The Glowing Hours

BY : Ajora
Category: Final Fantasy Games > Final Fantasy II - V
Dragon prints: 34
Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy V, nor do I make money off of this.

When Faris set her mind to something she wanted, she stopped at nothing until she got it. That's how she lost her virginity to a beautiful older girl when she was fourteen and hadn't even needed to pay for it, bonded to a sea dragon when she was fifteen and got her captaincy nearly a week later, bagged nearly every ship she wanted, broke out of every prison she'd been in long before serving her sentences, and ended up with a box full of trophies from her conquests.

And then Princess Lenna of Tycoon came into her life and so thoroughly wrecked it that Faris should have resented her. Lenna's earnestness made resentment difficult, and she was so dedicated to finding her father that Faris threw her lot in with the princess. Faris, ever a connoisseur of the finer things in life, saw this sweet, considerate, lovely young woman and thought, I'm gonna marry her. Given how well Lenna responded to her flirting, she was dead sure the attraction was mutual. She hoped to retire by the time she'd hit fifty, settle down, and treat this wonderful little princess right. Faris couldn't offer much, not compared to a noble, but she had experience aplenty and enough heart to ensure that Lenna wouldn't want for love and romance. She would even retire sooner, if the princess so desired.

Well. The realization that Lenna was part of that first five years of her life that she was missing, her sister, was…unfortunate. After all, she hadn't a proper family growing up, so why would she need one now? It was unfair that the universe dangled the perfect woman right in front of her and said, she isn't for you; look but don't touch. For one who grew up knowing that she should take what she wants, fuck the rules because the only one she could ever count on is herself, the very notion of not being able to pilfer what she wants most grates against every fiber of her being.

Faris still isn't proud of how she reacted. In the midst of wrestling with her feelings for her own sister, the last thing she needed just then was to be confronted with the reality she'd been avoiding. Her kneejerk reaction of laughing uncomfortably and fleeing might have been a slap, it hurt Lenna just as much. Sure Faris apologized afterwards, but she suspects that she'll be trying to make up for it for the rest of her life.

What followed might have been a dance. Denial and stepping away. Long campfire talks and drawing closer; the steps came easier the more familiar they got with each other. With near death experiences, Faris took her partner in her arms and did a spot turn; maybe she held Lenna closer than necessary and liked the contact a hell of a lot more than she should. "Dad" tumbled out of Faris' lips when he finally stopped running and then she had to admit that she knew for a while now; break away and step back. Their father died and it was time to let guilt consume Faris from within and pretend that her partner wasn't hurting just as much; the dance stalls.

New world with no way back: return to the campfire talks, pick up the pace. The dance changed, became closer and more sensual with that heady mix of youthful attraction, intimacy, and constant danger, when they realized that they may be stuck forever in this world that didn't know them. Awareness of mortality is, after all, one of the great aphrodisiacs. The confession in Surgate and a merry romp in the absent king's bed, and Lenna's inexperienced attempt at seduction was made irresistible by her enthusiasm. Lenna straddled her thigh and the way her body moved to the music was so evocative, so alluring, that Faris couldn't help but succumb. Zezae died and maybe Faris felt bad about being so thoughtless in rolling around on his bed, step back for a bit. Galuf died and ExDeath took the Crystals, and everything was so terrible and looked so hopeless that the only thing she could think of to cheer up her partner was to fulfill their terribly foolish and romantic dreams and marry her. It was done under the cover of night and with false names, but it's the thought that counts and Lenna was happy enough to lose herself in the fantasy.

When the two worlds merged, the dance changed again to the waltz of a married couple as they laid out their plans on how to keep their affair hidden and still alive.

They've been dancing this way for fifteen years. Which, to Faris, is a miracle. Lust generally flares out somewhere between a few hours to a few days after fulfillment. Infatuation goes cold about six months in. And she should know—she really did love all of her conquests. They simply never lasted. Her affair with Lenna should have gone to ash long ago. That it hasn't is just confirmation that this love of theirs is deeper and more tangled and complicated than she'd ever planned or hoped for. And really, what's a spot of incest on top of a life of piracy, pocket-picking, extortion, kidnapping, assault, intimidation, arson, smuggling, and a bit of the old breaking and entering?

It's because she's certain that this is meant to be forever that she's willing to be cautious. By now she knows all of the secret passages in Tycoon Castle, the habits of the cleaning staff, and the guard rotation schedule. It's all old hat at this point, and Faris thinks nothing of sneaking through her paranoid grandfather's escape routes. Having the dragons helps, too—through them she and Lenna are able to pass messages to each other without leaving incriminating evidence, and the smallest one slinks through the passageways and keeps an ear out.

By the time Faris pushes through the panel hidden in the back of her wardrobe and slips into her own apartments, it's well past nightfall and she's pretty sure she reeks of the musty passages in the walls. She doesn't mind it, but tonight is special and she's determined to make an effort for her beloved. Ignoring the food left on a silver tray on her desk for the time being, Faris goes straight for the washroom to at least make herself more presentable—it seems sacrilegious, even after all this time, to venture into Lenna's bed trailing the dust of the road with her. Maybe Lenna might never make an issue of it, but certain niceties must be observed.

Faris cleans up the bath after using it, because while the staff won't clean up when she's officially not there, an excess of precaution has always served her well. It's while she sits at her desk in a robe to eat and let her hair dry that she notices the tiny strip of seemingly blank rice paper stuck under the fruit bowl. This she holds above a candle flame until brown lettering in Lenna's elegant script appears: "Come as you will."

A fond smile spreads across Faris' face at the words, even as she lets the note burn. Lenna developed a taste for Faris' tendency to wear men's clothes that at this point is a full-fledged fetish. "Come as you were" means that she's in the mood for the captain's greatcoat and a touch of adventure. "Come as you are" means different things based on which letter has more emphasis: the "r" written with a stronger stroke means she wants Faris in her king's garb of ivory and gold, the "a" emphasized means she wants Faris in her admiral's uniform. "S?" is the rarest of notes: it means that she wants Faris in a dress, if she's willing, and the only reason Faris doesn't mind it then is because Lenna is the one person who has never made her feel wrong in the dress. "Come as you will" means that Lenna is leaving the decision to her, but the extra weight of the "c" makes Faris suspect that she would like her captain back for a bit. Faris is nothing if not accommodating to her dear sister's quirks.

