Author's notes: This is the revised chapter three. I corrected a few things that I saw, took out some things that made characters seem a little OOC, and hopefully made it better all around. Although I know I'm not perfect, I do hope you will enjoy this new and improved chapter, now almost triple its original length.
Looking over at Fate asleep in bed one last time, I walked out onto the balcony of my loft and closed the door back silently. The dark morning light washed over me as a soft breeze blew though my hair. It was a little chilly, as I was only clad in a tight, black, form-fitting spandex outfit. The suit covered my shoulders but were sleeveless at the same time. It ran down my body, covering everything, down to just a little below of what I would consider mid-thigh. Red marks looped around my hips and ran between my legs and two triangular strips danced across my chest as well, making my breast look bigger than what they actually were. Fate had chosen the work-out uniform for me and I had chosen one for her as well, although it was white and blue. With a small hop I took to the air and instantly felt better and more alive than I had been the past day or so. The wind caressed my body as I flew towards the weight-lifting center across the lake and more in to the central part of the base. Landing softly, I took a long intake of fresh morning air and walked inside the huge building, preparing to give myself a great workout. "And just what do you think you're going to do here?" Shamal's voice instantly asked as I walked in, making me stop in mid step and start to sweat. Not even five seconds in and I was already busted…
Diamond Dust III
"I do hope my favorite little injured person wasn't thinking she was going to work out and hurt her arm and possibly throat now was she?" Shamal asked happily, putting her hands on Nanoha's shoulders from behind. "No, no, surely not." Nanoha looked over her shoulder and gave Shamal the best innocent look she could muster. "What's that? You want to come back to my room so I can give you a proper physical that you have been avoiding for a month now?"
The brown haired girl shook her head quickly and stepped away, turning to face her properly. Bringing both hands in front of her, she clasped them together and bowed her head, as if asking permission. "Please Shamal," She thought to her. "I haven't done anything in two days, I'm going to be so out of shape!"
"Nanoha-chan, you could binge on pizza and ice cream for a month and still be in better shape than most people are in after boot camp. Why do you always insist on pushing yourself so hard?" Shamal crossed her arms. "I worry, you know."
"I'm sorry," She apologized, looking as if she actually meant it this time. "But really, I'll be good; I promise! You can even watch!"
"No means no."
"At least let me job so my legs will stay in shape? Nothing to hurt my arm while jogging right?"
"And get your heart rate up and make you breathe fast? No."
"But unless my heart rate goes up, it won't be an exercise!"
"Your hear rate went up last night and just look what happened."
The images of Fate being above her, panting her name flashed in her mind a moment just before she also recalled frantically grabbing for her inhaler. Defeated, she hung her head and allowed Shamal to escort her outside once again.
Fate sighed out as she looked at her schedule, wondering on just how she was going to be able to keep up with the amount of stress her body would endure while she took over training Nanoha's students on top of her normal duties. "So busy…"
"I heard you were getting busy last night, too." A voice spoke up as she passed someone without even seeing them.
Turning to address the speaker, Fate's cheeks instantly darkened. "Signum! You know!?"
"Aah." Signum pushed off the wall and stood in front of her, looking down into her eyes. "If you have time to molest Nanoha then you have enough time to spar with me!"
"I wasn't molesting her!" She instantly defended, trying to decide if running off and hiding to cover her embarrassment was an option or not. "I was…well…"
"Trying for third base going by what I was told."
"Signum!" Fate looked down, holding her clipboard close to her chest. "Stop it; you're embarrassing the life out of me!"
Signum put a hand on Fate's back, giving a gentle nudge to encourage her along her way. "I can sort of understand how you feel, though. I mean, you must have been sexually frustrated for months now."
"Oh my god I can't believe you said that!" Fate looked down more, letting her hair cover her blushing face which was now spreading to her ears and neck.
The pink haired woman smiled in satisfaction, knowing that if she pressed on just a little more she could probably get the girl next to her to break into a nosebleed from all the blood rushing to her head. "Well," She went on, deciding to give her a break. "Since we'll be dueling today while you're teaching Nanoha's class I'll forgive you."
"Wait, we're what?" Fate looked up and over at her, shocked.
"Yup, a demonstration of a real battle," Signum went on, patting her on the back. "Looking forward to it."
"But I can't today, I have to-"
"Think of what to tell Chrono when he finds out his little sister was making Nanoha scream out her name in throws of pleasure?"
"She most certainly did not scream my name!" Fate informed, stomping her foot.
"He doesn't know that," Signum grinned. "What say, 03:00 hours?"
"You're blackmailing me?"
"Oh you are so dead!" Fate stormed off, leaving the very satisfied girl behind her. The girl's anger slowly faded as she made her way down the hallway and by the time she reached her desk it had subdued to just being embarrassed by her words. When lunch time reached her, Fate was already having a hard time keeping the smile from her face. 'I get to fight her again!' she mentally screamed with joy. 'It's been so long! Oh I can't wait to show her my new moves!' Of course she wouldn't let her know that at least.
