Author's notes: This story here is a means of diving deeper into my Alternate Universe known as "6th Division: Rebirth, Reminisce, Redemption". Since this world is filled with things not related to the StrikerS series, I thought I'd take an opportunity to share with you the things in this universe that makes it original and separate from the other StrikerS fanfics out there. This will be updated periodically whenever I feel the need to explain a few things, or to give just a simple deeper view into the lives of the characters in my 6th Division running storyline. The following can be a stand alone, but will be rather confusing if you havn't read Rebirth and Reminisce from me. This takes place between Book II: Reminisce, and Book III: Redemption.
Checking to make sure I had everything, I pulled my apartment door closed with my foot and gave Nanoha a grin when she had to bump the down button to the elevator with her hip. We had all planned a great cook out tonight and it was already getting started it seemed. Things were finally settling down around our base so we're taking the time to catch up with everyone, as well as welcome Lutecia's official acceptance into the forward lightning group. My fiancée motioned for me to hurry up so I quickly jogged over to her, careful not to drop the many things I was carrying. Once inside the elevator she nudge the lobby floor button and grinned at me, leaning up on her feet to awkwardly kiss my cheek. I stuck my tongue out at her playfully but sucked it back in when she tried to take advantage of the situation and kiss my lips. I would be cooking soon and I didn't want the thought of making out to be on my mind. She looked a little depressed but after a wink she cheered up a little and trotted out of the doors and over to her Stars members on the ground floor before we all headed out to where our little party was happening.
6th Division: Section Six Side Stories
Nanoha looked at the grill from behind Fate and peeked over her shoulder to try and get a closer look at the several shish-kabobs. Placing one hand onto the blond's shoulder, she got the attention there and tried to sneak her other around to get one off the grill. "Go ahead," Fate told her without even looking at the invading hand. "The skewers are metal, you'll burn yourself pretty badly."
"You didn't even look!" Nanoha protested. "How did you know?!"
"You always steal food when you think I'm not looking. Go on, shoo, go talk to everyone. We're here to celebrate another successful mission." Fate pushed her away playfully and smiled at the pout she received. Turning back to the grill she flipped the skewers around once with her tongs and wiped her hands off on her apron. "How did I end up cooking anyway?"
"Because you're a great chef," Chrono informed her from the chair next to the grill as he watched her take the lounging chair in front of him and lay back. The sun was starting to set in the backgrounds but several tiki-style torches were all around them as well as strung up lights and two large bon-fires. Music played carelessly around the large group as everyone chatted about nothing in particular. "So tell me," The man went on, tossing her a cold one. "When my little sister isn't saving the universe, what is she up to?"
"Nothing much." She popped the top and took a long drink. "What do you want to know?"
"Tell me your average day."
"Hmmm... I wake up at five-thirty in the morning and lay in bed until Nanoha pulls me out with a cup of coffee. From there I sit lifelessly at the living room table while sipping my drink and reading the newspaper. Normally I don't talk much in the mornings so Nanoha uses this time to get dressed and go over her schedule. Around five-fifty or so Nanoha runs out to the training ground, normally out the window so she can make it in a little under a minute. Hayate scolds her all the time about it but Nanoha never listens. At six I normally start to actually wake up and get dressed. I grab the thermos of coffee and head to my office and normally stay there from six-thirty to eleven." Fate looked at the grill to check on her food before continuing. "From eleven to noon I observe the training forces and offer any advice I see."
"How many training forces are there?"
"Four, the regular police division is always circulating people for standard cop trainings. From there you go to the more magically advanced people who make up the standard military trainings. The third group are graduates of the military training and are being trained and sorted into land, sea, or air divisions. That leaves the Forwards, who are trained by Nanoha directly. Normally Nanoha makes her rounds around the main base to converse with other teachers about the progression of their students and more or less chatter about useless things. Anyway, after that I grab a bite to eat. Sometimes I manage to eat lunch with the forwards but mainly Hayate-chan and I share a lunch together in her office. From one to three I patrol the town-"
"AKA, run rampet on the streets while looking for people to race later at night."
"-To make sure no crimes are going on," She continued as if he didn't say anything. "From three to five I work out at the gym or spar with Signum. From end of training until whenever it's done I am back in my office going over the previous day's reports on all the troops and divisions and budgets given to me by the leaders of individual departments." The blond checked her food again and called out over her shoulder. "First batch is done!"
