I smiled to myself as I hummed along to one of my favorite songs being played on the radio. I was in a really good mood today since most of my schedule was put off thanks to some higher ups coming and giving the base a one-over to make sure we were all on the top of our jobs. My training field was the first to be inspected and I was given high marks for my teaching methods as well as the level of improvement that my forwards were showing. Tia managed to hover a few inches off the ground for almost a minute and that really earned me some brownie points because she was only a B-ranked mage. Caro and Lutecia's summons also earned me high praise, as well as Subaru's ability to break through barriers and handle close-combat. Elio, amazingly, easily summoned armor both from Lutecia and Caro and when inspected his magical powers had gone almost to double-A standards. Fortunately the investigator didn't know of the massive drain it put on the girls so all-in-all I was almost guaranteed to win the "Teacher of the Year" award coming up in the winter months we were now facing. A small beeping sound made me jog back into the kitchen and pull out the racks of cookies from the oven. Now that I had dessert out and cooling I checked the rest of the dinner and noticed in satisfaction that by the time the carry-over heat was finished cooking Fate would be home. On that note I still had a while to kill so I grabbed a hot cookie and nibbled it carefully while walking around the wall and to the stairs leading to our bedroom. Kneeling down I reached under the bed and pulled out my violin case and opened the latches with two small clicking sounds. The polished instrument greeted me with a shine and I couldn't help but grin at the memory of my two best friends on Earth giving it to me as a congratulations on getting engaged.
6th Mobile Division: Redemption
Fate looked at the approaching door with a feeling of relief. 'finally,' She thought to herself as she walked to her home.'Talk about a stressful day. Every single piece of my subordinates, direct or indirect, were given hell and I had to take responsibility for it.' The passage into her loft was revealed and as she stepped through the door, a mouth watering scent hitting her nose. Along with the treat of smelling dinner waiting on her, a very happy and upbeat song was being played on Nanoha's violin. Without a word she took her shoes off, lined them up beside the door, and straightened Nanoha's carelessly discarded boots. Her partner was currently wearing her white long sleeve button up shirt that only had the middle buttons done as well as her blue instructor skirt. With a content grin Fate crossed her arms and leaned against the door frame, happy at the chance to watch Nanoha act a fool. She was skipping around the living room, sliding on her socks, while playing her violin in the most carefree manor. Eyes closed, she easily danced around the furniture as she twirled, slashing her bow across the strings quickly to create the peppy song. Not noticing Fate yet, she started to sing out:
"Well before you know it she is born, she's looking up through painted bars, and she hears a hairy stranger say "She'll learn to play the violin!" Her mother's voice is high and sweet, she's got her chin and rosy cheeks, and before this birdy leaves the nest she'll learn to play the violin!" Dancing around again, Nanoha laughed happily, dipping down and leaning back all while keeping up the fast paced song. "Now her baby shoes are obsolete, she's growing like an ivy-weed, and every day she hears her father say "She'll play the violin!" Her mother and Fate won't interfere, they'll give me room, Let me steer, but they won't be happy 'til they hear me learn to play the fiddle!" Turning around once more she opened her eyes and laughed again, only stopping when she noticed that Fate was watching her. With a dark blush she slowed down and offered her room mate an embarrassed smile. "Nya haha... I guess I got carried away..."
"I don't recall my name being in that song," She teased her as she walked into the house fully. "I'm sorry I'm so late coming home today." Fate made her way into the kitchen and looked at the different pots and pans littering the stove and counter tops. "I see you made dinner?" A happy hum confirmed the obvious question while she observed the dishes. "Wow, roast chicken and veggies! Did you make the smashed potatoes from scratch?" She felt Nanoha's arms wrap around her waist and a small nod. "I'm impressed. A salad too! Wow, you went all out, you never cut things for salad." Her eyes trailed more. "Even made croissants." Fate put her hands on top of her fiancé's. "Nanoha, have I told you lately that I love you?"
"The way to a girl's heart really is through her stomach, huh?" She teased, poking Fate's side and getting a small giggle. "You always cook for me so I thought I'd return the favor since I had time off. It won't be as good as yours but I tried really hard."
"I'm sure it's lovely," The blond reached up to get some plates down while Nanoha still held onto her. "...Wait a tic, did you just say you had time off?"
