
Hm. Interesting. What a pleasant, light exchange between two friends.
I wouldn’t say I feel robbed, because I don’t remember what it’s like to feel young. The world has always felt heavy to me, even before everything that happened. Father says it’s because I felt things more powerfully. I think I was just a brat that couldn’t handle things. It makes sense that you’d miss those times more. You’ve always been a sort of wistful person.
Not to say that quality of yours is bad. It isn’t. I think if I had an ounce of that nostalgia, I would spend more time finding that joy again than feeling the weight of its loss. Because the more I write this letter the more I realize you’re right. Maybe we did age too quickly, and turned into the worst versions of ourselves.
Whatever. What good does it do to dwell on what ifs?
I wouldn’t say you’re the worst version of yourself.
I think in light of what you’ve had to go through, you’re better than you should be. Not many people can feel and see what you have and come out a decent person, let alone someone who cares as much as you do. Don’t deny it. You care a lot. I’ve seen it time and time again. How you care for our friends. How you jump to our defenses in the midst of battle. How you challenge us to be better, faster, smarter.
I also don’t think many people would be as patient with me as you are, and I am eternally grateful for that. I don’t quite know what I’d do if one day you decided I wasn’t worth the effort. You wouldn’t be the first, but I think you’d be the first one to break me if you left.
I’m sorry. This is probably too sappy for your liking, but writing to you has reminded me how dearly I hold our friendship. Since this war started I feel like I’ve been wearing a mask, if that makes sense. I’ve just been pretending, acting out things my father wants me to do. Writing to you makes me feel like my true self, and I know you’ll understand me.
With the most sincerity,
I can’t lie anymore. I was overjoyed when I saw your letter arrive. I’m softening in my old age.
I’m very glad to have you, and to talk to you, and to understand you as you understand me.
Keep this letter. I won’t be repeating it.
My Dear Softie,
Be still my beating heart! The day has finally arrived where Felix Fraldarius rejoices at my presence.
It warms my bastard heart to read it, Felix. Trust me, the sentiment is shared. Every time I receive a letter I feel myself grow younger, more like myself. There’s something about writing to you, my best, closest friend, that reminds me of my own humanity in this time. We’re two people, not weapons of war.
On a side note, it’s funny of you to assume I haven’t been keeping your letters. This one will just go on the wall.
Felix, we should meet up in person soon. I feel like I need to give you a hug, if that’s not too much to ask.
How about this.
Next time your incompetent father needs help from my household, I’ll join you in battle. Maybe I’ll let you hug me.
With personal space,
Don’t threaten me with a good time, Felix! How strange is it to now pray for Sreng to go batshit and barrel into my backyard?
I have a question for you, and I can’t believe it’s escaped me until now.
How long is your hair now? Will you let me braid it again like old times once we’re covered in Sreng blood?
I actually cut it.
Fuck, would you calm down? It’s still long, I just can’t do a bun anymore. It’s more of a weird ponytail now. I’ll even let you braid it if it’s any consolation.
I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written. I don’t even know if you noticed, but still. You’re probably busy, and these letters probably are a waste of your time, but allow your old friend a space to vent his anxieties, will you?
My father stopped by today. I thought he would have missed me, or wanted to see how I was faring on my own. What a joke. He asked me what I expected to happen once this war is over, with that look in his eye that you and I both know well. I don’t have an answer to that. I didn’t have one even when graduating the Officer’s Academy was the biggest deadline in my future. I hate the idea of my future. It never seemed to be mine.
Well, I know some things will be mine. Things I’ll be certain to follow through on, no matter what my father demands of me.
You remember our promise? I hope you don’t roll your eyes and call me out for waxing nostalgic in the midst of war, but I guess I’ll never know, so bear with me. That promise means a great deal to me. Did you know that? I think it’s because it’s a choice I’ve made. I’m choosing to live and die with you. There isn’t a question or any doubt that freezes me.
Because when I look into my future, the way I want to, I see it clearly. Fodlan is at peace. We spend days running between our estates, and we’ve grown and settled into who we’re supposed to be. I hopefully have a wife my father’s chosen that I don’t despise, and you have a wife that deserves you. Maybe our kids will be friends if mine don’t annoy yours terribly. I bet they will.