Nanoha looked at the milkshake in front of her and boredly drank from the straw while keeping herself propped up on the table with her good hand. Her throat protested the movement caused by swallowing by giving her a rough scratchy feeling despite the cool treat sliding down. With a sigh she chewed on her straw without much interest in finishing her meal, despite her stomach protesting furiously that it was starving. 'When I can chew again, I swear I'm going to find the biggest, fattest steak ever and tear it to shreds…' Her stomach growled and she forced herself to gently suck some of the shake, mouth throbbing with a dull pain.
"You okay?" Elio stood next to her. "You look a little spaced out." The young boy got Nanoha's classic smile and a pat on his head for asking. "Are you going to come watch Fate train us today?" The girl nodded at him. "Great. I'm going to head over to the training ground right now, want to come?"
Nanoha instantly stood up and tossed her half-finished drink in the trash. With a quick nod, she walked with Elio to her favorite part of the base. She was a little surprised to see Fate there, already in her barrier jacket, stretching. "Fate-chan?" She mentally sent out to her friend, making her look around. "You're early." Nanoha waved her hand above her head to let Fate see where they were.
After a wave in greeting, Fate watched her adopted little brother and girlfriend walk up to her slowly. The last few steps were jogged by Elio and he stood in front of her, saluting. Before she could help it, Fate reached out and ruffled his hair. "Ah, sorry." She suddenly remembered. "I forgot you don't like that while we're on base."
"It's okay," Elio looked away, a smile still on his face. "No one is around to see it."
"I saw it," Signum mentioned, dropping from the sky and startling the young boy. "Hello Fate, Nanoha, Elio." He nodded to them each in turn. "About ready, Fate?"
"Yeah," Fate nodded, seeing Subaru skating towards them in the distance. From another direction Tia was walking with Rushie, the two apparently having a happy conversation together. "Nice, everyone is here early."
Nanoha felt her chest get tight. All her students were at class almost a full hour early, each looking like they were excited about today's training. When they all reached her and her friends, Nanoha opened her mouth to speak to them but ended up coughing a few times and resorting to her inhaler to settle herself down. Dejectedly she sighed out and hung her head, instantly getting several people to try and cheer her up.
"Okay, let's get started," Fate called their attention and gave Nanoha an encouraging squeeze on her shoulder. "Since Signum has so sportingly agreed to come today and have a practice match, this lesson will be on following your enemy's movements. Also, since most of you use the cartridge system, it would be a good idea to notice how we use them in actual combat. There is a difference in having plenty of time to charge an attack in battle simulations and being in an actual battle itself." The blond looked over at Nanoha. "Instructor, if you would, please give us a field to battle on?"
The brown haired girl looked reluctant, but still summoned forth a city-type battle field. "Fate-chan, please don't hurt my training ground…"
"Come," Signum drew forth her necklace and in a flash Lævatein was in her hand.
"Right," Fate gripped Bardiche tightly, instantly making a sick looking scythe burn into life with energy.
Nanoha swallowed down her fears and allowed her two friends to fly into the make-shift 'city' training ground before waving her hand and making several screen displays appear around both her and her students. "Please observe," Raging Heart spoke Nanoha's mind. "Learn well, and improve."
Fate landed on top of a building, perching her feet on the antenna sticking out from it so she could have a clear view of the area beneath her. Signum stayed in the air several yards away from her, watching with narrowed eyes. 'Bardiche,' Fate directed her thoughts to her weapon, making the energy flow in it increase ever so slightly. 'This is what we've been waiting for...'
"Yes sir," The weapon agreed.
The two opponents met eyes for a brief moment before they were instantly in close range combat, a blur of their past selves fading out from where they had dashed from. Lævatein clashed harshly with Bardiche, slinging flares of energy ripping through the air between them. The stalemate ended quickly, each lashing into strikes while circling each other.
Fate swapped her hand positions in mid swing, gripping the sword between two of the pulsating energy outputs. With the new position she twisted her body and tugged hard, flipping Signum over her body and following her with a wide arc kick. The blow landed on her stomach and shot the pony-tailed woman downwards at an angle, smashing clear through a building before finally stopping in the next one over. Not pausing, Fate lurched to the side and narrowly avoided several delayed magical spears that cleaved the air where she was just flying.
"You've improved," Signium noted, appearing behind Fate and slipping both her arms under Fate's before locking her hands behind the girl's neck and pushing her down into a choker hold.
"Short ranged teleportation?" Fate coughed out, struggling to free herself from the hold. "You got new moves!"
"Did you think I would come back empty-handed?" Signum twirled around to try and disperse the momentum Fate was trying to get by spinning. "Allowing to get yourself- nnnf!- trapped, Fate?" Signum grunted while trying to keep her hold until the girl would pass out. "Guess you got soft cuddling too –nnng!- much!?"
"Don't think so!" Fate screamed, lunging downward towards Signum and slashing Bardiche. The pink haired girl barely had time to whip her body around to avoid being cut in half.
Shocked, Signum looked at the thing she had just been holding and smirked to herself. "Substitution magic?" She asked, pushing away the giant Fate- sized blow up doll that looked as if she was holding one of her eyelids down and sticking out her tongue. "So you've learned a few things as well have you?"
"When Nanoha-chan learns new magic, I'm the first one to get taught, even before the military." Fate and Signum circled each other in the air once more. "You could say I'm kind of a teacher's pet."