"Mm," She took the offered plate after finally letting go of her. "The people inspecting interrupted everyone's flow so after about half the day my schedule was more or less canceled so I gave the forwards their last training session off and told them to do a few laps before calling it a day. Why, did your day not go so easy? Didn't get in trouble or anything did you?" Nanoha started loading her plate while waiting for her lover to answer. After they both sat down Fate finally sighed out and started talking.
"It was hard. Since I am head enforcer I am more or less responsible for everyone's mistakes. I should keep a tighter leash on them or something, they found girly magazines in the break room and one of the office floors wasn't really clean. Although I didn't get punished or reprimed for it, I was still scolded for allowing the people under me to work in such a loose environment. For now on I'm going to have to check on them personally once a week or so. As if my schedule wasn't already packed enough as it is..."
"Sorry I can't help, since Yuuno-kun started looking around for more people to train, I'm going to have my hands full." She started eating her dinner while thinking it over. "Starting next month the normal rooms on the second and third floors are going to be filled with people for a kind of boot camp for the police forces around here. They will use my training field three times a day while I'm not on it, but I'm still going to have to check on them every now and then to be sure it's going as planned. Although they rank as F, D, and the occasional C Mages they still need to be trained properly to protect the people of the city... Maybe I should help the new teachers until they are used to things here..."
Fate drank a small sip of wine and smiled. "Section Six sure has come a long way in just a year, huh? Remember our first day? The only rooms taken were ours, three forwards, and Hayate's. Everyone else had rooms on the rest of the base and just commute to our section. Now half the forward rooms are full and all of the regular rooms will be jam packed as well... and we're just about in charge of it all... Wow, I never sat and thought about it..."
"Our mothers must be really proud." Nanoha laughed at the situation. "Well, my parents really don't understand exactly what we do but they can at least appreciate my rank compared to the Earth ones. Oh! Speaking of, I don't want to go years without seeing them again so I'm thinking of requesting an Earth leave for a day or so every few months, or maybe if I'm lucky I can bring them here. They've wanted to see another planet for years..." She took a large mouthful of her salad and chewed it happily. "Do you think Hayate can get permission for inter-planet communication and passports?"
"That's a mighty large request, you know non-administrated planet transportation is highly frowned upon. If it wasn't for his military background and our support, Kuhn wouldn't be able to transport from Earth." Seeing Nanoha's face fall she quickly changed her tone. "But you never know! Maybe we can pull something, after all Mom still has the apartment there and uses it as a summer home... Come to think of it, it's summertime on Earth right now isn't it? Since it's winter here."
Nanoha thought. "Well Midchilda has longer seasons than Earth sooo... Well, yes, actually. I think it should be dead-middle of summer time there."
"Hmmm..." Fate leaned back in her chair, happily content and full. "Very lovely dinner, Nanoha." She smiled at the cute giggle she got in reply. Her eyes turned to the window and looked out at the dark night sky. "The days are shorter lately, and it's been so peaceful. Illegal logia trading has slowed down to a crawl after Jail's death spread around and the few Relics we have come across have been easily obtained... Say, Nanoha? Wouldn't now be a good time to rank-up? All of us, the forwards too." Nanoha put her hand to her chin in thought to the question. "Lutecia needs to be classified officially anyway since she joined the team; her record is completely blank now. I think they're ready, what do you say?"
The brown haired girl smiled to herself. "Yeah, they're ready. I'll talk to them about it tomorrow, could you handle the preparations for me, Captain Fate?" She saluted playfully. "We can take ours after they do, if it's okay?"
"Sure thing, sweetheart." She covered an amused smile. "But don't salute with your fork in your hands." Nanoha yelped out and quickly placed it on her plate, blushing darkly. "Hehe, you never change."
"Rank up?" Subaru repeated the words to herself to get a taste for them. Her eyes trailed over to Tia's which were looking at her as well. "Tia and I took the test for B-rank not too long ago and we originally failed... Wouldn't it be best if we waited a while more before trying at a higher rank?" She had completely forgotten that the time for the optional test were coming up again. "How long would we have to prepare?"
