Savour (or mourn) this later.
He meets her eyes over the ringing steel with disbelief. "Celes, what are you doing?"
She sheathes her sword and he does likewise, though she does not look away from him. She unfastens her scabbard and sets it aside. There is a flicker of recognition on his face when her hands lift to the fastening of her cloak. They have rarely needed words.
There is a sense of finality in the sound when she sets her scabbard down, in the way that he sits back and watches her, making her come to him.
He knows, and it is no easier for him. He will not make it easy for her.
They have trained extensively to be able to set aside thoughts extraneous to the task at hand. She does so now, pouring her attention into the texture of his tongue against hers, the sharp scrape of his teeth against her lower lip. She knows each scar on his body, and counts them with her mouth, even as his callused hands slide over her.
He tastes faintly of salt.
His hands are patient, but not gentle.
She rises above him and eases her body down, feeling his hands on her hips to steady her. His eyes are locked on her face. She scrapes her nails over his chest to force sounds from his throat, reveling in her control—
And he is fast, so fast, she forgets it sometimes, but he moves and she falls and he is over her, his hands on her wrists, pinning them above her head. He says nothing, and she bites her lip to keep silent, arching up into him. He is patient but not gentle. She is shuddering, her hands flexing until her nails bite into her palms, and no, not easy, not this time.
He waits for her, holds back until she comes unraveled, and the echo of her breathless cries falls too harsh on her ears. Still he is slow and patient, until his rhythm falters. He releases her hands and she lets herself hold on, her arms curling tight around him.
She wants to savour it, to hold on to this moment, imperfect as it is. Yet in the wake of the warm languor of release is the nagging, coiling tension that drove her here in the first place.
He moves to lie next to her, his hand resting lightly on her upper arm. She cannot stay long.
He doesn't speak, nor try to stop her when she rises and begins to dress.
She takes up her sword and turns to face him. The words catch in her throat too much, so she contents herself with a nod.
Figaro is a long way away, and she will need to travel fast to avoid Gestahl's network of spies.
She hurries away.