Angst & Intrigue! · Fan-fiction · Fire Emblem · Free Smut! · Lesbian Love

Fire Emblem Fates: Duty

Sitting vigil for her Queen’s ritual gives Orochi plenty of time to reflect on Duty, and the manifold meanings that word may take.

it’s new smut from me and and what’s this, it takes the shape of MATERNAL FIGURES NEEDING REASSURANCE OF THEIR FEMININE QUALITIES?? you don’t say?? 😮

For all her beauty, her certainty of statecraft, her equanimity of judgment, and her leadership and poise that beamed like a beacon over all she oversaw, the Queen of Hoshido…

Was not a morning person.

Indeed, the otherwise magnanimous Queen Mikoto was not an easy riser—it was one of the many foibles Orochi had become accustomed to, over her years of service. Four days prior, on the dawn of their departure for the barrier ritual, she had pulled her downy blanket up over her head, and, quite simply, refused. Only through a grueling effort of her retainer’s wheedling and cajoling, and ultimately tugging by The Royal Wrist, was Queen Mikoto convinced to rise.

Not that Orochi could blame her—it’s not as if she could’ve handled the responsibility waiting on that looming mountaintop. But bit by bit, Orochi had the Queen’s hair up, her robes on, her makeup impeccable (to be sweated off within ten minutes of climbing, of course), and they were on the road. Seemingly possessed by the very spirit of indolence, the Queen had spent almost half the climb itself toted up the winding mountain paths on Reina’s muscular back, snoring gently along with the cheep-chirps of the songbirds.

But, Orochi supposed, the Queen would have sufficient work to do.

Or so Reina told her. The ritual came but once every ten years, and so this was Orochi’s first attendance of her Queen’s most sacred duty.

In many respects, the shrine was no different from the dozens that dotted Hoshido. Its bright red gates welcomed visitors with a spring where they cleansed their mouths, hands, and feet. Of course, what visitors it saw were few. To reach it, visitors had to make a lengthy trip through dense forests, then endure an arduous mountain climb up its hewn steps, and the view at the top was truly magnificent!

That was what Orochi was currently trying to convince herself of; by the dusk of the first day, the static vista of pine trees, unchanged by the encroaching autumn, had become…

Well, it’s not that Orochi minded standing watch. But who decided that sacred duties had to be so utterly… dull?

Reina didn’t seem bothered. From dawn to dusk, she stood, immobile as a post, no matter what jokes or catcalls Orochi threw her way.

Soldiers could be like that; duty, conviction, that kind of thing.

In one particular respect, this shrine was quite different from its ilk. At the center of its grounds, within the hall where remains of ancient dragons were housed, was a carefully arranged garden. At the center of the garden, a pond barely deep enough to wet your ankles. And at the center of the pond, a small island, just large enough to host a spur of rock like a talon reaching skyward, in turn just big enough to host that jagged scrawl of an opening that offered entrance to its hidden, holy depths.

By the second day of her vigil Orochi was sitting, slumped against one of the grand gates. By the third, she was taking short naps between watching the paper fortunes, good and ill, tied to an ancient maple flutter in the breeze. By the fourth morning, she’d read her lifelines for the dozenth time, and the result was the same: she’d die here, out in this unkempt wilderness. Not of hunger, not of exposure, but of boredom.


It was late evening, when Queen emerged, coughing away dust and shivering like an infant. Nearly four full days in that cramped crevice, and she had not held together well. Her hair was loose. Her clothes muddied. Her nails… an absolute disaster.

Dragging herself from the mouth of the cave, barely wider than her shoulders, like a newborn babe, Queen Mikoto stood on shaky legs, shook a meagre fraction of the dried pine needs from her clothes, and declared, with all the queenly bearing she could muster—and surely not a hint of sarcasm, not a HINT.

“The people of Hoshido are safe once more.”

And promptly collapsed.

Orochi was beside her Queen in a flash, through the gates and past the tended rock of the garden, splashing through the pond, her muddy steps unslowed.

Stupefied, the Queen groaned out her exhaustion, smiling placidly as she stroked her cheek against the ground. The pine needles were far more comfortable than one would expect.

Orochi cradled the Queen in her lap, cocking her head at Reina’s approach. “The baths, take her before she…” Before what, Orochi didn’t exactly know. “I’ll make some soup.”