"A month," Nanoha informed them. She looked around the peaceful forest area training ground they were in and smiled at the serenity of it. Despite having just suffered from a large scale mock battle the area still made her feel at ease thanks to the cool air and sun shining down to warm them up from it. "I won't force anyone to take the test except for Lutecia." The woman looked down at the surprised purple haired girl. "You have to be officially ranked; don't worry it will be simple for you, anything over an A rank is a mock battle one on one with a higher ranked mage. You might even fight me or Fate, so be sure to use everything at your disposal okay?" She got a curt nod that quickly changed to a salute. "You'll get used to the private rank soon too." Nanoha giggled a moment before popping her fist onto her palm in realization. "Oh yeah, whoever ranks up mage-wise will also be promoted military-wise as well. This will increase your pay also, so it's something to really consider."
"Mommy," Caro raised her hand a little to get attention. "Are you going to take the test as well?" The question made everyone turn to their instructor expectingly.
"Mm," She nodded. "Fate and I are going to try for SS-rank. It's been almost three years since we became S-rank so I think we will have improved enough to pass. My phase shifting has been classified as a rare-ability so that's an edge already. Caro-chan, your summons will also aid you, and Elio you armor will also give you a boost. Tia you can already hover so your magical power alone will almost be enough to get you ranked. Subaru, you have some of the best fighting skills I've seen so you too are close. Don't let it get to your head, though, you'll still need to prepare extra hard for this."
Lutecia spoke up softly, making Nanoha turn to listen to her. "What rank should I apply for?" She had a rare ability summon already, as well as short/long range single/mass teleportation. Even without her insects she held her own against both Tia and Subaru during the mock battle as well. "A? Double A?"
The teacher thought it over. "Well your rare abilities may push you to triple-A, but you don't have the magical energy to support it, and you're still inexperienced despite everything you've gone through. I'd recommend trying for AA for now and maybe going for Triple-A next year or the year after."
Tia sighed at the information. 'And here I was, thinking I'm the leader of this small group when the teachers aren't around and Lutecia blows me right out of the water...' She gripped her pistol tightly while everyone started talking about the tests. Nanoha dismissed their first training session of the day but she still stayed where she was. Standing silently, she glared at the ground in her own frustration. ' I have to become more powerful... First Subaru and then Elio and now Lutecia... all of them can do things I can't. If Nanoha-san is correct and I really do hold a bunch of latent magical power, what can I do to release it? I'm not using twenty percent of Cross Mirage's capability, there has to be something!' She heard her name being called, making her look up and around, realizing for the first time that she should have left already. Nanoha was in front of her, leaned over slightly to match their eye level. Her teacher smiled inquisitively, making Tia blush. "Oh... Sorry, my mind wandered off..."
"Something is troubling you," Nanoha spoke her mind easily. "I can tell, you always furrow your brow when you're upset. Do you want to talk about it? It's about the test isn't it?"
"Not entirely..." The girl let out a small sigh. "I just feel that lately... I've become a burden to everyone. During the Skeith incident I couldn't even enter the battle field... Against Jail I couldn't even fight... In times of emergency I was always being protected... Is there nothing I can do?" She looked up at Nanoha, clearly upset at herself. "Nanoha-san! We have the same position! I try as hard as I can! Why is it you can do everything and I can't!? Is it your power? Am I really that weak!?"
Nanoha softened at the outbreak rather than looked surprised at it. "Tia," Her words were gentle, placing a hand onto the girl's shoulder. "It's not true that everyone starts out the same. I was gifted with my power, that's all. I tried as hard as I could during my missions and my trainings, often sleeping for only three hours a night for months on end. Although I started very high and pushed myself to my limits countless times, I only increased my rank once. Nine years, Tia, I've been doing this for nine long years. It isn't about your mage rank, it's about yourself. How you handle a battle, how you think, how you react, how you feel. All of that makes a great warrior, a 'Striker'. You know that term don't you?" The gunslinger shook her head softly so she went into detail. "A Striker is someone who is always depended upon, someone who can turn the tide on a hopeless war, someone who can make even the most depressed and scared warrior fight at their full potential. Someone who starts out just like you, always wanting more, always seeking to protect others, always trying their best."
Tia met Nanoha's eyes again. "Me?" She asked, unsure of herself. "But I don't have a rare ability, nor can I do many other things. I have my illusion magic but it's just 'uncommon' not 'rare'. Could someone like me really be a Striker?"
"Do you want to be one, Tia?"
"...Yes." Tia nodded to herself. "I just need guidance... I need someone to show me the way, so I won't lose myself." Her hands tightened around her gun. "I want Cross Mirage to appreciate me the way I do him." She looked up at Nanoha with a fierce determination. "I want them to look up at me, to see me as a leader! I want to become strong! Strong enough to be able to adapt to the situation, just like you said!"
