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21
Body language

Summary: Orcs in love. Be afraid.

Note: Pull out now if you don’t want to be horrified.


~~~

Body Language

We were born together, they say; deadly even then, we killed our mother coming into this world.

That’s what they say, anyway. I wouldn’t know, of course – they could be right.

But we came up together, Dhargô and me, clawed our way up from nothing to fodder, and figured out right quick that together, we got on better. Lot of others died on spears and knives and swords – not us!

And so from fodder, we got to be… something, anyway. Captain marked us, made us his left and right hands: I, the hammer, and Dhargô, the blade. I was the law, and she the zeal. She broke our enemies and stole their words.

An artist, was Dhargô.

I mean, you haven’t ever seen someone who could make it last longer. The lads were in awe – and terror. All I had to do was threaten to send ‘em to Dhargô, and they’d spill whatever they’d done, I’d crack heads, hand out stripes, and it’d be over. You never saw a quieter, better-ordered lot than our company. And with Dhargô and me watching the ranks in battle, nobody ever ran, because Dhargô would tear strips off ‘em – literally.

Put me and Dhargô to work where there was trouble, and it’d get settled. Nothing we couldn’t do, and we didn’t need anybody else. Wouldn’t trust ‘em anyway –Dhargô’s the only one I’d have at my back.

She’s the only one I’d have. Ever. You come up through the ranks from nothing, you learn: you don’t leave yourself open. I was thirteen I saw some lads go after one of the new boys when he was out of armor. He squealed like a pig, walked funny for days afterward.

You don’t take a piss in the army without someone watching your back, ‘cause the lads’re just waiting to catch you with your trousers down.

You don’t lie down with nobody below you if you’re smart. Nor if you’re me and Dhargô. Because chances are, someone’ll bite something useful off just for spite and the hope that the captain’ll promote him. It’s a stupid idea, but nobody ever said people like that were smart.

So I suppose it’s pretty natural, when she got in a whelping mood, that Dhargô turned to me. And I’ll admit, for a second there, when she put her hand on my back that first time, I thought Shit, this is it, this is the end of the line!

Wasn’t though – I was so relieved, I laughed, and she growled and hit me for it. I hit her right back – I’m not the captain’s fist for nothing! – hard enough to knock her down, and when she sat up with that pretty bruise on her face, I just grinned, opened my legs.

C’mon in, sweetheart, if you can take me!

Dhargô could get anyone, I think, if she wanted to, so she got me, too. You know, you hear all that Elf poetry that people find in their ruins. All that pale flower skin, light-foot limb sentiment, and there’s always a line about flowing hair – stuff it, I say. Elves – damn immortals don’t know what they’re talking about.

My kind aren’t not much for poetry, but if it was me, there’d be a line on that broken wall about how it looks when Dhargô’s down on her back and straining, and you can see every muscle in her swell from what you’re doing to her. There’d be a line about feeling scalp under her hair, and the prickle from how short we keep it. I’d have something to say about how she presses just the tips of her claws over your teat when you’re breathing hard, so you get that delicious little sting…

And there’d be a line about her magic – about her cutting into your back with her blades to spell the words out that’ll keep you, while she’s got the other hand up you, and then her tongue running over those wounds afterward.

If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it. Or get a thicker skin – then if you bruise or bleed, you know you’ve earned it.

Stupid Elves.

Anyhow, so that’s how it went. We always had each other’s back, bed or battle.

Then one day, captain’s different – heard they pulled old Gorbag off to the southern Tower with the Nazgûl. And the new captain’s got his own notions of who he wants to be his left and right hand, but being a bastard, he doesn’t want to face Dhargô or me and fight to get us out. So he got some others to do her while he had me taking care of some idiot who’d got in a fight with one of the guards from the Men’s units.

Go figure, it was at the latrines they got her, six of the lads. She clawed out the throats of two of ‘em right away. The other four were quicker. If I hadn’t come along, needing to piss after that long session exacting dues from that lad of ours, she’d have been dead, likely dumped in the cesspit.

But I got them off her, broke one jaw and another neck, and the other two ran – who wouldn’t? Hard to fight holding your trousers up with one hand, after all.

She was pretty torn up. And I thought then that I should’ve had her charm herself, or teach me how to do it for her, because she looked that bad. You get to know death pretty well around here, and she looked like she was sitting close company with it.

And if I didn’t do something about it, then chances were good we’d both be dead before dusk.

So I took her down to the Men’s camp, where they kept a healer of their kind. They knew who I was – I’d given them justice an hour earlier, after all. So they took Dhargô in, and I sat by her all that night while their man tended her best he could.

Now I know that the Elves in their songs sing about slaying ten of us to their one.

But we aren’t weak – we were never made to be weak. You show me an Elf-maid, or even a matron, if you like, who could’ve stood up to what my Dhargô did, and come through it for even an hour afterward, and I’ll show you the Orc inside that Elf if I have to peel the skin off myself! I know their stories – how their kind die for love and die for horror, and die for pride, and mostly just die. For immortals, you’d think they’d be better at living, and I’ve gutted my fair share of them, so I know. They die. They die a lot.

We don’t die. Especially not for something as low and mean and stupid as getting caught by the captain’s men at the latrine. And we don’t pine, either. We don’t fade.

We also don’t take it lying down if we can help it. So I sat through the night by her, and watched her breathe, and I’ll admit I did think I didn’t like the idea of being without her. We came up together, and who else was going to be there but Dhargô? Whether she lived or died, something had to be done.

