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Biting his lip, Guts sucked in a curse against the chilly breeze that swept through the wagon. The seasons are changing already. So much is changing, Guts thought as he turned on his back and stared at the ceiling of the covered wagon, hoping to keep his mind off the cold. It wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been for the wounds he sustained from the battle against Wyald earlier, having re-opened them due to his fury during the second confrontation. Guts felt his rage rise as the picture of Griffith being dangled helpless and naked by the wrists by that fiend re-entered his mind; he could just feel the blood seeping down his brow again as he hissed his anger. 

If Zodd had not intervened, the battle would have gone far worst. Still, Guts could not exactly say the demon’s presence was a godsend. The echo of Zodd’s warning rang through Guts’ mind.

“You’ll know soon… very soon!”

“What does it all mean, damn it?!” Guts seethed. He remembered how Zodd stood as a monstrous shadow over his recent kill. He told Guts that he could not escape death again, that he would soon know of this “eclipse.” What was the eclipse, and how did it tie to Griffith? Did it mean that Griffith had a chance of regaining his physical strength and his dream? Guts did not give that thought much hope, however. No matter what words the intimidating but wise Zodd had to offer, the words of that great oaf Wyald hit the Hawks much harder and the truth burned them even more: Griffith would most likely never…

Guts stopped before he could finish the thought, distracting himself with the pains and aches of his battered body instead. Casca wasn’t very pleased that he managed to reopen some of his wounds from sheer anger alone; though, she did not mind having to re-stitch those same wounds with that tough love of hers. God - he hated needles. Still, Guts insisted that he stay in the same wagon as Griffith, in order to keep an eye on him during the night. It took a hell of a time for Judeau to convince Guts that he needed rest as well in order for his injuries to mend, but Guts eventually relented and took up residence in one of the vacant storage wagons. 

His thoughts were interrupted by a shuffling at the back end of the wagon where his bedding was facing. Alert at first, Guts automatically reached for his sword propped against a nearby crate, his eyes on the shadow figure cast behind the white curtains. Guts’ alertness began to lax as he noticed the slim and familiar silhouette of the Hawks’ acting commanding officer, but also his boss.

“Casca?” Guts sat up slightly on his elbow to get a better view of Casca, who was slipping through the curtains and maneuvering through the clutter of the wagon, all without making a sound and a lantern in one hand. Though the Hawks were still on alert after reaching the border in the early hours of the morning, they figured that the biggest danger had passed, so they allowed themselves to set camp for the remainder of the night, with at least half of the soldiers to get a few hours of shut eye. It was a surprise that Casca allowed herself to be one of those individuals to have an evening of rest. Then again, Guts knew that Casca could be just as stubborn as he if Judeau were not there to scold them. She was appropriately dressed for the occasion of sleep in a form-fitting but comfortable tunic that remained untucked from her trousers, which were quite naked without her thigh-high riding boots straddling them, exposing her small and elegant feet that quietly graced the floor as she approached the foot of Guts’ bedding.

“Why aren’t you asleep?” were the first words to come out of her mouth as she hovered above him. 

“… A good evening to you too, boss.” 

Why aren’t you asleep?” she repeated herself, already fed up with Guts’ snarky attitude. 

Guts shrugged. “Just can’t. Thinkin’ too much.”

“Well, how do you feel?”

“… Lovely.” No thanks to you and your stitchwork, Guts added in his brain. He thought his answer was sarcastic enough to bring the point home. 

A victorious, sideways smirk crossed Casca’s face at the sound of his sarcasm. “So, Mr. Hundred-Man Slayer is more bothered by his wounds than what he would like to impose.” 

“Your point?”

Casca rolled her eyes. “No point. I just hope you’ll remember what I said about not storming into battle like there’s no tomorrow.”

Now it was Guts’ turn to roll his eyes, smacking his lips simultaneously. If only you knew, Guts thought, reflecting on the several omens that were given to him over the past year. 

She scrutinized Guts more closely, slowly passing the lantern from one side to the other as the light skimmed his body. Fresh bandages wrapped his flesh, crisscrossing up and down his head, arms, chest, and torso. A cold shiver went through her veins as she looked at him. No, he was not as wounded and broken like Griffith, but she hated seeing Guts like this regardless. It was so frustrating, she felt like pummeling him with the scabbard of her sword! But Casca knew that she shouldn’t be too hard on him; even through that thick skull of his, she knew that Guts must have felt some twinge of guilt for worrying her like he did during the encounter with Wyald. Or, at least she hoped.  Casca also knew that a part of him would always be like that. It was almost sickening for her to think about. Not about Guts, of course, but at the thought that in the midst of battle, exhilaration could cloud one’s judgment, making them forget what they were fighting for, what they wanted to protect while putting everything at stake…  But that was what being a mercenary was all about, wasn’t it? Or, at least to some it was.

