Byleth fidgeted under Dimitri’s fingertips, a notion that was quickly mistaken as discomfort. But it was different; it wasn’t that he was uncomfortable. He was afraid.
“Byleth, are you alright? Is this… is it too much?”’
The male shook his head quickly, but the prince seemed unconvinced. Taking his lover’s hands in his own, the blonde found that they were trembling. He brought them to his lips, kissing his knuckles gently — over and over — til the shaking ceased.
Byleth felt stupid. He felt stupid, and he felt weak. All they’d done was kiss. All Dimitri had done was slide his hands down to his hips and pressed their lips together, and he could already feel the tears welling up and the sound of his breath quickening. Hadn’t this been fine before?
But before, things had been different. An unspoken change had occurred between them. Had it started when Byleth was revealed to be the vessel of the goddess, potentially immortal? Had it started because Dimitri had gone mad and killed someone in front of his own lover, for his own lover? Was it because it had been five years since they had seen each other, and when Byleth came back, all Dimitri had to offer were harsh words and behaviors until mow? He couldn’t pinpoint which one, but Dimitri knew the answer— it was all of the above. Like fractures on glass, it had begun at one end, then became an intricate web of small and large cracks, each contributing to the fact that it was about to shatter.
”My love, talk to me.”
At that, the tears began to fall. Byleth had never been good at talking. He had always preferred to show his feelings through actions rather than words, but now, he didn’t know how to do either.
“I’m…” he felt his hands begin to seize up as his breathing quickened. The tremors that had begun at his hands now overtook his whole body. It wasn’t long before Dimitri recognized what was occurring , but at the same time, he felt helpless in comforting Byleth.
Wordlessly, he wrapped Byleth up in his arms and pulled his shivering frame into his lap. “Shh…” he soothes, whispering sweet nothings. He stroked his partner’s teal hair, gathering the strands between his fingers.
They stayed like this for what seemed like an eternity to Dimitri, but a mere few minutes to Byleth. Finally, the professor pulled away, clearing his throat anxiously.
“Yes, my love?”
“I’m… so afraid.”
The blonde froze. His immediate thought was, of me?
“I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to lose this… us.” He wouldn’t meet Dimitri’s faze. The prince took notice.
“You will never lose me. I promised to be by your side as long as I am alive.”
”But there’s so much we don’t know, Dima!” His voice came out a bit harsher than intended, but it was more out of desperation than anger.
“Byleth, you need to trust me.”
There was a pause, then a deafening silence, before Byleth spoke up again, “How?”
“How am I supposed to trust you now? After all that...” Realizing what he had said, his eyes widened and he stopped mid-sentence.” Dimitri knew the rest: After all that you’ve done. After all that we’ve been through.
“Yes?” It was his voice’s turn to tremble.
“I didn’t mean it… like that.”
“No, it’s quite alright. I understand.”
”Dimitri..” Byleth reached out to grab the prince’s wrist, before hesitating, drawing his hand back.
Dimitri took that as his cue to leave. Byleth was left alone in his bedroom, curled up in a ball and reduced to nothing more than numb. He couldn’t bring himself to cry. He couldn’t bring himself to even process what had just occurred. It had all… escalated so quickly.
From down the hall, he heard a frustrated shout and the sound of a window shattering.