"So, does she pet you too?" The words made Fate blush, giving her just enough opportunity to flash forward and clash her blade against her opponent's. Quickly they exchanged melee blows, twisting and curving their bodies to avoid being cut while still moving their weapons in an attempt to cleave the one opposing them. Finally Signum managed to land a lucky roundhouse against Fate's arm, shooting her several yards away before she caught herself in the air. "All nice and limber now?"
Fate stretched out in a giant 'X' formation before rotating her arm. "Aah," She imitated Signum's speech habits, smiling. "You?"
"Very much so… Well then, shall we for real?"
Back on the ground and safely outside of the magical barrier, Nanoha bit her lower lip in an attempt to work out some of her nervousness. So far her two friends had been stretching their limbs to prepare for their fight, something that her students apparently didn't know. With a quick glance to her side, she saw the four of them watching several monitor displays of the battle. Elio was trying to break apart every move made and figure it out while Rushie was talking to him, offering her advice on the magic and if they would ever be able to do it. Subaru was acting more like a cheerleader, punching the air in excitement and cheering on Fate. Tia simply looked dumbstruck at the talent she was witnessing. In all, Nanoha was sure that her students would leave today with a much more real knowledge of the term "overpowered and outclassed."
"Load-" Fate began, thrusting up Bardiche.
"Cartridge!" Signum finished, pointing Lævatein towards her enemy.
The initial blast did no less than decimate the immediate surroundings by the two females. Bodies blurred to the human eye and magical energy roared furiously within the transparent dome surrounding them. Time and time again the barrier flinched, struggling to contain the raw energy flying around inside of it. Nanoha swallowed, pondering on just what condition her friends would be in after the duel was over. In the past they had never been known to hold back anything while fighting each other, and from the looks of the current warpath raging in front of her, this time was no different.
Two empty shells were shot from Bardiche as the blond screamed out, slashing her scythe out repeatedly. The strokes looked harmless, as Signum was far enough away to be in no danger of them connecting. This didn't stop the other girl from instantly going on the defensive, however, as she took to dodging the attacks as if she were right in front of the girl. The moves sped up and finally, on the very last stroke, Fate got her speed up enough to add the one extra twist that broke through her opponent's movements. Grunting out, Signum felt her left shoulder be blasted by the unseen force attack. As she panted, the woman allowed her eyes to inspect the damage, not surprised at seeing her barrier jacket completely torn there, as well as smoke coming up from her broken barrier. The blood was light, but still to be able to cut through not only her barrier, her auto barrier, and her armor in one swing served to make the pony tailed girl only be prouder of her rival.
Fate panted, eyes searching for any signs of attacks coming back at her while Bardiche was temporarily stunned as the excess magical pressure was released from its system. "Snake form!" The words caused an instinctive reaction from Fate, shooting her high into the air to try and get away from Signum's classic move. To her utter disbelief, the coils of chain and steel managed to get above her, starting to loop around and cut off any chance of escape that she might encounter. "You're mine!" Signum screamed, pulling the sword hilt back and tightening the chains.
Four shells were loaded into Bardiche on its on accord, giving it enough power to change its master into Sonic Form as well as shift itself into Zanber form. Fate's world became slower in motion, each heartbeat pulsing deep within her ears. The air was still and the sword links seemed to be hung in mid air, ever so slowly continuing along their path. The girl had to remind herself that time hadn't slown down, but she herself had sped up, and if she didn't move, and soon, then the conversion to her speed form would be pointless.
"Nanoha-chan, what is going on over there!?" Hayate's voice suddenly screamed, a large image of her appearing on top of all the other displays in front of the girl on the ground. "Do you have any idea of the number of calls I've been getting about a disturbance in your training ground!?" Nanoha waved her hands as if to say 'It's not my fault' and turned the display around so Hayate could see the battling girls. "Oh not again! Stop them this instant, if they keep on then the barrier will collapse!" The brown haired girl scratched her cheek while Hayate continued to freak out. "Nanoha-chan, please!"
"They'll tire themselves out soon," She spoke mentally to her friend, feeling a small drain from her power as she used long-distance mental communication's magic. "No need to get hostile with them?" Nanoha waved her hand, putting Hayate's image to the side so the girl could also see her displays. "We're recording this, we could maybe even use it as some sort of battle simulation program in the future? How to fight an S-class mage maybe?"
Hayate gave her a begging look. "Nanoha-chan, that's not the problem everyone is worrying about!" large teardrops came to the corner of her eyes as she pleased. "Stop theeeeeemmmmmm!"
Fate dodged quickly, feeling the tip of Signum's blade lightly run across her side. Bringing her own sword up, she slashed once. The swing missed its intended target, but still continued on, as if the very air itself was sliced from it. Countless buildings were cleaved in half, crashing onto the ground with shattering glass and breaking concrete.