Casca hated thinking of her duties as such, but sometimes she felt more like a mother than a commander: giving orders, exercising discipline, but struggling to keep everybody safe and together, especially Griffith. It was so much easier now that Guts had returned, but really, sometimes he was the worst one to control. Still, maybe acting like a mother to the Hawks wasn’t a bad feeling, per se. It was, however, so much more stressful. To think that so many women had to be like this - and with children of their own flesh and blood to protect.

I suppose I should get use to this feeling, Casca sighed to herself. 

” - stare at me all night?” Guts’ words yanked Casca out of her thoughts.

“Huh?”

“I said are you gonna stare at me all night or what?” Guts repeated, his voice tinged with annoyance. It wasn’t like her to lose her concentration so often, but maybe it was a good thing for her mind to trail off every now and then. God only knew how much pressure Casca had to exert on her thoughts, utilizing all of the strategic and tactical skills that she learned from Griffith, in order to keep the Hawks alive for this long. Feats like that often came at the sacrifice of one’s peace of mind. “You didn’t come in here just to badmouth me all night, did ya?”

“As a matter of fact, no,” Casca answered, raising her eyebrow. She blew out the flame in the lantern with one silent blow. “I didn’t.” 

Although Casca had extinguished the lantern, setting it down on the floor, Guts could see her perfectly well against the provided moonlight, her eyes focused solely on him. Her hands resting firmly on her hips, she gave Guts her “no sass back” glare, a glare that everyone in the Band knew absolutely meant, no. Sass. Back.

Guts could also see Casca removing her clothes perfectly well, starting at the ties of her trousers.

“What are you doing?” he asked gruffly, trying to hide his confusion.

Surprised that he was even reacting in such a way, Casca responded as she stepped from out of her trousers, kicking them to the side, “the obvious.” 

She swiftly pulled her tunic over her head, throwing it with her trousers. Casca stood there, naked and bare, with Guts lying on the bedding in front of her. With the clutter of the wagon adding to the scene, it was an uncanny resemblance to their second encounter, four years earlier. 

A cool breeze passed through the wagon and crawled up Casca’s bare skin. She didn’t waver to it though; instead, she tensed her shoulders ever so slightly as she inhaled deeply, releasing a calm breath afterward. Guts couldn’t help but be dazzled by Casca’s appearence in the moonlight; the way the pale light gleamed on her dark skin gave her an ethereal glow, much like a will-o-wisp in human form.

“Won’t you be cold like this?” was all that he could say to her. He didn’t really need to say that; he didn’t really want her to not be in this state. Guts wanted her company, but didn’t want to risk putting Casca in a vulnerable position, since she was the first person that the Hawks would seek if something went wrong in the middle of the night. That, and bluntly asking Casca what she was doing would have been far too offputting, even for him.

“I don’t have anymore of the powder that Judeau gave me to alleviate your wounds, and it’s too cold outside for you to go out like before. This is the best option,” Casca diagnosed as she remembered that time on the hill, where they reconcilled their relationship after Guts risked it all against a hundred Tudor soldiers, all for her sake. She took two steps over to Guts’ bedside and kneeled beside him.

“And, it’s a woman’s duty to warm a man,” she said as she slid under the blanket next to Guts. Hearing Casca echo Griffith’s words from years ago brought bittersweet memories, memories of when Griffith’s orders were law to both of them, whether they liked those orders or not. She looked back on her past in contrast to the woman she had become now. Would she have followed Griffith’s orders so willingly back then, to lie intimately with a complete stranger? Funny how things turned out, Casca thought back sadly. Of course, Guts was near death with a fever on that day; he only had a few wounds that would surely heal within a few days this time around. 

“Besides, after all that happened today… Well, I just feel safer here, with you.” Casca trembled as she spoke the truth to Guts, disgusted at the memory of what had occurred earlier. Guts gave a subtle but savage glare, though it was not directed at Casca. Just thinking back on that monster ape, what he had done to the family who help them escape with Griffith, how he had planned on doing the same to Casca… He might not have been the one to permanently end the sick fuck, but he was sure as hell happy that he was the one to put an end to his raping days.   

Feeling the smoothness of her ebony skin against his flesh brought instant comfort to him, and Guts was able to calm his rage as Casca nestled into his embrace. “It doesn’t hurt if I lie like this, does it?” she asked before resting her head on his shoulder.

