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Overthinking

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There were little things that had to be taken care of every so often. They weren’t fights on a grand scale, big battles that would require the army’s full force or even its strongest warriors. They were more like the sort of small threat that could later become a problem and should be nipped in the bud now or maybe a nearby village was being menaced by Vallite forces or rogue troops. Nothing too intense.
This was one such issue, nothing Corrin herself was going to become involved with, only telling those who were concerned that they could take care of it if they wished, though she would prefer they leave well enough alone.

“Injuries can be taken care of, yes, but I don’t want any of you to be hurt when you don’t have to be,” she said.

Everyone, of course, was good-natured about her concern for them and the fact that she loved everyone in her group enough to consider telling them not to fight. But all loved her enough that they would do it anyway if it meant no surprise attacks to come.

Silas had taken it upon himself to lead the outgoing group this time. It wasn’t a bad idea; he was good at commanding people and everyone liked him. In time he would surely be a well-known and well-respected knight. The beasts had both volunteered to come out, though Kaden was likely only leaving to find something with which to impress Sakura (his crush on his “naptime buddy” was becoming rather obvious to all) and Keaton seemed to enjoy the fighting, but what he enjoyed more was scavenging for refuse amongst the fallen enemy warriors. Peri had immediately jumped on the opportunity to get out and let heads roll, Laslow reluctantly followed (“someone has to keep an eye on her,” he had said with a grimace, “it might as well be me. I’m used to it by now”), and Niles volunteered to go under the pretense of helping, but it was far more likely that he was going to be just as bad as Keaton with a primary goal of looting as much as possible from the fallen enemy. Camilla, though she wanted to go and protect everyone, could not and so she sent Beruka and Selena along with the group in her stead. Both women would do plenty of damage.

They had to prepare to leave and so split away from each other with orders to meet near the Astral Fort’s exit in a half hour. Silas found himself in Jakob’s company in no time, the other man having heard of what was to be happening and wanting to help him prepare himself.

“I know it’s just a small operation,” Jakob said as he gave Silas a good once-over, making sure his armor was fastened right and not damaged anywhere. That he was properly protected. “But as I’m sure you’ve noticed, our enemies seem to be getting stronger as of late. Don’t you dare get yourself hurt out there.”

“I won’t,” Silas insisted as he inspected the lance he would be taking out. “I’m not going to let my guard down.”

Jakob was quiet and only watched Silas, taking in the look of concentration on his face as he continued scrutinizing his weapon. He sighed. He wanted to go, if only to make sure his lover would actually be safe. He’d had a bad feeling about this as soon as the news came to him and it had put him in a more sour mood than usual. But Corrin wasn’t going and so he wasn’t going: his duty was to her first after all, and if she wanted as few people to go as possible, then he was in no place to leave.

“Hey. I’m going to be alright, ok?” Silas’ voice snapped him back into focus and he felt the other man kiss his cheek. Silas smiled at him after that, green eyes practically shining with confidence. Jakob felt a particularly bad wave of some sickening sinking feeling hit him suddenly. Silas didn’t seem to notice his discomfort, only walked past him and grabbed a sword, now taking a good look at that too.

“I don’t know why you’re so worried. I’ve assisted in little skirmishes like this a lot and I haven’t come back with anything worse than a few cuts and bruises,” he said conversationally, swinging the sword through the air with a satisfying swoosh.

Yes, but this time you’re leading them and I remember watching you get beat thoroughly just before you joined Corrin’s cause, Jakob thought to himself. A leader finds themselves in quite a different situation than any other rank. You know this.

“Jakob?”

Silence. But Silas knew the feeling of eyes on him and when he had turned to look at Jakob, he was surprised. He had expected a look of disapproval, maybe even a glare followed by a look of feigned disinterest. But he hadn’t seen this particular expression on Jakob’s face before, hadn’t ever seen this particular look in his eyes, and it made his heart hurt.

“Jakob…?” Silas started to reach out, taking half a step towards his partner--

“Silas.” Jakob said sharply all of a sudden, expression now a glare. “Don’t make me waste my time grieving for you. How the hell are you supposed to fix that and repay me if you’re dead? No, you can’t get out of it that easily."

Silas blinked, still frozen mid-step, hand still in the air, and then he laughed. Jakob huffed, averting his gaze suddenly and turning rather abruptly to try and find something, anything to busy himself with. “Reprehensible,” he muttered angrily. But Silas’ laughter was contagious and Jakob soon found himself chuckling lightly.

“Do you feel better now?” Silas asked in a breathy sigh after his laughter finally died down, wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand. “Ah, I’ve got to go about now—“

He was once more cut off by Jakob, finding himself being pulled into a hug. But it was much too tight and Jakob had buried his face in the crook of Silas’ neck and somehow it felt even more deeply personal and hit him much harder than if he had just been kissed goodbye. He gently wrapped his arms around Jakob in return, patting his back and reassuring him softly,

“Don’t worry. I’m coming back. I promise.”

Chapter Text

Dread, Jakob realizes, is the feeling he’d gotten earlier. But he keeps that thought to himself, ignores the little pangs of it that still bother him, and continues fixing Corrin her tea.

Silas finds himself on the ground, bleeding, hurting. His first mistake, he realizes, is not having one of the healers around. Or even someone just good with using staves. He didn’t insist on it, everyone else in the group felt plenty confident about this little trip, and they seemed well stocked on medical supplies. The vulneraries didn’t go all that far in the end. Oh, wait. Wasn’t Niles around somewhere? Silas is sure he saw the man carrying a Mend spell with him, but maybe he’s just preoccupied healing someone else. Or fighting. Either or.

