Title: Queen and Her Knight
Pairing: Elincia/Geoffrey
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Comfort doesn't have to play by the rules.

Notes: written for the kink meme. Original request wanted 'undressing/moving past thoughts of just friends'.

Takes place before the endgame of Radiant Dawn, contains spoilers.

The flap entrance of the tent fell closed on the outside world, and suddenly they were left alone.

Elincia smiled very carefully when Geoffrey opened his mouth to speak – swallowed – started again.

"Your Majesty..."

She might have found sorrow in his eyes if she had cared to look for it, but she averted her gaze before she was tempted. It had been so long since she had acknowledged his pain, or her own. Time wouldn't have been on the side of introspection even if she hadn't gone out of her way to avoid it. She had refused to let herself drown in the mire of self-doubt.

And he, the perfect knight, he had sensed his queen's reluctance, and kept his lips sealed. Sometimes when Elincia felt her back bending under the duty she had to carry it was his silent presence that kept her from buckling entirely. He had lent her strength when she wouldn't have known how to ask for it.

"No, Geoffrey," she said softly.

The tiara, when she took it off, set with a softer clink against the wooden table. Her hair tumbled down around her face, freed from the tiara, and it was as if half the strain weighting down on her had tumbled down as well, leaving only tiredness in its wake.

"Tonight I think I'd rather be Elincia."

She looked up from the empty diadem to him, and didn't try to keep the tiredness from showing in her smile.

The fabric of the tent only muffled the noises from outside, but to Elincia there was nothing but silence as he stepped toward her, almost awkward, in a way he never was on the battlefield, his arms hanging as if he didn't know what to do with them. He was moving slowly, and when he was in front of her, he knelt.

Slowly, he took her hand and brought it to his lips. His fingers shook slightly. He was a knight before being a courtier, more used to handling a lance than the jewels others liked to adorn themselves with.

His lips rested on her hand far longer than the court would've deemed appropriate; the wistful caress Elincia ran down his cheek would've sent the royal assembly in an uproar.

Slowly, he exposed the inside of her wrist. Slowly, he kissed her there. Slowly, she tilted his chin up, and slowly she placed a butterfly kiss against his jaw.

Geoffrey's breath caught as she helped him back to his feet, fingers gripping.

His eyes were wide and he parted his lips when she carefully leaned up.

They lingered in the kiss. Under her hand, the back of his neck was warm, her fingers tangling with the blue locks.

His eyes were darker when she broke the kiss.

They were standing closer than they had in a very long time. She'd missed it more than he could imagine.

The queen of Crimea rarely had the luxury to act as she pleased. The throne was no resting place; if it sat above others, she'd learned, it was so that it could see everything that went on within the realm. The crown was no fashion accessory; it was meant to circle the sovereign's head from dawn till dusk, unfailing like the sun watching the whole day, from the Eastern mountains covered in evergreens to the windy moors of the West; and, between them, the wheat fields and the orchards of Crimea.

Even if she'd had the time, the nobles wouldn't have let her.

She had been the one who had to court them, and in the end she was only able to win them over because she valued the country's peace over her peace of mind, and her honor as the queen over her wishes as a girl.

She had played by their rules, again and again and again, and gained nothing but her country's rebellion and the blood-freezing knowledge that she was able to sacrifice her best friend to her ideals. It was the only time Geoffrey dared speak up against her. She had never felt more lonely than in that moment.

Ludveck and the others had only forgotten that she hadn't inherited the throne through a fit of monstrous chance.

It had been chance that had thrown her and only her as heir to their land, but she'd had to take it back. It hadn't been inheritance that had made her the queen of Crimea, but the long march to conquer her country.

They'd seen a peace-loving, unsure girl and they'd heard her peace-loving, soft words, and they'd forgotten that she wielded a sword.

Elincia did not care for their rules.

There was no court today, and tomorrow there would only be one again if she went into the Tower and vanquished a goddess.

She had shed their rules, and she would never again let them bind her.

"Stay with me," she mouthed.

Geoffrey's thumb brushed against her lips.

Slowly, they undressed one another.

His fingers snagged on the gauze of her cloak, skin too rough to skim over the silk. She undid the lace that held the pieces of his shoulder armor with ease.

When their fingers intertwined and she tipped on her toes to kiss him again, their hands fit together like pieces of a jigsaw, callused from weapon usage.

He touched her with reverence, and she marveled at his tremors when she set her hands on the skin she bared; not even stroking, simply reveling in his body. His eyes lit up when the muscles of her legs rolled and tensed when he stroked her boots and tights down.

Elincia felt herself flush as he palmed her legs, from her ankles up, and up, until his warm hands were cupping her buttocks.

She helped him take his shirt off, biting her lip when the buttons threatened to get caught in his hair, feeling her heart somersault at the first flash of his abs underneath, then his finely chiseled chest as he finished whipping the garment off, his shoulders, his neck – until nothing was hidden anymore. Geoffrey, uninterrupted, more than the picture in her mind.

She noticed him watching expectantly, and with a flush she looked down, to start unbuttoning her own dress. His breath over her throat made her shiver; once, she had to still because of a kiss he'd nestled on the hollow of her neck.

When she was done, when she stood naked in front of him, reverently Geoffrey spread the dress on the floor.

Her hand gripped his for a moment before she laid down on the dress with all the majesty of a queen.

In a corner of the tent, the royal sword of Crimea slid to the side, coming to rest across the brave lance.