A/N: - Yes, this is no prank, this is not a hallucination, you're not that hyper yet due to sugar-rush. This is true; an update, another chapter for Natsuki Doggy. First of all I want to apologize for the lack of updates and long hiatus not only in this story but the others as well. I can't tell the reason for it but fortunately I was able to overcome it so now here I am again.

I want to thank to all the people who was continuously waiting for an update and that continued reading my stories. It really made me happy every time I received a mail with a review or that this fic was added to your favorites. Thanks so much for your support.

Now I leave you with this new chapter, hope you like it despise being a bit short.

Don't forget to access to my profile to check the details for the fan-art contest that I'm doing.

Thanks to leebot-sensei for beating this chapter.

Enjoy it and please review!

Disclaimer: Sunrise owns Mai Hime.– I still can't accept that fact.

ARC II – Chapter 2

A powerful light covered the woods at Fuuka High. When the light faded, a girl appeared in front of Natsuki. This girl better known as 'the sorceress' was watching a big plasma T.V. with teary eyes while eating some popcorn, and from time to time she yelled something related to the show. Feeling a pair of eyes on her, she turned her attention to its owner, surprised to see the raven-haired girl standing a few feet away from where she was. Wiping her teary eyes quickly with her forearm she said.

- "Natsuki! How rare."

- "Hey witch."

The sorceress turned off the T.V. and gave all her attention to the raven haired young girl, since there was only one reason for Natsuki to call her.

- "So, what can I do for you?"

- "I need your help."

- "Very well, then tell me, what is it this time?"

- "Well, I needed some advice, someone to talk to."

- "That's very unusual. Why me?" – asked the sorceress in a puzzled voice – "Not that I'm complaining or anything, but, are you having that much trouble?"

- "Not really… …well… maybe a little."

- "There, take a seat and please do continue."

The sorceress then snapped her fingers to make a couch appear for Natsuki and a comfortable sofa for herself. Natsuki sat on the couch in front of the sorceress while the magical girl put on some glasses and took out a note pad. Beside her was a small table with a sign that read 'the doctor is: IN.'

- "Now then, what's the problem that you are having Natsuki?" – asked the sorceress in a serious tone.

- "I… I don't know how to tell Shizuru about my transformation. That it was the reason for my disappearance."

- "Isn't it easy? You just have to tell her the truth."

- "But if I do that… then…" – Natsuki trailed off as she blushed and averted her gaze to the side, trying to hide her embarrassment.

The sorceress blinked at such a display, not quite understanding it until realization hit her.

- "Aha! Now I understand!" – exclaimed the girl – "If you tell her in such a direct way, she'll tease you endlessly. Am I correct?"

Natsuki nodded solemnly.

- "That's why you've been so weary about it."

- "So… any ideas?" – asked Natsuki in a hopeful tone.

- "Of course, it's quite simple really."

- "For real?"

- "Yeah. Look, your girl Shizuru is quite clever and perceptive, right?" – Natsuki gave a nod – "So, you only have to apply all of what you've learned about her these past days in your daily actions. And I bet that she'll figure it out on her own."

- "But there's not much time to do that. I only have 3 days."

- "Then I suggest you start immediately." – said the sorceress with a smirk

- "Don't you think that it would be very suspicious? People don't change overnight."

- "If it's for the sake of the one they love, yeah they can."

Natsuki pondered for a moment what the witch had said. She was the living proof of such a statement. For Shizuru she had changed, in more ways than one. With a smile forming on her lips she said.

- "You're right. It is easy. I think I was just freaking out at the possible consequences. Also I promised her that I'd tell her everything after I came back." – said Natsuki with determination – "And better than tell her, I'll show her. And just as you said, I'm completely sure she will figure it out without me saying a word. Though I'll still get some teasing for it, but never mind that, if she enjoys it, then so be it."

- "Well said Natsuki."

- "Thanks for hearing me out witch." – said Natsuki standing up from the couch.

- "It was nothing." – snapping her fingers again, everything disappeared. – "Then, I'll take my leave now."

- "Wait, I need another favor."

- "What would that be?"

- "Well, after I turned back to my human form I searched on the web for an item. Sadly it seems that it's quite hard to get, so I was wondering…"

- "If I could get it for you?"

