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Harrow winced as the door to the bedroom was flung open so hard that it crashed against the wall and bounced back to be caught in a strong hand. She shivered at cold air that came blasting through and scowled for a moment before skeletal hands spidered across the bedcovers to capture the pages of flimsy that had gone spiralling away from her in the draft.

"Close the door!

The door was pushed with a foot and closed with an audible *snick*. Gideon shrugged out of her heavy robes before wandering over to the bed where Harrow was currently ensconced, sitting up with her back to the ornate headboard and wrapped in blankets with only her head showing. "What ya doing?" Gideon asked as she lovingly placed her sword in the wall-mounted bracket beside the bed before dropping onto the mattress beside the cocooned necromancer, peering at the pages scattered across the bed.

"It's called 'reading', Griddle. I know your education was lacking in many things but I'm pretty sure you were taught that," and then continued in a lower voice, "even if you do prefer books that are mostly pictures..."

“Hey - I resemble that remark!”

Harrow rolled her eyes before turning back to the notes in front of her.

“I saw that!” Gideon replied.

A skeletal hand raised its middle finger at her from where it was resting on the headboard.

“And that!”

Harrow sighed and looked up. “Okay, I give up. What manner of sin have I committed to be landed with such an annoyance?”

Gideon shrugged. “I just missed you.”

Harrow snorted in reply and went back to reading.

“I did!” Gideon paused and then grinned suddenly before reaching over to grab the piece of flimsy in Harrow’s hand, tossing it down to the end of the bed where it was soon joined by the rest of the pages in quick succession. She ignored the sounds of indignation this caused and instead swung herself round so that she straddled Harrow’s petite frame. Her hips easily captured her necromancer’s thighs between them, and she looked down to a face that met hers with an expression of surprise. “I just missed you.” Gideon shrugged as she slid a finger under Harrow’s chin and tilted it up gently as she leant in for a kiss, the other hand reaching out to steady herself on the edge of the headboard. For the first few seconds Harrow didn’t respond, and then Gideon felt the small body begin to tense beneath her. Recognising the signs she immediately backed off, sitting back on her heels as she waited for the panic attack to subside.

“You ok?” she asked after it seemed that the worst of it had passed.

Harrow made a few shallow, hiccup-y breaths and paused for a few seconds before giving a slight nod, her eyes closed, but her attempt at taking a deep breath only resulted in a coughing fit. Becoming more concerned, Gideon started to move from where she was sitting still straddling Harrow’s legs, before a thin arm shot out from under the covers to stop her leg from moving. “Don’t.”

“Are you sure?” Gideon asked clearly, and in reply five pointy fingers dug into her thigh. “Ow! Ok, ok - I get the hint,” she laughed softly, and was relieved to see the ghost of a smile on Harrow’s mouth as she settled back on her heels again and waited.

After a short while, Harrow took a deep breath followed by a noise of frustration. “Dammit!” she said roughly and opened her mouth to say something else.

“Nuh-uh. We agreed on this, remember?” Gideon interrupted as she reached down to entwine their fingers together, palms touching, bringing Harrow’s hand up to her mouth to brush cool fingers against her warm lips. She watched carefully for any signs of panic, but although Harrow’s eyes were still closed her cheeks now had a flush of red appearing and she swallowed reflexively. “No apologies where none are due,” she said, and then grinned. “Hell, I have a hard enough time getting one when one is due!”

Harrow cracked open one eye in disbelief, and then scowled when she saw Gideon’s expression. “That is cheating!” she exclaimed, though the admonition wasn’t very strong. After a short pause she worried at her bottom lip and said in a small voice “We could... try again?”

“Just so you know, the response to that question is unlikely to ever be a no,” Gideon replied with a smile as she brought their still-entwined hands up to her mouth and gently ran the tip of her tongue along the inside of two fingers. She watched as Harrow’s mouth opened slightly in response and her eyelids fluttered, her chest starting to rise and fall quicker, and Gideon leant forward once more.

As their mouths connected Harrow moaned softly, her lips parted by a gentle but insistent tongue, and Gideon swallowed that sound with a shudder as she brought up their still-joined hands between them, sliding her other hand up to cup the back of Harrow’s head. In response, suddenly Harrow grasped a fistful of t-shirt material in her free hand and tugged at it. “Off!” she demanded breathlessly as they broke for air, face flushed a bright red and eyes bright from an internal fire, and what followed was a scramble of hands and arms each trying to independently help part Gideon from her shirt. Once the offending item of clothing was thrown across the room, Harrow gave a quick nod of approval and their mouths met once more, this time with both of her hands running over Gideon’s newly-exposed skin, and it was her turn to sigh with pleasure.

 

After a while, Harrow pulled away. Gideon moved to disentangle herself as well but to her surprise the arm around her stayed where it was and, instead, Harrow laid her head on her shoulder facing away from her, breathing heavily. Usually, Harrow felt cool to Gideon’s touch but at that moment she felt like a furnace blazing hotter than she thought possible. Gideon reached up to smoothe Harrow’s now sweat-damp hair, which elicited a sigh that sounded like it carried the weight of the world upon it.

“You good?” Gideon asked, after a short time, and Harrow nodded into her shoulder. “You going back to studying?”

“No,” Harrow replied in a shaky voice, then suddenly yawned.

 

It didn’t take much maneuvering to get them both under the bedcovers, Gideon’s muscular frame curved around Harrow’s back so well it was as if they had been made to fit like this, one arm under Harrow’s head as a pillow. Her necromancer yawned again, and Gideon couldn’t help but kiss the back of Harrow’s head, which brought out a snort of amusement.

“You’re getting soft, Gideon Nav” Harrow said without contempt as she sighed deeply and closed her eyes.

Gideon bit back a snort of amusement and lay there, listening to Harrow's deep, even breaths.