Author's Note: Thank you to all the people who read and reviewed my previous fic "Short Hair". This is a spur of the moment ficlet that came to me this morning so I thought I'd jot it down. I have one more short one that I'll power within the week before I start on my big project that I mentioned in the "Short Hair" author's note. Enjoy and please review.

Touch

By: Silver Spider

Soldiers know that on the battle field, touch is the most important sense. One touch of a sword can kill you. One touch of a comrade pulling you out of its path can save your life.

For a long time, Guts had only known the destructive side of touch. Only the kind that meant his sword emerged covered in the blood of his enemies.

Until he met her.

The first time she lay down naked by his side to warm his body, he flinched but did not pull away. Despite his injuries, it was the first time he had felt truly comfortable in far longer than he could remember. Even if she had woken him with a punch the next morning, he had not minded her touch the previous night.

The second, it was she who needed the warmth. The only thoughts that had crossed his mind then was how to make sure their enemies did not discover them. Another half a thought was spared a vestige of annoyance at her for being out on the battlefield in her condition. He knew he would be punched again for voicing it in the morning, but he didn't mind holding her though the night.

The third, it was not a life-and-death situation. The third and last time and last time, they'd made love. Violent at first, because that was still the kind of touch he knew best, but her own soothed him and after that, there was nothing but warmth and perfection.

He can hardly stand the way she looks at him now. Th way she shrinks away and snarls at the merest indication that he's reaching for her. It was the touch of another that destroyed her sanity, but it was his own that drove her away from him.