“Nah. You’re fine,” Guts reassured. “It’s all over. You don’t need to worry anymore.” They both knew very well that this was sure to be a lie, but it didn’t matter at the moment. For the time being, all that did matter was that Casca was safe with him.

They lay down on the bedding for untold minutes it seemed, listening to the atmosphere of the night. Crickets chirped, an ocassional night bird made its eerie call, and the sound of soldiers still awake on watch could be heard rummaging about. Casca laid her arm across Guts’ chest, her cheek resting on his shoulder; she could hear his steady heartbeat as the heat from his body swelled in her cheek. Casca tried to absorb as much of this peace as she could, for rarely were the Hawks blessed with calm nights such as tonight. Yet, Casca was uneased.

Breaking the silence, Casca spoke. “I - I’m sorry for what I said earlier.” 

“Hm?” Guts questioned, in an attempt to pinpoint when Casca said something that needed an apology. He could not think of any dialogue, but that harsh slap to the face was still tingled on his cheek from earlier. Was it that?

“A few days ago, at the Tower of Rebirth. About Griffith and Charlotte,” she recounted as a  knot formed in her throat. She thought back on it, how she blurted out that she was more or less jealous of Griffith’s relationship with Charlotte to Guts, how could she have been so stupid? “I just meant - I -” Casca tried to articulate her words as best as she could, but her lip trembled so much. Casca felt that she had to explain herself for her actions that day, but she didn’t even knowhow to explain. Through all of the bickering that the two threw at each other over the last several years - most of it due to her own provocation, Casca admitted - she couldn’t bear the thought of having Guts angry with her. She could feel the same hotness in her eyes from that time as the tears swelled.

“You don’t need to apologize,” Guts voiced. “We both said some things out of turn.” Yes, Guts still admitted to being vexed with Casca for expressing jealousy toward Charlotte over Griffith. However, looking back, he could have expressed his own feelings in a less bitter way. Memories of how he yelled at Casca, how the fresh tears brimmed in her eyes and threatened to fall down her cheeks, the party with looks of shock at his public himiliation of her… He couldn’t help but internally slap himself in shame. Why did he always say things like that to make her cry?! Guts forgot that Casca might have been a commander in an army, but she was still a woman. No- she wasn’t just a woman, but a human being as well. That was a flaw of his, he guessed. It was habitual for him to view people as targets instead of people with livelihoods and feelings; that was just the art of warfare. Nevertheless, when it came to his comrades, to Casca… Maybe it was Guts’ own defense mechanism, to ignore the feelings of others to prevent his own from being hurt again. Yet he alway seemed to overstep his limit with Casca, even before they were on friendlier terms, no matter how justified he felt.

Guts himself could not take his mind off Griffith, let alone Casca. Did Guts not tell himself moments after that he could not take his mind off of their absent leader? It was about time for Guts and Casca to accept that Griffith would always be an anomolous force in their relationship, an evocation of love and envy within both of them. However, maybe they should keep that part to themselves.

“We both want what’s best for Griffith, especially now. We let our emotions get in the way… but maybe it’s not such a bad thing.” Guts wasn’t sure what he was saying at this point, if this was even good advice to give at a time like this. It could be fruitful for all three of them with their much needed recovery - or, it could blind their judgement further. All Guts wanted at this moment was to make Casca feel better, to tell her that he was sorry in his own way. 

“All I know is that, you’re one of the most honest people that I know. Yeah, sometimes it hurts - you might even say it at the wrong time - but never in a way to try and bring people down. Well, maybe that one time a few years back - ” Casca flicked him in the forehead with her middle finger, “- but still. Don’t ever think about changing that about yourself. We need this in you.” I need this in you.

Casca sighed in relief but failed to bite back the small sob that she let out, nor the tears that welled in her eyes against her own wishes. Before they could fall, Guts used his index finger to catch Casca’s tears. This guy, she thought as he pressed butterfly kisses across her lids and forehead. This only made Casca hate herself just a bit more: she wondered why there was ever a need to be jealous of the affection that Charlotte had for Griffith, or the feelings Griffith might have for Charlotte. Casca knew that a part of her would always be bashfully in love with Griffith, for what he gave to her in her most desperate hour, how he inspired her to be more than just a humble farm girl, and how passionate he was about his vision. 

