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bird's 2019 kinktober collection!

Chapter Text

ashe/dedue, blindfolds, gentle sex, handjobs.

ashe wants dedue to be able to let go the way he does when they make love.


It should have been unsettling. It should have felt like nakedness, like ambush, like a hand without an axe.

And it did, at first, a little. Ashe’s scarf was soft over his eyes, tied only gently, but the sensation—and the lack of sense—was unfamiliar.

But Ashe had cooed at him, had soothed him with kisses all over his face, delicate hands running slipping soft over his arms, his sides, his chest. And Dedue had shuddered under his fingers, each touch light and gentling but so--new. It was strange. It wasn’t as if Ashe hadn’t touched him scores of times before.

“How does it feel?” Ashe asked, and he was suddenly so close, warmth radiating on Dedue’s face, breath hot on his ear.

It took a moment for him to gather a response, preoccupied with Ashe’s fingertips brushing idly at his nipple. “It is… strange,” he murmured, “but not unpleasant.”

And he could just feel Ashe brightening. “Do you want to keep going?”

Ashe hummed with pride and pleasure at Dedue’s yes, hands trailing over his body with new purpose, stopping to pet at the dip of his waist, the ridge of his hip. Dedue could feel the muscles in his thighs twitch, swallowed the urge to ask for more.

“Do you know why I asked for this, Dedue?” Ashe punctuated the question with a long lick up Dedue’s throat, little kisses at the angle of his jaw.

It occurred to Dedue, seconds later, that he ought to shake his head.

“Because,” Ashe said, pausing to scrape his teeth over Dedue’s pulse point. Dedue could not contain a gasp. “You’re always taking care of me.”

“Is that— is that a complaint?” Dedue’s brow furrowed underneath the scarf—partially out of confusion, partially because Ashe’s fingers had curled around the waistband of his smalls, inching them downward, teasing. Oh, if Dedue had been told before they first made love how his sweet Ashe loved to tease, he’d never have believed it.

He could hear Ashe half-laughing. “Goddess, no! Of course not! You are—” and here his voice slipped, from its sweet bedroom timbre into a place of bare emotion. “You are the greatest knight I’ve ever known, and you’re so vigilant and noble! Especially when you’re… in bed with me. I just—I just want you to feel the way I feel, without having to worry about anything else.”

Dedue raised his arms, shakily, as if they were not quite his own, and searched for Ashe’s body. He found him, warm and bare and soft, and pulled him close to his chest.

“Ashe,” he whispered, “I’ve no idea what I did to deserve you.”

Ashe kissed him, then, laughing against his mouth. He shifted, and Dedue could feel him hard against his thigh. A sweet twinge went through him— even if he was supposed to be getting all the pleasure, it was… gratifying to know that Ashe enjoyed this too.

“Will you let me take care of you?”

“Yes,” Dedue breathed, and suddenly Ashe was over him, straddling his thighs, guiding Dedue’s hands to the slenderest part of his waist. Ashe struggled for a moment with his smallclothes, settling for just pulling them aside, and it was just the amount of breathing room that Dedue needed, because suddenly Ashe’s soft hands were on his cock, stroking, and Dedue could not hold back a long, moaning breath.

“That’s it!” Ashe praised him, tone bordering on giddiness. “You don’t have to hold back, just let yourself feel good.”

He kept at it—and Dedue just knew that if he took off the blindfold, he’d see the tip of Ashe’s tongue between his soft lips. Something in him reminded him not to put his sweet love to this kind of effort, not without reciprocity, but he found himself able to wave it away. Wanting to, even, with the slow drag of Ashe’s skin on his.

Ashe kept humming at him, tuneless, gentle, and sped his hands, twisting wrists, brushing fingertips over the crown of Dedue’s cock. And Dedue couldn’t help the shifting of his hips, couldn’t help the ragged gasps that spilled from his mouth.

“Ashe… Ashe, I—”

“Am I getting you close?”

Dedue nodded, head listing to the side. It wouldn’t have mattered if he wore the blindfold at this point—Ashe’s words, Ashe’s hands, had brought him somewhere he’d never quite let himself go before, and his eyes squinted shut with the thrill of it. It was like—it was like—well. Dedue had never been a poet, but he could describe it as nothing less than rapturous, so exhilarating and yet so completely safe.

“You can let go, Dedue,” Ashe murmured, impossibly fond. “Whenever you’re ready.”

And on the next twist of Ashe’s fingers, Dedue shuddered and whimpered and spilled himself over Ashe’s hands, ecstatic, almost outside of himself. Ashe did not stay his hand, stroking him slow with loose fingers until he was spent, going limp against the bedclothes.

Ashe clambered off of him, then, lying along his side with his starlight hair brushing his chest, kissing his cheeks and his neck and his shoulders.

And when the blindfold came away, when Dedue’s eyes adjusted once more to the low firelight, the look of love, of unadulterated pride on Ashe’s face nearly outshone all that had come before.

Chapter Text

It was exquisite—Hubert could scarcely breathe. Hemmed in by Ferdinand’s cavalry thighs, restrained by a desperate hand in his hair, overwhelmed above all by Ferdinand’s cock in his mouth--it was exactly, exactly what he had been anticipating.

His Ferdie was so sweet like this, camellia-red and trembling, with his head thrown back to display every dusky mark that lined his throat. And his voice—Hubert couldn’t see, but he knew Ferdinand’s mouth had gone slack, that he was no longer even trying to restrain the gasps, the sweet fractured words his husband pulled from him.

“Oh, Hubie,” he cried, dragging his shaking hand out of Hubert’s hair to cup his cheek. “You’re perfect, you’ve no—ah, darling—no idea what you do to me!”

Hubert raised an eyebrow at that, being fairly certain that he had the shape of it. Ferdinand was so earnest, so blessedly discomposed that it was a definite possibility that the entire palace knew exactly what Hubert did to him.

But he’d be the first to lay sarcasm aside, to admit that it was intoxicating. Even here, supplicant, kneeling on the floor between Ferdinand’s thighs, he felt flush with pride in being able to waylay him so.

So on his next upstroke, his next shallow, desperate breath, he laid one hand on Ferdinand’s hip, gazed at him for one precious second, and then took him as deeply as he could.

It was a transferred skill, this—he’d learned to suppress his gag reflex when building up resistances to common poisons, but this was his favored application. It made Ferdinand yelp, made him jerk, made him dig fingertips into his thighs to keep from fucking into his throat. The taste of him was suddenly fresh in Hubert’s mouth—he couldn’t keep from leaking.

And Hubert ached at the sight of him, had been aching practically since he’d knelt down, and whatever obnoxious instinctual piece of him still existed cried out for him to touch himself, to rut against Ferdinand’s unbelievable thighs, to take release any way he could get it, but that simply wasn’t important!

What was important was Ferdinand’s sweet whine, the clutch of both his hands at Hubert’s hair, the tremble in his hips as he endeavored valiantly to hold himself back.

What was important was the glaze over his eyes as he looked down at him, the way his perfect hair lay sweat-plastered to his forehead, the shine of his wet, bitten lips.

“Please, please, Hubie, oh, you feel—but don’t hurt yourself!”

Hubert laughed at that, inasmuch as he could, and the vibration of it made Ferdinand’s muscles tense as quick as strychnine. Here he was, making every effort to separate his Ferdie from coherent thought, but he was a darling foolish dandy to the bone. Hubert rewarded his virtue, slid steady forward, pressed his nose into Ferdinand’s soft shaven skin, took him unflinching into his throat.

And Ferdinand wailed, finally unable to restrain himself, clenching his thighs around Hubert’s shoulders and spending thick down his throat. Hubert had no option but to swallow it, though he could have hardly thought of doing anything else, of wasting anything Ferdie gave him.

When he was finished, when Hubert’s hollowed cheeks had taken everything that he could give, Ferdinand collapsed panting into the mattress.

Hubert, for his part, coughed, and wiped his mouth, and rose on his cramping legs to join his husband on the bed.

“Are you certain” said Ferdinand, shaking, after returning to himself, “that you are alright?”

“Yes,” said Hubert, though his voice was hoarse.

“My husband.” Ferdinand pushed himself up on his elbow, considering Hubert—his swollen lips, his ruined hair, the rare relaxation of his jaw. “You are the most doggedly wonderful creature.”

“Only for you.”

Chapter Text

Dorothea swept Edelgard’s loose hair to one side, bending to kiss her neck as her fingers worked the tight lacing of her corset.

“There you go, Edie,” she whispered, saccharine at her ear, “that should be more comfortable.”

Edelgard couldn’t help but shiver—she’d known what was coming to her since they’d retired, since Dorothea had smiled and waved their chambermaids away.

“Why don’t you take the night off?” she’d asked them, flippant and sweet. “I think Edie and I can take care of ourselves tonight.”

And they could. Well, if Edelgard was honest, it was more Dorothea taking care of her—helping her off with her crown, with her boots, with all the intricate pieces of her scarlet gown. She’d let fall every petticoat, set aside her hidden dagger, wiped away the cosmetics that she herself applied that afternoon.

It had been a habit of theirs, this, since only weeks before the fall of the Slitherers, weeks before their engagement. Being undressed, being attended by Dorothea… well, it was much more fulfilling than prevailing on Hubert for the task, on some unknown lady’s maid.

Dorothea purred against her neck, slipping free the last laces of the corset, letting it fall into the heap of petticoats on the floor. Edelgard’s dressing room was drafty, far too cold for just her silken shift, but with Dorothea soft and wine-warm at her back it hardly seemed an issue.

Her fingers trailed upwards and around, over Edelgard’s sculpted waist, the edge of her ribcage, up to massage gently at her breasts. Dorothea knew better than anyone else the tenderness in them, the soreness after hours of restraint in a stiff bodice, pressed up by whalebone stays.

Edelgard could not help but tip her head back against Dorothea’s soft shoulder, could not stop the little pleasured sigh from the back of her throat—even if she had wanted to, which seemed for the moment unthinkable.

“Dorothea,” she managed, voice hemmed in by the tip of her throat, the quickening of her blood, “whatever would I do without you?”

Looking down, trailing her sleek chestnut hair against Edelgard’s cheeks, Dorothea smirked. “All of those silly dignitaries seem to think you’d be much better off with someone else. Some pedigreed man, good for alliances and heirs and heaven knows what else.”

For a fleeting second, Edelgard frowned, pursing her lips. It was true that their evening had been a rocky one, the long-awaited announcement of their engagement running inexorably into the ground. All sorts of shortsighted, old-fashioned questions—who was this pretty peasant? What heirs could she tack on to the millennium procession of Hresvelgs?

“Their dissent is frustrating to say the least,” mused Edelgard, one hand drifting to cover Dorothea’s, still caressing her breast, “but given time it will fade. It isn’t as if they can stop us.”

And Dorothea laughed, a ringing thing, sincere. “There you are, Edie! I knew you’d never be discouraged. You’re my tempest in a teapot, and you don’t need a man for anything!”

Edelgard hummed agreement, mixed in with pleasure as Dorothea thumbed over her nipple. “Best not let Hubert hear you say that.” Her fiancee’s laughter was renewed, and she leaned down to kiss Edelgard’s brow, her temple, the part of her marble-white hair.

“You’re a treasure, Edie,” she murmured, and the hand that Edelgard was not clutching trailed downward, slender fingertips pressing into Edelgard’s oblique, suggesting. “What do you say we go and not make any heirs?”

More laughter, soft in Edelgard’s throat. “That sounds lovely,” she affirmed, beaming as she felt Dorothea’s fingers slip lower, slide over the silk of her shift to the warm space between her thighs, petting her through the fabric.

“Edie…” Dorothea squeezed her breast, pressed her own against Edelgard’s shoulders. “You’re getting so wet, honey, have I kept you waiting?”

“No, Dorothea, you’re—“ Edelgard managed, losing her words as Dorothea’s warm fingers hiked her skirt about her hips, tugged her underwear aside to touch her properly, practiced and accurate, just the way she liked it.

“I know I am, my Edie, now let me feel you better?” Edelgard flexed her thighs out to grant her access, to let those fingers glide between her lips, across her entrance, to tease at that sweet spot just inside. Edelgard’s hips moved of their own accord, chasing that touch, and Dorothea hummed into her hair, gentle and proud and appeased.

“Hmm,” she mused, leaning in to kiss the ridge of bone behind Edelgard’s ear. “How about I show you something, Edie?”

Edelgard panted, finding her words at the edge of her grasp. It was difficult to gather them up, with Dorothea’s fingers curling inside. “Swear… you won’t be gone long.”

And she could just feel Dorothea smiling as she pulled away, smearing Edelgard’s slick over her Adonis lines. It hardly mattered, they could have stood to bathe together anyway.

Edelgard turned to watch her, but Dorothea made one of her most devastating moues, told her to have patience, that it was a surprise. Ever efficient, Edelgard made the most of the hang time, busying herself not with wonderment at the shuffling, rustling noises she heard but with removing her shift, her underwear, laying them somewhere halfway decent, somewhere she could be certain they wouldn’t be trampled.

“Alright,” said Dorothea, voice strung tight with excitement. “You can look.”

Edelgard turned and instantly dropped her jaw. Dorothea, to her mind, always looked like a painting, like the magnum opus of someone whose life’s work was in beauty. And, well, sometimes that painting was… not for display in the great hall, but this… Oh, this was new.

Dorothea was smiling, perfectly nude save for her jewels and a leather harness, coffee-brown, sitting low on her hips and supporting the most tantalizing thing.

It was wooden, Edelgard figured, stepping in to examine it closer. Lacquered crimson, and tapered, shaped distinctly at the tip.

“Do you like it? I’d thought to give it to you as a wedding gift, but…” She trailed off, bringing the tip of one finger coyly to her lips. “I thought you might like to see one more reason why all those stuffy old bastards were wrong.”

It was true. Edelgard had told her this, one night, drunk after Hubert and Ferdinand’s wedding. That she would never regret loving Dorothea, would never regret holding onto her forever, but that if there was one thing she could have tried… it was, well, cock.

Edelgard was half-ready to gasp, to hold one hand flat over her mouth, but that might have looked virginal, cowed. Besides, it would have been a waste of time—instead she lunged for Dorothea, showering her with an ambush of kisses, half-dragging her to bed. And Dorothea, her precious Dorothea, she laughed the whole way.

“My goodness, Edie! Be patient, you’ll hurt yourself!”

“I—what a gift, Dorothea!” She giggled. “How thoughtful!”

“Well,” Dorothea said, falsely lecherous, reaching out to pull Edelgard on top of her. “Let me make sure you’re ready for it, then.”

She fumbled at the bedside for her tray of cosmetics, snatching a crystal phial she kept hidden in plain sight. It was a specific sort of oil—Edelgard didn’t know the particulars, but Dorothea swore by it, and from experience Edelgard had come to understand why. An anticipatory chill went through her as Dorothea slicked her fingers, making quite sure that the oil was warm, but the real shock came when her fiancee reached for her, slipping two slick fingers inside.

Dorothea watched her face closely as she worked her open, noting every twitch, every shaking breath. Though she’d cooled off in the time she’d spent undressing, Edelgard felt her body bloom with heat as Dorothea took care of her, gently stroking her insides.

She was panting before Dorothea deemed her ready, her battle-hardened thighs quaking as she straddled her, relieved at the opportunity to lean against her bride, to support her hands against the mattress, against Dorothea’s fingers where they intertwined.

“Want to go for it, Edie? It's alright if you want to keep doing this--”

Edelgard couldn't think of doing anything else. She shook her head, breathed a frantic negative. She honestly--if one sat her down in that moment, if one ordered her to wrack her brain, to think of anything she would rather have been doing than this, well, she'd have been incredibly cross. She reached for Dorothea's cock, guiding it close, feeling her hands shake as it nudged against her entrance.

"If you're curious, then go ahead..." Dorothea crooned, squeezing Edelgard's hand. And so she did, inching down onto it at first, then taking the entire thing in one fluid motion, crying out as her thighs settled onto Dorothea's.

It was--oh, Edelgard ached, she squirmed around it with nowhere to go, it was too much all at once and it was searing, the stretch of it, like nothing she'd ever felt.

And suddenly Dorothea's still-slick fingers were petting Edelgard's cheek, her jewel eyes wide and searching. "Edie, are you alright? Was it too much?"

But Edelgard only laughed, a breathy thing, from deep in her chest. "I daresay I've had--worse. It feels-- Dorothea, you're so..." And she trailed off, rolling her hips, bearing down as Dorothea brushed against something good inside her, something that made her gasp and whine and forget herself. So she tried it again, again, her lower lip between her teeth, experimental but not without composure, not without the clear-eyed purpose with which she faced everything.

And if she herself could barely stand it, Dorothea, beneath her, was undone. Though there was no particular pleasure to the act itself, only the chafe of the leather strap against her clit, the sight was unimaginable, unreal. Edelgard, naked and loose, undone yet in control, riding her like a destrier, oh.

She curled up, shimmying her hips back to rest against the multitude of pillows, and drew Edelgard against her body by the waist, slicking her hip with leftover oil and paying it absolutely no mind.

Edelgard keened and raptured at the closeness, at the soft press of Dorothea's breasts against her own, at the way the shifting made Dorothea's cock slide within her, working her toward a precious precipice with the blunt head deep inside, her clit jamming with every thrust of her hips against the harness.

"You're perfect," she breathed, ragged, and kissed her deep and open, and when Edelgard fell to pieces in her arms there was no need of a man, of tradition, to make it worth the while.

Chapter Text

Lorenz squirmed, writhed, wondered with his jaw clenching whether it was possible to feel too much for one’s own body, to truly, literally come apart—and when, not if, he was going to.

He tossed his head, ducked his hot face deep into the pillow, already too-warm, sweat-stained, radiating the heady herbal scent of Claude.

So there was no respite, nowhere to turn for even the most fleeting snatch of composure—Claude was above him, astride him, pinning down his hips, leaning heavy down to croon into his ear.

“Is it too much for you?” Even as he spoke, he thrust his hips again, dragged himself slick over Lorenz’s arching cock, trapped against his abdomen. Lorenz shivered, leaking once more into the puddle forming on his skin, shimmering wet.

How—how could he possibly be expected to answer? His every instinct, every inclination towards pride or propriety bid him say no, but Claude wasn’t an idiot. If he heard him lie, he’d get to teasing him again, kissing his face and cooing, sugary and patronizing in that way that Lorenz couldn’t decide if he hated or adored.

But—and Lorenz winced even at the thought—if he said yes, Claude might stop.

So he dispensed with the question altogether, raised the hand covering his mouth to stroke over Claude’s chest, over his archer’s muscles, the twin bowed scars that framed them. “Claude…”

And Claude only laughed—fondly, from deep in his throat, and Lorenz wondered if he shouldn’t have been annoyed at it, should have been anything other than transfixed.

“That’s me,” he said, altogether too coolly, too glib. “What’s wrong, Lorenz, did you want something?” Another pitch of his hips—he stifled a noise when his cock pressed into Lorenz’s own.

Once Lorenz was finished whining, well, that question was easier. “For you to… not insist on—teasing me,” he managed, though was not fool enough to think that his panting, the pathos in his eyes would sway him. No, Claude was angling for something--always was, but just then Lorenz was a little too preoccupied, too dizzy to figure it out.

"Oh, but I'm not," said Claude, in that tone he took when he knew he was spewing nonsense. "I'm only trying to figure out, lover--" and at this he stroked his blunted fingernails over Lorenz's splotched-pink chest "--what it is you want."

Lorenz felt himself throb--another elegant solution, so neat it was frustrating--and pitched his hips up, sliding between Claude's folds and feeling like he'd won something, just the littlest something when Claude gasped above him.

"I want... well, oughtn't it be obvious?" His fingers flexed around Claude's hip, pleading.

And Claude rocked his hips again, made Lorenz cough out a moan and grip the mussed bedsheets. "Oh, sweetheart, not at all. I want to make sure," he paused then, leaning to kiss Lorenz, to lick into his slack mouth, "that you get just what you need."

And Lorenz winced with the frustration, shuffling uncomfortable beneath him, chasing any kind of alternative to--to opening his mouth and saying it.

But Claude only laughed, leaned back on his thighs and pulled away, and Lorenz was cold and whining and aching, aching hard.

"No," said Claude, by way of explanation. "I need to hear it from you first."

Silence--Lorenz only looked away, head listing sidewise into the pillow. But Claude's warm hand was right behind, tipping up his chin, cutting sweet sea-glass eyes at him.

It was very nearly too much--Lorenz remembered, for an instant, what Claude had said as he untied Lorenz's cravat, for a moment flatly grave. "You can stop me," he'd told him, "you can always stop me and we'll figure something out."

