Lightning shielded her eyes against Pulse's oppressive sun with a gloved hand. Sweat ran down her back and neck, dampening her hair. Her Guardian Corps uniform lay limp on her slim frame, having lost the battle against the climate several hours ago. Probably the moment she stepped out of the barracks, Light thought. Her sleeves were rolled up to her elbows, baring pale, but muscular forearms. The khaki uniform's buttons was open at her throat, though the planet seemed to hate her; she'd felt nary a breeze the entire day. She silently thanked God that she could wear a skirt, she certainly thought it was preferable to the pants her male counterparts wore.

Her gunblade at her side, Light glanced over her shoulder. Her squad staggered behind her, just as sweaty and exhausted. They were on patrol and responding to a distress signal; the incoming dispatch order had been terse at best, only stating that there was a caravan and something - or someone - was attacking it. Haul ass and save the day. Light had hauled ass.

They'd made it about a mile from the distress signal until their transport had malfunctioned. The transport was hardly more than an over glorified pick up truck and its engine had not quite been adjusted to Pulse's different gravitational pull. Thus, it ran like utter shit and flaked out if it ran over anything higher than her knee. Light sighed. Fucking budget cuts, she thought irritably. She was tempted to learn how the damned thing worked and do it herself if the station engineers wouldn't throw a hissy fit if she went anywhere near their babies.

So, they'd trekked. A mile was nothing, any Corps soldier could easily run that. Only it turned out the distress beacon was blocked off by anything that would make the effort tenfold. Giant tree trunks, boulders, packs of hostile beasts. They'd managed to scale a cliff to try to get a visual when Light realized the forest was dense every fucking where with no signals to be seen.

"Where the fuck is this asshole?" Light had growled, peering into her binoculars.

"How the hell this douche got this far on standard float transport is what I'm wondering," her second in command, Corporal Bristow, muttered. "He's probably got some illegal mods on that shit. Going to paste the fucker with as many fucking citations as I can. Skin him in fines." He spat to the side. A murmur of agreement rose from her squad.

"Shit, sarge, we got at least another half mile to go before we find this moron in this damn heat," whined Spanner, a new private. "Why the hell are we going out this way anyway? Not the first time some fuckhead got lost in the goddamn woods."

"Because it's our job, asshole," Light snapped back, still scanning the area. "Can't request for air transport, the guy'll probably be dead before command gets the thumbs out of their asses long enough to realize shit's going down."

Maxwell, another private, snorted in amusement. "Shit, we're probably out of transmission range anyway. Gonna have to send up our own beacon and get rescued, too."

Lightning shrugged. "Probably, unless we can jury rig the asshole's signal since that seems to be working. What a load of bull. Civilian crap works better than ours, fuck."

"Budget cuts," Bristow said, and showed his displeasure with a one fingered salute in Cocoon's direction. "PSICOM douches want fucking gold tissue to wipe their asses with."

Lightning didn't disagree. She pulled out her tracker, examined the map on the small screen. "Due northwest from here. Let's get moving." With a few groans and mutters, her squad gathered themselves and trudged slowly through the damp forest. They were almost immediately swarmed by mosquitoes, undeterred by Cocoon bug repellent. Light sighed. Of course it didn't work. Freaking everything they brought to Pulse didn't work. The war was only officially over a year ago. A treaty had been signed and while no declaration of surrender had been issued from either side, but everybody knew who'd really won. Cocoon had immediately started colonization efforts on Pulse. Cocoon had become overpopulated and very quickly exhausting what resources were available. It was ironic, especially since every Cocoon citizen had originally come from Pulse and were lured away by the prospect of fortune on the ghostly planet that hung in the sky.

Cocoon was far richer in natural resources with a milder climate and not nearly as many beasts that liked the taste of human. The land of opportunity, Light sneered. The land where the filthy rich sat on the backs of slaves and had turned their eyes back to their home planet that they'd long deemed was for the savages. The migration to Cocoon was only five hundred years ago, but they were already clamoring to return. Cocoon citizens weren't exactly welcomed back and the Sanctum, the governing body, had sought to change Pulse's mind: they declared war on Pulse and sent forth their army.

