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Never Deny You

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She finds him in the cathedral again. Her heart leaps in her throat at the sight of his back. He is standing in the same place he has occupied for months now, and her mind is filled with fear that in the short time he was left alone they have lost him once more. 


“Professor.” His voice is calm, holding none of the primal rage it had the last time he said her title. 


Byleth breathes out, releasing her momentarily held tension. Her footsteps echo a slow tap against the marble as she walks to him. “I was worried when you disappeared.”


Dimitri graces her with a smile. It is a sad thing, small and without a hint of happiness. “Apologizes, Professor. For the first time in a long time I feel like myself again, but being around so many people is suddenly overwhelming.”


“I understand.” Byleth nods, not even noticing as she steps closer to him until her fingers accidentally brush against the fabric of his cloak. “When I first came here, I felt the same. It was a bit hard for me to close myself off though, what with a charming prince insisting he accompany me everywhere.”


A bit of light sparks in Dimitri’s eye, and his smile grows a fraction wider. “I would say I wanted you to feel welcomed, but more than that I was afraid you would choose another house. Claude can be rather charming after all.”


“He can be,” Byleth agrees. “But he wasn’t the one who needed me.”


She hears the hiss of air Dimitri pulls in between his teeth, and tilts her head up to meet his gaze. There is something there, something she saw long ago but never had a name for. She knows its name now, because she looks at him the same way. For a moment she thinks he will give it voice, but Dimitri shakes his head and starts to turn away.


Byleth grabs his hand in both of hers. “Dimitri, you must know I feel the same.” A gasp escapes Dimitri’s throat, loud in the holy chamber. “I love you, Dimitri. But...I also love someone else as well. It does not feel right to ask either of you to be with me when my whole heart belongs with you both.”


Dimitri is quiet for a long time, but the silence between them is not uncomfortable. It feels natural, and despite Byleth’s words, there is an ease between them. “I told myself I was unworthy of you,” Dimitri finally says, plowing on despite the protests Byleth opens her mouth to give. “I am unworthy of you. But I want you. I want to spend the rest of our days together, I want to spend every one of those days striving to be worthy of you. Perhaps it is selfish, but this once I want something for myself, something untainted by the voices of the dead. Byleth.” 


Her name is like a prayer on his lips, and Byleth’s knees tremble upon hearing it. No one has said her name to her in so long. Even her father simply called her kid most of the time. Her heart swells despite its inability to beat. She wants him to say her name again, over and over, for every single one of those days he wishes to spend with her. Overwhelmed, she settles instead for pulling his hand, the one still held so tightly in her own, to her lips. She simply lets it rest there, his flesh against her own, unsure and suddenly uncertain.


“I love you, Byleth.”


She feels wetness on her cheek, and realizes she is crying. Dimitri’s free hand cups her cheek, wiping away the tear with his thumb. 


“I say this knowing I share your love with another. Byleth, I would never deny you anything. Please, do not deny yourself happiness because you think you are being unfair to Claude and myself.”


“You knew.” Byleth leans into Dimitri’s hand, her breath warm against the one still held to her lips. 


Dimitri grins and nods. He leans down to rest his forehead against her own. His closeness means she has to drop his hand, but that is fine. This is better. “Like I said, Claude can be rather charming. And I wasn’t half blind back then. I saw the way you two looked at each other.”


Byleth shakes her head, unable to gather her thoughts. Dimitri has scattered them and left her reeling. “Dimitri,” is all she can manage.


“I would never deny you,” Dimitri assures her again, his lips so close to hers now. “If you wish to be with Claude, that is fine. But please, be with me as well.”


“Can you really do that?” Byleth finally manages to ask. “Would you really be fine seeing me in the arms of another man?”


He is so close now Byleth can feel the ghost of his lips against her own. All she would have to do is tilt her head up ever so slightly to press them together. “So long as you were in my arms as well.” 


It takes Byleth a moment, but she finally processes what Dimitri had just said. She blinks up at him like a startled owl. “Oh.”


Dimitri chuckles. It is a wonderful sound, low and addicting, a smooth whiskey poured down her throat. “Besides, he is also very handsome. I would not kick him out of bed.”