Even if he did, though, if he took that out--he would only ask to come. And there would be something--something so anticlimactic to it, if all Claude did was reach down, take him in hand until he spent. Or anything else, really.

Besides. Lorenz's rational mind was rapidly losing ground, making its last stand against the messy wild-eyed thing in him that pined for this, that said hang propriety, hang reputation, hang pedigree and etiquette and bearing--this might be good.

Claude was still staring at him, still holding his face like an objet-d'-art, a thing to be appraised, and smiling like the sun. If the sun was also a snake, and a lover, and Claude, because there really was no comparison.

"You know, it might be nice just to make you come like this..." And he lowered himself back down, lavishing him once more with that slick friction, that heat... If Lorenz had been preparing to say something, it had left him, had disappeared into the black hole where he'd cast his clothes and his armor and his dignity. Though it was appealing, Claude's vision, a heady thing so close within his reach--he couldn't. He had to prove--

"Though I do want you in me, want to feel you filling me up..." Lorenz clapped his hand over his mouth, curled his toes in the sheets to keep from coming. "It's a shame you won't ask me for it."

And that, goddess preserve him, was it.

"Please...!" Lorenz whined, and was distantly shocked at what a shambles his voice had become--hoarse, raspy and keening by turns. Wrecked. "Please, Claude, I-- I can't take--I want to be i-inside you, heavens, please!"

Claude's hands were on his face in an instant, cupping his jaw, pulling him in for a deep desperate kiss. When they pulled away, Lorenz's hips grinding insistent into Claude's, his dearest dastard beamed at him, pride just gushing out of him.

Rough fingers wrapped suddenly around his cock, making him wail, and then he was pressing inside, bucking his hips, feeling Claude divinely tight around him.

And if Lorenz had been interested whatever in holding back--it simply wouldn't have been an option. Claude winked at him, smarmy and perfect, and clenched, and Lorenz came spasming and shaking and sobbing his name, still pleading.

If this was where impropriety got him, Lorenz would have to try it more often.

Chapter Text

Linhardt supposed that keeping his body in good shape could be considered part of the war effort. The Imperial Army was like a suit of chainmail—one rusted ring could compromise the integrity of the entire thing, so it was important that all pieces were well-maintained. Horse-healthy, fighting fit. Ready at a moment’s notice, that was the ideal.

Unfortunately for Edelgard, Linhardt was a pacifist, and to his mind there were far, far better things to do with his body than keeping it a well-oiled gear in the war machine.

He saw no issue that he was where he was then—folded near in half on Caspar’s swollen cock, arms straining around his shoulders, back skidding up the wall with every vehement thrust.

Certainly, his core ached, and his shoulders, and his slender thighs, spread wide around Caspar’s hips, heels digging into his backside to spur him on. And certainly he’d have difficulty walking for the rest of the day, perhaps the week, but… Well, the war machine would have to consider that he simply did not care.

No strategy could be better than this, could outstrip in any way the heat of Caspar’s body against his, the slick friction where they ground together, their skin running with sweat. No effort could be this worthwhile—for every ounce of strength it took to hold himself up, Caspar paid him back double, strong hands under his thighs, keeping him steady, making him certain that he’d not fall no matter how hard Caspar took him.

And it was hard—it burned so deliriously, so perfectly, Linhardt’s slapdash preparation adding one more angle, one more edge to the onslaught on his composure.

He practically sang with it, utterly beyond restraint, his head braced against the whitewashed wall and his throat open for all the ragged cries Caspar was fucking out of him. His hands scrabbled at Caspar’s shoulder blades, his thighs trembled and clenched as he scrambled, beyond words, to tell Caspar how good he was, what a precious diversion.

And more than that, because a diversion was a lark, something to study febrile for a day or so and then forget, but Caspar was Linhardt’s life’s work. His diligence for him would never wane, not when the subject was so sweet, the experimentation so—

There was suddenly no room for coherent thought, for musing, for anything but the drag of Caspar’s cock in him, the grind of it over Linhardt’s sweet spot so intoxicating that he could do nothing but loll his head against Caspar’s neck, listen to the half-conscious litany spilling breathless from his mouth.

“Oh, Linny, baby, you’re so hot, you’re so perfect, Linny, I’m almost there, I want to fill you up—!”

Linhardt couldn’t—his eyes rolled up in his head, his fingernails dragged sharp across Caspar’s back, his cock dragged just perfectly over the rigid muscle of Caspar’s abdomen and he came screaming, shivering, slackening in his arms.

Oh, he was going to be so blessedly sore in the morning.

Chapter Text

"Close," hissed Hubert, jaw cramping on the clench of his teeth. Everything in him was tense, so tight he was quivering.

And release was right there. Right there, in the firm steady stroke of Ferdinand's hand, warm and soft and dripping with oil. All Hubert would have to do would be, well, nothing. He could just let it happen, let Ferdinand usher him sweetly over the edge like he's done a thousand times.

But he didn't, he called out, and Ferdinand drew his hand away, and it hurt like the dull slam of a wind spell and in the absence of any other relief Hubert buried his face in his husband's chest.

After a moment he went limp, slackening in Ferdinand's arms. His Ferdie was the only thing holding him up: Hubert was laid wanton across his lap, with one of Ferdinand's hands supporting his back and the other torturing him below. He couldn't hold himself up, his hands held behind his back, tied with a length of purpose-bought crimson silk. Ferdinand would not deign to bind his love with anything other than the best.

And that was the thing, that even though Hubert had intended for this to be hardly bearable, for it to drag him, claws out, miles away from his own mind, from the everything that is his work--with Ferdinand it was equal parts trial and luxury.

Ferdinand was cooing at him, cradling him in his arms, and when Hubert uncrumpled himself, looked up into his husband's face, he'd had this baldly awed expression that made Hubert shiver.

"Incredible," he breathed, and as he shook his head, strands of his radiant hair ghost over Hubert's chest, and even that tiniest accident of sensation makes him twitch. "That's the fourth time, darling. You're doing so marvelously well."

Hubert nodded. Something in his head lit up dimly at that, but truly he had mostly lost count.

"How do you feel?" Ferdinand leans down to kiss his face, can no doubt taste the sweat that slicks his brow. The hand that is holding Hubert steady pulls him closer to his chest, broad and warm, draped in a clean nightshirt that smells of soap and cinnamon tea and, now, sex.

Hubert considers the question. At the moment, the most appealing answer is 'kiss me again,' but Ferdinand's face above him is so earnest. He'd had Serious Reservations about doing anything to cause his Hubie pain, so they'd agreed total transparency was best.

He could plead with him later.

So Hubert smiled, breathed a laugh even as he squirmed discomfort in Ferdinand's arms. "It aches, Ferdie. It's--ah, I needed this." A breath, deep and long and shaking. "I'm ready for you again."

More kisses to his cheek, his brow, his nose. "I am very glad to hear that you're enjoying yourself, lovely!" Hubert hummed with pleasure, feeling suddenly even warmer--there it was. Lovely. Ferdinand didn't call him that too often, really only when they were like this. Only when Hubert was half-mindless and trying, pleasing Ferdinand immensely. Really, it was embarrassing how he'd been conditioned to react to it--he throbbed, leaked, jerked his hips into nothing.

Ferdinand smiled gently, fixed him with a knowing look. "Are you certain you're ready? That you won't spend if I touch you?"

"Yes, Ferdie, please..."

He received only humming in response, recognized the tune as a waltz they'd danced to on their wedding day. Ferdinand busied himself with the bottle of oil, making sure his hand was slick and warm and perfect, and Hubert resigned himself to the wait. Even though it made him ache, made his toes curl, his husband's fastidiousness would never not be worth the while.

It had been, when Ferdinand's soft fingers wrapped around him once again, searing, making him cry with just one light stroke, agonizing slow.

"Does that feel good?"

Hubert nodded, his teeth deep in his lower lip. It was torture, it hurt almost as badly as the waiting, the denial, but it was so impossibly, indescribably good.

Another stroke had him writhing, had tears gathering in his lashes. Ferdinand kept up a slow, firm rhythm, bending to kiss the part of Hubert's hair. "Do you know, Hubie," he says, soft but far too conversational, "I could just-- You remind me of a poem, just now."

Hubert huffed in some attempt at laughter. "Of course you do--darling, oh, oh--you've a poem for everything."

"Would you mind terribly if I recited it for you?"

"Just--please don't stop touching me."

A sympathetic little noise. "I wouldn't dream of it. Just don't forget to warn me."

Hubert panted--Ferdinand really shouldn't do that with his wrist when he needed a response out of him. Oh, he was getting there, could feel himself winding up again, but it could wait. "Wouldn't, ah, wouldn't dream of it. Ferdie..."

Ferdinand kissed him once more, on the eyelid, and drew back just a little. Not enough to be truly far away, he wouldn't dare make Hubert bear that.

"Some say thronging cavalry," he began, voice slipping into that recitative measure, softly focused. "Some say foot soldiers..."

And Hubert could not help but interrupt him, could not help crying out, keening, testing his hands against their bonds and calling "close! close!"

Ferdinand's hand was gone from him instantly, and he held him close, murmuring nonsense to him as he rode out the pain, chest heaving.

"Perfect, Hubie, that was perfect, you're so good for me..."

When Hubert shuddered next, he wasn't certain if it was the denial or the praise. Either way, he whined, leaning even closer, pressing his weary head into the curve of his husband's shoulder.

"Ought I start over? It's just the first stanza."

Hubert nodded.

"Some say thronging cavalry, some say foot soldiers, others call a fleet the most beautiful of sights the dark earth offers." Ferdinand's voice was so sweet, and Hubert could feel his breath against his cheek, and it was just... Hubert couldn't find the word for it, just then.

Even less so when Ferdinand's fingers curled around him one last time, holding him firm, touching him slow.

"But I say," he continued, punctuating the clause with a kiss. "It's whatever you love best."

And Ferdinand went on, saying some something about ancient lyrics, about fragments, forgotten papyri, but it was all lost to the rushing in Hubert's ears, his strangled urgency as he cried and wailed and spilled himself all over his own chest, over his Ferdie's hand.

And after he had come back to himself, after he'd shaken out the last of his pleasure and was slack and still and soft, Ferdinand was smiling down at him.

"See, lovely? You're gorgeous. Better than Her Majesty's own guard."

And Hubert hadn't even the energy to roll his eyes, to be anything other than starry-eyed and loved. "Shut up, Ferdie."

Chapter Text

Dimitri could still hear the clamor of his own birthday gala downstairs, but there was really nothing for it. He raised his knuckles to the door of his own chamber, waving away the guards, and knocked.

"Dimitri?" It was Ashe's voice, a startled little yelp. Dimitri supposed it was still early, he wouldn't be expected. 'The night is still young,' that was the line Sylvain gave him, trying to cajole him into staying for just one more dance, one more glass of wine.

But it was no good, there was no point in staying. Ashe had excused himself just after the third dance, had skittered out of Dimitri's arms and told him he'd be in their room, flashing that thin guilty smile of his. After that, there was no putting it out of his head--Dimitri was worried, and no amount of carousing could make him stop.

"Yes, it's me. May I come in, Ashe?"

"...Are you alone?"

Goodness, something really must have been wrong. "I am, even the guards have gone."

No response--Dimitri laid his hand on the doorknob, asking himself how much silence he would let pass before he simply went in. Perhaps something had happened, he could hear rustling sounds...

And then he nearly lost his balance, the door swinging open so quickly he hadn't the time to steady himself. Ashe was there, wrapped in a long silk dressing gown, his smile falling as he watched Dimitri stagger to find his equilibrium.

Ashe ushered him in, quickly closing the door, then turning to stand in Dimitri's space, reaching up to lay his arms around his lover's shoulders.

"I'm not sick--ah, in case you were worried."

Dimitri could not keep from shielding the back of his neck with his hand, a nervous habit dating back years. "Is there something else wrong, then? You left in an awful hurry."

A sweet smile, then, and Ashe leaned closer, standing chest to chest. He could feel Dimitri's heartbeat like this, thrumming with nervous energy. Which, well. Dimitri's heart pounding was the idea, but not quite this way. He'd have to work on that, he thought, and kissed Dimitri's jaw.

"I... I have a birthday gift for you. I had to, um, make sure it was ready."

Dimitri frowned. Surely, Ashe was being delightfully sweet, as was his wont, but... if someone could tell him what was going on, that might also be nice.

"You... gave me a birthday gift. Before dinner." It was a lovely thing, too--it was a book, bound in cobalt leather, a custom-made edition of a tale his father used to tell him as a child. Dimitri had had to hide his teary eye when he'd opened it.

Ashe nodded. "Yes, but I had something else in mind. But--don't worry about it now! It's only..." he glanced over to the clock, "ten thirty! Oh, I left too early... Why don't you go back to the party? I'm sure people are wondering where you've gone."

If there was one thing Dimitri couldn't resist, it was skittish Ashe. He closed what little distance was left between them, laying one broad hand on his waist, using the other to stroke his cheek and tip his head up into a kiss.

It was soft, chaste, lips only slightly parted, but Ashe melted into it all the same, clutching at Dimitri's lapels. Dimitri rubbed slow gentling circles on his back, the same way Ashe had always done for him, the way he still did when work plowed him under, when the weight of all Fòdlan proved more than he could carry by himself.

"I was getting tired anyway," Dimitri admitted, still holding Ashe cheek to cheek. "I'm glad I could use you as an excuse to leave. I--I mean, since everything was alright."

Ashe giggled, honestly giggled, and like every other time Dimitri had heard it, a little thrill ran through him. Precious thing.

"Now, I think I'd like to hear about this birthday present. Is it this new dressing gown?" He leaned back just minutely, just so he could run his fingers over the spring-green silk, from Ashe's shoulders down his chest, accidentally brushing over a nipple and making Ashe wince. "It's lovely, on you."

"It's, er, thank you!" Ashe was red, bright red, even in the drafty castle, even in the grip of the midwinter night. "Yes, but there's... more."

He took a step back, quick and agile despite his deep flush, his shaking hands, and made short work of the bow at his waist. Smiling, he shrugged the dressing gown off his shoulders, and it shimmered as it fell. And what was underneath--Dimitri could scarcely believe it.

Ashe wore a soft, sheer chemise, the same herbal sage green as the robe. It tied with a satin bow around his neck, and flowed freely down, just brushing his thighs, the pale space above the matching stockings, between the fasteners of his garter belt. He shrugged, but could not stifle a grin.

"Happy birthday, Dimitri."

Dimitri was completely and utterly dumbstruck. Ashe had a way of doing that to him, with his sweetness and his insight, his acutely-channeled strength, but this... Dimitri felt a little dizzy. What on the Goddess' green earth could he have done to warrant this?

He kissed him, it was the only thing he could think to do. Open-mouthed, hungry, with his hands all over Ashe's back, dragging fingers over silk and lace, forcing himself to be delicate. Ashe's hands scrabbled between them, wrestling with Dimitri's ascot, with the fasteners at his collar.

And then he stopped, because Dimitri's tongue was in his mouth, because Dimitri's hands were on his hips, his ass, and he let his hands fall and moaned, pressing even closer to him.

He could feel Dimitri hard against his hip, and a surge of pride went over him--they were by no means new to making love, they lost that designation the first time they were together in the war room, but somehow it felt novel, dizzying. Ashe pressed against him, reaching down to tease at the waist of his trousers.

"Would you like to... take me to bed?" he asked, rubbing their noses together. And Dimitri nodded yes, hoisted him up like a bride and carried him there, even though he was tired, even though it was only a few feet and he really could have walked.

Dimitri laid him careful on the bedspread, but Ashe didn't lie waiting--he pulled Dimitri down with him, sitting him back against the headboard and slipping into his lap. Aside, perhaps, from horseback, it was his favorite place to be, with Dimitri's corded thighs beneath him, his shoulder at the perfect height for him to rest his head.

Ashe kissed him once more, hands splayed over Dimitri's cheeks, his jaws, fingertips curling in his long sleek hair. And Dimitri's hands were under his chemise, trailing over his back, over his flushed-pink skin, his scars, his freckles. On another night, perhaps, Dimitri would count them out, trace lines between them, but there was just... it was sensory overload, the feel of Ashe pressing against him, the fresh herbal smell of him, the sweet taste in his mouth.

He pulled back, panting, and Ashe's bright eyes were glazing over, still pinned to his.

"Ashe, I can't..."

"You don't have to," Ashe reassured him, trailing kisses up the side of his face, over his cheekbone, into his hair.

"No, I mean... I can't say--goddess, you're so beautiful, even without--" he gestured, as well as he could, to the scene before him "all this. And I want you."

And Ashe laughed, in that sweet quiet way of his. Pitched forward, held himself hard against Dimitri's abdomen. Whispered in his ear "go ahead."

Go ahead, as if Dimitri had any inkling where to start! He cowed a moment, drawing back, as mute and foolish as he was when Ashe had first dropped the dressing gown, as he'd been the first time he'd seen Ashe bare at all.

But Ashe's smile didn't fade--he simply took his hand from Dimitri's back, trailed down his arm, took delicate hold of his wrist. Dimitri let himself be led, as always, it was such a deep and breathless thing, and with Ashe there was never any doubt that he'd turn up someplace wonderful.

As with this--his fingers grazed the soft expanse of Ashe's thigh, the ridge of his slender hip, the sleek fabric of the garter belt. Ashe settled his hand at the curve of his ass, at the lacy hem of a pair of panties that absolutely could not have been the right size for him.

Dimitri's hips jerked, he gasped lowly in his throat. Slowly, he pushed his fingertips below Ashe's hem, down to brush gently over his entrance only to find it warm and open, dripping oil.

So. That-- about the birthday gift being made ready, that was what he meant? Dimitri could not muster up the words for that, if there was anything at all that would serve for a response. He simply nudged his fingers in, just slightly, and got his mouth on Ashe's neck to stop himself from babbling.

Ashe keened underneath him, rolling his hips as if he couldn't decide whether he wanted Dimitri inside him or against his cock, leaking through the silk. And he couldn't, so he chose both, rocking back and forth and whining, grasping at Dimitri's wrist once more to guide him just where he wanted him.

And Dimitri pressed back to meet him, hips against hips, fingers reaching for that spot that made Ashe wail, and tried not to forget that he was also kissing him, grazing teeth, sucking marks onto his neck that he wouldn't be able to hide without a scarf. And Ashe's thighs tightened around his own, and it was too much, and he was just panting into the dip of Ashe's collarbone and pitching his hips. There was something in his head that told him to get going, that told him there was more, but how could there possibly have been more when Ashe was so sweet against him, around his fingers, so breathless in his ear?

And Ashe whined something to the tune of my love, something like Dimitri, and that was it, there was nothing after that but a shivering heat, the ache of all one's muscles winding up at once, and Dimitri cried out, curled around his love and shook.

When there were thoughts in his head again, he wondered if he ought to be embarrassed. To just... lose control like that, with Ashe unsatisfied. Dimitri chewed his cheek, smiled apologetic as he leaned back to look Ashe in the eye.

"Sorry," he murmured.

"Don't-- don't be, that was... You enjoyed yourself, that's what this was for." His eyes were glassy, his lips red and spit-slick, but his smile was just as understanding, as accommodating as it had always been.

"Yes, I... this was-- my goddess. Ashe. Where did you come up with this?"

And Ashe flinched, twittering with nervous laughter. "Well, I--" he averted his eyes, "I read it in a book. Sort of. When Ionius III came home from the war... his consort was waiting, and she, well, she made sure she was ready to welcome him home."

Dimitri kissed his cheek. "You know, you don't have to treat me like a conquering king."

"I know. But it's your birthday, and I love you, and, well... I've been identifying quite a lot with the consorts in the stories, lately." He laughed, ringing, wholly genuine.

"I love you, Ashe, I hope you know that. Now--please, let me take care of you?"

Chapter Text

Sylvain readjusts his grip on Felix's hips, leaving little pinpoint bruises in his wake, dusky stars in a milk-pale sky. Felix whines beneath him, fingers curling in the sheets, and Sylvain placates him with a snap of his hips, dragging him back on his cock, hitting him deep the way Sylvain knows he needs so badly.

Felix asks for this, sometimes, tacit with challenging glares, hard-edged nudges, and openly when Sylvain insists that the pageantry is not enough. And even for all the harshness he can take, his voice still quavers on the words. He wraps himself just a little bit more around Sylvain's heart every time he does it, like some great climbing ivy. Someday he's going to block out the sun, and Sylvain won't even notice.

Smiling blithely even through all his focus, Sylvain curls to cover Felix's spine with teeth marks, with sweet kisses.

And Felix pants, growling some nonsense into the pillow that could have been a come-on, a threat, could have been 'I love you' for all Sylvain could understand it. He'd gotten mixed results, fucking Felix like this.