The war was short and brutal and had claimed Lightning's father, a Corps captain. While Cocoon's army had been far superior in technology and numbers, it seemed the entire planet had risen up against the invasion. Great beasts like the oretoise and wyverns freely attacked Cocoon soldiers and destroyed equipment en masse. Pulse's great forests, already notorious even among Pulse natives for being dangerous, were impossible to navigate. Airships and even small transport float systems and navigation almost never worked, supposedly because of the rich crystal deposits buried underground, the very same resources that Cocoon sought.

And then there were the Pulse natives. Pulse had no government, no real civilized body that Sanctum politicians had exploited to great effect. It was a collection of clans and towns and city-states that, when left alone, fought and squabbled even amongst themselves. They lacked organization, even when Cocoon had invaded. They'd managed to band together to repel most of the initial force, but steadily lost morale and soldiers. Pulse's new provisional leader, Cheis Dia Edsel, a pacifist, was hurriedly elected in a sign that Pulse wanted to negotiate a peace treaty. But even though the major fighting had stopped, there were still skirmishes. Warriors from clans that refused to stand down still attacked travelers and outposts. Not aligned with Pulse's leadership, they were, effectively, outlaws. Pulse, already crippled by the terms of the treaty, was by no means capable of hunting down these guerrillas, thus it fell on Cocoon to round them up.

Lightning suspected this was exactly why they were out here in the middle of the boonies.

"Tracker stops here," Light said, stopping short. "Nice mess." Just ahead in a small clearing lay two overturned trucks. The bottom sides flickered a weak light, the float system cracked and leaking. Bodies were strewn haphazardly over the wreckage.

"Set up a perimter," Bristow barked. "Shay, with me. Let's see if there are any survivors." Shay, a medic, trotted to the nearest body that wasn't riddled with arrows.

"Poor bastard," the medic muttered, checking for a pulse that he knew wasn't there. "It's pretty fresh, sarge. No more than a quarter an hour, maybe a little more. The heat would have done a nice number on 'em if it were anymore than that."

Light dragged the body of a man half hanging out the driver's side of one truck. She glanced over his clothes and the arrow thrust into his throat. "Not bandits, that's for sure. They still have their boots, clothes. Let's see if they have toys, too." Tucking her gunblade into the holster, she yanked open the bulletproof vest. "Well, look here. PSICOM uniform. Poor asshole couldn't even get his sidearm out fast enough. Safety's off, though. They knew what they were getting into." Light stood and climbed on top of the truck to examine the contents.

Bristow crouched down by the dead soldier and whistled. "Looks like Yuns. They make quick work." He eyed the deadly arrow fletched with black feathers. "Scary shit."

"Yeah. Makes sense that we picked up their signal now, only PSICOM gets that kind of crap," Light snorted. "Goddamn, I haven't even seen the features this transport has. Electronic anti-tampering, phase glass, and is that-? Jesus, it is. Motherfucker's got a fucking mounted missile option. It better not be armed." She rummaged through the glove box, found another gun. "I found a laser gun. Damn it."

"Are you serious? Let me see," Bristow called eagerly, handily catching the gun. "Oh, man, it's real. Self targeting? Passive laser sights? Fuck if I'm giving this back."

"I found it first," Light yelled back. She peered into the backseat, her eye catching on a suitcase. "Hm, looks like they were carrying a prize." She climbed out of the transport, suitcase in hand.

Shay, done examining each body, looked at the suitcase inquiringly. "What's that?"

"Hell if I know. Coded lock, looks like. We should bring it back to HQ," Light replied. "Find anything on the bodies?"

"You were right, they're all PSICOM," Shay reported. "Pretty dead, too, most would have died quick. Looks like Yuns, yeah. Found some nice big spear wounds, ran the poor fucks right through. Didn't find any of the actual spears, but Yuns don't leave their weapons behind," Shay shrugged.

