Us.

We've never kissed. We've never tried. Her lips have been on me, tasting and teasing and making me tremble. I nuzzle her shoulder, and my breath on her skin makes her shiver. I nip at her throat, lightly, just enough to make her arch and hiss between her teeth. She touches me, slim hands over hard muscle. I touch her, steel grasping silk. But we have never kissed.

We don't speak. Speaking only brings a harshness to the nights. Wordlessly she tells me what she wants; silently she lays her fears and insecurities at my feet. Soundlessly I show her different kinds of wants, blending upon each other until they become one overpowering need. Shoving her insecurities to the side until there is only us in the stillness. Reaching, aching, having…having what we both know we shouldn't have. We don't speak of it.

I will not take her. I have just once. It was more than either of us could handle. I cannot control myself, was maybe never intended to control myself. She cannot take it. She bled the first time, too much, and she hurt afterwards. It hurt me too, but in a different way. The second time she offered I refused her. I won't hurt her again, not like that. Even though we both want me to…I will not take her.

She doesn't look at me. She knows I see through her, that I see who she really is. The others, they see the strength and the courage. They see the anger and the spitefulness. They see the pride and the ambition. They see the blind loyalty and the pain. I see more. I see what she should never have become, I see what she would have been if she never had been pulled off the streets. I see the raw wounded child that never had a chance to grow up to be her own raw wounded woman. Her swords gleam in the darkness the way she never will. This should not have been her life and she knows it. So she doesn't look at me.

I hate her touch. It is addictive. Fiery patterns that burn over my flesh, into my soul, that scorch me with their heat. It makes me move against my will, it makes me submit to her mouth over my body, it makes me writhe like…ah…just don't let her stop. Don't let her…oh god, I hate this.

I'm always on top. We tumble and we struggle but I will always be on top. I need her beneath me. I need that startled gasp of fear when I flip her so effortlessly. I need that moan of surrender as I take control. She hates it too, but for her I will never stop until she can't take any more. I decide when she can't take any more. I'm always on top.

I never sleep. She collapses quivering in my arms, her face against my plastron, her hair fanning over my chest. She is weakened like this, off her guard, unable to think past her racing heart and her trembling body. My swords are never out of my reach. My focus is on her, and the room, and the world. I will never have a mate, and I will never take another lover after her. When this is over, than there will be only the steel and the blood and the honor left. Here and now only, will I have something so…important to protect. I never sleep when she is in my arms.

She wakes alone. She wants it that way. If I ever stayed it would hurt her. She doesn't know how to ask me to go, not since the night she first asked me to stay. She holds to a life that is wrong, a path that I will not walk with her, and companionship is no longer an option for her. She can only brush at our relationship with shaky fingers. She knows it is nothing more than a house of cards, ready to fall whenever one of us steps too far, or feels too much, or stays too long. She always wakes up alone.

I come here every night. She waits for me because she knows I will come. She hides in the shadows, cloaked behind duty and privilege. Struggling within in her mask of callousness. This woman is not who she is, and she uses me to tear herself down to what she has left. She grinds her heart and her hate and her everything into me, and I let her. Just once, I poured my life into her, and she held me afterwards as I wept. It will never happen again, but once was more than I ever should have been granted. That's why I come here every night

We are enemies. Our blood soaks our bodies as we are surrounded by the fighting, by the dying. Blood that seeps like a poison out of us, so that one day we will be empty husks. Remnants of a battle that never mattered in a war not of our making. I cut her deeply today to save my brother's life. I soothed her pain tonight to save my own. I need these nights, and I need her too. But I still hate her. We are enemies.

One night I won't come back. Then the next time we meet we will kill each other.

That's why we never kiss.

A/N Odd that my first posted TMNT ficlet would be about a pairing I don't even particularly like. Oh well. This ficlet is inspired by sunbune's "Potential", which I just finished reading.