It sounds aggressive, though, fanged after all Sylvain had done to tame him--kissed him slow, sucked his nipples, bit his pale throat black and blue. And he just couldn't have that.

"Is something wrong, sweetheart?" This he punctuates with a long roll of his hips, a slow drag of his nails down Felix's back. Felix hates being Sylvain's sweetheart, in that it makes his thighs quiver and his cock drip, but at the total expense of his pride. Even now, it makes him hiss, aiming for annoyance but overshooting into naked hunger.

Finding his breath, Felix looks over his shoulder, scowling with spite or the exertion of it, muttering "you don't fuck me hard enough."

Sylvain scoffs high and false--he'd have been clutching his pearls if his hands were free, if he'd had anything on. "Really? You want it harder?"

Through gritted teeth, "that's what I said." Felix always wants it harder, now they're at war. Wants his brains and his heart and his guts fucked out, wants to be roughed-up and dazed and spent.

"You're sure?" Sylvain makes it happen for him, always does.

"I'm serious, Sylvain, you--!"

He's cut off, then, by the press of Sylvain's hand between his shoulder blades, jamming him chest-first into the mattress, shifting the angle so Sylvain can slam down into him, leverage all his weight, all his brute strength.

And Felix whines, strangled, still rocking back into him the best he can, still meeting him blow for blow.

"There you go, is that better?" Sylvain croons, runs a free hand through Felix's loose hair. It means that his weight is split further, between his knees and Felix's back, but judging by the way he squirms beneath him, Felix doesn't mind.

A long, crumpled-up noise, listing toward the affirmative. Felix's thighs are shaking, his back a gorgeous painful arch.

"See? You can never say I don't take good care of you, sweetheart." He pets over Felix's back, across his straining sides, underneath, and Felix sobs when Sylvain touches his cock, curls around himself like he can hardly stand it.

He's muttering something, mindless into the pillow, and it sounds like fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck and he must be right there so Sylvain changes tack, lifts his hand away from Felix's back to fist in his hair, winding it round his fingers and tearing at it, shoving himself as deep into Felix as he can get and Felix comes screaming into the pillow, shaking and shaking and shaking.

And Sylvain scrambles out of him, arranges him on the bed still shivering, still making a mess of himself, of the sheets, because that cannot be comfortable, cannot be sustainable, whether or not it's what Felix longs for just then.

There's nothing he can do to help it--Sylvain's hand is on himself in an instant, harsh and tight and quick, and he's reaching for Felix's hand, lacing their fingers together because he knows Felix will allow him to, knows Felix needs it.

"So good, Felix," he chants, half-dazed, because those are the words he remembers how to use, "such a good boy..."

And Felix yelps at that, high in his throat as if Sylvain had actually touched him, and there's nothing for it after that. Sylvain grits his teeth and grunts and comes over Felix's back, panting, collapsing beside him, over him on the sheets.

"Was that enough for you, Fe?"

And Felix grumbles as if just waking, because there is no way Sylvain is trying to ask him questions now, and just lists into Sylvain's side, soft and warm, his heartbeat tangible through the skin of his arm, his abdomen.

Sylvain just pulls him close, paying no mind to the mess. "That's it," he says, lips brushing Felix's skin, tasting the salt of his sweat, "that's right."

Chapter Text

It's been Claude's continual pleasure, his privilege, to discover that Lorenz is made of sterner stuff than one would expect.

It started simply enough, when a little nip at his inner thigh made him whine and buck his hips, and has spiraled from there--Claude's hands around Lorenz's throat, holding him down, reddening his ass until he cried and came and could barely sit the next day.

And every time Lorenz's glassy, teary eyes met his, every time he leaned into a blow, every time he panted and stammered and asked for more, well. It was little secret that Claude could deny his lover nothing.

Tonight, Lorenz spread himself across the floor of Claude's chamber, languid and wanton and nothing like he'd ever let anybody else see him. Claude could have stood over him all night, could have watched the splay of his hair across the rug, the way his fingers, his thighs, his cock twitched in anticipation.

But Lorenz wasn't one to be denied. He wanted, as always, to be the center of attention--he simply wanted it to hurt.

"Are you ready for me?"

"Yes, Claude," Lorenz answered, briskness overtaken by his lust.

"And you'll tell me," Claude insisted, "if you need to stop?"

"If."

Claude smirked, taking a heavy step forward. He'd cleaned his boots for this, scrubbed and polished them until they shone, until he was certain they were fit to debase even Lorenz, who deserved to be punished with only the best.

"I'm not sure I like your tone, sweetheart," he said, conversational. Still smiling. "I don't think you ought to be so smug." And he took one last step forward, kicking Lorenz's thighs apart, resting the sole of his boot over his arching cock.

Claude gauged Lorenz's reaction, watching his teeth dig into his plush lip, feeling the squirm of his hips under his sole. Lorenz was making that face, the one he always made when he'd lost his train of thought. Out in the world, it was a nuisance, but in Claude's bed--or on his floor--it was nothing but a victory.

Claude shifted forward, letting the treads of his boot drag over the head of Lorenz's cock. No weight yet, just to get him used to it. To get him riled up.

"Do you like this, Lorenz?" His voice was smooth, too-sweet, but his eyes belied it, searching.

Lorenz leaned up on his elbows, made a moue. "I'd like it much better, darling, if you'd remember your promise and hurt me." Even for all his posturing, his voice was going rough. Claude wanted to kiss him, but that wasn't in the game.

Still, it was no great loss, not when Lorenz had again given him his carte blanche. Claude nodded, leaning some weight on Lorenz's cock, careful, experimental.

The results were immediate--Lorenz twitched, a sharp full-body spasm like a chill, like the freefall sensation at the edge of sleep. He lay back flat against the floor, but his shocked-wide eyes never left Claude's.

"Again?" Claude asked, though he hadn't eased up, wasn't planning on it. Lorenz nodded, and Claude gave him more, tilting to press the thick heel of his boot against Lorenz's balls. Carefully, with an eye on Lorenz's face, he ground down, trapping Lorenz against the ridge of his own pelvis, making him gasp.

Claude held him like that, watching his breathing speed up, watching him sweat and leak and shake.

"Look at you," Claude murmured, pouring out all his affection. It was frustrating, not having Lorenz within reach, not being able to comfort him through the pain. "Does it hurt, precious?"

And Lorenz whined, his cheeks flushed, head tossing to the side. "Yes," he managed, once he'd gotten his words in order, "but Claude, it's not enough...!"

Taking pity, Claude pressed down a little harder, laying his foot flat across the length of him, bending his knee to give him that much more weight. He was constantly distracted, these past few months, by the thought of Lorenz like this, sweet and aching, suffering so eagerly. "You love this, don't you? Lorenz, you're such a glutton for punishment I think you could come just like this."

Lorenz cried out at just the idea, thrusting his hips up, rubbing himself against Claude's boot. It wasn't new for them: once Lorenz had come just from being slapped across the face, but he adored it, always. "Give me more," he pleaded, "and I will."

"Good boy."

Claude couldn't help but laugh, a tiny fond thing in his chest, as he bore down on Lorenz's cock. Like this, with his heel dug so deeply into Lorenz's abdomen, he could feel every heaving breath he took. He was a gorgeous mess, he always was, slack-mouthed and drumhead-tense, with his eyes rolling back in his head.

He wailed when Claude pulled away, aching with the loss of sensation, so very nearly there. Lorenz scrambled up onto his elbows, entirely prepared to ream Claude out or beg, too far gone to quite decide. His back arched, lifting his hips as if to plead.

It was only a moment before the toe of Claude's boot was back on him, shoving him back down against the floor. Lorenz was practically screaming with it, still jamming his hips up as hard as he could, his whole body angling for agony. And when Claude ground and twisted against the head of his cock, Lorenz did scream, emptying himself all over Claude's sole, his own heaving chest.

He shivered through it, and as soon as Claude was certain he was done, as soon as he fell back against the rug Claude was with him, on his knees, gathering him up in his arms, kissing the tears from his cheeks.

"Lorenz," he urged him, still fussing, dragging a blanket from the bed to keep his love from the cold. "Are you alright? You did beautifully, precious, you were perfect."

"I am," Lorenz murmured, slurring with exhaustion, with the sweet remnants of his pleasure. "And I know."

Chapter Text

Since he and Linhardt struck out to see what the wide world had to offer them, Caspar had learned a thing or two. How to speak Almyran, for one, well enough to swear and order drinks; how to calm a spooked horse; how to mend a torn shirt and make a passable meal out of hardtack and salted meat. But he always thought the best lessons were the ones he learned about his own companion--the way he held his ground and haggled, the way he set his jaw while winding up to skip a stone, that he would do anything--anything!--for wild blackberries. And, well, most recently, that it is a horrible idea to engage him in a water fight.

Oh, he acts cute, shielding his bare body with his hands, turning aside, wheedling protests--but then he snaps his fingers, and there’s a sudden gust of wind, and Caspar’s on his naked ass in the silty streambed, dripping with freezing glacial water and the acute knowledge that he's been played.

He tries to glare at him, up through sopping bangs, but the effect is rather ruined with how hard he’s laughing.

"You got me!"

Linhardt smirks, brushing his soaked-stringy hair over his shoulder. "That I did."

"That's not fair!"

Linhardt cocks his hip, and Caspar cannot help but stare. It’s like he’s doing it on purpose, directing his eye to the rivulets running down his thighs, the pale expanse of his abdomen. "Show me where the rules of water fights are written down, Caspar. Show me where it says I can't use magic."

Caspar pouts. "You're an ass!" It comes out a bit forceful--he can hear it echoing throughout the ravine.

"I'm your husband."

"I want a divorce!"

"No, you don't." He's smug, one hand laid authoritatively over his breastbone, fingertips resting in the half-moon of his clavicle. He looks like nothing Caspar has ever seen in his life, even though they're married, even though they are together every day.

"You're right, I don't! Now come here, you're too handsome and I’m tired of being mad at you!"

And Linhardt really smiles at that, stepping careful around rocks and clumps of lakeweed to be with him, to lower himself laughing into Caspar's lap.

It’s a damn genius idea, bathing naked. Whoever came up with it, oh--if Caspar ever found them, he would kiss them right on the mouth.

Well. He'd kind of sworn to only ever kiss Linhardt's mouth, so maybe not. It's no great loss, though--Linhardt's lips are soft, smiling against him, and Caspar doesn't even mind that he tastes a little bit like river water, that his cheeks are wet and his hair clings cold to Caspar's neck.

Linhardt lays his arms around his shoulders, leaving an opening for Caspar's hands to slide up his chest, to notch his fingers into the spaces between his ribs, to trace over his twin-crescent scars.

He pulls back, then, to breathe, to run his tongue over a stray drop of water on Linhardt's neck, to nip just gently at his throat.

"Mmm, is this my prize for winning?" asks Linhardt, running one hand down Caspar's spine, the other settling in his hair.

And Caspar shakes his head, looks as serious as he possibly can as he meets Linhardt's eye. It's not especially effective--he can feel the line of his mouth wobbling when he sees the pink in Linhardt's cheeks, his gorgeous long wet lashes. "Ch-cheaters never prosper, Linny."

Linhardt can’t help but cup his cheek, kiss him again, open-mouthed and shaking with laughter. "Then do you just want me all the time?"

Yeah. Yeah, Caspar wants him all the time--at the edges of bustling holloways, under the canopies of stalls in every marketplace, on the rough-hewn tables of taverns all over the globe.

But he can have him here, in this idyllic isolated place. Well, he thinks he can. If he asks nicely enough.

So he nods, kisses Linhardt once more, sucking on his tongue to sweeten the deal. "All the time, baby, yeah. Do you want to?"

Linhardt makes a show of considering it, like he does nearly every time Caspar asks him for something. He thinks it's so funny--and yeah, it kind of is.

"You'll have to get me out of this river, dear," he muses, moving Caspar's hands from his waist, "because if a fish touches me I don't think I’ll be able to make love ever again."

For a moment Caspar is overtaken by the horror of the prospect. And then he wonders if they could catch and eat these life-ruining fish, and then he's back to it, gathering Linhardt up in his arms and carrying him to the bank.

He lays him down gentle on his spread-out cloak, kissing his forehead as he settles in next to him, half in the grass. A little dirt never killed anybody, no matter what Linhardt might think. "How do you want it?" he asks, low and earnest.

Linhardt stalls for time, kissing him, rolling his lower lip between his teeth. Caspar loves it, just loves it, stroking his hand over Linhardt's hip by way of thanks.

Humming, Linhardt pulls away. His brow is creased, just gently, and Caspar wants to kiss it. So he does, and then his mouth again, and then Linhardt tangles their legs together and for a time they are distracted.

And Linhardt's breath is slow and languid with pleasure, with Caspar's rough hands, with the sun drying his skin. The sounds of the stream, the birds in this place are lovely, pastoral and calm, but they all give way to precious Linhardt. Caspar's fingers curl with how bad he wants to touch him, reach down and pet him where he's soft and warm and slick, where he needs it most.

"Come on, Linny," he whispers, burying his nose in his husband's wet hair. "Boss me around, you know I love it."

"That so?" Linhardt's voice is going thick, syrupy with arousal, the beginnings of sleepiness. It's the afternoon sun that does it--his Linny can't resist a warm day. "You want to be my good boy?"

Caspar flushes, feels himself twitch. "Always do."

Linhardt reaches up, tousles his hair, snagging delicate fingers in his tangles. "Hm. Then get your mouth on me, give me as many fingers as I can take. And then... if you're really feeling like spoiling me, we'll take a nap."

Caspar always feels like spoiling him. He's incredible, so fucking gorgeous it’s a wonder Caspar can ever think of anything else. He wriggles one hand between then, twisting his wrist to get between his husband's soft thighs. He doesn't stall, doesn't mess around, just drags his fingertip between Linhardt's folds, slipping over his entrance, making him whine.

"Baby, you're so wet..." And yeah, it might sound a little stupid, but it's true. Linhardt is always wet for him, Caspar has seen him drip with it, but the sight of it never gets any less intoxicating.

"You did just pull me out of the river," Linhardt remarks, and, well, that's stupid too, but Caspar can't help but laugh. He untangles his limbs from Linhardt's, shifting awkwardly between his knees, spreading his sun-warmed thighs with warm callused hands. Caspar’s own knees will be grass-stained, smeared with dirt when he gets up, but wild horses couldn’t convince him to care about that.

Linhardt tousles his hair, snagging fingers in his tangles as Caspar leans in, lips parting. Linhardt sighs with the feeling of Caspar's hot mouth on him, tongue flicking his clit, and Caspar thrills for a moment with the knowledge that he's getting it right, that he's already doing good.

He runs the flat of his tongue over him, fingers coming to massage the soft skin at either side of his entrance, to hold him open so Caspar can lap at that spot just inside him that makes him shiver and whine, makes his perfect thighs twitch.

"Caspar..." Linhardt's voice is already tight around his name, and Caspar smiles, humming to himself as he pulls back, shoves one finger in his mouth, presses it slick inside his husband.

He curls it, knowing the right spot from memory, knowing his husband's body like the plan of a house he's lived in all his life. And Linhardt keens, pressing his hips just gently into Caspar's face, just because he knows he likes being a little overwhelmed.

"Good boy," he murmurs, saccharine, and when Caspar's eyes open to watch his face, Linhardt is red to his ears. Caspar laves over his clit, plying him for the stretch of another finger. "Oh, good boy."

And Caspar sucks him, rolls his fingers over that sweet spot, because there's nothing he likes more than being good. Linhardt's gentle hand in his hair, Linhardt's trembling thighs, the twitching around his fingers--it's all precious, it's something he'd do every day, anywhere, for no thanks at all, but the praise beats the hell out of all of it.

Linhardt's breaths are quickening beneath him, hands fisting in the grass, hips rolling up against his face. He's a mess on Caspar's tongue, on his fingers--Caspar can feel him on his cheeks, his nose, his chin. He never takes long when he's like this, all laid out and lazy, like his body knows it needs to come so he can sleep.

He's crying out into the open air, listing his head back against the ground. Caspar gives him one last finger and his grip tightens in Caspar's hair, he moans so deep and shameless that it's a legitimate worry that someone might hear.

Or, it might have been a legitimate worry, if they were different people.

"Caspar," he pants, whiny, and it's all Caspar can do to keep kissing him, keep from stopping everything and hanging on his words. "Caspar, oh, you make me feel so--ah, I'll come...!"

And Caspar laughs against him, petting his husband's wound-up thigh with his free hand. He's got him now, made him like this. This is his revenge, he thinks, Linhardt's just desserts for being so adorable, so devious and clever.

Caspar shifts his fingers in him, pressing down to spread him wide, to give him leverage against that weak spot once again, and Linhardt's face is screwed up, mouth opening, whining out "ah, ah, ah--"

It's ten times the motivation he needs to redouble his efforts, to graze his teeth over Linhardt's clit, to push his fingers deep and stroke the soft insides of him, to suck at him and make him come trembling, smothering Caspar with his thighs and wailing out his name.

Caspar doesn't pull back until he's sure Linhardt is finished, doesn't need to breathe until his husband’s stopped whining, clenching staccato around his fingers. When he does, though, Linhardt is smiling bleary-eyed at him, moonstruck and luxuriant and sleepy.

He wipes his mouth against his forearm, grinning. "That alright, baby?"

And Linhardt just laughs, sitting up on his elbows, beckoning Caspar into his lap. "You were so good, Caspar," he says, fingers slipping between Caspar's legs, "such a perfect boy for me."

And Caspar pants, and rolls his hips, and lets himself bask in the sunlight, leaning into his reward.

Chapter Text

It's not the first time Ashe has laid in Dedue's bed, not even the second, but the pleasure of it, the deep animal satisfaction of being so warm and safe and loved, has yet to become commonplace. It's such a soft and gentle thrill, lying under all of these blankets, homespun and coarse, woven with mesmerizing foreign patterns. Such a thrill, lying pressed against Dedue, against his broad bare chest, feeling him steady and solid and warm.

They've gone to bed early, spent from a long day of drills, of meetings, of peering every thirty seconds out the windows watching for hostiles, for reinforcements, for merchants come to deliver any semblance of relief from their austere program of rationing.

It was so much waiting, so much planning and squabbling and talking in circles, it was just...

Well. In bed with Dedue, it was nothing. Dedue's room is a peaceable kingdom, closed-bordered.

Ashe shuffles closer, wrapping one leg around Dedue's, kissing him again. Just gently, just so their lips rub together, so their foreheads touch. And Dedue's broad hands shift over Ashe's bare back and it’s so perfect, so safe.

"I love you," Ashe murmurs, not bothering to pull away. It’s been about the only thing he'd said since crawling into bed, but... Well, Dedue deserves to know, to be inundated with it, overcome with Ashe's affection like Ashe is overcome with the warmth of Dedue's skin on his, the heady cardamom smell of him, on his skin, in his hair, on the sheets.

Dedue's answering laugh is a low rumble in his chest, comforting like thunder outside the window of a warm bedroom. "I love you as well, little one. Are you comfortable?"

And Ashe hardly registers the question over the sweet ache in his chest, the little shiver that goes through him at the endearment. He loves nothing more than being Dedue's little one and Dedue knows it. It's almost unfair--Ashe whines against Dedue's unshaven cheek, petulant.

He gets only a little hum in response--Dedue's still waiting on his question.

"Y-yes," murmurs Ashe, abruptly. "But it, uh, it'd be better if you'd kiss me."

And Dedue smiles at him, that sweet besotted face that makes Ashe's heart feel like it's sprung a leak. It's the same face Dedue made the first time Ashe cooked him food from Duscur, the first time they'd embraced after the Bridge of Myrddin, the face he'd made just before the first time he dipped his head to kiss each one of Ashe's knuckles.

And then Dedue's parted lips are on his, gentle and searching, and his hand slides to the small of Ashe's back, pulling him closer, and Ashe wants and wants and wants.

He whimpers into Dedue's mouth and instantly regrets it--what if it's too much, what if it makes his love uncomfortable? What if it makes him feel as if he ought to do something about it, when really he doesn't have to? They've never done anything of that kind before.

Bless Dedue, though, for just taking it in stride, for staying his course, humming into the kiss as if to soothe him. It works--Ashe's eyes slip closed, his limbs going loose. The curl of anxiety in his chest settles into something sweeter, and he grasps at Dedue's waist, his shoulder blades, wanting him as close as he can be.

He overwhelms Ashe so gently, handles him like a precious thing, and it's just too much to bear. Ashe can feel himself getting hard, his hips squirming, and he draws them back but cannot keep from gasping, curling away from the kiss to press his hot forehead into Dedue's neck.

