Idk what sort if Hubert prompts you've gotten but maybe a scenario where Byleth falls in battle (not dead) and he loses his usual composure? Your writing is magnificent and I come to your blog often to read and reread your fics. ❤
He didn’t just watch you fall; he wasn’t far away.
No, he was standing beside Edelgard, mere meters behind you. He was your most trusted guard, your loving husband, the man who would move the heavens and the earth if it meant he could serve you.
The number of great knights was concerning, and the heavily armored units that Those Who Slither had employed were out of character for them. It was easy enough to level the battlefield- more so because of the magic advantage.
But someone was able to break through. One thick blade cut through and hit a target. He cleaved through your armor in a single strike- that was all it took. You were careening across the battlefield, further and further away. You were struck down.
When Edelgard saw Hubert freeze and snap backwards, she turned.
The sound that escaped him... it was unnatural.
It wasn’t a bellow, nor a scream. But it was loud and piercing, filled with rage and fear that she had never heard him utter, before.
To your body, pulling you into his arms.
None of them had.
She blinked, and he was gone. He rocketed towards the knight, a fury of black magic enveloping his body. He was turning into a demon. Hubert roared out a visceral spell, his hand barely touching the man’s armor before he was swallowed whole by the assault.
As quickly as he had appeared, it was over. But he wasn’t finished. No, with ragged breath, hunched and trembling from the overwhelming dark power, he stumbled forward. He was chasing after you. Trying to get to you.
Edelgard wanted to follow. That was her dear professor. But she couldn’t move; because it wasn’t just her professor. You were Hubert’s precious wife.
And you were a bloody, fractured mess on the ground.
“Quickly- quickly, move him out of the way-!” The healers rushed past her, following after Hubert in a frantic panic. Hubert wasn’t going to stop.
He collapsed to his knees beside you, his hands hovering voer your unmoving form. He didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“Byleth…” His voice cracked violently, breaking off before he could utter more than a single word. “B-Byleth-”
“Hubert, you have to move out of the way! We can’t heal her if-”
“No!!” He cried, murder in his eyes. He shook violently, the aura of black magic still enveloping him. It was slowly swallowing you both. He dropped his arms around you, clinging to you tightly and pulling you into his chest. “Stay away- all of you stay away- I’ll kill you!!”
“Wait, you can’t move her-”
“Stay away!!” He bellowed. Edelgard was in shock. It was when the rest of the Black Eagles began to reach the scene that she realized something needed to be done. Bernadeetta came up to her, gasping in horror at the sight.
“W-what happened to her?!”
“A stray knight- he got to her. Hubert...he’s…”
“We have to get him away from her- we won’t be able to heal her at this rate. She could bleed out if we don’t remove him.” She quivered at the thought of approaching the deadly void.
Hubert’s eyes were wild with fear, rage, and unrecognizable emotions that Edelgard didn’t realize he was capable of feeling. Perhaps he wasn’t, long ago...but after taking you into his heart….it was clear you had changed him.
But as the aura around him grew stronger, lashing out at those who tried to approach, it was unclear if this was a good or bad thing.
“Emperor...what do we do?” Dorothea asked her worriedly. Edelgard steeled herself, and began to approach.
“I will get through to him. As soon as his guard is lowered, take her.” She ordered her Eagles, stepping towards the deadly magic. The others watched warily, Hubert’s enraged panic almost impossible to quell.
“Stay away...don’t touch her!!”
“Hubert, stand down.” She called to him firmly, “The Professor needs help. We can’t heal her if you don’t give her to me.”
“I left her...I let her be harmed...I failed her!!” His words were cold, filled with anger and regret.
“We will not harm her! Give her to me, now!” She commanded him with far more fervor. But the aura didn’t drop. He was going mad with grief. Edelgard gripped her axe tightly; she knew what needed to be done.
“Milady , wait-” Ferdinand wanted to stop her, unsure if approaching a rabid Hubert was a good idea. But there was no alternative. Who else would be able to get closer?
Black magic shot out at Edelgard- she narrowly avoided it, swerving around the lances of violent black. She swung her axe into it, cracking the barrier. She ofrced her way in with nary a hesitation. More of his magic poured out, he clung to your body tighter.
She found a breaking point; she pushed.
The butt of her axe found Hubert’s head. As suddenly as the madness was born, it dissipated. Hubert crumpled to the ground, still clinging to you. To his wife.
Edelgard called for the clerics, that all was safe. It was time to heal them both.
