Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from Sakura Wars, I’m just borrowing them for a bit. This fic is also mildly OOC, and possibly can be considered a alternate universe.
Interlude: A Sakura Wars fanfiction
Maria Tachibana paused in the shadows, the handsome blonde listening to Ensign Ogami and Sakura talking softly, then turned to walk away from them. She wasn’t in the mood to see their tentative moves towards each other, the subtle signs of romance this evening.
Maria also found herself shunning the company of the other members of the Imperial Opera Troupe, instead walking the halls of their headquarters in a familiar night patrol. It wasn’t a new thing for her, she had done much the same in her Russian war days, but it felt a little odd doing it in the Opera House that was their home.
“You should be resting,” the familiar voice said gently, “there’s no telling what may come tomorrow.”
Not surprised, as Maria had heard her coming, she nodded a greeting, “Ayame.”
Ayame Fujieda smiled slightly, the older woman wearing a traditional kimono, her brown hair tied up in a intricate knot. “Still so restless before a battle?” she asked gently.
“Always,” Maria admitted, her man’s shirt loose and her skirt simple and undecorated.
Maria had a reputation for stoic coldness to her comrades, and it was a reputation that wasn’t at all undeserved. She had faced battle and death on the cold Russian front, and that coldness had settled into her heart. Even in the warmth of Japan her manner hadn’t changed with her comrades, distancing herself with cold deliberation.
Strangely, it was only with her fellow veteran that Maria had found that she could relax a bit. Both of them had seen horror and death, Ayame in the first Demon War and her in the Russian Revolution, and both had been marked by the sights they had seen.
“Come on, then,” Ayame gently took Naria’s arm then tugged hard.
“Where...?” Maria asked, frowning. She could have broken free, but somehow couldn’t as she stumbled along behind Ayame along the hallway.
Ayame opened the door to her room as she said, “If neither of us can sleep, we may as well keep each other company..”
“I don’t want to intrude,” Maria hesitated.
“You won’t be,” Ayame said as she finally released Maria, “I was restless, too.”
Following into the large room Maria took in the elegant Japanese decorations and layout, the suite having been made into a shadow of a traditional home. She sat where Ayame waved to to a seat by the low table, then Ayame walked over to her carrying a sake bottle and two cups.
“Are you sure we should?” Maria asked softly, meeting Ayame’s eyes.
“I’m confident I’ll be fine in the morning,” Ayame said as she sat down, “and we both know how well you hold your booze.”
Maria fought back a faint blush at that. One time she, Ayame, several of the engineering crew and Commander Yoneda had ended up in a bar, where Yoneda had encouraged everyone to drink. To everyone’s surprise Maria had matched him shot for shot, and in the end had drunk everyone under the table other than Ayame.
“Fair enough,” Maria took the bottle and poured for Ayame, who then poured for her. “To your health,” she said and tossed her sake back.
“And to yours,” Ayame drank. She refilled as she asked, “Are you happier with Ensign Ogami leading the Fighting Troupe?”
“I’m not sure of his skills,” Maria poured some more sake, “but I am more content in the secondary role.”
“You are a hard taskmaster,” Ayame sounded amused.
“The members of the Fighting Troupe are my comrades,” Maria drank gracefully, “I want the very best for them.”
Ayame took a drink, smiling. “I wonder how they’d react, hearing such kind words from you,” she said with a sigh. She poured again, “You’d be better off letting them see your gentle side like I can, Maria.”
“No,” Maria shook her head, “I think it’s better this way.”
“You don’t need to isolate yourself, Maria,” Ayame scolded.
“I’m not isolated,” Maria raised her cup in a salute, “I have you.”
“True,” Ayame agreed as she set her cup down, then gave Maria a searching look.
Maria drank her sake then put it down, “Yes?”
“I don’t want to have any regrets when the battle comes...” Ayame said softly. Gently she reached out to cup Maria’s face then drew her forward into a sake flavored kiss.
“Ayame,” Maria sounded a bit breathless as they drew apart, “last time you said it was going to be the final time.”
“A woman can’t change her mind?” Ayame asked, kissing Maria once more.
“What about...” Maria moaned as Ayame bit at her neck, sucking on skin.
Ayame drew back a bit, her eyes loving. “Maria, we don’t know what may happen tomorrow,” she said quietly, “please, can you give me tonight?”
Maria nodded, smiling again as she said, “Tonight, then.”
Ayame rose gracefully and offered her hand, drawing Maria up once more. They kissed lingeringly, Ayane soft and yielding to Maris’s strength, then together they walked to the bed. Lovingly Maria pulled the kimono off Ayame, revealing a lush body normally hidden beneath uniforms or clothes.
“Ah.” Ayame gasped as Maria’s hands roamed across her body, then with a groan made her stop as she gasped, “I want to see you, too.”
“You will,” Maria promised as she kissed her once more, “I promise.”
The next morning came much too soon, and they found themselves reporting to the war room beneath the Imperial Opera House. Commander Yoneda turned as they entered, the older man raising a eyebrow slightly.
“You look energetic this morning,” he grumped.
“A good night’s sleep does wonders,” Ayame smiled, the fully uniformed vice-commander exchanging a glance with Maria.
Maria coughed, but decided it was safer not to reply.
Notes: A crack-pairing, more or less, inspired by my rampant imagination. Also a mildly tragic one, considering Ayame’s eventual fate in the series. Still, I hope you’ll like reading it.