It was a simple mission to say the least, something that I could have easily done by myself in a little under five minutes if I so desired to. Right now, however, I was training Subaru, my favorite student. I let her lead and followed her commands precisely, only stopping to give my own thoughts when I was unsure if her plan would work or not. I was really proud right now; we had managed to get into the research lab with only minor resistance and no alert had been signaled just yet. My pupil contacted me telepathically, telling me what she was about to do and asked for assistance. With a cheerful nod, I smiled at her, grabbing her shorts and yanking her back down when she tried to leap into action. She gave me an inquisitive look and I simply pointed upwards where a security camera was slowly scanning the room. Subaru looked dumbstruck a moment before hanging her head. I was going to knock at least five points off her score for that little mistake and she knew it.

Diamond Dust



Finally reaching the door leading into the main laboratory where the target lost logia was, we pressed ourselves against both sides of the door and nodded to each other. I let her go in first and she quickly knocked out both guards by the door, startling the lone scientist in the room. "Dr. Alex Wily," She stated his name firmly. "Despite several warning and request for you to turn over your research to the Time-Space Administration Bureau, you have continued without a reply. I am here to place you under arrest, please surrender quietly; if you do you will be given a fair trial." She watched the man walk behind a counter as she talked, eying him carefully. The man's lips went up into a faint smile, making Subaru blink. Before she could react several chains shot out of hidden chambers around the girl. Most were dodged but when one managed to lodge itself into her rollerblades and she quickly tripped up and fell over.

"You talk too much," Nanoha sighed, easily breaking the bonds around her. "Next time just get to the point." She helped the girl to her feet after blasting away the remaining binding chains with a wave of her hand. "Like this," She faced the man. "Put your hands up and come here or we'll use force!" The scientist pulled out a gun and aimed it, firing several shots and sending small beams of light towards the girls. "Down!" Nanoha tackled Subaru and pushed her onto the floor, covering her student as best she could. "Laser beams! Why do they always have laser beams!?" The two put their backs against the counter they were hiding behind and Nanoha threw a small temper tantrum. "So help me if I have to use that burn cream after getting shot I'm failing you!"

"Ah! Don't do that!" Subaru pleaded apologetically. "I didn't know he'd have traps and advanced weaponry!"

"Always plan for the worst!" Nanoha cried out, holding up Raging Heart in her standard staff form. "I'm giving you one cartridge to finish this," The woman slid a shell from her pack and handed it to Subaru. "These pack a more serious punch than the ones you're used to so be careful with it and plan out what you're going to do before you do it okay?"

"Yes Ma'am!" Subaru took the offered shell and slid it into her power glove. 'One shot…' Her mind raced, looking around the counter at the panicking man who was moving his gun back and forth to different parts of the room. 'He's nervous,' She noted with a smug look. 'That means he'll jump to anything… In that case,' The girl looked at Nanoha and nodded to show that her plan had been formed. Quickly she grabbed a glass beaker from the table and threw it across the room. When the container shattered the man instantly started shooting frantically over in that direction. "Load cartridge!" The girl felt the world around her shatter into slow motion as her Wing Road blasted around the room, taking her with it. 'such power!' Her mind screamed, feeling her glove start to burn her hand from the magic it still hadn't used. "Divine… Buster!" She punched the area in front of her, now to the side of the man in white lab coat.

The destruction was catastrophic, taking out at least half of the science lab and sending everyone else stationed there in a blind panic to escape the now burning building. The man they were after was stunned on the floor, the lost logia revealed from his torn and burnt coat. "I'll take that," She glared, reaching down and picking it up, showing it into a special pouch. "Mission complete!" She turned to Nanoha and gave a peace sign. "How was that, teacher?"

"Watch out!" Nanoha leapt forward onto a counter before using her magic to speed herself up. Subaru turned to look at why her instructor had just freaked out and saw the man she thought was down for the count throwing a small glass vial at her. Instinct took over and her fist flew. "No, don't break it!" Nanoha cried too late, seeing glass flew and glittering dust splatter into the air. With no other choice she tackled her friend, feeling her arm get clipped by a laser as she did so. Breathing in a grunt of pain, she felt a strange tingling sensation on the back of her neck.