- "Yeah."

- "Which item is it you're looking for?"

Natsuki told the sorceress all the details regarding the object. When she was finished, the sorceress said.

- "Heh… that's impressive. Fear not Natsuki; I'll go in person and ask for it. After all, the one who makes it is an old acquaintance of mine."

- "Is that so?"

- "Yup. So I better get going so you can have it soon. Meanwhile, I will think about the price for this wish."

- "Okay, don't worry about it."

- "Well then, see you soon Natsuki."

- "Sure, and thanks witch."

- "My pleasure."

The sorceress began to move her magic staff, making a strange device appear. It looked like a pair of hybrid mechanical/magical propellers; then with another movement the lower part of her outfit was gone, leaving her only clad in her panties. Inserting her legs on the device, the propellers on both legs began to move. In that instant, a track appeared; she began to move along it, her legs rigid as the device prevented the movement of her knees. Moving as if she was an airplane, she began to gain altitude, soon disappearing from Natsuki's sight. Natsuki watched everything in silence. Without doubt this witch was unconventional in many ways, but despite all of that, she was very reliable.

Natsuki heard the bell that announced that lunch break was over. When she returned to the classroom, she was feeling more relaxed, as if a heavy burden had been lifted from her shoulders. The rest of the classes passed by without much trouble or excitement; finally the last class for the day was over. Natsuki placed all her belongings inside her bag and left the room, heading to the student council room to fetch Shizuru.

Fortunately, Mai had not bugged her since she'd left her during lunch time, and she was grateful about it. Now she was sure she wouldn't have to go with Mai to strange places or do weird stuff, especially since she wanted to spend some quality time with Shizuru. More so now that she'd be busy executing her plan. A small smile formed in her lips, just imagining how Shizuru would react was something Natsuki was looking forward to.

Upon arriving at the council room, she knocked on the door as she usually did. The door slid open to reveal Shizuru standing in front of her with a smile adorning her face.

- "Ara, Natsuki came earlier today. Were you that eager to see me?"

- "I… well… yeah." – admitted Natsuki, blushing slightly – "I want to take you somewhere."

- "Ara, then let's go."

Natsuki took Shizuru's hand in her own and began to walk. Shizuru's eyes opened a bit in surprise at such a display from her beloved goddess. Of course she didn't mind at all; after all, this was something she'd always dreamed of.

The two walked holding hands all the way until they reached the woods were Natsuki always parked her bike. Natsuki didn't care nor did she worry if someone would spot them holding hands because she always would take a path that was deserted by the time they left. Natsuki placed her bag and Shizuru's in a safe place in the bike, then she handed Shizuru her spare helmet. After putting their helmets on, both of them got on the bike and Natsuki revved the engine as Shizuru wrapped her arms around Natsuki's waist in a firm grip. That was the sign for Natsuki that she could ride off.

They left the school grounds in no time, heading to the place that Natsuki had in mind. After some minutes of enjoyable riding, they stopped in front of a park. It was the same park that she had gone to with Shizuru when she was an akita. It was their favorite place to sit and enjoy the soft breeze when the weather allowed it.

Natsuki parked the bike and removed her helmet, and Shizuru did the same. Natsuki grabbed Shizuru's hand again and began to walk to the center of the park. Shizuru didn't say a word; they weren't needed; she was happy just by being with Natsuki. But then, the memories she had created with Natsutaro came to her mind, making her feel a little bit sad. Natsuki felt the change of mood and also she felt how Shizuru had tensed up. She knew that her Kyoto girl was thinking of Natsutaro. Wanting nothing else than to lighten the mood, she came up with an idea when she saw a pack of dogs at the distance. Recognizing them she said.

- "Come Shizuru, I want you to meet someone."

- "Ara?"

Shizuru felt a pang of jealousy rise in her. Natsuki only quickened her pace, pulling Shizuru with her. As they were getting near the dogs, Natsuki was taking out of the pocket of her vest some cookies using her free hand. One of the dogs heard footsteps behind them, so he turned around to see the owner of those footsteps. He was surprised to see that girl that had given him food and Natsutaro's master. He found it odd that the black akita wasn't with them, however he felt that this wasn't something to worry about.

