A Cleric and a Prince
Dimitri x Reader
Cannon typical violence, deep splinters, personal threats
Being a healer at Garreg Mach is a challenging job. Working with Manuela in the infirmary is a mixture of emotions. Happy to help others, sad that she has so many personal issues, anxious when someone arrives with serious wounds, hilarious when the students tell you exactly how they become (not seriously) hurt before arriving in the infirmary.
You have not yet been instructed regarding the fine points of battle. If the students need healing battalions, you are part of the Seiros Sacred Monks, helping Mercedes. Your group frequently accompanies the Blue Lions in battles as well as working with them in the monastery, being available to heal them after rough sparring sessions and general needs.
Eventually, a few members of your battalion are assigned to specific members of the class. You are assigned to Dimitri and Dedue. You cannot handle Felix’s antagonistic personality. Sylvain, well, he was given a male healer so that he will focus on what is hurt versus being Sylvain.
After a few battles Dimitri and Dedue realize that you are their assigned healer. It is not announced to the troops, however they notice the same healers heading to assist the same team members. Dimitri asks you to sit with him and Dedue during meals quite often. Dedue speaks with you frequently during your time together in the greenhouse. Healing herbs don’t plant themselves.
You’ve become good friends with both of them. Cheering them both on when they enter the lance tournaments. Joining them in the training grounds, healing their injuries, or the injuries of their opponents more likely, after a long sparring session.
Things fall apart after the battle that occurs in the Holy Tomb. Dimitri is acting strange and distant. Dedue shields you from him at times. Dimitri’s health is suffering, you can tell that he’s not eating and sleeping properly. You help Dedue mix other herbs into the prince’s tea, hoping to get him to sleep occasionally. You find out about Dimitri’s ageusia and load up on the sleeping herbs. Dimitri is a big guy and there are enough herbs in this batch to knock out a horse. He finally sleeps for a night, Dedue cannot force the tea on him every day, he gives it to him as often as he can.
The battle when they lose the Professor is devastating. Dimitri is seriously injured, you keep him from the brink of death. As soon as he is mobile, Dimitri disappears with Dedue following him.
Remaining with the Knights of Seiros you are trained to fight like everyone else. Nearly five years are spent searching for Rhea, fighting Imperial troops, and thieves. Returning to the monastery after the anniversary of the millennium festival, the place is a mess, in worse condition than when you marched away with the rest of the Knights. The Blue Lions return. Dimitri is with them, at least the shell of him is here.
You attempt many times to speak with him while he keeps his vigil at the base of the shattered statue of the goddess.
“The Dimitri you once knew is dead, only this repulsive blood-covered monster remains!” he screeches at you as you enter with a tray of food from the kitchens.
You have learned to bring things that can survive his rage. Any food or drink you bring near him is immediately upended or thrown against the wall. In times of true hunger, the Boar forages, grabbing the chunk of sausage or meat skewers, now stale bread and raw vegetables from the floor.
The times that he is lucid are few. Infrequently, the Professor can have a partial conversation with him. If you catch him while he sleeps or as soon as he wakes, he may let you approach to clean a few wounds and heal him.
Felix scoffs at you, telling you that you are wasting your time and effort on a beast, a worthless animal. Yet Felix is there, every day, just like you, watching over him.
The army heads for Ailell, obtaining additional troops and Rodrigue joins them. Rodrigue can have a few conversations with Dimitri, however Dimitri’s anger still controls him. It is only when they take over the Great Bridge at Myrddin that a change is sparked in him, when Dedue rejoins the Blue Lions.
Now, when food is brought, it is handed to Dedue, who will not allow his highness to throw the trays. Dedue directs the prince not to use his rage upon those that come to aid him. He even convinces Dimitri to remove his armor, a few pieces at a time, to be cleaned and repaired. Dimitri allows the Professor or you to approach, assisting with cleansing his wounds, healing, and clearing his infections.
The army marches for Gronder Field. You stand amongst the troops in his battalion, waiting for the order to proceed. Suddenly it is time to advance. Dimitri and Dedue sprint far ahead of their battalions, they are immediately surrounded by enemies. The battalions fight their best, you alongside them. Perhaps nobody will notice if you cast physic on Dimitri. Dedue is a brick wall, or at least is made of stone, he does not get injured often. The Blue Lions fiercely move forward, Dimitri is determined to reach Edelgard and end her life.
Dedue assists by clearing the last armored Imperial fighter in Dimitri’s way as the leaders of the opposing troops battle. You are fighting Edelgard’s battalion members, preventing them from attacking Dimitri and Dedue. A sudden roar comes from Dimitri as Edelgard is warped away by Hubert. His prize taken from him, Dimitri lashes out at her remaining battalion members, crushing heads and ripping off arms, rending flesh.
The sounds of battle dissipate. You are called to the medical tents to assist with healing. Suddenly the word spreads around camp that Rodrigue has fallen. You cry, not just for Rodrigue, but for Dimitri, whose rage was calming due to Rodrigue and Dedue’s work, and for Felix, who is now alone.
Dimitri solemnly returns to Garreg Mach, Dedue at his side as they escort the body of his dear departed friend.
After the funeral, you march to the Cathedral, arms full of bandages and cleansing cloths. Dimitri would not let you treat his wounds after the battle, during the march or the service. Dedue convinced Dimitri to bathe for the wake. You approach them both as Dedue helps you undress Dimitri from the waist up. As you clean his wounds to avoid further infection, heal him, apply salves, and bandage him, Dimitri looks at you for the first time in forever.
“I am sorry for your loss. I know Rodrigue was like a father to you.” You tell him softly as you wrap a bandage around his left arm.
“He told me I should live for my ideals.” Dimitri swallows, his voice trembles, “Rather than stay shackled by the ghosts of the past.”
“Learn from the past, live for the future.” You smile at him, smoothing some salve to his left ribs. “I know you can do it. Rodrigue believed in you. I do too.”
“My apologies for any problems I have caused you.” He says then hangs his head.
Tying off the bandage on his chest you hug him. “All is forgiven. Rest easy.” You whisper.
He’s not sure what to do, he lifts you into his lap and surrounds you with his arms lightly touching your back, fearful of his great strength. He sobs into your shoulder as you softly whisper comforting words to him patting his back and rubbing his shoulders.