Still, with Guts she found a place by his side that gave her something completely different. Deep down, Casca knew that no matter her skill and expertise, she would always be a stranger in this world of mercenaries and men, either avoided for her swordplay or because she was a woman. She felt this isolation even with those she felt the most kinship with. Even in her reverence of Griffith, being his most trusted soldier, he would always seem so far out of reach. Then Guts came into their lives, and Casca wanted him to be anywhere but near her for so long. This was, of course, until that fateful night in the forest, where he too gave her the will to fight while he fought for her himself. After that, Casca found herself drawn to him, not unlike her decision to follow Griffith. But Guts gave her something that no one else in the Hawks did: normalcy. With him, Casca felt so natural, and opened up to him like no other person before. Guts certainly found no problem with revealing himself to her, as he showed a softer, compassionate side that he would not have ever shown to any of the other Hawks. Soon, Casca found herself falling for him little by little, gaining courage like she never had before. With Guts, Casca wasn’t afraid to be a warrior in the Hawks, nor was she ashamed to be a woman. For once in her life, she felt equal to somebody, something that brought her so much joy and peace, and for that, Casca would always belong with Guts, body and soul.

Guts continued to place soft kisses across her face, his lips journeying down to hers. When he reached them,  he planted a tender kiss, as soft as the previous chain. As each kiss passed, they  lasted a little longer, grew much deeper. Soon, they were both begging for entrance, letting their tongues play as they tasted each other. Guts held Casca tightly, deepening the feeling of their kiss. A heat began to rise in Casca, all the way to her cheeks, but at the same time, an unsettling feeling swam in her stomach.

“We shouldn’t be doing this…” Casca whispered through their lips as her unease increased.

“I know,” Guts agreed, despite how he pressed for their kiss to escalate. Both were aware of the minimal amount of privacy that the wagon gave them from their comrades outside: a closed curtain veiled the entrance to the wagon but didn’t offer much for a sound barrier. Not only was there that matter, the issue of Griffith’s health came clear into their minds. How could they even think about gratifying their own needs while Griffith lay in his wagon meters away from theirs, struggling with his current state? It broke her heart even more just thinking of Griffith’s bleak future after Judeau’s diagnosis. How could she and Guts set out together leaving Griffith as such?

Guts could sense her unease; he gently nuzzled his forehead against hers, the tips of their noses barely touch as he whispered softly to her, only to her, “It’s okay… Everything will be okay.” She wasn’t sure if he was referring to their current situation or Griffith’s or both, but Casca wanted his words to become true, to be true, so very badly. So for tonight at least, everything would be. Casca smiled at him, an honest smile that showed how much trust she placed in him. They joined their lips again, more passionately than before as they embraced each other, preparing to give each other the love, sensuality and devotion they both yearned for so much.

Still entranced in their kiss, Guts snaked his free hand down the slope of Casca’s back, passing her backside with a sweet caress, running his fingertips along her inner thigh. As he felt around her center, Casca unwillingly began to divide her lips from their kiss, letting out a silent gasp as his fingers drew nearer to her entrance, all the while teasing her with long strokes in the surrounding valleys. She was already rising, growing moist as Guts continued to play with her folds. Guts finally decided to enter one digit into her, causing his lover to gasp as she arched against his body. The action only served to intensify her pleasure as Guts’ finger drove deeper in her, stroking her inner walls as far as it could reach. As she gasped, letting a moan of delight escape her lips, both knew that they needed to feel more.

Removing his finger from Casca, leaving her in a moment of discontent, Guts tried to move on top of her as quickly as he could. Unfortunately, the wounds that he sustained earlier were not complying with his current need, and he seethed a curse as he fell back. “Are you alright!?” Casca asked as she shot up from her position in concern.

Guts placed his hand over one of the wounds that was fighting to reopen after mending, tiny droplets of blood seeping through the gauze. “It’s nothing,” he reassured her, attempting to move again which only resulted in him grunting in slight pain again. Fuck that ape-monkey shitbag, he thought profanely.

“I told you not to strain yourself,” Casca repeated with a sternness in her voice, the voice of a commander. Placing her palm on Guts’ chest to prevent him from rising again, a sudden hint of wanton glinted in her eyes as she breathed, “I’ll take care of you,” her tender lips teasingly grazing his own. Enjoying how the well-defined muscle felt under her finger tips, how Guts responded to her touch, Casca’s hand drifted past his naval, finally settling on the waistband of his pants.

