This is all Vervain's fault. Really, it is, I was just re-watching the TV series and then he goes and makes a comment like that! (With Pipkin in the room no less, really, control yourself Vervain)

It's also a little bit Woundwort's fault because he walks around humming all the time. And humming is usually a sign that a rabbit is aroused. So, yeah... The sound is said to drive does crazy with a want to mate. Just so you know and understand what the whole humming business in the fic is all about.

One other thing that needs mentioning is that humping each other is normal rabbit behaviour for expressing their dominance over the other (and this is done regardless of the rabbits' sex). Or, you know, it can signify a will to mate (again, regardless of the rabbits' sex). The line can be blurry.

I have no idea how I went from simply thinking "Vervain, please" to actually writing this but here we are. Oh right almost forgot: I own nothing!

A Lesson in Obedience

That little runt Pipkin was finally gone. Vervain couldn't say he was sorry for that, even if the exchange hadn't gone according to plan. If he had to put up with that pipsqueak one more day he'd have gone mad. Or he'd have hurt him severely and put the blame on some other rabbit. Or perhaps not since the General wouldn't approve of that at all. Still though, why was he charged with this boring duty? He was a Captain for Frith's sake! He had better things to do!

"Let's get this over with then." He sighed, then glanced at the guard who'd accompanied him here. "Well, go on then! I haven't got all day." The guard hurriedly started gathering the leftover flayrah together. It'd be shame to let it rot in this cell after all. He looked around while the guard worked but as he did he was just reminded of Pipkin and that put him in a foul mood. For some unknown reason he really disliked that rabbit, even when he wasn't even doing anything, or even when he was giving him a half-compliment of sorts.

Well, actually he did know why. For the same reason he disliked Campion, or at least part of the reason he disliked Campion. Disliked was perhaps an understatement. At least in Pipkin's cause the young rabbit had been a prisoner and no matter how much the General took to him, every rabbit in Efrafa knew he wasn't their ally. Campion was much worse. Vervain knew for a fact that despite all his vows and high words, Campion wasn't loyal to General Woundwort at all. To Efrafra, yes; to the General, no; and this was a big difference. One that separated Campion and himself. One that the General refused to see. No, he called Campion "his best Captain of Owsla" and "competent" and "completely loyal" and "always there for him". This only made Vervain hate him even more. Hate was perhaps still an understatement. At this point even loathe was too positive a word.
Now that he thought about it, not even his vows of loyalty were directed at the General. He always swore loyalty to Efrafa. So he's not a liar but that doesn't mean he's not a traitor. And I'll find a way to prove it!

"Sir!" The guard bolted upright as he called the greeting.

"Well what are you stopping for? Hurry it up!"

"Captain Vervain," a deep voice spoke behind him and only now did Vervain hear the distinct humming sound that betrayed the General's presence. How he had not noticed was beyond him for he always noticed it. It was such an enthralling sound. He always wondered how no-one else in the warren -not even the does!-took notice of it. It's true that it had taken a while for him to pay attention to it but since the moment he had, he's been under its spell. Or at least, that's what it felt like at times. "I believe I asked you to collect this flayrah."

"Yes, of course, Sir, I was just... two rabbits make the work go faster." He explained rapidly. The guard was smart enough not to contradict him. Vervain had always liked that about him -Thistle his name was?- yes a good rabbit.

"Indeed." The General nodded at Thistle and then at the exit. The guard wasted no time in gathering up as much of the flayrah as he could and quickly hopping out of the cell. When they were alone he continued, "If they are both working, that is."

"Ah, you see, Sir, I was just about to-" Vervain stopped short at the look of disbelief in the General's eyes. Disbelief and... something else that Vervain couldn't identify.

"Seeing as you're not busy at the moment," he carried on as if Vervain hadn't spoken at all, "perhaps you'd like that lesson in obedience now."

The words hit Vervain like lightning. He backed up, making the greatest effort to appear to be cowering because he knew that fear was what the General expected -wanted- to see, but faking fear proved to be a more difficult thing than Vervain had imagined. It wasn't that he didn't fear the General- he was fully aware of what the other rabbit could do, and would do without hesitation, so normally fear came when fear was desired. But sometimes there was this other... feeling and right now it was so much stronger that Vervain had half the mind to throw caution to the wind and act upon it. Luckily, he wasn't that foolish a rabbit or he wouldn't have lasted long in Efrafa. Still, he couldn't repress a quiver of excitement nor the soft humming that reverberated from within him, seemingly of its own accord. Vervain prayed to Frith the General's own constant loud humming would mask his but it seemed the Lord Frith had other plans.