"Is everything alright?" Dedue's voice is so gentle, so forthright and concerned, but there's a rasp in it that Ashe has never heard before. He shivers.

"I'm, ah, only..." He trails off, wet lips still grazing Dedue's skin. It's best to be honest, always, but this is just... new. It's not that he doesn't trust Dedue--he trusts him more than anyone, he just... doesn't want to impose.

Still. "I-I'm a little overwhelmed. It feels... you feel really good."

Dedue's hand comes up to Ashe's jaw, moving him just gently so Ashe can look him in the face. "Is it too much? Would you like to stop?"

And Ashe shakes his head perhaps too eagerly, feeling downcast at even the prospect of stopping, of having even just a little bit less of this warmth.

He's met with an expression that is somehow both pensive and entirely loving--Ashe can't help but kiss Dedue's cheeks as he's thinking. His face is scratchy with stubble and so, so warm. He must be just as affected, hopefully in a good way. Oh, Ashe can only hope to make Dedue feel what he does.

"Then... what would you like?" And Ashe is trembling, mind swirling with all the images he's been harboring, all the little torches he carries, all the things he'd like. All the things, apparently, that he could have, if he had the courage to ask for them.

And he does, he knows he does, because courage is a virtue he's been working on for his whole life.

"Would you--and you don't have to!--could we... make love?" He chews his lip--it's not a phrase he's used to using, but it's the most genteel way he knows how to say it. It's the kind of thing he finds in books, and, well... to be honest, most of his knowledge on the subject comes from books. He hopes it'll be alright.

It seems like it is, because Dedue's face is just... He doesn't give Ashe much time to process it before he leans down to kiss him deeply, hand stroking Ashe's cheek. Ashe's fingers curl at Dedue's back--he feels like he's run the most pleasant of miles.

"I'd like that very much," Dedue whispers, and lays his hand in the dip of Ashe's waist once more, draws him in close so they lay flush against one another. Ashe shudders at the feel of him, radiating warmth, rough hands stroking slow over his back, his side. More than anything, he is preoccupied with Dedue's cock, hard at his thigh. He wants to press his own against it, wants to rub against him until they're nothing but a quivering, gasping mess, but. Well.

There's something he wants more.

It's easier to be courageous once Dedue has already said yes, though a little harder to get the words out now that he's rolling his hips slowly against him, when there's a considerable part of Ashe who just wants to lie still and listen to Dedue's steady breathing start to shake.

"Dedue? There's, um, something I wanted to try..."

And when Dedue looks up, raises his head from where he was nuzzling Ashe's neck, he's just gorgeous. His lips are shiny wet, and strands of his hair hang loose. Ashe giggles, reaches back and pulls the ribbon away, dragging his fingers over his scalp.

"Yes, little one?"

Ashe has to bite his lip again at that, but he pushes through. "I, ah, read in a book once... Well, it's an interesting story, it turns out the library here has a... really complete edition of Loog's diaries... Well, he and Kyphon..."

Dedue raises an eyebrow, but doesn't stop smiling. Sure, Ashe knows he's getting sidetracked, but it really is an interesting story. He would want to tell it even if they weren't in bed, has been wanting to tell it, but has always thought it was a little... racy.

Coming to it now, shaking, half gone with his eyes, his hands all over Dedue, the issue is that he doesn't know how to describe it.

He sets his jaw, determined. He's wanted this so much... with Dedue here, warm and willing against him, the prospect is impossible to abandon.

"They would... between each other's thighs. Ugh, Im sorry, i'm not explaining it very well."

But Dedue just nods, in that gentle placid way of his. "I believe I understand what you mean, Ashe." He pauses, then, smiling at him the way he smiles at new-bloomed violets, a careful affection streaked with pride. Ashe cannot help but kiss him, pressing their hips together, gasping sharp into his mouth.

Dedue cant bring himself to pull away, so he lowers his voice, speaks directly into Ashe’s ear. He holds him through the shudder that wracks him at the intimacy of it.

"Would you like to be my lover, little one? Or my beloved?" His hand draws lower as he speaks, petting at Ashe’s thighs through his soft pants. Dedue kneads at him, slips cautious fingers down to stroke the tender skin at the join of his hip. That the back of his hand brushes against Ashe’s straining cock is an accident, but a fortunate one.

Ashe jerks at that, his body spasming, dragging against Dedue, and he cries out high and breathless.

"I, do it to me, Dedue, please..." He whines his words, and it must do something for Dedue because his breath hitches, quickening despite his nigh-infallible self-restraint.

He reaches with both hands for the waistband of Ashe’s sleep pants, drags them down to little winces, little whispers of approval, Ashe’s hands still trembling in his hair. When they’re low enough, Ashe kicks them away, shoving them out of mind between the sheets. Dedue manages to dispense with his own pants as well, though it feels like anathema taking his hands off Ashe long enough to do it.

And for a moment they simply adjust, letting their legs tangle, Dedue enfolding his little love in his arms once again. Ashe sighs at the closeness, frotting against his hip and trembling against his chest.

But for all his discipline, for all he wants to feel Ashe just like this forever, Dedue finds himself panting for it, finds himself lightheaded with desire.

He hums, just to catch his love’s attention. “Are you ready?” Ashe bites his lip, nods frantic consent, holding one leg out of the way. Dedue’s hands quiver as he situates himself, and quiver more as Ashe wraps his thighs around him fully, the soft heat of him making Dedue’s eyes roll up.

A slow, experimental thrust has them both gasping, has Ashe’s cock sliding against Dedue’s hard abdomen, dripping, smearing his Adonis lines with precome. The second stroke is longer, slow, and it’s all Dedue can do to keep up some semblance of a rhythm, to hold Ashe close to him and murmur sweet things in his ear. Good, precious, beloved little one...

And it’s too good, and Ashe can hardly contain himself, can feel that sudden urgency, and he darts his hips back, curling fists, measuring his breathing.

“Is something wrong? Would you like to stop?” When Ashe looks up, Dedue’s head is cocked, his heavy brow knit so sweetly, and Ashe wants to kiss him, to cry on him, to be held and loved and fucked by him.

“No, no, I just--I can’t last, Dedue, I need you.” He can feel tears beading in his eyes, tries instinctually to stifle them.

But Dedue just runs his thumb over Ashe’s cheekbone, wipes away what’s already there. He gentles him with a kiss, with his hand stroking Ashe’s shoulder, until his shaking stops, until Ashe straightens his fingers against the back of Dedue’s neck.

“Are you ready?”

“Yes!” And even for all his efforts to calm down, to hold himself back, it still comes out strangled. Ashe bows his head into Dedue’s neck, mouths at it, muffles his little cries as Dedue moves once more, straining to keep his easy pace.

Even for all his efforts to hold back, the drag of Dedue against him, the way he holds him, the all-encompassing smell of his skin... it overwhelms him with comfort, with contentment, with a bone-deep pleasure like lying in the summer sun. He’s wound up to his breaking point, yes, but the safety of it is what pushes him over, what makes him sob Dedue’s name as he comes, shaking and spilling against him.

And Dedue stops himself, raises his hand to comb thick fingers through Ashe’s hair, to lean into his ear and soothe him through it. “There you are,” he purrs, punctuating with little kisses, “that’s right, beloved, let go.”

He holds him, pets the back of his neck as Ashe stops shaking, as the last of his spend drips onto Dedue’s skin. Dedue feels him loosen, feels him list back against his arms, and Ashe looks longingly up at him, lips parted in this moonstruck little smile that makes Dedue ache.

“You can... you can keep going, Dedue,” he mumbles, reaching up to hold his face, and as Dedue moans and moves once more, Ashe sighs and settles into him, beloved, safe.

Chapter Text

Felix chews his cheek, stares into the jagged lightning-strike crack in the ceiling plaster, tries to think of nothing.

He's on his back again, naked save for the binding at his chest, with his fingers between his thighs because he really just cannot resist. It's pathetic--all he saw was Sylvain training, tugging up the hem of his shirt to mop his brow. It's an inelegant little habit of his, Felix has seen him do it a thousand thousand times, but this time, for some reason, ugh. It's branded into him, that little flash of Sylvain's abdomen, scarred and sturdy and flushed with exertion.

Felix pries his eyes open again, forces focus on that crack. It's like a river on a map, like an agricultural survey. It's nothing, it feels like nothing, the perfect backdrop for him to just... get off and get on with his damn life.

Of course it doesn't fucking work. The joints in Felix's fingers ache, his clit stings with the pressure and chafes with the friction. How long has he been here? He hasn't gotten off once, is hardly close.

He's hopeless for it, he knows. There's nothing for it but Sylvain's broad body against his, those corded lancer's arms around him. Felix's hips twitch, and he wishes it could just be sex, could be that all he wants is Sylvain's strength holding him facedown against a mattress, that musky cologne making him dizzy while Sylvain or any man stuffs Felix full, makes him writhe around his fat cock.

And sure, that gets a shiver out of him, gets him biting his lip, but it's not enough. He wants to be laid out beneath Sylvain, wants to be worked over by those calloused hands, wants them to shake as the Sylvain of his mind flusters, forgets his skill. Felix wants, despite himself, for Sylvain to unwrap his chest, to rub him gentle where he's sore. Felix scarcely touches his own breasts, but he can't help but wonder what Sylvain's warm hands would feel like against that pale, tender skin.

That's--Felix whines, can feel himself drip, but that's really enough. It's obnoxious, it's demeaning. Wanting to be Sylvain's toy, to play at being some dear breakable thing.

But it'll get him off faster, will get him back on his feet and out of his room, get him productive for heaven's sakes. Maybe finally burn it all off so he doesn't stare anymore.

Felix sighs, takes a quick second to shake out his wrist, and sets his fingers back against his clit, aching with the pressure. He grits his teeth, keeps himself quiet, finally allows himself the thought of Sylvain inside him, deeper than he's ever had anything, just grinding slow against him. Holding his hips, holding his hand, dragging out all of his tension.

Because Felix is wound so tightly, so pent-up, his calves are cramping, his free hand wrenching in his hair. He wants to be open, languid, wants the unhurried rhythm of Sylvain's cock against all his weak spots. Wants Sylvain to gasp and murmur, to whisper his name and kiss him and come in him, wants to feel him pulsing inside.

And Felix whines, arches his back, digs his fingers against his clit as he comes shaking, mind blanking, for one goddamn minute not feeling so alone.

And then it's all back, and he's panting, lying half-dead in his own sweat, staring into that damn crack in the ceiling once again.

Chapter Text

"Are you doing alright, Edie?"

It takes a moment before Edelgard parses the words, that there is indeed anything to parse beyond the cadence of Dorothea's purring voice, the line of her soft body, her two fingers pressed inside.

Edelgard squirms, slow movements radiating from the hips, from the desire for Dorothea's fingertips as firm as they can be against that spot, for the slow deliberate circling of them that makes Edelgard's swollen clit twitch, makes her drip into the crease of her thigh.

"Edie?" Her voice is more insistent now, though it never loses that sweetness. Listening to her feels like watching honey drizzle into tea, like being reminded to bring along a sweater.

Edelgard sighs, lets her head droop against her wife's plush breast. "I am--well, 'Thea..."

Dorothea cranes her neck, kisses Edelgard's brow even though it sparkles with sweat. Edelgard is so light like this, bare-headed, in repose, no gilded crown for ballast. It's only Dorothea's body that moors her now, that keeps her from sleep.

"Good," she murmurs, stray silver hairs sticking to her lips. "You're doing such a beautiful job relaxing for me, love."

It's true, like every soothing thing she tells her wife. Relaxation is a learned skill for Edelgard--a hidden talent, as it were. She forges Fòdlan with such ferocity and grace, with such iron-jawed tenacity that it is difficult to surrender, but once she does she is the most darling thing.

There is no higher honor than being the one Edelgard trusts with this, and Dorothea feels no deeper love.

She flexes her fingers, drags them unhurried over that spot, the locus of Edelgard's pleasure. Her wife winces, a tremor in her thighs, and Dorothea smiles as she watches a trail of thin fluid puddle onto the slope of Edelgard's hip.

"There you go," she murmurs, the fingertips of her free hand trailing up to play at Edelgard's pink nipple. Her movements there echo those inside, and Edelgard arches with pleasure, spilling even more. "Doesn't it feel better, letting it out? You were so pent up..."

And Edelgard trembles, her chest tight and full of dandelion fluff. That's true, too, she was desperate for this, though the ache is a distant memory, hounded away by Dorothea's clever fingers, the enfolding heat of skin on skin. She lays her gasping mouth against the curve of Dorothea's breast, and she is perfect.

Edelgard is perfect, even weary, even incoherent, and Dorothea will love her through her fatigue, will give her this dull, heavy pleasure 'til she's empty, will kiss her and hold her and guide her to sleep, will do this every night of her life.

Chapter Text

Ignatz holds his eraser in his teeth--it's difficult sketching in bed. But it's late, the hour just after dusk where the world slips into a cool bath, washes off the early-summer heat. His room has always had a draught, and the bed is quite cozy.

Besides, the view is excellent from where he sits. Perhaps it would be better, from an artistic perspective, to observe Linhardt from across the room, but there's just no way Ignatz could bring himself to do that. Linhardt lounges nonchalant across the bedspread, his body a soft fluid curve. There's a serene little smile on his face as he closes his book, settles against the pillows. Ignatz has never known anyone to read in the nude before, but oh, is he glad that Linhardt does. The candlelight is low and it flatters him immensely, casting shadows on his angular features, making his dark hair shine like it's wet.

"Beautiful..." Ignatz murmurs, and startles when the eraser falls into his lap.

"Hm?" Linhardt looks up, his lip caught between his teeth, his eyes half-lidded and heavy the way they always are between sundown and sunup.

"I-I just said that you're beautiful." He adds a couple lines to his sketch, catching the gentle crease in Linhardt's brow. "Ah--what were you reading?"

Linhardt smiles, tucks a stray lock of hair behind his ear. He's mesmerizing with his hair down, he really is. Even though he's done it at least a dozen times, Ignatz always finds himself seized by the impulse to draw his fingers through it, to weave it into complicated styles.

"Poetry... is generally elitist nonsense, but this Sappho woman can stay."

"Oh?" Ignatz fixates on Linhardt's lips as he speaks--he wonders intensely how to suggest that sort of motion and as such barely registers the words. He can feel himself blushing; it's probably rude.

Linhardt just nods, yawns with a kittenish little sound. "Love shook my heart; like the wind on the mountain, troubling the oak trees."

Ignatz thrills with it, scribbles it down in harried script beside the drawing. While he's at it, he adds a few strokes to the slump of Linhardt's shoulder.

"Ignatz... what are you drawing, there?"

And Ignatz's cheeks flare even hotter--it's not as if Linhardt can't tell what he's doing, with all the staring. This is just... an invitation, and Ignatz is still figuring out what to do with those.

"You," he blurts, not knowing what else to say, still frankly flustered to the eternal flames by the poetry. "I mean it, y-you know, that you're..."

"Beautiful," Linhardt says, dryly but not without affection. "I know." He inches up the bed, slender fingers reaching for the corner of Ignatz's sketchbook. "May I see?"

Ignatz nods--generally, his unfinished sketches are private, but this is--well, Linhardt is naked in his bed. Ignatz is generally hard-pressed to refuse him things, but for the moment it's more or less impossible. Besides, it's coming out pretty good. He's particularly proud of the way he's captured Linhardt's waist, the softness of it juxtaposed with the jut of his hipbone.

So he hands over the sketchbook, eager eyes on Linhardt's face, anxious for some response.

Linhardt raises his eyebrows, and--it's hard to tell in the candlelight, but Ignatz swears he sees him blush.

"This is what I look like to you?" He's looking up at Ignatz, searching, and Ignatz has to smother the urge to snatch his sketchbook back, pencil in those languid lashes. "You really must love me."

Ignatz's fingers knit in his lap. 'Love' is a new word for them, and saying it still feels like the first brushstroke on a new canvas--replete with the promise of wonderful things, hounded by the prospect of hideous embarrassment. But it's true, and Linhardt is so sweet even through his sarcasm.

"I do!" he says, words coming out in a rush. "But I wasn't exaggerating. You're just... so... it's so relaxing, drawing you. You're--I don't know how to put it. Soft."

Linhardt abandons the sketchbook at that, wriggling into Ignatz's lap. For a moment, he just lies there, drowsing, almost purring when Ignatz threads fingers through his sleek hair.

"At least someone appreciates me for it. I put a lot of effort into being soft, you know."

Ignatz knows. He'd tripped over that softness when they were younger, staggered into questions about birthright, responsibility, one's own ambitions and those of others. And, well. Men. But that was a crisis for long ago, and he looked on it and smiled.

He kisses the pads of his two fingers, streaked with charcoal, and lays them down against Linhardt's lips. He'll be the first to admit that it's a silly gesture, but Linhardt hums and kisses back. Reaches for his shoulders, lifts himself up to kiss him properly.

Kissing Linhardt feels like sitting down with a cup of tea; he's warm, unhurried, comforting. It feels like he can cure all ails just with his presence, with the indulgence he so encourages. And he tastes like lavender. Ignatz slips an arm under his back, cradling him, and lets the other rest politely on his shoulder. It feels good in the way bare skin always does, and then some.

"Dear," murmurs Linhardt, lips still brushing over Ignatz's.

Ignatz loves that, dear. He laughs against Linhardt's mouth, holding him closer. Linhardt is always so warm--even now, even after sitting naked atop the covers for an hour or more, he's just radiating.

"My muse," Ignatz whispers back, lifting his hand to stroke through Linhardt's hair again, pressing gently on his scalp. He knows his love gets tension headaches.

Linhardt leans into this treatment, this spoiling that Ignatz is so satisfied to give him. His eyelids droop with sleepiness, with pleasure.

And it--it must feel good, because after a second his head lists back and he moans, and suddenly Ignatz is not satisfied at all. He kisses him again, one hand stroking his hair, the other curling around that dainty waist. Linhardt shifts in his arms, brushing his fingertips over the fine cropped hair at the back of Ignatz's neck. It makes Ignatz whine, makes his eyes squint shut--he's so sensitive there.

Linhardt sucks at his lip, and Ignatz cannot help but squirm, suddenly stifled by the blankets in his lap. His fingers flex in the soft flesh of Linhardt's waist, his entire body humming. It feels like the first overture of casting, this quickening in his veins, this half-anxious tremor.

It's another moment before Linhardt slumps against him, looking up at Ignatz though low lashes. For a moment, Ignatz thinks he's about to fall asleep, but he marshals the energy to speak.

"I'm so sleepy, Ignatz..." His lips are slick, now, a spring pink that Ignatz is transfixed with--something in the back of his mind is digging through his painter's case just then, looking for the pigments that will give him the exact petal shade. But that's just one instinct. The rest of them just enjoy the view.

Linhardt yawns, continues. "But you're getting excited, aren't you?" He makes his point with an undulation of his spine, dragging over the place where Ignatz prods him in the back.

"S-sorry!"

But Linhardt just shakes his head, rolls to plaster himself against his lover's side. "Oh," he murmurs, and it's that one specific 'oh' of his, the one that has conditioned Ignatz like a dog with a dinner bell, the one that means that excellent things are coming to him. "Ignatz, you oughtn't be sorry. Just let me know--do you want to take care of yourself?"

Ignatz squints his eyes shut, nods. He's never been good at wanting things.

"Do you want me to help you?" His voice is low and round-edged like the color of dusk.

Another nod.

Linhardt fixes him with that little smile, that slice of mischievous bliss. It's the face he makes when he leaves a party early, when he sneaks extra sweets. "Alright then. Why don't you get yourself out, first? You can't be comfortable like this."

He's right, Ignatz can't. With shaking, cold-fingered hands, Ignatz fumbles with the covers, with the buttons on his pants, and takes himself in hand. It feels strange to just--sit there and hold it, to wait for instructions, but it's not... bad. A little embarrassing, maybe, but he's done worse and liked it.

It's a slow process, but he's learning that it feels pretty good to be at Linhardt's mercy.

Linhardt's fingers tap pensively at his lips. "Good," he muses, and it's almost an afterthought, like something he's just now realized that he's forgot to say, but Ignatz feels it like a kiss. "Now... why don't you stroke yourself. Slowly, and don't grip too tightly. Imagine the way I do it."

And that's easy enough--it would be more difficult, honestly, to ask Ignatz to stop imagining how Linhardt touches him, as languidly as he does all the other things he likes, as if Ignatz's pleasure is an indulgence to be savored. Ignatz strokes himself, and twitches, and doesn't stifle it when his breath hitches staccato in his throat.

"Does it feel good? You look like you're enjoying yourself."

