Title: Hurt

Title: Hurt

Fandom: Halo

Characters: Arbiter and Master Chief

Prompt: 063: Hurt

Word Count: 658

Rating: PG

Author's Notes: I really should be killed for this. I've unleashed a slashy monster upon the world that should have never been released. Clearly there is a line that I crossed somewhere back that I didn't even realize that I crossed until the phrase "Hmm… I wonder how they kiss with Arbiter's mandibles and all…" crossed my mind while I was playing Halo 3 co-op with my boyfriend. I know I'm going to get flamed by fanboys, and frankly, I don't care. I think I want them to, to an extent.

--

He couldn't quite describe the exact moment he figured out that he was obsessed with the brand on the Arbiter's chest. Whenever he wasn't wearing his armor, he would stare directly at it. Most of the time he didn't even know he was staring until the Sangheili bent his neck in such a way that it blocked his view of the scar and gave the Spartan a questioning look.

Chief wanted to ask about it, say something. Maybe not exactly what usually went through his head when he stared at it (he was fairly certain the Arbiter wouldn't appreciate it if he said anything along the lines of "So, what, you got a tattoo so you could pick up chicks?") but some sort of verbal acknowledgement would more than likely be appreciated; it certainly seemed less creepy than the alternative of John staring intently at the Elite's chest.

Then one day the whole thing just got shot to hell.

The Spartan was standing outside one of the bathrooms on the UNSC ship Pretentious Nomenclature while the previously mentioned Sangheili was taking a shower. The Chief told the variety of confused onlookers that he was waiting to take a shower which would have been a perfect excuse if there weren't 8 other showers on board that no one was currently using. When Sergeant Johnson alerted Master Chief of this, the Spartan simply explained that this shower happened to be his favorite and he was already standing right next to the closed door so why should he bother moving. The officer rolled his eyes and gave the Spartan a disbelieving "Suuuuure…" in response. And that's when the whole thing went completely FUBAR.

"What the hell are you trying to imply, Johnson?" Chief's words were laced with venom.

"Just that it's obvious that you have a thing for that squid-face because you constantly stare at him when he has his clothes off."

It was at that moment that the pair heard the door slide open and a pair of orange eyes glanced at the pair of fighting men. Unfortunately for Chief, that damned scar was clearly visible on the Arbiter's chest and he couldn't help but stare for several seconds before he swallowed hard and tore his glance away to look back at the Marine.

"T-that's absolutely ridiculous!"

"Yeah, you're making a real good case for yourself, Chief. Make sure you two use protection." Johnson shot a smirk at the Spartan before walking down the hallway, obviously quite pleased with himself.

With Johnson now gone, John could afford to glance at the Mark of Shame adorning the Sangheili's chest. The scarred, pink flesh contrasted so wonderfully with the surrounding black leathery skin. "Spartan." The Chief was so lost in his thoughts that he barely heard the Arbiter talking to him. "Demon!" John suddenly snapped his head to look up at the rather angry Elite.

"Erm…" Chief shifted the weight on his feet, feeling suddenly a lot more vulnerable and stupid for staring than he had a few moments ago. The pair was silent for what felt like an eternity. "Did it hurt?" Chief said, breaking the silence. After seeing the confused look on the Elite's face, the Spartan pointed a feeble finger at the burned skin.

"No. It did not hurt at all." Clearly, Chief had managed to hit a nerve. It wasn't often that the Arbiter decided to use sarcasm, after all.

"Well, I mean, I know it hurt but…" John glanced up at the glaring Sangheili. "You know what, never mind." He was certainly not going to admit to the Arbiter that he wanted to know if it would hurt if he were to touch it. That would imply that he wanted to touch it and that was why he was staring. He wasn't about to admit that the reason he stared was because he was constantly imagining what the scarred flesh would feel like underneath his fingertips.