Reina smirked, almost sadly—after all, the diviner was still young—and noted, with a pointed look, the leather tie in Orochi’s elaborate hair.

“Help her onto my back,” she said.

Orochi lifted her groggy mistress, put a shoulder beneath the woman’s arm, then up to the tall knight’s frame. Reina carried her as if she weighed nothing. Orochi bowed a quick thank-you, and then rushed off to the building where the shrine’s priestess lived, with Reina trudging behind her.

The Queen nuzzled into Reina’s broad shoulders like a kitten. A kitten whose fortunately blunt fingers clawed ineffectually at Reina’s soft leather jerkin, whose thighs clenched lazily against Reina’s sides. Her breathing was slow, but steady. She was clearly exhausted, and her robes still damp with sweat. Reina bore these things without complaint, blowing the errant strands of her Queen’s hair from her eyes whenever they cared to list there with the movement of boots and bodies along the path back to the shrine maiden’s complex.

To Orochi’s displeasure, the “baths” were little more than a stool, a bucket, and a huge wooden tub. But the thick walls held the bare wind’s chill at bay, and the stone floor was comforting and cool to the soles of the Queen’s feet. Reina set her down, gently, on the stool, and held the woman’s pale hand until Orochi arrived with the soup. She insisted on feeding the Queen a sip at a time, until the Queen, roused with life, seized the small bowl, brought it to her lips, and drained it to the bottom, throat trembling with each ravenous gulp.

“Thank you, dear. If you would return this…” She handed the lacquered bowl to Reina, who nodded, donned her sandals, and walked from the baths.

The heated water sent steam through the cool air, and Orochi disrobed her Queen as she had many times on many other nights. Mikoto shivered, though hardly perceptibly, except to the trained eyes of her loyal retainer. It was a trial keeping watch in the early autumn night outside the cave; Orochi could only wonder what it was like to spend sleepless nights within it—and marvel, perhaps, at the fortitude of the woman who did it, and now took pains to mask her exhaustion, and sat with such impressive posture even when a rickety stool was forced to serve as her throne.

“I had no idea how hard this would be for you.” Orochi spoke softly. “I apologize for my carelessness in rousing you, and dragging you here.” Her tone was formal—more formal than she had used with the Queen in months. “Please forgive me, I knew not my foolishness.”

The steam seemed to rouse Mikoto more than the soup. Once she’d suffused her lungs with it, a hint of color returned to her sallow expression. With heavy lidded eyes, she smiled, squeezing affectionately at Orochi’s forearm.

“Why should sitting in a cave be tiring, eh?” she asked, her head lolling downwards a bit, and her matronly body shivering despite the warmth of the steam. “But there’s a reason why I’m only asked to perform this duty every five years, Orochi.”

Orochi replied with a staggered nod. Naked together, she was found it impossible not to look at the woman’s curves—the barest hints of the slivers of age on her hips and stomach, but no less pale and pretty for those small signs of a life lived in service of her country.

“Don’t stare at me like that,” Queen Mikoto chided, reaching to conceal herself—to hide her body, its sagging flesh. Her heavy breasts gently swayed, as she fidgeted with imaginary lapels of an invisible robe. “I must look absolutely dreadful.”

“You are absolutely beautiful!” Orochi said, immediately, without a hint of dishonesty on her face or in her voice. Orochi found her heart tugged—she longed to look so beautiful when she was the Queen’s age. She longed to have such regal grace and bearing!

The hand atop her arm was warm, thrilling with life despite the Queen’s pallor and exhaustion.

“Come, silly Queen. Let’s get you ready for the bath.”

Orochi set to soaping her Queen’s back, her shoulders, her neck. Her heart rushed as she tangled her hands in the hair to clean it of pine needles; she had to gasp, as her fingers swept over the Queen’s hips.

That was her cold reminder. She stilled her shaking fingers with a breath, and recalled the image of Reina standing guard beside the cave. Stoic. Honorable.


With the crack of cold water against her back the Queen shot bolt upright with a yelp of surprise—which quickly morphed into a giggle of nostalgic pleasure. Suddenly awake, her face regained its regal cast as she let a sigh escape her, and her muscles unwound. “It always makes you feel like a young woman again, that first splash of cold mountain water.”