Ignatz nods, but Linhardt isn't satisfied. He places one hand gently on Ignatz's thigh, murmurs "tell me."

"I--it feels good, Lin... Y-you feel good. Please, keep talking."

That same smile, like a cat. "Ignatz," he purrs, just to feel his name. "You can move a little faster now. But don't choke up--you deserve to be touched gently."

And Ignatz scrambles to obey, speeding his hand, feeling himself drip over his fingers. His lip is tight between his teeth, his eyes are trained on Linhardt's face. For once, he is not thinking about how best to paint it.

Linhardt bites the inside of his cheek, considering--but his eyes are soft, even proud. Ignatz can barely take the sight of him, but nothing could make him look away.

"Good boy," Linhardt whispers, his face listing against Ignatz's hip. And Ignatz moans, his back arching away from the headboard, his thighs starting to shake. "Hmm--I know you like it when I touch the head of your cock. Go ahead and give it some attention."

Ignatz does, and in a moment of clarity wonders why this is not the most humiliating thing he has ever done. But then it's gone, because this is not humiliating and he loves it. His palm is soft as it curls around him, right where he's most sensitive, and the way he's leaking makes it slick. It's an awkward angle for it, but his hips jerk up, using what limited range of motion he has to fuck into his hand.

"You're doing so well for me, Ignatz, you're so lovely when you feel like this. So perfect, I wish I could draw it for you like you would me. You're blushing down your neck..."

And Ignatz only whines in response, all his focus on working over his cock just the way he's told.

"You're being such a good boy, you're always such a good boy..." Goddess, but that makes Ignatz throb. Linhardt must see how desperate he's getting, because he pets at Ignatz's thigh, soothing. "Are you getting close?"

"Y-yes! Lin, please..." He doesn't even know what he's asking for, just feels that he ought to remember his manners.

Linhardt laughs, that precious, private sound that's reserved for times like this, that Ignatz would wear in a locket over his heart if he could. "You don't need to ask permission. Come whenever you're ready."

And Ignatz shivers and strokes himself and is good and comes, pitching forward and making a mess of his hand, of his shirt, of the sheets. Linhardt murmurs sweet things that he doesn't quite parse, but are reassuring all the same. He helps Ignatz clean up, helps him off with his shirt and kisses him over and over, delighted.

And when Ignatz finds his sketchbook in the morning, after a long rest and many more sweet kisses, he decides to leave that page unfinished, just for memory's sake.

Chapter Text

Dedue's fingers fumble over the placket of Mercedes' blouse, and he wonders if his experience didn't just trip him up worse. Certainly, after years moonlighting as Dimitri's valet, he'd gotten used to the casual intimacy of undressing others, but this is... Well.

For one thing, Mercedes' buttons are on the other side. For another, she's seated beside him on her bed, leaning into his body, giggling and sighing in his ear. It is--it is nothing like valet work, and his experience only trips him up worse.

"Are you nervous?" Her voice is conversational, that same sweet feathery tone. Dedue nods, because his voice would have shaken if he spoke. "There's nothing to worry about," she says, her small hand rubbing his back with languid sweeping motions. "You're doing beautifully. Besides, you're a virgin, right?"

Dedue's right--his voice does shake. "Y-yes."

"Mhm, so I don't want you to worry about anything. Don't be nervous about making mistakes, I won't hold them against you." She pauses, cocks her head and fixes Dedue with her gentlest bedside-manner smile. "I might hold some other things against you, though!" Mercedes giggles at her own silly joke, and Dedue is helpless to avoid being charmed.

He'd never--he hadn't gone out that morning or any other morning thinking he'd end the evening in Mercedes' bed, but tonight it felt like a logical conclusion. Though neither of them had planned to, they'd spent most of the ball together, falling into an easy pattern of taking every other dance, finding a corner and chatting in between. Mercedes had tilted her body towards him and listened, asking gentle questions and giving gentler replies. It was a soft and meek catharsis, but no less effective, and by the last dance Dedue was smiling, loose enough to let Mercedes touch him playfully, to eat hors d'oeuvres out of her hand.

She'd led him in a reel from Duscur, one she had studied apparently in secret, and Dedue had nearly wept with bittersweet nostalgia.

When they stood at her door, after Dedue had walked her home, after Mercedes had offered him her shawl to keep the light snowfall off, she had asked him inside. It had been... quite clear that he was free to refuse, but also that the offer was, well, for sex.

And he'd swallowed every hopeful thrumming thing inside him, repeated that one rote line about reputation.

"Dedue," she'd said, reaching up to lay a calming hand on his shoulder. "We're two adults that care about each other. If you want me, you can have me--and it can be our secret if you'd like, but don't stifle yourself on my account."

So he'd demurred and followed her inside. Mercedes was not in the habit of steering people wrong.

So there he is, sitting on Mercedes's bed, touching her even indirectly, even incidentally as he opens her shirt, and feeling very much as if he's been steered right.

When he's finished with the last of her buttons, Mercedes shrugs her shirt away, leaving it on the back of the chair with her shawl and skirt. Dedue can only stare--even as she leans away from him, she is gorgeous, rosy-gold and gentle.

Her skin is paler under her shirt, the color of her almond cookies. As she leans away, her breasts spill slightly from her corset, and Dedue's fingers twitch. He wants to hold them in his hands, feel them soft and heavy against axe-callused skin. He wants to drag his fingertips along her silvery stretch marks, wonders what her nipples look like and if she will sigh when he touches them.

She turns back around, laying bare arms over his shoulders, tilting her head to kiss him, giving him ample time to pull away. They did this for a while after arriving back in Mercedes' room, but the exhilaration of it has not dulled, has only increased for having some experience.

Mercedes smiles against his mouth, her lips plush and soft and searching. She's directing him, cradling his head in her hands and adjusting, changing the angle. Dedue lets her, sinks into the feeling of being led because he's clueless, because he's never kissed a woman before this night, because he likes it.

His hands settle politely on her nipped-in waist, fingertips brushing slowly over the silky fabric of the corset, the light ridges of embroidery. "You are..." he murmurs, pulling back for breath. "Mercedes, you are truly wonderful." The timbre of his own voice surprises him, low and breathless.

Mercedes blushes, her round cheeks like twin peaches. "Oh, Dedue!" she says, eyes fluttering shut with joy. "You're so sweet, I've always thought." She pauses, twisting a stray lock of hair around her finger. "I've been wanting to bring you to bed for quite a while, you know."

Dedue feels as if he's been dropped into a pot of boiling water. He's never heard a thing like that before, never in his life, and it's a pleasure like the first warm day of spring. He can't stop himself from kissing her again, taking careful initiative, applying the techniques that she's shown him. Mercedes purrs, insinuating herself into his lap. She catches him gently by the wrist, lays his hand inviting on her breast.

He holds it in his palm, thumbing over the top edge of the corset, not quite daring to take her out all the way. Her skin is so soft, there, so thin, and she gasps against his lips as he applies a little pressure.

"Did you like that?" he asks, and she nods at him, bumps their foreheads together. Her hands move from their place at his sides, start pulling deftly at the corset's lacing. Dedue swallows heavily with anticipation--but something's troubling him.

"Ought I... hm. Beg pardon. Ought I take off my clothes as well?" It doesn't seem quite equitable for him to be wearing his full uniform while Mercedes nearly naked, wearing only the loveliest underthings Dedue has ever seen.

"Good question, Dedue," she says, and Dedue endeavors to listen to her rather than watching the way she draws out the laces, relaxes out of the corset, the way her body settles. "Is that what you want?" Dedue's hand trails down from her breast, maps her ample waist, the roundness of her hips. She is overwhelming him just sitting in his lap, letting him touch her with one hand. His cock strains in his trousers and he bites his lip, trying to ignore it, heaping all his attention on her.

She'd--she'd asked him a question. Dedue can feel his cheeks flare once more, fumbles for an answer.

"Beg pardon," he says again, staring off to the side so he can collect his thoughts. "Yes, I... do think I'd like that."

Mercedes nods, turning out of his lap, arranging herself beside him to start on the buttons of his coat. It takes a moment, and Dedue doesn't really know what to do with his hands, but then his chest is bare and Mercedes is transfixed.

She lifts her fingers, drags them gently down through the hair on his chest, then repeats the motion. "Oh, Dedue," she says brightly, "Do you know how handsome you are?"

A nervous chuckle. "I suppose." Her two hands trace over his ribcage, his obliques, resting at the waist of his pants. There's nothing keeping her from seeing that he's hard, but, well. Dedue figures it's to be expected. That it would probably be worse if he wasn't.

"The same to you, Mercedes," he says, scarcely thinking before the words tumble from his eager mouth. "You must know what a great beauty you are."

She kisses him, then, over his jackrabbiting heart. "Sweet as pie," she says, beaming. "You're a catch! I'm glad I get to spend tonight with you."

"Myself as well." Dedue unfastens his pants, then, feeling a little bolder. He sighs at the release of pressure on his cock, and Mercedes giggles behind her hand. When his clothes are all folded, set aside, she's looking at him expectantly. At his nod, she clambers back into his lap, and they slot their lips together as if they'd been doing it for years.

The sweet press of Mercedes' body had been near-overwhelming before, but now with so much more bare skin... Dedue concentrated on regulating his breathing, on staying in the moment. He pressed his face into her shoulder, into her flaxen hair, overcome with the welcoming smell of her. Like milk tea, like warm sugar and raspberries. He stifled a moan against her neck, shook as his hips rolled into hers, feeling the wet warmth of her against his cock even through their smallclothes.

Dedue can't keep her name out of his mouth after that, not when she grinds down against him, rocking her wide hips, squeezing Dedue's thighs between her own, plump and perfect. He can't keep his hands away, either, smoothing up her back, around to cup her breasts again, heavy in his hands.

It turns out that she does sigh when he touches her blush-pink nipples, but the sound is sweeter than he could have possibly imagined. Dedue shivers beneath her, gasping his pleasure.

"Dedue, sweetie?" Nobody has ever called him that before, and it feels good.

"Yes?" He lifts his head with great difficulty--he could stay in the crook of her shoulder for hours, days, taking in the smell of her, kissing every last one of her freckles.

She cups his jaw, admiring him. Dedue admires her right back. "Would you like to be inside me?"

Dedue splutters, the languid moment gone. It goes through him like a static shock. "Is that--forgive me for asking, is that... advisable?"

Mercedes looks a little rattled as well, sheepish, as if she might have forgotten that this would be a sticking point. "Oh!" She clears the air with ringing laughter, a kiss to Dedue's cheekbone. "I must not have mentioned it, but I take herbs to protect me from that sort of thing. Silly me, that would give you a bit of a shock!"

Her face is so earnest that Dedue cannot help but laugh as well, rumbling in his chest. He wraps his arms around her, and they fall back onto the bed, laughing away.

"It was good of you to ask," Mercedes says, when she can breathe properly again. "But you never did answer my question. Knowing that it's alright, do you want to be inside of me?"

It's the sort of thing he knows he oughtn't do. It's not proper.

Well. That might have gone by the wayside already. It is as Mercedes said--they are adults. They care for one another. They want one another. There will be no unintended consequences. But...

"I might hurt you." His voice is grave again--Mercedes' face falls to see him that way.

But she brightens up again, brushing her thumb over the line of his jaw. "Hm, it makes sense that you'd worry about that. You're a pretty big boy, I can tell." She giggles. "I'll stay right in your lap, so I can sort of take the lead. Does that make you feel better?"

Her smile, her reassuring words are infectious. Dedue wants this to work, and she's been convincing him all night long that it will.

"It does," he tells her, and she grins. Mercedes steps off of the bed, rummages around for something. It takes her a while to find it--Dedue uses the time to remove his smalls, leave them with the rest of his clothes. He doesn't touch himself, unsure what the rules are around that sort of thing. Besides, he's content to just watch her, flitting around her room. She's such a bright thing, even now humming a little tune. Dedue is certain he doesn't have feelings for her--not romantic ones, anyway--but there are many ways to be in love, and for the moment he is besotted.

Mercedes finds her prize--a little glass bottle--and turns, her lips parting in joyful surprise when she sees him.

"I knew it!" she says, straddling him once more. "I knew I had to have you. I knew you'd just be perfect. May I touch you?"

The praise goes to Dedue's head, permeating him the way the smell of sweets baking fills a house. "I'd like that," he says, tacking a soft "very much" onto the end.

Mercedes kisses his face again, opens the bottle, pours oil over the smooth palm of her hand. She reaches for him, wrapping her fingers around, and he aches for her.

Her hand is so slow on him, so wet and warm. Dedue pants, gasps, squints his eyes shut and whimpers. It is a gift, being touched like this.

Dedue can't quite see with the angle, but he's fairly certain that her other hand is between her own thighs. Her breathing is shallow, high-pitched and light. It hits him that she's opening herself up for him, and he shudders.

His hands are curling in the coverlet by the time she withdraws her hands, smiling serenely. "I'm ready for you," she says, her voice a little chime. "Are you excited?"

"Yes," he moans out, helplessly honest. She laughs again, utterly without derision, and then her hand is on his cock once more, guiding him where she needs him.

Dedue cries out when Mercedes fits him inside of her, working herself down on him by degrees. She's so--he'd never expected her to be so accommodating, so wet and warm around him. He'd thought her skin was soft, but the inside of her is like satin.

"Mercedes," he mumbles, trying to restrain the instinctive pitching of his hips. "Mercedes, Mercedes..."

He can tell it's challenging for her, can feel it in the wobbling strain of her thighs, can see it when he looks into her face, the way her teeth worry at her lower lip. Her smile, though, her eyes are plucky. Determined.

"Mmm, does it feel good?" She sinks a little lower on him, but doesn't take him all the way. Dedue could not care less--to be inside her even like this is exhilarating.

"Yes, Mercedes, yes, thank you...!" Mercedes kisses him for that, guides his hands to the undersides of her plump thighs.

"Such a sweet boy," she croons, and starts rolling her hips, moving them in lazy circles. "You don't have to thank me, Dedue, precious!" Her voice lowers, then, almost as if she's telling him a secret. "You're showing me a wonderful time!"

His hips really do kick up at that, and she moans, breathy and high and sweet as anything Dedue has ever heard, has ever tasted. His body is wound so tightly, his hands shaking as they slide over the planes of Mercedes' thighs, helping to support her weight.

Mercedes smiles quite mischievously, and all of a sudden she tightens, and though she only holds it for a second, Dedue is in bliss.

"Mercedes," he repeats, this time more urgently. "I can't--can't hold out, I--"

She cuts him off before he can say he's sorry, swiveling her hips once more. "Oh, sweetheart, do you need to come? Go ahead, I can take it! I want you to."

And that's all it takes--Dedue buries his face into her shoulder once more, clasping her tightly against him as he empties himself inside her, shuddering, crying out.

Mercedes sighs so gracefully, waits until she is certain he is spent, until he leans back and stops trembling. She pulls away from him, then, and Dedue is wholly mesmerized by the sight of his come dripping from her--he reaches out to touch her there, only stopping himself at the last moment.

And she laughs again, that perfect little sound. "Did you enjoy that? It looks like you did."

"Yes, Mercedes... thank you."

"Hm! I told you you didn't have to thank me... but if you really want to, would you like it if I showed you how to take care of me?"

Dedue could not fathom saying anything but yes.

Chapter Text

Gooseflesh prickles at Claude's arms, his calves, his naked chest. Spring has its one foot over the threshold at Garreg Mach, but it's a reticent visitor; it vacillates, and the weak sunlight of the day gives way to frosty mountain nights. He'd been used to it as a student, had acclimated again during the war--but this is only a brief state visit, and it's a bit of a shock to the system.

Claude was instructed to lie back, lie still, but he cannot help but lean into Lorenz, sitting at the edge of the bed, warm against Claude's side. He's dressed as usual for bed, a quilted dressing gown over his nightshirt. A dove-gray shawl rests around his shoulders, and his fingers worry at its tassels.

"You must be cold." There's a hint of mischief in Lorenz's voice--this is part of the game. "Wouldn't you like to go to bed? It'd be quite nice to have you under the covers with me." He smiles, running absent fingers over his thick braid. "I won't even scold you for having cold feet."

Claude laughs at that, a breathy little thing. Lorenz is constantly benighted by Claude in the cold months--his cold toes, cold fingertips, cold nose. "Don't tell me pretty lies, Lorenz," he reproaches him, tone leaning far into dramatics. He reaches for Lorenz's wrist, pulls his hand down to his face to kiss his knuckles. "You know I'd rather have you warm me up another way."

Lorenz raises one well-kept eyebrow at him, feigning disbelief. "Rather than bedding down with your beloved husband?"

"We are on a bed." Claude winks at him, just because he can, just because it still flusters Lorenz even after years of marriage. It's a little signal--go ahead. He really is getting a bit chilled.

An elegant shrug of the shoulders. "Very well, dearheart, but after this is finished I shall require that you dress for bed immediately and spend the rest of the night in my arms." He slips his hand out of Claude's grip, then, stroking his cheek, fingertips stroking so slowly over his clavicle that Claude is certain he can feel the ridges of his fingerprints. Lorenz's hands are still warm from his bath, and it's quite a comforting sensation when his palm settles flat on Claude's chest.

He shivers a little bit--with chill or with anticipation--and watches Lorenz's face sharpen with focus. It's one of Claude's favorite expressions on him; good things always follow. He loves to see it in contentious meetings, across his desk while the midnight oil burns low. He loves it when Lorenz stares into his wardrobe, studying his repertoire, but he loves it best in bed.

Claude knows what's coming to him--they've discussed it at length--but still gasps when Lorenz's hand bleeds heat into his skin. Certainly, they had tested the technique, but only on his forearm. He's never felt it so intimately as this.

Lorenz's hand drags slowly over the expanse of his chest, petting him, suffusing him with steady gentle heat. It's a half of a half of a fire spell, and even then only the one Lorenz uses to light candles, burn sensitive documents. It feels, though, like a first sip of tea, before dawn on a winter morning.

"Is this what you wanted so badly?" Lorenz croons at him, tracing elegant patterns over his skin, touching him by turns with his whole hand or a single fingertip. The contrast against the brisk air only serves to amplify the feeling.

"Yes," Claude hisses, eyes slipping shut as Lorenz trails his index finger along the length of a scar, thumb brushing over his nipple. A little thrill runs through Claude's body, making him twitch. "Are you willing to suffer me more?"

Lorenz only laughs, pushing his braid back over his shoulder with his free hand. "It's hardly suffering to see you like this. Lying back for me so sweetly." All the irony has gone out of his smile--he looks as gentle as he did the first time they made love. Well--perhaps not the first time. He'd been a bit flighty, then. The third time was when they really got the hang of it.

Claude's eyes are fixed on Lorenz's free hand as it comes down to his chest, and he bites his lip when he sees a soft orange light radiating from Lorenz's palm. This hand is warmer when it touches him, tracing slowly down to feel the hills and valleys of his ribs. He gasps.

Hands come to rest on either side of Claude's waist, holding him firm and sure. They stay like that for a moment, Claude shifting minutely in his husband's hands, eyes half-lidded and pleading.

"You relish this as much as I do, don't you?" Lorenz isn't teasing. His voice is... reverent, struck. "Taking what you're given."

The phrase adds context, makes Claude flush. 'Take what I give you,' it's what he says when Lorenz whines and writhes beneath him, when he gives himself over. When he trusts Claude to care for him.

"Maybe not... to the extent that you do," Claude says, grasping for coherence like a pair of misplaced reading glasses. Lorenz nods--that's quite fair. Lorenz takes pleasure in giving Claude everything of him, in bearing and cherishing everything Claude gives him in return. Claude... isn't so brave.

"But I love this." He moves again, pushing his hips up invitingly. Lorenz takes the cue--but makes him wait a moment, plying him with a smile that is supposed to be coy but wobbles under the weight of his affection.

There are warm red patches on his skin when Lorenz drags his hands away--Claude reaches up, brushes over them with icy knuckles. In the cold air, he can feel all the places Lorenz's hands have been.

Lorenz smooths his hands across Claude's abdomen, over his hips, dipping hot fingers into his Adonis lines, drawing them away just as quickly. It gets a whine out of Claude--he's not used to being patient.

"You can wait, dearheart."

He can wait, and it's worth it when those hands pet over his thighs. Claude has always been sensitive there, more so in the years since the war, since he's been riding less often. The chafe has gone away, the thin skin has had time to soften. Lorenz, ever observant, has catalogued this change in him, and dotes accordingly.

He kneads at the skin there, holding his tongue between his teeth as he varies the temperature--a little cooler, first, then back to where he's been. Lorenz keeps this up, rhythmic, cyclical, as he maps Claude's skin: his battle scars, stretch marks, the thick cords of his muscles.

