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Ritsuka stands outside in the hallway, hand outstretched to knock against a door, and stays perfectly still as her face slowly but surely turns more and more red.

Ohhhh this is gonna be a bad idea…

She closes her eyes, and steels herself.

'I can do this…!'

“Oh, what's this~?”

Ritsuka squeaks and turns to the sound of the voice, seeing Medb, her heels clicking against the tile floor as she held her whip in her hand.

“M-Medb! You startled me!”

“I can guess as much,” she smirks, and pokes Ritsuka in the chest with her whip, “You're all flushed, Master! Tell me, have my charms finally won you over?”

“I—It's not that!” her hands go up defensively as she shakes her head, “But, um…I—I actually…need your help with something.”

 

***

 

Ritsuka's silverware had clattered as she set it down.

“I…I want to do something special for Karna.”

Both Emiya and Nero had looked up at her, pausing in their eating.

“…I'm pretty sure you just existing in time and space is “something special” to him,” Emiya had said, pointing at her with his chopsticks.

“Umu; have you ever seen the look in his eye when he speaks of her? The tenderness!  The longing!”  Nero had crossed her arms, nodding seriously, “Truly, a man whose heart belongs only to you!”

“I saw Suzuka talking to him the other day about something, and I overheard her saying “like, I'm totes jelly of Master 'cuz of how hard you're chugging down that loving my gf juice”,” Emiya had done his impression of Suzuka without bothering to change the monotonous cadence of his voice, before shaking his head, “I've never seen a man look more devastated than he did when Suzuka had to sit down and explain to him it's not actually a real thing he can drink. By the way, your boyfriend knows what a meme is now.”

Ritsuka had covered her face with her hands, blushing horribly as she let out a whiny groan.

“Th—That's exactly why, though! I feel like I don't do as nearly as much for him as he does for me,” she had wrapped her arms around her waist, “I mean, I'm more limited in what I can do than he is, but…still. He just…goes so out of his way to do nice things for me and make me happy!”

“Ritsuka,” Emiya had started, letting out a little exasperated sigh, “He's already pretty selfless, Hero of Benefaction, etc., and on top of that, he's now—and I'm going to borrow a page from Suzuka's book, here—frankly annihilating multiple bottles of My GF Is The Most Perfect And Beautiful Girl In The World And I Love Her So Much juice on a daily basis. I don't know why it didn't occur to you that he would only get more devoted.”

Ritsuka had taken a few deep breaths before she removed her hands from her face, her cheeks still very, very pink, “I mean yeah, but it's not…listen, I just, I feel like I could be doing more in return for him. It's like anything and everything I do just feels…paltry, comparatively.”

Nero had leaned forward, resting her chin in her hand, “Hm…I see, I see. This new insecurity you're feeling…” she had squinted her eyes at Ritsuka, “Tell me, Master, do you feel as if your performance in bed is waning?”

Emiya had wrinkled his nose, “Oh, I'm tuning this out, I don't want to hear this.”

Ritsuka's eyes had widened drastically, her face heating up as she let out a long, distressed noise that slowly grew higher in pitch, shoving her head down into her arms on the table. Both Servants had been able to see how red the tips of her ears were in spite of her attempt to hide it. Emiya had given Nero a somewhat exasperated look, and she gave an innocent, somewhat confused shrug in response.

“That—That's private information!”  Her voice had been muffled in her arms, and it took her a moment to bring her head back up, hair slightly mussed, face the same shade as a tomato, “…But to answer your question, no!”

“Well, I'm glad we got your sex life sorted out, Ritsuka.” Emiya had said as he took another bite of rice.

“I-I just—.” she had rested her head on her arms, sighing, “I…I want to do something that lets him know just how much he means to me, considering he seems to do it for me effortlessly…” she had blown a breath up, her bangs pushed up slightly from the air, “This is so frustrating. I'm usually good at thinking of stuff like this! I blew Mash out of the water a couple months back when I gave her that extremely belated birthday present after I bullied her into telling me when her birthday was, but now I'm just drawing a blank.”

Emiya had sighed.

“As a man myself, do you want me to speak frankly?”

Ritsuka had bitten her lip for a moment, and then gave a nod.

“Just get naked,” he had brought his glass of water up to take a drink.

“Umu, from personal experience, it really is just that simple!”

Emiya had snorted, “Maybe put on a nice hat or something while you're at it.”

