Authors Notes: A sudden burst of inspiration and this fic is the result. I always thought that, that scene where Rakushun takes his human form and assures Youko she'll do well with her kingdom was very beautiful. Since then I've wanted, to at least write if not read a nice story between the two of them. Yet somehow it wasn't until watching volume nine that I felt I could procrastinate no longer. All in all I think this little fic turned out fairly well-considering it's pretty much a P.W.P. . . .

In His Lady's Chambers

She was panting and sweating, the cool of the night's air only now noticed. Many thoughts dared to race through her mind, but she pushed them away. Not now. Just this once she'd truly been selfish. She hadn't thought. It really wasn't as bad as all that, she supposed. But she imagined few would be in support of these recent happenings.

The day had started out simple enough. Youko had been roused before daybreak and guided into the baths where she enjoyed a brief soak before bathing herself after which her maids came to dress her. She ate in the presence of Keiki who tentatively brought up his concerns for this matter and that. She, being in good spirits as of late, listened calmly to what he had to say and assured him that all would be well and that he needn't worry.

The morning meeting was held as usual and concluded by mid day. The rest of the day had been spent catching up with Rakushun. Arrived in his beast form and on leave from his studies he had come innocently, simply to visit with her. Theirs were busy lives, leaving little time for frequent trysts and so, both were very happy to sip tea and converse about the most trivial of things for the entirety of the afternoon.

They dinned together at dusk and toasted to the mundane.

A walk through the palace grounds allowed them time to digest their meal. It was a beautiful night. A gentle breeze blew about, the stars were bright and clear, while the moon, hung crescent in the sky. It really was a pity that while outside, guards watched and followed their movements. Certainly it was a necessity, however, though she was used to their constant presence, it didn't change the fact that they were of mild annoyance.

This was a very familiar pattern. On the odd occasion where the two of them had the chance to see each other, they would talk for hours with each other and walk the grounds. They would return to the palace and usually do something together for entertainment. Mind puzzle games were often the items of choice and then he would walk her as far as he was formally allowed, to her room where he would then go to his own arranged sleeping quarters.

So what was it that had been different about tonight? Why had they decided to retire early? Why had he walked her nearly to the door of her bedroom without either realizing? And why when they were ready to part ways for the night had she smoothed the fur of his face and kissed the ridge of his mousey nose. An act she'd innocently performed on one or two other occasions.

She'd turned and made no more than a foot's distance between them when his hands, his now human hands fell onto her shoulders.

"Youko," he said fondly from behind her.

"Naughty rat," she sighed as she leaned back against him. A spark lit inside her.

"Hey, behave yourself," he chided. "I didn't mean it like that."

He didn't seem to be aware that his hands we slowly running down to her elbows, but she was. It was perhaps the most physical they'd ever been with each other. If it had been just a few years ago, she'd probably have held a terrible blush on her face. Her mind would have been screaming about the indecency of it all and how proper girls would not even find themselves in such a position.

"Hmm…" She hummed.

She inclined her head and looked to the side. Rakushun, with gray bangs dancing over his eyes stared back at her. It looked as though he was going to say something but was silenced when she ever so lightly kissed his lips. She pulled back slightly but then decided against it as his hands ran back up her arms, stopping to cup her neck and jaw line. She turned mid kiss to face him, her hands resting against his bare chest.

The kiss grew more intimate and when they'd slowed and pulled away, breathing heavily, he'd rested his forehead against hers.

"Come," She took his hands, slightly trembling and led him into her room.

"You-ko?" he whispered but followed her all the same.

Half way into the room already, she turned on him. "Hush," she kissed him again. He was touching her once more. This time more bold, his fingers fumbling with her tightly bound sashes. She untied the yellow cloth he wore around his shoulders; it fell quietly to the floor.

They began to inch their way closer to the bed, her layers of clothing falling away from her in their clumsy movements. They collapsed onto the bed together, though not intentionally. His foot had snagged on the white, shirt he'd removed from her and fell forward, taking her with him. It was very lucky that they'd reached the bed by this time.

"Sorry, are you all right?" He asked sitting up. His cheeks grew warm and pink, taking in the full sight of her. She lay beside him in only her undergarments. He could clearly make out the curves of her body, the tanned colour of her skin, the slight indications of muscle.

In turn this was really her first chance at seeing his body. It surprised her that he would be so well shaped when he had such little time for physical activity. His skin was far lighter than hers, and for a moment she remembered a time when she was so pallid. From where she lay his thigh hid his genitalia from her and she'd found herself somewhat disappointed at that.

"Rakushun," she said running her fingers over his outer thigh. His eyes drew up to her face. "Do you care for me Rakushun?"

His blush grew darker with stirrings desire. "Surely you know that."

She sat up removing the last of her clothing. "I needed to hear it all the same."

"Youko, I. . . "

She smiled. He kissed her again easing her down onto the mattress and pulled away. He watched her expression as his fingers searched for her hymen. A slight moan escaped her and she moved to allow him more access. She didn't hesitate when he motioned to enter her; she braced his shoulders anticipating discomfort.

The first thrust was gentle yet still able to break her womanly barrier. She was overwhelmed by the sensation; no pain. That surprised her. He began to move within her his faced scrunched up as he changed the angle and he buried his head into her shoulder.

Youko could feel him all over: legs between her, abdomen sliding along abdomen, chest to breast. Sandwiched between Rakushun and the mattress, he dictated her breathing pattern. A thought occurred to her of how they would look-how she would see them had she possessed a ceiling mirror. Self consciousness struck her and she had to close her eyes.

His speed increased. She gasped and moaned. He pushed deeper so that his pelvis pressed against her too and an inaudible sound escaped her. The gentle hold she had had on his shoulders became a clutch. "It feels so good," she rasped. She now noticed his labored breathe.

"Uh huh," was all he was capable of saying at that point.

The bed creaked with each of his thrusts. Her legs wrapped around his sides. Her toes were scrunching.

She tilted her hips to better meet his thrusts. More; she thought- harder, faster she pleaded silently. Why hadn't they done this sooner?

He found his release shortly after she did. He collapsed on top of her and when he regained his senses he shifted his weight and rolled onto his side.

She was panting and sweating but without the warmth of his body encompassing hers she was now beginning to feel the cool of the night's air.

He noticed and with a bit of work, was able to pull back the covers underneath them and cover them. She rolled onto her side as well and burrowed her head against his chest. She wanted to thank him, to profess how much she cared for him and how amazing he had made her feel but her throat seemed tight and dry and the words she came up with seemed unreflective of how she felt.

He stroked her hair but said nothing either perhaps he felt as helpless with words as she did.

It wasn't long before she found her eyes growing heavy. But before sleep took her she mumbled, "Ove you."