I think I can make it through the days if I know that’s on the other side.
I’m sorry. This isn’t important. Don’t respond if you don’t have the time for this kind of nonsense. Just stay safe, okay?
I still need to braid your hair.
I’ve tried to write this letter a number of times. There are so many things that I want to say to you, so I’ll start with the simplest. Your father is a self serving fuck. I hope you find no offense to that. This is war, yes, but more importantly this is your life. Yours. I hope you realize that someday and shake the burdens he’s rested on your shoulders. I think the moment you do that you’ll find yourself smiling more.
But it’s easier to talk than to follow through. Which is where I now struggle in this letter.
There are things that are hard to put into words, once they’ve been shackled in your chest for so, so long. But you’re an emotional imbecile and have shaken something out of me, so I feel I have to tell you this now. It feels wrong to keep it from you any longer, when the world could end any day and you have been so forthright with me in these letters. My honesty is something you deserve.
Your fantasy is wrong.
Not the promise, I assure you I remember, and hold it with the same value you do. I don’t go back on my word, even when it grows harder to guarantee as the days grow bloodier. Is it strange to think of our promise as a duty? The same way our families view the nobility and bloodlines and other worthless crap. I live to survive, but I also have a duty to you, and our promise, and your sunny version of our future.
I’m stalling. Wasting paper so maybe I can justify cutting myself off before writing down what I’m trying so hard not to say. Could I ask you to forget it? Not that you’ll let me, and I am no coward.
So please assure me, before I bear my weakness to you, that you will still value me. And if you don’t, never tell me. Remove yourself from my life quietly, so I may forget and wallow in silence. It will be a great pain, but I think anything is better than feeling your disappointment. I don’t think I could bear it.
Stalling. Fine. Here.
Your fantasy is wrong because you assume that I will be happily married with heirs and fulfilling the duties that frighten you so fiercely. I will be doing no such thing. I will have no heirs. I will have no wife. I could never imagine myself having a wife, not when, well, I find my preferences lie elsewhere.
I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
My Dearest Friend,
I have done you a great disservice, because I don’t think I tell you enough how much I admire you. I always have, even when we were young. I’d watch you follow Glenn around and try to imitate him just to prove you could. Even when you got scared, like when he could jump from the tallest tree and land in a snowbank, you would do it anyway. You did it because you’re brave.
You’re brave, so unbelievably brave. Brave in your actions, brave in your convictions. I am in awe of you, every day I’ve known you, and I hope that you believe me.
Never in a thousand years would what you have trusted me with sour my opinion of you. Never. I promise that. How could I judge a piece of who you are? Forgive me if anything I have said made you afraid to tell me.
You must be relieved, I assume. I can only imagine what it feels like to lock something so huge so tightly inside yourself. I must admit that some of your behaviors make sense to me now. The tension you carried around the Monastery. Your plain distaste of my old habits. Ah, I am a fool, aren’t I? But I’m a fool that’s by your side, and there isn’t much you could say to drive me away.
Unless you fucked my mother. Or my father, I suppose. It’s a joke, calm down. I can feel your magic from here.
Does Rodrigue know? It’s not important. If he does, and disapproves, allow me to speak some sense into him myself. I know you’d do the same for me.
A promise is a promise, after all. And now I can see our future correctly, and it’s looking brighter every day.
I pray that you will find a man worthy of you, and I hope he understands what he’s been gifted with. I imagine being loved by you is like standing in a sunbeam. Safe and warm.
I hate that you made me cry. I hate that I’m telling you I cried, but I think it’s the only way to convey to you the sincerity of my words. You used to call me a crybaby, and I was one back then. It’s been so long since I’ve cried like this, and is it strange to say it feels good?
Thank you, Sylvain. I mean it. Thank you.
I would never consider myself brave. Too stubborn to back down, maybe, but brave does sound nicer, doesn’t it? Like it’s a positive quality rather than a defensive strategy.I wish I could give some of that bravery to you, so you could stand up for yourself. It’s something I want for you so badly, because it’s what’s holding you back. If I could find a way to slice away the expectations people put on you I would. You deserve a lot more than what’s been planned for you, and maybe some of my braveness will help you realize that.