“That's—Wait,” she had stopped, all irritation evaporating from her, and she pointed at him, “That's giving me an idea, actually.”

“I don't have any hats you can borrow, Master, sorry.”

“It's not a hat!  But it does have to do with clothing,” Ritsuka had turned her attention to Nero, “Y-You wouldn't…” she had peered at Emiya, who had responded with a raised eyebrow, before standing and going around to whisper something in Nero's ear, who made noises of confirmation as she spoke, before Ritsuka sat back down across from her.

“It is a shame, but I must disappoint you, Ritsuka,” Nero had placed her hand to her chest, “At one point I did own a fine collection of what you seek, but I'm afraid it did not transfer with me during my ascent to servitude,” she had banged her fist lightly on the table, biting her lip as a single tear formed at the corner of her eye, “And I spent so long acquiring it…! I was a beauty beyond compare in those clothes—Amazones.com still has yet to get any suitable replacements!”

“It—It's okay! I'll figure something else out!”

“Hm? But that's a good idea, Ritsuka. Umu, there are other Servants here who have what you seek,” Nero had folded her hands on the table, “Queen Medb, for instance, has quite the wardrobe; I've spoken with her about it in the past, to compare tastes.”

“Oh that…makes sense. I'm probably gonna have to grovel a little to get her to help me, though…”

Nero had abruptly stood, leaning over the table towards Ritsuka, taking her Master's hands in hers, eyes twinkling, “Fear not! I have the utmost faith in you, Master!”

“Yeah,” Emiya had shaken his head, “That's all she was missing.”

 

***

 

“I—I have to be honest, I didn't really expect you to get, uh, this into it.”

Medb squints, holding up a pair of lingerie that looks like bits of string tied together, then puts it back.

“Alright, listen, I'm not going to lie; I made multiple attempts to win him over; sorry, not sorry, but he is very much my type. You should know that selfless, heroic, warrior men are exactly what I like and he fits all of that perfectly,” Medb grabs another pair, hanging them over her arm, her teeth baring and eyebrows knitting together as she scowls, “But…rrgh, I've never seen a man with such—such tunnel vision!  It was like you were the only woman in the world who existed. Nothing I tried worked—not even the mead that I specifically made to charm men into having sex with me. He took one drink, basically told me it tasted terrible, and then left.”  She huffs, and dumps the collection of lingerie on her bed, near where Ritsuka sits, “So I'm going to consider this a sort of…I don't know, seduction-by-proxy. It may be a blow to my pride, but I'll take what I can get at this point.”

“…Er, I appreciate it a lot, anyway.”

“Of course you do; I am a dedicated Queen to her citizens, not only giving you my aid with this, but most graciously allowing you to keep one of the outfits I've yet to actually wear. Now take off your clothes.”

Ritsuka stares at the mass of clothes on the bed, and heaves a sigh. The thought to ask to change in the bathroom passes through her head but the response she would be most likely to get would be a mocking laugh and a “who cares?”, so she sighs again, grabs the first hanger she sees, strips off her clothes, and gets down to business.

It does take…

 

(“M—Medb, I can't breathe.”

“Pfft, what, have you never worn a corset before?”

“I was never old enough to go into any of the shops that sold this kind of stuff! Why would I have worn a corset before?!”)

 

Quite a few…

 

(“That's it, that's the one you need to pick, Master.”

“I am not wearing the one that has a hole in the crotch for “easy access”.”

“Ugh—really? You're telling me that you can run headfirst into danger constantly  without a problem, but you're too much of a coward to wear that during sex?”

“That is exactly  what I'm saying!”)

 

Tries…

 

(“How about—.”

“No.”

“Oh come on—.”

“Those panties say “Enter ♥ Here” on the front! No!”)

 

But by the end, her hair frizzy and her arms and legs beginning to grow tired after taking off and putting on so many different outfits, they had both managed to agree that a light pink babydoll looked the best.

“Ah, this is…” Ritsuka toys with the ribbon on the front, two long tails going down to her mid-thigh, and she looks over her shoulder to try and see how it looks behind, “I think this is the one,” she touched at the lace on her chest that acted as a bra, “This part is a little itchy though…”

“Just let it itch, then,” Medb leans back more on her bed, exasperated, “Or is that also a deal breaker, even though it accentuates your breasts and makes them look bigger?”