It's been a long time since Faris wore her pirate's outfit outside of the bedroom. It's infamous, for one thing, and infamy to the point of being immediately recognized is not something that serves her now. Nowadays the spiky bits have been taken off and it's been cleaned enough that the once-lingering smell of brine and dodgy ports are a memory. She doesn't bother with the binding vest, scarves, or even underwear; it's all coming off soon enough, anyway. What matters is the presentation, and half of that is personality. And that is something she never has to worry about.

When Faris finally slinks through the secret passageway linking her room to Lenna's, she feels a bit like her old self again: cocky, commanding, rapacious, and more than happy to divest lovely young ladies of both jewels and their maidenheads. It's not that she isn't still that way, a bit, but growing older and having Lenna around to temper her worst impulses mellowed her out more than she wants to admit. At least with Lenna to come back to, she no longer feels the need for conquests.

The panel door opens soundlessly, leading her into Lenna's bedchamber. Thank whichever ancestor built the passage to check on their children, for it allows her to come and go without alerting the guards. Cleaner than her grandfather's passages, too. The heavier, light-blocking blue curtains around Lenna's bed are drawn closed on all sides but the one closest to the secret door. On the side table stands an oil lamp to provide a warm, sensual glow to the scene.

Lying in wait for her is her dearest love, her sister and queen, positively resplendent and wearing nothing more than several hundred million gil worth of diamonds, gold, and platinum. The necklace alone is probably nearly three thousand carats, given the multiple strings and pendants and the heavy dangling strands of diamonds that frame Lenna's soft, shapely breasts so nicely. It's matched by earrings, bracelets, anklets, a tiara, rings. The thing that didn't quite match was a jeweled girdle of gold, pearls, and moonstone beads that fastened around Lenna's hips. Not that Faris would ever complain; her grin is positively wolfish as she drinks in the sight of her beloved with her eyes closed and lips slightly parted, glittering reflected gold in the lamplight, with one hand tucked between her legs and the other teasing a hard, enticing little pink nipple.

Fuckin' hell, if this was fifteen years ago, Faris would be salivating right now. Her dear, sweet, thoughtful Lenna evidently figured she might enjoy the joining of Faris' love of jewels and women and gift-wrapped herself. Lenna's supple lips shape Faris' name as her fingers slide lightly between her legs in a languid rhythm that does nothing but tease. Swallowing at the delicious sight, Faris has to admit that she still isn't quite above drooling. Part of her genuinely wants to stay at the bedside and watch, but the greater part of her wants nothing more than to participate.

She nearly licks her lips at the thought; there are a thousand things she wants to do with Lenna and she only has a few hours. "Keeping supper warm, my love?"

Lenna's eyes flutter open, and Faris' heart might have tried escaping through her throat again—the tender, loving smile Lenna gives her is a greater treasure than any she ever chased after. "I had to keep myself entertained somehow." There's a bit of an affected pout in her voice, but it falls away as the smile widens into a grin. Lenna's skilled hands leave her body and one stretches out to Faris in entreatment. "Welcome home."

With a smirk of her own, Faris takes the hand in hers, laces their fingers together briefly in a gesture that's become as intimate as any kiss, and sits at Lenna's side. She leans in to brush her lips across her sister's knuckles in that gesture Lenna adores so much, at least coming from her. The way Lenna's smile softens encourages Faris to continue the motion: a chaste kiss at the fingers, a kiss in the palm, and she can't help but remember that fateful talk in Surgate long ago. For all the difficulty of maintaining a secret relationship, she wouldn't change this for the world.

They spend what feels like an eternity just taking in the sight of each other. Making up for lost time, perhaps. Lenna is the first to break the silence. Her fingers caress Faris' cheek before she cups it. "You're so handsome," Lenna says in a voice so gentle, loving, and sincere that Faris can't imagine anyone else understanding her like this. She always hated being called pretty or beautiful, after all, and Lenna understanding that went a long way in helping Faris reconcile this mess of a gender identity. As if she read Faris' mind, which is a distinct possibility, her sister continues. "My brave, handsome king."

"All yours." Faris captures the hand again to kiss the palm. That foolish, terribly impulsive wedding in Moore might never count as legitimate and should never be brought to light, but Faris always took her vows seriously and exclusivity is just part of that. We belong together is a mantra that reassures them when they have doubts.

Lenna pulls the hand gently away, only to weave her fingers through and tug the cravat that once hid Faris' lack of the tell-tale bump men have at the throat. Her silent demand for a kiss. "My captain," Lenna continues as Faris toes off her shoes and leans over her beloved. "My husband. My sis—"

The kiss is mistimed and cuts Lenna off, but Faris is sure she doesn't mind. Forbidden fruit tastes sweetest, and her sister's kisses are the sweetest she's ever had. The taste of her is intoxicating, the wet velvet slide of lips and tongue addictive, and there's something about Lenna's kisses that resonate deep inside her. Try as she might, she can never get enough.

Not that Lenna ever seems to get enough of her, either. Her arms wrap across Faris' back, drawing her closer. Obligingly, Faris breaks the kiss to settle her weight more comfortably on her elbows and knees as she covers Lenna's body with hers. Lenna's breath catches as Faris' torso presses just right against hers, as Faris' hands cradle her face. Following her lead, Lenna's hands leave her sister's back to slip around the nape of Faris' neck and draw her in for another kiss.

It lasts both forever and not long enough. When it breaks again, Lenna's voice drips with desire. "Fuck me," she whispers into Faris' ear. A teasing lick on the rim and a hot breath makes Faris shudder in the effort to keep her own lust in check.

Faris manages a breathy laugh that's not nearly as dark as she wants it to be; it's harder and harder to think when she's in Lenna's arms like this. "Not 'til I've had supper, love."

The growl of mock-frustration that's Lenna's response is almost draconic and her fingers twine into Faris' hair and tighten just enough to get her attention. While Faris will typically do whatever Lenna wishes, this is the one place she'll make her token resistance. "Now now," she murmurs, her lips curling into a smile against Lenna's cheek, "we have to do something about this impulsiveness of yours."

