the right to love

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Izuku was fixing his collar in nervousness. They all have been in Obelia for a week, and during those seven days, he has been avoiding any sort of confrontation between him and his grandfather.

As much as he treated him warmly at their first meeting, he couldn't help but to hold a little resentment towards him. His lovely and kind mother deserves all the goodness of this world. She should have been raised basking in his love.

But look where she ended up.

Heaven forbid he actually came across the woman that took everything his mother wanted. Does he resent Claude? A little. Resent Roger Alpheus and Countess Rosalia? Absolutely. Resent Jennette Margarita? He might Detroit Smash her into next week.

He doesn't think that he would hold back if that witch says something bad about his mother. He usually doesn't say anything bad about others, but hearing things about Jennette was making his blood boil.

"Your Highness.." A maid by the name Ces knocked on the door, "You have a breakfast meal with His Majesty, Sir Robane and Lady York are here to escort you,"

Izuku sighed, this is it. He was finally going to be having a meal with his grandfather.

‿︵‿︵୨˚̣̣̣͙୧ - - ୨˚̣̣̣͙୧‿︵‿︵

Claude was never nervous. Aside from the times he was with Diana, that woman is a daredevil, her life goal was probably to give him a heart attack when she was still alive. He just wished he wasn't such an idiot, if he could go back in time he would change it.

Everything that was meant for his daughter, he would give it to her. He would have given the world to her. He would even allow Reiju to marry her, as long as she was happy. As long as Athanasia would never be sad again.

"Your Majesty, the prince has arrived," Felix informed him as he turned to look at his only grandson.

As expected, Elpidius looks a lot like Athanasia, the only evidence of Reiju being his parent was the white highlights and freckles. But everything else is Athanasia. He spent a long time staring at her last portrait, he memorized her face.

(She looked so much like Diana.)

Was this his punishment? That his remaining flesh and blood looked both like the two important women in his life that he had forgotten, and only remembered when it was too late? Elpidius, bright Elpidius was a carbon copy of Athanasia, and Athanasia who was a carbon copy of Diana. It was like seeing the two in the boy.

But he would see the boy as he is. No matter how much he missed the two.

(How could he dare to miss Athanasia when he never really knew her? When he only knows his daughter through stories of Lilian York. Does he even have a right to beg for forgiveness when he crosses over?)

"Elpidius," Claude spoke his name like a greeting.

"Good morning, Grandfather," The boy greeted back as he took a seat across from him. The servants immediately placed their breakfast on the small table.

"How are you?" That's right, Claude, you do the talking. Athanasia's son deserves just as much, "Was Peridot Palace to your liking?"

"It is," Elpidius curtly said as he ate, "My lovers and I love it, thank you,"

"No need to thank me, you deserve it and more,"

Then the silence. The young boy wasn't speaking, just merely eating, and so was Claude. They were waiting for the other to open that topic. The one topic they both probably have been avoiding.

Athanasia's death.

"Why.." Elpidius quiet voice carried over the morning wind, "Why did you have to forget about my mother to the point you brought her to her death?"

This was it. Claude looked into his eyes as he was steeling himself internally.

"Your grandmother's, Diana's, death was too much for me to handle," He started, "That is my excuse.. But Athanasia? She suffered the consequences of me doing black magic. She should have never suffered from that,"

Elpidius was looking at him with narrowed eyes. He was being dissected with Elpidius's eyes; whether he would trust him or not. His grandson was training to be a hero, he knows how to differentiate these.

If there is one thing he wanted to say, he might as well say it now.

"I have a lot of faults, I knew that," He took a deep breath. Say what we have in mind, that's what Diana told him, "Please let me be in your life and give you the love that your mother should have gotten from me. I won't treat you as a replacement for the nonexistent bond I have of her, but as the last memory of my true daughter. Please give me the right to love you as your grandfather,"

Elpidius opened his mouth, then closed it again. He was staring at him for a few moments. Before he knew it, his arms were full with a crying Elpidius. Claude's hands were shaking.

Clumsily, he supported his grandson's weight on his lap.

"O-of course!" He sobbed as he clung onto his neck, "I will let you..! Grandpa..!"

"Elpidius.." Claude whispered his name, before smiling and hugging the boy. Breakfast forgotten, what matters to Claude was his grandson in his arms.

‿︵‿︵୨˚̣̣̣͙୧ - - ୨˚̣̣̣͙୧‿︵‿︵

A woman was biting her nails furiously as she watched the pair.

It wasn't fair! She shouted in her head to avoid getting discovered, everything was hers to begin with! Hers! Hers alone! Who told that cowardly princess to give birth to a nuisance anyway!?

She has to get rid of that boy, she has too. That way she would be the only heir to the throne! It was hers to begin with! Why should she let that bastard child take it away from her?

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