Nanoha smiled. "Do you know my nickname? The one that I like?
"Multi-weapon." Nanoha reached down to Tia's hand and lifted it up with Cross Mirage. "May I?" She got a small nod and found the fingers releasing. "Thank you." Looking at the handgun, she gave it a greeting. "Hello, Cross Mirage, may I use you as an example?" Despite having the required authority to release it's power she asked anyway to be polite to the AI that wasn't hers. After getting a confirmation she held it out at arm's length. "Stage one: Pistol." She shot a tree across from them. "Stage two: Dual Pistol." Another gun formed in her off-hand and she shot the tree a few times with each one. "Stage three:" Tia gasped at the new version she didn't know about. "Shotgun." Putting the weapons end to end they started to glow a moment before reshaping into a new type of gun. "Best for short-range combat. The farther away the enemy is, the less damage it will do." To prove the point she shot towards the tree far off and blasted off several chunks of bark from it. Turning, she aimed at a tree close to them and fired again, this time ripping it in half and making it fall over.
"Stage four," Nanoha went on. "Sniper rifle." The weapon once again shifted shape, forming a long range gun with a scope. "Once you become skilled in this, you can shoot anything from as far away as you need to be. The stronger your magical power is, the farther away you can shoot. Stage five: power shot." Cross mirage turned back into it's normal pistol form, only this time the colors were black and red. "Here, Tia. You need to fire this." She placed the gun into her student's hands. "Grip it with both hands, hold it firm." She stood behind her and put her hands on top of Tia's. "This will kick you back hard, as if you just just got hit by Subaru's Divine Buster, so brace for it." She looked down and saw Tia's stance shift. "Aim toward the sky. Good. Prepare and fire."
Tia swallowed, double checking her footing, and pulled the trigger. The immediate force was so overwhelming it would have forced her to her knees if Nanoha hadn't been supporting her. Large amounts of energy ripped from the barrel, spreading out into a large wide-range area. Constantly magic poured into the device, flaring out smaller blast that circled the main one. When the orange magical beam hit the top of the barrier it only paused for a few seconds before ripping straight through it and into the sky. Once done Tia fell to her knees and panted out heavily, sweat covering her body. "I..." She panted, shocked. "Wow..." Looking up, she gave Nanoha an amazed look. "So strong... I feel as if everything in me was sucked out at once."
"I'm sure you understand that this mode isn't meant to be used and that's why it was locked from you?" Nanoha sat down next to her student while she recovered. "I will teach you how to become a multiple weapon user like myself if you want. Before you answer I want to explain things to you. It isn't easy, and if you are not proficient at a weapon it doesn't matter how strong it is because you won't hit anything with it. I'm sure you noticed this the first time you shot left-handed?" Tia moved to sit properly and reflected back, nodding. "This is also not always a good thing. A multi weapon isn't something that is ultra powerful, that comes from your personal magic. This will make you adaptable and more efficient, not stronger. A 'Jack of all trades, master of none' type of deal. Weither or not you become a one hundred percent sharp shooter with dual pistols or a seventy percent accuracy multi-user doesn't matter. Cross Mirage will be used to it's full capacity either way, adapting to your style. If you become a master of a certain style while still using others depends on how much you will commit yourself."
"I see... And you will teach me if I decide to do this?" Nanoha nodded at her. "I need time to think about it..." She gazed at the new form of her trusted partner. "Can I answer you later?"
"Whenever you're ready. Now come on," Standing, she offered Tia a hand. "I'm going to be late for my kick boxing lessons if I don't run off. You need to get some food and rest up." The gunslinger took the offered hand and smiled when she was lifted up to her feet. "Think about it and answer me whenever you want, don't rush it. Right now let's focus on the upcoming mage test and go from there."
A woman with deep red hair pulled up into a sharp ponytail walked briskly across the grounds of the military base. With two fingers she adjusted her thin red lined glasses properly onto her nose and made her way into the main office building of section six. With a quick look she spotted the main desk on the bottom floor and moved toward it. Loud clicking sounds echoed as she walked, getting several people's attention onto her. Once at her destination she glared at the secretary there and spoke to her in an official toned voice. "Hello, I need to speak with Hayate Yagami or one of the two mages recently involved with the death of Jail Scaglietti: Nanoha Takamachi or Fate Harlaown."