Subaru was at the grill instantly, eying the food with a dreamy look. "Fill'er up!" She asked happily, offering her plate and getting two skewers. "Thank you!"
"We'll have a lot more, so come back after a while," Fate laughed as the girl started attacking the side dishes. "Here you go, Tia, Hayate, Vita." She grabbed several more and placed them on the grill. "Where was I?"
"Department work," Chrono grinned, drinking slowly from his can.
"Ah yes," Fate hopped back down and kicked her feet out, leaning back. "That can take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, depending. Normally I just let it build up a few days and take care of it all at once or pass it off to my secretary to do for me. After that I jog around the base until I can't walk anymore and head home. Normally I get there around seven to eight. I cook dinner most of the time and eat together with Nanoha before taking a shower and lounging around. I try to get in bed anywhere from nine to eleven, depending on how tired I am or how long Nanoha stays up doing her paperwork. And there you go, my basic work week."
Chrono hummed to himself, watching her flip the food on the grill without even getting out of her chair. "Sounds like a lot of work. Do missions mess you up much?"
"Very. When I'm given a mission my day basically goes: Wake up, start researching, training the forwards along with Nanoha, scouting the area, more research, sleep. I eat every now and then when I can. On the day of action I sleep in as long as I can, do the mission, and come back, debrief, and cook something fancy for us for dinner."
"Haha, you like cooking don't you?"
"I really do. Normally I'm the one who always cooks our meals, and on Firesday if everyone is at the base I'll make dinner for all the forwards."
"I heard Hayate gives you a day off after every mission? And Nanoha takes every Firesday off as well doesn't she?"
"Mm." Standing, she called out her second batch and loaded up more plates, tossing more from the never ending pile they had all chipped in together to make onto the grill. "After a mission I normally lay around the apartment and have wild kinky sex."
"Ugh, please spare me!"
Fate laughed happily. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding! Believe it or not, we're not bunnies like everyone thinks. We make love once a week, sometimes none. We just don't have time, or we're too tired."
"Oh bull, I've heard stories."
Fate blushed. "Well, there are exceptions..." Turning the food, she thought back. "Our record is... I think twenty-some times in one week."
"Twenty-some times in eight days!? What the hell, Fate!? That's like..."
"Three times a day," She confirmed. "Waking up, a quickie at lunch, and in the shower at night."
Chrono put his face in his hands. "I'm going to have nightmares."
"No you're not, here." She offered him a fully prepared plate. "Dig in."
"So how do you like rooming with Lutecia-chan?" Nanoha asked her daughter as they all ate together. She was currently sitting at a picnic table along with Elio, Caro, and Lutecia.
"It's really fun," She talked around nibbling on her kabob. "We stay up late sometimes and talk a lot."
"Yeah," Lutecia wiped her mouth off after attacking her food. "It is the most fun I've had as long as I can remember."
Nanoha smiled to herself. "Now we just need to get Elio-kun a room mate so he won't be lonely."
Caro shook her head. "Don't worry, we don't let him get lonely."
Lutecia nodded in agreement. "We normally stay with him once a week each."
"Ohhhh?" She looked over at Elio, who was still munching his food. "And what do you do when you're together, all alone, and no one knowing where you are?" Her words were playful, wondering what kind of games they would do together.
"We sleep with each other," Caro replied happily, making Nanoha spit out her drink. "Are you okay!?"
The woman coughed Several times, wiping her mouth off quickly before taking to trying to get her sprayed juice out of a grossed out Elio's hair. "That's not what I thought you'd say." She shook her head. 'Clearly my mind is just in the gutter...' Turning to look back at Caro, she continued. "Sleeping together huh? Sounds fun?"
She nodded. "The first time was a little uncomfortable but once we learned how to position ourselves it was really nice." The girl looked at Nanoha's shocked expression. "Mommy?"
"I...um..." She shook her head. "I'm sorry, I just got lost in thought... Ne, Elio-kun, what do you think about this...?"
He blinked and looked up at her a moment before answering around his meal. "I don't mind; although when they double team me I'm more exhausted than anything else."