"You're a fine one to talk." Faris' smile widens into a grin at the reminder of her own daring and she kisses Lenna's cheek before moving down to nuzzle and kiss that sensitive spot just below her ear. Her heart might swell a bit when she breathes in the scent of Lenna's perfume. It's faded to the point of being a pleasant memory of the original scent, but it's her favorite of Lenna's collection of perfumes: the warm, delicately spiced scent of dragonsblood resin balancing out a luscious mix of vanilla, honey, and a hint of amaretto. Faris wants to nibble on her sister's neck for hours whenever she wears it. Lenna's breath catches with the attention, her fingers tighten in Faris' hair in encouragement. "If you insist on drawing this out, Captain, I want to be thoroughly ravished."

"I can promise you that." Her chuckle is low and full of sinful implications—oh, now she manages the dark tones Lenna responds to so well. A nip and suck at the throat in emphasis makes Lenna wiggle pleasantly beneath her. Almost a pity that Faris will have to restrain herself—she loves more than anything to make Lenna scream, and that's not something she can get away with now, with the guards right outside.

The lavishing of kisses, light nibbles, sucks, and licks on her wife's smooth, clean pale skin is almost reverent, worshipful in a way Faris has never been with her past lovers. Neither Lenna's heart or her body should ever have been offered up to a pirate, let alone her own sister, but it's done and Faris is enough of a gentleman to treat these treasures with the veneration they deserve and enough of a scoundrel to hoard them. If Faris was honest with herself, which she often isn't, she might even admit that it gives her some sick thrill to know that no one else has ever or will ever touch Lenna like this. She's half dragon, after all, and dragons are infamous for their possessiveness.

Lenna's well-manicured nails scratch lightly, pleasingly across Faris' scalp in encouragement as she finally reaches her breasts. They're perfect like the rest of her, of course: soft, just the right size and shape to fit so nicely in Faris' hands, with delectable little pink nipples Faris enjoys playing with entirely too much. The heavy strings of diamonds that frame her breasts throw bright, golden flecks of reflected lamplight on them that shift with each breath. As she's still a pirate at heart, Faris can't help but admire the effect.

"Like what you see, dear heart?" Fond amusement colors Lenna's words as she runs her fingers through Faris' still-damp hair.

At this point Faris is sure she's completely transparent; she hasn't stopped grinning like a kid given the run of a candy shop the entire time. She shifts on her knees to sit up for a bit and free her hands, careful to avoid placing any weight on the legs pinned between her knees. "Oh, I reckon I'll have memories enough to keep me company on the road." She fondles those gorgeous breasts, enjoying the contrast between her sun-darkened, work-callused hands and the milk-pale, silken skin of her sister that's further accentuated by more diamonds than Faris would know what to do with.

That's another transgression that thrills her: nevermind that she was born a princess, she was raised as a pirate and orphan, lowest of the low, and a filthy bilge rat like her certainly shouldn't be so much as looking at a queen of Lenna's upbringing. A filthy bilge rat like her fucking the unattainable queen on a regular basis? Inconceivable. Faris Scherwiz, scourge of the seas, managed to make off with Tycoon's greatest treasure. Too bad she can't crow about it.

It's just as well. Going public would ruin Lenna. Faris would do anything to protect her, including making concessions and shutting down her natural tendency to flaunt. She'll have to be satisfied with clandestine meetings and kisses stolen when no one's around to look. Which, in its way, makes what they have all the more precious. It's their secret, and one Faris will take to the grave.

The insistent tug on her hair urges Faris to actually do something, though she'd be just as content to stare. The sheer size of the diamond necklace, while visually pleasing, would make nuzzling in between those perfect breasts the way she usually does uncomfortable. Still, she takes her own sweet time to tease, straightening out the necklace's multiple pendants and strands and perhaps skimming over the hard little nipples in the process.

Lenna takes in a sharp, half-hissed breath and, in her frustration, untangles a hand from Faris' hair to attend to one of her nipples herself. The sight is normally thoroughly captivating, but Faris has her reasons for taking her time. She catches the hand and laces their fingers together, grinning like a madman at her wife all the while.

"Faris, please. We don't have all night."

Well, if she puts it that way… Faris never was able to say no to Lenna, not for long. The thumb of her free hand traces over that pale brown birthmark on the underside of Lenna's left breast, a favorite nibbling spot, before she takes the nipple between her fingers. "What do you think of when you're playing with yourself?"

The frustrated lust clears from Lenna's eyes for the moment, the fingers in her hair rake through reassuringly. Lenna's voice softens to that soothing tone she uses when Faris dares to be vulnerable around her. "You, of course. It's always been you."

The statement is simple, given without flourish or expectation of reciprocation, and it shouldn't be as big a turn-on as it is. Faris half wants to go straight between her wife's legs and reward her for her fidelity, but this requires patience. She dips her head to take a delicious little nipple into her mouth, to lick and nibble lightly on it until Lenna's breath quickens and shallows. When it does, she moves to suck and lap at the other until Lenna squirms beneath her.

Faris wishes she could just bring her wife off with nipple play—she's done it before, it's gratifying to watch—but she doesn't have the time. She gives each tasty morsel a parting kiss before trailing her lips and hands downwards. The dip of her tongue into Lenna's navel makes her dear wife shudder and gasp; she has to hold Lenna's hips in place as she exploits that sensitivity. As close as Lenna is to climax, Faris figures it's unwise to stay for too long and moves on to nuzzle the crest of her hipbones and the flat expanse of her stomach. The gold filigree work of the girdle's centerpiece and the attached strings of pearls and moonstones sit so nicely on Lenna's hips that Faris might almost be distracted from her real prize.

With mischief glinting in her eyes, Faris pauses to sit up again and look down upon her wife. Lenna watches her through a haze of lust and adoration and a touch of frustration for her leisurely pace. As much as a shame it is that she can't spend the time to worship every inch of her wife's body properly, there's something to be said for just diving in. "You're such a pretty picture, my love." Faris' grin might have gone predatory, for Lenna's eyes flash in response with that thrill she gets from Faris' wicked side. It takes a bit of shifting about on her knees, but eventually Faris manages to pull up Lenna's slim legs and settle herself between them. Lenna's breath frays into little quaking bits as Faris teases the warm curls between her legs with a breath.