Ritsuka puts her face in her hands, embarrassed, and shakes her head.

“N-No it—it's fine. I mean…the belts on my regular uniform already do that, too, I don't know why they were made that way…” Ritsuka looks at Medb, “Never mind. Um, thank you for this. I'll, er, put you and Cú Alter on a team together as soon as I can.”

“Please; you can thank me properly by getting rawed into next week,”  Medb scoffs, and Ritsuka's face turns an exceptionally dark shade of red.

She leaves Medb's room still deeply flushed, with a somewhat begrudging “good luck” coming from Medb herself, and her boots squeak against the floor as she walks as fast as she can back to her room without drawing attention to herself, trying to obscure the garment in her arms to the best of her ability.

A sigh of relief comes out of her when she steps inside and she doesn't see Karna anywhere, but she spots a telltale sign that he'd at least visited earlier as a chocolate muffin sits on a napkin by her alarm clock, with a neatly written note next to it.

 

Ritsuka,

Raikou made a batch of these earlier, and I was able to grab one for you before they were all gone. I hope you enjoy.

-Karna

 

She places her fist against her mouth, and squeezes her eyes shut, heart swelling.

I love this man so much…!

Ritsuka stores the clothing in a place where he hopefully won't find it if he comes back, before hopping on her bed to eagerly dig in to the snack.

 

***

 

While calling to him through their bond would've been easier, she decides to track him down manually, still licking bits of chocolate off her fingers as she roams the halls. She perks up as she manages to catch a glimpse of his fiery red cape trailing into the command room, and Ritsuka jogs down the hall, stopping the door before it closes all the way.

“Karna! I've been…” Romani and Karna both turn towards her, a sandwich with a bite taken out of it in Romani's hands, and her eyes narrow, “Are you making Karna get you lunch again?”

“…no,” he says through a mouthful of lunch that Karna had gotten for him.

Karna simply looks at her as she walks up to them, “He mentioned how hungry he was from not having eaten yet.”

“Dr. Roman can stop looking at Magi☆Mari's blog for five minutes to get himself a sandwich,” she points at him, “He's gonna start treating you like a butler if you keep this up! You're not that kind of servant.”

“Oh yeah,” Romani rolls his eyes, “Because I know you hate it so much when he goes out of his way to do things for you.”

Karna smiles at her, nonplussed, as he takes the hand she's pointing at him with and links their fingers together, pulling her closer to kiss her on the forehead, and her face begins to burn. He tilts her chin up, and softly presses his lips to hers.

“I was happy to be of some use,” Karna says as he pulls back. He wraps his arm around her waist, careful of his armor, and holds her close, kissing against her knuckles, “It's wonderful to see you, Ritsuka.”

Ritsuka tucks her head down against his chest, the tips of her ears red, and mumbles back, “Y-You too…”

“Eugh!” Romani turns in his desk chair, waving them off, “Go be cute somewhere else so us single people can wallow in peace!”

“Only if you start running your own errands!” She says, but breaks away and beckons Karna out into the hallway regardless, “Anyway, I've been looking for you.”

His eyes narrow slightly as she stops walking to face him, “Is something wrong?”

“No! Not really. Um…” she takes his other hand in hers, “Two things, actually. One, thank you so much for snagging me a muffin, it was really good; they almost always go way too fast before I can get one. Two, I needed to speak to you about something erm…more private? Could you come to my room in about 20 minutes or so?”

“Yes. I will be there.”

“Great!” she stands on her toes and kisses him on the cheek, “I'll see you soon, okay?”

Ritsuka gives him a wave as she darts back down to her room, goes inside, and gets to work.

She grabs the lingerie out of where she put it before she can chicken out, trying to feel less nervous—and failing—as she slips it on. Ritsuka takes a deep breath and pulls out a pair of her own white stockings, rolling them on over her legs until they settle on her mid-thigh. The pair of earrings he made for her on Valentine's Day sit on her desk, hanging preciously on its jewelry stand, glinting a little from the light in her room, and she bites her lip before putting them in carefully.

Standing in front of her bathroom mirror, Ritsuka persistently tries to brush out the cowlick on the right side of her hair, but it refuses to go down, so she lets out a sigh as her hair falls loose to her shoulders, doing her best to make it look nice.

