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heavy how i want you

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She placed the half-drunken cup on the tatami, the sakura sake cooled by the ghost of a wistful sigh. Another spring, alone. Just like the last one. Although her reputation as the shrine maiden with many faces was all but another face to her, so badly did she wish she could just curl up into her arms.

After all, four-thousand, nine-hundred and ninety-nine years was a long time, and although she remembered that she was warm, she couldn't quite replicate the warmth she had gave her, all those years ago.

She scowls, chewing at the inside of her cheek as she gazes up at the sakura tree. To think that after everything they had been through together, she still left Miko alone. Left to think with her own emotions, ragged and raw, left to leave them locked up so that she could watch after Inazuma in her absence because – after all – Ei's pride and joy was not dango milk, or her vision, or Miko – it was her promise to Inazuma: the never-changing eternity.

Miko wishes the thought of not being the source of Ei's happiness didn't cut deep as much as it did, but almost five-thousand years later, the blood still feels fresh.

A lone petal graced the tatami underneath her. She picks it up, admiring the soft blush it donned. Another spring, alone. Spring was supposed to be a time of rebirth, of change, and yet, here she sat in her private quarters of the Grand Narukami Shrine, knees folded beneath her, fingering blossom petals and wistfully wishing for something – anything – to happen.

She's not so sure she can take one more year like this anymore. 

Of course, something does happen. She was a kitsune, after all, and after the drawling, lonely nights of winter came the blossoming within her own body. In the eyes of a human, you could say that she was in heat. The thought of it makes her laugh, when she's in a good mood. She found that uselessly rutting against pillows in the early hours of the morning was, essentially, useless, no matter how hard she tried or how many times she did it, it would never give her what she wanted.

An eternal flame she could never extinguish – Ei's whole thing was about eternity, after all.

And... there I go again, she sighs, shaking her head. "Ei this, Ei that. Stupid Ei. I hate her."

It's childish of her, yes. She knows this, and yet, she can't help it. Just one of her many faces, she supposes. Childish, selfish Miko. 

But was is so selfish to ask for someone to put out the flame that keeps flickering at the petals? Who knows when it would set herself on fire. Of course, it couldn't just be anybody. Only her. It could only be her.

And she wasn't even here to help, so of course, the kitsune had no other choice but to do it herself. How tired she was of doing just that. 

If, but for a fleeting moment, the release was enough to make her forget for a few seconds. One of these days, it'll feel like an eternity, too.

Maybe not today, but it doesn't hurt to try anyways. She had already finished going through the manuscripts, and watched over the entirety of Inazuma from up high on her little shrine, and her sake was going bitter anyways so, she supposes that means that she has time now. Maybe it'll be painful enough to make her cry, and tire her out enough to help her sleep through another lonely night.

Maybe.

Propped on top of a nest of pillows, she unties her robes, the obi, left only in white lace shorts and her top. She still wore the magatama (Archon forbid she ever take it off), and the bell anklet, because they reminded her of her. She did give them to Miko, after all. A little piece of Ei, and yet, she still wanted more.

She wants to take her shorts off, but it's been a while since she had touched herself like that. She's somehow adopted that stupid human way of thinking, where they saved themselves for someone special. She scoffs, in spite of her appearance. Silly Miko. She wonders when she adopted that train of thought. 

Still, she presses two fingers against the warmth between her legs, pink ears twitching at the contact. She shivers then, blinking, seeing the afternoon sun speckle against the tatami. 

Maybe I'll take it slow today.

Her other hand settles on the curve of her breast, a soft sigh gracing her lips as she squeezes. The hand between the warmth starts its menial task of circles, circles, circles, and although it makes her sigh and whimper and make her ears twitch, it's not enough.

Maybe that's why she never does it slow. She never did it slow either, now that she thinks about it.

Like the animal she was, she starts rutting against the pillows, the texture silk against her shorts. She frowns, eyes watering, before she blinks back tears just as fast as they appeared and looks around, just to make sure. She catches her reflection in the mirror on the wall across the bed.

At least in the early hours of the morning, she didn't have to see how desperate she looked.

"Fuck..." she groans, slumping headfirst into the mattress. And then her ears perk up. If she buried her face into the mattress, she wouldn't have to see herself in the mirror, right? 

