dress me in rope

It must be like flying, this desperate lightness: real shunpo is never so unrestrained by gravity or acceleration. Nanao could travel that way as fast as she liked, covering miles in moments, but this is an entirely different feeling of anticipation and speed, of wind against her bare skin.

She knows that he can hear it in her breathing.

She fingers the history in her mind, trying to use it as a wall between herself and her body's trembling. It's an ushiro takatekote tie. Her arms cross behind her back and the palms of her hands lie flat against her forearms and her fingers brush her elbows. It dates back to the hoto-jutsu martial art of binding, and there are no knots, because --

The doubled rope goes around her wrists once, twice, three times. His fingers linger a moment, and she knows that he is thinking, such slender arms, even though neither of them says a word.

There's a moment of additional pressure on her wrists as he passes the loop through under the bindings, then it eases. He hesitates a moment, then continues, threading the doubled rope over her left upper arm, across her chest, back round her right upper arm.

The end goes through the loop again.

The rope is hemp. She has heard that one can smoke hemp. She is thinking at tangents. This is called being light-headed, or trying to avoid the subject, or trying to avoid thought at all. Her skin is bare to the air and naked to his reiatsu. It's like wind.

This time the rope passes below her breasts before he loops it again.

She needs the rope to hold herself still, or she'd just blow away in the wind of his presence, the stress of his regard; she can feel his eyes just as she feels his hands. She knows that he only does this with her permission, and she has enough pride that she needs to remember that, needs to remind herself that she has a choice in the matter, because otherwise it would be so easy just to let go and forget herself in this long surrender.

She feels the shift in the rope's tension as he weighs the coil of it in his hand, considering where to bind her with it next, how best to ornament her with it.

She breathes. The air moves. The wind burns against her, she's a fragment in it, a butterfly, a flower, and it's only the rope that holds her here like a kite against his hand, here in this small room with him.

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