edelclaude collection @fursvelg
starcrossing.

Cozying up to Duke Riegan was, frankly, not on Edelgard’s agenda, but it seems her heart had made the decision for her. They walk hand in hand, hidden in the midnight shadow. Claude is talking aimlessly, as they had been for the past hour. Going back to their separate rooms didn’t appeal to them, so they swing their hands as they walk and talk ridiculous, endless circles. He says, she says, they mumble and chuckle in agreement, and inch ever closer.

“Who goes there?!” someone calls from nearby. They turn on their heels, refusing to release their grip, but see nothing. “Show yourself!” 

Claude gestures across the way, and Edelgard’s eyes go wide - one of the soldiers, making his rounds, is walking towards their path. Before either thinks, each dives towards a very skinny alley, trying and failing, to keep their footsteps silent as they run; tripping in their love drunk haze. Their hands are still tightly clasped, and thus, Claude ends up dragging Edelgard behind. Were there a moment to curse her short legs, she would. As they finally pull into the alley, what little moonlight illuminated their way is now obstructed, barely able to see the other’s face in front of them.

The walls bind them tight together, hoping the soldier would neglect to turn his head towards them. Claude’s chest rises and falls, a little out of breath, but Edelgard was just as winded. They lock eyes, quiet, noses bumping as they wait. Jokingly, Claude puts his finger to his lips, and Edelgard tries to emphatically stop him, hitting at his arm. 

“H-huh?” They hear the soldier, his voice muffled from his helm, heavy metal footsteps echoing. Then, from somewhere in the courtyard, a cat yowls, and the soldier laughs. “Ha! Suppose you were just kit-en around out here, huh?” 

Edelgard holds in a groan and rolls her eyes. Claude revels in her little annoyance, as it gives them just a moment to be. Neither wants to move. The metal footsteps echo, and fade entirely. Edelgard gulps in, an audible gasp, and it seems so loud against their purposeful silence. “We can move now, I think.” Claude tells her.

“Yes, I think so.” And yet, Edelgard does not move. 

“We should probably get back to our rooms, before we get caught.” He lets out a half laugh, “Can you imagine the scandal, the brave Emperor Hresvelg, flirting with the most handsome Duke?” And yet, Claude does not move.

She humors him, “Do you suppose General Eisner could still assign us detention?”

“Why would they start now?” Claude reminds. Then, his curiosity is far too piqued, unable to imagine the austere Black Eagles’ House Leader, sitting in detention, filling out Manuela’s paperwork for her, or some other silly punishment. “Did you ever get detention?”

“Only once.” She admits, faux-bashful, “And I blame you.” 

“Me?” He pretends to be aghast at the preposition. 

You kept me up all night after the ball, and I… perhaps overslept and missed the mandatory meeting the next morning.” 

“But you had fun.” He retorts.

“I did have fun.” She says with a smile, though he can barely see it. 

Claude, with little warning, tilts his head down and kisses her cheek. They are too cramped to truly embrace, but Claude tries to stretch his arms around her anyway. “I love you.”

Pinked at her cheeks, Edelgard tries to shush him, “I love you too, but, we cannot tell-” 

“A soul. I know.” Claude completes for her. He’s heard it too often, and knows it’s true. People already had whispers about Edelgard, about him, about their histories and how they ended up leading an army against the Church, against everything. A woman, and a man like him? They had to be perfect at all times. They didn’t have the benefit of the doubt others got. “It’s okay, El, we’ve got time.” 

Something in her face says that she doesn’t agree, but Claude cannot see it in the low light. Instead, she speaks with a mutter, looking up at him, “Khalid, my love…” she trails off, the thought dying on her tongue. 

So close together, neither really thinks about it when their eyelids flutter down, when Edelgard rolls up onto her tiptoes, so she could be even closer. Neither is bothered by their lack of maneuvering room, by sharing their breath. Claude speaks first, breaking the reverent silence, “May I?” He thumbs at her bottom lip, and Edelgard, a little bit too enthusiastically, nods her head.

The first, muted press of lips is brief, gentle, like the meeting of two lovers on the stairs. They are sweet, but too afraid to have for more than a moment. Having is a very dangerous game, for the threat of losing is always levied. Edelgard pulls away first, sighing. Shared gaze lingers just long enough, tongues flicked out over lips and bodies pressed too tight. And then, with a hop up from Edelgard, they lean back in, Claude’s arms around her waist. 

In silence, they gasp and mutter in an open mouth kiss; really, a series of kisses, warm and fervent. Nothing like the first; they were slowly learning that there was no point in halfway measures. They know they should let go, escape to somewhere more private, but instead, their grips simply tighten. Hands slide up, into Claude’s collar, and hands slide down, around Edelgard’s hips. 

They only break when they cannot breathe anymore, and only for a moment. Those moments of rest are horrid, too empty, too bereft of the other, and only last as long as they must. Only as long as it takes to mutter out, “Don’t let go,” and “Please, stay,” and, “I love you.” 

1. starcrossing. 969 0 0