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[personal profile] masserect
Summary: When Rydia asked Rosa for archery lessons, she did not anticipate some of the problems she would have. And Rosa's solution may not be an improvement.
Length: 1300 words
Rating: Pg13-ish?
Notes: Written for Porn Battle. Also some kind of attempt at digging myself out of a slump. Success level: it took an entire week, most of which was spent researching archery. Better than taking an arrow to the knee, I guess.


"This isn't going well at all," Rydia griped, and allowed the bow to slip from her aching fingers onto the grass below.

She had foregone her traditional flowing sleeves, taken off her cape and boots and even tied back her hair, and stood barefoot in the swaying grass, skirt fluttering about her thighs. The sun, not obscured by even a single cloud, shone pleasantly warm on her skin, a gentle but steady breeze keeping it from getting too hot.

It would have been a delightful day, had she not been too busy missing to be delighted.

Several arrows lay scattered across the hillside, some of them sticking out of the soil at an angle, like some kind of odd flowers. Most of them had at least hit the target and sat embedded in the circular straw mat standing some thirty paces from her position, though none of them had landed in the red-painted centre, or even very close to it.

Rydia glared at the target, jaw set, as if it had personally insulted her.

"Now, now. Didn't I tell you it's harder than it looks?"

Rosa set a tray with two steaming teacups on their rickety folding table and bent to retrieve the bow, running her hands delicately along its polished wood and the taut, twisted linen string. "Do you want to call it a day?"

Rydia shook her head in frustration. "Not until I get at least one good hit in."

Rosa's smile was radiant. "How nostalgic. But I should warn you that attitude had me practicing by torchlight some nights."

Nevertheless, she held out the bow. Rydia sighed and took it, rotated her shoulders, and pulled another arrow from the quiver at her hip. After this, there were only two left. Soon, she would have to start gathering up the ones she had shot.

Again.

"Here," Rosa said, smile unfaltering. "Let me help."

Rydia nodded, pride sufficiently worn down to accept it, and Rosa stepped in behind her, a source warmth distinctly apart from the sun's.

"Widen your stance a little." She put the back of her foot to Rydia's ankle and pushed, easing her leg out until her feet were a little over a shoulder width apart. "And remember not to point your toes at the target."

Rydia chewed her tongue as she adjusted her position, or rather, allowed Rosa to adjust it.

"Don't lock your knees." Rosa's knee pushed at the back of her own, one leg at a time, until her legs were just slightly bent.

"That's better," Rosa said behind her. "Now nock the arrow."

Once you learn how, she had said at the start, you won't need to look at it. Rydia clearly hadn't learned how, and frowned down at the arrow as she slotted the bowstring into the groove. At least she wasn't fumbling with it any more. She folded her fingers as Rosa had shown her before she started, wrapping her thumb around the string under the arrow and her forefinger around the tip, securing the grip.

"All done?" Rosa wondered. "Then breathe into your chest and raise."

At least this part was easy enough. Rydia inhaled as she brought the bow up, hands over her head, arrow pointing forward. Rosa hummed behind her. Her hands settled on Rydia's shoulders, then glided up her arms. Her fingers were light and slender, but surprisingly rough for a princess.

The touch never grew insistent. Rosa simply ran her hands up to Rydia's, then down again, fingers slipping off her shoulders.

"That's good. Excellent form. Now let the air sink into your tummy and bring the bow down."

Rydia did, and winced as she pushed her left hand forward and pulled her right arm back, drawing the arrow as far as she could. The unfamiliar movements were definitely starting to take their toll.

Rosa's hips pressed against her butt. Or rather, she realized, it was the other way around.

"You're bending over," Rosa chided without missing a beat, pushing back. "You need to pull your shoulders back."

Rydia breathed out, shoulders slumping, letting the bow sink.

"It's just that if I don't lean forward, the string... presses in."

Rosa giggled behind her, breath soft on her neck. "I see. I'm sorry, it was never a problem for me, so I... Ah, but I have a solution. I can hold them back for you if you want?"

Rydia laughed. "Oh, wouldn't that be a sight to see?"

"But there is no one to see it," Rosa countered.

Still laughing, Rydia raised her arms to provide access. "I am defeated by your logic."

Rosa's hands settled lightly on the sides of her chest and glided over her ribs, making her squirm and giggle, before settling on her chest, first gently cupping her breasts, then slowly tightening until she had a firm grip.

At the same time, Rydia felt Rosa press against her from behind, not just her hips this time, but the full length of her body.

"Do you think this is enough?" Rosa asked, lips close to her ear.

Rydia shifted her position, swaying a little, feeling Rosa move with her.

She wanted to laugh at the silliness of the situation, but at the same time, didn't want to laugh at all.

"I'll try it," she said, and raised the bow.

Any benefit to the arrangement was surely counteracted by the distraction it provided. But at least the string didn't cut into her boob this time.

Rydia kept her back straight and inhaled as she raised the bow, pulled down, held both string and breath for a moment, and loosed.

Rosa breathed out with her, their bodies relaxing as one, and the arrow sank into the straw with a muffled thump.

Rydia's next breath caught in her throat. She had not hit the centre - of course she hadn't hit the centre - but it was close, probably the closest to it she had ever got.

"Not bad," Rosa said. She made no move to release her grip, nor to pull herself away; rather, she rested her chin on Rydia's shoulder. "Are you satisfied?"

Rydia grinned, head turned away a little so Rosa wouldn't see it.

"I still have two arrows," she said. "Let me see if I can do better with them."

Rosa made a soft, affirmative noise and pulled her head back.

"All right. Then nock the arrow..."

Rydia slipped it onto the string, following the instructions mumbled by her ear, doing her best to focus on her own hands, not Rosa's... or for that matter, the rest of Rosa's body, warm and soft against her back.

Raise and breathe... sink and pull... release and exhale.

Thump.

It was not as good as the last shot, but not too bad either - certainly within the middle half. Rydia licked her lips and lowered her hands.

Rosa remained quiet as she drew the last arrow, readied it, and let loose, and spoke only after it struck home.

"Satisfied?"

Rydia squinted at the target. Somewhere between the previous two, her last arrow was stuck into the straw, still not in the red circle, but close.

It no longer seemed terribly important.

"My hands are tired," she said. "So I should probably stop."

Rosa remained silent, breathing slowly against the back of her neck. Rydia bit her tongue, trying to suppress a shiver. Then, raising her arms, she spun around, coming to face Rosa, who seemed unsurprised and shifted her grip a little lower, folding her arms around Rydia's waist, holding her close, smiling and waiting.

Rydia raised her left leg a little, knee pushing in between Rosa's. "Let me thank you for the lesson."

Rosa laughed softly. "I thought you said your hands were tired."

"Not that tired," Rydia said, and pulled her down into the swaying grass.

The bow fell to the ground, and this time, Rosa did not bother to pick it up.

On the table, the tea slowly cooled, long forgotten.
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