Signum twirled in the air, flipping over Fate and hanging upside down. Her sheath clamped onto the end of her sword handle, merging with it. 'In that form I can barely keep up with her…' A bow string appeared as Fate righted herself from the move, pulling the heavy sword up so she could hold it properly again. 'That sword is too heavy for her, so she is using her sonic form to ensure that her defenses aren't open after a wild swing… If I can make her lose the sword then I won't be in danger of any long range aerial disruptions…'
Eyes widening, Fate turned around just in time to see several shells launching from the now formed bow. "Damn it!" The words barely escaped her lips as the arrow was fired. Catching it on the wide blade of Bardiche, the girl was hurdled backwards through two buildings before cracking against a cement support column in the third. Sliding down it slowly, Fate coughed up a little blood. 'Not good… I think I dislocated my shoulder from that attack… In this case…'
Signum flew into the building quickly, seeing Fate now wielding her scythe again with one hand. Pressing forward, she engaged before the girl seemed to have her wits about her again. Slashing quickly, she managed to off-set her and land a round house, slinging the petite girl into the wall, where she landed roughly, not moving. The pink haired warrior walked towards the un moving body slowly, panting roughly from all the magical energy she had been using the past half hour. Normally her battles only lasted five to ten minutes, and this extended full power play was starting to eat into her core, as well as her cartridge supply.
The air around them grew dark as thunder roared loudly outside the building. Rain instantly started falling and lightning cracked furiously around them. Signum paused, looking around. 'Wait a second; it shouldn't rain inside the barrier…unless!' With a flip of her sword, she sent Fate's un-moving body up into the air, where it slowly floated down. This dummy doll was smiling at her broadly, clearly part of Fate's sense of humor. As she flew quickly outside, Signum looked up in the sky. The real Fate was in the air, gathering a massive ball of lightning with her device. "You little trickster…" Signum grinned to herself, loading four shells into her sword. "Don't you dare think I don't have a counter for that…"
Nanoha gasped loudly as she observed the screens in front of her. 'That kind of power will blow the barrier to pieces!' she thought quickly, looking over at Hayate, who seemed to be having a spaz fit. Fate, having plenty of time to summon the energy needed, slung her attack downwards to her opponent. The motion made Nanoha grin despite herself. The teacher in her couldn't help but notice that the girl had rather nice form.
The explosion was ear-shattering. Chunks of debris and rubble from the now plain training field flew thick around the area, revealing the two forces still clashing, now with melee moves since their magic powers were almost completely gone. "Ah, that last blast damaged the training ground!" Hayate cried out. "That will take weeks to fix!"
Raging Heart was already in Accel Mode, aiming at the two girls in the sky. "I'll blast them both down in one shot!" Nanoha's mind screamed out after seeing her precious training ground hurt.
"Count X," Raging Heart stated, magic circles embracing its body and extending the distance. "Count IX. count VIII, count VII," Elio, knowing the attack, grabbed Rushie and slipped her into his arms, running away. Subaru and Tia, both shocked at the amount of energy being displayed, stayed right next to her. Two cartridges fired from Raging Heart next, making pink glowing feathers rip around them as an after effect. "Count N," The device finished. "Starlight breaker." Nanoha narrowed her eyes, ignoring Hayate screaming at her that she was probably going a bit overboard.
The blast immediately slung Subaru and Tia into the air from the force of it, making each bounce once on the ground before rolling a few times to a stop. The energy flared dramatically into the sky, breaking into a large explosion when it collided with the two flying girls in the air.
When the attack faded and the air around Nanoha stopped sparking with energy, she made a face while looking at her arm, which was throbbing dully in pain. Two large splashes followed, each from their respective duelist. "Mouuuuuu!" Hayate yelled at her. "Nanoha-chan, do you have even the slightest notion of how much I am going to have to BS to cover your little temper tantrum!?" She got a soft smile in return, as if she was apologizing. Sighing out, Hayate sat down at her desk. "Okay, punish them however you like. I'll just say you were demonstrating how to break through a barrier and a magical limiter not working properly… You owe me for this!" Hayate looked to the side as several monitors appeared by her, demanding to be addressed. "You owe me two for this!" she added in, looking as if she was about to cry. "A huge banana split sundae! With all the toppings, you're treat!" The screen blipped out from view just as Fate crawled onto the land from the water, coughing lightly. Signum followed her shortly, panting out as she pulled herself up to a standing position.
Both girls looked at each other uneasily, cloths torn in several places and magically drained from maintaining their device's auto shield from Nanoha's attack. The image of said friend stepped up to them, glaring hard. Two seconds were given to them to brace themselves before the frustrated girl instantly lashed into a mental scolding on both of them.
Elio blinked, watching Nanoha throw out her arm in frustration before stomping her foot and leaning forward. The girls in front of her recoiled in shock before each bowing repeatedly as Nanoha continued on. "That," Elio spoke to Rushie, who was still holding onto his arm with one hand. "Is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life." They continued to watch the silent scolding and Nanoha's over dramatic body movements that stressed her anger.
"Are you still mad?" Fate asked, peeking out of the bathroom and over onto the bed, where Nanoha was already curled up, hugging a pillow. When she didn't get an answer back –mental or no- she quietly crept through the dark room and crawled into bed next to her. An attempt to touch the girl backfired when Nanoha scooted away, puffing out her cheeks. "Come on, don't be like that…" Fate crawled a little closer to make up for the distance and tried again, this time being able to rub her arm. "It'll be fixed before Shamal releases you to full duty again, don't worry."