The purple haired girl blushed. "I'm sorry, do we keep you up too long? I know I tend to squirm too much."
"I'll be right back," Nanoha stood up and walked away from them, rubbing the bridge of her nose.
Caro giggled. "Sleeping at night is fun, but random naps in the day are good too."
"Nanoha!" Yuuno called his best friend over and grinned when she happily came. "This cook out was a great idea, it's been a while since we could all just relax."
"You said it, lately everyone has been running around like they were on fire. Amazing how it took a almost two weeks before we calmed down to get on a normal schedule." The girl sat down on a lawn chair and leaned back, propping her feet up and sighing. "It's even gotten cold before I even realized it. Flying is going to be chilly."
"How's Tia's flight lessons going?" The man sat next to her in his own chair. "You've been with her a lot lately between training sessions?"
"She's amazing, actually. Believe it or not she can keep herself from falling too fast. Once it took her almost two minutes before she touched the ground when I dropped her. Granted she was concentrating really hard and was using her body to help her magic flow, but still. That's way better than I thought she'd do. Most people take almost three months before they can fly and they're at double A before even trying. Tia's only B-rank and she's already slow falling after two months. I'd comfortably call her a prodigy."
"Really?" A new voice asked as Tia leaned between them. Her long hair fell around her shoulders, taken to being let down instead of her normal pigtails as if to keep her neck warm. "I'm a prodigy?"
Nanoha sighed out. "Plus one to Tia's ego."
"I do not have an ego." She offered the two loaded plates and grinned at their happy looks. "But I do feel special hearing that, thank you Nanoha-san. Did you learn to fly really fast as well?"
"Sort of," Nanoha giggled nervously. "Mine was a special case though."
"How so?" Tia sat across from her in a random chair and started eating her dinner.
Yuuno answered for his friend. "She was fighting something that was in the air and I told her to fly up to it so she did."
"Wait, just like that?"
Nanoha blushed. "Um, yeah. Just like that."
"So you just...flew... without knowing you even could?"
"More or less."
Tia fell back in the chair and just looked at her teacher for a moment in shock. "That's... Amazing!"
The male shook his head lightly. "Nanoha is a special case. Speaking of cases, didn't you tell me you were thinking about doing something when you turned twenty?"
"Mm," Nanoha confirmed. "It's a few months until my birthday on this calender but Fate's is coming up soon."
"Fate-san will be twenty as well?" Tia pondered.
"She'll be eleven." Nanoha replied absently in thought. Realizing what she said, she waved it off. "Never mind!"
Fate's voice came up by them as she leaned over to offer the three some drinks. "I don't mind, they would find out eventually anyway."
"You sure?" The blue eyed one looked up at her fiancée.
"Of course, it's a happy time in my life, after all." Leaning down, she gave Nanoha a quick kiss to her temple. "If you need more drinks just holler at me and I'll bring you some."
"Thanks, Fate." Yuuno raised his can up to her playfully in a little salute. "Well," He looked over at Tia. "Fate's life was really rough growing up. You could say that she never celebrated her birthday before or even knew when it was. When Nanoha found her I'm sure you know they were enemies at first?" He got a short nod. "After they had their differences put aside and after the Precia incident, Fate was left with nothing. Nanoha here became her first friend. Later when Fate needed to state her age and birth date for something she realized that she didn't know that information. So she chose that day on the bridge, when she was talking to Nanoha and because friends, that would be her birthday. So she will be turning eleven this coming time around."
Nanoha looked down into her drink. 'Even though, technically, she IS only really eleven since she was born and awoken when her body was nine... and those nine years weren't her memories after all... But no matter, Fate said it was a happy time for her now, and she really enjoys her birthday.' Nodding, she added into the story. "Birthdays for Fate are always extra special because of that. You could say that it's her favorite day of the entire year" She took a large bite out of her shish kabob and moaned out happily. "Fate!" She called out, getting the blonde's attention from her brother. "These things are GREAT!" Her friend laughed and waved at her before going back to the conversation. 'Fate sure has come a long way since back then. She went from the shattered girl I first met to someone who heals others. Having been there herself, she can touch people in a way that I can't. Even Caro-chan has been saved by Fate before I could start helping her mend the wounds she had encountered. I don't think Caro has any long regrets about anything...But then again, no one but me knows about Fate's sleeping habits, how she has to sleep with her back to the wall because of painful childhood memories... the nightmares she has when she sometimes gets to the middle of the bed. Actually, she can sleep in the middle of the bed, but only when I'm behind her. I heard from Chrono once that when she stays with him she still has nightmares even when her back is against him... Wow, I never thought about it before now...' Looking over at her again, she smiled fondly at her lover. Fate noticed Nanoha looking at her and blushed darkly when she realized it was a caring look.
