Crime and Punishment

Lightning wasn't the sort of person to be easily bothered. She wouldn't have risen to the rank of captain in the Guardian Corps if she couldn't keep a handle on things. But she really, really didn't like people touching her stuff. Whether it was her food, her clothes, or even just her stationery, she wanted everything to be a certain way. Some people might have called it obsessive – and Fang called it crazy – but she preferred to think of it as organised.

Being in a committed – and very much sexual – relationship with Fang had necessitated a few changes to what felt like a lifetime of routine. Lightning was used to having her bed entirely to herself. But now she shared it with someone who seemed to think that she was the greatest body-pillow in the universe. It would have bothered Lightning more, but it was hard to get annoyed with Fang curled up against her.

Fang's bedside table was a little harder to overlook. Lightning's bedside table was a paragon of order. Everything had its own place, and not a day passed without her checking at least twice to make sure that everything was as it should be. Fang's bedside table was a disaster zone. It wasn't unusual to find half a dozen articles of clothing piled on top of it, and Lightning had once found several hundred pages of paperwork shoved under what looked to be an old sweater. She had almost had a heart attack, and Fang had walked in several hours later to find Lightning in the midst of yet another cleaning spree.

But rather than call her weird, Fang had merely laughed and slung one arm around Lightning's shoulder.

"Can't stand the mess, huh?" Fang had whispered, a smile on her lips and her eyes warm with mirth. "How about I give you a hand then?"

If Lightning hadn't already been in love with Fang, she would have been after that. Fang had helped her tidy up and even listened to a few of her suggestions about how to keep the mess on her bedside table to a minimum. Not even Serah handled her quirks that well.

Then there was the en suite bathroom. Lightning had taken years to perfect the best way to get washed and ready in the shortest amount of time possible. She might pamper herself now and then, but she had a plan for that too. Fang ripped her schedule to bits without even realising what she'd done.

Not only did Fang ignore the plan that Lightning had devised for where each of them could put their toiletries to both maximise ease of use but also minimise confusion, the huntress had absolutely no respect for Lightning's schedule. It wasn't the least bit unusual for the other woman to waltz into the bathroom, yank open the shower door, and join Lightning.

The first time Fang had done it, Lightning had been three sentences into a lecture on the importance of routine before Fang had silence her with a kiss. More kisses had followed along with a great dealing of touching, and suddenly routine hadn't seemed so important after all. Nowadays, Lightning allocated herself an extra fifteen minutes – minimum – to get ready, in case Fang wanted to join her.

But lately, things had gotten out of hand, and not in a good way.

Someone had been moving her stuff. It started with a few little things. She might put her pen down near her paperwork to go get a drink out of the fridge only to come back and find that her pen was suddenly on the other side of her desk. Then it got worse. Her shoes started moving around. Sometimes she'd find them near the front door. Other times, she'd find them in the living room. And the shoe rack – she'd almost cried when she came home to find that someone had rearranged all the shoes.

And the less she thought about her favourite leather jacket, the better. It was supposed to be waiting on the coat rack by the front door. But twice now, she'd come home from patrol to find it hanging from a different hook. Someone had worn it, and they hadn't put it back in the right place.

Her first instinct was to blame Vanille. Her redheaded housemate was nothing if not observant. She knew that Lightning had issues, and she was mischievous to boot. It didn't help Vanille's case that she was a serial ice cream stealer. Oh, she thought that Lightning didn't know about her little trips to the fridge in the middle of the night, but Lightning noticed everything. And Vanille never put the ice cream scooper back in the proper drawer.

Unfortunately, several days of observation had led Lightning to one inescapable conclusion: it wasn't Vanille. Lightning's next guess was Serah. The younger woman had keys to Lightning's house, and it wouldn't have surprised her to find out that Serah had borrowed a few of her things. But Serah knew how Lightning felt about people touching her stuff – she'd endured years of it – so she always, always put things back exactly how she'd found them. And Serah always called afterward to let Lightning know what she'd borrowed and why.

That left only one person: Fang.

Over the next few days, Lightning kept a close eye on Fang. The other woman was sneaky, Lighting would give her that, but it was only a matter of time before she slipped up. And when she did, Lightning would be waiting.

Then at breakfast one morning, Lightning stared across the table and there was Fang, nibbling on the end of Lightning's pen as she pored over the morning crossword.

