Written for LJ's 10iloveyou challenge. Table: Opposites, Prompt: Friends.


He's flirting again, and she's not okay with it.

It's not hard to pretend she is okay with it. Leske will suspect something's wrong if she does anything more than roll her eyes and make some snide comment about it. "She's married" or "Who would ever want to bed your sorry, ugly ass?" or even a "Do you really have to hit on everything that moves?" is enough to take away any suspicion he might have. Not that his thick skull will get it anyway. It comes naturally to her, a lot more naturally than anything else she could do, really. Being a jealous little bitch is something she has no idea how to do, even if it's something she is.

So she crosses her arms, and she sighs loudly. Beraht will have their hides if they take too much longer at this, and she says as much. The girl giving them the tip gives Leske a little smirk, a smirk Natia knows too well. She has tried this twice before, and twice before has Leske ignored her. He doesn't ignore this girl, and he matches the grin before sauntering off.

Natia wonders if ripping this girl's head off will be too obvious. This is Dust Town; it's not like anyone will miss her. She thinks better of it, and follows Leske to track down their target.

She has to say something. Silence will means she's thinking, and Leske will pick up on that, especially since she's never been silent before. "You must be getting desperate," says Natia. "She looks like she dunked her face in the lava at least ten times."

Leske laughs. "You're exaggerating," he says. "It couldn't have been no more than twice. Besides, where she doesn't have it in the face--"

"--and the hair."

"--and the hair, she has it where it really counts." And he waves his hands in front of his chest with a sneer and lecherous chuckle.

Natia rolls her eyes. "I bet those don't look any better than her face. Worse, probably."

"With my luck, yeah, of course," says Leske, but he doesn't seem deterred. "Come on, let's get this smuggler before Beraht sends carta thugs after us. Don't want him thinking we're trying to pull one over him."

"Lead the way, friend," says Natia, and they make their way through Dust Town towards the mark the girl pointed them towards. She stares at him as they push through the brands who don't move for them, and she wonders if she should just tell him. She thinks about the consequences, and she reaches the same conclusion as always.

The risk is too great. She would rather die. Best friends forever, it is, then.

She affirms this knowing that this cycle will repeat itself, again and again, starting from her fantasies and daydreams as she lies awake in her bed tonight. It's been like this for too many months; it will be like this for too many more.