Fate T. Harlaown smiled warmly as she watched her daughter Vivio lead Lutecia Alphine off by the hand. The two of them made such a cute couple. Lutecia was four years older, which might cause a few rough patches for the next half-decade or so, but given how Vivio had been so dead-set on the violet-haired summoner since their first meeting it wasn't at all surprising that they'd ended up where they were,
She acts more like Nanoha, Fate thought, but her feelings are just like mine. Fate had fallen in love with Nanoha from the very start. Nanoha had been her first and best friend, but the intensity of those feelings had gone far beyond "friendship." Then when after a few years she'd grown up enough to appreciate that love had a physical as well as emotional side, it hadn't particularly surprised her that she felt those kind of things for Nanoha as well. Vivio had been just the same, only since she was more assertive than Fate she'd taken the lead and gone right after what she wanted without hesitation.
Standing next to her, Nanoha let out a little sigh.
"I take it things went well?" Fate asked. Her wife had been a bundle of nerves about the relationship, so Fate had advised that she needed to talk it out with Lutecia, woman to woman.
"She's a straightforward girl."
Fate agreed, "The quiet ones tend to be, once they come out from behind their silence."
"You would know."
"Yes, I would," Fate said, grinning back. "You nearly scared Vivio out of her shoes, though. She was afraid your chat was going to mostly consist of words like 'Divine Buster Extension' and 'Starlight Breaker.'"
"Mou, her too?"
"Too?" Fate barely suppressed a chuckle.
"There was a moment, right at first, when Lutecia almost panicked and started summoning on me."
"Really? Cia did? She knows you better than that."
"Vivio knows me better than Lutecia and you weren't surprised about her."
"Vivio was worried about a loved one. That messes up your judgment."
"Oh, yeah, like your Enforcer test."
Fate blushed. When Nanoha had been critically injured on a mission, Fate's worry about her had caused her to fail to Enforcer qualification exam twice.
"I thought we'd agreed not to mention that again."
"I don't recall any such agreement. You were probably laughing at my scary reputation too loudly to hear my answer."
"Oh I am, am I?" She caught Fate around the waist and pulled her up against herself.
"Nanoha, we're in the middle of the hall!"
"So?" she said huskily, her face so close to Fate's the blonde could feel Nanoha's breath tickling her skin. She kissed Fate warmly, tugging gently at her wife's lower lip with her own mouth.
"It's embarrassing! Anyone might walk by." Fate noted distantly that her hands didn't seem to be listening to her any more than Nanoha was; one was cupping the back of Nanoha's head while the other pressed against the small of her back, pulling them even more tightly together.
"I have to prove to my wife that I'm not a tease." Her tongue flicked at Fate's lips, seeking entry. Fate moaned softly, letting her mouth flower open under Nanoha's. The brunette flailed with one hand towards the nearby door, connecting with the panel that opened Hayate's office on the third try. They staggered through, more or less dragging each other out of the hall. The door slid shut behind them, and a minute later the panel's green "open" light turned to red.
~X X X~ - -
"So, why did Lutecia think you were about to blast her?" Fate asked.
"Do you know where my shirt wandered off to?"
"Hanging off the corner of that file cabinet," Fate said. "About Cia...?"
"Mou, you Enforcers are tenacious!"
"It's our daughter's happiness," Fate pointed out.
Nanoha shifted her weight off her wife and went in search of her missing clothes.
"She'd come to give her latest mission report and she hadn't bothered to report to Medical yet. Pain and post-mission stress had her jumpy to begin with, and having me surprise her didn't help."
Fate decided that Hayate's desk blotter wasn't quite as comfortable as it had seemed five minutes ago and stood up. This was one sore back she definitely wasn't taking to Shamal!
"So what did she say?"
"She was mature about it, which is kind of a relief and kind of not, since the age thing is my main problem with the entire concept. But I am sure that it's not just a crush on her side. Where's my skirt?"
"Coat rack." Fate paused. "So...are you okay with this now?"
"No, not really," she admitted.
She gave Fate a game smile.
"What can I say? I'm not comfortable with the idea that our little girl is growing up. I guess in my heart she'll always be the five-year-old who looked up and called me 'mama.' I really don't want to imagine that some day she'll be the one..."
"Trying to figure out where all her clothes ended up after a quickie in her boss's office?"
"Y-yeah, that," Nanoha flushed. "But...I'm okay with the fact that it's me who has the problem, not Cia or Vivio, and I trust that Lutecia won't let Vivio do anything that she's not ready for, even if she thinks she is."
"Why do you think that?" Fate asked, not disagreeing but curious, since Lutecia definitely was the follower of that pair.
"Because she loves Vivio," Nanoha said simply. "Just like my Fate-chan loves me and knows when to put her foot down when she has to. Such as when I'm worrying myself sick about our daughter's relationship." She gave a heavy sigh. "Thank you, darling, so much."
Fate smiled back at her.
"You're welcome." Just because I'll always follow after you doesn't mean that I can't point out the best way to go, after all. "I love you, Nanoha."
"I love you too." The warmth in her expression held for a couple of seconds, then changed to curiosity. "Fate-chan, is that my hair ribbon tied around your wrist?"
"Half of it. It broke, so the other half is still tied to the desk leg."
~X X X~
Vivio's Happy Family Magical Theater!
Vivio spun around, surprised.
"Oh, Aunt Hayate! How are you?"
"Mostly okay. I was looking for you, though. Can you give this to Nanoha?" She extended a wrapped package decorated with a big red bow.
"Sure. What's the occasion?"
Hayate grinned evilly. "Just tell her it's for Guess What I Found In My Ficus Day. She'll understand."