He groans. His left arm felt… odd. He must have fallen on it. Wait, where did his horse go? No, wait, that wasn’t quite as important as assessing his arm. It didn’t feel broken, but moving it too quickly could potentially make that into a reality. He clenches his fist a couple of times and it hurts, but he can do it and the pain starts to subside the more he moves.

“Wait, there’s MORE?!”

Selena’s exasperated voice is very easy to pick out but it’s Peri’s shriek of discontent that really unsettles him. She’s usually far too excited about the prospect of killing enemies, even more so when they have surprise reinforcements. Silas readies himself to stand, but as soon as he does, his vision swims and he blacks out.

“You’re shaking,” Corrin observes.

“No, I’m not,” Jakob begins to say but then realizes he can’t exactly deny it when his teacup is clinking quietly against the saucer in his hand as he holds it up.

“Are you worried?” she asks, concern in her eyes.

“No,” Jakob insists as he puts down his cup, “I’m not.”

Corrin only looks at him with minor disbelief, considering whether or not she should take a few people out on an emergency backup mission.

“Ohh, that’s where you went. Well… at least you’re not dead.”

Silas had just sat up (and fought a bad dizzy spell, too— what happened to him?) when he heard Niles’ drawl from somewhere to his right. He was turning to look at the other man when he felt himself being hefted up to his feet.

“I watched the entire thing happen,” Niles said after helping Silas up, though he kept a hand on his arm to make sure he wouldn’t fall over again. “You took a particularly bad hit with a lance that knocked you off your horse and then caught the bad end of some other guy’s club. Not sure he even meant to hit you.” Niles laughed dryly. “It was... exciting to witness.”

Silas regarded him grumpily.

“Why didn’t you help me?”

Niles shrugged.

“They thought you were dead, I think. If I’d rushed over to help you…” his voice trailed off. Silas knew what he meant. He had been in no condition to get back up and fight again and if they had assumed he was dead but found out he wasn’t… well. He was sure they’d finish the job before Niles even got close.

“Just… help me out now,” Silas muttered.

“Sure, sure,” Niles said, twirling the staff he’d brought with him between his fingers before properly using it. “This thing’s on its last legs. You’d better not get too seriously injured again.” Though he said it, Silas wasn’t sure he really meant it. There was a disconcerting look in his eye that made Silas want to squirm and he again found himself wondering whether or not the man was really as trustworthy as Lord Leo insisted he was.

It really hadn’t been enough time to judge whether or not the fighting was going well, but Corrin had to admit that she herself had a peculiar feeling about the entire event anyway.

“Even if we get there and they’re fine, I’m sure they’d appreciate the company on the return trip,” she said with a smile, but a pointed glance in Jakob’s direction. He was doing very well in terms of keeping his composure but she knew he was definitely upset. In a way that was what spurred her into action: it deeply disturbed her. While she didn’t always want to think about the more unpleasant aspects of his nature, the fact that he was showing any amount of worry for another human being that wasn’t her just reinforced her odd suspicions.

The group she’d gathered all nodded and left to quickly get ready. Jakob lingered behind.

“What are you waiting for?” Corrin asked, amused. “Get ready.”

“I already am.”

When Jakob first spotted Silas his initial thought was “he looks like a wreck and I need to help him” but that quickly turned to “what the hell was that idiot thinking?!” He said this aloud as soon as he got to Silas in a voice that was a little too loud and wavered at times, but he thinks he still got his point across. Silas at least had the good sense to look remorseful the entire time he was being lectured.

If he was blushing, it was because he’d heard the quiet snickering from those close enough to hear it. Not that they were able to laugh for long: Jakob, fired up, rounded on them as soon as he noticed.

Sakura and Elise had their hands full when the party returned to the Astral Castle. The reinforcements had made quick work of the remaining enemies, but Felicia and Jakob could only do so much for those who had been injured.

“Thank goodness there were no deaths this time,” Silas heard Sakura say as she tended to Selena’s wounds a few feet away from his spot. Elise voiced her agreement as she tried her best to keep Kaden still so she could properly check for injury. There was a sudden crashing and a few startled yelps and some irritated grumbling followed shortly by Felicia apologizing profusely. Not wanting either of the young princesses to have to step away from the people they were helping, Silas decided he would get up to help control the damage caused by the maid. He instead found himself being pushed gently back down by Jakob.

“Sit down,” the butler muttered.

“But Felicia did someth—“

“Subaki and Hana are on it already.”

“Oh.”

Silence. It kept on as Jakob assessed Silas’ injuries, bandaging what he could and using healing magics on more serious looking wounds.

“Thank you, by the way.” Silas said after a while. Jakob didn’t look up from cleaning a bad cut on Silas’ arm. “For coming after me.”

“Corrin insisted,” Jakob said, grabbing a salve for the wound. “I just followed her.”

Silas chuckled a little at that.

“Is that so?”

“Of course,” Jakob began to wrap bandaging around Silas’ arm. “But this is a sorry state you’re in.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“Really, it is annoying that I have to do everything myself. Keep you alive, get you to keep your promises… you do realize that if you had died back there, you’d have broken a promise to me? It’s annoying.” He had finished bandaging Silas’ arm and stood up, straightening his clothes out. “So inconsiderate,” he muttered.

“But I did come back,” Silas pointed out. Jakob glared at him.

“So you did.”

“I love you.”

Jakob’s frown deepened but his cheeks went pink and he turned away from Silas. Fearing he had actually irritated the man at this point, Silas reached out to get his attention again when he suddenly found himself pulled into a kiss. There were a few whoops and some giggling from the other occupants of the healing tent, but they quickly stopped when the two parted.

“I’m still mad at you,” Jakob insisted, but for once he had a soft smile on his face.

“I know.”