And, of course, Orochi apologized for the sudden discomfort of the rinse, taking the woman’s hand immediately, she held it to her, as though that might replace all the warmth she’d just stolen.

“Come.” Orochi smiled, with a shy look towards the corner of the room. “Into the bath, then you can sleep as long as you need, and I promise I won’t wake you a second before you’re ready.”

The slight shivering of her calves betrayed the weakness that lingered in the Queen’s bones; the barest weight rested Orochi’s bracing arm, as they slowly walked the few steps to the bath.

She slunk into the tub and quickly sank beneath the warm water. A groan of pleasure escaped her. Her breasts only barely crested the surface of the water. They hung a bit, with her age, nipples light brown, soft, and large. Slight wrinkles creased her skin, here and there. Proof of a life of hard work Childrearing or ruling, both took their toll on the body.

Reflecting on the ritual, the Queen asked, “Do you ever tire of a life of servitude?”

“A life of servitude? I… I’m sure I wouldn’t phrase it that way.“

The Queen rested her arm upon the rim of the tub, and her cheek upon that. Her eyes glistened thoughtfully. “Don’t mince words, speak to me as if I weren’t your Queen. Speak to me as a friend.”

With her face pale and her hair dark as shadow in the sallow light of the room’s single oil lamp, she appeared like a seductive ningyo Orochi had tricked in this tub. Captive, but still capricious.

The oil lamp flickered. Orochi remembered the weight of the Queen’s touch on her arm, felt her words in her heart.

“Even friends rarely speak such things so freely.” She took a breath, her eyes captivated by the light off of Mikoto’s skin. Her toes curled. “You are dearer to me than any friend, Lady Mikoto, or even any lover.” Her courtly poise was absent from her staggered breath. “And I would serve you, in every way, for the rest of my life, if you would let me. I would…”

She wished the lamp would snuff itself out, and mask the redness in her cheeks and the quickness of her breath, the way the feathery hairs rose along her neck. For years, she had served the Queen. For years, she had kept those words, and more, pent up inside—but Mikoto did not need a diviner to see what lay within her heart, perhaps.

The wisdom and kindness of the Queen were famous throughout Hoshido.

“You do have a lover, don’t you? That young kunoichi.”

“Kagero?” Shock compelled Orochi to spit friend’s name into the open air before her mind caught up with her. Of course the Queen would know about Kagero. She seemed preternaturally aware of every other goings on in her court. Deeply, badly, Orochi blushed, biting her lip. “At times…

The swish of water, as she adjusted herself, and Orochi’s eyes were draw to the pale legs, crossed beneath the shivering surface of the water. The Queen smiled as any mother would if they were trading stories by the communal well. “Only at times?”

“Well, with her it’s never quite…” Orochi frowned. “We’re not a normal couple, that’s for certain.”

“In this world, there are fewer normal couples than there are abnormal, I think.” A cant of her head, and a sad little smile upon her lips. “The relations of any court are difficult, dear. Treasure what you have, whatever it is, lest you wake up one day and find it gone.”

Then the Queen exhaled. And she kept her eyes straight ahead, into the darkness, for a time.

Where speech should’ve come, Orochi could find only pain. The empathy of watching her Queen buffeted by old wounds, barely healed. But when she opened her lips, there was nothing. No sound, hardly even air.

Orochi’s hand, lithe and deft-fingered, slipped into the hot water, brushed softly against the Queen’s hand as if moving on its own. She tugged her fingers back in that instant—but, with an incalculable sort of a smile, and the clutch of fingers around a wrist, Queen Mikoto kept Orochi’s hand beneath the water for a moment longer than even Orochi’s noticeably flagging proprietary would allow.

Upon seeing her gaze reflected in the Queen’s eyes, she slowly touched her, gently, once more, and regained her capacity for speech—albeit a feeble one. “I make a better servant than friend, much less a lover, I’m afraid…”

Mikoto’s long hair, freed of its adornments, floated atop water like inky tendrils. Her eyes are wet and large, as if to take in the whole of Orochi’s soul.

Instead, the Queen indicated the large, flat, black stone near the tub, and guided Orochi to stand her up. “If you’re to be a servant, dear, then by all means let’s continue your service.”