"Ah!?" Turning back to Tia she looked at her and then Yuuno. "Um, what was that?"
"I say, Nanoha," The male sighed. "You space out more than anyone I know."
"How was your last mission, Sub-lieutenant Vita?" Subaru asked her instructor as they sat next to the rather large fire while roasting marshmallows for dessert. "You were gone for almost a week with Signum-san weren't you?"
"Ah," Vita confirmed, looking into the blaze. "It went fine, the people causing the trouble were push overs."
"It must be hard being sent on long distance missions all the time?"
"It's not bad, I'm used to it. Don't slack in your training while I'm gone, though." Vita pulled back her wire rod and inspected the marshmallow on the end of it before blowing a few times and eating it.
Subaru, on the other hand, waited until hers caught fire before pulling it back and crying out. Blowing on it quickly, she put out the flames and looked at the blackened sugar puff before shrugging and eating it anyway. "Oh hey," She licked her lips. "A little char on it taste pretty good."
Vita shook her head at the girl but was still rather amused by her. "How are things with you?" She asked her secret favorite student. Although she wouldn't admit it to anyone but Nanoha, she had taken a liking to Subaru over the time they spent together. In truth, the blue haired girl reminded her of a younger version of Nanoha. Happy and carefree and full of spirit. Although the woman was still that way sometimes, most of the waking moment she was doing her job properly and holding back her random outbreaks of joy whenever something amused her.
"Things are good," Subaru mused while thinking the question over. "I'm proud of the way I've been advancing lately, and I've found myself able to stay up a little later at night and not be tired the next morning so I think I'm going to try and copy Fate-san and jog a little in the evening before I turn in." She got an approving hum, making her grin. "Aside from that, my love life has gotten better too. Tia is really open with her feelings with me now, that makes me happy."
"Quite annoying really." Vita opposed her. "As if the bunny couple wasn't bad enough."
"We're not that bad," Subaru sweated lightly. "We havn't even gone past second base yet... Well... I've struck out at third a few times..."
Vita actually snorted, holding back her laugh. "Don't give up," She offered after a while. "Not about third base, but in the relationship. It takes time."
"Mm. I know." She looked back to the fire a while before spearing a marshmallow on the end of Vita's rod. "Here you go."
"You're alone, that's rare." Yuuno's voice made Hayate jump slightly as he put his jacket around her shoulders. "It's cold already, don't get sick." Sitting beside her he looked into the fire. "What you doing over here all by your lonesome?"
The girl pulled the warm jacket closer around her shoulders and hid her face between her knees since she was hugging them anyway. "I don't know, just thinking I guess. Ever since we started this division it's been one thing after another. From hunting down triple-S ranked mages to bringing down mad scientist to destroying entire fleets of drones...I don't know, sometimes it seems that we're being used by the higher ups just to fight. I made this division so we could not only hunt relics but also do public safety, to protect everyone... And we're severely understaffed still. The local police love us but if we can't get people here to train then it's meaningless..."
"We still have a lot of space, huh?"
"We have thirty non-forward rooms open and each one holds two people. Our forward rooms are about half full now thanks to Lutecia and you but still... So much empty space."
"We have room for a new training squad? Fate's already pressed driving around the base to inspect the four current ones."
"It wouldn't be bad. Nanoha's training schedule is three times a day, seven days a week, at two hours per session."
"Six to Eight, Eleven to One, and Four to Six right?" He thought about it lightly. "So there are three hours in between her training... so we could use her training field for the regulars...three times a day, for two hours, thirty minutes in between the end of one and the start of the next...That's do-able right? I'll hit up the local police logs and see if there is over crowding and then have a meeting if I can to see about a program where all the departments can send up two to three people each for a few month long training periods." he grinned at her surprised look. "Oh come now, don't think I can't handle that on to of my other work. All you need to worry about is finding a teacher for them. Nanoha can only be stretched so far you know."
