A/N: Written for tomoeish for a drabble challenge on my journal. Intentionally this short, complete, and will not be updated. Ever.

Prompt: Teresa/Clare, 'blood'

Enjoy!

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Pledge

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Clare was used to the taste of blood.

Following after Teresa was never easy, no matter how Teresa slowed herself down to let Clare keep up. There were always thorns along the path, sharp stones underfoot, and battles where the very air was full of it.

She became accustomed to cleaning herself up with her tongue, like a cat, because there wasn't always water and the wounds would get infected if she didn't cleanse them at least a little. She wasn't like Teresa, practically invincible and able to heal in seconds. She got hurt, and it took time to heal when she did, because she was still a glorious, fragile human being, not a monster.

So sometimes, Teresa let Clare clean her up too, though her wounds would never get infected. It made Clare happy to press close to Teresa's unnaturally hot skin and wash out those ripped gashes with her tongue, like it was a forbidden intimacy that she was desperate for but too embarrassed to seek on her own.

Teresa would never tell Clare how it felt, the sweet pain that came from the salt of her saliva and the rasp of her tongue, or the sweeter ache that followed it lower down in her monstrous body.

All telling her would do was bring pain to Clare, and while pain was Teresa's best friend, it was Clare's enemy and since it was Teresa's self-appointed mission to keep Clare safe from her enemies as much as possible, it was out of the question to bring her pain herself.

Still, it was hard sometimes when Clare's ragged hair trailed over her shoulders and her thin hands clutched at Teresa's tunic.

Teresa knew pain better than she knew herself, but pleasure was a new and formidable foe she hadn't the strength to fight.

So she said nothing and let the half-truth continue as long as it could.

If it ever broke, it would be Clare's doing, and at that time Teresa would not protest.

This was a promise she made to herself, and sealed in blood.

Then, and not before.

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