"Figures," Light muttered. The Yun clan, comprised almost entirely of women warriors, was one of the few remaining clans that still opposed the treaty. They alone had provided the most warriors and lost the least during the war aside from the ones that did not fight at all. Nomadic by nature, Cocoon forces had found it difficult to bombard their home in an effort to demoralize as they had with other clans and villages. They were particularly known for using Pulse's wilderness as both a weapon and shield, escaping into the woods for cover. Any man foolish enough to pursue never returned.

"You think they'll come back?"

"They usually don't," Light replied. "But we'll keep an eye out. Let's check that other transport, see if it's got that comm unit and request a pick up."

"Why do you think they were out this far, sarge?" Shay asked, looking at the bodies with pity. "This is dangerous territory, even if you've got the latest tech."

Lightning only shrugged again, though she hefted the suitcase and wondered what PSICOM was carrying that made them venture so deep into Yun territory. "Stupidity or greed, I guess. Maybe both."

Back at base, Light, freshly showered, stepped out into the cool evening. She was dressed in civilian clothes with a simple white blouse parted at the throat and a mid-thigh length skirt. Dark utilitarian boots reached just under her knees. She heard a wolf whistle and glanced over her shoulder.

"Lookin' good, sarge," Bristow grinned, coming up behind her. He was dressed similarly in a plain shirt and jeans, his dog tags hidden out of sight. "Heading to Nora's?" He asked, referring to a local bar.

Light arched a brow. "Looking to get pissed in front of your boss and embarrass yourself again?"

Bristow chuckled. "Wouldn't want anybody else to watch my back while I'm embarrassing myself. Camaraderie and all that shit, yeah?"

Light grinned back. "Let's go, then."

They walked together, their strides evenly matched, through Oerba, one of the first towns to have a Cocoon presence. Like the uneasy peace, the town had an uncertain air, like a rebellion about to break out. The Pulse natives looked at the Cocoon soldiers and civilians with mixtures of curiosity, fear and derision and the feeling was returned. Officially, Light's primary duty was peacekeeping, a position that was by no means quiet. It wasn't uncommon for fights to break out on the streets, but it was largely restricted to just small fights. Light knew the peace would not hold. Too many distrusted them, hated them, saw them as visitors to tolerate until they could be driven out again.

The town wasn't quiet at night either. Soldiers and civilians all piled into the evening, seeking out drinks and whores. During the night, Cocoon's money poured freely and while they were a little more tolerated, the air was no less belligerent and resentful.

"You saw that bird? Big fucker," Bristow asked, his tone conversational.

Light's tone matched his. "Yeah. Flew just fine and a little too close to be on routine."

Bristow's voice dropped an octave. "They were waiting to see if we were gonna get gutted first. Motherfuckers."

Light's passive expression didn't change. "The initial dispatch was light on details. Maybe that's why."

Bristow spat. "Didn't even tell us we were headed to Yun territory. Douches, making us do their dirty work."

"We got lucky."

"You think we got picked in particular?" Bristow looked at Light, his expression darkening. "Or you, more like."

Light only shook her head. "It's nothing to worry about. We made it out fine."

Bristow fought back the urge to argue, but at Light's warning glance, he shut his mouth. "That shit's not right," he growled as a loud crowd of celebrating teenagers passed by.

"Don't worry about it," Light repeated. "We're off-duty. Enjoy the evening."

Bristow shook his head. "I don't know how you can be so calm about this shit."

"Wouldn't be the first time someone's had it out for me," Light pointed out as they reached Nora's.

"Yeah, but none of them actually tried to kill you. Just maim you, maybe."

Light didn't answer as they walked into the bar. It was crowded, as usual. She waved absently to the bouncer, a large blond man wearing a skullcap. She sat at the bar, nodded to the bartender. "Don't poison me, Gadot," she warned. "I almost got whacked today."

"When are folks not tryin' to kill you?" The olive skinned man laughed. "Would be a shame though, what with a pretty face like yours." He thumped her usual drink before her.

"Are you hitting on me?"

"Nah, I want to keep my balls."

Bristow choked on his drink. Light only sipped at hers idly. "Busy night. Where's Lebreau?" She asked, referring to the bar's owner.

Gadot jerked his head towards the back. "Match out back. She said something about Lady Luck tonight. A Yun showed up for it."