When his tears end, you ask Dedue to get a small towel wet. You place it on Dimitri’s face to cool his forehead eyes and nose. While pressing it to his face, you cast a faith spell to reduce the pain and swelling from crying. After a few minutes you peek underneath the cloth over his good eye.
“How’s it going?” You softly ask.
His blue eye looks at yours. “Better.”
You climb from his lap and he stands, taking a deep breath. “I should probably speak with Byleth.” He coughs into his hand. “Thank you.” He says bowing.
“I’m always at your service.” You smile.
The battle in Fhirdiad is awful. You had not been to the capital of Faerghus too frequently, it is painful to see so many lives ruined, buildings and homes demolished. The citizens are rebelling against the Imperial army, doing their best to help. Although the commoners are brave, you cannot help but feel grief-stricken when they are killed. The people are not trained fighters, however they feel so heart strong for their land and kingdom.
The battle against Cornelia is harrowing, under the tactical eye of Byleth and strong will of Dimitri, the Blue Lions are triumphant. Bells ring throughout the city proclaiming the victory. Citizens are jubilant, dancing in the streets. A celebratory feast is held in the castle.
You are in the infirmary, healing and patching up anyone that comes for treatment. Working long hours into the night, you collapse into an empty infirmary bed for a well-deserved rest. The morning comes quickly. Dedue arrives asking for assistance with Dimitri’s wounds. The serious injuries for soldiers have been addressed, ensuring that the soon to be King is healthy is the next item on the priority list.
“Thank you for coming to my aid.” Dimitri humbly addresses you as you enter his room. “I did not see you at the feast. I was told you were working with the other clerics, healing those that could be helped. I feel guilty asking for your assistance.”
“We need you to lead us.” You smile. “It makes no sense to let you become ill from infection.”
As you treat his wounds and bandage him, you tell him stories of his brave people. How they worked together to aid in the fighting, putting out fires to save buildings, pulling other citizens away from the battles, and how all of them support him.
Dimitri again lets his thoughts go back to when he was lost and out of control. You reassure him that the people have forgiven him. They cannot lead themselves, not yet anyway. Everyone can heal together. Rebuild the city, rebuild the people. Put people into place that are good rulers, good people to look up to and respect.
The conversation goes on, you did not realize that the two of you are talking for hours. It is quite late, he should probably be asleep.
“Come Dimitri, it is time for you to go to bed. Get dressed and I will tuck you in and tell you a story.” You grin at him. He holds you to your word. He calls to you after he is dressed in his nightclothes and under his covers.
You gently tuck him in and blow out all the candles but one. You tell him a fairy tale about a boy, magic beans, an evil goose, and a giant. Your hand is on the bed next to him. Gently he places his on top of yours before the story is done. You take his hand in both of yours, rubbing it warmly between yours as you tell him another story about silly animals that think they can sing and their adventures. When you know he is asleep, you take the candle with you as you leave.
The rest and recovery time in the capital is short lived as the army heads out to Derdriu to assist Claude, the city is under siege. Byleth leads the troops just in time to rescue them. The army turns south to head to Enbarr. One last attempt in negotiating for peace is held with Edelgard, however neither side would give in. Battle is the only way to finish the war.
The battle goes through the streets and heart of the city. So many dead, so much blood everywhere. Everyone gave their all. Edelgard refuses to stand down and her life ends. Dimitri, Byleth, and the rest of the army claim the final victory in the war.
You hound Dimitri for thirty minutes before Dedue steps in, helping remind him that he is injured from the battle and needs treatment. Taking him to a quiet and safe room inside the castle you cleanse his wounds, stitching what he would let you and healing him. You then force him to drink water.
“May I finally return to my duties?” He grumbles.
“Yes, now that I feel like you will not fall over in the middle of them.” You answer. Turning to Dedue you instruct him, “Do not let him stay up all night. He needs to try to eat and sleep.”
“As you wish.” Dedue nods as he follows his liege.
“Wait, you have not been healed as well. Sit and show me your wounds.” You direct him to a chair. Soon Dedue is allowed to follow Dimitri to the multiple destinations on the agenda for the evening.
You head to the temporary infirmary, healing and tending to all the injured, be they from your army or citizens of Enbarr.
Finally, the army leaves for Fhirdiad at the beginning of the Verdant Rain Moon. Everyone is happy to be in the cooler temperatures in the northern part of the continent. You settle in the castle, working in the infirmary, staying in the residence for the healers. In your spare time you volunteer healing the hurt and ailing citizens, working alongside them to help rebuild and recover.
Dimitri’s coronation is a grand affair and a healing event for the city. It is a celebration that proves things are well and that prosperity is just around the corner. You sneak out of the infirmary to watch Dimitri be crowned as King. The cheering of everyone brings tears to your eyes. Their hopes and dreams are now resting on his shoulders.
Finishing work, you arrive at the celebration long after the food has been served, someone had been kind enough to send trays of food to the infirmary and it was shared with the patients that remain there as well. Even the spirits of those still suffering injuries are high and in a celebratory mood.
You clean up, wearing clothing proper enough for a meeting with the king, not really fancy enough for a royal party, it is enough you think as you arrive at the festivities that are ongoing. Dancing, singing, drinking and toasts will most likely continue for the entire night. You look over the crowd, finding Dedue is not difficult, he towers over everyone. You wind your way through the other happy celebrants to stand by his side.
“Good evening, Dedue. Is everything going well?” You ask him.
Dedue leans toward you, whispering. “I am well. His Highness has been quite swept up in the events of the day and should move to retire soon.”
“I agree. It looks like he is being cornered by quite the crowd of potential dance partners, let me see if I can intervene.” You answer with the slightest bit of a grin.
Walking up to the King with an air of authority, you bow and wait for the opportunity to address him. Dimitri appears happily surprised at your presence.
“I am pleased to see you are able to join us. Is there anything I can do for you?” Dimitri smiles, but it appears to be a bit weary.
“My King, as your personal physician, I must remind you that your health is quite important and request that you retire. Your schedule is full of meetings tomorrow and will need your complete attention.” Your attitude and stance are such that nobody wishes to question your authority.
“My apologies, ladies. But I must leave the festivities for now, healers orders.” Dimitri smiles sincerely as the women surround him groan in disappointment and disburse, looking for another noble to taunt.
Escorting the King to Dedue, the three of you leave the venue, proceeding toward the King’s residential area of the castle. Once the three of you are far enough away, he stops.
“Thank you so much for rescuing me.” Dimitri gasps. “I felt like the last piece of meat at a butcher shop.”
