Disclaimer: I own nothing.
AN: Takes place several years after the current arc. ...And I don't know how Negi's still the teacher of whatever 3A should now be called or why he's still rooming with Konoka and Asuna. He just is.
The first time Asuna finds Negi in their roommate's bed, she is less than amused; not only has Negi not shared a bed with anyone in years—there is certainly nothing innocent about the intimate way he and Konoka are clinging to each other.
"Can we finally fight for real now that you and Konoka-nee-chan are together?"
"I've had to go easy on you for weeks because you wouldn't let her heal you, but there's no reason for ya to avoid her now, right?"
"K-Kotarou-kun, the problem with the healing—uh, us being together makes it worse."
The next time Chamo decides to chart everyone's feelings for Negi, Konoka isn't as interested in saving it from an overenthusiastic destruction.
…But part of her still wishes that everyone knew just how much she loves her boyfriend—and for them to know that he's hers.
Years after the fight, Evangeline finds herself wishing that Setsuna had given Negi more than a little scratch on his cheek. He looks so ridiculously like his father—especially now; seconds after the Konoe girl had run her hands through his hair.
The sickeningly sweet couple will never break her heart, but even knowing that it's just Negi, seeing Nagi's double so blissfully in love still makes her feel like she's lost him all over again.
Haruna knows she's never been good at keeping secrets, but looking at the other members of the Library Expedition Club getting along so well, she knows she can keep Negi and Konoka's. She'd leave explaining the convoluted love dodecahedron to someone else. For now, she'll just enjoy spending very non-awkward time with her love-struck club members.
"Huh. I wonder what would happen if we asked Negi-kun to join?"
Neither really knows how to act around Asuna; they had both expected something more than the shocked yelling when she first found out. Since then, when she bothers to talk to them, she's almost painfully polite, and they don't know what to make of it.
Of course, Asuna has a similar problem; with her nephew and her best friend dating, she can't figure out which one she wants to protect from the other.
"Grab one of Kaede's blindfolds before your training tomorrow."
"But Master, I'm having enough trouble avoiding your attacks when I can see!"
"What you're having trouble with, boya, is paying attention to your fighting when your little girlfriend's playing around in my pool!"
Looking back, Negi can't help but feel a bit dejected when he realizes that the only pactio he can't remember is the only one that matters. When he tells Konoka, she laughs and grins mischievously at him.
"I wouldn't worry about that too much, Negi-kun; you'll remember our next one."
When they move to a bigger room, Negi finally gets his own bed, and Asuna swears she'll do any number of painful things to him if he doesn't actually use it.
He's careful not to look at her in class; a teacher with a completely blank mind isn't of much use to any of his students.
"Damn it Haruna, haven't you ever heard of knocking?" Asuna bites off furiously, wishing desperately that she had told her affectionate friends to knock it off five minutes ago. The shock and pain in Nodoka and Yue's eyes is enough to make her want to flee the room.
Nodoka looks at the card that proves her partnership with Negi and tries to convince herself that it means something more than an accidental kiss that her best friend tripped her into several years ago.
It's only later, when that same friend finds her crying into her pillow, that she starts feeling any better—because then she knows she's not the only one in pain.
The entire class notices when something's wrong with their teacher, his roommates, and the Library Trio. Asuna won't stop glaring at Haruna, Yue and Nodoka both look heartbroken, and Konoka can't look at any of them without blushing.
Asakura's figured it out before the day ends, and their teacher's secret relationship becomes a very poorly kept secret.
Negi remembers the last time Setsuna fought him without her sword, and it was nothing like this. Little of the control he usually admires in her movements is present, and her mind is so obviously on something else that he feels guilty fighting her seriously. He's about to call her on it when a particularly vicious flare of her temper lands him on the ground with her on top of him.
"If you hurt her, I'll kill you."
For several seconds, he can only stare at her. Then it's his turn to lose his temper; he pushes her off and slams her into the ground, glaring.
"Don't you dare think that I love Konoka any less than you do."
Negi realizes that Konoka's grandfather would fire him if he knew about their relationship, but some days he can't help thinking that it would be a welcome price to pay if it meant the troublesome man would stop trying to marry his girlfriend off.
It's probably just his imagination, but the thought of Evangeline being rougher than strictly necessary when she trains Konoka won't leave him, so he takes it upon himself to instruct her. Konoka complains when he tells her his reasoning, but thankfully she's not offended enough to pass up extra time with him.
And Negi knows that Evangeline's bitter scowl when he tells her isn't his imagination.
"Eva, just because Negi's not training with you as much as he used to doesn't give you the right to beat him half to death when he does!"
"The damn boya's romantic escapades have all of my servants moping! Moping! Do you have any idea what dealing with depressed robots is like?!"
Kotarou really doesn't understand why Natusmi's making such a big deal out of him asking her if she wants to have dinner with him, Negi, and Konoka, but figures it must have something to do with the strange smile on his rival's face when they arrive at the restaurant.
Negi thought it would be fun to go to Kyoto again and see Eishun, but when he sees the man's sharp smile, he thinks that he should have joined Asuna and Setsuna in their adamant refusal of Konoka's invitation.
"Did you have to tell him? He almost killed me! And what happens if he tells the Dean?!"
"Negi-kun, calm down; he promised not to say anything, remember?"
"Negi-sensei, all I told him was that he no longer needed to worry about finding a suitable partner for ojou-sama. Eishun-sama figured the rest out on his own."
"You still could have warned me!"
Chamo truly believes that he's going to meet his end when Negi finds him sleeping in Konoka's underwear drawer.
After the third morning of burnt toast, Asuna thinks that Negi should really know better than to distract Konoka when she's cooking.
Konoka might be cheering Negi up when she tells him that just because he can't escort her to the dance doesn't mean he can't zip up her dress, but Asuna's still not entirely sure that her friend isn't trying to make her choke to death.
Their class has never been known for keeping things quiet, but none of them can bear to contemplate betraying either of their friends.
He broke Ako's heart once, but then he was only an illusion. Now he's real, and she still can't have him.
"…Could you—please don't tell her."
"I won't. I promise."
And he won't tell Setsuna that Konoka already knows.
Between buying Asakura a new camera and paying Mana, Negi's not sure if he can even afford another date for the reporter to spy on.
On their first date, it took Negi almost an hour to muster up the courage to hold her hand; now, he feels like he's losing a limb every time they separate before class.
Asakura always wishes that Evangeline had tortured her a little more when Negi finds out exactly how many pictures she's taken of him and Konoka; maybe then she could run fast enough to save her camera.
Negi remembers his father telling him to grow up happy.
Looking around at the odd family he's become a part of since coming to Mahora, he knows that he has.