His next words didn't really help the situation either.

"If the General wishes to give one..."

More likely it was the Black Rabbit of Inlé that had other plans with him...

The sense of deja-vu was strong but this time there was no Pipkin to distract the General from his proposal. Vervain wasn't sure whether that should please him or not. Not that he had much say in the matter as his body had already decided that, yes, it was very pleased. Self-preservation kicking in, if only a little, Vervain hunched even further into himself and cast his eyes down to the ground. He contemplated threatening his body to stop betraying him, just to do something to distract himself from the deafening silence that stretched out between them. If a silence you could call it, for the General's humming resonated through the tunnel, its pull on Vervain working its magic like a hedge-wizard. Vervain swore it was even louder and deeper than usual. It was driving him absolutely crazy. His left ear twitched as he felt the General's gaze on him. Time seemed to pass agonizingly slow. When the General finally broke the silence, Vervain almost missed it; so low and quiet he had spoken.

"I believe I do."

When he did register the words he felt another quiver of anticipation pass through his body. The General hopped closer until his head was right next to Vervain's. He swallowed hard and forced himself to look at his front paws.

"Come, Captain." The General grunted out. Vervain nodded meekly, trying his best not to look as excited as he felt. He really shouldn't be feeling so excited about getting punished. He was glad when the General turned around to lead the way and couldn't see him shaking. Once more he could only hope the General misinterpreted his behaviour or Vervain was quite positive he'd be meeting the Black Rabbit of Inlé before the next dawn. As they passed the guards, one of them glanced at Vervain. His ear twitched and he gave the Captain a weird yet mildly intrigued look. Vervain felt hot under his fur and willed his body to stop humming, however soft it may be. It wouldn't do for other rabbits, be they guards or subjects -or, Frith forbid, Campion- to hear him and jump to conclusions. Vervain tried not to think about how accurate those conclusions would be. He wanted nothing more than to snap at the guard but he didn't trust his own voice at the moment so he settled on a death-glare. The guard snapped his head back and straightened up. Vervain smiled, satisfied at the guard's reaction, and hurried off after the General.

When they had reached the rock the General always cast his judgements from, Vervain stopped and sat down in his usual place. Fear was beginning to settle in more firmly and it was beginning to win its battle with that other feeling. Vervain refused to even think it, even if he was well aware what it was. It was inappropriate. Since when do you care about THAT? He ignored the thought just as he ignored the identity of the feeling, and simply waited for the General to crawl on top of the outcropped rock.

But he didn't. Instead he turned around and growled, "What are you standing around for?" Vervain was confused but before he could ask what the General meant, he carried on, "I thought I told you to come with me." He grunted, "Are you disobeying orders now, Captain?" The accompanying smirk sent shivers down Vervain's spine and for once even he was unsure what they meant.

"No, Sir, never!" He answered and hastened to the General's side. The General's only reply was a short grunt which sounded suspiciously amused. Amused! Vervain wasn't entirely sure whether this was a good thing or not. At the very least it meant the General was in a good mood but that wasn't necessarily good for him. He hopped after the General as they headed into the tunnel behind the rock. Vervain assumed it let to the General's den but he suddenly realised he'd never actually been there. He wondered if anyone had ever been there aside from the General himself of course. Vervain felt strangely honoured at the privilege he was given.

When they arrived the General motioned for him to enter first. Vervain wasn't really sure what he'd been expecting the den to look like but it wasn't this. It was a lot smaller than he'd imagined (not that he spent a lot of time imagining such things of course) yet it didn't feel cramped either. There was enough room for both of them to fit in comfortably but with not much room to spare. It was almost... cosy. Not a thing one would associate with the General. Then again it wasn't that the General had dug any burrows himself (the thought alone was preposterous), he was just occupying it so perhaps it wasn't really something to be surprised about. At any rate, Vervain thought he rather liked it, even if he preferred a little more space to sleep himself. When he glanced back to the entrance he noticed the General blocking the exit and staring at him. His humming became louder again as he glared down at him. Vervain felt his own body respond in kind.