“Living up to your name, Di-meat-tri.” You succumb to the terrible pun.
He laughs as you head to his quarters. You excuse yourself as you reach his door.
“No, please, come in.” Dimitri opens the door for both of you. He heads straight for a chair and holds his leg up for Dedue to pull his boots off.
“Ahhh!” Dimitri gasps. “My feet are killing me! I have been on them all day.”
Pain? He has pain?! We can’t have that. You procure a stool and sit at his feet. Grabbing a leg you place the king’s foot on your lap and massage it, noticing the slight swelling at his ankle from being on his feet all day. Using a bit of faith magic and expert fingers, Dimitri is content. You turn and take his other foot in hand for some healing and muscle manipulation. When you are finished, you look up to see one very asleep Dimitri.
Dedue smiles and you let yourself out the door as he takes Dimitri to his bedroom.
The castle calms down over the next few days, a comforting routine takes over. Dedue unexpectedly calls you to the King’s quarters, there was an accident in the training grounds when Dimitri was sparring with Felix. Dedue advises you of the situation and you bring the necessary tools to come to the King’s aid.
Entering his room, you find Dimitri seated by the window at his desk, looking over paperwork.
“My apologies for having to summon you. It is a trivial matter, however Dedue is concerned about infection.” Dimitri looks embarrassed. He is in his undershirt, his left shoulder and upper arm covered in dark streaks, debris, and blood. Imbedded under his skin are many long and deep splinters.
“This doesn’t look like it came from a weapon.” You observe.
“No, Felix knocked me over and I fell into the wall. I did not know the wood had weathered and well, here I am.” Dimitri says sheepishly.
“A steady hand and some antibiotics will take care of this.” You nod, unrolling the pack of sharp tools and tweezers.
Beginning with a bit of faith magic to numb the area, you take into hand a sharp scalpel, cutting along the length of some of the deeper splinters to make it easier to remove them. A tool in hand with a needle like point lifts the imbedded wood while the other hand manipulates the tweezers pulling at a large piece of wood. The easier pieces to remove are no problem as you place splinter after splinter on a piece of cloth on the table. Next it is time to work on some that are deeper in his flesh.
“Come on, nice and easy. You can do it. Mmmmmm” You softly say, coaxing the splinter from his shoulder. “Yessssss.” You mutter with satisfaction as it comes out in a single piece.
Laying the bloody wooden spike on the cloth you look up at the King, rubbing his forearm. Dimitri listens raptly to your chatter as you work. You are talking to splinters, but some of the words and how you say them are…sultry.
“How are you doing Dimitri? Need me to take a break?” You look into his blue eye that is staring at you, not paying any attention to his papers.
“I’m…I’m fine.” Dimitri stutters as he grabs a paper, holding it up to read, hiding his blush from the enticing words you are using to help coax out the splinters.
You nod, getting back to work. “You naughty thing, stabbing our King. Right there, yes, come out.” You beckon the splinters out as you dig them from his shoulder. Giving a happy sigh you place another large piece of wood onto the cloth.
“I’m going to tear apart the training grounds and find every splintery piece of wood and give them a piece of my mind.” You grumble as you go after a smaller splinter. Moving Dimitri’s shoulder and arm, you place his hand on your knee, giving the right flex to his arm to get to the next splinter.
Dimitri turns his head and coughs a few times. “Ahem.” He is quite embarrassed. He tries very hard not to think about his hand and where it is. Papers…supposed to be reading papers, right.
“Are you feeling okay?” You lean forward to rub circles on his back. “You’re not coming down with a cold, are you?” Your voice is terribly concerned.
“No.” Dimitri shakes his head trying to clear his thoughts. It’s hard to think while his back is being rubbed. “You can continue.” He holds the paper closer to his face so you cannot see the pink tint return to his cheeks.
You continue to verbally coax the splinters from his arm, occasionally giving a squeal when you successfully remove a piece without it breaking. Applying an antiseptic salve, you rub it into the wound.
“I don’t want to heal it quite yet. I’d like to check later and see if anything is left in there. I’ll bandage it for now and check before you change for bed.” You announce as you pick up his arm and place his hand on your shoulder.
“Hold it right there so I can bandage you.” You demand as you begin rolling the bandage around his arm several times to keep the salve on his wounds and prevent it from soiling his clothes. You sit down and slowly move your hands down the rest of his arm, lightly massaging it as you go. Massaging the center of his palm you are satisfied that you have removed them all.
“Is there anything else I can do for you, Dimitri?” You stand and slightly bow to him.
He clears his throat, “No, that is all.” He says in his normal deep voice. Then adds a soft, “Thank you.”
Later that evening you knock on Dimitri’s door, beckoned in you see both Dimitri and Dedue looking at the King’s already unwrapped arm.
Dedue stands behind his arm as you approach. Dimitri is seated in a chair pulled close to a large candelabra providing sufficient light. Dedue points out two areas that are redder than the rest, some deep hidden splinters as you had feared. Dimitri’s shoulder is a bit warm to the touch, another sign of an infection brewing. You hand Dedue your tools, there is no table nearby. Casting numbing faith magic, you take your scalpel and cut a small slit into one area that is bright red. Holding the flesh apart with the scalpel and edge of the tweezers you see a black bit that must be another splinter. Quickly you grasp the end with the tweezer and pull out an inch long piece of wood.
“That would have festered into a terrible mess. Let me flush it with some antiseptic.” You pour some liquid from the bottle onto the wound, wiping the excess with a cloth to not cause a mess.
The second irritated spot is more difficult to see. Changing the angle of Dimitri’s arm helps, you take his hand and place it around your right hip.
“Keep your arm there, Dimitri. Don’t move while I have this knife in hand.” You warn as you cut into another deep area where you’ve already removed some splinters.
Dimitri doesn’t move, he’s frozen to the spot. So close, his arm is wrapped partly around you and your hip.
You hand the scalpel to Dedue as you carefully pull with the tweezers. This splinter is not as long, but already showing signs of infection, a pocket of pus surrounding the bloody wood. Pouring antiseptic in again to flush it clean you dab the spot.
“I hope you don’t mind a couple stitches.” You announce to Dimitri as everything happens at once.
Felix slams the door open to the King’s chambers, asking the boar if he ever got the splinters out.