Dutifully, Orochi toweled her dry, and wrapped her hair. Queen Mikoto sighed, lifting her arms when instructed, and enjoying the softness of the towel and the gentle, yet firm, stroke of Orochi’s hands behind it. She rested a cheek against her shoulder, breathing warm air against her own skin. Here and there, her body sagged. With every one of Orochi’s touches, she became more and more aware of it, but found, for some reason, these corporeal fears stung her not quite as sharply, in the moment.

She relaxed face-down on the slab, pillowing her head into her arms. “Just as you usually do, please.”

Orochi pursed her lips with worry, as she knelt atop the slab, knees to either side of the Queen’s. “You’ve gone through an ordeal, my Queen, I thought perhaps—”

The Queen turned onto her side, reached up, and silenced Orochi with a touch of her index finger to those worried lips. “Mikoto. Tonight, I’ll be Mikoto.”

Perched atop Mikoto’s legs, with a full view of Mikoto’s generous breasts, still slightly damp, their ordinarily plump nipples crinkled from the mountain chill, Orochi, for some reason, couldn’t bear to disagree.

“That’s my girl.” Mikoto softly laughed, offering an affectionate pat to Orochi’s cheek. She lay back down upon the slab. Her shoulder blades flexed like cobras primed to strike, bold contrast to the coquettish wiggle of her plump rear.

“Don’t spare any effort, Orochi. I want you to have me screaming, by the end of it.”

A toothy grin overcame Orochi. ”It would be my duty and my pleasure.”

A glistening tear of clear spring water rolled down the cleft of her ass, to parts obscured by darkness and fulsome flesh. At the sight of this, Orochi swallowed.

Reina always said that—duty.

And, in the back of her mind, she knew Reina to be right.

But as she straddled Mikoto’s rump, she couldn’t keep duty in her mind, couldn’t manage to maintain the lesson she was taught. Her hands found the Queen’s shoulders—so tense, so taut—and began their work. She squeezed gently at first, then harder as she felt her liege’s shoulders give, felt their tension melt, heard the approval in her throaty voice.

“Orochi,” Mikoto murmured into her arm. “You’ve always been so… wonderful… at… this.”

She shivered in pleasure just to hear Mikoto make such sounds, to say her name. The heat beneath her stomach rose and spread in fiery tendrils beneath her skin.

Giving oneself over to relaxation after so many days of effort too time, but they worked their way there together. And weakened as she was, it would take more than an ordeal of isolation to fell Mikoto’s wry spirit. Playful, and never one to sit still for long, as the massage returned Mikoto’s strength, so too did her mood blossom. And soon, Orochi felt a soft tickle.

It was the traipsing touch of Mikoto’s toes against her back…

“Ah!” Orochi stammered, gripping fistfuls of Mikoto’s sides, her spine straightening.

“Oh, am I disrupting your work?” Mikoto asked, with the hint of a matronly chuckle, muffled by her hands. If the dig of Orochi’s nails into her skin bothered her, she gave no outward indication of it. She was serene as a well-fed fox.

“N-not at all,” Orochi replied, kneading her fingers slowly over Mikoto’s flesh.

“Ahhh,” Mikoto wistfully sighed, biting down on her lip. “Orochi, you truly are a treasure.”

Her hands curled into fists. Her legs spread. The mild aroma of her seemed to shiver in the air like damp heat on a summer day—piquant, and promising something new, something better.

Duty, Orochi reminded herself, duty.

Soon, Mikoto was more sounds than sense, nearly trembling, trapped beneath the slab and Orochi’s unyielding touch. Her shoulders. Her flanks. The small of her back. Then, there was the capricious walk of Mikoto’s toes, all along her back. They seemed to highlight each vertebrae of her spine. Each corded, eager muscle. It was all Orochi could do to concentrate on her work, and that word—duty—was lost to her.

“That Kagero is a lucky woman…”

“Kagero?” The name surfaced Orochi from the hypnosis of watching Mikoto’s long, dark hair sweep along the slab with the subtle motions of her body. She tilted her head. “Oh, I… well… she’s…” Her fingertips dawdled in sweeping lines along the swell of Mikoto’s regal hips. “Never actually asked me to do this.”