He watches carefully, pinpoints the moment where Claude starts to relax. He'll have none of that, he thinks, and his palms flare against Claude's skin, rubbing him slow, soothing the tension he creates in Claude as he moans, rocks his hips up once again.

Claude's thighs are pressed together, but he opens them for his husband's fingers, leaning his head to the side. He's no idea when he started breathing so hard.

Lorenz hums, commiserant, when he sees him--hard, flushed red, veritably dripping on himself. "Poor darling. Have I wound you up so much?" The words are thick on his tongue, syrupy. Claude makes a noise when he hears them, though Lorenz can't exactly tell if it's laughter or something else.

"You..." Claude trails off, breath hitching as Lorenz draws one finger through the crease of his thigh, up and down, unhurried. "You have, Lorenz, you're so warm, you feel so good... Fuck," he breathes, "fuck, was this a good idea."

A wide smile, the kind that forces one's eyes to close, the kind that gives a person laugh lines as they age. Lorenz had never considered himself the kind of man to end up with laugh lines, but he's on his way. "You do have excellent ideas," he admits, as if grudgingly. "You decided to marry me, for one."

"Lorenz--you're lovely, and quite the conversationalist, but please, please put those fingers in me before I really have to beg."

It goes directly to Lorenz's head, Claude's voice, and directly downward from there, fizzling down his spine. Lorenz resolutely ignores the throbbing of his cock, focuses instead on controlling the temperature of his fingers, taking them down to a temperature that won't scald Claude where it hurts. When he's satisfied they're pleasantly warm, he shifts, leans down to kiss his husband as he presses two fingers where he needs them most.

Claude cries out at the heat of it, the gentle pressure of Lorenz's fingers as they slip between his slick folds, circling his entrance, his clit. His legs fall wide open, hips working against him, hands clutching at Lorenz's clothes.

"Is that better? You're..." Lorenz pauses--after all this time, his tongue still stumbles over lascivious words. "You're soaked, darling, you must have needed me."

Lorenz twists his hand, shifting into a position that is by now as familiar as the way he holds his quill. His thumb rubs slow and even over Claude's clit, his middle finger slips inside, the rest curling out of the way.

The heat is so good, so soothing, so scintillating in him. Claude squirms, curls around Lorenz's side, buries his face into his thigh. His mouth is wide, his breath coming in pants. Lorenz can feel the heat of it through his clothes--he lifts his free hand from Claude's thigh, strokes comforting through his hair. It's a kindness Claude has done him many times over.

Lorenz is almost distracted by all the work Claude's body is doing--the tightness of his thighs, the clenching of his fingers in Lorenz's clothes. Claude's hips roll unsteady, hitching, tossing weight around to get pressure where it's needed. He's a wild, thrashing thing, and the pride that Lorenz feels at being able to make him this way has got to be a sin.

It's not long before Claude is staring up at him again, calling out for more--more fingers, more heat, any of it, all of it. Lorenz soothes him with soft caresses at his neck and jaw, presses another of his long fingers inside, channels languid heat directly into Claude's sweet spot.

He comes with that, gritting his teeth, body a stiff shaking arc. Lorenz whispers to him, little fragments, dulcet things that don't need to make much sense. Oh Claude, well done, what a handsome beloved thing you are.

When Claude goes slack, refills his lungs with deep gulping breaths, he pushes up onto his elbows, fixes Lorenz with his unraveled loving gaze. "Your turn?" Even now, he smiles like the scoundrel he absolutely is not.

It is a tempting offer, but--well, Lorenz is a man of his word, and frankly he is a tad concerned that his lord husband will catch cold. The last he looked out the window, he could have sworn that he saw snowflakes.

"Come to bed, Claude, dearest, and we'll talk."

Chapter Text

Ferdinand finds bliss at Hubert's feet, a cushion underneath his knees, a crimson leather collar at his neck. The subdued scratching of Hubert's quill soothes him, and Ferdinand rests his head against his husband's thigh.

He couldn't possibly say how long he's been like this--they'd agreed to give him an hour, but languid submission dulls Ferdinand's keen sense of time. It's no matter, it doesn't feel like waiting. Ferdinand would gladly take two hours of this, more, all the time in the world for the way it blanks his mind.

This is what they do when the mantle Ferdinand wears weighs heavy, when his enthusiasm tarnishes, when the indefatigable Jewel of Fòdlan proves exhaustible after all. Hubert takes him in hand, lays out for him precisely what he needs to do to be good, to be rewarded, and guides him gentle through it.

Tonight, Ferdinand will kneel his hour beside his husband's desk. His breaths will come deep and slow and easy, and he will thrill when Hubert turns from his work from time to time, reaches to check in with him, pet his face, hand-feed him little sweets.

When time is up, Hubert will hook two fingers, gloved in buttery black leather, under Ferdinand's collar. He will guide him to his feet, hold Ferdinand steady on his shaking legs, help him into his lap.

Pet, Hubert will call him, beloved, obedient, good. He will stroke his hair, his face, perhaps slide his fingers into his darling's eager mouth. Ferdinand will whine and shiver with it all, will regulate his breathing, try to keep from squirming. He will stammer an apology when his cock drips, smears over the brocade of Hubert's waistcoat, but Hubert will only kiss him in response, remind him not to come until it's time for his reward.

Hubert will open his pet slowly, working him up until he begs, and then he will finally give him his cock, slow and deep, and hold him as he takes it. Ferdinand, for his part, will pant, rock his hips, never stop begging until his husband, his master fills him up, makes Ferdinand his for the thousandth time. Ferdinand is always his, always, and will always want to prove it, with his words, his actions, with his body, the ring on his finger, the collar around his neck.

And he will have proven it well, will have been good. Hubert will not neglect to tell him, to stroke his face, kiss his lips, his forehead, his cheeks and the tip of his nose. Will take him in hand, still wearing those gloves, whispering sweet things in his ear. Dear thing, husband, wanton little darling. Pet, always, sweet devoted pet.

Ferdinand will take his reward in the full knowledge that he has been good, that he is good inherently, permanently, and that he is utterly, all-consumingly loved.

For the moment, though, he nuzzles against his husband's thigh, waits.

Chapter Text

"Come on," Linhardt pants, desperate, between grinding teeth. He twists the sweaty sheets in his hands, bracing himself, trying not to let Caspar fuck him all the way into the headboard. "Come on, Caspar, please...!"

His husband nods behind him, squeezing Linhardt's hips when he realized he couldn't see. He pulls back, scrambling to change his angle without falling, snaps his hips back hard and deep.

"I know, baby, I know..." He's breathless, sweat dripping off the ends of his hair, but not a damn thing on the Earth could stop him. "You want me deep in you, don't you? Wanna feel me, want me to knock you up."

"Yes!"

It was a favorite game of theirs, this. Neither had ever understood why, but, well. Linhardt was generally too preoccupied, and Caspar didn't give a damn so long as they were both getting off.

And oh--he was. Probably too quickly for a second round, after he'd already had Linhardt once. After Linhardt had lain basking on him, kissing him, telling him he wasn't sleepy and snipping playfully when he didn't get the hint.

He got the hint now.

Linhardt writhed beneath him, slack mouth pitching little strung-out moans, hips straining to push back against him. Caspar always loved when he could inspire him to effort.

"You're being such a sweetheart for me, aren't you?" Caspar fixes his grip on Linhardt with one hand, moves the other to stroke over his back, run over his vertebrae, dig into the love bites he'd left there earlier. "You want this so bad, baby, I can tell, you want me to come in you, make you mine."

The arch of Linhardt's back serves as confirmation enough, the way he shivers. Caspar loves him fucked-out like this, too deep in it to care about anything but the feeling of Caspar driving into him, but his honeyed impossible words.

"You know what I'll do with you?" Caspar's hand slips from Linhardt's hip--the places where it gripped him will be bruised in the morning--and slides in underneath him, brushing Linhardt's drooling cock on the way to pet over his abdomen.

The way Caspar strokes him there belies the frenzy of his hips, but these are the counterpoints that Linhardt needs. This is based on what Linhardt would call rigorous research practices.

"Caspar, go on, tell me."

"When I knock you up, when you're all mine--"

"Mm--as if I'm not already." Caspar wants to kiss him at that, at that pedantry he can't turn off. Beloved thing, doggedly obnoxious even like this.

Caspar just laughs, takes a quick pause to adjust his angle. "I know you are, but--when you're mine even more, baby, I'll take such good care of you."

And Linhardt's head falls at that, loose hair tumbling onto the mattress, a tangle that Caspar swears could be art even though he doesn't know a goddamn thing about art--ugh, he's getting distracted.

"I'll never let you out of bed, baby, I'll do anything you want, stay with you, fuck you gentle whenever you want it..."

Linhardt's shaking hips sway at that, trying to push himself even farther back onto Caspar, trying to take everything even though he's already got it in so many more ways than one. "Please, Caspar, oh... Come on, Caspar, fill me up...!"

And Caspar does, pitching up on his toes to curl around him, fuck in as deep as he possibly can and give Linhardt what he needs. He wonders if Linhardt can feel him pulsing in him, feel himself being filled, or if that's lost in all the rest of the sensation, in the overwhelm of Caspar's body.

With the way Linhardt trembles, arches, buries his face in his crossed arms and howls, the answer is probably yes. Caspar's body doesn't quite feel like his again, yet, but he makes the best fist of it he can, wrapping his fumbling hand around Linhardt, stroking him off imprecisely, as gently as he can, and perhaps it is the awkwardness of it that brings Linhardt off, whining and quivering and whispering "yours, yours, yours."

And then they're tumbling over each other, back into that space, gathering each other in exhausted arms, whispering in throaty, overused voices, and this time, Linhardt is satisfied enough to sleep.

Chapter Text

It was only that evening, the night of their return from Fhirdiad, that Dimitri had let Dedue within a yard of him. When first Dedue returned, Dimitri was a lashing, snarling thing, and Dedue had festered with the desire to tend to him, to wipe even the smallest trace of his misery away. To have him within reach, to still be warded off... It ached like a hammer's blow, a mace, an axe-head below the ribs.

But the change was no gradual thing. It was as if some barrier had been smashed, some dam broken, Dimitri's body overcome by a hundred-year flood of weariness.

"Please take me to bed, Dedue, like you used to," he'd murmured, voice trembling. It--they hadn't--only a handful of times. After Dimitri had come of age, as they staggered through their last months at the monastery. He'd pleaded for it then, too, for Dedue to hold him, keep him grounded.

Dedue had had to hold back tears at the feeling of Dimitri clinging to him, at his head against his chest, weighting down and tempering the flutter of his heart.

"Are you certain that's what you want? That you won't... regret it?"

He'd just shaken his head. "I could never. Dedue, I..." Dimitri trailed off again, biting his cheek.

Dedue placed one hesitant hand on Dimitri's shoulder, soothing.

"I know that I don't deserve you, but. I love you anyway."

There was nothing Dedue could think to do but wrap Dimitri in his arms, lay a little kiss atop his head.

"There's nothing you could do, Dimitri, to stop deserving me."

"You don't have to. Not if you don't want."

There'd been times, the past few years, when Dedue didn't think he could ever do anything but want. Every day he spent on the run, every night he hid away and grasped for sleep he wanted Dimitri, wanted him in his arms, wanted to see him taken care of.

Those were words for another time: when Dimitri wasn't too threadbare to listen, when Dedue wasn't careworn to his bones. So he simply nodded, held Dimitri tight.

They'd stayed there for a while, shifting weight and swaying slowly back and forth until Dimitri whimpered, until Dedue felt his heartbeat grow insistent, felt him hard against his thigh.

Bed, then--Dedue settled him in his lap, kissed his face as he'd undressed him, smoothed warm hands all over Dimitri's skin to stop him shivering.

Without his clothes, Dimitri was by turns gorgeous and a wretch. Scars crisscrossed his skin--some were old, had been stitched and healed and bandaged, maintained by Dedue himself, who had for so long nourished himself on the memory of changing Dimitri's bandages, of speaking to him gently as he spread salves on his skin. Others were still angry, thin-skinned, showed signs of slapdash care.

Dimitri cried out ragged when Dedue ran his open palms down his sides, over his chest, feeling the jut of every too-sharp rib. He'd pressed his body closer, rolled hips against Dedue's belly long and firm and shaking. He felt feverish, his pale skin patched with red.

"You're beautiful," Dedue had whispered, rubbing circles on his back. "You're so strong, you've endured so much. And you deserve this, deserve to have me here with you, deserve to be given what you need."

He could have sworn he felt teardrops against his shoulder. "Then please, Dedue..."

Dedue sighed, cupping Dimitri's unshaven jaw, tipping his head up. He really was crying, tear tracks running the length of his cheeks. "Do you want me to touch you?"

Dimitri nodded, and so Dedue placed one warm hand at his breast, trailed down to the waistband of his smalls. "Here, Dimitri?"

"Yes!" His hips pitched forward again, his eye squinting shut with the desperation of it. "And please--Dima, call me Dima."

"Of course," Dedue murmured, reaching down inside Dimitri's smallclothes. Some proper daytime part of Dedue told him not to say it, not to take his insubordination that much further, but... Well. It would have to forgive him his weakness, just once. "Of course, Dima, anything you need."

Dimitri nearly howled when Dedue wrapped his hand around him--such a careful touch, but still he throbbed, buried his face in Dedue's scarf, hot slack mouth against his neck.

"I love you," he said, febrile, as if it burned to keep the words inside. "I have always..."

His words did things to Dedue that there wasn't any time for, that Dedue would never wish to impose on him.

So Dedue swallowed, forcing focus, stroking Dimitri slowly, with all the tenderness he deserved. "You must ache, Dima. How long has it been since you've been taken care of?"

Dimitri only whimpered, shook his head by way of answer. The way he twitched, leaked over Dedue's fingers told him all he needed to know.

"You're doing so well, love," Dedue murmured, lips in Dimitri's hair, and that's all. Dimitri sobbed, dug his fingers into Dedue's shoulders as he spilled in his hand, hips thrashing. "That's right, that's good, Dima, let it out."

And Dedue held him close, soothed him with sweet words and gentle hands until he stopped shaking with his orgasm, with his tears, until he listed his head against Dedue's shoulder and slept.

Laying Dimitri on the sheets, tucking him gently under the covers, Dedue felt for the first time since he could remember that things might turn out alright.

Chapter Text

Really, it was nothing like being with her again. Seteth felt the gouged-out absence of their old sagging mattress, her come-hither smile, the cross of her ankles behind his hips.

It didn't make him stop. Perhaps it should have.

But for everything she'd taken with her, every sensation that Seteth would never feel again, no matter how many people he made love with, there was still... Well. When Jeralt pressed himself to Seteth's back, when he clasped him in his arms, ground so deep inside of him--it felt safe. Jeralt's body was a warm place, somewhere to rest, to lay aside mundane concerns, however reluctantly. The familiarity of that ran deep, and Seteth wasn't certain whether it scared him.

"You alright?" Seteth startled--he hadn't expected the rush of breath, the grazing of lips over the sensitive shell of his ear. The sound of Jeralt's voice, deep and soothing like a thunderstorm outside one's bedroom. "You got quiet."

"Y-yes, I'm quite fine." He smiled brightly, sheepishly, tilted his head to lay a kiss on Jeralt's brow. Best to live in the moment, to at least try. Jeralt had told him that, one night out fishing on the docks. "Please--continue."

Jeralt's laughter was kind, accompanied by a long languid roll of his hips. "If you're still talking like that, sweetheart, I'm not fucking you right."

And, well--if Jeralt wanted him present, that wasn't the worst way to go about it. Seteth squirmed in his lap, bit back a frankly embarrassing whine.

"That's better," Jeralt murmured, sliding his hands down to rest on Seteth's hips. His grip was firm, grounding, his rough working-man's fingers digging just deep enough into Seteth's unblemished skin. "That's right."

Seteth couldn't help but preen at it, swaying his hips from side to side. He'd thought Jeralt crass when first he'd met him, when all he'd heard that voice used for was foul language, louche jokes. And he still was, even after all the talks they'd had, all of Jeralt's marvelous stories, he still swore, still blasphemed, still shouted like a fishwife. But the timbre of his voice--oh, Seteth could have listened to the man read a death ledger.

And he always knew what to say when they were like this.

Slowly, Jeralt dragged at Seteth's hips, holding him down in his lap, making him spread his legs wider, fucking in deep. Seteth couldn't stifle a cry, he adored it, could barely stand the feel of Jeralt all the way inside, cock arching just so against his sweet spot. Such a new sensation, still a rough-edged, thrumming thing.

"Yeah?" Jeralt didn't wait for him to answer, kissing up Seteth's throat to the nape of his neck, nuzzling him so he could feel the scrape of Jeralt's unshaven cheeks. His skin would be red in the morning, would feel raw against his fingers, would chafe on his starched collar and remind him all day that Jeralt had been there, had taken care of him.

He dragged chipped, crooked teeth over the point of Seteth's ear, and Seteth whimpered.

"Oh, look at you..." The brush of Jeralt's chapped lips on his ear was agonizing, not at all enough, and Seteth's hips jerked, his neck craning back against Jeralt's mouth, the accommodating expanse of his shoulder. "That feel good, Cichol?"

And Seteth couldn't help coming, couldn't help quivering, wailing, spilling all over his chest even though his cock's gone utterly untouched. His eyes shut tight, and for an instant he could have been convinced that there was nothing but Jeralt's soft rumbling in his ear, those strong arms come to wrap around his waist.

"I've got you," Jeralt said, just once, and Seteth was back on that sagging mattress with his wife curled around his back, her arms around him, his name on her lips.

It only lasted a second, but Seteth found himself wanting to complete that ritual once more, to crane his neck back and blaspheme 'I love you' into Jeralt's ear.

But he was present enough to know what a fool thing that would have been, worse than letting Jeralt see his ears, worse than telling him his given name. Worse, even, than letting Jeralt bed him to begin with, so he didn't, just tried, for Jeralt's sake, to exist in the moment instead.

Chapter Text

Ignatz had lost his glasses a long, long time ago, cast them off somewhere into the wildly unimportant Rest Of The World, so everything was in a very romantic soft focus.

Or maybe that was the tears in his eyes, or the scrunching of his face, or the three--was it three? orgasms. Might have been four. Anyway.

Lorenz's face, all the way down between Ignatz's sleek thighs, was a bit of a blur. Fine-featured, yes, and Ignatz could make out the utter wantonness in the knit of his brows, the utter focus in his eyes, surpassing any hack painting of 'The Lovers' that Ignatz had ever seen. What struck him most, though, were the colors. The violet of his ruined hair complemented so sweetly the high magenta of his cheeks. They were, by coincidence or the Goddess' grace, the very same shades of the Gloucester roses he'd spent the last month painting.

He'd been hired out to Gloucester for what Lorenz had insisted was a commission, but seemed more like a decadent vacation. All expenses paid, late mornings, afternoons spent painting, evenings whiled away in lavish meals, games of cards, the best and only cognac Ignatz had tasted in his life.

And when he was finished with the work, painted every last petal in the rose gardens of the Gloucester manse, Lorenz had paid him handsomely, plied him with fine canapés, asked him if he'd like a tip, and sucked his clit until he'd screamed.

And screamed, and screamed, curling his fingers in Lorenz's hair, tossing his head against the pillowcase only to find it splattered with his tears. Lorenz excelled at this the way he wanted to excel at everything, licking into Ignatz with singular focus, flicking his tongue against his sweet spots, knowing when to use the very slightest hint of teeth.

"Where... Lorenz, how did you learn to do this?" Ignatz barely recognized his own voice, hoarse and fucked-out as it was. He reached up, shivering like mountain winter, mopped at the sweat dripping from his bangs.

Lorenz laughed, turning to kiss sloppily at Ignatz's thigh. "A gentleman," he answered, his arch tone absolutely shot, "oughtn't kiss and tell."

And that got a snort out of Ignatz, ran a little spasm through all his overwrought muscles, made him whine. That meant that he'd read about it in one of his dirty books.

"My goodness," murmured Lorenz, suddenly transfixed. "Did you know, Ignatz, that you are entirely precious like this?"

Ignatz made a noncommittal gesture with his shoulders, feeling his face heat even higher, if that was at all possible.

"You-- Lorenz, you're--"

"Ah, ah," Lorenz tutted, because of course he still had the wherewithal to tut. "I was not finished." He kissed Ignatz's thigh once more, as if to make him wait, taking the innermost part of it gingerly between his teeth.

"I've always thought, Ignatz, that the sight of you in pleasure is an art form in itself." He sighed, adjusted Ignatz's legs over his shoulders as if he hadn't just said something so--ridiculous, so embarrassing, so sweet. Ignatz wasn't certain if he ought to hide his face or kiss him, but while he was wondering, his body took a third door, pitching his hips into Lorenz's face. Lorenz placated him with the slow drag of his tongue over Ignatz's slit, and Ignatz sobbed.