Dimitri panics as his arm is around a woman when Felix enters the room, thus he stands up, pulling his arm into you knocking you backwards. Dimitri and Dedue both lean forward to reach for your falling form at the same time, smacking their heads together, hard. Dedue stays on his feet. You fall onto your back onto the carpet, followed by Dimitri who falls crosswise across your chest grabbing his head and preventing it from hitting the ground.
Felix stands with his mouth agape as you ask him, “Did you get any splinters, Felix?” looking up at him from underneath Dimitri’s prone form.
“Tch. No. But you may want to check to see that he didn’t hit his head as well.” Felix grumbles as he backs out of the room, closing the door behind him.
After a moment you heartily laugh at the whole situation. Dimitri and Dedue join in as everyone scrambles to their feet. You make them take a seat as you feel the bumps on their heads. Healing their heads first then stitching and healing Dimitri’s arm you ask if there is anything else needed this evening.
“No, that will be all.” Dimitri says with a soft smile.
You smile widely back at him. “Thank you for letting me serve you, my King.” You bow and leave the room.
The next day you are up early in the training grounds with two carpenters and their wood planes, smoothing every visible piece of wood in the grounds. Returning to the infirmary you continue healing those injured in mishaps around the castle. A young page knocks on the door and hands you a note and a bouquet of flowers. You are invited to tea with Dimitri this afternoon. You advise the page you accept the invitation.
The infirmary workload is light today. Things are slowly settling down after the coronation. Visitors have left and reconstruction is not as desperate as before, thus less injuries. Leaving the infirmary you head to your room, changing into a nice dress and fixing your hair a bit. You are eager to find out what business the King wishes to speak with you about. Heading to his personal wing of the castle, you knock at his door.
Dedue answers, inviting you in. As you enter, Dedue exits, closing the door behind him. Dimitri is dressed casually, no coat or jacket, simply in his shirtsleeves. As you enter the room, he stands to greet you.
“Please, join me.” Dimitri smiles, holding out his hand as he sits at one end of the settee, a large table with a tea service and sweet treats piled high on a tray. You take a seat on the other end, Dimitri pours tea for you.
“I believe Bergamot is a tea you favor, is that correct?” He smiles as he gently and carefully hands you your cup and saucer.
“Yes. It’s my favorite.” You return the smile as you reach for the honey, letting some drip into your cup, leaving the tea on the table as the contents are still too warm to drink.
Dimitri clears his throat. “I suppose I should get straight to the point. I am sure you are wondering why, out of the blue, I have suddenly invited you to tea. Things have been quite busy with ending the war and then plans for the coronation and the coronation itself. Of course, things are always busy as one is trying to set up the government again after so many years of chaos. It seems like there is a never ending list of meetings and consultations and conferences. And I’m rambling, aren’t I?” He coughs into his hand and swallows, taking a deep breath.
You reach out and touch his hand that is sitting on the settee between you. “Dimitri, we have known each other for years. We have fought together in a war. I have seen you at your worst. I am so happy now seeing you at your best. You can tell me what is on your mind.” You smile at him warmly.
Dimitri relaxes a little and takes a deep breath. “Yes. We have known each other quite some time. You have been by my side, helping me and supporting our efforts. You were there when I was so terribly lost. I thank you for that very much. You believed in me when I needed it the most. Now…” He takes your hand, softly as he can between both of his, staring at you intently, his hands begin to tremble.
Time stops as you look at each other in silence. His voice is soft and low as he speaks, “Would you…would you allowmecourtyou?” He sighs heavily, searching your face desperately for your answer.
First you smile, then you nod, he still looks at you. Figuring he wants to hear your answer you lean forward a bit.
“Yes.” You gasp, bringing your other hand over his hands that still hold yours.
“Yes? Oh yes! Thank you.” He grins happily. If he were a puppy his tail would be wagging hard enough to knock everything off the table. He had been expecting a no, so the yes took a few seconds to register. His cheeks are red, his eye sparkles and he laughs a bit with glee. “I’m just so happy. I don’t know what to do with myself. I had been worried and fretting over your answer, I had no idea what to think if you actually said yes.”
“Well, right now we can sit and chat and have some tea. Perhaps you can tell me of some things that you would like me to do to help you. Your day is filled with doing everything for the country. Perhaps some time can be carved out for doing things for you.” You reach for your teacup, taking a sip.
“Going outside sounds amazing. I’ve been cooped up inside the castle every day. I want to get on a horse and ride. To no place in particular, just feel the wind on my face and sun on my back.” His look is far away with a relaxed smile.
“If it is a nice day, we can take tea together in the gardens. The King should have the ability to make time for a ride at least once a week, if it is a nice day. If they give you too much trouble, I’ll ask your clerics to write a note prescribing a required amount of sunshine for your health.” You smile then take another sip of tea.
The next few days both of you take tea in the gardens together. You are happily surprised when he identifies several different plants.
“My interest in plants came from Dedue. He is always gardening in his free time. I insisted that we include some flowering plants from Duscur in the gardens. I would love to see plants from all over Fodlan here, growing together, just like the country.” He holds out his hand so that you can take his. He is still too cautious of his strength to touch you on his own.
The Harvest Festival calls for the city to be decorated in oranges, reds, yellows, and gold. Many displays and booths line the streets to celebrate the great harvest now that the land is at peace. Dimitri invites you to the event and you arrive alongside him in the royal coach. The path before you is cleared by soldiers surrounding the king for his protection.
Dimitri graciously offers compliments and accolades to all that have worked so hard providing food for everyone. His eye goes wide at the size of some of the pumpkins entered in a competition to see who could grow the largest. Often the two of you stop to admire a street performer entertaining the crowd. One of the rear soldiers drops multiple gold coins into each of the receptacles of the performers.
Suddenly you hear a shriek followed by a wailing cry. You dash off into the crowd, your medical instincts taking over. At the base of a tree, you find a woman crying over her son. The rambunctious six year old had climbed the tree, much to his mother’s dismay, to have a look at the King as he walked past. Unfortunately, the boy did not know the branch he was standing on was weak, it broke sending the child tumbling to the ground. Mother and child are crying as you kneel next to him.
“What is your name, young sir?” You ask him calmly.
He stifles a few tears enough to answer. “Jakob.”
“May I see where you are hurt?” You smile a bit, holding out your hands.
He points to his arm, his wrist is already swelling. He tries to lift it and lets out a wail.