Raising an eyebrow, Guts didn’t need to guess at Casca’s intent, but regardless began to ask, “How do you mea -?” before biting his tongue when Casca snuck her hand beneath the hem. Her hand just as venturous as his was earlier, Casca finally found what she was looking for, not surprised that his member had already grown with need. Slowly at first, she began drawing her fingers up his length, letting her finger tips dance upon the sensitive skin. Guts released a shudder at the sensation, which pleased Casca to know that she was just as capable of evoking such a response from her partner, just as he did to her on their first night. It gave her the confidence to go further.

Now using the full extent of her hand, Casca grasped Guts, starting at his base in order to firmly pull up his shaft. His groans came quickly as she toyed with his wet tip with her index finger, only to pull her palm back down toward his base. She began the process again, only her pace became quicker with each cycle. As Casca worked faster, Guts found it harder to control himself; he could feel himself edging nearer as his groans became louder.

Guts couldn’t bear it anymore: he needed to be inside of her, needed to feel complete with her. Again, Guts tried to take control of his own body by getting up, but Casca pushed him down once again. “I told you,” she said, the sternness arising in her voice again, “that I would take care of you.” To carry her point home, she gave his cock a squeeze - not too hard, but hard enough to make Guts reconsider getting up and agitating his wounds again. Still, Guts couldn’t help but glare at Casca, and she returned the favor. For a moment, they stared at each other, just as they did back in their quarreling days, vying for Griffith’s attention. This time though, they quarreled as lovers did: they both wanted to please the other, have pleasure given to them, but not at the expense of the other. That, and the two were quite fickle on who took control when. Some things would never change between the two, even in the privacy of their bed.

Eventually, Guts relented, smacking the corner of his lip. “Whatever you say,boss.” She can still be as bitchy as ever when she wants to be, Guts thought, a little more scornfully than he had planned. No matter how much he loved the woman beside him, a part of her would always be that pushy and overbearing young swordswoman who confronted him fearlessly time and time again, even in the face of his rage. Pleased with his answer, Casca gave her lips a little smirk before she released him, sat up, and planted a small kiss on the corner of his lip. This little gesture seemed to have redeemed her, since Guts gave the same corner a smile in return. And yet, this is what I love most about her.

Casca started at his pants, a very obvious bulge present. A mischievous grin found its way on her face, as she was very satisfied with her work. I won’t make you wait any longer, she said to herself while she began to pull at the pants, releasing Guts from the confounded garment as she slipped them over his ankle and threw them in the pile with the rest of her clothes. The cool air jolted Guts and his newly exposed skin, making him even more erect. At the sight of his manhood, Casca couldn’t help but blush and avert her eyes for a second before recollecting herself. Come on, Casca. It’s not the first time you’ve seen him… It won’t be the last time either. Acting with more anticipation than she wanted (surely from her sudden stroke of embarrassment), she swiftly mounted Guts, almost setting herself off balance. Guts quickly caught her by the hip, steadying her hovering body.

“Easy girl,” Guts joked, rubbing and massaging her soft flesh with his rough thumb.

Casca frowned, “Shut up, Guts,” tempted to swat his hand away, but decided against it. Trying to compose herself as best she could, Casca slowly lowered herself upon his member. Feeling his length against her wetness, she shuddered, heat pooling at her center. But when she tried lowering herself further, Casca found that she couldn’t. 

Why am I freezing up like this? Casca thought as her thighs twinged above Guts. Casca briefly thought back on what she had just mused about earlier. Whether she was a commander of the Hawks or a mother-figure to them, she was in control, as she had been for so many years. She was able to give orders to an army of men without hesitation, a task that a woman of noble standing had a hard time accomplishing, but she couldn’t even lie with the man she loved without getting nervous?

Guts, in the meantime, smirked at his boss’s apprehension. She’s over-thinking it again, like this is some strategic battle maneuver or somethin’. Women. Growing in impatience, Guts finally decided to do what Casca always got on his ass for: charge straight into battle. Taking Casca in surprise, Guts gripped her hip in one hand, taking himself in the other. He teased her with the tip of his cock, running it along her slit before he slid himself into her, gradually moving his other hand from her hip around to her backside. Casca released an enravished moan of delight, becoming accustomed again to Guts’ girth and size. She was able to take all of him in, relishing the feeling of her lover being inside her. 

Watching her shudder in pleasure from below, Guts asked, “Feeling better?” smirking just so much that his pearly white canines shown through.

Casca didn’t answer with words: instead, she tightened her thighs around Guts’ hips, permitting no movement from him, and she began to trail the tip of her finger down from her collarbone. Guts could see her breasts twinge as her fingertip lightly passed over her left nipple, the sight causing his heart to skip a beat. Her finger continued downward, over her fit abs and her belly button, until she reached her black curls. Guts looked intently at her, glancing between her fingers and her face, which was now casting Guts a lascivious smirk. She drew circles around her curls with her finger, each time drawing closer and closer to her sex and their connection. Then, when it looked as though she was about to reach for her sex, barely stroking herself there, she would pull away only to start over again, at the same time bringing her free hand to caress her breasts more. 