"It was you!" Lightning shot to her feet and jabbed one finger at Fang. In the kitchen, Vanille gave a cry of surprise at Lightning's sudden shout and tripped over her own feet. The clatter of pots and pans almost drowned out Lightning's next words. "You're the one who has been stealing all my stuff!"

Fang glanced up from her crossword. To Lightning's horror, she bit down – hard – on the pen and then gave it a thoughtful suck. Lightning wasn't sure if she should feel angry or aroused. "I haven't been stealing your stuff, I've been borrowing a few things." She grinned and waved the pen at Lightning. "Do you want your pen back?"

"I… uh…" Lightning banged slapped one hand down on the table. "Wipe it first!"

Fang wiped the pen off with a napkin and smirked. "Does it really bother you that much?"

"You know it does!"

"Yeah, I do. But what are you going to do about it?"

And with that, Fang sauntered out of the dining room. Lightning could only scowl at the door before she went into the kitchen to grab some coffee. Needless to say, she was not pleased to find that Vanille had put all the pots and pans back in the wrong places. Fang was up to something. All she had to do was find out what.

Lightning continued to keep track of all the little things Fang did to annoy her. She wasn't the least bit surprised to find out that Fang was the one who'd been wearing her jacket when she wasn't around.

"Why are you wearing my jacket?" Lightning confronted the taller woman over dinner. Vanille wisely chose that exact moment to go into the kitchen to get dessert. "And why don't you ever put it back on the right hook?"

"It's a nice jacket." Fang took a sip of her wine and smirked at Lightning over her glass. "Besides, you know how much I miss you when you're on patrol. That jacket smells like you."

Well, it was hard for Lightning to stay mad at Fang after that. Especially when she'd stolen one of Fang's scarves for that exact same purpose. She kept it in a locked drawer in her office at the Guardian Corps. It was right next to all the other little keepsakes she had of Fang. Even there, Lightning had a system.

"Well… put it back properly next time."

"I will."

Fang didn't.

It got worse. Fang seemed determined to get on Lightning's nerves. It all came to a head one morning when Lightning woke up, got dressed, and went downstairs to leave for work. Except her sunglasses weren't on the table by the door. In fact, none of her sunglasses seemed to be anywhere. Someone had taken them, and she knew exactly who to blame.

"Vanille." Lightning stomped into the living room with murder in her eyes. "Have you seen my sunglasses?"

Vanille dropped the bag of potato chips she was munching on. She hadn't been this scared in a long, long time. Lightning was dressed in her Guardian Corps uniform, complete with gun blade, and the pink-haired woman had turned the full force of her glare on Vanille. "No."

"Did Fang take them?"

Vanille didn't even think twice before throwing her sister under the bus. Fang would understand. "This morning before you woke up."

"I see." Lightning pulled out her wallet and threw some money at Vanille. "You're going to watch a movie with Serah this afternoon, understand?"

"You're not going to kill her are you?"

"No." Lightning turned on her heel. "Not exactly."

X X X

Fang yawned and scratched her leg – or she tried to. Something cold and metallic was wrapped around her right wrist. No, something was wrapped around both her wrists. Her eyes opened, but only darkness greeted her – a blindfold? Her breathing quickened, and she strained to free her hands. But the handcuffs – and she was certain they were handcuffs – around her wrists refused to budge.

What was going on?

She'd come home late in the afternoon wearing a pair of Lightning's sunglasses and fallen asleep on the couch. And now… now she was tied up and blindfolded.

"You're awake I see."

She froze. That was Lightning's voice, but not as she'd come to know it. Lightning's voice was cold and hard with an edge that promised no small amount of pain if Fang didn't do exactly as she was told.

Fang bit back a moan. Lightning had tied her up and blindfolded her, and from the sound of it, her girlfriend was pissed. "I'm guessing you're the one who got me all tied up."

Something rough touched Fang's jaw before Lightning's familiar fingertips ghosted along her cheek. Those were gloves. Lightning was wearing fingerless gloves. Fang dragged in a deep breath as heat pooled in her belly. Lightning had taken charge before, but never like this.

"Yes, I am." Lightning's voice darkened and took on an icy, velvety tone that sent a wave of shivers through Fang's body before she reached down and cupped one of Fang's breasts in her hand. Even through her shirt, Fang could feel the contrast between how soft Lightning's fingertips were and how rough her gloves were. It was almost enough to make her moan. And then she did moan when Lightning's hand began to move. "You've been messing with me, Fang."

"Maybe." Fang hissed when Lightning's grip tightened until it was almost painful.

"I want to know why." Fang felt Lightning straddle her. "So tell me, Fang, why did you take my sunglasses?"