Her twenty minutes are almost up, and she takes a few deep breaths, and stands a few feet away from her door. She links her hands in front of her as her arms push her breasts closer together, trying to will herself to look more confident than she feels.

At least Medb was right about it making my chest look bigger…

A knock on the door startles her, and she can feel the blush creep up to her ears as she hears Karna's voice, “Ritsuka? I'm here.”

Her heart feels like it's about to beat out of her body, “Y-Yeah! Come in!”

She links her fingers together tighter as the door opens and he steps inside, “What is it you—.”

The door closes behind him as he stares at her, standing perfectly still in place, mouth still slightly open from his unfinished sentence. The flush on her face only gets deeper.

“…s…surpriiiiiise…”

Her face feels like it's on fire.

Karna stares at her for just a beat longer before, with his eyes closed, he takes a deep inhale, holds it, then slowly lets it out. He silently turns his back to her, and she hears nothing but the electronic beeping as he punches in the numbers for her door to lock on maximum security. Ritsuka watches as his armor dissipates, and she can see him bring his hand up to what she presumes is his mouth.

“…um…”

He rounds on her, a noise of surprise coming out of her, and his hands grasp at her face to kiss her before she can possibly say anything else. She whimpers as he pins her into a nearby wall, one hand pressed against the wall by her head, his leg going between her own to spread them as he licks his way into her mouth. His hand slips down from the wall and moves to gently cup her breast, prompting a tiny gasp from Ritsuka that he swallows down, while the other snakes around her waist to pull her flush against him, arcing her body even more. Her hands clutch his face, desperate for some type of purchase, but his breathing only turns more heavy as she moans his name during every gasp for air, making him go back in for more immediately. There is little space between the two of them, and Karna does the best he can to erase even that.

She is straining on her toes to keep up with him, almost entirely lifted off the ground by the arm around her waist, and he presses a flurry of kisses against her neck and chest as his hands slide down to the smooth expanse of her thighs, his fingers creating little divots in the skin. Ritsuka's breath comes out in a surprised hitch as he hikes both of her legs up, before he is on her again. Two hands dig into his hair, her gentle fingers threading through, and she tilts her head to better feel his lips against hers.

“Nnh…”

She tugs a little at his hair as he kisses against her neck, and she moans, hot and breathy, against his ear as he sucks a mark into the skin below her jaw. A whine forces its way out of her, toes curling, as he sinks his teeth into the space between her neck and shoulder. Nails scratch down his back, leaving jagged, red lines on his white skin that barely register as being painful, as he marks a spot on the side of her neck. He kisses her one last time, trying to taste her as much as he can, before he draws back, and presses his forehead to hers, both of their chests heaving for air, a thin string of saliva connecting them before it breaks. Her lips are a glossy, pretty red as she pants, and she pushes his hair out of his face. He leans into her palm as she caresses his cheek.

He catches his breath before he stares into her eyes, curiosity just managing to cover up the fierce glint in his eye, “…Why are you…wearing that?”

“I wanted to…to do something special for you…M—Medb helped me out with it, ” she sighs as he touches his lips to hers in the gentlest possible way, a far cry from what he had been doing moments ago.

“…If I may speak freely,” he starts with a furrowed brow once he pulls away, and she nods, “I'm not sure what it is I did to warrant this.”

“Um…” she strokes his cheek, “Karna, I did it because I love and appreciate you…”

The intensity of his stare softens considerably as he hears her answer.

“Then there is no better reason I could ask for.”

He kisses her forehead and effortlessly carries her over to her bed, carefully laying her down before settling between her legs, his lips pressing against a fairly recent scar on her shoulder. Black fingers run up her arms to touch at the thick, lacy straps, and he gently tugs at the ribbon tying it together in the middle before he slides the straps down to her biceps, completely baring her shoulders. He pulls back to lean over her, fully taking her in.

“I—.” Ritsuka squirms slightly underneath his sweeping eyes, “I—I'm glad you like it?”

“That's an understatement.”

Her head turns slightly as he pushes her hair off her face, and he runs his finger around the shell of her ear to carefully touch the metal wire of the earring. The darkness of his fingers stands out sharply against the light pink of her outfit as his hand traces down between her cleavage to lightly pull at the ribbon tying both sides together. Both hands sweep the sheer fabric covering her abdomen aside, before they wrap around the top of her stockings, sliding up until his thumbs are touching her inner thighs, just below the matching pink of her underwear. He had kept his gaze on his hands as they mapped out her body, before his eyes meet hers.