Casca paid Guts no mind while doing so: she was so entranced with her body, enthralled with the pleasure running through her. Guts’ impatience grew once more, and he became quite irritated with Casca’s persistent teasing of him. However, he couldn’t help but find Casca’s display alluring and arousing, which was the worst part. Earlier she was being bossy, but this was just cruelty! He wanted her so much; there were times that the carnal part of his nature just wanted to grab her and please her in any which way that he could think of (he wouldn’t want an exact repeat of their first rendezvous, but Guts couldn’t help it). But Casca was making it very clear that she was calling the shots on this, so he had no choice but to let her continue. He couldn’t win - not that losing was all that bad given the position he was in.

I should really stop, Casca began thinking as her fingers found their way to Guts’ curls, trickling up and down the muscled valley of his lower abdomen. Casca was just as eager to start as Guts was, oh yes. Her body was already beginning to gleam with sweat, and a part of her was prepared to go forth and please herself right there with Guts’ help or not. A bit too cunning for her usual nature, Casca admitted, but she wanted to remind him that she was still in control - especially of her own body - even if he did take the reigns for a moment. Whether being a commander or a lover, Guts was by far Casca’s most difficult assignment, trying to control and cooperate with him. Though she grew to understand that he really did have the best intentions in mind, Casca wasn’t about to forget that Guts went into battle like a wild and untamed beast. He was almost proud of his unruly behavior, not wanting anything or anyone to control him. But now, he had someone to tame him, and for good reason. If she learned anything from their first joining, about the trauma that he carried since he was a little boy, was that Guts needed an anchor, even if he didn’t want to admit it; she committed herself to being that anchor within his heart. Not only that, but Casca found that she had a lot to learn about her own body. Even Guts, who had never experienced a woman’s body before her, knew more of what he was doing to her body than she did. Something had to change. 

She took his left hand into her own and brought it up to her face, allowing it to brush against her breasts, delighting in the feel of his hand as it grazed against her nipple. Then, Casca traced her lips with one of his fingers, the feeling of his rough and calloused tips on her soft, pink lips electrifying him; it was intensified when she began putting the tip between her lips. She didn’t encase his entire finger between her lips - just the tip remained as she held it between her teeth, tickling it with her tongue. Guts recognized this gesture as Casca continued: how she would bite her fingers whenever he immersed her in a state of bliss. Casca doing this to him meant she had much more intended for the evening. 

Finally, she released her hold on Guts’ hips, allowing him to move inside of her at last. He knew it wise to not begin without her permission, but Guts could already see Casca’s anticipation by the way her body quivered from the small movements that he made, reminding her that he was deep inside. She leaned down, causing both of them to gasp as her lower body rose up from Guts. Her lips grazed the corner of his mouth as she breathed to him her final answer.

Now I’m feeling better,” Casca confirmed, setting her sweet lips on his, engaging him in a kiss that he was more than willing to partake in; she could tell that Guts had finally learned his lesson. They savored their kiss for a few seconds, but Casca departed from his lips, already sitting up and rolling her hips back and forth, initiating their rhythmic dance at a steady but satisfying pace.

As Casca worked on top of him, Guts busied himself with his hands, at first gripping the cheeks of her backside, intensifying Casca’s fervor as he trickled his fingers along the base of her spine and buttock. Once he was done there, he made his way to cupping her breasts, kneading them and fondling each erect nipple between his fingers. The stimulation was so much, Casca bite her lip as she dug her nails into the flesh of Guts’ chest, the sweat gliding down the slopes of her breast. Guts didn’t mind the pain at this point, since this was what Casca intended to soothe and was doing a good job at distracting him - despite the irony that she was now adding to his wounds. Once she had realized what she was doing, Casca gasped, almost stopping their lovemaking had Guts not continued where she left of, thrusting his hips into her. This time, Casca released a gasp as she unclenched her nails from his chest, smoothing her palms over the ripples of muscle as she arched her back. 

Casca fully immersed herself in every sensation: the beads of sweat rolling down her bronze skin; the salty taste in the air; Guts’ hands exploring every inch of her skin; the feel of him inside her as she rode him, wave after wave of pleasure coursing through her veins. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt such exhilaration.

