Author: asakura89 PM
AU.NanoFate. Struggling new mother in need of financial support. A multi-hotel heir set on revenge, in need of a fake wife. Could new relationships be formed? wounds healed?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,423 - Reviews: 73 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 49 - Updated: 08-02-08 - Published: 06-10-08 - id: 4315137
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Once again, AU and OCCness. Also, since it won't show '+' sign on the main title, I've resorted to spelling the plus part out: LOVPlus HOTEL. I know 'LOV' isn't the conventional way of spelling LOVE or LUV (nor does it sound like love. lol.) but I have my reason for it. The 'LOV+' part means more love (or literally 'love more'). The idea was that more love is needed (hence 'LOV' is short on an 'E' and the '+'part signifies increase in love). However, the 'LOVPlus' should still be read as 'LOVE+'. I'm not that good with explanations, hope that made sense ) On to the story then...
A/N2: The story is told from Nanoha and Fate's POV. So to clear up confusions of scene change vs POV change, centered "--" means scene change and a solid line means POV change.
Disclaimer: I don't own any Nanoha characters. All characters belong to their rightful creators.
BIG thanx to Hitokun for beta-ing!
Chapter 1-Part A
On a bright autumn's day, I learnt of the death of my aunt, Youko. As far as my memory goes I've never been close to her. Not because I didn't want to, but because everyone in the family shuns her and my family was no exception.
She was the result of my grandfather's affair.
At family gatherings, she would always be alone, sitting quietly in the corner of the room or in a place where she would not be in the way of others. Even as a child I was told not to go near her but she was such a gentle soul. Her voice was so soft and soothing. She would always smile when she caught us children spying at her out of curiosity. There was this one time when I approached her. We had talked and joked. She taught me how to make a paper crane and gave me candy as a reward. My dad had found out later, scolded me and forbade me to never go see her again. I must admit my guilt; I never went near her again. It was a promise I kept, but could never understand—this inhuman side to people, even to our own kin. Why would everyone shun her? It wasn't her fault that she was a bastard.
She was at my college graduation, I saw her faintly in the distance, but she was there, with a gentle smile on her face. She had waved to me and I had wanted to go over and talk to her, but my family had come and dragged me away to celebrate at the last moment. I could only give her a fleeting smile. I regret it deeply now. That was the last time I saw her, four years ago.
Now, finally, for once in my life I was free to see her. At her funeral. How ironic.
I hate this weak side of me. Why had I never tried harder to befriend her? Why did I bow down to my parents and relatives? I hate myself for always following the wills of my family and not my heart.
The moment I stepped through the family house gate, I saw a little girl crouching in the bushes.
"What are you doing there?" I was curious.
She looked up at with her one emerald and one ruby eye, her long blond hair messy. She pointed to a spot in the bush.
I looked to where she pointed. A robin was laying there with one of its wings bleeding. "It's hurt," I noted.
She looked at me sadly.
I couldn't stand such a look from a child. "Do you want me to try and help it?" A glimpse of happiness returned to those eyes. "I'll try to bandage its wing then." I smiled. She was a cute child.
After I bandaged the bird I had asked for her name. She did not answer me. I thought she must be still shy and left to take care of the preparations for Aunt Youko's funeral. She followed me around the family house the remainder of the day.
I later found out that she was Aunt Youko's illegitimate child, Vivio Takamachi.
"No, no. I cannot take care of her. Takashi is about to take the high school entrance exams. He could not afford to be distracted now," said Aunt Sora with a frown on her face.
"I'm always away on business trips. A child needs constant care and companionship. I couldn't give her that with me always being away from the house," said Uncle Yuuto with a feigned sad expression.
"I can't either then. We just recently opened a shop. We are too busy running it to think of a kid's needs. I…"
"This is pointless", I thought, a frown on my face. After the funeral everyone sat around to discuss who'll take care of Vivio. They aren't trying to find ways to help Vivio. They are only stating what they can't do for her. None of them wants anything to do with her. Even though no one said it out loud, they think she is just like Aunt Youko, the child of a whore. Those disgusted looks and frowns they are giving Vivio… They aren't what a six year should be subjected to. Aunt Youko had lived through such an uncaring family, and now, Vivio is faced with the same treatment. It is not right, not fair. She is still family, still blood-related. I wanted to do something.
"Maybe there is an organization that'll take her in?"
"Yeah, some charity organization."
I took a deep breath and let it out. I slowly stood up from where I was seated. "I'll take care of her." All eyes turned to me. "I'll take care of her." I gave a small smile.
"Nanoha, do you realize what you are saying?" my mom questioned from beside me, deep disapproval on her face. "Taking care of a child is not easy."
"Yes, I know."
"I don't think you are ready to take care of a young child," my father said from across the room, his voice dangerously low.
I ignored his warning voice.
"None of you are willing to take her in, right?"
No one answered. A couple pairs of eyes drifted to stare at the floor.
"There won't be a problem then. I'll be her legal guardian."
"Takamachi Nanoha…" father's voice sounded.
"It's settled then," I said in a firm voice. I walked over to where Vivio was, cowarding in a corner of the room. I bent down and smiled at her.
"I'll be your mama from now, Vivio."
Maybe I was too rash then. But they were going to leave her in an orphanage! I couldn't possibly let that happen. It's true that life has become more difficult now, but if it means giving Vivio a happy childhood, it's all worth it in the end, right?