In return I’d take some of your ease. I’d lie back the way you do, feeling the stillness around me and melting into it without fear or preoccupation. I can never be still for too long, my mind doesn’t like wasting time. But I think I’d enjoy it, if I had that ease.
Maybe I’d ask for some of your honesty, too. I think I still need it.
I suppose we have a lifetime of give and take to learn from each other.
Crybaby Felix (KIDDING),
I like the idea of a lifetime. I like the idea of a life after this war. I wasn’t sure I believed such a thing was possible before receiving your letter, but you have restored my faith.
I hope you know you can let your guard down around me. You don’t have to be so pent up all the time. I want you to know you’re allowed to feel safe, and you won’t be punished for taking the time to breathe. Besides, I will always be there to pick up the slack should the need arise. You can count on that.
I just want to comfort you. You’re young, Felix, but you walk like you carry weight of generations before you on your back. Let me help you with some of it. I promise I’ll do a good job.
I’m ignoring that. Fuck face.
I’m sorry if my handwriting is illegible. I just returned home from Fhirdiad. It wasn’t great, but we’re safe.
I’m glad you’re still optimistic. I’m growing more tired by the day. Still, these letters are a great comfort. You are a comfort. I feel safe around you. I would never tell you what I told you if I didn’t. In all honesty I haven’t told anyone else. There aren’t many people I care to trust in that way. I think I told you because I want you to see the full picture of who I am. And I want the same in return.
These letters have grown heavy, and I can’t think clearly right now. Can we talk about something lighter?
Are you okay? I’m assuming you’re okay if you’re writing to me. Please don’t push yourself too hard. I know that’s impossible to ask to you of all people, but try for me, okay?
Light topics, then.
I do have questions for you, about what you told me.
How did you know? That you preferred men?
Also, was there anyone at Garreg Mach that caught your eye? I always thought Claude was pretty hot. He has that air of confidence about him.
I’ve realized that wasn’t exactly as light as you probably wanted, but hey, it’s not war!
I hope you’re sleeping well. Let me know if your family needs any support or resources. I’ll send them myself.
I’m better now, thank you. I’ve passed on your offer to my father. He is appreciative as always.
About your questions. I say light and you throw a brick at me. Thanks.
It’s hard to explain.
Part of it was an absence of feeling, I suppose. I watched Glenn and Ingrid spend all their time together, and I never understood it. They were always so sick with infatuation. I don’t know if it was love, they were so young for it to be any kind of real love. But I knew they had feelings that were strong and so foreign. You remember all the girls that used to live in the neighboring villages and visit? They were friends, playmates, not people to infatuate over. I never felt anything. Women are lovely, and I respect them greatly, but the longing and desire never made its way to me the way it did with the rest of you.
If I’m speaking honestly, I’ve only truly felt it once. The way that Glenn and my father described it to be. That powerful force in your chest that makes you crumble, like being pulled to the edge of a cliff and wanting to jump.
If we’re speaking of fickle attraction and flings, then no, I never fell into anyone’s bed at Garreg Mach, but I’m not blind. Claude is a handsome man. Extremely loud, but handsome. As for others, fuck, I couldn’t stand him, but Ferdinand had some kind of charm before becoming one of Edelgard’s mindless cretins. I can’t wait to stab him.
And everyone wanted to bed the Gatekeeper. I didn’t meet a single person who argued otherwise.
Ferdinand. Ferdinand Von Aegir.
What the fuck, Felix?
Listen, I love you and I will never judge, but Ferdinand?
Your taste is awful. If I believed you for a second, that is.
You can’t distract me with that ridiculous Ferdinand shit. I saw what you wrote. That feeling. That pull. Feeling it once and only once. I know that feeling, if you can believe it. Don’t ask, it’s embarrassing.
I never thought I’d see the day. Goddess, smile upon us, Felix caught feelings and didn’t tell me!
So tell me now!
Did I not say I couldn’t stand him? Please learn to read, Sylvain. I also mentioned stabbing him, so I hope you consider that repentance for my horrible taste in men.
I truly do have horrible taste.