She starts kissing a path from Lenna's knee to the inside of her thigh, stopping shy of direct contact with those lips she wants more than anything to taste and moving on to repeat the motion on the other leg, delighting in the way her wife's legs tremble in anticipation. The mischief turns devilish as Faris dips into one of Lenna's darkest fantasies; Lenna smothers a gasp at the sight. "Someday I'll fuck you on your own throne," she growls, voice full of sinister promise as she grabs those lovely hips and draws her closer. The way Lenna's eyes go wide as she shudders with the thrill of breaking taboo so flagrantly might make Faris laugh if she wasn't just as enticed by this fantasy. "Show them all that you belong to me."

"Oh!" Lenna's response strangles out of her, nearly breathless with the thought.

Drunk on the sight of Lenna so close to orgasm, on the power a filthy bilge rat has over the queen no one else can touch, on her own arousal she'd been ignoring, Faris can't help but play a little. "Say it."

"I'm yours." Despite the fact that she's so close to becoming undone, Lenna's voice is soft and confident. She reaches down to cover Faris' hand with her own. "You're mine. We belong together."

Well, fuck, that nearly does Faris in. She distracts herself the best way she knows how. Once she settles comfortably on her elbows, she dives in. The heady scent of Lenna's arousal fills her, draws her in to partake of the greatest treasure in the land. Which she does as often as she can—she's addicted to the taste of Lenna's lust, the aroma, the heat, the way her sweet puss twitches just for her. Lenna is so wet that Faris takes some time just to lap up every bit of it from her folds, which only seems to make her beg.

"Faris, please," Lenna hisses. Her fingers twist almost cruelly in Faris' hair in her need.

Being the amiable sort, at least where Lenna is involved, Faris dips her tongue into the source of all that delicious wetness to draw more of it out. Lenna's hips buck, demanding more of her attentions, and Faris has to hold them still to focus.

The magic of a woman's secret parts is that there's so much to play with. She enjoys teasing the curls and caressing the outer lips delicately until Lenna's breath quickens. The inner lips, usually a delicate pink, grow dark and full with arousal; she enjoys alternating between tracing them with her tongue and taking them into her mouth to suck. The pretty pink pearl that peeks out from under its hood when Lenna's properly aroused is always a delight to see, and Faris loves stroking it with her tongue and sucking on it almost as much as she loves how wet Lenna gets for her. There's so much to do that she never gets bored, nor does she let Lenna's senses grow dull with her attentions.

That Lenna never gets tired of how much Faris loves to please her is just icing on the cake.

A rough yank of her hair sends a bolt of need coursing straight through Faris. She glances up, a bit confused, because Lenna is usually happy with her oral skills.

"I need you. Here."

Ah. Pleasure of another sort settles around Faris' heart like a smug, sated dragon as she shifts to loom over her wife. Lenna's arms circle around her back and her legs close in around Faris' hips. Faris' dominant hand slips between Lenna's legs, her fingers sliding easily between wet lips to stroke at either side of the stiff little clit in that steady pace her wife likes so much. Lenna presses her face into the junction of Faris' neck and shoulder to smother her jagged little moans.

Lenna's so close that Faris can barely ignore her own arousal anymore. It's tempting to attend to that distracting heat between her legs, but Lenna always gets priority. The moment her fingers are wet enough, she presses one into her wife, with the second following at Lenna's unspoken insistence. She's so hot, wet, grasping, welcoming, that Faris sometimes wishes she really did have a prick. A real one, not the toy Lenna refuses on the basis that she'll only accept Faris inside her. But Lenna is happy just with this, so Faris does all she can to be the best lover she can be.

It takes only a few strokes with a couple of fingers inside Lenna and the heel of Faris' palm rubbing against the hood of that hard little clit with each pass before she clings close to her sister, muffles her cries into her sister's shoulder, and comes. Faris eases her through the crest and crash of orgasm, whispering sweet nothings as the tremors subside, and slowly withdraws her fingers to lick them clean.

Lenna's grip on Faris eases as she relaxes in the afterglow and watches her clean up with all the satiation of her own dragon after a good meal. She looks like she wants to curl up and go to sleep, but Faris knows her crafty little sister well enough to know she'll want her turn at topping as soon as she's recovered. Faris stays where she is, on her elbows and knees over her wife, because one of those things Lenna never seems to tire of is this closeness of theirs.

Soft, warm lips brush over Faris' moments later as Lenna's arms hold her close again. It's not a kiss, not quite. "I love you so much," Lenna's voice is little more than a whisper.

"Love you, too." In emphasis, Faris closes what little distance remains between their lips. The kiss starts as warm and flares to a driving heat so quickly that it might have made her head spin. She's aware, vaguely, that Lenna's hands trail down her back before leaving her entirely to do… whatever. Her focus is more on the depth of the kiss and the way Lenna knows just how to respond to her motions in just the right way to revive her arousal.

The delicate hands of a queen grasp at Faris' shoulders, and she can feel Lenna squirming beneath her. Not that she minds, for Lenna always feels fantastic rubbing up against her like that.

Then, suddenly, the world goes awhirl as Lenna somehow manages to roll her off and climb on top of her. Before Faris can even fully register it, Lenna grabs her wrists, yanks them up over her head, and wraps them up in a length of…wait, is that the fuckin' girdle?! The little minx, she'd planned this. Faris can't help it, her face splits into a broad grin of delight. Somehow or another, Lenna always manages to surprise her.

"Like that, Captain?" There's more than a bit of impishness in Lenna's fond smile as she straddles her sister. For all that she still looks freshly fucked, Lenna is such a lovely figure in her glittering jewels and sitting on Faris' hips like this that her mouth feels dry.

It takes Faris a moment to gather herself. She's aware, faintly, that she's wet enough that she'll have to wash the trousers later. No matter. Lenna's fingers rest at her belt buckle, an unvoiced question in the way they almost curl around it. Faris' moods regarding her own nakedness are fickle at best—sometimes she doesn't mind it, sometimes she likes it because Lenna does, sometimes she hates it and can't figure out why. And before Lenna, it hadn't been an issue because her past conquests were content with taking and not reciprocating. But it's her Lenna wants, completely, chronic gender confusion and all. Faris wonders sometimes what the hell she did to deserve Lenna's love and devotion.

She nods once. Just enough for that sweet little smile of gratitude to light up Lenna's face and tug at Faris' heart.

Those nimble, skilled fingers unbuckle her belt with a fluid quickness that comes from long practice and puts it aside. They tease along the buttons of her greatcoat before slipping them under their eyes, and Lenna does it at a languid pace that's more about committing all this to memory than the wicked teasing that Faris likes to do.

