There was blood between them. In every glance and in every breath. It vibrated in the subdued click of the safety. It sparkled in each flicker of light, and hummed in every promise of darkness.

There was blood welling under Mireille's finger tips as they itched to pull on the trigger, and blood vengefully chasing across the concrete after them, as they walked away from the hit.

There was blood in Kirika's words. Gore and pain hung on to the punctuation. That long ago e-mail, had been steeped in it. "A pilgrimage to the past," her words had hummed as the resonance of past and future carnage reached out to Mireille.

There was blood in Mireille eyes. It was a battle scar. A lifelong injury she took from that hellish night nearly twenty years ago, when her family's death had washed over her like a plague and a curse. Sorrow and pain saturating her soul, just as the blood covered the marble floor. And all she could see was shadows of what was. Hooded goblins, and visages of death where once there would have been light.

As a child she tried to remember something else. The warmth in her mother's eyes had been blue that floated so high in the sky mortal eyes couldn't see it. Her father's shirts were always such crisp white, the kind of white that should could only exist in a far away paradise in the clouds.

Those colors had left her though, and all she had left was the red that permeated everything in her world. Tried to remember how Corsican fields had swayed gently in the wind like a sea of gold, but she couldn't. She couldn't see anything past the pain.

There was blood on her eyes and it haunted her.

Time lifted the veil from her eyes though, and it cured the self-imposed disability. It taught her to once again see violet underbelly of an iris and the warming clay brown of the potted dirt her uncle laid next to her bed, the cooling blue newness of the sky, and the glittering soft yellow of Parisian lights.

She wasn't alive, but she wasn't dead either, and well she waited for fate to unfold she could still see mauve undertones in the park roses, and vibrant blue and purple in the hand bags she kept her life inside, and it was enough for her.

Then she read that e-mail and heard that lost melody which grated along the back of Mireille's spine like claws pulling her back to herself. When she finally looked up from that vortex of remembrance, once again, Mireille could see nothing but red.

Even now Mireille's ashamed of parts of what happened next. The copper in her mouth, and festering pain around her heart, made her thoughts of Kirika so harsh those first few months.

"She's a monster," Mireille's eyes would say. "Her muscles are perfectly aligned for death, her fingers have no hesitation. She's an angel of death. Everything about her is meant to destroy"

"Of course she is," Mireille would tell her self in her more charitable moments. "How could she not be when all her life she was meant to be little more than a tool to death." And it's true. Everything her mind thinks is true. But when Kirika is lying against her, every muscle wilting, and every bone drooping just from the sheer proximity to her partner, it doesn't feel that way at all.

That's why it was only in the dark of night, when her eyes were shut tight, that she allowed Kirika to move closer to her. To get as close as she dared and inhale and wonder why Kirika's hair always smelled so clean and fresh, when the girl was obviously anything but that. To let go of the present and remember Corsican breezes of her childhood, where the wind had ran singing through the swaying plants and flowers.

In the end, however, Mireille would have to open her eyes and remember who she was seeing. Strangely enough more often than not she found she didn't want to pull away, although she did just out of general principle.

"You were a fool," Mireille tells herself as she watches Kirika's eyes light up at the sight of the tea she places in front of her, and she wishes she could take such mean spirited actions back.

Nothing can ever truly be forgotten though. A contract will remember with sworn revenge the assassin that cut him down, should he get a glimpse of the face. Kirika will remember the way Mireille turned away from her, even though she doubtlessly will forgive it. And Mireille will remember both.

They will never be able to forget anything because it's all written down, in living flesh. Even if the brutality steeped with sorrow should one day fade from her eyes, some scars never will.

"But scars aren't always bad," Mireille tells herself, as she catches glimpse of the faded, healed wound in her side. "They're proof of what you lived through." The scars have started to fade in with the skin already, and in the mirror there nothing more than a rose tinted brush. "Proof that you lived."

They were proof of brutality, for sure, but they were also proof of survival. Kirika has some scars that predate even her time with Mireille. The older woman never asks about them, but sometimes in the few moments before sleep she traces over them with a finger and tries not to wonder.

The things she remembers are enough.

Blood had stained Kirika's hands, had seeped through the bandages Kirika held against Mireille's arms as they sat in that grassy vineyard field. It had dried on the stone where Chloe would never leave, and it had rained down upon them, as they fought there way together out of the manor.

The old promise had been made void one rainy night in a graveyard, but that night they wordlessly created a new one. The still fading pink line on Mireille's arm, and then stitched together, healed over, crease in Kirika's side had been kept as proof.

Mireille looks at the scars and she knows Kirika would die for her. Kirika's smiles, and Mireille ceases to worry because despite those wounds etched in faded silver and red, there is still heat in Kirika's skin.

Even when her eyes hung dark as obsidian and cold as poison, and she laid drenched in sweat and blood waiting patiently for death, her skin had glistened with life. Where that vibrancy comes from, Mireille can only wish she knew. It's hidden somewhere deep inside, and no matter how many times Mireille traces against those plum drop nipples, and or that smooth coffee stained skin, she can never quite identify it.