"Mou," Nanoha muttered out. "You destroyed… my training ground!" The liquid medicine Shamal had forced her to gargle a few hours ago did wonders for her mouth, allowing her to speak in short burst without even her tongue protesting.
"Just shorted it out," She reminded, sitting by her and encouraging the girl to roll on her stomach so she could rub her back. "Don't be mad at me Nanoha…"
"Mm," She chose to leave her answer at that, closing her eyes and mentally deciding that if the backrub was good enough she would forgive her friend. "Keep rubbing… I'll think about it."
Pleased at being spoken to again, and actually hearing the words, Fate straddled her friend's waist and scooted the shirt upwards so she could properly massage her back for her. "How was your check up?" She continued to run her hands over her friends back a while longer before she was responded to.
"Good… Shamal said I should… be able to speak properly… tomorrow sometime if… I kept using the inhaler and gargle…that god-awful stuff… for as long as I can… stand it."
Nodding, Fate leaned over and gently kissed the back of her friend's neck. "Get better soon."
"I'll try." Nanoha sighed contently. "Keep rubbing."
"My hands are tired," She protested faintly but continued to do as she asked. "I've been doing this for almost ten minutes."
"Like three," She countered, getting comfortable. "Consider it punishment for… breaking my beloved training area."
"So having your beloved's hands fall off is better?" Fate pondered aloud.
"You're a strong girl." Nanoha nodded to herself and enjoyed the rubbing along her back and sides a moment longer before Fate took it to her arms, being careful of the bandages, and finally paying special attention to her neck. "That's wonderful…" She breathed out, feeling herself get drowsy. She felt Fate's hands go back down her spine and proceed to rub out the tight spots on her leg muscles as well. "I see why you… like this so much…"
"Don't get used to it, then I won't be rubbed anymore," The blond protested, finally going back to straddling her waist and leaning over so her front was touching Nanoha's back. "There, I'm done. My hands can't stand anymore." Nuzzling their cheeks together, Fate asked again. "Forgive me?"
"I suppose," Nanoha agreed finally. "But if you do it again… you'll have to rub my back more… and a foot massage would be… nice as well." She felt her friend get comfortable, still half laying on top of her. "Cuddly tonight?"
"Maybe," Fate answered evasively, wrapping a hand around her girlfriend's stomach and trailing a finger along it. "Be sure to get lots of rest tonight, I have a surprise for you tomorrow."
"Oh?" Nanoha embraced Fate's hand, keeping it from tickling her. "What is it?"
"If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise now would it?" With a giggle she gave her friend a re-assuring hug. "Just wait for it. Until then, sweet dreams." Fate closed her eyes and allowed her cuddle toy to get comfortable before settling down as well. She got a sleepy good night in return and soon they were both asleep.
Subaru walked down from the residential area of the 6th division's section of the base with a light yawn. It was Sunday, which meant she had the day off from training so her body could rest. Despite this, however, she found herself only able to sleep in until seven in the morning, which was still an hour and a half later than she normally got. Upon exiting the building she made her way across the grounds and pondered on what she was going to do for the day when something bumped into her, almost making her fall over. "Ah, sorry," A voice greeted, hand going to her shoulder to help steady the girl. "Wasn't looking where I was going."
"It's okay," She dismissed it, looking at the person. The male was blond with glasses, long hair flowing out behind him in the wind. The golden strands were kept neat by a green silk ribbon, tried in a bow near the base of his neck. What Subaru noticed the most, however, was the person was wearing civilian clothing. "Are you here to visit someone?"
"Yes, actually. I was asked to visit the mess hall to find him when I went to the building over there." He pointed to the office building a little ways off. "But thing is, I don't know where that is since this is my first time on this section of the base."
"Oh, well," She grinned; not like she had anything better to do than show the cute man around. "Its right over there, I'll walk you if you want?"
"That would be great!" He smiled at her, pocketing the small map of the base he had held in his hands. Together the two made their way back to where Subaru had originally came, this time -however- She went into the main frontal part of the building instead of the side door which she exited from.
"Please be on your best behavior," A guard greeted them at the door. "Admiral Chrono Harlaown is visiting his family here today."
Subaru almost went stiff at the knowledge. The entire mess hall was almost quiet, voices kept low as if not to bother the extremely high ranking member inside. Looking over the room, she spotted the admiral near the far side close to the large glass windows that looked over the lake. Almost no one sat close by him, probably too afraid they would offend the man in some way and get de-ranked. Although she had heard that Admiral Chrono was a nice person, she didn't dare want to interrupt his time with family. When she realized that Fate was sitting across from him, facing towards the rest of the mess hall, she felt herself get even more nervous. Fate was training them currently, which meant that might get to shake Chrono's hand later on.
"Oh nice, there he is." The blond male said happily, walking past the guard and heading over to where Chrono and Fate were.
"Wh-wait a moment!" Subaru hissed at him. "Don't go near them, it's rude!"
"Nah," He laughed, still walking over to the almost empty part of the room. He caught Fate's eye and held a finger up to his lips. The girl acted like she didn't notice him and returned her look to Chrono, now with her lips slightly upturned into a playful smirk.