"Yuuno...Wow, thank you. I don't know what to say...?"
"When you're having problems like this, don't hide them." He gave her a quick wink. "I love any excuse to research anything, no matter what it is."
Hayate blushed a little. "You're still the same after all these years, you know?" Slowly she scooted over to him more so their sides were touching. "But ever since you started hanging around my division you've become a lot more...What's the word?" He tilted his head curiously at her. "Confident."
"Confident?" He blinked. "How so?"
"I'm not sure really." She tried to think how to word what she was feeling. "You have always been extremely loyal, really dedicated, always willing to work as hard as you could...but you still didn't seem as if you knew how much of a difference you really made. Now... It feels like you know that your work has a meaning and it's influenced you a little."
"Is that bad?"
"No!" She felt suddenly embarrassed when Yuuno looked shocked at her sudden loud answer. "Um, I mean no...I kind of.. like it you know." She giggled nervously, suddenly finding it hard to look at him for some reason. "I like you..." She gasped. "I mean I like you like that! I mean, I like you, like you, like that. Ohh! You know what I mean!" She hid her face into her hands and felt like dieing. "I'm so embarrassed right now..."
Yuuno chuckled to himself, shaking his head lightly. After a moment he felt a hand on his and looked down questioningly. Hayate still had her face buried in both of hers, which made him blink and trail the arm up and found it connected to Nanoha. Before he could ask she gripped his hand and lifted it up, quickly placing his arm around Hayate's shoulders. At first he found himself too shocked to do anything, too worried Hayate would freak out on him, but almost at once the smaller girl leaned over just a little bit, resting her head against his neck and shoulder. The man felt his cheeks color slightly, thankful it was already too dark to notice. Nanoha waved at him silently and walked off back to the rest of the group.
"Nanoha," Arf called out, running over to the woman and hugging her leg. "Where have you been?"
"Arf-san!" Nanoha reached down and picked up the little girl and carried her on her hip. "I was over with Yuuno-kun and Hayate-chan. Have you been having fun?"
"Good." Nanoha smiled at her and used her free hand to make sure the familiar was properly covered. "Are you cold? Do you want me to get you a scarf or something?"
"Nanoha, I'm not a five year old." Her voice was amused none the less, as it always was when she was treated like a little girl.
"I'm sorry, you're just so tiny. I can't help it." Grabbing her under both arms, Nanoha lifted the puppy-girl up into the air. "It's so hard to imagine you used to tower me by three feet!"
Arf laughed at the simple act and held on to her. "You were such a cute little child, what happened?"
"Hey!" Nanoha sat down around the other campfire that still had several people around it talking non-stop about nothing in general. "So how do you like it here? It's been a while since you stayed with Fate, huh?"
"It's great, I missed her so much!" Arf let her legs swing happily as she sat in Nanoha's lap in a chair. "Missed you too. Hard to believe it's been so long since you became my Sub-Master."
"That sounds so funny," Nanoha complained as she always did. "Can't you just call it...'god-mother' or something? It's not much, I can barely tell you take some of my power."
"Because when a familiar has two masters they only take half of what they need from each, and in this form even a low ranked mage wouldn't feel much."
"I see," She smiled. "Well, I'm just happy you let me do it. I'd be really worried about you too if Fate ever got her linker core busted again."
"Mm, thank you for caring so much." Arf gave Nanoha another hug. "And for taking care of my Fate while I'm not around."
"Sure thing, Arf-san."
"So tell me, what do you normally do around here?"
"What do you mean?"
"I know you train people but that's just about it, do you do other things as well?"
"Oh yeah!" Nanoha chuckled. "My day is normally jam-packed."
