To Sleep, To Dream
Flayn was as good as her word.
Thanks to her skills, Ingrid and Sylvain survived, as did countless other troops. It turned out Lorenz had hired Leonie’s mercenaries to help with the cleanup, and help they did, burning Agarthan bodies, helping to move supplies, and tend to the survivors. Between the allied forces of Fódlan, Almyra, and the church, they had won the day. Those who slithered in the dark were no more. Flayn, Seteth, and Rhea were all safe.
Flayn in particular became beloved by the troops. Her gentle ways and powerful magic saved many. Dimitri would sometimes drop by the infirmary tents just to watch her work.
It was therefore inevitable that he would run into Seteth.
“I know she sneaks into your tent every night after she thinks I have fallen asleep,” Seteth said to Dimitri.
Dimitri met Seteth’s scowl with one of his own. He took advantage of his superior height and mass and loomed over the smaller man. “She is a woman grown and can do as she pleases.” He paused, and whispered, “Saint Cichol.”
“That’s right, I know,” Dimitri said. “Was it you who deflected those javelins of light or was it Rhea?”
Seteth’s nostrils flared. “I can no longer change my form. If you know the truth, then you know Flayn will outlive you. The loss of you will cause her great pain someday.”
“I will make sure the joy she experiences outweighs that pain.”
Seteth’s shoulders slumped. “I pray you will. I know too well how the grief can linger after the death of a spouse.”
Dimitri hadn’t considered how long Seteth had mourned his wife. Perhaps it was short-sighted of him, to inflict such pain on Flayn. Yet he stood by his word. He would make her the happiest she had ever been, happy enough to last lifetimes.
“Just please refrain from encouraging her to sneak into your tent,” Seteth said with a sigh.
Dimitri smiled. “I am hardly able to stop her. She can be very…single-minded.”
Seteth closed his eyes and shook his head.
When the army was finally ready to move out, they headed west to Garreg Mach instead of to Fhirdiad. Dimitri and Flayn agreed it was best they marry before heading home. It was always going to be a grand affair, and the majority of the nobles were already marching with them. Dimitri’s own eagerness to be wed surprised him. It wasn’t just a matter of finally being free of the scandal caused by Flayn sneaking into his bed. He truly wished to have her by his side morning and night.
The wedding itself was grand. Archbishop Byleth officiated. Dimitri’s palms sweated as he led Flayn down the aisle. By the grace of the goddess, he managed not to stumble over his vows. He remembered little of the ceremony save Flayn’s luminous eyes gazing into his own, her face shining with joy, and Seteth sobbing in the audience.
“I promise to make you happy,” Dimitri said to his bride. “And when you sleep, you shall be remembered always.”
Tears rolled down Flayn’s cheeks as she grinned up at him.
Their wedding feast was one Dimitri would treasure for the rest of his days. Ashe, Annette, Dedue, and Mercedes had arrived in time, and so Dimitri was reunited with all his classmates. Claude was there with the former Golden Deer class—his joy with Hilda was a sight to behold—and the former Black Eagles were there as well, save for Hubert and Edelgard. Dimitri’s heart ached for those two, but the past was the past. Tonight was a night to look toward the future. It was a blessing to see his friends happy and prospering.
When the time came to take Flayn to their room, he realized how much of himself he had been holding back. They truly belonged to each other now. No one could say their union lacked honor or propriety. He pleasured her until she cried his name, and she came three times before he finally allowed himself to follow suit.
The next morning, they could barely walk. Neither of them had any regrets.
They returned to Fhirdiad, their friends dispersed, and as the years went by, they were blessed with four children. Each of them bore the Crest of Cethleann. Dimitri slowly dismantled hereditary nobility, turning the lords into governors, promoted on merit instead of bloodline. Fódlan’s peace stabilized, and soon there was an entire generation who had never known war.
After decades of marriage, Flayn began to tire, yet she refused to sleep. Dimitri would often wake in the night to find her propped up on one elbow, gazing at him.
“It must be so strange, having a grizzled, wrinkled old man for a husband when you look the same as you did when we met,” he whispered into the dark.
“You are just as handsome to me now as you were then,” she responded.
Dimitri was old, but he was still able to make love to his wife, so he did.
One day, Flayn didn’t wake up. Her body was warm, her breathing even, but nothing Dimitri did could rouse her. He gathered his sons and daughters and grandchildren, and together they took her to Garreg Mach. Dimitri and Seteth put her to bed in the Holy Tomb, where she could rest safe and undisturbed. Dimitri blinked back tears as he kissed her forehead.
“Goodbye, my love,” he whispered. “Thank you for our life together.”
Her loss was a hole in his soul for the rest of his days, but it was worth all the happiness she had given him.