Byleth flushes at the thought, and quickly attempts to push it away. Claude is not here right now. She has no idea if Claude would even be open to such an arrangement. But Dimitri is. Dimitri loves her and accepts that her heart belongs to two people. Dimitri wants only to make her happy, and at this moment Byleth very much is. 


She tilts her head up, her lips brushing uncertainly over Dimitri’s. He pulls her body flush against his, deepening the kiss with such enthusiasm Byleth allows herself to simply fall. 


There is still so much to do. There is a capital to retake and a war to finish. And there will be so much to rebuild when it is all over. But for now, for one wonderful night, there is simply the two of them. Perhaps it is selfish, but Byleth does not care. She loses herself in Dimitri’s touch and kiss. It frees something within her, a joy Byleth refuses to let slip through her fingers.


Fhirdiad will be there for them to take in the morning. But that feels a world away.




She cannot name all the emotions that wash over her when they approach Claude. There is hope and relief, and something she has come to understand is love. But there are others so new they have not yet properly introduced themselves. Byleth does not have time to sort them all out. Claude is smiling at them, brilliant and pure, and for once she sees it reflected in his eyes.


And then there is fear. He is leaving, and she is about to lose her chance. There is no guarantee she will see him again if he leaves Fódlan now. The thought leaves her stricken and wordless as Dimitri does his best to convince Claude to stay. She has yet to figure out what exactly Dimitri feels for the other man, and doubts that Dimitri himself has fully sorted it all out.


It is the smallest motion, a turn of his shoulder as he places more weight on one foot preparing to turn away from them, that spurs her to action. They have his bow now, and Dimitri’s words have failed to persuade him. It is her turn. She will not let him leave.


“I never knew you were one to miss a party.”


Claude pauses, eyebrows raised in a silent question. He wavers in her presence.


“You thought we would not take the night to celebrate?” It is bait disguised as a joke. A tactic Claude himself has used too many times. She sees him recognize it, analyze it, and then throw it away. Whatever plan she has, Claude does not believe it will be to his own detriment.


“All right, all right. I wouldn’t want to deprive you guys of my charming wit for such an event. But I must leave in the morning.”


One night. They have one night. 




“I’m glad you decided to stay.”


The footsteps stop, and Byleth turns to face the man who had tried to sneak up on her. Claude stands there, an easy grin on his face with his arms folded behind his head. “Should have known better than to try that with you, Teach.”


Byleth’s answering grin is barely there, but Claude’s lights up at the sight anyways. “And what cause is furthered by you sneaking up on me?”


The sleeve of his coat brushes against her arm as he walks to the balcony railing to stand beside her. Despite the warm night air that blows in from the sea, Byleth finds herself fighting to suppress a shiver. Claude shrugs his broad shoulders, still staring down at Byleth. “Perhaps I hoped you’d be so frightened you’d jump into my arms seeking protection.”


There is a beat of silence before they both brake out into laughter, Byleth’s a series of soft chuckles, while Claude’s is like a clear bell, louder but not enough to drown out Byleth’s. Neither can keep a straight face at how ridiculous an image of damsel in distress Byleth produces. 


“Ah, Teach, I don’t know,” Claude says, wiping a tear from the corner of his eye. “I just saw you there, and you looked so content framed by the moonlight. I…” He trails off, a flicker of realization at what he is about to confess flashing through his eyes before he quashes it. The sight of it gives Byleth hope. “I guess I didn’t want to disturb you.”


“But you came out here anyways?” Byleth challenges lightly. She shakes her head, her smile dying as she allows herself to imagine what it would be like to have Claude’s arms around her. The change in her expression does not go unnoticed.


“Teach, what’s wrong?”


Teach, Teach, Teach. Always Teach. She enjoys the term, finds it endearing even, but right now she longs to hear him call her something else, something so much more intimate. 


Claude reacts with a conflicted bit of movement when Byleth reaches out to take his hand in her own, attempting to flinch away and lean into the touch all at the same time. “I wish you would say my name. Just once.”


She looks up into green eyes, watching as the previous mirth in them slowly fades away. She can see him recalculating, trying to figure out what scheme he missed that has led him here. Calculations and suspicious swirl around those green eyes, showing her the turmoil she has caused. 