So she slips her hand back against her shorts, eyes widening at the different sensation that most definitely started to hit harder than she expected it to. And then her eyes flutter shut as she pushes her bottom upwards into nothingness, imagining the touch of another hand pressed against hers, helping her reach –

"E-Ei..."

Her eyes are wet again. Now she's done it. With a groan, she buries her face as hard as she can into the bedsheets, her tail curling around a thigh as she moves her hand faster with every whimper and moan that leaves her smothered mouth.

"Please... Archons... put it out..."

And just like that, she collapses into the bed, panting, her shorts most definitely as damp as her face. Quick, momentarily pleasant but otherwise unsatisfactory – it's the same every time. 

For some reason, the thought seems to hit harder than usual today, because the room is suddenly alive with her sobbing. Hearing herself – the supposedly cunning, mysterious, wise Guuji of Narukami Shrine, who has never revealed her true face to anybody – reduced to a sobbing, pathetic mess, alone in her room. She hates it.

"Fuck you, E-Ei," she mutters, knowing that she'll get no response. Still, "how much longer... do, do you intend to keep me waiting?"

By midnight, five-thousand years would have passed.

With a growl, she sits herself up again, looking straight into the tired eyes in the reflection of the mirror. "I guess if you'll keep me waiting for another five-thousand years, I'll have to figure out how to extinguish the flames myself. Then I won't need..." She trails off, heavy tears rolling off her cheeks, a shaky hand hovering over her crotch. 

Another one. She brings herself to some sort of release in less than five minutes. And again. And again and again and again and again and –

"Miko, you'll hurt yourself!"

She opens her eyes. Somehow, she's found herself on her back, another hand wrapped around the wrist of the hand between her legs tightly. There's another weight on the bed, she notes. And it's significantly darker than before – how long had she been doing this for?

"Stop it, Miko." That voice. She wants to laugh. Don't tell me this is what brings her out of her eternal prison. "Please. You're going to hurt yourself."

She wants to be sarcastic. To be cocky. The cunning Guuji of Narukami Shrine- and yet, her voice is quiet when she replies, "make the pain go away, then."

"You're in pain?"

She growls, bearing her fangs, her tears blinked away as she focuses her gaze into the deep purple eyes watching her curiously from above her.

"Don't be stupid, Ei! Why are you here? You've been gone for almost five-thousand years! Every year, I miss you more and more and yet you're here? Now? Why? Why does it still hurt? Why can't I hate you? Why won't it go away? Why–"

Ei presses her lips against Miko's, catching every weak sob of protest. She can't find the energy in herself to fight back, really, although she's not sure if it's because she's been fucking herself non-stop for the past few hours or if the weighted presence of Ei against her is enough to bring four-thousand, nine-hundred and ninety-nine years of patiently waiting to a standstill.

"I'll make it go away," her Archon whispers against her lips. 

"Please don't go away," Miko whimpers, eyebrows furrowing.

"I'm not going anywhere. I'm right here, Miko."

"Where... where were you..."

"I'll tell you later. You're my priority."

She should be happy to hear those words. She should be. She thinks part of her is happy, and that maybe, if she thinks back to this moment in the future, she'll be happy, but she's not in the future just yet. She's confused, dazed, and – when Ei presses her hand against the warmth between her legs – bothered.

"I need you," she cries, eyes desperately searching for Ei's, watching as the indigo-haired woman only smiles, lowering her body closer to the apex of Miko's legs. "Ei, Ei–"

"Shhh..."

"W-wait, I just–"

"Did you?" Ei cocks her head to the side, eyes dazed in amusement. Her fingers rub against the damp slit. "Did you really come?"

Miko can't stop the way her back arches from the touch, the moan she lets out at the subtle dig underlying Ei's otherwise husky voice. "D-Don't be mean..." She whispers, a wet cheek pressed against the mattress. "Please... don't be mean..."

"I left you alone for so long, my dear Miko..." The kitsune gasps when she feels Ei push her shorts to one side, biting down a loud whimper. "You're so pent up... aren't you?"

"P-Please..." she begs again, eyes widening at how exposed she suddenly felt.

"I'm sorry it took me so long... to realise what, or who, I truly loved the most." 

