It feels like it's a sudden thing, but in reality, it is far from it.

The words slip from his tongue one day, as easy as anything, and Elliot is startled – left staring like a deer at the end of a hunter's gun, and Leo stares right back, his expression… bemused. Yes, that's the best way to describe it. Elliot can pick out a dozen things from the glint of his eyes beneath the heavy fall of his bangs – why would you say that, there are many others that are better, I am nothing, why do you love me?

Elliot disagrees with everything except for the why.

… Even if he can't put it into words.

It had to have happened some time ago: perhaps it even happened during the slow weeks that past of him insisting to visit that orphanage every other day. Leo was far from personable, far from sweet and kind like the girls his family would shove at him, but that sort of made it nicer, didn't it? Because he was witty and smart andfun and a match for everything that he could do.

Except swordfight, but that was just as well. Elliot wanted to be the one to protect him, anyway.

So when Leo looks at him and simply shakes his head, wondering why or howElliot loves him, the noble sort of wants to shake him – mostly because Elliot himself doesn't really know, can't really put a name to it. It just sort of… happened.

He's prettier than any girl, anyway. Smarter than anyone, period.

"Don't ask me about things like that again. Just accept it."

And for once in his useless servant's life, Leo seems to obey – with a smile, sort of half-hidden as he ducks behind the fall of his hair.

Elliot figures he must have loved him from the start, no matter how much like a fairy tale that seems.