This is just a little Sphintus/Titus thing set just before the war going on in current manga chapters, but I hope you enjoy it!
Sphintus has never had anyone trust in him so thoroughly.
Titus must be a special case, he thinks. Well, of course he is—Titus isn’t normal, he wasn’t born as a normal person was, and there’s nothing else normal about him even if he was.
It doesn’t make it any less endearing when the other boy looks at him hesitantly to ask about something in day-to-day life that he doesn’t quite grasp, or steals food from the pot before it’s done cooking, or giddily hefts a kitten or Marga into his arms to spin them around.
No matter their rocky beginnings, it’s a little difficult to imagine life without Titus now. Sphintus supposes that makes him a bit more protective than he should be, no matter his anxiety about showing it. He never quite knows how Titus will react—will he get mocked this time, for trying to say something brave about how he’ll protect him, about how he won’t let Titus go back ‘home’ because he’s his own person and can do as he please?
The answer, remarkably, is ‘no.’
"I’m not going to let them take you."
There are a dozen far better, more eloquent ways to say it, but Titus, for once, doesn’t seem to mind. His lips curve slowly, and Sphintus can’t help but think about how nice he looks perched on the edge of Sphintus’s bed, smoking from his pipe, tension and nervousness falling away with every puff of smoke that leaves his lips. “Thank you.”
The only problem is Sphintus isn’t sure if Titus believes him.
It isn’t like Sphintus can blame him. What’s there to trust in a healer from an impoverished royal family, anyway? Still, there’s warmth in Titus’s gaze when Sphintus slides onto the bed next to him, catches his chin, and properly kisses him, tasting smoke and whatever sweet the blond has sampled that day.
It’s all the calm before the storm, Sphintus knows.
War is at their gates, and how is he supposed to protect Titus from that? Impossible, probably, but far better is thinking of how warm and soft Titus is against him right now, yielding to his kisses and nibbles and bites when he finds that pale neck, and Sphintus has to reach out, snatching up his pipe before Titus can drop it and scatter ash across the bedspread.
Even if it’s just a fleeting calm before the storm, Sphintus wants to stop time and make it last.
He wants every day to be like this, Titus spread beneath him on the bed, making soft, eager noises, skin flushed and eyes lidded, his hands pawing down Sphintus’s back and digging in when their hips roll together just right. It doesn’t matter if it’s fumbling, or sloppy, or less than perfect, Titus still looks alive, still looks happy, and there’s nothing Sphintus wants more than that.
Long after Titus dozes off, face pressed into the curve of Sphintus’s shoulder, Sphintus lies awake, smoke escaping between his lips in a slow, curving cloud as he thinks about how nice it could be if he really could stop time, keep Titus forever, and avoid this pointless war.
For not the first time, he considers taking off and dragging Titus with him. A pity he doesn’t think himself strong enough or brave enough, but it’s a nice thought, nonetheless.