The sound of wood-on-wood filled the gymnasium as Mikasa and Annie brought their bokken together.
“Tired yet, babe?” Annie taunted, bringing her wooden sword down towards her girlfriend’s ankles.
“Ask me that once you’re not the only one who’s broken a sweat,” Mikasa threw back, hopping over the low blow and aiming a thrust at Annie’s unprotected stomach, only to have it batted aside.
The two had been training in Kendo for years even though neither of them ever actually participated in official matches. They just loved spending days at the gym, honing their skills and constantly challenging each other.
Their friend, Sasha, hadn’t stopped going on about ‘lesbians and their swords’ but they had done their best to ignore her.
Annie’s face was impassive as always, but her eyes told Mikasa all that she ever needed to know. “C’mon, the sooner you admit defeat, the sooner we can take a shower and go home.”
Mikasa responded with a smirk and a flurry of slashes and jabs, just barely gaining an inch. “The sooner you earn my surrender, the sooner you’ll have it.”
Annie laughed, beautiful music to Mikasa’s ears. “If that’s what you want...” Suddenly, her foot shot out and hooked Mikasa’s ankle, not tripping her completely, just pulling her closer. Their swords crossed as their bodies came together, Annie licked her lips as she stared up at her girlfriend, holding her close, “You sure there isn’t any way to convince you?”
Mikasa flushed, years of dating had done nothing to ease the butterflies in her stomach. Her friends always teased her for being ‘The Brick Wall Of Ackerman’, but Annie could still turn her into a floundering mess. “I... I’d say you’re going down, but I don’t think you could handle an even... even lower altitude.”
Annie’s smirk only grew as Mikasa’s slowly faded into a flustered grimace, “If I did, I bet my tongue would be flopping around about as much as yours is.” She stood on her tippy-toes and placed a smug yet loving kiss on Mikasa’s nose, “First contact; I win.”
She stepped away, leaving Mikasa standing there, cross-eyed, staring intently at her own nose. Once she reached the exit, she finally turned around to snap her girlfriend out of her daze, “C’mon, Mika, you mentioned something about ‘going down’ and I’m really looking forward to it,” she teased, slipping through the doors to the showers.
“I said you were going down...” Mikasa grumbled as she followed her.
* * *
“Bet you I can eat this faster than you,” Annie declared, hard steel in her voice and a spark in her eyes.
“Christalicious, Annie!” Sasha yelled exasperatedly, letting her head fall against the table before sitting up to glare at the blonde, “Not everything has to be a competition, you know!”
Mikasa looked at Sasha. Then she looked between her untouched ice-cream cone and Annie’s. “You’re on.”
Sasha groaned as the couple simultaneously took huge bites of their cones. “You’re both idiots! I hope you both know that!”
After training, the couple had grabbed Sasha and decided to visit the new ice-cream emporium down the street, having heard of the unbeatable quality of delicious frozen dairy treats. Although it turned out, Sasha soon discovered, that her friends didn’t give two shits about ‘quality’ and just wanted to race each other. Again.
More often than once, Sasha wondered just what was sacred in their relationship. And every time, she prayed beyond hope that they at least didn’t race each other when it came to sex. Though she did know it was safe to just not ask.
“Y-y-y-you’re j-j-j-j-jus’ j-j-j-jealush,” Annie slurred, shivering violently through her mouthful.
Mikasa didn’t say anything, forcing more ice-cream into her mouth.
“You’re totally right, Annie! I’m totally jealous of the two dumbasses that treat everything like they’re in it to win it! You got me!”
Annie tried not to wince at the cold seeping into her brain, “We are in it to win it.”
Sasha simply snorted and stood, “I’m going to the bathroom. Don’t die while I’m in there.” With that, she strode off through the surrounding tables.
Still, Mikasa said nothing, instead groaning and slapping her empty hands on the table.
Annie looked up from her rapidly disappearing Ice cream cone, tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. “Holy shit. Mika, you magnificent bastard.”
Mikasa groaned through her tightly clenched teeth, grabbing her head in pain as a brain-freeze claimed her in its icy grip of frosty misery.
“Oh shit. You got one too?” Annie laughed as her own brain-freeze pounded against her skull and burned her throat. “Well, if it makes you feel any better; you win.”
Annie’s flash freeze faded, but Mikasa remained doubled over, head cradled in shaking hands. “Ooh, that looks like a long one... oh shit!”
Annie’s world slammed to a halt, suddenly remembering Mikasa’s tendencies toward migraines.
Mikasa had been having migraines since they had been childhood friends. Nobody could tell when one would go off, but the smallest thing could trigger an eruption of pain in her head. Luckily, she hadn’t had one in over two years and the couple had hoped they were behind her. Apparently they weren’t.
In an instant, Annie was sitting beside her, rubbing slow circles on her back. “Maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t the best idea.”
Mikasa nodded, her eyes scrunched in pain, “Yeah. Maybe.” A strained smile spread across her lips. “Annie?”
“Please take me home.”
Annie smiled. No matter the situation, Mikasa referring to their shared apartment as ‘home’ sent tingles to her fingertips. “You got it, Mika.” Without another word, Annie did what many patrons throughout the diner openly stared at; she scooted out of the booth, squatted down, brought Mikasa into her arms and lifted her. “No matter what bullshit we say in our little rivalry, I’ve always got you when you need me,” She whispered as Mikasa buried her face in the crook of her girlfriend’s neck.
She carried Mikasa to the door, passing Sasha on the way, “Migraine,” she explained at the brunette’s bamboozled expression.
Sasha’s eyes widened, “I thought those had stopped.” She followed Annie out into the parking lot, “Do you need me to drive you guys back?”
Annie sent Sasha her best reassuring smile, “Thanks, but I got this.”
* * *
The drive back home was quiet, the silence only broken by Mikasa’s whimpers and Annie’s cooed reassurances.
Again, Annie carried Mikasa’s through their threshold, taking extra care not to bump her against anything.
Once Mikasa was resting on their bed, Annie rushed to the bathroom and grabbed a handful of ibuprofen with a glass of water.
“Here,” she returned to Mikasa’s side and gently fed her the pain pills. “Do you need anything else?” She asked anxiously. She didn’t want to leave her girlfriend at a time like this, but if Mikasa needed peace and quiet, then that’s what Annie would give her.
Mikasa nodded, “Yeah... I do,” she mumbled sleepily.
“What is it?”
“You, Annie. I need you.”
Annie felt a tear slide down her and had no idea as to how it got there. “Damn, girl.” As nimbly as she could, she lay down beside Mikasa, who, she noticed, had started to relax into the plush sheets.
“Is it starting to pass?” She whispered, holding her beloved from behind, wrapping her in an embrace that she hoped relayed any and all feeling she couldn’t even put into words.
“Yeah, it is. Thanks”
Annie shrugged, burying her face in Mikasa’s hair. “Any time, Mika. Any time.”
“I love you.”
"I love you, too.”
As Mikasa lay there, spooned by the most treasured being in her entire life, slipping into the waiting darkness of sleep, one last thought danced through her mind. I really did win, didn’t I.