“Then I’m the lucky one…” Mikoto murmured. With a blind hand reaching backwards, it took a grope or two before she was able to grip and shake affectionately at Orochi’s thigh. “To have a woman like you all to myself.”

Orochi’s hard squeezed so hard in her chest she thought she’d faint—though she wasn’t sure if it was Mikoto’s words, or the emphatic wriggle of her hips that sent an eye-pleasing ripple through her fleshy rear.

She relaxed slightly, knowing the dampness on her thighs had spread, tangible, against Mikoto’s legs. Put it out of mind, she commanded herself, even as Mikoto’s shoulders rolled and shook before her, even as her skin warmed beneath her commanding touch, and the pinkened handprints all over Mikoto’s back were evidence of Orochi’s presence, in this moment, she hasn’t noticed, and she won’t, and even if she did…

Once more, she worked her hands downward along Mikoto’s back, along the muscles beside her spine, the strained ones that had kept her upright for the last four days. They shuddered reflexively at her lightest touch, and Mikoto had instructed Orochi to be firm. So firm she was. She ground fingers, palm, and wrist against these troubling spots, and soon discovered the surprising pleasure she derived from each and every sound.

Eventually, she could delay no longer. Her hands reached her Queen’s buttocks, soft and generous with age. When she touched them, and Mikoto’s legs further spread beneath her, and her soft request came like a whimpered autumn breeze…


The light of the oil lamp was dim and distant. Orochi couldn’t be sure it was tears, she saw glistening in Mikoto’s eyes…

But she could endure the pretense no more. Her first two carefully trimmed fingers found Mikoto’s damp, clean folds, and ever so gently teased, then pressed forward against, her lonely Queen’s heat.

Mikoto’s legs parted, gently, gracefully. She was past ready, Orochi’s ministrations all along her body had seen to that. Her hips flexed upwards, the motion drawing Orochi’s fingers deeper into the sticky sap of her core.

“Oh my dear, dear girl…” The lonely Mikoto intoned, accepting the gift of Orochi’s touch.

Mikoto’s beckoning voice was all Orochi could ever have needed. The fear in her body drained away, replaced by surging confidence and long-repressed desire. Her fingers struck boldly forwards, inwards, felt her mistress and—now—lover’s heat around them, so warm from the bath she felt she might melt.

In a way, she did.

One wonders if even the normal, stately, and reserved Mikoto could hold back the sounds, and shivers, and sways of her body, much less the depleted one that lay beneath Orochi, cleaving towards her missive touches. Her legs flexed, testing the confinement of Orochi’s around them. Out came a panther’s purr against the stone, when she found that she was truly trapped.

A perceptive, capacitive lover, Orochi’s hips slid backwards, more room for Mikoto’s legs to spread. In all things, a Queen’s comfort be must be prioritized.

This left Orochi vulnerable, of course. When she relaxed back, she brought the heat and dampness of her own pent-up cunt right against the delicate, soft skin of the Queen’s soles, as if to use her body to say what her lips would not: that Mikoto was her Queen, the Queen she would read disasters for, the Queen she would fight off wild dogs for, and that she loved her Queen beyond love.

The Queen whose… toes splayed and tickled along the inadvertently offered warmth of Orochi’s cunt.

“M-mikoto…” Orochi gasped. The name had slipped out. Even with the Queen’s Own permission, still it felt wrong to say it. She hadn’t meant it… She… She… She…

“Orochi,” Mikoto whispered, reaching back, squeezing.

With reverence, she began to thrust into the center of the most beautiful, most beloved woman in all of Hoshido. She could smell the lust on her, and for a moment entertained that she was the first woman to touch her so, since all the tragedies. So bolstered, she made sure that she was worshipful, reverent of the woman that protected them all.

But, reverent as she might be, she was still Orochi, and, emboldened, she pushed on her knees backwards, trapping her Queen’s legs between her calves. Mikoto was known to be generous, but this generosity was beyond even Orochi’s dreams—and she had had many, so very many, even before entering the Queen’s service. Years of longing, and of desire, and clenched-fingers-on-blankets and between her own lips, it all rolled up and out of her throat and sang to the night in praise of full, requited love.