When he finally speaks his voice is thick, as if the very words themselves weigh down his tongue. “I think that might be dangerous in this case, Teach.” The last word is pointed, but Byleth cannot tell if it is a warning or a question. 


It does not matter. She had taken her chance with Dimitri. She will do the same with Claude, and hope. If that hope is killed then she will just have to learn to live with it, but she will never regret. There will be no wonderings of what ifs to plague her mind in later years. Those are the things she could not live with, and she is not going to pass up the chance to destroy them here and now.


“Why?” There is no challenge in her tone. 


Claude wavers a little more when she meets him with quiet hope. Byleth does not think he even realizes when his hand wraps around hers a little tighter. “Because you already chose Dimitri.”


“I did.” Byleth grasps his hand tighter when Claude moves to take it away, tracing lines against his flesh with soft touches until he relents. “But in Dimitri’s own words, he would deny me nothing.”


Others would scoff and push her away. But Claude takes the new information and begins to calculate yet again. “He would be fine with another man taking you into his arms?”


“And into my bed,” Byleth clarifies. “But only the one.” 


Claude draws in a sharp breath through his teeth, the soft hiss loud in the silence that has fallen between them. 


“I love Dimitri,” she admits, holding tight to his hand in case he tries to pull away again. “But there is another I love just as much. I can only hope he feels the same. I know it is selfish to desire two people, to ask them both to allow me to share my love with another, but I have spent my entire life not understanding my heart. This though, this I understand.”


“You…” Claude starts out, only to trail off for the second time that night. This is not at all what he expected from her tonight. “Say it,” Claude demands, a mimic of Byleth’s earlier request. “Say it, Byleth.”


Her breath hitches for a moment, and now it is Claude who leaves her speechless. He takes a step closer to her, the hand not clasped in her own lightly wrapping around her arm, but stopping just short of pulling her into an embrace.


“I love you, Claude,” Byleth manages when her breath returns.


His lips press against her own. It is chaste, and she can feel the tremble in his lips as he attempts to withhold his passion. Byleth lets him lead, giving him the time he needs. She finally lets go of his hand as Claude moves to wrap Byleth in his arms, answering her earlier question of what it would be like to be held by him. It is warm and thrilling, safe in a way she has only felt in Dimitri’s arms.


Claude ends the kiss and presses his forehead to Byleth’s. “I feel like I am dreaming. I have wanted you for so long, but you chose Dimitri.” The words are a torn confession, Claude laying his true feelings out for someone for the first time in Byleth does not know how long. “But I can’t help feeling like this is a betrayal. I can’t do that to him. Dimitri my friend, and he just saved my city.”


Claude steps back, and Byleth lets him go. The sorrow in his eyes breaks her heart. This time she does not take his hand, only offers her own for him to hold. He looks like he might cry at the sight, torn between desire and what he considers his loyalty. 


“I told you, Dimitri will not deny me.” Byleth’s voice is soft and soothing. She knows now the proper path to walk. “But I understand why those words alone do not sway you.”


“I don’t think you’re lying, Teach.” Ah, they were back to that now.


Byleth shakes her head, and cuts him off before he can offer further explanation. “I know, but it’s a hard thing to process. Which is why I was about to say we go hear it from the man himself.”


Claude stares at her, all of his schemes falling away at the sight of her offered hand. It means so much more, and when he relents, when his fingers intertwine with her own, Byleth’s heart soars.




Dimitri stands when Byleth leads Claude into the bedchamber they have borrowed for the night, abandoning his glass of wine on the nightstand. “You managed to convince him I see,” he says as he walks to Byleth who is still leading Claude.


“Not quite.” Byleth tilts her head up as Dimitri reaches them, brushing her lips over his jaw. “You should be impressed. He was very worried about hurting you.”


“Oh?” Dimitri turns his eye to Claude.


Claude, for his part, seeing the ease in which Dimitri and Byleth are bantering with each other, relaxes and shrugs. There is still a falseness to the action, showing that he is not completely comfortable, but Byleth is certain they can soon correct that. “Hey, can’t blame a guy for not wanting to screw over the man who just saved him, can you?”