"I'm sorry, ma'am," The secretary apologized with a light bow of her head. "Hayate-sama is currently busy and Fate-sama is making her rounds right now. If you would like to schedule an appointment I can-"
"I don't have time for games," The woman interrupted her coldly. "I have urgent business to discuss with them and do not like to be kept waiting. Where is Takamachi?"
"Ma'am, she isn't under our department so-"
"Then find one of them and get them here now." She slapped her hand onto the desk, making the secretary jump lightly in her chair.
A new voice came up, making both of them turn to see Yuuno approaching them. "Is there a problem here?" He wondered, eying the woman. The secretary started to give information about the situation but was once more cut off by the red haired lady.
"I need to see Yagami, Harlaown, or Takamachi right away, could you be of any more assistance than this woman here?" She jerked her thumb towards the secretary.
"It is rather rude to ask for favors when one has not first introduced themselves, is it not?" Yuuno replied smoothly, leaning against the counter and clasping his hands together casually.
The woman seemed a little miffed at the casual appearance but introduced herself anyway. "Tribeca. My last name isn't important; and you are?"
"Yuuno Scrya. I see you've met Allison already." He nodded towards the secretary. "Unfortunately all three of them are busy at the current moment, if I can assist you with anything I would be more than happy too..." His voice trailed off when Tribeca reached into her hand bag and pulled out a folder to start flipping through it.
The woman read a little bit on the page and snapped the folder shut. "You are Yuuno Scrya of the Scrya clan, chief of infinite library, and civilian collaborator of Mobile Division Section Six?" She eyed him harshly as the man slowly nodded, confused. "Then this trip wasn't a total loss. I was also asked to offer you a job for us regardless if the unison request was accepted or not." She offered her hand, suddenly showing respect for the male. "My superior request that you come back with me for full details on the matter. In short we are proposing you an unlimited budget for research, access to all information including some of which is not in the library, and a support team of one hundred of our top scientist."
"Why?" Yuuno shook her hand.
"In exchange for you researching what we request and overseeing construction of certain items." Tribeca met his eyes. "Please consider joining our organization."
"What is the name of this organization that you speak of?"
"Uniformity of the Four Quadrants, or U.F.C. For short."
Yuuno's eyes widened a moment before narrowing. "I assume you would request me to develop weaponry for you?" His voice lost it's casualness. "What do you want with the people you named? What is this Unison request you spoke of?"
Tribeca noted the change in tone. "Jail Scaglietti worked for us and we would like enlist the aid of the people who disposed of him for our army."
"I'll take the papers." Yuuno held out his hand. "Please leave the premises immediately. Admiral Chrono will contact you in a few days to give you the news." He was handed a small disc shaped item and the red haired woman turned to leave.
"Please think about the offer, Yuuno-sensei." With that, she left the build and teleported once outside.
"Is Hayate in her office?" Yuuno asked immediately, getting a short nod. Wasting no time he ran to the elevator and pushed the button, ignoring his friend telling him that she didn't want to be disturbed right now. The ride up did nothing to calm his nerves and by the time he reached the hallway of the top floor his hands were already shaking. The man stood in front of Hayate's door a few moments before knocking on it briskly. A short reply told him to enter so he did, walking over to the girl and sitting down in front of her. Hayate seemed shocked to see him and quickly closed down all her monitors. The two sat in silence for almost a minute before Yuuno spoke up, handing her the disc. "We're in trouble. The U.F.C. took notice of us and wants section six to be part of their army." Hayate blinked, slowly taking the offered item. "Before you load that lock everything and put it in a separate player that isn't connected with anything. I don't want any chance of a virus being on board."
"The U.F.C..." Hayate seemed a little confused. "You mean the people who are trying to get everyone in the four quadrants of the universes to be under one rule?" Yuuno nodded at her. "The...same ones that have declared war on several planets when they refused to meet their 'terms' for the treaty?" Again another nod, making Hayate swallow. "The ones... that have a record of being bitter enemies of the T.S.A.B and have committed genocide of entire planets just because they were allied with us?" Yuuno nodded a third time. "They... want us now?"
"And that's not the worst part." Yuuno looked into her eyes. "Apparently Jail was just an expendable scientist to them. Us killing him attracted their attention, and they already gave me a job offer. I'm sorry, there's more," He reached out and caught Hayate's hand when she went to summon a monitor. "They know You, Fate, Nanoha, and myself by name. We're specific targets."