Orochi’s eager touch devoured Mikoto’s warmth, slipped over skin a decade younger than hers, still taut and firm with youth. Velvet in texture, and terrifyingly wet. Mikoto’s breath held in her lungs, and her world span round and round. Fresh tears stained her cheeks, and she was bereft of even the scant protection of her ceremonial make-up.

What a horrible thing, to think of yourself as attractive; to be so comely that such a beautiful girl would desire you.

A soft whimper, in her throat, followed, with the gradual build of Orochi inside her body. She fluttered like a blossom on the wind.

“I’ve been so lonely…” She whispered, shaking. “I’ve had no one.” Her fists squeezing in front of tear-shaken eyes. Welts birthing along her palms. “None but you two, watching over me…” The soft wheeze of her breath, such little energy in her. All these things, the bath, the massage, even the soup—the strength they restored was ultimately facsimile. And here, the Queen knew herself to be weak.

It might have been hard for the curvy, triumphant monster—this bold and brassy woman that called herself Orochi—to hold back, to restrain the ardor that poured forth. But if any force could do that—call her to action, tempt her to arousal, or restrain her completely, or even all three in the same heartbeat, it was the voice of her Queen. She couldn’t see those tears, but she could hear them, smell the soft salt in the air permeating the steamy bath. Lust had a heady smell, an overwhelming one, it was true, but lust was pale simulacra—the oil lamp in this chamber, in the face of the full moonlight that streamed from the barred window.

“We love you, my Queen.”

The gentle flat of her hand tender against the Queen’s rear.

“All of your people do. But we, Reina and I, with all our hearts and our bodies and our souls…”

Her fingers moved in rhythm with her words, providing the strength her fearful, weakened Queen lacked.

“We love you more than life, and we will protect you…”

The heat between her thighs made it hard to speak, hard to think—but that was a retainer’s job, was it not? To match her Queen perfectly.

And a diviner’s job, to know what she would need.

“We will protect you, and we will love you, and will keep you from such loneliness…” A tear, down her own cheek. “Until your heart is full again.” With exquisite gentleness, Orochi’s lips found Mikoto’s soft, beautiful rear, and placed a sweet promise there. “I so swear it.”

“Please…” The queen shivered beneath these many things. The kiss. The caresses. The silken slide of bodies. Her stomach quavered with each breath, her body heat sapped away by the stone, brought down somewhere deep in the earth beneath this holy place, yet infinitely replenished by Orochi above her. “Orochi…” She swallowed… “S-stop…”

And when she did, paralyzed with fear of mistake, Orochi found the face of a wanly smiling Queen beckoning her with the quirk of her lips, and the stains of tears down her cheeks.

She took her by the wrist…

And guided her to spoon her gently, atop the slab. Orochi’s full breasts against her back. Their hips met, and molded. And, with fingers entwined, Mikoto slid Orochi’s touch down every inch of her trembling stomach.

“Please…” She swallowed. “Tell me I’m still a woman, not just a mother, not just a queen.”

Orochi’s breath caught in her throat at the request, at the vulnerability of her Queen—no, of this woman, Mikoto, and nothing more—both ferocious and wan against the curve of her belly. She’d given so much…

Orochi’s lips kissed through Mikoto’s dark fall of hair and then, as though the Queen were a commoner, she gave Mikoto a nip on her neck, and sucked hard on her delicate pale skin, hard enough to leave a faint purple mark behind.

Mikoto gasped. Such impudence!

…well, truthfully the thought never crossed her mind. What better signifier of their common status, of her vulnerability, her morality, than the singing wound upon her neck. Her sex, open and vulnerable, but Orochi had no need to assault it. Merely the clit was enough, as Mikoto’s sheepish, fragile gasps echoed through the small bathing chamber, and surely out into the halls and gardens of the shrine—lucky then, there were only two other sets of ears in the whole compound to hear them. The shrine’s priestess was isolated by duty, of course. And Reina? Who would she tell. The only two people she spoke two were in this room.