Dimitri throws his head back and laughs, his lips raising in a primal grin. Claude’s hand tightens around Byleth’s, but she squeezes back to reassure him. She was startled the first time she saw it as well, but now she can tell the difference. There is a line Dimitri has crossed, turning that grin from a madness caused by visions of the dead to a love for a life in which Byleth is at his side.


“I appreciate that.” Dimitri moves from Byleth’s side to Claude’s, gripping the other man’s chin in his hand and guiding Claude’s face closer, forcing him to take a step towards Dimitri. “But Byleth and I had an agreement when we started our relationship. I knew she loved you as well as myself, and that is something I can live with. I wish to make her happy. And if you make her happy, then I wish for you to be here with us.”


Byleth can see Claude’s throat bob as he swallows hard. Everything he needs to know is now confirmed, and the last of his schemes seem to melt away as he relaxes in Dimitri’s grip. “This is definitely not an arrangement I saw coming,” Claude admits. “But I think I could get used to it.”


“Good.” Dimitri leans in, slamming his lips to Claude’s in an aggressive kiss. Startled, Claude moans before he can really wrap his head around what is going on, allowing Dimitri to deepen the embrace. Byleth can’t help the breathy laugh that escapes her as Claude literally falls into Dimitri’s strong arms.


When Dimitri pulls away, Claude is left panting on shaky legs. “Wow, didn’t expect that either.”


“I’m sure that won’t be the last surprise we have for you tonight.” Dimitri steps away from Claude, back toward the chair he had occupied when the two entered the room. The kiss seems to have stolen all of Claude’s dexterity, for he almost falls over completely without Dimitri to hold him up. “Play with her, Claude,” Dimitri demands as he settles himself in the chair, wineglass back in hand. “It wouldn’t do to disappoint Byleth.”


Claude’s gaze slowly travels from Dimitri’s smug smirk, and those long legs spread wide enough to accommodate someone kneeling before him, over to her. Byleth suddenly finds herself somewhat nervous under those intense green eyes, alight with a true joy she has never seen in them before. Claude wraps his arms around her and leans in close. “No, that certainly wouldn’t do at all. So, Byleth, why don’t we have some fun?”


When he kisses her this time, it is with all the passion he previously withheld. Byleth wraps her arms around his neck, pressing her body against his. She can already feel him half hard against her, and rolls her hips in a tease that has him moaning into her mouth. Claude breaks the kiss, grinning when Byleth tries to follow. “So that’s how we’re going to play, huh?”


Byleth yelps in surprise when Claude’s fingers brush over the top of her shirt, right where the fabric gives way to skin, only to pull roughly a second later. She hears material tear as Claude undoes the clasp without a care for preserving her garments. She wants to be mad, but he devours her newly exposed flesh with his eyes, and all she can do is shiver. 


“No underclothes?” Claude teases, his warm hands cupping Byleth’s large breasts. Byleth gasps as Claude begins to knead them, practically squirming when calloused thumbs brush over her nipples. He leans in close, breath brushing over Byleth’s ear as he whispers, “Makes me wonder if you forgot a piece down here as well.” His hand drops to her waist, tracing along the top of her shorts. 


“This whole thing is unfair if I’m the only one without clothes,” Byleth protests. Her hands slide down Claude’s sides and pull at the sash around his waist. She frowns as it joins her top on the ground. He has so many more layers than her that it really does seem unfair.


Claude reaches up to undo the clasp of his cloak, letting that too fall to the tiled floor. “You’ll have to work for the rest of it,” he teases, that smug grin on his face that Byleth is determined to end. She wants him moaning her name like it’s a lifeline.


Byleth’s hands go to his hips, drawing them together once more. “I don’t think I’ll need to work very hard, certainly not as hard as you are now.” She smiles sweetly at him as her hand dips between them, cupping Claude’s erection through his pants. 


His smirk falters for a second as he bucks into her hand before catching himself. “Damn By,” he murmurs, but does nothing to stop her as she undoes the laces of his pants and pushes them down. 


He hasn’t given in though. As soon as he steps out of his boots and kicks his pants and smallclothes away, Claude’s hands are at Byleth’s waist once more, undoing the button on her shorts. She cries out when he kisses her neck, sucking hard enough to leave marks that will be impossible to cover up come morning. He trails kisses down her body until he kneels before her, dragging her shorts and tights down as well until she is completely exposed to him. “Looks like I was right. No panties.” Claude smirks up at her, placing the barest hint of a kiss right above where she really wishes he would put his lips. 