The raven-haired girl stopped in front of the white akita. Kneeling and stretching out her hand, she offered the leader of the pack one part of the cookie she had taken out previously. The white akita took some steps to get closer to the girl and to the offered food. He took the cookie and ate it while Natsuki patted him on the head. Natsuki called the other dogs.

- "Come, I have enough for you too."

The dogs approached to the raven-haired girl without fear; if their leader had trusted her, then it was alright, plus they felt something familiar about this girl. The dogs munched the cookies that Natsuki gave them; then she said to Shizuru, who had been watching the display with an amused look.

- "Shizuru, I want you to meet some good friends. This one" – said stroking the white fur of the akita – "is Kiba."

The dog tilted his head up in surprise.

- "And these are: Toboe, Tsume and Hige."

The white akita was amazed, how could this girl know their names? They didn't have tags since they were stray dogs, so how could it be possible?

Shizuru chuckled internally, she was feeling all jealous when Natsuki told her she wanted her to meet someone, and in the end she was referring to this pack of dogs. Really, it was so like Natsuki to do that.

- "Natsuki…" – said Shizuru.

- "Don't worry Shizuru, you can touch them. They won't bite you." – said Natsuki confidently, reassuring Shizuru that it was fine. Mainly because she was sure that her friends knew who Shizuru was, they would never hurt Natsutaro's master.

Shizuru knelt too and began to stroke the fur of the white akita. As Shizuru was stroking the white fur of the white akita named Kiba, said dog was still thinking.

- "How come this girl, who is with Natsutaro's master can know us? It is true that she'd fed us sometimes but nonetheless…"

Shizuru then began to stroke the fur of the other dogs in a gentle way as well. Natsuki watched in silence all the emotions displayed on Shizuru's face. To anyone else those were unreadable but for her now it was easy. She could tell that Shizuru was thinking about Natsutaro while being with these dogs. It was amazing how every time all of Shizuru's thoughts were always directed to her in one way or another; when being with other people Shizuru's mind always drifted to Natsuki. And now it was the same; while being with these dogs her thoughts were of Natsutaro. Indeed Natsuki had such power over her. Natsuki began to stroke Kiba's fur as she spoke.

- "These guys are very good friends of mine, even if I've known them for a short time, and I can say that they are also Natsutaro's friends; so they'll protect you if needed. You can trust that they will assist you if I'm not with you one day, not that I'll leave you but I prefer to be prepared, that's why I thought I'd let you know about it."

Shizuru's and Kiba's eyes opened widely at the girls words. Kiba's eyes were focused on Natsuki's emerald ones; he'd seen those eyes before, and he was not referring to the time when Natsuki had fed him at the park. It had been somewhere else; such determination, such conviction, that strength. Kiba's eyes opened even more wide when realization struck him; then he barked cheerfully as if agreeing to Natsuki's words. Shizuru noticed it and said.

- "Ara, I think that Kiba agrees with Natsuki. I'm happy to know that." – then turning completely to the white akita she continued – "Then just as you promised to look after me, I'd like you to protect my beloved Natsuki here, and also Natsutaro when you get to see her. Would you do that for me?" – asked Shizuru.

The white akita barked, soon followed by his comrades.

- "Thank you." – replied Shizuru.

Natsuki watched everything with a smile adorning her face. She knew that she'd made some good friends while being a dog the past days. When all the cookies were eaten, Natsuki said good bye to the dogs along with Shizuru, then taking her hand again, they began to walk hand in hand until they left the park. Kiba watched everything in silence until Toboe spoke.

- "Kiba, why did you promise that to those girls?"

- "Because they are special, and also because we know them."

- "But it's been just a couple of times that we've seen them."

- "That Natsuki girl has taught me more than anyone I've met before."

- "Uh?"

- "You were unable to notice it, weren't you? Don't worry, you will. Just as that Shizuru girl will."

- "I don't think I understand what you are trying to say."

- "You will… eventually. Well, it's time to go guys."

- "Kiba, are we going to search for Natsutaro? Looks like she's missing." – said Hige.

- "She's fine, her master is taking good care of her."

- "How do you know that?"

- "Because I just saw it. Now stop questioning me and let's keep moving."