“Shhhh. Hold still.” You hold the arm and wrist in yours as faith magic works into his injury. You hold his arm straight and begin ordering anyone nearby to provide splints and bandages. Immobilizing and wrapping Jakob’s arm, you give instructions to his mother. As you stand, you notice Dimitri is at your side.
“King Dimitri, may I introduce you to my newest friend, Jakob. Jakob, this is King Dimitri.” You smile.
Jakob has the biggest smile across his face as he stands and bows before the king. “It is my pleasant honor to meet you King Dimitri.”
The King bows to Jakob, “It is my pleasure to meet you as well. I suggest you heed your mother’s warning when it comes to climbing trees.” He smiles as he ruffles the boy’s hair.
“Yes sir, King Dimitri sir!” Jacob stammers.
“Please bring him to the castle tomorrow morning so I can check his arm.” You tell his mother. She thanks you several times.
You return to walking along the street with the King, admiring the displays and visiting with the people. A street vendor hawking his booth loudly calls out your direction.
“Oi! Your Kingship! Have a try at me booth! Just one throw is all I ask!” The man’s voice calls out over the crowd as he stands juggling coconuts.
You bump your shoulder into his and giggle as Dimitri shakes his head and concedes. “What is it that you ask of me?”
The man bows so deeply his head nearly touches the ground. “Ahh, Your Kingship! So wonderful to be graced by your presence. I only ask that you throw one of these coconuts at the stack of milk bottles at the rear of my booth. Should you knock them all down, you win!” The showman raises his hand to the target with a practiced flourish then both hands in the air as a sign of victory.
“Go on.” You nudge him again. He looks so cute when he’s put on the spot.
“Very well.” King Dimitri takes one of the offered orbs, staring at it for a moment, then hurls it at the stack. Milk bottles fly in six different directions, most of them landing far from the booth as the target is destroyed, the coconut breaks open on the rear wall of the booth and falls to the ground, shattered.
“What an arm! Your Majesty! Congratulations!” The showman scampers over to a special box and removes a beautiful hand crafted stuffed blue lion in all its majesty. A collar around its neck proudly displays the shield of Blaiddyd. “Me wife crafted it herself, she did. She said if you see the King, you must gift it to him, she said.” He bows as he offers the regal stuffed beast.
King Dimitri bows and thanks him for the beautiful gift, handing it to a nearby soldier to monitor while he continues his stroll. At the end of the lane where the festival ends, the King gives one final wave, thanking his people for their faith and hard work.
Returning to the castle, Dimitri must attend meetings, leaving you to your own business. Taking the stuffed lion in hand you dash to the servant’s quarters, asking for a few specific items. You then head to the infirmary to notify them to find you when Jakob arrives tomorrow so that you may personally check on his wellbeing. You trust your replacements in the infirmary, you had chosen them yourself, however Jakob is a special patient.
Returning to your quarters, which now are close to the King’s own rooms, you find the requested items. With a bit of assistance, you complete the project and request it be delivered to Dimitri’s chambers.
Joining the King and the current guests in a large meeting room, representatives of the former Alliance region are here to discuss their budgets and new laws for the expanded Kingdom. There is a break for dinner followed by discussions continuing until late in the evening. The conversations finally wind down and you know that Dimitri is quite exhausted.
“I believe everyone has made great progress today. Let us all sleep on this and take this up again in the morning.” You announce.
Everyone in the room nods as you escort Dimitri to the exit. Walking down the hallway, your hand in his, Dimitri yawns not once, but twice from exhaustion. Dedue opens the door for the both of you. Following you inside the three of you sit and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea, a lovely habit you have incorporated to get him to wind down before bed. You must leave soon, his eyelids are getting heavy, you hope he sleeps well this night.
“Come with me.” You smile as you take his hand and lead him to his bedroom. Dimitri blushes and looks quite confused as you lead him inside the doorway. You point at his bed and then he notices the stuffed blue lion. It is adorned with a small crown, eyepatch and a cape that resembles his.
“It’s adorable!” he exclaims as he puts his hands on your cheeks and plants a sudden kiss on your lips.
“Come again?” you gasp, your eyes wide.
Dimitri stops and blushes in his sleepy stupor as you pull on his collar and place a brief sweet kiss to his lips. Dimitri’s cheeks are a bright red as you step back and bow.
“Good night, my sweet.” You tell him before leaving the room.
“The tea was lovely, thank you Dedue.” You announce as you leave the king’s quarters, walking normally. This is a normal pace? Right? Sure it is. You see yourself out the door. Running into your room you fall on your bed and scream into your pillow. He finally kissed me!
The next morning you stop Felix on his way to bang on the King’s door wishing to drag him out for a morning spar. You require his assistance in accompanying you on a trip to the harvest festival area. He complains the entire trip switching between arguing that he is wasting his time doing this and you must stay closer to him, any madman with a blade could try to attack you. Once your mission is complete you purchase three heavily spiced meat sticks for him to enjoy while you head back to the castle.
Upon your return you are delighted to meet with Jakob and his mother in the infirmary. Jakob chatters the entire time that he is bragging to all his friends that the King had messed up his hair and he is going to grow up to be a knight to protect King Dimitri. Changing his bandages, you are pleased with his healing progress, he can take the bandages off in two weeks as long as he behaves. Before they leave, you had a large basket to his mother, filled with fruits, smoked meats, bread, and cookies.
“Share the cookies with all of your friends and neighbors.” You remind him as you wave goodbye.
The visitors with the king leave after a final meeting, heading back to warmer territory as quickly as possible before the snows cover the land. Certainly, it is not today as the sun is warm and the weather is beautiful. You work on a few projects when there is a familiar knock at the door. Dedue has arrived to fetch you for lunch.
“It is so nice out, I thought Dimitri would want lunch in the gardens today.” You mention.
“His Highness said he prefers to have it in his chambers today.” Dedue answers. He opens the door so that you may enter, then closes it behind you as he remains outside of the room.
Dimitri is immediately on the other side, looking a bit flustered.
He reaches for you, ever so lightly placing his hands on your shoulders, his eye searching yours. “Tell me, I cannot remember if it was real or a dream. Did we k-kiss last night?” His face flushes red.
You nod as pink dusts your own cheeks. “Yes.”
“May I kiss you again?” He asks as he pulls you close. His voice is so deep, with your chest pressed against his, you’re not sure if it is the vibration of his words or the shudder of a thrill racing up your spine.
