Darkness had consumed Wyndham, lights flickering idly behind closed curtains. The cobblestone streets leading Guts to Julius' manor were damp and empty. His black cloak blew silently behind him, the cold night air reminding him of his task. Swiftly he made his way to the rooftop, unseen and unnoticed. His target sat unexpecting, oblivious to his nearing doom. Earlier that evening the assassin had observed Julius training with his boy and he felt something like pity for the child. Being an orphan wouldn't be easy. The leader of the white dragon knights sipped from his wine; the experience turned sour by a grim vision of Griffiths triumphant smile.
Anger rose within him, a deep hatred against the white falcon. He slammed his glass on the stone floor, the shards shimmering in the warm light of the fireplace. Between upset breaths he noticed a breeze, the doors of his balcony had been opened. A chill rushed down he spine but he couldn’t escape. A futile attempt to reach for a nearby sword, he drew his last breath a crimson cut adorning his chest. Noises outside the door. Guts' alerted ears noticed them immediately. 'Leave no witnesses' Griffiths orders swarmed his head and in a rush, he cut down the bystander. Once his blade pierced their chest, light from the room cast onto their pale features. Small eyes wide in shock, blood drippling from his lips. The boy. Adonis’ eyes filled with tears and confusion sounded with his fleeting breaths, his little body soon went limp. Guts had not accounted for this whatsoever. The swordsman was just as shocked. He hadn’t meant to pull an innocent kid into this.
This time he did not notice the commotion moving up the stairs. His eyes were fixated on his manifested regrets, his iron dyed red with his wrongs. Guards grabbed him, restrained him. His protests were little, mind still numb and trying to work around what went wrong.
Guts was imprisoned, the guards did not treat him kindly. How could they? He killed one of their own, betraying Midland. Scandalous. Much worse to Guts, he had taken an innocent life. Word quickly got around and the news reached the band of the falcon. Griffith was troubled, his plan would need readjustments but that was all the worry he had. Casca disagreed wholeheartedly which let to a fight. “How can you just let him rot there?! You should negotiate with the king! Bail Guts out of there!” Casca had been running circles since the message arrived, worry and anger boiling within her. Griffith seemed unbothered, already scribbling out an alternative plan. Such a small setback would not make him give up on his dream.
“Guts will be fine. He can handle himself.” He answered, eyes never leaving the paper in front of him. Indifference dripped from his words. The young woman bit the inside of her cheek, already regretting what she was about to say. “But you might lose your best fighter!” She observed his face closely, looking for any signs of change. The leader’s expression remained blank, scribbling away, the scratching of the pen tip mocking her efforts. Rain poured outside, drowning out the silence. “Casca,” she stiffened instinctively at him saying her name. “If you are so worried about Guts,” his cold blue eyes darted up at her. “You will have to get him yourself. I cannot risk further failure and disgrace to the band.” Her temper flared back up. “You know what?! I will!” She stormed out of the main tend, into the rain. Her blood boiling.
Packing some gadgets and her trusty sword, she put on her armor and took her horse. Riding full speed for Wyndham. The usually dusty paths had turned into slip and slides, slowing her down significantly. Her garments were soaked, her fierce attitude died down under the cold, drowning in her iron armor. In her feverish rush she forgot to construct a solid plan, leaving her to improvise a jailbreak and royal treason. Climbing the city walls was easy enough using her grappling hook. In the dead of night, she made her way through the alleys and gutters, her petite frame allowed her to melt into the shadows.
Once outside the castle, her real challenge began. Getting to the royal dungeon, past the guards. Casca decided on going in through the servant’s entrance. She knocked on the heavy wooden door which lead into the kitchen. A young blonde maid opened, a knife finding her throat in an instant. The thin blade threatened to tear her fragile skin. “Your clothes. Take them off.” Casca ordered, her face hidden behind the hood of her brown cloak. The scared woman did as told and in exchange was handed Casca’s cloak to cover herself. She apologized to the servant and moved on. Now clad in a simple maiden’s dress and a white hood atop her short brown hair she continued deeper into the castle. Guising her intentions under a tablet with food she journeyed through the large, dimly lid halls,
Offering by-standing guards a kind smile and some bread before they grew suspicious. She casually asked about a prisoner being held captive in the dungeons but was told off, saying it was no woman’s business. She threatened to snap at them but held herself back, thinking of Guts and her reminding herself of the meaning of this mission. Still pissed at Griffiths stubbornness she ventured on, asking her way through the entire first floor. Close to another inconspicuous wooden door was a drunk guard, sitting on the floor, head leaning against the hard wall behind him. He talked to himself, mumbling and chuckling, seeming he was in good company with himself. Her light steps pulled him out of it. “Who-“ A hiccup. “Who goes there?” His vision swam, he couldn’t make out Casca’s face. Barely recognizing the color of the dress, he smiled. “Ah! Marie! Right on time.” Any time would probably have been right to him. “I’m starving, dear.”