"What do I get if I tell you?" Fang tried to smirk, but Lightning wiped that expression right off her face when she shifted to press one knee up between Fang's legs. Maker – Lightning was still wearing her uniform, Fang could feel the other woman's boots against her bare calves. Lightning must have taken her pants off already, which meant…

"Stop trying to be tough." Lightning lowered one hand and ran her fingers along the edges of Fang's panties. Fang hadn't stirred at all when Lightning had carried her back up to their room and handcuffed her to the bed. She hadn't even awakened when Lightning had tugged off her pants leaving her in nothing more than her shirt, her bra, and her panties. Either Fang was very, very tired, or she trusted Lightning enough to completely let her guard down around her. "You're in no position to be teasing."

"Aren't I?'

"No." Lightning cupped Fang through her panties, and she had to bite back a groan when she felt how wet the other woman was. Who'd have thought Fang would get off on being tied up so much? "So answer the question, why did you take all of my sunglasses, and why have you been messing with all my stuff?"

Fang fought to keep her hips still. She wanted nothing more than to buck up against Lightning's touch, but she refused to give in that easily. Lightning would have to work for her win. "Well, you look pretty good in your sunglasses –"

"I look great in my sunglasses."

"So I thought I'd give them a try. You know, see what the world look likes through the sunglasses of Captain Lightning Farron."

"And the rest of my stuff?"

"I –" Fang thrashed as Lightning bent down to press her lips to the cloth over Fang's chest. Etro – Fang could feel the heat and moisture of Lightning's lips through her shirt and… was that Lightning's tongue? "I –"

"You're not making any sense, Fang." Lightning pulled away. "Start making sense."

Fang gasped and sagged back onto the bed only to cry out as Lightning scooted down the bed to lift Fang's legs and press a kiss to the inside of each thigh. Almost without thinking, she hooked her legs over Lightning's shoulders. "I wanted to see what you would do."

"I see." Lightning kissed her way up Fang's right thigh only to stop just shy of where Fang wanted her lips the most. Then she repeated the process on Fang's left thigh, trailing hot, wet kisses from Fang's knee up to the edge of her panties. "And what do you think of what I'm doing?"

Fang bucked her hips upward. The position put no small amount of strain on her wrists, but she didn't care. Couldn't Lightning tell what she wanted? "I think you're doing a damn good job."

"In that case." Lightning moved, and Fang could only shake her head from side to side when she found herself completely and utterly alone on the bed. "I'd better stop what I'm doing." The words came from the side of bed near Fang's head. "After all, bad behaviour should not be rewarded."

It took a few seconds for Fang to realise what had happened. "What? What? Are you serious?"

There was a rustle of cloth before Lightning tugged off Fang's blindfold. "Do I look like I'm joking?"

Fang blinked as her eyes adjusted to the light. Lightning stood beside the bed, dressed in her Guardian Corps uniform. Her mouth had firmed into a thin line, and there was a hint of pink about her cheeks. But it was impossible to see the other woman's eyes. Lightning was wearing her favourite pair of sunglasses, and in the reflective surface, Fang could see herself spread out on the bed, face flushed and body almost trembling with need.

"Are you seriously doing this?" Fang couldn't keep the whine out of her voice. "You have your girlfriend all tied up and completely helpless on a bed in nothing more than a few scraps of clothing, and you're just going to stand there?"

"Yes." Lightning tilted her head to one side before she reached over and tore off Fang's shirt with one sharp tug. "There, that's better. You make quite the pretty picture, Fang."

Fang's eyes narrowed. "Is this your revenge?"

"Part of it." Lightning settled down on the bed next to Fang and let her hands go back to wandering. "I have a whole list of things planned out actually. I'm very organised, you see. And I do believe in fairness. You need to be punished for each of your crimes."

Oh sweet Maker, Fang thought as Lightning touched, stroked, and caressed. She'd miscalculated. She'd been morbidly curious about how far she could push Lightning and about what the other woman would do when she snapped. She'd expected a bit of angry sex or a good sparring session but not this… this torture.

"Let's start with the beginning." Lightning tapped her cheek and then reached down to unclasp Fang's bra. "You started with my pens, didn't you?"

Fang groaned as Lightning let her hands wander over her chest. The pink-haired woman knew exactly how Fang wanted to be touched, and it wasn't long before all she could do was whimper plaintively when Lightning added her lips as well. "M… maybe."