"Sure," She thought a moment. "Well, I wake up at five in the morning. First thing I do is kiss Fate on the head, although I'm not sure if she knows it's part of my daily ritual or not, and then go downstairs to start making coffee. I get the beans from my shop back home on Earth. Kuhn always visits my parents and gives them my video letters and picks up theirs, but he is also really close friends with my Dad so he brings him a lot of things from Midchilda. Once I found that out I asked if he could get the coffee beans there since Dad has Fate's favorite blend. I'm getting off the point ha ha. Anyway, I grind coffee beans first thing and put them over on my coffee maker to steep. Since I use a traditional coffee maker it takes a while for it to go through, and I also fill Fate's thermos with hot water. While it's doing it's thing I go upstairs and brush my teeth and comb my hair and all that fun stuff. When I'm done I go downstairs and change the beans to the other half I ground up and steep a new set. Back upstairs I change into my Training Uniform, which takes a while because I normally lose one of my stockings." She grinned at Arf's laugh. "By now the coffee is done so I pour Fate a cup and dump the water in her thermos and then fill it up with coffee."
"Why did you put hot water into it if you just dump it out?"
"Because it heats up the thermos so when I fill it full of coffee it will stay piping hot. Fate's really bad about not drinking coffee unless it's scalding. It really kind of creeps me out. It can be boiling and she'll sip it like it's iced tea. So anyway, I go wake her up and give her the cup and pat on the head. By now it's about five thirty so I start going over my day's schedule while Fate just kind of sits there a moment and goes to read the newspaper. By the time I'm done and make sure I'm properly dressed for the day I head out to the training field and teach the forwards from six-ish to about eight or so. From then until nine-thirty I have kick boxing training. When it's over until ten I normally grab a bagel or waffles or something at the café across from the gym. From ten to eleven I review what the forwards did in the first training session and then start the second one from eleven till one." Nanoha looked up at Subaru when she offered them a small plate with freshly made s'mores. "Thank you, Subaru." Taking them, she started nibbling and allowed her Stars member to listen in on them after sitting next to the two. "Sometimes we stop early and eat lunch with the rest of the leaders of Section six but for the most part we take lunch from one to two. Until about three or so I give Tia daily flying lessons and then I go meet with fellow instructors. We only have about half an hour or so to talk but we do it every day so we always get what's needed to be said done. I hurry over to the training field then until about six-ish depending. If I wasn't involved in physical combat that day I'll normally jog the track once just to stay on top of my game. Every now and then I'll run into Fate but for the most part I don't see her too terribly often. I get home around seven or so and Fate normally has a hot meal waiting on me. She'll kiss my cheek and say 'Welcome home Honey!' and then ask me how my day went and be all "paya-paya" with me."
"Gag me," Subaru grinned, obviously not meaning it.
Nanoha smiled over at her. "And then we have sex,something you're not getting any of, I hear."
"Hey!" Subaru colored. "It's not like I'm not trying!" When she realized what just left her mouth she sank back. "...Please don't tell anyone I said that..."
"I'm just kidding," She went on. "We shower together whenever we can and then I go about doing my paperwork. It's not much so I normally just let it pile up on me and do it all at the same time. One good thing about an instructor is you really only have to plan out your days and how your students are progressing. I make a weekly schedule every Firesday so I have more free time than Fate does. She takes Firesday off as well, though. I guess being best friends with the leader of the division has it's perks. She looked over at Subaru. "Since we're talking about it, what do you normally do?"
"Ah, my day isn't really interesting. Being only a private I don't have any paperwork to do besides fill out forms after completed missions. I go running with everyone in the morning time before first training, then eat breakfast and work with Tia a while before second training. We eat lunch and I normally train with Vita-san a little bit before third training. After that I rest a little bit and then Tia and I do combination practice. Dinner and then bed. Was your daily routine different when you were my age?"
Arf laughed at that. "Yes, when she was your age she woke up, trained for two hours, and then went to school until three, trained another two hours, and ate dinner, did her homework, spent time with her friends, and then went straight to bed after a bath."
Subaru gaped at her. "That's right... You didn't do boot camp or special training or anything did you?"
"Nope," She gave Subaru a peace sign. "I passed go and collected my two hundred dollars!" The girl was certain Subaru had no idea what that statement meant but Arf still found it funny enough to laugh at.
"Elio, do you want anything to eat?" Lutecia pondered, looking over at him a little closer than she really needed.
"Um, no thank you I'm fine..." The red head laughed nervously, moving lightly in another direction when Caro go closer to his other side. "I'm not really thirsty either..." He turned down the drink offer. "Eh...hehe..."
Signum shook her head as she observed them. "That boy has no idea what he's in for when he hits puberty does he?"