Byleth tugs at the fabric of Claude’s shirt until he relents and helps her pull the garment over his head. She tosses it behind her, and takes a moment to appreciate the naked man on his knees in front of her. He is gorgeous, tanned skin and muscle, and looking at her with the same eagerness she feels for him.


She breathes deeply when Claude finally moves, kissing along the inner side of her thigh. His beard scratches against her flesh, and she bites back a moan. “Never would have pegged Dimitri as someone who enjoyed watching.”


Claude’s not so quiet comment draws Byleth’s eyes to her other lover. Dimitri still sits in his chair, wineglass in one hand, the other lazily stroking his own large cock. Byleth bites her lip at the sight of it, remembering the way it fills her so completely, and is thus caught completely off guard when Claude’s tongue teases over her. 


“Ah!” Byleth can see the smirk on Dimitri’s face as he gives himself a rather firm stroke at her shout, and she can feel the answering smirk on Claude’s lips as he continues to explore her with his tongue. “Yes,” she manages, her voice more breathless than she would like. “The night we took back Fhirdiad he had me strip for him, and then ordered me to touch myself until I was soaked and begging for him.”


Claude moans against her and pulls back. She can see her own desire coating his lips before that talented tongue licks them clean. “You can’t do that to a man, By. That’s just too much.”


“Is it?” Byleth reaches down to run her fingers through Claude’s hair, urging his back to her. “If you’re very good, perhaps I’ll put on the same show for you one day.”


He goes back to pleasuring her with his tongue with a new vigor, determined to win her approval. Byleth barely registers the sound of rustling fabric behind her until she feels Dimitri press his own naked body against her. His hard cock rests perfectly against the curve of her ass, pressing her against the two men eager for her. Byleth gasps and bucks her hips against Claude’s face when Dimitri reaches around to cup her breasts. He pinches her nipples between calloused fingers, lips nipping at her neck and shoulder to leave his own marks right alongside Claude’s. 


Dimitri’s foot taps against Byleth’s own, and she obediently spreads her legs a fraction wider. He thrusts between her thighs, his cock brushing against her pussy but not entering her. When she looks down, she sees Claude’s moment of surprise before he leans back in and takes the tip of Dimitri’s cock in his mouth. She moans and leans back against Dimitri’s strong shoulders, letting him hold her up. She does not even try to fight the pleasure she experiences under two sets of talented hands. 


It is a fascinating sight, one she cannot draw her eyes away from. Dimitri continues to fuck her thighs, pulling back just enough to cause a delicious friction, but not enough to completely free Claude’s mouth. Claude, for his part, presses his face against Byleth, moaning eagerly as Dimitri fucks his mouth at the same time. His thumbs rub circles against her thighs, and his nose occasionally brushes against her clit, tearing soft gasps from Byleth’s lips.


“That’s a good look for you, Claude,” Dimitri says, his voice hot in Byleth’s ear. “On your knees, sucking cock like it’s what you were born to do. Perhaps I should fuck your tight ass while you fuck Byleth. You would enjoy that, wouldn’t you?”


The sound of Claude’s moan mixes with Byleth’s. She certainly hopes there is a time they get to enjoy that particular experience. But not tonight. Tonight she wants something else. “Dimitri, not fair,” she manages to say.


“Hmm, and why is that?” Dimitri asks. 


She fights to find an answer as Dimitri’s teeth nip at her earlobe. “You promised!”


“Ah, true.” Dimitri pets the top of Claude’s head, running his fingers through the other man’s hair. “I did promise you would be the center of attention tonight, didn’t I? We’ll just have to save that for next time.” He chuckles, and Byleth knows he feels the same shiver of desire she can pass through Claude. 


Byleth trembles herself, unable to do anything but moan. She is close, so close. Just as she is about to completely lose herself to her pleasure, Dimitri’s hand pulls roughly at Claude’s hair and throws the other man back. He pauses in his thrusts, denying Byleth that wonderful friction that had pulled her so close to the edge. 