“Right now… All you need is to feel alive.”

Words spoken by Guts weeks earlier were still fresh in her mind. It was the first time that Casca caved into everything: her anger, her heartache, her despair. But she also surrendered to her passion, her passion for loving Guts and for living life again. When he said those words to her, Casca felt that she could do anything.

Guts was suddenly cast out of his reverie at the sight of tears slipping down Casca’s cheeks. Barely a whimper, he could hear Casca say, “Yes. Yes I will,” eyes closed and a countenance of calmness on her face despite being the midst of lovemaking. Growing concerned, Guts managed to prop himself up on his elbows, promptly halting Casca’s movements.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, preparing to reach out to her. Had he done something wrong to make her upset? Instead, it was she who leaned down to him, resting her body on top of his.

“Nothing,” she began to say, wiping away some of her tears. “It’s just that, after all that has happened, I’m ready to live again. I want to feel alive, more than ever now. That’s all.” 

He felt it then: his heart stopping for an instant and then crushing against his chest at the sight of how beautifully Casca smiled at him, her red blush making her face glow with passion. Those dark lovely pools stared down at him, as mesmerizing as the day he first laid eyes on them, only they were filled with a desire that he never witnessed before. Her tears made her all the more beautiful in that moment, though he prepared to brush them away. This beautiful, strong, selfless woman gave Griffith and the Hawks so much; she gave him something ten times more, yet she never asked anything in return for all of her sacrifice, except for this. He knew then that he wanted nothing more than to see her smile like this, all of the time.

“Casca…” Please, let me love you now, Guts asked with his eyes, cupping Casca’s face in his palm. Let me give you the world. She didn’t need him to speak to tell what he was asking; she also answered without words, placing her hand over his, caressing it until he was ready.

Guts finally worked up the effort to sit slightly up. Keeping hold of her right cheek and the small of her back to steady himself, Guts pulled Casca firmly against his chest, pressing his lips on her neck, grazing her with his teeth. Guts felt some traces of pain, but his wounds be damned. He wanted her to understand the full depths of his willingness to please and to serve her - as comrade, friend, and lover.

He began slowly, pulling himself out of her depths halfway, but then returned with a powerful thrust. Guts continued this for several moments, watching Casca tilt her head back in agonizing pleasure, giving Guts ample access to her exposed neck, where he began sucking on the salty flesh. But as sucking turned to nibbling, Casca released a gasp of surprise and pleasure when Guts bit softly into her, leaving a small, darkly welt on her skin. Guts did this once more, leaving a love bite on the other side of her neck, before proceeding down toward the slope of her breast. Guts slowly suckled on her nipples, using his tongue to circle around the areola of each, but only went as far as nibbling on each of the erect buds. It was still enough to make Casca’s moans get caught in her throat, the only way for her to release the tension being to grasp tightly against the rippled flesh of Guts’ muscular back.

Now that they were sitting upright, Casca wrapped her legs around Guts, loose enough for them to continue their rhythm. She hugged closer to him, pressing her breasts against Guts’ chest to feel the contrast between her soft flesh and his hard body, letting her hands roam his back and neck. He’s so strong, she thought as she rested her cheek on his shoulder, her heavy breathing tickling his neck. Casca was attracted to Guts for several reasons when it came to his personality, but she wouldn’t lie to herself by denying that she found Guts incredibly handsome in physique and appearance; most women did. She could tell by how they stared at his body: skin tanned from years under sunlit battlefields, mounds of scars forming intricate patterns, contours of muscles from wielding that huge slab of iron, rough but chiseled face… To think that several women would want to be her right now made Casca thankful - and possessive even.

“You’re happy… right now… are you?” Casca blurted between pants. She didn’t mean for it to come out at all. 

Guts leaned his head back, slowing his pace slightly; he took Casca’s chin between his fingers, seeing the uncertainty in her eyes that was present for whatever reason. “I told you,” Guts began, staring her straight in the eyes as he continued pumping into her. “Only you.”

Guts felt himself coming closer and closer. He moved his hands to her bottom.

“A hundred more times.”

Using his hands, Guts began encouraging Casca to bounce on top of him, increasing their movements but never breaking eye-contact.

“A thousand more times.”

They became totally lost within each other as they began to reach their height. Guts began thrusting into her harder than before, but Casca was totally at peace, as he was also. It was as if no one, not the Hawks, not even Griffith, mattered at that moment. The pair was intertwined, both body and soul.