And no, I’m not telling you who it is. Maybe, maybe when I see you next I’ll be brave enough to tell you. Don’t hold me to it, though. The likelihood is slim, and I’ll probably bring it to the grave.
In all honesty, I don’t believe he feels the same. So why bother?
Tell me about him.
You are insufferable.
He’s good. I don’t know how else to describe the nature of his personality. He has a good soul, one that looks out for others and wants what’s best for them even if it means getting his ass kicked along the way. He’d never hurt a fly if he had the choice, but he would never hesitate if he thinks it would hurt someone.
He’s too hard on himself. People expect things of him that I wouldn’t ask of anyone, but he puts his head down and deals with it. I wish he didn’t. If I could take his pain away I would in an instant. I’d carry every burden, every slight discomfort just to keep him smiling. His genuine smile is so overwhelming, and I remember each and every time I’ve seen it. Maybe it’s a blessing I haven’t seen his face in so long. I’d never be able to focus.
Since you’re clearly wondering, yes, he’s handsome. He’s taller than I am. When he enters a room everyone looks, and it’s impossible to take your eyes off of him. I won’t describe his features any further because you know him well.
And he’ll never feel the same way. Ever. So I’m trapped here, writing about him like this, and I think it’s worse to see it all on paper because it’s proof that nothing has changed. That I still feel the same way I always did, even worse now that time has matured my emotions.
There. I hope you enjoyed my humiliation.
Fuck, you have it bad.
Who the fuck is he? I feel like I’d notice someone like that wandering around the Monastery. Unless I truly am an idiot.
I’m sorry, I guess. This man you’ve fallen for is a moron for not seeing what’s in front of him. He must be an idiot as well to not have noticed. That doesn’t make it any easier. I know what it’s like to love and not be loved in return. It’s lonely, isn’t it?
I guess I want you to know I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere. I notice you, and you’re one of the most important people in my life. I hope you find comfort in that, even if it’s a far cry from the affection of whatever asshole you’ve fallen for.
Maybe time will be kinder than you think? Maybe you’ll find someone else. I hope so. You deserve to be loved. You deserve your happy ending. You deserve every good thing the Goddess decides to grant us.
You deserve more than this.
That’s the disgusting tragedy of it all. I don’t think I can love anyone else. I don’t think I want to. I don’t think anything else would feel the same. Like any other man can relieve me of the torch I’ve been carrying for years. Is that what you wanted to hear? That I’ve been embarrassingly in love with the same man for years?
And you wonder why I’ve never told you about this before. Why would I? It’s pathetic. I hope you’re happy.
And yes, you are an idiot.
My son has been sent to Sreng for the time being. He shall be back in a few weeks, but until then I have taken back my correspondence.
The Fraldarius soldiers were of help, send your father my gratitude.
Speaking of Rodrigue, does he know about your schemes to end your bloodline? Of your perversions? I hope someone speaks some sense into you soon, child. Or perhaps my son can influence you in some way? I know he has connections that will distract you of this “love” of yours. I think you just need to get it out of your system. Just a suggestion.
I believe it is safe to assume any further correspondence is going through your father first. It would only make sense for him to see me at my most vulnerable. Of course.
Sylvain, I’m sorry for my anger in my last letter. It wasn’t at you, but I think you by now that my anger is never truly directed at you.
So understand that what follows is also not directed at you.
I hope you can forgive me for my bluntness, but your father is a wrinkled bastard with no honor. He is a careless leader, with no concern for the wellbeing of his subjects, let alone his only son. He has no heart to speak of, and is undeserving of the titles he has flaunted.
Tell Margrave Gautier he is a weak, pathetic excuse for a noble, a husband, a father, a man.
I hope he tells my old man about my ‘perversion’. I’d like to see either of them try to take action against me. Bless the professor for teaching me Reason and gifting me her Levin sword. Thoron’s a bitch of a spell with a major crest to back it up.
Your father doesn’t scare me, Sylvain. But I am afraid of what he does to you, and your mind. Maybe one day you’ll be able to tell him how he’s crumbled your self esteem, your sense of purpose, and if he’s human he’ll repent. Or he’s just as much of a monster as Miklan turned out to be. It wouldn’t color me in any shock. Monsters breed monsters, but every once in a while they get someone like you. You’re not a monster. You’re everything good.