She would never be able to get the sound of Hubert’s sadness from her head. The quiet whispers of your name on his lips as he faded into unconsciousness, the tears that fell from his eyes. It was a horrible sight. A terrible battle.
She feared what would happen if he lost you.
They all did.
When Hubert woke up, two days later...he was hollow. There was a strange emptiness in his body and he wasn’t sure what to do. Everything hurt, and his head was still killing him. There was a very tender point on the back of his head, one that made him turn his head so that it wasn’t pressed into the pillow.
The movement was enough to make his stomach flip. He groaned, fighting the urge to release what little was still in his stomach. Everything was in pain. Everything hurt. But he felt empty. As though he had voided everything in his heart and soul, and a gaping cavern had replaced it.
There were voices in the corners of the room, muffled and hard to discern from the ringing in his ears. Then there was a gentle, tentative hand on his arm. Someone was asking him a question.
He made another sound, willing his eyes open. It hurt to look at anything- let alone try and focus on something. Why was everything so bleary? He saw a flurry of brown hair. Long, feminine. Dorothea.
“I said, ‘Are you awake’?” Ah. Those words he could understand. Hubert grimaced, trying to figure out how to form words. Everything was so disorienting. He had been on the battlefield moments ago, beside Edelgard, watching over you…
The knight. The blade.
“Be calm, Hubert.” Dorothea’s hand touched his face, “She’s all right. You need to rest.”
“She’s-?” He swallowed thickly, searching Dorothea’s expression as her hand fell away. You were all right? But what did that mean? How all right was “all right”?
“She’s awake, and she’s lucid. But she is fragile, much like you are, now.” She explained to him, turning away to retrieve some sort of salve to spread across his wounds. “You were somehow worse off than she was- and she’s the one who took a blade to the chest.”
His heart leapt at the reminder. There was a blur of memories that flashed across his mind, but none of them he was able to make much sense of.
There was so much anger, and fear, and sadness…there was blackness, and then a sharp pain, your warmth fading…
“What...did I do?” He hissed out, the first words he could muster. “What fool thing…did I…”
“You avenged your wife. She was struck down and you retaliated by destroying that soldier in an instant. It took a lot out of you; and you were a mess. You got to Byleth and you were holding her, but then you wouldn’t let anyone else get close. Emperor Edelgard was the one who subdued you, and she had to use force.”
So he was struck by her incredibly powerful weapon. No wonder everything hurt.
“Byleth has been asking about you, though. I should inform her that you’re awake.” She continued almost absentmindedly, as if it wasn’t that big a deal. Hubert would beg to differ. He started to push himself up, groaning in terrible pain. Every bone in his body was aching, his muscles begging him to stop.
“It’s….my fault, isn’t it.”
“Hardly.” She said as she scribbled a note down, tying it to a bird’s leg. It would be unwise to leave him alone, after all. She could imagine a million different ways he would hurt himself worse if he was left to his own devices. “She was struck by the enemy. You responded in kind.”
“I...didn’t let anyone else…”
“You set up a barrier of magic and you nearly killed the both of you. But you weren’t in the right state of mind; no one could blame you. I’m sure if anyone else had the magical power that you do, they would’ve been in the same situation. Especially if their significant other was harmed.”
“Foolish.” He muttered to himself. He inhibited help reaching you sooner. How much worse had he exacerbated your wounds by keeping you from others?
What was he thinking?
“Byleth will be here shortly,” She informed him as she sent off the fat little bird, “Don’t behave rashly, just go slow. She’s still fragile, herself. Don’t do anything to strain yourself or her.”
Hubert nodded silently, his thoughts slowly consuming him. He wasn’t sure what he’d been thinking, not in the slightest.
But there was a protection he felt obligated to give you. That you needed from him.
You deserved to be safe. He wanted to keep you safe- it was his duty. But protecting you from your comrades...what value was there in such actions?
He managed to push himself up the rest of the way, at least sitting up against the pillows. He stared blankly at the tent ceiling; he didn’t know what to think. Granted his brain was still foggy...but there were so many questions swirling inside him it was just...uncomfortable.
At some point, Dorothea stepped out. He was allowed to be consumed by the silence, finally. But it was only so long before the tent flap was slowly pushed open. That there was a shuffling at the entrance, a grunt of effort, and then...there you were.
You were still quiet, but moving much slower, with much less grace. Hubert’s eyes widened.
You were covered in bandages wherever your skin was exposed.
His heart all but shattered.
“Byleth…” He lost his voice. Your face was so pale, and gaunt. As if you hadn’t rested in weeks. Your armor was nowhere to be found; having been shattered in that battle. You looked so exposed...so frail.