At that, Light's brow winged up. "A Yun? I'm surprised they even let her into town."

The big man only shrugged. "Don't know nothing about that," he muttered, dropping his voice as he leaned over the smooth table surface. "Heard something about Sanctum soldiers escortin' her in. Might be why."

"That's a very hot tip you have there," Light murmured. She slipped a folded wad of credits on the bar, knowing it would disappear within seconds. "Maybe I'll place a bet on this fight myself." Bristow automatically got up, his posture lazy. Light casually slipped behind the bar and out the back door. She glanced at the dark and dank alley and made out the next door made of heavy reinforced steel, Bristow at her back. Yanking the door open, the first thing that greeted her was the noise. The room, no more than a large open space with a few low hanging lights and bare concrete floor, was filled to the brim with people. They surrounded a ring, though it was too crowded for Light to make out who the fighters were.

The second thing that hit her was the smell. Bodies of all ages and sizes, all crammed together in various degrees of cleanliness in small, hot space. Light recovered enough to stop herself from covering her nose, but just barely. "Maker," she managed. "Even the barracks aren't this bad." The stink of sweat and blood was familiar, but she couldn't quite remember it smelling quite that pungent.

Bristow wasn't quite as strong, his fingers already pinching his nostrils mercifully shut. "Agreed," he wheezed.

Light started to shoulder her way to the ring. "I'm going to kill Gadot if he was shitting me," she muttered, just ducking a retaliating elbow. She shoved the bystander away, stomped on the toes of a few stubborn bodies and tossed out a few sharp jabs of her own before she finally got to the edge of the wooden ring. She spotted Lebreau, dressed in her usual outfit of miniskirt and flimsy shirt with her breasts nearly hanging out, standing on a tall box at the other end taking bets. She looked at home on top of that bloody box as she did behind a bar, Light thought sourly, noting not a single hair was out of place on her dark head. She made a mental note to tip off the lieutenant of the Corps' Vice unit just for that.

Turning her gaze back to the center of the ring, she saw a huge man sitting on chair near the ring wall, his bare chest bathed in sweat. His hair was damp, one eye already swollen shut. A corner of his mouth was lined with blood, dripping down to his dark trousers and boots. He didn't look like a native, Light decided. Perhaps a gang enforcer who'd enlisted to get out of the slums of Palumpolum. On the other end, Light finally saw the Yun.

She was sitting on a chair as well, her long dark hair held back in a small ponytail. Her elbows rested on torn denim-clad legs, her toned arms bare except the twin bracers and a tight black tank top she wore. Her skin was tan, but she was fairer than what Light had imagined. A tattoo, a gorgon's skull and jaws, emblazoned her left shoulder and down to nearly the elbow. Her face was turned to a spot between her boots, Light couldn't make out the rest of her features and grunted with frustration. She jerked her hand back, her knuckles rapping Bristow's torso. "You've seen a few Yuns, haven't you?" She yelled. "Does she look familiar?"

He wordlessly shook his head.

"Damn." She examined the size difference between the two fighters, noted with some surprise that the Yun didn't have any visible wounds. "That fight doesn't look even."

"Round five!" Lebreau bellowed from her box, and smashed a hammer into a bell. "Fight!"

The crowd roared as the two surged to their feet. Light finally saw her face, her mind ticking away the features: green eyes, straight nose, elegant brows, a sensual mouth. She blinked; the Yun looked nothing at all like what she'd imagined. She had an almost feral beauty to her, as though her face demanded attention and admiration. At least that was what Light managed to catch before the woman slammed her fist into her opponent's face.

"Good God," Bristow gaped as he watched the woman systematically destroy her opponent. Vicious stomp to the instep, elbow to the throat, hard kick to the kneecap, then a harder one to the solar plexus. A final roundhouse to send the poor bastard flying into the ring wall with a solid thud. Bristow thought he heard ribs break and wouldn't be surprised if the man had a few damaged organs. "She makes you look like a kitten, sarge. No offense."