Lenna's eyes as she daintily pries open Faris' clothes are so tender and wanting that Faris is sure she deserves none of it. Rather than be repulsed by old battle scars, Lenna traces them. Rather than be disgusted by the muscle Faris has been putting on since her access to decent food became a nonissue, Lenna admires them and fondles them in a way that makes Faris forget entirely about the mess in her head. Rather than be frustrated when Faris' chest-binding for too long results in her breasts being too tender or too numb, Lenna watches the way Faris reacts to her touch and proceeds when she's sure she's not causing any pain.

"It's okay," Faris whispers as Lenna's fingers hover hesitantly over her chest. "Didn't do much binding today. I'm good."

Rather than respond verbally, Lenna gives her that wry little smile she makes when she's trying not to be concupiscent and failing. It's refreshing to see, if just because Lenna tries so hard to live up to her flawless virgin front that she feels like she can only be herself around Faris and their friends. The way Lenna's hands fondle and squeeze against what muscles she does have is downright possessive, and Faris is glad she gets to be the only one Lenna shows that side of herself to.

With a wicked chuckle, Faris tenses her abs right under Lenna's hands. It makes Lenna lose control of that smile of hers and her eyes might have twinkled. "Naughty girl," she says under her breath, in a tone that's something on the order of fondness lightly sprinkled with amusement. "If I'd known you liked that, I might've tried working harder earlier on."

"Me, naughty?" Lenna tries to play the innocent, but the attempt fails in light of the way her hands grope along the muscles in Faris' sides. "I'm not the criminal here."

Faris can't help it; she laughs. Softly, of course; she's always conscious of the guards posted outside the door. Part of it is the clash of the Lenna she knows against her public figure, which is just as hilarious now as it was when Lenna proclaimed herself the Virgin Queen of Tycoon at her coronation. Part of it is that they are terrible at play-acting in bed, and she knows where this is going. Still, she's happy to follow along. "And what would Your Majesty's subjects think of you detaining a criminal in your bed?"

"Why, they might thank me." Lenna's eyes dance with poorly-suppressed mirth. "Don't think I haven't kept track, dear sister. I have entire files on your activities."

Only the fact that Faris knows that nothing comes of it but a bit of play makes her so willing to go along with this. She'd balk otherwise. "Do you?"

"Arson, six counts," Lenna begins lightly, her fingers tracing along Faris' scars in a way that's much more loving than the playfulness she expects. "Bribery, thirty-two counts. Burglary, thirty-seven. Extortion, eighteen. Fraud, various, twenty-three. Piracy, forty-seven. Smuggling, forty-two. Theft, various, sixty-eight. And that's just the crimes against property. Let's not forget assault and battery, intimidation, kidnapping, false imprisonment…the list does get exhaustive. My goodness, Faris, you've been busy."

Well, Lenna's numbers might be a bit low, but far be it for Faris to correct her. Still, she'll have to commend Lenna's spies on their thoroughness. Her smile softens as she reaches between them to skim her knuckles lightly against the silken smoothness of Lenna's inner thigh. It's a bit tricky, what with her wrists being bound together. "Don't forget the incest."

"Incest, uncountable." Lenna shifts on her knees in a way that reminds her that she'll have to take the trousers with her. The heat radiating from her wife, not to mention the growing dampness, makes her sorely tempted to take charge again. But, this is Lenna's turn. That it happens so quickly does make Faris wonder if this sin of theirs has become another of Lenna's guilty pleasures. "Fifteen years' worth."

"And decades more, if I've anything to say about it." Faris' voice might have gotten a little brusque with stubborn determination—she seldom apologized for anything, and certainly never for anything done out of need, but she'll never feel guilty or apologize for this. Not when Lenna is such a devoted, enthusiastic partner in crime.

Lenna's hips shift against her again; her queen is enjoying this far too much. "See? You're incorrigible," Lenna says teasingly. "The only solution is to keep you tied up nice and safe. It's for the public good."

"Just the public good?" Faris jerks her hips up enough to bounce Lenna a little. The delighted "oooh" and a light giggle are awfully gratifying. "What's my sentence, my Queen?"

The neatly-trimmed nails drum lightly on Faris' midriff as Lenna makes a show of thinking on the matter. "Normally the sentence for such an extensive history is life in prison, but I could be convinced to commute it to, oh, a few years of time in my bed."

Faris never actually worries, of course. Part of the reward for saving the world, and the privilege of being the long-lost princess, was having her past records officially expunged. At least in Tycoon. There's probably still a warrant out for her arrest in Jacole. "And how might I do that?"

"I want you to come for me, dear heart." Lenna's hands settle over hers. Probably as much to keep her from going straight for her treasure as it is to reassure her. "You're always so giving. I love that you are, but I want to please you, too."

Admittedly, it took Faris a long time to get used to being vulnerable around anyone. Longer still to let her eager little sister reciprocate without second-guessing herself or feeling inordinately self-conscious, and the only reason it hadn't taken even longer was because Lenna is just as stubborn as she is and a hell of a lot gentler about it. It helped, too, that Lenna never makes it about how "gorgeous" Faris is; all she ever seems to want is to love Faris back.

With a sigh, Faris mentally kicks that selfish little bit of her that would rather not give in to Lenna's desire for her just because some crotchety old pirates messed up her head about genders and forced her to be a boy when she was a kid. At least it's a lot quieter now than it used to be. She eases back into Lenna's too-comfortable bed and manages a hint of a smile. "I'll need some help with my trousers. Seems I'm a tad tied up at the moment."

Despite Lenna's attempt to bite back the snort of amusement, it comes out anyway. She seems to consider her words for the moment, and starts pulling out the pins keeping her tiara in place. Faris doesn't like to see the jewelry go, but Lenna's limbs are shorter than hers and she can't keep the entirety of her weight off Faris in the same way Faris can keep it off her when she's on top, and the metal and stones will start getting uncomfortable when pressed between them. Still, it's nice to watch the way Lenna's breasts sway when she goes about removing her jewels.

When it's done and Lenna had to get off of her to place her things back where they belong, all that's left is the pendant that was originally Faris'. The detailing on the silver/platinum alloy dragon encircling the emerald at the center was worn down by sand and salt sea winds, and wingtips and part of the tail broke off long ago in skirmishes, but it still serves the purpose of both royal identification and a symbol of their promises to each other.