Shamal covered her mouth. "Oh my, I didn't even think about that... I wonder if he even knows what 'the birds and the bees' are..."
"I highly doubt it," The pink haired girl leaned back in her lawn chair by the fire and looked up at the stars. "Peaceful night isn't it?"
"Ah, it sure is." She looked up at the constellations for a few moments before a semi loud yelp made her look back over at the three young ones, where Caro was giving Elio's neck an exceedingly long kiss.
"There," The little girl exclaimed, proud of herself for leaving a small bruise on Elio's neck. "All done."
"All done?" Signum asked her, making the three look over at her. "Caro, what did you just do?"
"Gave a sign of my affection!" She replied innocently. "Mommy told me I should do that sometimes to let the person I like know it." Caro smiled, pleased with herself for remembering to do it. "Elio-kun just told me that Kuhn-said he could officially work with him on Firesdays if he wanted to! I'm really proud so I wanted to show him."
"And Nanoha...told you to do that?" Shamal asked her nervously.
"Nuh uh," She shook her head. "I didn't know what I should do so I watched her and Fate-san when they were together."
"...And Nanoha did that to Fate's neck?"
"Un!" Caro nodded as she recalled it. "And then she said 'Let me show you how much I missed you' and then did this weird thing with her hands," To show her point she held out both hands and squeezed them as if she was groping something. " And then said something about chocolate syrup but they saw me and then took me for some ice cream when I asked about it, so I don't really understand."
Signum let her head fall forward. "I'm going to have to talk to Fate about this..." Another small gasp made her look to Elio, who had his neck being bitten by Lutecia now. "What in the...Is she going for blood?"
"We're even," The purple haired girl told Caro as Elio rubbed the new soft spot on his neck.
"No fair!" Caro protested her. "That's my sign of affection!"
"We can share it?"
"...Well okay, we can share this one."
Elio sighed. "Why me...?"
Fate came over to them and looked at Elio when he suddenly tried to hide his neck. "How did you get those bruises, Elio?" Kneeling down, she tilted his head from side to side to inspect them. "They look like..."
"The one on your neck," Signum informed her. "You're teaching your children bad habits."
The red eyed girl looked at Caro and Lutecia. "Did you two bite him!?"
"Yup!" Caro replied eagerly.
"I did," Lutecia added in softly, cheeks coloring. Unlike Caro she knew exactly what she had done.
Fate sighed. "Why can't they be children for a little while longer...?" Letting it go, she sat next to Signum's free side. "So, Elio, Did I hear right? Are you going to work at Mount Fuji's on your days off?"
The male nodded. "I've been practicing on how to 'flair' a lot lately and when I came to show him today he offered me a job to work whenever I had time off. He said he would pay me with free food and drinks as much as I wanted."
"Sounds like Kuhn...Nanoha helps him out too."
"Mommy has a job?"
Fate leaned forward and propped her chin up onto her hands. "Not really a job, but more than just a few times Nanoha acts as a waitress for him whenever the place gets too crowded. It's her way of saying thanks for him always delivering her mail."
Signum leaned forward and nudged Fate. "What about your job there?" Her friend blushed and looked away, muttering something about it not being true. "Don't be so shy, it was for a good cause. The fire department's fund raiser there really helped when building their new station."
Elio's interest perked at hearing this. "Fate-san did something for a fund raiser?"
"Ah," Signum turned to him despite Fate's sudden pleading for her to be quiet about it. "Fuji's offered their club for the night and all proceeds would go to helping build another fire station where it was needed. Fate here brought in the most money in only three and a half minutes."
Lutecia looked impressed "What did she do?"
"Pole-dance?" Caro pondered, thinking. "What's that?"
"It's a dance kind of like the one you did a while ago on the cruise ship," Fate cut off her rival before she could reveal anything else. "I only did it once because it would help save lives!" She glared hard, face burning red. "And Signum and the rest claim it's my job there now, which it isn't."
"You seem upset, Fate-san," Elio looked nervous. "Is it something bad?"
"NO!" Fate waved her hands, trying to save some of her dignity.
"What are we talking about?" Nanoha wondered as she came over with Subaru and handed a sleeping Arf over to Fate. "It looks like fun."
"We're talking about Elio's interest in flair bar tending," Fate informed her before the pink haired girl could say otherwise. "It seems that's his escape."