"What are you going to do?" Subaru whispered, trying to get the male to come back.
Standing behind Chrono, the man waited until the admiral in front of him took a drink of his orange juice before grabbing his shoulders. "Hey Chrono!"
Chrono instantly jerked in his chair, spilling his drink a little and almost spitting it out all over the girl in front of her. Fate broke into laughter, having to cover her face to save herself from getting too loud. Subaru on the other hand could only think one thing as the admiral turned around to glare at them. 'Oh sweet god, I'm about to be court marshaled.'
"Yuuno!" Chrono gasped out, standing and saluting the boy, previous actions already forgotten. "You damn ferret, how you been man?"
"Great!" He saluted back playfully. "Fate told me you were going to be here as well so I came looking for you."
"I see," Chrono looked at the woman beside him, who immediately went ragged and saluted quickly and solidly. "Who's your friend?"
Yuuno looked over at her, seeing the girl too scared to speak. "Actually, I never got her name,"
"Private Subaru Nakajima!" She instantly declared, looking straight ahead of her into Chrono's eyes. "Time-Space Administration bureau's 6th mobile division, under the care of Flight instructor Nanoha, sir!"
"At ease, Subaru." Fate leaned over to look at them. "We're all friends here."
"You're in Nanoha's unit huh?" Chrono mused, looking her over. "You're still in one piece, I guess she learned to control herself after these years."
"Sir, yes sir!" Subaru saluted again since she was once more being spoken to. The back of her mind told her that Nanoha still had temper tantrums when she got upset but she didn't dare voice those thoughts aloud, let alone to the youngest person to ever reach admiral ranking.
"Yuuno!" A sudden new voice filled the room. Before anyone could move, the sandy-blond found himself tackled from behind, making him take a step forward to regain his balance. "Oh my gosh, Chrono too!" a brown ponytail flipped over Yuuno's shoulder as the girl who had tackle-hugged him let go and hugged Chrono next. "I haven't seen you both for ages!"
"Nanoha," The two males greeted her happily, each getting another hug.
Subaru was in another state of shock as she listened to them talk with each other a moment. When Nanoha asked Yuuno how the infinite library was going, she instantly let out a small yelp when the pieces clicked together. Yuuno Scrya, head of research and chief librarian at the infinite library. Alongside Chrono, the boy received more honorable mentions than anyone else around him, even having captains of ships fight over possession of him into their ranks. "S-sir!" Subaru saluted him now. "Please forgive me for my rude behavior earlier, sir! I didn't know who you were!"
Yuuno blinked a moment before turning to Nanoha and pointing at her. "Is she always this nervous and strict?"
"Actually, she's normally the one disregarding the rules," Nanoha replied nervously, taking a puff from her inhaler before continuing. "I think she's just nervous for some reason."
"Oh, you're the trouble maker Nanoha keeps talking about!" Chrono realized, making the blue haired girl sweat lightly. "She said you reminded her of herself all those years back." Looking over at Nanoha, Chrono smirked. "Man you were a lot of trouble. At least Fate followed the rules and orders.
"Oh as if!" She countered. "Fate-chan broke more rules than me, she just didn't get caught!"
"Which means they never happened," Yuuno nodded to himself. "Or at least they didn't happen after I erased them from the log books.
"I knew that was you!" Chrono pointed. "I should have you court marshaled for doing that!"
"Oh just try it," Yuuno crossed his arms and glared playfully. "Make one move and I'll use my network to place your picture in the 'anything goes' section of the universe's sleazy magazines, boy love of course."
Chrono's face paled. "Right then," He cleared his throat. "Anyway, Nanoha, I heard you were hurt?"
"Yeah, what's up with that?" Yuuno pondered as well, putting a hand on his hip. "When Fate called me I hurried over as fast as I could, and you're already bouncing around like always." He pointed to her inhaler that was still in her hand. "And that is?"
"My inhaler," She grinned lightly, moving to sit at the table, making everyone else also do so. "Long story short, I inhaled something I shouldn't have. This thing keeps me going."
"And the magic monitor device around your neck?" Chrono put his chin on his hands in front of him.
"Ah, this thing?" She pointed at her neck where the cheerful green necklace was slowly circling. "Shamal is monitoring my breathing. I think I'm completely better, but I'm still using this breather-thingy until it's empty, just incase."
"And your arm?" Yuuno looked at Nanoha's arm. "Fate said you were wearing a sling."
"Ah… I'm kind of supposed to be…" She grinned lightly. "But I really don't think its necessary… Wait, Fate-chan told you all this?"
"Aah," Chrono nodded, ignoring Fate waving her arms lightly in an attempt to make him be quiet. "She told me that you were mad at her so she got the ferret and me to come visit to try and cheer you up."
"Oh really?" The girl turned to look at Fate. "Was you that worried I'd make you sleep on the couch?"
"No…" Fate looked down, letting her hair cover her blush. "Well… Maybe a little."
"Nyahaha." The brown haired girl leaned over and kissed the blonde's cheek. "Thank you, Fate-chan."
"Oh god they're getting all huggy again." Chrono sighed. "Gag me."