- "Roger."

The pack left the park following their leader, who was happy for their good friend and her master.

After Natsuki and Shizuru had left the park, they rode back home so they could have supper. Once they arrived at the apartment, Shizuru went to the kitchen and began to cook, while Natsuki waited for her in the living room playing some video games. As she was playing she remembered something that Shizuru did a few days ago while she was an akita. Grinning, she decided to enjoy 'it' fully with her this time.

- "Natsuki! Dinner is ready."

But apparently it would need to wait until after dinner. Standing up from her seat and doing a quick change of disks for the game that was in the console she turned it off and went to her place at the table. Shizuru had made one of Natsuki's favorite dishes: hamburgers with a bit of mayo. Both girls enjoyed the meal, feeling pleased just by being in the company of the other. When they were done eating, Natsuki went back to the living room and sat on the couch waiting for Shizuru as she did the dishes.

Natsuki had noticed once more that during dinner, Shizuru would give quick glances to Natsutaro's bowl as she'd been doing lately. She just hoped that what she was about to do would lighten the brunette's mood, to ease her, and also to amuse her.

Soon Shizuru was done doing the dishes and after preparing some tea she went to the living room with the idea of keeping Natsuki some company as she played her video games. What she never expected was that as soon as she set a foot on the living room, Natsuki came near to her and taking the tea cup from her hands she placed it over a small table, then, in a handsomely manner, she had taken Shizuru's hand in hers and placed her other hand on Shizuru's waist, all the time showing Shizuru a loving and sincere smile, never tearing her gaze from her precious ruby eyes. She could see the shocked expression in her face along with a slight blush adorning her features.

Shizuru had just a bare second to place one of her hands on Natsuki's shoulder and to hold Natsuki's other hand in a dancing pose before Natsuki started to move at the rhythm of the music that could be heard playing on the background. Shizuru scanned the room with her eyes, trying to find the source of the melody. Before long her eyes fell on the T.V., which was currently playing a video from one of Natsuki's games. She recognized the video immediately along with the piece of music; she turned her head and, smiling playfully at Natsuki, she started to move at Natsuki's tempo.

Natsuki's smile grew wider when Shizuru started to waltz in such a wonderful way along with her. Their waltz was as gracefully done as the one showing on the T.V.; it was as if those characters on the game had come out of it and gained life to dance that beautiful melody.

Even after the video had ended, the couple continued waltzing there in the living room; nothing else mattered to them in that single moment. Shizuru had laid her head on Natsuki's shoulder, while Natsuki had rested her head over Shizuru's one. Their tempo had slowed down considerably, completely naturally. After some minutes of complete silence, Shizuru sighed then let out a soft and content giggle. Noticing this, Natsuki asked.

- "What's the matter?"

- "Oh, it's nothing Natsuki. I'm just happy."

- "Me too."

Some seconds of silence went by until Shizuru spoke again.

- "Thank you for being here Natsuki. And thanks for the dance too."

- "It was nothing. I'm glad that you liked it; I knew you'd do it superbly."

- "How did Natsuki know that I would know the steps?"

- "I've watched without you noticing it." – thought Natsuki, then she said – "I had a hunch about it."

- "Well, I'm delighted by knowing that Natsuki wanted to waltz with me."

- "We can continue dancing a bit more if you want."

- "I'd love to."

And just as they said, they continued dancing for quite a while, whispering words of love to each other until sleepiness finally reached them. Natsuki noticed that Shizuru's mood had changed to a more joyful one after she surprised her with that waltz. So far her plan was going smoothly, and Natsuki was sure that Shizuru will catch up with it as days went by. She would discover Natsuki's biggest secret so far without her saying anything else besides how much she loved her and how she wanted to spend the rest of her life with her, by her side.

That night they slept embracing each other, reaching for the warmth, the protection, the love and ease that only the other one could provide them. Without Natsuki's knowing; Shizuru's heart was starting to tell her that something big was coming up, and that it certainly would be one of the things she secretly always had wished for.


Zip-a-dee-doo-da! Another chapter done! Hope you liked it.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to review!

Also remember to access to my profile to check all info regarding the NatsuShizu fan-art contest I'm making.

See you around!

Shezaei neko.