Author's note: Strange little one-shot that breezed into my head while I was watching Princess Mononoke, of all things. But I'm rather pleased with it.


She was tough, a strong fighter. She loved her friends, her family, would give up anything and everything, even her own life, to secure their lives, their happiness. She was well-liked, even loved, by everyone who knew her. Yet even as open, as caring and as companionable as she was, Lenalee had secrets.

Her first secret was Kanda Yuu. The stoic master swordsman had been a quiet fascination of hers since they met many years before. He was not a man of many words, and what words he did say were usually cutting, sarcastic, or so blatantly logical as to defy any emotion whatsoever. But when his strong, solid arms were around her, his bare muscled chest against hers, she felt that there were no words necessary. Reserved though he may have been, he was no stranger to making her sing. Seeing his solemn gaze as they passed in the hallway used to make her blush, but she was getting better at controlling her reactions. Now she would just smile and walk on, recalling the nights.

Her second secret was Lavi. The future Bookman, for all that he was supposed to not get involved with anyone or anything, was anything but aloof. He was playful, too, and it wasn't unusual for him to hand her a pair of ears and a tail, or ask her to leave her shoes on. With Lavi, she could forget the seriousness of the world. It wasn't that he was a goof-off but that he enjoyed life, and when she had him in her bed she enjoyed it too. In the real world he was protective and funny and a deadly fighter in his own right, but when it was just them, he was her toy. She was his. They were each others, and their games always served to make her feel amazing.

The third was, believe it or not, Krory. So lonely, so insecure...with him she could be the strong one. She could hold him close and let him cry if he needed to. And he was so gentle with her, so tender. He would never dream of hurting her, and she knew it, so even if his fangs came out or he clutched her waist hard, she could trust that he would never ever do her harm. He blossomed under her attentions, and if he was devoted and determined to secure her safety, it was because he cared for her. He wasn't in love with her, nothing like that – his heart still belonged to Eliade, and she could respect that, even if she thought he should move on. But he did love her, and she cared for him as well. Her broken, healing little akuma-vampire.

Her fourth secret was one she would never ever admit to. General Cross was a womanizing, gambling, drinking bastard. But he could make her scream in seconds. She respected him as a General, for the power he wielded was immense, but as a person she couldn't even really say she liked him. Still, his smooth words, smoother actions, and his tendency to make whatever woman he was with feel like the only woman in the world were what drew her back to him. It wasn't often – but it was explosive on the rare occasions he did entertain her.

Perhaps the least surprising secret she held was Allen Walker. He was by far her most frequent entertainment. So what if he was only fifteen? He had a body worth taking one's time with, and it was tempered by a generous loving heart. So much he'd been through, so many things he'd had dumped on his head from such a young age, that with her he knew he could just let go and be himself. Sometimes, when they were out on missions, or eating in the cafeteria, she'd catch his eye and his innocent smile, untainted by anything and everything he'd done and seen, would make her breath catch and bring a flush to her cheeks. Aside from hiding her occasional blushes from their observant circle of friends she didn't mind at all. She'd return the favor when they were alone. She was more than happy to make all the decisions, and she loved hearing him beg. His voice, pleading with her for release, was the most beautiful music she could imagine.

In her mind, though, her last secret trumped them all. With Tyki Mikk, she was the one who begged. She begged with words when he had her tied, teased, tormented to within an inch of her sanity. She pleaded with her body when he had her mouth otherwise occupied with kisses that burned her alive, or other more enjoyable pursuits. When she was with him, she could stop being strong, she could give up everything and trust that he would take care of it all. And when he was using her for his own pleasure and giving her untold amounts of it in return, she could fully stop being Lenalee and just be a woman on the brink of carnal destruction. Far less frequent than her occasional times with Cross, still it never failed that when Tyki was done with her she would be limp, boneless, completely sated in ways she'd never realized were possible. Yes, she hated him, and she would eventually see him dead. But until then, she would take full advantage of the Noah of Pleasure's expertise.

Yes, Lenalee had her secrets. Her vivid, explicit nighttime fantasies were something only she would know about. The last thing she wanted was for any of the men she imagined while alone in her bed to ever know what she thought of in her private moments. Maybe someday, she'd escape her brother's eagle eyes long enough to test the waters, to experience some of the things she had only dreamed about until now. But for the moment, real life was getting more and more hectic, and dangerous, and she had to concentrate on making sure she – and everyone she cared for – came out of it alive. So her secrets would remain secret, and none of them would never know what innocent little Lenalee thought about them when they assumed she was sleeping.