The New Nohrian Prince - Chapter 8 - TheEeveeTamer - Fire Emblem: If (2024)

Chapter Text

There were precious few places he could be these days without facing some sort of scrutiny. Xander had yet to take a mate, and at the rate they were going, Takumi had his doubts he ever would. With Camilla being an alpha and Elise being younger than him, that made him the de facto matriarch of the Nohrian royal family, despite only being “mated” to the younger brother of the king.

Not a position he’d expected to be thrown into at age fourteen. Certainly not one he thought he’d still be occupying three years later. He hated to sound like his traditionalist stick-up-his-ass older brother, but he could not wait for Xander to get married already. He was sick of getting dragged to every stuffy dinner and ho-hum tea party the nobles’ mates put on. Tittering over flower arrangements and deftly trying to maneuver conversations toward Xander’s (and therefore Leo’s) political agenda of the day was not exactly a role he was suited for, even if he’d developed some adeptness at it.

He scratched at the half-healed patch of skin at the back of his neck. The bond-bite was fake even now, and it was starting to look suspiciously healed for an actual bond scar. And it itched. It always itched when it healed to this point. Leo did his best to help him ease it, but still tickled the back of his neck in a constant reminder that there was at least one huge thing in his life that hadn’t been resolved yet.

The other unresolved thing in his life…

The brunette man clad in the garb of the royal family’s guard was standing a bit closer than might be considered appropriate for his job, but not too unseemly for a friend.

Which was all they were.

Which was why Leo didn’t know about it.

There was nothing to tell. He was allowed to have friends, and Leo didn’t need to know every little thing he did in his day to day. Nor did he need to know who he did it with. Nor would he care. If he was a little friendly with one of the guards then that was no one’s business but his own, especially if he made sure to keep that fact quiet from the court gossips.

So why don’t you tell him?

The thought cropped up traitorously before he could stamp it back down. He exhaled. Leo was busy. Far too busy to waste any time paying attention to the trivialities of Takumi’s life.

“Prince Takumi?” the voice at his side said, laced with worry.

He snapped out of his thoughts. His face grew a little warm from being caught drifting off.

“Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“About him? You always get that look on your face when you think about L– Prince Leo.”

It shouldn’t have made his face flare even hotter. He was supposed to be married to Leo, and the edge in Norris’s voice was anything but teasing, so the mere mention of him shouldn’t have caused him to react so… weird.

“About how I’m going to keep Leo from accidentally spilling food on my next batch of books,” he supplied quickly, in an attempt to keep the uncertainty from spilling into his expression.

There were some things even his friends couldn’t know about, chief among them being “my marriage is a sham”.

It also wasn’t a lie. Leo had taken to having his meals in their room, usually while sitting at the desk and working on something or other. And it usually wasn’t a problem, but every now and again Leo could be so unbelievably clumsy.

Norris raised an eyebrow.

“Again?” The edge in his voice had softened somewhat.

Takumi smiled. This was the kind of minor complaining he couldn’t send in a letter back home. He didn’t want to bore his family with endless complaining about Leo’s every quirk, and you never knew who was potentially going to read it. It was… nice. It was nice to have someone around to listen to him, even if he couldn’t tell him everything.

“That’s not even the worst of what happened this week!”

They wandered through the shelves together, voices at a whisper as Takumi picked through the books and regaled Norris with tales of the ridiculous antics Leo had gotten up to since they’d last seen each other.

“And then–” Takumi pulled another book off of the shelf, gave it a quick inspection, and stacked it in Norris’s arms. “–then I couldn’t find my warm cloak. Leo had taken it and put a huge tear in it. By accident, he swears!”

“How could he have possibly mistaken your cloak for his?”

“I don’t know! It barely covers his backside! I was tripping over my feet the whole day because I had to borrow his instead, and when he got back to our room he had the audacity to ask if I was going to apologize to him for getting the ends dirty!”