Light ignored him. Her eyes were intent on the Yun's face, memorizing the features. Even as the crowd cheered around them, her face showed nothing, not even a hint of triumph or victory. She only looked disdainfully at the man she'd beaten and went back to her corner, sitting back, legs crossed. Bored and unchallenged.

"Any takers?" Lebreau asked over the din. "Who's man enough to face Fang?"

Fang, Light thought. That was her name. She saw more raised hands clutching credits to place bets and swore. They'd be there all night with this kind of crowd, no matter how badly Fang beat the other fighters. She signaled Bristow and began to make her way to Lebreau. The other woman caught Light's look and, curse her, laughed gaily. "How about it, Sergeant? Want a go yourself? I'll up the stakes, just for you!"

"Fuck you," Light growled. The crowd had turned its attention to her and began to jeer at her.

"Get in the ring, bitch," one called.

"Show the Yun who owns this place," came another.

Light finally made it to Lebreau and yanked the brunette down. "Gotta bet?" she had the gall to ask cheekily. Light scorched her with a dark look. "Stop the fight," she said flatly, her tone cold. "Clear everyone out."

Lebreau pouted. "Aww, come on, Light. You know I didn't mean it, but the crowd's getting antsy. Fang's already cleaned out the starter fighters, I didn't think she'd be that fast."

"Fighters?" Light repeated.

"Yeah, I had a few guys lined up already. That was the sixth guy you just saw."

"Sixth?" Light asked, beginning to feel like a broken record. "I heard you say round five."

"Oh, yeah, last round I decided to spice it up and toss in two guys with a time limit. One managed to survive as you just saw. And hey, you'll get your money when it's over!" Lebreau snapped at the crowd. "Anyway, you sure you don't want to give it a shot? You might knock Fang out. I got a nice fat bet on you!"

Light sneered. "Oh, really?"

Lebreau pouted again. "Okay, fine, I'd bet on Fang, honestly. You saw what she did to that last guy? God, I thought she killed him for a second there."

"Which is why you should clear out the crowd," Light repeated. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a trio of men move towards Lebreau holding a wad of credits. "We want to put the Yun bitch in her place," the largest one said, shoving the credits at Lebreau. "Together."

Light handily plucked the credits out of his hand. "Leave," she said, eyes flat. "Fight's over."

He sneered at her. "Says who, bitch? Why don't you get on your knees and tell it to me like you should?" He grabbed his crotch in a lewd motion, his friends leering with him.

Bristow closed his eyes in horror. "Goddamn, that was stupid."

"I'll even let you suck mine first, bitch, since you got such a pretty face," the leader jeered. "How 'bout it? Want to be my slut? My buddies'll show you a good time after I'm done with you."

Light smiled pleasantly, her expression inviting. "Oh yeah? Well, since you're offering..." She stepped intimately closer to him, her hand going to his crotch. "What's your name?"

His eyes rounded, not quite believing his good fortune. "John-" his voice cut off abruptly. Every drop of blood drained from his face.

"Well, John," Light murmured, her voice still smooth. "It's been fun tonight. But I don't think you can really take that Yun bitch, or anyone really, if you don't have any nuts." She twisted harder, pleased at the sound of shallow breath sawing in and out through flared nostrils. "Why don't you take your friends home, call it a night?"

He nodded mutely, sweat beading at his brow. She gave one last twist, then released him, letting him collapse against his friends. She counted a few bills out of the wad she'd taken from him, tossed it at his feet. "Cab fare," she said, pocketing the rest. "Beat it." They beat it.

Lebreau sighed in disappointment. "They were probably the only ones that were stupid enough to try, you know," she whined. "That was a lot of money."

Light pinned her with a cold look. "Clear this place out," she ordered. "And give me Fang's share. Don't even think about skimming it."

"Bitch," Lebreau muttered sulkily. She thrust a gigantic wad just barely held together by straining rubber bands at Light. "You could have waited until a few more rounds. This was a damn good night."

Light jerked her thumb toward the door. She glanced across the ring, saw Fang's green eyes fixed on her. She still sat, her body lazily draped over the chair, her arms and legs crossed, but Light knew that it was an illusion: Fang was ready to leap at a second's notice. The crowd began to disperse when Lebreau called for the match's end, but Light stayed where she stood, her eyes staring back at Fang.