"Leave me alone, I'll cuddle if I want to," to prove her point, Nanoha scooted closer to Fate and slid underneath her arm, so it was around her shoulders. "Nyaaaa." She stuck her tongue out at the boys, who were chucking to themselves. "Oh, by the way, we have news for you two."
"We do?" Fate pondered, looking down at her.
"Yes we do," She confirmed before looking at the males. "Fate-chan and I are dating officially now!"
This time Chrono really did spit out his orange juice on the girl in front of him. "You're what!?"
"Ewww, gross!" Fate whined.
"Congratulations!" Yuuno added in at the same time.
"Wait, you're gay?" Subaru asked before she could stop herself. "Oh wow, that's so cool!"
"Half-gay," Nanoha stuck out her tongue while her girlfriend cleaned herself up. "Guys are still hot too."
"Like me," Yuuno added in, leaning his chair back on the hind legs. "People thought we were dating for years."
"Yeah, that sucked." Fate agreed, pouting. "I got jealous sometimes."
"Of ferret-boy?" Chrono pointed to his side. "I can handle my sis being gay since you obviously look happy, but I can't cope with anyone being jealous of him."
"At least I didn't knock up a girl when I was twenty!"
Chrono's eyebrow twitched lightly and his body shifted, as if he just moved his leg. The next moment, Yuuno let out a yelp as his chair flipped over backwards. The rest of the people looked at him suspiciously, but his face remained impassive. "What?"
"So this is the training ground, huh?" Yuuno asked, looking around as they walked onto the blue hexagon ground. "It's supposed to create solid virtual reality situations isn't it?" He shifted Nanoha lightly as they walked, as she decided to ride him piggy-back style since they haven't seen each other in months.
"It does, yes, when it's not broken." Nanoha looked over at Fate, who flushed. "It's top of the line in battle simulation!" She continued to rant about the details that her training field had, once more slipping into her 'gaga-over-gadgets' mode.
"She seems to be fine," Chrono spoke to Fate, looking out into the lake. "You seemed really upset when you called me so I was worried."
"Sorry. Thanks a lot for coming." Fate smiled up at him. "It'll do her good to see everyone again. You weren't here for the worst part of it, but she lost her voice and use of her left arm for two days. She can talk fine now, but Shamal still has her on a strict no-solid-food diet just incase she coughs while eating she won't get anything lodged in her throat and choke. Poor girl has been living of fruit smoothies and milkshakes." She covered a giggle. "I caught her last night sneaking into the kitchen to eat some brownies but I stopped her… She made me sleep on the couch for the rest of the night, though."
"Hehe, so you did get kicked out of bed." He smirked. "That's awesome."
"Mou, you're supposed to be supportive, brother."
"Okay, okay!" Yuuno cried out, sweating lightly. "Nanoha honey you're talking my ear off again, and that's pretty bad when I can't even follow along with you."
"Hey!" She pouted. "I haven't been able to speak for days, cut me some slack!"
"I'll cut you some slack all right. Right into the water!" Yuuno walked over to the edge of the field and turned so Nanoha was hovering above the clear blue liquid. "Don't make me drop you."
"I'll take you with me," She warned.
With a grin to his friends, Yuuno let go of the girl on his back. At first he braced himself incase she tried to pull him in as well, but found that she simply gripped him harder, arms circling his neck and choking him as she held on for dear life. It didn't' take the book worm longer than six seconds before he reached behind himself and grabbed Nanoha's legs, hoisting her back up onto his back and panting out. "You tried to choke me!" he accused.
"You tried to drop me!" She teased back at him. "Serves you right."
Yuuno jogged a little bit into the training ground before stopping and facing the lake. "Then get ready to go for a swim!" Gripping her hard, he ran full speed towards the water, making the girl on him gasp out.
"You'll get soaked too!"
"Try me!" Yuuno leapt into the air, letting the force carry him sailing. When he didn't dare risk it anymore, he closed his eyes and changed shape.
Nanoha gasped out as the person she was holding onto suddenly vanished. She felt a small bump against her chest and when she looked down, she saw a ferret falling under her, barely grabbing a hold of the edge of the grounds and scrambling up before he sank. The next thing she knew, Nanoha splashed into the water. It took her a moment to comprehend what was going on before she swam to the top and broke the surface. "You cheater!" She accused, watching the animal shape shift back into a human. "No fair!"
Laughing, Yuuno walked over to the edge and offered his hand to the girl. "Oh come on, that was funny!" Smiling at her, the boy helped his friend up out of the water.
"Then don't forget to laugh," she cooed, pushing her feet against the edge of the ground and forcing herself backwards. Her friend yelled out before falling as well, landing in the water along with the one he was trying to help up. When the two resurfaced, Nanoha splashed him happily.
"You little tramp!" Yuuno went to splash her back, but stopped when he heard the uncontrollable laughter coming from their two friends. Yuuno met her eyes and the two hopped up onto the solid ground and grabbed Fate.
"H-hey!" She cried out as Yuuno got her hands and Nanoha snared her feet. She felt herself topple over and be carried between the two over to the edge. "D-don't!"