“So I told him to stuff it, and he could only sleep in our bed once he’d mended the tear he’d put into my cloak. You know he slept on the floor for three days before he sucked up his pride and asked Camilla for help?”

“It sounds like he doesn’t treat you right at all.”

Takumi paused midway through stretching for the next book. He was already up on his tiptoes, arm half extended, but he slowly brought it back down to his side. He’d forgotten himself for a moment there. There was a fine line between acceptable complaining about one’s mate and creating fodder for gossip. Then sometimes Norris said things like that and he found himself backpedaling to defend Leo, regardless of how steamed he was.

“I just meant–” Norris tried to speak up after a long moment of silence.

“Yeah, well,” Takumi interrupted quickly, “it really was silly in the end. We aren’t children anymore.”

He crossed one arm over his chest and settled his hand in the crook of his elbow. The other tugged at his collar as he said it, suddenly very self-conscious about the lie he was hiding there.

“I didn’t mean to make it weird. I know he’s your mate and all,” Norris apologized, but the way he emphasized mate had Takumi’s skin crawling with worry.

“No, it’s alright.”

He tried to shake off the unnerved feeling in his gut. Norris was just worried about him. Like how Ryoma or Hinoka would be. Protective. A little paternalistic, but well-meaning.

Before Norris could reply, a sharp sound cut through the silence.


A faint but familiar voice rang out from the distance. His heart jumped when it met his ears.

“I’m sorry, I have to go.”

He grabbed his stack of books from the alpha and started heading toward the entrance. By now he could weave through the shelves with ease, without fear of getting lost, but it still took a while to get from one end of the massive space to the other.


“I’m coming, geez!”

“I wouldn’t have to hound you so much if you remembered the time!”

He smiled to himself. Their voices were growing closer together, even if he couldn’t see Leo yet, but that didn’t stop them from yelling as if he were still on the other side of the library. Something which would have no doubt irritated everyone inside, if they weren’t the only two in the royal family who bothered to spend significant time here.

“Oh like you’re always so on time! Last time I had to hunt you down and kick you awake!”

“That’s different!” Leo shouted, as Takumi turned the corner and he came into view. Now that they could see each other, Leo’s voice lowered to something closer to a normal speaking volume. “I was trying to get out of it last time.”

Takumi’s voice lowered to match. “You’re ridiculous.”

“Maybe.” Leo shrugged. His only defense, because they both knew he was lying.

As Takumi drew closer, the grin on Leo’s face quickly turned to a frown.

“Why do you smell like that?”

“Huh? O-oh…” right. Norris was an alpha, too. He’d probably left his scent all over Takumi after being that close. “I, uh, stumbled off of one of the footstools. Luckily one of the guards was around to catch me.”

It was a lame excuse, he knew. That nagging little voice in the back of his head returned again, prodding him with the questions he’d rather not answer. And he could tell Leo didn’t entirely buy it by the look on his face.

Leo wrapped his arms around his shoulders and a flood of familiar pheromones washed over him. He felt the weight of it for barely a moment, but in that short time he could have drowned in his scent.

When he stepped away there were no more traces of Norris on his clothes. Just Leo, and a lingering sense of melancholy.

“Be more careful next time, alright?”

“Y-yeah. Sure, whatever.” He dropped his small pile of books into Leo’s outstretched hands, which he tucked under his arm easily. “Come on, we better get ready.”

He brushed past Leo at his usual brisk pace, which Leo matched easily with his stupid tall person legs. They rounded the corner and Leo silently slipped his fingers between Takumi’s as they walked, which was exactly the type of thing Takumi didn’t need cluttering his already muddled thoughts. It wasn’t like they were going to run into anyone besides the guards or Leo’s siblings, and it wasn't like anyone was going to talk if they were just walking next to each other instead of holding hands.

Unless Leo wanted to hold his hand…

… But of course he didn’t. Their relationship wasn’t like that. If it was, Leo would have marked him by now.

And he was fine with how things were.