But when you heard his call you turned to him, and a smile crossed your lips.
“Good morning, Hue.” You whispered, “How are you?”
His mouth ran dry, unable to find the words. Looking over every little injury...the focus of the wrappings over your chest…
You shook your head, coming to his bedside and taking hold of his hand as you carefully sat down.
“I’m okay.” You said as though sensing his thoughts. He vehemently disagreed, staring at what had happened to you.
“I’m recovering.” Your words were a very small comfort. Practically nonexistent. “I was much more worried about you. Edelgard said you nearly went mad.”
“You were hurt.” He croaked, as though you needed reminding. Your hands covered his holding them to your lips.
“I was careless.”
“You weren’t protected.” He insisted. You could feel the quivering in his fingers. The guilt in his voice. You looked at him, at the strange, broken gaze he held. His beautiful golden eyes were lost to sorrow.
“I’m not a damsel.”
“You’re not alone, either.” Hubert countered with a quiet venom, though it was far from directed at you. “I feel compelled to...protect the Emperor, always. But I need...I need to protect you, too. If you fall...what purpose is there? If you die, what am I supposed to do?”
You watched him silently, listening to his struggle with his human fears. He held your hands tightly, squeezing your fingers as he came to grips with the reality of the situation.
“If you died then- I would have died with you. The Emperor would never let me reanimate you. So I would rather die than live without you.”
“I understand.” You whispered. You carefully moved so that you could sit on the bedside, your legs touching when you pulled yourself to be face to face with your husband. Yet he did not meet your eyes.
“Pathetic, isn’t it? Selfishly declaring the ownership of another human being. That your protection is something I must maintain. I’m not a filthy knight- I’m no valiant creature- years ago I couldn’t care less if you were safe or not. But now you’re covered in all these wounds and I...I wonder if they would be there if I had chosen to protect you instead of the Emperor.”
“I don’t think you have that choice.” You told him with a small smile, brushing your fingers along his sharp cheek bone. “You’re a very important person to the Emperor. I wouldn’t want you anywhere but by her side.”
“So why do I feel different?” He questioned you seriously, “Why do I feel like I made a terrible mistake by not staying by your side, rather than hers? Why does this feel wrong?”
“Because you are in love with me.” How gentle your smile was. You cupped his cheek and coaxed his gaze back, as though he was trying desperately to understand. “And I am in love with you.”
“Is that truly the explanation?” You chuckled softly at his incredulity.
“You’ve never seen me in the danger you did, today. Of course you’ve never struggled with the feelings of possession that sometimes accompany love. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel the same. Every time you rush in to protect Edelgard, there’s an arrow of fear that pierces my heart. I don’t understand it perfectly, but...I know what it means. I want you to be safe just as you do, me.”
“It’s embarrassing, isn’t it?”
“I don’t think so. I think it means that we care very deeply for each other. That we want to stay with our dearest one as long as possible.” You mused, “Though...I’d be lying if I said using so much black magic that you nearly kill yourself is not preferred.”
“I am appalled at the lack of control, myself.” He muttered, his eyebrows drawing together. “I have never struggled with my power in such a way, before. I’ve never felt so...afraid. So angry.”
“I pray you never have to, again.” You sighed, cupping the back of his head and guiding him into your embrace. You held him tenderly, stroking his soft dark hair as he slowly, finally, relaxed. His hands pulled at the back of your tunic, clinging to you as close as he could without harming either of you.
“Forgive me, Byleth. I put you at such risk.”
“Forgive me, Hubert. I caused you such sorrow.”
“You shouldn’t apologize for that, foolish woman.” He snapped with as much chiding as he could muster; which was very little. You tugged playfully at his hair in retaliation.
“Neither should you, foolish man.” Your counter attack was met with a bitter smile. He gazed up at you, touching your face.
“What am I supposed to do with a creature like you?”
You shrugged, kissing his forehead. “Find a way to keep us both out of trouble, I suppose.”
“You would ask me to do the impossible.” He sighed, falling back against the pillows, sinking down once more. You followed after him, resting a hand on his chest, your head tucked between his shoulder and the pillow.
“Still, it wouldn’t hurt to try.”
He sighed, drawing his arm around your waist and holding you close. It felt so very right.
It’s what he knew he could never live without. And it explained his berserk reaction to your injury. If he lost this, the one peaceful, loving constant beam of sunlight in his life…
No. He wouldn’t think like that. He had you with him right now, and you were doing well. You were happy, and alive, and i n love with him.
Hubert squeezed you close.
He would never let you go.
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