Casca handed him bread and offered water which he denied. “Are ya off to the dungeon?” The drunk spat between loud chewing of the bread. “Y-yes, to feed the captive.” She answered, really hoping Guts was being feed. “You’re such a good soul, my girl. Poor man has been moaning and whining for days.” A cold shiver shook her. “’Ere, the keys.” He slurred the words and felt around in his pockets until he heard a metallic clicking. He pulled them out and handed them to ‘Marie’ who in turn bowed slightly and unlocked the wooden door. Once she was inside, Casca let out a deep breath. Luck was a lady that night. She walked down the narrow cobble stairs, cautious of her every step. “Hello? Hello?” She whispered into the dark, trying to get a response out of either Guts or any guards on shift. But no response. A light in a breach near the steps caught her interest and she peeped around the turn, hearing a soft moan flying her way. ‘That must be him!’ Her feet tapped only a few times until she had crossed the distance. Looking into the dark of the cell through the thick metal bars.
“Guts?” Her voice barely louder than a whisper. Rustling in the void. “Guuuts?” A low growl. Her knuckles hit the massive wood. “Shut up, will you?!” It was definitely him. If he had the energy to be so irritated, he was fine. “I thought you would be a bit more grateful for me getting you out of here. I might as well leave again.” Her tone was teasing and Guts hated it. “Don’t act all high and mighty. As I see it, I’m still in this lousy cell.” He had a point. “Have you tried… cutting it down?” “You think they’d lock me up with my sword?!” Another valid point. "Let me check." Casca inspected the lock then searched for something in her bag. "My skills may be rusty but it's our safest bet." Between her fingers she held a small lock-pick. She got to work, poking around the mechanics, feeling around for a weak point. Guts moaned in annoyance. "Why did Griffith send you and not someone capable? You're taking ages." Casca bit back a salty comeback and instead focused at the task at hand. It really was taking her longer than she would have liked.
The releasing click came in time with the commotion outside in the hallway. Overjoyed Casca pulled the door open. Light spilt into the cell and revealed a broken man. His broad chest and torso covered in cuts and bruises, imprints of soles and his face swollen, eyes blue and blood rushed. "Oh.." Casca's heart sank at the image presented to her. There was no time for her to worry about him, he marched past her. "My sword must be around here…" The door to the dungeon swung open above them and the woman swordsman grasped the handle of her concealed sword. "Guts, we have no time!" Panic rose within her. They would be outnumbered. Did the maid tell on her? Or was it the drunk guard? “You’re right. Damn it.” He grunted, hating to admit to defeat so easily. His comrade handed him a knife, its blade so unusually small compared to what he was used to. Casca uttered some apologies then charged into the approaching guards, piercing them where ever she could manage, pushing them over the railing. Guts fought as best as he could, revenge shimmering on his blade. They were able to fight their path up the hallway again, Casca leading the way as they ran back to the kitchen, eager to flee the scene. It seemed the entire castle had been alerted as they were quickly followed again. Guts ran ahead, storming through the kitchen out into the open, his comrade following, new bloodstains adorning her face. It didn't seem to be hers. The pair disappeared into the back-alleys of Wyndham. They knew they couldn’t stick around for long, they were traitors to Midland now. Casca’s deep brown orbs shot up to seek Guts’, who returned the look. The moonlight did not reach them, only their silhouettes visible for the other. “Are you alright?” Her voice was so much softer, she was clearly worried. “I’ve taken worse.” His voice sounded much more tired. Guts could never keep a conversation wholesome for too long, he didn’t want her to think they were best buddies just because she helped him out so he teased her. “By the way, nice dress you have there, princess.”
"You asshole!" She hissed at him, trying to keep her voice down. "Why do you have to be like this?! I should have left you to rot there as Griffith did!" Her anger was obvious but Guts wasn't surprised about this revelation. It would have seemed unlike Griffith to reward him for his failure by helping him out. "Look, I never asked you to do this for me." She was furious now. "So you think you're better than me? Better because Griffith praises your every move? Because he is constantly up your ass?" She raised her index finger threateningly, pointed at his chest, her glare hitting him hard even in the dark. "You. Are. Nothing." Each sharp word was accompanied with a poke to his sternum. "Go back there and get beaten some more if you fancy." She audibly spat close to his boots and turned on her heel, dashing off into the approaching break of day.
As much as Guts hated the thought of crossing Casca's path again, he was very shirt-less and enemy of the state. So before the sun crept up behind the treetops, he fled Wyndham and made his way back to camp. He followed the smoke rising, hoping it would be his comrades’. Sure enough, he found them where they had stayed before his failed assassination. The images still flashed behind his eyes, haunted him as he lay awake in his cold cell. He had deserved those beatings he received.