"Exactly," breathed Lorenz, "there. You're exquisite, you're in bliss the way you ought to be." A smile crossed his face, dazed and dazzling. "Would you like some more?"

Ignatz couldn't fathom saying anything but yes.

Chapter Text

Claude sighed his pleasure as he sank back onto the bed, cool crisp sheets soothing his overheated skin. He'd whined when Dedue had insisted on changing them, but this was far, far better than lying in a wet spot.

Besides. Lorenz had led him gentle to the chaise lounge, held him there during the wait, petting his hair and cooing the sweetest things to him. "You've done splendidly," he'd said, wiping a stray teardrop from the corner of Claude's eye. "You were exquisite."

And Dedue had hummed concurrence, and Claude's heart had been brimming full, but there was really nothing better than surrendering, lying slack, letting his eyes fall shut.

Letting himself be cared for.

Dedue rested on his side behind him, a constant point of contact along his body, warm and solid and so, so safe. He kissed the nape of Claude's neck, his jaw, the part of his hair, wrapped one arm around his waist and drew him closer.

"Lorenz is right, Claude," he murmured, and Claude could hear the soft smile in his tone. "You did very well. I'm... proud of you."

If the size, the great immovable bulk of Dedue was a comfort now, just minutes ago it had been overwhelming, the weight of him fucking into him, the heat of his hands around Claude's hips.

Well. It had been a comfort then, too. Claude purred, shuffling back against him, heedless of the dried sweat chafing their skin. He could feel Dedue's heartbeat like this, still thrumming from exertion.

Ugh, Claude couldn't get enough of him--not when he was so gentle, not with all the care he took. He'd worked Claude open for the better part of an hour on his fingers--Claude came at least twice while he did, clenching around him, and nearly shuddered off the edge into painful overstimulation. Lorenz had been there, though, to soothe him with sweet words, with languid kisses, fingers running tender over his neck, his shoulders, his breasts. Gorgeous, he'd called him, a work of art, a precious thing.

He'd carried on with it for the first few moments after Dedue gave Claude his cock, slow and careful but still staggering for how thick he was, for the dig of him into Claude's sweet spot. Lorenz had fussed over him, licking into his mouth, drawing eager fingers through the beard Claude was so proud of.

After a while, though, when Claude had adjusted to the stretch of Dedue in him, the weight, Lorenz let Claude take him in his mouth. He went at the task with the same enthusiasm as ever--Lorenz was gorgeous in his pleasure, flushing down his chest, his abdomen.

But it was difficult, with Dedue at his back, as deep as he could take him and still only halfway in. Claude had writhed, unsure on a second-to-second basis where he wanted to put his body--everywhere had felt so good. He got sloppy, but it only made Lorenz praise him more, lay fingers over the angle of his jaw.

And Lorenz had wiped the saliva from his cheeks, and Dedue had petted over his back, fingers tracing every ridge of his spine, other hand reaching down to cover his clit with the pad of his thumb.

And Claude's eyes had rolled up in his head, reducing the world to a grey blur splattered with stars, to the gentle hands of his lovers, to their sweet strained voices calling him perfect, marvelous, so so good.

And when it was over, when Claude had slumped messily onto the sheets, when Lorenz had wiped his face, between his legs with a warm washcloth, when Dedue had told him in taciturn detail about how wonderfully he'd done, about how excellent it was of Claude to trust them with this, Claude clutched at the bedcovers and let his weary eyes slip shut.

Lying like that, with Lorenz at his chest and Dedue at his back, with a sweet gentle ache in his hips, his back, his jaw--for the first time in years, there was nothing in Claude's head. No half-baked schemes, no nagging quandaries.

When he woke, though, he positively jittered with the thrill of plotting--after all, he did have to repay them.

Chapter Text

After the battle, after the long march home, after the debriefings, the meetings, the where-do-we-go-from-heres, after all of that, after days, Hubert and Ferdinand were finally allowed to breathe.

They'd eaten a brief dinner, something steaming and hearty, sitting close enough to feel each other's weak, exhausted warmth. And they'd bathed, and Ferdinand had let Hubert wash his back, trailing careful fingers over the new-healed wound there, sprawling like a mountain pass between his shoulder blades.

And they'd retired, then, for a cup of tea shared under Ferdinand's duvet, warm and full-bodied and herbal, soothing hoarse throats and sore eyes.

The teacups lay forgotten on the nightstand, now, changed for Ferdinand's favorite ivory comb. He sat between Hubert's legs, leaning forward just enough to give him the space to work, drawing out the tangles in his wet hair with long, slow strokes.

"Do you know," murmured Hubert, lips brushing against the warm soft-smelling nape of Ferdinand's neck, "how simply divine you look, with your hair like this? I'm nearly convinced," he paused, trailing kisses up Ferdinand's sore neck, into the space behind his ear, "that you grew it out on purpose, just to fluster me."

And Ferdinand laughed, giving his love a playful swat above the knee. "No, dear, it really was an accident..."

"A fortunate one to be sure, darling." He drew the comb through Ferdinand's hair once more, watching the candlelight play over it. "Sometimes, I confess, I find myself speechless."

"Well then, perhaps you ought to write me that letter. You did pro--ah!" He shuddered at the catch of the comb in his hair, caught in some snarl that Hubert had been too distracted to note.

Hubert ran soft soothing hands over his shoulders, cringing at the sound. "I apologize," he said swiftly, "did I hurt you?"

Ferdinand sat silent for a moment, shifting minutely. "I, no... Hubert. Actually... I think I might like you to do it again." His words came slowly, with the slightest bit of tremor in them. Hubert was mesmerized.

"Of course, Ferdie."

He gently pulled away the comb, setting it aside, and sank his fingertips into Ferdinand's warm, damp hair. He petted through it for a moment, drawing fingertips over Ferdinand's scalp, soft points of grounding pressure. And then--because he really did have some idea what he was doing, at least that which he'd read in books--he curled his fingers into the silky hair at the base of Ferdinand's scalp, and tugged. Not hard, but definitely enough to feel.

Ferdinand tensed, spine arching back into it, a little sigh slipping through parted lips.

"Did you enjoy that?" Ferdinand could feel the smile on Hubert's lips when they met his neck, shivered when he opened his mouth, kissed him soft and wet.

"Y-yes, it's the strangest thing. Hubie..." His voice took on that timbre, that wobbly sweetness, so new to Hubert's ear. So precious.

"May I?" Ferdinand only nodded, humming pleasure when Hubert's fingers knotted themselves in his hair, when his other hand drifted down the plane of his neck, over his silk nightshirt, his well-muscled chest. He squirmed, as if unsure whether to lean into Hubert's hand on his abdomen or the pressure at his scalp.

Hubert hummed, leaned in to kiss his love's neck, lave over his pulse point, scrape delicate scrubbed skin with his teeth. He just lay there a moment, lips wet on Ferdinand's throat, feeling the listless shift of him, the vibration of his vocal chords as he whined for it.

"My jewel," he whispered, "does a little pain excite you?" Ferdinand's voice quavered high on his yes. Hubert's hand settled on his full thigh, kneading just enough to tease. "Hidden depths, hm? Don't be shy," and at this he wrenched Ferdinand's hair slowly through his fingers, tipping his head back, making him moan, "you know I'll give you anything you need."

Ferdinand whimpered, pressing strong hips into Hubert's warm hand. "Then please... make love to me?"

And Hubert couldn't help but smile wide, bury his face in his love's broad shoulder. "Anything you need, darling."

Chapter Text

The touch of Raphael's forehead against his own kept Ignatz grounded, even as he felt he was going to burst. His thighs shook, but Raphael's thick callused hands kept him steady, thumbs rubbing soothing circles into his skin. Oh, he'd anticipated this, for better or worse, for--well--years, probably, ricocheting between anxiety, giddiness, fits of desire and their attendant shameful hangovers.

But.

Well.

Ignatz was no prophet, but he'd been the most right when he'd thrummed with the want of it, overwhelmed for the lack of something overwhelming.

It was... so... Oh, he was no author, he'd no words to describe--particularly not just then.

"You don't--you don't have to," Raphael insisted, for--well, Ignatz had lost count of how many times he'd said it. "Don't hurt yourself, only take what you can handle."

Ignatz shook his head, bit back a whine, a shivering but I want it all. He kissed Raphael's cheek instead, sank lower on his fat cock, panting with the effort, the stretch, the absolute ecstasy of it.

And Raphael whimpered under him, readjusting his grip on Ignatz's soft thighs, angling him closer to his chest. "Gah," he breathed, "oh, oh, Ignatz, you're really going for it, aren't you?" Ignatz jerked, every muscle in his body contracting at once, his face scrunching up as he nodded, bowing his head against Raphael's sturdy shoulder. He took a moment to adjust, to acclimate to the relentless pressure on his sweet spot, to the drag of his own leaking cock against Raphael's abdomen.

"Yes--" he keened, trembling, dropping his hips to take that last little bit, moaning choked and relieved and frankly stunned as Raphael bottomed out within him. "Raph--want you to feel good, Goddess, is that all of you?"

Raphael could only nod, drag one heavy hand up Ignatz's taut little body, gently turn up his chin. He twitched at the sight of his sweet one's face, tears gathering at the edges of his eyes, skin stained a high red Raphael had only ever seen on him when he'd spent all day painting in the sun. He could have sworn it flared when Ignatz squirmed at the movement inside of him, chewing his full lower lip.

"Look at you," he whispered, pressing an eager kiss to Ignatz's lips, hand petting broad strokes over his narrow back. "Look at you, you've got everything, you're a-- damn, you're a champ, Ignatz."

And Ignatz tipped his head back, laughing, wrapping his arms tighter around Raphael's shoulders, kissing him all over his face because honestly. Honestly, with a sweetheart like that in your bed, how could there be anything to worry about?

Chapter Text

Seteth tried to regulate his breathing, the restless urge to fuck himself back on Jeralt's fingers, but it was a losing battle. Jeralt's two fingers were so thick, so rough, and he knew exactly what to do with them, how to twist and crook them to crumble Seteth's composure.

He bit his lip--he wouldn't. He wouldn't let go, not until he could be certain.

"You don't--" he managed, cut off by tremor in his hips, a whine. "You're quite sure you don't want me to--for you, Jeralt?"

But Jeralt just smiled, and Seteth was so taken in by the way the candlelight caught his laugh lines that he almost missed his reply. He'd overheard others calling Jeralt plain, declaring him quite past his prime, but--oh, Seteth had no idea where that came from. Jeralt was... weatherbeaten, true, careworn, but he'd been places, seen things, come out wise and kind and even-keeled.

And Seteth couldn't let himself be an idle partner to a man like that.

Still, Jeralt shook his head. "No," he rasped, voice like a homespun blanket. "No, sweetheart, this is for you." He curled his fingers as if to punctuate, calloused fingertips pressing firm into Seteth's weak spot, making him squirm.

"There, see? You had a tough day, I heard, you deserve to relax. Feel good."

Seteth felt his face heating even further, reached up with shaking hands for Jeralt's face. He opened his mouth, shut it, knit his brow. This wasn't--done. Or, it wasn't anything he'd done. Just... lying back. He'd always thought, always considered himself the kind for reciprocity.

Well. There had been times, bitter, grinding days like this, when she would... but that had been so long ago. Nobody could have made him feel so much at ease.

Even if Jeralt seemed determined to try. Even if Seteth suspected it was beginning to work.

"'S alright, you can ask for what you want. I want you to."

Seteth squeezed his eyes shut. "Please, kiss me," he whispered, breathless, all in a rush.

And Jeralt laughed, a gentle, chest-deep thing, bending down to kiss Seteth's parted lips so sweetly, sucking on his tongue.

"That what you needed?"

A nod was all Seteth could manage, head listing to the side to catch his breath.

"Good boy," Jeralt murmured, and his voice was almost reticent, as if uncertain how he'd be received, but Seteth could barely take it. His hips rolled up, pressing Jeralt's fingers deeper in him, and he made the most delighted sound, only just tinged with embarrassment. His cock throbbed, arched back against his hip, and Seteth swore he could feel himself leaking.

"Yeah?" asked Jeralt, running fingertips once more over Seteth's prostate, "You like that? You want to be my good boy?"

"Y-yes!" Seteth admitted, just restraining himself from adding something inane like 'if that's alright.' It was alright, clearly, or at least Jeralt was intent on insisting that it was.

When he turned his head back, Jeralt's eyes were on him as if entranced. "Then relax for me, Seteth, you're so tense. You must be so tired, and you're panting for it, just let me take care of you."

Seteth found himself nodding, letting his hands uncurl in Jeralt's sheets, dropping his legs against the mattress. "Thank you, Jeralt...!"

"Aw, there's no need..." Jeralt smiled wide, and it was--it was almost magic, the way it reassured him. "It's enough that you let me see you like this, all laid out in my bed, that you let me hear your pretty sounds."

Seteth winced--for all he'd been loved in his life, he wasn't certain anyone had ever called him pretty before. Or sweetheart, for that matter, or...

"Good boy," Jeralt whispered, suddenly close, breath hot against Seteth's sensitive ear. "You are, you work so hard, you deserve to have someone taking care of you, making sure you get fucked just how you need."

And Seteth strained against him, throbbing, moaning deep in his throat and squinting around welling tears. He really-- something told him he oughtn't be effected this much, but...

But Jeralt's body was such a comfort above him, irresistible combined with the rocking of his fingers, the warmth of his words. Seteth honestly, for all the guilt in the world, could not help himself.

He pitched his hips up, pressing back against Jeralt's hand, looking for anything more as a tear dripped from his eye, rolled to catch in his mussed hair.

"Oh, sweetheart," Jeralt crooned, rubbing tight circles around his sweet spot. "Go ahead and touch yourself for me, show me how you like it."

Seteth hastened to obey, quivering hand darting between their bodies, choking up on his aching cock. He winced, screwed his face up, stroked himself fast and rough, single-minded.

"You needed that so bad, huh? Don't hurt yourself..."

And Seteth was panting, writhing beneath him, shoving his hips up and calling his name with a hoarse, shattered voice. "Again, please--"

Jeralt leaned in again, unshaven cheek brushing Seteth's, lips teasing at the shell of his ear. "Good boy, Seteth, good boy..."

And there was nothing for it then--Seteth cried out, coming all over himself--his hand, his belly, his chest. And he curled in on himself, and whined, and shook, and Jeralt ground those fingertips into him, wringing every last bit of pleasure he could out of him, just the way he needed.

And after, after Jeralt had cleaned him with a wet washcloth, kissed his face, reassured him that no, he really didn't need anything for himself, Jeralt held him flush against his chest, his grip firm around Seteth's spent body and told him, in no uncertain terms, that he'd meant every word of it.

Chapter Text

It was the ritual of it that made it comforting, the careful drag of Dedue's hands over Dimitri's body, the precise placement of sleek rope across his skin.

The cords crisscrossed his thighs, his abdomen, his bare chest, wound behind his back, wove between his arms and stopped at the wrist with elaborate knots. It was a thing of beauty, Dimitri understood--more than once, Dedue had brought him a hand mirror, showed him the blue-black stark over scarred skin. But the objectivity of it mattered little--Dimitri, in this haze, cared only for what his husband told him.

"Beautiful," Dedue called him, over and over, slipping fingers under every segment of rope to ensure it wasn't too tight. "Lovely."

Dimitri only bowed his head, preened at the feel of those thick fingers in his hair, spreading over his scalp, easing what little tension he had left. Dedue-- Dedue took such care of him, stripped him down, kissed him slow, laid him gentle on their bed. He'd taken his time in tying him up, making quite certain, as with everything, that he'd gotten it exactly right.

Had taken his fair share of detours, too, stroking Dimitri's face, his neck, his shoulders. Petting his chest and sides, kneading the knotted muscle of his thighs through soft smallclothes.

By the time Dedue had finished with him, walked slow around the bed, appraised every knot, every mussed hair, Dimitri had surrendered. Dimitri drifted, and there was nothing, nothing else in his head, and it was perfect.

This was really what he'd asked for--not the bindings themselves, not the... suggestion that attended this type of submission--but the blankness of it. The gradual slip into a soft, warm place, like a deep steaming bath, enfolding, empty of anything Dimitri didn't want to fill it with.

That is to say, Dedue. Dedue, lying next to him, close enough that Dimitri felt his radiating warmth, could smell clean earth, woodsmoke, fresh-baked bread. Dedue's warm hand slid through Dimitri's hair once more, resting gently on the back of his head.

"How do you feel, Dima?" His voice was low, the same soft tone he always used in bed, when they woke, when they made love, when Dimitri came to thrashing from his nightmares. "Better?"

Dimitri only nodded--it was better. The tension that had driven him to this was in another room of Dimitri's mind, nearly inaccessible. The weight of the crown had been lifted neatly off his head, his shoulders rubbed until he barely remembered the heavy mantle that was Fòdlan, that was kingship, that was the perpetual grind of living in his own head. He tipped his head back into Dedue's hand, gazing with one half-lidded eye into his husband's gentle face.

"Good," Dedue murmured, leaning in to softly kiss Dimitri's cheek. "Good, I'm glad."

"Mm... I-- I love you, Dedue." The words come out slow, stilted, sounding almost foreign to Dimitri's ears. Still, nothing could have stopped him saying them. They were as necessary as breathing, as the rope, as Dedue's steadfast love beside him.

"I know, Dima. I love you as well, with everything I am." Dedue shifted toward him, gathered Dimitri against his broad enveloping chest, cradled him in steady arms.

Love full-bodied, with everything they were. It had been in their wedding vows. Dimitri sighed, for once relaxed, for once contented.

Chapter Text

"You really never have?" Dorothea's voice is draped in concern, sweet as anything and whisper-soft. She reaches up, tucks softly tangled strands of marble-white hair behind Edelgard's ear.

Edelgard sighs, shakes her head. Of all things, this? This, to cow the Empress? In her own bed, with the woman she loves, with her fiancee, who has been so precious patient. Dorothea has treated her like nobody ever has, like a sweet, delicate thing, like porcelain, and it has filled some secret inner crack Edelgard hadn't known she'd had. Surely, she can follow through on her (calculated) decision to trust Dorothea with this.

"No, I haven't." Come, the word is, but Edelgard just smiles through pursed lips. "It was never... a priority. I've certainly tried, but, well. Nothing's ever, ah. Come of it, if you will." She hazards a little laugh at her own joke, brightening as Dorothea lifts one hand to her lips and dissolves in giggles.

"I will!"

When she's quite finished laughing, Dorothea reaches for Edelgard's face, stroking over the apple of her cheek, letting those magic-burnt fingers trail down Edelgard's neck, brush her regal collarbone. Edelgard shivers, does not know how to ask that Dorothea continue down her chest, over her scars, her bare breasts.

The smile on Dorothea's face is kind, entirely without the pity Edelgard had feared. "Oh, Edie," she says, lilting over the familiar words. "Sweet Edie." She could go on like this for hours, Edelgard knows, with just the gentle touch of her fingers, unwinding her endless skein of endearments, and Edelgard would be content. A little embarrassed, perhaps, but utterly content.

"You know I can help you with that if you'd like." Her voice is so smooth, like--Edelgard doesn't know what it's like, only that it is better than heraldry, than the tolling bells of victory. Only that she wants to live in it. Her own voice is clear, commanding, and it serves, but Dorothea's comforts, entices, enfolds. "I know I'd like that too."

Edelgard's room cannot help but be cold in the winter, even as far south as Enbarr, even with her well-stoked fire. Still, Edelgard's face burns, and the sensation spreads down her chest, her abdomen, settling between her legs. The frustration of it is... familiar to say the very least, but now it thrums, tingles with possibility. Edelgard thrills with it, girlish.

She doesn't have much opportunity to be girlish. But it comes more easily with Dorothea. Edelgard savors it, wants more.

Nods, murmurs "yes, I'd like to."

There's a split second where all Edelgard can see is the beam of Dorothea's smile, and then suddenly it's all over her, kissing her forehead, her startled-open lips, her shoulders, the slopes of her breasts.

Dorothea leans just a little weight into her, insinuating, and Edelgard follows her back until her shoulders are on the bed, hair pooling beneath her. Only then does Dorothea lift her head, still grinning through the cloud of her mussed hair.

"Can I undress you?" Edelgard nods, silently thankful. Dorothea has never taken an inch of Edelgard's consent for granted, and even though Edelgard knows well that it ought to be that way, she never stops being grateful.

