Hallo again all! It is I, Suzu, back from the pits of Hell!

...Miss me?

Anyway, Mahou Sensei Negima doesn't belong to me. If it did, Negi and Kotarou would have been making out since Book Five.

So. I no own, you no sue, and flames will be used to cheer me up while I am PMSing and then sereverly mocked by myself and my friends.

When people ask Negi who he loves, he always has to think for a minute.

He loves Asuna and Konoka-san, of course! They were his very first real friends at Mahora, but they are his sisters, and that's not what the question's about. They don't want to know about his sister figures, and so he cannot say them. Besides, Asuna would be furious, and Setsuna-san wouldn't be happy either.

Ayaka-san is out too; he loves her like a friend, or overly maternal figure. She's too over-enthusiastic, too clingy, too obsessive, even if she is a nice girl. Besides, she and Chizuru-san are happy enough together, so that's gone too. Even though he would never, ever fall in love with a girl who thought that it was a good display of her love to crush his face in her breasts.

He loves Evangeline-san too, even if she isn't really all that maternal, and he has to read through the insults to find the compliments that they are meant as. But he understands now, and just smiles and beams at her, laughing as she blushes and looks away. But they aren't asking about that kind of love either. Besides, Evangeline-san loves his father very, very much, and everyone who knows her knows that.

Nodoka-san is very cute, and very nice, but he doesn't love her like a man loves a woman. Negi loves her like she's his adorable little sister, and she knows that, and embraces it fully, just like she now embraces Yue. Again, it isn't that kind of love, and she has someone that she really loves, so she isn't who they're talking about.

Ako-san is pretty, and she says that she loves him, but she loves him when he's his fifteen year old self, not when he's himself, not when he's his real self. Besides, she's far too young, both physically and mentally, for him to even consider dating.

And the same goes for most of the other girls in his class. Some are very grown up, grown up far beyond the level that any fifteen year old should be, like Mana-san and Setsuna-san and Chachamaru-san. Others are still so young, like Fuka-san and Fumika-san and Sakurako-san. He loves every girl in his class, but not that way, not like that.

Because when they ask Negi who he loves, they want to know who's smile makes him heart beat faster, who's laughter makes him blush, who's presence makes him happy enough to die. They want to know who he wants to spend the rest of his life with, who makes him want to write pages and pages of mushy poetry.

They want to know who he loves.

People often ask Negi who he loves, but no one has ever gotten an answer yet. It doesn't matter where they are when they ask, or when they ask him, or even who asks him. But he never just refuses to answer. Always, he thinks, he really does, but something always happens.

Kazumi corners him today, outside, near the library, and asks him with a wink and a cheeky grin. This time, he doesn't have to think so much though, and he almost answers when-

"Oi! Negi! Come on, let's fight!"

Kotarou is there, loud, bright, cheeky Kotarou, smiling that sunny smile at him, and Negi knows that he doesn't really want to fight, just to spar, because if he wanted to spar, his eyes would be cold and angry, but right now his eyes are bright and eager. Laughing, he runs toward the other boy, calling an apology to Kazumi over his shoulder as they go.

And really, Negi has answered the question, every time that someone asks it and Kotarou comes to take him away, they never just understood. Sometimes, he feels guilty, and considers answering the question with words, but Kotarou's hand will reach out and grab his, and then nothing else matters but running and laughing with Kotarou.

Once, Konoka-san saw them like that, standing there, out of breath and laughing helplessly, still holding hands. She had just smiled and laughed and waved, before jogging off, still giggling a bit behind her hand, and Negi had known that she would never ask him again.

And once, just once, Asuna caught them underneath the World Tree (but not during the festival!), when Negi's hands were on Kotarou's hips, and Kotarou's hands were tangled in his hair, their mouths meeting in a frantic kiss (but not the first, and certainly not the last!) that had been ended when Negi noticed Asuna gaping from the stairs and had swiftly pulled away, his face bright red.

But she had just grinned and winked, before casually walking away.

Now, in this moment, as Negi pulls Kotarou closer to him, amazed by how soft the smaller boy's skin is on his cheeks, he can't help but chuckle softly as they start again.

Negi knows exactly who he loves like that.