Speaking of. Margrave Gautier, if you are reading this, I can assure you Sylvain has been quite the positive influence for me. My perversion thanks you.
Your cocksucking best friend,
Felix Hugo Fraldarius
I may have acted rashly in my last letter to you.
I have not heard form you, or from your Estate in quite some time. I suppose, given how I wrote to your father, that’s probably good news. My own father hasn’t said anything. Well, if historians have to trace back the decline of Fraldarius/Gautier relations I hope they find our letters amusing.
Also, about what I said. I hope I didn’t cross a line. I said it hoping to get a rise out of your father but I understand if it made you uncomfortable. I’m sorry. Please just interpret it as a compliment. I’m sure your ego needs fluffing in that department, you crass bastard.
Fuck, please don’t be mad at me. I don’t think you are, but not hearing from you isn’t a good sign. I miss your letters. I miss you. I don’t think I realized how lonely I was, locked in these walls with no one I care to talk to, before you wrote back to me. I’m starting to realize I’ve taken you, your friendship and kindness, for granted. Maybe I deserved it at one point, when I was young and before I hardened myself against the world. I don’t know how you put up with me all these years.
Maybe I should learn to settle for what I have. I always push too far, don’t I? And now I’ve pushed you away.
Please write back.
My father has told me that tensions with Sreng have heightened considerably. That Magrave Gautier left weeks ago to join you in aid. He said this to bring me comfort. He’s noticed I’ve been tense since you stopped answering, and I guess he thinks a reason is better than a feud.
It isn’t. Now I’m worried.
You said you’d tell me if this happened, and I would come to your aid. Fight by your side. But you didn’t. And I’m nervous, now that I’m not there. It’s like I ran away from something, and you know how that makes me feel.
Why didn’t you tell me?
I shouldn’t be worried. You are more than capable of defending yourself. I’ve seen you fight, and no matter how much you slacked off in training you always managed to command a battle with ease. You’re strong, a powerful fighter, a skilled tactician who knows how to survive.
So write back.
I do not believe you are dead.
My father seems to think so. He’s caught me hunched over my desk into the early morning, goblets of ale deep, writing these letters to no one, for weeks. He always gets this sad look in his eye, like he’s afraid to convince me that you’re gone.
But you’re not gone. I know you’re not.
I felt it in my chest when Glenn died. When they told us the battle had taken a turn for the worse, I could feel petals falling in my chest, and I knew Glenn wasn’t coming home. My memories of him are fading, dulled by time and distortion of the man I want to remember him being versus who he was. He feels so far away now.
But you, Sylvain, you are something that’s living and breathing inside me. I’d know the moment you left me, I’m sure of it. You haven’t. You’re miles away, maybe hurt or just sleeping the winter away, but you’re here.
I want to run to you so badly. It’s taken every ounce of restraint not to steal a horse away and just go to you. Fuck the war. I’d like to see your face, tell you to get a haircut maybe, and punch you for making me so worried. I want to strike down anyone left that may have hurt you, and protect you from anyone else who dares try.
I want to hear your voice. I miss your voice. I miss the way it makes me feel. Like the things I’m so afraid of can’t hurt me. And the blood and tears I’ve shed have been worth something. I don’t consider you a measure of my worth, but a measure of what I’ve done right. I’ve kept you safe. I’ve kept you with me, despite everything that’s stood in my way. I’ve kept our promise.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I hope you feel the warmth of the sun.
Sylvain Jose Gautier,
I still don’t believe you are dead, but it’s been nearly two months since I’ve heard from you, and I can’t keep my panic contained any longer. I’ve broken swords. I’ve snapped lances. My father is at his wits end with me, and for once I see his reasoning. I feel like I’m going mad, Sylvain. I don’t even want to train anymore. It makes me sick.
I don’t hear Annette anymore. I hear you. I hear your laughter bouncing against my walls. Like a haunting. It scares the shit out of me, Sylvain. I never used to hear you here, but it seems you’re everywhere I turn and I’m afraid of what that means.
You’re not dead. You can’t be. But I beg, to you or whoever it is receiving these letters, please tell me you’re okay. Please tell me what has become of you.