"...I think I'm going to throw up." She took a few deep breaths and found Yuuno beside her, rubbing her back shortly after. "This stays between us, I will contact Chrono directly about this... Carim of the Saint Church will probably need to know as well. No one else, though. Don't mention this to Nanoha or Fate especially all right?" She got an understanding nod so she took one last steadying breath. "Let's see what's on this disc..."
"Subaru, I'm home." Tia spoke softly as she entered the dark room. She heard a small mummer from the direction of the beds and smiled to herself. "Sorry to wake you." The door closed softly and the orange haired girl felt her way across the room to her dresser. The third drawer was opened and a small light came on inside of it,casting a soft blueish white haze over the contents. Picking up a long loose shirt, she closed the drawer and started to strip. Her still damp hair fell out behind her after a quick pull to get it out from under her sleep shirt. With a small shake of her head she fluffed her hair out a little more and peeled off her socks. Normally she wouldn't have bothered to put some on after a shower but the cold weather had started getting worse the past few days. Already she could see her breath during early morning jogs and late night exercises. "Subaru, do you mind if I cut the heat on a little more?" Another half hearted moan acknowledged her and she took it as a 'go ahead', which she did. Almost at once a soft hum came from the vents as the warm air flowed into the room. At times like this she almost wished the top bunk was hers, as it was normally warm and cozy instead of chilly like hers was. Disregarding that, she moved over to her bed and pulled up the covers to slide in and almost yelped when she felt someone in her bed as well. "Subaru! What are you doing in my bed?"
"Sleeping," She replied absently, clearly not awake yet. "You're letting in cold air, stop." Lazily she reached up to pull the covers back down. "Hurry and get in."
"But," She blushed. "Subaru, it's embarrassing... get in your bed."
The blue haired girl finally opened her eyes and looked up at the girl sitting on the mattress. "I fell asleep waiting for you, don't make me get in my cold bed?" Her sleepy request hit it's mark, making Tia sigh and start to move. "I don't want you to leave either," She added in while gripping her nightshirt. "Sleep with me, Tia?" At first the girl didn't do anything but stay still, slowly reaching a hand over to touch Subaru's fingers clutching her shirt. "Come on," Subaru whispered again, giving a slight tug. "Please?"
"...Okay," even though it was only the two of them in the room she still spoke in a whisper, as if she didn't want anyone else to overhear. Sinking down, she laid herself under the covers and got comfortable, immediately feeling Subaru press up against her front and lay an arm across her waist. Soon after, a smooth leg ran up between hers, stopping at her shins. Subaru's knee was brought up next, stopping at her inner thighs while cuddling. "Subaru..." The name came out as a soft gasp, inhaling her sleeping partner's breath. Their eyes were still open, looking at each other from the scarce few inches between them. Tia licked her lips without thinking about it. "You smell good," She stated, getting a goofy smile. The close contact was making her heart beat faster and the rubbing on her side was doing nothing to calm her down. 'This is why I didn't want to sleep with her,' She thought to herself, cheeks coloring at the innocent intended touching. 'There's no way I can sleep like this... my heart is beating too fast...' She looked down at her girlfriend's lips. 'How long has it been since we went open with our relationship?' Her hand went up to touch Subaru's cheek and was rewarded with a happy smile from the sleepy girl. 'Just one kiss will be okay. We can sleep after a goodnight kiss...'
Leaning forward, she slightly pressed their lips together softly. Tia heard a soft content sound come from her partner and felt a little bit of pride inside of herself for causing it. 'One more... one more and then we'll sleep,' She let the idea run though her mind as she took a small breath and kissed her again, being pulled closer. ' One more... Just one more...' The rubbing on her side had finally worked her shirt up enough to feel Subaru's warm hand touch her skin, giving her a full body shiver. Without realizing it she gave a slight rock of her body against her, moving her hand down over Subaru's back and lifting her shirt enough to rub her skin directly. A flurry of kisses followed, each one leaving them slightly out of breath and more awake. The amount of time it took was unknown to them but Tia soon found herself pressed hard against her girlfriend, hands trailing each other's bodies freely without restraint. Having had her fill of touching, the orange haired one rolled over on top of her girlfriend. Panting, they looked into each other's eyes with foreheads touching. "Subaru," She began, smiling fondly down at her and breathing harder than normal. "I love you, Subaru."
