To the Path Ahead | FE3H Fanfiction

Word count: 2300 (5 to 17 minutes) | Rating: T | Fire Emblem: Three Houses Spoilers| Characters: Ferdinand von Aegir and Hubert von Vestra (Ferdibert)

Hubert was willing to agree to a large ceremony befitting of Ferdinand’s opulence, but he was surprised to find his soon-to-be husband agreed to the relatively small affair. Even Bernadetta accepted once she saw the short guest list. The wedding was held in Aegir territory, naturally. He wanted to give his vows on the shores where he grew up, running barefoot in the sand. It was also convenient for Her Majesty to attend as a member of their combined marital party, standing alongside Dorothea, Petra, Lorenz, and Caspar. Linhardt thanked them soundly for not involving him in that much standing.

All in all, the event went as anticipated. Hanneman wept as they exchanged their vows, likely pushed on by Manuela’s own sentimental display. Shamir and Byleth refrained, expressing their support instead with faint smiles. Preferable to Hilda’s animated cheering that Mercedes felt inspired to support for whatever reason. From the Ashen Wolves, a gift arrived by messenger on account of the sunny shores not agreeing with Constance and the timing not agreeing with Yuri’s schedule. No reason was given for Hapi, who insisted on referring to him by her nickname for him, and Hubert was too generally relieved that Balthus didn’t come to be troubled by it.

By the time everyone had retired for the night, Ferdinand still had energy enough to grin at Hubert while they walked to the marital suite. The Aegir estate had changed drastically since Ferdinand resided there as a child, mainly by becoming more open in its design at the behest of the new Prime Minister. Smothering extravagance was gradually replaced with inviting décor featuring large windows that could be opened to allow in ocean air. What was now the suite had once been for hosting political guests before it was repurposed as a private residence within the surrounding estate.

Hubert gave him a smirk, hand already in his from the moment they started walking. “And what’s that look for?”

“Could it be that I am overjoyed to have you to myself at last, my darling husband?” Ferdinand stepped closer to Hubert, his ribboned braid swaying with him.

The color schemes of their outfits were shared, of course, but it was simple fact that Ferdinand wore it better. Gold trim lined the length of his black pants that matched his gold gloves. On his white blazer, gossamer fabric draped from his shoulders and floated behind him ethereally. He left the front undone hours ago, and wisps of his curly hair had freed themselves from the braid. Even so, he carried an air of easy elegance that permeated the lantern-lit halls. Such was Ferdinand.

Hubert chuckled and, this once, let himself have the unfettered lightness in his chest with a tender smile. If he couldn’t treat himself at his own wedding, well, when could he? “Eager to break in the new title, I see.”

“How could I ever not be?” With an unambiguous heat in his stare not unlike the first touch of sunrise, Ferdinand neglected to watch where he was walking in favor of affecting Hubert with that look. His success left both of them carelessly striding forward. “Aren’t you?”

They’d been flirting all along, obviously. Ferdinand insisted on spending the night before apart and admittedly, it had brought them back to the stage of their courtship consisting largely of teasing banter. When challenged to kiss one another over stacked sweet buns without toppling them, a ridiculous time-honored custom of Adrestia, Ferdinand paused beforehand to whisper that his white blazer looked dashing—and easier to remove than his usual Imperial attire. Hubert had primarily his height to thank for not knocking over the buns by accident from his reaction. Neither had abandoned the competition since then.

“Without a doubt,” he agreed, an almost foreign levity in his tone. Relatively. “Perhaps with less embellishment. I typically leave such theatrics in more talented hands.”

The innuendo didn’t elude Ferdinand, ducking his head as if he hadn’t demonstrated those talents for Hubert personally on several occasions prior. Had his hair not be tied up in red ribbon, Hubert was confident his husband would be playing with it to disperse that eager energy. His fluster and fervor over intimate acts were often evenly matched, another feat that was seemingly impossible until Ferdinand. And in fairness, Hubert himself. To a lesser extent.

That concluded their trip to the suite, or it should have. Abruptly after Hubert opened the double doors, Ferdinand threw an arm out in front of their path. A renewed gleam in his eyes indicated that the cause of it mattered to him a great deal.