Dorothea's hands slide down Edelgard's hardened obliques to her hips, where she left her shift, pulling it down to slide smooth hands over her fiancee's breasts. She hums a little aria, slipping the thing down over Edelgard's wide hips, her strong thighs, the hard curve of her calves. Dorothea has always thought, quite privately, that every court artist who has painted the Empress, cast her in bronze, carved her out of stone has wasted their damn time, because no official portrait will compare to the hard-lined elegant beauty of the real thing, and now...

Well, now she's seen all of her, Dorothea is certain that she's been right.

She can't help but blink, kiss the woven steel of her beloved's abdomen. "You're gorgeous, Edie, I'd have to write a whole opera to express--" she murmurs, and her painted lips smear over marble skin. "Can I put my mouth on you?"

Edelgard pushes up onto her elbows, brushes hair out of her face so she can see this clearly enough. Dorothea, kneeling at her side, not out of obligation, not out of grand foolish tradition, but because love has laid her there. Dorothea, kissing her, asking for permission to make love to her, to get in and try and give her that one thing that had always eluded her... Edelgard breathes her consent, fingers flexing in the duvet.

"Alright," says Dorothea, soothing as she slides hands to her Edie's knees, parts them gently just enough that she can slip between them, lavish kisses all over Edelgard's hips, her Adonis lines, the softened insides of her thighs. This, she decides, instantly, is her new favorite part of her, filling out with peacetime, with the luxuries she allows herself. Here, between her legs, Edelgard hints at her indulgences, at how she has enjoyed the things she so deserves, and Dorothea aches to see it.

Aches to see Edelgard laid out, the blush of her folds, the insistent pink of her clit. Edelgard is not the first woman Dorothea's seen like this, but she is, as she continues reaffirming, the first one Dorothea wants to bind herself to.

"You're lovely," she croons, hands darting up to tuck her hair out of the way. "May I?"

"Y-yes."

Dorothea smiles, meets Edelgard's eye. "You know, even when we do this, you don't need to put pressure on yourself. If you don't--" she trails off, shaking her head. "I don't like the word finish, because one or even both people coming isn't necessarily the end of sex, but. You know, Edie, if you don't, that's perfectly alright." She leans in, kisses the inside of Edelgard's knee, making her huff with laughter. "We'll find something that works. I'll make it a project."

And Edelgard hadn't even known she needed that reassurance, but apparently she does, because Dorothea's kind, pragmatic, honeyed words slip over her, let her relax just that last little bit, sink loose-limbed into the duvet, breathe the last words Dorothea needs to hear before dipping her head, laying a patient kiss at the join of Edelgard's thigh.

And up, and in, over her clit, drawing one smooth-tipped finger between her folds. She's wet, Dorothea notes, and Edelgard simply sighs with the pleasure of it, not noting anything.

It's a second before Dorothea laves over Edelgard with the flat of her tongue, wanting to be certain that she's alright, and Edelgard frankly yelps. It's not dignified, not Imperial, and they revel in that, knowing that that ignominy is what Edelgard needs.

"Alright, Edie? You're doing perfect."

Edelgard laughs. "So are you, Thea." The pet name is still new in her mouth, something that had slipped from her once in her beloved's arms, and it thrills through them both.

"Thank you! More?"

Dorothea catches Edelgard's nod, but doesn't tarry, catching Edelgard's clit between her lips and sucking, just gently, breathing laughter when Edelgard's hips pitch up into her mouth.

Is that right? she thinks, but does not stop to say, simply presses on, slipping one finger inside her beloved, crooking it under that ridge of bone. Edelgard's breath catches, and Dorothea preens.

She could pull out all her tricks, everything she's learned in dim storerooms, rough-covered beds, but she thinks it's best not to overwhelm her love the first time she goes about... overwhelming her. No, Dorothea sticks to slick lips, gentle pressure, a decided firmness that edges nowhere close to pain. And Edelgard adores it, squirming precious beneath her, calling her darling, beloved, clever sweetest Thea.

And there is no stopping her, not with Edelgard's body so yielding beneath her, not with that voice rhapsodizing in her ear, not with the throbbing, soaking heat of her against her tongue. Dorothea thinks some cliche stock-plot thing, like how she'd gladly stay down here forever, only to feel the dear shake of her hips, to hear her sweet undoing.

And if it takes a little longer than other girls, well. She's not marrying other girls, and she's never been one to blush at a challenge.

When the tension in Edelgard finally snaps, when she gasps, moans deep, comes at long last into her darling's mouth, Dorothea has never been more proud of anything.

Chapter Text

"Whatever is--" the matter, Hubert would have asked, but Ferdinand was on his knees as soon as the door latched, lip pinned between his teeth, eyes dark. He'd signaled for him, in the conference room, in that little code of theirs.

It had been Hubert's idea--a mode of communication they might use when trapped in stultifying meetings. A tug at the collar meant 'I'm not well,' readjusting one's cufflink 'are you hearing this nonsense?' Each medal they wore had a distinct significance when fiddled with; their Orders of Adrestia meant 'I've something urgent to discuss with you.'

A twisted wedding ring just meant 'I love you,' and after Ferdinand had made it quite clear that he and Hubert had to have words after the meeting, his had scarcely stopped turning.

"Oh," Hubert murmured, running one gloved hand through his sweet husband's hair. A smile played across his lips, something like a sweet, half-melted smirk. "I see what you meant, now."

Ferdinand sighed as if half-dreaming, listing his head against Hubert's thigh. His face was blush-warm, Hubert could feel.

"I found that I couldn't stop thinking of this morning," he admitted, his voice low and sweet and edging on hoarseness. "Terribly unprofessional of me."

And that got a laugh out of Hubert, the kind of gentle, affectionate sound he found himself making so, so much more often since--well, since coming 'round to Ferdinand. Or perhaps slightly before. The exact progression of their relationship had proven to be the subject of quite some bickering, so it was best left to history entirely.

But--well. That morning. Ferdinand had stirred before their wake-up call, in the hour after dawn, loose-limbed and warm and clinging. He'd found himself unable to get close enough, even curled against his husband's chest, even bare-skinned, even with their limbs a sweet nebulous tangle.

Hubert, roused, had laughed without derision into Ferdinand's hair, had wrapped him in his arms, murmured soothing words against his ear. And when Ferdinand had whimpered with his need, Hubert kicked out of his smallclothes, let his husband slip between warm wiry thighs, feeling the drag of Ferdinand's cockhead against his folds.

And Ferdinand, eyes glazed, chest heaving, had begged, and there was never ever going to be any refusing him, and Hubert had wrapped one slender leg around him, let Ferdinand slide home.

"Poor darling," Hubert crooned, fingers slipping down to cup his husband's face, to sit suggesting at his lips. Ferdinand took him in eagerly, letting fingertips slide to the back of his mouth. He hummed with satisfaction--the taste of leather had become so familiar, so comforting. "You still need me, after I took care of you this morning?"

Ferdinand only nodded, head bobbing around Hubert's fingers as if to sweeten the deal, as if to prove he could be good. As if Hubert needed any more evidence--Ferdinand had proven himself over and again, more times in their first year together than either could count.

"What is it you want, Ferdie?" Hubert drew slick fingers from his husband's mouth, even as Ferdinand winced. "We haven't much time." True--only about fifteen minutes had been scheduled between meetings, and most of that was travel time. The Imperial palace was a grandiose place, a gilded architectural nightmare of a thing with all of its additions over the years.

And Ferdinand knew this, and Ferdinand loathed and despised being late, and Ferdinand knelt before him in this spare meeting room, desperate for him anyway.

"Hubie," he began, his voice worn so thin that canceling the rest of the day's functions, carrying Ferdinand home in his own thin mage's arms, tending to him to the exclusion of all else seemed reasonable, seemed almost a necessity. "Will you let me put my mouth on you?"

He'd never been good at asking for these things directly, having all his life a scrubbed vocabulary, but that just made it all the more precious that he would, and the sunrise flush spreading down his neck didn't hurt, either.

"Of course, darling--but on the condition," he murmured, "that you take care of yourself as well. I'd love to do it myself, darling, give you everything you need, but--" Instinctually he turned his head, searching for a clock that showed--well. It could wait. He'd be quick, he knew--could never withstand his husband's invitations.

It took quite some maneuvering, finding some table to lean against, getting elaborate clothing out of the way, conjuring up something Ferdinand could use to tie his hair back. Precious thing, with his hair tidied away, looking neat for one last instant before bowing between Hubert's thighs, soft-eyed and eager-mouthed.

Hubert couldn't help but hiss at the feel of him, the warmth of his tongue, dragging practiced over his clit. Couldn't help but reach down to him, stroke his face, brush one gloved thumb back and forth over his temple. "Ferdie..."

And Ferdinand whined, spreading Hubert's thighs wider, gaining enough traction to lick into him, to taste salt traces of himself. To care for and be cared for, to launch his adoration like a fully-fledged armada and find all of it returned, pouring over him.

And, well. If their next meeting was to begin a little late, that would surely not be wholly unforgivable.

Chapter Text

If Linhardt had ever been in shape, he'd quite clearly gotten out of it. Even after months back at Garreg Mach, even after endless drills, more wretched bloody battles than he ever cared to count, well.

Five years spent reading in one's room was apparently a difficult thing to bounce back from.

Linhardt's everything ached, but he supposed that he was most angry with his shoulders, his wobbling knees, his blistered feet. Fighting to restore Fòdlan somehow not enough, they'd all strapped on their jackboots and marched south, because apparently they were the only bastards in the world who could handle a few bandits.

And, well, it wasn't as if Linhardt approved of brigandry. Quite the opposite, really, he was exhausted by the nerve of some people, that they thought the world at war was reason enough to abandon all their manners. But really. They were... so, so far away.

The fighting itself couldn't have been more perfunctory if it'd tried, but that just meant they'd had to turn right around.

The sun was half-sunk by the time they made it back to the monastery, and while Linhardt had never personally died, he felt that his level of exertion couldn't be far from the real thing.

It was almost infuriating that Caspar stood still chipper at his side, but Linhardt passed up the opportunity to bitch at him for the sake of collapsing into his arms.

"Horseshit," he mumbled, getting a mouthful of dirty sleeve. "You should have carried me."

Caspar laughed, patient, swaying gently back and forth. "I know," he said, "but I did carry all your stuff."

Linhardt ceded him that. Caspar was warm, gentle despite the vigor of him, and, well... Linhardt would never admit it, but he might have had a bit of a thing for the way he smelled. All... robust, and earthy. Comforting.

"I should learn to Warp long-distance. Like Hubert." He sighed, slumping further into him, letting more weight off his done-in feet. "Ugh," he whined, voice wheedling, "everything hurts, Caspar!"

And apparently the pathos worked (even though he legitimately had not been faking), because Caspar swept him up, held him like an ailing bride. Kissed his hot sweaty face a few times, just for good measure.

"You know what helps me, baby? When my muscles start getting mad at me?"

"Mmn."

"A nice hot bath," said Caspar, the way one might speak of a fine champagne, a string of gleaming pearls. For Linhardt, they sounded at least on par. "That sound good, Linny?"

"Yes."

And Caspar beamed. "Alright, sweetie, let's get you cleaned up."

Linhardt sat... well, as pretty as he could, cold and naked on the bathhouse floor while Caspar drew the bath, fiddling with the sigils that were supposed to heat the water, cursing when they wouldn't stay in line. They'd always been a little temperamental, and Linhardt considered lending a hand, but... Well, sue Linhardt for liking the sight of Caspar putting in effort for him. Sweet thing.

He figured it out quick enough anyway, and once the water steamed invitingly, Caspar turned, with rolled-up sleeves and a triumphant grin. "C'mon in!" he said, trying and failing not to sweep his eyes over his love's slender body. "Water's fine."

That earned him half a laugh, and Linhardt rose creaking to his feet, crossing the room and lifting one angry knee over the edge of the tub before Caspar jolted, told him to wait.

He stripped quickly, nearly tripping over his own trousers, almost elbowing himself in the face, and dove for the tub, making a terrible mess that Linhardt could not have cared less about.

And Linhardt smiled, eased his way into the tub, sinking down into Caspar's lap.

"Thought this'd be comfier than the metal tub," Caspar clarified, as if Linhardt cared at all why he was being treated so sweetly. He just tipped his sore neck back by degrees, left a kiss on Caspar's temple.

"You're too good to me," he sighed, putting a concerted effort into relaxing, into loosening his limbs. The water was hot, almost overly so, but the dull heat enfolded him almost as well as Caspar's body, and his overworked muscles throbbed with the relief of it.

Caspar let him sit for a moment, drawing his hair aside with wet fingers, laying sweet kisses on the nape of his neck. "Feeling any better?"

"Mm..."

A giggle. "That's right, knew it would work." Linhardt was vaguely put out by Caspar shifting, fumbling beneath him, but it occurred that he was only going for the soap. It was just the regular monastery kind, made with olive oil, but the smell of it as Caspar dipped it in the water, lathered his hands, was dearly nostalgic. "Let me clean you up?"

Linhardt nodded weakly, unwilling to put any more strain on his body than he really needed to. It was alright, though, Caspar got him, running warm soap-slick hands over his shoulders, his clavicle. It ached when those hands smoothed over his biceps, and Linhardt whimpered, squirmed, hissed something unsavory under his breath.

"Oh, sorry," Caspar murmured, face buried in sweaty hair. "You must be so sore, poor baby."

"Said it was horseshit." Caspar lightened up at that, not pressing so hard as he washed Linhardt's forearms, his new-callused hands. He went slowly, with a patience he rarely exercised, and when his thumbs pressed into the meat of one palm, Linhardt couldn't help but purr.

"That's right, Linny, relax..." And Linhardt did, having somehow overlooked so much tension until it drained from him, mingling with soapsuds and road dust, tainting the bathwater. "You know, you'll be tougher after this," said Caspar brightly, lips brushing sensitive skin. "Pain is weakness leaving the body, that's what I've always heard!"

"Caspar, love of my life," droned Linhardt, eyes fluttering shut at the feel of Caspar's fingertips kneading his wrist, "you're such an ass."

Snickering. "I know. Hey, can I, uh, wash your chest?"

It was kind of him to ask, considerate, but the mismatch of his body was the last thing on Linhardt's mind--he'd bound all day, a little caretaking sounded fantastic. He nodded again, a tiny smile blooming on his face.

Caspar lathered his hands again, reaching gently for him, fingertips coming to rest without pressure. Slowly, as if being tested, he moved slippery palms over the curves of Linhardt's breasts, cupping them gently in his hands.

And he was so gentle, but the tenderness, the ache under thin skin--Linhardt couldn't help but whine, head listing against Caspar's shoulders. "Ah, that's--that's better, Caspar..."

"Yeah? Can't be easy for you, Linny."

He didn't linger long, slipping fingers awkwardly under Linhardt's arms, then trailing down over his bruised ribs, his abdomen. Under the water, with the soap trailing off, it was less of a wash than a massage, but Linhardt, having found some semblance of bliss, wasn't about to split hairs.

He moaned outright when Caspar's hands kneaded into his thighs, letting them slip apart so he could run fingertips over the insides, chase away the strain.

Caspar'd gone quiet, and if Linhardt could have seen his face, he'd have found him mesmerized, utterly taken in by Linhardt above him, finally unwinding, melting away. But, well, frankly Linhardt didn't need to see him, because he could tell all that from Caspar's cock hardening at the small of his back.

A moment passed, Caspar's fingers tracing little circles on Linhardt's inner thighs, patterns he recognized from when Caspar would draw them on distinct other parts of him.

"Feel good, baby?"

"Y-yes, Caspar..."

"Want me to touch you?"

Linhardt's voice went strangled on his please.

Caspar hummed, kissed his neck, the place where his sharp jaw joined with his ear. Slid one hand up, teased the pads of two fingers against Linhardt's swollen clit, making him sigh.

"Poor baby," he murmured, circling his fingers, "you're just as sore here, aren't you?" And if the line was a little cheesy, Linhardt couldn't bring himself to mind. It was that sappiness, that exuberant, fumbling love that had so captivated him to begin with.

"'S alright, Linny, I'll take good care of you."

"Hm. You always do."

Chapter Text

Linhardt purred, drawing the tip of one finger slowly down Ignatz's neck--over his pulse point, his Adam's apple, down to rest in the dip of his clavicle.

"Do you know what I'd like?" Ignatz hastened to shake his head, absolutely rapt. The press of their bodies was overwhelming, Linhardt's warm weight making him shiver. "I'd like to have you inside me."

Ignatz shuddered, almost cowed, definitely sweating. That was--well, it was a new one on him, and he thrilled with it, fingers tightening on Linhardt's waist "Y-you're sure?"

A wide smile. Linhardt nodded, long hair tickling Ignatz's bare shoulders. "You know I don't say things I don't mean, Ignatz, dear. And don't worry, I've gone to the effort of making quite sure it's safe."

He laughed, then, a little staccato collection of breaths, too fond. "I confess," he murmured, gloriously close to Ignatz's ear, "it's exciting, finally seeing you take charge. I'm just terribly proud of you."

Ignatz couldn't help but smile at that, an earnest, sunshine thing. Breathless. The letter-cum-manifesto was in the post box, would be leaving for home come morning. The war was ended, it told, he'd escaped unscathed, crowned with glory he didn't quite know how to receive. A few military honors, yes, and his parents would be quite thrilled to hear that anybody with a brain in their head would have taken their boy for a knight.

The kicker was that he wasn't going to. He'd changed a coat of arms for a painter's apron. For a simple, quiet life, for Linhardt's stolen heirloom ring around his finger.

It didn't say it, but he'd changed for Linhardt in his bed, soft-skinned, gentle and kind and overwhelming at once. Ignatz couldn't help but want him like that, above him, around him, had never been able to help it. He whined just at the thought, at the permission, rocked up against the curve of Linhardt's thigh.

"That's right," Linhardt murmured, punctuating with a kiss. He reached down with one hand, and Ignatz held him by the waist, supporting his weight as slender fingers wrapped around the band of his pants. "Off?"

A nod. Doing away with the rest of Ignatz's clothes was... a bit of an awkward affair, lots of shuffling, but they couldn't help but smile, but love that in its turn, pressing foreheads together. Linhardt wrapped one cool hand loose around Ignatz's cock, drawing back to watch his face, the way his mouth slid open on a gasp, the catch of teeth around his lip.

"Lin...!"

He didn't need to say much more than that--Linhardt fixed him with a knowing, adoring smile, shifted his hips down, pushed the crown of Ignatz's cock against himself, sliding him back across his slit.

Ignatz could barely take the warmth of him, the wetness, and he hadn't even gotten inside yet. He whined, the only word he could find his fiancé's name again. This, this was what he'd signed up for. Ignatz hadn't been able to quite shake the feeling he was turning his coat, but Linhardt above him, teasing him gently, sharp eyes gone soft with his shameless love... it was worth breaking the rules for.

And he told Linhardt so, in the quiver of his arms around slim shoulders, in the arch, the shake, the throb of him as Linhardt took him slow inside, the fevered breaths shivering loose from his throat.

He was--he was so perfect, so warm, his body languid and accommodating as ever. Ignatz couldn't still his hips, couldn't stifle his noises, couldn't look away from the flush on Linhardt's face, the blissed-out strain in his expression as he adjusted.

"Go on," rasped Linhardt, love pouring off his tongue. "Go on, take me, I'm all yours."

Chapter Text

The first time he'd been with Claude, Lorenz had steepled his fingers, bit his lip, asked him halting not to leave any marks behind. And Claude had been careful, had handled him like heirloom porcelain, but...

Well. It didn't work forever. Lorenz was moon-pale, thin-skinned, but moreover he craved for a rougher hand. He wanted Claude's fingertips tight on his thighs, rough palms holding him down by the shoulders, broad hands circling his waist--and there was simply no way for Claude to love him like that without... signing his work.

Sure, he'd been shocked the first time Claude had strapped on his cock, had him rough over his desk, when he found his hips speckled with bruises next morning. And he'd groused, and lectured, and spent all day squirming whenever his clothes would brush them--but that evening, dressing for bed alone... He couldn't resist taking the time to admire the twilight shade of them, to press into them with his thumbs, to shudder with the brief visceral recollection of Claude's strong body above him, of being taken, being fucked the way he'd longed for. Of being Claude's.

The next time he was in Claude's lap, Lorenz had purred, slowly swept his hair aside, leaned back languid to bare his pretty neck.

"I've got the loveliest high-necked blouse laid out for tomorrow," he'd murmured, voice only quavering a little. "Nobody will be able to see what you leave me with. So please, make me all yours."

It wasn't especially often that Lorenz managed to render Claude speechless, but it--like hands fisted in his hair, like shaking legs held open--stood among the dearest of his pleasures.