“Please.” You beg him, your hands sliding up his chest around his shoulders pulling him down to meet your lips. It is a bit awkward, slightly messy, and the best kiss you’ve had since the night before. You hold him tight to your chest as he slowly wraps his arms around you as lightly as possible, resting his cheek on your forehead after the kiss. You sigh happily into his chest.
You try to step back, however he has no intention of letting you go.
“We should eat a bit.” You suggest.
“I am hungry for your lips.” He mumbles into your hair.
“They are not very nutritious.” You tap him on his back.
“You would deny a starving man who has just had a small taste of the most delicious thing he has ever had in his life?” He chuckles.
“You are always negotiating. Would you agree to lunch then perhaps kisses for dessert?” You look up at him and grin.
“One now, then lunch.” Dimitri brings his lips to meet yours once again.
After the most hurried lunch you have ever eaten, you find yourself on Dimitri’s lap exchanging kisses.
A knock on the door alerts the both of you to Dedue’s presence. “Your highness, you have a meeting to attend.” He announces.
Dimitri sighs heavily, “The duties of a King are never done.” He bemoans.
You giggle as you clamber from his comfy lap. “Let me get a comb to make you more presentable.” You offer. After combing his hair and straightening his clothes, you send him off to be bored for the remainder of the afternoon.
Things are busy rebuilding the kingdom. There is always another emergency, an urgent need or any excuse for a meeting. He has been in meetings from early dawn, only returning now very late in the evening. He eats little, his head is pounding from the stress of the day. He hesitates to call you, however he has another meeting filled day tomorrow and must try to get some rest.
You ask Dedue to please prepare tea for the three of you this evening. Directing Dimitri to sit on the couch, you stand behind it and apply gentle faith magic to relieve some of the pain in his head and jaw from being so tense. You then place the footrest at the far end of the couch, coaxing him to lie back and place his head in your lap.
You ask for his right hand and massage the point just above the thumb where the index finger would be carried down. Applying pressure first, then rubbing circles with your thumb in each direction. Placing his hand on his chest you do the same with his left hand.
Next you squeeze the spot on each side where the bridge of his nose meets the bridge of his eyebrows. Applying steady pressure there, then releasing and repeating. Finally reaching around to the base of his skull in the parallel hollow areas between the two vertical neck muscles, you press upward to the top of his head briefly release and repeat.
Removing the hair tie from his hair you run your fingers through it, gently scratching his scalp. You watch his face visibly relax and a soft smile is on his lips as you continue to card through his hair.
“Better, sweetheart?” You softly coo.
“Mmmm, yes. Thank you.” He relaxes.
Dedue brings in the tea service, placing the cups and saucers for three at the table.
You tap Dimitri on the nose. “Diiiimmaaaa. Tea time!”
He sighs then sits up. “Whatever you did was amazing. My headache is gone and I think I should be able to sleep some tonight. Thank you.”
Dedue pours tea for everyone.
“Thank you again Dedue, for a wonderful tea.” Dimitri smiles.
“You’re welcome, your Highness.” Dedue answers.
You take a cookie, taking a bite. “Oh, did you make these Dedue?”
“Yes, I had the time this afternoon.” Dedue nods.
“They are delicious. Hmm, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, ginger, clove, molasses. An amazing group of flavors mixed in with love. Thank you so much, Dedue.” Your appreciation shows in your smile and warmth toward the man.
Teatime is very much enjoyed. Dimitri looks like he is relaxed enough to go to sleep peacefully and without a headache. Dedue looks away so you can give Dimitri a sweet good night kiss.
Sunday is the lightest day of work for Dimitri. No meetings if there are no visitors in the castle. The weather is beginning to cool a little more every night. It won’t be long before snow covers everything. Dimitri wishes to take a long horseback ride and invites you to join him. You’ve never really learned the skills of being on a horse, Dimitri is more than excited to educate you. Lifting you up straight into the saddle, he climbs up behind you. Accompanied by a few knights on horseback everyone rides out past the city and into the countryside. His destination is a small area of woods that has a cliff overlooking some of the lands of Fhirdiad. Dimitri discussed the location with Dedue, this spot would provide some privacy, enemies could only approach from one side and the guards could stay far enough away, yet still protect their King.
Dimitri dismounts, lifting you from the saddle. He then unties a picnic basket from the back of the horse and tethers the steed to a tree. Spreading out the blanket you unload the basket to find a delicious lunch, complete with sweet tea.
“This is beautiful, sweetheart.” You smile at him as you place food on your plate. “A gorgeous view and beautiful scenery too.”
Dimitri blushes once he realizes the compliment. His mind then heads straight to places it should not go at such a lovely scene. “I am a beast. I have done horrible things. How can you trust yourself to be alone with me?”
Placing your food on your plate you reach out to cup his cheek. “I have seen you at your worst. I have seen you at your best. You are not a beast. You have come so far making amends for what was done and you will continue to improve. I will be here for you as long as you wish, to help you become the best you can be.”
“Why? Why would anyone want to help me? Some days I feel so useless, that I can’t be the King everyone expects me to be.” He is trembling under your touch.
“I help you because I love you. I know you are a great King, Dimitri. We all know.” You smile, using the thumb that is close by you wipe a tear from his eye.
“You…love me?” Dimitri is shocked.
You fold your hands into your lap and look at them. “I must not be doing a very good job of showing you that I do.”
“Wait! Please, take my hands.” Dimitri begs you. You reach out to hold his hands in yours.
You look into his eye, confused.
“I never thought I could be loved. You have always been there since we met, haven’t you? I have been a monster to you, yet you still came to feed me and heal me. When I had asked permission to court you, I thought you would decline. Every day I wake up and think you would reject me this day. I can’t believe you are still here, with me.”
Dimitri bends forward and pulls you close. Placing a sweet kiss on your lips. Your lips are barely touching his as he whispers. “I love you.”
The next few kisses are not as chaste as the previous one. Plates and food are scattered about the blanket as you hold each other close.
Dimitri’s stomach growls loudly, causing you both to laugh.
“I think we should finish our picnic before you begin digesting your internal organs.” You laugh.
“Can that happen?” Dimitri innocently asks with a look of surprise.
“No. Just joking!” You laugh.
“You are a cleric and an expert on those things. I suppose my sense of humor needs a bit of work.” He smiles sheepishly as he helps you straighten out the food. Finishing the picnic lunch, he packs the basket onto his mount.
“Wait. I need to get on this thing without your help.” You announce.