Leo’s hand pulled away from his the second the door to their bedroom closed behind them.

Takumi dropped into the chair in front of the vanity and pulled the ribbon out of his hair. The pounding in his head abated immediately as his hair fell loose around his shoulders. It was down past his mid-back now, nearly to his waist. Pin-straight as always, but looking quite a bit healthier thanks to Camilla’s semi-recent obsession with his haircare routine.

Leo brushed it all over his left shoulder and gently tugged the edge of his collar down. He ran the pad of his thumb over the healing scarred skin of his scent gland.

Takumi braced himself for the words he knew were about to follow.

“It’s too healed.”

“I know,” he groaned.

“Your heat was only a few days ago so a bandage wouldn’t be unexpected, but if it slipped…”

“Just do it already.”

The words came out with far more bitterness than he’d intended. He knew what the conclusion would be because it was always the same. Refresh the mark.

But never mark you for real.

“Will you be alright?”

Leo placed one hand on Takumi’s hip. The other remained at the crook of his neck, the calloused pad of his right thumb brushing over his skin again. The rhythmic back and forth, back and forth mixed with Leo’s genuine concern was enough to extinguish the flare of irritation in his gut. Instead it was replaced by another sharp feeling he’d rather not name.

“I’m fine, Leo.”

Leo nodded solemnly, then took a deep breath and held it in. Takumi caught the flash of a fang in his reflection, and he braced himself, Leo’s crushing grip on his left hip the only thing grounding him as his neck pricked, burnt, bled.

Leo’s tongue lingered on the site a moment longer, brushing over the new wound until it was saturated with his saliva, before he pulled back and replaced his mouth with a handkerchief. He held it there for a moment. His free hand drew up to wipe the blood from the corner of his lips, a motion which made Takumi feel a very different kind of fuzzy feeling he’d rather not name.

“Hold that there.”

“I know how to do it.”

His fingers brushed against Leo’s as he reached for the small white cloth, and he tried to pretend like he wasn’t just the tiniest bit woozy.

Leo picked the comb off the vanity and got to work detangling Takumi’s hair. There wasn’t much to be done since Takumi had done the same this morning, but it had been a part of their routine together since they were children. The gentle, rhythmic pull and tug of fingers and teeth could have lulled him to sleep.

It was the longest stretch of silence they’d had between them all day. He regretted when Leo finally had to break it.

“You know what to do, right? The Governess of Nestra will be here with her mate, and we can’t do anything about establishing these tariff limits without her approval.”

“Yeah, yeah. Just leave it to me.”

He’d learned quickly, as top omega of the court, that the true powers of Nohr were often the people throwing the ho-hum tea parties and tittering over flower arrangements. They could smother any plans Xander had in the crib with just a word to their mates, which was why Takumi kept getting roped into these stupid dinners and tea parties and balls while Leo was entertaining the people who thought they were in charge.

And, well, he didn’t want to brag, but he’d gotten pretty good at holding up his end. People were not his favorite thing, but half the battle was doing the research. That he could do.

Tonight Leo was working on a deal with Nestra, the goal of which was to lower tariffs on imported Hoshidan goods crossing through their port. The overland routes across the canyon were still treacherous, and the terrain was too difficult to move anything in bulk, so most everything shipped between the two countries had to pass through Nestra first. Under King Garon that had happened without much incident, but Xander refused to employ the same harsh methods his father had used to force compliance, so the taxes had been rising steadily. A bit of a problem when Nohr relied heavily on imported Hoshidan foodstuffs to keep their population fed. They were currently managing by utilizing some of the smaller Nohrian ports, but it wasn’t sustainable.

Leo had spent weeks on his proposal. Takumi had done his homework as well. He went over it all as Leo twisted his hair into a simple updo, pinning it with one of his nicer decorative hair combs. The Governess was shrewd, but she had her weak spots. Her mate being one of them. He was currently heavily pregnant with their first after a series of false starts and, as the rumors told it, a well-concealed miscarriage or two.

