Note: This Version is only a snippet of the real Epilogue. :3
Feito No Hana
Hayate was leaning against the doorframe when Fate and I walked up to our apartment. I remember the smile she had on her face as if it were yesterday. She had expected something, a conclusion of some sort, but the conversation that followed revealed that their conclusion had still surprised her. And of course, once she knew, she had to string them along for a bit. Hayate had always been such a tease. It was part of the reason why I loved her so.
"…And if I say no?"
Fate jumped in before I could act on my crestfallen face, "Then you don't get any."
I stared, likely as much as Hayate did, surprised by Fate's assertiveness.
Hayate scoffed. "As if you could deny me."
"I did it for six months."
I whispered, half to myself, "And I could've gone longer if Fate hadn't passed out on me."
"Nanoha!" I jolted out of my memories when Fate slapped my arm. I grinned at her, unaware then of the look Hayate was giving me.
"I don't know you guys, they say two's a crowd, and three's pure misery."
Fate protested, possibly only for the sake of protesting, "No they don't! They say Three's Company and Two is for… umm… you know, that one TV show…"
"Two of a Kind?"
"Fate, that made no sense at all."
"Well yours didn't either!" Still, Fate looked down at her twiddling fingers. She was so cute. Is. Is so cute.
As moe as Fate was though, I had to ask the zinger. "Really, Hayate. Be serious for a second. Can you just… give me an answer?"
"To what? Would I spend the night with you to get with Fate?" Hayate frowned, folding her arms as she leaned back on the sofa. "No. My personal morals are stable enough that I would never go for that."
I remember how crushed I felt when she said that, but also how amazingly good I felt when she continued on.
"Now would I share in the loving with the two girls I love most in this world, in and out of bed? Of course I would, if that's what they wanted."
Fate's practical side just had to cut in at that moment though. Or maybe it wasn't practicality. Maybe she was just trying to make sure no one would come out of this hurt that could be prevented. "But what do /you/ really want, Hayate? It would be selfish of us if we just…"
"Honestly? I like concentrating on one target at a time." It kind of amused me how seriously Hayate was taking what was really such a preposterous suggestion, but then, I guess we were serious about asking her and it was just a matter of her consent. "And I think two on one can be rather unfair sometimes. Highly satisfying from what I'm aware, but you tire faster too. More people to take care of."
"But." Hayate paused and then continued her train of thought. "I don't dislike the idea. Fate, Nanoha, and me. Rather, the more I consider it, the more I like it. Lots of fun, for sure. And we know each other well enough that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to come to a consensus on what's acceptable behavior in public…" Hayate breathed deeply. "It's not the sort of proposition a future administrator can say 'Woohoo, let's do it!' and be all gung-ho about it but… oh what the heck, yeah, let's do it!"
Fate and I slowly looked at each other and then back to Hayate. Without even planning to synchronize it, we both got up and squished Hayate into a body sandwich.
I don't remember who said it, or maybe we all said it at the same time, but it was wholly true nonetheless.
"I love you."