The two landed roughly and the more experienced mage finally look the matters into her own hands, shooting a simple blast over at the man, knocking him into a counter. "First rule!" She yelled, walking over to him and cracking the man upside the head with Raging Heart. "Never think they are down for the count." She lifted her staff again when he reached into his pocket and batted away the man's wrist forcefully, knocking away some other type of device. "Even when they are down, don't think they won't have something hidden. Second Rule," Nanoha turned around to face her, once more clipping the man across the head with her staff, although this time by accident "Never cause unwanted attention or destruction!" She threw her arms out, jabbing the man in the chest with the staff's tip, knocking him back over when he barely managed to stand without even realizing it. "Third Rule, never let your guard down at any time until you are back at base!" Nanoha stomped her foot, crushing the man's hand while he tried to crawl away desperately. "And Fourth rule…!" Nanoha thrust her staff downwards, pinning the man harshly. "…When I think of a fourth rule I'll tell you!"

"Please! No more!" The man begged pathetically, trying to crawl towards Subaru. "I give up! I give up! Just don't let her hurt me anymore!"

Nanoha blinked and looked down. "…What happened to him?" She asked innocently.

Nanoha crossed her arms, clearly upset at the way things turned out. They were currently in a helicopter flying back to the rendezvous point with their prisoner locked safely in the holding cell. Her arm was stinging horribly and she knew there would be a blister there that she would eventually have to have Shamal cut to release the pressure from any internal bleeding. The thought made her cringe in her seat, making Subaru glance nervously over at her. The instructor noticed the scared look and put on a smile for her. "Don't worry Subaru, you didn't fail." Her anger slowly died away as she talked. "I was a little disappointed in how you acted, but overall you did really well. Once you learn how to calm down a little you'll be doing great."

"Sorry," She looked down in her lap. "My first mission too…"

"Don't worry, don't worry." Nanoha patted the girl's head. "Next time will be better." A small monitor appeared between them next, making Nanoha lean back a little. "Ah, Fate-chan! How did it go?"

"Perfectly!" She greeted her friend, obviously pleased. "Elio and Rushie were amazing! Nanoha-chan, I'm really proud of them!"

"Ohhh?" She smiled at her friend. "Can I talk to them?"

"They're both passed out asleep," Fate turned and led the monitor over to the seats behind her where Elio was laid back with Rushie apparently cuddled up under his arm with one hand gripping the front of his shirt. "You should have seen it, Rushie was going to get hit by an attack and Elio jumped in front of her with his shield. It was the sweetest thing ever."

"Awww, how cute!" Nanoha cried out. "Did you take their picture?"

"A few of them," Fate replied quietly before going back to her seat and sitting in it. "How did Subaru do?"

"Great. We had a little trouble at the end, but it all worked out well." Nanoha rubbed her arm, making Fate narrow her eyes. "I'm fine really." When Fate didn't say anything Nanoha sighed and rolled her sleeve back to reveal a long dark red mark on her skin. "I got clipped by a laser."

"Ouch!" Fate made a face. "Make sure Shamal looks at it when you get back okay?"

"Yes, yes." Nanoha pulled her sleeve back down and playfully saluted her friend. "We're approaching base now so I'll see you later, Fate-chan." Her blond friend smiled at her before the monitor blipped out of existence. Nanoha looked over at Subaru's concerned expression and gave her another smile. "I'm fine, don't worry. It takes more than this to get me down," Her smile faulted lightly when she suddenly coughed a few times. "Ack, I inhaled wrong." The words made her student finally crack a smile.

"Hello, Nanoha-chan," Shamal greeted the girl happily when she walked into the medical room of the base. "What brings you here today? Need some bandages for your students?" She giggled happily. "You didn't go too rough on them again did you?"

"Ah, no, they're fine." Nanoha smiled uneasily, holding her arm and looking away lightly.

With a sigh, Shamal put a hand on her hip. "Come on, let me see." She patted a bed and pulled a curtain around them when Nanoha walked past. "What happened?"

"I got hit by a high tech laser-type devise," Nanoha admitted, unbuttoning her jacket and very slowly slipping her arm out with the light blonde's help. Once done she took a small moment to observe that her long sleeve undershirt had a rather nasty looking bloodstain on it. "It's no where near as bad as that makes it look," She told her friend instantly, undoing the buttons on that shirt as well and slipping only that arm from the sleeve.

"Oh my," Shamal looked worried. "That's quite a nasty burn you have there." Quickly she gathered a few things and began to clean the wound. "Did it get you deep?"

"Just a glance, I can still move my fingers just fine. It only really hurts when I make a fist." The girl turned her head and coughed a few times. "Excuse me."

"On a scale of one to ten, how bad does it hurt?"

"Four maybe?"

