The bright lights and bawdy noise of the inn grate against the sensitive edges of Gretel’s nerves, and she tightens her arm around Hansel’s waist as the door swings shut behind them.
“Didn’t just kill the witch!” The innkeeper crows, ignoring the rest of the crowd to press a flagon into Hansel’s free hand. “But lived to come back and tell us all about it, too!”
Gretel rolls her eyes. Typical. It doesn’t matter that she can drink just as well, Hansel is always the one being handed celebratory ale. She’d usually make more of a fuss about it too, but the sticky blood oozing between her skin and leather down along her ribs is more distracting than she’d like.
“We’ll tell you everything,” Hansel says, handing the flagon back. “First we need to wash, and tend our wounds.”
The innkeeper is already nodding. “There’s a room upstairs you’re welcome to for the night. I can send someone for the town surgeon too, if you--”
“Unnecessary,” Gretel says, straightening up a little. Hansel looks at her, jaw clenched, but she ignores him. “We can see to our own ills, thank your kindness.”
He nods, handing them a key from somewhere in the half apron around his waist. “Upstairs and to the right.”
The noise of the crowd dulls a little beneath their feet before Hansel speaks. “You should have let him call the surgeon.”
Gretel shakes her head. “I can feel it. A couple of stitches, no more, nothing you haven’t handled a thousand times before. Besides,” she touches her forehead to his shoulder as he jostles the key into the lock. “I don’t want some stranger getting my blood on his hands.”
Hansel snorts softly and tugs her over the threshold, closing the door only to back her up against it. Blood smears in black and red patterns down his cheek and through his hair, and Gretel bites her lip at the sharp, fresh scent of witchblood on his skin.
“You think I like your blood on my fingers?” He says, wiping his fingers through the gash at his hairline before smoothing them across her cheek, slick with blood. “Any more than you like seeing mine spill?”
Gretel grabs his wrist and twists his arm away. “I think you rather it be on yours than on anybody elses,” she hisses, shifting her hips against the press of Hansel’s body as he pushes closer, pinning her there. She glares, even though they both know she’s more than capable of putting up a fight if she wants to.
He opens his mouth as if he intends to say something more, but Gretel slides a hand into his hair and jerks him forward so their lips meet instead. Gentle at first, a stopgap apology in the familiar way his lips part under hers, before she pulls at his hair, urging him closer.
The faint taste of blood in his mouth is familiar, too, as he kisses her harder, his thigh pressing between her legs and making her want far more than some placating kisses.
Hansel pulls away, nosing breathlessly at the curve of her ear. “Do you want--”
“Yes,” she says, ignoring the pain in her ribs to arch her back and feel him hard against her belly through the layers between them.
Her muscles still ache hot from the chase, but it doesn’t stop the shiver in her skin when he unbuckles her belt and lets it fall to the floor before edging warm, blood-slick fingers inside her trousers.
Gretel bites at his lip when he palms her, barely teasing when she’s already wet enough to want his cock inside her. “Don’t.”
Hansel bites back but slides his hand free to undo the buttons instead. She reaches to help, wriggling out of her pants and kicking them haphazardly aside while pulling at Hansel’s own fly.
“Fuck,” he hisses, head falling forward onto her shoulder when she gets her fingers around him and squeezes. It’d be easy to make him come just like this, breathing in the bloody smell of each other and stroking hard until her hand is sticky and wet and he can’t do anything but blink stupidly at her while she licks her fingers clean. But that won’t ease the want thrashing under her skin in the wake of the kill.
She twists away from the press of Hansel’s body, uses her momentum to shove his back against the door where hers rested a couple of seconds before. The twinge in her ribs is nothing next to the fierce rush of tasting fresh blood on her brother’s mouth and knowing both their hearts still beat to bleed at all.
Hansel’s hands settle easily on her bare hips, brushing up under the bloodied cloth and leather jerkin to dig in at her waist. He steadies her, like he always does, and Gretel grabs at his hair for leverage and lifts her leg up over his hip; gasping in air at the hot brush of his cock against her inner thigh and shoving forward until he’s hilted deep inside her.
“Shh,” he says, lips at her temple. She didn’t even realise she’d cried out. “Shh, or they’ll hear us.”
“Your hand,” she demands, thoughts coming with the same staccato clarity that they do in the middle of a fight. The slightest shift of her balance, of him inside her, makes her want to scream and be damned whoever hears them.
He covers her mouth with one hand. His fingers are still just as bloodied, rough against her lips with familiar trigger calluses, and she sinks her teeth into the closest edge as she rolls her hips with intent, grinding down and muffling her moan on his palm.The worn leather of his loosened belt and fine weave of his trousers rub along her inner thigh on every thrust as she sets the pace, and some vague part of her hopes it leaves a mark , a claim on her to cancel out the malicious one slitting open the skin over her ribs.
Gretel tightens her grip on his hair, pulling hard enough to make him thrust up into her, and works one hand down between them to rub her clit as she gets closer to the edge. “Gonna come,” she pants, taking a second to kiss his fingertips before biting down again.
Hansel just grunts in reply and buries his face against her throat, his breath hot and wet and alive right over her pulse. Gretel shudders with it, and the bulk of him inside her, and her own slick fingers between her thighs, stomach muscles tensing as the orgasm rolls through her and leaves her aching in a far better way than the burn of her body from the hunt.
She keeps up slow motions of her hips until Hansel bites and kisses her throat, frantic, and bucks his hips with a low groan and a wet, lingering warmth inside her.
“Your damn ribs,” he murmurs a minute later, still brushing his lips over the mark she’ll have to tug her undershirt up to hide. She’ll know it’s there. And that’s enough.
“It’s just a scratch.” Gretel licks his fingers.
He doesn’t let go, though. And neither does she.