"Tia..." The feelings the single word had could not be described. The smile on her face said it all, the sheer amount of joy running though her heart. Hugging her tightly, Subaru nodded quickly. "I love you too! Lots and lots!" They stayed together hugging for a long moment, stopping only when Tia started kissing her neck. Taking the hint, the blue haired girl began rubbing her skin. Moving back, they looked at each other a moment more before kissing again, whispering the same three words over and over again as their bodies started rocking against each other.
"Well," Chrono Harlaown leaned back in his chair and looked at the monitors in front of him. Hayate was in the middle, paired with Yuuno in his own screen to her left. Adding in on Hayate's right was a blond woman dressed in something that resembled a religious gown. "The U.F.Q... I've had some particularly bitter encounters with them as well but I never would have thought that Jail Scaglietti would be working for them. However, if they got interested in you because you killed him then it means that he was highly looked upon, although they were probably looking for a way to cut him off anyway..." He rubbed the bridge of his nose. "The peace treaty they gave you is one I've seen countless times before, it's nothing more than a formal 'join us or be destroyed' letter."
"This isn't the first time?" Carim asked softly, looking over at him from her side of the screen. "They have contacted you before about things like this?"
"Not me directly but people under me. What they want is for the T.S.A.B, which looks over most of the eastern quadrant, to give in to them and basically adhere to their rules. In short, let them regulate trade, speak their common language, use their money, and in all ways have a 'we will protect you until you piss us off, then we'll kill you and use it as an example to others' deal. They think that by using force they can make all of the universe completely peaceful."
Yuuno nodded. "I've read several things about them. As an advanced dictatorship they leave a few highly trained people on each planet and use their advanced weaponry to basically enslave it until the person in charge figures out how the planet is ran, then proceeds to do so. On a small scale they really do bring peace and harmony to everyone under them. However they are too severe... Zero tolerance. Instead of trying to control a planet that uprises against them..." He nodded at their looks to confirm the worst.
"Are they dumb enough to challenge the entire T.S.A.B?" Hayate looked over at everyone.
"Negative," Chrono shook his head slowly. "They only want recruiting whenever they mess with us. Declaring an all out war would destroy more than could ever be recovered. Even they know that."
"So when we tell them no, will they back off?" Carim pondered it. "I have a feeling that it won't be that simple, given there history."
Chrono closed his eyes. "No, they won't."
"Anyone who turns them down dies." Yuuno gave the news that Chrono obviously didn't want to say. "They're going to try and assassinate Fate, Nanoha, Hayate and myself. Make sure we can't be used against them if we won't work for them."
"That's why we need your help, Carim." Chrono looked towards the blond. "Will you lend us your aid?"
Carim tried her best to smile given the situation. "You have the full support of the church. We will deploy a special team there for 'good relations' on the outside view. Hayate, may we impose upon some rooms from you?"
"I have rooms and job placements for everyone who would like to take them, free of charge with full benefits of course."
The blond did smile this time. "Don't worry, they will give up if they can't succeed right?"
"From the past records, yes." Yuuno nodded. "The forwards may be in trouble as well so let's stay on the down low. Make sure none of them stand out in any way. Chrono, will you give them our answer?"
"Ah, I will contact Tribeca as soon as our conference has ended. In the mean time, stay low and on guard. Inform Nanoha and Fate to stay on alert but don't tell them anything more than is necessary. They have been through so much lately I don't think they can mentally handle something like this out of the blue. I want to take no chances at all on Fate until we're absolutely positive there's no chance of her forgetting anything he recently remembered."
Yuuno looked at Chrono in shock. "You don't think we should tell them someone is trying to kill them!?"
"Yuuno!" Chrono glared at him. "If you told Nanoha someone was trying to kill Fate, what would be the first thing she'd do?" The other male stayed silent, looking away. "Right. We can't have them acting rashly like that. Ground them to the base, make any excuse, send them to Earth for a while, I don't care. Just make sure they are being observed every hour of the day. Same with you two, just stay safe. I'm approving the limiter removal of all three aces."
"I agree," Carim added in to the mix. "Both of us together can make the higher ups understand. As an assassination attempt it shouldn't be that hard." The room got silent for a few moments after Hayate thanked them. "Well, we shouldn't waste time. I will get on everything right now." All four people looked at their screens a moment longer before nodding at each other and cutting communications.