Watching the campfire sat a hunched over Casca, 1000 mile stare directed at the crackling wood. Guts sneaked around the tends, trying to reach his without being noticed. "You're back, huh?" Her tone was cold and unsteady. "So? What's it matter to you?" He snarled. “You’re right, Guts. It doesn’t matter to me. Just like you never care anything! Not the band, not Griffith, not yourself,… not me. We were doing so well until you decided to get yourself captured! What were you thinking? You caused me and Griffith so much trouble!” She rose to her feet, tears building behind her long lashes. “Now don’t get this twisted, missy! Griffith got me into this mess in the first place! He ordered me to get Julius out of the way!” Guts stepped closer, voice raising slowly.
“Huh, sure he did.” She shrugged her shoulders. “He would never do such vail things as order to kill an ally.” “How would you know, Casca? You don’t know Griffith! All you know is your idolized version of a leader who can do no wrong but I am just his shitty servant, huh? I am not. I am not his slave! I’m not like you! I kill because I like it. I’m a free man!” Casca turned to face him fully, her cheeks tinted a deep red. “How dare you say such things! I stick around because I want to help him like he helped me! You wouldn’t get it; you have no soul.” Her sharp tongue was contrasted by her soft tears. “All I wanted was a little ‘thank you’, is that really too much to ask? Just a bit of your appreciation.” She quickly wiped her tears with the back of her hand, holding Guts’ gaze despite her weakness showing. “How selfish can a person possibly be?”
“You don’t think I have feelings? I feel a lot! I feel anger, hatred, disgust! What else would a man like me need to feel to survive?” He gestured wildly, reaching for the little knife she had handed him. “Look at this! This is what I would deal with if I had other emotions! This is genuine joy, fear and respect.” The blade was thrown into the ground. Casca flinched at the sudden motion. “Don’t you ever feel… regret?” she whispered, tears flooding her eyes again. He halted his wildness. Of course he did. He had felt it back in Julius’ manor, back when Griffith beat him in their duel, sometimes he regretted having to fight every day. But Guts could never tell her, never open up to her. They weren’t close like that. Not friends nor lovers. Comrades and not one bit more. “No.”
“Liar! I’ll give you something to regret.” She did not wait for any response from him, just crashed her lips into his brutally. It was wild and harsh, there was no love in that kiss. Teeth clashed and he swore he tasted blood at some point. Casca withdrew first, accepting that she couldn’t break Guts’ will that easily. “Think about it, bastard.” She whispered into his ear then strutted past him, bumping his shoulder on purpose.
He did regret making her cry. He also regretted their first kiss being this battle for dominance but then again what was he thinking? Kissing Casca? Days passed and the two did not talk, the other members of the band of the falcon grew suspicious. Rickert asked Casca about it but she wouldn’t answer honestly, claiming everything was alright. This play couldn’t go on forever, they knew.
Guts finally broke the tension. Without requesting entrance, the swordsman bashed into Casca's tend. She was tending to her weaponry, inspecting and sharpening the blades as well as patching up her armor. Much to his surprise, she was wearing the maid dress, its fabric hanging loosely from her petite yet fit form. She must have taken quite a liking to it. Her hazel eyes darted up to him. For a moment she had seemed like a regular woman, one who wouldn’t slit his throat if given the chance. “So? How does it feel?” Was she mocking him? Here he was thinking he would have to apologize for hurting her feelings.
"Oh I'm feeling marvellous except for a bit of my bottom lip is missing thanks to some madwoman." "I'm so sorry but I thought you had had worse.”
“You’re the worst, by far.”
“I’m blushing. Cut out the flattery. What do you want?”
“Just wanted to return something.” He dropped to his knees, making her raise an eyebrow.
“Is that so? What is it?”
He smirked. “The favor.” He grabbed a fistful of her short hair and yanked her close, his lips roughly moving against hers. She moved along, matching and overpowering him in an instant. Guts liked a good challenge and this would be one of them. He shoved her down into her makeshift mattress and pulled her arms up above her head, holding her wrists together with his right hand, never breaking contact with her delicious lips. His right hand brushed through her hair, down her cheek, traced his fingertips along her neck. They teased her collarbone and finally her ample breasts, squeezing through the fabric of her dress. Her reaction was honest, a moan seeping into his mouth. She parted her lips willingly and he showed no mercy in making her mouth his territory, exploring it with his tongue.
His broad fingers soon abused her sensitive nubs, twisting and pulling on them until they hardened almost painfully. Something entirely different was also becoming painfully obvious to Guts: the weight of this. If he continued on he would have to commit or bail, they would not be able to return to how things were before. Guts broke the kiss, admired his work. Casca was becoming undone, panting and sprawled out beneath him, his hand kneading away at her soft breasts.
“Don’t make me regret this.” She huffed, giving him a challenging smile.