“Dimitri,” she whines.


He turns her head and kisses her briefly before resting his chin on her shoulder. “Claude, on the bed,” he orders.


Claude takes a few deep breaths, his eyes wide and eager as he shamelessly takes in the sight of Dimitri and Byleth’s embrace. He stands slowly, and Byleth knows Dimitri’s patience is being tested. “You know, somehow it makes sense that you’d treat the bedroom like a battlefield,” Claude teases as he crawls onto the soft mattress, settling himself against the multitude of pillows. “Needing to dominate your opponents.” 


“I destroy my opponents,” Dimitri answers as he pushes Byleth onto the bed, leaving her kneeling on all fours between himself and Claude. She can picture the wicked grin on Dimitri’s face when he continues. “Would you like for me to destroy you?”


There is a gleam in Claude’s eyes that says ‘yes,’ but he shrugs his shoulders carelessly. “I mean, destroy is a strong word there, Dima. Make love to, have a passionate encounter, a midnight tryst, those sound better.”


“Fuck into oblivion?”


Claude snorts and looks to Byleth. “Just what did you teach him, By?”


Byleth laughs softly, but her answer is cut off when she feels Dimitri’s hands at her back. His fingers, coated in oil, and wherever he got that Byleth is just glad he warmed it up before she and Claude got here, presses against the hole she has not yet let him take. He waits a beat until Byleth presses back against him, giving him permission to continue. For all Dimitri’s dominance, he would never do anything without her permission first. Byleth breathes out as Dimitri presses a finger into her, grateful when Claude leans forward and caresses her cheeks. His hands are warm and pleasant, giving Byleth something else to focus on as Dimitri prepares her. 


When Dimitri is satisfied he pulls his fingers away, and Byleth practically collapses into Claude’s arms. “You’re doing great, By,” he assures her. Byleth simply hums happily as Claude places kisses from her forehead down across her cheek and ending at her jaw.


It isn’t long before she feels Dimitri’s warm hands again. They guide Claude’s hands down to her hips, and together they position her over his hard cock. Byleth moans loudly as both men lower her onto Claude until he is fully sheathed within her tight heat. Below her, Claude’s fingers dig into her hips as she surrounds him, his groan almost inaudible under Byleth’s own expressions of pleasure. 


Dimitri kisses trail up her shoulder blade until his chest is pressed against her back. Byleth feels his cock against her ass, pausing before he pushes in. “How does he feel, Byleth?”


“Good,” Byleth answers, her voice shaky. “He’s big.”


She hears them both laugh, and Claude flashes her an all too pleased smirk. 


“Can you take more?” Dimitri asks.


“Yes!” Byleth hisses through closed teeth, her patience running out. “Please, Dimitri, I want you both!” 


When Dimitri slowly enters her, Byleth cannot believe how full she feels. The two men she loves, the men who love her, begin to thrust into her in a slow rhythm. It’s almost more than she can take. Byleth can do nothing but react, moaning and praising as their hands and lips caress her. Claude and Dimitri begin to thrust faster, keeping in time with each other for the most part. 


Claude’s fingers dig into her hip, Dimitri’s mimicking the action of her other side. Green eyes fall closed as Claude chants her name, his other hand seeking her breasts and squeezing roughly. Byleth’s head falls forward as she presses against him, breathlessly whispering his name when he guides her breast to his mouth. Her arm buckles and gives out, sliding behind Claude’s head, his soft hair brushing against her arm every time he moves his head. 


She yelps when Dimitri moves his hand from her hip and slaps her ass, leaving her with a sharp and delicious pain. His fingers gasp at her abused flesh, steading her as he continues to fuck her. 


And then Dimitri’s other hand gathers a fistful of Byleth’s hair at the base of her neck, and he pulls. Byleth’s entire body tilts back towards Dimitri, causing Claude to thrust into her at a whole new angle that has her seeing stars. 


“Shit, Dima, whatever you just did do it again,” Claude moans. “She’s squeezing me like she never wants to let go.” His thrusts are out of time with Dimitri’s now, becoming more unsteady the closer he comes to completion. 