Fang smirked and she looked more feral than ever, like a beast playing with its food.

Light broke the eye contact first, turning to Lebreau. "You have a room in this dump?"

"Yeah, right there. Why, you interested in a different kind of fight?" Lebreau wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

"I prefer talking in a place where it doesn't smell like a dead body got left in here for a few days," Light commented. Her implication was clear.

Lebreau brought her hands up in mock defeat. "You know I'm not in that kind of shit, Light," she said airily. "I'm just a businesswoman."

"And most have side lines. Don't let me find out about it and I'll pretend it doesn't exist, got it?"

Lebreau made a rude gesture as she turned to leave with the crowd. "Don't leave a mess in there," she called. "Or I'll put it on your tab."


Light shook her head. "No, you go, too. I want to talk to her alone."

Bristow looked dubious. "You sure it's safe to be alone with her?"

"Probably not, but I don't think she'll talk if you're here with me. I'll be fine."

Bristow only sighed and reluctantly left. "If I don't see you tomorrow morning, I guess I'll know what that means."

She waited until the door shut behind the last person and turned back to the ring. She blinked. The chair was empty. She whirled around at the sound of a rusty door creaking open.

Fang stood in the doorway, the light from the smaller room illuminating her profile. She tossed Light a taunting grin and walked inside.

"Playful," Light remarked, and followed her.

Fang sat in chair tucked into a corner, facing the large desk. Her long legs were crossed again, her foot tapping a silent idle beat in the air. Her eyes watched Light as she strode inside, closing the door after herself, and perched herself on the edge of the desk. Fang's eyes never left Light's face as her posture remained relaxed, yet ready. Light only returned the look, the room silent except for the sound of their breathing.

"Lebreau gave me your cut," she finally said, placing the credits beside herself on the desk. "It was a good match, though a bit uneven."

Fang still said nothing, though her leg stilled. She didn't even glance at the money.

"How did you get inside the town? Yuns aren't welcome in Cocoon territory, you know."

"Oerba isn't yours," Fang sneered. Light barely kept her smile in check. She'd found Fang's weak spot and it was exactly where Light thought it'd be.

"Oerba is considered the capital of the Cocoon colonization movement," Light remarked casually. She lowered her lashes coyly. "The capital of Reclamation." She saw the muscle jump in Fang's jaw, watch it twitch for a second until Fang forced herself to relax.

The sayings were true,Light thought. Yuns are hot tempered.

"And you're doing a damn fine job of it," Fang said, her voice deceptively smooth. "Still having trouble with the locals, I see."

Lightning shrugged, matching Fang's nonchalant air. "It's early yet."

"I see you're going to take your sweet time in telling me what exactly you want, Sergeant," Fang smirked. "While the night is young. I have the rest of the evening to look forward to." Her voice, the accent, was different than how other Pulsians spoke, Light thought. Husky and just a little dangerous. She wondered if she'd made a mistake in sending Bristow home."You know who I am?"

"Right now, I only know that you're good at getting Lebreau to stop her betting schemes early." Fang smirked again. "Impressive, that. And you're a Guardian Corps dog who's doing a fine job of whiling the time away."

The insult didn't offend Light; she'd been called worse things. "Sergeant Lightning Farron." She crossed her legs at the knees, still standing against the desk. She realized that she liked the look of Fang, the way that tank top accented her breasts and drew attention to her toned abdomen. She enjoyed watching those green eyes flicker at her, sizing her up, and how that worn denim fit snugly over her legs. With some surprise, she realized that she was also quite wet and just stopped herself from fidgeting. "Call me Light."

Fang didn't bother to introduce herself; she knew Light already knew her name. "And how can I be of assistance, Sergeant?" Fang spread her lips, baring a canine worthy of her name. "Have a job that you want to keep off the books perhaps? Or maybe someone needs to learn a lesson in some dark corner like the one we're in now?"