“I almost forgot! There is a good luck custom in Aegir for newly married couples.” In the utmost seriousness, Ferdinand put himself between Hubert and the open doors to the suite. “I must carry you.”

“Pardon?” He chuckled at the thought—him, bridal style in Ferdinand’s arms and attempting not to be too awkward to hold—but he knew that determined look from much farther off than directly in his face. His chances of evading the amorous suggestion were slim. He had to continue reminding himself that there was nothing to gain from escaping these offers to begin with. “I can walk, Ferdinand.”

“For good fortune,” he persisted, enthusiastic as he always was with his fancifully romantic imaginings, “one partner must carry the other across the threshold of their quarters on the night of the wedding.”

“You believed you would carry me.” Angling his expression to convey dry amusement was second nature to Hubert, as commonplace as drinking water. He assumed that consistent presence caused it to be entirely ineffective against Ferdinand.

“But of course! Please, Hubert,” he bargained, dipping into a tone design to appeal to Hubert’s affections. That and putting his hands on Hubert’s were the decisive moves that secured his victory. “I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a boy.”

Not one to disappoint Ferdinand with an easy triumph, Hubert looked down on him with quite possibly the softest smirk he had delivered since he was a boy.

“What, no effusive praise for my role as your husband? I’m not sure now that you deserve it.”

That Ferdinand smirked in response, his excitement melding with his competitiveness, was a testament to how far they had come since they met at the monastery. He did not bristle at Hubert’s mockery, but flourished from his taunt.

Cradling rather than covering Hubert’s hands, Ferdinand followed the underside of his arms with his open hands. The gesture brought him chest to chest with Hubert as he traced the length of his spine. Experience proved that as a weakness of his available to Ferdinand alone. Dull threads of pleasure weaved under those fingers on his back, and Hubert kept his expression level. Pointlessly, considering his breath was actually audible then.

“Very well,” he answered, his voice nesting between them. “You’ve convinced me.”

“As I knew I would!” He took advantage of their proximity to dart up for a quick kiss before wrapping an arm around Hubert to support his back.

“You’ve settled into this rather quickly,” he noted, putting his own arm around Ferdinand to do his part. Ferdinand focused on his task over replying. Bending down to place his arm behind Hubert’s knees, he lifted him with no more strain than a stack of papers. In general, Hubert disliked it when his feet left the ground. Yet—there was a distinct quality to the experience when being picked up by the man he’d chosen to spend the rest of his days with. Particularly with such ease. He put a hand to Ferdinand’s chest, hoping in vain to determine if his was the only slightly elevated heart rate.

Those sun-washed amber eyes fixed on his, smiling radiantly, and Hubert found himself grateful to be off his feet in the face of a combination of steadily drinking all night and his partner’s charms.

“Are you ready, handsome husband of mine?”

“You’re absurd,” he teased, shaking his head. But there truly was no containing him once he was swept up in his dramatics. But Hubert had already decided to let himself enjoy that night. Stopping at the entrance of their suite seemed foolish. “Yes. I trust you.”

That was the finishing touch. Ferdinand sighed blissfully, the way he typically reserved for happy endings at the opera or a novel closed with a kiss. He glided through the open entryway with his rapt attention on Hubert held in his arms. He’d been held there plenty, of course. Not quite like this. Not on their wedding night either.

Hubert didn’t dwell on thoughts of his marriage much as a child like Ferdinand had. He pictured it as a political ceremony above all. Certainly nothing as transformative and sincerely magical as this. Even the activities they’d done time and again glowed at the edges, aloft with the promise of a full future ahead. He was undeniably self-conscious in a removed sense. Hubert, the Minister to the Imperial Household, carried across the threshold of their marital suite by his husband. Laughable. It didn’t suit a sinister figure such as him. With Ferdinand beaming at him like he was, it hardly mattered.

“I love you,” Ferdinand reminded him, in the event he had forgotten in the short time that had passed since they made their vows. He strode ahead levelly despite carrying Hubert.