I’m not a great planner; Dhargô’s better at it. But I was determined: it took some work, thinking it all through, but in the morning, when I knew she’d be staying, I went to the tent where the Captain of the Men, Pharnim, slept, and got myself let in. Men aren’t so bad, in a lot of ways. They’re straightforward about things, and I put it to him he owed me still for sending him the scalp of the idiot who’d ripped his man’s guts out. He thought about it, cocked his head, and then said he thought I was just doing my duty.

I looked him over, and figured, all right, it’s going to be that way. Fair enough. So I gave him something more than dutiful, and when I’d done, he said yes to everything I asked.

And then I went back to the healer’s tent, where Dhargô was sleeping, drugged up like a spider’s catch, and I tapped her smart between her breasts and told her not to worry, I was taking care of things for us. And I dug my claw in a bit, just a little pinprick, and I said the first word she’d writ on me – not enough blood for the rest, and I didn’t want to risk her. I figured, though, it was something to keep her – to keep us.

I slept beside her cot that night, and listened to Men passing back and forth, and when I woke, I found the healer there again. He cleaned Dhargô’s wounds, and afterward, I looked at his kit, with all of its smart little tools, all neat and clean and gleaming, and asked him what they were. He explained them all – clever things, practical, not that different, really, from what Dhargô used when she went about her business. You have to have the right tools, and whether you’re cutting to cure or to kill, if you want to cut bone, you’ll need something other than a paring knife. If you want to stitch, you need the right needles.

Nice kit, I told him, and he bowed and left.

Because there was a yelling outside, fit to wake the dead. It woke Dhargô, that was sure, and I had to move quick to keep her from pulling out stitches or jarring broken bones.

And so I know I said we aren’t weak, but that’s not saying we don’t get scared, and my poor Dhargô was a broken-toothed, glassy-eyed mess of fear.

“Don’t you worry,” I told her. “You’ll soon be well – you’ll see. We’re going to blow this off like an old scab, you and me.”

And just then, in came Captain Pharnim, and two of his guards, holding our new Captain, who’d come by invitation for consultation and got clapped in irons. He saw me, and he looked at Dhargô propped up on the cot, and then he looked at the pretty row of tools I was setting out on the surgeon’s table, and his eyes went wide and he started to yell.

“You want us to gag him?” the Men asked.

“No,” I said. “I want to hear what he has to say…”


I told you Dhargô’s the artist – she’s got a fair hand with knives and what not. But I’ve been the right hand of law in our camp these last years, and I’ve learned something about law: it’s bloody. But it’s got what you’d call a proportion to the violence. It’s geometry, really. And I could always figure.

So let’s say that I gave him back what he did to Dhargô – me. All of it. Right there, in front of her, I put it on him like he had had it put on her, and since I was just one, I had to work four times as hard. But it was Dhargô, and we came up together and we’ll die together, and so I did it. Broke a sweat like you wouldn’t believe, but it was worth it – Dhargô didn’t say a word the whole time, but she watched. And her eyes were shining.

And since law’s geometric where I come from, once I’d given equal for equal, I gave him more – got to try out all the surgeon’s tools. And though I’m no great sorcerer, I’ve learned a few charms here and there – a few curses. I used them all, and opened his veins, and took his eyes, and I sent him to the sun’s fire, there to burn for all the Ages.

So for the new Captain. And when I’d done with him, I went over to where Dhargô was, and after a moment, she lifted her broken hand and laid it on my knee. “Thank you,” she croaked.

“I’d’ve done him better than that,” I growled, for my blood was still up. “I don’t have your eye and hand!”

She looked past me to the bloody mess on the floor, and her nostrils flared. “What now?”

“Now I take an escort and drag him back home to the commander. And I give him Captain Pharnim’s greetings and tell him if he wants Pharnim on his side, he’ll take us back safe and sound. And he’ll give me the other two who set on you to settle with, like I did the captain.”

And with the captain’s fine example right at hand, there was no doubt he’d back me, because otherwise, he’d be next.

Dhargô thought about it. “It’s a good enough plan,” she said finally, though her face darkened beneath her bruises. “Wish I could do those two myself, though!”

“I can try to save one for you,” I offered. But she shook her head wearily.

“Too long. And so long as you do it, it’ll be as if I did.”

“Not hardly,” I snorted.

Her hand on my knee tightened just then, despite the bone slivers, and the bandage darkened a bit with blood. But she held on, and her thumb moved, stroked a little, and despite that gentleness and the morning’s work, I felt myself get a little hot to feel it.

“You did beautifully,” she said then.

So maybe I can rise to the occasion. It’s not poetry, but body language, I guess, if you like. And it worked – the commander paled like an Elf when I dragged our captain back with Pharnim’s men in tow, and he bowed to every word of my demands.

I did try to save one of the nasty little blighters for Dhargô, but it’s like she feared – it took her time to recover. You have to be healed up right well to do our job. She didn’t mind, though – gave me the best thank you I could’ve had the night she was well enough to come back. And I got a good night’s sleep for the first time since I’d hauled her over to the Men’s camp. I don’t know if we were born together, but that’s sisterhood, when you can close your eyes and trust you’ll open ‘em again. It’s like going into the Great Dark with someone, like a little foretaste of it – so they say. And I suppose I’ll learn whether it’s true someday.

But not today, though, not soon – and not easily. Because me and Dhargô, we’re keeping each other.

~~~

B2MeM Challenge: B14: Femslash: kink
Genre I: romance
Magic and Real: The immortal
Format: short story
Genre: Romance. Deathfic. Kink.
Rating: A very definite M. Maybe higher just for the concept.

My reflection on trying to write a kinkfic: Kink and Its Vicissitudes.


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