"Ah, no!" I shot up from bed, a shrill sound ringing in the background. "I'm going to be late." I scratched the back of my head in frustration as I looked around the room.
Everything has changed so much in a week. Now, a small toy trunk and a kid's chair sit in the corner of the room. The small-sized apartment that I had found adequate for myself now seemed suddenly a bit crowded with the addition of Vivio, especially at night with Vivio's futon laid out. It was almost impossible to get up at night without waking her. Everywhere in the apartment, a touch of juvenile taste was added, a touch of Vivio.
I smiled at the small form cuddled next to me. Overnight, she would always end up rolling onto my futon and sleep close to me. I gently placed a hand on her shoulder. "Vivio." I shook her gently. "Vivio, it's time to get up."
"Um…five more minutes…mama…" My smile widened.
"No Vivio, we really have to get going or Nanoha-mama will be late. You don't want mama to be scolded by that mean man, right?" That got Vivio to sit up, shake her head and rub her eyes in sleepiness. She really was a very obedient and understanding girl.
It was a sunny day outside. The sky was so blue and so high up. A small pull on my arm brought me back to my senses. Right, I have to get Vivio to daycare. "Let's go then, Vivio!"
I was breathing hard. It takes a good fourty-five minutes to go to Vivio's temporary daycare and then backtrack another 15 minutes to get to work. "I'm sorry I'm late." I bowed the moment I got into the staff room.
"I'm glad you at least know you're late," a heavily built man towered over me. A quick peek up at my manager's face confirmed my guess. He was beyond angry at this point. "This is the fifth day in a row that you've come in late. Do you know that there is only five days in a week?"
"I'm so sorry." I meekly said.
"'Sorry' isn't good enough!" His voice rose a good 10 decibels... "This is a world class bakery-café! Time is everything. We are competing against time to bake and sell as much possible here. It is a race!"
"I'm terribly sorry. I know…I'm"
"I know you have a little kid to take care of now, but you have to try harder. There are a lot of people who could replace you, you know."
"Yes, I understand."
"Good. If you're late again, you're fired."
He walked away from me.
I've already pushed myself over the limit even before I started. At the moment, even finding a daycare that'll run late into the evening is already stumping me. Am I really unfit to take care of a child right now? No, I have to be strong. Vivio's happiness. Her happiness…
"Cheer up, Nanoha-san!"
It was Subaru. "Boss is just mean to everyone. No one has enough skill to replace you."
"Thanks Subaru. But, I understand what Boss meant. He's right…"
Teana walked up from behind Subaru. "Here. I came across this earlier," she handed me a flyer. "You're looking for a daycare center, right?"
I looked at the piece of paper. It said Testarossa Royal.
"Isn't this a five-star hotel…" I was confused.
"No, look here," Teana pointed to a notice box on the bottom of the flyer. "They just opened childcare centers in all of their hotels. They're taking in children right now. They have evening care and there's one just around the corner here. It has everything you need. Very convenient for you and Vivio."
"Um, wouldn't a five-star hotel be a little expensive…."
"Don't worry about that for now. There is a promotion going on. Just go check first."
As far as I can remember, I've always been studying and learning. No, it isn't because I like to learn. It's because everything is for the day of my revenge.
It was a dry summer day that I learned of the death of my father, Seto Testarossa. They say it was an accidental warehouse fire caused by someone carelessly dropping a non-fully extinguished cigarette butt and that father was just unfortunately caught up in it, but I knew it wasn't merely an accident. Those corrupted bastards at the Japanese branches. They will pay, they will pay for all the sadness they've caused me. Losing my only true friend... All those unpleasant childhood memories…
"So they're opening childcare centers now," I said in a faked amused voice, looking at the flyer in my hand.
"Yes, Fate-sama," Chrono, my personal secretary reported next to me. "Apparently the branches are a bit tight on money at the moment."
"Tight on money my ass, Alicia has been giving them enough founding each year," I said darkly.
Chrono gave me a frown. "Please remember not to openly show your dislike for them in public. The plan…"
"I know," I said while dismissing the matter with a wave of a hand. "I won't jeopardise this once in a life time opportunity." I gave him an appreciative look. "Thanks for going along with it, Chrono."
"I'm not saying I think it's the best choice of action, but that is what best buddies do for each other, right." He gave a small smile.
I nodded silently. He was a loyal person alright, always helping me. But that's as far as our relationships goes. He believes that he's my best friend, but I see him only as a useful ally. I might have been using him, but it's not my problem whom he places his trust in. Either way, personal relationships are the least bit of my worries right now. I have a bigger goal to fulfill. "How is everything going?"
"Everything is going as planned. I've gone ahead and spread false rumours of you to the board members as requested."
"Good," I looked out of the tinted limousine window. "And the 'my wife' part?"
"Um, it's a bit difficult…"
I gave him a sideways glance.
"I'm still working on it." He lowered his head.
Um, this might be a bit of a flaw in the plan. Nothing a bit of money couldn't do, right?
I sighed. "Increase the contract money if you have to, I don't care how much, as long as the plan goes smoothly."
The limousine slowed down. We've arrived at the hotel branch head office.
"But, Fate, this isn't about money. It's about…"
I stepped out of the limousine. "Let's go, Chrono. We don't want the gentlemen to wait too long now." I smirked. Just you wait; I'll catch all of your rat tails.
Chrono followed behind me without a further word.
The weather was warm today. I looked up at the sunny sky and my heart soared.
Is something good going to happen today?
TO BE CONT'D...