Queen Dairy
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    The Intimacy of Snow
    part of the Claymore fandom

    Once, Clare felt on her fingers the rosy hues of snow, melting upon her touch. When it left her hand numb, she brought her hand over to her lips. Her only respite from the cold was in gently nibbling upon her fingertips, feeling the warmth and condensation of her breath until she could feel, once more.

    In the night, an unexpected snowfall. Raki trudges onward, his footsteps leaving deeper trails upon the pine-encrusted path. He tries to ignore the shivering of his legs as he knows that Avignon is only a half-hour further.

    Clare spots a dense covering under the forest. The snow hasn't gathered there.

    "Let's camp," she goes.

    "I'm fine.."

    "I don't want you to freeze, Raki."

    The boy sees that she means it, so he resigns and in the spot where the wind does not blow, he unloads the sack of firewood and sets the arrangement up in flames. The fire's warmth envelops his body like a comfortable bath, and he realises how right she is.

    Soon, the snow evolves into a drizzle and Raki leans into the fire, poking the wood to coax out every last vestiges of heat it has to offer. He settles into a rhythm that leaves him drowsy, and pulls the fur blanket over.

    Raki hears a heavy thunk – it's her sword. Oh, she's leaning into it for a rest too.

    He looks over and she's laid it over against the tree. She undresses out of her armour, slipping out of her skirt and setting her pauldrons aside. Without them ornamenting her body, Clare looks emasculated. The wet uniform clings onto her breasts while she tends to the dying fire – the frost upon her hair drips as it melts..

    He pretends to sleep, watching her.

    Clare pushes her body out, arching her back with her arms outstretched. What she does in private to relieve the day's tension. There is something about her lithe form which is graceful as a ballerina's poise in dance, and though Raki is loathe to admit it – he is growing excited, watching her. It's his second time; the first was when he came back to camp after peeing, and he saw a flash of her breasts underneath her torn uniform. Her rosy areola..

    The fire wavers under the sudden gust, and Raki shivers, huddling himself inward in the blanket. He feels his nose drip (as if he'd caught the flu), his heart skipping beats, and yet, he holds back the urge to moan, not wanting to let go of looking upon her.

    Clare senses something's wrong. Usually, she can hear Raki tossing in the blanket, but he's unusually still. Peeling back the blanket, she finds him balled up like a dormouse in a nest of tattered leaves. He's frightfully close to hypothermia. If she exerts herself, she'll be able to carry him to the town.. she'll be at a loss of energy for tomorrow. Just that she can't stand seeing him suffer.

    In her arms, Raki is carried like a baby. The woods whirl by with a stallion's blaze. He looks up at her face – her eyes are set on the distant townlight. Her hair flutters, while the branches of those barren trees stand out against the starless void. It feels like an eternity when your awareness is fading out of present reality.

    Avignon – it's white with festivities. A few dancers pass by the tree on the icy arena, but all Clare could care about is bringing him indoors. The locals gawk at her, with some opening their mouths over what she might have done to the boy. Numbness is the worn cloak she usually wears towards being an alien to people, but tonight, her heart overrides the distance from others, beating with a tune both new and yet primally familiar.. love, and fear.

    The inn Clare finds – firewood burning; brewed ale spilled on the floor. She asks the innkeeper for a room, and when he tells her how much it will cost, her eyes widen in realisation that in her panic, she's left behind all her funds at that camp.

    "What? You've nothing to give? Not even hospitality is free, girlie.. especially not from me this time of year."

    "I just need to keep him warm. Please.. he's sick from the cold."

    Her pleading does nothing to sway him, though desperation leeches out from her voice. Finally, Clare brings Raki over to the pub, where the noise is overbearing – the jeering of its drunken patrons being no comfort as she gazes upon the fireplace.. the uncertainty with which the flames unfurl.

    At least, he'll be safe from the cold. Clare touches her wrist to Raki's forehead; he is running a strong fever. It's a pub; they should have tea too.

    "On the house, dear."

    Clare reaches for the cup, before the barkeep closes his hand over hers. She glances at him, almost ready to pounce.

    "That boy – what 'appened to him?"

    "We were on our way here, before a blizzard stopped our path.. I thought he'd be alright if I set up camp."

    "He looks like he needs medicine."

    Clare finds a possible foothold. "If you could offer me a room, you'd have all my gratitude. I left my purse behind, and.. I don't know where else to go."

    One of the patrons begs for the barkeep's refill, while the barkeep locks eyes upon Clare, studying her. Then he shows her the stairs upward to the attic.

    It is musty, with dust having settled over the barrels. The barkeep is nice in giving her a few candles and some blankets. Moreso, peace. Clare gives Raki more sips of tea..

    "Aren't you tired?" Raki asks, sensing the motions of her hands growing mechanical.

    She looks upon him with a detached fondness, as if the real her is absorbing the moment from a distant world while her body goes through the motions. His eyes take her back in, and in a breath, she drinks from the same cup she'd spoon-fed him.