Dimitri complies, pulling Byleth’s hair again. Byleth is absolutely sure she now sees actual stars, screaming out as pleasure takes her over. She trembles in their arms before collapsing against Claude’s chest. Claude manages a few more hard thrust into her over sensitive body before the tightness and heat of her overwhelms him. He buries himself completely in her body, releasing himself inside her. 


Byleth buries her face against Claude’s neck as Dimitri continues to thrust into her. “Damn man, cum already,” Claude growls. Byleth hears noise above her and vaguely registers that Claude has pulled Dimitri into a kiss. Dimitri’s thrusts falter, and a moment later he moans Byleth’s name as he spills himself inside her as well. 


There is a brief moment when she is pressed between them, but Claude reaches up and helps guide Dimitri off her and onto the bed instead. One of Dimitri’s arms remains around her waist, while both of Claude’s hold her to his chest.


“Love you both,” she murmurs, not sure if they can hear her voice and unable to speak any louder. 


Byleth drifts off, too exhausted to keep her eyes open any longer, to the sound of her lovers’ voices speaking to each other in quiet whispers.




She wakes when a warmth leaves her side, making her suddenly shiver with cold. In the low light of false dawn, Byleth sees Claude ease himself out of the bed and begin to gather his clothes.




He pauses when she says his name. Byleth watches his shoulders slump before he turns around and leans over the bed to brush his lips over her own. “I didn’t want to wake you.”


Byleth is less than impressed with this answer. “You didn’t want to say goodbye,” she accuses.


Claude’s head drops and he sighs heavily. “Yeah, all right, you got me. I wasn’t sure how to say goodbye in this situation honestly.”


“You promise you’ll come back,” Byleth responds. She sits up, letting the blankets fall from her, and enjoys the way Claude’s eyes sweep over and down her breasts and stomach before he can stop himself. “I understand why you have to leave, I do, but I want you to come back.” She reaches up to caress both of his cheeks, and Claude leans into her touch. “I need you to come back.”


“I did promise her a next time,” Dimitri’s sleep heavy voice reminds them, alerting them both to the fact that they had woken him as well. Claude takes a deep breath and Byleth bites her lip as they recall just what Dimitri has promised to do to Claude.


Claude takes one of Byleth’s hands and kisses the inside of her wrist. “Of course I’ll be back. I didn’t tell you I love you just to spend a single night with the two of you.” His other hand reaches out to grasp the hand Dimitri offers him that Byleth did not notice until their intertwined hands rests against her hip. “You two have to promise me you’ll survive as well. You’ve come too far to fall now.”


Of course. Enbarr. Edelgard still waits for them. For one night Byleth had allowed herself to forget. One night is all she can afford. They have to end this war.


“We’ll survive,” Dimitri promises for the both of them. “And when the war is over, we’ll help you with your dreams.”


Claude smirks before it eases into a genuine smile. “You’ll be doing that anyways once Fódlan is yours,” he answers a bit too cryptically. “I won’t be gone for long, and when I return we’ll figure out how this whole thing between us will work.”


Byleth does not want to let him go, feels a pain in her heart when Claude pulls away from them, but she knows she can’t make him stay. “I love you, both of you.”


Claude nods while Dimitri sits up as well to kiss her cheek. “I love you too,” Claude answers, directing his words at her. His gaze turns to Dimitri, the spark of mischief coming back to his eyes. “Dimitri, you’re certainly growing on me.”


Dimitri laughs, and Byleth enjoys the way his chest rumbles with mirth against her back. Together they watch as Claude quickly throws on his clothes, tongue tisking lightly when he notices a tear in his pants. Byleth simply looks to her own torn top when Claude turns to her with a melodramatic air of hurt pride. 


A laugh and a quick kiss for them both is what they are left with as the sound of Claude’s footsteps quickly fade once he leaves the room. Byleth sinks back into Dimitri’s embrace.


“Are you sad, my love?” he asks, kissing the top of her head.


Byleth shakes her head. “Of course not. I am loved and happy. How could I be sad?” She sees him smile as she tilts her head up, brushing her own lips against his jaw. “But I am rather sore, so I’d like a few more minutes to simply rest here in your arms.”


Dimitri snorts with laughter and pulls Byleth tighter into his embrace. “I could never deny you such a request.”