"Nothing so sinister," Lightning murmured. Absentmindedly, she tucked a strand of hair over her ear and then thought better of it. Deliberately, she dropped her hand to rub the silver pendant between her fingers, arching the small of her back ever so slightly. She knew what effect that small motion would have. To Fang's credit, her eyes only flicked down to her cleavage briefly before they settled back on Light's face, expressionless. Light sighed inwardly in disappointment. Any lesser man would have stared long and hard and done anything she asked.

And Light had a great many things she wanted to ask Fang.

"I was on patrol today," Light started conversationally, settling on the desk more comfortably, her legs parting slightly. Fang's nostrils flared slightly, but said nothing. "Got a distress call far out of my patrol range. Never been out that far, but it turns out that it's right past the border into... uncivilized territory."

"Yun territory, you mean."

"One could call it that. When we arrived, we found a bloody mess. No survivors. Black arrows and freshly dead bodies." Light cocked a brow. "They were PSICOM men. Yun handiwork."

Fang only crossed her arms. "Did you see the attackers?" She asked, not falling for the bait.

"Unfortunately, no. But my corporal thinks it's Yuns. The black arrows were quite telling."

"Black arrows can mean anything, but think what you want," Fang shrugged. "If you were wondering if I was out there, I wasn't, more's the pity."

Lightning believed her, oddly. "Where were you, then?"

"Is this an official line of inquiry?"

Light debated with lying, but had a feeling that Fang would not fall for it. "Not an official one. I'm just an interested party."

"I thought the Guardian Corps weren't on good terms with Sanctum soldiers. Why do you care if a few of the bastards died?"

Lighting blinked in surprise. "How curious," she said, pursing her lips. "I thought Yuns were above gossip."

Fang let out a bark of laughter. "Public knowledge, Sergeant. People have ears, have seen the occasional squabble on the streets over whose jurisdiction is whose. Sounds like the Sanctum asses usually are the ones who win, though," she taunted. "Unless there's something more personal you have invested in this." The warrior rose from her chair and walked -no, stalked- to Light. She watched Fang edge closer, her heart giving a quick jitter of excitement, until Light was forced to press herself back to avoid touching Fang. Tanned arms caged her in, allowing no escape. Fang bared her teeth in a feral grin, her green eyes almost glowing in the dim light. She leaned in until her lips hovered just over Light's ear, close but no contact. Light could feel the heat pumping from her body and knew she shouldn't allow Fang this close, to not let her touch her.

But she had baited the Yun.

"Why exactly, Sergeant, are you so interested in a few dead men you didn't know, much less cared for?" Fang purred, her voice rumbling slightly in her throat. Light felt the sound shiver down her spine, felt her pulse quicken. "You've been asking the questions tonight, haven't you? Why not return the favor, to provide a little... incentive for me to answer truthfully?"

Light licked her suddenly dry lips. Fang's scent, a mixture of sweat and something not quite tame, was swamping her own senses. Before she realized it, her legs had parted and she felt an aching need to wrap them around Fang, to draw her against herself. "Curiosity," she answered.

She felt Fang shift and jolted slightly when she felt those sensual lips graze her ear. "And is that why we're here now? Out of... curiosity?" Hot air blew against her ear and she shuddered, not caring if Fang saw. "Yes."

Fang moved her head, her eyes boring directly into Light's. Light licked her lips again, her head tipping back slightly in invitation. Fang's lips hovered just over her own, tantalizingly close. "Liar." Snaking a hand up Light's back, Fang seized a fistful of hair and pulled back, baring Light's pale throat. Her other hand wrapped around Light's slim waist, yanking her fully against Fang's heated body. Lightning moaned, her thighs wrapped snugly over Fang's hips, her breasts pressed tight against the warrior. Fang's canines flashed in the light, stopping just over Light's neck.

"You came to me because you wanted me," Fang growled. "Do not even think to lie to me again."

Lightning whimpered, but not out of fear. Her hands held fast over Fang's back, nails digging in slightly. "Yes," she whispered. God, she wanted Fang. She felt her body pulse, eager to feel the woman before her even as her most vulnerable part was exposed. "I wanted you."

"There is no one else." It was a statement, not a question.

Lightning swallowed, arousal clouding her mind. "No. There's no one else."