"There's no maybe about it." Lightning pulled away entirely, leaving Fang utterly bereft of her touch. It was all Fang could do not to scream in frustration. "And then there were my shoes, Fang. Did you know, I almost cried when I saw that someone had rearranged all my shoes."

Fang winced. "I didn't think you'd take it that badly."

"Well, I did." Lightning reached down for something at her waist, and Fang's eyes widened when Lightning pulled out a knife. There was a flash of movement, and Fang's panties came off, leaving her completely bare to the soldier. "You really need to pay for that and for my stealing my jacket too."

"And how exactly are you going to make me pay?" Fang was proud of how much bravado she managed to get into her voice.

"Oh, you'll pay." Lightning's lips curved up into an almost cruel smirk. "Believe me, you'll pay."

And Fang did. Oh, how she paid.

Lightning might not be especially talkative, but she knew exactly how to use her tongue – and her hands. The greatest warrior the Yun had ever produced was left barely able to think as Lightning settled in between her thighs. The contrast in sensations was what did it. There was Lightning's tongue, her fingers, and the roughness of the gloves. And Lightning's hair – Maker – the soldier's hair rustled over Fang's thighs and belly, as smooth and light as silk.

In almost no time at all, Fang was bucking upward, desperate for release. Lightning seemed determined to give it to her. The soldier set up a hard, fast rhythm, touching Fang with an expertise that was almost criminal. Lightning knew exactly how to touch her and when: the stroke of her tongue across and inside her, the thrust and curl of her fingers, the whispered endearments against her sex telling Fang how beautiful she was, how good she tasted, and how she should just let go…

For once in her life, Fang didn't even think about disobeying orders. She arched up, looking for that one last touch, that one last caress that would send her into what she knew, instinctively, would be one of the most powerful orgasms she'd ever had in her life –

And then Lightning pulled away.

Fang almost wept.

"What the hell?" Fang's chest heaved as she fought back tears and snarled. "Lightning!"

Lightning smirked and licked her fingers clean. "I told you, Fang. It wouldn't be right for you to benefit from all your misdeeds. And you have committed so many misdeeds."

Once again, Lightning leaned in close, and Fang caught another glimpse of herself in those damn sunglasses. She could barely recognise the person she saw. Was this flushed, needy, whimpering mess of a person really her? If her hands weren't handcuffed to the bed, she'd have shoved Lightning onto her back and shown her exactly what sort of misdeeds she was capable of.

"You can be a real bitch sometimes, you know that?"

Lightning chuckled and licked her lips. The sight drew another groan from Fang. "And so can you." She bit her lip. "I could leave you like this."

"I'd call for help."

"Really?"

"If it mean getting free so I could get revenge on you, then, yes, I would call for help." Fang swallowed thickly. So this was what Lightning was like when Fang really pushed her. Her brain wasn't sure whether she should get down on her knees and thank the Maker or run for her life. The rest of her knew exactly what it wanted – and that was Lightning between her legs. "It's not like Vanille hasn't gotten me out of stranger situations."

"Oh?" Lightning's voice was as cold as the dead of winter. "So you've had other women tie you up? I guess I can add that to the list of things you need to be punished for."

Fang stared. "Are you seriously going to get angry at me for being with someone else before we even met."

"I can and I am. You're mine, Fang." Lightning bared her teeth. "You've been mine since before we met. But we can get to that." She smiled thinly. "And you can scream all you like. Vanille and Serah are watching a movie. We have the whole night, Fang, the whole night. And I still have to punish you for taking my sunglasses."

Fang's throat went dry. "What are you going to do to me?"

"That's the wrong question, Fang. The right question is: what aren't I going to do to you." Lightning moved back between Fang's legs. "And the answer is: I'm going to do whatever the hell I want, and you're going to enjoy it – but not too much."

Fang trembled. "Would it help if I apologised?"

"It's too late for apologies." Lightning lowered her head. "Far, far too late."

X X X

Fang learned several things that night:

Pissing off Lightning that much was both the worst thing she'd ever done and the best thing she'd ever done.

Apparently, it was possible to pass out from too much awesome sex. Luckily, Lightning was right there to wake her up for more.

Lightning could be very forgiving once Fang confessed to all her crimes and agreed never to mess with her stuff again.

X X X

Serah reached for another handful of popcorn as a massive explosion rocked the research facility. Bodies went flying every which way, and huge columns of flame shot up into the sky. "The special effects for this movie are really good."