    In closing her eyes, she recalls those rose petals which drooped from the branches, with the forest path shrouded in shadow. This is what the tea tastes like.

    "I'll be fine when you're asleep," she tells him, as a burst of regret surges from her chest. "I.. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have left you in the forest."

    "Don't be," Raki goes. "I thought the cold wouldn't be so bad.."

    The candles dim.

    Clare still makes out Raki, an illuminated silhouette in the dark, and it's in the privacy of the night that she ends up crying. The stress pouring out of her – how it always did when she endured the brutal regime of the Organization's training, where the instructors were as relentless on her body as her childhood captor was.


    She stifles her tears. "Raki, I'm fine. Go to sleep, please.."

    "Why are you so pretty?"

    It's the last thing she'd expect Raki to say.

    "What are you talking about?"

    "Whenever you think I'm not watching, you always do a dance. Every night, by the campfire. I don't know why. Only that it's pretty.. and that I feel good, looking upon you."

    Clare is startled. She's often been called scary, intimidating, and even witch-like.. but never pretty. A word she's used to describe a doll collection she's once had.

    "Why do you dance, Clare?"

    It takes a moment for her to remember why.

    "It's my way of letting go of the day," she says. "My body aches, so I stretch and move – a friend taught me this."


    She hears the faint quiver of Raki's voice, yearning for her. When she touches him by the forehead this time, he brings her hand over, down to his soft cheeks, and over to his lips, where he kisses her fingers with a tenderness he's held within him, which had blossomed over those days he's grown to know her.

    When he sucks upon her fingertips, an electricity jolts through her arm which sends tremours though her entire being. A moan escapes her – and it's an involuntary moan she doesn't realise she's made. Clare exhales out the tension which she'd held in her lungs, when she didn't realise she'd stopped breathing out of trepidation, encountering the intimacy which she'd deeply wanted, all along.

    "Raki, stop.."

    But the truth is, she's always wanted him. He's young, though, and she didn't want to take advantage like that.. to be no better than a yoma, just craving flesh.

    He's still nibbling at her hand, like a kitty when she pulls herself away.

    "Clare – please, don't leave me.." he goes.

    Raki strains to make her out in the night, before he hears her breath, quickening with a swelling need. His hand gropes in the dark, feeling nothing but thin air, before he finds her hand over his.

    "I'm here," she says, gently.

    Clare puts his hand over her neck. He feels her swallow, before she guides him just how to press around her throat - two fingers over her windpipe, and his thumb on her thyroid. Not so much pressure as to choke her, but just enough that she's able to let the breath steadily hiss out her mouth.. her vision tingling with blue sparkles.

    Then she lets her head swoon over his wrist, where she closes her eyes and simply indulges in the latent senations it brings forth in her. Maternal tenderness. A young girl's need for affection. The connection of one isolated heart with another who needs it.

    Soon, besides feeling her hair brush upon his arm, Raki feels her tears over his stimulated hand. Is this just a fever dream? It's happening all so fast.. the layers of Clare, his saviour and guardian, unravelling to reveal a lover.

    With the night's unending coldness poring through the attic, Raki brings her closer in an embrace. As he inhales her, it's like the rustic grounds he knows, where as his older brother toils on the fields, he could find the scent of the lively earth. Her hands crawl upon his back – a spider exploring, weaving an elaborate web over his skeletal structure.

    Finally, Clare discovers his face. She recalls his look of piqued interest, at first meeting. How she rebuffed him, at first. He'd reject her, like the rest of the world did, so there seemed no point in caring about him back, despite the faint hope otherwise.

    She regrets it deeply, now. The way she'll make it up to him is in a kiss, kept secret from everyone else. A kiss where her lips find traction with his mouth, and she starts to move her tongue in tandem with a silent language, only whispered through touch..

    Raki, as if struck by her passion, delves into her mouth faster, and harder – new to the experience of love, but she's taken aback.

    "Mmmph.." she says, withdrawing from the kiss. "Slowly.."

    She brings her fingers around his jaw, and they go on kissing, easily forgetting how they were subjected to the blizzard earlier.

    There is no choice who you end up loving in life. Undressing her, Raki feels her skin sheening with sweat. His fingers trace over her body – the same ectomorphic body who's stirred the throes of lust in him. There are old scars across her back; those rough spots which haven't fully healed, bumpy to the touch. Otherwise, her skin has a sumptuous softness, like fresh petals just waiting underneath frost.

    "How much did it hurt?" Raki asks her.

    She dwells upon the pain she's long harboured in private, which pushes away all the injuries she's endured in comparison.

    "As much as I've allowed it.."

    Clare has stripped off Raki's pants. He's hairless.. except for his genitals. It's almost funny seeing his erection, like a miniature leg that is trying to grow.

    "It's so soft.." he whispers. She realises his hands are atop her breasts.

    As Raki fondles her bosom, she holds him by the arms, her eyes closed as she allows the gentle sensations – the way he kneads around her nipples - to bring forth a soothing chill throughout her body, euphoria spreading down her spine and letting her own vulva be flush with heat.. and desire..