“As my Queen, you are regal and wise. But as a woman, just like me.” She nearly fainted at the audacity of those words. “You are beautiful. I want you, more than I have wanted anyone, and for so long…” Her forefingers closed on Mikoto’s large, pearly clit, tugging gently, her skin lubricated by a Queen’s own honey. Gently she massaged Mikoto, working her fast, and faster, almost possessive, as Mikoto’s scent suffused the room. “You are a woman.” In her mind, she frantically cried MY woman! But she knew some desires better left unsaid—perhaps the saying so would be redundant…

Orochi nipped again, this time at Mikoto’s ear. Orochi’s curled, thick muff pressed against Mikoto’s rear. “We’ll love each other as women love each other, Mikoto…” The word was practically blasphemous—but there was no line between mistress and retainer any more. The heat blurred their bodies, their shared passion messing their thighs.

For a Queen, lonely or no, to hear those words…

Mikoto shook in Orochi’s embrace, pawing a hand backwards, linking fingers through thick tresses of Orochi’s hair and joining them together as fully as their meager, physical bodies would allow. Relishing the warmth of breasts and body against her back, burrowing back into that comfort, and curling a possessive leg around Orochi’s, because her physical trust was not as deep as her mental, and still she feared this escape.

Orochi’s fingers, soft from a life of reading cards, caressed Mikoto’s clit, her other hand scooping, reinforcing one of Mikoto’s large breasts, teasing at her nipple. Her right leg looped over Mikoto’s, trapping the woman against her body. What greater symbol of her place could Orochi give her?

Her lips never relented, as though she could transfer her strength into the older woman’s body through sharing of heat. Another little purple mark, then another. Purple—it was Orochi’s color, after all. The air was thick with desire, and Orochi’s hunger finally got the best of her as she began rutting against Mikoto’s rear like a beast. Two fingers on the woman’s clit, two more roaming fingers between her folds, splaying wide, and reminding her that though a body might be a prison—especially the body of a Queen—it was a body still.

“Cum, Mikoto…” She urged, her lips against the woman’s ear, sharing strength and security with words as surely as she did with touch. Fingers broke through, as the barriers of loss and sadness and station crumbled, as Mikoto clenched around Orochi’s fingers and grabbed at her hand and tilted her head back and cried up and out, into the night, soaking the black stone beneath them.

For long moments, Orochi held Mikoto there, just listening to the woman’s steady breath—stronger now, more vital, than when she’d entered the bath. When Mikoto had recovered enough to move again, she’d said nothing, merely stroking at Orochi’s arm around her stomach, and humming, off-key, a bar or two of some long-forgotten song from a distant memory.

The peaceful lullaby brought a smile to the diviner’s lips, before the creeping realization set in of all she’d done.

“My Queen!” She murmured, and reflex tightened her arm around Mikoto’s stomach. “M-my apologies, for…”

Yes, surely… it was only reflex that was to blame, for how closely she held Mikoto to her.

It was only a moment before she realized that exhaustion had claimed Mikoto in full, that she had closed her eyes and fallen asleep in Orochi’s arms as if she were some comely maiden overcome by post-martial bliss. She was so peaceful there, asleep with lips parted, and eyes barely closed. The tremors of tension in her body and along her face had stilled, replaced with the serenity of total release.

The diviner held her there, reveling in the feel of Mikoto’s warmth, her softness, her weight, sealing these myriad sensations into her mind. Orochi felt as if she were floating on the ocean. She could almost the lap of water at her ears. The smell of saline in her nose. And each swell of Mikoto’s breathing lofted her along the sine of a gentle wave. It was so easy, to fall into these moments. She had imagined many of them already, so many times, and thus she surprisingly comfortable with their passing now, from dream into reality.

But dreams do end, if only temporarily, and after a while, Orochi swam her mind back from that foggy, sea of wonderful fantasy. Carefully, ever-so-carefully, she extracted herself, donned her yukata, and peeked out into the night.

Reina stood by the door, stoic as always.

“I’ve already got her futon prepared,” she intoned. Entering the chamber, she proceeded to wrap the Queen in a robe. The knight lifted her like a treasure, like a bride, and was just past the doors, when she turned her head. “I’ll see to the Queen. You…” Reina, a smirk on her scarred face, gave a little sniff of the air and sent Orochi’s heart straight into her stomach. “Need a bath.”

And with that, Reina and the Queen disappeared into the night, and Orochi slunk towards the tub—then paused.

She could live with the scent of her love, of her Queen, on her for another few minutes.

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