Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the story idea and only some of the witty remarks. I own so little; so please don't steal.

Background music: --



"I'd do anything for one of those deep relationship sort of things, wouldn't you?"

It had never occurred to Blister to want those sort of sappy, womanly dreams, so he had said, "No," quite bluntly, pinching away at the closest living thing at his fingers but as he shot a sidelong glance at Ripkins, a sort of foolish grin on the idiot's face, he wondered why not him?

He had had the gift of pain, and Arch had taken him in before he wasted the rest of his life in the petty disputes of the Borderland tribes. He'd fought with a bunch of imbeciles before who never helped him utilize the most of his powers but at a random shuffling, he had been matched with Ripkins, who had raised a hand in greeting and the claws beneath his fingertips poked up in welcome as well.

He'd almost forgotten a life not being Arch's bodyguard with Ripkins.

Even before Molly was spirited away by her father, Blister distracted himself with the destruction of the Borderland plants near Arch's tents, until one of the wives complained and Arch ordered him not to be so lavish with his ability. Instead, he sat inside, stewing in himself as he tugged at his elbow length gloves. Frustrated at the realization of nothing worthwhile, he sought Ripkins out, shredding the leaves falling from the trees in the groove of forest a distance away from camp.

Ripkins had nodded in acknowledgement and was going to go back to turning leaves to sand but Blister had reached out and stopped him in mid-slash, a wordless inquiry as he stared at the blank looking assassin. In a shrug, Ripkins pulled himself from the other's grasp. "What do you want?"

Blister wanted many things, some he would readily admit, some he'd keep to himself. Strength. The king's favor. More power. Stronger power. To become better than any other assassin this side of Wonderland, and the next. But none of these came out; instead, he nearly surprised himself with what he said: "You."

There had been many ways of taking this sort of admittance, but Ripkins withdrew his claws and pulled Blister in for a kiss. He was usually adept at sudden attacks, but for once, Blister found himself completely caught off guard. He vowed it would be the last.


Note: Fail. This was going to be the start of something great but I couldn't figure it out at the time and the time since I finished Archenemy and now has gotten so great, so here it is. My epic fail. I writhed when Alyss finally proposed. But my crazy fangirl brain came up with this pairing instead. Yes, there is angst. Review, please.