Placing your foot on the stirrup you attempt to hike yourself up onto the horse. Mentally you remind yourself you need to do a lot more squats. The third hopping jump you manage to jump/haul yourself up and stand with your left foot in the stirrup, you haul your right leg carefully over the horse and sit crookedly on the saddle, gently moving and wiggling yourself to center while trying not to upset the steed. Dimitri’s long legs are great for having the stirrup low, but then you had to overcome the length of your legs versus his. Maybe if you had a horse of your own it could be shorter. Maybe a pony? You suddenly notice a snickering man next to you.
“What?” You snap at Dimitri.
“Nothing.” He smiles at you, easily getting up and into the saddle as if he flew on wings.
You turn around to look at him again, he still has that silly grin on his face. “You look like the cat that ate the canary.” You frown.
“It is just that when you have your mind set on something, you can be very stubborn.” Dimitri whispers in your ear. “It is very endearing, my beloved.”
Those two words at the end send a shiver down your spine, followed by a second when he kisses the top of your ear peeking through your hair.
Winter in Fhirdiad is cold, nobody can deny that. Early winter the snow falls, then melts and this repeats as the weather has not quite made up its mind. By the end of Red Wolf Moon, the snow is here to stay for a while. Wagon wheels get stuck, so sleighs are used to cart things around in the northern parts of the kingdom until the snow is too high to move anything.
Although it is cold outside, with enough warm blankets, perhaps a warming box under the seat filled with live coals to keep your feet, legs, and posterior warm, you agree to go on a sleigh ride with Dimitri. Wearing your fluffiest warmest winter hat and coat, you are surrounded by blankets and your boyfriend as Dedue drives the horse drawn sleigh through the city and countryside. Dimitri entertains you with stories of snowball fights and building forts and snow houses with his friends.
Dedue even joins in, sharing his experiences growing up. With the water surrounding Duscur, the snow would be so deep that they had doors on the roof of the house so people could get outside and carry on business or shop or just leave the house to play. Winter is also a time for handcrafts, baking, soups and savory stews. Before the end of the ride, he promises to make a Roasted Root Stew for dinner in the next day or two.
The sun sets quickly in winter, the moonlight giving a bluish tint to the snow as it sparkles all around. The trees look like they have their own coats of white covering every branch. A rabbit scampers across your path, its fur turned snow white to help with camouflage. The most amazing thing about snow is the quiet. Not many birds stay around in the winter. Once it is night everyone goes inside as the little bit of warmth from the sun is gone. The only sound is the horse tromping through the snow and the swwishhhh sound of the sleds sliding across the snow. The quiet is peaceful, beautiful and filled with the air of calm.
The snow piles higher and higher around the castle. Time marches along as the citizens and lands rest, healing from the war. The King is healing as well. His nightmares are not nearly as frequent, he does not seem on edge and full of angst by the end of the day.
Dimitri’s birthday is tomorrow and a small celebration is planned. Several of the other Blue Lions will be attending, easily able to traverse the snow. Dedue is pouring chamomile tea as you review what has happened today.
“I was called to the kitchens again this morning,” You dribble some honey into your tea. “The cook’s new apprentice burnt her fingers again. That is the third time this week.” You frown.
“Perhaps you can provide her some training?” Dedue offers.
“I would like to sew gloves permanently on her hands!” You chuckle. “Perhaps we can set up something to develop her awareness.”
“The meetings were light today. Not too many complaints when people have difficulty making it through the snow.” Dimitri muses.
“Tomorrow is the big day, not everyone will have problems getting here tomorrow, I hope.” You smile taking a sip.
“Felix and Sylvain will have no trouble whatsoever. Mercedes and Annette will arrive with them.” Dimitri’s eye shines brightly as he goes through the list. “Ingrid will be on Pegasus, so no issues there. Of course, Ashe is a knight here, so the only concern would be Byleth’s arrival in time.”
“Am I spoiling you if I want to be the first to give you a birthday present?” you ask him just before he must go to bed.
“Sometimes, my beloved, I have noticed that you are not the most patient of women.” Dimitri grins. “I will allow this, only for you.”
You happily pull him to his bedroom door and open it so he can see it.
Normally the proud kingly lion sits in the center of his bed, awaiting his return. Tonight, he sits opposite a beautiful female lion. She is adorned with a circlet of flowers around the top of her head and ears, long ribbons down her back and a clerical cape like yours. The lions face each other, touching noses.
“They are adorable.” Dimitri smiles.
You bend down to the bed patting the lioness on the head. “Oh, what is this? I think she has a present for you.” You softly say as you get down on a knee to reach and obtain a box that is sitting between her front paws.
Dimitri comes closer to join you, only for you to stay on one knee and turn to face him with the box in your hands.
“Dimitri Alexandre Blaiddyd, will you marry me and make me the happiest woman ever?” You ask, your eyes welling up with tears.
Dimitri gasps and falls to his knees in front of you. “What? Oh yes! Of course, yes!” He declares as he takes you in your arms and kisses your lips and face urgently. Eventually, the two of you have to break apart to breathe.
“You definitely have an impatient side to you.” He laughs, placing his forehead against yours.
“What? I have the patience of a saint.” You giggle. “Saint Cethleann was very impatient.”
“I suppose you are entitled to this.” Dimitri walks to his desk and opens a drawer. He brings a small box to you. “Just to be certain, will you marry me?”
“Let me think.” You chuckle. “Yes. Without hesitation.” Pulling him close you kiss him again.
The day of Dimitri’s birthday is a joyous event for everyone in the castle. Guests arrive and are settled in their rooms. Felix, Sylvain, Annette and Mercedes make it without incident.
“Come on Boar, spar with me. We have time before dinner.” Felix grunts as he shoves Dimitri in the shoulder
You have a cup of tea and cakes with Annette and Mercedes in your parlor, catching up on the latest gossip. You are relieved that they are wearing gloves, you have not had much experience in the high circles of society. It is cold in the hallways, and they certainly help.
“Teaching at the School of Sorcery full time really keeps me busy.” Annette says as she places her teacup down. “It is fun to see the wide eyed new faces get excited about casting their first spells.
“Annie, that is so sweet.” Mercedes laughs softly. “Things are going very well at the new orphanage we started in Fraldarius. We have a huge building and a room for each individual child. We really appreciate the help from Dimitri and Felix. The children are going to write thank you letters soon. I hope you get to see them.”