“How convenient, then, that we’re married.”

“Hubert!” As opposed to the exasperated delight he expected, Hubert was met with pleased surprise. “There are flower petals on the bed!”

Ah, yes. He remembered it now. The servants were discreetly given additional flower petals over what Ferdinand had ordered for the decorations, and they scattered them on the sheets during the wedding. White apple blossom petals speckled the rich navy sheets on the poster bed overrun with pillows and a chiffon canopy. Before tonight, Hubert had often been regaled on the quality of Aegir apples and the tree blossoms on tea breaks with Ferdinand. Whether he had his keen memory or not, Hubert never would have forgotten something so crucial to arranging a thoughtful present for his spouse.

“Are there? Unexpected.” That wry tone and smirk intentionally betrayed the truth.

“To think you believe you are not romantic,” Ferdinand complimented him, always prepared with a kind remark about him. Of all people. One would anticipate he’d run out of material soon enough if they didn’t know him better.

Proceeding with his effortless stride, Ferdinand brought him to the bed heedless of his insistence only on crossing the threshold. Hubert elected not to remind him of that and permitted himself to be lowered onto the bed. An act Ferdinand do well not to get used to, true, but it was a special occasion. Perhaps they would revisit it on anniversaries. He kept his own shoes above the sheets, swinging them over the bed’s edge to remove them as he felt Ferdinand climb on the mattress behind him.

He wasted no time tracing kisses along Hubert’s neck and shoulders in the same manner as one might scatter dandelion seeds on their breath. Warm hands brushed against his back while Hubert unlaced and removed his shoes. The former made the latter marginally more difficult than usual.

“You’d best not be wearing your shoes in our bed.” Devoid of any severity, that warning was described better as a fond request. Two thuds as they dropped to the floor from the bedside served as his confirmation.

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Ferdinand mumbled next to his skin, every syllable coursing over Hubert’s skin.

“Mm.” That hum was equal parts amusement and pleasure, rolling into a sigh when Ferdinand moved up to press kisses to the shell of his ear. “I missed you.”

“One night apart,” Ferdinand uttered between kisses, “felt terribly long. Did it not?”

Leaning back into his stalwart husband, Hubert turned to look at him. This situation and his affectionate expression were familiar. It wasn’t unheard of for them to review their reports and duties for the day together, curled up together much like they were then. A single evening made the hollowed chasm of its absence in his routine only too apparent.

“Excruciatingly so.” He brought a hand to graze Ferdinand’s cheek and placed a kiss to his cheek, sturdy against him. “My husband.”

Ferdinand blushed, yet had nowhere to hide his reaction in that instance. His barely restrained smile fell on the cusp of between hopeful and elated. “Could you… Say that again?”

“Anything for you,” Hubert promised and sat up to face him properly. With a sultry gaze of his own, he curled a loose strand of hair behind Ferdinand’s ear and leaned in to speak in the feathered tone he most enjoyed. “My husband.”

The unintelligible noise of glee from Ferdinand was its own reward. One that left Hubert with a smug smirk and Ferdinand still flushed and grinning. He braced his hands on his knees, a steady stare locked on his newly vowed husband.

“You make me so extraordinarily happy, I—might faint.”

“On our wedding night?” Hubert feigned surprise, undoing his red tie and tossing it off the bed. For tonight. It could be sorted out in the morning. “I suppose I could undress myself while you refrain from passing out.”

“No,” Ferdinand corrected hurriedly, reaching for the collar of Hubert’s blazer. “No, I’m quite alright.”

“Heh.” Putting his hands over Ferdinand’s and mirroring the stunt he pulled on him by the door, Hubert granted him what he sought. “I’m glad to hear of your swift recovery.”

He couldn’t be entirely certain Ferdinand didn’t merely rip the button off in his haste to take that blazer off, not with him meeting Hubert in an impassioned kiss as well. Even pulling his own arms from the sleeves was done with urgency, sating a desire for more of this, of them. At last—at long last—Hubert abandoned the baseless notion that he did not deserve his place in Ferdinand’s heart to instead devote himself wholly to remaining forever at his side.

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