It already feels like it's been too long by the time Lenna returns to untangle the girdle from around her wrists and help her out of her clothes. Nice as clothed sex can be, there are some things Faris prefers that are much more enjoyable without barriers between them. She disregards the pleasant soreness left behind by the girdle's chains and stones for welcoming Lenna back where she belongs: straddling her, her hips cradled in Faris' hands.

Lenna's sweet, adoring smile softens as she toys with her pendant that remains around Faris' neck, whole and unmarked by the strife that fills a pirate's life. Faris never takes it off.

"Decades, huh?" Lenna's voice is almost too soft to hear, but that desire in it is unmistakable.

Faris' voice, just as quiet and messy with sentimentality, follows up as her hands slide caressingly up around her sister's waist. "Forever, if you'll have me."

"You have to ask?" Lenna's eyes almost twinkle with good humor as she leans over her. "Dear sister, I'd keep you as long as I can. We belong together. You know that."

"C'mere," Faris manages to say, somehow, in this mess of emotions she seems to always get around Lenna. It's how she knows she's in love; Lenna manages to slip back into her heart and set up her home there every time they're together like this. Not that she ever really leaves.

All thoughts of playfulness forgotten, Lenna tries to cover her body much like Faris did, but her limbs are too short to leave any gaps between them and the full-body contact is exquisite. Faris embraces her, holding her as close as possible. Like she's trying to absorb enough of Lenna to sustain her while she's away.

Her eager little queen indulges her need for their intimacy, moving only to stroke her hair and nuzzle her cheek. Lenna's voice is softer than silk as she whispers her love and assurances that someday they won't have to sneak around.

Faris moves to silence her with a kiss—they both know that they can't be out in the open, not as long as Lenna is the queen. Probably not ever. And while Faris is fine with that, having lived with secrets and lies all her life, she knows it hurts Lenna for them to act as distant as they can in public. And Faris does have several exit strategies for them to run off together, but Lenna insists on preparing Tycoon beforehand.

But for now, this is all that matters.

The kiss breaks as Lenna shifts her weight to Faris' side. Her fingers wander along old scars she seems to want to map every time they're together. The attention warms her heart, if just because it's another aspect of Lenna's acceptance of everything about her.

"Is there anything specific you want?" Lenna asks, pressing a gentle kiss to an old knife scar in her shoulder.

With a brief, silent laugh she doesn't really feel, Faris toys with Lenna's hair. "Besides you?"

Faris knows she's not ideal as the receptive partner—every now and then that disconnect between who she is and how she was forced into roles other people chose for her rears its ugly head and kills off her desire, other times all she wants to do is give Lenna pleasure, and other times still all she wants to do is indulge in burying herself in Lenna as an escape from herself. She can't stand penetration. Nipple play doesn't really do much for her at the best of times. She needs something a lot more firm than Lenna's tongue to get off. Frankly, she'd be disappointed in herself. It's a miracle that her personal mess has never been a problem for Lenna.

Lenna's face falls as she intuits the change in her mood; Faris has to bite back the kneejerk urge to apologize somehow. "I know it's our anniversary, but would you prefer to stop?"

"No." Not the least because it seems cruel to call a halt to this reunion when it feels like they never get enough of each other. Her body yearns for Lenna's just as much as Lenna's yearns for hers. "Head goblins," she says at last as explanation.

Thankfully, Lenna knows exactly what she means. Always did. She shifts on her side to trail kisses along her scars. "I'll chase them away."

The problem with Faris is that she needs a firmness that most women aren't comfortable with using. Lenna just happens to have a wellspring of assertiveness she left repressed until they discovered how well they fit together. When she stops being repressed, well…

Lenna's kisses can bruise. Her teeth sometimes draw blood. Nothing gets Faris' heart going faster than her wife when she decides she really wants to devour her. Rather feels like being hauled out to sea by rip currents; she always did like a little danger, and Lenna's bites are all the more arousing for the fact that no one else would even guess she's capable of it. A twinge of anticipation almost gets a reaction out of her, a hitch of the breath, and—

The queen looks at her with open hunger only slightly tempered by love for her, and it's nothing at all like the way men stare at her when she has to wear dresses. Hell if Faris can figure out how, but it does funny things to her. Definitely startles that mess in her head. Then Lenna climbs on top of her again to nibble on her neck and nip with her teeth.

The sharpness of her teeth haul Faris right out of her thoughts, and the apologetic kiss and a swipe of the tongue that follows each nip stoke her desire every time. Lenna nips at the scars as if trying to replace them with marks of her own; some half-mad part of Faris hopes she'll succeed.

Faris' breathing slows to normal as the scattering of mildly aching bites pause near her breasts. Breastplay feels nice enough, and better when there are teeth involved, but—

But Lenna's hand stops groping at her muscles to drift between her legs. Perfectly-shaped fingers with a hint of roughness that's all that remains of old swordsman's calluses delve between her lips easily, helped along by the wetness that's been building all night. They settle at either side of her clit's hood and stroke her just right.

There's a poorly-articulated thought of welcome home, but Lenna's head dips down to take a nipple in her mouth and all her thoughts end up pulled under the surface. Good riddance.

It's the scrape of teeth on her nipples, followed by the apologetic swipes of tongue in tandem with the rubbing of her clit through its hood that brings her closer, and closer, and she's happy to ride out the swelling tide.

Then Lenna stops and pulls her fingers out of her snatch. Faris very nearly swears at her for it.

"I need you. Again," Lenna says by way of apology, but she doesn't look nearly as contrite as she should. Still, it has the effect of making her twitch with sympathy. Then Lenna straddles her leg and drips on her and the sympathy twitch turns into a jolt of pure need that strikes her and very nearly throws her overboard.

Faris would never say it to another soul, but it's Lenna and she gets every exception in the book. "Take me."

The needful glint in her wife's eyes flares up again. She takes Faris in a kiss that manages to split her lip. It's desperate, possessive, wanting, and drives straight through her to add fuel to her growing pleasure. Stars, but Faris loves her.

Lenna sits up to shift up Faris' legs just so and lets her help position herself, and her hot, slick mound rubs against Faris' once they're angled right. Their juices mingle as they rub against each other and some half-formed notion of eating Lenna out again to enjoy it flits by before it's drowned in the sudden contact between their clits.