Chrono took a deep steading breath after seeing the monitors click off in front of him. "Well then... I better get this over with." Inserting the small disc he was given into a separate drive, he brought up a contact monitor that connected him to Tribeca. "Hello," He greeted her civilly and instantly got a frown. "I'm afraid I will have to turn down your offer for section Six's Aces." The monitor cut off on him, immediately sending the separate player into a sparking fit, destroying it. "Well," He mused while looking at the smoking device. "Good thing Yuuno warned me about that..."
Elio awoke slowly, the dim light shining across his eyes thanks to the morning sun creeping through his blinds. 'Already?' He reached up and rubbed his eyes lightly. 'Time for another day; better get ready.' He had never had trouble waking up before and today was no exception. As soon as he sat up his eyes were sharp and the schedule was being played out in his mind. Something gripped his shirt, making him turn quickly to the side with a fast jerk. Caro laid next to him in her pajamas, still sleeping despite his motions. 'Caro, not again?' With a sigh he gently moved her hand from his shirt and placed it on the bed to let her sleep while he prepared for the day. 'It's been almost two months since I came back and you still sneak into my bed to make sure I don't go anywhere?' his mind pondered the situation while looking around his room for sweat pants and shirt to jog in. After Lutecia had finally settled down in Caro's room and made herself at home with her new bunk mate Caro had been spending all her time with her. At first he felt a little odd because he was used to her holding onto him everywhere he went but soon found out that she was holding back because she wanted to get to know the purple haired girl better. Because of this she became extra clingy to him whenever they were alone, often sitting so close to him that he put his arms around her shoulders to become more comfortable. When he had disappeared all day one Firesday following to go work at Fuji's, Caro had a fit wondering where he was or if he was abducted again.
That same night the dragon summoner had come into his room, asking if he minded sleeping together. After the first turn down she brought up the fact that Lutecia had slept with him one night and he quickly informed her that it was a purely platonic thing. Once those words were said she claimed that this was as well, and hopped under his covers. Thinking it was a one night only deal he gave in and held her until morning. The insect summoner threw a fit and claimed Caro was being 'unfair' at something or another and stated that she would be spending the night in his room. Weeks later and he found himself claimed as a human teddy bear randomly, sometimes not realizing it until he woke up, such as today. With a light shaking of his head, Elio pushed the thoughts from his mind and slid on his socks. After lacing up his shoes he looked over at the sleeping Caro and smiled to himself. Not thinking about it, he brought up his fingers and formed a yellow screen between them to frame her body and snapped a picture. "Store in album, please," He requested from Strada and got beep of acknowledgment.
Before leaving his room he wrote a small note on his desk telling Caro good morning and taped it to his door so she would see it. Now free of guilt for leaving her asleep he walked out his door and made his way downstairs. The freezing morning air greeted his lungs, leaving small puffs of white fog from his lips when he exhaled. The boy stretched out his muscles while walking to the track that circled the base. 'All right,' He looked at the lines and stretched out his legs as well. 'I have a month before the mage test... Just long enough to make sure I'm in top physical condition. I better make each day count.' Narrowing his eyes, he started jogging down the track, breathing steadily. 'But for some reason, I have a feeling of dread in the back of my throat...' The sky above him thundered loudly, making his eyes glance upward. 'No wonder the sunlight this morning was so weak... A storm is coming.' The redhead's eyes went back down to look where he was running, catching a small glimpse of someone covered in a cloak. 'Eh? Someone else up at this early hour?' turning, he went to greet the person but found no one there. The boy's eyes looked around himself, even turning in a circle to find him. 'That's odd... Maybe I'm seeing things?' Shrugging, he started jogging again. 'Oh well, nothing to do with me probably.'
Hayate: Unidentified mages in the city holding a relic!
Nanoha: I'm on it!
Fate: What's wrong?
Hayate: I want to see the forwards in action. Can they be deployed?"
Nanoha: Yes but...
Hayate: Then deploy all five of them. Nanoha-chan, Fate-chan, you two are to remain here and observe.
????: They send children to fight me?
Tia: You are under arrest! Drop your weapons and come quietly!
????: Drop my weapons...? Young girl, I don't think you know who you're dealing with.
Yuuno: Is that...No! It can't be! What would he be doing here!?
Subaru: Next time on Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Redemption, "The Azure Flame!"
Subaru:...Tia... I'm scared...