They both came in succession to one another, Casca throwing her head back and releasing a cry that threatened to awaken the entire encampment. She stopped before that soft cry could turn into a scream, but she still had to bite her bottom lip hard before giving short gasps upon her release. While her body trembled and her breasts heaved, Guts climaxed with a low growl, feeling Casca’s wall clench his manhood as he released himself inside of her. Casca continued to tremble as she rested her chin on the crook of his neck, clinging to Guts as the two of them took in the ecstasy of their moment.

“Guts…” Casca whispered his name gently as her rocking began to slow to a complete halt. Staying deep inside of her, Guts held her just as tightly as his euphoria began to wane. Casca lifted her head, staring at Guts with dreamy eyes as they joined for a heavy kiss, not caring that they were out of breath. So preoccupied with their kiss that the two did not even notice themselves losing their balance, Guts falling over with Casca on top of him with a soft thud.

“Ow…” he responded, though more from the impact itself rather than the wounds on his back. They continued to kiss regardless, Guts running one hand up and down Casca’s slick back with the other going through the dark brown strands of hair, while Casca caressed his face. 

Before long, the pair disconnected, rolling over onto their sides with their legs intertwined, Guts sneaking his right arm undeneath Casca’s body. She could already tell that Guts was in less pain than before, judging from the pressure that was exerted on his right shoulder and arm. Guts wrapped that same arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him to stop her shivering. With the heat dissipating and the cool night air coming in contact with their damp bodies, she hadn’t even noticed how much colder it was than before. Casca instinctively reached for the blanket, pulling it over her entire body except for her head, with the blanket stopping under Guts’ collar bone. She looked up at him, seeing Guts giving her that sweet and chaste smile that he only showed so often. 

“We’ll be doin’ this more often whenever I’m outta shape, right?” Guts began to coax as he brushed the glaze of sweat from Casca’s brow with his left hand.

She frowned, but it looked much like a smirk instead. “You should hope not if it means you’ll be getting the tar beaten out of you, idiot!” They both broke out into a light chuckle as they settled into their embrace, the feelings of passion still ripe within them.  

Calm settled over them very soon; Casca could feel herself giving into a sweet stupor as Guts began to run his hand along the curves of her waist. It was a very soothing and hypnotic sensation in the afterglow of their lovemaking, and Casca could look forward to doing this more often if Guts kept in accordance with his plans (two times, nine-hundred and ninety-eight times to go). Casca couldn’t help but relax and close her lids, but her thoughts remained focused on the past, present, and future.

So much pain had occurred in the last year: Guts leaving, Griffith’s arrest, the decline of the Hawks despite Casca’s best efforts to keep their flame alive. Even now that Guts had returned and Griffith was safe with them, it was hard to deny the obvious.

Their campfire of dreams was soon to be extinguished.

But maybe, just maybe, everything would work. 

Time could only tell when Griffith would regain not his bodily strength, but his spirit. Griffith always found a way to turn a dire situation to his favor after all. Surely, he would be able to live on after everything that has happened. 

With that said, her time by Griffith’s side was coming to an end, an end that she honestly never saw coming or enacting on her own free will. Casca pictured herself dying in the heat of battle before leaving Griffith for whatever reason. 

The guilt began swimming in her stomach at the thought of this, but she wouldn’t allow it to persist. Casca wanted this: to go see the world, travel to lands that even the Hawks haven’t seen, without worry of allegience, and with Guts at her side. She may not have wanted things to happen in this way, but she knew that Griffith would be in good hands. Griffith would always have friends and supporters, near and far - maybe even Princess Charlotte would find her way back to him. He would never be alone, even if she or Guts weren’t there with him. And maybe, Griffith wanted this for them too.

Yes. Everything would work out for the best; not just for tonight, but for the rest of their lives.

If that were the case, should Casca tell him?

“Guts,” Casca began, hesitant at first. “I have something to tell you… I think I might be -“

Before she could get the chance to articulate the last word, Guts had already given his response, but as a set of deep and heavy snores, fully imbedded in the land of dreams. Rather than be annoyed, Casca chuckled softly, not unlike when she first witnessed Guts’ unusual proneness to intense, undisturbed slumber, but still gave a small, disappointed smile. She crooked her head up so that she could kiss Guts’ lips, not worried that she would wake him.

“I’ll tell you later. Everything will be fine.” That anxious feeling welled up in her stomach again. Casca pressed on it lightly, hoping it would go away, but found more comfort in taking Guts’ free hand in her own, laying it over her stomach, and then passing it over her womb, letting both of their palms rest on the flat flesh. Still, Casca had to repeat her words so that her self-reassurance would stick.

“Everything will be fine.”