"One!" Yuuno slung her forward, still gripping her. The motion made her rock back and the pair got more force when they moved the girl forward again. "Two!"
"Three!" Nanoha cheered, slinging poor Fate into the air, where she flailed out helplessly before splashing into the water.
Upon surfacing, Fate spit out water and growled at them. "Jerks! I'll get you for this!" She turned to look at Chrono, who was covering his face with a hand, trying to keep his laughing fit under control. Not one to be out done, she threw out her hand, latching around her brother's ankles with a magical binding chain and tugging on it, ripping him into the water as well. "Ha!"
"Swim time!" Yuuno declared, running and jumping back into the water, doing a cannonball. Nanoha followed him quickly, although jumping on top of Fate and hugging her in the water, making her blush darkly.
"What a day," Nanoha sighed out happily as she sat at the kitchen table while Fate put up their groceries. "We got to see everyone again, go swimming, shopping, browse the mall, even ride go-karts and play put-put-golf." She giggled to herself at the memories. "Shamal even removed the collar and allowed me to eat real food for once…" She looked over at Fate, still laying on her arms. "Thank you for dinner."
"Don't mention it," She replied happily. "I knew you would be starving."
"I ate enough to make up for it, though." She giggled and stretched. "I'll be in the living room okay?"
" 'kay, I'll be there in a moment." Fate watched her friend leave the room and go around the corner. When she was no longer in sight, Fate allowed herself to smile brightly, pleased at how the day turned out. Her friend was successfully cheered up and she even managed to have quite a good bit of fun herself. A noise caught her attention next and when she stopped to listen she heard Nanoha above her, apparently in the bed room. Moments later she heard her friend descend the stairs and plop onto the couch. "Want anything before I come in there?" She called out, putting up the last of their things.
"No thanks," Nanoha called back, watching the kitchen entrance for her friend. "Go change cloths and get comfy," She told her friend as she unfolded a blanket.
"Sure," Fate noticed that Nanoha had already changed into a skimpy tank top and boy shorts when she had gone upstairs. Grinning, she went to her dresser and rooted around, finding the matching set that she had. The clothing was exactly the same as her friends, only she had a light blue and her girlfriend had pink. "Any movies on?" She called out, looking over the balcony as she changed cloths.
"Not yet," Nanoha was surfing the channels "There's something neat on the military channel about new weapons."
"Figures that's what you'd be interested in," Fate signed. She loved Nanoha to death, but if she saw anything that was new in either weapons or magic spells, she had a bad habit of tuning out everything else around her and focusing just on that. Walking down the stairs, she stopped and looked at Nanoha, who had a blanket wrapped around herself.
The pony tailed girl looked over at her friend and smiled while making a beckoning motion with her hand. Fate looked at her with an amused look but still walked towards her none the less. The motion was repeated and the shorter girl opened up her arms to spread out the blanket. One leg was running along the couch while the other was hanging off it, offering the blond a seat between her legs. Fate decided to take the offered seat and plopped down with her back to Nanoha's front, instantly getting a hug and snuggled from behind. "Caught you," She whispered in Fate's ear softly, bringing her other leg up and laying it on top of Fate's closest leg and under her other. "You can't escape," She continued, nuzzling her much like a kitten would.
"You're in a cuddly mood tonight, huh?" Fate giggled to herself, allowing the signs of affection happily. "So tell me," she ventured on. "Now that I can't escape, what will you do with me?"
Nanoha wrapped her arms around Fate's shoulders and pulled her closer, allowing their bodies to touch. "Snuggle," She replied easily. "And… one thing I've always wanted to try, if I may?"
Nanoha gently moved her nose against Fate's neck, nudging it so she would lean over and expose her shoulder. The loose strap from the tank top fell over her arm from the movement and allowed Nanoha to go about her small desire undaunted. Very gently she touched her lips to her girlfriend's skin in a small kiss. The motion made Fate tense up slightly, closing her eyes as Nanoha's lips pulled away, sticking lightly from the flavored chapstick that was worn. "Is this okay?" She whispered softly into the ear of the girl she was holding.
"…Yes," Fate slowly brought up a hand from the blanket and reached back, lightly threading her fingers awkwardly into Nanoha's hair. Encouraged, the brown haired girl closed her eyes and once again placed her lips on the shoulder, slowly kissing up to her neck. Ever so gently she put her mouth on the soft spot between her neck and shoulder and started to suckle on it lovingly. "Aahhh…" The soft gasp of air came out in a long whisper. "Nanoha…"
The girl only pulled back when she needed to take a breath, looking at the wet spot where she had just been, seeing a red mark on the milky white skin that she was sure would bruise. "Fate…" her hands hugged her tighter, once more leaning down to kiss a new spot and repeat the motion. A soft moan came from her girlfriend, the hand in her hair trying it's best to massage where it was placed. 'Tonight,' She thought as she rubbed Fate's stomach in a slowly circle. 'Tonight we'll show each other how much we truly love one another…'
Autho's notes: I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'd like to give a special shout out to the people at shoujoai dot com for their support, without them I would have stopped this story a while back. Sequal to this will be made shortly, entitled "Emerald Dream", that will be rated "M" and contain the actions immediatly following the end of this chapter.