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By any other name

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Gudako happily grabbed the tempura set on the small table in her room.  As a Mage Association base, most of the meals in Chaldea were geared towards European tastes.  It was nice getting some familiar foods now and then.  "This is really good Kiyohime.  But where did you learn to cook Tempura?"

Kiyohime blushed.  "It's a wife's duty to keep up with cooking trends.  But I must admit, I got that recipe from my penpal Tamamo."

"It's prepared really well," Gudako said grabbing another piece.  She placed it in front of her Servant.  "Hey you should eat some too.  It's not fun if I'm the only one eating."

"Eh?"  Kiyohime blinked and hesitated.  Gudako forced down a chuckle.  It was so cute how Kiyo's domineering nature faded when someone showed interest in her.  "T-that is true."  The woman closed her eyes and accepted the offered morsel.

Gudako waited until Kiyohime had recovered enough to open her eyes before picking up another piece and slowly popping it into her mouth.  Kiyohime nearly coughed up flame at that.  Gudako knew the dragon girl had been thinking 'indirect kiss' when she'd been offered the chopsticks.  Reminding her of that would only help keep Kiyo off balance.

Of course Kiyohime rallied quickly.  "My my.  So forward even though we aren't actually married yet.  To think that Anchin was such a person."

Gudako nearly bit her tongue at the hated name.  That miserable man's name.  It was a good thing Kiyhoime didn't use it often out of battles.  She grabbed the tea to wash down her disgust.

"Is something wrong darling?"  Kiyohime's voice.  That soft voice that she'd come to love.  That was filled with devotion.

The voice that was never for her ears.

She wanted to lie.  To hide the truth.  To keep the woman she loved from pain.  But as she looked into Kiyohime's gold eyes, she swallowed that lie.  She would keep her promise.  Even if it hurt them.

"I hate that name."  The dam within her burst and her heart spilled out.  "I hate that you see him and not me.  I hate him!"  Gudako reached out and grabbed Kiyohime's delicate hands.  "I want you to call me by my name.  Just once, even if it's a fleeting moment.  Call me by MY name!"

Gudako's hand burned as one of the command seals disintegrated.  Kiyohime blinked in confusion.  "Guda-ko?"  The woman shook her head.  "Anchin... Beloved?"

Tears started to form in Gudako's eyes as she stared at the woman she'd come to adore.  "Look at me!  The woman in front of you!"

Her hand burned again and Kiyohime's eyes opened wide.  "Ah.  AAAAAAAH!"  Gudako flinched as her command burned through the madness that filled Kiyohime's mind and let the poor woman see clearly for once.  She sadly let go of Kiyo's hand.  Waiting for the rejection of the truth.  Her rejection.

And then warmth surrounded her.  Not the flames of dragon fire, but the soft heat of Kiyohime's embrace.  Through tear stained eyes Gudako saw the other woman quiver as she sobbed.  Slowly, hesitantly, making sure not to shatter this dream, Gudako let her arms wrap around her love.  She let her head rest on Kiyo's shoulders letting the woman's hair clear away her tears.

Kiyohime cried in her arms for what seemed like forever.  But eventually the weeping turned to simple sniffles.

Finally Kiyohime said in a quiet voice.  "It seems I was the liar this time."

"It's the grail's fault," Gudako replied.  "The grail and its deranged class system."

"I could have seen.  Should have seen."  Kiyohime shook her head, and Gudako held her closer.  "I'm sorry... Gudako.  I'm not fit to be your wife."

Gudako shook her head.  "I don't care if you're fit.  You're the one I love."  Even if that love was doomed.  Even if the tragedy was already written.  She would follow it happily.

Kiyohime relaxed in her arms, then lightly pushed against her.  Reluctantly Gudako let the other woman stand a step back and look at her face to face.  "Master, I have a request."

"Yes?"  Gudako met her servant's golden eyes.

"Command me to love you."  Kiyohime said quietly.  "Make me yours and yours alone."

Gudako's hand twitched.  How could she do that?  She'd already hurt her servant with her commands.  Burnt though the legend that made Kiyohime who she was.  To make her a slave to her love was unforgivable...

And then a thought hit her and she smiled.

"Kiyohime.  I command you... to forgive yourself."

Confusion once again flashed across Kiyohime's face.  But then she smiled.  "Thank you... Master."

Gudako's heart twisted.  But she forced herself to smile as well.  She'd lost her chance.  But she'd stayed true to her love and herself.

And then she was wrapped in softness again.  Lips met hers in a kiss like a wildfire, sweeping her away in its intensity.

She gasped for breath as Kiyohime stepped back.  "So long as you keep your promise to me, I'll stay by your side."  The woman looked down.  "Though would you prefer me call you wife instead of husband?"

Gudako gently lifted Kiyohime's head again so she could see those lovely eyes.  "I like darling best."

"As you wish, darling," Kiyohime said.

And then they kissed again.