He was also quite enamored with Hoshidan trinkets and customs. They were considered a bit of a rare luxury and forbidden knowledge under King Garon’s rule, even in the ostensibly neutral Kingdom of Nestra. It was still rare to find a lot of Hoshidan culture in Nohr—even after nearly a decade of peace—if one went much further in than the borders, which made Takumi a bit of an oddity and a fascination for the nobility. Something he could leverage to his advantage, at the very least.

He also had one more thing up his sleeve, but… well, it was better to keep that from Leo for now.

He knew their little routine was done when Leo took the bloodied cloth from his fingers and wound a new thick white bandage around his neck for him. He braced himself for their easy silence to be replaced by the political humdrum.

He couldn't wait for this to be over with. He knew that the second Leo dropped him off at the door to their formal parlor, the one they kept for entertaining the nobility, and gave him a farewell kiss on the cheek. All eyes turned to him, per usual.

There were only a handful of people present besides himself. The Governess’s mate (Asher, Takumi was pretty sure) was easily identifiable by his heavily pregnant belly, and the rest were minor nobles from around Nestra. He didn’t know any of them particularly personally, since the only times he saw them were on his brief trips with Leo for political business. In addition to them there were a few attendants standing by on the fringes of the room. Takumi made it a point to nod at them in greeting when he passed them by.

All of the nobility, bar one, stood to greet him as he entered.

“Prince Takumi!” Asher greeted in that overly-saccharine way Nestrian nobles tended to do. “You must excuse me for remaining seated. It’s terribly rude.”

Takumi smiled tightly, forced, in response. His political smile. “Not at all, I know the strain it must put on you. Shall we retire to the dining room?”

He held out both of his hands to the man, which the other omega took gratefully to help pull himself to his feet.

“I’m surprised you traveled all this way. You must be due soon?” Takumi said lightly as they walked the short distance to the dining room.

“Lia thought it would be better to have the baby here. The healers in Krakenburg are much more advanced than Cyrkensia.”

“I had heard that,” he nodded along, seeing his in, “Leo and I were discussing that just the other day. He thinks they’re better here than even in Shirasagi.”

“Oh?” he could practically see Asher’s ears perk up at the mere suggestion of Leo, Takumi, and babies.

They arrived in the formal dining room, where everything was already set for their evening. There were twice as many plates as people, because the servants always set enough places for Leo and the others. Even if, in his entire time doing this, they had never showed up in time to actually eat with their mates. Because of that, they were all interspersed awkwardly along the length of the table.

Takumi did his best to seem bashful as he took his seat, one over from the right of the head of the table. He was directly across from Asher, who was sitting in the seat for the most important guest. “Yes, well, in Hoshido it would be customary for me to return home for a while after the birth. It would be safer to travel beforehand, but Leo insists that he would want the best care possible through the process.”

He could see the way they all tried to hide their interest in that statement. He caught glimpses of the way their eyes tracked between his neck, his stomach, and then his plate. The bandage was indicative of a recent heat so he couldn’t possibly be pregnant, but he refused the wine they served which could indicate that they were trying.

That, combined with the seed he’d just planted, was enough to have Asher grinning conspiratorially. Like Takumi had just revealed some great secret to him. Takumi tried to return it as best he could.

“Your culture sounds fascinating. What other traditions do they have in Hoshido?”

“I’m happy to share. I’d show you right now, but…” he twisted his face into what he hoped would read as melancholy. “I don’t think I have what I need. I’d need some things we can’t grow here in Nohr. Tea blends and herbs and the like, but they’re so much harder to come by these days. I apologize, I wish I could be a better host.”

“Please, I’m not offended. Tell me more!” the other omega asked, enraptured.

Takumi hoped he was doing a good job of hiding the little smile on his lips. This was going to be easier than he thought.

The New Nohrian Prince - Chapter 8 - TheEeveeTamer - Fire Emblem: If (2024)


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