"So that's about a seven on anyone else's scale," She mused, making Nanoha wonder if she was being complimented or teased. "I hate to say it but it's going to leave a rather large blister that might have a faint scar depending on how you let it heal."

Scars were nothing new to the girl, as she had several racking her body. Fortunately each one was so small that they would be missed by most anyone unless she was being closely observed. "I'd rather avoid that if possible. Can you just heal it?"

"Healing doesn't really work well on burns," She told her, repeating the same thing she always said when Nanoha came in with an injury like this. "We'll have to apply a cream on it and wrap it in a bandage. I'd prefer it if you wore a sling to keep you from flexing that muscle… you're left handed too aren't you? Poor thing," Shamal pet Nanoha's head.

"I don't want to wear a sling!" She protested instantly.

"You're going to wear a sling," Shamal confirmed, getting the burn cream and some magically infused healing bandages.

"I don't wanna!"

"You're going to wear a sling," She repeated happily, always amused at how quickly Nanoha would act like a child when it came to keeping her in top shape.


"Nanoha-chan, I'm authorized to magically seal your powers until this heals you know." She smiled gently at the girl, who instantly sank back.

"…Yes ma'am…" Her eyes widened slightly as a coughing fit racked her body, making her double over and cover her mouth.

"Are you okay?" Shamal quickly got a glass of water and offered it to the girl, who drank it quickly, making a face.

"My throat hurts…" she rubbed it ruefully, wincing. "I think I got some glass in it when I inhaled…" Suddenly she found Shamal in front of her with a tongue depressor. Obediently opening her mouth, she stuck out her tongue and allowed her mouth to be inspected with a pen light. Her mind flashed back to when she tackled Subaru and felt the glittering substance coat her throat and mouth when the vial had been broken. When she was free to speak again, she opened her mouth to speak. "Actually…"

Just then the door opened and someone shouted out for help, making Shamal quickly leave the girl after telling her to stay put. Nanoha looked out the curtain and winced at seeing the man draped over the shoulder of his friend, bleeding. Time went by slowly and when someone came to check up on her she found that her friend was busy in emergency surgery so she allowed the nurse to apply the medicine on her arm and wrap it up. A spare shirt was given to her and she allowed the nurse to help put it on before her arm was confounded to the sling.

Fate opened the door to her loft apartment and immediately loosened her collar. "Nanoha-chan, I'm home!" Her voice rang out through the rooms but she got no reply. " Nanoha-chaaaaaan?" Fate turned off the Monitor in the living room that doubled as their T.V. Now with the noise gone she heard the faint sound of running water. The girl climbed the stairs to their bedroom and took off her jacket, hanging it up next to the bed, before going to the bathroom and opening the door. "Nanoha-chan?"

"Kya, Fate-chan's a pervert!" Nanoha accused instantly, turning so her back was facing her friend.

"Don't give me that," Fate crossed her arms. "Who was it that begged me to wash her back last night?"

"Oh, I did, didn't I?" Nanoha thought aloud, pretending to think about it. "In that case I'll forgive you for being a perv." She turned around to look at her, revealing her arm. "Actually…"

"Oh my, why is it in a sling?" Fate quickly walked over to her and Nanoha stepped out of the spray of water so her friend wouldn't get wet. "Are you okay?" She observed the bandages, watching the water roll off of them like it wasn't even getting wet at all.

"I'm okay, it doesn't really hurt that bad. Only down side is I can't use my arm until it heals or it'll heal wrong and scar, or something like that. Shamal seemed to think so at least. It's my left arm so I'm kind of in a pickle, I can't even wash my hair."

"I'll do it for you, just wait a little bit."

"Really? Thank you, Fate-chan!" She moved to hug the girl but stopped herself just in time. "Oh, um, I'll hug you when you're naked."

"That sounds so wrong."

Nanoha smiled at her. "It's okay, I don't mind." She watched her friend's cheeks turn lightly before she herself moved to leave the bathroom and get a change of cloths, pausing at the door to offer her one more glance at her embarrassed but happy face.

Nanoha blushed darkly, sitting on her bed completely naked with a large fluffy towel being rubbed though her hair. She had to admit that it felt rather nice, but her face was still dark- and not from the hot water she was just in either. Once her hair was reasonably damp instead of sopping wet, Fate moved down to her shoulders. Gently rubbing the towel over them, Fate smiled at the small moans coming from her friend. "Like that?" She asked softly, getting an embarrassed nod. She moved behind her friend and sat on her knees, slowly drying her off. The towel rubbed her back gently, pressing down enough to absorb the water as well as a pleasant rub as well. "Arms," She asked, getting Nanoha to raise her good arm instantly to be dried and then her injured one followed much more carefully. Once complete, Fate moved over to her friend's other side, putting the towel against her front and rubbing.

