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(trying to post more things here... even if this is posted elsewhere)

Holly blinked awake. The night sky above her; she must have dozed off out here. Stretching and scratching at her arm Holly took stock of the situation. Konoe still dozed beside her, the sight of her sleeping face making the white mage smile. She stretched out her hand and brushed an errant lock of hair from her partner's face. The movement made Konoe's eyes snap open, her hand darting towards her belt on reflex before she paused. Her face brightened into a smile.



"Holly," she said, the stress of speech still audible in her voice. Konoe reached towards the white mage before changing her mind, her fingers scratching at her belly. The motion made Holly aware of another itch; this one on her back. She rolled towards Konoe, arm over one shoulder, stretching towards the akward spot in the small of her back. It was at least good to hear her girlfriend's voice more often. Every day the ninja talked more as herself and less in disguise. For longer conversations she still reverted to old habits, Holly picking out meaning from the streams of words.

"Konoe," she responded with a smile. They were on holiday in Florem. The wars were over, the crystals restored to balance, and it did not seem as if the Vestal was in any kind of hurry to challenge them. Things were a little tense, but Edea and Alter-. No, Ringabel she corrected herself, were doing their best to smooth things over. She reached out to stroke the ninja's arm when a new nuisance itch flared on her thigh. This was going to look a little dodgy. She scratched at the new itch with as much subtlety as possible. If Konoe noticed her hand's proximity she gave no sign; her fingers now scratched through her hair.

The holiday in Florem had been a great way to get away from the every-day stresses back in Eternia. Today they had set off for a walk after dinner, finding a secluded spot near the river to tangle themselves together. They kissed and cuddled before settling to watch the sun set.

Holly found her scalp itching and scratched at that as Konoe now tried to reach round to her back. Why was she so itchy? The thought caused a sensation along her arm and Holly switched hands, scraping at her scalp with one hand as she ran her nails along her arm. They caught on tiny bumps, scraping across them and sending twinges of pain up her arm. She looked down; there was a proliferation of raised spots all along her arm. They looked like insect bites. The itching now seemed to be everywhere at once. What little relief a hasty scratch on one body part could induce only served to magnify the discomfort elsewhere. As soon as she tried to attend to those itches the original itch was back in force.

Out of the corner of her eye, Holly could see Konoe scratching like mad herself.

"Konoe," she said, gritting her teeth. "We need to - urgh - get back. Something's been eating us alive." Konoe's eyes went wide at her sentence and Holly corrected herself. "Figuratively."

As far as she knew there was nothing capable of eating them whole around here, or of taking off a limb with ease. They might not have been as fortunate if they had dozed off near Ancheim. The ninja nodded and jumped to her feet. Reaching a hand down to Holly she forced out "Go... to... Inn?"

Holly took her hand, smiling. "Yes. Try not to scratch too much. I think I have a cream that should help." She glanced at the flushed ninja as they walked. "Do you think you can help me apply it?" Konoe nodded, smiling. Holly looked around her, feeling silly; there was no one in sight. She still lowered her voice before she spoke. "And to be on the safe-side I'll help apply it to you. All over you - if you'll do the same for me."

Konoe got even redder, and Holly looked forward to getting back. Lotion, bed and Konoe; there could be few better combinations. Whether they felt like anything once they were rid of this infernal itching was another thing, but they had many days of holiday to go.

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