Next to Serah, Vanille nodded. "Yep, but we're not even to the best part. There's supposed to be this awesome scene with about a million killer robots in it fighting a giant space dragon."

"That doesn't even make sense." Serah laughed. "Not that I mind, but why did you want to watch a movie? It's a Friday night. Normally, we'd watch a movie on a Saturday with the rest of the gang."

Vanille waved one hand. "Your sister's orders. I should probably crash at your place tonight too."

"Oh?"

"Fang's been messing with her stuff. I mean really messing with her stuff."

"OH."

"So, I'm guessing that either Lightning is going to kill her or…"

"Have lots of scary sex with her?"

"Yeah." Vanille grinned as the skies above the research facility tore open to reveal a massive space dragon. "So, can I crash at your place tonight?"

"Sure." Serah paused. "And you're certain that Lightning isn't just going to kill Fang."

"Pretty sure." Vanille's grin widened as an army of killer robot emerged from the burning ruins of the research facility. "I guess we'll find out if there's a Guardian Corps crime report tomorrow."

X X X

As a matter of fact, a crime report was filed with the Guardian Corps.

The next morning, Lightning got a call from the Guardian Corps. They wanted her to investigate the possibility of a homicide in the vicinity of her home after one of her neighbours reported "screams, yelling, and loud banging and thumping sounds for most of the night."

X X X

Author's Notes

As always, I neither own Final Fantasy, nor am I making any money off of this.

This chapter is (loosely) based on Fangrai Forever Prompt #171: Fang steals Lightning's sunglasses and Lightning can't seem to get them back.

In the past, I've joked about Lightning being slightly neurotic. In this chapter, I decided to play up that angle and see what would happen if Fang pushed her too far. The answer, I suppose, is that lots of really awesome stuff happens (at least, really awesome for Fang).

Seriously though, I do think that Lightning would have to make a lot of adjustments to her routine if she and Fang committed to a romantic relationship. For all that they are similar in some ways, they are also different in many others. But relationships are all about compromise. Fang puts up with Lighting's quirkiness because she loves her, and Lightning does her best to not freak out at how untidy Fang can be because she loves her too.

But Fang, being Fang, would want to know exactly how far she could push Lightning and what would happen if Lightning snapped. Lightning's response is, to put it bluntly, the result of weeks of being on edge. She's sick of Fang messing with her stuff, and she's out for payback. And what better way to get back at Fang than by giving her most of what she wants – but not all of it.

Hehehehe.

You can only imagine what would happen if Fang stole Lightning's car or her cape.

Finally, I have two bits of news on the original story front! First, my latest original short story, The Burning Mountains, is now up on Amazon! If you've enjoyed my more fantasy-oriented stuff (e.g., Whispers of the Gods), I think you'll enjoy The Burning Mountains as well. It runs to ~19,000 words and you can find a link to it in my profile (along with links to all my other original stories and longer previews for each of them too). Check it out! Here is the blurb:

The Burning Mountains have belonged to dragons since the Old Days when gods still walked the earth. They are a place of fire and ruin where no man dares walk and no elf dares linger long. Only the strong can survive there, and only the ruthless can prosper.

Amidst the smoke, the ash, and the flame, an exiled elven princess will meet an outcast dragon. Alone, they have little hope of survival. But together, they might do more than survive – they might conquer. For the dragon has a realm to claim, and the princess has a kingdom to take back.

There are some lessons that only fire can teach and some wisdom that only a dragon can impart.

So yeah, have a look if you're interested. And don't forget my other original short stories. If you've enjoyed Whispers of the Gods, you're likely to enjoy The Last Huntress and its sequel, The Lord of Dark Waters. If you like a bit of zombie killing action spiced with a Western flavour, check out The Gunslinger and the Necromancer.

My second bit of news is that this Sunday 20th of October, The Last Huntress and The Gunslinger and the Necromancer will be available for free. That's right, from 12:00 AM midnight 20th October to 11:59 PM that same day (Pacific Standard Time), you can get The Last Huntress and/or The Gunslinger and the Necromancer for free (there may be some delay at the start due to Amazon's occasional scheduling issues). So if you've been wondering if you'll like my original stories, now is your chance to give them a try! If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry. You can still get them for free – all you have to do is download a completely free Kindle app from Amazon (link in my profile) so that you can use your PC, Mac, laptop, phone, or iPhone/iPad instead. I already have links to both stories in my profile, but I will be updating them to be more visible once the free promotion starts this Sunday.

As always, I appreciate feedback. Reviews and comments are welcome.