Before Miko could even acknowledge such a revelation, Ei had already slipped her tongue past her folds, eliciting moans of varying pitches from the kitsune. Miko found herself wanting to wrap her legs around Ei, and yet, Ei was already five steps ahead of her, hands placed firmly on each leg to hold them apart. The sensation was unfamiliar yet all too familiar; with every lick she remembered the warmth that comforted her, not burned her. 

"E-Ei–!"

The low hum her Archon made in response resonated throughout her entire body, forcing Miko's hands to clutch at the sheets in a half-hearted attempt to keep her ground before she quite literally ascended to Celestia itself. How was that she struggled to feel even a tenth of what Ei was doing to her right now, for almost five-thousand years? 

It would always be Ei, in the end. Ei was problem, and the solution to everything.

"Ah.... ngh, please, Ei, please, please–"

She would free Miko from her suffering.

"Eiii–! I can't, I can't, no more, I'm–"

The last push of Ei's tongue set her free, for the first time in years.

It was enough to make her cry again, even as she felt Ei smear the sticky fluids across her inner thighs, even when Ei rose from between her legs, purple eyes glowing, her face coated in Miko's fluids. 

"I owe you so many orgasms, don't I?" She muses, licking her lips. Miko can feel her entire face go bright red, watching as Ei gathers the fabric of her top in the middle, exposing her breasts to the warm air. The Archon starts pressing her lips against goose-bumped skin, leaving a mixed trail of Miko's fluids and Ei's own saliva swirled against stiff nipples and rosy flesh.

"Y-you're avoiding my questions..." Miko realises then, momentarily remembering her earlier outburst, before it was drowned in Ei's sweet promises. Promises of her never leaving again. She laughs, empty, despite her appearance. "You're going to leave again."

"What I said before was not a lie. I figured it out."

"What was there to figure out, Ei?" Miko cries, propping herself up on her elbows, forcing Ei off her body. "What was there to figure out, that we couldn't figure out together?"

"Miko..." The smile she gives the kitsune is soft, sad, a tint of regret. "I thought I knew what I was doing, but turns out, I didn't. I thought locking myself away would help me understand what I valued. And it did, it just took me so long–"

"You couldn't have, I don't know, stopped for a visit, sometime during all that? Even for five minutes? So I could at least know that you were okay? That you weren't dead?" She hates that she's angry, even when her yells are softened by the fact that she's crying at the same time, and it makes Ei pull her into her arms.

Miko's entire body softens in her embrace. She finds herself sobbing into Ei's silken robes, staining the fabric with salted tears.

"I hate you, stupid Ei. Stupid, stupid Ei." And then, in a softer voice, "please don't leave me again. I can't bear it."

"And I love you, Miko," she replies just as softly, a hand woven in between pink strands of hair. "For eternity. Can I prove it to you?"

She lifts her head to look into Ei's eyes. "Prove it?"

"Yes," she says, the hand in Miko's hair moving to caress her ears. Miko, instinctively, whines as her eyes flutter shut, like the pathetic kitsune she truly was, captivated by Ei's touch.

"You'd always get so red every time I touch your ears..." the goddess murmurs, a small smile tugging on her lips. "I don't think that will ever change. But, the real prize is this right here."

She feels her tail being pulled on from beneath her, drawing a moan from deep within Miko's throat. Ei doesn't hesitate to bring the hand playing with her ears back down to her chest, fondling the nipple roughly as she continues to stroke her tail. 

"A-Again...?!" Miko asks, heart pounding and eyes wide, watching as Ei grabs hold of the end of her tail, using it to clean up the fluids still coating her thighs.

"Is there a problem?" She asks, but when Miko looks right at her, she knows that Ei won't do anything without her permission. So she shakes her head, legs quivering. "Good," she remarks, bringing their lips together momentarily. "You deserve a reward, don't you? For waiting for your silly Archon to come to her senses. You've been so good and patient, haven't you, little fox?"

She thinks she might've almost come from that alone. Such words have never made her violently react quite like this before, but to know that Ei thinks that she's been good? That her patience would be worth it in the end?

In any case, the amount of wetness that seeps out of her is enough to catch Ei's attention, who slides her whole hand across her core to gather it up. 

"Ah. It seems I got my hand all dirty."

She shouldn't have been so eager to wrap her tongue around each of Ei's fingers, but she did anyways, before Ei could even ask her to do anything. Her Ei was finally back. This was her Ei.

