Author's note: once again, I find myself in a fandom where there's only fifteen fics on FFN! *headdesk* So of course I had to throw my hat into the ring :) For those of you who aren't in the Serei no Moribito fandom (which is everybody): Balsa is a female warrior, and Tanda is her childhood friend and healer. The series hints at romance but never really shows it, so yeah. I was craving pr0n so there you go :)
This is a mistake, Tanda thinks, but Balsa has that look on her face, something crossed between determination and pity, and she quietly begins to undress. She's naked now; firelight glints off her skin and the half-opened bottle of rice wine in the corner. She stands in front of him expectantly, an unspoken challenge.
"Are we doing this?" Balsa says.
Tanda fidgets a little, then bridges the space between them. He can feel her breasts crushed up against the stiff fabric of his shirt.
"Take your clothes off," Balsa says, and Tanda has no choice but to comply.
As in all things, Balsa is the aggressor.
Pushing him hard against the pallet, Tanda can barely move when Balsa straddles him, roughly impaling herself on his length without so much as a preamble. "Balsa," Tanda says, and he strains upright to kiss her; Balsa grunts and pushes him back down again, rocking hard against his length. Her eyes are squeezed shut, and her hands grip his shoulders for balance. There is nothing beautiful about the way she rides him, her long hair sticking against the skin of their sweat-soaked bodies. She grips him the way she would grip a spear, the way she would use any of her tools.
This isn't the first time they've done this. It's become routine, a pattern they've fallen into over the years: patch the wound, feed the stomach. Love the woman for just the night, then watch her leave when she is through. Even when they were with Chagum, Tanda would sometimes wake to the feel of Balsa's insistent hands pushing up his shirt, straddling his hips and gasping in a silent moan.
Now, Tanda's hands settle on Balsa's hips as she violently rides him, leaning forward so that her hair falls over his chest. He shifts and her mouth pops open. He knows she's about to come.
"Tanda." She's panting, slightly. Her voice is strained. "Roll over."
"On top," Balsa says.
Tanda scrambles. Artlessly, he rolls Balsa over, limbs tangling awkwardly as he tries to reposition himself. He feels her hands tugging at the clips holding up his hair.
He feels her pull the clips out, and his hair falls over his face.
"Better," Balsa says, and she presses her hips against him. He rewards her with one harsh thrust, making Balsa gasp. Her fingers dig roughly into his skin.
He knows the map of her body, can trace all the scars and bruises that cover her skin. This was where he stitched her, twelve years-old and receiving the flesh wound to her back. This is where he pressed his palms against her broken ribs, twenty years-old and just barely escaping defeat. He presses his lips against her skin, tracing the path of an old but angry scar.
"Harder," Balsa says. She breathes into him, breath coming out in tight spurts. "Harder. Harder."
Tanda squeezes his eyes, and he thrusts harder, dangerously close. Her skin is damp and her hair sticks to her face, and when she comes he's touched with a sudden urgency that he can't control. Gripping her shoulders, he buries her face into her neck and comes, pulsing hard and panting into her hair.
He could never be a man to her. Not a living, breathing man, holding her and protecting her. But he could do this. And maybe for them that was enough.
The roar of his heartbeat lessens to a whisper, and Tanda feels as if he's moving underwater. His movements are impossibly slow as he untangles himself from Balsa's limbs. She's watching him, and there's a softness in her eyes that makes Tanda's heart skip a beat.
"Balsa," Tanda says, and he reaches out to touch her cheek.
"Tanda," Balsa says, and she gently moves his hand. "We need to talk."
Balsa wraps the bedsheet around her shoulders and sits up. Moonlight seeps through the slats in the wooden blinds, and Tanda can see the soft outline of her shoulders as she sits at the edge of the bed.
"I'm leaving tomorrow," Balsa says. She doesn't look at him. "There is talk of needing a bodyguard in the kingdom to the East. I may be gone for a while. Maybe a few years."
Years. The realization knifes him in the chest, and his face wrenches. It's all he can do to keep from breaking down.
"Tanda? What's wrong?"
Tanda shakes his head. "I can't do this anymore," Tanda says.
"What?" Balsa says.
"This," Tanda says. "It was okay when it was just me treating you, being there for you to patch up your wounds. But to do this. And then say that you're leaving? What am I supposed to think? Just what am I to you, Balsa?"
"You're my friend," Balsa says. Tanda turns away from her, staring at his hands. There is an awful moment when neither of them speak. Tanda doesn't look at her, keeping his eyes trained on the shadows on the floor.
"I'm in love with you, Balsa," Tanda says. "I've always been in love with you. But I feel that you're using that to your advantage. You know how I feel, but you keep coming back, using me and throwing me away. And I can't keep doing this. I have to protect myself.
I will always be there for you, if you need me," Tanda says. "But if you care for me, even a little...you won't come back."
He lapses into silence. Shadows cross Balsa's face, and it's as if she's looking at something far away.
"Fine," Balsa says. And then, softly, "I won't bother you anymore."
It is raining when he sees her again, four months later in the middle of a monsoon. Strands of wet hair stick to her eyes; she hefts her spear, then sets her jaw.
"I missed you," Balsa says, and Tanda doesn't stop her when she slowly takes him into her arms.
A/N: Admittedly, this was going to be an angsty oneshot where Balsa uses Tanda and then goes away. But they needed a happy ending, so whatever. lol :)