"And there won't be," Fang growled low in her throat.

At that, Light's eyes widened and the mist lifted. She tried to straighten, but Fang's grip was steadfast. Her mind rebelled at the command, indignant that this stranger could demand such a thing. But she felt her breasts straining against her shirt, felt herself get wetter and hotter. Her fingernails dug deeper into Fang's flesh and her thighs held as tightly as Fang did. It was undeniable that she wanted Fang, and badly.

Growing impatient, Fang slipped the hand around Light's waist to her ass and jerked her hard against her pelvis. Light quivered at the contact, until she felt a distinct bulge press against her. At first, her brows furrowed, confused. The bulge felt familiar, but she'd never felt it on a woman before, especially since Light was the one who lead with other women. It felt like... like... Light's eyes popped wide open as realization dawned on her.

"The rumors about Yuns were true after all," Fang chuckled, reading Light's mind. "There'll be no one else but me. I don't share. What's mine will stay mine and no other's. But it's your choice to make, Sergeant." She pressed her lips to the side of Light's throat where her pulse quivered to sample what she demanded . "It depends on how much you want this." She ground that bulge hard against Light to emphasize her point.

Lightning whimpered. What protests she had were very quickly becoming forgotten; she was only aware that Fang was so very hard and ready and she'd do anything, anything, to have Fang naked. So she buried a hand in Fang's hair, pulling the tied back locks loose and dragged her face down to her breasts. "Yes," she groaned out, arching to Fang. "I'll be yours."

Fang slid a hand down past Light's knee to the top of her boot. Stroking her calf as though she were a cat, Fang eased her fingers into the boot and pulled her clutch piece free. "You're my woman here," Fang purred, tossing the gun aside. "Not a soldier."

With a sound that sounded like a low growl and a moan, Fang pushed Light's legs apart and yanked her skirt up to bare black panties. She cupped her roughly, pressing her fingers against the damp lace. "I could smell you," Fang hissed, nipping at Light's neck just a little too hard. Light gasped at the pain, surprised to find that she enjoyed it. "The moment you stepped in here, I could smell how wet you were. You tease," Fang accused, tearing the thin fabric to slick her fingers against tender swollen folds. Lightning's head dropped back on a soft cry, her hips rising to meet Fang.

"Yes," she panted helplessly, shamelessly. "Yes-! Just like that, ooh, God, just like that..."

"Bloody tease," Fang muttered again, driving her fingers knuckle-deep into Light. God, she was tight, hot and tight. "Say it," she demanded, her hand stilling. "Tell me what you are."

Light's eyes opened, the pupils dilated and glassy. She licked her lips, trying to focus on Fang's words. "Tease," she repeated, her lips feeling heavy. She wanted to kiss Fang, wanted to kiss and bite and taste her delicious warrior. She brought her fingers to her mouth, lazily licking each digit and slowly dragged them down the skin of her neck, leaving a wet trail, to the space between her breasts just above her blouse. "I'm your tease, just like you said," she said coyly, her lips curving knowingly. "Are you going to punish me?" She asked, flexing her inner muscles to squeeze at Fang's frozen fingers. "Will you make me sorry, Fang?"

A/N: So I hope it's pretty obvious what Fang is. But if not, you can just keep pretending it's something else. I won't mind.

Also, I originally posted this and forgot to put line breaks or this AN. Doing it now. lol. I'm fail, I know.

This originally started as a prompt for Divodog, who asked for a more masculine Lightning, but it kind of got away from me and this was produced. It's been sitting my Google Docs page for a long time and is actually much longer (I cut it off just before I got to the really sexy smut part because I dun wanna get banned). So, yes, it does have an actual plot! I just won't be including the smut since it really does not serve any purpose other than to thoroughly indulge myself and anybody else who is familiar with my leanings. rofl. I sound so dirty :D

In any case, I did want to write a much more grittier/cruder type of narrative and story than what I have been as an experiment. Let me know if it seemed too excessive, the swearing and such. I wanted to get across that Lightning here is very much a soldier and has indeed lived in barracks with male and female counterparts who aren't as refined. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this and any comments are appreciated.