“That is wonderful to hear. I am sure Dimitri will be well pleased with the news.” You thank them. “Getting the country back on its feet and prospering is his main goal, of course. I hope to see some of these places myself when it warms up in the spring.”
“That would be awesome if you can come visit!” Annette gasps excitedly. “We could have the students show off their talents. Many are working hard to take existing spells and making them useful in every day life.”
“Can someone look into a spell to cast on ordinary items that resist breaking?” You giggle. “I know someone that would appreciate that spell for sure.”
The table erupts in laughter. Girl talk continues as Ingrid joins you. Byleth’s arrival is announced, and everyone heads to one of the comfortable dining rooms that is prepared for the lavish feast the cooks have prepared.
Dinner consumed, the reunited Blue Lions retire to the King’s wing of the castle in a parlor fitted with plenty of furniture to accommodate everyone comfortably. Chairs, lounges and couches are scattered about the room as well as bowls of fruit, trays of cheese and sausage for snacks. A well-stocked cupboard carries glasses, wines, ciders and hard alcohol.
Sylvain makes himself right at home pulling out a large bottle of brandy and filling a few glasses. Annette picks out a fruity wine made with blackberries and between the two everyone has a glass.
“May I propose a toast?” Byleth spoke up and everyone shushed. “Happy Birthday to Dimitri, King of United Faerghus. May he have many happy and peaceful birthdays to come.”
Sylvain let out a whoop, most others give a respectable cheers! Everyone settles into little groups chatting amongst themselves. You lean on the arm of a comfy sofa, talking with Byleth about what is going on in the monastery.
“The rebuilding and repairing is going well.” Byleth shares. “The classrooms are functional, and all of the dormitories are repaired. We are rewriting the curriculum to teach mathematics, reading, writing and other necessary classes for the public. We want it to be a school for the children to learn, leading into better careers than just becoming knights or fighters.”
“That is wonderful to hear!” You excitedly clap your hands together. “A well educated people is a boon for everyone.”
Dedue is on the left side of the room with Ashe and Mercedes discussing recipes. Ingrid, Felix, Dimitri and Sylvain are discussing some recent merchants that arrived in Fhirdiad offering impressive and finely made weapons from Dagda and Brigid, the styles of weapons being the main topic of conversation.
Mercedes sits next to you for a while, speaking with you and Byleth about a recent idea you are testing. Setting up healing clinics in the city in several areas to assist in keeping the people healthy. Byleth approves of the idea and may test some clinics in areas around Garreg Mach.
Sylvain has been keeping everyone’s glasses full. He notices that he really hasn’t had to fill your glass much, however the glass of water next to your wineglass is nearly empty. Leaning over the back of the couch he starts massaging your shoulders.
“Hey.” Sylvain bends over and speaks softly close to your ear. “If you don’t like the wine we have other drinks. Loosen up and have a good time, beautiful. Get relaxed. “He grins at you and then winks.
Before you can turn your head to tell him no, Dimitri marches over and sits next to you on the couch removing Sylvain’s hands.
“Refrain from manhandling my fiancée.” Dimitri growls at him. He then gently places his hand on top of yours that is sitting on the couch cushion between the both of you.
You blush at him as several gasps utter in the room.
“Fian- you’re getting married Dimitri? Congratulations!” Sylvain nearly shouts, slapping him on the shoulder. “Didn’t know you had it in you! When did this happen? Tell us all about it!” He runs around to the front of the couch to take a seat in the chair directly opposite Dimitri so he can watch his friend’s every move.
“I-well. It just happened. We aren’t quite ready to announce it, but then Sylvain…” Dimitri hangs his head down, shaking it while blushing profusely.
You decide to swoop in to save him. “You see Sylvain, when two people like each other and get to know each other well, spending time together, sometimes something special happens. We have been courting for quite a while you know.”
“I know, yeah. But he’s Dimitri! He has no idea how to flirt or capture ladies’ hearts. Has he even kissed you?” Sylvain looks quite shocked.
Dimitri’s face is red all the way to his neck. You take his hand in yours and squeeze it tightly.
“We have kissed. He kissed me first and everything else is our business. Change the subject.” You give him your evil eye look.
“Wow.” Sylvain laughs. “Wah-hah-how.” He stands up and walks to the alcohol cabinet. Felix gives him a punch in the shoulder.
“Shut the fuck up, idiot.” Felix mumbles.
“Felix, do me a favor.” You smile slyly. “Take Sylvain to the training grounds with you early tomorrow morning and give him a good workout. I’ll even tell them to lock you two in there so he can’t escape.”
“It would be my pleasure.” Felix gives a courteous bow and Sylvain a side eye.
“Speaking of sparring,” Byleth says loudly. “I have a few new swords I’ve brought if you want to have a look at them Dimitri. Fantastic workmanship. I hear this weapon maker has some amazing materials that are being shipped in from Dagda.”
You get up to move about the room, talking with Ingrid about improving farming techniques in their territory.
“We always thought Galatea had poor soil because certain fruits and vegetables would not grow well there.” Ingrid sips her wine. “We kept fighting with the land, trying to make it grow what we wanted. Finally, we’re growing what the land wants, what grows in our type of soil in the first place. This is the third year for cranberries and the bushes are loaded. Rethinking our ways has improved things a hundred fold.”
“I love cranberries.” Annette croons. “They make a really tart sauce that is great with bird meat.”
“I like the juice for breakfast, it certainly is an eye opener!” You add.
The conversation quietly moves to anything and everything except for the engagement. Annette heads over to speak with Felix, Ingrid heads to Ashe to discuss something.
Sylvain stands close, but not too close to you. His grin is full of mischief. You dread what is going to come out of his mouth.
“So, when you planning on having kids?” Sylvain not so innocently inquires. “The council has been dogging him about heirs since the day after his coronation.”
“One more word from you and I will have Felix take you to the training grounds now, followed by Byleth, Dedue, Ingrid, Ashe and myself. Am I making myself perfectly clear?” You give a smile through gritted teeth that makes him cringe down to his toes.
“Yes Ma’am.” Sylvain whines as he backs up and heads to the farthest side of the room, only to find Dimitri there, so he splits the difference and heads to a corner furthest away from the both of you.
Sylvain stays in his corner. Ashe approaches him, asking a question. As he opens his mouth you stare at him. Sylvain dutifully closes his mouth and only answers by nodding yes or no. His voice is not heard throughout the rest of the evening. It is a fine party indeed for Dimitri’s birthday.