"Ah-ahnn," Nanoha gasped out involuntarily when her breast were dried, making her friend instantly flush and apologize. "Nuh-uh, it's okay…" She looked away softly, pressing her chest forward against Fate's hands through the towel. Her friend didn't reply, instead running the towel over her body again. Nanoha gently moaned out, trying her best to keep from embarrassing herself even more. All too soon it was over and Fate moved down to her waist and legs, keeping all the important parts covered to spare herself a nose bleed.

"There, dry." Fate went away quickly, moving to dry herself off properly as well. 'What was Hayate-chan thinking, giving us a room like this?' She looked over at her friend, who was taking her night shirt off of a coat hanger clumsily. 'As if seeing her naked in a public bath house wasn't bad enough…' Despite her thoughts, she also had to admit that she was very happy at the same time. "Here, let me help."

"Thank you," Nanoha allowed herself to be clothed by the knee length shirt and watched Fate slowly button it up, looking away slightly when she got to the lower clasp. "Nyahaha," The giggle made Fate look at her in question but only got a cute look in return. Her sling was put in after sliding up a simple pair of panties while Fate used the time to dress herself as well, choosing rather to wear a dress from her childhood that had been retailored to fit her more mature body. It was a simple black dress with exposed shoulders and long baggy sleeves, complete with tie strings at the end incase she need them out of her way. When left loose, like it normally was, the sleeves almost engulfed her hands, giving her a rather cute look. Once Nanoha had even bought her a cat ear headband and had insisted that she wear it anytime she wore that particular dress. The habit lasted the good part of three months before the headband was lost during a midnight scramble to battle. At first she was happy to be rid of the cosplay accessory, since Nanoha always made sure she wore it even around their other friends, but soon after it was lost did she really start to miss it. Her hand went to run through her hair a moment, remembering the happy smile Nanoha always had when she would look at her while wearing it.

"Fate-chan lost in thought?" Nanoha's words snapped her out of her trance. "Hehe, what was you thinking about?"

"Nothing really." Fate walked over to her. "What do you want to do?

"Well," the brown haired girl sat on the bed, summoning up a few monitor screens in front of her. "Tia took her test yesterday and Subaru was graded by me personally so I already know her grade. I need to know about Elio and Rushie particularly if you don't mind telling me?

"Sure," Fate sat next to her and typed a few things up. "Here is the information on their devices." She watched Nanoha attempt to try and type something but stopped when she remembered her left hand wasn't useable currently. "Here, let me." The girl crawled behind her on the bed and sat down, moving her legs on either side of Nanoha's body and pressing her front against the other girl's back. "What do you want to see?"

"Chart displays on power synced to video, please." She saw Fate's arms reach around her and type the commands, bringing it up. "Also give me a time frame on upper left corner?" The hands dances a little more, making it pop up. "Hey, I could get used to this," She snuggled up against Fate, leaning back and resting her head against her shoulder.

"Hey, are you going to cuddle or work?" Fate teased, but still allowed one arm to wrap around her waist to hold her.

"Both," She replied easily with a smile. "Play video, please." She covered her mouth to cough a moment before looking up to watch.

Nanoha awoke abruptly, eyes snapping open in the dark. A sudden fear seized her body as her dream of drowning faded, replaced by something much more real. She could feel her body was covered in a cold sweat and her chest was alive with a fire that she had never experienced before. Her mind screamed for her to take a breath, that she wasn't really in the water, but for some reason her lungs wouldn't listen. Seconds ticked by painstakingly slow as she tried harder to get air into her system. Finally she managed to roll over on her back and found that the motion made it a little easier but still her mouth couldn't seem to suck in any oxygen.

Slate blue eyes darted across the room in fear, her breath barely moving at all. Her eyes closed tightly then as she forced herself to try and think straight. 'Breathe! Breathe! BREATHE!' the mental command worked, allowing herself to take in half a ragged gasp of air, but quickly lost most of it when her throat shot pain throughout her body. The girl coughed slightly, but it was enough to fleck her lips with blood. Blinded by her fear, Nanoha moved her hands, grasping the sheets of the bed and pushing with her feet, as if it would allow her to once again taste air. The silence of the room was broken softly by a low mumble beside her. 'Fate! FATE!' Her hand moved spastically, cursing the large bed they shared as she tried to find her friend. Frozen in place, she tried again, reaching out desperately to find her while her other hand was tearing at her shirt, trying to find some way, anyway, to allow herself to breathe.