“Ritsuka, you'll have to forgive me,” she reaches up to touch his face, and he tilts his head enough to kiss against her palm, “I don't know if you're going to be able to walk tomorrow.”

She blinks.

“…ah.”

Karna presses his mouth to hers, his breathing strained, before he kisses down to her chest, paying special attention to the scars that litter her skin. His arm wraps under her back as she arches up, keeping her up against him as his hand slips beneath her underwear; his lips stay firmly against the side of her neck as she lets out a little cry, beginning to buck against his middle finger. Ritsuka suppresses a weak moan as he places his mouth against hers, her lips opening in what has now become an easy, natural response, and her nails dig into his pale skin as he crooks his finger up inside of her. She pants against his mouth, softly saying his name, until she's muffled again first by his lips, then by his tongue—but her subdued responses turn into a desperate, throaty whine, and her eyebrows tightly furrow as a second finger is eased inside of her. Her breathing is sharp and labored as his pace builds, as his touch becomes more than just a graze. Ritsuka's eyelids flutter open; she sees him pull away, electric blue eyes meeting her glazed-over orange ones, before they close in concentration, and he kisses her once more.

She shuts her mouth tightly to quiet herself when he breaks away to begin kissing along the curve of her neck, marking it once again too high up for any of her Mystic Codes to properly cover. A cry of his name parts her lips as she feels him press in as deeply as he can, giving his fingers a slight curl, and a shudder goes through her body as she anchors herself to him.

He pulls back on his knees, the piercing blue of his eyes fixed on her, a stark contrast against the casual way he licks his fingers clean. Ritsuka's arms cover her chest tightly as she catches her breath, and eventually manages to peek her eyes open at him, face flushed and embarrassed.

“I—I'm sorry, I couldn't…”

He says nothing, simply caresses the side of her face, and leans down to gently kiss her shame away. Black fingers hesitantly tug at the waistband of her underwear, and her cheeks are a soft pink as she bashfully raises her legs to allow him to remove them. Karna runs his hands up the stockings slowly, as if savoring every inch, until he is back up to her waist, easing her up off the bed, and she stays raised on her knees, slightly above him. Ritsuka's head tilts down to meet his lips, and he pulls at the long tail of the ribbon that holds both sides together in one fluid movement, hands brushing aside the pink fabric on her chest until she is entirely exposed. Her orange hair perfectly frames her face as their eyes meet, both sharing equally heated expressions.

She closes her eyes and tries to turn her head away, cheeks painted a warm red, but he places his hand on the side of her face to keep her looking in his direction. His thumb strokes the lobe of her ear, against the metal wire of the earring.

“I never know how to put into words just how precious you are to me, Ritsuka,” she lightly touches against the hand on her face, leaning into it, managing a smile in spite of how flustered she is.

“Th…That was a pretty good way of doing it…” she kisses his fingertips, and cradles his head in her hands, “I—I'm…gonna go ahead…okay?” he nods, though Ritsuka sounds more like she is convincing herself than him.

Karna's fingers move from her face to her hair, tangling into the soft strands and pulling her in for a short kiss as she puts her hands on his shoulders and gradually sinks down. Her forehead is placed against his as she hears his breath catch, watches his eyes close tighter, feels his arms enveloping her body until she finally exhales, unaware she had been holding her breath the entire time. The moan that ekes out from her sounds more like a whimper as her bare chest presses firmly against his, and she wraps her arms around him, eyes squeezed shut as she buries her face against his neck, breathing shallowly. Ritsuka grips onto him harder once she registers that her arms and legs are shaking.

“Oh…”

Strong, gentle hands keep a stable hold on her, drawing her in as close as he possibly can, and Ritsuka lets out a small, content noise as he kisses against the base of her neck.

“Ritsuka…?” the skin on the back of her neck prickles up from his voice, low and soft against her ear.

“Deep…” she murmurs as she pulls back, head trapped in a dense fog as she meets his gaze, just as unfocused as hers is; she kisses him, whimpering into his mouth, “Feels good…”

She leans her forehead against his once more as her fingers cup his face, and she lifts herself up.