The feeling is electric. Faris manages not to voice her gasp as Lenna gets the same idea she does to pursue it. Not that there's room for thoughts anymore. There's just the wet, impossibly exquisite glide of their lips and stiff clits against each other. There's the enticing sway of Lenna's perfect breasts. There's the play of unfiltered pleasure and need on her sweet wife's face as they chase the building climax. Nothing else matters.

Lenna comes first, and the spasms of her climax against Faris is all she needs to break the dam on her own. She hauls her wife down to hold her close as they both ride out the waves of their orgasms. Lenna clings to her and buries her face in her shoulder until their shudders fade.

Pure love and adoration sweep in with the afterglow, but it always does. At least it does now, when Lenna suits her so well that none of her past lovers can possibly compare.

When finally the storm surge of the afterglow dwindles away, they both feel knackered enough to spend the next little while cuddling. Once she recovers enough to move, Lenna feathers light kisses on every mark she left behind. She no longer offers to heal them; Faris likes keeping them too much. Reminds her of how she got them while she's away from Lenna.

It's late enough by the time they get around to cleaning each other up that Faris can't get beyond a mild twinge of muted pleasure from the touch of Lenna's tongue through her slit. She manages to get Lenna off, and their mingled juices are every bit as delicious as she remembers, but her wife's orgasm then isn't nearly as strong as it had been earlier in the night.

At that point, Faris suspects it's at least a couple of hours past midnight. At least they had the night, and it was a productive one. She takes Lenna into her arms again, feels her heart melt as her sister snuggles against her, and reaches over to turn down the oil lamp's wick for a low burn that should last them the rest of the night.

"You know what," Faris says as she pulls up the sheet over them; it's a bit tricky doing it one-handed, but she's had practice. "You're all I think about, too."

Lenna's response is a sleepy, quizzical hum as she rests her head on Faris' shoulder. The arm that isn't tucked between them drapes over Faris' abdomen as if she'd thought about climbing on top of Faris again and gave up. Faris can't help but feel like she'll be destroyed if anything happened to take Lenna away from her.

She starts to explain that Lenna keeps her on her toes and guessing enough to take center stage in her fantasies when she's away, but it's a bit too late. Lenna's breath levels off into the rhythm of sleep. Faris is pretty sure she probably looks lovestruck and thoroughly ridiculous as she settles back into bed and closes her eyes, but no matter; the dearest person in the world is in her arms, and for now they'll be okay. So she'll only have a couple of hours of sleep before she has to go. It's always worth it.

*

Dad?

The whisper of a thought flits across Faris' waking mind. It's shy, a little worried, and definitely not hers. Or her mount or Lenna's, for that matter. The tiny, stunted sky dragon it belongs to skitters along the hidden passageways within the castle walls, anxious for her acknowledgement and approval. As if Zephyr had ever wanted for love.

"Mornin', kiddo," Faris mumbles, mind still foggy enough with sleep that she can't quite put together her thoughts more coherently. She has her beloved sleeping quietly in her arms and the bed is much too comfortable and warm to leave.

Dad, the kitchen staff is waking, Zephyr says a little more urgently. She's such a serious little dragon that Faris wonders sometimes where she went wrong in raising her. It's probably compensation for her perceived flaws. Faris knows something of overcompensating and the awareness keeps her from teasing Zephyr the way she teases the other dragons.

As Faris grudgingly forces herself to wake up properly, it approaches her that being called "Dad" by anyone might have cracked her up twenty years ago. Of course, so would the details of her life nowadays. Not that she'd change anything about it, mind. It's a tangled mess that only the sharpest blade could cleave, but it's hers.

Lenna said the servants won't come. Not 'til she asks, Faris finally manages to respond with something akin to coherency. Gimme time.

Zephyr acquiesces and leaves her be. Faris opens her eyes to a star-lit room. Her arm is numb under Lenna's head; Faris has half a mind to chew it off to keep from waking her. But, she promised Lenna long ago that she would never leave their bed without waking her.

It takes Faris several long moments just to get to the point of doing anything. She's content to watch her wife sleep. But, she does need to go at some point, and the castle staff will wonder if Lenna doesn't let them in to do their jobs.

Faris' touch ghosts along Lenna's face, brushing away the hair that fell into it overnight. Gods, but Lenna is beautiful. And sweet, and kind, and clever, and more than capable of keeping Faris interested. Lenna loves her as she is, never questioning how Faris' identity refuses to fit into boxes. Lenna has always been so considerate that Faris can't help but love her for it. They've been together for fifteen years, and still she's as much in love with her as she was when they had their impulsive, entirely ill-advised and terribly romantic secret wedding in Moore.

An idea comes to mind, and it's nice enough that she's sure Lenna won't mind her liberties. She leans in to kiss Lenna gently. They're nothing but gentle little pecks, a slight press of her lips against skin, but she's content with peppering them on her sister's face and seeing what finally wakes her. When the rhythm of Lenna's breath changes, Faris focuses her kisses on her sweet wife's lips. When they part for her, when Lenna's hand moves to cradle her neck, she deepens the kiss. It's slow, languid; Faris wishes she could spend every morning like this.

Yet the sun will rise regardless of how she spends the morning. Lenna eases them apart to gaze deeply into her eyes. "You don't have to leave so soon."

"Silvs'll be noticed if I'm still here by dawn." Faris does regret having to sneak out, but that's the price of being with Lenna like this.

"He's Cloudy's mate," Lenna says softly, her fingers toying with the small hairs at the back of Faris' neck. "Surely no one will question his presence."

"They will when they recall that I'm supposed to be halfway across the world right now. Best play it safe."

"I know." Lenna snuggles closer; Faris' free arm shifts to hold her tight. "Come back in a week. Cloudy's due to mate soon and she refuses all other dragons."

Ah. Faris thought their more draconic tendencies were stronger than usual. Lenna's Cloudburst being this close to mating and broadcasting her desires explains everything. Not that Faris ever minds, of course; there's a certain freedom in being a dragon for a few hours. With a grin of anticipation, she asks; "Istory Falls for the mating flight, then?"

"Our island. It's closer."

While Faris can't say she likes the idea of being so close to the kingdom for the mating flight, at least Cloudburst's prodigious fertility brought the sky dragons back from the brink of extinction and there are enough of them now that one more mating flight won't garner the same sort of attention as her first. So she agrees to the island, to preparing the cottage for their stay, to bringing her cello for Lenna to enjoy after they and their dragons expend themselves. Frankly, she'll agree to anything if it gets Lenna to smile like that.