Her hand touched the soft silk of Fate's nightgown and she gripped it tightly, desperately pulling. "Mnnn…" Fate muttered something under her breath and tried to scoot away from her to give her friend more room. Again she tried to find her, hand inching closer as another cough stole more of the precious little air she managed to suck in. She could feel a mixture of her own blood and salvia run down her cheek as she silently suffocated, frantically reaching over. Finally she felt Fate's arm and she gripped it, pulling with everything she had left, burying her nails into her friend's skin in a frightened attempt to wake her up. "Nanoha-chan, that hurts…" Fate whispered, trying to move her hand lightly. When she realized how hard she was being gripped her body rolled over, half focusing on her. "Nanoha-chan…?" The brown haired girl's body spasmed, making her grip get tighter and hurting Fate enough to wake up fully "Ow! What's wrong with you!?" The light above their bed came on the dimmest setting, finally allowing Fate to see her friend. "Nanoha-chan!? Nanoha what's wrong!?"

The suffocating girl met her friend's eyes, silently pleading for help. Her hand against her nightgown finally tore the first button loose and she placed the hand on her chest, scratching at it. "Contact: Shamal!" Fate screamed, undoing the buttons on her friend's shirt as a transparent monitor appeared in front of her.

"We are sorry, the person you are calling is unavailable-"

"Emergency contact!" Fate cried again, seeing several claw marks on her friend's chest where she had apparently been scratching herself in her sleep. The monitor turned to a dark room. "Shamal! Shamal! Wake up! Shamal!" a moment later the monitor brightened up as the lights in the mage's room came on and she sat up. "Nanoha's not breathing!" She called, voice cracking as tears poured down her face. "She's suffocating!"

Instantly awake, the green mage scrambled out of bed. "Details," she managed out, scrambling for a few supplies, tripping over her chair in her hurry.

"I-I don't know!" She panicked. "Her eyes are wide, she's trying to tear into her chest and her mouth is bleeding!"

"Is she breathing at all!?" Shamal found what she needed and barged out of her room, monitor following in front of her.

Fate leaned over her friend's mouth and listened, holding her own breath to try and keep the sounds as silent as she could. "In very small puffs, she's exhaling more than inhaling!"

Nanoha looked up at her friend, starting to not panic as much anymore but rather finding herself starting to get sleepy again. Sound was starting to get farther and farther away, despite Fate being right there, yelling at her to open her eyes again. 'It'd be so easy to go to sleep…' her mind thought as her vision was finally robbed from her. 'So easy…so easy…'

Pain was the next thing she felt. Her nose was clamped and Fate's lips were on hers, forcing air into her lungs. Now finally with lungful of air, she did the first thing that she possibly could, and screamed in terror and pain.

"Lung paralysis," Shamal was telling Fate. "In short it makes it so her lungs can't move, therefore suffocating her. Her throat was probably hurt by whatever she breathed in. Just keep doing CPR, no matter what you hear me? I don't care if you punch her to make her exhale!"

Fate pushed Nanoha's hands down and pinned them, pressing her mouth against hers again and filling her lungs with air once again. The pain returned ten fold, making Nanoha once again let out a death defiling scream of agony. Her body twisted under Fate's hold, trying with everything it had to get away from what was making her hurt. Tears poured down her face from her closed eyes, running into her ears before finally seeping into her hair.

The door to the room opened and all at once the lights cut on. "Up here!" Fate called, seeing the girl fly up to them and land on the bed.

"Hold her mouth open." Shamal ordered, getting a light and looking down the girl's throat as she bit harshly on Fate's fingers. "Thought so," She frowned, opening her purse and taking out a rather large looking inhaler device. "Nanoha!" The name made the girl look, fear evident in her eyes once again. "Breath this in! you can do it!" She wrestled with the girl, putting the mouthpiece behind her lips. "Go!" she pulled the lever, making the girl's cheeks puff out as air was shot into her. When it was removed, Nanoha gave a violent coughing fit, small glittering flakes coming out in masses, covered lightly in blood. "Again!"

Fate struggled to hold the girl, pain tearing into her own heart at the pain she was causing her best friend and secret love. Twice she had to press down roughly on her chest to get the girl to exhale; both times sure she left a bruise. The method of making her inhale from the device went on seven times before finally she coughed out, starting to spit as well. A ragged intake of air happened next and Shamal helped her over so she was on her hands and knees, coughing and spitting out blood and flecks of the glittery like substance.