His hands settle around her waist as she begins to move, and she can feel the light pressure of his fingertips against her back as he breathes in sharply through his nose, giving a small gasp against her lips as her rhythm builds up. With a minor adjustment, just a slight tilt of her hips, she sees stars, and has to bite her lip to prevent herself from crying out as she bucks down, the sound tempered to a strained moan. One of his hands comes off of her waist, and he tucks her hair behind her ear, out of the way, drawing out a series of sweet whimpers wrapped in his name as he makes a line of red marks in her neck, up to her jaw. Ritsuka's eyes go wide and she tears her hand away from his face to bite down on her fingers to stifle herself as he nips on a sensitive spot, letting out a sound that is keening and loud.

“Ngh…”  he inhales sharply and his fingers dig into her skin as her body goes taut, clamping down around him, before he delves in again to the same spot, breath catching as she has the same reaction.

“Karna…”  she whines his name, and her fingers go down to his shoulders, nails digging in for any sort of stability, her moans becoming airy, his name coming out half-said, as he begins to fluidly meet her hips. His hand threads into the back into her hair, just slightly tilting her head back so he can easier bite into an unclaimed spot on the muscle of her neck.

A tremor goes through her as his hand slides down from the back of her head, his finger tracing lightly along the length of her spine. She sighs out, shakily, and her fingers raise up from his shoulders to run her hands through his hair, moving it out of his face to get a clear view of his face, almost as unflappable as ever were it not for the red tint to his skin and the cloudiness of his eyes. The pure, satisfied smile she gives him comes to her automatically as soon as their eyes meet. She watches as the emotion on his face shifts to a muted amazement, and he seems to stop breathing for a moment before surging forward to kiss her.

His hands grasp tightly at her waist, their lips meeting increasingly heatedly with each kiss as her rocking becomes more frantic, more desperate, less deliberate. The warmth of their breath mingles for just the briefest of moments as they both pant for air, before she feels his mouth claim hers once more, his tongue meeting her own. She lets out a small whimper as he holds her as close as he can, as if he's still not satisfied with how much space there is between them, little of it there is, and her breath hitches as her chest rubs against his. Two petite hands settle on his face, thumbs stroking lovingly against his skin.

“Karna, I…” she manages out in-between his lips taking hers, “N—Not much longer…”

With a gentle kiss to her temple, he moves to angle her body just enough as she comes down, and she clings tightly to him, her voice cracking as it comes out as a needy cry. Lips covering hers, and her hands trembling as she struggles to keep a hold on his face, he does it once more, and she breaks.

His keeps his mouth on hers, preventing her from trying to stifle herself, and he breathes in sharply as she rides through it against him, on him, little moans and whimpers being drawn out by his lips, her chest heaving against his. She has a dazed visage on her face when he pulls back to look at her, his fingers brushing a few loose strands of her hair out of the way to see her in bliss. One of her hands is still on his cheek, and he takes the moment to kiss against her palm, her fingertips, along the back of her hand, before finally linking their fingers together.

Though her eyes are still somewhat glassy, she manages to meet his lips with a quiet moan, and she exhales a tender “I love you” into the kiss.

For a minute, Karna simply stares at her, his eyes gentle and full of affection, as he keeps his hand against her cheek to take her disheveled form in. Eventually, he takes her chin in his fingers as he kisses her, laying her back down against her bed, to which she responds with a short, confused noise. Her arms are splayed out next to her, orange hair surrounding her like a halo against the pillows. Ritsuka lets out a breathy gasp as he spreads her legs apart to settle between them again, back where he started, and her face heats up in an instant.

“Sorry, but,” his hands cup her face as he leans over her, taking her mouth against his, swiping his tongue over his lips as he pulls back, panting, “I'm not done just yet.”

She digs her fingers in his hair as he kisses her again, and lets out a tiny whimper as she feels him wrap one arm around her back, his hold warm, and secure, as he sinks into her once more.

Oh—.”  Ritsuka gasps out, her arms instantly folding around his neck as he starts to move, “Please—Please don't stop.”

He obeys, again, and again, and again, until Ritsuka can't keep count anymore.

 

***

 

Surprising absolutely no one, least of all any of the unfortunate souls who passed by Ritsuka's room the previous night, he ends up having to carry her around the next day.

“Ritsuka, I'm—.”