They go through their morning ablutions around each other with the ease of an old married couple, and Faris being completely exhausted means she can't really respond to Lenna's attentions with anything approaching coherency. She almost falls asleep again to Lenna brushing out her hair and crooning about how much she loves it—a real shame there, because Faris had no idea how much she liked having it played with until Lenna had her fingers in it.

Faris jerks awake a few minutes later, when Lenna places a fresh set of travel clothes on the vanity in front of her. The smile Lenna gives her is fond, if tinged with sleepiness. At least Lenna can go back to bed when she wants.

"Do you want to take last night's trousers with you?" Lenna asks. She's so close that Faris can smell the hint of flowers in her soap.

"I should, yeah." Doesn't seem right to leave Lenna to clean up her mess. Besides, even if Lenna washed them herself, the cleaning staff will have questions. "Need another pair on the road anyway."

At some point while Faris nodded off, Lenna slipped into her nightgown. It's a filmy little thing that left little to the imagination, and she's sitting just at eye-level with that treasure between Lenna's legs. She can't help but remember indulging in her favorite sin at this very vanity not so long ago—Lenna sitting on it, slim white thighs open for her, with the same pretty blue nightie pulled up in invitation.

Upon noticing the line of her stare, Lenna chuckles and runs her fingers through her hair. "Dear heart, I don't think you're up for that right now."

"Shame, innit?" If she wasn't so damned tired, her eyes might have twinkled. "I'd like a spot of breakfast."

Lenna has to smother her laugh in her palm, but her eyes dance all the same. "You can't live just on eating me out!"

"Try me." Faris pulls her close to plant a light kiss right above that lovely little patch of curls.

Lenna allows it, of course. She usually does. Her breath catches at the contact and her fingers pause in their raking, and it's exhaustion alone that keeps Faris from lifting up the hem of that nightgown.

But Lenna is always right. Faris will fall asleep in her breakfast if she's not careful, and nothing's more off-putting than that. So she lets Lenna to slip out of her grasp and help her dress.

The sex is always beyond compare. Faris never had a partner who fits her as perfectly as Lenna does. But she had never been cared for, either, and that Lenna enjoys taking care of her is just one more thing she loves about her wife. Though she really wants nothing more than to go back to bed with Lenna, she lets her help with lacing up the binding vest and getting dressed. There will be time enough to be disgustingly domestic in the vacation week after the mating flight.

"Now, I don't want you sleeping in your binder or waistcoat," Lenna says as she helps Faris with the buttons on her shirt. "Silverstorm is under orders to poke you until you take it off."

Traitor, she thinks to her dragon. Teasingly, of course; she can't possibly resent either of them for trying to take care of her. Silvs does the mental equivalent of sticking out his tongue, which makes her sorely tempted to smile.

As soon as she's done, she pulls Lenna in for a close hug. Fine, so Faris likes this closeness of theirs, too. It's not even that they're making up for fifteen years apart. Lenna is just the right size for Faris to indulge in her protective tendencies, and Lenna loves being protected. It's no accident that they spend most of their time alone together just enjoying being in each other's arms.

Several long moments pass before either of them wants to speak again. Lenna's cheek rests on Faris' collarbone, her arms tight around Faris' waist. "I packed some food in your bag," Lenna begins in that tone of voice that Faris has mentally labeled her Concerned Wife tone. "It's on top. It's a long way to Quelb, so I want you to take a break to eat and nap on the way."

"Yes, dear." Faris can't help but smile as she snuggles her little sister. Wife. Queen. Light of her life. So on. Faris' life has never been easy, but she's perfectly fine with the complicated tangle of their lives together. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Still, she does have to go. Lenna, sensing her departure at hand, pulls her down for a kiss. For all that their lips part and tongues meet, it never really deepens. It's a goodbye, at least for now.

Faris steps back, gazes long at her adoring little sister and tries to ignore the sense of missing her already, and leaves by way of the hidden passage.

*

It's finally dawn by the time Faris and Zephyr reach the gated tunnel leading out of the castle grounds. Bless her grandfather for his paranoia; the series of gates are always locked and set so deep in a cave that Faris and Zephyr are the only sapient beings to know of it. The bit of light filtering in from outside is only a barely-perceptible beacon—it's much too far away to offer any illumination this far inside.

Zephyr's head bumps against Faris' thigh; she radiates with unvoiced pleas for her not to go. And it's not like Faris really wants to leave her family, but she needs her freedom. Her distance from Tycoon, and going undercover, leaves Lenna free from scandal to act as she will. With a sigh, Faris sits on a rocky outcrop near the exit gate and ushers the little dragon close.

Dragons generally aren't proportioned right for hugs, but Zephyr is small enough that she can sling her neck over Faris' shoulder and wrap her forelegs around Faris' torso. Mindful of the stunted, shriveled wings, Faris wraps her arms low around her little dragon's back and squeezes her close enough that she hopes Zephyr can feel how much she loves her.

"Keep watch over your mother." While she thinks Lenna's guards are loyal enough, Zephyr is more hers than any guard could be and, frankly, she only trusts what she's sure about. Zephyr's small size and heightened hearing means she can slip through the network of secret passages with ease and listen in on would-be conspirators; for that alone, she's invaluable. "You know I trust no one else."

Yes, Dad. Zephyr's mind is quiet, calm the way she usually isn't when the other dragons demand attention. She nuzzles Faris' cheek like she can't get enough contact. I'm always listening.

Sometimes Faris wishes that Zephyr was as confident as the other dragons, or not as desperate for her approval. Given that the little dragon never should have hatched in the first place, let alone survive this long, she supposes a bit of insecurity is expected.

"We'll be back proper in a week." While Faris genuinely doesn't like to make promises, it seems like her ability to avoid them has been eroding so much since meeting Lenna that she doesn't think twice when talking to her dragons. "Promise I'll spend time with you then."

Zephyr purrs her assent and lets go when Silverstorm lands nearby. She's still reluctant to see Faris go, but she fears the outside more. Something else Faris will have to work on. Faris manages to give her another hug before locking the gate behind her and walking into the light. There's time enough to give her baby girl all the attention she needs once the last of her plans settle into place.


Note: The AO3 version of this fic has an illustration.



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