"Breathe in this and exhale," Shamal told her gently, offering her a smaller inhaler. "It'll hurt but keep at it." Nanoha nodded weakly, sucking in the device and exhaling slowly before repeating. Fate rubbed her back gently, trying to encourage her as best she could. "I thought she might have hurt her throat on her mission," She informed Fate softly. "I didn't know it would be this bad."

"She'll be okay, right?" Fate was crying in earnest now.

"Yes, yes she'll be fine." Shamal encouraged her, gently taking Nanoha's wrist so she could count the pulse. When done, she looked back over at Fate. "She inhaled something that caused a slow paralysis of the lungs. If she didn't get treated she would have certainly died…" She felt her own heart ache at the expression Fate just gave her. "Don't fret now," She hastily added. "Fortunately it was a rather weak substance, so she'll be completely okay in about a week. Until then she will need to use an inhaler to help clean her lungs and dissipate anything left in there."

Nanoha slowly started to get her breathing under control, weakly falling against Fate and resting against her body. "Ou….Ouch…" She whispered, eyes closed. "Ow… Ow… Ow…" Once again tears came to her eyes and she allowed herself to cry again. "I was…" Her breath caught as she sobbed. "So scared!" Her arms grabbed a hold of Fate's and held tight. "Fate! Fate!"

Shamal felt a tear come to her own eye as well, seeing one of her best friends reduced to a shivering little girl, clinging onto the only form of support she had. "If she can breathe enough to cry and talk at the same time, I say the worst is over." She allowed Fate to stroke Nanoha's hair and whisper to the girl while she got a few things from her purse. "Here," She gently put a small yellow necklace around Nanoha's neck. "This will monitor her breathing. If it gets anywhere close to being abnormal, it'll alert me immediately."

"Thank you," Fate whispered, holding her friend.

"She's safe to rest now," Shamal put the inhalers on their desk and closed her purse. "Do you mind if I sleep here tonight?"

"Not at all," Fate answered instantly, watching her smile and gently stroke Nanoha's hair.

"I'll be downstairs. Don't worry, it's over now." With that, she nodded at Fate and made her way downstairs so the two could spend some time alone and calm down.

"Nanoha…are you okay?" Fate said the words gently as the lights went off around them, now only being illuminated by the small dim light above their bed.

"Yes…" She answered softly, voice a little horse. "I'm okay…" To prove the point to herself, or Fate, she took a long slow intake through her nose and let it out even slower. "Wow, air taste good."

Fate let out a small tear stained chuckle. "If you can joke like that, you'll be fine, huh?"

"Mmhmm…" Nanoha nodded weakly. "Please keep holding me, Fate."

"Of course," She shifted so her back was resting against the headboard of the bed and Nanoha was laying against her, between her legs and in her arms. "Nanoha, I was so scared too…"

"I'm sorry," She whispered back.

"Don't apologize you silly girl," A small tear dropped onto Nanoha's hair. "If I ever lost you, I'd… I don't know what I'd do…"

"Fate-chan…" Nanoha turned to look up at her, "Will you kiss me, Fate-chan?" The words shocked her friendly lightly. "When I was about to sleep..." She took a small breath. "I thought… just for a moment... That I was going to die without ever kissing you…"

Fate nodded, leaning over and gently kissing Nanoha's lips. The intimate moment lasted three seconds before she pulled back and immediately kissed her forehead as well. "Nanoha…"

"That sounds kind of nice," She admitted, looking up at her. "When we're alone…can I call you 'Fate'?"

"Of course. You can call me whatever you want." She nuzzled her friend, still crying slightly. "Oh god, Nanoha… There were so many things that ran through my mind. So many things I wanted to say…" For once, it didn't seem hard to even think about saying it anymore. Her fears were gone and all that mattered at the moment was letting her know; to tell her friend what she had been keeping to herself for so long "Nanoha; I love you, Nanoha. I really, really love you." Fate bent over and wrapped the girl tighter in a hug. "It's okay if you don't feel the same, I just have to let you know…"

"Of course I love you," She replied in a whisper. "I've always loved Fate." Her arms wrapped around her and she contently laid against her shoulder, breathing out as steady as she could. "I was just waiting until you were comfortable."

"Silly girl…" Fate sniffed, wiping her eyes.


To be continued.