It there though. Tongue across a breast and Kirika tastes like summer and spring, like a few drops of morning rain and jasmine tea. Thoroughly engrossed between Kirika's legs, and Kirika is musky, conjuring images of dark rooms, and satin lust, and warm nights. If she builds it up long enough, waits long enough, teases and plays and touches without ever quite hitting, then when Kirika finally arrives the scent is almost maddening.

Mireille loves process almost as much as she loves the climax itself. She loves it when Kirika's control drains from her body, and with her head still between her legs she can feel her jerking about like a stringed puppet, legs and arms and neck twisting and jerking, limbs flailing wildly as if attached to strings that Mireille jerks with each vicious twist of her tongue.

Kirika doesn't even gasp for a last breath before the orgasm, but rather seems to cease breathing altogether. The only way Mireille even knows she is still alive is from the shuddering flutter in her chest, and the way her lips quiver slightly as a rose flush sweeps up across her face

She hardly noticed it at first when she had attacked Kirka with such ferocity, eagerly swirling about to find all the right places.

That had been back in the beginning when everything had been new, and every touch had been foreplay, every whisper seduction. Back when even something as innocuous as a raised eye brow over a steaming tea cup, or and accidental brush of an elbow in a groggy attempt to roll out of bed, would end with them still attempting to catch their breath hours later, buried together under heavy sheets of sweat and lust, mornings and nights slipping by unnoticed.

In the end survival had urged Mireille to slow down, cautioning that keeping up such an insane pace could only lead to them locked together for eternity, expired from sheer exhaustion. That wasn't so completely undesirable, as it was extremely impractical.

So Mireille waited, and let the heated insanity chill, and the swelling in her senses release, and she began notice the more subtle things about Kirika. That inner light in her skin. That almond and sea taste drifting inside of her. The feeling of the girl entwining around her like branches of seaweed pulling her closer into that warm sea embrace.

Some days she still corners Kirika before they leave for the evening, one hand clamped on the hip bones, wet circles against the clit, tongue pushing as deep and long as it can. She can't quite push far enough to bring them to completion, but it's enough.

It's enough to give Kirika a lingering trace of Mireille inside of her; enough to leave a wanting, aching hope in there.

Just enough so that Kirika's water and earth calmness is left clinging to Mireille lips. So that she feels Kirika on her tongue as she loads her gun, or and tastes her absently bites a lip and like nothing it brings it back the musty scent of Kirika's arousal, and her half closed eye lids shading pupils wide with conscious surrender.

Mireille loves keeping the reminder of her partner on her lips through the day, but it is really just a playful gesture because there are already more powerful reminders in deeper places, and even without the feel of Kirika still trailing against her skin she knows more about her partner than she could ever remember.

This includes, however, those things wishes she could forget.

She can't forget the memory of Kirika crouched over her, eyes narrowed in concentration, and how the painful memories struck without warning as Mireille realized with renewed clarity that the hands grasping her hair, and curved around her breast have snapped a man's neck with no thought or effort, and the muscles which slide under Kirika's skin as she slithers over Mireille are the same ones she used to kill Soldats, and contracts, and Mireille's own family.

And despite what she might wish her memories of Kirka now include how in that moment Mireille had felt the urge to scream and how everything was so cold, and how pain had instantly froze in her all her muscles, all so wrong, and her mind screaming "Oh God, this is Soldat's prodigy between my legs, and the girl who killed my parents in my mouth."

But then Kirika was smiling, and her eyes held nothing but faith and trust Mireille neither earned, nor deserved. Then, the most skilled assassin Mireille had ever known wrapped around her, and this girl, who had taken her family, whispered her name, and the cold was still there, but so was the warmth, and then nothing else mattered, because nothing else on earth had ever felt more right..

And as Mireille clang to her that night, shaking in fear of what she had almost lost a second time, she could feel the blood between them.

There was blood which pounded under her finger tips where she stoked Kirika's hair. Blood had spilled down Kirika's cheeks into a blush that was still clinging to her skin, just as blood was still running under those cracked, bruised lips.

Kirka shouldn't trust her, but she does. With her body, but Mireille thinks she would give her soul if she could. Mireille promised herself to never again do anything to lose that trust, and instead tries to see Kirika for who she is rather than what others wanted her to be.

Kirika is everything Mireille wants and everything she fears, and it should make her crazy, but somehow it never quite does.

Because their past is forever entwined, but the future is even more.

Because looking at Kirika, for the first time in too long, she could see again. For the first time the clotted blinding bitterness and sorrow was washed away.

Because the blood between them now beats in both their hearts.

Okay. This has some serious issues. Not the least of which being the way it jumps from idea to idea with no transition in between. But I can't think of anyway to fix it, so if anyone has any general criticism or comment I might love you for ever.