"Like your car, hmm?" Nanoha sat down around the fire as well. "Signum-san, what's your escape?"
"I rather enjoy playing "Go" to pass the time and get my mind off work."
"I hate that game," Nanoha gave her an apologetic grin. "How about you, Shamal-san?"
"I love to sew." She motioned to the clothes she was wearing. "I made these actually, along with most of Vita-chan's outfits with the help of Hayate." Turning her attention to the little ones, she asked them as well. "And how about you?"
Lutecia answered first while Caro thought about it. "I like taking long baths."
"I suppose..." Caro hadn't really thought about it before. "I really like taking Freidliche for walks, or flying with him." She looked up at Nanoha. "Mommy?"
"Hmm... I like napping. When I'm in bed and not thinking about anything but how nice it is to just not care about anything else at the moment, that's the best. Well, I like simple cuddling too; rubbing Fate's back relaxes me more than her, for some odd reason."
"Don't listen to her," Fate teased. "Her escape is ice cream and cookies."
"Faaaaaaate!" She pouted. "It is not, if anything besides what I said, it would be my violin."
"You play the violin?" Subaru looked shocked.
"Mm," Nanoha nodded at her. "My two best friends in the world both took lessons since before I can remember. It was only a matter of time before they started teaching me as well. When Fate proposed to me, Arisa-chan and Suzuka-chan both went in together and got me a violin so I'd have something to remember them by while I was here on Midchilda. I started playing again and I really like it, actually."
"She plays almost an hour a day, normally before we go to sleep," Fate added in. "She's the best at really slow ballads but she likes playing hyper fast songs the most."
Subaru hummed as she thought. "Oh, that's right. Fate-san really likes music don't you? I heard Tia tell me that when she goes to visit you at work to ask about enforcer things you always have ear buds in."
Signum chuckled at that. "Fate has always had them in wherever she goes, you just don't notice because they're wireless."
"Leave me alone," Fate stuck her tongue out at her. "How about you, Subaru? What's your escape from work?"
"Tia!" She replied without thinking. "When we're alone in our room and she smiles at me, I'm all 'paya-paya!'...But she seems to rather enjoy reading. No matter what she always seems to have a book or magazine in her hands."
Shamal giggled to herself. "Somehow I saw that coming. Oh, look at the time, it's already past midnight. I should be getting in bed." Standing up, she helped Signum to her feet and looked around. "It seems like most everyone else is starting to get sleepy as well. Shall we call it a night?"
"Sure," Fate stood and shifted Arf in her arms. "Caro, Lutecia, can you take care of the fires please?"
"What I desire,"
"What I ask for,"
Two loud splashing sounds came as water formed out of the air and fell onto the smoldering flames in one feel swoop. "Let's get back to the resident's building!" Nanoha called out to everyone before turning to look over at Yuuno, who was carnying a sleeping Hayate in his arms. "Whoo-whoo!"
"Shh," He scolded her. "You want her, Signum?"
At first the woman moved to take her from his arms but stopped when Hayate opened one eye and looked at her, shaking her head very slightly. "I'll pass," She told him with an amused look. "I need to stop on the way back with Shamal."
"Eh; we do?"
"Yes, we do, come now," Signum put her hand on Shamal's back and lead her off, leaning down to whisper into her ear.
"How odd..." Yuuno mused, ignoring Nanoha's sudden happy look. "Oh well, off I go. Sleep well you guys."
"Bye!" They all chorused at the same time before grabbing what they could and carrying it back to the base.
"Subaru," Tia called to her partner, getting her to stop and wait on her. "Did you have fun tonight?"
"Very much, you?" Subaru smiled when her girlfriend yawned. "Do you want me to carry you back to base?"
"N-no," She shook her head, amazed at the question.
"I don't mind."
"No thank you."
"Really, I don't mind doing it."
Subaru tried again, reaching out and taking her hand. "I'll carry you, Tia?"
The girl blushed, suddenly realizing that it was more of a request than a question. "...Fine. If it'll make you be quiet." She felt herself be hugged before having her feet swept out from under her. "...Don't tell anyone about this okay?"
"Right!" Subaru smiled happily, letting Tia wrap her arms around her neck as they went.