"S-sir?" His voice was quivering. The humming was so loud now that Vervain had trouble concentrating on anything at all. He was dimly aware of the General approaching until he could feel his hot breath on his neck fur. "Time for your lesson."

Nothing more needed to be said.

Almost instinctively Vervain crouched down so that the General hardly had to apply any pressure. He still used a lot of force (then again he was just strong so maybe he couldn't control his own strength) and Vervain could feel his claws scrape his sides as he put one paw over Vervain's body and pressed closer. Vervain was sharply aware of their fur brushing. The sensation caused his heart to speed up, his ears twitching in anticipation. Vervain didn't stop his body's responses, there was no reason to do so any longer, but still he hoped that he didn't appear too eager. Judging by the amused low laugh coming from the General as he pushed him down with his entire body, he'd failed miserably at that. Heat flashed through Vervain and a low grunt escaped him when he felt the General groom the fur between his shoulder-blades. At first it was only licking, surprisingly soft, but it quickly turned to light biting, and all the while Vervain's humming became louder, deeper and decisively more urgent. With a satisfied grunt the General stopped his ministrations and Vervain felt him shift on top of him. Daring a glance behind him, Vervain saw the General move to mount him properly. He bent down, pressing his belly to Vervain's back. Low humming reverberated from the General. Vervain didn't just hear it, no, he could feel it, resonating with his own humming, blending into a unique harmony that was just too irresistible to him. Vervain felt like he could drown in the sensation and sound and he felt content to just stay like this. The General thought differently however and bit down hard on the very same patch of fur he'd been grooming earlier.

"G-General...!" Vervain had expected it to be a whimper but instead it came out as a needy and impatient grunt. It had been the correct response for the General responded in kind, a deep grunt rumbling from him and travelling through both of them. And the next thing Vervain knew the General was reasserting his dominance (which was a more eloquent way to say he was humping him). The rough motion pushed Vervain further into the floor until he was afraid he'd be crushed by the much larger rabbit on top of him. His worries left him as quickly as they came though when his mind fogged over. His claws scraped over the floor as he felt the General dig his own in his sides again. The humming, the grunts, the fur brushing together, the rough motion of the General moving against him, it was all too much. Vervain became so overwhelmed by the over-stimulation of his senses that he was scarcely aware of his surroundings. His mind vaguely registered a string of grunts overlapping the ever-present humming. Perhaps he had said some things as well. He had been told he was far too talkative for a rabbit on more than one occasion. The General didn't object but merely sped up his pace, never missing a beat. A moment later, a moment that felt both long and short, the General spoke, yet even then he didn't let up.

"Who is the Chief around here?" The question was ground out half muffled because he still hadn't released his hold on his fur. It was a strange mixture of a growl and a grunt with a thin undertone of laughter, and Vervain found himself answering (be it grunting) without thinking.

"General... Woundwort..."

A deep satisfied grunt followed and with one final thrust the General was finished. He let go of Vervain's fur and collapsed on top of him. The humming had ceased and its hold on Vervain faded as he himself came down back to his senses. He could feel the General's rapid heartbeat slowing down to a normal pace again. His own followed suite until they were in sync. They stayed like that for a while and it suddenly occurred to Vervain that a show of dominance really shouldn't have pleased him so much. The General stirred, pushing himself off Vervain. Without a word he began to softly lick the fur between his shoulder-blades again and only now did Vervain realise the spot was sour. He'd probably lost some fur as well. Yet none of this detracted from the feeling of peace and utter bliss that seemed to flow through his body. For the first time since, well, since he could remember, he felt completely content.

...Maybe it had been more than just a reasserting of dominance...

Vervain didn't mention this. He doubted there was a need to. So instead he made an appreciative noise at the grooming. After too short a time the General stopped and completely lifted himself off his Captain. He settled down next to him, their fur touching, and leant in close to whisper.

"My lesson seems to have been a hit." He sounded ridiculously pleased with himself but Vervain wasn't complaining. On the contrary.

"Yes, Sir, quite so."

"Always eager to learn, hmm?" The General smirked at him and Vervain simply smiled back.

"Certainly." He replied. "If the General wishes to teach..."

You know, I actually like Woundwort and Vervain. They're interesting characters, to say the least.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope enjoyed!