    She pulls him in closer.

    It's reaching the point where the tension she's held in her stomach, which she's long taken for granted, is gradually unwinding. Oh, it just feels so wonderful..

    Then Clare jerks his hands over where it aches.


    A vulnerable whimper which spills out of her, which feels like everyone in the world could hear, in spite of the festival noises which grows ever more faint to her. Clare puts her mouth over her hand as to stifle any further cries, amidst her tachypnea (the ragged gasping) which longs for further oxygen to burn.

    Raki is amazed by how wet she is. How feverish she is, as if his hand – slipping deeper in, would just melt into her being. Every touch, each timbre of pressure upon her like a raw song, spun out of her soul. Only just.. how would it taste like? Her smell is so radiant, so infectious, hitting his nose sharply like burnt toast, it's unmistakably hers, overriding the damp, alcoholic musk lingering in the attic with her body heat.

    Pulling his hand away, Raki finds her wetness - congealing over his fingers. Clare, still recovering from the rush she rode, watches him in an enthrall as he licks her. He is timid about it, like a young child hesitantly trying out a strange meal.

    But only at first.

    With his heart continually throbbing, as if he's compelled forth across a tightrope over a mountainous crevasse whose depths are as unfathomable as it is dark, Raki begins to savour the taste. Her vulva has so many reserves of flavour, all depending on the way he dances his tongue over the honey. Sweet, floral.. sometimes metallic, like sucking upon a copper penny.

    When he swallows, it's like when he ingests his own snot during those times he'd feel sick or cry, but instead of the familiarity of himself, it gives him a little warmth doing so.. swallowing her, the fuzzy sensation infecting his whole body.

    "How do.. I taste?" Clare asks, sincere in wanting to know just how she'd be received, and truly felt by another. The self which she'd nurtured all along in private.

    "You're – so gorgeous.."

    It's hard for her to make out his face; his eyes are hard to read, indistinguishable in the dark, but she hears it in his voice.

    "Raki," she says. ".. won't you kiss me there? Kiss me, until I.."

    It couldn't have been a more enticing request to make. Raki burrows his face where he's touched her. Her thighs, hugging his skull with as much restraint she could muster from crushing his face in altogether. It's just so good, like an aching itch in her core he is scratching.. just right.

    It starts to chafe her to the bone for Clare to keep holding this position, so she leans upon her back, locking her knees to her chest with her arms. Raki holds her steady, kissing her and letting his tongue prod the folds of her vulva. She lets the sensations carry her mind over to strange, evocative places.

    An especially sharp, protruding sense of rawness when he turns to her clitoris..

    "Aa-mugm—!" Clare pushes Raki away.

    "What's wrong?" Raki says, among throaty gasps for breath. "Did I hurt you?"

    "No, it's.. hold on.."

    Clare reaches for her own uniform, where she stuffs the sleeve into her mouth as a sort of gag. She nudges Raki to continue, and without a word, Raki knows what she really means, as he concentrates his mouth upon her sensitivity.

    The sleeve muffles her voice, as her moans start to intensify and deepen into ranges of animalistic baritone, while the orgasm, like a pregnancy of held-up tension that's gestated in her the whole time, is starting to pour out finally. A bag which cannot hold everything in any further.. the seams erupting open, in a cascade of torrential release.. wave after wave of blissful pleasure, rhythmic in its contractions.

    Her legs, like savage and uncontrollable animals, slip out of her arms, which push forth upon the ground while the white-hot immensity of her climax is flooding her nerves.

    She's known some of the worst pain, inflicted upon her in life by so many others, scarring her being. But never this ecstasy which penetrates past all the barriers she's erected in herself, flooding through those cracks to burst open her heart, which she thought she'd pushed away into numbness.

    (so this is what it's like to love)

    Clare remembers to breathe again. Amidst the sensation of floating down, like a leaf dancing in air currents, she realises how stretched out her limbs are. Reaching for the sleeve she's clung onto by her mouth, she finds that the sleeve is torn all the way through.

    She's bitten so hard, her teeth have ripped it..

    It could matter less.

    Soon, she realises that she isn't the only one who is panting.

    "Cl-Clare.." Raki goes, feeling spent and laying down beside her.

    "Ra.. ki.." Her voice is a dim, husky whisper, as she finds his hand and caresses it. "I would have never known – how long I've been waiting to really.. know you, like this." She moves his hand over to her chest, which rises and falls as she feels her breathing carry on a much more open, relaxed feeling.

    Then she turns over to face Raki, as she feels drowsiness settle in her.

    "Clare.. I'd do anything for you.."

    As a young girl, Clare felt it was the most silliest thing just to tell someone 'I love you.' There's just something cheesy about saying out a feeling which is too great for even words to encompass. Either you'll know it already – like a thought which nervously creeps into your awareness, or a glance from a person who can convey so much in their eyes alone - or you don't.

    ".. I know.."

    As she holds him dear to her heart, Raki hears her silence. Then soon, her snores. He closes his eyes also, steeping with her into a shared serenity.