How cruel of you to give me comfort in your letters and take it away so suddenly. I should hate you for the pain you’ve caused me. I can’t hate you. I’ve tried before, but you make it so impossible. There’s something about you I can’t run from. No matter how old I get or how strong I become, I fall at your feet like the child I once was. You make me crumble in spite of myself. I should hate you for it.
You’re the one person I can’t hate.
I have not been forthright with you.
There’s something I haven’t told you in these letters, and maybe your silence is the Goddesses’ punishment, if she has such time for trivialities. I’m not a superstitious or religious man, but you’ve always brought out the worst in me. I’m willing to try anything to bring you back to me, where you belong.
I’m sorry for not telling you the truth, even when I hinted at it so heavily. You’re an idiot, but it’s my own fault. I’ve never been able to express emotions properly. You know this. My childhood was bookended by endless crying because I was unable to do anything else with the feelings bursting in my heart. The only thing I got better at is hiding them. But I’ve hidden it too well, or not well at all. I can’t tell.
I don’t know. Nothing makes sense anymore and I can’t think clearly. You do that to me, Sylvain. You always have. You’re a constant distraction, an unbearable nuisance, the only thing that drives me mad enough to screw up and fall. If I knew any better I’d relish your absence, but here I am, where I’ve always been, and it does feel like flinging myself off a cliff. I never thought you’d bring me to this point, but I’m weak for you. So let me state my intentions clearly, if not to appease the Goddess than to bury myself alongside you, where I shall finally know rest.
The reason I can’t run away is our promise.
My vision for an impossible future is us.
The letter I wrote to you, pouring my heart out for a man who’ll never love me. It’s you.
It’s always been you, Sylvain Gautier. Always.
I love you.
I don’t know what to say.
I spent a long time trying not to imagine what this would feel like. It always terrified me, and I would always push myself into my vices to drown out the fear that rattled me. It was fear. Fear of the uncertainty, of something that could destroy me if I let it. The reality of my life, my future, flipping and rearranging into something so unfamiliar and unexpected.
I was afraid, but I was right.
It is a sunbeam.
Would you believe my father has been hiding your letters from me? It took my dear old nanny scolding me for not returning your messages for me to realize you’d sent any at all. Forgive me for doubting you, and laugh at my shock in seeing the piles of your words. I have plenty to respond to, but not enough parchment or time to do it justice.
So I will try to be sufficient.
Firstly, after reading the first one I can understand why my father hid your letters. I was wondering why he was so angry and distant months ago. You truly are cutting. I love it. I doubt he will speak to you in that way again, not after the fight we had. I’m sorry for the pain he caused you, but I thank you for making me brave.
Second, I am delighted to have been such a positive influence. Don’t think I missed that. I shall take it to my grave with a smile, love.
Third, I am so, so sorry to cause you such distress. To think I was angry at you for not writing to me, when I couldn’t hear your heart breaking miles away. I’m sorry. There’s no excuse, but I assure you I am safe, and I am still with you, Felix. Always.
Is it strange to say I like writing your name? I like how it looks, how it sounds, how it rolls off my tongue.
Felix Hugo Fraldarius.
Heir to the Dukedom.
I am truly a fool to not have noticed before you stated it so plainly. How many friends did I think you had anyway? I thought it was Dimitri at first, honestly, but it didn’t make sense. I hated the man you wrote about. I hated him for having what I wanted so desperately and not appreciating it in the slightest.
What a dense, fucking moron I am.
I guess I’m not used to seeing myself the way you described me. Through the lens of someone who loves me the way I’ve dreamed of being loved for so long. To think someone like you, honest, brave, beautiful, could love someone like me. I’ve never felt so humbled and undeserving.
I promise you, Felix Fraldarius, to spend every day making you feel the way you’ve made me feel. For a lifetime. I promise.
I am departing to your estate as soon as the ink dries, to give you this letter in person. And if I arrive on your doorstep with the Lance of Ruin bloody, then I will finally be free. And if not, well, I will be free regardless. Nothing could keep me from you now. I am yours.
I want to see your face, maybe kiss it too, if you’ll let me. I want to see your eyes when you read that I love you.
I love you, Felix.
Now look up. We have a future to plan.