“I know you're sorry!” he helps lower her in the warm bath he ran for her, to help ease the ache in her body, “It's fine; really, it's fine,”  Ritsuka places her hand over her eyes, face flushed and not from the hot water, “To be honest, I'm less annoyed by the pain and more annoyed by the fact that Nero wouldn't stop making comments about it at lunch. She really  had the audacity to ask what position it happened in! Why did she think I would tell her that. Why did she keep trying to guess what it was?!”  she huffs, “It's just unfair! Fergus saw you carrying me and gave you a high-five!  Why did you get a high five from Fergus but got Nero asking for all the sordid details?”

“It wasn't just Fergus; while I was in line getting food, I also received a high five from Izo, Cú, David, Achilles, and every member of the Round Table except Bedivere and Artoria.”

She looks at him, incredulous, and somewhat offended.

“What the hell!”

He gives her a pat on the head as she seethes, but the anger subsides after only a couple of minutes, and she sighs and folds her arms on the rim of the tub, glancing up at him.

“Ugh…well, you know what, you did  warn me, so I only have myself to blame at this point,” she shrugs, “I guess it could be worse. At least I'm only just really sore. And even then, Medb told me to get rawed into next week, so…mission…accomplished?”

He closes his eyes, a flush spreading over his face, up to his ears, “I am curious to know why  she told you that.”

“It—It's kind of a long story,” she sits up in the tub, and brings her knees up to her chest, arms wrapping around them, “I told you I wanted to do something special for you, right? Well, I got the idea to wear…something like that, but I don't have any clothes like that of my own because I am a coward when it comes to getting underwear. I asked Nero first, and she pointed me in Medb's direction and…” Ritsuka gestures aimlessly with her hand, “Well, so, apparently she was into you at one point, because you are a guy, and you're her type, but you were, um…less than receptive.”

He is quiet for a moment, thinking.

“I'm…not sure how to feel about that.”

“Okay, Karna, let me be absolutely clear here: she made a special mead that explicitly makes men want to have sex with her, and she told me that she gave you some only for you to say it was gross and then you just left.”

“Oh,”  he gains a look of understanding in his eyes, and nods, “I remember that. I believe I said she should be proud of the work she put into making it, but it wasn't to my own preferences and that another Servant would find it more appealing.” He averts his eyes away, …I didn't realize what it actually was. I thought I was just taste testing something.”

Ritsuka shakes her head, “I mean technically you were but—jeez, no wonder she was so upset. That must've been brutal.”

“After that, I remember Tamamo passing by and telling me to come to lunch with her; she had been very insistent about it.”

She pokes him in the shoulder, “You need to thank Tamamo next time you see her, because I know for a fact she did that to give you an out for that situation. Out of pity, probably, but still.”

“I see…I'll be sure to remember that,” he frowns, “I feel terrible for having embarrassed Medb, but I'm also relieved that the mead ended up not working. I don't know how I would've faced you if it had.”

Ritsuka twiddles her fingers, cheeks pink, “She did say that you had, um, “tunnel vision” when it came to me, so…”

“That sounds about right,” He tucks a lock of hair that escaped from her bun behind her ear.

“A-Anyway, she got really ticked off about it, and um, helped me out as a way of…I guess…if I was going to seduce you, since she wasn't able to and also apparently just…can't, she would be the mastermind, since that was the best she could get? I think that was her line of logic. I told her thanks, and she said I could,” Ritsuka closes her eyes and covers her mouth with her hand, flushing, “She said that I could properly thank her by you…y'know…”

He smiles, and looks just a little too pleased with himself.

“Mission accomplished, then.”

Ritsuka covers her face with her hands, terribly flustered, and nods.

“…W-Well. She told me to keep the outfit, so. I'm glad you liked it; I was nervous that you wouldn't,” she meets his lips as he leans over to kiss her.

“I'm still human, Ritsuka,” he kisses skin beneath her ear, and she lets out a quiet, pleased moan, “I'm still a man. You are always beautiful, but what you wore yesterday was…” he visibly struggles to find the words, and finally settles on cupping her face in his hands to kiss her deeply.

She takes his hands in hers when they break apart, their fingers linking together, and bumps her forehead against his.

“You're always being so sweet to me and…doing what you can to make my life easier, and better, so I…I wanted to do something special for you…because I love you, and because you deserve it, Karna.”

“Ritsuka, you are far more generous to me than I could ever imagine, but please don't forget,” he squeezes her hands, “You  will always be what's most special to me.”