our swords meeting @catboytina
our swords meeting

Byleth supposes the joy of dating is something that had missed him entirely, together with most of social pleasures. The life of mercenary, sword in his hand and taste of blood in his mouth, all did little to prepare him for any sort of kissing, holding hands, gift giving and much of all that emotional nonsense. He is a simple creature, one to be likened to a warhound - point him at the nearest enemy and do not pet, unless you wish to lose your hand.

“Duel me.” Jeritza proclaims, unenthustiastic as ever. His gaze is striking like the sharpest of swords and his hair frames his head like an idyllic picture. Byleth just nods and they head to the training grounds.

His sword skills are impeccable and sleek. The mysterious guard wins the first match after minutes of striking and avoiding and predicting, until he finally knocks Byleth’s sword out of his hand with a surprise lunge quick as the bite of a snake. Byleth takes the second win then after, his endurance far above Jeritza’s pure strength, letting him break the stalemate as he simply breaks the sword in half with a strike.

“You are a remarkable opponent.” Jeritza says. An edge of life bleeds into his voice. Much to Byleth’s surprise he does not go for another training sword. To even bigger surprise he looms closer and stares at Byleth in a mix of confusion and expectations blended into one. How a sight they must be to a bystander! Maybe one of the students would know what to do in this situation.

Byleth does not know, so he acts on instinct and kisses the other man. Because he might be a stranger to romance but he is not a stranger to want. And Jeritza’s strong body, his passion for combat, his gaze - Byleth wants this. Wants him.

Jeritza kisses him back and he wants to ask, are you a mage? Because the sparks he feels on his skin send shivers down his spine. (It is something Claude-like rubbing off him.) They take it further than that - very little words, just touches and contact and a little bit of pain. A base desire between two ilk, a demon and a ghost.

His heart blooms open in the months that follow. Turns out, professors do much more than teach. Turns out his teaching is more than adequate and students enjoy his presence. Turns out, all of his students are like shining gems, flowers in the field and he sees their worth and their paths and he can not not care. And turns out he is invested. When a b andit cuts Ignatz in stomach he sees red and a few seconds later the bandit lies bisected on the floor. A new purpose. New path for him to thread, to care for them and let them grow.

And Jeritza. He can not forget about him. He sees his blank look as he passes him in the halls. They duel sometimes and then they fuck and kiss and return to their stations without words. But his now open emotions, all these seedlings of them he can not keep them in check. Mystery. Byleth does not appreciate mysteries. Strange, because he fell in love with one. When he wakes up some days later, dizzy and ready for some combat regiments and when he opens his door he notices a bundle carefully placed before him. As he unwraps the cloth, a blade of the sword shines through - silvered and laced with gold lines on the guard. “I have no use for such an ornament.” Jeritza says to him as he questions him. Byleth quirks his eyebrow at the lie. The sword is obviously of excellent make. “Besides. I think it suits you more.. “ Jeritza relents under the questioning gaze, leaving swiftly immediately after as if Rhea herself called upon his services.  And now Byleth has more confusing (but warm feelings) fluttering inside his chest like a pack of butterflies.

Mystery. Byleth does not appreciate mysteries. Strange, because he fell in love with one.

When he wakes up some days later, dizzy and ready for some combat regiments and when he opens his door he notices a bundle carefully placed before him. As he unwraps the cloth, a blade of the sword shines through - silvered and laced with gold lines on the guard.

“I have no use for such an ornament.” Jeritza says to him as he questions him. Byleth quirks his eyebrow at the lie. The sword is obviously of excellent make.

Next time they have sex Jeritza turns to him after, flustered and with messy head and Byleth feels himself soar.

“Fix my hair.” Jeritza says and Byleth nods. He brushes the locks into submission, smoothes them and ties them in the ribbon. Gentle, so gentle, unlike their duels, unlike their meetings in shadows. Jeritza kisses him in the door and interlocks their hands.

“Call me Emil. Just this once.” he asks of Byleth. His tone is tender, quite unlike the taciturn man.

“Emil.” Byleth breathes before another kiss. After that Jeritza’s expression hardens once again into his shell and he leaves into the night. Byleth does not see him again. Not until he witnesses the figure of the Death Knight on the battlefield. Not until he locks swords with him. He knows that instant, that moment. And then Flayn disappears and oh he knows, he knows but he does not say, even as he watches Seteth squirm in pain. And then Manuella almost dies, and he sees him again. Denial shatters like a wine glass shattering on the floor. The Death Knight singles him out, pays no heed to Lysithea preparing her spell or Hilda unsheathing her axe. “Only one of us will leave tonight. I will enjoy the chance of damnation.” His voice is deep and scratchy beneath the helmet but he recognized it in an instant, he hears the pleading tones.

“Emil.” Byleth breathes before another kiss. After that Jeritza’s expression hardens once again into his shell and he leaves into the night.

Byleth does not see him again. Not until he witnesses the figure of the Death Knight on the battlefield. Not until he locks swords with him. He knows that instant, that moment. And then Flayn disappears and oh he knows, he knows but he does not say, even as he watches Seteth squirm in pain. And then Manuella almost dies, and he sees him again.

Denial shatters like a wine glass shattering on the floor. The Death Knight singles him out, pays no heed to Lysithea preparing her spell or Hilda unsheathing her axe.

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