"Good girl," the Archon grins, pulling her wet hand away from Miko's hunger. "Now stay there, I'm going to move behind you for a bit."

Miko finds herself sitting on her knees, looking at their reflection in the mirror across. Ei, now behind her, buries her face into the nook of Miko's neck, inhaling the sakura embedded within her hair. Her hands snake around to Miko's front in the meantime, teasing her core ever so slightly.

"Can you show me how desperate you are?" She asks, almost innocently, even though her hands are spreading Miko's thighs apart. "I can see it already, between your legs. But," her voice drops to a husky whisper in her ear, "I want to see it in your face, and I want to hear it in your voice. You can show me, right? What was it – four-thousand, nine-hundred and ninety-nine years of waiting? Let me see what all that waiting has manifested into."

"E-Ei..." she mewls, hands mindlessly grabbing Ei's wrist, pulling her hand to her core. She forces it against her heat, finding herself moving her hips shamelessly against Ei's hand without hesitation. When she looks at the mirror, she falls right into Ei's purple gaze, glowing with half-lidded lust.

"That's my girl. Poor Miko, you really couldn't wait any longer, could you? Even though you already came once, ignoring your pathetic attempts of trying to come on your own, of course."

Ei's free hand moves back up to fondle one of Miko's breasts. Meanwhile, Miko's other hand was pressed against her mouth to try and muffle her moans, to no avail.

"Ei, Ei... it's..." She gasps, shaking her head furiously. "It's not... enough..."

"It's not enough?" Ei repeats, wide-eyed. "You want more?"

"Please... please..."

"Turn around."

Of course, Miko wastes no time into listening to her Archon's command. She finds herself being propped up onto Ei's thigh, Ei's hands resting on her hips.

And of course, Ei doesn't even need to say anything else. Miko finds herself rutting against her thigh as if it was her pillows, only this time, she could feel it. Along with the traces of Ei's touch across her abdomen, and the fur of her tail tickling her thighs, and Ei's warm breath against her neck, until suddenly every touch seemed to blend and blur into one massive strike of thunder that ripped through her entire body, her head thrown back into the abyss until all she could hear was her own moans drowning out Ei's praise in her ears.

When she came to, she was again slumped against Ei's warm body, a heartbeat pounding in her ears. Ei had one hand stroking her hair, the other on her back, holding her tight as she came down from her high. Her legs wouldn't stop shaking, nor would her breath, which sounded ridiculous next to Ei's gentle breathing. But still, she missed this. Ei's warmth. Ei's fire, next to hers, burning brightly.

"You okay, little fox?"

"Mhm."

"I really missed you. You look so pretty when you come."

"...You're just saying that."

She feels Ei shake her head. "Miko, I'm sorry."

She can't quite accept her apology right away. At least, not verbally. She just nods, burying her face back into Ei's chest again.

"You are okay, right?"

"I'm... tired."

The laugh Ei makes really is music to Miko's ears. She finds a smile pulling at her lips. "I can imagine.  Let's get you cleaned up first, okay?"

"...Then?"

"And then, we can go to sleep."

"Will I wake up from this dream?"

"Silly fox. You're not dreaming."

"So... you're really back...?"

"For Inazuma, yes. For you, absolutely."

Miko forces herself to keep her eyes closed, lest tears start to form once more. She tries to focus on stabilising her breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out.

"One more," she whispers, lifting her head. "One more kiss."

Her wish is granted, of course, with no hesitation. She can't help but smile into Ei's touch.

Because although the people of Inazuma know her as the Yae Guuji of Narukami Shrine, of the kitsune shrine priestess with many faces, none of them will ever know the real her. The one that belongs to their Archon, purple-eyed and omnipotent, beautiful and gentle, yet cruel all the same.

Maybe that's why she yearns after her.

Ei was cruel, but not to her people, or even Miko, she realises. As said Archon held her in her arms, keeping her warm, Ei was the cruellest to herself. Punishing herself for yearning after something that wasn't Inazuma's eternity. Miko was Ei's true source of happiness.

"I love you, silly Archon," she can't help but murmur, a tired smile gracing her face, hiding a yawn against Ei's body.

"I love you too, Miko."

"Ei."

My eternity.