Mutual Respect

Chapter 1: The Secret Revealed

How in the world did I lose to that masked swordsman? Really, there was nothing about his technique that I couldn't handle... but whenever he drew close, something snapped in my head; my body just stiffened entirely, and I started to sweat profusely. Those moments of hesitation were what caused me to lose. I don't understand; just what was he doing that prevented me from fighting normally? What caused me to choke in what was just supposed to be a normal duel?

Well, he'll be long gone by now. I wonder if he was able to hold his own in the tournament...

A scream wakes Lon'qu out of his thoughts. Running to the voice, he's surprised to find an assassin attacking the masked swordsman he was just complaining about. The swordsman is deftly holding his own, but the assassin seems perfectly able to predict the swordsman's moves, and soon the swordsman is lying on the ground, blood pouring out of his chest and staining his strange clothing.

Chanting a war cry, Lon'qu runs full blast at the assassin and slices at him with his Killing Edge. Just barely connecting with the assassin's sword hand, due to catching him by surprise at Lon'qu's presence, the assassin grunts in pain, and figuring out that he's at a big disadvantage now, vanishes into the shadows. Lon'qu searches for him in the darkness, but pretty soon it's evident that he's not coming back.

Knowing the danger is gone, Lon'qu rushes to the masked swordsman's side and notices that he is barely breathing. There's no time to get a healer; if he doesn't take action in the next couple of minutes, the swordsman will die, and the assassin will have done his job. Searching through his pockets, Lon'qu comes across his last three-pack of vulneraries, and so he starts to strip the armor and shirt off of the swordsman.

Lon'qu examines this enigma's figure; he is extremely slender for a man, and it appears his whole chest is naturally hairless. It also appears the grave wound that the swordsman's received has caused some swelling; his breasts are protruding out a little more than they should be, and have more shape to them as well; again, at least for a normal man. Ignoring it, Lon'qu starts applying his vulneraries one at a time to the wound near the swordsman's heart. After rubbing all of the substance on the wound and around it, the bleeding stops, and Lon'qu wipes the sweat off his forehead, thankful that the man is not dead.

This is when he notices that the swordsman is no longer breathing. All of the blood loss might be causing his body to shut down!

There's a very good chance that Lon'qu will have to give the dying swordsman breath himself until he starts to breathe again on his own. Not wanting to look at what kind of man he is forced to meet his lips against, Lon'qu closes his eyes as he removes the mask, and then, taking a deep breath, reluctantly brings his lips up to the swordsman's and starts releasing his air into the patient's mouth.

For some reason, the sensation is not one of disgust; in fact, it is satisfying and familiar, tasting somewhat like Feroxi wildberries. When Lon'qu is finished releasing all of his air, he pulls back, and the masked man begins to cough. At this point, knowing that the immediate threat of death is no longer eminent, Lon'qu changes his mind and decides to find out who this masked swordsman is...

But before he opens his eyes, he notices something about the way the swordsman is coughing; it is not a man's cough, evident by its delicate nature. He continues listening, and the swordsman starts to mumble to himself: "Father... father..."

Now Lon'qu is really confused. He could swear that the swordsman's voice was not this high pitched; while his voice was not that low in the first place, it is definitely much higher now. Opening his eyes, Lon'qu takes a look at the swordsman's face...

And as it turns out, the swordsman... is actually a beautiful swordswoman. The mask was protecting the girl's gender, but it was also holding her long, flowing blue hair back from people's gazes, as well as her eyes. With the mask out of the way, it is easy to distinguish the softness of her lips, (in subtlety, not texture) and now that her whole face is visible, her entire demeanour seems a lot more natural, which suits her perfectly.

Despite all of this, though, the facts are still the same. The person he was treating... was a woman.

The person whose lips met his... was a woman.

The man who defeated him in the duel... was actually a woman!

Lon'qu actually chuckles to himself; it's no wonder he lost so easily. His intense aversion to women was strong enough to detect that this mystery swordsman was female, and his body reacted because of it. However...

It doesn't explain why he was able to get so close to her...

...or rub vulneraries all over her exposed chest...

...or perform an emergency mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her...

Finally realizing the true horror of the situation, Lon'qu quickly recoils back from the woman's mostly still body, blushing profusely and fear resonating through his body. How Lon'qu couldn't figure out that this man was indeed a woman much sooner is beyond him...

But trying to explain the situation to the woman is going to be a bit of a problem.


Author's Notes

Didn't I say my next fic was going to be more serious? It will be... somewhat. Not as much as I originally hoped, but whatever. Come on, don't leave! At least this isn't a humour fic! Then it would be ridiculous! Don't guest review, please!

Most of the time, if I put any sort of questionable material into a story, (for example, certain crack pairings, a bunch of the jokes in AGOH, chapter two of A Mutual Feeling, etc.) I worry about how the public will react, and sometimes I'm embarrassed to have put it in there in the first place. However, there are times where I'm not. The perfect example would be in What I Love About You; the stuff that went on there, I felt that was natural, as well as perfectly reasonable, respectable, and acceptable. I somewhat feel the same way here. Until Lon'qu realized the truth of the matter, there was absolutely nothing unclean or perverted about what was going on; the only difference is that the audience knows differently! :D I think this is important to note.

Seriousness aside, I was pondering for a long time how to refer to the... assets of our favourite female impersonator in a masculine way. I couldn't say pectoral muscles! She was still being referred to as a man, and yet 'breasts' was the only word that I thought could be reasonably used! Ah, the hardships of writing. :p

I originally wrote this in first person, but near the end, I made the executive decision to change to third. Having only Lon'qu's opinions would have been too narrow for the scope of the fic. Just thought I should mention in case the wording seemed a bit off.

Clearly, this is going to be one of those stories with short chapters, and I'm not sure how long it will be, but it will probably only be three or four chapters. I can't write all the time, though, so updates aren't going to be super quick, as usual. Besides, I have to fluff up AGOH first! Then, another request!